Now that you have the awesome new Galaxy S9 or S9 Plus in hand, it’s time try out all of its features. While some things may not have changed much from the Galaxy S8, there is still plenty of new surprises to try out.
Once you have the phone out of the box and set up, take a few minutes to check out our favorite Galaxy S9 tips and tricks to learn some features you may have missed.
One of the most talked about features on this year’s Galaxy S9 is the introduction of AR Emojis. With AR Emoji, you can create emojis customized to your likeness. While it’s definitely not as polished as Animojis on the iPhone X, it’s a fun option for chatting.
While it may be fair to say the Bixby Vision is Samsung’s answer to Google Lens, it’s not quite as polished. With Bixby Vision, you use the camera on your Samsung Galaxy S9 or S9 Plus to gain contextual information about certain items and locations around you.
Right now Bixby Vision has seven different categories: Place, Text, QR Code, Food, Wine, Shopping, and Image. In addition to those seven categories, there is also a feature called Makeup that allows you to virtually try on different products from Sephora and provides purchase links when you’ve found the perfect look.
While we have an in-depth Bixby tutorial, we focus on Bixby Vision basics here. First, you need to set up Bixby by tapping on the Bixby button on the left side of the phone or by swiping right on the home screen. Follow the prompts until you see the Bixby Homepage appear showing Bixby Level 1 at the top.
Now that Bixby is all set up, here is the fun part. You can easily access Bixby Vision from the Camera and Gallery apps by tapping on its icon. The first time you use Bixby, you also have an option to add a Bixby Vision icon to your home screen.
When you tap the Bixby Vision icon, you will see the different identification categories appear. Tap the appropriate one and then aim the camera at the image in question. You will see different suggestions begin to appear. Once you have the item in focus, tap on the category again to see what type of information Bixby Vision offers.
Shortly before Samsung unveiled its newest flagship, the company promised the Galaxy S9 would reinvent the camera. Along with a ton of other new camera features on the Galaxy S9, Super Slow-Motion was introduced. With Super Slow-Motion, you can capture video at an incredibly high frame rate (960 fps to be exact), creating Matrix-like video footage.
To use Super Slow-Motion, you need to open the Camera app. Swipe over to the Super Slow-Motion option above the viewfinder. You will be presented with two options: One will allow you to automatically begin recording at the slower frame rate when motion is detected within a small box on the screen, while the other allows you to manually control the image.
If you select the manual option, just tap the shutter button to begin recording. When you’re ready to capture the slow-motion footage, tap the three-button icon. Since the slow-motion footage is less than a second (0.2 seconds to be exact), you may want to press the three-button icon several times to capture footage in the same video.
Should you choose to try out the automatic mode, tap the auto mode at the bottom of the camera and make sure the object you want to capture in slow motion is in the defined box. Press the shutter button to start recording. You will see the box turn yellow when it is about to capture the clip. As with the manual mode, you can initiate slow-motion recording multiple times within the same video.
While Samsung did make a number of upgrades to its camera hardware, don’t expect the latest flagship to have a facial identification feature that matches what you find on the iPhone X. With Samsung’s new Intelligent Scan feature you can unlock your phone using iris and facial data. Be warned, however, that the feature has more than its fair share of hiccups so you may want to set up an alternate authentication method.
If you want to give Intelligent Scan a try, tap Settings > Lock screen and security > Intelligent Scan. Enter your password, PIN, or pattern. Tap Continue. Select a lock screen option and then agree to the disclaimer. Press Continue two times.
First, you register your face by holding the phone 8 to 20 inches away and making sure it is centered in the alignment circle. Once registered, tap Continue. Finally, you register your irises by holding the phone 10 to 14 inches away and making sure each eye is centered in the necessary alignment circles.
To get the best data you will want to make sure you’re in a well-lit room without a lot of backlight. You also need to remove your glasses for the iris scan, and once set up you may not be able to authenticate with them on.
If you have sensitive documents or photos you don’t want to share with everyone, the Samsung Galaxy S9 offers a feature called Secure Folder that allows you to store sensitive items in a private, secure folder.
