The Sharp X1 is a no-frills device. It has one rear camera and one front camera. Its processor, while from Qualcomm, is mid-range. But its price?
Would a 5.4-inch display at a 2:1 aspect ratio really be that much smaller than a 5.7-inch screen? We may soon find out about the LG Q6.
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As OLED displays continue to become the next big thing for smartphones, Samsung might just go all in to become the number-one supplier.
Though the final investment plans won't be confirmed until after a board of directors meeting next month, the proposed plant could become the largest OLED facility in the world, cementing Samsung as the leading supplier of the high-end display.
As other companies like LG are reportedly investing heavily into OLED panels, a race is starting to take shape to be the top source — coincidentally as stories point towards Apple requiring ample OLED screens for its next iPhone.
Samsung has been long rumored as a front runner for Apple's future OLED supplier, leading us to wonder if Samsung's supposed expansion of its production plants is a sign that the company expects some major orders to fulfill in the years to come.
While that's us speculating, we hope this means more handsets will gain easier access to super-sharp OLED technology — and especially look forward to sating our curiosity about Apple's next smartphone when official word is given out later this year.
- Everything we know about the iPhone 8
The original iPhone is celebrating its 10th birthday, and what better way is there to mark this anniversary than to force it to hang out with its taller, more popular and overall better looking kid?
As we wait for the iPhone 8 (or whatever Apple will end up calling its next smartphone), let's see how far we've come in one decade.
We have to start here because the camera has seen the biggest advancements of any iPhone feature. It's replaced buying a DSLR or compact camera for many people and paved the way for billion-dollar ideas like Instagram and Snapchat.
The original iPhone had a single 2MP camera on back, and that was pretty significant back in 2007. It was superior to the standard 1.3MP camera on many flip phones and its touchscreen allowed you to better frame and review shots.
What's crazy? iPhone 1 doesn't have a front-facing camera, doesn't take video and doesn't let you can't tap to focus. It just takes low-resolution photos during the day and, at night, all you get is either dark nothingness or a blurry, bright blown-out mess. But this was still a big deal ten years ago.
Now? Now we're spoiled with three cameras on the iPhone 7 Plus, including an impressive dual-camera setup on back. Apple has also multiplied the level of detail and color correction in ten years and added a bokeh-rich Portrait Mode, Live Photos, and that all-important FaceTime camera. Yes, selfies (and selfie tricks) weren't a thing when the iPhone 1 launched.
The iPhone 1 had a large, revolutionary 3.5-inch touchscreen, eschewing the physical keyboard popularized by BlackBerry in favor of an on-screen keyboard. That was controversial. Those who weren't wowed by this technology on June 29, 2007 seemed to be predicting an on-screen keyboard would never take off.
What's crazy? The iPhone 1 is so small that the entire phone fits within the perimeter of iPhone 7 Plus screen. That 3.5-inch screen has a resolution of 320x480 pixels, and it packs in only 165 pixels per pinch. The revolution came, but it wasn't even Retina HD just yet.
Now? iPhone 7 Plus is massive by comparison thanks to a 5.5-inch, 3D-touch-touting display. It has a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels and about 401 pixels per inch and a significantly wider color gamut. It really contrasts with what looks like the 8-bit of smartphone displays.
The iPhone 1 had a length and width of 115 x 61mm (4.53 x 2.40), big by 2007's standards. It also had a thick girth of 11.6mm (0.46 in) and was anything but a unibody phone. You, could, however, hold and operate it with one hand and fit in in a skinny jeans pocket.
What's crazy? It's very slippery and fairly delicate – admittedly, we broke during the making of this six-month-long feature. The iPhone1 is an antique and should be treated as such. Our mistake.
Now? iPhone 7 Plus is obviously much bigger at 158.2 x 77.9mm (6.23 x 3.07 in), but the depth is noticeably slimmer: 7.3 mm (0.29 in). It may not fit in your pocket – and sadly our jeans have gotten skinnier in ten years. Luckily, the new iPhone is more durable, debuting water-resistant for the first time in 2016.
The iPhone 1 came with pre-installed apps, but Apple didn't launch its App Store until the iPhone 3G released a year next year. That meant you were stuck with 17 apps and the settings menu for 18 tiles total on the single homepage.
What's crazy? There's no Control Center, notifications shade, or second home screen pane (why would you need it?). You certainly can't delete apps, but do you remember a time before app folders? Those didn't launch until iOS 4.
Now? 500 apps launched on the iPhone a year later thanks to the advent of the App Store via a software upgrade called iPhone OS 2 (the predecessor to iOS). Now, as of iOS 11, we have more 2.2 million apps and Apple has had 130 billion downloads. At WWDC 2017, Apple announced that the App Store has generated $70 billion in revenue for developers.
The iPhone 1 could make phone calls, send text message and connect to Wi-Fi so you could email people and surf the web. All of this was considered a feature suite in 2017. Before, phones used to break up the mobile web into little chunks with scrollable vertical and horizontal bars. Safari gave us our first taste of the real mobile web. Wallpapers were customizable on the lockscreen, where Apple's 'Slide to unlock' mechanic reduced butt dials dramatically.
What's crazy? Notice anything? There's no Bluetooth, nevermind Night Shift, Do Not Disturb and low-power modes, all considered essential in 2017. Also, you weren't able to change the wallpaper on the device itself. Only the lockscreen. What a world we lived in.
Now? Jumping from an iPhone 1 to an iPhone 7 Plus with iOS 11 seems so much more complicated. But over the course of ten years, we've grown with all of the system changes and wouldn't be able to function without swiping up from the bottom to access Control Center. The only thing we miss is the satisfaction of 'Slide to unlock.'
Apple didn't need to tout the iPhone specs for the first two years because the iPhone 1 and iPhone 3G had limited processing power and, frankly, didn't need to high-end performance for the fledgling App Store the came in year two. But the iPhone 1 was still a capable little machine, with a 412MB processor and 128MB of RAM.
What's crazy? Apple's entry-level iPhone 1 had just 4GB internal storage – and you though 16GB of bad. Of course, we didn't have much to use up that space in 2007. The App Store was still a year off and the low-resolution photos didn't take up a lot of room. But, just in case, Apple also had 8GB and 16GB models.
Now? iPhone 7 Plus claims speed records thanks to its Apple A10 Fusion chipset that has 2.34GHz quad-core processor and 3GB of RAM. It's thousands of times faster than the computer within the Apollo spaceship – the one that landed on the moon – and the technology now fits in your pocket.
The iPhone 1 debuted Apple's iconic home button and what was unique about this is that there were no physical buttons on the front of the device. This was foreign territory for avid BlackBerry fans. It pressed in like a normal button and lit up the screen when the phone was asleep or returned you to the home menu when you were in an app.
What's crazy: Holding down the home button does... absolutely nothing. Siri didn't launch until the iPhone 4S came out. Double pressing it, however, did lead to a shortcut: back to the home screen, to the search menu, Phone Favorites, the Camera, or iPod app.
Now? The iPhone 5S changed the home button when the Touch ID fingerprint sensor made it flat instead of concave (and got rid of the classic square icon). The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus did this again by eliminated the actual button that you press, favoring a touchpad with a haptic vibration that simulates pressing it in.
Rumor has it that the iPhone 8 won't have any home button or home pad due to an all-screen. Apple may put the button on the screen and fingerprint sensor behind the glass, if it was able to figure out that design.
The iPhone 1 and iPhone 7 Plus are very different when it comes to the battery and charging methods. The iPhone 1 has a smaller 1,400mAh battery size, but bigger 30-pin dock charger, while the iPhone 7 Plus provides a hefty 2,900mAh battery and uses the much slimmer Lightning Cable.
What's crazy? The iPhone 1 had a bigger battery size than the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. The official specs said those newer phones were better, with longer talk time and longer standby time, but the additions of 3G radios and Bluetooth ate up battery life and actually made the phones thicker (and therefore the battery sizes smaller compared to the iPhone 1).
Now? The true iPhone battery life revolution didn't happen until the iPhone 4 and again when the significantly bigger iPhone 6 Plus launched, comfortably lasting all day while doing more tasks. Batteries got bigger, internal specs became more efficient and software taxed the battery less. The iPhone 5 introduced controversy when it switched everyone over to reversible Lightning cables (care to go back?) and now the iPhone 7 Plus give us our most efficient battery of an iPhone. What's next? Rumors point to iPhone 8 getting wireless charger, something we like about our iPhone Mophie case, but wouldn't mind having out of the box.
The iPhone has dramatically changed over the course of ten years.
Don't think so? Apps weren't a thing outside of what was pre-installed, selfies weren't a thing and listening to music via Bluetooth headphones (or now AirPods) on your daily commute was annoyingly not a thing. These are all smartphone features we take for granted nowadays.
