ZTE’s Axon Max is a 6″ phablet

zte-axon-max

ZTE Axon Max brings a 6″ Super AMOLED display and a huge battery in mid-range price. 

ZTE has launched a 6″ phablet that resembles the Huawei Mate 8. The 6″ Super AMOLED display has a Full HD resolution and it’s protected by 2.5D glass. The body is made out of aluminum-titanium alloy and the back features plastic antenna insulators on top and bottom, 16MP camera, fingerprint scanner and a single speaker. The front facing camera has 13 megapixels.

The inside specs are also quite impressive. The Snapdragon 617 SoC is supported by 3GB of RAM and a giant 4140mAh battery which is charged via a USB Type C connector. The MiFavor 3.5 UI runs on top of Android 5.1.1.

The first Axon Max devices ship at the end of the year in China for 2799 Chinese yuan (~$430). Availability in other markets is unknown but other Axon devices are sold in America and Europe.

The Axon Max impresses with its battery capacity and the Super AMOLED display. Lately we have seen new manufactures using AMOLED panels and its good to see. A Full HD Super AMOLED in this price range is a rare and welcome sight.

Source: BusinessWire

Apple launches a battery case for iPhone

smart-battery-case

Apple has silently launched a battery case for iPhone 6 and 6s. The case doubles the battery life with a horrible design. 

iPhone 6s Smart Battery case is very similar to the official silicon cases but has an 1877mAh battery built in. It’s more than double of the iPhone 6s battery capacity.

Compared to some third party cases, the official battery case has some advantages and some disadvantages. For example, the Apple case is charged via a Lightning port as the third party cases use USB. The Apple case also redirects the speaker to the front, which is always better than bottom. Unfortunately Apple didn’t add a feature to turn the case off. That means that the iPhone is always charging from the case and user can’t save the juice in the case.

The design is really quite bad. The battery is just thrown to the back of the case and it’s quite bulky. This design could be great for some cheap third party case but this official case costs $99 and carries the official Apple logo. This is yet another design flaw for Apple this year. First the Magic Mouse 2 and Apple Pencil charging solutions and now this.

Source: Apple

Review Recap: Lumia 950

lumia-950-official

Microsoft’s Lumia 950 gets the first reviews. Here is a little recap of them. 

Lumia 950 is the first Lumia flagship in almost two years. It’s the first Windows 10 phone and according to the reviews, it’s visible. The software feels like a pre-release version, it’s not complete yet.

On the positive side, the display is great. AMOLED panel with the ClearBlack filter gives perfect blacks and the QHD resolution gives the sharpness. Also the camera gets good reviews, it’s the best part of the device. The great camera software continues where it left with the Lumia 930. Even the Lumia 950 is not a perfect camera. It sometimes struggles even in good conditions and sometimes it just takes the perfect photo. Might be the software.

Staying on the positives, the Windows Hello is told to be working great. Only problem is the fact that the device needs to be almost on the eye level, unlike a fingerprint scanner phone that can be opened already on its way from pocket. Windows Continuum shares the opinions. It’s great for light working but it needs really be light. For example full desktop tabs can’t stay open for long due to the lack of RAM or unstable software. The 950 XL with beefier specs might do better here.

On the hardware side, the Lumia’s build doesn’t impress anyone. Gone is the neon colors from previous devices and the metal of the 940. The 950 is made out of plastic, white or black plastic. As The Verge says in their conclusion, “cheap materials and boring design”. The Snapdragon 808 runs the Windows 10 easily. The hiccups are not the lack of power, it’s the software. The battery gets the usual one day of heavy to moderate usage.

The lack of apps is real. Microsoft just told that the Android app support is late and that’s bad for Windows Phone. The Google apps just don’t exist and the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram apps are numerous versions behind their iOS and Android cousins. Some apps are just plain missing. Come on Microsoft, get that Android support done.

The PocketNow review has probably the best conclusion: “Only if you’re a fan”. The Lumia 950 is not a complete device. It’s for those who liked the previous Lumia devices but not for many more.

Sources: The Verge, PocketNow, GSMArena, CNET, TechRadar

Samsung updates the Galaxy A lineup

Galaxy-A7

Samsung has launched new Galaxy A7, A5 and A3 mid-rangers. The updates are significant as the phones get nearly flagship specifications.

Samsung’s metal body A series has done strongly and now they get their first refresh. The highest-end A7 packs a 5.5″ 1080p Super AMOLED display, 3GB of RAM and a 3300mAh battery. The 13 megapixel rear camera is optically stabilized and the home button has the fingerprint scanner from the S6. The only weaker part of the package is the yet to be named 1.6GHz octa core CPU.

The A5 packs mostly the same specs with just a smaller 5.2″ 1080p display, 2GB of RAM and 2900mAh battery. The A3 gives up more as the OIS and the fingerprint scanner are dropped. A3 has 4.7″ 720p Super AMOLED display, 1.5GB of RAM, 1.5GHz quad core CPU and 2300mAh battery.

All the models are made out of metal and glass and packed into a 7.3mm thick body. The devices will hit the market first in China in mid December and global sales start later. The pricing is still a question but we expect much lower prices than the flagship S6 devices.