Pixel XL teardown reveals modular components, earpiece mesh made of cloth & more

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 21, 2016

YouTubers like JerryRigEverything and repair wizards over at iFixit tore apart their Pixel XL smartphone from Google to peek under its hood, revealing easily removed battery, standard screws, the use of modular internal components that can be replaced independently and—quite surprisingly—the front-facing earpiece slit which is made of cloth.

Launched on October 4, both new Google-designed smartphones, the Pixel and Pixel XL, are exclusive to Verizon in the U.S. Contract-free Pixels are available via Google’s online store and from Best Buy. Read More

 

US government bans Samsung’s Note 7 from all domestic flights

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 14, 2016

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and The Department of Transportation (DoT) have banned Samsung’s recalled Note 7 smartphones from all domestic airline flights in the United States beginning Saturday, officials announced in an emergency order.

A few days ago, Samsung permanently stopped production of the troubled smartphone following incidents in which replacement devices it deemed safe exhibited the same fire-prone defect, even when powered down. Read More

 

Note 7 is dead: Samsung permanently ceases production of its troubled flagship phone

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 11, 2016

After temporarily halting production of its troubled Galaxy Note 7 smartphone earlier this week, Samsung confirmed in today’s statement to TechCrunch that it’s permanently discontinued the production of its flagship Galaxy smartphone over multiple incidents of exploding batteries.

This past weekend, major U.S. carriers AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon and Sprint stopped offering new units as replacements for those affected by Samsung’s global recall. U.S. carriers are now offering Note 7 customers replacement devices from other brands, including Apple’s latest iPhone. Read More

 

Here are Google Pixel phones with better-than-iPhone 7 camera, built-in Assistant & more

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 4, 2016

As promised, Google today held a media event to launch new hardware and software products, among them a pair of new smartphones—a five-inch Pixel and a 5.5-inch Pixel XL. These are the first “Made by Google” phones that come with the firm’s new Assistant built in. Google says the devices feature “the highest rated smartphone camera ever”, a battery that lasts all day and much more. Read More

 

Leaked photos and commercial show off Google’s Pixel smartphones ahead of today’s unveiling

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 4, 2016

As we told you, Google will be unveiling a pair of “Made by Google” smartphones, the Pixel and Pixel XL, at a media event later today. Yesterday, British mobile retailer Carphone Warehouse posted a series of slides for the upcoming devices.

These images give us a solid advance look at some of the features of the upcoming smartphones. In addition, Rabid Rotty just captured on video a Pixel commercial that aired in Canada ahead of the unveiling. Read More

 

BlackBerry to cease internal development of smartphones, sharpen focus on software

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 28, 2016

The ailing Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry has finally admitted defeat: after years of struggling to turn around its phone business, the company said today it’ll stop designing its own smartphones and pivot focus on software. Any future hardware efforts will rely on partners as the company ceases internal development of smartphones, Recode reports. Read More

 

Foldable Samsung tablet/smartphone hybrid aka “smartlet” appears in patent filing

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 4, 2016

Last month, Bloomberg ran a high-profile story about Samsung’s alleged initiative, code-named Project Valley, that would bring a pair of fully bendable Galaxy phones to market in early-2017.

Subsequent supply chain reports have since backed the story partially as it became public knowledge that Samsung has allocated north of $7 billion into boosting production of flexible OLED panels.

As Patently Apple noted today, a new patent application sheds more light on the South Korean conglomerate’s interest in creating a technology that would allow a smartphone or tablet to fold in half when not in use. Read More

 

Long exposure and time-lapse photography made easy with updated Pocket Tripod

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 30, 2016

Pocket Tripod, a credit card sized phone holder that started as a Kickstarter project in 2013, has been updated to accommodate iPhones and Android smartphones of all sizes, with or without a case. Created by Geometrical Inc.‘s Rambod Radmard, this tremendously useful accessory fits in your wallet and unfolds into a phone stand.

More importantly, it doubles as a mini-tripod for times when you need your iPhone’s camera to be steady. The updated version is expected to ship in October. Read More

 

Bloomberg: Samsung to launch two fully bendable phones in early-2017

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 7, 2016

Samsung could release a pair of smartphones early next year capable of bending and folding in half “like a cosmetic compact,” without damage, and one of them should be a five-inch model that could be opened to an eight-inch tablet size, Bloomberg reported this morning, citing unnamed people familiar with the project. Read More

 

New software promises to bring 3D Touch to any smartphone, no special hardware needed

By Christian Zibreg on May 30, 2016

Apple brought 3D Touch into this world with the introduction of the iPhone 6s in September 2015. Fast forward nine months and Android competitors are still struggling to outfit their devices with an array of force-sensing display sensors.

We know that Google’s upcoming Android N will bring system-level support for pressure-sensing screens, but now folks at the University of Michigan have developed a technology that would bring 3D touch-like features to most smartphones, without making any hardware modification. Read More

 

Microsoft’s signals the end of its Nokia experiment

By Christian Zibreg on May 25, 2016

After iPhone manufacture Foxconn recently purchased Nokia’s feature phone business from Microsoft for a reported $350 million, the Windows maker followed up today with cost-cutting measures which signal its intent to exit the handset business and put an end to the failed Nokia experiment. As part of its “streamlining of smartphone hardware business,” which is corporate talk for layoffs, 1,850 employees will be let go.

Microsoft acquired Nokia’s phone business for $7.2 billion two years ago. Read More

 

Intel wants to replace the 3.5mm headphone jack with USB-C

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 27, 2016

Apple may not be the only company about to ditch the century-old 3.5mm analog audio connector with the release of the next iPhone this fall. AnandTech reported this morning that the semiconductor giant Intel is backing the industry’s “strong desire to move from analog to digital” by proposing that the 3.5mm audio jack be replaced with USB-C on smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. Read More

 

Samsung unveils Galaxy S7/Edge with Always-On Display, bigger batteries, better cameras & more

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 21, 2016

Sticking to its tradition, Samsung today officially announced its next-generation Galaxy smartphones, the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge. An evolution of last year’s Galaxy S6, the new phones retain Samsung’s quad HD Super AMOLED display while fixing some of the annoyances of the Galaxy S6.

Notably, this includes IP68 water and dust-proofing and support for microSD cards via a hybrid SIM card tray to boost storage capacity up to 200GB (in some select countries, the tray can be used with a dual SIM card).

The battery is still non user-replaceable, but the cameras have been improved. Yes, the camera hump is still present on the back, albeit much less pronounced than on the S6. The overall look and feel of the new handsets hasn’t changed much from the Galaxy S6’s seductive metal-and-glass industrial design. Read More

 

Sony readying interchangeable E-Mount lenses for pro mobile photography

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 2, 2014

The Japanese giant Sony is gearing up to unveil a number of new gadgets at the IFA press conference which kicks off tomorrow in Berlin. And with 24 hours until the presser, an ILCE-QX1 E-mount camera has conveniently leaked out.

The latest addition to its QX-branded smartphone and tablet camera accessory lineup, the forthcoming ILCE-QX1 E-mount camera reportedly won’t have a fixed lens and instead will let you use any of Sony’s E-Mount lenses, the oft-reliable SonyAlphaRumors blog reported Tuesday.

As if that wasn’t enough, the ILCE-QX1 is said to feature a 24-megapixel APS-C sensor and a built-in flash. That being said, compatibility with the E-Mount lenses is bound to strike a chord with iPhone photography fans. Read More

 

Samsung’s troubles prove Apple knows exactly what it’s doing with its iPhone business

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 31, 2014

Samsung’s co-CEO and mobile chief J.K. Shin is in the hot seat as the company posts its third straight quarter of operating-profit declines.

It’s fascinating to watch how quickly things are turning for the conglomerate responsible for nearly one-fifth of South Korea’s Gross domestic product.

Operating profits were down sharply, decreasing a whopping 25 percent year over year. More importantly, Samsung’s favorite business metric – the market share – is under pressure, too: its worldwide share of smartphones slipped to 25 percent in the second quarter from 32 percent a year earlier.

This is bad news considering that 76 percent of the firm’s profit comes from smartphones. What gives? Read More

 

Amazon announces June 18 launch event for new device

By Cody Lee on Jun 4, 2014

Amazon has just announced that it will be hosting a ‘launch event’ on June 18. The company doesn’t offer up a whole lot of details, other than founder Jeff Bezos will be on hand, and a new device will be shown off.

In addition to sending out invitations, and tweeting about the event, Amazon has also posted a cryptic video of people trying out the device. They don’t say way it is, or show it, but it sounds like the rumored smartphone…

Read More

 

Alleged internal slide reveals Amazon’s upcoming smartphone

By Cody Lee on May 1, 2014

Amazon is expected to unveil its first smartphone in the not-so-distant future, and according to a new report from BGR, this is what it’s going to look like. The site says the image on the above slide was created for internal use by graphic designers at Amazon.

Note that the handset looks quite different than the prototype we saw last month—BGR explains this is because that device was housed in a protective casing. The actual phone’s design resembles that of the iPhone and other smartphones currently on the market… Read More

 

Samsung profits fall in Q1 on slowing high-end smartphone sales

By Cody Lee on Apr 29, 2014

Samsung said profit fell for a second straight quarter as sales in its smartphone division continued to dip. The South Korean electronics giant announced its earnings for Q1 2014 this morning, and its operating profits for the period fell 3.3% from the year-ago-quarter.

Investors are particularly concerned with the growing trend of slumping handset sales—Samsung’s mobile division is also down 1.2% year-over-year. The just-released Galaxy S5 is expected to give its Q2 numbers a boost, but the future beyond that is less than certain… Read More

 

Amazon’s smartphone said to feature unique, tilt-based gesture interface

By Cody Lee on Apr 22, 2014

According to a bevy of recent reports, Amazon is preparing to launch a smartphone. It’s a tough market to try to bust into this late in the game—with Apple and Samsung taking home a large share of the profits already—but from what we’ve heard, the e-commerce giant is going to try to differentiate itself with unique features.

Today, following up its report from last week on a purported prototype of the Amazon phone, BGR has offered up some new details. Apparently, in addition to glasses-free 3D and head-tracking tech, the handset will also feature a number of motion-based gestures that can be activated by tilting the device in various directions… Read More

 

WSJ: Amazon preparing to launch 3D smartphone in September

By Cody Lee on Apr 12, 2014

The Wall Street Journal added its weight to speculation that Amazon is preparing to launch a smartphone. The outlet reported late yesterday that the e-commerce giant has been showing off prototypes of the handset to developers, and it plans to take it public later this year.

What’s really interesting about the device is that The Journal says its screen is capable of displaying three-dimensional images without the need for special glasses. And it accomplishes this by using retina-tracking technology that’s embedded into four front-facing cameras… Read More

 
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