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Xiaomi Mi 4 benchmarked, compared with other Snapdragon 801 flagships

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Xiaomi let reporters fondle its new flagship, the Mi 4, so now we have the first benchmark score and several photos from the 13MP camera.

Also, hands-on photos show off two of the custom backs for the Xiaomi Mi 4 – wood and stone. Read more »

Watch first official hands-on demo of the Nokia Lumia 530

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The newly-announced Nokia Lumia 530 will be in stores next month but here’s your first chance to see more of the device in the official hands-on video. The video touts the 530′s colorful back panels that can be changed on a whim and the many apps Windows Phone 8.1.

Focusing on apps is no surprise, “Nokia” is really a division of Microsoft now and Windows Phone is its growing smartphone ecosystem. Read more »

Motorola US running a clearance sale on phone accessories

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Motorola US is doing some spring cleaning and has put up an array of accessories on a clearance sale. The prices of some products have been significantly slashed so if you wanted a power pack, headset or other accessory for your Moto now’s the time.

Also cases and shells for the Moto X and Droids are 50% off, screen protectors – 25%. Read more »

Western Digital introduces 6TB HDD, Red Pro line

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Disk maker Western Digital has expanded its NAS-centric Red line with 6TB hard disks (the increased capacity is headed to the consumer-oriented Green line). WD has also introduced the new Red Pro line for medium to large businesses.

The Western Digital Red disks now range from 1TB to 6TB and support 1 to 8-bay NAS setups. Read more »

HTC unveils first One (E8) ad in China, calls it the “Fashion edition”

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The HTC One (E8) launched first in China to great acclaim but HTC has just now released the first Chinese ad for the dual-SIM version of the flagship. The video is not for the regular One (E8) – instead it touts “HTC One Fashion Edition” if we can believe Google Translate.

Not sure what’s “fashion” about it though, it’s still a polycarbonate body available in Black, White, Red and Blue as the regular version. Read more »

The new MediaTek chipsets can slow down time 16x with 480fps video capture

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MediaTek unveiled a new 64-bit octa-core chipset and almost lost among the many features on its specs sheet is Super-Slow Motion. The feature can capture 1080p at a brisk 480fps framerate – for comparison current flagship smartphones usually top out at 720p @ 120fps.

With 480fps video the camera can slow the action down to 1/16s of real time. Read more »

Sony revamps its boot loader unlock tool

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Sony has allowed users to unlock the boot loaders of their phones since 2011 (barring carrier restrictions) and now the company is re-launching the service with improved usability. The unlock process consists of just three steps and after the update the tool’s web page will be more helpful in guiding you through the process.

Here’s what it takes to unlock the boot loader of your Xperia – go to unlockbootloader.sonymobile.com and select your device, enter your IMEI number and unlock the device with the provided code. Read more »

Google-owned Nest and Samsung join forces for the future of home automation

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Wearables are gaining ground but there’s a revolution brewing in home appliances too – Google recently acquired Nest Labs while Samsung announced its own home automation platform. Instead of developing multiple incompatible technologies Nest, Samsung and others have united to create Thread.

Thread is built on 802.15.4 – a low-power wireless standard already used in home automation – but the Thread Group says previous standards built on it were developed before the Internet of Things. Read more »

Ritot is a unique smart band concept with a built-in pico projector

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You may have seen projection clocks, but what if you could wear one of those on your hand? That’s what the makers of Ritot are campaigning for on IndieGoGo – a smart band that uses a projector to cast a big, readable notifications on your wrist.

It has to be said the prototypes look much better than regular smart bands – an aluminum ring covered in leather, the Ritot can pass for a fashion accessory. Read more »

Samsung Galaxy K zoom battery test

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The Samsung Galaxy K zoom packs a 2,430mAh battery, less that you would imagine looking at its bulk. Still, Samsung has had a few iterations to optimize its Exynos chipset for great power efficiency and the Galaxy Note 3 Neo got great results with the same chipset (but bigger battery).

Despite its camera-oriented nature, the Galaxy K zoom has full smartphone functionality. Read more »

Weekend Poll results: Samsung Galaxy S5 mini not feeling the love

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We threw the new Samsung Galaxy S5 mini into the pit of ravenous Android minis and they were not kind to it. The previous mini battle saw the HTC One mini 2 win a decisive victory over the Galaxy S4 mini and while Samsung’s latest flagship mini put up more of a fight it just wasn’t enough.

Even the LG G2 mini, the biggest of all minis in the ring, dispatched its South Korean neighbor. Read more »

New version of Play Store might allow data restoration from specific devices

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Have you ever had this happen – during the initial setup of an Android device, you tap the restore option and the OS starts reinstalling all sorts of apps you had on your old devices, including many you don’t need? Google might be working on a more intelligent restore option that will allow you to select a backup from a specific device to be restored.

This will make the restore process much easier to deal with for those that have more than one Android device. Read more »

Samsung 850 PRO SSDs prices unveiled, start at $130

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Samsung unveiled its new 850 PRO SSDs a week ago and now we have the official prices of the new drives. They are built using a 3D V-NAND technology, which improves performance and energy efficiency. The drives achieve 550MB/s reads (100K IOPS) and 520MB/s writes (90K IOPS).

The 850 PRO series is launching in 53 countries in capacities ranging from 128GB to 1TB. Read more »

Sony tells the history of the selfie, self-promotion since 1839

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To celebrate the launch of its selfie phone, the Xperia C3, Sony has dived into the history of the selfie and distilled the info into an easy to digest infographic. If you think “selfie” is a recent fad, you’ll be wrong – one Robert Cornelius took the first selfie in 1839.

This Victorian selfie wasn’t snapped with a cell phone in the bathroom mirror, obviously, Cornelius used the daguerreotype process. Read more »

Amazon.com drops 10″ Asus VivoTab RT TF600T tablet to just $175

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The Asus VivoTab RT TF600T is getting on two years old now and Amazon is clearing out its stock by slashing the original price to just $175. The Windows RT platform is drying up on the vine, but getting a 10.1″ tablet under $200 is still a pretty good deal.

Before non-US readers get excited I should clarify that the price cut is only available on Amazon.com. Read more »