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Verizon rolls out 4G LTE-enabled Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5

Posted by wicked September - 19 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

More good news from Verizon: the 4G LTE versions of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 is now available. The Android tablet that boasts of a super high-resolution screen can now be enjoyed with fast mobile Internet from the Bid Red, of course, for a price.

The Galaxy Tab S 10.5 features a WQXGA Super AMOLED high-resolution display with about 4 million pixels. It may not be as obvious to the ordinary eye but the numbers are twice HDTV’s resolution. Colors have been enhanced, thanks to a wider color range, true blacks, and deeper contrast. Display is adaptive so the tablet can adjust color, contrast, and sharpness automatically.

Another special feature of the Galaxy Tab S is the Papergarden app that turns your Android tablet into a mobile magazine. It’s like holding a real magazine, light and thin enough at only 6.6mm. With this tablet, there really is no need to buy magazines that will only end up in a pile (or in my case, never read at all).

The Android tablet now support Multi User More so family members can shared one tablet. This means each one can have an individual customized profile to use. There’s also a fingerprint scanner that allows different users to access or unlock the tablet when needed.

Verizon has proudly added the Verizon Messages feature that lets anyone to text from the tablet. You can skip the smartphone if you get this tablet because of its various connectivity options.

Verizon Wireless is currently offering the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5, which is also XLTE-ready, for a full price of $599. But for a limited time only, buyers can get it for for $499.99 with a two-year contract.

SOURCE: Verizon

AT&T announces pre-orders for LTE-friendly Galaxy Tab S

Posted by wicked September - 17 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

It feels that Samsung unveiled the slim Galaxy Tab S so long ago that this news almost came as a surprise. That said, most of the models floating around sport WiFi-only connectivity. AT&T will soon be giving LTE users a chance to buy either a 10.5-inch or an 8.4-inch Galaxy Tab S with pre-orders starting today.

Announced in June, the Galaxy Tab S remains Samsung’s current high-profile tablet, sporting its cream of the crop hardware, with the exception of a stylus commonly reserved for its Note line. The Galaxy Tab S’s call to fame is a very slim profile, then claimed to be the thinnest Android tablet at only 6.6 mm. Since then, however, there have been quite a few contenders to the throne, including the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact with its 6.4 mm profile and the surprising Dell Venue 8 7000 at only 6.0 mm thick, or rather thin.

Of course, that isn’t the only thing going for the Galaxy Tab S line. Naturally, Samsung is raving about its Super AMOLED display, which was the tune it has been singing since the Galaxy S5. That means blacker blacks, more faithful color reproduction, a wider range of supported colors, and power efficiency. There’s also the rather beefy Exynos 5 Octa processor paired with a 3 GB RAM. On the software side of things, you get multiple user accounts, perfect for family usage, and fingerprint-based security, probably the first in a consumer tablet.

All these, plus 4G LTE support, will soon be available to AT&T subscribers, both present and future. The 10.5-inch model will come in Charcoal Gray and will sell for $31.50 per month for 20 months, $529 on a two-year contract, and $629 without. The smaller 8.4-inch model, also in Charcoal Gray, carries a price tag of $26.50/month for 20 months, $429 on a two-year contract, and $529 at full price. AT&T will start shipping on September 23. Those who put in an order today and until supplies last, will be able to get a 50 percent discount on the purchase of a Galaxy Tab S keyboard accessory.

SOURCE: AT&T

NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet gets a 32 GB LTE upgrade

Posted by wicked September - 16 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

The time has come for a promised version of NVIDIA‘s latest gaming device to finally make an appearance. Starting today, you can put in your pre-order for a SHIELD Tablet bearing not just an upgrade 32 GB of storage but also support for LTE networks so you can take your digital life with you anywhere.

The NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet was quite a nice surprise, bringing the two worlds of NVIDIA’s SHIELD Gaming and its DirectStylus Note together in one. Utilizing the latest Tegra K1 chip, the device oozes with performance and power that makes quick work of even the most resource intensive mobile game. Add to that the ability to connect to TVs and monitors, NVIDIA’s GameStream technology, and an optional SHIELD Controller, and you’ve got the makings of a competent gaming device that also happens to be a talented Android tablet. At launch, the SHIELD Tablet only came in a 16 GB WiFi-only configuration with a promise of an LTE model coming soon. That promise is fulfilled today.

