MetroPCS has the Samsung Galaxy S 5 online and in-store starting today

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Here is an intriguing option for MetroPCS customers. Today, the carrier has announced it will begin selling the new Samsung Galaxy S 5. The device does carry a rather hefty price tag, though, when buying through MetroPCS. To go with plans starting at $40, MetroPCS is selling the Galaxy S 5 for $649 plus tax. But then again, it does cost that much just about everywhere else without a two-year contract.

Smartphone cameras to rival DSLRs in 12 to 18 months according to HTC

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Smartphone cameras have certainly gotten better and better over the years, but the thought of rivaling DSLRs seems far away at this point in time. However, we might be closer than you think, according to HTC camera expert, Symon Whitehorn.

Whitehorn recently had an interview with Vodafone and had some very interesting things to say regarding future camera tech. One big step towards this would be the implementation of optical zoom. Manufacturers have wanted to implement this, but more refining is needed. Whitehorn thinks that we will have huge advances in phone optics in the next 12 to 18 months.

HTC hires former marketing head at Samsung to be an adviser

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Poaching is something very common in the mobile industry. A company comes along and plucks an executive out of another company to work for them. It happened to Android’s VP of product development, Hugo Barra, when Xiaomi swooped in and stole him from Google. Now, it looks like HTC is doing the poaching to Android’s biggest force.

HTC has hired Paul Golden, Samsung’s former head of marketing. His role will be as an adviser to Cher Wang, the chairman. Golden will not be a full-time employee just yet. For now, he is being contracted for three months of work. What marketing can be done in three months is beyond me, but that is why it is likely Golden’s stay gets extended for a longer period of time.

Source: Bloomberg

Motorola to introduce new ultra-thin smartphone very soon

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The Moto G (pictured above) is Motorola’s best selling smartphone, but they have something else up their sleeve. A new phone has been approved by Brazilian authorities and is only 6.2mm thick. It will will also feature a 4.3-inch (unknown resolution) display, an unknown 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage, 5MP rear camera, 1900mAh battery, and Android 4.4 KitKat.

A very low-priced Nexus phone might be in the works

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Flagship phones always get the center of attention, but lower-tier phones are growing in popularity, especially in developing countries. Over the last year there has been a trend in better quality low-tier phones, such as the Moto G.  Now it looks like Google might have something in the works as well.

A report out of China has Google partnering with MediaTek for a very low-priced smartphone. Those of you that generally buy flagship phones are probably not familiar with MediaTek. Like Qualcomm, they are makers of mobile processors, but they are generally found on budget phones. This rumored phone is expected to sell for only $100.

Updated WatchOn app for Galaxy S 5 now available in Play Store

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Samsung has uploaded a redesigned version of their WatchOn application to Google’s Play Store. Samsung doesn’t use the Play Store to distribute as many apps as, say, Motorola, but we do see the occasional app hosted on Google’s store front.

The redesigned app features a ton of purple and fits in with the flat aesthetics of the Galaxy S 5, and is, of course, available only to the Galaxy S 5. If you like the newer design of TouchWiz, you’ll definitely like this update. If you’re not crazy about the flat, colorful design? Well, you may want to pass on this one.

To see more, hit the gallery past the break.

Hulu Plus, Crackle, and Showtime to be added to Amazon Fire TV voice search this summer

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Currently, Amazon’s Fire TV’s unified voice search feature only includes a few content catalogs, limited to Amazon’s own catalog and VEVO’s selection. The feature is great, but to be truly successful, it’s going to need more than two content providers to make it stand out. To fix that, Amazon has announced today that Hulu Plus, Crackle, and Showtime Anytime will be added to the unified voice search feature this summer.

The addition of three major content providers is nice, and since it’s happened so quickly, it (hopefully) shows that Amazon is going to work hard to get a ton of partners on board as quickly as possible.

Hit the break for the full press release.

