• Devices

    by Published on 03-22-2017 07:00 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices



    The global fashion powerhouse recognizes the importance of providing smart, hi-tech value on the wrists of their young, sexy, and adventurous consumers. GUESS was one of the first fashion brands to embrace the trend of wearable technology with the launch of GUESS Connect in 2015. Now, with the announcement of GUESS Connect, GUESS Watches are extending their lead in the growing display smartwatch segment.
    Well, the important things are (1) they're running Android Wear 2.0, (2) they won't cost thousands of dollars, and most importantly (3) there's no flat tire.

    Lots of tech sites—iVerge, for example—are summarily dismissing these first Android Wear watches from Guess. In doing so they fail to see that this is yet one more step in Android's takeover of the traditional wristwatch industry. Oh, and there's one more thing: Sequel, the parent company of Guess, is part of Timex Group B.V., making these technically the first Android-powered watches from Timex. That's a pretty big deal.

    It may too gaudy for some, but I think the 44mm men's model above looks rather fetching.



    As for this 41mm ladies model, um... no comment. Guess I'm not young, sexy or adventurous enough.

    Specs for both watches include the standard for Android Wear Qualcomm Snapdragon 2100 chip. AW 2.0's standalone will have the added benefit of making the watches more independent of the phone they're paired to, and thus more compatible with iOS.

    Source: GlobeNewswire via Digital Trends

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    by Published on 03-21-2017 07:00 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Rumors



    And just so we're clear, a helpful redditor on r/apple has whipped up this graphic to illustrate what that means— not actually a falling drop, but instead a drop resting on a surface. As you can see on the right, it was a hallmark of the original iPhone's design, and is apparently making a comeback on the 10th anniversary edition of the device.

    The rumour comes from Korean site ET News; here's a translation by 9to5Mac:

    Apple’s next iPhone is expected to be closer to ‘water drop design’. It embodies the back side design with curved emphasis, resembling the initial iPhone. This year, the 10th anniversary of the birth of the iPhone, it also shows the character of ‘Omaju’ for the early works.
    Yeah, no idea what Omaju is, either...

    While it may feature a retro design, other facets of the iPhone 8 will be entirely new, at least for Apple fans—including a 5.8 inch OLED display, wireless charging and USB-C port. If none of this floats your boat, Apple will also be selling a spec-bumped iPhone 7s and 7s Plus alongside their 10th anniversary smartphone.

    These are only rumours, of course, albeit from a fairly credible source.

    Sources: 9to5Mac, reddit

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    by Published on 03-20-2017 07:30 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Rumors



    Early yesterday morning, master leaker Evan Blass tweeted this image of the forthcoming Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus. The 5.8 inch S8 appears on the top row in (from left to right) Black Sky, Orchid Grey and Arctic Silver. The 6.2 inch S8 Plus, distinguishable by the slightly smaller bezels according to Android Police, appears in the same colours along the bottom row.

    A few hours later Blass tweeted the European pricing for the phones—€799 for the S8 and €899 for the S8 Plus. At current rates, that's $859.76 and $967.35 USD respectively, which seems unusually high, even for Samsung. It could be that the South Korean conglomerate is anticipating a higher price tag for this year's 10th anniversary iPhone and moving their own prices upmarket to match.

    These aren't the first leaks about Samsung's latest; AP has reported on previous leaks here, here and here. It is, however, the first clear picture of the entire lineup, expected to be made official on Thursday, March, 29th.

    What do you think of the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus?

    Sources: @evleaks (1) (2) via Android Police

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    by Published on 03-15-2017 07:00 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices



    Fortune ran a piece last week about how luxury watchmakers are circling their wagons around Android Wear, to keep their products relevant in the age of the Apple Watch. If you're an Android user with an appreciation for the traditional timepiece, this is great news.

    The Movado Group is the latest Android Wear licensee, and will be bringing their first smartwatches to market this fall. The group's brands include Tommy Hilfiger and Hugo Boss, but what I'm excited about is the Movado Connect; according to Droid Life it will be a lineup of five designs based on the iconic Museum Watch, like the Movado Edge you see above.

    Movado's smartwatches will start at $495 USD, a bargain when compared to the second-generation TAG Heuer Connected.



    As aBlogtoWatch reports, the TAG Heuer Connected Modular 45 will cost a little more ($1,650 USD) for a slightly smaller watch (45mm). As the "Modular" moniker would suggest, the user can change not only the bands but the lugs as well. There are now more colour and material options for the bezel, and the upgraded phone app will include TAG Studio, granting you the power to make your own watch face from scratch.

