Samsung Galaxy S22 unveil now officially set for February 9

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Samsung has officially set its Galaxy Unpacked date for February 9, finally dropping into place the last piece of what everyone believes is the Samsung Galaxy S22 launch puzzle.

The virtual event kicks off at 10 AM ET, 7 AM PT at Samsung.com.

Galaxy Unpacked's date wasn't much of a secret, having leaked some hours ago by legendary fact-digger-upper Evan Blass.

As for what to expect, there will be a flagship phone. When Samsung announced the launch month last week (yep, they have announcements for their announcements), TM Roh, President and Head of Samsung MX, promised in a blog post that “…we’ll introduce you to the most noteworthy S series device we’ve ever created. The next generation of Galaxy S is here, bringing together the greatest experiences of our Samsung Galaxy into one ultimate device.”

Most believe the use of the word “noteworthy” isn't accidental and anticipate either a new Galaxy S Note device alongside the S22 or a blending of the Note's S-Pen with the next flagship phone.

Leaks indicate that the event might also feature the new Samsung Galaxy Tab 8 (there are even photos).

Samsung adds almost no fresh information in the latest, brief blog post announcing the official Galaxy Unpacked date.

The language, though, promises a lot:

“True innovations don’t just evolve with the world – they help shape it. To create the devices that push us ahead, rewrite the future and bring light to the dark, we must continue to break the rules of what is possible with a smartphone.”

The post does repeat the phrase, “the most noteworthy S series ever created.”

TechRadar will follow the action live, giving you all the details on what should be the new Samsung Galaxy S22 and the rest of the galaxy of devices we expect Samsung to launch on February 9.

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Report: Nvidia may soon drop Arm bid

By the time you read this Nvidia's nearly two-year-long quest to consume mobile chip giant Arm may be over.

Bloomberg is reporting that Nvidia may be winding down efforts to close the $40 billion deal for the British semiconductor company after facing opposition in the U.S., in Europe from the European Union, and from China. Essentially, no one outside of Nvidia, Arm, and Softbank, Arm's current owner, liked the deal.

Softbank, according to the report, might soon prep Arm Holdings for an IPO. TechRadar has reached out to Nvidia for comment and will update this post with its reply.

While Nvidia is primarily known as a graphics company, and Arm produces the underpinning for most of the leading mobile CPUs, the acquisition was tied primarily to Nvidia's Artificial Intelligence aspirations.

“AI is the most powerful technology force of our time and has launched a new wave of computing,” said Nvidia CEO and Founder Jensen Huang in a release when the company's announced the deal in 2020.  He added, “In the years ahead, trillions of computers running AI will create a new internet-of-things that is thousands of times larger than today’s internet-of-people. Our combination will create a company fabulously positioned for the age of AI."

Now Nvidia might have to realize that AI dream on its own.

Nvidia might've considered fighting on, but it potentially faces even more pushback if the US Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission successfully alter the ground rules for mergers and acquisitions.

Nvidia abandoning its pursuit of Arm was really the only way this could have ended

Those who've been following the Nvidia / Arm news for some time aren't surprised by the latest developments.

"I wouldn't be surprised if Nvidia pulled the plug given all the regulatory hurdles it needs to overcome," CEO & Chief Analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy Patrick Moorhead told TechRadar.

The deal's potential collapse also changes the mobile chip playing field where Arm is confronting fresh competition from companies it could once rely on as customers. Samsung, Microsoft, and Apple have all been developing their own silicon.

"I believe as a standalone company, Apple will have less competition from Arm as I don't think it will be able to invest as much being a public company," said Moorhead.

While Softbank might be preparing an IPO, there is the potential of another suitor, one that might realize similar synergies. However, Moorehead doesn't see things playing out that way. Samsung, for instance, would receive similar pushback from regulatory bodies, Moorhead told us.

Ultimately, the deal's potential demise might be a lost opportunity for fresh competition in the desktop space, where right now Intel's x86 platform still rules the roost. Moorehead told us that he sees Arm surviving but, "I think [Arm] could have done more integrated with Nvidia, especially in the desktop and server market. Where's the competition in those markets? NVIDIA would have brought that competition."

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Report: Nvidia may soon drop Arm bid

By the time you read this Nvidia's nearly two-year-long quest to consume mobile chip giant Arm may be over.

Bloomberg is reporting that Nvidia may be winding down efforts to close the $40 billion deal for the British semiconductor company after facing opposition in the U.S., in Europe from the European Union, and from China. Essentially, no one outside of Nvidia, Arm, and Softbank, Arm's current owner, liked the deal.

Softbank, according to the report, might soon prep Arm Holdings for an IPO. TechRadar has reached out to Nvidia for comment and will update this post with its reply.

While Nvidia is primarily known as a graphics company, and Arm produces the underpinning for most of the leading mobile CPUs, the acquisition was tied primarily to Nvidia's Artificial Intelligence aspirations.

“AI is the most powerful technology force of our time and has launched a new wave of computing,” said Nvidia CEO and Founder Jensen Huang in a release when the company's announced the deal in 2020.  He added, “In the years ahead, trillions of computers running AI will create a new internet-of-things that is thousands of times larger than today’s internet-of-people. Our combination will create a company fabulously positioned for the age of AI."

