It’s been a week since International CES in Las Vegas, Nevada. I was taking a look back on what the “WOW factor” was for me, and the Ascend Mate 2 4G from Huawei stood out.
Samsung has been the biggest name in the Android device arena when it comes to smartphones, especially when it comes to bigger displays. Huawei has designed a device that can easily compete with Samsung’s Note series and give them a run for their money.
When first getting my hands on the Ascend Mate 2 4G, I was automatically drawn in by the display. Usually a bigger screen doesn’t do much for me, but a 6.1” display will grab your attention, especially since I’m an iPhone 5S (4” display) user. When playing around with the handset and talking with the Huawei rep, the first feature she pointed out was the 4050 mAh battery that gives you up to 60 hours of battery life. A power user can go up to 12 hours of display with data access. This is perfect for the majority of us who live on our smartphone. Not to mention you’re even able to charge another device right from smartphone as well. Perfect for topping off Bluetooth accessories, etc. Read more
Smartwatch maker Pebble has put out a little teaser of “something special” to be announced at CES 2014. There were no hints if it would be some new hardware, or maybe something more elaborate to their new app store. Either way, we will be waiting to hear all about it. For those of you who want to get the news in real time, they will be live streaming the announcement at GetPebble.com. The event is slated for January 6, 2014 at 11am PT.
We are expecting lots of new product announcements from CES 2014, but Lenovo has announced four new smartphones just a few days ahead of CES. The smartphones from Lenovo all run Android, and bear the following model names: Vibe Z, S930, S650, and the A859. All run on Android 4.2 except the Vibe Z, which runs Android 4.3. Screen size also varies between devices, with the smallest at 4.7″ to the largest at a large 6.0″ screen.
All seem like some very good Android devices, but none are currently available for sale in the U.S. Check out the links above to get more details on the devices.
Lenovo will be setting up shop at the AquaKnox Restaurant in the Venetian during CES, and we will be there to check out all of their latest and greatest products. Stay tuned over the next week for updates.
Remember how crappy WhatsApp security is and the developers really don’t seem to care? Once again the lack of an encrypted WhatsApps database leads to a game, stealing conversations and selling them. All the user needed was your phone number if you had both WhatsApp and Balloon Pop 2 installed.
Balloon Pop 2 was removed from the Google Play store once it was discovered that a for a fee anyone could grab a copy of the users WhatsApp conversation.
The apps website listed the game as a way to “backup” your WhatsApp conversations but the real reason is to spy on someone. It is pretty easy to get someone to install a game and then you have access to their WhatsApp conversations. All the person who wanted access to your private conversation had to do was visit the WhatsAppCopy website, enter your phone number and pay a fee.
If you have this game I suggest you delete it ASAP. If you want any more info on this issue check out the article written by Graham Cluley via this link. A friendly reminder, anything you do on the Internet isn’t private.
Spotify, which has been one of my goto sources for music, is planning on moving their computer based offerings to mobile devices. Spotify has offered mobile access but for a monthly fee. The Wall Street Journal is reporting they will be offer a mobile version, ad supported, at no cost, much like the computer based version.
If this all pans out Spotify mobile users will be able to enjoy unlimited radio style listening based off their likes, much like Pandora and some access to songs on demand. Licensing the songs on demand is what took almost a year to achieve. Rights holders and Spotify had to come up with a formula to pay for the music but still make a profit. Which can be tricky in this industry.
Currently Spotify has 6 million paying subscribers and 20 million active users, with a library topping 20 million songs. We will know more next week when Spotify holds their official event in New York.
This is a smart move for Spotify with the introduction of so many competitors such as iTunes Radio and Google’s Play Music, they need a competitive edge to pull in listeners.
If you want to check out Spotify’s offerings follow the appropriate link below. We will follow-up after the press announcement next week.
iPhone / iPad
Google Play Music finally arrived for iOS. I was happy with Apple’s iTunes Match and the features it provided but not the price.
iTunes Match ($24.99/ per year) allows access to your music library from iTunes on your computer or in the Music app on your iOS device. After using iTunes Match for a year, I found that I didn’t take advantage of the service enough to justify the expense. When it was time to renew I went back to manually syncing music from my computer.
