more Stories September 21, 2015

WILEYFOX-LEAD-WP

The smartphone market is getting crowded by low cost phones offering great performance. It’s been something of a rising trend, especially with brands like OnePlus and Alcatel OneTouch leading the way. The next devices wanting a piece of the action are the Wileyfox Swift and Wileyfox Storm. Both released in what looks like a direct response to last year’s “flagship killer”, the OnePlus One.

I unboxed the more budget-friendly model of the two, the Wileyfox Swift, to see if it could deliver as much bang for your buck as other, similar devices…

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more Stories September 19, 2015

lg-g4-wireless-charging-cheap

While many flagship smartphones have wireless charging built in as standard, LG opted against it with the G4. Unless you buy the company’s expensive and — in my opinion — unattractive Quick Circle case, you don’t get wireless charging. As always with these kind of problems, there is a solution and all it costs is $15 and a little patience…

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more Stories September 18, 2015

messages-for-android-WP

Since the rise of science fiction movies, we’ve dreamed of being able to communicate to people through our wrists. In almost every case of wrist-worn gadgetry, fictional or real, that dream is met by voice dictation, or video calling. We don’t get excited by the prospect of typing in long messages to people using a tiny onscreen keyboard. Despite several attempts by tech companies in the past, it just hasn’t caught on. So it’s a little baffling when a company decides to release an app for smartwatches with the keyboard as its primary input method. I went hands on with Messages for Android Wear to find out if it was any good…

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more Stories September 17, 2015

amazon-kindle-fire

Amazon has taken the wraps off an entire family of new Kindle Fire tablets, including a new budget-friendly $50 model alongside two Kindle Fire HD tablets and a special Kids Edition version with a unique protective case. The new Android-based devices were launched alongside a new Amazon Fire TV family and will feature a revamped user interface, dubbed Fire OS 5 ‘Bellini’…

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gear-s2

Samsung’s recently announced Gear S2 has stirred a lot of attention for itself over the past few weeks. The sleek, round design, attractive user interface, rotating bezel and non-discriminatory Android support all sets it up nicely to be one of this year’s most desired wearables. Samsung is yet to announce when the device will hit retail stores in the States, but if a leaked internal training video is anything to go by, it looks as though the company is prepping for an October 2 release…

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more Stories September 16, 2015

yotaphone-2

Yota Devices and ZTE have announced a new partnership this morning. From the next generation onwards, the chinese OEM will produce YotaPhones for the Russian manufacturer, with the 3rd gen smartphone scheduled for a Q1 2016 release. The companies haven’t revealed specifics on the financial terms of the deal, but it will see future YotaPhones be made in China and see a significant reduction in the cost of producing the devices. Previous models were built in a Hi-P factory in Singapore…

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Moto X Style pre-orders go live in the UK

Motorola, this morning, opened up pre-orders for its newest flagship, the Moto X Style in the UK. While the device has been available to order in the US for a couple of weeks already, pre-sales only began today across the pond in Britain. Pricing starts at £399 and increases based on materials used on the back, or which storage option you go for.

more Stories September 11, 2015

xperia-z5-waterproof

When the Xperia Z family first launched a few years ago, Sony proudly advertised their waterproof capabilities. For almost every generation of phone, up until this year, the hardware manufacturer used imaged of phones being used to take photos in swimming pools, or in the sea, as a way to sell its products. They’ve even come with some impressive-sound IP-rated certificates to prove their durability under water. And, while the the Xperia Z5 range comes with IP68 rated waterproofing, you might want to refrain from taking them to the beach to take your own underwater pics…

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more Stories September 10, 2015

samsung-apple-jibe

Leading up to Apple’s eagerly anticipated keynote presentation last night, Sony had a jab prepared for the iPhone-makers before they unveiled the iPhone 6s, Apple TV and iPad Pro. It seems, however, Sony wasn’t the only manufacturer attempting to rain on Apple’s parade. Arguably Apple’s biggest competitor, Samsung had a few of its own jibes to share with us and took to its UK Twitter handle to publish them…

