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 |

    When Motorola's Moto X+1 finally launches – which all present evidence is pointing towards happening next week, we're hoping to get confirmation of a bunch of new custom backplate options. Already, Motorola's given us a rainbow of colors and a handful of wooden finishes to choose from for the Moto X, and right from the start of X+1 rumors, we've been hearing about the phone picking up some additional materials. Namely, we could be looking at leather options, including a choice of colors, and just last week we spotted some retailer evidence that seemed to support the idea of this new ...

    Share
  • by |

    Coming up to HTC's launch of the One M8 for Windows earlier this month, we thought we were looking at a Verizon exclusive. At least, that's where all the evidence seemed to be pointing, and when the time came for the handset to go official, HTC was calling Verizon its “exclusive launch partner.” But the thing about a smartphone exclusive, versus a launch exclusive like we have here, is that the latter leaves the door open for other carriers to pick up the handset a little further down the line, after that exclusivity period has waned. Indeed, mere hours after the One M8 for Windows was ...

    Share
  • by |

    As we just looked at in our IFA 2014 Rumor Roundup, Sony's got quite a few new devices we're expecting to see launched next week. Those range from phones, to tablets, to wearables, to accessories, and a relatively consistent stream of leaks has been slowly feeding us information about many of them. But in contrast to companies like Samsung or ASUS, which have been delivering IFA teasers that outright identify their upcoming products, Sony's been keeping relatively quiet. Sure, we got some general hints from its invitation itself, but nothing really specific. Now the manufacturer is finally ...

    Share
  • by |

    Who's ready for a little Funkausstellung? We're about a week away from the start of IFA 2014, where mobile device manufacturers from all around the world will descend on Berlin to show off their newest products. The F in IFA –Funkausstellung– may translate as “radio show,” but the expo has evolved far beyond its early audio roots to feature the very latest in smartphones, tablets, and wearables. The Pocketnow team will be on the ground in Germany to share with you everything IFA 2014 has to deliver (or at least, everything worth seeing) but before we send our boys abroad, we wanted ...

    Share
  • by |

    Earlier this week, rumors about Google's follow-up to the Nexus 5 took a turn. We had already been talking about the idea of Motorola manufacturing this hardware, and after rumors bounced around the theory that we could be looking at a 5.9-inch phablet-sized handset, they settled back at a slightly more mainstream 5.2-inch screen size. But all of a sudden, it looked like we might not be getting the Nexus 6 we assumed would we be on the menu, and instead the phone would arrive as the Nexus X – a name we'd been tossing around a year prior in the lead-up to the release of the Moto X. Today ...

    Share
  • by |

    “No way, the Note 4's coming out? Dude, I want a Note 4,” exclaims Mark Hunter, the subject of one of Samsung's latest Note 4 teaser videos. Going back a week now, we've been checking out these promotional clips the company has been publishing, leading up to its Unpacked event at IFA next week. At first they were a little vague, reminding us of why we liked the existing Note line and alluding to an IFA announcement, but by now Samsung seems to have given up any pretense and is dropping that Note 4 name left and right. In these latest spots, we check in with some current Galaxy Note ...

    Share
  • by |

    Is there any real mystery left in smartphones? We've got all these companies teasing their IFA announcements, and while many aren't outright announcing new products already (except you, LG – you're a kook), they're pretty much doing everything but. And while there's still a lot of uncertainty around products like the new iPhones, few of us are doubting that the phones themselves exist. How about some news that's quite a bit more open-ended? We've got just the thing, as there's something going on right now between Cyanogen and Nextbit, but no one seems to have a good idea of just what ...

    Share
  • by |

    Smartwatches are promising to be some of the real spotlight-stealers at IFA next week, where models like a new curved-display, cellular-connected Gear from Samsung, and that round-faced LG G Watch R are expected. Last week, we saw ASUS start dropping hints that it, too, was preparing to introduce a smartwatch at IFA, one rumors had previously suggested could be the lowest-priced Android Wear model to date, by a wide margin. The company followed that up with some additional teasers, revealing design sketches, and now it's back with a short video and a name for this smartwatch: the ASUS ...

    Share
  • by |

    This past weekend, LG surprised us with a new IFA 2014 teaser, revealing its round-faced wearable, the G Watch R. With Motorola's Moto 360 yet to go up for sale, LG threatened to swoop in and steal some of the 360's buzz, not only by making a circular smartwatch itself, but also by seemingly achieving a fully-round display, rather than the very-nearly-there 360 with its little dead space at the bottom. But while this G Watch R is very much happening, we haven't had a great look at the hardware just yet – the first teaser video just offered blips and flashes of a render. LG continues to ...

    Share
  • by |

    What makes you choose one wearable over another? Phone compatibility? Price? Hardware design? Just like with smartphones themselves, there are a ton of criteria to keep in mind, and these being smart devices we're talking about, not the least of those is the variety of software the wearable is able to run. Some platforms are approaching the issue of apps from the phone side, like how Android Wear doesn't really offer apps that exist independently of your Android handset. Others, like Pebble, are more inclined to deliver apps that stand by themselves. Samsung's a little closer to the latter ...

    Share
  • by |

    Smartphones with scratch-resistant sapphire crystal protecting their displays are no longer the stuff of bank-breaking luxury phones; with the launch of the Kyocera Brigadier, they're soundly within reach of the average smartphone buyer. Still, sapphire's arrived with more of a whimper than a bang, and it remains to be seen if efforts from big names like Apple will be what the material needs to really go mainstream. Another manufacturer has just stepped forward with news of a sapphire-screened handset of its own, as Huawei confirms rumors about its plans for a sapphire-covered version of ...

    Share
  • by |

    Google set its sights on developing markets this year, announcing Android One during its Google I/O keynote this past June. Android One would provide resources for manufacturers to quickly and easily put together handsets running stock Android, while simultaneously giving users access to speedy software updates. With phones priced at $100 or less, the program promised to really step-up the quality we find at the bottom of the budget hardware barrel. Last we heard, the first Android One models might debut in India sometime in late October. Now new rumors suggest that Android One could ...

    Share
  • by |

    Going back a little over a month now, we've been hearing whispers about Motorola's work towards a new Moto G. From the sound of things, this second-gen model (a Moto G2, perhaps?) would make some big changes, growing to offer a five-inch 720p display – though that could also mean the phone arriving with a noticeably steeper price tag than its predecessor did last year. Motorola's invitation for its September 4 press event makes a new Moto G launch look like a near-certainty, and as we wait for our chance to go hands-on with this hardware ourselves, we've got a new leak to check out, ...

    Share
  • by |

    It wasn't too long following Amazon's launch of its Fire Phone back in June that we started hearing warnings of underwhelming consumer interest. First we saw what appeared to be a precipitous drop in pre-sale figures, and then later we checked out some survey data that showed Fire Phone interest lagging behind even that for Windows Phone or BlackBerry. But for all this nay-saying, one all-important figure continued to elude us: the actual number of Fire Phones Amazon has managed to sell. The company has yet to release official data, but some new estimates place the number pretty darn low. ...

    Share
  • by |

    Samsung brought fingerprint scanners to its smartphones with the launch of the Galaxy S5, and in the time that's followed we've seen the tech expand to come to other Samsung phones, as well as the company's tablet lineup. With the Note 4 expected to launch next week, we've all been assuming that fingerprint scanning would make a return, and now a new rumor attempts to spell-out just what about Samsung's implementation might be changing, and what could be staying the same. Reportedly, the Note 4 will use a Synaptics Natural ID sensor, just like previous Samsung devices. And like those ...

    Share
Mobile Version