Today at MWC 2018 in Barcelona Sony announced its latest flagship Android phones, the Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact. Looking at them without context, you'd be forgiven for thinking they were released a couple of years ago. Yet these are Sony's most modern smartphone designs ever, with curved 3D glass and much smaller bezels than previous Xperia devices. Read More
When Sony's Xperia Ear was first announced as a concept project in February of 2016, we were all a little wary of the utility of an assistant living inside our ears. But with Amazon's Alexa and Google's Assistant spreading their wings everywhere from our speakers to our appliances and even our headphones, the idea isn't as alien anymore. So Sony is following up now on its original Xperia Ear, which eventually launched in October of 2016, with an upgraded model dubbed the Xperia Ear Duo. Read More
We knew Sony's devices would be in for a little design refresh at this year's MWC and now the rumor mill can be put to rest after Sony lifted the veil off its new Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact. The new phones look exactly like the leaked renders and have a distinct Sony vibe to them with the still large bezels on the top and bottom, but with rounded corners, 3D glass and aluminum frame, and a curved back that bulges significantly on both devices, but especially so on the Compact. Read More
With the release of the new Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+, it's time for the release of must-have accessories for the new flagship. Spigen's S9 and S9+ collections are available for orders starting today on Amazon, so you can start checking out your options and even get your gear lined up for when your S9/S9+ arrives. Across the entire product line, the cases were designed to show off the new Infinity Screen and have precise camera cutouts to let you use all of the new photography features. Below, we outline this year's cases as well as a couple of other accessories designed for Samsung's latest flagships. Read More
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 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