Tech Hangout 2.0 #17: Tech News on a Nap

[Hosts]

Ben Roethig

@benroethig
BenRoethig.com

Patrice Brend’amour

@casual_kitchen
brendamour.net

Mikel Potts

@twerppoet

Andre Rouch

@Montisasquatch

Big News

Most important news stories of the week

Intel Brings Full Skylake Lineup to Market

  • Intel has announced the full lineup of Skylake CPUs for desktop and mobile
  • will replace current Broadwell chips.
  • Goes all the way from 91w K-Models (Core i7) to 4.5w Core M Y-models where Broadwell launch was mostly dual core laptop chips
  • 500 series integrated graphics with native 4k support
  • Alpine Ridge chip for Thunderbolt 3 support

Tech Giants Combine for Next Gen Video Codec

  • Amazon, Netflix, Google, Microsoft, Mozilla, and other have formed the Alliance for Open Media
  • Aims to develop next generation video format
  • New Codec will be royalty-free and published under an Apache 2.0 license.
  • Designed to be interoperable and streamable
  • will have option for content encryption

Apple

News about iOS, Macs, Apple TV, Apple watch, etc

Jailbreak Exploit Leads to 225k Stolen Apple ID’s

  • KeyRaider Malware has stolen over 225,000 Apple IDs
  • Spread through Jailbreak store Cedia repositories from Weiphone
  • found by Security Researchers Palo Alto Networks
  • company has a fix on its website
  • Does NOT affect mainstream non-jailbroken iDevices

Cisco and Apple Partner for Enterprise Deal

  • New agreement between Apple and Cisco
  • Cisco will optimize their networks for iOS devices
  • will also integrate the iPhone with Cisco enterprise environments
  • Cisco is a dominant player in Enterprise network hardware
  • will also work to integrated voice to integrate business iPhones with employee desk phones

Key Beats Executive Leaves Apple For LVMH

  • Best of luck Ian and thanks for all you did.
  • Your reasoning is your own.

Google

News About Google and Android

Manufacturers Release New Smartwatches, Google Updates Android Wear for iOS Compatibility

  • New round Samsung Gear S2. Still runs Tizen
  • 2nd Gen Moto 360 in 46 & 42mm sizes. Thinner & more powerful starting at $299
  • New rugged Moto 360 Sport with GPS and sunlight reflecting display
  • Zen Watch 2. Starts at $129, 1.63” and 1.45” sizes
  • Hauwei watch. New premium watch in 6 variants.
  • Google has also announced Android Wear support for iOS 8.2 and above using an app.

Nest Debuts Third Generation Nest

  • New third Gen Nest
  • Thinner body with large Farsight display
  • automatically detects you and activates the display
  • additional temperature sensors in box
  • can detect issues in your HVAC system (coming to older nests via and upgrade)

Misc Tech

anything that doesn’t fit above

Canon Brings EOS M3 to US

  • New Mirrorless Camera from Canon
  • 24.2mp APS-C CMOS sensor
  • uses EF-M lenses or EF & EF-S with adaptor
  • Wi-Fi and NFC
  • 3.5mm
  • comes in Body only or 18-55mm kit.

TV, Web, and Comics

If something happened in hollywood or print, talk about it here.

Hulu Adds ad-Free Option, Signs Big Content Deal with Epix

  • Hulu has added $11.99 ad free option
  • still includes first run network programming
  • company also signed a multi-year content deal with EPIX after similar deal with Netflix expired
  • includes newer movies from Paramount, MGM, and Lionsgate Including Bond, Star Trek, TMNT, Hunger Games, and more
  • deal with start October 1
  • content will come 90 after pay TV content begins.

Amazon Prime to Offer Offline Video

  • Amazon Prime video will offer offline viewing of video
  • works with both iOS and Android apps
  • feature originated on the Kindle Fire
  • Includes the UK, US, Austria, and Germany

Transportation Tech

Cars, Planes, Ships, Rockets, ETC

Tesla Model S Scores Better than Perfect at Consumer Reports

  • We pretty much all want one.