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more Stories September 9, 2015

samsung-building

In one of the most ambiguous rebuttals of recent memory, Samsung has denied reports claiming it is looking to reduce its workforce by 10%. It’s not reducing its workforce, it says, but “relocating” them. One of Samsung’s high-ranking officials spoke to Yonhap News, claiming that it will “only be relocating workers”, denying rumors that it was looking to move on 10 percent of its management staff in sales and PR. What it didn’t say was what “relocating” actually means, leaving us speculating a number of possible translations for the phrase…

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more Stories September 8, 2015

google-express

Bloomberg reports that Google will begin testing grocery and fresh food delivery in two US cities later this year in an attempt to directly compete with AmazonFresh. Brian Elliot, general manager of Google Express stated that the company will be partnering with Whole Foods Market and Costco Wholesale, among others, to deliver the new service. Initial testing will begin in San Francisco and one other unnamed city…

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moto-360-china

Android and Mobvoi have formed a ‘strategic partnership‘ to bring Android Wear to mainland China for the first time. This news comes days after revelations that Google is working to bring a tweaked version of Android and the Google Play Store to China. Negotiations have been difficult, and require compromises from Google, but with Android Wear officially landing, it signals the beginning of a much bigger focus on China than has been possible in recent years…

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more Stories September 7, 2015

YouTube_logo_2013.svg

It’s no secret that Google makes the majority of its money from advertising revenue, and has done for a very long time. So, when a product comes along to threaten that major revenue stream, it has to find ways to combat it. That’s seemingly what it’s done with AdBlock Plus, a relatively well-known Chrome extension used to block out ads across the internet. This includes the ads shown before and during video playback on YouTube…

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samsung-gear-s2

Samsung’s recently revealed smartwatch, the Gear S2, has seemingly had its European pricing outed by German electronic retailer Saturn. The Tizen-based wearable will be available as a standard and more premium Classic model – with similar pricing to the entry-level Apple Watch …

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Xperia Z5 Premium

The Sony Xperia Z5, Z5 Premium and Z5 Compact have all had price cuts before they’ve even hit the market. Prices were revealed just a few days ago, and Sony has already seen fit to adjust the price points.  Perhaps in response to the sense of disbelief at how expensive they would be

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more Stories September 3, 2015

CHROMEBOOK-FLIP-WP

ASUS is showing itself to be a competent company at dealing with all the challenges facing traditional consumer tech manufacturers in the post-PC world. It’s released some great smartphones recently, and now it’s just released a fantastic laptop. The Chromebook Flip has won me over.

I’m sure you can imagine, as a tech-reviewer it’s not often I fall for a product just on first impressions alone. But as soon as I picked up the Chromebook Flip, I adored it. The all-metal build looks, and feels fantastic. Its rounded corners and the gentle taper of the back towards the diamond-cut chamfered edges are beautiful. On the bottom, all the edges and corners are rounded, giving it a really friendly look, and making it comfortable to grip.

What’s more, the speakers are hidden underneath two perfectly round grilles made of hundreds of tiny machined holes. But it’s the hinge that makes this unique. The screen rotates 360 degrees, and can be used in 4 different modes: laptop, tent, stand or tablet modes. Because the hinge is so firm, it holds strongly at virtually any angle.

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more Stories September 2, 2015

huawei-ascend-mate-s

After weeks of speculation and leaks, Huawei has finally announced the Ascend Mate S, what many see as a direct competitor to the likes of the iPhone 6 Plus and HTC One. It has a bunch of flagship staple features as well as a couple of unique selling points which will get you talking, if nothing else.

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more Stories August 31, 2015

Android Wear finally has iOS support after Google pushed its iPhone-compatible software to the App Store. This means that Android has beaten Apple Watch to the cross-platform game. Or, at least it would, if iOS didn’t restrict it to a state of almost uselessness. The only device officially supported is the LG Watch Urbane although — as we previously revealed — the older generation Android Wear watches do work. I got it set up with my Moto 360, and have been mostly disappointed by my experience so far.

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qualcomm-signage

In a press release this morning, Qualcomm announced a brand new technology to help keep us protected from potential malware threats on our smartphones. Smart Protect will be built into chips in the near future and provide “real-time, on-device machine learning designed to support accurate and effective detection of zero-day malware threats for improved personal privacy and device security”. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 chip will be the first to feature the new technology when it hits the market in 2016.

