CES 2014 - During our visit with Lenovo at CES, we got a chance to take a brief look at their new Vibe Z, Android-based smartphone. Lenovo announced the Vibe Z at CES and says that the device is their first 4G LTE smartphone and features a full 1920x1080 display.
The phone features an 13-megapixel rear camera while the front facing camera packs in a full 5-megapixels which makes for the best selfie capturing smartphone on the market. The Vibe Z also features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor, and 2GB of RAM. Lenovo says the new smartphone will retail for $549 and will hit US carriers soon!
Wireless carrier AT&T has partnered with Beats Music to offer a subscription song streaming and download service for $14.99 per month on five accounts and 10 devices. Current AT&T Family customers will receive a 90-day free trial to the service, with individual users receiving a free 30-day trial. Subscribers can stream music in addition to downloading tracks for playback later when no phone or Internet connection is available.
"Our collaboration with Beats Music is solving two major industry challenges," said David Christopher, AT&T Mobility Chief Marketing Officer, in a statement. "Beats Music is focused on delivering a different music service with personalized curation from real industry experts and AT&T focused on breaking the affordability barrier that currently exists for families in subscription and download music."
The Beats Music service for AT&T will publicly launch on Tuesday, January 21. Users will be able to download both a Web app and mobile app on Google Android, Apple iOS, and Windows-powered mobile devices.
GeekWire spotted something quite strange during their visit to CES this year, they spotted a "Kindle Kiosk" in the McCarran airport in Las Vegas. According to staff at the airport, the machine had been installed just as CES was kicking off.
The machine was installed at the airport as Amazon wants to try and get tech-savvy visitors leaving the city to grab a Kindle on their way out. The vending machine had the Kindle Fire HD, Kindle Fire HDX, Kindle Paperwhite and the normal Kindle e-Reader on offer. It also sold covers and power adapters, so that you could trick up your Kindle before you took off.
What do you think about buying a tablet from a vending machine? I think Amazon is really thinking outside of the box here, not only are they using drones to deliver goods to consumers, but now tablets from vending machines?
The New Year is here, CES 2014 is over, and now it's time to get back into business with an update to the Galaxy S4. It looks like there's an unofficial test firmware for Samsung's flagship smartphone, with Android 4.4.2 KitKat for the Galaxy S4 (GT-i9505 model).
SamMobile is on the ball, getting their hands on the test firmware, but Samsung will officially roll out the deliciously named update for the Galaxy S4 sometime in February or March. Until then, you can try out the firmware if you want - but be warned - this isn't for everyone. This is in no way an official firmware from Samsung, so I would advise waiting for an official release from the company before flashing your $600+ smartphone.
CES 2014 - During our visit with Lenovo, we got the chance to check out one of the coolest pieces of PC tech on display at CES. The Lenovo Horizon 2 is a 27-inch monster-sized tablet that when paired up with an optional stand, becomes what Lenovo is calling a Table PC.
As you can see in the video, the Horizon features a screen with either a 1920 x 1080 resolution, or a 2560 x 1440 resolution depending on the customer's budget, but unfortunately the stand will have to be purchased separately. The tablet / table PC runs on an Intel Core i7, NVIDIA graphics, and a battery large enough to keep the device running for 4 hours of continuous use. As you can see in the video, things like image manipulation, gaming, and everything else is quite fun on the device! Lenovo says that the Horizon 2 retails for $1499 and will hit shelves in June.
CES 2014 - Mobile accessories are always hot items at CES and this year is no exception. During our stop at the Cooler Master suite, we got a chance to preview some of their newest products for 2014. The company is focusing heavily on accessories for iOS and Mac devices, with new items ranging from travel stands, to more permanent desktop MacBook Pro stands.
The theme was definitely anodized aluminum, and everything seemed to be of high-quality construction. Cooler Master also showed off a few new Laptop Coolers that feature USB ports, and large cooling fans to help keep your mobile workstation cool and fast.
Samsung has released yet another smartphone, with the Galaxy Note 3 Neo now beginning to be shipped out. GSMArena has some specs on Samsung's latest smartphone in the Galaxy Note range, which doesn't seem that different to the Galaxy Note 3, in fact, it's a little worse.
