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HTC One (M9) renders size it up against the Galaxy S6, iPhone 6

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HTC One (M9) is yet to be officially presented to the world, so all we have to look at are hurried photos and leaked images promoting phone cases. Luckily, Martin Hajek is a wiz at making 3D models and he used all info available on the One (M9) to create a virtual phone and put it up against the Apple iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy S6.

The Galaxy S6 is also waiting for its official introduction, of course, but a few days ago Hajek modelled that one too. Read more »

Android 5.0 Lollipop battery life test on Galaxy S5, LG G3, One (M8) and Nexus 5

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Previously we explored how the jump from Android 4.4 KitKat to 5.0 Lollipop had affected several flagships in terms of performance, now it’s time to have a look at what it does to battery life. For this test we’ll be using the Samsung Galaxy S5 (Snapdragon 801 version), LG G3 (2GB RAM, 16GB storage), HTC One (M8) and the Nexus 5.

All four were recently updated to Lollipop and the new major version of the mobile OS promises additional battery savings through clever optimizations. Read more »

The new View-Master is a kid-friendly, Google Cardboard-compatible VR headset

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One of the earliest virtual reality headsets – the View-Master – is getting a 21st century makeover. Mattel has partnered with Google to create the new View-Master, which is based on Google Cardboard and will offer a kid-friendly, immersive experiences.

The new product comes with a modernized version the fairly recognizable shape and has even kept reels. Read more »

Samsung Galaxy Live app will enable 24/7 live chat with customer care in southeast Asia

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Less than a week ago Google announced that its Helpouts platform will enable live-chatting with salespersons at the Play Store. Now in Malaysia Samsung announced that its Galaxy Live app will offer 24/7 live chats with customer care.

The app has been available for a while in Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Taiwan and New Zealand and has over 3 million downloads. Read more »

300 Android devices perform The Hymn of Joy live

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Google’s #TogetherNotTheSame moved from cute animals to emulating Freddie Mercury – 300 smartphones and tablets were put together, each displaying a different Androidify character singing the same song through the devices speakers.

Instead of Bohemian Rhapsody, the Android Chorus did a rendition of The Hymn of Joy, set to a beatbox-y Ode to Joy. Read more »

Amazon offering 37 apps for free, normally totaling $140/€100

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Amazon is giving out paid apps for free again, this time the bundle costs $140 in total. Not that you’ll pay a dime of it, if you download the apps from the Amazon App Store. As usual it’s a varied bundle ranging from Office apps to health apps plus a lot of games

The big ticket items are the Longman Dictionary (Audio Edition), which normally goes for $30 and OfficeSuite Professional 8, usually $20. Read more »

Samsung promises a capable, simple to operate camera for the Galaxy S6

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There’s plenty of rumors about the Galaxy S6 camera, now let’s hear a teasing-but-vague word from the horse’s mouth. Samsung is celebrating 15 years since it put a 0.3MP camera on the SCH-V200 with a post that traces the trajectory of the Galaxy S cameras, both front and back, over the years.

Samsung has taken on the challenge of making a camera module that produces good photos, but still fits in phones that become increasingly thinner. Read more »

Rumor: HTC Petra will be the company’s first wearable, won’t run Android Wear

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HTC has been promising a smart wearable since late 2013 and it finally seems ready to unveil it at this year’s MWC. It will allegedly be called Petra and will not be an Android Wear device. Instead it will run a simple custom OS that supports Android 4.4+ and iOS 7+.

The HTC Petra sounds like a sporty smart band with IP57 and MIL-STD-810G certifications and an included footpad for more accurate step counting. Read more »

Sony Xperia E4 and E4 Dual promo videos promise budget party phones

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Sony quietly unveiled the Xperia E4 and E4 Dual – entry-level smartphones with a 5″ qHD screen, quad-core processor and a surprisingly good 5MP/1080p camera. The phones will launch with at least Android 4.4.4 KitKat though Sony’s web site claims 5.0 Lollipop.

I’ll leave the two promo videos to introduce the Xperia E4 couple in more detail. Read more »

SAR values for Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge revealed

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It’s not like we needed any more evidence that the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge exist, but Samsung continues to provide it by slowly building up various web pages for those two. First the support page and now the official SAR values are out.

And if that’s an important consideration for you, you’ll be glad to hear they are very low. Some of the lowest among the current crop of flagships, in fact. Read more »

Amazon offers discounts for Kindle tablets and e-readers as a Valentine’s Day deal

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Amazon, being the symbol of consumerism that it is, has some strange ideas of what constitutes an appropriate – never mind good – gift for Valentine’s Day. Honey, I got you some Kindle tablets and e-readers, they were on sale!

Jokes aside, the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 (64GB, Wi-Fi) has been slashed from its normal price of $480 to just $300. That’s not a bad deal for an 8.9″ 2,560 x 1,600px display, Snapdragon 805 and a free Amazon Prime subscription. Read more »

Weekly poll results: Moto G 4G (2015) voted phone of the week

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A number of interesting devices were unveiled in the last week of January and now you’ve had a whole week to vote to cast your favorite. The devices are concentrated around the mid-range and come from a varied selection of makers – Motorola, Samsung, HTC, Asus, ZTE and Meizu.

This was not a close race, a clear favorite emerged with second place far away in its rear mirror. Read more »

Cute animals become friends, conspire to promote Android

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The official Android account on YouTube posted a video titled “Android: Friends Furever.” The misspelling is intentional – the video is a compilation unlikely animal friendships. A monkey and a dog, cat and ducklings, an elephant and a sheep, let’s just say the video causes a cuteness overload.

This continues the “Be together. #NotTheSame” campaign that Google has been running since last year. Read more »

Olympus Air is a lens style camera with PEN guts

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Sony’s lens style cameras (QX10 and QX100) seemed like oddball devices, but they are gaining popularity. The Olympus Air A01 takes a micro four thirds image sensor from the company’s OM-D and PEN cameras and puts it into a self-contained body that can be attached to and controlled by a smartphone.

The Air can use any lens from the M.Zuiko lineup to offer additional flexibility. Read more »

Teaser video shows Android 5.0 Lollipop on OnePlus One

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OnePlus is teasing the Android 5.0 Lollipop update for its phone on video. The update is supposed to arrive this month, though the video doesn’t make it perfectly clear if this is a Cyanogen ROM or OnePlus’ new in-house Oxygen software.

There’s certainly a Cyanogen OS 12S ROM for the OnePlus One on the way, but after the two companies had a falling out OnePlus started work on its own software. Read more »