Tech News

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5 inch 1080p the New Standard?

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With the supposedly niche Note 2 being a runaway success and CES being right around the corner, phone manufacturers are jumping into the phablet market. Amongst the phablets a new category has emerged, the 5 inch/1080p screen. Within the past week alone, there have have 4 new entries into the 5 inch/1080p category. Up until now the only phablet with a 5 inch/1080p screen was the Droid DNA. Most of these entries should be available for a hands-on look at the Consumer Electronics Show which is in a couple weeks. Until then we’ve compiled a list to help you differentiate between the phablets. As these phablets are yet to be released the specs could be slightly off.

DROID DNA

 

  • 5 inch 1080p
  • 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon
  • Front 2.1MP
  • Back 8MP
  • 16 GB
  • 2GB RAM
  • 9.6mm thickness
  • 2020mAH battery

NUBIA Z5

  • 5 inch 1080p
  • 1.5GHZ quad-core Snapdragon
  • Front 2MP
  • Back 13MP
  • 16/32GB
  • 2GB RAM
  • 7.6mm thickness
  • 3000mAH battery

Oppo Find 5

  • 5 inch 1080p
  • 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon
  • Front 1.9MB
  • Back 13MB
  • 16/32GB
  • 2GB RAM
  • 8.8mm thickness
  • 2500mAH battery

ZTE Grand S

  • 5 inch 1080p
  • 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon
  • Front ?
  • Back 13MP
  • 16/32GB
  • 2GB RAM
  • 6.9mm thickness
  • 2500mAH battery

Sony Xperia “YUGA” Z

  • 5 inch 1080p
  • 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon
  • Front ?
  • Back 13MP
  • 16GB
  • 2GB RAM
  • 7.9mm thickness
  • ? battery

If this is the continuing trend, 2013 may very well be the year of the Phablet. Until official press releases are released take these specs as a rough idea of what to expect.

 

 

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Holiday Gift Guide: Tablet edition

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As Christmas is upon us, gift shoppers are out in full effect. To help avoid the masses, we here at Spigen have decided to make our own gift guide to help you sort through the mess. The weekly guides will cover a broad range of categories that are related to tech in one way or another. Today’s edition is on tablets. For today’s edition we’ve decided to rank the the tablets based on prices. These will be the BEST tablets you can get for your money. Since there’s so many options out there we’ve decided to split up the tablets in 3 separate price categories: low, middle, and high.

LOW

NEXUS 7

At $199 there really is no competition in this category. No other tablet in this price range offers up the specs and user experience the Nexus 7 does. The Nexus 7 runs a pure version of Android and is a Google branded device. Now for $199 you’re getting 16GB of internal flash storage, a Tegra 3 quad-core processor with 1GB RAM, a 1280×800 IPS screen, and Android 4.2 Jelly Bean all in a 7 inch package that weighs only 12 oz. Battery life clocks in at about 9.5 hours in real world usage. Nothing else comes close at $199.

MID

iPad Mini & NEXUS 10

For the mid category we had to give a tie. The iPad mini  goes for $329 while the Nexus 10 goes for $399. Normally these 2 tablets would be placed in separate tablet categories but since we’re basing this off of price we have lumped them together here.

The base iPad mini is 7.9 inch tablet that comes with 16 GB internal flash storage, a Apple A5 dual-core processor with 512mb of RAM, a 1014×768 screen, and iOS 6 installed in a slim form factor that weighs only 10.9 oz. While the resolution may be the lowest out of our picks the iPad mini has the longest battery life.

The Nexus 10 is the largest tablet in our guide, coming in at 10 inches. However, its actually not the heaviest. For $399 you’re getting 16 GB of internal flash storage, a ARM  dual core A15 with 2GB of RAM, a 2560×1600 screen, and Android 4.2 installed all in a package that weighs 1.32lbs. The battery life comes in at 7.5 hours. Even though the Nexus 10 has the shortest battery life, it is the highest spec’d tablet from our picks.

High

 iPad 4

It probably comes at no surprise that we have chosen the iPad 4 as your best bet at this price range. The base iPad 4 starts at $499 but can be configured to be priced at much more. At $499 you’re getting 16 GB of internal flash storage, a dual core Apple A6X with 1 GB, 2048×1536 screen, and iOS 6 in a sleek aluminum frame that weighs in at 1.33lbs. Real world usage clocked in at 11 hours. Even though the iPad may not stand out on paper compared to our other picks, it is the best overall package when it comes to a tablet. Period.

