If you've never heard of a smartphone maker by the name of Meizu, that's understandable. (Even though we actually reviewed their first Android smartphone about 2 years ago.) That's because Meizu, despite selling some phones outside of its home market - China - does no advertising and has very little press outreach in the western world.
Meizu's latest phone, the MX4, sells in mainland China for under $300 (1,799 Chinese Yuan) in 16GB trim. Now that the smartphone enthusiast world has been opened up to the incredibly competitive pricing of Chinese phonemakers via OnePlus, though, this doesn't sound especially crazy.
Punit Soni, VP of product at Motorola, just announced on his Google+ page that he is departing from the company. It's unclear why he's leaving or where he's going, but it's safe to say that everyone loved the work he did at Moto, and his influence on the company was definitely felt. He made it a point to essentially bring Motorola back from the dead where customers were concerned – timely updates and a good consumer experience were his top priority. And he delivered.
His decision to leave can probably be attributed to the Lenovo deal, which isn't a good start for the new partnership.
Google hyped up Android One, its initiative to get Android-powered phones into the hands of more people in the developing world, back at Google I/O. They made good on their promises today in India, launching new phones in partnership with local hardware vendors Spice, Micromax, and Karbonn. The first three Android One phones are available today starting at Rs. 6299 ($103 USD at current currency rates) without a contract at major online Indian retailers. More countries, as well as more hardware partners, are planned for future rollouts.
The three original Android One devices are the Dream UNO Mo-498 from Spice for Rs.
If you've been watching the tablet space lately, you've probably noticed Qualcomm isn't exactly winning the processor wars: Intel, Samsung, and NVIDIA have been slowly clawing back market share in a segment where cellular radios just aren't as important. The biggest gains have undoubtedly come for Intel, who have been extremely aggressive in pricing their mobile chipsets low and, allegedly, providing superior sell-through and promotional services for retailers and OEMs, something Qualcomm and NVIDIA simply don't have much experience with, and budget chipmakers like MediaTek and RockChip can't afford.
Case in point, the upcoming ASUS MeMo Pad 7 LTE. It has the same 64-bit Bay Trail-T quad-core processor as the upcoming Lenovo Tab S8.
I can't believe it's already been a year since the last What We Use, but alas, it has. Basically everything has changed in my device collection since last year, so there's a lot to talk about this go around. Before we get into the stuff you're actually here to see, however, l want to point out that we're going to take a slightly different approach to the What We Use series this time.
Last year, Artem pointed out that he'd like to see a more personalized version of this series. Instead of making the most common devices the focal point of the post, we're going to take a closer look at some of the more obscure things that we commonly use – not just as journalists or techies, but as people in general.
TeamViewer is a go-to tool for users who, well, remote access into things enough to have a go-to tool. The software lets someone in location A beam into a smartphone or tablet running the app in location B. It's the kind of thing enterprise support teams can use to keep their coworkers or clients happy. Likewise, it's what that techy person up the street uses to help out all of their confused family members.
I wrote a review of the G3 just about two months ago, and at the time, I really enjoyed it. While the model I was provided was designed for Korea, it worked on AT&T's LTE network and generally provided a steady wireless experience. I found Wi-Fi connectivity was a bit spotty, though, and there were occasional network hiccups that are to be expected of a piece of hardware not specifically certified for a particular carrier.
Shortly after our review, I received an AT&T-branded LG G3 to try out, and I've been using it as my daily driver for around a month now.
Samsung spent a lot of time at its latest earnings call trying to re-assure investors that its meteoric rise to the top of the Android hardware business wasn't going to end anytime soon. The Wall Street Journal quotes Senior Vice President Kim Hyun-Joon, who mentioned two incoming models in particular: one with a large screen, and one that would be made using "new materials." The former is almost certainly the next iteration of the Galaxy Note, which has been released in the latter half of the year since 2011. The latter sounds like something new.
Samsung's senior vice president may have been referring to phones like the leaked Galaxy Alpha.
The IDC has released a snapshot of the state of the industry following the end of the second quarter, and as always, some players are doing better than others. In this case, Chinese manufacturers are the biggest winners, benefiting both from growth at home and increasing success abroad.
Despite offering a bajillion different types of devices, Samsung saw its market share drop seven full percentage points down to 25.2% of the market. This means it shipped a fourth of all units sold in spring 2014 versus a third of all units moved in the same quarter last year. The company is still first by a long shot, having more than double Apple's 11% share.
We provided some details a few days ago about a device that may very well be a Motorola Nexus phone, with the telling codename "Shamu" (because it's really big). Today The Information says it has independent confirmation from three sources that the device exists and that it is indeed a Nexus phablet. As for Android Silver? Well, that's looking a bit less certain.