VR, presence and the case of the missing killer app

Compelling virtual reality shipped to developers and consumers nearly two years ago. The first flagship headsets arrived from Oculus and HTC back in the spring of 2016, offering enough resolution, frame rate, field of view, latency mitigation and position-tracking to produce believable visual immersion. But no one seems to know what to do with it.

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Samsung’s Galaxy S9 gets Disney AR Emojis at launch

I wasn’t alone in suggesting that Samsung’s Animoji competitors were, well, creepy. AR Emojis sit firmly in the uncanny valley between face scans and cartoon characters — generally lacking the adorableness of Apple’s offering. They have, however, had one saving grace: Disney, the entertainment company that essentially owns all of your best childhood memories.  Samsung […]

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Samsung partners with uBreakiFix for same-day repairs

Apple’s retail footprint gives the company all sorts of advantages when it comes to consumer outreach. As frustrating as the Genius Bar experience can be, quick repairs are pretty high on that list. Without the same kind of brick and mortar presence, Samsung’s looking to outside partners to offer up quick turnaround for users with […]

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Samsung’s Galaxy S9 deserves better than Bixby

 Bixby is, by far, the most frustrating part of the S9. It’s true, of course, that no voice assistant is perfect, but a full year after Samsung’s smart assistant debuted on the Galaxy S8, it still feels unfinished. Of course, the company’s made some significant progress, and a slew of artificial intelligence startup acquisitions point to an offering that’s going to… Read More

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The Samsung Galaxy S9+ camera bumps the Pixel 2 for DxOMark’s top spot

 You know the drill, right? A new flagship comes out and bumps the last big name out of the top spot. We’re still a couple of weeks out from the Samsung Galaxy S9/S9+ release date, but the premium handset just got the DxOMark treatment, and it seems the company’s got another feather to put in its flagship’s cap. The site posted a 99 for the S9+, edging out the Pixel 2’s… Read More

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Rating the big smartphone makers at MWC 2018

 With that in mind, this seems like the perfect opportunity to take a good look at how the industry’s big names fared at the show. Barring any sort of unforeseen circumstances, here’s a list of this week’s biggest winners and losers. HMD (Nokia): HMD scored a coup for a second year in a row, led by another nod to Nokia’s former successes. This time out, it was a return… Read More

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Samsung’s AR Emoji taps creepy avatars and Disney characters to compete with Animoji

 We’ve known for a while that Samsung’s been planning an Animoji competitor for its latest handset. Now that we’ve actually seen (the admittedly clunkily named) AR Emoji in action, we can testify to the fact that it’s some combination of compelling and creepy. That last part first. Like the iPhone X, the Galaxy S9 takes advantage of its on-board face scanning technology… Read More

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Samsung’s DeX docking station gets revamped, turning a smartphone into a trackpad

 If you were having any doubts about Samsung’s commitment to its DeX, consider them assuaged. The company introduced its smartphone docking hardware with the Galaxy S8 and has talked up a new version for every big phone release since then — and today’s big Galaxy S9 reveal is no different. We were pretty lukewarm on the idea — or at least skeptical of how big a niche such… Read More

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