Setting up Secure Folder takes seconds. Tap Settings > Lock Screen and Security > Secure Folder. Press Next > Start. Sign into your Samsung account and tap Confirm.
Next, you need to choose the best authentication method to access Secure Folder. If you’re using a PIN, password, or pattern to authenticate, you probably want to select something different than what you use to access your phone. Once you have entered your preferred authentication method, a Secure Folder will be set up and added to your home screen.
To use Secure Folder, simply tap the homepage icon. You’ll see options to add photos, apps, and files.
Samsung Pass allows you to auto-populate personal details such as your name and email address. Sure, Google provides a similar feature with autofill, but Samsung Pass works in the native internet browser.
If you want to give Samsung Pass a try, go to Settings > Lock Screen and Security > Samsung Pass. Tap Next. Sign in with your Samsung Account and press Start. Agree to the disclaimer and tap Next. Finally, choose your preferred biometric identification option and you are all set.
Each time you use Samsung’s browser to sign in on websites or enter personal information, it will be saved to Samsung Pass for future use. When you wish to use the information stored in Samsung Pass, just authenticate using an iris scan or fingerprint.
Want to customize your home screen? If you don’t want to go as far as changing your theme, there are still plenty of customization options available. Here are a few of our favorite features.
If you don’t like frames around your icons, go to Settings > Display > Icon frames > Icons only.
To change the background, long press on an empty area on the home screen. Tap Wallpapers and select your new image. You can also add and change widgets by simply tapping the Widgets icon instead of Wallpapers.
If you want to make more extensive home screen changes long press on the home screen and select the Home screen settings icon. From here you can adjust icon size, change your grid layout, disable app icon badges, and more.
Now that you have customized your home screen, why not tweak the always on display to your liking? While most people are fine with the default always-on display settings, it takes seconds to switch it.
If you want to customize the always-on display, tap Settings > Lock screen and security > Always on display. From here you can update what you would like to appear on the always-on screen. To change the clock and widgets, just tap Settings > Lock screen and security > Clock and FaceWidgets.
While plenty of phones offer a portrait mode, the Samsung Galaxy S9 kicks it into high gear with its Live Focus option. Live Focus allows you to create customized portraits that look stunning.
To use Live Focus, simply open the Camera app and swipe right on the viewfinder screen. Position your subject three to five feet away from the camera lens to get the perfect shot. Once the subject is in the perfect spot, use the background blur slider to adjust the degree of bokeh in the background; Samsung allows you to see the adjustments in real time so you can make sure it doesn’t look overly processed.
Next, you can choose to turn off the beauty filter before taking the photo (it’s on by default) by tapping the sparkle icon and moving the slider to zero. Finally, make sure the two Live Focus circles are yellow before pressing the shutter button.
Once you have taken the photo you will see two images in the Gallery. One is your Live Focus shot, while the other is a regular wide angle shot. Luckily you can still adjust the background blur to the Live Focus image from the slider that will appear in the gallery.
While you will see both images in your Gallery, you may still want to manually save the images by tapping the overflow icon and selecting Save image. The benefit of manually saving the images is that both will be uploaded to your Google Photos account.
Although Bixby has improved exponentially over the past year, it is still not everyone’s cup of tea. While you can’t map the Bixby button to perform other tasks, it’s pretty easy to disable.
Simply swipe right to reach the Bixby Home screen. Tap the overflow icon on the top right side of the screen and select Bixby Settings. Select Bixby Key and tap the Don’t open anything radio button.
Quick Settings Tiles allow you to quickly access frequently used features on your phone. Just swipe down and you can easily connect to Wi-Fi, turn on the flashlight, or even quickly pair a Bluetooth device. If the number of Quick Settings Tiles seems overwhelming, it may be a good idea to make some adjustments.
To customize your Quick Settings Tiles, use two fingers to swipe down from the top of the display. Press the overflow icon in the top right-hand corner. You will see options for Button order and Button grid. While Button grid will allow you to change the number of icons on the screen, Button order allows you to rearrange icons and remove ones you don’t need.
