Motorola Droid 2 Turbo - Smartphone!

Check it out! Motorola are still in the Smartphone game. With this new Droid looking like it could be a contender with its rugged versatile design. It also has some serious strength when it comes to its screen and interestingly its camera...I wonder if its a Sony sensor? Anyway what make this particularly cool is the customisation options. So with out further ado check out this WhatGear review

Don't forget to let me know what you think!

Xperia M4 Aqua - WhatGear Review

So I've had the pleasure of testing out the new Sony Xperia M4 Aqua. I have to be honest I wasn't really expecting a phone that could upstage my Galaxy Note. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the cameras on the Xperia M4 compared very well. In fact in many cases when using this phone outshone the Note.

Check out this mid range, Hi quality Xperia Smartphone, the M4 Aqua. The Xperia M4 has particularly good cameras and a 64bit Octacore processor and a slim design. Join Troy (The GamesMaster) in this new WhatGear series 'FIRST THOUGHTS' ...Its an unboxing video.

The Power of the XPERIA M4 Aqua

  • The processing speeds are fantastic! I ran into no problems backgrounding multiple apps and gaming.
  • The Cameras front and back are fantastic. The only issue... the screen quite often doesn't do your photos justice. Only once exported onto a higher-res screen do you really get the full effect and image quality.
  • The Battery life is good on standard mode but AMAZING on Sony's Stamina mode. For me, I receive mass amounts of social notifications. The Stamina mode also doubles up as a good way to silence them with out putting your phone on mute or vibrate. For those two reasons I'm a big fan of stamina mode.
  • Durability and Waterproofing. Now I did accidentally drop this and its so lightweight it kind of floated down like a feather...OK I exaggerate but I did take the knock very well. Had it been Apple's crystal sapphire unbreakable un-scratchable glass I think I'd have been in trouble.
  • Last but not least Micro SD. Need I say more? ;)

Catch up with Troy from WhatGear as he tests out the cameras on the Sony Xperia M4 Aqua. Check out how the camera quality differs on the Galaxy Note 3 (flagship) Vs the M4 Aqua (Mid Range) smartphones.

The Weakness of the XPERIA M4

  • The good thing about weakness is it can be strengthened in many cases. In my field test video I mentioned how I could not install my usual apps due to space. Since then Sony surprisingly rolled out an Xperia update, eradicating some of their bloat-ware (unnecessary apps). Which now means I have the ability to install everything I need and shift most of the data to external memory.
  • Battery life really suffered when using GPS. So I made a journey from London to Manchester which is about 3hrs I lost 80% battery before lunch that day. Not cool.
  • No Google Cardboard / VR Video support. For me as a creator of 360 content I was sad to see this not available.
  • It feels hollow like it lacking soul. While I appreciate the light weight the emptiness of it makes it feel a little flimsy to the touch.

FINAL THOUGHTS 

look hear see...Another WhatGear inside scoop on the upcoming Sony Xperia Z6 due for launch in 2016. The chances are we will see the final completed version of the new Xperia at the MWC 2016. For now check out this WhatGear Word on the Street #WWOTS video and see what you think.

The Xperia M4 Aqua is a super fast, durable, energy efficient mid range phone. With cameras to rival and defeat many, if not all of its nearest competitors. The design is the usual SONY style omni-balance. Which I must admit makes it difficult to know if it the right way up when in my pocket... Stuff like that is important to me(I know first world problems...I know).

However the more I use this phone, the more content I am with its performance and features. It will be interesting to see if it will improve and sharpen up with age and updates. Or whether is will become soft and flimsy as wear and tear sets in and as takes on board the new Android Marshmellow.

The WhatGear team were invited to the exclusive press event for the launch of the Z5 smartphone! It was cool and we got some unique videos for you.


XPERIA Z5 Cases leak

Yet more leaks on the iminant Xperia Z5. So you buy a super expensive high quality smartphone. The first thing you should do if you're like most people is...buy a cheap bit of plastic to attach to it! Check these out.

upload.png

Cortana on Android...

Cortana on Android...

When news came out that Microsoft was going to be developing Cortana for Android, I was dubious. As in, “So what?” Realistically, I just didn’t see the point. Android has a perfectly good voice assistant in Google Now – to say nothing of how awesome Now on Tap will be – so why should we care about Cortana on Android? It’ll be just another app.

But then news came out more recently thatCortana will be able to replace Google Now as the default search for Android. Whoa. Ok. Now we’re talking.

 

Read More

Blackberry Slider Phone

Blackberry Slider Phone

A month after @evleaks published one press render of BlackBerry's upcoming Android-based smartphone — yes, with a physical keyboard — he's back todaywith several new photos of the device. And there's even a GIF. According to Blass, the BlackBerry Venice is headed for all four major US carriers this November. The previous leaked render didn't offer any look at the device's keyboard, but today that changes.

Judging by the icons seen here, the Venice looks to be running a version of Android that's very close to Google's stock software. That keyboard also looks like a treat, though it also seems somewhat small and cramped thanks to the phone's slider design. But this is BlackBerry we're talking about — a company that's rarely if ever made a terrible keyboard. Both sides of the screen are curved a la the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge.

