Apple iPhone 4S - 16GB - Black (Sprint) Smartphone BAD ESN $265.00End Date: Thursday Jun-20-2013 16:46:00 PDTBuy It Now for only: $265.00Buy It Now | Add to watch list Fox Fur Nebula - Galaxy Space - Snap On Hard Case for Apple iPhone 4 4S New A12 $6.00 (16 Bids)End Date: Tuesday May-21-2013 17:51:35 PDTBid now | Add to watch list Apple iPhone 4 - 8GB - Black (AT&T) Smartphone (MD126LL/A) $210.00End Date: Thursday Jun-20-2013 11:53:23 PDTBuy It Now for only: $210.00Buy It Now | Add to watch listRelated Posts:
NEW SAMSUNG FOCUS i917 BLACK AT&T (UNLOCKED) WIFI, WINDOWS 7, TOUCH, SMARTPHONE $103.99End Date: Friday May-31-2013 0:15:52 PDTBuy It Now for only: $103.99Buy It Now | Add to watch list HTC 8X 4G Windows 8 Phone, Yellow (AT&T) $112.50 (38 Bids)End Date: Tuesday May-21-2013 17:32:06 PDTBid now | Add to watch list Nokia Lumia 900 4G Windows Phone Black (AT&T) $149.00 (0 Bids)End Date: Tuesday May-21-2013 17:55:37 PDTBid now | Add to watch listRelated Posts:
“The One isn’t just the best smartphone HTC has ever made — it can legitimately lay claim to being the best smartphone ever produced by anyone.” That’s GDGT’s Peter Rojas speaking about the HTC One. Rojas isn’t alone in this opinion. The HTC One is a phone nearly universally loved by the Internet. The display, the size, the build quality, even HTC’s Android skin is nearly, well, perfect.
But even a perfect phone might not save HTC.
HTC released its March revenue figures today: lowest quarterly net profit since the company started selling products under its own brand in 2006. Revenue fell 37% to NT$ 42.8 billion from NT$ 67.79 billion, ringing in below the company’s February guidance of NT$ 50 billion to NT$ 60 billion. And the stunning One is one of the primes reasons for the slump.
The HTC One was announced on February 19th, ahead of the handset onslaught from Mobile World Congress and the Samsung Galaxy S4 debut. We were instantly in love with the device, raving about the look at feel after playing with it for just a few minutes. HTC was back, we thought.
HTC has long made quality handsets. The One is not a stark departure from the company’s track record. The company’s tag line has long been quietly brilliant. And that properly described HTC. The company rarely touted its achievements like Apple or Samsung, preferring to let its products, as they say, do the talking.
Ever since the Windows Mobile days, HTC has churned out impressive kits. The Touch Diamond, Touch Pro, even the original Android handset, the G1, felt like something special. Made out plastic, sure, but put together in a way that felt solid and above its price point.
As Android matured, HTC keep producing top-tier devices. At the time, Nexus One, EVO 4G, and the Droid Incredible seemed to state that HTC was always going to be the top Android brand. HTC kept the course, perhaps to a fault, and in 2012, outing the original One phones in the One S, One X and One V. Yet again, these were very nice handsets, but failed to capture the same sort of attention as their predecessors, largely living in the shadow of Samsung’s more-widely available Galaxy S II & III phones.
Benedict Evans, telecoms and technology analyst at Enders Analysis, made a fantastic point speaking to The Guardian. “HTC has a scale problem. Last year at this time both it and Sony launched great new products, and they went nowhere. Everybody is saying that the HTC One looks nicer than the Samsung Galaxy S4, but without the marketing and sales and commission budget, it can’t reach enough people. Making lovely bits of hardware is a necessary, but insufficient, condition in this business. Now it’s getting into a vicious circle where it has to cut back its marketing budget to get its cashflow under control.”
HTC was paying attention, though. The ONE was going to be different. It packs the best of HTC’s design and engineering and hit the market well ahead of competitors. The HTC One was supposed to launch worldwide in the middle of March, just a month after its unveiling.
That didn’t happen. But this did.
