Sony's non-presence in the US smartphone market only seems to be accelerating of late, with the company having closed all of its retail stores in the country (apart from the one on Madison Avenue in NYC), shut down its online shop (it redirects all listings to 3rd party retailers), and cancelled its only known upcoming device. This, alongside increasingly dismal sales performance for Xperia phones even outside America, tends to paint a not-nice picture of the company's smartphone division.
But Sony Pictures lives on, and with it, the blockbuster Daniel Craig Bond franchise. The upcoming 007 film Spectre will, of course, feature a lot of Sony product placement, including the generally well-liked Xperia Z5... Read More
A truly useful piece of software? From Samsung? Color me surprised, too, but the company's new Game Tuner app is nothing short of incredibly handy for mobile gamers. As you may well know, playing visually-intensive games on your smartphone can demolish the battery fairly quickly. While most such games render at 1080p even on 2K displays like Samsung's, such resolutions can be big draws on both your remaining juice and your device's processor, causing throttling (and thus slowdowns) and excessive power drain. Samsung's new app lets you have a say in just how graphically hungry those games will be, allowing you to adjust maximum frame rate and resolution scaling. Read More
OnePlus started selling the OnePlus 2 a few months ago, but "selling" is a charitable way to put it. You needed an invite to get the device, and those weren't easy to come by. Today you can get it sans invite if you act fast. Buying a smartphone without an invite? How very novel. Other companies should try this. Read More
Sony's open device project was launched to allow developers to run AOSP Android builds on many of Sony's devices. The company has been keeping up the software support for this program, and has even added new devices frequently. Now, Sony's latest flagships are joining the open initiative. You can grab the Marshmallow software binaries for the Xperia Z5 and Z5 Compact right now. Read More
The Note 5 is like the Note 4, but newer. Actually, while that introduction would generally be true, this year's model received the drastic redesign Samsung introduced with the Galaxy S6. Bye bye plastic and microSD card slot, hello glass and... no microSD card slot. Read More
The ZTE AXON Pro arrived in the US on August 1st, and similar options appeared elsewhere last month, giving smartphone buyers a chance to own a 5.5" screen with a Snapdragon 810 and 4GB of RAM for $450. Now the manufacturer has launched a smaller version of the device, the ZTE AXON Mini, in China. It's joined by the AXON Watch, which doesn't come with Android Wear. And while it's not available yet, ZTE announced that the larger AXON Max is on its way.
The AXON Mini is smaller, not small. You still get a 5.2" display, one that will offer pressure-sensitive touch. Read More
HTC needs a hit. Desperately. According to ComScore they held less than 4% of smartphones in the US in the second quarter of this year, and IDC's worldwide statistics didn't even record the company, lumping it in with "others" and presumably rating it well below Lenovo's 4.7% marketshare. The leaks of the HTC (One?) A9, also known as the Aero, indicate that the company is hoping a slim, stylish, and undeniably derivative design are going to help it win new customers with its next major release.
The latest set of leaks come from Twitter, where OnLeaks posted a series of photos of what appear to be a near-finished version of the phone in black, though it's labeled as a dummy unit. Read More
Despite some interesting tablet hardware in the earlier days of Android, French manufacturer Archos hasn't had anything notable to show for several years. Perhaps that's why the company is jumping into the small but growing niche of ultra-secure cell phones, like the Blackphone and the Turing Phone. Archos has partnered with SIKUR (read: Secure), a vendor of encrypted company-focused communications apps, to create the GranitePhone. It's available to purchase today for a whopping $850.
Thanks to the GranitePhone's Android-derived "Granite OS," basically everything on the device is encrypted, even the custom homescreen that eschews a conventional grid layout for a modified version of the SIKUR inbox. Read More
These days it's rare to see a game praised for graphics alone - with incredibly powerful hardware available on consoles, PCs, and yes, mobile hardware, it's more about what you can do with what you have. A prime example is Contrast, a combination platformer and puzzle game that first debuted on PC and console download services just under two years ago. It's a perfect intersection of unique art design and compelling game mechanics. Today it's available on Android for $14.99, but only if you have NVIDIA's SHIELD Android TV box.
Contrast takes place in a sort of steampunk-burlesque universe, following a very personal story about a mother and daughter. Read More