Which iPhone 6 Do You Want

It’s a question that’s vexing countless gadget fiends: Which Apple iPhone do I want, the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 or the 5.5-inch iPhone 6? The palm friendly handset or pocket-busting phablet?

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If you’ve read our reviews, you know these are two very good products. Both have brilliant Retina HD displays and powerful A8 processors; both run the brand new iOS 8. There are a handful of key differences, however.

The screen on the iPhone 6 Plus is much bigger. That larger phone outweighs the iPhone 6 by at least 40 grams. It’s .2 mm thicker. It also boasts a bit of extra technical prowess: Optical Image Stabilization.

Even with the obvious differences, it’s hard to know which iPhone 6 is right for you, your hand and your pocket until you see and touch them. We decided to help some people out by giving them their first experience with the new phones.


You can now unlock your Motorola phone with a ‘digital tattoo’

Hate unlocking your Android smartphone so much that even Face Unlock or Skip feels like too much of a hassle? Motorola just came to your rescue. The company has partnered with VivaLnk to launch the previously teased Digital Tattoo, an NFC-based skin tag that unlocks your phone (currently limited to the Moto X) with a quick tap.

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The tattoo can stay on your body for up to five days, and it should survive abuses like showers and sweat-laden runs. It’s a clever approach that might be appealing if you’re fed up with PIN codes and patterns, although the back-of-a-napkin math suggests that you’re paying a lot just to save a couple of seconds when checking your email. VivaLnk is asking $10 for packs of 10 tattoos, or enough to last 50 days — you’ll have to spend $80 to get through a whole year. It could be useful for those busy days when you’re constantly waking up your handset, but you might be better off rolling that money into a Moto 360 or your next big phone upgrade.

Unlock your Motorola phone with a ‘digital tattoo’  Youtube VIDEO

Nokia Lumia 930 review like the Icon

Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia is now bearing fruit, but as often happens when big companies merge, there aren’t enough jobs to go around. More than 10,000 former Nokia employees are due to be laid off by the end of the year, but their legacy will live on for a time in the Lumia 930: one of the last all-Nokia creations. If you live in the UK, then you already know where to get the flagship Windows Phone, but the more important question is whether you want one. We’ve already taken a deep dive on the 930 in our review of the Lumia Icon, which is essentially the same phone, just exclusive to Verizon in the US. Let’s revisit the good, the bad and the competition.

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SummaryThe Lumia 930 is arguably the best Windows Phone on the market, with a brilliant camera and top-end specs. It’s also an improvement over the US version, the Lumia Icon, thanks to broader LTE band support and a free wireless charger in the box.

The Lumia 930 won’t leave many wanting when it comes to raw specs, but it could leave the more design-focused buyer a tad underwhelmed. It’s a fairly inconspicuous marriage of Gorilla Glass 3, aluminum and polycarbonate, with the latter adding a dash of Lumia color to brighten up the proceedings. If you’re not a fan of Nokia’s more playful, plastic-clad models, then the 930’s utilitarian look might be right up your alley. The aluminum band spanning the perimeter of the phone is a nice reminder you’re dealing with a top-end device that deserves a dose of premium materials. A slight pillowing of the back panel makes the 930 comfortable to hold, and with a 5-inch display, it has much more agreeable dimensions than the 6-inch Lumia 1520. The smaller device is still relatively heavy at 167g (or sturdy, depending on how you look at it), but well within most people’s tolerances.

The Lumia 930 launched already running Windows Phone 8.1, but the Icon, its US doppelganger, was built before Microsoft eased up on design requirements with the release of 8.1. As a result, the 930 is probably the last phone you’ll see with capacitive navigation keys and a physical camera button alongside the standard power and volume rocker arrangement. Undoubtedly, one of the best bits of the external hardware is the 5-inch display: a 1080p AMOLED ClearBlack panel nestled under a sheet of Gorilla Glass 3. It’s hard to fault, what with its great sunlight readability, viewing angles and color saturation.

