By March 30, 2014 Read More →

Specs of the Padfone X released by AT&T

asus_front_charger_storyEven though Asus officially announce the new PadFone X in January, they didn’t reveal the specs of the device. Asus doesn’t have to worry as AT&T revealed the full specs of the device recently. We still don’t know when or at what price the device will arrive, but we at least know it is coming to AT&T. 

Here’s that spec-breakdown:

The Asus PadFone X phone section -

  • 5-inch 1080p Full HD touchscreen
  • 13 MP rear camera
  • 2 MP front camera
  • 2.3 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor
  • 2 GB of RAM
  • 16 GB of internal storage
  • A microSD card slot
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS
  • 2,300 mAh battery
  • Android 4.4 KitKat
  • Dimensions are 143.93×72.46×9.98 mm, and it weighs 150 grams

The Asus PadFone X Tablet Dock - 

  • 9-inch 1,920×1,200 touchscreen
  • 1 MP front camera
  • 4,990 mAh battery
  • Dimensions will be 250.4×172.25×11.63 mm, and it will weigh 514 grams

With each successive generation of this innovative device it keeps getting better and better. Asus has done a great job at refining and perfecting their technology.

Posted in: News, Phones, Tablets
By March 29, 2014 Read More →

HTC One (M8) Benchmark video

Screenshot_2014-03-28-09-40-51With the launch of the HTC One (M8), many of you are asking questions about performance, in particular the speed of the new device and how this compares to its predecessor, the HTC One (M7).

The M8 has a Snapdragon 801 chipset and Quad-core CPU clocked at 2.3GHz (The Asian market gets a 2.5GHz version!), and 2GB of RAM. Clock-speed wise this is a decent step up from the 1.7GHz quad in the M7. 

So what does this clock speed jump equate to? In general usage the difference isn’t that noticeable but in intensive apps and games you’ll notice it more.

In the video below you’ll see an HTC One (M8) Benchmark compared to the HTC One (M7). The benchmark was run simultaneously to give some impression of the speed and how much quicker the M8 completed the test.

Interesting results in that the M8 has twice the score of the M7!


By March 28, 2014 Read More →

Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 7.0 leaked

Samsung-Galaxy-Tab-4-70-leaked-press-render-2We have two pics of the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 7.0 were leaked by @evleaks. These pics show off the smallest of the The Galaxy Tab 4 series which will eventually arrive in 7-inch, 8-inch, and 10-inch models. They contain the usual Samsung aesthetics. Additionally, these pics reveal that the Galaxy Tab 4 7.0 will continue Samsung’s trend of including the ability to make phone calls on the device. 


Posted in: News, Phones, Rumours, Tablets
By March 26, 2014 Read More →

Facebook Announces $2 Billion Deal with Oculus VR

OculusVRSocial networking giant, Facebook has announced a $2 billion deal to acquire the virtual reality company Oculus VR. The company is best known for their development of the Oculus Rift headset, which was originally funded on Kickstarter and was targeted at innovating gaming experiences.

However, Facebook’s Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said that he believed the virtual reality technology had wider implications. During a conference call with analysts, he stated: “Oculus has the potential to be the most social platform ever. Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online, but entire experiences and adventures.”

Oculus VR founder, Palmer Lucky previously recognised the social potential of the Oculus Rift in an interview with PC Gamer. He said: “Think of Facebook. People interact on Facebook a lot and in real life a lot. But right now Facebook is largely a tool to organize meeting up with people in real life. And that’s because even though we talk to people online, it’s a very crippled experience to actually doing things and spending time with people in real life. It’s more convenient, but you lose a lot.”

“We’re in a similar situation with VR. Right now, VR is kind of a crippled version of reality where there are reasons to use it, but you wouldn’t use it for everything. When VR is going to be exciting is when it gets as good as real life at everything, and you start to say, well, why would I travel on a business meeting across the world just to go sit face-to-face with people, if we can just plug in Rifts and get all of the same nuance of communication we could have gotten otherwise.”



The news of the acquisition raised concerns among the gaming community, who saw the possibility for Oculus to not only become a gaming platform of its own, but one that could pioneer VR technology for other social gaming sites. The worry was that the deal could limit companies like Social Gaming Network and Full Tilt Poker who may not be able connect users from multiple social platforms or will be charged high rates to be able to use the technology on their own networks.

However, the deal will see the Oculus team work independently within Facebook and remain focused on creating other gaming experiences. There are also plans to create other experiences, opening up the possibilities of enjoying a court side seat at an NBA game, studying in a classroom of students from around the world or consulting face to face with specialist doctors for a fraction of the cost.

Despite this, the development community has been hit hard by the news. “I never would have backed them if I thought this was even a remote possibility. I’m literally sad because I feel like a promising future was really just a hopeless dream,” said programmer Chip Collier. “VR has just been set back another 20-30 years.”

