Mihaita Bamburic

Vertu unveils new smartphone for Bentley owners and enthusiasts

Vertu for Bentley lifestyle

Most people who own expensive smartphones have the latest Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy S or Galaxy Note device, which, at launch, costs at least $650 off-contract. Even though they are unattainable to the average buyer, tens of millions of consumers can still afford to get them. And that creates a problem for the elitist one percenters of the world, who are faced with an unusual dilemma: own a smartphone that even their chauffeurs may afford or turn to a proper luxury device.

For those who can pay €12,500 for a smartphone and just so happen to be Bentley owners or enthusiasts, renowned luxury smartphone manufacturer Vertu has unveiled Vertu for Bentley. It is the first device to come out of the new five-year partnership with the high-end British car maker. Luckily, for that much money, it certainly is special.

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Samsung's new Wi-Fi technology enables 4.6Gbps transfer speeds

speed fast highway

It is only natural for Wi-Fi transfer speeds to increase as we are getting closer to the Internet of Things (IoT). The new technology era will see virtually every single thing we can imagine being designed, from the start, to go online. That requires technologies which can cope with the extra load. But since what we have now is seemingly not good enough, Samsung, being heavily invested in IoT, has decided to take matters into its own hands.

As it works towards bringing its Smart Home concept to fruition, which is an integral part of its IoT plans, Samsung announces today that the new Wi-Fi technology it has developed, formally known as 802.11ad, will enable transfer speeds of up to 4.6 Gbs (575 MBps). In plain English it means that a 1 GB file will be downloaded in less than two seconds.

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Microsoft app lets you adjust Pen pressure sensitivity on Surface Pro 3

Surface Pro 3 Photoshop

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is one of the greatest tablets for content creators. It can run full-blown software like AutoCAD, Lightroom, Office and Photoshop because Windows 8.1 runs the show, it rivals ultrabooks in the speed department, can double as a laptop with a Type Cover attached, offers good battery life thanks to efficient processors and, on top of all this, ships with a neat stylus as well, out-of-the-box, which Microsoft calls Surface Pen.

Surface Pen is a precise input tool, which comes in handy when users want to draw, sketch or take notes, for instance. Still, for those who would like to make the stylus even more precise in operation can turn to Microsoft's new app, Surface Hub, to adjust pressure sensitivity, among other things.

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Sony Xperia Z3v launches at Verizon

Sony Mobile Communications Xperia Z3v

For a well-known and longstanding smartphone manufacturer, Sony has an unusual strategy in the US. Its presence is limited, and few of its devices make it in the country officially. And when they do, they are about to be superseded. Proof is Xperia Z2. Unveiled at CES 2014 in January, it went on sale shortly after, but only made it to the US in late-July. Its successor, Xperia Z3, was announced at IFA 2014, early last month, and went on sale just weeks later.

However, Xperia Z3 must be the smartphone that breaks the pattern for Sony, and finally show us that the Japanese maker can get its US strategy right, as it will soon be available at two of the largest mobile operators in the country. Yes, while it is still a hot device! After T-Mobile, Verizon was just revealed to also carry Xperia Z3, albeit in a slightly tweaked version called Xperia Z3v. Here are the details.

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Rise of Macs: Apple is the fifth-largest PC maker

Apple Mac Laptop MacBook

The PC market is not what it once used to be. Both shipments and sales are in the proverbial toilet. Old devices are still adequate years down the road, and more than capable of running newer versions of Windows, if users wish to upgrade -- many don't. Other types of devices, like tablets, can do the basic tasks just as well, if not better than the PC, and, for many in emerging markets, smartphones are what they buy these days to connect them to the Internet.

There are other changes afoot as well. Thanks to the increasing popularity of its Macs, Apple, once known as a niche vendor with a limited appeal, now ranks as the fifth-largest PC maker worldwide, according to a new report from research firm IDC. How did it get here? Well, blame the lower prices, among other things.

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HERE beta officially available for Samsung Galaxy smartphones

Nokia HERE Android Samsung Galaxy

Today, Nokia officially brings HERE to Samsung Galaxy smartphones, expanding the reach of its powerful mapping software outside of Windows Phones and handsets that bear the Nokia branding. For the time being, the app is exclusively available in the South Korean maker's app store for Galaxy devices, but, later, it will make its way to other Android smartphones as well.

The HERE app may currently be labeled as a beta, but it does not skimp on features. It arrives with pretty much all the major features that Windows Phone users are enjoying from the HERE suite, which says a lot about Nokia's plans post-Lumia. Let's take a look.

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How to enable the notifications center in Windows 10 Technical Preview

Windows 10 Technical Preview Notifications Center

When Microsoft took the lid off Windows 10 in late-September, the software giant showcased some of the new features that its new tiled operating system offers in the Technical Preview build. Chief among them was the revival of the Start menu, but virtual desktops, a beefed-up Command Prompt, and Task View were also demoed during the presentation. However, even though it has been an oft-requested addition, there was no mention of a notifications center being baked-into Windows 10.

That was a major disappointment in my book, as a notifications center is a must-have feature for any modern operating system, let alone one that is supposed to run on desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones (perhaps, even wearables). But, rest assured, Windows 10 does come with a notifications center. Microsoft may not yet want us to see it, but it can be enabled. And here is how.

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Root already available for Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 N910 Black

Galaxy Note 4 is not yet available in most markets across the globe, as Samsung has opted for a staggered launch. However, despite the limited market availability, a well-known Android modding enthusiast has already achieved root access for the phablet.

