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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    Earlier today we looked at a leak discussing Google's plans for Android Lollipop distribution, which mentioned that system images for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 were due out by the end of the week. We wondered briefly if that might mean a stealth Saturday release, but just hours later Google made the files available. Well, we didn't get formal Android 5.0 factory images for these models, at least, but instead an updated version of the existing dev preview – still a worthwhile download, all the same. And while that new dev preview includes a whole lot of interesting changes (which we're sure ...

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    It's been a busy week of high-profile device launches form a couple of the companies behind the biggest platforms in mobile, with both Apple and Google showing off their latest hardware. Besides getting to know these new models themselves, we were also informed about how initial sales for the lot of them would begin. We may still be a couple weeks away from the start of Nexus 6 pre-orders, but the rest of this crew is already lining up to take your money, as pre-orders get underway for the Nexus 9, iPad Air 2, and iPad mini 3. Google's set to open Nexus 9 Play Store pre-orders at some ...

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    Earlier this week, we got news from Google about its plans for the public release of Android 5.0 Lollipop: while the new Nexus devices would (obviously) ship with Lollipop, updates for existing models were announced as arriving sometime in the weeks to come. Well, what does that mean? Will Nexus 5 owners be waiting until Thanksgiving before they have a chance (beyond the dev preview, at least) to bring Lollipop to their phones? Today we start to get a better sense of just who's getting what when, as a leak attempts to reveal Google's distribution strategy. The first release should be in ...

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    It's easy to look at today's iPad mini 3 announcement and come away wanting a little more: a newer SoC, perhaps, or something beyond Touch ID to make it stand out a little better from last year's iPad mini with Retina display. For now, though, it still represents the pinnacle of Apple's shrunken-down tablet lineup, and likely will for the year to come - so we'd better start getting familiar with. If you're already intimately acquainted with last year's iPad mini specs, this is going to sound a little like a broken record, but for those of you new to the party, read on to get a taste for ...

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    Of Apple's two new tablets debuting at today's launch event, the iPad Air 2 is easily the more capable of the pair. With a new SoC at its core, the Air 2 represents the next generation of Apple's iOS hardware. But there's so much more than just a speedy processor and GPU that make this tablet the attractive slate it is - especially that extremely thin 6.1mm-thick build. Let's take a look at the full picture of components that make up Apple's latest tablet flagship: iPad Air 2 specs [table] Component,Description Screen size,9.7 inches Screen type,LCD with fully laminated construction and ...

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    Earlier this week we took a look at one of the latest virtual reality accessories to launch for smartphones, the VR One from Carl Zeiss. It looked a bit like the Samsung Gear VR, what with its strap for head-mounted operation, but sounded more like another Google Cardboard, dialing back on the custom software and hardware – though that also meant a much lower price point than the Gear VR, coming in around $100. It looks like that's just the start of a flood of similar devices from competing manufacturers, and today we check out an even more affordable option, as Archos announces its VR ...

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    We were expecting two tablets at Apple event this afternoon, and following the company spending some time showing off the new iPad Air 2, it's time for the day's second tablets, as Apple turns the spotlight on its latest pint-sized tablet, the iPad mini 3. Like the Air 2, the new mini is available in three colors this year, adding gold to its options. Screen size remains at 7.9 inches (along with the 2048 x 1536 resolution) and the 5MP camera is back. Physical dimensions are unchanged from the iPad mini 2, and the iPad mini 3 runs the same A7 SoC as the previous generation - no A8X here. ...

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    Finally, the moment we've been waiting for is here! After plenty of news about services, software, and OS X, Apple's event has moved into tablet territory. First up, the company is introducing the successor to last year's already-quite-thin iPad Air, the 6.1-mm-thick iPad Air 2. Sure enough, that rumored gold color has arrived, finally giving the iPad line the same color selections as Apple's smartphone lineup. The new tablet's screen is now fully laminated, bonding the touch sensor, glass, and LCD panel itself. Paired with an anti-reflection coating, the iPad Air 2's display should be ...

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    We're still waiting on those new iPads, but Apple's press event this afternoon continues to deliver announcement after announcement. We just heard that Apple Pay was going live on Monday, and you can't have Apple Pay without iOS 8.1. So when's that update going to arrive? Apple has confirmed that iOS 8.1 will also arrive on Monday, October 20. Among the features to look forward to in the release of 8.1 is the return of Camera Roll, following its previous removal from iOS. There's also the aforementioned Apple Pay support, as well as new control over app permissions, letting you view and ...

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    Apple's presumed iPad launch event is currently underway, leaving us just a few moments away from learning of the iPad Air 2, and possibly also the iPad mini 3. As we wait for Apple to get to those announcements, it's starting us off with a follow-up from last month's iPhone launch, confirming the start of Apple Pay early next week, on Monday, October 20. That's a date we've heard before, so while this doesn't come as a big surprise, we're sure a lot of you iPhone 6 and 6 Plus owners have been itching for the chance to try out those new NFC capabilities for yourself and see what this ...

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    Well this is a nice change of pace: for weeks now we've been keeping track of Oppo N3 teasers, with the company dropping details about its upcoming Android little by little. From its interesting body materials to its rotating camera, much of what we know about this handset stems from Oppo's controlled dissemination of news. That's what makes today's find so different, as an unofficial leak seems to reveal a fingerprint scanner hiding away on the back of the N3. Oppo already shared with us a pic of the phone's back when revealing its camera a few days back, but the cropped image didn't ...

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    Yesterday was a big day for Android, with the launch of Google's latest Nexus hardware alongside Android 5.0 Lollipop. And in just a couple hours, we're going to be neck-deep in iOS territory thanks to Apple's iPad event. But before we get there we wanted to take a moment to check out some other Android news from yesterday that got a bit lost in the shuffle, as AT&T, ASUS, and Intel announced the PadFone X mini. Just about one month ago we heard from one of our sources that AT&T was getting ready to welcome a new PadFone mini model, and this PadFone X mini appears to be that very ...

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    It was back in early June when we first started talking about Samsung's Exynos 5433, the latest upgrade to the company's line of SoCs. Among the many devices those early 5433 rumors were tied to was the Galaxy Note 4, and sure enough, that's the chip that powers the international version of Samsung's new phablet. So far, all the various Exynos 5400-series chips have been Exynos 5 Octas of one kind or another – from the 5410 in the Note 4 to the 5430 in the Galaxy Alpha – but the 5433 is special: unlike those other models with 32-bit Cortex A15 and A7 cores, the 5433 moves up to ...

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    If nothing else, this year's launch of Google's latest Nexus models has taken steps to seriously differentiate these devices from previous Nexus family members. We've probably harped so much on the Nexus 6's price and size by this point that you're getting sick of hearing about it, but the Nexus 9 makes a few departures of its own. The most notable is arguably its very un-Android-like 4:3 screen aspect ratio, more in common with an Apple tablet than what we'd expect from a Google model. But that's just the tip of the iceberg, and from its 64-bit Tegra K1 SoC to the keyboard case accessory, ...

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    The Nexus 6 is finally here, and it is one big ol' Android. It weighs 41 percent more than the Nexus 5 while growing its screen out to nearly six inches - and that's not a change that everyone's going to love. But if you can get past the larger size (not to mention larger sticker price), there's a ton of killer hardware waiting for you here. Let's take a look at just what variety of flagship-level components go into making up this first Nexus smartphone effort from Motorola. Nexus 6 specs [table] Component,Description Screen size,5.96 inches Screen type,OLED Resolution,2560 x 1440 Pixel ...

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