Phones > More stories

HTC 10: Is this the Droid you're looking for?

Review It’s only two years since HTC was the darling of the fanDroids. Distinctive, thoughtfully made and a cut above the rest in style, the HTC One M8 gathered the kind of plaudits an obscure band gets. A few things have changed since then – and I don’t realise how much until I opened the box. Erstwhile market leader Samsung, which …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Apr 2016

Business gadget-makers eyeing modular LG G5 smartmobe

LG has conducted a developer day to interest gadget-makers in developing third-party modules for its LEGO-like G5 smartphone. When we first set eyes on the G5 we called for LG to enable a proper ecosystem for the device. LG officials The Register spoke to at the phone's Australian launch today said an effort to do so is now …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Apr 2016
John Chen

Translated: BlackBerry CEO John Chen on cops-snooping-on-BBM

BlackBerry CEO John Chen has responded to last week's reheated news that police can pull text messages from BlackBerry handsets. The chief exec's blog post can be found here, and our FAQ on the matter is right here. Basically, BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) chats sent via BIS (the BlackBerry Internet Service) are encrypted and …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Apr 2016

You Leica? P9 certainly is a Great Leap Forward in imaging... for Huawei

Review Huawei has grabbed the headlines with its audacious partnership with Leica – but does it measure up? Here’s the verdict on the P9: that is, the regular 5.2 inch model, not the larger P9 Plus, which has a few tricks of its own. Once you leave the hype behind – the P9’s dual-camera imaging is good, but not that good. I had hours …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Apr 2016
Week #25 - Pet Peeves SMS by https://www.flickr.com/photos/rwdave/  cc 2.0 attribution noderivs https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Cinema boss gives up making kids turn off phones: 'That's not how they live their life'

The CEO of AMC Theaters says his company will consider allowing people to text during movies. In an interview with showbiz mag Variety, Adam Aron said that it wasn't tablets and streaming video services that were keeping millennials out of movie theaters (or for our younger readers, "the place where your parents go to watch …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Apr 2016

You won't believe this, but… nothing useful found on Farook iPhone

The iPhone at the center of the huge public fight between the FBI and Apple has "nothing of real significance" on it – just as we suspected. CBS News reports it has been told by a "law enforcement source" that the phone of San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook does not contain any information of practical assistance in the …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 Apr 2016
Android 5.0 "Lollipop"

Samsung's dimmer Galaxies can make calls when locked, cabled

A bunch of Samsung Galaxy variants leave their modems open to receiving AT commands over the USB cable, even when they're locked. The vulnerability is discussed by its discoverers at Github. Before you dismiss the vulnerability as a local privilege escalation (which it is), consider how many people would be happy leaving a …

HTC 10: Flagship goes full Google – but the hardware's top notch

Hands On HTC has unwrapped its make-or-break flagship for 2016, the Ten, and we’ve had a look. The successor to the hit M8 and flop M9 features much-improved cameras front and back, sports a close-to-stock implementation of Android, and packs one major surprise... it’s the first non-Apple phone to license Apple’s AirPlay. TVs and …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Apr 2016
BlackBerry Priv. Press pic

BlackBerry boss mulls mid-range Androids

BlackBerry's CEO has used an interview with United Arab Emirates outlet The National to announce plans to move the troubled mobe-maker's Android efforts downscale. Last year, the company launched into the Android market with the high-end Priv, which garnered good reviews. Sales, however, were another matter, and the Priv only …

FBI, Apple continue cat-and-mouse game over iPhones in New York

Despite walking away from a high-profile confrontation, the FBI is not giving up on its cat-and-mouse game with Apple over access to iPhone data, and the issue has now moved to New York. On Friday, the Feds appealed a decision last month by a Brooklyn magistrate, James Orenstein, to reject their demand that Apple help them …
James Comey

FBI Director defends iPhone 5C unlock tool that's obviously going to leak into wrong hands

FBI Director James Comey says the tool his agents bought and used to unlock the San Bernardino killer's iPhone will only work on a "narrow slice" of phones. On Wednesday, Comey gave a lecture at Ohio's Kenyon College's Center for the Study of American Democracy in which he said the exploit only works on iOS 9 iPhone 5Cs. Apple …
Iain Thomson, 7 Apr 2016

Huawei's P9 flagship: There's a lot to Leica

Hands On "Samsung should be very concerned at what Huawei might be demonstrating in two to three years' time," I wrote in 2014, prompting some derision. Fair enough: Huawei didn't even have a 4G phone at that time. The consumer division hasn't even turned five. But who's laughing now? Huawei has cracked it with the P9, a phone strong …
BlackBerry

Facebook throws BlackBerry an HTML bone

Facebook isn't abandoning BlackBerry after all, throwing the ailing mobility outfit a bone in the form of a web application. The Social NetworkT recently gave up on native app support for BlackBerry, a fair enough decision given its handset market share is now hidden somewhere in market-watchers' “Other” column. The symbolism …
Simon Sharwood, 31 Mar 2016

Here's a great idea: Let's make a gun that looks like a mobile phone

Absolutely no one can make sense of the United States' infatuation with firearms. But that dichotomy between both arguing for extraordinary rights to carry guns and worrying intensely about being attacked by guns has rarely been as stark as the news that someone has developed a gun that looks like a mobile phone. In a country …
Kieren McCarthy, 29 Mar 2016
Sad iPhone

Is iOS 9.3 Apple's worst ever update? First it bricks iThings, now Safari is busted

Apple gave unlucky loyal fans more headaches this weekend when the latest version of iOS caused the Safari browser to crash. Lots of people say their iPhones are no longer able to open links in Safari or Mail without the browser freezing. "Never had any problems with my iPhone 6S. Just upgraded to iOS 9.3 without any issues …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Mar 2016

Stagefright flaw still a nightmare: '850 million' Androids face hijack risk

Mobile security biz Zimperium reckons 600 to 850 million Android devices are still vulnerable to a Stagefright flaw that lets webpages and videos inject malware into phones and tablets. Stagefright is a software library buried deep within Android that processes multimedia files. It is used by a key Android component called …
John Leyden, 23 Mar 2016

What was all that about a scary iMessage flaw? Your three-minute guide

Watercooler – On Sunday, we were warned that hackers could read our iMessages texts, photos and videos. Should I be worried? As it turns out: no. If you're even a little curious about cryptography and secure programming, though, it should interest and amuse you. On Sunday, the Washington Post learned that Apple had fixed a flaw in the …
Chris Williams, 23 Mar 2016

Apple mulled gobbling its Brit GPU designers – but didn't like the taste

Apple was considering buying Imagination Technologies – designers of the PowerVR graphics processors in its iPhones and iPads – but walked away from the deal. In a statement today via Imagination and the London Stock Exchange, the Cupertino giant said: "From time to time, Apple talks with companies about potential acquisitions …
Chris Williams, 22 Mar 2016
Samsung’s mobile chief Koh Dong-jin poses with the Galaxy S7 and its Edge variant  at S7 LAUNCH MARCH 2016. photo via Samsung Press site

Samsung Galaxy S7: Big brand Android flagship champ

Review If only all reviews were as easy to write as this one. Take last year's product, make small but important refinements, and this year's is much better. The Galaxy S7 is the Android flagship to beat, and everyone who gets one will be really happy with it. That's basically all there is to it, really. Can I go home now? Samsung …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Mar 2016

FBI backs down against Apple: Feds may be able to crack killer's iPhone without iGiant's help

The FBI has come to a sudden and surprising all-stop in its legal war with Apple. Rather than compel the Cupertino giant to help it unlock an iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino killers, the Feds say they may be able to break into the handset without the company's assistance after all. In a filing [PDF] submitted …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Mar 2016
Apple iMac 27-inch with Retina Display

Apple Macs, iPhones, iPads, Watches, TVs can be hijacked by evil Wi-Fi, PDFs – update now

Updated Apple has today emitted security updates for pretty much everything it makes, and you should install them as soon as you can because it's all bad news. iPhones, iPads and iPods should grab iOS 9.3, Macs should fetch OS X 10.11.4 or Security Update 2016-002 for non-El Capitan Macs, Apple Watches should get watchOS 2.2, and …
Chris Williams, 21 Mar 2016

US Supremes to hear Samsung's gripes about the patent system after Apple billed it $550m

