Telstra’s first Android Go phones land September 4

In an effort to provide its pre-paid customers with more affordable smartphone options, Telstra has announced the introduction of three new budget handsets to its stable, including its first Android Go phones. 

The release of the new budget handsets coincides with the telco's new Pre-Paid Extra offer, which gives customers a 5GB Data Bank bonus on their first three recharges ($30 and above) when they top up before September 3, 2018. 

Starting with its first Android Go phone, the Alcatel 1X offers fast 4GX download speeds (in areas where 4GX is coverage is available), a 5.34-inch screen, an 8MP rear camera and 5MP front-facing camera. 

Priced at $129, the Alcatel 1X will be available at Telstra stories and online in Dark Grey Suede from September 4, 2018.

What else?

Customers after a little more grunt from their budget handset may want to consider the new Telstra Superior, which is available now in Black and boasts a 6-inch, 18:9 (2160 x 1080) display, a dual camera setup (12MP + 2MP) on its rear for bokeh-style photography and a 3,000mAh battery.

Running on Android Oreo (8.0), the Telstra Superior also features a fingerprint scanner and face unlock functionality, which is quite premium for a phone priced at $199. 

And finally, we have Australia's cheapest Android Go smartphone, the Telstra Essential Plus, which sports a 4.95-inch, 18:9 display and a "high-grade brushed polycarbonate back", and will be available exclusively through Telstra in Black for only $99.

Check back in the near future to see how Telstra's new budget smartphones stack up against other cheap handsets on the market. 

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Motorola’s new mid-range P30 phone looks nearly identical to the Huawei P20

In an attempt to make a splash on the Chinese smartphone market, Motorola has launched its new P30 mid-range handset in the country with a distinctly Huawei-esque color option. 

Available from today, the P30 (even its name makes it sound like a Huawei P20 successor) will be available in three colors: Bright Black (oxymoron), Jade Ice (it's white) and Aurora (which is exactly like the Huawei P20's gradient-sporting Twilight color in everything but name). 

You can check out the Motorola P30 in its various color options below. 

As is customary with mid-range Android smartphones in 2018, the Motorola P30 has an iPhone X-inspired notched display and minimal bezels, with its FHD+LCD display (19:9 aspect ratio) backed by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor and 6GB of RAM. 

It's also got a 16MP + 5MP dual camera setup on its rear, a 12MP selfie camera on its front, a 3,000mAh battery, and is available with either 64GB or 128GB of internal storage with the option to expand via its microSD card slot, so at least it's got that over the Huawei P20. 

While the phone is named the Motorola P30 in Asia, it looks identical to the previously-reported Motorola One Power, which is expected to hit Western markets in the very near future.

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Oppo’s bezel-free Find X flagship is surprisingly affordable in Australia

Thanks to its stunning bezel-free design, high-end specs and innovative pop-up selfie camera, Oppo's Find X has found itself in the position of being a highly anticipated device. 

Well, the wait is finally over for Aussies, with Oppo officially announcing that its Find X flagship will be available to purchase in Australia from tomorrow at a surprisingly affordable price point. 

Priced at $1,099, the Oppo Find X is an absolute bargain for premium smartphone enthusiasts, particularly when you consider that it sports the latest Snapdragon 845 processor, 8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display and one of the more futuristic designs seen in a handset to date. 

In terms of its photographic prowess, the Find X features a 16MP + 20MP dual camera setup on its rear, while its front-facing pop-up selfie camera sports a 25MP sensor as 3D facial recognition capability, which Oppo claims has a false acceptance rate of 1/1,000,000. 

One way to get yourself a Lambo

Along with the standard Find X, Oppo also announced that its Find X Automobili Lamborghini Edition will be arriving Down Under in a limited run, and has been designed to embody the famous Italian automaker's style, featuring a classic carbon fibre texture look and official Lamborghini branding. 

Perhaps inspired by the supercar it's emulating, the Automobili Lamborghini Edition Find X also sports ridiculously fast Super VOOC flash charge functionality, enabling its charge power to exceed 50W so that it can receive a full charge in just 35 minutes.

Australian pricing and availability details for the Oppo FInd X Automobili Lamborghini Edition have yet to be announced.

