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Android

  • Xiaomi Redmi 1S Review: the other best $100 smartphone

    The budget smartphone market is going really crazy in terms of competition. Every brand is trying to offer better specifications than their competitors at a lower price. Asus recently launched the complete range of dual-SIM Android smartphones — Zenfone 4 A400CG, Zenfone 4 A450CG, Zenfone 5 and Zenfone 6. Motorola had previously launched Moto G and Moto E. After launching the Xiaomi Mi 3 in India, the brand which is being termed as “Apple of China”, it then announced the Redmi 1S. Even though the Redmi 1S is yet to arrive in stores, I managed to secure a review...

  • netsurferDUAL 8 review: local pride

    South African gadgets aren’t great, or memorable. Can you name three, or even one smartphone/tablet developed in South Africa? No? Allow me to assist. The Netsurfer range of tablets are South African-developed and have been knocking about for years. They’re low-cost, aimed at the mass-market and are ideal entry-level Android machines for those who’re unfamiliar with technology because oddly enough, Netsurfer tablets come with thick, detailed instruction manuals that walk first-time users through every step of the Android setup. Yeah, most of us can knock out an Android setup without even thinking, but for the Luddite, desperate to learn the ways...

  • Android One incoming? Google India event penned for 15 September

    Google has much to say about Android One at I/O earlier this year, but not much was said after, until now. The Mountain View-based company has sent invites to an event taking place in India 15 September, rumoured to be the launch of its Android One platform. Back in June, Karbonn and Spice were two phone manufacturers signed up to the programme, which will benefit both manufacturers — keeping costs of smartphones down thanks to Google’s shared resources — and Google itself — the company seeks control of the enormous untapped budget smartphone market. We have seen a plethora of mobiles...

  • Asus Zenfone 4 review: the best $100 Android smartphone yet

    ASUS, apart from making the low-cost Nexus 7 tablets for Google, has mostly focused on high-end devices. Its PadFone lineup, which boasts of smartphones that turn into tablets at a moment’s notice, and the Transformer series of tablets have all been premium devices carrying a formidable price tag. So when the Taiwanese manufacturer launched the new Zenfone lineup of 4, 5 and 6-inch phones at rock-bottom prices, it took quite a few folks by surprise. Motorola might have stunned the world with the US$179 Moto G and the US$100 Moto E, but the three Zenfones are even better when it...

  • 7 extremely affordable Android smartphones for students

    If you’re still using a regular old “dumb” phone, it might be time to move into the future with a device that’s more up to date. As a student, you’re probably on a limited budget though – so here’s a list of smartphones to be on the lookout for, which can give you a nice set of features at an attractive price. ZTE Blade 3 The Blade 3 certainly has its flaws, but at a price of less than $100, the device is still unbeatable for those looking for a cheap and efficient solution. The first things you’ll notice are the...

  • OnePlus One vs. Xiaomi Mi 3: the budget flagship battle

    Chinese smartphone brands like Xiaomi and OnePlus are giving a hard time to well-known international brands like Samsung, LG and Sony by pushing out some really great smartphones at half the cost. We’ve managed to source two such smartphones: OnePlus One and Xiaomi Mi 3 for a detailed performance comparison. Both the devices come with a groundbreaking price tag. Let’s see which one is capable of providing you with the best performance. Design, appearance and build quality The One is a really large and heavy device but OnePlus made sure to make it as ergonomic as possible using a curved back and thin...

  • This $30 Android smartphone will bridge the gap between smart and feature phone

    Smartphones are getting more powerful (and some, even cheaper) with each passing day. While Apple and company are locked in a vicious technological scrap, cramming more features into even smaller frames, other manufacturers are slimming down excessively on their hardware. And the latest contender for cheapest smartphone in the world comes courtesy of Chinese manufacturer AMGOO, with a handset costing just US$30. Dubbed the “AM505 Spark”, AMGOO’s device is a “you get what you pay for” type of deal, but it aims to bridge the gap between smartphone and feature phones. High-end specifications you’d usually expect from an Android device...

  • OnePlus One review: two good to ignore

    OnePlus One are the words on every phone fanatic’s lips. Made by a new company that was later revealed to be wholly owned by Oppo, the OnePlus One is the best performing Smartphone in the industry at a sub-$500 price point. It beats Google at its own game by offering a Nexus competitor that is faster, offers more storage, is more beautiful, has a better camera and costs far less, to top it off. Priced at US$299 for the 16GB version and US$349 for the 64GB version, the OnePlus One only has a few competitors that can match up to...

  • 5-TILES keyboard review: the Qwerty pretender

    Call me a Neanderthal, but I miss typing on a phone with a physical Qwerty keyboard. Nothing quite beats the tangible feedback a springing key with defined edges provides. BlackBerry’s now largely extinct Bold range had the best example but now, although touchscreen smartphones are more powerful than we could ever have anticipated then, typing anything of length on one is an unwanted chore. Enter the third party keyboard app that hopes to kill Qwerty for good — ETAOI Systems’s 5-TILES keyboard, available for Android and likely iOS too in the coming months. Novel and attractive design The self-proclaimed “keyboard designed for...

  • Alcatel One Touch Pixi review: cheap, cheery and useful

    There’s something refreshing about the Alcatel One Touch Pixi. It’s a feature-rich phone that packs a great deal into its small frame, and by skimping on bells and whistles, it costs about as much as a trip to the supermarket. Indeed, at R550, this is one of the best value buys I can remember reviewing. There’s definitely a market for this sort of smartphone too. For instance, an elderly grandparent – one who’s scared of spending money on technology (ooh, what a dirty word) – will find the Pixi a delight, and since it runs on Android v2.3 (Gingerbread), it’s...

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