    And hey, if a $1,650 USD smartwatch isn't enough of a status symbol for you, there's also a limited edition set that includes a mechanical Tourbillon module. That'll set you back a cool $17,000, but at least you'll have a working watch to pass on to your next of kin...

    Sources: Fortune, Droid Life, aBlogtoWatch

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    by Published on 03-14-2017 07:00 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Tips



    I really hate it when I have to use this image, but here we are once again.

    Last Friday security firm Check Point published a blog post detailing malware found in products from "a multinational technology company" and "a large telecommunications company". I can only surmise that the latter is a carrier; the former would seem to suggest an online retailer, but the products from Lenovo, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi makes me think that it's not Best Buy.

    What's unique about this particular infections is that they were added in the supply chain—that is, somewhere between the manufacturer and end user. Here's the list of infected devices, with the offending APKs in italics:

    Asus Zenfone 2 / Lenovo S90
    com.google.googlesearch

    Lenovo A850
    com.androidhelper.sdk

    Lenovo S90
    com.skymobi.mopoplay.appstore

    Oppo N3 / Vivo X6 plus
    com.android.ys.services

    Oppo R7 Plus
    com.example.loader

    Samsung Galaxy A5
    com.android.deketv

    Samsung Galaxy A5
    com.baycode.mop

    Samsung Galaxy Note 2 / LG G4
    com.fone.player1

    Samsung Galaxy Note 2 / Xiaomi Mi 4i
    com.sds.android.ttpod

    Samsung Galaxy Note 3 / Galaxy Note 4 / Galaxy Note Edge / Galaxy S4
    com.changba

    Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    air.fyzb3

    Samsung Galaxy Note 4 / Galaxy Note 8.0
    com.kandian.hdtogoapp

    Samsung Galaxy Note 5
    com.ddev.downloader.v2

    Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
    com.mojang.minecraftpe

    Samsung Galaxy S4
    com.kandian.hdtogoapp

    Samsung Galaxy S4 / Galaxy S7
    com.lu.compass

    Samsung Galaxy S4
    com.mobogenie.daemon

    Samsung Galaxy Tab 2
    com.armorforandroid.security

    Samsung Galaxy Tab S2
    com.example.loader

    Xiaomi Redmi
    com.yongfu.wenjianjiaguanli

    ZTE x500
    com.iflytek.ringdiyclient

    Hopefully no one reading this is affected by any of the malware listed above. If you want to make sure your device is safe, Check Point, Lookout and Malwarebytes are three malware scanners recommended by Ars Technica.

    Sources: Check Point via Ars Technica

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    by Published on 03-09-2017 07:00 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices



    Well, this sucks.

    Android Police is some Pixel and Pixel XL owners are experiencing a complete failure of one or more of the microphones in their flagship Android phones. Google claims that less than one percent of their devices are affected; even so, a thread about the issue on the Google Support Forum has over 800 posts thus far.

    A Google employee has responded with an explanation of what's going on. Here's a summary of that explanation by AP:

    Both the Pixel and Pixel XL may have a failure-causing physical default in one of the three microphones on the devices, the primary "phone" input and two ambient mics. It could also be an issue with a hairline crack in the solder of the microphone component going to the phone's main board.

    These two issues seem to cover most of the device problems experienced so far, and the minute physical nature of the defects explains why they can sometimes appear and disappear with tiny variations like phone grip and ambient temperature.

    Some users have managed to get their microphones "un-stuck" with applied heat and air via a hairdryer, but it isn't officially recommended.
    The recommended course of action for affected users is to get a replacement phone under warranty from Google. Unfortunately at this point there's no guarantee that said replacement won't have the same issue.

    Source: Android Police

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    by Published on 03-06-2017 07:00 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Apps



    Google had some news of their own at Mobile World Congress last week—The Verge reports that their "AI" Assistant is rolling out to millions of Marshmallow and Nougat-powered Android phones around the world. Users in the U.S. are first in line for the upgrade, with Australia, Canada, the U.K. and Germany to follow.

    Android Central has an interesting take on the timing of the announcement:

    Samsung was never going to build it into the Galaxy S8 or any other phone it sells. Now the decision has been taken out of Samsung's hands and left up to you to opt in if you want Google Assistant.
    Okay, cool, but before we all swoon over good guy Google let's also remember that up to now it's been an exclusive feature of the company's Pixel phones, rather than being more widely available from the get-go. Same story for the Pixel Launcher, by the way, which Google is only now graciously allowing on the new Android devices from Nokia.