You can check out our Windows Phone 8.1 review if you’re unfamiliar with what the latest update to Microsoft’s mobile OS brings, but the biggest features to note are the addition of a notification center and virtual assistant Cortana. The latter is still in beta in the UK, but that in itself means we shouldn’t be far from a consumer-friendly release. Aside from the two main highlights that make for a much more competitive OS, the keyboard now supports swipe-based typing, and there are various other improvements to the core experience, like a new battery saver mode and redesigned calendar app, among others.

Being a Lumia, the 930 also reaps the benefits of Nokia’s Cyan update on top of Windows Phone 8.1, which includes enhanced Camera, Creative Studio and Storyteller apps. Packing the heaviest hardware in Nokia’s lineup, the 930/Icon and 1520 get some special treatment, like the Living Images photo feature that creates multi-frame moving pictures. Then there are the improvements to sound-recording quality when shooting video, as well as color temperature, low-light capture and autofocus when using the camera in general.

On the imaging front, the 930 has a more-than-capable 20-megapixel PureView camera with f/2.4 aperture. It’s not quite on the level of the Lumia 1020, but it’s also not as inferior as the raw specs would suggest. Low-light performance is especially good, and Nokia’s Camera app allows you to tweak deeper settings like white balance, ISO and shutter speed straight from the viewfinder — things you may actually find yourself doing on a mobile with such a large sensor. While picture quality may be impressive, video is of a slightly lower standard. The overly skittish autofocus noted in our Icon review is much improved with Windows Phone 8.1, but auto-exposure compensation is still somewhat overactive. The audio that accompanies the video is basically as good as it gets, thanks to four microphones that focus on the sound in front of the lens and while canceling out what’s behind it.

There’s nothing negative to be said about the overall user experience. Windows Phone is designed to run smoothly on super-cheap hardware configurations, so with a 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 and 2GB of RAM to work with, the 930 does it better than any. All that power isn’t at the expense of running time, though, and the 2,420mAh battery will keep the 930 chugging along happily for at least a full day, even with intensive use. You can also juice it up wirelessly thanks to an integrated Qi coil — every 930 comes with a wireless charger in the box, too, which isn’t the case with the Icon. Incidentally, the Icon also doesn’t support any form of LTE roaming, making it well and truly a Verizon-exclusive handset. The 930, on the other hand, works on bands 1, 3, 7, 8 and 20, which should take care of all needs, foreign and domestic.

For now, the Lumia 930 is simply the top of the pile when it comes to Windows Phone handsets, and with flagship status comes flagship pricing. Unlocked, you can currently pick up a 930 for £395 in the UK, but search around and you’ll find the Apple iPhone 5c, HTC One M8, LG G3, Samsung Galaxy S5 and Sony Xperia Z2 all within roughly £50 of that price. As Verizon called dibs on the Icon, it’s unlikely we’ll see US carriers ranging the 930 any time soon. That said, if you’re keen on the 930’s wider LTE frequency support, unlocked models are available on Amazon from around $580.

Chances are you might not want to pay up front for the handset in the UK, and should you journey the contract route, there’s almost no delineation in prices across the top handsets. For around £30 per month, you’re free to pick your poison. And if your poison happens to be a top-spec Windows Phone with unmatched performance, a great display and a camera that’s practically as good as they get, well, prepare to get very sick indeed.

HTC One E8 for smartphone lineup

The HTC One E8 is headed to Sprint’s network at some point in the future, the carrier announced on YouTube Thursday. The video, which was removed Friday afternoon from Sprint’s YouTube page, didn’t provide many details on Sprint’s plans for the handset, including when it will launch and how much it will cost. But the 46-second video did highlight some of the device’s finer features.

The HTC One E8 was unveiled in June as an alternative to HTC’s flagship smartphone the One M8. The device comes with a design that’s similar to the One M8, but replaces that product’s metal finish with a polycarbonate casing. When the One E8 was announced, HTC said it would be available in “limited markets.”

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The One E8 comes in a variety of colors, boasts a 5-inch Full HD display, and runs Google’s Android 4.4.2 KitKat operating system. It also has a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera.

HTC’s One E8 is a cheaper, budget-conscious alternative to One M8, which comes with a better camera, a nicer finish, and a higher price tag. The One M8 is available on Sprint for $200 with a two-year agreement, suggesting the One E8 may come with a lower price tag when it launches.

