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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    Sony sure appears to be working on a new flagship-level Android, and if the rumors are to be trusted, this handset could arrive as the Xperia Z3. We've had more than a few chances to check out some hardware in one form or another, be that individual components, line-art sketches, or even a few in-the-flesh pics, but there's still an awful lot about the phone that's remained a mystery. A few specs have popped up along the way, like mention of a Snapdragon 801-AC SoC and another 20.7MP camera, but we haven't had a great sense of the device's capabilities. Today a new leak attempts to start ...

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    Whatever happened to that rumored metal-bodied Galaxy S5, the phone we were calling the Galaxy F? Sure, we got the closest thing to a GS5 “Prime” with the release of the quad HD LTE-A model, but there was this separate idea of a handset with a metal body not too far removed from the kind of thing we see with the HTC One M8. Last week, we looked at a report claiming that this metal Samsung Android was still happening, and that it would launch later this summer as the Galaxy Alpha. Today, a bunch of new imagery arrives that attempts to reveal this Galaxy Alpha, but it's no longer ...

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    App assortment on your phone starting to feel a little stale? Anxious to shake off some summer laziness with new productivity software, or maybe just embrace these hot, do-nothing afternoons with some games to keep you busy? As luck would have it, Google is at the ready to hook you up with a bunch of savings through a new Summer Sale promo, and while we haven't seen any formal announcement just yet, the deals are already live. Quite a few apps have already seen their prices slashed, and while like we mentioned, Google hasn't put up any main Summer Sale page cataloging these offers, the ...

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    Yesterday we shared with you an HTC behind-the-scenes video, highlighting the company's work with design. In theory, this should have been innocuous stuff, were it not for what some eagle-eyed viewers noticed during an otherwise not really noteworthy shot: a watch. Not a watch being worn, but one sitting rather prominently in a stand on an employee's desk. Almost like where you might keep a smartwatch you were working on? At least, that's the rumor that got started, but now HTC is stepping up to set the record straight, denying that this is something we'll soon see the manufacturer ...

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    Verizon just announced the HTC One Remix, but this isn't some brand new offering from HTC. Instead, Verizon flexed its carrier muscle to bring a new name to the HTC One mini 2, a phone we saw the manufacturer announce back in May. So while it's only just now coming to the States (sales at Verizon get started tomorrow), this is one handset we've already spent a lot of time interacting with and forming some opinions about. If you've got it in your mind to maybe stop by a Verizon store tomorrow and pick this fella up, go in armed with full knowledge of what to expect by having our One mini 2 ...

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    The HTC One mini 2 has been official for a couple months by now, and it's seemed like an open secret for nearly as long that the phone would eventually find a home at Verizon as the HTC One Remix. The question's felt less like one of “if” and more of “when,” and earlier this week we heard that the phone could be just days away, going up for sale this Thursday, July 24. This morning Verizon has gone ahead and confirmed just that, announcing plans for the start of One Remix sales. Beginning tomorrow, the One Remix will be available for purchase both online and at Verizon retail ...

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    Last week we checked out a leak that detailed many of the changes coming in an upcoming Google Play Store redesign, embracing the aesthetics of Material Design with a look that was clean, with bold color, good use of white space, and big eye-catching graphics. Back then we had no real sense of how soon these changes might hit the public, or if we'd even be waiting until the Android L this fall before seeing them land. As it happens we're finding out already, as word arrives that Google is already pushing out updates that begin to deliver the Play Store's new look. The changes aren't ...

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    A little over a week ago, Microsoft got the ball rolling for Windows Phone 8.1 updates, as confirmation arrived that Nokia Lumia models would soon be getting WP8.1 alongside the phones' Cyan software updates. Of course, carriers being what they are, even that news didn't mean that users everywhere would be receiving 8.1 immediately. Those Windows Phone users in the States who check Nokia's update page are currently presented with notices that updates are still under testing across multiple carriers, with no ETA given; just when might we expect them to arrive? At lease some might turn up ...

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    For a moment in time, it seemed like such a sure thing: following the first two generations of full-sized Surface tablets, this past spring it finally looked like Microsoft was going to introduce a more compact Surface Mini. In the days leading up to the company's May event, the Mini was the clear favorite for the new hardware likely to be featured, but at the last minute focus shifted to what we ultimately saw announced, the Surface Pro 3. In the weeks that followed we've been picking up bits and pieces of the Mini's story, like the multiple mentions of the device in the Pro 3's manual, ...

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    Wearables, man. It used to be that if you wanted to be at the forefront of technology, having a smartphone in your pocket was all you needed. But now with smartwatches and the likes of Google Glass being picked up by new users every day, living on the bleeding edge means strapping a bunch of that gear right on to your body. Some of these futurists are taking things one step further, and today Motorola shares one of the ways users are doing just that, introducing a “tattoo” that lets Moto X owners unlock their phones. Well, the VivaLnk Digital Tattoo may describe itself as such, but ...

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    The road to hell is paved with good intentions, as the saying goes, and every so often we see a manufacturer come out with a phone that commits wholeheartedly to some noble idea, only to see everything come apart in the execution. LG's G3 is the first phone many smartphone fans will ever get to see with a high-res quad HD display, so it only stands to reason that LG will be doing its darnedest to make that screen look as impressive as possible. But now a growing number of complaints is piling up from new G3 owners frustrated about one way LG seems to be pursuing that goal, as it implements ...

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    Who's your virtual assistant of choice? Are you a die-hard Siri user, running the app since even before Apple bought it up? Or have you been won over by Google Now and its tight integration with your phone's launcher? Maybe you're a new Cortana fan, eager to spend more time seeing what Microsoft can bring to this race. That last one's still a little too new to be included in this study, but a recent analyst report took a look at the performance of Google Now and Siri, evaluating a number of factors, and while both exhibit improvements, Google Now looks like it's just barely starting to ...

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    It almost seems like par for the course by this point: you're a major smartphone OEM, you release your latest flagship handset, and then a couple months later you follow that up with a tweaked edition boasting some slightly better hardware (and available only in a very limited market). Samsung did that with its LTE-A Galaxy S5, just as it had with the GS4 before it, and we'd been tracking rumors of LG working on a similar upgrade for its G3. A little earlier this month we spotted what looked like official confirmation of just such a G3 on an LG site, and today the hardware finally sees a ...

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    Chinese OEM Xiaomi has been catching out attention lately with some decent hardware, like the Tegra K1-powered Mi Pad or the very affordable Redmi 1S we just took a look at. Now it's back with both a high-end smartphone and super-cheap wearable, as the company introduces the Mi 4 and Mi Band. The Mi 4 sports a five-inch 1080p display, runs a 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801, and has a solid 3GB of RAM. The phone packs a 13MP main camera, very high res 8MP front-facer, and offers either 16GB or 64GB of internal storage. And to power that hardware, Xiaomi gives the phone a phablet-sized 3,080mAh ...

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    Earlier this month, details started coming together in a hurry about NVIDIA's plans for its latest Android hardware, and we rounded last week out with a detailed leak seeming to reveal all about the company's new Shield Tablet. The hardware specs and product shots making up that find were accompanied by rumors of a July 22 launch date, and just as promised, NVIDIA has gone ahead and formally unveiled its new gaming lineup. The Shield Tablet is the star of the show, with an eight-inch 1080p display and Tegra K1 SoC. It will work with NVIDIA's GameStream PC-streaming tech, as well as third ...

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