Tag Archives: Gadget Reviews

Tegra Note 7 tablet to get an LTE refresh, early adopters pick up KitKat update

Itching for a Tegra-powered gaming device, but insist on a slate with LTE support? You’re in luck: NVIDIA is building a tablet just for you. Today the company announced the Tegra Note 7 LTE, a $299 variant of its existing Note 7 tablet equipped with (you guessed it) a cellular radio — its own i500 LTE chip, to be precise. The new radio promises to support “popular carriers across the world,” specifically citing bands compatible with ATT, Verizon and T-Mobile in the US and carriers like O2, Vodafone and Orange in Europe.

The upgraded slate won’t be available until sometime next quarter, but NVIDIA says it’ll be rocking Android 4.4.2 when it does arrive. Of course, if you already have the WiFi model, you won’t have to wait — the latest OTA update delivers not only Kitkat, but a port of the NVIDIA Shield’s Gamepad Mapper app. Check out the company’s official announcement at the source link below.

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Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/02/21/tegra-note-7-tablet-to-get-an-lte-refresh/?ncid=rss_truncated

This awkward wearable might be Huawei’s upcoming smartwatch

Look, the truth is most smartwatches just aren’t that stylish. Take for example the clunky wearable in this pic, which might actually be one of Huawei’s upcoming devices. A Huawei exec has posted this image and the one after the break on Weibo (a Chinese social network) with a caption that says: “My new toy. Do you like this color?” Since the company’s expected to launch a smartwatch at Mobile World Congress, it’s easy to assume that this is the device in question, but we’ll know for sure in a few days.

By the way, these images were taken using a mysterious Glory X1 device, which could be the MediaPad X1 7.0, the watch itself or something entirely new. Despite these pictures, it might still be worth checking back for Huawei’s smartwatch next week. After all, this baby blue bracelet could just be an early prototype… or a high-tech toy from a cereal box.

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Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/02/20/huawei-smartwatch-mwc/?ncid=rss_truncated

Glove’s new Android app finds the best cellphone carrier near you

Glove for Android

Finding a reliable cellphone carrier is tricky when even a regional performance test can’t prove that you’ll get a good signal in your neighborhood. That’s where Glove’s new Android beta comes into play. The app monitors the areas where you use your phone the most, comparing them with crowdsourced quality reports; after three days, Glove will suggest the carrier with the best-rated service in those areas. Right now, the beta’s US recommendations are limited to New York City and San Francisco, and only with the top four carriers. You’ll also have to wait if you’re looking for the iPhone version. Still, the software may prove a huge boon if you’re thinking of switching providers.

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Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/02/20/glove-for-android/?ncid=rss_truncated

Why did Facebook spend $19 billion on a messaging app? (video)

WhatsApp is a voice and text instant messaging platform with apps for most every smartphone OS. It provides free service for the first year and costs a dollar annually after that. Why then, did Facebook just buy WhatsApp — aside from the obvious cachet and free advertising that comes with its omnipresence in Katy Perry’s Roar video — for $19 billion (with a ‘b’), when it already has Facebook Messenger?

In a word: users. 450 million of them to be precise, and 315 million of those are active on a given day. In fact, WhatsApp’s users are so prolific, its messaging volume is roughly equal to that of the entire world’s SMS traffic. And, WhatsApp is huge overseas and in emerging markets. According to a report from mobile marketing and research firm Jana, the app is far and away the most used messaging service in India, Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria and South Africa. The Information, which got a more in depth look at Jana’s research, shows that Facebook Messenger usage is far, far lower in those same countries.

Now, is that massive international user base worth $19 billion? It’s hard for us to understand how it possibly could be. WhatsApp’s founders have pledged to keep the app ad- and gimmick-free, so there aren’t any indications that new revenue streams are coming. And, while the acquisition fits in perfectly with Facebook’s plan to expand its app offerings, the social network has promised to use the same hands-off approach it did with Instagram — leveraging its “expertise, resources and scale” to grow the platform, while keeping WhatsApp operationally independent. So, we’ll have to wait and see how WhatsApp plans to prove its worth. Maybe some more music video synergy like the kind found after the break?

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Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/02/19/why-did-facebook-spend-19-billion-on-a-messaging-app-video/?ncid=rss_truncated

OnLive creator’s next project could put an end to cellular reception woes

Remember Steve Perlman? The serial entrepreneur has moved on from OnLive’s messy transition and launched an enterprise called Artemis, with the lofty goal of fixing the cellular congestion plaguing modern carriers. Called pCell, it works by forcing frequencies that normally interfere and bog down a network to gang up for better reception, instead. Congestion could be thus relieved by adding more antennas, a strategy that doesn’t work with current networks due to crosstalk. A demonstration to the New York Times showed Netflix HD and 4K videos streaming to at least a half dozen devices in the same room over a local LTE network, a feat the company said would be impossible on current networks. There’s no word from any US carriers about any plans to adopt the tech, but Verizon did say that it was aware of it. In the meantime, Artemis said large scale tests will start in San Francisco later this year, with a commercial launch by the end of 2014. Check the video after the break for more.

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Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/02/19/pcell-network-congestion-artemis/?ncid=rss_truncated

BlackBerry Messenger now available to phones running Android 2.3

If you see BlackBerry announcing a million or so new users in the next few days, it’s not because the company’s finally seeing an increase in sales. It’s because Alicia Keys’ ex-employer has kept its promise to launch BBM for Android 2.3 on Google Play after weeks of beta testing. The previous Android version of the cross-platform messenger only worked on devices running Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) or higher, but existing users can now reach more of their friends. After all, Gingerbread still powers a large number of Android devices worldwide, since low-cost handsets are especially popular in developing markets. Unfortunately, Windows Phone users still have to sit out BBM convos, but those in Canada can at least demand BlackBerry donuts from friends as consolation.

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Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/02/18/blackberry-messenger-android-gingerbread/?ncid=rss_truncated