Skip to content

Archive for


Best battery cases for iPhone 6S: Make your Apple device last longer

There are numerous cases available to help protect your Apple iPhone 6S from the official options to ones that are a little more exciting. We have rounded up some of our favourites in our best iPhone 6S cases feature.

This feature however, is all about the cases that help make your iPhone 6S last that little bit longer. If you have ever run out of battery on the train home, as you were waiting for that all-important phone call or in general when all you wanted to do was browse Facebook and Twitter, keep reading.

We have rounded up a few of the battery cases we have found for the iPhone 6S that will not only protect your device from bumps and knocks, but also give it a little extra juice when it feels like giving up.

All the cases within the gallery add some extra bulk to the super slim smartphone so be prepared for that, but they will also make sure the train journey home after a long night is one with your phone fully functioning and some are slimmer than you’d expect.

We will update this feature as more battery cases catch our eye so keep checking back but for now, head to the gallery to see which battery case might be the one for you.

Click here to see the best battery cases for the iPhone 6S


Asus Zenfone 3, Zenfone Deluxe and Zenfone Ultra preview: Three-way attack on phone market

Asus has stealthily been building up quite the smartphone following over the past two years since it launched the Zenfone series.

According to the company, the Zenfone and Zenfone 2 have hit user rates of 30 million in 30 markets. The launch of the new Zenfone 3 series, with great specs and some seriously handsome variations, looks like it could push those numbers up higher still.

Getting down to business, the main models are the Asus Zenfone 3, the mammoth Zenfone Ultra and the aptly named flagship model, the Zenfone Deluxe.

Asus Zenfone Deluxe: Details and specs

Let’s start off with the Deluxe. We could talk about the 5.7-inch Full HD Super AMOLED display. with Gorilla Glass 4 and its higher than 100 per cent colour gamut, but we know that what will really attract people is the whopping 23-megapixel camera. The results on display on the Computex show floor looked pretty impressive.


Asus Zenfone Deluxe

The latest Sony IMX318 image sensor, plus ASUS TriTech autofocus system allow the camera to retain focus on moving objects at a rate of 0.03 seconds and, combined with the 3-axis EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization), you are going to get some seriously good and steady 4K UHD video action. There’s also a front facing 8-megapixel camera, to boot.

There’s a fingerprint sensor on the rear, doing away with the need for pesky lock codes and making the deluxe snoop-proof. You can also swipe it to summon up the selfie camera then tap it to take the shot, which is quite an elegant solution for those who like to enjoy a seamless bit of pose and shoot. Should you get a call mid-pose you can double tap the sensor to answer.

The scanner also allows for the storage of up to five individual prints which you can then use to launch specific apps which seems quite nifty.

Asus claims its 5-way magnet speaker system, which features on the Zenphone 3 too, offers sound “four times better quality than a CD”, thanks to with 24-bit/192kHz playback. That’s impressive for a mobile.

The unibody all metal chassis is comfortable to hold in the hand due to its curved design. This leads to a reassuringly secure hold too. The Deluxe is just 4.22mm thick with slim 1.3mm bezels giving a 79 per cent screen to body ratio. The bezels feature Asus’ spun metal finish and are quite the feature in their own right.

The Deluxe comes in a choice of Titanium Grey, Glacier Silver or Sand Gold and boy do those handsets shine.

It can be spec’ed with up to 6GB of RAM, 256GB storage and interestingly runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, marking the apparent bowing out of long term Asus partner Intel in the mobile category.

The USB-C connection allows for extremely rapid charging of the 3000mah battery. Asus puts it at 60 per cent charge in just 39 minutes and up to 10 times faster data transfer. For those that need to run a second SIM card, the microSD card slot can alternatively hold a nano SIM – this is a feature across all three models.

Asus Zefone 3: Details and specs

Onto the Zenfone 3. This is a tidy piece. Again, it fits nicely in the hand and feels secure and comfortable. The screen features a 5.5-inch FHD Super IPS+ display with 500 nits of brightness, suggesting readability outdoors will be excellent. It certainly looked bright enough on the show floor.


Asus Zenfone 3

The fingerprint sensor can be found on the home button and has the same capabilities as the sister phones’ version. The rear camera on the Zenfone 3 is 16-megapixel, but has the same OIS and EIS capabilities as the Deluxe and 4K video recording capabilities. The front 8-megapixel camera is exactly the same as the one on the Deluxe.