What will the iPhone look like in another 10 years? The popular theory is that it won't be a phone. The advent of augmented reality may just give us something that's closer to this sci-fi future.
I think that's more like 20 years away. In the next 10 years – if I had to make an iPhone prediction – I suspect the iPad mini coming back. Follow me on this: if the new iPhone does indeed get a glass back, and if companies follow through on prototyping flexible phones, and if current phones continue to get thinner and thinner, we could have a phone, with glass on both sides, thin enough to be folded over (yes, a flip phone), one could morph into a small tablet. It'd be ideal for watching YouTube videos on a train or plane, but be sleek enough to fold up and fit into your pocket. Yes, the near future phone may just be the iPad mini, or if it folds up 16 more times, the Apple Watch.
- Fact vs fiction: Apple's iPhone 8 rumors explained
Sprint and pre-existing TIDAL subscribers get to stream "4:44" exclusively for the next six months. Apple Music won't have its pie.
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JD.com and Baidu both already have smart speakers out with their own artificial intelligence backends. Will Alibaba disrupt this space in the early runs?
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One of the reasons Apple needed so much time to launch the long-rumored 10.5-inch iPad Pro is likely this super-small TSMC-made A10X SoC.
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The world's top manufacturer of smartphone displays is sure not resting on its laurels, spending fortunes on OLED and chip-making factories.
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Updated: With the arrival of the Moto Z2 Force in July, and a clearer picture of when the Nokia 8, LG V30 and Huawei Mate 10 will launch we've updated our essential rundown of the key smartphone announcements.
Let's face it, it's not always easy to keep track of the latest and greatest phones thanks to the sheer volume of launches every year.
But we at TechRadar are here to help, with our year in smartphone launches arriving to keep you up to date, allowing you to plan the perfect time to upgrade.
Are you eager for some Galaxy S8 action, in desperate need of the iPhone 8, or begging for the latest HTC flagship? You'll find out right here when we expect they'll show up, so you can mark it in your diary.
And for the phones already announced we've provided links to our hands on and full reviews so you can get a real flavour of the phones before parting with your hard-earned cash.
This isn’t an exhaustive list though - there are simply so many launches around the world it would get unruly - instead we’ve condensed it to the handsets we think are most important, interesting and genuinely intriguing.
January kicks off with the world's biggest tech show, CES, but smartphones are playing a smaller and smaller role here, so the year can get off to a bit of a slow start.
In 2017 though, we did get a few notable launches from HTC and BlackBerry (now run by TCL).
BlackBerry's back, again! The KeyOne offers up a full physical keyboard below a sizable display of an Android smartphone. It gives BlackBerry fans the phone they've been waiting for, but others looked on with a raised eyebrow.
HTC U Ultra & HTC U Play
A sign of things to come later in the year, the introduction of the HTC U Ultra and U Play at CES revealed the firm's new design language that it's carried on to its flagship handset, the HTC U11.
February is the busiest month of the year for phone launches with the major show MWC 2017 increasingly proving the time where manufacturers unveil their latest creations.
The standout phones from February are the LG G6, 4K-toting Sony Xperia XZ Premium and the return of Nokia.
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
There are two big features on Sony's flagship phone. First up is the 4K HDR display - it's the only phone in the world to have one - and secondly is the rear camera's ability to film in super slow motion at 960fps.
New Nokia 3310, Nokia 6, Nokia 5 & Nokia 3
The most surprising launch, and the one that possibly stole the show out in Barcelona, was the return of the iconic Nokia 3310. With an updated look, color screen, new-look Snake and even a camera, it ignited a wave of nostalgia (and helped draw attention to the trio of new Android handsets as well).
March tends to be the month of choice for at least one major Android manufacturer to distance itself from the deluge of phones at MWC and try and make a big impact on its own.
In 2017 Samsung did just that with the launch of the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus.
Samsung Galaxy S8 & Galaxy S8 Plus
The best looking smartphones to date arrived in March, with an even more futuristic design, hardly any bezel and strong snappers. The Samsung Galaxy S8 is currently our best phone in the world - which should tell you just how good it is.
April was a surprisingly quiet month in 2017, with no big launches taking place. It did give us plenty of time to review all the phones that had arrived earlier in the year though, which was nice. Onwards...
Usually by the time you get to May all the big Android phone manufacturers have launched their flagship offerings for the year - but in 2017 one firm played the waiting game.
HTC was in no rush to push its flagship phone out, with the unveiling of the HTC U11 taking place in May. The design we first saw in January on the U Play and U Ultra took pride of place here, while HTC kept things under the hood relatively standard.
