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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    Well before IFA came along, Samsung was already a tablet juggernaut this year. We saw the launches of multiple Galaxy Tab 4, TabPRO, and most recently Tab S models, so it wouldn't be crazy to assume that Samsung would take a little tablet break, focusing more on its new handsets and wearables. Then again, this is Samsung we're talking about, a company that can't seem to go a week without launching a new product, so when we saw it go ahead and introduce the Galaxy Tab Active earlier this week, it's not like we could act surprised. We took a couple minutes at IFA 2014 to go hands-on with ...

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    We just shared with you our hands-on look at Samsung's new Galaxy Alpha, remarking how IFA is a great venue to not just see the new products announced in Berlin this week, but also those the manufacturers here had launched in the days prior to the show. The Alpha is already a few weeks old, but Samsung's got another pre-IFA launch that's a bit newer, with the Gear S smartwatch having been announced a week ago Wednesday. With its compelling curved display, tracking this wearable down was a no-brainer, and we've filmed our run-in with the Gear S for you to check out. "Is it too big? It looks ...

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    Sony helped start-off our IFA 2014 coverage with a bang, announcing new flagship-level models like the Xperia Z3, Z3 Compact, and Z3 Tablet Compact. We followed that up by tracking those devices down for the hands-on video treatment. But while those were easily the most high-profile of the new Sony devices to launch, they weren't alone, and we also saw the manufacturer announce a lower-end handset, the Xperia E3. As we continue to make our way through the ocean of all IFA has to show us, we decided to give Sony another visit, this time popping-in to check out the overlooked E3. If you'll ...

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    One of the best parts of going to expos like IFA is getting to see all a manufacturer's recent hardware. We realize that probably sounds more than a little obvious, but we mean that it's not always the products that are being launched right at the show itself that are there to be demonstrated - it's also a bunch of hardware that's launched in the weeks and months prior to the show, and for such models we otherwise haven't had the chance to try out before, these shows are fantastic opportunities to get caught up. That's just what we found ourselves doing at Samsung's booth, as we finally ...

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    Today's a big day for Android Wear: the Moto 360, one of the two smartwatch models to officially kick-off the platform all the way back in March (has it been that long already?) has finally arrived, and sales of the model open today. But in taking its sweet time to get here, another round smartwatch has jumped into the race, and last week's launch of the LG G Watch R brings Motorola maybe its most direct competition yet. Will the LG model manage to impress us in quite the same way as the 360 has managed to captivate? We went hands-on with the G Watch R at IFA in Berlin to lean for ...

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    Yesterday we shared with you news of a couple of the latest products form Alcatel Onetouch to launch at IFA 2014, the Hero 8 tablet and Hero 2 phablet. Before the company calls the expo a wrap, though, it's got some additional hardware to show off, and this morning announces its Pop 2 family of devices. The Pop 2 lineup includes handsets of various sizes and materials, including some premium options. Both 4.5-inch and 5-inch versions will be available, powered by the new Snapdragon 410 SoC with its 64-bit support. One of the highlights of the family promises to be its multiple color ...

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    A little earlier today we brought you news of the first Alcatel Onetouch smartphone to debut at IFA 2014 this year, the six-inch Hero 2. While it didn't look like much of a show-stopper, it managed to combine a metal build with a big screen and decent battery, not to mention the inclusion of a stylus – even if it was capacitive. Now we've got one more model from the manufacturer to share with you, as it announces the Hero 8 tablet. The Hero 8 has (surprise, surprise) an eight-inch screen, and thankfully it's a 1900 x 1200 panel. The tablet's powered by an octa-core MediaTek MTK8392 SoC, ...

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    Just over a week ago, LG got ahead of the curve on all these IFA launches with news of its latest wearable, the circular-faced Android-Wear-running G Watch R. Now, we may be just hours away from getting the scoop on the start of Moto 360 sales, helping to scratch that round-smartwatch itch, but what if you've been spending this past week dreaming about the G Watch R, instead? When might you hope to be able buy this guy? At the time of its launch, LG wasn't sharing any details beyond “early fourth quarter,” but today we're finally learning the specifics, with word that the smartwatch ...

