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Report: Google to launch Android Pay at I/O

Posted by wicked February - 26 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

Android Curreny Payment

Google has been trying to push its mobile and online payment options over the past couple of years, but still hasn’t implemented a universal payment mechanism for Android users. However, that could be about to change this year, as sources are suggesting that Google will announce a new payment API, named Android Pay, at its I/O conference in May.

Unlike Google Wallet, the Android Pay API will be “built from the group up” for Android. It will apparently allow developers to easily integrate mobile payment options into their apps, which users can pay for through registered credit or debit cards. The aim seems to be to create a simple one-tap payment option for Android developers and customers. The API will be based on Google’s Host Card Emulation (HCE) technology, which is linked to your smartphone’s NFC chip.

Less than a week ago, we also heard similar rumors regarding a revamped Google Wallet service, to also be unveiled at I/O later this year. According to the report, Google is attempting to bring device manufacturers, carriers, banks and payment networks together to support its payment platform.

Interestingly, the source states that Android Pay and Google Wallet APIs will continue to co-exist side by side, but that Wallet will be supported by Android Pay. Google Wallet’s existing “Instant Buy API”, for example, already allows for app developers to implement a “Buy with Google” button, but this could be integrated to receive payments from both of Google’s services.

True or not, Google definitely appears to be stepping up its efforts in the mobile payments space this year. Third party developers, such as WePay, continue to integrate its APIs, Google is reportedly working on a Bluetooth based mobile payment service and also recently acquired Softcard (formerly Isis).

HTC One M9′s color variations leak

Posted by wicked February - 23 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off

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If you’re a big follower of the infamous tech leaker, @upleaks, and you’re all hyped up about HTC‘s upcoming flagship, the One M9, then you might enjoy this bit of news.

@Upleaks has tweeted a possible set of color variations for the One M9

According to the leaker, we can expect to see the follow options for the newest One smartphone:

  1. Front: Dark Gunmetal / Back: Dark Gunmetal
  2. Front: Gold / Back: Silver
  3. Front: Gold / Back: Gold

To view the tweet and its ensuing comments, click the source link below.

Source: @upleaks

Come comment on this article: HTC One M9′s color variations leak

Carriers reportedly love the Galaxy S6, but that doesn’t mean much

Posted by wicked February - 23 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off

galaxy s6 teaser

Samsung is teasing the Galaxy S6 furiously, with the latest glimpse of the device’s Edge variant finding its way to T-Mobile’s website just a few hours ago. But a good pre-release campaign can also include controlled leaks, bits of info that manufacturers “anonymously” slip to the media to build up hype. We’re not saying that this latest report from Korea Herald is the result of a controlled leak, but its timing is awfully convenient.

Better than Apple’s iPhone 6 in terms of design”

According to the report, carriers’ officials were smitten by the new Galaxy S6, and especially the Galaxy S6 Edge, which they said was “better than Apple’s iPhone 6 in terms of design.” The info reportedly comes from a source close to the matter, who said Samsung showed its new flagships to representatives of carriers including T-Mobile, Sprint, Vodafone, and Korea’s SK Telecom.

“Some executives said the new phones were the best of the best among Samsung-made phones,” continued the source.

But, as an analyst cited by Korea Herald notes, praise from carriers doesn’t guarantee that users will feel the same. To reverse its slide, Samsung needs to nail the design, but also the functionality, software, and optimization of the Galaxy S6.

Furthermore, Samsung should probably not put that much weight into its partners’ words. After all, the carriers’ inaccurate demand predictions caused Samsung to manufacture 20 percent more units than for the Galaxy S4. Samsung ended up selling 40 percent fewer Galaxy S5 units than it anticipated.

To be clear, all signs suggest the Galaxy S6 will be a major upgrade over its predecessor. A new design, premium materials, innovative functions, and optimized software should turn the Galaxy S6 into the powerhouse that Samsung needs to fight Apple at the top end. It’s just that we all need to practice a little caution when dealing with some of the info floating around.

Do you think Samsung has nailed the design of the Galaxy S6 from what we’ve seen so far?

