Headlines

11 months ago

Hands-on with the Samsung Gamepad on the Galaxy Note 3

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Official accessory lets you turn your Galaxy Note 3 into a portable console

Despite its announcement around the time of the Galaxy S4 launch, the Samsung Gamepad still isn't available to buy. Nevertheless, we were able to track down the gaming-centric accessory on the IFA 2013 show floor and demonstrate it working with a selection of titles on the new Galaxy Note 3. Now slightly redesigned, with differently labelled buttons, the Gamepad we saw in Berlin had a dedicated "Game" button linking into a special games portal on the device. This pauses the current game and pops up a menu, allowing you to choose between compatible titles.

We played Prince of Persia, Sonic 4 Ep. 2 and Need for Speed Most Wanted on the Gamepad connected to a Galaxy Note 3, and performance was as fast and smooth as you'd expect form a Snapdragon 800 device. Some titles did give us issues on this preproduction setup though, with Virtua Tennis crashing at launch.

Connectivity is still handled over Bluetooth, meaning if you don't want to use the attached clip to to create a makeshift handheld console, you can use the Gamepad at a distance. In fact, we even saw the Note 3 linked up to a Samsung TV, with the pad being used as a console-style wireless controller.

Check the video after the break to see the Samsung Gamepad in action with the Galaxy Note 3. We've got more photos of the controller in use with the Note 3.

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11 months ago

Hands on with the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 S-View case

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The S-View case isn't new to Samsung, we saw one earlier this year with the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S4. With the arrival of the Galaxy Note 3, the S-View case is back, and with the larger display size on the phone comes a larger window on the case. 

Beyond the time and the notification bar which you get with the Galaxy S4, the Galaxy Note 3 also shows the current weather information. It also has more than screen, and by swiping left from the bottom right corner you get to a secondary screen with some additional functions. From here you can control the media player, access Action Memo and even open the camera and take a photograph using the window as a viewfinder. 

As far as cases go, it's pretty cool. Head on past the break for a short hands on video. 

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11 months ago

Eyes on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 official cases

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With a new Samsung phone comes a bunch of official cases, and the new Galaxy Note 3 is absolutely no exception. In the sprawling Samsung booth here in Berlin at IFA 2013, the range is on show for everyone to see, including the pretty interesting and nice looking S-View case. The range comes in a whole bunch of different colors, and there's even some special edition ones designed by Moschino and Nicholas Kirkwood. 

Click on past the break for a few more snaps of what's on offer.

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11 months ago

Sony QX10 lens camera now up for pre-orders at Amazon for $248 [Update - QX100, too for $498]

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Deliveries start on September 27

Update: AC reader skippyrulezzz points out that the QX100 is now listed as well. The bigger sensor will cost a bit more, and it checks in at $498. Still the same September 27 date for shipping.

The Sony QX10 — that quirky lens camera that attaches to your smartphone we saw yesterday — is already listed for pre-order at Amazon. Checking in at $248, the lens attachment comes in both black and white, and other vendors have built starter kits with cases, wee little tripods and SD cards built around the camera.

AC reader Horaland H tells us that it ships September 17 in the UK, but it's a little more costly at $279. 

While the DX10 doesn't give you the power you get from something like a DSLR or good micro 4/3 camera (that lack of RAW image files is puzzling), for the average consumer they should take great pictures. Surely better than anything you would get from any other smartphone, no matter how many Lumapixels MegaPixels are on board.

If anyone's interested in having a play with one of these (guilty) hit the link below to check things out. No word on when to expect to see the bigger QX100 just yet.

Source: Amazon (QX10), (QX100). Thanks, Tony!

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11 months ago

Quick look: LG G Pad 8.3 cases

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LG's reveals protective accessories alongside new tablet 

LG officially re-entered the Android tablet game at IFA 2013 today with the launch of the G Pad 8.3, and alongside it the Korean company unveiled a couple of accessories for the device. LG's protective cover for its new tablet comes in two parts — the first is a plastic shell for the device, but there's also a detachable magnetic front cover (think iPad Smart Cover) to keep the screen free of damage. And like Apple's cover its also possible to extend it around the back of the device to use as a stand — though in a slightly different way, as the case has a clip-out area to connect to the front cover.

We've got more photos of LG's cases after the break, including a bonus shot of a lone Thomas the Tank Engine cover found wandering the aisles of the LG booth here in Berlin.

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11 months ago

Heads-on with the Sony Head-Mounted Display for mobile

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Sony brought their own headset to IFA 2013, so we strapped it on and took it for a spin

VR headsets are back in the news of late, primarily because of the Oculus Rift, but what we have here is something that Sony has cooked up. Right now it's known as the rather unimaginative Head Mounted Display, and while it will hook into your home entertainment system, we're more interested by this one, the one that hooks into your smartphone.

Essentially what you have is something that resembles a VR headset with a bunch of adjustable components to make it fit your own head size, and I have to say it was actually pretty comfortable. There's plenty of cushioning where it matters, and the whole get up sits pretty snug on your head.

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11 months ago

Poetic Slimline case for the Nexus 7 (2013) review

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An affordable Nexus 7 folio case that looks as good as it protects

OK, maybe the "Official premium cover" for the new Nexus 7 (and it's premium price tag) isn't your cup of tea. But you still need something to keep things clean and scratch-free while dragging it around in your bag or bug purse. And that something needs to be well built, look good, and from a name you know. 

That's where the Poetic Slimline case comes in. It will protect your Nexus 7 well, has that look and feel you want without the big price that ASUS has listed for the more official accessory. And Poetic is a name plenty of us know.

Hit the break and see if the budget-friendly model will suit your needs.

(Note: This accessory is for the newer, 2013 Nexus 7 — not the older, 2012 Nexus 7.)

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12 months ago

Sony announces Cyber-shot QX100 and QX10 camera accessories for smartphones

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Availability set for later this month in-store and online for $250 and $500

Sony took the stage here at IFA in Berlin to unveil its latest products that span the gap between its smart phone and camera divisions — the Cyber-shot QX100 and QX10 "lens-style cameras". We've all seen the grouping of leaks that have revealed many of the details of these devices, but now we have the cold hard facts.

The QX100 and QX10 are effectively complete point-and-shoot cameras without the actual camera body attached, stuffing all of the functions of a camera into a standard-sized lens assembly. The lens-style cameras pair to any smart phone over NFC (or manually if necessary) and connect over Wifi, turning your phone into a viewfinder and control mechanism for the camera. Pictures taken when paired with a phone are saved to both the camera and the phone, and can be instantly shared as if they were taken with the phone itself.

The QX100 packs the same 20.2MP Exmor R CMOS sensor as Sony's latest RX100M2 camera, along with Carl Zeiss optics and 3.6x optical zoom. The larger size affords it the room to have a dedicated control ring to manipulate manual focus and zoom if you choose. It will offer a variety of shooting modes, from superior and intelligent auto up to aperture priority for more advanced shooters

The lower-end QX10 has a smaller 18.2MP Exmor R CMOS sensor, but has the added bonus of 10x optical zoom instead and can be had in either black or white colors. Naturally the QX10 has fewer shooting modes than the QX100, but has an overall smaller size at just 2.5” x 2.5” x 1.3”. Helping keep photos as crisp as possible is integrated SteadyShot optical image stabilization as well.

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12 months ago

First look: HTC BoomBass

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A boxy new portable speaker for your HTC phone

Alongside a new color option for the HTC One series and a new mid-range phone, HTC’s also unveiled another member of its growing smartphone accessory family. The HTC BoomBass (yes, that’s really the name) is a small (64x64x64mm) matte plastic cube that lets you take your volume and bass a step beyond HTC’s admittedly impressive “BoomSound” front speakers.

The BoomBass is split into two parts -- the large, upper bit houses the speaker and subwoofer, while the slide-out red tray extends to give you a shelf for your phone. Pairing the speaker with your HTC phone is as simple as tapping it to the top of the accessory -- NFC kicks things off, after which a Bluetooth connection does the heavy lifting. And as it’s a Bluetooth speaker, there’s no need to keep your phone shelved when in use, although for the same reason you probably won’t want to venture too far away from it -- HTC advertises the range as up to 10 meters.

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12 months ago

Seidio Innocell 4500mAh battery for Galaxy Note 2

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A little extra bulk gives you a big boost in battery life

 

The Galaxy Note 2 already packs a pretty sizeable battery, but one of the perks of having a removable cell is the option to upgrade it for a larger one. Whether you're looking for just that extra bit of capacity or want to have a spare for a day when you know you're going to drain the phone, Seidio is offering a 4500mAh replacement that offers extra juice for those who want it.

Hang around after the break to see a few impressions of this extended battery and see how it effects the usability of a device that is already quite large.

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