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LG announces Watch Urbane Luxe, $1200 gold-plated limited edition smartwatch

Early this morning, LG announced a brand new, limited edition gold-plated version of its Urbane smartwatch. The LG Watch Urbane Luxe will be available to buy at the end of October and is expected to cost somewhere in the region of $1,200. It’s plated in 23-karat gold, features an alligator leather strap and a classic deployment clasp. What’s more, the case is coated in a piano-gloss lacquer.

more Stories August 28, 2015

android-launchers

One of Android’s best features is the ability to download and install custom third-party launchers. Don’t like the way your phone home screen looks or how the apps are organized? Fine. Change it. But finding the best one, or a good one for that matter, can sometimes be a daunting challenge. And which one you think is the best ultimately depends on what you value most: aesthetics, organization or productivity? I’ve rounded up what I think are some of the best launchers out there, as well as a wild card for you to consider in your quest for the perfect Android experience.

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new apps search feature

It looks like Google has been working behind the scenes to make searching for apps a much more intuitive and better-looking experience on Android. As spotted by the folks at Android Police, if you go searching for apps from the default search feature in Android, you’ll now get a very attractive, Material-themed grid of apps. Although it doesn’t work for every single term, simply search for anything followed by ‘apps’ and it’ll bring up a grid of downloadable options from the Google Play Store.

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more Stories August 27, 2015

Recently we revealed that Motorola’s new smartwatch passed through the Brazilian equivalent of the FCC. In it, the filings indicated that Motorola is clearly working on two sizes for its next generation Moto 360 smartwatch. Moto 360L and Moto 360S will seemingly keep the same ‘flat tire’ on the bottom of the screen, and similar round metal cases but there are clear differences. Today, both big and small versions of the Moto 360 have popped up in individually leaked photos.

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more Stories August 26, 2015

Pocket 6.0 rolls out for Android with new Recommendation feature

Pocket is one of the most popular read-it-later apps available on Android, and the service is about to get better (or perhaps worse depending on your viewpoint), with the public launch of recommendations. The feature has been tested in beta for some time, and is now officially out in the wild and will be available to users on Android, iOS and on the web. Pocket describes it as “high-quality content without the noise”.

Recommendations takes the absolute best content being saved across Pocket and tailors it to your own saving and reading habits. The result is a feed that’s completely unique and personalized to you, and is filled with the most interesting articles and videos you might have missed otherwise.

Instead of being a collation of the most viewed web pages from the web, recommendations are based on how popular stories are with people with your interests. Since they’re already curated by humans, the company hopes that helps tune out the noise. For instance, if you happen to save a lot of technology articles to read later in Pocket, you’ll be served up tech-based recommendations. What’s more, if you find a recommendation you don’t like, just press the ‘X’ and remove it from your feed.

Recommendations are currently available in English only currently, but the company states that it is working on a wider roll out in more languages. You can download Pocket 6.0 for Android from the Google Play Store for free.

ASUS announced the brand new Chromebook Flip just a couple of months ago, and we’ve been able to get our hands on it. It comes shipped with the usual essentials in a rather unremarkable brown cardboard box. But it’s the notebook itself that’s more important here. It’s an all-metal affair with a 360-degree flip-able 10.1-inch touchscreen. On first impressions, it seems fantastic. 

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more Stories August 24, 2015

Huawei Nexus prototype leaked in photos, corroborates rumors of metal chassis and rear fingerprint sensor

Update: The same source has posted more images of the purported Huawei Nexus, this time showing the bottom half rocking a USB Type-C port. The new USB-C standard is reversible, meaning there isn’t a right-side up and the male side of the cable can be flipped on either side and it’ll still plug into the device. They’re also bidirectional, able to send data and power in either direction. Google announced during its I/O conference that it has been working closely with device manufacturers to introduce phones which take advantage of it.

The purported upcoming Huawei Nexus is one of this year’s biggest rumors so far. It would mark the first time we’ve seen Google partner with a Chinese manufacturer for its ‘Pure Google’ smartphone, and could help the search giant finally get its Play Services running in China. Despite seeing multiple rumors, schematics and leaks, we’ve not seen any real physical evidence of the device’s existence. Until now. Steve Hemmerstoffer has published a couple of photos to his blog showing off what looks to be a pre-release or prototype model of Huawei’s stock Android phone.

g-pad-2

LG has announced a brand new tablet ready to compete at the 10-inch screen size category, and by all accounts, it looks to be a decent piece of hardware. The LG G Pad II 10.1 is going to make a full appearance at IFA in a couple of weeks. Pricing and availability details won’t be announced until then, but in the mean time, LG has given us the lowdown on all the tablet’s internal specifications.

