• Devices

    by Published on 06-14-2019 03:50 PM
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    2. Devices



    In honour of Father's Day Vox has posted a feature on the history of perhaps the most uncool mobile phone accessory ever:

    In the mid-’90s and early 2000s, the cellphone holster was an inescapable object of necessary evil for a very specific type of person: people who had to carry cellphones for professional purposes, who did not, for reasons likely having to do with strict gender expectations, have purses, and who also did not care that cellphone holsters are very dorky.

    In other words, dads.
    Here in Canada peak smartphone holster occurred during the BlackBerry era. If I'm not mistaken my own BlackBerry 8700 came with a hard plastic half-case (with a handy swiveling clip) in the box. It was so easy to holster and unholster my BlackBerry that I almost had to use it.

    What probably killed the holster for good was the iPhone, in particular its most snobbish users—who would never dream of even using a case because it would ruin the aesthetics of their newfound status symbol.

    These days I keep my OnePlus phone in my oversized wallet, and my wallet in that other ultimate dad accessory, a fanny pack—which I bought in Japan and wear over my should, so that's still cool, right?

    Anyway, Happy Father's Day to all the dads reading this!

    Source: Vox
    Image source: Charm14

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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 06-12-2019 03:00 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices

    Anyone who's read my previous posts on this subject will already know that I'm no fan of Wear OS. But as my last experience with it was almost two years ago I thought I should once again check in and see if it's gotten any better since. So I'm doing just that with a Fossil Sport, running the latest Snapdragon 3100 processor and latest version of Wear OS itself, known colloquially as the H update.

    Hardware



    First, some details about this particular watch... The one I've been testing is the 43mm model in "Smokey Blue". I read somewhere that this larger case has the same screen size as the 41mm version, just with more empty space around the perimeter of the display. I purchased mine from Amazon so I'm unable to confirm this, but it's something you might want to verify in-store before you commit to either size.



    The design of the case is an aluminum top on a nylon (plastic) base, giving the illusion that the watch is thinner than it actually is. It's certainly less chunky than the Android Wear watches I'm used to, and also much lighter. In terms of styling, though, I find it to be a bit on the bland side; if you're looking for something more stylish I'd recommend the Falster 2 by Skagen.

    The Sport is the first Android smartwatch I've used with a functioning crown, and I like it, a lot! Fossil's experience with traditional watches must have come into play in its design; the resistance when scrolling through notifications or the app drawer is just right, making for an extremely satisfying feel. Not so much with the other two pushers, though. They're alright, nothing more.



    The 43mm versions of the Sport ship with 22mm quick-release silicone bands (the 41mm version supports 18mm ones). You can easily replace them with other bands from Fossil, or with any other 22mm band from anywhere you like. Take that, Apple!

    Tiles



    According to the Wear OS subreddit this is the marquee feature of the H update. Tiles are basically widgets that live to the right of your watch face. On the Fossil Sport there are currently seven Tiles to choose from:

    Forecast
    Goals
    Headlines
    Heart Points
    Heart rate
    Next event
    Timer

    But for some unknown reason, I can only use five at a time. That's a bit stupid.

    There is some potentially good news on the way, though: XDA is reporting on undocumented code for a Tiles API—meaning that there might be a custom Tile on the way for your favourite Wear OS app.

    Fitness



    If Tiles are a ripoff of Galaxy Watch widgets then Google Fit is similarly "inspired" by Apple's fitness rings. This gamification of exercise is all fine and well, but I'd personally be fine with a simple step count. And I suspect that anyone serious about fitness will want something more than what Google Fit and Wear OS currently offer.

    Notifications



    Not much change here, as notification support remains generally very good.

    For me, the best part about notifications on Wear OS is that they're actionable—you can choose from a couple of usually relevant canned replies (great), attempt to draw an emoji on your tiny screen (good, so long as its a happy or sad face), attempt to type out a reply on a tiny virtual keyboard (awful) or speak your response and wait for Google to do the voice-to-text thing over Bluetooth. That last option is still, years later, slow as molasses in real-world situations, but credit must still be given for being able to reply from your wrist at all.

