ZTE officially launches the budget-minded ZTE V5 Max

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ZTE has officially launched the ZTE V5 Max which is part of its line of V5 series, budget-oriented smartphones. Although not a top-tier phone, we can see how the whole market is rising by taking a look at some of the specs for this new device. The ZTE V5 Max comes with a 5.5-inch display running at 1280 x 720 pixels being run by a Snapdragon 410 64-bit quad-core processor. Currently the device comes with Android 4.4 KitKat loaded, with ZTE’s Nubia UI running on top of it. With the 64-bit processor included, ZTE should be able to take advantage of Android Lollipop if they decide to go down that path.

Other specs include 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. The device does come with a microSD slot that can handle a 32GB card for additional space. For cameras, the ZTE V5 Max gets a 13 MP rear-facing shooter and a 5 MP front-facing shooter. The smartphone will come with a 3,100mAh battery that is removable.

The ZTE V5 Max will be priced at RMB$999 ($163 USD) when it starts selling in China.

source: GSM Insider

Why did Samsung “ditch the stitch” and other design questions answered

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Samsung has posted a new video and a FAQ-type write-up describing the thinking behind several of the design decisions made when developing the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and Note Edge devices. Samsung explains the devices meld both digital and analog qualities, so designing the devices so they maintain their identity with the rest of the Galaxy Note line is a challenge. Rather than focusing on decorative factors, Samsung focused on the overall feel of the devices to give them what is called a “Modern Sleek” design. Read more

Amazon Fire TV now available in the UK

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Those of you patiently waiting in the UK for the Fire TV can sit back and relax. It’s now available for £79. The good news is that you will have access to many UK providers such as BBC iPlayer, BBC News, Demand 5, and Sky News. You will of course get access to Amazon Instant Prime, Netflix, Vevo, and a bunch of games. Speaking of games, you can also grab the gaming controller for £34.99

Personally, I would wait for the Nexus Player, but if you’re deep into the Amazon ecosystem, it’s a good buy.

sources: Amazon Fire TV / Gaming Controller

LG G Watch R will be available in the UK starting tomorrow

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The LG G Watch might not look as elegant as the Moto 360, but it packs more power, better battery life, and a proper Always-on display. I didn’t even mention the fact that it’s the only fully round smartwatch.

We have great news for those of you in the UK because it’s going to be available at Clove starting tomorrow. That’s right, just in time for the weekend. It’s going for £224.99 (including VAT), which equates to about $360 here in the U.S. Speaking of the U.S., we are still awaiting availability, but we expect it to come in around $249.

So what do you guys think about the G Watch R? I am excited for just the Always-on display alone. My unit should be arriving at my front door within the next 30 minutes, so I will be sure to let you know what I think of it soon.

source: Clove

Sprint doubles data on their low-end shared data plans

sprint-logoWe’ve seen major carriers compete on double data for large family plans, but today Sprint announced a new competitive offer for customers who don’t need quite so much data. The new plan offers 1 GB of data for $20 a month, which is almost double from the old 600 MB plan and considerably more than what you’ll get from AT&T or Verizon for the same price.

The rest of the plan stays the same, so each non-subsidized smartphone would cost $25 for data access, while tablets run $10 per month and mobile broadband devices run $20. A 1 GB plan probably won’t work for larger families, but if just one or two users just need cheap smartphone plans and don’t use much data, it could save quite a bit of cash each month. Read more

Firebase, a cloud database company, joins Google’s Cloud Platform team

firebase_logoGoogle has announced that they’ve acquired a new cloud database company, Firebase. The Firebase team will join Google’s Cloud Platform developers in an effort to make development for mobile devices even easier.

Firebase exists to allow developers easy ways to keep data synced between mobile applications and web sites and apps, which can be a pretty tricky and difficult task otherwise. By bringing this technology under Google’s cloud platform fold, it should help speed up development for mobile apps as it gives developers one less thing to worry about. Read more

Solar eclipse and police activity cards now showing up in Google Now

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Good news for heavy Google Now users; you’re getting two new types of cards in your automatic information feed. Google has added in support for police activity as well as solar eclipses. The police activity is pretty useful, as it shows nearby criminal activity which can give you a heads up on areas or roads to avoid.

The solar eclipse card is pretty weird, but it gives you information on ways you can safely view the eclipse, so that’s pretty cool. Not life changing, but a cool feature regardless.

Fortunately, these cards won’t require an update to the Google Now app (as long as you’re already on the latest version) since the info comes from Google. Keep an eye out and let us know if you see either of them on your device.

source: Reddit

via: 9 to 5 Google

Google may sell Project Ara modules in a Play Store type marketplace

project_ara_the_verge_1Google’s Project Ara is one of the most highly anticipated developments in the modern smartphone world, assuming it gains traction with developers, manufacturers, and consumers. We know the basic idea behind it, but one thing that Google has never truly clarified was how potential customers could purchase smartphone “modules” for their devices. Thanks to a new interview at a Purdue Presidential Lecture, the head of Project Ara, Paul Eremenko, talked a bit about how the modules would be sold, and it’s shaping up to be pretty interesting. Read more

TalkAndroid Daily Dose for October 22, 2014

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With hectic schedules, it can be hard to keep track of everything in your news feed. That’s why we created the TalkAndroid Daily Dose. This is where we recap the day’s hottest stories so you can get yourself up to speed in quick fashion. Happy reading!!

Guides

How to lock any app on your phone or tablet for guests and kids in Android Lollipop

Accessories

Moto 360 Wireless Charging Dock now in stock and ready to ship from Google Play

Android Wear

Microsoft wants you to use Bing Torque instead of saying “OK Google” on your Android Wear smartwatch

Read more