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ZTE Nubia 5S mini LTE heads to United States with IGZO display

08/20, 12:22pm

Mid-range specifications, 13MP camera included in US ZTE smartphone

ZTE has unveiled a new mid-range smartphone it will be shipping to the United States. The Nubia 5S mini LTE, originally launched in China late last year, offers a 4.7-inch 720p IGZO display, backed by a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor, Adreno 305 graphics, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage with microSD expansion also available.

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Briefly: Sharp Aquos Crystal on Sprint, Sony Xperia M2 Aqua launch

08/20, 5:20am

Sprint launches Sharp Aquos Crystal with slim bezel design

Sprint has confirmed it will carry the recently-announced Sharp Aquos Crystal smartphone on its network. Boasting a 5-inch 720p display with minimal bezel and mid-ranged specifications, Sprint will be selling the Aquos Crystal for $240 off-contract and $10 per month under Easy Pay, while the prepaid brand Boost and Virgin will both offer it for $150. Sprint did not advise of when the Aquos Crystal will be available, but the Japanese launch earlier this week points to a release on August 29th.

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Samsung Galaxy Alpha launches with metal frame, octa-core processor

08/13, 5:34am

Metal Samsung Galaxy Alpha uses 4.7-inch 720p Super AMOLED display

Samsung has unexpectedly launched the Galaxy Alpha smartphone, weeks before an Unpacked launch event. The rumored smartphone has been revealed as using a metal frame with a soft back cover, a change from the heavily use of plastic in earlier Galaxy devices, with the Alpha's 7mm (0.28-inch) thickness making it one of the slimmest Galaxy smartphones the company has ever produced.

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Crowdfunding Critic: MIOPS smartphone high speed camera trigger

08/12, 8:55pm

High speed photos taken with help of smartphone app, compatible with many current cameras

Welcome to another Tuesday edition of the Crowdfunding Critic here at Electronista and MacNN. Every Tuesday and Thursday, we bring you a crowdfunding project that we like enough to share with our readers. As we note, this isn't an endorsement of the project or the campaign, but rather something the staff thought was interesting enough to mention. As with any crowdfunding project, we urge our readers to research the items they are considering pledging on, as all investments come with risk. The subject for today's post is the MIOPS smartphone controllable high-speed camera trigger.

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OnePlus One OTA update adds Android 4.4.4, camera app function

08/11, 8:53pm

Clear Image function in OnePlus One camera app creates composite from ten photographs

OnePlus has started to roll out an over-the-air update to the OnePlus One smartphone, upgrading the device to Android 4.4.4. The staggered rollout, which should reach all device owners by the end of this week, fixes a number of bugs in the firmware and updates Android itself to a more recent version, as well as introducing a new function to the camera app called Clear Image.

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Samsung reportedly testing smartphone with three-sided display

08/07, 4:49pm

Prototype in testing claimed to use screen which covers sides of smartphone

Samsung is testing a prototype smartphone with a wraparound display, according to a report. The previously-rumored smartphone is said to employ a display panel that stretches over from the front onto the two sides of the device, effectively treating the edge displays as a software-defined interface instead of the typical volume and power buttons used by current devices.

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Xiaomi now China's leading smartphone brand, beats Samsung shipments

08/05, 5:53pm

Firm states that Chinese company overtook Samsung on weak shipment quarter

Research firm Canalys ushered in some less-than-welcome news for Samsung this week, as the firm indicates that the Korean electronics manufacturer has lost the leading smartphone spot in China. Xiaomi, a Chinese manufacturer that has rapidly risen in popularity, has claimed the top spot for market share in the country, dethroning Samsung on the back of weak quarterly results.

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Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro revealed with six-inch Quad HD screen, 16MP camera

08/05, 12:12pm

High-resolution display of Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro has pixel density of 490ppi

Lenovo has launched its previously rumored flagship smartphone with a six-inch Quad HD-resolution display. The Vibe Z2 Pro sports a pixel density of 490ppi in its thin 7.7mm (0.3 inches) frame, with the smartphone also boasting a 16-megapixel rear camera with a BSI sensor, optical image stabilization, and a number of features to help photographers.

