Sony announces latest Xperia smartphones: Z3, Z3 Compact, & E3

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Taking stage at IFA 2014, Sony is showing off its latest Xperia gadgets with the new Z3, Z3 Compact, and E3 smartphones. The flagship Z3 is a 5.2-inch “dust-tight and waterproof” aluminum framed device that ships in black, copper, silver green, and white. Included is a feature called PS4 Remote Play allowing you to game on the device with the PS4 controller.

Next up is the Compact Z3, a 4.6-inch device (compact, huh?) that’s also dust-tight and water proof with options in black, green, orange, and white. The Xperia Compacy Z3 also enjoys PS4 Remote Play support (as does the tablet version). Last is the Xperia E3, a 4.5-inch device with a 5 megapixel camera available in black, copper, lime, and white. (Oh, and there were also wearables, of course.) Press releases for each follows…

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Sony announces super slim 8-inch Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact w/ PS4 Remote Play

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In addition to announcing new Xperia smartphones and its new Android-Wear powered SmartWatch wearable, Sony today announced a new 8-inch “Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact”. Sony said it’s the world’s slimmest and lightest compact tablet (compact meaning its under 7-inches) with the device coming in at 6.4mm and 270g.

Perhaps the most notable new feature for the device and other smartphones announced by the company today is a new PS4 Remote Play feature that lets the device dock into a PlayStation 4 controller and act as a remote gaming experience for the PS4 console (pictured below with Xperia smartphone): Read more

Sony announces Android Wear-powered SmartWatch 3 & e-ink SmartBand Talk

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Following Samsung’s event earlier today, it’s now Sony’s turn to take the stage at IFA in Berlin and to kick things off the company just announced its brand new Android Wear-powered SmartWatch 3 and a new “SmartBand Talk” with a “curved, always-on- e paper display”:

With GPS and 4GB storage memory built in, SmartWatch 3 supports Android Wear by Google to not only deliver useful information and services based on the user’s latest activities, but also enable communication and entertainment including music to be enjoyed remotely, even when the user is away from their smartphone. Meanwhile, SmartBand Talk is equipped with a curved, always-on e-paper display, to enable hands free calls and voice commands. Its intuitive voice controls enable users to instantly check their Lifelog status with just a glance of their wrist. 

This will be Sony’s first Android Wear device following Google’s introduction of the platform earlier this year, and the hardware also gets a bit of an upgrade with a new 1.6-inch 320×320 transflective display. The SmartBand Talk, on the other hand, is more of a life/fitness tracker than a full-fledged smart watch, but also includes a mic and speaker for voice commands and calling. The new wearables will also work with a new Lifelog app: Read more

Samsung shows off Oculus-powered Gear VR headset for Galaxy Note 4

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Rounding out its IFA announcements in Berlin today, Samsung demoed its new Gear VR headset powered by Oculus technology (with a plug from Oculus’s John Carmack). Similar to Google’s Cardboard, the Samsung Gear VR is a virtual reality headset made for the new Galaxy Note 4 also introduced today to create an “immersive new dimension of mobile life” through virtual reality. Pricing and availability seem scarce at this point and it doesn’t seem to be compatible with the curved display Note Edge shown off today, but the Note 4 is launching sometime next month. Full press release below:
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Samsung shows off Galaxy Note Edge, with dramatically curved side screen

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At its Unpacked event today, Samsung presented a brand new device, the Galaxy Note Edge. The Note Edge is based off of the iconic large-screen Note design, but adds a sharp curve to the side edge of the device. The screen wraps around as well. This makes a ‘screen lip’ which Samsung describes as a unique way of to access information. This curved section displays notifications, quick access buttons to apps and more ancillary features — completely separate from the main phone screen.

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Samsung announces Quad HD 2560×1440 Galaxy Note 4 in a variety of colors

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Samsung just announced the Galaxy Note 4 in White, Black, and a Zune Gold and Hello Kitty Pink. Color taste aside, the update looks to be a solid one across the board.

Quick notes on standout features:

  • LTE Category 6
  • Latest Google Android OS (L)
  • Design: Metal Frame, stronger glass
  • Weight: 176g, 8.5mm thin

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Quad HD 2560×1440 display

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Snap note expands on Note’s bility to take notes, this time with a camera and some smart software.

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The Galaxy Note 4 also offers an improved Fingerprint Scanner, to secure personal data and the world’s first UV sensor in a mobile device.

Our Galaxy Note 4 hands-on video:

Hit the Press release below for full details Read more

ASUS ZenWatch officially announced with 1.6-inch curved rectangular face in stainless steel

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ASUS has officially launched its much-teased ZenWatch at IFA in Berlin, revealing that the rectangular smartwatch has a curved face, a brushed stainless steel body and a leather strap – but is pricier than expected.

Specs are pretty much as expected and in line with the Samsung Gear Live and LG G Watch: an Android Wear device with 1.63-inch 320×320 AMOLED display, 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 chip, 512MB RAM, 4GB storage and a fitness functions. The watch is waterproofed to a relatively weak IP55 standard, defined as resistant to water jets but not full immersion …  Read more

HTC giving One M8, One Max, and One Remix users 100GB of free Google Drive storage

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HTC and Google have just teamed up, yet again, to offer 100GB of free Drive storage to users. When the HTC One M8 originally launched earlier this year, Google gave 50GB of Drive storage to its users. Now, anyone who purchases a One M8, Desire 816, Desire 610, One Remix, or One Max can redeem 100GB of Drive storage for free, double the original amount.  Read more

Google Maps and Bungie team up to promote upcoming ‘Destiny’ console game

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The next big probably-hit from the famed game studio behind Halo is about to be released, and to help promote it Bungie has teamed up with Google Maps to create a virtual world built to resemble that of the one in-game. It’s called Destiny Planet View, and you’ll find the way you navigate the first person shooter’s worlds within the new website to be very familiar.

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Google rebrands Google Enterprise with friendlier ‘Google for Work’ name

Google on Tuesday announced the rebranding of its Enterprise products and services group to a friendlier “Google for Work” name that should resonate better with small businesses and anyone using Google services, such as Maps, Search, Chrome, Android and Cloud Platform, to perform their day-to-day work. Google chairman Eric Schmidt emphasized that the change was made to empower anyone, including a sole developer in his or her basement, to have an impact.  Read more

Android game console maker Ouya reportedly in acquisition talks w/ Google, Amazon, Xiaomi, Tencent, others

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According to a new report from Recode, makers of Android gaming console Ouyya are currently in talks to sell the company with several “big players in China, as well as few here in the U.S.”

The report does name a few names including Xiaomi and Tencent in China and Google and Amazon here in the US. However, it also notes there are no current offers from anyone involved in the talks: Read more