New blog, new beginning

Dual-screen YotaPhone

A shot of dual-screen YotaPhone, which I reviewed for Engadget back at the end of 2013 .

The unthinkable has happened. I’ve left my amazing job and colleagues at Engadget in order to try something new. Rather than purely blogging, I’ll be offering commercial analysis and consultancy services under the banner of ViaTheWire, mainly focused on the mobile and chip industries.

Rest assured that I won’t start waffling in corporatese. My firm intention is to stay just as detached and opinionated as I’ve always been, and I’ll be maintaining my Forbes blog for that very purpose. But this move will allow me to offer my thoughts directly to tech startups before it’s too late for them to change tack. After three years of reviewing mobile devices that are already final (and often flawed), this is my chance to try to make a difference. I bet it’s harder than it looks.

My main client is Yota Devices — a company no one had heard of two years ago, but which has now built quite a name for itself as the maker of the unique, dual-screen YotaPhone. (LCD on the front for regular phone use, E Ink on the back for e-reading, notifications and general power-saving.) I was pretty merciless in my review of the first YotaPhone, but in the process of prodding and criticizing the company I ended up becoming good friends with its CEO, Vlad Martynov. He’s now invited me to consult on the company’s next-gen (and next-next-gen) products.

I’ll also be working closely with another old friend, Sri Iyer, who I first met when I was reporting on ARM. Sri left ARM to found a startup called GameBench, whose benchmarking app became an invaluable tool for me when I was reviewing devices for Engadget. GameBench gathers practical, reliable data on the efficiency and performance of Android devices, and as such it will help the whole Android gaming ecosystem to evolve and push technical boundaries. Just as with Yota, that’s something I couldn’t resist being a part of.

That’s it for now. I intend to post regularly both at Forbes and here at viathewire.com, and I hope you’ll continue to follow me. Finally, to any Engadget colleagues reading this, please know that I miss you already! Wish me luck.

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