In addition to adding new devices to its lineup, new CEO Marcelo Claure said Thursday that Sprint, which is the third largest wireless provider in the US, will be cutting prices to compete with bigger rivals AT&T and Verizon Wireless, as well as the aggressive T-Mobile.

Samsung and AT&T launch new Samsung S5 Active for $199

AT&T announced the Galaxy S5 Active – water and dust resistant smartphone.

The Galaxy S5 Active adds shock resistance to the Samsung Galaxy S5 specs as well as a new “convenience key” that makes it easier to access apps when enjoying outdoor pursuits.

It comes in camo green, titanium grey and ruby red, and although it looks pretty chunky and rugged, the S5 Active is only .8mm thicker and .3mm taller than its flagship brother.

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Specifications of Samsung S5 Active are –

  • Display – 5.1-inch HD Super AMOLED
  • Resolution – 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • OS – Andorid 4.4 KitKat
  • User Interface – Touchwiz UI
  • Processor – 2.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon
  • RAM – 2GB
  • Internal Storage – 16GB expandable upto 128GB
  • Battery – 2800mAh
  • Rear camera – 16-megapixel
  • Front Camera – 2-megapixel

The S5 Active does have the rear-mounted heart rate monitor featured with the Samsung Galaxy S5, but lacks the fingerprint sensor embedded in the home button of the flagship. This is probably due to the fact the S5 Active features a different button arrangement on the front of the device, making them easier to use with wet fingers.

The phone can be purchased for $199 on a two-year agreement, or $27.50 to $35.75 on a next installment plan in US.

LG G3 Cat. 6 Snapdragon 805

The LG G3 isn’t old news just yet. We’ve recently reflected on our first couple of months with the phone, and in many countries it’s only just making its way out onto the market. But the march of technological progress continues, not least in LG’s home country of South Korea, where arch-rival Samsung already has its own 2K-toting, Snapdragon 805-powered version of the Galaxy S5.

LG’s answer to the GS5 Broadband LTE-A is the G3 Cat. 6, a turbo-charged version of the G3 with support for Korea’s super-fast LTE Category 6 networks — but perhaps more importantly, an upgraded CPU and GPU too. The G3 Cat. 6 is powered by a 2.7GHz Snapdragon 805 processor, paired with Qualcomm’s latest Adreno 420 GPU, a step up from the Snapdragon 801-plus-Adreno 330 of the original G3.

The G3 Cat. 6 is a Korea-only product, and LG tells us there are no plans to launch this version internationally. (Though it is available to import.) But that’s not going to stop us tearing into the new G3’s hardware and seeing how it measures up to the original. Read on to find out more.

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To the untrained eye, both the LG G3 Cat. 6 and the regular G3 are almost indistinguishable — externally, and especially when viewed from the front, they’re pretty much the same phone. The front is dominated by that gigantic 5.5-inch, 2560×1440 display, the back furnished in plastic a metallic finish. More or less everything we said in our original LG G3 review holds true here too — the G3 Cat. 6 is about as comfortable as it’s possible to make a 5.5-inch smartphone, and the back, while decidedly plasticky, doesn’t attract fingerprints the way some older Samsung phones do.

There are some subtle hardware tweaks to note, though. Being a Korean G3, you get the nifty extendable TV antenna that protrudes from the top of the device — though as before, the preloaded TV app doesn’t do anything outside of Korea. And things are arranged differently behind the battery door, too. The microSD and microSIM slots now live on either side of the rear buttons, and a notch at the top of the SIM slot makes it easier to remove your SIM card without having to wiggle it free. The gold contacts for NFC and wireless charging have moved around too, so accessories designed for the vanilla G3 likely won’t fit the Cat. 6 version.

One thing that hasn’t changed is the battery — the G3 Cat. 6 uses the same 3,000mAh unit as the regular G3, and the batteries are interchangeable with the same model number: BL-53YH.

In fact, the Cat. 6, like many Korean smartphones, comes packaged with an extra battery and an external charger (BC-4300). (And usefully, the the charging dock also serves as a portable stand for the phone.)

