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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    Announce a product, then don't release it for a while, and rumors are bound to descend. Just look at Samsung and its Tizen-running Samsung Z, and how off-the-rails that whole project feels like it's gone in the weeks following the phone's initial introduction. Motorola's generally done a pretty job at preventing similar gossip from consuming the Moto 360, itself announced all the way back in March, no doubt helped by the release of a number of official Moto 360 videos and the opportunity for hands-on interactions at events like Google I/O. But with the wearable still not available to buy, ...

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    Last month we heard how ZTE was planning to really get down with Google's vision for Android and hook its upcoming phones up with the Google Now Launcher. So far, you haven't had a shot at the launcher unless you were running the Nexus 5 (on which it debuted), or a short list of other Nexus or Google Play edition models. Was this new ZTE effort a sign that its exclusivity was about to really start crumbling down? That may just be the case, as reports come in of the Now Launcher supporting a number of additional devices. At least – that's what some users are seeing. Right now it seems to ...

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    One of the hardest things to do in the mobile tech world, with so much competition from so many talented companies, is to stand out. In the growing field of smartwatches, one of the surest ways to grab attention right now is to deliver a round-faced model in a landscape dominated by squares and rectangles; Motorola's doing just that, and a recent leak suggests OnePlus could be headed down that same road. Now HP hops on the bandwagon with a round offering of its own, as we learn about the joint effort from HP, designer Michael Bastian, and retailer Gilt. It's round -we know that much- and ...

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    Are we really about to see HTC release a Windows Phone edition of its Android flagship One M8? A week ago, that sounded like an old rumor that had little chance of coming true, but then all of a sudden all this buzz has descended upon the idea, with proponents not just insisting that this move was going to happen, but that it could occur quite soon, as well. And with HTC sending out invitations to an event later this month, it was like adding fuel to a fire. But where's the actual evidence that this model even exists? Today we bring the goods, and a new certification doc might just out ...

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    Pocketnow's already synonymous with insightful editorials, in-depth hardware reviews, and informative videos. But giveaways? We're getting there! Earlier this month we formally kicked-off our summer of free stuff with a one-of-a-kind Sony Xperia Z2 featuring a custom Pocketnow skin, and those offers have continued over the following weeks, most recently with that Huawei Ascend Mate 2 4G LTE contest we just wrapped up. And while there are more hardware giveaways waiting in the wings (stay tuned), we also just cut the ribbon on the brand new Pocketnow Deals site only a few days back. When ...

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    How much do we love you guys? For the fourth week in a row now, we're running a smartphone-themed giveaway, letting you not just get expert opinions and up-to-date news from your visits here at Pocketnow, but also have the chance to score some pretty nice hardware. While our summer of giveaways didn't officially get started until the beginning of July, back in late June this whole movement found its inspiration when we hooked a lucky Pocketnow reader up with a brand new Ascend Mate2 4G LTE from Huawei. With such a great response from that contest, we decided to keep things rolling, and set ...

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    We're pretty much done with the Galaxy S5 by this point, right? We got the GS5 proper, we got the GS5 Active, we got the GS5 mini, and those lucky folks in South Korea even got the tricked-out GS5 LTE-A “Prime” edition. But surely, that must be it, right? Anything from here on out's going to be something new like a Galaxy Alpha or Galaxy F, and in just a couple weeks, it's going to be Note 4 this and Note 4 that... isn't it? Apparently the proverbial fat lady has yet to take the stage for her encore performance, as word comes in this evening that we could have one more Galaxy S5 ...

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    For a minute there, it really looked like we were just about to get Samsung's Galaxy Alpha. At least, there was this barrage of leaks introducing us to the phone over a very short time span, going back just a couple weeks, and rumors of an August launch quickly zeroed-in on a very early date: Monday, August 4. Well, the Alpha may still be nearly within reach, but the latest gossip has the phone arriving just a little further out. This new report from Germany acknowledges that the August 4 date may have briefly been correct, but asserts that Samsung made a last-minute decision to move that ...

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    Going back more than a year now, HTC's been struggling to pull in revenue. Despite impressive devices like the One M8 and the original One before it, the company's having a difficult time turning glowing reviews into sales, and correspondingly, income. After a rocky end to 2013 and a bumpy start to 2014, things finally looked like they might be getting back on track, and earlier this month we saw HTC reveal quarterly figures that saw the company not just turning a profit, but hitting its stated projections. Even then, we noted that the next few months might be tough, with HTC historically ...

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    When it comes to wireless charging on smartphones, tablets, and (soon) smartwatches, there's only one standard we really care about: Qi from the Wireless Power Consortium. Sure, there are those companies who would really like us to use the PMA standard, but the support just isn't where it needs to be: in the hardware of the majority of phones with wireless charging, coming from our favorite manufacturers. For you fellow fans of Qi, the group behind it has some great news for you today, as it announces a new version of its standard that's going to start increasing the distance over which ...

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    This may be pushing the limits of what counts as smartphone news, but bear with us for a moment: Samsung and Oculus VR have been partnering up for work on what's promising to be a real virtual reality renaissance. We know Oculus itself has been thinking about Android compatibility since its early days, and more recently the company has been helping Samsung develop the technology it's using for its own Gear VR headset accessory. But now as a new version of the Oculus Rift dev kit arrives, and hardware fans tear it down to see what makes it tick, we're starting to realize just how deep this ...

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    Kyocera's Brigadier first leaked back in the spring, and at the time, there wasn't much reason to be excited about it. The phone seemed like it would just be the latest in a long series of ruggedized Androids that may offer exceptional durability, but with little in the way of real stand-out features, nor high-end specs. And so we largely forgot about the phone until it popped back on our radar earlier this week, as a source leaked some Verizon documentation to us that identified the Brigadier as the first Kyocera model to use the company's Sapphire Shield – its branding for a highly ...

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    What's next for OnePlus, following the launch of its One handset? Another smartphone is probably a safe bet, but what about other form factors? There was that rumor earlier this month about a OnePlus Tab tablet, but that one quickly turned out to be a fake. Today we're checking out another leak – and hopefully one that will stand up to a little more scrutiny – as a OnePlus smartwatch is seemingly revealed. According to these design sketches, this “OneWatch” would offer some of the hottest features from the most anticipated smartwatches at the moment; those include things like the ...

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    Samsung mid-ranger news may be dominated at the moment by the Galaxy Alpha – at least, if this really does end up being a model comparable to the Galaxy S5 mini – but as we wait to see if that guy's really going to debut next Monday, there's another new mid-range Galaxy handset popping out of the woodwork, as T-Mobile announces the Galaxy Avant. We first heard about this guy last week, when it was rumored to be the phone that would debut a new T-Mobile carrier unlocking app. Word was that we could look forward to a launch around the end of the month, and that's just we got. The Avant ...

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    The past month or so's been a relatively busy time for Sony and its mobile lineup, as we've tackled rumors looking not just at new phones, like the Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact, but also at accessories for those handsets, like a new lens-style camera add-on. While formal announcements could come at any time, the odds are good that the company's gearing up for a big event at this year's IFA expo in Berlin. Today we learn just when that will occur, as the company reveals plans for a September 3 press conference. This time last year Sony had already teased its IFA event, but it would still be a ...

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