Now Nvidia might have to realize that AI dream on its own.

Nvidia might've considered fighting on, but it potentially faces even more pushback if the US Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission successfully alter the ground rules for mergers and acquisitions.

Nvidia abandoning its pursuit of Arm was really the only way this could have ended

Those who've been following the Nvidia / Arm news for some time aren't surprised by the latest developments.

"I wouldn't be surprised if Nvidia pulled the plug given all the regulatory hurdles it needs to overcome," CEO & Chief Analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy Patrick Moorhead told TechRadar.

The deal's potential collapse also changes the mobile chip playing field where Arm is confronting fresh competition from companies it could once rely on as customers. Samsung, Microsoft, and Apple have all been developing their own silicon.

"I believe as a standalone company, Apple will have less competition from Arm as I don't think it will be able to invest as much being a public company," said Moorhead.

While Softbank might be preparing an IPO, there is the potential of another suitor, one that might realize similar synergies. However, Moorehead doesn't see things playing out that way. Samsung, for instance, would receive similar pushback from regulatory bodies, Moorhead told us.

Ultimately, the deal's potential demise might be a lost opportunity for fresh competition in the desktop space, where right now Intel's x86 platform still rules the roost. Moorehead told us that he sees Arm surviving but, "I think [Arm] could have done more integrated with Nvidia, especially in the desktop and server market. Where's the competition in those markets? NVIDIA would have brought that competition."

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MWC 2022 cancellations: which brands will be at this year’s show?

Mobile World Congress is the largest mobile technology show in the world, and its next iteration is set to take place in Barcelona at the end of February. That's despite the Covid-19 pandemic and the concerns around the Omicron variant.

MWC 2022 is set to run from February 28 until March 3, and we expect to see a variety of new smartphones unveiled at the show. With the Omicron threat and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, some brands are now pulling out of the physical show itself.

In early January, CES 2022 went ahead despite over 75 companies cancelling their presence at the show in Las Vegas. Big names like Amazon, Lenovo, Microsoft, AMD, Nvidia and OnePlus were among them.

MWC 2020 was cancelled a few weeks ahead of the event in February 2020 when it was clear the event couldn't go ahead due to the pandemic. MWC 2021 went ahead, but it was a far smaller show and it took place in June of that year to ensure it could be run safely.

TechRadar has asked a variety of the major brands that we'd normally expect to exhibit at Mobile World Congress whether they will be attending MWC 2022. We'll be keeping this page up to date with all the latest over the coming weeks.

Will MWC 2022 still go ahead?

The GSMA, the company that organizes Mobile World Congress, has confirmed to TechRadar on January 25, 2022, that it intends for the event to go ahead.

A spokesperson for the event said, "Our focus at the GSMA remains producing an unmissable event for all of those attending. We have proven our ability to deliver a safe environment with an industry-leading health and safety plan, Committed Community, and three successful events in 2021.”

Confirmed MWC 2022 cancellations

Lenovo has confirmed it won't be exhibiting at the physical show in February. The brand said, "Due to the ongoing trends surrounding COVID, Lenovo’s activation at MWC 2022 will be fully virtual."

A spokesperson for the GSMA told TechRadar, "The GSMA is disappointed, but respects that in an environment with varied opinions and predictions, plans may be modified. We wish them all the best and look forward to welcoming them back next year."

Sony Mobile was the first to confirm it wouldn't be attending MWC 2022. Its statement said, "Sony Corporation has taken the decision that it will not be holding its own booth at MWC 2022. 

"As the world has greatly shifted towards digital and online opportunities, Sony Corporation will communicate in ways that can deliver our exciting product news to a wider audience."

A spokesperson for the GSMA told TechRadar, The GSMA was surprised to see Sony’s comments about MWC22 Barcelona given the company did not have any reserved space at the event to begin with. Sony has not been an exhibitor at MWC since 2019 due to strategic business decisions made by the company."

Confirmed brands for MWC 2022

Xiaomi has confirmed to TechRadar that it will be attending the show in February. A spokesperson said, "We can confirm that we do have a planned physical presence at MWC Barcelona 2022.”

Huawei will also be in attendance at MWC 2022. It has announced its participation in the event through a dedicated web page for the event. Plus, the companyis set to host its own Huawei Day0 conference ahead of the event on February 27.

Other brands that have yet to comment

TechRadar has asked a variety of the major brands that usually appear at Mobile World Congress to confirm plans ahead of the show, and we'll keep this article updated with information as we have it.

Those include Samsung, Oppo, OnePlus, Qualcomm, Asus, HMD Global, Honor, Huawei, Realme, Vivo and other phone makers from around the world.

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Pixel Notepad foldable phone could cost much less than the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

We’ve heard whispers of a Google Pixel Fold for a while now, but finally we’re starting to get some real information about the phone, with the latest being the possible price.

This comes from 9to5Google, which also recently revealed that the phone might be called the Pixel Notepad. According to two independent sources “familiar with Google’s ongoing planning”, the Pixel Notepad will apparently cost around $1,400 (roughly £1,040 / AU$1,960).

