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Mobile Phones

  • 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.  

  • LG V30s ThinQ hands-on: will the V30 be cheaper soon?

    The LG V30+ is a really great smartphone in its own right, owing to its durable design, capable wide-angle camera and great audio chops. In lieu of the LG G7 (and in the face of a changing strategy), the Korean firm used MWC to show off its LG V30s ThinQ instead. The tweaked model ups the RAM to 6GB and bumps the storage to 128GB or 256GB. Much like the Nokia 8 Sirocco, LG has decided to keep the Snapdragon 835 processor, meaning hardcore spec junkies will want to wait. Otherwise, in my brief time with the phone, I was happy...

  • This new tech will enable 4K/60fps, HDR in your budget phone

    British chip designer ARM is responsible for 99% of all smartphone tech on the market today, so when the company reveals new designs, the industry inevitably sits up straight to take notice. Now, the company has revealed new designs in its GPU, VPU (video processing unit) and DPU (display processing unit) lineup -- and they look poised to bring 4K/60fps video technology to cheaper/mainstream smartphones, smart TVs and other devices. New graphics for cheaper phones, streaming boxes ARM's Mali graphics range powers everything from Huawei to Samsung flagship phones, but it's also given its budget GPU range a boost with the G-52 and G-31...

  • We go hands-on with Nokia 8 Sirocco, but what about SA price?

    HMD's new range of Nokia smartphones, unveiled at MWC 2018, are all coming to South Africa, including the rather spiffy Nokia 8 Sirocco. But what kind of price can we expect for the new flagship when it eventually hits local shores? HMD Global's Justin Maier refused to give an exact price. Will it be under R15 000 though? "Yes," the representative simply answered. What does Maier make of our assumption that it'll be more expensive than the Nokia 8? "Yes, it'll be slightly more expensive than the current 8," the HMD executive explained, adding that it was dependent on the exchange rate. For the...