The modular capabilities of the Moto Z range set it apart from most mobile devices on the market at the moment. And this week saw Motorola announce its latest augmentations, with the involvement of third party firms helping to bolster its capabilities.
Firstly, there is the Juice Pack from established smartphone peripheral manufacturer, Mophie, which provides a 60 per cent boost to the Moto Z’s battery life and can either be charged in tandem with the onboard cell, or receive power separately.
Secondly, the Incipio Vehicle Dock is available for people who want to make the most of their Android handset when they get behind the wheel of their car. It not only makes it easier to mount the device on the dash, but also helps to synchronise the Moto Z with the vehicle’s infotainment system, so long as there is compatible hardware onboard.
The transformative properties of Motorola’s current flagship range are certainly intriguing, if not quite enough to make it a clear frontrunner in the market at the moment. As long as it keeps introducing new add-ons, it may build momentum for these devices and encourage other manufacturers to follow suit.
Chinese social networking platform, Weibo, has played host to a series of images which appear to show the new BlackBerry Mercury, also known as the DTEK70, in some detail.
The device is set to run the Android operating system, but like traditional BlackBerry smartphones it will come with a physical QWERTY keypad.
Insiders believe that it will be launched in the first half of 2017 and could well be the final ever BlackBerry to come with a keyboard, since this design has long since faded out of popularity.
In terms of specifications, the phone will pack a modern multicore chipset from Qualcomm clocked at 2.0GHz, a solid 3GB of RAM and standard storage space of 32GB, according to GSM Arena.
The presence of the keyboard means that the display will have a 3:2 aspect ratio, setting it apart from the usual widescreen setup that most modern mobiles adopt.
Fans of BlackBerry have always argued that a physical keyboard makes it easier to type quickly and with greater accuracy. But improvements to autocorrect have meant that typing on a touchscreen is hardly a chore and as a result, the Mercury could appeal to a fairly small niche in the marke
While Samsung may have been forced to discontinue the Note 7 phablet after the battery debacle, Chinese manufacturer, Meizu, has stepped in to fill the gap in the market left by its exit with a handset known as the Pro 6.
It has very similar hardware components to the defunct Note 7, including the Exynos 8890 processor, a 5.7 inch AMOLED display and a healthy 4GB chunk of RAM. It even has extras like a fingerprint scanner built in, although it lacks the stylus of its Samsung counterpart.
Those concerned about whether the Pro 6 will suffer the same explosive battery problems as the Note 7 will be pleased to see that it actually has a slightly smaller cell, presumably indicating that it comes from a different source.
This may be an Android device, but the exterior styling is very similar to that of the current iPhone 7 range, so it stands out from the Note 7 in this way.
Meizu will be selling the Pro 6 to British buyers online, although its pricing has yet to be confirmed. This company is looking to capitalise on the failure of the Note 7 and could win a small but significant slice of the market as a result.
The first new Nokia phones since the Finnish brand was discontinued by Microsoft are set to hit the market next year, with insiders expecting to see a pair of high end Android-powered devices arriving at Mobile World Congress 2017 ahead of a Q2 release.
Nokia itself is not going to be manufacturing the handsets but has, instead, sold the rights to build smartphones bearing its brand to fellow Finnish firm, HMD. Furthermore, with a marketing budget of close to half a billion pounds signed off, the return of Nokia-badged phones will be heralded far and wide.
The technical specs of the expected flagship devices remain a mystery, but they should run the latest version of Android and feature components that are powerful enough to make them competitive with other front-running phones, according to the Telegraph.
Nokia’s deal with HMD is set to last for at least a decade, showing that both firms have long term ambitions. And while Nokia struggled to find its footing in the wake of the arrival of the modern smartphone age, it still has an excellent brand reputation and strong identity which should stand it in good stead for its return to the fray.
Although companies like Huawei and OnePlus may be earning more headlines for their cost-conscious, powerful devices, there is still a lot to be said for fellow Chinese manufacturer, ZTE. Its Axon 7 is an already impressive device, but this week it has announced some fairly significant upgrades which have been added to it.
Crucially, the onboard storage has been bumped up to 128GB, which is more than enough for tens of thousands of photos, videos, music files and apps to sit comfortably onboard. There is also more RAM, with 6GB included rather than the 4GB that came with the original edition of this handset.
With a 5.5 inch display that packs a QHD resolution and a stylish alloy frame, the Axon 7 is a good looking, powerful device which can give high end handsets a run for their money. The Snapdragon 820 chipset may no longer be at the cutting edge, but it is more than adequately powerful here.
The Axon 7 even goes one better than the OnePlus 3T by including a microSD card slot, meaning there are no storage constraints here, freeing up users to add extra space if they need it.