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1 month ago

Moto E review

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Moto E

The little phone that reaches past its price point

I've been excited to have a look at the Moto E since its announcement in the middle of May. At $129 US, the Moto E is about the same price as dinner and a movie, and the buzz about how well it performs in the entry-level smartphone domain put it at the top of my wishlist. I've had a little time with it, and have to say I'm not disappointed in the least.

Motorola is no stranger to budget-priced smartphones that perform well. I carry a Moto G (sadly, the generation one version with no LTE) as my backup should I do anything silly to the phone I'm using daily, and I chose it because it was cheap and would do just about anything I wanted a smartphone to do. After years of low-priced models that failed to deliver, Motorola found their niche. Now they have expanded it with an even lower priced model in the Moto E. Let's have a quick look at how it fares in daily use.

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1 month ago

Press render of the Galaxy F (S5 Prime) leaks, reveals brushed metal back

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Even before the launch of the Galaxy S5, the Internet rumormill was abuzz with reports of a metal-clad Quad-HD variant, dubbed the Galaxy S5 Prime. After months of leaks, possible device sightings and rumors, we have our first clear look at the purported Galaxy F, thanks to notorious leakster @evleaks.

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1 month ago

Android 4.4.3 update reportedly rolling out to Galaxy S5 this month, Galaxy S4 to follow suit in July

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A leaked Samsung KitKat update schedule document mentions that the manufacturer is set to roll out the Android 4.4.3 KitKat update to the Galaxy S5 later this month, and for the Galaxy S4 in the month of July. An earlier version of the document, which was leaked last month, revealed that the South Korean manufacturer was starting to integrate the latest Android build into the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy S4.

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1 month ago

LG G3 goes up for pre-order from Carphone Warehouse, can be yours from £37.99/month

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LG's latest, the LG G3, is now up for pre-order from Carphone Warehouse in the UK, starting at £37.99 a month with no money down. The G3 is one of our favorite smartphones this year — just read our review of the LG G3 to find out why — and is expected to be delivered by Carphone Warehouse on the 1st of July.

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1 month ago

Archos 50c Oxygen brings a big screen and 8 cores for £179

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Archos may have brought the world the first Android tablets, but their latest smartphone takes a more budget-friendly line by going big and cheap. The Archos 50c Oxygen has a 5-inch 1280x720 IPS display (293ppi) slapped onto the front of a matte black body that measures just 7.64mm thick. What's inside isn't terribly impressive, but that's what you get at £179 (US$300) unlocked and off contract.

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1 month ago

Oppo R3 introduced as the world's thinnest LTE smartphone

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Oppo has introduced their latest device, the R3, and is touting it as the world's thinnest 4G LTE smartphone. Measuring just 6.3mm (0.25 inches), the R3 is thinner than other LTE devices on the market, though it's not the overall thinnest. That title currently goes to the 5.5mm Gionee Elife S5.5.

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1 month ago

Buy a Galaxy S5 from Vodafone UK, get a Gear Fit for free

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If you've held out on buying the Galaxy S5, Vodafone UK has quite the deal for you. The UK carrier is bundling a Gear Fit with every purchase of the Galaxy S5. The deal is active now and will run through June 26.

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1 month ago

Huawei Ascend Mate 2 review

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Huawei Ascend Mate 2

Huawei is going direct-to-consumer in the U.S. with its giant-screened and $299 unlocked device

Despite the fact that Huawei is the third-largest phone maker worldwide (behind Apple and Samsung), few people in the U.S. really have much of an idea that it even makes phones. Huawei is a name that has creeped into the public's minds over the past few years, with research (from Huawei itself) showing that 22 percent of Americans are now aware of the brand (whether or not they can pronounce it), up from a mere 9 percent in 2012. That comes with a relatively small push in marketing for consumer-facing Huawei products, as the company continues to spend the largest amount of advertising money in China and Europe where it already has a foothold in selling own-branded devices.

But that makes sense when you consider that until this point Huawei has mainly sold devices in the U.S. under other brand names as an ODM, only recently stepping into selling Huawei-branded devices in the lowest end, primarily on prepaid carriers. The company's plan is for that to change, with a distinct move towards making Huawei a powerful brand that can drive phone and tablet sales all on its own. The Ascend Mate 2 is the first device Huawei is giving an honest shot in the U.S. by selling it directly to consumers, jumpstarting what will undoubtedly be a long-term play in this market.

But in 2014 the Huawei brand isn't enough to sell a phone, leaving the Ascend Mate 2 to lean on features to get people looking. Going right down the list of what Huawei has found consumers want, they're all here — a large screen, LTE data, freedom of carrier choice, a solid camera, huge battery and exceptional price. The Ascend Mate 2 isn't going to blow your socks off, but it sure checks all of those boxes — read along and see if Huawei has a fighting chance selling an unlocked phone in the U.S. today.

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1 month ago

HTC One M8, two months on

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HTC One M8

How has HTC's 2014 flagship stood up to a couple of months in the hands of AC's editors?

It's been just over two months since HTC announced and launched the One M8, its flagship smartphone for 2014, across two continents. An unprecedented Day 1 retail launch allowed buyers in the UK and U.S. to pick up the M8 just hours after its global unveiling, though only after an extended campaign of leaks had already spilled many of the phone's secrets.

The same day we took the wraps off our HTC One M8 review, praising the phone's performance and build quality, as well as HTC's flatter, more colorful Sense 6 UI. But we questioned the decision to stick with an "Ultrapixel" camera — an upgraded sensor, but one with the same 4-megapixel resolution as last year — while also pointing out its ergonomic issues, which is a another way of saying the M8 is sometimes a bit too tall and slippery for its own good.

We've used a great many Android phones over the past couple of months, as rival devices from Samsung, Sony and LG have emerged, but the M8 has never been far from our side. So how has two months with HTC's leading handset colored our opinion of it? Join us after the break for a two-month retrospective on the HTC One M8.

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1 month ago

Samsung tipped to reveal Galaxy Note 4 with curved screen and Gear Glass at IFA 2014

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This year's gathering of tech giants and press in Berlin might very well see a new Samsung Galaxy Note, as well as new 4K OLED TVs and the Gear Glass headset. It's not surprising that we might see a new Galaxy Note at IFA — after all, it is the event where the previous three iterations of the big-screen stylus-happy smartphone launched.

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