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LG now including extra battery and charging cradle with purchase of new G3

Posted by wicked September - 10 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off


According to a LG press release, the company will now be including an extra battery and charging cradle with the purchase of a new G3.

The promotional period starts today, but only goes until Sept. 22, so you have some time to decide if you want to go in on the G3.

The free extra battery and charging cradle are valued at a total of $70, so this is a pretty solid offering from LG.

Source: PR Newswire

Come comment on this article: LG now including extra battery and charging cradle with purchase of new G3

Motorola responds to Moto 360 battery discrepancy

Posted by wicked September - 9 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off


Earlier today iFixit reported on the results of their teardown of the Motorola Moto 360. Achieving a score of only 3 out of 10 for repairability, Motorola was in for more criticism when the iFixit team noted the battery was labeled as 300mAh. This was at odds with Motorola’s stated specs for the device indicating it had a 320mAh battery. That is not a big difference, but given the battery already appears to be a weak point for the device, this discrepancy did not help and set off a mini-firestorm of complaints around the Internet. Motorola has now responded to explain the discrepancy.

According to Motorola, the batteries in their newer devices like the Moto X, Moto G and yes, the Moto 360, are assigned two values, a minimum and a typical value. For the Moto 360 battery, these values are 300mAh and 320mAh. Motorola says they normally print both values on their batteries, but in the case of the Moto 360 space constraints meant only one could be printed, which turned out to be the minimum value. Motorola also claims it is an industry standard to quote the typical value as the “official” size of the battery.

A quick Google search for images of the Moto X battery appears to support Motorola’s claim that two values are normally printed on batteries for their devices.

A Motorola spokesperson has acknowledged this could cause confusion and indicates the company will look into ways to present the information in the future.

source: Computerworld

Come comment on this article: Motorola responds to Moto 360 battery discrepancy

Random Google 7-inch “Tablet” Shows Up at FCC With NVIDIA Chip, Tiny LG Battery

Posted by Kellex September - 7 - 2014 - Sunday Comments Off

While we were busy flying around the country last week, checking out the new goodies from Samsung and Motorola, a reader of ours noticed that a “7-inch tablet” that is “powered by NVIDIA Tegra” and running an LG battery, stopped by the FCC under Google’s ID. The device is odd, to say the least.

The device falls under FCC ID A4R-NX74751, in case you want to go digging through the listing. It features some sort of NVIDIA Tegra chip, global roaming with LTE (bands 2, 4, 5, 7, and 17), and an LG-made battery that only weighs in at 2,480mAh. 

So what is it? Well, your guess is as good as ours. Maybe it is really a phone instead of a tablet? That battery is so small for a tablet. For example, the current Nexus 7 (2013) has a 3,950mAh battery and the brand new Moto X has a 2,300mAh battery. How could Google, LG and NVIDIA team up to produce a tablet that has a battery with 2/3 of the capacity of the previous Nexus 7?

The whole situation is odd and we really aren’t sure what to make of it.

We’ll see what else we can dig up. In the mean time, feel free to weigh in.

lg google nvidia tablet1

nvidia google lg tablet3

nvidia google lg tablet2

Via:  FCC
Cheers Justin!

Random Google 7-inch “Tablet” Shows Up at FCC With NVIDIA Chip, Tiny LG Battery is a post from: Droid Life

Thanko portable charger doubles as an electric razor

Posted by Tom September - 4 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

If there are two things we can forget to do on a daily basis it’s charge our phones and shave.

Thanko has a solution to both: a 5,200mAh mobile battery for charging smartphones that doubles as an electric razor for shaving on the go.

The innovative charger is out in Japan at 3,980 yen (US $37) and can accommodate USB and microUSB cables.

Via akihabaranews

Android customization – Three battery saving tips using Tasker

Posted by wicked September - 4 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Android Customization Tasker Battery Tips

So far in our Android customization series we have used tools to build designs and control your device with a reckless disregard for your battery life, we better do something about that. While battery life is an important topic for most Android users, it is very involved and will require that we look at it from a few different angles.

