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The Big Picture: Curiosity takes a ‘belly selfie’ on Mars

You really shouldn’t take selfies from a low angle — it could lead to unflattering images that emphasize double chins, chubby cheeks and big nostrils. That is, unless you’re the Curiosity rover, because it still looks good despite showing its belly in the photo above. This is definitely not the rover’s first self-portrait, but it’s the first one wherein the camera was positioned lower than its body. The image is a composite of 92 photos taken by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) on August 5th as the rover was facing northeast, with Mt. Sharp and the Gale crater visible in the background.

MAHLI is mounted on Curiosity’s robotic arm, which is hidden from the final pic, thanks to its clever positioning. By the way, the photos were captured when the arm reached down to drill into a Martian rock called “Buckskin.” You can see a wider view of the selfie below: the gray areas represent some of the powdered samples the rover collected from the rock for testing.

[Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS]

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NASA (1), (2)

Tags: curiosity, mars, nasa, selfie, space, thebigpicture


Here are the videos you don’t want to miss this week – August 22nd, 2015

oneplus 2 vs oneplus one aa (13 of 27)

Even though the Android world didn’t see a ton of major hardware announcements this week, that doesn’t mean things have been slowing down in the slightest. Amidst Google making Android 6.0 Marshmallow official and Motorola’s next-generation Moto 360 being spotted in the wild multiple times, we’ve still managed to bring you a good amount of video content that you don’t want to miss.

This week we went hands-on and unboxed the new Samsung Galaxy Note 5, in hopes to give you a good look at what the new device offers its users out of the box. We also managed to bring you a OnePlus 2 vs OnePlus One comparison, a number of in-depth reviews and even some insights about what the new Nexus phones might bring to the table.

Without any further ado, let’s take a look at the videos you don’t want to miss this week.

Unboxings and first impressions

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 unboxing & first impressions!

We’ve finally gotten our hands on the brand new Samsung Galaxy Note 5. While we’re finishing up coverage on a few more awesome devices that are in the pipeline, we figured this is a good chance to give you a look at what comes in the Note 5’s box and what we think of the smartphone so far. Take a look at the video above to see what the Note 5 brings to the table.

When flagship killers go head to head

OnePlus 2 vs OnePlus One

Continuing our coverage of the OnePlus 2, we thought it was important to see just how this year’s “flagship killer” compares to last year’s offering. Does the 2 bring enough to the table, or does it fall short of everyone’s high expectations? Check out the video above to see for yourself.


ASUS ZenPad S 8.0 review

ASUS has been known to produce some killer hardware at competitive price points, but the company’s newest tablet offering might bring that to a whole new level. Is the ASUS ZenPad S 8.0 the tablet for you? Check out Krystal’s full review for more information.

Elephone P8000 review

Available now for just $170, the Elephone P8000 boasts some impressive specifications and a beautiful design. With that said, just because the device checks all the right boxes doesn’t mean it can necessarily hang with the best of the best. Check out Bailey’s full review for further elaboration.

CuBox TV review

Even though it may be a tad pricey for some, the CuBox TV is a flexible media player that can run both Android and Linux, and excels at running Kodi. But is this device’s great performance worth the big price tag? Don’t miss Gary’s full review!

Lenovo ThinkCentre Chromebox Tiny review

Chrome OS devices are becoming more and more popular in the crowded computer space, and we’re taking a look at one of the more recent offerings from Lenovo. The Lenovo ThinkCentre Chromebox Tiny might be powerful, but can it replace your current laptop or desktop computer? Bailey offers up his thoughts in our full review.

Battle of the personal voice assistants

Siri vs Google Now vs Cortana

Google Now, Siri and Cortana are all very powerful personal voice assistants, but how do they stand out from each other? Do any of these assistants bring anything interesting to the table? Joe finds out in this lengthy comparison.

Android Apps Weekly

Final Fantasy 7, Humble Bundle and Google Play is ready for Marshmallow – you don’t want to miss Joe’s newest episode of Android Apps Weekly!

