Samsung's new Galaxy Fold isn't quite available yet but the company has worked closely with reviewers and influencers hooking them up with some of the first handsets to the public. Well, it didn't go so good, and by 'not going so good' we mean some of them had their screens break on the first day.
PSA: There's a layer that appears to be a screen protector on the Galaxy Fold's display. It's NOT a screen protector. Do NOT remove it.— Marques Brownlee (@MKBHD) April 17, 2019
I got this far peeling it off before the display spazzed and blacked out. Started over with a replacement. pic.twitter.com/ZhEG2Bqulr
The first Galaxy Fold review units that were sent out broke in the first day of use in the hands of people like Steve Kovach from CNBC, popular YouTuber MKBHD, Bloomberg, and The Verge. So you can see a blend of YouTubers, mainstream media, and big tech sites. There is reportedly a layer on top of the Galaxy Fold's display that is not a screen protector, and users are warned not to remove it. Well, some have tried and in MKBHD's own words he got only a little way of peeling it off before the "display spazzed and blacked out".
The thing is that Samsung actually has a 'wrap' over the screen on the Galaxy Fold that warns: "The main screen includes a special protective layer. Peeling off the protective layer or using any adhesives on the main screen, such as screen protectors or stickers, may cause damage". Ouch.
Huawei has just announced its new Matebook E 2019, a new 2-in-1 laptop that joins Qualcomm's growing Always Connected PC family of devices.
Inside, the new Matebook E 2019 packs Qualcomm's own Snapdragon 850 SoC, options for 4GB or 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM, and a 128GB or 256GB SSD. You'll get a 12-inch 2560x1440 display that has a kickstand that turns it into a Surface-style device, with an attachable keyboard that will turn it into a laptop for those on-the-go. The big seller here is the up to 20 hours of battery life, something the ACPC is a game changer for, with Huawei using a 36.3 WHr battery.
The big difference with the ACPC (Always Connected PC) part of this is that the Snapdragon 850 chip packs a Snapdragon X20 Category 18 LTE modem that has up to 1.2Gbps down, and up to 150Mbps up. Because it's using a Snapdragon 850 SoC you won't be running normal x86-based software, but a helluva lot of software works on the ARM-based laptop. Firefox has a Snapdragon on Windows specific beta that is much better on the ARM-based processor than the likes of Chrome and Opera, for now.
Apple might be a little screwed this year and going into 2020 and beyond, as it won't have a 5G-capable iPhone to fight against the mountain of Android smartphones that are launching this year with 5G connectivity.
According to a new investor note from UBS analyst Timothy Arcuri, it might be supply problems that Intel is facing with making 5G chips at the scale that Apple would need it to, for a new iPhone. Apple is already tied up in court with Qualcomm over legal issues so it won't be using a Snapdragon X55 or any Snapdragon 5G chip inside of the new iPhone, so what's next?
The other players in the 5G chip making game are Huawei, which would be a no for Apple, MediaTek which won't have a viable option for a 5G-capable iPhone for a quite a while, leaving the last option as Apple's main competitor: Samsung. Cowen recently told its clients that Apple could "source a 5G modem from chief competitor Samsung" but that would only happen on "tough commercial terms". The use of a 5G chip from Huawei according to Cowen is "off the table as an option" while "MediaTek's stack is too far behind in terms of timeline".
If there's one area that I'm loving the advancement of technology in for smartphones, it has to be the world of fast charging. Xiaomi has just sped past the competition with its latest 100W charger.
Xiaomi's new 100W charger has been teased, fully charging a 4000mAh battery from 0-100% in just 17 minutes. If we compare this against Oppo's best 50W Super VOOC charging technology, that throws power at 50W to charge a 3700mAh battery in the same 17-minute period. Xiaomi is onto a winner here, especially if it can get 100W of charging working over USB-C (which supports 100W charging) without too much heat and inefficiency.
It's not an official thing from Xiaomi yet, and simply a test of its 100W Super Charge Turbo technology. I hope we see something like this on the market soon with next-gen smartphones throughout 2019 and into 2020 and beyond.
Samsung is gearing up for the release of its first foldable smartphone in the Galaxy Fold, and days after a leak showed that the foldable smartphone had a crease in the middle of its display, Samsung marketing goes into overdrive.
The company has released a new 34-second video of the testing regime that Samsung puts the Galaxy Fold under, in an Ikea-like stress test of folding the phone over and over and over again. Samsung folded a bunch of its Galaxy Fold smartphones over 200,000 times each so that it can provide around 5 years of use to a Galaxy Fold owner, measuring out to around 100 times per day.
