Smartphones

Owners of the ASUS ZenFone AR may be tempted to ask their friends and co-workers, "Do you even AR, bro?". Asking that question is a surefire way to solicit puzzled (and perhaps annoyed) looks, but once they see what the ZenFone AR is capable of, those dirty glances and quizzical faces will quickly morph into ones of excited curiosity, and maybe even jealously. That's because this whole augmented reality business is rather new, and the ZenFone AR is one of only two smartphones to support Google's Tango (formerly Project Tango) AR platform (Lenovo's Phab 2 Pro being the other). The ZenFone AR also... Read more...
ARM has developed a new generation of mobile chips that will empower smartphones and tablets of tomorrow with machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities, along with claimed significant increases in power efficiency and performance. The company's new Cortex-A75 CPU core for premium, high performance device requirements and Cortex-A55 processors for mobile power-efficient workload processing will also both be the first to feature ARM's DynamIQ technology, which gives design partners like Qualcomm more flexibility in how they pair CPU clusters. Prior to ARM's DynamIQ design, Qualcomm... Read more...
Shrimp on the barbie? Try Apple on the barbie. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is suing Apple over “Error 53”, which bricked iPhones and iPads last year that were repaired by third-parties. The ACCC claims that the forced software bricking violated Australian consumer law. Last February, several iPhone 6 users received the “Error 53” message after trying to upgrade to iOS 9. The message effectively bricked the phones. It turns out that these users had repaired their screens and other components through "unauthorized" third-party service centers. iPhone 6 screen replacements... Read more...
Diamonds are the traditional tenth anniversary gift, but Apple reportedly has a little something different up its sleeve. Apple is planning on releasing a tenth anniversary iPhone 8 with an OLED display and it will likely cost upward of $1,000 USD. The 5.7-inch iPhone 8 (or iPhone X) will likely look quite different than its predecessors. It is believed that the iPhone 8 will be composed of stainless steel, instead of pricier aluminum. The back of the iPhone 8 may also be made of glass instead of metal (like its iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s predecessors). Apple has been working to remove the physical... Read more...
ASUS launched an array of products a few weeks back at its Zenvolution event in New York City. Among them was the gorgeous ZenBook 3 Ultrabook, the convertible Transformer 3, and an assortment of Android-based smartphones that carried ZenFone 3 branding. The four ZenFone 3 models that launched included the entry-level ZenFone 3 Laser, a 5.5” ZenFone 3 Deluxe, a 5.7” ZenFone 3 Deluxe, and a flagship 5.7” ZenFone 3 Deluxe Special Edition, which packs Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 821 SoC. The specifications, build materials, and pricing for the various ZenFone 3 phones that launched are all different. The... Read more...
At a glance, you may assume the phone we're testing here is one you've seen before -- a Nokia Lumia 1020 clone perhaps? Despite having a similar circular camera fixture on the handset's back side, suggesting a strong focus on photography, this is actually a newly released phone produced by ASUS. The ASUS ZenFone Zoom is an interesting beast. Though it was initially released for a more international audience, ASUS has since seen fit to bring the device to North American shores. It makes sense, though. Other than calling or texting, cameras have long been a key smartphone feature that gets used most... Read more...
When ASUS released the ZenFone 2 Laser, the company’s goal was to offer a premium smartphone experience with strong camera performance at an affordable price. On the surface the ZenFone 2 Laser has many of the key features of a premium phone, including an octa-core SoC with Adreno graphics, dual active SIM capabilities, a 5.5-inch 1080p display, a 13-megapixel camera, and a removable battery. Given that many flagship Android phones sell for $599 and up for an unlocked version, ASUS’s price of $249 for the high-end 32GB model of the ZenFone 2 Laser is very reasonable. If you want to save some cash,... Read more...
You don't need a crystal ball to figure out Apple will release a new iPhone handset every year. It's been doing it since the original came out in 2007, and starting with the iPhone 3G, Apple's naming convention has consisted of introducing a new model number every two years, with "s" variants in between. There was the iPhone 3GS in 2009, iPhone 4s in 2011 (the first to use a lowercase "s"), iPhone 5s (and iPhone 5c) in 2013, and now the iPhone 6s/6s Plus. The one thing that's been true of each "s" upgrade is they've all been faster than their predecessors while retaining the same overall exterior... Read more...
The rate at which the industry is pumping out smartphones these days is staggering. Even more impressive is the rate at which truly outstanding phones are shipping, even from names that weren't significant just a few years ago. BLU, Xiaomi, OnePlus, and ASUS (just to name a few) have all produced handsets in recent months that rival the best offerings from Apple, LG, Samsung, and other historical greats. It signals a shift in the industry where we've reached a certain level of market maturity at the hardware, software and ecosystem level. It's just that much easier to launch a smartphone in market... Read more...
Back in early January, during our coverage of the Consumer Electronics Show, we gave you all a first glimpse of the Asus ZenFone 2. For those unfamiliar with the ZenFone 2, it is an Intel-powered smartphone, rocking Android Lollipop, that’s compatible with AT&T and T-Mobile, and other cellular networks that utilize GSM technology, like Straight Talk, MetroPCS, and Cricket Wireless among others.Asus Offers The ZenFone 2 In A Handful Of Different ColorsA couple of days ago, Asus held an event to officially launch the ZenFone 2 and announce availability in the U.S., and we left with one of the... Read more...
ASUS is a relative newcomer to the smartphone market in the US, but they have had worldwide presence for quite some time. Overseas customers have long enjoyed access to devices such as a giant 7-inch smartphone that makes American phablets look tiny by comparison. Even though most consumers are no longer put off by holding up 5 - 6 inch phones to their head, 7 inches is stretching it. So, when it came time to make inroads here in the states, ASUS went a slightly different route with the Padfone X Mini. As was the case with the Padfone X, released earlier this year,... Read more...
When introducing the iPhone 6 Plus, Apple described it as the “biggest advancement in iPhone history.” Naturally, the use of “biggest” was quite intentional, a pun almost. Prior to 2014, Apple’s entire iPhone line had only ever had two screen sizes: 3.5-inch and 4-inch. Those sizes were perfectly acceptable in their day, but of late, the market has asked for more. More screen real estate, more pixels, more horsepower and more battery life. While Samsung, LG, HTC, Nokia, Sony, and just about every other smartphone maker on the planet introduced larger... Read more...
Today, Apple unveiled the upcoming iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, ending months of speculation over whether or not the company would ever move to larger screens or higher PPI. The answer, it turns out, is yes -- the iPhone 6 will pack a 4.7-inch screen while the iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5-inch screen. Resolution on the iPhone 6 is 1134x750 (326 PPI) while the iPhone 6 Plus hits 1920x1080 and 401 PPI. These figures aren't as high as some Android phones, but we've already hit the point of diminishing marginal returns since the original iPhone 4 launched the concept of a Retina Display. Unless you have better... Read more...
Bold. That’s the word that comes to mind when we consider Amazon’s Fire Phone. In a world where precious little has happened in the smartphone space over the past few years, at least in terms of groundbreaking innovation, Amazon’s entrance provides all the spark you need to sit up and pay attention. These days, a major OEM doesn’t just enter the smartphone space. Apple and Samsung have dominated market share and profits for years, squeezing BlackBerry out almost entirely and putting HTC on life support. Nokia, meanwhile, is stutter-stepping as Microsoft begins a massive... Read more...
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