Tagged: Mobile

OnePlus 6T mockups show a tiny notch that puts the iPhone X to shame

One of the worst-kept secrets in the smartphone industry is that every OnePlus phone is basically a carbon copy of the Oppo phone that launched before it. Both the Oppo and OnePlus brands are owned by the same parent company, and thus the designs of their phones end up being virtually identical year after year, with the OnePlus 5T mirroring the Oppo R11S and the OnePlus 6 lifting heavily from the design of the Oppo R15.

Although OnePlus has yet to confirm its next phone, the internet was abuzz this week as we got our very first look at Oppo’s R17, which may very well be the model on which the OnePlus 6T is based. If so, OnePlus fans have plenty of exciting design changes to look forward to, including one of the smallest notches we’ve seen.

What immediately stands out about the R17 is its notch. While Apple carved a huge chunk out of the top of the iPhone X display to make room for the notch, the notch on the R17 is just a small half-circle dipping down from the top bezel. It is about as inoffensive as a notch could possibly be from a design standpoint, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. You can get a feel for what the OnePlus 6T might look like in this concept video from Waqar Khan:


In addition to a sleek design, the R17 also features a 6.4-inch display with a resolution of 2280 x 1080, 8GB of RAM, 128GB of internal storage, Qualcomm’s new mid-range Snapdragon 670 processor, and a 3,500mAh battery. Those are some competitive specs, especially when you consider that OnePlus will upgrade the CPU to the latest of the Snapdragon 800 series chips when it begins working on its own flagship model.

The Galaxy Note 9’s display is better than any other smartphone – even the iPhone X

The Galaxy Note 9 may look a lot like last year’s Note, but it’s a lot better in every way. It’s got the high-end specs you expect from an Android flagship smartphone this year, as well as a few extra perks on top, like a smarter S Pen stylus, bigger battery and lots and lots of storage.

The new Note also has a feature no other smartphone can match, a screen that delivers an even better performance than this year’s Galaxy S9 series.

Samsung’s OLED screens have been praised for a few years now, setting new performance standards with each new Galaxy S and Note model Samsung introduced. It’s no wonder that Apple went with Samsung Display when it made the first-ever iPhone with an OLED screen, and the iPhone X briefly held the title of best smartphone display in the world. Then the S9 came along.

It’s the same experts from DisplayMate that put the Note 9’s 6.3-inch OLED screen through the usual screen tests, concluding the phone has features that are even better than Samsung’s previous screens:

The Galaxy Note9 is the most innovative, and high-performance smartphone display that we have ever lab tested, breaking and establishing many new display performance records that are listed above.

The phone sets various records like the “very high absolute color accuracy,” that is “visually indistinguishable from perfect, and almost certainly considerably better than your existing smartphone, UHD TV, tablet, laptop, and computer monitor.”

Other records include record peak luminance that is independent of the on-screen image content (Average Picture Level) APL, record color accuracy and intensity scales that are independent of the image content APL, and record high brightness mode (710 nits or 27% higher than the Note 8).

In other words, if screen quality is all that matters to you, then the Note 9 should be on your short list — you can read the full review at this link for more technical details about the Note 9’s screen performance.

On the other hand, better things are en route, including the 2018 iPhone X and the Galaxy S10. It’s very likely they’ll outperform the Note 9 when it comes to display quality. We’ve seen it all happen before.

LG and Sprint are going to launch a 5G phone next year, and they promise it won’t be ugly

Sprint and LG announced today that they’re going to work together to launch a 5G phone on Sprint’s new 5G network in the first half of 2019. Crucially, the two companies promise that it will be a “really elegant, high-end premium look-and-feel phone … not much thicker than a normal high-end premium smartphone,” in contrast to the 5G brick that Motorola recently announced for Verizon’s network.

Device specifications and timing are still up in the air, with the only details we currently have that it will launch in the first half of 2019, and use Sprint’s planned mid-band 5G spectrum. The mid-band spectrum that Sprint is planning on using for 5G will be less speedy than the millimeter-wave spectrum that Verizon is relying on, but the much lower frequency means that it should cover more of a city with the same number of cell sites.

“Sprint is moving fast on the road to 5G and we are thrilled to announce the first 5G smartphone with the innovative team at LG,” said Dr. John Saw, Sprint chief technology officer. “LG has done tremendous work developing technical designs that enable us to be among the first movers in mobile 5G. Today’s announcement brings us one step closer to putting a beautifully-designed advanced 5G smartphone in our customer’s hands. And we’re excited to revolutionize the mobile industry as we dramatically improve the way Sprint customers work, play and stay connected.”  

