Headlines

4 years ago

ZTE reveals CES plans with phones of all sizes, new smartwatch

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Entering the wearable space with the 'BlueWatch'

ZTE regularly has a strong presence at CES each year, and 2014 is looking to be no different. Announcing much of what it will have on display at the show, ZTE will refresh its smartphone lineup with the Grand S II, Nubia 5S, Nubia 5S Mini, Sonata 4G and Iconic Phablet (yes, phablet is in the official name).

That's a lot of phones to roll out all at once, and at least a few are looking quite interesting. The Grand S II and Nubia 5S will be iterations of the solid-selling originals, with new internals and designs. The Sonata 4G is a solid mid-range offering launching in conjunction with prepaid carrier Aio Wireless, and it'll be hard to miss the 5.7-inch Iconic Phablet as well.

Beyond phones, ZTE is planning to show a line of non-phone hardware, including hotspots, a smartwatch called the BlueWatch and smart home phone hardware called the Wireless Home Base. You can bet we'll be looking for all of the above products in our extensive CES coverage, which kicks off in just a few short days.

Source: ZTE (BusinessWire)

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4 years ago

Qualcomm to demo 'Ultra Sound Notepad' tech at CES 2014

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Using Qualcomm's Snapdragon processors, transmit pen and ink drawings to your tablet in real-time

The stylus never died, no matter what any CEO tried to tell us. In fact, they have continued to improve and new ideas and technology are pushing them to the spotlight in ways we never would have imagined a few years ago. Like Qualcomm's new Ultra Sound Notepad tech.

I'm a big fan of integrated and active stylus support on phones and tablets. Use a Samsung Note 3 or an Nvidia Tegra Note with their supplied styli, and you'll quickly see what I mean. It's almost like writing or drawing on real paper. Qualcomm goes a step (or two) further, and you actually draw or write on paper and have it sent directly to your Snapdragon-equipped device in real time. 

They're using tiny ultrasonic microphones in the device, which pick up the vibrations transmitted from the supplied pen as you're writing or drawing on actual paper. The Snapdragon processor can then parse this data and transform it into digitized content right on the screen, where it can be manipulated. It's pretty amazing, as the video above shows us.

The use-case for this is potentially huge. Imagine filling out paperwork at the office, and instead of scanning it upon completion to get it into a spreadsheet or other document, it does it on the fly. Or for artists, the feedback from actually working with ink and paper can be retained, but the end result is also stored right on your phone or tablet.

We've no word on when we'll see any of this in the wild, but Qualcomm will be demonstrating this and more at CES next week. Stay tuned, because we're there to bring it all to you as it happens.

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4 years ago

Wikipad announces Gamevice Controller for Android devices

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Turn your Android device into a full gaming machine with the Gamevice

Gaming has become extremely popular on mobile devices but one of the pain points is trying to figure out the varying controls of each game. Wikipad hopes to help solve that issue. The latest offering from Wikipad is a detachable controller that is very similar to a controller you would find on a gaming console. Once the Gamevice is placed on your Android device it transforms the phone into just a screen allowing all the controls to be moved off the screen.

To keep the feel of the Gamevice similar to a console controller Wikipad has added dual analog sticks, both L1/R1 and L2/R2 analog buttons, an analog D-pad, and four analog action buttons so you will feel right at home.

Currently Wikipad is working on versions of the Gamevice for Android and Windows 8 devices, but they have not forgotten about the other platforms. They have stated that they will expand and announced additional support in the future for the other mobile OS's. Wikipad has said that the Gamevice is well underway and should launch for Android and Windows 8 devices at some point in 2014 but no specific time frame at this point.

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4 years ago

Nvidia Shield and Tegra Note contest winners

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Some Tegra 4 hotness is on its way to a lucky set of winners

A couple weeks back we got with Nvidia to give away a handful of Tegra Note tablets and Nvidia Shield handheld consoles. The response, as expected, was huge and we've went through all the entries, picked our winners and contacted them to make sure there are no robots or people from outer space in the mix. If you won, you already have talked to me via email, but for the rest of us here's the list of lucky winners.

Nvidia Shield winners

Tegra Note winners

Congrats folks! You'll love your new Shield or Tegra Note, and spend loads of time playing with them. Everyone feel free to wish the winners well in the comments, and keep an eye out for more contests right here at AC.

