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Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones Posts - Page 3

ASUS PadFone X Mini is coming to the US, priced at $200 off contract

ASUS has enjoyed the launch of multiple of its PadFone devices in other parts of the world, especially Taiwan, but now the PadFone X Mini is making it to the US. The ASUS PadFone X Mini sports a 4.5-inch display, but docks into a larger 7-inch tablet for a unique experience.

 

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The device will be launching in the US for $199.99 with AT&T's GoPhone plan, off contact. The $200 price tag is pretty hot, considering you get both devices - the tablet, and smartphone - but remember, the tablet doesn't work without the smartphone inside of it. Intel is the one powering the device, with its Atom Z2560 dual-core processor. We also have 1GB of RAM, 8GB of flash storage, two cameras, and a microSD card slot. Software wise, we have Android 4.4 KitKat.

 

What makes the PadFone series of devices unique is the tablet side of the device, which doesn't just give you a bigger screen, but it provides a much longer life thanks to its additional battery. The phone on its own has around 16 hours of use, but the tablet brings over an additional 12.5 hours.

Android TV is alive, with Google's new Nexus Player

Google has announced the first device to be based on its new Android TV platform: Nexus Player. Google's new Nexus Player is a set-top streaming box that had the company working with ASUS on, and will be Google's first take on getting into your lounge room, properly.

 

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The Nexus Player looks like a puck, and is around 4.7 inches in diameter, with a tiny remote that has just a few buttons on it. The remote will feature a microphone, so you can do voice searches through the Nexus Player, which is a nice touch. Inside of the Nexus Player is 8GB of internal flash storage, 802.11ac Wi-Fi for streaming content, and there's also a game controller that is sold separately.

 

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Google is selling the Nexus Player at $99, with its game controller to be made available for $39. The company will be selling the Nexus Player exclusively through its Play Store, with pre-orders starting on Friday.

HTC and NVIDIA have made the new Nexus 9 possible, priced at $399

Another highly rumored, and now finally here device, is the new Nexus 9. Google had some massive announcements today, including Android 5.0 Lollipop, the new Nexus 6 smartphone, the Nexus Player, and now the Nexus 9 tablet.

 

 

Google's new Nexus 9 tablet is made by HTC, and powered by NVIDIA's super-impressive Tegra K1 processor. It features an 8.9-inch QVGA, or 2048x1536 display, with a ratio of 4:3, which is an interesting turn, as we usually see 16:9 displays. HTC has provided its BoomSound speaker technology into the Nexus 9, which is joined by NVIDIA's 64-bit, Tegra K1 processor. We also have 2GB of RAM, and three different models to choose from.

 

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Starting with the 16GB Nexus 9, priced at $399, moving up to the 32GB for $479 and if you want to walk around with an 8.9-inch tablet in your bag with LTE abilities, the 32GB LTE model will cost $599. Google will be launching the Nexus 9 in 29 countries over the next couple of weeks, and when talking about the new 4:3 form factor, Google said that the Nexus 9 is "small enough to easily carry around in one hand, yet big enough to work on".

Google announces the Nexus 6, features 6-inch QHD display, Android 5.0

After months of teasing, the Nexus 6 is now official. The Nexus 6 is the beginning of a new line of devices that is ready to showcase Android 5.0, which was also just announced. The biggest news here is that Google did indeed go for the large 6-inch screen size, but we're going to talk about that a little later.

 

 

The 6-inch display features a QHD resolution, so we have 2560x1440, Qualcomm's Snapdragon 805 processor, a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera with OIS, a 2-megapixel selfie-snapper, 3220mAh battery that should ensure all-day battery life (especially with that QHD panel), two-front facing speakers and it comes in two sizes: 32GB and 64GB. Two colors are on offer for the Nexus 6: blue, or white.

 

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One of the key parts of the new Nexus 6, if not the biggest, would be that it arrives with stock Android 5.0 Lollipop. Lollipop introduces some nice new technologies and features, such as a battery saving feature that will extend a Lollipop-powered device's battery by up to 90 minutes. Also, thanks to Motorola building the new Nexus 6, the smartphone includes Motorola's Turbo Chargers, which will charge the phone up with six hours worth of use, in just 15 minutes.

 

When it comes to pricing, Google has stepped away from the Nexus line being a cheap alternative to all of the other premium handsets out there, offering it unlocked for $649. Google will be offering up the Nexus 6 on October 29, with store availability starting in the beginning of November.

Google preparing for Android Lollipop release this Friday

Google is planning to release Android 5.0, dubbed Lollipop, on Friday, featuring a new design and additional features. Lollipop will replace Android 4.4 (KitKat), which was released in October 2013, as the demand for a robust operating system increases along with impressively strong hardware that powers smartphones and tablets.

 

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Lollipop will provide additional security features and improve battery life, along with new features that could make Android devices more friendly for bring your own device (BYOD) workplace use.

 

Android currently has almost 85 percent of the global smartphone market, the IDC research group says, appealing to consumers in emerging markets. Lollipop will be pushed out on new Google Nexus smartphones and tablets - then will spread to older Nexus devices - with other hardware manufacturers expected to release updates in the near future.

