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  • Hands on: Cygnett Supercharger UFO
    Hands on: Cygnett Supercharger UFO 15 hours ago

    Having the right charger at hand, when you need it — and a spare socket in which to plug it — may sound like one of life’s easier challenges. But when you own more than one gadget, or have a family’s worth of gadgets charging at the same time, it’s sometimes far more difficult to juice up. That’s where multiple device chargers come in handy, and we’ve been trying out the Cygnett Supercharger UFO, the latest multi-device charger to hit the market. Charging 5 devices at once is a breeze It’s called the UFO because its disc shaped design looks like a space ship. It’s sold in both black and white color schemes, with five USB ports placed around the side. The Supercharger takes up one power socket, but can charge up five devices at the same time, making it far more efficient than using five separate chargers in five different sockets. Andy Boxall/Digital Trends The Supercharger has a 5.0A output, and it intelligently recognizes when you plug in a device that supports fast charging, then supplies it with the right amount of power. We’ve been using the Cygnett Supercharger for a couple of weeks, and it has proven very helpful, mainly due to its willingness to quick charge compatible devices whenever possible. Charging the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus with the official fast charger typically takes 70 minutes from about 20-percent power. With the Supercharger UFO, it took almost the same amount of time, even with a OnePlus 2 and LG Watch Urbane charging at the same time. Plugging in five gadgets at once obviously slows it down a bit, because the charger only has so much power to give, but the difference is negligible. Related: Meet Boogli, a cute phone charger that looks like a monster The spaceship-like charger remained at a constant temperature even while charging five devices all at once, which is no easy feat. Even standard wall adapters are wont to heat up charging one device. Simple, sleek design with a few flaws The design is attractive enough for a charger, and the white plastic is smooth and shiny on our test model. The simplicity is a bonus, and it blends in happily whether it’s placed in the living room, kitchen, or office. The spaceship-like disc remains steady when placed on a flat surface, and the cables are separated from each other at the base of the charger. Andy Boxall/Digital Trends However, once you’ve got everything plugged in, the Supercharger quickly becomes the center of a whole mess of cables, particularly if the wires are long. It can create something of a tangled nightmare, and if you have it sitting on the floor, it’s not only unsightly, but also a bit of a trip hazard. Related: Hit the road, Jack, with these 5 smartphone chargers for your car To show everything is working as it should, there’s a blue LED light on the base, and it’s incredibly bright. You won’t need a nightlight if you use the Supercharger in a bedroom, but you may want to hide it away unless being bathed in a blue glow all night fulfills your sci-fi dreams. However, it costs just $40 in the U.S. or £30 in the UK through Cygnett’s own website, which considering the price of official replacement chargers that only offer only a single port, isn’t very expensive. Fancier multi-device chargers like the Alldock, which is up for funding on Kickstarter, will cost you around $130, if you get the early bird price. Even most simple ones cost at least $50 on Amazon and don’t support quick charging, so the Supercharger is a good deal, comparatively. Chargers aren’t especially exciting, and they don’t need to have an incredibly flashy design. Chargers just need to work, and if they make juicing up our gadgets easier or faster, then we’re happy. The Cygnett UFO Supercharger does both, and at a reasonable price, so we’re pleased to recommend it to anyone trying to simplify charging multiple devices at once. Highs Very convenient Fast charges compatible hardware Simple, unobtrusive design Lows Messy when using five cables Very bright LED light More »

  • Black Friday: $905 million in sales came from smartphones and tablets, iOS led …
    Black Friday: $905 million in sales came from smartphones and tablets, iOS led … 18 hours ago

    When it comes to mobile shopping on Thanksgiving, e-commerce sites probably saw nearly 80 percent of purchases come from iOS devices, according to a report from online retail analytics company Custora. Nevertheless, there was an uptick in e-commerce purchases coming from Android mobile devices this year. Online Black Friday sales revenue rose 16.1 percent from the same day last year, according to Custora. The number of orders rose 15.6 percent and the average order value grew 0.5 percent. “Retailers did a good job growing the top line without being overly promotional compared to last year,” the company notes. Related: The 2015 Holiday Gift Guide Smartphones and tablets accounted for 36.1 percent of e-commerce orders on Black Friday, up from 30.3 percent on Black Friday last year. Apple’s iOS devices (iPhones and iPads) accounted for 77.6 percent of all mobile orders and 22.1 percent happened on Android devices. While trailing iOS devices by a healthy margin, Android mobile orders are up from 19.5 percent last year. When talking dollars, Adobe reports that $639 million in Thanksgiving sales came from mobile devices. On Black Friday, $905 million in sales came from mobile devices, and of that amount, $368 million came from iPhones, $180 million came from Android smartphones, $302 million came from iPads, and $50 million came from Android tablets. The top-selling electronic products on Black Friday were Samsung 4K TVs, the iPad Air 2, the Xbox One, the iPad Mini, and the PlayStation 4, according to Adobe. Also watch: Apple iPhone 6S Plus vs. Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Please enable Javascript to watch this video More »

  • 2015 ranked the most social #BlackFriday yet
    2015 ranked the most social #BlackFriday yet Sat, Nov 28, 2015

    While many shoppers aren’t yet completely finished with their Black Friday shopping lists, and others are waiting anxiously to tackle Cyber Monday, the season has already been rated the most social Black Friday to date. In fact, this year’s campaigns have already broken several seasonal social media records. In an interview with Paul Vigna of WSJ MoneyBeat, Chris Kerns, Spredfast director of analytics and research, says there were over 1.4 million tweets referencing Black Friday in the seven weeks leading up to it, up from last year’s total of approximately 1.2 million. The most mentioned brands on Black Friday were Kohl’s, REI, and similar to its domination of deals last year, Amazon. The most-used terms associated, both branded and unbranded, were: #BlackFriday #KohlsSweepstakes #CyberMonday #OptOutside Black Friday shopping has become a major shopping season for retailers, with 135.8 million American shoppers planning to shop over the Thanksgiving weekend, according to the National Retail Federation. Last year, in a TechCrunch article, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday shopping was predicted to break approximately $89 billion in sales in the U.S. alone. Black Friday shopping, however, is extending to retailers worldwide. The event continues to catch on and this year, has trended not just in the United States, Germany, and France, but also in New Zealand, Singapore, and Thailand. Related: Samsung fan? Check out its Black Friday deals on tablets, phones, and more Eye-catching campaigns, according to Kerns, included greater diversity in both traditional and untraditional campaigns. One of the most successful was the #OptOutside campaign which stemmed from REI’s plan to remain closed on Friday, in order to allow and encourage employees and customers to enjoy the outdoors instead. The Opt Outside campaign resulted in over 300,000 tweets over the past week for REI, doubling last year’s mentions during the same period of time. Kohl’s also dominated social media with traditional campaigns that included sweepstakes resulting in about 10 percent of the entire Black Friday conversation. Another campaign Kerns mentions is the Victoria’s Secret campaigns which weren’t unveiled until November 23 and required tweeting and social sharing in order to unlock special Black Friday deals. Also watch: What's New on Netflix and What's Leaving in December 2015 Please enable Javascript to watch this video More »

  • Report: Apple will kill the 3.5mm headphone jack on the iPhone 7
    Report: Apple will kill the 3.5mm headphone jack on the iPhone 7 Sat, Nov 28, 2015

    Even though the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus mildly surprised the world by being ever-so-slightly thicker than the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Apple’s apparent obsession with thinness is far from over. A Japanese blog cites a source who says Apple intends to do away with the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack for the iPhone 7 and require users to hook up their cans via a Lightning connector or Bluetooth. The move would enable Apple to shave off “more than 1mm” from the thickness of the current iPhone 6S, according to 9to5Mac, citing the Japanese blog Macotakara. This could give Apple an opportunity to boast that the iPhone 7 is the thinnest iPhone ever. Related: Apple’s patent hints at waterproof iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches The 3.5mm headphone jack is essentially the bottleneck to supreme thinness, since it “can hardly be thinner because it is the world standard,” according to Macotakara. Apple once considered replacing the 3.5mm port with a 2.5mm port, according to 9to5Mac. Last year, Apple introduced Lightning headphone specs, though Lightning headphones are still a rarity. “The report claims that Apple will bundle Lightning connector-equipped EarPods with the next iPhone, incorporating a tiny DA (Digital to Analog) converter into the connector,” according to 9to5Mac. If this report is accurate, Apple’s move would open the floodgates for manufacturers of 3.5mm-to-Lightning adapters. It also surfaces questions about charging the iPhone while a headphone is plugged in. Also watch: Apple iPhone 6S Plus vs. Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Please enable Javascript to watch this video More »

