Phandroid » Events http://phandroid.com Android Phone News, Rumors, Reviews, Apps, Forums & More! Thu, 30 Oct 2014 17:20:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 HTC RE: $199 GoPro alternative to easily capture life’s special moments [VIDEO] http://phandroid.com/2014/10/08/htc-re-gopro-alternative/ http://phandroid.com/2014/10/08/htc-re-gopro-alternative/#comments Wed, 08 Oct 2014 20:49:06 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=150439 htc-re-standing-colors

People want ways to passively capture special moments in their life without having to miss the moment while staring at a screen. GoPro is living proof, recently growing from a niche product for extreme athletes to a public company valued at more than $10 billion dollars. Google Glass accomplishes passive photography too, albeit for more casual purposes, but also comes with a much higher price tag and geek stigma. HTC is making a case to be the next big player in the space with the HTC RE, a camera that blends passive photography with stylish looks at an affordable price.

The RE looks like a little periscope – a well thought out form factor that serves many purposes – most notably the ability to set it on a flat surface and begin taking extended video for set-it-and-forget-it activities or time lapses that would otherwise require a accessories or Mother Teresa-like patience.

The shape also makes holding it extremely comfortable, especially when your shot requires an extended arm to raise above a crowd or other obstacle. A perfectly placed button on the top rear will snap a picture when pressed or begin recording video when long-pressed.

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But what are the specs? I can already hear you asking… so let’s talk about what firepower that $199 price tag brings.

HTC RE Specs

Here is what comes packed in the HTC RE. (We’ve done a separate comparison of the HTC RE vs GoPro Hero3 White, both priced at $199 so something you’ll definitely want to check out.)

  • 16MP Camera
  • 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor
  • Ultra-wide angle lens (146 degrees) f/2.8
  • 8GB storage via MicroSD (included in box)
  • 820 mAh battery
  • Dimensions: 96.7 x 26.5 mm
  • Weight: 65.5 grams
  • Bluetooth, WiFi, WiFi Direct
  • MicroUSB
  • IP57 certification

That’s the nitty gritty, but there some important takeaways worth noting. First, taking 16MP pictures at 146 degrees means you’ll often capture way more image than you need to, enabling you to simply point, shoot, and crop to meet your needs later. This is essential due to the purposeful lack of a viewfinder and particularly helpful when taking group selfies.

The RE will work as a standalone device, able to transfer files via MicroUSB, but the real magic comes with the companion RE application for Android and iOS. A few of the things it can do:

  • Sync photos, videos, and time lapse over WiFi
  • Backs up all your photos to your phone or the cloud
  • Real-time video streaming to YouTube
  • See live view of the camera output on your phone
  • Use your phone as a remote control
  • Works with Zoe to create after effects and highlight reels

You’ll see a complete showcase of the HTC RE’s features in our hands-on video and full review, but perhaps what the HTC RE does best is get out of the way.

“Step out from behind the viewfinder and focus on the moment, not on your camera… – ”

But… how do you carry it?

Not hold it- holding it is very comfortable and feels great. Nice and light. Nice shape. Really good feel.

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I’m talking about carrying it. Taking it with you. Nobody will want to hold it in their hand 24/7 and putting it in your pocket could expose the lens to scratches. Thankfully this isn’t something that HTC overlooked.

The HTC RE Travel Pack will include a lens cover and a lanyard, allowing you to put it in your pocket or around your neck for super quick and convenient access. The lanyard could be particularly interesting to use while recording, but if the RE is a success, better “action” accessories could come next.

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Another nice inclusion comes just below the MicroUSB port, where you’ll find an ISO standard tripod mount (1/4 inch tripod connection), further extending the HTC RE’s flexibility.

How long will the battery last?

The battery is only 820 mAh but with no viewfinder sucking up energy, the HTC RE is capable of taking 1,200 16MP photos or recording 100 minutes of continuos Full HD video. If you need more than that… you’re probably astalkerish paparazzi creeper guy that needs to chill out.

There’s no power button, either, and that’s a good thing. It’s because the HTC RE has a grip sensor that knows when you’re holding it and ready to rock/shoot/record, automatically activating it from its cozy sleep. Of course if you want to use it without holding it, you can remotely operate the camera with a phone that’s Android 4.3 and above or iOS 7 and above. Pretty nifty.

If you leave it on your nightstand and don’t use it you can expect the battery to last up to 2 months.

Warning: Underwater shots!

