iPhone 15 Pro tipped to get thinner bezels and curved edges

More details have emerged around what we can expect from the iPhone 15 coming later this year: thinner bezels on the two Pro models, and curved edges on all four handsets, for an Apple Watch-like aesthetic.

This comes from experienced Apple tipster ShrimpApplePro (via MacRumors), who says that  the display sizes on the four phones will remain the same as last year. What's more, the Dynamic Island will be making its way to every model too.

The tipster emphasizes that the screens will remain flat – it's only the bezels that will curve into the rest of the phone casing. However, there's apparently not going to be much change in the design of the selfie camera phone unit.

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The return of the curves

Take a look at the iPhone 14 and you'll see that the bezels are already impressively thin, so it's going to be interesting to see exactly how much they're going to be reduced when it comes to the two more expensive handsets in the range.

We're also keen to see these curved bezels too. It's possible that Apple may go back to a more curved design overall, something like we saw with the iPhone 11. It wouldn't be the first time that an iPhone screen tapered away at the edges.

The source here calls the most expensive model the "iPhone 15 Pro Max (aka Ultra)", acknowledging that we're still not sure what Apple is going to call this phone: we've heard several iPhone 15 Ultra rumors in recent weeks.


Analysis: the most beautiful iPhone yet?

The same leaker that has provided this new information also says that the iPhone 15 Pro Max (or iPhone 15 Ultra) is apparently "very beautiful" – and from the description we can see how these phones would have a lot of visual appeal.

With the bezels thinner on the Pro models, almost all of the screen will be taken up by actual pixels. Add in the curved effect right at the edges, and we get the impression that the iPhone 15 lineup might be very easy on the eye indeed.

While these thinner bezels aren't coming to the iPhone 15 and the iPhone 15 Plus, according to the rumor, those handsets are also going to curve slightly at the edges. The angular look is out, and the more rounded look is back in, it would seem.

Given the experience and expertise of Apple's design team, we're now very much looking forward to seeing what the iPhone 15 series has to offer in terms of what they actually look like – and it's been a few years since we've been able to say that.

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New Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra leak tells us more about the camera upgrades

You might have thought just about every aspect of the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S23 phones had leaked at this point, but not so – the rumor mill keeps coming up with more information about these flagship devices ahead of their February 1 launch.

Today we've got another tidbit of information from well-known provider of leaks Ice Universe (via GSMArena), who has taken to Chinese social media platform Weibo to give us some details of the portrait video mode on the Galaxy S23 Ultra.

The source says that the mode will be capable of shooting in a 4K resolution at 30 frames per second, with the phone offering relatively good thermal control so that the processing power required to capture clips in this mode doesn't overheat the phone.

Resolution bump

We weren't hugely impressed with the portrait video mode on the Galaxy S22 Ultra, especially compared with cinematic mode on the iPhone. In both cases, the subject of a video is kept in focus while the background gets blurred.

The current Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra can capture normal video at an 8K resolution at 24 frames per second, or at a 4K resolution at 60 frames per second. In portrait mode, that goes down to a 1080p resolution at 30 frames per second.

What's not clear is whether or not the other two Galaxy S23 models are going to get portrait mode this time around. All will be revealed when Samsung's next Unpacked launch event rolls around, and it's only a couple of weeks away.


Analysis: a tale of two sensors

Based on the rumors we've heard so far, we're expecting the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra to come fitted with the new 200MP ISOCELL HP2 sensor that Samsung has revealed. The standard and Plus models, meanwhile, are rumored to be sticking to a 50MP main sensor.

That should mean that the Ultra model is the one to look at for the most substantial camera upgrades over last year's models. So far we've heard that the night vision capabilities will be better, and we've seen sample shots for comparison purposes.

There has also been talk that Samsung is adding more modes on the software side, to go with improvements in the hardware. From a photo and video standpoint, you should be able to do more than ever with the upcoming Galaxy S23 handsets.

In fact there's been so much buzz around this that we think the Galaxy S23 Ultra could be one of the best photo-taking phones of the year – and it might even have more to offer than whatever Apple is plotting with the cameras on the iPhone 15.

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Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: latest rumors and everything we know so far

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra has the potential be one of the best phones of 2023, and there’s not long to wait for it, as Samsung is set to unveil the S23 series at Galaxy Unpacked 2023 on February 1.

We’re expecting to see the vanilla Samsung Galaxy S23 and the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus as well, but the Ultra will be the top model, and the one with the very best specs and features.

And while it’s coming soon, you don’t even need to wait until the unveiling to learn a lot about it, because the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra has been extensively leaked. Below you’ll find all the credible leaks and rumors that have emerged so far.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? Samsung's next top flagship phone
  • When is it out? February 1
  • How much will it cost? Expect an extremely high price

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: release date and price

  • Announcement expected on February 1
  • The price might be slightly higher than last year

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is expected to land at Galaxy Unpacked 2023 on February 1. This kicks off on Wednesday, February 1, at 10am PT / 1pm ET / 6pm GMT, on 5am AEDT on February 2 for those in Australia.

It will be streamed online, so check out how to watch the Samsung Galaxy S23 launch online live. Of course, you can also just head to TechRadar, because we’ll be covering the announcement in full, as it happens.

There’s no confirmation of when the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra will actually ship, but one leak points to February 17. We’d expect you’ll be able to place your order shortly after the announcement though, and in fact you can already reserve one if you’re in the US.

An advert for Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2023

(Image credit: Samsung)

Hopefully, you’ve been saving though, because the consensus from leaks seems to be that the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra will cost more than the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, which for reference starts at $1,199.99 / £1,149 / AU$1,849.

As for the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, one price leak suggests it'll start at $1,249, which would be for a model with 256GB of storage and 8GB of RAM. It would apparently rise to $1,349 for 512GB of storage and 12GB of RAM, and $1,499 for 1TB of storage and 12GB of RAM.

We’ve also heard the possible Australian price, with the phone said to start at AU$1,950 in the region.

So far there isn’t any UK pricing, but based on these leaks it seems likely that the Galaxy S23 Ultra will cost somewhere between £50-£100 more than the S22 Ultra, meaning a starting price of between £1,200 and £1,250.

However, it’s worth noting that leaks suggest the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra will start with 256GB of storage as its baseline, compared to 128GB for the S22 Ultra. In which case, if you compare the rumored S23 Ultra starting prices with the 256GB model of the S22 Ultra (which costs $1,299.99 / £1,249 / AU$1,999), the pricing doesn’t look too bad.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: design

  • A very similar design to the S22 Ultra
  • Likely to be available in at least four shades

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra could be a lot like the S22 Ultra – at least on the outside. That means an angular, all-screen design, a rear that’s almost rippling with cameras, and a slot for the S Pen stylus that’s sure to be included.

We’ve seen numerous images that show this appearance, including renders, marketing images, dummy units, and cases.

You can see a selection of these shots below (many of which are from an extensive gallery on WinFuture) and they all show basically the same thing – namely a phone that looks a whole lot like the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.

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A leaked marketing image of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

(Image credit: Samsung / WinFuture)
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A leaked marketing image of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

(Image credit: Samsung / WinFuture)
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An unofficial render of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

(Image credit: @OnLeaks / SmartPrix)
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A leaked marketing image of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

(Image credit: Samsung / WinFuture)
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A leaked marketing image of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

(Image credit: Samsung / WinFuture)
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A leaked marketing image of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

(Image credit: Samsung / WinFuture)

The weight and dimensions could be very similar too, with one leak pointing to the S23 Ultra being 163.4 x 78.1 x 8.9mm and 233g, versus 163.3 x 77.9 x 8.9mm and 228g on the current model. We’re also expecting an IP68 certification for water resistance, just like the Galaxy S22 Ultra.

The main visual difference could simply be the colors the new phone comes in, as numerous reports suggest that the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra colors include Cotton Flower (cream), Misty Lilac (pink), Botanic Green and Phantom Black. Those are apparently their official names, but lots of other leaks mention shades that sound like they match up with that.

We’ve heard the apparently-official names a number of times too though, and seen images of how they might look, some of which you can see above and below.

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Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra leak

(Image credit: Evan Blass)
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Leaked images of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra in four shades

(Image credit: Samsung / SnoopyTech)

One source suggests that there might be other colors too, but these would reportedly be exclusive to Samsung stores.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: display

  • Leaks point to a 6.8-inch QHD+ 120Hz screen
  • Brighter and tougher than before

As with the overall design of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, we’re not expecting much new from its screen, with spec leaks pointing to a 6.8-inch 1440 x 3088 AMOLED screen with 500 pixels per inch, HDR10+ support, and a 120Hz variable refresh rate (that can drop as low as 1Hz).

That same source suggests the screen will be protected by Gorilla Glass Victus 2, which is an upgrade and should be tougher than the protection on the S22 Ultra’s display.

We’ve heard a less detailed version of these screen specs elsewhere as well, so there’s a good chance this is accurate.

One other upgrade the screen might have though is to its brightness, with a leak suggesting it could be able to reach 2150 nits or more, compared to 1750 nits on the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.

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Two things we’re not expecting are an under-display camera and improvements to the in-screen fingerprint sensor, with leaks suggesting they’re not on the cards.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: camera and battery

  • New 200MP camera likely
  • The other lenses could stay the same

The single biggest upgrade on the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra could be its camera, as the main sensor is widely rumored to be a new 200MP one.

Samsung has actually announced multiple 200MP smartphone cameras, with the recent ISOCELL HP2 being the frontrunner for inclusion.

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Leak suggest this will enable fantastic night shots and the ability to take hyperlapse videos of the sky.

However, the other cameras might not be getting upgraded, with reports pointing to the same 12MP ultra-wide, 10MP telephoto with 3x optical zoom, and 10MP periscope with 10x optical zoom.

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There might be some new and improved software though, such as the ability to save RAW photos at 50MP quality, and a Pro mode for the selfie camera. We’ve also heard that the focusing and anti-shake might be better than before on this phone.

Speaking of the selfie camera, that might get a 12MP sensor, according to one report, though as the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra has a 40MP selfie camera, that seems odd.

As for the battery, we’re not expecting changes there, with leaks suggesting the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is sticking with a 5,000mAh battery, 45W wired charging, and either 15W or 10W wireless charging.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: specs and features

  • Expect a powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset
  • Leaks point to 8GB or 12GB of RAM

The thing we’re most sure of, with regards to expectations for the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, is that it will have a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, as not only has that been extensively rumored but it’s the obvious choice – at least in some parts of the world.

However, while previous models have also used Exynos chipsets in some regions, reports suggest the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra will use the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset everywhere.

Better yet, this could be an enhanced version of the chipset, making it better here than in non-Samsung phones – and this is already the top Android chipset available.

