IBM recently sold its x86 server business to Lenovo, and that unfortunately has consequences for the company’s workers. The computing pioneer has confirmed to CNET that it’s cutting jobs as it concentrates its efforts on “cloud, analytics and cognitive computing.” While IBM isn’t revealing the scale of the layoffs, a source tells CNET that they include as much as 25 percent of the Systems and Technology division that produces servers. It’s a sad day for those affected by the cuts, but there is a silver lining here. Spokesperson Doug Shelton notes that IBM’s rapidly growing cloud computing and Watson outfits are creating additional jobs of their own — one door is opening as another closes.
The ManDroid has returned after being off for about a week and a half. Been pretty hectic in my real world life, but the ManDroid Show must go on. Play MWC catch up on today’s show, as well as talking about all the Galaxy S5 backlash. You got to love the technology world. Enjoy the show!
Galaxy S5 official
Lenovo announces the S-series
Sony M2 and smartband
Gear Fit announced
Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet
Nokia X, XL, and X+ announced
Qualcomm announces 801 processor
Sony Xperia Z2 announced
If at first you don’t succeed… iterate, iterate, iterate on Android? After signing on Ashton Kutcher as a product engineer — and then going on to release a pair of poorly received tablets — Lenovo is dusting itself off. A marketing executive told Recode that the company is once again teaming up with Mr. Kutcher, this time on a line of special edition smartphones. Unfortunately, details about the devices are scarce for now — all we know is that they’re due out later this year, and that contrary to what you might expect, Kutcher will in fact have a say in the product design. “I know on one level, it sounds corny, but it is real,” chief marketing officer David Roman told Recode. Because these are limited edition phones, we’re going to assume they’ll be sold under the Lenovo brand — not Motorola’s. Still, we’ve asked a Lenovo rep for comment and will let you know if we learn more.
You might say the day is never really done in consumer technology news. Your workday, however, hopefully draws to a close at some point. This is the Daily Roundup on Engadget, a quick peek back at the top headlines for the past 24 hours — all handpicked by the editors here at the site. Click on through the break, and enjoy.
It looks like Ashton Kutcher and Lenovo are ready for round two. A marketing executive told Recode that the dynamic duo are working together again, this time on a line of special edition smartphones.
Between recent issues at Mt. Gox and a request for banishment by a US senator, Bitcoin is awash in controversy. But according to Fed Chair Janet Yellen, the digital currency lies outside of the central banking system and can’t be regulated by the Federal Reserve.
Apple rarely offers discounts on its products, but the company’s new US promo gives Apple TV buyers $25 iTunes credit to jumpstart their media library. Hurry, though, because it ends March 5th.
The March Madness Live app has been on Android and iOS for ages, but now Windows Phone 8 users can join in the fun. The app itself is free, but certain games still require a cable subscription to view.
Filed under: Misc
After Lenovo’s recent purchase, questions immediately arose surrounding Motorola’s planned device launches for 2014. In a Twitter Q&A surrounding the events at Mobile World Congress, the handset maker revealed that the next version of its popular Moto X is coming in “late summer.” Unfortunately, that’s about all the outfit was willing to spill for now, but we’ll be curious to see how things like manufacturing play out in the coming months.
Q from twitter: When is next version of Moto X? A: Keep posted – hint – late summer. #MotoMWC
- Motorola Mobility (@Motorola) February 25, 2014
Via: Android and Me
Q from twitter: When is next version of Moto X? A: Keep posted – hint – late summer. #MotoMWC
— Motorola Mobility (@Motorola) February 25, 2014
” target=”_blank”>Motorola (Twitter)
Motorola isn’t showing off any new devices at Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona this week, but the company made a few announcements in the form of a Q&A on Twitter today.
Among the news was that the successor to its Moto X flagship smartphone is coming this year in ‘late summer.’ Still owned by Google at the time, Motorola released the Moto X in August 2013, so it’s due for a refresher. Motorola said to stay tuned for more details about the upcoming smartphone.
