New images leak from Blackberry 10 QWERTY keyboard X10 device

December 31, 2012 by  
Filed under Articles, News

As the January 30th reveal of the new Blackberry 10 devices reaches closer, expect a lot of leaks and rumors of the hotly anticipated devices. One of the most concrete ones we’ve had lately is this pretty clear set of images from the upcoming QWERTY device apparently titled the X10.

N4BB.com has hold of these exclusive images, which pretty much show a near-final product in full view. The product will be launched alongside their full touch Z10 device, and the X10 here looks promising but there are some things that could be refined. For example, they keyboard could be closer to the Blackberry 9900 keyboard for best results.

I like the fact that the buttons have been done away with for more real estate, but the icons are needlessly big which leads to only 8 of them on screen at a time which is quite low. Hopefully that’s something that can be customized.

The back cover is a little bit disappointing considering the Z10 back looks absolutely amazing, but keep in mind that this is not the final device and any of these things could drastically change in the retail version that will be unveiled.

Which Blackberry will you opt for? The full touch Z10 or this keyboard X10?

Instagram slapped with class action lawsuit for terms changes

December 27, 2012 by  
Filed under Articles, News

It was only a matter of time. After changing their terms of service to kind of imply to their users that they now have the right to sell their photos without any compensation, Instagram made an about turn soon after a massive global backlash against their decision and reverted back to the older TOS to calm fears. But that hasn’t stopped one Instagram user from going a step further.

According to Reuters, a California user of the service has gone ahead and filed a class action lawsuit against Instagram over the above changes, citing breach of contract. The lawsuit claims that users who do not agree with the new terms of service do have an option to delete their profiles, but their previously uploaded photos are owned by Instagram with them having the right to sell it. It also aims to stop Instagram from implementing changes like these in the future. Though a suit like this isn’t entirely unexpected and we saw a similar class action lawsuit against Playstation with their long outage on PSN. The only problem here is that Instagram was smart enough to quickly revert back to their original terms of service after the backlash, so I’m not sure if those claims hold up anymore in court.

Thoughts?

iPad 5 to be thinner and lighter, rumor says

December 26, 2012 by  
Filed under Articles, News

Just when you bought that iPad 4 as a Christmas gift to replace your iPad 3 that just come out a few months before that, Apple hits you with another update that leaves your brand new gadget a generation behind. Rumor has it that the new iPad is already being planned and will hit stores in not more than a few months from now.

According to 9to5Mac.com, the new iPad is set to be thinner and lighter than the current generation one. The move is apparently to mirror the design to the thin and sleek design of the iPad Mini.  The device is set to be 2 millimeters thinner and 17 millimeters narrower, and the “new supposed thinness would mean the next iPad is nearly as thin as the 7.2mm thin iPad mini.” The new iPad Mini itself, however, is set to be getting the Retina display in its upcoming model, effectively shafting everyone who got the first version and are stuck with the standard iPad 2 resolution of the device.

I can see the need to go thinner and lighter and there’s nothing wrong about that, but the disappointing thing is to see the accelerated release cycle under Tim Cook’s command which I think goes to really dilute the power of the devices that Apple releases. The fact that there will be now two iPad releases every year will make the customer wary and may just negatively affect the image of the product itself.

What do you think?

Huawei unveils 6.1 inch monster Android phone

December 24, 2012 by  
Filed under Articles, News, Spotlight

When the Galaxy Note was first announced, it was blasted for being too big for a phone and that people would never accept something so big as their main phone. Clearly they were wrong about that and I disagreed with them as well, but what we have here clearly pushes the limits of what should really constitute as a phone. Engadget reports that an exec at the Chinese company Huawei took on the streets and showed off their latest 6.1 inch Android phone at their store. Should I really call it a phone?

Titled the Ascend Mate, the device has Titanic running on display in the video below which shows it off. It’s capable of playing 1080p resolution along with a 1.8Ghz quad-core processor with a 4,000mAh battery to power it all up. The question is – should this really be marketed as a phone or a tablet with a calling function? I mean, look at that monstrosity. You might as well add a phone function to the Nexus 7. I hope this isn’t a trend that catches on because at some point, it becomes less about the resolution and real estate your device can pack and more about the comfort of holding the phone to your head for long periods which is exactly what a phone is meant to do at its core. We’re likely to hear more about the phone in the coming days, and Huawei is definitely trying to push this out before the Note III is announced.

Watch the video below and give us your thoughts. Would you buy it?

