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Mobile Phones

  • White House blocks Broadcom, Qualcomm takeover attempt

    It looks like Broadcom's lengthy bid to acquire US chipmaker Qualcomm is finally over, after the White House announced that it has blocked the takeover attempt. The White House noted that a Broadcom-owned Qualcomm "might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States". Furthermore, US President Donald Trump noted that the law doesn't provide "adequate and appropriate authority" for him to protect national security in this issue. As a result, any possible deal has simply been blocked. "The proposed takeover of Qualcomm by the Purchaser is prohibited, and any substantially equivalent merger, acquisition, or takeover, whether effected...

  • Mystery ZTE mid-range phone leaks, packing standard features for 2018

    ZTE is an experienced hand when it comes to the smartphone sector, being a manufacturer of white-labelled devices, mid-range phones and high-end handsets. Now, its latest phone has leaked via the TENAA regulatory body, looking like your typical 2018 mid-range phone. The ZTE V890 (as it's called on the website) packs a non-descript 1.8Ghz octacore processor, fingerprint scanner, 3900mAh battery, 3GB/4GB/6GB of RAM and 32GB/64GB/128GB expandable storage. But it also follows the tall screen trend, offering a 6-inch 2160x1080 display -- we can't see a notch here either. In the camera department, you've got a 16MP+2MP dual camera setup on the...

  • ICYMI: Honor smartphones now available via Takealot

    It's taken a while, but Huawei's Honor sub-brand is now available locally via Takealot, we noticed (are we late to the party?). The Honor brand of phones pack similar specifications to Huawei's main lineup, but feature different designs and a generally cheaper price tag. For instance, the Honor 8 had a cheaper price internationally, while also featuring near-identical specs to the Huawei P9 (review). The Honor sub-brand also distinguished itself from Huawei's phones by being online-exclusive at first. In terms of devices available in South Africa, they bear quite a resemblance to the recently launched Huawei P Smart. There's the R3499 Honor 9...

  • Just another Android brand? 4 mistakes HMD/Nokia need to avoid

    The first generation of Nokia-branded smartphones have enjoyed a great year by almost all accounts. The initial trio of Nokia 3, 5 and 6 made for some of the most capable yet affordable phones of 2017. And between the pure Android proposition and network partnerships, HMD certainly made all the right decisions. The new range of Nokia devices, announced at MWC, point to a continuation of these tenets. But there are several moves the company needs to avoid if it hopes to stay around for a while... Increasing prices too soon Above: The Nokia 2 It's become an accepted tactic for new or returning entrants to...

  • Galaxy S9 disassembled, gets 4/10 rating from repair website iFixit

    Flagship smartphones generally have a reputation for being difficult to repair, so is there any surprise that iFixit has delivered a four out of 10 rating for the larger Galaxy S9? The repair-focused website disassembled the plus-model Samsung flagship, finding it similarly tough to repair as the Galaxy S8 and S8+. In fact, between opening the device, detaching the display and removing the fingerprint scanner, the website noted that glue was a big problem. Ultimately, the Galaxy S9+ was criticised for its screen repair difficulty, as well as the "unnecessary challenge" of replacing the battery. By comparison, the iPhone X received a...

  • Mediatek CTO Kevin Jou on Qualcomm comparisons, AI chips, more

    Mediatek has changed its strategy for 2018, following a rather bruising 2017 at the high-end of the market. We first got word of the plans at AfricaCom last year, when general manager for international sales Finbarr Moynihan revealed it would be taking a "bit of a break" from the flagship market. But its new strategy is rather intriguing if the new Helio P60 chip, revealed at MWC, is anything to go by. Featuring dedicated AI silicon (called an APU), a powerful octacore CPU (four A53 and four A73 cores) and a 12nm manufacturing process, it's shaping up to be a contender in...

  • Can KaiOS make feature-phones cool again?

    The new Nokia 8110 is definitely smarter than the 2017 Nokia 3310 reboot, in large part due to the implementation of the KaiOS platform. The software is certainly an improvement on paper compared to last year's overpriced feature-phone then, but what is KaiOS anyway? Origins and requirements It's not an entirely new mobile operating system, having its roots in the now-abandoned FireFoxOS project. So that means it's a platform based on web technologies such as HTML5. In other words, it's an ideal fit for phones with modest specifications. Android Go supports phones with 512MB of RAM and upward, while the web-based platform offers...

  • Huawei P20 range leaked: triple camera on one model

    Huawei is gearing up for a 27 March event in Paris, where it's expected to launch the P20 range, including a standard model, plus variant and the more affordable P20 Lite. Now, serial leaker Evan Blass has delivered the goods, publishing renders for all of the devices. More colors. pic.twitter.com/i5LoHmDcpi — Evan Blass (@evleaks) March 7, 2018 And it seems like the Huawei P20 Plus/Pro will be the only model to pack three cameras, as per recent rumours and Huawei's own teases. Meanwhile, both the P20 Lite and standard P20 pack two cameras. Another interesting detail is that all three phones sport the divisive notch...

  • Expect budget smartphones to get AI processors soon

    Last year saw AI chips land inside premium smartphones, as Apple and Huawei sought to beef up tasks like system performance, camera quality and, well... augmented reality emoji. But could this hardware ever come to budget phones? And when could we expect this to happen? We asked Jem Davies, fellow and general manager of the machine learning group at UK chip kingpin Arm, during our trip to MWC. "Yes , so traditionally you would expect a new technology like machine learning or whatever, to appear in super smartphones, premium...

  • Gallery: the MWC 2018 smartphones you may have missed

    From Sony and Samsung to LG and Huawei, there are loads of recognisable names at MWC every year, but the huge event also plays host to wares from lesser known brands and devices. Whether it's ZTE's Nubia line, dual-screen smartphones or Ulefone, we take a look at some of the less prominent and/or more innovative devices.