Over the years, we’ve shown off our best tips and tricks to manage your power consumption, today we will walk through putting some of those ideas to work using Tasker.

We will look at three aspects of your device today: WiFi, Bluetooth and Background Sync.

Before we get started

Get it on Google Play ButtonTo follow along today you will need to install Tasker, it is $2.99 in the Google Play Store.

Reduce battery consumption by turning off WiFi

Most of us step outside the house during our normal day, even if only to run to work or school, it is times like these that WiFi is probably not required. Unfortunately, Android is designed such that if WiFi is enabled, the device will scan for available WiFi networks, this can be brutal on battery life, so we best just turn off WiFi when we head out our front door.

If you followed along a while back, we actually already built a Tasker project to toggle on and off WiFi on your device. At that time, we used an element within a Zooper Widget to trigger the action.

If you are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with Tasker, follow along the Zooper Widget tutorial to build your Task. For those that know what they are doing, the Task is simple:

Net -> WiFi -> Off.

Reduce battery consumption by turning off Bluetooth

With the explosion of Bluetooth connected smartwatches out there these days, you may never want to turn off your Bluetooth, but if you do not have Android Wear on your wrist, chances are you only use Bluetooth for specific tasks. If you are like me, you don’t mind manually turning on Bluetooth as needed, but you always forget to turn it back off. Tasker to the rescue.

Head into the Tasks tab of Tasker and start a new Task.

Tasker Bluetooth

Name it uniquely and concisely, I’ll call mine “KillBlue“.

Tap the “+” button to add a new action.

Choose Net.

Choose Bluetooth.

You can leave the settings as they are, Set as Off, and hit the system Back button to save and exit.

Reduce battery consumption by turning off Background Sync

It is extremely convenient that our Android devices are always connected, always checking for new emails and social media notifications and so much more, but this takes its toll on your battery. If you know you will not be checking messages for a time and want to save some juice, we can just turn off background sync.

You can always handle this manually through your system settings, but we like to automate with Tasker.

Tasker Background Sync

Create a new Task and name it uniquely and concisely, I’ll call mine “NoSyncing“.

Tap the “+” button to add a new action.

Choose Net.

Choose Auto-Sync.

Leave it Set to Off and hit the system Back button to save and exit.

When do we use these Tasks?

The true power of this project is deciding when to trigger these Tasks. For each of us, the answer will differ, some of us can kill WiFi and fire up Bluetooth when we connect to the dock in our car, some of us will use Location services to decide, and for many, today’s actions can be controlled based on the time of day. Let’s look at what a time based Profile might look like.

Turn off WiFi while you are sleeping

Don’t forget that we’ve already created a Sleep and Silent mode using Tasker, feel free to reference that for better instruction.

Navigate to the Profiles tab in Tasker and start a new Profile.

Choose Time and set your typical sleep hours. Perhaps you would like to set it for an hour or two after you normally go to sleep and an hour or two before you wake up, this way you do not miss anything, but your device still gets a few hours of down time.

Hit the system Back button to confirm and exit.

Choose your “WiFiOff” Task.

If you find that WiFi does not turn back on when the Profile finishes, create a new Task that turns WiFi back on and set it in the Profile’s Exit Task. We covered Exit Tasks here.

Using this same concept, you can create more Profiles to cover other times of your day. You could set WiFi to turn off during working hours, if you don’t have WiFi at the office, or whatever suits your needs.

Set Background Sync to a schedule

One of the best ways to control Background Sync is to put it on a schedule.

Tasker Background Sync Schedule profile

Create a new Profile in Tasker and again choose the Time option.

When choosing your time, turn off From and Until, instead activate Repeat and set it to, say, 2 Hours.

Tap the system Back button to confirm and exit.

Choose your “NoSyncing” Task.

To make this work properly, we will need to modify our “NoSyncing” Task to have four actions. And we get to learn about IF conditional statements.

Action 1: Tap the “+” button to create a new action, choose Task, then choose Stop.

Tap the “+” beside If.

Tap the little label icon and scroll down the list to find and tap on WiFi Status.

Tap the ~ and choose Doesn’t Equal.

