Honor Magic Vs: what we know so far

The Honor Magic Vs is the successor to the Honor Magic V foldable phone, and it’s landing soon; with leaks suggesting it could give the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 a real run for its money.

Honor itself has revealed an image of the Magic Vs, and beyond that, a few other details have leaked, so we’re starting to build up a picture of the company's next flagship foldable.

Below you’ll find everything we’ve seen and heard so far, including the confirmed announcement date of the Honor Magic Vs.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The next foldable phone from Honor
  • When is it out? Being unveiled on November 23, then going global in Q1 2023
  • How much will it cost? Unsure, but expect a very high price

Honor Magic Vs release date and price

The Honor Magic Vs is being unveiled on November 23, so very soon. That launch is just for China, but speaking to Tech Advisor, an Honor spokesperson confirmed that the Magic Vs would launch globally in Q1 2023 – so sometime between the start of January and the end of March.

That said, while the company has also previously said this phone will land in Europe, they didn’t say exactly which European countries it would be available in – nor whether it would be sold in the US or Australia. Though a US launch is unlikely.

There’s no news on what it might cost, but the original Honor Magic V – which didn’t go global - was sold for ¥9,999 (around $1,380 / £1,210 / AU$2,150), so the Honor Magic Vs might have a similar price – though conversions are unlikely to be accurate in any case.

An official render of the Honor Magic Vs

(Image credit: Honor)

Honor Magic Vs news and leaks

While we don’t know much for sure about the Honor Magic Vs yet, we do have an idea of how it looks, as Honor has shared the image above, which shows the Honor Magic Vs’s main screen and top edge.

You can see from this that it looks a lot like the Honor Magic V or the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, with a large foldable display that opens out into a tablet-like expanse, or can be folded shut, leaving you with a more smartphone-sized device.

Presumably when it’s shut there’s a secondary display you can use, but that’s not shown in this image.

What we can see is that there’s a punch-hole camera on the foldable display, and a gold-colored frame, likely made of metal. There will probably other colors offered too though.

The phone looks very thin in this image, and indeed according to a sketch shared by leaker @UniverseIce, which you can see below, the Honor Magic Vs is ‘ultra-thin’. The source also suggests that it will be the lightest foldable phone with this sort of design.

A leaked sketch of the Honor Magic Vs

(Image credit: @UniverseIce / Panda is bald)

Beyond that, we can see in the sketch that there’s what looks to be a triple-lens camera on the back, and a secondary screen with a punch-hole camera of its own for when the main display is folded shut.

The sketch also mentions a 5,000mAh battery, which is quite a large size for a foldable phone – beating the Galaxy Z Fold 4 by 600mAh, and @UniverseIce claims the Magic Vs will break the battery life record for this kind of foldable.

The same sketch was also shared on Weibo – a Chinese social network - by a leaker known as Panda is bald, and they additionally claim that the Honor Magic Vs offers 66W charging and weighs 261g.

We would, of course, take this sketch and the accompanying information with a pinch of salt, but it comes from sources with a reasonable track record.

That’s all we’ve heard so far, but we can speculate that the Honor Magic Vs will have a Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset, since the Magic V has the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.

Given how similar the upcoming phone looks to the old one in the official image above, some of the other specs might be similar too. So we might be getting a roughly 7.9-inch OLED main display with a 90Hz refresh rate, a roughly 6.45-inch OLED secondary display with a 120Hz refresh rate, and a trio of 50MP cameras on the back. However, that’s just speculation for now.

All in all, while it’s too early to say whether the Honor Magic Vs will rank among the best foldable phones, it certainly seems like this might be the most competition Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold line has had in quite some time.

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OnePlus Nord CE 3 leak frames it as an affordable alternative to the OnePlus 11

Early 2023 could be a busy time for OnePlus phones, because, as well as the OnePlus 11, we’re also likely to see the OnePlus Nord CE 3, and a detailed specs list for this phone has now leaked.

This comes courtesy of @OnLeaks – a leaker with a good track record – on behalf of GadgetGang, and according to the leak, the OnePlus Nord CE 3 has a 6.7-inch FHD+ LCD with a 120Hz refresh rate, a Snapdragon 695 chipset, and a choice of either 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage or 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.

The OnePlus Nord CE 3 also apparently has 5G, a 5,000mAh battery with 67W charging, a side-mounted fingerprint sensor, and a triple-lens rear camera, consisting of a 108MP primary sensor, a 2MP macro camera and a 2MP depth sensor. Finally, there’s apparently a 16MP camera on the front.

These specs are a mix of good and not so good, at least on paper. The 108MP camera is a promising inclusion, as is the 120Hz refresh rate, the large amount of potential RAM and storage, and the battery size and charging speed.

The 2MP macro and depth sensors sound rather less promising and more like filler, and the remaining specs sound middling, but still reasonable, if the price is right. So far we don’t know what the OnePlus Nord CE 3’s price will be, but it’s likely to be a rather affordable phone.

