Tech News

Galaxy S5, Nokia X, Google Smartwatch, Xbox One Price Cut [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 25-02-2014

Today in Tech News Digest, Samsung unveils the Galaxy S5, the Nokia X is revealed, WhatsApp announces free voice services, Google is rumored to be working on a smartwatch, the Xbox One gets its first price cut, and selfies may be helping to spread head lice.


Samsung Unveils The Galaxy S5

As expected, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S5 at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The South Korean company’s latest flagship device isn’t a huge step up from the Galaxy S4, offering a similar design and only slightly improved specs.

The front of the S5 looks the same as the S4, but the back has been given a soft-touch, dimpled finish available in black, white, blue, and gold. The S5 comes with Android 4.4.2 (Kitkat) and a slightly tweaked version of the company’s TouchWiz UI.

The Galaxy S5 comes with the updated S Health app that can be paired with the Galaxy Gear wearables, and a heart rate sensor which measures your pulse through your fingertips. The other hardware tweak is a fingerprint scanner, which we have already seen on other phones, including the iPhone 5S Touch ID Woes: Troubleshooting The iPhone 5S Fingerprint Scanner There's no doubting that Apple's iPhone 5S introduces one of the best implementations of fingerprint scanning, but it's not been plain sailing for everyone. Read More .

First impressions from people at MWC suggest the Galaxy S5 is a solid smartphone, but one that doesn’t bring anything new to the market. Samsung, like Apple, seems content with sticking to a winning formula rather than doing anything exciting or innovative. Which is a shame for those of us bored by incremental annual updates.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 is being launched globally on April 5, with the price still to be announced.


Android-Powered Nokia X Revealed

After months of speculation that Nokia was working on an Android-powered smartphone Nokia Android, XP Help, Gates AMA, Netflix Cards [Tech News Digest] Nokia's Android handset, Microsoft wants Windows XP to die, Bill Gates Reddit AMA, Mark Zuckerberg is a generous philanthropist, becomes Twitch Interactive, Bing has the Oscars covered, and Netflix promotions. Read More , the Finnish company has revealed the Nokia X. It does indeed run on Android rather than Windows Phone 8, but it’s a forked version of Google’s operating system, making it much less appealing. This forked version of Android — based on 4.1.2 (Jelly Bean) — sees Nokia creating its own store full of apps.

The Nokia X range actually comprises three handsets, with the X, the X+, and the XL. All offer cheap hardware, with specs designed to appeal to the low-end market. So much so that the Nokia X handsets won’t be released in North America, Western Europe, Japan, or Korea. Instead, these phones are being aimed at South America, Eastern Europe, and poorer parts of Asia.

It remains to be seen what Microsoft will do with the Nokia X range when it completes the acquisition of the company in the weeks ahead. I’m guessing this will be a short-lived experiment.

WhatsApp Adding Free Voice Services

WhatsApp, which was recently acquired by Facebook Facebook WhatsApp, SkyDrive OneDrive, Yahoo Siri, Apple Tesla [Tech News Digest] Facebook buys WhatsApp, FCC responds to the loss of 'net neutrality', SkyDrive becomes OneDrive, Yahoo wants its own Siri, Apple is interested in Tesla, and Samsung mocks Apple in its latest set of television commercials. Read More for $19 billion, is adding voice services to its messaging app. Users are already able to send voice messages to each other, but this update — due to debut in Q2 — will bring real-time voice calls to the service.


These services will be free in that WhatsApp is sticking to its $1-per-year after the first 12 months revenue system. Founder (and new billionaire) Jan Koum promised “no planned changes” despite the acquisition.

Still, those who aren’t fans of Facebook should check out the WhatsApp alternatives guarding your privacy 4 Slick WhatsApp Alternatives that Guard Your Privacy Facebook bought WhatsApp. Now that we're over the shock of that news, are you worried about your data privacy? Read More .

Rumor: Google Working On Smartwatch

Google is rumored to be working on a smartwatch, with LG lined up to be its hardware partner. The existence of the device could be announced as soon as March, with a grand unveiling set for the Google I/O conference in June.

Smartwatches 5 Smartwatch Concept Designs You Will Want! Sick of waiting for Apple's smartwatch to debut? Not sure if it'll even happen? If the Pebble isn't "smart" enough for you, then perhaps these 5 smartwatch concept designs will get your blood pumping again. Read More have failed to take off in a big way thus far, but with Google and Apple both rumored to be gambling on the form factor things could change quickly in 2014.


Xbox One Gets First Price Cut

Microsoft has cut the price of the Xbox One just three months after launch. Sadly, the price cut is only for the U.K., and only knocks £30 ($50) off the price. The Titanfall bundle will cost £399 ($665) in the U.K. but only $500 in the U.S., meaning American gamers are still getting a better deal. Because Microsoft hates British people.

Selfies Spread Head Lice, Mmmkay

And finally, selfies 5 Things To Avoid When Taking Selfies Selfies shouldn’t be taken lightly, and there are many things you need to avoid. Read More could be helping to spread head lice. That is, at least, if you choose to accept the word of someone with a vested interest in the subject.

Marcy McQuillan told SFist that there had been a “huge increase of lice in teens this year” due to them “sticking their heads together every day to take cellphone pics.” But then she would say that, being the owner of a business specializing in the removal of head lice.

Still, anything that helps dissuade people from taking selfies is a positive, so may Marcy keep fighting the good fight.


Tech News Digest… Breaking News Into Bite-Sized Chunks.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

Whatsapp Pinterest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *