Review of the week in mobile

Lewis Curdie  11 hours ago

Another week, another ton of news, not to mention all the mobile deals and assorted features. Things are super-busy in mobile at the moment for sure, and it's only going to get crazier with Mobile World Congress (MWC) in March.

The theme for this week seemed to be bad news for Samsung, and a frankly silly amount of good stuff for its US rival, Apple.

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Motorola Moto E, Vodafone PAYG, £39 in-store (no top-up required) @ Asda

Motorola Moto E, Vodafone PAYG, £39 in-store (no top-up required) @ Asda

Lewis Curdie  13 hours ago

Pop into your local Asda and you might just find – fingers crossed – the Motorola Moto E on Vodafone PAYG for £39. No top-up required. Perfect!

The Motorola Moto E has been shown to outperform the Samsung Galaxy S5 in certain circumstances, thanks to near-stock Android.

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BlackBerry Passport looks delicious in limited edition black and gold

Lewis Curdie  2 days ago

We’re quite used to seeing gold-coloured smartphones these days, including the rather attractive Nokia Lumia 930 and Lumia 830. Or, if you’ve more money than sense, you might fancy the actual gold iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

Sticking with classy minimal gold colouring, we’re currently drooling over the BlackBerry Passport in black and gold.

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Samsung to get ‘new’ Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor in March?

Samsung to get ‘new’ Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor in March?

Lewis Curdie  2 days ago

It’s the rumour that won’t go away, and the longer Qualcomm stays quiet in the face of constant rumours, the worse it seems: the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, presumed to power several imminent high-end phones, is suffering from overheating problems.

The latest twist in the tale (and there have been many) is that Samsung will supposedly get a “new” version of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor in March. Huh?

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PortaPow fast charge USB adapter for iPhone, iPad, iPod, £4.50 delivered @ Amazon

PortaPow fast charge USB adapter for iPhone, iPad, iPod, £4.50 delivered @ Amazon

Lewis Curdie  2 days ago

If you find that your iPhone, iPad and/or iPod charge slowly from a source such as a laptop, TV or car charger, this PortaPow fast charge USB adapter claims to have the solution. Pow!

Essentially, the PortaPow USB adapter claims to operate at Apple’s 2A charging spec, meaning it’s up to four times faster than the aforementioned devices. Universal version available for Android, too.

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The US goes Apple iPhone crazy

The US goes Apple iPhone crazy

Lewis Curdie  2 days ago

We heard yesterday that Apple was on the rise in South Korea, becoming the first foreign brand to break through the 20% market share barrier, much to the chagrin of Samsung.

On a similar note, a couple of stories show the US going absolutely iPhone crazy, with half of all 4Q14 smartphone activations being of the Apple variety, and Alaska in particular embracing the ubiquitous iPhone.

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Samsung Galaxy S4, T-Mobile, 100 minutes, unlimited texts, 1GB, £13.99PM 24M in-store @ Tesco

Samsung Galaxy S4, T-Mobile, 100 minutes, unlimited texts, 1GB, £13.99PM 24M in-store @ Tesco

Lewis Curdie  2 days ago

This Samsung Galaxy S4 contract deal is out of stock online (unsurprisingly), but you might be able to find it in-store at your local Tesco.

The contract price is down from £18.99 to £13.99 (a saving of £120 over two years), and you get 100 minutes, unlimited texts and 1GB per month on T-Mobile. With no up-front cost, that's £335.76 total.

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Three to buy O2: here’s what Three is telling its employees

Three to buy O2: here’s what Three is telling its employees

Lewis Curdie  2 days ago

As you’ve no doubt heard, this being not just mobile news but news news, O2 and Three are moving forward with the latter’s acquisition of the former, entering exclusive negotiations with a headline price of circa £10 billion.

It’s a pretty big deal, potentially bringing us from Big Four to Big Three in the UK, though it’s by no means finalised. In the meantime, let’s take a cheeky peek at Dave Dyson’s internal communication to Three employees.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 4, SIM free, £430 delivered with discount code @ Samsung

Samsung Galaxy Note 4, SIM free, £430 delivered with discount code @ Samsung

Lewis Curdie  2 days ago

Is the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 the best of the many Android handsets? Quite possibly, and you can grab it for £430 SIM free with Samsung discount code NGEARFIT (usually £599). Available in black, white and gold.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 specs include a 5.7in QHD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor, 3GB of RAM, a 16MP rear camera with optical image stabilisation (OIS), 3.7MP front camera, 32GB expandable storage, 3,220mAh battery, and enhanced S Pen. It doesn’t get much better than that!

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Tim Cook doubles his annual income as South Korea warms to Apple

Tim Cook doubles his annual income as South Korea warms to Apple

Lewis Curdie  3 days ago

It’s been a while since we’ve shoved two stories into one newsbite, but there’s so much going on at the moment that it just makes good sense. Let’s file this combined story under Everything’s Coming Up Apple.

On the one hand we’ve got CEO Tim Cook doubling his 2013 pay check (or “cheque”, if you prefer), while a delicious graph shows Apple clipping Samsung’s heels in South Korea.

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LG’s 2014 smartphone shipments up 25% year-on-year

LG’s 2014 smartphone shipments up 25% year-on-year

Lewis Curdie  3 days ago

We heard throughout the year that LG was having a great old time in smartphones, with record high shipments in Q2, and yet more record high shipments in Q3, so it comes as little surprise to hear that - on the whole – LG’s 2014 was flippin’ awesome.

The headline here is that LG’s 2014 smartphone shipments were up a massive 25% compared to 2013.

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Belkin iPad Air case, blue, £4.97 delivered (was £34.99) @ Currys

Belkin iPad Air case, blue, £4.97 delivered (was £34.99) @ Currys

Lewis Curdie  3 days ago

For just over a month before Christmas, this Belkin iPad Air case sold for £34.99. Currys has kindly knocked a whopping £30.02 off, so that’s now £4.97.

The Belkin iPad Air case is manufactured specifically for – you guessed it – the iPad Air only. Trifold technology allows the case to function as a stand, just like the official cases.

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Chinese mobile users: 1.286 billion as of the end of 2014

Chinese mobile users: 1.286 billion as of the end of 2014

Lewis Curdie  3 days ago

We keep harping on about the Chinese mobile boom, but with almost one fifth of the world’s population, well, it’s just bloody logical, alright?

Some official end-of-year figures put Chinese mobile users at an astounding 1.286 billion. Let’s take a moment to digest that inconceivably large figure; imagine they all jumped at the same time... Ready to continue? More below.

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LG: what Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 overheating problem?

LG: what Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 overheating problem?

Lewis Curdie  3 days ago

Over the past few weeks, we’ve heard a detailed report about various issues with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, coupled with idea of the Samsung Galaxy S6 moving away from the processor (DigiTimes)– or even ditching it entirely (Bloomberg).

Qualcomm still hasn’t said anything either way, but an LG VP – for one – doesn’t know what all the fuss is about.

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Samsung Galaxy S6 specs, release date, features: six things we think we know

Samsung Galaxy S6 specs, release date, features: six things we think we know

Lewis Curdie  3 days ago

There’s no shortage of imminent new Android smartphone flagships (HTC One M9, Sony Xperia Z4, LG G4, Xiaomi Mi 5…), but one of the most discussed is the Galaxy S6, partly on account of genuine anticipation (Samsung being the world’s number one), and also because the naysayers wonder how Team Shin will follow up the disappointing Galaxy S5.

There’s been no shortage of Samsung Galaxy S6 rumours, and here we’re putting it all together in six easy-to-digest points: six things we think we know about the Samsung Galaxy S6.

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Nokia Lumia 930, SIM free, £329.99 delivered @ Amazon

Nokia Lumia 930, SIM free, £329.99 delivered @ Amazon

Lewis Curdie  3 days ago

Over on Amazon, the flagship Nokia Lumia 930 is going for £329.99 SIM free, sold by SkynetShopping and fulfilled by Amazon. Only two left in stock at the time of writing!

Nokia Lumia 930 specs include a 5in display (1080 x 1920), Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB internal storage, 20MP rear camera, 1.2MP front camera, and 2,420mAh battery.

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iPhone 5c, EE, 500 mins, unlimited texts, 500MB, no up-front cost with voucher code, £19.99PM 24M @ Carphone Warehouse

iPhone 5c, EE, 500 mins, unlimited texts, 500MB, no up-front cost with voucher code, £19.99PM 24M @ Carphone Warehouse

Lewis Curdie  3 days ago

This Apple iPhone 5c contract deal usually carries an up-front cost of £29.99, but you can kiss that goodbye with discount voucher code SAVEON5C.

The monthly EE allowance includes 500 minutes, unlimited texts, and 500MB of 4G data.

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Not all Lumia smartphones will get the Windows 10 update

Lewis Curdie  3 days ago

We were told back in November, thanks to a tweet from @Lumia, that “all Lumia Windows Phone 8 devices” would receive the Windows 10 update. Our cynicism nodes tingled ever so slightly, but the mood we settled on was Pleasant Surprise.

Alas, turns out we were right to be sceptical, as we’re now told that most – not all – Lumia phones will get the Windows 10 update.

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EE 4G 6GB PAYG mobile broadband combi SIM, £14.99 delivered @ Amazon

EE 4G 6GB PAYG mobile broadband combi SIM, £14.99 delivered @ Amazon

Lewis Curdie  3 days ago

Argos has you covered if you’re looking for a nano SIM (same price, same allowance), but here Amazon is offering the EE 4G 6GB Pay As You Go Mobile Broadband Combi Sim (micro and standard) for £14.99.

The 6GB allowance lasts up to 90 days, so that’s effectively 2GB/£5 per month. No contract or commitment, just pop it in to start using, and throw away when finished.

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Huawei Ascend Y550, EE PAYG, half price, £34.99 + £20 top-up @ EE

Huawei Ascend Y550, EE PAYG, half price, £34.99 + £20 top-up @ EE

Lewis Curdie  3 days ago

EE currently has the Huawei Ascend Y550 for half price, so that’s £34.99 instead of £69.99, and a minimum £20 top-up takes you to £54.99 total.

Huawei Ascend Y550 specs include a 4.5in display (480 x 854), Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor, 1GB of RAM, 5MP rear camera, 2MP front camera, 2,000mAh battery, and KitKat Android 4.4.

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