I decided to give Google Play Music a shot, mostly because it is free and provided some great features. Right after installing I was impressed with the user interface and the layout of the app. Read more
Between now and January 4th students can go to their local Best Buy or Best Buy Mobile store and get a year of free talk, text, and 1 GB of data. All that is required is that students purchase a new Smart phone or regular phone and activate a new line of service with a Sprint Unlimited My Way plan. Customers will have to pay for the phone and a one-time $36 activation fee. Monthly taxes and surcharges still apply as well. This promotion offers a savings of up to $70 a month, is available only at Best Buy, and only on the Sprint Network.
As mentioned before the plan includes unlimited talk and text and 1 GB of data for smart phones or unlimited talk and text for basic phones. Sprint also does not require a 2 year agreement on Students’ lines. If you think that 1 GB of data is not enough for you unlimited data can be added easily for only $10 a month. Students can also trade in their existing mobile phone for a phone on the new plan.
Let’s talk candy, not Candy Crush (I will block you) but CandyShell Grip from Speck. Speck a company I’ve come to love has come a long way since first starting in the smartphone industry. Speck has delivered many different styles of cases over the years like the CandyShell series, SmartFlex series, Pixelskin series and Fabshell series.
My favorite case of Speck’s at the moment is their CandyShell Grip series. If you’re a big time gamer and want great protection you’ll find the CandyShell Grip will handle your needs.
Since being introduced to the CandeyShell Grip, it’s been hard for me to use other cases. For starters, the rubber grip structure eliminates the slipperiness helping prevent you from dropping your phone. Not to mention the case has all-around protection from a raised bezel which keeps your screen safe and it also has rubberized cover shield buttons.
The CandyShell Grip comes in several different colors, so it’s quite easy to find one that fits your lifestyle. The CandyShell Grip costs $34.95 and comes with a one-year warranty.
If you don’t have an iPhone 5 don’t worry, the CandyShell Grip is available for other smartphones as well. Look below to see if your device makes the cut.
- iPhone 4/ 4S / 5
- Nokia Lumia 920, 1020
- Motorola Droid ULTRA
- HTC One, One X, One X+
- HTC Windows Phone 8X
- Sony Xperia TL
- Motorola Droid Maxx
- Samsung Galaxy S IV
You can check out the full line up via this link.
Sprint is adding some color to their Galaxy S IV line-up with “Purple Mirage”. Currently Sprint has the Galaxy S IV available in Black Mist and White Frost.
The Galaxy S IV in Purple Mirage will cost $199.99 with a new qualifying agreement. The Galaxy S IV is powered by Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean) and has a 5-inch full HD Super AMOLED display.
Other features include:
- 1.9 GHz quad-core processor
- 13 megapixel rear-facing camera
- 2 megapixel front-facing camera
- 16 GB internal memory (9GB available)
- 2 GB of RAM
- 2,600 mAh Lithium Ion Battery
It’s nice to see Sprint adding a little color to their line-up, if you’re interested in getting your hands on the “Purple Mirage” Galaxy S IV head to Sprint store near you or check it out on line at www.Sprint.com.
I just picked up the 16GB Galaxy S4 a few days ago and was shocked at it only having 9,15GB of storage available and lacking the ability to move apps to the SDCard. It actually had me thinking I was going to return the device.
Today comes good news that Samsung is addressing a list of issues that have cropped up in the S4. With this new update, you will have the ability to move apps from device storage onto the SDCard freeing up valuable space and adding flexibility. The update has dropped in Germany and should be hitting other S4 devices soon.
- New Camera firmware
- Smearing issue has been fixed (Purple effect while scrolling)
- Smart Pause Toggle
- Move Apps to SD Card
- HDR Video (Can record HDR video)
- Semi-transparent status bar
- New Icons in Settings
- Secure boot status (About Phone)
- Increase legibility (Display) (New feature)
We will let you know when the update hits the U.S.