Monday, 27 October 2014

Sony Xperia E3 review

Sony's cheapest LTE smartphone - that is the Xperia E3 key selling point, but is it more to it than that? It has the same design language as the Sony Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact so the trendy looks are also here and we have the latest Android KitKat decked out in Sony team colors.
The price point is always going to mandate some corner cutting but as Motorola's Moto G though us the overall experience doesn't necessarily need to be sub-par.
Sony Xperia E3 Sony Xperia E3 Sony Xperia E3 Sony Xperia E3
Sony Xperia E3
We can probably live with the not-quite-slim bezels, but we won't be able to forgive poor performance. Fortunately, the Snapdragon 400 inside the Xperia E3 has a good track record and the WVGA resolution shouldn't put too much strain on it.
Before we go any further, let's check the Sony Xperia E3 review cheat sheet.

Lenovo Smartband allows you to unlock your PC without a password

Lenovo has revealed its first wearable product, the Smartband SW-B100. While its name isn’t inspiring, the smartband is capable of doing some helpful things for you. It tracks your daily exercise, heart rate and sleep in addition to displaying notifications to suit your personal and work time.
One of the coolest features of the Lenovo Smartband is that it’s capable of logging you to your PC without having to enter a password. It works with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and above as well as iOS 7.1 and up.While Windows PCs are supported, Lenovo hasn’t said anything about supporting Windows Phone devices.

House of Marley Liberate on-ear headphones review

The House of Marley Liberate headphones sit in the middle of the company’s on-ear lineup. The headset aims to deliver attractive looks, eco-friendly materials, and House of Marley’s signature sound for less than $100.

In past encounters, I found House of Marley headphones to cut a fine balance between style, sonic experience, feel good factor, and price. Let’s find out if the Liberate on-ear model fits into the same mold.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

HTC Nexus 9 hands-on

The Nexus 9 by HTC was a hotly anticipated device on several fronts - it's the first tablet with Android 5.0 Lollipop, it brings HTC back into the tablet game, it's the first big Nexus tablet in two years and it's the first Nexus tablet that goes after a more premium market.
Google Nexus 9 by HTC official photos
HTC hasn't made a tablet since 2011's Jetstream and we have to say we've missed it. The company's well-known premium touch has been carried over to the Nexus lineup, which in recent years focused solely on mass market affordability. The new Nexus 6 (by Motorola) smartphone and Nexus 9 tablet (by HTC) show Google has enough confidence in its home brand to push for the higher segments of the market.

Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact review

True to its name, the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is small, light, durable and powerful. Hardly a surprise to anyone who's been watching Sony lately. Two generations of mini superphones saw the Z Compact series become the benchmark for design excellence and flagship-worthy performance. Keen to keep the momentum, Sony is bringing the same game to tablets.
Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact Review Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact Review Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact Review
Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact official images
Apple's lukewarm iPad mini 3 announcement this year is leaving the field wide open for the likes of the Z3 Tablet Compact and the HTC Nexus 9. Sony's player is unmatched among 8" tablets in how thin and light it is. To put things in perspective, it's thinner than an iPhone 6 and it weighs a measly 270g - mightily impressive when you consider we've handled phones such as the Oppo N1 or the Lumia 1520 that are well over the 200g mark.

HTC One (M8) for Windows review

What if you could pick a phone and then choose its operating system? What if you could get a popular flagship such as the HTC One (M8) and replace the Android OS with Windows Phone? Wonder no more - meet the HTC One (M8) for Windows - the only smartphone giving you the choice!
HTC is the first manufacturer to launch a popular smartphone running on another platform. HTC One (M8) has been around since the last spring season and it has become favorite to many. Now it has a chance to expand its reach beyond the Android users.
HTC One M8 For Windows

Windows Phone is still young and advancing operation system, but since the Windows Phone 8.1, it has become a true competitor to Android and iOS in terms of usability and features. The growing popularity and the free license of Windows Phone to devices under 8" are probably among the reasons HTC has decided on launching its most popular smartphone - the One (M8) - running on Microsoft's OS.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Duos Specs

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Duos

For China
Also known as Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Duos SM-N9100
GENERAL 2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 - SIM 1
  GSM 900 / 1800 / 1900 - SIM 2
3G Network HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 - SIM 1
  TD-SCDMA 1880 / 2010 - SIM 1
4G Network LTE 1800 / 2100 / 2600 (Bands 1, 3, 7) - SIM 1
  TD-LTE 1900 / 2300 / 2500 / 2600 (Bands 38, 39, 40, 41) - SIM 1
SIM Dual SIM (Micro-SIM, dual stand-by)
Announced 2014, October
Status Available. Released 2014, October

Rockstar starts Grand Theft Auto III, San Andreas and Vice City sale

Rockstar Games is celebrating the 10th anniversary of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and is offering San Andreas, Vice City and the original GTA III with a big discount. The deal is available for iOS and Android through both the Play Store and the Amazon Appstore.
The mobile version of GTA III launched in 2011 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the PC version and later in 2012 Rockstar released GTA: Vice City, again to celebrate its 10th birthday.

Pixelmator now available on the iPad for $4.99

Popular image editing application for OS X – Pixelmator – was announced for the iPad back at the iPad Air 2 launch event. The app is now available on the App Store and can be purchased for $4.99.
Pixelmator on OS X is a full fledged image creation and editing application. It can do most of the things that you can with Photoshop but at a fraction of the cost. But most importantly, it is beautifully made and works seamlessly with the OS as if it’s a native app.

Rooms message board app by Facebook launches for iOS

Facebook launched a brand new app for iOS dubbed Rooms. The newcomer allows users to create or participate in message boards that cover any topic they might be interested in.
The app consist of rooms that are organized by area of interest. Users can choose a different nickname for every room, as well as customize its look and feel.
The message boards in Rooms will support moderators, age restriction, as well as rules for participation. The app will not be connected to Facebook and your list of friends.
Josh Miller is the man behind Rooms. Branch, the web discussions website he co-founded was acquired by the social networking giant last year.

Microsoft launches Kinect adpater for Windows 8 and 8.1

Microsoft is enabling Kinect owners to use it with Windows by launching today a special adapter for PCs. It makes the Kinect fully compatible with WIndows 8 and Windows 8.1 PCs and tablets with identical performance to the Xbox One.
The new Kinect adapter only works with the newly announced Kinect SDK 2.0. It allows developers to create third-party apps for the Kinect and upload them to the Windows Store. Hopefully, we get to see some cool new uses of the gadget apart from making voice commands and playing fitness-oriented games.

Torque by Microsoft is a nifty search app for Android Wear

Microsoft launched a crafty search application for Android Wear devices dubbed Torque. The app activates on the Android Wear device via a twist of the user’s wrist.
Of course, the search engine used by the app is powered by Bing, not Google’s own solution. Using Torque is as easy as it gets – you twist your wrist and ask your Android Wear device the question you need answer to.

Google Earth 8.0 for Android adds new 3D tech, quicker map updates

Google has just announced a pretty big update for the Google Earth app for Android. The new version will be rolling out over the next week, bringing with it faster and smoother transitions as you’re zooming in.
Mountains and cities get sharper 3D views too, thanks to an overhauled 3D rendering technology that was built from scratch. This is, in fact, the first big upgrade for the 3D tech since Google Earth launched 10 years ago. And more 3D updates are promised for the coming months.

Olloclip unveils 4-in-1 photo lens for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

Olloclip is a name you may have heard if you ever looked for attachable lenses for your iPhone. The company has created a new edition of its 4-in-1 photo lens for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. The design has been updated to allow the lens clip to be carried as a pendant, making it easier to bring with you everywhere.
The 4-in-1 photo lens includes a fish eye lens and a wide-angle lens. You can unscrew them to get a 15x macro and 10x macro lens respectively.

Nexus 6 compared to iPhone 6 Plus, found to be bigger than bigger than bigger

The Nexus 6 is a big phone. You can tell that from the display size or from reading the dimensions. But nothing drives the point home than watching it being compared with phones that we are already familiar with.
TechCrunch did a hands-on with the Nexus 6 and there are two images from the article that are worth focusing on. The first is the image above, where the Nexus 6 sits next to the iPhone 6 PlusNow the iPhone 6 Plus is a big phone, but the Nexus 6 isn’t that much bigger despite packing half an inch of extra screen. But the more hilarious image is the one below.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Skype for Windows Phone adds drawing feature

Microsoft has published a new update for Skype in the Windows Phone app store. The new version is 2.24, and it debuts an interesting feature: drawing.
It’s just as it sounds, basically. You can tap the “+” icon in any chat and then select “drawing” to, well, draw – a picture, or whatever else your talent level allows you to. There’s also the possibility of adding a “personal touch” to a photo, or to annotate a Bing map.

Dropbox adds Touch ID support for iOS 8

Dropbox has updated its mobile app for iOS today, and with the new version comes support for Touch ID. Specifically, you can use the fingerprint sensor embedded into Apple’s wares to get access to your Dropbox.
This means no more entering passwords to view the files you have stored in this particular cloud service.