Other news is that it is bringing a smartwatch to market this year that addresses ”consumer issues like style & battery life” and Moto Maker will be rolling out to Western Europe and Mexico in Q2 2014.
It’s sure to be a big year for the now Lenovo-owned company, that’s all we have to say.
The post Moto takes to Twitter for Q&A, Moto X successor coming ‘late summer’ and more appeared first on AndroidGuys.
Shortly after CES 2014 we offered up a review of the Yoga 8 and Yoga 10 tablets from Lenovo. They met and exceeded many of my expectations especially in the look, the feel and the performance department. They offered the many things that a lot of tablets currently on the market didn’t. One of the big wins in my opinion was the built-in kickstand with the dual front facing speakers. Being able to prop it up at will and watch a movie with ease and without needing a second accessory to tote around is great.
There was one disappointment in the Yoga 10, the screen resolution. The Yoga 10 offered the same 1280 x 800 resolution as the 8-inch variety. That resolution looks clean and pretty crisp on the Yoga 8, but it is clearly not enough for the Yoga 10. While movie viewing and basic time killing gaming is just fine, those used to high screen resolutions will immediately be irritated.
Lenovo took that to heart and made a number of changes in the new Yoga 10 HD+. Giving the tablet a much needed boost in a few departments that kept this wonder tablet design out of the hands of more people. The Yoga 10 HD+ Kicks up the screen resolution from the fore mentioned 1280 x 800 to 1920 x 1200. That alone makes me smile, but Lenovo kept pushing a little further. They moved the processor from the MediaTek, to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core at 1.6GHz.
Other Specs that are important to know:
- Android 4.3 at launch with Android 4.4 OTA coming
- 1920 x 1200 20/20 Vision display
- 1.6 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core
- 2 GB RAM
- 178 Degree Viewing Angle
- 16GB or 32GB internal storage options
- Micro SD card support up to 64GB
- Bluetooth 4.0
- 8MP HD+ rear camera 1.6MP front facing camera
- 9000 mAh Battery up to 18hour rating
- Dual front facing speakers
- 10 point multitouch
- USB port supporting on-the-go technology
- 10.28 x 7.09 x (.12 – .32) inches (261 x 180 x (3.0-8.1) millimeters)
- 615 grams
Lenovo really listened and kicked the Yoga 10 HD+ up a notch. It also has a couple great accessories as well, like a Bluetooth Keyboard cover, various colored sleeves and MiraCast Dongle.
Lenovo has also kicked in some “Doit” apps that they have just released and are pre-loaded.
- SHAREit: Rapidly share photos, apps, contacts, music and more with up to 5 devices with direct P2P transmission. Share files 300MBs+ in size. Is 40X faster than Bluetooth.
- SECUREit: Anti-Spam, Anti-Virus, Anti-Theft and device optimization.
- SYNCit: Backup and restore all contacts, SMS,
- SNAPit: New camera app with various effects, one-touch filters and animated GIF creations.
- SEEit: A new photo album app that is clean, intuitive and offers one touch photo editing. It also has facial recognition.
The new Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ will become available for purchase in April with a retail price tag of just $349.
Continuing on the coverage from Mobile World Congress, we have a new set of Android powered smartphones from Lenovo. Yesterday they released the news about the new Yoga 10HD tablet, which we haven’t yet talked about, but will. The S series phones have been around for quite some time, and every year the line gets a boost. This year we have the S860, S850 and S660. Each offers something unique and different.
The Lenovo S860
Classified as the All-Day, Uninterrupted usage device, it really has some stand out details. The exterior is brushed metal and houses a 5.3-inch HD screen. It features a MediaTek Quad-Core processor and 2GB of RAM. The impressive factors come in with 40 days of standby time mixed with 24 hours talk time on 3G. Plus it can charge another device using the included USB cable.