We have a new processor inside the Galaxy Note 3 Neo, with a "new 1.7GHz dual + 1.3GHz quad-core (Hexa) processor" that should give it a performance improvement over the Galaxy Note II. We have a 5.5-inch 1280x720 Super AMOLED display (which is less than the 1920x1080-pixel display on the Galaxy Note 3), an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, 3100mAh battery and 2GB of RAM. Overall, it's closer to the Note II than it is the Note 3.
Samsung will most likely be selling this as a low-cost alternative to its flagship Galaxy Note 3, but do you think it will sell well?
Wireless carrier T-Mobile wants to poach subscribers from AT&T, Verizon Wireless and Sprint, and is now focusing on family plan subscribers. A recent survey revealed only 11 percent of AT&T and Verizon Wireless subscribers with shared data plans would be willing to switch in 2014, according to Strategy Analytics. As the battle in the booming 4G LTE market in 2014 increases, "cut-throat promotions" are expected to hit consumers later this year.
"Las Vegas has seen its share of famous fights, and this week at CES heavy weight defending champion AT&T (which shares the title with Verizon Wireless) dukes it out with mid-weight challengers T-Mobile and Sprint in the battle for the family plan," said Susan Welsh de Grimaldo, Strategy Analytics Director of Wireless Operator Strategies, in a blog post. "Sprint and T-Mobile are attacking the core source of scale at Verizon Wireless and AT&T - the family plan subscribers."
Mobile devices were on full display during CES 2014, as many companies showed off smartphones, tablets, mobile hotspots, and other cordless technologies. AT&T and Verizon might control the U.S. market, but constant pressure from T-Mobile, Sprint, and smaller carriers has steadily increased. Family plans are lucrative due to the number of wireless lines in the account, so consumers should see even better deals later this year. (Image: AP)
Mobile company OpenPeak is building relationships with AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, and other major wireless carriers seeking next-generation mobile security platforms. The SAMBA! (Safe Mobile Business Apps) will roll out as a managed software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering for Deutsche Telekom, providing secure Internet browsing, enterprise app store, and data security protocols.
"We're proud to provide carriers like Deutsche Telekom with a white-label enterprise mobility solution that they can brand, customize and sell directly to their customers," said Dan Gittleman, OpenPeak CEO, in a statement. "As a cloud-based solution, SAMBA! will evolve with our own efforts to improve the OpenPeak suite. We're committed to providing Deutsche Telekom and its customers with a solution that can meet the mobility challenges of the present and future."
There is a strong need for enterprise mobility solutions, as more employees and companies carefully embrace the 'bring your own device' craze.
CES 2014 - 2014 is here, which means we're in the year of the Galaxy S5, something we're beginning to hear more concrete information about. Bloomberg is reporting that the Galaxy S5 will be released in April, and that Samsung will pack in iris-scanning technology into its upcoming smartphone.
Samsung's Mobile Executive Vice President, Lee Young-hee has said that the Galaxy S5 will debut alongside the next Galaxy Gear smartwatch. The exec also said that the new Galaxy Gear will feature "more advanced functions, and the bulky design will also be improved." Samsung is expected to release the fourth iteration of its smartwatch later in the year, with the South Korean giant considering a "three-sided display" which would pave the way for visibility from multiple angles.
Technology accessory maker Xentris Wireless used the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) as a springboard to show off its U.S. Army-branded mobile cases. Based on U.S. Army logos and imagery, the seven cases - available for popular smartphones available today - could be popular for U.S. military personnel and supporters.
Typically companies roll out something featuring the U.S. military and contribute something to a military-based non-profit, but that doesn't seem to be case here. Instead, consumers will just be able to better protect their devices while showing pride of friends and families currently serving in the U.S. Army.
Xentris Wireless makes everything from earbuds and Bluetooth to smartphone cases and charging products for mobile consumers.
CES 2014 - During today's visit with Acer, we got the chance to check out a new Windows 8 tablet as well as a new Chromebook that are being released in 2014. Acers new Iconia W4 appears to be the budget-friendly Windows tablet to consider in 2014, while its new Chromebook is the on-the-go consumers dream device.
