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Yesterday, 1:46 PM   by Rich Brome

The LG V50 is the same size as last year's V40, but manages to include both 5G and a larger battery. Most other 5G phones this year are noticeably larger than their 4G counterparts. (The V50 is technically 0.7mm taller and 0.4mm thicker (8.3 vs 7.9mm) than the V40, a difference not obvious in person.) The V50's battery rates 4,000 mAh (compared to 3,300 in the V40). The V50 includes three rear cameras (standard, wide, and tele) plus two on the front (standard and wide). Its quad-HD OLED display measures 6.4 inches. A new vapor-chamber cooling system should reduce processor throttling during gaming sessions. Like the smaller G8, it has a Snapdragon 855 processor, 6 GB RAM, 128 GB built-in storage, stereo speakers, IP68 water resistance, fingerprint reader on the back, Quick Charge 3.0, NFC, stereo speakers, and 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC. It has both a memory card slot and 3.5mm audio jack. Sprint will carry the V50 ThinQ first, this spring, followed by Verizon in the summer.


Hands On with the LG G8 ThinQ

Yesterday, 1:46 PM   by Rich Brome   updated Yesterday, 3:03 PM

The LG G8 ThinQ has some futuristic new features, like complex mid-air hand gestures and hand vein scanning. Otherwise it's similar to the G7, but makes numerous small upgrades and refinements. How well do the new features work? How does it look and feel in person? What else should you know about this new flagship phone? Read on to find out.

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LG G8's "Z Camera" Sees Mid-Air Gestures and Hand Veins

Yesterday, 1:46 PM   by Rich Brome   updated Yesterday, 2:13 PM

The new LG G8 ThinQ has a 3D depth camera on the front that can sense and recognize detailed hand gestures such as turning a virtual knob in mid-air. The same sensor also provides two different kinds of biometric security: hand vein scanning and 3D face scanning. The sensor also provides a superior selfie portrait mode. LG calls it "Z Camera", referring to "z" as the axis of depth. There's also a fingerprint reader on the back, and all three biometrics (finger, face, and hand) can be active at the same time. The phone uses the whole top half of the display as a speaker, serving as the earpiece during calls, and one of two stereo speakers when watching video. The design is largely similar to last year's G7, but with a sleeker back that puts the standard and wide cameras completely under the smooth glass back. As LG's main flagship phone for 2019, the G8 ThinQ has a 6.1" quad-HD+ OLED display, Snapdragon 855 processor, 6 GB of RAM, 128 GB built-in storage, 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC, IP68 water resistance, and Android 9 (Pie). It has both a 3.5mm audio jack and a memory card slot. The battery rates 3,500 mAh and it supports Quick Charge 3.0. The main camera is 12 megapixels with an f/1.5 aperture, while the wide-angle camera has 16 megapixels and an f/1.9 aperture. A new night mode combines 10 burst shots into one, to reduce noise. It can also apply a bokeh (blurred background) effect to video. The standard portrait mode is adjustable and has studio-effect options. The G8 will be available from major US carriers, including T-Mobile, and national retailers "in the coming weeks", available in black, silver, and red.


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Nokia 9 PureView Has Unique Five-Camera Array from Light

Yesterday, 11:08 AM   by Rich Brome

Nokia today introduced five new phones, all of which run a clean version of Android One, with a promise of three years of Android updates. The new range includes a unique new camera-oriented flagship, three very affordable Android models, and one feature phone.

  • Nokia 9 PureView: A high-end, photography-focused phone with an array of five Zeiss-lens, 12-megapixel cameras on the back developed in cooperation with multi-sensor camera company Light. Three of the sensors are monochrome, to capture more light. It can capture HDR photos with a range of up to 12.4 f-stops. It can also capture detailed depth data, for precise bokeh effects that can be adjusted in Google Photos. At the maximum, it can produce images up to 240 megapixels. It can also produce RAW images that can be edited with Adobe Lightroom on the phone. The glass-and-metal design is 8mm thick, with no camera bump. It's rated IP67 for water resistance, and has an under-display fingerprint reader, 6 GB pf RAM, 128 GB of storage, wireless charging, and a 6-inch QHD OLED display that supports HDR10. It will ship in March, in Midnight Blue, for $699.
  • Nokia 4.2: This mid-range phone has a premium design with sculpted glass on the front and back, a 5.7-inch HD display with a small notch, NFC, a Snapdragon 439 processor, 13-megapixel camera plus secondary depth camera, fingerprint reader, face unlock, Google Lens and a dedicated Google Assistant button, and a unique lock button that doubles as a notification light. Available in April, in black and pink sand, for $169.
  • Nokia 3.2: This more-affordable model has a polycarbonate unibody design, large 6.26-inch HD+ display, 4,000 mAh battery for 2-day battery life, 13 megapixel camera, Snapdragon 429 processor, fingerprint reader, face unlock, Google Lens and a Google Assistant button, and a light-up lock button like the 4.2. Available in April, in black and "steel", for $139.
  • Nokia 1 Plus: A smartphone that sells for just $99. It runs Android 9 Go Edition, has a 5.4-inch display, and compared to the 1, the camera has been upgraded to 8 megapixel auto-focus. Available in red, black, and blue, in early March.
  • Nokia 210: This $35 feature phone has a candy-bar design, and has a camera, games, and an app store. Available in red, gray, and black.


BlackBerry Key2 Now Comes in Red

Yesterday, 11:00 AM   by Rich Brome

The BlackBerry Key2 will soon be available in a new Red Edition, which comes standard with 128 GB of storage (a step-up option on the standard Key2). The Key2 Red Edition also comes with an exclusive red BlackBerry-branded earbuds. This new edition is otherwise similar to the existing Key2, not to be confused with the lower-end Key2 LE. The Key2 has a metal body, Snapdragon 660 processor, 6 GB of RAM, 3,500 mAh battery, and both standard and telephoto cameras on the back. Naturally it has the signature QWERTY physical keyboard and BlackBerry messaging and security software.

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Yesterday, 11:00 AM   by Rich Brome

TCL Communication — the company behind Alcatel and BlackBerry phones — is planning to launch one or more foldable phones with a flexible display in 2020, and showed off several of its current concepts at the MWC trade show this week. The company has been actively working on the project for a couple of years already, the result of which is a proprietary, patented hinge design that the company calls DragonHinge. A TCL sister company manufactures the custom flexible AMOLED display. A TCL spokesperson said the company aims to make its foldable phones more affordable than competitors like the Samsung Galaxy Fold. The company also hinted that it's considering launching its foldable phone(s) under the TCL brand, or a new brand, instead of the Alcatel brand which is associated with less-expensive models. Several concepts were displayed, including tablet-style devices — both with and without an outer display — and phones that look like a tall smartphone but fold in half like an old clamshell phone, leaving a small strip of display exposed for notifications. The company is exploring additional new form factors as well, using the same hinge and display technologies.

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Alcatel Refreshes Affordable Lineup

Yesterday, 11:00 AM   by Rich Brome

The new Alcatel 1s, 3, and 3L improve the specs of Alcatel's most affordable Android phones with features like more RAM, and taller displays with a notch. Although these specific models aren't coming to the US, such models often come to the US as carrier-exclusive models with minor spec changes.

  • 1s: Similar to the 1x announced at CES, (which came to Cricket as the Onyx,) but with 3 GB of RAM, automatic scene detection in the camera app, an octa-core processor (Spreadtrum SC9863A), and Android 9 (Pie). Like the 1x, it has a 5.5" tall (2:1 ratio) HD display, dual rear cameras, and a fingerprint reader.
  • 3: Has a taller (19.5:9) display thanks to a small notch for the selfie camera. It's also HD and measures 5.9 inches. It comes in two mirrored gradient finishes: blue-purple and black-blue. It's powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 439 processor and 3 GB of RAM. It has dual rear cameras, a fingerprint reader, and a 3,500 mAh battery. It also has both a memory card slot and 3.5mm audio jack.
  • 3L: Identical to the 3, but with 2GB of RAM and a textured back. Some versions leave out the fingerprint reader as well. (not shown)

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Samsung Relents, Allows Bixby Button to Map to Something Else

Friday, 3:08 PM   by Rich Brome

Samsung's newest software will allow the controversial Bixby button on its phones to activate a custom action instead of Bixby. The change will be available on new S10 phones as well as older S9, S8, and Note phones.


Apple Planning its own Credit Card

Thursday, 9:45 AM   by Rich Brome

Apple and Goldman Sachs are working together on an Apple MasterCard credit card that would integrate with Apple Pay and offer 2% cash back. The Wall Street Journal reports that the card would offer unique software features in iPhones, such as setting spending goals, tracking rewards and managing balances from within Apple's Wallet app. Goldman has never offered a credit card before, and is spending $200 million to build the infrastructure to support the new card. The product is about to enter testing with Apple employees. The companies plan to launch it for consumers later this year.


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Wednesday, 3:44 PM   by Rich Brome   (954) 423-8688

By the end of this year, zoopathy's 5G network will use sub-6 GHz radio bands to achieve broad coverage. The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G announced today won't be able to access that part of AT&T's 5G network; it can only access mmWave spectrum being launched only in dense urban areas. AT&T and Samsung are working on a second 5G phone that will be able to access the whole 5G network, to be available by the end of this year. AT&T's press release reads: "In addition to the Galaxy S10 5G, we previously announced that we're working with Samsung to make another 5G smartphone available in the second half of this year. This smartphone will be able to access 5G using sub-6 GHz spectrum broadly available later this year and nationwide in early 2020, as well as access 5G+ over mmWave in dense urban areas when available." Sprint and T-Mobile also plan to launch 5G networks in sub-6 GHz bands. Verizon has thus far only announced plans to launch 5G in mmWave bands, which cannot provide broad coverage.


The Galaxy S10+ with 1TB of Storage Will Cost $1,600 (& More S10 Pricing Details)

Wednesday, 3:34 PM   by Rich Brome   3106018590

The Samsung Galaxy S10 series covers a wide range of prices, from $750 up to $1,600 for the best S10+, the Ceramic edition with 12 GB RAM and 1 TB storage. Although Samsung initially announced pricing only for the lowest-memory configuration of each S10 model, US carriers have now revealed additional details and deals, including pricing for the high-memory configurations, and monthly payment options. The pricing of the Galaxy S10 series is remarkably consistent across all US carriers, with up-front pricing being identical, and monthly options working out to an even split of the up-front price across the full term of the payment plans, with no interest. Most carriers are also offering special deals for multiple phones and/or adding lines to existing plans. Read on for full details.

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Samsung Galaxy Buds are Smaller, Lighter, Cheaper

Wednesday, 3:20 PM   by Rich Brome

Samsung's new Galaxy Buds are 30% smaller than the Gear IconX they replace, and lighter as well, at just 5.6 grams each. These fully-wireless Bluetooth 5.0 earbuds have adaptive dual microphones that can use an outer microphone for your voice, or automatically switch to an inner microphone when there's excessive background noise. They also support Samsung's Bixby voice assistant, including voice commands that query and control the Buds themselves. The Buds offer 5 hours of calling or 6 hours of music on a single charge. The Buds themselves have a 58 mAh battery, while the charging case has its own 252 mAh battery. The included charging case supports USB-C and wireless charging, so it can charge from the back of the new Galaxy S10 using its Wireless PowerShare feature. The Galaxy Buds will be available March 8th for $129 in either black or white. Customers who pre-order a Galaxy S10 or S10+ will receive the Galaxy Buds for free, while supplies last.


Hands On with the Samsung Galaxy S10 Series

Wednesday, 2:30 PM   by Rich Brome

The new Samsung Galaxy S10 isn't just one or two phones, but a series of four phones. We spent some time with the S10e, S10, S10+, and S10 5G. How much smaller is the S10e? What did they leave out to make it cheaper? How huge is the S10 5G? And does the whole lineup live up to the legacy of the Galaxy S line on its tenth anniversary? We have your answers.

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Samsung Grows Galaxy S Family with S10, S10+, S10e, and S10 5G

Wednesday, 2:30 PM   by Rich Brome   updated Wednesday, 5:15 PM

The tenth edition of Samsung's Galaxy S series of flagship phones includes, for the first time, four different models spanning a range of sizes and price points. Samsung announced the Galaxy S10 series today at an event in San Francisco. In addition to the standard S10 and (larger) S10+ that mirror pervious years' offerings, Samsung also revealed a smaller, cheaper S10e, as well as the S10 5G, which is even larger than the S10+. All of the S10 models include the new, top-end Snapdragon 855 processor, Cat. 20 LTE, a new "Dynamic" AMOLED display with hole-punch design and HDR10+, and two-way wireless charging that can charge other phones or accessories. For photography, they all include the same 12-megapixel main camera as the S9 (with dual-pixel and dual-aperture technology), a 16-megapixel wide-angle camera, and a new 10-megapixel, auto-focus front camera that can record 4K video. All models keep the 3.5mm audio jack, as well as IP68 rating for water-resistance. Most S10 models (the S10e excluded) also have an ultrasonic fingerprint reader embedded in the display, a third camera on the back for telephoto shots, an Infinity Edge display that curves at the sides for thinner bezels, heart rate sensor, and a minimum of 8 GB of RAM / 128 GB built-in storage. The S10 5G also adds 3D depth cameras to both the front and back and 25W fast charging. The S10, S10e, and S10+ go on sale worldwide March 8th, with pre-orders available starting tonight at midnight Eastern time. Those models will be available in the US in Prism Black, Prism White, Prism Blue, and Flamingo Pink (which is based on Pantone's color of the year, Living Coral). Pricing will be the same unlocked and at all major US carriers: The S10e will start at $750, the S10 at $900, and the S10+ at $1,000. Variants with added memory will cost more. All four top US carriers will offer all four models. Those who pre-order the S10 or S10+ will receive a free set of Galaxy Buds fully wireless earbuds (normally $129). Samsung is also offering trade-in deals worth up to $550. The S10 5G will be available in the 2nd quarter, first with Verizon before the middle of the year, followed by AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Spectrum, and Xfinity "at a later date this summer." Read on for more details.

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Wednesday, 2:26 PM   by Rich Brome   updated Wednesday, 2:58 PM

Samsung today announced the Galaxy Fold, the company's first commercial phone with a flexible display that folds in half. Folded, it resembles a thick smartphone with 4.6-inch HD Super AMOLED display; unfolded, it approximates a tablet in size and form factor, with a 7.3" "Infinity Flex" