Posts Tagged smartphone
Samsung, with a vast portfolio of smartphone devices and more seeming to hit the market on a weekly basis, is also the leader in patents related to smartphones. According to a new study by Thomson Reuters, Samsung applied for 2,179 patents related to smartphones, more than three times the number applied for by their biggest rival, Apple, which had 647 patents.
According to the report, LG came in second with 1,678 patents as it works on moving up to the number three position in the smartphone market. Other companies with significant numbers of patents related to smartphones included Qualcomm with 1,383, Sony with 1,071, Panasonic with 976, and Sharp with 963.
source: The Korea Economic Daily
Come comment on this article: New study names Samsung the leader in smartphone patents
The Samsung Z smartphone was unveiled earlier this month, officially making it the first smartphone to come with its homegrown Tizen operating system. And a new leak coming courtesy of the FCC has given us a glimpse of an early prototype of the smartphone with an entirely different design. It seems like the handset leaked here is nothing but the ZeQ 9000 which was initially believed to be the first Tizen smartphone from the company, until the Samsung Z was announced.
One of the key factors for ditching this in favor of the Z could be the design as Samsung was striving to make its Tizen offerings stand out from the Android devices that it launches on regular intervals. The Samsung Z was impressive as far as design was concerned, but offered nothing extraordinary in the hardware department.
It’s good to get a glimpse of what might have been, with Samsung ultimately choosing to go in a different direction. The device also has carrier branding on it, so we’re guessing the design was changed at the very last minute. Do you like what Samsung did with the Z or would you have preferred something like this?
Via: Phone Arena
As to whether or not Amazon needed to make a smartphone of its own, that is for CEO Jeff Bezos to decide. In an interview with Bits, Bezos explains why Amazon opted to manufacturer its own smartphone and enter into a crowded, cutthroat market. He wanted to produce a device that was differentiated from today’s offerings, but wanted differentiation that mattered.
When pushed on the fact that the company may have waited to long, Bezos said “I don’t want to judge before all the facts are in, but I think this wireless thing is going to be big.” He then recalls five years ago when Nokia and BlackBerry were massive players in the wireless industry. Bezos clearly shows no signs of hesitation. The interviewer then questioned price, to which Bezos did not even budge. He defended the storage (32GB) and the extras from Amazon Prime and bundling one year of that service for free along with the premium build quality. Durability in the long run is something he and the company admires when seeing older Kindle devices still roaming around in the world.
So before the Fire Phone was developed, what was Jeff Bezos’ go-to? A Samsung smartphone, although he did not clarify which model. Interestingly enough, Bezos proudly said “the thing I’ve noticed is when I switch back to another phone, I’m still reaching for the gestures that work so reliably on Fire phone, like autoscroll.” But if he was using one of Samsung’s flagship smartphones, he would indeed be able to scroll with his eyes, right? Just a little thought.
Hit the source link for the full interview with Bezos.
Source: Bits (The New York Times)
Come comment on this article: Jeff Bezos gives insight behind the Fire Phone, admits to having used a Samsung smartphone
There aren’t many phones that come with hardware-based optical image stabilization solutions to help take better photos and video without the unfortunate side effects of holding a camera with your hand. Even more troubling is that the phones that do have OIS don’t always produce the most desirable results.
Enter the next best thing. StayblCam is a stabilizer baton that has been custom built to fit any smartphone and most compact cameras with standard tripod screw holes. It features a gyroscope-enabled grip in the center of the pole that you grip with your thumb and index finger to control camera movement and angles.
You can use your ring and pinky fingers to control the baton for some really advanced movie-level camera panning. The result of the gyroscope grip’s use is smooth cinematography without the nausea-inducing shakiness that typically associates most footage taken with smartphones. The StayblCam’s length can be adjusted in case you need those high-angle shots, and its ability to be used upside down gives you a lot of versatility in the shots you want to take.
So how can you get one? Kickstarter, that’s how. There are just 5 days left on the campaign, and the product is poised to launch as the goal has already been exceeded by more than double. The cheapest backing option to grab one of these as of the time of this writing is $74, though that’s without any additional accessories or perks. Pay a bit more and you’ll be in for GoPro mounts, lens attachments and all sorts of extra goodies that could elevate your smartphone camera game.
This obviously isn’t a tool that everyone is going to deem necessary, but if you have a desire to improve your smartphone camera footage and have been looking for an inexpensive solution to a widespread problem this is one of the most promising answers. The first units are slated to ship as early as July 14th, though if past Kickstarters are anything to go by we wouldn’t put a heavy amount of stock into that window.
Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi might have just outed its very first Android tablet, but it is already at work on its next smartphone, currently dubbed the Mi4 or Miphone 4. According to rumors, Xiaomi’s next hot seller will boast of a 5-inch display and a rather premium metal body.
Smartphone manufacturers use plastic in order to cut down the costs of making the device, but some will naturally come out feeling and looking cheap. The rumor that Xiaomi, whose affordable smartphones sell like hotcakes every time, will be trying out its luck with a metal-encased smartphone will surely excite its loyal fans. It could also worry them about a substantial price bump.
In terms of other rumored specs, the fourth Xiaomi flagship is believed to bear an unnamed quad-core chip, which could be of any capacity. There is also a 5-inch “retina” display, though the exact resolution is also left out. There will be a 16 megapixel rear shooter, though the size of the front-facing camera is also, you’ve guessed it, not mentioned. The Xiaomi Mi4 made its way through China’s Quality Certification Center, where it was stopped for a short unofficial photo op that betrays an initial design that looks vaguely familiar with devices from the company’s competitors.
Given the rather high profile status of Xiaomi’s devices, we’re sure to hear more about this next gen smartphone moving forward towards the unveiling. As for the announcement, the recent tip says that it should happen around September this year, which should also coincide with other similar events, like IFA Congress 2014, happening during that month.
