• Devices

    by Published on 01-14-2021 03:00 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices



    Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G:



    6.8 inch curved AMOLED display, 3200 x 1400 pixels @ 120 Hz
    Exynos 2100 or Snapdragon 888 processor
    12 or 16 GB RAM / 128, 256 or 512 GB storage
    108 MP + 12 MP ultra-wide + 10 MP 3x + 10 MP 10x rear cameras
    40 MP selfie cam
    5,000 mAh battery
    Android 11 with Samsung One UI 3.1
    Starts at $1,200 USD / $1,650 CAD

    Galaxy S21+ 5G:



    6.7 inch flat AMOLED display, 2400 x 1080 pixels @ 120 Hz
    Exynos 2100 or Snapdragon 888 processor
    8 GB RAM / 128 or 256 GB storage
    12 MP + 12 MP ultra-wide + 64 MP 3x rear cameras
    10 MP selfie cam
    5,000 mAh battery
    Android 11 with Samsung One UI 3.1
    Starts at $1,000 USD / $1,400 CAD

    Galaxy S21 5G:



    6.2 inch flat AMOLED display, 2400 x 1080 pixels @ 120 Hz
    Exynos 2100 or Snapdragon 888 processor
    8 GB RAM / 128 or 256 GB storage
    12 MP + 12 MP ultra-wide + 64 MP 3x rear cameras
    10 MP selfie cam
    5,000 mAh battery
    Android 11 with Samsung One UI 3.1
    Starts at $800 USD / $1,130 CAD

    Sources: Liliputing, Mobile Syrup

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    Andrew Currie has been blogging about mobile phones since 2001, smartphones (depending on how you define them) since 2002 and smartwatches since 2014.
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    by Published on 01-08-2021 04:25 PM
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    2. Devices



    Moto One 5G Ace
    6.7 inch LCD display @ 2400 x 1080 pixels
    Snapdragon 750G Processor
    4 or 6 GB RAM / 64 or 128 GB storage
    48 MP rear camera with 8 MP ultra-wide, 2 MP macro
    5,000 mAh battery
    Headphone jack / USB-C
    Android 10
    $399 USD



    Moto G Play 2021
    6.5 inch LCD display @ 1600 x 720 pixels
    Snapdragon 460 Processor
    3 GB RAM / 32 GB storage
    13 MP rear camera with 2 MP depth sensor
    5 MP selfie cam
    5,000 mAh battery
    Headphone jack / USB-C
    Android 10
    $169 USD



    Moto G Power 2021
    6.6 inch LCD display @ 1600 x 720 pixels
    Snapdragon 662 Processor
    3 or 4 GB RAM / 32 or 64 GB storage
    48 MP rear camera with 2 MP macro, 2 MP depth sensor
    8 MP selfie cam
    5,000 mAh battery
    Headphone jack / USB-C
    Android 10
    $199 USD



    Moto G Stylus 2021
    6.8 inch LCD display @ 2400 x 1080 pixels
    Snapdragon 678 Processor
    4 GB RAM / 128 GB storage
    48 MP rear camera with 8 MP ultra-wide, 2 MP macro/depth
    16 MP selfie cam
    4,000 mAh battery
    Headphone jack / USB-C
    Android 10
    $299 USD

    Sources: The Verge (specs), Liliputing (images)

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    Andrew Currie has been blogging about mobile phones since 2001, smartphones (depending on how you define them) since 2002 and smartwatches since 2014.
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    by Published on 01-05-2021 05:51 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices



    BELLEVUE, Wash. — January 5, 2021 — T-Mobile today announced that the Un-carrier will be the first to bring the OnePlus ‘Nord’ line to the U.S. as the exclusive U.S. wireless provider for both of their latest smartphones: OnePlus Nord N10 5G and Nord N100 (LTE).
    Specs (from a previous post), pricing and availability are as follows:

    Nord N10 5G:
    6.49 inch FHD+ IPS LCD display @ 90 Hz
    Snapdragon 690 processor
    64 MP wide + ultrawide + macro + monochrome rear cameras
    6 GB RAM / 128 GB or 512 GB storage
    4,300 mAh battery, 30 W fast-charging
    Stereo speakers + 3.5 mm headphone jack
    Android 10 powered by OxygenOS
    Midnight ice colourway
    Price: $300 USD or $12.50/month with $0 down
    Availability: from January 15th

    Nord N100 LTE:
    6.52 inch IPS LCD display, 720 x 1600 pixels
    Snapdragon 460 processor
    13 MP wide + macro + bokeh rear cameras
    4 GB RAM / 64 GB storage + microSD
    5,000 mAh battery, 18 W fast-charging
    Stereo speakers + 3.5 mm headphone jack
    Android 10 powered by OxygenOS
    Midnight frost colourway
    Price: $180 USD or $7.50/month with $0 down
    Availability: from January 15th

    Source: T-Mobile Newsroom via Liliputing

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    Andrew Currie has been blogging about mobile phones since 2001, smartphones (depending on how you define them) since 2002 and smartwatches since 2014.
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    by Published on 11-24-2020 03:51 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices



    The perfect smartwatch for Android may still not exist, but today's review subject is at least a few steps closer. The Venu Sq joins the round Venu (also released in Q3 of this year) on the entry-level rung of Garmin smartwatch ladder.

    Instead of running down the Sq's features I'll let Garmin do that for us:



    Now the thing with smartwatches is that they are fashion as well as tech and as such, their value can be somewhat subjective. What follows, then, is my attempt to quantify the merits of this particular wearable based on what I've used and reported on prior.

    Like a Pebble

    Before you say "looks like an Apple Watch" I'll gently remind you that the Pebble predates it by more than two years. More to the point, a square display is arguably the most practical canvas upon which to display notifications from your phone.

    I also enjoy the presence of buttons to aid in navigating through the OS. While they unfortunately can't be remapped their multiple functions are intuitive enough.

    Finally, at a current on-sale price of $199 USD / $250 CAD (for the non-music edition), the Venu Sq is exactly how much I'm willing to pay for a smartwatch. If memory serves, a Pebble Time cost the same back in its day.

    Like Fitbit

    I feel obliged to mention that as I write this the Versa 3 is also on sale for the same $250 CAD...

    Anyway Garmin, like Fitbit, isn't just a product but an entire platform play. You can view your personal data on either the Connect mobile app or a companion desktop site. If you like you can connect with friends for some friendly fitness flexing; I myself am more impressed by the multiple options for data export. And a pro tip: you can install apps on your watch directly from the desktop site, no need to install the separate app store on your phone.

    Notifications on the Venu Sq are handled like a Fitbit Versa. On Android (sorry iPhone users) you can choose from a list of canned responses that are editable on your phone. Unlike a Fitbit notifications come through reliably on the Garmin—though to be fair my only Fitbit experience to date was with the first-gen Versa two years ago.

    Also unlike a Versa (or Sense, for that matter) there's no proprietary band B.S.; the Venu Sq is compatible with any standard 20mm strap.

    Like an Amazfit Bip

    With its 40 mm case size and plastic materials the Venu Sq is as light and comfortable on my wrist as the Amazfits I've been wearing on and off since 2018. For tracking workouts it has the same two killer features as the Bip: (1) it buzzes every kilometer and shows a lap time on the display, and (2) it auto-pauses when I'm stuck at the inevitable red traffic light.

    Unlike the Bip the Garmin does not have a transflective display. But here's a shocker: this isn't turning out to be the deal-breaker I once thought it to be.

    Like Wear OS

    Transflective displays are fantastic in direct sunlight, but they also tend to be fairly low resolution. Casio and TicWatch get around this with large and blocky LCD-type fonts, but looking at a Bip or a Pebble often makes it seem like I'm wearing a toy on my wrist rather than a proper watch. With their beautiful OLED displays Wear OS devices don't suffer from this problem; The Venu Sq's display isn't OLED but is at least a proper LCD—legible enough in bright sunlight and much nicer to look at in all other conditions.