In addition to this hardware upgrade, the SHIELD Tablet will also be getting a games upgrade, with three new titles for the tablet coming soon. Beach Buggy Blitz, as the name would suggest, is a crazy free driving kart-racing game taking place on an island paradise. While fun to play alone, this game shines even more with local multiplayer mode, where you and your friends can hook up different controllers to play in split-screen fashion.

BeachBuggyRacing0914

BombSquad is equally insane, pitting a maximum of 8 players against each other in a (literally) explosive collection of mini games. Over the top effects, ragdoll face-plant physics, and plain old competitive fun might just make you want to get your character blown up, just for a few laughs.

BombSquad0914

Broadsword: Age of Chivalry will be making its mobile debut on the NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet. Taking on a more serious tone, players, whether in single or multi player campaigns, will get to choose between France and Great Britain in this turn-based 3D strategy game.

Broadsword0914

Aside from the storage and network upgrade, this NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet bears the same features and benefits as the original, including frequent and timely software updates, even Android ones, that would make you feel like you’re on a Nexus device. This 32 GB LTE-WiFi model goes on pre-order in US and Europe today for a full retail price of $399. The device comes unlocked but is also certified to work on AT&T’s LTE network. Shipping starts September 30.

Zopo ZP320 review, a 5 inch 4G smartphone for those on a budget

Posted by wicked September - 13 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

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At A Glance

PROS
  • 4G
  • Sleek design
  • Price
  • Micro SD card slot (up to 64GB)
CONS
  • Sub 720p display
  • Limited internal storage

7.5

The ZP320 is one of the latest releases by the Chinese smartphone maker Zopo. It features a quad-core MediaTek processor and a 5 inch display. Running Android 4.4, this 4G smartphone is worth checking out.

Zopo has been making Android smartphones for several years, but this is the first time I have had a chance to review one. Earlier this year MediaTek released a new multimode LTE modem chipset – the MT6290. As a result, Chinese OEMs, like Zopo, have started to ship their new generation of 4G-LTE phones. I received a ZP320 a few days ago and I have been testing it to see what Zopo can bring to the table.

Spec sheet

Display 5 inch, IPS, 960 x 540
Processor 1.3GHz, quad-core Mediatek MT6582, Cortex-A7
RAM 1GB
Storage 8GB, microSD card slot, up to 64GB
Camera 8 Megapixel Rear Camera, 2 Megapixel Front Camera
Battery 2300 mAh
Connectivity GPS, microUSB 2.0, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth
Networks GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz. 3G 900/2100MHz. 4G LTE 800/1800/2600MHz.
Software Android 4.4 with Google Play
Dimensions 142 x 71 x 9.8 mm.
Colors White, Black
SIM slots 1x micro SIM

Design

For a five inch device the Zopo ZP320 looks sleek, even thin. The numbers tell me that the device is the same size and thickness as many other five inch devices, but yet to my eyes it just looked thinner and narrower. After studying it closely I have come to the conclusion that the bezels are a fraction thinner than I was expecting and the top and bottom areas are not as wide as on other phones. At the top the ear piece grill and camera are almost touching the edge of the phone. The result is that the phone looks more compact than it really is. We are only talking about fractions of a millimeter but it does the trick. The designers at Zopo should be congratulated.

The corners of the ZP320 are distinctly rounded in three directions. On the front side the drop off from the corner is flat but not sharp. Running around the whole phone is a think silver band which marks the edge of the phone and the start of the back cover.

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On the very top edge of the device is the micro USB port (used for charging and data transfer) and the headphone jack. On the bottom edge the smooth plastic is interrupted only temporarily for the small microphone hole. All the controls are on the right, first comes the volume keys, and below them the power button. If you hold the phone in your left hand it is very easy to reach the buttons with your fingers.

The back covered has a small dimple effect in plastic, which gives it a slight matte appearance, but it also means the device is easy to grip and doesn’t feel slippery. On the back is the 8MP camera along with an LED flash. The camera lens has a silver ring around it which ever so slightly protrudes from the back of the device. This means it doesn’t lay perfectly flat on a table, however the small dots on either side of the speaker grill are just as much to blame. Of course they are there to ensure that the speaker isn’t muffled when placed down. On the back there is also a second microphone, something that is often missing on lower end phones. The second mic should give better sound when recording video.

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The IPS display on the ZP320 is bright and vibrant, with good viewing angles, however its sub 720p resolution is a bit of a disappointment. The bottom bezel houses the three capacitive keys which light up when pressed.

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Performance

At the heart of the ZP320 is a MediaTek MTK6582 . It is a quad-core Cortex-A7 based processor that is coupled with an ARM Mali-400 MP GPU. The device isn’t going to win any gold medals for performance, however the MediaTek processor easily ensures that the overall experience is fluid and responsive.

The ZP320 AnTuTu scores are respectable considering the low-end processor and the price point. Antutu v5.0 gives the device a score of 18795 which means the device is comparable to the Nexus 4 and the Moto G. For Epic Citadel, the demo app for the Unreal 3D engine, the ZP320 managed 53.8 frames per second (fps) on the High Performance setting, and 53.6 fps in the High Quality mode.

Zopo-ZP320-antutu

The GPS performance of the ZP320 is excellent. I tested the device inside my house and it was able to get a lock using the signals from a dozen satellites. Getting a lock while indoors is quite unusual for a low- to mid- range phone. Very impressive.

Battery

The ZP320 has a good sized battery at 2300 mAh. After some testing I found that the battery performance was on-par with my expectations, maybe even better. When running Epic Citadel, in its Guided Tour mode, the device lasts just under 5.5 hours before it runs out of juice. For YouTube streaming (over Wi-Fi) the device can handle around 10 hours on one charge. Watching an MP4 movie from the internal storage yields around 10.5 hours of viewing pleasure. All the tests were carried out with the screen on half brightness, syncing enabled and Wi-Fi on.

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Connectivity

The Zopo ZP320 is a single SIM device and supports 3G on 900/2100MHz and 4G on 800/1800/2600MHz. The different 4G providers around the world use pre-defined frequency bands. My carrier uses 1800MHz, so the ZP320 worked with 4G without any problems. The speed tests I performed confirmed much higher throughput than those I get on 3G. The bands listed are popular ones used in many parts of Africa, some but not all parts of Central and South America and large parts of Asia. In Europe, basically every carrier uses one of the bands supported by this device. Unfortunately none of the North American carriers use these frequencies. Before buying the phone you should check with your carrier to ensure compatibility, or if you trust Wikipedia then it has a global list of LTE networks.

This device is compatible with two 3G frequencies, 900 and 2100MHz. The latter is the most common 3G frequency and should work in most places around the world, however a lot of carriers also use secondary 3G spectrum ranges. In Asia and South America this is often 850MHz and 1900MHz, for Europe it tends to be 900MHz. The 3G won’t work in the USA, however 2G calls should work fine. You need to check with your carrier to ensure compatibility or check the List of UMTS networks page.

I compared the Wi-Fi signals strengths of the ZP320 with other devices I have and it performed equally as well. I was able to access the Internet from all around the house and outside without any problems.

Camera

The 8MP camera on the ZP320 is distinctly average. The auto-focus can have trouble with close-up shots and there is a danger of bleaching in strong sunlight. However with care, you can still take reasonable pictures. The built-in camera app has all the normal features and functions like face detection, HDR and panorama mode. Because the phone runs Android 4.4 KitKat you can also use Google’s camera app if you don’t like the built-in one. The best thing to do is to look at the pictures below and decide for yourself.

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Software

The ZP320 comes with stock Android 4.4.2 with a slightly modified launcher and a few other minor tweaks. The settings page uses color icons (rather than the standard monochrome ones) and there are a few special functions like HotKnot, a NFC alternative; some simple gesture sensing, which don’t really work; and smart wake functions, which allow you to draw on the screen when the device is asleep to wake it directly into certain apps like the camera.

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The ZP320 comes with full Google Play support and all of the normal Google apps are available. For those Google apps not pre-installed, a quick trip to the Play Store gets you everything you need.

The 8GB of internal storage will be limiting for many users. Only 6.06GB of the 8GB is usable. 0.88GB is set aside for apps (marked as internal storage) and 5.18GB is for data (marked as phone storage). There is a micro SD card slot which accepts cards up to 64GB and the phone can be set to use the SD card as the default write location. However even with an SD card installed, the internal storage is still used for apps. There is the option to move apps to the phone storage, however there doesn’t seem to be away to get the device to move apps to the SD card.

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Pricing and conclusion

If you are looking for a cheap way to get a 4G phone then the Zopo ZP320 is worth considering. It has a sleek design and there is the option for a big SD card, however the way the flash storage is split could be a problem. The Zopo ZP320 costs just $169.99 and you can get one from Geekbuying.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 supports 3G/4G connectivity, aims at entry level

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

Qualcomm has announced its latest processor that falls into its Snapdragon 200 family of chips. The latest offering is called the Snapdragon 210 and the big feature that it brings to the mix is support for integrated multimode 3G/4G LTE and LTE Dual SIM capability for entry-level smartphones.

