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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Book Cover

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Here's a more traditional folio case for the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 -- the Book Cover. It's basically the same flip cover you can get for the Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy Note 2. The difference here is it's a full shell that fits over the back of the tablet, as you can't remove the battery cover. So you gain a little thickness.

Note the hole for the front speaker/earpiece, so you can still listen to the conversation with the cover closed. But then you'd be someone holding an 8-inch tablet to your head, looking like a maniac. Don't be that guy.

Like just about every other flip case of this design, you can fold the cover back onto itself to make a little stand.

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4 years ago

Hands-on with the ASUS Padfone Infinity

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At the conceptual level, the ASUS Padfone series has always sounded cool, but it's never managed to translate that into mainstream success. Previous Padfones, though technically impressive, have been too expensive to win over consumers and carriers en masse. On top of that, ASUS has yet to present a really compelling use case for combining a phone with tablet dock.

Nevertheless, the Taiwanese manufacturer is back with a third Padfone iteration, the Padfone Infinity. The Infinity boasts superior specs, a redesigned, brushed aluminum chassis an Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. But is that enough to justify this class of device? Check out our first impressions from Mobile World Congress after the break.

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4 years ago

NVIDIA shows off 5 new Tegra 4 optimized games at MWC

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With the announcement of the new Tegra 4 processor and devices, NVIDIA is looking to showcase what it is capable of by highlighting 5 new Tegra 4 optimized games in TegraZone. Burn Zombie Burn, Carie: Blood Mansion, CODEX: The Warrior, Dead on Arrival 2 and RU Golf have all been updated with enhanced graphics to show off just what makes Tegra 4 so much more appealing over other processors when it comes to playing games. NVIDIA is well known for partnering with game developers to release these high-end titles via the TegraZone, and these will kick it off for Tegra 4.

Hang with us after the break and see some impressive gameplay videos, as well as a screenshot gallery of the titles.

Source: NVIDIA

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4 years ago

Hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Stand Pouch

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We've seen some Android tablets essentially ape the iPad's Smart Cover, which protects the screen while closed and doubles as a stand when folded in on itself. Samsung's gone a different route with the Galaxy Note 8.0 Stand Pouch.

Pouches in and of themselves are hardly new in the mobile space. But Samsung's here also doubles for a stand for the Galaxy Note 8.0. Slip the Note 8.0 into it (the inside is soft and warm and safe, like ... something soft and warm ... or at least soft) to keep things nice and safe.

The pouch -- notice how it's segmented here -- folds in on itself in the usual triangle manner. From there, you get a couple options for angles -- one high, for media viewing, the other low, say, for typing.

Samsung's got a host of colors -- I'm partial to the boring (but nicely textured) gray you see here.

We've got some more pics of the Samsung Stand Pouch after the break.

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4 years ago

Hands-on with the ASUS Fonepad

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Android has a long history of playing host to ridiculously large smartphones. First there was the Dell Streak. Next came the original Samsung Galaxy Note. And now in 2013 we have the ASUS Fonepad, a 7-inch tablet that's also a 7-inch phone. On first inspection the Fonepad looks a little bit like a another 7-inch ASUS tablet, the Nexus 7. But unlike that device it's also a full 3G/HSPA phone, complete with earpiece and microphone. That's right, you can hold this seven-inch slab of electronics to your head and make telephone calls.

Where other large smartphones -- including Huawei's gigantic Ascend Mate -- trim down their bezels to make them more pocket and hand-friendly, ASUS has chosen to incorporate a tablet-sized screen trim on the Fonepad. As a result, using the device as a telephone in the usual way is the binary opposite of ergonomic. If you felt awkward making phone calls on a Galaxy Note, that's nothing by comparison. Assuming you posses digits large enough to palm the Fonepad to your ear, you're going to look and feel like an idiot walking around with it pressed to your face.

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4 years ago

First look at the Galaxy Note 8 car dock

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So the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 is a more-than-capable Android tablet, as well as as an oversized phone. And if you want to dock it in your car, Samsung's got you covered there, as well.

Yes, there's an official car dock for this phone/tablet hybrid. It's done in the usual Samsung motif of glossy black plastic, and the tablet fits snugly inside. We didn't see any specific car app installed on this Note on display, but you can find any number of them in the Play Store.