Regardless of your personal preference, you can’t go wrong with any one of these tablets. Not only are they the best tablets in their price range, they’re the best tablets available right now. Even though we weren’t able to get into the minute details of each tablet, be rest assured that whoever receives these as gifts will be too ecstatic to care anyways. Happy Holiday and until next time!

For more gift idea leading up to the Holidays follow us on follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

LG-Nexus-4

The LTE Conspiracy

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Were you one of the lucky few who was able to pre-order a Nexus 4 before they sold out world-wide?? If you were, you’re in for a treat.

To the dismay of many, the Nexus 4 was announced without support for LTE. For some this was a deal-breaker while others argued that LTE still needed time to expand before it became the standard. Regardless of the lack of LTE, the Nexus 4 sold out within hours of its release.

As soon as the Nexus 4 was released to the public, hardware enthusiast’s cracked open the Nexus 4 to see exactly what was inside the new flagship device. To their surprise it was discovered that there was actually a LTE chip inside!

 

 

So what gives? If the Nexus 4 doesnt support LTE why does it have a LTE chip inside?? Rumors and theories have been flying around the blogosphere as to why its been included. One of the trending theories is that it will be unlocked in a future software update. Unfortunately these theories  were all debunked when hardware specialists stated that the LTE was lacking the supporting hardware to function correctly. With that the hype around the LTE chip slowly began to die down…until today.

Its been discovered that you can in fact use the Nexus 4 on LTE! However there’s a catch.  Out of the 4 Bands that run on LTE the Nexus 4 only has enough power to only support Band 1. Band 1 is currently only used in Canada and parts of Europe so if you’re located in an area ( like the US) that has LTE but doesn’t support the Band 1 frequency then you’re out of luck. To activate the LTE is pretty simple. It only takes a few steps in your settings to get it working. If your area has the supporting LTE coverage you should connect automatically.

LG, the manufacturer of the Nexus 4, has released a statement explaining the inclusion of the LTE chip. LG modeled the Nexus 4 after their flagship device, the Optimus G which is an LTE enabled device. The Optimus G runs off of a powerful chipset that combines the processor and modem and can not be used separately. Therefore they included the LTE chip but left out out certain hardware that would enable it.

So there you have it folks. The Nexus 4 was not intended to be a LTE device but if you’re in the area you can take advantage of its dormant features. Sooner or later a LTE enabled Nexus will appear but for now the conspiracy that the Nexus 4 would magically gain (wide) LTE functionality has been put to rest.

WiiU

Wii U launches this Sunday!

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It’s the Wii-kend! What are U doing?!

Can you believe it has already been 6 years since the original Wii launched? This Sunday Nintendo is finally releasing their next-gen console the Wii U! Finally Mario will be in glorious HD!

 

 

When the Wii first launched, the buzz around the Wiimote was enormous. Nintendo was trying to redefine how we interact with our video games.  With any new product there were skeptics, myself included. But once the Wii hit the masses it became a runaway success! The Wiimote succeeded where the powerglove could not. Hahaha who still remembers the powerglove?

 

Now Nintendo is back again with another new way to interact with our games. This time it’s the Wii U Gamepad. With the rise of touch input and tablets, the gamepad is not as innovative as the Wiimote was. However, it is the first time this type of input is being implemented with a major game console. The Gamepad works just like the dual stick controller we’re all familiar with but with one “big” addition; a 6.2 inch touch screen with a 854×480 resolution. The wireless Gamepad can either be used as your 2nd screen when playing on your tv, or as your main screen when you step away from your tv. It is important to note that the Gamepad range is not very far so don’t expect to play this on the go.

 

 

The Wii U now comes with graphical capabilities that rival and in some cases surpass other current-gen consoles. Some will argue that this is disappointing because this is supposed to be “next-gen” but you have to remember that Nintendo has always presented itself as a more casual/group gaming experience. However, now that the Wii U has current-gen graphics we may see developers choose to come out with more mature titles for the Wii U.

The Wii U will not only be a game console but also provide multimedia functionality by bringing together video steaming services under its Nintendo “TVii” service. Unfortunately these services will not be available at launch and will be available with a update due in December.

