While you can't even buy more than two smartphones with Qualcomm's brand-new X55 5G modem in the US right now, the company has already announced the part that will replace it: the Snapdragon X60, and it comes with some seriously important improvements for US cellular operators.
I know that topics like spectrum and carrier aggregation can make anyone's eyes glaze over, but stick with me here, because this actually is kind of good stuff to know. Right now, most carriers in the US (and all of the "big four," soon to be big three) rely on a large diversity of various spectrum holdings to provide their 4G LTE coverage. Read More
Qualcomm might be leading the charge towards 5G with new chipsets for premium and "Premium B" phones this year. But in many parts of the world where the transition from 4G will be especially slow to start, the chipmaker will also need to cater to people set to stick with LTE for the next while. It's at this juncture that the company introduces the Snapdragon 460, 662, and 720G SoCs. Read More
The closest thing to a phone that we could say was from TCL would be all the licensed devices throughout the years for Alcatel, BlackBerry, and Palm. This past fall, TCL produced and sold the Plex phone under its own name in Europe. Now, the company more known for its TVs in the U.S. and Canada will be bringing multiple smartphones to those countries. Read More
After showcasing its works-in-progress during the media rodeo known as Innovation Day, Oppo has decided to kick into gear on 5G with two new mid-range phones featuring two completely different chipsets, but with head-to-head spec sheets. The most apparent gap between the Reno3 and Reno3 Pro, though? The price. Read More
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