Crowdfunding site will offer YotaPhone 2 in US before wider retail availability
Yota Devices is bringing the YotaPhone 2 to the United States, with initial sales going through crowdfunding platform Indiegogo. The smartphone, which notably has a secondary e-paper display on the back of the device, will apparently go on sale in the US next month through the site in a similar move to Pebble's recent smartwatch sequel launch on Kickstarter.
LTE-equipped Tornado 552L smartphone measures 5.5mm thick
Kazam has unveiled yet another Android smartphone at Mobile World Congress, following the Tornado 455L and the pre-event launches. The Tornado 552L is one of the British manufacturer's higher-specification mobile devices, fitting a 1.7GHz octa-core MediaTek processor and a 5.2-inch 1080p AMOLED screen into a metal and glass casing that measures just 5.5mm thick.
New report partially reiterates earlier IDC analysis on record holiday quarter
While significantly disagreeing on the shipment or sales numbers of its rivals, analysis firms IDC and Gartner have agreed that Apple surpassed all expectations in a number of areas with its record-shattering calendar Q4 performance, with Gartner awarding Apple the crown of top smartphone seller in the world. An earlier report by IDC had Apple barely missing the top spot, claiming that Samsung shipped 75.1 million units, despite a sharp drop in profits and revenue.
BlackBerry Leap shipping soon with 8MP rear camera, 5-inch 720p display
BlackBerry used its Mobile World Congress media event to launch a new mid-ranged smartphone, as well as teasing another future device, The BlackBerry Leap is aimed at "young mobile professionals" and has a five-inch 1280x720-resolution display, while a second unnamed device is a slider-style smartphone with a keyboard hidden behind the screen.
x3 intended for entry level devices, x5 and x7 for full Android and Windows
Intel Corporation CEO Brian Krzanich today announced a series of mobile platforms including the company's new low-cost system-on-chip (SoC) for phones, phablets and tablets. The announcements include the Intel Atom x3 processor series, Intel's first integrated communications SoC solution for the growing value and entry device markets, and the five-mode Intel XMM 7360 LTE Advanced solution, designed for performance and worldwide coverage.
Slim Gionee smartphone has octa-core MediaTek processor
Gionee has launched a slim phone at Mobile World Congress measuring just 5.5mm thick. Taking after the Elife S5.5 in terms of thinness, the Elife S7 manages to fit in a 5.2-inch 1080p AMOLED display into its narrow aviation-grade alloy frame, covered with stainless steel sheet and nano-molding plastic, with the rest of the specifications appearing to suggest little has been taken out of the device.
Water-resistant Tornado 455L has rear 13MP Sony BSI camera
Kazam has outed one more device at Mobile World Congress, joining its other Trooper launches from last week. The Kazam Tornado 455L is a mid-ranged LTE-equipped Android Kitkat smartphone with a 5.5-inch 720p IPS display, with it also being IP67-certified for protection from the elements, with Gorilla Glass covering the screen, and the manufacturer offering support in the form of cracked screen replacements and a three-year warranty.
Chinese-produced Grand S3 checks users vein pattern in eyes before unlocking
ZTE's latest flagship launching outside of China uses the owner's eyes to unlock the device, rather than codes or fingerprints. The latest in the Grand range, the ZTE Grand S3 uses EyeVerify's Eyeprint ID system to scan the eyes as a biometric authentication, instead of a fingerprint-based system used by some flagship devices, with Eyeprint ID keeping track of unique vein patterns on the eye itself.
Second-gen phone improves enterprise integration
Privacy company Silent Circle has revealed the second-generation Blackphone and announced plans for a security-focused Blackphone+ tablet. The Blackphone 2 features a range of hardware upgrades, but many business buyers will also welcome expanded support for enterprise mobile-device management systems such as Citrix.
Sony style with an accessible price point
Sony has expanded its Xperia smartphone lineup, adding the M4 Aqua this week at Mobile World Congress. The company is not shy about labelling it a midrange Android device, promising that all of the popular features and capabilities remain mostly intact, despite its lower price tag.