    Assistant



    Here's the thing: I don't use Google Assistant, nor do I care to. Thus, I feel like a significant part of Wear OS is wasted on me. If you have Google Home products already installed in your house then you'll likely be a good candidate for yet another device ready and waiting for you to yell at it.

    But if you're like me and prefer Google Tasks to Reminders then you might be surprised to hear that Wear OS natively supports the latter, but not the former. You will at least get notifications for tasks that are due.

    Google Pay



    To my surprise, this seems to work as advertised. I did the usual weekend grocery shop with the girlfriend and her mom, and was able to pay for everything with our supported card right from the watch. For security your Pay-enabled Wear OS device will lock as soon as you take it off your wrist—meaning that you'll have to unlock it (once) when you strap it back on. It's a bit annoying, but also a bit more secure.

    I do feel obliged to point out that after every wrist-based payment I was handed a paper receipt, which I immediately filed in my wallet, where my credit cards are. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Stamina

    The bad news about this Snapdragon 3100 is that it doesn't seem to accomplish much for battery life. Like just about any other Android Wear / Wear OS device I've tested you can probably squeeze about two days out of the Fossil Sport with passive use, much less if you're tracking exercise or holding your wrist against payment terminals all day.



    If you choose to go with an always-on display then your standby screen will look something like this (depending on your chosen watch face). It's legible enough in most lighting conditions, but the super-reflective Gorilla Glass screen most certainly doesn't help in direct sunlight. The lift-to-wake gesture is thankfully fairly quick but the transition to lit screen isn't particularly pleasant to witness, as I imagine it would be on an Apple Watch.

    If readability outdoors is important to you then I would definitely recommend something with a transflective display. Unfortunately in the current crop of Wear OS devices on the market I can think of only two with this added perk: the Casio WSD-F30 and the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro.

    Verdict

    Wear OS is a great choice if Google Assistant is your thing; even if it's not the many and varied traditional watchmakers who have embraced it will ensure a size and style that will appeal to you. As an OS, however, it also doesn't really offer anything that sets it apart from other smartwatch platforms. Apple Watch, Fitbit and Galaxy Watches all do actionable notifications and wrist-based payments, while my Amazfit Bip is currently breezing through its third week without a charge.

    So no, Wear OS isn't terrible, but for me it's not terribly compelling, either. It's just alright.

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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 05-29-2019 10:00 AM
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    2. Devices



    This potato quality screenshot is from the official EU trademark application listing on the German registry DPMA. The trademark being sought is called 'Ark OS', and is widely believed to be Huawei's post-Google operating system for future mobile devices.

    I chose to post this particular sample over others in the filing because it shows compatibility with something called the Android Green Alliance. Translated from German, WinFuture explains:

    Among other things, the pictures repeatedly mention the Chinese "Android Green Alliance", which is an association of Huawei and some Chinese Internet companies such as Tencent and Alibaba. The association committed itself a few years ago to introduce standards in the quality and design of their apps for Google's mobile operating system.
    In the absence of any other facts I can only speculate that Ark OS will end up being a proper fork of Android (entirely possible under AOSP's Apache 2.0 License) or something entirely new, which just happens to be 100% backwards-compatible with existing Android APKs.

    I'm crossing my fingers for the second one... if Huawei were to license their new OS to other OEMS—or, better yet, open-source it—the smartphone racket could get really interesting...

    Source: DPMA via WinFuture

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    by Published on 05-28-2019 12:35 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices



    The Moto Z4 has already been leaked but wasn't supposed to be available for purchase until Q3 of this year—that is until Amazon did an oopsie and listed the device way early. And guess what? Somebody bought it.

    The listing (which has since been taken down) included a free Moto 360 camera mod for a very reasonable $500 USD. Here's what the eagle-eyed customer got for that price:

    6.4 inch 2340 x 1080 pixel OLED display
    Snapdragon 675 processor
    48 MP quad-pixel rear camera / 25 MP quad-pixel selfie cam
    4 GB RAM / 128 GB of storage,
    3600 mAh battery
    Moto Mod support

    In addition to the hands-on video above this thoughtful person was also kind enough to share his thoughts on reddit and upload some camera samples to Google Drive. I'd be interested in this phone myself if I knew for sure that the bootloader was unlockable; unfortunately there's no listing yet for the Z4 (or even the Z3) on Motorola's support site.

