HTC Desire 826 gets an UltraPixel front camera for better selfies

While CES isn’t usually the kind of show that HTC would make a big deal out of, the company somehow decided to use this opportunity to throw out a new mid-range flagship device: the Desire 826. While it’s positioned as a follow-up to the Desire 820 (which is only four months old, by the way), the new model has clearly taken a design cue from the Desire Eye: You get the same hidden BoomSound front-facing stereo speakers (now with Dolby Audio), the same anti-slip soft sides and the same overall look. But rather than using a 13-megapixel front-facing camera, the Desire 826 touts HTC’s famed UltraPixel imager on the front, meaning you can take faster and brighter selfies even in poorly lit environments. Great idea, though we wish HTC had come up with this before someone else did it.

htc-desire-826-front-camera-ces-2015

Underneath that 5.5-inch 1080p screen lies an octa-core Snapdragon 615 chipset (4 x 1.7GHz and 4 x 1GHz), 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, microSD expansion and a 2,600mAh battery. With the exception of select countries, you’ll be able to insert two nano-SIM cards into the phone, and both slots support LTE to save you from checking. On the back, there’s the usual 13-megapixel f/2.0 camera with a single-LED flash, so nothing too exciting.

The Desire 826 is expected to roll out across the world with Android Lollipop at the end of this month​, meaning it’ll be able to take advantage of the chipset’s 64-bit prowess. And if you want, HTC’s made a dedicated Dot View case for said phone as well.

Admittedly, it’s rather odd that HTC is pushing out a folllow-up model after just four months, but we may get used to that soon. CFO Chia-Lin Chang told us that from now on, the Desire 8 series will have two new models each year, though Chang also stressed that each region still gets a say on the product cycles of existing phones — just like how the Desire 816 and the Desire 820 coexist in Hong Kong and Taiwan. As for the flagship devices, here’s hoping that they will adopt the same UltraPixel front-facing camera and enhanced BoomSound speakers.


Tips for taking good panorama shots on Android

A wide, sweeping shot can do wonders for perspective. But panoramas also can take a little practice. Here are a few tips.
A big part of the fun that is Android photography is being able to more than your typical point-and-shoot camera. It’s a camera lens strapped to a computer, after all. And one of the easiest (and coolest) shots to shot is a panorama.

For the uninitiated (we know you’re out there — it’s OK), a panorama really is a series of images stitched together to form a single wide-angle shot. It’s generally found as an option in your camera application, and you take a panorama by moving your phone so that it’s able to capture much more than just a single field of view. Panoramas are fun, but they can take a little bit of practice.

Android-panorama-shots

1. Hold your phone vertically

You often hear us say never shoot video when you’re holding your phone vertically. But for panorama shots, we’re going to recommend it. And it makes sense. You’re already going to get a wide shot, so the extra depth you get from a vertical image will make a big difference. It’s also makes it a lot easier to hold your phone when you’re moving.

Vertical video: BAD. Vertical panorama: GOOD.

2. Rotate the phone, not your body

This one feels a little weird, but it makes sense when you think about it. The smaller the pivot point, the better the image. You’re going to be tempted to shuffle your feet while you’re rotating your way through the panoramic field. (I’m a left-to-right guy, by the way, but most — but not all — phones let you go either way.) But it’s actually better to keep the phone on an imaginary point in space and then rotate around that point. The more still the phone remains on that point as it rotates, the better the shot will be.

Now this generally isn’t a huge deal when you’re shooting panoramic landscapes. But it becomes more apparent if there are objects in the foreground, or if you’re doing one of those fancy three-dimensional “Photo Sphere” shots.

3. Keep level

Most camera apps will lend a hand with this one, but it’s worth mentioning again: When you’re sweeping your phone across the scene — pivoting on one spot, right? — you want to keep things as level as possible. And most camera apps will give you some sort of telltale for that. Maybe it’s a single leveling line. Or maybe it’ll tell you if you’re getting off track. But the point is you want to keep level so nothing gets cropped out during the stitching process.