As for the standard Oppo Find X, you'll be able to pick it up exclusively through JB-Hi-Fi in Australia, with the device available in Bordeaux Red and Glacier Blue colour options. 

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Samsung Galaxy Note 9 features a record-breaking display

Samsung's reputation for creating the world's greatest OLED smartphone displays is undeniable at this point, but that doesn't mean the South Korean electronics giant is content to rest on its laurels. 

According to the world's foremost authority on display technologies, Samsung's done it once again, with the upcoming Galaxy Note 9 breaking several records to earn DisplayMate's highest ever A+ grade. 

Describing the Note 9's Absolute Color Accuracy as "visually indistinguishable from perfect" while also dubbing it the "most color accurate display we have ever measured," DisplayMate also note's the handset's High Brightness Mode as being 27% brighter and 32% higher in contrast than the Note 8, with a peak luminance of 1,050 nits when Automatic Brightness is switched on. 

Noteworthy accomplishments

The Galaxy Note 9 also set records in Color Accuracy and Intensity Scales, meaning that peak brightness doesn't change dramatically based on what's on-screen, while also earning top marks in Viewing Angle Performance, particularly when it comes to small shifts in brightness and color — including white.

While not considered a new record, the Galaxy Note 9 matched the Note 8 with a Screen Reflectance score of 4.4 — said to be the lowest that DisplayMate has ever measured for a smartphone.

Concluding its report, DisplayMate said that "the Galaxy Note 9 is the most innovative and high performance smartphone display that we have ever lab tested," further cementing its verdict by also stating that the Note 9's display has "raised the bar significantly higher." 

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Oppo F9 Pro video teases a unique new twist on the notch

Sporting a beautiful gradient finish and a minimalistic notch inspired by water, Oppo's newly announced F9 Pro handset has been shown off from every angle in an official teaser video for the upcoming device. 

Dubbed the 'Waterdrop Screen', the F9 Pro's display has an almost bezel-free design with a very minor droplet-shaped notch (reminiscent of the Essential Phone) for the handset's single lens selfie camera to peer out of. 

On the phone's rear, we can see that the Oppo F9 Pro will sport a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner and a rather stunning gradient finish, with the phone's color options being Sunrise Red, Twilight Blue, and Starry Purple. You can check out the teaser video below.

Though the video stops short of discussing the device's specs, it does show that the Oppo F9 Pro will have VOOC Flash Charge functionality, allowing for 2 hours of talk time from a 5-minute charging session. 

Disappointingly, it also appears that the Chinese manufacturer is sticking with a dated Micro-USB port for charging and data transfer on the F9 Pro.  

According to Gadgets Now, the Oppo F9 Pro is tipped to sport a 6.3-inch display with a 1080 x 2280 resolution, an octa-core chipset, a 4GB of RAM, a 3,500mAh battery, a Mali-G72 MP3 GPU and 64GB of storage with the option for microSD expansion. 

Currently, the Oppo F9 Pro is slated for release in India, as well as Vietnam and the Philippines (where it will be called the Oppo F9) on August 15. Though we've yet to receive word on when the device will reach other territories, we expect an announcement to be made in the near future. 

  • Not a fan of the Waterdrop Screen? Check out our hands on with the notch and bezel-free Oppo Find X
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Aussie millennials prefer convenience to security, according to new study

While many Australians are quite concerned with their online security in the digital age, a new Curve of Convenience report from F5 Networks has revealed that millennials are generally more interested in accessibility and ease of use when it comes to the use of apps. 

According to the report, only 44% of millennials prioritise security over convenience when it comes to apps that deal with sensitive information — that's compared to 53% of Gen Xers and 69% of baby boomers. 

Australia as a whole fared much better when compared to its neighbours, with 63% of the country proving to be quite mindful of their online security — the highest number in the whole Asia Pacific region. 

Throw another app on the barbie

The report also reveals that the average Australian uses 36 apps per month, which is 20% more than the global average. On top of that, 55% of Aussies are comfortable using banking and payment apps multiple times per week, making them Asia Pacific's second highest users overall.

It's also noted that Australians are 20% less likely to use a breached app again compared to other countries in the region. 

Despite having a reputation for being laid-back, Australians are fairly conservative in matters that deal with security, with 52% of Australians stating that they crave more secure experiences in the future. 