Acers new Iconia W4 tablet features a ultra-sharp 1280x800 8-inch IPS display that is directly bonded to the protective glass which provides for a true HD experience while providing almost 180 degrees of viewing angle. A 4th Generation Intel Atom Clover Trail processor is on board and running at 1.8 GHz. Imaging duties are handled by a 2-megapixel front facing camera as well as a 5-megapixel rear shooter. A full copy of Windows 8.1 is onboard and includes a copy of office. The W4 felt quick, snappy, and overall felt like a very high-end tablet. The W4 retails for $329 for the 32GB version and $379 for the 64GB model.
While the C720 Touchscreen Chromebook has been out for a few months, Acer has expanded the line to include new colors, including a sleek, new MoonStone while color that is both ultra modern, and stylish. The entire chassis is white, giving the device a consistently stylish look from any angle. A touch enabled 11.6-inch HD LED back-lit display is present and features 10-points of touch sensitivity. The MoonStone White version will be available to the US market later this month at a pricing point of $299.
Global shipment of PCs, tablets, ultramobile devices and mobile phones will top 2.5 billion units shipped by the end of 2014, according to research firm Gartner. Smartphones will be the driving sales leader, but ultramobiles such as tablets, hybrid and ultrabooks will drastically increase an estimated 54 percent growth.
"The device market continues to evolve, with buyers deciding which combination of devices is required to meet their wants and needs," said Ranjit Atwal, Gartner research director, in a statement. "Meanwhile users continue to move away from the traditional PC (notebooks and desk-based) as it becomes more of a shared content creation tool, while the greater flexibility of tablets, hybrids and lighter notebooks address users' increasingly different demands."
Although Apple iOS and Mac OS remain extremely popular, Google Android-powered devices will lead the pack with 1 billion units shipped. Android will have 25.6 percent year-over-year growth, compared to 29 percent for Apple and 10 percent for Microsoft Windows.
CES 2014 - Sony has taken its magical shrink ray to one of its most popular smartphones, which has resulted in the birth of its new Xperia Z1 Compact, a smaller Xperia Z1.
The new Sony Xperia Z1 Compact features the same hardware as its bigger brother, but has an upgrade thrown into the mix: an IPS display is featured on the Xperia Z1 Compact. The new, smaller 4.3-inch smartphone will go on sale next month, with Android 4.3 on-board, with an Android 4.4 KitKat update being made a "few weeks" after its release.
CES 2014 - If you've been waiting for a new smartphone to be unveiled from Sony, the Japanese giant took the CES 2014 event in Las Vegas to announce its new Xperia Z1S smartphone.
The Xperia Z1S will be an exclusive to T-Mobile in the United States, but the smartphone itself is pretty identical to the Xperia Z1 with just a few changes. The first of which is the Z1S has an IP58 water resistance rating, which means it is completely waterproof. Normally a "waterproof" smartphone is simply "water-resistant", but the Xperia Z1S is the real deal.
Filling out the hardware side of things, we have a 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, 3000mAh battery, 5-inch 1920x1080-pixel "Triluminous" Sony display, a 20.7-megapixel rear-facing camera and Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. Sony Mobile US President, Ravi Nookala, has said: "As a waterproof smartphone complete with the best of Sony's technology, Xperia Z1s breaks the mold of not only what you can do with a smartphone, but where you can take it. Building on the momentum of the successful partnership for the launch of Xperia Z, T-Mobile's shared vision of delivering an uncompromised mobile experience makes them the perfect exclusive partner to bring Xperia Z1s to the U.S."
Japanese electronics manufacturer Panasonic announced a new 7" Microsoft Windows 8.1-powered tablet aimed for enterprise users going mobile. The Toughpad FZ-M1 tablet is powered by an Intel Core i5-430Y 1.6GHz CPU, 4GB RAM, and 128GB SSD - and is fanless, with a screen supporting 1280x800 resolution, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, 3G/4G LTE, USB 3.0, 5-megapixel rear camera - and is 18mm thin with a 540g weight. The Panasonic Toughpad FZ-M1 tablet will be available starting in February.
