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Nov 3, 2014

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge Confirmed to Arrive in the US on November 14

Good news for Samsung fans in the United States drooling for the company’s latest innovation, the Galaxy Note Edge, as the phablet has been confirmed to arrive in the country in less than two weeks.

Officially unveiled back in October, the Galaxy Note Edge was thought to be released on the market in limited quantities as a prototype device with the sole purpose of testing the market. Even so, customers in the United States will be able to get their hands on the smartphone that packs a two-sided display. According to an official press release, Samsung Galaxy Note Edge will arrive in the States as early as November 14. More importantly, the smartphone will be available for purchase through all major carriers, including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon and US Cellular.

The phablet won't come cheap for those who want to pay for the upfront price

Although Samsung did not share any details on the Galaxy Note Edge pricing in the United States, AT&T confirmed the phablet would be available for purchase for no less than $400 (€320) with a two-year agreement. That’s an insane price even for a flagship smartphone. Anyway, customers who do not want to commit to a long-term contract will have to come up with a whopping $945 (€755) upfront in order to get the Galaxy Note Edge. The high price may be Samsung’s way of controlling the sales of the Galaxy Note Edge. We already know the company won’t be producing too many units (probably no more than 1 million), so the high price may be justified.

But let’s see what those who can afford the Galaxy Note Edge will get for this price. First of all, the phablet features a stunning 5.6-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED (1440 x 2560 pixels) resolution display, along with secondary Edge screen that allows users to access email, Internet, compatible apps and weather.

It will be released with Android 4.4.4 KitKat platform onboard

As expected, the smartphone will ship with Android 4.4.4 KitKat operating system out of the box, but it is likely to receive a Lollipop update soon. Hardware-wise, the Galaxy Note Edge is equipped with a 2.7GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor inside, along with an Adreno 420 graphics processing unit and 3GB of RAM. Samsung announced there would be two variants available on the market with different storage capabilities: 32GB and 64GB. However, both versions will come with microSD card slot for memory expansion (up to 128GB). It’s also worth mentioning that Samsung Galaxy Note Edge will be powered by a 3,000 mAh battery and it will boast a 16-megapixel rear-facing camera with LED flash, autofocus and 4K video recording.  For more technical details on the phablet, check out our Samsung Galaxy Note Edge specifications page.

Press Release:Samsung Galaxy Note Edge Available in the U.S. Beginning Nov. 14
Samsung introduces a stunning new smartphone design with a curved edge display
Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC (Samsung) today announced that the Galaxy Note® Edge will be available in the U.S. beginning Nov. 14. The Galaxy Note Edge is the first smartphone of its kind with a functional, curved display for interruption-free notifications.
The 5.6-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED® screen has a high resolution with more pixels, making the display sharper, brighter and more immersive than ever. The Galaxy Note Edge delivers unique smartphone experiences with a scrollable screen that wraps around the right edge of the device, extending the screen with room to do and see more. The Edge screen gives access to email, Internet, apps, notifications, news and more without interrupting the content on the main screen. Night clock mode dimly displays the time, alarm and weather and is easily viewable when the Galaxy Note Edge is placed bedside. Consumers can customize the scrollable Edge menu panel with their favorite apps for quick access; the apps are always available, from any screen.
The Galaxy Note Edge is also equipped with all the advanced features of the new Galaxy Note 4, including:
A 16 MP rear-facing camera with 8x digital zoom and Optical Image Stabilization for decreased photo blurriness, and a 3.7 megapixel front facing camera with a wide angle lens that captures more friends and fun in the frame.
The S Pen™ is more precise than ever before and handwriting is more natural when interacting with the phone. With mouse-like functionality you can cut and paste, drag and drop, and do more than before.
Samsung’s unique Multi Window™1 feature allows consumers to interact with multiple apps simultaneously. Users can resize windows and seamlessly drag and drop content between apps for added convenience and enhanced productivity.
The fastest charging available on a Samsung phone and power-saving solutions. Adaptive Fast Charging2 can charge a battery up to 50% in about 30 minutes for added power in a hurry. Ultra Power Saving Mode increases standby time up to 24 hours on only 10% of battery life, offering more battery power when users need it most.
The Galaxy Note Edge also features Samsung’s KnoxTM 3 security platform for Android, offering comprehensive mobile solutions for both work and play by separating personal and work data on one device. Knox meets the strict security requirements of regulated industries and government agencies. Knox addresses the market gap to provide enterprise- and consumer-friendly devices to businesses and their employees. Samsung is meeting the need by making Android the number one choice for a secure and cost-effective platform for business use.
The Galaxy Note Edge will be available in Charcoal Black and Frost White. AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless and U.S. Cellular will carry the Galaxy Note Edge. Samsung Experience Shops in Best Buy will also carry the device. Carriers and retail partners will confirm specific pricing, availability and specs.
Galaxy Note Edge accessories will include a Wallet Flip Cover in Charcoal Black and Frost White and power solution options including a Wireless Charging Battery Cover and spare battery charging system.

