Articles about smartphones

Pixel 2 tinkerers force Google's hand: Secret custom silicon found

Previously Google has contracted major brand OEMs to produce Nexus and Pixel phones using fairly standard off-the-shelf parts. But a teardown of Google's pricey new flagship reveals the company's first homegrown system on a chip – and it's currently idle. Google yesterday went into a little detail on the chip, describing it as …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Oct 2017

Vodafone, EE and Three overcharging customers after contracts expire

Folk with mobiles on Vodafone, EE and Three are being stung by an average £22 per month for staying on their contracts after their handsets have been paid off, according to Citizens Advice. Customers who choose to stay on the same plan after the two-year fixed deal ends are not getting their bills reduced, meaning they are …
Kat Hall, 20 Oct 2017

Xperia XZ1: Sony spies with its MotionEye something beginning...

Review You know where you are with a Sony - this year’s are much like last year’s. And the year before that. The "Omnibalance" design is now reaching the end of its life - that’s official - and hasn’t changed in ages. Sony calls it "timeless", which means "around for a very long time". But then, why should it change? The Sony …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Oct 2017

OnePlus privacy shock: So, the cool Chinese smartphones slurp an alarming amount of data

OnePlus mobiles are phoning home rather detailed information about handsets without any obvious permission or warnings, setting off another debate about what information our smartphones are emitting. Software engineer Christopher Moore discovered that the information collected included the phone's International Mobile …
John Leyden, 12 Oct 2017
A tortoise catches an orange frisbee. Photo by Shutterstock

How many times can Microsoft kill Mobile?

"Without the end points you aren't going to have the impact in the world and people's lives so you have to think about this next generation of computing as mobile-first, cloud-first," said Microsoft's CEO three years ago. Strictly speaking, there's no change in Microsoft's position on its dormant-but-nominally-still-supported …

Shhh! There's a new BlackBerry and... no, we've said too much

Enterprise-focussed phones are vanishingly rare, and that's unlikely to change after BlackBerry Mobile gave its newest model the stealthiest launch possible. The new BlackBerry Motion device – the second from TCL – was unveiled at a trade show in Dubai on a Sunday, and on Instagram, but there's no formal media announcement for …

Microsoft's foray into phones was a bumbling, half-hearted fiasco, and Nadella always knew it

Steve Ballmer as Microsoft chief executive bought the handset business of Finnish former smartphone giant Nokia in 2013. Satya Nadella, who took over from Ballmer in 2014, sold what Ballmer had bought just two years later. That sale came nearly a decade after Ballmer laughed off the thing that promoted Microsoft's decision to …
Chinese revolutionary panda

China cools on Apple's high-priced iBling

Readers and pundits like to compare Apple products to Veblen goods: the pricier they are, the stronger the demand. An iPhone is a status symbol and an aspirational good; it shows the world you have taste and money. When Apple tried a cut-price iPhone, it flopped. With the latest iPhone X topping £1,000 SIM free, that’s about …

BlackBerry reveals slim profits as Dolby-isation of brand marches on

Freed of making phones, BlackBerry continues to "Dolby-ise" its brand, and again recorded a slim profit for the most recent financial quarter. These days BlackBerry is a collection of business and industrial software units, plus a patent licensing division. The company booked a profit of $19m on revenue of $238m in Q2 FY 2018 …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Sep 2017

Nokia updates classic comeback mobe 3310

Only one phone from the "New Nokia" (aka HMD Global) has made any impact so far, and sadly for the startup's ambitions of returning the brand to market leadership, it's the remodelled classic, the 3310. The Nokia 3310 was reintroduced to the world at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona generating enviable amounts of nostalgic …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Sep 2017
The Essential Phone

Essentially invisible: Android big-daddy Andy Rubin's hypetastic mobe 'flops in first month'

Android co-inventor Andy Rubin's much-hyped Essential Phone has thus far been a flop with consumers in its first weeks on the market, it is estimated. According to numbers provided to El Reg by analyst firm BayStreet Research, since it began shipping pre-orders in late August, and in stores since mid-September, with the …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Sep 2017

HP denies rumours Elite x3 is for the axe, admits coveting neighbour's OS

HP Inc, the only phone vendor with a serious commitment to Windows 10 mobile, has refuted reports that it will kill off its HP Elite x3 enterprise phone this autumn. A German article on the Windows United blog claimed sales would cease from November 1. HP has said it will continue to sell the Elite x3 throughout 2018, and to …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Sep 2017

iPhone 8: Apple has CPU cycles to burn

While the iPhone 8 retains the same unremarkable design for the fourth year running, the internals are a different story. Thanks to extraordinary improvements in semiconductor design, it has been able to shrink the capacity and size of its battery pack, while opening up a significant performance lead over Qualcomm and Samsung …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Sep 2017

If you need to replace anything other than your iPhone 8's battery or display, good luck

iFixit’s teardown of the new iPhone 8 confirms that the screen and battery remain relatively replaceable, despite the addition of Qi-compatible wireless charging coils in the unit. Overall the site gives the 8 6/10 for repairability… the same score as last year. The iPhone 3GS in 2009 was given a 7/10 and only needed three …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Sep 2017

Google's Big Hardware Bet: Is this what a sane business would do?

Analysis Google is placing a "Big Bet" on consumer hardware, the company screams in a new blog post. Presumably this time it really means it. Two thousand staff from HTC's phone division will be heading off to the Chocolate Factory, their winning Golden Tickets in hand. Google didn't capitalise "Big Bet" but then it really didn't have …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Sep 2017
Librem 5 smartphone mockup

GNOME Foundation backs 'freedom-oriented' smartphone

The GNOME Foundation has backed efforts to create a "freedom-oriented" smartphone that protects users' privacy and runs only open-source software. The Librem 5 promises to run privacy-centric Debian derivative PureOS by default and to support "most GNU+Linux distributions". Purism, a maker of laptops running PureOS for the …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Sep 2017
Angry man bites a smartphone

Google blows $1.1bn to hire HTC's Pixel people, forming one big happy handset team

As rumoured since early September, Google has decided to splash out over a billion dollars and hire the HTC team that designs and builds its Pixel phones. The ad giant's announcement stated "a team of HTC talent" that has "already been working with [Google] closely on the Pixel smartphone line" will join the company. Rick …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Sep 2017

Google to relieve HTC of its phones biz – report

Google is set to relieve HTC of its mobile phones unit, according to a report in Taiwan's Commercial Times, leaving the company to focus on its Vive VR helmet. Originally a Windows Mobile contract phone manufacturer, HTC currently produces Google's Pixel phones, a relationship which is expected to continue. However, since its …

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