That said, only 9% chose the added security of mobile's biometric features over desktop, meaning there's still a long way to go before Aussie users trust their smartphones over a computer. 

[Image courtesy of F5 Networks]

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Android P release may be only weeks away, according to new rumor

Currently in beta, the official launch of Android P has been on the approach for a while now, but according to trusted leaker Evan Blass, we might not be waiting for much longer. 

In a Twitter post that could hardly be considered subtle, Blass tweeted an image of an August 2018 calendar where the August 20 box is marked with a green P.

Given the leaker's track-record with smartphone-related reveals, we have to assume that Blass has inside information regarding the release date of Google's highly anticipated Android P mobile OS — that, or he's about to go for his second provisional driving licence in Australia. 

Among the many features that Android P is said to boast, including built-in notch support, a battery-saving dark mode and the return of the 'Clear All' button (which was curiously absent from the upcoming mobile operating system's beta), it also promises to be the most secure version of Android yet.

We also have to assume that Google will reveal Android P's official confectionery-themed name — Android Pistachio is the current favorite, based on one Huawei employee's momentary slip-up during a live chat with a customer. 

If Blass' tweet proves accurate, we'll get to the bottom of this information (and more) on August 20, 2018. 

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Google sets down ground rules for notch support on Android P

In the lead up to the launch of its Pixel 3 smartphone line-up (which allegedly includes a notch-sporting Pixel 3 XL), Google has posted a Developers Blog entry detailing its rules for display cutouts and how they will be supported on its upcoming Android P operating system.

According to Android System UI product manager Megan Potoski, Google's rules for cutouts were drawn up in an effort to ensure that developers' apps would be cutout-ready, asking them to consider such things as how their "content is displayed relative to the cutout."

The good news for those developing for Android P is that by default, "the status bar will be resized to be at least as tall as the cutout and your content will display in the window below." Google states that "the app's window is allowed to extend into the cutout area if the cutout is fully contained within a system bar."

For developers, this means that all app windows "will be letterboxed so that none of your content is displayed in the cutout area," regardless of whether they're in landscape or fullscreen mode.

Hard rules for hardware

In terms of hardware, Google has declared that "devices must ensure that their cutouts do not negatively affect apps," stating that "devices may only have up to one cutout on each short edge of the device." 

This will ensure that we "won't see multiple cutouts on a single edge, or more than two cutouts on a device," and that we "won't see a cutout on the left or right long edge of the device."

Another rule set by Google states that "In portrait orientation, with no special flags set, the status bar must extend to at least the height of the cutout."

Aside from these stipulations, Google has stated that hardware manufacturers "can place cutouts wherever they want" on their devices.

We’re sure most people would agree that multiple notches sounds horrible, so we’re quietly glad that Google is limiting the number that Android P will officially support.

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Google sets down ground rules for notch support on Android P

In the lead up to the launch of its Pixel 3 smartphone line-up (which allegedly includes a notch-sporting Pixel 3 XL), Google has posted a Developers Blog entry detailing its rules for display cutouts and how they will be supported on its upcoming Android P operating system.

According to Android System UI product manager Megan Potoski, Google's rules for cutouts were drawn up in an effort to ensure that developers' apps would be cutout-ready, asking them to consider such things as how their "content is displayed relative to the cutout."

The good news for those developing for Android P is that by default, "the status bar will be resized to be at least as tall as the cutout and your content will display in the window below." Google states that "the app's window is allowed to extend into the cutout area if the cutout is fully contained within a system bar."

For developers, this means that all app windows "will be letterboxed so that none of your content is displayed in the cutout area," regardless of whether they're in landscape or fullscreen mode.

Hard rules for hardware

In terms of hardware, Google has declared that "devices must ensure that their cutouts do not negatively affect apps," stating that "devices may only have up to one cutout on each short edge of the device." 

This will ensure that we "won't see multiple cutouts on a single edge, or more than two cutouts on a device," and that we "won't see a cutout on the left or right long edge of the device."

Another rule set by Google states that "In portrait orientation, with no special flags set, the status bar must extend to at least the height of the cutout."

Aside from these stipulations, Google has stated that hardware manufacturers "can place cutouts wherever they want" on their devices.

