Samsung may resurrect the Galaxy Note 7 in emerging markets with a new, smaller battery

We didn’t get a ton of truly great smartphones last year outside of options like the Huawei Mate 9, Samsung Galaxy S7, and of course the Google Pixel. However, there was one that really stood out ─ the Galaxy Note 7. With that release, Samsung had something incredible on its hands, until it blew up in their faces ─ literally. Now, after revealing the cause of the explosion, Samsung is rumored to be bringing the device back, at least for certain markets.

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ZAGG to acquire Mophie, takeover battery, screen protection, & keyboard accessories market

Popular accessory maker Zagg today announced that it has acquired Mophie, another accessory maker best known for its battery cases and power accessories. The deal will see Zagg purchase Mophie for 0 million. Mophie CEO Daniel Huang and COO Shawn Dougherty will continue their current respective roles and will report to Zagg CEO Randy Hales.

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Galaxy A9 specs leaked, powerful mid-ranger likely to feature huge 4000mAh battery, Snapdragon 620 chip, 1080p screen, more

Just a couple of weeks ago, Samsung officially unveiled its A-series lineup for the next year. The Galaxy A3, A5 and A7 feature respectable specifications and will be sold at prices well below those of the more high end Galaxy S series while retaining the premium metal chassis. But the A-series doesn’t end there. Samsung’s official Weibo account revealed details of yet another Alpha device: The Galaxy A9.

As you’d expect, the A9 is bigger than any of the others. With its 6-inch, full HD AMOLED display, the A9 is easily the biggest of the bunch, perhaps bordering on ‘too big’. The leak also reveals a 13MP camera on the back and 8MP front snapper, as well as a huge 4,000mAh battery. While not in the same territoriy as the behemoth 10,000mAh battery in the Oukitel K10000, it should still be easily enough to get most users through two days on a full charge.

galaxy-a9-leak

SamMobile also pointed in the direction of another leak featuring more of the internal specifications. Those include a Snapdragon 620 processor clocked at 1.8GHz and paired with 3GB, alongside 32GB internal storage. Like the the other A-series phones, it also has a fingerprint sensor and Samsung Pay support. It runs Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, although an update to Marshmallow is expected. Samsung is likely to announce the new Galaxy A9 a little later this month. If all that pre-release info wasn’t enough, there’s a video showing off the A9 and A7 side-by-side.

Hands-on: Samsung Galaxy S7 active – a tough shell meets a huge battery [Video]

Over the last fews days, I’ve had the chance to use the Samsung Galaxy S7 active as my daily driver. Like the previous entry into the “active” line, it’s the rugged version of Samsung’s current flagship, the Galaxy S7, and is an AT&T exclusive.

With this in mind, sleek design and visual appeal take a back seat to durability, battery life and tactile response. If you’re a Samsung fan who’s constantly subjected to harsh, rugged environments and terrain, then the Galaxy S7 active is the version of company’s flagship efforts that you’d be wise to consider.

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How-to: Enable battery percentage indicator and Quick Settings in Marshmallow

Earlier today we broke down the top 10 best new features in Android 6.0 Marshmallow, but as with any operating system change, a few things have changed that are a little harder to find. First noted by Android Authority, Android 6.0 Marshmallow includes the ability to display a battery percentage in the status bar or in the Quick Settings panel via a UI Tuner menu.

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Deal: Honor 6X pre-order w/ free VR headset, battery, headphones: $250 shipped ($445 value, tax NY only)

If you’re considering Huawei’s Honor 6X as a budget option, this might be the best deal you’ll find on the phone for a while. B&H offers a pre-order of the Honor 6X for 0 shipped (tax only in NY, and it should be shipping soon, since other retailers are already shipping) with a free pair of headphones, a VR headset, and a battery pack. Those freebies add up to a value of 5, which is notable considering the phone is only 0 to start with…

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Fitbit’s latest Blaze activity tracker/watch has color, 5-day battery and style

Update (1/6 10:30am): Fitbit Blaze is now available for pre-order from Amazon and Best Buy.

This morning Fitbit took the stage at CES to announce its latest activity tracker. The Fitbit Blaze sits between the Charge HR and Surge trackers in the company’s current product lineup. While it may look a whole lot like many full-blown iOS/Android smartwatches, its main focus is still fitness rather than third-party app complications.

Blaze is the first Fitbit to feature a high-resolution color touchscreen LCD display. It comes with a elastomer band and stainless steel frame, but in a move reminiscent to Apple’s attention to style with its Watch, Fitbit is also offering a wide range of different bands and frames. You can even customize its look even more through a variety of clock faces.

