A Galaxy S5 for Sprint at a Best Buy store

Sprint still isn't done inventing new plans and promos in hopes that you'll sign up. Its latest move? It's launching a Best Buy-only plan that gives you both a smartphone and unlimited service for $65 per month if you get an iPhone 6, or $75 if you prefer Android. It's a nice deal if you're looking to avoid up-front hardware costs, although it's primarily for patient types -- you're locked into that phone for two years, and it'll cost you $10 extra per month if you want to upgrade devices every year. If you're happy to hang on to a phone for a while, though, you can swing past a Best Buy to check it out starting on March 1st.

[Image credit: Andrew Burton/Getty Images]

0 Comments

SanDisk's 200GB microSD card

If a 128GB microSD card just isn't big enough to put your media collection on your phone, don't worry -- SanDisk is coming to your rescue. It just unveiled a whopping 200GB card (the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I card Premium Edition, to be exact) that makes just about anything else seem puny. You won't even have to give up performance, as it should still transfer about 90MB per second, or roughly 1,200 photos every minute. The price could easily be a showstopper, though. SanDisk will ask an eye-watering $400 for the 200GB card when it ships in the second quarter, so it may only make sense if you insist on gobs of room for 4K videos or a gigantic music library.

0 Comments

Apple Watch showing the time

If you're jonesing for an Apple Watch, you probably want to do a lot with it. But what if you're headed out to a party and would rather not risk staring at a dead screen when you're wondering how late it is? Don't worry, you're covered. The New York Times understands that the Watch has an unannounced Power Reserve option that limits the device to telling time. While it's not a completely unique feature (other watches do similar things), it's definitely helpful -- and it's a departure for Apple, whose mobile devices haven't had these kinds of extreme energy-saving modes until now. Tim Cook and crew aren't likely to make a big deal of Power Reserve at Apple's March 9th event, assuming it shows up, but it could be one of the Watch's most important real-world features.

0 Comments

You're going out with friends mid-week, and you don't want the boss/significant other/parole officer to find out. But it's a birthday celebration, and Facebook's auto-tagging the pictures your buddies upload like a dirty snitch. The first piece of advice: never "friend" your parole officer. The second? Maybe grab a pair of these "privacy" glasses from software security firm AVG. You, of course, can see my visage above, but AVG claims the technology in the specs means facial recognition software (like that of Facebook) will not.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

Samsung Galaxy S6 edge with a Microsoft Apps folder

Those rumors that Samsung would reduce the glut of in-house software on the Galaxy S6 and include some of Microsoft's apps? They're at least partly true. Both the S6 and S6 Edge will ship with a "Microsoft Apps" folder that currently includes OneDrive, OneNote and Skype. There's no hint of Office -- at least not yet -- but you will get 115GB of free OneDrive cloud storage for two years. You certainly won't be hurting for photo backup space, then. It's hard to say if the bundle is the direct result of Microsoft and Samsung calling a truce in their Android royalty dispute. Either way, the move is going to give Microsoft's services a lot more exposure. While they've been available on Android for some time, their absence in phone bundles has typically made it easier to lean on equivalents from the likes of Google and Dropbox.

0 Comments

Samsung

It's been just a couple of weeks since Samsung acquired mobile payments company LoopPay, but it's ready to announce the payment service based on LoopPay's tech: Samsung Pay. The service works with NFC (like Apply Pay and Google Wallet) and a new(ish) tech called Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST). It's the latter of the two options that has people excited, so let's take a minute to explain what exactly it is.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

The last time Samsung put on a show in Barcelona, it came bearing the Galaxy S5 and that love-it-or-hate-it bandage back. Not exactly a high point in the company's design history, you might say. Over the past year, though, that Korean juggernaut has come to the realization that it needs to pare and down and push a few more envelopes, a philosophy that begat weird, arguably wonderful experiments like the Note Edge. So, Samsung, it's been a year - how far have you come?

We have our answer. Meet the Galaxy S6 and the S6 edge.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

Samsung Gear VR

The original Gear VR headset actually made a little headway, even getting picked up by Best Buy. Its main barrier to entry, aside from its $199 price point, is limited device compatibility: if you don't have a Galaxy Note 4, you can't use the Gear VR. With Samsung today launching not one but two flagship smartphones, the number of VR-compatible smartphones from Samsung has just tripled. Presenting the aptly named Gear VR Innovator Edition for Galaxy S6 and S6 edge.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

LG Watch Urbane

Looks like you won't have to wait too long if you want to try LG's ritzy Watch Urbane or HTC's sporty, $199 Grip tracker in the US. AT&T has revealed that it will be the first American carrier (and first American retailer, really) to carry these devices. It's not disclosing the ship dates or the Watch Urbane's pricing just yet, although it's reasonable to presume that the Watch Urbane won't be cheap. The G Watch R already sells for $299, and the Urbane's higher-quality materials are bound to carry a further premium.

0 Comments

Sure, we've seen prototypes of Google's Project Ara before, but these dummy modules from budget phone-maker Yezz mobile are as good a hint to how the phone might actually look in real life. We already saw how Google envisioned Ara will look, but given its plans for a store where you'll be able to browse different components for your phone -- it's unlikely things will be that uniform. It doesn't take much to imagine that Ara's customizable nature will mean all the different clip-in components will rarely be an aesthetic match. That's to say, your phone is likely going to be a patchwork of colors and designs, so why not embrace that and go all in? Yezz's prototype modules show us how that future will look.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

Mozilla has always positioned Firefox OS as an alternative platform for entry-level smartphones, but now it's targeting the feature phone market too. At Mobile World Congress, the company announced a new partnership with LG and carriers Verizon, Telefónica, KDDI and U+ to create a fresh range of flip-phones, sliders and touch screen "slate" handsets. Firefox OS will look a little different on these devices -- Mozilla says the group is developing a "more intuitive and easy-to-use" software experience for their planned launch in 2016. It promises to balance the simplicity of feature phones with basic smartphone functionality, such as email, web browsing and music playback.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

Yes, that's me holding a phone upside down while pretending to make a phone call. It may look silly, but that's exactly what the folks over at Alcatel OneTouch want to see going viral on the streets soon. What we have here is the new "orientation-free" Idol 3 smartphone series, which lets users quickly pick up phone calls without having to check whether they are holding the device -- either the 4.7-inch version or the larger 5.5-inch model -- the right way up. The trick? It's all down to the symmetrical design consisting of a speaker and a mic at each end of the phone; and yes, you do get to use the two front-facing speakers in stereo mode for entertainment purposes.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

We're not entirely sure why HTC decided it needed to make a fitness tracker, but it did, and it has. The end result is the HTC Grip, a device that looks more than a little like one of Nike's FuelBands, but does so, so much more. HTC gave us a peek at an early, incomplete version of the product in Barcelona, but here's the rub: I couldn't connect it to my phone in hopes of testing some of its more smartwatch-y features like notifications and canned responses. Still, venture on for a first peek at what HTC and its pals at Under Armour have cobbled together.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

It looks the same.

That's the impression you'd probably get looking at the HTC One M9 for the first time. I felt that way too, at first. Thing is, HTC knows it's got a good thing going with its high-end One design and just didn't feel like a full-on revolution was necessary in 2015... maybe to the consternation of some of its activist fans. So what's new, if not the M9's aesthetic? Quite a bit, really, and not all of it great.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments