Moto G now on sale through Vodafone, for £100 plus £10 PAYG top-up

The Motorola/Lenovo Moto G, which is almost certainly the best combination of price and tech specs the Android world has ever seen, is now available through Vodafone UK. For £100 plus a £10 credit top-up it can be yours with a PAYG SIM, plus the network is also selling it on monthly contracts, where £13 a month gets you a “free” Moto G and a 100 minutes, 100MB SIM. You’d be best going PAYG.

Here it is:

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It’s the best budget phone you can get today by a wide margin, as long as you don’t mind camera quality that’s a little bit worse than the HTC Desire managed back in 2010. Check it out on Vodafone here.

Red Nexus 5 now available in the UK

“NOT RED” wasn’t one of the complaints we had about the oddly unexciting Nexus 5. But if it was, it’d be fixed, as there’s now a red Nexus 5 available direct through Google Play here in the UK. The price is the same as the black and white models — starting at £299 for the 16GB unit — but it’s now red. It’s a bit more impressive than the white model, though, as the red colouring wraps around the sides and is visible from the front.

Like this:

nexus 5 red

As well as being sold direct on Google Play, LG says the red Nexus 5 is available on contracts exclusively through Carphone Warehouse. But the red model doesn’t appear to be live on the site yet. Try later. Or tomorrow. Or phone them.

STATS: 998 million smartphones shipped globally in 2013…

…and a staggering 79% or 785 million of those were running Android. Those are the stats published today by analyst Canalys, with the 2013 smartphone total showing a massive 44% increase on shipment numbers for 2012. Android’s growth saw it rise from holding a 68% share of the global smartphone market in 2012, although it’s Windows Phone that was really the big winner in 2013 — increasing its share by 90% compared with 2012. It still only has 3% of the overall market, though.

Here’s your reward for reading all those boring numbers:

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Read more boring numbers at Canalys.

Huawei becomes “official smartphone partner” of Arsenal football club

Some very rich men are about to be handed a load of free mobile phones, thanks to a deal between Huawei and Arsenal to declare the smartphone maker the official tech partner of the London club. The deal starts now and lasts until the end of the 15/16 session, and will see Arsenal players in Huawei ads and more cross-promotional marketing fun.

Here are some men who have temporarily left their iPhones in the dressing room:

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Bizarre deal. Here’s the thing:

Huawei and Arsenal Announce Global Partnership

Premier League Club Chooses Huawei as Official Smartphone Partner

[London, United Kingdom, 20 January 2014]Huawei, the leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, and Arsenal Football Club today announced a new partnership, which will see the telecommunications specialist become the Official Smartphone Partner of the north London club on a global basis.

Read the full article »

Augmented reality virtual pet game Animin bringing CG poo to a table near you

Next week’s Toy Fair will see the launch of Animin, a modern take on the virtual pet phenomenon that uses augmented reality to project your little animal friends out into the real world via a smartphone or tablet display. The game is your classic virtual pet kind of thing, only they “exist” in the real world as graphics overlaid atop your phone or tablet’s view of your surroundings.

They evolve and get sick as virtual pets tend to do, but seeing as this is 2014 the app also includes voice recognition and instant messaging integration, making it a more social take on the pretend veterinarian genre. Here’s what it’ll be like:

animin-photo

A small computer animal would appear to have done a poo on the table. We think children might therefore like this sort of thing quite a lot, as they tend to enjoy anything that involves poo, real or fictional, and computer animals are almost as popular.

That was a video of fashionable people liking it. So if they like it, unfashionable people like us will surely like it too. Animin launches later this year.

Sony Xperia E1 — 4-inch display and 100 decibel speaker output

Sony’s got another one. The Xperia E1 is aimed at the cheaper end of the market, offering a 4-inch display running at 480 x 800 resolution, powered by a dual-core Qualcomm MSM8210 clocked at 1.2GHz. Sony’s selling this one as being for music fans, as its onboard speaker is apparently able to output music at up to 100 decibels.

That won’t be annoying. Here’s the chunky little loudmouth:

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No mention’s been made on price yet, but Sony’s claim of performance and class compares it with phones costing less than 175 euros at launch, so it ought to be lower than that. Which equates to about £145. Here’s the thing:

Introducing Xperia E1 – simply the best smartphone in its class

Incredible music with a super-clear 100dB speaker and 30 days free access to millions of songs through the Sony Entertainment Network2

Blaze through apps and the internet with the fastest processor in its class and fast data speeds

Experience all of this through the bright and clear 4” WVGA display encapsulated in the latest Sony design

14th January 2014, London, UK – Sony Mobile Communications (“Sony Mobile”) today introduces Xperia E1, a new Android smartphone that brings Sony’s leading audio technologies together with expertise in display, design, performance and content to create a smartphone independently recognised as the “best smartphone in its class”.