    You could look at this phenomenon in one of two ways, neither of which paints Google in a particularly attractive light. I see these Pixel exclusives—and the Pixel itself, for that matter—as very un-Googley, and not at all in the spirit of AOSP. On the other hand, Pixel owners might rightfully feel that they're de facto beta testers for everyone else.

    At any rate, Google's Assistant is making its way to your non-Pixel phone. Let us know if you get it!

    Sources: Android Central, The Verge

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    by Published on 03-03-2017 07:00 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices



    Or, in English, meet the newest BlackBerry in Toronto this weekend.

    Kevin Michaluk, aka CrackBerry Kevin, is stopping by on his way home from Barcelona with some final production KEYone phones, and is hosting a casual meetup Saturday night at O'Grady's, on the corner of Church and Maitland Streets. Anyone interested in attending are encouraged to RSVP at Meetup.com

    Here's an edited version of BlackBerry's KEYone event at Mobile World Congress last weekend:



    And here are the device specs, from BlackBerry Canada's product page:

    DISPLAY
    Resolution
    1620 x 1080 IPS LCD @ 433 PPI
    24-bit colour depth
    Screen size
    4.5” diagonal
    3:2 aspect ratio

    OPERATING SYSTEM
    Android OS – 7.1 Nougat

    PROCESSOR
    Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 Octa-Core 2.0 GHz
    64-bit Adreno 506 650MHz GPU

    MEMORY
    3 GB RAM
    32 GB Flash

    EXPANDABLE MEMORY
    Expandable memory via microSD (Up to 2TB)

    PORTS
    USB Type-C
    USB 3.1

    POWER
    3,505 mAh 4.4V non-removable Lithium Ion battery
    QC3.0 enabled, 50% charge in 36 minutes

    CAMERA & VIDEO
    Rear camera
    12MP auto-focus large pixel camera
    4K video recording @ 30 fps
    Phase Detect Auto Focus (PDAF)
    Dual Tone LED Flash
    Front camera
    8MP Fixed-Focus
    84˚ wide angle/field of view lens
    Image & video stabilization
    1080p HD video recording @ 30 fps
    Light-up LCD Flash
    Wide Selfie Mode

    NETWORK BANDS
    Canada, LATAM, APAC, US V1
    LTE: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 19, 20, 28, 29, 30
    TDD LTE: 38, 39, 40, 41
    US V2
    LTE: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 12, 13, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30
    TDD LTE: 41
    CDMA: BC 0,1,10
    EMEA
    LTE: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 13, 17, 20, 28
    TDD LTE: 38, 40

    GPS
    Assisted, Autonomous and Simultaneous GPS
    Support for User Plane and Control Plane
    GLONASS, BeiDou2
    OTDOA
    Pre-loaded Google Maps

    WI-FI
    802.11 b/g/n 2.4 GHz
    802.11 a/n 5GHz
    802.11 ac 5GHz
    4G Mobile Hotspot
    Wi-Fi Direct

    FM RADIO
    Supported

    BLUETOOTH
    Bluetooth 4.2 Low Energy (LE) and EDR

    NFC
    Yes

    If any fellow Torontonians are planning on attending the meetup let the rest of us know what you think of the new BlackBerry!

    Sources: BlackBerry, CrackBerry

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    by Published on 03-02-2017 07:00 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices



    With the very notable exception of their Nexus phones (and possibly their Android Wear smartwatches) it seems to me that LG has always stood in the shadow of that other South Korean OEM, Samsung. It doesn't help that LG sells their devices exclusively through carriers, at least here in Canada.

    Anyway, here's the latest in LG's 'G' series, the G6. It improves upon the G5's dual-camera setup by giving both sensors the same 13 megapixel resolution. Its screen is a "FullVision" display—a QHD+ (2,880 x 1,440 resolution) panel at an unusual 18:9 aspect ratio. Despite the screen's imposing 5.7-inch size LG says the G6 can be held comfortably in one hand, thanks to its small bezels.

    Gone from this year's model is a removable battery, along with any trace of the G5's other modular "friends". Here are the specifications for the G6:

    BASIC SPECIFICATIONS
    OPERATING SYSTEM Android 7.0 (Nougat)
    PROCESSOR Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 Processor with X12 LTE
    FREQUENCY GSM, HSPA, LTE
    BATTERY 3,300 mAh Non-Removable
    FAST CHARGING Quick Charge 3.0
    WATER, DUST RESISTANT IP68

    MEMORY
    INTERNAL 32 GB
    EXTERNAL up to 2 TB (memory cards sold separately)
    RAM 4 GB