    Battery life is where the Venu destroys most Wear OS watches. Garmin advertises up to six days between charges; with an hour-long workout each morning and the always-on display enabled I seem to be getting about half of that, which is fine for me. Another neat trick: this watch shuts off the display entirely when I take it off my wrist, saving battery drain overnight and preventing the eerie green glow of a heart rate monitor firing for no reason. Imagine that!

    Until I can find something better the Garmin Venu Sq gets my wholehearted recommendation for its balance of comfort, features and price. If you're interested you can investigate further via one of the links below.

    Links: Amazon Canada / USA, Best Buy Canada / USA, Garmin Canada / USA

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    Andrew Currie has been blogging about mobile phones since 2001, smartphones (depending on how you define them) since 2002 and smartwatches since 2014.
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    by Published on 10-26-2020 09:30 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices

    OnePlus has just added a pair of devices to their mid-range Nord line—notable in that they're both likely coming to Canada and the US at some point.



    Nord N10 5G:
    6.49 inch FHD+ IPS LCD display @ 90 Hz
    Snapdragon 690 processor
    64 MP wide + ultrawide + macro + monochrome rear cameras
    6 GB RAM / 128 GB or 512 GB storage
    4,300 mAh battery, 30 W fast-charging
    Stereo speakers + 3.5 mm headphone jack
    Android 10 powered by OxygenOS
    Midnight ice colourway
    Availability (UK): November, 2020
    Price: £329 GBP = $428 USD / $565 CAD



    Nord N100:
    6.52 inch IPS LCD display, 720 x 1600 pixels
    Snapdragon 460 processor
    13 MP wide + macro + bokeh rear cameras
    4 GB RAM / 64 GB storage + microSD
    5,000 mAh battery, 18 W fast-charging
    Stereo speakers + 3.5 mm headphone jack
    Android 10 powered by OxygenOS
    Midnight frost colourway
    Availability (UK): November 10th
    Price: £179 GBP = $233 USD / $307 CAD

    Sources: Android Police, GSM Arena, OnePlus

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    Andrew Currie has been blogging about mobile phones since 2001, smartphones (depending on how you define them) since 2002 and smartwatches since 2014.
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    by Published on 10-13-2020 04:00 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices



    iPhone 12 Pro Max
    6.7 inch OLED display, 2778 x 1284 pixels @ 458 ppi
    A14 Bionic chip with 5G support
    128 / 256 / 512 GB storage
    12 MP ultra wide, wide and telephoto rear cameras
    MagSafe wireless charging @ 15W / Qi @ 7W
    iOS 14
    Silver, Graphite, Gold, Pacific Blue colourways
    Starts at $1099 USD / $1549 CAD
    Preorder 11-06 / Available 11-13

    iPhone 12 Pro
    6.1 inch OLED display, 2532 x 1170 pixels @ 460 ppi
    A14 Bionic chip with 5G support
    128 / 256 / 512 GB storage
    12 MP ultra wide, wide and telephoto rear cameras
    MagSafe wireless charging @ 15W / Qi @ 7W
    iOS 14
    Silver, Graphite, Gold, Pacific Blue colourways
    Starts at $999 USD / $1399 CAD
    Preorder 10-06 / Available 10-23



    iPhone 12
    6.1 inch OLED display, 2532 x 1170 pixels @ 460 ppi
    A14 Bionic chip with 5G support
    64 / 128 / 256 GB storage
    12 MP ultra wide and wide rear cameras
    MagSafe wireless charging @ 15W / Qi @ 7W
    iOS 14
    Black, White, Product Red, Green, Blue colourways
    Starts at $799 USD / $1129 CAD
    Preorder 10-06 / Available 10-23

    iPhone 12 mini
    5.4 inch OLED display, 2340 x 1080 pixels @ 476 ppi
    A14 Bionic chip with 5G support
    64 / 128 / 256 GB storage
    12 MP ultra wide and wide rear cameras
    MagSafe wireless charging @ 15W / Qi @ 7W
    iOS 14
    Black, White, Product Red, Green, Blue colourways
    Starts at $699 USD / $979 CAD
    Preorder 11-06 / Available 11-13

    Sources: Apple, Apple Canada

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    Andrew Currie has been blogging about mobile phones since 2001, smartphones (depending on how you define them) since 2002 and smartwatches since 2014.
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    by Published on 10-08-2020 10:00 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices

    About 10 years ago something weird happened with me and computers: I suddenly found myself much less interested in specs and far more interested in value. Instead of stretching my budget to get the latest model with the fastest processor, most RAM and biggest available hard drive I instead found myself content with a computer that was "good enough" for my predetermined price point.

