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Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook launches at $180

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The Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook, the ebook-focused tablet by Samsung and Barnes & Noble, is available in the US today at $180 (after a $20 instant rebate). That’s the same price as the pure-Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 7.0 but Barnes & Noble claims it is throwing in $200 worth of content.

That includes bestselling books, magazines, TV shows and you even get $5 store credit. Read more »

Facebook Messenger reaches 500 million downloads on Android

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Facebook carved out the chat functionality from its main app and transferred it exclusively to its Messenger app. Messenger is getting pummeled with 1-star reviews but that hasn’t stopped it from growing and it is now on over 500 million Android devices.

Only two other non-Google apps (so not Android defaults) have managed this – the main Facebook app and the Facebook-owned WhatsApp. Read more »

Got wood? Moto X gets free wood back upgrade until August 21

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The Motorola Moto X is on its way out with numerous Moto X+1 rumors swirling, but it’s still a reasonably attractive phone at $350. And now you can get one of the four wood backs at no extra cost.

You can pick Walnut, Bamboo, Ebony or Teak back instead of the usual plastic back. You don’t even have to ask, of course this is for the US only (sigh). Read more »

Samsung Galaxy Alpha video hands-on

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The Samsung Galaxy Alpha branches off the Galaxy S line. It brings the same flagship experience but in a more compact and, more importantly, a more premium body. The Galaxy phones (all of them) use practical plastic instead of expensive and heavy metal.

The Galaxy Alpha has a metal frame and still manages to be surprisingly light – just 115g. Read more »

Barnes & Noble posts a strangely excited teaser ad for the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook

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Samsung and Barnes & Noble announced the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook early this month – a 7″ Android tablet based on Samsung’s Tab 4 devices but powered by B&N software. A week ago the two companies sent out invites for the big event on August 20.

And just in case you’ve forgotten, here’s a teaser video that shows a group of people completely blown away by the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook. Read more »

Testing the Samsung Galaxy Alpha display

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The Samsung Galaxy Alpha uses a 4.7″ Super AMOLED display with 720p resolution and 312ppi pixel density. That’s a first for a Samsung phone – the Galaxy S III was a 4.8″ 720p screen while the Galaxy S5 mini has a 4.5″ 720p screen, both close but not the same. A rumored Galaxy S5 Neo is expected to use Alpha’s screen.

Anyway, the latest generation of Super AMOLED boasts improved sunlight legibility and color accuracy along with reduced power usage. As usual viewing angles are stunning. Read more »

Infographic flaunts Nokia 130 battery life, other perks

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The Nokia 130 came as a bit of a surprise – a feature phone from Microsoft. Yet, the software giant is committed to promoting the product though and published an infographic detailing just how much a €19 phone can do.

A lot of the talking points center around the 130′s battery life. Microsoft also seems keen to continue the “next billion” initiative started by Nokia. Read more »

HTC One (E8) battery test

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The HTC One (E8) sheds the weight of the aluminum unibody and drops the low-res UltraPixel camera in favor of a 13MP shooter. Neither of those affects battery life compared to the One (M8) and the battery capacity is still at 2,600mAh.

What could affect the battery endurance is the new chipset – the One (M8) we tested used a Qualcomm 8974AB while the One (E8) uses 8975AC. Read more »

HTC Desire 616 dual sim battery test

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The HTC Desire 616 dual sim has a large 5″ screen, eight CPU cores and two SIM cards – add those up and you’d think the phone needs a big, beefy battery. Except HTC decided that 2,000mAh should be enough.

How did that work out? Well, the endurance rating is good enough but that big screen and octa-core CPU really take their toll. Read more »

Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook event scheduled for August 20

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Samsung and Barnes & Noble announced a partnership that should have come to fruition in early August. However, it’s early August already and the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook is nowhere to be seen. A press invite for August 20 means things will finally get a move on later this month.

Samsung and B&N will be hosting the event at the Barnes & Noble in Union Square, New York. Read more »

Beats now has its own page in the Apple Store

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Beats now has a prominent position in the Shop Accessories portion of the Apple Store, a week after the deal officially closed. Beats comes second only to Apple-branded accessories and the page offers everything from headphones through wireless speakers to accessories or the accessories.

If you’re having a “yo, dawg” moment check out the Beats Pill Dude above. It comes in four colors and costs a whopping $50. It’s a doll/dock for the $200 Pill Speaker. Read more »

CyanogenMod 11 (Android 4.4) ported to Nokia X

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The original Nokia X trio will not see an update to the second version of the platform and the platform itself is on its way out. If you did get a Nokia X, though, you’ll soon be able to join the Android 4.4.4. KitKat crowd with CyanogenMod 11.

“Soon” because the current version of the ROM lacks three key features: Wi-Fi, camera and storage. Read more »

This Iron Throne iPhone case is the hottest accessory in Westeros

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Love “Game of Thrones” and hate comfort? Then this iPhone case is for you! By cleverly using sword-shaped toothpicks this will turn your smartphone into a mini Iron Throne.

The case is sold through Etsy by TheCommonRoom who fully appreciate that it’s not practical for daily use and recommends you keep it away from children. You know, especially if your son is next in line for the throne. Read more »

New Nook GlowLight brings sharper screen with smoother page flips

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Barnes & Noble just unveiled its latest eBook reader. The Nook GlowLight brings a better display and is available now in the US and UK for $119 and £89 respectively. The device builds on the Simple Touch with GlowLight with a sharper screen and more even illumination.

In the previous generation, Amazon’s reader had the advantage when it came to even illumination. Read more »

Sony will not support PlayStation Mobile past Android 4.4.2

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PlayStation on Android is dead, practically dead anyway. Sony has just announced that PlayStation Mobile will not be supported on Android versions 4.4.3 and newer. The game store and the games themselves will continue to work but Sony doesn’t guarantee they’ll continue to work if you update past 4.4.2.

The company states that it will move its focus to the PS Vita and PS Vita TV, where the game store will live on. Read more »