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more Stories August 21, 2015

ZENPAD-WORDPRESS

ASUS is making a big push to disrupt the Android smartphone and tablet markets with its latest lineup of devices. Everyone’s talking about the ZenFone 2, and plenty more will be talking about the ZenPad 8.0 pretty soon. Along with a bunch of cases — including the battery boosting Power Case —  I was sent the low-end Z380C model which costs just $240 in the US and just £120 in the UK. Although its spec list isn’t quite as awe-inspiring as the ZenPad 8.0 Z580, it still seems great value for money. 

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Sony Xperia Z5 Compact shows up in leaked promo image

A fresh, official-looking, image of the upcoming Xperia Z5 Compact has shown up in a new leaked promotional photo courtesy of Dutch tech blog, TechTastic. There’s nothing entirely remarkable about the image itself, but the very fact the device is showing up in promotional images prior to launch is a good indication that Sony is preparing its marketing ready for its arrival.

more Stories August 20, 2015

Jolla tablet pre-orders go live today, Android app-compatible 64GB model for €299

Jolla today opened up pre-orders to everyone for its Sailfish OS-powered tablet. Customers in all EU countries, the States, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Norway, Switzerland, India and Russia can pre-order both the 32GB and 64GB models for €267 ($298) and €299 ($335) respectively. Devices are available in limited quantities from Jolla’s own online store.

Bing app for Android updated, Marshmallow-like Now on Tap features in tow

As part of its Android M announcement, Google showed off its Now on Tap feature which will allow you to get contextual information within any app or screen just by pressing the home button for a few seconds. With Marshmallow not set to hit the public until later this year, it gave Microsoft a chance to beat Google to it. And it has done just that in its latest Bing app for Android.

more Stories August 19, 2015

Latest Samsung Gear S2 teaser shows rotating bezel (Video)

Right near the end of its recent Unpacked announcement, Samsung gave us a very brief glimpse at its upcoming wearable. The Gear S2 will be unveiled fully at IFA, Berlin in a few weeks’ time. And now Samsung has published a new teaser video to its YouTube channel.

blackberry-venice-keyboard-extended

BlackBerry has been rumored to be working on an Android phone for quite some time. In fact, almost as soon as its CEO John Chen teased the portrait slider dubbed ‘Venice’, it was predicted it might run Google’s operating. We’ve seen a leaked render showing the front of the device with what looks like stock Android. We’ve even seen slides showing off some of the BlackBerry-inspired user interface elements. What we haven’t seen yet is that ever-elusive keyboard.

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more Stories August 18, 2015

galaxy-note-5-best-cases

After first unveiling its new phablets five days ago, Samsung will start selling the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+ smartphones this week. Some carriers will be selling it already, while others are waiting for the official August 21st release date. Chances are, you don’t want to take any risks with damaging your precious and ludicrously expensive smartphone. It may fare better than the S5 in drop tests, but it’s probably best for you not to test that, on purpose or by accident. With that in mind, check out some of the cases already announced by some of the best accessory makers around.

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Google expands Android One to North Africa with launch of Infinix HOT 2

Following the recent expansion to Pakistan, Thailand and Myanmar, Google is continuing to roll out its Android One devices to more countries. Today marks the first day of the program’s availability in Africa. Google announced this morning that Android One is making its way to North Africa with the budget-friendly Infinix HOT 2 smartphone in Egypt, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya and Morocco.

more Stories August 17, 2015

T-Mobile brings Galaxy Note 5 and S6 Edge+ release forward, orders open tomorrow

T-Mobile CEO John Legere just announced via Twitter that customers looking to get hold of the new Galaxy Note 5 or Galaxy S6 Edge+ on T-Mobile will be able to start placing orders from tomorrow, Tuesday August 18 from 6am Pacific/9am Eastern. Magenta customers will be able to place orders online at T-Mobile.com, through their myt-mobile app or by calling 1-800-T-MOBILE. There won’t be any pre-orders.

Customers on JUMP! on Demand or those wanting “instant gratification” will need to wait until Friday to get one in a physical brick-and-mortar retail store.

