Amazon Fire Phone hits the UK — with one year’s free Prime membership

The Amazon Fire phone, which seemed exciting but then got announced and suddenly wasn’t, is coming to the UK. Network O2 has acquired it exclusively, and will begin selling it for “free” on £33 a month contracts.

One interesting promotional carrot sees Amazon offering one year of free Amazon Prime membership to initial O2 subscribers, which is quite a handy thing if you like torturing your postie by making him carry your groceries in every day. Here it is:

amazon-fire-phone-uk

The Fire Phone is a powerful thing, right enough, with a 2.2GHz quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM, but the Amazon Fire OS and bewildering “Dynamic Perspective” home UI caused US reviewers to scratch their heads a little when it was launched over there earlier in the summer.

Check out the Amazon UK listing for more info. Weird to see it selling phone contracts. Here’s the ridiculously enormous centre-aligned press release:

Fire, the First Smartphone Designed by Amazon, Now Available in the

United Kingdom

Fire offered at a remarkable price on O2 Refresh—£0 upfront on the £33 tariff, only on O2

For a limited time, customers will receive a full year of Amazon Prime membership included—that’s Prime Instant Video, Kindle Owners’ Lending Library and unlimited one-day shipping on 7 million items

Seamless integration with Amazon’s vast ecosystem—over 33 million songs, apps, games, movies,

TV shows, books and more

Read the full article »

The New Moto G – 5-inch display and launching today for £144.99

Motorola UK has kicked things up a gear today, announcing that an updated Moto G, a refreshed Moto X and the long awaited Moto Maker customisation tool are all heading to the UK.

The new Moto G, which Motorola seems to be calling just The New Moto G, comes with a 5-inch 720p display, powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core processor. There’s the same 1GB of RAM inside as last year’s G-Unit, although cameras have been upgraded to 8MP and 2MP.

new-moto-g

Motorola says the new Moto G will go on sale via Amazon on September 5 for £144.99. A series of coloured Moto Shells for the G will arrive later in October.

The new Moto X, meanwhile, comes with a 1080p 5.2-inch display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset, and arrives at the end of September along with the Moto Maker customisation tool. The prices start at £419.99 for a custom Moto X, rising to £439 for the desirable wood and leather finishes.

Motorola also said something about a watch.

Freesat Android app launched

Freesat, the vague organisation behind those TV tuners that let you get satellite TV without paying Sky any money, now has an official Android app. On a basic level it’s an EPG to tell you what’s on over the next seven days, although viewers with one of the more recent Freetime set-top boxes can pair it with their tuners and use their phones and tablets as remote controls — also triggering recordings from afar.

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freesat-android-app-2

It is therefore quite useful if you can get it to sync and work. Check out the Freesat app here.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini – 4.5-inch display, 1.4GHz quad-core processor

Samsung has unveiled one of 2014′s predictable banker models — the Galaxy S5 Mini. It’s your usual compromise that still ought to perform extremely well, teaming a 1.5GHz quad-core chipset with 1.5GB of RAM, outputting Samsung’s take on Android 4.4 to a 4.5-inch display running at 720 x 1280 resolution.

There’s also two cameras (8MP and 2.1MP), plus a 2,100mAh capacity battery that ought to be adequate to run tings given the small-ish screen onboard. Here it is:

samsung-galaxy-s5-mini-1

samsung-galaxy-s5-mini-2

Chunky. Some regions will see the Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini on sale as early as July. And here’s the thing:

SAMSUNG LAUNCHES COMPACT AND STYLISH GALAXY S5 MINI

Third generation mini device packs strong performance in a compact and stylish design

London, UK – July 1, 2014 – Samsung Electronics today announced the Galaxy S5 mini, a compact version of Samsung’s flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S5. The Galaxy S5 mini delivers powerful performance, as well as the same dedicated fitness tools and enhanced device protection features found in the Galaxy S5.