Chainfire, the developer behind dedicated modding tools like SuperSU, has announced on his Google+ page that a number of Galaxy Note 4 models, based on Samsung's own Exynos chip as well as Qualcomm's Snapdragon 805 processor, are now supported by CF-Auto-Root. The software has been designed to automatically enable root access on Android devices.

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Who would pay more than $60,000 for an iPhone 6 prototype?

iPhone 6 prototype 2

People do crazy things to get their hands on a new iPhone. They queue for days in a row, travel to another country or pay absurd amounts on black market imports. Still, none of those things is as expensive as the iPhone 6 prototype that is listed on eBay, for which some folks will go as far as paying over $60,000. That's just crazy.

At the time of writing this article, the latest bid for the iPhone 6 prototype -- a 64 GB model -- is $61,100. For the money, you get a hugely overpriced smartphone which may not even be legit. Normally, you would pay $750, off-contract, for a 64 GB iPhone 6, in Silver -- the same color as the prototype -- that is. But, wait, there is more.

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Windows 10 Technical Preview for ARM tablets, smartphones will only come next year

Untwist your panties -- Windows 10's 'keylogger' is nothing to worry about

When Microsoft took the wraps off Windows 10, the software giant informed us that its latest operating system, which officially launches next year, will run on all sorts of devices, including PCs, smartphones and tablets, and feature a unified app store. Both are firsts, as, so far, there was a Windows to suit everything: one for ARM tablets, one for PCs, one for embedded devices, one for smartphones and so on. Of course, the Server editions will not go away, but that's to be expected.

As a Windows Phone user and watcher, I am particularly interested in seeing Windows 10 in action on smartphones. Microsoft has talked quite a lot about what the new operating system brings on PCs and tablets -- it even released a Technical Preview build for x86 devices -- but kept quiet about its plans for smartphones. Well, that has changed, thanks to Joe Belfiore, the software giant's Operating Systems Group corporate vice president (better known as the head of Windows Phone).

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Microsoft's new Portable Power external charger packs 6,000 mAh battery

DC-21-Lumia-930

While traveling, my smartphone's always running out of juice sooner than it normally does. This leads to some frustrating moments, like being unable to make calls, open a map or send texts, not to mention having to watch the percentage indicator. Not knowing where someone is, for instance, is never great news in such situations. I know I could use an external battery charger, but I tend to avoid them, and for good reasons.

They generally tend to be bulky, ugly, and almost fragile. Getting the impression that what can only be regarded as a tool is flimsy is not confidence-inspiring -- if it breaks, it's going to be a problem. Microsoft's new Portable Power appears to be different, however. And why wouldn't it be, when it has some Nokia DNA in it?

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How to create a bootable Windows 10 Technical Preview USB drive

man hand usb flash laptop drive business suit

Microsoft has released Windows 10 Technical Preview, giving early adopters like you and me the opportunity to experience some of the lovely new features that the operating system will bring to the table when it officially launches next year. The highlight is, of course, the new Start menu, but the other changes add up to give us what could very well be the sleek and modern Windows we have all been waiting for: touch-friendly, yet still great with a keyboard and mouse.

This all sounds very intriguing indeed, especially if you have been holding off on upgrades so far. If you want to take the plunge and test Windows 10 Technical Preview directly on your PC, without taking the virtualization route, then you already know that your best install option is a bootable USB drive. Luckily, you came to the right place -- here is everything you need to do.

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Nokia Lumia 830 now available

Lumia-830-charging-wirelessly

Nokia Lumia 830 is meant to act as a gap-filler in Microsoft's Windows Phone 8.1 line, slotting in-between the Lumia 930 flagship and the Lumia 735 budget-friendly offering. It's a mid-ranger, in both hardware features and price. It is also the successor to the two year-old Lumia 820, as its name implies.

Microsoft has high hopes for Lumia 830, calling it "the first affordable flagship" and marketing it as cheaper alternative to the likes of Apple iPhone 5s and Samsung Galaxy S5. It's a strategy which could pay off in emerging markets, where consumers want premium devices but cannot afford the cost premiums. We will have to see how the market reacts to Lumia 830, which goes on sale starting this week.

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OnePlus will launch One successor around mid-2015, ponders smaller devices

OnePlus One

By now I am sure that everyone with an interest in smartphones has heard about One Plus and its One phablet. It is undoubtedly among the most interesting Android devices launched this year, and one of the most hyped also. How did OnePlus, basically a new player in the mobile space, achieve that? Well, One managed to make a splash in no small part thanks to its $299 entry-level price, which allows it to undercut virtually every known rival, paired with some of the best and most powerful hardware around. That's a recipe for success in the Android realm, and OnePlus knows it all too well.

But, what tops its lovely hardware and the low asking price is that One has never actually been available to the general public, per se. Sure, people have been able to buy One, but they have been able to do so only through invites. As a way to sell smartphones -- commodities, really -- that is crazy. But, what is even crazier is that, even as One is still not generally available, OnePlus reveals a launch date for its successor.

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Microsoft rolls out the new MSN, rebrands Bing apps for Windows, Windows Phone

New MSN

Microsoft did something rather unexpected earlier this month. The software giant unveiled a revamped MSN, saving the online portal from oblivion -- its biggest merit lately is being the default website for Internet Explorer. The new MSN looks great, connects users to Microsoft's consumer-facing cloud services, and can be tailored to suit their preference. It also makes it easy to trigger a search across the InterWebs. Heck, I have even said it might work as the Bing landing page.

Fast forward to today and Microsoft announces that more than 10 million users have tested the new MSN, with more than 80,000 of them also submitting feedback. Those numbers look really good. And they should, considering the online portal's Microsoft-focused audience. The feedback it has received must have been good also, as Microsoft announces it is rolling out the new MSN in the next three days.

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