All posts in “Smartphones”

Samsung Galaxy S10+ to come with up to 1TB of storage, report claims

Samsung's new Galaxy S10 will be quite a radical departure from its current flagship lineup.
Samsung’s new Galaxy S10 will be quite a radical departure from its current flagship lineup.

Image: Raymond Wong/Mashable

Samsung’s Galaxy S10 is still likely months away, but rumors about the phone just keep on coming. 

The latest among them comes courtesy of Gizmodo UK, which says a source at a “major tech retailer” gave them the exact launch date, release date, storage and screen sizes and even prices in the UK for all variants of the phone. 

According to the report, the Galaxy S10 will be announced on February 20, a week before the start of Mobile World Congress 2019. That’s also when the pre-orders will start, with the release date being March 8. 

The phone will come in three screen basic variants, with three screen sizes: The S10 Lite will have a 5.8-inch screen, the S10 will have a 6.1-inch screen, and the S10+ will have a 6.4-inch screen. Note that leaker Evan Blass published the exact same screen sizes and variants a few days ago. Also note that these names aren’t set in stone yet; Samsung internally calls the device “Beyond.”

The most important bits from the new report are UK prices and storage sizes. The Galaxy S10 Lite will come with 128GB storage, with the price of £669. The S10 variant with 128GB of storage will cost £799, while the version with 512GB of storage will cost £999.

Finally, the biggest and most powerful device in this bunch, the S10+, will start at £899 for the 128GB version, £1099 for the 512GB version, and an astonishing £1,399 for the version with 1TB of storage.

These prices would look horrendous if converted into U.S. dollars, but prices in the UK for Samsung phones are typically higher than the prices in the U.S. 

Gizmodo’s report has a few more details about the phone(s). The S10 won’t support 5G at launch, but support for the technology might arrive by mid-2019. It also confirmed earlier reports that all of the phones will have Samsung’s new Infinity-O, punch-hole display, as well as an in-display ultrasonic fingerprint scanner. 

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OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition comes with 10GB of RAM and ultra-fast charger

There’s a new smartphone with racing car-related branding in town. 

OnePlus and McLaren just announced the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition, a beefed-up version of OnePlus’s flagship with 10GB of RAM and a super-fast “Warp Charge 30” adapter in the box. 

This new charger, which boasts 30 watts of power, will give the phone “a day’s power in just 20 minutes,” according to McLaren.

Image: oneplus

Other than the charger and the ungodly amount of RAM (note that Xiaomi has several phones with 10GB of RAM, and Oppo will likely have one soon), the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition has the same specs as the regular 6T. Namely, a Snapdragon 845 chip, 256GB of storage, a 20/16-megapixel rear camera, a 16-megapixel selfie cam and a 3,700mAh battery. 

There are some visual differences, though. The OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition comes in a new color, Papaya Orange, and has a carbon fiber-like pattern underneath the phone’s glass back. Other details like a Papaya Orange cord for the charger will also remind you that you have a special edition of the phone. 

Image: oneplus

Joint car/smartphone branding isn’t really a new thing. Huawei has been launching special, Porsche-branded phones since 2016, Oppo has an Automobili Lamborghini Edition of its Find X flagship, and Bullitt launched its Land Rover Explore this year. 

The OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition is coming to North America and Western Europe on Dec. 13, with the price of $699 or 699 euros, respectively. Availability in India, China and the Nordics will follow “soon after.”

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Samsung’s new A8s smartphone doesn’t have a headphone jack

Remember when Samsung made fun of Apple for not including a headphone jack on its flagship phones? Those jokes will pack a little less punch now that Samsung has launched the Galaxy A8s, a phone with the new Infinity-O display, triple rear camera and zero headphone jacks. 

The fact that the phone doesn’t have a 3.5mm audio connector, noticed by MacRumors, is clearly visible in the promotional photos for the device, where it’s shown from all angles. The only connector this phone has is the USB-C jack on the bottom. 

Granted, the Galaxy A8s is a mid-ranger, and Samsung has quite a big lineup of devices in this price range. The lack of headphone jack on this device does not necessarily mean the company will do the same with all of its upcoming phones.  

Still, the fact that a prominent Samsung phone comes without a 3.5mm audio connector is notable for the sheer fact that the company openly mocked Apple’s decision to remove the headphone jack from the iPhone for years. Samsung even has an ad that makes fun of dongles. 

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Unfortunately, the A8s probably is the harbinger of things to come. A report in October claimed that Samsung will drop the headphone jack from its flagship sometime next year (likely after it launches the S10 in February). And, generally, smartphone makers have succumbed to the trend. Huawei’s latest flagship, the Mate 20 Pro, doesn’t have a headphone jack, and rivals like Xiaomi and OnePlus have followed suit. 

Why are we even talking about this connect, you might ask? Well, because it’s still useful, simple, practical and because most people still have at least one pair of wired headphones at home. Wireless may be the future, but this is one of those instances we’d prefer if it weren’t showed down our throats. 