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4 years ago

Acer announces C720P Chromebook in new white casing

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Same internals and touchscreen, attractive new color option

Building out the number of SKUs available in its latest Chromebook line, Acer has just announced a new color of the touchscreen C720P model. Aside from the new "Moonstone White" plastic around the outside, this C720P is entirely identical to the original grey model, with a 1366 x 768 11-inch touchscreen display, Intel Celeron 2955U processor, 32GB of storage and 2GB of RAM — all for the same $299 price.

The experience will be much the same as the cheaper C720 models, but offer a little something extra in the touchscreen capabilities. Acer says the new Moonstone White C720P will go on sale "next week" for the aforementioned price, and while specific retail partners aren't mentioned we can expect it to hit the same places the other C720 variants are.

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4 years ago

Channels, Voice coming to BBM for Android

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A quick heads up to those of you rocking BBM on Android that a handful of new — and big — features are on the way, and currently in beta testing on BlackBerry's own Beta Zone. First and foremost is the addition of BBM Channels and BBM Voice. There's also improved file sharing, and more than 100 new emoticons.

Again, BlackBerry is running the beta out of its Beta Zone, and not through Google Play's excellent beta track, so you've got to be one of the chosen ones to get in on the action for now.

Source: CrackBerry

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4 years ago

Acer announces a couple low-end Android tablets ahead of CES

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Acer today announced a pair of new Android tablets ahead of CES.

The Iconia A1-830, seen above left, is a 7.9-inch tablet running Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean. It's powered by an Intel Atom processor at 1.6 GHz, has 1GB of RAM and 16GB of on-board storage. The display has a paltry 1024x768 resolution and a 4:3 aspect ratio. There's a 5 MP camera on the back, and a 2MP shooter up front. It'll run $179 in the U.S., and $199 in Canada. The A1-830 is expected to be available sometime this quarter.

Then there's the Iconia B1 tablet (seen here at right). It's a 7-incher that's just $129 (U.S. and Canada). Acer was coy with specs, but we do know it's running a 1.3 GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM and sports Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean. It'll be available later this month.

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4 years ago

We're podcasting live at 4 p.m. EST!

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One final podcast before we head to CES? Why the hell not. There hasn't been a whole lot of news the last two weeks, with the holidays and all, but we'll see what we can scrap up. And less news means more time to answer your questions, live, so be sure to hit up the link below to join in. 

We'll get going at 4 p.m. EST this afternoon. See you there!

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4 years ago

Smartwatch Fans Podcast 00 - Ground Zero!

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In our inaugural episode of the Smartwatch Fans podcast, Kevin Michaluk, Phil Nickinson and Rene Ritchie join me for a quick podcast to get things started. There's plenty more to come, but for this round we talk about the launch of SmartwatchFans.com, our recent visit with Pebble as well as what to expect from CES for smartwatches (LOTS).

You can find our feed below and subscribe in any way you choose, then give this one a listen and let us know what you think in the comments!

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4 years ago

AT&T looks to poach T-Mobile customers with up to $450 if they switch

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Oh, it's on, now. With T-Mobile dropping its fourth round of "Uncarrier" news next week at CES in Las Vegas, AT&T today fired a salvo of its own — offering up to $450 to current T-Mobile customers who switch. Here's how it works:

Starting today, current T-Mobile customers can trade in their current phone for a gift card worth up to $250. The amount depends on what the phone is, and how old it is. But $250 is the maximum.

And then they can get up to $200 in credit when transferring service to AT&T, activating an AT&T Next plan, buying a new device at full retail price, or activating a device they already own. (A reminder, folks, that AT&T and T-Mobile LTE bands don't fully line up.)

Source: AT&T; More: AT&T Switch site

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4 years ago

Android at CES: Bookmark this page now! [#CESlive]

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It's time. We're headed to Las Vegas, Nevada, for the 3,295th Consumer Electronics Show. (Not that many? Fine. Feels like it, though. Anyhoo.)

As we've previously shouted from the rooftops, we're cranking things way past 11 this year, going far beyond our usual coverage both as Android Central, and as Mobile Nations as a whole. Once again we're teaming up with John and Cali (and all their awesome behind-the-scenes support) from GeekBeat.TV for a full week of live coverage and interviews once the show floor opens on Tuesday.

