The Amazon Fire Phone was never a bad phone per se, it just didn't come to market at the right price. At $199.99 with a two-year contract, the handset came in as an upstart thinking it had what it took to compete with the heavy hitters. Today, it's available at the more humbling price of $189 total.
That's not a bad deal at all for an unlocked GSM device with a 4.7-inch display, 2.2GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, and a 13MP camera, especially when you consider the lack of a contract.
You most often see MediaTek chips in budget smartphones and tablets, but they could soon be showing up in another place—your watch. The company has announced the MT2601, an ARM system-on-a-chip designed with Android Wear in mind. This isn't one of those "later this year" things either. The MT2601 is already in mass production and ready to go.
Beats Pill and Beats Pill XL. Ultimate Ears BOOM and Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM. Motorola Moto X and Nexus 6. People apparently like small things that are later made into bigger things. Fugoo realizes this, so it recently announced the Fugoo XL, a massive new speaker in the Fugoo line.
Now, you may or may not remember the Fugoo speaker from when I reviewed (and loved) it back in May of 2014.
Another one bites the dust. The Moto G Google Play Edition is no longer available in the Play Store. You've been able to pick up the low-cost device with immediate shipping since its debut almost a year ago. Now it's "no longer available for sale."
Motorola is now completely under the Lenovo umbrella, so it's the perfect time for it to head back to China after pulling back some years ago. Motorola will be launching three devices in China—there's the Moto G, Moto X, and something called the Moto X Pro. Judging from the description and photo, it's a Nexus 6 without the Nexus.
Dropbox's Carousel app handles the photos you've taken on your smartphone and automatically backed up to the company's servers. The experience is a smooth way to save your images somewhere while retaining quick access to them. But if you want to use the interface to view a photo immediately after taking one (instead of using your phone's built-in gallery app), you previously had to jump out of the camera and hop over to the separate app.
It's not hard to find an Android tablet for less than a hundred bucks - head down to your nearest drugstore and there's a decent chance you'll see one. The trick is finding one that's worth using at that price. While most of these ultra-cheap tablets are no-name Chinese models, Lenovo just announced a pair of new 7-inchers in the A Series starting at only a single Benjamin. I guess that would make them name brand Chinese tablets, but hey, Lenovo beats whatever company is using the Polaroid license this year.
Dedicated technology newshounds have already heard that all of Sony's upcoming BRAVIA televisions will feature Android TV powering their integrated electronics. At CES, the biggest show around in terms of home theater (among other things), they've made good on that promise. Don't believe me? Watch these attractive people over-emote and demonstrate a BRAVIA television's Google Cast feature and ability to play games from the Play Store.
Android TV runs these TVs, including the various inputs and live television, in a manner similar to some Roku-branded HDTVs already on the market.
There comes a moment in the life of most pre-installed Google apps where they hit the big 1 billion installs mark. This is measure less of how many users have sought out the software on the Play Store and more the number of times people have set up devices in the years since the app became available. Though in the case of Google+, the latest app to reach this milestone, there are surely people out there who didn't get the software out of the box and decided they wanted in on the fun.
The ranks of Android Auto in-dash head units continue to grow at CES, but they aren't going to be cheap. While Parrot neglected to mention a price for its fancy new Android deck, Pioneer is coming right out with it. The new NEX series units will start at $700 with support for Android Auto and CarPlay.