Obama had his 'Berry and a Selectra Edge; Trump uses a pair of Apple iPhone handsets

Regardless of your politics, or whether you’re a phone nerd or not, it is interesting to see what handsets are being used by the President of the United States. Back in 2009, a newly inaugurated Barack Obama had a very strong BlackBerry addiction, and worked out a deal with the NSA that allowed him to have a special version of the BlackBerry 8830 World Edition for personal use. For secure calls, he turned to a Windows Mobile phone called the Selectra Edge. Based on the Palm Treo 750, the device was built to survive a four-foot drop on concrete. It also featured secured ports, and plug-in modules …


Chinese panel suppliers now offer near bezel-less panels for high-end to low-end handsets

The China Information Technology Expo recently came to an end, and based on the panels on display by Chinese manufacturers, it seems that all of these firms are working on the so-called modern look. What exactly does that mean? It means that these companies are now rolling out all-screen panels with an aspect ratio of 18:9. From entry-level models sporting a WVGA resolution display (400 x 840) to high-end smartphones, these companies producing glass panels in China are making the change from the 16:9 ratio that was once widely used. The near bezel-less look is driving the move to the taller …

Google AOSP code commit mentions that two Pixel (2018) handsets are in the works

Last month, we showed you part of an AOSP commit that actually mentioned the Google Pixel 3 by name. Now, a report published today reveals a comment in another AOSP code commit that points to the release of two Pixel (2018) handsets this year. That is not surprising since we do expect a Pixel 3 and a Pixel 3 XL to be launched in the second half of 2018. The comment on the website mentions concurrency tests that need to be run on “Pixel 2018 & above devices.”

The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL were unveiled and released last October, so the fact that there are still important AOSP tests to be …

Windows 10 Mobile April 2018 update coming to compatible handsets according to Microsoft

Microsoft’s own support page now includes a bulletin from the software giant that says Windows 10 Mobile powered handsets will be receiving the April 2018 software update. As Microsoft notes on its support page, “Availability may vary by manufacturer, model, country or region, mobile operator or service provider, hardware limitations, and other factors.” While these handsets automatically download and install updates when available, you can try to get it manually by going to Settings > Update & security > Phone update > Check for updates. The version of Windows 10 Mobile that includes …

Apple sells 52.2 million iPhone handsets in fiscal Q2, fails to beat estimates as stock still soars

Apple sold 52.2 million iPhone handsets during the January to March period, which failed to beat Wall Street’s estimate of 52.4 million. The figure was still higher than the 50.8 million units that Apple sold during last year’s fiscal second quarter. Apple CEO Tim Cook, mindful of the rumors about sluggish sales of the iPhone X, said customers “chose iPhone X more than any other iPhone each week in the March quarter.”

Despite Tim Cook’s claim about iPhone X sales, the company reported an Average Selling Price for the iPhone of $728 versus forecasts of $740. That would seem to indicate lower …

FBI arrests Vincent Ramos, CEO of company alleged to have sold custom BlackBerry handsets to gangs

Phantom Secure is a company known for selling customized BlackBerry models. To make the ‘Berry even more secure than it is out of the box, the camera and microphones are removed and secure messages are sent only through private networks. While certain businesses and politicians might have an interest in such a device, it appears that a percentage of Phantom Secure’s business is conducted with gangs, according to a report published on Saturday.

Papers filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California last week, charge Phantom Secure’s founder and CEO Vincent Ramos with …

Google Lens now rolling out to some Android handsets with the Google Photos app installed

Last month, we told you that Google Lens was coming to other Android handsets besides the four Google Pixel series phones. Heck, Google is also going to offer it to the Apple iPhone. Google Lens is a way to see the results of an internet search for the subject of a picture. Or, if you own a flagship model from Samsung, Huawei, LG, Motorola, Sony, and Nokia (HMD Global) with Google Assistant, you can just point your camera at something and learn all about it.

Well, Google used the Google Photos Twitter account today, to announce that it has started rolling out Google Lens to Android handsets …

Refurbished phones are getting a lot of love as the price of new handsets soar

With the pricing of new flagship handsets now firmly planted in four digit territory, it appears that demand for refurbished models is stronger than ever. According to a report in today’s Wall Street Journal, previously owned Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy S smartphones are being purchased by consumers who are getting turned off by the same sticker shock that affects new car buyers. Shipments of new smartphones hit a historic low during the fourth quarter of last year. From October through December 2017, shipments of smartphones actually declined for the first time ever during any three-month …

Old Lumia handsets are on sale now in the Microsoft Store

Looks like Microsoft needed to clear up some space in the company warehouse. How else would you explain the sudden reappearance of Lumia handsets for sale at the Microsoft Store? The specific models on sale include the Lumia 950, Lumia 950 XL, Lumia 550 and Lumia 650. These are unlocked models and shipping is free. The highest spec’d unit is the Lumia 950 XL, which features a 5.7-inch AMOLED display with a 1440 x 2560 QHD resolution, and is powered by the Snapdragon 810 chipset. The 20 MP rear camera features an aperture of f/1.9 and comes with OIS. This phone is available for $499.

At the …

Google previews MWC; expect to see new Android Oreo (Go), Android One handsets

This morning, Google posted a summary of what we can expect to see from the company at the MWC trade show in Barcelona starting this Monday. The first Android handset (sold as the T-Mobile G1 in the U.S.) will celebrate its ten-year anniversary in the fall. Google says that Android now powers more than 2 billion active devices from 1,300 brands. The company credits Android’s openness for much of its success.

At MWC, we should hear about more about the Android Oreo (Go edition), which is a version of the OS designed to work on handsets sporting 1GB or less of RAM. The software was introduced …