Huawei Honor Note 8 – a 6.6″ monster

note-8

Huawei aims at the multimedia consumers with one of the biggest smartphones ever made, Honor Note 8.

A few years ago, we thought that smartphones will continue growing in physical size. However, the biggest widely known smartphones have been Sony’s Xperia Z Ultra and Samsung’s Galaxy Mega since 2013. Those phones were experiments that were proven too big.

However, Huawei has now released a new monster phone. This 6.6″ QHD giant is called Honor Note 8 and packs some serious hardware. The 2560 x 1440 display is Super AMOLED, probably Samsung made. Under the metal body is a Kirin 955 SoC and 4 GB of RAM and if the 32, 64 or 128 GB internal storage isn’t enough, the Note also has a microSD card slot. The battery is huge, 4500 mAh. All this runs Huawei’s UI on top of Android Marshmallow.

note-8-back

The phone’s design is absolutely beautiful with very Nexus 6P -like camera vizier and fingerprint scanner placement. The plastic strip on the back is also familiar as is the USB Type-C port on the bottom. The physical size of the device is massive, 178.8 x 90.9 x 7.2 mm and 219 g.

A phone of this size is not only very difficult to handle but also too large for most pockets. We are very interested to see if the Note 8 succeeds as that would mean yet another chapter to the book of new smartphone trends.

The Honor Note 8 is now available for preorders in China. Other markets will probably follow but nothing has been announced yet. Pricing in China equals something around $350 for the base model.

Source: Huawei

Upcoming smartphone trends of 2016

moto-z

Finally Superzeppo is back and we take a look at the upcoming smartphones of 2016. Prepare your reading muscles.

The 2016 smartphone market looks quite stagnant at the moment. The best seller seems to be the Samsung Galaxy S7, a mild update to last year’s S6. iPhone 6s (& Plus) is, of course, selling well despite its age. HTC doesn’t seem to do to bad either with HTC 10, possibly the best smartphone of 2016 so far.

Lenovo just launched their flagship Moto Z phones and is getting great response. OnePlus 3 stepped up the company’s game in build quality category and still offers excellent price-to-features ratio costing half of the other flagships.

Trends

The year 2016 pretty much continues the trends of 2015. From the mid-range to the absolute flagships, consumers can expect brilliant build quality and excellent materials. The flagship phones are expected to be better than the phones that cost half as much and that’s how modularity has popped up this year. LG G5 brought the replaceable battery / module slot and Lenovo’s Moto Mods take the modularity to easier level.

Processors seem to finally be powerful enough that pretty much no one cares to talk too much about them. However this year seems to be the year of Qualcomm again as the Snapdragon 820 easily beats Samsung competing chip.

Dual cameras are the thing of 2016. Next iPhone will have some kind of dual camera setup and for example the Huawei P9 has dual cameras to let more light to the sensor.

Thickness and battery capacity continue their fight. Lenovo decided to make both with Moto Z and Moto Z Force. The first is ridiculously thin and has smaller battery and the latter has some thickness and much more powerful battery.

There are a lot of new smartphones coming up this year. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

iPhone 7 or 6SE

iphone-7-leak

Rumor mill around the next iPhone is huge and no one is even sure about its name. Because the design is going to be very similar to the one’s before, the latest rumors even suggest the 6SE name, a change to Apple’s Tick-Tock just like Intel is doing.

Possibly the biggest talking point of the upcoming iPhone is the headphone jack. Even though some leaked chip images still suggest a 3.5 mm headphone jack, most of the renders, leaks and rumors claim that Apple will ditch the ancient audio connector and run the audio through the Lightning port instead.

Lenovo out-Appled Apple with their Moto Z devices but unlike the upcoming iPhone, the Moto Z is razor thin at 5.3 mm. Thickness should not be a reason to drop the headphone jack as the iPhone is rumored to be almost the same thickness as its predecessor. However, the headphone jack uses a lot of space inside the phone and we are also rumored to get a larger battery this year.

The iPhone 6SE or 7 is also rumored to say goodbye to the ugly antenna bands and add a new color, blue. The larger Plus or Pro version is going to have some kind of a dual camera setup but cameras in all renders are protruding. According to Evan Bass, the next iPhones will be released on September 16th.

Note 7

note-7

Samsung is going to make a name change with this year’s Note. The company wants to clarify their device smartphone lineup by skipping the Note 6 and having the S and Note at the same number.

According to the rumors and leaks, Samsung will bring the curved display and the S-Pen back together after one two years. The QHD AMOLED display will measure at 5.7 or 5.8 inches and be curved on both sides. In the current Samsung way, the back will also be curved and made out of glass.

Reportedly, Samsung will also bump the base storage option up to 64 gigabytes. After a few smartphones with 6 GB of RAM, it will not come as a surprise that Samsung will fit the Note 7 with 6 gigs as well. The processor will be either Exynos 8893 or Snapdragon 821 but after the difference in performance between the Exynos and Snapdragon Galaxy S7s, Samsung might choose just one chip even though the performance of both of the chips is more than enough for the current TouchWiz.

Cameras will be taken from the Galaxy S7, which is not a bad thing at all as the S7 is still the camera to beat at least on the rear camera competition. What will be new, is the iris scanner. Somehow I’m personally not sold on that, as fingerprint will be much much easier and faster way to use to unlock the device. Battery will be either 3600 or 4000 mAh and the phone will be released on August 2nd.

