Nokia Lumia Icon

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Brands keep pushing the limit on audio and video as we start to record more and more of our lives. Nokia’s new Lumia Icon has some impressive features, like four microphones to boost sound quality along with full 1080p HD, Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) and unpixelated zoom. Now we’ll see if this phone can make a dent in the market share for Apple and Samsung.

Samsung’s New Tablet Hybrid May be The Most Exciting Tablet in Years

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With their Galaxy line, Samsung became one of the few, if not only, companies to truly give Apple a run for their money in terms of popularity and performance in the smartphone market.

However, the tablet market is a different story.

Sure, Apple’s iPad Mini might not be top of the line, but the full size tablet game still belongs to the iPad, as no company has really been able to produce a worthy technological challenger, despite some fine efforts.

Samsung might just have thrown their hat in the ring in a big way though with their unveiling of the ATIV Q. While actually a tablet/laptop hybrid (a design with a shaky history of past successes), ignore the pull out keyboard, and you’ve got a tablet that not only sports one of the clearest screens available thanks to a 3,200 x 1,800 resolution, but also has an i5 processor under the hood that insures it backs down to no one when it comes to pure power.

Of course since looks and ability oddly don’t mean everything when it comes to purchasing a tablet, the ATIV Q has an ace up its sleeve in the form of its dual OS capabilities.

Running off of both Windows 8 and Android, you are able to switch between the two at will, or allow them to run at the same time since they are designed to work together and share files, information, and the general workload. The idea behind this unique approach is that the presence of both systems will turn the tablet into a true all in one machine capable of performing the best that both have to offer, while using the advantages of one to compensate for the weaknesses of the other.

Or, most likely, a Windows laptop when you need it, and an Android tablet otherwise.

Sadly for the moment, that is an idea not much more than hypothetical, though, as Samsung has yet to set a release date or price for this hybrid, and few have had the chance to test it extensively enough to see if it stands the test of time to emerge as a true all weather machine.

In the meantime then we all just have to wait and see if Samsung really can breathe new life in the tablet wars.

New Galaxy Line to Bend, Not Break

 

The Galaxy S3 proved to be a hard phone not to love, as Samsung managed to take everything they did right , and learn from the things they did wrong, with their previous releases and craft a smartphone so sleek and versatile it caused not only onlookers, but longer term users as well to consistently say “whoa” in its presence.

Of course, since it more than had the sales figures to match its technical accomplishments, there was never any doubt that Samsung would be hard at work on an S4 for 2013. Now though, the rumors that are starting to pile up about the S4 are making it increasingly apparent that the only thing obvious about the next generation phone, is its eventual release.

A few of the news bits coming out like the rumored better camera and bigger screen (5 inches is the theory), suspected April or May release date, and faster processor are all unconfirmed, but seem inevitable. The more interesting theories are actually the ones leaking from Samsung’s camp, including the idea that thanks to the use of OLED panels, the display on the S4 might be unbreakable. The more plastic based OLED panel would allow for an incredibly durable alternative to the traditional glass set up and, while it may be the bane of cell phone repair centers, would be a welcome feature to consumers that can’t seem to stop spiking their phones, and end up living with a cracked screen.

Even more intriguing is word that the use of OLED panels might also allow Samsung to create a truly flexible cell phone display that will allow the user to bend, twist, fold, and roll their phone with ease. Not that the S3 was ever a burden (that would be the Galaxy Note), but the thought of being able to contort your phone to any position is not only exciting, but in combination with the unbreakable screen also sets up what could be the most reliable piece of hardware every released in the field.

These are both just rumors still, and might not even come into play until the S5, but it’s looking like Samsung is working under the motivation that in the smartphone world, 2nd is no place at all.

Everything You Wanted to Know About the iPhone 5 But Were Too Afraid to Ask

With the first reviews pouring in today for everyone’s soon to be most bragged about toy, the iPhone 5, it’s time to take a step back and look at everything we know about the new iPhone, to date.

The Look

It’s thinner (the thinnest smartphone in the world according to Apple), it’s taller (a half an inch taller to be exact), it comes in black and white (though that doesn’t matter according to the late Michael Jackson), and of course it’s pretty sleek. Apple has had more than enough time in this business to know what works and what doesn’t and they aren’t messing with the formula now. The iPhone 5 looks like an iPhone, just better.

The Features

For the most part, all of the usual upgrades apply. The sound is better, the video is clearer, and everything is supposed to be faster. Of particular note, though, are the new 4G capabilities and Siri functions. The 4G is supposedly as quick as you need it to be, Siri is better than ever, and can perform an array of new tricks from pulling up apps on request, to providing sports scores. Also, the camera is supposed to work better in lowlight, and the battery life is cited as working up to 12-14 hours in some cases with normal usage, which would mean a great improvement over the previous models.  However, if you’re looking for the real new feature of the iPhone 5, you have to turn to the new iO6.

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The biggest upgrade to i06 is the new Apple Maps features which opposes the popular Google Maps program. Reviews aren’t particularly flattering for the new app, as reviewers cite trouble using it practically in urban environments ,along with being generally behind Google Maps, but with things like Yelp integration, and Siri enabled GPS, a few updates could put the system on the right track. Otherwise, the new operating system is offering up increased Facebook functionality, Facetime compatibility, and a great all in one travelling app called Passbook that also works with some of your payment methods to help create a virtual wallet. Nice.

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OLED TV Buzz

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These new TVs are pretty amazing:

The biggest buzz so far at the Consumer Electronics Show comes from the new OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) televisions from the giant South Korean manufacturer Samsung.

Production costs had previously limited the size of OLED screens, which is why consumers mostly found them in cellular phones, and the only commercially available OLED television model had been the Sony XEL-1, an 11-inch model that debuted at the 2007 CES with a price of $2,500.

Samsung’s new televisions feature a 55-inch screen, an absurd 0.6-inch width, and a richness of color never before seen in commercial displays.

Check out the video and see for yourself. 3D TVs were a huge bust, but now these new super-thin TVs should generate some serious buzz.