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Jul 24, 2013 - 10:56 AM - by dgstorm
The Moto X is shaping up to be one amazing device. Beyond all the leaked details we have been hearing for the past several months, some new intel has come to light. A slew of special features on the device was recently demoed and described. Here's a quote with a breakdown below,
It's intriguing to contemplate all the extra software functionality that Googorola is packing into this very affordable device (assuming the $300 dollar off contract price rumors are accurate). Could Motorola have a huge hit on their hands?
TouchLess Control: The feature is also found in the new Verizon Droids and lets users issue voice-based commands to the handset – the Rogers video has already demoed this feature. The phone will apparently learn your voice, and the hotword is “Ok Google Now,” (it’s not clear if it can be changed at this time).
Active Display and Active Notifications: Also demoed on the new Droids, the feature takes advantage of the AMOLED display in these handsets (the Moto X will apparently pack one such display too) to light up only certain pixels when the screen is off in order to display notifications while conserving battery life. The phone will know when it’s in your pocket or purse, in a call, or place face down on a surface, in which case the display won’t light up for notifications. You can also configure it not to turn on during the night. The feature comes with new gestures: swiping up will let you see more details about the notifications, swiping down unlocks the device, while dragging the finger to left and right will clear notifications.
Motorola Connect: A Motorola Connect Chrome extension will be available to Moto X owners, and once enabled, it will let you send and receive messages from the desktop, as well as get call notifications. The service will be available for the new Droids as well.
Motorola Migrate: The tool will let you easily migrate information from your former smartphone to the Moto X, including text messages, call history, SIM contacts, media, and even some settings. To work, a Motorola Migrate app should be installed on the old device.
Motorola Assist: This app apparently replaces Smart Actions and will help you automatically switch settings depending on certain parameters. Some of these smart actions include automatically moving to driving mode when detecting driving or to silent mode for meetings or at night. The Assist app has a Google Now-like UI, and together with the Active Notification feature seems to be included in the phone’s “contextual awareness” features we’ve heard about in so many Moto X reports.
Phone tracking: Finally, this feature will help you find a lost or stolen phone by using your Google account and an unspecified web portal to track it.
Jul 24, 2013 - 10:45 AM - by dgstorm
Just yesterday, Samsung announced their next generation of Exynos 5 Octa Core processors, the Exynos 5 Octa 5420 SoC. The new chip is designed to be even more powerful especially in graphics. It is said to be 20% faster for general processing, but will be twice as fast in graphics as the previous Exynos 5 Octa. Here's a few more details about this new chip.
- Features a quad-core ARM Cortex-A15′s clocked at 1.8GHz
- Four “smaller” Cortex A7 cores clocked at 1.3GHz are included in the big.LITTLE configuration
- Features a new six-core Mali-T628 MP6 GPU
- Includes dual-channel LPDDR3 clocked to 933MHz, providing 14.9GBps of memory bandwidth
- Support for full HD WiFi display
- Also includes multiple image compression (MIC) for pictures and video (the processor can display them easier so there is less battery drain)
The new chip has already been benchmarked versus some previous gen tech. The folks at Engadget had a new reference Samsung tablet with the new chipset in it and compared it to the Nexus 10 which sports 1.7GHz Exynos 5 Dual 5250. According to them the new technology ran all of their demos and benchmarks a great deal smoother. Here's a quote with the details,
Feel free to check out their video at the source link below.
Before the exhibitions start officially, we had a chance to nab a look at a reference tablet running the Exynos 5 Octa 5420 SoC alongside ARM's Mali T-628 silicon packing six cores. For comparison purposes, the prototype unit was matched against a Nexus 10 tablet and its 1.7GHz Exynos 5 Dual 5250. Our first impression? The 5420 ran GLBenchmark's 2.7.0 T-Rex on-screen test noticeably (read: a lot) smoother than the Nexus 10 and the final scores confirmed the performance boost that we previously reported. We also had a look at both the Unreal Engine's Citadel (up to 45fps at times) and Unity Chase on the test device with both further demonstrating silky smooth transitions and brisk graphic renders. There's no word on when the chip will make it into your next mobile device, but it is scheduled to go into production next month.
Jul 23, 2013 - 2:27 PM - by dgstorm
The folks at PhoneArena have a tip from a solid insider source suggesting the new Moto X will actually be released around the same time as the Motorola Droid series phones on Verizon. According to their source, the Moto X will hit the streets "somewhat simultaneously" as the new Droid series. Although they weren't more specific than that, a little deductive reasoning suggests we will see the Moto X shipping out somewhere between August 20th and August 23rd. Some unconfirmed previous rumors suggested an August 23rd release date to begin with.
The final official reveal for the Moto X will be on August 1st, so hopefully we will know more specific details at that time. As always we will keep you apprised as more details emerge.
Jul 23, 2013 - 1:52 PM - by dgstorm
The folks at PocketNow have a video up detailing a ton of new features and improvements on Android 4.3. The video uses a Nexus 4 equipped with the new OS from Google, and amongst the many new features comes a huge battery life improvement. Read on and check out the video to find all the details.
- Auto-complete in the Dialer - this is a clever function that makes you wonder why they haven't thought of it before. The Android 4.3 stock dialer has been upgraded to include auto-complete within the dialer itself to help you get the right number more quickly. It's important to note that some devices have this function already, but that was thanks to the specific OEM. Stock Android didn't have that feature until now.
- New Emoji Keyboard - Google included a this new keyboard as an option for all those super-texters out there who like to add the context of "tone of voice/facial expressions" to their messages with more cute emoticons. To get to it from the messaging app you need to long-press on the space bar.
- Bluetooth 4.0 LE - This is one we heard about previously, but it's still pretty cool regardless. The newest version of Bluetooth promises much better power efficiency, and should drain your battery far less. This new version also includes a greater range of compatible devices. (This wasn't truly confirmed in the video, but the Bluetooth SIG has confirmed it.)
- Improvements in the Camera App - "The camera in Android 4.3 fine-tunes the way the previous version worked by placing the items in an arc with the selected item clearly called out above your finger. Also, rotating the device from portrait to landscape and back while in camera mode is now almost instantaneous."
- Better Performance - Apparently, the Nexus 4 is a great deal more responsive when using Android 4.3. It wasn't really sluggish before, but supposedly the difference is noticeable. This is borne out in synthetic benchmarks as well.
- Significantly Improved Battery Life - Normally with this phone, Android 4.2 offers about 4-6 hours of heavy use before you need to recharge. With Android 4.3, the user was supposedly able to jump that all the way up to 25+ hours!
It's exciting to think that software tweaks could result in such dramatic improvements. We probably should remain a bit skeptical, but that should only temper our excitement a little bit. Luckily, we are likely to hear all about Android 4.3 tomorrow during Sundar Pichai's press event and the probable launch of the next-gen Nexus 7.
Jul 23, 2013 - 1:29 PM - by dgstorm
Way back in march of this year, the above video leaked online that was supposedly of the Moto X phone. At the time, it was easy to be skeptical of the video, especially since not too many pics had leaked out of the Moto X just yet. Also, the video uses some image stabilization techniques which make it look a bit "fake" to casual observers.
For some reason, this video resurfaced again on the web today. While some websites have erroneously reported this as a new video, we still thought it worth sharing again. It's definitely validation that the folks who leaked this video actually had the real thing in hand. Unless you speak Vietnamese you will probably have a problem understanding the video, but it's interesting to retrospectively peek at the original leak through the lenses of current knowledge.
It took only 5 minutes to introduce Big Red's latest Droids, and now you can pre-order them on the Droid Does landing page. Verizon/Motorola didn't drag the announcement out very long and got right to business as soon as they hit the stage. It had a feeling of "here they are, this is what they have and this is when you can get them. Bye." Now that isn't a bad thing, and was probably suitable for these handsets since they didn't introduce anything earth shattering, but we thought they should have spent at least a couple of minutes showing off some of the software capabilities. Regardless, the handsets are great looking and are a nice evolution of the Droid series on. Head on over to Droid Does and get your pre-order in. Don't forget to let us know which Droid handset you are picking up and/or thoughts on the presentation and hardware.
Source: Droid Forums
Jul 23, 2013 - 11:47 AM - by dgstorm
Verizon just officially announced the new Motorola Droid series lineup and from little was revealed they look mildly intriguing. Their presentation was super-quick. It was literally over in 5 minutes. Here's what they shared about the new Droid Mini, the Droid Ultra and the Droid Maxx.
- Droid Mini - focused on compact design = priced at $99 on contract
- Droid Ultra - focused on being ultra-thin (7.18mm) = priced at $199 on contract
- Droid Maxx - focused on superior battery life = priced at $299 on contract
All three devices will be available on August 20th. All three will be made of the familiar Kevlar Unibody design so they are "thinner, lighter and stronger."
Verizon primarily focused on the software functions of the devices although they shared a few technical tidbits. The phones will use a new Motorola X8 Computing System, which supposedly brings 24% faster CPU performance and 100% faster GPU processing. This architecture includes two primary processing cores, one contextual compute core, and one natural language processing core. The Droid Maxx is 9% thinner than the previous generation Droid RAZR HD MAXX, but still has an 8% better battery life (up to 48 hours).
Here's the new software functions they included:
- Touchless control - make calls, search directions and more all hands free.
- Active Display - lights up a portion of the screen for notifications and messages.
- Quick Capture - launches your camera faster
- Droid Zap - share pictures with your friends with "swipe gestures" (we suspect this is some form of NFC sharing, although they weren't specific).
- Droid Command Center - allows you to access and control Zap and other features.
- Google's new MMO AR game "Ingress" will be exclusively pre-loaded on the Droid series. You can invite up to five friends to join.
That's all Verizon shared. It's strange that none of the other details, like customizable colors or really any specific hardware specs were revealed during the event. We will keep an eye out for official press releases with more details and will share them with you ASAP!
Jul 23, 2013 - 10:23 AM - by dgstorm
LG's big press event for their next flagship, the G2, will be happening on August 7th. They just released the above teaser video for the phone. It doesn't actually tell us anything about the device. Instead the commercial takes marketing queues from Samsung by appealing to the emotions rather than just offering dry spec lists.
For the most part, the video is a testament to people evolving and connecting with one another. Perhaps this is not a bad angle to take with a marketing campaign about a smartphone since its primary purpose is to connect you with others.
Jul 23, 2013 - 10:14 AM - by dgstorm
Late last night some leaked pics of the camera app UI for the Moto X showed up online. In the pics you get to clearly see several of the various features including the gesture functions, the settings wheel and more. Above is an example of the wrist flick feature to activate the camera quickly and easily. The shots below help give you a visualization of the settings wheel. It looks like a unique and handy way of keeping things less cluttered when making adjustments.
August 1st is the big reveal date for the new Android from Motorola and Google. We will continue to bring you as many hints and tidbits as we can find right up until the final press announcement.
Source: MotoXForums.com via AndroidPolice
Jul 23, 2013 - 9:33 AM - by dgstorm
Even though this is just a rumor too, it looks like the previous rumors suggesting the new Moto X will be $300-350 off contract are true. Usually when multiple separate sources corroborate each other's stories, there's some truth to the intel. According to insider sources in China, the new Moto X will be priced at $299.99 for the 16GB version of the device, and will be $349.99 for the 32GB version of the device.
Obviously these prices put the Moto X squarely in the same price range as last year's LG Nexus 4. It's interesting that this Moto X isn't a Nexus device, but it certainly makes a great impression of one. Looking at these prices, it becomes apparent that Googorola's strategy is to continue the assault on the prices of mobile devices. It's a brilliant business move to follow the same strategy they used with the Nexus 4 phone and the Nexus 7 tablet. This allows them to push into more emerging markets across the globe and get the Android technology into the hands of even more people.
If you look at the specs of the Moto X, at first blush they seem only slightly better than a mid-range device, but when you consider the context of this price point and their target market, the value of this device goes to a whole new level.
Don't forget to check out our dedicated site for the new Moto X. You can find it @ MotoXForums.com
Jul 22, 2013 - 4:39 PM - by dgstorm
The Ubuntu Edge was recently announced on indiegogo and it looks like a truly impressive new product in the mobile world. It obviously is designed to run the Ubuntu OS, but also has the added convenience of being about to dual-boot to Android. It doesn't stop there. You might expect a device like this to come out with mediocre specs, but you would be wrong. Here's a breakdown of the specs they intend to bring to this device. You can also check it out the in the video below.
The company is trying to get a lofty crowd-funding goal of $32Million dollars. They have already received over $1.5Million in about a day, so they might hit that. Here's a link to check it out on their indiegogo crowd-funding site: Ubuntu Edge | Indiegogo
Thanks for the tip, lloydstrans!
Jul 22, 2013 - 4:22 PM - by dgstorm
NVIDIA shared a press release today indicating they have worked out their technical glitch with the Shield. It turns out it was simply a small mechanical issue with the buttons. Luckily, they found and fixed the design issue before it went to mass production, and it only ended up being a short delay. The device will now launch on July 31st. Here's the full press release,
We have great news to share with you about NVIDIA SHIELD. The high-performance gaming and entertainment portable is in full production and will begin shipping on July 31.
Last month, we made the difficult decision to delay the launch of SHIELD due to a mechanical issue we found in our rigorous testing process. Since then we have been working non-stop to put SHIELD through its paces and ensure it meets the highest quality control standards in the industry.
Order now and get a limited edition t-shirt, while supplies last.
You can experience SHIELD for yourself at SHIELD Experience Centers at select GameStop, Microcenter and Canada Computers brick-and-mortar locations in the U.S. and Canada.
If you are ready to join the SHIELD movement and experience the ultimate gaming and entertainment portable, order now through a SHIELD Experience Center or online, and you’ll get a limited-edition SHIELD t-shirt, while supplies last.
Find the SHIELD reseller or Experience Center nearest you at Experience and Buy | NVIDIA SHIELD
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