Archive for the ‘Mobile News’ Category
Friday, January 23rd, 2015
We first covered the Alcatel Smartwatch when it was announced at CES earlier this month, but now we’ve got our first piece of solid information about the product: We are expecting stock at the end of March. That’s still two months away of course, but it’s an encouraging sign for a smartwatch that looks like a strong early contender for 2015 smartwatch of the year. Let’s take a look at what makes the Alcatel Smartwatch so special (because it sure isn’t that unique name!).
The first thing is the price. This smartwatch is being sold for only £100, making it about half the price of similar smartwatches like the Moto 360 and LG G Watch R.
The Alcatel Smartwatch also works on both iPhone and Android phones, which is a rare commodity in a smartwatch market currently dominated by Samsung and Google. While the Apple Watch is coming later this year, it’s sure to be way more expensive than the Alcatel Smartwatch.
Battery life is another big advantage for the Alcatel Smartwatch. The wearable is said to last between two and five days, which is very impressive for a smartwatch with an LCD display. While you’ll probably need to turn off the always-on display mode to reach those figures, it makes the Smartwatch a way better choice for those that primarily want a wearable for fitness tracking.
Otherwise, the Alcatel Smartwatch is essentially a better but less expensive version of the Motorola Moto 360 which proved so popular last year (and remains on my wrist to this day!). The most notable similarity is the almost-round display, with a flat spot at the bottom of the circle for the watch’s display driver and other circuitry to be kept.
The Alcatel Smartwatch is coming to Mobile Fun at the end of March, and is available for pre-order right now. Please visit the link below to see more information, be notified of stock availability or place your order!
Thanks for checking out the article, and be sure to let us know what you think of the Smartwatch in the comments below!
Friday, January 23rd, 2015
We’re happy to announce that we’ve added the very first cases for the HTC One M9 (codenamed Hima) to our site. The Encase Armourdillo is a strong protective case, with a fortified rear section and a plated design that ensures good grip.
The case is constructed from two layers, with a lightweight TPU polymer inner layer and an impact-resistant plastic exoskeleton. The combination provides excellent protection at a low price point, making it an ideal choice if you want to ensure your One M9 remains in good condition long after you’ve bought it.
The case also includes a helpful feature that’ll work well with the One M9′s gorgeous five-inch 1080p display: a media stand. This is embedded into the rear of the case, and can be kicked out whenever you want to rest your One M9 in landscape mode to watch videos, play games or even to serve as a bedside alarm.
The Encase Armourdillo will be available in four colours, and is available for pre-order now. To see more information or to place your pre-order, please visit the product pages linked below:
The phone itself is expected to be released at MWC later this year, so we’re not too far away from an announcement – think early March. Of course, we’ll have loads of HTC One M9 accessories ready by the time the handset launches.
Thanks for checking out the article! Are you looking forward to the HTC One M9? Let us know in the comments below, or write to us on Twitter @mobilefun!
Wednesday, January 21st, 2015
A Samsung executive has confirmed that the Galaxy S6 will be revealed at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, rather than at a separate, later event. The executive, who was quoted in the Korean media, stated that the phone will be announced on March 2nd, and the exact model to be unveiled is still up for deliberation.
Samsung has apparently prepared multiple prototypes with different features and form factors, but even to Samsung’s leadership a clear favourite hasn’t emerged. Rumours have been floated by several publications over the recent months, including full metal unibody designs, designs with glass back panels, and even a variant with a two-sided Edge display.
The chipset to be used is also a topic of conversation, with recent reports stating that Samsung will eschew their normal partners Qualcomm in favour of an in-house Exynos processor. That decision is reportedly down to overheating issues with the new Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor, which have also been widely reported in the tech media.
Competitors LG have also been active in the Korean media. Their executive stated that they wouldn’t reveal their G4 flagship at MWC, instead preferring a later date. The official commented that they had released the G3 in May 2014, so they had plenty of time to unveil a successor.
We’ll be supporting both handsets once they’re announced. We’ve already prepared an initial series of accessories for the Galaxy S6, and we’ll be adding new products to that extensively over the coming weeks and months.
What do you make of the news? Let us know in the comments below.