We’re sure most people would agree that multiple notches sounds horrible, so we’re quietly glad that Google is limiting the number that Android P will officially support.

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Google Pixel 3 XL leak reveals ‘Clearly White’ color option in the wild

With the Pixel 3 and Pixel XL 3 expected to launch within the next few months, it's no surprise that we're starting to see an increase in leaks surrounding Google's upcoming handsets.

The latest leak comes from XDA Developers via forum user 'dr.guru', who has allegedly given us our best look yet at the Google Pixel XL 3 with some high quality hands-on images of the purported device. 

The images, which are said to be of the Pixel XL 3's 'Clearly White' color variant, seem to back up previous reports regarding Google's forthcoming phablet, including one rumor that the handset would sport a notch on its face (and a rather large one, at that), two front-facing cameras and a bottom front-facing speaker. 

Based on the device's Fastboot screen, the handset in question is packing 4GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage. According to dr.guru, the supposed Pixel XL 3 is unable to boot any further because it has been  "remotely erased by Google".

On the device's rear, you'll notice the absence of the Pixel line's signature two-tone effect, with what appears to be reflective glass covering the whole back panel – whether this is down to the handset being a prototype is unknown, though an all-glass rear would make sense given recent rumors of a new Pixel Stand dock that would finally bring wireless charging functionality to Google's smartphones. 

Whether any of this is true is impossible to confirm at the moment, but if Google is planning to follow the same launch timeline as its two previous Pixel smartphone generations, then we can expect to see an official unveiling on or around October 4, 2018.

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Fortnite for Android could be the Samsung Galaxy Note 9’s secret weapon

With the Galaxy Note 9 set to launch early next month, Samsung is likely working on ways to reel in potential customers for the highly-anticipated handset's arrival — and what better way to do so than to make the phone the exclusive Android home of one of the world's most popular games, if only for a limited time?

According to 9to5Google and XDA Developers, who both cite a trusted yet unnamed source, that's exactly what the South Korean electronics giant is planning, with reports that the battle royale phenomenon Fortnite could finally be launching on Android with an exclusive 30-day window on the Galaxy Note 9.

That's not all: the sites claim that Galaxy Note 9 buyers will receive a number of Fortnite-related bonuses with their pre-orders, including roughly $100-$150 worth of V-Bucks (in-game currency), skins and more. 

Take Note, gamers

Along with its alleged bonuses aimed at Fortnite players, it's also being reported that the Note 9's S Pen, which is rumored to boast Bluetooth functionality, will also bring some additional control options into the game, though in what capacity is still unknown.

Earlier this week, we reported that Samsung could be making the ultimate gaming phone, and this new Fortnite-based rumor seems to lend some additional credibility to that claim. 

While the Note series has traditionally been aimed at business-minded users, Samsung could very well making a play for the gaming crowd with its most high-end smartphone device. 

We'll find out more about what Samsung has planned for its Galaxy Note 9 and Fortnight in when the handset is officially revealed in roughly a fortnight (coincidence?) on August 9, 2018.

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Samsung announces ‘unbreakable’ OLED displays for phones

Most of us know all too well the frustration that comes when a momentary slip up results in a smashed screen for your expensive smartphone — not only is it massively inconvenient, it's also often costly to repair. 

Thankfully, that dreaded experience could soon be a thing of the past, with Samsung announcing the certification of new flexible OLED smartphone panels that it's claiming are "unbreakable". 

Certified by UL (Underwriters Laboratories), which is the official testing company for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor, the new panels were repeatedly put through a punishing real-time durability test based on military standards. 

The new panel was developed using an unbreakable substrate and, in place of traditional glass, has a fortified plastic window securely adhered to it. According to UL, it managed to survive 26 drop tests from a height of 1.2 meters (around 4 feet) and came away completely unscathed from the ordeal. 

Drop it like it's hot

“The fortified plastic window is especially suitable for portable electronic devices not only because of its unbreakable characteristics, but also because of its lightweight, transmissivity and hardness, which are all very similar to glass,” said Hojung Kim, general manager of the Samsung Display Company's Communication Team.

Later, the panels were dropped from heights of up to 1.8 meters (6 feet) and still continued to operate normally with no evident signs of damage.

