A little over a year ago, Samsung released the Galaxy Camera, a mash-up of Android and a point-and-shoot (see our Samsung Galaxy Camera video review.) Today, the company is announcing Galaxy Camera 2, a more refined version that's been tweaked to highlight the things customers loved most about the original.
As expected, the Galaxy Camera 2 is faster and more powerful, sporting a quad-core 1.6 GHz processor (up from the dual-core 1.4 GHz chip found in the original) and 2 GB RAM (similar to the original.) Samsung has also increased the battery capacity from 1650 mAh to 2000 mAh, almost a 33% increase.
Now brighter, faster, and smarter than ever—choose from over 25 apps and launch a whole new world of mobile gameplay. Sphero, our next 2013 Holiday Gift Guide entry, turns your surroundings into a video game with augmented reality and an endless array of ways to play. Powered by induction charging and an internal smart robot, Sphero glows in millions of colors and is pet-proof, waterproof, and ready for any adventure. This is one of the gifts that can be seen as the height of coolness.
You can pick up the Orbotix Sphero 2.0 now from Amazon for $129.99, saving 10%.
Read More | Kid Puzzle Dinner Tray
If you want a better handle on the indoor conditions of your home, peep our next 2013 Holiday Gift Guide entry, the Neatmo Urban Weather Station. So, just how much damage did you do to your family's lungs with that batch of really burnt holiday cookies? The Neatmo weather station doesn't just assess the temperature outside your home, it also measures indoor air quality, humidity, and carbon dioxide level. A mobile app lets you monitor your house remotely and get alerts when something is amiss. Knowledge is power.
You can pick up the Neatmo Urban Weather Station now from Amazon for $179.
Read More | Neatmo Weather Station
We open up the HTC One Mini in this episode - the smaller version of one of our favorite Android devices, the HTC One. I give you a look at the differences between the HTC One and the One Mini, including its smaller 4.3-inch 720p display, dual-core SnapDragon 400 processor, and build quality.
You can pick up the HTC One Mini for a penny on Amazon.
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They say music is the universal language, and as music lovers ourselves, we think it's one of the best gifts that you can give, and we're putting it in our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide. Rather than grabbing an iTunes gift card, or worse, a random CD from the bargain bin, we recommend hitting your loves ones up with Rdio gift subscriptions. Why? It allows the user unlimited access to the entire Rdio music streaming catalog. That means on-demand access to millions of tracks from the web, iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, and even your Sonos system. Rdio costs $9.99 per month for full access. We love it--check out Gear Live on Rdio!
We are giving away three 3-month subscriptions to Rdio to our readers as well! To enter, all you need to do is:
- Follow Gear Live on Twitter
- Tweet the following message: "Hey @GearLive - hook me up with that free @Rdio subscription! http://gear.lv/SEjTdi" (Click here to tweet this now!)
Good luck to all entrants, and be sure to look through the rest of our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide for more giveaways!
Read More | Rdio
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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