Ever since Apple launched their iPhone 5S with a 64-bit processor, other manufacturers have been trying to catch up and launch their own 64-bit devices. So far, we haven’t seen much of it in the wild, but we know Qualcomm is working on their own 64-bit processors for smartphones. A new mid-range Samsung smartphone looks like it’s going to use the Snapdragon 410 CPU, which also happens to be a 64-bit chip, making it Samsung’s first 64-bit smartphone ever.
The device showed up in benchmarks with a 4.8-inch qHD screen, 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of internal storage, and the Snapdragon 410 and Adreno 306 combo. It’s not a flagship device, and benchmarks weren’t stellar, but it’s pretty early in development, so the performance may improve later on.
via: Phone Arena
Come comment on this article: First 64-bit Samsung smartphone hinted at in benchmark
Huawei is back with a solid, if frustrating, new Android smartphone
Huawei may still be making inroads in western markets, but success elsewhere has seen the Chinese company rise to be the world’s No. 3 smartphone maker. That’s behind Samsung and Apple, no less. In Europe we’ve seen a number of cheap, low-to-mid range smartphones from Huawei but a truly high-end, desirable smartphone is much rarer.
With 2013′s Ascend P6, Huawei took a positive, yet flawed, step towards offering that. The hardware wasn’t so bad but it was let down by a sub-par software experience. But now, Huawei is back for another go at cracking it with the Ascend P7. Launched to the world in Paris, France, Huawei made plenty of bold claims about its latest flagship release. Bold claims that took direct aim at some of the smartphone elite.
So, does the Ascend P7 live up to said claims? Is it enough to take on the latest and greatest from the likes of Samsung, Apple and the rest? Head on past the break for our full review.
It was only a matter of time before Amazon launched a smartphone. In the past 10 years, the company’s extended its reach from the online realm into physical hardware, and after the addition of the Fire TV recently, the smartphone was the last major device genre it hadn’t explored. Amazon’s filled that void with the Fire phone, an AT&T-exclusive smartphone that ships in late July for just under $200. CEO Jeff Bezos spent over an hour on stage discussing the new phone’s litany of features and how its uniqueness gives it an advantage over most other handsets the Fire phone will compete with. It’s true: No other devices have six cameras and quick access to tech support, and features like Firefly and Dynamic Perspective help give the device a flavor of its own.
Ready for an Amazon smartphone? We sure are. We’re here in Seattle, waiting to get our first look at whatever it is Amazon has in store for us. While we’re all anticipating a smartphone, it can’t be just hardware, can it?
Amazon has already tipped their hat with a music streaming service, which is (naturally) aimed at Prime members. That was quietly expected to happen today, as we’d heard rumblings weeks ahead that it was happening. Aside from that, what can we expect?
The device itself — and there will be a device, of that we’re certain — has some sort of visual twist to it (maybe literally). A posted video teasing the event had users tweakingthe phone and craning their eyes, ooh-ing and aah-ing the entire time. Are those 3D screen rumors true?
Whatever it is, we’re front and center for the occasion, so be sure to keep an eye out here for all your Amazon device news! In the meantime, we want to know what you’re looking for from this phone. If we had our one wish, it would be Play Store apps — what about you?
LG has produced two great Nexus smartphones with the Nexus 4 and the Nexus 5. And when asked if the company will be interested in a third Nexus smartphone, LG’s spokesperson Ken Hong has claimed that the company does not have a Nexus smartphone in the pipeline for this year.
Of course we’d expect something similar coming from a company executive, given how strict Google is about its devices and pre launch suspense. But considering that we haven’t seen Google stick with the same manufacturer for more than two Nexus smartphones, we are bound to take the spokesperson’s word seriously.
Google is expected to launch a premium line of Android smartphones known as “Android Silver“, which would mean the demise of the Nexus program. So those reports do hold some weight. But it’s hard to say anything for sure until November which is usually when the Nexus smartphones are refreshed.
If Google is indeed looking to replace LG as the manufacturer for its Nexus smartphones or Android Silver devices, who could the next candidate be? Will it be Samsung which is currently the top smartphone OEM in the world. Or will Google pick a company like HTC which could make a strong comeback with a Nexus smartphone of its own.
Source: DraadBreuk – Translated
The post LG reportedly not in the running to make the next Nexus smartphone appeared first on The Droid Guy.
We’ve seen wireless tags for locating items, or your smartphone, before, like Nokia’s Treasure Tag or HTC’s Fetch Tag. iFind, however, is a class above the rest, because without a battery, this thing, like that iconic Energizer rabbit, will just keep on going and going and going and going.
You might wonder how this tag will run without batteries. After all, it still has electronics inside it. According to makers WeTag, they are employing a patent pending process they call Electromagnetic (EM) harvesting, which gathers the kind of energy that is regularly emitted by things like Wi-Fi trasmitters, cellphone antennae, and more. The energy is then stored in specialized power banks to juice up the tag. And by using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), the tag consumes even less energy than regular Bluetooth devices.
This innovation affords iFind a few interesting advantages over other tags of its kind. First is that it is promised to last a lifetime, at least in terms of operational duration. It doesn’t have batteries to recharge or die on you, so that you get to use the tag 24/7 without fear of a drained tag just when you need it the most. It also keeps the tag small and thin. It can easily be slipped into a wallet without adding any bulk. In all other aspects, the tag works just as any device of its class. You can pair as many iFind tags as you want with a smartphone running Android, or iOS, as long as the device and OS version supports Bluetooth 4.0. Each tag has its own unique ID which you can pass to friends to help you look for a tag, and whatever’s attached to it, using the smartphone app. Looking for a tag is like a game or Marco Polo, but the app does try to estimate directions and distance to help you. Inversely, if it’s the smartphone that you’ve misplaced, just shake the tag vigorously to trigger the app’s alarm.
