Ubuntu smartphone being made available on invitation-only basis
A smartphone running Ubuntu is being made available to potential users in Europe, on an invitation-only basis. The Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition, a repackaged version of the existing Meizu MX4 running the titular operating system, is a device with a 5.36-inch, 1920x1152-resolution, Gorilla Glass 3-protected display, backed by a customized octa-core Mediatek processor with PowerVR G6200 GPU, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage.
Issue with insecure updates for Samsung smartphone keyboard discovered last fall
A recently-demonstrated vulnerability in Samsung smartphones could put as many as 600 million devices at risk of being misused. Demonstrated at the Blackhat security conference by NowSecure researcher Ryan Welton, the vulnerability relates to the way the update system for the software keyboard operates, allowing a malicious user the opportunity to access data, install apps, and take control of the smartphone's microphone and camera for surveillance purposes.
Combined fitness tracker and Bluetooth headset joins Huawei P8 Lite in US launch
Huawei has revealed a smartphone it has started shipping to the United States at Computex, accompanied by a previously-announced fitness tracker. The P8 Lite is a lower-specification version of the Ascend P8 and Ascend P8max smartphones Huawei launched in April, while the TalkBand B2 combination fitness tracker and Bluetooth earpiece is also confirmed for release in the United States this week.
New ZenFone offers 13MP front and rear cameras
Asus has announced the official launch of its new ZenFone Selfie at this year's Computex in Taipei. As you might expect from the name, Asus' latest smartphone places a strong emphasis on the front-facing camera. While both of the handset's cameras offer 13-megapixel resolutions, the front f/2.2 aperture lens boasts an 88-degree field of view for capturing panoramic self-portraits of up to 140 degrees.
Magic View display on Lenovo smartwatch prototype projects second screen into user's eye
Lenovo used its TechWorld event to show two concept devices it has been working on. A smartphone with a built-in projector was revealed, complete with a mode that offered alternative ways to interact with the device, while a smartwatch was shown with a secondary "Magic View" display that provides an alternative and private viewpoint for personal data, along with other non-standard smartwatch functions.
R7, R7 Plus have similar core internals, slim construction
Oppo has unveiled two smartphones joining its R-series of mobile devices. The R7 and the R7 Plus are similar-specification smartphones equipped with five-inch and six-inch 1080p AMOLED displays respectively, with each offering narrow bezels to the sides of the screen and Oppo's continued efforts to design a thin smartphone, with the R7 measuring 6.3mm while the Plus is 7.75mm thick.
Two more smartphones launched using LG G4 branding
LG has introduced two more smartphones bearing the G4 name, with both new devices offering more restrained specifications than the flagship model. The G4 Stylus is a cheaper, lower specification phablet that is effectively a rebranding of the G Stylo, while the G4c is a more compact, budget-conscious smartphone that shares the design and many of the features of the full-size version.
Latest LG flagship has 16MP F1.8 camera with OIS 2.0
LG has formally launched its previously-teased flagship smartphone. The LG G4 follows on from its predecessor, the LG G3, upgrading the screen to a 5.5-inch 2560x1440-resolution IPS "Quantum Display" panel, which is claimed to offer 20 percent greater color reproduction, a 25 percent improvement to brightness, and a 50-percent greater contrast.
China set to receive Lenovo K80 from end of April
Lenovo has introduced a new smartphone destined for the Chinese market, with two impressive hardware points among the mid to high-end specifications list. Measuring 8.5mm thick, The phablet-sized Lenovo K80 houses 4GB of RAM, equalling the competing Asus ZenFone 2, while the non-removable battery holds a long-lasting 4,000mAh of charge.
OnePlus makes One smartphone available to buy without invitations
The OnePlus One is now available to buy without an invitation, the manufacturer has revealed. Plagued by restricted invitation-only sales since its launch one year ago, and only recently selling freely in weekly 24-hour sales, OnePlus has lifted the restriction entirely, allowing users to order the smartphone whenever they want. The company won't be shutting out invitations completely, as the upcoming OnePlus 2 will also initially sell via invitations.
Lumia 540 Dual SIM has 5-inch 720p display, quad-core 1.2GHz processor
Microsoft has unveiled a Windows-based smartphone that seems to be a slightly improved version of the recent Lumia 640 for emerging markets. The new Lumia 540 Dual SIM shares much of its specifications with last month's smartphone launch, but it does include a few useful changes, such as a higher-resolution front-facing camera and, as the name suggests, the ability to use two SIM cards.
Leaked site includes questionable placeholder specifications for LG G4
The LG G4 may have leaked far earlier than the manufacturer intended, after a website, said to be a staging area prior to the flagship smartphone's launch, surfaced. The page, spotted by Evan Blass and now hidden from view, contained a large number of images showing the G4 in full, complete with the stitched leather backing that appeared in earlier teasers for the device's unveiling.
ZTE Blade S6 Plus has 5.5-inch 720p display, 3,000mAh battery
ZTE has launched a second version of the Blade S6 it unveiled in January. The Blade S6 Plus is a marginally larger smartphone than its stablemate, increasing the size from a 5-inch screen to a 5.5-inch 720p IPS display, with the battery also boosted from 2,400mAh to 3,000mAh, though other than the size difference and these changes, the rest of the smartphone appears to be identical to the standard model.
BlackBerry begins pre-order sales of Leap smartphone
Pre-orders for the mid-range BlackBerry Leap have commenced in the United States, the United Kingdom, and other countries. BlackBerry is selling the smartphone with a five-inch, 720p display unlocked directly from its website, priced at $275, though it warns the version it sells will not work with Verizon, Sprint, or US Cellular (i.e., America's CDMA-based carriers). Pre-orders in Canada will begin at a later date.
Phablet-sized high-resolution display, plastic body expected in HTC launch
HTC has leaked a phablet-sized variant of its plastic One E9+ via its Chinese website. While the One E8 was launched shortly after the One M8 flagship last year as a similar device with a cheaper casing for Asian markets, the One E9+ takes a different route, opting for a larger and higher-resolution display as well as a few other changes in specification from the One M9.
Partition stitching addition widens reach of Windows 10 phone preview
Microsoft is making the technical preview of Windows 10 for smartphones available to more devices, the software giant has advised. Initially available to a small number of Lumia smartphones, the technical preview will be installable on a wider array of hardware, with over 30 Lumia devices on a preliminary list set to receive the software in the next preview release.
Initial Vaio-branded smartphone limited just to Japan
The first Vaio-branded smartphone has surfaced in Japan, following the sale of the computer manufacturing arm and the brand by Sony to Japan Industrial Partners last year. Simply called the Vaio Phone, it is a mid-ranged device with a five-inch 720p IPS display, using a quad-core 1.2GHz processor with 2GB of RAM, running on Android Lollipop.
Curved back, sides in early LG G4 render suggest similar display to G Flex 2
The LG G4, the manufacturer's rumored followup to last year's G3, could have a curved display if a leak is genuine. An image claimed to be an early promotional render of the smartphone shows the back of the device with a slight curve, suggesting the main display of the device will also have a similar curvature to the LG G Flex 2, shown earlier this year.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sprint offers T-Mobile customers $200 minimum trade-ins for switching
Sprint is refocusing its trade-in offer directly against main rival T-Mobile. Running until April 9, Sprint will offer T-Mobile customers a minimum instant trade-in value of $200 for their smartphone if they transfer their number over. Sprint is also allowing the offer to work alongside another promotion, granting up to $350 per line to cover early termination fees or installment billing balances.
Leak points to changes with UltraPixel camera system in next HTC flagship
The follow-up to the HTC One M8 looks a lot like its predecessor, according to the latest alleged leak. Surfacing shortly after the company revealed it would be holding an event at Mobile World Congress, photographs for what is believed to be called the HTC One M9 has surfaced, with the codenamed-Hima smartphone having relatively few external changes.
HTC smartwatch said to share data with Under Armour fitness platform
HTC may join Samsung in launching a wearable at Mobile World Congress in March alongside a new flagship. Though lacking in detail, a report claims the smartwatch will take advantage of a partnership between HTC and Under Armour, with the wrist-based tracker connecting to the sports apparel brand's own fitness service for health and fitness tracking.
