Well, it's official -- Amazon today introduced Fire, its first smartphone. Fire also happens to be the only smartphone with "Dynamic Perspective" and "Firefly," a couple of new technologies Amazon is excited about. Before we get to those, let's get some essentials out of the way, starting with price ($199 with a two service agreement, or $27 per month with AT&T Next) and availability (like it did with the original iPhone, AT&T inked a deal to be the exclusive carrier).
Desperate times call for desperate measures, and for BlackBerry, that means opening up your ecosystem to run Android apps -- some of them, anyway. BlackBerry announced today that Amazon Appstore will be available with the launch of the BlackBerrry 10.3 operating system this fall. The deal will give BlackBerry users access to more than 240,000 Android apps, including popular titles like Netflix, Pinterest, and Minecraft.
Move over, LG G3, and make way for Samsung's Galaxy Note 4
Fans of the phablet form factor -- smartphone/tablet combination -- might have a tough choice to make in the near future. For one, there's the LG G3 with its 5.5-inch quad high-definition (QHD) display, 2.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, 13MP rear-facing camera, 2.1MP front-facing camera, and removable 3000mAh battery. And then there's Samsung's upcoming Galaxy Note 4, which may end up with a 5.7-inch QHD display, according to leaked documents.
Microsoft is giving away a limited number of Windows Phones this weekend
Statistically speaking, if you own a smartphone, there's a high probability that it's running Android or iOS. Microsoft is taking steps to change that, and if you're intrigued by what the company is doing with its Windows Phone platform, you may want to stop by a Microsoft Store this weekend, provided it's not too far out of your way. Those who do will have a chance to win a free Windows Phone.
A potential solution to rising smartphone theft is still a year away
It's easy to take for granted how much your smartphone is worth. You may have picked one up for free or not much more than that by agreeing to lock yourself into a two-year service agreement with a wireless carrier, but despite the subsidized price you paid, smartphones are worth several hundred dollars. It's no wonder that thieves stole around 3.1 million smartphones in U.S. last year.
Amazon hasn't yet announced plans to launch a smartphone, so what you're looking at could in fact be a fake. However, if you're a believer that where there's smoke there's fire, the leaked photos purporting to show a prototype version of Amazon's smartphone might actually be the real thing. Certainly the rumors and speculation have kicked up a notch in recent weeks, some of which suggest Amazon's handset will sport 3D functionality.
Windows Phone 8.1 Preview is available for developers
Wondering if Microsoft's Cortana virtual assistant software will live up to the hype? You can find out by downloading the Windows Phone 8.1 Preview, which is now available for third-party developers. This isn't intended for the general public, though if you just can't shake that curiosity and want to be one of the first to try out the new software, you can apply the update without writing apps. Here's what you need to know.
Self-proclaimed "Un-carrier" pats self on the back, dares other carriers to stop charging overages
T-Mobile, the fourth largest wireless carrier in the U.S., is hoping that an impassioned blog post by its Chief Executive Officer will convince other wireless carriers to put an end to the tyranny of overage charges.
What's holding smartphone makers back from implementing a kill switch?
A new research report suggests that if smartphone makers implemented a technology into handsets to remotely disable them when stolen, it could potentially save consumers $2.6 billion per year. For that number to be accurate, a kill switch would need to be mandatory in mobile devices. It takes into the account the cost of replacing a stolen smartphone as well as how much is spent on smartphone insurance.
The Galaxy S5's display impresses a well renowned testing firm
It looks like Samsung may have yet other bragging point -- best smartphone display in the world. That was the determination DisplayMate's Dr. Raymond M. Soneira came to after an extensive round of lab tests and measurements, in which he concluded that the Galaxy S5 sports the best smartphone display he's ever tested. It was an easy conclusion to come to after the Galaxy S5 left in its wake a bunch of broken records.