The new Windows Phone 10 preview includes Project Spartan and a ton of new apps

Things are looking up for Windows Phone, at least on the software side. Revamped Office applications will come to Microsoft’s tenacious smartphone OS soon, and Android app compatibility may very well be on the way. But dovetailing with those developments is the inarguably more exciting Windows Phone 10 Technical Preview, Microsoft’s very first beta for mobile. The program, which launched in February, has seen new firmware release at a steady clip, but the version released today is a step above. As detailed on the official Windows blog, Build 10051 includes Project Spartan and a bevy of refreshed apps, among them Mail, Calendar, Phone, Messaging, and People.
Project Spartan, for the uninitiated, is Microsoft’s ambitious reimagining of the default Windows browser. Positioned as a definitive replacement for Internet Explorer, it trades the company’s legacy skins and rendering engines with a modernized framework that will eventually support extensions, Microsoft’s digital assistant Cortana, and a paired-down “reading mode” interface. This is the first we’ve seen of Project Spartan on mobile, and it seems a lot like its desktop counterpart — the streamlined UI carries over, as does the bookmarking Reading List feature. It isn’t replacing IE11 just yet — it’ll exist alongside the older browser for now — but Microsoft suggests pinning it to your Start Screen from the All Apps list for faster access.

BitTorrent launches its own web browser for Windows

We knew that BitTorrent was working on its own browser, and now it’s here in beta form for Windows. Based on Chromium, Project Maelstrom is designed to de-centralize the web in the same way that torrents do, relying on a people-powered network of sites and files rather than large server hubs.
“With Project Maelstrom, we aim to deliver technology that can sustain an open internet; one that doesn’t require servers, that allows anyone to publish to a truly open web, and that uses the power of distributed technology to scale efficiently,” explains BitTorrent’s Rob Velasquez on the company blog.
Related: Scared of the cloud, but want to share files? BitTorrent Sync might be the answer
BitTorrent says 10,000 developers and 3,500 publishers have come on board with the project since a closed alpha launch in December. The aim is to get the web working more like BitTorrent does, with multiple copies of data spread across the globe, though the browser will of course open websites hosted in the regular way if you want it to. A fresh batch of developer tools has also been released into the wild.

CyanogenMod 12S for the OnePlus One passes certification, to seed over the ‘next few days’

The OnePlus One has unfortunately been riddled with controversy and delays, and the postponed release of the Lollipop based CyanogenMod 12S is the latest mishap.

However, in what is seen as respite for OnePlus One owners, company co-founder Carl Pei tweeted that the CyanogenMod 12S update had received certification and that it would seed to OnePlus One devices over the next few days.

N0.1 M2 Rugged Phone crashes the market at $94

The rugged smartphone scene has recently seen a sudden surge of activity with many models getting released with decently high specs and decent enough prices. These devices are made for people who work in rough conditions or those with active lifestyle. One of these devices is the No.1 M2.

We wrote about the No.1 M2 a month ago where we talked about how durable the phone was from some online videos, as well as the device’s specifications and design. To refresh your memories, the device has a 4.5-inch qHD display, with a 1.3Ghz MTK6582 processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. The phone also has a 13MP rear camera and 5MP front camera and costs $94.
The phone is waterproof and shockproof to IP68 standards, which is great for the average cyclist or construction worker, and it also ships with Lollipop instead of Kitkat which is a huge selling point for some. The battery is 2400mAh, which should be good enough considering the device’s chipset and screen.While dual sim cards are supported, there is unfortunately no 4G LTE support which will be a deal breaker to some people.

Zopo ZP530 Focus hands on and first impressions

It has been a very long time since we had a Zopo phone here on GizChina.com. Today we get our hands on the Zopo ZP530 Focus for the first time, in an unboxing video and first impressions.

Zopo are probably the first Chinese smartphone company that many of you had heard of. They kicked off life right at the start of the Chinese phone boom and at that time it seemed like there was not stopping the company.

Mlais M4 Note with MT6732, Android Lollipop now on pre-sale

Mlais’ M52 Red Note may be the hottest device in their facilities at the moment, but the company seems to have on offer something with a bit of a twist, i.e., the M4 Note.

While the Red Note goes after the… (no points for guessing) Redmi Note design, the M4 Note takes inspiration from the Galaxy Note 4. Nonetheless, the device does have some decent specs on offer, topped by the quad-core 64-bit MediaTek MT6732 SoC.

Along with that, there’s 2GB of RAM, 16GB of on-board storage and a 13 mega-pixel / 8 mega-pixel camera department. According to the listing on Gearbest, the phone will have a 2400mAh battery, which is a bit of a disappointment; 3000+mAh would’ve been more like it on a 5.5-inch 720p phone.

