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.
Via

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


Motorola Nexus 6 Specs

Motorola Nexus 6

Also known as Motorola Nexus X
General     2G Network     GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 - all models
      CDMA 800 / 1900 - XT1103
3G Network     HSDPA 800 / 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1800 / 1900 / 2100 - XT1100
      HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100 - XT1103
4G Network     LTE 700 / 800 / 850 / 900 / 1800 / 2100 / 2600 TD-LTE 2500 - XT1100
(Bands 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 19, 20, 28, 41)
      LTE 700 / 850 / 1700 / 1800 / 1900 / 2100 / 2600 TD-LTE 2500 - XT1103
(Bands 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 12, 13, 17, 25, 26, 29, 41)
SIM     Nano-SIM
Announced     2014, October
Status     Coming soon. Exp. release 2014, October


HTC Nexus 9 Specs

HTC Nexus 9


Available as Wi-Fi only and 3G/LTE models
General     2G Network     GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G Network     HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100
4G Network     LTE
SIM     Yes
Announced     2014, October
Status     Coming soon. Exp. release 2014, October


Asus PadFone X mini Specs

Asus PadFone X mini


General     2G Network     GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G Network     HSDPA 850 / 1900 / 2100
4G Network     LTE 700 / 850 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100
SIM     Yes
Announced     2014, October
Status     Coming soon. 2014, October


Huawei Honor Holly Specs

Huawei Honor Holly


General     2G Network     GSM 900 / 1800 / 1900 - SIM 1 & SIM 2
3G Network     HSDPA
SIM     Dual SIM (Micro-SIM, dual stand-by)
Announced     2014, October
Status     Available. Released 2014, October


Lenovo Sisley Specs

Lenovo Sisley

Also known as Lenovo S90 Sisley
General     2G Network     GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 - SIM 1 & SIM 2
3G Network     HSDPA 2100
4G Network     LTE
SIM     Dual SIM (dual stand-by)
Announced     Exp. announcement 2014, October
Status     Rumored. Exp. release 2014, November


Tuesday, 14 October 2014

iPhone 6 vs. Galaxy Alpha vs. Xperia Z3 Compact: Three kings Reviews

We're looking for the best phone with a sub-5" screen. At a time when the best features seem to only come with the largest display, there's a strange, almost rebellious feel to it. No need to tell you, we're enjoying it. The Apple iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy Alpha and the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact are probably having the time of their life too. These three are not just exceptions to the rule. They're making their own rules.
It's a sad reality for those who prefer compact - not small! - phones. Each year manufacturers come out with new features but like a movie sequel they feel compelled to go bigger than last time. It's how we ended up with 5.5" monsters being called "phones" (we can name several 5.5-inchers off the top of our heads, they are that popular).

The Sony Xperia Z1 Compact opened up a whole new niche early this year by squeezing flagship specs in a smaller body. And it was only just starting - Sony came up with the Xperia Z3 Compact, which is easily one of the best-equipped phones out there, regardless of size.

Samsung develops Wi-Fi 802.11ad standard with speeds of up to 4.6Gbps

Wi-Fi 802.11ac is just starting to gain traction, but Samsung is already looking ahead. The company has announced that it has managed to complete the development of the Wi-Fi 802.11ad standard and is ready to commercialize it.
The new standard operates at a 60GHz frequency and enables high transmission speeds of up to 4.6Gbps, which is 575MB/s. That’s an increase of five times compared to the 802.11ac standard, which is capable of 866Mbps, or 108MB/s.

Multiple Dropbox account passwords leaked online, Dropbox claims it wasn’t hacked

Multiple Dropbox accounts got compromised today when an anonymous user posted hundreds of Dropbox ID and password in a text file on reddit. The ID and password were in four text files that were posted on pastebin.
reddit users confirmed that many of the accounts listed with their passwords were legit. However, Dropbox later said that it wasn’t hacked, and that the account details were obtained from third party sources.