    Source: r/Moto_Z via Liliputing

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    by Published on 05-22-2019 11:00 AM
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    2. Devices



    Europe, Hong Kong, Japan and Taiwan.

    In a leaked PowerPoint slide it seems that these are the only four markets where Sony will be selling smartphones going forward. At the moment it's a bit unclear when Sony will officially exit North America—as an example, the Sony Mobile Canada site is still live, with at least one carrier still selling the Xperia XZ2. It's Bell Mobility, in case you were wondering.

    Other slides leaked from the same presentation make it abundantly clear that the Japanese electronics giant is planning complete structural reforms of its smartphone business for 2019, aiming for a 50% reduction in operating expenses and a 57% savings overall by the end of 2020.

    Hopefully grey market imports from Hong Kong will still be an option for Xperia fans.

    Source: Xperia Blog via reddit

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    by Published on 05-15-2019 11:00 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices



    With their latest phone OnePlus is moving very much upmarket, more so in Canada than anywhere else. The starting price for the 7 Pro here will be exactly one loonie shy of a thousand bucks. Before taxes. To make matters worse, users in this country will have no official carrier to subsidize their purchase.

    This isn't the case in other markets. I mentioned in yesterday's notes that in addition to the livestream from New York City there were simultaneous launch events in London and Bengaluru; audiences there were treated to a device we apparently won't be able to get here: the non-Pro OnePlus 7. It's the same size and comes with an FHD screen similar to last fall's OnePlus 6T, but adds an upgraded processor, better image sensor and stereo speakers.

    Here's a more direct comparison:

    Size and Weight
    7 Pro: 162.6 × 75.9 × 8.8 mm / 206 g
    7: 157.7 × 74.8 × 8.2 mm / 182 g

    Colours
    7 Pro: Almond / Mirror Grey / Nebula Blue
    7: Mirror Grey / Red (China and India only)

    LTE Bands
    7 Pro:
    1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13/17/18/19/20/25/26/28/29/32/66 (FDD)
    34/38/39/40/41 (TDD)
    7:
    1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13/17/18/19/20/26/28/29/32 (FDD)
    34/38/39/40/41 (TDD)

    Price
    OnePlus 7 Pro: starts at $999 CAD / $669 USD
    OnePlus 7: starts at $32,999 INR / $632 CAD / $469 USD

    Unless I'm mistaken the non-Pro 7 supports all non-freak bands (ie. Freedom and T-Mobile) of North American 4G. And unlike the Pro it's similarly sized to OnePlus phones that came before it. Maybe the non-Pro version will serve as the fall update for North America this year?

    Links: OnePlus 7 Pro specs (Canada) / OnePlus 7 specs (India)

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    by Published on 05-13-2019 03:00 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices



    Looks like OnePlus is ripping off Apple yet again, this time in the best possible way: they are now accepting trade-ins! Customers can either get a credit towards a new phone by sending their old one in for inspection, or get cash back at any time using the same procedure. The landing page for the trade-in program mentions some kind of promo happening tomorrow—which also happens to be the launch date for the OnePlus 7 and 7 Pro. But it seems like you're able to trade in your aging OnePlus device today.

    Here's how much you can potentially get for it:

    OnePlus 6T - up to $330 CAD / $250 USD
    OnePlus 6 - up to $300 CAD / $230 USD
    OnePlus 5T - up to $210 CAD / $160 USD
    OnePlus 5 - up to $200 CAD / $150 USD
    OnePlus 3T - up to $70 CAD / $60 USD
    OnePlus Three - up to $50 CAD / $40 USD
    OnePlus Two - up to $50 CAD / $40 USD
    OnePlus One - up to $40 CAD / $30 USD

    I guess the OnePlus X is officially worthless.

    OnePlus will also happily take in used phones from other OEMs—including Apple, Samsung, Google, Moto, HTC, Sony and LG. Hopefully your trade-in will be stripped for parts and repurposed, and not just dumped in a landfill somewhere. To clear out your used phone drawer use the appropriate link below.

