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Review of the week

Review of the week

Lewis Curdie  Yesterday

And so ends the week in which I churned out, Good Friday aside, six steaming slabs of news per day, an undeniably apt punishment for my gallivanting earlier in the month.

Five reasons why the HTC One M8 is better than the Samsung Galaxy S5 (by HTC) dominated the comments, while the industry in general is going bokeh crazy. Sorry, background; things just look better when you’re all out of focus.

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LG L65 breaks cover: it's the L70 but just a tiny little bit smaller

There's been plenty of chatter on the mobile grapevine lately about LG's next flagship the G3 – and no wonder when you hear the quoted specs – but in the meantime LG has polished up its mid-range lineup with this, the LG G65.

It only popped up on our radar for the first time yesterday thanks to some image leakage by @evleaks, but now we can jump straight to the official details.

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Kindle for Samsung: yep, Samsung gets its own Kindle store

Kindle for Samsung: yep, Samsung gets its own Kindle store

Lewis Curdie  3 days ago

There’s been no shortage of baffling mobile news over the years, but this story really takes the proverbial biscuit. Well, for this week, anyway.

Not content with, y’know, the Amazon Kindle app, Samsung smartphone and tablet users are to get their own Kindle portal, aptly named Kindle for Samsung. Too good to slum it with the rest of us, huh?

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HTC opens One M8’s Duo Camera to developers with SDK, bokeh for all

As I’ve written about 20,000 times already this week, one of the headline features on the spanking new HTC One M8 is its dual-lens Duo Camera setup, which welcomes a whole bunch of fancy camera effects.

The Taiwanese have now opened the Duo Camera to developers, by way of the official HTC Dual Lens SDK.

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iPhone 6: more evidence for 4.7in display

Realistically, we’ve still probably a good five or six months till the official iPhone 6 release date, but the rumours and leaked pictures and whatnot are coming thick and indeed fast.

Earlier this week we got a peek at a purported iPhone 6 mould from Foxconn, supposedly confirming the notion of a 4.7in display, and a couple of new leaked images further back that notion.

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Samsung still planning Android Wear wearable tech - not just Tizen

Samsung still planning Android Wear wearable tech - not just Tizen

Lewis Curdie  3 days ago

To be honest, Samsung planning anything at this stage in the game comes as little surprise, as the South Koreans generally like to keep a finger in each and every pie on offer (much like me when I was a bachelor, badum tsh!).

I’ll forgive the lack of dropped jaws, then, when I say that Samsung is planning – shock horror – wearable tech with Android Wear on board, that’s in addition to its Tizen stuff.

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LG G3: QHD resolution confirmed, ‘golden hue’ likely

LG G3: QHD resolution confirmed, ‘golden hue’ likely

Lewis Curdie  3 days ago

LG has been keeping uncharacteristically quiet this year, leaving rivals like Samsung, HTC and Sony to steal the limelight with the Galaxy S5, One M8 and Xperia Z2 respectively.

But we all know South Korea’s other favourite manufacturer is busy beavering away on the LG G3. While we await the official launch, the rumoured QHD resolution has supposedly been confirmed, and we’re also seeing the box in gold.

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Google Camera: standalone Android camera app released

Google Camera: standalone Android camera app released

Lewis Curdie  3 days ago

If there’s one thing Android was crying out for, it was surely… a standalone Google Camera app?

To be fair, it actually sounds pretty good, with an “out of your way” UI (almost invariably a good thing) and a handful of interesting features.

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US networks and smartphone manufacturers sign anti-theft agreement

US networks and smartphone manufacturers sign anti-theft agreement

Lewis Curdie  4 days ago

It’s largely kinda pointless stealing a high-end smartphone these days, what with the blocking and the security stuff and the remote wiping and whatnot.

Consolidating that pointlessness, several US networks and manufacturers have entered into a voluntary agreement making anti-theft tools mandatory.

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Project Ara Grey Phone:  to build, January 2015 release

Project Ara Grey Phone: $50 to build, January 2015 release

Lewis Curdie  4 days ago

For those who’ve been hibernating for the past few months, Project Ara is part of Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group, and aims to unleash customisable “modular” phones.

The first Project Ara Developers Conference is going down this week, and we’re getting tons more info, including word of the first Project Ara phone.

