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Asus ZenWatch to get sub-$199 price when released

Posted by wicked September - 2 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

asus_wearable_ifa_2014_teaser

Asus CEO Jerry Shen recently spoke at a media briefing in advance of this week’s IFA 2014 trade show and revealed the company’s upcoming smartwatch device, the ZenWatch, would sell for less than $199. Shen also indicated the device will come with voice recognition for English speakers when initially launched in October. Chinese voice recognition will come later, hopefully before the end of the year.

Shen also revealed the ZenWatch would be capable of working alone or paired with an Android smartphone. He said pairing the device with a smartphone would enable additional functionality, but did not elaborate. Shen also revealed the device would come in one size only.

source: Focus Taiwan

Come comment on this article: Asus ZenWatch to get sub-$199 price when released

ASUS MeMo Pad 7 drives down price to beat budget tablet makers

Posted by Tom September - 1 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

The latest ASUS tablet, the MeMo Pad 7 ME70CX will be released at $97.

This sub-$100 tablet from the Taiwan/US company could shake things up as the big names try to compete for this space in the market that is traditionally filled by Chinese brands.

The ME70CX will be released later this month in Southeast China and Asia. It’s powered by an Intel Atom Z2520 processor, has 8GB of RAM and a battery that promises eight hours of use.

Via tablet-news

Report: Asus ZenWatch won’t be available until October, priced under $200

Posted by wicked September - 1 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

asus-zenwatch

This week’s IFA announcements are looking to bring some of the biggest news of 2014, including plenty of new developments when it comes to wearable devices. We already know that Asus plans to be one of the OEMs to showcase its new watch, the ZenWatch, which will be powered by Google’s Android Wear platform. We also know that the watch appears to have at least a partially-metal design, but what else can we learn about the device ahead of IFA?

Thanks to Focus Taiwan, we now have a few more possible details about the watch. First, Asus is claiming its watch is the best looking Android Wear product so far, something that they’ve hinted at in the past. Second, the watch will reportedly sell for less than $199, which falls in line with reports that Asus would have aggressive pricing for the device.

That’s not all that we can learn from Focus Taiwan. Apparently the watch will have a few customizations of its own, such as support for Chinese voice control features, in addition to English. While Google doesn’t allow OEMs to tweak the platform in the same way it does Android, it’s very possible Asus could accomplish this through a custom app or something similar.

Finally, the report also claims that the watch will debut at IFA but won’t actually hit the market until October, where it will go on sale in the US and a few additional markets. What do you think of the Asus ZenWatch based on what we know so far? Interested or not?


Via: The Verge;
Source: Focus Taiwan;

IFA 2014 expectation roundup: smartwatches galore

Posted by wicked September - 1 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

While IFA 2014 itself formally starts in a few days, many companies have scheduled their press events ahead to leave IFA open to actual device demos and showcases. But what do we expect from manufacturer’s this time of year? As it turns out, quite a lot. Unsurprisingly, a lot of those also revolve around the tech industry’s latest babies: smartwatches. Of course, it isn’t just all about smartwatches, as we’re expecting to see a few smartwatches and some tablets these coming days as well.

ASUS

ASUS has been harping about its smartwatch since January, but so far, like Motorola, it has been a no show in that market. But with official teasers already out in the wild, IFA 2014 could finally be ASUS’ time to shine. That said, we still know very little about the ZenWatch, other than it will be running Android Wear and will have voice command support, which isn’t exactly ground breaking. One thing that the company has been try to emphasize was how affordable their smartwatch will be. We curiously await if its budget price will come with budget specs.

asus-zenwatch-teaser

Motorola

Former Google subsidiary Motorola will be making quite a big splash this IFA. Defying expectations of an August announcement, the company will be revealing not just the next Moto X smartphone, but also the next Moto G as well. As of the last listing, the Moto X+1 is expected to bear a 1080p 5.2-inch screen, run on a 2.2 or 2.5 GHz quad-core processor, have 2 GB of RAM, and a 13 megapixel rear camera. Not exactly the latest and highest specs, but Motorola has been known to pull a few rabbits out of its hat with run of the mill hardware. The Moto G2, on the other hand, is believed to be a larger cousin of the budget smartphone, sporting a 720p 5-inch screen, powered by a 1.2 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 and 1 GB of RAM, with an 8 megapixel camera on the back.

moto-360-its-about-time

What everyone might be waiting for will be the Moto 360 smartwatch, something that was hyped a lot since I/O 2014. The smartwatch seemed to promise a lot, like a stylish round face design and wireless charging. Unfortunately, the company seems to have taken its sweet time and part of its thunder has been mostly stolen by LG’s latest revelation.

LG

The Korean OEM has surprisingly laid out all its cards on the table way before IFA 2014 even starts. It has already announced all its key devices, ranging from monitors, curved TVs, smartphones, and yes, smartwatches, ahead of time, making is us wonder if LG has anything left to surprise us with this week. Not that the G Watch R isn’t already surprising. A last minute leak gave us a glimpse of a round smartwatch from LG and, sure enough, the company did officially reveal the the device last week. The LG G Watch R is a bit of a step up from the plain G Watch, employing a round screen that, unlike the Moto 360, utilizes the whole surface. It also gets a higher 410 mAh battery and a heartrate sensor inside.

LG_G_WATCH_R_06

If LG doesn’t have any announcements left, it will most likely just use its IFA time to formally introduce the devices to the public and later on let them fondle the new devices. Included in this new batch is the LG G3 Stylus, a pen-toting smartphone that was “accidentally” leaked in an LG ad but was later revealed to be a mid-tier device that just happened to have its own rubbery capacitive stylus in tow. Not quite what some might have wished to rival Samsung’s upcoming star.

Samsung

With the premium Galaxy Alpha formally out of the way, Samsung is free to turn all the spotlight on the Galaxy Note 4. As seems to be Samsung’s practice, this device will come with specs higher and bigger than that of its Galaxy S5 flagship. That includes a 5.7-inch QHD screen, a whopping 4 GB of RAM, the fastest Exynos and Snapdragon CPUs, a 16 megapixel camera, and what could be a new fingerprint scanner. But that’s just the specs, of course. It remains to be seen whether Samsung also has anything left to push forward the S Pen again this year, or if the vision for the stylus has somewhat plateaued by now.

samsung-galaxy-note-s-pen-ad

And like the Galaxy Note 3 and the Galaxy S5, the Galaxy Note 4 will also come with its own companion smartwatch. Also announced already last week, the Gear S is Samsung’s surprising yet expected new wearable. While not as visually distinct as the G Watch R, the Gear S boasts one thing that none of this new generation of smartwatches have: it’s very own 3G connection. Unfortunately, but again not surprising, it runs Tizen instead of Android Wear, and we’ll get to see this week if it will be able to stand up to the onslaught of new Android Wear smartwatches.

Sony

Sony’s third smartwatch is a rather late surprise. Not that we didn’t see the SmartWatch 3 coming but, according to last minute rumors, it will be running on Android Wear instead of Sony’s custom software. That is definitely a bit of an unexpected turn of events considering how much Sony has invested in its own smartwatch ecosystem long before Android Wear or even Samsung’s Galaxy Gear arrived on the scene. Still, it’s definitely a welcome change, if true, as it gives Android users more devices to choose from.

xperia-z3-tablet-compact-leak-1

That said, many Sony fans will most likely be waiting with bated breath for what the company’s new smartphones and an unexpected tablet. From what we’ve gathered so far, the Xperia Z3 is likely to be look like another incremental upgrade from the Xperia Z2, bearing almost the same specs with a few upgrades here and there. The Xperia Z3 Compact, on the other hand, only has the Xperia Z1 Compact as the jumping board, since Sony has seemingly abandoned any plans for an Xperia Z2 Compact. Although we did expect a new Xperia tablet to join the crowd, little did we know that it will also be, well, little. The Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact will be the company’s first foray into a small-sized tablet, so fans of Sony’s design and hardware will definitely want to keep an eye out for this.

Wrap-up

These are just some of the major highlights of IFA 2014 this week, but there’s definitely more in store. Huawei‘s Ascend Mate7 will be making an appearance as well as Lenovo’s Vibe X2. Meizu is also expected to reveal its latest MX4 this week. We will definitely have an Android packed week so be sure to keep tabs on our IFA 2014 tag portal so that you don’t get lost in the sea of announcements and devices.

Android Authority this week

Posted by wicked August - 31 - 2014 - Sunday Comments Off

lg-g-watch-r

The countdown to IFA has begun, and more info about the devices coming at the show surfaces every day. This week, Samsung teased us ruthlessly ahead of the Note 4 launch, HTC launched the 64-bit Desire 510 and hinted at the Desire 820, Sony’s new Xperia lineup leaked, LG launched the G3 Stylus, two new smartwatches landed, and Asus reminded us that it too has a wearable coming.

At AA HQ, we’ve been busy preparing for the big show next week and the good stuff coming later this fall. Tech news is finally picking up again, and we couldn’t be happier!

Video roundup

Check out Jayce’s popular weekly Android news roundup!

IFA is a big deal this year

Well, IFA is always a big deal because it’s the start of the busiest season in tech, the time when all companies put out their best products so they’re ready on the shelves when holiday shopping begins. Yes, the spring season is important too, but it’s the end of the year that really matters. And this year, competition is intense. Not only we have a slew of cool Android devices duking it out against each other, but the long-awaited larger iPhone is going to make the mobile race more interesting than ever. It all starts next week: Note 4, Gear VR, G Watch R, new Moto X and Moto G, new Xperia devices, and more.

ifa berlin logo James Cridland

Fun, games, and a lot of hard work

Tech blogging can be hugely rewarding , especially if you’re passionate about the things you’re writing about all day. Attending shows like IFA, CES, and MWC is one of the best things about it. You get to interact with the people behind the devices, you get to see cool new toys before most people, and overall it’s just lots of fun. On the flip side, it’s also lots of work, especially if you’re part of a small team. Attending briefings, live-blogging, running from one booth to another (especially at IFA, which takes place at a huge and confusing expo complex), all while writing posts and coordinating with the team back home… it can be challenging at times. But don’t get me wrong – the sleep deprivation is totally worth it!

#IceBucketChallenge

We did it. Well, some of us did it. Our YouTube team (Kevin, Joe, Josh, Lanh) and our fearless leader Darcy accepted the challenge to get drenched in cold water and  donate to the ALS Association (Lahn also donated to Water.org, while Josh thoughtfully took the challenge on a patch of parched grass.) The results are in the video below – check out this post to learn where to donate and support the fight against ALS.

Coming up next

Obviously, next week will be dedicated to news from IFA, with the Note 4 front and center. Keep an eye on our tag page for round the clock coverage, and don’t forget about our YouTube channel.

Motorola programed its autumn event on September 4, but for some reason it’s in Chicago, not Berlin. Keep an eye out for our Moto X+1 and Moto G2 hands-on impressions.

A Gear Live is awaiting its new owner. And a Nexus 5 is going up for stakes through this Sunday Giveaway. Because what’s better than free gadgets?

The stuff you shouldn’t miss

Here’s some of our interesting content this week, perfect for some weekend reading:

Top news of the week

And here are the top news in the Android world this week:

Note 4 rumor and teasers:

note-4-possible-render

HTC goes 64-bit

Xperia Z3 and 8-inch tablet

G3 Stylus is here

ASUS teasers

Gear S and LG G Watch R

LG_G_WATCH_R1

Sound off

We always want to hear your feedback. Whether it’s criticism or praise, feel free to tell us what you think about Android Authority’s content, design, and community. Comment here or get in touch with us on our social channels:

Happy Sunday!

ASUS MeMo Pad 8 gets fully portable with LTE upgrade

Posted by Tom August - 30 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

The latest European version of the ASUS MeMo Pad 8 will feature LTE connectivity, cutting the “do you have WiFi?” out of conversation.

The updated 8-inch tablet will also be released in Japan.

The tablet will offer download speeds of up to 150 MBps and uploads at up to 50MBps.

It runs Android 4.4.2 on an Intel Atom Z3580 Bay Trail processor and the 8-inch display is 1920 x 1200 pixels.

It uses Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC, has 2GB of RAM, 16GB storage and Zen UI.

Via tablet-news

ASUS offers glimpse of ZenWatch in new teaser video

Posted by wicked August - 28 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

The folks over at ASUS really do love a striptease as the past few days, we’ve seen some teaser ads on their Facebook page about the new smartwatch that they’ll be announcing at the IFA in Berlin next week. And now the wearable has a name! It’s called ZenWatch and a new short video has been released, offering us a glimpse of the gadget but only in silhouette, further wetting our appetites for this smartwatch.

What we see in the 30 second video is the rumoured Android Wear smartwatch, but only showing its parts in shadow. It offers us a glimpse of the corner, clasp and then finally a side view of the device, but all bathed in cloudy grey light, making it impossible to actually see any detail (as they intended of course). Just a few days ago, ASUS tweeted out it will be launching in Berlin and then released on its Facebook page some futuristic-looking teaser ads with the quote, “Time has been transformed and we have changed,” a quote from Khalil Gibran, which also finds its way in the teaser video.

But apart from those glimpses, not much has been leaked about the purported fourth smartwatch using the Android Wear platform. ASUS CEO Jerry Shen did claim that it will be better-looking than the other ones in the market, and that price-wise, it will be cheaper than its competitors. Rumors are saying it will cost somewhere between $99 and $149, which is way cheaper than the current price tag on the LG G Watch ($230) and the Samsung Gear Live ($200). The upcoming Moto 360 still has no pricing details as of yet.

Since no specs are available yet for the ZenWatch, many are hoping that the cheaper price doesn’t mean that the hardware and features are also less than those of the current Android Wear smartwatches. All will be revealed during the September 3 launch at the IFA 2014 in Berlin, as indicated in the teaser video.

ASUS Reveals Name for Upcoming Smartwatch in New Teaser Video

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

It is officially the week of teases, as ASUS continues the trend, this time revealing an official name for its upcoming smartwatch, the ZenWatch. In a brief 30+ second teaser video, ASUS shows off a bit of the watch’s design and overall profile, but we still have yet to see the watch’s face turned on. 

Most signs point to this watch being an Android Wear device, but technically, that has not yet been confirmed. It is rumored that the ZenWatch will be incredibly affordable, landing in the $99-$149 range. However, with such a low price, we hope ASUS delivers on the quality we would expect. After all, it does sport the “Zen” moniker, much like the company’s premium line of Ultrabook PCs.

The company is set to unveil the ZenWatch on September 3 in Berlin, Germany during IFA.

You can watch the ASUS’ livestream right here when that day rolls around next week.

ASUS Reveals Name for Upcoming Smartwatch in New Teaser Video is a post from: Droid Life

IFA preview: Note 4, G Watch R, Xperia Z3, and a whole lot more

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

ifa berlin logo James Cridland

The fall season in the technology world starts with IFA Berlin.

IFA, or Internationale Funkausstellung, is Europe’s largest show dedicated to consumer electronics and one of the biggest and oldest in the world. While MWC in Barcelona is all about mobile, IFA is the showcase of a staggering variety of devices, gadgets, and equipment, from smartwatches, to smartphones, laptops, and connected cars. In short, it’s a geek’s dream.

In past years, IFA has been almost synonymous with the launch of the Note series, but this year we have lots of other cool stuff on tap. Here’s a brief preview of the news we expect to come out of Berlin next week.

