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Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 (5.5") Review: $250 Buys You So Much More Phone Than It Used To

Not long ago, a $250 unlocked smartphone was probably asking for trouble - a sketchy processor, WVGA display, potato-resolution camera, and 3G were basically what you could expect. But as technology has marched forward, component costs for things like 1080p LCD panels, 13MP camera sensors, and LTE have become much cheaper.

The Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 5.5" (I know, I know, the name is ridiculous), which I will from here on call the Idol 3 for the sake of brevity and sanity, has the things you want in a modern smartphone. A big - but not ridiculously large - 1080p IPS-LCD display, a modern Qualcomm processor, dual front-facing speakers, LTE, a 13MP Sony IMX image sensor, and a respectably capacious 2910mAh battery.

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Google Joins Via Licensing, Provides Access To Its LTE Patents As Part Of A Pool

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Rick Osterloh, Motorola's President, Says The Company Doesn't Have Any Tablet Plans This Year (And Other Tidbits)

Motorola's President and COO, Rick Osterloh, hosted a Twitter chat yesterday under the hashtag #AskRickO in which he answered a few questions regarding the company's expansion, release plans, device updates, and showed his current phone and watch setups.

The most interesting bit of information came in reply to Sumer Broota, who asked him whether Motorola had any plans to release a tablet this year. Rick said no and pointed toward Lenovo's line of Yoga tablets as an alternative.

When asked about the Lollipop update for the Moto X 1st gen (2013), he explained that it was still in the very early testing stages.

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Intel Unveils A Trio Of New Mobile Chips: Atom x3, x5, and x7 - Coming To Phones, Tablets, And Other Stuff

This week at MWC, Intel revealed its 2015 and 2016 mobile chipset lineup, as well as the fact that the company is adopting a similar naming scheme to its Core line of processors with these new chips. They've been dubbed x3, x5, and x7, and as with the Core processors, bigger is generally better.

Intel has long been something of a dark horse in the mobile industry. The company has seen negligible penetration in smartphones to date (though not none) and competes almost exclusively in the low to mid-range segment in Android tablets. Of course, as the ultraportable market changes and small, super-thin laptops and convertibles become more common, Intel is swooping in with design wins left and right, keeping the likes of Qualcomm, NVIDIA, MediaTek, and Samsung out of a lucrative market.

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Dell Announces Venue 10, An Education-Focused Tablet That Will Run Lollipop

As part of a series of education-oriented product announcements, Dell is introducing the Venue 10, a Lollipop-enabled Android tablet. The device, which will have a "Pro" sibling that runs Windows 8.1, is set to debut in the spring and will be Google Apps for Education certified. While it will fall short of being a high-end tablet and may not have wide availability, it does have a few cool features.

Dell's release says the Venue 10 line will have "HD or Full HD" 10.1 inch screens, making it unclear whether these will be options or if the 1080p display will apply only to the Pro model.

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Bloomberg Confirms Past Reports That Galaxy S6 Will Debut In Two Variants - One Curved, One Flat

Following the, uh, runaway success that was the Galaxy Note Edge, Samsung will unveil the Galaxy S6 (or whatever they call it) at MWC next month in two trims: curved and not curved. At least, that's what Bloomberg is saying.

They're probably right. We've read a handful of pretty reliable reports to date that at least one version of the Galaxy S6 would have a Note Edge-style curved display, so Bloomberg is just piling on to confirm that here - it's not new information in and of itself. Bloomberg has also corroborated rumors that the curved S6 will have not one, but two edge displays.

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Strategy Analytics Says Manufacturers Shipped More Than A Billion Android Phones In 2014

Think of the number one billion. A billion of just about anything is a lot - people, bananas, cars, pints of novelty ice cream flavors. According to a report published by market research firm Strategy Analytics, the number of Android powered smartphones shipped last year was approximately one billion, forty-one million, seven hundred thousand (give or take a few tractor-trailers worth). That's about one Android phone for every seven people on the planet, not counting tablets, set-top boxes, and other Android-powered devices.

the defense rests

The one billion figure is an increase of about one third over 2013, and with a total smartphone market of 1.3 billion shipped devices, Android dominates with an estimated 81.2% marketshare.

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Motorola Re-Enters The Chinese Market With The Moto X 2014, Moto X Pro, And Moto G 2014

When Lenovo announced its intention to buy Motorola off of former owner Google, it was assumed that the Chinese manufacturer wanted an easy foothold into potentially lucrative Western markets. But apparently Lenovo is just as interested in getting Motorola's well-received hardware into the largest mobile market on the planet. Today Motorola announced in a keynote that it would begin taking pre-orders for the second-gen Moto G and the 2014 flagship Moto X in China, and showed off the Moto X Pro (basically a de-branded Nexus 6). 

All three models are mostly unchanged from their counterparts sold elsewhere, though they'll go without Google services and access to the Play Store, since the company doesn't formally operate in China.

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Moto X (2014) Review Addendum: Three Months Later

When Motorola released the revamped Moto X a few months ago, there was plenty of discussion about whether it or the still-unannounced Nexus 6 would be a better purchase. It's completely reasonable to prefer the Nexus 6 because of the larger screen and improved camera, but the 2014 Moto X still stands out to me as one of the best Android phones ever made. Now that we've got a little distance, let's see how the 2014 Moto X is holding up.

wm_mx11

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CES 2015 Wrap-Up: It's About Things Connecting To Other Things Connecting To Your Phone Which Is Connected To Your Car

The internet of things may be the most overused, annoying, comically oversimplified tech term of 2014, dreamt up by some winnovator god knows when, but it was the keystone (and keynote) of an increasingly schizophrenic CES that, in the last few years, has been searching for a more cohesive theme.

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Yes, that's a carrot. At one of Lenovo's CES party / showcase nights.

CES 2015 was easily the least mobile device-focused CES since 2008, when many companies were still deciding whether or not to respond to the unexpected popularity of the first iPhone. At that point, CES was firmly entrenched in the television and personal media market - TVs, camcorders, PMPs, and Blu-ray were the talk of the town.

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