    DISPLAY
    TYPE Quad HD+ FullVision Display
    SIZE 5.7"
    RESOLUTION 2880 x 1440 (QHD+)

    AUDIO/VIDEO
    REAR CAMERA 13MP Normal Angle 71˚ with f/1.8, OIS 2.0 and Laser Auto Focus
    13MP Wide Angle 125˚ with f/2.4
    FRONT CAMERA 5MP Wide Angle 100˚
    VIDEO CODEC H.263, H.264, MP4, VP8, VP9, VC1, DivX, XviD, MJPEG, THEORA, HEVC
    VIDEO CAPTURE AND PLAYBACK Ultra HD (3840 x 2160)
    AUDIO CODEC AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, FLAC, MP3, MIDI, OGG, PCM, ADPCM, WMA, AC3/EC3, OPUS (MKV)
    AUDIO RECORD HD Audio Recorder 24bit / 192KHz FLAC Hi-Fi Record with high AOP Mic Up to 132dB
    AUDIO PLAYBACK 1.2W Speaker

    DATA CONNECTIVITY
    Bluetooth 4.2 BLE
    USB 2.0 Type C
    Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (Dual Band)
    A-GPS, Glonass
    NFC

    Those sure are a lot of codecs...!

    Product Page: LGH873 (LG Canada)

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    by Published on 03-01-2017 07:00 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices



    This image, from a New Atlas photo essay, is the one you need to see if you're considering an upgrade from the original Huawei Watch.

    Huawei is clearly drawing inspiration from Casio for its new sport watch—there's maybe a bit of Gear S3 in there as well but alas, the bezel doesn't move. As for the Classic, it looks to me like the old LG Watch R, just not as nice. Keep in mind, though, this is coming from your resident smartwatch snob, and since smartwatches are basically jewellery for men (and sometimes women) looks are ultimately subjective. So let's instead take a look at some cold, hard specs, straight from the source:

    Watch Case
    HUAWEI WATCH 2
    Plastic
    HUAWEI WATCH 2 Classic
    Plastic + Stainless Steel

    Watch strap
    HUAWEI WATCH 2
    Sport Strap
    Strap is replaceable with a width of 20 mm.
    HUAWEI WATCH 2 Classic
    Leather Strap
    Strap is replaceable with a width of 22 mm.

    Colour
    HUAWEI WATCH 2
    Dynamic Orange (4G) / Carbon Black / Concrete Grey (non-4G)
    HUAWEI WATCH 2 Classic
    Titanium Grey (non-4G)

    Display
    1.2-inch circular AMOLED display
    390 x 390 pixels with a PPI of 326
    Corning Gorilla Glass

    CPU
    Qualcomm MSM8909W, 1.1 GHz

    Operating System
    Android Wear 2.0

    Memory
    4 GB Flash + 768 MB RAM

    Working frequencies (4G Edition Only)
    LTE: B1, B3, B7, B8, B39, and B41 (2555–2655 MHz)
    UMTS: B1, B2, and B8
    TD-SCDMA: B34 and B39
    GSM: 900 and 1800

    Positioning System
    GPS + Glonass

    Speaker
    Supported

    Connectivity
    Bluetooth: 2.4 GHz Bluetooth 4.1 BLE + BR / EDR
    WiFi: 2.4 GHz 802.11b/g/n

    Sensors
    3-axis A + G sensor
    3-axis Gyroscope
    3-axis Compass
    Heart Rate Sensor (PPG)
    Barometer
    Capacitive Sensor
    Ambient Light Sensor

    NFC
    Supported

    Battery
    420 mAh (typical value)
    410 mAh (minimum value)

    Water and dust resistance rating
    IP68

    Yup, that's right, both the Watch 2 Sport and Watch 2 Classic will have a model supporting 4G directly, via either a SIM card or eSIM. And if you wanted something a bit more luxurious than the Classic edition, Wareable has details on a collaboration between Huawei and Porsche Design.

    Source: New Atlas, Huawei Global, Wareable

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    by Published on 02-28-2017 07:00 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices



    Also making its début at Mobile World Congress is the 5th generation of the cheap and cheerful Moto G. This year that family has just two variants, the Moto G5 and G5 Plus. If you live in Canada, your only available option will be the G5, while the G5 Plus will be your only option in the USA.

    I'm reading some conflicting details about specs, so I did a selective copy/paste directly from Motorola's two North American sites:

    Moto G5 Plus

    Operating system
    Android 7.0, Nougat

    System architecture/processor
    Qualcomm Snapdragon 625
    Adreno 506 GPU

    Memory (RAM)
    2 GB/4 GB

    Storage (ROM)
    32 GB/64 GB internal, up to 128 GB microSD Card support

    Display
    5.2”
    Full HD 1080p (1920 x 1080)
    424 ppi

    Rear camera
    12 MP with Dual Autofocus Pixels
    Color balancing dual LED flash
    4K Ultra HD video capture (30 fps)

    Front camera
    5 MP
    Wide-angle lens
    Display flash
    Beautification mode

    Battery
    All-day battery (3,000 mAh)
    TurboPower™ for up to 6 hours of power in 15 minutes of charging

    Networks
    4G LTE (Cat 6) B1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 25, 26, 38, 41, 66
    CDMA/EVDO Rev A (XT1687) 850, 850+,1900 MHz
    UMTS/HSPA+ 850, 900, 1700, 1900, 2100 MHz
    GSM/EDGE 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz

    SIM Card
    Nano-SIM

    Wi-Fi
    802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4 GHz + 5 GHz)

    Bluetooth technology
    Bluetooth version 4.2

    Connectivity
    Micro USB, 3.5 mm headset jack

    Base color
    Lunar Gray or Fine Gold



    Moto G5

    Operating system
    Android 7.0 Nougat

    System architecture/Processor
    Qualcomm Snapdragon 430
    Adreno 505

    Memory (RAM)
    2 GB

    Storage (ROM)
    16 GB internal, up to 128 GB Micro SD Card support

    Display
    5.0”
    1080p Full HD (1920 x 1080)
    441 ppi

    Rear camera
    13 MP
    Phase detect auto-focus (PDAF)
    LED flash
    1080p HD video (30 fps)

    Front camera
    5 MP
    Wide-angle lens
    Display flash
    Beautification mode

    Battery
    All-day battery (2,800 mAh)

    Networks
    4G LTE (Cat 4) B1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 12, 17, 28
    UMTS/HSPA+ 850, 900, 1700, 1900, 2100 MHz
    GSM/EDGE 850, 900, 1800, 1900

    SIM card
    Nano-SIM

    Wi-Fi
    802.11 a/b/g/n

    Bluetooth technology
    Bluetooth version 4.2 BR/EDR+BLE

    Connectivity
    Micro USB, 3.5 mm headset jack

    Colours
    Black

    You can read more about each phone on their respective product pages directly below.

    Sources: G5 Plus (Motorola USA), G5 (Motorola Canada)

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    by Published on 02-27-2017 07:30 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices



    So this year's Mobile World Congress has kicked off in Barcelona, Spain, and it seems that Nokia is back in a big way. Now I could start off with their new and rather lackluster Android phones, but you and I both know what you're really here for: the re-imagining of the Finnish phone-maker's iconic 3310. Here it is—and yes, it plays Snake.

    Now the bad news: it's a 2G phone, and only supports Asian and European bands at that. Here are the full specs from its product page:

    PERFORMANCE
    Operating system: Nokia Series 30+

    DISPLAY
    Size and type: 2.4” QVGA

    CAMERA
    Primary camera: 2 MP
    Flash: LED flash

    STORAGE
    Internal memory: 16 MB
    MicroSD card slot: Support for up to 32 GB, memory card sold separately

    BATTERY
    Battery type: Removable 1,200 mAh battery

    NETWORK AND CONNECTIVITY
    Networks: GSM 900/1800 MHz
    Network speed: 2G

    DESIGN
    Colors: Warm Red (Glossy), Dark Blue (Matte), Yellow (Glossy), Grey (Matte)

    As for the Android offerings there is sadly no Nokia 8, at least not yet. Instead, it looks like the stellar record of leaker Evan Blass remains intact.



    Nokia 6

    PERFORMANCE
    Operating system: Android 7.1.1 Nougat
    CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 430
    RAM: Arte Black, 4 GB; all other colors, 3 GB

    DISPLAY
    Size and type: 5.5” IPS LCD
    Resolution: Full-HD (1920 x 1080, 16:9)

    CAMERA
    Primary camera: 16 MP PDAF, dual tone flash
    Front-facing camera: 8 MP AF

    STORAGE
    Internal memory: Arte Black, 64 GB; all other colors, 32 GB
    MicroSD card slot: Support for up to 128 GB

    BATTERY
    Battery type: Integrated 3,000 mAh battery

    NETWORK AND CONNECTIVITY
    LTE: Band 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20, 28, 38, 40
    WCDMA: Band 1, 2, 5, 8
    GSM: 850/900/1800/1900
    Network speed: LTE Cat. 4, 150Mbps DL/50Mbps UL

