Samsung releases a voluntary recall campaign for the Note 7

note-7

Samsung has released a statement about Galaxy Note 7 and its battery issues. Current Note 7 owners can replace their phones over the upcoming weeks.

Samsung says that they have received 35 reports about faulty batteries. Reportedly those 35 batteries have exploded. Samsung has stopped shipping and selling new Note 7 units before all batteries have been checked.

As all Note 7 owners will be able to replace their device, this is probably the biggest smartphone recall ever. Samsung has expectedly sold around 500,000 Note 7 units to date.

Source: Samsung, SamMobile

Asus ZenWatch gets a round display

zenwatch-3

Asus has released their new ZenWatch 3 at IFA 2016. The watch continues where its predecessor left.

Priced at 229€, the Asus ZenWatch 3 is one of the most interesting new smartwatches around. Despite its price, the ZenWatch 3 is absolutely beautiful and crafted out of quality materials. The stainless steel body is joined by 2.5D Gorilla Glass on the front. All three color variants – blackish gray, gold and silver – have the gold ring around the display. The watchband is made out of either leather or silicone rubber.

One might think that Asus would have saved on the specs after that design and price tag but no. The 1.39″ round display uses AMOLED technology and 400×400 resolution. The watch is powered by the Snapdragon Wear 2100 SoC which is specially made for wearables and uses 25% less power than the last popular wearable chip, Snapdragon 400. The usual 512 MB RAM and 4 GB storage are still here, and the 340 mAh battery sadly sounds a bit like 2015. However, Asus has included their own fast charger that will top up the battery much faster than usual.

On the software side, the ZenWatch 3 runs the latest Android Wear 2.0 with Asus’s tweaks on top. The watch comes with fitness apps separate to Google’s own and packs a whopping 50+ watch faces out of the box.

The ZenWatch 3 will hit the markets later this year and as mentioned at 229€. The US pricing should be very similar to the euro pricing due to, well, EU-stuff.

Upcoming Nexus Launcher leaks

 

nexus-launcher-16

Android Police has released leaked images and animations that show upcoming changes to the home screen of Nexus devices. 

Android Police reminds that the leak is not absolutely sure but is at the same time very confident. This is the very first leak so we have no idea how correct it is.

According to the leaks, Google will remove the app drawer icon and replace it with a sliding gesture and a tiny arrow. The search bar would also be replaced by a G button on the top left and a date information widget on the right.

If the leak is correct, the new home screen design would be available for the 2016 Nexus phones first as a Nexus Launcher. There’s no information if it would became available for non-Nexus devices later.

Source and the animation: Android Police

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 goes official

Galaxy Note7

Samsung has released the highly anticipated Note 7 phablet. 

Thanks to the leaks, we already knew everything. The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is not surprise for anyone. The beautiful IP68 certified metal and glass body packs a curved 5.7″ QHD Super AMOLED display, 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB of storage and a 3500 mAh battery. The CPU package is Snapdragon 820 in the States and Exynos 8890 in other markets.

Although Samsung skipped the Note 6, the Note 7 is just and incremental upgrade over the Note 5. It finally brings together the features many have wanted, curved screen, IP certification and the S-Pen. The Note 7 packs an iris scanner and the USB port has been updated to Type-C. Otherwise it is just a mix of Note 5 and Galaxy S7.

The Note 7 will be available on August 19th and preorders start tomorrow, August 3rd. The price will be higher than the S7 edge which currently costs around $800. No word on worldwide availability or exact pricing just yet.

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

Pebble updates its smartwatch lineup

time-2-2-core

Pebble, the pioneer of smartwatches has released a new crowdfunding campaign for its new Pebble 2, Time 2 and Core devices.

Pebble 2 is a refresh of the original Pebble. It has the black and white e-paper display and awesome battery life from its predecessor but adds more intelligent fitness and sleep tracking.

The Pebble Time 2 gets a bit bigger update as the color e-paper display is much larger than in the previous model making the device look much more modern than the predecessor and its huge bezels.

The both models are water resistant to 30 meters of submersion. The Pebble 2 has a 7 day battery life and the Time 2 lifts it up to 10 days.

The Pebble Core is a new iPod Shuffle. It runs Android, doesn’t have a display and can stream music from Spotify. The Core for hackers is a minicomputer that can be programmed to do stuff with its own SDK. Both Core models are independent and don’t need a phone to work.

Retail prices are $99 for the Core, $129 for Pebble 2 and $199 for the Time 2. There are still a lot of early bird prices available even though the campaign has gathered its goal of one million dollars over five times already while writing this.

Source: Pebble 2, Time 2 and Core Kickstarter page