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iPhone 6 Plus vs OnePlus One quick look

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

The iPhone 6 Plus is intruding into Android territory. Thing is, the large-screen segment is already crowded with competitors of large caliber. We’ve already looked at how the Note 3 and LG G3 compare to the new 5.5-inch iPhone, and now it’s time for the OnePlus One to show what it’s made of.

The OnePlus One delivers top specifications and an optimized Android experience at half the price of the iPhone 6 Plus. But who wins when price is no consideration? Let’s see how these devices stack up in our iPhone 6 Plus vs OnePlus One comparison!

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There’s no way around it – the iPhone 6 Plus is basically a stretched out version of its 4.7-inch sibling. You get the same full metal unibody construction, rounded edges all around, and the signature home button, with integrated fingerprint scanner, up front, all in a larger body.

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Like other large Android devices, the OnePlus is more compact than Apple’s phablet, even if the screen’s the same size. There’s no metal here though, with the OPO coming in either a “baby skin” white version or a sandstone black version, which offer different textures as well.

While the OnePlus One is shorter and lighter, the iPhone 6 Plus is definitely thinner. At 7.1 mm, the 6 Plus is one of the thinnest smartphones you can get in this size category.

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Both devices feel great in hand (the OPO is helped by its tapered profile) and are fairly easy to use even with one hand, when the situation requires it. The iPhone may feel more luxurious and sturdy, thanks to its metallic build, but the OnePlus offers the advantage of an improved grip, at least when it comes to the sandstone version.

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Apple giving into the trend of bigger smartphones means that the display comparison is a much more level playing field compared to past years.

The 6 Plus features a 5.5-inch IPS LCD display, while the OPO comes with a LTPS LCD screen of the same size. Both feature 1080p resolution, resulting in an identical pixel density of 401 ppi.

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The experience is largely the same on both devices. We have to mention that some units of the OnePlus exhibit a yellowish tinge, but when that’s not the case, you get bright colors, good brightness, and great viewing angles. The iPhone 6 Plus uses a tech called dual-pixel domains to improve color accuracy when the screen is viewed at an angle, and it works as advertised for the most part.

Hardware and performance

The iPhone 6 Plus packs a dual-core A8 processor, clocked at 1.4 GHz, along with 1 GB of RAM. The OPO on the other hand comes with a processing package that is the current standard in the Android world, with its Snapdragon 801 chip clocked at 2.5 GHz, backed by 3 GB of RAM.

While there is an obvious difference on paper, it isn’t very evident in real world performance. Regardless what you do on these phones, you will have a smooth, quick experience.

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The iPhone 6 Plus comes with 16, 64, 0r 128 GB of storage, while the OPO comes in 16 GB and 64 GB flavors. Neither offers the option of expandable storage, so you’ll want to plan ahead before opting for one configuration or the other. It’s probably worth investing in the 64GB model of the OnePlus, as it costs less than half the price of the 64GB iPhone 6 Plus, provided you can buy it in the first place.

Apple finally introduced NFC with their devices, even if the use is limited to just Apple Pay for now. Also worth noting is the return of the fingerprint scanner, which is convenient to use as an extra layer of security. Plus, starting with iOS 8, the fingerprint scanner can be used by third-party applications, opening the road for more interesting uses in the future.

Both phones feature non-removable batteries, but the OnePlus has a slight edge in capacity, thanks to its 3,100 mAh unit, compared to 2,915 mAh on the iPhone. We didn’t have time for proper battery tests, so the real world difference in longevity remains to be discussed.

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The iPhone 6 Plus keeps the 8 MP rear shooter from its predecessors, though it comes with a new sensor, an f /2.2 aperture lens, faster autofocus, and optical image stabilization (which isn’t available on the iPhone 6). Video gets a boost too, especially with the ability to capture slow motion video at 240 fps in 720p resolution.

The 13MP Sony Exmor RS sensor of the OnePlus is combined with a 6 parts lens with an f/2.0 aperture, dual LED flash, and a great software package with many useful features, that allows for a great camera experience. On the front, you get a 5MP camera with a wide lens that enables an 80 degrees field of view, which is great for all selfie lovers out there.

