Articles about Smartphones

OnePlus One users in India to receive future updates from Cyanogen as companies resolve dispute


Indian mobile manufacturer Micromax and Chinese smartphone manufacturer OnePlus have withdrawn their respective lawsuits against each other. As a result of this the flagship One smartphone will now resume the impending over the air update from Cyanogen Inc.

OnePlus announces that both the companies withdrew their respective lawsuits against each other through mutual consent. In a statement to BetaNews, OnePlus says that it will be working with Cyanogen to ensure that the OnePlus One Indian variant continues to receive updates from the software firm. These updates also include the next in line to CM 12S software version.

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Android M to be revealed May 28 at Google I/O?

Android M to be revealed May 28 at Google I/O?

Countless Android users are still waiting for Lollipop to roll out to their handsets, but already there is talk of the successor -- Android M. Coming up at the end of this month, Google I/O is a developer conference hosted by the search giant in San Francisco and today the full schedule for the event appeared online.

An event on May 28 with the title Android for Work update is of particular interest as there is a strong hint that details of Android M will be revealed. Although it seems that Google may have let something slip a little early -- the session that refers to the next version of Android has since vanished from the schedule, but the description is interesting nonetheless.

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U.S. smartphone market is phabulous

OnePlus One vs LG G3 vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Alongside Euro-zone cell phone data, U.S. first-quarter 2015 phablet shipments are out from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. Depending on how the numbers are cut, fanboys can rally for their platform.

Spurred by iPhone 6 Plus, iOS showed strong performance, representing 44 percent of phablet sales. However, the number of iOS smartphone switchers from Android fell -- to 11.4 percent from 14.6 percent year over year -- supporting early anecdotal evidence that existing Apple customers are the most-likely 6 Plus buyers. Also confirming: Android smartphone conversions from iOS fell from 9.8 percent to 5.9 percent.

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Europeans leaving Android smartphones for iPhones


Apple's latest iPhones continue to be in high-demand in Europe half a year after their launch, leading up to a market share boost on the old continent according to a new report from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. And it is happening at the expense of Android, which, while still the most-popular smartphone operating system in Europe, is seeing part of its local users fleeing to iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

In Q1 2015, iPhones claimed 20.3 percent of the European smartphone market, a 1.8 percentage points increase over Q1 2014. During the first quarter of the year, 32.4 percent of new customers were Android defectors.

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IOGEAR GearPower Mobile Power Station USB battery pack [Review]


Removable batteries in smartphones are becoming quite the rarity. While Apple never offered such a thing on the iPhone, it was once very common on Android devices. While some smartphones running Google's mobile operating system still have this feature, it is far less prevalent (the upcoming LG G4 is a surprising exception). Unfortunately, the battery life of these devices can be very short; making it through a full work day can be challenging. Since you cannot swap the battery, what are you supposed to do?

You need a USB battery pack. These battery boosters are all the rage nowadays; Amazon and other manufacturers are littered with them. Deciding on a model can be tough, but luckily, I discovered a winner -- the IOGEAR GearPower Mobile Power Station. It has made my Nexus 6 more usable when on the go. Battery anxiety, be gone!

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Android Lollipop close to 10 percent market share, KitKat still reigns supreme

Sony will only update Xperia Z series Android phones to Lollipop

It has been a while since I last talked about Android distribution numbers. At the time, the first Jelly Bean iteration claimed the top spot, while Gingerbread was still on the podium. Lots of things have since changed, so it is now time to take another look at the state of Android releases.

As always, we start with the latest Android distribution and work our way back to the oldest. As you know, Android 5.1 Lollipop is the newest release available, officially announced two months ago, in early-March. However, it was made available starting a month earlier, since reaching 0.7 percent usage share, based on data collected by Google during a week-long period that ended on May 4. No popular handsets ship with it, and few software upgrades to the second Lollipop incarnation are available today.

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Microsoft now sells the inexpensive Lumia 435 Windows Phone -- should you buy it?

Lumia 435 T-Mobile Microsoft

Low-end Windows Phones make great first smartphones for those on a budget. They deliver a solid user experience, offer expandable storage, are dependable and feel fast, generally at sub $100 prices. The low cost also makes them good backup smartphones.

There are a couple of very-affordable, interesting Windows Phone 8.1 devices around, like Lumia 530 and Lumia 635, but Microsoft just added the newer Lumia 435 to its online store lineup. Should you get it?

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Facebook launches Platform and opens up to more developers

Facebook launches Platform and opens up to more developers

The aim behind Facebook's program is to bring internet access to the wider world. While an undeniably praise-worthy venture, it came in for criticism for going against the principles of net neutrality.

