Low-end Windows Phones make great first smartphones for those on a budget. They deliver a solid user experience, offer expandable storage, are dependable and feel fast, generally at sub $100 prices. The low cost also makes them good backup smartphones.
There are a couple of very-affordable, interesting Windows Phone 8.1 devices around, like Lumia 530 and Lumia 635, but Microsoft just added the newer Lumia 435 to its online store lineup. Should you get it?
The aim behind Facebook's Internet.org program is to bring internet access to the wider world. While an undeniably praise-worthy venture, it came in for criticism for going against the principles of net neutrality.
Today the company launches the Internet.org Platform with a view to countering this criticism. The platform opens up Internet.org to more developers, giving them the chance to bring "free basic services" to people around the world. There's also the promise of greater transparency.
Until recently, Chinese Smartphone makers were disregarded as simple copycats. Now, alongside the revelation that Xiaomi has overtaken Samsung as China’s leading smartphone provider, Chinese firms finally seem to be realizing their potential. Good news all-round for the consumer.
Xiaomi aside, another representative of China’s emergence comes in the form of the ZTE Blade S6. The S6 is a phone that provides the perfect example as to why China’s is a blossoming but not yet fully-fledged smartphone superpower. Indeed, competitively priced, with a set of specs that defy its highly reasonable $250 price tag, the ZTE Blade S6 is well worth considering if you’re after a mid-range smartphone.
Samsung’s Galaxy S6 is a great device, no doubt about it. It has all the elements needed for a great smartphone: a large, high quality display, powerful processor, a great operating system with countless features, and two amazing cameras.
However, the competition out there is merciless. Apple has hit the South Korean giants hard with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models, and now the LG G4 seems to be out for blood, as well.
I was sold on Windows 10 before I could even try the first Technical Preview. Now, after seeing the latest slew of changes unveiled at Build 2015, it is clearer than ever that Microsoft is on the right path and that Windows 10 will be the most impressive release yet. There is no doubt in my mind about it.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Microsoft expects Windows 10 to attract one billion users within the first two to three years of its release. The timer starts this summer. It may sound like an empty claim, but when you look at everything that has been done so far to make Windows 10 so exciting, and consider the huge unlocked potential, it certainly sounds plausible. While I am no fortune-teller, I can’t see Microsoft getting anything important wrong. And that’s something I haven’t felt in ages in regards to the software giant.
Samsung is down but not out in the global smartphone shipments battle with top rival Apple. That is the conclusion from analysts at Juniper Research, which like Strategy Analytics released first quarter 2015 data today. Juniper sees sharp rebound from Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, which "reception" is stronger than their predecessors.
Quarter-on-quarter, Samsung smartphone shipments -- 82 million units -- rose by 23 percent but fell 29 percent year over year. By comparison, annually, Apple shipments soared by 40 percent, to 61 million, largely lifted by China. The country's importance to the fruit-logo company cannot be overemphasized for either manufacturer. But Apple reaped the big crop, with shipments up 71 percent that generated $16.8 billion in revenue.
Something interesting happened in the last quarter of 2014: Apple tied with Samsung on smartphone shipments. Both players moved 74.5 million units, reaching this figure from two opposite directions. The Cupertino, Calif.-based vendor saw its iPhone shipments increase by a whopping 46.07 percent year-over-year, while its South Korean rival dealt with a 13.37 percent decline.
But, luckily for Samsung, things changed in the first quarter of 2015. According to Strategy Analytics, its smartphone shipments reached 83.2 million units, while Apple's iPhones shipped in just 61.2 million units. And just like that, Samsung is, once again, back at the top. However, it is not yet in tip-top form.
Smartphone security takes a number of forms; you might access your phone with a PIN, your fingerprint, or via facial recognition. But if Yahoo's plans gather momentum, you could be using your ear to unlock your phone in the not-too-distant future. The idea builds on the idea of the unique fingerprint we all have, taking advantage of the capacitive touchscreens that are now a standard feature of phones.
There's no need for special sensors as the way different parts of your ears touch the screen when held in the 'talk' position can be used to uniquely identify you. It's all part of Yahoo's Bodyprint program, which is also looking at how the way you hold your phone could be used as an unlock tool.
