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4 years ago

Hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini


Does Samsung's miniaturized Galaxy S4 live up to its name?

Each new generation of smartphones seems to bring with it ever larger screens. Just a couple of years ago a 4.3-inch screen was considered large -- unwieldy, even -- in the grand scheme of things. But as screens for flagship phones reach five inches and beyond, manufacturers seem to be realizing that big screens aren't for everyone. And the result of that realization is phones like the Galaxy S4 Mini.

Featuring a familiar chassis design and a "smaller" 4.3-inch display, the Galaxy S4 Mini seems to promise a high-end experience in a smaller body. And in part, it delivers -- the S4 Mini boasts much of the feature set of its full-size namesake. You'll get everything from S Health -- the food and weight tracking app -- to WatchON -- the IR blaster-based TV remote app.

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy NX video walkthrough


Our first impressions of Samsung's Android-powered professional camera

The Samsung Galaxy NX is a first for Android and digital imaging -- the first professional camera with high-end smartphone internals, the latest version of Android and 4G LTE connectivity. If Samsung manages to make all this hardware work well together and bring it to market first, the Galaxy NX has the potential to be a game-changing product. But it's still early days, and we'll need to examine the Galaxy NX in more detail before we come to any conclusions.

The broad strokes are this: A mirrorless body with interchangeable lenses. A 20.3 (effective) megapixel sensor. A 4.8-inch display on the back. Full LTE and Wifi capability. Powered by a quad-core processor at 1.6 GHz. Running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. On paper, it's a beast. (Check out the full specs here.)

In the meantime, we've had the chance to get our hands on the Galaxy NX at the launch event today in London. Check our the video after the break for our first impressions. We'll bring you a detailed hands-on post later in the day.

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 Active hands-on


A first look at Samsung's ruggedized, water-resistant Galaxy S4 Active

Traditionally, if you wanted a toughened, water-resistant, life-proof smartphone, there were compromises you just had to live with. Usually you'd pay over the odds, and be left with a bulky, ugly-looking device running old software, with sub-par internals. But that's starting to change, and we've already seen devices like the Sony Xperia Z that promise top-end hardware alongside the ability to survive a dunk in the bath.

Now Samsung's entering the rugged smartphone market in a big way with the Galaxy S4 Active -- a device that stays true to its Galaxy S4 branding with high-end internals matched against a rugged chassis. It's IP67-rated for water and dust resistance, meaning its internals are protected from harmful particulate matter, and it'll survive in up to 1 meter of water for at least 30 minutes.

On the inside you're dealing with much the same high-end parts you'll find in the regular S4 -- a 1.9GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 CPU, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, expandable via micro SD and a 1080p display. A few changes have been made though -- the Active's screen is an LCD, not SuperAMOLED, which may lead to improved daylight visibility (it's difficult to tell inside the darkened demo area). The camera's also taken a slight hit, going from 13 megapixels on the S4 to 8 on the active. Again, it was difficult to judge the camera's performance in the demo area at Earls Court today, but it seemed to work well enough. What's more, the camera app now boasts a dedicated underwater shooting mode.

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4 years ago

Eyes on with the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom flip case and lens cover


We're live in London at the Samsung Premiere 2013 event where we've had a first look at the new Galaxy S4 Zoom. Part smartphone, part point-and-shoot camera, the S4 Zoom is unlike any smartphone we've come across to date. As is usually the norm with new Samsung devices, a range of accessories come to market with them, and the Zoom is no exception. There's actually a pretty decent looking flip case for the device, that covers the screen on one side, and acts as a sort of bumper around the exterior edges. It also comes with a matching lens cap so you can pocket your new Galaxy S4 Zoom without worrying (too much) about that honkin' great zoom lens on the back. More pictures can be found after the break. 

