Sony’s Xperia Z1 successor to offer 4K recording, slo-mo and more

sony

It wasn’t so long ago that buying a camera capable of 4K video recording would set you back well into five figures; today, you can do it on a smartphone. Acer got there first with the Liquid S2, followed by Samsung with the Galaxy Note III. If leaked software obtained by ExperiaBlog is indeed intended for the Xperia D6503 Sirius – codename for Sony’s successor to the Xperia Z1 – Sony will soon be joining the list.

A screengrab of the camera app shows a 4K video button whose description reads ‘Record video in 4K ultra high definition.’ Other camera features shown are slow-motion video (rather strangely labelled ‘Timeshift video’), background defocus (emulating the shallow depth of field of a large-sensor DSLR) and various add-on effects …  Read more

LG Flex pre-orders start January 24th for AT&T customers, hitting 20 European countries next month

Image to scale

We’ve previously reported AT&T picking up the LG Flex, a massive phone with a curved display and tough reviews, and today the carrier officially announced plans for pre-order sales.

Starting Friday, January 24th, AT&T customers will be able to pre-order the LG Flex with its 6″ curved display for $299 with a two-year contract.

“We’re proud to offer the LG G Flex, our first smartphone with a curved screen, in the U.S. and add the device to the nation’s most reliable 4G LTE network,” said Jeff Bradley, senior vice president – Devices, AT&T. “We offer smartphones and devices to fit every lifestyle. There’s nothing quite like the LG G Flex to enhance viewing video and images. The unique design is great when using your thumbs to type a message and at the same time, delivers a great experience for video enthusiasts. Combined with AT&T’s premium network, the nation’s most reliable wireless service, you have an unbeatable combination of features and value.”

AT&T also says customers can purchase the device using its EDGE program: “Customers also have the option of paying $26.74 per month with AT&T Next 18 or  $34.75 per month with AT&T Next 12.” The hardware is quite different from other handset offerings with a power/volume toggle on the backside just under the camera in addition to the ability to “tap” the display on and off.

Read more

Leaked screenshot suggests Google Now lookalike for improved TouchWiz UI on Samsung S5

ui

We’re not fans of manufacturer overlays, preferring our Android experience undiluted, but a leaked screenshot suggests that a revamped version of Samsung’s TouchWiz user-interface may actually be both attractive and useful.

Leaked by usually reliable source @evleaks, the screenshot shows live updates covering everything from flight delays to delivery notifications. It’s not known whether Samsung is grabbing the data from Google Now, and merely overlaying its own user-interface, or creating its own data feeds …  Read more

Moto X wood backplate upgrade drops to $25, arrives in Walnut, Teak & Ebony on Jan. 21 (Update: $75 refunds)

MotoX-Wood-Teak-Ebony-Walnut

After months of teasing natural wood backplates for the Moto X, last month Motorola finally introduced a Bamboo option available through its Moto Maker customization tool. Today the company announced that it will soon be introducing three other wood finishes including Walnut, Teak, and Ebony.  Read more

Google apparently working on fitness APIs for future Android releases

Screen Shot 2014-01-16 at 10.15.22 PM

 

With rumors of Apple’s upcoming iWatch and its focus on fitness, it’s not a stretch to think that Google couldn’t also be exploring a similar use for its own devices. Now, as spotted by the unofficial Google Operating System blog, it seems we have our first glimpse at a fitness API for Android.

Whether this API will become available in a future Android update or will require new hardware or sensors to fully operate is not yet known. The company has already included some fitness sensors with its Nexus 5, but there’s currently no way for other devices to take advantage of similar data natively. A system fitness API could open up new doors, not just for Google’s own software, but for third-party developers like Nike.

Will Samsung hit the $100 price point with its new 7-inch Galaxy Tab3 Lite?

Galaxy-Tab3-Lite

Following the introduction of its new line of Galaxy Pro tablets during CES, today Samsung introduced a new 7-inch tablet on the opposite end of the lineup with the new entry-level Galaxy Tab3 Lite.

The two-years ago specs are certainly nothing to brag about, but depending on how close Samsung prices the tablet to $100, it won’t look all that bad next to its competition in the low-cost tablet category. Unfortunately the company hasn’t announced pricing, but looking at the specs below, we think it could be its most affordable Galaxy Tab yet. That’s especially considering the current 7-inch Galaxy Tab 3 has been going for as low as $140 lately. It did confirm the tablet will be available globally in both black and white, but there’s no word on exact availability or markets.

Full specs for the Galaxy Tab3 Lite below: Read more