While the HTC One suffered numerous delays caused by a short supply of parts, Samsung announced the Galaxy S4 on March 14th. If the ridiculous announcement is any indication, Samsung is going to throw everything behind its latest smartphone. Expect a massive media blitz as the Galaxy S4′s Q2 launch window approaches, likely downing out any paltry marketing planned for the HTC One.
HTC has never been good at marketing partly because for the longest time the company didn’t have to. HTC used to make white label handsets, allowing other brands, such as Verizon and AT&T, to slap their logo on the devices and sell at higher margin. Most of the memorable marketing campaigns for HTC devices have come from the carriers rather than HTC.
If HTC wants the One to sell like gangbusters — and after today’s financial news, they need it to do so — the company will need to elevate its marketing efforts to a completely new level.
The HTC One launches in the States on AT&T and Sprint on April 19th. It’s hitting T-Mobile (and maybe Verizon) later. On AT&T and Sprint, it’s priced right with the 16GB available for $ 199 on a two-year contract (it’s only $ 99 on Sprint for new customers). It’s the best Android device available right now and for the foreseeable future. I would take it over the Galaxy S4.
HTC likely threw its entire company behind the HTC One. Pick one up. Try it. Feel it. The phone is closer to perfect than any other phone previously made. However, a perfect product has never been a guarantee of success. Like Benedect Evans said to The Guardian, while the HTC One might be a collection of lovely bits of hardware, that’s not enough alone.
Finding clothes that fit just right is surprisingly tough for a sizable amount of the population, especially when shopping online. E-tailers have used everything from 3D scanners to mailable mannequins to ensure that customers find the best sizes for them, and the truly picky have probably had a friend break out a tape measure to get some exact numbers. A whole team of researchers is looking the simplify this process however, and put the power to easily get the right size at your fingertips. A group, including developers from the London College of Fashion, and experts from the University of Surrey and Guided, have come together to turn practically any camera into a virtual tape measure, including your smartphone or webcam. Since the image you capture has to be taken in your underwear, we wouldn’t suggest doing this in public, though. All you have to do is fire up the software, take the pic and punch in your height — the computer does the rest. With funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council the coalition is working to bring the system to market, with hopes of launching within the next two years. For a bit more check out the PR after the break.
[Shopping button via Shutterstock]
Filed under: Cameras
Source: EPSRCRelated Posts:
MOTOROLA XOOM MZ602 32GB, WI-FI + 4G VERIZON ONLY 10.1IN - BLACK 10.1" TABLET $227.95End Date: Thursday May-23-2013 14:57:38 PDTBuy It Now for only: $227.95Buy It Now | Add to watch list Motorola XOOM MZ600 32GB, Wi-Fi (Verizon) +4G, 10.1in - Black - Great Condition $121.05 (11 Bids)End Date: Tuesday May-21-2013 17:30:00 PDTBid now | Add to watch listRelated Posts:
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Short version: Livescribe is refining its smartpen once again. The two major changes are the addition of WiFi and Evernote integration. Now, the pen uses and depends on Evernote for syncing and archiving notes.
- A ball pen
- 2, 4 or 8 GB
- $ 169.95, $ 199.95 or $ 249.95
- Product page
- Record and take notes at the same time
- No USB syncing needed
- See your notes on your computer, phone and tablet
- Large and tiring pen body
- Evernote is mandatory
Like or hate it, the new Livescribe pen is all about Evernote. When CEO Gilles Bouchard came to work for Livescribe, the company was already working on a WiFi version of its smartpen. He met Evernote CEO Phil Libin ten days after starting his new job. It was the best way to bring Livescribe to a tablet.
“Tablet is the best thing that has happened to us. What was missing was filling the gap between paper and tablet,” Bouchard said.
Yet, the Oakland-based company’s focus hasn’t changed. The core idea remains using the qualities of paper to take notes and bringing them to a computer, a tablet or a phone. It’s just now easier to take advantage of Livescribe’s key feature.
As a writer, I’m a natural user for this kind of device. When I do an interview, I usually take notes and record the audio with my iPhone. Listening to the audio file is the most painful process when it comes to writing a post afterwards.