Speculation on the next Nexus phones

Can the Nexus brand be reborn?

We might end up seeing two Nexus devices this year, and that’s great news. Not only will this give developers and Android fans more options this time around, but the two rumored OEMs might actually bring some positive vibes back to the Nexus program. Check out Mark’s full written piece below, and don’t miss Jayce’s video overview on the subject.


Selfie reveals a 5MP front-facing camera for the upcoming LG Nexus 5 2015

Google_LG_Nexus 5 (2015)_ Selfie camera_5MP_082215A Google employee has reportedly captured a selfie using the upcoming LG Nexus 5 smartphone. The selfie was uploaded to Google+ earlier today and reveals a 5MP front-facing camera. The post was listed with code name “Bullhead” thus further indicating this is indeed the upcoming LG Nexus handset.

The selfie reveals that the LG Nexus 5 (2015) will have a 5MP snapper 1944 × 2592, and include an aperture of f/2.0 for better low-light photos. The picture is blurred in order to keep the identity of the Google employee hidden. This means that this obviously wasn’t planned to be any sort of teaser for the upcoming handset.

Rumors and recent reports of the handset indicate a late October/early November launch alongside the release of Marshmallow. We can’t wait to see what the two companies have in store for us time come this fall.


Come comment on this article: Selfie reveals a 5MP front-facing camera for the upcoming LG Nexus 5 2015


Samsung’s flagship test drive has gone way better than expected

Samsung_flagships_test drive_sold out_screenshot_082215Yesterday Samsung began a new service to test drive one of its newest flagships for only $1 so long as you live in the U.S. and have an iPhone under contract. Today we are getting a report from Samsung that apparently the test drive went so well, the company is already out of test units.

I’m sure this is just what the company wanted to see. Samsung says the service was more popular than it examined and has promised to add more units to the service shortly. In case you have forgotten here is how the service works:

iPhone users living in the United States can get a brand new Samsung flagship smartphone of their choice for only $1 for 30 days. The smartphone will include a pre-installed sim card for testing purposes. After the 30 day trial ends, users will be given 5 days to return the handset if they don’t like it. If they decide to keep the smartphone, Samsung will send owners a manual containing information on how to easily transfer files from your iPhone to your new Samsung smartphone for easier convenience. As long as the condition of the smartphone is kept to a minimum, users won’t be charged anything additional when handing it back.

Apple seemed to have gained a lot of Android users when switching over to the larger screened iPhones this year and Samsung believes it can win Apple users back over with their new service. If you’re looking to get a test drive, Samsung says the best thing you can do right now is keep checking the page, which can be seen at the source link. From what we have heard so far, the service almost seems to good to be true.

Source: Samsung
Via: PhoneArena

Come comment on this article: Samsung’s flagship test drive has gone way better than expected


Latest Android Marshmallow Developer Preview intros new volume animation

There was much discussion around the changes Google introduced in Android Lollipop to the volume system, and more specifically the volume slider, but putting the confusing system aside, the slider animation itself wasn’t a great experience.

It appears that Google has changed the way things work in the latest Android Marshmallow Developer Preview and now when users hit a volume key, the panel slides into view. The expand icon now does just that and has a full transition from up to down with the rest of the slider folding out.

android m gif volume

It seems Google is taking their own guidance, finally.

Just as the shape of an object indicates how it might behave, watching an object move demonstrates whether it’s light, heavy, flexible, rigid, small or large. In the world of material design, motion describes spatial relationships, functionality, and intention with beauty and fluidity.

It’s the small things that please us, hey Google.

The post Latest Android Marshmallow Developer Preview intros new volume animation appeared first on AndroidGuys.


Moto X Play WILL be launching in the US after all, known as the DROID Maxx 2

There was widespread dismay when Motorola announced that the cheaper Moto X Play wouldn’t be making its way to the US, and that meant missing out on that bigger 3650mAh battery too. Little did we know that Motorola had a trick up its sleeve for the US.