    In other words computers had become commodity items, to be purchased primarily on the basis of price rather than unique features. Cut to 2020 and it seems that with the Pixel 4a I finally have my first commodity smartphone—offering "good enough" features for a great price.



    That price, $479 here in Canada, flips my usual checklist for smartphone expectations on its head; instead of being mildly annoyed at the things it can't do I find myself surprised and delighted by the things it can.

    Here's a quick rundown of the "good enough" Pixel 4a:

    Processor

    The Snapdragon 730G powers the likes of the Moto G9 and Samsung Galaxy M51. Though the 'G' apparently stands for gaming, the only real issues I've had on my 4a are one or two games that refuse to launch. But the vast majority of software titles run great.

    Camera

    Coming from years of OnePlus phones, where the accurate capture of an image is a crapshoot about as often as not, what impressed me most about the 4a's single camera (and Google's computational image processing) is how reliable the results have been. Video capture seems fine too, though I personally shoot way more photos than video.



    Google's camera app is very intuitive, and this level that appears when needed is much appreciated.

    Software

    My Pixel got a day one upgrade to Android 11, which has been smooth and responsive for me so far.



    I'm personally not a fan of Google's algorithmic newsfeed—plus, app drawers are so 2010—so I'm currently using the more modern Niagara Launcher.

    As for Pixel-specific features, I've only used it once but call screening is already my new best friend.

    Battery



    My first week or so with the 4a was admittedly filled with battery anxiety. At one point it seemed like I was going to have to do without a hallmark Pixel feature, the always-on display. But then, as if by magic, the battery suddenly "got me" and is now giving me a reliable 26 to 28 hours between charges.

    I suspect that once I start travelling again I'll have to pack a portable charger for all the navigating and picture-taking that I usually do on holiday. For a phone this cheap I'm entirely okay with that.

    To be clear, the Pixel 4a might not be for everyone, and I certainly wouldn't try to steer any Android user away from an expensive Samsung—or even the more expensive Pixels with 5G. I'm just here to let any interested parties know that, in my experience so far, the 4a is definitely good enough for daily use.

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    Andrew Currie has been blogging about mobile phones since 2001, smartphones (depending on how you define them) since 2002 and smartwatches since 2014.
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    by Published on 09-30-2020 04:20 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices

    Today two new phones join Google's Pixel family, both supporting North America's nascent 5G networks. Notable specs are as follows:



    Pixel 5
    6 inch always-on FHD+ OLED display @ 90 Hz
    Snapdragon 765G processor
    8 GB RAM / 128 GB storage
    12.2 MP OIS rear camera + 16 MP ultrawide
    8 MP selfie cam
    4,000 mAh battery, 18 W fast charging
    Just Black, Sorta Sage colourways
    $699 USD / $799 CAD
    Pre-order now / in stores October 15th



    Pixel 4a with 5G
    6.24 inch always-on FHD+ OLED display @ 60 Hz
    Snapdragon 765G processor
    6 GB RAM / 128 GB storage
    12.2 MP OIS rear camera + 16 MP ultrawide
    8 MP selfie cam
    Headphone jack (!)
    3,800 mAh battery, 18 W fast charging
    Just Black colourway (+ exclusive White colourway for Verizon)
    $499 USD ($599 for Verizon) / $679 CAD
    Join waiting list now / in stores this November

    Sources: Google Canada Store (1) (2) GSM Arena, The Verge

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    Andrew Currie has been blogging about mobile phones since 2001, smartphones (depending on how you define them) since 2002 and smartwatches since 2014.
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    by Published on 09-23-2020 04:25 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices



    Today Samsung launched their Galaxy S20 FE—and for us lucky North Americans the S20 FE 5G. I didn't really get it either, until I read the byline from the press release: "Fan Favorite Features at an Accessible Price Point". This phone also replaces the Galaxy S10 Lite from earlier this year, so maybe that'll help going forward.