  • Instagram unveils multi-account access for Android beta users
    Instagram unveils multi-account access for Android beta users Sat, Nov 28, 2015

    Instagram is taking a page from Twitter’s book by allowing its app users to stay logged in to multiple accounts at the same time. The feature is rolling out to Android users who are part of Instagram’s Play Store beta testing program. The multi-account access was noticed on version 7.12.0 of the Instagram beta app, according to Android Police and Twitter user @fro_rogue. Users who have the beta app can dive into the bottom of the settings menu and tap on “Add Account” to log in to another account or create a new Instagram handle. Related: Justin Bieber broke Instagram, Facebook fixed it After a user is logged into multiple accounts, they can toggle between them by tapping their username from their profile page. A drop-down menu will display the added accounts and an option to add another account. Users can head back to the settings menu to log out of individual accounts or all added accounts at once. The multi-account feature appears to be rolling out to beta users in phases, according to Android Police. Some users report having the feature then losing it. If you use an Android phone and want to join the Instagram Beta Program, head to the Google Group and follow the steps. Also watch: Apple iPhone 6S Plus vs. Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Please enable Javascript to watch this video More »

  • Why is wireless charging taking so long to arrive? We ask an expert
    Why is wireless charging taking so long to arrive? We ask an expert Sat, Nov 28, 2015

    If you haven’t tried wireless charging yet, then it’s time that you did. With a pad plugged in next to your bed or on your desk, you can just place your phone on top and charge it up while you sleep or work, no need to fiddle with a cable ever again. A lot of smartphones support it out of the box, but even with ones that don’t, like the iPhone, you can get cases that add wireless charging capability. According to IHS 160 million wireless receivers will ship this year, up from 55 million in 2014. If we rewind to 2012, the user base for wireless charging was only around 12 million worldwide. “It has grown like crazy, it’s doubling every year now,” says John Perzow, V.P. of Market Development for the Wireless Power Consortium, the organization behind the Qi standard. “IKEA and Samsung have made a huge difference.” Ikea wireless charging furniture introduced the concept to a lot of people who’ve never looked at it before. The Swedish flat-pack furniture giant recently started to sell Qi wireless charging pads and phone cases, and it’s even building wireless charging into some tables and lamps. Related: 10 great wireless chargers to free yourself from cables Samsung latest smartphone flagship line — including the Galaxy S6, the S6 Edge, and the Galaxy Note 5 — all support wireless charging and cover the Qi and PMA standards. Samsung also manufactures its own line of Qi charging stations. The principles of wireless power have been around for a long, long time. It’s been over a century since Nikola Tesla demonstrated wireless charging. So, why has it taken so long for it to catch on? It got off to a slow start Anyone who tried wireless charging out in the beginning will remember fiddling with their phones trying to get the charging to kick in, and when it finally did start to work, it was slow. The early technology wasn’t really up to the job and it was expensive. “The first Qi devices were probably around 60 percent efficient, and that’s if you got it on the sweet spot,” explains Perzow. “If it shifted 6mm or 7mm off the sweet spot, it would get very inefficient and produce a lot of heat. The new ones are upwards of 75 percent efficient.” In case you’re wondering, wired charging is around 85 percent efficient, and the WPC intends to continue closing that gap. Andy Boxall/Digital Trends “We see a path to 85 percent if the phone were architected differently, if the Qi technology was more tightly integrated,” Perzow suggests. “Qi products have gotten better and will continue to get better. We’re now at 15 watts, working on higher, we have different designs that are less sensitive to placement, and we’re working on a resonant technique that will work through a tabletop efficiently. Qi continues to evolve and continues to be backward compatible.” The battle for standards Much has been made of the competition with regard to standards. The WPC, pushing the Qi standard, has been fighting it out with the Power Matters Alliance (PMA) with its Powermat technology, and the A4WP, which offers something called Rezence. The PMA and the A4WP merged back in June and recently rebranded as the AirFuel Alliance. The names are confusing, but there are really just two types of technology at play here. All magnetic induction wireless charging systems are resonant, so it makes more sense to talk about tightly coupled and loosely coupled systems. When the technology is tightly coupled, like the Qi and PMA standards, the receiver and transmitter coils have to be close together, ideally within 5mm. The field generated is dome-shaped, and so single coil devices have a sweet spot for charging. This was a definite issue with early wireless charging pads, but it has faded as the technology has improved and manufacturers have started to put more than one coil in their products. Rezence is loosely coupled technology, which allows for a transmitter with a single resonator coil to charge multiple devices. It works on a higher frequency and can cover a larger area. It doesn’t require the receiver to be in such close proximity, but it’s not as efficient. You lose more power with a loosely coupled system and electromagnetic emissions are higher. Related: Hands on: Starbucks wireless charging Consumers don’t really care about the technology behind wireless charging as long as it works. That’s why Samsung decided to support PMA and Qi, and it may prove to be the answer to the multiple standards issue. IHS is forecasting that 30 percent of the receiver market will be multi-mode by 2019. For consumers the ideal solution might be a dual system that combines close and loosely coupled technology, with some kind of automatic selection process that chooses the most appropriate one for your device based on the situation. It looks like both sides are shooting for that. Airfuel Alliance As it stands the WPC’s Qi is clearly in the lead, with much wider adoption, and that doesn’t look likely to change. ABI Research forecasts that through 2020, 713 million Qi and 213 million Powermat/Rezence chargers will ship. “Qi is out there, we’ve learned our lessons, we continue to evolve,” says Perzow. “Now that the ecosystem is in place the pieces to build a Qi system are cheap, and the technology works.” Qi is an open standard and it’s the dominant technology. It’s worth noting that Apple and Motorola used Qi components in the Apple Watch and Moto 360, though neither one submitted for interoperability testing. Apple wants to sell its own wireless magnetic charging dock, at $79 a pop. There will continue to be proprietary alternatives, and the AirFuel Alliance isn’t ready to throw in the towel just yet. But there are other threats to current wireless charging technology on the horizon, beyond the lack of a single standard. Fast charging and USB Type-C There may be another answer to our battery woes in the shape of faster charging and reversible cables. A lot of people were surprised that Google’s latest Nexus smartphones, the 5X and 6P, don’t support wireless charging, but the explanation given by Google’s Hiroshi Lockheimer, in a Reddit A.M.A. presents the argument quite neatly. “We added Qi wireless charging starting with N4 because plugging in USB Micro B was such a hassle! (Which way is up!?) With this year’s Nexii, we support USB Type-C, which has a reversible connector so there’s no more guessing. AND it charges incredibly swiftly: 1 to 100 percent in 97 mins on the 6P for example (the first ~45 mins of charging is especially fast). Meanwhile, wireless charging adds z (thickness). So, ease of plugging in + fast charging + optimizing for thinness made us double down on Type-C instead of wireless!” Related: Qi adopts fast charging capabilities Other manufacturers may also see the logic in Google’s argument, and given the trend toward ever-thinner phones, phone makers aren’t likely to pass over any chances to shave off a millimeter or two. Charging over distance Another possibility is that we’ll see a new technology emerge that’s capable of wirelessly charging over greater distances. We’ve seen prototype devices like Technovator’s XE, a power router with a range of up to 17 feet. There are some other players in this space, like Ossia and Energous. Ultrasound is another possibility that uBeam is exploring. But these companies all have something in common: They’ve yet to release any consumer products. “There’s a high cost when you transmit energy over distance. The intensity of the power diminishes with distance at a very high rate,” says Perzow. “The amount of energy you have to start with is so high, because of the distance, and the losses are so great, that it’s going to be extraordinarily inefficient.” There are questions to be answered about these new technologies, particularly with regard to efficiency, but the potential convenience is a powerful lure. Far-field solutions to the battery life conundrum are attracting a lot of investment and research at the moment, and they could be the future of wireless charging. In the short term, it looks like Qi will continue to lead wireless charging’s bid for mainstream acceptance. “There are over 300 different transmitter models available, 23 models of cars with Qi built in now, more and more companies are committing to it,” says Perzow. “Over the course of the next year you’ll see announcements from major fast-food chains, hoteliers, car manufacturers, and other industries adopting Qi wireless charging.” It’s a trend that he doesn’t expect to see fade any time soon. Also watch: Ikea Lab May Be Able To Turn Thermal Into Electric Energy Please enable Javascript to watch this video More »

  • Toshiba could sell small stake in memory chips business which has clients like …
    Toshiba could sell small stake in memory chips business which has clients like … Sat, Nov 28, 2015

