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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    We've been talking about HTC's intentions for its next Android flagship for a while now: the model codenamed Hima, presumed to launch as the One M9. Just about a week ago, we went from rumors and that stray component shot to some next-level leak action, as image after image turned up of some very One M8-looking, yet still new and distinct, hardware. Did we finally have our One M9? It was all very convincing, especially with the handset showing up in seemingly unintended places (like the reflection of a camera test-shot), but is seeing really believing? One theory suggests that we're ...

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    When Android 5.0 Lollipop first landed late last year, certain phone manufacturers were out to make a name for themselves by getting updates to at least some of their phones as quickly as possible. Motorola and LG led the pack there, though while LG got the ball rolling for G3 Lollipop updates in early November, it wasn't until several weeks later in December when we saw it really spreading to a lot of users, as the update moved across Europe. That was well and good for G3 owners over there, but what about all you users in the States? Obviously, carriers would slow things down a bit, but ...

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    In a little over a week, January will be behind us. Then there's just four short weeks of February between us and Mobile World Congress 2015, the international expo that will bring us dozens of new phones, tablets, wearables, and more. We're expecting a lot of high-profile launches to coincide with the conference, and some manufacturers have already started sending out invites for their events – HTC's going to have its own the day before MWC officially gets started, on March 1. Today we see another OEM join that early-event party, as Huawei shares news of its own March 1 announcement. ...

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    This past fall, Google broadened its Nexus lineup with the launch of the Nexus 6 phablet and Nexus 9 tablet, the first hardware to arrive running Android 5.0 Lollipop. But beyond those mobile devices, we also saw Google introduce the Nexus Player, a set-top box running Android TV, intended to expand on what Chromecast did to bring Android into our living rooms by giving users a one-stop hub for both media and gaming. And while Google was quick to make the Nexus Player available for sale in the Play Store, that's where it stayed – until now. Reports are coming in on multiple fronts of ...

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    This week's Windows 10 event brought us a lot of reasons to be excited about Microsoft's next-gen OS, not the least of which being the early access that interested users will be able to get in giving it a spin on their phones. Some rumors clued us in to what Microsoft's possible plans, and the event itself confirmed them: the preview for phones would land sometime in February. That's great to hear, but phones are only one part of the whole Windows 10 experience; what about computers? Now, Microsoft had already released an early preview of its OS for PCs, but its event brought word that ...

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    Maybe the only thing harder than trying to claim a record is being able to keep it. You work for so long to be the best at something, and then the second you let your guard down, someone else saunters right past you. When we're talking smartphone details, this is an ongoing battle: you may have the highest-density screen, or longest-life battery today, but you're always at the risk of someone else showing up out of the blue and one-upping you. This is a fact of life that makers of the thinnest phones around know all too well, and it looks like the crown for thinnest is about to be passed ...

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    When it came to the rumored HTC One M9, yesterday was one hell of a busy one. We ended up with a bunch of new pictures to check out, including some that could believably be the real deal. Of course, there's plenty of time between now and MWC in early March (and while it's no certainty, that's when a lot of us are expecting HTC to formally unveil the phone), meaning lots of additional opportunities for new leaks to enhance and refine our expectations for the Android flagship. So far today, no new shots of the actual hardware have arrived, but we do see progress on a few fronts, as we learn ...

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    Microsoft sure had a lot to share at yesterday's Windows 10 event, including both new hardware and software. On the hardware front, the HoloLens was easily the flashier of those new offerings, but we also got to see Microsoft's new collaborative wall-mounted slate, the Surface Hub. We heard about how easy it would be to interact with, and how it would be available in both 55-inch and 84-inch sizes, but beyond that high-res 4K display, we didn't get a lot of hardware details. While there are still empty spaces we'll need to see filled in, at least some of those specifics are finally ...

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    We find ourselves absolutely awash with HTC One M9 leaks today, though some of them are looking much more believable than others. One controversy has emerged over the differences between a series of pictures apparently showing off the One M9's design, and those purporting to capture a One M9 “plus” with substantially different hardware. There are more than a few reasons to be suspect about that supposed One M9 plus imagery, not the least of which is that it shows a very odd-looking (and possibly Photoshopped from Nexus 5 components) rear camera, one that still offers a Duo Camera ...

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    Yesterday, one very old rumor found itself back in the spotlight, as talk of Google getting into the cellular service game for itself picked up new momentum from a report detailing the company's efforts to act as an MVNO by reselling access through Sprint and T-Mobile. It's a quite interesting idea, even if the impact it might have on the market is largely dependent on details like pricing and availability that are still very much unknown. But would anything actually come of the rumor this time, or would it be like all those times before, where nothing concrete ended up happening? Neither ...

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    For several weeks now we've been hearing rumors about Samsung's next smartwatch, a device that's expected to represent the company's first foray into the world of circular-screened wearables. But rather than just being a Moto 360 or G Watch R copy, this Samsung smartwatch -codenamed Orbis- has been tipped to offer something a little bit different: a ring surrounding its display that the user will be able to twist in order to interact with the watch's software. Today some new rumors start diving in to just how those ring controls will work, while also discussing the wearable's feature set. ...

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    Windows 10 is coming to existing Windows Phone models, right? At least, the initial word from Microsoft was that “all Lumia Windows Phone 8” models would get Windows 10 updates. And then at yesterday's event, Microsoft pushed beyond that Lumia limitation and clarified that Windows Phone 8.1 models in general – presumably including those from other OEMs – will be upgrading to Windows 10. Sounds pretty good, right? Well, we're not out of the woods just yet, and in a new blog post published overnight, Microsoft pencils-in a few asterisks next to those update guarantees. Microsoft exec ...

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    Is the picture of what HTC's planning for its next flagship Android phone (or phones) all of a sudden becoming much more or much less clear? Earlier this week, leaked images gave us for the first time a believable look at the rumored One M9. And then just hours ago we got to check out a separate batch of imagery, this time supposedly of a slightly larger One M9 “plus.” Only problem is, it doesn't really look much like those One M9 shots. Which is the real deal? Is either one of them legitimate? Possibly even both? We still don't have any hard answers, but we do have a couple new pics ...

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    If you care at all about the internet, you're very interested in seeing how things play out at the FCC with its current efforts to investigate reclassifying broadband providers as common carriers subject to Title II regulations. That decision's going to have far-reaching consequences, so it's little wonder that companies that build hardware that accesses the internet – firms like BlackBerry – are speaking up to offer their opinions on the matter. But now CEO John Chen's catching a little heat for his public letter that goes off the rails a bit, losing focus of the net neutrality issue ...

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    Where's the Xperia Z4? Sony fans are eager to check out what the manufacturer’s been able to come up with since last summer's launch of the Xperia Z3, and after failing to take the stage at CES, we're now curious if the Z4's warming up for an MWC debut. And while much of our attention is taken up looking through regulatory paperwork trying to track Sony's progress towards the Z4's launch, it's easy forget that the Xperia Z3's story is far from over. Beyond just being a phone that's only been on the market for a few months, it's also one whose retail options continue to mature, and this ...

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    Google's Play edition of Android smartphones sounded like such a great compromise: take attractive handsets from major manufacturers and make them available to users with a pure Android, Nexus-like software experience. But for the better part of a year now, Google's been slowly dismantling the program. While the HTC One M8 joined the lineup last spring, we never got a GPe Galaxy S5 from Samsung. And in the months since, Google's pulled phone after phone from its listings. The last holdout was the One M8, but now even that's gone too, leaving Google selling nothing but its own Nexus ...

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    Google's interests continue to grow year after year: from search, to phones, to self-driving cars, to fiber optic internet. On the phone side, Google already runs development of its operating system, sells its own brand of Android hardware, and publishes its own apps – really, all that's left for it to become a one-stop-smartphone-stop is delivering the wireless connectivity phones need to get online. We've heard rumors about the company expanding into the carrier space for some time now, with the most recent round surfacing last spring amidst claims that Google might launch an MVNO that ...

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    Couldn't watch the Windows 10 stream live? Well, we've been covering all the big announcements one-by-one here at Pocketnow, bringing you news that extends past mobile to PCs, embedded systems, and even wearables. In just a little while we're conducting an Editorial Roundtable to discuss today's news in even more detail, as well as offering all our opinions on the developments, expected and jaw-dropping alike. But if you'd like even more coverage of this Windows 10 action, Microsoft's own Joe Belfiore is ready to sum everything up in a convenient seven-minute clip. Watch below to give ...

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    Samsung and Google may have gotten the ball rolling with Gear VR and Cardboard, but head-mounted 3D isn't done there; at today's Windows 10 event, Microsoft announced its next-gen augmented reality system, Windows Holographic. The hugely ambitious project will draw on APIs introduced in Windows 10 to give developers the tools they need to allow users to interact with virtual displays that seem to seamlessly blend into the world around them. Of course, you need some advanced hardware to pull of a feat like that, and for this Microsoft has its own HMD, the Microsoft HoloLens wearable ...

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    There's already a Windows 10 preview for PCs; what about a smartphone release? We've heard that Microsoft was getting such a thing ready, but had been unsure about the timeframe. Today at its Windows 10 event, the company confirmed its intent to release that update after the Super Bowl - that means we can start looking for it in early February. How can you get access to the preview as soon as its available? You'll need to register as a Windows Insider, details for which you can find through the source link below. Insiders won't just get the first crack at Windows 10 on phones, but will ...

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    Between Windows Phone apps, PC software, and its various Xbox consoles, Microsoft knows a thing or two about gaming. With Windows 10, the company's commitment to gaming and online entertainment continues, and at its event this afternoon the company is sharing what it intends to do differently with its next platform update. As you've likely picked up on by now, connectivity between devices is king for Windows 10, and that extends to gaming. Social interactions are getting a priority, and that even means cross-device chat, with PC users talking to those on mobile devices and vice versa. Like ...

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    While we're eager to see what Windows 10 means for tablets, PCs, and consoles, probably the most exciting part of Microsoft's Windows 10 event for our phone-obsessed mines is what it means for smartphones. Joe Belfiore has just started diving in to the latest Windows 10 preview for phones, showing us what it's like to use the platform on a Lumia 1520. Right from the start, we see a new look for the start screen, with improved support for custom backgrounds. Phone settings get a major revamp, and action center notifications will support sync with PCs. Messaging will support seamless ...

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    Microsoft's just getting things started with its Windows 10 event today, and while the company has lots of interesting announcements coming up (already teasing what sound like two new device types for a little later on), one of the early tidbits to emerge concerns an issue that's of key importance to anyone with an existing Windows device: what's the upgrade situation going to look like? We already knew that Windows Phone 8.1-running Lumias would be seeing the release of updates to Windows 10, but that's just a fraction of the device types that will make up the Windows 10 ecosystem: what ...

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    We're less than one hour away from Microsoft sharing the latest news about Windows 10, its ambitious next-gen OS that seeks to further bring the company's disparate platforms together under one common core. That's going to mean big things across devices ranging from smartphones, to tablets, to PCSs and even the company's game consoles. We've already heard a lot about what to expect, but seeing is believing, and the time for that is nearly here. The festivities begin at noon Eastern (5pm GMT), and you can watch from the comfort of your own home through the embedded stream below. Following ...

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    Who's delivering new flagships at MWC? Samsung could be in, but LG sounds like it might be out. What about Sony? The company was rumored to be prepping its Xperia Z4 for CES earlier this month, but after the phone was a no-show, MWC became our next likely contender. And indeed, Sony seems to be making progress towards getting the Z4 ready for release in the coming weeks: just a few days ago we saw the FCC publish certification paperwork for a Sony handset that a few clues point to being the elusive Z4. Now an additional FCC filing seems to reveal another twist on the Z4, outing a dual-SIM ...

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