Huawei Ascend Mate 7

Huawei has skipped a few naming conventions with the Ascend Mate 7, which is actually the successor to the Mate 2. But they haven’t skipped any detail or cut any corners: the More »

Samsung Galaxy A7

   When is the Samsung Galaxy A7 coming out? After several leaks, Samsung has officially announced the biggest smartphone in its new A-series. The A7 has a 5.5in screen, a 64-bit octa-core More »

Motorola Moto E (2015) : Android’s Best Cheap Smartphone

When Motorola launched the Moto E early last year, it sort of sparked a revolution in the budget phone market. At a time when people with a budget of less than Rs More »

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

When is the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 coming out? The best Samsung Galaxy Note 5 rumours, including Galaxy Note 5 release date, Galaxy Note 5 UK price, Galaxy Note 5 specs and More »

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge

The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge is a dual curved screen smartphone, and it is coming soon Samsung has confirmed the Galaxy S6 Edge, a variant of the Galaxy S6 that has a More »

 

Huawei Ascend Mate 7

Huawei has skipped a few naming conventions with the Ascend Mate 7, which is actually the successor to the Mate 2. But they haven’t skipped any detail or cut any corners: the Ascend Mate 7, as big as it is, is crammed with great features. In our Huawei Ascend Mate 7 review we’ll run you through everything you need to know about Huawei’s new monster-sized smartphone.

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Huawei Ascend Mate 7 Design & Build Quality

The Ascend Mate 7 is a really nice looking smartphone. Huawei has always made well crafted devices, but the Ascend Mate 7 seems to be a maturation of their confidence in the manufacturing process. While the Ascend P7 is a great looking phone, the Mate 7 seems more like Huawei’s design language has arrived.

The HTC-esque aluminum chassis looks great and has a bevelled edge at the back, transitioning to a gently curved back panel made of metal that feels great in the hand and much less blocky than the P7 which, at this size, would have felt unwieldy. We can’t deny the design influence of the HTC One Max here, but it looks great nonetheless. The Mate 7 is significantly lighter than the One Max though and has plastic ”ends” on the back (at the top and bottom) to allow the antennas to work properly.

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On the back there is a camera lens with single LED flash to the side and Huawei’s finger scanner below it. The camera is slightly raised and the scanner slightly recessed, with a nice metallic border around it. The left side holds a slot for a micro-SIM as well as another tray for microSD expansion, which can also be used for a second nano-SIM. The top holds a headphone port and microphone and on the bottom the microUSB 2.0 charging port and another microphone can be found.

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On the right hand side, you’ll find the volume rocker and power button, which has a nice textured detail. The speaker port is found on the back in an unassuming position, and while it might have been nice to have bottom or front mounted speakers, if these would have diminished those tiny bezels it would have been a shame. Overall, the Huawei Ascend Mate 7 really looks the business and it’s hard to find a flaw with either the design or build quality of the phone.

Huawei Ascend Mate 7 Display

At 6 inches, the Mate 7’s IPS negative LCD screen is really big, but it doesn’t seem too big. For example, it is significantly smaller than the HTC One Max, despite having a slightly larger display. This is because the Mate 7 has very small bezels on the sides and minimal bezels above and below the screen. All told, the screen to body ratio is an impressive 83%. Not bad at all. I’ll be honest though, there’s a bit of shimmying involved and one-handed operation is near-impossible in the far corners unless you enable one-handed mode.

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The Mate 7 has Full HD resolution, bringing a pixel density of 368 pixels per inch. This isn’t spectacular but isn’t bad for a device in this size range. The Emotion UI is particularly muted and, in all honesty, a bit dull, so it’s hard to get a sense of how well the screen performs right out of the box. If you load up a colorful image though, you’ll soon see that the Mate 7 can handle some serious color, with great brightness and contrast, thanks to Huawei’s efforts to increase the contrast ratio.

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Up close you will notice some pixels standing out, but this is natural for a Full HD display at this size. The Mate 7’s screen is a major step up from the HD offering on the Mate 2, but if you want more pixels you’ll have to look elsewhere for them. For comparison’s sake, the HTC One Max has only a few pixels more. Huawei allows you to adjust the warmth or coolness of the display via the settings menu.

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Huawei Ascend Mate 7 Special Features

The Ascend Mate 7 introduces a finger scanner and I have to say it works remarkable well. It’s just as fast as that found on the iPhone 5s, although the iPhone requires you to press the TouchID button first to start the scan and the Huawei scans on contact. Regardless, it is is quick and it is very reliable, much more so than other Android finger scanners I won’t mention.

You can register up to 5 fingerprints and can use them to unlock the Mate 7 from a screen-off state or from the lock screen, enter your private data ”safe” in the file manager or you can lock or unlock apps with just your fingerprint. You can also set a fingerprint to initiate guest mode and protect private apps, galleries and contacts. The quality of the finger scanner is a real feather in the cap for Huawei and it even works with wet fingers.

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Huawei Ascend Mate 7 Software

The Mate 7 ships with Android 4.4.2 KitKat and the all-new Emotion UI 3.0, rebranded as EMUI. The interface is really refreshing and makes a very nice contrast to some of the heavy and cluttered Android interfaces around. Even as an irregular Huawei user, it is easy to navigate and is well laid out and simple to use.

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Of course, those unfamiliar with Huawei’s app drawer-less interface might find the iOS feel a little weird, but if you’re not hell bent on having an app drawer it actually doesn’t matter too much once you get used to it. You can customize with ease using a variety of built-in themes which you can customize down to the smallest detail or you can pick up more from Huawei’s theme store.

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The Mate 7 also comes with some nice software features like notification manager, do not disturb, networked apps, gesture controls, customizable navigation bar (which, incidentally is in the new Android L style) and Suspend floating menu button for quick access to common actions and apps, kind of like Samsung’s Toolbox. Software-wise, the Mate 7 is very accomplished without being bloaty.

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Huawei Ascend Mate 7 Performance

The Ascend Mate 7 is really quite snappy and enjoyable to use, undermining the expectations you might have from its relatively low price tag. Huawei’s own octa-core Hisilicon Kirin 925 chipset (quad-core 1.8 GHz Cortex A15 and quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex A7) manages demanding tasks with ease, but doesn’t quite seem to be in the same class as high-end Snapdragon or Exynos processors. I’ll mention here that the device I am reviewing is a pre-release model, so things could change.

Huawei claim the processor architecture can save up to half of the battery by using the low-power cores for less demanding tasks. The 16 GB version comes with 2 GB of RAM and the 32 GB version bumps the RAM to 3 GB. On both versions, pixels are pushed around by the Mali-T628 GPU. The Mate 7 is also Category 6 LTE-equipped, so if your area supports data speeds like that you can take full advantage of up to 300 Mbps downloads with the Mate 7.

Huawei Ascend Mate 7 Camera

The Ascend Mate 7 has a 13 MP camera with a super clean interface. The camera shoots very quickly and surprisingly well. Bear in mind that at full resolution you’re stuck with a 4:3 aspect ratio and to shoot at 16:9 you’ll only be able to capture 10 MP shots.

You can use a double press of the volume down button to launch the camera app when the screen is turned off, and you can use your voice or even the finger scanner pad to shoot a picture as well. There’s HDR, panorama and beauty mode, as well as All-Focus for post-focusing your shots.

The front-facing camera is a 5 MP shooter which has a built-in beauty mode and lets you take a stitched together panoramic groufie photo which works quite nicely too. While the Mate 7 may not be able to tackle the big guns photographically, it performs perfectly acceptably.

Huawei Ascend Mate 7 Battery

The Mate 7 has a whopping great 4,100 mAh battery which is non-removable. You can easily breeze through a day on this device and depending on your usage approach two days. Huawei claim you can get close to two and half day’s of battery life, but I expect this would require usage of the power saving modes included on the Mate 7, including Normal, Smart and Ultra power saving modes.

