You have two options when you sign up for Project Fi. You can buy a SIM card with a new Nexus 6. Or you can just buy the SIM card and stick it in your own Nexus 6. Want to use another phone? You can, as long as you tether it to a Nexus 6. A Project Fi SIM has to go into a Nexus 6.
For the time being, that eliminates a sizable chunk of interested consumers. Read More
Removable batteries? Bah. External USB batteries? Child's play. Real power users use multiple batteries to make sure that their phones never turn off within a hundred miles of electricity. Or at least that seems to be the idea behind the M5, an upcoming smartphone from Chinese manufacturer Gionee. Read More
In a public presentation, Samsung has discussed some of the technical-oriented plans they have for the next few years. These can be summed up as all in the service of reducing the size of components and making them more efficient. Concrete goals include making batteries smaller but also more energy-dense, reducing charge time, and slimming down camera sensors.
According to their talk, their batteries now have a density of 700Wh/l (Watt-hour per liter). Read More
Photo credit: Jamie Pearson (CC BY 2.0)
As we all know, Google I/O is right around the corner. So far this year, we haven't seen too many early clues as to what Google will cover in its keynote (though Ars Technica's I/O tracker is a great place to get some ideas) outside of its new Photos app, but we do expect that Google will be telling us about Android M (internally called macadamia nut cookie or MNC).
The specifics of what Android M will bring to the table are still a mystery, but we've heard a few things that could make this an exciting update. Read More
External batteries don't have to look good. They're big chunks of lithium-polymer wrapped in plastic and USB ports. But there's no reason that they shouldn't! Check out this Aukey 12000mAh battery, for example: nothing special, nothing fancy, just clean lines, a black case, and an obvious purpose. If you squint it kind of looks like an obelisk from 2001. Today Amazon has a coupon that drops the already-reasonable $24.99 price down to $17.99 - that's just .15 cents per milliamp-hour!
12KmAh should be enough to charge even the biggest phones three times over, with a bit of a margin for the inevitable efficiency drain. Read More
You never know when a backup battery might come in handy. You could be sitting there, recording your son giving the high school drama performance of his life when, all of a sudden, that low battery warning pops up. Filming HD video drained it faster than you thought, didn't it? Fortunately you bought that iClever Intocircuit 15,000mAh battery on Amazon. Or you will have bought it after reading this post, and your son's play is actually a week from now.
This pack provides 5V/3.1A output through two USB ports, there's a tiny LCD screen that tells you how much of a charge remains, and an LED flashlight comes included because why not? Read More
The always-useful BetterBatteryStats has received a major update that brings both a new look and full functionality on Lollipop devices. The interface remains fairly minimalistic, but at the least could be described as Material-esque. No hamburger menus or anything like that, but you have the bare bones there.
As you can see, a dark theme is available as well. I'm not a big fan of how the dark background pairs with the vibrant green, but I know some of you really don't like white themes.
A variety of under the hood changes are here, too.
- all new and shiny, with light and dark themes
- Full Lollipop support
- Lots of I18N (see about dialog for credits)
- Added details about API stats to dumpfile
- System app dialog now links to the recovery ZIPs to be used as workaround
- Added import/export of preferences
- Added option to show/hide spinners
- Show SELinux Policy on System App dialog and Dumpfile
Battery not working correctly? Well, just defrag it! It's all so obvious now. No, but really, there's an app in the Play Store that claims to repair your battery and basically looks like a hard drive defrag program. The weird part, it's been in the Play Store for a long time and people (some of them real) rate it quite highly. This is very sad.
About a year and a half ago when David Ruddock reviewed JBL's Charge portable speaker, he came away with an excellent impression, with the only caveat being that it might be a little too pricey. That problem has been alleviated by Amazon, at least for today: the online retailer has given the Charge a $60 price drop on the Gold Box deal portal. That's a great price, but it also means that the discount is available for one day only.
Amazon lists the retail price of the Charge at $169.95. That's a little ambitious: JBL says the Charge is $150, so Amazon's discount to $89.99 isn't quite as dramatic as the listing would have you believe. Read More
ZeroLemon loves to strap enormous batteries onto every phone that they can, and since they keep doing it for basically every new Samsung and LG high-end model, someone must be buying them. The latest phone to receive the company's blessings of longevity is the Galaxy Note 4, itself already one of the biggest phones around. A 10,000mAh battery and a replacement rear cover (which is really more like a case) can be yours for $59.99 on Amazon.
The Galaxy Note 4's default removable battery is a generous 3220mAh, so the 10,000mAh replacement should last roughly three times as long as the phone alone (and it's already pretty good in that regard). Read More