Samsung Galaxy S4 launch event coverage: tune in tomorrow for a special podcast!

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Samsung’s definitely launching the next Galaxy flagship tonight with an octa-core Exynos processor, 1080p display and automatic eye-tracking scrolling expected to debut at the New York launch event. The event starts at 7pm ET/11pm GMT, which is sadly not convenient for us to cover live on the site. As such, we’re planning a special edition podcast tomorrow afternoon with myself, Henry, Chris and Rowan all arguing about whether it’s the next Android phone worth your money. Join us for that tomorrow evening, but until then have a good night and enjoy the show!

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HTC One launch event liveblog: catch up on all the news now!

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HTC One

HTC is due to show off its latest creation today, and there’s not much about the One (formerly known as M7) that we don’t already know. It looks like a hybrid mutation of a BlackBerry Z10, iPhone 5 and Sony Xperia P, and HTC’s maligned Sense skin seems more reminiscent of Windows Phone with its latest iteration. Hell, we even know that HTC’s going crazy with the button placements on the new phone, but that doesn’t mean that the Taiwanese firm won’t have a few surprises up its sleeves, so we will be liveblogging the launch proceedings via an interesting new platform (Google Docs) and myself (if I get home in time), Rowan and possibly Neil will be bringing you all the news as it happens. Will HTC’s latest be the One to make you feel that way? Join us in a few minutes to find out!

All times are in GMT
This event has now ended.

15:04 Looks like the event is about to start soon! There appears to be a very WP8-esque animation on the stage projection.

15:06 This phone has been leaked like crazy. It looks a bit like a cross between the iPhone 5, the Z10 and the Droid DNA. The highlight has to have been a slightly (read: very) drunk Peter Chou shouting HTC ONE! repeatedly to a crowd of HTC employees a bit like Ballmer.

15:09 The music is ramping up. Very electronic-y.

15:14 Is this thing on? Hey world.
Hey!

15:15 Unlike The Verge, our liveblog isn’t sponsored by BlackBerry. Prepare for total impartiality/terrible jokes/analysis.

15:17 The London event is causing tremendous delays. We should be under way shortly.

15:17: Apparently, there are a lot of unofficial hands-ons going on while people are waiting. It looks like a lot of HTC employees already have their Ones.

15:18: And Jason MacKenzie is on stage in New York!

15:19: “HTC saw a massive opportunity to bring new excitement back to the smartphone.” – Jason MacKenzie

15:20: The HTC One!

15:21 HTC jumping straight into things. Here is a picture of the familiar guy.

15:22 Dual stereo speakers and dual capacitive buttons with the odd placement that HTC seems to wish to pioneer.

15:23 “The new Sense brings a clean and modern design”

15:23 New “Blink Feed” feature, replacing apps and widgets with information that is important to you. Partnering up with a lot of people apparently.

15:24 BlinkFeed seems to be built-in Flipboard. It’s even a bit like Flipboard’s tablet app with its tiled UI.

15:25 HTC has 1,400 content partners. Wow.

15:26 The Verge just broke their embargo. Dual speakers on the front are known as “BoomSound”. Oh dear, HTC.

15:26 Ed Erhart from ESPN is on stage talking about how sports fans love their content on their phones etc.

15:26 The London event is finally beginning.

15:27 The processor is a quad-core 1.7GHz Snapdragon 600, and the camera is the rumoured 4.3MP UltraPixel thing that works somehow. Also Sense 5.

15:27: A clearer image from Engadget! They describe the phone as very thin, and very well made.

15:28 It appears to be a good UI for people who love new content in their faces. If you can avoid it being bloated by Facebook and Twitter, I think I’d adapt to it.

15:30 Also, it’s a 4.7” 1080p display at 468ppi. If you like pixels, this phone is for you.
“Neil Thomas, Pixel Density Enthusiast”

15:32 People at the event are saying the screen is incredibly bright. We believe it is Super LCD 3.

15:32 Also the BOOMSOUND is LOUD. LOUDER THAN BOOM.

15:33 Press shot!

15:33 HTC’s new music player pulls in lyrics from the internet (think Shazam’s LiveLyrics) and it has 2 microphones to record better audio.

15:34 It also has an IR blaster, if anyone cares. Also 802.11ac.

