Monthly Archives: August 2012
Spotify has announced that you can now get Gift Cards at Target stores in the U.S. This is good for people who don’t want to give out credit cards, kids who don’t have a credit card or to give as gifts. Spotify is a cool service that gives you unlimited streaming of music for free, but limits how much a single track can be played, plays ads, and only works on a computer. But if you get there Premium subscription you can play music on your phone and download songs to your phone.
They have three prices, $10, $30 and $60. And the Spotify Premium service costs $9.99 a month so these cards could be though to be worth 1, 3 and 6 months of service. If you haven’t tried the service before you can use the free version on your computer, and if you want to try the premium they push a free 30 day trial all the time on you.
Today LG at IFA announced they will have their OLED TV out before the end of 2012. They showed off the OLED TV at CES 2012 and got a lot of press talking about how thin and good looking it is. But now you can expect to find it for the holidays. There was no set price but expect it to be very expensive since the OLED technology only this year has been perfected to the point they could make bigger screens then a few inches. What makes OLED so cool is that there is no backlight so each pixel makes its own light not a back light or LED behind it. What that means is better colors, blacks and way thinner screens because they don’t need any more room but the space the OLED pixels and the backing take up.
Look for these expensive OLED TVs to come out before the holidays and most people may not see one for the next two years when the price will drop and more companies will be making them.
Last week LG put out there 4K 84-Inch TV that dose 3D and has smart TV features. Sony introduced there 4K TV yesterday, and is almost old news but the price has been more closely figured out, The Verge has found this TV to be around $20,000.
This TV dose 3D at a resolution of 3840 x 2160, Resolution Upscaler Plus, Magic Remote to use with 1,400 apps for their Smart TV. It also has a 2.2 speaker system with 2 10W speakers and 2 15W woofers. It will be available in North America, Europe, Asia, and Latin America in September.
The title sounds strange but if you’re looking for a super wide screen check this out, LG at IFA has put out a premium IPS display that is 21:9 aspect ratio, the same as big movie theaters. Most movies don’t come to you on disk in this format but what I saw from this is if you are someone with a more than one display this could reduce the number of screens you may have and it is high quality. The resolution is 2560 x 1080, IPS panel, 7 watt speakers, DVI-D Dual, HDMI, Display port and USB 3.0 hub. With a screen size of 29 inches, this is a big screen too.
They put this out as a Multimedia / Multitasking Solution; it should be a good screen for both. If you have lots on your screen like I do this looks cool for 3-4 windows up at once.
They also put out a second high quality IPS display in a more normal ratio (16:9) that is 27 inches, with a resolution of 2560 x 1440, DVI-D, HDMI, Display Port, and USB 3.0.
If Android is not your style the new Windows Phone 8 phones (wow that is repetitive) are coming out and Samsung has their new Samsung ATIV S is not a bad looking device. One thing about Windows Phone is that the makers have to have a preset of specifications that each phone should have, this is to help make better devices. The phone that Samsung released at IFA is said to look like a Galaxy S III but running Windows Phone 8. Below are some specs…
- Windows Phone 8
- 4.8″ HD Super AMOLED
- 1.5 GHz dual-core processer
- 8 MP rear / 1.9 MP front camera
- HSPA+ / GSM
- 16/32GB storage with 1GB RAM and microSD (SDXC) card slot
- Bluetooth 3.0, NFC, GPS
Some people really like there Windows Phone phones, I think it’s an interesting interface but I like others are already invested in other systems like Android or iOS. Also Windows Phone has lots of apps but may not have as many of the big ones that you will find on other systems.
More IFA releases this from Samsung, the Galaxy Note II. This is the new version of the popular large screen Android smartphone that comes with a stylus dubbed the S Pen. This phone has a large 5.5″ screen, Android 4.1 and 1.6 GHz quad-core processer. Full specs below.
- 5.5″ HD Super AMOLED screen
- Android 4.1
- 8MP front, 1.9MP back camera
- 1.6 GHz quad-core processer
- S Pen and digitizer
- 16/32/64 GB Memory, microSD (up to 64GB), and 2 GB RAM
- Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, mHL, GPS
- 4G LTE / 3G HSPA+
- S Pen applications
The Note II comes with a lot of extra applications and customizations to make using the S Pen more useful on Android. They also include a bunch of Samsung apps that you may or may not want to use. But from the looks and specs this is a good upgrade to the Galaxy Note.
