The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Resembles a Mini Tablet

Samsung Galaxy Note 4Having experienced working on small gadgets fitting snugly in our pockets, we now enter the era of the phablet. The device that makes all other phones seem comically small is slowly becoming people’s favorite and an unexpected hit.

The bigger and better handset by Samsung may not be artwork but can certainly be termed a beautiful device. The Note 4 is quite usable as it has been made very thoughtfully. Even though bigger in size, it fits in your hands pretty nicely such that the buttons and the screen are intuitively placed and easily accessed. The stylus is almost invisible until you pull it out and unlock the device.

For those looking for Samsung’s traditional removable battery or SD card slot, the device won’t disappoint them. The thin back slips off effortlessly and reveals the strong 3220 mAh battery and a small slot for a MicroSD card. Although the back cover appears to be too thin and flimsy, it is sturdy enough to keep things safe in the back of the device.

The screen, which is a full 5.7 inches, displays 2,560 x 1,440 pixels at 515ppi. With such great specs, it offers a great experience for reading, drawing, and general use. For a phablet, the screen is actually the best part and is great for people who can’t see the font on smaller phones. As far as the phone’s camera is concerned, Samsung deserves accolades for packing so many pixels onto such a small surface. It has a Snapdragon 805 processor that runs a Quad-core Krait 450 CPU at up to 2.7 GHz per core. Flaunting such high-end specs, the phone assures fast service for everything.

Samsung has packed an entire laptop’s worth of features into its package of phablets and has indeed done a good job of it. The device is a solid, useful, and usable phone designed for users who need a bit more real estate or at least for those with big hands. For many, the device promises to make them phablet converts, and this is certainly the best of the breed.


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Treading a New Path: The Xperia Z3v

The Xperia Z3v

Sony’s latest handset, the Xperia Z3v, is a new age gadget that’s beaming with innovation. The smartphone is a waterproof device, something that is very difficult to offer in smartphones. Next, it can capture 4K video and plays high-resolution audio. And if you’re still looking for more, the device can even stream games from your PlayStation 4. With these unusual but much needed features, the phone has added to the telling technological bundle for the company’s latest flagship phone, a variant of the Xperia Z3. Sony Xperia Z3v is exclusive to Verizon in the U.S. and costs $199 with a two-year contract.

The great news for PlayStation owners is that the phone’s PS4 Remote Play adds an extra layer of convenience. It is able to stream gameplay from a PS4 console in real time. It does so with the optional mount costing $59.99 that fits onto a standard PlayStation controller

If you are a photography enthusiast, you will be glad to use this smartphone as it can shoot videos at 4K resolution, providing for a sharp and clean viewing experience. Equipped with a storage capacity of 32GB, you don’t need to bother yourself with the space the 4k resolution videos will grab. If need be, you can extend the storage up to 128GB using a microSD card.

With an impressive 20 megapixels, the rear camera has matched the pixel count of a good digital camera, making it redundant. The phone’s camera also comes with a bag of tricks to use the camera in the most creative ways. Playing high-res audio is definitely something that most phones can’t do, which makes this phone unique. It’s also equipped with digital noise cancellation technology.

Although this superb handset is available with only one carrier, which automatically limits its reach, it surely gives you a lot for your buck.


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Redefining Design: HTC Butterfly 2

HTC Butterfly 2

With its smooth feel and elegant looks, the HTC Butterfly 2 has given a new definition to smartphone designs. The stacked components inside the phone’s body render it a clean, curved back. Also, the phone’s edges narrow down at the corners allowing the phone to sit flawlessly on your palm. Although the Butterfly series may not be known as HTC’s defining series of handsets, it has come out to be one of the most capable cellphones that the company can flaunt. Boasting of a strong foundation, the HTC Butterfly 2 stands tall with a solid HD 5 inch screen, HTC’s trademark stereo speakers and HTC Sense 6.

With two spectacular handsets released prior, the HTC One (M8) as the fresh Windows Phone version and the more affordable HTC One (E8) with its polycarbonate body and mostly the same specifications, the HTC Butterfly 2 is the last one in the lineup. This also could explain why the phone is expected to be at par with the HTC One handsets. The HTC Butterfly 2 phone has a rich audio set up featuring Android 4.4.2 KitKat as its operating system. The display of the phone introduces new image technology that reduces color washout and enhances picture brightness.

