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Jul 31, 2013 - 10:44 AM - by dgstorm
As if it weren't already far too long to come to Verizon, the launch of the new HTC One has been pushed back yet again for Big Red. Originally the "runmint" suggested it would launch on August 1st. Unfortunately, the newest insider info suggests that date has been moved to August 15th.
It doesn't look like the device holds much priority for Verizon. Of course, with the new Droid series and the upcoming launch of the Moto X tomorrow, it's understandable. It still doesn't make sense that they didn't launch this phone much sooner. We will keep an eye out for more details.
Jul 31, 2013 - 10:33 AM - by dgstorm
It just goes to show that no matter how careful a company is in testing, sometimes the possibility exists that something will slip through the cracks. Apparently, the new Android 4.3 has a problem with Netflix on Android devices. If you let your device go to sleep after opening Netflix (whether a video is playing or not), it will enter into a "sleep of death" mode. The only way to awaken it is to hold down the power button until it reboots.
Luckily the issue cropped up quickly enough that Google and Netflix caught wind of it and already have "Top Men" working on it. That was literally the words they used in their tech support response.
Let's just cross our fingers that the problem doesn't end up collecting dust on a shelf in a massive warehouse next to the lost "Ark of the Covenant." o_O
Jul 31, 2013 - 10:16 AM - by dgstorm
This morning we have the latest exciting news leaks for the Moto X. According to Taylor Wimberly, the new Moto X will come with a very advanced new camera system, which includes Clear Pixel-like technology. Here's a quote with a breakdown of the technology we will supposedly see in the new Moto X:
It's basically a form of oversampling in the HD video. This effectively means that 4 pixels will broken down to create 1 "perfect pixel." Intriguing. Of course, the rest of it seems to suggest that the camera sensor will be enhanced as well, which confirms earlier intel. Overall it's great to see Motorola step up to the plate in the camera department. How can one phone possibly have this many new/improved features?
As previously reported, the Moto X features a 10MP Clear Pixel camera, for enhanced low light performance. The pixel size is 1.4 microns, which is smaller than the HTC One (2.0), but larger than the GS4 (1.1). This special camera module also has x4HD Video capture, which bins 4 pixels together to create one perfect pixel. Video can be recorded in 1080p HD at 60 FPS and played back in slow motion at 30 FPS. Three microphones also enable 3D audio recording. Please +1 or share if you love marketing buzz words.
Source: MotoXForums via Google+ Taylor Wimberly
Jul 31, 2013 - 10:02 AM - by dgstorm
Just yesterday we shared that Samsung was caught using sneaky methods to manipulate and inflate benchmark scores on their Galaxy S4 line of phones. A number of tech websites, including the highly reputable Anandtech discovered what seems like an obvious deception. From their testing the SGS4 would increase its GPU clock speed from 480MHz to 533MHz, but it seemed to only do it when running benchmarks like AnTuTu & Quadrant.
Since the revelation was published yesterday, Samsung quickly moved to respond. They began with a very vague initial response, which stated, "[We] did not use a specific tool on purpose to achieve higher benchmark scores."
Later on they shared a slightly less vague denial and posted it on their official website. Here's a quote with their full response,
Their response seems to have some plausibility. The only problem with this denial is that during testing at Anandtech, they could find no other app which used the higher clock speed bump for the GPU. This still leaves things in a grey cloud of doubt. What do you think? Did Samsung doctor the results, or is this just a case of mistaken intention?
Under ordinary conditions, the GALAXY S4 has been designed to allow a maximum GPU frequency of 533MHz. However, the maximum GPU frequency is lowered to 480MHz for certain gaming apps that may cause an overload, when they are used for a prolonged period of time in full-screen mode. Meanwhile, a maximum GPU frequency of 533MHz is applicable for running apps that are usually used in full-screen mode, such as the S Browser, Gallery, Camera, Video Player, and certain benchmarking apps, which also demand substantial performance.
The maximum GPU frequencies for the GALAXY S4 have been varied to provide optimal user experience for our customers, and were not intended to improve certain benchmark results.
Samsung Electronics remains committed to providing our customers with the best possible user experience.
Source: Samsung Tomorrow
Jul 30, 2013 - 4:39 PM - by dgstorm
We have a double scoop of creamy delicious Moto X news this afternoon. For the first scoop we have the above pic which is supposedly of the new Magic Glass for the Moto X which we shared rumors about previously. This new leak seems to confirm that the zero-gap, smooth-edge transition display will indeed be included with the new Moto X. There are a few more pics which you can find here, but the one above seems to show the best angle.
The second yummy dip could be one of those flavors that some people hate while others love. (Now I am craving some ice cream.) Apparently, the new Moto X will come with a Nano-SIM instead of a Micro-SIM. This could pose a problem if you switch your devices often, unless you are coming from an iPhone 5 or a Droid 3. It's odd to see Motorola choose this option, but there are probably some good reasons behind it.
Sound off what you think of these newly discovered "features."