Be careful with this suggestion! Rarely do companies promote underwater use of electronics unless their device is extremely waterproof, more often calling these devices water resistant to prevent accidental damage.

Here is how you can plan to use the HTC RE in water:

  • 1 meter under water for up to 30 minutes without MicroUSB cap (IP57)
  • 3 meters for up to 2 hours with MicroSB cap snugly attached (IP58)

And even then, I wouldn’t be as daring as the above conditions suggest you can be. Sure, hold it near the surface of a swimming pool to get a shot or two, but be careful- one slip of the fingers in the deep end and you’re $200 in the red. Don’t forget that elements like salt water aren’t included in these ratings either.

If you’re looking for use in extreme conditions, buy a GoPro. If you’re looking for more casual use the HTC RE is for you. Which has us wondering… what ever happened to those Flip cams?

Is the HTC RE worth buying?

This is the ultimate question:  the device will become available this holiday season for $199 at the following locations:

  • HTC’s website
  • Best Buy (blue color exclusive)
  • Amazon
  • AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon

Whether it’s worth buying depends on mostly one thing: how do the pictures turn out? That’s something we’ll most definitely test in a full review, so stay tuned.

In the meantime the HTC RE looks like a promising product in a totally new territory. It’s exciting. It’s different. It identifies a whole in the market and fills a need. We’re hoping it lives up to the expectations because this thing has a chance to really rock… and we’d like to see even more innovation from HTC.

Head on over to our HTC RE Forums to discuss with other tech enthusiasts on Android Forums!

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Hands-on video:

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HTC aims for the Mona Lisa of #selfies with HTC Desire Eye and its 13MP front camera http://phandroid.com/2014/10/08/htc-desire-eye-selfie-phone-mona-lisa/ http://phandroid.com/2014/10/08/htc-desire-eye-selfie-phone-mona-lisa/#comments Wed, 08 Oct 2014 20:48:40 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=150429 htc-desire-eye-mona-lisa

“Watch out, Mona Lisa… you’ve got some competition.”

HTC has been studying consumer behavior and they’ve noticed something about you: you’ve been taking an awful lot of selfies. Unfortunately, even on today’s newest flagship phones, front facing cameras are severely limited in capabilities compared to their rear facing counterparts. The megapixels are usually capped at about 5, there’s no flash, lowlight quality is hideous, and unless you’re in the most amiable of photographic conditions the final product is often mediocre at best. Why should consumers have to make such a huge compromise on an activity that takes up a good portion of their phone’s use?

According to HTC product managers, you shouldn’t have to compromise. And with the newly announced HTC Desire Eye smartphone, you won’t have to: it makes selfie compromising a thing of the past by stuffing two 13MP cameras into the device (one front and one rear). It doesn’t stop there, though: both front and rear cameras have dual LED flash.

That’s right. The HTC Desire Eye has a 13MP front facing camera with Dual LED Flash. Watch out, Mona Lisa… you’ve got some competition. Beautiful 13MP selfie-galore is on the way.

Other key HTC Desire Eye specs:

  • 5.2-inch screen
  • 2.3GHz Quadcore processor (Snapdragon 801)
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB onboard memory
  • MicroSD slot
  • Zero Gap Construction
  • Front camera: 22 millimeter SLR equivalent
  • Rear camera: 28 millimeter SLR equivalent
  • 2400 mAh battery

See the full HTC Desire Eye spec sheet

In case you’re wondering, the 22mm equivalent vs the 28mm equivalent is deliberate decision that will help capture more people in one photo by having a wider field of view.

Beyond the Megapixels

Putting such a powerful camera on the front of a smartphone is a pleasant departure from the norm, but the Desire Eye doesn’t only aim at being a camera beast in the hardware department. HTC is investing a lot of time and energy into creating a more complete photography experience that includes software features and services, too.

Some simple ones you’ll find both familiar and helpful:

  • An auto-selfie mode will snap a picture when it detects subjects are smiling.
  • Voice commands like “say cheese” and “rolling” will trigger the shutter and video recording.
  • Split capture mode functions like the popular app Front Back.
  • Crop Me In lets you copy yourself in one picture and paste it in another
  • Others include: Face Tracking, Screen Share, Face Fusion, Live Makeup, Photo Booth

The most gimmicky feature might be my favorite: it’s called “crop me in” but it would more appropriately be named “photobomb”. As you can probably guess it cuts you out of a selfie, then allowing you to insert yourself in another picture. Our friends on Google+ might be reminded of a similar featured from a few months back when David Hasselhoff photobombed everyone auto-awesome style for April Fools.

