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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    Last month, Samsung brought us its updated Galaxy S5 LTE-A edition, fulfilling those long-standing rumors of a Galaxy S5 equipped with a quad HD display (among other improvements). Even with this model constrained to sales in South Korea, we've taken the time to get our hands on one, giving you a close-up look at the changes. But is this model's release the conclusion of those quad HD Galaxy rumors? What about that chatter of a Samsung smartphone that was supposed to be a premium device from top to bottom, not only going with a 2K display but also a body made of metal – or at least with ...

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    The summer of smartwatches is upon us, and new Android Wear users everywhere are just starting to settle into life with their mobile accessories. The Moto 360 is standing by in the wings, ready to jump onto the retail scene in just another month or two, and entries by Apple and Microsoft are anticipated for a little later on. No matter which platform you call home, or what style smartwatch you prefer, you're going to have some good options to choose from. And as more and more of these wearables arrive, we're seeing how the decisions being made by manufacturers are shaping out expectations ...

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    In a world of cookie-cutter designs, the Dot View case for HTC's One M8 is a breath of fresh air. Sure, we had a few issues with the way HTC manufactured this accessory, not to mention the steep price, but it's difficult to deny how eye-catching it is, and how useful the notifications it delivers can be. Today HTC drops an update for the case's corresponding Dot View app, adding a few new options that should hopefully make the accessory even more fun to use. The big one here is personalization: HTC now lets users choose between a number of themes – background images that act as special ...

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    Late last month, a couple images arrived of front panels for Sony smartphones that were supposed to be the upcoming Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact. And maybe they were, we noted at the time, but there just wasn't much to see, and certainly not much that screamed “Z3.” Well, today a whole new series of images has hit our desk, and not only do they appear to show the larger of those two handsets fully assembled and functional, but also provide enough new info to really start convincing us that this could be the Z3. The hardware – at least what we're able to make out – appears to be a match ...

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    Earlier this week we saw AT&T join the growing list of carriers announcing their plans for the start of LG G3 sales, and just like it told us would happen, the phone's available in the company's retail stores as of today – no surprise there. Over at Sprint, though, users were supposed to still have a little bit of a wait on their hands: pre-orders were set to begin today, but the phone itself wasn't scheduled to arrive until next Wednesday, July 16. Well, apparently Sprint didn't feel like being late to the party after all, and has gone ahead with making the G3 available at retail as ...

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    We've been anticipating the arrival of Tizen-running commercial smartphones for more than two years by this point. Finally it looked like things were starting to happen earlier this year, but then carriers seemed to get cold feet. Eventually Samsung put the rumors to rest and announced the Samsung Z last month; end of the story, right? If only it were that simple. Even with this model now confirmed, Tizen can't seem to shake this history of delays, and now issues are interfering with plans for the Z's Russian launch. Moscow was expected to see its own Samsung Z launch event this week at a ...

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    Looking forward to Apple's iWatch? Sure, just you and a couple billion other iOS fans who have so far been eyeing all this Android Wear business this summer with thoughts of “just wait; you'll see.” And based on the rumors we've heard so far, the iWatch really is shaping up to be a force to be reckoned with, not just with some very premium hardware but also deep OS-level integration with Apple's other mobile devices. We've been hoping to see the iWatch arrive sometime this fall, with reports leaning towards availability maybe sometime in October, following production hitting full-blast ...

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    Samsung's already delivered an upgraded version of its Galaxy S5 flagship in the form of the GS5 LTE-A edition, a model so far constrained to South Korea that boosts the phone's display up to a quad HD panel while also swapping in a Snapdragon 805 for a little performance kick and support for those titular LTE-A bands. Lately, though, we've been looking for LG to do something like that of its own – not with the quad HD update, sure, since the G3 is already sporting a crazy high-res screen, but with those same LTE-A and Snapdragon 805 upgrades. While that's so far been driven by rumors, ...

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    Yesterday Samsung brought us news that something was about to happen with its Exynos lineup of SoCs. We popped-on our speculation caps (patent pending) and took a few stabs at working out what Samsung might have in store for us today. Some new low-power offerings? News about 64-bit components? As it turns out, all those guesses missed the mark, but what we got is still pretty noteworthy in its own right, as Samsung unveils its Exynos ModAP chip with integrated LTE radio. Remember all the multiple hardware configurations we've come to expect from Samsung phones, with a few key version ...

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    Back in March, OnePlus gave us hope that the company's One might be the next Moto X of sorts, giving users a fair degree of customization through some alternate backplates featuring (for phones, at least) pretty exotic materials. Sure, the sandstone finish on currently available One handsets isn't real sandstone, but a few of the others OnePlus teased as part of its StyleSwap offerings were going to be the real deal: bamboo, Kevlar, and even denim. Only problem is, we've yet to see them arrive. Well, at least one could be right around the corner, as OnePlus drops a new teaser. Considering ...

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    Slowly but surely, LG has been releasing details about the latest additions to its Android tablet lineup. Back in May it first announced the G Pad 7.0, 8.0, and 10.1, following the introduction of the G Pad 8.3 last summer. While it only had some very basic descriptions of the hardware to offer at first, it followed that news up in June with additional details, like the somewhat disappointing 1280 x 800 resolution all three tablets share. And while that helped complete the hardware picture, LG still wasn't sharing all the specifics when it came to the start of sales, telling us it would ...

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    Satya Nadella is finishing out his first six months as CEO of Microsoft, a time that's saw the company already make some big steps in mobile, like the unexpected release of the Surface Pro 3 or the completion of the Nokia Devices & Services acquisition. As the company heads into fiscal year 2015, Nadella is addressing his troops via staff-wide email, and spells-out a modified core vision for the company, impacting its focus on hardware. At least, Microsoft used to describe itself as a “devices and services” company, but Nadella's not satisfied with how that reflects its current ...

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    The trajectory of Motorola's work on wearables is pretty transparent for the immediate future: the Moto 360 is very much happening, and right now it's just a matter of waiting for sales to begin. But while the company has been quite forthcoming with its smartwatch plans, that hasn't been the case with its phones. Instead, we've been poring through leaks and rumors trying to work out what's going on with this X+1 Moto X successor. While there's been no shortage of raw info, it's been tricky to work out just what's really the X+1, and what might be other upcoming Motorola Androids. We've got ...

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    Android Wear is here in full force, following the arrival of LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live hardware. We've already been giving both smartwatches a spin, as well as checking out some of the new software that's been coming in with the addition of Wear-specific features. While both these watches should keep us busy for some time to come, their presence isn't being enjoyed without a little lingering disappointment: Google I/O came and went without the start of sales for the Moto 360. Rumors have suggested that Motorola might be holding back until the Moto X+1 is ready to launch, so as to ...

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    Cloud storage has already made securing the data on your smartphone or tablet hugely more convenient than manual device backups; instead of tethering your phone to a computer and copying its contents every so often, your files can just safely live out in the aether. That works fine for individual documents, but what about something a little more comprehensive? A full backup of your device's data, stored remotely, ready for you to restore its contents (all at once or piecemeal) or even transfer them to a new device at your command? Google may be working on enhancing its current backup ...

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