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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    When Windows Phone 7 launched, LG was all over that business, delivering models like the Optimus 7 and the QWERTY-equipped Quantum. But then by the time WP7.5 devices were rolling off the production line, new entries from LG were nowhere to be seen, and they failed to return for Windows Phone 8, as well. Still, rumors have remained relatively consistent in saying that LG has still been keeping an eye on Windows Phone, and it's only a matter of time before it delivers some new hardware. As we wait to see if that's actually the case, new signs of an LG WP8.1 handset have emerged. Data ...

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    About a month back we came across a rumor discussing a possible follow-up to some of last year's weirder smartphone accessories, the Sony Cyber-shot “lens-style cameras” that affixed to existing smartphones to give them high-quality image sensors, big lenses, and optical zoom capabilities. The QX10 and QX100 models we have now give us a 10x zoom and 3.6x zoom, respectively, but word was that this year's edition would bump that figure up to something like 30x zoom. Now we've got some new evidence that might just support that idea. A new listing at the South Korean National Radio ...

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    This time last year, Motorola was already talking about the Moto X, having begun the phone's advertising campaign in advance of its formal launch, which would kick-off the month of August. So understandably, we've been on the lookout for progress towards a 2014 sequel. Back in May and June we saw Moto X+1 leaks-a-plenty, including some video hands-on action of possible X+1 hardware, but so far July has seen the pace of these discoveries really slow, and it's been a while since anything really compelling has turned up. That all changes today, as a new leak provides some detailed pics of the ...

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    You think you're being so smart about buying a new smartphone: you consider long and hard just which features you really need, and go in ready to purchase a phone that's neither underpowered, nor would result in you throwing money away on extras you won't use. And while that 16GB of storage sounded perfect on paper, you power-on your phone for the first time only to discover that nearly half of that space is occupied by pre-installed software. You just became the latest victim of bloat. Over the years, some carriers and OEMs have been better than others about not dragging-down your phone ...

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    Buy a new smartphone, and on the spec sheet you'll find no shortage of sensors: accelerometer, magnetic field sensor; hell, you might even have a barometer. And with so many of these sensors living within our hardware, and many of them as commonplace as they are, it's easy to gloss over them, not really giving them a second thought. But as we expand mobile tech into new form factors, it might be worth giving sensors a closer look, since not all of the ones we're familiar with have been making the journey. As we look forward to the launch of the Moto 360 later this summer, new details ...

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    Is Lenovo really intending to crank-out 60-odd smartphones before the end of the year? We continue to wonder if that boast from earlier this month is the stuff of bravado or maybe just a poor translation, but whatever the company's goals are over the next several months, its more immediate future looks like it will involve the arrival of a quad HD phablet, as a Lenovo exec teases the launch of the K920 in just a couple weeks. We first talked about this model as Lenovo's Vibe Z2 Pro, though recent leaks have been going with the more numerical designation. Whatever it's called, the hardware ...

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    Rumors about Samsung's involvement in a project to deliver a virtual reality accessory for its smartphones have been snowballing since the spring. Early, vague talk about a VR headset gave way to evidence of an official Gear VR name, and just a few weeks back a leak appeared to reveal a render of the actual hardware. Today we shift from hardware to software a little as we check out the latest arrival, a relatively in-depth leak of what sure seems to be the Gear VR companion app. The app's setup guide talks users through the configuration process and confirms certain aspects of Gear VR's ...

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    Yesterday we shared we you a post from an AT&T community manager on one of the company's forums that seemed like it might be saying that Windows Phone 8.1 updates for some of the WP8 handsets in the carrier's stable might be on their way this week. At least, maybe; we could also read the same statement as simply acknowledging that sales of native WP8.1 devices had arrived. And considering how international updates only began last week, was it too soon to expect a US network to join in? Apparently not, as AT&T has gone ahead and formally confirmed the start to its WP8.1 updates. The ...

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    Sony's Xperia Z3 is still very much an enigma; looking at the hardware specs that have leaked, it's difficult to appreciate how Sony intends to make the handset a meaningful improvement over the Xperia Z2. Maybe the most obvious changes have emerged in some of the leaked pics we've seen, and even then they've seen minor: stuff like how the Z3's edges appear to be much more rounded and lacking the Z2's metal accents. Today we get a closer look at that hardware, with the arrival of a couple new supposed Xperia Z3 shots. The edge shot here appears to be a perfect match for last week's leak, ...

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    Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 was a bit of a surprise when it launched back in May, and despite the tablet's relatively early arrival, hitting the scene just eight months following the debut of the Surface Pro 2, the Pro 3 sure appears to be doing quite well; what Microsoft has shared about Pro 3 sales, at least, indicates that consumer interest is stronger than it had been for earlier Pro models. Maybe that success means that Microsoft doesn't have to try so hard promoting the tablet; maybe it means that consumers are going to be interested in the hardware no matter how the company positions ...

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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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