But we just can't wait. Head to the Android Central CESlive hub and you'll find all the pre-announcements already underway. And for us, the live coverage begins Sunday. (No rest for the wicked.) You don't want to miss this. All the announcements. First looks. Liveblogs. Random stuff you can't find anywhere other than CES (and Las Vegas, for that matter). It's all going down over the next week. Just look for that little Lloyd and CES icon, and you'll know you're in the right spot. (And click it for a quick link to all the coverage.)

Come meet us at CES! And that's just the beginning. If you're at the show, we'll be set up just inside the lower floor in South Hall. (You won't be able to miss us, actually.) Swing by and say hi.

The Wednesday night meetup! And for the really adventurous, we've got Wednesday night blocked out for some major meetup action with all your favorite Mobile Nations and GeekBeat friends. Get all the details here.

The sponsors! And mad love for Seidio, Vizzywig, QNAP, Ustream, NewTek and the CEA for helping make all this happen.

Thanks for coming along for the ride. We'll see you from the strip.

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4 years ago

LG G Flex renders surface for AT&T and T-Mobile

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Further pricing and availability details yet to be released

It may not be a shock to many, but evidence is building that the LG G Flex will be headed to at least AT&T and T-Mobile in short order. Frequent device leaker @evleaks has just put up the above renders showing the latest bendy device adorned with some simple AT&T and T-Mobile status bar iconography and software branding. Just like previous high-end LG handsets on these two carriers, there doesn't seem to be any carrier branding on the front bezels either.

Now naturally these renders can be easily fudged to look like the device is coming to any carrier. But we tend to give this one a bit of weight considering how likely LG is to be shopping this device around to many carriers. Details on pricing and even rough availability aren't yet being offered, but we will surely hear more about this handset before it hits U.S. store shelves.

Source: @evleaks

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4 years ago

What do your homescreens look like for 2014?

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New calendar year, new look for your phone or tablet

It's now 2014, and that means maybe it's time to clean up that homescreen for a new look in the new year. It always feels good to clear out your phone and start fresh, really thinking about what apps and widgets are most important for productivity (and a little fun as well).

We're sure more than a few of you have taken to your phone and tablet to rearrange things in 2014, so how does it look after you're done? I've posted screenshots of my current setup right now after the break, but we'd love to see what your devices are looking like in the forums as well.

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4 years ago

Polaroid announces range of Q Series tablets ahead of CES

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New 7, 8 and 10-inch tablets start at just $129

Polaroid has just announced some additions, called the Q Series, to its tablet lineup. Coming in a 7, 8 and 10-inch sizes, Polaroid hopes that its latest offerings will attract some attention. The Q7, Q8 and Q10 are all Wifi tablets that will launch running Android 4.4 KitKat — something many people will enjoy. Powered by a quad-core processor, each of these tablets will feature many of the other standard bells and whistles like Bluetooth, HDMI out, front and rear cameras, as well as front-facing speakers for great media enjoyment.

“Tablets are changing the way consumers use and share their favorite media and memories, and Polaroid’s robust line of tablets is allowing more consumers to share with on-the-go convenience,” said Polaroid President and CEO Scott W. Hardy. “Our Q Series provides consumers with super-fast quad core processing speeds allowing for faster performance and less wait times when watching movies, or playing games.  In addition the Q series’ sleek design and affordable price point make it a great choice.”

With pricing starting at $129 and going up to only $179, the tablets are definitely in the affordable range. Polaroid hopes to have these in the hands of consumers by Spring 2014, which isn't too far away. The Q7, Q8 and Q10 will be featured at CES, so stay tuned for some hands-on time with each of these from the show next week.

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4 years ago

Moto G from Boost Mobile available today through HSN for $129

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New budget offering comes to Boost's own stores on Jan. 14

If you're looking to get your hands on a Moto G for Boost Mobile, today is your lucky day. HSN and HSN.com have begun selling a Boost Mobile variant of the Moto G for only $129 without any contract. If you would rather purchase it directly from Boost, you will have to wait until January 14th when it will go on sale both online and in select retail locations. Coming in at $50 below Motorola's own price, and partnered with great prepaid plan pricing the Moto G is a very appealing option.

Boost Mobile — which operates on the Sprint network — offers unlimited talk, text, and data for only $55 a month with the option of having your payments shrink every six months. If you are looking for a great deal on an Android device that we thought was pretty awesome, you won't want to miss out on this.

Source: HSNBoost Mobile

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