Friday, January 16th, 2015
HTC has announced that it will soon unveil its next flagship phone, widely believed to be codenamed Hima. The new phone will supercede both the One M8, the most recent official flagship, and the recently released Desire Eye, which is an upgrade over the One M8 despite being at a mid-range price point.
The HTC unveil will come at the start of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on March 1st, where the world’s leading smartphone makers traditionally unveil some of their most important phones for the upcoming year. The One M8 was unveiled (and then launched) in March last year, so we could be just six weeks away from having a new flagship phone from HTC in our hands.
The actual announcement doesn’t provide many hints as to the phone or its capabilities, with just a spacescape and the tagline ‘utopia in progress’.
According to recent rumours, the next HTC flagship will come with top notch specs. That includes a Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor, 3GB RAM, 32GB of internal memory and a 3000 mAh battery. In terms of optics, we’re looking at a 20.7 megapixel rear camera and four megapixels up front. The screen size and resolution will remain the same as its predecessor, with 1080p resolution and a five inch diagonal. Finally, the phone will run the latest version of Android, 5.0 Lollipop, with a svelte layer of HTC’s Sense 7 UI on top.
It’ll be interesting to see what features HTC choose to focus on in their presentation; keeping the screen the same size when other OEMs are going bigger and bigger might be a good choice. The 20.7 megapixel rear camera also seems an obvious point of focus. Regardless, be sure to tune in for the reveal on March 1st. We’ll have the big news as it happens, alongside a wide range of cases and accessories for the new phone.
Tuesday, January 6th, 2015
The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is a yearly display of the latest gadgets and technology. A lot of mainstream products are announced at CES, but it’s also a bastion of oddities, where the weirdest creations can outshine the most wonderful. Here are ten of the strangest announcements from this year’s show.
10. Emiota Belty
- Smart belt
- Tracks your waistline, expands after eating
- Expands when you sit down, contracts when you stand up
Our first weird CES 2015 product is the Emiota Belty. The Belty is a smart belt, which automatically becomes looser and tighter to fit your body. As you sit down, it’ll loosen up to provide more comfort; when you’re up and moving it’ll tighten to keep your trousers firmly in place. The Belty also tracks the circumference of your waist, giving you notifications to exercise more if it notices you gaining some undesirable inches.
9. Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 2 Tablet with AnyPen
- Supports pen input with basically any conductive object
- Still only comes with a 1 year warranty
The Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 2 is a respectable, flexible Windows tablet, but its new AnyPen version is a little crazy. This special edition comes with a unique capability to use any conductive object as a pen – including basically everything seen above, including a pen, pencil, scissors, screwdriver and more… That might look a bit weird (and I can’t see a pair of scissors as being the most comfortable implement to hold for a long writing session) but it does mean that forgetting your special tablet pen is a thing of the past. The AnyPen Yoga 2 will cost just $20 more than the standard edition.
8. Sony Walkman ZX2
- $1200 MP3 player
- Runs Android, 128GB storage
- digital amp, wireless audio, high quality music
Thought the Walkman was dead? Think again. Sony have released what must be the most expensive MP3 player ever, costing $1200, in the Walkman ZX2. The retro oddity has been brought up to date with Android 4.4 and a smartphone-like shell, but the main attraction is 128 of internal storage for keeping all your favourite tunes, plus a specialised digital amplifier and high quality music playback. Other options like wireless audio sweeten the deal further, but the price surely keeps the ZX2 out of range of all but the most dedicated audiophiles.
7. Razer Forge TV
- Gaming micro-console with controller
- Streams games from your PC via Cortex Stream
- $100 for base model, $150 for bundle with controller
- Works with Turret Lapboard, a keyboard-and-mouse for couch use
Current-generation games consoles are usually big, blocky and expensive affairs, but Razer’s Forge TV is anything but. This micro-console running Android TV offers a taste of proper gaming power, but through an unusual source. Instead of doing these tough calculations on-chip, you can also stream games from a nearby gaming PC. That’s kind of like Nvidia’s streaming technology that debuted with the Shield handheld, but Razer’s solution works with nearly all games and on PCs using both Nvidia and AMD graphics cards. That’s a big advantage, and may make the Razer Forge TV a surprise success. The console’s controllers also impress, with an option for a bundled console-style controller (made by Razer themselves, naturally) and also the Turret Lapboard, a magnetically-attached mouse and keyboard set that are designed to be used for PC games while sitting on a sofa. Awesome.
