Mobile

One of the more interesting stops on our recent trip to Amsterdam was at The Hague Security Delta. For those of you who might not be aware, The Hague is the name of the government seat of the Netherlands (and yes, the article is capitalized). The Hague Security Delta (HSD) is the official title of a collaborative effort between Netherlands businesses, the government, and multiple research institutions to identify emerging security threats, share best practices, and foster collaboration between industry, governments, and universities. One of the most interesting topics that came up during our visit... Read more...
Last week, we brought you a review of the Galaxy Note Edge, Samsung's new Galaxy Note derivative with a curved edge display along one side. Reviews on the device have been generally strong (we're fond of it, if the form factor and capabilities meet your liking), but one common complaint about the Note Edge is that the titular curved edge is only on one side of the phone. If you hold your phone in your right hand, the edge works well. If you hold it in your left, it actually degrades the experience of using the device. Now, Xiaomi is apparently planning to offer a dual-edged phone -- neatly knocking... Read more...
This might not come as a huge surprise, but researchers have confirmed that our intense mobile use has affected our brains - but don't worry, there's no proof here that it's for the worse. Both the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich believe that the way we interact with our mobile devices could prove extremely useful for research, since it can allow scientists to study how our brain effectively 'resculpts' itself on a large scale. This kind of research isn't new, per se. Gamers have been studied, for example, to see how their brain reacts to all sorts of conditions, and if you're a gamer yourself... Read more...
We applaud companies willing to push the envelope with innovative new design approaches. Sometimes their efforts aren't rewarded with complete market acceptance, but unique features and hardware that attempt to blaze new trails in existing markets, are always interesting to say the least. In a way, the Galaxy Note Edge fits this description. Similar to 4K curved televisions, one has to wonder if the world truly needs a flagship smartphone with 160 extra pixels along its right edge with an additional curved display. But, as was the case when the original Note launched and many experts... Read more...
Samsung announced today that it has begun volume production of its 8Gb LPDDR4 memory chips, with expected commercial shipments in 2015. The announcement is noteworthy for a number of reasons. First, one of the most important characteristics of a modern mobile device is its battery life, and moving to a new memory standard should significantly reduce the memory subsystem's power consumption. Second, however, there's the clock speed. Samsung is claiming that its LPDDR4 will hit 3.2GHz, and while bus widths on mobile parts are significantly smaller than the 64-bit channels that desktops use, the higher... Read more...
Over the past several years, Lenovo has been aggressively targeting PC gamers, who are known both for their willingness to drop serious cash on hardware and for their skepticism of mainstream brands. Lenovo inherited some of IBM’s corporate image when it took over the company’s laptop business, but winners like the Yoga line got Lenovo tons of exposure with mainstream consumers too. Along the way, the entertainment-friendly Y series of laptops became Lenovo’s gaming line: a suite of affordable systems that brought Lenovo’s understated design sense to bear in a market awash in garish... Read more...
Large screen smartphones, a.k.a. phablets, are expected to account for nearly 25% of all smartphone shipments this year. Given the popularity and prevalence of these large-screen devices which includes LG’s G3, Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4, and HTC’s One Max, it’s not surprising that Google is also going big with its latest flagship phone, the Nexus 6. Even before the Nexus 6 was announced, its codename of Shamu (named after the whale at SeaWorld) pretty much gave away the fact that this flagship smartphone was going to be a large-screen device. The Nexus 6 has the largest screen... Read more...
Lenovo's Yoga 3 Pro 2-in-1 ultrabook has made a bit of a splash as of late, from appearing in a number of holiday shopping-infused TV spots, to flash prank comparisons tricking unwitting mall shoppers into thinking they got framed for busting up a MacBook Air laptop. It's with good reason that Lenovo is making an effort to amplify interest in the product. The Yoga 3 Pro one of the first hybrid ultrabooks to hit the market powered by Intel's new low power Core M Broadwell processor. In a nutshell, you can think of Broadwell as a full-featured Intel Core series notebook processor that performs at... Read more...
We're willing to concede that size matters, but too often in tech manufacturers take advantage of that notion by offering multiple size options of the same product without upping the ante in any other way. Without shaming specific manufacturers by pointing out some examples, let's just say that we've seen both knock-off and name-brand laptop and tablet makers offer bigger size versions of the same product without even bumping up the resolution, let alone upgrading the hardware inside. Bah, humbug!That's not a concern with Amazon has refreshed Fire HDX 8.9 tablet. It's not simply a bigger version... Read more...
Samsung deserves much of the credit for ushering in today’s trend of large-screened smartphones, often referred to as "phablets." Whether you’re a fan of big smartphones or not, there is a no denying that the original Samsung Galaxy Note set the stage for the battles currently being waged in the smartphone market. If larger-screened devices like the original Galaxy Note hadn’t taken hold, Apple most likely would not have produced the iPhone 6 Plus and devices like the Google Nexus 6, Nokia Lumia 1520, and HTC One Max (among others) would not exist.One of the advantages of blazing a trail like Samsung... Read more...
When Intel gave us an early deep-dive look at their new 14nm Broadwell Core M series processor back in August, we were hopeful that great things would be coming to ultra-light notebooks and premium 2-in-1 tablet devices. Intel's low power 14nm Tri-Gate architecture coupled with an enhanced integrated graphics core, offered the promise of "fanless" devices as thin as tablets that could offer true notebook-class performance. Then, once we got a sneak peek at some performance numbers at IDF 2014, we came away even more impressed with Broadwell, at least in its early stages. However, without quality... Read more...
It feels like only yesterday that we were whipping up last year’s holiday gift guide, but somehow a full year has passed and we’re staring yet another winter in the face. Don’t fret, though — just because you haven’t prepared for this season doesn’t mean that you’re hung out to dry. As the technology behind smartphones, tablets, and laptops has evolved over the past twelve months, we’ve collected the best and brightest in order to shape your gift buying. Regardless of whether you’re shopping for yourself or a loved one (or both), it’s a great time to be in the market. From budget products... Read more...
Who would have thought that bootleg watch faces would become a thing? Yet that is what is occurring as smartwatches continue to make their way to consumers. The Apple Watch isn’t out yet, but the need for consumers to customize the watch face of their device is growing as smartwatches like the Moto 360, allows them to customize the watch face. However, this has prompted luxury watchmakers to band together in order to remove watch faces from download sites.Users wishing to customize the look of their smartwatch can go to websites, such as FaceRepo, in order to download watch faces that are digital... Read more...
It feels as if we've been waiting for decades for battery technology to take its next quantum leap in terms of capacity and longevity. Sure, laptops these days last a little longer than they did ten years ago, but much of that is due to processors and the like consuming far less power now compared to yesteryear. But, if you can't create a slim battery that lasts a lot longer, perhaps you can just recharge it much more quickly. That seems to be the path of least resistance, as the likes of the Droid Turbo (which can regenerate multiple hours of life with just 15 minutes on a charger) have shown.Now,... Read more...
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