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
Image credits to Samsung

Samsung Galaxy S6 Is “Project Zero,” May Hint to a Total Rehash of the Series

It looks like Samsung has finally decided to rethink its entire Galaxy S family due to the series’ low sales in the last few years. The next Galaxy S smartphone will be entirely different from any other handset in the family, or at least that’s what we and millions of fans hope for.

For those out of the loop, Samsung announces a new Galaxy S flagships smartphone in the first quarter and usually puts it on sale in the second quarter. These flagship smartphones are usually unveiled during Mobile World Congress (MWC) trade fair, so we believe Samsung will maintain the tradition and introduce the Galaxy S6 next year in late February or early March. Until Samsung goes official with the Galaxy S6, lots of rumors on the smartphone’s specs and design will most likely leak online, but they will probably point to the prototypes the South Korean company plans to test before shaping up the final version.

This is that time of the year when we get the first rumors on the next Samsung flagship smartphone, and although it’s obviously very early, at least we can get an idea on what the company has in mind for Galaxy S6. In this regard, SamMobile reports that sources close to the matter claim the “Next Big Thing” from Samsung is called Project Zero. Samsung usually refers to the next Galaxy S flagship handset as “the next big thing,” so we believe the Galaxy S6 is internally known as Project Zero.

Samsung Galaxy S6 is expected to be unveiled in late February

The name of the project might be an indication that Galaxy S6 will be a completely new device from all points of view, but especially design-wise. Samsung plans to rehash the Galaxy S series and make the Galaxy S6 really unique and innovative. It remains to be seen whether or not the South Korean company will be successful in its endeavor, though the handset maker has a lot of work to do before redeeming itself in the eyes of its customers. Samsung’s profits have been dropping each quarter in the last two years, especially due to low sales of its flagship smartphones, Galaxy S and Galaxy Note. Perhaps the company did a better job with Galaxy Note 4, which is selling very well and is expected to reach around 10 million units sold by the end of the year.

However, the Galaxy S series is entirely another problem, which needs to be taken care of if Samsung wants to continue to be world’s number one smartphone maker. We’ll be keeping an eye out for any additional details on the matter, so stay tuned.

TheNextBigThing tagline
Image credits to Samsung

Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact Is the Skinniest Tablet with the Longest Battery Life

Having a sleek tablet on your hands is sure very convenient and a lot of fun, but how much battery life can these products actually support?

The folks over at Phone Arena were curious to answer this very question, so they gathered up a bunch of new tablets including the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact, Nexus 9 and iPad Air 2 and put them to test to see how much they can endure.

Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact wins the endurance test

The results are quite interesting. It turns out the top spot goes to the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact, which is not only one of the skinniest (at 6.4mm / 0.25 inches) but also the longest lasting. According to the tests, the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact can sustain a battery life of up to 9 hours and 47 minutes on a single charge. The follow-up is also a tablet that saw the light of day a few weeks ago. We’re talking about the Nexus 9, which is a tad larger (it has 8.9 inches) and a bit thicker (7.9 mm / 0.32 inches). The slate can last up to 9 hours and 24 minutes, but it’s still 23 minutes shy of catching up to the Sony slate. Completing the top three is the Samsung Galaxy NotePRO 12.2 which is a tablet with an impressive display of 12.2-inch. However, according to the tests users should be able to milk out up to 8 hours and 58 minutes of continuous use.

