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Sony’s Xperia Z2 receives European tablet of the year award

Posted by wicked August - 16 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off


Yesterday the EISA (European Imaging and Sound Association) awarded Sony’s Xperia Z2 tablet >8″ tablet of the year. The judges commended the slim, lightweight device for its sleek design (6.4 mm thick and 426 g) and its waterproofed security. 

Sony went on to win five more awards for Professional Compact System Camera, Compact Camera, Camcorder, 4K Ultra HD TV, and Digital Source of the year.

Have any of you used the Z2 tablet? Does it deserve its mighty award? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Sony Blog

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Android is becoming a monopoly and that could be a problem

Posted by wicked July - 31 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

android feature JD Hancock

Android has truly become an authority in the mobile market. A powerful operating system that costs nothing to the manufacturer and brings unlimited options to the consumer is hard to beat, a fact that is confirmed by last quarter’s marketshare reports. Google’s mobile OS has reached another milestone during Q2 2014, during which the Mountain View giant shipped 85% of all smartphones!

This comes as great news to us Android aficionados, but the rest of the market is not very happy. Google’s victory can, in part, be thanked to iOS, Windows Phone and BlackBerry losing marketshare. As with anything else, such a substantial success is bound to turn some heads, and some of those may be holding eyes you don’t want looking at you.

European authorities are said to be looking into investigating the Search Giant for its overwhelming advantage over other mobile platforms. This investigation would carry through if Android was to ship over 80% of devices within the European nations, which currently isn’t the case. Android devices account for 73% of shipped devices within said continent.

Android Army securitycoverage

Google is walking on thin ice here. A full-blown investigation on Google’s possible monopoly could bring some serious consequences for the operating system we all love and treasure. How would this case conclude, though? We could argue Android’s monopoly is a natural succession of how great and convenient the OS is. Most of us would say Google does compete fairly.

In fact, the European market may not be so worried about how many Android smartphones are out there. Sources familiar with the matter tell Reuters European regulators are more worried about Google’s practices, inquiring they are abusing their obvious dominance in the market.

google apps nexus 5

A clear example is that Google does require that manufacturers pre-install certain applications, like Maps and Search. That is, unless they want to steer clear of Google services, much like Amazon has done with its Fire smartphones and tablets.

It’s hard for other manufacturers to offer a good experience with no official support, though, especially because Google Play Store accessibility requires that manufacturers follow certain standards (including the addition of said apps). Certain software updates also demand these pre-requisites.

Is Google taking advantage of its position? Some may believe they are, but we must also remember this is why Google created Android as a free, open ecosystem. They wanted to bring their services to as many users as possible, and offering Android as a free alternative proved to be a successful way to do so.

Source: Reuters;

Acer announces Liquid Jade Plus smartphone to launch in August

Posted by wicked July - 26 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

You might not have remembered – due to the nondescript nature of these products – that Acer announced the Liquid Jade smartphone and the Liquid Leap wearable at this year’s Computex trade show. You can be forgiven for that, but it has not slipped our attentions that Acer has already made improvements to the smartphone, announcing an Acer Liquid Jade Plus device.

The Acer Liquid Jade Plus sports a number of upgrades from the earlier device, notably that the Liquid Jade Plus will have 2GB of RAM from the earlier 1GB RAM configuration of the Liquid Jade. The improved version also has more internal storage, with 16GB rather than the 8GB of the earlier version.

Other than that, both smartphones offer identical specs. There is a 5-inch 1280×720 HD resolution display, and this is powered by a quad-core 1.3GHz MediaTek processor. The phones retain dual SIM capabilities, 13MP/2MP rear/front camera combo, and a 2100mAh battery. All of this will run on Android 4.4 KitKat.

This new device is now expected to partner with the Liquid Leap wearable, whereas it was the earlier version that was touted to launch in August in tandem with the wearable device. Nothing is clear as to whether the earlier version will even continue to be marketed, but the target release of the devices will be in August, with particular attention to the European market. The retail price is expected to be at €279 euros (around USD$375).

VIA: Blog of Mobile

Samsung appears to be rolling out firmware update to improve Samsung Galaxy S 5 performance

Posted by wicked July - 23 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off


According to reports, owners of the unlocked European version of the Samsung Galaxy S 5 are starting to receive a firmware update that promises general performance improvements. Sources indicate the update not only includes several “under-the-hood” improvements, it comes with a new kernel and baseband. The firmware version for this update is XXU1ANG2. No specific details are available, but at least one user has reported the amount of useable RAM was reduced after receiving the update. There is no word on when the update may roll out to devices in markets outside of Europe.

source: phoneArena

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Europe fights against ‘free’ label for apps with IAP

Posted by wicked July - 19 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

By the end of September, the European Union has reached an agreement with Google that it will stop using the “free app” label for programs with “in-app purchases” (IAPs) in the Google Play Store. The EU has been concerned that the label “free” is misleading for those apps that push their sales within the app itself, and has asked Google to back them on this.

European users have voiced their complaints that these “free apps” with in-app downloads have the potential to be misused by users, especially if the target audience of the said program are children. Parents have seen some of their kids charge hundreds of real-world money in charges for sales pushed within games and other such apps enough that the concern has reached the highest levels of government in Europe.

This resulted in the EU making their claims strongly to Google and indeed Apple against this kind of disingenuous labeling of programs. In response, Google has committed to change how apps with IAPs are listed – and will no longer list apps as “free” if they have IAPs.

Google is also planning to require authorization for purchases in apps with IAP content. Google is also expected to come up with new guidelines for developers in avoiding “direct exhortation” of children to download or purchase in-app sales. The last guideline should provide an interesting look on how app developers go about their in-app marketing. As for Apple? Well, the EU said that “regrettably,” Cupertino has not responded in a fashion that had “concrete and immediate” solutions.

VIA: SlashGear

LG G3 Beat isn’t a mini but a mid-tier budget G3

Posted by wicked July - 17 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

LG has finally announced the LG G3 Beat and in doing so has finally resolved the mystery of its size. The reason why the G3 Beat and the equivalent but rebranded G3 S are that big is because they aren’t really meant to be the mini flagship’s we’ve come to expect but are, instead, budget-friendly versions of LG’s premium G3 smartphone.

It’s a subtle distinction, but one that truly frames the device into the proper perspective. When seen in this light, the 5.0-inch 720p HD IPS screen doesn’t look so absurd anymore. It also explains why the G3 Beat’s specs are so darn low. It has the power of a 1.4 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, paired with just 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of internal storage. Power comes via a 2540 mAh battery that is thankfully replaceable. There is also support for 4G LTE networks, though there is word that certain models headed for Europe might not carry that capability.

  • 5.0-inch 1280×720 IPS LCD
  • 1.2 GHz quad-core Qualcom Snapdragon 400
  • 1 GB RAM, 8 GB internal storage, micro SD slot
  • 2540 mAh battery
  • 8 megapixel rear camera, 1.3 megapixel front camera
  • Android 4.4.2

That said, the selling point of the G3 Beat won’t be the less than stellar hardware, but the mix of features, both software and hardware, that can be found on the more premium and more expensive LG G3. On the hardware side, you get the rear button controls, the brushed metal finish, “Floating Arc” design, and the new laser autofocus system for less shaky shots. As for the software, the focus will be on Gesture, or rather clenching, Shot, QuickMemo+, Smart Keyboard, and most likely, Knock Code.


Granted, these features do make the G3 Beat sound like a mini flagship, except bigger. But that’s not going to stop LG from billing this as a mid-tier variant with a large screen rather than a mini G3. The LG G3 Beat will launch in Korea on July 18 before heading to Europe. In Europe and CIS countries, it will be known as the LG G3 S instead. Pricing details are still unknown and LG will leave it up to local markets to make that announcement.


Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini now available for pre-order in UK, Poland

Posted by wicked July - 15 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

Samsung has been pretty consistent in churning out “mini” versions of their flagship phones, starting with the Galaxy S3 Mini which launched in October 2012. This year’s Galaxy S5 Mini follows in that tradition, announced publicly a couple of weeks back, and is now available for pre-order in Europe – specifically the UK and in Poland.

The announcement that the Galaxy S5 Mini would now be available in UK came right after the phone was made public. As of today, it was also announced that the device would now be available for pre-order also in Poland, with other countries in Europe possibly following suit soon. Europe has traditionally been a good market for these Samsung flagship “minis”, with the people having a tendency to opt for smaller but no less powerful devices.

The Galaxy S5 Mini is definitely a big improvement from the S4 Mini last year, retaining a number of high-profile features of its larger and more illustrious flagship predecessor. The S5 Mini the heart rate monitor set at the back of the device and the home button doubling as a fingerprint sensor. It is even very close in aesthetics to its larger cousin, up to the textured back cover that Galaxy S5 fans have often spoke well of.

Both LTE and non-LTE variants of the Galaxy S5 Mini will be powered by the Exynos 3470 chip, made by Samsung’s in-house SoC manufacturers Exynos who are making a return to the European market after being dominated by Qualcomm Snapdragon and NVIDIA Tegra chips in the region. The device will have a 1280×720 HD Super-AMOLED display, an 8MP rear camera, 16GB of internal storage and 1.5GB of RAM. Check out the pre-order pages at the source links. The mini flagship carries around a price tag of $625 – $630, easily making it the most expensive of the current batch of minis.

VIA: SAM Mobile (1), (2)

HTC One M8 Dual SIM will have limited launch next week

Posted by wicked July - 3 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

We should have seen it coming. After all, last year’s HTC One was treated the same way. Now HTC is bringing out an HTC One M8 variant for Europe that has one and only one difference: it has two SIM slots. Actually there is a second difference. It is unnecessarily more expensive.

In all other aspects, the HTC One M8 Dual SIM is exactly the same HTC One M8 Single SIM. Given that the original has truly impressed us, that’s not exactly a bad thing. Sure, you don’t get the LG G3′s QHD screen, but you do get a smaller 5-inch 1080p one. The specs are also definitely decent for a 2014 flagship, and the tricks that HTC pulled, like the Duo Camera and even Sense 6.0 itself are nothing to pan. And of course, the metal build makes it a pleasure to hold and look at.

HTC has used that same design, except for the duo camera, for the HTC One mini 2, though not in its entirety, so we’ll take what we can get with an exact replica of the HTC One M8 on this dual SIM variant. The change might not make much sense in the US, but in Germany, where it was just announced, and in other European markets like Russia, that feature is commonplace.

Unfortunately, it might not be something that those would-be buyers can easily afford. This model will sell for €799, which feels like buying one and a half HTC One M8 since the latter has a price tag of around €570 in that region. The color options will also be limited, available in that eye-catching gunmetal gray only.

VIA: phoneArena

LG G3 global rollout starts June 27 in Asia, EMEA in July

Posted by wicked June - 24 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

LG‘s premium flagship, which has unsurprisingly enjoyed popularity and good sales in Korea, will soon be launching in other parts of the globe. The LG G3 will first make its stop in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, and the Philippines starting this Friday, before heading out to the rest of Asia, Europe, and the Middle East sometime in July.

The LG G3 is definitely not only an eye-catcher, with the stylish “faux” brushed metal back cover and rear control buttons. It is also a smartphone that is worth drooling over in both hardware and software, the latter if you especially favor less modified Android versions. It is actually no wonder that LG has reported selling 100,000 units in Korea during its first week in the market. Now the company is hoping that the same enthusiasm, and of course sales, will be replicated in these upcoming markets.

For Europe and Asia, LG is advertising the fact that the LG G3 will be featuring wireless charging capabilities. We do wonder whether that means that other markets, like the US, will not be entitled to that nice feature. The smartphone is compatible with the Qi wireless charging standard, and so compatible with many charging plates already out there in the market. But of course, LG would prefer if you buy its own “stand-type” charger, which admittedly is a bit unique in the sense that it won’t require your phone to lie horizontally flat. Slightly contrived video ad located below.

LG has not yet revealed when the G3 will hit US markets, though some carriers have pointed to a late June launch, which is becoming later and later by the day. Pricing details are also still up in the air, and the company says that those will be revealed in local markets when they launch.


Design choice delays OnePlus One in Europe

Posted by wicked June - 20 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

OnePlus_One_Official_01If you were one of the people in Europe who ordered the OnePlus One, you may want to check your email this morning. According to, the company is sending out emails to people in Europe explaining that the OnePlus One is delayed due to a design choice. Basically what it boils down to, is the company modified the CE logo to match other icons in an attempt at being as “minimalistic as possible.” Apparently, this was unacceptable and orders that were shipped to soon-to-be owners, were sent back. The email that was sent is as follows:


Thank you for ordering from Unfortunately due to an issue with customs in Europe, one of our shipments has been delayed on its way to the warehouse. Your order was among the affected.

The issue stems from our vision for the design of the OnePlus One. For the back cover, we wanted the regulatory icons and text to be in harmony with each other and appear be as minimalistic as possible. In order to achieve this, we modified the CE icon to match the other icons. This was deemed unacceptable and our shipment was returned.

You placed an order that was planned to be shipped last week. Due to unforeseen issues with our product design, we need two more weeks until we can ship. Please accept from us a complimentary cover and screen protector (when they become available later this month) as a token of good faith. You may also cancel your order and receive a full refund.

We sincerely apologize on behalf of the entire OnePlus Team for causing you such inconvenience, and hope you forgive us for making such mistakes in the course of our growth.

Best regards,”

So there you have it. Those of you affected by the situation will have to wait about two weeks before orders start to ship again. To make up for this situation, it looks like OnePlus is adding a free case and screen protector to the mix.

source: (Italian)
via: ubergizmo

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