New 64-bit chip features 64 bits, Kryo architecture, Zeroth technology
Qualcomm president Derek Aberle laid out the company's future System on a Chip (SoC) offering in a presentation at the Mobile World Congress today -- the Snapdragon 820. The new chip, unveiled as devices with the Snapdragon 810 are just now seeing release, features a 64-bit CPU, and will be sampled to device vendors before the end of 2015.
Lumia 640 XL has larger screen, better cameras than Lumia 640
Microsoft has added two more mid-ranged devices to its Lumia device roster. The Lumia 640 has a five-inch 720p ClearBlack IPS display, with the Lumia 640 XL boasting a similar-resolution 5.7-inch display, and though they both have similar core specifications and share the same name, the XL version has a few more extra changes.
Vibe Shot is smartphone with heavy focus on photography
Following on from yesterday's tablet launches, Lenovo has unveiled another trio of mobile devices at Mobile World Congress. The Vibe Shot is a smartphone with a focus on photography, the A7000 is claimed to be the world's first smartphone to use Dolby Atmos, and the Pocket Projector is a compact accessory for Android devices.
The slim phone is available two screen sizes
Alcatel has introduced the latest model in its OneTouch smartphone lineup, the Idol 3, which will be available in two screen sizes. Making its debut at Mobile World Congress, the Idol 3 features a unique 'reversible' function that allows users to take phone calls or navigate the interface when the device is upside down.
New Liquid smartphone collection includes entry-level, high-end devices
Acer has introduced three Android smartphones at Mobile World Congress, alongside the Liquid Leap+ and the Windows Phone-based Liquid M220. The Liquid Z220 and Liquid Z520 are entry-level devices, while the Liquid Jade Z follows on from the Liquid Jade S as a high-end smartphone, but slightly dialed back in specification to make it a more affordable mobile device.
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge follows Note edge in putting display on smartphone sides
Just as expected, Samsung has launched two flagship smartphones at its Unpacked event today. The Galaxy S6 is the latest update to the long-standing Galaxy S line, while the Galaxy S6 edge improves upon the expanded screen concept introduced with the Galaxy Note Edge last year, but this time Samsung has curved the screen around both sides of the device, giving users an even wider display.
Not clear what differs between Apple Pay and Samsung Pay
Today at its Mobile World Congress keynote, Samsung Electronics announced the latest in mobile payment services, Samsung Pay. Utilizing the company's purchase of LoopPay in February, Samsung's effort uses both Near Field Communication (NFC) and a new proprietary technology called Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST), allowing consumers to transition to secure mobile payments at nearly all merchant locations.
Phone features expandable storage, claims of Windows 10 upgrade possibility
At today's Barcelona Mobile World Congress, Acer unveiled the Liquid M220 smartphone, the company's first Liquid smartphone to run on the Windows Phone 8.1 operating system. The phone is a four-inch device, at 223 pixels per inch, and is aimed at the entry-level consumer.
Physical design of HTC One M9 remains relatively unchanged from previous model
HTC has just used its Utopia in Progress event to launch the latest iteration in its One smartphone range. The HTC One M9 is similar to the earlier M7 and M8 devices, housing a 5-inch 1080p display in a familiar two-tone metal unibody design with front-mounted BoomSound speakers, though they now have Dolby Audio processing to provide 5.1-channel surround sound.
Windows Phone holds steady at one percent; BlackBerry not counted in survey
The latest Good Technology Mobility Index Report on the mobile enterprise space, based on a survey of Good's customer base for its own enterprise-level email services, shows iOS gaining ground by taking away share from Android in calendar Q4 2014, with the former growing by four percentage points to hit 73 percent share of global enterprise activations. Android fell by the same amount to 25 percent, while Windows Phone held steady at one percent.