Picks

Each brings an item, app, device, show, etc they want to talk about

Andrew

Taking a Nap

Mikel

Heavenstrike Rivals

Patrice

Pinterest.com

Ben

Sphero BB-9
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Samsung, Motorola, Asus, and Huawei Announce New Smartwatches

For the most part, 2015 has been the year of the Apple Watch with some Pebble sprinkled in. That may change with this week’s announcements with a trio of new Android Wear Watch families from Motorola, Asus,and Huawei and a new Tizen-based entry from Samsung. The announcements coincide with another announcement that Android Wear devices would be gaining compatibility with the iPhone. Let’s take a look at the new watches.

samsung-gear-s2

Samsung Gear S2

The Gear S2 is Samsung’s latest entry into the wearable space. Unlike other members of the gear family, the S2 features a round body which is very watch-like. It comes in two flavors, the S2 with a more modern flair and the S2 Classic for those who want traditional watch styling. Whatever flavor you choose, the features and specs are the same. It runs Samsung’s Tizen OS giving them more control over the platform than allowed under Android Wear. It also allows tighter integration with the Korean device giant’s skinned Android phones.

The AMOLED screen is 1.2 inches and round with a 360 x 360 resolution. That equates to a near-Retina 302 PPI. The CPU is 1.0ghz and dual core. If you were looking for smaller version for more petite individuals, you will not find it here. Its one size fits all, with the exception of whether you want 3G connectivity or not. There is 512mb of memory and 4GB of RAM. All in all, its pretty standard for a mainstream smartwatch.

What sets it apart is its integration with Samsung’s services including Samsung Pay with the watch’s NFC chip. If you’re more invested in Samsung than Android or iOS, this is a strong contender. If not, the next family of watches may be for you.

2015-moto-360

A Family of 4 Moto 360s

For all intents and purposes, the 2014 edition of the Moto 360 was the Android Wear device by which all others were judged. This year’s model looks to carry on this tradition. The 2015 Moto 360 comes in two sizes: 46mm and 42mm with the 42mm coming in both Men’s and Women’s versions. The previous version only came in the 46mm variant. The new Moto 360 is slightly thinner at 11.4″, but not by much. The original Moto 360 had a 320 x 290 pixel display and this has been given a small boost in resolution to 360 x 330 in the 46mm version and 360 x 325 in the smaller size. The single core Cortex A8 SoC has been replaced by a Quad-Core Snapdragon 400. The battery is bigger and Moto promises 2 days battery life. Overall, its a fairly hefty upgrade over 2015. The 2015 Moto 360 is also fully customizable in Moto Maker for a custom watch designed for the wearer.

There’s also a second Moto 360, the 360 Sport. Also running wear, the 360 Sport is designed for those with active outdoor lifestyles. It features a rugged enclosure that will definitely not be welcomed in a black tie affair, but feels right at home in a Kayak. The sport has it own built-in GPS and associated software allowing the wearer to know exactly where he or she is. It display is very interesting being designed to reflect direct sunlight to make the display more visible than a traditional LCD display.

The 2nd Gen Moto 360 will start at $299 and go up from there. It’ll ship later in September. The price and release date for the Sport is TBA.

zen-watch-2

Zen Watch 2.

Also coming in on the sequel path is the Zen Watch 2. This new watch may be the best overall value in Android Wear watches. The Zen Watch 2 is square in design and comes in a pair of sizes. You can add 3 colors: silver, gold, and gunmetal grey and several watch bands. The Zen Watch aims to bring traditional watch styling into the 21st century and like the Apple Watch, it makes use of the crown for the interactive experience.

The Zen Watch 2 comes with 1.63″ and 1.45″ screens with a 320 x 320 resolution.. Specs are similar to the Moto 360 with a Snapdragon 400 CPU, 512mb of RAM, and 4GB of storage. Those are roughly standard for an Android Wear Watch. What isn’t is the price. The Zen Watch 2 starts at an insanely low $129.

huawei-watch

Huawei Watch

Huawei is not known for being a premium watch in the west, but the Huawei Watch may change this. The Huawei Watch tends towards the more premium end of Android Wear watches. It has a 400 x 400 1.4″ AMOLED display. The Hauwei watch has very traditional watch styling and comes in 6 distinct variants. However, non of them in a smaller size.

The base Huawei watch starts at $349 and goes up to $799 for a gold plated version.

Source: Samsung, Google
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Hulu Adds Commercial-Free Option for $11.99

Its been a good summer for Hulu. First they inked a deal with CBS to integrate Showtime into Hulu with a discount. Then earlier this week, they inked a massive multi-year content deal with EPIX, just as Netflix’s deal with them expired. They’re not done yet. Hulu is putting the capper on their summer with an announcement that for an additional $4, $11.99 a month, you can get their content add-free. So if ads in your first-run network content annoy you, you can now pay a bit more to watch it advertisement free.

Hulu is also dipping its toes in more credible original programming including 11/22/63 a collaboration between Stephen King and JJ-Abrams and starring James Franco, Difficult people from Amy Poehler, and a few more. Its also picking up the Mindy Project which was cancelled by Fox.

The streaming wars are heating up and this can only be a good thing for consumers.

Source: Hulu
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Tech Hangout 2.0 #16: Patrice Strikes Back

Hosts

Ben Roethig

@BenRoethig

BenRoethig.com

Patrice

@casual_kitchen

brendamour.net

Mikel Potts

@twerppoet

Andew Rouch

@Montisaquadeis

Big News

Most important news stories of the week

Comcast Invests $200 million in Vox Media

  • Comcast’s NBCUniversal Division has invested another $200 million Vox Media
  • Vox Media’s properties include The Verge, Recode, and more
  • Comcast also has another stake in Vox through its Comcast Ventures Arm
  • Comcast/ NBC will not have editorial control over Vox.
  • Move follows the recent Acquisition by AOL by Verizon

Amazon Stops Accepting Flash Ads

  • Amazon Advertising no longer accept ads with Adobe Flash
  • Move is in response to moves in Chrome, Firefox, and Safari to minimize Flash
  • Use of Flash competitor HTML5 has become more mainstream since the widespread adoption of mobile devices, most of which do not support flash
  • Flash has been known for security and performance issues

Apple

News about iOS, Macs, Apple TV, Apple watch, etc

AppleTV falls to pack in streaming device market

  • Apple has fallen to 3rd place in streaming devices according to Parks Data
  • Roku is the by far the most widespread with 34% of the market
  • Google chromecast is second in a tight race for 2nd at 19% followed by Apple TV at 17% and Fire TV at 14%
  • accounted for 86% of all streaming devices
  • 20% of US household own at least one streaming device
  • 8% own a stick based streamer

Google

News About Google and Android

Samsung Launches 30 Test Drive for iPhone users

  • 30 days free test drive.
  • Only $1

Android 6.0 to be Marshmallow

  • Google has announced final details of Android M
  • will be called Android 6.0 with the codename of Marshmallow
  • Google has launched the Official SDK and final preview of the OS
  • Devs are asked to ready their apps for Marshmallow
  • suggests the OS’s launch could be soon.

Google Updates Android Wear with Interactive Watch Faces

  • Google has added interactive watch faces to Android Wear
  • can now access different functions with a single tap
  • options include faces for Bits, Under Armour, and Together
  • rolling out to Android wear watches over the next few weeks

Google Tries to Fix the Router with OnHub

  • Most consumer internet routers pretty much suck
  • Google is partnering with TP-Link on a new router
  • called OnHub
  • Designed to be functional and elegant for home use
  • automatically adjusts for optimal wi-fi bandwidth
  • controlled by smartphone app
  • can also work as a hub for smart devices
  • $199.99 and on pre-order from Walmart, Amazon, and Google
  • google will also partner with other manufacturers for OnHub devices.

Windows Corner

News Microsoft Products

VAIO Returns to US

  • VAIO used to be Sony’s computer division before being sold to Japan Industrial partners
  • JIP is bringing the VAIO brand back to the US
  • will be sold online and in Microsoft stores beginning in October
  • will focus on high end PCs starting at $2200
  • could also expand into other areas.

Misc Tech

anything that doesn’t fit above

Thunderbolt 3 Prototype Shows Power of Connector

  • Inventec has designed a prototype Thunderbolt 3 hub
  • features 3 USB 3.0 ports, 2 HDMI, 2 Displayport, a USB-C out, and an external Radeon R9 M385 GPU.
  • can drive twin 4k displays
  • They also demoed a full-size desktop radeon CPU external over Thunderbolt 3
  • intel suggests retail thunderbolt graphics solutions are under development.

