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HTC gets serious about exercise with HTC Grip smart band

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HTC has been promising a wearable for years now, but this year it delivered. The HTC Grip is a smart band with a built-in GPS, built in a collaboration with Under Armour. The company made it clear this isn’t for casual tarining, the Grip is aimed at fitness enthusiast and pro athletes.

Being a serious tool, it focuses on standalone performance rather than its interactions with a smartphone (it’s compatible with Android 4.3+ and iOS 7+). Read more »

HTC jumps into the VR game with the Vive headset, partners with Valve for games

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Valve is preparing a VR demonstration for the Game Developers Conference in March, but the first hardware for it came out unexpectedly from HTC. The HTC Vive headset will work with PCs rather than phones, but the company claims it has what it takes to beat the Oculus Rift.

This could be a big win for HTC though as official figures have it that Valve has 125 million users, nearly 9 million of which are online at the same time. Read more »

Weekend poll results: LG G Flex2 gets fan approval, fields a few jokes

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Last week we asked you what you think about the LG G Flex2. It’s the first Snapdragon 810 device and it’s a notable improvement over the original, making it all the more likely to become the first commercially successful bendy phone (it helps that it’s cheaper than its predecessor too).

The LG G Flex2 is already on sale, so if you were considering getting one you might want to learn what the public thinks of it. Read more »

Swiss show off smartwatches with a shared platform and 2 year battery life

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The Swiss are famous for their watches, but have been very shy about smartwatches so far. Mondaine (makers of the iconic Swiss railway clocks), Frederique Constant and Alpina (an FC subsidiary) have all introduced smartwatches at Baselworld, a key watch and jewellery industry showcase event.

The Mondaine Helvetica No. 1 (with labels in the namesake font) is based on the regular watch model of the same name but sprinkles some smart functionality. Read more »

Intel teases new Intel Atom x3, x5 and x7 processors while announcing a new naming scheme

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Intel is trying to make its Atom line of processors more user-friendly naming scheme than the current four digit (plus maybe letters) arrangement. From now on Atoms will follow the same three-fold division that the premium Core i processors have, but with a different letter.

The good, better and best of the Intel Atoms will be labeled x3, x5 and x7 respectively. And that’s not all, as Intel’s PR blogpost suggests that the change is not in the names only, but there is actually new silicone ready to be announced. Read more »

Xiaomi may be teasing a sports camera for March 2

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Xiaomi is teasing a new device for March 2, the teasers themselves are based around a matchbox, suggesting a tiny device. But what is it? The current most popular guess is a sports camera.

The company already has a smartband, so a sports camera isn’t out of the realm of possibilities. Read more »

MediaTek MT6795 smokes Snapdragon 810 in Geekbench 3.0, closes in on Exynos 7420

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The MediaTek MT6795 chipset has been in the works for quite a while now, but early benchmarks show it will have Samsung’s Exynos 7420 to compete with, while Snapdragon 810 lags behind. All three of these chipsets have the same basic CPU setup – a big.LITTLE combo with four Cortex-A57 and four Cortex-A53.

The leaked result comes from Geekbench 3.0, a developer board by the looks of it. This is a CPU benchmark so we can’t compare GPUs – the PowerVR G6200 in the MediaTek, the Mali-T760 in the Exynos and the Adreno 430 in the Snapdragon. Read more »

To the Moon: Pebble Time reaches 38 thousand backers, $8 million in less than 24 hours

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And just like that the Pebble Time smart watch has reached over 38 thousand backers and a whopping $8 million pledged. Granted Pebble could have gone the traditional route, but it’s one of the legendary Kickstarters and there’s no denying this is great marketing.

Less than 24 hours since the campaign launched it’s closing in on the previous campaign, $10.3 million, but at this rate it should break all records. Read more »

Archos unveils tablets and laptops for schools: Android, Windows 8.1 and Chrome OS

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Archos has joined The “Grand Digital for Schools Project,” which will do a trial run of equipping 50,000 middle and high school students with tablets and laptops. Next year the program will ramp things up to 1 million students.

Archos has unveiled devices – laptops and tablets with keyboard docks – in three sizes and three OSes – Windows 8.1 Professional, Android and even Chrome OS. Read more »

Samsung demoes first 10nm FinFET chip ahead of Intel

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Samsung scooped Intel and demoed the first 10nm FinFET chip in the world. The company had previously made eMMC storage and D-RAM chips at that node, but FinFET is the first step towards a 10nm Exynos chipset.

Samsung is already at 14nm and will be making the Galaxy S6-generation Exynos chipsets at that node, along with Apple’s new chipset. Qualcomm meanwhile is building the Snapdragon 810 on the older 20nm process. Read more »

First batch of Sony Xperia E4g and E4g Dual promo videos is out

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The Soy Xperia E4g tiptoed onto the stage, a 4G LTE version of the Xperia E4 that was announced just two weeks ago. Besides LTE, the new phone will have a slightly faster chipset and dual-SIM connectivity remains an option.

Sony has released no less than three videos to introduce the new phone. Read more »

Intel plans for 10nm chips in 2016, 7nm in 2018

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Intel has been working on the 14nm node for years, but it’s now sorted out and shipping – both as the mobile Broadwell processors in laptops and the Cherry Trail chipsets for phones and tablets. The next stop will be at 10nm, but Intel has plotted the future to 7nm as well.

These nanometers reflect the size of a silicon chip’s components. The smaller they are, the smaller the chip is. Also, shrinking the process node is the leading way to improve power efficiency and reduce the amount of produced heat. Read more »

Gilded Oppo R5 Limited Edition hands-on

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The Oppo R5 shortly held the title of the world’s thinnest smartphone that it stole from the Gionee Elife S5.1 but later lost to the Vivo X5 Max. The R5 left the ambition of being the thinnest behind and came out with a limited edition gilded Oppo R5, which will only ever be produced in 10,000 units.

The Gilded R5 has a golden hue on its exposed metallic frame that runs around the sides of the handset. There are a few gold highlights, including the hardware keys below the display, the ring around the camera module and the Oppo logo on the back. Read more »

Acer Liquid Jade S hands-on

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Acer is perhaps better-known for its tablets, but the Liquid series of phones offer quality specs on a budget. The Acer Liquid Jade S is a surprisingly light 5″ mid-ranger with dual-SIM connectivity. It was released a few months after its Liquid Jade sibling and brings a number of improvements.

Acer Liquid Jade S Handson

It adds LTE, moves to a 64-bit octa-core processor with double the RAM (2GB), doubles the storage (16GB) and tacks on a 5MP selfie camera. All in all, Liquid Jade S owners have what it takes to make non-S owners jealous. Read more »

Samsung Galaxy A7 hands-on

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Sometimes you have to start fresh to get it right, that’s what Samsung did with the Galaxy A series. They are all thin, with metal frames and go against Samsung’s very nature – they focus on looks and feel more than on features. Even so, the Samsung Galaxy A7 is pretty well loaded.

Samsung Galaxy A7 hands-on

It’s a 5.5″ phablet that serves as a mid-range alternative to the Galaxy Note 4. Read more »