Author Archives: Chris Davies

Writing for R3 Media since 2006, Chris Davies is currently executive editor for SlashGear and Android Community. Based in San Francisco, he's responsible for SlashGear's editorial decisions and covers all forms of consumer technology. You can follow him on Twitter.

Qualcomm focuses on VR for new flagship Snapdragon

Qualcomm focuses on VR for new flagship Snapdragon

Qualcomm may not be powering the Galaxy Note 5, but the company is looking further afield for applications of its upcoming Snapdragon 820, with an emphasis on VR. The new chip, which is expected to begin appearing in devices in the first half of 2016, is likely to figure strongly in smartphones and tablets - areas in which Qualcomm already has a sizable footprint. However, ambitions for the processor are far broader than that, with specific hardware decisions made to satisfy virtual reality applications.

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Dell Chromebook 13 leads Chrome OS for enterprise attack

Dell Chromebook 13 leads Chrome OS for enterprise attack

Chromebooks have already made a splash in education settings and now Google wants to do the same in businesses, with the new Dell Chromebook 13 leading the charge. The new version of Chrome OS builds on some of the centralized management features that Google introduced for schools, but throws in support for VPNs, virtualization, and playing nicely with existing infrastructure. Poster-child for the new updates is Dell's $399 Chromebook 13.

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YouTube Live Broadcast revealed: watch out Periscope

YouTube Live Broadcast revealed: watch out Periscope

If Periscope and Meerkat are to be believed, live-streaming video from your point of view is the new big thing, and so YouTube is getting in on the deal. YouTube Live Broadcast, revealed today as a feature on the new Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+, turns the smartphone camera into a live-streaming platform. That video can be shared privately with just a few contacts, or alternatively beamed out publicly to anybody with access to your YouTube channel.

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Samsung Pay launches September with a magnetic wildcard

Samsung Pay launches September with a magnetic wildcard

Samsung Pay, the company's mobile payments response to Apple Pay and Android Pay, launches in the US this September, the company announced today. A feature of select Samsung smartphones, including the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+, the system allows users to load their credit and debit cards to their smartphone and make cashless payments. Though it's not the first mobile payment system to reach the market, Samsung is confident that it has a wildcard advantage that alternatives from Apple, Google, and others can't match.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+ hands-on – Phresh Phablets

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+ hands-on – Phresh Phablets

The new Samsung Galaxy Note 5 has arrived, and it's brought along a fancy cousin in the shape of the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+. Each of the phablet-scale phones sit at the top end of Samsung's Android family, offering super-high-resolution displays, lashings of processing power, and the sort of build quality that proves Samsung is no longer playing around with plastic. As I found when I went hands-on with the pair, however, they're also surprisingly different despite the family relationship.

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Samsung’s BlackBerry-style keyboard case for the S6 edge+ is real

Samsung’s BlackBerry-style keyboard case for the S6 edge+ is real

Samsung's Galaxy S6 edge+ may have a huge 5.7-inch display for expansive onscreen keyboards, but those who prefer physical keys have an option there, too. One of the more unusual accessories in Samsung's array of cases and covers for the new Android handset adds a QWERTY keyboard to it, complete with four rows of letter keys, various function keys, and shortcuts for navigation around the OS.

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The need-to-know on Qualcomm Snapdragon 820’s Adreno 530 graphics

The need-to-know on Qualcomm Snapdragon 820’s Adreno 530 graphics

Qualcomm has taken the wraps off of its latest Adreno graphics architecture, the potent GPU to be found in its next-gen Snapdragon 820. The Qualcomm Adreno 5xx series will include GPUs like the 530, intended for the Snapdragon 820, and more affordable versions like the 510, which will be headed for the upcoming Snapdragon 610/618. Rather than throwing numbers at the wall, however Qualcomm says that this time around it started with some key user experiences and worked backwards; I sat down with the company's chip execs at SIGGRAPH 2015 this week to find out more.

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Mattel View-Master hands-on: Retro toy gets AR upgrade

Mattel View-Master hands-on: Retro toy gets AR upgrade

Mattel's rebooted View-Master won't be the only Google Cardboard headset around when it hits stores this October, but it's possibly the most charming. Announced back in February, the distinctive red casing swallows up your smartphone and, courtesy of Qualcomm's Vuforia, summons interactive scenes by scanning photo-reels. Mattel finally has working prototypes, so I dipped my toe into a VR scene at SIGGRAPH 2015.

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Hangouts 4.0 for Android is finally here

Hangouts 4.0 for Android is finally here

Drop the pitchforks, Android users, because Google has finally released Hangouts 4.0 for your favorite Nexus, Galaxy, or other Android device. Following on more than a month from the Hangouts 4.0 for iPhone launch, the version for Google's own OS gets the fancy new Material Design UI to please the eyes, as well as a promised improvement in performance for those who were losing patience with the messaging client.

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2016 Honda Accord First Drive – Coupe, Sedan, and Sport

2016 Honda Accord First Drive – Coupe, Sedan, and Sport

Scale is important, and so when it came to refreshing the best-selling 2016 Accord, it's no surprise that Honda took no chances. Volume seller in the company's line-up, both the sedan and the coupe body-styles needed bringing up to speed with the latest technology like Android Auto and CarPlay, but with minimal damage to the sticker price along the way. Refinement on a budget isn't easy, so the question remains: does Honda still make the car for the everyman?

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BatteryBox Review – MacBook power with MagSafe workaround

BatteryBox Review – MacBook power with MagSafe workaround

If obsessively glancing at the power meter in your MacBook's status bar is giving you eye-strain while you're away from an outlet, it might be time for an external battery. Not every power pack is created equal, however, and BatteryBox claims not only to have made a smarter and much longer-lasting battery, but one which neatly works with Apple's proprietary MagSafe connector, too.

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