Huawei Ascend Mate 7 Technical Specifications

    • Type:  Phablet
    • Model:  MT7-L09
    • Manufacturer:  Huawei
    • Dimensions:  157 x 81 x 7.9 mm
    • Weight:  185 g
    • Battery size:  4100 mAh
    • Screen size:  6 in
    • Display technology:  LCD
    • Screen:  1920 x 1080 pixels (367 ppi)
    • Front camera:  13 megapixels
    • Rear camera:  5 megapixels
    • Flashlight:  LED
    • Android version:  4.4.4 – KitKat
    • User interface:  Emotion UI
    • RAM:  2 GB, 3 GB
    • Internal storage:  16 GB
    • Removable storage:  MicroSD
    • Chipset:  Hisilicon Kirin 925
    • Number of cores:  8
    • Max. clock speed:  1.8 GHz
    • Connectivity:  HSPA, LTE, NFC, Dual-SIM , Bluetooth 4.0

Final Verdict

The Ascend Mate 7 is a very impressive phone and it’s a shame that it is not more widely available. It will be launched at the end of October and if you have the chance to try one out or pick one up, I’d highly recommend that you do. The camera may not be the strongest point of the Mate 7 but almost every other category has you nicely covered. For the class it is in, the Mate 7 is very impressive, even if it can’t really compete with the Galaxy Note 4. If you like the idea of the HTC One Max but not the execution, then the Mate 7 might just be for you.

Samsung Galaxy A7

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When is the Samsung Galaxy A7 coming out? After several leaks, Samsung has officially announced the biggest smartphone in its new A-series. The A7 has a 5.5in screen, a 64-bit octa-core processor and is just 6.3mm thick. From certain angles it looks like a bigger, thinner iPhone 5s.
Samsung Galaxy A7: main features

There will actually be two variants of the Galaxy A7: single- and dual-SIM. The single-SIM version, which is the most likely version we’ll get in the UK, will support 4G LTE and have the 64-bit Snapdragon 615 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage and a microSD card slot for expanding that.

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The dual-SIM model seems destined for developing countries and will feature an Exynos (32-bit) 5340 chip with the same RAM and data storage. Both processors are ‘octa-core’ which means two quad-core processors: a setup that enables the phones to be more power-efficient.

Otherwise, both models are identical and have 13Mp rear- and 5Mp front-facing cameras. Selfies can be taken with a voice command or a wave, and there’s an ultra-wide mode for ‘grouphies’.

The 5.5in display is the same size as the iPhone 6 Plus, but uses Super AMOLED technology rather than IPS, so it will have Samsung’s usual eye-popping colour saturation.

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However, this ‘phablet’ isn’t the Galaxy S5’s successor. It’s a super-sized version of the Galaxy A3 and A5 smartphones, announced in October 2014. Effectively, these are metal-bodied variations on the Galaxy Alpha.
Samsung Galaxy A7 UK release date and price: When is the Samsung Galaxy A7 coming out; How much will the Samsung Galaxy A7 cost?

Samsung doesn’t mention any prices or a release date yet, but SamMobile claims that it will be 509 Euros and be released at the end of Q1 2015. All that Samsung has made public is that the price will be “competitive” and that it will be available in Pearl White, Midnight Black, and Champagne Gold.

In terms of a UK price, it could translate to £399 which would make it mid-range, but pricier than the great-value LG G3.

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Samsung Galaxy A7: specifications

Network L  LTE Cat4 150/50Mbps, HSPA+ 42/5.76Mbps
Processor LTE : 1.8GHz Quad-Core + 1.3GHz Quad-CoreLTE/3G

Dual SIM : 1.5Hz Quad-Core+ 1.0GHz Quad-Core

Display 5.5in FHD sAMOLED
OS Android 4.4 (KitKat)
Chipset A   LTE DS/3G : MSM8x39 (Quad A53 1.5GHz + Quad A53 1.0GHz)

LTE SS: Exynos 5430 + M7450 (Quad A15 1.8GHz + Quad A7 1.3GHz)

Camera 13MP AF w/ LED Flash + 5.0MP
Camera Features Wide Selfie, Rear-cam Selfie, Beauty Face Features
Video MP4,M4V,3GP,3G2,WMV,ASF,AVI,FLV,MKV,WEBM
Playback : FHD(1920*1080) @ 30fps
Audio MP3,M4A,3GA,AAC,OGG,OGA,WAV,WMA,

AMR,AWB,FLAC,MID,MIDI,XMF,MXMF,IMY,RTTTL,RTX,OTA

Additional Features Ultra Power Saving Mode, Changeable Theme

Private Mode, Multi Screen, Quick Connect

Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/nBT 4.0, USB 2.0,

A-GPS+GLONASS, NFC (LTE version only)

Sensor Accelerometer, Proximity, Geomagnetic, RGB, Hall, Light
Memory 2.0GB (RAM) + 16GBmicroSD slot (up to 64GB)
Dimension 151 x 76.2 x 6.3 mm, 141g
Battery 2,600 mAh

Motorola Moto E (2015) : Android’s Best Cheap Smartphone

When Motorola launched the Moto E early last year, it sort of sparked a revolution in the budget phone market. At a time when people with a budget of less than Rs 10,000 had no good options, Motorola offered them a phone that might not have been equipped with powerful hardware or dazzling design, but was almost fully functional in its capabilities.

No wonder, the Moto E turned out to be a popular phone. But it had its limitations, which became apparent when the devices like Xiaomi Redmi 1S and the Asus ZenFone 4 hit the market.

A year later, the original Moto E is still one of the reliable phones you can buy for around Rs 6,000. But sadly it doesn’t compare well with the newer phones. Hence the new Moto E aka Moto E (2nd gen).

The new Moto E was launched in India recently. There are two versions of it but for now only the 3G version is available in India and that is what we tested.

The new Moto E packs in better hardware and comes equipped with some of the features that were missing from the original model. But can it match or surpass other popular phones in its price bracket? The short answer is: Yes, it can (with some conditions applied). But it is not a slam dunk the way the original Moto E was.

In terms of build quality and the design, the new Moto mirrors its predecessor. There are some changes but they are not enough to set the two devices set apart in terms of looks in any significant way. But at the same time, these changes are for the good. The new Moto E is slightly bigger — we are talking about a few millimetres here and there -and packs in a bigger 4.5-inch screen compared to the 4.2-inch one on the last year’s phone.

The thickness of the phone remains same at little over 12mm, which in our opinion is somewhat of a missed chance for Motorola. We would have liked to see the company reduce the chubbiness of the phone. But because the body shape is similar to the older Moto E, which had an excellent design in terms of ergonomics, the new device too fits very well in hands. The curved back is an easy fit in the hand and the compact size makes it slip into even the tight jeans pockets with ease.

The big change in terms of design is the plastic frame around the phone. This is removable and Motorola has cleverly hidden the SIM and microSD card ports under it. The reason why this frame, which also has textured finish to give users a better grip on the phone, is removable is because Motorola wants people to customise their phones. The company is selling a set of three such frames — Motorola calls them bands — for Rs.999. These are of different colours and they can be used to customise the phone.

If you are intrigued by the idea of the bands and want to use them, we suggest you buy the white Moto E because on the black one the coloured bands will not stand out, defeating the whole purpose of customisation.

Overall, we can say that the new Moto E feels good in hands. The build quality is impeccable.The finish and quality of plastic seems to be of better quality compared to what Motorola used last year.The new Moto E is a sturdy phone, complete with a cover of the latest Gorilla Glass on the screen and ability to survive mild water splashes and wet hands.

It also looks stylish enough with its curved back, the dimple with the Moto logo under the rear camera, which has a metal ring around it, and the mono speaker covered with a grill in chrome finish on the top of the screen. It is obvious that Motorola has designed the phone carefully. The attention to detail reflects from the way the power button and the volume buttons have been distinguished. The power button has a textured finish so even in pitch dark you will know which button you are pressing.

Talking of buttons, the Moto E, just like the earlier Motorola, uses onscreen navigation buttons.

Display

On paper, the new Moto E has almost the same screen that we got in the previous phone. The only major change is the screen size, It increases from 4.2 inches to 4.5 inches. But actually there is more to it. The quality of screen is significantly better than what we got on the previous Moto E. It is much brighter, more vibrant and has better viewing angles. The resolution is still the same 540 x 960 pixels but despite the increased size of the display we didn’t notice any lack in sharpness. In fact, the overall quality of the screen gives it an edge over the screen in the Moto E first gen.

But where is it in comparison to other phones? The new Moto E has decidedly better screen compared to the one on the Lenovo A6000. But between the Moto phone and the Xiaomi Redmi 2, it is a tie. The Redmi 2 shows better contrast and deeper colours. But the Moto E is brighter and more usable in sharp sunlight. We personally prefer the Redmi 2 screen but it is a close call even if you go with the new Moto E you are not going to lose out much.

Software

Software is one of the unique strengths of the Moto E. In fact, this is its biggest strength. It runs Android Lollipop out of the box, which gives it an edge over the Redmi 2 or the Lenovo A6000, which run the customised versions of the Android KitKat. Better still, in our opinion, the new Moto E uses an almost pure version of Android. This means you get the same software that runs on Google’s Nexus devices, complete with access to increasingly versatile Google Now with a swipe from left to right on the homescreen.

The unmodified version of the Android also means that with the Moto E you get an interface that is clean, colourful and modern, unlike the customised user interface used in other phones that seems overdone. The bloatware is also non-existent on the Moto E.

There are no extra — and intrusive apps — like the TrueCaller or virus scanners here. Tthough Motorola does bundle a few unique apps like Migrate and Alert with the phone.

The new Moto E also uses some of the software features that are specific to Motorola phones. For example, it has the lockscreen where you can “glance” at a notification without picking up the phone. It also has the “flick-to-launch-camera” gesture that helps you jump directly into the camera app with a flick of the wrist.

Performance

Unfortunately, all the goodness of the Android Lollipop has a little bit of downside to it. It is not a major hassle but it is there and it is noticeable. The new Moto E does not feel as fast as its hardware suggests it should be. In terms of hardware, the new Moto E is a fairly capable phone. The 3G version of the phone, which we tested, uses Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 chipset – as reported by CPU-Z app – that has a quad-core processor running at 1.2GHz. However, this is not the same Snapdragon 400 that runs inside the Moto G and it uses slower graphics chip Adreno 302 instead of Adreno 305. This is also possibly the reason why Motorola describes the processor inside the Moto E as Snapdragon 200 but with two extra cores.

The new phone also has 1GB RAM and 8GB internal storage. Out of the 8GB internal memory, 5GB is available to users. More storage can be added with a microSD card.

Overall, the phone feels slower compared to the Moto G. We feel either Motorola still has to optimise the device properly or the animations in Android Lollipop — and there are a lot of beautiful animations — are rather heavy on the low-end hardware.

Now, don’t get us wrong. The new Moto E is faster than old Moto E. But a little bit of delay is visible when you open an app or switch between running apps. App installs too take an extra second, which is also due to the Lollipop’s new runtime engine, but compared to other phones like the Redmi 2, the delay is noticeable. Similarly, scrolling is not entirely smooth, and neither is typing.

The good bit is that even though you get an impression that the new Moto E is not a fast phone like the Yu Yureka, it is more or less comparable to the Redmi 2. It also compares favourably to Lenovo A6000. The other interesting bit about the performance of the new Moto E is that this slow performance is handled gracefully. This means, apps don’t freeze or crash. They just take a few extra milliseconds or an extra second before they open.

Other than the general performance part, especially noticeable in the user interface, everything is all good with the new Moto E, especially considering its price and its competitors. The games, even the demanding ones like the Real racing 3 can be played with ease. There is no lag when the phone is running the game. The GPS performance is remarkably solid. Browser works well. Basic photo editing is handled fine.

One major concern, however, is video playback. We know that the Snapdragon 400 is capable of handling the FullHD (1080p) videos. But on the new Moto E most of these videos don’t play all that well. But 720p videos are handled fine. Due to video playback problems, the phone also couldn’t complete the PC Mark benchmark suite despite multiple runs.

The call quality is good and volume during calls is crisp and loud. The network performance too is good and we didn’t face any out-of-turn dropped calls.

Unlike the original Moto E that had two speakers, the new one comes with one speaker. But don’t worry, it is gloriously loud and sounds surprisingly full even at the maximum volume. It gets really loud and does a great job of playing music, if you are in mood to play music through speaker on your phone.

Camera

Imaging hardware is another aspect where the Moto E has been given significant update. Unlike the fixed focus 5-megapixel rear camera on the previous model, the new one comes with 5-megapixel shooter that supports auto focus. The flash, however, is still missing.

The phone also has a front camera, something not available in previous model. While the addition of a front camera is welcome as it will allow Moto E users to make video calls, the quality of the camera is not good. We won’t recommend it for clicking selfies.

The new Moto E clicks better photos that what its predecessor managed. But that is not saying much. Even the images shot in good light lack finer details and have unusually high-amount of sharpening applied to them, giving them an unreal look. The colours have enough contrast though and in macro or close up shots, it is possible to get some nice images. As expected, in low light the imaging performance is bad as the Moto E clicks photos that have lots of noise and botched up colours.

Similarly, the videos shot with the Moto E are not all that good. Motorola says that videos are recorded in 720p but we found it is not correct. The videos are recorded in 480p. The camera is good enough if you want to record bad traffic on a road but if you are thinking of using it to shoot the video of your son cutting birthday cake, that would be a bad idea.

The new Moto E comes with a battery that has a capacity of 2390 mAh. This is a big battery compared to the one in the older Moto phone. But it is also needed because the hardware is more powerful and the display size has gone up slightly. In our use, we found the that the new Moto E is capable of providing battery life of around 11 to 12 hours with heavy use. This is above average and with two social media accounts, two email accounts, around 15 to 20 minutes of camera use, including some battery life, nearly an hour of gaming, over one hour web browsing and nearly an hour of calls.

For most users we feel that the Moto E would easily offer battery life of around 15 to 16 hours or in other full-day battery life.

Unfortunately, for this phone we can’t show you our usual battery benchmark because the video playback issues means the PC Mark couldn’t be looped for the battery test.

Should you buy it?

There are three phones in the reckoning at the price point of Rs.7000. With an MRP of Rs.6,999, the new Moto E or the 2nd gen Moto E is the safest buys among the three.

But that doesn’t mean it is the best. It is definitely better than the Lenovo A6000. But the Xiaomi Redmi 2 and the new Moto E are kind of evenly matched. The Redmi has slightly better screen and a better camera. In terms of performance both are more or less same.

And in the software part, the Redmi 2 uses a modified version of Android Kitkat called MiUI 6 ROM while the Moto E uses the unmodified version of Android Lollipop.

In the end, in our opinion it all boils down to this: Better camera or Android Lollipop. Irrespective of whatever you choose, we feel you are not going to be disappointed.

At the same time, we must make it clear that the phones like the Yu Yureka and the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4G are better devices than these two, although they also cost at least Rs.2,000 more.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

When is the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 coming out? The best Samsung Galaxy Note 5 rumours, including Galaxy Note 5 release date, Galaxy Note 5 UK price, Galaxy Note 5 specs and new features in Galaxy Note 5.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 was recently launched to near universal acclaim, but no sooner had Samsung’s latest phablet hit the market than we started hearing the first whispers about the next Galaxy Note. The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 will launch in the Autumn of 2015, with a 6in, 4K AMOLED display, octacore processor and ultra-high megapixel camera. In this article we trawl through the rumours on the web to bring you the best Galaxy Note 5 rumours.

Samsung is in the habit of launching a new Galaxy Note smartphone just before IFA each year in Berlin. This gets its most important handset out just in time for the Christmas rush, with the nice additional benefit of trumping whatever Apple launches a week or so later. IFA kicks off on September 4 2015, so our money is on a September 3 2015 launch for the Galaxy Note 5.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5: specs

It is a point of honour for Samsung that its flagship Galaxy Note has an unsurpassed spec when it launches. So expect fireworks.

Plenty of Samsung watching sites, including Gizbot and Valuewalk.com, are suggesting an octacore Snapdragon 810 chipset, paired with 4GB RAM. This is probably little mmore than guesswork, but it’s also a pretty good guess. GSMarena is reporting rumours that suggest the Galaxy Note 5 may be powered by an Exynos 7420 chipset, which would have four Cortex-A57 cores and four Cortex-A53.

Valuewalk is also reporting that the camera in the Galaxy Note 5 could be as powerful as 21-megapixels in resolution, although we have read 18Mp elsewhere. Again, Valuewalk suggests a 6Mp front-facing camera, and other sites are reporting 5Mp selfies. Regardless, the word on the street seems to be a huge sensor for the main camera, and a surprisingly powerful front-facing camera. Expect to be able to capture full HD video.