For reference, the OnePlus Nord CE 2 starts at £299 (around $340 / AU$530), so we might see a similar price here. However, the Nord CE 3 almost certainly won’t be available in Australia and probably won’t land in the US either, going by past form – but a UK release is highly likely.


OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G primary camera setup

The Nord CE 3 may share some specs with the Nord CE 2 Lite (Image credit: Future / Sachin George)

Analysis: a mix of the CE 2 and the CE 2 Lite, with some upgrades

If you’re wondering how these rumored specs compare to those of the OnePlus Nord CE 2, then, well, it’s not as simple as the upcoming model being an all-round upgrade. It looks to be in some areas, but in others it might actually be a downgrade.

If these specs are right then the OnePlus Nord CE 3 has a bigger battery and screen, a higher refresh rate, more potential RAM and storage, and more megapixels on its main camera.

But its charging speed is similar, it lacks the Nord CE 2’s 8MP ultra-wide camera, it has a marginally less powerful chipset, it uses LCD rather than the older phone’s superior AMOLED display tech, and it doesn’t have the Nord CE 2’s under-display fingerprint sensor.

In fact, some of the OnePlus Nord CE 3’s rumored specs are more in line with the OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite, which has the same chipset, battery size, secondary cameras, and refresh rate.

So the OnePlus Nord CE 3 is in danger of finding itself confusingly positioned, which could hurt its chances of ranking among the best cheap phones. We’ll likely find out soon, as the Nord CE 2 landed in February 2022, so a launch around February 2023 might be on the cards.

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Realme 10: release date, price, specs, and features

If you’re looking for one of the best cheap phones then there’s a chance you’ve found it, with the Realme 10. We won’t know for sure until we’ve put it through a full review, but this new phone certainly has some promising specs on paper, and sounds like a significant upgrade on the Realme 9.

Highlights include a 90Hz AMOLED screen, a slim design, a big battery, and improved power. But there’s lots more to this phone too.

Below you’ll find all the key details about the Realme 10, including the release date, price, and every significant spec.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? An affordable new Realme phone
  • When is it out? Now, in select parts of Europe, coming soon to others
  • How much does it cost? €279 (around $280 / £245 / AU$430)

Realme 10 release date and price

The Realme 10 was announced on November 9, 2022, and it’s on sale now in Italy and Poland, with other parts of Europe set to get it too.

The company hasn’t specified which countries those will be, but the UK is likely to be among them, as the Realme 9 was sold there. We wouldn’t expect to see the Realme 10 in the US or Australia, though.

As for the price, it starts at €279 (around $280 / £245 / AU$430), though we wouldn’t expect an exact conversion in other regions. Still, this is sure to be an affordable phone everywhere it’s sold.

A Realme 10 in Rush Black from the back

A Realme 10 in Rush Black (Image credit: Realme)

Realme 10 design and display

The Realme 10 has a design that the company claims is inspired by “particles that travel at light speed”. In practice, that means it comes in a choice of ‘Clash White’ or ‘Rush Black,’ but these aren’t plain white and black shades – both contain a ripple of colors, with tiny white dots spread across them.

The phone is 159.9 x 73.3 x 7.95mm and 178g, and the company notes that this is the slimmest Realme phone ever offered for the global market. It has a punch-hole camera on the front and two large camera housings on the rear, as you can see on the pictures in this article.

The Realme 10 is likely clad in plastic, but the company hasn’t specified that. There’s also no mention of water resistance, but that’s not surprising at this price.

As for the screen, the Realme 10 has a 6.4-inch 1080 x 2400 Super AMOLED display, with a 90Hz refresh rate, a brightness of up to 1000 nits, and Gorilla Glass 5 protection. Those are the same specs as the Realme 9’s screen, but in our review, we were impressed with that phone’s display.

A Realme 10 in Clash White from the back

A Realme 10 in Clash White (Image credit: Realme)

Realme 10 camera and battery

The Realme 10 has a dual-lens camera on the back, and this is one aspect of the phone that sounds less impressive, as although its 50MP f/1.8 main snapper has reasonable specs, that’s joined by just a 2MP f/2.4 black and white (i.e. monochrome) camera.

Not only that, but the Realme 9 actually has a triple-lens camera – including a 108MP primary sensor – so the Realme 10 might be a downgrade here.

That said, Realme claims its new phone offers an enhanced night mode that reduces noise, and that the shutter speed is 121% higher than on the previous model. There’s also a 16MP f/2.45 camera on the front.

For the battery, Realme has gone with a 5,000mAh power pack, which is a decent but fairly standard size. This supports 33W charging, which Realme claims can get the phone from zero to 50% in 28 minutes. There’s no mention of wireless charging, but we wouldn’t expect that at this price either.

Realme 10 specs and features

There’s a MediaTek Helio G99 chipset inside the Realme 10, which is a fairly low-end but modern chipset, and it’s joined by 8GB of RAM. However, the phone also lets you leverage storage as virtual RAM, bringing it up to 16GB.