As ever, conversions won’t be accurate, but that US price would make it substantially cheaper than the $1,799 / £1,599 / AU$2,499 starting price of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3. Though it would still be significantly more expensive than the Google Pixel 6 Pro or the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3.

The site also claims that the Pixel Fold will be available internationally by the end of 2022. However, there will apparently be a gap between the US and international launches. We’d assume that the US launch would come first in that case, so you might not have to wait until the end of the year to get Google’s foldable there, or to see it announced.

Finally, the site reiterates previous claims about the specs, including that the Pixel Notepad will have the same 12.2MP camera as the Pixel 5 (rather than the 50MP one from the Pixel 6), as the latter snapper is a thicker component, so less well suited to a foldable.

This will apparently be joined by a 12MP ultra-wide camera, along with two 8MP selfie cameras (likely one for each screen). The phone is said to be powered by a Google Tensor chipset (like the Pixel 6 range), and to sport a design closer to the Oppo Find N than the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 – meaning it’s short and wide rather than tall and narrow.

We’d take all of this with an appropriate amount of salt though, especially as it sounds like the Pixel foldable might not land for many months yet – so there’s lots of time for details to change.


Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 review

The Z Fold 4 could be a tougher competitor than the Z Fold 3 (Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)

Analysis: The Pixel Notepad will be competing with the Galaxy Z Fold 4, not the Fold 3

While a lower price than the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 is promising, that probably won’t be the Google Pixel Notepad’s main competition. Rather, it will probably be competing with the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4.

This device hasn’t been announced yet either, but is likely to land around August or September, and is rumored to have either one or two under-display cameras, a durable design, and a camera setup similar to the Samsung Galaxy S22.

We haven’t heard much else yet, but this is sure to be a flagship phone, and it too might cost less than the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 did at launch, so it could prove a tough rival.

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Google Pixel 6a display, charging and pricing details have all leaked

The Google Pixel 6a is now expected to be landing in May 2022 (that's according to a leak a few days ago) and another report shares with us some of the specs we can expect on the upcoming smartphone.

According to leaker @Shadow_Leak on Twitter, the Google Pixel 6a's specs will include a 6.2-inch 60Hz display, a Google Tensor chipset and 30W fast charging.

Take all of this information with a pinch of salt as we've yet to see this source predict any smartphone related leaks, but @Shadow_Leak did previous provide accurate information on the Microsft Surface Pro 8 ahead of its reveal.

The leak says we'll see a 4,800mAh battery in the smartphone, 128GB of storage, the choice of either 6GB or 8GB of RAM, and Android 12 software.

It also says we'll see two rear cameras with a 12.2MP IMX363 main camera and a 12MP IMX386 ultra-wide angle, while the front will see an 8MP IMX355 selfie camera. We've heard very similar to that before in a leak from other sources.

The below tweet shows you the full details from the source, but note that the poster used a follow-up tweet to correct themselves that it's a 6.2-inch 60Hz display rather than 120Hz.

See more

Analysis: The internal changes matter here

The Google Pixel 5a had limited availability (it was just in the US and Japan), so there's likely a lot of appetite around the globe for a cheaper Pixel handset. That's especially true when the Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are among the most expensive phones right now.

If you own a Pixel 5a, these changes will sound slim, with a similar spec list to what we saw on 2021's device. The biggest changes are likely to be internal, and that's because Google is reportedly using its new Tensor chip.

If this leak - and others - prove to be accurate, the Pixel 6a will be running the same chipset as the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. That was the company's big change for the Pixel 6 series, so it makes sense it wants to bring it to its whole range.

That said, we've often seen far less powerful processors included in the cheaper Pixel series. This will mark the first time we've seen the same chipset in the flagship and the cheaper alternative.

Via NotebookCheck

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Top leaker says Samsung Galaxy S22 launch date is February 9

Though a Galaxy Unpacked has been confirmed for February 2022, we still don't know for sure when this Galaxy S22 and Galaxy Tab S8 launch event will happen. Thanks to a popular leaker, we've now got a very good guess.

Reliable leaker Evan Blass has shared a seemingly official invitation poster for Galaxy Unpacked 2022 which, if accurate, gives away the game for the upcoming tech launch. Evan Blass' Twitter account is private, so we can't embed the tweet, but if you follow the account you can find them here.

If not, we'll describe the image to you. It's a gray-background picture with the Samsung logo at the top, and in the center is a see-through cube with a purple 'S' at the core. 

Below that is the slogan 'The Epic Standard', the words 'Galaxy Unpacked' and the date of February 9. The poster also says the event will start at 3pm, an odd detail since previous years' Samsung Unpacked posters haven't included a time, likely because fans are based in various time zones around the world.

We don't know what time zone that 3pm refers to, but if it matches with previous events that may be when the event starts in the UK. That'd be 10am ET and 7am PT.

We've heard leaks suggesting both February 8 and February 9 as the date for Galaxy Unpacked 2022, but thanks to this recent information, the later date seems almost certain.


Analysis: what does it mean?