ARC Could Bring Practical Fusion Power

  • New magnetic fusion reactor designed by MIT
  • named ARC after the power source that powers Iron Man
  • could make small, practical fusion reactors with a decade
  • can generation 3 times the energy used to sustain the reaction and can boost that by 5-6 fold
  • design allows for reliable output
  • generates the same amount of power as the ITER reactor at half the diameter
  • uses commercially available magnets and liquid cooling.

Gaming

Computer, console, mobile, or tablet top gaming news

Nintendo Reduces 2DS Price to $99

  • price dropped on 2DS from $129 to $99
  • 2D version of 3DS
  • member of Nintendo DS family

Picks

Each brings an item, app, device, show, etc they want to talk about

Ben

Final Fantasy 7 for iOS

Patrice

Slack

Mikel

He Got Nothin’

Andrew

Fallout Shelter

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Samsung Announces Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+ smartphones, Launches Samsung Pay

Samsung’s fall event has been traditionally been the big launch of the company’s big screen phones. This year did not disappoint with the launch of not just one, but two different phones. These phones build off the launch of the GS6 earlier in the year when it comes to styling with the metal frame and glass faces. Let’s take a look at the new phablets.

Galaxy Note 5

I’ll tackle the Note 5 first as many of the base specs are shared with the GS6 Edge+. The Note 5 is built around the same 5.7″ form factor as the Note 4 and also packs an AMOLED screen with a Quad HD 2560 x 1440 resolution. Where the screen may not have changed, Samsung slimmed down the casing around it. Its 2mm narrower and 1mm thinner than the Note 4 while maintaining more or less the same height. The sides on the back are curved for a more natural grip. Samsung want the Note 5 to feel like a smaller phone than it actually is. The phone itself look almost exactly like a larger GS6. With that it also has a fully sealed body. If you wanted a removable battery or mSD card, the Note 5 isn’t for you. Samsung has gone upmarket and plans to stay there.

New for 2015, the Note 5 makes the jump to 64-bit with a new Octacore cpu with 4 high cores at 2.1ghz and 4 low cores at 1.5ghz. That allows it more power when it needs it, but the phone can also use its slower, but more power efficient cores to save battery life. The Note 5 has 4GB of system memory. It needs it as Samsung has backed in some hefty multi-tasking features centered around the updated S-Pen. The back camera is 16mp, same as the Note 4, but has improved software capabilities. The front part is upgraded to 5mp. The Note 5 doesn’t make the jump to USB-C, but it now features much faster wireless charging.

All in all, the Note 5 isn’t a huge jump over the previous generation, but its a nice evolutionary advance over what was a very nice device.

Galaxy S6 Edge+

Don’t let the GS6 name fool you, the GS6 Edge+ is basically the Edge version of the Note 5. The two phones share almost all features save the S-Pen on the Note and the dual edge screens on the Edge+ Without the need to stow the Pen, the Edge+ is even thinner and narrower than the Note 5. When it comes to the Edge screens, it not that much different than the GS6 edge other than the extra screen real estate.

Availability

The GS6 Edge+ and Note 5 will come in 32GB and 64GB variants in White, Black, Silver, and Gold. The phone will launch August 21st with pre-orders starting on the 14th.

Accessories

The most interesting part of the keynote may have been the keyboard over. This physical keyboard works much like the keyboards on the old school phones the Blackberry. It covers part of the screen, but is fully reversible to the back when not in use. It seems a little out of place, but call me nostalgic, I like it.

Samsung Pay

Samsung’s entry into the mobile payments arena, aptly named Samsung Pay, is ready to launch. In fact, the first users will see it launch in beta on August 25th with a full release set for September 28th. Samsung pay uses tokenization and fingerprint security like Apple and Android Pay, but has the ace in the whole of being compatible with with Magnetic secure transmission in additional to the NFC used by its competitors. It already has the support of all 4 major card issuers and several larger banks. It’ll work with the GS6 series and Note 5.

All in all though, Beyond MST compatibility, the Samsung Pay portion sounded a lot like what Apple and Google said months before. One thing is clear though, the Phone payments game is on and with the added security, hopefully consumers are the winner.

