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Author Archives: ewilkinson

Moshi for iPad

  • Amid the slew of smartphones being released right in time for the holiday shopping season, Google's new LG-made Nexus 4 is winning the popularity contest.


    Within hours of going on sale on the U.K.'s Google Play store on Monday, the latest nexus smartphone sold out. Same story in Australia, except that the successor to Google's Nexus 7 Tablet, the Samsung-made nexus 10, was also listed as "out of stock" before the day's end.


    Meanwhile,  BGR reported that in the U.S., it took only minutes before all available units of both the 8GB and 16GB models of the Nexus 4 sold out on Google Play. And before long, 32GB models of the Nexus 10 were out of stock, with only 10 units of the 16GB model remaining.


    To use the old adage, tehy're selling like hotcakes. But it's not hard to see why.


    Starting at $299 for the unlocked Nexus 4, the pricing is pretty competitive compared to other smartphones, especially considering its specs: Snapdragon S4 quad-core processor, 4.7-inch True HD IPS screen with a resolution of 1280×768 resolution, and Android 4.2 Jelly Bean to boot.


    However, it doesn't have LTE – if it did, people would probably be killing each other for it at that price – but TechCrunch is right in saying that it's essentially "a high-end 3G device for a mid-range price."


    Likewise, there's no reason that demand for the Nexus 10 Tablet should cool down anytime soon. Starting at $399.99, it's greatest draw is its super-sized 10.1" 330PPI display, one of the biggest tablet screens out there.




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  • Unveiled at an event in New York yesterday, HTC/Verizon's Droid DNA has already been getting rave reviews. Photo courtesy of CBS.

     


    Recently, the Pure Mobile blog reported on an upcoming HTC/Verizon event slated for November 13 in New York city. When the invitations started rolling out, most (including us) assumed only one thing – HTC's latest smartphone, the Verizon-bound Droid DNA, would be making its first official appearance. Well, we all assumed correctly.


    The event may only have wrapped up yesterday, but reviews are already in, and they're looking good. No, they're looking great, as major Tech sites start loading praise on the black and red device that may just reverse HTC's less than stellar fortunes of late.


    "I may have (finally!) found my new Android Smartphone," wrote one BGR writer, while an article from Gizmodo described the new device as simultaneously "nuts" and "sick."


    The Droid DNA is HTC's first flagship phone for Verizon in quite a while, but the company seems to have made up for lost time by putting out what Gizmodo calls "the most impressively spec-filled smartphone the world has yet known."


    at 440PPI, the Droid DNA's 5" display beats out the competition

     


    Speaking of specs, where do we start?


    TechCrunch has called out the new smartphone's screen as its "biggest claim to fame." The 5" Gorilla Glass display is unique to the Droid DNA in North America – only the Japanese HTC Butterfly J has one like it. And with a resolution of 440 pixels-per-inch, the 1080p Super LCD3 screen certainly outpaces competitors like the iPhone 5.


    Ok, so what's under the hood? The Droid DNA boasts 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, a quad-core, 1.5Ghz Snapdragon Qualcomm processor, with 4G LTE sharing the same chip as the application processor. "Having one chip instead of two improves battery life," writes CNET.


    But if your battery does run out of juice, the Droid DNA has wireless charging capabilities, though as TechCrunch notes, there aren't many details yet about accessories for that.


    Powered by Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean, the device is NFC- and LTE- capable, and comes with Beats Audio. And its 2.1 megapixel front-facing and 8 megapixel rear-facing cameras are up to standard as compared with other recent devices.


    So, how much will HTC's best smartphone to date run you, and when will you eb able to get your paws on its super-sized screen? The Droid DNA is already available for pre-order, but it'll be heading to Verizon for November 21 at a price of $200 with a 2-year contract.




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  • A poster in the Windows Phone Central forums uploaded images of his Surface Tablet, which still works after being run over by a car

     


    It's doubtful whether any owner of a new Microsoft Surface Tablet would perform the following test on purpose, but a poster in the Windows Phone Central forums has unwittingly discovered what happens when you run over the device with a car.


    You know how sometimes, before getting in your car, you'll forget a cup of coffee on the roof of the car, only to have it whip off into the road a block or two away? Well, this unfortunate man did more or less the same thing, but with a his tablet.


