There has been a little bit of criticism of Samsung and their decision to drop the removable battery from the Galaxy S6 and enclose the device. However, following instructions provided by Samsung themselves users can have a go at replacing the battery down the line if they require it. Whilst it is certainly far from being as simple as swapping the battery on previous Galaxy S devices and most other Samsung phones over the years, there is still technically a removable under the cover and the directions are not exactly rocket science. Attempting this on your own is doing so at your own risk, it will possibly invalidate the warranty. If you are not a qualified Samsung engineer you should probably not try this, or perhaps you should enrol to become a Samsung engineer and then attempt it. In the Galaxy S6 manual linked above see page page 138.
There a number of rumours about the next Nexus device and they should always be taken with a pinch of salt. For example last week it was suggesting that the next Nexus could come from a manufacturer like Huawei. After make a lot of noise with the incredibly beautiful Huawei Watch smartwatch rumours began to surface that Google might have them in their sights as the next Nexus maker.
However, there is now more. Another more recent rumour comes from Gizmochina, who are reporting that this rumour was recently confirmed by Kevin Yang, the director of China research at iSuppli, a technology value chain research and advisory service. Huawei, a Chinese company would make an interesting partner for Google for a new device. An increase in Chinese appeal would be a massive victory for Google. Huawei and Xiami are selling in massive numbers in China and there is much speculation that Xiami might repeat their success in the U.S. and Europe if marketed carefully. Getting in bed with Google and adopting their Western approach could be Earth rattling.
Archos are at Mobile World Congress this year showing off a something a little different, as usual. Archos are introduced a new proprietary technology called “Fusion Storage.” Essentially, this combines the storage of an added microSD card with the tablet’s built-in internal storage. In this case, the technology is being used on their new Magnus range of tablets as well as some other upcoming smartphones and tablets. Select models will also become Fusion Storage capable by way of over-the-air software updates.
“Once activated, Archos Fusion Storage automatically migrates data from the microSD card and optimizes memory balance, resulting in an increase in install space for apps and games, as well as more storage for media and large files,” the press release states.
Archos revealed more details on the Magnus tablet line-up, which features the first tablet to sport 256 GB of internal storage. This new series includes the Archos 101 Magnus, the Archos 94 Magnus and the Archos 101 Magnus Plus. Prices are only available in dollars at the moment and whilst they are currently based on Android 4.4 KitKat the cost is only $179, $349 and $349, respectively. There is no word on a Lollipop update for the tablets, I’m sure this would require some tinkering in order to work around the fusion technology.
The Archos 94 Magnus has the largest internal capacity of 256 GB, and that’s not including the microSD card slot supporting up to 128 GB of storage. This model runs on a Rockchip RK3288 processor clocked at 1.8 GHz, a Mali T764 GPU, a 9.4-inch IPS screen with a 1280 x 800 resolution and 1.5 GB of memory. Other hardware details include a 5MP camera on the front and a VGA camera on the back, a 6400 mAh battery, and more.
The Archos 101 Magnus Plus run on the Rockchip RK3288 processor clocked at 1.8 GHz, a Mali T764 GPU, and a 10.1-inch IPS screen with a spiffy 1920 x 1200 resolution. Other hardware specifications include 2 GB of RAM, 128 GB of internal storage, a 5MP camera on the back and a 2MP camera on the front, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, a microSD card slot supporting 128 GB of storage and a 7000 mAh battery.
The specifications also show that the Archos 101 Magnus Plus tablet measures just 0.39 inches, whereas the Archos 94 Magnus measures 0.39 inches and the Archos 101 Magnus measures 0.47 inches. Archos are hoping the 101 Magnus Plus and Archos 101 Magnus can hit the market in April 2015. The Archos 94 Magnus will be available next month as well, but the tablet will only be sold on the Archos website.
Featuring Gareth, Phil and Matt
Email us: Podcast@tracyandmatt.co.uk Tel: 0208 123 3757
Alcatel Hero 2 + Idol 3
Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
Archos Fusion Storage on Tablets
Pebble Time Steel
HTC Vive Headset
LG Watch Urbane LTE
Acer Liquid Leap
Other Shi… stuff
Wireless Charging in Ikea Furniture
Email us: Podcast@tracyandmatt.co.uk Tel: 0208 123 3757
Gareth Myles – @garethmyles
Matt and Tracy Davis – @tracyandmatt
Phil Lain – @low405
Alcatel have announced a new Idol model this year in Barcelona for Mobile World Congress. This new ultra-slim smartphone comes in two sizes, 4.7″ and 5.5″ Android slabs. Touting dual hi-fi speakers and a 13 megapixel rear camera developed to do battle with low level light settings. The 4.7″ screen sits atop a quad-core CPU whilst the 5.5″ harbours an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor. Both rock 4G LTE connectivity alongside Lollipop. The interesting feature here is the orientation of the screen, the phone will right itself no matter what way round you are looking at the screen.
