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The second generation ASUS Nexus 7 came over, here goes the unboxing

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It’s been a few days since the second generation ASUS Nexus 7 hit the shelves, so we promptly got our hands on the hot hardware. The successor of the most popular slate in the Android realm is currently available in the United States with an entry-level price tag of $229.

The new Nexus 7 is everything a tablet sequel should be. It is more powerful, thinner, lighter, and better put together. It also comes with a brand new Android version to boot . Read more »

Sony Xperia ZR battery life test breakdown

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The Sony Xperia ZR is the little brother of the Xperia Z and Xperia ZL, and boasts pretty much every key specification they have. The major is the 4.55″ 720p display, which should be kinder to the equally large 2300 mAh battery inside the phone.

Identical chipsets and batteries plus a smaller screen of lower resolution give the Xperia ZR every chance of beating its premium rivals. Read more »

Google to provide free Wi-Fi hotspot to 7000 Starbucks coffee shops in the US

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Google has teamed up with Starbucks to provide a free Wi-Fi hotspot in all of the chain’s 7000 coffee shops around the USA. The search giant promises that once the update has finished, customers will be able to enjoy the web at speeds “up to 10x faster than before”.

And if a particular Starbucks coffee shop happens to be in the few areas where Google has its Fiber service set up, the speed bump will be up to 100 times. Read more »

We benchmark Sony Xperia Z Ultra’s Snapdragon 800, charts inside

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The Sony Xperia Z Ultra is not only an enormous 6.4″ beast of a phablet but it also belongs to a very exclusive group of devices that have the Snapdragon 800 chipset up and running. We got our hands on the device once again and this time we even managed to run a few synthetic benchmarks and see how much of a performance update you are actually getting.

The device should be very zippy courtesy of four Krait 400 cores clocked way up at 2.2 GHz and 2 gigs of RAM. The graphics are dealt with by the latest Adreno 330 GPU, which we’ve heard does a pretty good job. Read more »

Samsung Galaxy S III edges out iPhone 5 in customer satisfaction survey

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The first annual customer satisfaction survey from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) shows a pair of Samsung devices just beating the three most recent Apple smartphones.

The most recent Galaxy S4 flagship was not included because the study was done prior to its release. Read more »

Gameloft releases new Asphalt 8: Airborne teaser trailer with jaw-dropping graphics

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Gameloft has released a new trailer for its upcoming Asphalt 8: Airborne game. The game was featured at the Google Android event last week to show the capabilities of the new Nexus 7 in terms of graphics performance.

And in this trailer you can see some of the game’s glorious graphics, including some in-game footage. That’s a result of the brand new physics engine the game is boasting. Read more »

OpenSignal report visualises Android’s fragmentation

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Developers of the OpenSignal app for Android have used their vast user base to measure the level of fragmentation of Google’s mobile operating system. This year, more than 682,000 devices have been surveyed, almost 11,868 of which were distinct Android devices.

In comparison, in 2012 OpenSignal’s report saw just 3,997 distinct Android devices. Those are huge numbers for sure, and they also make for some interesting revelations. One of them is that a 47.5% of the devices are Samsung-made, which is no surprise considering the company’s recent performances. Read more »

Samsung responds to benchmark cheating allegations

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Yesterday we told you that Samsung tweaks the GPU performance of the octa-core Galaxy S4 in order to achieve higher benchmark scores. It was proven both by tests and internal code pointing to specific benchmarks such as Quadrant, AnTuTu, Linpack and GLBenchmark.

Today Samsung issued a response to those allegations. Read more »

A Nokia tablet pops up in GFXBench scores running Windows RT on a Snapdragon 800 chipset

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We’ve been down this road before so take this with a pinch of salt. A Windows RT tablet by Nokia showed up in GFXBench scores. The device carried the model name RX-114, RX-108 was a model name associated with Nokia tablet early this year (maybe this Tegra 3-powered tablet).

The benchmark reported a resolution of 1371 x 771 pixels for the screen, presumably a minor error with the real resolution being 1368 x 768, the standard 10.1″ Windows RT tablet resolution. Read more »

Amazon adds ability to search and purchase books from iOS Kindle app, sort of

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If you have used the Amazon Kindle app on iOS, you’d have noticed that there is no way to actually search and purchase books from within the app itself and you would have to do that from Amazon’s website whereas the same is completely possible from Apple’s own iBookstore.

Apple charges 30 percent of in-app purchases for all the apps on the App Store, an amount Amazon would have to pay if they enabled purchasing Kindle books through their app. This is something they wanted to avoid, which is why there was no option to purchase books in the iOS app. That is until now, in a way. Read more »

Microsoft updates SkyDrive website with new photo viewing and sharing features

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Microsoft has updated the web version of the SkyDrive service with several useful new features. First of all, the site now has support for high DPI displays, such as the Retina display, which means it will now show high DPI versions of images you have uploaded whenever it detects one of these devices.

The site now also has full support for GIF files. Although you could upload GIFs to the service previously they weren’t animated when you viewed them, which has now been fixed. Read more »

Octa-core Samsung Galaxy S4 caught cheating on GPU benchmarks

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Samsung I9500 Galaxy S4, the Exynos 5 Octa versions of the flagship, didn’t make it to most of the markets and remained the more exotic option. Production hiccups and delays plus the lack of LTE radio in the initial batch was the reason Samsung switched to Snapdragon 600 chipset and make the I9505 its worldwide flagship.

Anyway, the octa-core version followed shortly after the Snapdragon 600 was launched. We already had a meeting with the beast and found it slightly faster in benchmarks than its international sibling, but weaker when it comes to battery life. A new development however, suggests that the scores posted by the Exynos GPU are obtained by cheating and the I9500 real life performance is lower than its scores indicate. Read more »

The Amazon Kindle Fire HD 2013 to have some impressive specs, leak reveals

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The tablet competition is as heated as ever. While Samsung is seemingly taking a break from the race by serving us with a less than competitive recent batch of tablets, we are eagerly looking around to see what the competition will have on offer in the second half of 2013. Amazon still hasn’t announced its bid but we are already seeing reports that the company’s next gen tablets will make use of some powerful hardware.

According to a report, based entirely on industry sources and eye-witness accounts, the next generation of Kindles will include three devices in three different tiers. The highest tier – the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 – will sport the impressive 2560 x 1600 pixel resolution (up from 1920 x 1200 px) and a quad-core Snapdragon 800 chipset. Read more »

Samsung Galaxy S4 takes off to promote its features in yet another funny ad

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Earlier this year Samsung released a 30s commercial shot at an airport gate promoting the Galaxy S4′s Smart Pause and Air gestures.

There is now a sequel to this ad, promoting the same features but in a different scenario. This time around the Galaxy S4 has already made it to the airliner. Read more »

Samsung said to be working on a true octa-core CPU

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Rumors have it that Samsung has its first “true octa-core” CPU in the works. This follows MedaTek’s announcement of the first eight-core processor a few days ago.

The Samsung Exynos 5440 Octa is the company’s latest octa-core CPU at the moment, but technically it isn’t a true octa-core since a maximum of four cores can work at once – either the four Cortex A7 or the four Cortex A15 cores. Read more »