These days many devices run on Android platform, not just smartphones. With the arrival of flexible smartphones, Google is doing its part to support the form factor and prepare for the future.
Samsung and Google have been collaborating to create the new One UI for Samsung's phones.Currently Android developers are focusing on making a UI for the two-screen and the one-screen devices as shown in the .gif below. The goal is to strive for is to create a so-called smooth transitional continuity of content between the folded screen and the unfolded state. Watching a video can be one of those activities.
It has also been mentioned that more than one manufacturer is looking into creating flexible phones. Other than Samsung, major brands such as Huawei, LG, Xiaomi, Oppo, Lenovo and Motorola are all purported to be working on a version of their own and the new handsets will be released as soon as early next year.
Notwithstanding the recent Samsung developer conference placing a lot of focus on the foldable phones of the future, Samsung hasn't forgotten about the current devices that are already on the market.
Samsung announced during the conference to release Android 9 Pie for the Galaxy Note9, S9, and S9+ in January. An open beta program for the new release will become available later this month, the US, South Korea, and Germany will the first to get this beta.
You can expect the new Samsung’s android skin One UI to arrive as part of the Pie updates. It was presented as a total UX reinvention on its devices. It definitely looks and feels different in comparison to the previous UIs (system-wide night mode will be available). It is something we all can wait in anticipation for.
Huawei's latest flagship smartphone Mate 20 Pro is getting a 491MB update with the first new software rollout for the device since it was released a days ago weighs. It is however presently available in both the UK and South Africa but should be making its way to more countries in the days ahead.
Upon installation, you'll be running EMUI 188.8.131.52. The update includes October security patches, which are still current as Google hasn't released the November ones so far. With the new update comes new camera filters and effects namely AI colour, background blur and vintage for video shooting. The in-built AI zoom feature now lets you adjust the focus for better clarity.
Head over to System update under Settings if you haven't yet received the update notification on your Mate 20 Pro for a manual check for the update. It might already be available for your download.
OnePlus 6T is finally here, about six months after its predecessor arrived on shelves. After a lengthy promotional campaign and a fair bit of leaks, it was already pretty clear to us what the OnePlus 6T was going to offer. Nevertheless, we are going through the actual features of the model.
OnePlus 6T's improvements are essentially both hardware and software upgrades. For hardware, 6T offers a smaller water drop-styled notch, an in-display fingerprint scanner and a bigger battery. On the other hand, software improvements include camera upgrade and the phone performance.
However, there’s one hardware regression and that is the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack. That said, OnePlus has a reasonably priced USB-C Bullets headphones ready for the OnePlus 6T and has included a USB-C to 3.5mm adapter in the phone's box.
In comparison to its predecessor, the OnePlus 6T has a notably thinner top and bottom bezels (the former has to do with the new notch). The 6.4-inch panel of the OnePlus 6T is only slightly larger than the 6.28-inch of its predecessor but noticeably taller when placed next to it.
The new in-screen fingerprint scanner is located on the bottom half of the OnePlus 6T's screen. The phone will display an icon for you to put your finger on when it is lifted up.
OnePlus 6T has a larger 3,700mAh battery which is an upgrade over the 3,300mAh unit of OnePlus 6. However, this only results in a phone that's slightly taller and thicker than its predecessor (only 3g heavier).
Cameras on 6T are the same with OnePlus 6’s in terms of hardware, but differ in software. There are 2 back shooters – a main 16MP f/1.7 OIS and a secondary 20MP f/1.7 that can be used to take 2x telephoto shots while on the front there's a 16MP f/2.0.
The back shooters take better HDR images than its predecessor. A new Nightscape feature is available too; not unlike Huawei's Night Mode and Pixel 3's Night Sight, it helps you take brighter low-light images with lower noise.
Like OnePlus 6, 6T is powered with the Snapdragon 845 chipset with either 6GB or 8GB of RAM. On the OxygenOS side, OnePlus 6T comes with a new Gaming mode and Smart Boost. The Gaming mode not only gives you better control on notifications, it also locks the screen brightness during gaming and limit data usage of other apps. Smart Boost is claimed to improve app loading speed by storing some app data in the RAM (for certain games).
