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Mobile Phones

  • ‘Buffy’ stabs at the heart of Facebook phones

    Users have been bombarded with 'Facebook' phones this year. Most of them, with the Vodafone 555 blue as a prime example, were pretty standard devices barring a couple of tweaks which gave users a direct path to the social network. AllThingsDigital now claims that Facebook itself is looking to make a mobile phone. Codenamed 'Buffy' (after the vampire slayer played by Sarah Michelle Geller), the project is reportedly a collaboration between the social networking giant and Taiwanese manufacturer, HTC. According to AllThingsD, the phone is planned to run on a version of Android heavily tweaked by Facebook for better integration...

  • Review: Motorola Razr cuts to the quick

    The Motorola dev people have spent a lot of time on the new Razr. It shows. It oozes loving attention. And not in the old Motorola “WTF did they spend all that time on this arb feature for?” No, the new Razr XT910 simply exudes the scent of hard work, clear thinking, clever features and slick hardware crafted from premium materials – Gorilla Glass, kevlar weave and machined aluminium. Is this the phone that returns Motorola to the top of the mobile phone pile? The new Razr is striking. Not beautiful, but the ludicrous thinness (7.1mm apart from the big...

  • Amazon maybe making smartphone, speculation rages

    Evidence is thin, but it’s enough to have the tech analysts in a tizzy. Decide for yourself: “Based on our supply chain channel checks in Asia led by Kevin Chang, Citi’s Taipei-based hardware research analyst, we believe an Amazon Smartphone will be launched in 4Q12. Based on our supply chain check, we believe FIH (ed: Foxconn, which also manufactures Apple’s gear) is now jointly developing the phone with Amazon.” “We believe the smartphone will adopt Texas Instrument’s OMAP 4 processor and is very likely to adopt QCOM’s dual mode 6-series standalone baseband given QCOM has been a long-time baseband supplier...

  • Cheap and plastic, but look! A Facebook button!

    Orange, the goliath telco that’s spreading across Africa and Eastern Europe like a giant ginger rash, is pushing Alcatel's plastic-tastic One Touch Android phones into emerging markets. They're cheap – in the US$130 range – and come as touch screens (bash screens?) and qwerty messaging phones, all running Android Froyo. The dedicated “F”acebook key is a bit of a rage in low-end phones at the moment, proving that there's nothing a marketer won't do to create faux differentiation. What is interesting is that Orange is giving customers that plump for these handsets low tariffs, with unlimited Facebook access (no extra...

  • Review: The Xperia Neo, shiny like a Chinese stereo

    Looking for a midrange smartphone, want Android, don’t want to shell out iPhone prices? Look no further than the Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo. Just don’t look at it too closely: sleek and modern lines, but with chrome accents that wouldn't look amiss on a 1995 Panasony clock radio. Deeply flawed, but also deeply functional - good value for money, but could be better. Now that the high end of the smartphone market is pretty much locked in a Galaxy vs iPhone vs Motorola neck-and-neck, the ding-dong battle is to crack the midrange smartphone racket. And it's all Android, here. This...

  • Review: Motorola Atrix – Still kicking ass 8 months on

    You could see this piece from two perspectives. It could be a belated review of the Motorola Atrix. Belated because, as the Atrix is permeating its final markets and we’re sending back our review units, the Atrix 2 is announced. Out with old, in with the new, right? Or, you could see it as a timely piece that could offer some useful buyer’s advice. The latter perspective stems from the likelihood of a reduced price on the original Atrix, which is actually not that far behind it’s newer, genetically gifted brother. The Motorola Atrix Looking past the swagger it derives from its Transformer-like...

  • The Motorola Droid RAZR: Launching a new legacy

    A mere one week after it was announced in the US, Motorola Mobility launched the spectacular Droid RAZR in South Africa last night. This made it just the sixth country in the world to get the RAZR. Vice President and General Manager of International Retail Distribution, Spiros Nikolakopoulos and Megan Nicholas, Country Director for Motorola Mobility South Africa showed off the Droid RAZR. There's no getting around it, the RAZR is one lustworthy...

  • Samsung Omnia 7: It’s not about the phone

    I have to admit, I had low expectations for this phone. I’m an iPhone nut and very few phones have managed to beat or come in anywhere near the JesusPhone. But the Omnia 7 was amazing. Or let me clarify -- its operating system, Microsoft’s Windows Phone, was amazing. The case around it, the Samsung part of the phone, was a bit average. I’m not going to devote too much time to the case, except to say I found it a bit too big and a bit too ordinary. The aesthetics, the design of the phone in general, was rather average....

  • Review: A little Xperia Ray of sunshine

    In a world of increasingly samey Android phones, Sony Ericsson drops the Xperia Ray. It’s pretty hard to make a mobile phone eye-catching or even desirable. Sure, the Jesus phone is attractive enough, but the Xperia Ray makes you want to pick it up and fondle it suggestively. It’s also pleasantly functional -- after a disastrous fling with Microsoft and Winpho, the Andoid-based phones in the Xperia range are pretty good. This phone is really small, and really powerful. If you’re hip and connected, and by hip I mean really, really hip, so hip that any bulge in your skinny...

  • Review: Nokia E6 nips and tucks and botoxes

    The Nokia E6 business-oriented smartphone sports Symbian Anna, the latest (and probably one of the last) iterations of Nokia’s storied Symbian mobile phone operating system, now turfed out to the gentle ministrations of Accenture’s minions. It’s more or less the same qwerty-keyboarded small-screened messenger-type smartphone that’s been a solid partner to millions, not radically changed since its debut as the E71 way back when. You’d think by now it would be well nigh perfect. Not ever more flawed. Let’s start with what Nokia has got right. It is still an incredible piece of mobile phone – flawless fabrication and assembly of...