A first hands-on look at the S4 mini (video)

There’s obviously less to show here – it’s essentially a smaller, less powerful younger brother to the S4, but if – like me – you prefer your phones to be, well, phone-sized, this may well be the handset you’ve been waiting for. The poor Samsung rep said this was her first ever video demo, and it shows a little, but we can cut her some slack …

Read more about the S4 mini here. Read more

Quick hands-on demo of the Samsung S4 Galaxy Zoom Android compact camera (video)

Essentially an S4 mini married to a compact camera. With a 16MP CMOS sensor, it ought to solve the biggest problem with smartphone cameras – they are pretty hopeless in low-light conditions. With a sensitive sensor and optical image-stabilisation, this should give impressive results in bars, clubs and outdoors at night.

Read more about the Galaxy Zoom here. Read more

A quick hands-on demo of the Samsung NX interchangeable lens Android camera (video)

As a keen photographer, I use a DSLR for proper photography and my phone for snapshots. But in a world in which everything is connected, I do miss the ability to instantly share a photo from the DSLR. Here Samsung is attempting to bring the two worlds together. It’s not quite a DSLR, but with a 20MP CMOS sensor and a choice of 30 lenses, it ought to be a pretty capable camera – and with 4G on board, you can share photos instantly. It’s a very, very nice concept and I look forward to testing one.

Read more about the Samsung NX. Read more

A hands-on demo of the Samsung S4 Active underwater (video)

A sight that would lead to much swearing with most phones, but the S4 Active looks quite at home underwater. I have to say I was impressed.

Samsung was keen to stress that the phone is not designed to be used underwater – though the touchscreen does actually respond in very shallow water – rather it’s designed to survive an accidental immersion and to allow you to take snorkel-style photos where you hold the phone just beneath the surface to take an underwater photo.

If the touchscreen isn’t responsive when you bring it back out of the water, don’t panic – it gets confused by water drops on the screen, so just wipe it dry and all is well.

Read more about the S4 Active here. Read more

Samsung announces Galaxy NX Android camera with LTE, 20.3mp sensor, and 13 lenses

Samsung just announced live on stage during its Premiere 2013 event in London the much rumored Galaxy NX Android camera. We already heard reports about the device leading up to the event, but the company has finally made things official on stage today. Samsung says its the “World’s first interchangeable lens Android camera with 4G LTE.”

Some specs it shared for the device: Android 4.2.2, a 4.8″ HD TFT LCD display, a 1.6GHz quad core processor with separate image signalling processor, hybrid autofocus, and a 20.3mp sensor. There will also be 13 interchangeable lenses initially (those from the NX series), including a brand new 10mm fish eye lens. Samsung showed off its UX running on top of Android on the device, which includes 30 smart modes similar to those included in Galaxy Camera and its other NX cameras.

The device will also include an interchangeable 4000mAh battery, microSD, HDMI out, MicroUSB, and HDMI out, an external microphone port.

The company didn’t share any information on pricing or availability for the device, but below is one of the first hands-on reviews popping up: Read more

Samsung unveils ATIV Q, a device dual-booting Windows 8 and Android

On stage at its Premiere event in London, Samsung just announced the ATIV Q, a hybrid tablet running both Windows 8 and Android. Samsung Executive Vice President DJ Lee said that the device is “versatile and adaptable” and can switch between four positions.

That’s really all that has been said about the ATIV Q so far, but seeing that 9 devices were just announced, we expect the company to get back to it soon.

The ATIV Q features a 13.3-inch qHD+ screen with a 3200×1800 resolution. Samsung says it is one of the “best displays you’ll ever see on a mobile device.” The company also says it will be very easy to use and see in bright sunshine. To switch between Android and Windows 8, you simply need to tap the hardware button under the display. You can also pin Android apps onto the Windows 8 start screen.

The device has a unique hinge that allows the screen to sink into the keyboard for tablet use, or rise up and bend several ways for usage with a keyboard. There is no trackpad, however, so you are stuck using a touchscreen for everything, even with a keyboard.

Read more

Samsung officially unveils Galaxy S4 Active, S4 Mini, and S4 Zoom at London event

Samsung just officially unveiled its new lineup of Galaxy devices at its London Premiere 2013 event in London. As you can see from the image above, Samsung finally announced three much rumored devices including the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, and the Galaxy S4 Zoom, three devices that we expected to see during tonight’s event. Samsung also announced a number of new colors for the Galaxy S4 as pictured above.

Specs announced for the S4 Mini: Dual-core 1.7GHz processor, 1.5GB RAM, 8GB internal storage, 1900mAh battery,1.9 megapixel front-facing camera, and an 8mp main camera.

Screen Shot 2013-06-20 at 2.21.55 PMAs for the Galaxy S4 Active, Samsung talked mostly about its water and dust resistant features. While noting that it’s IP67 certified, it showed off an Aqua Mode that allows users to capture images under water for 30 minutes at a depth of 1 meter. Hardware specs include a 5-inch display, 1.9GHz processor, 2,600Mhz battery, and 8mp and 2mp cameras. Samsung also noted that the display will work with gloves.

Hardware specs announced for the S4 Zoom: 10x optical zoom, optical image stabilizer, 16 M BSI CMOS sensor, and Xenon flash. Also announced was the rumored Galaxy NX camera.  Read more

Liveblog from the Samsung Premiere Galaxy event in London

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I’m here at the Earls Court Exhibition Centre in London for the Samsung Premiere 2013 event. Our best guess is that we’re likely to see three S4 products: the S4 mini, S4 Active and the S4 Zoom Galaxy (as well as one or more ATIV Windows 8 devices), but we shall see …

Hit the more link to read all about it, and refresh the page to see the latest update …  Read more

Facebook launches updated Instagram w/ 15 sec video clips, custom filters & cinematic stabilization

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Today, live from Facebook’s press event, the company just announced that its bringing video to Instagram with a brand new set of features. In what appears to be direct competition for Twitter’s rapidly growing Vine video sharing app, Instagram will soon allow users to share similar video clips. On stage, Instagram demoed an updated iOS app that now includes a button for video capture that will allow users to create 3-15 second long videos using multiple clips.

It also announced that it has partnered with an artist to create 13 brand new custom filters specifically for video and a handful of leading experts to integrate “mind blowing” cinematic video stabilization features (something that isn’t too great in a lot of other apps).

So what does this mean for your content? Nothing’s different from photos. We’re still committed to making sure you have control over all of your content. Only the people who you let see your photos will be able to see your videos. And as with photos, you own your videos. You can learn more about Video on Instagram—including our new Cinema feature—by visiting the Instagram Help Center.

As for where videos will appear, like photos, Instagram says “your video will appear on your profile and in feed. If your visibility is set to private, only your approved followers can see videos or photos you share.”

The video feature will also be available on the web, allowing users to view Instagram videos in any browser without having to use the apps. Read more

Google Fiber creates thriving startup industry in Kansas City

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Ben Barreth, owner of the Homes for Hackers house

When Google first announced Fiber, thousands of cities jockeyed to be the first test location, but to many people’s dismay, Kansas City was eventually named the winner. For the past year, internet service in the area has been booming thanks to the network, which in turn has made it a popular area for startups and entrepreneurs, according to a new report from CNET. When Google announced Fiber, web designer and Kansas City local Ben Barreth bought a house in the startup district in hopes of being one of the first people to be connected to the network. In order to pay for the house, he started it up as the “Home for Hackers,” which he says is a place for startups and entrepreneurs to rent out a space to work and be connected the incredibly fast internet service. Read more

Google will face fines in France if it doesn’t fix privacy issues within 3 months

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Google has run into trouble with the French government yet again for its privacy tactics. According to a new report from Bloomberg, the company has three months to change its policy surrounding its users’ data to avoid being fined. Five other European countries will supposedly follow France’s actions by the end of July. The country says Google is violating its privacy laws because it “prevents individuals from knowing how their personal data may be used and from controlling such use.”

Google, of course, denies these allegations and said that its “privacy policy respects European law and allows us to create simpler, more effective services” and it has “engaged fully with the data protection authorities involved throughout this process and will continue to do so going forward.”

The French data protection watchdog ordered the company to spell out for users why it collects information “to understand practically the processing of their personal data,” better inform users of its privacy policy, and “define retention periods of personal data processed that do not exceed the period necessary for the purposes for which they are collected.” CNIL is also asking the owner of the Gmail messaging system to request users’ permission for “the potentially unlimited combination” of their data, ask users’ approval to collect their data with tools such as the “Doubleclick” and “Analytics” cookies, “+1” buttons or any other Google service on third-party websites, and “inform users and then obtain their consent in particular before storing cookies in their terminal.”

Google can be fined a maximum of 150,000 euros, or $198,000, and 300,000 euros in for a repeated offense. Spain, the U.K., and Germany are all expected to take action soon, as well. This all comes on the heels of five countries ordering for more information about Google Glass privacy yesterday.  Read more