These features (and more) will debut with the Desire Eye as part of the “Eye Experience” but they’re indicative of a bigger HTC shift towards enabling consumer tech experiences beyond traditional smartphones. You should not only expect the Eye Experience to roll out to other HTC smartphones, but also other devices (both Android and iOS) and other product categories. HTC seems set on identifying and fulfilling unmet needs, something the Desire Eye certainly achieves.

Zoe camera

One piece of software that illustrates this shift is HTC’s Zoe camera. In addition to becoming compatible with all Android devices with Android 4.3 and up, HTC will also offer an iOS client starting next year.

What’s new in Zoe camera on the Desire Eye? It’s got a collaborative feature that could be pretty impressive. We’ve seen phone manufacturers and social networks explore the concept of grouping together media by location and relationships and automatically generating highlight reels; now HTC is bringing similar functionality to Zoe. Imagine friends at a baseball game all pooling their resources together, all easily able to gain access to eachother’s pics and mash their collective media into a short, compelling clip that tells a story. And get this: you can collaborate with an unlimited number of people, including strangers.

One small addition that Instagrammers will appreciate is the ability to automatically share to Instagram, something that’s been missed in Zoe to date.

What about Boom Sound?

My first reaction to seeing the “we don’t compromise” 13MP front camera was, “but what about Boom Sound”? It was (and still is) one of my favorite features on the HTC One M8 (among other devices). Given the engineering required to pack the camera tech into that tiny frame and seeing the absence of the huge speaker grills, I assumed Boom Sound was the compromise.

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That was not the case: smaller speaker grills, yes, but Boom Sound is alive and well on the top and bottom of the HTC Desire Eye. Cranking the volume up still yields beautifully crisp, clear, and loud audio. Yahtzee!

Rock Solid, Rock On

The Desire Eye was manufactured with a shock injection molding process that creates a device with:

  • Optimal structural integrity (rock solid)
  • A pretty awesome 2 color/material design (rock on)

htc-desire-eye-build-quality

Structural integrity has been a hot topic lately, so you’ll feel safe knowing that the Desire Eye “won’t warp and creek” from regular wear and tear or create gaps and crevices over time that will catch hair and dust and other unpleasant things. And no, this is not a warrant or license to start trying to bend it in half like an idiot.

Pricing & Availability

Perhaps the most disappointing feature of the HTC Desire Eye is that – at least for now – it’s an AT&T exclusive. Pricing and availability remain to be seen, but HTC representatives described it as the “flagship of the Desire phones” which means considerably more affordable than the HTC One M8 but the most expensive of the Desire phones.

At the moment the only secondary color for the Desire Eye will be the red pictured above but, if we had to guess, other colors will soon follow-namely blue and white. Expect the phone to launch in time for the holidays.

HTC Desire Eye Pictures and Hands-on Video

Click to view slideshow.

HTC Desire Eye Forums

Questions about the Desire Eye? Planning on getting one? Can’t decide? Head on over to our HTC Desire Eye Forums to discuss with other Android enthusiasts, courtesy of Android Forums.

There you have it, the HTC selfie machine makes no compromises. But be warned: avoiding compromising selfies themselvies is still up to yousies.

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Sony getting serious about America? US event scheduled for October 9th http://phandroid.com/2014/09/26/sony-us-event-oct-9/ http://phandroid.com/2014/09/26/sony-us-event-oct-9/#comments Fri, 26 Sep 2014 19:34:04 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=149816 sony invite

Sony could be looking to make a statement about their intentions to have a bigger presence here in the United States. The company has scheduled an October 9th event where they’ve invited folks to “demand great.” Anyone paying attention to Xperia Z3 marketing knows that is the main tagline being used for the device.

We already know the phone is headed to at least T-Mobile, which is a very good start if they want to start to gain some penetration in the United States. Unfortunately we aren’t exactly sure what they’ll be showing. This could be a reintroduction, of sorts, for the Xperia Z3 here in the United States, and there’s a chance it could even come with an announcement of availability on more carriers. Another possibility is that we see a new phone altogether.

Sony hasn’t quite been able to gain traction along the lines of LG, Samsung, Motorola and HTC, but they’re going to need it if they want their mobile division to stay afloat. Recent reports suggest Sony is still bleeding a ton of money from that division — so much so that they expect it to contribute to a loss of around $2 billion.

That’s not chump change for a company of Sony’s size, so they’ll need to turn things around in a hurry if they want to prevent having to sell the division off. Let’s hope this event puts them on the right path to future success.