Unlike in 2021, when the Unpacked poster teased the 'Contour Cut' camera bump design of the upcoming Galaxy S21, there aren't any obvious details hidden in this teaser.

Still, we've sometimes seen Samsung accompany its Unpacked invitation posters with video or GIFs which provide more information, so perhaps when these are officially sent out we'll get more details.

The slogan 'The Epic Standard' is probably more important, but there are so many possible interpretations of the phrase that any would be total speculation.

The Galaxy S21 Unpacked phrase was 'Welcome to the Everyday Epic' - and over a year on since that launch event, we're still not clear how that pertained to the phone.

So it wouldn't feel right reading too far into the image or words, as they could mean anything - and probably do, knowing Samsung's laissez-faire approach to marketing terms and branded phrases. Let's just wait until Unpacked to see what shows up.

Via GSMArena

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Twelve new Xiaomi phones could be coming soon

Xiaomi tends to release a lot of handsets, and this year looks set to be no exception, as a leaker has found evidence of no fewer than twelve possibly on the way.

Digital Chat Station (a leaker with a solid track record) has found reference to twelve upcoming handsets in Xiaomi code. All of these phones are referred to by codenames, but between what Digital Chat Station says and previous leaks, we have a good idea of what they are.

Going by a machine-translated version of the post, the codenames ‘munch’, ‘rubens’, ‘matisse’, and ‘fog’ likely refer to the Redmi K50 range, including the K50, K50 Pro, K50 Pro Plus, and K50 Gaming Edition.

These phones will reportedly land in mid-to-late February, and will use some combination of the Snapdragon 870, Dimensity 8000, and Dimensity 9000 chipsets, all of which are reasonably high-end.

A leaked list of codenames for upcoming Xiaomi phones

(Image credit: Digital Chat Station / Weibo)

Next up, the phones codenamed ‘thor’ and ‘loki’ are said to be camera-focused flagships equipped with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 – which is currently the top Snapdragon chipset. These aren’t named but could perhaps be members of the Xiaomi 12 range. We are still waiting for the Xiaomi 12 Ultra, which leaks suggest will have an enormous camera bump.

Then there’s ‘light’ and ‘thunder’, which are thought to be foldable phones, presumably the Xiaomi Mi Mix Flip and the Xiaomi Mix Fold 2.

Last but not least there’s ‘zizhan’, ‘zijin’, ‘taoyao’ and ‘opal’, which will apparently use Snapdragon 7 series chipsets. That lines up with the Xiaomi 12 Lite, and indeed some of these codenames have previously been linked with that phone.

But it’s also possible that one or more of them belong to the Redmi Note 12 series, as that’s also rumored to use Snapdragon 7 series chipsets.


Xiaomi 12

We're still waiting for the Xiaomi 12 outside China (Image credit: Xiaomi )

Analysis: lots of phones, lots of time

While some of these handsets could land as soon as February, Digital Chat Station doesn’t provide release estimates for most of them, and indeed we could be waiting a while for some.

The Xiaomi 12 Lite and Xiaomi 12 Ultra will probably launch fairly soon – assuming they’re really coming at all – but some other phones on this list, such as the foldables, might be further out.

Then there’s the fact that even when they’re unveiled in China, some of these handsets might not get a global launch until later, if at all. The Xiaomi 12 for example is already available in China, but not yet anywhere else.

So, while there’s a good chance this list and the source’s interpretation of it are accurate, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to buy all of these phones in the near future.

Via Phone Arena

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What is 5G Ultra Wideband? How your phone’s internet may soon change

5G doesn’t just have an availability problem (with much of the world still lacking coverage) it also has a branding problem – at least in the US, where there are several different flavors of 5G, and more than a few different names to go along with them.

One of those names is 5G Ultra Wideband, which started popping up for lots of Verizon users in January 2022, so if you’ve seen this on your phone, you might understandably be wondering what it is.

We’ll cover that below, along with explaining all the other names for 5G that are currently doing the rounds. Before we get to that though, it’s important to know what different 5G technologies are available.

Low frequency, C-band and mmWave

5G connections rely on radio waves known as spectrum, and this can operate at different frequencies. Broadly speaking, the frequencies used by 5G are split into three ranges.

First up there’s low frequency spectrum, which is generally considered to be anything under about 4GHz. This low frequency spectrum can travel a long way, and it’s also good at penetrating buildings and other obstacles, making it a convenient way to build up widespread 5G coverage.

But it doesn’t support especially high speeds, often coming in only a little faster than 4G LTE. You can expect download speeds that average over 100Mbps, but it less often passes 200Mbps.

To get a speed boost you need to move to higher frequency spectrum, such as C-band. This is basically the mid-band or mid-frequency, and officially covers frequencies in the range of 4-8GHz, though US carriers are currently considering spectrum in the 3.7-3.98GHz range to be C-band.

In any case, this supports much higher speeds, and while it’s not quite as long-range or robust at passing through obstacles as lower frequencies, it still does a reasonable job of both. TechRadar recorded a speed of 474.51Mbps using C-band 5G, which is far higher speed than is arguably even useful much of the time.