There are lots of rumours about storage options, suggesting a range of SKUs from 16GB up to 128GB. Personally I’d take this with a pinch of salt. I’d expect one mode, with 32GB onboard storage, and an SD card slot allowing the addition of at least another 128GB. But that is just my guess.

I’ve read rumours suggesting a 4000 mAh battery battery cell, and ultra-battery saver mode. Expect nothing less. And will it be Android L or Android M? It all depends on Google’s release schedule. The Note  5 will definitely get an upgrade to M, however.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5: 6in, 4k AMOLED display

The word on the street, which originated with GSMArena, is that Samsung will include in the Galaxy Note 5 its first 4K AMOLED display. Strictly speaking a 5.9in AMOLED with a – frankly ridiculous – pixel density of 743ppi. This would equate to a native resolution of 2160×3840 pixels, and would likely make your eyes bleed with all that detail on a colourful AMOLED screen. Would certainly capture the imagination, however.
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 other rumours

According to Note5US.com, expect front-facing speakers and an aluminium chassis. Stay tuned to this page: we will bring you all the Galaxy Note 5 facts and rumours as they emerge.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 UK price: How much will the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 cost?

The original Galaxy Note cost £599 inc VAT when it launched. The Galaxy Note 2 cost £550 inc VAT when it launched. Both the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Note 4 cost £599 inc VAT when they were released. So, guess what: expect the Galaxy Note 5 to cost somewhere between £550 inc VAT and £599 inc VAT when it launches. There, I said it.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge

The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge is a dual curved screen smartphone, and it is coming soon

Samsung has confirmed the Galaxy S6 Edge, a variant of the Galaxy S6 that has a curved edge to create additional screen space for notifications. Here are the Galaxy S6 Edge specs, release date, price and new features, plus information on where to preorder the S6 Edge.

Samsung has announced a new Galaxy S smartphone: the Samsung Galaxy S6, alongside its twin sister the Galaxy S6 Edge. The successor to the Galaxy S5 will be on sale for April 10. The Galaxy S6 Edge is a variation on the main device that has a display wrapping around the side, in order to display notifactions and other useful information.

Like the Galaxy Note Edge, the Galaxy S6 Edge has a display that is curved, creating additional screen real estate that can be used for notifications. It also has a new feature that lets you choose from one of eight colors to quickly glance at who’s calling you when the phone is placed upside down.

The Galaxy S6 Edge is packed with all the same components inside as its flat cousin, except for a larger 2,600mAh battery pack. So lets get into those features and specs.

The Galaxy S6 itself was launched at a press event in Barcelona on March 1 2015. Samsung announced the Galaxy S6 Edge at the same event. Full details are not yet available, but Samsung said both handsets would be available in 20 countries by April 10. The UK will definitely be one of those countries, and mutliple telcos including Vodafone, Three and EE have already been in touch with us to say that they expect to be stocking both of the handsets.

How quickly the Galaxy S6 Edge will actually go on sale in the UK remains to be seen, with an anonymous source speaking to ArsTechnica suggesting S6 Edge stock is proving hard to come by in Europe. It may be worth expecting a short delay on what is, after all, a variant on the main handset.

MobileFun is now accepting preorders on the 32GB Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge at £649 and 64GB Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge at £700. It’s available here in black, white or gold. (Samsung does not list a 32GB version of the S6 Edge on its site, but MobileFun says the information it has suggests there will be one. Other tech reviews have also referred to a 32GB S6 Edge.)

The new Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge is constructed from glass and metal rather than plastic compounds. It is less than 7mm thick, according to Samsung, and won’t bend, they said. Nice dig at Apple, there.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge is powered by 3GB of LPDDR4 RAM and its own octa-core Exynos processor. This is a 64-bit, 14nm system-on-a-chip processor. Samsung claims its processor is about 30 percent more power-efficient than before. It also says two separate quad-core sets are for separate specific purposes: one for battery efficiency, the other for performance.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge will feature a Super AMOLED screen. Samsung said it was the best screen ever seen on a smartphone. This is a 5.1-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display with a pixel density of 577 ppi. That ought to do it. Samsung said that the Galaxy S6 Edge should be easier to see outdoors and is about 20 percent brighter than the Galaxy S5. We can’t wait to test that out.

Samsung also said that the battery should be the quickest-charging battery on the market, taking just 10 minutes to generate four hours of use. It is a  2,600mAh battery pack. This is bigger than is that of the Galaxy S6, presumably to power that additional screen space. Wireless charging is built in, as is the battery itself. A change for Samsung. It said this was a good thing, but we cannot yet fathom why that is. Any ideas?

The Galaxy S6 Edge will be an Android L device. TouchWiz is still present, but we are told it is much improved. We’ll see.

Camera wise, Samsung beefed up its preexisting 16-megapixel camera sensor instead of bumping up the megapixels. The rear-facing camera features a F1.9 wide-angle lens, which should allow more light to hit the sensor when shooting in low-light situations.

The camera is also capable of real-time HDR and Smart OIS, which Samsung says has been refined since introduced in the Galaxy S4. Also, the Galaxy S6 uses an IR sensor to automatically detect and adjust white balance.

Samsung equipped the Galaxy S6 Edge with a 5-megapixel front-facing camera that also utilizes automatic real-time HDR and a wider lens. That is an impressive spec up front.

There’s only one speaker, but it is a good one (according to Samsung). It would have to be, in order to be better than stereo speakers. Samsung gives you a pair of ergonomic earphones to say sorry.

Oppo N3

The Good: The Oppo N3’s motorized swivel camera takes automatic panoramic shots and top quality selfies — without having to flip the phone around.

The Bad: The phone feels heavy, and you have to be careful when putting it in your pocket to avoid accidentally damaging the camera’s swivel. That leather looks horrible, and 4G LTE support varies by country.

The Bottom Line: The N3 is definitely an upgrade to the N1, but its unadventurous body means you’ll really only want this for the innovative camera.

 Let’s be honest, most smartphones have very similar features — a longish rectangular body, powerful chips and a camera on the front and back, albeit with different megapixel counts. Oppo went out on a limb last year with the N1 , whose camera was mounted on a swivel. This year’s flagship from the Chinese company has the same gimmick, but it’s been improved with a motor and a nifty auto-panorama feature.

Novelties usually come with drawbacks, however. The camera module is separate from the chassis, making for a thicker phone, and unlike the slim and lightweight devices you see from its competitors, Oppo’s N3 feels thick and heavy.

Design

While the name suggests the N3 is the the third version of the company’s N series, it’s actually the second. Oppo skips even numbers in its model lines — I’m guessing this might be due to how Chinese companies prefer to avoid the number four (since the pronunciation of “four” in Mandarin sounds like “death”).

The N3 looks much the same as the N1, though there are tweaks to the design. The most obvious of these is the faux-leather material used in the swivel camera mount. I’ll be honest here — I hate it. It clashes with the rest of the phone’s clean matte surface and doesn’t add anything to the character of the N3. Nothing good, anyway.

The swivel camera has been improved with a motor, and it automatically turns around when you tap on the front camera button in the camera app. You can slide your finger on the screen or fingerprint sensor (located at the back) to operate the camera and there’s an auto-panorama feature.

Oppo has added a band at the sides, and while it does look stylish, it ends up digging into your hand, making for an uncomfortable grip. The phone appears to taper downwards, making the bottom look thinner than the top.

The bottom has an odd-looking hollowed-out curve — that’s Oppo’s Skyline notification bar, which first appeared on the Oppo Find 7. The notification lights can now be seen even when the phone is placed with the screen facing downwards, as they’re now visible on both sides of the phone, leaving you unable to escape notifications unless you hide it in your pocket or a drawer.

Like most Chinese-made smartphones, the N3 has dual-SIM capability — one micro-SIM slot and one nano-SIM slot, although this model isn’t available in every region. The “international” version replaces the nano-SIM slot with a microSD slot so you can expand the storage with up to 128GB.

The fingerprint sensor on the rear works just like the Touch ID sensor on Apple’s iPhone . There’s no need for a swiping action to use your fingerprint to unlock the device. Simply touch it with the correct finger and the phone automatically unlocks. The only problem with using the sensor is its placement on the back — when the phone is on the table, you’ll have to unlock it by picking it up or entering the PIN code. In this regard, putting the sensor on the front, like the iPhone does, makes more sense.

