Samsung Updates Foldable Phone, Schedules Fall Launch

After postponing the April 26 debut of the Galaxy Fold, Samsung now plans to launch its $1,980 foldable phone in September. The Galaxy Fold’s April debut was canceled because of early reviews that pointed out problems with the foldable screens. Samsung has redesigned the phone with a number of significant updates. The company said it will initially release the phone in select markets, as originally planned. The Galaxy Fold was designed to be the world’s first widely available foldable smartphone, and should beat a number of competing products in development to market. Continue reading Samsung Updates Foldable Phone, Schedules Fall Launch

Samsung Takes on Rift With Windows Mixed Reality Headset

Microsoft and Samsung have partnered on a new virtual reality headset, HMD Odyssey, that relies on the former’s Windows Mixed Reality, Windows 10 software for immersive computing on devices and headsets. Samsung is not the first company to base its VR headsets on Windows 10: Acer, Dell, HP and Lenovo Group are all building such VR devices. But Samsung is Microsoft’s most important partner thus far as the computing company faces Apple, Google, Facebook and other major rivals in the virtual reality/augmented reality arena. Continue reading Samsung Takes on Rift With Windows Mixed Reality Headset

Samsung Readies Launch of its New Galaxy Note Smartphone

Samsung will roll out the 5.7-inch Galaxy Note7, a new version of its larger sized Galaxy Note, on August 19. The new phone features an iris scanner that identifies users based on their eye patterns, a “secret folder” that hides owner data from people who might use the device, and a stylus with a finer point that feels more like pen on paper. Samsung also added water resistance, expandable memory, a curved screen in a metallic housing, a next-gen USB Type-C port, and a camera flush with the rest of the housing. The AMOLED display is capable of playing HDR video. Continue reading Samsung Readies Launch of its New Galaxy Note Smartphone

Critics Greet Long-Promised Oculus Rift with Mixed Reviews

After many months of anticipation, Oculus finally rolled out its Rift VR headset into the hands of many eager technology journalists. There have been numerous reviews, and most — but not all — of them are enthusiastic. What they like is that the system is well-made, accessible, easy to set up and comfortable to wear. But a few critics find the 30 VR “experiences” rolled out with the headset to be less than compelling, and others bemoaned the lack of Touch controllers and more VR games and experiences. Continue reading Critics Greet Long-Promised Oculus Rift with Mixed Reviews

Royole-X Personal Theater Headset Touts Superthin Display

Royole is demonstrating a new foldable headset at CES in las Vegas this week that is designed to make movie-watching and gaming an immersive experience. The AMOLED display in the visor is only .01mm thick, so it is flexible enough to make this headset less clunky. The $699 Royole-X headset does not feature a field of view as wide as most VR headsets, but the 3,300 PPI display reportedly makes the image crisp enough to feel like a movie theater. It also comes with noise-canceling headphones. Continue reading Royole-X Personal Theater Headset Touts Superthin Display

Gear VR: Samsung Expected to Unveil New HMD at IFA 2014

It has been confirmed that Samsung, in collaboration with Facebook’s Oculus VR, is developing a virtual reality device called the “Gear VR.” The company is expected to announce the device, along with the Galaxy Note 4, at IFA 2014. The Gear VR will feature a modular design, allowing the user to plug in a Galaxy using USB 3.0. The device uses the smartphone’s accelerometer, gyroscope, and processing power for head tracking, which creates the VR effect. Continue reading Gear VR: Samsung Expected to Unveil New HMD at IFA 2014

Changing the Way We Game: Virtual Reality with Oculus Rift

The focal point of the virtual reality renaissance, the Oculus Rift, is edging closer to its consumer release. The company was at the 2014 CES showing off the latest update to its ever-improving 3D head-mounted display with a prototype codenamed Crystal Cove. The new device improves the frame rate and image persistence of its two screens to reduce motion blur. ETC was on-hand to test out the latest VR experience and talk to the company’s young founder, Palmer Luckey. Continue reading Changing the Way We Game: Virtual Reality with Oculus Rift

Samsung to Manufacture its Own 64-Bit Core for Mobile Chips

Samsung revealed new design plans with investors Wednesday at its Analyst Day event in South Korea. The company will now design its own custom 64-bit core for mobile chips, and it’s working on even higher resolution displays. By 2015, Samsung projects it will bring 4K displays to phones. Also in the works are flexible AMOLED screens. It’s a big transition for a company that seems to want to possess greater control of its own products. Continue reading Samsung to Manufacture its Own 64-Bit Core for Mobile Chips