Galaxy Note 4 beats iPhone 6 in blind camera comparison

PhoneArena held a blind camera comparison test between the iPhone 6 and the Galaxy Note 4, with over 6,000 of its readers, with Samsung's phablet coming out on top.

 

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From the 6,000 readers, just under 43% of them found the Galaxy Note 4's pictures to look better, with just 22% choosing the iPhone 6 as having the better rear-snapper. These numbers are even better considering the blind camera comparison included other smartphones, with some of the biggest devices released yet being tested. This included the LG G3, Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy S5 and Sony's Xperia Z3, all polled at under 12%.

 

This isn't a 'the Galaxy Note 4 takes better pictures than the iPhone 6, period' as PhoneArena only snapped shots in strong lighting, and didn't shoot in low-light or bad conditions. The site has promised that a more detailed camera comparison test is coming, something we should expect in the coming weeks.

ZAGG: 6% of smartphone users have dropped their phone in the toilet

In ZAGG's Device Damage Study for June 2014, the company held a seven-minute online survey with 768 US residents who currently own, and use a smartphone or tablet. The data secured from this adventure showed some very interesting statistics, with 23% of people worried about losing, or having their smartphone stolen.

 

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Cracked screens came in second with 16%, while breaking it or damaging it in general came in third with 15%. Out of the smartphone users who had their handset damaged, 38% of those said the damage happened from a drop or fall, with 26% saying they had some form of water damage. The water damage is interesting, as this splits into four categories: fell in water, got wet, spilled drink/fell in drink, and fell in toilet. 6% of those who participated in the study said they dropped their smartphone in the toilet.

 

ZAGG's study showed that from the 768 people who took part in this research, 49% of those with damaged phones either replaced the handset completely, or had it fixed. Another scary number is that 48% of those in the study were still using a damaged smartphone, which is close to the same number as those who actually have a protective case on their phone.

New iPhones to enter 36 additional markets later this month

The new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are here, and while China pre-orders might be hitting a massive 20 million units, there are an additional 36 markets that Apple is breaking into this month alone.

 

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These markets include China and India, which are massive markets on their own, and with these 36 new markets, it'll have the new iPhones available in a total of 69 markets. As of October 17, the two new iPhones will be available in India, China and Monaco. Israel receives it on October 23, with Czech Republic, French West Indies, Greenland, Malta, Poland, Reunion Island, and South Africa getting the new iPhone the next day, on October 24.

 

Just under a week later on October 30, Bahrain and Kuwait join the iPhone 6 train, while the following day will have Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Estonia, Greece, Guam, Hungary, Iceland, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Macau, Macedonia, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, South Korea, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine, and Thailand receiving the new iOS 8-powered handset. Apple has called this "the fastest iPhone roll out ever", where more than 115 countries will have the new iPhone before 2014 wraps up.

Next-gen lithium-ion battery charges 20x faster, lasts 20x longer

The next-generation of lithium-ion batteries is really going to ensure that users get all-day, and even more battery life out of their devices. A team of researchers in Singapore have developed this improved lithium-ion battery tech, which is capable of recharging a battery to 70% in just two minutes, yes: 120 seconds.

 

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The clinch, is that this isn't a new battery technology, but it improves on the existing technology that is used. The improvements are coming from a form of nanostructures, where instead of traditional graphite used to create the lithium-ion battery's anode, this new technology uses a cheap titanium dioxide gel, which is a similar material to that used in sunscreen, that absorbs UV rays.

 

The scientists have discovered a way to turn these compounds into nanostructures that super-speed the charging process, with this change making lithium-ion batteries capable of charging 20x faster, and lasting up to 20x longer. Associate Professor Chen Xiaodong of Nanyang Technological University said in a release "With our nanotechnology, electric cars would be able to increase their range dramatically with just five minutes of charging, which is on par with the time needed to pump petrol for current cars". The researchers hope to have this technology on the market within two years, which should be perfect timing for our next, next-gen smartphones and electric cars.

Google releases an Android L 64-bit emulator, for Intel x86 CPUs

Android app developers can now get their hands-on an Android L emulator to design 64-bit architecture. This will help developers who take advantage of features and instruction sets that only 64-bit processing can provide.

 

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But they're restricted to Intel's x86 64-bit architecture: Bay Trail and Atom - for now. Questions are raised by the Android community and other tech journalists, as to why Google didn't allow for ARMv8, knowing that ARMv8-based NVIDIA Tegra K1 64-bit capable chipset is going to be out soon. Qualcomm is also prepared its Snapdragon 810 64-bit processor as well.

 

The reason behind this could be that Intel may have worked closely with Google to develop Android L, but it's currently unknown if ARM or NVIDIA is having similar development tie-ups with Google. In regards to Google Android L, the 64-bit version of Android L will provide larger addressable memory space, larger number of registers and newer instruction sets that developers can play around with. Not only developers can build newer apps, but also optimize their older apps for the Android L architecture.

 

The emulator can be accessed via Google's developer portal.

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