Sony today introduced the first 4K TV that will be available to consumers and is 84-inches corner to corner. The 4K resolution is 3840 x 2160 and is running using LCD panel technology. It has up scaling technology to bring 1080p video too run on the 4K screen that will make video look not too bad. The strange model name (XBR-84X900 4K TV) will be in select stores and Sonly Stores in North America later this year, most likely before the holidays, and there is no price set but expect it to be expensive and something that most people won’t be getting for one to two more years when all the other TV makers start putting out there new 4K TVs.
Update 9/6/2012: Sony release the price today of $24,999.99. This price isn’t easy for most people to get one, but 10 years ago that’s what a HDTV cost when they first came out.
IFA 2012 in Berlin is a big electronics show that is similar to CES where companies are releasing products they will have out for the holidays. Sony was the first major company with a press event and they have released a bunch of new products including a set of three new phones in there Xperia line of phones called the T, V, and J. Not too original but they range in size from the 4′ J to 4.6′ T. Below is an overview of the three phones.
|Xperia T||Xperia V||Xperia J|
|1.5 GHz dual core||1.5 GHz dual core||1 Ghz|
|4.55″ 720p HD Screen||4.3″ 720p HD Screen||4″ Screen|
|Android 4.0 (upgradable to 4.1)||Android 4.0 (upgradable to 4.1)||Android 4.0|
|13MP Camera||13 MP Camera||5MP Camera|
|Up to 16 GB / 32 GB microSD||Up to 8 GB / 32 GB microSD||Up to 4 GB / 32 GB microSD|
|HSPA+ / GSM EDGE||HSPA+ / GSM EDGE||HSPA / GSM EDGE|
|7 hrs Talk / 450 hrs Standby||7 hrs Talk / 400 hrs Standby||5.5 hrs Talk / 618 hrs Standby|
|Black, Silver, White||Black Pink, White||Black, Gold, Pink, White|
Some other things that are cool, the T and V have MHL / TV connectivity, NFC, PlayStation Certified. The V also has better audio what they call Clear Audio+ and LTE. The T may also be called the TX depending on where you live.
Today Amazon.com announced they are shipping more products using their Prime free two day shipping then they do with the free super saver shipping. They also put out some numbers on how much you get by being part of Prime. These include the following.
- 15 million items ship free with Prime
- 22,000 free Prime unlimited streaming movies and TV shows
- Watch Prime videos on Kindle Fire, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and iPad
- 180,000 Prime Kindle Owners’ Lending Library books
Some other things they shared yet without any real numbers…
- Top 4 items sold with Prime: 1st Kindle Fire, 2nd $79 Kindle, 3rd Kindle Touch, and 4th Fifty Shades of Gray: Book One
- Most watched TV Show: Downton Abbey Season 1
- Most watched movie: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (English Subtitled)
- All 7 Harry Potter Books can be checked out with no due dates
- Most barrowed book: The Hunger Games
With the Prime membership you get the Free Two Day shipping on most things you are looking for, the movies and TV shows to watch, and the books. It is worth the $79 price per year just for the free shipping if you order items off of Amazon.com often. It has saved me lots of money in shipping and just having easy access to almost everything I could need, I have even seen the free two day shipping on fridges and beds.
Starting September 5th 2012 T-Mobile will be offering unlimited 4G data with no data caps, speed caps and no unknown bills. Both new and existing customers can upgrade to the new plan, new customers can also get a 4G device that T-Mobile sells. The plan also works on the normal phone plans and the “Value” plans or monthly plans they have.
It costs $20 when added to a Value plan, and $30 when added to Classic plans. And will be available though T-Mobile stores, on their website, and select dealers.
For example, a single line Value plan with unlimited talk and text combined with unlimited nationwide 4G data will cost $69.99 or a single line Classic plan with unlimited talk, unlimited text and unlimited nationwide 4G data will cost $89.99.
This sounds good, but there was no info on if you don’t have a 4G device or in an area that they say is 4G and are on 3G if it is still unlimited, I would guess it’s all unlimited. May have to look over this and see if I can get a low cost value plan and add the data to my old Nexus One and make it a hotspot and backup phone for when I’m out working. I’ll keep an eye on this.