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    “Where's my Moto X+1 at? Is this September 4, or is it not? Wasn't Motorola supposed to be elbowing-in on IFA's spotlight today with some new hardware?” Yes, yes, you're not far off there. Last month, the company started inviting the press to a September 4 event in Chicago, with some subtlety-be-damned hints that we'd be seeing the launch of the rumored Moto X+1 and the second-gen Moto G, possibly learning the start-of-sales details for the Moto 360 Android Wear smartwatch, and maybe even getting news about a new earpiece accessory of some kind. But with the day now upon us, the truth ...

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    IFA 2014 may be a great place to go if you're into Android or Windows Phone, but iOS? The best we might hope for are some interesting third-party accessories, and even the launch of the coolest Bluetooth keyboard or wireless speaker won't be able to make us forget that we have a real Apple event just days away, where news of next-gen hardware is essentially guaranteed to arrive. Sure, there have been (and will continue to be) plenty of last-minute stabs at just what hardware will debut (and when), but the details of the event are a done deal: come September 9, we'll have some answers. ...

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    After new devices today from Microsoft, HTC, Huawei, and more, it's now Alcatel Onetouch's turn to start showcasing some hardware of its own, and it's getting us started with its latest phablet, the six-inch Hero 2. The Hero 2 features a six-inch 1080p display, runs a 2GHz octa-core SoC, and has a 13.1MP main camera with 5MP front-facer. There's only one 16GB storage option, but that's user-expandable via microSD. The phone packs 2GB of RAM, has a 3100mAh batter, and will arrive running Android 4.4. So what's so notable about this guy? Alcatel Onetouch points out the expansive display, ...

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    Metal construction. A Kirin 925 SoC. 4100mAh of battery capacity. Spec, by spec, Huawei captivated us in Berlin earlier today as it announced its Ascend Mate 7. We grabbed a hold of this latest flagship phablet and slipped away from the show floor to give the Mate 7 a little one-on-one attention for a Pocketnow unboxing video. Once the hustle and bustle of IFA dies down, we'll be bringing you a full review of the Mate 7, and that's a good thing, as it's going to take quite a bit of time to give all the features Huawei has baked-in here the attention they need. Will that fingerprint scanner ...

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    One of the two all-new Androids Huawei launched at its IFA press event earlier today, the Ascend G7 sets out to be an affordable option for smartphone shoppers looking for a phone a little on the larger side of things. The 5.5-incher has to keep a few specs dialed-back in order to still hit the 300 EUR price point Huawei's going with, like the presence of just a 720p display, but does it still have what it takes to be an attractive phone you might what to buy for yourself? Let's take a look at the Ascend G7 so you can begin deciding for yourself. One of the big pluses we noticed straight ...

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    Already at IFA this morning we've seen Huawei introduce the Ascend Mate 7 and Ascend G7, and while those help fulfill some of the Huawei rumors we'd been hearing leading up to this week, there was one more big one: the company had been officially teasing the launch of an updated version of its existing Ascend P7 handset with a scratch-resistant sapphire glass display. Just as we were hoping, today in Berlin Huawei shared new details about its sapphire-enhanced Ascend P7. It's not just sapphire, though: remember how we were curious what would be happening with the P7's back panel? The ...

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    The six-inch Ascend Mate 7 phablet isn't Huawei's only new device ready to premiere in Berlin today, and while that one may very well be up in the flagship space, the manufacturer came prepared to introduce models hitting a variety of price points. We've just seen it go official with a new mid-ranger, the 5.5-inch Ascend G7. Like the Ascend Mate 7, one of the big selling points Huawei is pushing for the Ascend G7 is the phone's metallic construction, giving it a premium look and feel. Unsurprisingly, though, this being a mid-range device, the rest of the hardware takes a few hits. Like ...

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