Posts by Stephen Schenck

Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!

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    The rise of video games as streaming performances has positively exploded in recent years, with the publication of gaming vids on services like YouTube and Twitch reaching new heights of popularity – success that led Amazon to announce plans to purchase Twitch for nearly a billion dollars last year. And while much of that content is focused on PC and console gaming, mobile gaming is just as popular in its own right, and now Sony is offering owners of its Xperia devices the chance to easily stream some gaming video from their own hardware, releasing a new live screen streaming app. ...

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    With summer in full swing, we already find ourselves looking forward to September, when events like IFA and Apple's anticipated new iPhone launch promise to deliver some of the hottest phones of the year. And while that's going to mean a lot of top-shelf hardware (with prices to match), we dare not forget just how large a market there is for more affordably priced gear. It's in that light that we turn to Sprint's latest announcement, as the carrier reveals plans to start selling the Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime. The Grand Prime is a Samsung phone we've been tracking since last summer, when ...

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    Over the past few months, we've gotten to know the Apple Watch. We've worn the smartwatch on our wrists, used it to interact with our iPhones, and become familiar with all it has to offer. So while the wearable itself may be quite known to us, there's a bigger picture question that's so far remained elusive, as we've tried to get a sense of what kind of sales the Apple Watch is seeing. At least, while most accounts have suggested strong initial performance, questions have surfaced over just how sustainable those sales might prove to be over the long term. While we still don't have any ...

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    A couple hours back, we took a break from the string of OnePlus 2 talk that had dominated our recent conversations about the manufacturer to look at some minor changes happening for the company's first-gen handset. But without missing a beat we're moving right back over to OnePlus 2 territory now, as the latest official teaser for the phone's hardware arrives and OnePlus announces a hefty serving of system memory. The OnePlus 2 will get a full 4GB of RAM, up from the 3GB in last year's OnePlus One. Beyond just the increase in capacity, we're also looking at a move up to LPDDR4 tech, ...

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    Last year saw Google give the Nexus-phone nod to Motorola rather than returning to LG for a third model in a row, but to hear the rumors LG could be back in the running for 2015, with reports of a 5.2-inch handset in development. We'd already heard about some interesting hardware that could be on the table, like some manner of 3D camera, and now a new source further expounds on LG's intentions for the phone, including where it likely won't find inspiration. The LG-made Nexus 4 took heavy design notes from the Optimus G, and though it divulged a little more, the Nexus 5 (above) shares a ...

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    We're down to the final weeks of waiting for the launch of the OnePlus 2, with the new smartphone set to make its formal debut before the end of the month. And while we're understandably excited to get the full story on that handset, the tale's not over quite yet for last year's OnePlus One. Even with the hardware around for as long as it's been, OnePlus isn't finished tweaking things just yet, and co-founder Carl Pei shared word of a recent change on Twitter overnight. The OnePlus One is already protected against unwanted scratches with the help of Gorilla Glass 3, but as Pei notes on ...

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    When we're talking about the Galaxy Note these days, odds are it's the upcoming Galaxy Note 5, expected to launch at IFA in Berlin just about two months from now. And while we're sure we'll have plenty of Note 5 leaks and rumors to keep us busy over the weeks to come, the story on last year's Galaxy Note 4 isn't quite over just yet. The 2014 phablet is still one heck of an attractive handset, and betting that you still might be persuaded to pick one up, Samsung's kicking off a pretty hefty promotional Note 4 offer. Buy the Galaxy Note 4 between today and Sunday, July 26, and Samsung will ...

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    Jolla's both the company behind the alternative Sailfish OS and the firm responsible for hardware that runs that platform: devices like its smartphone and upcoming tablet. At least, that's been the way things have worked so far, but today Jolla shares word of a new direction going forward, one that will see Jolla crystallize its focus on software development and licensing, while forming a new spin-off company to handle hardware. Full details of this new arrangement aren't yet available, but at a future date – one Jolla says we should look forward to as we approach Q4 – Jolla will ...

