OnePlus, the Chinese smartphone manufacturer famed for building cutting edge handsets without the expensive price tag has been reportedly working on a budget model for several months now.
The company made a big splash when it launched its first phone in 2014 with an asking price of just $299. Its prices have crept up since, partly from inflation, partly from more expensive components, and partly because it's possible to get away with it. This new budget model, currently known as the OnePlus Z, but previously referred to as the OnePlus 8 Lite is thought to be a way for the company to cater to consumers who aren't prepared to splash out $649 on a new phone.
A series of leaks in May and June have given us an ever-clearer picture of what the OnePlus Z will look like and what it will contain under the hood.
OnePlus Z Release Date
It's believed that OnePlus may have originally planned to launch the OnePlus Z at the same time as the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro, however, it was delayed to the summer. Recent leaks have suggested the OnePlus Z will hit shelves on 10th July.
The same leak suggested that it would go on sale first in India before getting a global launch. This was corroborated by the company's CEO, Pete Lau, who said an "unnamed budget device" would first launch in India.
OnePlus Z Cameras
This is an area that isn't conclusive. A leak from December 2019 that was published on the website OnLeaks showed renders of the OnePlus Z with a two-camera setup on the back. The images also show that the cameras had been moved to the top left corner of the device, moving away from the centre like the most recent handsets.
This would make the most sense since the flagship OnePlus 8 has three lenses on the rear. However, a tweet from renowned phone leaker, @MaxJmb is believed to suggest that the OnePlus Z will have four rear cameras. This seems a little unlikely though since the budget phone would have better photography capabilities than the top of the range OnePlus 8 Pro.
OnePluz Z Processor
One of the most important elements of a smartphone is its processor. A slow one will make the device feel sluggish, create lag, and cause frustration for the user. While flagship phones are usually packed with the most powerful chipsets on the market, corners are usually cut for budget devices.
Although the OnePlus Z isn't believed to be getting the same Snapdragon 865 processor as the OnePlus 8, a benchmark test published by Geekbench is believed to show a Snapdragon 765.
The 765 is an octa-core processor with a clock speed of 1.8 GHz, which delivers less performance than the latest flagship smartphones, but is still very respectable. Crucially, it also supports 5G, meaning the OnePlus Z will be able to take advantage of the new highspeed mobile networks being built across the world.
Despite having a less powerful processor, OnePlus Z will still be capable of running all the latest apps and games. This means you'll be able to enjoy everything from card games from PokerStars to augmented reality gaming with Minecraft Earth, with no performance issues whatsoever.
Since it'll also be running Android 10, you'll get access to the latest features like Desktop Mode so you can take a tiny computer with you, wherever you go.
OnePlus Z Price
The price of OnePlus Z will be one of the most important factors in its success. A leak from Agarwal has suggested the UK retail price would be £400 ($499). That's £199 less than the cheapest OnePlus 8.
Another suggestion, published by Android Authority was that OnePlus Z will go on sale in India priced at Rs. 25,000 ($330). This would mean that the OnePlus Z would be almost as cheap as the original OnePlus 1 back in 2014.
With a rumoured July release, we don't have much longer to wait before we find out.
We knew it was coming and now it's official. Qualcomm has publicly detailed the specifics of their latest flagship chip, the Snapdragon 835. It will allow smartphone manufacturers to utilize better technology and equipments in the mobile phones of 2017 in terms of photography, machine learning and displays.
The CPU in the 835 chip is an octa-core, semi-custom Kryo 280 CPU core design with possible ARM Cortex-A73 cores powering it. The Kryo 280 system is divided into four cores with 1.9GHz clock speed for efficiency and four cores with 2.45GHz clock speed for performance. Take a look at the image below to understand some of the differences between the SD 835, the SD 821 and the SD 820.
Apart from providing a boost of about 20% over the SD 820, the SD 835 will also allow for much better battery efficiency. Qualcomm expects that around 80% of all the tasks usually performed by a smartphone will be handled by the comparatively low-powered CPU cores, thereby providing an additional two and a half hour of battery life, as compared to the SD 820. Let's not forget that all of this has a lot to do with Samsung's 10nm FinFET process, on which the new chips are being built.