[via GSM Arena]

 

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Droidcon NYC 2014 Recap: A developers paradise http://phandroid.com/2014/09/25/droidcon-nyc-2014/ http://phandroid.com/2014/09/25/droidcon-nyc-2014/#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2014 16:53:19 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=149720 Droidcon NYC 2014

So why the hell am I, Phandroid’s Lead Android Developer, writing an article?  Some of you may not know this but I have a hidden talent writing technical documentation and spreading my passions through words.  In the future when I have something awesome to share with you; expect some erotic love novels featuring Android.

Droidcon

Droidcon is a global developer conference series and a network focusing on the best of Android.  Since 2009 I have been envious about Droidcon events taking place in other countries, which are just not practical for me to attend.  I love reading about the events and I am sure that this Phandroid Army — yes; that is a thing and you’re enlisted — does as well.  So let’s talk about this years phenomenal event, Droidcon NYC 2014 which was organized by Kevin Galligan and his company Touch Lab.

This year was not only the first Droidcon NYC conference, but also the first major Android event that was able to take place in New York City.  To afford a venue that is located in the center of Manhattan, it requires a lot of money along with some “Platinum” sponsors.  Of course you can probably guess that Google is indeed a platinum sponsor but something that may take a lot of you by surprise, is the fact that Microsoft is as well.  If you visit Droidcon NYC, you will also see Gold, Silver, and bronze sponsors of familiar names such as Yahoo!, Sony, Etsy, along with some other big names.

So many great speakers, company booths and free swag at this event; you could almost say it’s like a mini Google I/O.  I gained more knowledge about Android Development this year by attending Droidcon NYC than when I attended Google I/O.  What???  Yes, it’s true! Let me break it out for you… Google I/O has become /r/androidcirclejerk as to Droidcon is /r/androiddev.  I won’t include /r/Android since I managed to get banned for submitting too many Phandroid articles — sigh — but that could be another article that I will not even entertain the idea of writing.

Inspiration

The Keynote on the first day was a pretty awesome pep talk to start off the conference. Chris Haseman and Kevin Grant from Tumblr expressed some of their experiences with the development of the Tumbler app and how to create software with soul.  Creating software with soul is important for Android’s future.  If you scratching your heads, let me explain a little what this means.  Rather than developers creating Android apps that provide a function, we also need to create apps that are polished.  It’s those small features and unexpected UX pleasures that will make your apps stand out from the rest.

Soul goes hand and hand with one of the most talked about topics right now; Material Design.  Material Design plays a huge role in the future of Android.  We all love to hear about Google’s new design language and I took advantage of sitting in on two different talks covering this topic alone.

Steve Albright with Roman Nurik

One of the Material Design talks was presented by Roman Nurik, a well known Android Developer Advocate at Google and recently my new buddy.  You can find most of what he covered at Google Design but I believe he provided a few more exciting details for us developers as well as answered some one on one questions.  Keep your eyes out for his slides as he told me he is currently working on getting them released.  I also believe TouchLab will be providing videos for some of the talks and I am confident this would be one of them.

Super Jean-Baptiste “JBQ” Quéru

As I mentioned earlier, Yahoo was a sponsor this year and even provided a talk with the one and only Jean-Baptiste “JBQ” Quéru.  His talk was excellent as I learned a lot about Yahoo’s inside decisions on how their products got to the point of where they are at today. JBQ also gave the hint that over the next few months we can expect to see a lot more getting published from Yahoo, which has me a little excited to check out.  I talked quite a bit with JBQ and he is an all around stellar dude.  I can’t even begin to express the inspiration you get from just a few hours hanging around these Android all stars.  I’m glowing, aren’t I?  Well, JBQ and I hit up the club at the after party; having an amazing time as you can see below.

Droidcon NYC After PartyPhoto Credit: Patrick Hill

One company that stands out and I feel that I need to give a shout out to, is Square.  You won’t find Square listed on the sponsor list but you should in my opinion because they had a total of four different Android developers giving talks.  This included Jesse Wilson, Ray Ryan, Dimitris Koutsogiorgas and the amazing Jake Wharton.  Jake gets amazing because this guy is probably the most important contributor to open source libraries for Android. His claim to fame before Square was ActionBarSherlock, which you can still find in dozens of apps on Google Play.  If you are a developer or an Android Fanboy, you may already know Square from their superb contribution to open source.  The beauty of all their talks is the fact that they all complimented each other and lead right back to sharing everything with you as open source libraries.  They honestly have solutions for almost every needed angle that developers spend countless hours banging their heads trying to support.