4. Use a different camera app

It’s a big world out there. You’re not limited to the apps that come with your camera. And a quick search of Google Play turns up a slew of other panorama apps, a good many of them free. We also recommend trying out Google’s camera app as well, as it comes with Photo Sphere shooting built into it.

5. Think about where you’re sharing

Finally, think about what you plan on doing with your panorama shot. Google+ is great for them. Panoramas make great wallpapers. Or you can use one of the infinite (OK, it probably just seems like it) printing services to have something bigger worked up. Facebook is OK, of course (though it still basically murders any picture it gets its hands on. Flickr is reliable and excellent as well.

Nokia EOS Phone 41 Megapixel Camera and Quad-Core

Hey Canon: get ready to have your toes stepped on. Nokia is reportedly prepping two new flagship smartphones for launch, and the two devices are rumored to have ‘EOS’ branding and a huge focus on high-quality photography.

According to sources of My Nokia Blog, the smartphone will indeed carry EOS branding — something we reported back in February. However, they write that there are two models floating around for testing rather than a single device.

Nokia-EOS-Phone-41-Megapixel-Camera-Quad-Core

Although the models are nearly identical specs, they differ in processor power: one is a dual-core processor and the other is a quad-core (both are said to run Snapdragon 800). The issue at the moment appears to be power consumption: if Nokia cannot squeeze enough battery life out of the quad-core variant, they may end up releasing the less powerful version.

The Nokia EOS will reportedly follow after its predecessor, the 808 PureView, by packing a 41-megapixel sensor
Anyhow, onto the photography-related aspects of the device(s). The EOS smartphone will reportedly pack a beastly camera that’s similar to its predecessor, the 808 PureView. It would presumably use the same sensor-stacking technology used by the 808, which captures 41 megapixels but then (optionally) condenses the pixels into a higher-quality 5-megapixel photo.

Other reported specs of the EOS phone include a Xenon and LED flash unit, an AMOLED screen, optical image stabilization, an expandable microSD card slot, and a variable aperture lens.

Nokia-EOS-Phone-41-Megapixel-Camera-Quad-Core-2015

In terms of announcement and availability, the EOS may be arriving sometime in the near future with AT&T exclusivity. After 1-3 months on the market, it will be made available to a wider customer base.

This ‘EOS’ news comes a month after another rumored emerged regarding Google packing a Nikon camera module into its upcoming Nexus 5 smartphone. Grab your popcorn, y’all — the smartphone photography wars are only just beginning!

iPhone 6 concept shows A7 processor larger display camera

A new iPhone 6 concept has been revealed, exposing a bigger retina display, A7 processor and a new, larger camera

An iPhone 6 concept has been revealed to show off a bigger camera lens, A7 processor tech and larger Retina display.

The concept, by Giorgi Tedoradze looks exactly like the iPhone 5, but new features make it look a little more advanced.

The 4.5-inch retina screen looks to be larger, but the front plate is the same size, making the display more edge-to-edge than previous iterations of Apple’s smartphone.

A note on the concept says this display features “much more pixels,” suggesting Apple has managed to make a bigger retina display than the iPhone 5’s 4-inch number.

Around the back of the device sits a larger camera. The concept description says this is a 12-megapixel iSight camera and coupled with Apple’s new iOS 7 camera features, it will probably be a pretty impressive offering.

iOS 7 was announced Monday and of course the iPhone 6 will launch with the newest OS.

iphone-6-concept-2014

Features for this update include:
Notifications menu on the lockscreen
Control center for switching connections and features on and off
Parallax effect making the iPhone’s screen almost look 3D
Improved Siri
iTunes Radio for creating and listening to streamed music
The iPhone 6 in Tedoradze’s concept shows the device with an Apple A7 processor — which hasn’t even been announced yet. The A7 is due to launch next year, so maybe the iPhone 6 could be the debut outing for this particular processor.

According to Tedoradze’s design, the iPhone 6 will apparently measure 130mm x 60mm x 7mm and weigh 110g.

The iPhone 6 is rumored to launch in Q1 2014, following the launch of the less-revamped iPhone 5S