Read the full article »

Moto X UK launch confirmed for February 1st

Motorola UK has today revealed a plan to bring the Moto X to the UK, with the phone set to launch here through Phones 4U, Carphone Warehouse, Amazon, Techdata and via network O2 next month. Phones 4U will have a white model, but apart from that there’s no mention of the advanced customisation options the US had. Shame.

Moto X features a 4.7-inch 720p display, 4G connectivity, a 2200mAh capacity battery and it’s all powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro with 2GB of RAM and a 10MP camera. Not bad, but the SIM-free price is a rather extreme £380…

moto-x-uk

…and as much as we admire the game-changing Moto G, we’re not sure the Motorola brand has been resuscitated enough to start charging £380 for slightly ageing hardware. Not yet. Here’s the thing:

Moto X. Just Talk, it responds.

LONDON, 14th January, 2014 – Meet Moto X™ by Motorola, the ultimate wingman, because your smartphone should work for you – not the other way around. Moto X represents the best of Motorola and Google, and it’s coming to the UK.

Moto X has a unique curved back, designed to fit your hand. Talk to Moto X and it learns your voice. With Google Now, it tells you what you need to know – even when you’re not touching it. With two flicks of your wrist, Moto X becomes your camera and captures the shots you used to miss. All of this coupled with its all-day battery means that Moto X is ready when you are.

Read the full article »

UK Moto G Android 4.4.2 update starts “today”

*Checks for update*

According to Motorola UK, the hot new sensation on the block ought to be seeing its KitKat upgrade arrive from today, with the company…

*Checks for update*

…announcing that the Moto G 4.4.2 update ought to start hitting people’s phones from today. But, it says the process will take a week before it trickles out to everyone, so it might be a while before you’re hooked up with the OTA notification.

*Checks for update*

Here’s the thing from Motorola:

Android KitKat Comes to Moto G in the UK – Our KitKat family is expanding! When we launched Moto G to the UK market in November 2013, we committed to delivering Android, KitKat, to devices by early 2014. We’re thrilled to start delivering on that promise. Over the next week we are officially rolling out Android 4.4.2 to Moto G phones – starting today! This latest version of Android brings some cool new features, including printing emails and photos from your phone.

MOTO-G-KITKAT-1

WHY AM I ALWAYS THE LAST IN LINE?

MOTO-G-KITKAT-2

COME ON IT’S NOT FAIR.

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PLEASE MAKE IT COME ON MY TELEPHONE MOTOROLA I AM NICE ABOUT YOU NOWADAYS.

Xperia Z1 Compact launching in January at Phones 4U, free speaker bundled in too

Phones 4U appears to have grabbed a short exclusive on selling the new Xperia Z1 Compact in the UK, claiming it’ll be ready to sell the phone in January — earlier than the February worldwide launch date offered by Sony earlier today. Plus, if you pre-order one from Phones 4U now, you can get a wireless speaker that, at some point in the product’s lifecycle, was deemed to be worth £119.

The phone shop wants £29 a month on its cheapest contract in return for the Z1 Compact, which gives buyers a Vodafone SIM coming with 600 minutes and 500MB of data.

xperia-z1-phones-4u

Not bad, not great, but we like the idea of having that much POWER in a smaller chassis. Check it out over at P4U if you’re similarly curious.

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact – Snapdragon 800 on a 4.3-inch display

Finally, one of the hardware makers has come up with a “mini” model of one of their flagship phones that doesn’t compromise at all on specs. The Xperia Z1 Compact comes with a 2.2GHz Qualcomm MSM8974 chipset, otherwise known as the Snapdragon 800, plus 2GB of RAM. There’s nothing compact about that, only the display has been scaled down, offering a 4.3-inch screen running at 1280×720 resolution.

The Z1 Compact also features the same stonking camera sensor as the full-size Z1, coming with a 20.7megapixel imaging system. The only minor change is the battery capacity, which sees the Compact’s battery reduced to 2,300mAh size. Apart from that…

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…it’s a winner for anyone not after a monstrous rectangle of a phone. And look, that pink one’s got your name engraved on it. Sony says it’ll launch around the world from February. Here’s the thing:

Sony introduces Xperia™ Z1 Compact – the world’s best premium compact smartphone

Get all the best of Sony’s Xperia Z1 in a pocket-friendly compact smartphone

Stylish and durable waterproof2 design in a range of four vibrant colours – white, black, pink and lime

The world’s best camera in a compact smartphone3 with Sony’s proven camera technologies: Award-winning “G Lens”, 20.7 MP “Exmor RS for mobile” CMOS image sensor and “BIONZ for mobile” image processing engine

Read the full article »

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