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Samsung invites media to Unpacked event, possible Galaxy Note 4 launch

08/05, 8:29am

Pre-IFA event could see unveiling of Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Alpha

Samsung is planning to launch new devices in early September, according to an invitation sent to members of the media. An Unpacked event is set to take place on September 3rd in Berlin, two days before the IFA tradeshow is set to take place, and based on items launched at previous Unpacked events at this time of year, it may be the launch venue for the Galaxy Note 4.

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Kogan launches Agora 4G with LTE connectivity, 5-inch 720p screen

08/04, 10:58am

Low-budget Kogan smartphone takes on Moto G

Australian hardware manufacturer Kogan has made its latest LTE-equipped smartphone available for international purchase. The Agora 4G, effectively an upgraded version of the Agora launched last year, is attempting to take on the low-budget Moto G and Moto E with a similar-specification list featuring a few improvements, including a five-inch 720p IPS display.

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Verizon launches LG VG Vista, sapphire-protected Kyocera Brigadier

07/31, 8:25am

Rugged Kyocera Brigadier has sapphire glass display, dust and water resistance

Verizon has quietly launched two smartphones on its network, with both available to buy today. The LG G Vista is a previously-rumored 5.7-inch smartphone with a qHD resolution, while the Kyocera Brigadier is a ruggedized smartphone with a 4.5-inch 720p display, a screen which is unusually protected by a front panel made from sapphire glass.

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LG G Vista leak claims 5.7-inch display, mid-range specifications

07/28, 5:45am

Larger but lower-resolution screen touted for LG G Vista compared to G3

A large-screened mid-ranged smartphone from LG is on the way to Verizon, according to reportedly leaked documents. Claimed to be called the LG G Vista, the smartphone appears to combine the specifications of the G3 Beat unveiled earlier this month with a device slightly bigger than the current flagship G3, albeit without the "Quad HD" display.

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Sony Xperia Z3 could have similar internals to Z2, faster processor

07/23, 2:05pm

Same processor, RAM, camera claimed to be used in Xperia Z3 as in Xperia Z2

The Sony Xperia Z3 has resurfaced again in rumors, this time with a list of alleged specifications. The rumored follow-up to the Xperia Z2 is said to have a 5.15-inch 1920x1080 display, marginally smaller than the predecessor's 5.2-inch version, and though it will apparently be a better smartphone, it appears the new device will only be a minor improvement overall.

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Xiaomi launches Mi 4 smartphone, low-cost Mi Band fitness tracker

07/22, 6:06am

Xiaomi Mi 4 has 5-inch 1080p display, claimed quick-charging battery

Chinese mobile device manufacturer Xiaomi has unveiled two new items for the Chinese market. The Xizomi Mi 4 continues the Mi device line with a 5-inch display and a hint of iPhone styling, while the Mi Band is a low-cost fitness band which can be used as a proximity security system for the smartphone, allowing the Mi 4 to automatically unlock when it is held in the same hand that is also wearing the band.

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Gionee smartphone spotted at Chinese regulator with 5mm-thick body

07/21, 5:54am

Thin Gionee smartphone sacrifices specification for compact body

China could soon see the release of what may be the world's thinnest smartphone. A listing with Chinese regulator TENAA confirms an Android device from Gionee with the model number GN9005 is on the way, with its thickness of just 5mm (0.2 inches) being half a millimeter thinner than the company's own Elife S5.5, and two thirds of the thickness of the iPhone 5s.

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LG G3 Beat unveiled as mid-range G3 with laser auto focus

07/17, 6:42am

Mid-tier LG G3 Beat uses quad-core 1.2GHz processor, 8MP camera

LG has launched an alternative to the LG G3 with mid-ranged specifications and a potentially lower price tag. Rumored as the G3 Mini a few months ago, the G3 Beat downgrades the 5.5-inch 2560x1440 display of its stablemate for a 5-inch 1280x720 version, giving it a screen-to-body ratio of 74.1 percent, and though internal components have gone through similar changes, some of the G3's features make a reappearance.