    OnePlus - Trade in and Save: Canada / USA

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    by Published on 05-06-2019 10:50 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices



    Some 20 states south of the border are currently considering right to repair legislation, but the province of Ontario could have beat them all in enshrining it into law. That is, if lobbying by big tech companies hadn't killed a proposed bill before it even had a chance.

    This is the bold claim of new reporting by Motherboard, and there seems to be credible evidence to back it up.

    The bill was introduced by Member of Provincial Parliament Michael Coteau last February, with the aim of putting manuals, tools and parts in the hands of independent repair shops and consumers. Here's what happened next:

    After proposing the bill, he was approached by Electronics Product Stewardship Canada (EPSC)—an industry group that represents Apple, Panasonic, and other major tech companies.

    The group’s collective position, Coteau said, was that the bill would compromise companies’ intellectual property rights and that home repair was a public safety issue, meaning “that it’s dangerous for people to open up electronic devices and fix it themselves, that it could harm them,” Coteau said.
    Last Thursday the bill had its second reading at Queen's Park and was stopped dead in its tracks, with strong resistance from Progressive Conservative MPPs—some of them parroting the exact same concerns as the EPSC.

    Mobile Syrup also interviewed MPP Coteau, who spoke of plans to introduce right to repair legislation federally. Unfortunately Canadians will have to wait until after the fall election for that.

    Sources: Mobile Syrup, Motherboard

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    by Published on 04-29-2019 03:10 PM
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    2. Devices



    Just back from two weeks in Sapporo and Tokyo, and multiple visits to Japan's twin temples of tech: Bic and Yodobashi Camera. On every visit I find the shelf space for traditional keitai increasingly overrun by Android phones, all while the vast majority of locals are using hardware made by Apple. But a few hot handsets managed to stand out...



    INFOBAR xv

    According to The Verge, this 15th anniversary edition of au's iconic candy bar actually went on sale last summer. Like more recent models it runs Android; unlike recent models there's no Play Store installed—users instead have to make do with pre-installed apps. This probably isn't the phone to get if you have small children, as they might well try to put it in their mouth and suck on it. I've caught myself having that same thought.



    NTT DoCoMo KY-01L

    Launched last fall (says Engadget) this is Kyocera's answer to similar minimalist nouveau-feature phones like the Punkt MP-02. The DoCoMo version is quite a bit thinner, though:



    It doesn't have any cameras but it does have a (monochrome) web browser. And its e-paper display should give the user better than expected performance from the 380 mAh battery inside.



    Pocketalk Voice Translator

    Technically not a phone, but it does take a SIM card. Pocketalk was all over our hotel TVs and prominently displayed at Bic and Yodobashi as well. Here's the pitch:



    If you're suspicious of a dressed-up version of Google Translate you're not alone; Pocketalk does indeed run a custom version of Android OS. Interested parties in the USA can order one from Amazon and let the rest of us know if it actually works.

    Sources: au, Engadget, NTT DoCoMo, Pocketalk, The Verge

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    by Published on 04-08-2019 12:55 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices



    Retromobe on Blogger is a worthy bookmark for the occasional trip down smartphone memory lane. I was caught a bit off-guard by this past weekend's entry: the OnePlus One, which was announced five years ago this month. Pictured above is the first of two SKUs for the company's début, with 3 GB RAM, 16 GB of storage and the silk white back. Marques Brownlee reviewed it in May, 2014:



    Of course, the more sought-after version was the one with 64 GB of RAM and the sandstone back. I finally got the invite to purchase mine that July—and yes, the invite system was definitely the worst part about being a OnePlus customer in the early days. Flash sales would have been a much more transparent way to move the company's limited stock.

    And the best part about OnePlus was, for me, the software experience. I was already familiar with CyanogenMod and the commercial version, CyanogenOS, added lots of eye candy to an already-capable Android ROM. That this new device was modder-friendly sealed the deal.

    Five years later I'm on my fifth OnePlus-branded phone, the 6T. I'm still grateful for that unlockable bootloader, and these days it's OxygenOS providing the superior Android experience. And as someone who likes to travel, the fast charging and dual-SIM support are welcome additions. In fact, starting Wednesday and for the next two weeks, it'll be a data-only SIM from Japan's DoCoMo occupying my usually empty second slot.

