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!

Contact Stephen Schenck

  • by |

    Remember back in those heady early days of smartphones, when hardware keyboards still dominated? Their availability has waned in recent years, and the selection at the moment is so thin that that you'd likely find yourself making serious compromises in order to secure a keyboard-equipped model, either in terms of platform, specs, or carrier support. So it's understandable that word of a keyboard option for an upcoming flagship-level model would get us raising a few eyebrows. This afternoon we check out just such a leak, upon the publication of an image supposedly showing a hardware ...

    Share
  • by |

    Smartphone platforms have seen their fair share of security scares over the years, but there's something about this new attack on the Android StageFright subsystem that really has industry players responding in way unlike what we've seen before. Rather than dragging their feet in getting fixes out, we're not only seeing a rush to update devices, but also some bold new commitments being made to keep on top of security updates going forward, devoting resources to getting those updates out in a timely fashion. Google's going to be leading the charge as it prepares platform-level updates, ...

    Share
  • by |

    When Apple introduces its next wave of iPad tablets, what devices will be among them? A new iPad Air and mini, sure, but will that be it? What about the possibility of finally seeing one of those long-rumored bigger iPads launch – like the 12.9-inch device we've been calling the iPad Pro? Some sources are adamant about the tablet's presence in Apple's fall lineup, but then again, these plus-sized iPad rumors have been around for years, and so far nothing's come of them; why should this year be different? As we wait to learn if there's really a new, larger iPad in our future, a new report ...

    Share
  • by |

    Among the many announcements that we heard Google make back at I/O earlier this year, we learned of the coming launch of Android Pay, Google's next-gen mobile payment system and spiritual successor to Google Wallet. And while we've known to expect Android Pay to go live following the arrival of Android M later this year, Google hasn't been sharing a ton of details about just how we'll see the service debut. Perhaps it shouldn't be too surprising, but a new report claims that Android Pay will arrive with the help of LG, as the service is supported by an LG-made Nexus phone. Wouldn't a Nexus ...

    Share
  • by |

    One month ago, HTC's latest quarterly results arrived – and they didn't look too good, not by a long shot. The company, once on the brink of turning its fortunes around following some recent disappointments, ended up taking a big loss – its largest quarterly loss ever. Clearly, something's not working for HTC, and if it wants to get back on its feet, that's going to mean making some changes. This week HTC Chief Financial Officer Chialin Chang shares just what sort of changes the company has in mind, and that's going to mean making cuts. It's not yet clear just how many HTC jobs could ...

    Share
  • by |

    The last couple months have seen Pebble's next generation of smartwatches arrive bit by bit. First we saw the Pebble Time start going out to its crowdfunding backers, then later become available to shoppers at large; most recently, we've even started talking about brick-and-mortar retail sales. But that's only half of the new Pebble picture, and we've also been anxiously awaiting the new Pebble Time Steel. While that Pebble's been a little behind schedule, it's finally on its way out now – just not necessarily with its matching steel band (not yet, at least). And while that's great news ...

    Share
  • by |

    Windows 10 promises big changes for the way code is shared across devices, and beyond the arrival of useful universal apps that will easily transition between PC, phone, and tablet form factors, Windows 10 also looks to help break down boundaries between competing platforms. Back in April we learned about Microsoft's plans for encouraging devs to bring existing Android and iOS software to Windows 10, thanks to an Android subsystem that would allow for very lightweight porting, as well as tools to help adapt Objective-C apps from iOS. That sounded all kinds of promising, but will the ...

    Share
  • by |

    Will jumbo-sized tablets ever catch on, or are users just more comfortable past a certain screen size working with more traditional laptops? We've already seen some early attempts at extra-big tablets, like Samsung's 12.2-inchers, while others like Apple's long-rumored iPad Pro have yet to surface. Today, though, we're talking about a tablet that could make even those look positively tiny in comparison, as evidence turns up towards Samsung work on an 18.4-inch beast. India's Zauba import database reveals the device, described as a test model with a screen size of 18.4 inches. Despite that ...

