hardware

Photo: Samsung

Photo: Samsung

Samsung has sent out media events for a March 1st event right before Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The Korean company is widely expected to debut the Samsung Galaxy S6, and judging by the invitation, the flagship device will feature a flexible display like the Galaxy Note Edge.

The smartphone business hasn’t been so hot for Samsung in recent quarters, with the iPhone eating the Galaxy’s lunch on the high end and aggressive competitors like Xiaomi squeezing in at the low end. This event will be Samsung’s shot to prove that the Galaxy lineup hasn’t lost its mojo.

yota

If the average Android phone made a baby with a Kindle, it would look like the YotaPhone 2. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

LAS VEGAS — I’ve seen pictures of the bizarre YotaPhone, a premium Android/e-ink smartphone from Russia, but when I first held it at International CES this week, I realized it’s something you have to use to understand.

Cult_of_Mac_CES_2015 With everyone but BlackBerry seemingly copying the iPhone’s design these days, the YotaPhone (now in its second generation) stands out as something strikingly unique. It features a 1,920 by 1,080-pixel, 5-inch LCD display on one side, and a responsive e-ink screen on the other.

It’s not something you’ll ever see out of a company like Apple, but you have to give the YotaPhone kudos for being an oddball.

Get your game on with even more compatibility with the Fire TV game controller. Photo: Amazon

Get your game on with even more compatibility with the Fire TV game controller. Photo: Amazon

The latest update for the Fire TV box from Amazon is live, and it’s got some compelling new features.

The new update modifies the way games interpret the signals from the controller or Fire TV remote, letting you play even more tablet-style games, like the above Sev Zero tower defense game.

With its arms folded in, the Plinth hardly looks like a tablet stand.

With its arms folded in, the Plinth hardly looks like a tablet stand. Image courtesy John Bull

The Plinth isn’t just a super-compact tablet stand — it’s an amusing party trick.

Slide the sleek accessory out of your pocket or purse and into the hands of a friend and you’ll likely be met with a quizzical stare as they try to figure out what, exactly, the flat plastic object is. Thin, feather-light and somewhat curiously shaped, the Plinth — which currently exists only as a 3-D prototype, although if you’re quick you can get in on the Kickstarter campaign — looks something like a Chinese puzzle box or a Transformer in stealth mode.

It’s obviously composed of multiple parts that fit together seamlessly, and a couple of buttons look like they might do something. But let a friend fondle the plastic object, and they’ll likely fiddle with it for a while before they discover the Plinth’s awesome secret.

CAD images of the Plinth "universal tablet stand," as shown on the product's Kickstarter page.

CAD images of the Plinth “universal tablet stand,” as shown on the product’s Kickstarter page.

A promising prototype stand called the Plinth fits in a pocket but quickly deploys to support a large tablet, a smartphone or even an old-fashioned book.

Developed by U.K. product designer John Bull, the super-portable Plinth would make it easier for him to use his beloved iPad by holding it rock-steady at three different angles.

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