Call us crazy, but we are digging Verizon's latest Droid commercial. With an edgy and powerful rock beat it takes us from the OG Droid's humble beginnings in 2009 to today's current crop of Droid branded hardware and boy is it good. It's a great trip down memory lane and this commercial does nothing but bolster the Droid's credibility as a cutting edge smartphone with tons of attitude. The first commercial in '09 with the Stealth Fighters garnered a lot of attention, and we can't help but think this new one will surely have the same impact. Let us know what you think. A huge hit, or did Verizon miss the mark?
Jul 30, 2013 - 12:05 PM - by dgstorm
For any of our members who have been around PC technology for a decade or more, you might remember long ago when the graphics card makers like NVIDIA and ATI used to artificially boost their graphics benchmark scores by including "optimization tweaks" for certain benchmarks. It was basically a sneaky way of manipulating the results of graphics results in the popular benchmarks of the time, but didn't really translate to real world performance numbers. The sole purpose of this was to make their benchmark numbers look better than the competition to entice consumers to their product.
For the most part this ended up "biting them on the behind" when it was later uncovered by savvy tech-guru sites like Anandtech. The practice was mostly dropped because it ended up resulting in bad PR. Sadly, it looks like history has repeated itself in the mobile industry, and never everyone has learned from the past. Samsung has been caught red-handed doing exactly this with their Exynos 5 Octa-core on the Galaxy S4. Once again, Anandtech was one of the tech sites which helped confirm/uncover the deception.
Apparently, what is occurring is that Samsung's Exynos 5 chip in the SGS4 can detect if one of the popular benchmarks (like AnuTuTu, Quadrant and GLBenchmark 2.5.1) is being run. It then automatically unlocks a higher clock speed in the PowerVR SGX 544MP3 graphics chip, boosting it from 480MHz to 533MHz. This results in as much as a 10% boost in graphics performance which will never actually translate into a faster experience for end users in their apps and games.
Even if you are huge fan of Samsung and the SGS4, we should still call them out on this one. It's just a stinky thing to do, and it needs to stop. In the mean-time, this reminds us that the artificial benchmarks should never be completely trusted. They can still be a decent tool to offer an overall impression of performance; however, ultimately, your experience on your device could vary, and the best "benchmark" you can use is the apps and games which you like to use.
Source: GalaxyS4Forums.net via Anandtech
Jul 30, 2013 - 11:47 AM - by dgstorm
Has the performance of your OG 2012 Nexus 7 seemed to be getting slower and slower over time? If you have experienced this, you are not alone. It was apparently an I/O issue which will likely be vastly improved with the new Android 4.3 update. According to the latest info, some lines of code have been found within Android 4.3 which will enable something in the background called TRIM. It's basically a new functionality which cleans up the internal memory on your device and dumps out all the old and unused files.
Sound off if you are one of the lucky folks who has received their Android 4.3 on your older Nexus 7 and let us know if it has helped your performance.
Jul 30, 2013 - 11:28 AM - by dgstorm
Despite some minor annoyances with the "still needs some work" browser functionality, for the most part the new Chromecast is getting great reviews across the web. It's also selling like hotcakes and is already sold out and backordered on most online retailers. This instant popularity with consumers has been noticed. A slew of companies are working hard to bring their services quickly to the new device.
Besides the obvious YouTube, Netflix, and Google Play services which came with the device, now both Vimeo and Redbox Instant are confirmed as coming soon to the Chromecast. That's not all though. The list of companies interested in developing their services for the device also includes: Plex, HBO Go, Pandora, AOL and Revision3.
It's amazing how quickly things are moving for this brand new technology upstart. It makes you wonder why Google didn't think of something like this for the GoogleTV before...
Luckily Google revealed that many of the Chromecast features are coming to GoogleTV. It's interesting to see how Google is merging and evolving their products.
Source: GoogleTVForum.org via TalkAndroid
Jul 30, 2013 - 10:31 AM - by dgstorm
For a few weeks Sprint seemingly slowed down their pace for opening up new LTE markets, but that must have been just a prep phase before another big push. They just sprouted a whopping 41 new markets for their LTE service. This includes some pretty big cities like: Brooklyn / the Bronx, Oakland, Nashville, Philadelphia, Grand Rapids, Fort Lauderdale, Greenville, Daytona Beach, Tulsa and many more. You can see the full list in the pic above, and we have the full press release below. Sprint's LTE network now covers 150 total markets and is well on its way to the 200 mark goal before the end of the year.
... [Read More]
New Markets include Philadelphia; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Nashville, Tenn.; Oakland, Calif.; and Portland, Ore.
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), July 30, 2013 - Sprint (NYSE:S) 4G LTE is now available in 151 markets including today’s 41 new markets which include Philadelphia; the Bronx and Brooklyn, N.Y.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Nashville, Tenn.; Oakland, Calif.; and Portland, Ore. Customers in these areas can make the most of seasonal fun by sharing videos of music festivals, quickly accessing the Internet, playing the hottest games, and posting summertime photos. Plus, with the groundbreaking Sprint Unlimited Guarantee, available with an Unlimited, My WaySM or My All-inSM plan, customers can get unlimited talk, text and data while on the Sprint network guaranteed for the life of the line of service1.
