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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    Smartphone manufacturers continue to push engineering limits towards the elimination of side bezels for their handsets' screens. Some of them gave it the old college try, only to run up against seemingly unavoidable physical limitations, like LG with its flagship G3. Some of them might just conquer bezels entirely, like we've heard Samsung could be aiming for with its curved display tech. Today we're looking at a leak attributed to the anticipated Meizu MX4, which may offer some of the narrowest bezels we've ever seen for a traditional smartphone display. Granted, this is just the front ...

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    When we start talking about an upcoming Motorola device, what do you think of? The Moto 360, already fully official, but taking its sweet time in coming to market? Or what about the Moto X+1, the flagship expected to debut alongside the arrival of 360 sales? And now there's all this new talk about a possible Motorola Nexus phablet – any one of these a likely candidate for rumors of new Motorola hardware. But today we find ourselves looking at something else, as a Motorola trademark filing might reveal the name the company's going with for a new phone: the Moto Maxx. Right away, that ...

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    Late last month a leak outed what were claimed to be front panels for the Sony Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact. While a little hard to believe at first, a series of subsequent leaks detailing the Z3 have really brought us around to the idea that this is a model Sony's working on. But what of the smaller phone, the presumed Z3 Compact? We haven't heard much of it since then, but now a new series of photos has arrived alongside some hardware rumors – the question is, is this the Z3 Compact or not? Here's the problem: while the basic shape of the phone is a close enough match to that front panel ...

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    The next couple months are shaping up to be chock-full of smartphone announcements. IFA in early September is bound to bring us a ton of new devices, and shortly after that we're expecting news of the iPhone 6. We've even been picking up on word of a few possible launches for August, and an invite just landed for what may be a notable one, as HTC prepares for an August 19 event. But what could the company have to share? A few subjects come to mind, like that One M8 for Windows (or W8, if you will) and the recent rumors that the phone could launch sometime this quarter. Sure, there's been ...

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    The story behind Samsung's Galaxy Alpha has rapidly been coming together over the past couple weeks, going from a name, to a spread of leaked pics, to hardware details in just a span of days. The breakneck pace at which news of the phone's been developing is not looking like it's due to slow down anytime soon, and word comes in today that the Alpha's launch could already be within sight. According to SamMobile, which published one of the two currently available sets of Galaxy Alpha photos, the smartphone may be publicly announced by Samsung next Monday, August 4. An earlier rumor also ...

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    Windows Phone 8.1 has finally seen its public release, following months of availability as a Preview for Developers. But as Windows Phone users all over the world start installing their 8.1 updates, Microsoft already has its eyes on what's next, and today gives us a little taste of what to expect, announcing the coming availability of WP8.1 Update 1 and going over some of the software's key features. Remember that folder support we've been talking about? The update will introduce Live Folders to the platform, letting you group apps for a denser, more feature-packed Start screen. Even ...

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    Amazon's Fire Phone may be the company's new baby right now, but when it comes to Android devices, Amazon's best known for its family of Fire tablets. Last September we saw it introduce its latest lineup, including some new Fire HD models and the debut of the HDX series. With the anniversary of that launch coming up on us, can we expect a new offering of Fire tablets this year? Some benchmarks may give us an early look at what to expect, but from what we're seeing here, we wouldn't expect any massive changes. Last year's Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 was a pretty capable tablet at the time (and ...

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    Whether it's just a fad or a legitimately useful tool, there's no two ways about it: apps that offer users the ability to send messages that have a built-in expiration date are the hot thing to deliver right now. Following the success of Snapchat we've seen no shortage of copycats, including Facebook's recent launch of Slingshot. Last week, rumors about a new one emerged, with word that Instagram was preparing an ephemeral messaging service of its own, dubbed Bolt. While Bolt is still not widely available, Instagram has quietly gone ahead and publicly launched the service in select ...

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    This past weekend we brought you an exclusive leak concerning Verizon's plans for the LG G Vista. We got an updated launch date, with it looking like VZW would get the G Vista out by the end of the month, and also got to see some detailed descriptions of the phone's hardware. The odd thing was, some of this new data didn't agree with previous rumors – would the phone arrive with a qHD or a 720p 5.9-inch display? As we get closer to the G Vista's launch, a new leak attempts to set the record straight, and despite what we got from our source, it's looking like the phone might be 720p, ...

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    Back in early June, SwiftKey announced a pretty substantial change to its business model, making its keyboard free to download from the Play Store, and earning its money through the sale of add-on themes. Today it's got more good news for its users, announcing a pretty decent update to the app, the arrival of new themes, and the start of a theme sale. Let's dive right in to the changes arriving with this update. While on first impression it might look like a run-of-the-mill bugfix/tweak release, it's the scope of the changes here that make this release sound impressive: everything from ...

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    When Google first started selling Google Glass, availability was highly limited; potential buyers had to make their case for why they should be allowed into the Glass Explorer program, before even getting a chance to fork over $1500 for the wearable. And Google, having gone to all the trouble of cherry picking users like that, made it very clear in the terms of use for Glass that anyone caught renting, selling, or even giving away their headset faced Google remotely deactivating their hardware. But now with Glass availability greatly improved, is that restriction necessary, or even ...

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    Last spring, Facebook and HTC asked the world the question “are you interested in a smartphone that puts Facebook front and center as the core of your user experience?” The answer from consumers was almost a resounding “no,” and the HTC First failed in spectacular fashion. Even the Facebook Home software that could be deployed on existing Android phones stagnated, and despite claims from Facebook that the project is still active, you wouldn't know it by the utter lack of public support. Is that it for Facebook's big smartphone ambitions? Will it resign itself to being just another ...

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    Is it finally Motorola's turn to make a Nexus phone? Like HTC, Samsung, and LG before it, rumors have turned to the idea of Motorola – even as it changes hands from Google to Lenovo – manufacturing the next Nexus handset. Yesterday we looked at some early evidence pointing to the existence of this Motorola device codenamed Shamu, reportedly a 5.9-inch phablet. Now we've got some new corroboration to add to those claims, as well as some updates about what might be in store for Google's Android Silver efforts. According to The Information, Shamu didn't really get started until after the ...

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    Yesterday morning we told you about the latest rumor to concern HTC's future with Windows Phone, once again bringing up the idea that the company was working on a WP version of its flagship One M8 Android model. But really, outside the assertion that this project was happening (and likely before the end of the year), we didn't have much to go on. We're still anxious to pick up new details, but at least a couple more have turned up since yesterday, looking into possible launch plans and carrier interest. First up, we have a name, with this handset supposedly arriving as the One (M8) for ...

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    Over the years, the team here at Pocketnow has endeavored to bring you news on all the latest happenings in mobile tech, opinions about software and services, and reviews of hardware running the gamut from the very budget-priced to top-tier flagship models. We've answered your questions about how to decide on which phone to buy, which carrier's plans might be right for you, and hopefully exposed you to some options you might not have otherwise considered. But at the end of the day, when you've finally made up your mind about how to spend your hard-earned money, we've had to send you ...

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