The Livescribe pen, the notes and the recording are not only handled by the pen, but are synced together. When playing back your notes on your computer or tablet (the player uses HTML5), you can click or tap on a certain sentence to jump instantly to the corresponding audio part of the interview. It’s a timesaver.
For avid Evernote users, it will be the perfect evolution. After receiving the new Livescribe pen, I tried using Evernote as my main note taking app for about two weeks. A few days ago, I switched back to Simplenote and Justnotes, because I couldn’t handle Evernote’s bulkiness and slowness.
Livescribe notes don’t count toward your Evernote quota as you can upload 500 MB of Livescribe content before starting eating up your quota. It represents around 50 hours of audio and written notes. The most expensive Sky WiFi comes with one year of Evernote Premium — a $ 50 value.
Evernote is now only my Livescribe repository. Those who deal with hundreds of notes and tags in Evernote will be glad to find their Livescribe notes in it. But it won’t be the case for me.
More integrations and services will be released in the coming weeks, such as Dropbox and Google Drive integration. The company will release an SDK so that mobile app developers will be able to take advantage of the pen’s data. Bouchard was excited by the possibilities and evolutions that will become available to Sky WiFi owners.
The battery is quite good. As an occasional user, I only had to plug the pen every couple of days.
Finally, you still have to use Livescribe’s paper. The pen comes with an A5 notebook and new notebooks aren’t expensive. But I like to be able to use whatever paper I want with my pen without having to look for my “device” (in this case, a notebook and a pen). I usually keep my pen in my pocket, an inexpensive Pilot Hi-Tec-C that I throw away when there is no ink left. I wouldn’t do that with a Livescribe pen. The simplicity of pen and paper is lost along the way.
Heavy note takers and/or Evernote users should consider using a Livescribe pen, because it’s a great device. I may continue using it occasionally for interviews, but for my personal notes, I’ll keep using a simple pen.
If you do a lot of interviews without your computer, attend math classes or like the novelty of a digital pen, then you are a potential customer. The initial investment is high, but the flexibility of paper brought to the digital environment is impressive and actually useful. I look forward to seeing the potential third-party apps and services that will pop up in the coming months.Related Posts:
Apple iPad mini 32GB, Wi-Fi + 4G (AT&T), 7.9in - Black & Slate ~ FREEBIES $445.00 (0 Bids)End Date: Tuesday May-21-2013 17:56:35 PDTBid now | Add to watch list Apple iPad 2 16GB, Wi-Fi, 9.7in - White (MC979LL/A) (2A) $334.95End Date: Thursday Jun-6-2013 7:57:26 PDTBuy It Now for only: $334.95Buy It Now | Add to watch list Apple iPad 3rd Generation 16GB, Wi-Fi + 4G UNLOCKED (Verizon), 9.7in - Black $349.99End Date: Friday May-31-2013 0:13:18 PDTBuy It Now for only: $349.99Buy It Now | Add to watch listRelated Posts:
I’ve been hearing about LittleBits, an electronics kit for hobbyists and kids, for quite a while but I never got a chance to play with them until recently. The company recently announced a funding round with hardware manufacturer PCH and they launched their Extended Kit, a new box of bits.
The kit allows you to build simple circuits using a power source, a connector, and an output. For example, you can connect an LED directly to the 9-volt power supply or you can add a potentiometer or switch to turn the LED on and off manually. There are other bits that allow you to pulse the output devices and add light and motion controls.
Fans of old-timey electronics kits will find this whole setup quite familiar. The system is just complex enough to be interesting and simple enough for even young kids to use. My six-year-old son and I were able to build simple circuits and pretend, for example, we were making a trap for his sister’s dolls using a rolling switch and piezo buzzer.
The pieces connect with small, foolproof magnetic brackets and stick together even during rough play. You can power projects via a 9-volt battery or with a USB cable (included in the Extended kit) and the pieces are mostly kid-safe especially considering that the wee ones will probably try to put their tongue on the LEDs when unsupervised.
