Getting a 5G-enabled phone right now is likely to cost you an arm and a leg, given the tech’s exclusivity to premium models. That’s set to change as Xiaomis of the world are leveraging the recently announced Snapdragon 765 series to bring 5G connectivity to cheaper handsets. Following its last week’s teaser, Xiaomi today announced the Redmi K30 5G in its home market for under $300 along with a 4G variant that’s even cheaper. Read More
Updating the graphics drivers on your smartphone isn't something you think about, because it isn't something you have much of any control over. That's because, for now, those driver updates generally only come alongside larger OS updates that your phone receives once a year (if you're lucky). With the Snapdragon 865, that's about to change, likely thanks to the changes Google has made to Android with Project Mainline, announced at Google I/O earlier this year. Read More
Last year, Qualcomm launched the Snapdragon 700-series SoCs to address a developing market segment that some have called "Premium B" to cope with the ongoing phenomenon of flagship cost runaway. The company later appended an offshoot skew in the 730G for the burgeoning gaming phone sector which presses value and performance to extremes. Today, in the same effective breath it announced the Snapdragon 865 with, the chipmaker has also spoken of the Snapdragon 765 and the 765G, and yes, they're the first in their series to get 5G support. Read More
One of my consistent complaints with most smartphone cameras is performance. While I'd personally single out Google's Pixels as among the worst, I think it's fair to say that most phones experience significant speed degradation in the camera as they age. I'm not going to claim I understand why this happens—a multitude of factors could be at play—but I do think on some level you have to look at hardware. And with Qualcomm's new Spectra 480 ISP in the Snapdragon 865, it sure looks like we're about to take a generational leap when it comes to imaging performance.
For background, the ISP (Image Signal Processor) is the "brain" of your smartphone's camera. Read More
Motorola has struggled to find its footing in the smartphone era. After early successes like the Droid, it increasingly fell behind the likes of Samsung and OnePlus. After focusing on cheaper phones for the last few years, Moto says it's coming back to the flagship space in 2020. Read More
Qualcomm announced its new "3D Sonic Max" fingerprint scanner at the company's annual tech summit this morning, and the biggest improvement is, well, that it's big. The new version of the ultrasonic sensor is allegedly a full 17 times larger than the previous generation, measuring 30.6x19.2mm. In standard measurement, that's around .91 square inches, about equal to the surface area of the coin face of two pennies.
That's much, much larger than most existing fingerprint scanners in smartphones, ultrasonic or optical, and should theoretically result in far fewer bad reads, as the area in which you can place a recognized portion of your finger is greatly expanded (think of it as shooting an arrow at a bullseye the size of the whole target). Read More
Motorola's new RAZR foldable phone is due to go public as a Verizon-exclusive (and you know how Verizon covets exclusives) device in two weeks, but there's been plenty of anticipation as well as a little monetary dread from anxious fans since this thing was quasi-announced to the media in February. We're just now getting our first substantial leak on how it will look — substantively, what size this clamshell will actually be — and how it will be branded. Read More
The big problem with 5G — or one of the big problems — is that it's suffering the same issues LTE had when it first landed: It only works in a few markets, and most phones don't support it. Worse, the few devices that do support it use external modems which aren't built into the chipset, and like the early LTE phones, that means issues like decreased battery life. Thankfully, new chipsets with 5G support built-in are on the way, with Qualcomm announcing its own earlier this year. Today at IFA, Qualcomm has further revealed that the promised chip will be landing in products as early as the beginning of next year, with more 6-, 7-, and 8-series chipsets getting built-in 5G support next year, too. Read More
If you, dear U.S. reader, are looking to purchase a Galaxy Note10 or Note10+, but don't want to be beholden to your carrier for a device payment contract or even to the power of Qualcomm processing, you'll likely be dredging the gray market for your Samsung phablet. Well, reputable eBay seller never-msrp will be happy to sell you a Note intended for Asian or European markets right now, and at a good discount, too. Just beware of the small details. Read More
Apple develops its own processors for its mobile devices, but it relies on modems from Intel and Qualcomm for network connectivity. While Apple fought with Qualcomm over patents and royalties, Intel became the company's top choice for modems. After the dispute was settled, Intel gave up trying to make a 5G modem, and now Apple is buying its entire modem division. Read More