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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    Where the heck are those new Galaxy A-series phones from Samsung? Following the launch of the Galaxy Alpha we've been tracking rumors of a trio of additional models, the Galaxy A3, A5, and A7. Last we heard, an October launch might be in the cards, with the intention of getting sales started sometime next month – but now with just a week to go in October, we're beginning to wonder if that source was a bit misinformed. As we wait for these metal-rimmed handsets to go official, new details are arriving for one of the models, with the Galaxy A7's User Agent Profile spilling the beans about ...

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    Back near the start of the month, before Google launched its latest Nexus models and confirmed the name Lollipop for its Android 5.0 release, we took a look at an early video previewing Samsung's work towards bringing what was then known only as Android L to its Galaxy S5. It was great to get an advance glimpse of how TouchWiz would make the transition to Android 5.0, but previews are one thing – when can we expect a public release? We don't yet have a specific date, but new rumors seek to narrow-down the timeframe in which the update might be likely to arrive. Last month, SamMobile had ...

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    Next Wednesday, October 29, Oppo is gearing up to launch its flagship N3 – that much, at least, is all but certain. After all, the company's been teasing the hell out of this phone going back over a month by this point, getting bolder and bolder with the details it's willing to share. While that means that much of the N3's story is out there by now, it may not be the only handset featured at this announcement, as Oppo's latest teaser appears to reveal a second handset getting ready to join the N3 on stage. The manufacturer shared the image above on its social accounts, showing what sure ...

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    We just got done looking at Microsoft's latest earnings statement, and while the mobile side of things didn't reveal any game-changing success stories, we did see some quite solid growth. Not everyone's faring quite so well, and earlier today Amazon reported a quarterly loss of $437 million. Now some new details about just where it lost money are coming in, and to the surprise of essentially no one, the Fire Phone is a big part of what's dragging the company's finances down. Amazon reports taking a $170 million write-down on the smartphone; as opposed to a write-off, where something is ...

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    It's that season again, when companies everywhere are sharing their latest financial reports. Will investors be facing record returns? Who's bringing in big profits, and who continues to struggle? We saw Apple weigh-in with its own data a couple days back, and now it's Microsoft's turn to follow along, as it delivers a report that looks pretty positive on the mobile front. Let's start with the good news: phone hardware sales are up, with Microsoft selling some 9.3 million Lumia handsets in the last quarter alone. Even compared to last year (well, for Nokia), that's an improvement, up from ...

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    Motorola found itself facing some fresh competition on the smartwatch front a couple months back, as LG tossed its hat in the ring with the G Watch R. In the time since, we've seen LG's round-faced smartwatch debut in the manufacturer's native South Korea, but what of international plans? When are all of us in the West going to get a shot at a round Android Wear without the Moto 360's not-a-big-deal-but-yeah-it's-there “flat tire.” In a new blog post this week, LG shares what's next for the G Watch R, starting with Europe. Beginning early next month, in just a couple more weeks, sales ...

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    Two weeks back, HTC dropped a bit of a surprise, posting info about the One M8 Eye on its Chinese site. We had heard about this phone before, and assumed it was coming at some point, but to see the company just sort of let it loose without a more formal announcement was still a little out of the ordinary. And while that made it clear that the One M8 Eye was finally official, the manner in which the handset was introduced left us with questions: would the M8 Eye be an exclusive to China, or would we eventually see this handset make its way to other nations? While the M8 Eye is spreading ...

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    A couple days earlier this week we were talking about LG's Odin SoC, a custom-designed in-house solution akin to what Samsung's doing with its Exynos line. As we heard it told, the first LG phone built around an Odin chip, a device codenamed Liger, was nearly about to launch – so soon that it could be out by the time you finish reading this sentence. We're still waiting on that official announcement, but in the meantime a new set of pics and leaked docs has just emerged that's doing its best to reveal Liger to us just a little early. Even better than some quick in-the-wild shot, these ...

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    Is it fair that manufacturers restrict what we can do with the smartphones we purchase, drawing lines in the sand between permitted “consumer” activities and prohibited “developer” ones? We're hard-pressed to argue how that possibly makes sense, but like it or not, that's the situation for many handsets out there, leading to the release of Developer Editions that cater to the power user who can't resist the temptation to poke around a bootloader. We've seen Samsung give such treatment to models from its Galaxy lineup of Androids, like the Note 3 last fall. This year, it's the Note ...

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    Late last week, we saw pre-orders open for October's hot new tablets, the Google Nexus 9 and Apple iPad Air 2 and mini 3. While Nexus 9 customers will still be waiting another couple weeks for their tablets, the Apple models are already going out, and some lucky shoppers have received their orders by now. If you just can't wait any longer, these new iPad models are also descending upon Apple's retail stores, available for pickup as of now. Head online to Apple's site and check pickup availability for the Air 2 or mini 3 and you'll likely find a positive outlook for local stocks; our quick ...

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    Philips is far from a company most smartphone users think of when asked to list manufacturers. Especially for those of us focused on markets in the West, Philips handsets are few and far between. But in spite of that, we've found ourselves captivated by the company's hardware on more than one occasion, like the launch of its W6618 smartphone with that preposterously capable 5300mAh battery. Today there's another Philips model catching our eye, as the manufacturer introduces its I966 Aurora. If you're a fan of squared-off phones like you'll find in Sony's stable, the Aurora likely speaks to ...

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    With the indignity of “bendgate” having already faded into the background of smartphone news, it was only a matter of time before some new issue (however minor) popped up with Apple's latest smartphones. Would the camera spontaneously catch on fire? The entire phone start reeking of sulfur two months into ownership? You laugh, but the truth isn't much further off, as word of the latest iPhone 6 “controversy” hits our desk, with users reporting handsets picking up discoloration from their blue jeans. The problem seems to be the plastic piping running along the iPhone 6's edges and ...

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    Over ten years ago, Google first launched Gmail as a private beta. In the decade since, the service has gone public, spread to mobile devices, and changed the way many of us access our messages. Recent improvements to Gmail like categories have endeavored to help keep email relevant as we get more and more of it, and keeping on top of the important bits becomes increasingly difficult. Rather than continue to push Gmail further away from its roots, Google's taking a fresh start and introducing a new service designed to merge email with all the modern conveniences: Inbox by Gmail. Like Gmail ...

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    Android 5.0 Lollipop is just about to graduate from its time as a developer preview release and get ready to take the spotlight as the latest public version of Google's mobile OS. The Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 will run Lollipop right out of the box, updates for existing Nexus models are sure to follow shortly, and other OEMs are already expressing their interest in bringing speedy 5.0 updates to their own families of handsets. So when is this new era of Lollipop going to get underway? Google has just shared the official start date for the consumer release of Android 5.0, but is it telling us ...

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    Today puts us one week away from the start of Nexus 6 pre-orders, with Google getting things underway on October 29. And shortly thereafter, Android fans in the US will be able to get their hands on this latest Nexus handset. But what about everyone else? Google hasn't said much about international availability, but a new rumor suggests the situation could be a little rocky, with not every nation getting access to the phone straight away. Specifically, we hear that UK availability of the Nexus 6 might not happen until sometime in December, over a month from now. While other countries ...

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