More: See our hands-on with the Galaxy Note 8.0

All in all, it's a stylish way to keep the Note 8.0 at hand in your vehicle. The trick will be to keep from creating an 8-inch blind spot on your windshield.

We've got one more pic after the break.

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4 years ago

Hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy Grand

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With devices like the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note, Samsung has been an integral part of the push towards bigger screens on smartphones. But traditionally these larger, higher-resolution devices have been aimed towards the high-end, carrying expectedly high-tier price tags. Today at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, we saw a device that aims to defy that convention.

The Galaxy Grand is a mid-range smartphone with high-end ambitions. Its 5-inch screen and Galaxy Note-like aesthetic give it the appearance of a premium handset, though like most Samsung smartphones it’s bright, white shiny and plasticky. There’s no ‘S-Pen’ stylus to be found, but aside from that the Grand offers a fairly complete Samsung software experience. You’re getting the latest version of the company’s TouchWiz UI, which runs on top of Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. The software package even includes newer additions like multi-window support -- Samsung’s method for running more than one app on-screen at a time.

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4 years ago

ASUS MeMo Pad tablets launching in the UK beginning early March

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More ASUS related news has emerged from Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, this time concerning the UK launch of their MeMo Pad tablets. Both the 7-inch and 10.1-inch tablets will be available to buy in the UK, with the first launching from March 7. 

The 10.1-inch ME301T -- more commonly referred to as the Smart 10 -- is a Tegra 3 packing, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean tablet with an extremely competitive price point of £249. It houses a 1280x800 resolution IPS display, 16GB of on-board storage and will only be available in Midnight Blue at launch with other colors to follow. Several retailers have picked up the MeMo Pad Smart 10 including Currys PCWorld, Tesco and Amazon. Pre-orders should be available from each of these online now, with in-store purchases set to begin on March 7. 

The MeMo Pad ME172V -- or MeMo Pad 7 as we shall refer to it -- again runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, but is a more budget oriented offering. It's powered by a 1GHz VIA WM8950 processor, and has a display resolution of 1024x600 with 16GB of on-board storage. The killer feature on the MeMo Pad 7 though is the price, set to arrive for just £129 some time around mid-April. 

The full press release can be found after the break. 

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4 years ago

LG's 'VR Panorama' puts Photosphere on the Optimus G Pro

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LG Photosphere from the Nexus 4 and improves it on its newest device

It's no secret that I'm a pretty big fan of the 360-degree Photospheres you can shoot with the Nexus 4. Fire up the camera app, spin around a few times and you get a really cool shot that can be panned and zoomed, and shared on Google+, or embedded with Google Maps. It's a novelty, yeah. But I'm enjoying the hell out of it, and there are some great Photospheres being published every day from remarkable locations.

But so far the only phones with that feature have been Google's Nexus 4 and Galaxy Nexus. Until now.

LG, which also manufactured the Nexus 4, has a new version of Photosphere built into the camera application on its Optimus G Pro, which the company is showing off here in Barcelona, Spain, at Mobile World Congress. (The phone actually is available already in Korea.) And we recently took it for a spin in Plaça de Catalunya to see how it works.

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4 years ago

ASUS Padfone 2 launching in the UK on March 1

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Way back in October last year we first heard word that ASUS planned to bring the Padfone 2 to the UK in early 2013. It's now early 2013 and true to their word ASUS is indeed bringing the Padfone 2 to the UK on March 1 for £599.

For some it may seem an anti-climax given the recent unveiling of the Padfone Infinity at MWC. But, the Padfone 2 is still an impressive device packing a Snapdragon S4 Pro, 2GB of RAM, a 13MP camera and a HD Super IPS+ display. It isn't quite the powerhouse the new Padfone Infinity is, but the hardware specs are still impressive. And of course, the Padfone 2 will be around £200 cheaper than the Infinity. 

Both white and black versions will be available, and several big name retailers will be picking it up including Amazon and Carphone Warehouse. The full press release can be found after the break.

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4 years ago

LG showcasing wireless Ultra HD transmission technology at Mobile World Congress

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Last month's CES over in Las Vegas had a whole lot of 4K Television news. After HD, comes Ultra HD, and with it some pretty amazing looking TV sets with an amazing price to match. If you were sat there wondering; "when will I be able to push my smartphone content to one of these," then wonder no longer. Over in Barcelona at Mobile World Congress, LG is showcasing what they're saying is the world's first wireless Ultra HD transmission technology. 

