Microsoft is about to hit it big with one of China's top smartphone manufacturers: Xiaomi. It has announced today a multi-faceted deal with the company including sales of patents, cross-licensing arrangements, and software pre-installation, expanding its OEM partnerships and its services' worldwide reach while also providing Xiaomi with the support it needed to enter more markets.
Microsoft will be selling 1500 patents to Xiaomi — it's not clear whether these came from the Nokia acquisition, its many other acquisitions, or ones that it originally filed for. Regardless, according to Wang Xiang, senior vice president at Xiaomi, this should beef up Xiaomi's arsenal of patents and should, theoretically, make it easier for the company to enter Western markets with lesser friction from other patent holders. Read More
In today's groundbreaking earth-shattering life-changing cosmic-displacing news, OnePlus has revealed that you will not need an invite to buy the OnePlus 3, which will be announced on June 14. That's the gist of the story really, you can start writing comments about how mind-blowing that is or how I'm so obviously biased for using such a sarcastic tone, but if you stick around to read the next paragraph, I promise to give you some background information with a more impartial tone.
Still here? Alright. So ever since the first OnePlus One, the company has been using an invite system to let users buy its phones. Read More
Apps are getting big - that's one thing no one will deny. With some games reaching more than a gigabyte of space - LEGO Star Wars on my Nexus 6P is 1.17GB - it's becoming an issue for phones with less storage capacity than the more high-end offerings. To that end, Google is introducing an uninstall manager to the Play Store, nine months after Cody discovered its existence in an APK teardown.
We don't know how long this has been live - Google could have just flicked the switch on it, or maybe others have seen it in the past as well. Read More
Samsung owners who are on Verizon are lucky this week. Yesterday, the operator started pushing Marshmallow in an OTA update to the Galaxy S5 and today it's ready to roll out the same Android 6.0 to the Galaxy Tab S2.
The software version number is MMB29K.T817VVRU2BPE1 and it brings all of Marshmallow's goodies to the Tab S2, including Doze mode for longer battery life, per-app permissions for more control over your apps, and Google Now on Tap for... whatever you find Now on Tap is useful for. There are many more Android 6.0 features to enjoy too, as we've previously detailed. Read More
Samsung may be deemphasizing its stylus-packing Note devices, but LG is still pushing its more budget-friendly stylus phones. They're even called "Stylus." The new Stylus 2 Plus is out today in Taiwan and it'll be coming to Asia, South America, Europe, and North America in a few weeks. LG says this device will be a bit more high-power than the last Stylus too. Read More
Sony has long been (rightly) criticized for ignoring the US market, opting to release phones here very late or not at all. In the case of the Marshmallow-powered Xperia X series, it's just a little late. These devices were announced at Mobile World Congress a few months ago with only vague talk about a US release, but now all four models are coming to the US in waves. It starts today with pre-orders for the Xperia X. Read More
This time last week, the Xperia E5 was announced by Sony, then un-announced when the company removed any mention of the phone from its social media profiles. It seems like it's ready for a second go though, with a website page now advertising the mid-range handset.
The Xperia E5 packs a 720p 5-inch display and a quad-core MediaTek MTK6735 processor. Sony hasn't mentioned the clock speed, but it likely comes in at 1.3GHz. A reasonably respectable 1.5GB RAM is onboard, as well as 16GB storage with microSD expandability up to 200GB. Camera-wise, the rear shooter is 13MP, with HDR and flash, and a predictable 5MP front-facing camera. Read More
Remember the Galaxy S5? It was, in my opinion, one of the last mediocre flagships that Samsung built, but it's still barely two years old now and that warrants it support and firmware updates, at least up until Marshmallow, which was released when the S5 was about 18 months old.
The Sprint Galaxy S5 got its update at the beginning of April, the T-Mobile one followed last week, and now it's time for Verizon to release its OTA update for the phone. It takes the S5 up to version MMB29M.G900VVRU2DPD1.
The update brings Marshmallow to the Galaxy S5 including per-app permissions, Doze mode, Google Now on Tap, and more of the M goodies that we've extensively discussed before. Read More
Sprint customers and adventurous types have an absolute steal on their hands with this one. For just $429, more than $100 below the next-best deal we've seen, you can get a new (Gold) Galaxy S7. Just make sure the details work for you.
These are Sprint devices that are GSM unlocked, meaning you can use them on any GSM carrier that you might want to. With that said, that wouldn't come without some challenges. This phone doesn't support the 17 LTE band, which is heavily relied upon by AT&T. And it won't support the HSPA+ service of T-Mobile, which could rule out a good experience with them. Read More
Do you fancy yourself a smartphone expert? Maybe you ought to help OnePlus evaluate its phones by applying for The Lab. It's a community review program for the OnePlus 3, which is going to be announced in a few weeks. OP is calling this a "peer review," but it's not like they have time to change anything if the fans don't like it. OnePlus just wants to create its own review of the phone with users writing it. Read More