Just a few days ago, we heard reports about Samsung's Project Valley being in the last stages of development, but it looks like Lenovo has beaten Samsung here with a demo at the Lenovo Tech World Conference 2016. As expected, Lenovo also revealed the Moto Z and Moto Z Force modular smartphones at the conference.
We had been hearing a lot about foldable displays for a while now, but Lenovo brought those rumors to life when it unveiled a smartphone (dubbed CPlus) that becomes a smartwatch if you fold it around your wrist. To add more to that, the Chinese OEM also unleashed the Folio tablet, which becomes a portable smartphone if you fold it from the middle.
In addition to these innovative pieces of technology, Lenovo revealed the Phab2 Pro, which is the first ever smartphone based on Google's Project Tango. The smartphone will offer unprecedented features in terms of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality.
That's a lot of unveilings and innovations for one event! Which one surprised you the most? We find the Folio and the CPlus to be most impressive because of the advantages and conveniences they will provide to their users.
Author: Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
The LG G5 did a number on the Samsung Galaxy S7's camera this year with its modular upgrades and in order to fight back, Samsung had declared that it would be releasing a modular lens cover for the S7 series of smartphones very soon. As promised, Samsung has now released the lens cover which will allow owners of the S7 or S7 Edge to enhance the imaging capabilities of their phones.
The lens cover comes with a tele-lens, as well as a wide-angle lens so that the user can switch them according to the need of the moment. The package including the phone cover and the two lenses are currently priced at around $120.99. Considering that a retailer in Holland had listed these covers at roughly $170 about eight weeks ago, the official price tag seems much more reasonable now.
You are probably familiar with how the lenses work already, but just in case you are not, here is some know-how. A wide-angle lens is usually used for capturing landscape shots or group photos. The telephoto lens on the other hand is ideal for shooting objects at a distance, for example, the moon. Given how much people depend on the cameras of their smartphones these days; this is an excellent move by Samsung.
Author: Saikat Kar (Tech-journalist and enthusiast)
Samsung doesn't follow any set rules while rolling out the security patches and that seems to be a trend which will continue in 2018 as well. This month, it was the turn of the Galaxy Tab A (2016) to be the first device in the company's arsenal to be updated with the January patch. If you think about it, it's not very often that Samsung rolls out a security patch this early in the month, but nobody's complaining!
As per reports, firmware version T285DDU0AQL3 is being rolled out to the Galaxy Tab A (2016) aka SM-T285. The even more surprising fact is that the patch has begun rolling out in Bangladesh; a region not known for getting the first updates from Samsung. Given that the old tablet is still running on Android Lollipop 5.1.1, it's both surprising and good to see good that Samsung is still keeping it protected against security threats.
Head over to our firmware section to find all the latest available updates for your Samsung smartphones and tablets.
Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
It wasn't LeTV, but Qualcomm who revealed the upcoming LeTV Le Max Pro as the first Snapdragon 820 powered smartphone. At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2016 in Las Vegas, Qualcomm made two major announcements with the first being an introduction to the automotive Snapdragon 820 chipset, termed "820Am." Apart from helping the driver with real time assistance in navigation and performing other "smartcar" functions, the Snapdragon 820 Am will also enable movement-tracking when supported by appropriate hardware sensors.
The 820 is actually a quad core processor wherein last year's 810 was an octacore CPU. There are four Kryo processor cores inside the CPU and each one is clocked at 2.2 GHz by default. Apart from the Snapdragon 820 processor, the LeTV Le Max Pro will be powered by an Adreno 530 GPU and 4GB of RAM.
The extremely well-built Le Max Pro will offer three non-expandable storage options; 32GB, 64GB and 128GB. The enormous 6.33 inch 1440p display is beautiful to look at and perfect for consuming media, albeit a little too large for smaller hands. A 21 megapixel camera and an ultrasonic fingerprint scanner further add to the repertoire of the most powerful phone announced so far (theoretically). We will just have to wait and see if such a huge 2k display and the Snapdragon 820 SoC proves to be too much for the 3400 mAh battery housed within.
The Sony Xperia XA has just been made official by the Japanese OEM and from what we know so far, it's going to be a mid-range device. The phone looks beautiful thanks to the metal build and color options (Black, White and Lime Gold), but it isn't a slouch under the hood either. The Mediatek Helio P10 SoC will power the device, supported by 3GB of RAM and managed by Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. The in-built memory is nothing to write home about as it's limited to 16GB, but fortunately, there is a micro-SD card slot on the XA Ultra.
What we found a bit strange is Sony's use of only a 2,700mAh battery to power the giant 6-inch Full HD bezel less display sported by the Ultra. Considering the screen size and the demanding SoC, the battery seems insufficient. However, Sony doesn't agree and has even gone on to declare that the Ultra will last for two consecutive days after a full charge. It does support quick charging and according to Sony, charging the smartphone for only ten minutes will be sufficient to use it for the next five and a half hours.
The highlight of the device is its front camera, which is rumored to be the best in class sensor from Sony. The 16-megapixel "selfie" cam has optical image stabilization, gesture shutter and even a flash for snapping selfies in dark surroundings. Not to be outdone, the rear camera with hybrid autofocus comprises of a beastly 21.5-megapixel sensor. If you are excited about the Xperia XA Ultra, it is due to be launched in July, but no details about the price of the device have been made public yet. Stay tuned to know more.
Author: Saikat Kar (Tech-journalist and enthusiast)