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sdOttZJo-o]

Samsung Galaxy Camera Hands-On

November 28, 2012 by  
Filed under Articles, Features, Spotlight

Samsung Galaxy Camera is an intriguing new device from Samsung, not only because it is quite innovative and something the photography segment hasn’t seen, but also because it’s a product that doesn’t have a very clearly define market to target to. It’s the world’s first Android-powered digital camera complete with 3G connectivity, a powerful point and shoot lens and literally everything you can do with an Android device except make a call. It’s quite robust and things like Dropbox on it make it surprisingly useful for photographers in ways they didn’t really envision things, but in the video below you can check out our hands-on of the product at the launch event last week.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LY8NUxFOydU&w=500]

Is it a product that appeals to you in terms of innovation or will you stick to your DSLR/Galaxy S3? Sound off in the comments.

RIM sees share price surge as Blackberry 10 launch nears

November 25, 2012 by  
Filed under News

Despite seeing major decline in market share in the US, huge losses and tumbles in stock prices, RIM has a slightly optimistic future ahead of them as the Blackberry 10 is set to be revealed end of January. And despite what most tech bloggers would like to believe, it’s something that can single-handedly save the company if it goes well for them. Proof? Just the anticipation of it has already surged up their share prices.

Forbes reports that Research in Motion’s stock prices saw an upward tick of at least 14%  and the company has seen a 27 percent increase in prices in the past week. The announcement that the company will unveil their new BB10 devices on January 30 worldwide and a few published articles by financial analysts that were optimistic about the devices have a lot to do with that, but the general consensus is that the devices hold a lot of promise and will improve the company’s shares in the coming months.

Are you holding out for a Blackberry 10?

Canon 650D Review

November 23, 2012 by  
Filed under Digital Photography, Reviews, Spotlight

Introduction

Canon’s entry-level DSLR’s rose to mainstream acclaim with the launch of the 550D years ago, but last year’s 600D – despite being an excellent entry-level camera – was widely agreed to be a very minimal upgrade for someone who already owns the predecessor. Now, Canon arrives with their latest 650D which actually has some notable upgrades compared to its previous models which makes it a very competent entry-level DSLR for photo and video enthusiasts. But some lingering issues still remain.

Design & Features

Right out of the box, the 650D doesn’t look much different from the 600D. It still looks and feels about the same size, but there are minor changes here that need to be noted. The grip has been modified on the camera which actually feels better, and some buttons have been changed. The ISO button, for example, has a little point on top of it so that you can easily click it without looking. It’s disappointing that the new headphone jack from the Canon Mark III doesn’t carry over here because it’s such an easy thing to add. The most prominent change you will notice is on the On/Off slider, which now has three options instead of two. The third one is the ‘Movie’ button, which allows you to instantly switch to video recording mode instead of previously using the scroll on top to navigate to the last button. A very welcome addition for sure, but at this point they could’ve easily given us the dedicated movie recording button the 7D and other cameras have. But we’ll take this.

But let’s talk about the elephant in the room. The thing that everyone has been talking about with the 650D and is by far the biggest and most innovative change compared to previous models – the touch screen. Believe it or not, this is the first DSLR in the world to have incorporated a touch screen interface. But there’s a reason why DSLR companies have been afraid to try out touch screen on the devices – professional photographers may find it gimmicky and actually counter-productive to their work when they’re so used to the perfectly functioning buttons on their cameras. And that’s a valid argument – there’s nothing wrong with using the traditional knobs and buttons for accessing everything needed. But here’s the best part – the touch screen here actually works. And by works I don’t mean that it functions as its supposed to. It’s actually surprisingly impressive.

Substituting the button controls for touch screen proved to be surprisingly snappy as Canon’s implementation of touch screen makes the simplest tasks much faster, even if you never realised you needed it. Instead of pressing buttons to reach to a particular tab, you can just touch it now. Flicking through photos and zooming in is quite snappy, and every control is quick and responsive. Sometimes, it feels bottlenecked by the processor but this is something that will catch on with other manufacturers as audiences warm up to it. But the camera never forces you to use it – you can still use the button controls for literally everything just like before. But after getting the taste of touch screen, accessing certain things with buttons won’t feel the same anymore.

Samsung to unveil Galaxy S4 at CES 2013

November 20, 2012 by  
Filed under News

With the Galaxy S3 being a huge success for Samsung, all eyes are on their S4 to follow up on that and Samsung isn’t slacking. In fact, looks like they’re already working on it and have plans to debut it early next year.

Rumors are already abound with the specs of the device, which include a 4.99-inch, Full HD Super AMOLED screen, a pixel density of 441 ppi, Adonis Exynos 5400 Series Chipset, at least 2GB of RAM, and an Cortex-A15 processor. Also, better contrast and refresh rates along with lower power consumption is in the cards. And Mobile Choice reports that Samsung plans to demo the phone at CES 2013 to release it on March 2013 instead of its usual summer release.

Have you bought a Note 2 or are holding out for the S4?

