The Galaxy Note7 introduced Samsung's iris scan technology back in 2016, and it's been on every Samsung flagship since. On the Galaxy S8, Samsung also added face unlock, but it wasn't authorized for secure actions like mobile payments. The issue on the S8 and Note8, though, was that you had to pick one unlock method or the other: insecure face unlock (meaning you had to use fingerprint for mobile payments) or secure iris unlock (which is unarguably harder to use).
The Galaxy S9 and S9+ are no different in terms of offering iris and face unlock options, but they are making a change that might encourage more people to use these features - by combining them into a single unlock method. Read More
The Galaxy S9 and S9+ have rear cameras with adjustable aperture settings, allowing the phones to take photos at either f/1.5 or f/2.4. This may mean something to you, but in the event it doesn't, let me provide a brief explainer.
You might already be familiar with aperture values, or F-stops, as they relate to a camera's lens. Like the pupil of your eye, the size of a camera's aperture determines the amount of light that gets in through the lens to the image sensor. Many standalone cameras have adjustable apertures, which either expand or narrow a physical "iris" ring to let more or less light in. Read More
In all but a few minor regards, the Galaxy S9 and S9+ resemble their predecessors to such a degree that an ordinary person would have a lot of trouble telling them apart. Sure, the phones’ bezels have been nipped and tucked, the location of the fingerprint scanner - mercifully - changed, and the S9+ now sports a second camera around back. These are differences, but ones that were as inevitable as they are iterative.
The fingerprint scanner on the S8 and S8+ was in a terrible location. It had to move. Apple is pushing dual camera, Samsung had to respond. Minimal screen bezel is so hot right now, Samsung should at least pay lip service to improving screen to body ratio (the phones are 1.2 and 1.4mm shorter than last year's, respectively), having now ceded its narrative advantage here to the iPhone X. Read More
At its Unpacked event in Barcelona today, Samsung announced the long-awaited Galaxy S9 and S9+. The latest iteration in the Galaxy series incrementally improves on the S8/S8+ in a few small but crucial ways. The S9 and S9 plus feature a new low-light optimized dual aperture camera system (f/1.5-f/2.4), 960 FPS slow-motion video, and AKG-branded stereo speakers. Physically, it might look a lot like the Galaxy S8—and pricing matches last year's at $719.99 and $839.99—but there's one significant distinction. The fingerprint sensor is finally in the center, below the camera module, where it always should have been. Read More
The Galaxy S9 and S9+ are both official now, but there's still the pesky question of where to pick one up. You can always go the unlocked route, but carrier deals can present a decent discount. Plus, you've got aesthetics to take into consideration. Will this retailer have that color? And where can you grab it first? If you can't focus past the adjustable aperture in your enthusiasm for Samsung's latest, don't worry. We've got those details here. Read More
In the words of a famous disc jockey: "Another one." A young hacker-turned-security researcher in England found a critical vulnerability on T-Mobile's website that basically left records of user logins exposed online for hackers to pillage. The bug was reported and patched in December, and T-Mobile says no customer information was compromised as a result of this flaw. Read More
The Nokia phone brand has been on quite a journey since its heyday in the late nineties and early two-thousands (or aughts, as David would have me write it). After Nokia's smartphone business was sold to Microsoft and became the Windows Phone flagbearer while that was still a thing, the baton has now been passed to HMD Global. HMD has been releasing Android phones under the Nokia name for just over a year now, and it's fair to say the brand is stronger than it has been for a very long time.
At MWC 2018 here in Barcelona, HMD has added to its already burgeoning phone lineup with four devices, three of which are part of the Android One program and an ultra-low-cost Android Go phone. Read More
The Android One initiative was designed to bring a pure, stock version of the OS to low-cost phones in emerging markets to ensure better performance and faster updates. But since it was first announced in 2014, it’s morphed into something more akin to Google Play Edition phones, offering at least 2 years of updates and zero bloatware on hardware of any level.
HMD’s Nokia-branded phones, much like Motorola devices, have always launched with very few customizations. The company is now taking this one step further, announcing at MWC 2018 in Barcelona that every smartphone it produces from now on will be an Android One phone. Read More
HMD Global had a good first year making Nokia-branded phones. In 2017, the Finnish company sold 70 million devices across its portfolio of six different Android smartphones and other low-cost feature phones such as the throwback Nokia 3310. HMD is confident of an even better 2018, starting with the launch of four new (well, mostly new) Android phones at MWC in Barcelona.
Before we even get to the new devices, perhaps the headline announcement is that starting with these phones all Nokia releases will be part of the Android One program (with the exception its first Android Go phone). Thanks to this increasingly close relationship with Google, all Nokia phones will get a bloat-free version of the OS with rapid updates, potentially giving them a significant advantage over competing devices. Read More
Huawei's presence at MWC seems to be a bit less than years past, aside from the new MediaPad tablets and Matebook X Pro ultrabook (the latter looks really nice, but that's outside of our wheelhouse here at AP). However, the Chinese manufacturer has decided to let Samsung have all of the attention this year in Barcelona, and instead hold its own event in Paris at the end of March. What is Huawei planning to do, you might ask? Announce the newest member of the P family, the P20. Read More