HTC One Remix render spotted with Verizon branding

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The HTC One mini 2 is rumored to hit the US as the HTC One Remix and although we’ve officially seen the former, we’ve yet to see it materialize with any carrier branding. Today, however, we’re getting a closer look at what might be heading to Verizon thanks to the often reliable @evleaks. If in fact the Taiwanese electronics manufacturer decides to bring its petite smartphone to the US, it’ll most likely be coated with Big Red’s emblem.

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Here’s a look at LG’s G Watch in action (video)

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It’s no secret that LG is working on a smartwatch and while the company has openly teased its new wearable, we’ve yet to get a really good look at this up-and-comer in action. However, that just changed thanks to the folks at AppDated, who’ve managed to get their hands on the Android Wear-powered timepiece during the recent LG G3 event in London. While the video is completely in German, it still gives a solid overview of the watch in a real world environment and does a nice job of showing off how smooth Google’s wearable operating system seems to be despite this being a beta build of the platform. Check out what might possibly be up for grabs in the next few weeks.

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IDC lowers tablet shipment forecast, expects phablets to cannibalize tablet sales

Tablet-Market-ForecastYet another lowered forecast for tablet shipments this year comes today from IDC following a similar move from Morgan Stanley earlier this month. IDC announced today that it’s lowering its tablet shipment 245.4 million units down from a total 260.9 million units, which is around 12.1% year-over-year growth for the category vs the 51.8% growth last year. We’ve seen how much growth potential there is for tablets vs PCs and smartphones, but IDC’s report notes that tablets might see increased competition from the phablet category this year. The report classifies tablets as smartphones with 5.5-inch to 7-inches and IDC thinks lots of consumers will second-guess tablet purchases and instead go with a phablet:

“Two major issues are causing the tablet market to slow down. First, consumers are keeping their tablets, especially higher-cost models from major vendors, far longer than originally anticipated. And when they do buy a new one they are often passing their existing tablet off to another member of the family,” said Tom Mainelli, Program Vice President, Devices & Displays at IDC. “Second, the rise of phablets – smartphones with 5.5-inch and larger screens – are causing many people to second-guess tablet purchases as the larger screens on these phones are often adequate for tasks once reserved for tablets.”

IDC notes that the share of smartphone shipments captured by so called phablets doubled from 4.3% in Q1 of 2013 to 10.5% in Q1 of this year. representing 30.1 million units shipped. “As large phones clearly impact near-term tablet growth, IDC expects the market to rebound by shifting its focus back toward larger-screened devices.”

HTC plans premium water-resistant ‘Plus’ and plastic-backed ‘Advance’ One M8 variants

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There’s a lot of talk about HTC releasing a “Prime” variant of the One M8, but until now we haven’t heard much outside of rumors/speculation and some alleged renders leaked by Evleaks. 9to5Google has now learned that HTC actually has two new variants on the way, “Plus” and “Advance,” and it does have plans to release a version of its flagship M8 smartphone branded with one of those labels.

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Chrome Beta for Android’s new update brings back Doodles and squashes bugs

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Chrome Beta for Android was updated today with a slew of new performance features that should be welcomed by any user. Now available to download from Google Play, the 36th version of Mountain View’s portable browser brings improved text rendering to non-mobile websites and reintroduces Doodles to the new tab page. Chrome Beta users will also be treated to better suggestions for text entry, along with a several bug fixes and performance improvements. If you’ve already updated this app and are tinkering with its new features, be sure to let us know how it’s treating you and your device.

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T-Mobile sends invites to Uncarrier 5.0 event on June 18

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T-Mobile has just sent out invites to its latest Uncarrier event. The fifth iteration of John Legere and company to shake-up the mobile industry will be held on June 18th in Los Angeles. The invite doesn’t offer any direct details as to what we can expect at the event, but does tease that T-Mobile doesn’t “play it safe and sound.” One possibility this time around, is that T-Mobile is partnering with some sort of music streaming service, hence the “sound” tease. AT&T is currently partnered with Beats Music, while Sprint is with Spotify. That would leave Rdio and Pandora as possibilities for T-Mobile.

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Google Camera for Android updated w/ new cropping options, picture timer

Google has just released an update to its Camera app on Android, as part of its “Update Wednesday” regiment. The update bumps the app to version 2.2 and adds several new features. One of the biggest new features is the ability to shoot photos in either 4:3 or 16:9 cropped resolutions. Although, it’s important to note that the cropping affects the total resolution of the image. So if you were to shoot in 16:9 on a Nexus 5, the resolution maxes out a 6MP. This changes depending on the phone you’re using, of course.

Google has also added the timer feature back to its Camera app with this update. The company removed it earlier this year, for some odd reason. The picture timer allows you to choose either 3 and 10 second timings for taking an image.

The update also adds new modes for shooting panoramas, including a fisheye setting. There’s also now a small settings icon on the first launch.

Google’s Camera update is available on the Play Store now.

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AT&T Asus PadFone X available for pre-order for $200 on June 6th

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After almost being considered vaporware, the Asus PadFone X will soon be available for pre-order. Today, AT&T announced that it will exclusively offer the hybrid device starting on June 6th with financing options as low as $22.92 per month or $200 with a two year service agreement. These options include the smartphone and its docking station that takes the PadFone X from phone to tablet on the fly.

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Screenshots confirm fingerprint sensor for Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Tab S

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A previous report claimed to reveal details and specs for Samsung’s upcoming “Galaxy Tab S” tablet, but today we get confirmation from leaked firmware for the device that it will indeed include a fingerprint sensor. SamMobile dug through the official firmware that leaked online earlier today and in it discovered proof of the fingerprint scanner through a number of screenshots showing how the feature works on the larger tablet.

It’s not surprisingly a similar process and UI to the Galaxy S5, but the firmware also revealed the Ultra Power Saving Mode that first made an appearance on the S5, as well as an improved camera UI and more. Head below for more screenshots.  Read more