Speaking to two independent sources, we now strongly believe that Google's formerly-maybe-Nexus-phones, Marlin and Sailfish, will be marketed as the Pixel and the Pixel XL. We do not have pricing information. At this time, it is unknown to us when Google decided to shift its in-house smartphone brand from Nexus to Pixel or why (though speculation will likely run wild).
The Pixel will be the 5" Sailfish device, while Pixel XL will be the 5.5" Marlin. As to our confidence in this information: given that our two sources are independent, and the fact that one in particular has been exceptionally reliable in the past, we feel comfortable saying you can take this to the bank. Read More
We already knew a bunch of stuff about ZTE's Axon 7 mini thanks to this leak from over a month ago and this leak from a few days ago, but now it's official. The creatively-named Axon 7 mini has, unfortunately, had a specs decrease from the Axon 7, but it still seems like a solid mid-ranger. Read More
Lenovo's Yoga Book is what the company is calling, "the first tablet for natural sketching and note-taking," and "the world's thinnest and lightest 2-in-1." What makes this tablet so special? Lenovo's "halo keyboard." Much to the chagrin of typists everywhere, this is a purely touch keyboard, which makes the "thinnest and lightest 2-in-1" claim true. But Lenovo claims over 18 months of development work has gone into testing and improving the halo keyboard, including features such as haptic feedback and accidental keypress detection. Read More
Sony has just announced their latest Xperia smartphones at IFA, the Xperia XZ and Xperia X Compact. Although the X Compact leaked a week ago, as well as the name "Xperia XZ," the specs and features were anyone's guess. Now that Sony has gone public, I'm impressed by the pair of phones. Read More
We've been seeing reports of Galaxy Note7 devices exploding while being charged, but that regularly happens with so many different models and brands, especially due to faulty chargers, that we didn't pay much attention to it. However, it seems that the story is different and really serious this time.
A Samsung official speaking to Yonhap said the company estimates that less than 0.1% of Galaxy Note7 devices sold were affected and that the root of the problem was traced back to the battery. But at several millions sold, even this small a percentage can be a hazardous risk and one Samsung is not ready to gamble with. Since the Note7 doesn't have a removable battery, the official says that the company is about to issue a recall of all its new Galaxy Note7 devices sold at home and abroad. Read More
An ongoing issue with smartphones is that they pull people out of the world around them. Instead of interacting with others face-to-face or being aware of our surroundings, we increasingly spend our time tapping out tiny screens.
During Mobile World Congress, Sony announced a series of concept devices aimed at alleviating this issue. The idea is to keep us connected in a way that doesn't require staring down at a screen. Products include an earpierce, a clip-on camera, a projector, and a tiny robot. Only the first, the Xperia Ear, is coming out this year. Read More
Google is always trying something new with its different apps. Our personal nightmare is YouTube — ask Cody, trying to monitor the dozens of tips we get each week about a new YouTube UI are his personal nightmare. But Google Now might be an exception. The app's stream of cards has looked the same for a while and it's rather consistent between users. Not anymore.
The server-side switch plague has claimed another victim. Some users are seeing a series of blue circle icons on top of their Google Now stream for weather, dining, movies, and shopping. Others, like me, are not.
The icons don't do anything beside launch a search — and thus trigger smart cards and results — for their respective purposes. They're basically glorified search shortcuts, or maybe big hints for those who don't know what exactly you can search for on Google Now. Read More
Beside the new nova and nova plus phones, Huawei introduced a follow-up to its MediaPad M2 today at IFA. The MediaPad M3 is a sleek new tablet from Huawei with a focus on a premium audio experience. Its stereo speakers have been designed and fine-tuned in collaboration with Harman Kardon, and the tablet ships with AKG H300 earphones that are specifically designed for it.
The 8.4" 2560x1600 display can filter out the harmful blue light in dark conditions and takes up most of the front of the device, at an 82% screen-to-body ratio. The rest of the tablet is encased in an aerospace-class aluminum body. Read More
Today at IFA Huawei introduced two new Android phones, one of which might look a little more than familiar. The nova and nova plus are now part of Huawei's high midrange smartphone lineup and you'll find that the first one carries one controversial design element from Huawei's lauded Nexus 6P. Read More
The mobile payments solution market is quickly becoming crowded and complicated. Depending on the country you live in, the device you carry, the smartphone OS it runs, the bank you get your cards from, and maybe even your operator, chances are you have to use a very specific payment solution. And vendors, banks, developers, are left to figure out a way to make it work for the largest number of customers.
Chinese users with a Xiaomi phone will have one more option now: Mi Pay. Launching today with China UnionPay, a large payment network similar to Visa and Mastercard, Mi Pay supports credit cards from 20 banks and debit cards from 12, including Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Bank of Communications, and China Merchants Bank, as well as public transportation cards from six cities (that's another known payment method in China). The Mi Wallet app can tie up to 8 cards to one Xiaomi device and its users will also benefit from promos and rewards. Read More