Today the company launches the Platform with a view to countering this criticism. The platform opens up to more developers, giving them the chance to bring "free basic services" to people around the world. There's also the promise of greater transparency.

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ZTE Blade S6: An iPhone 6 copycat maybe, but a decent mid-range smartphone nonetheless [Review]


Until recently, Chinese Smartphone makers were disregarded as simple copycats. Now, alongside the revelation that Xiaomi has overtaken Samsung as China’s leading smartphone provider, Chinese firms finally seem to be realizing their potential. Good news all-round for the consumer.

Xiaomi aside, another representative of China’s emergence comes in the form of the ZTE Blade S6. The S6 is a phone that provides the perfect example as to why China’s is a blossoming but not yet fully-fledged smartphone superpower. Indeed, competitively priced, with a set of specs that defy its highly reasonable $250 price tag, the ZTE Blade S6 is well worth considering if you’re after a mid-range smartphone.

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LG G4 vs Samsung Galaxy S6: Which flagship has the better camera?


Samsung’s Galaxy S6 is a great device, no doubt about it. It has all the elements needed for a great smartphone: a large, high quality display, powerful processor, a great operating system with countless features, and two amazing cameras.

However, the competition out there is merciless. Apple has hit the South Korean giants hard with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models, and now the LG G4 seems to be out for blood, as well.

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Windows 10 is undeniably impressive, but can it win you over?

Victory Winner Free

I was sold on Windows 10 before I could even try the first Technical Preview. Now, after seeing the latest slew of changes unveiled at Build 2015, it is clearer than ever that Microsoft is on the right path and that Windows 10 will be the most impressive release yet. There is no doubt in my mind about it.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Microsoft expects Windows 10 to attract one billion users within the first two to three years of its release. The timer starts this summer. It may sound like an empty claim, but when you look at everything that has been done so far to make Windows 10 so exciting, and consider the huge unlocked potential, it certainly sounds plausible. While I am no fortune-teller, I can’t see Microsoft getting anything important wrong. And that’s something I haven’t felt in ages in regards to the software giant.

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Samsung fights for 'Avengers: Age of Galaxy S6'

Galaxy S6 Avengers

Samsung is down but not out in the global smartphone shipments battle with top rival Apple. That is the conclusion from analysts at Juniper Research, which like Strategy Analytics released first quarter 2015 data today. Juniper sees sharp rebound from Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, which "reception" is stronger than their predecessors.

Quarter-on-quarter, Samsung smartphone shipments -- 82 million units -- rose by 23 percent but fell 29 percent year over year. By comparison, annually, Apple shipments soared by 40 percent, to 61 million, largely lifted by China. The country's importance to the fruit-logo company cannot be overemphasized for either manufacturer. But Apple reaped the big crop, with shipments up 71 percent that generated $16.8 billion in revenue.

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Samsung leads the smartphone market again, leaves Apple behind

Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge unboxing and hands-on videos

Something interesting happened in the last quarter of 2014: Apple tied with Samsung on smartphone shipments. Both players moved 74.5 million units, reaching this figure from two opposite directions. The Cupertino, Calif.-based vendor saw its iPhone shipments increase by a whopping 46.07 percent year-over-year, while its South Korean rival dealt with a 13.37 percent decline.

But, luckily for Samsung, things changed in the first quarter of 2015. According to Strategy Analytics, its smartphone shipments reached 83.2 million units, while Apple's iPhones shipped in just 61.2 million units. And just like that, Samsung is, once again, back at the top. However, it is not yet in tip-top form.

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Yahoo might use your ear to unlock your phone

Yahoo might use your ear to unlock your phone

Smartphone security takes a number of forms; you might access your phone with a PIN, your fingerprint, or via facial recognition. But if Yahoo's plans gather momentum, you could be using your ear to unlock your phone in the not-too-distant future. The idea builds on the idea of the unique fingerprint we all have, taking advantage of the capacitive touchscreens that are now a standard feature of phones.

There's no need for special sensors as the way different parts of your ears touch the screen when held in the 'talk' position can be used to uniquely identify you. It's all part of Yahoo's Bodyprint program, which is also looking at how the way you hold your phone could be used as an unlock tool.

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ITC rules Microsoft handsets violate patents

Nope, Microsoft isn't getting into Android with a Cyanogen investment

Microsoft could face a ban on importing handsets into the US after a ruling by the International Trade Commission. The ITC found that Microsoft had used technology for which InterDigital owns the patents without obtaining the relevant permission.

Microsoft plans to challenge the ruling, saying "we have a successful track record challenging patent assertion entities that misuse industry standards". It is not the first handset manufacturer to have been hit with legal action from InterDigital, and it could severely hamper future handset sales.

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