    Aside from some superficial dents and scratches, the tablet is still intact

     


    Noticing some trash cans that needed to be taken in outside his house, he set the Surface Tablet on the car roof and, forgetting all about it, drove off to work. Naturally, as soon as he realized what he'd doe, he turned right around and drove back the direction he came from, to find his Surface Tablet lying in the middle of the road:


    "[I] watched the last group of traffic drove by. Each car passed by with the tires on each side of the Surface until the very last car. The tire of the car ran completely over the Surface and next thing I saw was my brand new $700 tablet and touch cover flying through the air in separate directions!"


    Long story short, the poor guy was delighted when he opened up the tablet and found that, not only was the screen completely intact but that, hitting the power button, everything worked as it should.


    "The Surface feels completely sturdy, exactly like how I got it. Everything works in it, even the touch cover (which got a slight tear in it) works completely fine! Microsoft has made such an incredible product, I am completely speechless how this could happen!," he wrote.


    The tablet has a few scratches dents and dings, but otherwise survived no worse for wear.  Needless to say, the poster is pretty happy about his choice of tablets, writing: "This product is insane! I would love to see what an iPad looks like after getting run over by a car going 60 mph!"


    "There is not a single scratch nor crack in the screen!" wrote the relieved tablet owner


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  • Today, RIM announced a January 30 launch event for BB10

     


    Hot off the presses, that's how we like our news at Pure Mobile. And it doesn't get much fresher than this: About an hour ago, BlackBerry maker RIM officially announced the launch event for their long-awaited new OS, BB10.


    A couple of months ago, after postponing the release of BB10, RIM had simply alluded to a rescheduled launch date in early 2013. But we now know the event will go off January 30, simultaneously across several locations worldwide.


    To go with the launch of BB10, RIM has also promised something many of us have been anticipating even more than the OS itself – two new BlackBerry smartphones that run on BB10.


    Still from a video leaking BlackBerry's two new BB10 handsets

     


    The devices have already significantly leaked in video and pictures, indicating that while one of the BlackBerry smartphones will have the company's signature Qwerty keypad, the other will be BlackBerry's first all-touch smartphone. Rumor aside, however, we'll actually get to see the real deal come January 30, when RIM promises "details of the smartphones and their availability will be announced."


    As TechCrunch notes, because we've all had a chance to get familiar with the new smartphones' software (albeit through leaks), we can expect not only the availability for the devices but pricing as well.




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  • OtterBox Defender 'Punk' Case for iPhone 5 in Green

     


    Happy Friday, folks!


    After staring our 'Mobile Accessory of the Week' feature on the Pure Mobile blog last week, we're back with another great accessory review. Last week it was all about toys, with an iPhone-controlled monster truck that we'll admit is more fun than practical.


    But this week, we're getting into the real essentials, with the only thing that stands between you and a busted iPhone – a good case.


    One of the top picks for iPhone protection, OtterBox has mastered the balance between rugged and cool, with their Defender line of ultra-resistent but design-conscious cases for iPhone 4, 4S and 5.


    OtterBox Defender Case for iPhone 5 in Pink Realtree Camo

     


    With a three-layer design that combines hard-shell and silicone layers with a built-in screen protector, OtterBox's Defender Case gives you the best of both worlds – the durability of a hard case and the shock absorption of a soft case.


    And though the Defender case acts like a bullet-proof vest for your iPhone, it certainly doesn't have to look like one. OtterBox has been clever enough to offer looks for all tastes.


    There's the sporty, modern look of the 'Punk' model for iPhone 5, which features solid colors in high contrast, as well as the more feminine iPhone 5 model in Pink Realtree Camo, which is kind of like the Powerpuff Girls of iPhone 5 cases – cute and sweet but mega tough.


    OtterBox Defender Case for iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S in Black Realtree Camo

     


    Sometimes, OtterBox's choice of design even goes beyond looks. The company itself has recommended their Realtree Camo Defender case for iPhone 4 and 4S as an accessory for hunters, promising "we've got the protection that withstands the punishment you endure."


    Sounds pretty legit.





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  • This sparsely-worded invite to an HTC/Verizon event brings more questions than answers

     


    Amid a pre-holiday frenzy of press functions and device releases, there's yet another event slated for the season. This week, HTC and Verizon began sending out invitations for a joint event in New York City November 13.


