Acer claims first smartphone to record 4K video – but will sell in Europe before USA

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Smartphone manufacturers are making it hard to keep up to date these days: just as we’d got used to enjoying the ability to record 1080p full HD videos, the first handsets capable of recording 4K video are emerging. Google added 4K video support to Android in the latest 4.3 version.

Acer is claiming that its 6-inch Liquid S2 will be the first, though as the phone is being officially unveiled at the IFA this week, it may have company from Samsung’s new Galaxy Note – also rumored to have 4K recording on board. The Acer also won’t be available in the U.S. at launch, with the handset hitting Europe first …  Read more

Galaxy Gear smart watch photos confirmed as prototype as more details emerge

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GigaOM has confirmed suspicions that the leaked photos of the Galaxy Gear smart watch were indeed of a prototype device made available to developers. The actual device being launched on Wednesday will be a much more finished product.

Battery-life was also added to the things we now know about the watch.

  • High quality OLED displays will show the full spectrum of colors.
  • The display will be around 2.5 inches diagonally (and 3 inches diagonally including the case.)
  • It will be powered by a dual core processor, probably a Samsung Exynos 4212 dual core 1.5GHz with Mali-400 MP4 GPU.
  • It has a camera and a microphone integrated into the strap and even tiny speakers.
  • It has Built in NFC and Bluetooth 4.0 LE
  • The Gear is powered by Android 4.3, with keyboard featured turned off.
  • The device won’t have a browser and will need the phone to tether to the Internet.
  • It will need a Samsung device with a watch-focused app store to install apps on the watch.
  • It has a built-in accelerometer and other sensors that will allow it to act has a quantified self device.
  • Expect battery power to be 24 hours with modest use, but around 10 hours with more active usage …  Read more

Purported photos of Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Gear fitness-oriented watch leak out

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As Samsung’s September 4th unveiling of its Galaxy Gear smart watch approaches, some purported photos of the device have been obtained by VentureBeat. The device is expected to carry a 2.5-inch display, dual-core processor, and fitness functionality.

According to VentureBeat‘s report the watch is a “smartphone companion” that is meant to compete in a world of Nike Fuel Band-like devices. The design is described as fairly basic:

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Motorola X will drop to $99 on plan and gain at least 4 wood-grained backs in Q4

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According to @evleaks, Motorola’s Moto X phone will drop to $99.99 on a two year plan in Quarter 4 (which starts at the end of September).  In addition, those wood grain backs will make an appearance and cost an extra $50, making the kit still $50 cheaper than buying one now, so you might want to heed our advice and hold off for a little while.

Also, I’m now in love with the wood-grained backs. Mahogany on black please.

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Google reportedly acquired WIMM Labs for its Android smartwatch/wearable platform

WIMM One Module

Google has reportedly acquired WIMM Labs, the company that first introduced us to its 1-inch, Android-powered wearable platform back in 2011.WIMM stopped offering its open Developer Kit for its “WIMM One” platform back in the summer of 2012, noting on its website that it had “entered into an exclusive, confidential relationship” for the technology. According to a report from GigaOm, that’s because Google quietly picked up the company last year to help work on its own wearable products:

At the time, some publications speculated that Apple may have snatched up WIMM Labs to bolster its iWatch efforts, but GigaOM has now learned that the buyer actually was Google. The acquisition was facilitated by Woodside Capital Partners, and it looks like a significant part of WIMM’s staff stayed on to join Google. Most of WIMM’s senior staff still list their original company on their Linkedin profile, but a few have updated it with a mention of their new employer.

The news comes just as Samsung is about to introduce its new Galaxy Gear smartwatch product and as rumors of Apple releasing a smartwatch or similar wearable product continue to heat up. According to the report, which Google is yet to confirm, the talent picked up from WIMM is currently working with Google’s Android team. There is no mention of Google working on a smart watch product specifically, and, while the 1-inch WIMM One platform might be best suited to the wrist watch form factor, there is a possibility Google could put the tech towards other wearable products. Read more