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Walmart launches VUDU Smart video streaming dongle

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Walmart has launched its own HDMI media streaming dongle for televisions. Called the VUDU Spark, the device connects you to VUDU network and lets you stream movies to your television.

The major draw here is the price, which at $25 is about $10 cheaper than the Chromecast. Unfortunately, that’s also the only advantage, as the VUDU Spark can only be used to stream content from VUDU, unlike the Chromecast, which can be used for a lot of things. Read more »

Weekly poll results: Xiaomi Mi Note Pro is a definite fan favorite

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Last week we threw 6 brand new handsets in a battle for the hottest smartphone of the week. TheXiaomi Mi Note Pro turned out to be in a league of its own, winning the crown hands down for a loud and clear statement where the fan love goes.

A total of 64% of you voted for the Xiaomi top-model, which was no surprise, given the smartphone’s impressive specsheet and attractive looks. Read more »

YotaPhone 2 hands-on

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YotaPhone 2 is among those smartphones you just can’t miss in the news. It is unique and innovative and we just had to take it for a spin. So, here is the unique YotaPhone 2 arriving at our office. And it has a premium retail box to match.

The YotaPhone 2 isn’t just a flagship with a 5″ 1080p AMOLED screen and running on a Snapdragon 800 chip. It is more than just a phone, thanks to its rear 4.7″ electronic paper display, which can be used as an e-book reader, as well as a primary display to operate the basic phone functions. Read more »

Amazon discounts Prime membership to $72 for a day

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In order to commemorate the Golden Globe awards its original show ‘Transparent’ received, Amazon have its Prime membership a serous discount. Today only, signing up for Amazon Prime will cost you $72, not the usual $99.

The $72 one-day price tag of the membership is not a coincidence. Read more »

iA Writer comes to Android

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Popular OS X and iOS app iA Writer is coming to Android. The developers have announced a beta version, which will be available for the first 999 people to sign up on their Google+ page, with the final version arriving later.

iA Writer beta will be available through the Play Store for $0.99. The reason behind this is that Google doesn’t allow developers to release a free app and then make it paid later. On the upside, if you are one of the 999 people to get the beta for $0.99, then you won’t have to pay anything extra when it gets updated to the final version later, which will cost $4.99. Read more »

Google responds to Jelly Bean WebView security concerns

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There have been recent concerns over the security issues in the rather outdated WebView mode in Android Jelly Bean. Due to its outdated nature, it is facing security issues, which would otherwise be a non-issue on newer versions of Android.

Google has responded to these concerns by basically saying they won’t be updating the WebView in Jelly Bean. But while that may not be what people have been expecting, Google does have a reasonable explanation for it. Read more »

Huawei CEO accuses Xiaomi Mi Note Pro of poor battery life

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Huawei CEO Richard Yu recently shared his thoughts on Xiaomi’s latest flagship handset – the Mi Note Pro. It appears that he was less than pleased with the phablet’s battery life after being able to experience it firsthand.

The Xiaomi Mi Note Pro is equipped with a 6-inch QHD display and has a 3,000mAh battery. This is precisely where Richard’s grudge with the device lies. According to a recent post he made on Weibo, the CEO considers that the resolution is overkill for a screen of this size and the human eye has difficulties distinguishing between Full HD and QHD at this scale. He continue to criticize Xiaomi’s hardware of choice by stating that the power-hungry, high-resolution display only diminishes battery life. Read more »

MINIX NEO Z64 Mini PC is now available with support for Android and Windows

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MINIX, a reputable media center hardware manufacturer, has announced the latest addition to its device lineup. It comes in the form of the Minix Neo Z64 Mini PC. The name is more than fitting, as the device is truly small and will fit nicely in front of any TV and also packs quite a punch offering PC-grade performance.

It is powered by an Intel Z3735F 64-bit processor with 2MB of cache and a Turbo clock of 1.83GHz. Tech-savy readers are sure to recognize the chip, as it is the same silicon that powers most of today’s Windows-based tablets. That being said, the device will more than readily run Android as well, making it as universal as it gets in terms of media PCs. Read more »

Sundance Film Festival to be the stage for multiple VR experiences

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The independent film festival, held annually in Utah, has been picked by Samsung to unveil three new short films, created specifically for its Gear VR. Combating the limited amount of content for the virtual reality platform, Samsung is attempting to showcase its capabilities to filmmakers.

The 7min long “The World Première of Herders” presents an insight into the life of Mongolian nomadic tribes. Read more »

Newly opened West Lake Apple Store in China attracts huge crowds

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Today the ribbon was cut and the West Lake Apple Store in Hangzhou, China opened its doors for customers. The event attracted a huge crowd of fans eager to check out one of the company’s largest retail stores in Asia.


Image source: bruce_shia on Instagram

Tim Cook also promoted the store on Twitter saying “Starting Something New in Hangzhou, China!” The latest store is part of a total of five outlets in China. The rest will open before the Chinese New Year on February 19. Read more »

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 »