The company claims that gaming performance with this phone is strong for the price, giving the example that you can play PUBG Mobile at 40fps in Balanced mode.

There’s a choice of 64GB, 128GB or 256GB of storage, along with a microSD card slot – though these versions may not all be available in all regions, and this is just a 4G phone, so one major thing missing here is 5G.

As for features, the Realme 10 has a 3.5mm headphone port, an ‘UltraBoom’ speaker, which promises Hi-Res audio at 200% volume, and it runs the company’s Realme UI 3.0, based on Android 12.

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Pixel 8 specs leak suggests Google might finally prioritize power

We’re not expecting the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro to launch until October 2023, and yet we’re already hearing things about these phones, with the latest leak revealing their possible codenames and some potential specs.

WinFuture – via Phone Arena – has found some “publicly available code sources” that mention two new Google device codenames. These are "Shiba" and “Husky”, which are broadly in line with the codenames used by the Pixel 7 line; as the Pixel 7 was known as Panther and the Pixel 7 Pro as Cheetah. So big cats rather than dogs, but close enough.

That’s not the only evidence that these codenames might be attached to the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro though, as the code shows these devices running Android 14 and having a chipset codenamed “Zuma”, which has the same modem as the Tensor G2, used in the Pixel 7 line.

That rounds things down a bit, but there are also screen details, which all but confirm we’re looking at smartphones here. Apparently the Shiba has a 1080 x 2268 display, while the Husky has a 1344 x 2822 screen.

So, the Husky is higher resolution, and is probably therefore the Pixel 8 Pro, with the Shiba being the standard Pixel 8. Those resolutions are marginally lower than their Pixel 7 siblings, but in the same ballpark, and are the sorts of counts you’ll commonly see on current smartphones.

There’s one final spec here too, and it’s the same on both devices. Apparently, they’ll both have a hefty 12GB of RAM – though, of course, it’s possible there will be other configurations too.

We'd take all of this with a pinch of salt, and even if these devices are real, it’s possible they’re something other than the Pixel 8 line, but those phones seem the obvious fit.


A press render of the Google Tensor G2 chipset

The Tensor G2 chipset used in the Pixel 7 line (Image credit: Google)

Analysis: 12GB of RAM would be a big upgrade for the Pixel 8

While the Pixel 7 Pro already comes with 12GB of RAM, buyers of the standard Pixel 7 are limited to just 8GB, so a move to 12GB for the Google Pixel 8 would be a substantial upgrade.

It would also suggest that Google is perhaps putting more of a focus on power in its phones, which is sure to be welcomed, as while the Pixel 7 line excels in a lot of ways, the Tensor G2 chipset these phones use isn’t as powerful as its rivals.

Indeed, it’s the chipset that’s lacking more than the RAM, but a move to more RAM won't hurt, and there’s a chance that this is part of a wider strategy from Google to prioritize power; which might mean the Tensor G3 – or whatever the Pixel 8’s chipset ends up being called – is significantly beefier than the G2.

That’s just speculation for now, but it’s certainly a possibility. It’s also possible that – if the Pixel 8 does come with 12GB of RAM – there might be a version of the Pixel 8 Pro with 16GB of RAM, to help differentiate the models.

We probably won’t find out for sure until late 2023, but from what we’ve heard so far these are already shaping up to be some of the best phones of that year.

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Xiaomi 13 leak shows a gorgeous new design with iPhone 14 influences

The Xiaomi 13 is likely to be a big upgrade over the Xiaomi 12, and it could also sport a very different design if unofficial new renders are anything to go by.

Shared by @OnLeaks – a leaker with a solid track record – on behalf of CompareDial, the renders show a phone with a flat screen, flat aluminum sides, and a square camera block on the rear, all of which are departures from the Xiaomi 12, and make for a device that looks similar to the iPhone 14 line.

That said, if these renders are accurate then Xiaomi hasn’t just copied Apple, as there are a lot of differences too. The 6.2-inch display has a punch-hole camera rather than a notch or Dynamic Island, the lenses in the triple-lens camera array on the rear are laid out differently, and the look of the camera housing is different too, with lines separating it into three distinct sections.

An unofficial render of the Xiaomi 13 from the front and back

An unofficial render of the Xiaomi 13 (Image credit: OnLeaks / Compare Dial)

OnLeaks also shared unofficial renders of the Xiaomi 13 Pro – this time in collaboration with Zoutons – and this phone has less in common with Apple’s latest flagships.

The camera block is similar to the one depicted in the Xiaomi 13 renders, but the 6.65-inch screen is curved, and the sides of the phone are a lot narrower, leaving the device as a whole looking more like a typical high-end Android phone than a high-end Apple one.

We have some specs for this phone too, with the source claiming that it has a 50.3MP main camera, dimensions of roughly 163.0 x 74.6 x 8.8mm (rising to 11.8mm at the rear camera bump), and color options of black, white, pink, or green.

