HTC announces Desire 816 and 610 at MWC 2014

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HTC has announced two new midrange smartphones at Mobile World Congress 2014, the Desire 816 and the Desire 610.

The Desire 816 is similar to the HTC One but at a lower price. Some of the key features include stereo front-facing speakers, a 5.5-inch display, a 5MP front-facing camera, a 1.6GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, 1.5GB of RAM and 8GB of storage.

The Desire 610 has a similar look to the Desire 816, but has a smaller screen and slightly lower specs. Some of the specs of the device include a 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 processor, 4.7-inch qHD, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, an 8MP rear-facing camera and a 1.3MP front-facing camera.

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Samsung to start preloading third-party app bundles on their devices this summer

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Thinking about picking up a Galaxy S 5 from a Samsung experience shop this summer? You may get a complementary app bundle whenever you buy your device, according to some recent rumors about Samsung’s mid-year plans.

Samsung will be taking into account a customer’s interests and jobs and loading a bundle of third-party applications on their devices at the point of activation. A student may get some studying apps or word processing software, while a businessman might get some finance calculators and banking apps. The process by which employees decide which bundle to preload is said to be fairly simple, so it’ll likely just be a few questions, not a full psychology test. Read more

Samsung announces ‘Gear Fit’ fitness band [Hands on]

Gear Fit

Samsung is going bananas in the wearables market recently, having already announced the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo.

Today, Samsung unveiled the Gear Fit, a fitness tracking band.

The super AMOLED display is curved, and is 1.84-inches. The device serves as a pedometer, a heart rate monitor, alarm clock, stopwatch, and a timer. You’ll also get notifications (SMS, call, e-mail, apps), schedule, smart relay, and a media controller. The battery is only 210mAh, but Samsung promises that it’ll last 3-4 days, and even 5 days if there is low usage.

Hit the break for our hands-on video with the device and a press release released by Samsung today.

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Hands on with the Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo at MWC 2014

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The Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo were announced by Samsung a couple of days ago, and now they’re showing off the new devices at Mobile World Congress 2014. There are a number of changes in the new devices compared to the old Galaxy Gear. First of all, the Gear 2 Neo doesn’t include the use of a camera. Both devices also now use Tizen as the operating system, rather than Android.

Hit the break to check out our hands on video of the devices at Mobile World Congress!

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VIDEO: Hands on with the Galaxy S 5

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The moment has finally come, and this year’s flagship device from Samsung was unveiled today at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The Galaxy S 5 is complete with a 5.1-inch 1080p Super AMOLED screen, 2.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor with Adreno 330 GPU, 2GB of RAM, 16 or 32 GB internal storage options, MicroSD slot up to 128GB, 16 MP rear camera, 2.1 MP rear camera, Android 4.4.2 KitKat, Bluetooth 4.0, USB 3.0, LTE Cat.4, NFC and a 2,800 mAh removable battery. It’s also got a fingerprint sensor, a heart rate sensor and it’s waterproof & dust resistant.

Some have shown disappointment that the form factor is quite similar to its predecessor, but hey, what were you expecting, a triangle-shaped device? (It’s only 2014, people.) Other criticism stems from the lack of memory— although a bigger device, the Galaxy Note 3 features 3GB of RAM.

What do you all think?

Nevertheless, hit the break for our hands-on video with the device from Samsung’s press event in NYC.

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Samsung announces the Galaxy S 5

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The most awaited smartphone of the year, the Samsung Galaxy S5, has finally made its debut at an event during the Mobile World Congress 2014.

Just like rumored, the device features the following specifications:

  • 5.1-inch 1080p Super AMOLED screen
  • 2.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor with Ardeno 330 GPU
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16 or 32 GB internal storage options
  • MicroSD slot up to 128GB
  • 16 MP rear camera
  • 2.1 MP rear camera
  • Android 4.4.2 KitKat
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • USB 3.0
  • LTE Cat.4
  • NFC
  • 2,800 mAh removable battery
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Heart Rate Sensor
  • Waterproof & Dust resistant Read more

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 801, 610, and 615 get announced, one shipping already

snapdragon_lineupMobile World Congress wouldn’t be the same without a new round of processor’s being announced and showcased. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 801, 610, and 615 have gotten the spotlight this time around. The Snapdragon 801 is very similar to the 800, receiving only a performance boost. The clock speed of the CPU has been boosted from 2.26GHz to 2.45GHz and the GPU from 450MHz to 578MHz. This processor has already been selected by Sony for the Xperia Z2.

The Snapdragon 610 and 615 are joining Qualcomm’s 64-bit family. While the 610 utilizes four 64-bit ARM Cortex A53 cores, the 615 goes to eight of those same cores. Both have the Adreno 405 GPU. These two processors are slated for devices coming late in 2014.

Click here for our MWC 2014 coverage.

ZTE Grand Memo II LTE is a mid-range device running Android 4.4 KitKat

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ZTE is putting a device into the mid-range battle with the new Grand Memo II LTE. It has a 6-inch 720p display and runs Android 4.4 KitKat right out of the box. ZTE opted to use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 400 processor clocked at 1.2GHz with 2GB of RAM. Although the device has 16GB of internal storage, that can be expanded thanks to a microSD card slot. The 3200mAh battery should last very long considering the mid-range specifications. A 13MP camera is on the rear and a 5MP camera sits up front.

While it will have Android 4.4 KitKat as I mentioned before, ZTE’s MiFavor 2.3 UI is covering any stock goodness. After being released in April over in China, the Grand Memo II LTE will have a rollout in Europe, North America, and Asia Pacific at an unspecified time.

Click here our MWC 2014 coverage.

Sideloading APKs on the Nokia X works just like any other Android phone

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While the Nokia X ended up being about what expected, it’s still disappointing that we didn’t get a more traditional Android handset from the company. However, since it is still an Android device, there are some workarounds you can use to make the Nokia X look a little more like a stock Android device, like sideloading an APK of a custom launcher.

When asked if sideloading a custom launcher would be possible on the X, a Nokia executive clarified that any APK could be sideloaded and there were no abnormal restrictions on the device. Since the device doesn’t ship with the Google Play Store, this would be the only way to get a majority of the apps available on Android. This includes different keyboards, custom launchers, or any other applications, including Google Apps, although many Google Apps will likely rely on APIs that aren’t present on Nokia’s forked and heavily skinned version of Android. Read more

Second generation YotaPhone gets demoed, features larger e-ink back

yotaphone second generation

The second generation YotaPhone is being shown off at MWC this year, and although it’s not slated to be released until later in 2014, we can at least see where they’re planning on going with the follow-up device. This YotaPhone features a larger 4.7 inch e-ink display on the back, along with a boosted resolution. The new device sports a 960 x 540 resolution as opposed to the original’s 640 x 360. Not only are they planning on boosting the quality of that e-ink display, but the new screen will also be significantly more accurate to touches and swipes than the older screen was. Read more