More Detailed Specs:
- 5.3-inch 1280 x 720 IPS display
- Dual-Front facing speakers
- 1.3 GHz MediaTek quad-core processor
- 2GB RAM
- 16GB on board storage
- On the go charging of other devices
- 4000 mAh battery
The Lenovo S850
The S850 is more so the classy mix of design and function. It comes in white or pink and has an all glass exterior. It sticks with the quad-core MediaTek processor and the screen jumps down to 5-inches. It has a 13MP camera on the back and a 5MP camera on the front.
More Detailed Specs:
- 5-inch 1280 x 720 IPS display
- 1GB RAM
- 1.3GHz MediaTek Quad-Core Processor
- 16GB on board storage
- FM reciever
- 2000 mAh battery
The Lenovo S660
This one is more aimed at the budget friendly crowd who needs some performance but not all the insanity. The S660 features a 4.7-inch screen, brushed metal design, all-day battery with a 32GB memory card slot.
More Detailed Specs:
- 4.7-inch 960 x 540 IPS display
- 1GB RAM
- 1.3GHz quad-Core MediaTek processor
- 3000 mAh battery (replaceable)
All three will launch with Android 4.2 on board, offer dual-sim capabilities and the wide angle front facing camera lens. Price tags look pretty good too. The S860 will be $349, the S850 will be $269 and the S660 will be $229. Of course they will be available in select markets and via Lenovo.com.
It may be too soon to be seeing devices coming out of Lenovo’s acquisition of Motorola, but today Lenovo announced three new devices at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the S860, S850 and S660 smartphones.
All three of these are said to combine “sleek design elements with quad-core performance” and longer battery life. The S-series devices run quad-core MTK processors and Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, and have dual SIM capability.
As for the individual features of each smartphone, encased in a brushed metal exterior, the S860 sports a 5.3-inch “HD ” display, 2 GB RAM, standby time of up to 40 days and talk time of up to 24 hours on 3G connections, plus the high-capacity battery even allows users to charge their other devices on-the go through an included micro USB cable.
The S850 is “thin and lightweight” and completely encased in glass. This smartphone features a “5-inch screen,” 13 MP rear-facing camera and 5 MP front-facing camera.
Lenovo’s most compact device, and I say that lightly, is the S660. This smartphone, which is encased in brushed metal, features a 4.7-inch display, “long battery life,” a comfortable fingerprint and scratch resistant rear cover and storage expandable up to a 32 GB microSD card.
The S860, S850 and S660 start at $349, $269 and $229, respectively, and will be available in select markets starting in June.
via Business Wire
You don’t need to cast bones or read entrails to know that smartphones arrive in predictable cycles. February, home of Mobile World Congress, is likely to see the launch of new handsets from heavy hitters like HTC, Samsung and LG. Those new flagships will rule the mobile hill until the fall, when Apple and Google are likely to wheel out next-gen devices of their own. Sony, meanwhile, recently launched its latest handset, the Z1 Compact, which reverses the “bigger is better” trend to great effect.
There may have only been one top-tier phone launching in January, but the phone industry has hardly been hibernating this winter. Two years after Google bought Motorola for $12.5 billion, it sold the rejuvenated handset maker to Lenovo. AT&T, meanwhile, has rejigged its mobile share plans to shrink your monthly data bill; T-Mobile will now pay you to leave your carrier; and we’re inching ever closer to a Sprint/T-Mobile merger, the FCC permitting. If you’re already on the hunt for a new smartphone, or your deal’s only for a few more months left and you like to be prepared, this is your guide to the best handsets on the market.
HTC’s 2013-era flagship is due for a revamp, and we’re certain that the gods of irony will ensure that, as soon as we’ve published this guide, the smartphone currently codenamed as “M8″ will officially arrive. In the meantime, however, the HTC One remains a handset that we’re happy to recommend. Combining jaw-dropping unibody aluminum design, powerful BoomSound speakers and an IR blaster, it’s as at home in front of your TV as on the road. The quick performance and general polish of both hardware and software mean that it hasn’t shown its age, and the UltraPixel camera is perfect for low-light shooting. Hopefully the arrival of the One’s replacement will help knock the price down, so we’d suggest keeping your eyes peeled for a bargain in the next few weeks.
