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5
Sep

ZTE moves up to fourth largest smartphone brand in the U.S.


ZTE_marketshare_united states_ Q2 2015_090515Selling good smartphones at an affordable price point is becoming more and more common among Chinese manufactures. Many in which are making a name for themselves. By selling a smartphone at a lower price point and still managing to compete with high-end rival brands, why not buy it?

Over the past quarter, ZTE has managed to slip into fourth place of the U.S. market-share containing 8% of all shipments. This is up 4.2% from the first quarter of 2014. Even though the company doesn’t profit much off the handsets it sells, it’s clearly a strategy that is worth keeping. There is still a large sum of people out there who carry a phone to make calls and receive texts who don’t care if they have the latest and greatest Samsung Galaxy smartphone. This is where ZTE has been able to achieve success. The truth is, if people want to buy an expensive high-end smartphone they want to stand out in the crowd and most of the time ZTE isn’t the company that comes to mind first.

By keeping a strategy of only marketing low to mid range handsets, ZTE has clearly found a spot for itself. Let’s see if the company can keep the momentum rolling next quarter.

Source: Bloomberg

Come comment on this article: ZTE moves up to fourth largest smartphone brand in the U.S.

5
Sep

Lenovo YOGA Tablet 3 Pro hands-on and first look


Lenovo recently took the wraps off its newest additions to the popular YOGA Tablet line, the YOGA Tablet 3 and Tablet 3 Pro. Both devices aim to provide users with an equal mix of multimedia and productivity features as they have in the past, but the company’s higher-end offering, the YOGA Tablet 3 Pro, comes with a few additional features that may be worth your while.

Join us as we go hands-on and take an early look at the newest high-end device from Lenovo, the YOGA Tablet 3 Pro.

The latest from Lenovo

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As is the case with other tablets in the company’s YOGA line, the Tablet 3 Pro features a design that’s pretty out of the ordinary. The majority of the tablet is extremely thin, with the battery, speakers and built-in kickstand all being housed on one side. The built-in kickstand is somewhat of a staple in the YOGA line, and it provides an easy way to prop up the tablet at various angles.

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This protruding side of the device doesn’t just house the kickstand, though. The Tablet 3 Pro also comes with a built-in projector that can rotate up to 180 degrees, based upon how the tablet is standing. The company’s YOGA Tablet 2 Pro also featured a projector, though it was built in to the side of the device which made it quite awkward to navigate around the tablet when projecting something onto a screen. Lenovo has fixed this issue with the Tablet 3 Pro, as the projector is now built in to the top of the tablet, allowing you to project an image on the wall in front of you.

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It’s capable of projecting a 70-inch picture at 480p resolution and can achieve a brightness of 50 nits. Of course, this isn’t the most powerful projector on the market, but that doesn’t really matter. The added benefit of having a projector built in to a tablet will likely be a big selling point among users, especially when it comes to consuming media like Netflix or Hulu.

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The YOGA Tablet 3 Pro sports a 10.1-inch IPS LCD display with an impressive resolution of 2560 x 1600. Underneath the surface you’ll find a quad-core Intel Atom x5-Z8500 processor with 2GB of RAM, which should definitely be strong enough to navigate through gaming, multitasking and more. The tablet also comes in 16 and 32GB options, with microSD expansion up to an additional 64GB. It’s also IP21 certified for splash proofing, and comes with a big 10200mAh battery that should be able to power the tablet for some time.

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There’s no doubt that the YOGA Tablet 3 Pro is a premium device through and through. It feels like a quality product in the hand thanks to its faux leather back plate and metallic construction, but like other YOGA tablets, it’s still pretty awkward to hold. The kickstand gets in the way at times, but that’s to be expected with a tablet that has one big protruding side.

A 13MP camera can be found on the back of the device, and a 5MP shooter is found up front. It also has front-facing JBL speakers that sport Dolby Atmos 3D Surround Sound technology, which actually helps to provide really great sound quality.

