Motorola's new 2014 series of products is set for an official announcement on Motorola.com in less than an hour, but here's something we haven't seen before: the Moto Hint. It appears to be a pretty standard Bluetooth headset, plus a custom carrier or charger cradle (or both). Considering the emphasis that Motorola is placing on voice control, not to mention the company's own history with radio and Bluetooth hardware, it fits in surprisingly well.
Sony turned heads last year when it introduced the QX family of add-on lenses, which claimed to add DSLR-style high-resolution photography to any Android smartphone. The QX10 and QX100 lenses were met with a bit of skepticism on release thanks to their high price and strange form factor, but the core idea is still intriguing. Intriguing enough for the company to give it another go-round, anyway, and come out swinging with a new mounting system in addition to a new all-in-one lens.
It's hard to believe something as wacky as Sony's QX series of add-on smartphone lenses could be considered "conventional." But compared to the QX1 leaked yesterday, which may allow any Sony E-series lens to mount onto a standard phone, the new QX30 is rather plain. Sony Alpha Rumors posted shots of the newest member of the QX family, which includes an impressive 30x optical zoom (4.3mm-129mm) in the same form factor.
Sony's QX100 and QX10 lenses are add-on gadgets that purport to give your phone DSLR-quality imaging capabilities. While the concept of those devices is more interesting than their execution, it looks like Sony is set to change the game with its next version. Photos of the "ILCE-QX1" leaked by Sony Alpha Rumors show what's basically an independent E-mount module, which might just support any of the various Sony E-mount lenses already on the market.
Anker makes solid external batteries, and there's a nice deal on one of the larger ones over at Amazon right now. The Anker Astro E3 with 10,000mAh of juice can be yours for $25.99. This unit has a retail price of $80, but of course, you're never going to pay that. It usually bounces around $40, so this is still a good deal.
It seems like there are just never enough electrons in your phone, right? With just a few thousand milliampere-hour, it can be easy to drain your device before there's an outlet handy, so it's a good thing portable battery packs exist. If you're carrying something extra anyway, you might as well go big. A Crave Travel Pro 13,000mAh battery that should work nicely is on sale over at Amazon.
Accessories used to be limited to cases, spare batteries, and the like, but now it can mean smart watches and (overpriced) headphones that cost almost as much as your phone. That's why T-Mobile wants to make it easier to blow cash on them. According to TmoNews, T-Mobile will begin offering Equipment Installment Plans (EIP) for accessories on July 20th.
One of the biggest barriers to smartwatch adoption is the fact that, well, they don't do a whole lot, at least compared with mobile devices of comparable price. Sony has just bolted on a little extra functionality for their smartwatch line: the ability to remotely control shutters on various Sony cameras. The new Action Camera Extension app is free, and compatible with the original Sony Smartwatch, the Smartwatch 2, and the brand new SWR10 Smartband.