According to PCMag, the phone is already in the testing phase, which means it’s likely using slightly older components that have already been on the market for a few months. That means the Snapdragon 845 chipset that’s already been seen in this year’s smartphones, likely paired to Qualcomm’s X50 modem and its 5G antennas.

“LG has been working side-by-side with Sprint for nearly 20 years, and we are looking forward to expanding this partnership with 5G,” said William Cho, LG Electronics North America President and CEO.  Building on LG’s legacy of innovation, our teams are enthusiastic about partnering with Sprint’s 5G experts to bring next-generation mobile to market in the U.S., while continuing to evolve LG’s best-in-class design elements for Sprint customers.”


Apple’s new LCD iPhone might cost just $699 as Samsung launches its most expensive flagship ever

Like every year, this year’s iPhone models will be among the best smartphones consumers will be able to buy during the Christmas quarter, and some of the most sought after handsets out there. Everyone agrees that Apple will launch three new devices next month, just like it did last year, and that’s because multiple reports from solid independent sources all said the same thing. Now, a new research note offers us more details about the kind of specs we can expect from 2018 iPhones — as well as how much they might cost.

Unlike last year, the three new iPhones will all have the same design. They’ll be “all-screen” iPhones complete with Face ID-ready notches at the top, and that’s exactly what TrendForce report says.

In a new research note sent to BGR, the market research firm says that two of the handsets will be premium models, the 5.8-inch iPhone X successor and the 6.5-inch iPhone X Plus, both sporting OLED screens. The 6.1-inch iPhone will have an LCD screen instead, a cost-cutting measure meant to offer buyers a cheaper iPhone X-like device.

Apple’s suppliers have been assembling the OLED models since mid-July, with the LCD version supposed to go to mass production in mid-September. All three models are expected to be shipped in September and October as planned, TrendForce notes. It’s likely that the LCD model will start shipping in October.

The LCD model will pack Face ID and dual-SIM support and come with a price tag of around $699, which would make this iPhone X design a lot more affordable than the original model. Ironically, Apple’s most affordable new iPhone model in years could come just one month after Samsung launched its most expensive flagship phone ever, the Galaxy Note 9, which carries a price tag of either $1,000 or $1,250 depending on how much internal storage you want.

The premium OLED 2018 iPhones will have extra RAM, with memory going up to 4GB. The Plus model is also expected to deliver dual-SIM support in certain markets. Pricing should start at $899 to $949 for the smaller model, and around $1,000 for the Plus version.

Storage options are expected to start at 64GB for all models, and go all the way up to 512GB for the OLED phones, as seen in the graphic above.

The report doesn’t mention camera details, but previous reports said the LCD iPhone will feature a single-lens main cam, while the OLED versions will have a dual-lens camera like the original iPhone X. Interestingly, the report notes that Apple will finally support the Apple Pencil with the iPhone, though it’s unclear if it’ll work with all models or just the OLED versions.

Bitcoin tanks hard, taking the entire crypto market along for the ride

You’ve heard me say this before — Bitcoin is tanking hard — but it’s happening again. And as always, Bitcoin is taking the entire cryptocurrency market along for the ride. The whole market has been on a downward trend for a few days now in what’s shaping up to be a rough year for the industry. Bitcoin dropped below $6,000 again on Tuesday morning, so the entire market is valued at almost $192 billion at the time of this writing, significantly lower than yesterday’s $218 billion cap.

As you can see in the following graph from CoinMarketCap, no coin has been spared aside from Tether. One Tether should always be valued at around $1 because an actual real-life dollar backs each Tether. At least that’s the theory.

All the other top coins have reached new lows, including Ethereum ($262.42), Ripple ($0.26), Bitcoin Cash ($487.57), Stellar ($0.21), and EOS ($4.34). Most coins are experiencing drops in double digits, from as low as 12% to well over 20%. Bitcoin was down about 7% on the day at the time of this writing, but things may change without warning, as is often the case for crypto trading.

The main reason for the recent dips seems to be the SEC’s decision to delay the creation of a Bitcoin ETF — that’s a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund. The ruling came in on last week and the next deadline is set for September 30th. If approved, the ETF could bring fresh money to Bitcoin, and the expected effect is a significant rise in value.

On top of that, we’ve been in a bear market for so long that a return to growth seems inevitable at some point. If you’re a fan of the buy-the-dip mantra, now appears to be the time to load up on your favorite coins.

As always when trading cryptocurrencies, make sure you know what you’re doing and that you can afford losing streaks.