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On the software front, this tablet runs Android 5.1 Lollipop with just a few minimal customizations from Lenovo. Most notably, you’ll find Lenovo customizations in the recent applications screen, notification dropdown menu and icons. Other than that, this tablet is pretty light when it comes to extra features and customizations.

So there you have it – a first look at the Lenovo YOGA Tablet 3 Pro! This device will be available for purchase on November 1st starting at $499. Be sure to let us know what you think in the comment section below!

5
Sep

New leaked renders show Nokia C1 Android phone


At one time, Nokia was regarded as the gold standard for mobile phones. They were incredibly reliable and incredibly durable. Don’t believe me? Just google search Nokia memes.

Nokia

Now Nokia is known for making mobile devices for the pretty lackluster Windows mobile platform. But fear not, apparently Nokia is getting back in the game. Late last year our own Jalen Benjamin reported on a blurry leaked concept render of an Android phone called the C1.

The Nokia C1

The Nokia C1 may be Nokia’s next Android smartphone in early 2015.

Nokia was quick to come out and say that it was only a concept. After all, they have a non-compete clause in their partnership with Microsoft after selling them their mobile phone division. That clause expires at the end of the year.

There is also a rumor that they’ll go the route of their Android tablet the N1, which they designed, but had another manufacturer build. Apparently there is a loophole in their contract with Microsoft. They are only forbidden from manufacturing mobile devices.

Yesterday a C1 render was leaked on a Chinese Twitter-like site.

Nokia C1

The device appears to be very thin and the body is very reminiscent of the iPhone 6 and 6+. The screen has minimal bezels and appears to be a unibody construction.

If previous rumors are to be believed then it will debut with a 5″ 720p screen, an 8mp rear facing camera, a 5mp front facing camera, 2GB RAM, and an Intel Atom processor. Of course that would put it right smack dab in the lower mid-range budget smartphone market. That is if rumors are to be believed.

There’s not much more to be gleaned at this point, but here’s to hoping that we’ll see another bullet proof Nokia phone, this time running Android.

What do you think? Do you like the render? Would you consider buying this phone? Let us know in the comments below.

The post New leaked renders show Nokia C1 Android phone appeared first on AndroidGuys.

5
Sep

Leatherman’s multi-tool bracelet is 29 kinds of dysfunctional


Hey guys, remember paracord bracelets? Those were cool for a hot second, right? I mean, strapping 20 feet of intricately woven, high-tensile rope to your wrist “just in case” seemed like such a good idea at the time. The trouble is that for an overwhelming majority of their wearers, those “just in case” moments never actually materialized and the bracelets simply became man jewelry for the Eddie Bauer crowd. Leatherman’s new Tread tool-bracelet is just as bad, except instead of a length of rope you’ve convinced yourself you need, it’s a ring of tiny, useless tools.

The Tread attempts to pack the versatility of a 29-tool set into a single $165 stainless steel bracelet ($220 for one with a black finish). Included are eight sizes of screwdriver (both flat and Phillips); six sizes of box wrench (and one oxygen tank wrench because you’re clearly James Bond); eight types of hex drivers; a square driver; a socket driver; and various miscellany like a SIM card pick, cutting hook, carbide glass breaker and, of course, bottle opener. That’s a lot of tools, to be sure, but there’s a pretty severe size limit as to what you can use them on.

Remember that exercise bike desk from a few months back? Not one of the Tread’s hex wrenches was large enough to fit around even the smallest of bolts. Same goes for my road bike: While some of the hex drivers did fit, I spent far more time looking for a properly sized tool than I did actually using it. And don’t think you’re going to be prying old screws and bolts out of anything with it. The design of the Tread relegates it to strictly light duty. The moment you add elbow grease, the bracelet links torque and twist.

The lack of a handle also severely limits the amount of force you can apply. Using the screwdrivers is especially infuriating. You can’t set the head into the screw and simply twist in one direction. No, you’ve got to set the head, twist a half turn, pull away, reset the head, twist again and so on. So a task that takes 10 seconds with a regular screwdriver takes about 45 seconds with the Tread.

