Samsung, HTC & Apple considering liquid-cooled phones (rumor)

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Digitimes is not a source noted for its hit-rate, but its claim that Samsung, HTC and Apple are all considering liquid-cooled phones isn’t quite as far-fetched as it sounds: NEC has already launched one.

Smartphone players such as Apple, Samsung Electronics and High Tech Computer (HTC) have started showing interest in adopting ultra-thin heat pipes for their smartphones and are expected to release heat pipe-adopted models in the fourth quarter, at the earliest, according to sources from cooling module player.

The NEC Medias X 06 E launched last month in Japan was nicknamed the ladyphone, as it was designed to appeal to women who apparently complained about the heat generated by smartphones. The phone itself was nothing special – a 1.7Ghz quad-core Snapdragon processor with 4.7-inch display – it is the cooling that made it stand out …  Read more

Huawei reportedly considering Nokia acquisition

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According to a new report out of the Financial Times, Huawei is considering buying Finnish smartphone manufacturer Nokia. Richard Yu, Huawei’s consumer business group chairman explained at the company’s Ascend P6 launch event that Huawei is looking into the acquisition, but how far negotiations go would depend on the willingness of Nokia. “We are considering these sorts of acquisitions; maybe the combination has some synergies but depends on the willingness of Nokia. We are open-minded,” Yu stated.

Huawei is not a household name here in the United States when it comes to smartphones, most likely due to the company’s shaky relationship with the U.S. government, but Yu says the company is certainly looking to take on the likes of Samsung and Apple, and having Nokia behind it would definitely be helpful.  Read more

Huawei announces 6.18mm thin Ascend P6

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After teasing the device for several weeks, Huawei finally unveiled its first true flagship in the Ascend P6 this morning in London. Just like the company teased, the device is ultra thin, coming in at just 6.18mm thin. Its size doesn’t compromise its specs, however, as the Ascend P6 is packing a quad-core CPU clocked at 1.5GHz and 2GB of RAM. It features a 4.7-inch display with a 720p resolution. The screen has “MagicTouch” technology, which essentially just means you can have on gloves and still use the display.

As far as the camera goes, the device is packing an 8MP shooter with an f/2.0 aperture and 4cm macro mode. Huawei is also touting its “IMAGEsmart” technology, which will find the best shooting mode automatically based on your surroundings. The front-facing camera is a whopping 5MP and has a setting that will automatically smooth out skin texture, adjust the clarity of your eyes, and as the company’s CEO says, essentially makes you look younger.  Read more

Low-end HTCs: Desire 200 official, and HTC One Mini name confirmed

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Engadget spotted that HTC’s new low-end handset, the 3.5-inch Desire 200, has gone live on HTC’s website. Likely intended as the successor to the Desire C, it’s a pretty basic device.

320 x 480 LCD display; an aging Snapdragon S1 1GHz processor running an unidentified version of Android (likely 4.0) and HTC’s Sense skin; 4GB of expandable storage and 512MB RAM; 5-megapixel camera …  Read more

T-Mobile says it will offer the Sony Xperia Z in the ‘coming weeks’

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After a few months of speculation and rumors, T-Mobile has finally announced that it will carry Sony’s Xperia Z flagship. While no specific pricing or availability was announced, the carrier said it will launch in the “coming weeks.” It will be available in black, as well as purple for a limited time.

Specs are the same as the international version, which include a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor, a 5-inch 1080p display with Sony’s Mobile Bravia engine, a 13MP rear-facing camera, and a water and dust resistant design. It will also carry support for T-Mobile up and coming LTE network.  Read more

Dragon Mobile Assistant 4 detects when you’re driving, and keeps things hands-free

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Engadget notes that the latest version of Dragon Mobile Assistant now detects when you’re in a moving car and automatically switches to hands-free mode, where all interaction is by voice alone.

Driver Mode relies solely on voice recognition and feedback, keeping your focus on the road. Accordingly, the upgrade builds in spoken notifications for inbound calls, messages, upcoming meetings and Facebook updates. There’s also voice-aware email and customizable wake up commands …  Read more

Google partners with Starbucks to offer free unlimited music through Google Play All Access

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Google announced today on Google+ that a new partnership with Starbucks will provide free WiFi and the ability for customers at Starbucks locations to stream unlimited songs, radio and more from Google’s recently launched AllAccess music service. Apple has of course offered similar promotions and continues to offer free iTunes content and more through Starbucks locations. Back in 2007 it announced a partnership with Starbucks in the US to offer a free iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store, and it continues to offer its free app and song of the week picks through physical cards in store and through mobile apps.