Reportedly, this chipset will allow for a 36% increase in processor speed, a 48% increase in graphics performance, and a 60% increase in neural processing compared to the Galaxy S22 Ultra.

As for RAM, leaks point to a choice of 8GB or 12GB, while for storage we’re expecting 256GB, 512GB and 1TB options. Though the 1TB model might be exclusive to Samsung stores.

Beyond that, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra will, of course, support 5G and it might also offer emergency satellite communications. We’ve also heard talk of improvements to the speakers and microphone, so audio could be impressive here.

Finally, for software the phone is sure to run Android 13, likely overlaid with Samsung’s One UI 5.1 interface.

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The OnePlus 11 might be a worse phone in the US than elsewhere

The OnePlus 11 is already available in China, so while it’s not getting a global launch until February 7, we already know most things about it – including its impressive 100W charging speeds. However, that might not be the case in the US.

According to both SnoopyTech and Max Jambor – a pair of leakers with good track records (via 91Mobiles) – the US version of the OnePlus 11 will be limited to 80W charging.

The first of those leakers even backed up their claim with what appears to be official marketing copy for the US model, which also mentions 16GB of RAM. There’s a 16GB version for China too, but sometimes different regions get different configurations, so it’s nice to know the US will probably get this high spec version.

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The charging though is disappointing, but not overly surprising since the same thing happened with the OnePlus 10 Pro – most versions of that phone could charge at up to 80W, but the US model topped out at 65W.

So at least 80W here would be an upgrade on the OnePlus 10 Pro’s charging speeds for US buyers, but it’s a shame it won’t match the 100W global version, which OnePlus quotes delivers a full charge in just 25 minutes. Of course, we take this claim with a pinch of salt until we can test it out ourselves, but it does seem likely.


Analysis: why are US buyers getting a version with slower charging?

The decision to offer slower charging with US versions of the OnePlus 11 won’t be being made arbitrarily. Rather, if this is the case it’s almost certainly a technological issue.

The reason the OnePlus 10 Pro charges slower in the US is that the 80W SUPERVOOC charging technology used by the phone is designed to support 220V-240V power outlets, as that’s the standard range used in Europe, China, and India.

However, in the US most outlets are 110V or 120V, and the technology doesn’t fully support working with this lower voltage, thus limiting the charging speed.

Presumably, we’re seeing the same issue here – OnePlus is using upgraded 100W SuperVOOC charging technology in the OnePlus 11, which likely still doesn’t fully support 110V or 120V, so the charging speed is higher than with 80W SUPERVOOC, but not as high as in other regions.

This is presumably a problem that could have been fixed, but possibly not by OnePlus itself, since the SuperVOOC technology is created by its corporate sibling, Oppo and their parent company BBK Electronics. Given Oppo’s limited presence in the US, this likely wasn’t a high priority for the company.

Still, it’s a shame, as it makes what’s likely to be one of the best Android phones a little worse in that particular region.

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Apple’s Black History Month plans may tip an earlier than expected iOS 16.3 launch

To celebrate February's Black History Month, Apple is rolling out this year’s Black Unity Collection featuring a special edition Sport Loop for select Apple Watch models plus new curated collections and content for multiple iOS platforms.

2023’s Black Unity Sport Loop is made from intricately woven yarn spelling out the word “Unity” using the same red, green, and black colors to reflect the Pan-African flag; similar to last year's offering. The strap comes in two sizes, 41mm and 45mm, which can fit the “Apple Watch SE, Apple Watch Series 4 or newer, and [the] Apple Watch Ultra (45mm band only).” Apple Watch and iPhone owners can also download a matching Pan-African watch face and phone wallpaper sometime next week. However, both designs require their respective devices to run watchOS 9.3 and iOS 16.3; both of which haven’t been officially released yet at the time of this writing. They’re currently both in beta.

Considering the software requirement, Apple is possibly hinting that both iOS 16.3 and watchOS 9.3 are launching sooner than expected. According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, the update is supposed to release between February and March. We asked Apple if both watchOS 9.3 and iOS 16.3 are launching next week to coincide with the Black Unity Collection. This story will be updated if we hear back.

The Sport Loop, on the other hand, is currently available on Apple’s online store for $49. Or if you prefer an in-person purchase, you can buy the strap at “select Apple Store locations beginning January 2 

New content

Regarding the new content, Apple teamed up with the Smithsonian to create a series of Guides for Apple Maps highlighting key moments in the civil rights movement from the past century or so. Each Guide covers a specific time period and the events that occurred. For example, the 1960-1978 portion talks about Martin Luther King Jr., whereas the 1980-2020 guide touches more contemporary history like Black Lives Matter.

Apple Fitness Plus subscribers will get new episodes of Time to Walk and Time to Run on January 30. For the former, the episode will feature famed R&B singer Patti LaBelle who will offer some insight into her life and family. Time to Run’s content is a run-through of the music and artists from South Los Angeles that “helped put West Coast hip-hop on the map.” 

Most of the curated collections are just that; a collection of content centered on Black artists. Apple Books, for example, will further push its Read More Black Authors collection with the aim to connect readers (and audiobook listeners) to books “across different genres.” Apple Music has updated its For Us, By Us playlist to house more songs based on “resilience and resistance.” 

Apple Podcasts will highlight shows that talk about how Black media in general has greatly influenced the world; however, you'll have to wait a bit before you can listen. This collection launches on February 1.