Bottom line: Good hardware, good software and some innovative little touches put the HTC One ahead of the Android pack, even though it’s now several months older than many of the other phones on this list.
Key specs: 4.7-inch 1080p (1,920 x 1,080) S-LCD 3 display, 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600, 4MP rear/2.1MP front cameras, 32GB/64GB non-expandable storage, Android 4.2 (US, to be updated shortly)/Android 4.3 (global edition).
Price: $50 (Verizon), $100 (Sprint) from Amazon and Best Buy or $200 (AT&T)
Since our last guide, the Motorola Moto X went on sale in Europe as an off-the-shelf retail option, and the company went from being Google’s plaything to becoming part of Lenovo. The news of the purchase shouldn’t distract you, however, as the handset is still reasonably new, with much to recommend it. In the US, customization is the name of the game, with the ability to choose colors on the front, back and accent pieces. There’s even an optional wood finish. It may not appeal to those who judge a phone’s performance on its spec sheet, but Motorola (and Google) worked hard to ensure there are some neat tricks under the hood. For example, you just need to say “OK Google” at the device for it to activate and offer up its voice search prowess. Then there’s the Active Display, which will show you your notifications if it feels you holding the handset toward your face.
Bottom line: Rather than cramming in ultra-fast internals, Motorola’s tried to make the phone especially intuitive to use, with Active Display and touchless controls. Oh, and it’s assembled in the USA, which might tug at your patriotic heartstrings.
Key specs: 4.7-inch (1,280 x 720) AMOLED display, 1.7GHz dual-core Qualcomm MSM8960 Pro, 10MP rear/2MP front cameras, 16GB or 32GB non-expandable storage, Android 4.2.2 (upgradeable to 4.4 KitKat).
Price: $50 (AT&T, Verizon) from Amazon and Best Buy, $100 (Sprint) or $330 (unlocked)
When Samsung presented the idea of a smartphone with a display larger than five inches, we were more than a little skeptical. The Galaxy Note’s surprise success, however, has forged a trend where colossal devices are now the rule, not the exception. For the Galaxy Note 3, Samsung took everything we loved about its predecessors and turned them up to 11. Instead of mildly useful note-taking, the company has ensured that the S Pen stylus now serves a deeper purpose. It also offers whip-smart performance and a battery that’ll last close to two days with normal usage. The only downside is that you’ll still look a bit silly using one as a phone, but let’s be honest: Who uses their smartphones to make calls anymore, eh?
Bottom line: The third-generation Note is an improvement over its predecessors thanks to a more useful stylus and a longer-lasting battery.
Key specs: 5.7-inch (1,920 x 1,080) Super AMOLED display, 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800, 13MP rear/2MP front cameras, 16GB/32GB/64GB expandable storage, Android 4.3.
Price: $300 (AT&T, Verizon) from Amazon and Best Buy, $350 (Sprint) or $708 (T-Mobile)
When Google picked LG to produce the Nexus 4, heads and eyebrows were raised, but when it launched, no one could doubt that the duo had pulled off something special. For the Nexus 5, Google raised the price to $349, but for a little extra cash, you’re getting one of the finest flagships for a mid-range price. Since it’s a Nexus device, users are entitled to the latest and greatest version of Android whenever it’s out. And, despite the low price, you’re getting speedy internals and good-quality hardware. Just be prepared for some weak battery life and poor roaming options. Otherwise, we suggest you buy it contract-free, with just a prepaid SIM plan, and don’t look back. Your wallet will thank you for it.
Bottom line: We’re baffled as to why more people don’t just buy Nexus phones over all others. After all, you’re getting a flagship smartphone for $350.
Key specs: 4.95-inch (1,920 x 1,080) IPS LCD display, 2.26GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800, 8MP rear/1.3MP front cameras, 16GB/32GB non-expandable storage, Android 4.4.
Price: $100 (Sprint) from Best Buy, $349 to $399 (unlocked) or $396 (T-Mobile)
We’ve noted that a lot of Android device makers like to release a handset, like the Galaxy S 4, and then release a smaller, more pocket-friendly version shortly afterward. Unfortunately, cramming the same technology down into a tighter package causes a raft of compromises, sending prospective buyers scurrying back to the full-size edition. Sony, however, decided that it would try and produce the Xperia Z1 Compact, a shrunken down, 4.3-inch version of the original Xperia Z1, which has a 5-inch screen. The only differences of note are that the display now has 720p resolution, instead of 1080p, and the battery capacity has dropped by 700mAh due to the hardware’s reduced dimensions. If you’re interested in a top-tier waterproof smartphone, but don’t fancy carrying around a device that can double as a table tennis bat, the Z1 Compact is absolutely worth investigating.
Bottom line: Sony’s struggled to sell its Xperia handsets in the past, but this one deserves to be a hit, thanks to its 20.7-megapixel camera, great build quality and blistering performance. Oh, and it’s waterproof, so if you like dunking your phone in your friend’s drinks, this one’s for you.
Key specs: 4.3-inch (1,280 x 720) Triluminos LCD display, 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800, 20.7MP rear/2MP front cameras, 16GB expandable storage, Android 4.3.
Price: $625.50 to $689.50 (unlocked, from Negri Electronics)
The partnership between Motorola and Google may have only produced two handsets, but the ones we got were special. Aimed squarely at the lower end of the market, the Moto G is the rare beast that doesn’t feel like it costs just $180. It can beat the HTC One mini and Galaxy S4 Mini in the benchmark stakes; it features a solid camera; and the 4.5-inch display is actually quite fantastic. If you’re not dead-set on LTE or carrying around a big music collection, but want a quick and up-to-date Android smartphone, then this is the device you should be ordering.
Bottom line: If you want a Google handset, but can’t stretch to a Nexus 5, then the Moto G is your next best option. There’s no LTE, no expandable storage and the camera’s just OK, but for this price, who cares?
Key specs: 4.5-inch (1,280 x 720) IPS LCD display, 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400, 5MP rear/1.3MP front cameras, 8GB/16GB non-expandable storage, Android 4.3 (Android 4.4 KitKat on Google Play edition).
Price: $100 (Verizon), $80 (US Cellular), $130 (Boost) or $179 to $199 (GSM, unlocked) from Amazon
You know the deal by now. Apple’s flagship iPhone 5s is the best iPhone ever made, thanks to improvements both inside and outside. Though it remains dwarfed in size by many rival phones, it benefits from Touch ID, an easy-to-use fingerprint scanner built right into the home button. Then there’s the future-proof A7 chip, which offers fast 64-bit performance. Add in iOS 7, with its stark new design, and you’ve got a seventh-generation iPhone that still manages to look and feel new.
Bottom line: The best iPhone yet, and among the top smartphones, period. However, if you already own an iPhone 5, you’re probably better off waiting for the 6, as nothing here really justifies the early upgrade fee.
Key specs: 4-inch (1,136 x 640) IPS Retina display, Touch ID, A7 chip with M7 motion coprocessor, 8MP rear/1.2MP front cameras, 16GB/32GB/64GB non-expandable storage, iOS 7.
Price: $199 to $399 (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint) from Best Buy or $649 to $848 (T-Mobile)
Apple’s middle child is the iPhone 5c, which is basically 2012′s iPhone 5 with a plastic shell. That switch means you’ll now be able to buy the phone in a variety of bright, Lumia-esque colors, but in every other respect, it’s the same phone that came out in 2012. So, you’ll sacrifice the headline-grabbing features you’d otherwise get with the 5s, like the aluminum shell and fingerprint recognition, but if your wallet won’t stretch the extra $100 to get the higher-end model, this is a fine choice.
Bottom line: For $100 less than the iPhone 5s, it’s 2012′s best phone in a choice of fun colors.
Key specs: 4-inch (1,136 x 640) IPS Retina display, 1.3GHz dual-core A6, 8MP rear/1.2MP front cameras, 16GB/32GB non-expandable storage, iOS 7.
Price: $99 to $199 (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint) from Best Buy or $549 to $649 (unlocked or on T-Mobile)
It’s a testament to the iPhone 4s that Apple can still sell it as an entry-level device more than two years after it first went on sale. Of course, it’s missing a few key specs that early adopters will be lusting after — namely, it rocks a smaller 3.5-inch display, and makes do with a slower chip and 3G-only data. That said, it still has a fantastic camera and that 3.5-inch display is at least Retina-quality. More importantly, the phone will still run iOS 7, so you won’t feel too behind your friends on more modern hardware. Of course, you’re not eligible for every new iOS feature, and there’s no guarantee your handset will be supported in a year’s time. Still, for a free-on-contract offering, it’s tremendously compelling.
Bottom line: Despite being more than two years old, the iPhone 4s can still hold its own with brand-new budget models from its rivals — and it’s a steal if you can get it for free. Speed freaks and LTE fans won’t be interested, but it’ll beat plenty of other smartphones you can get for nothing.
Key specs: 3.5-inch (960 x 640) IPS Retina display, 1GHz A5, 8MP rear/VGA front cameras, 8GB non-expandable storage, iOS 7.
Price: Free (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint) or $450 (unlocked on T-Mobile)
A handset that exists in the corridor of uncertainty between a phone and a tablet, Nokia’s Lumia 1520 is the company’s first attempt at a 6-inch device to rival the Galaxy Note. With the first 1080p display on a Windows Phone device, as well as a Snapdragon 800 processor, the 1520 offers plenty to love. Pairing this massive device with a 20-megapixel PureView module puts most other devices to shame, and it’s even reasonably comfortable in a pocket — assuming you’re not wearing skinny jeans, anyway. If you’re a Verizon customer and feel left out, then the Icon, which combines similar internals with a 5-inch display, could be right up your street.
Bottom line: It’s too early to tell if Windows Phone 8 will flourish on a massive device that sits between a fully fledged tablet and a smartphone, but nonetheless, this stands as the best Windows Phone device we’ve ever seen.
Key specs: 6-inch (1,920 x 1,080) IPS LCD display, 2.2GHz Snapdragon 800, 20MP rear/1.2MP front cameras, 16/32GB expandable storage, Windows Phone 8.
Price: $150 (AT&T) from Amazon and Best Buy or $750 (unlocked)
When Nokia announced the “experimental” 808 PureView, it set the hearts of gadget fiends afire. The device came with a 41-megapixel sensor and some clever number-crunching that gave your photos much greater depth and clarity. Best of all, you could even zoom into them to a much greater level, finally bringing a CSI-style “enhance” to your images. The common consensus was that as soon as Nokia could put that 41-megapixel sensor onto a regular Windows Phone device, people would start paying attention to the platform. Well, that phone has arrived: The Lumia 1020 combines staggering imaging technology with Windows Phone’s user-friendly interface. Moreover, now that Microsoft and Nokia are filling the holes in Windows Phone’s app catalog, a flagship like the 1020 is more appealing than ever.
Bottom line: If you want to take amazing images with a smartphone, this is the device you need.
Key specs: 4.5-inch WXGA (1,280 x 768) PureMotion HD+ AMOLED display, 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 Plus, 41MP rear/1.2MP front cameras, 32GB non-expandable storage, Windows Phone 8.
