Headlines

3 weeks ago

Huawei plans to launch its Honor phones in the US sometime in 2015

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Huawei plans to start selling its budget priced Honor Android smartphones in the US sometime later in 2015. The China-based company first launched the Honor line in December 2013 and sold 20 million of them in 2014.

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3 weeks ago

Nokia N1 Android tablet goes up for pre-order in China for $250

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After an official unveil in November 2014, the Nokia N1 is now up for pre-order in China. The tablet is listed for 1599 Yuan ($256), and will be available in the country from January 29.

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3 weeks ago

CES 2015 Day 1 roundup

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CES 2015 has officially begun! That's right, the biggest tech-stravaganza of the year is under way, and if you thought all the big announcements happened yesterday… well, you're wrong. There was more today, and there'll be more tomorrow. This is how CES goes.

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3 weeks ago

OhMiBod's connected vibrators buzz in sync with heartbeat, controllable by smartwatch

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OhMiBod for smartwatches

OhMiBod is expanding the functionality of its Bluetooth and Wi-Fi-connected sex toys at CES by announcing a new smartwatch app. With it, users will be able to remotely control vibrators from near or far, though that's in line with its existing phone app.

The really cool stuff is how the smartwatch app for Android and iOS will read a user's heartbeat and create vibrations based on that pulse. Alternatively, the app can read ambient noise (such as music) and produce vibrations from that data as well. OhMiBod's current Club Vibe massagers already do that sort of thing.

The bigger question, perhaps, is if you really want to be wearing your smartwatch to bed. (And if you do, we suggest not checking it too frequently. Unless, of course, you're using it in this context.)

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3 weeks ago

Camera, or phone? Panasonic's Lumix CM1 aims to be both with little compromise

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Panasonic Lumix CM1

Well, it's mostly a camera — but we're okay with that.

Panasonic is known far more for its cameras than its mobile phones, but the new Lumix CM1 combines its imaging expertise with a full-on smartphone experience to create one unique device. On one side is a standard phone experience with a familiar KitKat interface running on a 4.7-inch 1080p display and powered by a Snapdragon 801 processor. On the other side, you basically have a high-end point and shoot camera, with a 20.1MP 1-inch sensor, f/2.8 28mm Leica lens and complete manual controls

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3 weeks ago

Basis Peak fitness and sleep tracker is all about nonstop bio monitoring #CES2015

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The folks at Basis have updated their design but have lost none of the original drive that made their first fitness and sleep tracker important in the first place. Basis Peak is an upgrade in every conceivable way, from the solid design update and fantastically responsive display to the hardware responsible for data collection. The whole point of Basis from the beginning has been to accomplish the most accurate picture of your health with hardware that is constantly monitoring. Not only do you get a clearer picture of your health throughout the day, but Basis is using some clever contextual software to simply know when you are doing things. This means no prompting for sleep mode or workout mode, but the app will still be able to accurately demonstrate when you fell asleep or how long you were riding a bike.

What you won't find on the Basis Peak is any smartphone notification integration of any kind, but that is in the works via a software update later this year. In the mean time, this is a connected fitness and sleep tracker through and through.

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3 weeks ago

Garmin talks VivoFit 2, personal bands, Connect IQ

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There are fitness trackers, and then there are Fitness Trackers. It's fair to say the folks at Garmin know a thing or two about fitness tracking, since they've been making GPS watches since 2003. Their most recent efforts demonstrate clearly how much time they have had to perfect adding complex parts to their watches, if for no other reason than the battery life on these products is just outstanding. The Garmin VivoFit promised a year of battery life on a single charge, and it's successor is taking that same bold claim and adding a bit of style.

CES for Garmin this year means showing off the entire collection, which includes everything from the $130 VivoFit 2 to the $500 fēnix 3. The VivoFit 2 is going to work its way into several different band designs to suit your needs, and with Connect IQ acting as a developer kit Garmin hopes third party support will make these wearables even more useful. They're simple, stylish, and the battery life alone is worth giving Garmin's wearable efforts a serious look.

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3 weeks ago

Hands-on with Dell's crazy thin Venue 8 7000 tablet

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Dell Venue 8 7000

Dell's latest Android device is one handsome looking thing

This is the Dell Venue 8 7000 tablet. While the name doesn't exactly inspire, the device itself certainly does. To coincide with CES 2015 it's finally going on sale and what we've got is the thinnest tablet currently on the market at just 6mm. But that's not all it has to boast about. It's also got a stunning QHD resolution OLED display, a 3D RealSense camera, front facing speakers and ridiculously skinny bezels. And it's a handsome looking thing, for sure.

