Category Archives: Tech

Samsung announces Galaxy S8, S8+: Here are the details

This could be a critical year for Samsung after last year’s launch of the Galaxy Note 7, which had to be recalled because of a number of instances of the phones’ batteries catching fire. The Korean company needs a big launch of its latest flagship devices to try to make up for some of the losses that came about from the Note 7 situation. The first Samsung flagships to hit the market in 2017 are the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, which the company officially unveiled earlier today.

The phones share similar specs, with the main differences being screen size and the batteries. The S8 features a 5.8″ Super AMOLED Quad HD+ screen with 2960×1440 resolution (571ppi) while the S8+ is bigger, with a 6.2″ Super AMOLED Quad HD+ display at with the same resolution (529ppi). With the bigger screen, the S8+ naturally has a bigger battery, clocking in at 3500mAh, compared to 3000mAh for its smaller counterpart.

galaxys8

Both feature a Snapdragon 835 processor (in the US) with 4GB RAM and 64GB of internal storage (with support for microSD cards up to 256GB capacity). The devices feature 8MP cameras on the front and 12MP rear cameras. They’ll ship with Android 7.0 Nougat with the typical connectivity with WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, 4G LTE and GPS, One thing that sets the S8 series apart is they are the first mobile phones to support Bluetooth 5.0. They each have a USB-C port and 3.5mm headphone jack, bucking the trend of companies leaving that out of phones. They also feature IP68 water resistance.

These are also the first devices to include Samsung’s new digital assistant Bixby. They are compatible with accessories, including Samsung’s latest Gear VR headset and the newly introduced Samsung DeX, a dock that allows you to use the phone as a computer with a desktop experience.

The phones come in a variety of colors (which may not be available through all carriers and retailers), including midnight black, orchid gray, arctic silver, maple gold and coral blue.

The phones will be available to pre-order — with various pre-order bonuses — tomorrow, with an expected release date of April 21. They’ll be available for all major carriers — including AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint and US Cellular — and at retailers including Best Buy and Amazon. Pricing varies, but generally ranges from $720-750 for the S8 and $820-850 for the S8+ if you pay full price up front or monthly payments of roughly $30-35 if you go with an installment plan through your carrier.

Full details can be found here. Below, you will find the specs followed by Samsung’s official press release detailing the p

CATEGORY GALAXY S8 GALAXY S8+
Operating System Android 7.0 Nougat Android 7.0 Nougat
Display 5.8-inch AMOLED
2960×1440 (570 ppi)
6.2-inch AMOLED
2960×1440 (529 ppi)
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
or Samsung Exynos 8895
Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
or Samsung Exynos 8895
Storage 64GB (UFS 2.1) 64GB (UFS 2.1)
Expandable microSD up to 256GB microSD up to 256GB
RAM 4GB 4GB
Rear Camera 12MP Dual Pixel, f/1.7
1.4-micron pixels
OIS
12MP Dual Pixel, f/1.7
1.4-micron pixels
OIS
Front Camera 8MP, f/1.7
auto focus
8MP, f/1.7
auto focus
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11ac MIMO
Bluetooth 5.0
NFC, GPS, Glonass, Galileo, BeiDou
LTE Cat.16
Wi-Fi 802.11ac MIMO
Bluetooth 5.0
NFC, GPS, Glonass, Galileo BeiDou
LTE Cat.16
Charging USB-C
Fast charging
Qi wireless
Powermat wireless
USB-C
Fast charging
Qi wireless
Powermat wireless
Battery 3000mAh 3500mAh
Water resistance IP68 rating IP68 rating
Security One-touch fingerprint sensor
Iris scanner
Samsung KNOX
One-touch fingerprint sensor
Iris scanner
Samsung KNOX
Dimensions 148.9 x 68.1 x 8 mm 159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1 mm
Weight 155 g 173 g

PRESS RELEASE:

Discover New Possibilities with the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+: Smartphones Without Limits

Samsung Electronics introduces the Galaxy S8 and S8+ to the world, a smartphone that pushes the boundaries of traditional smartphones with its seamless hardware design and a variety of new service offerings. With the launch of multiple services and apps, as well as a stunning Infinity Display for immersive viewing experiences, the Galaxy S8 and S8+ bring a new level of functionality and convenience, opening up a galaxy of possibilities.

“The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ usher in a new era of smartphone design and fantastic new services, opening up new ways to experience the world,” said DJ Koh, President of Mobile Communications Business, Samsung Electronics. “The Galaxy S8 and S8+ are our testament to regaining your trust by redefining what’s possible in safety and marks a new milestone in Samsung’s smartphone legacy.”

See and Experience More
The Galaxy S8 builds on Samsung’s heritage of creating stunning designs and functional devices. Available in 5.8-inch Galaxy S8 and 6.2-inch Galaxy S8+, the Infinity Display and bezel-less design form a smooth, continuous surface with no buttons or harsh angles. The result is a truly immersive viewing experience without distractions and makes multi-tasking more convenient. The Galaxy S8’s compact design enables comfortable one-handed operation and Corning® Gorilla® Glass 5 on both the front and back for durability and a high-quality finish.

The Galaxy Foundation
In addition to the new design innovations, Samsung continues to deliver cutting-edge technology including an advanced camera, enhanced performance and more to the devices that users love, including:

Premium Camera: The Galaxy S8 and S8+ are equipped with an advanced 8MP F1.7 Smart autofocus front camera and 12MP F1.7 Dual Pixel rear camera for the best low-light, zoom and anti-blur photos with enhanced image processing.

Powerful Performance: Packing powerful performance and connectivity, the Galaxy S8 and S8+ feature the industry’s first 10nm processor, enabling heightened speed and efficiency. It is also gigabit LTE and gigabit Wi-Fi ready with support for up to 1 Gbps so users can quickly download files, regardless of the file size.

