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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    Right as we were getting into September, Google sent out invitations to an event scheduled for today in India, one where we would get “an exciting new announcement” from the company. Based on where this was taking place, we wondered if this might not be the follow-up to Google I/O's news of the new Android One project. Sure enough, earlier today in India Google formally introduced the world to the first Android One devices, while also revealing some key details about where the effort is going from here. The good news: they're still quite affordable. We had been concerned by rumors that ...

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    It's impossible to talk about this week's launch announcement of Apple Pay, the NFC-enabled mobile payment system available with the new iPhones and Apple Watch, without drawing comparisons to Google Wallet. And with good reason, as the two services are more alike than either company would probably like to admit – at the end of the day, they're both moving money from A to B, and there aren't that many ways to spice things up. But now one small, though still notable difference is emerging, as we learn how Apple intends to profit from Apple Pay's use. With Google Wallet, we were always ...

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    Those of you Motorola fans who have been able to see past all the buzz surrounding the Moto 360, the new Moto X and Moto G models, and all the fun little accessories the manufacturer has just announced may have noticed us talking about the possibility of having a new Droid model launch for Verizon. That all really picked up earlier this month when the old DroidLanding Twitter account got back into action, most recently hinting at a Droid with support for Motorola's Turbo Charger. We had already discussed the possibility of a Droid Turbo, a phone that may have been under development as ...

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    One week ago, Motorola announced its latest Android flagship, the second-gen Moto X. Without reinventing the wheel, it managed to take much of what we loved about the first Moto X, bump up the specs, and offer more custom options – a win all around. Later this month, sales of the smartphone will begin, and just like before, we'll be seeing a good deal of carrier interest. But what if you'd rather not get your new Moto X with a carrier lock, as well as some unwanted software bloat? Motorola's no stranger to selling unlocked versions of its phones, and today we hear that its unlocked 2014 ...

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    Have you pre-ordered your iPhone 6 yet? Maybe looking for some phablet action with an iPhone 6 Plus pre-order? If so, you're probably in good company, with Apple fans everywhere getting ready to let the company's latest smartphones into their lives. But for as much enthusiasm as we're seeing, this new direction for Apple isn't without controversy: will fans of the company's smaller phones be willing to embrace these larger designs? We're finally starting to hear some carriers weigh in on the public demand for these phones, and to hear that message, Apple has nothing to be worried about. ...

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    A couple days ago, HTC sent out invitations for an October 8 event, leaving us only with the words “double exposure” to hint at what might be in store. It sure sounded like something photography-related, but would this be as major as a new phone, or maybe something more in the line of new camera software? Both could still be possibilities, but a new rumor suggests HTC's also cooking-up something very different, describing a new camera accessory. According to Bloomberg's sources, HTC has been developing a tube-shaped ruggedized camera. It would have a wide-angle lens, 16MP sensor, and ...

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    With the iPhone 6 launched, and IFA behind us, there's not a lot in the way of high-profile smartphone events coming up for the next several months. CES looms ahead in January, and while there are a few devices between now and then we're looking forward to, this can still feel like a bit of a slow period. A year ago, though, fall became ground zero for the arrival of the curved smartphone, with both Samsung and LG announcing such plans. But where have curved screens taken us in the days since the Galaxy Round and G Flex? We've seen curved smartwatches, like the new Gear S, as well as ...

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    Back at the start of the month, before we were neck-deep in IFA coverage, followed by Apple's launch event, we picked up on some new activity over at the old DroidLanding Twitter account. In the past, the account would spring to life in the weeks leading up to the arrival of some new Motorola Droid models for Verizon. A couple days back, the account delivered a new message, mentioning fast phone charging being a “big deal.” What are Motorola and Verizon up to here? Well, the key is probably the Motorola Turbo Charger, which the company introduced alongside its latest phones last week. ...

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    In the weeks leading up to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus launches, no one seemed to be sure exactly what hardware we were going to get. Would only the 4.7-inch model arrive, with the 5.5-incher delayed until later? While we ultimately saw both handsets make their debut, they did so without one of the features that seemed like such a big components to these rumors going back months and months: a very scratch-resistant sapphire screen. After all, Apple has this huge investment in GT Advanced Technologies, which has reportedly been cranking-out sapphire for some time now. By the sound of ...

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    When it comes to the software on its Android phones, HTC has been all about the Play Store this year. In addition to making some of its core apps like Zoe available to owners of Android devices made by other manufacturers, it's also been pushing HTC-exclusive apps to the Play Store, with the aim of being able to deliver app updates to its users faster than it would be able to by means of full-on phone updates. Today we learn of the latest HTC app to get that treatment, as the HTC Lock Screen comes to the Play Store, complete with some improvements of its own. The big change in this new ...

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    Android apps have the luxury of being some of the most broadly accessible mobile software around. That's not a consequence solely of the platform's wide availability on smartphones, but also thanks to how other platforms have picked up the ability to run Android software in addition to their native apps – operating systems like BlackBerry 10. This Android compatibility has even extended to the desktop, and programs like BlueStacks have brought Android apps to our PCs for years. But now Google is taking things one step further, and baking Android support right in to its Chrome OS. Today ...

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    Android has joined iOS at the 64-bit table, having seen the recent launches of phones like the HTC Desire 820 with 64-bit SoCs at their core. Where does that leave Windows Phone, though? Will we see Microsoft actively pursue 64-bit components for its platform's hardware? As it turns out, Windows Phone may be coming to 64-bit handsets sooner than you might expect, as we get word of an upcoming model running a 64-bit Snapdragon 410. Remember that confusing Alcatel Onetouch Pop 2 IFA launch? The one that announced a new family of smartphones, but was painfully vague with its details, not the ...

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    Is HTC making a smartwatch or not? Just a couple weeks ago, the word on the rumor circuit was “yes, two of them, and launching soon,” but nearly as soon as IFA descended upon us we were hearing a very different tune, with claims that HTC may have abandoned its smartwatch aspirations entirely. Who's right? Well, this week we've got yet another source weighing-in on the question, and one suggesting that the answer lies somewhere between those two extremes, with an HTC smartwatch still in the pipeline, but not due until early next year. Besides offering that timetable, this new report ...

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    All too often, when we're looking at theories concerning an upcoming smartphone, the rumor narrative sort of falls apart once the handset is finally announced. We may hear a number of competing ideas on what to expect, but at that moment when the one correct version is finally confirmed, what happens to all those now-proven-false rumors? More often than not, they're swiftly forgotten, but that doesn't mean that their mystery is over. Today we check in on one of those old tales, as a new report attempts to shed a little light on Amazon's move into the smartphone game. Long before we had the ...

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    Do we ever have HTC launches on the mind this evening, or what? We just got done making reference to last month's One M8 for Windows launch in the context of Windows Phone branding-change rumors, and right before that we were checking out what might be new evidence in favor of an HTC Nexus 9. And wouldn't you know it, but a new invitation to an upcoming October 8 HTC gathering just popped-up in our inbox. What could we hope to expect? As you can see below, HTC is billing this one as its “double exposure” event, a pretty direct reference to some sort of photography, and one that may be ...

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