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Hands on with Archos Connected Self and Connected Home accessories at CES 2014

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Home automation and fitness monitoring are going to be huge over the next few years, and Archos wants in on the action. They unveiled Connected Self and Connected Home accessories at CES 2014, and we had a chance to learn more about them.

Connect Self includes an app that tracks key health metrics for up to 8 different users. Some of the accessories include a Connected Scale, an Activity Tracker wristband, and a blood pressure monitor. They will retail for no more than about $100 each.

Connected Home includes a custom tablet and app that serves as the guts of the system. Then you can add various accessories including a Smart Tracker (GPS tracker with 3G capability), Weather Station, camera, motion ball, movement tag, weather tag, and smart plug. The Connected Home tablet station will cost $199 and will include a camera and motion ball.

Hit the break for a look at both the Connected Self and Connect Home accessories and how they work.

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Also be sure to check out our complete CES 2014 coverage.

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A look at new Qi wireless charging applications for the automobile from the Wireless Power Consortium at CES 2014

Qi_Wireless_Charging_From_Wireless_Power_ConsortiumWireless charging is something consumers want, but the manufacturers continue to take their time agreeing with a standard. We have the Alliance 4 Wireless Power and the Wireless Power Consortium. Both include partners such as Qualcomm and Samsung that are members with both organizations. A little messed up to say the least.

Last year at CES, I met with the Alliance 4 Wireless Power, and this year, I met with the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC), WPC is committed to Qi technology, which seems to be the most logical since that is pretty much all we see in the wild. Now if manufacturers would stop fooling around and implement it in their devices, we might start seeing the benefits of wireless charging.

Charging pads at home is just one aspect, but charging pads in the car and commercial establishments is where the future is. WPC showed me a couple of new products for the automobile, so hit the break for a quick hands on video.

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Be sure to check out our complete CES 2014 coverage here.

More info: Wireless Power Consortium

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Hands on with ZTE’s concept smartwatch, the BlueWatch

ZTE BlueWatch

ZTE is demoing their first stab at the smartwatch market with a proof-of-concept device, the BlueWatch. It’s got an LCD screen (not a touch screen) that’s controlled by buttons on the side of the watch. Those buttons will allow you to navigate between apps, including a camera app, music player, weather forecast, and a find my phone app. The BlueWatch is also waterproof up to 10 meters.

Right now, the device isn’t in a final state that’s ready to be released. ZTE plans on adding several more apps and features to the device, including ways to connect to social networks. The BlueWatch looks like it’s going to be a more simple take on the smartwatch design, which probably means it’ll be less expensive than some of its competitors, too.

The BlueWatch is slated for a 2014 release in China, but you can get a glimpse at it in our hands on video below. For the rest of our CES coverage, click here.

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Hands on with the ZTE Nubia 5S LTE and Nubia 5S Mini

ZTE Nubia 5S LTE Mini

Two of the many devices ZTE is showing off at CES this year are the Nubia 5S LTE and Nubia 5S Mini. The naming conventions and design of both phones might be a little Apple-esque, but they have some really unique features on them, especially in the camera department. The Nubia 5S LTE is the higher end of the two, featuring a Snapdragon 800 and a ton of camera tweaks. The device is unique in that it will allow you to change where your focus point is on your pictures as well as adjusting where your source of light is coming from. This should make for some pretty fantastic photos from the device. On the video side, the 5S LTE is capable of recording 4k video at 32 frames per second, which is very impressive for a smartphone.

The Nubia 5S Mini is a slightly smaller version of the 5S LTE with no LTE, obviously, and a smaller screen. It also only has a Snapdragon 600 CPU and it’s missing a few of the camera features that its bigger brother has, but it is available in several different colors. It looks like it could definitely be one of the nicer mini phones we’ll see this year.

You can check out our hands on video of both devices below where you can see some of the awesome camera features in action. For the rest of our CES 2014 coverage, click here.

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Hands on with ZTE’s Projector Hotspot at CES 2014

ZTE Projector hotspot

ZTE has unveiled a pretty unique take on the portable hotspot device. The simply titled Projector Hotspot does exactly what the name implies; it’s a portable mobile hotspot to connect devices to with a built in projector screen. It can project up to 120 inches of 800 x 480 video, which isn’t stellar compared to high end smartphones, but I’d say it’s pretty good for a device that’s as unique as this one is. To make sure this thing can last all day, ZTE stuffed a whopping 5,000 mAh battery in the hotspot, so that’s a plus.

You can check out our short hands on video with the device below, and you can find the rest of our CES coverage here.

