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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    Last week might have been dominated by Samsung when it came to launches, but when we're talking about rumors of upcoming models, the hottest action may have been over with the new Google Nexus phones, instead. After checking out some leaked hardware details we had the opportunity to look at a render of one of the handsets, supposedly based on details of the LG Nexus as provided to case-makers. Considering its unofficial nature, could that video be trusted? We're feeling a lot more confident about it this week, upon the release over the weekend of a hands-on image of the LG Nexus that sure ...

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    Odds are, we're just a couple months away from seeing the public release of Android M (alongside some new Nexus hardware). But when it does get here, what name will it take? While it may not ultimately have any impact on the software we get, half the fun of a new Android release is figuring out what dessert-themed name Google's thought up for the build. For M we've already heard plenty of suggestions, from Mars bars, to marshmallows, to macadamia nut cookies. Now a couple Google employees are stoking the M-name-rumor fires, with the publication of a new teaser video. The Natalie and ...

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    There's a movement underway to add some overlooked functionality to your smartphone, bringing you access to multiple streams of high-quality commercial content, all without paying a dime or counting against your data allotment. It was earlier this year that we first learned of a concerted effort to convince smartphone OEMs to activate dormant hardware on their phones that would enable handsets to receive FM radio transmissions, or at least to sell future phones with the feature present out of the box. Late last month we heard that AT&T had been convinced to back the idea, and would ask ...

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    Motorola's latest product launch came and went without any sign of a new smartwatch, but evidence continues to mount in favor a next-gen Moto 360. As we wonder if Motorola will end up following in Samsung's footsteps and saving its new wearable for IFA, the manufacturer may have just given us an early look at the model, publishing a short Moto 360 promo video that appears to feature brand-new hardware. While Motorola's initial post has since been deleted, the video it oublished was archived before that could happen, and it's retained for your viewing pleasure below. In it, we see a ...

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    It's nearly time for Apple to introduce its latest hardware, and if the rumors about a possible September 9 event are to be believed, Apple could be prepping one pretty big set of announcements, bringing us not just its new iPhones but also new iPad hardware. But just which iPads might show up? Last month we checked out a rumor claiming that Apple wasn't quite ready to give us an iPad Air 3, and that instead would be coming out with a new iPad mini and introducing the jumbo-sized iPad Pro. Well, we're still not sure if the time is finally right for the fabled iPad Pro to make its debut, ...

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    A few weeks back, we caught wind of a new rumor about LG and its tablet plans, suggesting that the company was prepping a new G Pad 2 for launch early this fall, one with some respectable-sounding upper-tier hardware. While it looks like we'll have to keep waiting before we find out whether or not there's any truth there, this week we have the opportunity to check out a slightly different LG tablet as it goes official, and while it's a much lower-end model, it does manage to deliver at least one attractive, rare feature. The LG G Pad II 8.0 is launching in South Korea with an eight-inch ...

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    It was just about a month ago when we got the first sign that things might not be shaping up as expected for the Galaxy Note 5 and European markets. While rumors talked about international availability from North America to Asia, a theory emerged that Samsung might sit Europe out for the phablet's debut, and sales might only get started at some unspecified future date. We weren't too inclined to put much faith in the idea at the time, especially considering the sales Samsung would be passing up, but then yesterday, as the Note 5 went official, everything changed. First we learned that the ...

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    When we first started talking about the possibility of the rumored new LG Nexus phone getting a 3D camera, we were talking about specific camera hardware – sources described a combination of traditional visual light and infrared sensors. But then later rumors started getting away from us a little, and instead of focusing on the camera hardware itself, we were instead looking at case designs – ones with big dual cutouts that sure seemed to fit with the idea of a twin-sensor 3D camera system. But could there be another explanation? Recent leaks have claimed that both LG and Huawei Nexus ...

