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Sep 10, 2013 - 9:50 AM - by dgstorm
Although the video above is far more entertaining than informative, it still might be worth a couple minutes of your time. It's an "OCTA-pella" video of an entertainer performing eight different parts of the same song. It is designed to give us a visual of what the Samsung Exynos 5 Octa core processor is capable of when multitasking. It obviously doesn't go into much technical detail, but for the layman it gets the point across effectively. We aren't sure why Samsung felt the need to share this little gem, but we aren't complaining too much. Enjoy!
Sep 09, 2013 - 4:27 PM - by dgstorm
For months we have seen a ton of intel on the blue version of the HTC One. From rumors and pics to innuendo and leaks, there was a constant stream of data about the device. What became confusing was that the device was rumored to be coming to at least two different carriers. This didn't make much sense and made it hard to nail down the facts. Luckily the truth has finally come to light. The blue HTC One definitely does exist, and it will be a Best Buy specific exclusive for three different carriers: AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. Best Buy indicated the device will be available for all of three of these carriers on September 15th. Here's a quote with some of the details,
Sound off if you think this is a good looking color on this device.
Best Buy Launching Exclusive Metallic Blue HTC One September 15
The award-winning HTC One will be available in a stunning new Metallic Blue exclusively through Best Buy in the United States with the option of 4G LTE service from AT&T, Sprint or Verizon at the more than 1,400 Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile stores as well as on BestBuy.com onSunday, Sept. 15.
Since its launch, the HTC One has received critical acclaim for its premium all-metal design and breakthrough smartphone features including the UltraPixel camera, reinvented home screen called HTC BlinkFeed™ which incorporates both news updates and social networks, and as the only smartphone with stereo front-facing speakers.
Sep 09, 2013 - 4:15 PM - by dgstorm
Sprint recently announced that pre-orders of the LG G2 on their network will begin on October 11th. You will be able to pre-order the device for $199.99 on a new Sprint contract, and folks who pre-order will also get a small bonus: a Quick Window case (valued at $49). Again, this is only for those who pre-order, but it's still a decent bonus on an accessory that you might have considered purchasing anyway. Here's the full press release below,
... [Read More]
Lightning fast, amazing display, excellent battery life and high-quality photos – LG G2 excels at doing what matters most in a device
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), September 09, 2013 - Sprint (NYSE:S) and LG Electronics today announced the highly anticipated LG G2 smartphone will be available in time for the holidays with the benefit of Sprint’s unlimited 4G LTE data plans1. More information on the availability date will be given at a later time.
LG G2 will be available for $199.99 with a new two-year service agreement or eligible upgrade (excluding taxes and surcharges). New and existing customers can pre-order LG G2 beginning Friday, Oct. 11, at The LG G2 Phone - Intuitive Technology, Redefined | Sprint
. All consumers who take advantage of the online pre-order will receive a free Quick Window case ($49.99 value) with the G2 device.
LG G2 smartphone customers who sign up for Sprint’s new Unlimited, My WaySM plan or My All-inSM plan are eligible for the Sprint Unlimited Guarantee. The Sprint Unlimited Guarantee gives customers unlimited talk (calls to any wireline or mobile phone), text and data while on the Sprint network for the life of the line of service2. The new Unlimited, My Way rate plans start for as little as $80 per month (excludes taxes and surcharges).
“Continuing to raise the bar in Android innovation, we are thrilled to team up again with LG to bring another top-of-the-line device to our customers,” said David Owens, vice president-Product Management and Logistics, Sprint. “LG G2 brings everything together in a device with a comfortable, functional, convenient and beautiful design. With the multitude of Android apps available for download, LG G2 and Sprint’s new Unlimited Guarantee plans make an ideal pair for today’s multimedia, multitasking lifestyles.”
The first U.S. smartphone to launch with the new Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 800 processor, LG G2 is remarkably thin and light and features a massive 5.2-inch, 1080p IPS LCD display. Along with a processor as powerful as those in many laptops, LG G2 provides features that maximize on-screen multitasking with the simultaneous use of multiple apps. LG G2 is also equipped with 24-bit/192kHz Hi-Fi playback that reproduces studio-like sound quality and a 13-megapixel Full HD camera with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), giving users the ability to capture crystal clear images while in motion.
“In addition to an impressive lineup of smart features, LG G2’s innovative design makes it a stand-out device in the current mobile marketplace,” said James Fishler, senior vice president-Marketing, LG Electronics USA. “Equipped with a single rear key that controls multiple functions of the device and gives users a
Sep 09, 2013 - 11:14 AM - by dgstorm
Sprint owners looking to do some custom hacking with their new Moto X smartphone will be happy to learn that Motorola just added it to their Bootloader Unlock Program list. For information's sake, if you don't already have the Sprint version of the Moto X you can get it from them now for $199.99 on a new contract if you are alrady a Sprint customer. If you are a new customer coming to Sprint, you can grab the phone for just $99.99 on a new contract. Here's a quick link: moto x: Get the Power of Google Now from Sprint
The process for unlocking the bootloader are very simple, but it's important to remember it will void your warranty on the device if you unlock it, so keep that in mind.
