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We all love our smartphones, but they are a costly addiction to support. According to Consumer Reports, American wireless subscribers saw their wireless bills increase by 7% between 2011 and 2012, and the big culprit is the continued proliferation of smartphones. Overall, 70% of wireless subscribers who took part in Consumer Reports’ survey owned smartphones this year, up from 50% in 2011. As the publication notes, “upgrading from a plain cell phone at a major carrier isn’t cheap” since “you have to buy the smart phone itself (usually $100 to $400 when signing a two-year contract) and fork over $70 to $110 a month for a plan with data service… a lot more than a basic phone plan, which generally costs $40 to $70 a month.”
Black Eyed Peas frontman and entrepreneur Will.i.am is looking to turn mobile photography on its head. The musician is set to debut a new accessory and app for Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone on November 28th that will reportedly transform the handset’s 8-megapixel camera into a 14-megapixel shooter. The accessory, known as i.am+, is compatible with the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and iPhone 5, and claims to dramatically enhance the clarity and definition of photographs.
After a week or so of selling the phone on contract, UK retailer Carphone Warehouse has placed the LG Nexus 4 up for sale SIM-free, but with a hefty price tag. Carphone is selling the 16GB version of Google’s latest Nexus for £389.95 outright, a price hike of more than £110 over the Google Play Store price for the same model. Of course, the crucial difference is that Carphone Warehouse actually has stock, whereas Google’s own store is expected to be fresh out of Nexii for the next few weeks.
The Padfone 2 is preparing for a launch in December, but until then, ASUS has begun showing off a white model of the smartphone/tablet combo. To date we’ve only seen the black version, which, classy as it may be, isn’t for everybody.
It looks like saying “sorry” just isn’t good enough this time. A court in the United Kingdom is now forcing Apple (AAPL) to pay rival Samsung’s (005930) legal fees after it posted a sarcastic “apology” to the company on its website. As Groklaw reports, the United Kingdom Court of Appeal in London has now said that “Apple will have to pay for everything the lawyers cost Samsung, not just fees but parking, phone calls, and from day one.” Previously the court had ordered Apple to rewrite its court-mandated apology to Samsung that mocked its rival for producing tablets that were “not as cool” as the iPad. Specifically, Apple directly quoted a judge’s official ruling that Samsung could not have possibly copied its tablet designs from Apple because they are “not as cool” and lack “the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design.”
AT&T’s (T) Windows Phone 8-powered Nokia (NOK) Lumia 920 is very affordable at $99.99 as long as you’re willing to bite the bullet with a two-year contract. But as it turns out, AT&T will also be selling the Lumia 920 without any commitments for $449.99 with preorders ready to go. BGR reviewed the Lumia 920 and concluded that it is a great phone, albeit a bit too heavy, but Windows Phone 8 still lacks a strong catalog of apps and compelling differentiation. AT&T’s website didn’t provide any details on whether or not the Lumia 920 would include a wireless charging plate if purchased at full price, or when the off-contract phone would ship.
AT&T (T) has the Nokia (NOK) Lumia 820 and T-Mobile announced on Monday it will offer the Lumia 810. But what Windows Phone 8 devices will Verizon Wireless (VZ) carry? If leaks on evleaks‘ Twitter account can be trusted, Verizon will get its own variant of the new Lumia series called the Lumia 822, code-named “Atlas.” If it’s truly a variant of the Lumia 820, it should have a 4.3-inch display (800 x 480), front-facing HD camera, 8-megapixel rear camera and wireless charging support. The leaked phone image also suggests the Atlas will run on Verizon’s 4G LTE network. In terms of appearance, it looks like the only difference between the Atlas and the Lumia 820 is that the Atlas has more rounded edges.
We’re live from Seoul, South Korea, where we’ve gotten our first look at the Optimus G, the newest flagship Android smartphone from manufacturer LG.
For as important as the hardware is to LG — 4.7-inch True HD IPS display in a ridiculously thin form factor, quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor at 1.5GHz and a 13 MP camera — it’s the user interface that LG seems to be particularly proud of. There’s still no mistaking that you’re using an LG phone, as everything fits together just so and seems very much in its place. But at the same time, it’s lost a bit of its rigidity.
When a new phone is released without NFC, there’s a lot of wailing and teeth-gnashing on the Internet about how horrible it is that manufacturer X is silly for not including it. Some folks seem to be die-hard fans of the tech, while others just don’t seem to care. The best way to settle that sort of argument is
a steel-cage deathmatch a poll, so that’s what we’re asking this week.
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