Google Announces New Nexus Lineup for 2015

OGB-INSIDER-BLOGS-GoogleLogox2-Animated.0Yesterday was a big day for Android. Google CEO Sundar Pichai took the stage, rather nonchalantly, to announce a busy week for Google, and a big day for Android. This turned out to be three new pivotal devices for the Android platform. Dave Burke, VP of Engineering at Google, then took the floor to announce the Nexus 6P and the Nexus 5X. Let’s start with the Nexus 6P.

nexus-6p-1It is the successor to last year’s Nexus 6 and is made by Huawei, a first for the Nexus line. The 6P features a brand new, all-metal design with chamfered edges and no rounded corners and a camera that protrudes at the top. Personally, the black strip at the top housing the camera seems like an odd design choice, but it’s there. Speaking of the camera, Google has a new 12.3 megapixel camera with a 2.0 f-stop aperture, making for great photos indoors and outdoors according to the company.The rear camera is capable of 4K video recording at 30fps and features a Broad-spectrum CRI-90 dual flash, and a laser guided auto-focus to boot. There’s also an 8 megapixel camera on the front capable of 1080p video

Also on the back is a brand new fingerprint sensor, a first for the Nexus line. On the front is a massive 5.7″ WQHD AMOLED display, with a resolution of 2560×1440 coming in at 518ppi. Front firing stereo speakers are a welcomed addition to the device as well, with the headphone jack seated at the top. Also new in the 6P is USB Type-C for charging, which allows the device to charge quickly. Google touts up to 7 hours of usage with only 10 minutes of charging, pretty impressive. Powering this handset is a 3,450 mAh battery which, coupled with Android 6.0 Marshmallow, could deliver up to 30% better battery life than previous Nexus devices.

5x.0Next up is the Nexus 5X. Google could not deny the popularity of the 2013 Nexus 5, so they decided to give it some massive upgrades. Internally, everything inside of the Nexus 6P is inside the Nexus 5X, with a couple of changes. First off, the Nexus 5X is substantially smaller than the 6P, with a 5.2″ full HD display with a resolution of 1920×1080. This, of course, means a smaller battery as well. The Nexus 5X has a 2,700mAh battery also coupled with USB Type-C, and promises the same quick charge as the 6P.

Also different than the 6P is the design. LG was the manufacturer responsible for the Nexus 5, and has returned to design the 5X. The 5X features a plastic, soft-touch, design as was the case with the original Nexus 5 and features many of the same external features as its bigger brother. The fingerprint sensor we mentioned earlier is found on the Nexus 5X as well as a 12 megapixel camera with 4K recording capability. It’s pretty obvious that Google’s focus was on customer choice without compromising either device for that choice.

All in all, it seemed like Google was playing a bit of catch-up with competitors with the Nexus line this year. Many of its Android counterparts and competitors have incorporated elements like a fingerprint scanner, 4K video recording, and slow-motion camera modes. While that may be the case, you can rest assured that the Nexus line will continue to be Google’s very best smartphones, with the cleanest versions of Android you will be able to find on the market.

via The Verge
via Droid Life

Nexus 6P Pricing Information Leaked Ahead of Launch

nexus2cee_nexus-6p-arak-priceToday the world will see Google unveil their new Nexus device, or devices, to the world. Undoubtedly Google will announce a release date for Android 6.0 Marshmallow along with the Nexus device(s), however, if you’re feeling impatient about the handsets themselves, the pricing and availability for the rumored Nexus 6P seem to have been leaked early.

According to the leak, the Nexus 6P will come in 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB variants and will cost $499, $549, and $649 respectively. The 6P will be available in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, and South Korea according to the leak. What do you think about these pricing schemes? Let us know in the comments below or in our live chat.

via Android Police

How To Fix iOS 9 Woes

9204009256_795d783bd9iOS 9 is Apple’s latest version of its tablet and smartphone software which was released on September 16th to the general public. While mostly a performance and under-the-hood release, iOS 9 came with new features like a smarter Siri and split-view for the iPad line. However, Apple has been under fire since iOS 9’s release due to performance issues and overall sluggishness.

Tech pundits have codenamed events like this “iOSlop” referring to the less-than-polished release of a new iOS. If you’re having issues with iOS 9, try restoring to factory settings and restoring back from an iCloud or iTunes backup. If that doesn’t mitigate your problems, restore to factory settings and set your phone up as a new phone. In our testing we’ve not experienced many of the problems being reported, but it’s worth running through these steps if you find yourself frustrated with the new release.

Google to Reveal New Nexus Devices on September 29th

 

googles-smoresGoogle’s Nexus line is top of the line for Android devices. Much like their peers in the smartphone industry, Google releases a new Nexus device yearly. This year, after a not-so-cryptic message was sent out to the press, Google looks to unveil the next Nexus device on September 29th in San Francisco.

While Google has not officially said that this event will be dedicated to hardware, the timeline makes sense. Every year towards the end of September has been historically the time where Google releases their next Nexus device coupled with their freshest version of Android.

This year, according to several rumors, Google may release two Nexus devices with a 5 inch variant and a 6 inch variant. Both will undoubtedly come with Android 6.0 codenamed “Marshmallow” which Google announced quietly a couple of weeks ago. Stay tuned to Braehawk Tech to see all of the details of the official announcements.

Via: Engadget
Source: Google

Samsung to Debut Its Own Leasing Program

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After Apple announced last week that it would be launching a new service whereby customers could lease the latest iPhone from Apple directly, Samsung is now making news with reports that it could soon come out with its own leasing service. Forbes reports that Samsung may soon be releasing a leasing service for its Galaxy line of smartphones in the U.S. sometime in the next few months.

This move, while very much a rumor at this point, is no surprise as Samsung is a direct competitor to the Big A and could very much gain traction with this new leasing program. No details about Samsung’s offerings have been released at this point, but it is a good bet that it will be similar to Apple’s offerings with the iPhone.

via MacRumors
Source: Forbes

Apple Announces Next Generation iPhones for 2015

Apple took the stage this morning for their annual iPhone event to announce the follow up phones to last year’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, with the newer iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus. 2015 for Apple is an “S” year, which means incremental upgrades for all. Phil Schiller took the stage to run down all of the new editions in the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus. Inside a familiar design is an all new A9 processor, capable of achieving 50% better CPU performance compared to the A8, and 90% greater GPU performance. The Motion-Core processor, first seen in the iPhone 5S, is now built into the new A9 now which should allow for more room for other components.

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On the back is an all new 12MP iSight camera capable of 4K video recording with Apple’s TrueTone flash. On the front is a new 5MP FaceTime HD camera with what Apple is calling a “Retina Flash”. This “Retina Flash” is a fancy way of saying that Apple is using the Retina Display as it’s flash for the front camera. Apple has built in a new screen that mimics the TrueTone flash on the rear of the iPhone, to deliver a similar approach to selfies taken on the FaceTime HD camera.

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 1.40.03 PMArguably the most differentiating change in the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus is the inclusion of what Apple is calling “3D Touch”. 3D Touch allows users to perform quick actions within apps by pressing at different pressures on the display, which can then sense the amount of pressure and present the user with contextually specific actions. This is similar to the Force Touch display found on the Apple Watch and the new trackpads on the MacBook 2015 and MacBook Pro lines.

Apple has made significant under-the-hood improvements, as it tends to do during these “S” years, but has not included a must-have feature as it has done in previous “S” years. The iPhone 3GS included significant speed upgrades, the iPhone 4S included Siri, the iPhone 5S introduced Touch ID, and the 6S introduced 3D Touch. While some may argue that 3D Touch is enough of a compelling reason to want to buy the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, I think most users who own an iPhone 6 like myself will be perfectly fine with continued software updates and the hardware included in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below, or come hang out with us on our Live Page.

 

Rode Videomic Go Review

 

If you are going to be doing video production then you know that you are going to need some kind of shotgun microphone in order to get the best sound quality you can. Whether it’s a windy day out or not your going to want something that crystal clear and gives you the best quality for the amount you spend. That my friends is where the Rode Videomic Go comes in. For its price point its one of the best non-powered shotgun mics out on the market today.

I have been using this microphone for close to a year now and I have to tell you that it’s been the best investment I have made for making videos other than my Canon T3i, but that’s a whole other article. Whether I am producing content for YouTube, or shooting videos where there is a lot of background noise, I notice that whatever is going on behind the camera is not very noticeable. The same can be said for the sides of the mic as well. As long as your subjects are in front of the mic you are going to hear them pretty well even in wind.

One thing that has to be kept in mind about this microphone is that, if you are going to be using it on the camera that you are shooting your video with, you must ensure that there is a mic input for that device. That, right there, is not necessarily a deal breaker for people that produce video. You can use this mic on an external recording device as well, then through the magic and power of editing you you can sync up the audio. There are so many possibilities with this small easy to use unit.

Conclusion

The Rode Videomic Go might not be for everyone. That being said, if you are a beginning film maker, and really on a budget, then I could not recommend a better unit than this one. It has treated me very well in the past year and I would hands down recommend this to anyone who is looking for better audio quality without breaking the bank. Would you or have you purchased the Rode Videomic Go? Let us know in the comments bellow.

Samsung Reveals the Galaxy Note 5 & Galaxy S6 Edge Plus

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Samsung held their annual “Unpacked” event earlier today and announced two new handsets in the Galaxy Note 5 and the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus. The Galaxy Note 5 is the successor to the Galaxy Note 4 of last year and features specs closely related to the recently announced Galaxy S6. The Note 5 features an Exynos 7420 Octa-core processor, a Mali-T760MP8 GPU to power the beautiful new 5.7 inch Quad HD display with a resolution of 1440 x 2560 pixels. Also included is 4GB of RAM and either 32GB or 64GB storage sizes. On the back the Note 5 features a 16 MP camera with Optical Image Stabilization included and is capable of taking 4K video at 30fps. On the front the Note 5 sports a 5MP camera capable of 1080p video at 30fps.

samsung-galaxy-s6-edge-plus-5The Galaxy S6 Edge Plus is essentially a blown up Galaxy S6 Edge with some modest improvements. The S6 Edge Plus also features all of the same specifications found in the Galaxy Note 5, but with a curved display on the sides. In the Galaxy S6 Edge, the curved sides were thought to be gimmicky and not very useful, in the S6 Edge Plus Samsung has stepped up their game. In the S6 Edge, the curved sides were dedicated to the contacts you communicated with most. In the S6 Edge Plus, the sides can now be used to access your favorite apps from anywhere on the device. Say you’re browsing Facebook and want to quickly access the camera, you can do so using the curved sides of the S6 Edge Plus.

All in all there were no real surprises from Samsung this time around but these handsets are impressive nonetheless. Both of these handsets are using Android 5.1.1 Lollipop as their platforms and will be available later this month on all major carriers. What do you guys think? Let us know in the comments below.

Google Announces Major Internal Restructure

Logo_Google_2013_Official.svgToday marks a historic day for Google. Earlier today, Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page wrote a blog post announcing a major internal restructuring of Google. As part of this restructuring, Page will moving from CEO of Google to CEO of a newly formed company called Alphabet. In the blog post, Page described Alphabet as Google’s parent company with several other unknown companies joining suit soon. Due to this change in leadership, Page named Sundar Pichai as the new CEO of Google. This promotion takes Pichai from head of the Chrome and Android divisions to head of the company itself.

Sundar_PichaiThis makes sense given the stature of Pichai’s work at Google. Under Sundar, Android has seen a drastic improvement from the aesthetic of Kitkat and Jelly Bean, to the much more polished releases of Lollipop. As with Chrome, measures have been taken to make Chrome play much nicer with OS X recently and while Microsoft Edge seems to be besting the browser in terms of speed, Chrome remains the browser of choice for many with its vast amount of extensions and easy syncing across devices.

We’re very excited to see Sundar Pichai at the helm of the Google flagship and look forward to seeing where Google goes from here. What are your thoughts about these announcements? Let us know in the comments below.

ZAGG Speaker Case Review

highlight-iphone-6-speaker-case-power-bank-more-protectionWe’ve taken a look at products from ZAGG in the past, ranging from glass screen protectors, to keyboard cases for the iPad. We’ve even recommended some of their products on our favorites page here at braehawktech.com. ZAGG was kind enough to send us yet another product for review. This time we’re taking a look at the ZAGG Speaker Case for the iPhone 6.

Design

speakercase-zaggAt first glance, the Speaker Case is conservative in its design save for the backing of the case. The large silver speaker grill catches the eye, certainly, but beyond that there isn’t much to this case aesthetically. You have three buttons above the speaker dedicated for mute, play/pause, and power to turn the speaker on and off. Surprisingly, there are no dedicated volume keys on the speaker so any adjustments in sound have to be made on the phone itself. With the ability to pop the speaker from the case and use it externally, all that remains is a bumper for the phone. This bumper gives very little protection against drops and doesn’t serve well as a case in itself. Paired with the detachable speaker and you get a little more protection, but not much. We like that the speaker can be detached so that a user can use any case they want with the phone and still use the speaker via bluetooth.

Sound Quality & Battery Life

Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 12.32.23 PMFunctionally speaking, the ZAGG Speaker Case is pretty good. It’s not for the audiophile out there by any stretch of the imagination, but it will more than suffice for someone looking to enhance their iPhone’s sound. In our tests we found that the speaker did very well even with the volume set at 100%. Be warned, however, that some instances of audio clipping might occur with certain applications and / or streams of audio. Your mileage may vary in this respect, but overall the speaker is pretty good.

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Connecting the speaker to the phone was simple enough using Bluetooth, but we did notice some slight connection drops occasionally during our testing. We’re not sure if this is a fault of the iOS software or ZAGG’s Speaker Case, but the problem is there nonetheless. Once a solid connection was established, however, it was fairly stable. Battery life was also pretty good in our testing. We charged the case via MicroUSB until the indicator displayed a full charge (you can check the battery but pressing a flush triangle-shaped button on the back of the case). In our testing, we got around 12 solid hours of battery life before needing to recharge the case. This is very good, relatively, and should get almost everyone through the day on a single charge.

One feature we were not expecting, and one that ZAGG did not advertise well, was that the speaker case also functions as an external battery for your iPhone. The speaker doubles as a 1800 mAh battery that will take your phone from 0% to about 90% charge. While this is great for a quick on-the-go charging, it’s not by any means a solution for situations where you might be away from a charger for long. Keep in mind that the more you use the case as a battery, the less time you’ll have to use it as a speaker. A sort of catch 22 in our opinion.

Conclusion

ZAGG’s Speaker Case is not for everyone. It isn’t for the audiophile who needs the best sounding speaker for his or her music and it isn’t for someone looking for the clearest sounding speaker on the market. So who is this for then? In our opinion, the ZAGG Speaker Case is for the every day person. The consumer looking to enhance their audio from their iPhones in a variety of situations. While we would have liked to see some on-board audio controls on the speaker itself and would have liked to have our audio remain consistent at the highest volumes, the ZAGG Speaker Case is still a pretty good purchase for the average consumer. Have you purchased a ZAGG Speaker Case? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.