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Karbonn A5S: £70 Android smartphone launched in UK

Karbonn A5S: £70 Android smartphone launched in UK

Lewis Curdie  Dec. 9 at 13:30

The affordable smartphone market is really heating up, as consumers seemingly realise you don’t need to pay £500 for an entirely reasonable handset.

The latest manufacturer vying for your attention in the budget smartphone category is India’s Karbonn, with the £69.99 A5S available now on Amazon.

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HTC Desire 620 launched: an enhanced Desire 610

For our money, Taiwanese manufacturer HTC is getting better at delivering memorable mid-range phones, with the Desire 610 standing out as an entirely decent handset – for its price.

As such, our interest is well and truly piqued with the announcement of the HTC Desire 620, essentially a Desire 610 but a wee bit betterified.

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Motorola Moto G (2013) Lollipop 5.0 update is seemingly Go

Motorola Moto G (2013) Lollipop 5.0 update is seemingly Go

Lewis Curdie  Dec. 8 at 15:00

It’s the question on every Android user’s lips right now: “Where’s my Android Lollipop 5.0 update?” Well, maybe not every Android user. You shouldn’t expect Lollipop if you’re using an ancient HTC Desire HD, for example, but you get the idea.

Where am I going with this rambling introduction? Here: the first-generation Motorola Moto G is seemingly – finally – on the receiving end of delicious Lollipop 5.0.

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BlackBerry’s John Chen: don’t expect a Chinese buyout

BlackBerry’s John Chen: don’t expect a Chinese buyout

Lewis Curdie  Dec. 8 at 13:00

Ah, BlackBerry. Once a King of Mobile alongside Nokia (who-kia?), the Canadian manufacturer has endured several stinky years, with Mike “Lizard Man” Lazaridis, Jim “Silly” Balsillie and Thorsten “57 Varieties” Heins all made to walk the plank.

Things are a little more positive under new(ish) CEO John Chen, but as rumours of a buyout continue to swirl, he says we shouldn’t expect a successful bid from any of the Chinese smartphone players.

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More Sony Xperia Z4 specs: 5.2in QHD, Qualcomm Snapdragon 805, 21MP rear camera

With possibly just weeks to go until the launch of the inevitable Sony Xperia Z4 (we're thinking CES 2015 in Las Vegas in January), things still seem entirely up in the air, with various conflicting rumours swirling – particularly as pertains to Z4 specs.

There’s every chance this latest story is purely guesswork, too, but it’s a good excuse to speculate about the phone regardless. Ready for another batch of Sony Xperia Z4 specs? Let's dance!

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Review of the week

Review of the week

Lewis Curdie  Dec. 6 at 13:00

Well, that’s us into December now, and it’s the calm before the CES and Mobile World Congress (MWC) storm.

In the meantime, we’re busying ourselves with rumours of the presumably imminent HTC One M9, Sony Xperia Z4, Samsung Galaxy S6… And what about the inevitable iPhone 6s? It’s only, like, nine months away.

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Mark Zuckerberg vs. Tim Cook: Apple products should be cheaper

Mark Zuckerberg vs. Tim Cook: Apple products should be cheaper

Lewis Curdie  Dec. 6 at 12:00

This one will inevitably set our Jan off on a massive rant, but needless to say, feel free to pitch in with your own two cents below.

As Apple CEO Tim Cook continues to take pot shots about privacy and whatnot, Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg has hit back, suggesting that if Apple were really some sort of People’s Champion, its products would be cheaper. Ouch.

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Samsung Galaxy S6 specs: rather beastly?

With the Samsung Galaxy S5 having launched at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in February this year, there’s a good chance we’ll meet the inevitable Galaxy S6 in just a couple of months’ time.

In the meantime, we’re looking at some purported Samsung Galaxy S6 specs courtesy of a benchmark thingamajig, and the upshot is – surprise, surprise – that it’s a bit of a beast.

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Samsung Galaxy S5 Android Lollipop 5.0 update rolling out now

The Samsung Galaxy S5 Android Lollipop 5.0 update was tipped to appear sometime around late November/early December, and what do you know?

For users in Poland and South Korea, at least, the Samsung Galaxy S5 Android Lollipop 5.0 update is officially Go! - just 31 days after Google supplied the code. New Samsung record? Damn straight.

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Xodiom smartphone: too good to be true?

Xodiom smartphone: too good to be true?

Lewis Curdie  Dec. 5 at 10:00

The OnePlus One raised the bar for affordable flagship-level phones, and the blogosphere got mightily excited yesterday when a new contender appeared, seemingly out of nowhere.

Perusing the list of “Xodiom” smartphone specs, you’d be forgiven for thinking this mysterious thing is too good to be true; evidence is mounting to suggest it’s a hoax. Bah.

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Is Apple prepping a new 4in iPhone for 2H15?

Is Apple prepping a new 4in iPhone for 2H15?

Lewis Curdie  Dec. 4 at 15:00

While Android flagships have gradually grown in size over the years, the iPhone held steady at 4in before stretching to a potentially jarring 4.7in and 5.5in with this year’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

If you’re not too happy about all this “bigger is better” nonsense, prepare yourself for a comforting rumour blanket: Apple is tipped to be considering a new 4in iPhone for the second half of next year.

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YotaPhone 2 arriving this week, dual-screen action for £550

YotaPhone 2 arriving this week, dual-screen action for £550

Lewis Curdie  Dec. 4 at 11:00

We probably liked the first-generation YotaPhone in theory more than we did in practice, but credit to the Russians for at least trying something different.

Putin’s (presumably) favourite smartphone manufacturer is back at it again with the logically named YotaPhone 2, its second attempt at the dual-screen thing, and it’s touching down this week. Got a spare £550?

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Galaxy A7: Samsung’s thinnest-ever smartphone gets Chinese certification

Galaxy A7: Samsung’s thinnest-ever smartphone gets Chinese certification

Lewis Curdie  Dec. 3 at 14:00

Samsung finally made the Galaxy A3 and Galaxy A5 official earlier this month, but the third prong of the all-new A-Team – the Galaxy A7 – was curiously absent. That was particularly disappointing since the higher number denotes a superior phone.

Well, it sounds like the Samsung Galaxy A7 launch won’t be too far off now, with the smartphone getting the obligatory stamp of approval from China’s TENAA, and the headline feature will likely be its ridiculous thinness.

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Jeff Bezos: Yeah, the Amazon Fire Phone was a failure, but at least we tried

Jeff Bezos: Yeah, the Amazon Fire Phone was a failure, but at least we tried

Lewis Curdie  Dec. 3 at 11:00

For a long time we wondered if there was really a place in the market for the rumoured Amazon smartphone, and it turned out our doubts were well founded. The Fire Phone fell flat on its face this year, with a decidedly modest number of units sold and the handset ultimately blamed for the $544m loss posted in Q3. Oh dear.

In case there was any doubt (there wasn’t), Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has conceded that the Fire Phone was an abject failure, but he also thinks the online colossus should be commended for having taken the gamble.

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Android Lollipop on less than 0.1% of devices as HTC Google Play Edition updates delayed

Android Lollipop on less than 0.1% of devices as HTC Google Play Edition updates delayed

Lewis Curdie  Dec. 2 at 15:00

If you’ve been following the Android update scene for the past few years, this one will come as no surprise: The latest version <insert name> is rolling out incredibly slowly, and it’s been delayed for certain devices.

Specifically, Lollipop 5.0 officially appears on less than 0.1% (one in a thousand) Android devices, while owners of the HTC One M8 and M7 Google Play Edition handsets will have to wait a little longer than expected.

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Mock-up shows iPad Pro dwarfing existing iDevices

As we head into space year 2015AD, the iPad Pro (or “iPad Air 2 Plus”, if you prefer) is basking unashamedly in the rumour spotlight, as it’s generally accepted that the thing will materialise – finally – in a matter of months.

In the meantime, some dude has concocted an iPad Pro mock-up using recently rumoured dimensions, confirming that it’s a) a lot bigger than the iDevices we already know and love, and b) commensurate with the 13in MacBooks. It’s BIG.

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Sneak preview at Amazon UK/US Cyber Monday deal prices!

Sneak preview at Amazon UK/US Cyber Monday deal prices!

Lewis Curdie  Dec. 1 at 19:25

We’ve shared a fair few deals over the past few days thanks to the frenzy-inducing phenomenon that is Black Friday, and we’re set to do it all over again with Cyber Monday. One of the biggest Black Friday/Cyber Monday retailers is of course Amazon, and we’ve a Bezos-flavoured treat to share with you here.

I speak of Mobot's Amazon UK/US Cyber Monday Deal List. It’s pretty freakin’ good, and while I would say that, I’ll explain why it’s so great below.

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HTC One M9 specs: 5.5in QHD display, QS805 CPU, 3GB RAM, 16MP rear camera?

HTC One M9 specs: 5.5in QHD display, QS805 CPU, 3GB RAM, 16MP rear camera?

Lewis Curdie  Dec. 1 at 14:30

With the HTC One M8 having launched last March, it’s generally accepted that its inevitable successor will follow within the next three to four months - the Taiwanese generally launching a new flagship every 12 months or so.

Here we’re looking at rumoured HTC One M9 specs (that's purely a concept image on the left, incidentally), and, assuming they’re on the money, the M9 is definitely something worth getting excited about.

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Review of the week

Review of the week

Lewis Curdie  Nov. 29 at 12:00

What. A. Week. Utterly dominated by Black Friday, of course, and this year the UK embraced the tradition headlong, with the in-store brawling and the melting of websites. Things have calmed down a little now, but there’s always Cyber Monday…

In mobile news, BT appears to be on the verge of acquiring O2 or EE, though The Telegraph adds that Three might “gatecrash” the takeover party. Meanwhile, Jan mourned the imminent demise of the iPhone 5c.

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Black Friday: websites melt, police called in as UK shoppers go bargain crazy

Black Friday has been an increasingly noticeable thing over the past few years, but this year the UK has cranked it to 11. And a half.

As the clock struck midnight, chaos descended, with websites clogged and ground-based shoppers participating in an impromptu Royal Rumble in a bid to grab their share of pre-Christmas bargains.

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