Features

Snapdragon 810 benchmarked: 5 things you need to know

Snapdragon 810 benchmarked: 5 things you need to know

The pace of mobile chip development is relentless, something Qualcomm knows better than most with its new Snapdragon 810. Announced nearly a year ago, yet only set to show up in commercial phones and tablets in the coming months, the new Snapdragon arrives at a challenging time in mobile: raw performance simply isn't enough to win customers any more. So, it was with expectations broader than for just another fast chip that I sat down in Qualcomm's San Diego offices, the new Mobile Developer Platform (MDP) tablet and phone in front of me. After the cut, yes, there are benchmarks, but pure potency isn't all that you should care about.

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Want to unlock your phone? Here’s what you need to know

Want to unlock your phone? Here’s what you need to know

Good news, smartphone users: today, unlocking your device via your carrier just got a whole lot easier. A new set of rules set forth by the CTIA (the governing body for carriers) sets today as the deadline for carriers to unlock phones at the behest of their customers. For most, that means you can walk into your carrier store and ask that your device be unlocked for service elsewhere. Still, your path for doing so might be a touch windy, so we’ll clarify things for you!

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Saints Row franchise gets hot: the spoiler interview

Saints Row franchise gets hot: the spoiler interview

This month we had the opportunity to have a chat with Jim Boone, Senior Producer for Deep Silver Volition, about the Saints Row game franchise. With both Saints Row: Gat out of Hell and Saints Row IV: Re-Elected out now, it was time we found out what was going on with this double-release, and where Saints Row was headed next. We began by speaking with Boone about the company's reasoning behind releasing a stand-alone expansion for Saints Row IV instead of developing a whole new "full sized" game.

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2016 Acura ILX first-drive – Luxury chasing loyalty

2016 Acura ILX first-drive – Luxury chasing loyalty

There’s an odd dance to be followed when, as Acura is with the 2016 ILX, you’re launching a revamped version of an existing car. On the one hand, you want to highlight just how improved it is over its predecessor; on the other, you can’t be too critical, because then drivers start asking why you were so enthusiastic - and are now so cruelly honest - about the older car. For the 2016 ILX, Acura is more blunt than many: the old model was designed before the host of “entry premium sedans” hit forecourts, with Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Lexus, and others changing the game in the process. For the MY2016, then, the focus is more rewarding driving, more luxury, and a generous injection of tech borrowed from Acura’s TLX.

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Raspberry Pi 2 hands-on: first boot on 2nd-gen

Raspberry Pi 2 hands-on: first boot on 2nd-gen

Today we took the Raspberry Pi 2 out of the box and the static shielding bag to give it a first start-up and go. As you'd expect, loading software to an SD card is much the same as it was in the past - except here you're using a much smaller microSD card instead. After that, you've got a more powerful processor and 1GB of RAM to work, so it's time to get quick. Today we're checking in on the basics - getting an operating system running and heading to boot.

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Apple Photos hands-on: Yosemite’s iCloud-loving image app

Apple Photos hands-on: Yosemite’s iCloud-loving image app

Goodbye iPhoto, hello Photos. Apple has revealed a new, cloud-centric photo management and editing app for OS X Yosemite, recognizing the changing ways people take and organize photos, and the rise of the smartphone camera. Built completely afresh, Photos is set to be baked into OS X Yosemite 10.10.3, due for release this spring, but will be offered in the developer build from today. Most critically, with iPhotos and, also confirmed today, Aperture being given their retirement papers, Photos wants to satisfy both novice and expert photographers alike. I've been taking an early look, to see if Apple really has struck the perfect balance between usability and functionality.

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Falcon Northwest TLX Gaming Laptop Review

Falcon Northwest TLX Gaming Laptop Review

At last an opportunity to take a peek at a real heavy-duty gaming laptop rolling with the latest in Intel (Haswell) and NVIDIA GeForce GTX (980M) technology. Here we're working with the Falcon Northwest TLX, a 7-pound notebook working with a Full HD 15-inch display and a fully customizable paint job. Can the creators of our favorite gaming tower convince us there's a need for full-powered gaming notebook finesse? How about if the laptop in question is painted top to bottom in custom Candy Red?

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Driving Toyota i-ROAD: Crazy tilt meets genius strategy

Driving Toyota i-ROAD: Crazy tilt meets genius strategy

Who says electric cars have to be boring? Toyota's Prius may be poster child for the eco-pious, but its i-ROAD tilting trike shows there's still potential for madness in the EV. SlashGear is no stranger to the i-ROAD, and in fact we've driven earlier prototypes over in Japan before now. They're less commonly found in the US, however, but Makoto Morita, Grand Master of the Product Planning Division and lead of the i-ROAD project brought a handful with him to test the waters among potential American drivers.

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LG G Watch R Review: best in class

LG G Watch R Review: best in class

With the LG G Watch R here at the start of the year 2015, we've got very little competition in smartwatches. There are several Android Wear watches made by top-tier brands and a few smart watches made by brands we've not ended up sticking with for long. But for now, it's a war with hardware. LG G Watch R's body is unique - not as universally appealing as the stark, cut-back body of the Motorola Moto 360, and not as heavy-hitting as the Samsung Gear S. Instead we've got LG doing what LG does best - making a device that stands out amongst its peers and sits comfortably on your person.

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Volvo V60 Cross Country first-drive – Because wagons are sexy

Volvo V60 Cross Country first-drive – Because wagons are sexy

“Wagons are sexy,” I insisted when I told people I was going to drive the new Volvo V60 Cross Country. Not everyone was convinced. While in my native Europe there’s a long-standing affinity for the wagon - or, as I grew up saying, an “estate” - the wood panel hangover has been tougher to overcome in the US and, like diesel engines, its taken some clever branding to even get a foot in the door. The V60 Cross Country, then, picks up a nameplate that has served Volvo well for two decades, lifting the regular V60 and positioning itself as the de-facto “urban active” option for those not quite convinced with crossovers.

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