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4 years ago

Sprint bumps offer for Clearwire to $5 per share, valuing the company at $14 billion


Large number of Clearwire minority shareholders on-board with the deal

Sprint announced today that it has entered an agreement to buy the half of Clearwire that it does not already own for $5 per share, beating Dish's current offer by $0.60 per share. The revised deal values Clearwire at $14 billion, represents a 47-percent increase over Sprint's previous offer of $3.40 per share and a 285-percent premium over Clearwire's stock price the day before Sprint and SoftBank confirmed acquisition talks in October 2012. The new offer is a win all-around for stockholders of Clearwire looking to get top dollar on their shares, a large number of which have now voiced their support.

Sprint claims that several large investors totaling 9-percent of Clearwire's voting shares have committed to the new offer, as have Comcast, Intel and Bright House Networks (which hold another 13-percent). The aforementioned groups together with Clearwire's directors and officers represent 45-percent of the company's voting shares not controlled by Sprint, and have agreed to vote for the deal. Combine those votes with the other shareholders who have previously voiced approval for the Sprint-SoftBank acquisition and Sprint expects to get a majority of Clearwire shareholders to approve its deal in the end.

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy NX specs and press images



Interchangeable lenses, Galaxy S4-level internals and high-end photography specs

Samsung has officially taken the wraps off of its professional-grade Galaxy NX mirrorless camera at its "Premiere 2013" event in London, and now we have a full set of specs and press images to look at. The Galaxy NX is effectively one of its high-end interchangeable lens cameras (ILC) with a Galaxy S4-class screen and internals grafted onto the back, like an ultimate realization of what Samsung envisioned with the original Galaxy Camera. This is far from a point-and-shoot though, with a full 20.3MP APS-C CMOS sensor (larger than your standard Micro Four-Thirds camera), a 4.8-inch LCD along with a built-in electronic viewfinder (EVF), and full array of standard camera controls.

We're working on getting our hands on the Galaxy NX at the London event as we type this, but in the meantime you can hit the break for a full specs list and gallery of Galaxy NX press images.

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4 years ago

Modern Combat 4 Meltdown update to include new maps, game modes, and weapons


Three new maps, two new weapons, two new multiplayer game modes, two new perks, and a new demolitions specialization

Gameloft has announced that their excellent first-person shooting game for Android, Modern Combat 4, will be updated with a bunch of new content. We've got three new maps called Fracture, Extraction, and Backfire, a new grenade launcher pistol, a new sniper rifle, two new multiplayer game modes, two new perks, and a new demolitions specialization (because blowing stuff up is kinda fun). 

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4 years ago

Sony Xperia ZL (C6506) Android 4.2.2 update now available


Lock screen widgets, improved launcher and new animations all included

Starting today, Sony is making an Android 4.2.2 update available for the Xperia ZL, including the North American unlocked LTE model. We just updated our own handset to software version 10.3.A.0.423 via Sony Bridge For Mac (the equivalent of Sony PC Companion), which took just shy of 30 minutes including downloading of necessary files. The update process went smoothly, and the device is indeed running Android 4.2.2 as Sony claims.

The official Sony support pages are still listing information for the previous 4.1 update so we don't have an official changelog, but our initial impressions are positive. The lock screen has been slightly redesigned to incorporate Android 4.2's lock screen widgets, including swiping left to enter the camera and right to add additional widgets as you please. Turning on and off the screen now has a subtle fade in/out animation as opposed to the circular one previously.

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4 years ago

Samsung announces five new colors of the Galaxy S4


Step up your style with new color options of the Galaxy S4

We're taking a look at what Samsung has to offer at its Premiere 2013 event live in London, and the manufacturer has just rolled out five new colors of the Galaxy S4. As you can see above, the new colors available are Blue Arctic, Purple Mirage, red Aurora, Brown Autumn and Pink Twilight (yay, pink!).

The colors are matte or pastel rather than glossy, and keep the same shiny plastic on the edges of the device. No specifics just yet on the availability of these colors, but you can expect to see at least a few of them hit your carrier of choice soon.

