On Unboxing: Unboxing Live 139: HTC One (M8)

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Samsung Galaxy S5

As expected, Samsung introduced the Galaxy S5 at its Unpacked event on Monday. This time around, the company focused more on the practical hardware features of the smartphone, as opposed to the bell-and-whistle show we got with the Galaxy S4--we're talking about faster connectivity, a great display, durable build, and camera features that anyone can appreciate.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 packs in a 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with 1080p resolution, with a 2.5GHz quad-core CPU, and running Android 4.4.2 KitKat. The battery in the device hold 2800mAh of power, and it's paired alongside a "Super Power Save" mode that'll turn off battery-draining features and turn the display black-and-white in instances where you absolutely want to stretch out your battery life for as long as you can.

Click to continue reading Samsung Galaxy S5 specs and release date


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Samsung Galaxy S4

It looks like Samsung is set to announce its new Galaxy S5 smartphone at the Samsung Unpacked 5 event on February 24th. It was previously expected that the Galaxy S5 would be announced at Mobile World Congress, similar to the S4 last year, but perhaps Samsung wants to churn out a new model a bit quicker this year.

Recent reports suggest that Samsung will align its Android devices a bit more closely with Google's vision, rather than in the grandiose fashion they've used in the past, focusing on superfluous features that weren't that exciting or usable in the real world. Of course, Samsung isn't saying anything, keeping the cat in the bag until February 24th.


Moto X Black and White

Now that the Moto X has landed on Verizon and AT&T, Sprint is up next to launch the customizable smartphone from Motorola. Sprint will have the Moto X for $199.99 with the typical two-year contract, but for a limited time, customers switching over a number from a competing carrier will get $100 off the price instantly, making the phone just $99.99. Sprint will offer the Moto X in woven black and white, with support for the highly-customizable Moto Maker versions coming later.


Samsung Galaxy note 3

At today's Unpacked event, Samsung announced its new S Pen-powered Galaxy Note 3, a bigger version of the large smartphone, with much improved internals. Aiming to end the talk of people complaining about the cheap plastic feel of Samsung devices, the company has given the Note 3 a faux-leather backing. You get a 5.7-inch 1080p display (up from 5.5 on the Note 2,) and the device will support the new LTE Category 4 as well as the new Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch. You get a 13 megapixel camera on back, with a 2 megapixel version up front, and the rear camera can record in up to 4K resolution at 30fps, a first for a smartphone. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will start shipping on September 25th rocking Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, available in black, white, and pink.


Galaxy S 4 Android 4.4

If you're rocking a Samsung Galaxy S III or Galaxy S 4 and are wondering when you'll be able to get in on the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update, today's Unpacked event made it clear that the software is coming to your handheld sometime during the month of October, around the same time as the update that will enable Galaxy Gear functionality. No word on when Android 4.4 KitKat will be made available.


Android 4.4 KitKat

Google Android (and Chrome) head Sundar Pichai has announced the next version of Android: KitKat. Yep - Android 4.4 will be known as KitKat, a name Google got the rights to use in partnership with Nestle, and continues the tradition of Android versions being named after sweet confections. While Google had been using the name "Key Lime Pie" internally for Android 4.4, "very few people actually know the taste of key lime pie," according to Android director of partnerships John Lagerling. Not sure why that matters, but obviously KitKat is a bigger marketing play.

No new features of KitKat have been announced just yet, but at least we know the name, and have a new Android icon with integrated chocolatey KitKat goodness integrated in.

Google is currently running a promotion that lets buyers of specially-marked KitKat packs to have a chance to win a free Nexus 7 or some Google Play credit.

Read More | Google Android KitKat 4.4

Google Nexus 4

With Apple expected to release the lower-cost iPhone 5C next month, Google has just cut the price of the Nexus 4, dropping it to $199 for the 8GB model without contract--that's $100 less than it cost just a day ago. If you prefer the 16GB version, you can get that one for $249. These prices are a steal for the Nexus 4, which is widely seen as the best current Android smartphone, even thought it lacks LTE. This is a much more inexpensive way to get the pure Google experience in a smartphone than it would be to buy the Google Play editions of the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S 4. The price cut is now live in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Korea, the United States, and the UK.

Read More | Google Nexus 4

HTC One Mini

The HTC One Mini has finally been given a release date, and you can get your hands on the 4.3-inch version of what we deemed the best current-generation Android smartphone in just four days on August 23rd. The HTC One Mini boasts a 720p display, 1.4GHz dual-core SnapDragon 400 processor, 1GB RAM, 4-megapixel UltraPixel camera, 1,800mAh battery, and runs Android 4.2 out of the box. You'll have to be an AT&T customer for the priviledge, and you'll need to be willing to drop $99 and sign a two-year contract to make it all happen.


Chromecast

Well, the rumors were correct on the mysterious device that momentarily showed up on Google's support page. The Chromecast is a media dongle that allows you to sling web content the web and cloud-stored content, using a smartphone or Chrome browser as a remote control. It's a bummer that it still doesn't have the ability to stream or mirror content stored on the device like Apple's AirPlay, but hey, for $35, we can't complain.

Click to continue reading Google Chromecast media streaming dongle goes on sale for $35, Netflix promo yanked

Read More | Google

ChromeCast

 


A few eagle-eyed Google support page visitors spotted a mysteriously unknown device dubbed Chromecast. It has since been removed from the site, as if it never existed. Luckily, someone took a screenshot for posterity. There are no concrete details of what it actually is. However, there is some speculation of it being an HDMI dongle streaming device for TVs, while websites like Droid Life say it might be a Apple AirPlay-like feature to sling content from a Cromebook to the TV. Hopefully, the mystery will be solved at today's Google event. In the meantime, let the speculation continue.

Read More | Droid Life

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