In terms of memory, the Zenphone 3 has up to 4GB RAM and up to 64GB of storage, and it’s running on the less powerful octa-core Snapdragon 625. Both the Zenfone 3 and the Deluxe have a 3,000mAh battery, but the Zenfone 3 lacks the quick charge capability.

The Zenphone 3 comes in four colour choices – Shimmer Gold, Aqua Blue, Sapphire Black, and Moonlight White. For the real lookers though, check out the Artisan Series editions. From the snazzy sparkly Nebula to the three interpretations of water these would be sure to catch the eye and would put paid to any ideas you might have about hiding them away under a generic cover. Word is that these editions will also be available for the Deluxe models too.


Asus Zenfone 3: Artisan Series

But now for the real star of the series, the aptly named Zenfone Ultra.

Asus Zenfone Ultra: Details and specs

At first glance and in the hand, the Zenphone Ultra seems unnecessarily large and unwieldy for a phone. But that’s the mindset behind the Ultra. It’s designed for people who don’t make calls. After all, it has a 6.8-inch Full HD display.

If you think this sounds odd, Asus contends that 20 per cent of people in the UK don’t make a single call in a month, preferring to use IM services instead. In fact, phone calls are only the sixth most used scenario, with web-browsing, music, games, videos and messaging taking the top five spots.


Asus Zenfone Ultra

And once you put on a video everything falls into place. The audio on the Ultra is absolutely fantastic.

We watched a quick extract from The Martian and it was mind blowing – the 7.1 surround sound with DTS transports you to home cinema levels of enjoyment. The 4K-TV grade optimisation completes the picture and both of these would be thoroughly wasted on a smaller display.

We immediately moved onto listening to some full on bass-heavy music. Again, outstanding. If you are fond of watching movies or listening to music on your phone – in which case you will likely already have some kickass headphones – then this could very well be the phone for you.

The Ultra is uniformly 6.8mm thick with slim bezels of 2.4mm (a 79 per cent screen to body ratio) and that aforementioned 6.8-inch FHD IPS display. It offers the same camera specifications as the Deluxe with 23-megapixel rear and 8-megapixel snapper on the front. It’s also running on an octa-core Snapdragon 652 but the GPU is bigger than the Zenfone 3, presumably to accommodate the 4K capability.

The Zenphone Ultra has a whopping 4,600 mAh battery – which you’re going to need if you’re devouring video on your device – and Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 although no info was proffered for charge times. You can also jump start another phone with the powerbank mode that permits three times faster reverse charging.

The Ultra is clearly intended as a personal mobile entertainment device and we look forward to getting our hands on it so we can see how that battery holds up in real life.

So what will these pretty models set you back? The Zenfone Deluxe is set at the $499 (around £340) mark for the 6GB/64GB model, the Zenfone 3 with 3GB /32GB starts at $249 (£170) and the lowest spec Zenfone Ultra starts at $479, or around £330 pounds. Release dates for the UK were not available but we’ll be sure to keep you in the loop.


First look of a Nintendo NX game: Watch the Rise – Race the Future teaser

Developer VD-dev Games has been creating titles for handhelds for many years, but seldom for home consoles or PC. Now it’s unveiled its next major project, driving game Rise: Race the Future, and it’s confirmed as coming to the Nintendo NX – possibly the first third-party to do so.

You can watch the teaser trailer below for what looks to be a sleek racing title. At the end of the video you’ll see logos for all major formats, pretty much, including the Nintendo NX.

Some would see the existence of a logo exciting in itself. It’s worth remembering though that Nintendo claims “NX” is just a codename, it could well change before the full release console is formally unveiled later this year.

VD-dev Games

Nonetheless, it’s great to see that it’ll be supported from the off. Let’s hope the major publishers also follow suit.

READ: E3 2016: All the launches, games and consoles to expect

Nintendo Wii U owners will also be happy that their console will be supported too – a version of Rise: Race the Future will be coming to that device also, along with a 3DS edition.

As for the game, it is based in the near future with unique concept cars, powered by air lifting technology.

The cars have been designed by automotive designer Anthony Jannarelly, who has previously worked with Arab brand W Motors on their Lykan Hypersport and Fenyr Supersport hyper cars.

The ones in Rise certain look the business. Let’s hope we get to see more at E3 2016.


Sirin Labs Solarin hands-on: £20k Android super phone packs military security, WiGig and more

Sirin Labs has raised over £72 million to launch a super secure Android smartphone called Solarin, which it’s going to sell for £20,000. It feels like a high-end alternative to BlackBerry, running Android. What’s not to love? Oh, yeah, that price.

