No doubt about it, the mid-range market is heating up, even in places where unlocked and contract-free phones have typically undersold. This morning Chinese smartphone maker Huawei announced the Ascend P8 Lite, a new offering for the US that has its sights set on competitors like the Moto G.Read More
When I was in Istanbul last week, I saw street vendors waving selfie sticks (aka the wand of Narcissus) and offering for a few liras to hold your phone so you can take a selfie from a better angle. If something hits the hawker market, it's safe to say that it's pervasive and in-demand. That's the angle that the newly announced Sony Xperia C4 is coming from. Sony even has a name for all the cool selfles that this smartphone can take — PROselfies. Because regular selfies aren't enough.
The recipe for cooking up a PROselfie involves a 5MP 25mm wide-angle lens with Sony's Exmor R sensor, a soft LED flash, and HDR for balancing the exposure as much as possible and capturing both you and your background clearly.Read More
Cerberus is a popular app that extends Android's tracking and anti-theft abilities with a host of new tools. Developer LSDroid tends to release updates often, and the latest one fixes an important bug and adds a few more features. Notably, Cerberus can now disable your phone's ability to lower the status bar on the lockscreen, where the Quick Settings menu displays by default in Android 5.0 and 5.1. That will keep thieves from easily disconnecting from Wi-Fi or data networks.
The AutoTask function has been extended to work with various Bluetooth triggers. AutoTask can react to certain conditions like an incorrect PIN or a low battery setting by enabling or disabling certain functions, or locking down the phone.Read More
Android 5.1 is still only available on a limited number of Android One phones, but a few interesting tweaks are already on display. One feature that seems tailor-made for Android One has to do with the dual-SIM capabilities. Android 5.1 includes the ability to set a different dialer theme color for each SIM so you'll know which one you're using to place calls.Read More
Sony's smartphones and tablets have had a nearly universal aesthetic over the last few years, focusing on hard angles and monochromatic designs. It's a good look, but the company seems to be shaking things up a bit with the low-end Xperia E4. This budget device translates Sony's industrial design into a softer, curvier plastic body. The white version is two-toned, Nexus-style, with a white housing and black screen bezel. Other touches, like the middle-mounted power button, are more familiar.
The phone uses a five-inch screen and a qHD LCD panel - that's a little q, 960x540, not the other QHD.Read More
ROM flashers and root fanatics who own a few more obscure Android devices have new options this morning. Official, straight from the source builds of the ubiquitous Team Win Recovery Project custom recovery are now available for the unlocked, dual-SIM card version of the HTC One M7, the carrier-customized version of the LG G3 for US Cellular, and the LG Optimus Fuel. Wait, the what? Let me check my notes... yup, says right here, "Optimus Fuel."
Not ringing any bells here.
The One M7 and G3 variants should be pretty self-explanatory, but the Optimus Fuel is so uninteresting it flew under Android Police radar when it was released for the Tracfone budget carrier way back in June of this year.Read More
The big question on everyone's mind when Nokia revealed the Android-powered X line was whether their new masters at Microsoft would continue the line after the acquisition. It looks like Redmond is ready for another lap around the Android pool, at least in conjunction with its extensively-customized software load, because Nokia just announced the X2 for immediate release. The 99 Euro ($135) phone is "available immediately in select countries globally." Both global and select, huh?
This is technically a second-generation phone, and the X2 is the fourth Nokia retail device to run Android, but since it's only been four months since the unveiling of the original X, X+, and XL, I'd say that this is more of an evolutionary step than a true sequel.Read More
Do you want most of the HTC One's features in a device that's not quite as expensive? Then meet the One (E8), HTC's newest smartphone. Between the plastic (oops, sorry, "polycarbonate") body and a separate model with dual SIM card slots, it's clear that this handset is aimed at developing markets. The announcement post for the phone doesn't mention a specific date or price, but my money's on "soon" and "upper mid-range."
First of all, the E8's screen is 5" and 1080p, the same as the One M8. The processor (Snapdragon 801) and RAM (2GB) are also holdovers from the flagship model.Read More