George Buckingham, a developer with Die Gute Fabrik studio, mirrored these sentiments, saying: “I’m irritated. The FB acquisition of Oculus seems 80% likely to kill their momentum… It’s probably going to get locked down in annoying ways and stop being a cool, weird tech you can freely hack on. I hope someone else comes and makes basically the same thing. Though I guess, that’s Sony, now.”

However, others are taking a more optimistic perspective, feeling that Facebook can provide opportunities for Oculus Rift to move forward. Head of Games at IHS Technology, Piers Harding-Rolls concluded: “Reaction from the gaming industry will fall into two major camps. There will be independent developers that will feel alienated by this move and may shift their priorities to other platforms. Others will see the advantages of having a much bigger entity behind the platform with deeper pockets alongside a massive audience of potential consumers across Facebook.

“Judging by Zuckerberg’s comments, Facebook is keen to accelerate the development of Oculus’ gaming capabilities, but I sense this is more about proving the concept and driving early adoption for a much broader set of applications many years down the road.”

Posted in: Editorial, News
By March 25, 2014 Read More →

HTC One (M8) features and specification

HTC_One_M8_front_mainAfter months of speculation, rumours and leaks, HTC have just officially announced the successor to the 2013 Android phone of the year, the HTC One. The official name for the new flagship phone is HTC One (M8), using the internal M8 codename to distinguish it from last year’s model which now becomes known as the HTC One (M7).  This puts the rumours of the ‘All new HTC One’ and ‘HTC Two’ names firmly to bed, thank goodness!

True to form, HTC are cramming in a lot of innovation and new technology with the HTC One (M8) and it goes well beyond the dual rear cameras that seem to have become the focus of so much attention.

HTC’s focus has been firmly upon the design of the HTC One (M8) and this certainly shows. The aluminium body construction, that HTC say has taken them 12 years to perfect in terms of getting the antenna design right, now extends round the sides of the handset and right up to the edge of the 5-inch full-HD screen for a truly edgeless feel.

The Metal Grey version of the M8 has an honest metal finish with hairline striations one the back for that brushed metal finish that HTC say takes more than 120 polishing oils to get just right. If the metal look isn’t to your liking there will also be Arctic Silver and Amber Gold versions for you to choose instead.

Despite the increase to a 5-inch full HD display, the use thinner bezels and the menu buttons now being on screen means that the physical size of the HTC One (M8) is dramatically different to the M7, at 146.36 x 70.6 x 9.35 mm, it’s just 9mm larger and 17g heavier.  The screen has Gorilla Glass 3 to protect it and, like other models, has the LCD screen bonded to the back of it so there’s no air gap between the two. This leads to a huge improvement in the clarity of the display and almost insane viewing angles.

You can check out my HTC One (M8) first-look video too.

Motion Launch

Motion Launch is a new feature HTC have added to the the M8 and has both software and hardware elements. On the hardware side, HTC have created their own silicon co-processor to take care of sensory input. These sensors are in an ‘always-on’ state and the extremely power-efficient co-processor is able to continously monitor that input. This enables the user to use gestsures to interact with the phone even when it’s in sleep mode. So, for example, a double tap on the screen will wake it up and turn on the display while a swipe from one of the four sides of the screen will wake up with one of four functions.

Additionally, holding the M8 up in the landscape orientation and waking it up with the volume key launches straight in to the camera app and a second press of the volume key captures an image.


Duo Camera

The cameras on the HTC One (M8) have attracted a LOT of attention over the past few weeks as leaked images started to surface that appeared to show two rear facing cameras. This lead to a lot of theories. Was one ‘camera’ actually a fingerprint sensor? Could it take 3D photos? Would there be a 4MP ultrapixel camera and a 13/16MP ‘normal’ camera?

Finally we have the answer, HTC call them Duo Camera. Two rear facing cameras, one being the same 4.1 Ultrapixel unit that we see on the other HTC one devices but the other is of undisclosed resolution. The second camera is there purely to capture depth and spacial information when a photo is taken. The second camera cannot be used in its own right and there’s no option to switch.

The purpose of the Duo Camera feature is that every photo taken will have depth information recorded along with it. This them alows for some very cool after effects duting editing photos in the gallery. Photos can be re-forcused allowing you to focus on just one ‘layer’ of the photo. This might be a person in the foreground for a portrait picture with great bokeh or maybe you defocus the foreground objects to show of the scenery in a landscape to better effect.

There are many more effects available including desaturating the background, turning backgrounds in to sketches or cartoons and many more. There’s also a very cool 3D paralax effect called Dimension Plus that alows you to mode the phone and see different perspective in the images.

The depth information is recorded on every image and, unlike other cameras and phones that have attempted this, only one photo is taken rather than 5 or so at different focal lengths. Images are captured really quickly.