The Adreno 540 GPU is similar to the Adreno 530 in architecture, but the faster trilinear filtering and GPGPU compute will lead to a 25% performance boost over the older GPU. In terms of display, it can support 10-bit color at 4K resolution with a constant 60fps frame rate. The Adreno 540 GPU can now handle 107.4 million colors (previously 16.8 million) as well. In summary, we would say that the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 is the most powerful and revolutionary mobile chip yet. If you are interested in more technical details, check it out here.
Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
The Next Note smartphone from Samsung is surrounded by rumors, speculations and leaks. There has even been a word that the Note 6 might actually be called the Note 7! Amidst all this confusion and mystery, @OnLeaks and uSwitch had joined forces and as a result, a few images and a video has been published that shows us the upcoming Note in detailed rendering. These look to be the genuine deal and are based on leaked blueprints, allegedly.
The Note 6 looks similar to the S7 Edge in design here, but with a bit more squared sides, reminiscent of the Note 5. The device seems to sport a dual edge display, along with curves on both the front and the rear. An USB Type-C port can be seen, along with what can be speculated as a setup of sensors for the iris scanner. The S-Pen has not changed its place from the familiar bottom slot this year either.
]These renders are by far the best ones that we have seen yet and they do look very convincing. Do you see anything that we missed? Let us know after having a look at the render video below.
Author: Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
There have been leaked videos previously and they did give us our first look at the S8 and S8+ previously, but this one is arguably the best one yet. The video from 505nick (Instagram) can be found on Benjamin Geshkin's Twitter account here. Take a look at the short 5 second video to know what we are talking about first.
To my own personal delight, the S8 we are seeing here is most probably the Black Pearl variant, which debuted last year with the 128GB Galaxy S7 Edge in selected regions. Many users found this color to be the best of the lot and arguably even better than the Blue Coral variant. Take a look at how the curved display seamlessly integrates itself with the rest of the phone and you will know what I am talking about here. The color clearly adds new dimension to the borderless design of the S8 and S8+.
Other than the color and the display, we also get to see the single rear camera sensor, the rear mounted fingerprint scanner, the flash and a piece of paper with some details under a cautionary headline in bold and caps, announcing the fact that this is indeed, "CONFIDENTIAL."
Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
Although the Galaxy S8 and S8+ have not been released to the public yet, they are apparently receiving their first OTA updates. The updates contain the Android security patch for the month, but more interestingly, has the "fix" which takes away the ability to remap the Bixby hardware button from both devices. It wasn't easy to begin with as you had to install a third party app to get it done, but post the update, it just won't be possible anymore unless you decide to root your brand new device. The build numbe on the two updates are G950FXXU1AQDD (S8) and G955FXXU1AQDD (S8+) .
As of now, the update is only hitting the review units and pre-release handsets probably, since the two smartphones are not yet available for purchase anywhere. However, what this does mean is that if you do decide to buy any of the two handsets or if you have pre-ordered any one of them, the April security patch will be waiting for you, along with the Bixby Button reprogramming limitation patch as soon as you switch on your phone for the first time. Get that Wi-Fi ready and start getting to know Bixby I guess!
Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
The future of the tablet is uncertain as the Android tablet market is not doing well and the iPads are only just hanging on to a fraction of their previous sales numbers. Nevertheless, Samsung has not given up on tablets yet because we have news of two tablets for you today; both running on Android and both manufactured by the Korean giant.
As can be seen from the screenshot, the Galaxy Tab S4 aka SM-T835 has made an appearance on Geekbench with scores that are at par with last-gen flagship handsets (S8, S8+ and Note 8) running on the SD 835. The tablet seems to be running with support from 4GB of RAM and on Android 8.1 Oreo. I will never understand why Samsung keeps on launching their flagship tablets with outdated chips from last year!
The SM-T590, which is most probably the Galaxy Tab A 10.1 (2018) was also revealed earlier when it went through the Eurasian Economic Commission. It seems like Samsung might have slowed down their tablet release cycles, but they have not given up on them completely.