Summary

In summary each and every speaker this year had great and resourceful information to share.  Keep in mind these events are not just for developers, but also designers. Designers play an important role in the finalized product that the developer creates. Google I/O I feel has too much non developer drama these days and I can’t thank Kevin Galligan and Touch Lab enough for organizing this amazing NYC event.

If you missed the event you can find some of these presentation slides over at Speaker Deck and stay tuned to DroidCon NYC to find more pictures and videos of the events.

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Buzz builds for mid-October Nexus 9 launch http://phandroid.com/2014/09/18/nexus-9-release-date/ http://phandroid.com/2014/09/18/nexus-9-release-date/#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 17:37:10 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=149350 google nexus devices

How long have been hearing rumors of Google next Nexus Tablet? It’s been over a year since the company launched a retooled Nexus 7, and mounting rumors have seemingly arrived at a singular consensus: HTC will be the manufacturer responsible for producing what likely will launch as the Nexus 9. Court documents suggest it. A leaked keyboard case confirms it. But when will the slate get its official coming out party?

MoDaCo’s Paul O’Brien has his sources, and if we are to believe the information he has gathered we should have some sort of answer by October 16th. O’Brien first said his source had revealed that the Nexus 9 would launch on that date, but he soon corrected that statement by saying we can expect an announcement only, instead (implying retail availability will come later).

There was some speculation that HTC would have the tablet on hand at an upcoming press event scheduled for October 8th. The general belief, though, is that we will instead see a standalone HTC camera and perhaps an Android handset with a focus on photography based on the event’s “Double Exposure” theme. Still, it might not be out of the question for HTC to reveal or at least tease their upcoming Google-powered tablet.

It is assumed that the launch of the Nexus 9 will be timed with the official release of Android L (the Nexus 9 is expected to be the first device to ship with the OS update). Rumored specs include an 8.9-inch display display with at least a 1080p resolution and an NVIDIA K1 processor, though reports conflict on some of the more specific details.

 

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Is HTC creating a GoPro-like camera accessory for their smartphones? http://phandroid.com/2014/09/12/htc-gopro-camera/ http://phandroid.com/2014/09/12/htc-gopro-camera/#comments Fri, 12 Sep 2014 13:07:29 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=149010 htc-double-exposure-event

It wasn’t but a few short days ago that HTC started sending tech media invites to a “double exposure” event. This theme had us thinking that the device would focus on a camera of some sort, though we weren’t sure if that meant a new phone with an improved camera or some sort of new feature they came up with that was too big not to make a lot of noise over.

We may have a bit of an early answer. According to Bloomberg, HTC is looking to introduce a rugged camera that would join the likes of GoPro — that is, a camera that can be used to record some element-heavy action such as off-roading or snorkeling. The device is said to have an ultra-wide 16 megapixel sensor, and has connectivity options of WiFi and Bluetooth.

Immediately coming to mind is a scenario where you go on a biking trip and record every bit of it with the camera. It then automatically spits video and images back to a phone such as, say, that HTC One M8 so you can create an awesome highlight in, say, Zoe.

It’s not the most off the wall prediction considering external camera attachments have been done before. Sony’s QX lineup is one such example. They use external DSLR-quality lenses that can attach to your smartphone and be used as if you had an actual mirror-less camera.

.Of course, this is all speculation based on a very early rumor so we can’t let our imagination get the best of us just yet. It shouldn’t be long before HTC clears everything up for themselves as the event is slated to take place October 8th. Let us know if you’d dig something like that should it come to pass.

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Big Android BBQ announces two big Googlers as opening keynote speakers http://phandroid.com/2014/09/11/big-android-bbq-keynote/ http://phandroid.com/2014/09/11/big-android-bbq-keynote/#comments Thu, 11 Sep 2014 14:26:44 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=148926 bbqteaser

Whoa there! The Big Android BBQ is serious business now, folks. If the mass of OEMs, developers and other ecosystem players attending on a yearly basis wasn’t enough to convince you, perhaps this will: Google will have a couple of their biggest developer advocates on hand, and they will be delivering the opening keynote address!

reto meier

First up is well-known Googler Reto Meier who serves as the manager for the Scalable Developer Advocacy team. We’ll also be treated to words by Timothy Jordan, a senior developer advocate at Google who dons the most awesome fedora in his Google+ profile photo.

