Even if Black Friday is already over, there is still a bit of time left to take care of some last-minute shopping. And if you are like yours truly - having little to no inspiration when it comes to choosing Christmas gifts - you might find it hard to decide what to surprise your friends and family with this Holiday season. Luckily, smartphones are the perfect gift, so choosing one for Christmas is an almost obvious option. Here are some models released this year that anyone would love to see under the Christmas tree.
The Razer phone is the perfect choice for anyone in love with Android games. Its screen is amazing, capable of displaying the graphics of anything between mobile real money gambling casino games available at at Wild Jack and even the most demanding and action-packed titles available today. It also comes with a massive battery to ensure long-term gaming action and a high-quality sound system with front-facing stereo speakers for the best experience altogether.
Released: November 2017. Price: $699
Nokia was once the best name on the mobile phone market and the manufacturer of the world's first true smartphones. Over the years, especially after the brand was sold to Microsoft, its value for smartphone users declined. This year, though, it has once again released some amazing handsets, one for every pocket. And Nokia 8 is its best, a phone worthy of the Finnish brand's former glory.
With Nokia 8 under the Christmas three, you cannot fail. The phone has hardware fit for a flagship, an amazing screen, 6GB of RAM, a dual 13 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics, and 128GB of internal storage.
Released: October 2017. Price: ~$670
Xiaomi Mi A1
If your pockets are not that deep but you still want to offer a smartphone that's special as a present, you might want to consider Xiaomi's first Android One smartphone, the Mi A1. While its specs are not exactly on par with this year's flagship phones, they are more than decent: it has an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 SoC paired with 4GB of RAM, it has a dual 12MP camera, FM radio, and a 3080mAh battery. What makes it special is its operating system: it is an Android 7.1.2 (Nougat) Android One on it (the plain stock version of the operating system) planned to be upgraded to a similar version of Android 8.0
Released: September 2017. Price: ~$260
We owe it to MobileFunTV on YouTube for bringing us this video footage which shows the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 in hand for the first time ever. This is not a render video created by merging info and imagination together, but a live shot footage of a person using the upcoming device. It's only 25 seconds long, but considering that the Note 7 is still almost two weeks away from being officially unveiled, it's quite a treat for us.
So what does it reveal? It confirms the dual Edge display as expected and the display seems to be quite reflective. We are not sure whether the reflective nature of the screen as seen in the video is a result of a screenguard being used over the display. We also seemed to notice a bit of lag in response strangely enough, although that could just be a case of missed tapping. It should also be noted that this probably a pre-release version. Nevertheless, it looks gorgeous and we can't wait to get a better look at it when Samsung unveils it on August 2.
Author: Saikat Kar (tech enthusiast)
If you have been following us, you probably have a pretty good idea about what to expect from the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 7 already. But just in case you don't have an idea, have a look at some these recent renders released by VRS Design while listing their new range of cases for the Note 7.
The pictures do not reveal anything to us that we do not know already but they sure are reinforcing the rumors almost to the point of becoming facts. We can see the S-Pen's top end poking out from the bottom right S-Pen slot and the expected USB Type-C port makes its appearance in this render as well. What we do not see clearly however, are the three lenses of the rumoured retina scanner. Given that the images do not show the retina scanner to be absent either, don't lose hope yet! Additionally, we can see the dual Edge display, the ambient light sensor, the front camera, the rear camera and the dual tone flash.
Author: Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
The fact that Samsung is working on a smartphone that will sport a foldable display is old news now, but we got to know just recently that two such phones are in development instead of one. Bloomberg reports that the first device will fold in half from the middle, much in the same way as a "cosmetic compact." The second device will initially appear to be a smartphone with a 5-inch display, but can be unfolded to add 3 more inches to the display real estate, making the screen a tablet-sized 8-inch one.
We have been hearing about the "Project Valley" for a long time now and rumors had previously suggested a 2017 release date. The latest report affirms those rumors as it indicates that we might be able to see the foldable phone at the Mobile World Congress 2017 in Barcelona. We are excited to find out what Samsung comes up with, when it's released. It sounds amazing to be able to carry around an 8-inch display in your pocket, but we will have to wait and see, if the manufacturer manages to deliver a device that actually works as well in real life scenarios as it seems would do, on paper. What do you think about the foldable smartphone?
Author: Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
Foldable displays were showcased by Samsung earlier but smartphones based on that technology never really hit the market in 2016 as many expected them to. The famous Samsung Project Valley is supposedly a development that involves the task of building a foldable smartphone. Rumors surrounding it suggested in 2015 that Samsung will launch their first foldable smartphone in January, 2016. As that did not happen, the rumors had come down a few notches since.
New life was breathed into the rumors when a fresh report from South Korea came in a while ago. It suggested that Samsung will start the production of foldable displays on an industrial scale by the end of 2016 itself. It also adds that these displays are for a device that will be powered by either the Qualcomm Snapdragon 620 or 820, along with 3GB of RAM. Apparently, the 7-inch tablet-sized display of the device will turn into a more manageable 5-inch one when necessary and vice-versa.
There are quite a few leaked pictures from Project Valley that gives us a an impression of what this device might look like when it comes out, but the originality of those snaps are not beyond doubt. Nonetheless, we will hopefully know what exactly is going on in a few months time.
We have already seen the Pearl Black Galaxy S8 in action and we know that it is very likely that Samsung will bring back the Blue Coral with the S8 due to the color's popularity. However, what we were not expecting was to hear about a violet color variant as well. According to a recent Tweet by Roland Quandt, the upcoming flagship will feature a violet color, along with the black and silver options. Although I am in love with the black, it would definitely be interesting to see how Samsung integrates violet with the S8 and S8+.
Additionally, Quandt also mentions the price which Samsung will charge for the two devices. If he is right then the Korean giant is going to charge a pretty penny at 799 Euros for the S8 and 899 Euros for the S8+. Of course, the price will vary depending on the location, but it shouldn't do so by much. You should know that MobileFun already has the Galaxy S8 listed for pre-order on their retail site at 799 Euros. The S7 and the S7 Edge was launched last year at 699 Euros and 799 Euros respectively, so if the pricing is right, then that would mean a 100 pound more for the S8 and S8+ this year. Do you think the price hike is justified? Let us know in the comments.
Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
The CES 2018 is already on its way and it is quite likely that Samsung will be launching a teaser at the show. However, before that happens, we have a treat for you, in case you are one of the millions of fans waiting for the Korean OEM to release their next flagship handset. According to the latest leak, the single camera on the Galaxy S9 will sport an aperture of f/1.5, while the dual camera module will likely feature at least one camera with an f/1.4 aperture.
Given that the f/1.7 aperture single lens cameras of the Galaxy S8 and S8+ produce beautiful images in lowlight, one can only imagine what Samsung would be able to do with such huge apertures! In case you are not aware, the lower the number is, the better the photos turn out to be in lowlight situations. Currently, there is no other smartphone in the market that can boast of such excellent apertures and if this does turn out to be true, the Galaxy S9 and S9+ cameras could be setting new benchmarks for the next gen smartphone cameras in 2018.
Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
After years of rumors and reports, it had just recently been almost established that Samsung will be releasing their first foldable-display phone in 2019, but as per a new report by CNBC, that is no longer the situation because they could very well be releasing the company's first smartphone with a foldable display in 2018 itself. The report is authentic because D.J. Koh (President and CEO of Samsung Mobile and IT) himself has confirmed all the rumors by stating the following.
"It's time to deliver on a foldable device after consumer surveys showed that there is a market for that kind of handset."
Koh further elaborated on the topic by saying that the team has almost finished the complex development process, indicating that a 2018 release may just be on the cards. It should be noted that Samsung had declared back in July that their unbreakable and flexible OLED displays are now officially certified by Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Our best guess is that more will be revealed at the Samsung Developer Conference (San Francisco) in November.
The Galaxy S7 Edge was Samsung's last device to sport an "Edge" moniker because from the Galaxy S8 onwards, both devices in the S-series started to sport curved displays, making the moniker useless. However, if a statement by MobileFun is to be believed, they have heard from a reliable source that one of the devices in Samsung's upcoming S10 series will once again be called Galaxy S10 Edge. As MobileFun has stated that the source is none other than one of Samsung's own supply partners, the information probably has some truth to it. If you are wondering which model will be called the Galaxy S10 Edge, know that it would be the regular Galaxy S10 with a 6.1-inch display, as per the source.
If this rumor turns out to be true, then it is very likely that the Galaxy S10 Lite will have a flat panel, instead of the curved panel on the Galaxy S10 Edge and the Galaxy S10 Plus. The same source also claims that all Galaxy S10 devices will come with screen protectors pre-installed, not unlike what Chinese manufacturers like Vivo or Oppo had been doing for a long time.
Martin Hajek has just released some beautiful 3D renders of the iPhone 7 in color and we think that it indeed looks very pretty. Of course, these renders are based on the designer's own interpretation of rumors and leaked renders of the next iPhone, but they are probably as close to the real thing as it can get right now.
Hajek had three things to work with and base his conceptualizations on, and they are as follows.
1. The recently leaked renders and schematics that allegedly pertains to the iPhone 7.
2. The rumor that Apple might not be changing much about the iPhone 7 in terms of design, thus sticking to the same basic design elements as seen with the iPhone 6s.
3. The American OEM might be retiring the Space Grey color variant and could be replacing it with a shade of blue.
The results are gorgeous and he even managed to do a photo comparison with the Space Grey iPhone 6s to show us the similarities, as well as the changes that we can expect from Apple this year. We love the shade of blue that he has used for his concept phone and can only hope that Apple will be able to replicate something similar, or even better.
Author: Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
We are all anticipating something brilliant from Apple this year as it will mark the iPhone's 10th anniversary. However, what we were not expecting was the fact that Apple might be unveiling the much awaited and mysterious smartphones on Monday, which is tomorrow! The prediction comes from J.P. Morgan of all sources, so this could indeed be legit. Now, it should be noted that what the analyst at the firm said was that Apple might be unveiling its latest and greatest smartphone at the WWDC next week. What this basically means is that the iPhone 8 could be revealed at any date in-between June 5th to June 9th, since the event is 5 day long.
Traditionally, the next iPhone should be launched in September and not in June but it is possible that Apple has sped up the entire process in light of the iPhone's anniversary. It should also be noted that delightful as these rumors/predictions are, chances of them being true are still slim. I guess we won't have to wait too long to find out any way as the event starts tomorrow.
Saikat Kar (the-enthusiast)
Foldable smartphones are not exactly a novelty anymore since the ZTE Axon M released last year made sure that the Chinese manufacturer was the first one to deliver a foldable smartphone to the market. The phone isn't without it's share of flaws, but it definitely is the first of its kind. After being rumored to appear first in Samsung's arsenal and even teased by DJ Koh, the foldable Galaxy X never really arrived from Samsung, but a new rumor has it that Apple might be trying to pull of something similar in the next two years.
The report comes from CNBC and it states that Apple is likely working on a iPhone which will have the capacity to become an iPad, as and when required! Apparently, Apple has teamed up with a secret Asian partner to make this happen by the year 2020. If this turns out to be true, do you think that it will replace the iPad? Let us know in the comments?
Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
SamsungTomorrow, has just posted the very first unboxing video of its upcoming Galaxy Note 4 phablet. The relatively short, two and a half minute-long video is in Korean, but English subtitles are provided, so you can follow along easily. Check out the Video below!
The 100%-recyclable box contains the usual the 5.7-inch Note 4 itself, along with a USB cable, a charger, earphones with extra tips of different sizes, spare S-Pen tips, and, an extra battery. Keep in mind that, as has been the case up until now, depending on your region, the packaging may be different for each country/region (may not include a spare battery).