Into June and with the bluster of the big names out of the way, it gives the smaller firms a bit of breathing space to get their message across. While they may not be household names, there are some surprisingly strong contenders from these emerging manufacturers.
Plucky Chinese startup OnePlus has gone from strength to strength, and the OnePLus 5 is the best phone it's made to date. There's a premium metal body, dual cameras round the back and a whole heap of power under the hood. It's also cheaper than its flagship rivals.
Another Chinese brand attempting to make waves is Honor, and its latest flagship is impressive when you look at the specs and then the price tag. It's even cheaper than the OnePlus 5 and pretty much matches the more expensive Huawei P10 feature for feature.
Generally we don't see too much activity in terms of new phone launches in July, but every now and then something pops up to keep us on our toes. If you're in the market for a new phone, you might be able to bag yourself a bargain on July 11 as that's Amazon Prime Day, with the online retailer offering a wide range of discounts.
Moto Z2 Force
The follow up to Motorola's 2016 handset that boasted an unbreakable display, the Moto Z2 Force offers the same ultra-resistant screen protection with updated power, two rear facing camera and the continued support of the modular MotoMods snap-on accessories.
August tends to be another quiet month in the phone launch calendar right up until its very end where it collides with the start of tech show IFA in Berlin, but there are potentially two major phone launches slated before we head out to Germany.
Rumored: Nokia 8
The new incumbent of Nokia phones, HMD Global, has sent out invites for an August 16 event where we fully expect to see the flagship Nokia 8 announced. This would be the first flagship handset from the new-look Nokia phone division and rumors suggest it will have the specs to compete with the big names.
Rumored: Samsung Galaxy Note 8
Samsung generally likes to launch its phablet just before the German show and this year looks to be no different with a Samsung Unpacked event scheduled for August 23. After the rather disastrous, explosive Galaxy Note 7, Samsung is expected to come out swinging with its follow-up phablet.
The first week of September is always dominated by IFA - a technology trade show in Berlin, Germany where a host of new devices, including phones, are launched. We expect to see a number of handsets arrive at the show, and we'll be reporting live from IFA 2017 to bring you all the latest.
That's not all though, as typically the second week of the month sees Apple take to the stage in California to announce its new iPhones - although this year there are rumors it may delay proceedings until later in the month, or even October.
Rumored: LG V30
One of the big phone launches tipped for IFA 2017 is the LG V30, which is the South Korean's second-string flagship range after the main G series. Set to replace the V20 which only launched in the US and a handful of other markets in 2016, the hope is the V30 will witness a worldwide release with a display that rivals the Galaxy S8.
Rumored: iPhone 8, iPhone 7S & 7S Plus
The iPhone 8 is the most anticipated phone launch of the year, with the web awash with rumors that Apple is preparing a very special 10 year anniversary handset jam-packed full of futuristic features. Thing is, there are claims Apple may wait until October to launch its new iPhones. Hmm.
Last October we saw Google launch the Pixel and Pixel XL, and it looks like it will repeat the trick a year later with the follow ups to its premium handset line. The rest of the month is likely to be relatively sedate though... unless Apple decides to shift the iPhone launch to October.
Rumored: Google Pixel 2 & Pixel XL 2
Google's original Pixel handsets had impressive power and cameras, although the slightly questionable design, average battery life and increased price over the now defunct Nexus line of phones means they didn't hit all the right notes. Expect Google to perfect its offering in 2017.
Rumored: Huawei Mate 10
Not one to miss out, Huawei has confirmed it will launch its next flagship phablet - called the Huawei Mate 10 - before the year is out. While we don't know when exactly it will happen, the latest rumor claims we're looking at an October 16 launch event in Munich.
We're not expecting to see any major phone launches at the tail end of the year, but November is worth keeping an eye on for another reason. Great phone bargains!
The mobile world really starts to slow down as we approach the Christmas period, which means there's rarely anything new to check out. However, there will be deals to be had as people shop for gifts, and post December 25 there's the Boxing Day sales in the UK and more where you might be able to nab a great smartphone deal.
For just $15, the Android O & Java Developer Mastery Course can be the learning you need to jumpstart an exciting new career in app development.
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It's far from stylish, and it largely packs mediocre specs, but Cricket's new Samsung Galaxy Halo is relatively inexpensive and Nougat-powered.
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The oh-so-promising OnePlus 5's scandals, controversies and issues aren't going away anytime soon, as the OEM chooses to act like they're not real.
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