Source: Samsung 1, 2

Tech Hangout 2.0 #15: We Gotta Get Monti a Mic and Patrice Some Internet

[Hosts]

Ben Roethig

@BenRoethig
BenRoethig.com

Mikel Potts

@twerppoet

Andrew Rouch

@Montisaquadeis

Big News

Most important news stories of the week

Rite Aid Reverses Course, Accepts Mobile Payments

  • Rite Aid Blocked NFC Payments last October
  • Part of MXC Consortium for the CurentC Payment system
  • Company announced that it will accept Apple & Google Wallet on August 15th as well as Android pay when it launches.
  • Multiple CurrentC members have announced plans to offer other NFC including Best Buy and Target

Verizon Debuts New T-Mobile like Plans, Drops 2-year Contracts & Subsidies

  • New simplified plan choices
  • Small = 1GB for $30, Medium 3GB for $45, Large 6GB for $60, an X-Large $80 for 12GB. $15 per overage GB.
  • shared with up to 10 devices
  • $20 connection fee for smartphones, $10 for tablets, $5 for connected devices
  • Not available with 2 year subsidized contract. Full price for device or payment plan only.

UK Makes Your Music Library Illegal

  • a ruling by a British High Court overturned copyright exceptions
  • the exceptions were implemented last year by British Government
  • ripping CDs or importing music into iTunes library is now again illegal.
  • While a crime, it is one that the UK government has never prosecuted anyone for.

Apple

News about iOS, Macs, Apple TV, Apple watch, etc

MacKeeper Owes “Customers” Money

  • ZeoBIT, the developers of questionable cleaning program MacKeeper have lost a class-action lawsuit
  • Will create a $2 million fund, but not admit wrongdoing
  • customers who paid for the software before July 8th of 2015 are eligible for a refund if claimed by November 30th
  • ZeoBIT sold MacKeeper to Kromtech in 2013.

Google

News About Google and Android

Google Becomes Subsidiary of Alphabet… BMW Might Have Something to Say About That

Additional Coverage

  • Sergei Brin and Larry Page have started a new holding company called Alphabet
  • Page will be CEO and Brin President
  • New company will own Google as a wholly owned subsidiary and assume all Google shares
  • Google will be refocused with some business units like X-Labs spun out under the Alphabet umbrella
  • Google product chief Sundar Pichai will become new Google CEO
  • full extent of Alphabet restructuring not yet known
  • BMW also own a company called Alphabet and they are exploring whether the announcements infringes on their trademarks

Android to Receive Vulkan Graphics API

  • Google has announced support for Vulkan
  • Vulcan is a low level graphics API from the Kronos group
  • Meant as a successor to OpenGL
  • Similar in function to Apple’s Metal and DirectX 12
  • Google has not said what release this will be part of

Windows Corner

News Microsoft Products

Windows RT to Receive Final Update

  • Windows RT devices will not receive Windows 10 update
  • Instead will receive Windows 8.1RT Service Pack 3
  • Will launch in September
  • will see a Windows 10-like Start menu and updates to the Start Screen.
  • exact changes are still a mystery

Lenovo Announces First Thunderbolt 3 Mobile Workstations

  • Lenovo has announced 15” P50 and 17” P70 mobile workstations
  • optional 4k UHD display
  • Powered by Skylake Xeon E3-1500M v5 CPUs
  • E3s are typically unchanged from consumer Core chips except for ECC memory support
  • up to 64GB of ECC memory and 1TB of PCIe SSD storage
  • First device to feature Thunderbolt 3 using the new USB-C connector. One or two ports
  • will ship in Q4 starting at $1499.

TV, Web, and Comics

If something happened in hollywood or print, talk about it here.

CBS Finds Millennials Watch TV. Neglects to Offer Programming on Devices They Use

  • CBS found that Millennials do watch TV, but in different ways than older generations
  • Between 65-70% of Millennials watched their TV via traditional broadcasts compared to roughly 85% of Gen X and over 95% of Baby Boomers
  • Computers, Smartphones, and tablets made up approximately 1/3rd of Millennial views
  • Data does not say how programs views on TVs via set top devices are counted
  • CBS currently only network that does not offer programming via Hulu
  • offers CBS all access for $6mo.
  • service works on Roku, but not Apple TV, Fire TV, or Android TV

Picks

Each brings an item, app, device, show, etc they want to talk about

Ben

Mission Impossible: Rouge Nation

Mikel:

Trial by Fire by Charles E. Gannon
Fire with Fire by Charles E. Gannon
Raising Caine
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Tech Hangout 2.0 # 14: We kinda Mailed This One in

Host Notes Okay peeps, this wasn’t our best effort. I had just worked a ton of days in a row and we were not prepared. Same for the show notes. I will try to fix this one, but Episode 14 was more like a release to the old TH 1.0.

