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.
As anticipated, Apple has sent out press invites to its next iPhone event, scheduled for September 10th. As Apple typically does, hints of what's to come are foreshadowed in the invite graphic. This time around, it appears that Apple is focusing on the multi-hued iPhone 5C, which we've seen will be available in multiple plastic colors as the entry-level iPhone option. We recently gave you a look at what you can expect both new iPhone models to look like. Of course, we'll have all the details for you live as it happens a week from today.
It's rumored that the iPhone 5S and 5C will go on sale on September 20th, ten days after Apple introduces them.
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
It's widely expected that Apple will take the stage on September 10th to announce its fall smartphone update, including the iPhone 5S and lower-priced iPhone 5C. The iPhone 5S is expected to be available in a new champagne gold color, and we gave you a look at what the gold iPhone 5S should look like. Now, a video has surfaced that shows a black iPhone 5 alongside the rear shell of the white & gold iPhone 5S.
Additionally, a blue iPhone 5C rear casing is also compared, giving us a look at what Apple's iPhone for the budget-minded will look like when it launches next month. All signs are pointing to a September 20th release for Apple's updated fall smartphone line-up.
The iPhone 5S is set to be revealed in two weeks, and being an S-type update, this typically means that Apple has spent time optimizing and maximizing under-the-hood performance of the iPhone that preceded it, in this case, the iPhone 5. The rumor mill says that the next iPhone will sport an A7 processor that is 64-bit and 31% faster than the A6 found in the iPhone 5. What would 64-bit processing do for the iPhone? Well, iOS 7 is intense on things like transparency and other graphical elements, and an optimized 64-bit processor could make those as smooth as butter. That's the benefit of Apple making its own mobile processors:
One of the biggest—if not the biggest—advantages Apple has in not being reliant on merchant silicon (they don’t buy standard application processors designed by others) is that they can customize the A7/A8 etc to exactly fit their own apps / services frameworks, without making generic design compromises.
To see this best, contrast Qualcomm, whose processors will fit in hundreds or thousands of different Android models to Apple, whose A7 will go in to the iPhone, iPad and possibly the iPod and iTV. Because Qualcomm must support so many potential vendor configurations, they are forced to design by the 80/20 rule. Meanwhile, Apple can strip out absolutely everything it doesn’t want on-chip, and add specific things it does, such as DSP or graphics capabilities which iOS is designed to use.
Of course, just because Apple is testing these processors, that doesn't mean that they'll see the light of day in the iPhone 5S. Other rumblings say that the next iPhone will also contain a fingerprint sensor, motion tracking sensor, a camera that supports a 120 FPS slow-motion mode, a gold color option, and possible even a 128GB option as well.
Apple will be releasing the iPhone 5S in black and slate, white and silver, and a new color: white and gold. Pictured above, you can see the coloring of the anodization, being a muted champagne gold color without the white glass plates installed. It's one way to create an external change in the S line of iPhone releases, which is generally all about under-the-hood changes and improvements, while the externals remain the same as the year before. We pretty much know that Apple will be announcing the new iPhone 5S on September 10, with the device launching 10 days later.
What do you think? You interested in the new gold color, or are you sticking with the more traditional variants? Me? I'm going with Anostyle again.
Read More | Weekly Ascii
The Nokia Lumia 1020 boasts a ridiculously large 41-megapixel PureView camera as the standout feature. It's "the largest back side illuminated sensor available on a smartphone." A smartphone needs more than just a great camera though, and Nokia has outfitted the Lumia 1020 with a 4.5-inch 1280 x 768 AMOLED PureMotion HD+ display covered by Gorilla Glass 3, and it sports "super sensitive touch" which allows you to use the phone even while wearing gloves.
The Lumia 1020 includes a wrist strap that you can optionally attach to it, and Nokia will also be selling a Camera Grip that makes the device easier to use as a camera. We're finalizing our Lumia 1020 review, but in the meantime, we've put together our Nokia Lumia 1020 unboxing gallery for you to get up-close and personal with the Windows Phone through pictures.
Gallery: Nokia Lumia 1020 unboxing gallery
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.
Apple has just released iOS 7 beta 6, which can be found in the Developer Portal right now. iOS 7 beta 6 build 11A4449d works with supported iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch models, and is available as an over-the-air update to users already running a previous iOS 7 beta on their devices. If you're already running iOS 7, you can update over-the-air by going into Settings > General > Software Update. Or you can go and grab the necessary download at http://developer.apple.com. Apple originally showed off iOS 7, and released its first beta, at WWDC 2013. The full released will come in the fall.
If you are a paid members of Apple's iOS developer program, here are the links for iOS 7 beta 5 downloads:
- iPad (4th generation Model A1458)
- iPad (4th generation Model A1459)
- iPad (4th generation Model A1460)
- iPad mini (Model A1432)
- iPad mini (Model A1454)
- iPad mini (Model A1455)
- iPad Wi-Fi (3rd generation)
- iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (model for ATT)
- iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (model for Verizon)
- iPad 2 Wi-Fi (Rev A)
- iPad 2 Wi-Fi
- iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G (GSM)
- iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G (CDMA)
- iPhone 5 (Model A1428)
- iPhone 5 (Model A1429)
- iPhone 4S
- iPhone 4 (GSM Rev A)
- iPhone 4 (GSM)
- iPhone 4 (CDMA)
- iPod touch (5th generation)
- Mobile Device Installer Package
iOS 7 beta 6 seems to specifically address an issues with iTunes in the Cloud where some purchases may download or play unexpected items, without much else changing.
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