15:35 It will be on all UK networks (duh) and Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T. Verizon will probably get DROID plastered all over it with dumb bloatware.

15:36 2GB RAM, 32GB storage (with 64GB SKU in some regions), GLONASS, Bluetooth 4.0 and…………..2300mAh battery. Don’t forget GLONASS.

15:37 Apparently good low light too – could this be a PureView killer?

15:38 “We’ve developed our own technology, called the UltraPixel camera. 300 percent more light, ghostless HDR, HDR video.”

15:39 There’s also a camera feature called HTC Zoe. Zoes are short video clips (think Vines).

15:40 It will be interesting to see how well this stacks up with the Galaxy S4 that is rumored for March 14th.
Of course we will be liveblogging that too. And the PlayStation thing tomorrow.

15:41 Your Zoes can have Instagram-esque filters! The world is saved!

15:42 Here are a few quotes from the Engadget hands-on.
“Look a little closer and the attention to detail is staggering — this is a product that stands shoulder to shoulder with the iPhone 5 in terms of materials and build quality.”
“HTC even sourced custom-grade aluminum that’s harder than what’s found on the iPhone 5.”
“In front are two aluminum bands (top and bottom) separated by a vast sheet of Gorilla Glass 2 covering a gorgeous 4.7-inch 1080p (468 dpi) Super LCD 3 display.”

Apparently it takes 200 minutes to machine just one shell.

15:44 “We’ve leveraged our breakthroughs in technology to integrate the antenna within the phone’s aluminum, allowing us to create gapless devices from a single block of aluminum.”

15:46 IT HAS CHAMFERED EDGES.

15:46 It also has Optical Image Stabilization, Nokia style.

15:47 The One will ship worldwide in late March. No RIM-style same-day launch magic here. :( Also no Verizon. So yay, no home button logos.

15:47 “HTC is launching a new trade in program where customers that preorder can turn in their current phone to get up to $100 off of a One.” I could actually do this – but I love my Nexus.

15:48 And, as with last year’s 8X event, HTC’s done in an hour. Thanks for joining us! Remember to give us feedback on this new liveblogging style we’re trying.

15:49 Be sure to join us at 4 PM GMT for the Ubuntu event! Also, join us at [placeholder o’clock] tomorrow as we meet the future of PlayStation!

Microsoft finally announces release date and pricing for Surface Pro

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Surface-Pro-with-penThe Surface Pro, the big brother to Microsoft’s Surface RT which was released in October last year, won’t go on sale in January as originally planned, but you will be able to have one in your hands by February 9th. On the bright side, Microsoft do seem to have admitted defeat with their Surface RT retail strategy, which was so bad that it was nominated for our biggest failure award – the Seattle-based company says that the Surface Pro will have wide retail availability beyond just Microsoft.com and Microsoft Stores.

We knew that Microsoft were targeting the high-end market with the Surface Pro, but even so the prices they’ve announced do seem extortionate. The minimum you’ll find yourself paying for one is $899, for the 64GB version with no covers included. The 128GB model will add $100 on to that price. The Surface RT 32GB tablet, the cheapest member of the Surface family you’ll find, would set you back $499, so there is obviously a significant difference between the RT and the Pro. Like with the its little brother, if you want to buy a keyboard cover for your Surface Pro it will cost $119 for the Touch Cover or $129 for the Type one. Microsoft will throw in a free pressure-sensitive pen in the box too.

On the same date as the Surface Pro is released, Microsoft have announced that a standalone 64GB will be made available for $599 – previously you could only buy it as a package with the black Touch Cover for $699.

It’s nice to finally get some genuine information on the Surface Pro, but we really feel that the large price tag will put a lot of potential consumers off buying one. Mind you, Microsoft do seem to be aiming here to make something which will completely replace your laptop or desktop PC, whereas previous tablets have only really been able to be used in conjunction with another device, to do all the ‘serious’ stuff on. The Surface Pro will certainly be an interesting one to watch, but personally we can’t see it taking off.

