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Samsung answers design questions for Note 4, Note Edge

Posted by wicked October - 25 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

When going a version up, there is always the tension between keeping elements of the old design and ditching them for something new. Samsung went through all of that for its new flagship phablets – the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and the Galaxy Note Edge. Let’s look at some of their considerations.

There has always been that question of whether Samsung has the capability to design metal-encased phones and devices – the company has gone a long way to answering those doubts with the Samsung Galaxy Alpha. But with the Note 4 and the Note Edge, Samsung says that the design concept was “Modern Sleek”, and it wasn’t about to ditch that just to put out a metal phone. Besides, a plastic case meant that the Note 4 and the Note Edge could have removable/replaceable batteries.


Another new design feature was the Note Edge’s… errr, well, curved edge. Why is it on the right side? Samsung said that it took into consideration what users were already doing on devices, like swiping right to left, and reading left to right. It just feels more natural to have an extension screen on the right. The company also had a grand time figuring out the right angle for the curve, as both grip and view came into play.


Lastly, Samsung also hypes their collaboration with Montblanc, a global brand in writing instruments. Samsung said that they wanted the S Pen – arguably one of the best digital writing instruments around – to bring with it the expertise and nous of Montblanc. You can check out more answers to design questions via the source link.

SOURCE: Samsung

Android 5.0 update for Samsung Galaxy S5 to hit in December

Posted by wicked October - 25 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

Samsung has been relatively quiet these past few weeks, with Motorola, HTC, and LG all making their pre-holiday moves and Google ready to take the wraps off its newest Android version. The South Korean gadget giant had already made its moves earlier, but we’re pretty sure it will not be left out in the jump to Android 5.0 Lollipop.

Samsung is saying that development is already ongoing for its premier devices to take in the new version, and that the Samsung Galaxy S5 – the company’s 2014 flagship – should get an update realistically by early December. Now, we all know the tension between Google and Samsung regarding the latter’s propensity to tweak Android for its TouchWiz skin. It would be interesting to know how much Lollipop we get vis-à-vis TouchWiz.

Android 5.0 is set to be the biggest overhaul of the operating system since Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich – there are a lot of new things under the hood, relatively minimalistic aesthetic changes under the whole Material Design theme, and the transition the new ART runtime. See the video below to look at hints at how Samsung is going to execute Android Lollipop for the Galaxy S5.

It’s not gonna be long now before we see Android 5.0 in the flesh. And then the real job begins in trying to get the updated OS to the devices that can run it. December is not that long a wait, and it seems like the Galaxy S5 will be first in line from Samsung to get the OS update.

VIA: Sam Mobile

Moto X (2014) Review

Posted by wicked October - 24 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

A natural upgrade to the 2013 version, the new Moto X definitely picks up where the former iteration left off. It’s a bit bigger, a touch bolder, and has a hint of class this time around — but does it do justice to the darling of the Android world, or try to hard? We find out in our review.


At first glance, the 2014 Moto X looks like a bigger version of the 2013 model. The horizontal curve (when held in portrait) along the length of the rear cover is still there, and the button layout is the same.

Making their appearance known are the front-facing speakers, which stare at you menacingly on the top and bottom of the front bezel. A metallic lip juts out from the center of those speakers, and is the only interruption on an otherwise perfectly smooth and flat front surface.


Aesthetically, the front is much busier than the original. Four sensors and the metallic speaker “grille” are a punch in the teeth. A front-facing camera with flash is also on board, making it a lot less sleek than I’d hoped for.

Around back we’ve got wood. You can customize your Moto X via the online MotoMaker portal, but Motorola sent us their wood version. Texturally, it feels strange, but familiar and nice. I do enjoy that when the device heats up, the wood dissipates that heat nicely, making it more warm than “too hot”.

The sides on ours are metallic, as is the Motorola “M” dimple around back. The camera is also pronounced, as Motorola re-worked the flash to surround the actual sensor this time around.