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    We just shared with you some official word from Sony about its continued dedication to the smartphone market, and how we shouldn't expect the company to pack up shop or sell things off – ever. That's great news for Sony's fans (and honestly, for the market in general), leaving them only to wonder what's next from the manufacturer. Well, even though the world only just got the Xperia Z4/Z3+, rumors are already suggesting that the company's next big handset could be just around the corner, as talk of the Xperia Z5 returns. Early rumors about the Xperia Z5 were active all the way back in ...

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    Is there a future for Sony in smartphones? While never a company that was competing on the same level as a Samsung or even an LG, Sony remains an electronics giant, and over the years it's kept up its dedication to smartphones, tablets, and even smartwatches, in one way or another. But earlier this year we heard rumors that the company could be shifting around its priorities, and Sony Mobile with its Xperia line could end up on the chopping block, sold off to the highest bidder. In the months since we've seen plenty of progress on the smartphone front from Sony, including the launch of the ...

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    The new color-screened Pebble Time has landed, and we've been spending the last few weeks covering the smartwatch's arrival. The original Pebble (and Pebble Steel) already offered users a lot of customization options with the help of alternate watchfaces, and the debut of the color display with this generation only opens the door for more variety. Beyond that, you can always swap out the band for another 22mm option. But if even that's not enough for you, and you crave further control over the way your smartwatch looks, dbrand may have just what you need, as it reveals its new modular ...

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    The coming arrival of Windows 10 is a force of change across Microsoft's ecosystem, and beyond introducing the latest incarnation of the company's operating systems, it's leading to shifts in the other software and services Microsoft provides. Earlier this year, Microsoft shared word of one such change in the pipeline, dropping its Xbox branding from the new Music and Video apps for Windows 10. But for Music, at least, it turns out that Microsoft has even grander ambitions, and today reveals the next phase of this re-branding as it announces Groove. Groove is Microsoft's new name for what ...

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    The evolution of Instagram over the years has seen the photo-sharing service come to new platforms, pick up video support, and all the while apply filter after filter to millions upon millions of photos. And so far, all those photos that have passed through Instagram have shared some things in common: they're all cropped to a square aspect ratio, and all sized to 640 x 640 pixels. While that resolution may have been sufficient for Instagram's purposes, it was hardly taking full advantage of the high-res screens in our lives that are just aching to display some higher quality imagery, not ...

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    Over the last month or two we've been spotting evidence for upcoming Motorola smartphones on multiple fronts: new Moto X, new Moto G, and maybe even some new Droid family members for Verizon. And while we don't yet have the full picture on what Motorola plans to release as we push further into Q3, a new FCC filing offers a preview of what might just be another new handset, and one armed with some broad cellular connectivity. What we have here is Motorola's model 5137. Measuring 153.6mm x 75.3mm, the handset looks to be a bit larger than 5.2-inch Moto X or Droid Turbo. That might put it in ...

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    Three weeks from today, OnePlus will launch the OnePlus 2, the company's second smartphone, and its new flagship to replace last year's inaugural OnePlus One. For weeks now the manufacturer's been teasing various details about the phone's build, confirming a number of hardware components. But beyond talking about the handset itself, OnePlus has also been sharing a little about how it will be sold, including the touchy subject of pricing. A few weeks back, OnePlus confirmed what had been feared, indicating that the OnePlus 2 would sell for more than the OnePlus One; but just how much more? ...

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    It hasn't been too hard to see that HTC is entering another rough patch. Given the company's sagging stock performance, at least, we've known to expect bad news, and while that may not be something so severe as to lead to the outright sale of HTC, tensions have been understandably high. Today HTC starts offering some new insight into just how far things have slipped, revealing unaudited second quarter figures that show the company operating at a loss. This isn't the first time HTC has taken a quarterly loss, and the company's been struggling to stay in the black going back all the way to ...

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    At this point, we're probably not even two months away from the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Note 5, with all signs pointing to the phablet's launch at IFA 2015 in Berlin. And while having the handset's arrival that close over the horizon means that we've been hearing plenty of rumors about it, the leaks have been a little unsatisfying. After all, while we may have already seen leaks reveal upcoming hardware like the iPhone 6S, we've yet to similarly get a chance to check out the Galaxy Note 5 in the flesh. While we're still not quite there yet, we may have the next best thing, as a video ...

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    We just told you about a new rumor concerning Apple's plans for a 12.9-inch iPad “Pro,” looking at a recent trademark application and explaining why it wasn't quite the evidence for an OS-X-powered iPad as some were making it out to be. But that doesn't mean that work on a larger iPad isn't happening, and the idea that Apple could still release this long-rumored tablet has yet to fade. This evening, we get the latest word about how this jumbo-sized iPad could be coming together, as we hear some supply chain rumors about the companies Apple's chosen to build the tablet's display. ...

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    Over the past few days we've been checking out maybe the most exciting series of iPhone 6s leaks to date, as a source with apparent access to the phone's frame and main board has been offering some up-close looks at the hardware. First we saw the handset's largely unchanged body, and then on Wednesday got a look at a new modem chip. Today the focus on internals continues, revealing, among other things, a new NFC module and the return of a 16GB storage option. Sorry for you proponents of a 32GB minimum, as it appears from this board, at least, that the 16GB variant will return. Here we see ...

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    The mobile industry has a certain degree of patience when it comes to waiting for new devices and services, one largely dependent on just how excited we are about the product in question. When Apple announces the Apple Watch seven months before it intends to even start accepting pre-orders, we may grumble a bit, but you know damn well we've got the release date circled on our calendars and will spending at least those last few weeks on the edge of our seats. But to really get away with that sort of thing, you need to be selling something worth buying. We wonder if that's at all the case ...

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    Right now, Apple's managing two markedly different platforms, as its mobile devices are powered by iOS (which we're including watchOS under), and its proper computers powered by OS X. But for a while now we've been wondering if Apple might be ready to start blurring those boundaries, and if the rumored jumbo-sized 12.9-inch iPad could run some variant of OS X – not unlike how we see Windows tablets running the same operating system as Windows PCs. Now there's a new trademark filing that's getting attention for possibly providing some actual evidence that OS X could land on a future iPad ...

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    One week ago, OnePlus offered the latest in a string of announcements about the upcoming OnePlus 2. But rather than teasing us with the latest hardware component it was revealing, the manufacturer had some bigger news, announcing plans for its launch event. In just over three weeks, on July 27, the company intends to introduce the OnePlus 2 to the world. And it's doing so with some unique showmanship, inviting fans to tune in live to watch the unveiling in full-3D VR. Of course, you'll need some special hardware in order to check that out for yourself, and to that end OnePlus shared plans ...

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    Right after the first rumors arrived last month about BlackBerry's supposed plans to release a smartphone running Android, we started hearing a lot of reports that, while they didn't necessarily conflict with each other, sure seemed to be going off in different directions. Would that keyboard-equipped slider the company showed off at MWC evolve into BlackBerry's first Android handset? Would the first such model be low-end or more advanced? And would we see Android editions released for any presently available BlackBerry hardware? Rumors touched on all those points, and on the subject of ...

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    Smartphone manufacturers and upstarts like Pebble may have led the charge for the initial waves of smartwatches, but now we're at a place where traditional watchmakers are finally coming around to getting involved. That includes companies like Tag Heuer, which is gearing up to start sales of its own Carrera Wearable 01 later this year. And while we're very much looking forward to seeing what the company can put together, that model's going to be a very expensive prospect, selling for around $1400. Today we're talking about another established watch brand* that's looking to jump on this ...

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    There's been no shortage of official OnePlus 2 info going back the past several weeks now, as the company teases the smartphone's features in anticipation of its end-of-July launch. Piece by piece, OnePlus has slowly been letting us know what to expect from its second-gen handset. And as we look forward to the company divulging the next bit of info about the phone, we've found ourselves turning to some additional sources, like the benchmark data that appeared to reveal three variants of the model. Now we're turning our attention back to a much more official source, though one who's ...

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