The iPad Air 2 only takes the number 4 spot

Interestingly enough, the super thin iPad Air 2 (6.1mm / 0.24 inches) ranked only at number 4, being shown to offer only 7 hours and 27 minutes of run time. Going back to the winner of the challenge, the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact managed to score almost 40% higher than its direct competitor, the Galaxy Tab S 8.4. However, don’t expect the colors on the device to be as bright and crisp as on Samsung’s AMOLED display. They are said to be cold and inaccurate, but this seems to be the company’s tactic while power saving is concerned.

As for the Nexus 9, the tablet is apparently one of the fastest, charging-time related. It can be up and running again in 254 minutes and only the iPad mini 2 can do better than that. The two slates have a similar battery capacity (6471 mAh). Sony has barely started shipping its ever-lasting 8-inch tablet and the Nexus 9 has just popped in the Google Play Store, so you can go order it from there. It should be shipping out in the next 2-3 days.

Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact wins the tablet battle, battery-wise
Image credits to Phone Arena

Photos of First Microsoft-Branded Windows Phone Handset Leaked Online

Microsoft already announced a couple of weeks ago that it would replace the Nokia brand with “Microsoft Lumia” for its Windows Phone handset, but the company didn’t provide too many details regarding the date when the first device wearing its logo could hit the market.

Now it appears that this moment is almost here, as the company is trying to get the necessary approvals to launch its very first Microsoft-branded Windows Phone handset in China. Spotted on Chinese website Weibo, the device is labeled as RM-1090 and could hit the market in the coming weeks, with availability to be limited to this particular country for the time being. Of course, no official announcements are yet available, but it is only a matter of time until the very first Microsoft-branded Windows Phone handset reaches the market, so today’s news shouldn’t come as such a big surprise for anyone.

Designed to be affordable

Not much is known about this particular phone, but previous details that have reached the web in the last few weeks thanks to FCC filings have revealed that the RM-1090 will come with dual-SIM support and dimensions that make it look similar to the Lumia 830. And just by looking at these leaked photos, it’s pretty obvious that the device was designed from the very beginning to be affordable and somewhat reminds us of similar devices such as the Lumia 530. According to leaked specs that were provided in FCC documentations, the device would also include a resolution of 960x540px, as well as 3G support with HSPA connectivity.

Microsoft branding on front and back

As the software giant revealed a couple of weeks back when it officially confirmed the dropping of Nokia branding, this very first phone produced entirely under its umbrella comes with Microsoft branding on both the front and the back of the device, while the Windows logo is nowhere to be seen for the time being. People close to Microsoft’s Windows Phone plans previously hinted that the smartphone platform could be renamed to just Windows in an attempt to boost consumer appeal of the product, so it was only natural to expect all devices to feature the Windows logo as well.

At this point, only vague details are available as Microsoft hasn’t yet publicly acknowledged the existence of this device, so we’ll have to wait a little bit longer to find out more information about the company’s very first smartphone running Windows Phone. In the meantime, all the other Lumia phone models continue to be available worldwide with Nokia branding.

This is the first Microsoft-branded smartphone

Its design reminds of Nokia Lumia 530

The device will go on sale in China
Image credits to Weibo

TP-Link TL-WR702N, Ludicrously Tiny 150 Mbps Wireless N Nano Router

Travel routers are a special breed, since they need to be small enough to fit inside even a random pocket while still possessing all the hardware needed to sustain multiple web connections. You're likely to be traveling with someone who has their own phone, laptop, or tablet after all.