    And while many other events have had a healthy enough rumor mill to prematurely supply answers to the inevitable questions, the HTC/Verizon to-do doesn't.


    The main speculation surrounds a possible unveiling of the new HTC-made Droid DNA handset. The Verizon-bound smartphone's existence has already leaked in pricing lists, and the assumption is that the two companies will be using their November 13 event to launch the device.


    A Minimum Advertised Pricing list obtained by AndroidCentral may confirm the existence of HTC's Droid DNA

     


    But that in itself has only raised more questions. The event invite hints at "our latest collaboration." Does that phrase refer to the Android-powered Droid DNA? if so, will the HTC smartphone be a Verizon exclusive?


    Or, as Engadget has speculated:


    "What if this is just a coming-out party for HTC's 8X Windows Phone flagship? It's not a far-fetched idea: we already know it's coming to Verizon, but the exact pricing and on-sale date have yet to be revealed. Then again, the 8X has already been shown off at a press event or two, and we're not sure a Verizon-branded variant would merit such a high-profile news conference."


    Still, with just a sparsely-worded invitation to go on, there's not much we can say for certain at the moment. It looks as though we'll have to just sit tight and wait for all to be revealed next week.


    That is, unless we catch a break and the whole thing leaks. One can always dream...



    This post was posted in HTC, News and PR and was tagged with November 13, Droid DNA, Press Event, Invitation, HTC 8X, Launch, Leaks, rumors, Verizon, Smartphones, HTC, Android

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  • "Yeah, keep your eyes on the road, your hands upon the wheel." – The Doors, 'Roadhouse Blues'


    Is there anything so sweet as a good, old-fashioned road trip?


    Traveling by car has been an American institution practically forever, a rite of passage that every young person has to go through. Good tunes, a road map, and all the time in the world – that much hasn't changed.


    But what has changed is that nowadays, we've got our music, maps and more all in the same place. Let's face it, smartphones are now a part of that tradition of hitting the open road and looking for adventure.


    And Pure Mobile is rounding up the must-have mobile accessories that'll make your road trip that much easier – nevermind safer – with some of our favorite essentials for long car rides.


    1: Car Chargers


    Moshi Revolt Car Charger for iPhone, iPad and iPod

    No matter what, every road tripper with a smartphone needs a car charger. Even if you're resting between stops, we wouldn't count on waiting for the hotel or motel to charge your device.


    In fact, once you get to a rest stop, a dead phone battery isn't such a big deal anyway. It's losing power when you're on the road that's an issue, especially if you get lost.


    If you're planning on taking multiple devices, Moshi makes a great car charger that works across al iDevices – iPhone, iPad and iPod alike.


    And if you're traveling with buddies, a universal phone charger, like Dexim's Twin USB Car Charger, will let you charge any kind of phone, from BlackBerry to Android to iPhone. It's even got two ports, so you can charge two devices at the same time.


    2. Car Holder/Mount


    Griffin In-Car Window Mount for Smartphone or MP3 Player

    Back in the day, your dad had your mom to distractingly flap a road map in his face. Nowadays, you have a passenger who waves around their smartphone with a maps app on, or you fumble between the wheel and your own device.


    On a long trip, this kind of amateur setup just doesn't cut it, and a simple car window mount or smartphone holder will easily fix all that.


    Lots of holders, like Griffin's In-car Window Mount, will work with almost every phone model and even with MP3 players. Do your so-pilot – and yourself – a favor and get one.


    3. Bluetooth Car Kit


    One quick way to ruin a road trip? Get pulled over for using your phone while driving.


    Seriously, if you haven't got a BlueTooth car kit by now, don't you think it's about time? Plantronics and Novero both offer convenient models that'll let you navigate, talk, and listen to music hands-free.


    Considering that half the fun of going somewhere by car is the time you spend getting there, you don't really want to waste the trip fumbling with your phone when you could be rolling down the windows and taking in the sights.


    Bon voyage from Pure Mobile!




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  • If the only thing stopping you from getting an iPhone 5 is the prospect of getting one through one of Apple's carriers, then there's some good news for you.


    That's because factory unlocked versions of the device are on the way, reports a post on AppleInsider. What's more, the pricing for the unlocked iPhone 5 is out too.


    Don't quite buy it? Well, how's this for a reliable source – the news comes from Apple itself.


    Fair enough, Apple probably didn't make the revelation intentionally. AppleInsider admits that, while the devices aren't automatically found anywhere on Apple's website, "a query for 'iPhone 5 factory unlocked' in the Apple.com search bar reveals 'Apple Store Results,'" with listed prices ranging from $649 for the 16GB model to $749 for the 32GB version, and $849 for the 64GB iPhone 5.


    AppleInsider's search query on Apple's website revealed prices for factory unlocked devices

     


    The search results aren't likely to be an error, says AppleInsider, citing as evidence a report from September that "showed an Online Apple Store iPhone comparison page that revealed the prices of unlocked versions bound for the U.S. and Canada."


    Those prices, writes AppleInsider, are "in line" with those found on Apple's website. And though similar prices for unlocked iPhone 5s was already available from certain carriers, the news here is "that Apple could soon be joining those ranks for such off-contract sales," writes Mashable.


    As for when we can expect unlocked versions of the iPhone 5 to be available directly through Apple, Mashable and AppleInsider alike cite a theory that says they're likely to be up for grabs once the supply of iPhone 5s starts to catch up with the demand.




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  • Microsoft tests its own smartphone
    Posted on November 5, 2012 by ewilkinson

    There's no telling how a Microsoft-made smartphone would affect the company's dealings with hardware partners

     


    Right on the tails of a major week for Microsoft's Windows Phone 8, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that Microsoft may be developing a smartphone of its own to go with its new OS.


    The November 2 article, which cites "officials at some of Microsoft's parts suppliers, who declined to be named," says the company is running tests in Asia on their own smartphone, a device measuring between 4 and 5 inches.


    However, the article's sources say the company is still undecided as to whether the device in question will ever go into mass production. And, when asked about the phone by the WSJ last week, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer declined to comment.


    Still, the possibility is intriguing. Should Microsoft come out with their own handset to accompany Windows Phone 8, it's anybody's guess how that would affect its partnership with hardware partners, like Samsung, HTC, and Nokia. After all, Apple certainly doesn't let competitors use its smartphone OS.


    And, if Microsoft really is planning to launch its own mobile device, it would be a complete 180 for them, after years of developing the software and leaving the design up to others.


    Even so, as Gizmodo points out, a Microsoft-made smartphone could be a thing of beauty:


    "Microsoft’s eye for design is keener than ever, and while WinPho is great, it’s yet to make the impressions it could. Or even should. A Microsoft phone could change that."


    But don't get carried away. Quoting an older article on its own site, Gizmodo cautioned:


    "Even if these reports turn out to be totally accurate — and that’s far from certain — this does not mean that Microsoft is close to actually making a phone you can buy. It doesn’t even mean it ever will. Just that it’s developing the hardware, and testing it. That’s it."




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  • Image from Samsung's save the date for the October 24 kick-off to their Galaxy Note II world tour

     


    Wait Samsung, don't tell us. You may have revealed the last "next big thing" back in October, but is the "next next big thing" a larger Galaxy Note device? According to the rumor mill of late, the answer is yes.


    Within the same week that Samsung boasted of selling 3 million Galaxy Note II devices, a new DLNA certification (first reported on by SamMobile) shows that the company may already have some successors in the works.


    The certification lists two new Samsung-made devices – GT-N5100 and the GT-N5110 – that SamMobile says are sized between 7 and 9 inches. And if you're in doubt as to the fact that the devices listed will in fact be Galaxy Note variants, AndroidGuy points out that the certifications for all “previous Note products start with GT-N.”



    If there's any truth to SamMobile's report, it may be that Samsung is looking to fill the gap between their 5.5-inch and 10.1-inch Note models.


    As, for why Samsung would want to release a 7-inch Galaxy Note when they've already got the 7.7-inch Galaxy Tab, it may just be that the company sees the Note line, with its stylus pens, as distinct from the rest of their mobile devices.


    "Samsung clearly sees this market as separate from its mainstream phone line," writes Mobile Syrup, "and the two won’t necessarily cannibalize sales from either one."




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