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4 years ago

Samsung officially announces Android-based Galaxy NX mirrorless camera


Galaxy NX camera official, mirrorless body and interchangeable lenses

We're live in London with Samsung at their Premiere 2013 event where the previously rumored and leaked Galaxy NX camera has become official. The NX is a big step up from the first Galaxy Camera in the sense that it's no longer a mere point-and-shoot. We're looking at a professional-level mirrorless camera, with interchangeable lenses. 

Spec wise we're looking at a 20.3MP APS-C sensor, full 1080p video recording and a 4.8-inch HD LCD on the rear. Inside, there's a 1.6GHz quad-core processor powering Android 4.2.2 with the latest version of TouchWiz overlayed, along with a discrete Image Signal Processor (ISP). In terms of software there is a full cropping of manual controls and modes (such as aperture priority, shutter speed priority, full manual) along with 30 automatic "smart" modes that will auto-select scenes for you when you need a quick shot. The NX will be compatible with all of Samsung's existing line of lenses -- over 30 in total -- including a new fisheye lens. Samsung is also talking up the fact that the NX comes with LTE on-board, offering loads of sharing options when paired with a full build of Android.

The Galaxy NX is a world away from the original Galaxy Camera, and we'll be going hands-on with it very soon. For more from the Samsung Premiere 2013 event be sure to head on over to our liveblog for full up to the minute coverage. 

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4 years ago

Samsung ATIV Q puts Windows and Android on a single tablet


Samsung today in London announced the ATIV Q tablet, sporting Windows and Android in a single platform. It's a dual-boot OS device that brings Windows 8 alongside the best of Android.

But the high-res display is just half of what makes this an intriguing device.

Be sure to check out our hands-on!

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4 years ago

Instagram announces Vine, erm, video on Instagram


15-second videos with filters, basic editing coming in new version of app

Instagram, today at Facebook HQ and in a livestream, announced that it's bringing video to its service. Don't call it Vine, even though it looks and acts just like Vine.

See, Vine is 6-second videos. Instagram is using 15-second clips. So it's totally different.

All kidding aside, you've got the same overall idea as Vine. Tap to record. Only Instagram merges in some basic editing -- a feature sorely missing on Vine -- and throws in a baker's dozen of new filters to boot. In addition, you can choose which video frame you want to serve as the preview thumbnail.

"It's the same Instagram we all know and love," said Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom. "But it moves."

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4 years ago

We're live from Samsung Premiere 2013 in London!


Live coverage of new Windows and Android announcements from Samsung

We're live from London's Earls Court exhibition center later today for Samsung Premiere 2013 -- the Korean manufacturer's big event where it's promising to show off new Galaxy (Android) and Windows (Ativ) devices. So we can certainly expect to see more of the Galaxy S4 Mini, Active and Zoom, as well as unannounced stuff like the Galaxy NX Android-powered mirrorless camera. On the Windows side, there's the possibility of more tablets and ultrabooks, and maybe some new Windows Phone devices too.

We'll be on the ground from 6pm local time, and the show kicks off at 7pm BST (2pm EDT, 11am PDT), so remember to bookmark this page for live coverage. You'll find our liveblog after the break!

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4 years ago

Developer Affairs: The agony and ecstasy of app stores - Talk Mobile


Back in the day, what mattered when picking a smartphone - be it a Nokia N-something, an aging Palm Treo, a BlackBerry with proper answer and end buttons, or a stylus-driven Windows Mobile brick - was the quality of the built-in applications. The features of the email program or the to-do application or whether or not the calendar integrated with Exchange were the driving forces.

4 years ago

New York Times changes non-subscriber access in its Android app


The New York Times is changing access to its stories in its Android application. Previously, non-subscribers could only read from the "Top News" section of the app. Starting June 27, non-subscribers can read three stories a day from any of the more than 25 sections in the app. You'll also be able to browser the section fronts and article summaries. 

The Times is offering a 7-day, all-access free trial if you download the current version of the Android app.

More: NYT subscription rates; Press release

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