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Move over notch, the hole-punch smartphone camera is coming

First it was the notch, now the hole-punch has emerged as the latest tech for concealing selfie cameras whilst keeping our smartphones as free of bezel as possible to maximize the screen space.

This week, Samsung and Huawei both unveiled new phones that dispense with the iconic ‘notch’ — pioneered by Apple but popularized by everyone — in favor of positioning the front-facing camera in a small “Infinity-O” hole located on the top left side of the screen.

Dubbed hole-punch, the approach is part of Samsung’s new Galaxy A8s and Huawei’s View 20, which were unveiled hours apart on Tuesday. Huawei was first by just hours, although Samsung has been pretty public with its intention to explore a number notch alternatives including the hole-punch, which makes sense given that it has persistently mocked Apple for the feature.

The Samsung Galaxy S8a will debut in China with a hole-punch spot for the camera [Image via Samsung]

Don’t expect to see any hole-punches just yet though.

The Samsung A8s is just for China right now while the View 20 isn’t being fully unveiled until December 26 in China and, for global audiences, January 22 in Paris. We also don’t have a price for either, but they do represent a new trend that could become widely-adopted across phones from other OEMs in 2019.

That’s certainly Samsung’s plan. The Korea firm is rolling the hole-punch out on the A8s, but it has plans to expand its adoption into other devices and series. The A8s itself is pretty mid-range, but that makes it an ideal candidate to test the potential appeal of a more subtle selfie camera since Samsung’s market share has fallen in China where local rivals have pushed it hard. It starts there, but it could yet be adopted in higher-end devices with global availability.

As the View 20, Huawei has also been pretty global with its ambitions, except in the U.S. where it hasn’t managed to strike a carrier deal despite reports that it has been close before. The current crisis with its CFO — the daughter of the company’s founder who was arrested during a trip to Canada — is another stark reminder that Huawei’s business is unlikely to ever get a break in the U.S. market: so except the View 20 to be a model for Europe and Asia.

Huawei previewed its View 20 with a punch-hole selfie camera lens this week [Image via Huawei]

Samsung hasn’t said a tonne about the hole-punch design, but our sister publication Engadget — which attended the View 20’s early launch event in Hong Kong — said it was mounted below the display “like a diamond” to maintain the structure.

“This hole is not a traditional hole,” Huawei told Engadget.

Huawei will no doubt also talk up the fact that its hole is 4.5mm versus an apparent 6mm from Samsung.

Small details aside, one important upcoming trend from these new devices is the birth of the ‘mega’ megapixel smartphone camera.

The View 20 packs a whopping 48-megapixel lens for a rear camera which something that we’re going to see a lot more of in 2019. Xiaomi, for one, is preparing a January launch for a device that’ll have the 48-megapixels, according to a message on Sina Weibo from company co-founder Bin Lin. There’s no word on what camera enclosure that device will have, though.

Xiaomi teased an upcoming smartphone that’ll sport a 48-megapixel camera [Image via Bin Lin/Weibo]

Apple says iPhones remain on sale in China following court injunction

Apple has filed an appeal to overturn a court decision that could ban iPhone sales in China, the company said on Monday, adding that all of its models remain available in its third-largest market.

The American giant is locked in a legal battle in the world’s biggest smartphone market. On Monday, Qualcomm announced that a court in Fujian Province has granted a preliminary injunction banning the import and sales of old iPhone models in China because they violated two patents owned by the American chipmaker.

The patents in question relate to features enabling consumers to edit photos and manage apps on smartphone touchscreens, according to Qualcomm.

“Apple continues to benefit from our intellectual property while refusing to compensate us. These Court orders are further confirmation of the strength of Qualcomm’s vast patent portfolio,” said Don Rosenberg, executive vice president and general counsel of Qualcomm, in a statement.

Apple fought back in a statement calling Qualcomm’s effort to ban its products “another desperate move by a company whose illegal practices are under investigation by regulators around the world.” It also claimed that Qualcomm is asserting three patents they had never raised before, including one which has already been invalidated.

It is unclear at this point what final effects the court injunction will have on Apple’s sales in China.

The case is part of an ongoing global patent dispute between Qualcomm and Apple, which saw the former seek to block the manufacturing and sale of iPhones in China over patent issues pertaining to payments last year.

Qualcomm shares were up 3 percent on Monday. Apple opened down more than 2 percent before closing up 0.7 percent. Citi lowered its Apple price target to $200 a share from $240 a share, saying in a note to investors that while it does not expect China to ban or impose additional tariffs on Apple, “should this occur Apple has material exposure to China.”

The Apple case comes as the tech giant faces intensifying competition in China, which represented 18 percent of its total sales from the third quarter. The American company’s market share in China shrunk from 7.2 percent to 6.7 percent year-over-year in the second quarter as local competitors Huawei and Oppo gained more ground, according to market research firm IDC.

The annual drop is due to Apple’s high prices, IDC suggests, but its name “is still very strong in China” and “the company will fare well should it release slightly cheaper options later in the year.”