This is our first glance of the LG G7, and it looks like an iPhone X

Update: Previously reliable leaker Evan Blass had speculated this wasn't the LG G7, but he has now said he was wrong and he believes this is LG's next flagship phone. 

He said, in an article for Venture Beat, "According to several sources — and judging by the icy reaction Ynet reporter Guy Levy received from LG representatives following the video’s publication and viral spread — the phone depicted is in fact LG’s next flagship."

Original story: LG all but confirmed that it wouldn't be revealing its 2018 flagship phone at MWC 2018, so it seems to have caught many by surprise that the LG G7 was found on display in one of the halls at the event with the codename 'Neo'. It was filmed by Israeli publication Ynet, which posted a video of the device.

Ynet has confirmed that the LG G7 is powered by Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 845 chip and includes 64GB of onboard storage with 4GB of RAM. A second, higher-end version of the handset will offer double the storage at 128GB and include 6GB of RAM.

LG has upped the ante in terms of design, too: the vertical rear dual-camera setup is centered, with a fingerprint sensor below it. The 6-inch OLED display features an iPhone X-like notch at the top with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio, making it slightly taller than the 18:9 displays on the previous LG G6 and V30.

At certain times in the leaked video, the notch does disappear and seemingly become hidden in a black notification bar, suggesting users may be able to hide the notch if they're not fans of the controversial feature.

Some questions remain as to whether this is actually the final LG G7 design, however, with VentureBeat reporter and prolific leaker Evan Blass suggesting in a tweet that this "may be the device LG scrapped".

  • MWC (Mobile World Congress) is the world's largest exhibition for the mobile industry, stuffed full of the newest phones, tablets, wearables and more. TechRadar is reporting live from Barcelona all week to bring you the very latest from the show floor. Head to our dedicated MWC 2018 hub to see all the new releases, along with TechRadar's world-class analysis and buying advice about your next phone.

Images courtesy of Ynet

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Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus release date, price, news and features

Update: The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus release date is March 16, but S9 pre-orders are available today in the US, UK, Europe and Middle East. Here's what you need to know.

The newest really big Android smartphone is the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus, and it's also the worst-kept secret by Samsung. We all knew it was launching last week.

Sure enough, the handset and its massive 6.2-inch display was the highlight of the Samsung Unpacked 2018 event at MWC 2018. And, honestly, it doesn't look all that different from last year's S8 Plus

But looks are deceiving. You're in for a decidedly better camera thanks to the new adaptive-aperture technology and the world's first f/1.5 aperture on a smartphone. The low-light photos are going to be top-of-the-line for a phone camera.

Other big changes worth noting are fixes to the fingerprint sensor location and the long-overdue debut of stereo speakers on a Samsung flagship. The S9 Plus has everything we want, except a convincing price.

We're finally able to lay out all of the facts about the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus. Here's what this camera-focused smartphone is all about.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The Galaxy S9's larger sibling
  • What it the release date? March 16 in stores worldwide

Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus release date and price

  • Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus release date: March 16
  • Pre-orders begin today (in Europe); March 2 (US)
  • Price: £869, $839, AU$1,349 depending on carrier

The official Galaxy S9 Plus release date is Friday, March 16, Samsung announced at its Unpacked 2018 reveal event in Barcelona last week.

Pre-orders for the S9 Plus opened in the UK and Europe right away, while the US had to wait until Friday, March 2 to reserve the phone. American carriers like Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile were given time to hype up their S9 Plus deals in the US.

In the UK we've already seen prices from EE, which says the phone will start at £63 a month/£150 upfront with 4GB of data and unlimited minutes and texts. 

The official S9 release date is days away – that's the good news. The bad news is that it'll be even more expensive than the S8 Plus was last year. In some countries, the price jump is significant.

In the US, it'll cost $839.99, or $35 a month for 24 months for the S9 Plus unlocked. That's through Samsung's official website. Individual carrier prices differ, with Verizon and AT&T charging a $100 premium. 

