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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?
Sep 06, 2013 - 9:49 AM - by dgstorm
Just a few days ago Google announced that the next iteration of Android would be 4.4 and would be called KitKat. At the same time they launched a video of Googlers erecting the KitKat Android statue in front of Google HQ. The most intriguing thing in the video turned out to be a brief moment in which you can see two Googlers taking pics with an unreleased Nexus phone of some kind. This obviously lead to the speculation that this was in fact the Nexus 5 which we might be seeing very soon this Fall.
Now there is more fuel to add this Nexus 5 speculative fire. An FCC filing from LG for a previously unannounced device just passed muster. The device in the filing is called the LG D820 and it comes packed with a Snapdragon 800 processor from Qualcomm and a 5-inch display. That's not all the evidence. As you can see in the pics of above, the general shape and positioning of the camera lines up perfectly with the Nexus devices we saw in the Google video. It seems almost obvious that this will be the next generation Nexus smartphone.
Here are a few more details shared from the FCC filing:
- Qi wireless charging
- Unusual assortment of radios - supported networks: T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint (HSPA, CDMA, LTE) with the usual pentaband GSM radios — no mention of Verizon’s LTE (Band 13)
- 2,300mAh battery
What do you think of these clues? Does it seem likely to you that we are seeing the first glimpses of the next Nexus?
Sep 05, 2013 - 4:13 PM - by dgstorm
Here's the scoop on the other new Android tablets that Asus announced at IFA this year. They revealed their next-generation MeMo 8 and MeMo 10 tablets. Here's a quote from their press release with the specs,
As we can see, the Transformer Pad Infinity isn't the only Asus tablet to up the ante. Asus didn't share any details on pricing or availability for these two tabs just yet, but that should be forthcoming fairly soon. These two tabs are likely designed to cover the mid-range and budget-friendly market segments. Whihch of these new Asus-made tabs piques your interest the most?
ASUS today announced two new affordable Android tablets, the MeMO Pad 8 and MeMO Pad 10, with an 8-inch and 10-inch screen, respectively. Both tablets feature a 1280 x 800 resolution, a quad-core processor and microSD card storage.
Designed for easy one-handed use, ASUS MeMO Pad™ 8 measures just 127mm from side to side and weighs only 350g, yet packs an 8-inch display that gives 30% more screen space than a 7-inch tablet. ASUS MeMO Pad™ 10 is equally portable, at just 522g.
Vibrant IPS displays and ASUS SonicMaster-enhanced sound
ASUS MeMO Pad 8 (ME180A) and MeMO Pad 10 (ME102A) both feature an LED-backlit display with a 1280 x 800 resolution and IPS (In-Plane Switching) technology for a bright and vibrant image, with wide viewing angles and great daylight visibility. High-quality dual speakers with ASUS SonicMaster audio technology give great sound quality, too.
MeMO Pad 8 also features a rear 5-megapixel camera that captures great quality photos, while MeMO Pad 10 features a 2-megapixel rear camera. Both models also capture 720p HD video and have a 1.2-megapixel front camera for video chat.
Powered by 1.6GHz quad-core processors for a perfect balance of multi-tasking performance and energy efficiency, MeMO Pad 8 has up to nine hours battery life with HD video playback and MeMO Pad 10 up to 9.5 hours. MeMO Pad 8 has 8GB of onboard storage, while MeMO Pad 10 has 8GB or 16GB. Both models also feature a microSDXC card slot.
Sep 05, 2013 - 2:58 PM - by dgstorm
The Now Network just announced their official timeframe and pricing for the Moto X smartphone. Sprint will begin selling the Moto X tomorrow (September 6th) for $199.99 on a new contract. This new contract includes their new Lifetime Unlimited Guarantee. Here's the full press release,
... [Read More]
New customers switching their phone number to Sprint can get an additional $100 instant credit, reducing the price of Moto X to $99.99
Unique customization tools with Moto Maker available to Sprint customers in the coming months
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), September 05, 2013 - Moto X™, the first smartphone designed, engineered and assembled in the United States, will be available from Sprint (NYSE: S) beginning Friday, Sept. 6. Available in woven black and woven white for $199.99 (excluding taxes) with a new line or eligible upgrade and two-year service agreement, customers can order Moto X (16GB version) at Sprint Stores, Business Sales, Web Sales (Sprint
) and Telesales (1-800-SPRINT1Call: 1-800-SPRINT1). For a limited time only, new customers who switch their phone number to Sprint from another carrier will receive an additional $100 instant credit, reducing the price of Moto X to $99.99 (excluding taxes).
In the coming months, Sprint will also add the ability to customize Moto X with Moto Maker. With more than 2,000 possibilities to choose from, customers can design a phone that's uniquely theirs from the front to the back, to the accents, the wallpaper, the memory and even pair it with matching accessories.
Moto X customers will also be eligible for the Sprint Unlimited GuaranteeSM. The Sprint Unlimited Guarantee promises customers unlimited talk (calls to any wireline or mobile phone), text and data while on Sprint’s all-new 3G and 4G LTE network, for the life of the line of service. This guarantee is available to new and existing customers who sign up for Sprint’s new Unlimited, My WaySM or My All-inSM plans, and will apply to customers as long as they remain on the plan, meet the terms and conditions of the plan and pay their bill in full and on time.
“Moto X is the first smartphone that can respond to your specific needs with features like Touchless Control, Active Display and Quick Capture,” said David Owens, Vice president-Product Development, Sprint. “We expect customers to quickly become hooked on Touchless Control because of its ease and convenience for everyday tasks like locating the nearest gas station, ordering a pizza or searching the Web for sports updates. Sprint ensures that our customers can use Moto X to its fullest potential without having to worry about overage fees on their wireless bill.”
Powered by Android™ 4.2.2, Jelly Bean, Moto X makes it so easy to search the Web and snap photos with features like Touchless Control and Quick Capture. Here’s how customers can make the most of these features with an Unlimited plan from Sprint:
Simply say, “OK Google Now,” followed by a command, and Moto X will deliver without ever having to touch the device. When searching the Web is this easy, customers will be checking sports scores every few minutes rather than once or twice a game, so they won’t want to worry about data caps.
Finding the closest restaurant
Sep 05, 2013 - 11:35 AM - by dgstorm
Sometimes it's funny when the underdog of the group talks smack to the other players, but sometimes it just smacks of "sour grapes." Nokia might fall into that category right now depending upon your point of view. This morning they Tweeted the above image in an attempt to poke fun at the new Android KitKat naming convention theme. As you can see in the pic, they are depicting a Samsung phone (presumably Android) being broken in half, and they included the slogan, "Have a Break, have a..." Obviously this is meant to draw attention to the old KitKat commercials in which some working folks would cheerily break and munch on a KitKat bar in order to satiate their hunger before getting back to work.
Of course, we can't really fault them for joining in on the competition bashing. Samsung has become the king of humorous innuendo's aimed against Apple. What do you guys think? All in good fun, or just lame?
Source: Twitter - Nokia
Sep 05, 2013 - 11:16 AM - by dgstorm
The LG G2 just got an official date of entry to the Uncarrier plan on T-Mobile. T-Mobile will have the device on September 18th for $99.99 down and 24 monthly payments of $21 for a total of $603.99. The first batch will be online only. Then, on September 25th, T-Mobile will offer the device in stores.
Apparently, Verizon doesn't want to be left out. They too announced their official date and pricing for the LG G2, which will be September 12th for $199.99 on contract.
Here's the T-Mobile full press release,
Here's the VZW full press release,
T-Mobile Announces Availability and Pricing for All-New LG G2 and LG Optimus F6
The wait is almost over for T-Mobile customers looking to get their hands on the latest LTE smartphones from LG Electronics. The LG G2 and LG Optimus F6 will further expand T-Mobile’s ever-growing LTE smartphone lineup and will both be available with the Simple Choice Plan, which offers unlimited talk, text and Web with no annual service contract on a speedy nationwide network.
The innovative LG G2 – with a beautiful 5.2-inch Full HD display, a 13MP camera, an ergonomic and intuitive rear key design and easy-to-use multitasking applications – is sure to stun and provide virtually all the advanced features smartphone users expect. Starting today, the all-new LG G2, the first U.S. smartphone to launch with the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, is available to pre-order and expected to go on-sale September 18 online at Cell Phones | 4G Phones | iPhone and Android Phones | T-Mobile
. The device will launch nationwide at participating T-Mobile retail stores, select dealers and national retail stores on September 25. The flagship device will be available for well-qualified customers for $99.99 down with 24 equal monthly device payments of $21 with T-Mobile’s Simple Choice Plan. The smartphone will be available in a black finish as well as a white finish, which will only be offered online.
With the affordable Optimus F6, customers won’t have to compromise on style and functions. It boasts a bright and super sharp 4.5-inch display and 5MP camera with LG-exclusive advanced camera features. We expect the stylish, fast and full-featured Optimus F6 to launch online via Cell Phones | 4G Phones | iPhone and Android Phones | T-Mobile
starting September 5 and to be available nationwide at participating T-Mobile retail stores, select dealers and national retail stores on September 11. With T-Mobile’s Simple Choice Plan, the Optimus F6 will cost $49.99 down with 24 equal monthly device payments of $101 – making it one of T-Mobile’s most affordable Android-powered smartphones. For more information on the Optimus F6, please visit LG Optimus F6 | T-Mobile
... [Read More]
LG And Verizon Wireless Launch Next-Generation Powerhouse, LG G2 Smartphone
Breakthrough Rear-Key Design, Intelligent Features And Powerful Software Make LG G2 The Ultimate Smartphone For
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