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Mobile Phones

  • Samsung Galaxy A8s has a hole in its screen, no audio jack

    Launched today in China, Samsung's Galaxy A8s breaks many a boundary for the Korean manufacturer. For one, it's the company's first phone with the selfie camera cut-out. Instead of a notch or a large top bezel, the 24MP selfie camera is sunk into the top-left portion of the screen itself. This does give it a particularly striking appearance, but you are sacrificing a large chunk of notification space on the 6.4 inch AMOLED LCD screen. Additionally, it's also the first Samsung to kill the headphone jack. Yeah, don't make promises you can't keep, smartphone manufacturers. This decision might be because the phone has...

  • HMD Global debuts the confusingly named Nokia 8.1

    It might be the end of the year, but HMD Global's showing no signs of slowing down. The company on Wednesday announced a new "value flagship" Nokia for Europe: the 8.1. But no, it doesn't replace the Nokia 8, or 8 Sirocco, both actual range-topping flagships. Now, the phone might look familiar to eagle-eyed enthusiasts. The phone itself is a rebranded Nokia X7, which debuted in China earlier this year. It's also referred to as the Nokia Phoenix in press material, but it's effectively a successor to the Nokia 7 Plus, which debuted earlier this year. Naming confusion over, the phone does...

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 leaks hours before announcement

    US silicon maker Qualcomm is currently enjoying Hawaii, but apart from sipping on mai tais, the company execs are also announcing big news. For one, the name and specs of its next chipset. Set for an official announcement later this evening, it seems that some things just can't stay secret in the tech world anymore. German publication WinFuture, which leaked a comprehensive list of specs, confirmed that the chipset will be called the Snapdragon 855. The 7nm-based node will feature a 5G modem and a built-in NPU (for AI, of course). For gamers, the chipset will come with "Snapdragon Elite Gaming optimisations", sport...

  • 48 hours with the Nokia 7.1

    If you've lost track of all the Nokia smartphones that have been unveiled this year, you're not alone. Although HMD Global's naming scheme is functional if not spectacular, we've seen more than ten Nokia phones debut in 2019. While there's talk of even more, including the Nokia 9 with its five rear cameras, today I took temporary ownership of the Nokia 7.1. It's the smaller, newer baby brother of the Nokia 7 Plus, a phone which I still firmly believe is an unsung hero in the 2018 smartphone catalogue. But can the 7.1, with more focus on style, continue that momentum? As it's always...

  • Huawei’s quickly closing the global phone sales gap to Samsung

    Huawei, Xiaomi and Oppo -- the big three Chinese smartphone makers -- just can't stop selling devices. This according to global sales data from Gartner. The research firm, in its Q3 2018 smartphone sales report, revealed that the trio helped push global smartphone sales to beyond 389-million units. While Samsung remained the world's biggest smartphone seller, pushing 73.3-million units in the quarter, its overall market share fell by 3.4% year-on-year. Huawei saw substantial growth, from owning 9.5% of the global market share in Q3 2017 to 13.4% in Q2 2018. It sold more than 15-million more units during this period than last. "The...

  • Sony’s next phone could sport 21:9 screen, triple rear camera

    Sony has been left behind in the smartphone war. Its rivals' recent smartphones have all but eclipsed -- in specs and performance -- its newer flagship devices. And although the Sony Xperia XZ3 shows promise, it still isn't the company's saviour. But the Japanese firm may be readying something better, and a lot more daring, come 2019. Earlier this week, renders of the Sony Xperia XZ4 suggested a large screen smartphone with three cameras at the rear and no return of the headphone jack. According to new case designs profiled by Slashleaks, it seems that these renders were pretty accurate. The designs leave enough...

  • 48 hours with the Honor 8X

    It's been a long year. So long, in fact, that I can barely recall the smartphones I've actually used. For the most part, devices have been dominated by notches, tall screens, and a focus on AI in some capacity. And my latest review subject happens to tick all three boxes. The Honor 8X, for all intents and purposes, is what you get if you made a smartphone in 2018 almost entirely to trend, with a few added bonuses and novelties. Speaking of which, after using the phone for 48 hours, here are some of the things that I immediately noticed about the...

  • Nokia 7.1 gets Android Pie three weeks after launch

    When a phone launches with an older version of Android, it usually takes the company a few months to update the device to Google's latest OS version. But Nokia is bucking this trend. Today its Finnish owner HMD Global announced that the Nokia 7.1 will receive its Android 9.0 Pie update this week. This comes just over three weeks after its South African launch. "Nokia 7.1 is our fourth smartphone running Android 9 Pie, alongside Nokia 7 plus, Nokia 6.1 Plus and Nokia 6.1 with even more to come by the end of the year," said Juho Sarvikas, HMD's Chief Product...

  • Leaked Huawei P Smart 2019 features a teardrop notch

    The Huawei P Smart has been one of the company's best performing devices in South Africa, and it looks like we might be in for a revision in the new year. Leaked by German tech site WinFuture, the Huawei P Smart 2019, as it's referred to, will feature a 6.2 inch LCD screen with a 2340x1080 resolution. This is the Huawei P Smart 2019. More official pics: https://t.co/x79ydnZ85J pic.twitter.com/61PXuuXFDb — Roland Quandt (@rquandt) 23 November 2018 There's no obscene notch on this model either as it steps away from the P10-era design language. Like the Mate 20, the P Smart 2019 will have...

  • Honor’s gunning for SA’s biggest smartphone brands in 2020 plan

    Honor, Huawei's e-brand, is seriously ambitious. The company this week, alongside the launch of its 8X flagship, announced its intention to become one of South Africa's top three smartphone brands by 2020. But is it an attainable and realistic goal? The brand's CEO for South Africa Raymond Liu believes that it is. "In some markets we need to go even faster than headquarter's strategy," Liu told Gearburn in an interview, suggesting that the fast-paced South African mobile market is one of the company's key regions. Notably, this target doesn't just include the Honor 8X, but will also include the company's two other...