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Those two will look to speak on the evolution of Android and how it’s been made flexible enough to make its way into emerging new product categories such as smart watches and smart glasses.

The Big Android BBQ is an annual event full of fun, food and guilty geek pleasure. Android enthusiasts, developers and bloggers from all over the country come together to discuss many different aspects of the platform and the ecosystem surrounding it. It’s usually an amazing time and folks who attend are always eager to get back every year.

Big_Android_BBQ-Hall

Be sure to buy your tickets early as space is scarce. The cheapest cost of admission is $75 which will get you access to a multitude of sessions, access to the main exhibition hall and the pool party + barbecue. You can pay more for premium tickets which afford you perks like preferred keynote seating, private lunch with event staff and notable attendees and a private BBQ dinner cooked by Ray Walters.

Big Android BBQ Bacon Explosion

For the biggest of ballers? You’ll be treated to all that and a flight and hotel package that includes cheeky escort service by our friend and event coordinator Aaron Kasten, as well as golf cart service to and from the convention center. You can check all of those packages out here and decide which one is best suited for your needs, wants and desires. Be sure to stay tuned to Phandroid for some discount opportunities to make the trip a bit more affordable.

Can’t attend? You can bet Phandroid will be representing you in full force and that we’ll be bringing you all the most exciting happenings once it gets underway Friday, October 16th at the Hurst Conference Center in Hurst, TX. Hope to see you there!

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HTC Double Exposure event coming October 8th http://phandroid.com/2014/09/10/htc-double-exposure/ http://phandroid.com/2014/09/10/htc-double-exposure/#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2014 20:36:57 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=148885 We’ve just gotten an invite for an HTC event coming on October 8th titled “Double Exposure” and you can bet your bottom dollar we’ll be there. Based on the promo graphic it’s pretty clear HTC will be discussing photography, and if you recall, the camera on the HTC One M8 is already pretty awesome.

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What exactly will HTC be announcing? Leave your guess in the comments and we’ll keep you posted as details emerge!

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We’re here for Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 unveiling, watch along live at home http://phandroid.com/2014/09/03/galaxy-note-4-livestream/ http://phandroid.com/2014/09/03/galaxy-note-4-livestream/#comments Wed, 03 Sep 2014 11:54:00 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=148050 g-note-4-event-1

Samsung is set to unveil the Galaxy Note 4 in a little over an hour as part of their IFA 2014 presentation, and we’re in NYC for a satellite event and the chance to see the new Android smartphone in person. You can join in for the fun as well by heading over to YouTube to stream the show live from Germany, which Samsung has dubbed UNPACKED Episode 2, when it officially kicks off at 9AM EDT/6AM PDT.

Of course, you can also follow along here at Phandroid during and after the event for up-to-the-minute coverage, analysis, and hands-on photos and videos of the new member of Samsung’s Galaxy Note line (and whatever else the company has to show off). While rumors have centered around the Note 4, Samsung might use the show to showcase their latest run of Gear devices, including the Gear S smartwatch and a rumored Google Glass competitor.

The Note 4 is expected to launch with a 5.7-inch display featuring a boosted resolution in the neighborhood of 2560×1440 pixels, a Snapdragon 805 SoC, 16MP camera, and improved stylus input. Keep it tuned here to Phandroid for all the news as it breaks.

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LG G3 Stylus is an Android phone, not an accessory, coming next week http://phandroid.com/2014/08/25/lg-g3-stylus-android-phone/ http://phandroid.com/2014/08/25/lg-g3-stylus-android-phone/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 03:23:15 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=147547 lg-g3-stylus-3

LG has been busy: over the weekend they let the world know that the Moto 360 wouldn’t be the only circular Android Wear watch for long and they’ve just now announced the LG G3 Stylus, a variation of their flagship phone that offers an affordable alternative to the up-and-coming Samsung Galaxy Note 4.

Some key LG G3 Stylus specs:

  • 1.3 GHz Quad-Core processor
  • 5.5-inch qHD IPS screen with 960 x 540 pixel resolution
  • 8 GB  internal memory with MicroSD slot
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 13MP camera with 1.3MP front camera
  • 3,000mAh battery
  • Android 4.4.2 KitKat

LG G3 vs LG G3 Stylus

The G3 Stylus is a variation of the G3 that shares many of the same specs, however, to fit the stylus and offer a competitive price LG toned down some of the most aggressive specs. The screen is still 5.5-inches qHD IPS but has lower resolution, internal memory is cut to 8GB (from 16GB or 32GB), RAM is halved, and the front camera is dropped a megapixel.

