Category Archives: Everything Mobile

News, Analysis and Reviews of Mobile Phones and Tablets including smart watches

Honor 9 will cost £379.99 in the UK, pre-orders are live

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Huawei’s online-only sub-brand has already announced its latest flagship smartphone, the Honor 9, in China. The company is also expected to hold a separate unveiling event for the same handset on June 27 in Berlin. This will introduce the Honor 9 to Europe.

We’ve already seen pre-orders for the phone popping up in Finland starting at 499€, and now it’s time for the UK to join the fray. Amazon’s local subsidiary has started taking pre-orders for the Honor 9. The device is priced at £379.99 in its entry-level configuration that comes with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of built-in storage.

You should obviously expect higher-specced iterations (with 6GB of RAM and/or 128GB of storage) to be more expensive – that is, if they will even be offered in all markets. It wouldn’t be surprising if they were confined to certain countries only. Anyway, all of that information should be revealed in just five days, so stay tuned.

What Amazon’s listing doesn’t give us is any idea of when the Honor 9 will start shipping, but that will clearly take place at some point after June 27.

Thanks for the tip, Matt!

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Nokia 3 officially arrives in the UK on July 12, Nokia 5 on July 19

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After a very long wait, Nokia’s new Android smartphones are almost ready to become available in the UK. The Nokia 3 will officially go on sale on July 12, priced at £129.99 SIM-free and unlocked. The Nokia 5 will arrive one week later, on July 19, costing £179.99.

You can already pre-order both models from Amazon (with a price guarantee no less), or Clove (where they are more expensive however). The latter online retailer says the aforementioned dates are official launch dates straight from HMD Global, the company currently making Nokia branded smartphones.

You may have noticed that we haven’t mentioned the Nokia 6 yet, and that’s because the third member of HMD’s debut trio still doesn’t have an official release date for the UK attached. As such, you can only register for updates (at the likes of Clove) if you’re interested in picking this model up, and you’ll be notified when something changes. Hopefully it will land in the UK soon, as it’s already been on the market in China for many months.

Thanks for the tip, Matt!

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Geek Deals Roundup: Save on Laptops, Bluetooth Headphones, and More

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On the prowl for some solid bargains? We’ve scoured the internet for some of the best deals of the day, and we’ve found five items that caught our eye.

Headphones
Cowin E-7 Active Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphone with Mic for $39.19 (Coupon code: AU2KA5OO)

If you want to be immersed in music in your home without being tethered to a device, these wireless headphones are an excellent option. And with a whopping $60 off, there’s a huge discount in play.

S8
Samsung Galaxy S8 Unlocked Smartphone from $429 with Trade-In — S8+ Starts at $524.99

Ready to upgrade your smartphone? If you’re willing to trade-in your old phone, you can get a brand new Galaxy S8 for just $429. And the best part? It’s unlocked, so you’ll be able to switch carriers at will.

Mario
Pre-Order Super Mario Odyssey (Switch) for $47.99 (Prime Discount)

After seeing what Nintendo has in store with this game, we’re very excited to give it a go this October. And if you’re a member of Amazon Prime, you can save 20% off the sticker price.

Groupon
Get $40 Google Express Credit for only $15

If you’re a Google Express user, this deal on Groupon is too good to pass up. For a limited time, you can get $40 worth of Express credit at a 62% discount, and products from some of your favorite stores will be delivered to your door for an affordable price.

Laptop
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Quad-Core 15.6-inch 4K Gaming Laptop for $735 (Coupon code: 50off699)

Looking for an affordable gaming laptop? This model features a sixth generation quad-core Intel Core i5-6300HQ CPU, a discrete Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M graphics card, 8GB of RAM, a 1TB SSHD, and a 2160p display for about 26% off.

Note: Terms and conditions apply.

Our commerce group sources the best deals and products for the Geek Deals posts. We operate independently of Editorial and Advertising and may earn a percentage of the sale, if you buy something via a link on the post. If you are interested in promoting your deals, please contact us at commerce@ziffdavis.com.

For more great deals head over to TechBargains.

Another Moto G5S Plus photo render leaks, reveals new color

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A recent tweet gave us a new look at the Moto G5S Plus and confirmed it will come with a Gold-colored front panel. The post also says that the battery will be 3,068 mAh, which is basically the same as the G5 Plus 3000 mAh power cell.