"The Toughpad FZ-M1 uses top class technology and premium manufacturing to create a powerful but still pocket size fanless 7" tablet perfectly designed for business workers in many different industrial-mobile environments," said Jan Kaempfer, Panasonic Computer Product Solutions European Marketing Head, in a press statement. "Whether it's helping provide rail passengers with ticketing and live train time information or the police force with a fast, simple and effective to use tablet while on foot or car patrol, this Toughpad is perfectly fit for purpose."
There is a high demand for enterprise-grade products - especially if the device is Windows powered and offers seamless 'bring your own device' ability - and that demand should only increase in 2014.
CES 2014 - During ASUS' keynote speech at CES 2014, ASUS chairman and all-round cool guy Jonney Shih announced a new range of smartphones from the Taiwanese giant, the ZenFone series.
ASUS' ZenFone series comes in multiple products: ZenFone 4, 5, and 6. Starting with the ZenFone 4, which is a low-end smartphone with a 4-inch display and measly 800x480 resolution, it has a 5-megapixel rear-snapper, and is powered by Intel's Atom Z2520 CPU clocked at 1.2GHz. The ASUS ZenFone 4 will be priced at just $99 - a steal!
Moving onto the ZenFone 5, which features the Intel Atom Z2580 CPU clocked at 2GHz. It has a 1280x720-pixel 5-inch display, and an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera. The ZenFone 5 will retail for $149.
CES 2014 - Samsung teased its new range of Galaxy NotePRO and TabPRO slates yesterday, but there were a few others that were unveiled, too. We have the new Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 to now gush over, with an 8.4-inch 2560x1600-pixel display.
This mammoth resolution on a smaller screen size results in a massive pixel density of 359PPI, easily beating out Apple's new Retina-based iPad mini. We also have a quad-core 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM, either a 32GB or 64GB model which is expandable by microSD, a 4800mAh battery, an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera backed up by a 2-megapixel front shooter, and Android 4.4 KitKat.
CES 2014 - Tencent is reporting that Samsung is going to use an LTPS LCD display that is made by Sharp for its upcoming Galaxy S5 smartphone. Most would've expected the South Korean giant to use its own AMOLED technology, but it looks like Samsung is having production problems with 2K AMOLED displays.
Samsung can't get enough of them made to be able to unleash a massive number of Galaxy S5 units, so it may lean on Sharp and its LTPS LCDs. It isn't all bad news, as Samsung owns a 3% stake in Sharp, so it is just using a partner for its LCDs. We should expect the next flagship smartphone from Samsung - maybe the Galaxy Note 4 or Galaxy S6 to use its in-house AMOLED tech, which should be in a better position.
CES 2014 - Google's Chromecast is a lot of things, but one thing it doesn't do is play local media - Netgear has just unveiled its new NeoMediacast dongle, which features a micro SD card slot for local storage.
Netgear's NeoMediacast is Miracast-enabled, and is compatible with any device running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and above. The Netgear NeoMediacast also comes with a micro USB port, so that you can plug in additional storage and content into the device, streaming it through your TVs HDMI port. This means that no Internet access is needed, another shot fired at Google.
Although, Netgear hasn't built-in support for iOS into its NeoMediacast, which is a tick in the negative box when comparing it to Chromecast, which works across a broad range of operating systems, including iOS. We should expect the Netgear NeoMediacast sometime in the next 6 months or so.
CES 2014 - Something we saw coming, but is now official, is Samsung's new Galaxy NotePRO tablet. The new Galaxy NotePRO is a 12.2-inch slate, so its much bigger than the 10.1-inch tablets we're used to, and features some serious horsepower.
We have the 12.2-inch 2500x1600 WXGA display, which reportedly feels like an A4 notebook, 3GB of RAM, either 32GB or 64GB of on-board storage, which is expandable through microSD, and an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera. The South Korean giant has installed its Knox security suite, included some VPN abilities, Cisco WebEx support, LinkedIn app, Remote PC functions, a decent Android document, slideshow and table editing suite, too.
We have Android on the NotePRO of course, but there's a new type of TouchWiz installed for the NotePRO which is dubbed Magazine UX. It looks like a blend of Windows 8 and Android, which could be very nice at this size.