New Next Galaxy teaser hints at borderless, metal design

Posted by wicked February - 23 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off

As the day of the official unveiling of the Samsung “Next Galaxy” grows nearer, we can expect that its teasers become less of a tease and more of actual but unconfirmed details about the upcoming new flagship device. The latest one is the longest video yet and may have just unofficially confirmed the rumors that the Galaxy S6 (still an unconfirmed name, we’re just assuming) would have a metallic body and dual-curved display.

The teaser is twice the length of the three previous ones released and contains a bit more details with phrases like “metals will flow” “borders will disappear” and “reflections will be free”. The Korean OEMs new phone will reportedly be sporting a metallic unibody, a curved spill display screen (kind of like what the Galaxy Note Edge has), anti-reflective glass and probably a beautiful Super AMOLED display. Well, all this from the 49 second video teaser, a tweet showing a thin, curved side view of the new device and from what has been speculated upon the past few months.

Let’s review what we have so far, based on what Samsung has actually officially released. The three previous video teasers have indicated that it is crafted from “the beautiful things I see around me” (the Next Galaxy speaking), that it is faster than previous smartphones they’ve released, and that it has “great vision” which may probably be referring to the ability to use the camera better even in low light situations. Samsung has also released a thought piece on wireless charging from one of its engineers and a focus on the smartphone cameras through an article and an infographic as well.

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All will be unveiled on March 1, a day before the opening of the Mobile World Congress, during the Samsung Next Galaxy event. For those who will not be present at Barcelona, there’s a live stream available on their YouTube channel.

SOURCE: Samsung

Seemingly official One M9 press shots and specs found on German retailer site

Posted by wicked February - 22 - 2015 - Sunday Comments Off

htc one m9 cyberport (7)

Samsung is doing a good job hyping us up, but HTC has a harder time keeping things under wraps. Yesterday, German retailer Cyberport put up product pages showing what appear to be press shots and complete specifications of the HTC One M9.

The pages have been removed, but Mobile Geeks preserved the good stuff for posterity. This close to the March 1 official debut of the M9, the listings could very well be accurate, and the fact that Cyberport took them down adds further credibility to that. With that said, a bit of caution is advised – retailers often put up product pages in advance, and sometimes they do it based on rumors floating around. So take this with salt.

Specs

First up, the specs shared by Cyberport match everything we’ve been hearing through the grapevine about the HTC One M9. The device will feature a 5-inch Full HD screen, a Snapdragon 810 processor clocked at 2 GHz, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage (expandable), a 2,900-mAh battery, a 20MP rear camera, and a 4MP UltraPixel front shooter. The device will be slightly thicker and larger than the One M8, at 144.6 x 69.7 x 9.61 millimeters, though HTC managed to reduce the M9’s weight to 157.5 grams (One M8 was 160 grams). Dolby sound, LTE-A (300Mbps), Bluetooth 4.1, NFC, and GPS complete the picture of HTC’s new flagship.

htc one m9 cyberport (3)

Design

The alleged press renders show two versions of the M9 – gunmetal and silver-golden. The latter features an interesting combination of silver on the back and golden on the front and sides. Incidentally or not, @upleaks recently tweeted that the M9 would come in three versions at launch – gunmetal, silver-golden, and golden.

The shots differ from the render shared by @evleaks a few weeks ago; the speaker grilles and the infamous black bar hosting the HTC logo are still present, while @evleaks’ image had concealed speakers and no black bar. We can’t tell for sure, but Cyberport’s shots seem more “official” than @evleaks’ low quality render, which looks like was made based on a rough description of the device. We’ll need to wait for confirmation.

m9-htc

Render shared by @evleaks

On the back, we see the same squarish camera module found in almost every single image of the M9 that leaked so far. The camera is protruding by a millimeter or so, which seems to be commonplace in smartphone design these days. Other than that, the device is very similar to the One M8 and to the M7 before it.

There’s nothing interesting to discern from the screen images, other than to confirm that BlinkFeed will remain a key part of Sense 7. The date in the render, March 1, matches that of HTC’s upcoming event.

Price

Cyberport listed the One M9 for €750 for the 32GB model, which is fairly typical for a 32GB flagship in Europe.