While there’s a lot of money involved in this new handset it’s not about bling – security and quality are at another level. This is being claimed as the world’s most advanced privacy tech outside of the agency world of spies.

The idea is to combine high-end military-grade security software with a consumer focused handset, based on Android. The plan was also to buy all the best components, some bespoke, for the best phone in the world.

The Solarin phone will be available from stores located in Mayfair and Knightsbridge from 1 June and is aimed at international high-end business users. For now we go hands-on to find out more.


Solarin: Design, display and build 

The handset’s metallic edge is titanium made from the same company that creates some of the best watch bezels in the world, apparently. Though the name would not be revealed. That material is strong, light and impervious to the elements. Good start then.

The rear uses a leather material which offers both grip and quality. It’s design to look like carbon fibre and feels tough while looking more premium than even the leather efforts of LG’s G5.

The 5.5-inch IPS LED 2K screen is, the company says, the best in the world thanks to brightness, 120 per cent sRGB colour gammut and battery performance. The company says it’s better than going for 4K. This is encased in Corning’s Gorilla Glass 4 with curved top and bottom – but we didn’t test scratch resistance using our house keys. The display was impressive though with excellent brightness and colours then reminded us of 4K HDR televisions. Although this was indoor, in the dark. 

Qualcomm has built the Snapdragon 820 chip for this phone with plenty of security upgrades. Since this now has a newer version the company is working on an upgraded version already.


Solarin: Security and software

Thanks to a chip-to-chip 256-bit AES encryption – something that the military currently uses around the world – the phone is the most secure consumer device on the planet, apparently. The rear of the handset features a button that switches the phone into shielded mode, this is called Security Switch. then you tap the fingerprint reader and enter that mode.

In secure mode the phone only connects to other Solarin handsets for calls and messages – everything else is shut off. But in this state there is virtually no way anyone can get to you data.

To show off just how easy it is to hack a normal phone we were hacked while in the press conference for this phone’s launch. It sure puts the reality of how insecure our phones are to the front of our minds. The Solarin handsets, out of super secure mode, use secure systems which work to protect the handset all the time – advising you to come off Wi-Fi if it’s not secure, for example.

The point of Solarin isn’t just to stop attacks but also to offer analysis live as the attack is happening so the person can actually be tracked in real time and stopped, or failing that, it can be analysed to stop any chance of getting that close in future.


Solarin: Camera, battery and extras

The 24-megapixel camera has been independently adjudicated for the best quality and is backed by a first – a four colour flash. This is also under the same piece of Gorilla Glass 4 as the camera lens, another first, to offer the best design, placement and lighting as it can be brighter than through traditional plastic. The shots looked great even in low light with the f/2.0 aperture.

The front-facing camera is an f/2.2 8-megapixel selfie snapper backed by its own flash. This worked really well even in low light conditions. Ideal for those billionaire clubbing shots with fancy bottles of plonk then.

Three bass boosted speakers linked by a high-end amplifier and fronted by a fine metal mesh grille make up the audio. This not only looks good but ensure crystal sound up to 90db, yup that’s a proper speaker system, level. Plug into decent headphones and the DAC will make sure you have the best audio experience possible. Although we didn’t get to test this.

Microphones are used to track voices in relation to the speaker so that conference calls can be crystal clear.

The handset has 24 band LTE for world wide connectivity. That’s more than any other handset in the world. It is also the first phone with Wi-Gig 802.11ad which should mean, when networks support it, this phone will run up to 7Gbps one day – meaning a full HD movie download in just five seconds. Of course right now it’s so ahead of its time you can’t use it really.

A 4000mAh battery with Qualcomm Quick Charge should ensure this beast keeps powering on well past a full day of use.


First Impressions

For £20,000 this handset aims at a very specific market. But for those people that want top level security without carrying around military hardware this is a great alternative.

The nice touch here is that the phone isn’t just about security but pushes the boundaries of design, camera, display and build too – so there’s no need for compromise.

The fact that security only works for calls and messages, and essentially puts you in airplane mode, might be limiting for some. But for those that want to make a call in total secure comfort, it’s ideal.

IF you have the cash and are particularly worried about privacy, this is the phone for you.


Mophie brings wireless charging to its iPhone battery cases

Wireless phone charging has been around for years, but most consumers wouldn’t know it. The fight between different standards and a lack of support from phone makers has made the entire idea of charging your mobile wirelessly a huge mess. Mophie is hoping to bring some sanity to the concept with its new $100 Juice Pack Wireless cases for the iPhone 6 and 6S, which integrate cord-free charging along with an additional 50 percent of battery life.

