Sprint on Thursday began taking pre-orders for the LG G Flex, a curved Android smartphone with self-healing properties. The phone won’t be available until January 31, but those interested can place their order on Sprint’s product page for the phone. The unique handset costs $299 with a 2-year contract. It may pay to place the order early if you’re set on this phone: Sprint is including a $59 Quickwindow Folio Case with pre-orders for a limited time. The handset is designed to use Sprint’s Spark service, which can intelligently route traffic over different frequencies for optimal bandwidth.
Could Apple be adding NFC to a future iPhone after all? It’s difficult to say but a patent filing shows that Apple is at least considering it for part of wireless mobile payment system. Read more »
The latest wearables are smart in that they have more capabilities and sensors. That’s not enough for this market to explode beyond predictions though. We need a killer app to separate signal from noise in personal, meaningful ways. Read more »
Google Now is finally working on Chrome for the desktop, showing notifications based on location, time and other variables, just like on mobiles. It even works when Chrome isn’t running, but you’ll need the experimental Canary channel to use it. Read more »
Samsung officially announced the Galaxy Tab 3 Lite although there’s no price. Based on the capabilities, this is clearly a budget slate. In fact, it looks like a slight refresh of the original Galaxy Tab from 2010. Read more »
Yes, most Chromebooks come with 2 GB of memory, but that’s because Chromebook makers are choosing that limit. Is that a good thing? We discuss that topic and share news about Chrome 32 in this week’s podcast. Read more »
After testing an experimental data saving feature for the past 10 months, Google made it available for everyone today. Using Chrome on Android or iOS with data compression on, Google says you can surf the same as before but use half the amount of data. Read more »
Think Samsung is all about Android? Think again: Evidence suggests the company is working on a 5-inch, 1080p Windows Phone handset. Digging through the data, it appears at least one model will be headed to a CDMA network operator in the U.S. Read more »
Earlier this morning, I noted that Altair announced its chip would power the HP Chromebook 11 LTE model on Verizon’s network. I figured the updated model would be available soon, but I didn’t think it would be this soon. On Wednesday, Liliputing spotted the HP Chromebook 11 priced at $379 on Best Buy’s mobile site. That’s a reasonable $100 premium for LTE connectivity and I’m anticipating the Chrome OS laptop will get at least 100 MB of free monthly data. The laptop may also be readily available after official launch. I checked my local Best Buy locations and all of them say the device is in stock. Altair says there’s a $50 activation rebate, so your net cost could be $329.
While the HP Chromebook 11 debuted as a Wi-Fi only model, the product page has long said that LTE would be an option. A chip from Altair Semiconductor will add mobile broadband to the laptop, but don’t expect a signal outside of Verizon LTE coverage areas. To keep costs down the chip won’t support 3G networks. That means you’ll have to find Wi-Fi for the laptop if there’s no LTE available. Chromebook Pixel owners are already used to that: That laptop’s LTE model also has 4G and Wi-Fi only connections.
Demand for Apple’s iPhone appears high before it launches on China Mobile. That’s great for Apple, given that China Mobile’s subscriber base is seven times that of Verizon. If only a few percent of subscribers buy an iPhone, Apple will see big gains. Read more »
Confirming reports from last month, HP is re-entering the smartphone market. Expect a pair of “phablets” running Android 4.2 to launch in India, where the market for large-screened smartphones is growing quickly. Read more »
The Motorola Assist app received a nice update on Monday, adding a feature that lets you respond to text messages by voice while driving. The contextual software, available on the Moto X and latest Verizon Droid lineup, could already detect when you were driving. In addition to the hands-free SMS responses — the app could already read incoming messages aloud — this new version can also automatically open the music app of your choice as soon as it determines you’re driving; helpful if you want to stream tunes in the car over Bluetooth or a wired connection. Android Central notes that driving detection is improved in this version as well.