OnePlus still developing its own custom Lollipop-based ROM
Late last month, smartphone maker OnePlus asked their users for feedback on naming the custom ROM for the OnePlus One. An alpha release of the ROM, based on Android v5.0 "Lollipop," has been available at the OnePlus forums since just before the New Year. Today, an interview with Cyanogen founder Steve Kondik confirmed that Cyanogen plans to ship its own Lollipop/CyanogenMod 12 for the OnePlus One next month.
Xiaomi flagship phablets have 5.7-inch displays, aluminum and glass body
Xiaomi has launched two new mobile devices, with a pair of phablet-sized smartphones The Xiaomi Mi Note is a smartphone with a large 5.7-inch 1080p display squeezed into a 6.95mm-thick aluminum and glass body, while the Mi Note Pro keeps the design the same but slips in some component upgrades, as well as increasing the screen resolution to 1440x2560.
Spiral 2 Project Ara prototype has Marbell, Nvidia processor options
Project Ara, Google's attempt to create a modular smartphone, will be initially released in Puerto Rico this year, the company has revealed. News of the project's initial launch details come at the same time as the search company revealed its second prototype device, an upgraded collection of modules and endoskeleton which it calls Spiral 2.
Samsung Galaxy J1 may be first of budget J-series device range
A new budget smartphone from Samsung using a 64-bit processor is on the way, according to leaked images. Using a similar naming convention to the flagship Galaxy S-series, and more recent Galaxy A-series and Galaxy E-series smartphones, the Galaxy J-series appears to be a new entry-level collection, starting with the Galaxy J1 and its 4.3-inch 800x480 display.
P90 first Lenovo smartphone to use Intel Atom processor
Lenovo has launched two smartphones at CES, devices which were previously rumored to make an appearance. The Lenovo P90 is the company's first to use a 64-bit Intel Atom processor and Intel XMM 7260 LTE-Advanced modem, while the Vibe line is joined by the X2 Pro, complete with an accessory said to help improve lighting for self portraits.
Snapdragon 810 octa-core 64-bit processor used in curved LG G Flex 2
LG has unveiled the latest iteration of its curved smartphone at CES, as part of its pre-event keynote address. The LG G Flex 2, the successor to the G Flex, is one of the first smartphones to be announced as using the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, an octa-core 64-bit processor clocked at 2GHz, which LG has paired with 2GB of RAM.
New budget Archos mobile devices include 4G connectivity
Archos is adding more phones and tablets to its Android device range, the company has revealed ahead of next week's CES. Alongside new versions of the 45b, 50b, 50c, 70 and 101 Helium mobile devices, the manufacturer has outlined some details for its 50 Diamond 4G smartphone, as well as its upcoming 4G-equipped 80b Helium budget tablet.
Custom ROM created following CyanogenMod issues in India
OnePlus has released the first iteration of its own custom Android Fork to OnePlus One users, as it starts to move away from CyanogenMod. The official custom ROM, which will be named by the users via a competition, effectively offers just the stock features of AOSP Android Lollipop at the moment, but the company is planning to improve the mobile operating system in future releases.
Huawei Ascend GX1 runs Android KitKat, has six-inch 720p IPS display
Huawei has added another smartphone in its Ascend device range, one which is destined for sale on the Chinese market. The Ascend GX1 is a mid-ranged Android KitKat smartphone with a six-inch 720p IPS display, with the combination of its large display and slim body giving the device a high screen-to-body ratio of 80.5 percent.
Full keyboard, retro design main features of mid-range BlackBerry Classic
BlackBerry has formally launched a retro-styled smartphone it previously teased. Housed in a casing reminiscent of earlier models, the BlackBerry Classic has a few modern tricks up its sleeve to go with the familiar QWERTY keyboard, including an optical trackpad and a touch-enabled 3.5-inch 720x720-resolution square display.
