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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    OnePlus has already managed to attract a lot of criticism for the way it's introduced its first smartphone, the OnePlus One. From the invitation system, to that smash-your-phones contest, to issues with scalpers, or even botched run-ins with regulatory agencies, it sometimes feels that this company is making every mistake it can – but then again, as an upstart, it has some growing pains to work through. The latest OnePlus controversy has just landed, and this one is drawing Cyanogen Inc. into the conflict. It all started with the announcement of a new OnePlus One invite giveaway, this ...

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    When we're talking about smartphone radios, we're usually concerned with the latest-and-greatest tech they support – Cat 4 LTE, or even Cat 6 in some nations, for speeds reaching into the hundreds of megabits a second – so it's easy to forget just how much support there is for older systems, even those we rely on regularly. While there's some early progress towards things like voice over LTE, the vast majority of calls still get routed on older non-LTE networks. Even our data regularly dips into the 3G range, if not going all the way down to EDGE or even GPRS. Despite this reliance on ...

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    When you're a cloud storage provider, especially one that doesn't already control its own mobile platform, it can be tricky to stand out. That led to some fierce competition, including a virtual arms race to see who could lure users with the most free storage. But lately that's been dying down, and we're instead seeing these companies focus on features. Today, we learn about some new abilities coming to Box on Android, including the arrival of support for Box Notes. Box Notes has been in development since last year, and back in June it made its debut on iOS. The tool is a collaborative ...

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    If you're the sort of tech enthusiast who likes paying attention to the specs, by now you've no doubt heard about the NVIDIA Tegra K1 SoC, the company's latest offering. It introduced the chip back at CES in January, and lately we've been hearing about a lot of hardware that will take advantage of the K1, from Google's Project Tango dev tablet, to the new NVIDIA Shield Tablet, and maybe even that rumored HTC Nexus tablet. But what's easy to miss is that there are two versions of this hardware, a 32-bit quad-core A15 version, and an upcoming 64-bit edition. This week, NVIDIA turned the ...

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    Early this summer, rumors were already circulating that Samsung, despite the release of high-profile phones like the Galaxy S5, wasn't shaping up to report big earnings, and indeed, when the numbers finally came out late last month, we saw the lowest quarterly profit in a long while. Granted, it's still bringing in billions, but that sort of slow-down is nonetheless troubling to a company that's been enjoying the sort of unchecked momentum that Samsung has. Now it looks like the manufacturer is taking steps to turn things around, as we get word of new cost-cutting measures. If you were ...

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    This morning brought news of some possible pictures of Samsung's next phablet, the Galaxy Note 4. Or, that's what we were supposed to be looking at, at least, though we had more than a few concerns about whether or not those were the real deal. In a case like that, where we find ourselves burdened with doubt, a second source is always nice to turn to, either for corroboration or to help refute the news. A second source is what we find ourselves dealing with now, and while this adds some interesting new information to the puzzle, we're still not quite to the point of getting clear answers. ...

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    We just got done telling you about HTC's ambitions to capture the hearts (and wallets) of the US market with its affordable Desire line of Android phones, so it's only fitting we dovetail that with another bit of Desire news that was going around this past weekend, as specs and a couple pics emerge of a purported Desire A11. That's presumably just a codename, and the details that accompany the leak describe the A11 as a 4.7-inch FWVGA phone with a 5MP main camera and running Android 4.4.2 – nothing special there, right? But then there's this SoC, and as soon as we saw it IDed as a ...

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    HTC's One-series of Androids (and soon to be Windows Phone, too, by the looks of it) may capture the lion's share of our attention, but we've also been keeping abreast with what's happening with its more affordable Desire lineup. Back in May we reviewed the Desire 816, and just last month we gave the same treatment to the Desire 610. At the time of those reviews, these were models that smartphone users in the States would likely have to import, but that's all changing, as HTC announces today plans to make both Desire models easily available to US shoppers. Starting tomorrow, August 12, ...

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    Last week we took a break from the rumors surrounding Motorola's efforts to deliver a new Moto X, and instead started looking at what might be in the future for some of its more budget-focused models. Some benchmark data sure seemed to point at development work towards a new low-to-mid-range handset with a five-inch 720p display. And while there was no hard evidence linking it to the name, rumors suggested that this might be a new Moto G. As we wait to get the full details on this device, a new rumor attempts to shed a little light on what the launch situation might look like. Reportedly, ...

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    As we start pushing into mid-August, expectations for IFA 2014 continue to grow, and we're sure to keep learning about more and more events being scheduled by companies to show off their latest mobile products. We've already been clued-in to a few, like announcements scheduled by Samsung and Sony, and this week we catch wind of Microsoft's plans, as it distributes an invite that may just be hinting at an announcement for the Lumia 730. Remember, this is the model we've often heard described as a “seflie” phone, with an emphasis placed on the performance of its front-facing camera. With ...

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    We just got done looking at some (possibly suspect) images of the Galaxy Note 4, but putting aside what we think of their legitimacy for a moment, there was one clear omission from those pics: no wrap-around, over-the-edge display. Based on the rumors we heard last week, there could be a good reason for that, though, and such a model might be a very limited-edition version of the Note 4 sold only in select markets, while most of us would get a much more traditional Note 4 design. Even if that's the case, how would the phablet be sold? A new trademark application may just offer us an ...

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    At this point, there's little denying that HTC is working on a new Windows Phone model, one that uses the company's Android-powered One M8 as its base. We've seen official imagery of just such a handset getting ready for Verizon, and unless we're misreading things here, the upcoming August 19 HTC event could well be the vehicle by which we're formally introduced to this smartphone. But will it really be a full-fledged One M8, just running Windows Phone? Might HTC change some portion of the hardware? Maybe the controversial UltraPixel camera? Not if this latest rumor has anything to say ...

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    Going back several months now, we've heard a lot about what to expect form Samsung and its next phablet, as rumors attempted to detail the Galaxy Note 4. With its Unpacked event coming up at IFA 2014, the Note 4's launch may only be weeks away, and despite all this talk of quad HD displays, next-gen SoCs, and maybe even some sort of wrap-around screen, we haven't really had much in the way of reliable leaks picturing the phone's hardware itself. We get this week started with a series of images intent on doing something about just that, showing us a smartphone that may well be Samsung's ...

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    Confused about all the LG G3 family members out there? We don't blame you. Between the flagship itself, the Snapdragon 805 version, the G3 Beat, the G3 Stylus, and that new G3 A that came out of nowhere, it's all a lot to wrap your head around. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like LG's lineup is about to start embracing minimalism any time soon, as we pick up word today that not only may the G3 Beat be coming to a carrier in the US, but that it could get a new name as it does so. The G3 Beat, as you may recall, is a much more restrained device than the bleeding-edge G3, featuring a ...

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    It's been a little while now since we heard anything new about the rumored Gear Solo, said to be Samsung's effort to deliver a smartwatch that features its own cellular radio (like that Timex model we just looked at), freeing its operation from the requirement of having a nearby smartphone. The evidence we were seeing back in May looked pretty solid, with the wearable clearly showing up in an import database as the Gear 2 Solo, but there hasn't been much in the way of new developments since. Was this wearable still happening? When might it debut? The latest word out of South Korea suggests ...

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