Robust Entertainment: As the world’s first mobile device certified by the UHD Alliance as MOBILE HDR PREMIUMTM, Galaxy S8 and S8+ let you see the same vibrant colors and contrasts that the filmmakers intended while watching your favorite shows. In addition, the Galaxy S8 and S8+ offer next-level gaming experiences with vivid and superior graphic technology, as well as Game Pack, featuring top game titles, including select titles supported by the Vulkan API.

Global Standard in Mobile Security: The Galaxy S8 and S8+ are built on Samsung Knox, a defense-grade security platform. In addition, the Galaxy S8 and S8+ will offer a wide selection of biometric technologies including a fingerprint scanner, iris scanner and facial recognition so users can select a secure biometric authentication method that works best for them.

The Galaxy S8 and S8+ will also come with the foundational Galaxy features that our customers have come to love, including:

IP68 water and dust resistance
MicroSD support up to 256GB
Always-on display
Fast and wireless charging capabilities

New Way to Interact with Your Phone
Bixby is an intelligent interface that will help users get more out of their phone. With the new Bixby button, you will be able to conveniently access Bixby and navigate through services and apps with simple voice, touch, vision and text commands. At launch, Bixby’s Voice function will integrate with several Samsung native apps and features including Camera, Contacts, Gallery, Messages and Settings, with the plan to expand its capabilities to include more Samsung and third-party apps in the near future. Contextual awareness capabilities enable Bixby to offer personalized help based on what it continues to learn about the user’s interests, situation and location.

Users can also shop, search for images and get details about nearby places with Bixby’s image recognition technology. As the Bixby ecosystem grows, it will connect across devices, apps and services as a ubiquitous interface, and open up new experiences and scenarios to simplify life.

Beyond the Phone Experiences
The Galaxy S8 and S8+ offers robust portfolio of products and services, elevating the both devices experience for premiere mobile productivity and connectivity.

The Galaxy S8 and S8+ unlock the new Gear VR with Controller, powered by Oculus. Enabling convenient one-handed control and navigation, the controller provides better motion interaction when accessing interactive VR content. The Galaxy S8 and S8+ will also connect to the new Gear 360 to create 4K 360-degree videos and 15MP photos.

Leveraging the processing power of the Galaxy S8 and S8+ for enhanced productivity, Samsung DeX is a unique solution that transforms your smartphone into a desktop by providing a secure desktop-like experience. With Samsung DeX, users can easily display and edit data from their phone, making working from a smartphone faster and smarter.

In addition, as more IoT devices enter the market and the connected network becomes more complex, Samsung Connect simplifies smart device management. With Samsung Connect, users can easily activate IoT-enabled devices through a quick three-step configuration process and manage all connected devices through one integrated app.

The Galaxy S8 and S8+ also come with the enhanced Samsung Health service, expanding one of Samsung’s most widely used services with 60 million monthly active users and 11 million daily active users worldwide. Samsung Health includes tele-health (U.S.-only), personal coaching, social capabilities that redefine traditional health and fitness.

Users can leave their physical wallet behind with Samsung Pay, turning their Galaxy S8 and S8+ into a digital wallet they can use almost anywhere they’d use a credit or debit card. With more than 870 worldwide banking partnerships, Samsung Pay has processed more than 240 million transactions to date.

New high-performance earphones tuned by AKG by Harman, offering uncompromised audio for unbeatable sound quality, will come as an in-box accessory. These earphones will have a comfortable hybrid canal fit for better noise cancellation and will be made from anti-tangle metal-fabric material.

The Galaxy S8 and S8+ will be available starting on April 21, and will be offered in a rich color palette including Midnight Black, Orchid Gray, Arctic Silver, Coral Blue and Maple Gold.

galaxy-s8-spec_main_1

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Google introduces the Nexus successors, the Pixel and Pixel XL, and other hardware

Over the past several years, Google’s Nexus phones have been affordable ways for people to buy a flagship Android phone. Now, Google is moving away from the Nexus line and replacing it with the Pixel line of phones, with the first two handsets announced today, the 5″ Pixel and 5.5″ Pixel XL. Unlike the Nexus phones that preceded them, the Pixel phones aren’t taking the affordability route. The Pixel handsets are made by HTC, but you won’t find that company’s logo on the devices, as Google is calling them “made by Google.”

The specs are largely the same between the two phones, with screen size being the main difference between them. Both have AMOLED displays and are powered by Snapdragon 821 processors. Each model comes equipped with a 12.3MP rear camera and 8MP front camera. They have 4GB of RAM and storage options include 32GB or 128GB with no microSD card slots. Other specs shared by the Pixel and Pixel XL include fingerprint scanners, NFC, the latest Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, USB Type-C ports and 3.5mm headphone jacks. Both come shipped with Android 7.1 Nougat.

Here is where the phones differ. The Pixel has a 5″ FHD AMOLED screen with 1920×1080 resolution (441ppi) and a 2,770mAh battery. The Pixel XL comes with a 5.5″ QHD AMOLED display with 2560×1440 resolution (534ppi) and a bigger 3,450mAh battery.

Color options for both include quite black, very silver and really blue.

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Google Pixel and Pixel XL in three color options

The phones are also compatible with Google’s upcoming Daydream VR viewer, Google’s answer to Samsung’s Gear VR system, which was also announced today and is set to be released in November for $79 in the U.S.

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Google Daydream

Verizon is the only carrier that will be selling the phones, but unlocked versions can also be purchased directly from Google. Pricing starts at $649 for the 32GB Pixel and $769 for the 32GB PIxel XL. If you opt for the 128GB of either model, add $100 to those prices, meaning the 128GB Pixel XL will run you $869. Google is offering 24-month, no-interest financing, allowing you to pay off the purchases at a cost of $27.04/month for the cheapest option all the way up to $36.21/month if you opt for the most expensive configuration. Pre-orders are available now, with the phones scheduled for an October 20 release. If you pre-order before the release date, you will get a promo code for a free Daydream viewer once it is released.