Air Umbrella uses air flow to shelter you from the rain

A team of Chinese designers has taken to Kickstarter to fund a nifty little idea called Air Umbrella. It’s an umbrella that’s powered by a “force field” of air. It uses this to replace the fabric in a normal umbrella, with the air flow deflecting the rain drops from you.
The inventors have already received more pledges than they asked for – right now around $17,000 have been pledged by people eager to replace their umbrellas with something more high-tech, and the goal was just $10,000. There are 9 days to go in the Kickstarter campaign, but since the goal has been surpassed this thing should become reality.

Nokia Refocus app gets an update, new Lumia name

The Nokia Refocus app for Windows Phone has been rebranded with a new name. The app is now called Lumia Refocus in the spirit of Microsoft’s recent changes, which saw almost everything drop the Finns’ brand.
Other than that, the app hasn’t been changed in any way. The Lumia Refocus lets you take a shot and choose what you want in focus later. You can choose effects such as “all in focus” and “color pop” and then share the Refocus photos.

Vodafone Smart Tab 4G launches tomorrow at £125

Vodafone is expanding its Android tablet roster with one of the cheapest 4G LTE tablets around. Dubbed Vodafone Smart Tab 4G it will launch tomorrow at £125 on Pay as you go and £30 on a 1GB/£17 a month plan.
The tablet features an 8″ IPS screen with 1,280 x 800 pixel resolution and is surprisingly thin for a budged device, it measures just 8mm thick.

Cortana can now lookup song lyrics for you

Microsoft has added a new ability to Windows Phone’s virtual assistant skill set. Cortana is now capable of looking for song lyrics for you so you can sing along with your favorite artists.
It’s very easy – just ask “lyrics for song name by artist name“. You’ll get the lyrics momentarily.

OnePlus announces JBL earphones specially designed for the One

OnePlus has announced a partnership with audio company JBL resulting in one of the first official earphones for the One the JBL E1+. The earphones sports a premium 9mm JBL drivers as well as the company’s PureBass technology.
The result is a dynamic sound with high frequency response and “massive bass”. The cable of the JBL E1+ earphones is flat and tangle-resistant. Done in OnePlus Red, the company says the look of the earphones perfectly compliments the Sandstone Black cover of the One.

Microsoft’s new Surface Hub app lets you customize your stylus experience

Microsoft has released a new app for the Surface 3 tablet. Called Surface Hub, the app lets you customize the settings for the stylus that comes bundled with the tablet.
The app lets you adjust two aspects of the stylus. The first is the pressure sensitivity, and now you can increase or decrease the pressure required to activate the stylus. Secondly, you can customize the button on top but it’s limited to opening the standard or desktop version of the OneNote app.

Upcoming Google service will let you talk to doctors online for medical help

Google is working on a new service that is integrated within the Google Search app of your phone. Whenever you search for an illness the app will suggest you to talk to a doctor, which will then initiate a Helpout-style video chat where you can ask the doctor about the problem you are having.
According to Google, “When you’re searching for basic health information — from conditions like insomnia or food poisoning — our goal is provide you with the most helpful information available. We’re trying this new feature to see if it’s useful to people.”
The service is rolling out to a few accounts in the US for now and is completely free in the trial phase. The service might cost you once it launches officially.

Oppo N3 camera detailed: 16MP 1/2.3-inch sensor

The Oppo N3 details keep trickling and the latest piece of news comes from the company's CEO himself. In a Weibo post, Tony Chen says the 16MP sensor of the N3 will have the ample 1/2.3" size, which will result in higher quality images.
He also shared a comparison image, which you can see above. The Oppo N3's sensor size is compared to the likes of the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 4, which sport 1/2.6" sensors, 28% smaller than the N3's. The HTC One (M8), Apple iPhone 6 both have a 1/3" sensor size, while the original Oppo N1's sensor is 1/3.06".

Huawei Honor 6 Extreme Edition is official with Kirin 928 chip

At an event today in Beijing, Huawei officially unveiled the Honor 6 Extreme Edition packing the company's latest Kirin 928 chipset. Its comprised of an 2GHz octa-core CPU, 3GB of RAM and Mali T628MP4 GPU. We're yet to see how much faster the Kirin 928 is compared to the Kirin 920 found in the Honor 6.
Visually, the phone retains the exterior of its predecessor and keeps the 5" 1080p display. The phone runs the latest Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box and offers LTE-A Cat.6 for the networks that support it.

Lenovo Sisley shows what the iPhone 6 should have looked like

Lenovo is working on a new Android smartphone called Sisley, which has just had its photos leaked. The company seems to have been heavily inspired by Apple when designing the Sisley, as it resembles the iPhone 6 as close as phone we've seen.
According to the source of the photos, the phone is just 6.9mm thick. Coincidentally, that's the same waistline as the iPhone 6. However, whereas Apple has chosen to place plastic inlays all over the back of the phone in order for the antennas to work, Lenovo has altered the design a bit and moved most of them to the top. It looks notably better that way, too - having a straight line go along a sloping edge always makes it look awkward. Not to mention the non-protruding rear camera.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 review: Four of a kind

From an oddball that everyone was laughing at to becoming one of the most important Samsung announcement of the year - the Note series got to a place where now everyone else wants to be in too, including Apple. Samsung isn't in too big a trouble just yet, but profits just can't keep climbing forever and the company needs the Galaxy Note 4 to become a success in a way the Galaxy S5 couldn't.
That's some heavy burden to carry, even more so considering competition is at an all-time high, now that Apple finally entered the phablet game. Yet the fifth Galaxy Note phablet (you didn't forget the Note 3 Neo, did you?) is as well prepared as one could hope for. Amazing hardware is what put the Notes on the map, but two generations after the original the software support finally caught up to make last year's Galaxy Note 3 a genuinely exclusive package.
   
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 official images
Now the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 comes to finally add the last seemingly missing piece of the puzzle - the exclusive design. A metal frame and a curved glass over the screen along with a refined faux leather back work together to make the latest phablet one of the handsomest pieces of hardware around. And as you can see in the list below, Samsung didn't have to make compromises elsewhere.

iPhone 6 accessory sales hit $249 million in a fortnight

According to analyst company NPD Group, Apple isn’t the only one reaping the benefits of surging iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus sales. The report states that iPhone 6 accessory makers have made a total of $249 million over the last two weeks.
That’s 43% increase compared to the first two weeks after the iPhone 6 launch, and it’s hardly surprising. The iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s managed to accumulate $195 million of revenue for the same period with just a 17% spike for the second fortnight since launch.

Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro notebook is official with no fans, QHD+ and Intel Broadwell chip

In addition to its tablet line-up, Lenovo has also announced the Yoga 3 Pro laptop with a 13.3″ 3200 x 1800 (QHD+) display with Gorilla Glass 3 on top. Under the hood, there’s the latest Intel Broadwell chip, the Core M-70, which doesn’t require any fans.
The Yoga 3 Pro has also lost some weight and is 17% thinner and 15% lighter than its predecessor at 1.19kg. Further specs include up to 8GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage, but there’s also a base model with 256GB. Connectivity is covered with Wi-Fi 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.0 as well as two uSB 3.0 ports, microHDMI out, a 4-in-1 card reader and DC-in, which doubles as a USB 2.0 port.

Google Play Store updated to v5.0, gets more Material Design elements

Google has started rolling out v5.0.31 of the Play Store for Android. The major difference here is in the UI, and it’s approximately 600% more Material Design now.
First up, the action bar on top is now teal (or something close to that) with a new side menu and a cool animation for the hamburger button. The side menu shows the same items now, but the font is smaller.