We first covered Word Lens here on BGR all the way back in 2010, and the app is no less incredible today than it was nearly four years ago. The app allows users to view a sign or other printed text through the camera on their iPhone, Android phone or Google Glass, and Word Lens will replace the text with a translated version in fonts and colors that match the original. In other words, Word Lens truly augments reality in a fantastically useful way.
Quest Visual, the company behind Word Lens, announced on its website that it has been acquired by Google.
The summer is over, and one of the biggest seasons for new technology is upon us. Our best phones list looks a lot different compared to last month, with some new game changers joining the party. It’s our best phones list for October 2013 — let’s hop right into it!
5 – Motorola Moto X
The Moto X still has a special place in our hearts — so-much-so that it was able to creep back into our top 5. The dual-core chipset inside has been optimized to bring unique features like the always listening “Touchless Controls” and Active Notifications.
Our review has all the deets you need about this American-assembled piece of machinery, so be sure to give it a good read. A quick primer on the specs would show you that it has a 4.7-inch 720p display, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage and more. It’s no muscled up maniac, but the device holds its own in more than one way. And for some added fun.
4 – LG G2
The LG G2 is a new kid on the block, with several carriers now offering LG’s latest handset. This juggernaut is tasked with bringing LG to glory in the competitive smartphone race. It hopes to do that by offering up a powerhouse of an experience:
- 5.2-inch 1080p display
- Snapdragon 800 processor
- 2GB of RAM
- 13 megapixel camera and more
Specs aren’t everything, of course, so LG has improved their Q-Slide user interface with some new features and apps that will take advantage of any decent stylus. Oh, and the buttons all sit on the back of this thing — talk about uniqueness. This is definitely one to keep on your radar.
Samsung’s flagship for the first half of the year has had to slide back a bit, but it’s because Samsung has another handset taking up a spot higher up on the list (we’ll talk about that in a second). The Galaxy S4 is still as springy of a chicken as a spring chicken can be, though.
2 – HTC One
While the HTC One is still a fine phone, it’s being outclassed by more compelling offerings. Its combination of style and features is enough to keep it high up on our list, though it has to drop to #2 this month to make way for more exotic desirable handsets.
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 is a 5.7-inch 1080p smartphone that pushes the boundaries with 3GB of RAM, Samsung’s Octa-Core processor (quad-core processor in certain markets), 13 megapixel BSI camera sensor, 2 megapixel front camera, S Pen and more.
Available in just a few days at AT&T and Sprint, and on October 10th via Verizon, the device is already being fondled by members of the media and other lucky souls. In fact, Phandroid’s review went up this morning. Rob Jackson was the lucky soul who got to handle it. Be sure to read why he thinks it’s one of the best smartphones to launch this year (yes, even up against that bitten fruit thing).
The streak starts here, and it’ll be interesting to see how long the Note 3 will control the coveted #1 spot on this list.
- Motorola DROID Maxx — it was hard not giving this phone a spot in the top 5, but it definitely deserves one in the top 10. Motorola hits it out of the ballpark with a 5-inch 720p device with a 3,500mAh battery that literally lasts all day long. Be sure to read our full review on this bad boy.
- Nexus 4 – We’re just about ready for the Nexus 5 at this point, though the Nexus 4 is still one of the top devices (especially for the price you can find it for). Good luck trying to find one once Google fully takes them off the market, though.
- Sony Xperia Z1 — this beautiful smartphone by Sony is ready and able to take on all-comers.
- Motorola DROID Mini — when it comes to “mini,” affordable phones, there’s not much touching the DROID Mini right now. To all the pretenders: this is how you provide a powerful smartphone in a smaller form factor.
- Motorola DROID Ultra — It’s a weaker version of the DROID MAXX, but it’s still a great phone. Hit the review to see if it’s worth buying.
Phones to look forward to
These phones aren’t available yet, but we know they’re on their way and we know we’re anticipating them a great deal. Said to be out at some point this summer, let’s take a look at two of the most exciting devices on the horizon.
This device has a lot of firsts attached to its name. It’s one of the first phones with a rotating camera, giving you a suitable camera for both front and rear facing shots. It’ll also be the first phone that will come with the ability to flash CyanogenMod out of the box. (There will also be a special edition of the device that comes with CyanogenMod pre-installed.) Its specs will include 2GB of RAM, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor and more.
These phones are selling like hot cakes on Amazon. Note that these aren’t necessarily Amazon’s true best-sellers, but best sellers out of the ones we haven’t already mentioned. Take a look and see if some of these other hot phones are worth your time and money:
- Samsung Galaxy S3
- HTC DROID DNA
- LG Optimus G
- Samsung Galaxy S4 Active
- Samsung Galaxy Rugby Pro
- HTC EVO 4G LTE
- HTC DROID Incredible
- HTC Sensation
- Motorola DROID RAZR Maxx HD
- LG Mach
What say you?
This is the time of year that most manufacturers are looking to bring out the flagships that will help capture sales in the aggressive holiday shopping season. The list this month is vastly different than ones prior, so take a look and let us know if you agree in the comments section below!
It's all too easy to go over your allotment for mobile data and voice (especially true when traveling overseas). One way you could possibly save a lot of money in those cases is to use the carrier's backdating feature, if available.
The National Security Agency (NSA) and its British counterpart have successfully defeated encryption technologies used by a broad swath of online services, including those provided by Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Yahoo, according to new reports published by The New York Times and The Guardian. The revelations, which include backdoors built into some technologies, raise troubling questions about the security that hundreds of millions of people rely on to keep their most intimate and business-sensitive secrets private in an increasingly networked world.
The reports, published simultaneously by the NYT here and The Guardian here, are based on newly disclosed documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. They reveal a highly classified program, code-named Bullrun, which according to the reports, relied on a combination of "supercomputers, technical trickery, court orders, and behind-the-scenes persuasion" to undermine basic staples of Internet privacy, including virtual private networks (VPNs) and the widely used secure sockets layer (SSL) and transport layer security (TLS) protocols.
"For the past decade, NSA has led an aggressive, multipronged effort to break widely used Internet encryption technologies," the NYT reported, quoting a 2010 memo describing a briefing of NSA capabilities to employees of the Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ. "Cryptanalytic capabilities are now coming online. Vast amounts of encrypted Internet data which have up till now been discarded are now exploitable."