Production halts on Nexus 5, only black variant available on Google Play
Production for the Google Nexus 5 has finally ceased, it has been confirmed. The smartphone, the predecessor to the Nexus 6, is no longer being manufactured by LG for the search company and, despite a few slight availability issues for some variants, Google is going to continue selling the device until it runs out of stock completely.
European launch of dual-screen Russian smartphone takes place in London
Yota Devices is bringing the YotaPhone 2 to market this month with a launch in Europe, starting with a pop-up shop in London tonight, before a wider release next year. The smartphone retains the same e-paper rear display concept as its predecessor, which can be used for various smartphone functions without using too much battery life, but houses it and other upgraded components inside a sleeker, curved casing.
Leaked prototype photographs reveal possible Lumia device with PureView-style camera hump
Leaked photographs claimed to show a prototype Lumia smartphone may depict a previously-rumored device said to have Kinect-style gesture controls and a high-resolution PureView camera. The images, showing a device marked as a prototype from Microsoft Mobile, may in fact be a smartphone codenamed "McLaren" and may show what could have been the successor to the Lumia 1020.
Home appliance, television Co-CEO could take over mobile, Shin might lose CEO role
The sharp decline in smartphone sales appears to be taking its toll on Samsung, as sources say the South Korean company is considering a management shake-up at the very top. A plan under consideration would see current head of the mobile division Jong-Kyun Shin replaced, and possibly losing his co-CEO role within Samsung.
Latest generation of Gorilla Glass claimed twice as durable compared to competitors
Corning has introduced the fourth generation of its hard-wearing glass, used by a large proportion of smartphone and mobile devices. Gorilla Glass 4 is said to be twice as resistant to damage compared to its competitors, and with initial shipments of the new glass already being sent to manufacturers, could make an appearance in new smartphones from early next year.
Entry-level Windows Phone device replaces Nokia branding with Microsoft
As expected, Microsoft has launched its first Lumia smartphone without Nokia branding. The Microsoft Lumia 535 barely differs from the usual Lumia physical design, with the smartphone bearing a five-inch 960x540 IPS LCD screen and entry-level specifications held within a colorful polycarbonate body bearing the Microsoft logo on the back.
Nexus 6 goes on sale via Motorola, sells out within hours
Motorola is now selling the Nexus 6 directly in the United States, via its own online store, giving potential customers an alternative route to Google Play to acquire the smartphone. At the same time, the company is introducing its recently-leaked metal strap options for the Moto 360 through the store, as well as a champagne gold colored version of the Android Wear smartwatch.
OnePlus co-founder aims for high sales, reveals low profit, marketing budget
There have been over half a million sales of the OnePlus One smartphone, a co-founder has advised. According to Carl Pei, the manufacturer is still aiming higher, with the intention to reach a milestone of 1 million smartphone sales before the end of this year, but the high sales are unlikely to help the company earn much of a profit, due to allegedly slim margins.
Oppo N3 holds 16MP camera in motorized rotating module
Chinese mobile phone manufacturer Oppo has revealed two new smartphones it is planning to ship in the near future. Teased earlier this month, the Oppo N3 has a revolving camera module at the top capable of rotating on it's own, while the Oppo R5 aims to take the slimmest-smartphone crown, with its metal body measuring just 4.85mm thick.
Latest Droid iteration has flagship specifications, claimed 48-hour battery
Verizon is bringing another Droid smartphone to its network, with the introduction of the endurance-focused Droid Turbo. The Motorola-produced smartphone boasts a high battery life, with its 3,900mAh battery claimed to last for up to 48 hours of average usage from a single charge, a feature boosted by the Motorola Turbo Charger's ability to provide up to eight hours of power to the phone after just 15 minutes of charging.
Slightly smaller HTC Desire 820 mini reduces screen size, downgrades internals
A smaller version of the HTC Desire 820, launched at IFA last month, has gone on sale in China. The Desire 820 mini switches out the 5.5-inch 720p display of the original device for a slightly smaller five-inch version, though it keeps the same resolution, and in a similar manner to other "mini" versions of existing smartphones, this version also has marginally downgraded internal components within its two-tone plastic frame.