Essential Phone is among the first to receive the February security patch

Google released the February security patch yesterday, so supported Nexus and Pixel devices were the first to receive the update. Today, Essential announced its smartphone is getting a similar security update right now.

The software update is known as build NMK24B and, according to Essential, is being rolled out in OTA (over the air) as we speak. Despite the fact that Essential has been delaying the release of Android Oreo for weeks, the US company is keeping its customers up to date with the latest security improvements.

In case you missed it, Essential Phone won’t be getting an …


T-Mobile user gets separated from his bitcoins, sues for carrier negligence in a phone number heist

The ongoing identity theft fraud, where scammers get a hold on your personal details, including your phone number, and try to access bank and other payment accounts you might have connected to it, has resulted in at least one lawsuit so far. One Carlos Tapang of Washington state is now blaming T-Mobile that it has “improperly allowed wrongdoers to access” his wireless account, ultimately resulting in a drain of his cryptocurrency stash after initiating a password change request.

The scam has been around for a few months already, and carriers have put warnings in their support …

Phone shipments mark 'the biggest annual fall' on record, expensive flagships to blame

Buried in the latest industry reports that witnessed quite a few movers and shakers, is the fact that Q4 actually saw the largest quarterly drop on record in smartphone shipments. That’s right, research firm Strategy Analytics showed that shipments were 9% down in Q4 2017, compared to 2016, or “the biggest annual fall in smartphone history.”
The culprits? Longer upgrade cycles, particularly in China, due to midrangers becoming “good enough,” while average selling prices for flagships are getting ever higher with no “wow” factors attached to their ballooning costs. …

The company behind the Turing Phone files for bankruptcy

It appears that Finnish company Turing Robotics is in deep financial troubles if we are to believe the latest reports coming from Finland. After announcing a $1 billion deal with Potevio, a company owned by the Chinese state, for the distribution of the Turing Phone in the biggest smartphone market, TRI (Turing Robotics Industries) has now filed for bankruptcy.

A Finnish newspaper reports creditors have filed a claim with the company in 2017 and all movable property belonging to the company has already been seized.

Although everyone hoped TRI will start to deliver the Turing Phone …

Latest BBM update is out of beta, ready to be installed on your iOS or Android phone

BBM used to be one of the only reasons to buy a BlackBerry. So when CEO John Chen decided to open up the messaging app to iOS and Android users, the executive was taking a big risk. Remember, this was before the release of the BlackBerry Priv, the first ‘Berry to be powered by Android. But Chen wasn’t too concerned with losing hardware sales because he was already looking at BlackBerry as a software company.

He knew he was on the right track when Facebook paid $21.8 billion to buy WhatsApp. If the latter was worth almost $22 billion, Chen reasoned that BBM had to be worth a few billion. …

Razer Phone Gold Edition is now available for a limited time

The claim to fame for the Razer Phone is its zippy 120Hz refresh rate, and the two loud speakers that adorn the front of the handset. Now, a limited edition of the gaming phone is available with some minor changes. The main difference with the Razer Phone Gold Edition is with the logo on back, which is in gold for this variant of the handset. In addition, the unit is placed inside a new red-colored box, and is offered in the U.S. and Hong Kong to celebrate the Chinese Spring Festival.

In case it slipped your mind, the Razer Phone features a 5.7-inch LCD screen and a resolution of 1440 x …

Move over, Apple and Samsung, the world has a new largest phone maker

Apple has seemingly dethroned Samsung for the title of the world’s largest smartphone maker in Q4, selling 77.3 million iPhones, against Samsung’s 74.4 million handsets. Granted, Samsung made about $30 of net profit per handset, while Apple makes $200+, but when it comes to topping the market share charts, it’s been a fight between these two last year, followed by the rise of Huawei.

For the first time in a while, however, we have a new company that can be called the world’s largest phone maker, and it’s neither Apple, nor Samsung, but the BBK Group. The Chinese conglomerate …

Some T-Mobile users find their voicemail transcribed on Google's Phone app

Some T-Mobile users are finding written transcriptions of their voicemail messages produced by Google. These are showing up in the Google Phone app in the visual voicemail tab. One T-Mobile subscriber received a message from Google in his visual voicemail tab. The message read, “See and listen to your messages, without having to call voicemail. Transcripts of your voicemail are provided by Google’s free transcription service.”

It does appear that this feature is just beginning to rollout to T-Mobile subscribers. A few customers of the nation’s third largest carrier who have received the …

Remembering the Motorola ATRIX 4G, the phone that was too ahead of its time


Coming back from covering this most recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, I’ve been reminiscing about past shows – about how mobile used to have stronger presence. In the last several years, however, that hasn’t been the case at all! Nowadays, most companies reserve their major flagship announcements for Mobile World Congress, which makes perfect sense when you consider it’s THE showcase event for mobile.

Going back to this most recent CES, checking out Razer’s Project Linda concept made old memories rush back into my mind. For those of you that are unaware, Project Linda is …

Update to Razer Phone includes improvements to the cameras, Netflix HDR and more

The Razer Phone has received an update weighing in at 249MB that makes it the best smartphone for Netflix-addicted streamers. The update brings Netflix HDR to the handset, which is the only phone in the world to support it. Combined with the phone’s zippy refresh rate of 120Hz and the Dolby 5.1 audio playback for Netflix that is part of the update, the Razer Phone is a binge watcher’s best mobile friend.

The update also helps fix the cameras on the phone, including the 12MP and 13MP dual camera setup on back (f/1.8 and f/.2.6, respectively). Make sure that you go to the Google Play Store …