Six things you should know about Samsung’s Galaxy S6, S6 Edge

Six things you should know about Samsung’s Galaxy S6, S6 Edge

In Barcelona, Samsung did the expected. We’ve got two flagship phones, one of which is curvy in all the right ways. Not only are the two phones really intriguing, they’re downright nice. Finally, Samsung has distanced themselves from plastic and gone with more premium materials. While the two devices are out, there’s still a lot you might not be aware of. Rather than get exhaustive about what’s new, we thought we’d summarize the headline-grabbers for you. Here are — wait for it — six things you should know about the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge.

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PayPal buys Paydiant, aims to challenge Apple, Google & Samsung

PayPal buys Paydiant, aims to challenge Apple, Google & Samsung

Today, PayPal is announcing their acquisition of Paydiant, a startup that produces mobile payment technology found in use with a variety of companies. Capital One and Subway are two notable clients, but one that might be more familiar to tech enthusiasts is CurrentC. Paydiant provides technology to Current C, the product of MCX, which is widely pointed to as the reason Apple Pay hasn’t seen a wider rollout. Terms of PayPal’s deal were not disclosed, but it looks like more than an intellectual property grab.

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Alcatel announces the budget-friendly Hero 2+ running Cyanogen OS

Alcatel announces the budget-friendly Hero 2+ running Cyanogen OS

Need a big, unlocked phone that won’t break the bank? Good news! Alcatel is introducing the Hero 2+, a device with a 6-inch screen that comes unlocked. An android device, this one is a touch different than you might imagine it would be on the software side. Rather than running a home-brewed, modified version of Android, Alcatel is wisely turning to Cyanogen for their software needs. Another disruptive tidbit — the Alcatel Hero 2+ can be yours for $299 beginning in Q2 2015.

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Philips Hue Phoenix lamps promise healthier light

Philips Hue Phoenix lamps promise healthier light

Philips has outed a new lineup of remotely-controlled lamps, the Hue Phoenix range, integrating "light recipes" which the company claims can stimulate productivity and concentration. Five different styles will be on offer, spanning downlights through table lamps, and finally ceiling lamps, and all with the same UFO-styled lozenge enclosure. As with Philips' Hue Lux bulbs, which we reviewed last year, Phoenix is all about white light.

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Switchmate hands-on: Smarter switches, no electrician needed

Switchmate hands-on: Smarter switches, no electrician needed

The smart home might be intended to make our lives easier, but actually upgrading with home automation kit is more like a headache. Ripping out legacy switches and replacing them with their smart brethren isn’t only a headache, it’s out of the question for many who rent rather than own where they live. Startup Switchmate plans to change that, opening up automation with ridiculously simple and non-destructive gadgets that install in seconds. I caught up with the company to find out how a Bluetooth switch could pave the way to making the smart home mass-market.

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Synaptics Natural ID biometrics scanner will come to mobile devices

Synaptics Natural ID biometrics scanner will come to mobile devices

Your fingerprint is more important than you think. J Edgar Hoover may have been right about it being a useful law enforcement tool, but fingerprints are also a good option for securing your mobile devices. Synaptics, a leader in the field of biometric recognition, is announcing their Natural ID will be made available for high-end mobile devices. The benefit of Natural ID is that it needs a touch, not a swipe. That will have more mobile device emulating Apple’s class-leading Touch ID.

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Ford MoDe:Me e-bike tackles cities with smart sensors

Ford MoDe:Me e-bike tackles cities with smart sensors

Ford may be busy working on driverless cars to streamline the city, but until the robot takes the wheel it might be electric folding bikes that cut congestion. The car firm revealed its take on the e-bike segment at Mobile World Congress today, a commuter-friendly cycle dubbed the MoDe:Me and a companion app running on an iPhone 6 mounted on the handlebars for delivering navigation directions, smart re-routing, controlling the power-assist pedaling, and even integrating with the SYNC infotainment system in Ford's cars.

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Apple Watch may be available outside US shortly after launch

Apple Watch may be available outside US shortly after launch

Lately, Apple cEO has been making the rounds in Europe, stopping at various stores and chatting with employees. Now and then, we get tidbits of info about his chats. The last time we heard anything about his commentary on Apple Watch, it was that he wore it in the shower, suggesting it’s a bit more water resistant than originally thought. Cook also said the Apple Watch was good for a full day of use. Now, he’s saying it will be available outside the US just after launch.

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Panasonic Nubo wants to kill Dropcam with 4G

Panasonic Nubo wants to kill Dropcam with 4G

Streaming security cameras are great, until your WiFi connection dies and your virtual peephole gets cut off. Enter the Panasonic Nubo, throwing 4G LTE into the mixture along with some smart home ambitions. Panasonic isn’t aiming low, either, claiming the Nubo is a “Dropcam killer” from the outset, and aiming to out-perform everything on the Nest-owned streaming camera’s spec sheet. I caught up with the Panasonic Cameramanager team to find out why Nubo shouldn’t just be on your home office wall, but hitching a ride in your suitcase.

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T-Mobile planning LTE via WiFi for launch in 2016

T-Mobile planning LTE via WiFi for launch in 2016

As we learned from the last FCC auction, mobile spectrum is expensive. Really expensive. Verizon and AT&T walked away with $20 billion worth of spectrum, while Dish quietly snapped up another $13 billion. T-Mobile was surprisingly quiet, but noted a bit later on they were planning to wait for low-band spectrum to come available via the next FCC auction. Rather than buy spectrum, they’re planning to use unregulated spectrum typically used for WiFi.

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