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Samsung increases R&D spending, decreases ad budget

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Samsung is going through some rougher times than it’s used to with sales last year falling 9.8%. According to an audit report, Samsung Electronics will be increasing its research and development (R&D) budget around 7.4% to KRW 15.3 trillion, that is $13.8 billion.

The company will be spending over a billion dollars a month for R&D this year. Another way to look at it, 7.4% of sales go to R&D. That’s the most Samsung had ever spent on developing new products. Read more »

Rumored Oppo smartwatch to get a day’s worth of charge in 5 minutes

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While there were two high-profile flagship smartphones at the MWC, there’s no denying that wearables stole the show. A leak shows that Oppo wants in on the action and is developing an LG Watch Urbane like wearable with a round display.

The company reportedly has a solution to the battery life issues that plague most smartwatches – super fast charging. Read more »

Google Contacts wants to (eventually) be your online address book

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Google’s social network may not be doing so well, but the company hasn’t given up on connecting people. The latest venture is Google Contacts – an online address book. It’s still in the preview stages but you can try it out today (unless you are a Google Apps user).

Contacts pools together info from your phone’s contact list and your contacts’ Google profiles. Read more »

iOS 8 adoption rate reaches 75%, iOS 7 still going strong

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iOS 8 adoption got off to a slow start – it took three weeks to achieve 40% share. iOS 6 and 7 before took only a week to hit 50%. Now, close to half a year after iOS 8 was unleashed to the public, it has clawed its way up to 75%, Apple says.

Version 8 has already had one minor update (v8.1) with the next one (v8.2) expected in about a week and the one after that (v8.3) already seeding to developers. Read more »

iOS support may be coming to Android Wear, unofficial options are already here

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Sources claim that Google is working on iOS support for its Android Wear smartwatch platform, which couldn’t come sooner with the Apple Watch launch.

In the meantime several developers have created their own solutions. Read more »

Who’s afraid of the dark: testing Galaxy S6 camera’s low-light performance

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Samsung had a dimly lit setup to test the low-light performance of the Galaxy S6‘s new camera. With a Galaxy Note Edge and a Apple iPhone 6 on hand we snapped a couple of shots.

The idea is simple – a dark box with two holes just big enough to poke the camera of a phone. Read more »

Pebble unveils Time Steel at the MWC, backers get the option to upgrade

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The Pebble team is playing Kickstarter like a fiddle – just as the campaign was losing steam after the explosive growth of the first 24 hours, the Pebble Time Steel was announced. This should inject the campaign with a fresh dose of enthusiasm, but will also draw in people who were holding out for the inevitable all-metal version.

Current backers needn’t be jealous though, they have the option to upgrade to the Time Steel if they are okay with the price premium. Read more »

Google Play celebrates 3rd birthday, treats you to up to 90% discounts instead of lollipops

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The Google Play Store turned three today and is celebrating by slashing prices on select items in its catalog up to 90%.

Technically, the Play Store was born on March 6 2012 when Google combined the Android Market with Google Music, Google Videos and Google Books into the unified Play Store. Read more »

Samsung unveils 8MP ISOCELL selfie camera, new NFC chip

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Samsung is best known for its phones these days, but behind the successful Galaxy line are huge component factories and R&D laboratories. The latest in their creations include a new 8MP ISOCELL selfie camera and a new NFC chip.

Both components tie into two of the biggest fashions in the mobile market – selfies and mobile payments. Read more »

Sony Xperia Z3 spotted running Android 5.0.2 Lollipop at the MWC

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Sony announced that its entire Xperia Z lineup (yes, even the original Xperia Z) will get updated to Lollipop and… we’re still waiting. Spotted in the MWC halls in Barcelona was an Xperia Z3 running Android 5.0.2 Lollipop.

There’s no indication of how close to final it is. Read more »

Gionee Elife S7 hands-on

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Gionee has become known for its ultra-thin phones, but with the Elife S7 it also wanted great battery life from a phone that doesn’t overheat. The result is an elaborate and fairly unique design.

The metal frame of the phone is built from aircraft grade stainless steel. The sides of this frame are grooved, something quite deliberate. Read more »

Fujitsu demoes iris recognition tech, thinks it’s better than fingerprint scanners

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Fingerprint readers are old news – Fujitsu says that iris scanning technology is the way forward. Using an IR light emitter and a special sensor, a phone would be able to accurately recognize a user’s iris and unlock the phone as soon as you look at it.

The hardware – which weighs less than 1g – is still in the prototype stage, however Fujistsu says phones with the new ActiveIRIS recognition tech will launch this year. Read more »

Motorola Moto E (2015) hands-on

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The Moto E was one of the best phones you can buy on a budget, but now we have its successor in our hands. The Motorola Moto E (2015) has grown in size and we like the design better than the original. Plus, it’s more customizable, like a simple DIY Motomaker.

With increased competition from Microsoft and Chinese Androids, Motorola has to stay on top of its game if it wants to remain popular in the entry-level segment. Read more »

The Nikon Coolpix P900 makes things 83 times closer with its massive zoom

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The Nikon Coolpix P900 offers a whopping 83x zoom and up to 166x if you enable digital zoom. The impressive specs come from a fixed Nikkor ED lens that goes from 24mm f/2.8 to 2,000mm f/6.5 (that’s in 35mm equivalent).

The P900 features a 16MP BSI sensor (1/2.3″) and an impressive set of connectivity features, but all this doesn’t come cheap. Read more »

Vote now for the hottest flagship of MWC 2015: HTC One M9, Samsung Galaxy S6 or S6 edge?

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Day 0 of the MWC – which officially begins today on Monday – is drawing to a close, but fans of the superstars have gotten their fill. HTC unveiled the new One M9 and soon after that Samsung followed with Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge.

We have first-hand impressions from them, but we were curious what you, our readers, think of today’s most wanted. Read more »