NVIDIA are entering your living room based on the idea of the NVIDIA Shield mobile gaming device. A full on centrepiece for your living room called NVIDIA Shield Android TV. It’s the world’s first dedicated Android TV console. Using “Grid,” a technology platform NVIDIA developed to access a big computer in the cloud to stream games, NVIDIA are pushing this as the “Netflix for gaming”. This isn’t entirely revolutionary, Onlive had a go some years ago and Playstation is testing a similar, is expensive, subscription platform for the PlayStation 4.
NVIDIA Shield Android TV console will go on sale in the States in May for $199. A bundle will include the console, one controller, and access to all of your Google Play Store content with optional accessories for purchase including gaming controllers, remote control for the TV, and a stand to make the NVIDIA Shield stand vertically.
Specs wise, the is a bit of a best, and for the money it looks a lot more capable then the Xbox One or PS4. 4K output is going to be a real head turner and built on the latest Tegra X1 processor will provide the juice. It is important to note that this is a streaming device, so no local rendering will happen on the console, this all takes place on the Grid.
NVIDIA Shield Specs:
NVIDIA Tegra X1 processor
256-core Maxwell GPU
4K Ultra-HD Ready with 4K playback and capture up to 60 fps
7.1 and 5.1 surround sound pass through over HDMI
Two USB 3.0 ports
Weight – 23oz / 654g
Height: 5.1in / 130mm
Width: 8.3in / 210mm
Depth: 1.0in / 25mm
Press release follows:
NVIDIA Launches Its First Living-Room Entertainment Device
New SHIELD Android TV Console Brings 4K Entertainment to Every Home –
Harnessing Tegra X1, Android TV OS and GRID Game-Streaming Service
SAN FRANCISCO—Game Developers Conference—March 3, 2015—NVIDIA today introduced NVIDIA® SHIELD™, the world’s first Android™ TV console, which delivers video, music, apps and amazing games to the home.
Built on Android TV, SHIELD can play top-quality 4K video content, includes one-click access to Google Voice Search and provides the richness of Android’s app ecosystem.
SHIELD is a sleek device that comes loaded with cutting-edge NVIDIA technologies, including the recently launched NVIDIA® Tegra® X1 processor.
SHIELD is also the gateway to the NVIDIA GRID™ game-streaming service. Powered by GeForce® GTX™ supercomputers in the cloud, GRID delivers an on-demand “Netflix for games” experience at up to 1080p resolution at 60 frames per second.
“SHIELD will change the way we enjoy digital entertainment at home,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO of NVIDIA. “It’s an incredibly powerful, efficient and advanced living room entertainment device. It’s the best Android TV experience. And it can transform into a serious gaming machine. It’s made to game.”
Made to Game
SHIELD – sold with the SHIELD controller made for serious gaming – is a single platform with access to a wealth of great games.
First, 50+ Android titles optimized for SHIELD will be available for download, including AAA titles like Crysis 3, Doom 3®: BFG Edition™ and Borderlands: TPS. These can be played at blistering speed, thanks to SHIELD’s Tegra X1 processor, with its 256-core Maxwell™ architecture GPU and 64-bit CPU.
Second, favorite AAA titles, including console games, can be streamed using the GRID on-demand game-streaming service. GRID will include with its subscription price access to 50 titles, such as Batman: Arkham Origins, GRID 2 and Metro: Last Light Redux, with additional titles added each week.
Third, the GRID service can be used to purchase and stream new release AAA titles – including Batman: Arkham Knight and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt coming later this year.
Broad Developer Support
Some of the world’s leading game developers and publishers have embraced SHIELD and the GRID service.
“The incredible processing power of Tegra X1 enables us to bring Doom 3: BFG to Android and we’re excited by the possibilities that GRID is bringing to gaming.”
– Tim Willits, studio director, id Software
“Tegra X1’s enormous processing capabilities running on Android TV gives us access to a much broader audience, and we’re delighted to partner with NVIDIA to explore a variety of exciting possibilities for SHIELD, including the remastering of the survival horror classic, Resident Evil 5.”