An unofficial render of the Xiaomi 13 Pro from the front and back

An unofficial render of the Xiaomi 13 Pro (Image credit: OnLeaks / Zoutons)

OnLeaks also claims that the Xiaomi 13 Pro will cost Rs 66,800 in India, which converts to roughly $820 / £700 / AU$1,250. We wouldn’t expect those converted prices to be accurate though, and if anything the Xiaomi 13 Pro will probably cost more than that, given that the Xiaomi 12 Pro starts at $999 / £1,049 (around AU$1,550).

Of course, we’d take all of this with a pinch of salt for now, but with the Xiaomi 13 line possibly landing before the end of the year we should know all the details soon.


Analysis: the Xiaomi 13 could be a gorgeous combination of the Xiaomi 12 and the iPhone 14

If these renders are accurate, the Xiaomi 13 could be a great-looking phone, with a distinctive camera block that combines the shape of the iPhone 14’s block with the distinct sections on the Xiaomi 12’s.

The overall shape of the phone could be similar to the iPhone 14 too, but the use of a small punch-hole camera will mean there’s less interruption in the screen. And – again assuming that these renders are the real deal – those who’d rather not have an iPhone 14-like design might prefer the Xiaomi 13 Pro, which going by the renders will look quite different thanks to its curved display.

These two upcoming phones are also likely to have some of the best specs of any late 2022 or early 2023 handsets, going by leaks and past form, which means they could be prime contenders for a spot on our best phones list when they land.

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A key Samsung Galaxy S23 spec may have just been confirmed

The Samsung Galaxy S23 leaks and rumors continue to come in at a rapid pace, and the latest chatter that we're hearing is that the flagship phone series is going to go all-in with Snapdragon chipsets in all (or at least most) of the markets that it will be sold in.

This comes courtesy of an earnings call from Snapdragon manufacturer Qualcomm (via GSMArena), in which Qualcomm chief financial officer Akash Palkhiwala said that Snapdragon chips would get a "global share" of the Galaxy S23 market – up from a 75% share with the Galaxy S22.

Traditionally, Samsung fits its Galaxy S series phones with either Qualcomm Snapdragon silicon or its own Exynos chipsets, depending on region – Europe usually gets Exynos, while the US usually gets Snapdragon, for example. Now, that might be changing.

Still to come

The particular chip in question would of course be the as-yet-unannounced Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, following on from the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 that has been powering a lot of the high-end Android phones to appear on the market this year.

According to the rumors that have been swirling around, the Gen 2 version of the chipset could make an appearance in December 2022. The Galaxy S23 would then follow on shortly afterwards, probably in February.

It's worth bearing in mind that some sources are saying that Samsung does still want to use an Exynos processor in some Galaxy S23 models, so it may be that the "global share" for Qualcomm isn't a completely 100% deal.


Analysis: a returning rumor

The news that the Galaxy S23 phones might use a Snapdragon chipset in every region isn't particularly surprising: if you've got a long memory you might remember a similar rumor appearing around the Galaxy S22 handsets before they launched.

Back in July 2022, one of the most notable industry analysts in the business predicted that the Galaxy S23 series would be using the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset in every region that it was sold in, so this is a rumor that has a strong track record.

Not long after that, Qualcomm dropped a hint that it might be getting its chipsets into more Galaxy phones next year – which of course Qualcomm would be happy to see. It would also make life simpler for consumers too.

However, Exynos chipsets might not be off the table completely. Earlier this year we heard reports that Samsung was building a brand new and improved processor to be launched in a few years, with Qualcomm Snapdragon CPUs filling the gap in the meantime.

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The Samsung Galaxy S23 is expected in the first week of February 2023

Most of the Samsung Galaxy S23 rumors that we've heard so far have been pointing towards a February 2023 launch, but a new report adds some extra precision: apparently the flagship phone is going to show up at the start of that month.

According to South Korean outlet Chosun (via SamMobile), the launch is scheduled for "the first week" of February 2023 – though as the month starts on a Wednesday it's not clear if that means before the first weekend or in the first seven days.

The report goes on to say that Samsung is planning to hold an in-person media briefing for the Galaxy S23 series in San Francisco, California. If that happens, it would be the first such event since 2020 (for obvious pandemic-related reasons).

A few days early

Another tidbit included in this latest rumor is that the Galaxy S23 phones are going to be actually on sale and in people's hands by February 17. Apparently "intensifying competition" is the reason Samsung wants to get the devices out as quickly as possible.

Those of you with good memories may recall that the Samsung Galaxy S22 phones were first unveiled on Wednesday, February 9, 2022 – so it seems as though next year's batch are going to show up slightly earlier, albeit only by a few days.

The rest of the report doesn't reveal too much else that hasn't already been previously rumored, but the specificity of the launch window here is significant. If you've got your eye on the Samsung Galaxy S23, you might want to start saving.


Analysis: sticking to the schedule

There's a reassuring familiarity to the scheduling of all the major flagship phone launches these days, which certainly makes it easier to plan ahead and get ready for a new phone upgrade – particularly if you're considering switching between makes and models.

