Samsung’s Galaxy A8 is its slimmest phone to date

Although many of us are eagerly awaiting to hear more about the iPhone 6S, Samsung recently launched its slimmest phone to date in rather quiet fashion. The Galaxy A8, features a full-metal body who’s width measures in at an impressive 5.9mm, when comparing it to its A7predecessor’s 6.3 mm thickness.

The Korean tech giant’s latest mid-range model is also boasts a 5.7-inch 1080p OLED display and a 16-megapixel rear camera, along with a 3,050mAh battery that’s larger than the Galaxy S6 model. Subtle tweaks like the inclusion of a fingerprint sensor and a hand-wave detection system that allows for easy self-timer photos have also enhanced user experience.

Those interested in purchasing one will have to wait for the time being, as the Galaxy A8 is only available in China as of now.

Why do most concerts held in Japan prohibit taking pictures?

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RocketNews 24:

For anyone who enjoys live music, part of the fun is taking photos of the band or recording video to relive the experience at home or show off on Facebook. It’s a tradition that strengthens the connection between bands and their fans long after a concert is over. Especially in this digital age, many bands depend on the power of social media to connect with new audiences they could never reach before.

If you’ve ever attended a concert in Japan, you know this is not the case. You will almost always see “No photos” and “No video” signs posted all over concert venues. It doesn’t matter if you’re watching a foreign artist or a local one, you are not allowed to take pictures, and a host of security personal will remind you of the fact.

Find out why this is the case, and which big musical act might be turning the tide, after the jump.

Paul McCartney; One Direction; Taylor Swift; these are only some of the artists who have played or are scheduled to play big shows in Japan in 2015. The Asian market is huge, and the top musicians aren’t skipping out on Japan when they go on tour. Die-hard Japanese fans have noticed that footage and photos of concerts held outside of Japan are constantly being uploaded on Facebook and Twitter, even though fans in the Land of the Rising Sun have to settle for expensive DVDs to relive their concert experience at home.

Oddly, copyright infringement isn’t always the culprit here. If the video and audio recordings are only being reproduced for personal use, then the recording isn’t breaking any laws. The concerns generally lie elsewhere. In order to avoid chaos at a concert site, sponsors and venue executives can establish specific regulations.

And then avoid this…

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Even without using big, professional photographic equipment, fans holding handheld cameras or phones above their heads will block the field of vision of concert goers behind them. Plus, if there is a rush of people wanting to take pictures of the musicians, it can get very dangerous. For the concert sponsors and organizers, there is a responsibility to provide a safe environment for the fans.

But with more and more foreign artists playing shows in Japan, organizers are starting to take notice of what the fans want. There is a slow but steady movement of Japanese artists who are experimenting with allowing pictures and video to be taken at their concerts.

Japanese rock band Sekai no Owari is nonchalantly leading this charge as they allow their fans to take photos and recordings of their concerts.

Sekai no Owari

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It seems to be just a politeness factor in Japan, but with the growing number of smartphones and the advent of social media, this system might certainly change. In the future, you might be able to record a concert in Japan for your own viewing at a later date, and you can thank the music group with the clown in it. Be sure to remember to remember that.

Lenovo (China) Vibe Shot 16 MP Camera-Centric Android Phone

Samsung releases teaser for the Galaxy S6

Samsung has released a new teaser touting its upcoming Galaxy S6 flagship smartphone and its video capabilities via the video below. With color as the forefront to the campaign, we bear witness to hints at the curved, anti-reflective screen of the S6 as well as its metal design accents.

With not much to go by in this teaser, we’re looking forward to seeing how the S6 turns out. Be sure to stay tuned for the device’s release on March 1.

It sounds like HTC’s new phone is going to have an incredible camera

htc-one-m8-12

RocketNews 24:

The new phone will look similar to HTC’s current flagship One phone, which is one of the best Android phones available.

The smartwatch will be focused on fitness, thanks to a new partnership HTC now has with Under Armour, according to the report. HTC and Under Armour announced their partnership a few weeks ago.