Source: Motorola - Bootloader Unlock Program
Sep 09, 2013 - 10:45 AM - by dgstorm
Despite the fact that the Galaxy Note and Galaxy Note 2 both had excellent battery life, Samsung has taken things one step further with the new LTE Galaxy Note 3. According to the latest reports, the new LTE version of the phablet device which Samsung just announced last week will have a special Qualcomm chip called an envelope tracker. This chip is specifically designed to help improve the power-efficiency when using LTE connectivity. Here's a quote with a very detailed explanation and analogy,
It's great to see that Samsung continues to push the envelope in making their devices more energy efficient. It's important to note there will be two different versions of the GNote3. The LTE model will use a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, and the non-LTE version will have an Exynos 5 Octa chip inside. Both phones will come with the same 3200mAh battery.
The envelope tracker in the Note was developed by Qualcomm, and it’s the first commercial implementation of the technology that I know of. What it does is essentially match the power pushed through the phone’s signal amplifier to the actual power needed to transmit a signal. That might sound obvious, but in practice it’s a very difficult thing to accomplish.
A mobile signal is a waveform riddled with peaks and valleys, so a typical phone amp maintains a uniform “envelope” of power that can capture its highest amplitudes. The problem is particularly pronounced with LTE, which suffers from what’s known as a high peak-to-average ratio.
The best explanation was given to me last year by Jeremy Hendy, VP of sales and marketing at envelope tracking pioneer Nujira: LTE is classical music. 3G is heavy metal. Classical music has long quiet interludes punctuated with wild crescendos, while heavy metal is pretty uniform in loudness. Heavy metal is going to sound just as good (or bad) on any amp, but classical music requires much higher power to capture its nuance.
“You need a high-powered amp for LTE otherwise the signal is distorted,” Hendy said. “That’s why the power on an LTE [handset] is so bad. For every 4 watts you put in you only get 1 watt out.”
So if you’re wondering why your new LTE phone has such crappy battery life (or comes with an enormous lithium-ion caboose) compared to your old 3G model, you have your answer. What does envelope tracking do about it? It basically wraps the power envelope around the waveform tighter than a latex bondage suit, resulting in relatively little power loss.
Sep 09, 2013 - 10:14 AM - by dgstorm
At the end of last week a new rumor hit the web regarding Amazon's supposed Android smartphone. The rumor suggested that not only was Amazon working on an Android smartphone, they were planning on offering it for FREE. Although we have previously reported rumors regarding a smartphone from Amazon, we didn't place much credence in this one and didn't report it because a FREE smartphone seems dubious at best. We wanted to find additional intel to back up this first report.
As it turns out we were right to be cautious. Not only is Amazon NOT working on a FREE smartphone, they came forward yesterday categorically denying they plan to bring out a smartphone at all this year. They also made it clear that even if they were working on a smartphone, they wouldn't offer it for free. Here's a quote with a statement from them,
This is actually the first time Amazon has even responded to reports they are working on a smartphone. While it is obviously sad news for some folks that Amazon isn't working on a smartphone for this year (let a lone a free one), their statement does leave a small window open. They didn't deny they were working on a phone, just that it would not be coming this year. We will continue to keep an eye on this and report anything we find, but in the mean-time, don't hold out hope we will see an Amazon smartphone anytime this year.
“We have no plans to offer a phone this year,” said the spokesman in an email on Sunday. “If we were to launch a phone in the future, it would not be free.”
Source: WSJ via Kindle-FireForum
Sep 09, 2013 - 9:58 AM - by dgstorm
Sadly, according to some new intel it turns out the LG D820/821 is not the Nexus 5 after-all. Just last week we shared the FCC filing for a new LG device with high-end specs which had the LG D820/821 model number. Most of the industry speculation suggested it was the new Nexus 5.
Unfortunately, @evleaks was able to confirm that this new model was not the Nexus 5, but is simply a CDMA version of the LG G2. Of course, this new info doesn't mean the next Nexus won't be an LG device, as it still could be. It simply means the Nexus 5 (if it is an LG device) will not be one of these. We can probably readily assume that whichever OEM builds the Nexus 5, it will come equipped with Android 4.4 KitKat. As always we will share any details when they become available.
Sep 06, 2013 - 4:00 PM - by dgstorm
It's funny how sometimes in life you will research something which will tangentially teach you about random stuff that you didn't previously know about. The KitKat contest for Android is a prime example. Did you know that Nestle owns Hershey's Chocolate? I certainly didn't before this news piece. The KitKat bar has always been a Nestle product, but after I began writing up this article about a KitKat bar Android contest, I noticed it took me to a Hershey's website. After doing some digging I found out that Hershey's is indeed now owned by Nestle... interesting chocolate trivia.