Samsung: new Note, meeting the Alpha, and going VR

The Note 4 will be the star of the show, even if it’s actually going to launch before IFA officially opens to the public. Samsung’s traditional Unpacked event is set for Wednesday, September 3 at 3PM, and soon after you will be able to read the first posts about the new Note.

The Note 4 is expected to bring refinements to a well-known and successful recipe that has arguably made Samsung the number one player in smartphones worldwide. We have a full rumor roundup for you here, but if you just want a briefing, here it goes: the Note 4 will bring powerful specs, the same screen size like last year (5.7 inches), an improved S Pen and accompanying software features, a better 16MP camera, a fingerprint scanner, and a large battery. If the alleged leaked images are genuine, the Note 4 will feature a metallic frame and a faux leather plastic back – think about it as a cross between the Galaxy Alpha and the Note 3. In software, expect more productivity features, with a major focus on the S Pen.

galaxy note 4 leak

There’s been talk about a second variant of the Note 4 with a futuristic wraparound display, but we think that’s unlikely to materialize at IFA.

It won’t be all about the Note 4 however. The metallic Galaxy Alpha was launched a couple of weeks ago, but IFA will probably be the first occasion media gets to play with it. Expect extensive hands-on coverage.

Last year, Samsung launched the Note 3 together with the Galaxy Gear smartwatch. Rumor has it that at least one new Gear is coming with the Note 4, possibly one that features a SIM card for a truly untethered experience. The stylus-equipped Note 10.1 is also due for a refresh and there’s a good chance will see it at IFA, although we haven’t heard any rumors about it so far.

The wildcard in Samsung’s deck is the Gear VR, a virtual reality headset in the vein of Oculus Rift. Samsung is reportedly throwing its weight around the concept, and we’re very curious to see what it’s doing with it.

samsung gear vr

LG: G Watch goes round

LG has been on a roll lately, and it will definitely try to maintain the momentum with a breakout IFA. Unlike Samsung, LG doesn’t have a flagship phone to anchor its show. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything exciting coming from LG next week.

As one of the first Google partners to put out an Android Wear smartwatch, LG had a head start in a race that’s about to become very crowded. The rectangular G Watch is nice in its simplicity, but LG realized that people clamor for a round device a la Moto 360. Dubbed G Watch R, this device will be LG’s star at IFA next week.

LG G Watch 2 G Watch R Circle face

For the budget crowd, LG has the L Bello and L Fino, a pair of 3G smartphones that we hope will be competitively priced. We also look forward to playing with the G3 Stylus, a cheaper G3 version with a stylus. It’s not the Note 4 threat we hoped it would be, but it could be very intriguing if it’s priced right.

LG typically teases its devices before announcing them, so if anything else big is coming next week at IFA, we will be very surprised.

Motorola: stealing the spotlight?

Motorola doesn’t have an IFA presence, and, for some reason, the company (still owned by Google pending its sale to Lenovo) has scheduled the launch event for the Moto X+1, Moto G2, and Moto 360 on September 4, smack dab in the middle of IFA week. Our guess is we’ll see these devices at the show in some form, so we’ll include them in this preview.

The Moto X+1 is a larger, beefed-up successor to the critically acclaimed, but only mildly successful Moto X. We have a full roundup detailing the leaks and rumors swirling around the device here. There’s talk about new materials for the back plate, but judging from the first generation, Motorola will focus on features and user experience rather than flashy specifications.

moto-x-1

The Moto G2 also looks to be a thorough update of the OG, one that – provided rumors are right – would nudge the device towards the middle of the range, price-wise, with the Moto E remaining as the super cheap option.

The Moto 360 will finally become a real thing next week, after a summer of relentless teasing. We wonder if it’s not a bit late, now that LG has jumped on the round watch bandwagon. Motorola’s has also teased an accessory announcement for September 4, but we have no specifics about it at this point.

