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Mobile Phones

  • Google brings plenty of news in time for MWC 2018

    Mobile World Congress week is upon us, and Google has made several key announcements to mark the start. First of all, the company has confirmed that Google Assistant will dramatically increase its footprint, saying the assistant will be available in 30 languages by the end of the year. "In the next few months, we’ll bring the Assistant to Danish, Dutch, Hindi, Indonesian, Norwegian, Swedish and Thai on Android phones and iPhones, and we’ll add more languages on more devices throughout the year," the company wrote on its website. "We’re also making the Assistant multilingual later this year, so families or individuals that...

  • 5 tall-screen smartphones you can get in SA (that are not flagships)

    Tall screens have joined dual cameras as being one of the most popular smartphone trends right now. And much like two cameras, we're seeing these screens filter down to cheaper devices. Which lesser known devices with tall displays are available in South Africa though? Let's take a look. LG Q6 Probably the first budget smartphone with a tall display in the country, the LG Q6 features a rather slick, pocket-friendly design. And it still packs a 5.5-inch, 18:9 display (2160x1080). The device is solid in terms of basic specs, offering a budget-minded Snapdragon 435 chip, 3GB of RAM, a 3000mAh battery and 32GB of expandable...

  • A salute to a forgotten yet amazing smartphone camera feature

    Smartphone photography has managed to improve dramatically in the last three years or so. Back in 2015, the likes of the Galaxy S5, LG G3 and other phones gave us a glimpse of what was to come. But it was the Lumia 830, Lumia 930 and Lumia 950 (Microsoft's last flagship smartphone) that were arguably the first to drive a future driven by software/computational photography, with the implementation of Rich Capture. In fact, we'd argue that Rich Capture is probably the most amazing (yet forgotten) camera feature in ages. Bear with me here. What is Rich Capture? The feature, which debuted on the Lumia 930, Lumia 1520 and...

  • Qualcomm, Samsung to deliver tiny 7nm 5G chipsets

    The Snapdragon 845 is expected to power a ton of flagship smartphones this year, from Sony and Asus to Samsung and Xiaomi. But the 5G era isn't far away, with industry experts pointing to a 2019 launch at the earliest. The new era will necessitate a new chipset, so Qualcomm has announced the expansion of its relationship with Samsung Foundry to produce Qualcomm's 5G-enabled mobile chipsets. These chipsets will be manufactured on a tiny 7nm process, making it much smaller than the 10nm Snapdragon 845. Generally speaking, a smaller manufacturing process means a smaller, more efficient chip. Benefits of a smaller chip "Using 7LPP EUV...

  • Microsoft kills notifications for Windows Phone 7, 8

    Notifications are the backbone of many a mobile operating system and we tend to take them for granted. But now, Microsoft has announced that it has killed off notifications for Windows Phone 7.5 and Windows Phone 8 devices. I didn't even know they could do that... In any case, the news was spotted on an official support page by The Verge, revealing the full extent of changes. The company noted that from 20 February (yesterday), "Mobile Push Notification services" would be disabled. This means that your phone won't receive notifications or live tile updates, while the Find My Phone feature will...

  • Xperia XZ2, XZ2 Compact to ditch headphone jack?

    Sony's renowned for its decades-long audio credentials, but a new report claims that the company is getting rid of its all-important headphone jack on its upcoming flagship smartphones. According to Swedroid.se (via Xperia Blog), citing an "industry source", both the Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact will ditch the 3.5mm jack. How Sony will spin this, we don't know, but if it's like any other company, we imagine they'll cite water/dust resistance, battery capacity and/or general space considerations. Otherwise, the publication reports that both devices will have a rear fingerprint scanner (as opposed to the side-mounted scanner of previous devices), a Snapdragon...

  • Galaxy S9: Is Samsung matching Sony’s super slow-mo feature?

    We're just a few days away from the Samsung Galaxy S9 reveal, and the leaks are coming thick and fast right now. The latest one comes from the reputable WinFuture website (German language), bringing with it a host of details. A lot of the information corroborates previous leaks, so that means a dual-camera setup on the S9+, a main camera that can switch between f/1.5 and f/2.4, Exynos 8910 or Snapdragon 845 chipset, stereo speaker, 5.8-inch 2960x1440 display for the standard Galaxy S9 and 6.2-inch 2960x1440 display and 3500mAh battery for the larger model. Probably the biggest nugget of information is...

  • Nokia 10 with rotating lenses to be Nokia 8 Pro instead?

    One of the strangest rumours in recent times has to be the Nokia 10 and its rotating lenses, making for a rather innovative camera setup. We initially thought it would be a pentacamera setup but subsequent reports suggest that HMD is shooting for a dual-camera setup with five rotating lenses. Now, Nokia Power User has revealed that the phone is apparently not the Nokia 10, but rather the Nokia 8 Pro. According to the publication, the Nokia 8 Pro is set for an August-September launch, lining up with the IFA expo in Berlin. It's also believed that the rotating lenses will enable at least...

  • Qualcomm, Broadcom meeting yields no results on ‘final’ offer

    Earlier this month saw Broadcom make a "best and final" offer to acquire Qualcomm -- an offer that was rejected. But Qualcomm opened the door for a 14 February meeting to discuss further options, so what was the result of that? The US chipmaker delivered a letter to Broadcom (publishing it on their website), giving their thoughts on the 14 February meeting. For one, Qualcomm remains unmoved on its assertion that the US$82 per share price "undervalues" the firm. Qualcomm's letter to Broadcom "In our February 14 meeting, Broadcom reiterated that $82.00 per share is its best and final proposal.  The Board...

  • ARM joins AI chip race, but when will it come to smartphones?

    UK chip designer ARM is the latest mobile company to offer an AI chip (they're calling their effort an ML processor), following in the footsteps of Apple and Huawei. The ML (machine learning) processor is designed for more offline inference, reducing the need to hook up to the cloud for machine learning tasks. This switch to more on-device machine learning is poised to deliver benefits in terms of privacy and data usage. However, the ML processor isn't going to hit production smartphones this year, ARM told Gearburn. "We're already engaged with lead partners, with final release of the processor due in the summer (2018)...