Read the full article »

Android stomps across Europe with 73.3% of key market smartphone sales

The latest breakdown of the European smartphone scene via analyst Kantar has arrived, revealing that in the five key EU markets — UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain — Android-powered devices accounted for a staggering 73.3% of all smartphone sales in the 12-week period up to the end of May.

Apple is second on a 16.6% share, with Microsoft’s Windows Phone third with just an 8.1% piece of the statistical smartphone sales pie.

galaxy-s5-sales

The centrepiece of its latest report was the performance of the newly-launched Samsung Galaxy S5, though, a phone that Kantar says was the third best-selling device in the UK in the month of May, behind the iPhone 5S and 5C.

LG G Watch priced at £159 in the UK, Samsung Gear Live £169

THEY’RE COMING! THE SMARTWATCH INVASION IS UNDER WAY! Today, or perhaps very late last night after we stopped refreshing the page, saw Google begin direct-selling two of the new Android Wear smartwatches via Google Play, with the LG G Watch yours for just £159.

Samsung’s Gear Live is also now on sale, costing £10 more. Both should ship around the first week of July, so there’s around two extra weeks of living in the past to get out of the way before the FUTURE ARRIVES in a surprisingly BULKY FORMAT.

android-wear

The only way I’ll be wearing one is if there’s some sort of mix-up at the mortuary, though. If you’re keen, check out the Google Play Android Wear hub here.

Google: Android had one billion active users last month

Google’s Sundar Pichai gave us some stats around Android at this year’s Google I/O developer event today, revealing that the mobile OS saw over one billion individual active users over the last 30 days. Here’s a chart:

one-billion

This new stat replaces the previous device activations numbers, which we tracked over the past few years to a last-reported high of 900 million device activations back in 2013.

tabs

And there’s more amazing growth news too, with Pichai revealing that Google now has a tablet market share of 62 percent.

android-one-two

And THAT’S NOT IT. To further grow this, Pichai introduced the Android One initiative, to launch a cheaper, sub-$100 stock Android experience to bring more affordable smartphones to developing countries.

4G Moto G on sale today through Phones 4U

The updated version of the world-beating Moto G is on sale today, with phones & SIMs aggregator Phones 4U claiming to be selling it before anyone else in the UK. Black and white versions of the Moto G 4G are on sale right now through the shop’s web site, with contract deals starting at £18.99 for a “free” 4G Moto G.

But the Moto G is a phone designed to be bought off-contract and paired with a SIM of your own choosing, with Phones 4U selling the 4GB Moto G 4G for £149.95 on PAYG, or £159.99 SIM-free.

moto-g-4g

For which you get 4G readiness and marginally updated hardware with microSD card support to negate the fact it only has 8GB of onboard storage space. Check it out over at Phones 4U, where the white model’s exclusive until the end of July.

Moto Maker for Moto X hitting Germany on July 1st

After way too much time as a US-only exclusive and with the phone it pimps to the extreme already starting to show its age, Motorola’s finally ready to launch the Moto Maker customisation service for the Moto X in Europe.

According to Motorola Germany, the case modding service will launch exclusively for those who buy a phone through Phone House in the country. Phone House is the German wing of Carphone Warehouse, so here’s hoping CPW picks up the deal and launches the custom phone option here in the UK too.

moto-maker-uk

This could be the answer to the tricky “eccentric summer phone” problem we currently face. As long as it’s cheap.

Link via Androidsis.

Vodafone Smart 4 – 4.5-inch display powered by 1.2GHz dual-core processor

Vodafone’s “Smart” series of devices has been expanded today, with the network launching the Vodafone Smart 4 — a budget model available on a PAYG basis for just £75. For that you get a 4.5-inch display, 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm processor and 512MB of RAM, backed up by a 5MP camera with secondary front chat-cam too. Android 4.4 is the launch OS.

4GB of internal storage will be a bit of a bottleneck, but other than that it ought to be decent enough for the money. Here it is:

vodafone-smart-4

Don’t confuse it with the older Vodafone Smart 4 Mini. That’s a different one with less oomph. Check out the new Smart 4 over at Vodafone.

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