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Huawei TalkBand B1 hands-on

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Wearables are a hot topic here at the MWC and Huawei brought its own – a smartwatch with a twist. The TalkBand B1 gets its name from being a Bluetooth headset that can be set into a rubberized band to be worn as a smartwatch.

This double functionality could be what sets the TalkBand apart from the other smartwatches we’ve seen so far. Read more »

Nokia puts out Green Duck Part 2 short, special page on its site

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Part 2 of Nokia’s #GreenDuck teasers is out and the paddling of ducks hits an obstacle – a dam of discarded phones (there’s a traffic light there too, for some unknown reason).

Nokia also put up a Green Duck page on its web site. The page just lists the two teaser vines but its design is more interesting – it looks just like the custom interface on the Nokia X A110 in the spy shots from earlier today. Read more »

Samsung Galaxy S5 camera to have new features, including Aqua mode

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Info on the Samsung Galaxy S5 camera keeps trickling in and while rumors don’t always agree, the upcoming flagship is starting to sound more and more interesting. The latest bit of info confirms the 16MP / 2160p camera and adds a list of camera modes and additional features.

The Galaxy S5 will reportedly have a capacitive button where shutter keys usually go (on the bottom right) called Side Touch. Read more »

Nokia posts a #GreenDuck vine, continues to tease the Nokia X A110

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Nokia’s Vine account joined in on the teasing of Nokia’s upcoming Mobile World Congress event. After yesterday’s teaser images from Weibo, today’s vine isn’t all that revealing but it uses the characteristic green that has become associated with the Nokia X A110 (Normandy).

Yesterday it was monkeys, today ducks. Where’s Nokia going with all the cartoony animals? Read more »

Nokia launches Treasure Tags, Bluetooth tag key chains

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The Nokia Treasure Tag is a small Bluetooth Low Energy brick that will keep you from losing your keys or your phone. It’s about the size of a matchbox, 30 x 30 x 10mm to be precise and weighs 13g.

The Treasure Tag has a squarish look and comes in several colors – it’s reminiscent of a Windows Phone live tile for a reason. Read more »

Smartphone OSes and their app stores, an infographic

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Analyst companies put out predictions of how the mobile business will develop in the future on a regular basis but all the tables of percentages and millions of units can get a little dry.

Instead, here’s how a more graphical way rundown of the top four smartphone platforms and their respective app stores stack up against each other. Read more »

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 LTE battery test

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The Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 in our office is the Snapdragon 800-powered version, which features full voice call functionality. This used to be reserved for Samsung’s 7″ tablets, but we’re glad to see Samsung enable this on the larger tablets as well. Users are paying for that LTE modem anyway, might as well get the full benefits.

The Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 features a large 8,220mAh Li-Ion battery and uses a chipset found in phones. This makes the sharp 10.1″ screen the primary weight on the battery relative to phones. Read more »

Rakuten acquires Viber for $900 million

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Calcalist was wrong, half wrong anyway – it turns out instant messaging and VoIP app Viber really was in acquisition talks, but not for the suspected $300-400 million. Instead, the deal is worth the whopping $900 million.

Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten will acquire Viber to compete with the highly successful Line app, which had 300 million users last year and is targeting 500 million this year. Read more »

First ad for Nokia Lumia Icon flaunts its audio recording capabilities

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Nokia officially announced the Nokia Lumia Icon, a.k.a. Icon, and the first teaser videos are out. By the looks of it, Nokia is still touting its quality audio recording feature by comparing it to the Galaxy S4.

Check out how clearly the Lumia Icon can pick out voice in the midst of revving hot-rod engines. Read more »

Basemark X 3D benchmark updated to 1.1, runs on the top three smartphone OSes

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Benchmarks are a big part of our reviews and Basemark X is one of the newer ones we’re using. The company behind it, Rightware, just announced that it has covered all three major smartphone OSes, which is a must-have for inter-platform comparisons.

The latest version, Basemark X 1.1, is based on Unity 4.2, a popular game engine and IDE. Read more »

HTC launches customizable Double Dip cases

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HTC launched customizable Double Dip cases for its HTC One flagship. The protective cases are split into three parts and you can customize the color of each one.

Just to be clear, those are cases – HTC isn’t painting the One in wildly different colors, like Motorola does with the Moto X. Read more »

Cool renders show what the HTC M8 might look like

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We’ve seen the HTC M8 (the HTC One’s successor) star in plenty of leaks but they all have something in common – low quality photos. XDA-Developers user hamdir collected all leaked photos and created beautiful renders of the M8.

Some of the things are dubious – like the second camera. The images that showed it were called out as fakes by an HTC regional director, but there are plenty of leaked images that feature a second opening above the camera (including back covers). Read more »

Verizon to start selling Nexus 7 (2013) on February 13

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Verizon just announced that the Nexus 7 with LTE will be available on its network this Thursday. No, there’s no new Nexus 7 tablet, this is the 2013 edition of the Google slate. It’s exactly the same device that went on sale in the US in September last year, just that now it has (finally!) received certification to use Verizon’s LTE.

There was some finger-pointing between Verizon, Google and Asus that ended with the carrier deciding to wait for Android KitKat update, citing issues with the Jelly Bean software. Read more »

Modern UI based Firefox for Windows 8 Touch now available as beta

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First announced in early 2012, the Modern UI based Firefox web browser is ready for download (if only in beta form). The browser is optimized for touchscreen interaction and makes use of Windows 8 features like swipe gestures, the Share charm and, of course, tiles.

Traditional Firefox features like the Awesome bar and Firefox Sync are available too. Read more »

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 hands-on

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The growth spurt experience by smartphones has jumped to tablets too – the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 dwarfs the 7 and 10-inch Android tablets and is the biggest tablet we’ve had in our office.

How much do those couple of extra inches matter anyway? The Note Pro 12.2 screen has nearly 50% more surface area than a 10.1″ tablet. Read more »