The phone will also have a 20 megapixel camera, which is much higher than the standard 8 or 12 megapixels used in high-end phones today.

As HTC’s smartphone sales continue to struggle, the company is looking for new product categories. One key area will be smart appliances, similar to what Google’s Nest division makes with its thermostats and smoke detectors, Business Insider has learned.

HTC is planning to launch at least one “smart appliance” later this year, but probably not at the same time as the new watch and phone.

The Galaxy Note Edge is a flagship phone with an entirely new kind of curved display

 

The Verge:

 

Twenty months ago, it was a nameless prototype at CES 2013. Now Samsung’s sloping, curved OLED phone is real: meet the Galaxy Note Edge, the highest-end phone in Samsung’s lineup.

The Note Edge is, on paper at least, only the slightest variation on the new Note 4. It has the same metallic design, a huge improvement on anything Samsung’s done before. It has the same soft-touch back, blissfully without the fake stitching. It has the same 16-megapixel camera, the same heart-rate monitor, the same processor, the same memory, the same software, the same new Multi Window feature, the same everything. It’s an incredibly high-end, incredibly powerful phone. It even has a Quad HD, 2560 x 1440 display like the Note 4, though this one is slightly smaller at 5.6 inches rather than 5.7.

But there’s more to the Note Edge than its spec sheet.

It’s on the right side of the phone’s front face that a sharp difference appears between the two models. The screen starts to slope downward, falling off toward the edge and wrapping around the side. It’s as if two screens have been connected to each other at an acute angle, but there’s only one display here. The asymmetry of the phone feels a little odd, like I chipped part of the right side off by accident, but it doesn’t really hurt the aesthetic appeal of the phone. It’s still very comfortable, the metal body both solid and dense, and I like the way the screen curls under my right thumb. (If you’re a lefty, using the Note Edge in one hand is going to be terrible — but then again using a Note in one hand is already terrible.)

Samsung uses software to separate the two parts of the display, to allow them to be simultaneously independent and connected. The sloping screen’s default status is as a quick launcher of sorts, with easy access to a bunch of your most-used apps. There are a number of widgets, though, tickers of sorts that let you flip through news or tweets or information about how many steps you’ve taken. And you can do it all without ever changing or disturbing what you see on the larger display. In some apps, the edge acts as a toolbar, offering easy access to font menus or camera modes or in-app settings. At night, it can be your alarm clock, the time displayed on the side of the phone so you can see it without taking your head off your pillow.

It’s an odd idea, turning this vertical rail into essentially an always-on secondary display. Is it best-suited as a ticker? A notification center? A quick-launch taskbar? Samsung doesn’t seem entirely sure, and in a few minutes of using the Galaxy Note Edge it was clear that while well-implemented and useful the whole idea isn’t necessarily fully formed.

Still, by releasing the Note Edge broadly – it’s coming to AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint — and giving both users and developers a chance to figure out what they want, Samsung could find itself with a truly unique smartphone feature that no other manufacturer can copy.

Photos by Sean O’Kane, who also contributed reporting.

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Sharp AQUOS Crystal Smartphone

Image of Sharp AQUOS Crystal Smartphone

Offering an edge-to-edge user experience thanks to the inclusion of a 131 x 67 x 10mm frameless LCD screen is the AQUOS Crystal Smartphone from Sharp. Featuring 8GB of built-in ROM alongside 1.5GB of RAM, the AQUOS Crystal boasts up to 128GB of on-board storage via its microSD card slot and includes the likes of Harmon Kardon audio, Clari-Fi technology–which improves digital sound by restoring compression–and a built-in direct wave receiver to make phone conversations as clear as possible, no matter the environment.

Furthermore, the phone’s integrated camera includes a framing advisor that instinctively compresses and structures your photos, a sequential shots feature for catching rapid movement, and the ability to automatically brighten both the subject and background at night to make dark shots easier and clearer to both capture and visualize.

Powered by Android 4.4.2 KitKat with Sprint Spark enhanced LTE capability, the Sharp AQUOS Crystal will soon be available exclusively from Sprint.