Without actually getting our hands on the console we have no idea how the package will work as a whole but we have no doubt that with its new form of input, upgraded graphics, and dual screen functionality, the Wii U will become another hit with the masses.

Have you pre-ordered a Wii U? What launch titles are you looking forward to the most? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to find out what titles we’re enjoying the most!

 

 

iPad mini

Big things come in mini packages: Apple's iPad mini

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Excited for Apple’s iPad mini? We sure are!

We’ve all heard of the phrase “Big things come in small packages”.  When it comes to Apple’s next big thing, the iPad mini, we couldn’t have picked a more perfect idiom.  As its name suggests, the iPad mini is a smaller version of Apple’s hugely popular iPad tablet series.  With a display size of 7.85-inches, the iPad mini is perfect for those in the market for a smaller sized tablet with the same Apple quality and of course, huge app selections.

 

Apple’s era of surprise unveilings have undoubtedly come to an end with the iPhone 5.  Months before the launch, leaked photos and rumors surrounding the iPhone 5 littered the internet.  Once again, tech sites and forums are filled with speculations, leaked photos, and up-to-date news of the next Apple wonder, dubbed the iPad mini.  Online consensus is that the iPad mini will come in a 7.85 inch, 4:3 display, with a lightning dock connector and front and rear cameras, with a starting price tag of $329 (Slashgear).  Bad news for those hoping for a retina display; it appears the iPad mini will not be receiving this perk.

 

ipad mini event

 

Much like the iPhone 5, nothing is 100% certain until Apple officially unveils their product.  No worries though, the event will be held tomorrow, October 23rd at 10AM PST, 1PM EST.  Apple promises that “We’ve got a little more to show you”, so we’re pretty sure Apple will reveal their iPad mini in all its small glory.  Popular tech site The Verge will be holding a live blog of Apple’s iPad mini event at the same time so tune in for a continual update.

 

ipad mini screen protectors

 

The good news doesn’t stop here: the best screen protectors for your mobile devices will be made available for your iPad mini as well.  Our Steinheil screen protector series is available now and the GLAS.t premium screen protector is available for pre-order on our site.  We will constantly be updating our site with new accessories and cases so follow us on Facebook and Twitter for our latest news and products!

 

 

credit to Bryce Haymond

The iPhone 5 is almost here!

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Apple’s new iPhone 5 launch is right around the corner! Apple has officially announced September 12th as the day they will finally be revealing the much anticipated iPhone. The invitation that Apple sent out for their media event seems to indicate that the new iPhone will indeed be called the ‘iPhone 5‘. How do we know that? Notice the shadow that the ’12′ is casting? Yeah, definitely looks like a 5.  Mac Rumors reports that the event will be held at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco at 10:00am Pacific time. Apple is expected to showcase their newest iPhone, as well as provide a final peek of the iOS 6 before the big launching.  Anyone else bursting at the seams with excitement? We certainly are!

 

 

 

Here at Spigen SGP, we are doing all we can to prepare future iPhone 5 users with the best protection for your devices.  Our iPhone 5 screen protectors, GLAS.t and Steinheil Series in both Ultra Crystal and Ultra Oleophobic are now available on our website so your screens never have to go unprotected.

 

If you’re looking for cases, look no further.  Our iPhone 5  Leather Pouch Crumena Series is now available in 3 colors: White, Black, and Vegetable Brown.  Pouch not your style?  No problem.  By the time iPhone 5 launches, we’ll have so many different styles of cases that you’ll have trouble choosing.  So make sure to check in with us on our Facebook and Twitter to find out exactly when our cases will be available.

iPhone 5 image

Apple's rumored new iPhone 5 expected to release September 21st!

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Apple fans everywhere rejoice! It’s that time of year again. It’s months, maybe weeks, perhaps even days before the unveiling of the new iPhone 5. Nobody knows for sure, but tech geeks everywhere are already busy scrambling to collect any rumors and news surrounding the highly anticipated iPhone 5. And we geeks at Spigen SGP are no different.
It’s summer time, but instead of wading through the cool waters and digging through the warm sand, we’ve been wading through tech forums and digging for all the juicy rumors and news that have been popping up everywhere. After days without food or sunlight, we have compiled a comprehensive list of what we believe to be the most accurate information on the new iPhone from the most trusted tech sites, so enjoy!