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ZTE launches Nubia Z7, Max, mini smartphones in China

07/08, 12:01pm

ZTE Nubia Z7 equals majority of LG G3 specifications

ZTE has launched three Android smartphones as successors to the Nubia Z5S and Z5S mini. The main Nubia Z7 is a device similar to the LG G3 in terms of specification, complete with a 1440x2560 5.5-inch display, the Nubia Z7 Max is a slightly lower-specification device with a 5.5-inch 1080p display, and the Z7 mini has a slightly smaller 5-inch Full HD screen.

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Sony launches Xperia C3 with 5MP camera, flash on front

07/08, 5:32am

Xperia C3 focuses on self-portrait photography with selfie apps

Just as rumored yesterday, Sony has launched an Xperia smartphone with selfie-friendly features. The Xperia C3 will notably ship with a front-facing soft LED flash beside a 5-megapixel wide-angle front camera, with extra functionality aimed at self portraits including the Smile Shutter, double tapping the back cover to take shots, and automatic scene recognition with HDR and automatic flash in its Superior Auto mode.

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Briefly: UK cinema bans Google Glass, LG G3 pre-orders on T-Mobile

06/30, 11:26am

Vue cinemas bans Google Glass from UK movie screenings

Google Glass has been banned from cinemas in the United Kingdom, one week after the head-mounted device went on sale in the country. Following the lead of the Alamo Drafthouse, Vue cinemas has taken a stand against Glass, reports The Independent, while Cinema Exhibitors' Association chief executive Phil Clapp warns that customers will be requested not to wear Glass into cinema auditoriums, "whether the film is playing or not."

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Nokia X2 launches with updated software, improved rear camera

06/24, 5:42am

Entry-level Nokia X2 first Android smartphone launched under Microsoft ownership

Nokia's Devices and Services business has launched its second generation of Android smartphone, its first Android launch under the ownership of Microsoft. The Nokia X2 takes after the Nokia X launched in February, using a heavily customized Android implementation and a physical design reminiscent of the Lumia range, and though it is still a low-priced entry-level smartphone, it still offers a few improvements on the original.

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Amazon reveals Fire Phone with Dynamic Perspective, Firefly

06/18, 1:49pm

Amazon Fire Phone has 4.7-inch display, unlimited photo storage

Amazon's long-rumored smartphone has been unveiled at the retail giant's launch event, and it is called the Fire Phone. The first smartphone from Amazon, the Fire Phone joins the growing stable of hardware including the Kindle, Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HDX, with the mobile device offering a 4.7-inch IPS LCD display with 590 nits of brightness, dynamic image contrast, and a circular polarizer.

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WSJ: Amazon smartphone will be exclusive to AT&T

06/17, 10:22am

Rumored Amazon smartphone said to ship just on AT&T in United States

Amazon's rumored smartphone could be exclusive to AT&T, according to the Wall Street Journal and other reports. The mobile device, expected to be launched by the retailer tomorrow, will apparently work with just AT&T in the United States, with the claim apparently lending an answer to an earlier rumor about a Prime Data service plan for the phone.

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US Department of Transportation wants to regulate navigation apps

06/16, 6:40pm

Government seeks right to require app changes if dangerous, remove device distractions

With smartphone navigation sitting in a gray area for operation in cars, the United States government is looking to set rules on how applications can be used. If the recently-announced Grow America Act is enacted as law, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) would have control to set rules for in-car navigation systems. This would include any applications powered by smartphones, including Google Maps, Apple Maps and Waze among others.

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Amazon smartphone software rumored to use 3D face tracking technology

06/06, 9:28am

Omron Okao Vision claimed to power 3D effect in rumored Amazon smartphone

Amazon's rumored smartphone, expected to launch on June 18th, uses Okao Vision technogy in order for its 3D functionality to work, according to a report. Created by Omron and modified by Amazon's engineers, Okao Vision will allow the smartphone to track the user's face for navigating the user interface, thanks to a collection of four front-mounted infrared cameras.