Other hardware announced today include Google Home, the company’s answer to Amazon’s Echo, and Chromecast Ultra, the latest iteration of Google’s streaming dongle, which supports 4K content. Those are scheduled to be released in November for $129 and $69, respectively.

Full specs for the Pixel phones are below, followed by a listing of supported cellular networks, which include all the major U.S. carriers, including Google’s own Project Fi.

Pixel Pixel XL
Software Android 7.1 Android 7.1
Display 5″ FHD AMOLED (1920×1080, 441ppi)
Gorilla Glass 4
5.5″ QHD AMOLED (2560×1440, 534ppi)
Gorilla Glass 4
Processor 2.15GHz Snapdragon 821 (quad-core, 64-bit)
Adreno 530 GPU
2.15GHz Snapdragon 821 (quad-core, 64-bit)
Adreno 530 GPU
RAM 4GB 4GB
Camera Rear: 12.3MP (f/2.0, 1.55um)
Front: 8MP (1.4um)
Rear: 12.3MP (f/2.0, 1.55um)
Front: 8MP (1.4um)
Battery 2770mAh
Fast charging
3450mAh
Fast charging
Storage 32GB or 128GB
No microSD support
32GB or 128GB
No microSD support
Other Fingerprint scanner, NFC, 3.5mm headphone, USB Type-C Fingerprint scanner, NFC, 3.5mm headphone, USB Type-C
Connectivity Bluetooth 4.2
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 2×2 MIMO, dual-band (2.4 GHz, 5.0 GHz)
Bluetooth 4.2
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 2×2 MIMO, dual-band (2.4 GHz, 5.0 GHz)
Dimensions 143.8 x 69.5 x 8.6 mm
143 grams
154.7 x 75.7 x 8.6 mm
168 grams
SIM Nano Nano
Colors Quite Black, Very Silver. Really Blue Quite Black, Very Silver. Really Blue
GSM Quad-band GSM
UMTS/WCDMA B 1/2/4/5/8
CDMA BC0/BC1/BC10
FDD LTE B 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13/17/20/25/26/28/29/30
TDD LTE B 41
LTE 2xCARRIER AGGREGATION B2+B2, B2+B4, B2+B5, B2+B12, B2+B13, B2+B17, B2+B29, B2+B30, B4+B4, B4+B5, B4+B7, B4+B12, B4+B13, B4+B17, B4+B29, B4+B30, B5+B30, B7+B7, B12+B30, B25+B25, B29+B30, B41+B41
LTE 3xCARRIER AGGREGATION B2+B2+B12, B2+B2+B13, B2+B4+B4, B2+B4+B5, B2+B4+B12, B2+B4+B13, B2+B4+B29, B2+B5+B30, B2+B12+B30, B2+B29+B30, B4+B4+B12, B4+B4+B13, B4+B5+B30, B4+ B7+ B12, B4+B12+B30, B4+B29+B30, B41+B41+B41

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Two years …

Today marks the second anniversary of my blog. I have posted 226 more posts (227 counting this one) since my first. The majority of my posts have been about the NFL and Major League Baseball, with some tech-related posts as well. Coming up this summer, more posts about the baseball season and a third season of 32 in 32ish, previewing all 32 NFL teams before the season begins the Thursday after Labor Day.

Follow me on Twitter to find out when I put up a new post, or subscribe to the blog to get emails when new posts go up over the next 365 days and beyond.

HTC 10

HTC introduces its newest flagship, HTC 10

HTC has dropped the One branding from its latest phone, introduced earlier today, but is keeping continuing the numbering scheme from the One M8 and One M9 with the HTC 10. The Taiwanese company is looking to get back in the mix with Samsung and LG as a leading manufacturer of Android phones after disappointing sales over the last couple of years. The HTC 10 has the latest specs you’d expect to see on a top-tier phone, but will it be enough to compete with the other Android OEMs?

The phone features a 5.2-inch, Quad HD (2560×1440, 564ppi) Super LCD display with 4GB of RAM with storage options of 32GB or 64GB, with a microSD slot that supports up to 2TB cards. It’s powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor and comes equipped with Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

The phone, of course, comes with dual cameras. The main camera features a 12MP UltraPixel 2 sensor with laser autofocus and optical image stabilization (OIS); the front camera has a 5MP sensor with autofocus and OIS. Both cameras include auto-HDR functionality and self-timer capabilities. The rear camera can record 4K video, and the front camera has Full HD 1080p recording.

HTC is touting the device’s audio, which includes a new version of the company’s BoomSound technology dubbed the Hi-Fi edition. The HTC 10 has three noise-cancelling headphones on board along with Dolby Audio.

The phone comes with a 3,000mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 that HTC says can charge the device to 50% in 30 minutes. It has a fingerprint sensor and all of the usual connectivity — Wi-Fi ac compatible, Bluetooth 4.2 and NFC — and is the first Android device to support Apple’s AirPlay technology. As with most recent Android phones, it has a USB Type-C port.

It comes in carbon grey, glacier silver, topaz gold and camellia red colors, although not all options will be available at all carriers or retailers.

Pre-orders began today for the unlocked version through HTC’s site; it can be used on AT&T and T-Mobile’s networks, and it will be available through T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon. It will not, however, be sold directly by AT&T, which means the unlocked version is the only way to use it on the second biggest wireless carrier in the U.S. Pricing and availability for the carrier variants will be announced by the carriers at a later date; the unlocked version is available for $699, but using coupon code HTC1008 will net you $100 off your purchase for a limited time. The unlocked model is expected to ship in early May.

Full details are available here. Specs and the official press release can be found below:

Display 5.2-inch, Quad HD (2560 x 1440 pixels, 564 ppi), Super LCD 5
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, Quad Core, 64bit, up to 2.2GHz
Software Android 6.0 with HTC Sense
RAM 4GB RAM
Storage 32GB/64GB storage expandable up to 2TB via microSD
Camera Rear: 12MP (HTC UltraPixel 2, 1.55μm pixels), laser autofocus, Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), f/1.8 aperture, Pro mode, Auto-HDR, Zoe Capture, hyperlapse, 12X Slow motion mode, 4K video recording with Hi-Res Audio
Front: 5MP (1.34μm pixels), autofocus, Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), f/1.8 aperture with ultra wide-angle lens, Live Makeup, Auto-HDR
Sound HTC BoomSound Hi-Fi Edition, Dolby Audio, Personal Audio Profile, Hi-Res Audio Certified, Hi-Res Audio Earphones, Three microphones with noise cancellation, Hi-Res Audio Stereo Recording
Other USB Type-C, Nano SIM, Fingerprint Sensor, Sensor Hub
Connectivity NFC, BT 4.2, Wi-Fi@: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 & 5 GHz)
Battery 3000mAh
Quick Charge 3.0 with cool charge
Up to 50% charge in 30 min
Colors Carbon Grey, Glacier Silver, Topaz Gold, Camellia Red
Network 2G/2.5G – GSM/GPRS/EDGE
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
CDMA: 800/1900 with EVDO Rev A
3G UMTS
850/AWS/900/1900/2100 MHz
4G LTE (up to 450Mbps)
FDD: Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 12, 13, 17, 20, 28, 29, 30
Support Cat 9 LTE, download up to 450 Mbps, upload up to 50 Mbps
Dimensions 145.9 x 71.9 x 3.0 – 9.0 mm
Weight 161g

HTC’S NEW FLAGSHIP: SCULPTED TO PERFECTION

Power of 10: HTC’s engineering excellence delivers obsessive craftsmanship, unparalleled performance and imaging leadership

Seattle – April 12, 2016 – HTC has today unveiled what it has been working on behind closed doors for the last 12 months with the launch of its latest smartphone. With customer feedback an integral part of the development process combined with an obsessive attention to detail, the HTC 10 delivers everything that you would want from a flagship device.

Playing to the Power of 10 – symbolizing greatness and independence but also that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts – this newest addition to the HTC phone family combines a world-class camera with gold-standard audio, bold new metal unibody design and unparalleled performance.

Designed to Perfection

Inspired by light and sculpted to perfection, the HTC 10 employs a new approach to design where bold contours are carved out of solid metal. Capturing the light beautifully, the chamfered edges boast a slimmer, more slender look with its full-glass front merging seamlessly into the metal body.

Passionate about the small details, it’s not just the materials that come under scrutiny when we create a new handset. With the HTC 10, our design teams worked tirelessly to build a phone where even the power button has been beautifully crafted, where the speakers deliver a sleeker look and better sound quality and where the fingerprint sensor recognizes your finger from almost any angle.

It is also important that we got the build absolutely right. Mercilessly engineered to handle everyday knocks, bumps and scratches, the HTC 10 was subjected to over 168 hours of extreme temperature tests, ranging from a freezing -20’C to a scorching 60’C; and over 10,000 drop, bend, scratch and corrosion tests.

World-class camera!

With HTC 10 we’ve delivered what we believe to be the best smartphone camera available on the market today. With the world’s first optically stabilized, larger aperture f/1.8 lenses on both the front and rear cameras, new larger sensors, 12 million of our new generation UltraPixels (1.55um per pixel), faster laser autofocus powering the main camera and a wide angle lens and screen flash on the front UltraSelfieTM camera, this smartphone delivers brilliantly sharp, low light and high-resolution photos whether behind or in front of the lens.

With the camera designed to launch in as little as 0.6 seconds, and a 2nd generation laser autofocus that gives you focused shots faster, it’s quick enough to even work in burst mode. All the settings are also conveniently located at your fingertips with Pro Mode still offering advanced options for more experienced photographers, including RAW format functionality.

Boasting a DxOMark score of 88*, this is one of the highest camera quality scores of any smartphone to date and is the result of tens of thousands of hours spent fine tuning each element to deliver world-class photos and videos.

Best in sight, best in sound

But it’s not just the imaging that puts this smartphone at the top of its game – the HTC 10 combines vivid 4K video with the world’s first stereo, 24-bit, Hi-Res audio recording – capturing 256 times more detail than standard recordings across twice the frequency range and enabling you to bring to life your recorded content as if you were actually there in person.

Built for audiophiles, the HTC 10 is certified for Hi-Res audio and has been designed to make music sound the way that the artist intended. A headphone amp that delivers two times the power of a conventional headphone amp, the ability to upscale from 16-bit to 24-bit audio and high performance digital to analogue conversion combine beautifully to produce ten times lower distortion than other devices on the market, delivering an all round audio performance that cannot be beaten.

Everyone hears things differently, which is why the HTC 10’s all-new Personal Audio Profile system enhances your audio experience even further. By creating a unique profile that is tuned to your individual hearing, it dynamically adjusts specific sound frequencies to each ear, allowing you to hear music the way that the artist intended. Re-engineered HTC BoomSound™ Hi-Fi edition speakers feature the same separated tweeter and woofer design as leading acoustic systems and combine with a dedicated amplifier on each speaker, adding to the experience and delivering sound clarity unprecedented on a smartphone.

Performance at its Best

Whilst the HTC 10 nails it on the hardware, we have also delivered what we believe to be best-in-class software by focusing on getting the fundamentals right. With apps that launch twice as fast and that perform to the highest standard and a next generation quad HD display that is 30% more colourful, creating a true cinematic feel, and that is 50% more responsive to touch than its predecessor, even the smallest and fastest of finger movements track perfectly.

This attention to detail doesn’t stop there! With security high on people’s agendas, we have created a fingerprint scanner, which unlocks in a lightning fast 0.2 seconds and which has been algorithmically designed to recognise you faster and more accurately over time.

Engineered from the inside out to last longer, the HTC 10 boasts the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon processor with enhanced 4G LTE. Each device also comes with Boost+ which is designed to make your phone faster, to consume less power and to provide effective security and applications management features. This includes smart boost, which automatically optimizes your memory; a game battery booster, which uses less battery during gameplay; and a new PowerBotics system, which auto detects and shuts down apps that use excessive power – improving battery life by 30% and delivering up to two days charge.

Not only does Boost+ optimize performance, making it easier to launch apps, but its App Lock function also adds a new layer of security by enabling you to lock any app you choose, whilst App Manager provides an instant fix for when an app isn’t behaving.

The HTC 10 also includes the latest in-box quick charge 3.0 Rapid Charger with improved thermal management that can charge the battery up to 50% in just 30 minutes – ideal for people who find their phone running low on juice before the end of the working day.

Controlled by You!

By reducing the number of duplicative and pre-loaded apps and bloatware and integrating the best of both HTC and Google, we have created a more streamlined phone that enables you to decide what you want on your handset.

With HTC’s specially created new Freestyle Layout, you no longer have an on-screen grid that dictates the layout. Instead you can get creative by dragging icons, stickers and widgets anywhere you like. Layer them, group them, link stickers to apps or get rid of screen icons altogether, the choice is yours.

The latest version of HTC Themes also provides you with access to thousands of professional looking themes that each come with their own icons, backgrounds and sounds so you can customize your phone based on your own personal style.

Accessories and availability

To further streamline your experience, the HTC 10 offers an all-new Ice View case with a semi-transparent and highly versatile single front-cover case. So when that next call or message comes in, when you need to skip a track or snap that perfect shot, you can do it without opening your smartphone’s case. It’s simplicity without sacrificing protection.

The HTC 10 will come in two variants with different Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ processors to cater for different market needs. They will both offer the same design, audio, camera and display, with a similar software experience and battery life. In the U.S., the HTC 10 will come with the Snapdragon 820 processor.

In the U.S., HTC 10 will be available across multiple wireless providers including Verizon Wireless, Sprint and T-Mobile, which will announce colors, availability and pricing. In addition, HTC will be offering an Unlocked edition on http://www.HTC.com, which will be compatible with AT&T and T-Mobile networks and will be available for pre-orders beginning today, April 12, with shipping in early May. The Unlocked edition from HTC.com comes in Glacier Silver and Carbon Gray, and costs $699. It also comes with UH OH Protection, which includes one replacement at no charge within the first 12 months of ownership for a cracked screen or water damage.

Samsung announces Galaxy S7, S7 edge: Here are the details

LG already announced its latest phone, the G5, earlier today at Mobile World Congress, and now its Samsung’s turn to provide details of its latest devices, the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge. Although the specs and design only feature slight improvements over last year’s models, the South Korean manufacturer did add some features that were noticeably absent from the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge: expandable storage via microSD and water resistance.

Among the specs that are identical between the two devices are a Snapdragon 820 processor powering the phones, 4 GB of RAM, with internal storage options of 32 GB or 64 GB, along with the aforementioned microSD slot, a new Dual Pixel 12MP camera on the rear, which Samsung says will provide for sharper images in low-light situations, and a 5MP front camera. Both phones, of course, run Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) and include the latest Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC connectivity.

The main areas where the phones diverge is in screen size and battery capacity, although both have non-removable batteries. The standard S7 comes with a 5.1″ Quad HD Super AMOLED display with 2560×1440 resolution (577 ppi), while the S7 edge bumps the screen up to 5.5″, with the same resolution to give it a slightly lower 534 ppi). The S7 battery has a 3,000 mAh capacity, while the S7 edge gets bumped up to 3,600 mAh to account for the larger screen size.

In addition to the microSD slot (with support for up to 200 GB cards) and water and dust resistance (IP68), Samsung added an always-on display that allows you to see the time or select notifications without having to touch the device.

Both phones are expected to be available in mid-March, with availability likely to include all of the major U.S. carriers — including AT&TVerizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and US Cellular. Color options include silver, black, white and gold — although not all are expected to be available in all countries or at all carriers/retailers. Full details about the phones can be found at Samsung’s site here.

There is a pre-order promo that begins tomorrow, February 23, that will give people who pre-order either phone a free Gear VR virtual-reality headset, along with a six-game bundle — a package that Samsung says is valued at $150.

Below, you will find images comparing the specs of the S7 and S7 edge to last year’s models, a photo gallery of the new phones showcasing the different colors, and Samsung’s official press release with complete details of the S7 and S7 edge.

nexus2cee_galaxy-s6-s7-comparison_0222_thumb nexus2cee_galaxy-s6-edge-s7-edge-comparison_0219_thumb

galaxy-s7-black

Galaxy S7 black

galaxy-s7-black-6

Galaxy S7 black back

galaxy-s7-white-3

Galaxy S7 white

galaxy-s7-white-2

Galaxy S7 white back

galaxy-s7-edge-silver-5

Galaxy S7 edge silver

galaxy-s7-edge-silver-6

Galaxy S7 edge silver back

galaxy-s7-edge-gold-5

Galaxy S7 edge gold

galaxy-s7-edge-gold-6

Galaxy S7 edge gold back

PRESS RELEASE:

Samsung Unveils Next Generation Smartphones at the Core of its Connected Galaxy Experience
February 22, 2016

The Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge couple sleek design with powerful performance including advanced camera features, water resistance, and external memory

BARCELONA – February 21, 2016 – Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd today announced the newest additions to the Galaxy family of products, Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge. Created for today’s consumer lifestyle, Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge lead the industry with a refined design, more advanced camera, streamlined software functionality and unparalleled connectivity to a galaxy of products, services, and experiences.

“We believe in a world that is brighter, sharper, more convenient, and more fun. We strive to deliver on that vision with the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge by marrying elegant design with functionality and providing a seamless mobile experience,” said DJ Koh, President of Mobile Communications Business, Samsung Electronics. “We empower consumers with technology to help them get more out of life and will continue to push the frontier of what’s possible.”