For now, iFind is only a Kickstarter project, but it seems to be quite popular, managing to raise $443,000 when it was only asking for $25,000. That allowed it to hit many of its stretch goal features, including one that will let users set a configurable distance before the tag triggers the alarm. If it manages to reach the $500,000 goal before the campaign ends in 14 days, WeTag will be adding a “Last Seen GPS Location” feature that will help narrow down the location of the tag, though the tag itself will not have any GPS hardware. All in all, not that bad for an immortal, wafer-thin tag that costs $18 on Kickstarter, $30 if you want it to come in pairs.
The little phone that reaches past it’s price point
I’ve been excited to have a look at the Moto E since its announcement in the middle of May. At $129 US, the Moto E is about the same price as dinner and a movie, and the buzz about how well it performs in the entry-level smartphone domain put it at the top of my wishlist. I’ve had a little time with it, and have to say I’m not disappointed in the least.
Motorola is no stranger to budget-priced smartphones that perform well. I carry a Moto G (sadly, the generation one version with no LTE) as my backup should I do anything silly to the phone I’m using daily, and I chose it because it was cheap and would do just about anything I wanted a smartphone to do. After years of low-priced models that failed to deliver, Motorola found their niche. Now they have expanded it with an even lower priced model in the Moto E. Let’s have a quick look at how it fares in daily use.
Lenovo hasn’t actually announced it yet, but its next smartphone is all but already revealed. After making a semi-public appearance as the Vibe Z2 Pro, this high-end smartphone is now being displayed at the China Mobile’s booth at the Mobile Asia Expo 2014, but bearing the name Lenovo K920 instead.
In terms of hardware, the Lenovo K920 lines up perfectly with the Vibe Z2 Pro seen earlier. This means a 2.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, a healthy serving of RAM at 3 GB, and 32 GB of internal storage. The display is nothing to ignore either, sporting a QHD 2560×1440 resolution, although in a large 6-inch size. We gladly welcome confirmation of the 16 megapixel rear camera that boasts of Optical Image Stabilization, while the front carries a rather nice 5 megapixel shooter.
In terms of body design, the K920 is typically Lenovo, which is more rectangular and blocky than most devices in the market. It comes at 7.7 mm in thickness, which isn’t exactly the thinnest, but not bad for an LTE machine, which is sometimes thicker, if not heavier, than non-LTE devices. The back cover seems to carry a rather peculiar aluminum polish, though its exact material is yet unknown. The rear camera noticeably protrudes a bit outward, which sort of ruins the otherwise smooth shape of the smartphone, though those used to how Samsung’s smartphones look will probably not be too bothered by that. The sides do taper down a bit towards the back, making it theoretically easier to hold this giant phablet.
There is still no availability or pricing details for the Lenovo K920. Given that it is taking up a spot in China Mobile’s space, we can safely presume it will be headed for the Chinese market via this particular carrier. The dual SIM active feature and support for China’s 4G LTE bands cement that theory even further.
We recently told you about the software bugs which have barred shipments of the OnePlus One. The company has reportedly fixed these bugs now with the smartphone expected to ship out as early as tomorrow to customers. It was initially reported that the device has some issues with software and OpenSSL which needed fixing and we’re assuming those issues have now been patched.
Here’s a statement issued by the team regarding the availability of the smartphone – “We did choose to delay the shipment of the first phones in order to make sure the software was secure and provided the best possible user experience. The CyanogenMod team worked very quickly and efficiently and the Open SSL issues have already been fixed. The first OnePlus Ones ship to early users with invites as early as tomorrow.”
The smartphone was announced in late April to a heavily criticized invite only system. Under this, only those with an invite were able to place orders for the smartphone. As a bonus, customers with an invite were able to buy the 32 and 64GB variant of the handset for $299 and $349 respectively. Featuring a 5.5 inch 1080p display and a 2.5 GHz Snapdragon 801 chipset, the OnePlus One is certainly on par with most flagship handsets. The low price tag is just another feather in its cap, although customers will have to pay more for the device post the invitation period.
Via: Android Authority
The post Software bugs on the OnePlus One fixed with shipping expected to commence immediately appeared first on The Droid Guy.
Smartphones with 4G LTE chips have become more of a necessity in this day and age, especially in markets like the U.S. and even China to a great extent. And Chinese OEM Oppo has just announced its latest handset known as the R3, which is supposed to be the world’s slimmest 4G LTE smartphone.
At 6.3mm, the smartphone is certainly one of the slimmest smartphones around. Other specs of the Oppo R3 include a 5 inch 720p display, a 1.6 GHz Snapdragon 400 SoC, 8GB of internal storage, 1GB of RAM, a meager 2,420 mAh battery and Android 4.3 Jelly Bean with the company’s ColorOS skin on top. The handset will be available in China for 2,290 CNY which is the local equivalent of $368.
As with any Chinese smartphone, it’s unlikely that we’ll see the smartphone venture its way out of the region anytime soon. But third party retailers might be able to sell the device globally as well.
Source: CNMO – Translated
Via: Phone Arena
The post The Oppo R3 is the world’s thinnest 4G LTE smartphone appeared first on The Droid Guy.
On Friday, we received an LG G3 to review, but we know many of our readers don’t feel like waiting for us to pump out a full review, which usually takes 1-2 weeks. To help kill time, we opened up the DL hotline, giving you a chance to ask us anything you wanted to know about the phone.
Clearly, everyone wants to know about four major things – the display, battery life, how it feels in hand, and LG’s new skin.
We have had the device for four days now, and have a pretty good feel for everything this Korean model of the G3 has to offer, so check out our answers to your top-rated questions below.
How’s the Quad HD display? Worth the hype?