Already read all the rumors? Click to go directly to our iPhone 5 accessories.

 

RELEASE DATE

If we are to believe the rumors, Macrumors to be exact, the launch date for the new iPhone is set to be on September 21st. iLounge has also been reporting of a mid-September ship date for the iPhone, so it seems fairly safe to assume that Apple aficionados will have the new iPhone in their hands before October. For the impatient bunch who thinks the mid September launch is too far away, don’t fret! The Verge has reported that the iPhone 5, along with the mini iPad, will be revealed at an event on September 12th, so you’ll be able to see the new iPhone a whole 9 days before the launch. Yipee!

Source: Slashgear

 

PHYSICAL

There have been many speculations on the physical changes of the new iPhone. After the colossal disappointment of last year iPhone 4S’s lack of change, most experts agree that this time, there will be some significant improvements to the phone’s body. First and foremost, most agree that the display size will increase from a 3.5 inch to a 4 inch screen with only the height increasing, thereby changing the aspect ratio. It is also a widely held belief that the iPhone 5 will be taller and thinner than the current iPhone models, as well as 20% thinner. One of the more notable changes will be the implementation of a new 19-pin dock connector, as opposed to the 30-pin dock connector that all Apple devices have currently. However, recent rumors have been popping up that Apple may go with an even smaller 8-pin dock connector, as reported by Gizmodo. As far as the aesthetic portion of the design goes, “leaked photos” of the new iPhone showcases a metal panel to the central back that is a different color than the usual black or white iPhones that we are familiar with.

Source: Slashgear

 

SOFTWARE

With the new iOS 6 under its belt, the new iPhone 5 will be packing some major firepower.According to iDownloadblog, iOS 6 will include turn-by-turn navigation with 3D renderings of cities, as well as real-time traffic reports to calculate ETAs and offer alternative routes to your destination for faster travel. And for all you Facebook users, iOS 6 is rumored to include a deep, system-level Facebook integration that allows users to post photos straight from the Photos app, update Facebook statuses from the Notification Center, and ‘Like’ something in App, iBooks, and iTunes stores. More importantly though, the new iOS allows Face Time calls over cellular connection, which means that wherever you are, you’ll be able to see what your loved ones are doing at a touch of a button. It is also most likely that Siri will undergo a major overhaul and perform a number of new tasks, including searching for restaurants based on price or seating availability, look up show times and trailers for a movie, and even launch applications that you’re too lazy to press yourself.

 

HARDWARE

Consensus is that the new iPhone 5 will be packing a massive quad-core A6 chip with 1024 MB RAM (Slashgear), something that even the newest iPad doesn’t even carry. The new chip will certainly come in handy if the rumored NFC hardware that can control everything from television and DVRs to standalone cameras to even projectors comes to fruition (9to5mac). The new iPhone 5 will also come with an updated camera, although no one knows for certain just how advanced the lens will be. According to Phonearena, the camera will feature a back-illuminated sensor, auto focus, touch to focus, image and video stabilizer, face detection, and geo tagging. The camcorder function will have a 1920 x 1080 (1080p HD) recording abilities, so all you amateur photographers and directors will have something to look forward to.

Source: 9to5MAC

 

We know how important it is to keep your new iPhone 5 scratch free and protected, so we’re going to do our part and design quality cases and accessories to keep your new iPhone 5 spick and span, even before you take it out for your first joyride. Not to mention that they will be outfitted with the coolest, sleekest styles. So until that glorious day comes, sign up for our newsletter and follow us on our Facebook page and Twitter to get the latest news and updates on Apple’s upcoming iPhone 5 and don’t miss out on this yearly Apple tradition.

 

 

Click to enter our collection of iPhone 5 cases and iPhone 5 screen protectors

 

iPhone 5 Screen Protector

 

 

 

Google Project Glass

Google demos Project Glass with daring spectacle

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Google presents glasses with an exhilarating demonstration

 

Yesterday Google’s Co-Founder, Sergey Brin, demonstrated Project Glass at the Google I/O conference in San Fransisco, California. While the technology and features of Project Glass was exciting in itself, it was the demonstration that created the most buzz. The  Google spectacles were paired with a daring spectacle (hehe) of skydivers, bikers, and some skyscraper walking.