Going back to iOS 16.3, which we mentioned earlier, there is an important fix arriving in that update. It addresses random green and yellow lines flashing across an iPhone’s screen when booting up. Apparently, it’s caused by the Home app. Be sure to check out TechRadar’s coverage of that rather annoying problem. 

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Pixel Fold video suggests it could trump the Galaxy Z Fold 4 in a few key areas

Samsung has done well with foldable phones, but with the upcoming Google Pixel Fold it could have some serious competition, and a new video highlights the advantages Google’s debut foldable might offer.

YouTuber Dave2D has got hold of a blank reference model of the phone, which is supposedly dimensionally accurate. It’s the sort of thing case manufacturers might get access to so they can design accessories for a device, before it’s launched.

If this is accurate, it reveals a lot about the functionality and hardware layout of the Pixel Fold. For one thing, this Google Pixel Fold looks to have a shorter, wider screen than the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, which could make the 5.79-inch cover display easier to use with one hand. It also means that you get more a widescreen, landscape-style 7.67-inch foldable display.

This model is also very slim, coming in at just 5.7mm at the thinnest point, when open and 8.7mm including the camera block – which juts out a lot like on the Pixel 7 series.

The hinge sounds promising too, folding in such a way that there’s no real gap between the two screen sections, which is likely to also mean the crease in the screen is less visible than on the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 – though it’s impossible to say for sure with a blank dummy unit.

Other notable details include the positioning of the dual speakers, with one on the top left and one on the bottom right (when held open in portrait), which means that whatever orientation you hold the Pixel Fold, you’ll get stereo sound.

As for the cameras, there’s apparently space for three lenses on the rear camera bar. There’s likely to be a punch-hole camera on the cover screen, and there’s a lens in the bezel at the top right above the foldable display.

Speaking of the bezel, that’s the one main weakness of the Pixel Fold as shown here, as there’s quite a large bezel both above and below the foldable display, which could leave the Pixel Fold looking less premium than most rival foldables.

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A Pixel Fold blank model

(Image credit: Dave2D)
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A Pixel Fold blank model

(Image credit: Dave2D)
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A Pixel Fold blank model

(Image credit: Dave2D)

Analysis: the big bezels could be a secret strength

We said above that the big bezels here could be seen as a weakness, but they could also end up being a strength because, as Dave2D points out, Google likely decided on this design in order to cut costs.

Foldable phones – particularly of this form factor – are notoriously expensive, with the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, for example, starting at $1,799 / £1,649 / AU$2,499, and the price goes up if you want more storage.

So, if Google can knock some money off the price – with Dave2D predicting we could be talking a $200 to $300 difference – by including relatively large bezels, then that might well be worthwhile; as it could make this phone a lot more affordable – and therefore a lot more mainstream.

Couple that with the other advantages the Pixel Fold might have over Samsung’s top foldable – like an easier to use form factor and a less visible crease – and Google could have one of the best foldable phones on its hands.

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The Samsung Galaxy S23 series may be more affordable than we thought

The official launch of Samsung’s Galaxy S23 smartphones is less than two weeks away, but the cat may already be out of the bag when it comes to the line’s pricing. 

According to leaked Verizon documents posted to Reddit (H/T 9to5Google), the Samsung Galaxy S23, Galaxy S23 Plus and Galaxy S23 Ultra will retail for $799.99, $999.99 and $1,199.99 in the US, respectively. For context, those figures are identical to the launch prices of the Samsung Galaxy S22 series. 

We’ll be able to verify the accuracy of those numbers when the Galaxy S23 lineup is properly unveiled during Samsung Unpacked 2023 (which kicks off at 10am PT / 1pm ET / 6pm GMT on February 1, or 5am AEDT on February 2 in Australia), but we’re quietly confident that the new smartphones won’t cost more than their predecessors – in the US, at least.

The Verizon leak will come as welcome news to prospective Galaxy S23 customers worried by previous rumors hinting at price increases for Samsung’s flagship line. In recent weeks, documents pointing towards lofty Galaxy S23 prices in both South Korea and Australia have circulated across the web, leading many (including us) to suggest that similar prices would surface in the US and UK. 

Those suggestions were, however, made using less-than-reliable exchange rate calculations – and official carrier documents are usually a more reliable source of information than Twitter leaks and commentator speculation. In any case, we’ll know for sure on February 1.

More than just price confirmation

A leaked marketing image of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

A leaked marketing image of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra (Image credit: Samsung / WinFuture)

In addition to revealing the US pricing of the Samsung Galaxy S23 series, these leaked Verizon documents also appear to all-but-confirm previous feature and release date rumors.

According to the document, all three variants of the Galaxy S23 will start at 8GB of RAM, with the vanilla model packing 128GB of storage and both the S23 Plus and S23 Ultra models packing 256GB. The standard S23 will be available in a 256GB model, too, while its pricier siblings can be bumped up to 512GB (the larger variant of the Ultra will also sport 12GB of RAM). 

What’s more, the launch date for all three models appears to have been confirmed by Verizon as February 17. Samsung’s reservation page is still open for pre-orders, and it’s worth flagging that you’ll get a nice little $50 store credit should you commit to purchasing one of the company’s shiny new models.

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Google’s incoming AirTag rival could be an Android moment for Bluetooth trackers

Google is strongly rumored to be launching its own Bluetooth location tracker to rival Apple's AirTag and Tile this year – and it could take the little object-finding tools to the next level, for good and bad.