As a fashion accessory, the Tread also fell disappointingly short. With all of the tools attached, this thing is gigantic — eight and a half inches around, all told, and weighing nearly six ounces. I found I could easily slide the Tread on and off my wrist without actually unbuckling the clasp. And I do not have small hands by any stretch of the imagination.

And while the Tread is adjustable, allowing the wearer to remove rarely used links and reduce the bracelet’s circumference, you’ll need a separate screwdriver to do so. A separate screwdriver. For your tool bracelet. Which features eight different screwdrivers. It’s also quite jangly; oh man, does it make a lot of noise when worn. Of course, if you’ve just blown all that cash on a wearable toolbox to show off how rugged you are, the racket it makes might actually be more of a selling point.

In the end, you’re left with a gaudy, expensive piece of man jewelry that can barely accomplish its own selling points. After a day of it constantly falling off my wrist, the Tread was relegated to the same backpack pocket where the rest of my tools reside. And if it’s in a pocket instead of on your wrist, it’s about as useful in a pinch as the paracord bracelet you replaced with it.

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Filed under:
Wearables

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Tags: engadgetirl, IRL, jewelry, leatherman, leathermantread, tread

5
Sep

The 5 best wearables from IFA 2015


Wearables playing a big role at major trade shows isn’t a surprise, and neither is the fact that most of the ones we’ve seen at IFA 2015 are smartwatches. Samsung, Motorola and TomTom all introduced new timepieces this week, while Huawei finally revealed pricing details for the Watch it announced earlier this year in Barcelona. Aside from TomTom’s Spark and Samsung’s Gear S2, the other smartwatches on this list are powered by Android Wear, with prices ranging from $299 to $799 — although Motorola and Samsung have kept some info to themselves. Either way, join us as we recap the wearables that stood out here in Berlin, Germany.Slideshow-317285

Check out all the news from Berlin at our IFA 2015 hub.

Filed under:
Misc, Peripherals, Wearables, Samsung

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Tags: hands-on, IFA, IFA2015, samsung, smartwatch, smartwatches, wearables

5
Sep

Lenovo PHAB Plus Hands on First Look


Smartphones are getting bigger and while phone with 5.5-inches were once known as phablets, the size has quickly become the norm. With this in mind, Lenovo is aiming to reinvent the phablet with the PHAB Plus but does it succeed? Let’s find out.

Lenovo-Phab-Plus-Hands-On-AA-(16-of-18)

The key standout feature on the Lenovo PHAB Plus is the incredibly large 6.8-inch Full HD display that offers a modest 324 pixels per inch density. At 229 grams, it’s certainly not the lightest smartphone in the world but the weight distribution makes the PHAB Plus feel considerably lighter than it actually is.

Lenovo claims that the handset design is “optimized for one handed use” which is certainly a bold claim given the size and, for the most part, this is definitely a phone you’ll use with two hands. However, it does have a cool software trick that lets you shrink the display to a much more manageable smaller display that is comfortable to use with one hand.

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Measuring just 7.6mm thin, the metal unibody design of the PHAB Plus feels premium and for the most part, the experience delivers. The handset is powered by an octa-core 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 with 2GB RAM and 32GB internal storage that can be expanded using a microSD card slot.

On the back the Lenovo PHAB Plus has a 13MP rear camera with dual LED true-tone flash, while the front 5MP snapper should be good for selfies. The whole package is powered by a modest 3500 mAh battery that Lenovo claim should last an entire day and with dual SIM support, you’re able to use two SIM cards on LTE at the same time.

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The PHAB Plus runs on Android 5.0 Lollipop and, just like you’ll find with its other recent devices, Lenovo has decided to keep the software experience as close to vanilla Android as possible. As a result, the performance is certainly slick and there should be no performance concerns with the PHAB Plus.

The term phablet was first coined to describe the large screen devices but as 5.5-inches has become the norm in the industry, the term phablet has ceased to become relevant. When planning the PHAB Plus, Lenovo said to us that they wanted to create an experience that served the middle ground between 6-inch smartphones that are very expensive and underpowered 7-inch tablets that are very cheap.

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At a cost of $299, the company has certainly delivered on this claim and while many may think that the 6.8-inch display is too big for day-to-day use and phone calls, it’s worth remembering that the way we use our phones is changing. As Lenovo put it to us:

Smartphones are rarely used for phone calls so why does it need to be small so it’s comfortable to hold against your face?

And there you have it for our first quick look at the massive Lenovo PHAB Plus. What do you think of Lenovo’s new phablet-sized monster? Let us know your views in the comments below guys and don’t forget to check out all our great IFA 2015 coverage.

5
Sep

Recommended Reading: The story behind Google’s new logo


Recommended Reading highlights the best long-form writing on technology and more in print and on the web. Some weeks, you’ll also find short reviews of books that we think are worth your time. We hope you enjoy the read.

Evolving the Google Identity
by Alex Cook, Jonathan Jarvis and Jonathan Lee
Google Design

Google grabbed the internet’s attention earlier this week with a brand-new logo. With a design that’s quite a departure from the previous mark, the company has its eye on the future in more ways than one. Here’s a look behind the scenes at the finer details of the new logotype.

Stephen Colbert, the Late Night Hope
Dave Itzkoff, The New York Times

This piece offers a look at the pre-show prep as Colbert makes the transition from Comedy Central to the Late Show this month.

Nextbit Robin: The Design Story
Vlad Savov, The Verge

The Verge catches up with former HTC design chief Scott Croyle to discuss his latest effort, a “cloud-first, design-first smartphone.”

GameStop’s Precipitous New Software Decline
Matt Matthews, Gamasutra

Betting on GameStop’s eventual demise? You might be waiting for a while. The company has continued to tread water despite declining software sales.

Coke Tales: A ‘Narcos’ Reading List for When Your Netflix Supply Finally Runs Out
Jason Concepcion, Grantland

This reading list ought to occupy your time between the first and second seasons of Netflix’s Narcos.

[Image credit: Carl Court/Getty Images]

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Tags: design, gamestop, google, logo, narcos, nextbit, recommendedreading, recreading, stephencolbert

5
Sep

Alcatel OneTouch unveils another 2 phones, a tablet and WiFi connected devices (IFA 2015)


alcatel onetouch idol 3 aa 11

No way is Alcatel done unveiling devices. Last Thursday they showed us a bunch of new mobile products and today they are back with another two handsets, a tablet and a couple of new WiFi boxes. The company’s popularity is growing fast, and so is their portfolio. Want to learn all about these new products? Let’s jump into all the details.

Alcatel OneTouch Pixi First

Alcatel is not giving us the full set of specs just yet, so we can’t dig too deep into the device, but this is looking to be a pretty good affordable handset. This specific device is aimed towards emerging markets, so let’s not get too picky with it and see it for what it is.

With that said, this happens to not such a bad option for casual users. It comes with a “powerful” 1.2 GHz quad-core processor and 3G+ speeds. And this handset won’t leave you hanging mid-day, as it sports a battery that can offer 300 hours of standby time and 7 hours of talk time.

alcatel-onetouch-pixi-first

On the front side of the smartphone we have a 4-inch display and a 2 MP camera. Turn the smartphone around and you will find its modest 5 MP shooter, along with the handy LED flash. The design is pretty basic, mostly consisting of plastic and glass, but the phone does tout a 9.7 mm profile, which is something Alcatel claims to be among the thinnest in this size range.

Alcatel OneTouch Pixi 3 (10-inch)

Not liking the smaller Pixi 3 tablets? Alcatel OneTouch has decided to bring forth a larger one, measuring in at 10 inches. This new pad is available in both 3G or WiFi options. In addition, it runs Android 5.0 Lollipop. There’s no details on the rest of the specs, but we can expect these to go right in line with its smaller 7-inch and 8-inch brothers, which both carry mid-end components.

alcatel-onetouch-pixi-3-10

Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3C

The Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 has been a hit in the USA, thanks to its great value and fair specs. But what about those of you who like the phone but still want something a bit more affordable? In comes the Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3C.

This gadget features a 5.5-inch display and a very similar design when compared o the Idol 3, except for an obvious change in materials and colors. The Idol 3C is available in white, red, green, pink and yellow, so there’s something for everyone here.

alcatel-onetouch-idol-3c

In addition, users can enjoy the 13 MP main camera, 8 MP front shooter, JBL-powered dual front-facing speakers and an octa-core processor (likely the same Snapdragon 615 chip found on the Idol 3) that should take care of all your needs.

4G Car WiFi and WiFi Music Box

How about some connected devices? Smartphones and tablets are fun, but they are not everything. These cool accessories complete the equation perfectly. Today Alcatel OneTouch is announcing a couple of products that will keep your vehicle online and your home more musical.

The first one is the 4G Car WiFi. This is a simple dongle that plugs into your car’s cigarette lighter and connects up to 15 devices at once (if you can fit that many users in your vehicle). It even has a connector for charging devices via USB.

alcatel wifi devices

Meanwhile, the WiFi Music Box is a neat accessory that plugs into any speakers in your home. After setting up, users can play DJ from any smartphone or tablet. The system allows for playing music in multiple rooms, or setting different moods in each one of them.

Availability

We are told USA pricing and availability will be announced later in Q4. Us Americans will be out of luck with the Alcatel OneTouch Pixi First, though. That phone is only headed to an exclusive list of emerging markets. Bummer. As for the boxes, the 4G Car WiFi will be available this October in Europe, while the WiFi Music Box will launch globally during the same month.

Are you guys thinking of getting any of these, though? I am personally considering the WiFi Music Box!

 

5
Sep

Sony reminds us how fast 0.03 seconds really is



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Sony announced its latest flagship smartphone, the Sony Xperia Z5, this week at IFA 2015 and the primary focus of the device (no pun intended) was its new camera – specifically the 23 MP Exmor RS camera which features a new hybrid autofocus that Sony calls the fastest autofocus on any smartphone right now. If we quantify it, the autofocus takes only 0.03 seconds to focus on something, but of course, it’s quite hard to visualize exactly how fast that is – don’t worry though, because thanks to their latest infographic, Sony reminds us how fast 0.03 seconds really is.

In a number of examples which include how fast light travels, how many times a bee’s wings flap, or even how photos of a blink you can take, the infographic tries to give some examples of just how fast the autofocus is – check out the infographic below:

Sony reminds us how fast 0.03 seconds really is


If that image is a bit too small, you can get to the original Sony blog post here. We’ll have to wait and see just how good the camera is when the phone starts reaching people’s hands, but whether the Xperia Z5 is going to be the one to turn around the situation at Sony remains to be seen.

What do you think about the Sony Xperia Z5? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Source: Sony Mobile

The post Sony reminds us how fast 0.03 seconds really is appeared first on AndroidSPIN.

5
Sep

ICYMI: Coral protector bot, non-ugly wearable glasses & more


ICYMI: Coral Protector Bot, Non-Ugly Wearable Glasses and More

Today on In Case You Missed It: The nation’s largest vision insurance company, VSP, is beta-testing wearable health-tracking glasses and somehow they don’t even look ridiculous. An autonomous robot submarine is patrolling coral reefs and killing the starfish that normally eat coral, to preserve the reef. (So many conflicting feelings, amirite?) And MIT researchers are back with another 3D printer to blow your mind. This one is machine-vision enabled, meaning it can scan as it prints and correct itself.

We’re also covering some of the biggest stories of the week but if you only have time for one, read up on how easy baby monitors are to hack.

If you come across any interesting videos, we’d love to see them. Just tweet us with the #ICYMI hashtag @engadget or @mskerryd.

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Tags: 3Dprint, 3Dprinter, AIrobot, Coral, coralreef, coralreefrobot, engadget, engadgetdaily, engadgetdailyshow, engadgetvideo, facebook, icymi, InCaseYouMissedIt, MIT, ProjectGenesis, robotsubmarine, video, VSPglasses, wearableglasses

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