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Huawei P8 lite shows a new way to buy unlocked in the US

Posted by wicked June - 3 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

Not all smartphone manufacturers are able to strike it big in the US. One of the biggest obstacles is actually getting the devices into the hands of consumers, who mostly still prefer the convenience, if not the safety net, of their carriers. And carriers are not so willing to take just any brand or model under their care, unless they’re sure it’s a big one. Huawei, however, has a plan. It’s launching its latest “mini flagship”, the P8 lite, in the US market, but it’s offering the benefits of a carrier purchase, without the carrier.

First, the smartphone itself. The Huawei P8 lite definitely looks like its namesake in terms of design, with the almost bezel-free design, at least on the side, and the almost premium metal look. Don’t be deceived, though. It’s still all plastic, but it doesn’t exactly feel like one and definitely doesn’t look like one. The specs we spotted at TENAA last April were almost spot on. The 5-inch 720p display is on par for a mid range device. The 13 megapixel rear camera, paired with the selfie-friendly 5 megapixel front shooter, are also there. The one difference is that the processor is Snapdragon 615, a 64-bit octa-core CPU, and not a Kirin. RAM is still at 2 GB and storage is at 16 GB only. All of these for $249.99.

The P8 lite does have a few interesting tricks. It has a dual SIM/SIM+microSD card contraption we’ve seen in the Meizu m2 note yesterday. Basically, you can choose between using two 4G capable SIM cards or just one of those plus a microSD card for storage expansion. Sadly, it can only support up to 32 GB more. The camera software has a “multi-frame noise reduction algorithm” which is practically like HDR but for eliminating grain. There is also an “All Focus” feature lets you change a photo’s focus even after it has been taken.

Huawei P8 lite - back 3
Huawei P8 lite - close up side buttons
Huawei P8 lite - close up top front
Huawei P8 lite - front and back
Huawei P8 lite - front and back 2
Huawei P8 lite - pose
Huawei P8 lite - Side 2
Huawei P8 lite - side back
Huawei P8 lite - side front
Huawei P8 lite - Side

What might interest US buyers more is how Huawei is selling the P8 lite. While many undoubtedly appreciate the freedom of an unlocked device, they are not so eager to let go of the savings or the guarantees. Which is why Huawei is offering something different. All unlocked smartphones that Huawei launches this year, which includes the SnapTo and the P8 lite, will get a two-year warranty once registered on the GetHuawei.com website. In addition to that, those who will be buying the device from that same website can opt for installment plans in three, six, and 12 months.

This is, admittedly, an interesting strategy, offering the benefits of carrier subsidies but without the hassles of a carrier. That said, it might be hard to let go of old habits and it might be frightening to jump completely into something new. It remains to be seen if this strategy will actually work and how long Huawei will offer this kind of program in the future.

As mentioned, the Huawei P8 lite goes for $249.99 and will be available starting today from GetHuawei.com, Amazon, B&H, Fry’s and Target. BestBuy will also be added to that list soon.

LG G4 survives being submerged in water for 2 hours

Posted by wicked June - 3 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

If a smartphone does not claim to be water resistant or even dust resistant, would you still submit it to an endurance test of sorts? Well, the new flagship LG G4 does not have any IP certification or even nano-coatings like Motorola, but still, the folks over at ITechWorld thought of testing its water submersion powers, just to see how powerful it is and if it will survive a dunking, just in case you get caught out in the rain or something.

Based on the video (which you can watch below), they put the LG G4 into 4 inches of water on a sink, and then left it there for two hours. Surprisingly, despite the lack of IP certification, it did survive and seems to be working fine when they checked it. However, since it’s not actually water resistant, some of the water managed to seep in through the back cover.

And even if it didn’t cause any immediate damage, of course you wouldn’t want water to remain there for some time. They removed the battery and then placed it in a container of Uncle Ben’s rice so the liquid can be absorbed. In case you didn’t know it yet, that is one of the best ways to “cure” your smartphone that has been water damaged (to a certain extent only).

But just because this LG G4 survived this water experiment doesn’t mean you can just dunk your new smartphone in a pitcher of water and leave it there for a few minutes. Just remember that it is not waterproof or water resistant, so best to take care of your device. And who would put a new smartphone in water anyway, other than ITW that is.

Google sending out freebies to some Project Fi customers

Posted by wicked June - 3 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

We have yet to know how the Project Fi fares because Google is still in the process of sending all invites. Others have reported they already received their Project Fi-compatible Nexus 6 and said that Google even added some freebies like a phone case, headphones with splitter, and an extra external 6000mAh battery.

Over at Reddit, a certain pvcducttape asked if anyone else got those items with their order. The extra battery mentioned is actually an external battery since back is not removable. Other redditors shared their experience and said they also got the freebies. These extra, free stuff appear to be ‘thank you’ gifts from Google for joining Project Fi this early.

There are those who joined the new cellular service only by buying a Sim but it didn’t come with anything. Others choose to buy a Nexus 6 from other carriers like T-Mobile because it’s cheaper by a hundred bucks. For obvious reasons, there is no need for Google to add those freebies because you’re not getting the phone directly from them.

Google Project Fi Nexus 6 free items b

The redditor even posted photos of the free items from Google. Based on the images, Google really prepared for this Project Fi and Nexus 6 package. The free stuff actually make the Nexus 6 on Project Fi attractive. The 6000 mAh external battery alone is worth the price you’re paying initially for the phone.

Another redditor, oil3r, also shared another good news. He placed his order last week, got the phone this Monday together with the external charger, case, and earbuds. The next day, Google sent another email containing a $150 account credit. According to oil3r, credit was sent because Google is going to discount the price of the phone and the tech giant “didn’t want him to miss out on this”. Google has already dropped the price of the Nexus 6 by $150 on both Google Store and Amazon.

So the extra items appear to be a welcome kit to some people. No details how many customers will get the freebies or until when Google will keep on sending them out. Others are not lucky though like poopinlunchbox who bought a Nexus 6 through the Project Fi sign-up but only received a note saying Sim was already pre-installed.

This package is also believed to be a surprise so to those thinking of getting one, maybe it’s time you sign up. Who knows, Google might just send you the surprise gift. Let us know if you get the free items.

Google Project Fi Nexus 6 free items e
Google Project Fi Nexus 6 free items c
Google Project Fi Nexus 6 free items a
Google Project Fi Nexus 6 free items b

VIA: Reddit

Samsung’s new ad is “GIF-powered” but may be headache-inducing

Posted by wicked June - 3 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

What do you get when you put together a seemingly new concept for a video (it’s made of GIFs!), a supposedly catchy (but turns out to be annoying) song, a message that wants to appeal to potential new smartphone owners, but a look that might appeal to teenagers who may not be able to afford said smartphone? Well, apparently, you get Samsung’s new video to promote the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge. And based on comments so far, it seems to not hit its intended mark.

The idea is novel, although it doesn’t have much to do with the product. Made up mostly of GIFs and accompanied by a song that you won’t get out of your head (for better or worse, we don’t know), the ad wants to remind the viewers of the excitement you get when you get a new smartphone. The execution though is like a flashback to the 90s (and not in such a good way) mixed with Japanese style of video making (again, not the good kind), which doesn’t always work on this side of the planet.

The girl in the video seems to enjoy just making GIFs of random occurrences like a guy flipping eggs, or a man floating on the train, but the images might induce headaches (or maybe even seizures!) on the viewer. That new phone feeling from the GIF-powered video doesn’t seem to be inducing the feelings that they intended, and instead, once again, Samsung is being ridiculed by the Internet for their video.

We’d much rather have the simple, straightforward videos highlighting the features and the look of the new flagship devices in order to tempt us into getting one. But it may just be us and maybe this video worked for you, in that you want to go buy a new Galaxy S6 or S6 edge now, just to be able to make GIF-powered videos as well.

Nexus 6 goes on sale, price drops on Google Store and Amazon

Posted by wicked June - 3 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

Google’s Nexus 6 is still a hot property until the next version is introduced. We all know how the low supply and delay of the Nexus 6 caused the tech giant’s slow growth in Q4 last year. It soon arrived in the United States back in February via Verizon, Amazon, and of course, the Google Store.

A month later, six more countries were able to buy the Nexus 6: Austria, Denmark, Finland, Ireland,Portugal, and Norway. With the launch of Project Fi, the phone became more attractive because only the Nexus 6 is supported initially.

For those who’ve been wanting to get a Nexus 6 but can’t decide yet because of the steep price tag, now is your chance because the smartphone is down to $499 on Google and Amazon. That’s less than $150 from the original price and that’s already for the 32GB version. The 64GB model is also offered with the same discount.

As with any other price cut, we ask why Google is slashing off the price. It’s either that phone isn’t doing really well or a new Nexus is coming soon. I’d like to think it’s the second reason but it seems too early for that. Anyway, any sale is good news for consumers so let’s see how many units will fly off the shelves this time.

Google Nexus Player

Aside from the Nexus 6, Google also decided to put the the Nexus Player up for sale. The ASUS-manufactured Nexus Player is now $69.99 down from the original $99.99 price on Amazon. It’s even lower compared to last week’s $79.99 price. This digital media player is Android TV-powered that allows you to access content like your favorite TV shows and movies from apps like Hulu Plus or Netflix. You can also play Android games on your HDTV with this Google Cast-ready device from your laptop or any mobile device.

Google Nexus 6
Google Nexus 6
Google Nexus 6 c
Google Nexus 6
Google Nexus 6

SOURCE: Google, Amazon (1),(2)

Android Lollipop finally coming to ASUS Zenfone 4, 5, 6

Posted by wicked June - 3 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

Just when you think the Lollipop updates have gone sour already, apparently there are still a lot of OEMs and carriers awaiting the day when the rollout (if it ever will) will finally reach them. This week, it’s good news for the owners of ASUS Zenfone 4, 5, 6 lines as the OEM has confirmed that they have started rolling out the latest Android major update to the respective devices, proving that rumors of a 3-4 month delay were exaggerated.