Hosts

Ben Roethig

Mikel Potts

Andrew Rouch

Big News

Most important news stories of the week

Intel and Micron Announce New 3D Xpoint super memory

Nokia Sells HERE Maps to German Automakers

Budget Carriers Offer Much Slower Speeds

AT&T to Agree to FCC Net Neutrality Terms to Complete DirectTV Deal, Adds New Fees

Additional Coverage

Comcast Won’t Air SlingTV Adds

Apple

News about iOS, Macs, Apple TV, Apple watch, etc

Vulnerability in 10.10.4 leads to Malware

Apple Posts Huge Third Quarter Results

Samsung’s Case Against Apple Supported by Google, Dell, HP, and More

Google

News About Google and Android

First set of devices to get Stagefright update

Motorola Announces New Moto X, G phones

OnePlus 2 Announced

Samsung Introz Tab S2

Manufacturer woes sink Yota Phone 2 US Launch

Misc Tech

anything that doesn’t fit above

UW Madison creates non-metal fuel cell

Transportation Tech

Cars, Planes, Ships, Rockets, ETC

Dutch Company creates ultra durable plastic roads

Picks

Each brings an item, app, device, show, etc they want to talk about

Ben

Mikel

Andrew

Gravity Falls

Google Reorganizes into Alphabet

If I told you that Google was becoming part of a larger company called Alphabet, on April 1st, I would have found it in the character of the day. However, it is not April 1st and it has come to pass. Google founders Larry Page and Sergei Brin announced the formation of Alphabet with Page acting as CEO and Brin as President of the new company. For investors, stock in Google will be converted to stock in Alphabet. The company will act has a holding identity for multiple companies.

What does this mean for Google? Some parts like the X-Lab will be divested and that’s a start. The new Google will be slimmer and focused on what it does best, but what will be divested is not yet clear. There were hints in Alphabet’s blog post about YouTube, but those could have been misinterpreted. What is clear is that Sundar Pichai will be taking the reins of Google. Most analysts saw Sundar as the likely future CEO hand picked by Brin and Page, but saw this as something several years down the line. As a company that has always had several masters, it now has only one voice, Sundar Pichai.

It will be interested to see what happens as we know more about the Alphabet/ Google restructuring. As of now there are more questions than answers, but this restructure doesn’t seem like a bad thing. Instead, it seems like a restructure meant to keep Google focused on it does best while Larry Page and Sergei Brin expand their business interests.

Source: Google & Alphabet
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The Tech Hangout’s “Review” of the iOS 9 and OS X 10.11 Betas….

Grade: Incomplete.

That they’re both in beta and will likely change making any attempt to review them at this time moot. Further more, the quality of user experience isn’t up to what you’d expect in a finished product with features and apps buggy because the code isn’t finished yet. If this sounds like we’re trolling all the other sites who live off of them, damn right we are. Also, unless you’re a developer or a tech journalist willing to take the risks of buggy prerelease software that may void you Apple warrant, just leave the betas alone and wait until the finished product.

Oh yeah, did I mention to just say no to pre-release software?
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Motorola Announces Moto X Style, Moto X Play, and New Moto G

Motorola has reemerged as a leding smartphone maker ever since the orignal Moto X hit the scene in 2013. The Second Generation Model in 2014 raised the bar even further. Now Motorola isn’t just breaking the bar, its shattering it with not just one , but a pair of new Moto X phones. They’re also bringing a brand new Moto G for the table with them. Let’s take a peak.

Moto-X-style

Moto X Style

If you wanted everything good about the 2014 Moto X in Phablet form with a QHD screen and 64-bit CPU, your wish has been granted in the form of the Moto X Style. The screen is a 5.7″ LCD display in 2560 x 1440 Quad HD. This is rather curious since previous Motorolas and the Moto produced Nexus 6 have employed Super AMOLED screens instead of LCDs. Powering the phone is a Snapdragon 808 MSM8992 CPU. This 64-bit SoC pairs two High end A57 Cores with four low end A53 cores. It also has Quadcomm’s Ardeno 418 graphics processor. Essentially its a Snapdragon 810 with two less A53 Cores. The SoC is paired with 3GB of ram The case is 153.9 x 76.2mm with a curved back from 6.1 to 11.06mm in depth. It weights 179 grams. The styling is very reminiscent of the previous two Moto X phones, but with more metal accents including a metal strip down the center and back for the camera and log. The phone also has a water resistant coating.

