Sunday, September 21, 2014

More HTC One (M9) Concept Images Appear

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HTC one M9 (16)

Writing concept posts is great fun, such as the HTC M9 we featured a week and a half ago. And this time we have another set of beautiful HTC One (M9) concept renders by Ashik Empro together with some information on what he’d like to see under the skin. Ashik’s specification mirrors HTC’s trend for putting slightly below bleeding edge hardware inside a beautiful body and he has asked for the device to be powered by a quad core 2.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor backed up by 3 GB of RAM, which compares with a quad core 2.3 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor for the M8 (upped to 2.5 GHz for some Asian markets) and 2 GB of memory.

The M9 will have a slightly bigger screen at 5.2-inch and 1,440 by 2,560 pixel resolution, compared with the 5.0-inch, 1,080 by 1,920 pixel screen on the current HTC One. The M9 will be available with a choice of 16 GB, 32 GB or 64 GB internal storage options too. The cameras get an upgrade too, with the rear camera set now featuring an optically stabilised 13 MP main unit with an 8 MP duo companion camera. The front camera will remain at 5 MP resolution. And the device will be powered by a 3,200 mAh battery. The renders look stunning, especially the red model (I have a preference for red devices or at least red cases) but I’d like to draw attention to Ashik’s processor specification as this is a little different to what I’d be expecting. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the Snapdragon 805. In terms of processing power and efficiency, it’s expected to behave in an identical way to the Snapdragon 801, but at higher clock speeds. No problem here, but Android L is coming and it’ll support 64-bit architecture.

I’d rather see the device jump to a 64-bit processor so as to take advantage of this. At the moment based on what Qualcomm and Nvidia have said about their 64-bit chipsets, I’d like to replace the Snapdragon 805 with the Snapdragon 810. The Nvidia K1 is reckoned to be the current king of the hill when it comes to chipsets, but this is because the Snapdragon 810 hasn’t been released yet. This is a big.LITTLE processor operating a pair of quad core processors, four Cortex-A57s and four Cortex-A53s, just like one of the processors we’ll find in the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. It’s reported to offer an improvement of between 25% to 55% in performance compared with the Snapdragon 805 but draws around 20% less power. For most people, most of the time, mobile processors are already quick enough but drawing less power is clearly a win situation. Hit us up in the comments to let us know what you think of these pictures. Make mine the red one!

HTC one M9 (8) HTC one M9 (4) HTC one M9 (15) HTC one M9 (14) HTC one M9 (2) frnt htc m9 HTC one M9 (18) HTC one M9 (13) HTC one M9 (16) HTC one M9 (17) HTC one M9 (3) HTC one M9 (9) HTC one M9 (11) HTC one M9 (12) HTC one M9 (1) HTC one M9 (5) HTC one M9 (6) HTC one M9 (10) HTC one M9 (7)

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PIPO To Launch The First 4G LTE Tablet With A MediaTek Processor

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The Chinese smartphone market is quite different to that elsewhere in the world with generally a much wider selection of companies and products on offer. Another example of the different between the Chinese and in particular the US market is the difference in quality. While the US market is preoccupied greatly with specs a lot of time the Chinese market looks to offer a wider selection of budget devices. A good example of this is with the use of processors. The majority of smartphones being released in the US at the moment will almost certainly claim to use Qualcomm’s mighty Snapdragon range of processors. This in itself is a selling point for the device and why you will see it listed on any device that contains one…even if the processor is a low budget Qualcomm. However in China the processor market is not so dominated with Qualcomm and instead MediaTek seems to do rather well. Although recently MediaTek processors are becoming better known in the US they are still more commonly seen in lower-end or budget devices compared to the flagship devices.