With the Moto X Play now available pretty much everywhere in the world except the US, it turns out Motorola will be launching the DROID Maxx 2 for Verizon Wireless in the US, which is essentially the Moto X Play renamed, and will be priced at $300.

Motorola categorically stated that the Moto X Play wouldn’t be making it to the US, so we can only assume that the DROID Maxx 2 will be exclusive to Verizon.

Will you be picking one of these up? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: Phandroid

The post Moto X Play WILL be launching in the US after all, known as the DROID Maxx 2 appeared first on AndroidGuys.


Motorola’s Moto 360 sequel shows up in the wild

Motorola's Moto 360 sequel in the wild

Motorola hasn’t done the best job of keeping its Moto 360 follow-up a secret, and it doesn’t look like that trend is about to reverse any time soon. Chicago-area observers on Google+ and Reddit have spotted Motorola employees wearing the next-gen Android Wear device out in the open, and their photos appear to confirm at least a few of the leaks and rumors. The wake button is no longer at three o’clock (likely to reduce accidental screen-on time), and the conspicuous lugs give it more of a traditional watch design. However, it seems as if Motorola hasn’t entirely eliminated the 360’s “flat tire” look — this watch might not have a true circular display à la LG. Even it doesn’t, though, it’s evident that Motorola’s next wristwear will be more than just a minor tweak.

[Image credits: Gerrit Gödecke, Google+ (top) / TheGuyWhoRuinedIt, Reddit (bottom)]

Moto 360 sequel in gold hue

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Gerrit Godecke (Google+), Reddit

Tags: androidwear, lenovo, mobilepostcross, moto360, motorola, smartwatch, watch, wearable


Pebble Time app gets a refresh bringing new enhancements to notifications

pebble time gray TAThe Pebble Time is one of the best smartwatches money can buy right now. If Android Wear is not your taste and you want increased battery life, this is the smartwatch for you. This week, Pebble is adding more new features to the smartwatch with an update to its Pebble Time application.

The update is rolling out to Android users now. It will bring many overall improvements such as bug fixes, stability improvements, and more. The most anticipated feature has to do with notifications.

Version 3.3 will include an all new notifications app that lets users do more with their incoming alerts. If a notification hasn’t been dismissed from your smartphone yet, it will sync up with your watch and allow you to carry out a number of new actions. In addition, when you dismiss a notification on your watch, it will dismiss it on your smartphone. Therefore, keeping them both in sync. Users will also get an organized list of their incoming notification history. If you’re a Pebble Time owner this is well worthy update. You can download the update at the link below.

Play Store Download Link

Come comment on this article: Pebble Time app gets a refresh bringing new enhancements to notifications


HTC Motion Launch lets users set different gestures as lock screen shortcuts

Android Apps_HTC_Motion Launch_082215_5HTC’s new Motion Launch application is now available to download in the Play Store. The handy app lets users interact with the display of their select HTC smartphone even when the display is off.

This app allows HTC to supply faster updates without having to push out a full software update. HTC Motion Launch brings new launch settings using gestures. By setting up simple gestures, users can set shortcuts for easily unlocking your device, waking up your device or even opening an application from the lock screen if you’re in a hurry. It’s a fun little app to play around with and can make tasks easier and more joyful. Sadly, it’s only available on select HTC smartphones.

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Play Store Download Link

Come comment on this article: HTC Motion Launch lets users set different gestures as lock screen shortcuts


Samsung Galaxy Note 5 unboxing and first impressions

Samsung unveiled its latest addition to the popular Galaxy Note series a few days ago, and we’ve got our hands on one. We can’t wait to run this device through its paces, but before giving it the full review treatment, here is a quick look at the unboxing, and we give you our first impressions about the Samsung Galaxy Note 5!