The new miniature router, or travel router, that TP-Link released sacrifices some of the possible throughput it would otherwise possess the capacity for in favor of being smaller. Still, that's understandable considering just how small the product is. Especially if you're the sort of person who's always on the move because of your job or college classes. So, without further ado, behold the TP-Link TL-WR702N, whose more user-friendly name is TP-Link 150 Mbps Wireless N Nano Router.

The TP-Link 150Mbps Wireless N Nano router TL-WR702N

As an ultra-portable device, it is as tiny as a hockey puck, even though it's square instead of round. The exact measurements are of 57 x 57 x 18 mm / 2.24 x 2.24 x 0.70 inches. That means it's probably thinner than your wallet, so it'll be easy to forget you're carrying it in the same pocket as your change. Compliance with wireless 802.11b/g/n standards means it provides the same performance as many standard routers. The performance isn't that high, true, at 150 Mbps, but it should be sufficient for one, two, or three smartphones or tablet users to share between them. There are five operational modes by the way: Router, Client, Bridge, Repeater, and Access Point. It makes it a pretty versatile device really.

Sure, most consumer routers don't come with less than 300 Mbps nowadays, and the real monsters go beyond 1 Gbps and sometimes 2 Gbps, in very rare cases. They're much larger than the new TP-Link device, however. Definitely not something you can take with you everywhere. Also, the TL-WR702N should be able to extend their range in Repeater mode, even if it can't do it for the 5 GHz band. Other features include WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK encryptions, firewall protection, and a Pre-Encryption function that sets the initial SSID and Password.

Availability and pricing

The TP-Link TL-WR702N 150Mbps Wireless N Nano router has a price of $25 CAD / $22.18 USD / €17.7. Currently, it only seems to be selling in Canada though. No doubt other regions in the world will get some shipments of their own soon. At least we hope so.

Press Release:TP-LINK today introduced the world's smallest travel router, the 150Mbps Wireless N Nano router (TL-WR702N), geared for mobile users and hotel travellers. The Nano router is ideally suited for travellers wanting to share their hotel room's Internet with wireless devices, such as laptops, mobile phones, tablets or game consoles.
The Nano router is a gadget-like device, measuring only 57 x 57 x18 mm, and smaller than a hockey puck. Yet offers many performance features commonly found on many regular-size routers: 802.11b/g/n standards compatibility, great wireless coverage, Quality of Service (QoS), easy setup, advanced security and firewall, and five operational modes: Access Point (AP), Router, Client, Bridge or Repeater mode.
Power requirements are simplified with the Nano router by using the device's micro USB port with the included external power adapter or connecting to the USB port of a computer. Advanced security features include WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK encryptions, firewall protection, and a Pre-Encryption function that sets the initial SSID and Password for extra wireless protection for the user.
Compatible with IEEE 802.11b/g/n
Wireless speed up to 150Mbps
Compact and portable, small enough to take on the road
Powered through a micro USB port with the included power adapter or USB connection to a computer
Compatible with most 2.4GHz Wi-Fi devices
Supports Access Point (AP), Router, Client, Bridge and Repeater operation modes
Supports WEP, WPA/WPA2, WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK encryptions
"The TP-LINK Nano router is a must have accessory to carry in your travel bag," says Mark Macaulay, director of sales for TP-LINK Canada. "For only around $25 this feature-rich travel gadget will allow users to setup secure private hotspots on-the-fly."
Pricing and Availability
The TL-WR702N 150Mbps Wireless N Nano router has a suggested list price of $24.99 (CAD) and is available now from TP-LINK's vast retail and online partner network across Canada.

TP-Link TL-WR702N 150Mbps Wireless N Nano router
Image credits to TP-Link

Intel Launches Four Core M Broadwell CPUs for 2-in-1 Devices

Back in September, at IFA 2014 in Berlin, Germany, Intel officially revealed its long-term plans and what it would do to start them out in the short term. In a nutshell, the Broadwell micro-architecture would be the key, starting with the Core M series.

Broadwell is a core logic set designed on the 14nm fabrication technology. Intel would often unveil desktop PC models first and follow up with laptop and other special models. This time, however, the company is starting from the other end, having set 2015 as the ETA for desktop/laptop parts but having already launched the low-power ultramobile version. We are, of course, referring to the Intel Core M CPU series. A series that started off with three members but has now grown to seven.

Intel releases four new Core M central processing units

While all four stick to the same TDP (thermal design power) of 4.5W, making them as well suited for tablets and 2-in-1 devices as their brethren, they don't offer the same performance, obviously. The best chip in the collection is the Core M 5Y71, whose both cores work at 1.2 GHz, or 2.9 GHz if the Turbo Boost technology kicks in. Since Hyper-Threading is supported, the operating system of the PC/tablet/hybrid will see four threads though (logical cores). That said, the chip also includes HD 5300 graphics (300 MHz / 900 MHz) and 4 MB of L3 cache memory.

The other three are quite similar in their memory, TDP, and use of Hyper-Threading technology, but they are set apart by the rest. The Core M 5Y51, for example, is a 1.1 / 2.6 GHz chip with HD 5300 graphics at 300 / 900 MHz, so almost identical to the one above. The Core M 5Y31, on the other hand, works at 900 MHz / 2.4 GHz and runs the iGP at 300 / 850 MHz. Finally, the Core M5Y10c operates at 800 MHz / 2 GHz and the HD 5300 iGP at 300 / 800 MHz. LPDDR3-1600 and DDR3L-1600 memory is supported on all these chips, along with Vpro features, AES, and AVX/AVX2 instructions.

Availability and pricing

Since these are BGA-packaged chips that won't be found outside of mobile devices, their individual prices don't matter much, which is probably why even CPU World didn't dig them up. Not to worry though, the 2-in-1 devices powered by these processors are bound to sell for five hundred dollars/euro or less.

Intel Core M CPU
Image credits to Intel

Nokia Teases Major Announcement for November 17

We reported less than a week ago that Nokia still had some plans in the smartphone business. Even though nothing is certain for the moment, company’s officials hinted to a possible comeback in the next few years.

Nokia’s CFO Timo Ihamuotila said during an earnings call following the company’s Q3 2014 financial report that Nokia “carefully assess what would be the best way for us to maximize the value of the Nokia brand.” Unfortunately, Nokia can’t go back to what was doing until recently, meaning that it can’t enter the smartphone business once again, until around 2016. One of the conditions included in the Microsoft buyout of the Devices and Services division was that Nokia will not launch any new smartphones until a few years after the Redmond-based company replaces the Nokia brand with one of its own.

Ihamuotila also said that “taking into account that we’re in the lock-up period still in the Microsoft transaction regarding our possibility to use the brand and we have recognized that Nokia brand is the most valuable from recognition perspective in the area of mobile phones and mobile devices. And there we cannot go yet at the moment.” The replacement of the Nokia brand for Microsoft’s Windows Phone handsets has already started, which means the Finnish company can unveil its plans to the world.

Nokia may launch its next smartphone sometime in 2016

Considering the latest teasers that Nokia tweeted in the last couple of days, we’re not that far away from an official announcement. The Finnish company countered rumors that claimed the Nokia brand would be killed in a short tweet saying “Nokia story continues” and links to an article that reiterates the fact that Nokia brand is still very much alive. However, more recently, several Nokia regional accounts tweeted more cryptic news regarding the company’s plans. Basically, it promises more details on Nokia’s plans for the next couple of years.

The messages that have been posted by Nokia USA, Nokia France and a few more Twitter accounts say that those who want to know how the Nokia story continues will be able to find out with the Nokia team on November 17. Although we do think that it’s a bit too early for the Finnish company to make any announcement regarding its comeback in the smartphone business, we reckon that anything is possible and Nokia may indeed start launching new handsets the moment the lock-up period expires.

So, Nokia fans will have to wait two more weeks in order to find out what their favorite company is cooking for us, but we expect a few details on the matter might leak by that time so stay tuned for more.

Nokia Flag
Image credits to Nokia

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