IFA 2013: Samsung Smartwatch Targets the Health Conscious

Samsung unveiled a prototype of its new smartwatch at the IFA show in Berlin last week. The Galaxy Gear is expected to rival a new wave of devices from Apple, Microsoft, LG, Sony, Pebble and others. The prototype boasts a high quality AMOLED display, 4-megapixel camera, and tiny speakers in the clasp. For those who are concerned about health and fitness, the watch is able to track health data at the gym, measure heart rate, help devise workouts, and track food intake by taking photos of meals. Continue reading IFA 2013: Samsung Smartwatch Targets the Health Conscious

Review: Nokia Lumia 1020 Windows Phone with 41MP Camera

We recently reported that Nokia unveiled its Lumia 1020 Windows 8 smartphone, with its most notable feature, a 41-megapixel camera. The ultra-high resolution surpasses most, if not all, smartphone and point-and-shoot cameras. In its thorough hands-on review, The Verge describes the 1020 as a decent device that is awkward to handle and short on third party apps, but its performance and camera may make up for any shortcomings. Continue reading Review: Nokia Lumia 1020 Windows Phone with 41MP Camera

Nokia Launches Lumia 1020 Smartphone with 41MP Camera

Nokia has unveiled its new Lumia 1020, confirming the rumors that the smartphone touts a 41-megapixel camera. It features six-lens Carl Zeiss optics (including wide angle), auto and manual focus, and captures 1080p HD video at 30 frames per second. Preorders for the Windows Phone 8 device begin tomorrow, available in the U.S. exclusively through AT&T for $300 with a two-year contract. The Lumia 1020 is expected to hit shelves July 26. Continue reading Nokia Launches Lumia 1020 Smartphone with 41MP Camera

CES 2013: Samsung and LG to Debut Flexible Smartphone Screens?

Will the flexible smartphone screen change the face of mobile phone design in 2013 and mark the biggest change since the introduction of the touchscreen? Rumors suggest manufacturing rivals Samsung and LG are working on it. Speculation regarding flexible display development dates back to 2002, and in the last six years we’ve seen some interesting prototypes and low volume products at CES featuring E-ink and Electronic Paper Display technologies. To address slow response times (especially with video) and challenges with handling color, flexible OLED displays emerged. Continue reading CES 2013: Samsung and LG to Debut Flexible Smartphone Screens?

Affordable AMOLED TVs Expected to be Mass Produced by 2014

  • The promise of super-thin and colorful OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) technology for TVs has yet to be realized, even though the industry has been regularly impressed with prototypes and limited editions.
  • According to Electronic House, “OLED TVs are poised to make a comeback, or a debut, or a comeback debut.” Researchers predict that AMOLED (Active Matrix OLED) will appear in a number of devices, including TVs.
  • LG, for example, is planning a 55-inch OLED TV in 2012, and one of the larger Asian manufacturers has a deal with DuPont to use the company’s “printing-based process that it says will reduce manufacturing costs for large-display AMOLED TVs.”
  • “Current manufacturing technology doesn’t scale up to TVs,” says Bill Feehery, global business director for DuPont Electronics & Communications. “Today OLED material is heated up and evaporated, then they use a screen to create the pixels on the display. Our goal was to use an ink-jet printer-like technology to print it.”
  • Feehery suggests the hefty premiums of early units will come down in cost once mass manufacturing of AMOLED TVs begins in 2014.
  • “AMOLED is already used in mobile phones and can deliver vivid colors, higher contrast, faster response and a wider viewing angle than traditional LCDs, while consuming less power,” reports Electronic House.

Nokia Kinetic Device: Gumby Phone Controlled by Bends and Twists

  • Nokia unveiled its Kinetic Device smartphone prototype at the recent Nokia World Conference in London.
  • The screen of the concept phone “is controlled by the way that it is bent or twisted or flexed, not by the way it is touched,” reports The Huffington Post.
  • The video shows how bending the phone inwards and outwards controls zoom and twisting it controls volume and playback.
  • “It’s built entirely out of plastic, which includes the bendy and attractive AMOLED display up front, and contains only the hardware required to power it and to sense user input,” explains This Is My Next in a related post. “It all looks somewhat unwieldy when you’re observing it, and it’s not all that easy to describe, but adapting to the control scheme takes only a few seconds and once you know what you’re doing, it becomes extremely natural. Honestly, bend-to-zoom is miles ahead of pinch-to-zoom in terms of intuitive human interaction.”
  • No word yet on whether Nokia has plans to develop a commercial version.