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Hands-On (And Video) With The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition At IFA 2013

Besides the Galaxy Gear and Note 3, Samsung has made official a new "2014 edition" Note 10.1. While, if its name is anything to go by, the 10.1 has long to go before release, Samsung gave us some early hands-on time with the tablet.

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Hands-On (And Video) With The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 At IFA 2013

Besides taking a look at the Galaxy Gear here at IFA 2013, we also got the chance to play around with Samsung's new lineup of Note devices, namely the Note 3 and the Note 10.1 2014 edition.

Ignoring for a moment the devices' form factors, they share a lot of similarities and, in fact, share just about everything software-wise. Samsung's main focus with the new devices, besides their refreshed specs, displays, and hardware design, is the S Pen, which itself has received a functionality upgrade. After a brief hands-on video, we'll take a closer look.

The Specs

First, we'll take a quick look at what we know so far, spec-wise.

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[IFA 2013] ASUS Re-Announces Transformer Pad Infinity TF701T – 2560x1600 10.1-Inch IPS Display, Nvidia Tegra 4, And Android 4.2

ASUS gave us an early look at the Transformer Pad Infinity TF701T back at Computex, but now the device has been announced again in a bit more detail. The TF701T will be the Tegra 4-powered successor to the original Infinity. It bumps all the specs to fit nicely into the top tier of Android slates.

TF701T

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[IFA 2013] Sony Announces The QX Series "Lens-Style" Smartphone-Attachable Cameras - Available Later This Month For $250 And $500

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. The less-powerful DSC-QX10 uses a 1/2.3" 18.2MP sensor, an f/3.3 Sony G lens with 10x optical zoom, and will be available in black or white for $250.

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[IFA 2013] Sony Debuts The Xperia Z1 Flagship, Complete With 20.7 MP Camera And 5" 1080p Screen

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.

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Sony isn't just competing in pure megapixels, either. The CMOS camera sensor is 1/2.3" large sitting behind Sony's "G" lens, which uses a 27mm wide-angle glass and F2.0 aperture.

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[New Game] Contra: Evolution Bursts Into Google Play, Guns Blazing

Anyone who played video games in the late 80s and early 90s probably lost at least one frustrating afternoon to the original Contra. This run-and-gun shooter was the archetype for innumerable games that were to follow. Now Contra has been spruced up and deployed in Google Play to taunt you all over again.

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For anyone who hasn't experienced Contra, it's a (mostly) side-scrolling shooter with a ton of power ups and no mercy whatsoever. Really, even the easy mode is pretty serious business. The original graphics have been scrapped in favor of a high-res reimagining. It looks true to the classic, but avoids that unnecessary retro feel.

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CyanogenMod Teases Something Very Mysterious - "A New Challenger Appears, A New Nemesis Appears"

A mysterious video that starts with "Nothing can be perfect, things can be better" was just posted by the CyanogenMod team on YouTube. The 31-second animation teases... something.

What could it be? A CyanogenMod phone? Upcoming Android 4.3 support (I really doubt this is what the video is about)? Something else completely mind-blowing or ultimately disappointingly overhyped? One of the frames shows the word "FREE" on a lockscreen - that can't be a coincidence. Or can it (Free is a French carrier)?

Something wicked this way comes.

Nothing can be perfect. Things can be better.

The right [person, pixel, look, path, spark, feeling, formula, tap, person (person again?

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[Update: v7.0.0 APK] Google Maps For Android Gets Updated With Promised Interface Refresh, Functionality Enhancements

Update #6 by Artem: Official Google blog post.

Update #5 by Artem: Google uploaded several official video promos for the new v7.0.0 update:

I'm not going to embed the rest, but you can find them here: The new Google Maps app for tablets, Directions and navigation with the new Google Maps app, Explore with the new Google Maps app, Shake to send feedback with the new Google Maps app.

Update #4 by Artem: The mirror for Android 4.1+ is up.

Update #3 by Artem: We have so far seen at least 6 variations of the APK, with some aimed at API 16 and 17 (Android 4.1+) and some at just API 17 (Android 4.2+).

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LG Optimus G2 Shows Up In Clearest Photos Yet, And It Has Bottom-Firing Speakers? [Update: Video]

In what is bound to be the first of many more multi-photo leaks over the next month, Engadget has gotten its hands on an extensive set of snaps of the upcoming LG Optimus G2. Behold the imagery below, and read on for our take. The G2 has been previously leaked on multiple occasions, most recently in some video screencaps depicting LG's next flagship. LG also hasn't been shy on acknowledging the device's existence, teasing its Snapdragon 800 processor and August 7th launch event.

Update: A new YouTube account called 4Leakz just posted a one-minute Optimus G2 video:

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I have to say, the G2 is decidedly generic-looking in these photos, though some people may prefer the highly subdued styling going on here.

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Moonshot 'Project Loon' Official – Google Will Set The Internet Adrift 'On The Stratospheric Winds' Using Balloons

"Many people don't realize … the majority of the world is not connected to the internet. How do we get cost-effective, inexpensive, and reliable connectivity to the remaining 5 or 6 billion people who don't have it?"

Chief Technical Architect Rich DeVaul poses this question in introducing the technology behind Project Loon – the newly (officially) announced project from Google X that aims to bring internet connectivity to "rural, remote, and underserviced areas," as well as those affected by natural disasters. The project doesn't seek to do this with a hulking wired infrastructure, however. No, Google plans to do this using the "effortless elegance" of balloons, combined with the power of stratospheric wind.

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