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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    Earlier this week we took a look at one of the latest virtual reality accessories to launch for smartphones, the VR One from Carl Zeiss. It looked a bit like the Samsung Gear VR, what with its strap for head-mounted operation, but sounded more like another Google Cardboard, dialing back on the custom software and hardware – though that also meant a much lower price point than the Gear VR, coming in around $100. It looks like that's just the start of a flood of similar devices from competing manufacturers, and today we check out an even more affordable option, as Archos announces its VR ...

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    We were expecting two tablets at Apple event this afternoon, and following the company spending some time showing off the new iPad Air 2, it's time for the day's second tablets, as Apple turns the spotlight on its latest pint-sized tablet, the iPad mini 3. Like the Air 2, the new mini is available in three colors this year, adding gold to its options. Screen size remains at 7.9 inches (along with the 2048 x 1536 resolution) and the 5MP camera is back. Physical dimensions are unchanged from the iPad mini 2, and the iPad mini 3 runs the same A7 SoC as the previous generation - no A8X here. ...

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    Finally, the moment we've been waiting for is here! After plenty of news about services, software, and OS X, Apple's event has moved into tablet territory. First up, the company is introducing the successor to last year's already-quite-thin iPad Air, the 6.1-mm-thick iPad Air 2. Sure enough, that rumored gold color has arrived, finally giving the iPad line the same color selections as Apple's smartphone lineup. The new tablet's screen is now fully laminated, bonding the touch sensor, glass, and LCD panel itself. Paired with an anti-reflection coating, the iPad Air 2's display should be ...

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    We're still waiting on those new iPads, but Apple's press event this afternoon continues to deliver announcement after announcement. We just heard that Apple Pay was going live on Monday, and you can't have Apple Pay without iOS 8.1. So when's that update going to arrive? Apple has confirmed that iOS 8.1 will also arrive on Monday, October 20. Among the features to look forward to in the release of 8.1 is the return of Camera Roll, following its previous removal from iOS. There's also the aforementioned Apple Pay support, as well as new control over app permissions, letting you view and ...

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    Apple's presumed iPad launch event is currently underway, leaving us just a few moments away from learning of the iPad Air 2, and possibly also the iPad mini 3. As we wait for Apple to get to those announcements, it's starting us off with a follow-up from last month's iPhone launch, confirming the start of Apple Pay early next week, on Monday, October 20. That's a date we've heard before, so while this doesn't come as a big surprise, we're sure a lot of you iPhone 6 and 6 Plus owners have been itching for the chance to try out those new NFC capabilities for yourself and see what this ...

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    Well this is a nice change of pace: for weeks now we've been keeping track of Oppo N3 teasers, with the company dropping details about its upcoming Android little by little. From its interesting body materials to its rotating camera, much of what we know about this handset stems from Oppo's controlled dissemination of news. That's what makes today's find so different, as an unofficial leak seems to reveal a fingerprint scanner hiding away on the back of the N3. Oppo already shared with us a pic of the phone's back when revealing its camera a few days back, but the cropped image didn't ...

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    Yesterday was a big day for Android, with the launch of Google's latest Nexus hardware alongside Android 5.0 Lollipop. And in just a couple hours, we're going to be neck-deep in iOS territory thanks to Apple's iPad event. But before we get there we wanted to take a moment to check out some other Android news from yesterday that got a bit lost in the shuffle, as AT&T, ASUS, and Intel announced the PadFone X mini. Just about one month ago we heard from one of our sources that AT&T was getting ready to welcome a new PadFone mini model, and this PadFone X mini appears to be that very ...

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    It was back in early June when we first started talking about Samsung's Exynos 5433, the latest upgrade to the company's line of SoCs. Among the many devices those early 5433 rumors were tied to was the Galaxy Note 4, and sure enough, that's the chip that powers the international version of Samsung's new phablet. So far, all the various Exynos 5400-series chips have been Exynos 5 Octas of one kind or another – from the 5410 in the Note 4 to the 5430 in the Galaxy Alpha – but the 5433 is special: unlike those other models with 32-bit Cortex A15 and A7 cores, the 5433 moves up to ...

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    If nothing else, this year's launch of Google's latest Nexus models has taken steps to seriously differentiate these devices from previous Nexus family members. We've probably harped so much on the Nexus 6's price and size by this point that you're getting sick of hearing about it, but the Nexus 9 makes a few departures of its own. The most notable is arguably its very un-Android-like 4:3 screen aspect ratio, more in common with an Apple tablet than what we'd expect from a Google model. But that's just the tip of the iceberg, and from its 64-bit Tegra K1 SoC to the keyboard case accessory, ...

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    The Nexus 6 is finally here, and it is one big ol' Android. It weighs 41 percent more than the Nexus 5 while growing its screen out to nearly six inches - and that's not a change that everyone's going to love. But if you can get past the larger size (not to mention larger sticker price), there's a ton of killer hardware waiting for you here. Let's take a look at just what variety of flagship-level components go into making up this first Nexus smartphone effort from Motorola. Nexus 6 specs [table] Component,Description Screen size,5.96 inches Screen type,OLED Resolution,2560 x 1440 Pixel ...

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    A few hours back, when we shared with you Google's official Android 5.0 Lollipop announcement, we mentioned how the company had confirmed plans to deliver updates for the Nexus 5, 7, 10, and the various GPe models. That was well and good, but what about older entries in the Nexus family? We'd been wondering for months now what the update situation might look like for the Nexus 4 and first-gen Nexus 7, and Google's words there, declining to mention the Nexus 4 and making no explicit effort to distinguish between the two Nexus 7 models, had us fearing the worst. Fortunately, it looks like ...

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    With the new Nexus hardware announced, it's time for the shortest of breathers before we move right into this week's next big launch, as Apple gears up for tomorrow's press event. A new iPad is practically assured, with the big questions concerning just which model (or models) would take the stage. We'll have our official answer in just about a day, but Apple may have let the cat out of the bag a little early, as the company itself seems to have leaked confirmation that an iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 are just about to drop. The company just published its iOS 8.1 user guide for the iPad, and ...

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    It's easy to get excited about new mobile hardware, making the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 launches the real attention-grabbers of the day. But we've been almost just as interested in seeing what today's launches meant for the future of Android as platform. Since this past summer, we've been experimenting with the Android L dev preview release, but now Google's finally ready to move it up into the mainstream, announcing Android 5.0 Lollipop. It took us a while to get there, but the L-name is now official (and thankfully not anything gross, like licorice). But the name is just window dressing; ...

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    Hey, you know how you're sick of hearing all this speculation over the formal name Android L will arrive with as it debuts in non-dev-preview form (maybe even today) on the next Nexus models? Man, you are on the wrong website, because we're not stopping now – not this close to getting to the truth. As we standby to see what Google's planning, some new Android L naming evidence has been uncovered, lending support for Android Lollipop. The evidence comes in the form of text string, appearing in the code behind Android.com, where there's a clear reference to a “lollipop” banner image. ...

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    If you're one to believe the rumors, we're just hours away from a multi-device Nexus launch, when Google could announce both the Nexus 6 smartphone and Nexus 9 tablet. While the idea of a Nexus phone pushing six inches, or a Nexus tablet without a widescreen display might seem odd to some Nexus fans, giving them pause before committing to a purchase, others will no doubt be jumping all over this hardware the moment it's available. For those who do, what will they end up paying? Some possible pricing details have just leaked, and at least on the phone side, those shoppers might be in for a ...

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