Picking an Android phone is hard, but we can help.
Stories by Florence Ion
When it comes to Android smartphone mindshare, Samsung gets all the attention, while HTC plays mop up. But way out in left field sits the oft-forgotten LG, a company that continues to make great phones. Add the new flagship G3 to LG's strong legacy--it has to be seriously considered by anyone looking for a feature-filled smartphone. This is a phone with smart industrial design and stellar battery life, and LG has eliminated much of its software bloat.
Wearables may have grabbed some of the spotlight at this week’s Mobile World Congress. But this annual gathering for mobile devices remains a place for phones. And as we walked from one end of the Barcelona exhibit hall to the other, these were the smartphones that caught our eye at MWC 2014.
Smartphones can't get any bigger. Talking on today's 5-inch-plus models borders on trying to hold a small tablet up to the side of your head. So what's a phone manufacturer to do to differentiate its phones from all the others? Bend them! These new curved phones might seem gimmicky, but if early models catch on, they'll become the next hot commodity.
In an effort to prove that it hasn't forgotten about Dre--er, about its loyal user base, Nokia announced that it's officially rolling out the anticipated Lumia Black update for its line of Windows Phones. The update will begin with the Lumia 1020 and Lumia 925, and then roll out to other Lumia models later on.
Thin is certainly in, at least where gadget design is concerned, and although other Android-handset manufacturers claim to have the thinnest model, Sony has swooped in with a large phone that really is thin. The company that brought us the Walkman and the PlayStation likely figured that being the thinnest phablet on the market would give the Xperia Z Ultra an edge over its large competitors. Not quite.
It's no secret that HTC is struggling. In the past year alone, the company lost several key players on its executive team and posted a net loss of about $101 million. Based on that criteria alone, the forecast looks grim for the Taiwan-based phone manufacturer, and the plan to get its business back on track is seems to be to just keep repackaging its one phone that made headlines, the HTC One.
You might be looking to snag a tablet for yourself or for your loved one. But before you venture out to a brick and mortar store or get lost scouring for websites and looking for deals, take a step back. Like everything else in life, tablet shopping is easier if you have a plan.
Nokia certainly wants to find a way into your pants--er, pocket--but the release of the not-very-pocketable Nokia 1520 seems like a bit of a desperate attempt to join the rest of the crowd.
Android has a face only an engineer could love. At least, that's the reputation it has earned over the past few years. Google's mobile OS is a hotbed of mobile innovation and new technologies, but its interface doesn't have the friendly consumer-centric design of iOS or Windows Phone. With Android 4.4 KitKat, Google aims to address this shortcoming, while baking-in a handful of nifty new features.
Another day, another device - that's what Samsung makes us feel like with the exhausting lineup of phones and tablets it's debuted in the last year. Its latest release, however, the Galaxy Note 3, is at least worth paying attention to.
The Nokia Lumia 925 is essentially a refresh of last year's handset, the Lumia 920, but with a bit of added panache, like a thinner body to fit your hand better and a suite of extra software features. It's a capable phone, but Nokia forgot to include a marquee feature that would help it stand out from the crowd.
The original Nexus 7 was merely a bargain, a good-enough tablet at a great price. The new Nexus 7 is a downright steal. It's the best 7in tablet, period. If you're in the market for an Android tablet, this is the one to get.
A sharper display, wireless charging, quad-core processor, and rear-facing camera: Google's 2013 edition of the Nexus 7 proves you can get plenty of bang for your buck, even though its latest entry in the budget tablet market now exceeds that magical $US199 price point.
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