Among the highlights of the phone is the fact that it comes with Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the box, a feat not many Chinese phones (unfortunately) seem to be successful in achieving.


Lamborghini lukewarm on entry-level model, bullish on SUV

When Lamborghini introduced the Gallardo over a decade ago, it was a pretty big deal. Traditionally, Sant’Agata Bolognese had survived with just one model at a time, and previous attempts to grow the lineup hadn’t gone well.
Today, Lambo’s two-car lineup seems rather quaint as brands like Ferrari and McLaren introduce new models on a fairly regular basis.
While it may erode some of the brand’s mystique, Lamborghini is considering similar growth, CEO Stephan Winkelmann told Car and Driver in an interview at the recent New York Auto Show.
McLaren unveiled its “entry-level” 570S in New York, and Winkelmann said Lambo is open to the idea of a model at a similar, sub-$200k price point, although not an entirely new one.
While Lamborghini isn’t planning on devoting an entirely new model to that segment, Winkelmann said it is open to “derivatives inside the models” that already exist.

Daway intros the budget Daway Z6

Daway is a new brand in the Chinese smartphone market and are hoping to slowly wiggle their way into the budget section with their Daway Z6, a budget device that literally screams “budget smartphone”.

The Daway Z6 has a 5-inch HD display, a (fairly outdated) 1.3Ghz MTK6582 chipset with a Mali 400MP2 GPU, 2GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, and 8MP rear camera with a single flash and a front facing shooter at 2MP. The rest of the specifications like the size of the battery are still unknown, but should be revealed in due time. The device has a fairly generic design compared to similar budget devices like the Elephone P6000 and the JiaYu F2. The front has three capacitive buttons, along with the sensors and front facing camera. The sides are covered in what appears to be a metallic coloured plastic frame which hold the power button on the right, the volume rocker on the left, the charging port and

Update: Lenovo P70 with 4,000mAh battery official in India for 16k INR/$260

After the rather disappointing pricing of the Gionee Elife S7, buyers in India are being spoilt for choices with MT6752 phones.

Only a couple of days back did we report about the Lenovo A7000, which is another phone powered by the MT6752 (MT6752m, to be precise).

Yu’s next will be the Yuphoria

After an arguably successful maiden phone in the Yureka (review), India’s up and coming smartphone vendor Yu is ready to bring its second to the market.

After holding an online poll that asked users to choose between five probable names, Yu announced that its next phone — Project Caesar — will go by the name of Yu Yuphoria thanks to the number of votes the entry received. According to reports, more than 1,00,000 people participated in the poll to give the next Yu phone a name. Besides Yuphoria, people could vote for the following names – Yuknight, Yunicorn, Yunity and Yuth.

The Yuphoria will also reportedly cost a little more than the existing Yureka, and is expected to be unveiled in the coming few weeks. If you aren’t aware, Yu is a sub-brand of India’s largest homegrown smartphone vendor, i.e., Micromax, and currently has only one phone, i.e., the Yureka, in its repertoire. The phone comes with a 64-bit octa-core processor from Qualcomm, has 2GB of RAM and is powered by the now-popular Cyanogen OS.

Coming back to the Yuphoria, the device is also expected to run Android 5.0 Lollipop right out of the box. What are your expectations from the Yuphoria? Let us know in the comments section below.

64bit, 3GB RAM Hosan S7 launched in China with nano-injection alloy body

With all the smartphone news going on at the moment we managed to miss the launch of the Hosan S7 yesterday, but here are the full details of this stylish all metal phone with detailed photos.

Hosan have released their 2015 flagship contender and it really is an incredible looking smartphone. The stylish device comes with glass front and rear panels bonded to an all alloy chassis available in black, blue or gold.

LeTV phones shown in latest press shots along with pricing

The best look yet at the LeTV Android phones due for launch this month plus details of pricing.

LeTV are really teasing us with the constant leaks and teasers for their upcoming smartphone range. At this point it is believed that LeTV have at least 3 models in development with at least 2 of the phones being scheduled for a launch later this month.

Spy photos and teasers of the LeTV phone mean that we all know what to expect in the looks department, but incase we weren’t sure, new press photos show plenty of LeTV device to give us a good look.

Nubia Z9 spy images show 2.5D display, slim bezel and metal rear

Another set of leaked images have been posted online showing the flagship Nubia Z9 with slim bezels along with a few additional features.

Nubia bosses say that the flagship variant of the Nubia Z9 will have a borderless design, but so far all the leaks contend that theory and show extremely slim edges on either side of the display.

These latest leaked photos show a few more details as the screen appears to be a 2.5D panel, thinner on the edges and thicker in the middle (same as the IUNI U3 and Mi Note), along with a metal rear.


IUNI U3 prices cut to 1799 Yuan in China, world’s cheapest 2K phone

IUNI have slashed the price of their already low cost IUNI U3 flagship from 2000 Yuan to only 1799 Yuan.

The IUNI U3, the current flagship IUNI device, was already a bargain flagship at the original cost of 2000 Yuan, but now it’s a steal and can be had for just 1799 Yuan or $290!

We reviewed the IUNI U3 a while back and found and found the price to hardware ratio to be amazing. Specifications for the phone include a 5.5-inch Sharp 2K display (2560 x 1440), Snapdragon 801 clocked at 2.3Ghz, 3GB RAM, 13 mega-pixel rear camera with OIS and LG 3000mAh battery.

The U3 comes in white, black and mint green. Hopefully this low price will be reflected in reseller pricing in the coming weeks.

Unlikely renders of the Vivo Xplay 5S published

Ok so we don’t feel these images show the real Vivo Xplay 5S but from following the brand false leaks mean that the real thing is on the way.

Vivo have a long long reputation for keeping fans guessing up until the last moment, and they have been quite successful in keeping their designs a secret until the day of launch.

All Vivo major Vivo launches do have something in common though, they are preceded by the release of a lot of renders showing devices completely unlike what the final product looks like (remember the Vivo Xshot renders?).


Apple Watch is ‘not for everyone,’ say early reviewers, but promise peeks through

On the eve of the eagerly anticipated Apple Watch, reviews have begun trickling out like clockwork. The verdict? Apple’s first smartwatch does some things spectacularly, some things rather poorly, and everything with a measure of unwieldiness not unlike that which typified the earliest iPhones.
“The Apple Watch is far from perfect,” Farhad Manjoo writes for the New York Times. “[It] works like a first-generation device, with all the limitations and flaws you’d expect of brand-new technology.”
“There are rough spots,” Joshua Topolsky of Bloomberg Business concedes.

HTC One M9+ launched in China with 2K display and MT6795T chipset

HTC headed to the art district in Beijing today for the release of the HTC One M9+, and updated version of the M9 with some nice design and hardware updates and touches.

There was a lot of speculation going in to the launch of the HTC One M9+ today in China. There were questions about the overall specification, if the design of the One would change and who would be the official chip supply the flagship HTC. Well at 2:30pm in Beijing those questions were finally answered.

The HTC One M9+ isn’t just a slight specification change to adapt the standard M9 for the Chinese market but a complete overhaul with some major additions made to the phone.

There are a lot of firsts for the M9+ too. It is the first HTC to receive a front facing fingerprint scanner under a physical home button and it is the first phone (that I can think of) that uses a Mediatek MT6795T processor and the first HTC to have a 2K display.

HTC have obviously looked at what their Chinese rivals have been doing and made took the best from other phones and incorporated the details in to the HTC One M9+ while retaining classic features such as front facing Boomsound speakers.

Although the front fingerprint scanner and Mediatek chip were a surprise it was also surprising to learn that the 5.2-inch display of the M9+ is a 2K panel with a pixel density of 534ppi! I’ve used 2K panels of up to 6-inch and don’t really see much of a benefit and can hardly see the point in a smaller 2K display, but hats off to HTC for pushing the boat out.

Asus Zenfone 2 will officially launch in India on 23rd April!

The latest entry in to the ever-growing Indian smartphone market is Asus with the Asus Zenfone 2!

The Zenfone 2 once again manages to grab the headlines. The 4GB RAM Android flagship will now enter the Indian smartphone market and will be officially unveiled at a press even in New Delhi on April 23rd.

Along with the flagship model of the Asus Zenfone 2 there will be an additional 2 Zenfone 2 variants launched on the same day, although it has not been confirmed which variants they will be, there are currently quite a few and include a 5-inch version of the 5.5-inch device.

From specs we have seen during other launches the top of the range Asus Zenfone should have 4GB RAM, 5.5-inch full HD display, 2.3Ghz Intel Atom processor and 3000mAh battery. Pricing is expected to be very competitive to compete with Xiaomi and OnePlus.

Dieter Rams designed Blackview Alife S1 goes on sale for $179.99

Blackview teamed up with German designer Dieter Rams on their Blackview Alife S1, which is now on sale at a surprisingly low price.

Usually when a big name designer is attached to a smartphone design, or anything for that matter, the device’s retail price will be greatly exaggerated. With Dieter Rams behind the wheel of the new Blackvew Alife S1 we expected a similar astronomical price but are happy to see something more down to earth.

