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3 years ago

Watch the Pebble #CESlive announcement at 11 a.m. PST!


Pebble is here in Las Vegas for CES, and while there's no actual live press event, there will be an announcement, and it will be broadcast live for everyone to enjoy. We don't know exactly what will be there, but the livestream information does hint at news on the Pebble appstore and some brand new apps that will soon be available on the smartwatch. 

The whole thing kicks off at 11 a.m. PST – that's 2 p.m. Eastern, 7 p.m. UK – and can be viewed from the video up top. While you're waiting, be sure to stop by our CES hub for all the latest!

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3 years ago

AT&T introduces Sponsored Data plan for businesses


Making Megabytes a form of currency

At the AT&T Developer Summit today, AT&T senior executive John Donovan introduced everyone to the companies new Sponsored Data packages. Companies will be able to pay AT&T, so that when you use the AT&T network to see their content — whether it be video, inside an app, or a website — it doesn't count against your data cap.

The easy explanation is to think of things as a toll-free 800 number for the web. When you call a 1-800 number, it doesn't cost you anything. The other party is footing the bill. With AT&T Sponsored Data, a company could, for instance, put up a movie trailer you can watch on the AT&T network without the amount of data used counting against your monthly plan limits. AT&T says this fixes a major problem — people like to wait to use the web until they are on Wifi. When the data isn't being deducted from your monthly allotment, AT&T is banking on the idea that you'll use the network for content from these Sponsored Data partners.

On the surface, this sounds good for consumers. We like things that are good for consumers. The transmission rates are no different for Sponsored Data partners than they are for anything else, and the only difference is who is paying for the bandwidth. But this is a slippery slope, with the possibility of changing the way you use the web. This is something we, and policy makers in Washington, need to keep a close eye on.

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3 years ago

T-Mobile announces the LG G Flex


Pricing and availability will be announced in the coming weeks

LG already told us that we'd be seeing the G Flex on AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile, but the Uncarrier makes everything official with an announcement of their own. The G Flex is coming to T-Mo.

It's the exact same curved, flexible, self-healing phone we've already see, but equipped to run on T-Mobile's network. You'll get the same Snapdragon 800 CPU, the same 6-inch screen, and the same 13MP camera. Which are all very good things.

There's no word on just when to expect a T-Mobile version of the G Flex, or what it will cost you, but T-Mobile says they will let us know in the coming weeks. Jump past the break for the full press release.

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3 years ago

AT&T makes the LG G Flex official in the US


Coming in Q1 2014, pricing and availability to be announced later

The first smartphone with a curved screen, the LG G Flex will be available from AT&T. As rumored, the 6-inch "bendable" smartphone will be coming sometime in the first quarter of 2014, though we don't yet have any pricing or firm dates. The G Flex carries the internals you would expect from a high-end smartphone at this stage in the game, with a Snapdragon 800 CPU and 2GB of RAM. We were fairly impressed with LG's hardware when we looked at the G Flex a while ago, and are happy to see a U.S. version.

AT&T is bullish on the G Flex, and thinks they will have a winner on their hands. Jeff Bradley, senior vice-president of devices says:

We’re excited to add LG’s futuristic G Flex on the nation’s fastest and most reliable 4G LTE network. Its curved form factor and enhanced audio and visual experience is a great addition to our strong line-up of Android devices.

We're excited to try a proper U.S. version, too. Soon.

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3 years ago

LG G Flex coming to Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile in Q1


We're live from the LG press conference this morning ahead of CES in Las Vegas, and LG has just announced that it's bendable, flexible LG G Flex smartphone will be coming to three U.S. carriers in the next couple months.

On board so far are AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint — with the latter bringing its tri-band "Spark" LTE to the table.

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3 years ago

Live from the AT&T Developer Summit! [#CESlive]


We're live this morning from the AT&T Developer Summit at the Palms in Las Vegas.

What's in store If history repeats, a bunch of network news, and maybe a few device announcements.

The talk kicks off at 9 a.m. PST — that's noon on the East Coast. Hit us up after the break for the liveblog. 

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3 years ago

LG announces Lifeband Touch fitness tracker, Heart Rate Earphones


Two new wearables that connect to any Android device

Update: LG has posted pricing for these new wearables, and both are currently set at $179.99 with no firm availability. The page is also showing three sizes for the Lifeband Touch.

