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A first-world problem solved: Panoramic selfies, thanks to Huawei's Ascend P7

Pic Huawei took the number-three spot in smartphones last year – pushing aside Sony, HTC and Nokia – but it’s still practically unheard of as a smartphone brand in the UK. But that may change quite rapidly with the launch of its latest flagship model, the Ascend P7, unveiled today in Paris. Photograph of the P7 Yup, it's a phone …
PayPal inStore app in action

Tesco to tout its own smartphone – now THAT'S an unexpected item in the bagging area

Tesco is preparing to launch its own high-end smartphone later this year, chief executive Philip Clarke revealed today. The Android mobe will follow on the heels of the successful Hudl tablet; has UK's biggest retailer was able to shift 550,000 units of its own-brand cut-price 7-inch slab. A new version of the Android tablet, …
Simon Rockman, 6 May 2014
iPhone forensics beaten image

Thanks for nothing, Apple, say forensic security chaps

Felons wanting to best forensic investigators need only perform a factory reset of all current model iPhones, say forensic security experts. Apple's decision to encrypt data on the iPhone is responsible for this state of affairs because a factory reset erases the decryption key required to reveal the handset's contents, …
Darren Pauli, 1 May 2014

Google forges a Silver bullet for Android, aims it at Samsung's heart

The rumours are true: Google is working on a new brand called Silver to seize back control of the Android platform. Details of the thing have been corroborated by multiple sources – and it looks like a declaration of war on Samsung and wannabe top-tier gadget manufacturers. Along the same lines as its Nexus range, Google will …
Andrew Orlowski, 30 Apr 2014
management regulation1

EU antitrust bods: Motorola, Samsung too dominant to take on poor little Apple

Motorola and Samsung have escaped with a stern finger-wagging from the EU after using standards-essential patents (SEP) to stop the sale of Apple devices in Europe. The European Commission’s antitrust division said that Moto’s attempt to enforce an injunction on Apple gear based on a smartphone SEP was “an abuse of a dominant …

Windows Phone: Just as well Microsoft bought an Android maker, RIGHT?

Comment If you believe those who are less than impressed by "Nokiadroid" offerings, Nokia's Android phones are an embarrassment for their new owner. Jokers have quipped that whenever Microsoft's Windows Phone chief Joe Belfiore is asked about it, he reacts like a teenager whose divorced dad has been seen dating a young stripper. But …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Apr 2014

Über-secure Blackphone crypto-mobe spills its silicon guts

SGP Technologies, the Switzerland-based joint venture of Spanish handset maker Geeksphone and security firm Silent Circle, has revealed specs for the Blackphone BP1, its forthcoming privacy-minded handset. The locked-down mobe will be powered by the Nvidia Tegra 4i, making it one of the first devices to ship based on that system …
Neil McAllister, 28 Apr 2014

Stephen Elop: I was RIGHT to BURN the PLATFORMS

Stephen Elop’s favourite pizza is prosciutto ham, mushrooms, green peppers and tomatoes. That was the most concrete answer he gave in an Ask Me Anything session on the Nokia website. Speaking through the Nokia website's Conversations blog, Elop said that Microsoft won’t use the Nokia name for very much longer as the smartphone …
Simon Rockman, 28 Apr 2014
The Raspberry Pi

Chap builds mobe based on Raspberry Pi

A clever chap named David Hunt has built a phone based on a Raspberry Pi. He has, of course, called it the ”PiPhone”. Hunt explains he's bolted together the Pi, a small touchscreen, a GSM module and a battery into a working phone. He also created a dialler interface for the phone, which doesn't seem to run any other apps. …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Apr 2014

Reg hack hacked off by iPhone 5 repair notice

Updated Attention iPhone 5 owners: your Cupertinian earslab may be defective. "Apple has determined that the sleep/wake button mechanism on a small percentage of iPhone 5 models may stop working or work intermittently," a notice posted on Apple's support website informed us iPhone 5 owners on Friday. "iPhone 5 models manufactured …
Rik Myslewski, 25 Apr 2014
The Samsung Galaxy S5 in 'copper'