The duo camera setup with portrait editing features and a 13 mega pixel primary sensor definitely boasts fresh technological advancements. For people with a higher dependency on their phones as storage devices, the device offers 16GB of built-in memory and provides for expanding that as well with a microSD card slot. The HTC Butterfly 2 is dust-protected and can go under water up to 1m deep for about 30 minutes, which it manages to do without any protective flaps over the 3.5mm headphone jack and the micro USB 2.0 port.

Inspired by simplicity and developed for high-end performance, the HTC Butterfly 2 combines peoples’ needs with their desires in order to bring out a phone that functions well and is fashionable too. For many, this might be enough to label the phone as HTC’s most viable option against the fast paced competition from Samsung and Sony mobiles.

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Verizon Backs Down on Throttling the Data Hungry

Government Cell Phone ServiceWe are all aware of how Verizon announced plans in July of this year to choke the connections of customers hungry for data, which the federal regulators termed as a disturbing move. However, the company is back tracking now.

Verizon is finally dropping its plan to decelerate the speeds of 4G connection for certain customers using the unlimited data plans. Concluding that it was a problem with unlimited data plans, Verizon quit offering them to new customers. However, subscribers who signed up for the unlimited plans before Verizon ditched them in 2012 were allowed to keep those plans, of course, only if they pay the full price after they get a new phone. The wireless giant said in July that it would periodically slow the connection speeds of those customers when the network usage would be heavier, only if they fall within the top 5% of data users.

The company set out with the move in July hoping that this would help it manage its network. But network management was rejected as an explanation by the federal regulators for pacing down the connections of paying customers. Rather, it was interpreted that the company was trying to buy people into plans based on their usage, for which the customers would have to purchase by the gigabyte.

In the current week, Verizon said that honoring the ongoing dialogue over the last few months regarding network optimization, they have prepared themselves to step back from the expected move that they had announced back in July. Although the move by the company is being seen as a strategy to appease the federal regulators, Verizon has actually been successful in doing so. The revised decision shared by the wireless company this week has been received well by the regulators as well as critics.

Mobile connections vary from broadband because the wireless spectrum is an exhaustible resource, which means that the management of traffic becomes relatively more challenging for network carriers. However, this does not exempt them from becoming part of any new regulations, more so when the FCC mentioned that they might also roll out new regulations pertaining to net neutrality for the mobile web.

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Motorola’s Moto X: The Next Big in the Android Phone Market

Motorola’s Moto X

Motorola’s Moto X

As we slowly become used to carrying huge handsets for all our needs, be it calling, net surfing or even video calls, it only adds a pinch of ease to our lives to hold something like the slim and light-weight second-generation Moto X. This 5.2-inch android phone with 1080p OLED screen sporting gorilla glass is definitely a step ahead in the space when compared with the latest android phones available in the market today.

The steel device comes with a small dimple at its back to help position your finger while clasping the phone. The company, which is still on thin ice, at least in terms of its market share, has thrown everything it can into materials to get this smart phone the features it has.

The phone has only two buttons – a rocker for the volume and a single multi-functional button on the right. A large 13-megapixel camera sits nicely at the back of the handset and a smaller 2-megapixel camera adorns the front. Among the many unusual ways this phone makes use of the camera, one of them allows you to wake the phone up by moving your hand in front of it to see notifications. Conversely, you can also bring back the phone from its sleep position and talk to it by setting a unique “wake up call,” “Hey, Moto, what’s up?” or a similar voice recognition pattern. These two features appear to be a bit uncomfortable initially because the phone consistently perks up while it’s at rest. However, the features do not reduce the phone’s battery life, which lasts about a day on one charge.

For folks looking to upgrade their original Moto X, another excellent flagship phone by Motorola, this model is a good bet. It is also slightly bigger than the older Moto X and is a better product. The materials used are excellent and the phone fits well in the hand. Last but not the least, this Moto X also boasts of an excellent Geekbench score. Clocking in at 979, a few points higher than the M8 and considerably higher than the original flagship phone of Motorola, the 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chip certainly brightens up this second-generation Motorola device.

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Apple’s iOS 8 Finally Arrives Beaming with New Features

Apple iOS 8

The eighth release of Apple’s awaited mobile operating system, iOS 8, was finally announced at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2014. Adding new aspects, iOS 8 is indeed beaming with a plethora of new features as well as the enhanced old ones to provide a better user experience. Below are some highlights of the amazing features of this platform.

