Look, Chinese phone manufacturers, we need to have a talk. I know trademarks, copyrights, patents, and all manner of intellectual property are played kind of fast and loose over there. But when even your legitimate companies follow Apple like a bunch of multi-million-dollar ducklings, it's not poking any holes in the old "iPhone clone" argument. Case in point: OPPO's shiny new F1 Plus, a phone that has some fantastic design and hardware and could certainly stand on its own merits... that just happens to look like someone took an iPhone 6 Plus and put it through a photocopier a few dozen times. Read More
LG likes to keep a large, rolling selection of mid-range and low-end phones available for a variety of customers, and today it's revealing two more. The K8 LTE and K5 are both 5-inch phones with a focus on style over substance thanks to somewhat low specifications, but they should do well enough if they're launched at the right price. Unfortunately the press release doesn't say how much the phones will cost, but the K8 will sell in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and Russia, while the K5 will be limited to Europe, Russia, and Latin America. Both should be available to purchase later this week in some markets. Read More
ZTE doesn't want to talk about the Blade V7 phone they have on the slate for Mobile World Congress, at least not yet. A promotional website has a small image and a broken link, but if you put in the URL manually, you can see the newly-announced device in all its golden mid-range glory. The V7 kind of looks like the bastard child of an iPhone and one of HTC's later One devices (sorry, ZTE, but that circle home button and custom icon theme are pretty telling), but it's none the worse for being born out of wedlock. It's hard to go wrong with an all-aluminum body, right? Read More
Samsung's flagship announcements have become cornerstones of the Android upgrade cycle. Just like last year, the company has announced two new Galaxy-branded phones at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona: the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge. Both phones are modest bumps over their previous designs, both in terms of hardware and style, but there are some notably improved features that power users and practical consumers will both appreciate.
The new phones bring back two of the most-missed features that were dropped from the S6 generation: expandable storage (via MicroSD cards) and water-resistant bodies. The former comes from a new "hybrid" nano-SIM tray, which houses both the SIM card and the MicroSD card in a single metal tray that slides out via a standard SIM tool. Read More
Mobile World Congress has become the premiere stage for new phones and tablet introductions, and since Lenovo saves its Motorola portfolio for the latter half of the year, it's time for the first-party devices to shine. Well, shimmer. Perhaps "gleam" would be a better word. Out of five new phones and tablets introduced on the show floor, none of them are particularly mind-blowing, and the phones are unlikely to make it to stores in the US or Europe. Anyway, let's take it from the top: Read More
Archos has kind of fallen off the radar in terms of tablet sales. Maybe it's different in Europe (Archos is a French company), but these days you won't see any of its products on American shelves. And considering the relative paucity of Android tablets in general as of late, that's a shame. Especially when you hear that Archos is making three new tablets at a variety of sizes and, miracle of miracles, they're all running the latest version of Android at launch.
So it is with the new Oxygen series of tablets: the 70, 80, and 101b at 7-inch, 8-inch, and 10.1-inches, respectively. Read More
Android news tends to focus on the flagship phones from the largest companies, if only because they inform the direction of phone design for the following year or so. But it's important to remember that giant corporations like LG release dozens of new models in the same timeframe. The first two LG phones announced for 2016 are the K7 and K10, both being revealed before the enormous Consumer Electronics Show (which doesn't technically begin until Wednesday).
Both phones are quite few steps down from flagships, but noticeably above the entry level, much like the older L series that they're based on. Read More
Back in August LG announced new versions of its G Pad tablet in both 8 and 10-inch varieties. Aside from a couple of features like an integrated stylus on the former, they weren't all that interesting, just middling updates of the previous budget-focused models. Even when one of them showed up in the US for a little carrier-branded fun, it was met with a big fat "meh." The sequel to the G Pad 8.3, which was actually quite nice when it launched back in 2013, is likewise underwhelming.
LG announced the G Pad II LTE for its home market of South Korea yesterday. Read More
Around this time last year Verizon released a self-branded tablet called the Ellipsis 8, a larger variation on the original 7-inch Ellipsis. We had some fun speculating on its corporate origins. But thanks to lots of discounts and package deals, there are actually a ton of these things in the hands of consumers, including some of my Verizon-using family members. So here we are again, with another, bigger Verizon whitebox tablet. This time it's a ten-inch slate called the (wait for it) Ellipsis 10. Read More
Previous rumors asserted that a beefed up version of the Moto X Style called the Moto X Force would come to the US as a Verizon exclusive known as the DROID Turbo 2. Rumors also said Verizon would boast about a so-called unbreakable display and introduce Moto Maker to a DROID device for the first time. Still with me? Good, because as previously leaked promotional materials showed, all of these claims were true, and now we're getting the official word straight from the horse's mouth. Verizon revealed the DROID Turbo 2 at its previously announced press event today (alongside the mid-range DROID Maxx 2) and proceeded to drop the device from around six feet onto concrete. Read More