Samsung grabs lion's share of shipments, but Apple takes 90 percent of profits
Based on shipment data, analyst firm IDC has determined that Apple and Samsung have effectively gained full control of the smartphone market, splitting 96.3 percent of all smartphones shipped -- up nearly a full percentage point from the same period last year. All Android phones combined account for 81.5 percent in 2014, a slight increase from 2013. The percentages flip, however, when talking about money rather than units -- with Apple said to get 90 percent of the profits in the industry.
Glass front and back, metal sides expected with Samsung Galaxy S6
Images of what is believed to be one of the Samsung Galaxy S6 variants have leaked, giving what could be an early look at the smartphone before its expected launch on Sunday. Reports are also coming in that Samsung could also be having some trouble manufacturing one of its new flagship devices, with the curved-screen version apparently having yield issues with the display.
Moto E gains larger screen and speed boost, on sale now
Motorola has made some updates to its entry-level Moto E smartphone, the Lenovo-owned manufacturer has announced. The new Moto E will have a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 410 processor with an Adreno 306 GPU, an update from the dual-core version the original had, with Motorola also preparing two variants of the device, giving consumers the option of a 3G-only model or one with LTE connectivity.
Smartphones joined by trio of Kazam Windows tablets
British smartphone producer Kazam has introduced a number of new devices ahead of next week's Mobile World Congress. The Trooper range of Android smartphones has been bolstered with six new models, with the company also preparing to show off three Windows tablets and two Windows Phone devices at the Barcelona-based tradeshow.
LG Magna, Spirit, Leon, Joy all borrow G3 physical design
LG has unveiled four smartphones ahead of Mobile World Congress, in a similar move to its Watch Urbane launch. The four mobile devices, named Magna, Spirit, Leon, and Joy, are all said to be mid-ranged smartphones that borrow much of their design from the LG G3 including their rear-mounted volume controls, with LG creating LTE-equipped and 3G-only variants of all four models introduced today.
German online store posts supposed images, details of next HTC flagship
The next in the series of HTC's flagship smartphones has been subject to a major leak over the weekend, one week before its reveal at Mobile World Congress. Promotional renders of the HTC One M9 have been spotted on the pages of German retailer Cyberport before being removed, with accompanying specifications claiming it to have a five-inch 1080p-resolution display.
Verizon installing 400 small cells to improve San Francisco LTE coverage
Verizon subscribers in San Francisco will be seeing improvements in 4G service in some areas before the end of the year, thanks to a new project to install small cells. Typically used in high-demand locations and previously used in New York and Chicago, GigaOM reports that 400 LTE-equipped transmitters will be added to utility and light poles in the SOMA, Financial District, Market Street, and North Beach neighborhoods as part of the project, with the miniature masts said to cover a radius of 250 to 500 feet each, smaller than macro cells usually used.
Sony aiming for $4.2B annual profit within three years
Sony's survival could involve Sony pulling out of more business areas, in order to concentrate on its imaging and entertainment divisions. Seemingly confirming earlier reports, CEO Kazou Hirai's new strategy will now depend on its camera sensor sales and the success of the PlayStation gaming arm to increase its operating profit 25-fold within the next three years, at a cost of minimizing its other businesses.
Mazes without walls
Lyne, by Thomas Bowker, is 250 levels of puzzles, where the player connects shapes on a grid with lines that may not intersect (mostly). It's by no means a new game -- the game got its last update about a year ago -- but it's still a pretty good diversion for anybody looking to unwind with a puzzler while waiting in line (see what we did there?) or while traveling.
CEO claims T-Mobile now third-largest US carrier
T-Mobile managed to post great results in its fourth quarter financial report, with the carrier's $101 million profit equating to 12 cents per share, reversing the 12 cents per share loss in the previous quarter. Revenues are also up 19.4-percent year-on-year, reaching $8.15 billion, with the company overall beating analyst expectations of a 5 cent EPS and revenues of $7.89 billion.
Cross-platform LoopPay PIN-based; data stored locally, not in the cloud
Samsung Electronics today confirmed that it has agreed to acquire LoopPay, the mobile wallet solutions provider that turns existing magnetic stripe readers into contactless receivers. LoopPay's technology has the potential to work in approximately 90 percent of existing point-of-sale (POS) terminals, according to Samsung research, with no investment in new infrastructure required by merchants.
Follow-up to Nuclun believed to launch later this year
Samsung may not be the only one trying to compete against Qualcomm's Snapdragon 810 processor with its own devices, with LG apparently doing something similar. A report claims the electronics manufacturer will be following on from its Nuclun processor with another self-produced processor, this time as a 64-bit octa-core chipset.
Amped Wireless shipping TAP-R2 router shortly, preorders commencing now
High-power, long-range wireless solutions provider Amped Wireless is shipping the next model in its TAP Series of Touch Screen Wi-Fi devices, the 802.11ac TAP-R2. Equipped with a total of six high-power amplifiers and two high-gain antennas (external and internal), the TAP-R2 delivers up to 800mW of Wi-Fi output power, with setup entirely on the device's touchscreen. The new router will be available on February 23, and will cost $160.
Initial camera components for modular smartphone have 2MP, 5MP, 13MP sensors
Project Ara, Google's quest to create a modular smartphone, has received two significant boosts. Toshiba has revealed a trio of camera modules that can be inserted into the back of the smartphone and exchanged for other modules, while smartphone manufacturer Yezz has confirmed it will be creating its own modules for the project, with its first modules set to be unveiled at Mobile World Congress.
AT&T to start selling BlackBerry Passport, Classic from February 20
BlackBerry fans in the United States will soon be able to pick up the manufacturer's latest devices on AT&T. The BlackBerry Classic and the BlackBerry Passport, redesigned specifically for the carrier, will be going on sale from February 20. The Passport, complete with rounded edges, will cost $650 off-contract, $200 with a two-year agreement, or for between $21.67 and $32.50 under AT&T Next. The Classic will cost $50 on a two-year contract, $420 off-contract, or under AT&T Next's various plans, between $14 and $21 per month.
New toy basically a plastic Google Cardboard, requires smartphone
Google and Mattel have taken the wraps off of their partnership, and have unveiled a new View-Master toy for the 21st century. The new View-Master, when coupled with a "compatible Android device," gives users a 3D VR panorama, which the toy manufacturer is calling a "360 degree photosphere." In essence, the new View-Master is a mass-manufactured Google Cardboard VR peripheral.
Bug-laden, incomplete version made available for public test, comment
Microsoft has expanded its Windows Insider program to Windows Phones. As part of the expansion, the company yesterday made a Windows 10 Technical Preview build available for select devices. Microsoft is exhorting caution about the release, reminding users that the release is "the earliest publicly available preview we've ever done for Windows on phones."
FreedomPop, Ting, Virgin Mobile, more preparing to offer iPhone 6, latest Androids
New reports indicate that Sprint has dropped a previous requirement that resellers of its network -- FreedomPop, Straight Talk, Boost Mobile, Virgin, and some others -- wait more than a year before offering support for the latest models of Android and iOS devices. The change allows the mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) to immediately begin offering the current iPhone 6 line from Apple, the top-selling smartphone worldwide.
Three-year investment program aims to provide 4G to more than 99 percent of population
British carrier EE has pledged to spend £1.5 billion ($2.3 billion) over the next three years to spread LTE service across the United Kingdom. The carrier plans to flood the country with 4G/LTE coverage, and is aiming to cover more than 99 percent of the population with the higher-speed service by 2017, exceeding its current footprint for its aging 2G service, and blanket 90 percent of the UK geography with the high-speed wireless connection.
Carriers must now unlock consumer's cellphones, with caveats
The deadline for wireless carriers to fully comply with the CTIA's consumer code regarding cellphone unlocking, mandated by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC), has arrived. Starting today, carriers must unlock consumers' devices on request, assuming certain provisions on ownership time or contract fulfillment have been completed.
Sony unveils Xperia E4 weeks before Mobile World Congress
Sony has announced the follow-up to its Xperia E3, weeks ahead of an expected launch at Mobile World Congress. The price-conscious stablemate to the anticipated Xperia Z4, the 10.5mm-thick Xperia E4 sports an "OmniBalance" physical design, with curved edges and a premium-in-appearance aluminum power button, surrounding a five-inch 960x540-resolution display, featuring scratch-resistant glass.
Deal likely reverts to 2011 patent agreement between MS, Samsung
Microsoft and Samsung have ceased the most recent round of legal hostilities over unpaid Android patent royalties due to the Surface maker. As expected, very few details are known about the deal, with both companies identically saying little more than "Samsung and Microsoft are pleased to announce that they have ended their contract dispute in US court as well as the ICC arbitration. Terms of the agreement are confidential."
OnePlus starting regular invitation-free sales windows tomorrow
Chinese smartphone producer OnePlus is going to make it easier to acquire its OnePlus One, by opening it up for purchase by anyone who wants one, though in a time-limited fashion. The company will be offering its flagship smartphone to everyone, including those without invitations, for 24-hour periods every Tuesday from tomorrow onwards.
Lower-specification Windows Phone devices could gain feature-limited WIndows 10
Microsoft is still working on allowing owners of lower-specification Windows Phone devices to use Windows 10. Concerns that owners of smartphones including the Lumia 520 would miss out were allayed by a Microsoft executive, though it appears that they may miss out on some of the functionality expected to arrive within the mobile operating system.
How to use the To Do app you should be using
Three times a week, MacNN stops reporting or reviewing for a few minutes, and instead tells you straight how to do the things you need to do. You've got this software, you've got that problem, do this, this, and that, and you're flying. So far, we've concentrated on the software that we all have, that comes on our Macs, but this time Pointers is about software you should have. Specifically OmniFocus, the To Do app.
Employee claims Xiaomi event intended to introduce brand to US media
Xiaomi could be preparing for a debut in the United States, by holding its own media event in the country. A report claims the Chinese smartphone producer will be holding an event for members of the press on February 12 in San Francisco, California, though a company employee suggests that the event will not be a US launch at all.
Accessory helps you manage business card clutter and contacts
Business cards are a convenient way to give and gather information about others without having to waste time writing down names, numbers, companies, and more. However, once you get a real-world business card, you're usually left with the tedious task of entering the information into your phone or contact list. What if there was a better way to put those little slips of paper to use before they get lost or destroyed in the washer? We checked out the WorldCard Mobile Phone Kit, which combines a phone holder with a tiny photo studio -- simply use your phone to take a picture of a business card, and the WorldCard Mobile app does the rest.
More Everything alterations start tomorrow, Edge discount changing
The price war between the major carriers continues, with Verizon making some data changes to its plans. While it isn't going to follow AT&T and T-Mobile in providing rollover data, it will be providing more data to More Everything plans on the lower tiers, effectively cutting costs by $10 per month, as well as introducing a number of new higher data tiers.
Combined leasing plan saves $17 on equivalent separate schemes
Sprint is offering its customers the option of switching over to iOS devices wholesale, with a promotional bundle that leases just Apple products. The carrier is putting together its current iPhone for Life and iPad for Life schemes into one single leasing plan, which will let users have both an iPhone and an iPad all on the same mobile plan for $100 per month.
Samsung hints at next flagship reveal ahead of Unpacked event
Samsung has teased its next flagship, due to be unveiled at the Unpacked event on March 1 at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The teaser, posted to Twitter as well as sent to the media, cryptically shows a metallic curved line, which could signify either the expected Galaxy S6 will have a wrap-around side display similar to the Galaxy Edge, or Samsung is planning a second Edge device launch alongside a more conventional Galaxy S6 design. Earlier rumors suggest Samsung is planning to use a fixed battery and a glass-covered metal casing in the smartphone.