Like Mophie’s earlier wireless cases for the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, the new iPhone cases are compatible with virtually every wireless charging standard on the market, including Qi and Powermat. They also sport integrated magnets, which keeps them attached to their included charging bases, as well as Mophie’s vent mount for cars and desk mount accessories. Naturally, those mounts also serve as wireless charging surfaces.

By adding in magnets, Mophie solves a problem endemic to all wireless charging solutions so far: they’re often less convenient than charging with a cord, since you can’t pick up your phone. Mophie’s mount accessories avoids that issue entirely.

More so than Samsung’s recent phones, which already have wireless charging integrated, the Juice Pack Wireless cases are a boon for iPhone users who have been aching for cord-free charging. iPhone owners already need special cases if they want to take advantage of wireless charging — Mophie’s cases simply gives them the benefit of a portable battery pack as well.

Mophie plans to make wireless charging a standard feature in all of its cases moving forward, which could make its products more compelling to people who aren’t just interested in extra battery life. And that might just give the cordless charging market the kick in the pants it needs.


The story of EE has been turned into a book

Nothing says summer like lying on a beach and getting stuck into a good book. But what to read? A 19th century classic, or perhaps Murakami’s latest surrealist tale? What about the fascinating story of how mobile provider EE came to be? Well, look no further than The 4G Mobile Revolution: Creation, Innovation and Transformation at EE, penned by former network CEO Olaf Swantee and now departed comms director Stu Jackson.

Out this August (according to Amazon), The 4G Mobile Revolution will arrive just in time for your summer getaway. The book will be a journey in itself, though, starting with the merger between T-Mobile and Orange that birthed Everything Everywhere; the subsequent rebranding to EE and launch of the UK’s first 4G network; right through to the recent £12.5 billion takeover of the company by BT and Swantee stepping down as CEO. Thrilling stuff.

Alright, so maybe it’s not the type of literature you fancy getting lost in on a sun lounger — it is, after all, aimed at suits and pitched as “essential reading for any executive grappling with change.” That said, if you’re bored of rich, fantastical scenes featuring characters that can’t stay alive for more than a few pages, then perhaps drab meeting rooms and fully clothed directors is the change of pace you’re looking for.

Via: Mobile News

Source: Kogan Page


Using the HTC Vive with a green screen lets others follow along

It’s often hard to convey what’s happening inside virtual reality. HTC Vive’s green screen idea attempts to do just that — and also make it more interesting to watch. I will admit: Watching someone else play in VR is typically pretty damn boring. But this concept from HTC represents a rare opportunity to show what someone’s doing when they strap on a headset. The tech is clever, but not rocket science: A camera (with a HTC Vive controller attached for positioning within the VR world), captures you on green screen. The camera then sends this feed to a connected PC which processes it in tandem with the VR game (in this case, teleporting-shooter Jeeboman.) Then, like a hyped video-game promise from decades ago, it’s like you’re inside the game.

This isn’t a “killer feature” that pushes HTC Vive as a VR platform above all others — unless you have a brightly painted green room, plus sufficient cameras and hardware. It is, however, a very smart way to illustrate why modern-day VR is so much better than its ’90s ancestor, and how the immersion at work goes far beyond existing video games. That’s very, very important if virtual reality is to become the hit many have predicted.

Stay on top of all the latest news from Computex 2016 right here.


Time Inc. confirms Myspace has been hacked

Time Inc. only got the keys to a few months ago, but it’s already having to confirm some bad news: the social network has been the target of a hack. In a press release, the company says that just before the Memorial Day weekend (or Spring Bank Holiday in the UK), its technical teams were notified of someone trying to sell Myspace usernames, passwords and email addresses that were registered before June 2013.

Time Inc. doesn’t say how many accounts are affected, but a blog post on LeakedSource — a site that lets users check whether their email or social media accounts have been compromised — suggests that 360 million records may have been stolen in the breach.

Myspace is already in the process of alerting those affected and is working with the authorities to identify who may be responsible. Given that the person (or people) involved shared an alias with LeakedSource, investigators will have at least something to go on.

“As part of the major site re-launch in the summer of 2013, Myspace took significant steps to strengthen account security. The compromised data is related to the period before those measures were implemented,” says Myspace in a blog post. “We are currently utilizing advanced protocols including double salted hashes (random data that is used as an additional input to a one-way function that “hashes” a password or passphrase) to store passwords.”

