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22 hours ago

Huawei's Mate S videos take you on a tour of its latest smartphone

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To go along with its freshly-announced Mate S smartphone, Huawei has put together a couple of videos to show the phone off. The first, which you can see above, shows off the product as a whole, highlighting features like Knuckle Control, the camera, and the fingerprint sensor.

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22 hours ago

Huawei officially announces the Mate S with Force Touch technology

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Mate S

We're live at the Huawei press conference at IFA 2015, where the Chinese firm has announced its latest flagship handset, the Mate S. With a design similar to last year's Mate 7, the Mate S introduces a sleeker design with a diamond-cut metal unibody and "2.5D" Gorilla Glass with curved edges. The phone packs a 5.5-inch 1080p display with 1.8M:1 contrast ratio. What's more, Huawei has beaten Apple to the punch by implementing Force Touch technology in the screen, allowing the phone to know how hard you're pressing on the glass.

Like the Mate 7, the Mate S packs a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner for biometric authentication, which Huawei claims is 100 percent faster than the previous model. When it comes to colors, it'll be available in a new pink color in addition to gold, grey and silver options.

Around the back there's a 13-megapixel rear camera with OIS and a RGBW sensor, similar to what the company used in the P8 earlier this year. That's paired with a 8-megapixel front-facing camera. On the inside, there's an octa-core Kirin 935 processor running the show — the same chip found in the recent-launched Honor 7 — along with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage.

There's also a 2,700mAh fixed battery — a step down from the enormous cell in the Mate 7, but Huawei CEO Richard Yu told press at today's event that the device will offer more than one day's batter life. On the software side, the Mate S purportedly has greater customization capabilities through the company's EMUI 3.1 software suite, based on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop.

The Huawei Mate S will be available to pre-order from September 15, with from Huawei's Vmall online marketplace to start with. The Standard version which comes with 32GB of storage and 3GB of RAM will cost €649, while the Premium version has 64GB of storage and the same 3GB of RAM, and will run an extra €50, at €699. Huawei has stated that a 128GB version with Force Touch that will be coming later. We'll have full hands-on coverage of the Mate S soon, so stay tuned.

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23 hours ago

Hands-on: ASUS ZenFone Max and ZenFone Laser

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Asus Zenfone Laser

ASUS's ZenFone line is expanding — there's the standard ZenFone 2 and the 3x optical zoom ZenFone Zoom — but there's also the ZenFone Max and the ZenFone Laser. Each offers their own take on the smartphone experience, focusing on improving in one specific area over the ZenFone 2.

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23 hours ago

Hands-on with the ASUS ZenFone Zoom and its 3x optical zooming camera

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Asus Zenfone Zoom

ASUS's optically-zooming smartphone is real, and we put our hands on it.

The ASUS ZenFone Zoom was announced way back in January at CES 2015, but at the time it was safely ensconced in a glass case. But now, here at IFA 2015, we're finally getting our hands on with this unique device. Offering 3x optical zoom for lossless non-noisy zoom, it's touted as the thinnest optically-zooming smartphone out there. The competition from the likes of Samsung's Galaxy Camera line all feature large telescoping zoom lenses, whereas ASUS's ZenFone Zoom packs ten lens elements into a phone that's less than 12mm thick at its thickest (though ASUS is quick to tout the 5mm edges).

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23 hours ago

Hands-on with the ASUS ZenFone 2 Deluxe

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If you love the ASUS ZenFone 2 but have a hankering for something a little more high-end, well, that'd be the ZenFone 2 Deluxe. We've already seen a massive 256-gigabyte version of this phone destined for Brazil. The one we've got here in Berlin is a little more tame — a mere 64GB or 128GB of on-board storage. But the other specs — and maybe more importantly the design — are nothing to scoff at.

Let's take a quick look.

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1 day ago

Acer releases four new Liquid smartphones at IFA 2015

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Acer is getting in on the IFA fun with several new product announcements, including four new phones in its Liquid lineup. The Liquid Z630 and Z530 are the two main models, with each one also having an "S" model with slightly bumped specs.

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1 day ago

Shatterproof Moto X Force leaked with 5.43-inch QHD display and Snapdragon 810

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Motorola's expanded its offerings in the mid-range segment this year with the Moto X Play and Moto X Style (or Pure Edition if you're Stateside), and it looks like there's one more model in the works. Based on an image leaked by @upleaks on Twitter, the Lenovo-owned company is set to unveil the Moto X Force, a shatterproof handset targeted at the high-end segment.

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1 day ago

Nexbit Robin surpasses Kickstarter goal in under 12 hours

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Nextbit only just launched its Robin smartphone on Kickstarter earlier today, but it has already surpassed its $500,000 funding goal with a month to go.

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1 day ago

HTC may announce a new smartphone on September 6

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According to an image uploaded to HTC's Weibo account, the company may be ready to take the wraps off of a new smartphone on September 6, but exactly what the company has to offer is still unknown.

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1 day ago

ARCHOS announces the Diamond Plus, coming in November for £179

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ARCHOS has announced its latest phone, the Diamond Plus. The phone features a 5.5-inch, 1080p IPS display, and will run Android 5.1 Lollipop out of the box. It will go on sale this November for £179.99.

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1 day ago

Moto X Pure Edition pre-orders begin in the US on September 2

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Motorola is just about ready to begin accepting pre-orders in the US for its Moto X Pure Edition. The pre-orders will officially kick-off on September 2, with the phone shipping later this month. For those not familiar, the Moto X Pure Edition is the US version of the Moto X Style, this year's replacement for the Moto X 2014.

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1 day ago

Nextbit's Robin looks to merge phone and cloud like never before

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Nextbit Robin

The sub-$400 market gets another interesting entry — and it's looking to change the way you think about on-board and cloud storage.

You don't use a smartphone in 2015 without using the cloud in some form or another. It's just not possible. (OK, it's possible, but it won't be fun.) But now Nextbit — a new company led by a former head of partnerships for Android in its early years, a power-management engineer and one of the lead industrial designers behind some of HTC's most iconic smartphones — is looking to bring the cloud to your phone in a whole new way.

Meet the Nextbit Robin.

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2 days ago

Head to head: The ASUS ZenFone 2 and the Moto G 2015

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Once again, we're putting two budget priced Android phones — the Moto G 2015 and the ASUS ZenFone 2 — against each other to see who comes out on top.

We have four major criteria a smartphone needs to get right before we can recommend them to anyone: Performance, Display quality, Battery Life and Camera. We chose these categories based on the results of a recent poll where we asked everyone what they thought was most important, and I think it's a great mix.

See how these two phones matchup, and which one gets crowned the winner.

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2 days ago

Nextbit will announce, begin accepting orders for its upcoming smartphone on September 1

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At the beginning of August, Nextbit stated it would announce its smartphone on September 1, and here we are, the day before. Nextbit will not only officially announce the phone, but also begin accepting orders for it as well.

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2 days ago

Moto X Play review

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Moto X Play

The most affordable Moto X yet aims to dominate the competitive new mid-range market — but falls short in an important area ...

The quick take

Launching around the £270 mark, the Moto X Play delivers a great deal for the money — a great screen, a decent camera and solid battery life, not to mention Moto's excellent software experience. But nagging performance and multitasking issues hamper what might otherwise have been the perfect Android mid-ranger.

The good

  • Fantastic display and impressive speaker
  • Solid construction and ergonomic design
  • Pure Android UI with Moto software goodness
  • Capable camera — at least in most conditions

The bad

  • Low-light camera performance is patchy
  • Stuttery animations and frequent performance hiccups
  • 16GB base storage doesn't leave much breathing room
Width Height Thickness 5.83 in
148mm
2.95 in
75mm
0.43 in
10.9mm
  • Display:
    • 5.5-inch Full HD
    • LCD Display
    • 1920x1080 resolution (400ppi)
  • Camera:
    • 21MP, ƒ/2.0 lens
    • 5MP front-facing camera
  • Battery:
    • 3630mAh capacity
    • Quick Charge 2.0
  • Chips:
    • Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor
    • 4x1.6GHz A53 cores + 4x1.1GHz A53 cores
    • 2GB RAM
    • 16GB internal storage
    • microSD slot

Moto X Play Full Review

The second half of 2015 is a great time to be buying a smartphone. You've never been able to get so much phone for your money, especially in the new mid-range space, which has brought forth really capable devices like the Zenfone 2 and Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3. Motorola has a strong history of targeting key price points with laser accuracy through its Moto G series, so it was no surprise to see a mid-range Moto X — the Moto X Play — emerging alongside the higher-end Style-slash-Pure-Edition.

On paper the Moto X Play is a tantalizing proposition — for £270 SIM-free, you get a handset with a great display, an enormous battery and the prospect of the first really good Moto camera. In reality, the Play delivers on a many of those promises, but falls short in other areas. And in the past week of using the phone as a daily driver, we've been more surprised by what it's bad at than what it's good at.

Read on to find out all one of 2015's most intriguing mid-range phones.

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