Let’s be honest: Samsung’s Navigation bar is wacky. The reason Samsung continues to default to the back icon being on the right side is beyond us. Luckily if you’re one of the people who find Samsung’s custom Navigation bar annoying, it is incredibly easy to fix
Simply go to Settings > Display > Navigation bar > Button layout. Select your preferred option and you’re set.
Depending on the carrier, your Samsung Galaxy S9 may come with a lot of apps you will never use. Unfortunately, some of these apps are baked in and can’t be uninstalled without rooting the phone. However, you can hide the apps so they don’t take up screen real estate.
There are two ways to hide apps. From the home screen, simply long press on the app and select Remove from Home. If you want to hide app from the App drawer, swipe up on the home screen and tap the overflow icon in the top right corner. Select Home screen settings > Hide apps. Select the apps you would like to hide.
If you need to access a hidden app, simply search for it by name.
If you have ever been woken up in the middle of the night by a notification alert, you will appreciate the Do not disturb function on the Samsung Galaxy S9. With Do Not Disturb, it’s easy to block notifications as well as set different notification schedules that occur throughout the day.
To give Do Not Disturb a try, go to Settings > Sounds and vibration > Do not disturb. From here, you can toggle on Do not disturb. If you want to schedule certain times to be free of interruption, tap on Turn on as scheduled to toggle the feature on and set schedules.
Finally, if you only want to block certain notifications and callers, you can set up exceptions. Simply tap Settings > Sounds and vibration > Do not disturb > Allow exceptions. Select Custom to define your own parameters.
If you have multiple social media accounts, Samsung has an excellent feature on the Galaxy S9 called Dual Messenger. With Dual Messenger, you can quickly create multiple instances of the same app.
To turn on Dual Messenger tap Settings > Advanced features> Dual Messenger.
While Android defaults to automatically updating apps when your phone is connected to a Wi-Fi connection, sometimes those updates happen at inopportune times. If you prefer to change it, it’s easy to schedule a specific time for any software updates.
Go to Settings > Software Updates > Scheduled software updates. Select your selected time and press Done.
Google has rebranded Android Wear — its operating system for wearable devices and smartwatches — to Wear OS, complete with a new logo. Judging by the company’s press release, Google hopes removing the Android name will help people better understand watches with Wear OS don’t just work with Android-based devices, and that they will work with iOS devices too.
However, it seems many people are already aware of this. According to Google’s own data, one in three new Wear OS watches also connected to an iPhone in 2017. It says the name change, “better reflects our technology, vision, and most important of all — the people who wear our watches.” How does Wear OS differ from Android Wear at the moment? Outside of the name change and the new logo, it doesn’t. There are no new features or alterations to the software at the moment.
The Android Wear app will also be updated on both Android and iOS to reflect the new name. Google says the updates will come over the next few weeks, and suggests watches are left on charge overnight while connected to Wi-Fi in order to receive the new software when it’s ready.
While nothing has changed with Wear OS yet, the rebrand could signal the start of a larger, long-term revamp of the platform and device ecosystem. Google hasn’t paid much attention to Android Wear recently, ignoring it during Google I/O last year, and failing to produce a benchmark smartwatch along the lines of its Pixel phones. It even removed Android Wear watches from the Play Store.
The rebrand of Android Wear is the latest in a string of high-profile rebranding exercises from Google, following the change from Android Pay to Google Pay last month. This brought several Google payment systems together under one name, simplifying the experience for everyone, and providing a single, unified name and app.
There are two key events taking place in the near future which may provide more detail on Google’s plan for Wear OS — the Baselworld watch show in Switzerland next week, and Google’s annual developer conference in May. If new hardware is part of the plan, we may have to wait for the public release of Android P and any new Pixel phones later in 2018 to learn more.
Updated on March 16: Added news of which Android Wear watches will receive and update to Wear OS.
At any given moment, there are approximately a zillion different crowdfunding campaigns happening on the web. Take a stroll through Kickstarter or Indiegogo and you’ll find no shortage of weird, useless, and downright stupid projects out there — alongside some real gems. We’ve cut through the fidget spinners and janky iPhone cases to round up the most unusual, ambitious, and exciting new crowdfunding projects out there this week. That said, keep in mind that any crowdfunding project — even the best intentioned — can fail, so do your homework before cutting a check for the gadget of your dreams.