Even though you may no longer use Myspace, the leaked database may include details from when you did (and know all about your terrible taste in music). Myspace has already invalidated every one of the passwords, but it might be worth updating your other accounts if you tend to recycle your credentials between websites.

Source: Time Inc. (Businesswire)


Engadget giveaway: Win an iPad Air and Qwerkywriter Bluetooth keyboard!

Need inspiration for a 1930s screenplay or just enjoy the satisfying clack of mechanical keyboards? Either way, the Qwerkywriter from Qwerky Toys could be just the thing for your writing nook. This Bluetooth keyboard and stand appears to be lovingly crafted: The aluminum exterior is coated in matte black paint and each of the 83 mechanical keys are topped with rounded vintage keycaps. There’s even a working return bar to complete the look. Of course, charging it with micro-USB and connecting to a tablet via Bluetooth may break the spell, but with up to three months on a charge it could easily be overlooked. This week, the company has provided an iPad Air and Qwerkywriter Bluetooth keyboard to help one reader dial back that future-forward attitude just a touch. All you need to do is head to the Rafflecopter widget below for up to three chances at clacking away on this beauty.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • Entries are handled through the Rafflecopter widget above. Comments are no longer accepted as valid methods of entry. You may enter without any obligation to social media accounts, though we may offer them as opportunities for extra entries. Your email address is required so we can get in touch with you if you win, but it will not be given to third parties.
  • Contest is open to all residents of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Canada (excluding Quebec), 18 or older! Sorry, we don’t make this rule (we hate excluding anyone), so direct your anger at our lawyers and contest laws if you have to be mad.
  • Winners will be chosen randomly. One (1) winner will receive one (1) Qwerkywriter Bluetooth keyboard and stand, plus one (1) Apple iPad Air (MD785LL/A, Space Gray, 16GB).
  • If you are chosen, you will be notified by email. Winners must respond within three days of being contacted. If you do not respond within that period, another winner will be chosen. Make sure that the account you use to enter the contest includes your real name and a contact email. We do not track any of this information for marketing or third-party purposes.
  • This unit is purely for promotional giveaway. Engadget and AOL are not held liable to honor warranties, exchanges or customer service.
  • The full list of rules, in all its legalese glory, can be found here.
  • Entries can be submitted until June 1st at 11:59PM ET. Good luck!

Is there a market for a $14,000 super-secure Android phone?

2016 is a hard year to enter the mobile phone business: profits in the Android world are nonexistent and most of the industry’s established names are struggling. HTC, LG, Sony and others have far more red ink in their mobile division’s balance sheets than black, and Samsung could soon follow suit. Hell, even iPhone sales may have reached their apex. It’s why the auspicious launch of Sirin Labs’ premium £9,500 Solarin phone ($14,000 (plus tax), seems like such a risky move. But company co-founder Moshe Gogeg (also known as the guy behind the novelty messaging app Yo) thinks that he can succeed where so many others have failed.

Solarin has a credible shot at being the most expensive smartphone ever made, intended for billionaires, millionaires and business executives. Hogeg hopes that the phone’s blend of extraordinary, futuristic technology and the promise of unprecedented security will tempt them into buying one. But despite the high price, Hogeg doesn’t want the device sitting in the same luxury store glass cabinet as phones from Vertu, Porsche Design and Tag Heuer. He dismisses these luxury devices as “bling phones” made by jewelry companies that lack any intrinsic value.

Value seems to be Hogeg’s obsession, and he cites an anecdote while in a high-end technology store to illustrate his point. Pointing at one of the “bling phones,” he asked the staff “what’s in this phone that justifies the price?” “Oh sir,” he says in a obsequious voice, “these devices are a status symbol.” In his eyes, spending thousands of dollars on a phone that’s technically inferior to a Galaxy S5 that happens to be covered in diamonds is a “stupid value proposition.”

So, does this make the Solarin the first smartphone designed specifically for ascetic members of the one percent? Perhaps, since you’ll find no bling on this phone. In fact, it’s been crafted to be as inconspicuous as possible. In Hogeg’s mind, there are two types of rich people: demure, refined, sophisticated people who “respect value,” and “people who are too excited that they have money.” He’s not too thrilled at the latter group buying his device, since their love of conspicuous consumption makes them “bad ambassadors” for the product.

It’s a product that was born in frustration while Hogeg was wandering the halls of CES 2014, the world’s biggest technology trade show. As he tells it, he approached several stands to meet startups with exciting new takes on mobile hardware. He asked the ones that caught his attention if it’d be possible to buy the products on show, but they all responded in the negative. As desirable as the technology was, they weren’t ready to sell because it hadn’t been “commercialized.” That’s industry speak for this product is great, but we can’t mass-produce it at anything approaching a reasonable cost.