Nexus 4 receives a functional Android 5.0 Lollipop port

Thanks to the hard work of very talented developers over at the XDA-Developers community, the LG Nexus 4 has received Android 5.0 Lollipop earlier than Google is rolling it out officially. In addition, you can now get all of the Google apps with the updated looks on your own phone.
However, only rooted users may apply and the apps won’t work on all smartphones. Currently, the latest Material Design Google apps that are available as downloadable .apk files include Play Music, Play Books, Keep, Calendar, Gmail, Drive, Maps, Messenger and Fit.

Tizen Association welcomes 16 new members, surpasses 100

The Tizen Association has added 16 additional partners to its list making the list grow to more than 100 members. The announcement came at the Tizen Developer Summit in Shanghai that’s taking place today.
The focus of the conference in on wearables and Internet of Things. However, the members are also discussing the possibilities of Tizen to make a mark in the automotive industry and in the consumer electronics industry.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Plus Specs

Samsung Galaxy S5 Plus

Also known as Samsung Galaxy S5 Plus SM-G901F
GENERAL 2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G Network HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100
4G Network LTE 800 / 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 / 2100 / 2600 
(Bands 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20)
Announced 2014, October
Status Coming soon. Exp. release 2014, November

Monday, 20 October 2014

Microsoft tipped to release a wearable device in the near future

According to a report in Forbes, Microsoft is about to launch a wearable device in the coming weeks. The gadget will reportedly hit the shelves in time for the holiday shopping season.
Microsoft’s upcoming creation will focus on tracking physical activities that include steps, heart rate, and calories burned among others. Some smartwatch functionality is also expected, though it will not be the product’s main highlight. Battery life of the wearable device is tipped to be in the ballpark of two days.
The upcoming device will work on Windows Phone, Android, and iOS. Microsoft will offer a dedicated app for each OS.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

‘Angry Birds Transformers’ for iOS and Android game review

Angry Birds Transformers is the latest and tenth installment in the Angry Bird series of games. Made in collaboration with Hasbro, Angry Birds Transformers is based on the Transformers series, the original animated one, not the terrible movies made by Michael Bay.
After a soft launch the game is now available worldwide on iOS right now and will be available on Android at the end of the month. Anyway, let’s get on with the review.

Nexus 9 goes up for pre-order in India on the Play Store

The Nexus 9 has been put up for pre-order on the Play Store in India. India is one of the 22 markets worldwide that will be getting the Nexus 9 on day one.
The Nexus 9 is available in two configurations in India. There is the base 16GB version with Wi-Fi, that is priced at Rs. 28,900, and there is the 32GB LTE model that is priced at Rs. 44,900. The Nexus 9 is only available in the Indigo Black color in India for now.

Xolo One is a $105 smartphone that will get Android 5.0 Lollipop

Xolo introduced the latest addition to its lineup of attractively priced smartphones. Dubbed Xolo One the new droid costs just INR 6,599, which translates to about $105, making it one of the most affordable KitKat-powered handset around. More impressively, the company has committed to updating the Xolo One to Android 5.0 Lollipop later on, making it one of the cheapest tickets to Google’s latest ride.
As you could expect at this price point, the hardware of the smartphone isn’t quite as impressive. The Xolo One comes with a 4.5” IPS screen of the lowly FWVGA resolution (854 x 480 pixels) that gives a pixel density of 218ppi. The handset is powered by a Mediatek MTK 6582M chipset with a quad-core Cortex-A7 CPU running at 1.3GHz, a Mali 400 MP2 GPU and 1GB of RAM.

The Xolo One comes with dual SIM slots and support for 3G and 21Mbps HSPA networks, but no LTE. There’s a microSD card slot for expanding the 8GB of available storage by up to 32GB.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Huawei Ascend Mate7 review

The Huawei Ascend Mate7 is the company's first phablet ready for primetime, with two credible midrangers in the Mate series giving Huawei the confidence to stand up to rival flagships. Never mind the digit in the title, the Mate7 is actually a 6" device with premium looks, solid display and a capable chipset. It was built to stand out, outlast and outperform the competition and looks keen to muscle its way to the top instead of sneakily undercutting the competition.

The Ascend Mate7 is trying to impress in pretty much every aspect. Its body is made of aluminum, but the focus is well on the 6" IPS display of 1080p resolution. Huawei's very own Kirin 925 chipset is powering the Mate7, which offers all-round connectivity options and a capable 13MP snapper.