The Snapdragon 210 will feature support for LTE Advanced Cat 4 Carrier Aggregation. The chip will also support full HD video playback with hardware HEVC. An Adreno 304 graphics chip will handle graphics. Smartphones or tablets using the chip will support cameras up to 8MP with HDR, autofocus, and other features.

Qualcomm has also rolled out its first LTE tablet reference design that is designed to allow OEMs and ODMs to build a new class of tablets that feature multimode 3G/4G LTE connectivity. The tablet reference design will use either Snapdragon 210 or 410 processors.

Qualcomm has also rolled out a new 28nm transceiver that is optimized for supporting LTE and LTE Advanced devices in the mid and entry-level range. The Snapdragon 210 processor and reference tablet design are expected to be available commercially in the first half of 2015.

SOURCE: Qualcomm

Mystery Motorola Device Stops by FCC, Likely New Moto X Headed for AT&T

Posted by Kellex August - 29 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

An FCC filing for a device made by Motorola and with AT&T written all over it (in terms of connectivity) has arrived, a device that we can only assume is the next Moto X (or Moto X+1). The device falls under FCC ID IHDT56QA1 and is linked below in case you want to look through the documents yourself. 

Why do we think this is the new Moto X headed for AT&T? Well, it sports all of AT&T’s bands, from GSM (850/1900) to LTE (2, 4, 5, 7, 17). And that’s almost all that we have to go on, since this filing actually hides other details of the device. The thing is – what other device could it be? Motorola is going to unveil the new Moto X next week in Chicago, so an FCC filing for the phone ahead of time only makes sense.

The image above gives us measurements as well, numbers that point to a device that is similarly sized to the Galaxy S5. The FCC measurements indicate that this Motorola phone is 140×72.6mm – the Galaxy S5 is 142×72.5mm. The new Moto X is expected to sport a 5.2-inch display, with much less bezel than the GS5, which would certainly put them around the same size, even with a slightly larger display on the new Moto.

Edit:  Since many are assuming that the FCC’s measurement of 149mm across the display screen means a 5.9-inch display on the phone, I’ll have to stop you there. Keep in mind that the LG G3 has a 5.5-inch display with minimal bezel, yet it measures 146.3×74.6mm. There is no way that the new Moto X can measure 140×72.6mm, yet have a display that is .4-inches bigger than the LG G3. It’s just not possible. The FCC filing is likely just misrepresenting the situation here a bit by putting “display screen” on the image to indicate that this is the front of the phone. These measurements are for the entire phone, not just the display.

We should point out that the FCC label and model number appears to be located on the bottom of the phone, something we can confirm as being true for the new Moto X. Information we have received from sources leads us to believe that the back of the new Moto X will be clean, without FCC markings.

Other variants of the device for other carriers have yet to appear. Once those do, we will be sure to pass that info along.

moto x fcc

moto x fcc1

Via:  FCC
Cheers Justin!

Mystery Motorola Device Stops by FCC, Likely New Moto X Headed for AT&T is a post from: Droid Life

AT&T 4G LTE Lit Up in New Markets, From Arizona to Georgia

Posted by Tim-o-tato August - 27 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

AT&T has launched a good-sized list of new 4G LTE markets this week, ranging all the way from Arizona to Virginia. Their total should be greater than 600 markets now, putting them even ahead of Verizon in terms of overall amount.

Even though AT&T has a few more markets, Verizon is getting ready to launch nationwide VoLTE on its network, but AT&T’s VoLTE is only available in select markets as of this moment.

To see if your city has been graced with AT&T’s LTE, look below. 

New Markets

  • Kingman, AZ
  • Bullhead City, AZ
  • Lake Havasu City, AZ
  • Lynchburg, VA
  • Harrisonburg, VA
  • Enterprise, AL
  • Ozark, AL
  • Cornelia, GA
  • Toccoa, GA
  • Douglas, GA
  • Rutland VT
  • Canon City, CO
Via: AT&T

AT&T 4G LTE Lit Up in New Markets, From Arizona to Georgia is a post from: Droid Life

Verizon’s Advanced Calling 1.0: HD voice and video calling

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

The much-awaited Voice over LTE (VoLTE) technology that is set to revolutionise how we make and receive calls is coming soon for Verizon subscribers. They’ve announced the rollout of their HD voice and video calling capability – called Advanced Calling 1.0 – in the next few weeks, a little behind competitors AT&T and T-Mobile but ahead of other US carriers.

