Author Archives: JC Torres


Sharp 507SH is Japan’s first (and only) Android One

Sharp 507SH is Japan’s first (and only) Android One

Back in 2014, Google launched the Android One program as a sort of mix between Nexus and Google Play Edition devices meant for emerging markets. In a nutshell, that meant OEMs have more freedom to design smartphones to their liking while still getting the software and update benefits of a Nexus. While originally intended for emerging markets, like India for example, it seems that it has now outgrown that limitation. Japan, which is hardly an emerging market, has just gotten its first, and so far only, Android One device, the Sharp 507SH.

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Pokemon GO is a go, but only in Australia, New Zealand

Pokemon GO is a go, but only in Australia, New Zealand

That didn't take too long. While we were still busy musing the date for the launch of Pokemon GO, Niantic Labs was apparently busy actually launching it. The much awaited, but still doubted, "sort of" augmented reality game is finally rolling out to everyone. And by "everyone", we mean "everyone who happens to be located in Australia and New Zealand". That isn't completely surprising, as these two countries did get the trial run first before anyone else. It does mean that it will only be a matter of time before it becomes available to everyone in the world, legitimately or otherwise.

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HummingBad malware puts 10 million Android devices at risk

HummingBad malware puts 10 million Android devices at risk

There are some malware that are just plain horrifying, like the past Stagefright exploit. Some, like weak ransomware, are a nuisance at best. HummingBad, reported by security outfit Check Point, sits precariously in the middle. Right now, all it does is to compromise an Android device in order to trick people into clicking on ads in order to generate revenue for its creators and its partners. It has, however, the potential to do even more destructive, and profitable, things should the people behind it decide to go beyond mere money-making into a full-on war against security.

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OnePlus 3 UK price hike starts July 11, OTA put on hold

OnePlus 3 UK price hike starts July 11, OTA put on hold

Things don't seem to be looking good for OnePlus, both in the UK and everywhere else. As it had earlier predicted, the economic repercussions from the "Brexit" vote will have an impact in the price of its new OnePlus 3 flagship. That is indeed the case and the company is confirming that starting July 11, those putting in an order for the OnePlus 3 will be facing a higher 329 GBP price tag than early birds who already bought or pre-ordered the smartphone.

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Kineti Windows 10 table shows what the Surface could have been

Kineti Windows 10 table shows what the Surface could have been

Before it became a tablet, "large screen", and soon all-in-one PC brand, the "Surface" was envisioned to be something that nobody really wanted back then: a Windows-powered touchscreen coffee table. Perhaps it was just too far ahead of its time, or the powers that be (marketing) decided it has no chance of retail success. The dream, however, is far from dead and French outfit Kineti is trying to prove that there is indeed a market for a Windows 10 table by making it available for anyone to buy. If they can afford the $5,600 price tag, of course.

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Samsung’s odd Serif TV is now available in the US

Samsung’s odd Serif TV is now available in the US

Most TV makers these days are touting how their products have barely no borders and are so thin that they seem to actually blend into the wall. In short, they are trying to make TVs "disappear", visually speaking, of course. While Samsung is indeed part of that "most" crowd, for at least one model it has decided to go in the opposite direction. Unveiled last September was the Serif TV that shouted borders all around, supposedly inspired by the Serif font for the letter "i". Now that unusual design of a TV is finally available in the US, almost a year later, but only from the Museum of Modern Art.

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Apple sued in China for streaming 1994 propaganda film

Apple sued in China for streaming 1994 propaganda film

Is the honeymoon between Apple and China really over? After what seemed like the start of a beautiful, not to mention profitable, relationship, Apple has been hit with setback after setback in the notoriously impenetrable Chinese market. For this latest round, it is being sued by Movie Satellite Channel Program Production Center, a subsidiary of the country's media regulator, for allegedly streaming a "propaganda" film hailing from 1994. The odd part is that Apple isn't the one streaming the said film but simply one of the apps available from its iTunes App Store.

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ZTE nubia N1 silently revealed bearing a 5000mAh battery

ZTE nubia N1 silently revealed bearing a 5000mAh battery

Despite not being one of the biggest smartphone OEMs around, ZTE doesn't really skimp on the fanfare when it announces a new model. So it's almost surprising that its newest nubia N1, the first in a new series, hasn't been given that much attention. Even more perplexing considering this mid-tier smartphone does have a few things to boast of, particularly perhaps one of the largest battery sizes we've seen in this particular price tier and screen size.

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Juno probe is finally in orbit around Jupiter

Juno probe is finally in orbit around Jupiter

Five years after it left our home, the Juno probe, aptly named after the Roman queen of the gods, has finally entered Jupiter's orbit. Although it is but a means to the probe's ultimate goal, which is, of course, studying the biggest planet in the solar system, the fact that it got to that point in one piece is nothing short of a scientific and engineering miracle. Presuming it survives the next 20 months, Juno will be able to amass a wealth of scientific data that will hopefully give further insight not only into the nature of the giant but into the origins of our solar system itself.

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LG X5 finally revealed, along side X skin (style), X power

LG X5 finally revealed, along side X skin (style), X power

Near the end of May, LG was seen trying to trademark an "X5" brand. Shortly afterwards, it officially announced four new X series smartphones, capitalizing on the then newly launched X-Men: Apocalypse film. Still, no X5 in sight. Now a month later, LG is finally confirming that such a smartphone does exist. Alongside an earlier teased X power and X skin (a.k.a. X style), the LG X5 adds yet another member to LG's already confusing array of mid-range smartphones, each trying to sell something special. Or so LG says.

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HP Elite X3 to have gold version, optional passive stylus

HP Elite X3 to have gold version, optional passive stylus

In the absence of a still much desired Surface Phone this year, the HP Elite X3 is set to become the most interesting Windows 10 Mobile smartphone for 2016. And it may have just gotten slightly more interesting, and maybe premium looking, with the revelation of a gold color option for some markets as well as an optional stylus accessory. It's not all good news, however, as that stylus is, in fact, a passive one. Plus, there are some whispers that the business class smartphone might hit a few snags when it comes to supporting Verizon's LTE network.

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OnePlus 3 OTA goes out to everyone to fix display, RAM woes

OnePlus 3 OTA goes out to everyone to fix display, RAM woes

True to its word, OnePlus has indeed finally made available the update that will bring the features that the Interwebs has been crying for. The latest OxygenOS 3.2.0 OTA for the OnePlus 3, among other things, adds an sRGB mode to the device and promises to have an improved RAM management for its ample 6 GB of memory. Whether that finally puts an end to the series of criticisms that both the flagship and the company as well have received ever since the smartphone launched last month.

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