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Amazon blasts Internet with word of June 18 launch event

06/04, 5:21pm

Device could be rumored smartphone, testimonials indicate visual tracking

A teaser video from Amazon gives some clues to a new device being launched later this month. The company will be announcing a new device on June 18, which many believe will be the long-rumored smartphone. Amazon doesn't say what the device is going to be, but clues can be picked in up various places. By looking at the reactions in the video and seeing other small clues in the invite requests, conclusions can be drawn to the release of the phone with a 3D interface.

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Cat B15Q ruggedized smartphone launched running Android KitKat

06/04, 5:50am

Rugged Cat B15Q has 4-inch WVGA display, water and dust resistance

Cat, producers of heavy-duty industrial equipment, has unveiled an updated version of its existing B15 rugged Android smartphone. Just like the B100 featurephone, the Cat B15Q is a robust smartphone clad in aluminum and shock-absorbent rubber, allowing it to survive a 1.8-meter (5 feet 10 inches) drop onto concrete and being submerged to a depth of 1 meter (3 feet 3 inches) for 30 minutes, as well as offering dust and scratch resistance.

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Samsung Z launched as first smartphone running Tizen operating system

06/02, 6:52am

Tizen smartphone heading to Russia in Q3 2014, other markets to follow

Samsung has launched its first smartphone running on Tizen, following months of speculation and rumor. The Samsung Z eschews Android and the Galaxy name from its other smartphone launches in favor of the alternate mobile operating system, with the onboard Tizen 2.2.1 said to provide faster start-up times and improved multitasking compared to Android.

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LG G3 launches with 5.5-inch Quad HD display, laser-aided auto focus

05/27, 1:59pm

Rear laser of LG G3 helps 16MP camera focus quickly

Following on from the successful G2, LG has launched its latest flagship smartphone, the G3, following weeks of rumors and leaks. Sporting a 5.5-inch Quad HD IPS display, the LG G3 has a resolution of 2560x1440, double that of a 1080p screen and giving it a pixel density of 538ppi, with thin bezels surrounding the display giving it a high screen ratio of 76.4 percent.

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Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro leak shows 6-inch QHD display, 16MP rear camera

05/27, 6:50am

All metal body touted in upcoming Lenovo flagship smartphone

The latest iteration in the Lenovo Vibe smartphone range could include a Quad HD display, similar to the rumored higher-resolution flagship variants from Samsung, HTC, and LG. The Vibe Z2 Pro has been leaked in a number of photographs, with an accompanying specification sheet not only confirming the 2,560x1,440 resolution, but also the 6-inch screen size and device thickness of 7.7mm (0.3 inches).

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LG leaks G3 specifications through LG Netherlands website

05/27, 5:29am

Self-performed leak ahead of official LG G3 launch

LG Netherlands has leaked out details of its upcoming G3 smartphone on its website, ahead of its formal launch later today. Now removed but viewable on Google's cache, the site confirmed the majority of specifications revealed in an earlier "secret" pre-launch event, including its 5.5-inch 2,560x1,440-resolution display, and the laser auto focus of its rear 13 megapixel OIS+ camera.

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LG G3 rumored to have laser-guided autofocus system for rear camera

05/23, 2:34pm

Clenched fist gesture rumored to trigger selfie photographs in LG G3

LG will be using a laser-based focusing system in its upcoming LG G3, according to a rumor. The imaging detail comes at the same time as new teaser videos surface for the flagship smartphone in South Korea, ahead of its expected launch on May 27th, with the videos giving a few glimpses of a case seen before in multiple earlier leaks and rumors.

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Briefly: Xbox One update confirmed, SingStar for PS4's smartphone mic

05/22, 1:52am

System update in June to include external storage support, real friend names feature

As was speculated on Monday due to a leak on Reddit, Xbox One's June update will include external storage support. According to Microsoft's Major Nelson, the Xbox One system will soon support up to two external hard drives (with 256GB of space or more) simultaneously, to be used to increase game storage capacity.