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On the iPhone 6 Plus, the iOS8 UI remains largely the same with iOS7 in terms of appearance. But there are many new features, such as support for third-party keyboards, widgets in the notification dropdown, and the new Health app. Probably the most exciting new feature is Continuity, which will allow the iPhone to work in tandem with Macs or iPads, so you can start a task on one device and continue on the other.

You also get the new “Reachability” feature, that lets you bring down the entire interface of the device with a double tap on the home screen. The same feature is available on the smaller iPhone 6, but it doesn’t make as much sense there due to the smaller size.

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The OnePlus One runs CyanogenMod 11S, a release built specifically for the One to take advantage of all its hardware and features, and is based on Android 4.4 KitKat. You get a clean, minimalistic stock-like experience, with various customization options available easily from the device’s theme engine and store. Useful software features include voice commands that work even when the device is sleeping and the ability to launch favorite apps by drawing pre-set gestures on a sleeping screen.

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Wrap up

While price isn’t usually a factor in flagship comparisons, because they tend to fall in the same price range, that certainly isn’t the case here. In their basic configurations, the OnePlus One can be bought for less than half the price of the iPhone 6 Plus.

Put another way, you could enjoy an experience that is largely comparable to the 6 Plus and still have money left for another device, say, for your significant other. That’s probably the ultimate selling point for the OnePlus.

Even when price isn’t an issue, these two devices are very close in terms of features, though obviously their different software platforms will make for distinct experiences.

What’s your take?  OnePlus One or iPhone 6 Plus?

iPhone 6 Plus vs Galaxy Note 3 quick look

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

Over the past hours, we’ve brought you comparisons between Apple’s new iPhones and the Galaxy S5, HTC One (M8), and the LG G3. Now it’s time for another quick look, and this time we have two heavyweights in the ring: the iPhone 6 Plus and the Galaxy Note 3.

While the Note 3 is a year old, it’s still the device to beat for Apple’s new-fangled large screen iPhone 6 Plus. The Note 4 is just around the corner, but until its release next month, the Note 3 remains the epitome of what a large phone should be.

Time to see who comes on top in our iPhone 6 Plus vs Galaxy Note 3 quick look comparison!

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The iconic design of our two contenders is recognizable around the world. The iPhone 6 Plus is just a larger rendition of a concept that has remain virtually unchanged for years – the circular home button, the rounded corners, the top and bottom antenna lines on the back, all make a return.

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Samsung has more experience in designing and building large phones, and that shows in the streamlined lines of the Note 3 and its large screen-to-footprint ratio. The iPhone 6 Plus falls short in this respect.

The large bezels at the top and bottom of the iPhone 6 Plus – while necessary to accommodate the Touch ID home button and to preserve the form factor – make the 6 Plus much larger than it needs to be. The 6 Plus is actually larger than the Note 3, even if its screen is 0.2 inches smaller. Even if it’s a bit thicker than the iPhone, the Note looks more compact, for the same reason.

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The Note 3 features a plastic build with a faux leather texture on the back. This mimicry, and especially the faux stitching going around the phone’s edges, is polarizing among users. However, the leathery texture does give the Note 3 an excellent grip in hand.

The metal body of the iPhone feels very premium, and makes for a durable device, as we’ve seen in our earlier drop test. The rounded edges are a nice departure from the rigid shape of past generations, and help the phone sit very comfortably in hand. The metal is a bit slippery though, while the protruding camera will cause the phone to wobble when used on flat surfaces like a desk top.

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To sum up, the iPhone 6 Plus may be more tastefully designed, but the Note 3 has a bigger screen in a smaller body, which is an important feature in this product category.


The biggest difference in the display department is the technology underlying the screens of the two phones. Samsung uses a Full HD AMOLED screen with deep blacks and colors that just pop, while Apple has an LCD screen of the same resolution that is a bit more restrained in terms of saturation. It doesn’t take an expert to notice the difference – picking one approach over the other boils down to personal preference, though the Note 3 offers a way to tone down color saturation, so it’s more flexible in this regard.

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Both displays are crisp, viewing angles are great, and brightness is excellent, though we feel the Note 3 has a slight edge. Regardless, these truly are the best that LCD and AMOLED technologies have to offer, at least until the Note 4 comes along next month.