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Hands on with ZTE’s latest flagship, the Grand S II

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ZTE is showing off their latest flagship device at CES, and it looks like one of the most advanced devices on the market. The ZTE Grand S II features a Snapdragon 800 CPU 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal storage, and a ton of software features. It also has a ton of great voice-activated features, including unlocking the device and taking pictures without ever touching the phone. To make that voice recognition extremely accurate, the Grand S II has a triple-microphone design for extreme noise cancellation.

You can check out our hands on video below where you can see some of ZTE’s software enhancements, as well as a closer look at the physical design of the device. For the rest of our CES 2014 coverage, click here.

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Hands on with the kid-friendly Vivitar XO 7 and XO 10 tablets

vivitar XO 7

Vivitar has announced a new line of tablets for kids, called the XO tablet, which includes a 7 inch and 1o inch version. Both versions of the tablet will feature a quad-core processor, 1 GB of RAM, and 8 GB of internal storage, as well as the standard WiFi and Bluetooth radios and rear and front facing cameras. Both the 7 and and 10 inch tablets will have 1024 x 600 resolution screens, but the 10 inch version will have a slightly bigger battery as well as more content on board.

The XO tablet software contains different “dreams,” such as an artist or musician dream, which contains content pertaining to that particular dream. The artist dream has applications that are based around being artistic as well as links to famous artists. The bigger tablet will have more of this content preloaded, but both tablets run the same version of the software. The XO 7 will carry a $149 price tag and the XO 10 will go for $199.

To see the dreams in action you can check out our hands on videos below. Be sure to follow the rest of our CES coverage here.

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Hands on with the Hisense X1 smartphone at CES 2014

Hisense X1 CES 2014_Talkandroid

We know exactly what you’re thinking… “Damn, that’s a big phone!”. And rightfully so. Though it’s being considered for the “Phablet” market, this thing is seriously teetering on the brink of a full blown out tablet. Being just .2-inches shy of the Nexus 7 and other popular small tablets, we’re definitely thinking it’s a flat out tab. The Hisense X1 is “large and in charge” as stated by Editor in Chief Rob Nazarian as he tries to tame this bad boy one-handed. The X1 comes in at a whopping 6.8-inches sporting Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 series CPU, making for a snappy experience when navigating. In addition, the handset comes with a 5-megapixel camera in the front and a 13-megapixel shooter in the rear. Battery life should be optimal to run the true definition IPS display (1920 x 1080) with a whopping 3900 mAh’s.  

Though the device on display was sporting Android 4.3, Hisense assures us that the device will launch with Android 4.4 KitKat before production is over. There also appears to be a light skin over the nearly stock experience which shouldn’t make for too much unfamiliarity. The external body is mostly plastic and as of now there is no LTE support for this handset outside of the US, HSPA+ only. Expect the X1 to launch in China just ahead of the US market. The US should see the model sometime in Q2. In addition, there’s indication that the US version, possibly dubbed the X3, will have full LTE support. Check out our hands-on demo below and don’t forget to check out the rest of our CES 2014 coverage here.

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Carbon for Android falls victim to Twitter token limits

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The man behind the Carbon for Android Twitter client, M.Saleh Esmaeili, has announced the client has hit the wall in terms of Twitter API tokens. This was not an entirely unexpected move for Twitter which continues to limit access to its platform by developers of alternative clients. The news comes only days after new updates were released for the Carbon.

Esmaeili indicates in a post on his Google+ page that he is ready to move on from Carbon and has been working on some new paths to take. That does not mean he is abandoning Carbon entirely as he will keep working on some planned updates. He also indicates that he will not come up with a way to create custom API keys to get around Twitter like some other clients.

source: +MSalehEsmaili

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T-Mobile stakes claim to fastest growing U.S. carrier title

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During CES 2014 today at T-Mobile’s Uncarrier 4.0 event, CEO John Legere spent some time reviewing results for the carrier. In the last quarter of 2013, T-Mobile added a whopping 1.6 million subscribers. This brought their numbers for the year up to a net gain of 4.4 million new customers. For comparison, T-Mobile lost 515,000 customers during the 4th quarter of 2012. Just looking at the chart presented by T-Mobile tells the story of the carrier’s success during 2013. It may also be a testament to the success of their Uncarrier strategy, which continues to produce results for T-Mobile as well as shake up the industry.

During the event, T-Mobile announced their opening salvo for 2014 – a move to help customers avoid the pain of early termination fees. If 2013 is any indicator, this latest move will help T-Mobile continue on their successful path that gives them the “fastest growing carrier” crown for now. Legere indicated during the event that T-Mobile will either become the biggest carrier in the U.S. or the wireless carrier industry will have to change in order to compete. Legere will be happy with either one of those options.

Be sure to check back with TalkAndroid for more coverage from CES 2014.

source: TmoNews

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