Tags Smartphone

China’s Oppo Sold 50M Smartphones In 2015

oppo In the game of thrones that is the Android OEM space, Chinese smartphone maker Oppo’s star is rising. It said today it sold 50 million smartphones in the full year 2015 — a growth rate of 67 per cent, year over year. Read More

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Natasha Lomas

January 26th

Gadgets

Mobile

A Quick Tour Of Wearables In 2015

This is one you’d get for a really, really good girlfriend…and you happen to be rich. The starting price for this watch is $1500 USD. Wearables had a varied year in 2015, with a lot of hype and a few big winners streaking ahead of the field, leaving plenty of also-rans struggling to stand out. It’s fair to say that the entire category is yet to prove whether it offers lasting utility or mere faddish novelty… Read More

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Natasha Lomas

January 1st

Gadgets

Samsung Galaxy S7 To Get Pressure Sensitive Screen, Faster Charging Port, Says WSJ

galaxy-s6-edge-corner Samsung is set to take a leaf out of Apple’s playbook for the next iteration of its flagship Galaxy smartphone. According to the WSJ — quoting “people familiar with the matter” — the Galaxy S7 will have a pressure sensitive display when it launches next spring. Read More

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Natasha Lomas

December 14th

Gadgets

Mobile

iPhone 6s Plus vs. Moto X Pure – How does Motorola’s premium phablet compare to the best? [Video]

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Apple got in to the high-end phablet game for the first time last year. And just a couple of months back, it released its follow up to the 6 Plus just as Motorola turned its Moto X into a giant. Can the X Pure compete with what many consider to be the best phablet around?

Like Apple, Motorola has a big focus on design. Although their focus takes them on a slightly different path, the value for aesthetic appeal is there nonetheless. The metal-framed phone can be customized with a number of different color frames, front panels, metal accents and materials to personalize it before it even arrives at your door. With the iPhone 6s Plus, you have four colors. Only one if you want a black front panel. If you want to add leather, wood or a grippy plastic texture, your option is limited to buying a case.

While Motorola went with a curved back that sits comfortably in your palm, Apple went with a flat, smooth all-metal design. Motorola’s is undoubtedly more ergonomic, but in truth, both phones are big and reaching the corners of either screen is a stretch, even if you have large hands. Of course, if you have the iPhone, you can double tap the Home button and make any content at the top of the screen drop lower, making it far easier to reach.

If there’s one thing the iPhone has going for it, it’s an elegance and finesse. Although I’m not a fan of the antenna bands, there’s something quite luxurious about the way the glass curves perfectly in to the metal chassis, almost creating a seamless experience. Even the protruding camera, Lightning port and machined speaker holes are attractive. And you have to admire Apple’s ability to make really slim devices. At just 7.3mm thin, it’s nearly 4mm thinner than the Moto X Style’s thinnest point.

On the flip side, Apple’s insistence on relatively fat bezels means the iPhone 6s Plus is both taller and wider than the Moto X, that’s despite the fact its screen is 0.2-inches smaller. The Moto X Style has nice, slim bezels and still manages to fit in two stereo front-facing speakers in a front panel that’s 4.3mm shorter than the iPhone’s.

What this means in actual day-to-day life is that the Moto X feels like it belongs in your hand and fits easier in to your pocket, while the iPhone 6s is prettier to look at.

On to displays, and very little separates them. Despite being Quad HD resolution, the 5.7-inch LCD panel on the Motorola almost indistinguishable from the iPhone. Colors and sharpness are pretty much the same on both, despite being different resolutions. The Motorola is maybe slightly cooler, which makes blues pop a little bit more, but there really isn’t anything in it. That’s to say, they’re both very good displays with good viewing angles, color accuracy and detail. Neither offers the saturation, deep blacks or vividness of AMOLED screens, but that’s to be expected from LCD tech.

One piece of tech built in to the iPhone’s screen which isn’t on the Motorola is 3D Touch. In essence, the touch panel knows how hard you’re pressing the screen, and can enable special actions within apps, or direct from app icons on the home screen. Having used them for a little while, it’s very easy to get used to, especially when wanting to send a text message really quickly. I sometimes find myself pressing hard on the Moto X Screen, subconsciously hoping something happens. It never does.

As multimedia experiences go, having a slightly larger screen doesn’t quite make the Moto X Style an easy winner over the iPhone. But what does, is the stereo speakers. As always, Apple’s smartphone has a single loudspeaker placed right on the bottom edge, where your finger or palm will undoubtedly rest when watching movies or gaming. That doesn’t make for an immersive audio experience. Having two speakers blast at your face does, and being stereo means you get a proper feel for how the audio should sound.

As software experiences go, it’s the age old arguments of Android versus iOS. Although currently, the Moto X doesn’t have the latest version of Google’s operating system. It runs Lollipop, although an update to Marshmallow should be coming soon. In most regards, it’s a stock Android experience with a few tweaks. iPhones always run the latest version of iOS, so you get all the new tweaks and tricks offered by iOS 9. If your reason for choosing a phone is based mostly on which platform it runs, the decision is already made for you.

Putting the OS argument aside, both perform like flagships. The iPhone’s powerful dial-core A9 processor powers through most tasks with ease, performing Geekbench tests reveals why too. Its single-core performance is staggeringly high at over 2500 points, while multi-core performance is still 1000 higher than the six-core Snapdragon chip inside the Motorola. In daily use, you probably won’t notice any difference. Both phones are fast and fluid, while the iPhone will load graphically intense content a little faster.

It’s a different story with battery life. The iPhone’s battery may have a lower capacity battery at 2,750mAh (compared to the Moto’s 3,000mAh) but it seems to last longer in daily use. Most days, I can almost get to the end of a second day on a full charge with the iPhone 6s Plus, while the Motorola might get me to 1.5 days. But, if you ever want to charge it, the Motorola does so much quicker. With TurboPower, the Motorola can charge almost 70% of its battery in half an hour. That’s enough to get you through a full day.

Again, like the displays, there’s not much difference in quality of imagery when comparing the Moto X and iPhone. Motorola proudly exclaimed its new camera module is better than the iPhone 6 when it was launched. While that may be the case, it’s not immediately obvious. Both cameras can take great pictures, with good color accuracy and sharpness. Neither is particularly wonderful in low light conditions, and both can shoot 4K resolution video. Motorola’s boasts 21MP vs. the iPhone’s 12MP, meaning pictures are much bigger from the Moto X.

As an overall package, in many ways, both represent what’s best about their respective platforms. The Moto X might not have a fingerprint sensor, or a pressure sensitive display, but everything else about it is superb. As a kicker, the Moto X Pure costs just $399 in the US SIM-free and unlocked for the 16GB model. The same storage on an iPhone 6s Plus will cost you a princely $749. What’s more, you can expand the storage of the Moto X Pure up to an extra 128GB using a MicroSD card. To get that kind of storage an iPhone 6s Plus, you’re paying nearly $1000.

Many an Apple fan will argue that the company’s continued software support, fantastic app ecosystem and customer service are worth paying nearly double for a comparable piece of hardware. I don’t disagree too strongly. If you want an iPhone, you have to pay for it. On the flip-side, if you’re wanting to find out what life’s like on the ‘Dark Side’, it’ll set you back just half of the cost of an iPhone to get a very compelling, fantastic device.


Filed under: iOS Devices Tagged: Android, iphone 6s plus, Moto x Pure, Motorola, Smartphone, video

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Cam Bunton

November 20th

Apple

Mac

Atmotube Is A Tiny Pollution Sensor That Clears Up The Air You Breathe

wqikhw5u2wtjo7f46emi Portable air quality tracker Atmotube aims to be the Waze for air quality tracking in your city. The device is a tiny tube that you can carry around in your pocket or put on a key chain to monitor the air in your environment. Atmotube links to a smartphone app that tells you if the air you are breathing is toxic. It measures a number of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), carbon monoxide, and… Read More

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Sarah Buhr

November 16th

Gadgets

HUDWAY Gets Your Eyes Off Your Smartphone And Back On The Road While Driving

Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 2.26.05 PM HUDWAY is a piece of glass that turns any smartphone into a heads-up display on the front of your car. The device beams information from your phone to a thin layer of curved glass mounted to the front of any dashboard for turn-by-turn navigation and phone messages. We hear of the poor fool who lost their life because they were texting or looking at their phone while driving all the time. Read More

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Sarah Buhr

October 30th

Gadgets

HUDWAY Gets Your Eyes Off Your Smartphone And Back On The Road While Driving

Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 2.26.05 PM HUDWAY is a piece of glass that turns any smartphone into a heads-up display on the front of your car. The device beams information from your phone to a thin layer of curved glass mounted to the front of any dashboard for turn-by-turn navigation and phone messages. We hear of the poor fool who lost their life because they were texting or looking at their phone while driving all the time. Read More

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Photo

Sarah Buhr

October 30th

Gadgets

Nexus 5X Review: Google’s Second Best Flagship Device

Screen Shot 2015-10-18 at 7.33.31 PM LG and Google have worked together again to bring you their latest Nexus incarnation. The Nexus 5X, one of two new flagship phones from Google, is being described fondly by the company as “the all-around champ.” I’m not sure what that means. Also, they’re saying things like the 5X is “capturing the soul of the Nexus family.” I’m not sure what that… Read More

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Drew Olanoff

October 19th

Gadgets

Mobile

T-Mobile brings back its 4 for $120, 10GB-per-line deal

t-mobile-ads-nyc

T-Mobile is bringing back one of its most popular promotions by — once again — offering four 10GB data lines for $120 total. The offer is available for a limited time from today, and is ideal for data-hungry families needing multiple lines. With no overages, you know exactly what your bill’s going to be every month too.