Now for the bad news. The Extended kit costs $ 149 and the basic kit – which I’d recommend – costs $ 89. It’s a bit pricey, and considering electronics kits like this one cost nearly the same, picking up the LittleBits is a bit of a stretch. I do believe the prices will go down over time and these are definitely far cooler than any 500-in-1 generic hobby kit, but sticker shock may drive parents away.
However, the kits are very clearly a labor of love and are great fun for geeks and geeks-to-be. The Extended kit adds USB power and a large USB fan to the mix as well as a plethora of momentary switches. You also get a piezo buzzer and long-lead LED for creating a buzzing, highly annoying light up bug.
The Starter Kit includes a pressure sensor and the aforementioned pulse bit that sends a regular pulse to the output, allowing you to create an intermittent flasher. You can also add a “bar graph” to a potentiometer in order to create a cool light readout.
Again, these guys are pretty expensive but they’re pretty cool. If your wee ones are into electronics they’ll love being able to mess with these kits and they are equally interesting as creative office toys. It’s a fun way to become acquainted with electronics from one of the most popular hardware startups in New York.Related Posts:
The venerable Will Smith said it best, “Summer, summer, summertime. Time to sit back and unwind.” The sun is out and the tunes should be blaring. That’s where the Eton Rukus Solar comes in. This speaker system streams music from your phone via Bluetooth or 3.5mm cable while keeping its battery charged with a massive solar panel array. What’s more, a USB port allows the Rukus Solar to charge your phone, too.
The Rukus Solar is a fantastic outdoor audio system. Well, that is, aside from two curious design decisions.Build quality
Like most Eton products, the Rukus Solar feels like it’s built to last. It’s constructed out of hard plastic and the front-side buttons are very sturdy. The speakers are protected by solid grills, and there are bits of rubber placed strategically around the system so the plastic shouldn’t get scuffed up.
The front display is of the e-ink variety. As such the screen can be viewed in direct sunlight, and when in use, doesn’t consume as much energy as a traditional LCD screen.
The solar array takes up the majority of the top panel. It’s huge. Eton claims that the solar panel can recharge the device in 6 hours. However, unless there isn’t a cloud in the sky, I found that the panel is best used to keep the Rukus Solar charged during use. It was much easier and quicker to give the speaker a charge with the included AC plug, and then take the unit outside and let the sun maintain the charge. As previously mentioned, a USB port allows the Rukus Solar to recharge a phone, too.
Audio is streamed to the Rukus Solar through Bluetooth. The audio quality is sufficient for the $ 150 price point, but not extremely impressive overall. The sound is full and sports a bit of bass. The treble is a tad sharp while the mid-range is about right. It falls squarely in the “good enough” category.
Don’t expect the Rukus Solar to pound. It tends to cut out at high volume although I must admit that the speaker system can hold its own against sound docks in the same price range. It’s not a party speaker but is more than adequate for a few tunes while enjoying some sun.
The Rukus Solar features a built-in cell phone holder. But it’s on the bottom of the device. And it’s just a piece of elastic. I don’t trust it.
Of course thanks to Bluetooth’s range, owners do not need to use this holder. The connected phone could be safely stashed away in a bag or pocket and the Rukus Solar would still playback the music. But it would be nice if the speaker system had a more secure, beach-friendly holder. A simple tray or drawer would be sufficient, provide more protection and allow the Rukus Solar to live up to its full potential as an outdoor device ready for some ruckus.
The Rukus Solar lacks an FM radio, which as I’ve concluded after reviewing over a dozen audio docks, is a unfortunate sign of the times. FM/AM radio still appeals to me. When you just need some random music, it’s so much easier to simply turn on a radio than finding your phone, loading the app and then finding an album/streaming station.
There was a time when nearly every household object included a radio tuner. You could nearly walk into the kitchen and tune to AM 760 from the toaster. Now, with the Rukus Solar and its thousands of counterparts, audio is only provided by a cell phone or Bluetooth-equipped media player.Conclusion
In my mind the Rukus Solar is a near-perfect outdoor device. It’s built to last and makes it easy to bring music outside. Even with the two curious oversights it’s a great device and well worth the $ 150 MSRP (Amazon sells it for $ 130). The device comes in black, green and white.Related Posts: