ASUS is getting into the gigantic phone market in a big way. After their initial offerings in the Fonepad line (that's large, tablet-style phones, not to be confused with the docking Padfone) the company has announced a new model and at IFA in Germany, along with a previously announced but unreleased one. The Fonepad Note 6 (ME560CG) is a conventional "phablet" design, complete with stylus, which we saw back in June.
If you live in the US and want to get your hands on the Moto X for less than $199, be patient. The price isn't dropping just yet, and carriers are rolling out promos as they pick up the handset. The Moto X is now available on US Cellular, and they're offering one of the more sizable discounts yet. The phone will still cost $199 with a two-year contract, but if you're creating a new commitment, US Cellular will mail you a $75 MasterCard Debit Card as a "Switcher Bonus." This deal won't work for current customers who are upgrading, but it is still offered to those who are interested in adding a new line.
After having been leaked in full yesterday, Sony has officially announced the QX series of 'lens-style' cameras, with two models introduced today at IFA in Berlin.
The DSC-QX100 is the flagship version, coming it at $500, and is based on the RX-100 II camera, utilizing the same big 1x1" 20.2MP Exmor R sensor. It's equipped with an f/1.8 Zeiss lens capable of 3.6x optical zoom, and even has a manual-focus / zoom adjustment ring.
IFA is well under way in Berlin, and Sony is the first manufacturer to let loose with a volley of hardware clamoring for your bleeding edge dollars. The Xperia Z1 (nee "Honami"), the sequel to last year's flagship Xperia Z, was just revealed in Sony's press conference. It's a modest bump to most hardware with a massive, massive focus on the camera. As leaked in multiple reports, the Z1 sports a 20.7 megapixel rear camera, soundly smashing current-generation Android competitors.
Alcatel unveiled a new line of smartphones at IFA today, none of which are coming to the US in their current forms. However, similar devices are destined to arrive stateside, and with what they've shown off thus far, this is something to get excited about. Lets start with the Alcatel One Touch Hero, a powerful offering that's more notable for what goes on the phone than what goes in it.
Lets get this out of the way from the beginning - the One Touch Hero is no slouch.
The phones and tablets are about to start falling from the sky like rain at the IFA trade show in Berlin, but before we get to the juicy mobile hardware let's talk about something really exciting: cables. It's finally time for HDMI to get a major revision after the 1.4 spec from 2009, and the 2.0 release of HDMI adds some necessary enhancements to its bullet list.
Most notable among the new additions is support for 4K or "UltraHD" at up to 60hz.
Remember the allegedly hilarious video for "The Smart Cube" from last week, which toed the line between awkward funding campaign and a parody of awkward funding campaigns? We mentioned at the time that it was almost certainly an alternative marketing campaign for a Samsung product, probably the Android-powered Galaxy NX camera. There's no way to say this without sounding a little smug, so: yeah. It is.
Update: Lookout has confirmed the deal. PR is at the bottom of the post, if you're interested.
The assortment of apps you have to wade through when powering on a new phone for the first time is about to grow by one. Samsung is expected to announced on Wednesday that is has licensed Lookout's anti-malware suit for all its upcoming Android devices. No word yet on whether or not current devices will get Lookout as an update.
Update: Google pulled the video just a few minutes after the news broke. This makes it seem more likely the device in question is a Nexus. Also, a few more screens from the video have surfaced.
Google posted the video of its new KitKat statue being planted on the lawn earlier today, but that's nothing unusual. What was incredibly unusual was the device one of the assembled Googlers was using to snap pictures of the event.
European readers, no one could blame you for being a little miffed at Google when it comes to the Play Store. The company's focus on the United States is impossible to deny, especially when you look at the availability of carrier billing. But they're slowly, slowly rolling out the feature to more and more carriers and countries. Today Both Switzerland and Belgium get one carrier each added to the Play Store billing club: Swisscom and Mobistar, respectively.