The most improved part other than the screen is the cameras. The back uses a 21mp sensor with a f/2.0 lens part capable of shooting 4k video at 30fps or Full HD 1080 at 60 frames. Its also capable of shooting 120FS slow mo and Video HDR in both 1080 and 4k. It also has a phase detect auto focus and dual color flash. If previous Moto cameras were lacking, this seems first class at first glance. The front camera is also rather impressive with a 5mp sensor with 1.4 micron pixels and also a f/2.0 wide angle lens. It also has a flash, slow motion, and a night mode. In man ways, the Moto X style’s front camera is more impressive than the rear camera on the original Moto G. Selfies and video chat is no longer a second class citizen. Sound is also upgraded with front facing speakers.

The rest of the IO is up to date with 802.11AC with MIMO, NFC, and Bluetooth 4.1 LTE is up to cat6 and the phone supports up to 14 different brands. In fact, Moto says the Pure Edition of this phone will work with every carrier in the US. There are two disappointing aspects of the Moto X Style. First, while there is an ultra fast charging mode called Turbo Charging, it still uses a Micro USB connector instead of USB-C. Second, despite Google adding native support in Android M, there is no fingerprint sensor in the Moto X Style.

Pricing & Availability

The Moto X Style in its pure addition form will ship this September for just $399. It will come in two standard models, 18 different Moto Maker backs, and 7 different accents. This version will come with pure Android and Motorola has promised you can use on any carrier, not just the two GSM carriers AT&T and T-Mobile. It’ll come in 16, 32, or and 64GB versions, but you can also add up to 128GB of MicroSD. Pricing for carrier versions was not disclosed.

Moto-X-Play

Moto X Play

The Moto X Play is the midrange option. It features a 5.5″ 1080 display though Motorola does not disclose wither its LCD or AMOLED. The phone borrows much of its look and features from its badder brother. The Chip is powered by two quad core 64-bit CPUs in a Mid-Low configuration with two sets of A53s and 1.7 and 1.0 ghz. It has 2GB of ram and Qualcomm’s Adreno 405 GPU. It has the same 21mp camera as the Style, but without 4k capability, and also a 5mp sensor up front, though not with the bells and whistles. It also features NFC, AC Wireless, and BT 4.0. LTE is provided on 10 bands. Like other Moto phones, the Play has a pure Android experience.

Pricing & Availability

The Moto X Play will be available pretty everywhere other than the United States. Not initially at least. Curiously that also includes Canada whose wireless networks are designed for interoperability with the US. It’ll come in 16 and 32GB version and like its big brother will also handle up to 128GB of mSD expansion. Motomaker versions will have 14 different backs and 7 accents. Colors will depend on market.

Moto-G-2015

Moto G 3rd Generation

The third announcement is Motorola’s step up from entry level, the 2015 version of the Moto G. While its a very affordable phone, its got some features that were high end not long ago. It features a 5″ 720 HD screen, again Moto doesn’t say which type. At 294 PPi, this is very close to being a retina-type display. The phone is featuring a 64-bit Snapdragon 410 SoC with a quad core A53 CpU at 1.4ghz and a Adreno 30 CPU. The phone features a camera similar to the other two Motos in features, but with a 13mp part instead of 21. The front camera is 5mp and is also feature packed. Its even more water resistant than the others with a IPX7 rating. The Moto G now features standard LTE in 6 or 7 bands depending on the mode. What it is missing are the front facing speakers, NFC, and AC Wireless. Despite that, this is a lot of phone for the money.

Pricing & Availability

The 3rd Gen Moto X is $179.99 and shipping now. It comes in the black/ white standard colors and is now open to Moto Maker. It’ll come in two sizes: 8GB with 1GB of ram and 16GB with 2GB of RAM. Both can take up to 32GB of mSD storage.

Source: Motorola
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