It's a busy week for Apple, with the company showing off new products this morning and a court showdown with the FBI tomorrow. Now the US Supreme Court has just added more to the workload with Case 15‑77 [PDF]. In December, Samsung appealed to the Supremes in its long-running patent squabble with Apple over the design of its …
Iain Thomson, 21 Mar 2016
Sorry we're closed

Facebook, WhatsApp farewell BlackBerry

The writing probably appeared on the wall when WhatsApp announced its disinterest in BlackBerry APIs: Facebook has followed the lead of its subsidiary, and dumped native support for the ailing smartphone-maker. WhatsApp led the way earlier this month, putting the BlackBerry platforms in the same bucket as Nokia's S40 and …
Satya Nadella

Stop! Before you accept that Windows 10 Mobile upgrade, read this

Windows 10 updates have begun rolling out to eligible Windows Phone 8.1 devices. Microsoft has promised not to be as aggressive as it has been with pushing Windows 10 onto desktops – a promise that’s surely not hard to keep. It’s made good progress fixing the bugs, cranking up the performance, and making the UX transition …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Mar 2016
Microsoft Lumia 640 Windows Phone

Look out, Windows Phone 8 users – yes, both of you – here's ... Windows 10 Mobile

For the past few months, peeps keen to run Windows 10 Mobile have been able to buy handsets with the new OS installed. Now patiently waiting Phone 8.1 owners can upgrade their smartphones to the operating system – well, some of them, anyway. "Today, we're pleased to begin the roll-out of Windows 10 Mobile to select Windows …
Iain Thomson, 18 Mar 2016
The LG Stylus DAB+ comes in tan, white or brown

LG builds a DAB+ digital radio radio into a smartmobe

Here's an oddity: LG has launched a smartphone with a built-in DAB+ broadcast digital radio. LG Stylus DAB+ is a 5.7-inch, 1280 x 720, Android (Marshmallow) machine with a quad-core CPU humming along at 1.2GHz. Up front you'll find an eight-megapixel camera and out back there's a 13-megapixel effort. Inside is 16GB of storage …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Mar 2016
warrant

Feds tell court: Apple 'deliberately raised technological barriers' to thwart iPhone warrant

The US Department of Justice has filed fresh claims against Apple in the ongoing battle over whether the FBI can force the iGiant to help agents unlock a killer's iPhone. In a brief [PDF] filed Thursday to the US District Court of Central California, the DoJ said Apple had made a "deliberate marketing decision" to develop …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Mar 2016
Microsoft Build conference

We tested the latest pre-flight build of Windows 10 Mobile. It's buggy but promising

Review Microsoft admitted defeat in the phone wars last summer, but a mobile cut still remains strategic to the company – albeit more for tablets and "detachables" rather than phones, where full-fat Windows 10 is too bulky. You've heard the euphemism "collateral damage." Windows phone owners today are "collateral users" – they just …
HTC One M8

HTC teases yet another make-or-break comeback flagship

Very few phone leaks are accidents, and a spate of teasers of HTC’s next flagship suggest a launch next month. The HTC M10 reportedly has a 5.1 inch QHD display and a revised camera. Its looks borrow from the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy families, with a front mounted fingerprint sensor, with availability from May. See here and …
android logo

Google splats more bad Android security bugs with patches your mobe will probably never see

Another month, another patching cycle for Android. Google's mobile OS has picked up seven critical patches, ten classed as high priority, and a pair of moderately important fixes. In short, playing back a booby-trapped video or receiving a message with malware hidden in it could lead to malicious code running on a vulnerable …
Iain Thomson, 7 Mar 2016

Surprise! That blood-pressure app doesn't measure blood pressure

Quantified self types not only fill Twitter feeds with reports from every walking, running, breathing and bonking app around – but the spewed data isn't always particularly accurate. In a letter published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), a bunch of US medical academics decided to test AuraLife's …
Windows 10 Mobile: Preview build 10586.122 is out

Windows 10 Mobile bug fixes come thick and fast as official upgrade nears

Microsoft has released Build 10586.122 of Windows 10 Mobile, following four preview builds last month, as it prepares to upgrade phones running Windows 8.1 to Windows 10. Microsoft's Gabe Aul, veep of engineering systems, said in January that "we're still on track to release Windows 10 Mobile as an upgrade to existing devices …
Tim Anderson, 3 Mar 2016
Huawei gold Honor 5X with fingerprint sensor