Some of the features we’ve previously seen in Zoe will be available in an HTC Zoe application that will be available from the Google Play Store later this year. This will allow users of older HTC phones and even non-htc phones to use some of the Zoe features or to collaborate with friends to create some awesome Zoe moments.

HTC_One_M8_sim HTC_One_M8_duo_cam 

We probably shouldn’t forget that front facing camera though. HTC have included a 5.0MP f2.0 front facing camera on the HTC One (M8) and it’s probably the best front-facing camera we’ve ever come across. Not only is it a very fast lens and sensor but it’s also wide-angle which is great for the ubiquitous ‘selfie’.

Both cameras benefit from Qualcomms Digital Image Processor which greatly improves and enhances the captured images without ruining them!


Dot View cases

Sometimes the best ideas are the simplest and when you see the HTC’s Dot View cases for the HTC One (M8) for the first time there’s definitely a “why didn’t anyone think of this before?” moment.

HTC are lauching a range of accessories at the same time as the HTC One (M8) goes on sale and one of these accessories is the Dot View case. Not only doe the Dot View case protect both the back and the front of the M8, it also has magnets to turn on and off the display as the cover is opened. BUT, where the Dot View case is truly unique is in the front cover, there are thousands of tiny holes. These holes allow light through from the HTC One (M8) display and allow you to see just just enough in terms of notifications and alerts.

Futhermore, the phone will also react to touch input with the case closed. A double-tap will wake the phone and it’ll display the time and weather or any missed call alerts for example





Boomsound was a feature that HTC introduced with the first HTC One and it really was groundbreaking in terms of the impact. Two large, forward-facing stereo speakers coupled with a large audio amplifier made a dramatic difference. Not only were the speakers loud but the dynamic range was also amazing, the speakers sounding much larger than their physical size would otherwise suggest.

HTC have made enhancements to the Boomsound experience with the HTC One (M8). The accounstic chambers have been redesigned and there’s a new amplifier which has better control over the sound. The result is a 25% increase in the volume level and also a marked improvement in the audio range.



HTC Sense 6.0

With the HTC One (M8) comes the new version of HTC Sense. There are lost of changes here so we’re going to be covering this in a video shortly.




HTC One (M8) specification:

 SIZE: 146.36 x 70.6 x 9.35 mm

WEIGHT: 160 grams

DISPLAY: 5.0 inch, Full HD 1080p



  • Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 801, 2.3GHz quad-core CPU



  • Android™ 4.4 with HTC Sense™ 6
  • HTC BlinkFeed™



  • Total storage:  16/32GB
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Expansion card slot supports microSD™ memory card for up to 128GB additional storage (card not included)




  • 850/900/1800/1900 MHz



  • EMEA: 850/900/1900/2100 MHz with HSPA+ up to 42 Mbps
  • Asia: 850/900/1900/2100 MHz with HSPA+ up to 42 Mbps
  • AT&T: 850/1900/2100 MHz with HSPA+ up to 21 Mbps
  • Sprint: 850/1900/2100 MHz with HSPA up to 14.4 Mbps
  • Verizon: 850/900/1900/2100 MHz with HSPA+ up to 14.4 Mbps
  • TMUS: 850/AWS/1900/2100 MHz with HSPA+ up to 42 Mbps    



  • Sprint: 800/1900
  • Verizon: 800/1900  

  4G – LTE:

  • EMEA: 800/900/1800/2600 MHz
  • Asia: 700/900/1800/2100/2600 MHz
  • AT&T: 700/850/AWS/1800/1900/2600 MHz
  • Sprint: FDD 800/1900 MHz , TDD 2600 MHz
  • Verizon: 700/AWS/1800/2600 MHz
  • TMUS: 700/AWS MHz                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        



  • Nano SIM



  • Accelerometer
  • Proximity sensor
  • Ambient light sensor
  • Gyro sensor
  • Barometer sensor



  • 3.5 mm stereo audio jack
  • NFC
  • Bluetooth® 4.0 with aptX™ enabled
  • Wi-Fi®: IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 & 5 GHz)
  • DLNA® for wirelessly streaming media from the phone to a compatible TV or computer,
  • HTC Connect™
  • micro-USB 2.0 (5-pin) port with mobile high-definition video link (MHL) for USB or HDMI connection  (Special cable required for HDMI connection.)
  • Support consumer infrared remote control



  • HTC BoomSound™
  • Dual frontal stereo speakers with built-in amplifiers
  • Sense Voice



Duo camera

  • Primary camera: HTC UltraPixel™ camera, BSI sensor, pixel size 2.0 um, sensor size 1/3”, f/2.0, 28mm lens
  • HTC ImageChip 2
  • 1080p Full HD video recording with HDR video
  • Secondary camera: capture depth information


