Articles about Smartphones

LG rolls out Android 5.0 Lollipop update for G3 flagship

LG G3 Lollipop 2

Unlike HTC or Motorola, LG still has a terrible reputation when it comes to delivering Android software updates. It is usually among the last well-known vendors to upgrade its devices to the latest version of Android, even when those devices are flagships. It also has the bad habit of leaving some handsets out of its upgrade plans, even when those handsets are compatible. Not to mention that its upgrade plans are actually revealed well after its rivals announce theirs.

This is a nice change of pace then. Today, LG gets to proudly claim "first" for once, as it is rolling out Android 5.0 Lollipop ahead of any of the usual suspects, namely HTC, Motorola and Google. Its first device to see Android 5.0 Lollipop is the G3 flagship.

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Microsoft prepares new Lumia handset

Lumia Windows Phone Microsoft first

Since taking control of Nokia's Devices & Services business in April, Microsoft has introduced a couple of important new Windows Phones. We have the replacement of the popular entry-level Lumia 520, called Lumia 530, and the much-awaited successor of two year-old mid-ranger Lumia 820, dubbed Lumia 830, as well as two in-between offerings, Lumia 730 and Lumia 735.

Under Microsoft's leadership, there appears to be something fresh for everyone looking to be part of the Windows Phone world, except up-to-date versions of Lumia 1320 and Lumia 1520 phablets. And, next week, we will see the software giant unveiling yet another Lumia Windows Phone, this time, perhaps, even featuring its own branding, instead of Nokia's.

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Samsung details all the freebies you get by buying Galaxy Note 4, Edge

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 N910 Black

When you buy a Galaxy Note 4 or Galaxy Note Edge you don't just get a great phablet. On top of all the powerful features that Samsung packs in its stylus-toting flagships, it also throws in a lot -- and I mean a lot -- of freebies, most of which you may not even be aware of.

And by freebies I mean freebies that you may want to take advantage of, not free stuff that is nice to have but hardly useful. This is something that Samsung has been doing for quite some time, as it applies to other flagships in its portfolio like Galaxy S5, but is only now detailing the freebies for its Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge customers. The best known perk is probably the 50 GB of free Dropbox storage, which is good for two years.

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How to make NFC payments with your Windows Phone

Softcard 1

NFC payments are all the rage nowadays, in no small part thanks to the support that Apple Pay is receiving from financial institutions and iPhone users, and raving reviews from the media. Naturally, this may tempt you to give NFC payments a go, to see what all the fuss is about. But what if you have a Windows Phone? Apple Pay is obviously out of the question. What can you do then?

As you may know, Windows Phone supports NFC payments out-of-the-box, thanks to a feature known as Tap to Pay. Like Apple Pay it leverages the built-in NFC chip in your device. The only thing standing between you and paying through it is its lack of support. However, there is another way you can make NFC payments with your Windows Phone, and that is by using the Softcard app, which just arrived on the platform. Here is what you need to know about it.

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HTC One (M8) for Windows launching soon at AT&T, T-Mobile [Update]

HTC One M8 Windows

It will not be long before AT&T and T-Mobile customers will also be able to get their hands on HTC One (M8) for Windows, as both US mobile operators are now listing the Windows Phone as "coming soon" to their stores.

One (M8) for Windows launched in August as a Verizon-exclusive version of One (M8) running Android. The smartphone, which costs $99.99 on a two-year contract with big red, is the first to ship with Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 out-of-the-box.

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The smarter the phone the harder the fall

Business accident phone

Using your smartphone can be dangerous according to findings from a new study by gadget insurance specialists SquareTrade and it's people as well as devices that are getting damaged.

A poll of UK smartphone owners found that a stunning -- or possibly stunned -- 86 percent had tripped, stumbled or hit a lamppost or wall when distracted by using a mobile device. Stumbling incidents accounted for 37.2 percent of people damaging their phones in the last two years with over half of all accidents happening in the home. Also 18 percent of accidents were caused by someone other than the phone owner.

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Nexus 6 and Note 4 compared on video! Which one should you buy?

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In the world of Android, there is rarely a clear-cut "best" smartphone. This is a good thing, as it signifies variety in the Android marketplace. In other words, consumers do not all have the same tastes; some like a smaller screen, some a larger screen and some even like having a stylus. However, with that said, even though people have different preferences, it is easy to identify the top flagship phones.

BetaNews has the two top Android smartphones in our lab. Yes, we have both the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and Google's Motorola-manufactured Nexus 6. For the immediate future, these will be the phones of many consumers' desires. Deciding which of these two smartphones to buy is very problematic, but hey -- it's a great problem to have, right? Please read on, to see how the phones differ and which one you should buy.

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Mobile devices make sales work more complicated

mobile phone raincloud

We're frequently being told that the use of mobile devices makes our work lives easier, but it seems that a sizable percentage of people don't share that view.

Mobile sales solution company Seismic has released the results of its Salesforce Spotlight survey showing the complex relationship between business users and mobile technology.

