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Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo Mint Green hands-on

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The recently released Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo was announced as the spiritual successor to the Galaxy Note II, except with the redesigned back panel introduced with the Galaxy Note 3.

Live from the Samsung Forum 2014 in Bali, we’ve been able to get our hands on the latest nifty new Mint Green color variant. Read more »

Xperia Z1 Compact has a plastic back, Sony confirms

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Sony Xperia Z1 Compact may look and feel like its bigger sibling, but as it turns out there is a subtle but important difference in the build of the two.

Some users have previously pointed out that the Xperia Z1 Compact rear may be actually made of plastic instead of “durable tempered glass” as its white paper claims. Well, this is indeed the truth – the Z1 Compact back is plastic. Read more »

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo kernel source now published

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As mandated by the Android terms of usage, Samsung has followed the market release of its latest Galaxy Note 3 Neo phablet with the publishing of the kernel source code of the device. That’s great news to any developer looking to build more elaborate ROMs or simply custom kernels for the Note 3 Neo.

So if you have some coding skills you can follow the source link to obtain the files and start fiddling with them. And even if you don’t, you’ll just have to wait for the first group to do their magic and then hope they’ll be kind enough to share their creations with the rest of us. Read more »

New Droid phones may be required to come with Kit-Kat

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Android phones are a double-edged sword: you have a wide variety to choose from, but that variety comes at a price: late software updates.

A leaked memo from Google, however, may change all of that as it stipulates that all new Android smartphones will be required to have Kit-Kat installed on them out of the box. Read more »

Samsung to produce Apple’s A8 chips no more

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Samsung helped to create the speedy iPhone 5S by manufacturing the 64-Bit A7 chipset that powers the phone.

Apple and Samsung’s CPU partnership may be coming to an end, however, as reports indicate that Samsung will stop producing the chips for Apple. Read more »

HTC One Max and One mini get updated to Android 4.4 KitKat

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Following HTC’s update of its One flagship earlier this month, the Taiwanese company has today outed the latest version of Android for the compact, dual-SIM and flagships version of the One lineup.

The HTC One mini, One Max, and One dual-SIM will all start receiving Android 4.4 KitKat today. Read more »

Smartphone OSes and their app stores, an infographic

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Analyst companies put out predictions of how the mobile business will develop in the future on a regular basis but all the tables of percentages and millions of units can get a little dry.

Instead, here’s how a more graphical way rundown of the top four smartphone platforms and their respective app stores stack up against each other. Read more »

Apple and Google rejecting apps cashing in on the Flappy Bird name

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So Flappy Bird turned out to be a major success, more than even the developer had imagined, causing him to eventually take the game down. Naturally, then, everyone and their dog since then has tried to cash in on the aerodynamically challenged bird’s fame with several ‘Flappy’ games now on both the App Store and the Play Store.

It seems, after quite some time, both Apple and Google have noticed this trend and are now clamping down on developers who are submitting apps with ‘Flappy’ in the name. Several developers have reported recently that their apps were rejected simply for ‘attempting to leverage a popular app’. Read more »

Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 LTE battery test

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The Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 in our office is the Snapdragon 800-powered version, which features full voice call functionality. This used to be reserved for Samsung’s 7″ tablets, but we’re glad to see Samsung enable this on the larger tablets as well. Users are paying for that LTE modem anyway, might as well get the full benefits.

The Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 features a large 8,220mAh Li-Ion battery and uses a chipset found in phones. This makes the sharp 10.1″ screen the primary weight on the battery relative to phones. Read more »

Lava Iris Pro 30 review

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Lava launched its new line of smartphones under the theme of “Art meets Smart” a few days ago. With the new venture the company has promised to deliver high-end smartphone experience at an affordable price tag.

The first smartphone in the new line up is the Iris Pro 30, which comes with a quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex A7 CPU along with PowerVR SGX544 GPU on a MediTek MT6589 chipset. Read more »

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Lite 7.0 hands-on

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The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Lite 7.0 has a mouthful of a name but its specs sheet is modest at best. It’s a toned-down version of the Galaxy Tab 3 7.0, bringing a lower-end processor and camera while featuring larger dimensions.

The device also does away with the front-facing shooter and calling capabilities, but retains the 1024 x 600 screen, TouchWiz on top of Android 4.2, and is in the same price range at launch. Read more »

Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo battery life test

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The Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo comes in as the second entry in both the new Neo lineup from Samsung, and the Grand family. With a quad-core processor, it hopes to provide more capable performance compared to its predecessor, the Galaxy Grand.

The battery size and overall specs remain the same, so we’ll have to see how much the bump in processing power impact battery life. Let’s dive right in! Read more »

Sony Xperia Z1s goes on an underwater manatee shoot

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Sony caught up with underwater photographer Carol Grant recently, and gave her its Xperia Z1s flagship with which to do one of her interesting manatee photoshoots.

While the results are understandably less impressive than her DSLR work, the unedited shots taken with the Xperia Z1s are quite good. Read more »

BBM 2.0 for iOS and Android brings a host of new features

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BlackBerry announced that a major update is coming to BBM for iOS and Android. Version 2.0 of the popular adds a host of new features to the popular messenger, headed by voice calling.

Voice calling works over both Wi-Fi and cellular connection and allows a user to call his/her BBM contacts anywhere in the world. The feature is available free of charge. Read more »

Basemark X 3D benchmark updated to 1.1, runs on the top three smartphone OSes

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Benchmarks are a big part of our reviews and Basemark X is one of the newer ones we’re using. The company behind it, Rightware, just announced that it has covered all three major smartphone OSes, which is a must-have for inter-platform comparisons.

The latest version, Basemark X 1.1, is based on Unity 4.2, a popular game engine and IDE. Read more »