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Mobile Phones

  • LG Liger F490L leaked, features company’s first NUCLUN eight-core processor

    When a company gives a phone the selfsame codename as a tiger’s and lion’s offspring, you know that device promises to be unique, over-the-top or damn-right impressive. The LG Liger F490L ticks all of these boxes, if a recent leak by Chinese site blogofmobile is to be believed. As if the Nexus 6 or LG G3 wasn’t enough, LG plans to unveil a 5.9″ monster, the first to sport the company’s Odin NUCLUN octa-core processor. That’s eight cores, or more specifically, four running at 1.2GHz and another four clocked at 1.5GHz. Samsung’s bigLITTLE architecture also adopts the same approach, so...

  • HTC’s Desire Eye shoots 13MP selfies from front-facing snapper

    HTC’s Desire Eye (a definite selfie-related pun is lurking somewhere in that moniker) is the company’s latest handset, but unlike any other before it. Sporting a 13MP camera up front above the screen, it’s sole purpose in life is to take cute pictures of new haircuts and cheeky pouts. Gone is the puny VGA resolution video calling cameras we’ve all grown accustomed to, and in is a sensor large enough to keep a moderately annoying Instagram user entertained for hours. It’s seemingly the largest sensor we’ve seen on a front-facing camera to date, and it’s physically enormous too. Interestingly, it’s not...

  • Vertu Aster: the $9100 snake-skin Android smartphone for poor rich people

    Although Apple will stake a claim in making gorgeous premium-level phones for its adoring customers, it can’t hold a candle to British-based manufacturer Vertu. You know, the company that builds phones covered in snake skin? Speaking of which, the company’s new Aster is its latest mid-range offering, setting buyers back a cool US$9100. Okay, so not that mid-range then, but the quality of design and internals is second to none. Built mostly from spaceship-grade hardened titanium and sporting a 117 carat Sapphire screen up front, the phone seems virtually unbreakable — that’s peace of mind should the owner act upon a...

  • LG Wine Smart reintroduces the smart flip-phone for the elderly

    We’re all for using old technology in novel ways, like when Apple rediscovered NFC or when the Xbox One allowed for HDMI pass-through — two brilliant happenings. What we’re not so keen on are companies that revive old technologies just because the newer technology is too much for older folk. Don’t understand? Take LG’s latest 2007-inspired handset for the elderly. We’re not sure why it’s presented in the archaic flip phone format, but the “Wine Smart” is primarily for those who think touchscreens are too sensitive and cumbersome. Featuring oversized buttons, larger icons on-screen (bonkers considering the resolution on the tiny...

  • 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...