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3 years ago

A Nexus fan's take on the Moto X

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It all started when Phil sent me the review unit

Motorola will ask for it back soon, but I've had it long enough to know a few things, and get a pretty good feel for this phone. And that's good, because as I've expressed before, I'm not buying one from a carrier and Motorola is taking their sweet time to offer an unlocked version. More on why that was a mistake a little later. Likely, my constant crying concern about the issue is what prompted Phil to send it here. I'm a pain in the ass when I'm whiny and cranky, and like a baby with a pacifier, the review unit shut me up. I'm able to admit this.

Anyway, like I said I've had the Moto X long enough to have a solid feel for the thing, and to make some pretty strong comparisons against what I think was the best Android phone in a long time — the Nexus 4. So let's do that.

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3 years ago

A quick look at receiving a phone call on the LG G Pad 8.3

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One of the more intriguing features of the LG G Pad 8.3 is its ability to pair up with the LG G2 for more than just tethering. In fact, the "Q Pair" feature is supposed to eventually work with phones made by manufacturers other than LG. That's for another day though. Today, we're taking a brief look at what it looks like when a call comes in on a phone and is then shared with the G Pad tablet.

The idea is that the two devices are tethered, with the call coming in to the phone. But as the phone rings, you also get a pop-up on the tablet, allowing you to take the call, decline it outright, or decline it with an automated response. It looks good, it's dead simple to use — and it's really something we've not seen anyone else do before.

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3 years ago

Video: Galaxy Note 3 versus Galaxy Note 2

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The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 the talk of IFA 2013, but how does it measure up to its predecessor, the Galaxy Note 2? We've taken to the IFA 2013 show floor to compare the new and old Note, and you'll find a full hardware rundown in the video above.

From the front, the Galaxy Note series hasn't changed a whole lot. We're still dealing with an exceptionally large smartphone, though it's clear to see there's more screen to go around on the Note 3, made possible by its smaller bezels. The new Note is also a little more squared-off than its predecessor, likely part of the push to make it resemble a real paper notebook. Nowhere else is that more obvious than on the phone's back panel, which now sports a faux-leather effect, complete with stitching.

And then there are the obvious spec improvements — Snapdragon 800 compared to the year-old Exynos 4 Quad, 3GB up from 2GB and 1080p from 720. Hit the video above for the full lowdown.

And check out our Galaxy Note 3 hands-on feature for more on Samsung's latest handset.

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3 years ago

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Flip Wallet

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Our journey through the labyrinth that is Samsung's hall at the IFA conference in Berlin continues — we're getting there, I promise — with the Flip Wallet case for the Galaxy Note 3. We've already taken a look at the S View case, which sports the transparent window so you can still get information and interact with the phone while the case is closed — now here's a more traditional folio version.

The Flip Wallet is done up in the same sort of leatherette as the Note 3 itself (maybe even a little nicer — the feel of the Note 3 changes a little depending on which color you're handling), with the same stitching as well. There's a slot on the inside to hold business cards or a credit card if you want, and little plus and minus signs on the spine point you to the volume rocker, so you don't have to open the case to turn the music up. (Who turns music down, anyway?)

The Flip Wallet for the Galaxy Note 3 comes in a variety of colors — including, yes, pink. We've got more after the break.

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3 years ago

Hands on with the 6-inch Acer Liquid S2

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6-inch 1080p display, a Snapdragon 800 and 4K video recording all part of Acer's newest high-end offering

Acer recently announced its latest Android smartphone, the Liquid S2, with a monstrous 6-inch display. The device has made the trip to IFA 2013 in Berlin, so we took a quick look at what it's all about.

First that display. Yes, it's 6-inches and therefore it's pretty huge. But at the same time the whole device didn't feel as large in the hand as some other supersized devices. Make no mistake; you won't be one handing this thing properly unless you're a giant. But it's pretty light considering the size, and has a nice matt finish on the rear so its actually pretty good to hold.

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3 years ago

Here's the blue HTC One on Verizon

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If you've been waiting to see what the blue HTC One will look like on Big Red — here's your answer. A tipster sent in this shot of the best Android smartphone currently available (as of our August 2013 rankings) — in blue, with Verizon branding. Not a lot more to say about that. It's the HTC One. And it's blue. And it's on Verizon. (And we got an up-close look at the blue HTC One earlier this week, if you need more.)

We're told it has a street day of today — so check with your local store. (We've got an e-mail into Verizon to confirm.) You also can buy the standard silver HTC One on Verizon now.

Thanks, anon!

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3 years ago

Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear pre-orders now live at Verizon

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Note 3 available separately, or as a bundle with the Galaxy Gear for $600

Verizon also entered the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear pre-order frenzy today, and will be offering both products. You can pick them up separately, or as a bundle that will set you back $599.98 with a two-year agreement.

They will be offering the Note 3 in both black and white, with a stand-alone price of $299.99 on contract, $699.99 up-front, or $29.16 monthly. That will get you the just Galaxy Note 3 and Verizon's nationwide service. Verizon says the devices will ship by October 10.