See more

Finally, there’s mmWave (or millimeter wave), and this refers to spectrum of 24GHz and above. It’s not as widely used worldwide as the lower frequencies, and while it is used in the US, mmWave coverage is currently very limited.

That’s because providing mmWave coverage is tricky – all those benefits of low frequency spectrum are weaknesses of mmWave, as it’s short range and struggles with obstacles. That said, when you do get an mmWave signal it’s blazing fast, often offering speeds of well over 1Gbps.

What about sub-6GHz?

Sub-6GHz is often mentioned in the same breath as mmWave, and that’s because it’s a name that covers all the widely used 5G bands that don’t fall under mmWave – specifically bands of 6GHz or less.

So both C-band (or at least the C-band frequencies in current use) and low frequency 5G are considered sub-6GHz.

That said, depending on who you ask you might find spectrum of 1GHz and below isn’t considered part of the sub-6GHz range, despite being below 6GHz. In those cases you’ll likely see these very low frequencies referred to as low-band or similar.

So what’s Ultra Wideband?

Ultra Wideband isn’t an official name for any 5G technology, rather it’s a marketing name used by Verizon.

The carrier refers to both its mmWave and C-band networks as 5G Ultra Wideband, so if you’re connected to any of those, then you might see those words on your phone’s status bar (or potentially 5G UW or 5G UWB, depending on your handset).

The carrier refers to slower, low frequency 5G as Nationwide 5G – though on your handset it might simply say ‘5G’.

But the names don’t end there, as the other US carriers have their own terminology. AT&T uses the term 5GE or 5G Evolution to describe an upgraded 4G network, which is to say not actually 5G at all. Then it uses just 5G for low frequency 5G, and 5G Plus for C-band and mmWave. So 5G Plus is the equivalent of 5G Ultra Wideband.

T-Mobile meanwhile uses Extended Range 5G to describe low frequency 5G, and Ultra Capacity 5G (also known as 5G UC) for C-band and mmWave. Though it isn’t actually planning to roll C-band spectrum out until 2023, so at the time of writing you’ll only see 5G UC on your status bar if you’re lucky enough to be in an mmWave area.

An Apple AirTag in a brown leather key fob holder, attached to some keys on a wooden surface

AirTags use Ultra Wideband, but not 5G Ultra Wideband (Image credit: TechRadar)

What does all this have to do with Apple’s Ultra Wideband?

While there are now entirely too many names for 5G, the 5G Ultra Wideband one could be extra confusing, because Apple and some other companies such as Google also use Ultra Wideband technology – and this has nothing to do with 5G.

Also known as UWB, this is a technology that is used by AirTags among other devices, and enables precise location tracking.

What about other countries?

US carriers only recently (as of January 2022) started using C-band 5G, and as a result the number of commonly used 5G terms recently skyrocketed, but in many countries C-band has been used for a while, and the terminology is less confusing.

In the UK for example 5G marketing terms are kept to a minimum – in most cases it’s all just ‘5G’, yet both low frequency and C-band spectrum is in use (no mmWave though at the time of writing).

Australia meanwhile uses low frequency, C-band and mmWave spectrum for 5G, but its mmWave coverage is negligible at the time of writing.

Which handsets work with the faster forms of 5G?

Not all 5G phones support every form of 5G, so even if you’re on a network with mmWave and in an area that has mmWave coverage for example, you’ll still need a compatible handset.

For the most part, most phones sold in a country will support the various 5G frequencies used there, but they won’t always support those used abroad. In the case of the UK, that also means some handsets don’t support mmWave – which isn’t much of a problem as no mmWave 5G is offered there, but one day it might be.

And even within a country not every 5G phone will necessarily support every 5G frequency, especially in the case of C-band in the US, which because it’s only newly been offered isn’t supported by every handset.

In some cases unsupported handsets could get support down the line via a software update, but others will never be capable of accessing this spectrum.

At the time of writing, it’s only the iPhone 13 range, the iPhone 12 range, the Samsung Galaxy S21 range, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3, and the Samsung Galaxy A13 that support C-band 5G in the US on all relevant carriers. The Google Pixel 6 range additionally supports it on AT&T, but not yet on Verizon.

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What is 5G Ultra Wideband? How your phone’s internet may soon change

5G doesn’t just have an availability problem (with much of the world still lacking coverage) it also has a branding problem – at least in the US, where there are several different flavors of 5G, and more than a few different names to go along with them.

One of those names is 5G Ultra Wideband, which started popping up for lots of Verizon users in January 2022, so if you’ve seen this on your phone, you might understandably be wondering what it is.

We’ll cover that below, along with explaining all the other names for 5G that are currently doing the rounds. Before we get to that though, it’s important to know what different 5G technologies are available.

Low frequency, C-band and mmWave

5G connections rely on radio waves known as spectrum, and this can operate at different frequencies. Broadly speaking, the frequencies used by 5G are split into three ranges.

First up there’s low frequency spectrum, which is generally considered to be anything under about 4GHz. This low frequency spectrum can travel a long way, and it’s also good at penetrating buildings and other obstacles, making it a convenient way to build up widespread 5G coverage.

