Author Archives: Chris Davies


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.

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX hands-on

Amazon took the unusual route with the original Kindle Fire, branching out from Android by adopting Google's OS but changing it in fundamental ways until it served the retail giant's content funnel purposes. Now in the third-generation we have the Kindle Fire HDX, two new slates - 7- and 8.9-inches - which refine the consumer experience even further. We stopped by Amazon to find out how the new Fire HDX tablets hold up.

LG G Pad 8.3 hands-on

LG is making another attempt at the tablet segment, bringing its new G Pad 8.3 to IFA 2013 to try to build on the buoyant reception to the LG G2. We grabbed some hands-on time with the 8.3-inch tablet to find out whether LG's promise of "better than HD" resolution and features cribbed from the G2 make sense.

Google Maps v7 detailed: Latitude killed, Offline maps hidden

Google has officially detailed Google Maps for Android v7, and while there are are some useful new features, some of the most appreciated aspects of the app have been hidden or removed altogether. Spotted in the Play Store earlier today, the new app refreshes the design based on what Google did over on iOS previously, with a new Explore section that auto-predicts places to eat, drink, or stay in Google Now style cards as you type.
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