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3 weeks ago

Hands-on with the Sony Walkman NW-ZX2: $1119 of Android-powered music player

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Sony Walkman NW-ZX2

Great sound with an insane price tag

At the Sony booth at CES 2015 we had a chance to test out the Walkman NW-ZX2 as well as Sony's new PHA-1A headphone DAC/amplifier combination that were all announced at Sony's press conference. To say this is just another music player is more than an exaggeration — this device is a beast.

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3 weeks ago

Martian and Guess double down on smartwatches with real watch style

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While Google and Apple have made it clear they plan to make smartwatches a touchscreen-focused experience, there's still plenty of companies out there working hard to embed smarter features into traditional watch designs. The folks at Guess have decided that the way Martian Smartwatches has been doing things is the way to go, and so their new partnership has created a whole new line of devices aimed at both style-focused users and several options for women. During CES this year the two companies are showing off what that partnership looks like, and why it matters. Adam and Rene took a quick look at what makes the Martian platform special, and it turns out everything comes down to audible responses and a multi-pattern vibration setup that allows users to prioritize notifications without even looking at the watch.

It's cool to see Martian continuing to come up with new ways to set themselves apart, especially with their future plans to interact with the connected home through voice commands. If you're not totally sold on having a big screen on your wrist, Martian and Guess have lots of things to show you.

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3 weeks ago

Shot Tracker aims to capture and improve your basketball game

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Rene and Adam may not be the best basketball players on the planet,or even the best here at CES, but the folks at Shot Tracker say all you need is a little guidance to achieve greatness. Their fitness tracker is specific to basketball, and with the focus comes a lot of functionality for anyone looking to get serious with their jump shot. The system requires a small tracker sit on your wrist with a separate tracker sitting on the net, and together they send data to the mobile app to show off what you're made of. More importantly, you can compare your jump shot and your effective training routine to your friends over great distances in order to show that you really are the king of the court. The app supports a coaching mode as well, so you can be assigned specific workouts and see how effective you are in reaching your goals.

Shot Tracker is available now in starter kit form on their website, and by the looks of things it's everything you need to get serious about your basketball skills.

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3 weeks ago

Fitbit shows off the Charge HR and Surge Watch

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You can't get too far in a conversation about fitness trackers without talking about Fitbit. These tracking wearables have become the widest known brand in the category, and with good reason. This year at CES we're not seeing any new products from Fitbit, but instead we're seeing new ways Fitbit can be used and intent to make the new Charge HR band and Surge watch more broadly available to the public.

What sets the Fitbit Charge HR and Surge Watch apart from other Fitbit are the GPS chips contained within. These chips, along with some new sensors, allow Fitbit to create a category for more serious fitness folks. The Fitbit Surge also includes some basic phone notification support, for things like an incoming call or a text message. It creates a hard dividing line between people who want casual fitness tracking in a serious smartwatch, and those who would like a serious fitness tracker that plays nice with your phone.

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3 weeks ago

U.S. Cellular to begin testing VoLTE this year in select markets

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Voice over LTE (VoLTE) appears to be the hot new item that all the carriers are looking to implement, and it looks like U.S. Cellular will soon be testing the technology itself. CEO Ken Meyers recently confirmed that the carrier will begin testing VoLTE in a few markets starting this year.

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3 weeks ago

Android Auto: Hands-on with Pioneer's 8100NEX head unit

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Android Auto

You don't need to blow a fortune on a new vehicle to get to use Android Auto. A number of manufacturers, including Pioneer, are showing off aftermarket head units using Google's automotive software. Like previous Android Auto implementations, such as the early versions shown off at Google I/O, Pioneer's system lets you control your mobile world using your voice, or the built-in touch interface. Simply connect a supported Android phone over USB to link calls, messages, navigation and music into the head unit.

Of the six new Pioneer head units supporting Apple's rival CarPlay, three will also support Android Auto. Higher-end models like the 8100NEX will feature capacitive touchscreens, while cheaper resistive models will also be offered.

Check past the break for a walkthrough of Pioneer's implementation of Android Auto.

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3 weeks ago

The LG AKA: Cute? Creepy? I don't care, I want one

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LG AKA

The eyes have it as we get our first look at LG's colorful Korean character phones

You learn a thing or three running Android Central. One is that you need to remember to have fun with phones from time to time. Another is that sometimes there are serious regional differences that you just have to roll with.

Those nuggets are what bring us to the LG AKA, an Android smartphone that until now I've really only seen as a phone with a pair of blinking eyes, held by happy people in Korean-language press releases. They look playful. They're having fun. The phones, that is. And so I almost didn't actually want to pick up the phone at LG's booth at Central Hall here at CES, lest the magic somehow be lost and the blinking eyes close forever.

But I dared. I picked up the little creature and found a phone in my hand, clad in a colorful case, with a bit of the display left uncovered for those peepers.

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