Over one-third of Galaxy S 5 upgrades were by iPhone users

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A good measure of how impressive a device is is to count how many users switched to it from another brand of smartphone, such as switching from a Motorola device to an HTC device or from an Apple iPhone to a Samsung Galaxy device. If we’re measuring a device’s merit based on how many users it pulled from another camp, early reports say the Galaxy S 5 is a hit.

According to a trade-in website, ComparyMyMobile, about 38% of all Galaxy S 5 upgrades came from iPhone owners. We already knew the S 5 was showing very strong early sales, but being able to pull in so many former iPhone users is an impressive feat. 

Motorola celebrating fifty application updates with a Hangout full of questions

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The Moto X and Moto G have garnered a ton of positive attention since being released in last August and October, respectively. Motorola, too, has gotten great feedback from everyone because of their timely software updates for devices and applications. In fact, Motorola has updated fifteen of their apps for fifty total updates. To celebrate, Motorola’s Punit Soni will be leading a Hangout next Wednesday to field any questions thrown at him. There, Soni will answer questions and take feedback from everyone involved.

To RSVP for the Hangout, click here.

Source: Motorola

Android 4.4.2 KitKat rolling out for Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014)

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An update to Android 4.4.2 KitKat for the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014) has started to roll out to owners of the devices. The update that is rolling out is for the WiFi-only version although updates for the 3G and 4G LTE models should be following soon. Like other devices, the update primarily brings the improvements that are part of Android 4.4.2 to the devices and is light on Samsung specific updates. One item we are waiting to get reports about is whether Samsung included their Magazine UX. The Magazine UX was introduced this year when Samsung rolled out some newer tablet devices, although Samsung has since backed off that UX and indicated it will work more closely with Google on being more consistent with Android design concepts.

If you have the Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014), you can check for the update by going to Settings -> General -> About phone -> Software updates. It may be a few days before it shows up for your device though.

source: SamMobile

New LG L65 appears to be joining the L Series III family

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A new image has surfaced via Twitter tipster @evleaks of an LG L65 smartphone. Although this model number was not mentioned by LG back in February prior to MWC 2014 when they announced the L Series III model line, it looks like it will be part of that family of devices. According to the leak, the screen size will be 4.3-inches, just a tad smaller than the LG L70 which comes with a 4.5-inch screen. The 5MP camera will match some variants of the L70 and the 1.2GHz processor is right in line with the rest of the L Series III line.

The other devices in LG’s most recent L Series all come with Android’s KitKat operating system so we expect the L65 will be equipped similarly. LG has not officially confirmed this device and no pricing, release date or market availability information is known.

source: @evleaks

LG Lucid 3 now available from Verizon Wireless

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Last month when images leaked of a Verizon branded LG Lucid 3, we figured the release date would be sometime in April. Verizon has met that expectation with the LG Lucid 3 now available online for free with a two-year contract. Consumers can also get the Lucid 3 for $12.49 per month using the Verizon EDGE program or pay $300 with no contract.

The Lucid 3 is a low- to mid-level Android device, though it does come with Android 4.4.2 out of the box. The screen measures 4.7 inches and runs at 960 x 540 resolution. The Lucid 3 is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core processor and has 8GB of memory on board which can be expanded through the addition of up to 64GB via microSD. The Lucid 3 does support 4G LTE and comes with a 2,440 mAh battery. Being an LG device, it does come with the company’s KnockON technology to quickly turn the screen on or off and LG’s QSlide to let users run two apps at once via a smaller, resizeable window for one of the apps.

Hit the source link for more information or to start your order.

source: Verizon Wireless

Toshiba plans on bringing Project Ara to wearables

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So far we have only heard of Project Ara smartphones, but couldn’t the concept also apply to wearables? According to Toshiba Senior VP and Technology Executive, Shardul Kazi, the answer is yes.

While at the Ara Developer Conference, Kazi showed the above slide that represents a module being removed from the phone and inserted into a smartwatch. At this point in the game, this is just a concept and not in development. Assuming consumers adopt this “module” way of thinking, you can clearly see that it’s inevitable that Project Ara could be used for so many other things, including wearables.

source: Engadget