    Specs for the 5G-enabled FE are as follows:

    6.5 inch flat FHD+ 120 Hz Super AMOLED Infinity-O display
    Snapdragon 865 processor
    6 GB RAM / 128 GB storage + microSD
    12 MP ultra-wide / 12 MP wide / 8 MP telephoto rear cameras
    32 MP selfie cam
    4,500 mAh battery
    Cloud Lavender / Mint / Navy / Orange / Red / White colourways
    $950 CAD
    $699 USD ($749 for MmWave support on Verizon)

    Fans can pre-order their FEs starting today; regular sales start on October 2nd.

    Sources: Samsung Mobile Press, Mobile Syrup, XDA

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    Andrew Currie has been blogging about mobile phones since 2001, smartphones (depending on how you define them) since 2002 and smartwatches since 2014.
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    by Published on 08-25-2020 02:00 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices

    Even with the growing popularity of the aspirational Apple Watch it is the humble Fitbit that remains the most common wearable I see on the wrists of passers-by. The very brand itself has managed, like Kleenex, to become a proprietary eponym. So let's have a look at Fitbit's Fall portfolio, officially launched this morning:

    Fitbit Sense



    State-of-the-art stress management
    With the EDA Scan app, Sense measures electrodermal activity, which may indicate your body’s response to stress. Plus, get stress management tools that take a holistic approach to managing your stress and mood so you can feel your best and live a healthier life.

    A deeper dive into heart health
    Use advanced tools to monitor your heart health. Check for signs of atrial fibrillation with a heart rhythm assessment on the Fitbit ECG app, and get in-the-moment high & low heart rate notifications.

    Track temperature trends over time
    Know if your skin temperature changes from your baseline range and better understand patterns to help identify internal changes early on.

    As sleek as it is smart
    Level up your look with premium materials and leading-edge design. The stainless steel ring, vibrant display, satin finish and smooth new infinity band make Fitbit Sense exceptional by design.
    Price: $429.95 CAD / $329 USD
    Release: Can pre-order now; ships by September 25th.

    Fitbit Versa 3



    Motivation on your wrist
    Get real-time pace and distance during runs or rides with built-in GPS—no phone necessary—and measure the intensity of your activity with Active Zone Minutes.

    Let music move you
    Download and play songs and podcasts from Pandora and Deezer, and control Spotify directly from your watch.

    Stay connected on the go
    Receive call, text and smartphone app notifications from your wrist. Plus, get quick answers, check the weather and set alarms with Google Assistant & Alexa Built-in.
    Price: $299.95 CAD / $229 USD
    Release: Can pre-order now; ships by September 25th.

    Fitbit Inspire 2



    Make healthy a habit
    Track all your activity and challenge yourself to do more with 24/7 heart rate and Active Zone Minutes, plus take advantage of Premium’s step-by-step nutrition and fitness programs in the Fitbit app.

    Get a better night’s rest
    See how well you slept & spot your nighttime trends with Sleep Score, then view a detailed breakdown with Premium so you can get more out of each night’s sleep.

    Stay motivated & on track
    With a 10-day battery, on-wrist celebrations and personalized insights from Premium, you always have the info and inspiration to keep you on track as you reach for your health and fitness goals.
    Price: $129.95 CAD / $99.95 USD
    Release: Can pre-order now; ships by September 25th.

    If anyone reading this ends up taking the plunge, kindly let the rest of us know if notification support has gotten any better.

    Source: Fitbit via DC Rainmaker, Mobile Syrup

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    Andrew Currie has been blogging about mobile phones since 2001, smartphones (depending on how you define them) since 2002 and smartwatches since 2014.
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    by Published on 08-21-2020 12:30 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices



    Let's all remember 2020 as the year that the madness stopped. I'm talking, of course, about overpriced handsets. What did you think I meant...?