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Samsung's new Galaxy A5, A3 smartphones boast very thin metal designs

Samsung Galaxy A5

Samsung is slowly moving away from its oft-maligned, all-plastic smartphone designs of the past, in an attempt to convince consumers that it too can make premium-looking and feeling devices. The first smartphone to reveal what the future holds was Galaxy Alpha, announced just a few months ago. Then Galaxy Note 4 came along, stepping things up even further in the high-end segment.

And now we see how Samsung's vision will impact its less expensive Galaxy devices, as the company just took the wraps off Galaxy A5 and Galaxy A3 today, two mid-range to low-end smartphones featuring "refined full metal unibody designs" that happen to be very, very thin (for whatever reason): 6.7 and 6.9 mm, respectively.

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Xiaomi is the third-largest smartphone maker

Xiaomi Mi 4

For a manufacturer that has only been selling smartphones for a couple of years now, Xiaomi is doing better than expected. The Chinese company, founded in 2012, became the third-largest smartphone vendor in Q3 2013, surpassing the likes of Lenovo, LG and Huawei. Xiaomi is also closing in fast on Apple, which has enjoyed a comfortable lead, in volumes, over its immediate competition.

Xiaomi's shipments have increased by 211.3 percent year-over-year, to 17.3 million units in the past quarter from just 5.6 million units in Q3 2013. That is more than eight times higher than the market average, of 25.2 percent. Meanwhile, Apple's shipments only grew by a mere 16.1 percent, which is well below the market average, to 39.3 million units from 33.8 million units.

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Europeans love iPhone 6, 6 Plus not so much

Apple iPhone 6 Plus

Europeans are a conservative bunch when it comes to the form factor of their beloved iPhones, as most of those who purchase one of Apple's new handsets opt for the smaller model. In fact, iPhone 6 is so popular among consumers on the old continent that it outsells the iPhone 6 Plus phablet by a whopping five to one.

The difference in sales is to be expected, given that phablets are still somewhat part of a niche today, and the majority of those who buy iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus -- that would be existing iPhone users -- are more accustomed to less intimidating dimensions, like those of iPhone 6. However, Apple is right to jump on the phablet bandwagon, considering how big of a role such devices are expected to play in smartphone sales just a few years down the road, and the hit iPhone's market share is taking from Android handsets.

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Oppo R5 is the thinnest smartphone around at only 4.85mm thick

Oppo R5 thin

No one can deny that making handsets thinner and thinner is a persistent trend in the mobile device market. Rarely do we see a new, prominent smartphone or tablet being thicker than its predecessor. Manufacturers love to be able to tout during announcements and in ads just how insanely slim their new products are, like this is a feature that us, consumers, are dying to get. (Sadly, sometimes that may be the only thing that such handsets have got going for them.)

Still, if you are one of those who prefer insanely-thin smartphones, Oppo has just the thing for you. The Chinese manufacturer just unveiled "the slimmest phone in the world", called R5, measuring just 4.85 mm thick. To give you an idea of just how thin it is, it shames Apple's new iPhone 6, which comes in at 6.9 mm thick.

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The New York Knicks select ZTE to be its official smartphone sponsor

KnicksZTE

When it comes to sports, I am a born loser. New York is chock full of successful sports teams like the Yankees and Giants, but I am not a fan of them. You see, I love the Mets, Jets, Islanders and Knicks; these teams have historically been horrible and I have had much disappointment in my life.

Today, the team I love the most, the New York Knicks, selects ZTE to be its official smartphone sponsor. Unfortunately, even the basketball team's sponsors aren't winners, as ZTE is the mere fourth-largest smartphone manufacturer in the USA.

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OnePlus One goes up for pre-order -- no invite needed

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OnePlus One has attracted lots of attention from the media and consumers without even being generally available, as virtually every other flagship smartphone is today. Many have chosen to play by the company's rules, asking and waiting for the invites which give them the option to purchase the device. It's a pretty unusual way of selling and buying smartphones, but it seems to have only boosted One's appeal.

If you have not yet had the chance to buy One, you should know that today OnePlus is making it generally available to pre-order, as it temporarily drops its invite-only system to get One in the hands of more consumers.

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LG introduces its first in-house mobile processor, powers G3 Screen phablet

LG Nuclun

The mobile device market is extremely diverse judging by the number of companies which sell smartphones and tablets today. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of vendors worldwide. On the other hand, when it comes to mobile processors, there are only a handful of companies which make them. Of those, even fewer are also handset vendors and even fewer still are well known by the average consumers: Apple and Samsung.

It is tough to make a splash in the mobile processor market, as top players such as Qualcomm and Apple are so far ahead in the game that it is very difficult for a new player to catch up and compete on equal footing with the leaders. LG, however, is not afraid to give it a try, as it just unveiled its first in-house mobile processor. And the South Korean maker is not wasting any time as it has already put it to use in its new G3 Screen phablet.

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