We already showed you alleged press images of the Moto G5S Plus, but the new render affirms the dual-camera setup on the back. It will be in a circular module with a dual-LED flash.

According to the tweet, the Moto G5S Plus could cost between INR18,999 and INR 19,999. This comes to either $293 or $310.

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Why Microsoft is partially responsible for the first iPhone, and other origin stories

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Want to know the real reason why Apple started building the iPhone? Apparently, it was because founder Steve Jobs just “hated this guy at Microsoft.”

That revelation came from former Apple software engineer Scott Forstall, who recently spoke with Computer History Museum historian John Markoff about the history of the iPhone and iPad. Apple was originally working on a tablet project before the iPhone, Forstall said, that was brought about because of Jobs’s loathing of this particular employee.

“Every time Steve [Jobs] had any social interaction with that guy, he would come back pissed off,” Forstall said.

SEE: Apple’s first employee: The remarkable odyssey of Bill Fernandez

More about Mobility

This employee continually bragged to Jobs about how Microsoft had solved tablet computing, and that the company was going to rule the market with a stylus-based tablet, which angered Jobs, according to Forstall. As a response, Jobs decided that Apple was going to compete.

In a Monday morning meeting that opened with a string of expletives, Jobs said that Apple was going to show Microsoft “how it’s really done,” Forstall said. The main difference was that Apple was going after a form factor that didn’t require a stylus.

Resistive touch was the popular method for touch screens at the time, but Jobs charged the team to use capacitive touch and multi-touch, Forstall said. And that began the journey which eventually birthed the iPhone.

Another story, highlighted in a New York Times report on the book The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone by Brian Merchant, explained how the iPhone was internally referred to simply by the code name Purple. The pressure to produce was immense, and it created much drama and stress for the people involved in the project, according to the book.

Another infamous story around the launch of the iPhone has to do with its screen. The iPhone is known for using Gorilla Glass, but the early prototypes used plastic. After carrying a prototype iPhone in his pocket, Jobs noticed that his keys had scratched the screen. This was unacceptable.

So, shortly before the launch of the iPhone, Jobs demanded that the plastic screen be replaced with one made of unscratchable glass. The timeline he gave them? Six weeks. Still, the change was implemented, and the iPhone made it to market on time.

The iPhone went on to become one of the most popular smartphones of all time, and redefined the landscape for mobile devices. More than 10 years later, the company has sold more than one billion iPhones.

Also see

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Image: James Martin/CNET

Samsung Galaxy S5 Neo could be getting Nougat soon

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Remember the Galaxy S5 Neo? Samsung does – the device was spotted on GFXBench’ database flaunting the spanking new Android 7.0 Nougat.

This doesn’t outright confirm that Samsung is aiming to release a firmware update for the Marshmallow-locked S5 Neo but makes it seem quite imminent.

The Galaxy S5 Neo recently received the March security update so it’s clear that Samsung isn’t stopping its support just yet.

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LG Display shows off 77″ OLED display that's both transparent and flexible

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LG Display just unveiled the largest flexible transparent OLED display – measuring 77”, it can be used on store fronts, smart desks and various augmented reality tasks. While a 77” slab would hardly be portable, this display can be rolled up to a radius of 80mm (just over 3”).

It has a transparency of 40% and a proper UHD resolution (3,840 x 2,160px). Curvy, transparent screens struggled for resolution in the early days, but LG has been at this for 5 years (after it beat Samsung Display in 2012 for a government grant).

Things have progressed quickly over that time – in 2014, it showed off a small 18” version (1,200 x 810px resolution), then in 2016 LG brought that up to 55”. Last year, the company demoed some truly bonkers displays – an S-shaped OLED, 139″ in size and 8K in resolution, and a double-sided 55″ display.

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Sony Xperia X and X Compact getting Android 7.1.1 update

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A new update has started hitting the Sony Xperia X and X Compact smartphones. The update carries a build number of 34.3.A.0.194, and bumps the Android OS version from 7.0 to 7.1.1.

Aside from bringing the new OS version, the update also includes Android security fixes for the month of June. A detailed change-log isn’t yet available, so there’s currently no information on what other changes (if any) are included in the release.

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LeoSat Joins Forces with ESA on andldquo;Satellite for 5Gandrdquo;

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LeoSat BV, which is launching a constellation of up to 108 low earth orbit data communications satellites, has signed a Joint Statement with the European Space Agency (ESA) and 15 satellite industry leaders to collaborate on “Satellite for 5G”.

ESA and the European space industry are joining forces to develop and demonstrate the added value that satellite brings in the context of 5G.

With data traffic predicted to increase almost 4 fold by 2020 to 4 ZB per year, one of the key challenges for the mobility sector is achieving scalable, flexible solutions for their expanding networks. Backhaul for mobile networks is crucial to ensure speed and capacity for data transportation from distributed network sites to the network core. Now with the new developments in satellite constellations, next generation low earth orbit systems such as LeoSat can provide the guaranteed level of connectivity, resilience and security required by 5G for significant sectors of industry.

As part of an ESA “Satellite for 5G initiative” foreseen over 2018-2020 and beyond, ESA and the European space industry will work together on:

The Joint Statement advocates for further convergence between European industry and institutions on 5G, which will also be re-iterated at the ESPI-ESA Conference on “Space and Satcom for 5G: European Transport and Connected Mobility” on 27 and 28 June 2017. The Joint Statement was signed by Magali Vaissiere, ESA Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications, and representatives from 16 satellite operators, service providers and manufacturers.

Mark Rigolle, CEO, LeoSat BV, said: “Data volumes are exploding. By the year 2020, about 1.7 megabytes of new information will be created every second for every human being on the planet. With the enormous uptake in data usage, this will have a lasting effect on the satellite industry and we see next generation satellite networks such as LeoSat as key for 5G development. With the mobility market capacity hungry, expanding its coverage and moving to 5G, LeoSat can offer a clear path to growth by providing the benefits of global coverage, high-speed, low latency and rapid deployment”. ENDS

About LeoSat Enterprises

LeoSat Enterprises was established to leverage the latest developments in satellite communications technologies to develop and launch a new low-earth-orbit satellite constellation which will provide the first commercially available, business grade, extremely high-speed and secure data service worldwide.

With up to 108 low-earth-orbit communications satellites in the constellation LeoSat is the first company to have all the High Throughput Satellites (HTS) in the constellation interconnected through laser links, creating an optical backbone in space which is about 1.5 times faster than terrestrial fiber backbones and without the need for any terrestrial touchpoints. This unique set of features enables LeoSat to provide instant infrastructure from anywhere to everywhere which is fast, secure and reliable.

Based in Washington DC, LeoSat is currently working with Thales Alenia Space for the low-earth-orbit constellation of Ka-band communications satellites. Once operational, the constellation will provide high-speed, low-latency and highly secure communications and bandwidth for business operations in the telecom backhaul, Energy, Maritime, Government and international business markets. Launch of the constellation is expected in 2019. www.leosat.com

AudioCodes Signs EMEA Distribution Agreement with Nuvias

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AudioCodes, the Voice and Unified Communications Networking Solutions vendor, has signed a pan EMEA distribution agreement with fast growing, high value distribution business Nuvias, following the recent launch of Nuvias’ Unified Communications (UC) Practice across EMEA.

Nuvias is now able to offer complete end-to-end solutions and technical support for Skype for Business and BroadSoft Business UC environments, based on AudioCodes’ Session Border Controllers (SBCs) and handsets. As part of the agreement, Nuvias has also been appointed as master distributor for AudioCodes’ range of Skype for Business and SIP handsets across EMEA, to ensure a rapid response to meet growing demand from the channel.

AudioCodes worked with SIPHON Networks in the UK for two years, prior to SIPHON being acquired by the Nuvias Group at the end of 2016, and AudioCodes now sees the opportunity to replicate this successful relationship across EMEA. The initial focus will be on 16 key countries where Nuvias is already well established including DACH, France, Spain, Italy and the Nordics.

“Nuvias combines technical UC expertise and in-depth market knowledge with excellent commercial management and logistics, and importantly, is able to deliver this consistently across EMEA,” said Arieh Shemesh, who heads up global channel sales operations at AudioCodes. “Nuvias also has existing strong relationships with service providers and specialist resellers that will open up new opportunities for us to expand our business and market share in Europe.”

Steve Harris, EVP Unified Communications for Nuvias (and formerly Managing Director of SIPHON) commented: “With AudioCodes’ advanced SBCs and popular, intuitive handsets, we are now able to offer complete Skype for Business and BroadSoft solutions from a single vendor. We will also benefit from AudioCodes’ strong global relationship with Microsoft and will be working closely with their certified partners, making maximum use of our comprehensive suite of Microsoft UC professional services to drive product sales. With growing interest in unified communications we want to work with our channel partners so that their customers get the most out of their investment in technologies such as Skype for Business.”

AudioCodes is one of a number of UC vendors taking advantage of Nuvias’ growing UC capability to increase EMEA sales. Nuvias’ drive to expand its Unified Communications Practice will also help existing and new reseller/integrator channel partners across EMEA to benefit from the opportunities presented by the rapidly expanding UC market.

About AudioCodes

AudioCodes Ltd. designs, develops and sells advanced Voice-over-IP (VoIP) and converged VoIP and Data networking products and applications to Service Providers and Enterprises. AudioCodes is a VoIP technology market leader, focused on converged VoIP and data communications, and its products are deployed globally in Broadband, Mobile, Enterprise networks and Cable. The Company provides a range of innovative, cost-effective products including Media Gateways, Multi-Service Business Routers, Session Border Controllers (SBC), Residential Gateways, IP Phones, Media Servers, Value Added Applications and Professional Services. AudioCodes’ underlying technology, VoIPerfectHD™, relies on AudioCodes’ leadership in DSP, voice coding and voice processing technologies. AudioCodes’ High Definition (HD) VoIP technologies and products provide enhanced intelligibility and a better end user communication experience in Voice communications. For more information on AudioCodes, visit http://www.audiocodes.com.

About Nuvias Group

Nuvias Group is the pan-EMEA, high value distribution business, which is redefining international, specialist distribution in IT. The company has created a platform to deliver a consistent, high value, service-led and solution-rich proposition across EMEA. This allows partner and vendor communities to provide exceptional business support to customers and enables new standards of channel success.

The Group today consists of Wick Hill, an award-winning, value-added distributor with a strong specialisation in security; Zycko, an award-winning, specialist EMEA distributor, with a focus on advanced networking; and SIPHON Networks, an award-winning UC solutions and technology enabler for the channel. All three companies have proven experience at providing innovative technology solutions from world-class vendors, and delivering market growth for vendor partners and customers. The Group has 21 regional offices across EMEA, as well as serving additional countries through those offices. Turnover is in excess of US$ 350 million.

Mobile graphics maker Imagination Technologies goes on sale

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Imagination Technologies has started a formal sale process and has already engaged in preliminary talks with potential buyers.

The British mobile graphics maker was pushed to the decision after Apple, which accounted for around 60% of Imagination’s revenue, revealed it will stop using PoverVR graphics and develop its own, sending Imagination shares into a 70% stock slump earlier this year.

Over time Imagination Technologies’ stock recovered somewhat though not enough and without Apple’s orders Imagination simply cannot continue competing with Qualcomm and fellow British ARM.

There was speculation that Apple itself could be a potential buyer for Imagination Technologies though the tech giant denied it.

Imagination has an ongoing court dispute with Apple stating it infringes on its patents. Hypothetically it would make good sense for Apple to acquire Imagination as it already attributed to its devaluation and reportedly needs their patents.

Currently Imagination Technologies has an estimated worth of £400m.

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Amazon’s 15 best daily deals: 2 Logitech Harmony remotes, Bose headphones, Bluetooth speakers, more

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We’ve got a fresh new batch of Amazon’s top daily deals for you to check out on Thursday, and you’re definitely not going to want to miss this one. Highlights from today’s roundup include deep discounts on the Logitech Harmony Companion All in One Remote Control and the Logitech Harmony 650 Infrared All in One Remote Control, $100 off the Bose SoundTrue around-ear headphones II, a 43-inch 4K TV from Samsung for under $550, deals on two different high-quality Bluetooth speakers, a one-day 3D printer deal, almost half off a 64GB SanDisk microSD card, a 6-pack of LED light bulbs for $10, and tons more. See all of Thursday’s top deals below.

Follow @BGRDeals on Twitter to keep up with the latest and greatest deals we find around the web.

BGR Deals content is independent of Editorial and Advertising, and BGR may receive a commission on purchases made through our posts.

More hotels will let you watch your own Netflix

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gilaxia via Getty Images

StayCast, a Google Chromecast-powered service for hotels, could fulfill your dream of being able to watch whatever you want to as a guest — especially now that it’s become much easier to get. AT&T has just announced that hotels can get DirectTV HD systems pre-loaded with StayCast, so make sure to look around or ask if you can stream your own stuff if the property offers the carrier’s satellite TV service. All you have to do is download the service’s Hotel Cast app for iOS and Android and connect to the hotel’s WiFi to start streaming your own Netflix, Hulu and other Cast-enabled apps.

An interactive content provider called Sonifi Solutions first launched StayCast as Sonicast in April 2016. The service has only recently become more available, though, thanks to the company’s various partnerships. Back in April, hotel chain titan Hyatt revealed that StayCast now comes integrated with the World of Hyatt mobile app. In fact, 14 Hyatt locations already offer the service, which means you can use the hotel’s app to watch your favorite shows on the in-room TV at any of them, including Hyatt Regency New Orleans.

In May, Samsung began offering hotels its Hospitality TVs that have StayCast integration, as well. You can simply pair your phone with the TV and continue marathoning that series you were watching at home. It’ll probably take a while before most hotels start providing a way for you watch your own stuff instead of forcing you to rent overpriced movies. Going forward, though, you can at least keep an eye out for services like StayCast and for any deals streaming services like Netflix cut with hotel chains.

 

 

How one bad conversation with a Microsoft exec drove Steve Jobs to make the iPhone

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At this point in time, it’s well-established that Apple’s iPhone project was born out of the company’s work on a tablet. Steve Jobs confirmed this during an All Things D interview many years ago, when he opened up about the iPhone’s early days.

“I’ll tell you a secret,” Jobs said while speaking to Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher. “It began with the tablet. I had this idea about having a glass display, a multitouch display you could type on with your fingers. I asked our people about it. And six months later, they came back with this amazing display. And I gave it to one of our really brilliant UI guys. He got [inertial] scrolling working and some other things, and I thought, ‘my God, we can build a phone with this!’ So we put the tablet aside, and we went to work on the iPhone.”

Now that’s all well and good, but it turns out that the reason Apple was working on a tablet project in the first place has an equally interesting backstory.

Yesterday, a handful of engineers who worked on the original iPhone sat down for a talk at the Computer History Museum in California. What made the talk especially intriguing is that Scott Forstall was a participant. Forstall, if you recall, was Apple’s top software executive who played an instrumental role in the creation of the iPhone before he was unceremoniously let go in 2012. Since leaving Apple a few years back, Forstall has kept an unusually low profile.

While telling the story about how the iPhone was an offshoot of an ongoing tablet initiative, Forstall relayed how Apple’s interest in creating a tablet was the result of Jobs having a beef with a Microsoft executive.

“Any time Steve had any social interaction with that guy, he’d come back pissed off,” Forstall recounted.

As the story goes, a nameless Microsoft executive was boasting to Apple that its own tablet and stylus technology had “solved computing” and was so great that it would one day “rule the world.” Jobs, who already had a dislike for this executive, was so incensed that he told his team at Apple that they should start working on tablet technology of their own.

Also interesting was that Jobs was not a fan of the Microsoft executive’s adoration of the stylus.

“First thing is, they’re idiots. You don’t use a stylus,” Jobs told his team. “We’re born with ten styluses!”

Of course, Jobs would ultimately go on to make the same type of remarks when introducing the original iPhone in January of 2007.

ZTE pushes an update for the Quartz smartwatch

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The Quartz is ZTE’s first attempt at Android Wear 2.0 wearable. It was launched earlier this year, and the company taking good care of its security. ZTE pushed an update which brings some major fixes to the Quartz’ software.

According to the release notes, the update includes Google security patches, Bluetooth connectivity and sync enhancements, bug fixes and performance improvements.

The update is over-the-air, so you can get it when you log in a Wi-Fi network and follow the Settings -> System -> About -> System Updates steps in the menu.

The only requirement for the install to start is to have a full charge of the ZTE Quartz battery.

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