We go behind the googles and ask what Samsung’s VR headset means for Android apps and games
Rather than staring blankly out of the window on your commute home, why not immerse yourself in the fight against an alien invasion? If you’re having a stressful day at work, transport yourself to a calming oasis on your lunch break. Nothing on TV this evening? Enjoy a 3D performance of the Cirque du Soleil in your living room. What sounds like science fiction is now science fact thanks to the Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition headset.
“The Samsung Gear VR goes far beyond expectations of how mobile technology can be used to consume content, and is a powerful representation of the progressive innovation of the Gear series,” said JK Shin, President and CEO of IT & Mobile Communications Division at Samsung Electronics, when revealing the futuristic gadget at the launch event for the Galaxy Note 4 at IFA, back in September.
A complete departure from Samsung’s other accessories in the Gear range, which have all taken the form of smartwatches, the Gear VR was produced in partnership with Oculus, the virtual reality experts that hit the headlines when they were bought up by Facebook last year. Making the most of the phablet’s Quad HD Super AMOLED screen, the Note 4 fits into the front of the headset that contain Oculus-designed goggles, which when worn trick your eyes into viewing what’s on the phone screen as a three-dimensional image. As well as wide viewing angles, accelerator, gyrometer, magnet and proximity sensors, the headset will respond to your movements to adjust the view so you feel truly immersed in a virtual world, as well as allowing you to move around and interact with it.
Sony focussed a lot of their efforts on some incredible wearable tech at this year’s CES.
The Sony SmartWatch 3 was one of the highlights of the show for the technology giant. The classy-looking stainless steel timepiece has a waterproof 1.6-inch 320×320 TFT LCD Transflective display, which is designed to be visible even in bright daylight.
The system runs off an Android operating system and is compatible with your Android phone, capable of linking and transmitting data from phone to wrist and back again.
One of the big bits of commercial news for Sony was the collaboration with Virgin Atlantic. Not a lot is known at this point, but Sony says that the partnership will enhance the travelling experience.
How does the Chromecast compare to other Android streaming devices? Let’s get investigating…
Chromecast has helped kickstart a new wave of streaming devices that are available to Android users all over the world. There are now lots of new streaming sticks on the market, offering users different ways of getting the content that they want, when they want and we’ve taken it upon ourselves to discover which one is right for you. Our criteria for this group test was simple; we wanted to explore the various streaming options that each one of these devices offers and just how easy they’re to set up. It was also important to identify what areas each excel in and where each of them falters as well. Both the Chromecast and Roku are considered two of the best on the
market and both are featured here, but we’ve also taken a look at two of the more obscure choices currently available. The Elgato EyeTV and the Neo G4 offer a different variation on streaming, with the former being a highly regarded TV hotspot and the latter offering users a complete Android interface for your TV. But can any of the alternatives realistically take on Chromecast’s run-away streaming success? Read on to find out which one comes out on top. You might be surprised.Google Chromecast
Google have unveiled their first Android One device, offering stock Android at budget prices for Indian users
Google have unveiled their first Android One device, offering stock Android at budget prices for Indian users. If it’s successful, the Android One line will be rolled out in Indonesia, the Phillipines, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh before the end of 2014. We ask the experts if Google can really dominate the growing market in Asia and beyond and what challenges they will face.
While everyone expected an Android L announcement at this year’s Google I/O,o ne of the most crucial initiatives for Google’s mobile future was easily missed, as it wasn’t directly aimed at the US and European markets. Android One, a new hardware and software spec for low-end smartphones in developing nations, is intended to help Google expand the reach of its mobile OS in countries like India, China and beyond.
What exactly is it, then? Google is using the term “Android One” to refer to a set of hardware standards for smartphone manufacturers, standards which it hopes will speed up the process of developing budget handsets in emerging markets. Google is also providing the stock Android package – the same one used on the Nexus and Google Play Edition devices – then working with OEMs and carriers to give new customers the handsets and data packages they need. Essentially, Google gives manufacturers everything they need except the raw materials to build the product.
The LG G3 Stylus and Samsung Galaxy Note 4 will be ushering in a new era of phablets, but which one will come out on top?
Phablets still remain a fairly niche alternative to a smartphones or tablets and since the initial craze about them a couple of years ago, production of them seems to have dramatically slowed down. The Galaxy Note has long been considered the premier phablet device and the upcoming Galaxy Note 4 looks to keep that trend going. However, thanks to an early picture leak, it seems LG will be launching their very own phablet, the LG G3 Stylus. But based on what we know about each of them so far, which one will come out on top?LG G3 Stylus specifications, rumours and release date
Following on from the initial success of the LG G3, we expect to see the same styling and feature set included in the LG G3 Stylus. As you can tell by its name, it’ll ship with its own stylus and should arrive with some dedicated stylus apps as well. The laser autofocus of the original G3 will be missing from the G3 Stylus and instead will be replaced by a single LED flash, which is a pity. Expect to see a beefy 3GB of RAM present and that same beautiful display also used. In terms of a release date, it seems LG are looking to release the LG G3 Stylus before its competition hits the shelves. The end of August seems like a probable release date. There’s no details on pricing, but if it follows the same line as the LG G3, then the device certainly won’t be cheap.Samsung Galaxy Note 4 specifications, rumours and release date
For once, Samsung has been fairly tight lipped on what we can expect to see in the Galaxy Note 4. What we do know is that the probable release date of the Galaxy Note 4 is September 3rd. As with most Samsung devices, we expect to this be a near worldwide release. It’ll carry the same S Pen stylus and largely feature the same design as we’ve seen previously. We’re also led to believe that we could see a ‘Prime’ version of the Galaxy Note 4, which will use a metal build. There’s going to be a small jump in screen size, from the Note 3’s 5.7-inch display to the Note 4’s 5.9-inch offering. No news as of yet if any new technology will be used within the display. Pricing is the one area where we’ve seen conflicting reports. Although one or two sources believe we’ll see a vastly cheaper Note 4, we reckon that to keep in line with their premium pricing, the Note 4 will be an expensive investment.
We pit the four best flagship phones against one another. Which will win?
Boasting the highest specs, latest features and best builds, flagship phones offer the most polished Android experience, but come at a high price. Retailing around £550, you want to be certain you’re getting the best deal in terms of style, power and functionality from your smartphone before you buy. To help you make your decision, we’ve vigorously compared market leaders, the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Sony Xperia Z2, along with relative newcomer the HTC One M8 and Motorola’s low-cost, but high-spec Moto X, and then crowned one the best smartphone in the world.
—–Samsung Galaxy S5