Looking for a smart padlock that can be wirelessly unlocked from your phone? Check TEO, a new Kickstarter project that promises to deliver just that. With the companion app, you can send the “key” to anyone who needs it. Read more »
The jury is still out on if wearing Google Glass while driving is a smart idea. Falling asleep at the wheel is never a good thing though and DriveSafe, a new app for Glass, can alert you if you nod at the wheel. Read more »
It doesn’t make sense for Nokia to build Android-powered phones. Or does it? The company’s Asha line still runs on S40. Perhaps an overhaul of the engine powering Asha is in order and Android could easily fit the bill. Read more »
Sure, I would have liked to see more Chrome OS devices at the Consumer Electronics Show. The two I found were unique but Google isn’t a typical company that presents its devices at such an event. Read more »
Instead of induction, WiTricity uses resonance to recharge devices wirelessly over several inches or even though objects. The company demonstrated this, along with a magnetic resonance repeater, and announced a wireless charger for iPhone 5 and 5s devices. Read more »
Similar to Motorola’s Project Ara, ZTE has a concept phone at CES that you essentially build yourself. Different hardware modules can be swapped in or out for a custom device that can improve over time. Read more »
T-Mobile John Legere really, really wants you to know that he’s different from other wireless carrier CEOs. We’ll see what he’s got up his sleeve at CES, right now. Read more »
LG surprised many with the Chromebase, an all-in-one 21.5-inch desktop that runs Chrome OS. My hands on was mainly positive but there’s one missing piece of data before I say if this is a good buy: We don’t know the price. Read more »
A new resonance extension to the Qi wireless standard lets your devices be even farther from a charging pad. That makes it easier for furniture and other objects to recharge your phone or tablet. Read more »
Connected things are everywhere at this year’s CES. There’s a problem though: Consumers aren’t likely to buy them unless they connect to the wireless networks that are already in our homes. Read more »
Can Marissa Mayer make Yahoo more relevant at a time where mobile usage is skyrocketing and consumers are bombarded with information? The jury is out but several initiatives give her a chance: New digital magzines and apps for easily digestible content. Read more »
Intel keeps pushing forward with its support for Android, but of course it can’t simply ignore Windows. The company’s chips now support both Android and Windows running at the same time. Here’s a quick look at how it works on the Asus Transformer Duet. Read more »
After sitting out the first few rounds, Toshiba says it was time to release a Chromebook due to the market’s growth and potential. I spent a few minutes with its first effort and it doesn’t feel like a cramped experience. Read more »
Hearing a mention of Epson doesn’t likely bring wearables to mind but the company says it should: It has a history with smart watches and builds custom sensors. That history comes to the present with Pulsense, a pair of heart-tracking bands. Read more »
The argument of PC v. tablet may be rendered a little moot thanks to Samsung’s new product line. Bigger tablets with up to four apps running together plus software to remotely access a PC or Mac are the highlights. Read more »
Pebble, the little e-paper watch that could, gets a bold new look with Pebble Steel: A watch with premium stainless steel materials that could appeal to those who wear more traditional timepieces. Read more »
An LTE tablet that doesn’t require an additional data plan charge? Sort of. The Asus Padfone X for AT&T uses an LTE smartphone — and its data plan — to power a companion tablet when the phone is docked. Read more »
AT&T is bringing the bendable G Flex smartphone to its LTE network in the first quarter of the year. The quirky handset can flex or heal itself and has buttons on the back. Read more »
Some Chromebooks are too small. Some are too big. With a 13-inch display, Toshiba’s new Chromebook might be just right. The $279 laptop running Chrome OS launches mid-February in a Wi-Fi only model. Read more »
Want desktop-class gaming on your tablet or smartphone? You’ll need the Tegra K1 chip says Nvidia. The company demonstrated what the silicon is capable of at the Consumer Electronics Show. Read more »
Maybe Lenovo is on to something with unique PC designs and fold-over keyboards. The company actually grew PC sales in a declining market and just announced a new 8.3-inch Windows 8 tablet and refresh of its X1 Carbon laptop. Read more »
The unofficial $99 prescription lenses for Google Glass are nearly here and they look pretty good. The final bill may not though: it’s another $129 for the clip-on frames to hold the specially designed lenses. Read more »
This year’s Consumer Electronics Show will have tons of amazing new tech on display but it’s all for nothing if not easy to use. I’m hoping for a trend of simplicity and user experience magic from this year’s devices. Read more »
New products shown at CES this week should offer hope for more sales and HTC surely needs them. The company experienced a second consecutive quarterly operating loss on revenues of NT$42.9 billion (US $1.43B), according to Bloomberg. Without profits from the sale of its stake in Beats, HTC would have posted another quarterly net loss as sales have continued to trend down, but it eked out a small after-tax profit of NT$0.31 billion. For a visual look at HTC’s woes, check out this chart of HTC’s monthly revenues for the past 24 months that ZDNet put together: December’s year-over-year revenues were 42.36 percent lower in 2013.
Since getting a slow start a few years back, devices running Google’s Chrome OS haven’t really been a “thing” at CES. This year looks different as LG pre-announced a Chromebase, more Chromebooks are expected and the platform is gaining momentum Read more »
CES pre-announcements started in earnest this week with Acer debuting two tablets before the show. Samsung has new Android cameras and maybe a more appealing design for its Galaxy S 5. Pandora lovers can now use the app as an alarm clock. Read more »
What do you get when you combine an Android console, an open software platform and a treadmill? The chance to run with Google Glass which can control the whole thing, giving new meaning to getting your Glass into shape. Read more »