In the UK the S9 Plus will cost £869 – that's a lot more than the S8 Plus launch price of £779, and £130 more than the smaller Galaxy S9.

In Australia, the price hasn't shifted from the Galaxy S8 Plus launch, sticking with the AU$1,349 starting price.

Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus design and display

  • Fingerprint sensor is center-aligned on back, stereo speakers debut
  • Samsung's classy glass-and-metal smartphone design
  • Minor changes to the dimensions compared to the S8 Plus

The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is a screen-first smartphone with minimal bezel on the front. It's easy to appreciate its giant 6.2-inch display, Quad HD resolution and Super AMOLED technology, even if practically nothing has changed from the S8 Plus.

You will find some newness to the Galaxy S9 Plus look. The fingerprint sensor is on the rear of the phone again, but shifted to the center. That contrasts with the much-maligned offset scanner on the S8 Plus. Samsung listened to last year's overwhelmingly negative feedback when it made the Galaxy S9 Plus, it seems.

Another important shift is that Samsung has finally decided to use stereo speakers on the Galaxy S9 Plus. It's 40% louder than the S8 Plus, thanks to the addition of a second speaker in the earpiece that's combined with the familiar bottom-firing speaker. These aren't dual front-facing speakers, but this is a big step in the right direction for a Samsung flagship.

The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus colors include three options, and maybe four depending on where you are. There's Midnight Black, Coral Blue and Lilac Purple – Samsung's new standout color – which you'll see everywhere when Samsung markets the new phone. There's also a Titanium Gray color, although this won't be coming to every region.

Dual-aperture, dual-lens Galaxy S9 Plus camera

The Galaxy S9 Plus camera is a big upgrade for smartphone photography, thanks to Samsung putting all of its energy into the world's first phone with an f/1.5 aperture.

It should be fantastic at capturing low-light photos as the camera is now able to pull in up to 28% more light, and capture images with 30% less noise. This is due to the fact that it can switch from the f/1.5 aperture when it's dark to a more typical f/2.4 when there's enough light.

Samsung has also added a second telephoto lens to the S9 Plus, just like it did for the Note 8. And beneath the dual-lens is DRAM as part of the image sensor stack. This gives you a photo that's really a composite of 12 frames. That's an upgrade from the three frames used in last year's phone.

Super-slow-motion video

The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus video capabilities have been upgraded, too. It can now take-super-slow motion video at 960 fames per second at 720p. The previous 240fps has been enhanced to 1080p.

Our favorite part of Samsung's take on super slo-mo video is that it automatically starts rolling when the camera senses motion. There's no need to try to haphazardly press the shutter button just to capture split-second action.

Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus AR emoji

The font-facing camera is taking on Apple's Animoji viral sensation with more masks and props that appear over your face. Samsung is adding Snapchat-like special effect to the Galaxy S9 selfie camera to the default camera called AR Emoji.

You can create an avatar in your likeness or assume a completely different persona. It's also possible to add AR oversized hats, sunglasses and other fun accessories. There's more variety to AR Emoji with customizations that remind us of bitmoji, but with a moving avatar that matches your facial expressions. It's not as expressive as Apple's Animoji, however.

Sending AR Emoji to friends is easier thanks to the fact that Samsung decided to export the animations as GIFs. That'll make it easier to send AR Emoji to your friends, even if they're on a non-Samsung device. 

Samsung Galaxy Plus specs and software

The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is poised to be the fastest Android phone when it launches. It comes with either Samsung's Exynos 9810 chipset or the Snapdragon 845 chipset (in the US and China). We're expecting them to be 30% faster, according to our recent tests of the Snapdragon 845 chip on a Qualcomm reference phone.

There's also 6GB of RAM, a reason to get it over the smaller Galaxy S9 that has just 4GB of RAM. 64GB of internal storage is supplemented by a microSD card slot that can store up to 200GB of extra data.