  • Interactive Notifications: Notifications in this version permit the user to respond to texts without leaving an app already in use.
  • Health Hub: The biggest new addition in iOS 8 is this app that collects your health and fitness data. Not only this, the health data will also pour in from external accessories, like Nike’s armbands etc.
  • Multitasking View: The new multitasking view shows a list running apps, recently called numbers as well as frequent contacts.
  • QuickType: QuickType, which is used for predictive typing will suggest whole phrases, based on what you have typed, and not only your word choices. Additionally, iOS 8 allows installation of third-party keyboards.
  • Family Sharing: The feature called Family Sharing has made it possible to create a family group of up to six with individual Apple IDs that can share a single set of iTunes media, App Store content and more.
  • Siri: In iOS 8, the always-on Siri features the Shazam song recognition service and flaunts streaming voice recognition and 22 new dictation languages.
  • Photos App: The Photos app now offers even more options to edit photos. The so-called Smart Editing has become richer, easier, and will now sync edited photos across devices.

Developers got their hands on iOS 8 earlier but users with compatible iDevices had to wait until September 17th to upgrade to the next iteration of Apple’s mobile platform. Make sure your apps take advantage of all the great new features in iOS 8, which is now available to hundreds of millions of customers around the world as a free download.

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BLU’s First Windows Phone Devices are Out: Win JR and Win HD

BLU Products, the first Latin-owned mobile manufacturer and the fastest-growing in the region, is famous for grinding out Android devices that are light on consumers’ pockets. But the company has finally broken ice today by launching its first two android devices powered by Windows Phone.

The first two phones from BLU that run Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system are BLU Win JR and BLU Win HD. As with its Android hardware, BLU has managed to give these Windows Phone products affordable price tags and respectable specifications. With the cost-effectiveness factor maintained, BLU is likely to yet again strike a chord with its targeted consumers. Here’s the full glance over on both the handsets:


Sharing first things first, the BLU Win JR is priced at $89, which is the most appealing feature of the device. The dual-sim handset screens a 4-inches 800×480 display with a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 200 processor. The cellphone’s camera has a good 5-megapixel rear and VGA front feature, which is enough to cater to the regular user. The device has 4GB of storage and a microSD slot with support for cards up to 64GB. The RAM again may not be up to the league of devices available today but still reasons well for 512 MBs if the price tag is kept in mind. This 1950mAh battery handset sports the Windows Phone 8.1 version and is available in bright, trendy colors such as neon orange, neon green, neon yellow, and white.

BLU Windows Cell Phone


The other cellphone launched by BLU is the BLU Win HD priced at $179. The reason this phone is priced higher than the Win JR version is its enhanced features. This phone has a 5-inch 1280×720 display with 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 200 processor. The cameras are 8-megapixelsin the rear and 2-megapixels in front. Even the storage capacity of this device is pegged at a good 8 GBs of storage. The phone offers a microSD slot with support for cards up to 64GB; a feature similar to Win JR. The phone’s RAM, however, is improved to 1GB facilitating a smooth running of the operating system. The dual sim 2200mAh battery is sturdy enough to support the user for longer duration. This phone too sports Windows Phone 8.1 as its user interface. Similar to Win JR, this smartphone is also available in colors such as neon orange, neon green, neon yellow, and white.

Windows OS Phones

While neither of new BLU’s Windows Phones are barnburners given their specifications, both of them do offer a price not many cellphone companies can afford to offer.

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World’s Thinnest Phone Launched

Gionee ElifeThe world’s thinnest phone has been officially launched and it is a smartphone that you will need to rest on your palms with a bit of care, courtesy of its thin body. The Gionee Elife S5.1 belonging to the Chinese brand Gionee was revealed some time back, but just got its official launch today. The cellphone sports a light-weight body boasting a minimal 5.1mm thin structure.

Even prior to its launch, the smartphone had surfaced online in a few images. And as the curiosity regarding the super-thin smartphone kept mounting, the handset’s specifications also got leaked ahead of the official launch.

Going by the actual specifications, the handset is known to sport a 4.8-inch AMOLED 720p HD screen. It has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core chip clocked at 1.2GHz with 1GB of RAM. The phone’s camera stands at a good platform with 8-megapixels and LED flash around the rear. In terms of the phone’s storage, its capacity is limited to 16GB and cannot be expanded. Although the inbuilt storage capacity of this smartphone is sufficient for the regular user, it may not please others. The cellphone’s 2,100 mAh battery and Android Jelly Bean 4.3 OS run with Gionee’s own Amigo 2.0 interface laid on top. The Elife S5.1 measures 139.8×67.4×5.15mm and provides for Micro-SIM support. These specifications expect this awaited cellphone to get an appealing response by the consumers. How well it fares is going to be a story that will follow soon.