    DESIGN
    Colors: Arte Black (limited edition), Matte Black, Tempered Blue, Silver, Copper



    Nokia 5

    PERFORMANCE
    Operating system: Android 7.1.1 Nougat
    CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 430
    RAM: 2 GB

    DISPLAY
    Size and type: 5.2” IPS LCD
    Resolution: HD (1280 x 720, 16:9)

    CAMERA
    Primary camera: 13 MP PDAF, dual tone flash
    Front-facing camera: 8 MP AF

    STORAGE
    Internal memory: 16 GB
    MicroSD card slot: Support for up to 128 GB

    BATTERY
    Battery type: Integrated 3,000 mAh battery

    NETWORK AND CONNECTIVITY
    LTE: Band 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20, 28, 38, 40
    WCDMA: Band 1, 2, 5, 8
    GSM: 850/900/1800/1900
    Network speed: LTE Cat. 4, 150Mbps DL/50Mbps UL

    DESIGN
    Colors: Tempered Blue, Silver, Matte Black, Copper



    Nokia 3

    PERFORMANCE
    Operating system: Android 7.0 Nougat
    CPU: MTK 6737, Quad-core 1.3Ghz
    RAM: 2 GB

    DISPLAY
    Size and type: 5.0” IPS LCD
    Resolution: HD (1280 x 720, 16:9)

    CAMERA
    Primary camera: 8 MP AF, LED flash
    Front-facing camera: 8MP AF, display flash

    STORAGE
    Internal memory: 16 GB
    MicroSD slot: Support for up to 128 GB

    BATTERY
    Battery type: Integrated 2,650 mAh battery

    NETWORK AND CONNECTIVITY
    LTE: Band 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20, 28, 38, 40
    WCDMA: Band 1, 2, 5, 8
    GSM: 850/900/1800/1900
    Network speed: LTE Cat. 4, 150Mbps DL/50Mbps UL

    DESIGN
    Colors: Tempered Blue, Silver, Matte Black, Copper

    For more on this slew of new Nokias, see the company's press release immediately below.

    Source: HMD Global Press Release
    by Published on 02-22-2017 07:00 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Rumors



    An easy way to make your average smartwatch fan angry is to mention the mere existence of the TAG Heuer Connected—this $1,500 USD luxury item is easily three times the price of your typical Android Wear watch. It's cheap for a TAG, though, and the option to upgrade to an exclusive Carrera mechanical edition after two years (for an additional $1,500 USD) seems to have worked for the company's addressable market; TAG has so far sold about 56,000 smartwatches, more than doubling their initial projected sales of 20,000 units.

    aBlogtoWatch reports that their follow-up is to be called the TAG Connected Modular, and according to Android Central it will be officially announced on March 14th.

    What makes it modular? Apparently the user will easily be able to swap straps and clasps, which is nothing especially new. But it's also possible that the head unit will have both mechanical and "smart" functionality built-in—perhaps, for example, an electronic smartwatch display on one side and a traditional watch movement on the other. That would be similar to the Halda Space Discovery, also reviewed by aBlogtoWatch.

    If this is indeed what TAG is planning, expect it to be priced accordingly. It might make the company's first generation Connected seem like a bargain.

    Sources: aBlogtoWatch, Android Central

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    by Published on 02-21-2017 07:30 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Rumors



    Yesterday Gizmochina found a listing on a popular Hong Kong e-commerce site for a new flagship Android smartphone from Nokia, the Nokia 8. There's just one problem: the images for the listing—on jd.hk if you want to see for yourself—look like they were lifted from the concept video you see above.

    Whether or not the Nokia 8 is actually in the works is up for debate; Gizmochina has a fairly decent reputation, and a story on The Verge published last month tells of "more announcements" coming from Nokia at the Mobile World Congress, which starts next week. On the other hand, leaker Evan Blass says those announcements will actually be other downmarket phones to accompany the midrange Nokia 6.

    For what it's worth, here are Gizmochina's specs for the Nokia 8:

    5.7 inch Super AMOLED QHD display
    Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (or 821) chip
    24 MP rear camera with OIS, Super EIS / 12 MP front-facing sensor
    64 GB or 128 GB storage, microSD up to 256 GB
    Android 7.0 Nougat

    Even if the pictures are fake, this former Nokia fanboy wants to believe!

    Sources: Gizmochina via reddit

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    by Published on 02-16-2017 07:00 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Rumors



    Welcome to the Internet, where it's pretty much impossible to keep your international product launch a secret.