Samsung does this all in a week, with over 200,000 folds per phone completed.
There is quite a few popular apps from Nintendo in the mobile market, but is that enough to sway The Big N on making their own gaming handset?
According to a DigiTimes report, Nintendo are reportedly considering jumping into the mobile gaming market with their very own handset. If this is true they will be going up against the likes of Razer, Xiaomi Vivo and some other companies, but is this a good idea considering the Nintendo Switch only released two years ago? The DigiTimes report says that "There have been speculations about Nintendo planning to launch a gaming handset that can integrate with its Switch consoles", and that "the Japan-based vendor has yet to respond to such speculations".
So judging from the source, there is next to no evidence that Nintendo are planning on doing this, just speculation and a lack of response from Nintendo. Lets play with idea before dismissing it though - how realistic is it that Nintendo will join the gaming phone market? Well, with the launch of the Switch, Nintendo are using mobile devices as a means of communication, rankings and some other additional features for online players. Is this app and the five other Nintendo apps worth making their own handset? Probably not. Considering that the global demand for gaming phones is around the 100,000 units per year margin, Nintendo most likely doesn't consider this a vital market to be jumping into.
The smartphones of today already rock incredibly impressive cameras, but what about the phones of tomorrow? According to Qualcomm's Director of Product Management (Camera, Computer Vision, and Video), Judd Heape, set your hype meters to 11, people.
Qualcomm's current Snapdragon 660, 670, 675, 710, 845, and 855 chipsets all support resolutions up to 192MP sensors, but for those dizzying megapixel heights phone maker swill need to disable multi-frame noise reduction and zero shutter lag. This means you'll need to hold incredibly still to get a good shot, but that shot will be ridiculous good.
Right now, even smartphones with 48-megapixel sensors combine 4 pixels into one single 12-megapixel photo. We should expect 64-megapixel sensors to bust out 16-megapixel photos, and higher-end 100-megapixel sensors to blast out 25-megapixel photos which will truly take us to the next level with smartphone cameras.
Samsung has just announced that its new 12GB LPDDR4X chips have entered mass production, ready for the next wave of flagship smartphones and tablets including its own Galaxy Fold.
The new 12GB DRAM chips are the largest capacity mobile DRAM chips in the industry, providing next-gen smartphones with copious amounts of RAM to work with. It'll be even more than most entry-level and mid-range Windows laptops ship with, as they mostly arrive with 8GB of RAM inside.
Why do you need 12GB of RAM in your smartphone though? Well, we have new handsets with larger-than-life displays, 3/4/5 cameras, 5G connectivity, foldable displays, 120Hz refresh rate displays, and so much more. 12GB of RAM might seem ridiculous, but when it's used in ridiculously feature-packed and high-end smartphones it doesn't seem so crazy.
Google has a surprise for its Pixel smartphone owners today, with Beta 1 of Android Q released for early adopters as well as a preview SDK for developers.
The mobile operating system landscape is rapidly changing and this year it will go through the biggest changes in history with both 5G and foldable phones arriving in 2019. Google has made its new Android Q release available in pre-release form very early, but the new OS will have a few cornerstones including improved privacy for users on Android going forward.
Starting with Android Q users will have more control over when apps can get your location. With previous versions of Android, apps can only get location once the app itself has asked your permission, and you've granted it. Android Q changes things by giving users the ability to never give their location to apps, only when the app is in use (and running) or all the time (running in the background).
Corning, the company behind Gorilla Glass, is working on some new glass for the wave of foldable smartphones that are right around the corner, and if they're successful will be the future of mobile technology.
The main issue that we have with the Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X foldable smartphones is that they both don't have truly foldable glass, and instead use plastic polymers which are flexible of course, but they will be hit with scratches, and worse; creases. John Bayne from Corning's Gorilla Glass spoke with Wired, where he said: "In a glass solution, you're really challenging the laws of physics, in that to get a very tight bend radius you want to go thinner and thinner, but you also have to be able to survive a drop event and resist damage".
Corning hasn't made anything official outside of the interview between Bayne and Wired, and that the foldable glass could be here in a few years, which is a very long time away. We could see competitors joining the fray, beating Corning to the punch. We'll have to see how things go with the Galaxy Fold and Mate X, but I'm sure we'll see flexible Gorilla Glass, or Gorilla Flex, sooner rather than later.