Front camera

  • 5MP, f/2.0, BSI sensor, wide angle lens. with HDR capability, 1080p Full HD video recording
  • Gallery with UFocus™, Dimension Plus™, Seasons, Foregrounder, Image Match



Audio supported formats:

  • Playback: .aac, .amr, .ogg, .m4a, .mid, .mp3, .wav, .wma (Windows Media Audio 10)
  • Recording: .aac


Video supported formats:

  • Playback: .3gp, .3g2, .mp4, .wmv (Windows Media Video 10), .avi (MP4 ASP and MP3)
  • Recording: .mp4



  • Internal GPS antenna + GLONASS
  • Digital compass



  • Capacity: 2600 mAh
  • Embedded rechargeable Li-polymer battery
  • Talk time: Up to 20 hours for 3G
  • Standby time: Up to 496 hours for 3G


By March 25, 2014 Read More →

HTC One (M8) first look video

HTC_One_M8HTC’s new flagship “HTC One (M8)” saw its official annoucement and launch today during an event held here in London. We were lucky enough to get some hands-on time with the new HTC One (M8) a few days ago and recorded an initial first-look video that you can see below.

I’m hugely impressed with the new HTC One (M8) – last year’s model is now referred to as the HTC One (M7) – if you thought that last years model was well designed and engineered then you’re going to love the new one. The body is now around 90% aluminium, up from 70% previously. The boost in screen size, up to 5″ is a welcome change while the use of a slimmer bezel design and the change to on-screen menu buttons rather than off-screen capacitive buttons has enabled HTC to cram everything in to a phone that is not physically a lot bigger than the M7 model.

This video is a failry short one and I will be following this up with another series of videos looking at various features in more detail so keep an eye open for those over the next day or so but check out the HTC One (M8) features and HTC One (M8) press release posts for more.



By March 25, 2014 Read More →

HTC’s event today – We’re covering it…

AllNewHTCOne-LEAK-02-578-80HTC are holding a launch event here in London today and we’re going to see their new flagship phone, the HTC One (M8), for the first time – officially at least.

Gareth and I will be covering the event and we’ll start our coverage once we arrive at the venue at around 2PM this afternoon.

Be sure to follow our twitter and google+ updates and feel free to ask us any questions. We’ll have the full lowdown on the HTC One (M8) in pictures and video as soon we we can post it.


Posted in: News, Phones
By March 25, 2014 Read More →

Google working on smart contact lenses

google-patentGoogle Glass could be a thing of the past. There is a rumour that Google is now working on smart contact lenses. The USPTO patent application filed by the search giant doesn’t look to be quite as capable as Google Glass, instead a “multi-sensor contact lens” working as a basic input device. This would connect to either a watch or Smartphone and this would provide the brain of the operation. 

Intomobile are reporting that Google have filed such a patent as illustrated on the right. They theorise this lens could also be able to pick cues from the environment, bundling a number of sensors for light, pressure, temperature, conductivity and electric field, all of which would be combined with a control circuit and power source embedded outside the user’s physical field of vision. So no brains would be included in this lens with all computing happening at a different location (smartphone?).

It does not seem so long ago that Google Glass seemed like a crazy dream that we wouldn’t see until 2020. However, time and tech are on our side for this and this really doesn’t seem to be to far out of reach. Next up, the Google Underpants!

By March 24, 2014 Read More →

Microsoft update their Store search function

BjezPNdIAAA0So-Store fronts have been become increasingly controversial lately. From Google Play failing to differentiate between phone and tablet apps up until recently to Steam’s deluge of old titles from big studios pushing newly release indie software into oblivion software and app stores just haven’t managed to find that fine line between give what you want and being able to take a quick payment to push something you don’t really need.

One of the worst offenders was Microsoft with the Windows Phone Store. Recently Microsoft have spent some time with their mobile store and has finally updated its Windows Phone Store search algorithm. Less finding spam apps, more finding what it is you are actually looking for.

Both Google and now Microsoft are known for their search techniques, Google and Microsoft’s Bing search are at the forefront of their related operating system and the World Wide Web. It’s a bit of a shame that their cutting edge search technology cannot yield the same results in something as simple as an application store as those for the entirety of the internet.


Posted in: Apps & Games, News
By March 23, 2014 Read More →

HTC tease the HTC One (M8) again

HTC One (M8) Dot ViewHTC have been teasing us again with tweets and Facebook posts about their press and launch event being held on the 25th March here in London. The posts include the hastag #‎HTCOneUp‬, so that’s certainly one to watch.

We now know that flagship phone to supersede the HTC One will officially be called the HTC One (M8) but there are no further official details available as yet, HTC will release full details on Tuesday and we’ll be covering the event both on here and in video that we’ll have online as soon as we can.

Keep checking back on the afternoon of the 25th March – it’ll be worth it, promise!

Posted in: News, Phones
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