The tablet market is a little different to the smartphone market as it seems the highest spec processors seem to take longer to hit devices than they do in the smartphone world. It is not sure if this is due to the manufacturers placing greater emphasis on smartphones or if consumers simply are more forgiven in this respect. Either way PIPO seem interested in changing the status quo. Reports are coming in that PIPO are hoping to increase their presence in the Chinese tablet market by launching the H3 tablet. The big selling point for the H3 is that it will be the first tablet to offer 4G LTE support with a MediaTek processor. The H3 will come equipped with a MediatTek MT6592 which was one of the first ‘true’ Octa-core processors. In contrast to ‘fake’ Octa-core processors, the true ones allow all eight cores to work simultaneously instead of the fake Octa-core processors which rely on four cores working at a time, switching between high and low power modes.

Other details of the H3 tablet are extremely sketchy at the moment although it does seem the tablet will be 10.1” sized with a screen resolution of 1900 x 1200. In addition, the device will come with a 13 MP camera which is pretty good for a tablet. An early image (shown above) of the H3 does shows its design is rather similar to the PIPO T9 (previous PIPO 8.9” tablet) except the corners on the H3 are less round and sharper. There are reports that the H3 will also offer dual-SIM capability and additional memory card slots. Although at the moment very little has been confirmed.

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Android Headliner: Why Can’t We Sync Android Wear Between Multiple Devices?

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So we’ve had Android Wear smartwatches in our hands for a few months now. Essentially ever since Google I/O in June. We’ve had the Gear Live and the G Watch for a few months, with the Moto 360 just coming out this month, and a few others announced as well. And now that we’ve gotten into the busy season and are getting tons of review units in to review on the site, I have a gripe about Android Wear that probably won’t affect everyone, but it’s still important.

Most of you that flash custom ROMs, or have done any kind of factory reset since you’ve gotten an Android Wear smartwatch probably know all about this. But whenever you switch devices or do a factory reset or flash a custom ROM, you then have to factory reset your watch. As you cannot simply pair it with another device. Now I understand that most of you out there don’t have multiple phones, but some of you do. And it’s a pain to have to reset my watch every couple of weeks. If Google could just simply add in a option to sync with another phone, it’d make a lot of people happy. Especially those of us that are reviewers here.

Yes, I know. Android Wear is still in it’s early days. There are a few other things that annoy me about Android Wear as well, but I’ll save that for a later date. Just allow me to sync the Moto 360 with the Moto X, then with the LG G3 without having to factory reset it, and i’ll be more than happy. And I’m sure I’m not alone here. You’d think that’d be one of the first things Google would add in an OTA. We’ve only had about 4-5 OTA’s since Google I/O anyways. Hopefully this will come in the post-Android L update for Android Wear. As we do know there’s a lot of features coming in that update, including better support for custom watch faces. Which I personally can’t wait for.

Android Wear still has some bumps to get over, and I guess that’s what we get for being early adopters here. But it is coming along, and not to sound like a fanboy or anything here, but I think Android Wear has some of the best smartwatches so far. For one, it syncs with a whole lot more devices than the Apple Watch and Samsung’s Tizen-powered watches. There’s also Pebble, but that’s mostly just notifications on a black and white display. As well as Sony’s own ecosystem for their smartwatches, which is great and all but there’s plenty more development on Android Wear now. What parts of Android Wear really annoy you right now? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.

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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Deal: Mpow Mbox Portable Bluetooth 4.0 Wireless Stereo Speaker – $49.99

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mpow mbox bluetooth speaker3

Mpow’s great little aluminum speaker which we reviewed recently is on sale at Amazon right now. For just $49.99. It’s normal price is around $99.99. So that’s quite a deal right there. Mbox streams incrediable sound with full range output, wonderful bass response and crystal clear articulate high end. Built in high capacity 1500 mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery, supports up to 10 hours playing time. Portable design, small size(6.3×1.4×1.8 inches), light weight(10.1 oz), Mbox is suitable to tuck into your bag and go. Mbox is precision crafted, with the beautiful aluminum alloy housing and the metal cutting technology, we can easily feel the sleek simplicity. It will be the best partner of your iPhone, iPad, iTouch and more, just like Batman and Robbin. Simply slide the on/off button to “on” position, Mbox is automatically ready for pair. and connect to the last-connected device.

