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!

Contact Stephen Schenck

  • by |

    Samsung arrived at the IFA in Berlin last month ready to impress, bringing along hardware like the Galaxy Note 4, Note Edge, Gear VR, and Gear S. And while we were expecting a lot of those devices, the company still managed to deliver a few surprises, like its new Galaxy Tab Active. After all, the company had introduced so many new tablets already in 2014 that we figured it had the whole tablet thing out of its system for awhile – but then again, this is Samsung we're talking about, a company never known for much in the way of restraint. The Tab Active certainly wasn't a flagship-level ...

    Share
  • by |

    Google's next Nexus phone feels like it's so close we can almost touch it. Leaks of the Nexus 6 have been getting bigger and better in recent weeks, and as we approach the Nexus 5's first birthday, all eyes are on Google to see when it plans to go public with what's looking like it will be the first Nexus phablet. As smartphone fans know, one key step on the road to a handset's release is it getting its FCC certification – that's why so many eyes today are turning to a new set of FCC docs from Motorola. Are they really for the Nexus 6, though, or could there be another explanation. The ...

    Share
  • by |

    Just yesterday we were checking out the latest leaks surrounding Samsung's upcoming Galaxy A-series, the descendents of the also-still-new Galaxy Alpha, and we had the opportunity to check out a new render of the Galaxy A5. At the time we noted that it sure seemed like this phone was getting ready to launch in the near future, and today we're picking up a better sense of just when that might be, with a new source talking about A5 availability, as well as some A7 hardware specs. Supposedly, Samsung is planning to announce the Galaxy A5 (and, we assume, the A3 and A7) sometime later this ...

    Share
  • by |

    Android Wear as a platform may still be in its infancy, but it's already attracting a growing number of interested manufacturers. From those early days of LG and Motorola we've already seen Samsung hop on board, and IFA last month brought ASUS into the fold with its ZenWatch. We were optimistic that the ZenWatch would become the extreme budget-priced alternative to $200+ Android Wear models, but pricing info available at launch didn't really seem to back that up. Would the situation change before sales of the watch began? We're finding ourselves cautiously optimistic as we pick up some new ...

    Share
  • by |

    With the successful launch of the iPhone 6 Plus last month, not to mention the Galaxy Note 4, manufacturers have gotten their latest doses of confirmation that the smartphone-buying public continues to be enamored by larger-screened devices. But as we know all too well from experience, larger screens can also mean higher prices: while the latest Galaxy S model may sell on-contract for $200, the season's new Note regularly fetches $300, and the iPhone 6 Plus comes at the same $100 premium over the 4.7-inch model. If you want to get in on this big-screen action without exhausting your cash ...

    Share
  • by |

    Display panels on smartphones and tablets keep getting more and more pixels, pack those pixels into denser and denser areas, and have even broke free of the 2D plane for some wrap-around curved action. But for all these advancements, sometimes progress just doesn't seem to move quickly enough in one of the most important areas: power consumption. We've been teased by the promise of super-low-power displays utilizing new technologies for years, like the interferometric panel on the Qualcomm Toq smartwatch, but issues with practicality have largely kept the phone and tablet race to an LCD ...

    Share
  • by |

    The idea of interacting with our phones through in-air gesture controls is nothing new; companies like Samsung have been doing this trick for a while now. But so far the way of pulling that off has involved the use of optical sensors; is there a better way to do things? Elliptic Labs thinks so, and has just revealed its own ultrasound-based system for interacting with your phone at a distance. Elliptic's Multi Layer Interaction system measures both hand position and distance, letting users control phone software either by how close their hand gets to the screen, or with side-to-side swipe ...

    Share
  • by |

    HTC's “double exposure” event this week is shaping up to bring us an interesting mix of knowns and unknowns; while on one hand we've had the benefit of numerous teasers, leaks, and rumors to help prime us for what to expect, there's still a fair amount of uncertainty regarding the hardware that will ultimately be on display. The RE Camera accessory looks like a given, and we're feeling better and better about our chances of seeing that Desire Eye, but will that be it? Despite the “double” in the event's title, there could easily be additional hardware on the menu, and one such ...

    Share
  • by |

    Motorola's Moto 360 isn't just the first round-faced Android Wear smartwatch to hit the market, it's also one that's already been taking early strides to make itself more attractive, picking up some enhanced battery life thanks to a recent software update. But it won't be the only circular player on the scene for long, with LG's own G Watch R set to give it some new competition. We had already heard that G Watch R sales could begin later this month on October 14, but a new report claims that LG's not content to wait even that much longer, and sales should be getting underway tomorrow. ...

    Share
  • by |

    HTC's New York event is just days away, when we're expecting to see the company confirm this so-called Desire Eye we've been hearing so much about in recent weeks. If the renders that surfaced last week are any indication, this handset could have a front-facing camera to put most other smartphones to shame, with not just a flash and a 13MP sensor, but a big, light-catching lens, as well. Over the weekend, some new pics of the Desire Eye started making the rounds, giving us a look at the phone's entire body and pointing out some new features. While that last leak showed us the phone's top ...

    Share
  • by |

    Just over a month ago, Samsung revealed its Gear VR head-mounted display accessory for the Galaxy Note 4 at its pre-IFA Unpacked event. The headset, designed with help from Oculus VR, was announced without a ton of details concerning how it would go up for sale. We quickly picked up on a possible $200 price tag, but still lacked a timetable any more precise than that of a release planned before the year was out. But now as we move further into October, new leaks are arriving with new release details, and the one we're checking out today suggests plans to start selling the Gear VR on ...

    Share
  • by |

    For the past week or so, our Nexus-device attention has been directed at the Motorola-made Nexus 6, with more and more imagery of the unreleased Android leaking online. And while we are very excited to pick up more information on that handset, it's not the only upcoming Nexus model we've been following. Last month also brought us a fair share of rumors concerning an HTC Nexus 9 tablet, which could also be preparing to launch in just a few more weeks. Today we've got a double dose of Nexus 9 news for you, taking a look at what sure seem to be the tablet's FCC paperwork, while also getting a ...

    Share
  • by |

    Well this is unexpected: HTC's got its “double exposure” event coming up next week on October 8, when we're expecting to see it launch new models like that selfie-optimized Desire Eye. But even though we're still five days away from that shindig, at least one new HTC phone is breaking cover a little early, as the Desire 612 makes itself known on Verizon's website. While the 612's not listed among the HTC models Verizon advertises for sale, we do find the phone hiding away as the newest entry to the carrier's page of support docs for HTC handsets. The listing there gives us a thumbnail ...

    Share
  • by |

    What do you pay for streaming music? If you said “ten dollars a month,” you're not alone. From Spotify to Google Play All Access, Rdio to Beats Music, that ten dollar price point is easily one of the most popular. But with other services coming in even cheaper, it can be increasingly tricky to stay competitive at that level. That's why one of these players may be planning to significantly cut its rates, but just which one we're talking about may be a little surprising. A new report claims that Apple is working to turn Beats Music from a ten-dollar-a-month service to a more affordable ...

    Share
  • by |

    When is Apple going to introduce its next iPad(s)? Ever since last month's iPhone event, we've been craving launch info on the next additions to Apple's tablet family, and so far we've heard a couple ideas. One date that was floated a couple weeks back was October 21, but that hasn't nicely aligned with subsequent rumors – after all, there's been talk that iOS 8.1 (with Apple Pay support) could arrive on October 20, and it would be weird to see that come in advance of the iPad launch. But luckily for us, now we've got a new date to consider, and it's one that makes a lot more sense in ...

    Share
Mobile Version