    Anyway yes, flagships are still as expensive as ever (looking at you, Samsung) but Google and Apple, with the Pixel 4a and iPhone SE pictured above, offer a unique proposition: outstanding value for money, straight from the source of their respective mobile platforms.

    On paper this unlikely duo is far from perfect. The Pixel is underpowered and the iPhone's screen size diminished by a massive forehead and chin. Yet both ship with the core competencies of their respective brands—Google's excellent imaging system and Apple's efficient and high-powered silicon—intact. And I have to mention Samsung again, because here in Canada you could buy both 128 GB SKUs of the 4a and SE outright, plus 1st-party cases for each, for less than the price of a single Note20 Ultra.

    There is, of course, no shortage of cheap and cheerful Android phones, but because of the aforementioned camera and optimized OS, Pixel phones are in a class of their own. And for iOS, the last model you could buy new and unlocked for under $500 USD was the original SE in 2016.

    So on principle alone I'm calling this early: these are the two most important smartphones of the year. My Pixel should arrive soon after its official Canadian release on September 10th; I might also try out iOS on the SE, just to see what the fuss is about.

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    Andrew Currie has been blogging about mobile phones since 2001, smartphones (depending on how you define them) since 2002 and smartwatches since 2014.
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    by Published on 08-05-2020 02:40 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices

    The 2020 iteration of the OG Android phablet has been revealed, once again in two flavours. Details are as follows:



    Note20
    6.7 inch flat FHD+ AMOLED display @ 60 Hz
    Ultrasonic in-display fingerprint reader
    Snapdragon 865+ processor (supports 5G)
    8 GB RAM / 128 GB storage
    12 MP primary / 64 MP telephoto / 12 wide MP rear cameras
    10 MP punch-hole selfie cam
    4300 mAh battery
    Android 10
    Mystic Bronze, green, grey colourways
    $1,399 CAD / $1,000 USD



    Note20 Ultra
    6.9 inch curved 3K AMOLED display @ 120 Hz
    Ultrasonic in-display fingerprint reader
    Snapdragon 865+ processor (supports 5G)
    8 GB RAM / 128 or 512 GB storage + microSD
    108 MP primary / 12 MP telephoto / 12 wide MP rear cameras
    10 MP punch-hole selfie cam
    4500 mAh battery
    Android 10
    Mystic Bronze, black colourways
    $1,818 or $2,029 CAD / $1,300 or $1,450 USD

    Both models are available to pre-order today.

    Sources: Liliputing, Mobile Syrup, The Verge
    Images: Samsung Media Library

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    Andrew Currie has been blogging about mobile phones since 2001, smartphones (depending on how you define them) since 2002 and smartwatches since 2014.
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    by Published on 08-03-2020 02:20 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices



    Maybe it's just the COVID talking, but 2020's Pixel 4a is reminding me a lot of 2013's Nexus 5, though I suppose 2012's Nexus 4 would be a better comparison—not only do the numbers match up better, but the Nexus 4 didn't have LTE, just as the Pixel 4a is similarly missing 5G.

    But not for long: According to The Verge a 5G-enabled 4a will launch alongside the Pixel 5 later this year. For now though, let's peruse the specs of the 4G-only 4a:

    5.81 inch FHD+ always-on OLED display @ 443 ppi
    Snapdragon 730 processor
    6 GB RAM / 128 GB storage
    12.2 MP dual-pixel rear camera / 8 MP punch-hole selfie cam
    3140 mAh battery
    Stereo speakers / 3.5 mm audio jack (!)
    Android 10 / "Just Black" colourway
    Price: $349 USD / $479 CAD

    Glass sandwiches be damned, I'm totally down for a sub-$500 CAD phone with a decent camera. If you're in the same boat you can pre-order yours at the first link below.