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Huawei launches Ascend P7 with 5-inch 1080p screen, 13MP camera

05/07, 11:22am

Ascend P6 has 8-megapixel front camera, 6.5mm thickness

Huawei has unveiled its latest iteration in the Ascend P series of flagship Android smartphones, at a launch event in Paris, France. The Ascend P7 follows on from the thin profile of earlier models by having a thickness of just 6.5mm, while still increasing the size of the display to five inches with a resolution of 1080x1920 and a pixel density of 445 pixels per inch.

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Tesco plans high-specification smartphone, Hudl 2 sequel in September

05/06, 5:26am

Tesco smartphone to have similar specification to Samsung Galaxy S5

British retailer Tesco is building upon the success of its Hudl Android tablet, by launching its first smartphone. Chief executive Philip Clarke revealed the Android smartphone plans in a radio interview, as well as confirming the supermarket chain will be releasing the successor to the Hudl, the mid-ranged Hudl 2, this September in the United Kingdom.

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Smartphone-related injuries up in Japan, says fire department report

05/04, 6:30pm

Injuries increase 50 percent in 2013 from 2010, 122 incidents over four years

Yahoo Japan reports that the number of smartphone-related injuries while riding a bike or walking has increased, according to the Tokyo Fire Department. In the Tokyo metropolitan area, 36 people were injured in 2013 from smartphone-related accidents, an increase of 50 percent over the 23 reported cases in 2010.

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3D Systems advises on plan to create Project Ara modules

05/02, 3:24pm

Modules for smartphone to use conductive inks, continuous 3D printing platform

3D Systems has provided more information about how it will handle the printing of components for Google's Project Ara modular smartphone, a deal it signed late last year. The company is working with Carnegie Mellon University and X5 Systems on conductive inks, which could allow for the creation of complete components, such as antennas, completely in the printing process and without needing to add extra parts.

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Leaked photographs claim to show clear views of LG G3

05/02, 11:18am

New images show recessed rear buttons on LG flagship

More images of the LG G3, the company's upcoming flagship smartphone, are said to have leaked, giving clear views of the front and rear of the device. Unlike the partial views in the earlier leaks, the images this time show both sides of the G3 in their entirety, as well as the base, with the device largely appearing to keep the same design choices as its predecessor, the LG G2.

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Blue ships Life Pure XL smartphone with 5.5-inch 1080p display

05/02, 9:58am

Larger screen, battery, rear camera in Blue Life Pure XL

Blu has unveiled an updated and larger version of the Life Pure smartphone it launched in December. The Life Pure XL increases the display of its predecessor by half an inch to a Gorilla Glass 3-protected 5.5-inch version while retaining the 1080p resolution, giving it a pixel density of 401PPI and, thank to its smaller frame and 2mm bezel, has a front screen proportion of 81 percent.

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Leaked render reportedly shows final form of rumored Amazon smartphone

05/01, 12:45pm

Amazon smartphone render reveals large display, possible glass back

Amazon's rumored smartphone has allegedly surfaced in an image leak. A render of the complete device, displaying both the front and the back of the smartphone, is said to show what the smartphone looks like under the protective covering it was previously photographed using, with the design being a slight departure from the chisled construction the Kindle Fire HDX range uses.

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LG invites press to possible G3 smartphone launch on May 27

04/30, 6:17am

Events in London, San Francisco, New York, three other cities planned for LG G3 launch

LG has started to distribute invitations to members of the media for an event being held at the end of next month, which could potentially be the launch of the rumored G3 smartphone. Events in six cities around the world are planned, with the London, San Francisco, and New York events being held on May 27th, and secondary events in Seoul, Singapore, and Istanbul the next day.

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LG G3 leak shows rounded rear buttons, possible extra sensor

04/27, 9:40pm

Notes in LG G3 image leak suggests OIS+, 16GB and 32GB storage options

The rear buttons of LG's upcoming flagship may have been leaked in a photograph. An image of what is said to be the LG G3 shows a device with rounder buttons, rather than the thinner central control and squarer design of its predecessor, the G2, though it also appears that the smartphone will be adding something else onto the back of the device.