At any rate, on to the contest... KitKat now has an Android contest which has gone live. You have a chance to win a Nexus 7 (from 1000), a $5 Google Play credit (from 150,000 available), or a free bag of KitKat Minis (from 20,000). To enter you simply have to buy a specially marked Android KitKat bar and you should find a coupon code inside the wrapper. Just enter the coupon code at the contest website and you will be entered to win. Here's the spot to enter the code: https://www.hersheys.com/kitkat/android/
How many of you are going to eat KitKat bars for the next few days as if it were Halloween?
Sep 06, 2013 - 11:13 AM - by dgstorm
When HTC first hit us with their new marketing campaign starring Robert Downey Jr., it was hard to be optimistic about it. The premise seemed like it could be humorous, but the campiness seemed a bit off. Now they have taken the campiness into overdrive, and the result doesn't really add to the comedy quotient. What they have done is spammed a serious of short 7-second video ads. Each of these is meant to be an example of the "cubes" full of weird stuff which we saw in the main "Here's to Change" commercial. There are nine new videos of these variations on the HTC initials.
We won't post all the videos, but we will post a list and a link to the HTC YouTube site for you to peruse them. We can't promise you will be entertained, but we are curious to hear your perspective on the vids. Here's the list:
- Hairdresser Teaching Calculus
- Hairy Taekwondo Coach
- Hands That Clap
- Happy Taco Cart
- Harpoon Through Cheese
- Hawaiian Tickle Ceremony
- Horror Theater Curmudgeon
- Hot Tempered Cheerleaders
- Hungarian Tuba Concert
Tell us what you think... clever and catchy or lame and desperate?
Source: YouTube - HTC
Sep 06, 2013 - 10:53 AM - by dgstorm
Right now it seems like the primary complaints against the new Galaxy Gear smartwatch is the price and the fact that it will only work with the Galaxy Note 3 or Galaxy Note 10.1. While there isn't likely to be much of a change on the price anytime soon, at least the second complaint is being addressed. Samsung recently confirmed that eventually the Galaxy Gear will be compatible with other devices, and not just other Galaxy devices either.
At the moment the main compatibility issue is two-fold. The first problem is that the Galaxy Gear uses Bluetooth 4.0 (LE). This is a limit that is based upon devices that are compatible with that specific Bluetooth standard. That leaves the question, "why wouldn't it then work with any Nexus device which has been upgraded to Android 4.3, since Bluetooth 4.0 (LE) is a part of that upgrade?" The answer leads to the second problem, and that is software specific APIs. Basically the Galaxy Gear currently only has software built-in that is designed to sync-up with the GNote3 phone and the GNote10.1 Tab. Here's a quote from Samsung director of product marketing Ryan Bidan,
It's great to see that Samsung plans to make the Galaxy Gear compatible with other Android devices in the future, but would that be enough to draw your interest considering the $300 price? Share your thoughts.
“Right now the specific APIs and functionality are tied to the Galaxy Note 3. For obvious reasons we are looking for additional devices to support it,” Bidan said. “We will announce those when they come, but right now it is Galaxy Note 3 specific.”
Sep 06, 2013 - 10:26 AM - by dgstorm
Here's a treat for those of us who like benchmarks. The new Sony Xperia Z1 was just put through its paces in several benchmarks including: Quadrant, AnTuTu, GFXBench and Vellamo. Of course, we all know that benchmarks are no true gauge of the experience one will have with a device, but that doesn't mean we can't glean some useful data (or at least entertainment) from the numbers. The numbers posted by the device aren't exactly stellar. They aren't bad by any stretch of the imagination, and many of them come close to the top-tier phones on the market; however, the phone averages in the middle of the pack amongst the other flagship devices. For reference sake the phone was pitted up against the Samsung Galaxy S4, the HTC One, the LG G2 and the Moto X.
Here's a quick breakdown of results, but don't forget to check out the video above:
- Quadrant = 14,835 (2nd)
- AnTuTu = 17,148 (5th - last place)
- GFXBench = 46 (3rd)
- Vellamo = 991 (1st)
As mentioned earlier, take these numbers with a grain of salt. The ultimate experience of using a smartphone can only be determined by you when you get it in your hands and try it out. Benchmark numbers will not tell you how responsive and enjoyable the phone is to use. Regardless, it's intriguing to see that it scored moderately well except for the AnTuTu score which dragged it down. Could this simply be more proof that specific software and hardware optimizations will result in completely different numbers calculations for a device? It seems likely.
Sep 06, 2013 - 10:06 AM - by dgstorm
Today, Verizon's pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 officially start (which you can find here). For the first time in a long time Big Red was ahead of the other carriers in launching a new smartphone.
Although the others are a bit behind, that doesn't mean they aren't trying to catch up. Both AT&T and T-Mobile just shared their launch details for the new Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear smartwatch. Here's the info:
- AT&T is also beginning their pre-orders for the device today (which you can find here). Their Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will be $299.99 on a new contract and will release around October 1st.
- T-Mobile hasn't announced pre-orders yet, but they did release pricing and availability details. The T-Mo GNote3 will come on October 2nd for $199 down with payments of $21/month for 24 months. Incidentally, T-Mobile will also launch the Galaxy Gear on that same day for $299 without a contract option.
Which carrier do you plan on using the new GNote3 with?
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