Along with its impact tests, the new panels were subjected to extreme temperatures, ranging from a high of 71C (159.8F) to a low of -32C (-25.6F) while still continuing to function normally. 

At present, there's no word on how soon these displays will arrive to market — it might be too soon to feature in next month's Galaxy Note 9 unveiling, though the South Korean manufacturer could have something special in the works for next year's Galaxy S10 range.

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Nokia 3.1 will release in August, becoming Australia’s cheapest Android One phone

Announced for international release in May, the new and affordable Android One-sporting Nokia 3.1 handset now has official Australian pricing and release date details.

On sale from August 2, 2018, the new Nokia 3.1 will be available from JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman for only $249, officially making it the cheapest Android One handset on the Australian market to date. 

The Nokia 3.1 will also act as the fourth Android One smartphone to be released by Nokia's parent company, HMD Global, after the Nokia 6 (2018), the Nokia 7 Plus and the Nokia 8 Sirocco

Despite its budget price point, the Nokia 3.1 boasts a 5.2-inch HD+ display with an 18:9 aspect ratio, an octa-core chipset that offers a 50% performance boost over last year's model, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of onboard storage, a 13MP auto-focus rear camera and a wide-angle front camera. 

The phone will be available in three colour options (which you can see below): Black/Chrome and White/Iron will be sold at both of the aforementioned retailers, while the third colour, Blue/Copper, will be exclusive to Harvey Norman. 

The Nokia 3.1

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LG’s V40 ThinQ could sport a triple-lens camera and almost no bezels

With LG's impressive G7 ThinQ handset having only come to market last month, it appears that the South Korean electronics giant has already set its sights on its next big smartphone, with a report from earlier today suggesting that the next model in the high-end V-series could be arriving as early as October 5. 

Along with the device's expected announcement date, we now have further information regarding the LG V40 ThinQ's photographic capabilities, along with a juicy tidbit about its proposed all-screen design.

Backing up previous reports, the V40 ThinQ's expected camera specifications were mentioned in a report from the Korean site ETNews , with a triple-lens (20MP primary, 16MP wide-angle and 13MP telephoto) camera tipped for the handset's rear. Meanwhile, the phone's front is said to sport a dual camera setup capable of 3D face recognition. 

Let's ThinQ about the display

On top of that, the LG V40 ThinQ is reportedly aiming to improve its screen-to-body ratio, with its display anticipated to cover 90% of the device's face. For the sake of comparison, the LG G7 ThinQ screen takes up around 83% of the smartphone's front side, while the iPhone X's screen covers approximately 82% and the Galaxy S9's hits about 84%.

Though the LG V30 sported a beautiful OLED display, the LG G7 ThinQ was released later and did not – while it's too early to know which way the LG V40 ThinQ will swing in this regard, we have to assume that it will bring back the OLED in an effort to justify its position as LG's most premium smartphone series. 

Of course, none of those details are officially confirmed yet, and we're going by a rough translation of the report, so we'll have to wait and see whether any further evidence of the phone's existence arrives in the coming weeks. 

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New leak reportedly shows a powered on Samsung Galaxy Note 9 for the first time

With the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 only weeks away from its official August 9 reveal, the leaks purportedly showing off the device have started to increase dramatically. 

Following the official-looking yellow S Pen leak from earlier, some new images were been shared by a Chinese Twitter user which reportedly show a switched on Galaxy Note 9 handset for the very first time — its boot up screen allegedly indicating which device we're looking at. 

Update: However, the post has since been removed, with the user claiming they were asked to take down the pictures by Samsung - which further suggests the snaps are accurate.

Looks familiar

The pre-release handset (which is somehow already sporting some gnarly scratches and cracks) looks almost identical to last year's Galaxy Note 8 from the front (save for what appears to be slightly slimmer bezels), backing up previous reports on the design of the phone's face. 

On its rear, the images show how the Note 9 has allegedly revised its camera and fingerprint scanner placement since the Note 8, with the scanner now sitting below the lenses rather than right next to them.  

The images may not show the supposed Galaxy Note 9 in the most flattering light, but at least we can expect to see some great, high quality images as soon as it's officially unveiled. 

Via BGR

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