The Honor 6 from Chinese manufacturer, Huawei, has finally arrived in the UK and Europe, offering a combination of fast internal components and even faster network connectivity to customers outside of Asia, for the first time.
Under the skin, it boasts a CPU with eight physical cores that Huawei has actually designed in-house. This is combined with 3GB of RAM, which makes it a particularly powerful smartphone on a technical level.
What really sets the Honor 6 apart is the presence of CAT 6 LTE connectivity. This is a type of 4G networking compatibility that could allow it to download data at speeds of up to 300Mbps, significantly faster than the majority of fixed line broadband connections in the UK.
A five inch 1080p display sits up front, along with a selfie-tastic five megapixel camera. There is a 13 megapixel camera on the rear as well, which in all, makes it a very impressive package given that the Honor 6 is going to be sold for £250 in the UK.
There may not yet be support for the type of 4G networking that the Honor 6 features for customers in the UK, but it is a good future-proof option.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 launched earlier this year with Android KitKat onboard. But, with a new version of Google’s operating system on the way, owners will no doubt be eager to find out when they will be getting their fix of Android Lollipop.
The good news is that sources quoted by Sam Mobile believe version 5.0 of Android will be hitting the Galaxy S5 in December, kicking off a global rollout that should be completed a month or so later.
Initiating software updates on smartphones is made all the more complicated because network providers and manufacturers have to get involved in the process and approve any changes along the way.
This is true for most Android handsets, apart from those in the Nexus range, for which Google alone is responsible. One of the benefits of choosing an iPhone rather than a device running Android, is that the OS updates roll out more or less simultaneously.
For anyone with a Galaxy S5 in their pocket right now, Android Lollipop could be popping up in December, although it is more likely that an early 2015 launch will occur, given the obstacles that need to be overcome.
While modern smartphones can be snapped up for less than £100, there are some manufacturers that deliberately go out of their way to make expensive handsets to appeal to an elite audience of rich and famous people. The latest opulent mobile option to emerge is designed by Savelli and costs a cool quarter of a million pounds, according to Pocket Lint.
Running Android, the Emerald Night is a smartphone like no other thanks to the fact that its exterior is encrusted with hundreds of precious stones and decked out with 18 carat rose gold detailing.
Only 11 of these Android devices will be released, which perhaps further explains why such a high asking price is being placed on them.
Savelli spokesperson and chief exec, Alessandro Savelli, told CNN that this smartphone is not really attempting to compete with other mobile devices, but is, instead, more targeted at replacing the kinds of luxury watches and jewellery accessories that well-to-do customers might otherwise take out and about with them.
The strangest thing about these types of over the top specialist smartphones is that they tend to look good on the outside but pack less than stellar components under the bonnet. So a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 or iPhone 6 Plus is likely to be more powerful.
Microsoft has confirmed speculation and announced that the Nokia brand is being killed off in the smartphone market, with the standalone Lumia nametag taking its place.
In the near future, the Microsoft Lumia range will be the talk of the town, with the Nokia moniker being relegated to relate only to the networking and mapping side of things, according to The Verge.
Nokia was once the world’s largest mobile phone manufacturer, but the rise of modern smartphones initiated by Apple back in 2007, saw it slip into irrelevance in the eyes of consumers. Microsoft snapped up the company last year and the threat of the brand being retired has loomed large ever since.
Other sources suggest that Nokia is not the only brand that Microsoft is tossing aside, as it attempts to restructure its position in the mobile market. Windows Phone could also be axed, although there will continue to be a Windows presence on smartphones.
The recently announced Windows 10 platform is set to appear on mobiles, tablets and desktop PCs, so perhaps Microsoft is moving towards a more cohesive approach to branding, in addition to making changes to how it builds operating systems.
Snapchat may have had some ups and downs when it comes to privacy, but its popularity as a means of mobile communication cannot be overstated. It is no surprise that Microsoft has attempted to emulate its success with the launch of a rival app called Skype Qik.
While it bears the Skype branding, it is not integrated with the existing mobile VoIP app, instead coming as a separate program. It is available for iOS, Android and Windows Phone already and lets you share short video clips without text or any other information included.
The videos can be transmitted in chunks lasting up to 42 seconds and, like other messaging apps, the communications between smartphone users are threaded for easy reference. So unlike Snapchat, which deletes images shortly after they are received, there will be some continuity with Skype Qik, as the clips will linger for a total of two weeks.
This should strike a balance between privacy and convenience, although increasingly savvy users may still have questions about how effective the app is at keeping their info safe.
Skype Qik is free to download and has arrived on the biggest operating systems this week for people to begin experimenting.