    Source: Google Store via Mobile Syrup, The Verge

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    Andrew Currie has been blogging about mobile phones since 2001, smartphones (depending on how you define them) since 2002 and smartwatches since 2014.
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    by Published on 07-21-2020 02:30 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices



    Today OnePlus announced their new mid-range phone, the Nord. At the moment it's a bit of a non-story for the US and Canada, but it will be interesting to see what this new direction means for the OnePlus 8T expected in the fall.

    The Nord's notable specs are as follows:

    Flat (!) 6.44 inch 2400 x 1800 pixel 90 Hz AMOLED display
    Snapdragon 765G processor (supports 5G)
    8 or 12 GB RAM / 128 or 256 GB storage
    48 MP OIS rear camera + wide angle + macro + depth sensor
    32 MP selfie cam + wide angle
    4,115 mAh battery with Warp Charge 30T
    OxygenOS running on Android 10
    Available in Blue Marble, Gray Onyx
    £379.00 or £469.00 = $649 or $803 CAD = $379 or $597 USD

    Also announced was a set of AirPod wannabes, interesting only in that they'll retail for less than half the price of their Apple equivalent. These will be available for purchase in this part of the world shortly.

    Sources: OnePlus UK / US

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    Andrew Currie has been blogging about mobile phones since 2001, smartphones (depending on how you define them) since 2002 and smartwatches since 2014.
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    by Published on 05-29-2020 03:20 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices

    If you're interested in pairing a fancy wearable to your Android phone, here's some good news: there is a host of available options, almost all of which will reliably pass on notifications from your phone (sorry, Fitbit).

    The bad news—according to this smartwatch enthusiast, at least—is that wearing any of them involves some sort of compromise. Battery life? Comfort? Readable display outdoors? Sure, pick any two... And if you don't believe me, spin the wheel of imperfect smartwatches below—that is, start on any model and cycle through. The fun never stops!



    Fossil Gen 5 / Sport

    As the flag-bearer for Wear OS, Fossil watches offer up every feature that a smartwatch user could ask for: media controls, actionable notifications, wrist-based payments, it's all here. The price to be paid is in battery life, particularly if you're interested in third-party watch faces. I installed this simple analog face on my Fossil Sport and suddenly my battery couldn't even make it to the end of the day.



    Casio WSD-F21HR / F30

    Casio's ruggedized smartwatches have, in my usage, demonstrated about twice the stamina of lesser Wear OS watches. Part of this is likely due to their unique two-layer displays; whereas Fossil cranks up the brightness for better readability outdoors, Casios have a transflective layer so that their displays don't have to light up at all. But while these things are durable, they're also very heavy—and downright uncomfortable after a few hours on my wrist.



    Xiaomi Mi Band 4

    I bought this unassuming fitness band on a whim at New Zealand's only Xiaomi Store last summer. What you get for around $50 CAD is downright astonishing—a wearable so light that I actually forget that I'm wearing it, yet with a battery that lasts up to three weeks and still manages to power a full-colour AMOLED display. Unfortunately that display is all but unreadable in bright sunlight.



    Amazfit Bip

    And here we are, back to the first replacement for my beloved Pebble. The Bip's transflective display is just as readable under the hot sun as the Pebble e-ink screens of yore. Battery life is even better—on par with the Mi Band and similarly light on the wrist. Unfortunately there are no available on-board music controls. For the summer I can use the buttons on my earbuds, but when it gets colder and the buds get buried beneath hats and hoods I might have to go back to Wear OS. You've reached the end now start again.

    Seriously, is anyone 100% happy with their smartwatch? Be honest...

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    Andrew Currie has been blogging about mobile phones since 2001, smartphones (depending on how you define them) since 2002 and smartwatches since 2014.
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    by Published on 04-15-2020 12:12 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. From The Forums



    Today, Apple announced the new iPhone SE:

    Cupertino, California — Apple today announced the second-generation iPhone SE, a powerful new iPhone featuring a 4.7-inch Retina HD display, paired with Touch ID for industry-leading security. iPhone SE comes in a compact design, reinvented from the inside out, and is the most affordable iPhone. The new iPhone SE is powered by the Apple-designed A13 Bionic, the fastest chip in a smartphone, to handle the most demanding tasks. iPhone SE also features the best single-camera system ever in an iPhone, which unlocks the benefits of computational photography including Portrait mode, and is designed to withstand the elements with dust and water resistance.
    iPhone SE comes in three beautiful colors — black, white and (PRODUCT)RED — and will be available for pre-order beginning Friday, April 17, starting at just $399 (US).
    Full announcement here: https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2020/...opular-design/
    by Published on 03-05-2020 02:30 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices



    The good folks at Samsung Canada want you to know that their foldable clamshell Galaxy is back in stock as of tomorrow. Here's a copy/paste from an email sent to Howard:

    Hi Howard,

    Hope you're doing well!

    After selling out on its first day of sales, consumers eager to get their hands on the new Samsung Galaxy Z Flip are in luck as the device will officially be back in stock, in stores and online, March 6th in limited quantities.

    “The demand for this device truly exceeded our expectations, and we’re pleased to release a new batch of Galaxy Z Flip devices to Canadians tomorrow,” says Jennifer Safruk, VP, Mobile Business, Samsung Electronics Canada.

    The Galaxy Z Flip is created for those who see technology as a way to express themselves. Designed for ultimate portability, Galaxy Z Flip folds into the size of a wallet, so you can easily fit it in your pocket or bag. For more information about Galaxy Z Flip, please visit https://www.samsung.com/ca/smartphones/galaxy-z-flip/
    Good hunting to anyone who wants to jump on this...

    ---------
    Andrew Currie has been blogging about mobile phones since 2001, smartphones (depending on how you define them) since 2002 and smartwatches since 2014.
    ---------
    by Published on 02-11-2020 05:25 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices



    Galaxy Z Flip
    6.7 inch 21.9:9 FHD+ AMOLED ultra thin glass display
    1.1 inch 300 x 112 pixel AMOLED cover display
    Snapdragon 855+ processor
    8 GB RAM / 256 GB storage
    12 MP wide + 12 MP ultra-wide rear cameras
    10 megapixel selfie cam
    3,300 mAh battery
    Android 10
    Mirror Black, Mirror Gold, Mirror Purple
    Available February 14th, 2020
    $1,380 USD

    Source: Liliputing

    ---------
    Andrew Currie has been blogging about mobile phones since 2001, smartphones (depending on how you define them) since 2002 and smartwatches since 2014.
    ---------
    by Published on 02-11-2020 02:50 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices



    Galaxy S20
    6.2 inch 20:9 curved AMOLED / 3200 x 1440 pixels / 120 Hz
    Snapdragon 865 processor
    12 GB RAM / 128 GB storage
    108 / 48 / 12 megapixel rear cameras
    10 megapixel selfie cam
    4,000 mAh battery
    GSM / HSPA / LTE / 5G
    Android 10
    Cosmic Black, Cosmic Grey, Cloud Blue
    Available March 6th, 2020

    Galaxy S20+
    6.2 inch 20:9 curved AMOLED / 3200 x 1440 pixels / 120 Hz
    Snapdragon 865 processor
    12 GB RAM / 128 or 512 GB storage
    108 / 48 / 12 megapixel rear cameras plus TOF depth sensor
    10 megapixel selfie cam
    4,500 mAh battery
    GSM / HSPA / LTE / 5G
    Android 10
    Cosmic Black, Cosmic Grey, Cloud Blue
    Available March 6th, 2020

    Galaxy S20 Ultra
    6.9 inch 20:9 curved AMOLED / 3200 x 1440 pixels / 120 Hz
    Snapdragon 865 processor
    12 GB RAM / 128 or 512 GB storage
    108 / 48 / 12 megapixel rear cameras plus TOF depth sensor
    40 megapixel selfie cam
    5,000 mAh battery
    GSM / HSPA / LTE / 5G
    Android 10
    Cosmic Black, Cosmic Grey
    Available March 6th, 2020

    Source: Mobile Syrup

    ---------
    Andrew Currie has been blogging about mobile phones since 2001, smartphones (depending on how you define them) since 2002 and smartwatches since 2014.
    ---------
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