If you're looking for a Samsung phone with Android 8.0 Oreo, this is it. It runs the latest Google operating system with the 'Samsung Experience' skin that was once called TouchWiz. It's streamlined compared to years past, and we no longer have a problem with it. In fact, many of Samsung's default apps, including the camera app are better than Google software.

Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus battery life

You're likely going to get all-day battery life out of the S9 Plus due to the fact that it contains the same 3,500mAh battery capacity as last year's phone. It's another reason to go with the bigger phone over the normal S9, which has a 3,000mAh battery.

We're hoping that its new chips are efficient enough to make the battery last a bit longer – we'll know for sure when we conduct our full Galaxy S9 Plus review. The good news is that the phone supports both fast charging and fast wireless charging, so you should be able to juice up again in no time.

MWC (Mobile World Congress) is the world's largest exhibition for the mobile industry, stuffed full of the newest phones, tablets, wearables and more. TechRadar is reporting live from Barcelona all week to bring you the very latest from the show floor. Head to our dedicated MWC 2018 hub to see all the new releases, along with TechRadar's world-class analysis and buying advice about your next phone.

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Samsung Galaxy S9 release date, price, news and features

The official Samsung Galaxy S9 release date news is March 16, but we've already had a chance to test out all of this Android phone's top features at MWC 2018.

We gave our first impressions of what it's like to use in the first 48 hours, and then followed that up by detailing four days of experience with the phone, focusing on its low-light camera, biometrics, and AR Emoji.

Below, we'll detail everything you need to know, including the release date, price and the full Galaxy S9 specs list. Even if It's not as advanced as the Galaxy S9 Plus, which took our top honors in our MWC Awards, it's still a stellar smartphone overall. In fact, it may be the best phone for people who don't like really big Plus-sized handsets.

It has the best screen on the market, according to the experts at DisplayMate, and its software will be easier for Samsung to refine thanks to Project Treble. That means  you won't have to wait so long for Android updates.

Here's everything you need to know about Samsung Galaxy S9 ahead of its impending launch.

Samsung Galaxy S9 release date

  • Galaxy S9 release date is March 16
  • Galaxy S9 pre-orders open now
  • Samsung Galaxy S9 was announced on stage at MWC 2018

The official Samsung Galaxy S9 release date is March 16, Samsung announced at its February 25 launch event at MWC 2018. You'll have it in just a few days.

Getting it on day one may pre-order an Galaxy S9 pre-order, which went online that same day in the UK and Europe. US retailers began S9 reservations on March 2.

Samsung Galaxy S9 price

  • Official SIM free price set at £739 / $719.99 / AU$1,199 if you buy from Samsung
  • Further pricing is set to follow, and we'll update when we know more

Samsung has confirmed the price of the Galaxy S9 in the UK at £739, $719.99 in the US and AU$1,199 in Australia.

In the UK, we've been getting a slew of new updates on the pricing - rather than listing it all here, we've rounded up all the deals for you here in the UK.

In the UK, it's a 7% price increase over last year, but a massive 25% bump from the price of the Galaxy S7.

In the US, we've rounded up all the prices and deals for the phone for you to check out  - side note, it's not cheap, but we have noted some better options within the glut that have been released.

If you're looking to snatch an S9 bargain Down Under, we've collected all the best Samsung Galaxy S9 plans and prices in Australia.

Samsung Galaxy S9 screen

  • Smaller upper and lower bezels than the Galaxy S8
  • A 5.8-inch QHD+ screen with 567 pixels per inch
  • Same Infinity Display design we've seen on Galaxy S8 and Note 8

The Samsung Galaxy S9 doesn't offer any major improvements over the display on the Galaxy S8 – there's sadly no in-screen fingerprint scanner here, like on the Vivo X20 Plus UD – but it still offers some high-end specs.

It's a 5.8-inch QHD+ Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 1440 x 2960. That equals 567 pixels per inch, which should allow for a super-crisp and clear picture for the high-end flagship device.

Again it has a screen ratio of 18.5:9, with slightly slimmer bezels at the top and bottom of the screen to allow for the same size screen in a smaller body than the Galaxy S8.

DisplayMate has shared its research with TechRadar, which states that the screen inside of the S9 isn't just the best display in a phone, it's probably better than any screen you own in your living quarters.

Samsung Galaxy S9 design

  • Largely similar design to the Galaxy S8
  • A repositioned fingerprint scanner below the rear camera
  • The headphone jack remains

If you know the Infinity Display design of the Galaxy S8, you'll recognize a lot of what the Galaxy S9 is trying to do. There aren't any major differences, but instead Samsung has opted to try and improve things with a few slight tweaks.

There's still a glass back, a rounded display on the front and slim bezels, with the aim of merging the screen almost seamlessly with the body of the handset.

Samsung's design improvements for the phone include the iris scanner hole being hidden, as well as less bezel at the top and bottom of the display.

The screen is now also a touch darker when off, with Samsung presumably thinking this will obscure the lines that bit more between the body and the display, to make the S9 look even more futuristic than past devices.

One of our biggest criticisms of the Galaxy S8 was the strange placement of the fingerprint scanner on the rear of the phone right next to the camera, and Samsung has moved the sensor on this phone.

Now it sits below the camera, and there's quite a distance between the two, so you won't mistakenly put your fingers all over the shooter.

Unlike on some rival products, there's still a 3.5mm headphone jack on the Samsung Galaxy S9, on the bottom edge of the phone on the left-hand side. Next to that sits the USB-C slot for charging and data transfer, and one of the phone's two speakers.

The other speaker is on the top of the phone, and Samsung says these new speakers will allow the S9 to be 1.5 times louder than the Galaxy S8. If audio is a big deal for you, you'll be pleased to hear the phone also features Dolby ATMOS surround sound technology.

If you get this phone wet, don't panic, as Samsung has opted for IP68 waterproofing, so the Galaxy S9 can handle the odd drop in a puddle without immediately flooding the internals.

As for color options, you'll be able to buy the phone in Midnight Black, Coral Blue and Lilac Purple in most territories. Those in the US or UK won't get the Titanium Gray version, but some other countries will.

Samsung Galaxy S9 camera

  • Samsung claims this phone will 'reimagine' the camera
  • A single-lens camera with variable aperture, unlike Galaxy S9 Plus
  • Super-slow-motion video as well as added animated emoji features

The Galaxy S9 only features a single lens on the rear of the phone, but Samsung has packed in lots of improvements in its effort to 'reimagine' the phone camera.

There's a 12MP rear sensor with optical image stabilization, and a lot of the other features we've come to expect from high-end Samsung devices.

One of the biggest upgrades is new dual-aperture technology, with the camera automatically adjusting the aperture depending on the scene you're shooting, much like the human eye adapts to changing light.

So if you're shooting something brighter than 100 lux (which is usually daylight) it'll automatically adjust to f/2.4 aperture, and if it's darker than that the camera will opt for the f/1.5 aperture.

F/1.5 is the widest ever aperture in a smartphone, and Samsung claims it should enable you to capture images with more color and detail, and much less noise in low light conditions.

The slow-mo features of the rear shooter have also been improved so you can now shoot at 960 frames per second, which is four times slower than the Galaxy S8 and meets the industry standard set by Sony phones.

This mode also uses something called automatic motion detect, which will automatically begin to record when the camera detects movement, so it should make it easier to only record the relevant moments in slow motion.

On the front of the phone there's an 8MP shooter with an f/1.7 aperture. This camera also plays into the facial recognition technology you can read about in the other features section at the bottom of this page.

Samsung Galaxy S9 battery

  • A 3,000mAh battery
  • Improved power efficiency

Much like the Galaxy S8, there's a 3,000mAh cell inside the Galaxy S9 to power it along on a daily basis. Exactly how long this will last is currently unclear, but it's expected that the new processing tech inside both versions of the phone will make it a touch more efficient than the Galaxy S8 was.

There's wireless charging technology here again too, so you'll be able to use a variety of different pads to charge up your phone without plugging it in. Plus there's fast charging on offer here as well, but you'll need to use the official charger to get the full power into your phone in the minimum amount of time.

