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All posts by Hadlee Simons

  • Follow Qualcomm’s 5 December event here

    Update, 11:30pm SAST, 5 December 2017: Qualcomm revealed a host of stuff today, including 5G rollout details, confirmation of the Snapdragon 845 (and Xiaomi's intentions to use it for their next flagship) and two Snapdragon-powered PCs. Original article: Qualcomm is holding an event in Maui today in order to showcase its latest wares. But what could it be? Could we see the Snapdragon 845 today? All signs certainly point to that, along with a better look at Windows 10 laptops/convertibles powered by Snapdragon processors. "Snapdragon is the premium tier mobile platform of choice. We look forward to sharing for the first-time exciting...

  • Smartphones in 2017: how many predictions came true?

    Almost a year ago, we gazed into our crystal ball to pick a few features we might see on 2017's smartphones. Now that the year is almost over, how many predictions actually came to fruition? 6GB of RAM to be more widespread? We saw several smartphones pack 6GB of RAM in 2016, predicting a modest increase for 2017. "2016 saw 6GB of RAM become a thing and, while it might seem like overkill at first, we definitely expect more manufacturers to get in on the action," we wrote. "This doesn't necessarily mean that 6GB will be the starting point for flagships though. But I...

  • Samsung Galaxy S8 review: how does it fare six months later?

    Between the great camera and fantastic display, there was plenty to like about Samsung's Galaxy S8 (review). But a two-week period isn't ideal when it comes to a comprehensive review. After all, slowdown can occur, battery life could suffer and other issues could pop up months down the line. Fortunately, we've still got our seeded unit as a daily driver. So how has Samsung's flagship fared after roughly six months of use? Hardware I haven't used the S8 without a cover for a while now, but the rare times I do pop the cover off, I do still appreciate the phone's design. There is...

  • Who says Intel Atom is dead for mobile? Leagoo uses Spreadtrum, Intel chip

    Spreadtrum and Intel made news earlier this year when they announced a new smartphone processor, essentially being an octacore version of the Intel Atom chips. The SC9853i, as it's known, packs eight x86 Airmont cores, as opposed to the four seen in Intel's last Atom mobile processors. Otherwise, the chip is built on a 14nm process and features older dual-core Mali T820 graphics. Now, the first phone to use the chipset has been announced, in the form of the Leagoo T5C. The Chinese smartphone brand isn't the biggest (it doesn't crack the top five in China), but it sponsors Tottenham Hotspur, for what...

  • Apple tipped to enjoy best year ever for iPhone, thanks to iPhone X

    The iPhone X has proven to be a critical hit, but could the model guide Apple to hitherto-unseen levels of success? Analytics firm IHS Markit certainly thinks so. In fact, the firm points out that the iPhone X already accounts for two percent of the active iPhone installed base in eight countries. "The leading countries for iPhone X adoption are markets with high gross domestic productper head such as Singapore, Denmark, Switzerland and Japan," IHS Markit points out. In another observation, the firm found that there was a strong correlation between the popularity of Plus-sized iPhones and the iPhone X. "Countries where 'Plus'...

  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2: what are reviews saying?

    The Nintendo Switch has enjoyed a stellar launch year, seeing a steady stream of quality games since the console's release. The stream isn't stopping yet, as Xenoblade Chronicles 2 launches today. Reviews have already gone live, so is it worth getting? We gather some of the more prominent verdicts. Eurogamer The website bestowed a "recommended" badge on the new Switch title, calling it "unrestrained in its ambition". Eurogamer's Simon Parkin does note that the game's smart ideas aren't always fully exploited. He also took issue with the fact that "opportunistic" passing enemies would often join battles, taking advantage of your weakened state. "By far...

  • PSP emulator slow on your phone? New update brings big gains

    Fancy playing your old PSP games but don't want to lug the actual console around? Fortunately, the PPSSPP emulator has been around for a while on Android, being one of the more popular emulators on the platform. PPSSPP doesn't have stringent requirements, as even mid-range smartphones are capable of delivering playable performance in many games. Nevertheless, the team has announced a major update to the emulator this week (as spotted by r/games), bringing support for the Vulkan graphics API. For the uninitiated, the Vulkan API aims to squeeze more performance out of graphics hardware than other APIs, like OpenGL. In other words,...

  • Pixel 2 XL vs Lumia 950 XL cameras: surprising results in tow

    The Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL cameras build on the excellent results by the original Pixel, making them among the top smartphone cameras of 2017. But how does the Pixel 2 XL compare to the two-year-old Lumia 950 XL? All About Windows Phone took a few comparison shots, showing an older phone that still delivers quality photos. Of course, with a name like All About Windows Phone, you'd expect the Microsoft device to emerge victorious, but the website was pretty detailed in its rundown. The publication took macro shots, daytime snaps, low-light pictures and more. When it came to daytime shots, like...

  • Someone peeking at your phone screen? New Google tool will alert you

    Google researchers have come up with a unique tool which alerts you when other people are peeking at your smartphone screen. The tool, spotted by The Android Soul, isn't available yet but is set to be demonstrated at the Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) conference next week. As for how it all works? The phone's front facing camera is used to detect gazes and faces, doing so very quickly and alerting users in the process. The application draws a red box around the Peeping Tom and also adds a rainbow effect for good measure. "The runtime is 2ms (milliseconds) per face for...

  • 8nm or 10nm: what will next Qualcomm chip have? [Update]

    Samsung and Qualcomm have a close relationship when it comes to mobile chips, as Samsung manufactures Qualcomm's high-end processors and uses them in variants of its Galaxy flagships. This year saw Samsung get first dibs on the Snapdragon 835 processor, being manufactured on a tiny 10nm process for power savings and performance gains (smaller designs generally equal better performance and efficiency). Early rumours claimed that Samsung's next chip will be made on a 10nm process again -- a fact confirmed by the next-gen Exynos 9810's quiet unveiling. So where does that leave Qualcomm's own silicon? Samsung has announced this week that it has started...