Samsung plans standalone smartwatch w/ calling functionality for release this summer

SAMSUNG CSC

Samsung has no shortage of smartwatch and wearable products for the wrist with its Galaxy Gear, Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, and Gear Fit products, but The Wall Street Journal reports the company is about to introduce yet another this summer. However, the big differentiator this time around will apparently be that the watch will act as a standalone device and come with its own SIM card. It will allow users to make calls, take photos and more without having to be connected to a companion smartphone like Samsung’s other smartwatch products.  Read more

LG teases the laser-focus camera, design, and display of the G3 (Video)

We’ve seen its unofficially official specs. We’ve seen its updated UI. We’ve even known about its announcement date (May 27th) for some time now. And now, LG is teasing its upcoming G3 flagship device with three new videos posted this morning to YouTube. The “Design” video below also gives us the best look yet of the device’s metallic-looking back, as the camera slowly pans around it. Read more

Report: Samsung creating competitor to Oculus Rift, will be compatible with Galaxy smartphones and tablets

oculus rift

Samsung is reportedly developing its own VR headset, a device that will be similar in many ways to the Oculus Rift, for use with its flagship Galaxy smartphones and tablets (via Engadget). This headset is apparently separate from the “Galaxy Glass” project that is slated to be unveiled later this year.

The VR headset is being described as a peripheral, as opposed to a stand-alone product, and will require a connection to a Samsung device in order to function. Read more

The Hisense H6 is a 55-inch Android-powered TV priced under $650

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Sure, you could plug a Chromecast into your regular smart TV, but where’s the fun in that? Today, Hisense announced the availability of its new 55-inch LED TV that might just make you try something crazy. In addition to a sub-$700 price tag and 120Hz refresh rate, this slim boob tube just so happens to run Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. So you’ll be able to run several media-friendly apps like Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Instant Video and Chrome.

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The $100 HP 7 Plus offers quad-core power on the cheap

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If you’re in the market for a new tablet but you’re balling on a budget, the $100 HP 7 Plus might be a contender. This low-priced slab features a 1GHz Allwinner A31 ARM Cortex-A7 quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage space, a humble 2-megapixel rear-facing shooter with a lackluster 0.3Mp front-facing camera. These aforementioned goodies are powered by Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and are wrapped up in a 7-inch 1,024 x 600 IPS display.

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T-Mobile launches VoLTE in its own backyard w/ support for LG G Flex, Galaxy Note 3, & Galaxy Light

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Following announcements earlier this month from both AT&T and Verizon, T-Mobile announced today it’s introducing Voice over LTE support starting with Seattle. The first three devices to support the new tech include the LG G Flex, Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Light.

So I’m thrilled to congratulate my team on the launch of Voice over LTE (VoLTE) in the Seattle area for our existing LG G Flex and Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Light customers. Our friends at MetroPCS were the first to launch VoLTE in the U.S. back in 2012, and we’ve been working hard on a LTE Advanced version of VoLTE, which we plan to roll out to more T-Mobile customers throughout the coming year.

T-Mobile’s CTO Neville Ray noted that the new technology, which brings voice calls onto the same LTE radio layer previously reserved for data, will allow “faster call setup times (almost twice as fast as a non-VoLTE call setup) and the ability to enjoy lightening fast LTE data speeds while on a call.” It will also support the HD Voice or wide-band audio feature supported lots of newer hardware. Ray explained how the technology works: Read more

The world’s first Chromecast-equipped Google Learning Space launches in Brazil

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In a blog post on the Google Enterprise blog, CEO of Foreducation, a company that works with schools to deploy Google products in classrooms, today announced the launch of the world’s first “Google Learning Space.”  The space is described as a collaborative learning center that will offer students from the Colégio Mater Dei private school in São Paulo, Brazil the chance to interact with Google technology in a Chromecast, tablet, and Smart TV-equipped environment:  Read more

Apple working to fix bug that causes ex-iPhone users to lose their text messages

iMessages

Apple says it’s resolved an iMessage server issue that was affecting former iPhone users who switched to Android and other mobile operating systems. This is all good and well, but Apple’s text message woes don’t end there. The company is currently working on another SMS intercepting issue, according to Re/code. Apple is struggling to keep track of phone numbers that used to be linked to its iMessage platform. This is causing some ex-iPhone owners’ text messages to be absorbed by the company’s servers before reaching their intended contact.

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Full Comparison: Moto E vs Moto G vs Moto X (4K video)

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Currently, Motorola seems to be the king of budget smartphones. With the launch of the Moto G ($179.99) and more recently the Moto E ($129.99), it seems like Motorola has a smartphone tier for just about anyone. Motorola’s Moto X has also dropped in price to $349.99 off contract and just barely graces the budget phone border.

The good news is, there are plenty of budget Motorola devices to choose from, but now you’ll have to make a decision. Which one is the best for you? Let’s find out in our Moto showdown.

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Download 5 free Android apps from the Amazon Appstore and get 1,000 Coins ($10 value)

From 9to5Toys.com:

Amazon is celebrating Memorial Day by giving away 200 Amazon Coins with each free download of select Android apps. It appears that these apps are free outside of this promotion as well, but do not typically include amazon-memorial-day-apps-android-coinsbonus Coins. Downloading each of these apps will net you a total of 1,000 Coins, which carries a value of $10.

Browse the top Android apps to find great titles to use your free Coins on and don’t forget that you can still get 2,000 Coins ($20 value) for downloading Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Get the Amazon Appstore for Android here.

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Samsung Music shutting up shop, 1st July deadline to download purchases

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TechRadar reports that Samsung is closing its Samsung Music Hub service on 1st July, with the company advising users to download all purchased content and use any vouchers before that date. Music Hub was based on a cloud-based system the company acquired when it purchased the Californian company mSpot.

The service was part of Samsung’s attempt to get into content sales, with the company having similar hubs for books, videos and apps. It’s not known whether those will also close. Samsung issued a somewhat confusing statement reading …  Read more