Eastern Asia is home to some interesting smartphones, like various Android-powered flip phones from Samsung and LG. Earlier today, the 'NichePhone-S' from FutureModel was announced in Japan. It's a phone the size of a credit card priced around 10,000 yen (or $88 USD), with a heavily customized version of Android. Read More
Xiaomi phones always have the same problem. While the company's devices have generally great specifications and design for the price, the software experience is usually not very good. If you've read one of our Xiaomi device reviews, or used one of the company's phones yourself, you probably know what I'm talking about.
All of Xiaomi's phones and tablets ship with MIUI, a heavily modified version of Android that has countless problems. Some of these include Bluetooth connectivity bugs, terrible notification handling, and over-the-top power management that can outright break notifications for many apps. Jordan went in depth about MIUI's issues here, if you're interested in details. Read More
Earlier this month, two entrepreneurs from Ottawa, Canada launched a crowdfunding campaign for the "frank." phone. The main premise was that smartphones are too expensive, and there needs to be a phone priced competitively that does everything you need it to. The project had a very edgy tone, using phrases like, "It’s just another fucking phone but it’ll only cost you $180," and, "It’s about time to disrupt the shit out of the North American smartphone industry."
Unfortunately for the Frank team (and anyone who wanted the phone), Indiegogo has now suspended the project's crowdfunding campaign and automatically refunded all contributions. Read More
Over the last few months, Google has been taking small steps to integrate Allo and Duo into different pieces of the phone. Most recently, Allo shortcuts were added to the Contacts app, but today's teardown is more closely related to Duo recording its video chats to the system call log. It looks like Google's next step may involve having its Phone app be a little more forward about Duo. Read More
If there's one thing that's certain in life, it's that Google is always testing some sort of interesting UI change in one of its apps. Some of them end up on the scrapheap, but some of them end up being integral parts of the experience we all have when using our Android devices. The latest test to be discovered is a floating bubble UI in the Google Phone app. Read More
Last month, premium camera company RED announced it was developing a smartphone called "Hydrogen." The product sounded like vaporware - almost no details were disclosed at first, besides the whopping $1,200 price tag. Perhaps in an attempt to prove that the device will actually come to market, the company gave MKBHD (a well-known tech YouTuber) a few prototypes to try out. Read More
Back in February, Sony announced a pair of "super mid-range" phones - the XA1 and XA1 Ultra. Both phones are powered by a MediaTek Helio P20 processor and have a nearly-identical design. The XA1 arrived in the United States in May, costing $299. Now the XA1 Ultra has arrived stateside for a hundred dollars more. Read More
Take this with a grain of salt, but a recent study has found that your phone might not be the best influence on you. At least, when you need to focus or remember things. In a paper published in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, authors Adrian F. Ward, Kristen Duke, Ayelet Gneezy, and Maarten W. Bos disclosed the results of a study they performed. They posit that their results demonstrate a reduction in available cognitive capacity of individuals when a phone is present and that this effect increases the more dependent one is on their phone. Read More