Huawei Ascend Mate7 Huawei Ascend Mate7 Huawei Ascend Mate7

Huawei Ascend Mate7 official pictures
Huawei maybe a novice in fingerprint security, at least on paper, but comes across as a quick learner - to say the least. Huawei's implementation are superior to some of the popular solutions on other handhelds by major manufacturers. The phablet comes with built-in and easy to access scanner, which is fast and secure enough, offering touch&pay via NFC.

Friday, 17 October 2014

BlackBerry Passport review

Canadian manufacturer BlackBerry looks to bring its no-nonsense smartphone approach in a form factor that is...unusual, to say the least. It's a company that's no stranger lately to being in the red for quarters on end and the Passport is yet another attempt by BlackBerry to regain its identity (and market share) in a cutthroat industry that's dominated by Android.
Even from a distance, it's apparent that the Passport is a device that's different for a reason. 
First, the company failed to market a "traditional" smartphone with the otherwise solid BlackBerry Z30. The BlackBerry Q5 QWERTY messenger wasn't any more successful as a return to the bread-and-butter. Now, the Passport hopes to strike gold with a formula that's the best of both worlds while being bound to neither.

Blackberry Passport Blackberry Passport Blackberry Passport Blackberry Passport

BlackBerry Passport official pictures
The Passport certainly carries a spec sheet to put performance buffs at ease. With a Quad-core 2.26GHz Snapdragon 801 chip and 3GB of RAM, it's easily the most robust BlackBerry smartphone to date. The 4.5-inch square display is also of an impressive 1440 x 1440px, which results in an excellent 453ppi. Here's what else it brings to the table:

Linksys announces EA9200 and E8350 high-end routers

The Linksys EA9200 and E8350 are now official with a lot of features for heavy network users. Both routers pack 802.11 ac connectivity and are aimed at home or small corporations with multiple users who need excellent range for their Wi-Fi networks. To achieve that, the EA9200 (pictured below) packs six active antennas – 3 external and 3 internal – to achieve six data streams.

The router also features three Wi-Fi radios – one operating at 2.4GHz and two at 5GHz. Powering the EA9200 is a 1GHz dual-core CPU and three integrated co-processors. Data transfers are rated up to 600Mbps on 2.4GHz and 1.3Gbps on 5GHz.

In terms of I/O, the EA9200 packs a USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports as well as 4 RJ-45 Gigabit ports and 1Gbps WAN port.

AMD releases Q3 earnings report, announces 7% workforce slash

AMD has released its financial results for the Q3 2014 and it looks like things didn’t go according to plan. Because of missing targets, the company plans to lay off 7% of its workforce. The $1.43 billion in revenue is lower than both the previous quarter ($1.47 billion) and the same period of last year. Sadly for AMD, the expectations for its financial performance in Q4 2014 aren’t rosy either as it expects a further 13% decline in revenue.


Still, for Q3 AMD reports a gross margin of 35% and net income of $17 million. However, because of unsubstantial demand for its products, it will take measures to make sure the fiscal year stays on a positive track. 

New Mac mini release sees old server and 2TB option go

Apple unveiled the new Mac mini yesterday complete with two Thunderbolt 2.0 ports, 4th generation Intel chipsets with the latest HD Graphics 5000, Wi-Fi ac and more but it all comes at a cost.

The old Mac mini is no more, naturally, but so is the Mac mini server option. There’s also no 2TB variant on sale and you can top things off at 1TB of Fusion Drive or SSD-only storage.
The latest OS X Yosemite server is currently in testing so we might see a new Mac mini server soon but the 2TB storage option doesn’t look likely to return.

Apple gives you the option to go for 1TB of Fusion (SSD+HDD) storage or 256GB of SSD for the same price on the middle and high-end Mac mini options ($699 and $999 respectively) but some users might want the extra 1TB as well.

Apple iPad mini 3: is this the smallest upgrade we’ve ever seen?

Apple’s iPad, iMac and OS X Yosemite event is now all done and as we reflect on it there were many highs, plenty of innovation even, but one particularly low point – the new iPad mini 3.

Apple gave the new iPad Air 2 a heap of time on stage because of its new 8MP iSight camera, its over the top 6.1mm frame, its new A8X chipset, its TouchID home button and its gold option. And the iPad mini 3 got a couple of quick slides – as if the company didn’t want to talk about it. And after digging a bit deeper into its specs sheet we think we know why – that’s by far the smallest step forward a device has needed a year to take. No A8X chipset, no new display or camera, no new thinner body but hey, you get TouchID (which is yet to prove it’s worth anything on a tablet) and cool golden version now.

