Thursday, May 2, 2013

Unknows Motorola Device Leaked, Possibly the new "X-Phone"

The X-Phone is supposed to be Google's cream of the crop, going for no compromises, and going all out on upgrades and customization. From multiple colors, build materials, and storage, this is the one device are many looking forward to. With Google I/O only a few weeks away, leaks of a new Motorola device have now been pictured.

Now this device has been encased in a shell to protect the actual look of the device, but still bears a resemblance to the Nexus 4 thanks to its slight wide corners, you can definitely tell there was some Google influence here. While there are references to AT&T such as "AT&T" written in the notification tray, and with AT&T written on the back it could signal that Google is going to move to more carriers other than T-Mobile to expand their reach.

While the device is still in its shell, it's suspiciously labeled "XFON" (see image below) which could hint that this could be the AT&T variant of the X-Phone that many have been looking for. While no confirmations can be made, all we can do is wait until Google I/O on the 15th to get the full story.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

AT&T Samsung Galaxy S4 Bootloader Unlocked

Many AT&T Galaxy S4 owners were very disappointed that their flagship phone was riddled with the issue of a locked bootloader, meaning any desires of flashing a custom ROM were destroyed. Though root access was gained on all the S4 variants on the U.S carriers, it still meant you were limited to Samsung's own flavor of Android. 

Luckily this has changed thanks to Dan Rosenberg  who had tweeted an image earlier today showing an unlocked bootloader running on the AT&T S4. Dan had also confirmed that it has allowed him flash custom recoveries and kernels (and of course, ROMs). He's also certain that his method should work for Verizon's variant of the S4 as well. Though he hasn't released any unlocking software yet, in fear that the carriers may plug up the hole before launch. This should pave the way for ROM development and bring even more features to the S4. 

Source: XDA

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Snapdargon 800 to go in to Mass Production in May

Qualcomm is back at it again, announcing that their successor to the Snapdragon 600 will go in to mass production in May. Other than the higher number SKU, the Snapdragon 800 features a boatload of newer features compared to the 600.

First off it runs at a ridiculous clock speed of 2.3Ghz, but it compensates for the huge power drain by running the speed of each core at a different speed and sometimes shutting a few cores completely down, the CPU is able to keep the horsepower, without sacrificing battery life. The higher clock speed is also enhanced through the new Krait 400 architecture. It also ships with an upgraded GPU. It now comes with a Adreno 330 which supports 4K video playback, but at the time 4K hasn't taken off so you won't be needing it anytime soon.

While no device has been announced running the new SoC, it seems pretty likely that HTC will have a mid-year refresh like they had with the One X and One X+, and as always Samsung will be waiting with another Galaxy.

Source: Techno Buffalo

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Samsung UNPACKED 2013 Full Summary

Didn't watch the UNPACKED event? No worries we've got you covered. This article will summarize everything that happened during the conference and some of the key items about the S4.

The show started off following "Jeremy Maxwell's" story, and with JK Shin taking the reins for the announcement. Of course he goes on with the usual innovation speech, and how the new S4 changes lives. And this time it wasn't all just gimmicks. Samsung has been trying really hard now to change their image of a copy cat to an image of an innovator. Something Apple has had for a long time.

The S4

So lets get to the main attraction of the show, the S4 came with all the usual spec bumps you would expect, yet squeezing it all in to 7.9mm frame, only .3mm away from the iPhone 5. This is something that Samsung is sure to be proud of. But let's not get carried away, the S4 is dominated by a 5" 1080p AMOLED display. Remember this isn't an AMOLED Plus panel meaning that the screen still uses the PenTile matrix. But at 441 ppi it shouldn't be an issue.


On the connectivity side, this phone is loaded, with WiFi in the a, b, g, n, and ac flavors, and Bluetooth of the 4.0 variety, this is certainly an updated handset. This phone also has support for 3G and a handful of 4G bands and is expected to roll out on to 327 mobile operators world wide. An IR blaster is also integrated into the device. And the occasional MHL 2.0 in the Micro USB.


Though the CPU was never officially announced, the International variant is expected to have an Exynos 5440 with eight cores, four A15 cores and four A7 cores. While the U.S. variant is expected to have a Snapdragon 600. This time both variants will ship with 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM. The S4 comes with either 16/32/64GB included all of which are expandable with the help of a MicroSD slot. The optics on this polycarbonate slate feature a rear facing 13MP camera and a 2MP front facing. The battery has been bumped up to a 2,600 mAh capacity, which is only 500 mAh away from the Note 2. The S4 comes loaded with all the usual sensors, yet it also has some odd ones as well, featuring a temperature and humidity sensor.

Colors and Accessories 

The phone only comes in two colors right now; Black Mist and White Frost. It will also launch with a variety of accessories, including a pouch, flip cover, protective case, and S View Cover. The S View Cover has an integrated transparent cut out, the cut out is used to show notifications and other information when the cover is on.


Samsung has put a lot of effort in to their software trying to make TouchWiz helpful instead of a nuisance. Below is a list of software features highlighted in the announcement.

  1. Smart Scroll - Tracks your eye so you can scroll without touching the display
  2. Air View - Allows you to hover your finger over the display to open up previews 
  3. Sound and Shot - Essentially attaches a audio clip to an image
  4. S Translator - Spoken and written translation in nine languages
  5. Group Play - A feature from the Nexus Q taken further, allows you to create a group playlist and let certain people gain access to certain speakers
  6. Samsung Knox - Splits your phone in to two partitions, one for work and one for personal use
  7. Dual Camera - Takes videos and pictures using both cameras and inserting both streams into one video or picture
  8. Drama Shot - Takes 100 pictures in four seconds and stitches them together
  9. Eraser - Speeds up the camera's shutter and allows you to remover subjects from the background
  10. Dual Video Call - Streams a feed from both cameras to a person in a video call
  11. Air Gesture - Allows you to use the phone without touching the display

Wrap - Up

Obviously Samsung is trying hard now to wriggle in to Apple's market share. The S3 gained iPhone owners' interest and now the S4 is supposed to gain their attention and hopefully their two-year contracts. But Samsung is creating an ecosystem of their own. By branding everything with a "S" it's reminiscent of branding that Apple does. Instead of a "S" there's an "i", this may cause a problem for Google, since Samsung already holds a large amount of influence on Android, they essentially control most of Google's paying market share. If Samsung decides to create their own app store and media marketplace like Amazon has now, it may spell trouble for Google. But for now the S4 seems to show that Samsung will keep on innovating and hopefully convert some iPhone users to Android.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Google X-Phone ready for this spring

Last year, rumors began about a X-Phone – a device to be produced by Google and its Motorola division. Unlike the Nexus phones, which ran Android software, but were manufactured by other companies, the X-Phone would be entirely Google. In December, the Wall Street Journal said the device was "a marquee handset with cutting-edge features." Another way to put that is that it was something for Samsung and Apple to watch out for. A few weeks later, a new report on the X-Phone emerged, and said the device is ready for a May 2013 launch. According to a forum thread spotted by Droid Life, the X-Phone will be at the Google I/O conference in the spring, and unveiled in July.
Google has 12 to 18 months of existing devices from Motorola, but once those months are up, they can do as they please.
Google CEO Larry Page framed a few features he'd like to see on the next Google phones – "Battery life is a huge issue," said Page, according to The Verge. "You shouldn't have to worry about constantly recharging your phone. When you drop your phone, it shouldn't go splat. Everything should be a ton faster and easier. There’s real potential to invent new and better experiences."

Google has not yet acknowledged the existence of an X-Phone. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Temple Run 2 available for iOS, coming to Android within week

Temple Run 2 has just made its way on to the iOS App Store, but it doesn't look like Android users will have to wait as long as they did for its predecessor. In an interview with Imangi co-founder Keith Shepherd says the game is almost done and expects it to come to the Play Store next week, but he also says "with these things, you never know." Android users should be very thankful though, however; Microsoft promised that the original Temple Run would come to Windows Phone at an event way back on October 29th, but unfortunately that release never happened. 

Source: Droid-Life

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Kite Tablet runs both Android 4.0 and Ubuntu 12.04

DaVinci Mobile Technology is now accepting pre-orders for its Full-HD Kite tablet. This European slab features a gorgeous 10.1-inch 1,920 x 1,200 IPS display, 2GB of RAM, a Samsung Exynos 4412 quad-core processor, 32GB of internal storage, a VGA front-facing camera and a 2-megapixel rear-facing camera. While having some decent specs, the main selling-point for this device is that it dual-boots Ubuntu 12.04 for ARM and Android 4.0. Us Americans will never know if it will hit U.S. soil, but our European friends can get their hands on one of these for €309 (about $413 USD).

Monday, January 14, 2013

Crucial M500

So that hard drive you were looking at had 1000GB of storage, yet you really want that SSD over there, but it is only half that at 500GB, there shall be no more compromises. Crucial and Micron have come together to release the M500 SSD. This is not your run of the mill drive because it has 960GB of storage for less than $600. By using Micron’s MLC NAND technology and Crucial’s controller they could accomplish such a feat. This specific drive will be in the retailers in the next two months or so with the 1tb version at $600, as long as 120, 240, and 480gb models for less. As for specs they all have about the same read speed at around 500MB/s and 130MB/s write speed on the 120, 240, and 480GB models, and about 400MB/s on the 960 GB model.
To put all of this in retrospect, Samsung is the leader in solid state drives at the moment, and their highest capacity drive is 512GB of storage (830 series), and the pricing of 830 series is about $480 which means if you put in about $120 more you would get twice the storage with about the same read/write speeds.

And here is a chart to wrap your brain around: 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Google launches Chrome beta for Android users for access to new features early

Google has launched the new Chrome beta app for the people that want to test Google's new features before they implement them into the actual app. You can't find this app with a search in the Play Store, so you are required to get the link. Another minor note is that this won't actually replace your current Chrome app.

You will find CSS Filters (HTML 5 feature), and up to 20 to 30 percent better benchmarks on Octane benchmark. Android 4.0 or later is required to download and install this application, so if you are okay with a lot of bugs but fast performance you should definitely give Chrome beta a try. 

Sources: The VergeDroid Life, Google Play 

Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 and 10 Get Jelly Bean Update

It seemed that Samsung's budget tablets would never officially get Jelly Bean and all of its goodies. Though some unofficial builds of Jelly Bean did make it to these tablets most of them weren't stable. Luckily Galaxy Tab owners can now get buttery goodness on their tablets starting today.

Of course the operating system is still layered with Touch Wiz, and has all of the standard bloatware included and the update is only rolling out to tabs in the U.S and Canada and is only rolling out to the wifi variants right now. You can get the update via Kies (Samsung's companion software) or OTA.

Your only 381MB from 4.1.1 goodness...

Friday, January 11, 2013

Liquipel introduces the new and improved Liquipel 2.0

Last year at CES 2012 Liquipel announced a very unique product that they claimed would make your phone water-resistant, or even waterproof becuase they would add a nano coating of water-resistant material to your phone's parts, and ship it back to you within 48 hours. This ended up failing on many devices so it became an afterthought for people to buy.
Well this year at CES 2013 the company announced Liquipel 2.0 which is they claimed would be 100x better than its predecessor. Liquipel 2.0  should be able to be submerged in 1 meter deep water for about 30 minutes.  It also comes with the Liquipel performance guarantee which protects your phone from accidental liquid exposure. This means if you accidentally drop your phone in the toilet, in the sink, or get rain on it, and Liquipel 2.0 fails they will make sure that you are covered. Starting out at $60 (U.S.A. only at this time) they will start coating your devices with Liquipel 2.0 in Q1 this year.

Source: Engadget

Monday, January 7, 2013

Pantech Discover: Get SIII Specs for a SII Price

Ever since the original Kindle Fire, electronics have made a shift towards a lower price. This trend has continued with the Nexus 7. And with the help of Android, Pantech was able to make a name for itself again. This time in the form of the Pantech Discover. This device provides a 4.8 inch 720p display, running only Android 4.0, has stereo speakers, and a 12.6 megapixel camera. Plus it has the obligatory Snapdragon S4, the dual core variant.

The phone still has the Pantech skin, which even contains a "beginner mode" for people that aren't experienced with smart phones. The phone will be released on January 11th and you can look forward to custom ROMs for this device in the future.

Source: The Verge

Friday, January 4, 2013

Print Magazine Subscribers Can Now Get Digital Copies Through Google Play for Free

When Google Play first launched, print subscribers who wanted to get the digital copy through Google instead of the original third party were forced to repay as if they were new customers. And were forced again to pay if they wanted to read on a mobile device.

Starting today, users can now get their digital copy through Google Play directly. All for the low price of "Free". If you're a print subscriber of course. Not all magazines are available, for now Wired and GQ are the only confirmed working titles. To start just select "Subscribe" on the magazine of choice and there you'll see a new option "Free for print subscribers", from there select it and enter your account info and you're good to go.

Corning Introduces New Gorilla Glass 3

The ape themed glass never seems to get old. Now in its third revision Corning has brought some new improvements to their glass. This time bringing NDR or Native Damage Resistance. With a fancy acronym, comes fancy features. By improving the glass at a molecular level, it creates an improvement of scratch resistance three fold. Along with the number of visible number of scratches being reduced by 40% and retained strength increasing by 50% after the glass is damaged.

This doesn't mean the glass is nearly indestructible, but its getting close. But you have to remember its still glass. Meaning it still be scratched by something as minute as sand. On the bright side, you can look forward to your keys and phone becoming best buddies in the same pocket.

Source: Engadget

Thursday, January 3, 2013

GameStick Hits Kickstarter Goal in Only Two Days

The recently announced GameStick has reached its goal of $100,000 in only two days. The GameStick was a concept device from the people at PlayJam, a company that has been creating games for the SmartTV platform. Now this was the only logical next step. By providing a cheap and portable console that plugs directly in to a TV via a MHL compliant HDMI connection. And by providing a controller that connects to the HDMI stick via Bluetooth. The entire system is powered by Android, which should make it easy for developers to port existing games over. At only $79, it is $20 cheaper than the similar OUYA which is also powered by Android, but is more of a set-top box form factor, rather than a HDMI stick. Also the controller holds the entire console itself, meaing the HDMI stick that holds all the neccesary components and slides in to the controller itself.

Of course being cheaper, it forces the device to cut some corners. Whereas the OUYA has a quad core Tegra 3, the GameStick features a dual core Amlogic 8726-MX. Here are the other specs:
  • Memory - 1GB DDR3 / 8GB FLASH
  • Content Download Manager w/ cloud storage for games.
  • WiFi - 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth - LE 4.0
  • O/S - Android Jelly Bean
  • Controller - Bluetooth, 3 mode controller: gamepad, mouse and keyboard with support for up to 4 controllers.
  • Full 1080p HD video decoding
Even though the GameStick doesn't have a Tegra SoC, that doesn't mean graphics will be terrible. In fact the Amlogic 8726-MX has two Mali-400 GPUs, the same GPUs used on the international GS3. Most of these specs resemble a mid to high range Android smartphone which means that game play should be smooth. But there's been no word on Play Store support, meaning that all games will most likely be bought through a proprietary store. 

Though the future seems bright for this little console, it will be hard to get large commercial support for it due to the duopoly that Sony and Microsoft have on living room gaming. But only time will tell the fate for this device.

Source: GameStick