Samsung Galaxy S9 specs and power

  • Some markets get one with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
  • Others will have Samsung's own Exynos 9810 chipset inside
  • Just 4GB of RAM in all versions of the Galaxy S9

This is the chance for Samsung to show off its top processing power inside the Galaxy S9. For that opportunity the company has opted to follow a similar scheme to recent years where different countries get different chipsets.

If you live in the US, you'll get a version of the phone packing a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset, and the S9 is set to be one of the first phones to get this technology from Qualcomm.

Those in the UK (and a lot of other markets) are set to get a version of the phone packing the Exynos 9810 chipset, which is created in-house at Samsung.

Exactly which version of the phone will be more powerful remains to be seen, but if it's like recent years both versions of the phones will be a similar level when it comes to raw processing power.

There's also only 4GB of RAM in each version of the phone, for 6GB you'll have to opt for the Galaxy S9 Plus. As for storage, the Galaxy S9 only comes with 64GB of onboard space, but you can add in microSD cards for up to 256GB of extra space.

Samsung Galaxy S9 other features

  • AR on the front camera for Animoji-like features
  • Bixby Vision improvements to the personal assistant

Samsung says it believes people are communicating more with images than ever before, so it has made its own feature called AR emoji. AR stands for augmented reality and this feature uses the front camera to take a selfie and make an emoji based on your looks.

It works in a similar way to The Sims, where you make an image that represents you and can be customized. It uses facial recognition and can recognize over 18 different expressions.

It's a similar idea to the Animoji feature available on the iPhone X, but this allows you to make your own character and give it different hair colors, dress senses, 12 different clothing options and choose from 7 pairs of glasses.

You can move your face to make silly videos, but you can also choose one of 18 different emotions pre-built into the app so you don't always need to pull a stupid face into your phone to be able to send one.

Samsung is also bringing big improvements to its Bixby Vision project too. When you're in the camera app you can tap the Bixby option to access a variety of different new features, including tracking the place you're in (it provides the name and details of where you are) or pointing it at food, at which point it will try to work out what it is and even estimate the calories.

There's another feature called Live Translation that allows you to put the camera over a menu or text and auto translate it. You'll need an internet connection and to wait a few moments for this to work, but it's an interesting addition that may come in useful when you're traveling.

Plus, Bixby Vision offers an enhanced beauty mode, so you can change the look of your selfies too.

MWC (Mobile World Congress) is the world's largest exhibition for the mobile industry, stuffed full of the newest phones, tablets, wearables and more. TechRadar is reporting live from Barcelona all week to bring you the very latest from the show floor. Head to our dedicated MWC 2018 hub to see all the new releases, along with TechRadar's world-class analysis and buying advice about your next phone.

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Smartphone sales see significant drop in 2017

Smartphone sales fell last year, in another sign that the market could finally be in decline.

The latest figures from analyst firm IDC found that device shipments were down 0.5% across the world during 2017 – the first such decline since the smartphone became a recognized product.

IDC blamed the decrease on a number of factors, including increasing market saturation in China, where sales fell 5%, but also on the fact that truly original smartphone design and differentiation was rare during 2017.

2018 will be better

Overall, 1.46 billion devices were shipped during 2017, the vast majority of which (1.24 billion) ran Google's Android OS. Apple iOS devices made up most of the remainder, with the company seeing 0.2% growth compared to 2016.

However, IDC expects that 2018 will see a return to growth as consumers flock to upgrade to the latest devices after a dispiriting selection last year. It's forecasting that continued single-digit growth will push the market to around 1.68 billion units a year by 2022.

It expects 2018 to be the year when phablets outsell regular smartphones, and that the following year will see the first 5G-ready devices hit the market.

“To keep up with the increasing demand for the new AI, AR/VR, contextually aware, and 5G functionalities headed to the market, we expect growth to come from improvements in overall core functions in the near term," said IDC's Anthony Scarsella. 