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    Going in to yesterday's Samsung Unpacked event, we had fair warning that we wouldn't end up seeing a new smartwatch. Despite Samsung having long confirmed plans that it's developing a new wearable, and one with a round screen, at that, rumors suggested the smartwatch wouldn't share the stage with the new Galaxy Note 5, and indeed, it did not. What we got instead was confirmation that Samsung would hold its smartwatch announcement back for IFA in early September. That, and an official name: the Gear S2. During its Unpacked event, Samsung shared a few quick pics of the wearable, and while ...

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    It might shock you to hear this (and certainly, our scope of coverage today isn't doing much to establish otherwise), but there's actually smartphone news going on right now that isn't at all related to new Samsung products. While we're still very much basking in the post-launch glow of the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+, there's movement elsewhere in this mobile tech world, and the latest development to catch our eye concerns a flagship from another Android OEM, with the discovery of what just might be the first published render of the Sony Xperia Z5+. Remember those leaks we saw ...

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    Today at its Unpacked event, Samsung announced the new Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+, two phones with a heck of a lot in common. Beyond the usual stuff like SoC and RAM, those similarities extended to the same four color options, as well as the same choice of storage capacity. In its official on-stage announcement, Samsung mentioned both handsets coming in your choice of either 32GB or 64GB storage. Those same 32/64 options appear in Samsung's formal press release, as well as in the announcements we're seeing from carriers as they get started with pre-orders of the phones. What about ...

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    Take a Galaxy S6 Edge and blow it up by ten percent. Or maybe take a Galaxy Note 5, round-out the edges of the screen, and shove an S Pen up in there. Whatever path you take, there are a lot of ways to get to the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+, a device that, maybe more than any other new edition to the manufacturer's lineup, feels like a mash-up of other hardware. But just because it might be a little derivative doesn't mean there's not a lot to like about the Galaxy S6 edge+, and today at Samsung's Unpacked event, we had the chance to go hands-on with the phablet. While the GS6e+ lacks an S Pen ...

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    Samsung's latest Unpacked event might just be the most eagerly anticipated launch this summer - well, until IFA comes along in a few weeks, at least - and this morning the company drew the curtain back on both the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+. While you had the chance to watch the show live, Pocketnow was there in person, and just as we promised when sharing Samsung's official device videos with you a little earlier today, we've been putting together some initial hands-on videos with the new hardware. We get started with today's headliner, the Galaxy Note 5. With a redesigned S Pen ...

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    It's just after 3PM here in the US on Eastern time, and if you've been following today's big launch news from Samsung (and what kind of smartphone fan can you call yourself if you haven't been?) you know what that means: the start of pre-orders for the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+. Formal retail availability won't commence until August 21, but it sounds like online orders might be able to get a head start on things, as carriers begin sharing details about how you can buy these phones – including all-important pricing details. Take AT&T, for instance, which is accepting orders ...

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    Just like last year, Samsung's latest phablet offerings consist of a pair of device. But unlike the Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge, this time Samsung's switching up its branding a little, dropping the Note name entirely for a new phablet that keeps the over-the-edge curved screen look of past Edge models, while dropping the S Pen that's such a key part of the Note family. Meet the Galaxy S6 edge+. In nearly every way the Galaxy S6 edge+ is a close match to the Note 5 itself, aside from that glaring lack of stylus. Truthfully, the only differences we're looking at here are the GS6e+'s ...

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    Samsung's latest Galaxy Note phablet is here, and as only should be expected from the product line, this guy's one hardware heavyweight. While the specs might not push the limits quite so far as with past models (we return to quad HD again this year - 4K will have to wait), we still see some notable (no pun intended) firsts for Samsung, like the decision to bless the Note 5 with a hefty, forward-thinking 4GB of RAM. But just what are we looking at here in terms of the complete hardware package? If we're to really evaluate just how far Samsung's come since the Note 4, to say nothing of the ...

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    The latest Galaxy phones are here, with Samsung revealing both the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+ at today's Unpacked event. We've already covered the announcements of both phablets, and with a Pocketnow crew on the ground at Samsung's New York press event, we'll be bringing you hands-on video of both models in just a little while. To help tide you over until those are live, we've got what might just be the next best thing, as Samsung has already published its own official video overviews of the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+. Take a look below to get to know the design and features ...

