Mobile Phone News

HTC officially announces One E9+

HTC One E9+
The HTC One E9+

HTC is set to launch its first QHD smartphone in the form of the One E9+, which appeared on the company’s Chinese site this weekend. Or at least this is what a certain portion of the spec sheet appears to suggest, despite the very same listing also indicating that it sports a 1080p full HD display.

Engadget reports that there is some confusion as to precisely what type of screen resolution the One E9+ will feature. The only consistent aspect of the product listing is that the display will measure 5.5 inches across the diagonal, putting it in the same league as the iPhone 6 Plus and making it marginally smaller than Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4.

An octa-core processor, 2GB of RAM and a modest 16GB of storage space will also be on offer. If this is insufficient memory for users then a micro SD memory card can be added to bring the total up to 128GB at the upper limit.

The One E9+ should debut in the coming weeks, at which point HTC will no doubt have corrected any ambiguity with regard to the resolution of the display, which may be its biggest selling point.

VR headset causes delays with Galaxy Note 4 update

Gear VR SamsungSamsung’s Galaxy Note 4 is one of the world’s most powerful phones, with a QHD screen also making it a compelling phablet alternative to the iPhone 6 Plus. However, most users are having to put up with a lack of Android 5.0 Lollipop, with just one US network provider so far having rolled out the update.

Now sources, quotes by SamMobile, have claimed that the reason behind the delay is that the company is still working with the virtual reality experts at Oculus, to ensure that the phone is ready to power the Gear VR headset when it launches later this year.

Virtual reality has taken off in a big way over the last two years, although most consumers will not have experienced the modern take on this immersive technology. And Samsung is hoping to be amongst the first to offer it to the masses.

Quite how Gear VR integration with the Galaxy Note 4 will work remains uncertain, but Samsung is taking extra time to make sure everything works properly. Hence the hold-up in the release of Android 5.0 lollipop on a handset which was a flagship before the Galaxy S6 arrived.

LG may build Google’s next flagship smartphone

Google Nexus 6
Will LG make the Nexus 7?

The next smartphone from Google to bear the Nexus nametag may be put together by South Korean manufacturer, LG, according to TechRadar.

Although it was previously suggested that Chinese firm, Huawei who make the popular Honor 6, may well be chosen as the hardware partner on the Nexus 7, LG seems to have moved to the front of the pack. And while eagle-eyed observers will have noted that there is already a range of Nexus 7 tablets, the smartphone equivalent is still likely to stick with this moniker, for the sake of numeric consistency.

LG has worked with Google before, providing the underpinnings for the Nexus 4 and 5. And it seems likely that the device will be based on the same platform as one of LG’s existing or upcoming devices, with the G4 looking like a good candidate to fill this role.

Google’s Nexus range has been defined by offering cutting edge hardware at a cut down price point, which is a trend that the new flagship will presumably follow too. If Huawei did get the gig after all, it would be a coup for the company, which is still looking to establish itself as a reputable brand in the west.

Compare Google Nexus 6 Deals

USB-C set to conquer the mobile market?

USB-C Port
New USB-C port (image via Apple)

Earlier this month, Apple caused quite a stir when it announced that the new budget MacBook will use a USB-C connector to provide power and also act as a means of synchronising the device with secondary gadgets. And now the internet is alight with discussion of this new wired connectivity format.

What sets USB-C apart from its predecessors is its ability to overcome the need to have the connector aligned with the compatible port on a device in a particular way. So rather than requiring that users flip the cable over to insert it correctly, it can go in either orientation.

Another benefit that is being touted at the moment is the quicker charging times it will afford smartphones, with more power available, thanks to the 100 watt throughput.

Finally, the connecting hub will be smaller than old USB kit, meaning that less of the inside of mobile phones will need to be dedicated to this component. So get ready for a new generation of USB-C based handsets that are thinner and lighter even than the new iPhone 6!

This does mean that older charging cables will be made redundant, but with Apple on the side of USB-C, it really does look set to conquer the market.

Microsoft will bring Cortana to rival platforms

Microsoft CortanaAlthough Cortana is currently an exclusive voice-controlled personal assistant for Windows Phone 8 handsets, Microsoft is, apparently, intending to port it to Android and iOS, according to Reuters.

This would be an interesting move, especially since rival mobile platforms tend to keep core services like this to themselves. Siri is an iOS-only service, for example, but the critical acclaim received by Cortana, as well as the marketing potential of its appearance on alternative handsets, may have spurred Microsoft to this decision.

Cortana is not just tethered to Windows Phone handsets, but will be launching as a desktop service when Windows 10 emerges later this year. So taking this one step further and embracing non-Microsoft software ecosystems, seems like a logical thing to do.

Whether or not Google and Apple will allow the Cortana app through their approval process and onto their platforms is another matter. But Microsoft’s ambitions for Cortana are significant enough to have caught the attention of many industry observers, since the company is keen to push this service as more than a simple voice controlled PA; they want to make it a true artificial intelligence.

Microsoft will, doubtlessly, face some issues when it comes to integrating Cortana with the core features of rival devices, but hopefully, users will be empowered.