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Amazon rumored to create 'Prime Data' plan for upcoming smartphone

04/25, 1:28pm

Prime Data could provide free streaming of Amazon content, discounted service

Amazon may offer its own branded data service along with its rumored smartphone, according to a report. The specialized data plan, tentatively titled "Prime Data," could allow for Amazon customers to stream movies, TV shows, and music to the device over a cellular network at no extra charge, and could launch at the same time as the smartphone itself.

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OnePlus One launches with 5.5-inch 1080p display, 2.5GHz processor

04/23, 6:18am

CyanogenMod-based smartphone has rear 13MP camera, replaceable covers

OnePlus has formally launched its first CyanogenMod-based Android smartphone, a device the company teased last week. The OnePlus One has a 5.5-inch 1920x1080-resolution display packed into a case that measures 8.9mm (0.35 inches) thick, weighs 162 grams (5.7 ounces), and will offer a variety of StyleSwap back covers including wooden and denim options.

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Amazon smartphone rumored to use tilting gestures for navigation

04/22, 2:34pm

Report claims tilting Amazon smartphone will load menus, icon labels

Amazon's rumored smartphone will take advantage of its 3D interface by allowing users to tilt for more information, according to a report. Tilting the device is said to trigger various functions within apps, rather than navigating menus by swiping or tapping the screen, with the touch-free gesture controls also claimed to extend into the phone's main interface.

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LG G3 Mini with 8MP rear camera, 720p display on way, leak suggests

04/21, 7:39am

Mini version of rumored upcoming LG Flagship spotted in documents

A second smartphone under LG's rumored G3 name has reportedly surfaced, suggesting that just like the G2 Mini, there could be a "Mini" version on the way. Leaked documents allegedly show a device codenamed the B2 Mini alongside the B2, a listing already believed to be the LG G2 follow-up, hinting that the G3 Mini could go on sale a few months after the new flagship.

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Google aims for January launch of Project Ara, organizes $100K contest

04/17, 9:51am

Developers could win cash prize for creating best Project Ara smartphone module

Google is aiming to launch the first Project Ara smartphone in January next year, the company revealed at the project's first developer conference earlier this week. Google is also attempting to encourage developers to produce sections of the modular smartphone, by offering a $100,000 prize in a competition for designing the best Ara module.

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OnePlus One smartphone launch set for April 23, pricing revealed

04/16, 2:35pm

Unlocked sub-$400 smartphone uses CyanogenMod, 13MP Sony Exmor camera

OnePlus has revealed it will be launching its first Android smartphone next week, at the same time as a photograph surfaced, allegedly showing the rear of the device. The OnePlus One, running a customized version of CyanogenMod's Android ROM, will be available to buy in 16 countries and will be priced at under $400, under 350 Euro, or the local equivalent, with the device set to be revealed on April 23.

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Photos of rumored Amazon smartphone prototype with six cameras leak

04/15, 1:19pm

Five front-facing cameras shown in leaked photographs of Amazon smartphone

Photographs of what is believed to be Amazon's first smartphone have surfaced. Encased in what appears to be a protective casing to prevent the external appearance from being leaked, the images of an alleged prototype device seem to suggest that the smartphone will have a 3D interface powered by multiple front-facing camera sensors.

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LG G3 will have 1440x2560 display, claims two new leaks

04/14, 5:44am

User Agent Profile, photograph allege LG G3 has Quad HD display

Specifications for what is believed to be LG's follow-up to the G2 have surfaced again in reports. A leaked User Agent Profile on Sprint's website and a photograph showing part of the smartphone's display strongly suggest the LG G3 will have a resolution of 1440x2560, as well as hinting at the remainder of the flagship mobile device's internal details.

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Amazon smartphone launch anticipated for end of June, claims report

04/11, 9:36pm

Wall Street Journal sources believe Amazon phone will ship by end of September

Amazon is preparing to release its long-rumored smartphone in the second half of this year, claims sources of the Wall Street Journal. The retailer has allegedly demonstrated the device to developers in Seattle and San Francisco, with an official announcement planned for the end of June, and for the smartphone to ship by the end of September.

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