Unlocking Xperia Z3 Compact Bootloader Worsens Low-Light Camera Performance, May Affect Other Apps

The message from most smartphone manufacturers seems abundantly clear – bootloaders are better locked. Even OEMs which ship so-called developer devices seem to do all that they can to dissuade the average user from flashing unauthorized firmware, whether by posting scary disclaimers or disavowing all responsibility for damage. Sony, it seems, has adopted a far harsher tactic for those who bravely unlock the Xperia Z3 Compact’s bootloader, which is to degrade the user experience. (more…)

Google Play Newsstand Receives Shiny New Material Design Makeover (Updated: APK Available)

Google Play Newsstand – not to be confused with the newly revamped Google News and Weather – received an update this morning (or will soon) that brings in a touch of Material Design, along with a new magazine reading experience. As a refresher, Newsstand is the app that combined Play Magazines and Currents into what should be the ultimate news consuming experience. The app originally showed off all sorts of new design highlights from the Android design team, but this new update takes it to another level.  (more…)

Samsung Galaxy Alpha Unboxing (AT&T)

When Samsung first introduced the Galaxy Alpha back in August, we weren’t exactly sure what to make of it. Was Samsung trying to take on the iPhone by using premium materials like metal? Was Samsung trying to set a new standard for their design going forward? Were they trying to enter Sony’s “Compact” arena, where you have a smaller device that still packs mostly high-end specs? They may have been trying to do a little of all that.  (more…)

Deal: Pre-order Pocket-sized Karma Go LTE Hotspot for $99

For a limited time, folks who have been itching for a more portable data solution can pre-order the upcoming Karma Go LTE hotspot. Set to be priced at $150, but available for $99 through a pre-order promotion, Karma Go allows users to pay for the data they use, sort of like a pay-as-you-go hotspot plan.

Users pay a set price per GB of data they consume, with the hotspot itself feeding off an available LTE connection in the area. Should LTE not be available at the moment, the system falls back to a 3G CDMA connection. For a more detailed look at where connectivity is offered, please see here(more…)