The Alife S1 is now on sale and features a rear 13 megapixel Samsung Isocell CMOS sensor (interpolated to 18 MP), built-in LED remote for controlling house hold appliances, dual SIM support and a 1.5ghz Mediatek MT6732 64bit chipset. All of this is built in to a slim CNC chassis with business like lines.

Xiaomi MiBand now has a leather strap option

The Xiaomi MiBand is a basic, yet very useable little wearable, but it’s not really the type of thing you can wear at a dinner date or a meeting, or is it?

Xiaomi have offered various silicon rubber straps for the MiBand since launch. Available in black, green, red, blue etc, the rubber option is cheap, cheerful and hard-wearing, but not exactly classy.

To ensure that you are still counting your steps and monitoring your exercise, Xiaomi have released a leather strap for the MiBand complete with alloy case. The brains of the MiBand simply slot in to the leather wrist strap of a more upmarket look.

Newman forget about left handed users with the Newman “button” phone

Electronics company Newman are back from a hiatus and have released a new Android smartphone featuring a built-in finger-print scanner and YunOS.

Newman were once a popular manufacture of MP3 and PMP devices in China, but as the Android smartphone boom began they too jumped ship and launched a couple of Android devices. Their first new phones were exciting flagship devices, but as time drew on Newman found it hard to compete in a very crowded market and so went quiet.

We were beginning to believe that Newman had packed it all up and gone home, but that isn’t the case as they are back with the launch of a new smartphone, the Newman “button” phone.

Nubia Z9 leaked shows near bezel-less design

After Weibo posts from Nubia bosses that the Nubia Z9 will launch with a borderless design yesterday, we had our doubts at what “borderless” actually meant. If these leaks are any indication then “almost borderless” would be a better description.

As we said yesterday, we have been promised border free phones for months now, but not one phone company has actually released a phone with screen to screen edges, there is always a very narrow sliver of bezel in-between (which is fine), so when we hear a company make claims that they’ve finally cracked it we tend not to hold our breath.

Yesterday Nubia bosses said the flagship Nubia Z9 would feature a borderless design, and today leaks of the phone indicate this isn’t exactly true. While the phone in the image is mostly screen up to the edge there is still a slim bezel lurking away there.

It remains to be seen if this leak is genuine or not, but our only is on Oppo for making the first phone that “appears” be be borderless after seeing their recent patent.

Is it really necessary for a phone to have zero bezel, or is a couple of mm or less acceptable?

Huawei SnapTo on sale for $180 on Amazon, but there are better deals

Huawei have launched another low-cost phone on Amazon for international buyers to pick up direct, but with a little shopping you can find better at a lower price.

At $180 the Huawei SnapTo is a budget phone, and easily undercuts the majority of Android handsets available in store in Europe and the U.S, but as fans of all Chinese tech we know that the SnapTo isn’t as great a deal as it could have been.

This electricity-free fridge could help reduce the world’s food spoilage

What do you get when a student from a top-ranking university decides he wants to do something cool? MIT student Quang Truong created the Evaptainer, a mobile, cooler-style device that operates on sunshine and water.
An extensive globetrotter, Truong has seen the consequences of food spoilage in developing nations firsthand. Due to the high costs and unpredictability of electric refrigeration, small farms reportedly lose out on profits each year, because they can’t keep their goods cool. In parts of Africa, 40 percent of produce spoils before it reaches the consumer, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization.


Humanity’s latest weapon in the fight against deforestation? Autonomous seed-bombing drones

Ever since the industrial revolution, humanity been fighting an uphill battle against deforestation. Despite the best efforts of conservationists, the world either burns or cuts down about 10 billion more trees than it replants each year — a problem that has big implications for climate change.
Environmental organizations have been trying (and failing) to reverse this trend for decades, but UK-based outfit BioCarbon Engineering thinks it can succeed where others have failed.


Check out Grand Theft Auto 5 at 60fps, coming soon to Windows

Rockstar has released a trailer for the upcoming PC version of Grand Theft Auto 5, set to launch on April 14. Give this a few minutes to buffer on your best monitor to get the first taste of how the game will look at 60 frames per second on PC.
The game has come a long way since it first launched in 2013. This PC release is the result of two years’ worth of patching and improvements, first on the original PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions, then on the upgraded PlayStation 4 and Xbox One editions. Check out the original launch trailer to see how much the visuals have improved for this upcoming edition.

