Author Archives: Chris Davies


E.U. lawmakers phasing-out roaming charges by end of 2015

Taking your favorite Android phone on a tour around Europe is set to get a whole lot more affordable, with the European Parliament giving initial approval to legislation limiting roaming fees for voice, SMS, and data across the EU. The vote on the draft also includes a nod to net neutrality, with lawmakers voting to include rules that would prevent internet providers from blocking or slowing Skype or other VoIP services.

Samsung Galaxy TabPRO 12.2, 10.1 and 8.4 hands-on

Looking for productivity on your tablet but don't need the S Pen of Samsung's new Galaxy NotePRO? The company has slotted in a new range of prosumer tablets here at CES, the Galaxy TabPRO line, a trio of Android slates hitting the 8.4-, 10.1-, and 12.2-inch screen sizes. Running nearly the same specifications as the flagship NotePRO, the TabPRO gets the same Magazine UX, Multi Windows flexibility, and app bundle; we went hands-on to find out how they hold up.

Samsung Galaxy NotePRO: Hands-on with the new flagship tablet

It's time that Android tablets got serious. That's Samsung's argument here at CES 2014, and the tablet it expects to convince us with is the Galaxy NotePRO. As the "Note" branding suggests, this is an S Pen equipped slate similar to the Note 10.1 and Note 3 of 2013, but the PRO nomenclature signifies what Samsung argues is a real step up in productivity: a tablet that's just as much at home creating content as it is consuming it. We stopped by for some hands-on time ahead of the Galaxy NotePRO's launch; read on for some first-impressions.

Pebble Steel gives Kickstarter’s smartwatch a metal suit: Hands-on

Pebble may have taken Kickstarter by storm with its eponymous smartwatch, but not everyone was convinced by the chunky plastic wearable. Now, addressing the complaints of those who might call the original Pebble plasticky or too casual, comes Pebble Steel, a metal-bodied version of the first smartwatch that slots into a premium position and broadens the company's line-up into a range. $249 and shipping later this month, the Pebble Steel is an intriguing balance of compromise and design: we caught up with Pebble and CEO Eric Migicovsky at CES 2014 to find out more.

LG LifeBand Touch and Heart Rate Earphones: fitness wearables hands-on

LG's new LifeBand Touch and Heart Rate Earphones may not be a direct Google Glass competitor, but it is a sign that the company is looking to wade into wearables in 2014. Announced at CES 2014 this week, the movement-tracking wristband and pulse-monitoring headphones work either independently or combined to feed health-related data to your smartphone, either to LG's own Fitness app, or third-party apps for Android and iOS like MyFitnessPal, MapMyFitness, and RunKeeper.

Alcatel OneTouch Idol X+ hands-on plus BOOMBand Wearable

Alcatel wants a bigger slice of the midrange, and the OneTouch Idol X+ is the smartphone it thinks will achieve that. Announced at CES 2014 - and with a North American launch confirmed as in the pipeline - the Android handset keeps the 5-inch Full HD display of its predecessor, the Idol X, but slots in a new "true octacore" chip from MediaTek and works with a new "BOOMBand" Bluetooth wearable for fitness tracking and notifications. We grabbed some hands-on time with the Idol X+ at CES 2014.

Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 packs 16MP and Jelly Bean

Samsung has revealed the Galaxy Camera 2, the successor to the Android-powered Galaxy Camera, this time running Android 4.3 Jelly Bean on a 1.6GHz quadcore processor, and packing a 16-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor. Debuting at CES 2014, the Galaxy Camera 2 also packs a bigger battery - now boosted to 2,000 mAh for more shots on a single charge - in addition to 2GB of RAM for faster app switching. As before, there's access to the Google Play store to download apps like Instagram for instant sharing from the camera itself.

Lenovo Vibe Z leads CES 2014 Android smartphone gush

Lenovo has outed a bevy of new Android smartphones, ranging from the company's first LTE handset, the Vibe Z, through a 6-inch S930 phablet, 5-inch A859, and finally a 4.7-inch S650, all new to CES 2014. Star of the quartet is the Lenovo Vibe Z, with 150/50 LTE, a 5.5-inch 1080p IPS LCD display, and a 7.9mm thick, 147g chassis; it runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean on a Snapdragon 800 2.2GHz quadcore with 2GB of memory.

EVGA Tegra Note 7 by NVIDIA Review

A Tegra 4 tablet, with a decent stylus, and the promise of pure Android? NVIDIA's Tegra Note 7 platform, on sale from today, has plenty of Android aficionados talking, the $199 tablet arriving in the US with EVGA branding but really the brainchild of the chip manufacturer itself. So far Samsung has had the stylus market effectively in a stronghold, but NVIDIA wants to change all that using some Tegra 4 smarts.
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