Blackberry announces January 30, 2013 launch event for BB10 devices

November 12, 2012 by  
Filed under News

Finally, the moment has arrived. Research in Motion has issued a press release announcing a BlackBerry 10 Launch Event on January 30, 2013 where they will unveil the long-delayed and much-needed Blackberry 10 devices to the world. This is great news that definitely signals that everything is good at RIM and the future of the phones and the OS in particular is bright, if not a little late. They’ve also announced that international launch events will happen as well, and considering how big of a market UAE is for Blackberries, a Dubai event is a lock. Read the press release below.

WATERLOO, ONTARIO–(Marketwire – Nov. 12, 2012) – Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ:RIMM)(TSX:RIM) announced today that it will hold its BlackBerry 10 launch event on January 30th, 2013. The event will happen simultaneously in multiple countries around the world. This day will mark the official launch of its new platform – BlackBerry 10, as well as the unveiling of the first two BlackBerry 10 smartphones. Details on the smartphones and their availability will be announced at the event.

“In building BlackBerry 10, we set out to create a truly unique mobile computing experience that constantly adapts to your needs. Our team has been working tirelessly to bring our customers innovative features combined with a best in class browser, a rich application ecosystem, and cutting-edge multimedia capabilities. All of this will be integrated into a user experience – the BlackBerry Flow – that is unlike any smartphone on the market today,” said Thorsten Heins, President and CEO of Research In Motion. “Thanks to our strong partnerships with global carriers and a growing ecosystem of developers, we believe our customers will have the best experience possible with BlackBerry 10. We are looking forward to getting BlackBerry 10 in the hands of our customers around the world.”

BlackBerry 10 will offer a large catalog of the leading applications from across the globe and across all categories, including Games, Productivity, Social, Lifestyle and Leisure, Multimedia and Published Content, as well as applications designed for business and enterprise use.

The BlackBerry 10 platform has recently achieved FIPS 140-2 certification, which means that government agencies will be able to deploy BlackBerry 10 smartphones and BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 as soon as it is available. This marks the first time BlackBerry products have been certified ahead of their launch. In addition, RIM recently announced that BlackBerry 10 smartphones have now entered more than 50 carrier labs with many more entries expected in the coming weeks.

Some key features of the new BlackBerry 10 devices already unveiled recently include:

BlackBerry Flow and BlackBerry Hub
BlackBerry Flow is a new user experience that allows seamless navigation across open applications and the BlackBerry Hub. All messages, notifications, feeds, and calendar events come into the BlackBerry Hub and no matter what the user is doing with the device, with a simple gesture, they can peek into the Hub at any time.

BlackBerry Keyboard
The BlackBerry Keyboard learns how you write and adapts to how you type so you can write faster and more accurately, giving you the kind of legendary typing experience that only BlackBerry can deliver.

BlackBerry Balance
BlackBerry Balance offers the most elegant way to satisfy both customer and corporate needs without compromising on either. With BlackBerry Balance, personal apps and information are kept separate from work data, and the customer can switch from their personal to work profile with a simple gesture. The work profile is fully encrypted and secure, enabling organizations to protect their content and applications, while at the same time letting customers get the most out of their smartphone for their personal use.

Details about BlackBerry 10 can be found at: www.blackberry.com/blackberry10

Microsoft Surface gets run over by a car, still works perfectly

November 12, 2012 by  
Filed under News

While we’ve gotten used to the fact that most smartphones and tablet devices made today are extremely fragile despite packing a lot of power, looks like one new device in the market will stand tall as the new Nokia 3310 in terms of build quality if this account is to be believed.

We’d already heard of the story that a man’s new Surface tablet from Microsoft survived and worked perfectly after it fell off the roof of his car because he forgot to take it down. Now, another user takes it one step further. On the WPCentral.com forums, Rob Waldhauser of Kingsville, Maryland posted that he left his 64GB tablet on the top of his car and forgot about it. When he started driving, he realised that the Surface was not next to him. Quickly, he stopped and looked behind to find the device lying on the road. But that wasn’t the end of it.

Rob says that just before he could go pick it back up, a car appeared. In his own words:

The tire of the car ran completely over the Surface and next thing I saw was my brand new $700 tablet and touch cover flying through the air in separate directions! My heart jumped, and so did I! I jumped out of my car and ran across the street to first grab the tablet, then the Surface, and then my phone which of course fell out of my lap during all this. I jumped back in my car just before 60 mph traffic made its way to me!

Even though there were signs of wear and tear, the Surface itself was functioning perfectly and gave no problems to the guy:

The Surface feels completely sturdy, exactly like how I got it. Everything works in it, even the touch cover (which got a slight tear in it) works completely fine! Microsoft has made such an incredible product, I am completely speechless how this could happen!

Some people will doubt the authenticity of this, but as far as I’ve done my research, it looks like the real deal and not a marketing stunt by Microsoft. Despite the warm reviews to the product, looks like it at least nails it in the build department. Imagine a Nokia tablet now.

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