These compromises likely have as much to do with pricing as engineering. The LG G3 Stylus is set to launch in Brazil with Asia, the Middle East, and Africa to follow. These are emerging markets where price is a higher priority and where having the most powerful specs may not be such a pressing issue. Furthermore, stylus are in higher demand in these locations, especially Asia.

lg-g3-stylus-2The Stylus

I find the “Stylus” naming convention confusing and unfortunate: when I first read the related press release, I assumed LG was launching an official Stylus to work with their existing LG G3 Android Phone. The “LG G3 Stylus” as an actual name of a device confused me and I’m wondering if it will confuse others. I prefer Samsung’s “Note” name which now suggests Stylus support without outright saying it.

You can of course expect the G3 Stylus software to come with some features that make great use of the pen input, including QuickMemo+ for note taking and Dual Window to view two activities on one screen. Expect LG (and carriers) to preload the device with apps that make further use of the stylus.

Price and availability

The G3 Stylus should be affordably priced considering the knock it takes on specs, not to mention company CEO Dr. Jong-Seok Park’s tease that  it has an “exceptional price that can’t be beat.” We’d expect him to say that regardless of the price, but in this case, we think the price will indeed be aggressive. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until IFA for LG to make a formal announcement regarding these details.

Don’t expect the LG G3 Stylus to come to the states any time soon or at all, And if it does, remember that this is no Galaxy Note 4 competitor, but rather a Galaxy Note 4 alternative for folks who want a big screen and stylus but don’t need the high power and high price of a flagship Android device.

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Motorola invites us to “choose” on September 4th (Moto X+1 and G2 being unveiled?) http://phandroid.com/2014/08/14/motorola-september-event/ http://phandroid.com/2014/08/14/motorola-september-event/#comments Thu, 14 Aug 2014 16:18:33 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=146825 motorola chicago invite

Early September is jam packed with more events than your average person can handle, but add another to the calendar — Motorola has something to show us on September 4th. The company put together a colorfully animated save the date, telling us to “choose” a bunch of things: choose to discover, choose to have fun, and to choose a “new experience.”

We’re sure all that is hinting toward something that we’ll be able to customize via Moto Maker. The Moto X+1, perhaps? Could the Moto G2 also be in store? Will we also be hearing more about the Moto 360? Tons of possibilities.

We can’t say for sure what, exactly, will be on Motorola’s agenda, but the late summer drop date of whatever this announcement turns out to be sure does fit Motorola’s original wishes to reveal their next flagship right around this time. The latest Moto X+1 rumors tell us to expect a device made up of the following internals:

  • 5.2-inch 1080p display
  • Android 4.4.4 KitKat
  • Snapdragon 800 processor
  • 12MP rear / 5MP front facing cameras
  • 32GB internal storage (with micro SD card slot up to 128GB)
  • 2GB RAM
  • 2,900mAh battery (26 hours of mixed usage)
  • Water resistance

Not quite the “boom, pow, zap!” sort of phone others are sure to come out with in the second half of 2014, but Motorola proved they could provide a top notch experience without having to pack in a ridiculous set of silicon with the original Moto X. Expect them to do the same with the follow-up should it be the star of the show September 4th.

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Report: Samsung to introduce SIM-enabled Gear Solo alongside Note 4 at IFA http://phandroid.com/2014/08/08/samsung-gear-solo-rumor-2/ http://phandroid.com/2014/08/08/samsung-gear-solo-rumor-2/#comments Fri, 08 Aug 2014 14:58:31 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=146465 samsung-galaxy-gear-neo-3

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 was once thought to be the sole guest of honor at Samsung’s Unpacked event next month, but a recent report says that isn’t quite the case. Yonhap News in Korea is reporting that Samsung will be introducing a new Samsung Gear smart watch at the show. The name is said to be “Gear Solo,” which alludes to its supposed standalone SIM card.

That detail would effectively make it Samsung’s first smart watch that wouldn’t require a smartphone connection to receive data. We’re not sure what other features it might gain or if it would be much different from the Gear 2, though our gut tells us current Gear 2 owners won’t really be needing an upgrade unless they’ve been yearning to ditch their smartphone.

The impacts of cellular radios inside a smart watch could be quite significant. For starters, devices with 3G or 4G radios tend to be more expensive than their WiFi-only counterparts. Cellular radios also suck up a lot more battery than WiFi or Bluetooth. Samsung’s going to have to pull some pretty neat tricks in order to mitigate those typical drawbacks, but we won’t count them out until we see it for ourselves. Fingers crossed that they end up trotting to IFA with it on their wrist for their September 3rd event.