Like most bodies of water that run through densely-populated urban areas, the Chicago River has a serious pollution problem. Now, to be fair, it’s currently much cleaner than it’s been in the past. There are more fish in the river, and more people use it for recreational purposes than ever before.
Unfortunately, the famous river also home to a massive amount of plastic waste, which comes from a vast array of different sources and interacts with the ecosystem in a myriad of different ways, most of which are negative. What’s more, efforts to clean up this plastic have largely fallen short thus far — but a newly-launched Kickstarter project aims to change that.
Urban Rivers’ trash robot is essentially an internet-connected, remote controlled, interactive trash collecting boat. When complete, the device will allegedly be controlled by internet users, who log in to the trash bot’s web platform and take control of it for a specified amount of time. To aid navigation, the bot is equipped with a live streaming video camera that allows users to spot trash in real time, and then pilot the boat toward it. Sounds like a fun game, no?
3D printing has progressed in leaps and bounds over the past few years. In addition to massive improvements in the quality, availability, and price of 3D printers, users today also have access to an incredibly broad range of materials. It’s not just PLA and ABS anymore — 3D printers can make stuff with wood, clay, nylon, and even metal these days.
The only problem? It’s still fairly expensive. Depending on the type and quality of the filament you buy, you can expect to pay anywhere from $20 to $60 for a single spool of plastic. If you do a lot of printing, the cost of filament can get out of hand quickly. But what if there was a better way to achieve the same result? That’s precisely what the Gigabot X aims to do. Instead of filament, this beast prints with plastic pellets.
“There are some major benefits that come from printing with pellets,” the creators explain on Kickstarter. “It eliminates the need for extruded plastic filament, which tends to be about 10x more expensive than pelletized plastic. Direct pellet extrusion also allows for faster printing — we’re currently experimenting with print times up to 17x faster than the filament-fed Gigabot. And while pellet printers are currently commercially available, they typically are used in larger manufacturing systems and are cost-prohibitive to many potential users. Our goal, much like with the first-generation Gigabot, is to increase 3D printer accessibility and bridge the gap between cost and scale by creating an affordable, large-scale pellet printer.”
Here’s DT’s Lulu Chang with the lowdown: “You may not have fins, but that doesn’t mean you can’t glide through the water with the grace of an aquatic creature. Thanks to Hoverstar Flight Technology, a company dedicated to water sports equipment, you will soon be able to fly across or underneath the surface of the great blue ocean (or any other body of water) with ease. Meet the AquaJet H2, a motorized underwater scooter with wings dedicated to improving the experience of divers and snorkelers the world over.
“The scooter, which looks something like a flattened shark head, features aircraft-style wings that are claimed to reduce water resistance, leading to greater balance and less friction and drag. Adventurers need only grab onto the front of the wings and either dive underwater or skim across its surface. Powered by a “smart internal motor,” the AquaJet H2 can carry up to four people at once, and features three variable speeds. Top speed is 5.6 miles per hour, which is almost certainly faster than you can swim (though Michael Phelps is said to reach speeds of six miles per hour).”
We covered this one earlier in the week, so here’s a quick excerpt from our full article: “A new wearable device that’s just hit Kickstarter promises to help you keep track of harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, courtesy of some smart artificial intelligence technology. Called the QSun, the gadget not only aims to protect you from sun-induced skin damage, but also make sure that you’re still getting a healthy amount of vitamin D, which comes from sun exposure.
“To do this, the clip-on QSun wearable uses advanced sensors to measure UV rays in real time and track your sun exposure. It then calculates how long you can stay outside before getting a sunburn and sends an alert to your smartphone when it determines you need to seek protection from the giant burning ball in the sky. While it’s doing this, it also calculates how much vitamin D you’ve produced from your sun exposure. Both of these metrics can be checked from the QSun app, thereby allowing you to keep tabs on your long-term sun exposure and vitamin D history. The app also claims it can work out how much sunscreen you need to wear, and uses advanced image processing technology to analyze your facial skin health.”
