Articles about smartphones

nerd looking surprised at phone

A pretty and helpful user interface? Nahhh. Is that really you, Samsung?

Samsung isn't the first name most people would associate with slick user interfaces – but its 2018 Android P overhaul could make rivals Apple and Google look shabby. Though Oreo brought few changes to Samsung's TouchWiz UI used on millions of phones, this year should see significant tweaks. Samsung uses an obscure, Korean- …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Jun 2018
Google Pixel 2 Product

Google says Pixel 2's narcoleptic display is being fixed in June update

Some Pixel 2 owners are still waiting for a fix for dead screens six months after the issue was first reported. The display turns off during a phone call and – like Rip Van Winkle – can't be woken up. The bug began to manifest itself with the 8.1 Oreo update last last year – see here and here. Google support advised some …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Jun 2018
Smartphone user photo via Shutterstock

Brit mobile phone users want the Moon on a stick but then stay on same networks for aeons

Chinese brands have been eyeing Western markets for some time, but in the UK customer inertia means many punters stick with what they know. RootMetrics' consumer survey of UK mobile shows just how much. More than half of the UK's big four mobile network customers have been with their carrier for two years or more. O2 …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Jun 2018
eelo bliss launcher

Meet the Frenchman masterminding a Google-free Android

Interview Open source had a moral purpose when it was fighting "The Borg", Microsoft, in the 1990s, but then it fell from view. You could say it has found its mojo again, only this time it is about loosening the grip of companies built on ever more intrusive personal data processing: Google and Facebook. One of the biggest but most …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Jun 2018
Waiting

This HTC U12+ review page is left intentionally blank

Review This space is left intentionally blank. It's where our HTC U12+ flagship review would go. So why is it missing? Last year HTC won back mindshare with its flagship U11 phone, the elegance and appealing imaging and video of which made it an attractive alternative to big-spending rivals. An even stronger U11+ a few months later …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Jun 2018
Man feels someone else's pain

Xiaomi the money? OK, here's a one beeeeellion dollar loss ahead of IPO

Chinese tech darling Xiaomi made a loss of $1.2bn (¥7.7bn) on turnover of $5.4bn (¥34.4bn) in the first quarter of 2018. The firm disclosed the figures in a regulatory filing (Chinese, PDF) ahead of a share flotation. The IPO could raise $10bn and Xiaomi wants to use it to expand into the West. The bulk of Xiaomi's income is …
Andrew Orlowski, 11 Jun 2018

Five actually useful real-world things that came out at Apple's WWDC

Analysis Are you excited about Apple's new AR emoji as we are? Or the push-to-talk feature for the Apple Watch? Just kidding, folks. Once a year, the world's biggest computer company gives us its annual dump of new platform stuff for developers. And while Apple likes to add a bit of froth, the signal-to-noise ratio at its Worldwide …
Dictionary definition of the word schadenfreude

Schadenfreude for UK mobile networks over the tumult at Carphone

Analysis UK mobile networks will be eyeing Carphone Warehouse's current woes with some glee. Carphone issued a profits warning last week and warned of a year of difficulty ahead. It will promptly close 92 stores. Why the glee? It's because Charles Dunstone's retail operation is an exception in mobile retail, rather than the norm. …

You know what your problem is, Apple? Complacency

Comment When several "leaked" reports appear to show that Apple is focusing on quality, not features, it's reasonable to conclude that Apple is concerned the world perceives a quality problem. We heard the message via Axios in January that Apple was focusing on reliability rather than new features. And again at the weekend. But wait …
Screengrab of motorola modular phones

Leaked pics: Motorola to add 'unpatriotic' 5G to 4G phones with magnets

Lenovo's Motorola may soon offer 5G through its Mod phone expansion system, which allows peripherals to clip to the back of Mod-compatible phones using a magnet, according to leaked imagery. The images, published at XDA developers, include a bulky 5G Mod. The Moto Mod bus supports USB 3.1 speeds: sufficient for the gigabit …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 May 2018
The Essential Phone

Android daddy Andy Rubin's Essential axes handset, is 'actively shopping itself' – report

Andy Rubin's quixotic smartphone startup, Essential Products, has cancelled a handset and is looking for buyers, according to a Bloomberg report – just a month after opening its doors in the UK. "The company hasn't yet made a final decision on a sale," Mark Gurman writes, but has "canceled development of a new smartphone". …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 May 2018
htc U12+ PICS

HTC U12+: Like a Pixel without the pratfalls, or eye-watering price tag

Hands on It may be news to you that HTC is still with us, but the fact it's here is good news for phone buyers. HTC's only flagship smartphone of 2018 – the U12+ – looks like a sensibly priced alternative to the Pixel and Galaxy, without the eccentricities and flaws of the Huawei P20 Pro. htc U12+ PICS HTC is hanging on in the phone …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 May 2018

Xiaomi the way: Hyped Chinese giant begins its battle for Britain

Analysis Xiaomi's entry into Europe is as feared as it is anticipated. With its vow to keep profit margins on hardware below 5 per cent and make the rest up on services, er, somehow, the Chinese firm threatens a consumer electronics price war that goes way beyond phones. But it might be harder than pundits think. Xiaomi was described …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 May 2018
OnePlus 6 in midnight black

OnePlus smartmobe brand modelled on 'a religion', founder admits

As Chinese phone-maker OnePlus launched its latest phone, co-founder Carl Pei confessed that the company was inspired by cults. Fanatics have smashed up their existing (non-OnePlus) phones to get one, and queued for hours in the scorching heat just to fondle one. The launch event is the product: OnePlus sells fans tickets to …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 May 2018
Samsung's S3 chip foundry

Samsung ready to fling Exynos at anyone who wants a phone chip

With the threat of Qualcomm litigation receding, Samsung is in talks with ZTE, among others, and ready to license its Exynos phone chips to anyone who wants them. This could lower the costs of high-end mobiles. Reuters quotes former Qualcomm, now Samsung, executive Inyup Kang as saying that Samsung is talking to "all OEMs" …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 May 2018
Surprised by smartphone

Make masses carry their mobes, suggests wig in not-at-all-creepy speech

A senior British judge has highlighted the benefits of legislation that obliges people to carry their mobile phone at all times. Sir Geoffrey Vos QC, Chancellor of the High Court and former head of the Bar Council, raised the prospect of compulsory mobe-carrying in a speech to the Law Society (PDF). Vos drew attention to the …
Andrew Orlowski, 11 May 2018
Telstra from Shutterstock

Collateral carnage as ZTE sanctions see Australia’s top telco dump mobe-maker

Australia’s largest and dominant telco, Telstra, has stopped selling the ZTE devices it sold under its own brand. Telstra blamed US sanctions recently imposed on ZTE that prevent the Chinese mobe-maker from acquiring parts made by US companies. ZTE halted its production lines as a result, saying that it just can’t build …
Simon Sharwood, 10 May 2018
Airplane crash - pic by shutterstock

Peak smartphone? Phone fatigue hits Western Europe hard

Smartmobe shipments were down almost 7 per cent year-on-year in Europe during calendar Q1, according to Canalys, as phone fatigue hit mature markets hard. Some 46 million units in total were shipped in the three months, this included a 13 per cent drop in Western Europe to 30.1 million phones and a 12.9 per cent rise in …

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