Google announces Android M’s full name: Marshmallow

Android M’s software features have already been announced, but what hasn’t been announced is what the ‘M’ stands for. In our early poll, you decided Marshmallow was the most likely choice, and that’s what Google’s gone with. Earlier today, Jeff Sharkey shared a photo of the covered statue on Google Plus, and now the tarp is off! It’s our favorite green robot clutching on to a Marshmallow.

best-chromebooks-2015

Chromebooks are only four years old as a computing category, but they’ve helped give a new lease on life to a flagging PC industry in this ‘Post PC’ world. They’re almost always inexpensive and low maintenance, thanks to being almost entirely browser based. But now, four years later, there are so many options on the market, it’s hard to know what to buy. Here’s our guide on the best Google-powered notebooks out there…

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Photo of rumored 2015 LG Nexus 5 leaked

LG and Google are purportedly working together to release a revamped version of the Nexus 5 for 2015. We’ve already seen a number of supposed specifications, a case leak and a detailed 3D render based on detailed schematics. But we hadn’t seen any real evidence of the device being real. Until now.

samsung-feature-flip-phone

Android-powered flip-phones are all the rage now with Korean manufacturers. LG announced its ‘Wine Smart’ clamshell smartphone just a couple of weeks ago and today, Samsung has unveiled its latest dual screen flip phone, the G9198. It’s the follow up to its G9098 launched in China last year and if the spec sheet is anything to go by, this could be an impressive device, although it might not see release outside Asia.

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more Stories August 15, 2015

High quality Huawei Nexus renders published based on “detailed blueprints”

Yesterday the well-known leaker, Steve Hemmerstoffer teamed up with uSwitch to leak digital renders of the purported upcoming LG-made Nexus. Today, the two are back with their first look at what could be this year’s flagship Nexus device. As rumored multiple times, this device is expected to be manufactured by Huawei, one of China’s biggest Android OEMs.

more Stories August 14, 2015

android

Google and several of its manufacturer partners rushed to fix a vulnerability found within Android which could see malware installed through simply receiving an MMS message. Dubbed Stagefright, it was described as the worst vulnerability to be found since the dawn of the new Mobile OS era. According to one security firm, sadly, the patches being released by a number of Android OEMs aren’t enough to fully fix the vulnerability.

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fallout-shelter-android

Yesterday, Bethesda finally launched the long-awaited Fallout Shelter for Android and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. In this video, I take you on a brief walkthrough and tour of the initial game stages and how to play. If you haven’t already, you can download the game for free from the Google Play Store right now.

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OxygenOS 1.0.2 update released with Stagefright patch for OnePlus One users

OnePlus One users running OxygenOS can now download the security patches to deal with the Stagefright vulnerability. OnePlus One announced in a blog post this morning that Oxygen OS 1.0.2 is now available to download, and fixes what some dubbed the worst Android vulnerability in the mobile device era. Customers are advised to ensure they back up all their data before flashing. Those using OxygenOS already won’t need to reset their devices.

Detailed LG Nexus 2015 renders leaked, show 5.2-inch screen, fingerprint sensor, more

For the past few weeks, rumors have surfaced suggestion Google will partner with two manufacturers this year for its Nexus phones. We’re purportedly going to see a smaller device made by LG and a larger model made by Huawei. Today we get our first look at some detailed 3D renders designed using hardware schematics sent to case-makers.

more Stories August 13, 2015

samsungs

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+ have just been announced and carriers aren’t holding back in letting us know when and where we can get hold of these new devices. The US is going to be one of the first countries to get the latest flagship phablets. Here’s where you can get them and when…

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Samsung teases round Gear S2 smartwatch, unveiling on September 3rd at IFA

With Samsung deciding to host its own event to launch the Galaxy Note 5 and S6 Edge+ today, we assumed the company was ditching IFA altogether. Turns out that’s not the case. Right at the end of today’s presentation, the Korean tech giant teased its next smartwatch, the Gear S2. It will be unveiled in Berlin on September 3rd.

htc building

In a move that’s no surprise to anyone who’s been following HTC news recently, the company just announced that it’s going to cut 15% of its workforce. Some 2,250 people will lose their jobs as part of the company’s aim to cut 35% of its expenses before 2016 rolls in.

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