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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  • by | April 8, 2014 3:55 PM

    Of the Android Wear watches we've heard confirmed so far, there's little denying that the Motorola Moto 360 is the star; the round, seemingly bezelless design is unlike any smartwatch we're familiar with. But while the Moto 360 may be the flashier option, we'd be doing ourselves a disservice to let that model distract us altogether from LG and its G Watch, the company's own Android Wear offering. So far, we haven't really had many opportunities to get a good look at the hardware, but today not only do some great hands-on pics of a G Watch prototype arrive, but we get to hear a little about ...

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  • by | April 8, 2014 2:43 PM

    Two weeks back, actor Gary Oldman got us started with HTC's promotional campaign for the new One M8, encouraging viewers to get out there and listen to all the great things tech professionals had to say about the follow-up to last year's beloved One. While it was great to see HTC taking advertising seriously (one aspect of its phone sales where the company often finds itself outdone by competitor Samsung), where was Robert Downey Jr., star of last summer's HTC campaign? Well, as the One M8 prepares to see broader retail availability just a little later this week, Downey has finally made an ...

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  • by | April 8, 2014 1:01 PM

    OnePlus has been anything but shy regarding sharing details about the company's inaugural smartphone, the OnePlus One. For the past month or so, spec after spec has been confirmed, and OnePlus is nearly ready to formally introduce the phone, with a launch scheduled for April 23. As the days count down until then, the company is filling in the few cracks that remained in our understanding of the phone's hardware, today discussing its SoC and RAM configuration. You might remember, the One was first tipped to get a Snapdragon 801, before OnePlus announced that it was going with the older 800 ...

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  • by | April 8, 2014 12:10 PM

    Google's modular Project Ara concept design is coming along at a breakneck pace. In just a matter of months, the notion of a modular smartphone went from “what a neat idea,” to “oh, that conceptual render looks pretty nice,” to “holy crap, are they actually making this thing?” Sure enough, it's all coming together, and by now we're just days away from the first Ara developer's conference. As far as the hardware goes, we've seen this slide-into-place, magnetically-attached exoskeleton business over and over, but when's that going to transition from a testing bed to a usable, ...

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  • by | April 8, 2014 11:38 AM

    It doesn't matter how many pixels a phone's display has, how state-of-the-art the processor is, or how many gigabytes of RAM the manufacturer has crammed into your new handset: if the user experience isn't smooth and responsive, all the bleeding edge hardware in the world won't save a smartphone. There's a heck of lot that factors in to how quickly and seamlessly our phones respond to input, including both hardware and software details, but it all starts with the touch of your finger – that's the snowball at the top of the mountain that gets everything else going. It's quite surprising ...

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  • by | April 8, 2014 10:55 AM

    The HTC One M8 is now a reality, but what's next for the manufacturer? We've heard rumors about a possible One M8 Mini, which might be gearing up for a May debut, but that's really it; at least so far, there's been no strong suggestion that a new Max version is forthcoming. But today we find ourselves reconsidering HTC's next aspirations for its One M8 line, with the leak of the render you see above, supposedly depicting an HTC M8 Ace. So what do we have here? Well, with a casual glance you might see a red One M8, but there's more going on here than just a color change. For one, there's an ...

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  • by | April 7, 2014 8:06 PM

    As smartphone races go, the battle to be thinnest around has (thankfully!) fizzled. Sure, a few OEMs try to push limits every now and then, but most of the big names are pretty comfortable around the sizes their flagship inhabit now, and show little interest in defying physics and trying to cram even more hardware into smaller spaces. Still, it is neat to know that there are at least some crazy thin options out there if that's your cup of tea, and a new rumor suggest that Windows Phone could soon get a seriously thin option of its own. While we haven't heard it mentioned among the list of ...

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  • by | April 7, 2014 7:39 PM

    With last week's announcements at Build 2014, Microsoft has left Windows Phone users salivating in anticipation of WP8.1. OTA updates are still a way's off, and the first all-new WP8.1 hardware won't be available for several more weeks, making the best chance a lot of enthusiasts will have to check out the platform in action the Developer Preview release. But just when will that be? Microsoft's Joe Belfiore took to Twitter yesterday to answer a few questions about WP8.1, and updated us on an ETA. Before we get to that, let's look at what we've heard so far. The first date to get rumored ...

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  • by | April 7, 2014 5:44 PM

    When you think about an Android OEM that has a lot of potential growth in the low to mid-range market, who comes to mind? Motorola? Heck, maybe even Nokia with those new Nokia X models? The latest figures out of India reveal some healthy performance from a company that's not always on our list of mid-range OEMs to keep an eye out for, revealing Sony outpacing Apple in its share of the Indian market. Looking at Q4 2013, Samsung still dominated the Indian market with a 43% value share, but Sony manged to grab 9.1%, versus Apple's 7%. Sony's sales are apparently being driven by devices priced ...

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  • by | April 7, 2014 5:01 PM

    Companies behind the platforms that power our smartphones find themselves under constant pressure to innovate. If you're not leading the effort to reinvent, redefine, and just downright improve the user experience, you had better believe that your competition is doing its darnedest to beat you to the punch. A new rumor suggest that Google has been preparing a relatively major overhaul to the way we interact with apps on our phones, and one that may threaten to turn how we use Android on its head: a project supposedly under development as “Hera.” This is a little bit “out there,” at ...

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  • by | April 7, 2014 4:16 PM

    Samsung seriously has its hands full when it comes to Android tablets at the moment. We had the TabPROs and that one NotePRO at CES, and last week the company introduced the lower-end Tab4 lineup. With sizes running the gamut from 7.0 inches up to 12.2, and the differences in screen resolution and processing power between the families, you'd think that Samsung had all its tablet bases nicely covered. But there's still been this persistent rumor that Samsung has even more tablets on the drawing board, and it could be planning to bring OLED displays back to its tablet offerings with a few ...

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  • by | April 7, 2014 3:24 PM

    HTC is confident in the One M8. Despite evidence possibly pointing to low initial consumer interest, HTC maintains that it's “very satisfied” with demand, and feels that once sales begin in earnest later this week, the phone will finally be able to show its true mettle. But if we're to accurately evaluate what impact the One M8 has on HTC's business, we have to know just where it stood, coming up to the phone's launch. We looked at Q4 2013 financial numbers back in February, and today we get our first peek at Q1 2014 data. Unfortunately, the numbers don't tell a very positive tale. ...

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  • by | April 7, 2014 1:38 PM

    The Galaxy S5 has debuted without a rumored quad HD, 2K, 1440p display option, but rumors that Samsung has been working on a handset with such a screen are sticking around, nonetheless. While there's been a lot of talk, we haven't had much in the way of evidence to support such claims, but we may be able to start doing something about that now, with a couple pics leaking of what claim to be just such a 2K Samsung smartphone. We've clearly got a Samsung prototype here; the company using bulky cases to obscure a phone's design like this is nothing new. But just which phone might this be? As ...

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  • by | April 7, 2014 12:52 PM

    The recent introduction of Android Fire TV has renewed the conversation about the connected living room, though it's not one that really ever left our thoughts altogether, especially with all this talk about a new Apple TV hanging over our head. There's also been a rumor going back a while now that Google itself might be taking another stab at the TV, with an effort just a little more substantial than Chromecast. While last year we were talking about something like a gaming console, the story has now shifted to something much more media-focused, and a leak that arrived this past weekend ...

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  • by | April 7, 2014 11:43 AM

    It's almost hard to believe that it's been eight months since Motorola introduced us to the Moto X in August of last year. That's probably due in no small part to how the smartphone side-stepped the spec wars fought by other Android flagships, as well as how Motorola's been able to keep the phone fresh by introducing new Moto Maker options, not to mention increasing the availability of Moto Maker in general. Where do we go from here, though? According to a new leak that surfaced over the weekend, Motorola may be envisioning the sequel to the Moto X as the Moto X + 1. The logo you see below ...

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