There were some shiny new (expensive) Android devices announced yesterday at Mobile World Congress. If you're planning to pick up a new device, you probably want to save some cash. We can help you do that and still get some neat apps and games. Read on, thrifty consumer.
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.
He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM
There was a lot of excitement when Eutechnyx announced it was developing a new Warhammer 40k game late last year. The Warhammer fan base might not be very deep, but it's fanatically devoted. With that in mind, the response to this trailer is understandably negative. It looks less like the combat strategy games usually associated with Warhammer, and more like Plants vs. Zombies.
ARM still dominates mobile devices more than two years after Intel started making chips suitable for Android phones and tablets. The company is taking another swing at it in 2014 with the newly announced Merrifield and Moorefield chips. These processors pack updated GPUs, new 64-bit architecture, and an efficient 22nm manufacturing process.
The Merrifield chips are now officially known as the Z34xx family. According to benchmarks produced by Intel, the dual-core Z3480 processor is capable of besting the Snapdragon 800 and Apple A7.
We can finally put the months of rumors to bed – Samsung just unveiled to Galaxy S5 at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. We'll have hands-on for you shortly, but let's go over what Samsung is announcing first.
It's looking like some of the more outlandish rumors were way off base – the Galaxy S5 is not specced much differently than other flagship phones in recent months, and it's certainly not made of metal.
Samsung is mere hours away from announcing the Galaxy S5 to complement those new Gear smart watches, but it seems a few devices are already floating around the show. The leaked images show off a phone that looks very much like the Galaxy S4 with some Note 3 influence.
The back has a loose dimple pattern, not faux-leather like the Note 3 and Pro tablets. There is also a large camera sensor, flash, and another sensor of unknown identity.
Sony's SmartBand is a little more than a fitness tracker, but it's not a smart watch either. This device ties into the Sony Lifelog app to track your movement and connect the dots between your physical and digital activities. Interested? The SmartBand and Lifelog app are hitting the market in over 60 countries next month. That means only a few more weeks of using your dumb brain to remember things that happen to you.
File this under more is better – Qualcomm has just announced new ARM chips with more bits and more cores than ever before. The Snapdragon 610 and 615 are the chip maker's new 64-bit mobile processors, and the 615 packs eight CPU cores. Despite the big headlining features, these aren't intended to be flagship chips.
Qualcomm is in the habit of making custom CPUs for its ARM chips – those are the Krait cores you hear so much about.
When a new Android device comes out, we spend a lot of time obsessing over which ARM chip it runs and how much RAM there is, but the storage speed often has a significant impact on performance too. Although, mobile flash storage controllers haven't been been improving at the same rate as other hardware. SanDisk hopes to fix that with the iNAND Extreme embedded storage platform, which offers three times the random write speed and twice the sequential read speed of current solutions.