    Toshiba recently announced that it could consider selling a minority stake in its semiconductor business. This would help the loss-making company raise funds in the wake of a recent accounting scandal. Under this business division, the Tokyo-headquartered electronics company sells memory chips to smartphone manufacturers such as Apple. More »

  • I’ll take mine black. For stainless appliances, darker is the future
    I’ll take mine black. For stainless appliances, darker is the future Fri, Nov 27, 2015

    As a parade of recent refrigerators that have come through our office attest, stainless steel appliances are still all the rage. They lend kitchens a professional air — even if the amateur chefs still can’t boil an egg. But while fridges and other appliances tend to be muted tones in the U.S., as we saw at IFA 2015, other countries love to bring colors into the kitchen. Black stainless steel isn’t exactly bucking the trend of neutral shades, but it is different from the standard silver. KitchenAid has a whole range of appliances in the material, including single and double wall ovens, fridges, and dishwashers. At the 2015 House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year, designer Ken Fulk said he chose the black stainless appliances because of the “wonderful depth to the metal,” which “fit in perfectly with our kitchen story.” Though KitchenAid says it’s the first-ever to have appliances in the color, here’s a similar lineup of Samsung appliances, and LG has fridges, ovens, dishwashers, and even a microwave. Samsung Black Stainless Steel collection Remodeling and interior design site Houzz recently conducted a poll of its community members on the black stainless steel trend. 60 percent of the over 6,600 respondents said they’d consider incorporating appliances in the color the next time they update their kitchens. Some said they were sick of all-white kitchens and were excited to see something new. Others, however, were worried that the color would darken their already dim kitchens even more. Related: Taste (the food inside) the rainbow! These 16 fridges come in every color One thing to note is that none of these manufacturers’ appliances match the others — LG’s color is different from KitchenAid’s, for example. If decided to go all in on the trend, unless you don’t mind a slightly grayer black on your fridge than on your dishwasher, you’d likely want to buy them as a set. More »

  • Samsung Biologics investing $736 million in manufacturing plant
    Samsung Biologics investing $736 million in manufacturing plant Fri, Nov 27, 2015

    SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Biologics, an unlisted arm of South Korea's Samsung Group, said on Friday it would invest 850 billion won ($736 million) to build a manufacturing facility, as the conglomerate steps up its expansion in the biopharmaceutical sector. Construction of the plant, which will have a capacity of 180,000 litres, is to be completed by September 2018, according to a regulatory filing. Most shares in Samsung Biologics are owned by Samsung C&T Corp and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd . ... More »

  • Black Friday To Be Biggest Online Shopping Day In UK History, Boosted By Gadget …
    Black Friday To Be Biggest Online Shopping Day In UK History, Boosted By Gadget … Fri, Nov 27, 2015

    Black Friday sales figures are nearing the £1bn mark which would make it the biggest online shopping day in U.K history, with gadgets proving to be most popular. Other gadgets selling well on the site include a Blaupunkt 32-Inch Widescreen HD TV and the TomTom Bandit Action Camera. Currys has also seen healthy Black Friday sales, particularly on Apple iPads, the Dyson V6 vacuum cleaner and the Samsung Ultra HD 4K 43-inch TV which is selling at £399, down from £549. More »

  • YouTube Kids hit by fresh complaints, this time over junk food videos
    YouTube Kids hit by fresh complaints, this time over junk food videos Fri, Nov 27, 2015

    U.S. consumer groups are still not happy with YouTube Kids, the supposedly family-friendly mobile app that launched back in February. While earlier complaints focused on the app’s failure to filter out videos with sexual content, colorful expletives, and ads for adult products such as alcohol, the most recent objections accuse some food and drink manufacturers of breaking promises not to aim promotional content at children. The groups – the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) and the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) – this week filed new complaints with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) asking it to investigate not only Google, which owns YouTube, but also more than 15 food and beverage makers – Coca-Cola, Hershey, and Nestle among them – that have promotional content appearing on the app. Related: Are screens scrambling our kids’ brains? We asked an expert “Far from being a safe place for kids to explore, YouTube Kids is awash with food and beverage marketing that you won’t find on other media platforms for young children,” CCFC’s Josh Golin said in a release, adding that the FTC “should investigate why Google’s algorithms aren’t configured to keep junk food marketing off of YouTube Kids, and hold food and beverage companies accountable for violating their pledges not to target their most unhealthy products to children.” Speaking in stronger terms, CDD executive director Jeff Chester said, “Our new complaints underscore why the FTC needs to stop Google from engaging in what are nothing less than harmful, unethical, and irresponsible practices that target America’s youngest children.” One of many examples offered by the CCFC reveals that Coca-Cola has so far shown 47 TV ads on YouTube Kids as well as 11 promotional videos. Related: YouTube Kids goes global following a sticky launch YouTube told the Guardian the app only shows ads “that are approved as family-friendly – for example, we don’t show any food and beverage ads – and all ads undergo a rigorous review process for compliance with our policies.” If that sounds odd, that’s because this apparently refers only to YouTube-managed pre-roll ads that play in slots between the main videos. If a brand uploads a TV ad to YouTube as a regular video, it skirts the policy as they are seen as videos not ads. It appears YouTube’s algorithms are then failing to root them out. While YouTube has said that turning off the app’s search function can limit access to these kinds of videos, the consumer groups are keen for the company to take other action such as adjusting the app’s algorithms to prevent the content from turning up in search results. Also watch: Apple iPhone 6S Plus vs. Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Please enable Javascript to watch this video More »

  • New Smartphone Batteries Will Charge To Full In Just 10 Minutes
    New Smartphone Batteries Will Charge To Full In Just 10 Minutes Fri, Nov 27, 2015

    The chip-maker has already held talks with Sony and Samsung More »

  • U.S. Thanksgiving shopping crowds 'good not great'; online sales st …
    U.S. Thanksgiving shopping crowds 'good not great'; online sales st … Fri, Nov 27, 2015

    By Nathan Layne and Nandita Bose PITTSBURGH/CHICAGO (Reuters) - Retailers across the United States offered early Black Friday discounts to lure bargain-hunters on Thanksgiving eve, but initial checks showed crowds in brick-and-mortar stores were subdued even as online sales jumped. "It's still early, and from what we are seeing so far the crowds are good but not great," said Craig Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners. At the Toys R Us in New York's Times Square, a line of about 200 shoppers, hemmed in by barricades, stretched to the corner of 45th Street and toward Sixth Avenue, where the Macy's Inc Thanksgiving Day parade had ended a few hours earlier. More »

  • Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Beats Apple’s iPhone At British Gadget Awards
  • Apple may switch iPhone display to OLED in 2018
    Apple may switch iPhone display to OLED in 2018 Fri, Nov 27, 2015

    Apple is rumoured to switch its iPhone display to OLED from the older LED technology in 2018. Although rival firm Samsung started selling phones with the former technology in 2010, Apple has persisted with LED screens as they are cheaper to manufacture and easier to procure. Organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology offers greater contrast levels in comparison to LED and is more energy efficient, as each pixel provides its own illumination. More »

  • LG Display plans multi-billion OLED plant
    LG Display plans multi-billion OLED plant Fri, Nov 27, 2015

    World's first curved OLED TV of LG Electronics are seen displayed during an IT show in Seoul in 2013 More »

  • Cheryl Fernandez-Versini leaves award winner 'speechless' after surprising …
    Cheryl Fernandez-Versini leaves award winner 'speechless' after surprising … Thu, Nov 26, 2015

    The X Factor judge and pop singer left Adrian stunned when she surprised him on stage at the awards ceremony. More »

  • Black Friday 2015: Your ultimate guide to the best technology deals
    Black Friday 2015: Your ultimate guide to the best technology deals Thu, Nov 26, 2015

    Black Friday 2015 has landed. Here we have rounded up all of the best technology deals for you to spend your last pre-Christmas paycheque on. We've got iPhones, tablets, GoPro cameras, the Samsung Galaxy S6 and much, much more. More »