Sony: refined Xperia and a new tablet

Sony is the only major manufacturer that has embarked on a bi-annual upgrade cycle. The Xperia Z1 launched at IFA 2013, the Z2 landed at MWC 2014, and roughly six months later, it’s now time for the Xperia Z3. As you’d expect from the product of a fast iteration cycle, the Xperia Z3 isn’t such a big departure from its predecessor. Still, fans will probably love to see another refinement of Sony’s iconic smartphone design and presumably some interesting new features.

Sony is also putting out a new Compact edition of its flagship, packing true high-end specs in an under 5-inch package. Sony is pretty much alone in making Mini phones with top specs, so we look forward to see the Xperia Z3 Compact in action.

sony xperia tablet z3 compact

Read more about the Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact in our rumor roundup here.

There’s a new product as well, the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact. Think of it as a mini Tablet Z. At 8-inch, with waterproofing, super-slim design, and powerful specs, we are very excited for this device.

HTC: 64-bit, but what else?

HTC has been pretty quiet these past few weeks, but that may be because it’s doing some brilliant work behind the curtains.

There was talk about an HTC Android Wear smartwatch coming this summer, and IFA looks like a good opportunity for it to debut. But we haven’t really heard anything substantial about it, and HTC hasn’t put out any teasers so far.

A bit more substantive is the Desire 820, which could be the first Android device powered by a 64-bit Snapdragon 615 processor. An announcement of this mid-range device seems imminent and we’re almost sure we’ll see it on the IFA floor.

htc desire 820 teaser

To return to speculation, there were rumblings about several tablets that HTC is preparing for this end of the year. We will be surprised if they show up at IFA, but we can’t rule out the possibility.

Asus: Android Wear meets budget

Asus launched its Zenfones at CES in January, and its huge tablet collection at Computex in May. We don’t expect much on that front at IFA therefore, but we know that Asus won’t be coming empty handed.

The company has transparently teased a smartwatch announcement for the show, and we’re pretty anxious to see what Asus can do with the Android Wear concept. Word on the street is that Asus will try to differentiate through price, so perhaps IFA will bring us the first $100-$150 Android Wear smartwatch? Who knows?

ASUS Smartwatch teaser rendering

Huawei: the Mate 7 ascends

Huawei is not on the radar of most Western consumers, but the Chinese giant is working to change that. It recently launched the Ascend Mate 2 for a very attractive price in the US and now a successor (or sibling?) to the device is coming in the form of Ascend Mate 7, a six-inch (how about that?) beast packing top specifications.

Android Authority at IFA 2014

Just like last year, Android Authority will be represented at IFA Berlin by Josh Vergara and, yours truly, Bogdan Petrovan, with ample support from the rest of the team back home. Josh will be doing most of the videography and photo work, so expect all the sweet hands-on impressions, comparisons, and versus you’ve come to know him for. Meanwhile, I will be on the floor, doing whatever needs doing so you get the best possible coverage.

Stay tuned for more IFA news starting early next week – the show technically starts on Friday, but from the experience of past editions, hot news will begin streaming from Monday and Tuesday. Then we have Samsung’s and Sony’s events on Wednesday, and then news from LG, Huawei, HTC, and Motorola should come on Thursday.

Follow our IFA 2014 tag page for full coverage, keep an eye on our YouTube channel, and stay tuned for all things IFA!

Asus Posts Teaser Sketches of Smartwatch Ahead of IFA Unveiling

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

Not to be outdone by Motorola and LG, Asus is continuing to tease its first foray into the wearable market. Ahead of its September 3 unveiling at IFA in Berlin, Asus on Facebook this morning posted two images of its prototypical smartwatch, a sort of rectangular device with rounded edges and what looks to be an interchangeable wristband.

Other than the unique shape, Asus has hinted that the smartwatch will use gesture controls and sports an AMOLED display. According to some reports, the company plans to attack the budget sector by pricing it quite competitively – the device will reportedly retail between $99 and $149.

For those of you who haven’t committed to buying a wearable, will the lower price point factor into your buying decision?

ASUS

Via: Asus [2]

Asus Posts Teaser Sketches of Smartwatch Ahead of IFA Unveiling is a post from: Droid Life