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Samsung asks us to “Note the Date” in latest Unpacked Invite; Note 4 all but confirmed http://phandroid.com/2014/08/06/samsung-unpacked-2014-event/ http://phandroid.com/2014/08/06/samsung-unpacked-2014-event/#comments Wed, 06 Aug 2014 12:15:40 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=146280 samsung note the date 2014

Earlier this week Samsung started inviting press to a Berlin event for September 3rd, though the company quickly asked those media sites to unpublish their posts for some unknown reason. Perhaps it’s because they wanted to put together something a bit more flavorful, as they’ve done just that with an official public announcement for a worldwide Unpacked 2014 Episode 2 event going down on that very day.

This particular invite doesn’t go light on the hints. They’re teasing the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 in every way imaginable, from the circular Air Command menu to the quirky (if not cheesy) “Note the Date” line with an artists’ pen to the right of it.

The invite confirms that the event will be simultaneously cast in Beijing, New York and Berlin, giving Samsung an avenue in all three of their most major markets. Of course, the news won’t take long to reach the rest of the corners of the globe as the internet should have all the details you’re looking for by the end of it all.

We aren’t yet sure what to expect from the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 aside from the oft-rumored 5.7-inch 2560 x 1440 display, but whatever it is we’re sure Samsung won’t want to disappoint as this is the smartphone line they usually go all in on. Be sure to circle September 3rd (and all the dates through September 10th, really) to stay informed on all the latest coming from Samsung, Sony and everyone else attending IFA this year, and stay tuned for live coverage from Phandroid once that day arrives.

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Samsung schedules unpacked event for September 3rd in Berlin — Note 4 in tow? http://phandroid.com/2014/08/04/samsung-ifa-berlin-2014-note-4/ http://phandroid.com/2014/08/04/samsung-ifa-berlin-2014-note-4/#comments Mon, 04 Aug 2014 14:04:23 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=146137 samsung-logo

Just a few short days after learning Samsung might be planning to launch the Note 4 in Berlin next month, the company inadvertently and partially confirmed those rumors this morning. Samsung has started sending press invite to European press for an Unpacked event in Berlin on September 3rd, just two short days before one of Europe’s biggest technology conventions kicks off.

Samsung obviously didn’t divulge information about the event’s purposes, but history tells us to expect the next iteration of their flagship phablet. The Samsung Galaxy Note line usually sees Samsung pulling out all of the stops and pushing smartphone innovation much more than even their Galaxy S lineup does.

We’re still not fully sure what to expect from this go-round, though odds are Samsung’s finally ready to unleash their own 2560 x 1440 display in a 5.7-inch form factorTdivu. It must have stung to see LG beat them to the punch with this resolution in the LG G3 considering Samsung is usually on the edge of the market when it comes to display innovation.

Recent hints from Samsung could also allude to the company trying out an infrared-based iris scanner in the phone, adding to the long list of biometric options that you can now use to enhance smartphone security. As for everything else, we expect Samsung’s latest home-grown Exynos, as well as a possible return to 3GB of RAM that we missed out on in the Samsung Galaxy S5. Rumors are useless until they’re confirmed, of course, so we’ll just have to circle our calendars and sit tight.

[via SamMobile]

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Sprint invites us to “take the edge off” on August 19th http://phandroid.com/2014/07/24/sprint-event-aug-19/ http://phandroid.com/2014/07/24/sprint-event-aug-19/#comments Thu, 24 Jul 2014 15:56:09 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=145530 Sprint_Ranger_Registration

Another Sprint event is on the horizon, with the Now Network inviting us to “take the edge off” come August 19th in New York City. In typical invite fashion we don’t get any clue as to what they’ll be announcing, though the word “EDGE” being emphasized in the invitation could give a hint.

If it’s not some sort of network announcement, we might guess that this could be a follow-up device to the Kyocera Hydro EDGE from yesteryear. That particular phone was also revealed in August of its respective year, prime timing for its ability to stand up to summertime swimming, beach walking and other elements-filled activities.

Of course, your guess is as good as ours with no rumors suggesting anything. The only other hint the image gives is in the image name: “Sprint_Ranger_Invitation.jpg” is what they’ve decided to call it. Whether that means anything remains to be seen. Whatever it may be you can be certain we’ll be stamping our calendar and waiting for that day to arrive. Circle back at that point if you’re just as curious as we are.

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