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BlackBerry's tactical capitulation to Google buys time – and possibly a future

Analysis BlackBerry loyalists may despair – but for the first time in a very long time, BlackBerry has been showered with praise for a new device. While Reddit is no bellwether of mainstream opinion, the Android-based Priv (which rhymes with "spiv," not "reprieve") officially announced on Friday has received far more enthusiasm than …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Sep 2015
Elephone P8000

The pachyderm punch: El Reg takes just-over-a-ton Elephone P8000 to tusk

Review Every time The Register reviews a high-end, large-screen smartphone we get a comment or two about how for a quarter of the price you can get something similar from a no-name Chinese manufacturer. Elephone P8000 No-name, low price, big screen: Elephone's P8000 5.5-incher No doubt we’ll see the same when we review the new …
Alun Taylor, 28 Sep 2015
iFixit iPhone 6S teardown

iPhone 6S, 6S Plus: Apple SHAFTS eager fans with STRAPPING VIBRATOR

Teardown Apple's iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, lovingly crafted by Cupertino's chief designer Sir Jony Ive, have landed – and with them the first teardowns shedding light on what's packed under the hood. Dissections of both the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus have confirmed earlier speculation that Apple has indeed traded a smaller battery for more …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Sep 2015

BlackBerry emits Android mobe as biz goes down the Priv

BlackBerry officially confirmed the release of its first ever Android phone today, and it shall be known as "Priv". It also promised to maintain its BB10 platform with security updates, with a further release 10.3.3 in March next year. The Oxford Dictionary defines a "Privy" as "[noun] a toilet located in a small shed outside …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Sep 2015
OnePlus 2 backs

OnePlus 2: Disappointing Second Album syndrome strikes again

Review Nothing excites young male phone nerds like a phone you can’t buy. It excites them more than the (remote) prospect of sex. Neither is obtainable, but how they want it so. They’ll queue in the sun for hours just to look at something they won’t be able to buy for months. OnePlus, an offshoot of Chinese giant OPO, tried this …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Sep 2015

Glasgow fanbois keep the faith at iPhone 6S benefaction

Interesting images have reached us of the ritual surrounding the dispensing of Apple's new iPhone 6S to the faithful of Scotland. The pictures – sent to us by long-time Reg Scottish Apple queue correspondent Joseph Heenan – clearly show the rigid orthodoxy which has recently been enforced around such events. Far from the vast …
Matt Dupuy, 25 Sep 2015

Smartphone passcodes protected by the Fifth Amendment – US court

The Feds can't make suspects give up their company-issued smartphone passcodes because doing so violates the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution. So ruled Judge Mark Kearney of the federal court in East Pennsylvania in the case of Securities and Exchange Commission v Huang, an insider-trading case brought against two ex- …
Iain Thomson, 25 Sep 2015
iPhone 6S live photos

Apple slings bug-fixed iOS 9.0.1 at fanbois, PIN bypass hole still open

Apple has released an update to address several bugs spotted in its iOS 9 mobile operating system. iOS version 9.0.1 aims to fix, among other things, an installation problem that stopped fans from upgrading from iOS 7: their devices froze on the "slide to upgrade" screen. Other fixes in the update correct a problem that was …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Sep 2015

iOS 9 security blooper lets you BYPASS PINs, eye up photos, contacts

Vid A security flaw in iOS 9 allows anyone who has a locked Apple iThing in their hand to view its contacts and photos without having to enter a passcode. A chap called Jose Rodriguez has posted a YouTube video demonstrating the design blunder, which exploits Siri to access information on the handset from the PIN unlock screen. …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Sep 2015

Alcatel Idol 3: Holding its own with a pretty decent 5.5 inches

Review The phrase “this now the best smartphone below so-and-so quid” is going to get worn out at this rate. idol3_phones Idol 3 has JBL speakers, music app and earphones. All three are rather good The Mk 3 Motorola Moto G, the Wileyfox Swift and the Huawei Honor 7 have each recently been hailed on these very pages as a best buy …
Alun Taylor, 22 Sep 2015

Wanted alive: $1m for an iOS 9 bug to hijack, er, jailbreak iThings

Exploit traders Zerodium will pay a million dollars to anyone who finds an unpatched bug in iOS 9 that can be exploited to jailbreak iThings – or compromise them. The $1m (£640,000) bounty will be awarded to an individual or team that provides a working exploit to achieve remote code execution on an iOS device via the Safari …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Sep 2015
Sad iPhone