In the last field, type “on“, without the quotes.

Tap the system Back button to save and exit.

Tasker Stop action IF statement

Action 2: Create an action that turns Background Sync on.

Net -> Auto-Sync -> Set On

Action 3: We must pause for a few minutes to let the Background Sync do its thing.

Tap the “+” button to create a new action, choose Task, then choose Wait.

Set a time value, I’ve gone with 5 minutes, which should be enough time for everything to sync. Tap the system Back button to confirm and exit.

Action 4: Turn Background Sync back off. You should already have this action in your “NoSyncing” Task, you can re-arrange the actions by tapping and dragging from the far right edge in the list.

Tasker Background Sync Schedule Task

As I am sure you see now, every two hours your system will try to check for messages. With the Stop action in place, Background Sync will only be activated if WiFi is turned on, otherwise it simply exits the Task and waits for next time.

What’s Next

I feel bad that today’s items only just scratched the surface of all of things that can be done to reduce battery consumption. Rest assured I will have more ideas, tools, tips and tricks coming, some will involve Tasker, but not all, and we will dive into some of the extras one can do with a rooted device.

Please spend some time and play with your WiFi, Bluetooth and Background Syncing needs in Tasker; as mentioned, you can turn each of these on and off based on location, time, availability of specific WiFi networks and Bluetooth devices and so much more. A quick word of warning, however, using location services, especially GPS, can sometimes actually use more power than you are trying to save.

Next week

We will continue with battery saving techniques next week on our Android customization series, perhaps we will take a look at those location services I just mentioned. With recent changes to the Android operating system itself, Tasker needs a little boost to be able to turn on and off GPS directly, we’ll take a look at how that works.

How do you like to manage your WiFi, Bluetooth and Background Sync settings?

Galaxy S5 PowerSkin Spare Battery Case adds 2200 mAh of power

Posted by wicked August - 27 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

Owners of the Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone have a new battery case to check out called the PowerSkin Spare Battery Case. The case is available in four colors including black, blue, white, and gold. One of the big features of the Spare Battery case is that it is very thin and adds minimal bulk to your smartphone while significantly increasing the runtime of your device.

Inside the Spare Battery Case is a 2200 mAh battery that provides up to 230 hours of standby time and up to 12.5 hours of additional talk time. While adding significant amounts of talk time, the case weighs only 80 grams.

The case has a custom indent space for the charging port cover of the smartphone, front LED lights to indicate charging, and its own on/off button. TennRich, the company that makes the case, uses XPAL tech inside with short circuit and overcharge protection, heat channels to remove excess heat, and pass-through charging tech.

Pass-through charging means that the device is charged first and then the battery case charges. A flame retardant UV coating is also applied to the case to help reduce the risk of fire if the case overheats. Pricing for the Spare Battery case is £59.99 and it will be on display at IFA 2014 in Berlin. PowerSkin has been making battery cases for years now, we talked about PowerSkin cases for the Samsung Galaxy Tab all the way back in 2010.

SOURCE: TennRich

OnePlus One phone unit burns, injures user

Posted by wicked August - 26 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

OnePlus One user and forum member “MiYzu” posted his major issue on the OnePlus online forums on August 25, and it was about his OnePlus One phone appearing to just smoke out and burn up without no external causes. We’ve seen a lot of phones do this, one recent “under-the-pillow” incident comes to mind, but this is a very real concern for OnePlus, especially as they begin to build on their early hype.

The user says that the phone had been in his rear pocket when the incident happened, with the phone burning through his pants and causing a burn on the back of his leg, presumably. As we can see from the pictures, it looks like the burning process started from the battery and got hot enough to even burn through the user’s Cruzerlite case.


On reading the thread posts, some forum members did point out that the user had complained of a charger issue beforehand – maybe a few months back – and they pointed out that the issue may have started from the bad charger itself. Be that as it may, there are probably millions of phones out there using defective chargers but do not spontaneously combust on its own.