Samsung Galaxy Alpha hardware details pick up new support

There’s a new Samsung Galaxy model on the horizon, at least according to the multiple leaks we got to check out last week, with a bunch of good-quality images depicting a metal-rimmed Galaxy Alpha. The phone is clearly smaller than the Galaxy S5, though it manages to keep some of the same features of the full-sized device, including its heart rate monitor. But just where will the Alpha fall in Samsung’s Android lineup, especially with the very similar-sounding Galaxy S5 mini already out there? As we work to get to the bottom of that question, some new evidence has turned up that shines a light on some of Galaxy Alpha’s hardware.

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Last week, we didn’t get a ton of information about the hardware we were seeing in those pics, but one tidbit that emerged was a comparison between the Galaxy Alpha’s display and that on the Galaxy S III. That had us wondering if this might be a 720p component (not to mention a 4.8-incher, despite rumors pegging the Alpha’s screen size as 4.7 inches), but the source didn’t directly reveal the resolution. Now a new find, in a developer document describing support for Samsung’s various wearables, clearly spells-out the Galaxy Alpha as having a 720p display.

We can also see this as further confirmation of that Galaxy Alpha name. Based on the boot screen we saw in one of those pics, that name already seemed pretty solid, and this document reinforces the idea that the Galaxy Alpha won’t be directly positioned as a GS5-series model.

Amazon Fire Phone Video

You might buy a Fire Phone for its sweet Amazon Prime bundle, or for the Firefly feature that makes it even easier to add to your vast piles of material wealth. You might buy it to fiddle with its Dynamic Perspective display or to see just what its optically-stabilized camera can do. You might even buy it just to say that you own Amazon’s first smartphone. Or, you might decide not to buy it at all, preferring to play the everlasting waiting game we talk about on the Pocketnow Weekly podcast.

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Whichever way you go, you’ll want to know what the Fire Phone looks like. Humans being the vain creatures we are, looks are important – even if the first thing you do is slap a case and a screen protector on top of it. And the Fire Phone looks … well, like a few phones we’ve seen before. We’ve called it a few things on the aforementioned podcast, but probably the best description is that it’s a mashup of the iPhone 4 and Nexus 4, stretched taut into an iPhone 5C-sized casing.

Want to evaluate our aesthetic sensibilities? Check out the gallery below, featuring twenty of our best Fire Phone photos. Be sure to speak up down in the comments to let us know what you think of Amazon’s first smartphone, and while you’re waiting for our full review, take a gander at 3 fun ways you can “play with Fire” in the embedded video as well.

Youtube Video

Motorola Nexus phablet rumor picks up additional backing

Is it finally Motorola’s turn to make a Nexus phone? Like HTC, Samsung, and LG before it, rumors have turned to the idea of Motorola – even as it changes hands from Google to Lenovo – manufacturing the next Nexus handset. Yesterday we looked at some early evidence pointing to the existence of this Motorola device codenamed Shamu, reportedly a 5.9-inch phablet. Now we’ve got some new corroboration to add to those claims, as well as some updates about what might be in store for Google’s Android Silver efforts.

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According to The Information, Shamu didn’t really get started until after the Lenovo deal was in motion, out of fears that a Nexus model from Google-owned Motorola would be seen as favoritism. Features like Active Display and Touchless Control may be present, and the idea of Shamu being phablet-sized is reinforced.

As for Android Silver, this report attempts to verify old rumors that Silver was intended to be a replacement for the Nexus series, while noting that situation may have already changed. Specifically, the Google exec who was spearheading this Silver effort is leaving the company, and there just might not be enough support for the project without him. While we were curious to see what form Silver might take, even if this declining interest means it never gets off the ground, that’s at least still good news for Nexus devices – including Shamu.

iPhone 6 LCD Metal Frame Leaked

When the front glass lens and the rear housing of iPhone 6 came to light successively, more components assumed to be a part of purported iPhone 6 come out. And now, a new photo about the supposed iPhone 6 LCD Metal Frame was leaked by a website in Taiwan selling Apple spare parts.

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This part comes out at its first time, even though there’s a flood of  iPhone 6 leaks before. From the picture, we can make out the frame is all made of metal, and that claimed to be 4.7 inches screen size, which meets the specification of rumors.