As part of OxygenOS under Android 9 Pie, OnePlus 6T supports for all types of Android navigation which are namely OnePlus' own gesture system (like the Apple's gesture-based navigation), Android 9 Pie's native (pill) gesture navigation and the old three-button navigation.
Power charging wise, OnePlus 6T charges quickly with Dash Charge for fast charging at up to 20W. It is purported that the provided charger can charge the OnePlus 6T up with up to a day's battery in a little as 30 minutes.
OnePlus is now offering 6T in 3 configurations – 6GB+128GB, 8GB+128GB and 8GB+256GB. Get yours now.
The upcoming Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 is rather big. At 6.39" in screen size, it is nearly as big as the original. The notable improvement in Mi Mix 3 is that the bezels have slimmed down by 4.46mm from the recent Mi Mix 2S model.
Xiaomi is going original with this one, not following the industry’s trend of notched designs nor adopting Oppo/Vivo’s automated pop-up mechanisms. They decided on having a manual slider to place the selfie camera. This is rather smart move as the sliding action with the phone is inexplicably satisfying.
With the front camera out of the way, the notch-less screen and thin bezels result in an official 93.4% screen to body ratio. This is definitely a perceptible improvement over that of the original i.e. 91.3%.
Besides that improvement in the screen, we should know that there is a flagship camera as well. Purportedly to be amongst the best mobile cameras currently on the market by Xiaomi, the camera features dual camera lens on its front as well as on the back.
Notwithstanding Xiaomi is known to be an established leader in the market of budget phones, it proves that it can also build some of the best flagships like with the Mi Mix 3.
If you miss the good old days when you would slide open your phone to answer a call and then slide shut with a gratifying click to hang up, Mi Mix 3 will allow you to relive that nostalgia.
Xiaomi uses an innovative method to lock the phone in the open and closed positions – using neodymium magnets – which also provides a "springy" effect. Xiaomi claims that the Mi Mix 3 has been tested through 300,000 open/close cycles and can be used it as a fidget.
The 6.39" screen is an AMOLED with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio without any distracting notch and has a HDR resolution of 1,080 x 2,340px, just as Xiaomi's other flagship models. There is a 103.4% coverage of the NTSC color gamut. Brightness is at 430 nits for typical level and 600 nits for maximum brightness in sunlight mode. The ‘Always On Display’ mode is available too.
The receiving earpiece is located in the lower half of the slider but it is also possible to talk with the slider closed.
The phone frame is made out of high tensile strength 7000-series aluminium, while the back is made of ceramic.
As for battery, Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 has a 3,200mAh one that can be charged wirelessly. QuickCharge 4.0+ is also supported. Fingerprint scanner is located on the back of the phone as expected and is responsive.
The main module on the back shooter has a 12MP Sony IMX363 image sensor with large 1.4µm pixels and Dual Pixel autofocus. The lens has an f/1.8 aperture and a 4-axis Optical Image Stabilization. The other module uses a 2x telephoto lens and a 12MP sensor with 1.0µm pixels
Night mode works efficiently and effectively in bringing out more details. There is also the HDR mode that helps in rescuing to some extent some of the photo details.
Video capturing is now able to support higher frame rates – 1080p at 240fps continuously and at 960fps for short clips. Video-taking at 2160p resolution has gained a 60fps mode too.
As for the front shooter, it is a substantial improvement over the 2S. This dual camera’s main module has an impressive 24MP resolution. Its sensor has 0.9µm pixels and supports 4-in-1 pixel binning. Even a 2MP depth sensor has also been added for bokeh creation.
Performance during hands-on
Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 is powered by a Snapdragon 845. This is a highly capable chipset that many flagships are current using and we should not be strangers to its performance. Albeit MIUI may not be the most minimalist of android skins, the user interface feels responsive and fluid enough, with apps launching quickly upon selection.
Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 is unique with promising specs. With nothing quite like this presently on the market, this phone is something to watch out for with anticipation.