Original story: LG is on stage at its CES keynote, where it has just announced two new wearable devices. First is the Lifeband Touch, a fitness-focused device that connects to your phone over Bluetooth. Much like the Fitbit, the Lifeband Touch provides accurate health and fitness data tracking, feeding it back to your phone — LG specified this isn't an LG-only feature — with a connected app. The device has a touchscreen OLED display, and LG showed off both fitness data and an incoming call showing up on the band.

Extending the fitness wearable category, LG has also announced what it calls Heart Rate Earphones — a wired headset that connects to both the Lifeband Touch and your phone over Bluetooth. While of course providing media playback and regular fitness updates during your workout, the Heart Rate Earphones naturally measure your heart rate, feeding that data back to your Lifeband Touch for better fitness tracking.

Be sure to hit the break for more pictures of the new devices.

More: LG

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3 years ago

#CESLive morning brief: Monday, January 6


It's 9 a.m. in the East, and while our #CESLive team on the ground in Las Vegas is still catching some shut-eye [Ed. note: We wish! — Phil], those of us on the other coast are already gearing up for a busy day of news and announcements.

Last night we went to bed on the heels of big news from NVIDIA, who introduced its next generation K1 SoC with the promise of bridging the gadget gap in 2014. Take a look at the demo of K1 and its included Unreal Engine 4 here.

This morning, we're waking up to news from Alcatel, who formally unveiled its One Touch Idol X+ smartphone and a pair of Pop tablets. We already got our paws on all three new devices -- check out our hands on with the 5-inch, full HD Idol+ plus here, as well as the budget-friendly Pop 7 and Pop 8 here.

Looking ahead to the rest of the day, we've got LG up first with its press conference at 8 a.m. PST (that's 11 a.m. in the east), followed by Huawei later in the morning at 10 a.m. PST. ASUS will take the lunchtime shift at 12 p.m. PST, followed by Samsung with its traditionally huge presser at  2 p.m. PST. We'll end the workday with Sony's big presser at 5 p.m. PST. Later this evening, we'll be dropping by Pepcom's Digital Experience at 7 p.m. PST where we'll catch a consolidated look at some of the best gadgets from the tradeshow floor, and hopefully some the day's just-announced products.

And that's just the stuff we know about.

It's going to be a big day, so grab another cup of coffee and park your browser at Mobile Nations' #CESLive hub for today's news as it happens. 

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3 years ago

The most expensive smartwatch we've tested gets a price break


If you've had your eye on a Qualcomm Toq — especially after reading our review — but couldn't quite justify the $350 asking price, know this: Qualcomm's shaved $50 off the top, in honor of CES. 

In other words, you can now get the Toq for $299, same price as the Samsung Galaxy Gear. The price is good while supplies last, Qualcomm says.

The Toq, for the uninitiated, uses a Mirasol display that's always on, so no having to hit buttons to see what time it is. It also sports multiple (but muted) colors.

Here's where to buy the Qualcomm Toq:

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3 years ago

Alcatel Onetouch announces Pop 7 and Pop 8 tablets, we go hands on


A pair of small tablets launch as part of Alcatel's CES lineup

Also making a CES debut from the folks at Alcatel Onetouch is a pair of tablets, the Pop 7 and Pop 8. Both are aimed at the lower end of the tablet market, and first time tablet buyers. The Pop 7 comes with a 7-inch 1024x600 resolution display, a 1.3GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage with a microSD card slot, and a 2MP rear camera. The black variants as seen here also come with a soft touch back, while the white ones have a glossy finish. 

The ever so slightly higher spec'd Pop 8 has an 8-inch, 1280x800 resolution display, a 1.3GHz quad-core processor, 4GB of internal storage with a microSD card slot and a 2MP rear camera. Both come running Android 4.2.2, which has some very slight manufacturer customizations, including a flatter, stylized UI and stylized menus. 

Both tablets will be available in the EMEA region in Q1 2014, at €149 for the 3G variant Pop 7, and €199 for the similarly cellular enabled Pop 8. For our money the more expensive Pop 8 is the smarter buy, with its higher specs, clearer display and smaller bezels.

We've got a few more snaps and of the new tablets after the break. 

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3 years ago

Hands on with the Alcatel One Touch Idol X+ and wristband accessory


We go hands on with Alcatel's newest handset live in Las Vegas

We're here in Las Vegas at CES with Alcatel, and we've had chance to spend a little quality time with its latest Android handset, the Idol X+. Launching today, the Idol X+ is due to go on sale in January beginning in Asia, with selected Russia to follow in Q1. 

