HTC is about to launch two smartphones next week at an HTC exclusive event. Dubbed as the HTC "For U," it will be held on January 12 to take veils of the HTC U Ultra and the HTC U Play. The U Ultra (Ocean) will sport a huge 6-inch display, while the U Play (Alpine) will come in a much smaller 5.2-inch size variant. Some sources are indicating that HTC will also be revealing a third variant in the U series (Ocean Note) with a 5.5" - 5.7" screen size, but we will have to wait and see if that really happens.
The highlight of the Ocean and Ocean Note as per what we have heard so far is the curved display which HTC will introduce to their smartphones for the first time. Camera performance is also supposed to be excellent, with a DxOMark score higher than that of even the Google Pixel phones. Unfortunately, all rumors are pointing towards the fact that none of these phones will have a 3.5mm audio jack. Considering that HTC isn't particularly enjoying a lot of popularity at the moment, that's a very bold decision to say the least.
Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
According to a post by Ice Universe (famous leakster), Samsung could very well be working on an ultra-compact smartphone which will likely sport a borderless display as well. When we say ultra-compact, what we really mean is less than 5-inches and although that would not be considered ultra-compact in the old days, it is most certainly so now. It's likely that Samsung will decide to go with the 18.5:9 aspect ratio on the mini display, which would practically make the phone even smaller, thereby justifying the ultra-compact moniker.
If you are interested, then you should know that there is no guarantee that the handset will ever see the light of day. Ice Universe makes that part clear in the post itself. SamMobile is of the opinion that this could very well be the Galaxy A3 (2018) or even the Galaxy S9 Compact, if Samsung does indeed decide to launch the handset of course. Let us know what you think in the comments.
Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
Every year we see better technology coming up in the mobile industry and so is the number of Android phones is growing. Some are good, some are not so good. Some devices are really exciting like foldable Galaxy Z flip, whereas others are slightly boring. Among all of these handsets coming every year, one device that has been successfully impressed many with lots of exciting features and innovative designs is Samsung's Galaxy S series.
Samsung Galaxy S10 was undoubtedly the best-selling smartphone for the company last year. And this year, Samsung decided to launch a trio of phones with the Galaxy S20, S20, and S20 ultra. These are very technically impressive gadgets but comes with a high price tag, not something that everyone can afford. You can argue about the price, but there is no denying that they get a lot of attention compared to the budget-friendly Chinese rival's devices.
Although there are three models of the Galaxy S20, their core is very similar. All three phones have 120Hz display, Qualcomm's Snapdragon 865 processor, expandable storage, water resistance, and offers wireless charging. Out of three models, the Galaxy S20 is the cheapest one but it doesn't have support for mmWave 5G network and has the smallest battery.
All three models have the same Android 10 with One UI 2.0 operating system and use the dame processing chip. They have the same memory 12GB whereas the Galaxy S20 also comes with 16GB memory. The storage is limited to 128GB for Galaxy S20 whereas other variants are getting 128GB and 512GB models. The storage can be expanded to 1TB.
The primary rear camera for Galaxy S20 and S20+ are 12MP whereas for Galaxy S20 ultra it goes up to 108MP with f/1.8. The second rear camera is 64MP telephoto lens and 48MP for Galaxy S20 ultra. The third camera is 12MP for all models and only Galaxy S20 ultra has the fourth camera. The front camera is 10MP for Galaxy S20, S20 Plus, and 40MP for Galaxy S20 ultra. The batteries are 4,000mAh, 4500mAh, and 5000mAh for Galaxy S20, S20+, S20 ultra respectively.
The Galaxy S20 series has a much higher refresh rate as compared to the previous phones. The 120Hz display on the S20 makes everything looks so flawless and faster compared to the traditional 60Hz displays. Samsung has offered four colors this time, including cloud blue, cloud pink, cosmic grey, and cosmic black.
The Pixel phones were the highlights of the Google press event earlier, but the two smartphones were not the only things unveiled by the company there. The Chromecast Ultra has been announced at the event, which will be able to stream 4K content with ease. Consider this as an upgraded and beefed up version of the popular Chromecast 2. Along with support for Dolby Vision and HDR10, supported apps include YouTube, Vudu and Netflix for starters. It should also be able to playback Google Play Movies by November.
According to Google, users will experience a general increase in speed compared to the Chromecast 2 (1.8 times to be exact) in any stream. If you do not have a Wi-Fi connection that is fast enough to stream video content at 4K resolution, the Chromecast Ultra can also directly take in an Ethernet cable, thanks to an Ethernet port on the accompanying power adapter. As with the previous versions, Android mirroring on your TV will be supported and so will Google Home. It will go on sale in November with a price tag of $69 in the US.
Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
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)
Good News for Sony users, Sony is already rolling out the Android 5.0 Lollipop update for its Xperia Z2 and Z2 tablet across different regions. In the mean time, the company has promised to release the Lollipop update for the Xperia Z3 Dual, Z1, Z1 Compact and Z Ultra devices the Next week.
2/2 #Xperia Z3 Dual, Z1, Z1 Compact and Z Ultra next week, followed shortly after by T2 Ultra & C3. Then Z Series - more on timings soon.— Sony Xperia News (@SonyMobileNews) April 7, 2015
Following that, Sony will release the Android 5.0.2 Lollipop update for the T2 Ultra and C3 smartphones. And finally, the company will roll out the update for the original Z series phones Z, ZL, ZR and Z tablet.