Today’s announcement is also excellent for the environment. Sprint’s Network Vision buildout – which consolidates multiple network technologies into a seamless network for increased efficiency and enhanced coverage – uses less equipment and less energy. By 2017, Sprint’s total energy is expected to increasingly come from such renewable sources as wind, solar and hydrogen. Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 3 in both its 2011 and 2012 Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation’s greenest companies, the highest of any telecommunications company. Sprint also ranks #1 among major carriers for its phone Buyback Program, as named by Compass Intelligence Research.
"Sprint is committed to delivering the latest technology and providing more energy efficient cell sites,” said Bob Azzi, senior vice president-Network, Sprint. "We strive to be environmentally responsible and are proud of our track record. Our new 3G and 4G LTE network provides improved wireless service, and is also expected to help Sprint meet its commitment to reduce total energy demand and the company’s carbon footprint by 20 percent by 2017."
Sprint customers are enjoying the ability to use 4G LTE on a variety of different devices such as the new HTC® 8XT, Sprint’s first Windows Phone 8 device, the popular Samsung Galaxy S® 4 and HTC One®. So, don’t put limits on your wireless data this summer at home, school, work or on the go. Sprint’s all-new 4G LTE allows you to do more in less time, from streaming videos to downloading large files. And, as Sprint turns on new cell sites across the country, customers are seeing better coverage, improved network reliability and voice quality on 3G in such cities as Boston, Chicago and Indianapolis.
Sprint continues to bring a better wireless experience to more customers across the country as it builds out
Jul 30, 2013 - 10:00 AM - by dgstorm
Despite the new HTC One selling very well for the company, it looks like HTC is still in for some hard times. According to their latest financial results press release, sales of the HTC One were solid and in fact were much better than their previous hero device of the same time last year. Unfortunately, despite these excellent results for the HTC One, the company is still hemorrhaging money and is likely to report an operating loss of 8% in Quarter 3.
The company is shifting their strategy a bit in order to fight this. They are introducing the new mid-tier HTC One Mini, and they also plan to introduce more mid-tier products later in the year with a focus on the emerging market in China.
It looks like the HTC One isn't quite bringing them back to competitive levels just yet, but at least it's keeping them afloat.
Here's the press release,
... [Read More]
HTC reports 2013 second-quarter results
Taipei, Taiwan – July 30, 2013 – HTC Corporation (the Company, TWSE: 2498), a global leader in mobile innovation and design, today announced consolidated results for the Company and its subsidiaries for the second quarter of 2013.
2Q 2013 Results
HTC posted quarterly revenue of NT$70.7 billion, with gross margin of 23.2 % and operating margin of 1.5%. Net profit and EPS were NT$1.25 billion and NT$1.50, respectively.
"My leadership team continues to focus on execution," said Peter Chou, CEO of HTC. "We are seeing expected results as we fill the channels and meet demand for the new HTC One. As we broaden our focus to include a new member of the HTC One family, the recently announced One mini, we are looking forward to delivering great products and results in 2H."
HTC announced key appointments, including Jack Yang to president of South Asia, Sirpa Ikola to senior director of marketing for South Asia, and Lorain Wong to vice president of global PR.
As manufacturing ramped up, the US saw sequential growth in 2Q, as well as expansion in retail channels. EMEA saw renewed strength in major Western European markets and emerging countries.
Progress was observed across Asia. HTC gained market share in Taiwan, showing an improved presence in Hong Kong and warm reception of its products by consumers in Japan. In China, sales of HTC's high-end models improved, while competition at the mid-tier and affordable intensified. In South Asia, the improvement of key operator relationships provides optimism about the region.
3Q 2013 Outlook
The Company's outlook for the second quarter of 2013 is as follows:
- 3Q revenue is expected to be in the range of NT$50bn to NT$60bn
- Gross profit margin is expected to be in the range of 18% to 21%
- Operating margin is expected to be in the range of 0% to -8%
The new HTC One has performed well in the market, better than that of our hero products for the same period last year. We aim to extend the momentum as we enter into the second half of 2013. The new HTC One has also helped the company establish strong brand awareness and received numerous accolades as the world's best smart phone. With the help of HTC One, we have regained superphone market share across major markets including
Jul 29, 2013 - 3:17 PM - by dgstorm
The final press renders of the HTC One mini have supposedly leaked. As you can see from the pic above, the HTC One Mini looks nearly identical to its larger cousin, except for a few small details and the obvious size difference. Here's a quote with some of the details,
How many of you guys are clamoring for this device? How about merely interested?
As you can see, the Beats Audio logo has turned grey and isn’t its usual bright red (which isn’t a bad thing at all if you ask us). AT&T’s logo is there, of course, but more understated than ever, and it fits nicely with all the grey surrounding it.
The Blink Feed home screen shown in the render of the front of the device has had its location changed to Atlanta (it was London in the press render for the international One Mini). Oh, and the ‘carrier’ is obviously AT&T in the top left corner too. The stories in the Blink Feed have changed as well compared to those in the original renders.
And that’s about it. Like its bigger and more capable brother the One, the One Mini looks exactly the same on AT&T as it does on any other carrier across the world.
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