Apple iMac with 5K Retina display goes official

Apple announced a brand new iMac with 5K Retina display. The main highlight of the desktop powerhouse is its 27” display – it has the barely believable resolution of 5120 x 2880 pixels.

In case you were wondering, the above resolution amounts to 14.7 million pixels. That’s a whopping 67% more pixels than what the already stellar 4K resolution has to offer.

Google Keyboard v3.2 is out with 8 new languages

Google just released Android 5.0. Lollipop, but the company isn’t having any breaks as the latest Google Keyboard is now available with several new languages and a new settings menu.

The new languages include Bengali (India), Hindi (Compact), Kannada (India), Malayalam (India), Marathi (India), Tamil (India), Tamil (Singapore), and Telugu (India). Google has made the settings menu more organized by sorting the different options into categories.
The Google Keyboard should also be less buggy, but as far as new functionality goes, that’s about it. You can also grab the .apk of the latest Google Keyboard by following the link below.

Belkin unveils new backlit QODE keyboards for the iPad Air

With an iPad even scheduled for tomorrow it may seem like an odd time to announce a new iPad Air keyboard but Belkin did just that. The new QODE Ultimate Pro keyboard offers an upgraded typing experience compared to the QODE Ultimate along with protection for your iPad.

The QODE Slim Style keyboard case features the same keyboard as the Ultimate Pro but the folio-style case is thinner and lighter. 

The QODE Ultimate Pro keyboard is made of aircraft-grade aluminum alloy in two colors – Silver and Spay Gray – and features rubber bumpers to keep the tablet screen from touching the keys. 

Bono makes an apology for the automatic U2 album download on iTunes

U2 members did a Facebook interview recently answering fan questions and inevitably, they were asked not to ever do another iTunes automatic album deal. The fan asking the question described it as “rude”, which really ticked the members. However, after that Bono went on to apologist on behalf of the group.


The band’s front man said he was sorry and that U2 got “carried away” as they were concerned that the music they’ve poured years of hard work into might remain unheard. Still, the $100 million deal between Apple and U2 is unlikely to drop.

Xbox One sales outpace the PlayStation 4 in September according to analysts

Up until now, Sony has always managed to sell more PlayStation 4 gaming consoles than Microsoft does with the Xbox One. However, this has changed in September according to Wedbush Securities Analyst Michael Pachter. As per his data, about 325,000 units have been sold compared to 250,000 PlayStation 4 consoles.


This is only the second month since last November that Microsoft succeeds to outpace Sony. The reason for Microsoft’s success lies in offering gamers nice deals. Patcher notes that from September 7 through 13, the company offered a free game with the purchase of a new Xbox. 

Breathometer Breeze is a Bluetooth touting wearable breathalyzer

Breathometer has unveiled the Breeze today. This is a new breathalyzer that the company claims is the industry’s first such device to be “truly wearable”. It’s small, has a built-in mouthpiece, and it comes with a wearable clip, keychain, and a mouthpiece cover.


It apparently delivers ultra fast and ultra accurate results, and it uses Bluetooth LE to talk to your iPhone or Android smartphone – on which you install the Breathometer app.
The app now features integration with Uber, as well as local restaurants and hotels. Breathometer has support for Apple’s HealthKit, so its results are available inside Apple’s Health app, alongside other health and wellness info from other sources.

Apple iPad Air 2 Specs

Apple iPad Air 2

LTE carrier support
Available as:
Apple iPad Air 2 Wi-Fi + Cellular with 3G/LTE support
Apple iPad Air 2 Wi-Fi with Wi-Fi only and no GPS support
General     2G Network     GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
      CDMA 800 / 1900
3G Network     HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100
      CDMA2000 1xEV-DO
4G Network     LTE
SIM     Nano-SIM/ Apple SIM (US & UK)
Announced     2014, October
Status     Available. Released 2014, October

Apple iPad mini 3 Specs

Apple iPad mini 3

LTE carrier support
Available as:
Apple iPad mini 3 Wi-Fi + Cellular with 3G/LTE support
Apple iPad mini 3 Wi-Fi with Wi-Fi only and no GPS support
General     2G Network     GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
      CDMA 800 / 1900
3G Network     HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100
      CDMA2000 1xEV-DO
4G Network     LTE
SIM     Nano-SIM/ Apple SIM (US & UK)
Announced     2014, October
Status     Available. Released 2014, October