"Improvements in speed, power, battery life and general performance will be critical in driving growth at a worldwide level as the smartphone evolves into a true all-in-one tool. Although these types of improvements seem to arrive each year, delivering it more affordably will carry even greater significance to consumers as many highly competitive emerging markets remain crucial in driving growth throughout the forecast period."

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ASUS ZenFone Max Plus (M1) discreetly goes on sale in the US at $229

As promised back at CES 2018 in Las Vegas, the mid-range Asus ZenFone Max Plus (M1) is up for grabs in the US at $229, "full-view" 5.7-inch display and massive battery included.

The post ASUS ZenFone Max Plus (M1) discreetly goes on sale in the US at $229 appeared first on Pocketnow.

Forget the rest – these Galaxy S9 deals are the five best you can pre-order right now

If you've spent the last few days since Sunday evening scouring the price comparison sites and newspaper websites for the best Samsung Galaxy S9 deals, then your search can end here. We've made it very easy for you by listing the five most attractive S9 prices in one place - whatever your needs.

Don't want to pay anything upfront? We'll tell you the best tariff with a zero upfront spend. Need big data or the fastest 4G data speeds on your new Samsung S9? We've got your back. And if you just want to know what the very least you can spend over the two years in this pre-order period is, we'll tell you about the very cheapest Galaxy S9 deal out there.

1. Cheapest Samsung Galaxy S9 deal overall

2. Best S9 deal with a free handset upfront

3. Best S9 deal on the UK's fastest 4G network

4. Best S9 deal with huge data

5. Best S9 deal with free gift

Today's other best Samsung Galaxy S9 deals:

We won't feel offended if you decide that none of our favourite five Galaxy S9 deals above are quite doing it for you. That's where our custom made S9 comparison chart comes in. You can use the buttons and knobs in the filters below to come up with the perfect Galaxy S9 deal for your needs - order now and you should have your phone next Friday March 9.

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Huawei P20 Lite bares all in leaked new photo, key specifications also confirmed

It's practically etched in stone now that the 5.6-inch Huawei P20 Lite will feature an iPhone X-style notch, two rear cameras co-developed with Leica, and a Kirin 659 SoC.

The post Huawei P20 Lite bares all in leaked new photo, key specifications also confirmed appeared first on Pocketnow.

Samsung Galaxy S9 has the world’s best display

The Samsung Galaxy S9 is the best OLED display ever made, according to DisplayMate’s rigorous testing, earning the highest score achievable. Despite running at the same 2,960 x 1,440 resolution as its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy S8, a number of improvements have been made to the new device.

Most notable among the screen’s many highlights is its improved color accuracy. DisplayMate lauds the S9’s support and high level of execution of multiple color gamut standards, like DCI-P3, RGB and sRGB, and has awarded Samsung with a rating of “Visually Indistinguishable from Perfect” in this department. 

To that end, the research firm states that this screen is “almost certainly considerably better than your existing living room 4K Ultra HD TV”.

Samsung can't stop topping itself

While Apple has recently cropped up in the OLED discussion with the inclusion of the tech in its iPhone X, Samsung has mostly been competing with itself over the past few years. Though it seems we're reaching the point of diminishing returns at the moment, at least as far as raw hardware advancements are concerned.

DisplayMate points out that Samsung is allocating more of its focus to the smaller details to set it apart, like increasing brightness and perfecting its display calibration to make sure that the S9 and other phones to come in the future, like the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, will boast an amazing picture – no matter the color profile the user prefers.

However, the competition will likely be tougher moving forward for the company, as more phone makers are utilizing OLED technology instead of LCD displays. This ongoing shift is due in part to consumer demand, but is also a necessary step to take as phones take on inventive designs that require the flexibility that OLED provides.

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Intel and NTT DoCoMo prepare 5G plans for Tokyo 2020 Olympics

The PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics were an important milestone in the development of 5G, but the next summer games in Tokyo will be a demonstration of what can be achieved through next generation networks.