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    It's been forever since Samsung came out with a new smartwatch - OK, just about one year. Last August, Samsung introduced the autonomous Gear S with its curved screen. We've been anticipating a new smartwatch with a display that's eye-catching for a whole different reason, as Samsung confirmed plans to release a model with a circular face. Today at Unpacked it gave us a little preview of that wearable, briefly showing off the Gear S2 in advance of a planned IFA launch. That's right: this guy's going to be called the Gear S2, not Gear A as widely rumored. One thing the rumors did get right ...

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    Coming up to today's Samsung Unpacked event, it may have felt like all the secrets were out about the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+; with phones as leaked as these two have been, what was left but for the pair to go official, right? Well, last week we started picking up some new late-stage leaks, with one revealing an unusual accessory: a hardware QWERTY keyboard case. Even having seen a render of the hardware, we still had our doubts as to whether or not it might be real, but today Samsung put our doubts to rest, confirming the its keyboard cover. This guy first looked like it might ...

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    Samsung's not waiting around for everyone else at IFA this year; for 2015's big Q3 launches, the company's instead turning to its own Unpacked event a few weeks in advance of the big expo. Between official teasers, leaks, and rumor after rumor, it may seem like many of the secrets of today's event have already been revealed, but we trekked down to New York City anyway to see first-hand just what Samsung had to reveal. This morning, the company wasted no time getting right to business, as JK Shin revealed Samsung's latest smartphones, including the Galaxy Note 5. Just as rumored, the new ...

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    HTC's been failing to turn a profit on and off, going back quite a few quarters by this point, but its most recent financial performance has been some of the most concerning to date, with the company losing hundreds of millions of dollars. If HTC has any hope of getting back on its feet, the company's going to have to make some important changes, and last week we heard a little about what those might entail, with talk of making cuts both to its product lineup and to its workforce. It remains to be seen just how thoroughly the manufacture might seek to prune its handset lineup, but today we ...

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    Today's the day: we've been anticipating Samsung's new phablet for months, and now we're just an hour and change away from the company's next launch event. Breaking from tradition, Samsung declined to hold back on its news until IFA this year, and instead has put together this mid-August Unpacked event. If everything goes as expected – and we have no reason to believe it won't – that means the launch of the Galaxy Note 5 and the Galaxy S6 edge + (and maybe even a surprise or two). Pocketnow's got a crew on the ground in New York City, all ready to bring to coverage straight from the ...

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    By this time tomorrow, the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+ will be official. And if Samsung's own teasers weren't enough to convince you that those two devices will premiere on-stage at tomorrow's Unpacked event, not to mention the weeks and weeks of leaks and rumors zeroing in on the company’s launch plans, we've got a new leak to share with you that not only firmly makes the case that this pair is just about to be announced, but also shares details of a deal one carrier intends to offer its shoppers. The in-store poster you see above reveals a Sprint promo where customers can ...

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    Last week, one of the most interesting leaks related to Google's plans for upcoming Nexus phones passed across our desk, purporting to offer a brief hands-on look at the Huawei-made Nexus phablet we've heard rumored so often. The handset featured a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, and appeared to have the name Poseidon embossed on its back – and while that wasn't quite one of the code names we were expecting for these Nexus phones, its marine theme was at least in the right ballpark. Earlier today some fresh details about both the Huawei and LG Nexus phones arrived, coming from Steve ...

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    Just about one month ago, HTC revealed its latest batch of affordable desire-series smartphones, the Desire 520, Desire 526, Desire 626, and Desire 626S. The manufacturer promised plenty of carrier support for the group, and named half a dozen carriers that would soon find these models operating on their networks, but a lot of specifics were missing – like who would get what, when, and sell it for how much. We started seeing those answers trickle out shortly thereafter, and today Verizon finally joins them with an announcement of its own, as the carrier gets ready to start selling the ...

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