Sony Xperia SP Review

Sony Xperia SP The Xperia SP’s hardware performance is right up there with the very best smartphones currently available. It only has a dual-core Snapdragon processor and 1GB of RAM, but its high clock speed of 1.7GHz made a huge difference in our SunSpider JavaScript benchmarks. Sony’s Xperia SP is now a year old, but is it still worth picking up a new handset for the full asking price? We revisit this great handset to see if it’s been overtaken by its newer rivals. Although it’s technically a mid-range phone, the Sony Xperia SP gives the high-end Android handsets a run for the money. For starters, it looks absolutely stunning. Some might see its plastic back as a step down from rear glass panel used on the high-end Sony Xperia Z, but its smooth contours make it much more comfortable to hold, its aluminium frame looks and feels great. It gives the phone a much more pleasing sense of weight and durability – we’re big fans. Video About Sony Xperia SP The clear, illuminated antenna at the bottom of the phone also helps give it a bit of character to distinguish it from other mid-range handsets. This can flash different colours to indicate when you’ve got a missed call or incoming text, and each option is fully customisable. It can also add a little more flavour to your media by flashing to the beat of your music or matching the dominant colour of your photos. You can turn all this off if you’d prefer, but we didn’t find it particularly...

Yahoo lays off hundreds as it shuts down operations in China

Yahoo lays off The Beijing office, which employed about 300 workers in research and development, was Yahoo’s only physical presence in mainland China. Yahoo is closing its office in China, the company confirmed Wednesday, a move that is expected to eliminate up to 300 jobs. Yahoo employees based in the Beijing office were informed of the closure on Wednesday, a spokeswoman said. Yahoo offered no local products in China, and the office — Yahoo’s only physical presence in mainland China — served as a research and development center. “We are constantly making changes to realign resources and to foster better collaboration and innovation across our business,” Yahoo said in a statement. “We will be consolidating certain functions into fewer offices, including to our headquarters in Sunnyvale, Calif.” Video About Yahoo Yahoo did not say how many employees were affected by the office’s closure, but a source described as familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that the office employed 200 to 300 people. Yahoo counted 12,500 employees worldwide at the end of 2014, meaning the closure affects about 2 percent of its global workforce. The closure comes amid increasing pressure to reduce expenses from investors, including activist investor Starboard, which has strongly suggested that Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer cut at least $500 million in expenses. The company has cut about 600 jobs in the past six months, mostly at operations in Canada and India. Read more Source: Steven Musil Image Source:Luca...

Ways to make USB plugs easier to live with

USB plugs Can’t wait for USB 3.1? Here’s how to simplify life with plugs until it arrives. Here we are in 2015, and USB plugs still aren’t reversible: You have to plug them in exactly the right way. That’s always fun when you’re trying to connect something to a tower PC case or inconveniently located USB port in your car. Usually it starts with a lot of contortions, continues with searching for a flashlight and ends with a least a little cursing. New USB standards — most notably USB 3.1 and Apple’s just-announced USB Type-C — will make the pluggable life a lot easier, as the new ports and connectors have no “right side up”: They work much like Apple’s current Lightning ports and plugs, which is to say everything’s reversible. As it should be. As it should have been 10 years ago. Video About USB That’s great for all the gear you’re going to buy in the future, but what about now? Are we doomed to live with difficult USB for all our current cables and devices? We are not! Here are three ways to make today’s USB less of a hassle. The fastest, easiest, cheapest way to “fix” any USB device is to break out the nail polish. A little dab of red on the up-facing side of the connector (not the metal part that actually goes into the port, but the plastic casing behind it) will show you at-a-glance which way the plug goes. Read more Source:Rick Broida Image Source:Jacob...

ZTE Blade S6: A budget smartphone

ZTE Blade S6 Review The familiar-looking $250 phone, powered by a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 chip, will offer Android 5.0 Lollipop on the cheap in Asia. Getting a decently priced smartphone right is a thorny problem. All too often manufacturers aim for Apple-inspired design and a premium feel despite cheaper components and materials, but fall well short. On paper, I had high hopes for the ZTE Blade S6 but, unfortunately, it is no exception, despite laudable specs for an enticing price. It’s certainly not a bad-looking device, resplendent with a perfectly reasonable 5-inch FED display which is not going to have pixel-ophiles queuing around the block but won’t upset its mass-market target audience. Video About ZTE Blade S6 But when you try to evoke Apple’s iPhone 6 mixed with a healthy slice of Samsung’s S range you are setting yourself up for a fall. The curved design might remind you of a certain Cupertino phone but any scrutiny whatsoever will leave you asking why anyone thought aping the iPhone 6’s design was a good plan – when all it would bring is comparison. The phone feels fairly well balanced in the hand, but the materials used in construction are certainly not lovingly crafted from a block of angel-kissed aluminium. Read more Source:Aloysius Low Image Source:Android...

BlackBerry Leap ditches physical keyboard with 5-inch display

BlackBerry Leap Review The company also plans to release a second Porsche edition device and another keyboard BlackBerry later this year. The Leap marks a return to touchscreen, with last year’s line-up totally dependent on its trademark physical keyboard. The company plans to start selling the smartphone, which will go on sale in April in Europe for $275 (roughly £180 or AU$350). BlackBerry devices executive Ron Louks also teased another smartphone with a curved display that wraps around the side, like the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, and a slide-out keyboard. There isn’t a name for the device, but CEO John Chen said he calls it “the slider.” He also said the company would release a second Porsche edition BlackBerry and another keyboard smartphone. Video About Blackberry Leap BlackBerry is in the midst of a transformation, moving from purely a smartphone manufacturer to a provider of business services, including helping companies manage a wide array of mobile devices. The company spent the early part of the Mobile World Congress trade show making several business announcements, including the desire to bring more BlackBerry apps and services to the iPhone and Android smartphones and a strengthened partnership with Samsung and its Knox business service. As an illustration of the trend, a vast majority of its 90-minute conference was dominated by software. But BlackBerry still counts roughly three-quarters of its revenue from smartphones, and it needs a hit. The company unveiled four devices in 2014, a low-cost BlackBerry Z3 constructed with manufacturing partner Foxconn, a niche Porsche edition BlackBerry, the extra-wide Passport and the BlackBerry Classic. Read more Source: Roger Cheng Image...

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Review

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Review The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 has a comfortable, ergonomic design with a useful built-in kickstand. The sharp LED display is paired with booming speakers and a long-lasting battery. The 8-inch Android version of the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 has two rare features that help distinguish it from other Android tablets: a built-in kickstand and a powerful pair of speakers. The apex of the notable design is the chunky rounded spine that, when twisted, reveals that small, sturdy stand. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but if you’re using the tablet every day, it is. The 8-inch Lenovo can lie down at an angle for easy typing, stand up for Web browsing or hands-free video watching and, if you wish, you can even hang it. Video About Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 They don’t come in as handy as much as the built-in kickstand, but the speakers are still a big deal for heavy media consumers. When used with the preloaded Dolby app, movies come to life, podcasts sound crisp and music richly flows out of the front-facing pair — an odd sight on a tablet, or sound in this case. Starting at $229 in the US and £169 in the UK (Australia availability has yet to be announced), the affordable alternative is a smart deviation from the status quo and in its price range, the 8-inch Yoga Tablet 2 is the pick of the litter. Read more Source: Xiomara Blanco Image Source:Maurizio...