Motorola is now completely under the Lenovo umbrella, so it's the perfect time for it to head back to China after pulling back some years ago. Motorola will be launching three devices in China—there's the Moto G, Moto X, and something called the Moto X Pro. Judging from the description and photo, it's a Nexus 6 without the Nexus.
It's not hard to find an Android tablet for less than a hundred bucks - head down to your nearest drugstore and there's a decent chance you'll see one. The trick is finding one that's worth using at that price. While most of these ultra-cheap tablets are no-name Chinese models, Lenovo just announced a pair of new 7-inchers in the A Series starting at only a single Benjamin. I guess that would make them name brand Chinese tablets, but hey, Lenovo beats whatever company is using the Polaroid license this year.
Both the TAB 2A7-10 and the A7-30 are essentially identical, but the latter and more expensive one features a 3G radio and calling support, essentially making it a giant phone.
When gigantic multinational corporations buy one another, the process is a bit more complicated than grabbing a new couch off of Craigslist. Lenovo announced its intention to buy American phone manufacturer Motorola off of Google back in January of this year, less than two years after Google itself acquired the then-independent Motorola Mobility. Today the sale is final and approved by all necessary regulatory agencies, with a combined price of $2.91 billion in cash, credit, and stock.
Left to right: Lenovo Execute Vice President of the Mobile Business Group Liu Jun, Lenovo Chairman and CEO Yang Yuanqing, Motorola Mobility President and Chief Operating Officer Rick Osterloh
Motorola and Lenovo both have "welcome to the team" blog posts on their respective websites.
Lenovo's kickstand-packing Yoga tablets are already unconventional, but the new Tablet 2 Pro is downright odd. In addition to a relatively huge 13.3" screen and a built-in subwoofer, this beast of a device packs a pint-sized Pico projector into the curve of its kickstand hinge. Lenovo claims that the Tablet 2 Pro was developed with "product engineer" Ashton Kutcher, in case it wasn't already weird enough. The redesigned kickstand also includes a cutout that pulls double duty as a hole for the camera and a handy hanging point.
Here's a video with young, attractive people using a $500 tablet to match their $500 van.
It's amazing that more than a decade after the rise of "gadget blogs," gigantic international corporations still don't tick the little "confidential" mark when submitting their gadgets for certification by the Federal Communications Commission. Keep it up, folks, it gives us peeks at upcoming hardware like the Lenovo SW-B100 Smartband. This wearable was previously spotted going through the Bluetooth SIG's series of tests, and rumored for an IFA debut, which didn't happen.
The FCC's tests and documentation vary from device to device, but in this case we get external and internal photos and a copy of the Smartband's user manual.
Lenovo's initial Yoga tablets were novel thanks to their curved chassis with plus-sized batteries and integrated kickstands, but the lackluster specs (headlined by MediaTek processors) turned a lot of hardware fans off. The refreshed version of the 10-inch Yoga fixed that with a slightly better Snapdragon 400, 2GB of RAM, and a 1920x1200 screen. You can pick up a Yoga 10 Tablet HD+ for $100 off from Amazon, bringing the price down to a more reasonable $249.99.
The extra junk in the trunk from the case gives the Yoga a three-stage kickstand that folds up when not in use, not to mention a little extra space for stereo front-facing speakers and a 9000mAh battery.
Some companies like to make a show of their appearances at big tech conferences like IFA. Some of them just like to announce everything all at once, and Lenovo is squarely in the latter category. The company's only Android addition in Berlin is the Tab S8, but thanks to an interesting collection of specs and price tag, it's worth your attention. The 8-inch tablet is a decent mid-range device on paper, but the interesting part is that Lenovo has set the suggested retail price at $199.
As you might guess, the Tab 8 uses an 8-inch screen. This will be a full 1920x1200 16:10 IPS panel - not bad, not bad at all.
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.
If you've ever wanted cloud storage that you don't have to pay for each month, well, you have had no shortage of options for years. But here's another one. Lenovo has launched an Android app that taps into its new Beacon storage device. This way it can serve files to your Android phone or tablet alongside your TV and other electronics.
Android devices actually get a better deal than TVs, which must be physically tethered to the Beacon using an HDMI cable. Handsets can pull the data down from anywhere, including outside of the house. The catch is that you need to have the Windows Beacon software installed to manage access permissions.
Lenovo, despite being the relatively new owners of Motorola Mobility, didn't need this acquisition to produce attractive new hardware - at least for markets other than the US. The Vibe Z, which never made it to our corner of the world, looks poised to get a sequel that ups its game in every area that matters. Shots of a phone dubbed the Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro have surfaced, showing a 6-inch phone with a quad HD display, a 4000mAh battery, a 16MP OIS camera with dual LED flash, and a Snapdragon 801 processor. The Vibe Z's plastic body has been replaced by an impressive metal one.