While the latest report that we've covered here talks about Samsung releasing the Galaxy S23 earlier than normal to improve sales, the launch window is actually very similar to the one for the Galaxy S22. The Galaxy S21 range was actually announced in January 2021, while the Galaxy S20 phones made their debut in February 2020.

Apple can usually be relied upon when it comes to phone launch timings as well: September is typically new iPhone month, though the iPhone 12 didn't show up until October 2020 because of supply chain problems brought on by the coronavirus pandemic and several knock-on effects.

Of course if we know when phones are coming out then so do the manufacturers – and that makes it somewhat trickier for these phone makers to get a march on their rivals. Ultimately it'll be the quality of the Galaxy S23 rather than its launch date that determines how much of a success it's going to be.

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iPhone users will soon be able to pay with a single tap using PayPal and Venmo

Your iPhone could be a step closer to replacing your wallet after Apple revealed its Tap to Pay contactless mobile payment technology is partnering with some of the biggest payments firms around.

The service will soon be offered as an option on the iOS apps for PayPal and Venmo, meaning merchants who already use these services will have more ways to accept payment without the need for cash.

Launched in February 2022, Tap to Pay is Apple's big bet on contactless payments, allowing iPhone users to pay or send money using Apple Pay and contactless debit or credit cards with just their phone, no other hardware required.

PayPal support

It was PayPal, rather than Apple, that broke the news in its latest earnings report. 

"Leveraging Apple's Tap to Pay on iPhone technology, U.S. merchant customers will soon be able to accept contactless debit or credit cards and mobile wallets, including Apple Pay, using an iPhone and the PayPal or Venmo iOS app," the company noted.

Following its initial announcement, Apple launched Tap to Pay on iPhone in June 2022. This came after trailing a partnership with PayPal's great rival Square, to build the service into the latter's POS systems

With it, Apple hopes to make accepting payments via Apple Pay and other types of contactless payments accessible to more businesses.

The feature is available on phones including and newer than the iPhone XS, with merchants simply needing to open the app, register the sale, and accept contactless payment using their device.

PayPal also revealed that it will soon start offering ‌Apple Pay‌ as a payment option in checkout flows on merchant platforms, as well as allowing users in the US to add PayPal and Venmo network-branded credit and debit cards to their Apple Wallet, meaning these methods can be used wherever ‌Apple Pay‌ is accepted.

The news is Apple's latest push into the lucrative payments space as it looks to maximize its potential returns. 

Alongside its contactless offerings, the company also recently moved into the buy now pay later (BNPL) space with the launch of Apple Pay Later, which lets shoppers split the cost of a purchase made with their device into four equal payments over six weeks, without incurring interest or late fees.

Via MacRumors

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iPhone users will soon be able to pay with a single tap using PayPal and Venmo

Your iPhone could be a step closer to replacing your wallet after Apple revealed its Tap to Pay contactless mobile payment technology is partnering with some of the biggest payments firms around.

The service will soon be offered as an option on the iOS apps for PayPal and Venmo, meaning merchants who already use these services will have more ways to accept payment without the need for cash.

Launched in February 2022, Tap to Pay is Apple's big bet on contactless payments, allowing iPhone users to pay or send money using Apple Pay and contactless debit or credit cards with just their phone, no other hardware required.

PayPal support

It was PayPal, rather than Apple, that broke the news in its latest earnings report. 

"Leveraging Apple's Tap to Pay on iPhone technology, U.S. merchant customers will soon be able to accept contactless debit or credit cards and mobile wallets, including Apple Pay, using an iPhone and the PayPal or Venmo iOS app," the company noted.

Following its initial announcement, Apple launched Tap to Pay on iPhone in June 2022. This came after trailing a partnership with PayPal's great rival Square, to build the service into the latter's POS systems

With it, Apple hopes to make accepting payments via Apple Pay and other types of contactless payments accessible to more businesses.

The feature is available on phones including and newer than the iPhone XS, with merchants simply needing to open the app, register the sale, and accept contactless payment using their device.

PayPal also revealed that it will soon start offering ‌Apple Pay‌ as a payment option in checkout flows on merchant platforms, as well as allowing users in the US to add PayPal and Venmo network-branded credit and debit cards to their Apple Wallet, meaning these methods can be used wherever ‌Apple Pay‌ is accepted.

The news is Apple's latest push into the lucrative payments space as it looks to maximize its potential returns. 

Alongside its contactless offerings, the company also recently moved into the buy now pay later (BNPL) space with the launch of Apple Pay Later, which lets shoppers split the cost of a purchase made with their device into four equal payments over six weeks, without incurring interest or late fees.

Via MacRumors

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Phones aren’t selling well this year says Qualcomm, so Black Friday could be the time to buy

You might think that coming out of a pandemic with people out and about once again would push the demand for smartphones to climb, but it seems the opposite is true, as sales could be down 10% or more this year.