Intel, which is an Olympic technology partner until Paris 2024, was delighted with how its 5G trials in South Korea performed, with 22 5G links at 10 sites delivering 3,800TB of network capacity.

Speaking at MWC 2018, the company said it is already planning for Tokyo 2020 where 360-degree, 8K video will be transmitted from Japan to smartphones and VR headsets around the world through the various broadcasters.

Tokyo 2020 5G

“Instead of watching surfing from the beach, for example, viewers will feel like they're riding the waves with the athletes,” said Aicha Evans, chief strategy officer at Intel.

Tokyo 2020 will also see smart city applications and allow athletes to gain access to eHealth technologies and data analytics that will boost performance.

The official supplier for the games is Japanese operator NTT DoCoMo, which plans to launch a  commercial 5G network in 2020.

Also speaking at MWC, NTT DoCoMo CEO Kazuhiro Yoshizawa said its plans for 5G were well underway and it was confident that 5G could help create new services and tackle social issues. The Olympics could be the killer app that convinces people they need the faster speeds, lower latency and higher capacity that 5G affords.

“Many people questioned the necessity when we introduced 3G and 4G but as it turns out, the adoption of social media and streaming expanded rapidly to become a ‘must have’ for many people’s lives,” he said.

“Back then the network rolled out first and services came out late. With 5G we want people to use new services from day one. The network and services will launch at the same time.”

Yoshizawa used his keynote address to stress the need for the creation of an ecosystem that would stimulate innovation and said its programme had so far attracted interest from more than 600 partners.

“Things that were previously difficult because of the limitations of 4G are now possible,” he concluded.

MWC (Mobile World Congress) is the world's largest exhibition for the mobile industry, stuffed full of the newest phones, tablets, wearables and more. TechRadar is reporting live from Barcelona all week to bring you the very latest from the show floor. Head to our dedicated MWC 2018 hub to see all the new releases, along with TechRadar's world-class analysis and buying advice about your next phone.   

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The new Nokia 6 is most likely HMD’s only 2018 phone coming soon to the US

The "new" Nokia 6 may well be HMD's least exciting phone showcased at MWC 2018, but it's also the only one confirmed to launch in the US in the near future.

The post The new Nokia 6 is most likely HMD’s only 2018 phone coming soon to the US appeared first on Pocketnow.

A smartphone took me for a drive and stopped us crashing into a cyclist

I've just climbed into the passenger seat of a car driven entirely by a smartphone, using nothing more than a high-speed camera mounted to the roof to see where it's going. My fate is literally in the hands of this phone. 


"Lots of people have been questioning us on [our smartphone] AI," Huawei's Senior Product Marketing Manager, Peter Gauden told us at MWC 2018. "So we've developed a showcase to give people a visual representation of what we can do."

Now, before I go further, a caveat about this driverless car experience. The driverless technology here is nowhere near as advanced as that being developed by automotive manufacturers, but that's not what Huawei is trying to achieve.

Rather, it wants to show the power of the AI (artificial intelligence) inside its flagship Huawei Mate 10 Pro phone in a visual way, because it's finding it difficult to explain to consumers.

There's no radar or lidar (which uses pulses of laser light where radar uses radio waves) system, which are what the more advanced systems from car companies use, here; instead the Mate 10 Pro is plugged directly (via a HDMI cable) to a roof-mounted high-speed camera.

This camera relays a live feed of what's ahead of the car to the phone, and it's up to the Mate 10 Pro to process what it's seeing and then make decisions on its actions. 

The phone then communicates actions to the robotic drive system, telling the car to keep going, swerve left, swerve right or stop.

All the computational processing, machine learning and artificial intelligence is done on the handset itself, with no external system providing additional support. 

So, does it work? I grabbed a change of pants and found out for you.

Watch how I got on in the car driven by a smartphone

Training the AI

As I've mentioned, this isn't an autonomous, driverless car – this is a demonstration of what Huawei's smartphone AI can do – and that means before we go on our 'full-speed' run we have to teach the AI what to look out for.