Software and other features

The N3 comes with Oppo’s own Color OS 2.0, running over Android 4.4 KitKat. The OS has been improved, and while it’s slightly flatter than before, Oppo hasn’t taken the plunge to fully commit to the flat interface found on many current Android devices. That said, you can download skins from the Theme Store and change its look.

Oppo has made the N1’s gesture feature much more usable. Instead of swiping down from the top-left corner and taking up the whole screen, the gesture window can now be activated by swiping upwards from the bottom of the screen, which only takes up about a third of the display.

This makes it much easier to use and you can set up patterns to launch things like the camera, the flashlight, or a different app of your choosing.

Camera

The Oppo N1 had a pretty good camera, and (leather aside) the N3 is no disappointment. The 16-megapixel shooter comes boasting reputable Schneider Kreuznach optics, and the camera performs admirably.

Performance and hardware

Packing a 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 2GB of RAM and 32GB of onboard storage, the N3 did pretty well in benchmarks. In Quadrant, the N3 scored 19,783, while in Linpack, the N3 managed 1,271 MFLOPs. Both scores compare favorably with other handsets such as the Xiaomi Mi Note or the HTC One M8.

Mind you, benchmarks aren’t always a good indicator of how the phone performs in actual use, as manufacturers have been known to sometimes jigger with the settings so they do better in such tests. That said, the Oppo N3 ran smoothly and I didn’t notice any lag in my time with it.

Battery

Packing a non-removable 3,000mAh battery, the phone lasted 12 hours and 26 minutes in our CNET Labs Video Test. That’s pretty respectable, and reflects the full days of use I got out of it.

Call quality and speakers

Oppo’s speakers are pretty loud, so you’ll want to turn down the volume to avoid annoying your colleagues in the office. I found voice calls to be clear and crisp, though there was one incident where the audio had some distortion, but I suspect that was the fault of the carrier here in Singapore, since it was fine once I hung up and called again.

Conclusion

Oppo’s second take on its innovative swivel-camera phone comes with a few compromises — namely a smaller display and a thicker body — but the new camera is almost good enough to justify the hefty $649 price tag.

But if you’re particular about design, the Oppo N3 probably isn’t for you. Compared with the well-crafted Oppo R5 , the N3 feels thick and bulky. It’s not a phone for everyone, but it’s innovative and the motorised swivel camera is a fun feature you won’t find on other high-end devices.

VAIO’s first smartphone

VAIO Corporation, now 95-percent owned by Japan Industrial Partners, just unveiled its first foray into the smartphone market. Following an industry trend of naming simplicity in recent months, the device is plainly called the VAIO Phone.

The handset is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core processor, presumably within a Snapdragon 410 chipset. 2GB of RAM should offer adequate multitasking capabilities, while the 16GB of built-in storage can be expanded via microSD.

The VAIO Phone sports a 5-inch IPS display of 720p resolution, and a rather common nowadays 13MP/5MP camera combo. Battery capacity is 2,500mAh, fitted in a body measuring 141.5 x 71.3 x 7.95mm and weighing 130g. Observant users have pointed out that the VAIO Phone is not unlike the Panasonic Eluga U2, but with the notable distinction that the Panasonic screen is FullHD.

The smartphone boots Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the box, without much VAIO customizations. The Phone will set you back JPY3,000 upfront ($25 more or less), and JPY2,000 for 24 months, for a total of JPY51,000 ($420). Unlimited data plan is JPY1,980 a month on top of that.

Sony Xperia M4 Aqua

Sony Mobile Communications (“Sony Mobile”) today refocused its mid-range device strategy with the introduction of Xperia™ M4 Aqua – a smartphone bringing Sony’s leadership in camera, design, battery and performance to an accessible price point.

“Xperia M4 Aqua represents our renewed mid-range focus – with no compromises” said Dennis van Schie, Senior Vice President, Head of Sales and Marketing at Sony Mobile Communications. “Offering the most popular standout features made famous by our Xperia Z Series; camera capability, two-day battery life and waterproofing – Xperia M4 Aqua brings a proposition and price, products in this section of the market simply cannot match.”

Xperia M4 Aqua’s impressive 13MP rear camera is powered by Sony’s Exmor RS™ mobile sensor with a large F2.0 aperture, and ISO 3200 sensitivity. It’s powerful digital compact camera technology – and intelligent Superior Auto Mode simplifies your interactions, automatically sensing up to 52 different scenarios, for vivid shots in low-light or strong backlight every time.

Just as with the rear, the 5MP selfie camera has a super wide-angle lens with an 88° field of view, so no-one’s left out of shot – and Portrait Retouch allows you to add fun finishing refinements. The popular selfie editing feature sits alongside Sony’s full suite of preloaded Xperia Camera apps, including other favourites; Sound Photo for adding a short clips to your pictures and Movie Creator, which automatically converts your pictures and videos into snappy thirty second vignette clips – which makes collecting memories or sharing on social media, super quick and easy.

Crafted from the ground up, Xperia M4 Aqua has understated premium looks – a tempered glass display, with the svelte 136g waterproof (IP65/8 rated) body reengineered for cap-less microUSB charging, offering flexible usage wherever you are.

Xperia M4 Aqua will be available in classic White and Black, but also fresh Coral and Silver3. Sony’s adopted the same subtle principles in its take on Android 5.0 Lollipop’s material design, in keeping with that distinctive minimalist approach to user interface, interactions and native apps.

Xperia M4 Aqua will come with the new look Xperia Lounge Silver, bringing apps, software updates, entertainment, bespoke offers and tips delivered throughout the product lifecycle. As part of this, you’ll be able to enjoy bonus film clips and television episodes4 through the Privilege Plus Movies app5.

Xperia M4 Aqua Postbox Wet

Do and accomplish more, for longer – Sony’s first octa-core 64-bit smartphone, featuring the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 615 processor with integrated 4G LTE connectivity and up to two-day battery life

Whilst some might need to use their smartphone for short bursts on long days, you don’t have to, with Xperia M4 Aqua’s two-day battery life, eliminating the need for regular charging. If that isn’t enough, activate Battery STAMINA Mode to optimize how your battery is used and Ultra STAMINA Mode to keep your phone running on its core functions for a week.

Supporting this optimal balance of performance and power is a Qualcomm® SnapdragonTM 615 processor6 featuring octa-core 64-bit CPUs, advanced multimedia processing and an integrated 4G LTE modem. Thanks to the Snapdragon 615 processor, you can enjoy seamless access to your Xperia Lounge content and experience the fastest news and information download, find your way using maps, check and send email, send pictures to friends and family in seconds and make the most of lag-free online music and video streaming on the go.

Xperia M4 Aqua will launch in 80 countries worldwide, across more than 100 carrier partners for around 299 EUR, from Spring 2015.

Stylish sounds, with Stereo Bluetooth® Headset SBH70

Sony also introduced the sleek, stylish Stereo Bluetooth® Headset SBH70, a water resistant7 wireless headset with fine-tuned sound quality. Made from durable silicon, SBH70 will launch in five vibrant colours, so you can

mix and match it with your personal accessories. The striking apparel design is crafted to sit discreetly on your neck and shoulders, with music, call handling and voice command controls easy to reach and use.

Corgi For Feedly Puts News Right On Your Android Phone’s Lock Screen

There are a growing number of startups taking advantage of Android’s flexibility to deliver content directly to the smartphone’s lock screen, enabling things like alerts, ads, and even messaging – without requiring users to first unlock their phone and launch an app. A new startup called Corgi, available now on Google Play’s store, is one of these new efforts, as it delivers news directly to your phone’s lock screen.

The application works in conjunction with the popular news reader Feedly, which today has somewhere between a million and 5 million installs on Android, according to Google Play’s data. The idea is that Feedly subscribers can use the Corgi app to tap into their current subscriptions, and have that content synced to their device’s lock screen – essentially turning the lock screen itself into a news reader.

Once installed, Corgi allows you to swipe up to read the article it presents, or you can swipe to the left to browse to other articles. Meanwhile, to simply unlock the phone, you just swipe right. And as you’re reading, if a given article is truncated by the publisher, you can launch a browser in the app to read the entire story.

You’re also able to use Corgi to share stories on social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ as well as save the story for later reading through services like Pocket or Evernote.

The app, which sports Google’s brightly colored Material Design user experience, is the work of a distributed team of developers and designers Stan Dmitriev, Andrey Sharipov and Sergey Varichev, currently based in Finland, Thailand and Russia. They’ve actually been working on the product for 10 months but previously launched a version of the app that didn’t quite resonate with users. The feedback they received at the time was that users didn’t quite understand how it was meant to work.

The team then went back to the drawing board and redesigned everything, resulting in the app that’s live today. The new app is only a couple of weeks old, but has already been featured on new product aggregator Product Hunt where it’s hit today’s front page.

 Dmitriev says the attention is unexpected, and admits the app still has a few kinks to work out. The service works well on most Android KitKat and Lollipop-powered smartphones, he notes, including the Google Nexus and Motorola-branded devices. However, other users have reported bugs which he attributes to driver issues. The team expects to roll out fixes for these in a release arriving next week.

Also arriving in the forthcoming version is a feature that will be handy for those Feedly users with a larger number of subscriptions. The app will soon include the option to let you pick and choose which of your feeds actually show up on the lock screen. That way, you can use Corgi to track just your most important news sources instead of everything you may follow in your Feedly reader.

The startup has a small amount of angel funding through a single investor, but is looking to raise a couple hundred thousand more in order to develop its technology and its business further. Dmitriev explains that they would like to one day license their framework to others who want to build out custom lock screens of their own, similar to Microsoft’s Android lock screen, for example.

Corgi for Feedly is a free download on Google Play.

LG G Flex 2

LG G Flex 2

LG G Flex 2 is the company’s second attempt at making a curved smartphone and it’s like the first try with properly bumped up specs and a more manageable 5.5-inch screen.

Before Apple’s smartphones began bending unexpectedly, LG started making a phone with a deliberate curve, and it’s continuing to turn heads with another, the LG G Flex 2.

This concave Android phone is the follow-up to the world’s first curved smartphone, the LG G Flex, and while it bends the same way, it has new dimensions and specs backing it up.

At CES 2015, I found the LG G Flex 2 screen to be noticeably smaller and easier to hold at 5.5 inches, matching the display size of the LG G3. The previous Flex was a full 6 inches.

LG G Flex 2 display

Going with that new, more manageable display size is a high resolution P-OLED touchscreen that’s 1080p, up from the decidedly deficient 720p display of the original.

With a faster Snapdragon processor, more RAM and Android 5.0 Lollipop on board this banana-shaped boat, the LG G Flex 2 is headed in the right direction.

The specs make more sense this time around, but does a curved smartphone makes sense to begin with? I bent over backwards to test out all of the following features.

Display

The LG G Flex 2 kicks in the extra resolution necessary to make it Full HD, meaning it’s flexible OLED is now on par with other 1080p screens out there including the Moto X.

It’s no longer 720p and stretched to 6 inches. At 5.5 inches, those 1080p lines of resolution are even more dense, equating the pixel count to 403 pixels per inch, up from the old 245ppi.

LG G Flex 2

Okay, no, this isn’t a Quad HD display that meets the quality of the LG G3, but the jump from 720p to 1080p seems more significant to the human eye than the trendy move to 2160p.

That’s enough for LG to call this curved Plastic OLED very easy on the easy and immersive, but with only a few minutes, we’ll have a full review to be the judge of that.

What’s clear right about about the LG G Flex 2 display is that it’s more durable than the first Flex as well as traditionally-shaped smartphones.

It’s not completely flexible as the name suggests, but the phone does have some give, as evidenced by my finger forcefully pressing down on the phone’s curved back hump.

LG’s head of smartphone planning, Dr. Ram-chan Woo, had an even more drastic test at the CES 2015 unveiling: sitting on it. The LG G Flex 2 survived unscathed.

Design

LG touts the LG G Flex 2 as the perfect equivalent to the curved 4K TVs that it is showing off a CES 2015, a design that the company says naturally matches the contour of your eyes.

As skeptical as we remain about this curved trend, it does offer something new to increasingly stagnant smartphone designs. They’ve been refined ad nauseam.

LG G Flex 2 review

The same thing can be said about the virtually-bezel-free Sharp Aquos Crystal, but it’s a distant second when you consider all of the chances LG is taking with its design choices.

Take for instance the second-generation self-healing back. Light scratching the smooth “spin hairline” polish now disappear in as little as 10 seconds.

It used to take about ten minutes for these same blemishes to fade. The LG G Flex 2’s new Wolverine powers are now 18 times faster than before.

The back is also home to another LG design pattern: buttons on the rear of the phone. Volume up and down flank the center-located home button from the top and bottom.

This feature has been controversial among LG phones, but when it works well it makes sense and the idea seems initiative and keeps the phone’s sides, which you often grip, clean.

When it doesn’t work – whether you accidentally press the power button and mistakenly turn the screen off or can’t find the right buttons blindly – it seems like a terrible idea.

LG G Flex 2 comes two colors: Platinum Silver and the more daring Flamenco Red.

Specs

It can flex on the outside, but what kind of muscle does the LG G Flex 2 have on the inside? None other than a Snapdragon 810 processor.

LG touts this as the first official phone with the Qualcomm’s new system on a chip for 2015, complete with 64-bit Octa-core CPU and speeds of 2.0GHz.

Tech-radar went hands on with the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor in December and walked away impressed on reference units. Now it’s time to try the real thing.

LG G Flex 2

Backing up the speedy processor is 2GB of RAM, showing that LG is not quite ready to make this the premier product sporting 4GB of memory. It is, however, the faster DDR4 RAM.

The other kind of memory, on-board storage, amounts to 16GB and 32GB and, yes, the LG G Flex 2 adds a much-valued micro SD slot that maxes out at a whopping 2TB.

The Snapdragon 810 processor should make for better battery life, and given the smaller 3,000 mAh Li-Polymer that replaces the LG G Flex’s 3,500 mAh battery, that’s a good thing.

Charging the smartphone is also easier thanks to the next-generation chip and new battery. It supports faster charging that’s said to garner 50% battery life in under 40 minutes.

That matches the Turbo Charging found in the phones like the Nexus 6 and Droid Turbo, and it’s clutch when on a brief layovers between airports.

Interface

LG’s skinned version of Android 5.0 Lollipop should also extend LG G Flex 2’s battery life, evening out the naturally smaller capacity. It is a 5.5-inch phone after all.

Other new software features include Glance View, a way to peek at the time and notifications with a single swipe held down from the top.

LG G Flex 2 review

Studies show that people check the time and notifications on their phone 50 times a day on average. That makes this method of lighting up only the top portion of the screen appealing.

LG compared Glance View to an addictive game of Blackjack, an appropriate metaphor given our Las Vegas CES 2015 surroundings.

Glance View joins the existing Knock Code that lights up the phone with two taps and unlocks it with a specific pattern and other LG G3 software like the Smart Keyboard.

Camera

LG admitted that the original G Flex had a camera that didn’t meet most users’ expectations, but the 13-megapixel snapper on the G Flex 2 intends to right those wrongs.

It has advanced optical image stabilization, laser auto-focus and dual flash all on the back. On the front, there’s a 2.1 megapixel front-facing camera.

The camera software is also better, especially if you’re looking to snap some selfies. Gesture shot makes its way to the LG G Flex so you can form a fist to activate a 3-second timer,

Even better, reviewing the shot happens automatically when you hold the camera down, as you would to preview the resulting pic.

LG G Flex 2 review

Early verdict

I like the LG G Flex in Flamenco Red because it sums up LG’s choices a lot better. It’s a new approach to conventional smartphone design.

There’s more to like about the LG G Flex 2 and the first phone certainly had its admirers. But it was a bit of a cult following and of those fans were all about the 6-inch display.

Nevertheless, at 5.5 inches, the new design is more likely to be picked up by bored Android phone owners tired of the same flat design.

The specs make sense and the G Flex release date is expected in the first half of this year, debuting in Korea first in January.

If the price makes sense, it’s more likely this trend could become a legitimate alternative feature in more than just LG smartphones.

This is the HTC One M9

Surprise! After months of speculation and leaks, HTC is finally ready to show the world its latest flagship, the One M9. Sorry to disappoint, but those leaks were, for the most part, spot on. As they suggested, there’s no major change in terms of industrial design here; the M9 looks a lot like the M8, which in turn looked a look like the original One. That means you’re getting an aluminium unibody design with a 5-inch 1080p display framed at the top and bottom by HTC’s trademark BoomSound speakers. Sure, it’s a bit narrower, a little shorter, and a shade thicker than the M8 it replaces, but you’d be hard-pressed to tell the handsets apart at first glance.

HTC One M9

The spec sheet sees a number of incremental bumps. Qualcomm’s octa-core Snapdragon 810 CPU is doing the heavy lifting here, supported by 3GB of RAM, and the M9 also sees the welcome addition of Android 5.0 Lollipop, although the presence of HTC’s Sense skin means users won’t see such a dramatic aesthetic change between 4.4 and 5.0. The battery capacity has also been bumped up from 2,600mAh to 2,840mAh, which, when combined with the new Snapdragon, will hopefully see the M9 last a full day with ease.

HTC One M9

Perhaps the biggest change comes in the form of a new rear-facing camera unit. HTC called an abrupt stop to the megapixel wars with the introduction of its UltraPixel tech, which used large, less densely packed pixels that absorbed more light. That’s all gone this time around, as there’s now a more conventional 20-megapixel sensor set in a square camera unit at the rear of the phone. HTC is promising big things from this camera, touting its f/2.2, 27.8mm lens and, thanks to the bump in pixel count, 4K video recording. It’s not abandoning UltraPixel entirely, however, as it’s using that technology for its front-facing camera.

HTC One M9
All told, the M9 looks like a good, if incremental, upgrade over its predecessors (especially if you’re coming from the original HTC One). We’ll get back to you with some more detailed impressions as soon as possible.

Xolo Omega 5.5 (Black)

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HIVE, Built on Android OS v4.4 KitKat Operating System 1.4 GHz Octa Core Prosessor 13.97 cm (5.5 inch) Screen Size 13 MP Exmor IMX 214 Rear Camera and 2 MP Operator video calling Front Camera 1 GB RAM and 8 GB Internal Memory 2600 mAh Battery Capacity
Design & Display
Xolo Omega 5.5 has a very good design compared to the other Smartphones. It comes with a high quality finish that gives it a premium and stylish look and it has very good built quality as well. At Infibeam, Xolo Omega 5.5 is available in black colour. This phone fits perfectly in your palm, making it very handy. The phone has 13.97 cm (5.5 inch) IPS 5 touch point Display technology that offers crisp and colourful images from any angle. It comes with screen resolution of 1280 x 720, 267 PPI and 16 M colours.

OS & Processor

The Xolo Omega 5.5 runs on Hive, and is built on Android Kitkat v4.4. It is powered by a powerful 1.4 Ghz Octa Core (Chipset of MTK 6592M) processor, which lets you enjoy high quality games, browse the web at high speed and toggle between multiple applications without any glitch. The phone is powered by graphics core of Mali 450-MP4 and gives the clock speed of 600 Mhz.

Connectivity

For connectivity, Xolo Omega 5.5 is packed with 3G, USB v2.0 high speed, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n), WLAN Support, GPS, Frequency Bands (GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 WCDMA: 2100, and HSPA+ up to 21 Mbps.

Camera

Xolo Omega 5.5 sports a 13 MP Auto focus Exmor IMX 214 camera with a 2MP front camera. Other camera features include flash support,1080p FHD recording, scene detection & tuning, High Dynamic Range (HDR), Low Light enhancement, Face recognition (For focussing as well as in Gallery), Panorama capture, Geo tagging, Face beautification, Smile detection, Gesture detection, Voice capture, Object tracking & Live filters, “V” capure and more.

Multimedia

The phone has a 3.5mm audio jack, so that the songs can be enjoyed over earphones and on the speakers. The audio player supports MP3, AMR-NB, Wav, AAC, MIDI formats. The supported video formats are MP4, MPEG4, H263, and H.264. It has a Video Playback and Video Recording of 1080p. The video player is powered by Android Video Player.

Memory & Battery

This smartphone is powered by 1GB RAM and comes with an internal storage memory of 8GB. The 8GB internal storage can further be expanded upto 32 GB with a Micro SD slot. Xolo Omega 5.5 comes with a 2600mAh battery on-board. Total Charging Time is up to 3.25 hours, Total Standby Time (2G) is up to 779.5 hours, Total Standby Time (3G) is up to 749.2 Hours, Total Talk Time (2G) is up to 30.8 Hours, Total Talk Time (3G) is up to 13.3 Hours, Total Web browsing time (on 3G network) is up to 7.8 hours, Total Web browsing time (on WiFi network) is up to 7.7 Hours, Total Music Playback Time (via internal Speakers) is up to 42.5 Hours, Total Music Playback Time (using wired Headset) is up to 55 Hours, Total Video Playback Time (via internal Speakers) is up to 5.8 Hours, Total Video Playback Time (using wired Headset) is up to 5.9 Hours .

Karbonn S15 With 4-Inch Display, Quad-Core SoC Now Available at Rs. 3,830

karbonn_s15

A new Karbonn budget smartphone, dubbed S15, is now available to buy at a price tag of Rs. 3,830. The smartphone maker is yet to announce the handset officially or list it on its website.

The Android 4.4 Kitkat-based dual-SIM (GSM+GSM) Karbonn S15 is seen featuring a 4-inch WVGA (480×840 pixels) display, and is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core processor (unspecified) coupled with 512MB of RAM.

The Karbonn S15 comes with 4GB of inbuilt storage, which is further expandable via microSD card (up to 32GB). It sports a 3.2-megapixel rear camera with LED flash, while there is a secondary 0.3-megapixel front-facing camera also onboard. On the connectivity front, the S15 offers 3G, GPRS/ EDGE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, FM radio, Micro-USB, and Bluetooth options.

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Featuring DTS surround sound audio technology, the smartphone packs 1500mAh battery with no word on talk time and standby time. The Karbonn S15 is listed in Black and White colour variants, and was first spotted by Fonearena.

The Karbonn S15 when officially announced may fall under the company’s ‘Titanium’ lineup. The firm has already launched several Titanium handsets, such as the Karbonn Titanium S19, Karbonn Titanium S12 Delite, and Karbonn Titanium S20..

The S15, when launched, might prove to be competition to the Lava Iris 465, which launched earlier this month at Rs. 4,499. The handset features similar specifications like mentioned above for Karbonn S15. The Iris 465’s highlight is its support for 21 Indian languages.

New BlackBerry Phones Can Now Run Android Apps

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The BlackBerry Passport and other BB10 devices will now be able to run Android apps. Josh Miller/CNET

BlackBerry 10 users can now run BlackBerry apps and Android apps, courtesy of the latest update to the mobile operating system.

Launched on Thursday, BlackBerry 10 OS 10.3.1 provides the usual access to the BlackBerry World app store but also adds entry to the Amazon Appstore, where users can download a variety of Android apps. The latest update has started to roll out for several BlackBerry 10 devices, including the Passport, Z30, Z3, Z10, Q10 and Q5, along with the Porsche Design P’9983 and P’9982 smartphones.

The update comes at a time when BlackBerry has steadily fallen to the bottom of the mobile phone heap.

At last count, BlackBerry’s global market share was less than 1 percent as most smartphone buyers have gravitated toward Apple and Android. Still, the company continues to battle back by launching new phones, such as the BlackBerry Classic and the Passport in hopes of gaining customers who still like the physical QWERTY keyboards and other BlackBerry features. And BlackBerry continues to update its latest mobile OS with new features designed to appeal to existing users and possibly attract new ones. The ability to run Android apps is one feature that might persuade more people to give BlackBerry phones a shot.

The latest update adds other features as well.

The BlackBerry Assistant is the company’s attempt at a voice assistant, a la Siri, Cortana and Google Now. BlackBerry’s first digital assistant is designed to help you work with your apps by responding to questions or comments in one of two ways. If you type something, the BlackBerry Assistant responds silently. If you speak, the assistant responds by voice.

BlackBerry Blend displays text messages, emails, documents and other content from your phone on your computer or tablet. The BlackBerry Hub has been enhanced with a new option called “Instant Actions.” These allow you to organize your inbox without having to go through each individual email.

A new Meeting Mode sets your phone to silent mode while you’re in a meeting and then turns it back to active mode after the meeting is over. BlackBerry has added back certain keyboard shortcuts for phones that sport a physical keyboard, where you can assign a specific function to just about every letter.

The camera has been upgraded with a panoramic feature and other enhancements. And finally, BlackBerry promises a 15 percent jump in battery life by letting you pick which apps and features you want to stay active or become passive.

The new version is already rolling out to customers in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Asia Pacific region. Those of you in North America should see the update arrive over the coming weeks. But your timing will vary depending on your mobile carrier. A spokeswoman for BlackBerry told CNET that some Canadian customers of wireless carrier Rogers have already started to receive the update.

Panasonic T41 Mobile

panasonic-t41

Panasonic T41 is a dual-SIM Android KitKat handset with 4.5 inch FWVGA display. It has a 1.3GHz quad core processor and a 512MB RAM. It houses a 5MP back cam and a VGA front cam. The 1650 mah battery of the handset renders ample talk time and standby time. For connectivity, it has 2G/3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and USB. Other features include FM radio, A-GPS, audio/video player, Gesture play, and 4GB built-in and 32Gb expandable memory.
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Look & Feel

  • Weight
  • 120 g
  • Size
  • 131 x 65.9 x 8.3 mm
  • Form factor
  • Candybar
  • Keyboard
  • Touchscreen QWERTY keyboard
  • Touchscreen T9 keyboard
  • Hard keys
  • Power button
  • Volume key
  • Color
  • Pearl White
  • Black
  • Bright Red

Display

  • Type
  • IPS LCD
  • Screen size
  • 4.5 inch
  • Touchscreen type
  • Capacitive touchscreen
  • Resolution
  • 854 x 480 px
  • Sensors
  • Light sensor
  • Proximity sensor
  • Accelerometer sensor

Camera

  • Back camera
  • 5 megapixels
  • Flash
  • LED
  • Image formats
  • JPEG
  • Front camera
  • VGA
  • Additional camera features
  • Autofocus
  • Video recording

Hardware

  • Processor
  • Clock speed
  • 1.3 GHz
  • Number of cores
  • Quad core

Memory

  • Built-in
  • 4 GB
  • RAM
  • 512 MB
  • Expansion type
  • MicroSD card
  • Expansion capacity
  • 32 GB

Connectivity

  • GPRS
  • EDGE
  • 3G
  • Wi-Fi
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Wi-Fi Direct
  • Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Bluetooth
  • v4.0 with A2DP
  • USB
  • GPS type
  • A-GPS

Communication

  • Multiple SIM
  • Dual-SIM
  • Dual-GSM standby
  • 2G network
  • Dualband (GSM 900/1800)
  • 3G network
  • WCDMA 2100
  • Communication facilities
  • SMS
  • Email
  • Instant messaging

Software

  • OS
  • Android v4.4 (KitKat)

Battery

 

  • Battery type
  • Li-Po 1650 mAh battery

 

Samsung Z1 Launched

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Samsung launched its first ever Tizen smartphone. It is the company’s first Tizen OS-based smartphone in the country, and is available in White, Black, and Wine Red colour options. Tizen is Samsung’s own Linux-based OS. Samsung Z1 expands the mobile entertainment experience with simple yet smart features.

KEY SPECS : -

Display                    :         4 inch

Touchscreen           :         Yes

Touchscreen type  :         Capacitive

Resolution              :         480×800 pixels

RAM                         :        768MB

OS Tizen                  :        2.3

Storage                     :       4GB

Processor                 :       1.2GHz dual-core

RAM                         :        768MB

Internal storage     :         4GB

Expandable storage up to (GB) 64

Dimensions (mm)  :        120.40 x 63.20 x 9.70

Rear camera            :         3.1-megapixel with Flash

Front camera          :         0.3-megapixel

Weight (g)                :        112.00

Battery capacity      :        1500mAh

The Slimmest Smartphone Vivo X5Max Review

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The Vivo X5Max – the latest smartphone to claim the title of slimmest in the world. The X5Max is slightly wider and taller than the R5 at 153.9 x 78mm. Additionally, the 156g weight makes it light enough to hold comfortably. The X5Max’s USP is its 4.75mm thickness. The phone has three capacitive buttons below the screen for navigating through the operating system. Above the display, Vivo has placed the earpiece, front facing camera, a cutout for ambient light and proximity sensors, and the notification LED. A large speaker grille is at the bottom on the rear. Also on the rear is the primary camera which juts out a bit (this seems like a normal thing now if you are making a slim smartphone) with the flash module by its side. Vivo packs the X5Max with Qualcomm’s latest mid-range octa-core processor, the Snapdragon 615. This SoC fuses four 1.7 GHz Cortex-A53 cores and four 1.0 GHz Cortex-A53 cores, with an Adreno 405 GPU for graphics. There is also 2GB of RAM which should be sufficient for most practical purposes. The phone has 16GB of internal storage which can be expanded by up to 128GB using a microSD card. The Vivo X5Max has a 13-megapixel primary shooter with flash. There is a 5-megapixel front-facing camera for selfies and video calls. Apart from connecting to 3G networks, the Vivo X5Max can also connect to Indian 4G networks on the 2300MHz band. With respect to other connectivity options, it has support for Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, and Wi-Fi a/b/g/n. Despite the space constraints, Vivo has fitted the X5Max with a 2,000mAh battery. A 5.5-inch Super AMOLED screen adorns the front of the phone and has a resolution of 1080×1920. As is the case with AMOLED screens, the colours are really vibrant. Thanks to the fairly high pixel density of 401ppi, text and images are super crisp. The viewing angles were not too bad but our only grouse with the otherwise good display was that the brightness level wasn’t as high as other phones, which drastically affected sunlight legibility. Vivo’s FunTouch OS skin is wrapped around Android 4.4.4 KitKat. The company has promised an update to Android Lollipop in the near future. FunTouch OS, much like the skins used on other Chinese smartphones, does not have an app drawer. Unlocking the phone leads to the homepage lined with tons of icons. The lockscreen has a large circular icon with a customisable avatar that can be swiped upwards to enter the homescreen. There is a digital clock on top under which you can show a custom signature.

Xolo Q610s Android 5.0 Lollipop Update Released

Xolo-Q610s

The Xolo Q610s Designed for perfect handle-ability and maximum screen visibility, Q610s offers the most efficient screen ratio of more than 74% in a compact body. The bezels of the device have been narrowed down considerably without compromising on the screen size to make it comfortable to use. Now enjoy more screen per phone with Q610s. The Xolo Q610s was launched powered by Android 4.4.2 KitKat OS out-of-the-box. Some of the other specifications of the smartphone are 4.5-inch (480×854 pixels) FWVGA IPS display; 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek (MTK6582M) processor; 1GB of RAM; Mali-400 MP2 GPU; 8GB of inbuilt storage, which is further expandable via microSD card (up to 32GB); 5-megapixel rear camera; 0.3-megapixel front-facing, and 1700mAh battery.

Lenovo S90 iPhone 6-Lookalike Launched

Lenovo-Sisley-S90-iPhone-6-Lookalike-Launched

The iPhone 6-lookalike smartphone by Lenovo named the ‘Sisley’ S90 has finally been launched. the dual-SIM (micro-SIM) Lenovo ‘Sisley’ S90 runs Android 4.4.4 KitKat and is upgradable to Android 5.0 Lollipop, according to the retailer. It features a 5-inch Super AMOLED HD (720×1280 pixels) display and packs a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 410 64-bit processor with Adreno 306 GPU and 1GB of RAM. The S90 features a 13-megapixel rear camera with LED flash and an 8-megapixel front facing camera. Inbuilt storage on the handset is 32GB, which is not expandable via microSD card. Connectivity options on the smartphone include 4G, Wi-Fi, GPS/ A-GPS, Bluetooth, NFC and FM radio. The handset is backed by a 2300mAh battery.

iBall Slide Brace X1 Xotic Tipped to Launch Soon

iBall-Slide-Brace-X1

The iBall Slide Brace X1 tablet, as per the company listing, sports a 10.1-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) resolution IPS display and runs on Android 4.4 KitKat. The tablet is powered by an ARM Cortex-based octa-core processor clocked at 1.7GHz that is coupled with 2GB of RAM. Besides a 13-megapixel rear camera and an 8-megapixel front-facing camera, the iBall Slide Brace X1 features 16GB of inbuilt storage, which can be further expanded via microSD card (up to 32GB). The listing also shows the iBall Slide Brace X1 to come equipped with dual speakers and be backed by a 7800mAh battery. The tablet design faintly resembles the Lenovo Yoga 10 series.

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