Wrap up

I would say that this “leak,” if we can call it that, looks fairly solid, even if the images contradict what we heard from @evleaks. The shots do match other leaked images, as well as solid reports claiming the M9 will be visually similar to its predecessor.

What do you think of these shots? Do you prefer this design to the @evleaks render?

Something “HUGE” is coming, says HTC

Posted by wicked February - 20 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

HTC One M9 render (10)

With a little over a week to MWC, HTC USA took to Twitter to tease the arrival of something positively massive.

At first blush, this looks like a run-of-the-mill teaser for the One M9. HTC surely hopes that the M9 will be a massive hit, and it’s not the first time the company’s promising “huge” products for 2015.

However, “huge” could have a way more literal sense if we think about the Ultra (or Plus) version of the M9 that has been rumored to launch on March 1 in Barcelona.

While the M9 has been thoroughly leaked by now, we know a lot less about this larger device. The M9 Ultra is supposed to feature a display of around 5.5-inch (compared to 5-inch on the M9), but it’s not clear if the device will be Full HD (like the M9) or, less likely, Quad HD. We expect the Ultra to preserve the general design and functionality of the M9, with one twist – the presence of a fingerprint sensor. Like its predecessor, the One Max, the M9 Ultra may have a fingerprint sensor, but if this render published by @evleaks is accurate, the feature will be re-located to the front of the phone.

m9-htc

Oh, and there’s this other theory, coming from HTC’s head of communication Jeff Gordon.

Thoughts?

Another clue that the Galaxy S6 will feature a 2,600-mAh battery

Posted by wicked February - 19 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

samsung galaxy s5 gold back cover battery 2

Images that surfaced on Weibo suggest the upcoming Galaxy S6 will feature a 2,600-mAh non-removable battery.

Earlier this week, a report out of Korea claimed Samsung’s upcoming flagship would come with a built-in battery of 2,600-mAh, a step down from the 2,800-mAh unit on the Galaxy S5 and generally lower than the current “gold standard” for a high-end smartphone, which is around 3,000-mAh. Because the source of the report was rather obscure, and the automated translation of Korean sources always leaves room for interpretation, we decided to skip it.

But now we have another clue that the Galaxy S6 will indeed pack a 2,600-mAh battery, in the form of shots uploaded by a user of China’s Weibo social network. One of the albums uploaded by said user shows photos that appear to be taken inside a battery manufacture facility, and one of the images is tagged “Samsung Galaxy S6 battery.”

samsung galaxy s6 battery (1)

As Phone Arena points out, the code on the battery resembles codes of original Galaxy S5 replacement batteries, while the “925” bit could be a reference to the SM-925X code attached to the Galaxy S6 Edge.

Furthermore, other images uploaded by the same user show the logo of Samsung SDI (Samsung’s component-making unit), as well as that of ITM, a Korean supplier of batteries and related circuitry.

Why would Samsung reduce the battery size of the Galaxy S6? The answer may lie in the phone’s sealed construction and 6.9-millimeter profile. These design constraints probably forced Samsung to shave off the size, and implicitly the capacity, of the battery inside the S6.

A smaller battery does necessarily result in shorter battery life, as factors like screen technology, processor, software optimization, and the battery technology itself can greatly affect it. In theory, the 14nm Exynos processor expected to power the Galaxy S6 should consume less power than previous generations, partially offsetting the decreased battery capacity. Then again, the reverse applies for the Quad HD screen, because higher resolutions translate into higher consumption. So we’ll have to evaluate the entire package before we can issue a judgment on the Galaxy S6’s battery life. And that will only be possible after March 1, when Samsung will lift the veil of the S6 and S6 Edge at its MWC event.

Thoughts?

 

 

 

Samsung hints that Galaxy S6 could support multiple wireless charging standards

Posted by wicked February - 17 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off

Galaxy Note 4 Wireless Charging Accessories-14

One “special function” of the Galaxy S6 could be wireless charging that works with any of the current standards.