Advanced Camera: High Quality Images No Matter the Time of Day or Location

Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge introduce the first Dual Pixel camera on a smartphone, delivering brighter and sharper images, even in low light. Thanks to the revolutionary Dual Pixel technology, brighter lens with wider aperture, and bigger pixel, the camera has a faster shutter speed and a more accurate autofocus even in low-light conditions. Motion Panorama, a new camera mode, brings movement to traditional panoramic photos, giving the user a completely immersive visual experience.

Refined Design and Function

The 5.1-inch Galaxy S7 and 5.5-inch Galaxy S7 edge are constructed with 3D glass and metal – all in a sleek design with durability and ergonomic curves for a comfortable grip. From work to play, the device’s new Always-On Display, gives users a simplified, zero touch experience where they don’t need to worry about missing a call or important notification.

Without compromising design, Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge both have increased utility with IP68 water and dust resistance. Edge UX, the advanced edge experience available on Galaxy S7 edge, provides convenience and increased efficiency by creating easy shortcuts to users’ most loved functions such as email, selfie mode, panorama mode or third party applications.

Enhanced Performance: From Charging to Gaming

Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge deliver fast wired and wireless charging technology. Additionally, the hybrid SIM card tray allows users to insert a microSD card for up to 200GB of additional storage and in some select countries, the tray can be used with a dual SIM card.

Samsung also made significant hardware and software updates to optimize gaming performance on Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge. The powerful processer and bigger battery capacity ensure longer playing time, and the internal cooling system keeps the device from overheating. Game Launcher, a new add-on for gamers, allows users to manage battery consumption and minimize notifications. Additionally, users can record their gaming experience or share their screen to play with others. Paired with Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge, Vulkan API gives users the ability to play high-performance graphic games with lower battery consumption.

The Galaxy Experience

Samsung continues to push the boundaries of hardware, software and services to create devices that are designed to improve how consumers connect, share, organize and get more out of life. The company is redefining what is possible, beyond the limits of today’s technology, by introducing a constellation of seamless mobile experiences.

Whether it’s the seamless connection between Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge and the new Gear S2 Classic to monitor fitness, or connecting with Gear VR to “travel” the world – Samsung redefines what’s possible for the mobile experience and beyond.

Beyond the phone, Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge users can also get the best mobile payment service with Samsung Pay; it’s secure, easy-to-use and accepted almost anywhere. Protected by Samsung KNOX, fingerprint scanning and advanced tokenization, Samsung Pay works with NFC (Near Field Communication), MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission) and Barcode technology, making mobile payments available to more merchants and consumers than ever before.

Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge will be available starting mid-March 2016.

LG announces its latest flagship phone, the G5, its answer to Samsung’s Galaxy S7

The annual Mobile World Congress is taking place right now in Barcelona, and in recent years it has become the place where top Android manufacturers, like LG and Samsung announce their latest flagship phones. This year is no exception, with LG having announced its G5 and Samsung announcing both the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge.

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The follow-up to last year’s G4, the G5 bucks the trend of phones getting bigger screens; it has a 5.3″ Quad HD IPS Quantum display, down from the G4’s 5.5″ screen but sharing the same 2560×1440 resolution, giving it a slightly higher 554 ppi. Its dual-camera setup includes 16MP camera on the back (8MP wide-angle) and an 8MP shooter on the front. Internal specs include a Snapdragon 820 processor and 4 GB of RAM to go along with 32 GB of internal storage, with a microSD slot that allows for expandable memory of up to an additional 2 TB.

The phone includes a 2,800 mAh removable battery — which has a little less capacity than last year’s 3,000 mAh power source — that is part of a new mechanism that can remove the bottom of the phone to add additional modules, which include a camera grip that adds an extra 1,200 mAh of battery power and an audio attachment that provides high-end sound powered by Bang & Olufsen.

As for the phone’s body, it is made out of metal and has changed LG’s traditional setup of having the power and volume keys on the back of the device. Now, just the power key resides back there (along with the fingerprint scanner that has become ubiquitous on flagship phones), with the volume keys moved back to the side of the device, where most manufacturers have them.

LG is also offering accessories that can be easily paired with the phone and managed through a preloaded app. Those include the LG Roller Bot, a small, remote-controlled robot with built-in speakers and camera; the LG 360 CAM, a 360-degree remote-controlled camera; and LG 360 VR a virtual-reality headset that connects to the phone through its USB-C port.

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Here’s a look at the specs:

Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 820
Operating system Android 6.0.1 (Marshmallow)
Display 5.3″ Quad HD IPS Quantum Display (2560 x 1440 / 554ppi)
Storage 32 GB UFS ROM, microSD card up to 2 TB
RAM 4 GB LPDDR4 RAM
Rear camera 16 MP main, 8 MP wide-angle (135 degrees)
Front camera 8 MP
Battery 2,800 mAh (removable)
Size 149.4 x 73.9 x 7.7mm
Weight 159 grams
Network LTE / 3G/2G
Connectivity Wifi 802.11a/b/g/c/n/ac / Bluetooth 4.2 / NFC / USB Type-C

The phone comes in silver, titan, gold and pink colors — although not all may be available in all countries or at all carriers/retailers. No date or pricing information was revealed, neither was availability for U.S. carriers, but it is expected to be compatible with the major ones — including AT&TVerizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and US Cellular. Full details about the phone can be found at LG’s official site here. The company’s full press release follows:

PRESS RELEASE:

LG DEBUTS THE G5, ITS FIRST EVER MODULAR SMARTPHONE

LG’s Newest Idea Revealed At Mobile World Congress 2016 Complete With Friends

BARCELONA, Feb. 21, 2016 — LG Electronics (LG) today unveiled its highly anticipated LG G5 smartphone, a brand new design with not only a sleek, metal uni-body featuring a Slide-out Battery and a Modular Type design that gives a greater smartphone experience. Complete with LG Friends, a collection of companion devices, the G5 can be transformed into a digital camera, Hi-Fi player and more.