Performance and hardware

At a high level, the Note 3 has a more impressive spec sheet. We can’t forget though that we’re talking about very different platforms and ecosystems, so the difference in performance may not be as clear cut as spec sheets alone would indicate.

The 6 Plus comes with a dual-core A8 processor and 1GB of RAM, but that’s enough to make the device fly through the user interface and apps. The Note 3 is no slouch either, even if it’s already a year old – the Snapdragon 800 remains a top processor, which helped by the 3 GB of RAM, makes easy work out of most tasks. With that said, some optimization on the software side would probably make it run even smoother.

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You get 16, 64, or 128GB of storage on the iPhone 6 (though the top configuration will cost you a pretty penny). The Note 3 only hits 64GB, with the microSD card slot available to make up the difference.

While the Note series has had NFC for years, Apple just adopted it for its new iPhone, but there’s a catch – the chip is locked, so it’s only useful for the Apple Pay service for now.

Like the iPhone 5S, the 6 Plus incorporates a fingerprint scanner in its home button, which should make life easier if you’re concerned about security. Samsung only introduced a similar feature on the Galaxy S5, so you will need to wait for the Note 4 to enjoy it.

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When it comes to battery life, the Note 3 is one of the leading devices, and it will be interesting to see how the iPhone 6 Plus competes. The Note 3 has a 3oo mAh advantage in battery capacity, so it will probably outrace the iPhone in longevity. Plus, the battery is removable, so a spare unit could further extend usage.

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The Note 3 comes with a 13MP rear camera that does a great job in bright scenes, with crisp details and fine color reproduction. This camera is also known for its good macros, solid video, and a ton of software features and options.

It’s in low-light conditions that the Note 3 shows its limits, which is a problem that is common on many smartphones, especially when there’s no OIS to prevent noise.

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Apple stuck to 8MP for the rear camera of the iPhone 6 Plus, but the sensor is supposedly all new. Thanks to a tech called Focus Pixels, this camera should be able to focus almost instantly, which can be helpful in a variety of situations. Plus, there’s optical image stabilization, which you don’t get on the Note.

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8MP is at the low limit of smartphone camera technology today, so if larger, more detailed pics is something you want, the Note 3 is the way to go. If top notch image quality is what you’re after, you can’t go wrong with the iPhone 6 Plus.


The Note 3’s software features revolve around the S Pen stylus – features like Air Command, S Note, floating apps, Scrapbook, S Finder, handwriting recognition are all made possible by the handy little stylus that hides in the Note 3’s slot.

Samsung is making good use of screen real estate with the Multi-Window feature, which lets you open up two apps at a time. Floating apps lets you pin small utility apps like calculator or S Note on the screen for easy access.

Galaxy Note 3 S Pen pen window

But the S Pen can be useful across the operating system, whenever precision is important. Plus, it’s a great tool if you love to doodle or handwrite your notes.

The iPhone 6 Plus comes with the same colorful interface introduced last year, but with a bevy of new features that bring iOS closer to Android in terms of functionality. Features like widgets, custom keyboards, app extensions, and app battery usage breakdown are welcome additions. Continuity is something that you don’t get on Android out of the box – the ability to start a task on the iPhone and continue on a compatible Mac or iPad seems really cool, but of course, you need to be deep into Apple’s ecosystem to really enjoy it.

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Overall, the iPhone 6 Plus is a competent device, but the Note 3 is the better productivity device, with its powerful stylus and multitasking features. Samsung has figured out ways to use the large screen to its fullest, while the 6 Plus is mostly just a larger version of the iPhone 6.

Wrap up

We won’t issue a verdict after this quick look, but we’ll do list the features that we think tip the scale in favor of one device or the other. The Note 3 comes ahead thanks to its compact build and larger screen, larger, removable battery and microSD card slot (though not all users care about that), more hardware features, and especially the S Pen and all its software features. The iPhone 6 Plus has a premium build and a solid unibody construction, a fingerprint scanner, a great camera, and a fine-tuned operating system.

Who comes on top in your opinion? List your pros and cons in the comments!

Zopo ZP320 review, a 5 inch 4G smartphone for those on a budget

Posted by wicked September - 13 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

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At A Glance

  • 4G
  • Sleek design
  • Price
  • Micro SD card slot (up to 64GB)
  • Sub 720p display
  • Limited internal storage


The ZP320 is one of the latest releases by the Chinese smartphone maker Zopo. It features a quad-core MediaTek processor and a 5 inch display. Running Android 4.4, this 4G smartphone is worth checking out.