Blaze was designed to help you get in the best shape of your life by offering valuable health data, motivational coaching, and detailed workout instructions with animated images. PurePulse delivers all-day heart rate information that can “help you maintain workout intensity and better track calories burned during each workout” and provide vital data like “resting heart rate and heart rate trends over time.” Other features like Multi-Sport and SmartTrack take the pain out of logging individual workouts. A single charge is estimated to last up to 5-days.

Aside from its fitness tracking abilities, Blaze can also relay call, text and calendar alerts, as well as adjust volume and song selection from your iPhone or Android smartphone.

Fitbit Blaze can be pre-ordered now with a black, blue, or plum band for 9.95 and is expected to be released in March. Looking for a deal on a current generation Fitbit? The Charge is on sale for .99 (Reg. 0) and the Charge HR is down to 9.99 (Reg. 0).

Full press releases follows:

Fitbit Blaze Accessories

LAS VEGAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–CES – Fitbit (NYSE: FIT), the leader in the connected health and fitness market, today unveiled the Fitbit Blaze™ smart fitness watch, its smartest, most stylish, most motivating fitness tracker yet. The latest addition to Fitbit’s award-winning line of innovative devices, Fitbit Blaze is available today for presale with global retail availability starting in March 2016. Fitbit Blaze is a smart fitness watch built to help you make the most of your workouts, with a versatile design to fit your personal style, and the smart notifications that matter most – all in one sleek timepiece that fits seamlessly into your life:

  • Enhanced fitness features like FitStar™ by Fitbit® on-screen workouts, Connected GPS, PurePulse® heart rate tracking, and SmartTrack™ automatic exercise recognition help motivate and push your fitness further
  • Focus on style featuring a slim design, easily interchangeable bands and frames, and a beautiful, color touchscreen with a variety of clock faces to fit your personal style
  • Curated to fit your life and focused on the features that make tracking your health and fitness easier, Fitbit Blaze includes the smart notifications that matter most, like call, text and calendar alerts, so you can stay connected to what’s important, and a long battery life of up to 5 days allows you to keep up with your life, day and night

“One of the first things we learned in this industry is that fitness is personal – and if something isn’t your style, you won’t wear it,” said James Park, CEO and Co-Founder of Fitbit. “With Fitbit Blaze, we pushed the boundaries of what’s possible to create a beautiful, versatile device that can be customized to fit your personal style – while packing a powerful fitness punch to help you reach your goals. Fitbit Blaze delivers a combination of innovative features that were carefully selected with intention and purpose, designed to motivate and offer a fitness experience that is more effortless and more useful with advanced guidance and coaching.”

Enhanced Fitness Experience

In addition to tracking all of the best all-day activity stats you have come to expect from Fitbit, Fitbit Blaze was built with next-generation features to help you take your workouts to the next level:

  • FitStar Personal Trainer on-screen workouts deliver guided instructions and animated images to three of the most popular personal trainer workouts from FitStar: Warm It Up (8 minutes), 7 Minute Workout, and 10 Minute Abs. Each workout is free and can be accessed at any time with no app or smartphone required, offering a fast, effective workout you can do anywhere.
  • Connected GPS helps you train smarter by delivering real-time exercise stats like distance, pace and minute-mile split times when connected to a smartphone’s GPS. After each workout, stats sync wirelessly to the Fitbit dashboard to let you review your route, speed and elevation in more detail.
  • PurePulse continuous, wrist-based heart rate tracking helps maximize any training routine with simplified heart rate zones to help you maintain workout intensity and better track calories burned during each workout. PurePulse also provides all-day insights into overall health, including resting heart rate and heart rate trends over time, all without an uncomfortable chest strap.
  • Multi-sport mode lets you record specific activities like biking, cardio, running, weights, yoga and more while providing relevant, real-time performance stats to help you get the most out of each workout. PurePulse is enhanced while in Multi-sport mode for even better heart rate tracking, especially during high intensity workouts.
  • SmartTrack automatic exercise recognition automatically recognizes and records continuous movement activities like biking, hiking and running, with general categories for aerobic workouts (i.e., Zumba®, cardio-kickboxing and other dance classes) and sports (i.e., tennis, basketball and soccer). It gives you more ways to stay motivated and get credit for your workouts by effortlessly recording them in the Fitbit app and automatically adding them toward weekly exercise goals.