It's pretty much as simple as it sounds. Wirelessly transmitting content from a smartphone, to a 4K TV in real time. Further more, LG claims the technology consumes less than half the power of some other wireless transmission technologies. You'll find the full release after the break. 

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4 years ago

LG officially announces new wireless charger, claims worlds smallest

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Remember the Qi wireless charger we first showed you yesterday at Mobile World Congress? LG has today officially announced it and in the process claim that the hockey puck like charging disk is the worlds smallest wireless charger. As we found out during our hands on, it's a nice little accessory, and unlike the Nexus 4 charging orb sits flat against a surface. 

As this is a Qi certified charger, in theory any Qi compatible device should be able to take advantage of this. LG makes note of 2 of their US released smartphones -- the Nexus 4 and Spectrum 2 -- as being Qi enabled. No word on pricing or availability at this moment in time, but as this will be coming from LG direct we'd love to see a much wider availability than the currently limited Nexus 4 charger. Click on past the break for the full press release. 

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4 years ago

Hands-on with the Lenovo K900

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At CES in January Lenovo unveiled the K900, a high-end, big-screen smartphone aimed at the Chinese market. And at Mobile World Congress this week, the manufacturer gave us a closer look at this dual-core, Intel-powered beast.

At 5.5 inches diagonally, the K900 dwarfs even the Galaxy Note 2, and like other devices in this half phone space, half tablet it's easy to see how this might not be ideal for every smartphone buyer.  But the overall design is attractive enough, with a metallic chassis and squared-off edges. On the front is a 1080p display, which looks about as sharp and clear as you'd expect. On the inside, Intel's Clovertrail+ -- a dual-core, HyperThreaded CPU -- provides enough horsepower to keep things running smoothly, and around the back is a 13MP Sony Exmor R camera with f/1.8 aperture. On the hardware side, we came away pretty impressed.

The K900 is running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, along with Lenovo's own software layer software, and although it's great to see 4.2 finally rolling out to devices, the manufacturer's UI customizations leave something to be desired. Visual gimmicks such as a rotating cylindrical app drawer persist, and the sleek minimalism of stock Android has been replaced by cartoonish buttons and a lack of overall visual cohesion.

Lenovo is a relative newcomer to the smartphone market, and like many in the early days, they're doing better in terms of hardware than they are software. Nevertheless, our brief time with the K900 has our interest piqued, and we'll be keeping a watchful eye on what's next from the manufacturer.

We've got more photos and your first hands-on video after the break.

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4 years ago

ZTE launches Grand Memo with 5.7-inch display, Snapdragon 800 processor

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ZTE is taking the wraps off of its latest large-screen phone, the Grand Memo, at MWC 2013 in Barcelona. What we're looking at here is a 5.7-inch display at just 720x1280 resolution -- but curiously so as the previously announced ZTE Grand S has a 5-inch 1080P display. Underneath that display the Grand Memo has a quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor (unspecified clock speed), 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage and a quite enormous 3200mAh battery. There's a 13MP camera around back, much like the Grand S. The design is subtle and sleek, with a smooth plastic shell and protruding camera pod around back. On the front there are capacitive back, home and menu keys. It is also just 8.5mm thick, which is quite impressive considering the specs.

The Grand Memo is running Android 4.1, along with some of ZTE's own software customizations. There doesn't appear to be any special digitizer or stylus hardware available though, contrary to what the name would lead you to expect. Unfortunately, ZTE isn't yet giving any information on pricing or availability at this time.

Source: ZTE (BusinessWire)

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4 years ago

Samsung touts market share, infographic style

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Samsung shipped a hell of a lot of phones last year, and a bunch of them were smart phones -- 213,000,000 according to their latest infographic. That's a number which equates to over 30-percent of all smart phones shipped in 2012, and as we see is more than the total population of Brazil.

Samsung of course hopes to keep this trend going into 2013, with new releases like the Galaxy Note 8.0 and the upcoming Galaxy S4, as well as the multitude of entry-level phones and tablets for emerging markets. We'll have to see if this strategy works for them as well this year as it did in the last.

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