The application of VoLTE technology for calls signifies the predicted eventual shift from CDMA voice calls. However, both phones involved in the call need to be on Verizon’s LTE network for it to work. You’ll know if video calling is applicable when you go to your contact on your phone and you see a video camera next to their name. So all you have to do is just tap that video button and you’ll be able to make a video call with your contact.

You can also easily switch to voice call, which will be in HD voice, and if you feel like switching to a video call again, then you just tap the camera again. Obviously, using HD calling will bring higher resolution to both audio and video. But not all devices right now will be able to use this technology. Both the caller and receiver need to have compatible devices, aside from the network connection requirement.

Verizon says it will release a list of compatible devices, as well as those that will be able to receive a software update to make it VoLTE capable so you’ll be able to use Advanced Calling 1.0. But even if your phone can call using this new technology, if the person you’re calling doesn’t have that capability or you’re calling a landline or another smartphone from a different carrier, then they will still be using CDMA voice calls.

SOURCE: Verizon

VIA: SlashGear

HTC Desire 510 wants 4G LTE to be more accessible

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

LTE prices are starting to go down but the costs of smartphones that can support it aren’t. Aspiring to bring an LTE-capable smartphone to the masses, HTC is unleashing the Desire 510, a mid-range smartphone touted to be an always connected multimedia device in your pocket and bears some of the highlights of HTC’s more expensive selection.

The Desire 510 is undoubtedly a budget smartphone when you look at its spec sheet. Powered by a 1.2 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 and 1 GB of RAM, it just has enough juice to pull you through every day usage, some videos, and maybe a few games that don’t require much resources. As for watching videos, though, you might be a tad disappointed. The 4.7-inch screen, while handy, only comes with an FWVGA resolution of 854×480. That’s even less than 960×540 qHD. The 8GB storage might be a bit small, but that is easily rectified with a 128 GB microSD card. A 5 megapixel rear camera, a lowly VGA front shooter, and a decent 2,1000 mAh battery rounds up the smartphone’s key hardware.

HTC_Desire_510_3V_White

That said, looks can be deceiving and the HTC Desire 510 might appear to be a semi-premium smartphone from the outside. It slightly resembles the company’s more premium designs on its face, though the second speaker is sadly located at the back instead. It isn’t aluminum though, but polycarbonate plastic. You will find Android 4.4 and HTC Sense running inside, though the exact version of the latter isn’t specified. There’s also BlinkFeed for your news reading needs. Interestingly, it seems that HTC is bent on capitalizing on its new Dot View case concept that debuted with the HTC One M8, since this budget smartphone will have its own set as well.

The HTC Desire 510 will be available worldwide including markets in the US, Europe, and Asia, particularly those with 4G networks. No exact availability date or pricing has been made known yet, but expect the smartphone to make an appearance at IFA 2014 next week, hopefully with a few more bits of information.

T-Mobile to quadruple Simple Starter data for only $5 more

Posted by wicked August - 25 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

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T-Mobile’s Simple Choice plans seem to have a good option for most users out there, but not everyone needs all the benefits these alternatives provide. T-Mobile created the Simple Starter plans for single line users who need something cheaper and with less commitment.

You must keep in mind there are reasons the Simple Starter plans are a bit cheaper.

Today’s announcement sheds light on yet another Simple Starter plan many of you will love. Magenta’s new plan quadruples your data for only $5 extra per month ($45 instead of $40). Subscribers would no longer be tied to 500 MB, raising their monthly data limit to a healthy 2 GB of blazing 4G LTE data.

You must keep in mind there are reasons the Simple Starter plans are a bit cheaper. For starters, data is suspended after you reach your Simple Starter data cap. Simple Choice users can continue browsing with reduced speeds, making the latter choice a virtually unlimited data plan.

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Simple Choice users also tend to get dibs on T-Mobile’s best offers, including free international 2G data and unlimited music streaming. In short: these Simple Starter plans would be a great option for users who don’t need all the bells and whistles of T-Mobile’s Simple Choice plans.

Those interested will be able to sign up for the new Simple Starter plan come September 3rd. Just head to T-Mobile’s website to sign up!


Source: T-Mobile;

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