    Photo and video captures have been getting steadily better but there's still room for improvement. If I'm honest, though, it's really only when pixel-peeping photos on a desktop computer that I get Google or Huawei envy.

    So happy 5th birthday, OnePlus... and thanks for continuing to prove that upgraded memory and storage don't have to cost users an arm and a leg!

    Source: Retromobe

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    by Published on 04-05-2019 10:00 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices



    Hot on the heels of last Friday's earnings report (direct link to PDF right here) BlackBerry stock shot up a whopping 47% on the Toronto Stock Exchange early this week. Granted, its stock price on both the TSX and NYSE is still nowhere near that of Apple or Google but, as Yahoo! Finance reports, they've managed what seems to be a very successful pivot into software and services:

    Take a look at some recent headlines and you’ll quickly realize this isn’t the BlackBerry of yesterday.

    For example, in November, BlackBerry partnered to develop new approaches for high-net-worth digital security. A few days later, BlackBerry announced that it had become a HIMSS Certified Consultant, meaning it can now integrate its service offerings into major healthcare initiatives around the world.

    Most importantly, BlackBerry acquired artificial intelligence and cybersecurity company Cylance for $1.4 billion in cash. Management noted that they will immediately integrate the Cylance team into its segment that makes software for next-generation autonomous cars.

    As you’ll see, these moves have helped build a reliable source of revenues for BlackBerry while positioning the company well to tap some of the largest growth opportunities of the 21st century.
    Now I myself don't own shares in the company, and I wouldn't ordinarily post about stock market blips here. But in this case I do think it's good news for fans of physical keyboards and security-hardened Android devices; if BlackBerry manages to stay in the black then there can only be more BlackBerries on the horizon for its loyal customers.

    Source: Yahoo! Finance

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    by Published on 03-25-2019 01:45 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices



    Before moving forward there's one more story from last week that bears a closer look, a rather unfortunate one for HMD's efforts to revive the storied Nokia brand. To bring you up to speed, a site in Norway broke the news that the Nokia 7 Plus was sending personal user data—including the device IMEI, MAC and SIM ID, plus location information—to a server in China.

    Nokia was quick to respond, explaining that a single batch of the device in question shipped with an activation client "meant for another country". The issue has since been fixed via a software update.

    In a separate press release, Nokia goes on to detail what data they collect, along with why and how they do it:

    The what includes some location data, but cannot be used to identify you without your express consent—that is, only if you opt in to Nokia's User Experience Program;

    The why includes activating the device warranty, as well as improving user satisfaction;

    The how basically boils down to two servers, one in China for Chinese customers and the other in Singapore for everyone else.

    Oh, and if you own a Nokia 7 Plus navigate to Settings > System > About Phone > Build Number. If your device shows either of the following:

    00WW339BSP03
    00WW322CSP05

    ... then the fix has already been applied.

    Sources: NRKbeta via Ars Technica, HMD Global via GSM Arena

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    by Published on 03-21-2019 01:20 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices



    Apple has officially refreshed their wireless earbuds, which now offer "Hey, Siri" support, a new H1 chip that promises better battery life and, perhaps best of all, a case that now supports inductive charging. From the product page:

    Lay it down, charge it up.
    With the new Wireless Charging Case, charging is as simple as placing the AirPods case on a Qi-compatible charging mat. That’s it. The LED indicator on the front of the case lets you know that your AirPods are charging. And when you’re away from a charging mat, you can use the Lightning port to charge.
    The case is also backwards-compatible with older AirPods, and can be purchased separately. Alternately, you can get the new earbuds with the old case, since Apple has yet to release a first-party wireless charging mat. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Pricing is as follows:

    AirPods with standard case: $159 USD / $219 CAD
    AirPods with wireless charging case: $199 USD / $269 CAD
    Wireless charging case: $79 USD / $99 CAD

    The new AirPods can be ordered online now, and will be available for purchase in-store next week.

    Sources: Apple Canada, Mobile Syrup, The Verge

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    by Published on 03-19-2019 12:01 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices



    Wow, time flies... Five years ago today I posted about Wear OS (then Android Wear) for the very first time. A tip of the hat to Android Police for reminding me of this.