The reliable leaker Kuba Wojciechowski has unearthed a lot of evidence for the Google tracker, codenamed Grogu, suggesting that it's both real and could arrive at Google I/O 2023. Like AirTags, they apparently have an onboard speaker for emitting sounds from lost devices and pack both UWB (Ultra-wideband) and Bluetooth Low Energy connectivity.

But the feature that could make Google's device an Android-sized moment for trackers is its upcoming version of Apple's 'Find My' network. Google's tracker is expected to support Fast Pair, an existing Android feature that helps you find nearby Bluetooth devices. And with Google apparently bringing support for trackers and locator tags to Fast Pair, another giant object-tracking ecosystem could be imminent.

Google's 'Finder Network' (as separate rumors have branded it) could really take Bluetooth trackers mainstream. If your Apple AirTag is out of Bluetooth range, you can still get location info thanks to the 'Find My' network, which anonymously uses the Bluetooth connections of fellow Apple users to look for other trackers. But AirTags are naturally tied into Apple devices, whereas Google's system could be open to both global Android users and third-party manufacturers.

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The leaker Kuba Wojciechowski claims that Google is working with several chipset makers "to bring support for the new Fast Pair-based technology to their products". Combine multiple manufacturers making an Android version of AirTags, plus the several billion Android devices out there, and you have a potentially huge Bluetooth tracking network.

Android devices do currently have a 'Find My Device' function, but this is restricted to remotely encrypting lost devices or finding their last known location based on your own connection. A crowd-sourced 'Finder Network' would take that to another level entirely, potentially making it much easier to find devices – but also opening up the same possibilities for misuse that have dogged Apple's AirTags.

Another potential boost for Google's system is that your phone or tablet apparently won't need to have UWB connectivity to work with the so-called 'Finder Network'. According to Kuba Wojciechowski, Bluetooth Low Energy will be enough – and that would help open it up to current devices, rather than just new ones.


Analysis: The end of losing things?

A concept render of a hand holding a phone for a Google tracking device

A concept for a Google equivalent to AirTag was recently posted on Yanko Design above. We're not sure about the name, though. (Image credit: Obi Fidler / Yanko Design)

Google is clearly working on more than just a rival to AirTags or Tile – it appears to building its own vast 'Find My' network, with Android as the foundation. And that could be big deal if you're prone to losing expensive tech or prized possessions.

At last year's Google I/O 2022 conference, the company revealed that there were over three billion active Android devices in the world. With that level of reach, the 'Finder Network' (or whatever it's ultimately called) could make Bluetooth trackers an almost essential purchase for the absent-minded.

But it could also raise lots of new privacy concerns, too. Apple has done a lot to address issues with so-called 'AirTag stalking', where the trackers have been used to follow people without their knowledge. You'll now get an alert if an AirTag has been following you for a while or if you're near an unknown AirTag.

This system doesn't work brilliantly for everyone, though, with the equivalent app for Android requiring you to check manually for AirTags rather than scanning away in the background. These are the kinds of issues that Google's trackers and network will need to iron out, particularly if they're anonymously linked to a good proportion of those three billion global Android devices.

With third-party manufacturers also apparently invited to Google's tracker party, though, the potential is huge – and the next year could see the AirTag and Tile concept taken to vast new scale.

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Samsung Galaxy S23 series specs and pricing detailed in extensive new leaks

Some phones leak more than others, and at this point it feels like the Samsung Galaxy S23 series has leaked more than almost any other, as now on top of all the other leaks to date, we’ve got a complete specs list for all three phones.

Starting with the standard Samsung Galaxy S23 – in a list shared by WinFuture – this phone apparently has a 6.1-inch 1080 x 2340 AMOLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate (that can drop as low as 48Hz when a high refresh isn’t needed). The screen also apparently has 425 pixels per inch (suggesting the panel might be closer to 6.06-inches), support for HDR10+, and is said to be protected by Gorilla Glass Victus 2.

Other listed specs include a Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 2 chipset, 8GB of RAM, 128GB or 256GB of storage, and a 3,900mAh battery with 25W wired charging and 10W wireless charging.

The camera is apparently once again a triple-lens system with a 50MP f/1.8 main sensor, a 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide, and a 10MP f/2.4 telephoto, with 3x optical zoom. There’s apparently also a 12MP selfie camera, and the phone is said to run Android 13 with Samsung’s One UI 5.1.

Finally, it apparently comes in at 146.3 x 70.9 x 7.6mm and 167g, has an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance, and comes in a choice of black, Cotton, green and violet shades.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Cotton Flower leaked press image with Galaxy Watch 5 | Source: WinFuture

(Image credit: WinFuture)

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus is listed as having the same cameras, software, water resistance, chipset and RAM amount, and looks set to come in the same shades, but other specs vary. For example, it apparently has a 6.6-inch screen with 393 pixels per inch – though otherwise identical screen specs.

It’s also listed as coming with a choice of 256GB or 512GB of storage, and having a 4,700mAh battery, with faster 45W wired charging, along with 10W wireless charging. Of course, having a bigger screen means it’s also a bigger phone, with dimensions reportedly of 157.8 x 76.2 x 7.6mm, and a weight of 195g.

Finally there’s the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, and the specs leak for this came from @BillbilKun (via NotebookCheck), who shared what appears to be official imagery showing the specs.