I think that’s the biggest question concerning this device? Does a smartphone actually need a QHD display? With a resolution of 2560 x 1440, the G3 has the highest resolution of any smartphone released in the United States. Sadly, but not in a bad way, it’s painfully obvious to notice this fact. As of this writing, content to consume on a QHD display is limited, especially for smartphones. While you can find yourself a 4K wallpaper, which will look great, anything else you view (apps, games, YouTube videos, MLB At Bat streams) won’t take advantage of this hardware.
Maybe in a few years, when QHD becomes the new standard, and mobile app developers and content creators are making higher resolution a priority, these types of displays will be useful. However, like all things that were first of their kind, we need to start somewhere. I applaud LG for taking the leap into QHD, getting the ball rolling on introductions of new technologies for smartphones.
In terms of purely looking at the display, it is easily one of the best viewing experiences on a smartphone I have ever had. My fingers are crossed that more higher-res content is created for G3 owners to enjoy.
How’s the battery?
It is hard to say exactly how the battery is, since we have been given a Korean model, which is running on AT&T’s 4G LTE network. When not on WiFi, I am pulling speeds of 13MB down and 3MB up, which seems a tad slow in comparison to what I am used to. I am thinking the device is not optimized for the networks here, and that may directly relate to lower-than-expected battery life. However, when on a mix of WiFi and LTE, this device surprised the heck out of me. From the mornings around 9am to 11pm, the phone handles a full charge, with about 15% battery remaining. With the device featuring a QHD display, I was surprised at how well it kept a charge. Of course, your milage may vary depending on usage, network connection, and things like that.
It “only” has a Snapdragon 801. How’s performance?
I have been surprised as to the criticism of the Snapdragon 801. After seeing a few reviews of the device, it seems that everyone was hoping for a Snapdragon 805, meaning the 801 could never live up to expectation. Thankfully, my experiences have been nothing but positive in terms of performance, as the G3 feels responsive, handling mobile gaming like a champ. Even after seeing a few benchmarks posted on other sites, I found my results to be much different. Here are the results.
While a faster processor and more powerful GPU might have been nice, I feel that anyone who decides to pick up the G3 will be pleasantly surprised with its performance.
How does it feel in hand?
For being 5.5″, it’s completely manageable. Unlike the Galaxy S5 and One (M8), this device features little bezel, plus it has a very ergonomic feel to it. It feels right. While there will be plenty of people who claim it’s too big, I’m not one of them. Coming from a One (M8) and Nexus 5 as my daily drivers, the G3 feels awesome. My best answer would be to go feel the phone for yourself when it is launched in retail stores.
Is it water resistant like the Galaxy S5?
No, please do not dunk this phone in your pool, as it is not waterproof or even water resistant.
How’s the camera?
The camera is so nice, we did a separate camera comparison post which you can read here. We placed the G3 against the Galaxy S5, One (M8), Nexus 5, and iPhone 5s. The results won’t surprise you, unless you thought the G3 camera was somehow going to be bad. To sum up that post, the G3 cameras is awesome. It has super fast auto focus and great color reproduction.
How is the rear-facing speaker?
While LG promoted the speaker at the G3′s unveiling, something only HTC is known for doing with BoomSound, I don’t find it to be all that awesome. Being a BoomSound fan myself, there is no doubt that those dual front-facing speakers beat out any other smartphone in terms of audio quality. The G3 does get loud, but the sound is rather harsh on the ear, featuring nothing but high ends. Even after bumping a few rap tunes, low end on the G3 speaker is hard to come by.
How does the display do in direct sunlight?
The G3 display can be set very high, so viewing in sun should not be a problem. However, I think the One (M8) does a bit better in direct sunlight, as its top brightness setting is ridiculously high.
How is LG’s skin?
You know, it’s not that bad. LG’s skin has been evolving, much like Samsung’s TouchWiz, and it’s only getting better. While their launcher is basically unusable, as it tends to lag up just a tad, the overall settings menu, gallery app, camera app, and other necessary system applications all look just fine. As a major non-fan of OEM skins, LG has done alright in my book. However, a two finger pulldown is not present, even though the phone is running Android 4.4.2. I enjoy the pulldown to view all of my system toggles, so for me, this was a con.
Does it feature wireless charging?
The device does not come out-of-the-box with wireless charging capability. You will need to buy LG’s QuickCircle case for that functionality.
How much storage is available to user out of the box?
I was given the 32GB model, then after downloading my apps and setting the device up, I have about 21GB left. The system data takes roughly 6.5GB right off the bat, so be aware of that if you plan on purchasing a 16GB model. This move is nothing new from companies, and Samsung is still the worst, usually taking around 8-10GB of storage with their skin and applications.
If you have any follow-up questions, I can answer them in the comments below.
If I asked you which phone is Motorola’s best selling phone of all time, you would probably answer with the Moto X. You would be wrong as it is the Moto G, which is a budget phone. Budget phones are generally laughed at, but they happen to part of the fastest growing segment. With 70% of the worldwide population using a flip phone or feature phone, they are unlikely to upgrade to a flagship when they finally join the smartphone craze. They could opt for a Moto G, but Motorola is now offering something that is even more budget-friendly. The Moto E promises to be built to last and priced for all. You can’t argue that $129 isn’t an amazing price for a contract free and unlocked smartphone, but is it too good to be true? Well hit the break to get started.
When I first grabbed the Moto E, it reminded me of the Moto G, just a little smaller. I remember the Moto G was unbelievably solid for its $179 price point. The Moto E might be a little cheaper, but there is absolutely no sacrifice in terms of quality. The difference between the two devices is the obvious size difference (4.5-inch display vs 4.3-inch display) and the thickness. The Moto G comes in at 11.6mm at its thicket part, while the Moto E comes in at 12.3mm. Both are pretty thick by today’s standards, but the fact that the back covers are rounded fool us into thinking they aren’t so thick. The Moto G is actually 6.2mm thick at the thinnest part (the sides), which makes it comfortable in the hand.
The Moto E sports the same removable back that the Moto G offers, which allows users to customize their phone with different colored Motorola Shells. I love this feature, and wish the Moto X offered the same. You might not be interested in looking at red for 2 years, so you can easily swap it for blue without too much cost. You will have your choice of either a black or white for the front and part of the sides. Motorola did a fantastic job with the cover in that it fits in so tightly and perfectly. In fact, most people wouldn’t even know it’s removable since there are no extra lips. Removing it can be hard to figure out though, but once you do, it’s quite easy to pop out. You just need to push down on the Motorola logo on the back of the device with your thumb, and with your other hand, insert a fingernail in at one of the bottom corners, and the cover will easily lift off. You can see what I mean in the video below.
Speaking of the back plate, it has a soft touch and a fantastic grip. You won’t have to worry about this one slipping out of your hand like many of the other smartphones offered today.
As far as buttons and ports go, the Moto E is setup much like the Moto G. You will find the microphone jack at the top center. The bottom has the micro USB 2.0 slot at the middle. The right side has the power button towards the top, and just below it is the volume rocker. The left side has nothing on the outside, but inside the back cover, you will find the SIM slot and micro SD slot on this side. The battery is non removable. The back has the rear camera at the top middle as well as the dimpled Motorola logo just below it. You won’t find a front-facing camera on this one, so selfie fans might have to look the other way. One notable difference is the front facing speaker at the bottom. At first glance, you might think the Moto E has front-facing stereo speakers, but it doesn’t The top front speaker is reserved for phone calls, while the lower front speaker is reserved for hands-free calls as well as listening to music.
Motorola has always built high quality phones with careful attention to craftsmanship, and the Moto E is no exception. No, it’s not going to win an award for the highest quality phone in the world, but you will be shocked at how durable and how good it feels in the hand for $129.
The Moto E features a 4.3-inch qHD (960 x 540) display (256 ppi), a 1.2 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 200, Adreno 302 GPU, 1GB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage, microSD slot for up to an additional 32GB of storage, 5MP rear camera (4:3), 1980 mAh battery, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, and Bluetooth 4.0 LE.
US GSM Model:
GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz) UMTS/HSPA+ up to 21 Mbps (850, 1700 (AWS), 1900 MHz)
Global GSM Model:
GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz) UMTS/HSPA+ up to 21 Mbps (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz)
CDMA Model (Coming Soon)
CDMA/EVDO Rev A (850, 1900 MHz)
The Moto E sports a dual-core Snapdragon 200, which consists of two Cortex-A7 CPUs clocked at 1.2 GHz. The Moto E isn’t going to win any benchmarks, but don’t think this is a slow poke. The fact that it’s running nearly stock Android 4.4.2 KitKat gives it an advantage over a lot of the competition. Out of the box it’s buttery smooth, but of course the big question will be how it responds after 6 months to 1 year of use. I suspect it will hold up with the best of them. You might not be able to play high-end intense graphics games, but if you’re in the market for this phone, you probably aren’t worried about that anyway. The bottomline is the average user won’t have an issue. I did run the obligatory AnTuTu Benchmark and it scored 12,568. This obviously is pretty low, but again benchmarks don’t really give you a real world indication.
The display comes in at qHD, which equates to 960 x 540 (256 ppi). Yes it does feel like 2011 when Motorola first introduced the same resolution on the DROID Bionic. Sure it would be nice to see 720p, but it isn’t going to be as noticeable at 4.3-inches. Again, the target audience isn’t interested in getting caught up with how crisp it looks next to current flagships. The display is more than adequate for the target demographic, which is going to be kids and people that are buying their first smartphone.
The Moto E has a rather small battery (1980 mAh), but the fact that the display is only 4.3-inches and only qHD shouldn’t matter. However, just like the Moto G, the results weren’t as good as I was expecting. I conducted my usual video rundown test in which I loop continuous video with the display at about 67% while connected to 3G (no LTE) and WiFi (not connected), Bluetooth (not connected), and GPS turned on. I was only able to get 6 hours. How does this translate to a normal day? With moderate use, you should be able to get about 12-14 hours. It’s certainly not a workhorse, but certainly not the worst I have seen.
You could almost call the Moto E a Google Experience device if you wanted to since it’s roughly 90% stock Android. You won’t find some of the extra stuff that you will find on a Moto X, such as Active Display and Touchless Control, but you will find Assist, Migrate, an FM Radio app, and something brand new called Motorola Alert. Motorola Alert allows others to track your whereabouts very easily by sending text messages to selected contacts. So for example, a parent could easily see when their child arrived or left their school, home, work, or the mall. Alert can also be used for emergencies providing an exact location to emergency contacts. There is also the Meet Me function, which lets selected contacts know where they are for a meetup. The Follow Me function is also great for trips because it will send periodic texts to selected users of the current location. All texts include the address as well as a Google Maps link for directions. It’s pretty nifty, and I am filing it in the cool and useful category. Here’s a video showing you how it works.
You can also get an idea how how Assist and Migrate work in my two videos below that I did with the Moto X.
The Moto E continues the tradition of the Moto X and Moto G by offering a near stock Android experience, which I prefer. It’s uncluttered with bloat, allowing the phone to perform almost as well as other flagships. There is also a good chance that Android updates will not only land on the Moto E, but they will also arrive timely since Motorola doesn’t have an extra UI interface to deal with. It’s refreshing to see this stock Android experience in a budget-friendly device, and we hope Motorola continues this trend.
The Moto E camera interface is very similar to what the Moto G and Moto X offers, with a few things missing. It’s not stock Android, but it’s setup very similarly in that you swipe to the left to get to the Gallery. You will also find the options menu by swiping to the right. However, some features found on the Moto X are missing in action such as control for flash (no flash on the device), a slow motion video option, or the Quick Capture toggle. You will still get HDR, exposure control, panorama, location toggle, widescreen toggle, and a shutter tone toggle. There is one additional setting and that is for the microSD card. If you have one, you will be able to save photos to it.
Now don’t expect the Moto E to capture the greatest photos, but it will get the job done. I did find that it performed better than I expected as long as there is a decent amount of light. Performance in low light situations or any kind of motion was subpar as one would expect. Here are some sample shots from a variety of situations.
The Moto E almost seems like buying a phone from 2011 that is still in an unopened box. The DROID Bionic might just be the best comparison, but in terms of pure specs, it probably was a better phone since it sported a front-facing camera, had more internal storage, and the processor consisted of Cortex-A9 CPUs. However, the Bionic cost over $600 off contract and the Moto E is only $129. Let me repeat that….$129. The Moto E might not win the phone of the year award, but it’s not trying to. There are still many people who cannot afford a smartphone, and the Moto E will help those join the party. It’s as durable and performs as well as most phones available today. The only real issue I have with it is that it only has 4GB of internal storage, but thankfully the microSD slot is available for up to 32GB of additional storage. The lack of a front-facing camera isn’t a deal breaker for me, but with the selfie craze going on right now, it could be an issue for some people.
Bottomline, it’s the absolute perfect starter phone for someone just getting into the smartphone game, but for me personally, I would probably opt for the Moto G for a few extra bucks, and in some cases actually cheaper with current deals. Either way, you can’t go wrong.
Come comment on this article: Moto E Review: A cheap smartphone worth buying
Normally, manufacturers would push out Android updates to existing phones. Not in the case of CAT, or Caterpillar, who is launching almost the same smartphone just for the latest version of Android. The good news is that it does improve some things a bit.
Caterpillar is a name you’d more readily link to heavy duty machinery and construction equipment, so it is unsurprising that its smartphones are designed to be just as resilient. In that regard, the B15Q is as formidable as its older brethren. It boasts of IP67 and MIL SPEC 810G ratings, the holy grail of dust, water, and shock proof equipment. In more practical terms, it can survive a 1.8 meter drop onto a concrete surface, last 30 minutes under 1 meter of water, and emerge unscathed in extreme temperatures ranging from -25° C to 55° C.
As a smartphone, however, the B15Q might leave many wanting. It shares many things in common with the B15 that was launched early 2013. In particular, they have the same 4-inch screen, which sadly remains at a resolution of 840×400, the same 5 megapixel camera, and the same 4 GB of internal storage. What has changed is the Android version, up from 4.1 to 4.4 KitKat, as well as the CPU and RAM, which have been upgraded to a 1.3 GHz quad-core MediaTek chip and 1 GB, respectively. In comparison, the B15 only had a 1.5 dual-core CPU, also from MediaTek, and 512 MB of RAM.
The CAT B15Q is unambiguously a low-tier entry-level smartphone dressed up with rugged features clearly meant for industrial uses. CAT has scheduled this smartphone to go on retail sometime this summer but has not yet revealed how much the device will cost.
We all know that Amazon is expected to release a new smartphone sometime soon. Leaks over the past couple of months have given us a brief idea as to what to expect from this device. And today, the online retailer has sort of confirmed the arrival of this smartphone by announcing an event for the 18th of June in Seattle. Amazon customers can register to be invited for the launch event by signing up at the page here.
The teaser video shows off what we’ve been hearing about in several leaks over the past few weeks although no device is shown. Users are seen to be impressed by the 3D gestures of the smartphone which possibly tracks the user head movement as we have been told by past leaks. We’re not sure as to how exactly this feature will work, but it’s clear that there will be multiple cameras on the front to do the job.
We’re sure Amazon has some software tricks up its sleeve to accommodate for the hardware. Apart from this, the handset is believed to be packing a 4.7 inch 720p display, a Snapdragon chipset of unknown make and a 13-megapixel camera on the back as well. We expect the smartphone to be running on the latest iteration of Android but with a heavy UI layering on top as Amazon devices don’t have Google accreditation. There’s only under two weeks left for the big reveal and we’re hoping it will live up to the expectations.
The post Amazon to unveil its new 3D smartphone on the 18th of June appeared first on The Droid Guy.
Amazon is letting everybody know that it has a launch event on June 18. What it may not have wanted everyone to know is that it will be for its much-rumored 3D smartphone, but that cat was almost let out of the bag thanks to some rather sloppy camera work and editing in Amazon’s own teaser video.
The retailer giant has long been the subject of many smartphone rumors and supposedly credible leaks, none of which so far has ever come to pass. That might all be changing later this month. Amazon smartphone rumors have wildly varied from the mundane to the extravagant, but one detail in the latest round of hearsay stood out, some sort of 3D viewing, or capturing, capability as well as a user interface that makes use of that. Without the need for 3D glasses, of course. Sounds a bit far-fetched and unusual, but that might actually be a git tip after all.
This Amazon teaser has people cocking their heads this way and that, expressing amazement and wonder at something they’re seeing on an unseen device. This is usually actions and reactions associated with 3D visuals and parallax scrolling. Note that this isn’t the same kind of 3D parallax effect used on the iPhone 5, which only happens when you tilt the device itself and not your head. But perhaps more crucial to this rumor round, some keen eyes have caught a glimpse of the device, or part of it, in the video, which is hinted to be of a smartphone size and not a tablet.
Now that the existence of an Amazon smartphone with a 3D display is almost all but settled, the next question will be how useful will such a gimmick be. Words like “amazing” and “wow” and “intuitive” were thrown around, but then again they were paid to say those after all. On a gaming device like the Nintendo 3DS, such a feature might make a bit more sense. On a smartphone, its utility and usability remains to be seen, and see it we will when, and if, Amazon finally pulls off the covers on June 18.
Luxury smartphones usually have sky high prices but completely mediocre features. Vertu, however, might finally be breaking free from the mold with its Signature Touch, a smartphone that can proudly boast of the latest and best smartphone hardware in the market.
Premium both inside and out, the Vertu Signature Touch rises above the rest by listing specs that you would find in high-end flagship smartphones this year. Powering this device is a 2.3 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon, not some low-powered version of the chip. The 4.7-inch display might seem small until you find out that it sports a Full HD 1080p resolution, giving you one of the highest pixel densities in a smartphone of this size. Continuing this trend of surprises, you’ll also find the latest Android 4.4 running on the Signature Touch, and not some outdated, even if only slightly, version of the OS.
Of course, Vertu will be distinguishing itself by its looks, but it also has components that are worth taking note of. The speakers bear the mark of acclaimed audio experts Bang & Olufsen. The 13 megapixel rear camera, on the other hand, is proudly Sweidish camera manufacturer Hasselblad’s handiwork. though the 2.1 megapixel front-facing camera might not be. You have a wide assortment of connectivity options, including a remarkable number of LTE bands that will make it possible to use this device anywhere in the world. And to keep the smartphone looking classy even while charging, Vertu has affixed Qi wireless charging capabilities as well.
On the outside, the Vertu Signature Touch definitely plays the part well, sporting a mixture of titanium for the frame, ceramic for finishing, hand-finished leather for cover, and sapphire crystal for glass. As good as it all sounds, the price will undoubtedly wake you up to reality. The Vertu Signature Touch luxury smartphone will become available this June for an absolutely luxurious price of ₤6,750, which is roughly $11,300 in the US.
This morning, Sony introduced announced the SmartBand (model SWR10) for Android devices. The band is NFC enabled, allowing for easy one-press syncing with Android device that can install the Lifelog application from Google Play.
The band is “waterproof,” made to be worn all day and night. With its lightweight design, the SmartBand can track an array of activities, such as running, walking, and even sleep motion activity.
When paired with the Lifelog app, SmartBand can act as a wireless extension to your smartphone, providing users smart alarms, vibrations for incoming calls, messages, calendar events, and much more.
Sony even threw on quite an aggressive price for this hardware, as it sits on Sony’s online store for just $99. In the coming weeks, additional band colors will be available too, so keep that in mind.
Live smart with the sony smartband, now available in the U.S.
The Sony SmartBand SWR10 is available beginning today for purchase at Sony Stores and online at store.sony.com for $99.99.
SmartBand is designed to be worn all day, every day. It’s waterproof, comfortable and stylish, with a removable core unit inside an adjustable silicone wristband. The core’s accelerometer technology tracks your motion and sends the data to the Lifelog application in your Android smartphone.
Lifelog collects data from both the SmartBand and your smartphone to tell a broader story of what happens in your life — fitness, location, weather, photos, music, personal notes (life bookmarks) and more. Lifelog displays the information in a colorful, versatile interface that helps you reflect on what you did each day and set goals for the future. Lifelog displays your activity in a colorful, multi-faceted interface that lets you view your information in various ways.
In addition to tracking your walking, running and sleep motion activity, SmartBand also works as a useful, unobtrusive extension to your smartphone with functions that include smart alarm and vibration notifications for incoming calls and messages, calendar events and more. With the smart alarm feature, SmartBand can silently wake you up at the best time in your sleep cycle without waking up everyone else.
When listening to music on your smartphone, SmartBand can also be used to play, pause and skip tracks through a combination of pressing SmartBand’s power button and tapping the band.
You can also think of SmartBand as a wireless leash for your smartphone. Whenever you get to the limit of Bluetooth range between the devices, SmartBand will warn you with a distinct vibration pattern. You won’t have to run back to the restaurant in a panic because you left your smartphone there.
Setup is easy with one-touch NFC pairing, or you can use the standard Bluetooth pairing process.
- Waterproof1, rated IP55/58
- SmartBand communicates with your smartphone to provide vibrating alerts regarding calls, messages or other notifications.
- LifeLog is available free for download from the Google Play Store
- Automatically records your physical, social and entertainment activities to set activity goals and monitor progress
- Smart alarm tracks motion during your sleep cycle to wake you up at the best time with a gentle vibration
- Life Bookmark key lets you capture moments worth remembering
- Sony SmartBand is compatible with Android 4.4 smartphones
- Available for sale in Black
- Additional colored bands can be purchased from Sony Stores or online through store.sony.com later this month
The Vertu Signature Touch was leaked out by AnTuTu last month. Today, the smartphone has been officially announced by the company boasting a decent hardware specs sheet and the usual suite of royalty like features we come to expect from Vertu devices.
The smartphone comes with a 4.7 inch 1080p display with the glass made of sapphire crystal backed by a titanium case. Underneath the exterior is a 2.3 GHz Snapdragon 800 SoC, a 13-megapixel camera unit on the back with a 2.1-megapixel sensor on the front, Android 4.4 KitKat and a 2,275 mAh battery. The smartphone also supports LTE bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 17, 20 and 25 which is good news for LTE markets.
This handset has been priced at £6,750 or $11,300, which is pretty steep for a smartphone but not surprising considering Vertu’s history. The manufacturer is known for its premium grade devices with not so flattering internal hardware, but it’s good to see those issues being rectified with this latest offering. We’re yet to learn about launch related details, but the handset should break cover internationally over the coming months.
Via: Phone Dog
The post Vertu’s latest Android offering will set you back by $11,300 appeared first on The Droid Guy.
Motorola’s Moto G has caught a lot of attention, becoming the company’s best-selling smartphone ever. Now, those who are on Verizon’s prepaid plan can get the device cheaper than ever, at just $49.99 off contract.
Normally, Verizon offers the device at $79.99 off contract. However, just last week, Amazon cut that price down to just $70, making it even more attractive. Now, Best Buy has undercut both companies by offering the device even cheaper.
Based on our review of the Moto G, the device is without a doubt the best bang for your buck smartphone out there. With this new pricing, it is even cheaper than some flip phones off contract. There is no reason to wonder why this device has been so successful seeing as it is a very capable smartphone at an absurd price point.
So, if you happen to be on Verizon’s prepaid plan, or are looking to sign up for one, there couldn’t be a better time to buy the device that turned the budget smartphone market upside down.
source: Best Buy
Come comment on this article: [Deal] Prepaid Moto G on Verizon Wireless now $49.99 off contract
Samsung has just made its first Tizen smartphone official in the form of the Samsung Z. Not too surprisingly, the smartphone comes with features like the heart rate monitor as well as the fingerprint scanner which we saw in the Galaxy S5.
Hardware wise, the Samsung Z packs a 4.8 inch 720p display, a 2.3 GHz Snapdragon 800 quad core SoC, an 8-megapixel camera on the back, a 2.1-megapixel front camera, 16GB of storage, 1GB of RAM and a 2,600 mAh battery. The back is covered by a faux leather material which we’ve come across in recent Samsung devices.
On the software front, the handset comes with apps like S Health, Download Booster and the Ultra Power Saving Mode along with a UI which looks pretty much like TouchWiz, but without the standard set of Android features.
Presumably, the smartphone will not be a high end device and it seems like Samsung merely wants to test the waters with it. It will reportedly be available in Russia first in the coming months with other markets to follow suit subsequently. There’s no word on the pricing at the moment, but we expect it to reasonably priced considering that it’s running a relatively new OS.
Via: Android Police
BLU Products might be more known for low-priced, low-powered smartphones, but its new VIVO IV is definitely an exception. This smartphone sports some high-end hardware, depending on your opinion of the processor, yet manages to keep the price below your usual flagships. It even tries to look and feel like a luxury smartphone to boot!
Part of what sets the BLU VIVO IV and its VIVO predecessors apart from the company’s other devices is the AMOLED screen. Here you have a very handy 5.0-inch display that, quite surprisingly, sports a1920x1080 Full HD resolution. The choice of system-on-chip might be a bit debatable, but at least it is the highest that MediaTek has to offer, the 1.7 GHz octa-core MT6592. RAM is the same 2 GB that seems to be common among high-end smartphones these days. A 13 megapixel and 5 megapixel camera duo flank the back and front, respectively. There is only 16 GB of data storage though, and unfortunately there isn’t any mention of a microSD card. The 2,300 mAh battery is sadly also not removable.
These are definitely not your garden variety BLU Products specs, but the surprises do not stop there. It seems that the company has pulled out all the stops in making this smartphone, employing the latest manufacturing technologies. The result is a single aluminum block for the body, which is then covered by Corning Gorilla Glass not just at the front but also at the back, making the smartphone, in BLU Products’ words, made up of 98% glass and aluminum. But wait, there’s more! The smartphone is also incredibly thin, standing at only 5.5 mm, beating VIVO’s Xplay3S as the world’s thinnest smartphone. With the aluminum body and glass protection, this thin smartphone might actually work.
With all of these, it’s a miracle that BLU managed to keep the price tag down to $299. The BLU VIVO IV comes in color options of White-Silver, Rose Gold, and Black, and, like all BLU devices, come unlocked. As with the recently released BLU Life 8, Android 4.2 runs on this smartphone out of the box, with an Android 4.4 update promised this June.
Summer days are right around the corner and needless to say the Android news is heating up. This week saw the launch of LG’s latest smartphone, some new rumors about Moto’s next, our best apps and games for the month, and a look at the future of Google’s self-driving cars. So without wasting any more time, here’s a look at what was hot this week and some news that you might have missed!
The short work week brought no shortage of Android news. Following the Monday holiday in the US, LG took to the stage in London for the global unveiling of the their latest flagship smartphone. The LG G3 debuted to plenty of hype and didn’t fall short of expectations. We went hands-on with the device, which features a 5.5-inch QuadHD display, 13MP camera with laser auto-focus, and an overhauled user interface to make it perhaps the best phone that LG has ever developed. Some are even considering it as a contender for the best Android phone on the market. Official release details haven’t been finalized, but buyers are already eager to get their hands on the G3. As a bonus, you can snag some of the phone’s official wallpapers right now.
We’ve got our monthly rundown of the best Android apps as well as the best Android games. May brought us plenty to choose from, including Klout’s Android debut and the popular anonymous social app Secret as well as Half-Life 2 and Monument Valley. That’s only naming a few of the many great software offerings to launch in May. Be sure to check out the full lists for more.
What do you know about Google Now? Did you know about the dozens of voice commands you could possibly missing out on? We detail 50+ in our helpful list to make sure you are getting the most out of your Android smartphone. If you have a handset running KitKat, chances are you can simply say “OK, Google” and launch right in.
The Moto X+1 is the rumored followup to Motorola’s ambitious Moto X. This week we might have caught our first glimpse of the smartphone. An early leak purported to show us the phone in the wild’s of the Chicago subway system. A followup gave us a slightly clearer glance at the phone’s front panel. Both suggest Moto could up the screen size to over 5 inches for their next flagship.
Google’s self-driving car project has been around for a few years now, but up until this week it has relied on existing cars outfitted with an array of advanced sensors and gadgetry. That changed when Google announced that it had developed and built its first in-house automobile, a cute little two-door coupe with no steering wheel or physical controls. In fact, it might be a bit too cute with it’s front end, which purposefully resembles a smiling face, complete with eyes, nose and mouth.
Rest of the Best
- We might never see the launch of the HTC One M8 Prime
- A T-Mobile/Sprint merger is inching ever closer
- OnePlus takes to eBay to sell OnePlus One invites
- Apple makes Beast acquisition for $3 billion official