    As a fan of smartwatches I'm unfortunately not a fan of Wear OS. If it works for you, then great—for me, I've been spoiled by cheaper hardware that I don't have to charge nearly as often. Even the crew at AP seems to be struggling to find nice things to say about it; in an anniversary write-up offering five perspectives on Wear OS, two of the contributors have moved on to Tizen, while a third mirrors my own opinion of it:

    It has fitness and exercise-related features, but it isn't very good at it. It has app support and the full Play Store, but it's too small and fiddly to provide a very good UX. Devices include pretty high-end hardware with things like fancy round AMOLED displays and reasonably fast SoCs, but battery life is terrible. Every platform and hardware advantage comes with a corresponding and deal-breaking weakness.
    Even more telling is a recent AP round-up of Wear OS apps and watch faces. Scrolling through the article I immediately noticed two things: (1) most of the apps featured come from a single developer and (2) a surprising amount of watch faces are carry-overs from the Pebble.

    It's certainly encouraging that traditional watchmakers like the Fossil Group have embraced Wear OS, but I'm unsure if that's enough to call the platform a success. There's plenty of stock in stores but, from what I've observed, very few on people's actual wrists.

    Sources: Android Police (1) (2)

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    by Published on 03-15-2019 03:15 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Rumors



    Huawei's forthcoming P30 Pro is expected to have a monster camera setup—not only will it have the requisite-for-2019 40 megapixel sensor, but also a 10x zoom, via a clever idea first demonstrated by OPPO at MWC in 2017:



    Huawei is using a similar periscope design and and doubling the magnification. The rest of the phone ain't too shabby, either; leaked specs (via Fone Arena) are as follows:

    6.47 inch 2340 x 1080 pixel OLED HDR display
    rear cameras: 40 MP OIS / 20 MP ultra-wide / 8 MP 10x "hybrid" zoom
    front camera: 32 MP
    Kirin 980 processor
    8 GB RAM / 128, 256 or 512 GB storage + NM card
    Hybrid dual SIM (nano + nano / nano + NM card)
    In-display fingerprint sensor
    4200 mAh battery with fast charging
    Android 9.0 (Pie) with EMUI 9.0
    Available colours: Aurora Blue, Black, Ice White, Orange
    Launch date: Tuesday, March 26th

    Expect a slightly-lesser (ie, no zoom) P30 to be announced alongside the Pro.

    Source: WinFuture via Fone Arena

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    by Published on 03-14-2019 02:45 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices



    Vivo's APEX 2019 concept smartphone was announced in Beijing back in January, but for some reason is only this week making the rounds on western tech blogs. At first glance it seems like just another high-powered Chinese Android device:

    Near-bezel-less FullViewTM display
    Snapdragon 855 processor
    12 GB RAM / 512 GB storage
    5G modem

    But here, direct from the press release, is what makes it very different:

    Vivo’s first 5G smartphone offers an ultra-simple and uniquely recognisable design with Curved-Surface Waterdrop Glass and no openings, seams or bezels for a simpler user experience.
    Wait, did they just call us simple...?

    What's in it for the user when it comes to a design like this? It's waterproof, hopefully. And for the manufacturer? Less moving parts, less assembly required and therefore cheaper to produce. There isn't even a SIM slot for this thing—according to CNET it's compatible with eSIMs only.

    Which brings us to my big problem with this device. If you thought the removal of the headphone jack was user-hostile then Vivo's taking away of everything else is on a whole other level. It's not just that the power connector is proprietary (although that's also terrible) it's that there is no easy way to connect this thing to a desktop computer—making the APEX little more than an expensive toy. A piece of dumb consumer electronics. Unworthy of being called a computer itself.

    Fortunately, it's just a concept, and not at all guaranteed to represent the dystopian smartphone future for us all.

    Sources: CNET, Vivo

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    by Published on 03-13-2019 03:00 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Rumors



    Last June I posted what was basically a fan render of the iconic Moto Razr, re-imagined as a foldable phone. Now, some nine months later, it seems like that flight of fancy wasn't so far off.

    Yes, that's another render you're looking at above—but what's different about this one is that it's based on drawings submitted by Moto itself to the World Intellectual Property Organization:



    And now the bad news: specs for Moto's first foldable aren't exactly top-tier...