But it doesn’t support especially high speeds, often coming in only a little faster than 4G LTE. You can expect download speeds that average over 100Mbps, but it less often passes 200Mbps.

To get a speed boost you need to move to higher frequency spectrum, such as C-band. This is basically the mid-band or mid-frequency, and officially covers frequencies in the range of 4-8GHz, though US carriers are currently considering spectrum in the 3.7-3.98GHz range to be C-band.

In any case, this supports much higher speeds, and while it’s not quite as long-range or robust at passing through obstacles as lower frequencies, it still does a reasonable job of both. TechRadar recorded a speed of 474.51Mbps using C-band 5G, which is far higher speed than is arguably even useful much of the time.

See more

Finally, there’s mmWave (or millimeter wave), and this refers to spectrum of 24GHz and above. It’s not as widely used worldwide as the lower frequencies, and while it is used in the US, mmWave coverage is currently very limited.

That’s because providing mmWave coverage is tricky – all those benefits of low frequency spectrum are weaknesses of mmWave, as it’s short range and struggles with obstacles. That said, when you do get an mmWave signal it’s blazing fast, often offering speeds of well over 1Gbps.

What about sub-6GHz?

Sub-6GHz is often mentioned in the same breath as mmWave, and that’s because it’s a name that covers all the widely used 5G bands that don’t fall under mmWave – specifically bands of 6GHz or less.

So both C-band (or at least the C-band frequencies in current use) and low frequency 5G are considered sub-6GHz.

That said, depending on who you ask you might find spectrum of 1GHz and below isn’t considered part of the sub-6GHz range, despite being below 6GHz. In those cases you’ll likely see these very low frequencies referred to as low-band or similar.

So what’s Ultra Wideband?

Ultra Wideband isn’t an official name for any 5G technology, rather it’s a marketing name used by Verizon.

The carrier refers to both its mmWave and C-band networks as 5G Ultra Wideband, so if you’re connected to any of those, then you might see those words on your phone’s status bar (or potentially 5G UW or 5G UWB, depending on your handset).

The carrier refers to slower, low frequency 5G as Nationwide 5G – though on your handset it might simply say ‘5G’.

But the names don’t end there, as the other US carriers have their own terminology. AT&T uses the term 5GE or 5G Evolution to describe an upgraded 4G network, which is to say not actually 5G at all. Then it uses just 5G for low frequency 5G, and 5G Plus for C-band and mmWave. So 5G Plus is the equivalent of 5G Ultra Wideband.

T-Mobile meanwhile uses Extended Range 5G to describe low frequency 5G, and Ultra Capacity 5G (also known as 5G UC) for C-band and mmWave. Though it isn’t actually planning to roll C-band spectrum out until 2023, so at the time of writing you’ll only see 5G UC on your status bar if you’re lucky enough to be in an mmWave area.

An Apple AirTag in a brown leather key fob holder, attached to some keys on a wooden surface

AirTags use Ultra Wideband, but not 5G Ultra Wideband (Image credit: TechRadar)

What does all this have to do with Apple’s Ultra Wideband?

While there are now entirely too many names for 5G, the 5G Ultra Wideband one could be extra confusing, because Apple and some other companies such as Google also use Ultra Wideband technology – and this has nothing to do with 5G.

Also known as UWB, this is a technology that is used by AirTags among other devices, and enables precise location tracking.

What about other countries?

US carriers only recently (as of January 2022) started using C-band 5G, and as a result the number of commonly used 5G terms recently skyrocketed, but in many countries C-band has been used for a while, and the terminology is less confusing.

In the UK for example 5G marketing terms are kept to a minimum – in most cases it’s all just ‘5G’, yet both low frequency and C-band spectrum is in use (no mmWave though at the time of writing).

Australia meanwhile uses low frequency, C-band and mmWave spectrum for 5G, but its mmWave coverage is negligible at the time of writing.

Which handsets work with the faster forms of 5G?

Not all 5G phones support every form of 5G, so even if you’re on a network with mmWave and in an area that has mmWave coverage for example, you’ll still need a compatible handset.

For the most part, most phones sold in a country will support the various 5G frequencies used there, but they won’t always support those used abroad. In the case of the UK, that also means some handsets don’t support mmWave – which isn’t much of a problem as no mmWave 5G is offered there, but one day it might be.

And even within a country not every 5G phone will necessarily support every 5G frequency, especially in the case of C-band in the US, which because it’s only newly been offered isn’t supported by every handset.

In some cases unsupported handsets could get support down the line via a software update, but others will never be capable of accessing this spectrum.

At the time of writing, it’s only the iPhone 13 range, the iPhone 12 range, the Samsung Galaxy S21 range, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3, and the Samsung Galaxy A13 that support C-band 5G in the US on all relevant carriers. The Google Pixel 6 range additionally supports it on AT&T, but not yet on Verizon.

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Moto Edge 30 Pro leak shows a familiar face, but a better Motorola phone is coming

The last Motorola phone to launch in 2021 was the Moto Edge X30 which debuted in China in December but, at least at the time of writing, it hasn't made its way outside the country.