Body: Slider, 7000-series aluminum, ceramic back
Screen: 6.39" Super AMOLED, 1,080 x 2,340px (403ppi), 19.5:9 aspect ratio, HDR
Chipset: Snapdragon 845: octa-core Kryo 385 CPU (4x2.8GHz + 4x1.7GHz); Adreno 630 GPU
Memory: 6/8GB of RAM (LPDDR4X), 128/256GB storage (UFS 2.1); 10/256GB special edition
OS: Android 9.0 Pie; MIUI 10
Camera: 12MP f/1.8 (1.4µm) + 12MP f/2.4 (1.0µm); 4K video capture at 60fps; 1080p at 240fps and 960fps
Camera features: 2x telephoto, Dual Pixel AF, 4-axis OIS
Selfie cam: 24MP (0.9µm) + 2MP depth sensor
Battery: 3,200mAh; 18W QuickCharge 4.0+ supported; 10W wireless charging (charger included in box)
Security: fingerprint reader on the back; face recognition
Connectivity: Dual SIM, dual VoLTE; 2x2 MIMO Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.0 with aptX HD, dual band GPS/Galileo, also single-band GLONASS/Beidou; 5G model coming next year
Zack from JerryRigEverything gave the Razer Phone 2 the scratch, burn and bend test in his latest durability test. Razer Phone 2 proves to be one tough and rugged gaming phone. It passed the tests without losing its structural integrity.
Its Gorilla Glass screen was scratched at a level 6 (razor hardness) but suffered minimally. The silver aluminum skin underneath the black anodization was unveiled by the razor. The phone hardly budged during the bend test. When the LCD was subjected to lighter's flame the area under the flame turned off but managed to recover fully in seconds.
Nothing beats the action. Take a look at the full video here.
OnePlus is dying to tell you about its upcoming updated flagship - the OnePlus 6T. OnePlus 6T has some new sensational features and all these are to be reveal this coming Oct 29. It was originally on the 30th but they brought forward so as to not clash with another product launch scheduled for that day.
OnePlus as usual, further refines its formula for delivering a top-notch Android smartphone at a competitive price. The OnePlus 6, picked up a CNET Editor's Choice in May 2018 on the strength of its excellent cameras, speedy performance, slick design and starting price of $529 -- less than the Google Pixel 2 XL, Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus or Apple iPhone X.
OnePlus embraces the supply-chain rumor mill unlike more secretive companies like Apple and Google. Publishing teasers, Q&As and in-depth features about upcoming phones has become a distinctive hallmark of OnePlus' marketing strategy (OnePlus founder Pete Lau recently confirmed several details about the 6T). As the leakage carries on from industry sources and diligent leakers. We count down the days to the official introduction on Oct. 29, we'll continue to collect the best news and rumors about the OnePlus 6T here. So check back often.
So what has been confirmed and what are the rumors?
One thing for certain is that OnePlus 6T is going to include an in-display fingerprint scanner, beneath the rumored 6.4-inch AMOLED display. There will not be a headphone jack for the 6T too as founder Pete Lau has confirmed.
The company has revealed on its own forum that a newer UI will be used for the upcoming 6T. Amongst the new features are an advanced "Do Not Disturb" mode, navigational gestures and shortcuts for toggling between recently used apps and summoning the Google Assistant.
Rumor has it that the OnePlus 6T is going to have a mini teardrop notch for the front camera and a slim bottom bezel. It also been shown on Geekbench – an online benchmark data repository to have same 8-core Snapdragon 845 used by model 6 as well as other flagship phones e.g. Pixel 3, Pixel 3XL, Galaxy Note 9, Galaxy S9 etc.
OnePlus 6 is expected to be priced between $550 to $570.
Honor and its parent company Huawei has a practice of oversaturating the market with a superfluity of extremely similar models. At first look, Honor 8X seems like it is not any exception.
The phablet comes with a 6.5-inch notched LCD panel, the fairly new mid-range Kirin 710 chipset and a 3,750 mAh battery. These specifications however, are comparable to other Huawei models like the Huawei P Smart+ (nova 3i) and the Huawei Mate 20 Lite. Huawei Honor Play and the Huawei nova 3 also fit the overall description, albeit with the more powerful flagship Kirin 970 chipset. And there are also notch-free options with similar specifications, like the Honor Note 10 or the Honor View 10.
It’s as if Huawei is overwhelming customers with the number of choices despite the fact these models are not all offered on the same markets. However, one fact the stands out is that Honor 8X seems to bring the best value for money for the aforementioned hardware specs with it low price. The model is a great affordable mid-range option, but don’t expect to ‘wow’ you as there is lack of new novel features.