Via Engadget

Nvidia unveils Tegra 4 chip and Project Shield handheld console at CES conference

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It’s the first day of CES proper today, and the news has started to flood in. Nvidia held an interesting press conference today to announce a few things. There’s no doubt that the most anticipated (and most important) announcement of the day was the Tegra 4 – Nvidia’s new flagship chip to ‘rule them all’. That is until Qualcomm and Samsung show off their work. The new chip packs 72 GPU CUDA cores, and is produced on a 28nm manufacturing process which is a step up from the 40nm of the Tegra 3. This means that even though the chip packs more power, it’ll take less of a hit on the battery life. It uses a new quad core, Cortex-A15 based architecture as well. One notable omission is the lack of integrated LTE – while it does ship with an external modem, that both takes a hit on battery life and reduces space inside of the phone. It’s interesting to see whether this impacts Tegra 4 adoption, as many phones which used a Tegra processor internationally had to use a Qualcomm processor in the US so as to keep LTE.

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The other thing that Nvidia announced was a new handheld gaming system called Project Shield. This came to me as a surprise, but its very very interesting. It features a 5″ 720p display, a Tegra 4 chip and an Xbox-esque controller portion. It is running stock android (i.e good) and has the ability to stream games from your Steam library from your computer to the device, where you can play them. It’ll be interesting to see whether this catches on or flops when it becomes available in Q2 2013

Vote now for the 2012 Digixav Readers’ Choice Awards!

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It’s the end of the year, and that means it’s time for us to dole out a few awards to the best assorted technological things that we’ve come across over the course of the last 12 months. As with last year, our own picks have already been made and shall be revealed on the stroke of 2013, but this year we’ve decided to create some Readers’ Choice prizes as well. There are ten categories (each with five nominees) which are as follows:
Best smartphone
Best tablet
Best mobile OS
Best desktop OS
Best computer
Best design
Best game
Best Android app
Best iOS app
Best Windows Phone app
To find out the nominees and cast your vote, click here to go to the voting form and let your voice be heard. You have until 00:00 GMT on Saturday 29th December to get your submissions in, and results will be posted very soon after that.

Happy voting!

CLICK HERE TO VOTE!

Celebrating Digixav’s first birthday

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Delicious ginger, BlackBerry, Apple and Jelly Bean cake.

Exactly one year ago on a cold Tuesday evening Digixav was born. Created from my lingering desire to have a portal from which to ramble on about tech, the very first post was a brief introduction to our plans for the site, and soon after Henry and Chris jumped on board with their own little introductions. Our first site design looked a lot like this, and, after a few hours getting to grips with WordPress, we properly launched DX with our disastrous liveblog of the keynote in which Google unveiled Android 4.0 and Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus – and to this day I am still embarrassed by the amount of stuff that was in my taskbar. Since then, the team has grown massively and our readership has been far higher than we could have ever imagined.

One year on, our aim remains the same: to deliver more tech news, reviews, guides and opinions to you, our loyal readers. We’ve had a great first year on the internet, and we hope to do even better in the next one. Tonight, we celebrate with cake. Tomorrow, we take over the world. Thanks for joining us.

P.S. The cake is a ginger cake made by Kieran, iced with a BlackBerry Curve, iPhone 4S and Nexus 7. It tastes really good and also resulted in this picture.

Facebook hits one billion monthly active users and likens itself to chairs in debut ad campaign

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Fresh off the back of announcing that Facebook now serves a billion active users each month, Mark Zuckerberg’s firm also announced their first brand advertisement, produced with Portland-based ad agency Wieden & Kennedy. Set to be shown in 13 countries and translated to 12 languages, the 90 second spot, entitled The Things That Connect Us,  is described as a reflection of what Facebook stands for by W+K.

Facebook’s first commercial ever honors the everyday things that people use to get together and connect – things like chairs, doorbells, bridges, airplanes and Facebook.

Coinciding with the billion user milestone, the company also released a document of statistics regarding the site since launch. The threshold was passed on September 14th at 8:45pm BST, and the site has played host to 140 billion friend connections, 219 billion photos and 1.13 trillion likes, with over 600 million users frequenting from mobile platforms. With such large user numbers, the big challenge for Facebook is to turn this into a large revenue stream, but investors don’t seem entirely convinced – share prices are slipping further today as the slide away from the billion dollar IPO continues.

Via Adrianne Jeffries (Twitter)
Source Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) | Wieden & Kennedy | FB Newsroom
Image Credit Eduardo Saverin (Facebook)