    Last month someone in Romania tried to pawn off their prototype Moto G5 Plus; yesterday the retail versions of both the G5 Plus and lesser G5 made a brief appearance on Ktronix.com. The product renders and specs have since been taken down, but not before an eagle-eyed redditor took a bunch of screen shots for r/Android. Here are the specs for both devices:

    Moto G5 Plus
    5.2 inch full HD display @ 424 ppi
    Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor
    2 GB RAM, 64 GB storage + microSD (up to 128 GB)
    3,000 mAh battery with TurboPower charging
    12 MP rear and 5 MP front-facing cameras
    802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2
    4G LTE with dual-SIM support
    Fingerprint reader
    NFC

    Moto G5
    5 inch full HD display @ 441ppi
    Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor
    2 GB RAM, 32 GB storage + microSD (up to 128 GB)
    2,800 mAh removable (?) battery with rapid charging
    13 MP rear and 5MP front-facing cameras
    802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2
    4G LTE with dual-SIM support
    Fingerprint reader

    There's no mention of price, but I'm willing to bet real money that the dual SIM support will mysteriously vanish from the models sold in North America. Because, you know, carriers.

    Sources: Android Police, Liliputing via r/Android

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    by Published on 02-15-2017 07:30 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices



    I've embedded the video above only to demonstrate the ongoing innovation in mechanical watch design—albeit at the very high end of the market. It's pertinent to smartwatches because I believe there is an under-served audience of people who, like myself, really just want a nice-looking watch with full notification support.

    With this in mind I will now share my three favourite non-smartwatch blogs, in the hopes that you too might demand more in the looks department from the connected device on your wrist.

    aBlogtoWatch

    This is probably the most popular watch blog of them all. Most of the products reviewed are from the luxury brands but the author, Ariel Adams, takes the same critical eye to smartwatch design. I appreciate that.

    Every now and again they write up an especially informative feature on a brand or a specific type of watch. Their history of dive watches is a good example of this.

    WatchTime

    WatchTime is a good counter to aBlogtoWatch as it isn't so focused on high-end products. They have a good selection of buying guides for different markets, and do their own retrospectives as well. Check out their 10 milestone moments in the history of the wristwatch.

    G-Shock Central

    Chances are that even the most snobbish collector of chronographs has at least one Casio G-Shock in their collection, and there's no better source for G-Shock news than this blog. In subscribing to it I've learned (among other things) that Pro Trek wasn't just a brand name invented for the forthcoming Android Wear-powered WSD-F20.

    If you're a fan of this type of watch then you'll probably like their collection of the best G-Shock watches for 2017.

    If nothing else, these links will serve as a reminder that the wristwatch has at least a hundred years of design history behind it, so in my mind it's perfectly okay to demand more from smartwatch design as well.

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    by Published on 02-14-2017 07:00 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Rumors



    If leaker Evan Blass is correct—and he usually is—Nokia will not be competing in the Android flagship race this year. If anything, the company's new products are going in the other direction. Apparently the mid-range Nokia 6 that I wrote about last month will be HMD Global's high-end Android phone for 2017, joined by two lesser devices—plus one shameless throwback to the Finnish phone makers storied history.

    Joining the Snapdragon 430-powered Nokia 6 at MWC this year will be the Nokia 5 and Nokia 3. Here are the details that Blass wrote in VentureBeat:

    The Nokia 5, is rumored to maintain its larger sibling’s chipset, but reduce the display to 5.2 inches at 720p, halve the RAM to 2GB and decrease the main image sensor to 12 megapixels. That will translate into a €50 difference between the two models, with Nokia 6 retailing for €249 and Nokia 5 for €199.

    Nokia 3, the entry level Android, will initially go for €149.
    All three Android smartphones will potentially be upstaged by another Nokia announcement at MWC—an update to the iconic and nearly-indestructible 3310. At just €59—less than $65 USD—this nostalgia play is sure to grab lots of attention, but might also distract from Nokia's first efforts as a legitimate Android OEM.

    Source: VentureBeat

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    by Published on 02-13-2017 07:30 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Apps



    Last week Android Authority proclaimed that OnePlus was the new Nexus. Granted, they were only talking about one device (the OnePlus One) and only one custom ROM (Lineage OS). This XDA blog post uses a broader data set—traffic on its own forums—to further the claim. When combined, the OnePlus 3 and 3T together make up the most active community on XDA.

    So for any fellow OnePlus 3/3T modders reading this, here's a quick look at four of the most popular custom ROMs available for these devices.

    FreedomOS (Nougat)

    As its name would suggest, this ROM uses the AROMA Installer to let the user choose which Google apps they want on their device during installation. AdAway and a hosts file are also included by default, along with root access via SuperSU.

    XDA Threads: OnePlus 3 / OnePlus 3T

    Lineage OS (Nougat)

    Lineage OS is the new moniker for what was once CyanogenMod, the granddaddy of all custom ROMs. As such there are current available builds for the OnePlus 3T, OnePlus 3, OnePlus X, OnePlus 2 and OnePlus One.

    XDA Threads: OnePlus 3 / OnePlus 3T

    Resurrection Remix (Marshmallow / Nougat)

    Resurrection builds on the work of CM, Omni and Slim. The standout feature of this ROM would have to be the extensive configurations menu. Note that the Marshmallow-based ROM for the OP3 seems to have been discontinued; hopefully a Nougat-based ROM like the one for the 3T will be available soon.

    XDA Threads: OnePlus 3 / OnePlus 3T

    "Sultan's ROM" - Unified CM 13.0 with custom 3.18.20 kernel (Marshmallow)

    This, as you may know, is the ROM that I'm currently running on my own OnePlus 3, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Its main selling point is stellar battery life; added bonuses include not forcing encryption and supporting my favourite CyanogenMod Theme.

    XDA Threads: OnePlus 3 / OnePlus 3T

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    by Published on 02-09-2017 07:00 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Commentary and Analysis



    I've been subscribed to TechAltar for a while now, and was pleased to see one of the videos from that YouTube channel grace the front pages of popular subreddits like r/Android, r/OnePlus and r/Pebble this week. The dude who appears on camera—I think his name is Martin?—clearly knows what he is talking about, and nowhere is this more apparent than in his latest production.

    His theory, in a nutshell, is that serving the tech enthusiast is not a sustainable business.

    He cites two notable examples: Oppo and Pebble. Perpetually a hit with the Kickstarter crowd, Pebble still struggled to find a wider customer base. Distribution through Best Buy and the like, more fashion-conscious designs like the Pebble Round, doubling down on fitness tracking with heart-rate sensors... none of this could ultimately save the company; its geek-cred became a fatal thorn in its side.

    Then there's Oppo, a company that Martin (?) actually worked for in Shenzhen, China for a time. It wasn't all that long ago that Oppo too was an enthusiast brand—as I recall, there was a version of their 2013 N1 that ran CyanogenMod out of the box. But there came a point where the company decided to pivot away from its tech-savvy fanbase and focus on more consumer-friendly products. The result? Oppo is now, according to The Economist, the number one OEM in the world's biggest smartphone market.

    So what's the early adopter to do? TechAltar's advice is to not get too attached to your favourite brand, and be ready to jump to the next thing once it comes along. Hopefully we will always have a next thing to jump to...!

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    by Published on 02-08-2017 07:00 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Rumors



    According to Evan Blass, today's the day that Android Wear 2.0 will be announced, an upgrade that will instantly elevate the lowly smartwatch from a niche device into a must-have accessory for everyone.

    Just kidding—about the second part, anyway. But the Android Wear upgrade is indeed due sometime today. There have been a bunch of developer previews available for select devices which I honestly haven't been following too closely. What I do know about the AW 2.0 upgrade is that it will support mobile payments from your wrist via Android Pay; Android Police has some screen shots from an already-updated Play Store listing to prove it.

    As someone still waiting for Android Pay to come to Canada, it's hard to get too excited about this feature.

    Another AW 2.0 feature will be apparently be Google's Assistant, available on at least two new watches that are also expected to be announced today—the LG Watch Sport and LG Watch Style. User manuals for these two products have already leaked, and can be read in their entirety on Android Authority.

    Finally, from Android Central, here's a list of current watches set to receive the upgrade:

    Asus ZenWatch 2
    Asus ZenWatch 3
    Casio WSD-F10
    Casio PRO TREK Smart
    Fossil Q Founder
    Fossil Q Marshal
    Fossil Q Wander
    Huawei Watch
    Huawei Watch for ladies
    LG G Watch R
    LG Watch Urbane
    LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE
    Michael Kors Access Bradshaw Smartwatch
    Michael Kors Access Dylan Smartwatch
    Moto 360 (2015)
    Moto 360 for Women
    Moto 360 Sport
    New Balance RunIQ
    Nixon Mission
    Polar M600
    Tag Heuer Connected

    Oh, and one more thing... Fossil smartwatches are currently being offered at a 50% discount at Fossil.com, with an additional 25% off via the code MORELUV—an unverified tip from a helpful redditor on r/AndroidWear.

    I'll have more news from the announcement in this afternoon's round-up. See you then!

    Sources: Android Authority, Android Central, Android Police, @evleaks, reddit

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