More Galaxy Note 5 videos

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Samsung Galaxy Note 5 Unboxing-1

The first thing you’ll notice with the box is that it looks just like the packaging of the Samsung Galaxy S6, with Samsung deciding to do away completely with the fake wood boxes from before, favoring instead a clean, white package with the Galaxy Note 5 branding on the front in big bold letters, along with a list of key specifications on the back.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 Unboxing-6

Opening the box reveals the device in all its glory, wrapped in a plastic sleeve. Underneath is a Quick Start guide and the SIM removal tool that is attached to the plastic tray that houses the phone. Taking out the tray gives you access to the standard microUSB cable, the AC wall charger, extra replacement tips for the S-Pen along with a removal tool, and some very nicely packaged pair of Samsung earphones.

First impressions

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 Unboxing-10

While there has historically been some sort of separation in the look and feel between the flagship Galaxy S series and Galaxy Note line, but this time around, the Galaxy Note 5 basically follows in the steps of the Galaxy S6, with its combination of metal and glass construction. This, of course, means that the back is no longer removable, and takes away the ability to swap batteries, which is even more of a concern given the fact that the battery of the Galaxy Note 5 is slightly smaller than its predecessor.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 Unboxing-11

The change in build quality allows for a fantastic feel in the hand though, and despite featuring a large 5.7-inch display, the device doesn’t feel extremely big or unwieldy. A big contributing factor to the handling experience is the very thin bezels along the sides of the display, making the Note 5 smaller than its predecessor in almost every dimension. The curves along the sides of the back is the difference in design you’ll see from the Galaxy S6, and make the device very comfortable to hold. It does get quite slippery though, and the glass backing is also prone to fingerprints. Overall, Samsung did a fantastic job with the design and build of the Galaxy Note 5, and while the Note series didn’t particularly need the design overhaul like the Galaxy S line did, it’s still a move in the right direction.

samsung galaxy note 5 first look aa (8 of 41)

Going around the device, the power button is on the right, the volume rocker to the left, the SIM card tray up top, and the Micro USB port, speaker, headphone jack, and S-Pen slot at the bottom. One thing you’ll notice is that there isn’t an IR blaster anymore, so you won’t be able to control your TV or other peripherals. On the back is a 16 MP camera, along with a heart rate sensor next to it. This camera sensor is very similar to what is found with the Galaxy S flagships, which are considered one of the best smartphone cameras right now, and more of the same should continue here. Finally, up front is the signature Samsung home button, also integrated with a touch based fingerprint scanner.

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The Galaxy Note 5 comes with the same processing package as the Galaxy S6, but with an additional gigabyte of RAM, and as such, the performance should be as good as it was with its flagship counterpart, if not better, because of the 4 GB of RAM on-board. The Galaxy Note 5 comes with 32 GB or 64 GB of internal storage, with no microSD card slot for expansion, so power users will have to depend on the larger storage version to cover their needs.

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The device comes with a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display with the same Quad HD resolution as seen with its predecessor, and the screen looks absolutely amazing. Samsung somehow manages to offer better and better displays with their flagship smartphones every year, and the Galaxy Note 5 easily features one of the best that we’ve seen on any smartphone.

samsung galaxy note 5 first look aa (13 of 41)

The S-Pen has also been improved in a lot of ways, at both a hardware and software level. The S-Pen ejects from the bottom side now, which is a nice implementation, even though it makes getting the stylus out a little slower, with the additional step required to eject it first, before you can pull it out. The new clicky top on the S-Pen gives it the feel of a traditional pen, and that is something users will enjoy. The Air Command menu returns in a more refined iteration, and while functionality like taking notes, writing on the screen, and more, return, the menu can now house up to two app shortcuts, allowing you to quickly and easily launch these apps. The new screen-off memo is also a very handy feature, if you need to quickly make a note of something, and the device automatically saves the note when the S-Pen put back in its slot.

So there you have it for this quick unboxing and first look at the Samsung Galaxy Note 5! Stay tuned with Android Authority as we continue to bring you more about the Galaxy Note 5, including the comprehensive review, which should be up soon.

samsung galaxy note 5 color comparison (3 of 22)See also: Best Galaxy Note 5 cases156298

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