This involves a training run along the short course at 5mph, with the Mate 10 Pro scanning for objects. For our run there was a cyclist, a football and a dog – well, pictures of them anyway (you know, just in case).

I selected the training option on the purpose-built app on the phone, and then hit 'Go' to set the wheels in motion. 

We cruised along the course, and the Mate 10 Pro was able to pick up the pictures of the obstacles and correctly identify each one before they were swiftly dragged out of our path.

Training run completed, our instructor hopped into the car and reserved it back to the start (remember, this isn't a driverless car, this is a smartphone AI demo).

Fingers crossed, bottom clenched

Now for the 'full run', during which the Porsche would speed at up to 30mph (unfortunately the top speed allowed by the health and safety fun police) towards an object of my choosing – I went for the bike – and hopefully not smash it to pieces.

I selected 'full run' from the app on the phone, and selected the cyclist as my obstacle. I was then given three options for what the car could do if it detected this particular obstacle: swerve right, swerve left or stop. I chose 'swerve right'.

Then I hit 'Go', and the Mate 10 Pro floored it.

As we picked up speed, the phone was able to correctly identify the cyclist (which it had learned from the training run) and swerve to the right of the obstacle at a safe speed and distance, before gently applying the brakes and coming to a stop.

I quickly count my limbs. All present and correct. Success.

Tap to go, then cross your fingers

What does this all mean?

As I said at the start, Huawei isn't in the driverless car business, which means the specific AI feature that avoided the cyclist won't be baked into its handsets. Rather, the intelligence will be tailored to take some of the stresses out of your daily life.

"[AI] takes the small, fiddly things off your daily workload. [Your] phone will automatically set alarms, remind you of events, change settings, enable power saving and more, and it gets better while you're using it," Gauden explained.

"The phone will be truly yours, customized to exactly what you want."

MWC (Mobile World Congress) is the world's largest exhibition for the mobile industry, stuffed full of the newest phones, tablets, wearables and more. TechRadar is reporting live from Barcelona all week to bring you the very latest from the show floor. Head to our dedicated MWC 2018 hub to see all the new releases, along with TechRadar's world-class analysis and buying advice about your next phone.

  • John McCann is getting behind the wheel to give you an alternative look at the wealth of cars – and the tech inside them – available today. From super-fast sports cars to tech-packed hatchbacks, he'll take you through a range of makes, models, power and price tags in his regular TR Drives column.
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Don’t forget to vote for Shop Idol 2018!

Shop Idol, in partnership with Alcatel, sees staff from every major mobile retailer compete for the prestige of being recognised as the best sales and customer service agent in the UK.

This is the only competition of its kind, and since its launch in 2003, over 3,000 competitors have taken part in the Mystery Shops, interviews and challenges to determine their product knowledge, customer service skills and of course, their sales acumen!

Contestants enter Shop Idol for different reasons – for many it’s the opportunity to boost their career, for others, it’s a chance to prove to themselves and their company what they’re capable of.  It’s simple to sign up and put your skills to the test.

How does it work?

  • Entrants sign up online by clicking here.
  • Those with the most support go through to the Mystery Shop stage.
  • Top scorers from the Mystery Shop stage go through to regional finals consisting of interviews and challenges.
  • Only 12 contestants will attend: by the end of the day only the final six will remain as the judges further whittle down the candidates.

There are only a few days left of the Big Vote, so make sure to enter to take part – or back your colleagues or employees by voting for them to go through to the next stage! Please click here to enter, and here to vote for your favourite sales person.

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Fitbit Ionic: adidas edition launches at $330, lower-cost smartwatch in the works

Up for pre-order now, the $330 Fitbit Ionic: adidas edition goes directly up against the Apple Watch Series 3 Nike+. Next, Fitbit plans to unveil a smaller, cheaper smartwatch inspired by the OG Blaze.

The post Fitbit Ionic: adidas edition launches at $330, lower-cost smartwatch in the works appeared first on Pocketnow.