HTC Nexie

nexus-sailfish

We have heard various stories about this year’s Nexus phones. Some say that Huawei will be updating the Nexus 6P and HTC will only make the smaller Nexus. The most trusted rumor at the moment is that HTC will make both Nexus phones, a 5.2 Nexus 5X successor and a 5.5″ one to replace the 6P.

Besides the display size, we know very little. According, again, to Evan Blass, the smaller HTC Nexus will have a 1080p display and a Snapdragon 820 SoC. The logical upgrade to the larger Nexus would be a QHD display and a Snapdragon 821 SoC.

Sources:

Android Police, Seeko, Android Authority

S7 Active leaks with full specs

s7-active

The new Active will again bring a lot of power in a ruggedized body. The fresh leaks reveal full specs. 

The Samsung Galaxy S7 Active will again be quite an impressive device, if the leaks and rumors are to be believed. The specs are mostly the same with the Galaxy S7 with 5,1″ 1440p Super AMOLED display, Snapdragon 820, 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. The microSD slot is also on board.

The biggest differences are the ruggedized body, physical navigation buttons and a much larger 4000mAh battery. Obviously the IP rating is going to be higher and the body of the device will be able to take much more hits than the glass and aluminium sandwich of the normal S7. One big feature the S6 Active lacked, the fingerprint scanner is now built in to the home button.

On the camera side, there are no differences. The 12MP rear camera is accompanied by a 5MP front shooter. The rear camera module seems to be lower than the riced edges of the 9.9mm thick body, so it’s probably less vulnerable for damage than the protruding one on the original S7.

Source: VentureBeat

Note 6 to have IR autofocus

note-5-camera

Samsung is rumored to add IR autofocus to the next Note. The Note 6 has been rumored a lot lately.

Samsung Galaxy Note 6 will be released in the fall but we already have quite a lot of rumors. Now, Android Geeks have heard that Samsung is testing an infra red autofocusing system for the Note 6. The Galaxy S7 already has ridiculously fast focusing but for some reason Samsung wants to further improve it.

The IR autofocus is used by many of Samsung’s competitors. For example LG, HTC and Huawei have already implemented it to their high-end phones. At least the feature is going to improve the reliability and predictability of the autofocus even though it probably won’t improve the speed. The 12 megapixel sensor will most likely be the same that’s already in the S7.

Other rumors of the Galaxy Note 6 suggest a 5.8″ display, Snapdragon 823 or Exynos 8 series SoC, 6GB of RAM and 4000mAh battery. Some new features, Samsung is rumored to add, are iris scanner and IP certification of some sort. Samsung is also claimed to be testing both, a flat and a curved display, only one of which will make its way to market.

Source: Android Geeks

Apple releases the iPhone SE

iphone-se

Apple has released the new iPhone SE, a 4″ iPhone that looks exactly like an iPhone 5 or 5S.

The new and highly anticipated 4″ iPhone is now here. Apple has recycled the design of the iPhone 5 and 5S, bumped up the specs and added new colors. The result is iPhone SE.

The iPhone SE packs the specs from iPhone 6S but with obviously smaller display and battery. The display also lacks the 3D Touch feature. They must leave something for next year, though.

Pricing starts at $399 for the 16GB model and goes up to $499 for the 64GB variant. The iPhone SE will be available on March 31 and preorders start on March 24.

Xiaomi Mi 5, another flagship killer

 

mi-5-white

Xiaomi has released their new flagship smartphone, Mi 5 at MWC 2016. It seems to be a quite interesting product. 

For the first time, Xiaomi has made an announcement in front of an international crowd and for good reason. The Mi 5 packs flagship specs in much more affordable price.

There are three models to choose from. The about $415 PRO model has a Snapdragon 820 SoC, 4GB of RAM, 128GB of internal storage and ceramic back. The middle one costs around $350 and packs the same Snapdragon 820 SoC, 3GB of RAM, 64GB of storage and glass back. The cheapest, about $305 model has an underclocked Snapdragon 820 SoC at 1.8GHz instead of 2.15GHz. It also has 3GB of RAM and glass back but settles at 32GB of onboard storage.

Other specs include a 5.15″ Full HD display, fingerprint scanner and 3000mAh battery with quick charge 3.0 via USB type-C. The cameras are 16 and 4MP the rear sensor being a Sony IMX298 with OIS. The internal storage uses the same UFS 2.0 technology that Samsung uses in their flagships.

The Mi 5 appears to be quite a challenger for the more expensive flagships. However the availability in most markets might be bad and Xiaomi’s user interface frightens out some of the potential customers. The Mi 5 goes on sale on March 1 in China, no information about other markets yet.

Source: MIUI

Sony releases Xperia X lineup of smartphones

xperia-x

Sony has introduced a completely new Xperia X lineup, three differently priced 5″ smartphones.

The Xperia X Performance is a quite typical 2016 flagship with Snapdragon 820 SoC, 3GB of RAM and 5″ Full HD display. The design is more rounded than in the previous Sony flagships and the back of the device is now aluminium instead of glass. IP68 rating remains the same. Cameras are 23 and 13MP units and battery capacity is 2700mAh. The fingerprint scanner is placed on the power button on the right side and there are dual stereo speakers on the front.

The Xperia X has a downgraded Snapdragon 650 processor and 2620mAh battery but otherwise the specs are same as in the Performance model. The most affordable Xperia XA only has a 720p display, Mediatek Helio P10 SoC and 2GB of RAM. The battery is also smaller at 2300mAh and cameras are 13 and 8MP.

The Xperia X lineup will be available in summer and the pricing is unknown.

Source: Sony