  • Best TVs under $1,000
    Best TVs under $1,000 Thu, Nov 26, 2015

    It’s finally happened: the 4K Ultra HD revolution has left the star-studded homes of the video elite and landed right here in Everytown, U.S.A. Named for a pixel density that’s around four times higher than 1080p HD, 4K has been champing at the bit since way back in 2013. But this year, TVs bearing the technology finally crossed the $1,000 line en masse — and that means it’s time to seriously consider betting on one for yourself. While it’s true that 4K content hasn’t kept pace with the hardware, it’s coming soon and from all directions. And even if you’re not all that impressed with 4K’s resolution, the TVs have some real advantages over current 1080p sets, boasting better future-proofing, the latest processing and motion technologies, and more. As such, our updated list of the Best TVs under a grand is flush with awesome picks from the 4K landscape, as well as a few humongous HD TVs — because in TV land you can never go too big. Follow along here to find the best TVs under $1,000. If $1,000 is a too rich for your budget check out our picks for the Best TVs under $500. The Best Samsung UN55JS7000FXZA SUHD TV ($1,000) At CES 2015 last year Samsung pulled the veil off its latest and greatest TV innovation: SUHD. It’s short for Super Ultra HD TV, and we got our first glimpse of these vibrant new displays at a posh poolside event that showcased some of the most vivid colors ever produced from an LED TV. The secret to SUHD is a brighter, 10-bit panel coated with a nano-crystal layer, which Samsung says helps to improve the color accuracy. Along with a better, brighter panel, the JS7000 comes loaded with 4 HDMI and 3 USB inputs, processing extras like local dimming to improve contrast, and Samsung’s decked-out Tizen Smart Hub with all the streaming apps you’ll need to keep you glued to your couch long into next year. Settled on the lowest rung of the SUHD lineup, the TV’s performance will suffer just a bit — especially since the native refresh rate is only 60Hz, meaning high-speed content may suffer without motion processing help. Still, this is Samsung’s big new thing, and the fact that you can get one of these babies for under a grand is actually pretty damned surprising. In other words: grab one. Screen size 55 in Display technology LED Backlighting Full Array Refresh rate 60 Hz Buy it now from: Amazon The Rest LG 60UF7300 Ultra HD TV ($900) While LG’s 60-inch class is  technically just 59.5 inches from corner to corner  — who knows where that extra half-inch goes — if you don’t think a damn-near 60-inch 4K panel at this price is a screaming deal, you’ve got some marbles to collect somewhere. In fact, this set was in strong contention for our number one pick. Along with top resolution and a huge screen, the real gift that comes with this set (and all new LG smart TVs) is webOS 2.0, which offers an intuitive, lightning-fast user interface and all the major streaming apps including the elusive Amazon Prime. The IPS panel means black levels won’t be stellar, but it also means brilliant color reproduction enhanced by LG’s ULTRA Luminance processing. And seriously, at this price and size, this 4K Ultra HD set is another no-brainer. Screen size 59.5 in Display technology LED Backlighting Edge-lit Refresh rate 120 Hz Buy it now from: Best Buy Vizio M55-C2 4K Ultra HD TV ($900) Vizio has been muscling its way into flat screen prominence for years now with an aggressive price-to-performance ratio, and the M-series is a prime example. Offering an impressive combination of features and picture quality at an extremely manageable price point, this 55-inch display brings full-array local dimming with 32 independent zones for excellent contrast, a six-core processor for snappy performance, and a native 120Hz panel for excellent motion response. Add in 4 HDMI inputs and a loaded smart interface, and it’s easy to see how this once-budget brand has punched its way into the big leagues. Screen size 55 in Display technology LED Backlighting Full Array Refresh rate 120 Hz Buy it now from: Amazon Best Buy Walmart Sony XBR49X830C 4K Ultra HD TV ($800) Sony TVs may be pricier than others for their size, but there’s a reason for that: The company’s processing is still some of the finest in the business, allowing Sony TVs to squeeze out excellent performance and extremely accurate colors from an average LED panel. While the X830C may be a hair smaller than its 4K Ultra HD competitors on our list — and therefore less likely to allow your eyes to see the full effect of its dense pixels — it still offers impressive color accuracy and motion performance, and above average contrast. Plus Sony sets come with a few other perks, including the capable Android TV smart platform, as well as the ability to stream PS3 games straight to your TV. Screen size 49 in Display technology LED Backlighting Edge-lit Refresh rate 120 Hz Buy it now from: Amazon Best Buy Walmart Samsung UN55JU6500 4K Ultra HD TV ($900) While it’s not part of the new SUHD mafia, this TV still packs a punch for its price point that sits $50 below our proposed price cutoff. Along with 4K resolution, the TV packs full-array local dimming (just like our top pick) allowing for better contrast — and since this is a VA panel, it should boast rich black levels, too. We still prefer the SUHD set at the top of our list, but barring that, this fully loaded 4K Ultra HD set is a prime second choice. Screen size 55 in Display technology LED Backlighting Full Array Refresh rate 60 Hz Buy it now from: Amazon Best Buy Walmart LG 55UF6450 4K Ultra HD TV ($700) While not nearly the monster deal presented by the first LG on our list, at $900 this 55-inch hunk of 4K action is still a contender — so much so that we would’ve been blown away by this price just 6 months ago. Of course, that was then, and this is now. The most obvious drawback of choosing this TV over the UF7300 is the fact that it’s five inches smaller from point to point — which is a bigger compromise in screen real estate than it sounds. It also doesn’t offer the True-Black Control processing of its sibling, so contrast will likely take a ding, and the native refresh rate is only 60Hz, so motion performance will suffer too. It does have webOS 2.0 and 3 HDMI inputs, so this set is no slouch when it comes to features, but if you can get the UF7300, it’s the superior choice. Screen size 55 in Display technology LED Backlighting Edge-lit Refresh rate 60 Hz Buy it now from: Amazon Best Buy Walmart Sharp Aquos LC-65LE654U HD TV ($1,000) If you just want the biggest TV you can find, and you don’t care about 4K, this TV fits the bill nicely. Moreover, if you’re looking to save some serious cash, you can step down to the 55-inch model and scratch around $400 off the price. While black levels or contrast won’t compete with the top of the heap, the LE65eU is a plus-sized set that’s bright and vibrant, and loaded with enough inputs and features to sit in the captain’s chair of your home theater. Screen size 65 in Display technology LED Backlighting Edge-lit Refresh rate 120 Hz Buy it now from: Amazon Best Buy Walmart Samsung UN60J6200 HD TV ($700) If there’s one great thing about the passage of time, it’s the falling of prices. If you’d have told us you could get a 60-inch Samsung HD TV with full-array backlighting for $850 last year, we’d have asked nothing more than where to sign. And though we still think going for 4K Ultra HD is the right move in the current landscape, if you’re not convinced of the need for 4K yet, this TV will do you right. It’s only got 2 HDMI inputs, and doesn’t boast a whole lot of other features, but excellent color reproduction, solid contrast and black levels, and all you’ll need in the smarts department make the J6200 a solid choice for your primary TV — and an awesome choice for the back bedroom. Screen size 60 in Display technology LED Backlighting Full Array Refresh rate 120 Hz Buy it now from: Amazon Walmart Vizio E65-C3 HD TV ($1000) Here’s another television that makes the case for size over performance. While it’s HD TV resolution is merely mortal, unlike nearly all similarly-sized TVs in its price range, the E65-C3 offers full-array backlighting with local dimming, helping it reach richer black levels, along with better contrast and uniformity than the majority of its peers. Add in a solid smart platform and a claimed 240Hz native refresh panel, and the E-series is a prime choice in the HD arena. Like others of its ilk, taking a step down to the 55- or 50-inch models also provides a mega-bargain, dropping hundreds of dollars with each size class. Screen size 65 in Display technology LED Backlighting Full-array Refresh rate 240 Hz Buy it now from: Amazon Best Buy More »

  • Don’t buy that cheap 1080p TV! Here’s why it’s finally time to go 4K
    Don’t buy that cheap 1080p TV! Here’s why it’s finally time to go 4K Thu, Nov 26, 2015