You know what’s more frustrating (and certainly more painful) than having your foot slip off your bike pedal when you’re cycling? Being clipped into the pedals, and finding yourself unable to remove your foot in time to protect you from a nasty spill. That’s what a new Kickstarter campaign hopes to solve with an innovative bike pedal which uses magnets to attach rider’s feet to their bicycle pedals. Made of an inexpensive, lightweight plastic composite, the Vault Magped works thanks to magnets built into the pedal body, while riders connect via a steel clip attached to their biking shoes.
“The Magped safety bike pedal is a true innovation for mountain bikes and ebike,” the creators explain on Magped’s Kickstarter campaign page. “Our patented magnet mechanism makes quick and easy release of the foot possible at any time. In comparison to standard click in pedals the risk of crash and injury is reduced to a minimum — and your head stays free for a hassle free biking experience without fear.”
When you draw or make art on a computer, you have access to practically any color you could ever want. The only downside? Drawing on a computer isn’t nearly as intuitive and free as drawing with old-fashioned pens, pencils, and markers. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to blend the best attributes of both computer-aided and freehand drawing? Well, if this recently-launched Kickstarter project meets its goal, there might soon be a way.
Picolor, as it’s called, is a “small cube with five different pigment colors which include Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black and White.” By mixing these pigments together in different quantities, it’s allegedly capable of creating over one million different colors. These can be mixed into paint or ink, and used inside special refillable markers. And best of all, you can customize the colors you create with a smartphone app.
We’ll let DT reporter Luke Dormehl give you the scoop on this one:
“Whether it is gravity-defying phone chargers or human-floating tractor beams, we’re suckers for levitating technologies. A new Kickstarter campaign therefore hits our sweet spot with an ‘executive novelty’ (read: a high-priced desk toy) that levitates water droplets entirely for your viewing pleasure.
“Called LeviZen, the retro-styled device doesn’t have any practical applications, but it certainly promises to be an attention-grabbing conversation starter. Unlike the majority of levitating gadgets we’ve written about in the past, LeviZen doesn’t use magnetic levitation to achieve its effect, due to the fact that this would not work with a liquid like water. Instead, it opts for sound-based acoustic levitation, which adds an unusual element to a product that’s joining a crowded levitating marketplace.”
Remember that scene from Men In Black? The one that zooms out to reveal that our entire galaxy sits inside the marble on a cat’s leash? If that scene stuck with you, there’s a good chance you’ll appreciate this new desktop trinket that recently popped up on Kickstarter. The Milky Way in a Sphere is exactly what it sounds like — a desk ornament that contains a tiny scale model of the cosmic neighborhood that we live in.
With the help of an ultra-precise laser etching machine and a heap of astronomical data, creator Clemens Steffin managed to shrink the Milky Way and fit it inside a beautiful glass desk ornament that’s no bigger than an orange. In his model, there are over 200,000 individual dots — each of which represents a star (or cluster of stars). It’s arguably one of the coolest desk ornaments of all time.
We covered this on earlier in the week, so here’s an excerpt from our full article:
“Call it form over function if you want, but the Iris, a new high-tech trash can, looks like something out of a 1960s science fiction movie. The idea is this: it’s a shiny trash can with a sealed top. Approach it with some piece of debris, however, and you will be detected by an infrared sensor beam when you’re within a few inches. At this point, its iris diaphragm lid slowly opens like an airlock or futuristic spaceship door so you can carefully place the object inside without having to touch the can. The sensors then cause the mechanism to close again as you walk away.”
“The idea came to me when I was helping my wife prepare dinner,” creator Everett Belmont told Digital Trends. “After cutting some vegetables, I had to throw some debris into our bin that was located inside a cabinet under the sink. The bin was one of those with a stepper that propels the lid open. The lid kept bumping into the undersink so I [started thinking about whether it was possible to build] a trash can with a closing mechanism that didn’t lift up like most trash cans in the market, but one that could retract within itself.”
