Articles about Smartphones

OnePlus One launches in India

OnePlus_One_800x450_contentfullwidth

Chinese smartphone vendor OnePlus just launched its One flagship in India, where it is available to purchase exclusively through the local arm of retailer Amazon. Prospective buyers are only able to scoop up the top-of-the-line 64 GB version of the smartphone, as the lesser 16 GB model is nowhere to be seen at this stage.

OnePlus appears to be committed to the Indian market, as it says that it has already set up a service network of 25 walk-in centers for its prospective local customers. Speaking of customers, the number of local buyers who will be able to buy One is still controlled by OnePlus, as the company is continuing to enforce its invite-only system.

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Here are T-Mobile's iPhone deals for Cyber Monday

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Cyber Monday is in full swing, with lots of attractive deals waiting for you online. Since quite a few companies have long announced what they are offering today, you may have some things already on your shopping list. However, if you are looking to get your hands on a new iPhone, you should also take a look at what T-Mobile has to offer.

The US mobile operator just announced its iPhone deals for Cyber Monday, revealing that it will upgrade consumers who purchase a base-model iPhone 6, iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c to the next-best storage trim for free.

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India falls in love with smartphones and tablets

Lady with tablet

We're frequently being told that the real potential for growth in mobile devices sales is coming from emerging markets, particularly in Asia and the Far East.

The latest research findings from IDC into the Indian market bears this out with strong growth in sales of both smartphones and tablets.

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What you should know about the E-Label Act

Nexus 7 electronic label FCC ID

The FCC label on radio-equipped devices sold in US has been mandatory since 1973. By now, we have gotten used to seeing it, no doubt because there is usually nothing that we can do to hide it. But, as technology evolves, its physical presence is bound to cause some serious problems (not to mention that it spoils the look of some gorgeous devices).

However, in mid-July, a new bill, called the E-Label Act, was introduced to give companies that operate in US the option to feature an electronic FCC label on their radio-equipped products. And, after passing through Senate and Congress, President Obama just signed it. Here is what you should know about it.

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Motorola unveils Cyber Monday deals -- big discounts on 2014 Moto X and accessories

New Moto X

Cyber Monday is one of the biggest shopping events of the year for online buyers. You can get what you want, at great discounts, without ever leaving the sofa. What's not to like about that? And if a new smartphone is what you are after on December 1, then you should take a look at what Motorola has in store for you with its Cyber Monday deals.

The star of the show, as you might imagine, is the second-generation Moto X, which Motorola will offer at a significant discount, both on and off-contract. The company has also announced significant discounts on accessories. Here are the details.

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BlackBerry is desperate -- will give iPhone 6 users up to $550 to switch to Passport

Blackberry passport

If you have an iPhone, the chances of wanting to switch to a BlackBerry handset anytime soon are pretty slim. After all, there are few reasons why you might want to do it. And BlackBerry knows it. So, in an attempt to make the switch appealing, the Canadian maker has introduced a new trade-in offer, where it will give iPhone users up to $550 to move to Passport.

The trade-in offer applies to iPhone 4S and newer, including iPhone 6. The most that you are able to get for an iPhone 4S is $240, while for one of Apple's latest smartphones BlackBerry is giving you up to $550. Of the aforementioned trade-in values, in each case $150 is made up by the so-called "BlackBerry Top-Up" (BlackBerry's added incentive).

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Microsoft has an amazing deal on Lumia 635 -- just $39 off-contract

Nokia Lumia 635 AT&T

If you want to get a Windows Phone 8.1 device for cheap, chances are you are waiting for Black Friday or Cyber Monday to start to pick one up. And who could blame you? Microsoft as well as various retailers will have some nice deals waiting for you -- and millions of other shoppers -- then.

But why not get one right now? Microsoft has an amazing deal on Lumia 635, selling the smartphone -- in black, AT&T trim -- for just $39, off-contract. That is amazing value for the money.

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Android 5.0 Lollipop encryption severely impacts performance

Too slow

Encrypting your device may make it more secure, but it also makes it slower due to the added overhead. This is not much of a problem on a fast PC or laptop, as its hardware is able to cope with the extra load. It, however, is a major reason for concern on Android 5.0 Lollipop devices, such as Google's new Nexus 6. Android 5.0 Lollipop is at fault here.

Anandtech has discovered that the difference in performance can be as high as 80.7 percent, and as low as 50.5 percent, between Nexus 6 with encryption turned on and with the feature disabled. Meanwhile, those who update to Android 5.0 Lollipop on Nexus 5 will also notice a notable difference in performance, albeit not as big, even with encryption disabled.

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The security challenge of business mobile devices

photo by Slavoljub Pantelic, Shutterstock

The trend towards mobile devices and BYOD is great for productivity but it creates new challenges in terms of keeping information secure.

Identity and access management specialist Ping Identity has produced an infographic looking at the vulnerabilities introduced by letting employees use mobile devices.

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New Gorilla Glass 4 better protects displays against shattering

Corning Gorilla Glass 4

Corning's Gorilla Glass is used to protect billions of mobile device displays. In fact, some of the most popular handsets -- like HTC One (M8), Google Nexus 7, Samsung Galaxy S5 -- feature Gorilla Glass 3 or Gorilla Glass 2. Some companies, like ASUS, are also using it on touchscreen ultrabooks. That's because it fares well under normal usage, offering good protection against scratching.

However, things are different when it comes to drops -- as tough as Gorilla Glass may be, it can shatter quite easily when handsets are dropped, potentially leading to damaged displays. Its maker, Corning, says that this is the biggest issue that consumers are reporting. With Gorilla Glass 4, it finally addresses this shortcoming.

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New Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 preview build adds extra features

Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone 8.1

Microsoft has released a couple of Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 builds for devices enrolled in the Preview for Developers Program. Virtually all changes have been made under-the-hood, as Microsoft has seemingly focused on refining the user experience and enabling, rather than introducing new features.

Now though, we have a new Preview for Developers build -- still Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1, version 14203.306 -- which adds a number of very useful user-facing features, some of which you might want to take advantage of right away.

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How to install (and update to) Android 5.0 Lollipop on Nexus 4, 5, 7, 10

Lollipop Forest

After launching alongside Nexus 6 and Nexus 9, Android 5.0 Lollipop is now making its way to the rest of Google's family of smartphones and tablets. So, naturally, you want to get it up and running as soon as possible on your older Nexus devices, now that it is finally ready for prime time. And why wouldn't you? The latest version of Android packs lots of sweet changes, chief among them the new design language dubbed Material Design, the new, faster default runtime called ART, battery life improvements, 64-bit support, beefed-up security, new APIs and much, much more.

There are two ways you get Android 5.0 Lollipop on your Nexus device. You can use the OTA update file to update or the factory image to make a clean install. This article will explain how can leverage both to run the latest version of Android on your Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10.

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Nexus 6: vanilla Android never tasted so good [Review]

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One of Android's most attractive aspects is also its greatest weakness. You see, unlike the iPhone and iOS, Google's Linux-based operating system is available to any manufacturer that is interested. This means you can see many Android devices in different shapes, sizes and styles. Hell, hardware aside, even the operating system can be customized. The problem is, with so much different hardware and tweaked software, many phones do not get regular updates -- this is also due to extensive carrier testing. To the average consumer, this is not a huge headache, as app compatibility is generally fine across versions. Where this becomes an issue is when vulnerabilities are discovered -- delays in updates or a total lack of updates can put a user at risk.

Enter the Nexus line of Android devices. Every year, Google hand-selects a manufacturer to build a smartphone running "vanilla" Android, meaning it is pure and not tweaked or customized. These phones (and tablets) are designed to get fast updates directly from Google. This ensures that not only does the user have the latest features, but the safest and newest version of the operating system too. The latest such phone is the Motorola-built Nexus 6 -- named as such for having a 6-inch screen (technically 5.96 inch). Is it the best Nexus yet?

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Can't send SMS, browse the web on 4G? This is why

phone signal

For a whole weekend, I thought the new smartphone I had just bought was defective. Because why else could it not send any SMS messages to any of my contacts nor connect to the Internet via 4G? It was the only logical explanation at the time, as everything else -- my monthly plan, the 4G coverage in my area, the settings -- was in order. While that was happening, I could receive SMS messages, calls were working fine. Getting a defective device is not impossible, after all. I am also not the luckiest person in the world. These things happen.

The problem, however, was not with the device, or even the SIM as some may think. As it turns out, whenever this happens, you just happen to be in the wrong place. Literally. Some may be lead to believe that their setup is to blame, when it is actually the carrier's 4G network in the area that is at fault. You may find that it works great in some places, and only have problems at work, for instance.

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I would use Nokia Lumia Icon, if not for Windows Phone

Steampunk

Over the weekend I started to seriously review my photos from Comic-Con 2014. Goddamn, there are some good ones—each and every one taken with Nokia Lumia Icon, which is essentially identical to the 930 model reviewed by colleague Mark Wilson. He panned the device because of Windows Phone 8.1; I'm in love because of the camera. But sometimes love is lost, and regretted. My sister has the Icon now.

I lug around iPhone 6, which camera by every measure that matters to me is inferior but one—startup shooting speed. Apple's shooter can't compete with the Icon. Fanboys will disagree, but, hey, they always will. The difference isn't fewer megapixels—eight compared to 20—but the intelligence and usability baked into camera and editing apps, lens, sensor, and choices the device makes when auto-shooting.

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