It was bound to happen eventually. Global smartphone sales have fallen year-over-year for the first time since 2004. Research firm Gartner reports that industry-wide, sales in the fourth quarter of 2017 dropped 5.6% from the same time period in 2016.
While Samsung and Apple maintained their leads in units sold, both showed declines in year-over-year sales. Samsung's sales decreased by 3.6% for Q4, and Apple dropped a somewhat surprising 5%.
Gartner attributes some of the slowdown in Q4 to the aging of the Galaxy S8 and S8+, with the S9 set to debut at the Mobile World Congress, as well as some confusion over Apple's release of three new models of iPhone and supply shortages for iPhone X. Read More
Chinese OEM Xiaomi today announced two new mid-range devices for the Indian market. The Redmi Note 5 is essentially a rebranded Redmi 5 Plus, launched at the end of last year, and the Pro variant has the same 5.99" display but adds a dual camera module, a slightly more powerful processor, and a 6GB RAM option. Let's take a look at what each phone has to offer. Read More
One of Android's biggest criticisms over the years has been how fragmented its version distribution is at any given time. At Google I/O in May last year, Google unveiled a plan to modularize the OS and make it easier to update. Project Treble, in short, separates out the base-level Android framework from the vendor implementation so OEMs are able to release OS updates without having to wait for chipmakers to update drivers.
Faster updates should increase the distribution numbers for the latest version of Android, but Treble could also be useful for custom ROM developers, allowing generic AOSP builds ("Treble ROMs") to be installed on more phones. Read More
Xiaomi devices consistently offer great hardware at low prices, but the company's MIUI skin isn't everyone's favorite. So when the Android One-powered Mi A1 debuted, it was met with heaps of praise. A couple of days ago, Xiaomi ran a poll on Twitter asking its followers whether they preferred MIUI or Android One. But due to a result deemed unsatisfactory by Xiaomi, the poll has mysteriously disappeared. Read More
TeamWin Recovery Project, better known as TWRP, is an invaluable tool for anyone looking to mod their device - from installing ROMs to simply making backups. The last time we covered TWRP, the project added support for the Razer Phone, Redmi 5, a handful of Galaxy Tab S2 models, and more. Over the past month, even more devices have been added to the official build roster, including Motorola's latest flagship. Read More
At the company's "5G Day" event in San Diego yesterday, Qualcomm announced that it had secured 18 OEM partners to build 5G devices using its new X50 5G modem in 2019. Notable among them are handset makers Nokia (HMD), Sony, Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, HTC, LG, ASUS, and ZTE. Conspicuously absent at the time of this writing is Samsung, though the two companies did just announce a long-term cross-licensing agreement, so you'd have to think they were on track to build a phone with this new modem, too.
Other companies in the list can be found in the press release below, though most of the others are in the component or supply chain side of the business. Read More
The last time we covered LineageOS, the project had started supporting seven new phones, including the Xperia Z5 Compact and LG K10. Since then, several additional devices have been added to the official build roster. These include the Sony Xperia Z5, Samsung Galaxy S6, and Redmi 3S/3X. Read More
Earlier in January, the online chatter about Xiaomi's delay/unwillingness to release kernel source codes for its Mi A1 phone reached a peak. Given how popular this little gem of a phone has become (read my take or Corbin's review) and all that it could do for a measly $220 price tag, as well as the fact that it runs Android One, Google's own official software for third-parties, it was quite unbecoming of Xiaomi to not release the source or take such a long time to do so.
Now the wait is over. Developers and tinkerers alike can head over to GitHub to check the full source code (for Nougat, not Oreo unfortunately) and do what developers and tinkerers do. Read More
Following the rumors indicating a forthcoming announcement, Xiaomi has officially announced the Mi Box 4 and budget-minded Mi Box 4c (pictured) for the Chinese market. Xiaomi released only one Mi Box product internationally, though the company has released multiple versions of the Mi Box in China. The China-only devices run the custom MIUI TV interface instead of Android TV. That said, Xiaomi has not shared any plans for these devices to be the basis of a successor to the Mi Box. Read More
Xiaomi's Mi Box is one of many set-top boxes running Android, and the third generation was released in China in late 2016. An international model running Android TV 6.0 was released shortly afterwards, simply called 'Mi Box,' but that received mixed reviews. Now it looks like the fourth-generation Mi Box will be unveiled on January 29, according to reports from Chinese media. Read More