Encased in a sleek metal aluminum body and Slide-out Battery to easily swap out a depleted battery for a fully charged one in seconds, the LG G5 surpasses the visual experience of its predecessor, the LG G4.

First, the G5’s 135-degree wide angle lens lets you choose between standard or wide angle lens to get more in the shot. Second, the Always-on Display makes notifications just a glance away with the time, date and more available anytime without waking the G5. Third, the 3D Arc Glass featured in the smartphone’s 5.3-inch display creates a gentle curve and a smooth colorful metal surface through an advanced microdizing process which takes anodized aluminum to a whole new level.

Furthermore, the insulative antenna is invisibly integrated into the body without disrupting the seamless look of the metal uni-body. LG designers took the metal body concept one step further by adding a Shiny Cut edge for added contrast and better “hand-feel”.

LG’s First Modular Type Smartphone
LG’s innovative Modular Type design gives the LG G5 the ability to transform into a digital camera, Hi-Fi player and more all while keeping its traditional removable battery in a full metal uni-body design for the first time ever.

LG CAM Plus
The LG CAM Plus is a versatile camera module that can be attached through the battery slot to deliver a comfortable grip and convenient control of a standalone camera. The LG CAM Plus provides physical buttons for power, shutter, record, zoom, LED indicator and comfortable grip. It also offers intuitive auto focus and exposure lock, features usually found on standalone digital cameras. When attached to the LG G5, it provides an additional battery capacity of 1,200mAh to allow for longer shooting times for more fun and enjoyment.

LG Hi-Fi Plus with B&O PLAY
The LG Hi-Fi Plus with B&O PLAY is an innovative portable Hi-Fi DAC audio player developed in collaboration with B&O PLAY to meet the needs of those who seek to enjoy top-notch sounds that have traditionally only been available through high-end audio devices. LG Hi-Fi Plus with B&O PLAY stands out for its simple yet elegant Scandinavian design as well as premium sound technology. In addition to the 32-bit Hi- Fi DAC upsampling technology first introduced on the LG V10, LG Hi-Fi Plus with B&O PLAY also supports 32-bit 384KHz high-definition audio playback. LG Hi-Fi Plus with B&O PLAY can be used either as a module with the LG G5 or as a separate Hi-Fi DAC by connecting to any smartphone or PC.

Extreme Wide Angle Lens and Advanced UX
Reflecting LG’s longstanding reputation as a leader in smartphone cameras, the LG G5 has two cameras on the rear: one with a standard 78-degree lens and another with a 135- degree wide angle lens, the widest available in any smartphone. The 135-degree lens on the LG G5 offers a viewing angle that is approximately 1.7 times wider than those of existing smartphone cameras and 15 degrees wider than the human eye’s field of view. The wide angle lens makes it easier for users to capture more landscape, taller buildings or larger groups without having to position oneself further from the subject.

The LG G5 features a collection of powerful photo effects including Pop-out Picture, Film Effect and Auto Shot. Pop-out Picture combines images taken by the standard and wide angle lens to create a picture-in-a-frame effect. Film Effect can apply nine different film emulators to an image while Auto Shot is an enhanced camera UX which automatically captures the perfect selfie shot when a face is recognized.

Always-on Display for Enhanced Convenience
The 5.3-inch Quad HD IPS Quantum display on the LG G5 offers an Always-on feature, the first on a main smartphone display. The concept of the Always-on Display was first introduced in the LG V10 as the Second Screen and now that feature has evolved on to the main display to show the time, date and battery status continuously even when the G5 is in sleep mode. This means that you can always see the time at a glance, even during important meetings or when your hands are full.

To minimize power consumption, LG redesigned the display driver IC memory and power management function so that the display’s backlight only illuminates one small part of the overall display. Thanks to this technology, the Always-on Display requires only 0.8 percent of the battery’s full capacity per hour to operate. With consumers turning on their smartphones up to 150 times a day mostly to just check the time, the G5’s Always-on Display will make a notable difference in the life of the battery over the course of the day.

Another advanced display feature in the LG G5 is Daylight Mode, which gives the G5 exceptional outdoor visibility beyond that of current auto brightness technology. Daylight Mode detects surrounding light conditions and instantaneously increases or decreses the brightness of the display, up to 850 nits. Even before your eyes have adjusted to the different lighting conditions, the G5 will be ready.

Diverse Range of Companion Devices
With the G5, LG is introducing a paradigm-shifting smartphone ecosystem — the LG Playground. With this, LG aims to strengthen the ties with its partners and introduce various devices and supporting programs to fully maximize the LG Playground.

As part of the ecosystem, LG is introducing a wide range of companion devices, aptly called LG Friends, to deliver fun while providing a new mobile experience far beyond traditional smartphone boundaries.

LG 360 VR
The LG 360 VR is a VR goggle that can be connected with the G5 via a dedicated cable and works exclusively with the G5 to simulate a 130-inch TV viewed from two meters away. It has a stylish design that is foldable so that users can easily carry and watch VR content anytime, anywhere. Unlike other VR devices that require a smartphones to be inserted in the device, the LG 360 VR weighs only 118g (4.16 ounces) and is just onethird as heavy as competing VR goggles while delivering a resolutaion of 639 ppi. The device is compatible with 360-degree images and videos captured with LG 360 CAM as well as all Google Cardboard content.

LG 360 CAM
The LG 360 CAM is a compact 360-degree angle camera equipped with two 13MP 200- degree wide angle cameras, 1,200mAh battery and 4GB internal memory, which can be supplemented by a microSD card. The LG 360 CAM can be easily connected to the LG G5 allowing users to create 360-degree content. The LG 360 CAM provides 2K video and 5.1 surround channel recording on three microphones to help users effortlessly create high-quality 360-degree contents. Thanks to the partnership with Google, images taken with the 360 CAM can be uploaded to Google Street View and YouTube360, adding the fun of sharing creative contents with others. The images will also be available to view on the LG 360 VR or other smartphones or devices that are capable of 360-degree content.