Notably, the Elife S5.5, from the flagship series by Gionee was claimed to be the world’s thinnest smartphone by Gionee until the launch of Elife S5.1, which beats the Vivo X3 at 5.75mm.

A fact that might depress mobile enthusiasts is that they might never get to experience the world’s thinnest phone. Well, not unless they are willing to go far to get it since it is only available in China. That’s right, the Gionee Elife S5.1 will not launch in the west, but there are always imports if you absolutely must have it.

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The New Alpha Series by Samsung Galaxy

Alpha SamsungAfter a lot of speculation, Galaxy Alpha by Samsung has finally been launched. It is Samsung’s first smartphone that has been made by using premium materials. For now, Alpha stands as a one of a kind in the range available by Samsung. However, it won’t be for long because some device codenames indicate that a new series around the Alpha is in pipeline.

Initially, the Alpha series is supposed to comprise only three devices, having product numbers SM-A300, SM-A500, and SM-A700. These three handsets will cover various price points. It is found safe to presume that Samsung will offer the Alpha brand in different screen sizes as well. While some of these smartphones appear to flaunt a few flagship specifications, it seems as though Samsung would prefer to keep this range a yard behind the flagship cellphones.

One of these products has already appeared on Samsung’s website. It is the SM-A500 phone that has a Full HD screen and runs the 4.4.4 version of the Android Operating System. Having a successful record with its flagship range called the Galaxy S series, Samsung does not want to confuse the new line with the old one. Therefore, even though the new handsets would showcase a premium build, the specifications will always be a little toned down. In that regard, it is probably wise to think of the Alpha range as a new mid-range series from the Korean company.

The first Galaxy Alpha smartphone has been launched this month. However, it is supposed to be rolling out across the globe during the initial few weeks of September. This premium material phone features a metal chassis, which is visible along its flat edges. Also, the rear plate of the phone is made of Samsung’s faux leather plastic. The specifications may appear solid; however, they still aren’t quite dramatically appealing. The phone has a 4.7 inches of the Super AMOLED 720 pixel viewing panel, 12 megapixel rear camera, 32 GB of non-expandable on board storage and an Exynos 5 octa-core 5430 processor with 2GB of RAM. These features, no matter how basic are sure to still serve the purpose for a regular mobile buyer in market, who in deed has very basic expectations from a smartphone.

Not long ago, the new Alpha mobile series were the subject of a circus of rumors, leaks, and speculation. With the facts out on the table now, it appears as though the games are going to make a come-back again.

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Sprint’s Sharp Aquos Crystal to Sweep You off Your Feet

Aquos cellphonesSharp’s first U.S. Aquos-brand smartphone has been launched and is available on the Sprint network now. The phone may not boast an abundance of jazzy specifications but is extremely elegant. The beautiful edge-to-edge screen looks very beautiful and evokes a delightful user response. The phone displays a 5-inch screen and weighs 4.9 ounces. However, it is still not as thin as its specifications make it appear. Also, the LCD screen of the phone has 1280×720 resolution and the phone is indeed thicker than Apple’s iPhone 5S.

Once you have taken a look at the stunning screen, it becomes crystal clear that the Sharp Aquos Crystal is an attractive LTE smartphone. The 8-megapixel main camera and 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera simply doesn’t have a lot of gee-whiz features and therefore the camera specifications do not seem to appeal to the new generation.

The operating system used in the phone is Android 4.2.2 (KitKat), which yields a great user experience. The back of the phone is beautifully curved and is made of hard plastic. For the graphic freaks, the handset promises a slot for a micro-SD card to upgrade the storage space. The weird part in this small machine is that its battery is not removable, which is a rare phenomenon among Android phones.

aquos-crystal-smartphoneSome extremely useful as well as likeable features have been included in this handset by Sprint and Sharp. For instance, you can capture a screenshot of any page such as the home screen, running applications, the browser etc. by simply maneuvering your finger from the upper left hand corner diagonally on the screen. The image thus captured instantly gets stored in the gallery from where you can access it and share it ahead. Adding to the delightful features of this really smart gadget is a feature with which the phone can be put to sleep with a shake and can be woken up by sliding your finger up from just below the bottom edge of the screen. Such great features that require you to simply swipe your fingers across the screen do save the time wasted in clicking and accessing folders to complete a task.

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