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Sep 24, 2013 - 11:09 AM - by dgstorm
A new report from a Greek tech site brings an intriguing rumor. Supposedly HTC is already working on a refreshed version of their flagship the HTC One and the new specs will be very impressive. There are several big upgrades which the improved version of the HTC One will have so here's a quick breakdown of the change-ups:
- New octa-core processor of unspecified origins
- 3GB RAM
- "Clear Audio" feature for clearer calls
- Multiple radios for nearly all global carriers across America, Asia and Europe
- Gorilla Glass 3 (vs. Gorilla Glass 2)
As you can see above, this "leak" even comes with a screenshot indicating that HTC already has the device humming along somewhere in the development process. Of course, this could simply be a fake too. It's hard to fathom where HTC would get an octa-core processor. On the other hand, we wouldn't put it past HTC to do this. They are notorious for bringing out refreshed versions of their devices. The HTC One X+ comes to mind as the most recent example. What do you guys think? Real or fake?
Sep 24, 2013 - 10:32 AM - by dgstorm
We have confirmation straight from HTC that their Developer Edition HTC One and their Canadian HTC One will be both be getting the Android 4.3 soon. Specifically the Developer Edition HTC One will get its update this week, while the Canadian vanilla HTC One will get it later this month. Jason Mackenzie, President of HTC USA confirmed this info via Twitter. He later also Tweeted that HTC is optimistic that the U.S. version of Android 4.3 for the HTC One will be certified soon, but didn't give any specific details.
Finally, as a quick side-story, Mr. Mackenzie also confirmed that Android 4.2.2 with Sense 5 would be coming to the Droid DNA by the end of the year. This was meant as a correction to erroneous info previously suggesting that the Droid DNA would be getting Android 4.3 later this year.
This appears to be happy news for HTC One owners and sad news for Droid DNA owners.
Sep 24, 2013 - 10:18 AM - by dgstorm
We have what is supposedly a confirmation of interesting news out of Samsung. We are calling it a rumor for now until it can be corroborated. First, last night a rumor popped up that a new version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will be coming out next month which will include Samsung's YOUM flexible display technology. We were planning on sharing this intel with you this morning, but we can go one step further now. This report has supposedly been confirmed by a Samsung representative, and they will indeed be bringing out a new GNote3 with a plastic display in October. The screen will not initially be truly flexible, but will be made of the flex-tech for added durability and power efficiency.
There could also be one other side benefit which would also give Samsung a more compelling reason to offer a new GNote3 a month after the first one. The YOUM tech could make it easier to facilitate a more water-resistant body for the GNote3. Because of this there is some industry speculation that this next GNote3 will actually be an "Active" version, just like the SGS4 has its own water-proof "Active" alternative.
The second bit of news also comes from this same internal Samsung source. They supposedly confirmed the next generation Galaxy S5 will be coming with a metal casing as the rumors have been suggesting. Again, for now we are still calling this a rumor, but the intel seems very solid.
The final juicy tidbit is not a rumor. Samsung officially announced the development of “new advanced pixel technology" for their cameras. They call it ISOCELL. Here's a quote with the details on this new tech,
The primary result for the end user will be better low-light sensitivity, more accurate colors, and thinner camera modules. Samsung is already producing their first 8 megapixel cameras with ISOCELL tech. They plan to start mass production in Q4.
"ISOCELL technology forms a physical barrier between neighboring pixels – isolating the pixel. This isolation enables more photons to be collected from the micro-lens and absorbed into the correct pixel’s photodiode minimizing undesired electrical crosstalk between pixels and allowing expanded full well capacity (FWC). Compared to conventional BSI pixels, the ISOCELL pixels decrease the crosstalk by approximately 30 percent… increase the full well capacity (FWC) by 30 percent… and can feature a 20 percent wider chief ray angle (CRA), reducing the height of the camera module."
Sep 24, 2013 - 9:52 AM - by dgstorm
Verizon may have a new Droid tablet coming soon if the signs in this video above are correctly interpreted. Verizon recently Tweeted the above video on their DROIDlanding Twitter account. They also included the caption,
As you can see, the Tweet also indicates that this is a contest in which you can win a trip to their next photo shoot. It's obviously a crafty marketing gimmick to get us hooked on what this mysterious device might be. Call us a fish then!
Of course, the obvious guess is that it will be a Droid tablet, but it could be something else entirely. Maybe it's the customizable Moto X tablet we heard previous rumors about. Share your most creative conjecture.
Sep 23, 2013 - 4:51 PM - by dgstorm
When it comes to testing smartphones for durability, Apple's iPhones typically score a bit better than most of their Android competition (with some notable exceptions). Motorola just showed them up though. According to a battery of durability tests performed on video by gadget insurer SquareTrade, the Moto X outshines both of the new iPhone models. Here's a quote from SquareTrade with their take on the testing, and above we have a video of the process,
It's interesting that the new iPhones don't fair as well as their predecessors, but what is more interesting is that the Moto X trumps them both in toughness. The Moto X shows that "Made in the USA" is still a badge of honor worth heralding.
“When it comes to breakability, Apple takes a step back with its latest offerings. The iPhone 5s fared worse than its predecessor, the iPhone 5, in our slide test and the iPhone 5c suffered from increased smash-ability in our drop test as well as reduced grip-ability.
We were expecting that at least one of the new iPhone models would up its game but surprisingly, it was the Moto X that proved most forgiving of accidents. This is the first time we’ve tested the breakability on a Motorola phone, the only phone we’ve ever tested that’s made in the USA. We were pleased to find that it withstood our drop, slide and dunk test with only the slightest dent. It looks like Google is giving Apple and Samsung a run for their money.”
Source: AllThingsD via MotoXForums
Sep 23, 2013 - 2:43 PM - by dgstorm
According to the latest intel to come down the pipe, Samsung is indeed working toward outfitting some product in their future with a metal case. More than likely this will be the next-generation Galaxy S5. We have word that Samsung is close to securing a contract with Catcher, the Taiwanese company that makes the metal bodies of the HTC One and the iPad. Supposedly, they have been shopping around for an OEM which can supply the metal body for “at least one of its high-end smartphone models from the second quarter next year”.
This seems to confirm previous rumors we reported that the SGS5 might come with a metal outer shell. Additionally, there are reports that Samsung is setting up a test production line in Gumi, South Korea, and a mass production line in Vietnam. This would seem to suggest they are also close to a final design for the new phone.
It looks like Samsung is working hard to eliminate the one thing that they have received the most criticism for, their plastic outer device cases.
Sep 23, 2013 - 1:50 PM - by dgstorm
Avid users of Google's Gmail probably have noticed some hinky happenings going on today. The service has been hit with some kind of service disruption. The symptom is that people who use Gmail are receiving their mail very slowly, with emails coming in to their inbox as much as an hour after being sent. In some rare instances, the emails don't even come in at all. Here at FF HQ, we have experienced this ourselves, which has made it a bit more difficult to get the stories cranked out as quickly as we would like.
We aren't sure which regions of the globe are being affected by this "outage," so it is possible it is isolated to either the USA or to certain regions of that country. Sound off if you have experienced Gmail issues in your area of the world. There's no official word from Google explaining what the problem is, but we will keep you updated when we find out more details.
Sep 23, 2013 - 12:32 PM - by dgstorm
The picture above shows water, but that may simply be an image on the phone. As far as we know it has not been reported to be water-resistant.
There is an intriguing new found about to hit the market in December and most of its details have been revealed by the manufacturer. The Chinese OEM Oppo just unveiled their N1. It comes decked out with some very good specs and several unique features. First, here's a breakdown of its primary specs:
- 5.9 inch 1080p HD display
- 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor
- 2GB of RAM
- 16GB or 32GB of internal storage
- 13MP Rotating 6-element camera
- WiFi ac, Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS
- 3,610 mAh battery
- Android 4.2
- Official support for CyanogenMod - with optional special edition CyanogenMod version coming later
As you can see, except for the massive battery, most of the specs are a bit mid-range; however, it does have a few distinguishing characteristics. First, the camera is unique in that it has the ability to swivel/rotate, so that it works as both the front and rear camera. Not only does it offer some truly unique camera angles, it also includes a 6-element f/2.0 lens that supposedly offers vibrant picture quality. Just twisting the camera turns it on, so it makes it quicker for you to get that candid shot.
That's not all this phone has to offer. It includes built-in support if you wish to flash a CyanogenMod ROM on the device. Oppo also plans to offer a special edition version of the N1 which will automatically come with the CM ROM configured on the device.
The phone includes some enhanced software functionality as well. Here's a quote with the details,
Oppo indicated that the phone will be priced at $570 off contract. We will keep an eye on this and let you know what international markets the device releases to. Expect it first in Asia, and perhaps Europe.
