Smartphones

Paul Taylor

It’s not all bad news for Research in Motion, the struggling Canadian maker of the BlackBerry family of smartphones and Playbook tablet.

A US district court judge struck down a $147.5m jury award against RIM,  ruling that the BlackBerry maker did not infringe patents owned by Mformation Technologies. Read more

 

HTC One

Smartphones have become the favoured web and social media tool for the “post-PC generation”. As well as being great communications devices, the latest crop boasts features designed to please the most discerning consumers – including better battery life, advanced digital photo apps and high-quality audio.

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Paul Taylor

Nokia’s Windows Phone-powered Lumia 900, available today in the US from AT&T, has broad shoulders – which is fortunate because Nokia, Microsoft and AT&T all need this new handset to be a big success.

The Lumia 900 runs on AT&T’s expanding LTE network and boasts a distinctive unibody design with curved side edges, a big 4.3 inch screen and an 8 megapixel digital camera sensor but despite these high-end specs, costs only $99. Read more

For mobile gadget enthusiasts, the annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona provides a smorgasbord of delights.

This year’s show, which ended on Thursday, was no exception. So here are three handsets which, for different reasons, stand out in an increasingly crowded smartphone market. Read more

Chris Nuttall

If you think the 5.3in-screen Samsung Galaxy Note is a little too large to fit in a pocket, then you will have a real problem with the 10.1in version just unveiled at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Samsung has yet to make an official announcement about the phone, but a gargantuan poster to match the giant-sized device has appeared, and at this size, there seems no argument about whether it is a smartphone or a tablet this time. Read more

Paul Taylor

Nokia’s Lumia 710, which went on sale in the US yesterday and is due in Europe shortly, is one of the first products of the partnership between Microsoft and the Finnish phone company which is relying on the new operating system to revitalise its flagging fortunes.

The launch of the Lumia 710 which costs $50 with a T-Mobile USA contract also marks Nokia’s re-entry into the US market where Stephen Elop, Nokia’s chief executive, has vowed it must succeed. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Samsung’s scatter-gun approach to screen sizes for its smartphones and tablets, with versions ranging from 3in to 10in, suggests a company looking for the right formula as much as one sympathetic to consumers’ varying needs.

With the 5.3in screen of the Galaxy Note, Samsung thinks it has finally found the middle ground; a happy medium for consumers who want to carry just one device, rather than both a smartphone and a tablet and whatever other portable gadget they pick up on their way out. It costs £500 in the UK; a US launch has yet to be announced. Read more

Chris Nuttall

If the growth of Android smartphones continues at its current rate, the world’s population will need much larger hands.

That is, if you look at screen sizes rather than units sold, although the staggering smartphone fact-of-the-month is that the number of Android devices activated has doubled from 100m to 200m over the past six months. Read more

Nokia has much resting on the launch of its first Windows smartphone, the Lumia 800, the first off the production line since its exclusive partnership was agreed with Microsoft in February. The phone is key for Nokia to claw back a position in high-end phones having been marginalised by Apple and Google’s Android in recent years, writes Daniel Thomas,  FT telecoms correspondentRead more

Chris Nuttall

Staggering fact of the week for me was the news at the Google music launch that the number of Android devices has doubled in the past six months – from 100m activated to 200m.

Add another one to that total. I have just registered the latest and greatest Android smartphone – the Samsung Galaxy Nexus – the first to feature the new Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0 version of Android. Read more

As I stood 71st in the queue at 7am at the local Apple Store last Friday, there was a collective feeling of “It’s time” among the gathering crowd as we waited in line to receive the sacrament of an iPhone 4S. Everyone had a story. There were lots of first-timers like me no longer able to resist the allure, but hardly any iPhone 4 owners – the new device looked just the same as its predecessor. Instead, there were many who had bought the original 2007 iPhone or its 3G successor. They were still cosseting them in ancient protective sleeves. It was definitely time for these Apple devotees.

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Paul Taylor

One of the biggest challenges for Android-based smartphone makers is to differentiate their products from their rivals. With the Motorola Droid Bionic designed to run on Verizon’s high speed LTE wireless network, Motorola Mobility is seeking to outpace its rivals in three ways – hardware specs, battery life and accessories.

The Bionic’s basic specs are reasonably impressive beginning with its big 4.3 inch qHD screen manufactured using Corning’s scratch-proof Gorilla Glass. Other features include a dual-core 1GHz processor with 1GB of dedicated Ram, front and rear facing digital cameras and 32GB of memory including a 16GB micro-SD card. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Samsung has introduced a new tablet, a new smartphone and a combination of the two – the Galaxy Note – at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin.

Samsung said the Note represented a new category with its 5.3in HD Super Amoled display, ignoring the fact that Dell has been unsuccessful with a 5in Android device – discontinuing the Dell Streak last month. Read more

Chris Nuttall

I felt a bit of a simpleton for loving the kickstand on the HTC Evo 4G more than many of its far more sophisticated features, but such love is more justified with the new Motorola Photon. You see, rather than just propping up the device to watch video on an airline tray table, this 4G Android smartphone has an “intelligent” kickstand, which means it can do rather more. Read more

Chris Nuttall

The Samsung Infuse is the thinnest 4G phone to appear, with the biggest screen and deserves membership of this year’s superphone category of more advanced smartphones. Qualifications for entry into those ranks can be 4G, dual-core processors, bigger, better screens or the debut of major new features. This week’s Personal Technology column in the FT’s Business Life section looks at the Infuse’s qualities and those of Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Play and the Motorola Atrix 4G.  Read more

If consumers like iPad-like devices, and they also like smartphones, what could be even better than a Padfone?

That was the thinking at Asus, which on Monday unveiled its latest invention ahead of the Computex trade show. Read more

Sony Xperia Play

Martians – at least the popular science-fiction kind – might have felt quite at home at the annual Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona this week. Google’s green Android robot was everywhere and almost all of the new smartphone and tablet devices that I came across were running one of the Android family of operating systems.

Chris Nuttall

Smartphone makers have been claiming for some time that their products are becoming as powerful as PCs, but with its new Atrix 4G phone, Motorola is actually proving its point by turning it into a laptop. I have been trying the Atrix 4G for the past week, most of the time docking it to a screen-and-keyboard laptop accessory that uses the guts of the Atrix for processing, memory and internet connectivity. The combination is unusual, but on the whole, works well and is being offered by AT&T in the US in an attractive package deal. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Tonight at the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona, Sony Ericsson has finally unveiled the Xperia Play – colloquially known as the ‘PlayStation phone’ after months of leaks and rumours online. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

So, the Facebook phone is finally here. Or at least, the device which seems to have sparked all the speculation: the INQ Cloud Touch, nine months in development, and its qwerty-keyboard cousin, the Cloud Q. Read more