Telephones

Should You Upgrade To an iPhone 5c or 5s?

Every time Apple announces an upcoming iPhone, the first post on Spot Cool Stuff’s tech blog is written especially with current iPhone owners. And it centers around a single question:

Should you upgrade to the new iPhone?

Today, we are answering that question twice. That’s because, for the first time, Apple announced two new iPhone models: The iPhone 5c and the iPhone 5s.

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Nokia Lumia 1020: The Best Smartphone Camera?

There was a time, before phones became smart, that a cell phone was just a cell phone. Then, Nokia was king.

But that was before Handspring came along. And before Palm and Blackberry, the iPhone and Android. Before cell phones turned into smartphones that made Nokia’s offerings — which lacked big screens, GPS navigation and app stores — seem, well, dumb.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, Nokia is back!

Truth is, they’ve been on a path back for some time. But if there was one single event that marks Nokia return to smartphone prominence it might be the moment the company announced the Nokia Lumia 1020.

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Sponsored Video: Low-Light Smartphone Photography
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Here’s an amazing statistic:

Of all the people living on the planet today who have ever taken a photograph, 90% of them have only done so on a cell phone.

Even among people who own both a camera and a cameraphone, 70% use the latter as their primary device for taking photographs.

The explosion of phone photography is partly a matter of convenience. But it’s also a function of improved functionality. Sensor sizes, processing power and lens quality on cameraphones have all gotten significantly better over the last few years. Yet for all those advances, there are at least three areas in which on-phone cameras are in serious need of improvement: zoom, manual controls and low-light capabilities.

Spot Cool Stuff is still waiting for a smartphone camera that offers a telephoto zoom and SLR-like manual controls. But, hallelujah, we’ve finally found a smartphone with a camera that’s capable in low-light situations: the Nokia Lumina 928.

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Should You Upgrade to the New iPhone 5?

When Apple has a major product new launch, a lot of websites will give you the specs and highlights of latest iWhatever. At Spot Cool Stuff, we do that too. But then we focus on the practical questions at hand: Whether or not the new product is worth spending your money on.

That was our approached when the iPhone 4S launched. So it was with the release of the 3rd generation iPad. And now we turn our attention to Apple’s latest announcement: Should you upgrade to the new iPhone 5?

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The Samsung Galaxy Note: Phone or Tablet?

Is it a tablet? Or is it a phone?

That’s the tagline on billboards advertising the new Samsung Galaxy Note. When the company selling a product expresses uncertainly about what exactly their product is, you know you are dealing with something different.

Indeed, the Samsung Note really is something different—a new hybrid product that’s both an oversized phone and an undersized tablet. The phonelet weighs 6.3 ounces (178 grams) and has a 5.3-inch display—more than the largest smartphone and less than the smallest tablet. The Android operating system, powered by 1.4GHz dual-core processor, is capable of doing anything Samsung Galaxy tablets are (and then some). And it makes phone calls with all the functionality of a high-end Samsung smartphone.

So does the Samsung Galaxy Note deliver the best features of a tablet and a smartphone? Or is it the worst of both worlds? Spot Cool Stuff takes a look:

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Waterproof Your Smartphone—Without a Case

Since returning from the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show the question we’ve been asked most is: What was the coolest thing you saw?

After some contemplation, we’ve settled on our answer: Liquipel. It’s a nanotechnology service that waterproofs electronic gadgets without adding any weight to a device or any altering it in any discernible way.

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The World’s Thinnest Smartphone
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“Thinner and Brighter” could be the unofficial moto of the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show. One tech company taking that to an extreme is China-based Huawei (pronounced “Wah-Way”). At CES, they unveiled the Ascend P1 S, the world’s thinnest smartphone.

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I’d Like to Buy the World . . . a Cell Phone Battery?

Might the next front in the cola wars consist of advertising campaigns aimed at convincing the public to pour a particular brand of soft drink into their cell phones?

It will if Chinese designer Daizi Zheng and Finnish electronics giant Nokia have their way. The two have teamed up to develop a biodegradable cell phone that runs on Coca-Cola.

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