Furious 7 just broke a lot of box office records

The opening weekend for Furious 7 has made one thing abundantly clear: The Fast & Furious film franchise is showing no signs of hitting the brakes.
The seventh installment of the action franchise that began with 2001’s The Fast and the Furious earned an estimated $143.6 million at the U.S. box office over the weekend, giving it both the best April opening of all time and the best Easter weekend opening for any movie. The record for April openings was previously held by last year’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, while the record for the best Easter weekend opening was previously held by 2010’s Clash of the Titans remake.
Furious 7 also topped the opening weekend of the previous record-holder in the franchise, 2013’s Fast and Furious 6, giving it the most successful opening weekend in the series so far.

Apple’s ‘spaceship’ campus taking shape, new drone video reveals

Located just a five-minute drive from its current headquarters, Apple’s ‘spaceship’ campus is rapidly taking shape, suggesting the first workers will be walking through its doors in 2016 as planned.
The information comes courtesy of a new drone video posted on YouTube in recent days. A number of UAV enthusiasts have been turning up outside Apple’s construction site in recent months, taking their camera-equipped flying copters high above where the new buildings are going up.
Compared to earlier videos, this latest one shows the location at its busiest, with an abundance of huge cranes dotted about the site and masses of building materials spread about the place.

Stil skeptical about the Apple Watch? The first 24 apps won’t change your mind

“A solution in search of a problem” has become a popular criticism leveled at the Apple Watch. Of course, it’s not specific to Apple, either. The phrase has been attached to practically every other high-profile smartwatch before it. And more to the point, it arises practically every time there’s a major push around a new product category.
At the hardware level, smartwatches are either grossly underperforming smartphones, or digital watches that have learned a few new tricks. Either way, they hardly represent the sea change on which Apple, Samsung, Google and their peers seems to be banking. The magic needs to come from the apps.

The new Nikon 1 J5 blends high-tech features with old-school looks

It's cute, it's small and Nikon's latest compact system camera boasts blistering shooting speeds
Nikon has announced the arrival of the Nikon 1 J5, the latest J-Series camera that's packing some serious style.

The Nikon 1 compact system cameras use a 1-inch sensor around half the size of Micro Four Thirds but still four times larger than the sensor in a typical point and shoot compact camera.

They come in three types: the entry-level Nikon 1 S2, the more powerful J-series models, the high-end V3 and the waterproof and shockproof AW1. All use Nikon 1 (CX format) interchangeable lenses (though the AW1 has dedicated waterproof lenses too).

LG teases a look at the new LG G4 software

If you're counting down the days until the 28 April unveiling of the LG G4 flagship, then you'll be interested in a new teaser video launched by the firm. It shows the LG UX 4.0 interface you can expect to see on the version of Android Lollipop shipping with the phone.

Android 5.0.1 Lollipop for Meizu MX4 Pro steps closer

Android 5 Lollipop is still missing from Meizu’s range of current devices, but new screenshots confirm that at least the MX4 Pro is being ran on 5.0.1 in China.

The leaked screenshot comes form an Antutu V5.7 benchmark ran on a Meizu MX4 Pro running an unreleased version of Android 5.0.1 Lollipop for the phone. Only the ‘details’ screenshot has been released so we don’t know how well optimised the system is.

Last month a Flyme roadmap was released confirming when each current Meizu phone would expect to receive a Lollipop update.

The roadmap has the MX4 Pro due an update this month, with the MX4 around the same time. The Meizu MX2 and MX3 will come in May with the M1 and M1 note in June.

Hands on and first impressions of the Gionee Elife S7!

Gionee created quite a lot of hype for the Elife S7 which was eventually showcased at the Mobile World Congress this year, and strictly on a device level (excluding the price factor, that is), the phone has so far proven to be a win for the company.

The Elife S7 was launched in India yesterday, i.e., on April 4th for 24,999 INR (US$400) where we spent some hands on time with the device. The phone is extremely thin and feels well built, but if that will translate in to heating issues is yet to be seen.

Before speaking more about the phone, let us take a quick recap over the specs; the phone has a 5.2-inch, Gorilla Glass 3 covered Super AMOLED display with a 1920 x 1080p resolution to churn out a decent 424 ppi; it’s powered by the popular MediaTek MT6752 processor that we’ve seen on a few Chinese phones, along with 2GB of RAM and a 13 mega-pixel / 8 mega-pixel camera set. Despite being as thin as the erstwhile thinness king Elife S5.5, the Elife S7 packs a 2700mAh battery.


Stay ahead of the curve with these 11 tips and tricks for LG’s G Flex 2

Like any new piece of technology, there are plenty of quirks that may not be apparent when you unbox your new LG G Flex 2. Getting the most out of your new curved phone may require some hints. Here’s our guide to the important tricks and tips to get you acquainted with your new phone.
Related: Our editor’s review LG’s G Flex2