If you're dead-set on getting both the Note 3 and the Galaxy Gear smart watch, Verizon can ship both to your door to make things convenient. The Gear has no cellular service, and retails at $299. When added to the cost of the Note 3 we see above, the bundle will set you back $599.98 with a new agreement or $999.98 if you choose to pay up front. As with the stand alone Note 3, orders will ship by October 10.

For more information and the individual pre-order pages, click away at the link below.

Source: Verizon

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 coming to US Cellular in October

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Pricing and release information coming as we get closer to the launch date 

U.S. Cellular customers will also be able to get their hands on a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 this coming October, as the carrier has sent us a note (see what I did there?) that the latest and greatest from Samsung is on its way. It's the same Galaxy Note 3 the whole Internet has been talking about for two days, and USC will be offering the black, soft-touch model — which the boys in Berlin are saying is "way nicer" feeling than the more plastic white model.

Besides all the hot new features the Note 3 has on board, like the new Scrapbook and S Pen multitasking UI, customers will also be enrolled in USC's rewards program with their purchase. This gives points towards things like accessories, downloads and early upgrades. For more information about USC's rewards program, click here

We have no details on pricing or any release date, but as the day gets closer USC says they will let us know all there is to know. Until then, you can have a look at the press release after the break.

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3 years ago

Get a free Sony QX10 lens with your Xperia Z1 order from Carphone Warehouse

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£69 upfront and £33 per month gets you both the Xperia Z1 and the Sony Cybershot QX10 from Carphone Warehouse

If you're in the market for a new Sony Xperia Z1, and have been eyeing the Sony lens cameras, Carphone Warehouse has a deal happening that you'll want to see. When you pre-order the Xperia Z1 on a pay monthly plan or use an upgrade, they'll throw in a Cybershot QX10 detachable lens camera.

Richard and Phil gave us a look at this combo earlier this morning (albeit with dummy units), and together these two should make for the ultimate smartphone camera. 

Carphone Warehouse is offering the Z1 for £33 per month with a £69 upfront cost for both new customers or upgrades, and pre-orders are going on now. If you're interested, have a click on the link below for all the details.

Source: Carphone Warehouse. Thanks, Jason!

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3 years 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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3 years ago

Hands on with S-Finder on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3

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One of the new apps Samsung announced alongside the Galaxy Note 3 is S-Finder. The simplest way to describe it is a search app, with a big focus on local search within the device. Part of the new Air Command menu, S-Finder will find key words indexed across all of your content on the phone. Emails, files, the new Scrapbook app and a whole lot more besides can be pulled in, and search terms can be dictated by time, location and key words, too. 

There is also the option to use a selection of web search engines from within S-Finder, but the focus is primarily on content you already have. We spent a little time looking specifically at S-Finder here at IFA 2013 in Berlin, so check out a quick hands on video up top. 

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3 years ago

Hands-on with Scrapbook on the Galaxy Note 3

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In its latest Galaxy Note devices, Samsung has expanded upon the ability to cut out snippets from the screen and save them for later viewing. The Galaxy Note 3 and Note 10.1 2014 Edition come with the new Scrapbook app, which saves not only the area you encircle with the stylus, but also associated metadata. It's also able to provide context for your various clippings by harvesting data from the surrounding app or web page.

All that content is then arranged in the Scrapbook app, which can be tagged and categorized. Check out our quick video demo of Scrapbook on the Galaxy Note 3 above.

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3 years ago

Video: Multitasking on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3

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Samsung expands 'Multiwindow' and introduces 'Pen Window' on the new Note 3

One of the killer features of last year's Samsung Galaxy Note 2 was "multiwindow," a new capability that let the phone split its sizeable screen between two Android applications. Twelve months on, the Galaxy Note 3 has expanded upon these capabilities and introduced a new windowed app feature called "Pen Window."

Once you've created an app pairing using multiwindow, you can now scroll down the multiwindow bar and select "create" to save that app pairing. It'll then sit at the top of the bar, allowing you to instantly load both apps side by side.  In certain apps, like Messages and Gallery, you can even share content between apps directly — for instance, send a photo over MMS by dragging it from Gallery into Messages.

And Samsung's also introduced windowed apps to the Note series, with a feature called "Pen Window." Selectable from the S Pen's Air Command menu, Pen Window lets you draw a window on-screen using the pen, then populate it with one of a few supported apps.

Check out our hands-on video above for a complete walkthrough.

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3 years ago

In pictures: The Blush Pink Samsung Galaxy Note 3

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The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 didn't just launch here in Germany in black or white. As we heard at Unpacked, Samsung has a third way for the Note 3; Blush Pink. Samsung isn't a stranger to selling pink smartphones either, with previous Note devices as well as other Galaxy range phones being made available in various shades of pink over the years. But, since it's here at IFA 2013, we figured you might like a closer look. 

Click on past the break for more shots of the Blush Pink Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

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3 years ago

In pictures: The purple Sony Xperia Z1

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The Sony Xperia Z1 comes in not only standard white and black versions, but also purple — a color that's become a staple for Sony smartphones over the past year. Like its monochrome siblings, the purple Sony Xperia Z1 features a glass-backed construction with a metal central band. And while the extra splash of color is easy to miss from the front, the back and sides of the phone take on a new, vivid appearance in purple.

Check past the break for more shots of the purple Sony Xperia Z1 from IFA 2013.

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