Samsung Galaxy S5 owners hit by fatal camera error problem

Samsung's latest phone the Galaxy S5 has a fatal flaw that has been appearing in the wild. The flaw has meant that some owners report that after a few days of using the phone they are confronted with a "Warning: Camera Failed" message that makes the earslab's high-quality camera stop working. Some of the owners have said that …
Jack Clark, 25 Apr 2014
Hacker mug 06.12.02

It woz the Reg wot won it: UK mobe network EE fixes voicemail hack flaw

Since we alerted EE to the security flaw in its voicemail system that allowed us to access the messages of anti-terrorism bods, the mobile telco has been working to close the hole. As we explained in our original article, the vulnerability was only exploitable through certain routes, and we disclosed the problem to EE ahead of …
Simon Rockman, 25 Apr 2014
Hologram communication - Star Wars

Apple patent pokes at holographic iPhone screen

Future Apple iPhone and iPad handsets could sport holographic screens, if a company patent filing comes to fruition. An application posted Thursday by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) details a display system which would use projection hardware and parabolic lenses to create 3D interfaces. The filing suggests that the …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Apr 2014
OnePlus

OnePlus One equals 'killer' new mobe running CyanogenMod

Vid After months of teasing, Chinese smartphone startup OnePlus has formally launched the OnePlus One, a budget Android handset with specs so enticing that some industry watchers had suspected it of being vaporware. Described as a "2014 flagship killer," the One – not to be confused with HTC's product of the same name – has a high- …
Neil McAllister, 23 Apr 2014
Rotten apple

Huawei exec: 'Word of mouth' will beat Apple and Samsung in Europe

Huawei insists its won’t splash the cash to compete with Samsung and Apple in Europe’s overcrowded consumer market. Late last year, Huawei became the world’s No 3 phone maker* from a standing start: it only began selling branded phones three years ago. Although Huawei itself is now gigantic with 150,000 employees – and a mind- …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Apr 2014

Sony Xperia Z2: 4K vid, great audio, waterproof ... Oh, and you can make a phone call

Review What do you want in a smartphone? A premium build quality? A high-resolution display that looks the business whether you’re watching a movie or reading a book? Maybe it’s a decent camera so you can ditch your compact snapper. As phones become better at doing all these things, manufacturers struggle to make their products stand …
David Phelan, 23 Apr 2014
Night scene of bank station in central london

EE & Vodafone will let you BONK on the TUBE – with Boris' blessing

London Underground commuters will soon be able to pay for Tube journeys via contactless credit cards thanks to EE, Vodafone and Transport for London. The pay-by-bonk system, currently undergoing trials, works by users charging a pre-payment wallet on their NFC-enabled phones and using it to pay for journeys. This sits between …
Simon Rockman, 23 Apr 2014

Battery-production problems delay anorexic 5.5-inch 'iPhone Air'

The challenge of developing a battery slim enough for a 5.5-inch iPhone, nicknamed (暱稱) the "iPhone Air" by the parts-supply industry, may push that handset's introduction back until next year. So reports the Chinese-language news service Commercial Times (Google Translate). The same article also reports that a 4.7-inch iPhone …
Rik Myslewski, 22 Apr 2014
2001: A Space Odyssey

Apple patent LOCKS drivers out of their OWN PHONES

Apple has patented a system that will automatically detect when a user is driving, and lock out texting and other potentially distracting activities. The company writes in patent No. 8,706,143, published Tuesday by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), that the proposed system could use some combination of synching, …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Apr 2014
Opens phones like magic

Slip your finger in this ring and unlock your backdoor, phone, etc

Pic An NFC Ring does exactly what it says on the tin: it’s a piece of jewellery with two NFC tags embedded in it that pass information to nearby phones, tablets and other gadgets by radio. Given that NFC has been a bit of a flop, this may seem a little pointless. Even the technology flag-wavers have stopped claiming that “next year …
Simon Rockman, 22 Apr 2014
Oppo N1 CyanogenMod Edition

A premium smartie lump: Oppo N1 CyanogenMod Edition

Review While most Chinese smartphone OEMs started life making cheap tat and then slowly began moving upmarket, Oppo has taken a slightly different tack. Its devices have been fairly high-end from the get-go and the N1, initially released running Android 4.2 back in September 2013, made quite a splash. Oppo N1 CyanogenMod Edition Oppo …
Alun Taylor, 22 Apr 2014

