Apple reveals new iPhones and Watch

iphone-7

Apple has made their yearly update to the iPhone lineup. They also updated the Apple Watch.

Design of the iPhone 7 is very similar to its predecessor. The biggest visual changes are the new Jet Black (Fingerprint Black) color and the mat black color that replaces the Space Grey. The camera lens is larger and still protruding and the antenna lines have been redesigned to be a little less visible.

The displays are still the same IPS LCD displays but like every year Apple has been able to squeeze just a little bit more brightness and color reproduction out of that aging display technology. They had to leave something for next year, I guess.

Under the hood, the updates have been more noticeable. The new A10 chip now has four cores, two high-performance and two power saving cores. This has bumped the battery life by 2 hours on the iPhone 7  and 1 hour on the Plus model. The 2 GB RAM has been proven to be enough on iOS. The base model storage is finally 32 GB, the upgrade options being 128 and 256 GB.

The iPhone 7 Plus has the typical Plus upgrades over the standard model. It has a bigger 1080p display, bigger battery and camera improvements. For the last two years the camera improvement has been OIS but the iPhone 7 also has it. The Plus model gets a dual camera setup. One camera is typical 12 MP F/1.8 shooter that can be found on the back of the iPhone 7 but alongside it there’s another camera with narrower lens. This combined with some software magic provides what Apple calls a true 2x optical zoom. The FaceTime camera has been updated to 7 megapixels.

The fingerprint sensor home button has been updated to Force Touch with no moving parts. The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are now IP67 certified against water and dust and as predicted, Apple has ditched the 3.5 mm headphone jack. Luckily the new iPhones ship with Lightning headphones and a 3.5 mm adapter. It looks like recharging the phone is not possible while using headphones. The earpiece now acts as second speaker creating some kind of a stereo experience.

The 32 GB iPhone 7 costs $649 and the 7 Plus $769. 128 GB upgrade adds 100$ and 256 GB $200.

watch-2

Apple also updated the Apple Watch. The new series 2 models are swimproof which means 50 meters of water in normal terms. The sluggish chip of the original model has been updated to S2 dual core one and the graphics performance has been doubled. Probably the most wanted new feature is the built-in GPS. The pricing remains pretty much the same. The series 1 model is updated with the S2 chips and gets a price drop.

Source: Apple

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

iPhone 7 might not have a 3.5mm headphone jack

iphone-6s-headphone-jack

Apple is rumored to ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack from the next iPhone. This would allow the phone to be more than a millimeter thinner. 

This year Apple decided to add the 3D Touch to the iPhones and shrink the battery size. According to the rumors, the iPhone 7 would not have a 3.5mm headphone jack to be even thinner. That would also mean smaller battery.

The current iPod Touch is 1mm thinner than the iPhone 6S and it still has a headphone jack. According to the rumors, iPhone 7 would be more than a millimeter thinner than the current iPhone 6S.

To replace the headphone jack, Apple would use the Lightning port and the iPhone 7 would ship with earbuds with a Lightning connector. For 3rd party headphone makers this would not be easy thing. The headphones use analog signal and the Lightning port is digital. The adapter could be quite large and ugly unless the headphones are specially made for the new iPhone and would be incompatible with other devices. Attaching some current headphones to the iPhone 7 would always need an adapter.

Apple is really pushing its limits. We know that many people think that everything Apple does is right but in this case some might make the switch to another smartphone because of the ridiculous quest of thinness. Most of people want battery life, not thinness, especially if it brings things like Lightning headphones.

Source: Macotakara (Japanese)

Photo: iFixit teardown