That’s according to Qualcomm, which in its latest earnings release – as spotted by The Verge – predicted that there could be a “low double-digit percentage decline” in handset volume this year, compared to last year. That’s a bigger drop than expected, with the company revising a previous estimate it made of a mid-single-digit percentage decline.

So why the lack of demand? Qualcomm points to the uncertain economic environment, which makes sense – smartphones tend to be expensive, and new ones might not be top of people's shopping lists, when money is a worry.

Interestingly, Qualcomm’s report also claims that due to a “rapid deterioration in demand” coupled with the “easing of supply constraints” in the semiconductor industry (which had previously been slowing down the production of smartphones), some companies now have a large inventory of phones that they’re struggling to shift.

Qualcomm didn’t name specific companies, but The Verge notes that both Samsung and Apple are likely to be among them, as earlier reports suggested Samsung had a huge number of handsets in stock, while Apple has reportedly ditched plans to increase production of the iPhone 14 line.


Analysis: Black Friday phone deals could be better than usual this year

If Qualcomm’s claims and predictions are accurate – which they likely are, since the company provides components for a huge selection of smartphones, so would know what’s going on in the industry – then a lot of companies might have stock they’ll be eager to shift.

Indeed, Qualcomm’s report even notes that there’s “roughly 8-10 weeks of elevated inventory,” so things might not stabilize until 2023.

All of which means companies might be inclined to drop prices on phones to help shift them over the next month or two, and that timing lines up nicely with Black Friday, which this year falls on November 25.

So it’s likely that we’ll see some eye-catching deals on smartphones both on Black Friday itself and the days surrounding it, including Cyber Monday on November 28, as these are prime opportunities for smartphone makers to increase their sales.

Plus, the whole reported reason for the lack of demand is that money is tight and costs are soaring for a lot of people, so reduced prices are likely to be all the more important and appealing to buyers, as well as sellers. As such, we’d strongly suggest keeping an eye out for the best Black Friday phone deals this year, with offers already starting to crop up.

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Xiaomi 12S Ultra concept fixes the cameraphone’s biggest problem

As impressive as smartphone cameras are these days, even the best camera phones face a couple of major limitations. One is the selection of lenses, since there’s a limit to how many different ones you can reasonably equip a phone with, and the other is the quality of those lenses, which is limited based on their necessarily small size. But Xiaomi has just shown off a phone that solves both of those problems.

The company took to Weibo – a Chinese social network – to reveal a modified version of the Xiaomi 12S Ultra (which already includes a one-inch sensor) that you can mount a Leica M-series lens to. The post included a video that’s been uploaded to YouTube by XDA Developers, so you can watch it below.

One inch is impressively large for a smartphone camera sensor, but as is true of any smartphone that touts photography as a key selling point, the bottleneck then becomes the smartphone-sized lenses used. While the standard Xiaomi 12S Ultra's 50MP Sony IMX989 is styled like any other smartphone camera, this newly-unveiled Xiaomi 12S Ultra concept doesn’t have a lens over the sensor at all – or at least not until you attach one.

In order to keep the sensor as clean as possible when a lens isn't attached, the company has opted for a sapphire crystal cover, that should repel scratches well; dust between the lens elements and the sensor seems like it would still be a persistent challenge, however.

Since you can attach and swap Leica M-series lenses, you’re not limited to just the one lens there, so you can take advantage of that powerful one-inch sensor across a variety of lenses (assuming you invest in a variety).

And these Leica lenses are designed for proper mirrorless and rangefinder cameras, so they’re much bigger and more capable than the lenses you’d typically find on a smartphone. If one was permanently attached to this Xiaomi phone, it would be impractical, but you can simply remove it when not in use, to keep the phone's conventional form factor intact.

For now, this is just a concept phone, so there’s no guarantee it will ever go on sale, but it’s not impossible to imagine that we’ll one day see this or something similar sold.


Analysis: a niche but exciting idea

A phone like this Xiaomi 12S Ultra concept is never likely to be mainstream, since it will only appeal to people who already have or want a proper camera, and aren’t satisfied with quality or look of conventional smartphone photos, but for those few, it could be a revelation.

There’s a saying that the best camera is the one you have with you, and since we all carry our phones around with us everywhere, that makes them the best – or at least the most useful – even if they're not the highest quality.

Carrying around a DSLR or mirrorless system is, for most of us, something we’d only do when we actively plan to be taking photos while out, and even then, it’s an extra thing to carry, which can be an annoyance.

So, Xiaomi's 12S Ultra concept could offer the quality of a proper camera without the need to carry a separate snapper. You will, of course, still need to bring at least one lens out with you, but there’s less weight and size there than in a whole dedicated camera system.

Plus, there are a wide variety of Leica M-series lenses out there, so there are already loads of compatible options, and for people who already own some, this Xiaomi concept could be even more tempting. So there’s no doubt this would be one of the best camera phones and best Xiaomi phones around, if it ever did launch.

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Did Xiaomi’s Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus rival just leak in full?