 

Project Glass is available for pre-order at $1,500, but only for developers in the United States that attended the I/O. Ahh.. safe to say that none of us were probabaly there, so it may be a while before consumers get to hands-on (heads-on?) with one. While Project Glass looks dorky and awkwardly reminiscent of the Terminator, we got to admit that the technology behind it is pretty awesome.

 

 


Video: CNET News

 

Sergey Bin wearing Project Glass
Photo: SFGate.com

 

For more details about Project Glass, here are some detailed articles about this cool little headgear.
CNET: “Google Glass Explorer Edition”
SFGate: “Take a peek through Google’s Project Glass device”
PCWorld: “Google Reveals $1,500 Project Glass Explorer Edition”

 

Who Stands at the Top of the Mobile Devices?

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**We lift our thoughts to the Jobs family and friends who are closely impacted by this loss. Steve Jobs was an outstanding and genius visionary, entrepreneur, and inventor. He took Apple and made it the incredible powerful force it is today. His work and legacy will remain an incredible influence over our generation and the generations to come. May he rest in peace.**

 

 

Whew! *wipes brow*

It has been an exciting couple of weeks for us. Let’s recap on the most anticipated phones that have been released so far.
Just in the past few weeks, the Droid Bionic, Epic 4Touch, AT&T Samsung Galaxy SII, and the iPhone 4S has been announced.
That’s not the end though! The next week will bring T-Mobile’s version of the Samsung Galaxy SII and the long-awaited Nexus Prime will be released soon.

It is incredible that so many have tuned into the Let’s Talk iPhone keynote presentation. SGP also did a live update on our Twitter @sgpstore. Yes, we were anticipating the iPhone 5, but instead we were given a 20 minute demo on the iPhone 4S. While most of us are dissappointed with the results, this has not stopped the sales of iPhone 4S products nor has Apple’s stocks been impacted negatively. This can be contributed to Apple’s strong influence in the market as well as the devotion of Apple fans. Already some of my iPhone 4 using friends  are planning to buy the iPhone 4S rahter than wait for the iPhone 5. When the iPhone 5 is announced, I am sure they will move up to that as well. It is truly the cult of Apple that allows Apple to remain a deadly competition in the mobile phone market. That is not to say that the iPhone 4S can be so easily brushed aside. Siri, A5 processor, and 1080p HD camera are enought to make this device high on my “MUST BUY” list.

 

iphone 4s

However, Apple did take a rather long time in the keynote presentation to show off the iPhone 4S. A whole 20 minutes was dedicated just for the iPhone 4S, a beta product to the iPhone 5. Some tech bloggers have pointed to a possible quivering of Apple’s confidence in the iPhone 4S. Perhaps Apple is starting to feel the heat in the competition with the new Android phones (noticeably the Samsung Galaxy SII and the upcoming Nexus Prime).

CNET
 Senior Editor, Bonnie Cha, has posted a full comparison chart in the article, “iPhone 4S vs. the competition.”
Take a look and write a comment on our facebook with your point of view!

vs

cnet chart
Comparison chart was created by CNET in their “iPhone 4S vs. the competition” article. 

 

 

What do you think?
Should Apple be worried about the competition?
Does the iPhone 4S stand above the rest?

 

 

- Sue C.

Mastering Your iPad

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There are two types of iPad users in the world. There are those who sink into its world the moment they open it. They’re like inquisitive tourists, eager to explore every corner of the new world they’re inhabiting. Then there are those like me, who upon setting foot in the new world, looks for an cheeseburger shack then hurries on over to the hotel to see what they’re playing on HBO.

Of course I’m exaggerating a little bit, but hopefully you get the point. From the moment I got my iPad, I did mess around with it. I changed the desktop background, surfed the web, and mastered the free version of Fruit Ninja. Since then, my activities haven’t changed much. Then I came across these articles, and I felt like an American that’s been in Kenya for a month who just realized he’s in Kenya. I’d better learn how this new world works.

If you’re the inquisitive tourist type, you probably already discovered this. But for the rest of you like me, check out these iPad tips and tricks and be enlightened.

PC MAG: iPad 2 Tips, Tricks, and Shortcuts

PC World: 10 Great Ways to Get More From Your iPad

MacWorld: Browse Tablets Help and Tips

-Delbert