    Sure, 1080p TVs still have their place — in your bedroom, kitchen, or bathroom, maybe — but their reign over the living room is coming to a close. If you’re looking to replace one of your home’s go-to televisions and you’ve been on the fence wondering which way to go, let us make it simple for you: Jump down on the side of a 4K Ultra HD TV. All the excuses are gone, all the exceptions, null, all the arguments, moot. Manufacturers plotted to phase out 1080p TVs years ago, and with recent holiday pricing announced, we’ve now turned that corner. You really should buy a 4K UHD TV. Still need convincing? Good! You’re doing your research! Here’s what you need to know. 4K UHD TVs are affordable now Remember the laugh-out-loud moments we had over the inconceivably high price tags the first 4K UHD TVs came out with? Sony with its $25,000 85-incher? Samsung’s $40,000 84-incher? No? Then please enjoy these Amazon reviews to jostle your memory whilst tickling your funny bone (come on, even George Takei had a few chuckles over these). Related: These are the best TVs under $1,000 Indeed, 4K UHD TVs started out (almost) hilariously expensive, but in just a few short years they became downright reasonable. In fact, 4K UHD TVs dominate our Best TVs under $1,000 list right now. But are these chintzy, stripped-down TVs? Au contraire! All the good TVs are 4K UHD When a no-name brand comes out of left field with a 55-inch 4K UHD TV priced below $1,000 while its big-name competitors are charging at least seven times that much, you should be suspicious. But that’s not the situation we’re looking at today. Now, all the big-name manufacturers are competing for your 4K dollars with affordable models. When top brands compete, the consumer wins. But here’s the clincher: Manufacturers want to phase out 1080p TVs — right or wrong, that’s what they’re doing — and they are choosing to put their best tech into 4K UHD TVs,  not into 1080p TVs. Samsung 4K SUHD JS9500 Series Bill Roberson/Digital Trends There’s a saying among TV experts that rings  mostly true: It’s not the panel, it’s the processing. Meaning: the exact same LCD panel can be used in two televisions, but one will look remarkably better than the other because of superior video processing. That’s still true today, but now manufacturers have more advanced backlighting systems, color enhancement technologies, High Dynamic Range processing, a new HDMI specification, and more — all of which make a tremendous difference in picture quality. But none of the cutting-edge stuff is going into 1080p TVs any more. Certainly, there are still some solid 1080p TVs out there, and they will look good for years to come. But if you want a great TV capable of taking advantage of all the latest video content — from streaming 4K UHD titles to the coming Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc format– you’re going to need a 4K UHD TV. TVs are an investment. So invest! As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, there are places where a 1080p TV still makes sense — you don’t need a 42-inch 4K TV for your bathroom (unless you actually do, in which case: congratulations). But if we’re talking about the centerpiece of your home-entertainment system, you should looking at a TV that is going to serve you well for years to come, not leave you feeling like you’re missing out on something every time you turn it on. A 4K UHD TV will let you see the best-quality version of House of Cards, Game of Thrones, or whatever TV show or movie you’re into, for years to come. You’ll get more color, better contrast, and higher resolution, and your eyes will thank you for it. Pshaw! There’s plenty of content You’ve no doubt run into some articles talking about a paucity of 4K UHD content out there to watch. That’s yesterday’s problem, friends. There’s already a solid amount of 4K UHD content available from several streaming services — some with ultra-high contrast HDR capabilities — available right now. And more is coming. Not into streaming? Ultra HD Blu-ray discs and players will debut in January and February of 2016, and by holiday time next year, you can count on a large selection of titles to choose from that will make your TV look incredible. Granted, broadcast networks and cable-satellite operators have a little catching up to do, but trust us when we say behind-the-scenes work to bring you your favorite sports and broadcast TV shows in 4K UHD is well underway. When the transition begins, it’s going to move quickly. It’s only a matter of time, and you’ll want to be ready to take advantage when it goes down. Choose wisely We hope you’re now feeling comfortable pulling the trigger on a new 4K Ultra HD TV purchase. It really is the smartest decision, and in a year or two, 1080p TVs won’t even be an option. But if you’re not sure which 4K UHD TV might be best for you, we’ve got some more helpful advice for you right here in our detailed 4K Ultra HD TV buying guide. Happy shopping! Also watch: Plugged Crown Headphones Review Please enable Javascript to watch this video More »

  • X Factor star Cheryl presents Young Achiever of the Year award
    X Factor star Cheryl presents Young Achiever of the Year award Thu, Nov 26, 2015

    Cheryl Fernandez-Versini has surprised a young person at a charity ceremony by presenting him with the Young Achiever of the Year award. More »

  • Samsung Gear S2 review: Second time's a charm for smartwatch that goes for …
    Samsung Gear S2 review: Second time's a charm for smartwatch that goes for … Thu, Nov 26, 2015

    The original Samsung Gear smartwatch was difficult to love. It had a large, square, curved screen, it ran Samsung's own Tizen operating system, and it had a SIM card slot. For the Gear S2, Samsung has gone back to the drawing board and come up with a smartwatch that has been improved on in every way. More »

  • Black Friday 2015: eBay deals include MacBooks, cameras, Xbox One consoles, …
    Black Friday 2015: eBay deals include MacBooks, cameras, Xbox One consoles, … Thu, Nov 26, 2015

    Scroll down for the best eBay Black Friday deals 2015. More »

  • 4 annoying iPad Pro problems, and what to do about them
    4 annoying iPad Pro problems, and what to do about them Thu, Nov 26, 2015

    The iPad Pro’s large, 12.9-inch display, split-screen multi-tasking support, and 10-hour battery life are tempting millions into buying Apple’s biggest tablet ever. It’s an attractive device for productivity and creativity, but it isn’t flawless. If you’ve splashed out on one, then you have every right to expect it to work perfectly. Sadly, for some people it has been behaving unprofessionally. These are the most common iPad Pro problems being reported online, with advice on what you should do to work around them, or, where possible, fix them so they don’t happen again. Related: 7 must-have iPad Pro accessories for your new tablet Click on an issue to jump to it: Glitch: Won’t turn on after charging Problem: Can’t connect to Wi-Fi Issue: Screen freezing during use Bug: System sounds are very quiet First problem: Won’t turn on after charging Click on an issue to jump to it: Glitch: Won’t turn on after charging Problem: Can’t connect to Wi-Fi Issue: Screen freezing during use Bug: System sounds are very quiet Glitch: Won’t turn on after charging If you find that your iPad Pro won’t turn on, the screen remains black, and doesn’t respond when you tap it or press buttons, then you are not alone. This seems to be a common problem that occurs after charging. A lot of people report leaving their iPad Pro charging overnight, only to find that it won’t turn on in the morning. Workarounds: Hold down the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons together for at least 10 seconds, or until you see the Apple logo. Your iPad Pro should work again now, but the problem is likely to reoccur. Some people report the issue was resolved after turning on the “Hey Siri” feature via Settings > General > Siri. Potential fixes: It may be worth backing up and restoring your iPad Pro to factory settings via iTunes. This seems to have worked for some people, but others say that it didn’t work for them. If you want to try it, then plug your iPad Pro into your computer using the cable that came with it. Launch iTunes and choose your iPad Pro, then click on Summary and Restore. Click Restore again to confirm. You might consider trying to get a replacement iPad Pro, though this is likely to be a software issue rather than a hardware problem. An update to deal with this issue is likely in the works. Apple is investigating, and you can keep an eye out for a new fix on this page on the Apple website. Next problem: Can’t connect to Wi-Fi Click on an issue to jump to it: Glitch: Won’t turn on after charging Problem: Can’t connect to Wi-Fi Issue: Screen freezing during use Bug: System sounds are very quiet Problem: Can’t connect to Wi-Fi A few people are having trouble getting the iPad Pro to connect to a Wi-Fi network. This is a very common issue for all sorts of devices, and it’s usually a fairly easy to fix. Here’s what to try: Potential solutions: Turn your router and your iPad Pro off and on again. Hold down the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons together for around 10 seconds and you should see the Apple logo as the device reboots. It’s also worth restarting the router if you can. Try resetting all your network settings by going to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings. You’ll have to input your passwords again. If your router has MAC filtering turned on, then you may need to turn it off. It is possible to add your iPad’s MAC address, but due to Apple’s MAC randomization, there’s a good chance it’s going to change and refuse to connect the next time you try. The simplest solution is just to turn MAC filtering off altogether. It’s possible that your DNS settings are the problem. You can change them in Settings > Wi-Fi by tapping the “i” icon next to your network and scrolling down to DNS. Tap on the numbers and change them to “” or “” if you want to use Google’s servers, or you could use OpenDNS, which is “” or “”. If you’re using a VPN service, make sure you have the latest updates. Make sure that your router firmware is fully updated. You may need to check with your ISP or the router manufacturer. Next problem: Screen freezing during use Click on an issue to jump to it: Glitch: Won’t turn on after charging Problem: Can’t connect to Wi-Fi Issue: Screen freezing during use Bug: System sounds are very quiet Issue: Screen freezing during use Some people have found that the iPad Pro keeps freezing while in use. The screen will freeze and remain unresponsive for a number of seconds, and then resume as normal. However, it doesn’t seem to be related to a specific app. Workaround: Hold down the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons together for at least 10 seconds, or until you see the Apple logo. Your iPad Pro should work again now, but the problem might crop up again. Potential fixes: You should try restoring your iPad Pro to factory settings via iTunes. Back up any precious files first, then plug your iPad Pro into your computer using the cable that came with it. Launch iTunes and choose your iPad Pro, then click on Summary and Restore. Click Restore again to confirm. Keep in mind that restoring from a backup may reintroduce the problem, though, you could try testing for a while without restoring a backup to see if the issue is resolved. If the problem persists, even after a restore with a fresh set up and without restoring a backup, then it’s time to contact Apple or take your iPad Pro into the nearest Apple Store and ask about a replacement. Next problem: System sounds are very quiet Click on an issue to jump to it: Glitch: Won’t turn on after charging Problem: Can’t connect to Wi-Fi Issue: Screen freezing during use Bug: System sounds are very quiet Bug: System sounds are very quiet A number of iPad Pro owners are having trouble hearing system sounds. The volume is fine for movies and music, but alerts about emails, messages, and calendar events — along with keyboard taps and other system sounds — are playing at a very low volume. Potential solutions: Start by swiping up from the bottom to open the Control Center, and make sure that Mute — the bell icon with a diagonal line through it — is not turned on. Take a look in Settings > Sounds. If Change with Buttons is off, then the system sound level will be set separately in here. Try tweaking your settings and see if it makes a difference. If you set up your iPad Pro and restored a previous iOS device backup, then it’s possible that a previous setting is causing your problems. You can test this by backing up your device and then restoring it to its factory settings. Plug your iPad Pro into your computer using the cable that came with it. Launch iTunes and choose your iPad Pro, then click on Summary and Restore. Click Restore again to confirm. Test the sound before you restore any backup or install anything, and see if the volume is higher. That’s all of the iPad Pro problems we have for now, but please do check back in future because we’ll update this piece with new issues, workarounds, and fixes as we discover them. If you have a different iPad Pro problem, or you know of a good fix, please share it in the comments below. More »

