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Mobile Phones

  • Galaxy Note 7: Samsung to issue phone-killing update

    Samsung has announced that it will be taking another step to encourage returns of the Galaxy Note 7, by effectively issuing an update that bricks US devices. The Korean company revealed on its website that just over 93% of all Galaxy Note 7 handsets have been returned in the US market. "To further increase participation, a software update will be released starting on December 19th and will be distributed within 30 days," Samsung confirmed. "This software update will prevent US Galaxy Note 7 devices from charging and will eliminate their ability to work as mobile devices." Samsung's latest update for the Galaxy Note 7...

  • Galaxy S8: report claims 3.5mm headphone jack is no more

    Samsung is obviously hard at work on its 2017 flagships, but the company is apparently taking its cues from Apple for the Galaxy S8. According to SamMobile, it can "exclusively confirm" that the brand is ditching the 3.5mm audio jack in favour of USB Type-C. In other words, your wired audio peripherals won't work, unless you have an adapter. Bluetooth peripherals should work fine, however. It would also mean that people who listen to music via wired headphones while charging their phone can't do this anymore with the Galaxy S8. If the lack of a headphone jack annoyed you on the latest iPhone,...

  • Lenovo ZUK Edge launching today – what to expect?

    Lenovo's ZUK sub-brand has been making waves over the past year or so, in large part due to solid devices like the ZUK Z2 Pro. Now, the Chinese brand is set to release a new handset this week in the form of the ZUK Edge. According to GizmoChina, citing Lenovo's Weibo updates, the ZUK Edge will be launched today (7 December). Release and pricing information hasn't been disclosed yet, but China's TENAA body has published specifications for the handset. The listing reveals a 2.35Ghz processor (lining up with the Snapdragon 821's clock speed), 4GB or 6GB RAM, 32GB/64GB/128GB storage options and a...

  • Hisense A2: a phone with an e-ink display on the back

    Hisense has been making a few capable yet well-priced smartphones over the last few years, such as the Infinity Pure 1 and the more recent KO handset. Now, it seems like the firm is gearing up for a rather interesting device in the form of the Hisense A2, Phone Radar reports. The publication reports that the new phone has passed TENAA certification (China's Icasa equivalent). So what are we getting then? The standout feature is the 5.17-inch, 960x540 e-ink display on the back of the phone, being slightly smaller than the 5.7-inch full HD main screen on the front. For the uninitiated,...

  • Google Pixel: Cellucity cancels preorders

    Cellucity has cancelled preorders for the Google Pixel smartphones, it told customers in a recent email. According to the email, obtained by Gearburn from the store chain, compliance certificates were a key issue. "It is unfortunate that we must pass on some bad news. Google will not be launching the Google Pixel in South Africa -- or any country that does not have Google Assistant active," Cellucity told customers. "Usually, this would not stop us from importing a device directly from alternative market but, in this case, Google are not able to supply us with European compliance certificates. Without this, there is...

  • Onyx Connect: SA firm to manufacture phones locally

    A South African smartphone firm is aiming to manufacture mobile devices in South Africa, according to a new report. Onyx Connect will begin local production of smartphones in Q1 2017, Bloomberg reports. "We are talking to companies to manufacture handsets, laptops and possibly Android TV boxes," sales director Andre van der Merwe told the publication. Van der Merwe added that it was in talks with the likes of Google and Vodacom to manufacture devices. Onyx also claimed that it could make a smartphone with 1GB of RAM and a camera for roughly US$30. SA firm Onyx Connect aims to do more than just put together...

  • MediaTek Helio X23, X27: 2017 flagship chips break cover

    We've already seen Qualcomm announce the Snapdragon 835 chip for flagship phones. Now, rival MediaTek has revealed its 2017 chips as well, in the form of the Helio X23 and X27. The X23 and X27 seem to fulfil the same role as this year's Helio X20 and X25, with the X23 being the base flagship chip and the X27 being a slightly faster piece of silicon. Much like its predecessors, the Helio X23 and X27 feature a 20nm design process and decacore design split into three core clusters. Interestingly enough, despite the high-powered ARM A73 core being available (and used in the Mate 9...

  • AMOLED vs LCD: which screen is best for your smartphone?

    Not all smartphone displays are created equally, owing to things like resolution and other factors. But one of the more notable differentiators is the type of screen technology used. There are two main screen technologies in use today, in the form of LCD and AMOLED, but what are the differences, advantages and downsides to them? Have a look at our basic primer below. Of course, there are other differences in tow, such as pentile versus IPS tech, but we're sticking to the basics here. LCD Let's start with LCD (liquid crystal display)... It's generally cheaper than AMOLED technology, but that doesn't mean it's...

  • Meizu Pro 6 Plus: a Chinese phone with the S7’s brains

    Chinese manufacturer Meizu has quietly been making a name for itself over the years thanks to its sensibly priced, capable smartphones. It also stands out as it's one of the few brands using Samsung Exynos processors. Now, the company has revealed the Meizu Pro 6 Plus, a new flagship with the same Exynos 8890 chip and 4GB RAM combination as the all-conquering Galaxy S7 range. Looking further down the spec sheet, we see a 5.7-inch 2560x1440 AMOLED display with 3D Touch, 3400mAh battery, 64GB or 128GB storage and USB Type-C. In the audio department, the phone packs a 3.5mm jack and a premium...

  • OnePlus unboxes smartphone in fighter jet, because reasons

    Chinese smartphone firm OnePlus has been on a roll this year, launching the OnePlus 3 to critical acclaim. The company has also launched the OnePlus 3T smartphone recently, being a slight upgrade over the previous model. So how do you mark the launch of the OnePlus 3T? Why, with an unboxing, of course. There's just one difference: this unboxing takes place inside a fighter jet (presumably a Cold War-era Mig-15 UTI or Shenyang J-5). Viner (is that still a thing?) Jake Paul climbed into the second seat, taking off from a Czech airbase and proceeding to unbox the handset. It all makes...