OnePlus is struggling to find street cred in a very unforgiving market. Things like this – and even misguided sexist marketing ploys – give arguments like “you can’t buy a USD$600 phone for USD$300” and the relative mistrust on Chinese gadget manufacturers more ammunition. OnePlus needs to deal with this issue decisively to move to a position of credibility. As of writing, the user has reported the incident to OnePlus but the company has not posted an official response yet, nor has the user informed the thread of a private one. Worse, the forum thread has been removed, which speaks badly for OnePlus’ handling of criticism and issues.

SOURCE: OnePlus Forums

Can phones get any better? Really?

Posted by wicked August - 26 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

oneplus one vs samsung galaxy s5 aa (15 of 29)

Innovation in the smartphone market has slowed to a crawl. Maybe it has plateaued. Smartphone penetration is extremely high in many markets. The law of diminishing returns must be kicking in for OEMs seeking an edge that will enable their latest flagship to catch the eye as it slips out into an already packed ocean. If you don’t like the look of it, no worries, there’ll be another one along any minute.

As the market fully matures the battle shifts from innovative tech to price vs brand. It’s not a foregone conclusion. There’s always room for a surprise killer USP, or a technological breakthrough that triggers an avalanche of sales. The growth of wearables presents a whole new world of possibilities and smartphones will be at the center of it, just as they’ll power Android’s move into our cars and homes.

As the market fully matures the battle shifts from innovative tech to price vs brand.

But for the most part we are keeping our phones for longer and every upgrade is less of a jump than the last. There’s a shift away from the 20 to 24 month contract cycle and subsidized phones. Some two year-old smartphones can still hold their own. If you buy a flagship smartphone today what’s going to tempt you to upgrade in two years’ time? How can our phones get better?


ThL T100S battery

This is obviously going to top any poll, including the one down below. Screens keep getting bigger, many of the latest apps and games are more demanding, and hardware is growing more power-hungry with every new release. Anyone embracing the wearable technology trend can hardly fail to notice the extra demands that devices like smartwatches are putting on our smartphones. We need better battery technology. There are three main ways this can be tackled and a mixture of the three would be ideal.

  1. Bigger capacity without a major increase in size. The battery is still the biggest and heaviest single component under that touchscreen and it will take a breakthrough to change that. We’re hearing about potential breakthroughs all the time, using everything from graphene to hemp, we just need one of them to graduate from research to market.
  2. Faster charging cycle. If you could plug your smartphone in and it was fully charged within a minute or two, then the pain of discovering you forgot to plug it in as you make to leave the house five minutes late would be blissfully consigned to the past.
  3. Wireless charging from a distance. Wireless charging technology is still mired in a battle over standards and most of what’s on the market is rubbish. Slower than a wall charger, but requiring contact. What we really want is something that charges the smartphone in your pocket.


LG G3 How To Take a Screenshot-5

We’ve just reached full 1080p HD as a standard and we’re already seeing 2K displays; you know that 4K is next. Do we really need better displays? It can sound ridiculous to think we need a higher resolution screen on a smartphone than on the big TV in our living room, but most of us (if not our kids) don’t sit with our noses virtually touching the TV screen, whereas we hold smartphone screens very close to our faces.

Apple claimed that we couldn’t see beyond Retina displays and their pixel-per-inch rating is 326. The LG G3 has a ppi of 534. There isn’t definite agreement on this point, but the general consensus seems to be that 500ppi is going to be high enough that the vast majority of people will be unable to discern a pixel. Even if we set the maximum at 600ppi it looks like 4K is overkill. Instead of focusing on the resolution we could use improvements that reduce the power required and don’t produce as much heat, not to mention color accuracy, brightness, saturation, or any of the other factors that make a great display.



This might actually be the biggest improvement we’ve seen in the last two-year cycle. There are actually a few phones on the market now that can survive a dip and be comfortably used in the rain. If they could also survive a fall without any obvious ill effects we’d be ecstatic. Of course, case manufacturers might not be so happy.

Can smartphones get a lot tougher? Do we need them to? The top causes of smartphone damage are falls, dunks, being sat or stood on, being left on the roof of a car, and children. It’s virtually impossible to find reliable statistics for broken smartphones, but we can safely say a lot of people kill their smartphones every year. Indestructability would be nice, but how much can things really be improved here without bumping the price tag up?



