We love watching smartphone drop tests. It does not even have to be a smartphone that we want to buy, watching it fall and meet the pavement is just too entertaining to pass. Some might even call it addictive. And predicting the extent of the damage, based on the build material or how exposed the display is, is part of the fun. Getting it right can be rewarding.
Samsung's new Galaxy S6 edge comes with all the right ingredients for a drop test that could end in massive damage. It's got a glass back, the main camera does not sit flush with the body, the surrounding frame is made of metal and, to top it all off, the display is curved on both sides. Before watching the so-called drop test, I expected to see a broom being used at the end.
Samsung today announced that its Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge flagships will go up for pre-order in US on March 27. The two smartphones will be offered through all major carriers in the country, and will be officially available on April 10.
Both smartphones will be available in US with 32 GB, 64 GB and 128 GB of internal storage, in Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum and White Pearl. So far, AT&T and T-Mobile are the only major carriers to have have revealed pricing information for Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge.
HTC today announced that its latest flagship, One M9, will be available in the US starting March 27. The smartphone will first go on sale online (as early as midnight), only hitting brick and mortar stores next month, on April 10.
One M9 faces stiff competition from Samsung's Galaxy S6. Coincidentally or not, that goes up for pre-order in the US starting tomorrow, and will be available in the country also on April 10. At the time of writing this article, AT&T and T-Mobile are the only major carriers to have revealed pricing information for One M9.
Smartphones have become such an important part of our lives that it makes sense to get the best make and model you can. However, not everyone can afford an iPhone 6 or Samsung Galaxy S6. Fortunately, there are plenty of great budget smartphones to choose from, and these days a budget price doesn’t have to mean a budget experience.
The Blade L2, from Chinese firm ZTE, is a great example. It’s priced at just £89.99 off contract, and for that you get a handset with a quad-core processor and a 5-inch screen.
When isn't a cell phone too big? The Motorola-made, Google-branded phablet answers that question for me, and may very well for you. From Samsung's introduction of the original Note, I scoffed at large-screen smartphones—and, honestly, the seemingly stereotypical gadget geeks using them. But big is better, and my arrogant attitude about phablets and the people buying them was unwarranted.
Simply stated: Nexus 6 is the best handset I have ever used. The experience is so fresh and delightful, the emotional reaction reminds of using the original iPhone that I purchased on launch day in June 2007. N6 shatters my negative preconception about phablets, particularly unwieldiness when used daily. That said, I made some lifestyle changes, including choice of clothing, to accommodate the mobile's massive size.
When I first pondered leaving Windows Phone behind, I imagined it would be for an Android flagship. It made sense. Android is, after all, much more permissive, has way more apps, and is available in a larger variety of smartphone flavors. And Google is committed to improving the operating system, launching at least one major update a year. Also, I use a Google Nexus 7 as my every day tablet; an Android smartphone would be a perfect fit. But things change.
Apple finally came up with bigger iPhones last year, and the prospect of ditching Windows Phone for a new iPhone suddenly became irresistible. It didn't hurt that iOS 8 dropped some of the annoying restrictions of its predecessors. Ultimately, I ended up with an iPhone 6 Plus. And, after two years of Windows Phones, using Apple's phablet as my daily driver can only be described as liberating.
Android Device Manger is Google's approach to helping people track down lost smartphones and tablets. Now the feature is rolling out to Android Wear so if you should lose your phone, you can find it with your watch.
At the moment the Android Wear version of the feature is pretty basic; you can use your watch to call your phone. This is great if you have mislaid it nearby, dropped it down the back of the sofa or buried it under some books, but not so helpful if you've left it on the train -- don’t expect to be able to home in on your phone using GPS at this stage.
Now is not a great time to be a technology enthusiast in Europe. As you may know, local prices of anything from smartphones to motherboards are set in accordance to the USD. And it has appreciated considerably in relation to the Euro, which is now in the proverbial toilet. Put two and two together and have inevitable price hikes -- vendors don't want to sell at a loss, after all.
The extent of the damage to the vendors' bottom line depends on how much they're willing or can afford to lose. For a smartphone maker like OnePlus, which doesn't have high margins, the answer is not a lot, as it just announced it will soon command higher prices for its One "flagship killer" on the old continent.
Opera Software, the company behind the web browser of much the same name, has acquired SurfEasy, a provider of VPN security. SurfEasy's software bolsters the security of internet users by adding a layer of encryption that helps to protect privacy.
More than this, the software also makes it possible to bypass some online restrictions and to access sites that are region locked. Few details have been revealed yet, but it's possible we could see VPN features integrated into future versions of the desktop and mobile Opera browser.
Microsoft has announced that Windows 10 will officially launch this summer. Once it is given the green light, the new operating system will be made available as a free upgrade to Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 users. And to really get the market share ball rolling immediately after the release, Microsoft welcomes even those who are running pirated copies to join the pack.
Given Microsoft's ambitions, Windows 10 is obviously being designed so that it will run on as many configurations as possible. The minimum hardware requirements, which were just revealed by the company, paint a clear picture regarding the hardware we can expect to see in upcoming Windows 10 devices (ranging from low-end to high-end offerings) as well as the level of compatibility with existing systems, the latter of which users eligible for upgrade will have to pay close attention to. So, let's take a close look at the Windows 10 system requirements.
Illinois-based Zebra Technologies Corporation acquired Motorola Solutions' Enterprise business in late 2014 and is now announcing one of the first fruits of that link up.
Enterprise app development platform RhoMobile -- part of the MSE acquisition -- is launching a new independent software vendor (ISV)-targeted SDK through Digital Defence. Its aim is to make the task of protecting mobile applications more developer-friendly.
For a long time now Google Play has been home to just about any sort of app imaginable. Apps covering every subject under the sun are available, with quality ranging from atrocious to incredible. To help sort the wheat from the chaff, Google has announced two important changes to the way apps appear in the store.
Apps that are submitted to Goole Play are now subject to a review process, and an age rating system is being introduced to help indicate the target audience for apps. Google says this will help to weed out "violations of our developer policies earlier in the app lifecycle".
Rooting is still a controversial topic among Android enthusiasts. Bring it up and be prepared to hear countless arguments for and against it. I don't fully support either side; I admit to having conflicting thoughts about it. On one hand, root opens up a world of possibilities, but, on the other hand, it's not often that one needs to take advantage of the cool things it enables.
However, we can all agree that what's most important is having the option to choose. And if you plan on getting a Samsung Galaxy S6 or Galaxy S6 Edge on launch day, then you should know that rooting its Android distribution will be possible right from the start.
Apple may be about to launch a new phone trade-in program in a bid to encourage more people to invest in iPhones. Hand over your old Windows Phone, Android handset -- or even a BlackBerry or aged iPhone -- and you could receive a gift card that can be used as part payment for an iPhone. The news comes from the usually-reliable 9to5Mac where it is suggested that Apple Store employees will place a value on handsets before handing over a gift card in exchange for it.
It's not a completely new venture for Apple; the company has previously run programs to encourage iPhone users to upgrade to the latest version of the handset, but this will be the first time the scheme has been opened up to rival smartphones. While previously this was an incentive to upgrade, this time around it's little more than a bribe.
While other Android makers have long begun to roll out Android 5.0 software updates, Sony is only now starting to make the first Lollipop incarnation available to its customers. The priority is the Xperia Z3 family, which includes Sony's current flagship smartphone.
Sony has decided that Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z3 Compact should be its first smartphones to get Android 5.0 Lollipop. The roll-out starts today, in Baltic and Nordic Europe. Here's what's new.