  • Rita Ora 25th birthday: Singer's success story from Jay Z's Roc Nation …
    Rita Ora 25th birthday: Singer's success story from Jay Z's Roc Nation … Thu, Nov 26, 2015

    Since bursting on to the scene less than five years ago, the RIP singer has become a household name in the UK while proudly flying the flag for the Brits on the other side of the pond. The singer graduated from the prestigious Sylvia Young Theatre School, whose previous students include late singer Amy Winehouse and X-Men actor Nicholas Hoult. After singing in open mic sessions at her father's pub, Ora got her first break when she featured on Craig David's track Awkward before working with the likes of Tinchy Stryder and James Morrison. More »

  • South Korea: VW rigged emissions in 125,000 diesel vehicles
    South Korea: VW rigged emissions in 125,000 diesel vehicles Thu, Nov 26, 2015

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea said Thursday it fined Volkswagen $12.3 million and ordered recalls of 125,522 diesel vehicles after the government found their emissions tests were rigged. More »

  • South Korea fines Volkswagen, orders recall over emissions cheating
    South Korea fines Volkswagen, orders recall over emissions cheating Thu, Nov 26, 2015

    By Joyce Lee SEJONG, South Korea (Reuters) - South Korea on Thursday became the first country outside the United States to punish Volkswagen AG on the basis of its own emissions tests, slapping the German automaker with a record fine and ordering a recall of 125,522 vehicles. The environment ministry said it ordered Volkswagen Korea to submit a recall plan by Jan. 6, 2016, after its own testing showed Europe's biggest auto manufacturer manipulated devices that record diesel emissions in vehicles with older engines. It also fined Volkswagen Korea 14.1 billion won (8 million pounds), the steepest financial penalty imposed on an automaker in Asia's fourth-biggest economy, a decision that could scare some buyers off imported cars generally. More »

  • Taylor Swift Accused Of Endangering Rare Birds
    Taylor Swift Accused Of Endangering Rare Birds Thu, Nov 26, 2015

    Taylor Swift has been accused of endangering a rare bird species by flouting filming restrictions while shooting a music video in New Zealand. The Bad Blood singer's production company was given permission to film at Bethells Beach near Auckland, home to the critically-endangered New Zealand dotterel. New Zealand's Department of Conservation says there are around 1,700 dotterels left in New Zealand and warns that their nests on beaches are "easily destroyed by careless feet, dogs and off-road vehicles". More »

  • Huawei unveils the veritable, but sleek, monster of a phablet that is the Mate …
    Huawei unveils the veritable, but sleek, monster of a phablet that is the Mate … Thu, Nov 26, 2015

    2015 has already graced us with a slew of quality from Chinese smartphone manufacturer Huawei, from the Nexus 6P and the Honor 7 to the Mate S and the P8. It seems like the Chinese firm is ready to excite the smartphone landscape once again with the Mate 8, the sequel to last year’s Mate 7. Much like with the Mate 7 before it, the most striking aspect of the Mate 8 is its gargantuan 6-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 resolution display. As big as the screen may be, however, Huawei made sure to emphasize the Mate 8’s ergonomics just as much, which is why the relatively high 83 percent screen-to-body ratio makes sure to make the phone easier to handle than you might think. Related: Check out our review of the Nexus 6P Also an improvement from the Mate 7 is the Mate 8’s internals, with the octa-core 2.3GHz Kirin 950 processor the star of the show. Offering a 100 percent performance boost over the Kirin 930 processor found in the Mate 7, the Kirin 950 brings with it an i5 co-processor, which will handle speech recognition, reduced location-based power consumption, and low-power MP3 consumption, among other tasks a typical processor would normally need to handle. Elsewhere, the Mate 8 retains the rear-mounted fingerprint sensor found on the Mate 7, though it’s now a circular design rather than the square design of yore. In addition, the Mate 8 seems to incorporate more aluminum into its DNA, with the 2.5D curved glass front panel making sure those side swipes feel more natural. Finally, the Mate 8 runs Huawei’s EMUI 4.0, the company’s own flavor of Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Unfortunately, Huawei left out several other key specifications, such as the resolutions of the front and rear cameras and the amount of internal memory, among other key details. It’s rumored that the Mate 8 carries a 20.7-megapixel camera on the back and an 8-megapixel selfie shooter, with the smartphone coming in two flavors: one with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage and the other with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. If the idea of another aluminum Huawei smartphone sounds good to you as much as it does to us, the Mate 8 will be available in Champagne Gold, Moonlight Silver, Space Gray, and Mocha Brown. As for region availability, the Mate 8 will be available in China starting in the first quarter of 2016. More information, which likely includes pricing for different regions and more specifications, will be revealed during CES 2016. Next page: Rumors about the Huawei Mate 8 before launch Design may be reminiscent of the Mate 7 More photos of what could be the Huawei Mate 8 have been leaked by GforGames. The new photos show four different colors we can expect for the Mate 8: black, silver, gold, and what we suspect is a rose gold. We see once again the edge-to-edge display spotted on previous photo leaks, along with the fingerprint sensor and dual-LED flash on the back. The design, if it turns out to be accurate, is very attractive. Related: Huawei Ascend Mate 7 hands on The photos were originally leaked on Chinese news site iMobile and microblogging service Weibo, but both have been taken down. Before this, OnLeaks revealed some new details earlier in November on what could be the Mate 8. In a spate of tweets, OnLeaks showed what looks like the back, front, and sides of the Mate 8, along with a short video of the device. The photos posted are quite convincing. The Mate 8 uses the same all-metal aesthetic as the Mate S, and has a fingerprint sensor on the back. OnLeaks said that the Mate 8 will not feature USB Type-C. No comments have been made on the screen or megapixel size. No physical buttons appear on the front of the leaked device, meaning we’re likely going to see software buttons. The display appears to be full edge-to-edge, with the Huawei logo and front-facing camera the only areas of non-screen on the front of the smartphone. However, this could be an optical illusion, generated by a black screen and matching black borders. Our first look at what could be the Mate 8 came from a Chinese source in late July, when a pair of renders showing the device were published online. The pictured phone’s design resembled the Mate 7 from 2014, right down to the large fingerprint sensor on the rear. On the front, the display has very thin bezels, and what looks like a flash unit is set above it, opposite the front-facing selfie camera. Subsequently, a short video was published an then deleted from YouTube, showing a hands-on with a phone said to be the Huawei Mate 8. The design was slightly different to the phone in the leaked picture. On the rear, the flash unit was off to the side of the camera lens, rather than between it and the potential fingerprint sensor. There was no obvious Huawei branding, with the name ‘Miahen’ used instead, but this could be creatively altered to make the company’s name. There were changes to the front, with no evidence of a front-facing flash, and the selfie cam lens and ambient light sensor sat to one side of the speaker. The phone was shown in a gold color. Premium body, high specs rumored The Mate 8, which drops the Ascend sub-brand in accordance with the Huawei’s new device naming conventions, seems categorically premium. According to a source in China, it’ll feature an all-metal body and extraordinarily thin bezel around a 2560 x 1440 touchscreen. The internals sound just as uncompromising: a 20.7-megapixel rear camera with a Sony sensor, up to 4GB of RAM, a fingerprint sensor, and support for Cat.6 LTE service. Reportedly driving the powerhouse is Huawei’s in-house Kirin 950 with eight CPU cores, a processor that the source claims matches or bests the performance of Qualcomm’s upcoming Snapdragon 820. Another report states Huawei will make two versions of the Mate 8, one with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage space, and the other with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal memory. It also adds the front facing camera may have 8-megapixels. However, the report questions whether the Kirin 950 chip will be ready in time for the Mate 8, and Huawei may be forced to go with an alternative. Related: Here’s some confidence for you: Huawei wants to chase down Apple and Samsung in the U.S.  This fits with earlier leaks indicating the Mate 8 would sport a Kirin 930 processor, and those reports also linked the phone with a 16-megapixel camera with optical image stabilization — but suitably high-end components are in line with previous Huawei Mate phones. Last year’s Ascend Mate 7, for instance, featured a massive 4,100mAh battery, 3GB of RAM, and a high-contrast IPS panel. It’s reasonable to speculate the Mate 8’s screen size will be roughly in line with its predecessor, and the gigantic P8 Max. This Chinese source agrees, stating it will measure 6-inches and have a 2K — which we’ll take to mean 2560 x 1440 pixels — resolution. A few unknowns remain. It’s likely the Mate 8 will run the newest iteration of Huawei’s Emotion UI overlay, but it’s unclear how radical a change it’ll be from the version (Emotion UI 3.0) that debuted alongside the the Ascend Mate 7. As for price, don’t expect the Mate 8 to be cheap. The Ascend Mate 7’s going rate in the UK was £399, or about $623. November 26 event teased According to Chinese blog Mobile Dad, Huawei has started teasing an event on November 26, which could see the arrival of the long-rumored phone. The teaser image shows a large figure 8, and states the Mate model line will return. It seems like a safe bet the phone on display will be the Mate 8, but it’s unofficial for now. Where will the Mate 8 be sold? If the Ascend Mate 7’s performance is anything to go by — Huawei shipped 1 million units in its first month of availability — the Mate 8 will undoubtedly sell well in China. But Zhiqiang Xu, president of the company’s U.S. division, earlier this year expressed ambitions beyond the mainland, asserting that 2015 would be “critical for Huawei” in its quest gain a U.S. foothold. To that end, Huawei has committed to improving its American portal for unsubsidized, unlocked device sales by staffing call centers in the U.S. and offering free shipping to and from local repair centers. The company has so far been reticent to brings its flagship devices to U.S. shores — the Ascend Mate 7 never landed stateside — but that could change with the Mate 8. Previous Updates: Updated on 11-25-2015 by David Curry: Added in more possible photos of the Huawei Mate 8. Updated on 11-18-2015 by David Curry: Added in new photos of the apparent Mate 8.  Updated on 11-02-2015 by Andy Boxall: Added in news the Mate 8 may launch on November 26 Updated on 08-04-2015 by Andy Boxall: Added in a short video which may show the Huawei Mate 8 Updated on 07-23-2015 by Andy Boxall: Added in leaked picture that may show the Huawei Mate 8 Article first published on 07-22-2015 More »