Zopo has been making Android smartphones for several years, but this is the first time I have had a chance to review one. Earlier this year MediaTek released a new multimode LTE modem chipset – the MT6290. As a result, Chinese OEMs, like Zopo, have started to ship their new generation of 4G-LTE phones. I received a ZP320 a few days ago and I have been testing it to see what Zopo can bring to the table.

Spec sheet

Display 5 inch, IPS, 960 x 540
Processor 1.3GHz, quad-core Mediatek MT6582, Cortex-A7
Storage 8GB, microSD card slot, up to 64GB
Camera 8 Megapixel Rear Camera, 2 Megapixel Front Camera
Battery 2300 mAh
Connectivity GPS, microUSB 2.0, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth
Networks GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz. 3G 900/2100MHz. 4G LTE 800/1800/2600MHz.
Software Android 4.4 with Google Play
Dimensions 142 x 71 x 9.8 mm.
Colors White, Black
SIM slots 1x micro SIM


For a five inch device the Zopo ZP320 looks sleek, even thin. The numbers tell me that the device is the same size and thickness as many other five inch devices, but yet to my eyes it just looked thinner and narrower. After studying it closely I have come to the conclusion that the bezels are a fraction thinner than I was expecting and the top and bottom areas are not as wide as on other phones. At the top the ear piece grill and camera are almost touching the edge of the phone. The result is that the phone looks more compact than it really is. We are only talking about fractions of a millimeter but it does the trick. The designers at Zopo should be congratulated.

The corners of the ZP320 are distinctly rounded in three directions. On the front side the drop off from the corner is flat but not sharp. Running around the whole phone is a think silver band which marks the edge of the phone and the start of the back cover.

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On the very top edge of the device is the micro USB port (used for charging and data transfer) and the headphone jack. On the bottom edge the smooth plastic is interrupted only temporarily for the small microphone hole. All the controls are on the right, first comes the volume keys, and below them the power button. If you hold the phone in your left hand it is very easy to reach the buttons with your fingers.

The back covered has a small dimple effect in plastic, which gives it a slight matte appearance, but it also means the device is easy to grip and doesn’t feel slippery. On the back is the 8MP camera along with an LED flash. The camera lens has a silver ring around it which ever so slightly protrudes from the back of the device. This means it doesn’t lay perfectly flat on a table, however the small dots on either side of the speaker grill are just as much to blame. Of course they are there to ensure that the speaker isn’t muffled when placed down. On the back there is also a second microphone, something that is often missing on lower end phones. The second mic should give better sound when recording video.

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The IPS display on the ZP320 is bright and vibrant, with good viewing angles, however its sub 720p resolution is a bit of a disappointment. The bottom bezel houses the three capacitive keys which light up when pressed.

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At the heart of the ZP320 is a MediaTek MTK6582 . It is a quad-core Cortex-A7 based processor that is coupled with an ARM Mali-400 MP GPU. The device isn’t going to win any gold medals for performance, however the MediaTek processor easily ensures that the overall experience is fluid and responsive.

The ZP320 AnTuTu scores are respectable considering the low-end processor and the price point. Antutu v5.0 gives the device a score of 18795 which means the device is comparable to the Nexus 4 and the Moto G. For Epic Citadel, the demo app for the Unreal 3D engine, the ZP320 managed 53.8 frames per second (fps) on the High Performance setting, and 53.6 fps in the High Quality mode.


The GPS performance of the ZP320 is excellent. I tested the device inside my house and it was able to get a lock using the signals from a dozen satellites. Getting a lock while indoors is quite unusual for a low- to mid- range phone. Very impressive.


The ZP320 has a good sized battery at 2300 mAh. After some testing I found that the battery performance was on-par with my expectations, maybe even better. When running Epic Citadel, in its Guided Tour mode, the device lasts just under 5.5 hours before it runs out of juice. For YouTube streaming (over Wi-Fi) the device can handle around 10 hours on one charge. Watching an MP4 movie from the internal storage yields around 10.5 hours of viewing pleasure. All the tests were carried out with the screen on half brightness, syncing enabled and Wi-Fi on.