There have been quite a few rumors going around the internet recently about Motorola's next flagship smartphone, the Moto X4. Those rumors found new vigor after an image of the X4 was posted by hellomotoHK on Google Plus. The same post managed to start another rumor about the smartphone as it hinted towards a release date that is set on August 24.
As expected, the image shows us a glass-metal body, with glass in front and metal on the back. On the white model, two black dots can be seen flanking the physical Home button in the middle, which probably also doubles as the fingerprint scanner. The volume and the power buttons seem to be equally spaced on the top-right side of the device.
The circular camera protrusion at the back has been the subject of much speculation, but all we can see from the picture is the Moto logo and the dual tone flash. We agree that the image does indicate that the X4 might house a USB Type-C port, but will have to wait to confirm that one.
Earlier, Android Headlines had reported that the flagship smartphone will feature a 5.5-inch 1440p AMOLED display and will be powered by the Snapdragon 820 chipset. We wouldn't be surprised if this turns out to be true as the Snapdragon 820 is currently powering most Android flagships in 2016 and the Motorola team is known to use QHD AMOLED displays in their high-end phones earlier as well. We will find out more in the upcoming months, leading to August 24.
Author: Saikat Kar (Tech-journalist and enthusiast)
Android "Lollipop" naming was one of the top picks of the rumor mill lately, but another not so distant possibility was also Lion, which seemed quite reasonable, bearing in mind it will follow right after KitKat.
Android 5.0 Lollipop will ship on the just announced Nexus 6 and Nexus 9, but it will also will also be available on Nexus 4, 5, 7, 10 and Google Play edition devices in the coming weeks.
What's New on Android 5.0 Lollipop ?
- A bold, colorful, and responsive UI design for consistent, intuitive experiences across all your devices.
- Responsive, natural motion, realistic lighting and shadows, and familiar visual elements make it easier to navigate your device.
- Vivid new colors, typography, and edge-to-edge imagery help to focus your attention.
- New ways to control when and how you receive messages - only get interrupted when you want to be.
- View and respond to messages directly from your lock screen. Includes the ability to hide sensitive content for these notifications.
- For fewer disruptions, turn on Priority mode via your device's volume button so only certain people and notifications get through. Or schedule recurring downtime like 10pm to 8am when only Priority notifications can get through.
- With Lollipop, incoming phone calls won't interrupt what you're watching or playing. You can choose to answer the call or just keep doing what you're doing.
- Control the notifications triggered by your apps; hide sensitive content and prioritize or turn off the app's notifications entirely.
- More intelligent ranking of notifications based on who they're from and the type of communication. See all your notifications in one place by tapping the top of the screen.
- Power for the long haul
- A battery saver feature which extends device use by up to 90 mins.
- Estimated time left to fully charge is displayed when your device is plugged in.
- Estimated time left on your device before you need to charge again can now be found in battery settings.
- Keep your stuff safe and sound
- New devices come with encryption automatically turned on to help protect data on lost or stolen devices.
- SELinux enforcing for all applications means even better protection against vulnerabilities and malware.
- Use Android Smart Lock to secure your phone or tablet by pairing it with a trusted device like your wearable or even your car.
- More flexible sharing with family and friends
- Multiple users for phones. If you forget your phone, you still can call any of your friends (or access any of your messages, photos etc.) by simply logging into another Android phone running Lollipop. Also perfect for families who want to share a phone, but not their stuff.
- Guest user for phones and tablets means you can lend your device and not your stuff.
- Screen pinning: pin your screen so another user can access just that content without messing with your other stuff
New Quick Settings
- Get to the most frequently used settings with just two swipes down from the top of the screen.
- New handy controls like flashlight, hotspot, screen rotation and cast screen controls.
- Easier on/off toggles for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and location.
- Manually adjust your brightness for certain conditions. Then, adaptive brightness will kick in based on ambient lighting.
- A better internet connection everywhere and more powerful Bluetooth low energy capabilities.
- Improved network handoffs resulting in limited interruption in connectivity. For example, continue your video chat or VoIP calls without interruption as you leave the house and switch from your home Wi-Fi back to cellular.
- Improved network selection logic so that your device connects only if there is a verified internet connection on Wi-Fi.
- Power-efficient scanning for nearby Bluetooth low energy ("BLE") devices like wearables or beacons.
- New BLE peripheral mode.
Runtime and Performance
- A faster, smoother and more powerful computing experience.
- ART, an entirely new Android runtime, improves application performance and responsiveness.
- Up to 4x performance improvements.
- Smoother UI for complex, visually rich applications.
- Compacting backgrounded apps and services so you can do more at once.
- Support for 64 bit devices, like the Nexus 9, brings desktop class CPUs to Android.
- Support for 64-bit SoCs using ARM, x86, and MIPS-based cores.
- Shipping 64-bit native apps like Chrome, Gmail, Calendar, Google Play Music, and more.
- Pure Java language apps run as 64-bit apps automatically.
- Bolder graphics and improved audio, video, and camera capabilities.
- Lower latency audio input ensuring that music and communication applications that have strict delay requirements provide an amazing realtime experience.
- Multi-channel audio stream mixing means professional audio applications can now mix up to eight channels including 5.1 and 7.1 channels.
- USB Audio support means you can plug USB microphones, speakers, and a myriad of other USB audio devices like amplifiers and mixers into your Android device.
- OpenGL ES 3.1 and Android extension pack brings Android to the forefront of mobile graphics putting it on par with desktop and console class performance
A range of new professional photography features for Android Lollipop that let you
Capture full resolution frames around 30 fps.
- Support raw formats like YUV and Bayer RAW.
- Control capture settings for the sensor, lens, and flash per individual frame.
- Capture metadata like noise models and optical information.
- State of the art video technology with support for HEVC main profile to allow for UHD 4K 10-bit video playback, tunneled hardware video decoding to save power and improved HLS support for streaming.
- Easy access to information and performing tasks.
- Even if your screen is off, you can say "OK Google" on devices with digital signal processing support such as Nexus 6 and Nexus 9.
- Talk to Google on the go to get quick answers, send a text, get directions and more.
- Support for living room devices.
- User interface adapted for the living room.
- Less browsing, more watching with personalized recommendations for content like movies and TV shows.
- Voice search for Google Play, YouTube and supported apps so you can just say what you want to see.
- Console-style Android gaming on your TV with a gamepad.
- Cast your favorite entertainment apps to your big screen with Google Cast support for Android TV devices.
- Enhanced low vision and color blind capabilities.
- Boost text contrast or invert colors to improve legibility.
- Adjust display to improve color differentiation.
Now in 68+ languages
15 new additions.
- Basque, Bengali, Burmese, Chinese (Hong Kong), Galician, Icelandic, Kannada, Kyrgyz, Macedonian, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Sinhala, Tamil, Telugu.
Get up and running in no-time
- Tap & go: instant set up of your new Android phone or tablet by simply tapping it to your old one (requires NFC).
- Whenever you get a new Android phone or tablet, you can bring over your apps from Google Play automatically from any of your old Android devices.
And a whole lot more
- Tap & pay: easily manage multiple payment apps by quickly switching between them.
- Print preview and page range support.
- Revamped display for battery, Bluetooth, data usage, and Wi-Fi settings and new search functionality.
- New device level feedback for Nexus devices in Settings > about phone > send feedback.
Easier sharing with
- Improved ranking of your options within the share menu.
- Android Beam: lets you share a file with someone nearby by gently tapping the two devices together Where supported by the hardware, your device will wake up as soon as you pick it up or tap the screen twice.
- Improved hardware keyboard accessory support including support for multilingual, emoji input, search key, and improved app and system key chords.