Articles about Smartphones

Microsoft Lumia 950 XL vs Lumia 950: Which is the better buy?


Microsoft recently announced two flagship devices, the Lumia 950 XL and the Lumia 950, both of which run its Windows 10 Mobile operating system and share many features: same screen resolution, same amount of onboard storage and system memory.

The 950 XL is certainly the better purchase out of the two models. Yes, it is bigger than the 950 and more expensive, but there’s three key features that will win businesses and individuals alike.

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OnePlus 2, One will get Android 6.0 Marshmallow in early 2016


Even though Android 6.0 Marshmallow has been around for more than a month, only a handful of vendors have revealed their upgrade plans. OnePlus is the latest to join the list, announcing when OnePlus 2 and OnePlus One users should expect to see the new mobile operating system on their devices.

OnePlus says that its latest "flagship killer", OnePlus 2, will be upgraded to Android 6.0 Marshmallow in the first quarter of next year, which is when its first smartphone, OnePlus One, is also expected to get the corresponding CyanogenOS update.

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Priv is BlackBerry's last hope -- can it woo consumers and business users?

BlackBerry Priv

It’s fair to say that BlackBerry has been struggling a bit in recent times. After initially being a leading light in the smartphone arena last decade, it has since seen its main competitors go on to take control of the market.

The likes of Apple and Samsung are selling more phones than ever and are now -- and have been for some time -- the dominant forces in a world that BlackBerry is struggling to still be a part of. A report from earlier in the year said that Apple now enjoys a 34.1 percent share of the UK smartphone market, with Android leading the way 53.2 percent and BlackBerry bringing up the rear with 1.2 percent.

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Zune is dead

Zune Logo

The writing has been on the wall for some time now, but Microsoft has today officially killed Zune. After nine years, the music service is no more, driven to the grave by the competition.

Zune players just never managed to fight off the iPod, and with smartphones taking on the role of music player in addition to everything else, it didn’t take long for Microsoft's player to become surplus to requirements. Microsoft is not learning from history, though; the company continues to try its hand at music with Groove.

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There's a smartphone running Android and Windows 10 Mobile, but who will buy it?

Why Confused Question Mark Woman Wall

It has been suggested that more consumers would give Windows Phone a chance if they were given the option to choose between it and Android on the same smartphone. The idea is that they would get to experience all the strengths and weaknesses of the tiled operating system, forming an educated opinion of what they would gain or lose by switching, without having to invest in a new, potentially very expensive, device.

While this is, no doubt, an interesting idea, I had doubts that such a smartphone would see the light of day. However, a German vendor has done it, announcing a smartphone that will ship with both Android and Windows 10 Mobile. Will consumers really be interested in such a dual personality handset?

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Time to ditch your phone -- Android Wear now has cellular support


Not long ago LG announced the LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition -- the first Android Wear smartwatch that offers LTE/3G connectivity. Now Google has officially announced Android Wear's cellular support.

Breaking down one of the barriers to wearable adoption -- the previous reliance on smartphones for a lot of functionality -- the arrival of cellular support means your smartwatch can be used to make and receive calls even when you don’t have your phone with you.

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Apple Music arrives on Android as a beta


In a few short months, Apple Music has picked up millions of followers, and it has managed to do this whilst remaining exclusive to iOS. Now that changes. Today Apple's music app makes the jump to Android.

Currently in beta, Apple Music for Android is a free download, and includes a three-month free trial of the service. After this, should you want to continue using it, you'll have to cough up $9.99 per month. For the most part, this is a direct port of the iOS version of the app, but as it is in beta there are some notable differences.

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Smartphone theft affects most organizations

Thief Smartphone Theft Purse

Did you ever consider that keeping sensitive business files on your mobile device could be risky, as your device could be lost or stolen? Did you consider protecting those files, or the mobile device in general, with a password?

A new research by Imation looked into this idea and the results are quite disappointing. According to the study, 44 percent of organizations believe a member of their senior management has lost a mobile device in the last year, whilst 39 percent say senior management had a device stolen.