The 5.2-inch screen sports a respectable 1920 x 1080 resolution, which also means a 423 ppi. Corning Gorilla Glass 3 is your material of choice, here.

A 2300 mAh battery should keep you humming right along for a decent amount of time, but we’ll get to that in a bit. Dimensionally, the Moto X (2014) is 5.54-inches tall, 2.85-inches wide, and has a curvature of 0.15-0.29 inches. That curve helps Motorola say how slim the phone isn’t, too. The bulk is there at 9.9mm, but the curve makes it easy to handle.


You can have the Moto X is either 16 or 32GB variants, and there is no room for expansion. A nano SIM card is also in order.

Motorola doesn’t come right out and say it, but the Moto X runs a Snapdragon 801 processor clocked at 2.5GHz. An Adreno 330 GPU is also around, as is 2GB RAM. You’ll also have the specs you wouldn’t look hard for, like Bluetooth 4.1 (BLE) and NFC.

The camera is 13 megapixel this time around, with a f/2.25 aperture. You can take slo-mo video, or full 1080p HD at 30fps. If you’re brave, you can even get 4K UHD video. That ring-around-the-lens flash is dual LED, and performed admirably. Auto HDR, tap to capture (and focus), and 4X digital zoom round out the core specs for the camera.



Android 4.4.4 is on board, and will switch right over to Android L once that becomes available. There isn’t much to say about that, other than Motorola hasn’t laid much over Android — which is something I’m very fond of them for.

They do have their own tweaks and alterations, though. Motorola didn’t make them part of the core experience, as some other OEMs do, meaning faster updates via apps.

The sensors along the front of the face are for “Moto Actions”, which let you use gestures to perform tasks. Go to reach for your phone, and the screen lights up with either the time, or icons to alert you to notifications. If you get a call, or an alarm goes off, just wave your hand over the screen to silence it.


Moto Voice is also a holdover from the original X, but has improved quite a bit. You can customize your device by name. Call it whatever you want, and it launches the assistant at your command. Happily, we find the feature itself improved, as our Moto X picked up on commands better than the 2013 model.

Moto Display is Active Display, just re-branded. It works exactly the same as before, and is what you see when you go to reach for your phone and those notifications show up. If you don’t want to use it, turn it off. If you want to customize which apps you see popping up as notification, you can do that, too. We like the granular control, there.


We present Benchmarks without commentary. Though Benchmarks are a good way to gauge performance, I feel that the gaming of Benchmark apps we heard about starting late last year call them into question as something we can talk about in-depth as a means of comparison.

If Benchmark results are your thing, though — here they are.

Screenshot_2014-10-17-17-40-44 (1)-M
Screenshot_2014-10-17-17-40-52 (1)-M
Screenshot_2014-10-17-17-41-00 (1)-M
Screenshot_2014-10-17-17-42-45 (1)-M-2


I’m not sure how else to say it, but if you like the original Moto X, you’ll like this one equally as much, maybe even more. Everything about it screams “updated and improved”. The original Moto X is/was one of my favorite Android handsets, because it didn’t try too hard. The new Moto X is the same way.

The performance is mostly snappy, but there were noticeable problems. The specs mostly live up to the use-cases I have with this one. On the Verizon network — which is what we’ve tested ours on — it flat out performs. We didn’t struggle for signal reliability or strength, and the phone was able to meet our demands at every turn.

We had a big problem with Bluetooth, where music playback to an external speaker rendered the device almost useless. The Moto X would stutter uncontrollably, not allowing us to multi-task when trying to stream music to a speaker. This can likely be fixed via a software update, which Motorola is great about, but so far, no good.


You’re wondering about the camera performance, I know. In the original Moto X, it was a bit of a let-down. Adequate, the sensor just didn’t keep up last year. Will the 13 megapixel shooter do better?

I won’t go so far as to say it’s radically improved, but the 2014 Moto X camera is much better. I’m sold on the OIS, here (and on any smartphone camera, really). Flash is never great on a smartphone, but the Moto X’s odd flash doesn’t oversaturate pics.

Below are some shots taken with the Moto X 2014. I’ll let you check those out rather than talk about the camera.

IMG_20141011_185630682 (1)-L

Battery life

Battery life isn’t terrible, but it’s not great. Some phones, like the LG G3, have battery saving features that can get you through days without a charge. Motorola has their Attentive Display feature, which controls the screen on-time and shut-down in certain scenarios, but it didn’t seem to help all that much.


You will be plugging the Moto X (2014) in daily, if you’re a moderate to heavy phone user. In just popping around town for a day, using GPS and such, the battery life slipped away quietly. It didn’t run dry, but the Moto X was happy to see the micro USB charger when I got home. Even on standby, the drain was fairly quick. Again, we’ve seen other phones do much better on battery.

The middle pic below was with the Moto X on standby for quite some time, then using it for two 30 minute jaunts using Maps, and 30 minutes of streaming music. the standby time isn’t terrible, but in use, the Moto X needs a lot of help.


After a few days on standby
Maps for an hour, light music streaming
From 100%, standby only


It boils down to this: would I suggest you buy this thing? There are several other handsets out there, and some have things going for them, too. The LG G3 has a better camera and battery life, while the Galaxy S5 has an arguably better display. The HTC One (M8) is much more handsome, and has better front-facing speakers.

I am still a fan of the approach Motorola has with Android; the “less is more” take, if you will. With the Moto X, you’ll get near-stock Android, and some very slight software enhancements where Motorola felt necessary.

The solid Motorola build is enough reason to argue for its place in your pocket, and while bigger and heavier than its competition, it’s not noticeable day-to-day.


I’m not nuts about the speaker inserts sticking up off the phone, and the metallic plastic around the edges doesn’t feel premium to me. The white-faced review unit, with its sensors and such showing all the time, isn’t one I’d buy for myself.

The larger profile for the 2014 Moto X actually left me resting a finger in the Moto “M” dimple around back. I wasn’t using that last year.

The camera is noticeably bigger, but it’s not unsightly. I am enamored with the curves all the way around this device, too. In either portrait or landscape, this is just a joy to put in the hand.

There are ups and downs, here, but the 2014 Moto X is definitely worth looking at for your next smartphone purchase, especially with it’s $450-or-so price tag. Customizable, efficient with Android, and sporting a respectable camera, the Moto X is the Toyota Camry of smartphones. You’ll get everything you want, but likely won’t miss the bells and whistles you don’t have.

Galaxy Note 4 destined to be Samsung’s best-selling smartphone yet

Posted by wicked October - 24 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off


The Galaxy Note 4 is without a doubt Samsung’s most powerful smartphone, and, according to a recent report, it may also be its best-selling. South Korean publication, News1, writes that the handset recently passed the 4.5 million global sales figure following its September 26 launch.

As I’m sure you’d agree, that’s a pretty astonishing figure for a phone that initially launched in South Korea and has been expanding availability ever since  – launching in the US, UK, India and China as late as last week.

When you take into consideration the 5 million units its predecessor sold in its first month of release, which, for the record, wasn’t a staged rollout, we don’t think we’d be wrong in assuming that the Note 4 is destined to be Samsung’s best-selling smartphone of not only 2014, but 2013, too.

The report doesn’t appear to provide information about the Note 4’s sister smartphone, the Note Edge, with its rounded display, but we expect the quantity to be significantly less seeing as it’s only available in a handful of markets.

Hit the source link below to view the full report.

Source: News1


Come comment on this article: Galaxy Note 4 destined to be Samsung’s best-selling smartphone yet

Samsung Galaxy Mega 2 now available in India

Posted by wicked October - 24 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off


Starting today, residents in India can purchase the unlocked variant of Samsung’s largest smartphone, the Galaxy Mega 2, from the manufacturer’s online store for Rs.20,900 — approximately $340.