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The Zopo ZP320 is a single SIM device and supports 3G on 900/2100MHz and 4G on 800/1800/2600MHz. The different 4G providers around the world use pre-defined frequency bands. My carrier uses 1800MHz, so the ZP320 worked with 4G without any problems. The speed tests I performed confirmed much higher throughput than those I get on 3G. The bands listed are popular ones used in many parts of Africa, some but not all parts of Central and South America and large parts of Asia. In Europe, basically every carrier uses one of the bands supported by this device. Unfortunately none of the North American carriers use these frequencies. Before buying the phone you should check with your carrier to ensure compatibility, or if you trust Wikipedia then it has a global list of LTE networks.

This device is compatible with two 3G frequencies, 900 and 2100MHz. The latter is the most common 3G frequency and should work in most places around the world, however a lot of carriers also use secondary 3G spectrum ranges. In Asia and South America this is often 850MHz and 1900MHz, for Europe it tends to be 900MHz. The 3G won’t work in the USA, however 2G calls should work fine. You need to check with your carrier to ensure compatibility or check the List of UMTS networks page.

I compared the Wi-Fi signals strengths of the ZP320 with other devices I have and it performed equally as well. I was able to access the Internet from all around the house and outside without any problems.


The 8MP camera on the ZP320 is distinctly average. The auto-focus can have trouble with close-up shots and there is a danger of bleaching in strong sunlight. However with care, you can still take reasonable pictures. The built-in camera app has all the normal features and functions like face detection, HDR and panorama mode. Because the phone runs Android 4.4 KitKat you can also use Google’s camera app if you don’t like the built-in one. The best thing to do is to look at the pictures below and decide for yourself.

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The ZP320 comes with stock Android 4.4.2 with a slightly modified launcher and a few other minor tweaks. The settings page uses color icons (rather than the standard monochrome ones) and there are a few special functions like HotKnot, a NFC alternative; some simple gesture sensing, which don’t really work; and smart wake functions, which allow you to draw on the screen when the device is asleep to wake it directly into certain apps like the camera.


The ZP320 comes with full Google Play support and all of the normal Google apps are available. For those Google apps not pre-installed, a quick trip to the Play Store gets you everything you need.

The 8GB of internal storage will be limiting for many users. Only 6.06GB of the 8GB is usable. 0.88GB is set aside for apps (marked as internal storage) and 5.18GB is for data (marked as phone storage). There is a micro SD card slot which accepts cards up to 64GB and the phone can be set to use the SD card as the default write location. However even with an SD card installed, the internal storage is still used for apps. There is the option to move apps to the phone storage, however there doesn’t seem to be away to get the device to move apps to the SD card.


Pricing and conclusion

If you are looking for a cheap way to get a 4G phone then the Zopo ZP320 is worth considering. It has a sleek design and there is the option for a big SD card, however the way the flash storage is split could be a problem. The Zopo ZP320 costs just $169.99 and you can get one from Geekbuying.

Do you know all the features in your Sony Xperia Z3?

Posted by wicked September - 12 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

It’s so easy to stick to your usual technology and services when migrating devices. New phones often come with new features that will blow your mind and change your daily lives, but we often dismiss them. Sony wants to make sure you don’t fall in this black tech hole.

The Japanese manufacturer has posted an article listing 9 things “you didn’t know you could do” with your Sony Xperia Z3. We are willing to bet many of you don’t know every single one of these features, so let’s go over the list together.

  • Mobile payments: This phone has an NFC chip, allowing it to handle tap-and-pay services like ISIS.
  • Optimize audio settings for Sony headphones: This phone can recognize what Sony headphones you are using and optimize the sound specifically for them.
  • Video recording pause: You don’t need to stop while recording now. The Sony Xperia Z3 allows you to pause and continue recording at will, keeping it all in one clip.
  • Video screen capturing: You can record what you are doing in your screen, much like screen cap in a computer.
  • Customizable settings: The settings in the notification area are very customizable, making them easier to use.
  • Stamina mode: The Sony Xperia Z3 has amazing battery life, but if you really need to push your battery’s boundaries you can use Sony’s Stamina modes to extend battery life to over a week.
  • Better screen rotation: The device improves auto rotation based on how you hold your device. Ever tried using a phone laying down? You will love the Xperia Z3 if you have.
  • Gestures: The Xperia Z3 does all the cool things you can wish for, like double-tapping to wake, turning phone to silence and holding your device to your face to answer a call.
  • Unlock with bluetooth: This one is a bit of a new one. If you have a Sony smartwatch or bluetooth accessory. You can set it to bypass your password or pin to unlock your device when in close proximity.

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Those are some great tips, and some of them even we didn’t realize were there! We have to tip our hats to Sony for those quick tips. If you want to learn more you can also check out our hands-on coverage of the Sony Xperia Z3. You can also hit the source link to get more details from Sony.

It’s one hell of a device, so you have to make sure you take full advantage of it.

Source: Sony;

New Moto X Pure Edition: unlocked, off-contract and with no slowdowns

Posted by wicked September - 12 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

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The New Moto X is one hell of a device, but we know the system can be a bit hectic (especially in the USA). Contracts, update delays and locked SIM card slots are problems we must deal with. If you want to avoid such difficulties, Motorola just may have the solution for you.

This Moto X Pure Edition would come without limitations or cumbersome delays.

A new report from The Verge states the unlocked, unbranded version of the new Moto X is to be labeled as “Pure Edition”. This Moto X Pure Edition would come without limitations or cumbersome delays.

We all know carrier-branded smartphones get updates much later, as the carrier has to optimize these for their network and services. It doesn’t help that they are often SIM-locked, forcing you to stay with the same network or purchase a whole new smartphone.

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Purchasing off-contract, unlocked devices is starting to become more attractive. Especially as powerful phones become more affordable. The Moto X Pure Edition (if it is to be called that) seems like a great option. We have tested the device and fell in love with it.

You can check out our hands-on to see what the device is all about. It is important to note the UI is very similar to stock Android, which makes it even more enticing for “purists”. We expect a September release, so get your cash ready!

Via: The Verge;

Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 will bring LTE to all

Posted by Tom September - 11 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Budget smartphones can experience the joys of LTE connectivity thanks to the upcoming Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 chipset.

Aimed at emerging markets, the Snapdragon 210 will have 1.1GHz quad-core Cortex-A7 CPUs, Adreno 304 GPU, Bluetooth, 802.11m WiFi, and support form 720p displays and 8-megapixel cameras.

The 210s are expected to launch at the start of 2015, and will see Qualcomm trying to increase their 27% market share.

Via engadget

Huawei Ascend G7 first look

Posted by wicked September - 5 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

While the Ascend Mate 7 is certainly the bigger announcement from Huawei this week, at IFA 2014 the company also showed off the mid-tier Ascend G7. We were able to get our hands on the device for a little while, taking a quick first look at the G7. Like the Mate 7, the device has a metal design with a rigid feel to it but provides a slender grippable experience as a result. Where things differ substantially is in overall size and specs.

Instead of a 6-inch full HD display, you get a 5.5-inch 720p screen. Gone is the octa-core Huawei processor, replaced with a 64-bit capable Snapdragon 410. Other specs include 2GB RAM, 16GB storage (no expansion), LTE, a 13MP main camera, a 5MP front cam and a 3000 mAh battery that should provide at the very least a full day’s battery life on a single charge and likely you may even be able to stretch it longer than that. Turning to the software, the Ascend G7 offers pretty much the same experience as the higher-end Mate 7, complete with the Emotion UI and new, simplified camera app.

The Huawei Ascend G7 might not be the most exciting handset, but it’s still an attractive mid-range device that could be perfect for someone lured in by the Mate 7 but looking for something even more affordable. The G7 is expected to price around 299 euros ($387) when it launches in Europe later this year.

Thanko portable charger doubles as an electric razor

Posted by Tom September - 4 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

If there are two things we can forget to do on a daily basis it’s charge our phones and shave.

Thanko has a solution to both: a 5,200mAh mobile battery for charging smartphones that doubles as an electric razor for shaving on the go.

The innovative charger is out in Japan at 3,980 yen (US $37) and can accommodate USB and microUSB cables.

Via akihabaranews

Four camera apps to come with Sony Xperia Z3

Posted by wicked September - 4 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

The phone camera has evolved from just being a simple, bonus accessory to an essential part of the smartphone’s unique selling proposition. And it’s not just about having higher megapixels and features, but to what else you can do with it that you can’t do with other smartphones. The newly-launched Sony Xperia Z3 wants to get ahead of everyone else with four camera apps for their “smart social camera” that aim to revolutionise how we take pictures and videos.

The Face in app will let you capture both the view that you’re taking and your reaction to it by allowing you to use both the front and back cameras at the same time. You can overlay the images as creatively as you want and “take selfies to another level” (but do we really need that?). If you’ve always wanted to have photos that can capture the actual sound, Xperia devices now have this app called, what else, Sound Photo. When you press the shutter inside the app, 10 seconds of sound and 1 second of animation are recorded. You’ll be able to view these sound photos in your Xperia album or share it on the Play Moments stream.

If you have friends who also have Xperia devices, then you’ll have fun using the Multi camera app which can let you record videos from up to three different angles at the same time and combine it into a single video. Among the four camera apps, AR fun sounds like the most, uhm, fun. It lets you add real life objects, animation, drawings, scribbles to your photos and videos while you’re taking them. And even if you move the camera while shooting, the AR stays in place.

Aside from the four apps, the Xperia Z3 also has a live on YouTube camera that lets you broadcast up to 15 minutes your live footage. So if you want to have a live broadcast of your vlog or cooking show or mini-concert, you can now do so. All of this sounds fun, but probably only if you’re an Xperia owner. We doubt if these apps will be available for other devices, so you have to get an Xperia Z3 if they sound irresistible to you.

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VIA: Xperia Blog

Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact: PS4 Remote Play, 20MP, and more

Posted by wicked September - 3 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

Sony has introduced its new Xperia Z3 and its more svelte sibling, the Xperia Z3 Compact. The flagship and its smaller iteration share many of the same features, not the least of which is PlayStation 4 Remote Play and the promise of two days of run time on a single charge. As we’ve come to expect from Sony, both new Xperia phones are waterproof, as well.

Sony Xperia Z3

The Xperia Z3 flagship brings with it a 5.2-inch Full HD display with 10-finger multitouch support, and as previously seen, it will be available in Black, White, Copper, and Silver Green (the D6603/D6653 models, that is). This is joined by a 20.7-megapixel rear camera with 8x digital zoom and 3x Clear Image zoon, LED flash, and 4K video recording.

Under the hood, the Xperia Z3 has a 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AC quad-core processor alongside 3GB of RAM and up to 16GB of internal storage, depending on model (the two aforementioned models, as well as the D6643 and the D6633). There’s a microSD expansion slot that supports SDXC cards up to 128GB.


The whole roster of sensors are present: accelerometer, ambient light sensor, barometer, game rotation vector, geomagnetic rotation vector, magnetometer, step counter and detector, significant motion detector, and proximity sensor. Talking only of the D6633 model, the phone will offer up to 540 hours standby time for GSM+LTE.

For the D6633 model, the handset offers wide supports for networks: UMTS HSPA+ 850 Band 5, 900, 1700 (Band 4), 1900 (Band 2), 2100 (Band 1), GSM GPRS/EDGE 850, 900, 1800, 1900, and LTE Bands 1 – 8, 17, and 20.


Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

The Z3 Compact is in many ways similar to its larger sibling, but brings with it a 4.6-inch display rather than the larger 5.2-inches. The colors are brighter, as you can see in the images below, coming in at the traditional black and white, as well as orange and green.


The smartphone itself measures in at 129 grams and 8.6mm thick, and is otherwise styled just like the larger smartphone: essentially, the Compact is merely a smaller handset for those who find 5+ inches to be too large for comfortable use.



Both the Z3 and the Z3 Compact have front-facing stereo speakers that work alongside S-Force Front Surround. As a first for the Z3 series is Sony’s DSEE HX technology, which upscales MP3 and AAC audio (and music on Music Unlimited) for a better sounding quality.

This is joined by the aforementioned PS4 Remote Play feature, which Sony doesn’t fail to point out makes these the only two smartphones with this feature. There’s IP65/68 waterproofing and dust-resistance, the use of TRIMLUMINOS display with Live Color LED and X-Reality, and SteadyShot with Intelligent Active Mode.

Both phones launch this fall, prices not yet known.