As long as you’re with AT&T in the US or are willing to import and unlock one yourself, the most compelling feature of the Moto X is that you can customise its external appearance using the Moto Maker tool. While the range of colour choices sparked much argument among orange enthusiasts, one option that is rather unique is that of a wooden backing. This wasn’t available at launch as Motorola was still finalising the exact tones and materials, but the ever-reliable Evleaks has posted an image of the four woods that will be available later this year. Choosing one over a polycarbonate shell will add a $50 premium to the cost of the device, though it is also reported that the baseline handset cost will drop to $100 with a 2 year contract later in Q4.
Remember the last time our trio of podcasters were all on the same show together? Neither do we, but today it happened. Like the reunionisation of the Wu-Tang Clan, Xavier, Henry and Chris join together to discuss copyright trolls, why Motorola should manufacture in Essex and keep the interns off Twitter, LG doing everything they can to be Samsung, synthetic burgers, Hyperloops, Samsung doing everything they can to be Samsung, Phoenix & R. Kelly, Ron Swanson’s stack of cows, Sony being Sony and more!
You thought Samsung didn’t make enough bizarre phones already? Well, thanks to All About Samsung, we have a couple of images of the Galaxy Folder, which takes design cues from the Motorola RAZR (no, not the Android one) and shoves a second 3.7″ WVGA AMOLED panel on the rear of the standard clamshell design so it doesn’t look totally ancient when you try and use the thing like a conventional smartphone. Inside, it’s said to include a 1.7GHz dual core Snapdragon 400, 2GB RAM, LTE and an 1820mAh battery. Remember when clamshells would last a week on a single charge? Yeah, those days are long gone. Continue reading →
For the one true episode 014 of our now adolescent podcast, Xavier and Chris make up for lost time by talking about everything important since the Lumia 1020 happened. It turns out that this includes a fair bit about the 1020 itself, but our dynamic duo (sorry Henry) also trawl through news about its baby big brother, a new family of Droids from Motorola and Verizon with the Moto X launch looming later this week and HTC’s quest for profitability with One variants both big and small. Samsung, on the other hand, go full-on with the purple and Canonical decide that a crowdfunding campaign to make an Ubuntu phone with a sapphire crystal display makes perfect sense. There’s also a new BlackBerry leak if you’re into that kind of phone and Google’s new Nexus 7 and Chromecast streaming HDMI dongle thing.
Twelve. That’s a mighty large number, and it’s also the number of topics in the show notes for our return from yet another unintentional hiatus. While Henry lies in a field getting fried by the British heatwave, Xavier and Chris take cover in the depths of the night to talk about Apple’s mobile product lines and web ambitions, imminent announcements from Nokia and Motorola, new devices from Sony and HTC that are scaring Xavier’s wallet and leaked information about upcoming phablets from the Korean pairing of LG and Samsung. Chris goes on to wax lyrical about rap music while Xavier enthuses about The Last of Us while finding it horribly difficult (yet completely possible) to avoid spoilers. We also answer some user questions from Twitter, thanks to our wonderful listeners and #AskChris, which we’ve chosen to hijack.
Intel’s march into the mobile market hasn’t been as successful as they would have desired, with devices powered by the Medfield family of Atom chips such as the XOLO X900 and Orange San Diego struggling for traction, although things began to look up with the release and heavy marketing of Motorola’s RAZR i late last year. With its second wave of phone chips, codenamed Lexington, the company has decided to target emerging markets, and the first Lexington phone has now been announced in conjunction with Safaricom, one of Kenya’s largest carriers.
The Yolo (yep, YOLO) is essentially a consumer version of the Intel Smartphone Reference Design shown off at CES, and its Atom Z2420 chip clocks in at 1.2GHz, which Engadget notes makes the phone feel like 2009, and its 5MP rear camera is capable of 1080p video and a 7 shot-per-second burst mode. The Yolo will also have a 3.5″ touchscreen of as-yet-unknown resolution, and an HSPA+ modem will be responsible for connectivity. The Yolo will be available in Safaricom stores with 500MB of data for Kshs. 10,999 (£79.57) and will almost certainly make its way to Europe with alternative branding later this year.
Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 launch event was headlined by the appearance of Jessica Alba, but otherwise very little unknown information surfaced about the operating system or the devices it would appear upon. One smidgen of news that did emerge, however, was that a Samsung device, depicted by a lonely silhouette and named the Ativ Odyssey, was in the pipeline for a December release on Verizon in the US. Of course December came and went without a release, but CES gave Samsung the opportunity to show the 4″ Windows Phone 8 device to the world. Now, a press release has stated that the phone will be available sooner rather than later, with stores set to receive the Ativ Odyssey and Valentine’s Day editions of the Nokia Lumia 822 and Motorola Droid Razr M tomorrow (January 24th).
The Odyssey joins the Lumia 822 and HTC 8X in Verizon’s lineup of LTE Windows Phones, and its microSD slot and 2100mAh battery should win it some fans, although the 800 x 480 screen resolution and 5MP camera show that it is pitched towards the lower end of the market. As with almost all other Windows Phone 8 devices, the package comes powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 chip accompanied by 1GB of RAM, and it will be available for $49.99 with a new 2 year contract, while whispers of a European launch remain unconfirmed but not impossible.