    6.2 inch 876 x 2142 pixel primary display
    800 x 600 pixel closed display
    Unknown camera array
    Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 processor
    4 or 6 GB RAM / 64 or 128 GB storage
    2,730 mAh battery
    Available in black, gold and white

    Even more bad news: there are rumours that this foldable but otherwise very average Android handset will start at $1500 USD. Still interested?

    Sources: Tom's Guide , XDA

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    by Published on 03-08-2019 01:40 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices

    Apparently yesterday marked the 35th anniversary of the founding of Research In Motion in Waterloo, Ontario. My bad for missing this!

    To honour the occasion here's a star-studded montage of well-wishers courtesy of the official BlackBerry YouTube channel:



    BNN Bloomberg has also published a retrospective chronicling the ups and downs of the former king of mobile messaging. While I'm not currently a BlackBerry user myself, it seems to me that in terms of their mobile device business they (and TCL) have done pretty well as a boutique provider of security-hardened Android phones. As a random testament to their enduring presence, "Captain Two-Phones"—aka Michael Fisher—carries one:



    So a belated HBD to BlackBerry and its fans... May there be many more for you to enjoy!

    Sources: BNN Bloomberg, CrackBerry

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    by Published on 03-03-2019 07:07 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Commentary and Analysis,
    4. Reviews and Hands-on
    Article Preview


    I checked out the Blackberry Key 2 LE recently. While I thought it was a solid phone, I also got the feeling that it was built to not step on the toes of a more expensive model. The screen was nice but could be better, that sort of thing.

    Now it’s time to check out the fancier model, the Key 2 (no LE). ...
    by Published on 02-28-2019 02:20 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices

    Sony has announced a new flagship at this year's Mobile World Congress. It's standout feature is it's super-tall 21:9 display. Maybe they'll sell a thumb extender to use with it...?



    A regular 16:9 screen ratio isn’t able to show most movies in the way they are meant to be seen. A 21:9 aspect ratio is the original format for movies and still the industry standard. What’s more, it lets you see even more of the apps and content you love.
    Sony Xperia 1
    6.5 inch 21:9 4K HDR OLED display, 1644 x 3840 pixels
    Triple 12 MP rear cameras: 16 mm / 26 mm with OIS / 52 mm with OIS
    8 MP selfie cam
    Snapdragon 855 processor
    6 GB RAM / 128 GB storage + microSD (up to 512 GB)
    3330 mAh battery
    Android 9 Pie
    Colours: Black, Grey, Purple, White
    Available: late spring 2019
    Price: rumoured to be 1099 CHF (around $1100 USD)

    Product Video:



    Sources: 91mobiles, Sony (1) (2)

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    loboheeler

    That phone does not have the LTE bands for US...

    That phone does not have the LTE bands for US carriers, so why you only see 3G. I might work on LTE Asia, but not sure what bands Japan and S. Korea use. It has B38,B39,B40,B41
    ...

    loboheeler Today, 07:32 PM Go to last post
    blterry2

    Note 9 here too, still waiting. Called in and the...

    Note 9 here too, still waiting. Called in and the band-aid was to send me an ATT sim so I can have wifi calling.

    Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

    blterry2 Today, 07:27 PM Go to last post
    Pomgup

    How boring of you to explain it in a simple,...

    How boring of you to explain it in a simple, logical and sane way. It's much more fun to develop a conspiracy theory, such as deprioritization or invaders from Mars or whatever.

    Pomgup Today, 07:25 PM Go to last post
    newcronos

    Thank you for the responses (and further...

    Thank you for the responses (and further discussion) to my question about roaming the Mobley and its $20 plan in Canada. And yes, the only reason I asked is not because I was crazy enough to think...

    newcronos Today, 07:21 PM Go to last post
    Phone_test

    Bought an AT&T prepaid LG Phoenix 4 from BestBuy....

    Bought an AT&T prepaid LG Phoenix 4 from BestBuy. Put FreeUp Mobile SIM card in. It worked.
    The phone was never activated on the AT&T network. AT&T froze both the phone and the SIM card. The...

    Phone_test Today, 06:59 PM Go to last post