O-Touch is an entirely new way of using your smartphone. A 12 cm2 rear touch panel makes one handed use for the large N1 screen comfortable and easy. With O-Touch you can scroll, tap, or snap photos – all without your fingers blocking the display.
O-Click lets you remotely operate the N1 camera even when you’re away from the device. Simply position the N1 and step back. If you misplace your device, find it by setting off an alarm on the phone. O-Click fits on your keychain and supports a range of up to 50 meters, staying connected to your OPPO N1 via Bluetooth (BLE).
Sep 23, 2013 - 11:44 AM - by dgstorm
Sprint just officially announced that the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will be available on their network starting October 4th. Previously we heard some convincing intel that the flagship phablet would come to the Now Network on October 2nd. Then there were some additional rumors suggesting a delay. It turns out the delay was real, but was only a couple of days. On Sprint's network, you will be able to get the “Classic White” or “Jet Black" for $349.99 on a new contract.
Sprint's plan may be $50 bucks more than on Verizon and AT&T, but there is extra value packed in Sprint's Unlimited My Way plan, which includes unlimited everything at a cheaper monthly rate than either of the other two carriers.
Here's a link to the full presser: Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Available on Oct. 4 with Sprint Unlimited Data Guarantee for Life | Sprint Newsroom
Sep 23, 2013 - 11:12 AM - by dgstorm
Supposedly, Samsung is already working on a 64-bit version of their new Exynos processor line. This one will be based upon the ultra-high-end ARM Cortex-A50 architecture. This shouldn't come as much of a surprise. It turns out that Samsung made the new 64-bit A7 chip that is the Apple iPhone 5S.
It was obviously inevitable that we would see Samsung utilize the technology in their own designs as well. The only primary advantages of the 64-bit core is that it can address more than 3GB of RAM, and that it can handle multi-tasking better than a 32-bit processor. Of course, the application/software has to be written to take advantage of the 64-bit tech, otherwise, there is no appreciable difference.
Regardless, along with the intel above, we have word that the next generation Galaxy S5 will likely be Samsung's first candidate for the newer 64-bit Exynos chipset. Of course, this should not come as a surprise either. Samsung can't afford to fall too far behind the iPhone in the spec wars, lest they appear to have lost their edge.
Sep 20, 2013 - 3:26 PM - by dgstorm
Just a few days ago we shared a leak regarding Sprint's potential new early upgrade program called "One Up." It turns out this program is real and the name fits it well. Sprint's own Dan Hesse just confirmed the program earlier today and it truly does "one up" the competition in terms of competitiveness. Here's a quote with the details,
How many of you guys are in an area with quality Sprint coverage and would consider this offer?
Starting today, new and existing Sprint customers on the Unlimited, My Way and My All-in plans, can join Sprint One Up. The plan includes unlimited talk, text and data for an introductory rate of $65 per month. That is a $15 savings from what Sprint customers pay now for the Unlimited, MyWay plan. One Up is also available for tablets starting as low as $5 per month.
"Sprint One Up is the best value in wireless. The new program gives Sprint customers the ability to upgrade every 12 months and unlimited talk, text and high speed data for just $65. And, unlike other carriers, Sprint guarantees the unlimited talk, text and data for life. No other plan can compare."-Dan Hesse, Sprint CEO
With Sprint One Up, customers (for a limited time) pay nothing down for a new phone,and make equal monthly payments over 24 months. After 12 consecutive monthly payments, the customer trades in his phone or tablet for a new one. Existing Sprint customers wishing to sign up for the plan must have an upgrade available. Through the holidays, Sprint will allow those without an upgrade to sign up for the service by turning in their current eligible phone as long as it has been owned for at least 12 months.
Sep 20, 2013 - 3:07 PM - by dgstorm
For all of our devs, modders and tinkerers out there in Android-land, you might be glad to hear that Sony just released the Open Source Kernel files for their new Xperia Z1 flagship. This follows their previous precedent in releasing the files before the actual hardware hits the streets. It's very much appreciated that Sony encourages developers to tinker and modify their devices instead of stifling their efforts like some OEMs. Here's a quick recap of specs for the device,
- 5" 1080p screen
- Snapdragon 800 processor
- 2GB of RAM
- 16GB of storage
- MicroSD card slot
- Waterproof aluminum and glass design
- Mid-mounted power button and physical camera shutter
The phone itself is set to launch later this month. How many devs out there plan to grab this device and create some slick mods for it?
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