Rumors suggest it could eventually show up as part of the Motorola Edge 30 range, which we're expecting to show up in mid-2022, but we're not yet sure which member will be a rebranded X30. Lots of rumors suggested the X30 would be the Edge 30 Ultra, but a new leak thinks it's actually the Edge 30 Pro.

This comes from tech website MySmartPrice, which has shared leaked renders and specs for the Edge 30 Pro... these are almost identical to the Edge X30, with the site suggesting the 30 Pro is just a rebranded X30 for global markets.

That means it has the same 6.7-inch FHD+ 144Hz screen, 5,000mAh battery, 68W charging, Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, 60MP selfie camera, 50MP+50MP+2MP rear camera combination, and Android 12 software. At the top of this article, you can see promotional material for the phone, shared at the X30 launch.

We don't yet know when the Motorola Edge 30 line will debut, but we hope we won't be waiting too long, or the novelty of the X30 could wear off.


Analysis: an even more exciting Ultra

The word 'Ultra' in a phone name makes it sound exciting, and that's usually for good reason, like in the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra or Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, which have top specs and flashy extras.

We've heard loads of rumors of a Motorola Edge 30 Ultra, and we thought this was the rebranded X30 - that phone has great specs, but not the 'ultra' luster that the Samsung and Xiaomi have. 

If the X30 is actually the Edge 30 Pro, that's great news, because it suggests an even more impressive phone is coming as part of the family. Perhaps it'll have novelty camera tricks, even faster charging, a top-spec screen, and stylus compatibility (something which has, in fact, been leaked).

We don't know much about this mystery top-end phone, so we could be in for some big surprises when it launches - and with how busy the tech leak scene is, surprises are rare and exciting.

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Some iPhone 13s are suffering from pink screens, but there might be a simple fix

The iPhone 13 and its siblings are excellent phones – when they work, but a growing number of users seem to be encountering a concerning problem with the range, namely that the screen will sometimes turn pink.

As 9to5Mac notes, this issue was first reported back in October, with an iPhone 13 Pro user posting on an Apple Discussions forum thread that their two-day-old phone was unusable as its screen would keep turning pink for a few seconds before reloading.

Apple replaced that device, but since then numerous similar reports have rolled in across the web, and not every user has been fortunate enough to get a free replacement phone.

The specifics do vary though. In some cases the whole screen goes pink, while in others the status bar icons remain white. In some cases the issue happens repeatedly or continuously, in others it’s happened once of twice and then the user’s phone has so far seemed fine.

An iPhone 13 Pro with a pink screen

(Image credit: Apple Discussions / DPigar)

However, the issue seems to be limited to the iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max, and iPhone 13 mini, with older Apple phones unaffected.

It’s not clear how widespread this problem actually is, but MyDrivers presents a possible solution, apparently sourced from Apple’s customer service.

According to Apple customer service, this is a software problem rather than a hardware problem, which would explain why in some cases the status bar icons don’t change color (since it’s not the display panel itself failing). If it is a software issue, then that means Apple can potentially also push out a bug fix for it.

For now though, the company advises backing up your data and upgrading to the latest version of iOS.

From the machine translated comment on MyDrivers it’s not totally clear from that whether Apple means the latest released version (iOS 15.2), or the beta version (iOS 15.3). But we’d recommend starting with iOS 15.2 if you don’t already have that, and only then considering iOS 15.3 if the problem continues, since being beta software it might in itself be unstable.

For what it’s worth there’s currently no official mention of this bug fix in either software version, but then so far there aren’t any release notes for iOS 15.3, despite the software presumably including some new features or bug fixes.

Apple support also recommends making sure all the apps on your phone are up to date, in case there’s some incompatibility between an app version and your iOS version.


Opinion: Apple needs to provide more clarity, and a proper fix

While the advice above may well work for some people, it’s not clear whether this bug has actually been fixed in the latest iOS release or if Apple’s just hoping that will resolve the problem.

So it would be good if Apple could provide more clarity on that – and some actual release notes for iOS 15.3 would be nice on that front.

Hopefully now that this issue is getting media attention Apple will be more forthcoming, and take it more seriously, but that remains to be seen.

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Vodafone ‘held talks’ over possible merger with Three

Vodafone has reportedly held talks about acquiring rival Three in a deal which would reduce the number of mobile operators in the UK from four to three.

Bloomberg claims Vodafone expressed an interest late last year, but discussions did not advance any further and the two parties are not currently in active negotiations over a tie-up.

Market consolidation has been a long-term ambition for the sector, with operators arguing that this would help cut costs and fund investments in full fibre and 5G infrastructure. However, UK regulators have traditionally been eager to maintain the status quo.

Vodafone Three 

Three was forced to abandon a planned £10.25 billion merger with O2 back in 2016 because of hostility from UK and European regulators who feared a reduction from four operators into three would impact competition. The proposal followed similar transactions in other European countries where research suggested prices had risen as a result.

Both parties moved on, with O2 merging with Virgin Media in June 2021, and Three looking for other areas to grow as a pure-play operator in the UK. Three’s parent company CK Hutchison also successfully challenged the EU’s decision to block the O2 deal in 2020, with the European Court of Justice annulling the deal.