Blass also tweeted images that appeared to show another BlackBerry device running Android. The second device doesn't have a slider, looking instead like the company's Passport, a big and square smartphone that would — if the leaks are accurate — now run Google's operating system. 

http://www.theverge.com/2015/8/19/9179889/blackberry-android-phone-venice-photos  

Read More

Rise of the Smartphone

According to a Q2 2015 smartphone findingsreleased by GfK on Monday, average pricetags on handsets inflated notably in China during the previous quarter, with total sales value in the country having increased by 17 percent over the same period last year. This was despite a registered slump of 10 percent in total sales volume.

upload.png

A total of 88.7 million handset units were shipped in China during the second quarter this year, down from last year's 98.6 million units. The 10 percent year-on-year decrease in shipment in the second quarter followed a decline of 14 percent recorded in the first quarter, GfK noted. Meanwhile, smartphone sales reached $26.8 billion in China during the second quarter, up from $22.8 billion for the same period in 2014.

"Strong demand for high-end smartphones ($500+) pushed smartphone value up 17 percent year-on-year to $26.8 billion in the quarter. The high-end smartphone market now accounts for 17 percent of the market, up from 10 percent in Q2 2014 -- and is growing at the expense of the low-end," said the research note.

GfK also forecasts the demand for high-end handsets to expand 28 percent year-on-year in China, the strongest growth in this price band of any region in 2015.

The results may deliver a negative signal to Chinese smartphone makers such as Xiaomi and Huawei--local brands that are still competing fiercely for the mid to low-end markets where consumers are chasing well-equipped handsets at competitive prices.

In China, commonly seen high-end smartphones, or those priced over $500 as defined in the GfK report, are Apple's iPhones and Samsung's flagship models. But their fates differ dramatically, withApple's revenue surging 71 percentfor a record-breaking second quarter of sales in the country, while Samsung lowered prices on flagship smartphone models in an effort to boost its gloomy sales.

Privacy-focused Blackphone 2 is ready for pre-order

It has been over a year since Silent Circlereleased its Blackphone handset, in June 2014. The phone was among the first security-focused devices to become relatively successful, and we now find ourselves waiting for the second iteration, which was announced at MWC 2015. Almost everything about the Blackphone 2 has been revealed, except for the most important factors – price and release date.

ADVERTISEMENT

There’s good news for those who have been hoping to learn more about the handset. Silent Circle has quietly published a pre-order page for the BlackPhone 2, and though it doesn’t tell us much about the cost of the smartphone, it does signal a September launch window, which is just around the corner.

For those who may be out of the loop, theBlackphone 2 is to come with a 5.5-inch FHS 1080p display, 1.7 GHz octa-core processor, 3 GB of RAM, a 13 MP camera, microSD card support and quick charge support. Of course, we can’t forget about the many security features Silent OS offers, and the fact they arejoining the Android for Work program.

upload.png

One of my biggest complaints about the Blackphone was its lack of Google Apps support, which in turn meant there was no Google Play Store access (at least officially). This proved to be a nuisance to users. And though we may see the same issue come to the successor, we at least know Silent Circle is working on a secure app store of its own. Furthermore, there’s a tablet by the name ofBlackphone+ in the works, so you will soon be able to stay secure in multiple form factors.

Let’s get back to the main topic, though. The Blackphone 2 is launching this September, and you can get started with the pre-order process now. The only issue is you can’t just jump into the website and put your name to a phone; customers will need to contact the sales department first. As mentioned above, there’s no mention of the price, but we can assume it will be too different from the $629 the first iteration costed.

Are any of you signing up?

Google's modular smartphone project has been delayed.

In a series of tweets Monday, the company confirmed the initial market pilot for Project Ara, which was slated to begin in Puerto Rico later this year, will instead be delayed until 2016.

SEE ALSO: Up close with Google's new and improved Project Ara prototype

upload.jpeg

Project Ara began in Google's secretive Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group. The aim is to create an Android-based smartphone platform where nearly every piece of hardware, including the battery, processor and camera, is a separate piece of the handset that can be replaced or customized without upgrading to a completely new device.

Google said the latest plan is to bring its modular smartphones to a "few locations" in the mainland United States for the initial rollout, but did not elaborate on the cause of the delay or the change of location.

A spokesperson for Project Ara confirmed the delay to Mashable, but declined to provide additional details around the updated timeline.

The news comes less than a week after the company confirmed it would "re-route" the planned Puerto Rico pilot to a new location, though the company promised the modular smartphones would eventually make its way to the U.S. territory.

Google previously said it chose Puerto Rico as a test ground for the experimental phones due to the island's "incredibly diverse" population, which is divided almost equally between smartphone users and more basic feature phone users.

The company had planned to make handsets available through the territory's two largest carriers, with a variety of devices sold via food truck-like storefronts.

It's not yet clear how or where Google plans to distribute Project Ara devices during the mainland U.S rollout, but the company says more details about the changes will be coming soon