Three shocking smartphones: One old newcomer, one clever and one sillier

March 1, 2018 7:00 am


There are still several days left before the Mobile World Congress is over, but on Tuesday, cybersecurity firm Sikur announced what it claims is a hack-proof smartphone designed to store cryptocurrencies securely.

But one clear winner has emerged from there: An old name, Nokia.

The company brought back Nokia 8110 Matrix slider, featuring 4G and also unveiled a quartet of new Nokia Android phones.

Nokia leads the charge back from oblivion.

Related: Time for an upgrade: new phones to watch out for in 2018

Comeback trail

Remember when Nokia was the powerhouse of mobile phones? Asked ZDnet, an IT news e-site.

Windows Phone was Nokia’s primary operating system but under a new owner, HMD Global, the brand is trying to make a comeback to the top with Android smartphones.

“While most of the attention is going to Nokia’s 8110 4G, a modern, low-powered slider phone you may remember from The Matrix, which runs KaiOS, there’s so many users who want to take a nostalgic visit to 1999 feature phones,” said ZDNet.

“Many more people want a smartphone with vanilla Android. Android users tend to hate vendor specific interfaces; glued in add-on programs, which just devour battery life; and annoying customized standard programs. These people may well want a Nokia 8 Sirocco, and the Nokia 7 Plus, Nokia 6, or entry-level Nokia 1.”

Watch: The war of the “Big Apple” vs Samsung SX” smartphones coming up

I Spy

Cybersecurity firm DarkMatter has unveiled its first smartphone Katim designed to stop spy agencies listening to you, CNBC revealed.

It is an Android smartphone with a 5.2-inch display and strong encryption.

One security feature called “shield mode” disconnects power from the microphone and camera on the device, so nobody can spy on your conversations.

“If you are to enter a secure meeting or a very confidential meeting as a business, you are striking a secret deal, or as a government having a secret meeting in that regard… you always tend to find people leaving their phone outside the meeting,” Fisal Al Bannai, CEO of DarkMatter, told CNBC in an interview Tuesday.

“It’s because you can’t trust that no one, no super agencies are able to turn on that mic while you are sitting in the room.”

Al Bannai also revealed that 2017 revenue hit $400 million, up from $200 million the year before.

 Missing treasure: The search is on for 4 million lost bitcoins

BMW makes you keep track of your phone

At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Monday, BMW showed off a smartphone-enabled car locking and unlocking experience.

According to Techcrunch, an industry site, BMW’s Digital Key will be available this July for BMW car owners who have a Samsung phone.

Through the BMW Connected app, the Digital Key can open your car straight from your phone.

“Once you’re in the car, placing the phone on a wireless charging pad can even start the engine if you get really fancy,” said Techcrunch.

Smart? What if you lose your phone? Will you be locked out of your car?

You could be unless you give digital copies of your “key” to up to five other people on their Samsung smartphones.

These are quite some odds, and a hassle.

 

 

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Hadi Khatib
By Hadi Khatib
Hadi Khatib is a business editor with more than 15 years' experience delivering news and copy of relevance to a wide range of audiences. If newsworthy and actionable, you will find this editor interested in hearing about your sector developments and writing about it.



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