Sony holding contest with a trip to New York City and a bunch of its products at stake


Did you hear about Michael Jackson’s upcoming posthumous album XSCAPE? Sony is getting involved by hosting a contest that has a ton of prizes to be won. To enter, all you have to do is watch a bunch of videos and tell Sony what your favorite feature is from the Xperia Z2. And in this case, not coming in first is not that bad. To enter, head over to this page.

Here is a breakdown of the prizes:

  • 1st Prize (one winner): Four nights in a five-star hotel in New York City, VIP tour of the Museum of Modern Art, an exclusive listening event of XSCAPE, a helicopter ride, Xperia Z2, Xperia Z2 Tablet, SmartBand SWR10
  • 2nd Prize (twenty winners): Xperia Z2, Xperia Z2 Tablet, SmartBand SWR10
  • 3rd Prize (thirty winners): Xperia Z2

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Samsung discovers a new method to commercialize graphene


Samsung announced today on its blog that it has found a “breakthrough synthesis method” that makes the mass production of graphene more efficient and increases its commercialization. Graphene is more durable than steel, has a higher “electron mobility” than silicon as well as flexibility, which the company believes makes this material perfect for use in flexible displays, wearables and future devices.

The company, in collaboration with the Sungkyunkwan University, was able to create a new method of “growing large area, single crystal wafer scale graphene”. The company explained “engineers around the world have invested heavily in research for the commercialization of graphene, but have faced many obstacles due to the challenges associated with it. In the past, researchers have found that multi-crystal synthesis – the process of synthesizing small graphene particles to produce large-area graphene – deteriorated the electric and mechanical properties of the material, limiting its application range and making it difficult to commercialize.”

Similar methods were available before but this new method ensures that the properties of the material are maintained.

Source: Samsung Tomorrow

HTC One (M8) and One (M7) get discounted at Best Buy


Need a good reason to get your hands on the new HTC One (M8)? Best Buy is offering deals for both this year’s new model and last year’s One (M7). For last year’s device, the HTC One (M7) is available for just $1.00 with any carrier at Best Buy. But for this year’s HTC One (M8), Verizon’s variant is the only one that looks like it has received a discount. If buying the Verizon variant, it will cost $149.99; however, additional carriers may be added to the deal at some point.

Be sure to give our HTC One (M8) guides a look.

Source: Best Buy (M8), (M7)

How to apply Duo Camera effects on the HTC One (M8)


So you bought a brand new HTC One (M8) and you noticed two camera lenses on the back. What can you do with them? You can actually do a lot of things with them, and the video below walks you through everything. The main lens is the same UltraPixel 4MP lens that appeared on last year’s HTC One (M7) and the other smaller lens is 2MP, and is used for depth. This setup allows you to apply different effects to your photos such as changing focal points (Ufocus), applying effects to just the foreground or background (Foregrounder), adding fun clothing accessories or snow, and even copying a person out of one photo and pasting them into another photo (Copy & Paste).

In this video, I will show you how to use each and every one one of these features. Now I must stress that in order to use these features, you must be in the basic Camera setting. It will not work when any special effects are applied or if you used the zoom. It won’t work in Zoe mode either. So if you’re a Zoe fan like myself, you will have to know beforehand that you want to implement one of these effects, and switch back to the basic Camera setting.

Okay, it’s time to learn about some of the cool tricks you can do on the HTC One (M8), so hit the break to find out how to make your photos look a little more stunning than they already are.

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Sprint sweetens the Framily Plan with offer to cover ETFs


Sprint announced today a new promotion to try to sweeten the deal for customers thinking about switching to a Sprint Family Plan. Like other carriers, they are offering to cover some, if not all, of the early termination fees that customers may incur if they make a switch in carriers. According to Sprint’s announcement, they will cover up to $650 per subscriber. The bonus is broken down between a credit of up to $300 if they trade-in their existing phone and a Visa Prepaid card worth up to $350. The Visa card will not be delivered until 10-12 weeks after initial sign-up and the customer has to be both in good standing and they have to submit a copy of their final bill from the old carrier showing the termination fee that was paid. If a customer does not have an ETF because they are off contract, Sprint will use the balance of the Equipment Installment plan that a customer had to pay, a move aimed at those carriers that no longer use 2-year contracts.

This special deal started running today and will continue until May 8th. Hit the break to read the full press release from Sprint. Read more

Amazon Fire TV gets its innards exposed by iFixit


Open it up! That is exactly what iFixit has done, in usual fashion, to Amazon’s new set-top box. Fire TV has gotten the teardown treatment. iFixit rates devices from 1 to 10 when experiencing a teardown in terms of ease. Getting a 10 would solidify an easy fix when the time comes. In this case, the Fire TV set-top box earned an average 6. Not hard, but not easy. Read more

Samsung Galaxy S 5 Zoom benchmarks leak, a 20.2MP camera is ready for showtime


Just yesterday, we got a look at the back of the Galaxy S 5 Zoom. And today we (sort of) have a look at the inside of Samsung’s camera variant for the Galaxy S 5. The people of SamMobile were able to obtain the device’s AnTuTu benchmarks as well as additional information. In doing so, they found out some more specifications for the GS5 Zoom, model number SM-C115. The focus is the camera so we will start there. On the back is a 20.2MP sensor and on the front is one with 2.1MP. It does have optical image stabilization (OIS) technology and 10x optical zoom. To make sure you do not run low on storage, Samsung has included a microSD card slot.

The display is 4.8 inches and SuperAMOLED HD technology with a 1280×720 resolution. Under the hood is Samsung’s Exynos 5 processor that has six cores with big.LITTLE HMP technology from ARM. And right out of the box, Samsung is giving the Galaxy S 5 Zoom the latest version of Android, 4.4.2 KitKat. The bump to Android 4.4.3 will likely come in over the summer.

Source: SamMobile

Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 developer tablet will be available later this month

snapdragon 805 developer tablet

Qualcomm has unveiled their Snapdragon 805 developer tablet, and it’s probably some of the most advanced hardware ever put in an Android tablet. The tablet, which runs Android 4.4 KitKat, has Qualcomm’s unreleased Snapdragon 805 processor on board, which looks to be a quad-core CPU clocked at 2.7 GHz. You’ll also get 3 GB of RAM, 64 GB of internal storage, a 2560 x 1440 display, a 13 megapixel rear camera and 2 megapixel front camera, and a slew of standard radios and ports, including 802.11ac WiFi radios, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, NFC, a microSD card slot, an HDMI port, and a USB port.  Read more

Google removed the SMS feature from Gmail Chat


Google‘s experimental SMS feature which was released for Gmail Chat back in 2008 has now been removed. This means that users can no longer send an SMS to their mobile contacts via Gmail Chat. Google said users can switch to Hangouts and choose to receive messages in SMS settings.

However, US and Canada users can send an SMS through Google Voice or switch to Hangouts and “continue receiving SMS messages as follow-me (i.e. if you’re offline and receive a Hangout message, you’ll get an SMS message).” The company said that “by streamlining our services, we’re able to focus on creating the best possible products for our users”. Read more