Things are quiet on the new phone front right now, but another busy period is right around the corner, with the Xiaomi 13 line likely to be among the first of an influx of new handsets, and we now have a good idea of what to expect from the Pro model.

According to Yogesh Brar – a leaker with a solid track record – in a tweet spotted by GSMArena, the Xiaomi 13 Pro will have a 6.7-inch 2K LTPO screen, a top-end Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, and a choice of 8GB or 12GB of RAM, paired with 128GB, 256GB or 512GB of storage.

The Xiaomi 12 Pro will also apparently have a 4,800mAh battery with very fast 120W charging, and will run Android 13 with Xiaomi’s MIUI 14 interface.

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On the camera front, the Xiaomi 13 Pro will supposedly have a 50MP main snapper, using the large 1-inch IMX989 sensor found in the Xiaomi 12S Ultra, plus a 50MP ultra-wide camera and a 50MP telephoto sensor, while the selfie camera will apparently be 32MP unit (presumed to pixel-bin down to 8MP shots, by default).

There’s also mention of Leica color science being used for the cameras, along with a Surge C2 ISP (image signal processor) and a Surge P2 chip that aids charging – Surge being a brand name that Xiaomi likes to use for its own silicon. All of that was also used by the Xiaomi 12 Pro, though. Finally, in a follow-up tweet, Brar stated that the Xiaomi 13 Pro will have an IP rating – likely IP68, so you can expect water resistance too.

As ever we’d take these claims with a pinch of salt, but there’s nothing that sounds particularly unlikely here.

If these specs are accurate, then the Xiaomi 13 Pro is likely to have an impressive main camera, speedy charging, and a powerful SoC – though on the chipset front, it will probably be no better than the Samsung Galaxy S23 line and lots of other 2023 flagships, as the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is expected to be the main high-end Android chipset in use next year.


Analysis: competing with the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus

Given that the Xiaomi 13 Pro might sit in the middle of the Xiaomi 12 line – underneath a possible Xiaomi 13 Ultra – and considering these rumored specs, its main competitor will probably be the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus.

That phone will likely also have a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, along with a similar size screen, with rumors pointing to a 6.6-inch display. However, the battery could be slightly lower capacity at 4,700mAh and much slower to charge, at 25W.

The camera specs could also be less impressive on paper, with leaks suggesting they’ll be similar to the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus’; including a 10MP telephoto camera and a 12MP ultra-wide. There’s less news on the main camera but that could be 50MP again, albeit with a smaller sensor than the Xiaomi 12 Pro is rumored to have.

As well as Xiaomi’s phone potentially having better specs, it could also land first, with reports suggesting it might land in November or December – at least in China, while the Samsung Galaxy S23 line probably won’t be unveiled until early 2023.

Still, both of these phones could rank among the best smartphones, so if you haven’t been tempted by any of 2022’s handsets, you’ll soon have some major new options.

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The first photo taken by the Samsung Galaxy S23 may have leaked

We're expecting to see the Samsung Galaxy S23 make an appearance around February time, bringing with it a slew of camera upgrades – upgrades that are shown off in what could be the first image captured by the phone that we've seen.

This photo comes from well-known tipster Ice Universe on Chinese social media site Weibo (via Galaxy Club and GSMArena). It's difficult to tell what it's depicting, but what we do know is that it's been taken with 16x magnification and then cropped.

The picture taken with a 200MP camera sensor (tipped to appear in the Galaxy S23 Ultra) is compared to a picture taken with a 108MP camera sensor (which we know is fitted to the Galaxy S22 Ultra) – and you can clearly see how much sharper the 200MP version is.

Snap happy

This needs to be taken in the context of some tweets we saw from Ice Universe yesterday, which detailed improvements to low light shots and increased telephoto capabilities supposedly coming with the Galaxy S23 Ultra phone next year.

Add in this image and it seems likely that the tipster has managed to get hold of a prototype unit, or at least is speaking with someone who has. The verdict is that this is "the biggest improvement of Samsung's flagship mobile phone in five years" – in terms of the camera capabilities, anyway.

We might not get such a promising upgrade on the standard Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus handsets, however. From what we've heard so far, the rear cameras on those phones are likely to closely match those on the current models.


Analysis: the numbers game

Based on this admittedly very limited look at the camera capabilities of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, it would seem that it's going to go above and beyond what the Galaxy S22 Ultra can do – and the current phone is already very impressive when it comes to the images and videos that it can capture.

If indeed the Galaxy S23 Ultra makes the jump to a 200MP main camera sensor, as rumored, then that's to be welcomed. As we've written about before though, the number of megapixels is far from the only factor to consider when weighing up how good a smartphone camera actually is.

The size of those pixels – how much light they can let in – is crucial too, as is the AI processing applied to the captured images and clips (Ice Universe says AI processing was switched off for the image posted on Weibo).