LG Rolling Bot
The LG Rolling Bot is a companion device that rolls like a ball while capturing images and videos with its embedded 8MP camera. Not just a toy, the LG Rolling Bot can be used as a monitoring system for the home, pet care companion as well as a remote controller for compatible home appliances. With an IP camera connectable via Wi-Fi, users can remotely monitor the interior of their homes with the LG G5 via live streaming.

LG Tone Platinum
The LG TONE Platinum (model HBS-1100), the latest in the LG TONE Series, is a Bluetooth headset that has earned the Harman Kardon® Platinum grade for its superior sound quality. With a Balanced Armature design for minimum distortion, LG Tone PlatinumTM delivers exceptionally sharp and clean sound. What’s more, it is the world’s first Bluetooth headset equipped with aptX™ HDcodec, delivering lossless 24-bit audio for sound that is unrivaled in a wireless device.

H3 by B&O PLAY
H3 by B&O PLAY is a set of active noise cancelling high-end earphones that is compatible with the high-quality sound of the LG Hi-Fi Plus with B&O PLAY. Designed for audiophiles as well as anyone who considers audio performance a top-priority in a smartphone, H3 by B&O PLAY works with all Android smartphones.

LG Smart Controller
The LG Smart Controller allows users to easily control certain drones. With the LG Smart Controller, users can check the video stream from the drone through the LG G5 in real time and control the unmanned aircraft with the LG Smart Controller joystick.

LG Friends Manager
Only available in the LG G5, Friends Manager is the hub application that allows the G5 to connect with LG Friends with minimal fuss and effort. LG Friends Manager automatically detects nearby LG Friends and connects quickly and easily in three simple steps, eliminating much of the hassle of pairing devices.

More Performance, More Efficiency
The LG G5 offers many other innovations designed to revolutionize today’s mobile lifestyle, such as:

Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 820 Processor
The LG G5 is equipped with the powerful yet energy-efficient Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor that offers advanced features such as 64-bit performance, Adreno 530 graphics and lower-power Hexagon DSP as well as Qualcomm Spectra™ 14-bit dual image signal processors (ISPs) designed to deliver high resolution DSLR-quality images and additional power savings. The Snapdragon 820 processor also has an integrated X12 LTE modem that supports Category 12 download speeds of up to 600 Mbps and LTE Category 13 uplink speeds of up to 150 Mbps.

Compared to the previous Snapdragon 810, Qualcomm Technologies’ most advanced CPU architecture offers double the speed and power savings. Adreno 530 graphics demonstrate up to 40 percent faster graphics performance and up to 40 percent more power efficiency. Snapdragon 820 supports 4K capture and playback at four times more than the resolution of 1080p, enabling users to watch and capture their daily moments in stunning detail and clarity. The processor is also optimized for VR, generating quality pixels and life-like colors to deliver the ultimate VR experience to G5 users.

aptX™ HD: 24-bit Hi-Fi Wireless Audio
The LG G5 is equipped with aptX HD, an enhanced codec that supports 24-bit sound over Bluetooth, delivering rich and clear sound over wireless connections without any loss. When paired with the LG TONE Platinum, users can experience superb quality Hi- Fi audio that sounds amazingly close to the original source.

Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 3.0
The LG G5 offers Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 for incredibly fast charging. By employing an intelligent algorithm, Quick Charge 3.0 is 27 percent faster and 45 percent more efficient than the previous generation.

Low Power Location Estimation (LPLE) Technology
The LG G5 has excellent battery life, thanks to the Low Power Location Estimation technology. This solution enhances the battery efficiency by as much as 41.9 percent byimproving the power consumption related to location-based apps.

“The new LG G5 will encourage owners to rediscover the true joy of a mobile life,” said Juno Cho, president and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “The G5 and LG Friends are the result of many experts inside LG asking themselves if it was still possible to be innovative and unique in the smartphone space. I think once customers spend a little time with the LG G5, their answer will be a resounding YES.”

Google begins rolling out Marshmallow Android Wear update, includes speaker support

Android Wear users should expect to receive an update on their watches in the coming weeks, as Google has begun the roll out of the Marshmallow update. Among the key features included with the latest version of the operating system is speaker support for devices that have a built-in speaker.

The announcement came earlier today in a post on the Official Android Blog. In addition to speaker support, the update adds additional wrist gestures that allow users additional hands-free functionality and being able to use your voice to send messages in apps including Hangouts, Nextplus, Telegram, Viber, WeChat and WhatsApp.

The speaker support adds the ability to make and take calls on the watch via Bluetooth and listen to audio/video messages using apps like Glide. As of today, the Android Wear watches with built-in speakers are the Huawei Watch and ASUS ZenWatch 2 (49mm), although more will be released in the future.

Here’s the full changelog from Google’s blog post:

  • Navigate your watch with new gestures. Scrolling up and down your card stream is as simple as flicking your wrist. Starting today you can also expand a card, bring up your apps, or return home to your watch face with a push, lift or shake. You’ll be able to stay connected to what’s important, while keeping your phone (or other hand) in your pocket.
  • Send more messages with just your voice. With Android Wear, you’ve always been able to get answers to spoken questions. Now you can also use your voice to send messages from apps like Google Hangouts, Nextplus, Telegram, Viber, WeChat, and WhatsApp. Running late for lunch? Just say “OK Google, Send a WhatsApp message to Nathan: I’ll be right there.”
  • Make calls and listen to messages with speaker support. Screening calls from your wrist is a nice convenience that comes with Android Wear. Thanks to speaker support, you can now make and take calls over Bluetooth. And you can listen to audio/video messages with apps like Glide. All you need is a watch with a speaker, which today includes the Huawei Watch and the ASUS ZenWatch 2 (49mm).

Google says the update is rolling out to all Android Wear devices over the next few weeks. To check for the update, head into your watch’s Settings menu, tap About, then System Updates.