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Mobile Phones

  • Vodacom Smart Kicka review: tiny phone, big value

    We have yet another “budget smartphone” on our testing table. While the big manufacturers squabble among themselves to fit unnecessarily detailed screens and wildlife photography-capable cameras into 5″ bars of soap, the other half of the industry is hell-bent on producing that killer yet extremely cheap smartphone. The recent spate of low cost devices haven’t set hearts aflutter, but they have opened new possibilities for first time smartphone buyers looking to access the internet’s Giving Tree. Vodacom, one of South Africa’s cellular networks, has launched the Smart Kicka — the latest minnow device hitting the South African market — and while...

  • Motorola family welcomes Moto X, G, 360 plus ‘near invisible’ Bluetooth earpiece for funsies

    Samsung, Sony and now Motorola is next in the month of continuous launches. The former Google-owned brand has increased its mobile family by three, adding the X, the G and (finally) the Moto 360 to its stable. Alongside the important additions, the company has also unveiled a Bluetooth earpiece (yes, one of those things) and a mini-power brick — which works like any other external power brick. But to the interesting hardware we go. The Moto X is by far the most exciting prospect. Slathering the phone in wood or leather is part of the customer’s choice, but something one cannot...

  • Sony launches sleek smartphone & tablet Z3 series: fat cameras, waterproof, beefy batteries

    Just confirming rumours of old, Sony just launched a fresh duo of sleek smartphones — the 5.2” flagship Xperia Z3 and the 4.6” Compact. Both phones scream premium with their aluminium frames and snazzy tempered glass panels. There’s also the Z3 Tablet Compact which is a slim 8-incher. As presented in the press video (see below), the Z3 series focuses on a couple of key features: the devices are waterproof, have fat cameras, and strong battery life. Before we discuss the specs and features, just look at that design: Unlike most of Sony’s earlier devices which were usually water and dust...

  • 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...

  • 3D printed noPhone a modern-day pacifier for adults

    What’s the best phone available on the market right now? That’s a debate that could rage on night and day between fans of rival factions. But nothing currently available can attest to the brilliance of the latest handset. Introducing the noPhone, a 3D printed brick shaped like a smartphone. There’s no way the NSA could access your data, because there is no data to access. There’s no way an angry partner could destroy it, flinging it headlong down a flight of stairs, because it’s invincible. There’s no way that dunking it in a swimming pool for weeks could damage the electronics,...

  • Huawei Ascend P7 review: mid-range supremacy

    I’m obsessed with the singularity, a moment in time where the known universe suddenly vanishes as it coalescences into one star-filled mass of pure nothingness. It fascinates me because I like the idea of a galactic reset button. It’s a simple way of clearing the mess. Simplicity is beauty itself and impresses when it’s in the form of a phone. And I must say that Huawei’s Ascend P7 is one of the simplest, most unpretentious phones of 2014. It’s a pure brick of Android that comes without the fluff and nonsense seen in most smartphones. It’s also pretty cheap, and...

  • Near bezel-less Sharp Aquos Crystal range coming to Sprint in August

    Sharp is debuting two phones today, both heading for the Land of the Rising Sun, dubbed Aquos Crystal and the Crystal X, but one may find itself Stateside in the coming weeks. The latter is the flagship and arguably a mixture between a Huawei and an LG. Its ridiculously narrow bezels gives the phone an interesting “all-screen” appearance, but alongside the sleek exterior there’s hardware to match. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 801 SoC gives the Crystal X 2.3GHz to play with, while 2GB RAM is also present. 32GB storage is hidden beneath the 5.5″ 1080p screen, with a 2610mAh battery providing the power. The...

  • 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...

  • Xiaomi smartphones may take over the world: here are 6 reasons why

    If you don’t happen to live under a rock, you might have heard of Xiaomi, a company often referred to as the “Apple of China”. You’ll likely hear about it even more in the coming days thanks to the successful launch of the Xiaomi Mi 3. In India, one of the markets where the Xiaomi Mi 3 launched, it sold out within 40 minutes of availability. Or five minutes, says The Economic Times. You should get to know more about Xiaomi, and these six facts are a great place to start. 1. Xiaomi was founded in 2010 Xiaomi isn’t an old company by...

  • LG G3 review: third time’s the charm

    The G2’s design was a bit too boring. The G Flex’s curved body and display was way too extravagant. Now, LG’s latest flagship, the G3, puts simplicity right in your hands while giving you enough power to back-up whatever you’d want to make it out to be. It’s almost like a chocolate cake. Its outer layer spells style and simplicity, though dig just a little deeper, and you’ll find plenty more surprising treats and nuances. You can’t help but feel that it’s holding back just a little. Looking good Subtle yet substantial design elements like the curved back, the lack of...