- Another selfie accessory
- Provides brighter lighting from your headphone port
- Probably best on top-mounted headphone ports
2014 was the year of the selfie, and the trend doesn’t show any sign of slowing down for 2015. Lenovo’s addition is the Selfie Flash, a simple but effective way of improving the lighting of your front-facing photos through a dedicated flash unit that sits in the headphone port. This actually makes a lot of sense – unlike rear-facing cameras, it’s rare to see a front-facing camera with its own flash unit, so you’re at the mercy of your ambient light, unless you have something like the Selfie Flash. Even if you’re not too into selfies, the unit isn’t useless – you can also use it instead of your camera’s flash for rear-facing photos, with the greater area of the Selfie Flash giving a better and more even result.
5. Kube Beer Cooler
- $1100 for a beer cooler
- Louder than CES show floor (it’s a speaker)
- 20 hours of battery life
- Holds two cases of beer or six champagne bottles
Sometimes, a product is made for no good reason. The Kube is one such object; a massive combined Bluetooth speaker and cooler. The cooler can store two cases of beer or six champagne bottles (and a bit of ice), but mobility is limited thanks to a weight of 60 pounds. The speaker is also louder than the CES show floor and lasts for a whopping 20 hours, but you’d definitely expect that from a unit this size. At a low price the Kube might have found some fans, but instead it’s an ultra-premium camp; its makers are asking $1100 for a single unit.
- Foot-based motion controller
- Designed for games / navigating virtual areas
- Tilts in various directions, like a skateboard
- Could be a good way to add more inputs to VR
Given how busy your hands are with keyboards, mice, controls and touch inputs, it’s perhaps surprising that alternative input methods remain unexplored. One good complementary input is your feet, which are generally just sitting around doing nothing anyway. The 3DRudder prototype works by tilting as you rest your feet on it. These inputs are translated into various in-app gestures, like zooming in and out of Google Maps or rotating around a scene. The 3DRudder seems particularly ideal for virtual reality, where more intuitive methods of control might trump keyboards or controllers hidden behind VR goggles.
3. Parrot Flower Power
- Smart plant pot
- Remotely monitor moisture, fertiliser, temperature, light
- Can automatically water your plants
Parrot are perhaps best known for their AR Drones, but the company has a wide range of mobile accessories. One of the most barmy is the Parrot Flower Power, a smart plant pot. The pot is lined with sensors and a Bluetooth transmitter, allowing you to remotely monitor things like moisture, fertiliser levels, temperature and light. You’ll even get handy reminders to top up the pot’s water supply, which can be set to automatically be released at the best schedule to keep your plants reliably alive.
2. Swarovski Shine Violet
- Solar-powered fitness tracker
- Giant and gaudy swarovski crystals
Swarovski have been creating crystal-laden phone accessories for some years now, and Misfit have also had quite a history of creating fitness trackers. Now, the two companies are working together on a new project, the Swarovski Shine Violet. This fitness tracking wristband is studded with as many crystals as will fit, but they’re not just for show – they actually recharge the fitness tracker when they absorb light. That’s an impressive trick, and it means that you may never need to charge it yourself. A non-solar version is also available, which boasts an almost-as-impressive six months of battery life and white crystals.
1. Silentium Comfort-Shell
- It’s a giant leaf thing you wear on your head
- It cancels out ambient noise
The most ridiculous announcement of CES 2015 so far has been the Silentium Comfort Shell. This massive leaf-shaped helmet is designed to cancel out ambient noise by playing sounds that have the same amplitude but the opposite phase to background noise. Silentium imagine the Comfort Shell providing a comfort zone in a range of locations including homes, offices and airports, but regardless of the gadget’s technical merits it seems unlikely that anyone will ever casually slip one of these on… indeed, you’d probably find yourself more bothered than ever before, as passersby enquire as to what exactly it is that you’re wearing.
Thanks for checking out the article! Be sure to let us know what you think of these weird creations – could you actually see yourself buying any of them? You can also share your own favourite weird CES creations. Leave a comment below or write to us on Twitter @mobilefun!