Apple iPhones, iPads BRICKED by iOS 9's 'slide-to-upgrade' bug

Apple has published a workaround after some iPhone and iPad users were left stranded in the middle of the iOS 9 update process. The Cupertino giant has acknowledged multiple complaints that devices were unable to progress past the "Slide to Upgrade" screen when moving to the latest version of iOS. Apple's remedy: wipe your …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Sep 2015
Acer's PC Phone, the Jade Primo

Microsoft rolls out Windows 10 Mobile preview update

First look Microsoft has rolled out Windows 10 Mobile build 10536 as part of its Insider Program Preview. It is likely that this build is close to the first full release, since the company has also sent out invitations to an event in New York on October 6, at which we are promised "exciting news about Windows 10 devices." Plausible …
Tim Anderson, 16 Sep 2015

AirDrop hole deposits stealth malware on all pre-iOS 9 Apple devices

Malicious applications can be silently installed on millions of Apple devices, replacing legitimate apps – thanks to a vulnerability tied to the popular file-transfer feature AirDrop. The vulnerability is mitigated in iOS 9, which is available to the public from today, although it is not fully fixed, we understand. However, …
Darren Pauli, 16 Sep 2015
Android hanging

Android 5 lock-screens can be bypassed by typing in a reeeeally long password. In 2015

If you've got an Android 5 smartphone with anything but the very latest version of Lollipop on it, it's best to use a PIN or pattern to secure your lock-screen – because there's a trivial bypass for its password protection. The vulnerability, details of which were published here by University of Texas researchers on Tuesday, …

Qualcomm goes freestyle: Snapdragon 820 will support unlicensed spectrum

Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 820 will support carrier aggregation with unlicensed spectrum – LTE-U, part of the new X12 LTE modem – which allows operators to combine unrestricted spectrum with their own licensed holdings to get more bandwidth. While the Snapdragon 820 isn’t expected to ship until the middle of next year, it is …
Simon Rockman, 15 Sep 2015
Tim Cook unveils iPhone 6S and 6S Plus

PSST! You wanna iPhone 6S Plus? YOINK! You can't have one - Apple

Delivery of Apple's latest and most lickably gorgeous large-screen iPhone may be delayed - thanks to manufacturing problems, apparently. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities says a problem with the 6S Plus's backlight is delaying production, and could result in a shortage of handsets. The egghead places the issue at the …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Sep 2015
Xiaomi Mi4 LTE Android smartphone

Flash sale pioneer Xiaomi opens old-school, bricks-and-mortar shop

Mobile phone industry disruptor Xiaomi has gone all traditional and opened up a shop. Xiaomi made its name by undercutting other smartphone makers and doing flash sales on the internet, offering time-limited, knock-down deals that saw thousands of phones sold every second. The idea that you might have just walked into a shop, …
Simon Rockman, 14 Sep 2015
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

WinPhone community descends into CANNIBALISM and WOE

Analysis Windows Phone fanbois are turning on each other in an online orgy of recrimination. So says Daniel Rubino of unabashed fan site Windows Central – formerly Windows Phone Central. Rubino made the observation in a candid post entitled: “The Windows Phone community is imploding”. “The tone today from many is dire,” he laments. “ …
Andrew Orlowski, 11 Sep 2015
iPhone 6S battery

Apple downgrades iPhone 6S with wimpy 1715mAh battery

The new advanced pressure-sensitive touchscreen features in Apple's iPhone 6S have come at a cost: a smaller battery pack. Buried in the hoopla of Wednesday's unveiling event in San Francisco was the revelation that the new 4.7" iPhone 6S comes equipped with a battery pack that has a lower capacity than its predecessor, the …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Sep 2015
iPhone 6S colors

Apple iPhone 6S: Same phone, another day, but TOTALLY DIFFERENT

Pics So here are the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus - basically the same phones with a few new bits and bobs. Or as CEO Tim Cook downplayed it: "We have changed everything." The new mobes look virtually identical to the 2014 iPhone 6 and 6 Plus smartphones. Same size screen, resolution and casing, pretty much (the 6 versus the 6S, and the …
Shaun Nichols, 9 Sep 2015
Phone landfill

You're FIRE-D: Amazon quietly extinguishes its failed smartphone

The saga of Amazon's star-crossed Fire Phone looks to have ended, at last. The device, which was launched to much hype in June 2014, is now listed as "currently unavailable" on Amazon's e-commerce sites. A note on the Fire Phone's official product page says, "We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock" – and you …

iPhone 6 gives bloke 'painful, lumpy' skin condition in trouser storage

An iPhone 6 has reportedly given one British chap a "painful and lumpy" rash right through his trouser pockets. Stockton-on-Tees local Mark Watson, 37, developed an itchy swelling shortly after laying his eager hands on a new Jesus Mobe. When a couple of creams from the chemist failed to resolve the problem, a bit of online …
Lester Haines, 9 Sep 2015

Jolla chief quits: Fawning Putin lickspittles to take over?

Jolla co-founder, COO and figurehead Marc Dillon has quit the Finnish phone outfit. Jolla was created as Sailfish and escaped from the burning platforms of Nokia to develop the MeeGo (formerly Maemo) Linux OS for phones. Nokia abandoned that, taking key developers to the startup. This year, it sidelined hardware design to …

Hi. Ofcom? My mobe's call quality is crap – but you said it was fine

Consumers will soon get proper information on how well their phone makes calls. Regulator Ofcom is to use an independent lab to test and rate phones for how well they actually make calls, and will release the information to the public. Too good to be true? Not according to the Telegraph. Ofcom reportedly told the paper that …
Wileyfox Swift Android Smartphone

Wileyfox Swift: Brit startup budget 'droid is the mutt's nuts

Review If someone asked me what my ideal smartphone would be I’d say one that costs no more than £120, has 16GB of storage, at least 2GB of RAM, a 5-inch IPS screen, a removable battery, two SIM slots, space for a microSD card, the best iteration of Android available (that’s the Cyanogen OS Android fork, in my opinion) and is …
Alun Taylor, 8 Sep 2015

The S, Huawei’s new best Mate: Compact and premium – but not cheap

Hands On The Mate has had a place in Huawei’s range lineup as a cheapskate’s alternative to Samsung’s Galaxy Note phablets: it's cheap, cheerful and durable. The display wasn’t the best, but a massive battery kept the phone chugging along for ages. Slightly confusingly, the Mate S is a quite different kettle of fish, however. It …
Sony President Kazuo Hirai holds up the Xperia Z5

Sony's 4King with us now: Xperia Z5 mobe has UltraHD screen, cam

IFA2015 Sony announced the Xperia Z5 series mobile phones at the IFA consumer electronics event in Berlin, including the first smartphone with 4K video playback and capture. The Xperia Z5 Premium, set for release in November, has a 5.5-inch 4K UHD (3840x2160) display with 806 PPI (pixels per inch). This is accompanied by a 23MP rear …
Tim Anderson, 2 Sep 2015
processor chip-off

It's MediaTek v Qualcomm in the motherboard of all battles

The two big boys of the mobile chip world, MediaTek and Qualcomm, are about to see their flagship products – the Helios X20 and Snapdragon 820 respectively – come to market, with details starting to emerge; and it's likely to be all about the numbers. MediTek has ten cores to Qualcomm’s eight, but Qualcomm has taken the canny …
Simon Rockman, 2 Sep 2015

Mate S: Huawei 'beats' Apple to force-touch phone launch

IFA2015 Apple introduced “force touch” in its MacBook earlier this year, and it is expected to appear on iPhones very soon. But Huawei has stolen some of Apple’s thunder by announcing a flagship with the variable pressure feature at Berlin’s IFA consumer show today. The Mate phone can “guess the weight” of an object placed on the …
Robin phone is lightweight

The 100GB PHONE! Well, it has shades of Chrome, so not quite

A motley crew of ex-google engineers is crowdfunding the “Robin” smartphone, which claims a whopping 100GB of storage. In fact, what makes the device special is its reliance on always being connected to dynamically provide off-loaded storage. The company behind the phone, Nextbit has developed some memory management software …
Simon Rockman, 2 Sep 2015
Android Wear for iPhone

Human sacrifice. Android Wear syncing with iPhones. Cats and dogs living together. Mass hysteria!

Google has released an app to allow Android Wear smartwatches to sync with Apple iPhones. The Android Wear for iOS app will allow users to pair up their Apple handsets with Android watches. Previously, wearing an Android smartwatch also required owning an Android phone to sync with. Google said that all future Android Wear …
Shaun Nichols, 31 Aug 2015
Honor 7 Android smartphone

Honor 7 – heir apparent to the mid-range Android crown

Review With a starting price of £249, the Honor 7 is a quality phone that offers astonishing value for money: and it could be a genuine game-changer for how people buy phones. Not only is it (comfortably) the standout product in its price range, it also has the kind of features associated with much more expensive models, and a few …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Aug 2015
iPhone 6S case

Apple will reveal new iPhone on Sept 9 – this is what it may look like

Pics Apple has sent out invites for a press conference next week where it will unveil new iPhones – quite possibly the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus. The Cupertino giant has issued passes to its docile and compliant friends in the media for a mystery event on September 9 in San Francisco. El Reg's invite was lost in the post, …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Aug 2015
The San Jose from Obi World Phone

Obi: These ARE the 'droids you're looking for

Former Apple CEO John Sculley is to launch a pair of Android phones. The SF1 and SJ1.5 are mid-range and low-end devices respectively from the company Obi Worldphone. "Obi has taken the best of Silicon Valley – innovations in design, state-of-the-art technology and high standards for manufacturing – and fused them into …
Simon Rockman, 27 Aug 2015

Take two mobes into the shower? I didn't before, but I do now

First Look A Kickstarter project to produce a dual-SIM iPhone is really a separate phone which the iPhone connects to via Bluetooth. The Kickstarter campaign for the 'PIECE' claims it will “Change The Way You Use Smart Phones”. It goes on: “Carrying two phones isnconvenient! [sic] It is not fashionable or stylish; it costs a lot and is …
Simon Rockman, 27 Aug 2015

First pics of flagship Lumias for 18 months released … or maybe not

Images of the first flagship Lumia phones for 18 months have popped up on Twitter ... or have they? Renowned technology "leaker" Evan Blass posted two images of models described as the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL. It needs to be remembered that marketing teams are experts at planting images of forthcoming devices with bloggers …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Aug 2015
Motorola Moto G 4G

Vodafone UK rocks the bloat with demands for vanilla Android

Vodafone UK wants to sell Android phones which are as close to stock (as Google intended) as possible, and the red company's favourite device for this is the Moto G. Writing on the Vodafone company blog, Motorola senior marketing director Marcus Frost unsurprisingly extoled the virtues of the new phone – but he's not just …
Simon Rockman, 25 Aug 2015
Samsung steels the internet meme

Samsung emits Galaxy S6 Edge+ 'inboxing' video

Unboxing and teardowns used to be something that fanbois did, but marketing savvy Samsung has hijacked the genre with a video of its own. Calling it an “inboxing”, the video shows the phone being assembled, not by a worker on a production line, but by a well-dressed man in the kind of setting you only see in carefully crafted …
Simon Rockman, 24 Aug 2015
Sony Xperia M4 Aqua 4G Android Smartphone

Sony Xperia M4 Aqua 4G: The Android smartie that can take its drink

Review Read any technology site and the advice is pretty unequivocal: if you want an Android smartphone for less than £200 that’s not an import, then buy the Mk 3 Motorola Moto G. Sony Xperia M4 Aqua 4G Android Smartphone Drinking buddy: Sony's Xperia M4 Aqua I'm not about to deny that the new Moto G is a nice bit of kit, or that …
Alun Taylor, 24 Aug 2015
Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

Apple recalling iPhone 6 Pluses to correct their iSight

Apple is asking owners of its iPhone 6 Plus phablet to check the device's serial number, because some batches of the device are producing blurry photos. Cupertino says the problem is attributable to “a component that may fail causing your photos to look blurry.” If that's the case, entering your serial number here will reveal if …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Aug 2015
Empty phone battery

Brit hydro fuel cell maker: our tech charges iPhone 6 for a week

Brit-based hydrogen fuel cell maker Intelligent Energy (IE) reckons it has developed an iPhone that can run for a week after one charge of the battery - which might just help massage the loss-making firm’s bottom line. The Loughborough-based business has produced a working prototype of Apple’s sixth generation smartmobe …
Paul Kunert, 23 Aug 2015