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DigiTimes: expect more dual-lens smartphone cameras

One of the standout features on the HTC One M8, and one of the things that sets it apart from last year’s HTC One, is the presence of a dual-lens camera on the rear.

Word from out east suggests HTC may be at the forefront of an imminent trend, with several smartphone manufacturers expected to jump on board the dual-lens bandwagon.

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First OnePlus One pic leaked ahead of next week’s launch

First OnePlus One pic leaked ahead of next week’s launch

Lewis Curdie  4 days ago

Phew, big week for leaked pictures of previously unseen phones. Earlier today I scribbled about the Amazon smartphone, and here we turn our attention to the imminent OnePlus One.

Admittedly the OnePlus One picture is comparatively terrible, but it’s a good excuse to chew the fat over the wallet-friendly super-phone.

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Samsung exec: Galaxy S5 should outsell Galaxy S4, Tizen phone in Q2

While some manufacturers are struggling to turn a profit, Samsung’s problem is comparatively luxurious: from atop your throne as King of Mobile, how do you stop profit decline?

Well, firstly, you throw a ton of weight behind the Samsung Galaxy S5, and then you unveil the long-awaited Samsung Tizen phone in Q2. Sounds like a plan to us.

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Behold: the Amazon smartphone

Finally, after literally years of speculation, we’re seeing the first leaked photographs of the much-discussed Amazon smartphone.

Alas, the design of the Amazon smartphone is largely concealed behind an intentionally silly case, but we can still make out a few details, including – most interestingly – those four front-facing cameras for 3D silliness. Lots more detail below.

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Samsung trademarks Galaxy Adore, Galaxy S Fitness and Galaxy V: (yes, with colon)

A few days ago, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) revealed the Gear Now and Gear Solo (presumably two new smartwatches) in name, and the Samsung juggernaut continues unabated.

The USPTO is at it again, this time revealing the Samsung Galaxy Adore, Galaxy S Fitness and Galaxy V:. And no, that’s not a typo; it’s the Samsung Galaxy V Colon. Weird.

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iPhone 6: 4.7in display ‘confirmed’ by Foxconn mould?

iPhone 6: 4.7in display ‘confirmed’ by Foxconn mould?

Lewis Curdie  5 days ago

You all know the story by now, right? The iPhone 6 is widely tipped to arrive later this year in two sizes – both significantly larger than the 4in iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c.

One of those sizes is seemingly confirmed by way of a picture of an iPhone 6 mould, which supposedly originated from Apple’s Taiwanese manufacturing pal, Foxconn.

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Android in 2006: ‘Touchscreens will not be supported’

Android in 2006: ‘Touchscreens will not be supported’

Lewis Curdie  5 days ago

As much as litigation tends to make us sigh, court cases occasionally yield interesting titbits, such as Samsung’s 132-page comparison of the Galaxy S and the first-gen iPhone. BE MORE iPHONE was the conclusion there.

Similarly, the current legal shootout between Apple and Samsung has yielded an interesting document detailing the state of Android in 2006 – prior to the release of the first iPhone.

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HTC One M8 mini release date: yep, still May!

HTC One M8 mini release date: yep, still May!

Lewis Curdie  5 days ago

A couple of weeks ago, I was relaying word from 3g.co.uk, suggesting that the HTC One M8 mini would arrive in the UK in May.

A further hint, this time from HTC’s home territory of Taiwan, gives credence to the notion of the One M8 mini being released next month.

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Google’s Android app icons to adopt flatter design?

Google’s Android app icons to adopt flatter design?

Lewis Curdie  5 days ago

Prior to release, iOS 7 caused a fair bit of controversy with its “flat” design, with icons largely doing away with fancy things like lighting and shading in favour of, y’know, just being dead plain and that.

There are suggestions that Google’s Android apps are about to go the same way, adopting what’s referred to internally as Google’s “Moonshine” approach.

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LG G3 specs leaked by US network Sprint (oops): QHD display, 3GB RAM

LG G3 specs leaked by US network Sprint (oops): QHD display, 3GB RAM

Lewis Curdie  5 days ago

With the Samsung Galaxy S5, HTC One M8 and Sony Xperia Z2 all now very much a reality, it’s LG’s turn to wow us with its latest flagship-flavoured delight.

Rumours suggest the LG G2’s successor will launch as early as May (i.e. next month), and in the meantime, US network Sprint appears to have leaked a comprehensive list of LG G3 specs.

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