Microsoft could face a ban on importing handsets into the US after a ruling by the International Trade Commission. The ITC found that Microsoft had used technology for which InterDigital owns the patents without obtaining the relevant permission.
Microsoft plans to challenge the ruling, saying "we have a successful track record challenging patent assertion entities that misuse industry standards". It is not the first handset manufacturer to have been hit with legal action from InterDigital, and it could severely hamper future handset sales.
For many of us, smartphones have replaced dedicated cameras. And it is easy to understand why. But if there is one area where DSLRs and the like still shine, picture quality is definitely it. That said, smartphones are getting better and better each year, with today's flagships leading the charge.
Not all flagships are created equal though. Some are better than others in this regard, packing useful hardware features like optical image stabilization (OIS), which helps in low-light and video recording, and software to match, featuring clever algorithms that offer the right balance between image quality and noise. And if you are looking for the best all-around camera, that can take great photos and videos, apparently nothing can match Samsung's Galaxy S6 edge.
If there be ghosts, Tim Cook should expect sleepless nights ahead. Surely Steve Jobs can't stand to be so overshadowed by his successor, who takes Apple where the cofounder couldn't: Massive earnings and margins. Today, after the closing bell, the company reported yet another ridiculously blow-out quarter, largely lifted by iPhone. If the smartphone market ever collapses, Apple Armageddon will follow. In the present, momentum is unstoppable.
Some perspective: Apple's net income was more than two-and-half times Microsoft's during the same time period (calendar Q1 2015) -- and 3.8 times that of Google. To reiterate, those comparisons are put-in-the-bank profits, not revenues. By the numbers: $58 billion in sales, $13.6 billion net income, and $2.33 earnings per share. Wall Street consensus was $56 billion revenue and $2.16 EPS. Year over year, revenue rose 26.6 percent and net sales by 33 percent.
Wouldn’t it be great if Nokia started manufacturing phones again? If the recent reports are to be believed, the Finland-based company is planning to do just that. Citing its sources, Re/code earlier this week reported that the company will be returning to the phone manufacturing business by 2016, and would launch a couple of Android smartphones. Too bad, that’s not happening. Nokia announces today that it doesn’t intend to return to the smartphone manufacturing business, squashing all the recent reports that claimed otherwise.
On its website (via Reuters), the company notes that the recent news reports that claimed that Nokia expressed its intention to manufacture consumer handsets out of an R&D facility in China “are false". "Nokia reiterates it currently has no plans to manufacture or sell consumer handsets.", it further says.
Avoiding online ads can be fairly easily achieved by installing a tool such as AdBlockPlus, but it's a different matter when it comes to ads in mobile apps. Security researchers at Doctor Web have discovered that a number of Android apps found in Google Play are plagued with aggressive ad modules.
Advertising is considered aggressive if it appears on top of other windows, interferes with the use of applications, and makes normal use of a smartphone or tablet difficult.
Dedicated satnav units are less popular than they used to be, and this can be attributed in part to the rise of direction-providing smartphone apps like Google Maps and Waze. If you are invested in Google Maps, you may well check out directions on your desktop computer and then have to get them set up on your phone as well.
Today that changes. Google has unveiled a feature that makes it possible to push directions from your desktop computer or laptop to your phone. This eliminates a step and makes the whole process of getting from A to B much easier.
Confirmed: An Android 5.0 and Windows 10 dual-boot capable smartphone with 2K display to launch in June
Chinese smartphone manufacturer Elephone is working on a feature-rich flagship smartphone which will ship in two variants -- one running on Android 5.0 Lollipop, and the other one offering dual-boot capability with Windows 10 for phones, the company confirms to BetaNews. The Android counterpart will launch next month while the dual-boot capable phone will launch in June.
Windows Phone enthusiasts will be pleased to know that the upcoming smartphone will carry high-end hardware modules. As reported by Chinese tech portal GizChina -- and confirmed to us by the company -- the smartphone will feature a 5.5-inch 2K display. As of now, there is no flagship smartphone with 2K display running Windows OS. Other features of the handset include a mammoth 4GB RAM, and the touch ID fingerprint security. On the camera front, the smartphone will carry a 21-megapixel Sony IMX 230 shooter at the rear end. The dual-boot version will have a 20.7-megapixel sensor.