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Flip phones sales rise in Japan, smartphones falter

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You’d think that flip phones are a dying breed, but that’s not the case in Japan. The people in the Land of the Rising Sun are buying them like hot cakes, Reuters says based on a report by Japanese MM Research Institute.

In fact, flip phones saw a 5.7% increase in sales to 10.58 million in 2014, while smartphone shipments fell 5.3% to 27.70 million. That’s a negative trend for the smartphones, which continues second year in a row there. Read more »

Oppo Find 7 32GB gets an attractive price cut in the UK

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The Oppo Find 7 went on sale in Europe on December 17 and already the company is having sale campaigns of the device. The 32GB version of Oppo’s flagship is currently on sale on Amazon UK for £309.99. That’s £70 off its regular price of £379.99.

The deal applies for both the white and astro black versions of the device. You have by the end of the day to take advantage of the discount. Read more »

HTC One (M9) renders size it up against the Galaxy S6, iPhone 6

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HTC One (M9) is yet to be officially presented to the world, so all we have to look at are hurried photos and leaked images promoting phone cases. Luckily, Martin Hajek is a wiz at making 3D models and he used all info available on the One (M9) to create a virtual phone and put it up against the Apple iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy S6.

The Galaxy S6 is also waiting for its official introduction, of course, but a few days ago Hajek modelled that one too. Read more »

Xiaomi Mi Note hands-on

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Xiaomi announced its next flagship duo – the Mi Note and Mi Note Pro – just a month ago and both gained massive attention. We’ve been waiting to get our hands on these devices and we finally got one – meet the Xiaomi Mi Note.

The Xiaomi Mi Note packs a 5.7″ 1080p display and runs on the Snapdragon 801 chip. It offers a 13MP rear camera with OIS and 4K video recording, all-round connectivity package and the latest MIUI v.6 launcher topping the Android KitKat. Read more »

Weekly poll results: Galaxy S6 most hotly anticipated phone at MWC

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The Samsung Galaxy S6 is a cornerstone for the company, set to finally bring the feel of the company’s flagships up to top standards. Widely criticized for its choice of materials so far, the Korean giant is rebuilding the upcoming smartphone from the ground up, addressing the issue.

The hype, which has been building around the Galaxy S6, showed its results and it emerged victorious in our weekly poll. Read more »

New Cortana ads by Microsoft focus on Valentine’s Day

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With Valentine’s Day almost upon us, Microsoft decided to release a couple of new promotional videos for Cortana, its very own virtual personal assistant. As you’d expect given the Valentine’s Day theme, the ads are all about love. The Lumia 635 smartphone is featured in them too, though oddly with a Microsoft logo replacing Nokia’s.

In the first video, one man is happy that despite having broken up with his girlfriend around Valentine’s, which isn’t fun, he’s quickly managed to find someone new. Not only that, but he’s apparently blown away by how well she knows him. Read more »

HTC One (M9) renders show us what the handset may end up looking like

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We’ve been hit by a ton of leaks about HTC’s next flagship smartphone lately, but so far official-looking press renders have not surfaced. Fret not, though, for that doesn’t mean we have nothing to look at. On the contrary. Thankfully someone decided to take all the recent leaks and rumors about the One (M9) and use that information to create some very nice looking renders of what could end up being the successor to the One (M8) from last year.

These aren’t official, nor are they leaked. They’re just exploring what the phone might look like, based on what we’ve heard about it so far (and what we’ve seen). Read more »

Samsung promises a capable, simple to operate camera for the Galaxy S6

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There’s plenty of rumors about the Galaxy S6 camera, now let’s hear a teasing-but-vague word from the horse’s mouth. Samsung is celebrating 15 years since it put a 0.3MP camera on the SCH-V200 with a post that traces the trajectory of the Galaxy S cameras, both front and back, over the years.

Samsung has taken on the challenge of making a camera module that produces good photos, but still fits in phones that become increasingly thinner. Read more »

Sony lets you win the new Xperia E4 in Facebook competition

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Mere hours ago Sony took the wraps off the new Xperia E4, and now the company is giving you the chance to win one. All you have to do is participate in Sony’s special competition, which is taking place on its Facebook page.

You have to answer a maximum of seven questions. The first one is up now, and for each answer you get one ticket for the draw. To win you’ll need to have answered at least one question correctly. Sharing the contest with friends also looks set to bring you some additional chances to win. Read more »

The 3x zoom module in the Asus Zenfone Zoom examined in detail

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The somewhat uneventful CES in the beginning of January did witness the birth of a strong contender in the cameraphone realm. Asus unveiled the Zenfone Zoom, striking another blow at the already shaky positions of the dedicated digicam.

At less than 12mm thick around its camera and thinner elsewhere the Zenfone Zoom’s waistline is still perfectly acceptable for a phone, and the 13MP sensor behind a 3x optical zoom lens makes your point-and-shoot redundant, on paper at least. Read more »

Sony Xperia E4 and E4 Dual promo videos promise budget party phones

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Sony quietly unveiled the Xperia E4 and E4 Dual – entry-level smartphones with a 5″ qHD screen, quad-core processor and a surprisingly good 5MP/1080p camera. The phones will launch with at least Android 4.4.4 KitKat though Sony’s web site claims 5.0 Lollipop.

I’ll leave the two promo videos to introduce the Xperia E4 couple in more detail. Read more »

LG G3 buyers will get a free VR headset based on Google’s Cardboard project

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LG has teamed up with Google to offer future buyers of the G3 a free VR headset. This is based on Google’s Cardboard contraption unveiled last year at the search giant’s developer conference. However, LG has tweaked things a bit.

First off, this iteration seems to be made out of plastic, and not actual cardboard. Next up, it features cutouts for the G3′s rear-facing power and volume buttons, as well as its 1W speaker. Read more »

SAR values for Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge revealed

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It’s not like we needed any more evidence that the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge exist, but Samsung continues to provide it by slowly building up various web pages for those two. First the support page and now the official SAR values are out.

And if that’s an important consideration for you, you’ll be glad to hear they are very low. Some of the lowest among the current crop of flagships, in fact. Read more »

Motorola Moto E gets a price cut in India

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Motorola’s entry-level Android smartphone Moto E has received a price cut in India. Originally costing at INR 6,999 ($112), the entry-level Android device is now available at INR 5,999 ($96).

Motorola has launched many other offers too. For example, you can exchange your old phones (select models only) and get discounts of up to INR 4,000 ($64) and INR 6,000 ($96) on the purchase of the second generation Moto G and Moto X respectively.

Read more »

Weekly poll: Most exciting upcoming phone

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In the lull before the storm, which MWC is shaping up to be, new announcements are few and far between. Finishing touches must be made and with the deadline nearing, sleepless nights are in order for designers and engineers.

For us users though, the wait is always too long and we need to entertain ourselves somehow in the meantime. One way to do that is to throw a bunch of future flagships in a fight for the imaginary title of “Most exciting upcoming phone”. Read more »