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Offline navigation comes to Google Maps


One of the biggest problems with Google Maps on your smartphone is that you need an internet or data connection. At least that used to be the case. Today Google announces that navigation is now possible in offline mode.

In a move that has the potential to kill off the likes of TomTom and Garmin, Google is making it possible to download maps to your phone so turn-by-turn directions can be initiated even when there is no connection. It's a feature that people have been waiting for for some time, but Google has more to offer.

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HTC One A9 is the iPhone 6s for Android

iPhone 6 and HTC One A9

Without even turning on the HTC One A9 (which I haven't yet), the physical similarities with iPhone 6/6s are unmistakable. The smartphones share striking design ethic, separated by the shape of the home-button fingerprint sensor, placement of the rear-facing camera, and left-side SIM and microSD card slots. But these differences aren't immediately obvious.

My question: Is this the Android for people wanting the iPhone 6s look but something more flexible than the iOS platform? If there is truth in marketing, HTC's tag lines reveal much: "Design worth imitating", which while referring the company's One legacy also could be interpreted as backhanded praise or even fist-to-snub about Apple's device, which some could argue imitates earlier One models. "Power to choose"—customization and personalization options not offered on fruit-logo handsets.

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Is OnePlus 2 the flagship killer you've been waiting for? [Review]

OnePlus 2 Front

Top-end specs, a large screen, near-vanilla Android, and a price tag on the South side of $400 make OnePlus 2 a force to be reckoned in the battle for the "Smartphone of the year" award. It certainly has what it takes to get consumers' attention, as over four million reservations were made in the first couple of weeks after launch. But, hype can only get the "2016 flagship killer" so far. Question is, does it live up to it?

I have used a OnePlus 2, in 64GB trim, as my daily driver for well over a month now to find out whether it is worthy of its self-given title, and how it stacks up against some of the flagships it has in its sights, like Apple's bigger iPhone.

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Motorola arrives in the Windy City as store opens in Chicago


You can tell the holiday shopping season has started. There's Christmas displays in the stores, Amazon has launched its store and perhaps, just maybe, the children are being better behaved. It's also the time when stores suddenly pop up, many of them are simple kiosks located in malls.

Motorola took that concept one step further as it announces its first full-blown store, located right in downtown Chicago.

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Google's Nexus 6P bends too easily, and there's no excuse for that

Failure Fail Grade F

Bend tests have become a talking point after Apple's iPhone 6 Plus was found to have issues in this department. So, whenever a new flagship smartphone comes out, you can expect someone to make a YouTube video showing how easily -- or not -- it can be bent. They have become so popular that reviewers can expect millions of views.

And because such tests are a given, manufacturers are also expected to learn from others' mistakes and come up with smartphone designs that fare well in these kind of conditions. So, you can imagine my surprise when I saw Google's new Nexus 6P bending -- and, as a result, breaking -- with very little effort. Has its manufacturer, Huawei, learnt nothing from Apple's mistake?

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OnePlus introduces accidental damage coverage -- will you get it?


No matter how careful you are with your smartphone, accidents can happen. And when bad luck strikes, having accidental damage coverage can make the difference between a huge repair bill -- or, even worse, being forced to buy a new smartphone -- and having it replaced with a new one, typically after paying a much easier to swallow deductible.

In trying to make its smartphones more appealing and give its prospective customers some peace of mind, OnePlus has announced a new accidental damage coverage for those who purchase its OnePlus 2 flagship and OnePlus X mid-ranger.

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Two become one -- Google to 'merge' Android and Chrome OS


Just as Microsoft is trying to streamline its various operating systems with the approach it has taken with Windows 10, so Google appear to have similar plans. The Wall Street Journal reports that plans are well under way to merge Android and Chrome OS.

Work has been going on for two years, and an early build of the hybrid operating system is expected to see the light of day next year. A full release is planned for 2017. While described as a merger of OSes, the report suggests that Google is really looking to expand Android so that it can run on laptops. Chrome OS may well live on, but the same cannot be said of Chromebooks.

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