Mpow® Mbox Portable Bluetooth 4.0 Wireless Stereo Speaker, Ultra Bass Booster, Powerful Crystal-Clear Sound, Subwoofer Sound Effect / Built In Mic For Calls / For iphone 6, 6 Plus 5S 5C 5, 4S 4 / iPad 4 3 2, iPad Air / Samsung Galaxy S5 S4 S3 / Galaxy Tab and Laptops / PC Computers / MP3 Players [ Aluminum Alloy Material ]

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Android How To: Enable Developer Options on the Moto X (2014)

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This is something that we get asked about a lot, so that’s why we always post a tutorial on how to enable developer options for ever phone that we get our hands on. Even though it’s more or less the same on each and every device. So if this tutorial is a bit too beginner for you, just bear with us. As not everyone has been using Android for years.

Developer Options is hidden on most Android devices because most people don’t need the and may not know what they are used for. And by hiding them, it keeps people from messing up their phones. Google started hiding Developer Options in Android 4.2 almost two years ago. But there’s a simple way to get them back. Let’s have a look:

  1. Pull down the notification drawer and tap on “Settings”

  2. Scroll down to “About Phone”

  3. Now scroll down to “Build Number”

  4. Tap on ” Build Number” 7 times.

  5. It’ll now say that you are a developer.

  6. Now press back

  7. You should now see Developer Options above About Phone.

It’s just that easy. And we have a video showing you how to do it if you need even more help. So you can check that out down below.

Click here to view the embedded video.

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The Moto 360 May Be Experiencing A Problem With Image Persistence

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Now that the Moto 360 is out in the world, it is now time for the watch to experience the everyday and unique uses people will take it through. Usually on this journey, problems will arise and many people will take to forums to inform others and also look for fixes. In this case, the Moto 360 has come across a problem and it has to do with the display. On the Moto 360, Motorola chose to go with a LCD display. With and LCD display, you don’t have to worry about burn-ins like you would on an AMOLED display. Although Motorola used an LCD display, some users have come forward reporting what they think are burn-ins on their displays. According to Android Police, the “Burn-ins” look more like an Image Persistence problem.

This problem is common for LCD screens and are far less worse then a burn-in. Now to go more in depth with this problem, burn-ins are when an image sits to long on a display. When this happens on an AMOLED display, you’ve pretty much destroyed your screen because the pixels are burnt out. Now Image Persistence is quite similar to a burn-in, but can be reversed. A simple fix for Image Persistence would be to turn off the screen for a long duration and then when you turn the device back on, play a moving image to knock the pixels back into place. This problem has recently popped up, so we do not know for certain what the real issue at hand may be.

In addition, reports of this issue are sparse. There could be a fix, but we aren’t too sure of what the real problem may be. If this becomes a widespread problem, Motorola may have to change the behavior of the charging screen in the next update for the watch. If thats the case, the problem is solved. If you happen to have a Moto 360 and are currently experiencing this problem, let us know in the comments section. Drop a few screenshots of your watch so we can see for ourselves what’s going on. We have a gallery below for you to see what this Image Persistence looks like.

moto 360 image persistnace 2 moto 360 img persistance

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Iliad, Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile USA and Chicken

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AH T-Mobile TMO Logo 2.2

We’ve recently reported that T-Mobile USA is contemplating a merger with another carrier and Chief Executive Officer John Legere said that the interest was flattering but is likely to continue. Earlier this year, T-Mobile USA rejected an offer from French mobile operator, Iliad. Now, Reuters is reporting that Iliad has set an internal deadline of mid-October to decide if it should increase its offer for the US group or walk away. The situation is complicated because Deutsche Telekom owns 66% of T-Mobile USA and is reported to be resistive to the proposed deal. Under Iliad’s proposals, Deutsche Telekom would have to keep a stake in the combined business. It appears that the Germans are not confident in the Iliad’s ability to run a business in the North American market, noting that they have no experience of such matters. Iliad is reputed to be in discussion with several North American banks as well as private equity funds to help it finance an improved bid for T-Mobile as, essentially, John said that the business was worth more than the first offer of $33 per share for just over half of the business. It’s believed that Iliad are raising between $5 to $6.5 billion but details are sketchy because these talks are private. Nevertheless, we’re reading reports that claim Iliad could offer between $35 to $40 per stock for an increased stake in T-Mobile.

We’ve already seen that one of the barriers T-Mobile may have erected is that it any deal should improve its network spectrum coverage. Being bought by a European telecommunications operator with no existing US network doesn’t satisfy this criteria. The stockmarket does not like uncertainty and Iliad’s stock price has dropped by a quarter since the original announcement was made: Iliad’s investors will not support a lengthy engagement with T-Mobile USA. Iliad should take decisive action one way or the other. And we know that Deutsche Telekom, which makes about a fifth of core profits from the United States markets, has tried to sell T-Mobile twice since late 2011 because it sees it as too small to compete with market leaders Verizon and AT&T. This included a year-long negotiation with Sprint, which ended because of concerns over regulatory concerns

It seems we have a game of chicken and we’re waiting to see who is going to flinch first. T-Mobile and Deutsche Telekom are waiting for a better offer but are happy to sell. Iliad is interested but doesn’t want to offer too much money for too little benefit. The two protagonists are likely to continue sparring in the coming weeks; for example Iliad reckons it can shave around 7% of T-Mobile’s costs and Deutsche Telekom has scoffed at this, noting that T-Mobile haven’t seen detailed business information.

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Moto X 2014 Will Arrive At Verizon On September 26th For $100

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As many of you already know, the Moto X is back and the handset has a new refreshed look with some newer hardware. Reportedly, the second-generation Moto X will soon go on sale at Verizon on Friday, September 26. The Moto X will go for $100 with a two-year service agreement. The information comes from Phandroid, which they have obtained an internal document from Verizon stating the pricing and launch date. In addition to the launch of the Moto X at Verizon, the wireless carrier will as well have a special promotion to go along with the handset.

Following the launch of the Moto X, Verizon plans on selling a White/Bamboo Moto X for a discounted price of $99 on a new contract. Usually it would be $25 extra for on the phone when getting a new contract through Verizon. The limited time sale will last until October 10th, so if you’re interested then you better hurry. As for the rest of the Moto models, we will see the same pricing that we have seen on other carriers which is $99 for a 16GB black model with a two year agreement. If you want the 32GB model, it’ll cost you $150. For Verizon Edge users, you can get a Moto X for just $25 and the white/bamboo model for $27.49. If you’re wanting a 16GB/32GB Moto Maker model, it’ll cost you the same as the white/bamboo model.

So exactly one week from today, the Moto X will be available to buy from Verizon. If this is your first time hearing about the phone, we’ll throw down some specs to get you two acquainted. The Moto X 2014 is the second generation to the last model which carried the same name. The handset has a 5.2-inch 1,920 x 1,080 HD display with a 2.5GHz quad-core processor. Running along side the processor is 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage can be found. The device has a 13 megapixel camera with a dual LED ring flash. If these specs interest you and you are a Verizon user or are in search of a new carrier, than this Moto X may just be for you. You got a week to think about it, so in the meantime, drop your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Leak: Moto X 2014 Supposedly Hitting Verizon on Sept. 26th, $100 On Contract

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This evening, there’s a new leak going around. And it’s coming out of Phandroid. Basically it’s an image from Verizon’s internal system showing that the Moto X (2014) is going to be going on sale on September 26th and will be on sale for $99.99 on contract for the 16GB, and $149 on contract for the 32GB model. Now the launch date is the only part that’s not confirmed. Because when I was in Chicago at Motorola’s headquarters seeing all their new devices, they told us that the Moto X would be available for $99 on contract and $499 off contract. So to see it leak at that pricing isn’t a surprise at all. But the release date on this leak does fall in line with other leaks we’ve seen.

Before Motorola’s event earlier this month, we had heard that Verizon would be launching the Moto X on September 26th. So it looks like that hasn’t changed, Which is cool. So that just adds more credibility to this leak. We did see Verizon Moto X’s while we were in Chicago, so we aren’t surprised to see it launching on Verizon at all. However, I will say that we did not see a T-mobile or a Sprint version there. But as we already know the T-Mobile version is just the unlocked AT&T SKU, and the Sprint network won’t be getting one, at least at this point.

So for those on Verizon, it looks like you may be getting your fingers ready to pick out a brand new Moto X next week through Moto Maker. Because yes, MotoMaker will be available for Verizon at launch. Right now you can choose from a ton of colored plastic backs, as well as four different wood backs and four leather backs. The wood and leather do cost $25 extra though. How many of you on Verizon are anxious to get a Moto X?

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Elephone To Launch P4000 Handset As A Direct Competitor To Xiaomi Mi4 and Meizu MX4

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Elephone P4000 leaked image

Elephone seems determined to increase their market share next to companies like Meizu and Xiaomi. This Hong Kong-based company has announced 3 new handsets just a few days ago and it seems they’re making way for yet another one, at least according to GizChina’s sources. Elephone P4000 will allegedly be company’s new device which should launch soon and according to rumors should be a direct competitor to the likes of Xiaomi Mi4 and Meizu MX4. According to the source, Elephone is currently working on a supply chain for this device, which could mean the device is ready to go and is only waiting for the company to tie up loose ends as far as supply goes. The source claims this device was inspired by Xiaomi Mi4 as far as the design goes and the image above is the only one we could get our hands on. We can’t exactly tell much from this image considering we can only see the back of the device but it does seem to resemble the Mi4 handset.

Elephone P3000 is this device’s predecessor and that phone is nothing to scoff at. The device is powered by MediaTek’s MT6592 octa-core chip clocked at 1.7GHz, this is what you’d call a “true octa-core” chip. It sports a 5-inch 720p (1280 x 720) display and comes with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. It has a 13-megapixel rear-facing and an 8-megapixel front-facing shooters while a 3150mAh battery is also part of the package. Considering the battery size this device lasts a long time on a charge. It comes with NFC built-in and it also has a fingerprint scanner. If we take all this into consideration, Elephone P4000 will be a beast of a device considering it’s supposed be a more powerful device than it’s predecessor of course. We still have no idea what price will it carry or when will it launch, but I guess that will happen soon. Elephone P3000 is now priced under $200 so this device can’t be that expensive once it launches, besides, Elephone is a company which usually makes rather affordable devices.

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Noyze Customised Volume Control Application That Doesn’t Need Root

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Noyze Logo

One of Android’s greatest strengths is the ability to customise the look and feel of the device. It’s true that for most cooler features, we need to root and replace the software on the handset but from time to time we find an application that doesn’t need extensive changes to the handset and enables something utterly awesome. And today, that application is Noyze Volume Control. Noyze is a neat little application that lets you change, well, the volume control by remapping the volume keys. Noyze can change how a quick tap or long hold of the volume keys works. It can also disable a volume key (so if your handset has a defect and it’s out of warranty, you don’t need to worry quite so much about it). It’s available free of charge with various features requiring the Pro version. And how does Noyze get around not needing root control? Because the developer uses the accessibility features of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and later.

The application includes a number of free themes, one of which includes a music player option. Yes; that’s right, you can use the volume controls to adjust your music and you can also set your default music player, too. This is one powerful little application, which runs on smartphones and tablets, especially if you’re a musicaholic. You can change the colour schemes too, if you have a strong preference. Of the themes, my personal favourite is the more subtle option, which temporarily puts the volume above the status bar. You can adjust how long the bar is visible, too, so for example if you spend a lot of time watching YouTube videos you might want the notification to disappear after a couple of seconds, whereas if you listen to a lot of music you might want to keep the controls visible on the screen for ten seconds to give you lots of opportunity to change the track.

The developer has given Noyze the ability to ignore the command when in the camera, in case you use the volume key to take pictures. You can also blacklist certain applications to ignore Noyze, too, which is useful if you use the volume keys for another function. There’s a section called Labs where experimental or beta features are released, including the media cloak option (part of the Pro option), which is designed to hide the panel when playing a game or watching a video. Check out the gallery of the app running on my Nexus 10.

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