Samsung was the first to selectively boost system performance when a benchmark app was run, but it was forced to backpedal pretty quickly on that one. The latest OEM to try and sneak one past the benchmarks is Huawei with its new-ish Ascend P7. Futuremark is wise to this game, though, and has pulled the P7 from the 3DMark top phone charts.
Nokia is generally regarded as the best maker of Windows-powered phones on the market, which is probably why Microsoft snatched them up. While most of that attention is focused on the Finnish company's solid hardware, Nokia's custom HERE mapping platform has also received rave reviews, with many saying it outperforms Microsoft's own maps. Now Nokia is bringing a beta version of HERE Maps to Android... but strangely, only on Samsung hardware.
In July, Chrome Beta was updated with a new interface that more closely adhered to Google's new design vision - material design. Fitting with Google's occasional habit of stripping things down during major refreshes (see Google Maps on the web), many elements of the interface were sliced, rearranged, or simplified, including the tab indicator in the top right corner of the screen. Previously, the indicator showed users how many tabs were open, but after the redesign it simply displayed a square (or two stacked squares if you had multiple tabs open).
Not all updates are created equal. Some are the kind that keep us up at night, leaving us banging on the virtual update button in hopes that it will appear. Others, well, if they had slipped in under the radar, we wouldn't have noticed a difference. AT&T's latest Galaxy S5 update is one of those. This over-the-air software (version G900AUCU2ANG3) bump provides a number of minor enhancements and security patches that, while dandy, aren't the equivalent of putting new rims on that ride.
The Shield Tablet is a great device, but it's about to get even better with update v1.1. The OTA (clocking in at a lean 84.1MB) is hitting devices as you read this, so owners would to well to check the update menu. NVIDIA doesn't usually stage these OTAs, so all Shield Tablets should have the update available.
I used the Motorola DROID RAZR M as my primary phone for over six months. I was in between jobs, my not-so-trusty Galaxy Nexus had been smashed, and I knew from previous experience that Motorola's resurrected RAZR line had tough builds and good radios. While it was ostensibly a "budget phone," that ugly little DROID RAZR M was the most reliable Android device I had ever owned. When I got back on my feet, I skipped flagships from Samsung, LG, and HTC, and went straight for Motorola's next DROID phone.
Aside from its round P-OLED screen and stylish case design, the G Watch R is remarkably similar to the original LG G Watch. But as just about anyone could guess, consumers will be paying a premium for that style when the round Android Wear device is released later this year. If LG's German press release announcing the G Watch R is accurate, it's going to be quite a premium indeed. The PR lists the suggested retail price as 299 euro, a full €100 more expensive than the G Watch.
The Moto G is easily one of the best choices on the market for a low-cost smartphone. One of the more appealing aspects of the handset is that it's essentially unlocked and free of carrier ties (in most cases, anyway), allowing users to more easily do all the things that carriers attempt to block on their branded handsets.
Among those things is rooting and ROMing, and now CyanogenMod 11 nightlies are rolling out for the Moto G 4G GSM.
This is a story you've heard before - Samsung has announced another smartwatch. Not content with its current bevy of smartwatch offerings, the South Korean manufacturer has introduced the Gear S, a new Tizen-powered watch with a curved display that Samsung says "enhances the smart wearable experience."
The watch has a 2.0" SAMOLED display at a 360x480 resolution, a 300mAh battery, a dual-core processor, and a handful of sensors including an accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, heart rate monitor, barometer, and sensors for ambient light and UV.