  • Verizon’s go90 mobile video platform launches exclusive web comedy Fatal De …
    Verizon’s go90 mobile video platform launches exclusive web comedy Fatal De … Thu, Nov 26, 2015

    We all have workplace issues to deal with, but at least the IT guy isn’t filming an action TV show featuring him fighting off villains with guns — lots of guns — in the office. That’s the premise of a new series from CollegeHumor, which has created a scripted remake of its 2008 web series Fatal Decision. The new show will only be available on Verizon’s free mobile go90 streaming video app (available on iOS and Android). There are 52 slated episodes of the Zach Reino-starring series produced by CollegeHumor’s Big Breakfast team, according to Variety. The show, which had its soft launch last week, will post new episodes on the mobile streamer each Wednesday. Related: It’s a time-traveling team-up in the first trailer for DC’s Legends of Tomorrow “Fatal Decision, which is loosely based on the CollegeHumor web series of the same name, is the ultimate movie within a movie,” said CollegeHumor head of video Sam Reich in a statement. “We hope that audiences get invested both in the story—that of Josh Mullen, trying to make an action series—and the story within the story—that of Jack Maxwell, unstoppable action hero.” The go90 exclusive is part of CollegeHumor’s deal to post ten new clips to the mobile streamer each month. Variety does note that, while CollegeHumor syndicates to partners like Vessel, Conde Nast Entertainment, and Samsung, most of the entertainment entity’s video audience remains on YouTube. “While CollegeHumor has been fortunate to pursue a variety of distribution opportunities, YouTube remains at the core with a primary AVOD window going to that platform,” said CollegeHumor general manager Shane Rahmani to the industry publication. go90 launched as a mobile-only free video service aimed at millennials in October. Its catalog of 8,000 TV episodes and clips include more than 35 exclusive series with content from AwesomenessTV, Vice, and Endemol Beyond USA. The streamer also recently inked a deal to bring a limited number of live NBA games mobile phones for free. More »

  • Jennifer Lawrence to take the director’s chair for Cold War comedy Project  …
    Jennifer Lawrence to take the director’s chair for Cold War comedy Project  … Wed, Nov 25, 2015

    Jennifer Lawrence ( The Hunger Games,  American Hustle, Silver Linings Playbook) has made her mark as an award-winning actress but she’ll soon embark on a new journey: directing. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly recently, the Oscar-winning actress disclosed her plans to get behind the lens. “I’d also like to direct a comedy,” she said. “I have wanted to direct as long as I’ve wanted to act. I just don’t talk about it because I’d rather just do it.” Related: Jennifer Lawrence takes Bradley Cooper to task in new Joy clip Lawrence’s first directing project certainly doesn’t sound like a comedy, though. Called Project Delirium, the film is based on a New Yorker report about mental warfare during the Cold War. Lawrence has described the project as being “like an acid experiment gone terribly wrong.” Raffi Khatchadourian wrote the 2012 New Yorker article in question, called Operation Delirium, which delves into Colonel James S. Ketchum’s chemical warfare experiments at the Edgewood military facility in Maryland between 1960 and 1969. In hopes of finding an incapacitating agent which sedated the enemy without killing them, Ketchum tested over 5,000 U.S. soldiers with substances like LSD, marijuana, and the deliriant compound called BZ. And, well, let’s just say that things didn’t quite go as planned. Lawrence didn’t explain what drew her to the project but she did dig into her passion for the director’s chair.  “It’s funny,” she told Entertainment Weekly, “I’ve wanted to direct since I was 16 and always thought I should start making steps towards that. If I had tried to do it earlier, I wouldn’t have been ready. Now I actually feel ready.” J-Law fans will continue to see her on the silver screen, though. Her third film with director David O. Russell ( American Hustle,  Silver Linings Playbook), called Joy, premieres on Christmas. Next year, and she’ll also reprise her role as Mystique in X-Men: Apocalypse in May, 2016. She’s also cast in the upcoming Morten Tyldum-directed sci-fi film Passengers, alongside red-hot star Chris Pratt . And in August, she announced that she’s co-writing a new comedy with comedian Amy Schumer. In other words, the actress, screenwriter, producer, and soon-to-be director has quite the busy schedule planned for the next few years. Also watch: Fox Releases New Clip for Joy Starring Jennifer Lawrence Please enable Javascript to watch this video More »

  • Still rockin’ a BlackBerry? You might want to check out its Black Friday de …
    Still rockin’ a BlackBerry? You might want to check out its Black Friday de … Wed, Nov 25, 2015