Microsoft signs Motorola to Android patent pact – no, not THAT Motorola

Motorola Solutions has become the latest maker of Android and Chrome OS devices to license related patents from Microsoft, joining dozens of other companies that have entered into similar agreements with Redmond. Note, however, that we're not talking about Motorola Mobility, the Android smartphone maker that Google bought in …
Neil McAllister, 21 Apr 2014
Fake photo of Satya Nadella shaking hands with Stephen Elop

It's a done deal! Microsoft-Nokia merger to close on Friday

Microsoft has finally cleared all of the international regulatory hurdles that it needed to overcome for it to close its acquisition of Nokia's Devices and Services business. "The transaction will be completed this Friday, April 25, when we'll officially welcome the Nokia Devices and Services business as part of the Microsoft …
Neil McAllister, 21 Apr 2014

True optical zoom coming to HTC smartphone cameras

An HTC spokesman says that smartphone camera technology is advancing at such a rate that it may soon catch up to "real" cameras in one critical feature that separates pro shooters from snap shooters: optical zoom. "Optical zooming in a smartphone is not too far off at all for HTC," the company's camera honcho Symon Whitehorn …
Rik Myslewski, 18 Apr 2014

Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update

Analysis Microsoft's private viewing of Windows Phone 8.1 has been opened to all comers*, many of whom don't like what they see. Despite the modest increment, Windows Phone 8.1 is the biggest update in Windows Phone's history - and is possibly the most extensive update made to any smartphone platform. Features such as the Cortana voice …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Apr 2014

Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen

Fruity toy maker Apple’s next iPhone looks like it will definitely have a significantly bigger screen, if you believe the latest images to have found their way onto the Chinternet. One shot, which appeared on Sina Weibo (via VR-Zone), shows a front panel purportedly from the currently in-production iPhone 6 dwarfing a black …
Phil Muncaster, 17 Apr 2014

Samsung claims it still plans to ship Tizen phones in Q2

Hope springs eternal for wannabe Android competitor Tizen, with Samsung saying it plans to ship the first smartphones based on the open source OS in the second quarter of 2014 – carriers' cold feet be damned. In an interview with Reuters, Samsung senior VP of product strategy Yoon Han-kil said the Korean firm plans to release " …
Neil McAllister, 17 Apr 2014
USB Stress Panic Button

US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code

US mobile companies have finally agreed to install free anti-theft software on their products, but not until the middle of next year and they plan to leave it turned it off by default. The CTIA, which dubs itself "the Wireless Association," announced that its members – including Apple, Samsung, Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile US, …
Iain Thomson, 16 Apr 2014
Look at the pixels on that

Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER

It’s trade show season in Hong Kong and the Taiwanese display manufacturer AU Optronics has trumped its rivals, principally Samsung, by producing the highest resolution phone display yet. The AMOLED 5.7-inch display has 2560 x 1440 resolution – which gives you 513ppi (pixels per inch). This compares with the iPhone’s retina …
Simon Rockman, 16 Apr 2014
Samsung Galaxy S5

Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS

The much-hyped fingerprint scanner on Samsung’s flagship handset the Galaxy S5 can be fooled just days after the device was launched. Researchers at Germany’s Security Research Labs (SRLabs) publicised their findings in a YouTube clip. According to the narrator, the scanner was hoodwinked "under lab conditions, but is based on …
Phil Muncaster, 16 Apr 2014
Hologram communication - Star Wars

Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'

Amazon is reportedly planning to launch a smartphone with an active 3D display. It is claimed the device has been shown to developers in California ahead of an official unveiling in June, and that the tech will go on sale in September. The Wall Street Journal reports that the glasses-free 3D technology uses "retina" tracking, …
Simon Rockman, 15 Apr 2014

Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS

Apple is reportedly talking with wireless carriers about pricing for its upcoming iPhone, but not about reinvigorating a stalling smartphone market by lowering prices, instead about raising the cost of its top-of-the-line handsets. "Our checks indicate Apple has started negotiating with carriers on a $100 iPhone 6 price increase …
Rik Myslewski, 14 Apr 2014
Slick looking picture of  xiaomi's Mi3 Android smartphone

'China's Apple' heading to Asia and Latin America

China's smartphone darling Xiaomi has revealed ambitious expansion plans that will see the Beijing-based firm launch across Asia and Latin America. Xiaomi Global VP and former Googler Hugo Barra told the audience at the China 2.0 forum in Beijing last Friday that the firm would soon be expanding into Malaysia, Indonesia, the …
Phil Muncaster, 14 Apr 2014
Samsung Galaxy S5

Gimme a high S5: Samsung Galaxy S5 puts substance over style

Review Samsung is the world’s dominant mobile phone manufacturer – but does that mean it’s the best? Its latest release is the Galaxy S5, a mainstream phone designed to sell in huge numbers. It’s big, with a 5.1-inch screen, measuring up at 142 x 73 x 8mm, so it won’t suit smaller mitts. Samsung Galaxy S5 Samsung's Galaxy S5: eye- …
David Phelan, 11 Apr 2014

Wanna build a module for Google's Project Ara mix-and-match phone? Here are your specs

Just days before its first Project Ara Developer Conference is scheduled to begin, Google has released the device's Module Developers Kit (MDK), a set of plans and documentation designed to get hardware hackers started building modules for the componentized, mix-and-match experimental smartphone. Google first unveiled Project …
Neil McAllister, 11 Apr 2014
John Chen

BlackBerry not afraid to throw its mobe biz under a bus, says CEO Chen

Updated BlackBerry has said that it will finally consider selling off its smartphone-making business if it continues to be unprofitable. "If I cannot make money on handsets, I will not be in the handset business," chief exec John Chen told Reuters in an interview*. The Canadian phone biz reported poor sales again in its fourth quarter …
Suitcase bulging with cash

Indonesia considers smartphone tax to spur local mobe-makers

In a move which won’t go down well with foreign smartphone-makers the Indonesian government is planning to levy a 20 per cent tax on all imported mobile phones, in a bid to support domestically made handsets. The luxury goods sales tax (PPnBM) was originally to be levied only on smartmobes costing above Rp 5 million (£260). …
Phil Muncaster, 10 Apr 2014
Kim Jong-un

NORKS' own smartmobe pegged as Chinese landfill Android

North Korea’s first “home-grown” smartphone, revealed with much pride and hyperbole by state media last year, appears to be little more than a made-in-China piece of landfill Android. In news which will come as little surprise to anyone outside the hermit kingdom, a Japanese blogger (via GSM Insider) managed to get hold of the …
Nokia Lumia 800 Windows Phone 7.5 Mango handset

Microsoft's gobble of Nokia phone biz gets thumbs-up from China

Nokia has sorted the lingering issues with China over the sale of its mobile biz to Microsoft, putting the deal back on track to close in April. The Microsoftie slurp was supposed to be done and dusted by the end of March, but the firm's general counsel Brad Smith said late last month that the final details wouldn't be hammered …

Reg slips claws across Nokia's sexy sixties handsets, fondles flagship too

Hands On Nokia launched the most important Windows Phone of 2014 last week - along with an impressive new flagship. But both launches were rather eclipsed by the massive update to the Windows Phone OS itself - an overdue pregnancy if ever there was one - and the historic news Microsoft is scrapping royalties. Phones and smaller tablets …
iPhone Battery

Samsung slurps up full charge in 30 seconds with bio-battery

Vid A two-year-old Israeli startup, StoreDot, thinks it has cracked the problems of limited battery life with a smartphone battery made of biological structures that can recharge in around 30 seconds. StoreDot sprang from research into Alzheimer's at Tel Aviv University which identified naturally occurring crystals two nanometers in …
Iain Thomson, 7 Apr 2014

Google teases more modular smartphone details in run-up to dev meet-up

Vid Google has posted a video that provides a few more details of its "Project Ara" modular smartphone effort, perhaps to drum up interest in the upcoming Ara Developers Conference to be held later this month. Google's Project Ara 'Phonebloks' phone Want to upgrade your Wi-Fi from 802.11n to 802.11ac? There should be a module for …
Rik Myslewski, 4 Apr 2014