A leaked specs list for the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

(Image credit: @BillbilKun)

This lists a 6.8-inch 1440 x 3088 AMOLED screen with a variable refresh rate of between 1Hz and 120Hz. The display apparently has 500 pixels per inch, HDR10+ support, and Gorilla Glass Victus 2.

There’s also mention of a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, a choice of 8GB or 12GB of RAM, along with 256GB, 512GB or 1TB of storage, and a 5,000mAh battery with 45W wired charging and 10W wireless.

The camera apparently includes a 200MP f/1.7 main snapper, a 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide, a 10MP f/2.3 telephoto with 3x optical zoom, and a 10MP f/4.9 periscope with 10x optical zoom. There’s also mention of a 12MP camera on the front, Android 13, and One UI 5.1.

The dimensions are listed as 163.4 x 78.1 x 8.9mm, the weight as 233g, there’s mention of an IP68 certification, and the colors are listed a green, black, cream and lavender – which probably means the same shades as the other two models.

As if this wasn’t enough, Samsung Galaxy S23 information for one day though, there’s additionally a pricing leak, with 9to5Google claiming to have seen Australian pricing information for the phones.

This information states that the Samsung Galaxy S23 will start at AU$1,350, the Galaxy S23 Plus at AU$1,650, and the Galaxy S23 Ultra at AU$1,950.

That’s AU$100 more in every case than the Galaxy S22 series costs, so we could see similar price rises in other regions. Direct conversions are unlikely to be accurate, but if these prices are right then we’d think a starting price rise of between roughly $50/£50 and $100/£100 seems likely.

That said, if the specs leaks above are right, then in the case of the Galaxy S23 Plus and S23 Ultra, you’ll also be getting more storage for that starting price, so it might only be the standard Samsung Galaxy S23 that ends up feeling excessively expensive.


Analysis: small differences that we’ve heard before

While this is the most complete specs picture we’ve yet had for these phones, most of these details have been leaked before in bits and pieces, and this latest leak lines up with the earlier ones, so there’s a high chance these specs are accurate.

If so, then the main differences between the S23 series and the Galaxy S22 series includes the chipset, and in the case of the Galaxy S23 Ultra the main camera.

The standard and Plus models also seemingly have slightly bigger batteries and better selfie cameras than their predecessors, and the Gorilla Glass might be upgraded on all three phones.

A lot of the key specs look identical to the Galaxy S22 series though, including the screens, most of the cameras, and the S23 Ultra’s battery. So if you already have one of the best Samsung phones out there, you might not feel the need to upgrade on 2023.

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iPhone 16 Pro could be the first mid-level Apple phone with a periscope zoom lens

Apple’s iPhone 15 range isn’t likely to see the light of day until September 2023, but that hasn’t stopped tipsters from speculating about what to expect from the company’s iPhone 16 lineup, which will almost certainly follow in 2024. 

According to a new report from Korean outlet The Elec (H/T Wccftech), Apple’s iPhone 16 Pro models will arrive sporting a periscope zoom lens – a feature widely expected to be exclusive to the iPhone 15 Ultra when the next iPhones arrive in 2023. 

In other words, customers holding out until 2024 for their next iPhone upgrade may not need to spend big on Apple’s top-of-the-range handset to benefit from periscope zoom technology. Instead, the iPhone 16 Pro could be the first ‘mid-level’ iPhone to offer the sought-after photography feature. 

Periscope cameras – which get their name from their similarity to the instrument used on submarines and other naval vessels – essentially allow the viewer to zoom to extreme lengths while maintaining image quality. In the limited space of a phone's camera module, a periscope camera uses mirrors to allow for more lens elements, and therefore a longer zoom length.

Naturally, smartphone-sized iterations of the technology are expensive to produce, and periscope cameras have so far been reserved for high-end models like the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, Huawei P50 Pro, Honor Magic 4 Pro and Xiaomi 12S Ultra.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra in burgundy, held in a hand with the back showing

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra features a periscope zoom lens (Image credit: Samsung)

Of course, the iPhone 16 Pro (and its inevitable Pro Max sibling) will almost certainly still sit at the high-end of Apple's smartphone range – the iPhone 14 Pro, for instance, retails for the not-so-small price of $999 / £1,099 / AU$1,749 – but the rumored existence of an iPhone 15 Ultra suggests Apple will also be releasing an iPhone 16 Ultra, which would relegate the iPhone 16 Pro to mid-tier status (as Apple devices go, at least).

Analysis: sharing is caring?

News of the iPhone 16 Pro’s periscope lens comes just days after other rumors hinted that Apple’s Dynamic Island – the virtual notch replacement that debuted as a Pro-exclusive feature on last year’s iPhone 14 lineup – will find its way onto every iPhone 15 model in 2023

It’s clear, then, that Apple is keen to make its newer, high-end features available to as many users as possible – but only after those features have enjoyed a year of top-level iPhone exclusivity. 

Other features touted as being exclusive to the rumored iPhone 15 Ultra include Apple’s next chip upgrade – likely to be the A17 Bionic – and a titanium frame. If we were a betting publication, we’d wager that both features will be appearing on the iPhone 16 Pro, too. 

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Samsung is ready to let you repair your own laptops

Nearly six months after the initial launch, Samsung is expanding its Self-Repair Program to include five new repairable devices.

Joining the likes of the Galaxy S20 and the Tab S7 Plus are the Galaxy Book Pro 15-inch laptop, Galaxy Book Pro 360 15-in laptop, and the Galaxy S22 line which includes the base model, the S22 Plus, and the S22 Ultra.