In terms of performance, this configuration of the Mega 2 is slightly different to the International version we saw launch in Europe earlier this month. The Indian model packs a 1.2 GHz quad-core processor, 1.5 GB RAM, 16 GB of internal storage (with microSD support), an 8 MP rear shooter and a 2,800 mAh battery.

Straight out the box, the handset runs the latest build of Android 4.4 KitKat skinned with Samsung’s famous TouchWiz user interface — which incorporates tons of fantastic software tweaks, such as, Smart Scroll, Smart Pause, Air Gesture, Group Play and more.

If you like the sound of the Galaxy Mega 2 and want to pick one up from Samsung India — hit the source link below.

Source: Samsung India

Come comment on this article: Samsung Galaxy Mega 2 now available in India

Xiaomi to migrate data center from China to US and Singapore

Posted by wicked October - 24 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Xiaomi is a Chinese firm that is seeing some success outside of its home country. One of the things that turns many international users off is having their personal and business information stored in China where cybercrime is rampant. Xiaomi’s Hugo Barra has recently announced that the company is in the process of migrating data from Beijing where it currently resides to data centers in other countries.

Xiaomi will be using Amazon AWS data centers in California and Singapore to start. The official reason for migrating the data is to improve performance for Mi fans around the world, cut down on latency, and reduce failure rates.

Xiaomi does say that it equips the firm to maintain high privacy standards and comply with local data protection regulations. Server and data migration will happen in three phases with phase one being e-commerce migration to the Amazon AWS centers mentioned previously. This phase will be over by the end of October.

Phase 2 is MIUI service migration with data going to Amazon AWS centers in Oregon and Singapore with transfer expected to be over by the end of 2014. Phase three is described as going local with improvements made for India and Brazil. Those locations don’t have Amazon AWS so Xiaomi will work with local providers for those markets with things happening in 2015.

SOURCE: Google Plus

Amazon Fire Phone not on fire, revenue takes a hit

Posted by wicked October - 24 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Amazon just made its earnings conference call today and things are not looking good for the retailer giant. The company reported a staggering third quarter loss of $544 million, compared to last year’s loss of $25 million from the same quarter. And the culprit? Both surprisingly and unsurprisingly, it is the Fire Phone that is to blame, at least according to some company reps. The rather eccentric smartphone has apparently cost Amazon a $170 million writedown in addition to supplier commitment costs.

Very few really expected the Amazon Fire Phone to be a phenomenal trailblazer, like say, an iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy, But it’s still quite surprising to learn that it performed that terribly in the market. It’s not like Amazon is a newborn babe when it comes to mobile devices, granted smartphones are on a slightly different ballpark from tablets and ereaders. And it’s not like the device itself is an underdog, sporting your basic set of hardware that make up any high-end smartphone, at least during its launch. So what happened?

Many would be quick to pin the blame on the Fire Phone’s exclusivity to one and only one carrier. If you’re a more established and highly popular smartphone maker, perhaps you can afford to shut out others from your device. But when you’re just starting out, getting in bed with only one, even if it’s AT&T, might pose some adoption problems that will remain even if you bring down the price to just one US dollar.

But perhaps the biggest problem of the Fire Phone is one of purpose. Amazon’s other devices are laser-focused on a particular use case and that is where they perform best. The Fire Phone, not so much. As a smartphone, yes it does good, but so do other models as well. As an reading device, perhaps not so much. The Fire Phone was also billed to be intimately tied to Amazon’s other business: selling products. But as much as people love to shop, having a dedicated smartphone just for that may not make much sense. The Fire Phone also has other notable features, especially the Dynamic Perspective, but these are all fancy gimmicks that sugar coat the device’s lack of a vision.

Do you own a Fire Phone or have you dreamed of getting one yourself? Any thoughts on this development?

VIA: SlashGear


LG’s F490 shows up in Vietnam, up close images available

Posted by wicked October - 24 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

LG is creating quite a buzz with its supposed upcoming device, the LG F490 “Liger” (which is a lion and a tiger, geddit?). It might just be the first competitive device that will sport an LG-made processor – an octa-core processor at that – similar to what Samsung is doing with its Exynos cores. The F490 is not yet officially available, but it has shown up in Vietnam for a nice photo session.

As you can see from the pics, the device’s screen is huge at 5.9 inches. It is said that the F490 is slated to compete with the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and the Apple iPhone 6 Plus in the category of “smartphones with ginormous screens”. And as with LG’s usual way of doing things, the F490 will probably launch in the Korean market first – but most of us should expect an international version of this by mid to end of November.


What is interesting about it is that LG is trying its best to do a Samsung and produce its own processors. For the F490, it is rumored to be the Odin/NUCLUN octa-core processor, complete with big.LITTLE architecture at quad Cortex A15 1.5Ghz and quad Cortex A7 1.2Ghz cores. Nothing bad with that, but nothing bad with Qualcomm cores either, which has octa-core solutions if needed. Does LG need to prove itself that it can put out its own procs? In my book, they don’t need to – but this looks like it.


The F490 will reportedly have 2GB of RAM, and on a screen this big – 5.9-inch Full HD 1776×1080 – your performance might take a hit, even with 8 cores. That kinda shows with a middling AnTuTu benchmark result – which probably points to a lack of RAM (3GB would be better) or a GPU that is not up to spec. The benchmark result at 25460 is great, but to compete with the Galaxy Note 4 and the iPhone 6 Plus, the F490 has got to do better.



Droid Turbo spied in the flesh

Posted by wicked October - 23 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Not too long ago some images of the coming Motorola Droid Turbo turned up showing what the device will look like. Those images were renderings rather than shots of a real phone in the flesh. This week some leaked photos of an actual device have turned up on the web.

The photos show a rounded device with what looks to be a faux carbon fiber back in a satin black color. When the rendered images turned up, the specs for the device also leaked. We know it will have a 5.2-inch screen.


The resolution of that big screen will be 2560 x 1440 and the smartphone will pack 3GB of RAM. Those specifications are confirmed in the leaked images. Under the hood will live a Snapdragon 805 processor.

Power will come from a 3900 mAh internal battery and the camera on the rear will be a 21MP unit. The leaked images also show that the device will run Android 4.4.4 and will be coming to Verizon. The official announcement is slated for October 28.

SOURCE: Android Spin

Sony intros LinkedIn for Info-eye camera

Posted by wicked October - 23 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Sony’s Info-eye Xperia camera app has been revolutionary. When it was first introduced, Sony had little to show. We knew it’s a smart social camera that could do more than just take photos. It’s a smartphone camera being reimagined to make “socializing” faster and easier.

Sony collaborated with LinkedIn, a business-oriented social network, to turn the smartphone camera into something that will make business networking a cinch. With the updated Info-eye app, a user can take a picture of a business card. The app then scans the card and automatically searches LinkedIn for matches. This way, the user can quickly connect with the contact. Even if you lose the card, at least, you already found the person and connected with him on LinkedIn.

The app seems like an easy project to do but it was not. Sato Takasi, a member of the Info-eye developers, said that they had a hard time matching up fonts. He said: “The inherent difficulties in matching up different fonts, different fields and then integrating all that into a reliable LinkedIn search posed a huge challenge but we’re really happy with the result.”

Takasi also noted that ‘immediacy of the contact’ is very important in business networking. Snapping a photo of the business card and connecting to LinkedIn is a great solution to socialize with another professionals while it is fresh.

infoeye linkedin

The Info-eye is considered as the “smart eye” of the phone. This may be the first app but we can expect more similar programs to be developed. After LinkedIn, maybe Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or Instagram integration? All these are possible with face recognition.

Actually, the Info-eye team earlier mentioned something about food recognition. That seems useless but you know, taking photos before every meal is the norm these days. Maybe food recognition will make it easier for people on Instagram to tag a certain restaurant or meal….or not. What do you think?

SOURCE: Sony Mobile

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