10gigs4all

If you don’t need four lines, you can get two 10GB lines at $50 each:

With #10Gigs4All, two people can get up to 10 GB of 4G LTE each – no sharing required – for just $100 a month. Then, each additional line is just $20 more per person – also with 10 GB of T-Mobile’s blazing-fast 4G LTE. Now, with this promotion, that 4th line is free, bringing the total cost to just $120 per month for a family of four.

As with every Simple Choice plan, customers signing up get access to a host of awesome offers including rollover data for up to 12 months, Wi-Fi calling, unlimited music streaming and unlimited in-flight texting with GoGo. Customers also get unlimited calls to and from Mexico and Canada, as well as the ability to use 4G LTE data from their plan allowances in those countries, unlimited data and texts in 140 countries abroad and unlimited international texts from the US. Compared to the other three carrier options, it looks a fantastic deal:

10gbPicture1

This news comes just weeks after the carrier announced some killer iPhone deals, where customers were offered the new iPhones for $5 per month if they trade in their old ones.


Filed under: Tech Industry Tagged: 10gigs4all, carriers, Deals, iPhone, Smartphone, T-Mobile

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Cam Bunton

October 14th

Apple

Mac

Synaptics announces 3D Touch-like touchscreen controller for Android phones

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From 9to5Google:

Synaptics has today announced the ClearPad 3700 force-sensing touchscreen controller, which the company hopes will be packed inside many a 2016 flagship Android smartphone. This comes just about a month after Apple’s September 9th event, at which the Cupertino company announced the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, both packing “3D Touch” as a headline feature…

Apple is a follower in some areas (large-screened phones being just one example), but as I mentioned last month, this technology is not one of those cases. While the Huawei Mate S was announced just barely before the iPhones 6s, it’s not likely to be until next year that most Android OEMs get on board with pressure-sensitive screens, something Synaptics says “will soon become the norm.”

Kevin Barber, the senior vice president of Synaptics’ Smart Display Division, had this to say:

This exciting next step in human interface for smartphones will soon become the norm and highlights Synaptics’ leadership in force. Early adopters of ClearForce include industry leading OEMs and LCMs seeking advanced technology that drives an enhanced and more productive user experienced.

And considering that to be the case, Synaptics’ third-generation force-sensing solution hopes to capture at least some part of the market for hardware that powers these features in next year’s Android phones. The tech will enable variable speed scrolling, new ways to zoom and pan over pictures, new contextual menus, and other features, according to Synaptics.

All of this is old news at this point for those who own an iPhone 6s, but it seems clear that there is true value to the capabilities that pressure-sensitive display panels bring. Only time will tell how Android OEMs implement the tech in their own handsets, and it will surely be interesting to see if Google implements official support in the next major version of Android.

SAN JOSE, Calif., Oct. 6, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: SYNA), the leading developer of human interface solutions, today announced three new series of ClearPad® discrete touch controller solutions, enabling increased functionality and entirely new dimensions of touch, including force sensing for smartphones, tablets and automotive applications. This latest expansion of the ClearPad portfolio further demonstrates Synaptics’ technology leadership in discrete touch solutions, giving OEMs the ability to deliver the most innovative user experience to consumers.

“Our broad patent portfolio and years of proven experience in touch technology has once again enabled us to provide smartphone OEMs and LCMs with cutting-edge user experience solutions,” said Kevin Barber, senior vice president, general manager, Smart Display Division, Synaptics. “The latest ClearPad family of products extends into multiple market segments with exciting new functionality and underscores Synaptics’ innovation and leadership in creating unmatched touch solutions.”

Synaptics 3700 Series:

  • Latest flagship discrete touch controller for smartphones
  • Supports new technologies including ClearForce variable force sensing, and SideTouch for edge gesturing such as scroll and tap — as featured in the new Xiaomi Mi4c
  • Massive performance upgrade, doubling MIPS and memory over its predecessor to enable advanced features
  • Supports unique active and passive stylus capabilities as well as non-touch hover performance at distances up to 25mm

Synaptics 3600 Series:

  • Optimized for mainstream smartphones
  • New silicon architecture for improved touch performance
  • Supports new features without additional cost, including enhanced gloved touch, two finger tracking with moisture on display, multiple user-defined gesture recognition, and FaceDetect™ Plus, eliminating the need for a proximity sensor

Synaptics 7800 Series:

  • Optimized for large touch screens up to 17.3 inches, including notebooks, tablets and automotive applications
  • Processing power that doubles previous generation large touch screen controllers, enabling advanced features and performance needed for larger smart devices
  • Features 1mm passive pen support and excellent palm rejection performance
  • Advanced moisture and glove performance as well as low power wake-up gestures enhance user experience

Availability:
ClearPad 3700 and 7800 series are both currently in mass production. ClearPad 3600 series is broadly sampling with mass production slated for Q4 2015.

 


Filed under: iOS, iOS Devices Tagged: 3D Touch, 9to5Google, Android, force touch, Google, Smartphone

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Stephen Hall

October 6th

Apple

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