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Smartphone innovation may have stalled in recent years, but that hasn’t stopped manufacturers from updating and improving upon their best devices. This year, we’ve seen big changes to devices like the iPhone, the Galaxy Note, and the LG G — as well as new contenders like the OnePlus One. But what are the best smartphones of 2014?
Here are our picks.
While Samsung’s smartphone sales may be falling, those who are buying its devices couldn’t be happier with them. In a new satisfaction study, the South Korean electronics giant beat even Apple to the top spot of the smartphone category, while Nokia ranked higher than BlackBerry, LG, and even HTC.
Samsung has taken a bit of a beating as of late, thanks to the decline of its mobile division, but that doesn’t stop us from noticing that these new pill-shaped speakers from being absolutely gorgeous.
Scheduled to be properly unveiled at CES 2015 in Las Vegas, the speakers are designed to project sound in a 360-degree radius, using Samsung’s proprietary “Ring Radiator” technology.
There are two speakers set to be introduced in the range: a larger model called the WA7500, which is described as a “stand type” and the lantern-style WA6500, which features a built-in battery and is more easily movable. Both speakers are wireless, utilizing Bluetooth technology.
We’ll have full details when we get a closer look at CES (along with the other gadgets on display at the much-anticipated tech show), but for now this is a great sneak peak at a line of speakers that is already filling us with envy. Check out more images after the jump:
Xiaomi is known for “borrowing” many aspects of Apple’s identity, and here’s one more to add to the list: its sky high valuation.
Having just announced the raising of an extra $1.1 billion in funding, Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi announced on Monday that it is now valued at a whopping $46 billion — making it worth more than any other tech startup.
“This round of funding is an affirmation of Xiaomi’s achievements in more than four years of business and a prelude to a new stage of development,” founder Lei Jun wrote on Monday.
While Apple Stores go from strength to strength, the so-called Samsung Experience Stores sadly aren’t faring so well.
Would-be shoppers at Samsung’s flagship store in London, England, were today greeted by a message telling them about the permanent closure of the outlet.
The store was located in the Westfield Stratford shopping center, and followed an Apple-inspired layout, with an open plan design, staff in blue shirts, and plenty of space to try out new Samsung products — many of which arrived there first, before going on general release.
If you liked the iPhone 5c’s colorful design but were put off by its tiny screen and aging specifications, then Meizu’s latest smartphone could be right up your street. It’s called the M1 Note, and it looks just like an iPhone 5c, only it’s much bigger, has more impressive specifications, and costs under $200 off-contract.
Xiaomi has caught a lot of flack for copying what Apple has done previously, which is why it’s apparently gone back to the drawing board and come back with a new plan: do the things Apple thought about, but didn’t do.
With that in mind, a new report today claims that Xiaomi is set to adopt sapphire displays for its upcoming 5.7-inch Xiaomi 5, to be showcased at the upcoming 2015 Consumer Electronics Show.
The company has reportedly approached the China-based Lens Technology and Biel Crystal Manufactory about expanding their sapphire processing capacities for the job.
It’s been a great year to be an Android user. Not only have we seen the release of Google’s massive Material Design makeover and all kinds of wonderful new features inside Android 5.0 Lollipop, but we’ve also had oodles of awesome apps to enjoy.
In this roundup, we’ve selected the best Google Play releases from the past 12 months. We’ve got great launchers, amazing email apps, terrific Twitter clients and lots more. (Some are also available on iOS.)
Amazon is upping its delivery game this week by launching a new delivery service called Prime Now that will bring diapers, Fitbits, televisions, and thousands of other essential items, to your doorstep in under an hour.
Prime Now is available today in select areas of New York City from 6 a.m. to midnight, with more cities planned for 2015. The new service is being packaged as part of your annual Amazon Prime subscription, and while includes over 25,000 items.
Amazon even created a video to show what you can order:
Instagram is today rolling out new updates on Android and iOS that bring an updated design, new features, and five new filters that Instagram says are its best yet. Inspired by the global community, the new filter set is the first Instagram has added in two years, and it’s designed to compliment the capabilities of modern smartphone cameras.