Samsung is continuing to collaborate with iFixit to provide the repair kits, which are currently available for purchase although the prices are unknown at the time of this writing. At the very least, we can at least look at the prices for the older kits on the Self-Repair Program to get an idea of what users can expect. For example, replacing the charging port on a phone from either the S20 or S21 line costs $66.99. Speculation aside, the prices for the new additions will be available once the repair kit's respective pages go live.

Step-by-step instruction guides will be available on iFixit’s website.

Repair kit content

The content of the kits differ between smartphones and laptops with the latter getting more spare parts. Galaxy Book Pro owners will be able to replace both the front and rear case, battery, display, touchpad, the power key including the fingerprint reader, and the rubber feet underneath the device. For the S22 phones, the repair kits are similar to those for the S20 and S21. They have a replacement for the display assembly, back glass, and charging ports, but not the battery, which is strange considering that you could on the older phones.

Besides the missing battery replacement, there are two other glaring omissions in the updated program: you cannot repair the 15.6-inch models of either the Galaxy Book Pro or the Pro 360; as of this writing, anyway. We reached out to Samsung concerning the bigger Galaxy Book models and asked several other questions, such as whether users can replace the battery on an S22 phone or if that be part of a future update.

And what about a return label? The older kits came with a free return label so you can ship back old parts to Samsung for proper disposal. This story will be updated if we hear back on the missing information.

It may also interest you to know that Apple recently updated its own self-repair program to now include Mac computers powered by the M1 chip and the Studio Display. Just be aware the prices may make your eyes water. Replacing only the screen on the Studio Display will run you close to $1000. 

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Brave browser wants to help users access Tor easier

Users of the Brave browser can now do their part in the fight against online censorship following the latest update. 

The Brave 1.47 version allows users everywhere to turn their devices into a proxy service to grant people worldwide access to the Tor browser.

This isn't the first move the secure browser has taken in an effort to elude internet restrictions, having previously introduced support for Tor Bridges in Private Windows with Tor in its 1.44 version. But the company its new feature is a step forward to empower the Brave community in promoting an open and free internet for all - just from right behind their screens.

Brave and Tor Snowflake

Brave's latest upgrade adds the Tor Snowflake feature directly to its browser system. This is a peer-to-peer technology developed by the Tor Project to allow people around the world to access censored sites and applications.  

Like many of the best VPN services, Snowflake helps those living under strict internet restrictions to bypass online censorship.

However, as Tor explains in a blog post: "Unlike VPNs, you do not need to install a separate application to connect to a Snowflake proxy and bypass censorship. It is usually a circumvention feature embedded within existing apps." 

Powered by a mixture of proxy technology and WebRTC protocol, Snowflake masks users' internet activities making them appear as if they're using the web for a regular video or voice call. It then automatically assigns ephemeral Tor Bridges to grant access to blocked sites to whoever needs it. 

At the same time, it secures users' privacy and anonymity so that authorities won't be able to know if and when someone manages to elude their online restrictions. 

Tor Bridges, already available on the Brave browser since last September, are volunteer-run relay software aiming to help people access Tor in case of blockage. 

Essentially, they give users an alternative point of access to the Onion routing

To enable the feature on the Brave Browser, you should head on the Settings menu and tap on the Privacy and Security tab. Click on the Tor Windows to select or manually add an active built-in Bridge. 

Snowflake represents the natural evolution to this. In fact, anyone willing to help others to access Tor can now enable the browser extension on a selected Tor Bridge by simply switching on the option. 

This means that users' devices aren't just acting as the middleman between an external computer and the Tor site. They also allow the flow of encrypted messages between Snowflake-running and the other computers inside the Tor network. 

While everyone can do their part to help people worldwide accessing Tor at ease, it is worth noting that the Snowflake's feature doesn't work for users living in countries where Tor is censored and/or accessing the internet via their school or workplace firewall. 

Via BleepingComputer

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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 could feature huge camera upgrade over the Z Fold 4

Now that 2023 is well underway, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 rumors are coming thick and fast, and the latest speculation concerns the upcoming foldable’s camera setup. 

Per a new report from Vietnamese tech outlet The Pixel, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 could swap out the 50MP rear camera utilized by its predecessor – the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 – for a much more powerful 108MP rear sensor (of the sort featured on the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra). 

The Pixel also suggests that the Galaxy Z Fold 5 could feature a 64MP telephoto camera (with 2x optical zoom) and a 12MP ultrawide snapper. That setup would trump the Galaxy Z Fold 4’s 10MP telephoto sensor, but lose out on the latter’s 3x optical zoom capabilities.

That last point has us exercising a degree of caution over these new rumors. While it’s undoubtedly exciting to think that we might finally see a foldable phone capable of matching non-foldables in the photography department, it’s hard to imagine Samsung giving the Galaxy Z Fold 5 weaker optical zoom capabilities than its predecessor. 

What’s more, as SamMobile notes, Samsung’s track record of seldom implementing two major camera revisions on the trot raises another red flag. The Galaxy Z Fold 4’s camera setup marked a significant improvement over the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3’s equivalent sensors, which makes us slightly skeptical that the Galaxy Z Fold 5 would feature yet another significant snapper upgrade. 

Of course, we do expect some form of photographic improvement from the Galaxy Z Fold 5 over the Galaxy Z Fold 4, but we’re hesitant to lean full-tilt into rumors of a 108MP rear sensor and a 64MP telephoto lens, at this stage. 

Two Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 units stood on a table with an S Pen

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 features a 50MP primary rear camera and 10MP telephoto sensor (Image credit: Future)

Anaylsis: folding in more than just camera upgrades

We do, however, have more faith in rumors surrounding Galaxy Z Fold 5’s design. Per South Korean outlet Naver, Samsung intends to use a water drop-shaped hinge in its upcoming foldable, which would allow the phone to fold completely flat, with no gaps visible between the two halves of its display.

Several handsets from Chinese manufacturers already use this design approach for their foldables (with examples including the Huawei Mate X2, Honor Magic Vs and Oppo Find N2), but at the cost of full water resistance. Samsung, however, is reportedly planning to add the new hinge shape while maintaining an IPX8 rating for the Galaxy Z Fold 5, a feature no rival has been able to compete on in the foldable space.

As for the phone’s release date, we’re expecting the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 to arrive sometime in August 2023. The Galaxy Z Fold 4, Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Fold 2 were all unveiled in August in their respective years of release, so we anticipate that the Galaxy Z Fold 5 will stick with tradition in that regard. 

There’s been no word yet on the phone’s price, but the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 launched for $1,799 / £1,649 / AU$2,499, so a similarly eye-watering figure is to be expected for its successor. Even so, these upgrades might help it find a place on our rundown of the best Samsung phones out there.

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Xiaomi’s Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra rival might still be months away

Two of the best phones of 2023 could launch in the first half of the year, with the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra expected on February 1, and the Xiaomi 13 Ultra likely to land sometime after that, however, the latest leaks suggests we might be waiting longer than expected for this noteworthy Galaxy S rival.

According to Digital Chat Station – a reputable leaker – posting on Weibo (via NotebookCheck), the Xiaomi 13 Ultra probably won’t land until after March, with another user replying that it will likely launch in early April.

That would give Samsung a clear runway of around two months before Xiaomi’s S23 Ultra rival lands, and perhaps even longer for most of the world, as that April launch might only be for China – with other regions possibly getting the Xiaomi 13 Ultra even later, based on what Xiaomi does for some of its phones.

This incidentally means that we probably won’t see the Xiaomi 13 Ultra at MWC 2023 – which is a massive trade show that kicks off on February 27.

Still, some other Chinese handsets could be landing sooner, with Digital Chat Station saying in the same post that they expect the Oppo Find X6 series and the Honor Magic 5 line to be announced in late February or early March, which would line up with MWC.


An official image of the Xiaomi 13 Pro

The Xiaomi 13 Ultra is sure to be even better than the Xiaomi 13 Pro (Image credit: Xiaomi)

Analysis: the Xiaomi 13 Ultra could live up to its name

There’s an expectation that phones with ‘ultra’ in their name will be cutting-edge, feature-packed devices, and from what we’ve heard of the Xiaomi 13 Ultra it could certainly be that.

We’ve heard, for example, that it might have a quad-lens camera; complete with a one-inch sensor for its primary snapper (much like its predecessor, the Xiaomi 12s Ultra), which should help it take superb photos.

It’s also sure to match or better the Xiaomi 13 Pro in most other areas, and that phone has already been unveiled. So we know then that we can expect at least a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, likely a large QHD+ screen, and extremely fast charging; as the Xiaomi 13 Pro can charge at up to 120W.

So if you want one of the best Android phones and aren’t sold on Samsung, the Xiaomi 13 Ultra could be worth waiting for.

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The Samsung Galaxy S22 FE might still launch – but it probably shouldn’t

You might – understandably – have given up hope of seeing a Samsung Galaxy S22 FE. After all, we’re now a year on from the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE, and there are very few rumors about a successor. However, it seems this phone might still be planned.

According to @OreXda on Twitter, the Samsung Galaxy S22 FE is “almost confirmed” to be coming, but isn’t yet certified, which makes them think it won’t land at Galaxy Unpacked 2023 on February 1, where we’re set to see the Samsung Galaxy S23 series.

In another tweet (via NotebookCheck) they claim we probably won’t see it in Q1 of this year – meaning it might not launch before April. We would, however, take this with a pinch of salt – the source hasn’t yet leaked much, so we can’t say how accurate or credible they are.

Still, while we haven’t heard much about the Samsung Galaxy S22 FE, one report from December suggested it was still on the way, and would possibly use a new Exynos 2300 chipset. So @OreXda isn’t alone in thinking this phone might still land.


Analysis: too late to make sense

It’s certainly possible that the Samsung Galaxy S22 FE will still land, but whether it should is another matter entirely.

If it doesn’t launch until April (or later), then that will be well over a year after the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE, and also at least a couple of months after the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S23 series.

A phone with 'S22' in the name launching after the S23 will immediately sound dated, and it will presumably be a lesser device than the standard Samsung Galaxy S22, yet could end up costing more, as Samsung’s aging flagship is often reduced these days – and will be all the more so, once the Galaxy S23 lands.

So, the Samsung Galaxy S22 FE could prove an extremely hard sell (not unlike its predecessor). Samsung might be better off renaming it, so it at least sounds less dated, or scrapping it in favor of a Samsung Galaxy S23 FE a few months later.

As things stand, the Galaxy S22 FE will probably need a surprisingly low price or unexpectedly high-end features to rank among the best Samsung phones.

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