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Samsung Galaxy A5 hands-on

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Who said the midrange had to look classless? Not Samsung – the Galaxy A5 is a grand exclamation to the opposite – it’s an upper midrange smartphone with a quality build and quality specs all without pushing you to flagship-worthy expenses.

The Samsung Galaxy A5 flaunts a 6.7mm body with an exquisite flat metal frame with metal buttons, a white pearl finish that flashes different nuances under light, a 5″ 720p panel of Super AMOLED quality up front and a very acceptable weight of 123g. Read more »

Letterpad is the first game for Apple Watch

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The first Apple Watch game became a reality well before the wearable’s commercial launch. Dubbed ‘Letterpad,’ the title will also be available for iPhone and iPad.

‘Letterpad’ consists of a 3 x 3 tile of letters. Read more »

New build of Windows 10 Technical Preview now out with Cortana and Xbox features

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Following its very detailed “briefing” about Windows 10 a couple of days ago, Microsoft has today released the January update for the Technical Preview of its next OS. This can now be downloaded from the dedicated site, and you can even get an ISO file if you so wish.

The January build comes with many new features, and probably the most important new things inside of it are Cortana and the new Xbox app. Read more »

Google will block Play Store, AdWords, and AdSense use in Crimea starting in February

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Complying with US sanctions on Crimea and following in the footsteps of Apple, Google will soon restrict the use of some of its services in the peninsula. Late last year the US government issued a new round of sanctions to retaliate against Russia’s annexation of Crimea, and this is the direct result of that.

Google can’t collect money for services from the peninsula, nor can it make payments to anyone over there. So the company will cut off services – some that will mostly impact businesses, such as AdWords and AdSense, but also one that will have an effect on ordinary citizens too, namely the Play Store. Read more »

Xiaomi’s selfie contest lets you win a Mi Box, Mi Camera Lens, and Mi Bunny mascot

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Xiaomi has just challenged its fans to a selfie contest over on its official forum. The Chinese company wants to see how much you love to take selfies. And to reward you, it’s offering three prizes: a Mi Box set top box, a Mi Camera Lens accessory for your smartphone, and a Mi Bunny mascot, in the 30cm iteration (which you can see in the photo below this paragraph).

All you have to do is go to this forum thread and post a selfie of you or your friends. The image should (obviously) include your face or your friends’ faces, but also things related to Xiaomi and MIUI, its Android overlay. So for example you can hold a Xiaomi product or a piece of paper on which you’ve written the company’s name. Read more »

Over 170,000 new Insiders signed up after Windows 10 event

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As most of you surely know Microsoft organized an event on January 21 to showcase the progress and innovations in Windows 10 and beyond. The conference was quite interesting and gave answers to a lot of pressing questions, especially regarding the new OS on mobile device and the new unified application ecosystem. After a few encouragements from the speakers apparently a lot more people got excited about the new insider program and Microsoft was happy to announce that over 170 000 new registrations were received for the program in the two days after the event.

Windows 10 is truly a major upgrade over previous versions and Microsoft made that abundantly clear not only through the wide array of exciting new announcements and the emerging One Windows ideology, but also through the new open development process with in-depth user-engagement along the way. A big part of that is Microsoft’s new “Insider program”. Read more »

Project HoloLens infographic gives us an overlook of how it works

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Microsoft’s Project HoloLens came out of nowhere – no one expected the company to join the VR/AR headset race, but Microsoft deemed it important enough to close its Windows 10 even with it. The headset promises both artificial reality (AR), overlaying virtual objects on the real world, and virtual reality (VR), which replaces the real world completely.

This futuristic piece of tech packs a lot of advanced functionality, but this infographic will give you a digestible look at how it works. Read more »

Adreno 430 benchmarked, trounces Adreno 330

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Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 has come under fire with reports that it will be delayed because overheats, though both Qualcomm and LG (which launched the first S810-powered phone) refute those claims. What can we expect from this chip?

After all, it’s based on ARM’s CPU cores not a Qualcomm custom design. Well, the GPU is a custom design and GFX Bench gives us a taste of what it is capable of. Read more »

Skype will be built into Windows 10, sync contacts with your phone and email

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With Windows 10 Skype will be making the transition from an important app to a part of the OS itself, both on phones and on the desktop. The new app will sync its contact book with that of your phone and your email, which will let you stay in touch even if your friends are using an Android or an Apple product.

Microsoft doesn’t quite make it clear how that will work, but on phones the app will handle SMS messages as well as its own Skype messages. Read more »

Microsoft details Project Spartan browser – legacy support still present, focus is on modern features

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Microsoft’s event was packed with new announcements and there just wasn’t enough time for details. Project Spartan is the new default browser for Windows 10 and it’s a universal app – it will run on PCs, tablets, phones and the Xbox.

In a post on its developers network, Microsoft has detailed some of the highlights of Spartan. Read more »

Samsung’s Orbis round smartwatch has its features detailed

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Samsung is currently working on its next smartwatch. It will be called Orbis, and it will be round, unlike any of the Korean company’s previous offerings in this space. And today we get a pretty big list of rumored features for this wearable.

The following information reportedly comes from reliable and trustworthy sources. That said, even if everything you’ll read here was true at one point, keep in mind that gadget development plans do sometimes change, so the finished product may be different. Read more »

Lumia Camera will be the default camera app on Windows 10

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Microsoft has confirmed that its Lumia Camera will be the stock camera app on the upcoming Windows 10.

This means that all Windows Phone 8.1 devices are going to be using the camera suite when the Windows 10 update launches for their phones – and that’s not a bad thing at all. Read more »

Oppo pokes fun at ordinary non-rotating cameras in a new commercial

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Oppo has been trying to bring something truly innovative to the smartphone world for some time. Among its main accomplishments is the rotating camera, which debuted with the Oppo N1 and went motor-driven on the Oppo N3, something which the company is genuinely proud of.

In a recent commercial, showcasing the N3′s key feature, a crowd of tourists is wreaking havoc in an art gallery, breaking sculptures and stumbling upon other people. Read more »

Nexus 9 and Chromecast land on New Zealand and Taiwan shores

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Google has quietly expanded the availability of the Nexus 9 tablet and the Chromecast to two new countries. The lucky winners are New Zealand and Taiwan. Residents of both can head to the Play Store if they want to grab a unit.

The new Nexus 9 is one of the few tablets around with Nvidia’s Tegra K1 chipset with the custom Denver CPU core. Even Nvidia’s own Shield tablet uses the more common Cortex-A15 core. Read more »

Microsoft’s HoloLens promo video arrives, quickly goes viral

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Sci-fi has always had a thing for virtual reality, and it appears that is not just fiction writers. In real life we’re slowly inching our way there, trying to get the augmented kind working properly at this point. With the Google Glass project on hold, Microsoft is up to offer an alternative with its HoloLens.

And a great alternative at that, if you judge by the response its promotional video is receiving on YouTube. Read more »