Price: $50-$100 (AT&T) from Amazon and Best Buy
When it comes to Windows Phone devices, Nokia’s (and Microsoft’s) strategy has been easy to understand, if a bit scattergun. Produce a high-powered phone, and then whittle out features to produce sequentially cheaper versions from the 925 all the way down to the 520. The company adopted a similar approach to 6-inch units, with the 1520 acting as the “flagship,” and the 1320 being a cheaper, lower-powered version for the masses. It keeps the large display and battery, but ditches the PureView camera, large internal storage and high-power internals. That said, if you’re actively seeking out a phone/tablet hybrid, but aren’t thrilled at spending the thick end of $800, this is probably your first port of call.
Bottom line: Despite its size, this 6-inch device isn’t an all-powerful phablet — it’s more like the Lumia 620 after a bout of elephantiasis. If you want a big phone without a big price tag, however, this is probably where you’ll end up.
Key specs: 6-inch (1,280 x 720) ClearBlack LCD display, 1.7Ghz dual-core Snapdragon 400, 5MP rear/VGA front cameras, 8GB expandable storage, Windows Phone 8.
Price: $390 (unlocked, from Amazon)
Nokia’s Lumia 520 (and 521) are the Windows Phone handsets that lurk at the very bottom of the company’s bargain basement. In fact, this handset is so cheap, it’s often handed out as a sweetener when you buy other Microsoft products. The price, combined with the user-friendliness of Windows Phone 8, makes it a pretty easy purchase for smartphone virgins. On the downside, the handset doesn’t have much going for it in the spec department — with a weak display, OK-ish camera and a short battery life. If, however, the purse strings are tight and you’re only browsing Twitter, then this is a reasonably safe bet.
Bottom line: It’s cheap to the point of being free, and while it may not be the greatest phone out there, Nokia has always known how to knock out a solid device for those on a budget. Take advantage of the right deal, and you’ll even be able to grab one of these for free as a party favor.
Key specs: 4-inch (800 x 480) IPS LCD, 1GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 Plus, 5MP rear camera, 8GB expandable storage, Windows Phone 8.
Price: $29 (521, Metro PCS), $100 (520, AT&T) or $126 (521, T-Mobile) from Amazon
The Z30 is, in our opinion, the best BlackBerry 10 device on the market. Thanks to the handset’s 5-inch display, BB10 suddenly feels much more comfortable than on the cramped Z10, and while it’s still just a year old, the operating system at least feels mature now. Then there’s the battery, which lasts more than a full day with intermittent usage and nearly 13 hours with nonstop use. Thankfully, the company has now moved to address the weak app selection — BB10 will now install and run plenty of Android apps at the push of a button. If you’re dead set on buying a touchscreen BlackBerry, this is the one that we’d recommend.
Bottom line: We doubt BlackBerry virgins will find anything to convince them to buy this device, but enthusiasts will find plenty to like. The bigger display and better internals make for a more comfortable experience, but beware that the usual BlackBerry issues remain.
Key specs: 5-inch (1,280 x 720) Super AMOLED display, dual-core 1.7 GHz Qualcomm MSM8960T Pro, 8MP rear/2MP front cameras, 16GB expandable storage, BlackBerry OS 10.2.
Who can count themselves among BlackBerry devotees? Security fans and those for whom only a real QWERTY input will do. The Q10 is the only BlackBerry 10 device with a keyboard that’s worth getting. Combining BlackBerry 10′s beefy operating system with smooth, but imperfect performance, the real star of the show here is that comfortable and easy-to-use QWERTY layout. If you’re eyeing the Q5, we’d suggest saving up a little more cash and going for its bigger brother; you’ll get a significantly better handset for the money.
Bottom line: In a world where the physical keyboard is an endangered species, the Q10 is the only place you can turn to, so be glad that it’s got the best of the old Bolds with a modern spin.
Key specs: 3.1-inch (720 x 720) Super AMOLED display, 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon MSM8960, 8MP rear/2MP front cameras, 16GB expandable storage, BlackBerry OS 10.
Price: Free (AT&T) from Amazon, $50 (Verizon), $150 (Sprint) or $500 (unlocked)
Please note, all prices are contract unless otherwise stated. T-Mobile pricing is for full handset cost rather than subsidized.