The Google Pixel phones are well-known for excelling at image processing – remember that the Google Pixel 7 'only' has a 50MP main camera sensor, but can still take excellent snaps. In other words, wait until you see real world image and video samples before assessing a particular phone's camera performance.

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iPhone 15 Pro could jump to 8GB RAM, include a periscope camera

We're only just getting used to the iPhone 14 being out in the wild, but the rumors are already flying about what Apple might do with its successor – and a new iPhone 15 report suggests that the Pro models are set to get 8GB of RAM and a periscope camera.

This comes from the industry analysts at Trendforce (via SamMobile), who have a reasonable record when it comes to predicting what Apple's hardware department is going to produce. Apparently, "chances are high" for an 8GB RAM boost in the Pro and Pro Max and improvements to the camera technology, specifically for the Pro Max.

The current iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max models have 6GB of RAM installed, though this isn't traditionally something Apple talks much about (RAM isn't listed in the iPhone tech specs page on the Apple website, for example).

Up periscope

The periscope camera rumor is interesting: it's a camera design we've seen on Android phones (including the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra), where thanks to some mirror trickery the camera extends down the length of a phone, allowing more room for zoom lenses.

It's something that we've been hearing might come to the iPhone for several years now, and if it does indeed arrive with the iPhone 15 Pro Max, then expect the 3x optical zoom on the current model to get a significant boost – assuming Apple can find enough room in the device to fit in the camera mechanisms.

The same research note also mentions the Pro and Pro Max models having a faster processor than the standard iPhone 15 handsets: that's something Apple has done this year and that it's expected to do next year too.


Analysis: what does RAM do anyway?

iPhones have tended to lag behind their Android competitors when it comes to the amount of RAM they pack in – the Samsung Galaxy S22 has already hit 8GB, for instance – and this may be one of the reasons that Apple doesn't refer to the spec when launching new handsets or indeed advertising them on its own website.

So is this RAM (Random Access Memory) important, or isn't it? As on a computer, RAM can be thought of as a phone's 'thinking space' – it's where it keeps data about the photo you're editing, or the webpage you're looking at, or the game you're playing. When your phone restarts, everything gets cleared out of the RAM and you start again.

More RAM therefore means more room for your phone to think. Switching quickly between multiple apps, or working on bigger images, or playing games with more detailed graphics should be faster. However, phone speed also depends on how well the RAM is optimized (as well as other factors, not least the chipset speed).

This is where Apple excels: with full control over the hardware and software on the iPhone, it can typically optimize RAM very well, quickly removing old information that's no longer needed to make room for new information. That ensures top-tier performance even with lower amounts of RAM, although an 8GB upgrade will still be very welcome.

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iOS 16.1 bug that randomly drops Wi-Fi has iPhone owners tearing hair out

It appears that iOS 16.1 has a bug which is causing Wi-Fi connections to become very flaky for iPhone and iPad users, at least going by numerous reports online.

As MacRumors flags up, the problem consists of random disconnects of the wireless connection after updating to iOS 16.1, an issue that users across Twitter and Reddit are complaining about, and folks on Apple’s support forum too.

Some affected people say the problem can crop up regularly, such as disconnecting (then reconnecting) every 10 seconds or so (which would, of course, be hugely frustrating).

Typical complaints run something like this: “I’ve upgraded to iOS 16.1, I have trouble with Wi-Fi, my Wi-Fi sign keep[s] disappearing and appears by itself.”

Or this: “Was watching NBA and the stream was fine as it’s hardwired on ATV4K. But my iPad and iPhone lost Wi-Fi access. And I was a few feet from the router. It was weird because ISP had no issues. Rebooted router and all was good.”

And indeed this: “I have this issue and it is super inconsistent. Things like my browser will still work but Zoom/Google Meet/etc. stop working unless I disconnect from Wi-Fi and just do the call on 5G.”


Analysis: A frustrating bug, but there are potential workarounds

Between the randomness of the disconnects and the way problems are playing out in slightly different manners, this is a weird one.

Also note that some users observe that this flaw was popping up in the iOS 16.1 beta – which wouldn’t be overly surprising, though you’d hope this would flag it to be fixed – or even before with iOS 16.0 in what appear to be rare cases. So, if the gremlin has cropped up before, iOS 16.1 seems to have made things somehow worse.

With any luck this is something Apple is looking into as a priority, but in the meantime, there are some suggested workarounds.

The most commonly theorized cure is to forget the Wi-Fi network, then add it back – some say this works to resolve the problem, but others indicate it didn’t make any difference for them. It’s worth a whirl, though, if you are facing this particular Wi-Fi conundrum.

Another theory we’ve seen is to head to Settings / Privacy & Security / Location Services / System Services, and then switch off the Networking & Wireless toggle.

It’s not clear exactly how big an issue this is, but there seem to be a worrying amount of complaints around this, so hopefully, an Apple investigation into these Wi-Fi woes will proceed swiftly.

Meantime, fingers crossed that one of the mentioned workarounds will hold you over, though much like the disconnections themselves, whether or not they work seems to be rather random.

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