Samsung upgrades Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S4 mini with new “Black Edition” versions


Although the Samsung Galaxy S4 line is getting a bit dated when measured in smartphone years and the Galaxy S5 is slated to be announced later this month, that isn’t stopping Samsung from trying to keep buyers interested in the devices. Their latest move is the release of new Black Edition versions of Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy S4 mini. The Black Edition is intended to create a “premium design” choice for consumers. Physically, Samsung is changing the back cover and bezel to a leather-like high quality textured material similar to that found on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 or some of their recent tablet devices. Samsung is also packaging up these versions in special packaging and they will come with black accessories like the power adapter, data cable and headphones.  Read more

Image surfaces showing supersized 7-inch smartphone from Huawei


A new image has surfaced showing a new device from Huawei which indicates they are not content to stop at 6.1 inches for the size of a smartphone. The Huawei Ascend Mate 2 was announced last month at CES 2014 with a massive 6.1-inch screen. The new device supposedly has a 7-inch screen that will run at 1920×1200 resolution. Other hardware reportedly included in the device includes a 1.6GHz quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM. Sources also report that Huawei considers the device, despite its size, a smartphone and not a tablet. Early pricing rumors suggest the device will sell for 1,200 yuan ($198 USD).

If this were to ever find its way outside of the Asian markets, is it something you would be interested in buying?

source: Weibo
via: G for Games

Google Glass vulnerable to JavaScript exploit


There was a security issue back in Android 4.1 that would allow malicious code (specifically JavaScript) to interject itself into apps that created a WebView, which is something typically done when an app opens up a web window to display an external website, ads, etc. Needless to say, that’s a pretty common thing on Android apps. and apparently that potentially dangerous bug is present in Google Glass, too.

Metasploit, a popular vulnerability testing framework, added a new test module that would allow users to test how vulnerable some versions of the Android browser are to being hacked from shell access, and that’s when this exploit was found in Glass. The exploit would involve a man-in-the-middle hijacking that WebView instance, which wouldn’t be too difficult to do if you’re on a public WiFi or anything that isn’t well secured. At that point, the malicious code could do anything from taking photos with your device to remotely turning on your microphone. Definitely not a good thing. Read more

Boost Mobile offering $35 plan with unlimited data for 6 months after buying an LTE device


Still searching for a carrier that fits you? Boost Mobile is running a promotion right now with a reasonable price. Buying one of their LTE devices through the carrier’s site, participating retailer, Best Buy, or Radioshack will allow you to pick up a $35 unlimited plan for six months. Talk, text, and web is included; however, customers will be throttled after 2.5GB of data.

Once the six months are in the past, the monthly bill will jump to $50. But Boost Mobile slashes $5 off per every six months. By the eighteenth month, a bill should be $35 once again. The promotion runs from now through March 31.

Source: Boost Mobile

FTC approves Google’s acquisition of Nest


Google recently scooped up Nest for roughly 3.2 billion dollars, but like any major acquisition, the FTC has to approve the purchase before it becomes official. That was the last road block for Google, and today the FTC has given them the green light.

Typically, the FTC waits 30 days before approving anything to make sure that acquisitions like these don’t violate antitrust laws and that the terms of the deals are okay. In this case, the FTC decided fairly quickly that there would be no reason to hold up this particular buyout, so they approved it ahead of the normal 30 day schedule for Google.

Now we wait and see just what Google is going to create with Nest’s product team on board. Whatever they plan on doing, I’m sure it’s going to be worth waiting for.

source: The Verge

UK retailer aiming to launch Chromecast on March 1


Folks over in the United Kingdom still do not have access to Google’s Chromecast, but according to a listing by retailer Currys, that is about to change. The UK retailer has March 1 as a potential release date. We say potential because a Google spokesperson told The Next Web that it is merely a provisional date that has yet to be confirmed. Hopefully the wait will be worth it for people in the United Kingdom as Google just opened up the Cast SDK to everyone.

Source: The Next Web

Nokia X benchmark hints at 3 megapixel fixed-focus camera and Android 4.1

Nokia Normany press render

If the Nokia X ever gets announced, there’s not going to be anything left about the phone to surprise us. The latest leak comes from a CamSpeed benchmark, which is a benchmark typically to measure camera performance. Nokia’s X phone has shown up in some scores with a 3 megapixel, fixed-focus camera. The original specs we’d heard suggested the phone would have a 5 megapixel camera, so this lowers that bar just a bit.

The benchmark also showed the device running Android 4.1. A few rumors floating around said it would run Android 4.4, but it’s looking like that isn’t going to be the case. Considering how heavily Nokia plans on skinning Android for this phone, they may not have felt it necessary to use the latest and greatest software. Read more

Google will own $750 million in Lenovo after the Motorola deal finalizes


When the dust settles from the Motorola acquisition by Lenovo, Google will have a $750 million stake in the company. That would put Google at owning a nearly six percent (5.94 percent) stake in Lenovo. According to information disclosed at the Hong Kong exchange, the search giant will take 618.3 shares valued at $1.213 per share. Now this isn’t to be confused as Google still owning stake in Motorola post the acquisition but the parent company itself.  Either way it looks like Google’s investing in the hardware company just a bit.

source: Reuters

LG could announce the G Pro 2 on February 13, before MWC


LG already announced that the G Pro 2 would be unveiled in February, but we all assumed it would be at Mobile World Congress, which is at the end of the month. However, they might actually unveil it before the big conference. ZDNet Korea is reporting that invitations have been sent out for an event on February 13.

This wouldn’t surprise me in the least bit. First, LG has already been telling us juicy tidbits regarding the phone, and second, a separate event away from the MWC crowd makes more sense. You have less of a chance of getting lost in the shuffle. Let’s also not forget that the Galaxy S 5 is expected to be unveiled on the 24th, so this would give them an extra 11 days of the spotlight.

source: ZDNet Korea
via: Engadget