Usually, smartphone manufacturers try not to reveal too much about the phone while they are still in the development phase and yet to be released. But Google takes pride in sharing the details of its upcoming smartphones. After the disastrous Pixel 3 launch, the company revealed some of the Pixel 4's signature features several weeks before the official "Made by Google" event. Fast-forward to the present day and its mid-February. Although, we still have some 8 months from the Pixel 5 launch event the first Pixel 5 leak is about to surface.
Many would agree that Google has been copying the iPhone ever since it launched the first Pixel but it hasn't been able to reach the success of Apple. None of the previous smartphones by Google were liked or had a chance to make some noise on the global smartphone sales chart. Although the company hasn't provided any official numbers, we can be sure of its lack of being a leading supplier. So far, the Pixel 3a series is the best-selling phone in Google's history. It's successor Pixel 4 failed to repeat the success and the company had to offer massive discounts over the phone shortly after launch.
Google might be unveiling the Pixel 4a in May at I/O 2020. Before we get to the features of 4a, recently a YouTuber Jon shared a CAD render of a prototype with his followers on social media. The Front Page Tech also confirms a similar design. According to them, it is one of the three designs the company is working on. The variant of the Pixel 5XL is said to have a matte glass finish on the rear side, similar to the Pixel, which is perfect. As per render, the camera module will have a glossy finish.
Now that Android Nougat is finally here for Nexus devices, we have a few cool but hidden features that for you to try out on the new OS if you have not already.
1. Turning on the System UI Tuner - On the Quick Settings menu, long press the Settings icon until it starts to spin and when it does, System UI Tuner is enabled. The experimental features in this section include Power Notification controls for restricting or allowing app notifications on a finer level. You can remove the entire Quick Settings panel altogether from the drop down menu as well.
2. Multi-Window Compatibility - Go to Settings > About > Software information and then touch the Build Number seven times and do it fast. Developer Options should now be enabled. Go back to the Settings menu and find the Developer Options. Turn on Force activities to be resizable, and you should now able to open any app on your phone in the multi-window mode, even if they were not compatible with it before.
3. Block spam calls - Go to your phone's Dial app and go to Settings > Call Blocking from the menu. Turn on Caller ID & Spam and also enter any number you wish to block manually. You should now be fairly protected from unwanted callers or spammers.
Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
Not unlike the fabled Galaxy X and its foldable display, the in-screen fingerprint scanner never really arrived on any Samsung device, in spite of there being no shortage of rumors that hinted Samsung will incorporate it in the Galaxy S8 or the Note 8. As it turns out, even the upcoming Galaxy S9 will most likely go with a traditional fingerprint scanner at the back, albeit in a better place! However, the focus of this news is the fact that it's a Chinese company named Vivo that has beaten the mighty Korean giant and the all-powerful Apple in getting Synaptics' inside-the-display fingerprint scanner inside one of its smartphones.
Vivo is no joke though, because the company is one of the leading smartphone companies in its home country and in India. Unfortunately, this also means that the western world might not see this smartphone ever make its way onto the US shores. In the words of the source, which is Patrick Moorhead aka @PatrickMoorhead on Twitter,
"Here are some pics @anshelsag and I took of the Vivo smartphone with the Synaptics in-display fingerprint reader. The CMOS image sensor is .7mm thick and reads the fingerprint right through the OLED display. The experience was faster than I expected."
You can check out the photos above.
Sakat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
Yesterday, we reported that SamsungDenmark confirmed the update for the Galaxy Note 2 (N7100) and Galaxy Note 2 4G (N7105) but the company's firm didn't post any release date for the update yet but confirmed that NOT all regions will get the update, though.
@NilsFarving For now we have 5.0.1 confirmed and those are the ones we are working on. No info on 5.1 yet.
— Samsung Danmark (@SamsungDK) May 8, 2015
Now, SamsungDenmark gave us more information, the Note 2 and Note 2 4G will be getting the Android Build 5.0.1 Lollipop with the upcoming update.
The firm also said that they still have no info about the Lollipop 5.1 update for the old Phablet yet. Well, 5.0 is a good start too. Make sure to check the Samsung Official updates page daily for the latest news.