Using the Honor 8X is expectedly familiar. At 160.4 x 76.6 x 7.8 mm and weighing at 175 grams, the phone sits comfortably on the palm of the hand. Instead of the having Gorilla Glass, the back of the phone is made of plastic. Notwithstanding that, its body is sturdy to the touch. A case is recommended as the plastic back is more prone to scratches.
However, the back plate does have an interesting feature; the left portion of the area that houses the dual camera setup has a less-glossy texture. This feature helps it in differentiating itself from the rest of the Huawei and Honor models. It is also nice to see a thinner bezel and notch for the Honor 8X display. Colours that are available include Black, Blue, Red and Pink.
The fingerprint reader is located on the back side of the Honor 8X. It is a really accurate and responsive reader that unlocks as fast as 0.3 seconds. Honor 8X also includes face unlock. However, that one takes a longer time to unlock: 0.6 seconds on average.
The SIM tray can house a maximum of dual Nano SIM cards along with a microSD card. No hybrid setups and compromises in sight. The top side of the Honor 8X is practically empty, only housing a small secondary microphone. On the bottom - the main microphone, single speaker and a 3.5mm audio jack. Pretty great setup, only partially spoiled by the choice of a dated microUSB 2.0 port. Still, reminding ourselves of the price tag make this a lot easier to swallow.
The 1080 x 2340 px resolution looks perfectly adequate on its 6.5-inch. The LCD portrays images with good clarity and details. The tall aspect ratio it comes in – 19.5:9 – like many of its siblings is rather similar to the typical cinematic video ratio.
Honor 8X is powered by Hisilicon's relatively new Kirin 710 chipset and this Kirin 710 is has an octa-core processor configuration, with 4x2.2 GHz Cortex-A73 and 4x1.7 GHz Cortex-A53 units. This combination brings its performance close to the flagship Kirin 960’s. Honor 8X comes is 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage for the base model and 6GB with 64GB or 128GB on the better variants. These specifications along with the aforementioned chipset’s prowess, gives you a very capable setup. Honor 8X has also performed well within expectations with decent results for the benchmarks.
Honor 8X is armed with 20MP, f/1.8, 27mm equivalent wide-angle, together with a 2MP depth sensor configuration; a straight-forward phase detection autofocus system with a single LED flash.
The Honor 8X is simply solid mid-range phone, with an attractive low price. Despite that, it is hard to give it strong recommendation due to the fact that other Huawei and Honor phones with similar specifications exist and can easily be alternatives to the Honor 8X in the same price range.
Samsung has made known the world’s first phone with a quad camera – its Galaxy A9 (2018). This builds on Samsung’s first triple camera phone, the Galaxy A7 (2018) with an additional telephoto lens. Users can choose between the telephoto and the ultra-wide angle camera; choose between focusing on a detail and capturing large portion of the scene.
The tele-camera takes 10MP images and has a 2x optical zoom over the main camera. The 24MP main camera has a bright f/1.7 lens that makes it suitable for both daylight and night time shots.
In the 120° ultra-wide angle camera lies an 8MP sensor. Armed with an AI - Intelligent Scene Optimizer that automatically regulates camera settings based on the scene. There is also a 5MP depth sensor to add artificial bokeh to shots.
The Galaxy A9 comes with large 6.3” Super AMOLED notch free screen which has a 1,080 x 2,220px resolution. The 24MP selfie camera with a f/2.0 lens is located just above that screen.
There are the 6GB RAM and the 8GB RAM versions. Both versions of the A9 come with 128GB of storage (with a microSD slot for a maximum of an additional 512GB). Whichever the version, you’re getting a phone running Android 8.0 Oreo and powered by an octa-core processor which is (4x 2.2GHz + 4x 1.8GHz).
Samsung Pay, Health and Bixby are some Samsung add-ons that will be available. The large screen is perfect of for split-screen multitasking too. The phone has a 3,800mAh battery, pretty comparable to the Galaxy Note 9. The fingerprint reader is expectedly at the back of the phone. The back is made of 3D curved glass for better ergonomics.
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) will be available only in selected markets early next month. There will be three colors options: Caviar Black, Lemonade Blue and Bubblegum Pink. Pricing is yet to be unveiled.