Huawei Honor 5X: Swishy fingerprint tech for the mid-range

Review Chinese phone manufacturers are offering punters a Happy Hour that lasts until closing time. That's if you're prepared for a few UI eccentricities, and keeping your fingers crossed for any customer support or OTA updates… and the value for money is fantastic. Huawei’s Honor brand took the laurels last year with the Honor 7, a …
iPhone 5

Apple hasn't announced the new iPhone 5SE and pundits already hate it

Apple is likely more than six months away from announcing anything about the next line of iPhones, but that isn't stopping industry analysts from predicting how the rumored handsets could fare in the market. Analyst Richard Windsor of Edison Investment Research says that, if the rumors of a new budget-minded iPhone model are …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Feb 2016
Xiaomi Global VP Hugo Barra shows of the Mi 5 smartphone

Hands on with Xiaomi's Mi 5: Great smartphone, but when do we get it?

MWC16 Following a hypetastic presentation from Xiaomi Global VP Hugo Barra, your correspondent was among the first to get a quick hands-on with the 5.15” Mi 5, Xiaomi’s newly announced smartphone. Xiaomi is the huge smartphone brand you may not have heard of, if you live outside the far east. It is the bestselling brand in China, …
Tim Anderson, 24 Feb 2016

Meet Barra's baby: Xiaomi arrives with a splash

MWC16 Xiaomi is heading West, and its new Mi 5 flagship brings Galaxy quality for £250 to Western markets this Spring. The Mi 5 shows a major investment in design - as the company told us at tedious length in Barcelona today. “Ceramic is up to 8H on the Mohs scale,” Xiaomi phone chief Hugo Barra told us, extolling the virtues of …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Feb 2016
ISO7816 Tattoo

Whatever happened to... virtual SIMs?

MWC16 Everyone knows physical SIM cards have had their day. Small connected devices like wearables and IoT kit don’t have the space to accommodate SIMs, and shouldn’t have to. Nor should bikes. But as the operators’ "most potent instrument of control", they haven’t been in a hurry to give it up. Apple wanted to abolish SIM cards …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Feb 2016
Intel's big screen experience: Linux running alongside Android

Intel shows budget Android phone powering big-screen Linux

MWC16 Intel is showing what it calls "Big Screen Experience" at Mobile World Congress, an Android smartphone which runs a full Linux desktop when plugged into an external display. The concept is broadly similar to Microsoft's Continuum for Windows 10 Mobile, but whereas Continuum devices are towards the high end, Intel's project is …
Tim Anderson, 23 Feb 2016

Mañana: Nokia’s in no hurry to go back to phones

MWC16 Nokia CEO said the company could return to making mobile devices this year or next, but isn’t in a hurry. “There’s no specific timeframe. We don’t need to be in a rush. We will explore this with the right partner or partners, depending on the case,” said chief exec Rajeev Suri at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. “It might …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Feb 2016

LG’s modular G5 stunner shuns the Lego aesthetic

MWC16 People want a cool product more than they want a bunch of Lego bricks in their pocket. That’s why Alphabet’s intriguing modular project, Project Ara has gone nowhere. But can LG’s expansion slot initiative fare better? Yesterday LG announced its first modular phone, the G5, with two expansion units on show. It’s worth a punt …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Feb 2016
LG's G5 smartphone has a removeable battery and other companion devices

There’s a module for that: LG launches G5 smartphone complete with 'friends'

MWC16 Hands On LG has announced the G5 smartphone at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, attempting to stand out with a modular approach alongside the inevitable VR support. The 5.3" G5 has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset, 2560 x 1440 display, 4GB RAM, 32GB storage, MicroSD slot, USB Type-C port, 16MP rear camera and 8MP front, and runs …
Tim Anderson, 22 Feb 2016
Bemused attendees trying out VR at the Samsung Galaxy S7 launch

Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge: Betting on VR with a dash of Vulkan

MWC16 Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg appeared on stage at Samsung's launch for the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, proclaiming VR the new social platform; but is that enough to make S7 more than just this year's slightly faster Galaxy? Facebook acquired Oculus VR in 2014, and its technology is used in Samsung's Gear VR, a headset which works in …
Tim Anderson, 22 Feb 2016