In a new post on its Samsung Tomorrow blog, the maker of the Galaxy series extols the virtues of wireless charging and promises that 2015 will be a “landmark year” for the technology. This sudden interest in wireless charging is curious, given that Samsung hasn’t really promoted it so far – while competitors like LG or Motorola have shipped devices with built-in wireless charging, Galaxy S and Note phones have lacked this feature out of the box. Samsung users can buy replacement covers fitted with wireless charging coils, but that’s obviously not ideal.

Samsung is now signaling that its 2015 flagships will not only feature wireless charging out of the box, but they will be compatible with multiple standards.

“Last year, components that support multiple standards on a single chip were released. Given that it usually takes around 6 to12 months to integrate new components and put them on the market, it is expected that several of these products will be available to consumers this year”

The company doesn’t spell it out, but given the timing of the post, the above is a strong indication that the Galaxy S6 will be among the first devices with multiple standard compatibility. In fact, this may be the “special function” that Samsung’s head of investors relations Robert Yi hinted at last month.

The multi-standard wireless solution that Samsung mentioned could be thanks to Broadcom – back in May 2014, the chipmaker announced a charging control chip that works with the three main standards, A4WP, PMA, and WPC.

“Samsung will accelerate to democratize this wireless charging technology with compelling smartphones. With our upcoming Galaxy smartphones, users will be able to enter a new wireless world like never before.”

If our assumption is correct, users of the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge will be able to drop their device on just about any charging surface without worrying about the technology inside. That would be a great user-facing feature, and a great step forward for wireless charging technology, which has been so far held back by fragmentation.

For more about the state of wireless charging, check out our recent look at the technology.

LG G4 will launch around mid-April – sources

Posted by wicked February - 16 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off

lg g3 aa (9 of 22)

LG just announced a sleek new smartwatch that’s coming at MWC next month, but we’ll have to wait until April for LG’s most anticipated device, the G4.

Korea Times cites sources familiar with the matter claiming LG would introduce the latest iteration of the G series sometime in April. LG needs time to wrap up development of the G4, and launching in April means LG won’t have to compete for the spotlight with rivals. Samsung, HTC, and Huawei will all introduce new flagships phones at MWC, scheduled to open on March 2 in Barcelona.

Las year, the LG G3 launched later than most of its competitors, on May 27. This late arrival allowed LG to one-up its rivals with a Quad HD display, and also gave the G3 an empty slot between Samsung’s spring marketing blitz and Apple’s fall onslaught. It looks like LG is hoping to replay this scenario, albeit slightly earlier in the year.

A tipster in position to know told Android Authority last month that the LG G4 would launch in mid-April. We’ve sat on the info because we couldn’t confirm it, but with this Korean report pointing to the same time slot, we feel safe to reveal it.

Things can always go of course, but at this point, we expect a standalone LG press event in mid-April.

Among the potential factors that could derail LG’s plans are issues with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor that will power the G4. Samsung has reportedly dropped the Snapdragon 810 in favor of its own Exynos chip, allegedly due to overheating issues that Qualcomm could not fix. But LG has been adamant that it has no problems with the chip, which also powers the curved G Flex 2.

Gionee Elife S7 built to hold thinnest smartphone title

Posted by wicked February - 11 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

gionee_elife_s7_picture1

Chinese smartphone manufacturer, Gionee, recently sent out press invites to its Mobile World Congress 2015 (MWC) release event. In the invite, a picture of its newest device, the Elife S7, shows off an incredibly slim width.

Gionee, which is in the process of re-branding its company as Kazam, has offered the world’s thinnest smartphones for several years now. So what is the Elife S7 coming in at? Well, recent photos of the device have surfaced and the leaker is claiming that the width is 4.6mm.

Coming by way of Anzhuo.cn, these photos possibly show us the Elife S7 in the wild.

gionee_elife_s7_picture2 gionee_elife_s7_picture5 gionee_elife_s7_picture4 gionee_elife_s7_picture3

We’ll have to wait until MWC 2015 to see if Gionee retains its record-setting title of thinnest smartphone manufacturer in the world.

Personally, I don’t see the point in ultra-thin smartphones. But what are your thoughts?

Source: Anzhuo.cn via G For Games

Come comment on this article: Gionee Elife S7 built to hold thinnest smartphone title