If you own any smartphone that belongs to these 3 lines, then you should be glad that those rumors were just that. Previously, it was only the A500KL in the Zenfone 5 line that was upgraded to Lollipop, but now, the A500CG and the A501CG will also be able to enjoy the benefits of being upgraded to Lollipop, which includes having the Material Design as your smartphone’s default visual guide and other features like locked screen notifications, better battery life, and more security settings and options.

The updates are already rolling out as per ASUS, but if you can’t wait for them to reach you, then you can already get the files from their website already. Zenfone 5 has software version 3.23.40.52 while Zenfone 4 A400CG will have version 7.3.3. Zenfone 6 A600CG and A601CG already have download links as well, but the OTA seems to not be available yet.

With Android M on the horizon (although far, far away for now), let’s hope Lollipop will finally arrive on all the devices expecting it before we already start speculating and gathering rumors about M (M&M’s? Mac and cheese? Mint?).

VIA: GSM Arena

Sony Xperia M4 Aqua coming to Canada this June

Posted by wicked June - 3 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

One of the many anticipated Sony smartphones is the Xperia M4 Aqua. Obviously, the name aqua means it can be submerged in the water or at least can survive some splashes. The phone which was first leaked in February and then officially announced as a midrange phone at the Mobile World Congress, looks a lot like the Xperia Z4 which means it looks like an Xperia Z3+ which still looks like the previous Xperia Z3.

Pre-order for the phone began early March in Germany. The Sony Xperia M4 Aqua Dual version was recently released in India so we can expect the phone will be available very soon. Now, we’ve got news that the phone is almost ready for Canada. The unit will be available by middle of June and will come in a polycarbonate shell just like the Z4.

The Sony Xperia M4 Aqua will be offered by several carriers like Fido, Bell, Virgin Mobile, Wind Mobile, and Videotron. Two color variants will be available: black and white. Sony has not shared how much the phone will be but it’s a mid-range phone so it should be affordable.

Phone is mid-range but the M4′s camera impresses with 13 megapixels and Exmoor sensors. Even the front-facing camera is 5MP and has access to Sony’s special image stabilization software. Display screen 5-inches with 720p resolution. while battery is 2400 mAh. Other specs include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor, Adreno 405 GPU, 8GB/16GB built-in storage, 2GB RAM, and a microSD card slot. Phone already runs Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the box.

The Sony Xperia M4 Aqua is mid-range alright but it’s waterproof just like Sony’s other premium phones. Thanks to the company sealing the charging port and headphone jack, water won’t seep inside the phone if you drop it on water.

VIA: Mobilesyrup

Unannounced Motorola-branded smartphone passes through Bluetooth SIG

Posted by wicked June - 2 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off

Capture

Earlier today, an unannounced Motorola smartphone carrying model number XT1565 passed through the Bluetooth Certification HQ in the United States. The sparse information included within the filing documentation reveals that we could potentially be looking at the third-generation Moto E — another revamped model of the company’s most affordable handset.

Unfortunately, the paperwork does not disclose anything at all about the internals of the device, but we do know that the it will ship running the latest build of Android 5.1.1 Lollipop and is set to pack a variety of different connectivity options, including support for BluetoothClass 1 (Version 4.1, LE+EDR), 802.11b/802.11g/802.11n Wi-Fi, NFC and GPS.

If you’d like to see the full Bluetooth Certification filing — hit the source link below.

Source: Bluetooth

 

Come comment on this article: Unannounced Motorola-branded smartphone passes through Bluetooth SIG

Galaxy S6 Edge Plus with larger screen tipped for August

Posted by wicked June - 2 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off

Samsung has done very well with the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 Edge smartphones. Demand for the S6 Edge with its curved screen has been very high and Samsung has warned that supply won’t be able to meet demand. The hold up in production for the S6 Edge so far has been availability for the curved screen.

Rumors are circulating that Samsung will have a new larger version of the S6 Edge available this summer. The exact launch date isn’t known, but rumors suggest that it will launch in August. The current S6 Edge has a screen that is 5.1-inches in size. The rumor suggests that the new device will have a screen in the 5.5 to 5.7-inch size.

Considering that the Galaxy Note 4 has a 5.7-inch screen, perhaps what this rumor is hinting at is a new version of that device with curved edges. It’s hard to say at this point since there is no official confirmation.

The Japanese translation of the rumor is sketchy at best. It would be no surprise for Samsung to launch more curved screen devices, the S6 Edge has proven to be very popular, and with the right apps and notifications, the curved edges can be as useful as they are pretty.

SOURCE: ETNews

Huawei sets June 8 date for announcement of possible 4GB RAM Honor 7 smartphone

Posted by Tom June - 2 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off

Two versions of the Huawei Honor 7 smartphone will be announced in a few days’ time and they’re expected to pack some super stats, including 5-inch 1080p displays and 13MP cameras.

They’ll likely run on the Kirin 935 chipset and will carry Emotion UI 3.0 – the UI based on Android 5.0 Lillipop.

The differentiating factor between the upcoming versions are likely to be RAM and storage, with one expected to pack in 3GB of RAM with 16GB of storage and a more powerful model with 4GB of RAM and 64GB storage.

Price and release date TBA.

Via techradar