As you may or may not have noticed, film photography has enjoyed a resurgence as of late. As it continues to claw back some of its former popularity, inventors are finding more ways to blend classic photography with digital convenience. I’m Back is the latest such invention to hit the crowdfunding scene. After finding success with a 3D-printed, Raspberry Pi-powered film camera, the creators of the device are back with a clever new gizmo that transforms old film cameras into digital shooters.
Here’s how it works. Rather than popping a roll of 35mm film into your old camera, you open up the back and attach the camera to I’m Back. The device’s 16 megapixel sensor will then pick up light that passes through the cameras lens, and save it to an SD card. If you’d like to see the photo afterward, you can even connect your smartphone and use it as a display screen.
We covered this one earlier in the week, so here’s an excerpt from our full article, written by Luke Dormehl:
“Developed by health experts in Austria, Stapp One insoles fit into your regular shoe, where they use state-of-the-art textile sensors to collect information about your posture, distribution of weight, movement, and location. Through this approach, its creators claim the insoles can gather details including your weight, calorie burn, posture, activity, and skeletal deformities. This information is then sent to a connected smartphone app and presented to you in a manner that’s understandable, helpful, and easy to use.
“While a lot of these metrics can be measured through other fitness trackers, Stapp One’s big claim to fame is the fact that it can hone in on postural problems. In particular, it says it can recognize and help correct back pain, foot pain, neck pain, restricted movement, foot deformities, misalignment of the spine, and musculoskeletal weakness. It’s like having a tiny physiotherapist in your shoe!”
People have had a hard time getting out of bed ever since — well, probably ever since beds became comfortable. And ever since the invention of the snooze button, sleep-loving procrastinators around the globe have been struggling to wake up on time. Part of the reason the snooze button is so easy to abuse is that, oftentimes, you don’t have to do much more than roll over and flop your arm onto your clock to make it shut off. To remedy this issue, the creators of the Snoozle alarm clock have designed a simple and effective new system.
If you’re the type who can’t resist the allure of your mattress even after standing up, perhaps an alarm that forces you to leave your bedroom altogether is the best choice — and that’s precisely what Snoozle does. Once activated, the alarm won’t turn off until you pick it up and place it atop an accompanying pad — which would ideally be placed in your bathroom, kitchen, or somewhere else far, far away from your bedside. Not a bad idea, right? How much easier would it be to wake up on time if your snooze button was right next to the coffee maker in your kitchen?
A couple years ago, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) commissioned a team of artists to design a series of travel posters that depict exotic locales in our solar system. They were (and still are) absolutely awesome, and are illustrated in a way that makes them resemble classic travel posters. All in all, JPL’s artists created a total of fourteen posters — and since the artwork was funded with taxpayer dollars, NASA went ahead and made all of it available for free. You can actually download and print them yourself right now if you want to.
The only downside? Unless you have access to a large format printer, putting NASA’s artwork on a full-fledged poster is a bit of a pain. So, to make it more accessible, German graphic designer Tim Hippmann is currently running a Kickstarter to raise funds for some full-size reprints.
“The posters are free for download and reprinting, so I wanted to print them in a printer studio for my working place,” Hippmann explains on his campaign page. “But they were not that size I needed, so I decided to retouch the posters and fit them to international standard sizes in Europe and the U.S.: 70 by 100 centimeters, and 24 by 36 inches.”
This is a weird one. It really serves no purpose other than to just sit on your desk and look cool — or maybe act as a paperweight. Still, it’s undeniably cool. It’s called the Orbiform, and it’s what’s known as a “solid of constant width.” What this means is that, despite the fact that it’s shaped a bit like an acorn, it actually has a constant width no matter how its oriented. If you put a bunch of these underneath a board, the board would roll around as if it was sitting atop a series of spheres.
“An Orbiform,” the creators explain, “is a little-known, unintuitive geometric shape, with fascinating mathematical properties. Orbiforms were unwittingly used by polymath Leonardo da Vinci in 1514, mathematically discovered by mathematician Leonhard Euler in 1771, and placed in application by engineer Franz Reuleaux in 1876. We are Kickstarting a 3D Orbiform derived from a triangle to spread our enjoyment of mathematics and design with math lovers, designers, creators, educators and students.”