The Idol X+ isn't the most spec'd out Android smartphone you'll find, but it's plenty solid enough. Out front we're looking at a 5-inch, 1080p display, and a wholly plastic construction with an exterior trim that bares a pretty accurate resemblance to brushed metal. Down bottom it looks like there's a pair of speakers, but it is in fact only one, with a 13MP camera round the back, and a 2MP 1080p shooter on the front.

At 7.9mm, the Idol X+ is pretty slim, and for a large phone it's plenty light enough to hold. Underneath, the Idol X+ is carrying a new Mediatek MTK6592 octa-core processor, clocked to 2GHz, with 2GB of RAM backing it up, and 16GB of internal storage.

More, including our hands-on video, after the break.

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3 years ago

Alcatel One Touch Idol X+ announced at CES


Octa-core processor and 1080p display the highlight features on Alcatel's latest handset

Alcatel One Touch is leaping out of the CES gates early with the announcement of its latest Android handset, the Idol X+. With a design familiar to previous Idol devices, the headline hardware specs for the new Idol X+ are the 2 GHz octa-core processor, and the 5-inch 1080p display. 

Other hardware features of note are a 13.1MP rear camera, a 2MP 1080p front facing camera, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage and a 2500mAh battery. Alcatel also promises that the Idol X+ will pack some good quality, loud audio from the speakers mounted along the bottom edge of the device. 

While there's plenty of decent enough stuff underneath, there's a slight disappointment that the Idol X+ comes to market running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, and there's no sign of LTE. No word on specific pricing or availability at this point, though Alcatel did tell us that it will begin shipping in China in January. We've got a hands on look at the new Idol X+ coming your way, and the full press release can be found after the break. 

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3 years ago

Open Automotive Alliance aims to make 2014 the year of Android in cars


Six founding companies want to see Android devices integrate seamlessly with our vehicles

It's clear that cars are one of the next platforms ready for a jump in innovation, and the newly-formed Open Automotive Alliance plans to lead the charge. Announced quietly via a press release and a post on the Android Google+ page, the OAA is a group that hopes to improve the integration between cars and Android devices. Google, GM, Audi, Honda, Hyundai and NVIDIA are the six founding members of the OAA, and naturally more companies are welcomed to join.

While initial details are a bit sparse, the broad goal of the OAA seems clear: be for the automotive industry what the Open Handset Alliance is for Android on phones and tablets. The group suggests 2014 can be the year of the connected and intelligent car, explaining that integration between our mobile devices and vehicles should be seamless. Not only for ease of use and entertainment purposes, but most importantly for driver safety.

The basic idea here is to not only push Android into the car itself, but to create a common platform across cars so that Android devices know how to connect and interact with them. If you've spent any time with various phones and cars you know it can be a rather hit-or-miss experience right now — the OAA wants to fix that.

The OAA's website claims that we will see "the first cars with Android integration" by the end of this year. Naturally each manufacturer will be moving at its own pace, but lets hope that now at least a few are moving in the same direction.

Source: OAA; +Android

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3 years ago

NVIDIA Tegra K1 will be available in a dual-processor Denver model


Two 64-bit CPUs available in next gen Tegra chip

If the fact that 192 CUDA-cores in the Tegra K1 doesn't get your blood pumping, how about a version with two 64-bit A15 processors?

That will be a reality, as the new Tegra K1 will come in two models, with one using a dual CPU configuration of NVIDIA's custom Denver processor.

The demo of the chip running Android was impressive (with animations you won't want to shut off), and the benchmarks will probably require a complete new chart. 

We'll learn more about the new chip when we talk with NVIDIA through the week, but I had to share this for the spec-junkies out there.

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3 years ago

Epic Games bringing Unreal Engine 4 to NVIDIA Tegra K1


Epic Games looks to take Unreal Engine to the next level with the Tegra K1

Following the announcement of the 192 CUDA-core Tegra K1, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang went on to announce that Epic Games will be bring their Unreal Engine 4 to the masses via the Tegra K1. 

The Unreal Engine is used in a ton of games on the market to improve graphics and with the combination of Unreal Engine 4 and the 192 CUDA-core Tegra K1, both organizations are working to gaming to the next level.

The demos given on stage looked quite impressive with fantastic detail but it's certainly something we'll all need to go hands-on with in order to fully appreciate. Hit the break for a video demo.

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