Phones

Moto Z Style Mods leaked as swappable back covers

Moto Z Style Mods leaked as swappable back covers

In just a few days, we will finally see for ourselves what Lenovo and Motorola have been cooking up behind closed doors. Well, somewhat closed, because such doors have never really prevented otherwise confidential materials from leaking out. Like these "Style Mods" for example, which is just a rather fancy term to describe what are most likely hot swap back covers for the Moto Z, which is also a just a fancy new name for the amalgamation of Lenovo's and Motorola's high-end flagship lines.

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OnePlus 3 put up on a “blind sale”, but here’s how it looks

OnePlus 3 put up on a “blind sale”, but here’s how it looks

As far as marketing gimmicks go, OnePlus is definitely up there. Although probably not intentional, the very limited, invite-only system did drum up the marketing for the OnePlus One. And then there was that "Smash the Past" for the same flagship that would give you the chance, not an immediate replacement, to get a OnePlus One if you went on air to smash your existing flagship. Now OnePlus is again asking fans to take a leap of faith by putting in a pre-order for the OnePlus 3, without knowning the details or even the final price. Luckily, others are more than willing to fill in the blanks.

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Xperia X camera reported bitten by overheating bug

Xperia X camera reported bitten by overheating bug

If you thought Sony's Xperia smartphones were hot, it probably to think literally about that as well. Sony's smartphones are somewhat notorious for being warmer to the touch than others, overheating at worst. But we thought we've seen the last of those issues after the fiasco that was the Xperia Z4, or Xperia Z3+ elsewhere. Sadly, it seems Sony is unable to fully rid itself of the curse, as the latest Xperia X is reported to have the same overheating issues with the camera as well.

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OnePlus had a near-finished smartwatch, but decided to ‘focus’ on phones instead

OnePlus had a near-finished smartwatch, but decided to ‘focus’ on phones instead

Right now, Chinese manufacturer OnePlus is known for producing quality Android-based smartphones at budget-friendly prices. It's a small company, but that focus on high-end phones with flagship-level specs is what makes them standout in a growing sea of other low-priced Android devices. However, OnePlus nearly entered the smartwatch game — another crowded market — going so far as to complete a design, but decided to scrap the device out of concern of losing focus.

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It’s time to stop thinking about smartphones as being ‘just phones’

It’s time to stop thinking about smartphones as being ‘just phones’

I've seen some articles floating around social media again in which someone proclaims that smartphones are expensive luxuries used by mindless people to entertain themselves with mindless games while truly smart and savvy people continue to use their old flip phones. These articles are nothing new; they resurface regularly, enjoy brief popularity as cynical people bat them back and forth with thinly veiled comments about their own superiority, and then they fizzle back into dormancy for a while. What none of them seem to realize is that smartphones are so much more than just 'fancy phones.'

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Sony Xperia Z5 Android 6.0.1 update brings back STAMINA mode

Sony Xperia Z5 Android 6.0.1 update brings back STAMINA mode

It isn't unusual for OEMs to implement features not found in stock Android exactly because they want to offer an experience that plain Android just can't. Eventually, Android does catch up, adding those features and causing OEM chanegs to be redundant. Sometimes, however, Android's official version doesn't exactly replace sometimes more useful alternatives. That was apparently the case when Sony removed STAMINA mode from its devices running Android Marshmallow in favor of Android's new Doze feature. After no small amount of complaints, the latest update brings it back for the Xperia Z5 family.

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HP Elite X3 is still coming, with a fingerprint sensor even

HP Elite X3 is still coming, with a fingerprint sensor even

Microsoft's practically complete withrdawal from the smartphone device market is a bittersweet thing for its fans. On the one hand, it means the company is even less interested in making smartphones. On the other hand, it could also mean that Redmond has more resources to devout to a high end, still mythical Surface Phone. But while Microsoft bids its time, it seems that HP will beat it to the "really premium Windows 10 Mobile smartphone" punch. Yes, the HP Elite X3 is still a thing, is still coming, and might even come with a fingerprint scanner to boot!

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OnePlus 3 tipped to come in four variants

OnePlus 3 tipped to come in four variants

The number of variations an OEM makes for a single smartphone model has increased in the past few years. Before, and still for some like Apple, you need only choose between how much internal storage you want. Nowadays, there are variants for different RAM, different CPUs, and different screen resolutions. Worst case scenario they all have the same brand name, differing only in model number. For the past two years, OnePlus has been happy to offer variants differing only in storage space. But for the OnePlus 3 this year, sources claim that the Chinese startup will actually have four to offer.

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X-Men “themed” LG X series tipped to land in the US in July

X-Men “themed” LG X series tipped to land in the US in July

Perhaps LG has clairvoyant mutants in its employ who foresaw how the company could make it big with an "X" branded smartphone lineup. Or, more realistically, LG just had the good fortune of having an X series ready by the time the not-so-bad X-Men: Apocalypse hit theaters. Either way, the OEM isn't shy about capitalizing on the attention that the film is getting. Inside sources claim that LG will launch its mid-range X series smartphones in the US, Europe, and Latin America in July. And, of course, it is matching those devices with Marvel's most famous mutants.

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OnePlus 3 goes invite-free starting June 14 launch date

OnePlus 3 goes invite-free starting June 14 launch date

OnePlus may have just gotten a two thumbs up from its fans and has increased its potential new customers. Putting rumors and fears to rest, co-founder Carl Pei finally went public to reveal a long kept secret. The OnePlus 3 will be made available directly and without any need for invitations right from the start, which is June 14, 3:00 p.m. Eastern. But more than that, OnePlus is also doing away with the invitation system forever, at least for all new products moving forward.

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IDC expects ‘substantial slowdown’ in phone shipment growth this year

IDC expects ‘substantial slowdown’ in phone shipment growth this year

In 2014, smartphone shipments grew a massive 27.8-percent, and the next year, 2015, smartphone shipments grew by 10.5-percent. The International Data Corporation (IDC) expects that we’ll see a substantial slowdown in shipments this year, with 2016 (possibly) ending up at around only 3.1-percent. According to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, this year will probably see about 1.48 billion smartphone shipments, a number that is estimated to climb to 1.84 billion by 2020.

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Why I refuse to believe iPhone is forever

Why I refuse to believe iPhone is forever

Over the past several years, I've seen attitudes change when it comes to the iPhone and the mobile world in general. I refer mainly to two groups of people whose understanding of the world tends to reflect society at large, especially when it comes to technology. People who I meet at gas stations on long trips are part of one group - the other is my extended family. According to them, things are changing. Or they have the potential to change.

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