How HTC Can Get Its Groove Back

by Mike Stenger on
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Around the summer of 2010, my contract was coming to an end and the HTC EVO 4G on Sprint was very appealing. Touted as “America’s first 4G phone”, it featured a large display and great specs at the time. I desperately wanted this phone and every Sprint store, Radioshack, or online store, was out of stock for four to six weeks. With my contract ending in just a couple weeks, the options were simple: Either buy the EVO 4G for full price and then some due to demand, or just grab a Blackberry. Unfortunately, an outdated BlackBerry Curve it was. » Read the rest

The Samsung Galaxy S 4 isn’t about the specs, it’s about the features and marketing

by Roy Alugbue on
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You have to hand it to Samsung really. After getting the public to generate unprecedented buzz and pandemonium, Samsung certainly brought in the Galaxy S 4 with a bang thanks to its snazzy Unpacked 2013: Episode I event. Heck— the buzz and excitement caused not one, but two competitors to try and pour salt in Sammy’s coffee, yet Sammy wasn’t deterred. As opposed to the traditional unveilings and demos that we’re used to seeing at keynote events, Samsung instead thought about doing something ummm, “unique” or “different” to say the least by providing a variety of skits, dances and literally theatrics to introduce its new flagship. More importantly, Samsung used its brand name to be out of the box in comparison to its competitors: go into the heart of the Broadway, use one of the world’s largest stages complete with an orchestra, an MC and some sweet live performances to introduce something that is “unique” and different”.

While those of us in attendance were quite impressed (and believe us, Rob Nazarian & I were certainly entertained at the event)— the Galaxy S 4 certainly poses a significant observation of not just the Galaxy S 4, but Samsung as a brand as we know it: Samsung is utilizing the features and more importantly— the marketing of its products to sell its brand. Make no mistake about it: Samsung has made a serious transition going from what was known as a relatively unknown Korean brand to a wannabe Apple competitor to what is perhaps the most exciting and controversial brand to date. The scary thing is this— not only is the transition a success, but everyone else is now playing catchup in terms of brand recognition and excitement.

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Hands on with the Samsung Galaxy S 4 [Video]

by Robert Nazarian on
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Tonight at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S IV, which promises to be your life companion for a richer, simpler, and fuller life. If there is one thing Samsung proved tonight, it’s not the specs that sells, it’s the features. Last year it was all about S Beam, S Voice, and AllShare. This year they added a whole lot more such as Dual Camera, Group Play, Share Music, Smart Scroll, Smart Pause, S Voice Drive, WatchOn, S Health, Adapt View, and Adapt Sound. Still, we can’t forget about the specs, and they are impressive with the 5-inch 1080p Super AMOLED display, 1.6GHz Exynos Octa or 1.9GHz Qualcomm quad-core CPU, 2GB of RAM, 16/32/64 GB of storage, microSD slot, 13MP rear camera, 2MP front camera, and 2600mAh battery. What are you waiting for? Hit the break to see our hands on of the Next Big Thing.

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Hands on with the HTC One and the new Sense 5

by Robert Nazarian on
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All the speculation and rumors can now stop as HTC officially unveiled the new One smartphone in both New York City and London this morning. I can say that it’s one of the best phones ever made with it’s metal construction. It features a 4.7-inch 1080p LCD 3 display at 468ppi, a 1.7GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB/64GB of storage, 4 UltraPixel camera, and so much more. The biggest part of the announcement was concentrated on the new Sense 5 (on top of Android 4.1), which includes BlinkFeed, Sense Voice, Sense TV, BoomSound, UltraPixels, and Zoe. Just what do these things do? Check out our full hands on video from the New York show highlighting the hardware and the cool new features of Sense 5. HTC is calling this the greatest phone ever made. What do you guys think? Hit the break to check it out.

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Flygrip a bit pricey for you? Here are three alternatives that won’t break the bank

by Joe Sirianni on
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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, smartphones are getting bigger and bigger and the ultimate one-handed operation device is slowly fading away.  The need for something to assist with not dropping your rather expensive investment is on the rise.  In stepped Flygrip, the small and popular solution for all things large.  Flygrip allows seamless one-handed operation without the fear of dropping your phone or tablet.  However, there’s the small little matter of price which doesn’t happen to be small at all.  The popular mini mechanism will run you a whopping $29.95 ea.  That’s a bit steep if you ask me.  $19.99 seems a little more reasonable but the folks over at the Flygrip team may not share my opinion. So, coveting the functionality I began to look for alternatives that wouldn’t break the bank for techs on a dime.  Surprisingly, there’s quite a few options for you if you’re interested.  We’ve covered three that caught our attention for style, ease of use and of course its cheap price tag.

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Are you addicted to your smartphone? My experiences using a dumbphone and tablet combination to break the habit

by Alexon Enfiedjian on
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Smartphones are incredible tools and toys that make our lives easier, more productive, more social and more fun. All great things, right? But like anything in life, too much of a good thing can become a bad thing. This is especially true with smartphones (Android, or otherwise): we can actually use them to our detriment. I discovered this the hard way…but thankfully found a solution: replacing my smartphone with a “dumb phone” and a tablet to set some healthy boundaries on my “tech time”. Read on past the break to hear my experience of disconnecting.

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First look at the nabi Wings adaptive educational learning system [Video]

by Robert Nazarian on
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I spent a lot of time with the folks at Fuhu yesterday, and I was thoroughly impressed with what they are doing. Not only are they cranking out tablets that appeal to toddlers, kids and tweens, but they are getting into the educational game in a major way. I had a chance to get a first look at the Wings application, which is an adaptive educational learning system. It actually is a role playing game for elementary students, and it was developed with a board of educators and school district board members.

It wasn’t the final product, but it looked very comprehensive. It’s a complete lesson plan for children that will improve their proficiency with reading, writing, and math. As your child progresses through the levels, they will earn coins that can be used to buy apps from the nabi app store and you will get a report card as well. It will come pre-loaded with the upcoming nabi Jr. tablet and will be available as a package for the nabi 2 that will include the application, a stylus, and a bluetooth keyboard. It’s still in development, but you can get a good idea of how it works in the hands on video after the break.

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A look at the upcoming nabi Battle Kinabi figures utilizing NFC on the nabi XD for tweens [Video]

by Robert Nazarian on
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Fuhu has really stepped up their game since the introduction of the original nabi tablet. The upcoming nabi XD will sport NFC and they have come up with a role playing game using Battle Kinabi figures. Each character will come with its own profile that will be tied to an NFC chip. By touching the characters to the XD tablet, it will load all the levels, defense/offense moves, and more that have been earned by playing the game. You will be able to change characters at any time or even share with your friends. Hit the break for a look at the characters and the concept.

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Hands on with the nabi XD tablet for tweens [Video]

by Robert Nazarian on
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Late last year, Fuhu announced the nabi XD tablet for tweens. This one is their largest to date with a 10.1-inch (1366 x 768) IPS display, and the rest of the specs should satisfy not only tweens, but the parents as well. It sports a quad-core Tegra 3, front and back cameras, 16GB/32GB of storage, microSD, 10 hours of battery life, NFC, and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Nabi also created a new UI for this one called Kanzi, which has a Windows 8 type of look to it. Since this one is for the tweens, you won’t find the rubberized case, just a slim aluminum body that’s very appealing. They will also offer a really nice keyboard accessory and a cool game involving Battle Kanabis that utilize NFC. The tablet itself will be priced at $249 for 16GB or $349 for 32GB, which is pretty competitive based on the specs. We should see this one by the end of February, but for now, check out the hands on video after the break.

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Hands on with the nabi Jr. Android tablet for toddlers [Video]

by Robert Nazarian on
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Late last year Fuhu announced the nabi Jr. tablet for toddlers. This one is the little brother (or sister) to the nabi 2. It sports a 5-inch (800 x 480) display, a dual-core Tegra 2 processor, a rotating camera lens, 4GB/16GB of storage, matching stylus, microSD, and Fuhu’s own UI built around Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. It will be priced at $99 for the 4GB version and $129 for the 16GB version. I had a chance to play with it at CES, and I am not usually impressed with kids tablets, but Fuhu has done a really good job. The specs aren’t high end, but again this if for your toddler. They don’t need any more than this. I love the design of the protective case and that it’s easily removable. We should see this one by the end of February, but for now, check out the hands on video after the break.

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