– Jun Takeuchi, managing corporate officer, CAPCOM
“SHIELD is definitely made to game and thanks to Tegra X1 we have The Witcher: Battle Arena playing natively on SHIELD. With GRID, we’ll be able to bring new hit games to fans immediately.”
– Benjamin Lee, The Witcher: Battle Arena lead producer, CDPROJEKT
Pricing and Availability
SHIELD will be available in May, starting at $199 with a controller. Optional accessories include additional controllers, a remote control and a stand enabling the device to stand vertically.
SHIELD is the central member of the SHIELD family of devices, complementing the SHIELD tablet, the ultimate tablet for gamers; and the SHIELD portable, the ultimate portable gaming device. More information is available at http://shield.nvidia.com.
This year Huawei is taking another stab at wowing Mobile World Congress with the announcement of the Huawei Watch. Huawei have always shown a clever offering at the show and this year they are joining in the rakes of most other manufacturers with a wearable. The watch looks to take a very traditional approach, not from a smart watch point of view, but instead resembling the time piece design we are all faimilar with.Two full promo videos have popped up on YouTube for this Android Wear-powered beauty that will be made official very soon. The features include sapphire glass, a heart rate sensor, interchangeable leather or metal straps, crown, a bunch of classy watch faces, and a perfectly round watch face.
Unfortunately no official specs, release date or price are available.
Panasonic have taken some time out to film a couple of little videos for readers here at Tracyandmatt.co.uk. The first features Michael Price, an expert from Panasonic on the Viera range. Michael gives us a quick look at how simple the new Firefox OS is to use on the new Viera range, alongside the latest 4K picture quality advances with the CX800.
Secondly, Andreas Gal, CTO of Mozilla gives an exclusive interview and in-depth look at the Firefox OS at Panasonic Convention 2015 in Frankfurt, Germany, for the Viera VIP Club.
For more information check http://viera.panasonic.co.uk/
- The Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL, affordable smartphones running Windows 8.1 with signature Microsoft experiences built-in. The 5” Lumia 640 and 5.7” Lumia 640 XL deliver powerful hardware and a year’s free Office 365 personal subscription, and will be upgradeable to the Windows 10 service when it becomes available later this year. Lumia 640 pricing is estimated at 139EUR for 3G and 159EUR for LTE; Lumia 640 XL pricing is estimated at 189EUR for 3G and 219EUR for LTE (actual market pricing may vary).
- The Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard, an ultra-thin and lightweight accessory that works with iPads, iPhones, Android devices and Windows tablets.
- The AT&T Mobile Office Suite, a cloud-based, mobile collaboration solution for small-to-medium sized business customers, exclusively from AT&T and Microsoft in the US.
The company also demonstrated live, for the first time, the latest build of Windows 10 for phones, including the new browser, Universal Office, Maps and Imaging Apps on devices including the Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL.
Today at Mobile World Congress 2015, Microsoft Corp. introduced Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL, two new smartphones that give people greater flexibility and freedom to choose when and where they get things done. Both phones are upgradeable to Windows 10, which offers more personal computing and greater productivity, and will be available later this year.
In a competitive marketplace, Microsoft continues to deliver innovative smartphone experiences at all price points. Both devices offer the seamless integration of hardware essentials — with a choice of screen sizes and camera capabilities — and Microsoft services to offer incredible productivity with affordability. With Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL, people are prepared for anything — for work, at home and on the go:
- Smoothly and quickly access important documents or run popular websites, apps and games thanks to the onboard 1 GB of memory and powerful Qualcomm ® Snapdragon ™ processor featuring quad-core CPU running at 1.2GHz.
- Enjoy photos and videos on a crisp high-definition (HD) display — either 5 inches on Lumia 640 or 5.7 inches on Lumia 640 XL.
- Power through the day with battery to spare with a long-lasting battery — 2500 mAh for Lumia 640 and 3000 mAh for Lumia 640 XL.
- Capture detail-rich photos even in low light with the 8MP camera on Lumia 640 or 13MP ZEISS optics on Lumia 640 XL. Both feature LED flash, a front-facing camera for Skype video calling, and Lumia Camera software right out of the box.
- Enjoy the latest version of Windows Phone 8.1 and the Lumia Denim update, complete with one-swipe Action Center, Word Flow and Live Folders. People can also upgrade Lumia 640 and 640 XL to Windows 10 and enjoy its benefits as it becomes available later this year.
- Have the best of both worlds with LTE support available on dual-SIM models for the first time. In addition, all dual-SIM models will feature Smart Dual SIM to help ensure people never miss a call.
Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL customers will be able to access new Windows 10 features and innovation through the Windows Insider Program, as well as upgrade to Windows 10 later this year. Key features and improvements of Windows 10 include new universal apps such as Office, Mail and Calendar, and Photos; Internet Protocol-based messaging from Skype and others integrated directly into the messaging experience; an entirely new browsing experience with the new Project Spartan browser; and extended integration of the Cortana personal assistant.
Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL also come with a one-year subscription to Office 365 Personal, which includes the latest Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote) on the Lumia as well as on one PC or Mac and one tablet, plus 1TB of OneDrive storage, and 60 free minutes of Skype Unlimited Worldwide calling per month.**
“Our newest Lumia devices build on our momentum in the affordable smartphones space,” said Jo Harlow, corporate vice president for Phones at Microsoft. “With the Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL, we continue to make innovation accessible to more people. We have packaged competitive hardware with innovative Windows software and Microsoft services to help you achieve more, wherever and whenever you want.”
Lumia 640 XL will begin rolling out globally in March and will be available in matte cyan, orange and black, as well as both matte and glossy white. Lumia 640 will be available starting in April and will be available in glossy cyan, orange and white, as well as matte black. Both Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL will be available in single-SIM and dual-SIM LTE and dual-SIM 3G variants. Lumia 640 XL will also be available as a single-SIM 3G variant. Pricing will vary by market and operator; Lumia 640 is estimated to be around 139 euros for the 3G model and 159 euros for the LTE model, before taxes and subsidies. Lumia 640 XL will be around 189 euros for 3G and 219 euros for LTE, before taxes and subsidies.
Samsung have been working hard to make something that will make up for the lack of enthusiasm around the Samsung Galaxy S5 but not without fault. In what could seem like an insane gamble Samsung have discarded a few specification that they have frequently aped Apple over, the ability to remove the battery and expandable storage. Thankfully the removable battery isn’t quite as criminal as one might think give that Samsung have put extra effort into drastically reducing charge times to the point were 20 minutes plugged in on their fast charger will be good for half a day, ask any Note 4 user and they will be beaming ear to ear. My guess is that the slow roll out of 4G, cheapening online storage solutions like Dropbox and Google Drive mean that the SD Card is not used as frequently as it was 5 years ago, so are Samsung taking steps or just dropping another device to appease the yearly regeneration?
Yes and no, every flagship from HTC, Samsung and Apple needs to be faithful to the previous model as to not alienate fans, however it needs to appeal to a new crowd, borrowing ideas from what is making their rivals attractive to rope in new users. Certainly the Galaxy S5 was a handsome device that really knew only one major criticism, the building material. This has been Samsung’s major stumbling block over the last number of years. Last years Note 4 arrived and wowed the audience with it’s use of a metal frame. Expanding upon this Samsung have looked at the metal frame, reinforced it and added Gorilla Glass to both the front and the back for maximum protection. Whilst you are not going to want to drop it, there is much more of a chance this will withstand the casual drop that has left many crying over the years. Samsung are boasting that the body is 50% stronger than previous models.
Touchwiz has been given a much needed overhaul. For some, this will be a good thing, for new users a great deal more appeal but for seasoned veterans it will bring an end to the Oracle like knowledge of how to do things, hopefully. The phone can glow different colours depending on who is calling and quick messaging for calls you cannot take using the heart rate sensor on the back.
This year phone manufactures seem to be declaring war on the SLR. The onboard camera has come a long way, especially in the last couple of year and both Samsung and HTC are happy to have folk make comparisons between the output quality of their phone’s camera to that of an SLR camera. Both the front and rear camera’s f/1.9 aperture allows the user to capture 60% more light. Employing real-time HDR for the first time on both the front and rear sensor makes for an impressive camera setup.
Which brings us to the Galaxy S6 Edge. We have seen this tapered screen effect on the Note 4 Edge and those who use it, love it. It’s too early to speculate how well this will fare in the mass market however it’s a option that will provide a much needed choice for the customer however it’s also an acquired taste.
- 64-bit Exynos 7 Octa porcessor
- 3GB RAM
- 32GB, 64GB or 128GB UFS 2.0 storage options
- 16 megapixel rear camera, 5 megapixel front facing
- 5.1-inch Quad-HD Super AMOLED display @ 577 ppi
- Dual-mode wireless charging with support for both WPC and PMA charging pads
- 10 minutes charging for 4 hours of use,
- Fast charging 0% to 100% battery in about an hour
- Bio-metric heart-rate sensor
- fingerprint scanner
- Depth: 6.8mm (7.0mm edge)
- Weight: 138g (132g Edge)