The future of smartphone battery life could be with new solar-charging screen technology

sunpartner-screen-tech

As smartphones get bigger, better and more powerful, batteries unfortunately have stayed pretty consistent. Major manufacturers keep promising that it will get better but have yet to deliver the goods. French startup SunPartner Group says that the secret to power management may not be in the battery, but in the screen. SunPartner has been hard at work designing a new 82 percent transparent display with standard thin-film solar cells spread throughout, in theory giving your phone an extra charge between charges.

How significant a boost is yet to be seen, but SunPartner claims it could add up to 20 percent more time to your normal charge, provided you’re phone catches enough sun.

Currently in the prototype stage, the designers state that by the time it goes to market it will be 90 percent transparent, and since the technology is already well-established, the screen will only add about $2.30 to the build price of each phone that utilizes the technology.

Source: Android Authority

 

Could Samsung SCH-I435 be the Samsung Galaxy S 4 Mini headed to Verizon?

Galaxy-S4-Mini-Review

When Samsung announced the release of the Galaxy S 4 Mini, they did not mention which carriers would make the device available. Given the wide number of spectrum bands available for the device and Samsung’s strategy with the Samsung Galaxy S 4 of making it available with a wide number of carriers, we would not be surprised to see the same thing play out with the Galaxy S 4 Mini. The first carrier that seems to have surfaced for the U.S. market for the device appears to be Verizon based on some Bluetooth SIG information.

A Japanese web site has reported an entry has been found in the Bluetooth SIG database for a Samsung SCH-I435. In the past, Samsung devices that are given a model number starting with “SCH” have landed on the Verizon network. The numbering scheme would seem to peg it somewhere below the Galaxy S 4 and its SCH-I545 and the Galaxy S III with SCH-I535.

source: Blog of Mobile

Humble Bundle weekly sale features 3 top-notch Android games

humblebundle

Pay-what-you-want services are taking over every form of media and why not? It allows consumers to decide what various goods and services are worth to them personally. Of course as with any payment model it has its shortcomings, and developers have come up with some crafty services, one such service being the excellent Humble Bundle. For the uninitiated, the Humble Bundle is a pay-what-you-want service that bundles top-notch eBooks, music apps and games and the more you pay the more awesome stuff you get.

This week the service is hosting a bundle of excellent indie-Android games and with an average donation of $5.86, its a great opportunity to save a bunch of money and support developers and charity at the same exact time. The games in this bundle include:

Anomaly Warzone Earth Mobile Campaign ( normally $3.99)
Sleepwalker’s Journey (normally $0.99)
Funky Smugglers (normally $0.99)

And if you donate a more generous amount you get:

Anomaly Warzone Korea ( normally $3.99)

On top of all that the bundle includes wallpapers for every game in the bundle and a 3D Print figure of the Mech from Anomaly 2. Bust out the wallet, do yourself and the Android community a favor and grab some really cool games. When your done with that feel free to thank us in the comments.

Source: Humble Bundle

 

New Nexus 7 may support Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile LTE bands

Nexus_Logo_Nexus_7

The rumors for the unannounced new Nexus 7 just keep flooding in. This time, we have an FCC filing that shows the new version of our favorite 7 inch tablet will sport LTE bands for Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. And no, that doesn’t mean there will be three different models for each carrier; this is one model of Nexus 7 that has all of the radios built in for (potential) carrier hopping. Well, except for Sprint. Sorry Sprint guys.

The filing shows LTE bands 2, 4, 5, 13, and 17, which covers all of the major US carriers. All of them use some band 4, especially T-Mobile, and Verizon and AT&T use band 13 and 17 respectively. Of course, there’s still that tricky issue of not having LTE coverage, and the filing shows that this Nexus has bands for AT&T’s HSPA+ network. So, essentially, the device may be built for AT&T’s network, but will “support” other networks as well. Take it with a grain of salt, but keep your ears open.

source: Droid Life

LG announces budget-friendly Optimus L4 II with IPS display

 

LG-Optimus-L4-II-Android-official

LG announced today a new budget-friendly Android handset called the Optimus L4 II (also known as the E440), which we’ve been catching glimpses of as early as May. The modest device packs a single-core 1GHz MediaTek processor, 512MB or RAM, 4GB of internal storage (expandable via a MicroSD slot). On the outside they’ve attached a 3.8-inch HVGA IPS display with a resolution of 480 x 320 pixels.

An interesting feature of this handset is the standard LG front-and-center home button, which features a built-in LED that changes color based on the different types of notifications. Hit the break for a couple more images of the device in white. Read more

AT&T updating GoPhone prepaid plans, GoPhone devices to get LTE access June 21st

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Are you one of AT&T’s GoPhone prepaid customers? If so, we’ve got good news; in an effort to stay competitive (we hope) AT&T is revising their GoPhone prepaid plans for customers, making them much more affordable and including more data in the cheaper packages. More for less, how can you beat that? How about throwing in LTE access, too?

In a pretty bold move, AT&T will allow their prepaid customers to access their LTE network starting June 21st. This marks AT&T as one of the first carriers to allow prepaid phones to run on any LTE network, and considering AT&T is only one of two carriers who has a sizable LTE footprint, that’s a pretty big deal. Hit the break for the revised pricing, and let us know in the comments if any of you are considering switching to AT&T’s prepaid service after this news. Read more

Amazon releases Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ in Canada

kindle-fire-hd-89

Amazon has been working on making its Kindle Fire lineup available all over the globe, and today they’re continuing on the warpath by releasing the Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ in Canadian markets, although with a slight caveat. Due to licensing restrictions, these Kindle Fire models will not have access to Amazon’s instant streaming service. That’s a pretty big thing to drop considering how hard Amazon pushes its movie and TV show rentals, but a half-tablet is is better than no tablet, so to speak.

The specs haven’t changed on the devices otherwise, so if you thought this was good device before, now is your chance to pick one up.

source: Amazon

Leaked photo from Galaxy Note III suggests 13 megapixel camera

note III 13 megapixel

As anticipation for the Samsung Galaxy Note III builds up, you can definitely expect more rumors to pop up. The latest leak comes from a picture from a Picasa album with embedded information in the file showing a model of Galaxy Note III, and the picture was uploaded with a 2322 x 4128 resolution. For those of you at home wondering how this proves anything about the camera, that resolution is what a 13 MP camera takes in 16:9 resolution. Nifty, right?

This is essentially the same camera in the Galaxy S 4, which is by no means a bad thing. Hopefully we’ll start to see some rumors fly out about Sammy’s latest phablet, since I’m sure it’s going to be a smash hit over the holidays this year.

source: Picasa

via: GSM arena

Acer has no interest in rewriting Android

 

Acer Iconia A1 photo forward

 

It’s no secret that while many of us out there REALLY don’t like custom Android skins, most (if not all) of the major prominent Android manufacturers continue to churn out devices with skins featuring pretty colors and flashy features— that is, unless you’re Acer of course. The manufacturer recently took some time to highlight why it takes the Android platform and decides to add few sprinkles, rather than go all out with a “unique” experience for its various devices. As highlighted in an interview with TechRadar, Acer’s global smartphone division president S T Liew asserts that:

“Android actually does a great job at serving up the right user experience and it allows people to migrate from one Android phone to another with relative ease. With each phone we assess its main features and we enhance those experiences with small UIs, such as the camera app or the note taking capabilities and multi-tasking tools on the Acer Liquid S1.”

So in essence, Acer believes that the core platform is fine as it is. Naturally there’s always room for improvement, especially with Android’s openness— so Acer decides to put touch on some of the lesser-tier items like the camera apps or implementing cool and unique widgets to differentiate itself from the likes of say, Samsung (which often is in Apple’s doghouse and all). And naturally, this is win-win for both the manufacturing giant and consumers at the same time. The end effects are not only prompt updates for its devices— which results in happy device owners, but also allows Acer to save a buck or two by not having to spend extraordinary resources trying to rewrite the Android code and all. Sounds like some pretty fair and welcome thinking to us.

source: TechRadar

Mystery ASUS K009 unit shows up at the FCC doorstep, tries its best to hide its Nexus 7 colors in the process

asus_k009

 

You know what they say gang: when there’s smoke, there’s probably a fire. So it’s only fitting that we get more details about another version of the Nexus 7 refresh that we’ve been hearing so much about lately. A mystery ASUS K009 unit recently passed through the FCC testing labs and highlights a bunch of really interesting features of the device including a sweet quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro (APQ-8064) processor, a 4,000mAh Li-ion battery and some welcomed 4G LTE radio frequencies on-board. So all in all, this device looks to be another version of the refreshed tablet that’s on the way. Of course the same unit is listed for “marketing purposes”, but the hope is that we are getting our first glimpse of what should be another variant of the new Nexus 7 models.

source: FCC
via: Engadget