    Share
  • by |

    If the rumors are accurate, we're looking forward to a pair of Nexus phones this year: a smaller LG 5.2-incher, and a Huawei 5.7-inch phablet. While the LG Nexus may be getting the most attention, if only due to the absence of a more petite Nexus option in 2014, the Huawei Nexus could end up being just as impressive, while also exposing the manufacturer to new audiences. Today we get what may be our first look at the phone, as a short video gives us a brief glimpse at an a previously unknown Huawei handset. As the rumors have suggested for the Huawei Nexus, there's indeed a fingerprint ...

    Share
  • by |

    Samsung's latest Unpacked teaser may seem to be all about phones and tablets, but when discussing it we found ourselves wondering about the fate of Samsung's next smartwatch, the long-awaited Gear A. It's clear that Samsung's been doing a lot of work to get ready for the round-screened wearable's debut, especially on the software development side of things, and while it would certainly make enough sense for Samsung to bring the watch along to its launch event next week, that's far from a certainty. As we wait to see if the Gear A will make an appearance, we're checking out the latest rumor ...

    Share
  • by |

    The days following the launch of Sony's Xperia M5 and Xperia C5 Ultra have found our attention already moving forward to new hardware, fueled by a series of leaks that attempt to show off some next-gen Xperia hardware – and while the identification isn't rock-solid just yet, there's a strong feeling following all this that these phones could be the Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z5 Compact. Already this week we've had a few chances to look at what appears to be some edge-mounted fingerprint-scanning hardware on these handsets, integrated into their power buttons. Today we return to get a new ...

    Share
  • by |

    One week from now, on Thursday, August 13, Samsung will hold its next Unpacked event. We're expecting to see a pair of phones dominate the festivities, with Samsung likely to launch both the Galaxy Note 5 and the Galaxy S6 edge+, but that's not the only hardware that might make an appearance. For instance, we've been waiting for Samsung's new round-screened Gear A smartwatch for a while now, and there's a chance the wearable could be on Samsung's Unpacked agenda. But while that's mostly wishful thinking, today we're looking at what may be the first real evidence that Samsung will have ...

    Share
  • by |

    Yesterday we shared with you some of the best real-world pictures of the Galaxy Note 5 to date: nice and clear, covering multiple angles, and with the phone even powered-on. Short of getting of getting to handle the phablet ourselves, that may be the best look we get at the phone in advance of Samsung's August 13 Unpacked event. And as we look forward to seeing both this guy and its cousin the Galaxy S6 edge+ go official, we've got yet another chance to get an early look at the hardware, as case-maker Spigen posts renders of a variety of designs for both models. While there's nothing ...

    Share
  • by |

    This year, WWDC brought word of plenty of new developments for Apple platforms: OS X, iOS, and even Watch OS – and for an Apple dev conference, that's just what we'd expect. What was a little less expected was the news we got about Apple apps for Android users, and in addition to the Android Apple Music app that's slated to arrive sometime this fall, we also saw the introduction of the Move to iOS app that Apple intends to help Android users transition over to its ecosystem. But could Apple have even grander Android ambitions beyond this software? There's a strong chance it could, as we ...

    Share
  • by |

    How many times have you wanted to whip out smartphone and snap (what could be) the perfect photo, only to second-guess yourself because of something in the way? Maybe there was a fence between you and your subject matter, partially obscuring the shot, or you'd have to shoot through a window pane that has a nasty habit of reflecting your immediate surroundings. Some researches from Google and MIT have come up with a system for overcoming such obstacles, and will be presenting their paper this month at the SIGGRAPH conference. Much like how the Nokia Smart Cam on Lumia phones can shoot a ...

    Share
  • by |

    To be able to get the most out of your smartphone or tablet, you really need to be able to trust it: trust it with details about your personal life, your finances, and plenty of other specifics that you'd rather not fall into the wrong hands. The companies behind these devices are growing more cognizant to that fact, and we just heard from Samsung about how it intends to make security a big priority going forward, and plans to deliver monthly security updates to its Android phones. Just after posting that news we got word of a similar initiative from another major Android player, as Google ...

    Share
  • by |

    It can be a scary world out there for smartphones, and while by and large most users will never face a hacker's wrath, news of some security vulnerabilities with the potential to cause major headaches have Android users concerned. In particular, last week the world learned of an issue with how Android handles MMS video content, and how a specially-crafted message could use Android's StageFright media indexing system to compromise your phone's security. While OEMs are already rushing to issue patches, Samsung thinks there must be a better way to get fixes out to phones in a timely manner, ...

    Share
  • by |

    Is Sony really about to introduce its next-gen flagships, just months after the Xperia Z4/Z3+ arrived? It's certainly the kind of behavior we've seen from the company before, and even if there was a bit of a lull after the release of the original Z3, it could well be time for Sony to get back into one of these phases of launch after launch. Earlier this week we checked out a hardware leak that attempted to reveal some new Xperia Z-series hardware – phones that looked like they'd introduce a new side-mounted fingerprint scanner, one integrated with the power button. Today we get a closer ...

    Share
  • by |

    Is the OnePlus 2 really a “flagship killer?” A whole lot of fans seem to think so, and they've been going to some lengths to improve their odds at scoring a coveted invite to purchase the phone before anyone else. OnePlus has already indicated that it's working to prevent people from abusing its reservation list – so if that was your plan to get one of the first invites, you're gonna want to keep thinking. What's a OnePlus enthusiast to do? Today the company shares word of a legitimate way to make an end-run on its waitlist, giving shoppers the opportunity to big on OnePlus 2 invites ...

    Share
  • by |

    If you're a serious Windows fan, you likely have already upgraded your PC to Windows 10 – and hell, you were probably running the Insider preview months before you made your final upgrade. And that Insider testing may also extend to your smartphone, where you've had the opportunity to try out some of the latest Windows 10 Mobile builds. But Microsoft's Windows 10 ambitions are far greater than just the desktop and mobile spheres, and we'll even see the platform arrive as an update for the company's Xbox One game console. So far the Xbox has lagged behind other Microsoft platform in terms ...

    Share
  • by |

    Qualcomm started talking about the capabilities of its next-gen top-of-the-line SoC back in early March, sharing news of the Qualcomm Zeroth platform and Snapdragon 820. And while we very much look forward to this powerhouse turning up in its first mobile devices, there's still a lot we don't know about the chip; Qualcomm may have given us the highlights, but there's still a heck of a lot that hasn't been confirmed. We heard some compelling theories earlier this summer, but so far Qualcomm's yet to come forward and verify a lot of the 820's specs. Now we get word that a more comprehensive ...

    Share
  • by |

    With all the gossip this summer about BlackBerry testing the waters and thinking about releasing an Android-powered smartphone, it can be easy to forget that BlackBerry's still very much interested in coming out with BlackBerry 10 phones. One of the most resilient such models we've seen over the course of the past year has been the BlackBerry Passport, and after the launch of the original edition last fall, we saw a new slightly redesigned version emerge for AT&T back in January. Now it's time for yet another new look for the Passport, as BlackBerry announces its Passport Silver ...

    Share
  • by |

    Interested in picking up the new OnePlus 2? We don't blame you, and you're hardly alone in your desires; right now, the reservation list for OnePlus 2 invites is over 1.8 million shoppers long. If you weren't among the first to sign up, that can look like a seriously long wait, and people are understandably anxious to see their ranking in the waitlist improve. Some enterprising OnePlus fans have been going to quite some lengths to ensure that happens, attempting to take advantage of the OnePlus referral bonus to improve their ranking via automated methods. In a new post, OnePlus ...

    Share
  • by |

    For a phone that's still over a week away form making its official debut, the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 sure hasn't been keeping a very low profile. And OK, while Samsung hasn't publicly confirmed that the Note 5 is what we're getting at next Thursday's launch event, it doesn't take a genius to pick up on the myriad hints available. Besides hearing a lot about what we can look forward to from the Note 5, we've had multiple opportunities to check out the phone's hardware, thanks to a healthy assortment of leaked pics. Today we look at some of the best, brightest, clearest shots yet, as a new ...

    Share
  • by |

    In the big-business world of the US cellular market, it's not just sufficient to have more users than your peers: you also need people to know just how big a player you are, capitalizing on every chance you get to assert your position. That's why we saw T-Mobile so eager earlier this year to graduate from fourth place among major US networks to third, moving past Sprint in the process. And while T-Mobile believed it had what mattered to be considered number three at the time, the bookkeeping was a little wonky, and not everyone agreed on just how users should be counted. Well, six months ...

    Share
Mobile Version