Google’s new streaming music service is still limited to the US, so we’re assuming the new promotion is also limited to Starbucks locations within the country. Last we heard an iOS app for the service would be arriving sometime this month.   Read more

Samsung set to launch anti-theft features for smartphones in July

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Earlier this month, we told you about government officials calling on major tech companies to improve anti-theft features of their devices. At WWDC this year, Apple did just that and announced its new Activation Lock feature. Now, all eyes have shifted to the other large smartphone manufacturer, Samsung. According to a report out of Korean site MK, Samsung is set to launch its anti-theft features for smartphones as early as July.

The feature will essentially be a kill switch that will allow carriers, manufacturers, and even the government to remotely wipe, lock, and disable any smartphone that has been stolen. Once this is done, the device would be rendered useless, even when a new SIM card is installed.

A kill switch is exactly what government officials called for earlier this month, and what it and manufacturers likely discussed when they met last week at a “smartphone summit” to talk about mobile security.  Read more

AT&T Galaxy Note 8.0 officially launching June 21 for $400 on-contract

Note-8-N5110_v_400x400_large1_HERO_2Last week AT&T confirmed that it would carry the Galaxy Note 8.0 in the “coming weeks,” but now we finally have detailed pricing and release information. The carrier has announced that it will begin to offer the device on June 21st for $399.99 with a new two-year contract. For those wondering, that’s the same price as the WiFi only model, which obviously does not carry a contract with it. If you are looking to go all out, however, you can pick the device up for $200 on contract when purchased at the same time as a Galaxy S4, Galaxy S4 Active, or Galaxy Note II.

As far as specs go, the device is packing a 1.6GHz Exynos 4110 quad-core processor paired with 2GB of RAM. It will ship with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and Samsung’s TouchWiz overlay. Other features include WiFi, LTE, GPS, BlueTooth 4.0, a gyroscope, an accelerometer, a compass, and a hefty 4,600mAh battery. Read more

LTE not fast enough for you? Double-speed LTE is on the way …

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Any early adopter has experienced the pain of buying the latest & greatest tech only to have it superseded within weeks. You could soon be experiencing just that if you recently bought the Samsung S4 as the company launches an LTE-Advanced version of the phone later this month offering more than twice the data speeds of standard 4G LTE – albeit initially only in South Korea (Reuters via Techmeme).

Samsung Electronics Co plans to sell a variation of its flagship Galaxy S4 smartphone that will transmit data at nearly twice the normal speed, the head of its mobile business said on Monday.

J.K. Shin, also co-chief executive of the world’s biggest technology firm by revenue, said the phone would be sold in South Korea as early as this month …

Read more

Alleged Moto X specs leak, include 720p display, dual-core processor

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After months of leaks and rumors, Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside finally confirmed the Moto X phone at the AllThingsD conference, but was cagey with details and didn’t share all that much. Thanks to the often reliable @evleaks on Twitter, however, we now have a pretty good idea of what to expect when the X phone hits the market.

According to the report, the device will feature a 1.7GHz dual-core MSM8960 Pro processor, 720p display, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, 10MP rear-facing camera, 2MP front-facing shooter, and Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. For those wondering, that’s the Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, which we saw in devices like the LG Optimus G last year.

At the AllThingsD conference earlier this year, Woodside said the Motorola Moto X phone would be manufactured in Texas and be coming to all major US carriers sometime in October. Read more

Samsung teases partnership with Jay-Z, invites us to tune into NBA Finals

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Earlier this month, a report emerged claiming that Samsung and Jay-Z were on the verge of signing a marketing deal worth upwards of $20 million, and now Samsung has confirmed the deal. The company has just sent out a mysterious email to the press inviting us all to tune into game 5 of the NBA Finals on Sunday. It looks like the deal has to do with music, which you’d expect from a Jay-Z partnership, as the promo image tells us to “turn up the volume.”

Game 5 kicks off at 8PM EST on ABC, but Samsung teases it will take over at 9:15PM EST. We’ll be sure to let you know what they have in store.