After all, raw materials, production lines and tooling all cost money, and innovation is sometimes only within the financial reach of an Apple or Samsung. It’s only these behemoths that can knock out millions of devices each year that have the muscle to take a gamble on something innovative. But Hogeg was undeterred, and asked each company how much it’d cost to produce 30,000 or so. Despite the eye-watering sums that were suggested, Hogeg didn’t blink, and so decided that he’d build a phone on the premise that money was no object.

Does this make the Solarin the world’s first artisanal smartphone, sourced with only the finest materials? Potentially, although Hogeg is quick to point that artisanal should not be thought of in the same breath as handmade. (As of this writing, he also has not clarified what exact materials the device is made of.) Hogeg doesn’t mention Vertu by name, but says that offering a hand-built device is a flimsy justification for increasing the price beyond its value. Instead, Solarin is made by machines, since “machines do a better job than human beings.” In fact, only two parts of the device require any human interaction at all, and the plan is that both will be gone by the second generation.

The handsets are being constructed in an old Sony Ericsson plant in Sweden, although the company’s R&D lab is based in Israel. But Sirin Labs is a firm incorporated and headquartered in Switzerland in order to take advantage of the country’s legendary privacy laws. The sales pitch is that the Solarin will protect your data so much better than a comparable device made by a company in the US. In fact, the combination of software, hardware and national laws makes him confident enough to declare that his phone is “the most secure device in the world.”

I press him on that claim, and he backs down, though only slightly. “Nothing is unbreakable,” he says. “If someone has the resources, the money and the time…” He pauses here. “I mean, people hacked the Pentagon, so who am I to say that we can’t be broken?” He feels that it’s less about whether it’s possible to open the phone, and more about how hard the company can make it. It’s his belief that few would be interested in attacking the Solarin given how difficult to break in it’s been made. Not to mention that there are far easier devices to go after in other, poorer people’s pockets.

I’m curious, however, how confident he can be about his phone’s security credentials when it’s not his own operating system. Android is, after all, someone else’s product, and will always be vulnerable to the errors, concessions and design decisions made by Google’s engineers. There’s also the fact that Solarin would be in trouble should Google bend to pressure by the US government to add a backdoor. Hogeg is confident that whatever problems Google creates, his team can fix, and that he’s “never going to put backdoors in this product, period.” Another thing he’s very sure of is that, when it comes to security, Android is on the way up compared to Apple, because it’s “very easy to hack an iPhone.”

The former Israeli soldier doesn’t name Cellebrite, but he seems to confirm the quasi-open secret that the Israeli security company does have a way to breach iOS. In fact, he says he’s seen the process with his “own eyes,” and that it’s as “easy as knowing your phone number.” He feels that the recent kerfuffle between Apple and the government over the San Bernardino iPhone wasn’t about technology, but money. “Of course they can hack the phone, but it costs them a lot of money!” adding that it’s more about saving “the taxpayer some money.”

Hogeg jokes that the high price and target market of the Solarin means that this device is hardly going to be of much interest to any government. “We’re not a phone for terrorists,” he roars, “we’re a phone for businesspeople, and the NSA doesn’t care about businesspeople.” I ask, then, why wouldn’t a cost-conscious industrialist simply opt for Silent Circle’s (much cheaper) Blackphone? “When you look at the various ways you can hack a phone,” he responds, “some of these phones are very good at certain types of attacks.” But according to Hogeg only Solarin, which was developed in partnership with Silent Circle’s (unnamed) competitors, is the true all-rounder.

I’m reminded of another company that marketed its devices predominantly to business types with the promise of privacy: BlackBerry. Initially it did so with sleek, inconspicuous hardware that promised rock-solid security, albeit with a limited ecosystem. Later it tried with a premium Android handset that also bragged to the world about the combination of hardware and software that would keep your data safe. So, I ask him: how can Sirin Labs, with a premium Android handset that boasts added security, avoid the same pitfalls as BlackBerry? Moche Hogeg pauses, exhales and smiles before saying, “That’s a very, very good question.” A moment later, after he collects himself, he says, “I don’t have an answer, but…” Another pause. “I studied that, and I think we have a way to avoid it.” Then, after another pause, “but we’ll know soon, eh?”

Aaron Souppouris contributed to this report.

%d bloggers like this: