Articles about Smartphones

Sony announces SmartEyeglass Developer Edition SED-E1, goes up for pre-order today

Sony SmartEyeglass Developer Edition SED-1

Smartglasses are tricky. You have people who don't like to wear glasses. Those who do may not like their design. They can also be tiring to wear for extended periods of time, as Google Glass Explorers have confessed. Not to mention that smartglasses are also very expensive. And, at least for the time being, consumers are not taking the plunge, as they appear to be perfectly happy with using just their smartphones.

The lack of consumer interest, and Google recently killing its beloved Glass project, hasn't stopped Japanese maker Sony from coming out with its own pair of smartglasses. They're called SmartEyeglass Developer Edition SED-E1, and they're available for pre-order starting today.

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HERE for Android gets slew of improvements as it graduates from beta

Nokia HERE Android Samsung Galaxy

In less than a week, HERE has seen two major updates. The first brought more accurate maps to Android and Windows Phone users, making way for turn-by-turn navigation in more countries. And the second brings a slew of improvements to HERE for Android as the app finally drops the beta label.

Having used HERE on Android right from the start, I have to say that there is little that I miss compared to what the app suite has to offer on Windows Phone. Still, this hasn't stopped Nokia from making some tweaks here and there. Here's what the latest update brings to the table.

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Business security and dating apps don't match

iPhone smartphone hand finger

People using the same smartphones privately and for work are putting their company’s security at risk, a new study shows.

According to a study by IBM, millions of people are using company smartphones for dating sites and apps, and are exposing themselves -- and their companies to theft, hacking and spying.

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The kill switch works! Smartphone theft drops in major US, UK cities

lock key smartphone iPhone

Smartphone theft in some of the major cities in the US and the UK has declined dramatically, so say the authorities.

But it's not because of improved law enforcement, it's actually down to manufacturers implementing a kill switch option, allowing smartphones to be deactivated remotely.

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Here are 10 awesome apps for Valentine's Day

Holding hands couple

The most romantic day of the year is almost upon us, but there's no reason for any man or woman to tackle Valentine's Day alone, as there are a whole host of apps to help you safely navigate the swathes of balloons, chocolates and rose petals.

So, without further ado, here are 10 of the best apps for Valentine's Day.

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Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 finally comes to Verizon Nokia Lumia Icon [Update]

Nokia Lumia Icon Windows Phone 8.1 Denim

Nokia Lumia Icon is among the last Windows Phones to receive a software update to Windows Phone 8.1, despite its flagship credentials. But this shouldn't surprise anyone. After all, Lumia Icon features Verizon's logo. And we all know that big red is not exactly quick with updates.

In fact, despite being a Verizon exclusive, Lumia Icon is long gone from the carrier's portfolio. Talk about support there! The only Windows Phones Verizon sells now are HTC One (M8) for Windows and Samsung ATIV SE. Still, Lumia Icon will at least get Lumia Denim, which is based on Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1, quite possibly before any other high-end Windows Phone in US.

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Here are the specs for Sony's upcoming Xperia Z4

Z3 & Z3 Compact

It looks like the Xperia Z4 will be coming to stores earlier than expected, following a new leak from Geekbench showing a Sony device running Android 5.0.2 and Snapdragon 810 processor.

Not many devices come running the latest Android Lollipop update, and only two devices currently feature the Snapdragon 810 processor, the LG G Flex 2 and Xiaomi Mi Note Pro.

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2015 Motorola Moto E offers Android 5.0 Lollipop and 4G at just $99

2015 Moto E Best Buy Motorola

Consumers looking to purchase their first smartphone have so many options to choose from that the only way manufacturers can differentiate is by giving their devices more upscale, standout features. In a time when 4G LTE is on the rise, faster data speeds would certainly qualify. And with the 2015 Moto E, Motorola is finally giving its future customers just that.

Yes, folks, the 2015 Moto E will arrive packing 4G LTE cellular connectivity, at a price that is similar to its predecessor's. And it will run Android 5.0 Lollipop out-of-the-box.

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Windows 10 may offer limited features on existing low-end devices

Windows 10 Phone

There is no doubt in my mind that Microsoft really wants to make Windows 10 available for as many Windows Phone 8.1 devices as possible. The software giant envisions a future when "the idea of asking 'What version are you on?' will cease to make sense" -- that can only be achieved by getting existing users on board through software updates.

However, it would seem that hardware limitations are getting in the way. The vast majority of smartphones running Windows Phone 8.1 are low-spec devices, packing just 512 MB of RAM. Their meager hardware may not be able to handle all of Windows 10's features, according to Microsoft's Joe Belfiore.

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Android platform partners should think differently, or fail

kid smart lightbulb brain

Outside Apple Store, people excitedly line up to buy iPhone 6. The crowd is remarkably eclectic. Tattoos here. Mohawk there. Someone wearing a prim business suit chats with a burly biker wearing sleeveless T-Shirt. Everyone's clothes beam bright, vibrant colors. Loud laughter and uproarious chatter is everywhere. This is one happy group of buyers.

The store's doors exit onto a green pasture of sheep. Each wears a chain around its neck, with iPhone 6 attached. Cow bells appear on the screens, and clanging sounds against the chirping of birds. One animal looks up: "Baaaaaaa!" Then another, and another. An announcer asks: "Do you really want to be an iSheep?" Then the Android logo and robot flash across the screen.

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BQ Aquaris E4.5 is the first official Ubuntu Phone -- will anyone actually want it?

HERO_Straight Single_07.01.15_72

When it comes to smartphones, it is important to remember that they are not religions. All smartphones have data connections, a display, a web browser and for the most part, a camera. The underlying operating system is the big difference, but even that does not matter much, other than to be secure. In reality, for many consumers, it is simply a means to run apps.

Windows Phone has a great user interface, but it lacks apps; this is why the platform is unsuccessful. Today, the world's-first Ubuntu Phone device is announced and it will be coming soon. The BQ Aquaris E4.5 is a dual-sim affair with a fairly low price tag. The question is, who wants it? From an app perspective, it will be behind even Microsoft's mobile OS. Other than the absolutely biggest Ubuntu followers, I cannot see an educated consumer making the purchase.

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Lepow Poki 5000 and U-Stone 12000 external battery chargers [Review]

Lepow Poki 5000 battery indicator

Working from home has its perks. I don't waste any time commuting. I get to eat home-made food at lunch. And, among other things, I never have to worry about battery life. If the battery of my smartphone is nearly done, I can always find a charger to top it up again. Life is easy in this regard, until I walk out the door.

I don't usually plan my trips so that I go out with a fully-charged smartphone. This is the least of my concerns, to be honest. There's always a charger in the car. And, for the times when that is not an option, I carry either a Lepow Poki 5000 or U-Stone 12000 external battery charger. I'll be reviewing both in this piece.

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The Acme Made Charge case for iPhone 6 [Review]

Acme Made Charge iPhone 6 case

I have never used a case with any of my smartphones. When the back is all plastic and there is no metal in sight, the added width and thickness that a case adds is not something that I can justify just to cover some superficial scratches that are not off-color. But then I got an iPhone 6.

With nothing but metal surrounding the 4.7-inch display, I soon had a feeling I would be getting a case after all. On iPhone 6, scratches would look terrible, especially on my Space Gray model. I haven't found it to be as slippery as my colleague Joe Wilcox has, but this has also been of concern, more so than with any of my previous smartphones. Enter Acme Made Charge for iPhone 6.

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Emojis and video -- how smartphones should be evolving the way brands communicate


The emoji heart was, perhaps not surprisingly, the most used "word" of 2014. It’s the first time that the Global Language Monitor has awarded the title to a symbol, a significant moment for the English language.

New digital formats continue to change communications; text speak was the first widespread digital vernacular and, although it might be out of fashion now, we still use words derived from that language today. We live in an era of images and video, where Pinterest, Vine and emoticons are prevalent in our lives. If people do use words at all, they communicate in 140 characters. Social and digital tools have also made people see symbols differently. Before the smiley face emoticon first appeared in a post to Carnegie Mellon University Computer Science General Board, from Professor Scott E Fahlman in 1982, or indeed prior to this in a public appearance in Puck magazine in 1881, would our brains have recognized the punctuation pictorially? Probably not. However, digital technology has taught us en masse to recognize the position of the open parenthesis relative to the hyphen and the colon.

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Samsung slowly becoming irrelevant in the smartphone market

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge

Samsung Electronics, the digital gadget arm of the South Korean technology conglomerate, made $4.87 billion profit in revenue last quarter. It’s a huge number, but significantly lower than $7.7 billion profit the company made in the same period a year ago, and again, a lot less than the $8.27 billion profit from two years ago.

In terms of smartphone shipment, the company shipped 75.1 million smartphones last quarter, compared to 84.4 million from a year ago. As per IDC, the company’s market share dipped from 31 percent in 2013 to 24.5 percent by the end of 2014. What’s happening? Why has the company’s profit and shipment figures slumped down? Once the only mammoth in the smartphone world (by shipment figure), Samsung is slowly becoming irrelevant in the game. Here’s how.

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