smartphones

Google Maps for Android and iOS updated

Google Maps for Android and iOS updated

Google Maps has been updated for both Android and iOS, bringing users both new features and improvements. This takes iOS users up to version 4.2.0 (the version varies for Android users), and while there are a couple similarities between the two updates, both give users different new features on their respective platforms. The most notable new feature for iOS users is the ability to see weather for cities around the globe; Android users, meanwhile, can see their contacts when they're searching for addresses in Maps.

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Samsung Z1 smartphone: powered by Tizen, destined for India

Samsung Z1 smartphone: powered by Tizen, destined for India

Samsung has taken the wraps off its new Tizen-powered smartphone, the Z1. This relatively modest smartphone is the first running Tizen that will be offered to users in India, and it will be bringing with it things like regional entertainment apps and a simplified UI. The handset is tailored to certain needs found in emerging markets, including elements that help keep data use to a minimum. The handset is available as of today for INR 5,700 (about $92 USD).

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Lumia 830 and 930 turn gold with new special edition

Lumia 830 and 930 turn gold with new special edition

Are the commonly flashy colors of Lumia handsets not entirely to your liking, but black and white too plain? If so, Microsoft has introduced a couple special editions of the (Nokia branded) Lumia 830 and 930 Windows Phone handsets with gold trim along the edges. The Nokia 930 special gold edition will be arriving first followed by the Nokia Lumia 830 rendition some time next month, both of them being offered in black and white with an extra gold flair.

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Kodak IM5 is a mid-tier Android smartphone

Kodak IM5 is a mid-tier Android smartphone

Following rumbles that such a device would be incoming, Kodak has shown off its new decidedly mid-tier smartphone, a handset packing Android KitKat with a promised upgrade to Lollipop and, as you might have guessed, a slight focus on mobile photography. Unfortunately, that photography focus is not particularly strong, so don't get your hopes up about a smartphone tailored to your inner photographer. Rather, the Kodak IM5 smartphone presents users with a relatively average handset that'll meet the average user's needs.

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Blu Studio G takes on the budget range: 4G, Lollipop and more

Blu Studio G takes on the budget range: 4G, Lollipop and more

Blu has blatantly taken on the Moto G with its new Studio G smartphone, a handset that has a design greatly resembling the aforementioned Motorola phone while tossing in a price tag that undercuts it just a tad. As with other Blu smartphones (including the others recently introduced at CES), the Blu Studio G is sold unlocked and targets those aren't concerned about toting around any particular brand name or carrier's handset. The phone is set to arrive the end of this month on Amazon, and will be priced at $89 USD when it does.

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Blu introduces new smartphones at CES 2015

Blu introduces new smartphones at CES 2015

Blu, following its recent unveiling of new phones, has again introduced some new offerings, this time at CES 2015. Among these new phones is the ultra-thin and attractive Blu Vivo Air, which seems like Blu's obvious attempt at pulling off an Apple-like design, as well as the Blu Studio Energy which gives several weeks worth of standby time on a single charge and days worth of talk time. There's also the the second-generation Life One phones, which are all-around everyday handset for those with general needs.

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iPhone 6 and 6 Plus SIM-free models now available

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus SIM-free models now available

Yesterday word surfaced that Apple would begin offering the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus today with a SIM-free option, allowing those buying off-contract to get a model without a T-Mobile SIM card included. Fast-forward to this morning, and such an option is indeed now available on Apple's website. This follows a relatively long wait for such an option, and will also be available to those who buy one of the handsets in-store rather than online. The price is the same as the with-SIM version.

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ZTE Grand X Max+ with 4G LTE to hit Cricket on January 9

ZTE Grand X Max+ with 4G LTE to hit Cricket on January 9

Cricket is about to score another ZTE smartphone, this one being the reasonably impressive ZTE Grand X Max+, a selfie-centric smartphone with enough features to satisfy the average user. As its name suggests, this is an improved version of the original ZTE Grand X Max, adding 4G LTE (Cat4) into the mix to meet demanding mobile broadband needs. In addition to the 4G, the new Grand X Max+ will also be bringing a few improvements over the previous version with it when it launches later this month.

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Archos unleashes slew of new 4G devices

Archos unleashes slew of new 4G devices

Archos might not get the amount of love some bigger name companies do, but it has faithfully released products over the years, and this CES 2015 is no exception. The company seems to have concentrated its efforts this year, however, zeroing in on 4G products in particular with several new products including the new Archos Diamond smartphone and 80b Helium Android tablet. All the devices bring with them modest hardware and, more importantly for some, a modest price tag to go with them.

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Five ways to repurpose (or sell!) unwanted tech

Five ways to repurpose (or sell!) unwanted tech

Someone got you that thing you wanted during the holidays, and that’s awesome. Maybe someone got you something you really didn’t want, which is a lot less awesome. Either way, you’ve now got some gifts or devices that need to be dealt with. Whether it’s a smartphone or tablet, we’ve got a few cool ways to get rid of your extra device, or just cycle it back through the mill to give it a new life. You might even make a few bucks!

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Oto HOME otoscope iPhone case makes ear exams mobile

Oto HOME otoscope iPhone case makes ear exams mobile

Mobile devices are becoming increasingly useful in the medical field, something demonstrated by devices like the Peek Retina, which makes eye exams mobile. Oto HOME is similar to Peek Retina, but rather than imaging eyes it is used as an otoscope to get a look at ears. Parents can use the Oto HOME to take videos of their child's inner ear, for example, and then send it off to a physician who will remotely decide whether there is an ear infection.

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Slimger: a slim portable battery that fits in a wallet

Slimger: a slim portable battery that fits in a wallet

A device called Slimger was recently funded on Indiegogo, and it is quite possibly the most convenient portable battery we've seen thus far. Unlike common bulky portable batteries that require a pocket or bag, the Slimger is ultra-thin to the point of being nearly as convenient as a credit card, in that it can fit in your wallet, slip in a shirt pocket, or any other number of handy places. The device's makers are planning to start delivering Slimger next month.

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