Indications are that regulators are softening their stance, and operators are eager to get the ball rolling. A merger or joint-venture between Vodafone and Three would create an entity with nearly 30 million customers to compete with BT-EE and Virgin Media O2 – both of which have gone through tie-ups of their own in recent years.

Three declined to comment on the claims, and TechRadar Pro has contacted Vodafone for comment.

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More Galaxy S22 leaks hint at launch date, prices and specs

It's fair to say we've not exactly been short of rumors and speculation when it comes to the Samsung Galaxy S22, and with just a few weeks to go to its official unveiling, there are more leaks for us to report on.

First we've got some European pricing from the ever-reliable Roland Quandt, who says that the standard S22 will start at €849, the S22 Plus will start at €1,049, and the S22 Ultra will cost you €1,249 and up. Those prices match the Galaxy S21 equivalents, suggesting you won't spend any more than last year on the 2022 phones.

For reference, the Samsung Galaxy S21 pricing went $799 / £769 / AU$1,249, then $999 / £949 / AU$1,549, and $1,199 / £969 / AU$1,849 moving up through the three tiers. There is a twist though – Quandt says the Ultra model will start with 8GB of RAM, not 12GB as was the case with its predecessor.

See more

Choose your config

Next up, tipster Dohyun Kim sheds some light on which markets will get a Galaxy S22 with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset and which will get the Exynos 2200: it's the Snapdragon for the US, the Exynos for Europe, and a mix for everywhere else.

That chimes with previous rumors we've heard about European customers only getting access to the Exynos 2200 versions of these phones. That may disappoint some buyers, though we'll have to see how these processors perform when the handsets are actually available to test.

Lastly, the usually accurate Ice Universe has taken to Chinese social media site Weibo (via Android Police) to say that the S22 series will be unveiled on February 9. Again, that matches what we've heard before, although some sources were reporting February 8.


Analysis: pricing will once again be crucial

While we enjoy poring over specs and features whenever a new phone comes out, it's really the pricing that's the single most important detail: it determines how the rest of the phone is viewed and whether or not it's a bargain or a rip-off (or somewhere in between).

If Samsung does indeed launch its Galaxy S22 phones at the same pricing level as the Galaxy S21 handsets that came before them, that's likely to encourage sales – with the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE now available for those who prefer something that's a little more affordable for their next phone.

Performance will be improved from last year, and so should photo and video quality. With that in mind, a starting price of  €849 (or $799 / £769 / AU$1,249) isn't bad for a flagship-level phone that is the best Samsung can produce in 2022.

If Samsung sticks to its usual schedule then we should see the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and the Galaxy Z Flip 4 show up around August time, offering a premium-level, foldable upgrade over whatever the S22 phones have to offer. With folding tech becoming cheaper, hopefully there won't be any price hikes here either.

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This could be the most secure smartphone for your business right now

Mobile security firm Sikur has released its latest device, which the company says uses the principles of Zero Trust to ensure more complete safety for users.

The Sikur One, developed alongside Brazilian manufacturer Multilaser, looks to offer corporate and government users in particular a more secure option when it comes to mobile devices, meaning organizations can keep a closer eye on specific devices and users.

The French company says its new Android device is, "a proven ultra-safe smartphone, certified for security and flexibility" coming with a host of features and tools to keep users and their data safe against threats.

Zero Trust phone

As suggested in the name, Zero Trust principles imply that no-one can really be relied on when it comes to cybersecurity practices, and cover the tools and services available to businesses in order to monitor devices and users to make sure they stay protected.

"Our mission is to redefine the relationship between enterprises and cybersecurity and the user experience in the process of authentication and access to technology assets," Sikur says on its website.

Its new device comes with Sikur ID, a service that does away with passwords in favor of authentication tokens to prevent attacks such as phishing and malware. Based on a unique cryptographic key stored on the user’s smartphone, the user scans a QR Code that immediately verifies their identity and permissions to allow access to networks and systems.

The phone can also be "cleaned" (locked or wiped) remotely by its owner's admins if it's ever lost or stolen, with data recovered via the cloud, where it can be moved or restored to another device.

Elsewhere, Sikur adds that the One comes with "exclusive secure corporate communication applications", including the company's own secure VPN and Sikur Messenger, which combines messaging, file storage, file sharing, voice and video calls

The device is securely configured out of the box, with all data stored in a private cloud. Sikur One also blocks location services by default, meaning users can't be easily tracked, and restricts bootloading and third-party app stores for extra security.

When it comes to actual hardware, the Sikur One won't be challenging the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S21 or iPhone 13, but sporting a 6.5 inch screen, octa-core processor, 4GB RAM and 128GB of onboard storage (expandable up to 512GB using a memory card), all powered by a 4,000 mAh battery, it's certainly no slouch.

You'll only be able to buy the Sikur One directly from the company for the moment, although the firm says it will have some options through some of its sales channel partners.

For now, Engadget reports that the Sikur One is available for around $274, with this price covering the device, alongside a one-year license for Sikur Messenger and mobile device management - which will rise to to $145 per user per year for those features after twelve months.

Via Engadget

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