DT’s Lulu Chang covered this one earlier in the week, so we’ll let her give you the rundown:
“Two years ago, the folks behind Movpak managed to raise over $250,000 to bring their electric skateboard and backpack combination to life. Now, the team is ready to ship a new-and-improved version of the electric skateboard that takes portability to a whole new level to eager backers around the world. You see, once you’re finished riding the Movpak, you won’t need to pick it up and tuck it under your arm. Rather, you’ll be able to simply fold it up into a backpack and go about your merry way. So whether you want to consider it a backpack you can ride or a skateboard you can wear, it seems like the perfect tool for your urban commute.
“Riding the Movpak is as easy as pulling a dedicated handle. From there, the board easily slides out, and using a companion remote, you’ll be able to control your speed and braking as you cruise down streets. In order to recharge the Movpak, just plug the charger into any standard outlet for a couple hours. The deck of the eboard is constructed with a combination of wood, metal, and Kevlar compounds, which promises to make the board simultaneously strong and flexible.”
The iPhone X and iPhone 8 may well be some of the best handsets on the market, but they’re also pretty pricey. You may not remember this, but Apple also offers a smaller, lower-cost device called the iPhone SE. Launched in 2016, the SE has gone a while without an update, but recent reports indicate that Apple is finally working on a new one. Tentatively called the iPhone SE 2, here’s everything you need to know about it.
Will a new iPhone SE retain the small screen, iPhone 5-esque look, or move on to something more current? Take a look at the video below, which supposedly shows a prototype iPhone SE 2. That’s right; it’s not an iPhone X. If it’s genuine, Apple’s cheaper, smaller iPhone may take on the cutting-edge style of its most expensive smartphone.
What are the chances this is real? Probably rather low. Despite the phone appearing to run iOS, and featuring gestures familiar to iPhone X owners, it may be a cleverly disguised Android smartphone. Such devices do exist in China — where the video originated — and rather than being an iPhone SE 2 prototype, this is more likely to be an iPhone X knockoff.
We’d be surprised if Apple could still keep the iPhone SE 2 price competitive while using the iPhone X screen, Face ID, and the TrueDepth camera, plus the dual-rear-camera system anyway. The iPhone 5-style square body is interesting though, and even if it’s not genuine, it’s still a fun look at what an iPhone X/iPhone SE mashup would look like.
The iPhone SE wasn’t made to be a technical showcase, and has a modest set of specifications. Will Apple continue that trend with the iPhone SE2? According to Digitimes, the iPhone SE 2 is predicted to have a glass back to support wireless charging but won’t have 3D-sensing capabilities.
Tekz24 also reports the phone will come with wireless charging, and adds the phone may have Apple’s A10 Fusion chip, 2GB of RAM, and options for either 32GB or 128GB of storage. The rear-facing camera will reportedly have 12 megapixels, while the front-facing camera will sit at 5 megapixels.
When will we finally see the iPhone SE 2? The original iPhone SE launched in March 2016, so it’s possible that Apple wants to stick to a similar release schedule; but no Apple event has been scheduled for March 2018 at the time of writing, and there are rumors it may not arrive this year at all.
A research note from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, reported by MacRumors, says Apple does not have the development resources necessary to launch the iPhone SE 2 in 2018. The note also states that if Apple does have a budget iPhone in the pipeline for this year, it will not feature wireless charging.
Before this, various dates for the iPhone SE 2’s arrival have been rumored. Digitimes predicted the smartphone will begin mass production in the second quarter of this year, with the official launch of the smartphone in May or June. Another recent report, this one from Focus Taiwan, noted that the iPhone SE 2 would launch in the first quarter of 2018.
The China Economic Daily speculated the phone will launch in July, and would be assembled in India by Taiwanese manufacturer Wistron. The report also hinted at the possible price of the iPhone SE 2, claiming it’ll be approximately $450 — the same price of the original SE when it launched. Since then, the SE has been discounted to $350.
Updated on March 16: Added video supposedly showing an iPhone X-like iPhone SE 2 prototype.