    With the BlackBerry Priv, the Canadian company gave us a glimpse of what could be the company’s Android-filled future. Those who are not ready to give up on BlackBerry OS 10, however, might want to take a peek at BlackBerry’s Black Friday deals. Starting with the Passport, BlackBerry will give customers a $100 discount on the boxy smartphone, effectively lowering the price tag from $500 to $400. The Passport Silver Edition, a refreshed version of the Passport that swaps out the original’s plastic-laden DNA for stainless steel, is now $500, a $100 discount from the original $600 price tag. Elsewhere, the nostalgic BlackBerry Classic, which comes in black and blue, currently goes for $300 — a fair amount lower from its original $380 price tag. Finally, the smallest discount goes to the all-touch Leap, which now sells for $180, only a step down from the original $200 price point. Related: Check out our review of the BlackBerry Priv Unfortunately, BlackBerry did not issue any discounts for the recently-released Priv, nor for the Q5 and the Porsche Design P’9983. In addition, unlike HTC and Samsung, BlackBerry did not issue discounts for any of its accessories, making Black Friday a smartphone-laden affair for the company. Of course, we wouldn’t blame you if any of these deals made you stop and think. For one, the app situation for BlackBerry OS 10 is relatively paltry, even when you consider the Amazon Appstore, which we consider more of a stopgap than an actual solution. In addition, with the Priv’s release, many have wondered whether BlackBerry will slowly kill support for its in-house operating system. Even though the company has come out and refuted the claim, it’s not hard to see BlackBerry inevitably make a complete switch to Android just to remain afloat. If any of that hasn’t pushed you away, however, know that all of these discounts are only in effect until December 1 or while stocks last. Also watch: Blackberry Classic - Hands On Please enable Javascript to watch this video More »

  • Microsoft's Nokia 230 is a blast from the past with its T9 keyboard
    Microsoft's Nokia 230 is a blast from the past with its T9 keyboard Wed, Nov 25, 2015

    Sometimes, letting go of the past is easier said than done, particularly when there are still people in the world who would rather depend on so-called “dumbphones” than modern-day smartphones. Enter Microsoft, with the recently-announced Nokia 230 and its dual-SIM counterpart. The Nokia 230 carries very humble specifications. It’s equipped with a 2.8-inch, 240 x 320 pixel resolution display. Running on the Series 30+ platform, the Nokia 230 is equipped with 16MB of RAM, and the MicroSD card slot gives the phone up to an 32GB of internal memory. Related: Samsung made an Android flip phone with two screens called the W2016 The 1,200mAh battery should give the Nokia 230 a maximum of 27 days standby time, 23 hours of 2G talk time, and 52 hours of music playback. Around front lies a 2-megapixel camera, which — funny enough — is actually higher resolution than some smartphones’ front-facing cameras nowadays. Finally, a 2-megapixel camera with flash can be found around back. Because of the hardware, don’t expect anything close to 4K video recording, as the front-facing camera only allows for 480p. The rear camera, meanwhile, records 320 x 240 resolution videos. Interestingly, both cameras feature flash modules, which is quite the rarity in dumbphones. Crucially, the Nokia 230 comes pre-loaded with Opera Mini, Bing Search, and MSN Weather, while the 2.5G support ensures you’ll actually be able to use the apps. However, much like with other dumbphones, you’ll need to switch back to Mini SIM to take advantage of the connectivity. Finally, seeing as the Nokia 230 is a candybar dumbphone, expect to use the nostalgic T9 keyboard if you want to get some typing done. If you’re intrigued by what the Nokia 230 has to offer, it’ll be available this December for roughly $55. However, unless you live in India, Asia, or the Middle East, expect to import one. More »

  • Don’t just survive Black Friday, conquer it with this morally ambiguous gear …
    Don’t just survive Black Friday, conquer it with this morally ambiguous gear … Wed, Nov 25, 2015

    You know the real reason Black Friday is so beloved by Americans? The violence. It gives the average Joe a chance behave like an NFL linebacker in a fumble scrum, while simultaneously taking care of holiday shopping and feeding our jones for a bargain. Don’t avoid it; prepare for it. Head to your favorite retailer geared up with the following weapons … er … protections, and you won’t just survive Black Friday: You will win Black Friday. SWAT-style battering ram ($200) Why the hell would they call them “doorbuster” sales if they didn’t actually want you to break down the physical barriers that keep you from getting inside the store? It’s not marketing – it’s an invitation, and it’s one that we highly recommend you act on before anyone else does. Based on our years of firsthand experience, we can guarantee that store clerks are more than willing to step aside when you sprint toward the door with a 65-pound battering ram in your arms and a crazy look in your eye. Point Blank Body Armor C-Series ($555) Black Friday is bad, but it’s not like you need a bullet-proof vest – that would be ridiculous! No, what you need is body armor designed for the close-quarters chaos of a prison riot, which is why we recommend Point Blank’s body armor designed for corrections officers. No one would be dumb enough to brandish a gun at Best Buy, but a shiv to the back? Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst … FORTIS exoskeleton (Price TBA) In case you haven’t noticed, TV’s have gotten absolutely freaking massive in the past year, and if you’re going to have any hope of lugging that 4K 84-inch behemoth to the checkstand, you’ll need some mechanical assistance. This badboy was designed by Lockheed Martin to transfer loads through the exoskeleton to the ground in standing or kneeling positions, and allows operators to wield heavy objects as if they were weightless. This way, while others struggle in vain to move a cart through the throngs of crazed shoppers, you can just sprint straight to the TV section and toss that giant new OLED over your shoulder like it’s nothing. Electric cattle prod ($63) It’s you against a herd of wild animals on Black Friday, so equip yourself with something designed for controlling herds of wild animals. Electric cattle prods are cheap, effective, and have a longer reach than your average tazer, so if you bring one along, you’ll be able to keep the frenzied masses at a safe distance as you make your way out the door with your hard-won bounty. If somebody gets too close, that’s when you bust out the bear mace. You do plan on bringing a couple cans of bear mace, right? We feel like that should go without saying here. .40 Caliber Blow Gun ($10) Few things match the anxious frustration of seeing the perfect Black Friday deal fly off the shelf before you can navigate the torrent of humanity between you and it. Don’t let that mom walk off with the last Wii U while you’re still 30 yards out; with this blow gun from Cabela’s, you can drop her in her tracks and buy just enough time close the gap. Once you’re face to face, it’s a fair fight — unless you’ve poisoned your darts with something, which we would never recommend. Stink Bombs ($8) Whereas the blowgun is good for neutralizing an individual, the stink bomb should be your go-to weapon for crowd control. It uses a pair of simple chemicals that, when mixed, create a horrendously foul odor that’s guaranteed to clear out a large area. This way, when you spot a herd of crazed holiday dealseekers making their way toward the iPad Mini display you’ve had your eye on, you can just hurl a vial toward it and force everyone to vacate the area. While everyone else is busy gagging, coughing, and vomiting uncontrollably, you can just swoop in with a clothespin on your nose and snag up the goodies. Black Ninja Folding Grappling Hook ($17) If your Black Friday plans include warehouse stores like Costco, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s, you’re going to need one thing you can’t buy: height. Because, while your rivals are duking it out for flatscreen TVs that they can reach, untold riches await far above the fray, at the top of the two-story racks usually only accessible by forklift. This hook includes 33 feet of nylon rope weight rated to 800 pounds and folds for easy concealment. Just remember to bring a Ninja buddy, because once you scale that rack, you’re going to have to toss the TV to someone … AstroGlide ($10) Once you’ve bashed the door in and made your entry, make sure to empty an entire bottle of this powerful oil-based personal lubricant all over any tiled surface you cross. This will create an extremely effective slipping hazard and help keep the hordes of crazed holiday shoppers behind you at bay just long enough for you to get a generous head start. It’s like throwing banana peels all over the floor, but less noticeable and easier to transport. It’s also great for anal. Injectable Adrenaline ($75) Joining the hardest of hardcore Black Friday shoppers by camping out in front of your favorite retailer Thursday night doesn’t mean squat if you’re not prepared for what happens when those doors open Friday morning. All your new friends who toasted your dedication the night before are going to be prowling the starting line before the sun comes up like a bunch of lions playing musical chairs. Lucky for you, there are no rules against performance enhancers in this game, so bring an EpiPen. While they’re jacking up on coffee, you’ll be running through brick walls. Avalanche Pack  ($550) These suckers are meant for hardcore big mountain skiers who regularly face the risk of getting buried under thousands of tons of snow, but they also happen to be extremely effective as emergency anti-trampling tools. Strap one on your back, and if you ever find yourself overcome by a World War-Z status peoplelanche in the electronics aisle, just pull the ripcord to deploy two high-pressure protective airbags on your sides. They’re also great for establishing a personal bubble in the checkout line. Homeboy in the Rudolph sweater standing a little too close? Give that ripcord a quick tug and you’ll send him flying across the room. More »

  • Black Friday 2015: The best technology deals from MobileFun
    Black Friday 2015: The best technology deals from MobileFun Wed, Nov 25, 2015

    It's that time again – that much-beloved (or hated) tradition of Black Friday has made its way across the pond with many UK retailers slowly coming onboard, including gadgets retailer MobileFun. More »