Since we’re going to keep our smartphones for longer, how about improving their longevity? This is a tricky one. The world of modern consumer electronics has certainly embraced planned obsolescence. It’s one of those perniciously wasteful aspects of capitalism that you can imagine future generations will curse us for. Manufacturers and carriers don’t want us to keep our smartphones and repair them; they want us to buy a new one instead.

It’s going to be very tough for a modular phone to succeed because all the incumbents in the industry have a vested interest in seeing it fail.

There has been some talk about how a modular system might increase longevity. We’ve all seen Project Ara. But would that actually solve the problem? If it isn’t wildly successful then it’s always going to come at a premium compared to mass manufactured handsets from the leading OEMs, which will be comparatively more powerful for less money. It’s going to be very tough for a modular phone to succeed because all the incumbents in the industry have a vested interest in seeing it fail.

There must be room for an OEM to take up the reliability mantle. There’s one in every industry, like Honda in auto, producing goods that are built to last.

Something else

There are obviously other ways that smartphones can improve, but quite a few functions seem to be good enough already. Cameras have really jumped in the last couple of years, but they may have hit a ceiling that’s unbreakable in the popular smartphone form factor. What else do we really need? Vote and tell us what you think in the comments

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll.

OPPO launches rapid charging powerbank, car-charger

Posted by wicked August - 22 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

There are some in the smartphone and electronics device industry that are of the opinion that it is not the processor that is the defining spec of the gadget – but rather the battery. And with a lot of manufacturers failing to balance out great specs with higher capacity batteries – the latest being the Samsung Galaxy Alpha – accessories like OPPO’s rapid charging VOOC powerbank and car charger become obvious necessities.

OPPO’s rapid charging VOOC battery technology claims that it can charge gadgets and batteries almost two times faster than regular chargers. More than that, it claims that it can get your battery to 75% charge in 30 minutes, where other chargers usually plod on to full charge in the average time of 2 hours. This means that you can get the most out of your device and keep uptime/usage at definitely higher levels than with charging normally.


The VOOC powerbank is tested with the OPPO Find 7 with great results. The powerbank’s capacity is 6000mAh, almost three times the average capacity of most smartphones around. The powerbank has an output of 5V/3.5A. This is obviously higher than most. The problem remains with the uncertainty of other phone units and brands being able to accept these levels of charging. But if your device can, this powerbank is certainly a steal at around USD$50.00.


We are assuming that the same charging technology is used with the VOOC car charger, available with OPPO for around USD$32.00. The charging accessories are all rated for OPPO devices. But if these can be safely used with other devices out there, then by all means, get it. Check out the source links.

SOURCE: OPPO Powerbank, Car Charger

Revocharge is a magnetic wireless charging system for phones

Posted by wicked August - 20 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

Fiddling with wires when it comes to charging your device can get very annoying. There are plenty of wireless charging systems on the market today and a new one has turned up on Kickstarter called Revocharge. The Revocharge system has multiple mounts to allow for wireless charging in different settings.

The mounts include a desk mount, car mount, belt clip, and arm band that all work with magnetic batteries. Each of the magnetic batteries have a microUSB input on the back that allows the charging of the battery and the phone at the same time. Revocharge supports Qualcomm 2.0 quick charge technology.

The Revocharge case is thin at 13.4mm thick and made from polycarbonate that is durable and lightweight. Since the batteries magnetically attach to the case, you can have as many as you need to extend your talk time indefinitely. Each magnetic battery has 2000-3000 mAh of power inside providing up to 150% more power.

The desktop dock can charge and sync your phone or other device at the same time. The Revocharge system is on Kickstarter now seeking $15,000 and it has raised over $7,700 so far. A pledge of $39 will get you a wireless charge base, magnetic battery, and charge/sync cable. For $69, you can get the charge base, battery, car mount, cable, and car charger. If the project hits the stretch goals, cases for the Galaxy Note 3 and 4 along with the Galaxy S5/S6 will be produced.

SOURCE: Kickstarter