A thermal camera smartphone may not sound like the most useful thing to you in the world, but there's little doubt a niche market for such a thing probably exists, not to mention the undeniable cool factor. And by cool, I mean hot. As in heat. Temperature jokes. The CAT S60 (our announcement post here) features the same thermal imaging sensor found in FLIR's FLIR One dongles for Android and iOS devices, and that's a damn good system - we reviewed it.
By slapping it inside a smartphone, FLIR has eliminated one of the major complaints about the device.
Two months ago (after no small amount of leaking) HTC announced the One X9, a variant phone with elements of its One line, exclusively for the vast Chinese market. Today in Barcelona the company has announced that it will expand the availability of said phone, bringing it to "North Asia" and the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) zone later this month. Specific countries and prices haven't been released, but in China it launched for 2399 yuan, about $370 USD.
The One X9 is a bit like a bigger, beefier A9, with a 5.5-inch 1080p screen and a MediaTek X10 processor.
Street View is a fun digital tool for exploring the huge world we live on. An update to version 22.214.171.124257855 began rolling out earlier this week, and in addition to bringing far too many digits, it also has a few new features, a few visual tweaks, and improved support for spherical cameras. It looks like this one is rolling out pretty fast, but if you're in need of a download link, it's at the bottom of the post.
HTC is taking a different approach to this year's mid-range Desire phones. They're decidedly less modest.
With the new Desire 530, 630, and 825 phones unveiled at Mobile World Congress, HTC is deploying what it calls a micro splash design. We call the look sparkly. HTC says the look comes from the use of spray nozzles using different settings of pressure and paint viscosity. It's the design @evleaks leaked earlier today.
The provided press image was spot on. All three of these devices are polycarbonate with rear cameras in the upper corner, zigzagging speaker grills, and holes in the back for a phone lanyard.
You probably can't remember the last time you picked up a printed copy of a phonebook from Whitepages. The company still exists, though, and its database of phone numbers will be built into the new Samsung Galaxy S7. Even if you don't have a phone number in your contacts, the GS7 might be able to tell you who's on the other end before you pick up thanks to this feature.
Time zones can be a harsh mistress, especially when there's a big phone announcement on the other side of the planet. Thus, the LG G5 was announced on an inconvenient Sunday morning for those of us in the US. If you were unable to catch the festivities, now you can relive it on YouTube.
It's that time of the announcement cycle: as everyone fawns over Samsung's newest toys, carriers are tripping over themselves to tell you when you can buy them. The "big five" US carriers have all confirmed their support for the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, to greater or lesser degrees, which are expected to land in various markets sometime in March. Let's break it down, shall we?
AT&T says it's happy to take your pre-orders for the new phones starting on February 23rd, and they'll be available in retail stores on March 11th. They'd also like you to know that in addition to official Death Star service, they integrate well with DirecTV.
Samsung just announced the Galaxy S7, and it's going big on VR this year. Not only is there a spiffy new 360-degree camera, you can get a free Gear VR with purchase of a GS7. You'll have to jump on this fast if you want to get in on the promotion, and as usual, there are several caveats. Notably, this promo is valid in the US only.
In addition to the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, Samsung also announced an extra-special accessory at its Unpacked event. The Gear 360 is Samsung's first action camera, and not content to compete with GoPro and other conventional models, the company designed a camera that records video in 360 degrees at once. This is achieved with a ball-like body design and two sensors, each paired to a fish eye lens that captures 180 degrees of action. The camera and Samsung's software then stitches the video together for easy 360-degree presentations and VR playback.
The Gear 360 isn't the first 360-degree camera on the market, but with Samsung's marketing muscle behind it (not to mention integration with the company's smartphones), it could become the most popular.
Samsung's flagship announcements have become cornerstones of the Android upgrade cycle. Just like last year, the company has announced two new Galaxy-branded phones at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona: the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge. Both phones are modest bumps over their previous designs, both in terms of hardware and style, but there are some notably improved features that power users and practical consumers will both appreciate.
The new phones bring back two of the most-missed features that were dropped from the S6 generation: expandable storage (via MicroSD cards) and water-resistant bodies. The former comes from a new "hybrid" nano-SIM tray, which houses both the SIM card and the MicroSD card in a single metal tray that slides out via a standard SIM tool.