“As a former professional athlete, nothing gets me more motivated than a great coach,” said Tony Gonzalez, football legend and FitStar Trainer. “FitStar Personal Trainer offers workouts you can do anytime, anywhere, using your computer, tablet or phone and it’s only getting easier, thanks to this new integration with Fitbit Blaze.”

Get Fit in Style – Focus on Fashion and Personalization

Fitbit Blaze is a sleek, versatile timepiece that fits your personal style with:

  • Premium interchangeable bands made from genuine leather, stainless steel and high-performance elastomer to let you design a look that’s extremely personal and a perfect fit – whether at the gym, in the office or out on the town.
  • A unique modular design that allows you to easily remove and insert your tracker into a new frame, so you can wear Fitbit Blaze with style at work and then swap it instantly into a new frame with a workout-friendly wristband. Use the quick release spring bars to switch your bands and change the look of your device in seconds.
  • Fitbit’s first vibrant, high-resolution, color touchscreen and multiple clock faces make the device uniquely yours and distinguishable from others.

Curated Features that Fit Your Life

From the inside out, Fitbit Blaze is a carefully curated experience designed to help you take action without distraction. Each feature was selected with intention and purpose to help you stay connected, maximize your entire day and night, and fit effortlessly into your life:

  • Stay connected with smart notifications you need. Fitbit Blaze features the smartphone notifications you need most instead of being overwhelmed with unnecessary information.
    • Bluetooth® Smart connectivity delivers call, text and calendar notifications through on-screen messages and a vibrating alert, so you can see what matters most at a glance
    • Accept and reject calls directly from Fitbit Blaze when connected to a compatible smartphone
    • Adding motivation to any workout is easy with on-screen controls for playlists and volume when playing music from your connected smartphone
  • Track your night with automatic sleep tracking to know how long and well you sleep, plus set a silent alarm that gently vibrates to wake you.
  • Long battery life of up to 5 days on a single charge lets you live your life and track your exercise, sleep and heart rate day and night, with the confidence you won’t lose a step or miss a beat.
  • Compatible with more than 200 Android, iOS, and Windows mobile devices so you can access stats and motivational interactive tools, which help to motivate millions to achieve their goals within the community of Fitbit users they choose.

Pricing & Availability

Fitbit Blaze is available for 9.95 (U.S.) for presale today at Fitbit.com and tomorrow at major North American retailers, including Amazon, Best Buy, Brookstone, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Macy’s, Sports Authority, Target, and Verizon, with global retail availability starting in March 2016. It will be available with black, blue, and plum bands at introduction, along with a stylish collection of premium accessory bands and frames. A full line of easily interchangeable accessories will be available in a variety of colors and styles with additional accessories coming soon. Accessories available at introduction include:

  • Classic high-performance elastomer bands available in black, blue and plum (.95 U.S.)
  • Luxe genuine leather bands paired with stainless steel display frames available in black, mist grey and camel (.95 U.S.)
  • Luxe stainless steel link band paired with a stainless steel display frame available in silver (9.95 U.S.)

Consumers who want to experience Fitbit Blaze in person will be able to do so in advance of in-store retail availability at select Best Buy locations in the United States and Canada. Beginning February 20, visit select Best Buy locations where Best Buy Blue Shirts will be available to assist shoppers with trying on the device with its accessories and to complete a preorder.

Review: Oukitel K10000 Pro blurs the line between smartphone and battery pack [Video]

Battery life is always the biggest crutch of every smartphone. No matter what cool new features a phone might introduce, you still need to loosely plan when you’ll actually use those features to avoid having a dead phone by dinnertime.

Software optimization plays a big part in battery life, and some phones do it better than others; iOS has long been lauded for how much endurance it can squeeze out of a relatively small battery, but Android has gotten a lot better in recent years, too. Still, there’s only so much software can do — so what happens you just cram a 10,000 mAh battery into a phone?

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Snapdragon 820 will boost photo quality & battery life, says Qualcomm – but Huawei-made Nexus may not get it

Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 820 chip, which has been rumored to be powering the Huawei-made 5.7-inch Nexus due to ship later this year, will come with a new Adreno 530 GPU, says the chipmaker. The new GPU will offer improved battery-life when watching movies or playing graphics-intensive games, and will also offer significantly improved image-processing when taking photos, said Tim Leland, head of Qualcomm’s visual processing group.

Our Adreno 5xx-class GPU, brings an entirely new level of imaging to smartphones, and is designed to allow Snapdragon-powered devices to capture ultra-clear, vivid photos and videos regardless of motion and lighting conditions and display them with the color accuracy that nature intended … 

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