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AT&T to start selling LG G3 Vigor on Sept. 26

Posted by wicked September - 23 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

AT&T recently announced that it would be carrying the LG G3 Vigor, a kind of step down version of the Korean manufacturer’s flagship device the LG G3. Now AT&T is announcing that the phone will be available for customers to buy online and via retailers starting September 26.

The LG G3 Vigor is basically the LG G3 Beat that was rebranded for US shores. It’s powered by a 1.2Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor supported by 1GB of RAM – this should be enough for users who browse and play the odd casual game on their smartphone. The LG G3 Vigor also carries a 5-inch 1280×720 HD IPS display.

All that said, it is still a quality mid-range phone which carries the panache of LG’s premium devices, and all of the ingenious software features LG users have grown to love. The control buttons at the back, hardly any bezel at all on the face of this device, and the highly-acclaimed Knock Code.

The LG G3 Vigor will be available to AT&T customers at USD$50 on a two-year contract and USD$335 off contract. AT&T is also bundling the Vigor with the LG G Pad 7.0 tablet for an additional 99 cents on your two-year contract, which is a good deal for a 7-inch LTE-capable tablet with a quad-core processor. The bundle is available for a limited time only.

SOURCE: AT&T

AT&T to carry Samsung Galaxy Alpha, available on Sept. 26

Posted by wicked September - 23 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

AT&T is set to carry the first of Samsung’s A Series of “premium feel” phones, the Samsung Galaxy Alpha. The sleek-looking metal-bound smartphone is set to be available online and with AT&T retailers starting September 26.

We’ve covered the Galaxy Alpha recently, as it was launched just ahead of IFA 2014 at Berlin a few weeks back. The main argument for this phone is that it may be the first metal-bound smartphone that Samsung has produced in recent years. Our main complaint against it is its middling specs – but we guess that Samsung did not place it at the flagship level because then it would compete with the Galaxy S5. Honestly speaking, if the Galaxy Alpha had S5’s specs, it would be an altogether different proposition.

The phone sports a 4.7-inch 1280 x 720 HD display, a step down from the 1080p screen of the Galaxy S5. It will carry the mainstream Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor – the international version carries an Exynos octa-core processor, and US consumers can rightly feel aggrieved at that. The phone comes with 2GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal storage. The metal bindings have dictated that there will be no microSD expansion slot on this phone, and this will all be powered by a 1,860mAh battery.

AT&T customers will be able to get the Samsung Galaxy Alpha at USD$199.99 on a two year contract. The pricing will be USD$613.00 off contract. The phone’s metal design is novel enough that customers should still be able to enjoy the device, especially its 4K-capture camera. It also gets the Ultra Power Saving Mode feature launched with the Galaxy S5, so the phone can last at least 24 hours more at 10% of battery life with only call and text features activated.

SOURCE: AT&T

CyanogenMod 11 nightlies land for international Galaxy S4 Active

Posted by wicked September - 23 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

One of the coolest things about CyanogenMod for fans of the software is that it is updated very frequently for many devices. One of the drawbacks is that you need versions of the software specific to your device. If your device is an international version of the Samsung Galaxy S4 active, nightlies are now available for your smartphone.

The first nightly build for the international S4 Active has landed and can be downloaded now. The file is large at over 218 MB. The international version of the Galaxy S4 Active is model i9295. If you use the S4 Active on AT&T, this software is not for you by default.

I say by default because you might be able to use a work around to get around the locked bootloader that AT&T prefers, such as SafeStrap. If you are successful with an alternate method, do let us know.

As with any version of CyanogenMod, you might encounter issues with early versions of the software. If you aren’t comfortable with the potential to render your device useless, you might want to wait until a more stable nightly for the smartphone lands as an M build.

SOURCE: Android Police

Are nuclear batteries the future (if they won’t kill us)?

Posted by wicked September - 22 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

Whenever your mobile phone would run out of juice during crucial moments, didn’t you ever wish that someday, someone would invent a battery that would last not just for a few hours, days, months but for the rest of your life? But what if it would mean not having children anymore and maybe potential death from radiation exposure? Well if you will choose battery life over your own life, then there might be good news for you (and maybe bad news for your loved ones)!

A nuclear battery developed by two researchers from the University of Missouri doesn’t use the usual lithium ion cells that have caused you much frustration at one time or another. The battery uses the beta voltaic process, which generates electricity from beta radiation. So the battery doesn’t really use nuclear fission but it does emit radioactive elements. Beta radiation, while not the safest, is supposedly much easier to stop just by using a thin piece of aluminium. So this means you need to use a casing for the battery that is about 2 millimetres thick and should never be dropped (which rules out about half of cellphone users). There is still the risk of cancer, but hey, no need for charging anymore right?

Betavoltaic batteries have been used before, particularly in the earlier versions of the pacemaker. The two researchers, Baek Kim and Jae Kwon, added water to the equation, which absorbs some of the beta radiation and also splits the water molecules to increase efficiency. They said that this might eventually be of use for applications like car batteries and maybe even spacecraft.

Just don’t expect nuclear batteries in mobile phones anytime soon. It’s highly unlikely that it will ever be commercially produced, as even the common lithium-ion ones have already posed dangers to some users, with exploding and overheating batteries. But it was nice thinking of a phone that would never need charging right? Until you suddenly think of infertility and cancer and death.

VIA: Extreme Tech

Motorola Moto X for Verizon coming this September 26?

Posted by wicked September - 22 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

The Big Red has got more surprises in store for the customers. Aside from the 4G LTE-enabled Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5, Galaxy Note 4, WiFi calling, VoLTE Advanced Calling 1.0, and the early upgrade offers by Verizon, the mobile carrier is believed to releasing the next-generation Motorola Moto X this coming September 26.

Nothing official yet but a leaked memo shows the pricing and availability of the Motorola Moto X. A Blaclk/Resin Moto X model will be $99.99 on a 2-year contract for only $24/month. As a special promo and for a limited time, a White/Bamboo model is priced at $99.99 but will cost $27.49/month on Verizon Edge. Promo will run from September 26 until October 10 only.

As with any Moto X units, Verizon’s version will also be customizable via the Moto Maker (which also recently went live in the UK, France, and Germany). A 16GB model of the Moto X will also be $99.99 with a $24.99 monthly fee on Edge. Twice the storage capacity at 32GB, the model will be $27.40/month but with a $149.99 one-time payment under a 2-year contract.

Here’s a review of the Moto X specs:

• Android (4.4.4)
• Splash-resistant glass
• 1080 x 1920 pixel resolution, 423 ppi
• AMOLED display
• Light sensor, proximity sensor
• 13 megapixel camera with Dual LED flash
• 2 megapixel front-facing camera
• Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 8974-AC system chip
• Adreno 330 graphics processor
• 16GB/32GB storage capacity
• 2300 mAh battery

Old Verizon subscribers or new customers still have a few days to decide if they’re getting a Moto X from the carrier. Who’s getting a Moto X from Verizon? Anyone?

VIA: Phone Arena

SOURCE: Phandroid

LG Wine Smart is company’s first flip style smartphone

Posted by wicked September - 22 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

Like it’s chief rival, LG is getting back into the presumed extinct clamshell form factor. Unlike that said rival, however, the LG Wine Smart is groundbreaking, at least for LG, since it is the company’s first smartphone to bear that form ever since the it launched its Wine series back in 2007.

For quite a time, and longer in the US, flip phone or clamshells were en vogue. You’d see them everywhere, including as TV or movie set props. The arrival of the iPhone and its singular, flat body finally put the nail in the coffin, but some companies, particularly Korean ones like Samsung and now LG, have tried to keep that style alive today. While Samsung has been churning out at least one, sometimes two, such smartphones a year, this is LG’s first jab at a flip smartphone. Unlike some of Samsung’s models, however, the LG Wine Smart is clearly designed for a mid-tier market and one that caters specifically to elderly users.

The specs definitely betray that fact, with a 1.2 GHz quad-core CPU, 1 GB of RAM and 4 GB of internal storage that can be supplemented via a microSD card. The screen is a 3.5-inch LCD with a resolution of 480×320. Not is it only low, it also stands alone, unlike the dual-screen setup of Samsung’s equivalents. It does have two camera though, an 8 megapixel at the back and a VGA on the front. The 1,700 mAh battery is removable and replaceable.

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The LG Wine Smart has some features designed for older smartphone users, aside from the obvious presence of physical keys, of course. There is a “Safe Keeper” function that will automatically send out an emergency notification, along with necessary information like the phone’s location, to pre-defined numbers in case the smartphone is unused for a set period of time, which could be an indication that something is not right. Amusingly, there is also a dedicated physical button for launching Kakao Talk, presumably because everyone in Korea, even older people, know how to use the instant messaging service.

SOURCE: LG

First look at the Samsung Galaxy A5

Posted by wicked September - 20 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

The Samsung Galaxy Alpha is one good looking phone, and that’s probably one of the best things we can say about it – it feels and looks like a premium phone, albeit having some middling specs. The rumored “A Series” smartphones from Samsung are expected to follow in the trail of the Galaxy Alpha, the first of which has arrived in the SM-A500, to be marketed reportedly as the Samsung Galaxy A5.

The Galaxy A5 will be the first in the three devices expected to come out of this series. It was expected to carry a metal body, taking from its predecessor, but that is not the case as it seems. Sam Mobile quotes an insider that says the material will not be plastic or metal, but something that “feels cold in the hand”. We expect it to be a cheaper alternative to metal – retaining the premium look but should not be as expensive to produce.

The specs will roll out this way – a quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor, a 5-inch HD Super AMOLED display, a 13MP/5MP camera combo, 16GB of internal storage space, and Android 4.4 KitKat including the new version of TouchWiz seen on the Galaxy Note 4. The device will also have a 2,330mAh battery, which should last you through the day, or thereabouts.

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This is, from first look, a for real mid-tier device – although Samsung hopes that the premium “feel” will set it apart from the others in this niche. We sincerely hope that the A Series would throw up a surprise or two, seeing that Samsung has way too many devices on the mid-range level. What do you guys think?

SOURCE: Sam Mobile

LG G3 record-setting billboard is 250m long

Posted by wicked September - 19 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

LG has created a massive new billboard in Saudi Arabia to celebrate the new LG G3 smartphone. This billboard is as longer than two football fields at around 273 yards long. It has been certified by the Guinness World Records Association as being the longest billboard in the world.

The massive advertisement sits along a span of highway near the Riyadh International Airport. In the image, you can see floodlights every few feet along the entire span of the sign; it has to be incredibly bright at night.

LG expects the massive advertisement to be seen by around 20 million people during the year. Official measurements for the gigantic advertisement are 12m W x 250m L.

LG’s Saudi business head says LG “will become the face of the electronic industry greeting airport guests.” Airport visitors certainly won’t miss the giant sign.

SOURCE: Slashgear

Android L to offer devices encryption as default out-of-the-box

Posted by wicked September - 19 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Just to set things straight, encryption of personal data has been available to Android users since 2011. It was one of those features that users rarely talk about and never get around to using. But with the spate of high-profile leaks of personal data – videos, pictures, and the like – a lot more people are now looking to security features in devices to protect sensitive and personal data. Enter Google’s announcement that the next Android operating system release – presently known as Android L and set to be launched pretty soon – will have encryption turned on by default for devices which will carry the new OS.

We can expect that on the newer devices that will run Android L, the activation procedures will now account for automatic encryption. This means that only someone with a password will be able to access all the personal data within the device. “For over three years Android has offered encryption, and keys are not stored off of the device, so they cannot be shared with law enforcement,” said Google spokesperson Niki Christoff. “As part of our next Android release, encryption will be enabled by default out of the box, so you won’t even have to think about turning it on.”

This seems to be a trend in device security these days, as Apple’s latest iOS 8 release also delivers encryption for its devices. Together, Android and iOS cover the large majority of operating systems that run on mobile devices and gadgets globally. The encryption in the new Android release will make it – at the very least – extremely difficult and close to impossible for law enforcement authorities to easily extract evidence from the said devices, even when they are carrying search warrants.

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It will take a while for Android L to proliferate the Android ecosystem globally – it hasn’t even launched officially yet. So in this situation, Android will have a much slower path to tread with making sure that the majority of devices globally will soon carry the encryption feature than Apple’s iOS, which doles out their software updates centrally. Watch out for the Android L launch which should be happening pretty soon.

VIA: Washington Post

Panasonic Lumix CM1 is a smartphone and a real camera in one

Posted by wicked September - 16 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

Panasonic hasn’t been a much of a figure in the Android scene lately apart from its rugged Toughpad series. And it seems that the company is more interested in catering to niche markets compared to other OEMs. Now it has unveiled in Germany the Lumix DMC-CM1, a smartphone camera, or camera smartphone, that has a bit of a split personality.

Truth be told, the combination of Android and camera functionality is nothing new. We’ve got smartphones with cameras slapped on top (Samsung’s Zoom line), cameras running Android (Samsung Galaxy NX), and smartphones with high-quality camera sensors (Sony Xperia Z1, Z2, and Z3). Panasonic’s Lumix CM1, however, is slightly different in the sense that, at least based on specs, it feels more like a digital compact and a smartphone crammed into a single space. That perception is reinforced by the fact that the device even has a switch that toggles between smartphone mode and camera mode, though the exact implications of that are still to be seen.

You could treat the device’s spec sheet seperately, one for the smartphone and one for the camera. The smartphone side is somewhat less interesting, but that doesn’t mean it’s less than decent. Panasonic seems to have really poured out quite a lot in making the smartphone noteworthy. You’ve got a 2.3 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 running inside, paired with 2 GB of RAM and stuffed with 16 GB of storage, expandable with a microSD card, of course. It has Cat 4 LTE support and your usual collection of WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS connectivity. All of that crammed inside a body with a very manageable 4.7-inch 1920×1080 display. Definitely high specs for a small size. And it even runs the latest Android 4.4 version.

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The camera side of the equation is equally formidable and perhaps a tad more exciting, considering it has many of the features you’d expect in dedicated digital cameras today, sans the conventional physical buttons. That said, it does have some manual controls, like a lens ring that lets you set shutter speed, ISO, white balance, exposure, and more. It also has a dedicated shutter release button that gives it an even more authentic camera feel. But if that weren’t enough to convince you that this is a serious digital camera, the fact that it has its own separate image processor might. The Lumix CM1 utilizes Panasonic’s own Venus Engine for delivering quality digital photos. On the sensor side, it boasts of a 1-inch high-sensitivity 20 megapixel MOS. On the lens side, you have a Leica DC Elmarit with a wide-angle 28 mm focal length and a large f/2.8 aperature. For still pictures, it records in both JPEG and RAW, while for video recording it is capable of supporting 4K resolutions.

All of these features are found inside a frame that is admittedly thicker and heavier than your conventional smartphone, 21 mm and 204 g, respectively, but definitely less than an equivalent digital camera. Availability of this rather interesting piece of digital photography equipment is still unknown, but we’ll be sure to update you when the details start coming in.

SOURCE: Panasonic
VIA: SlashGear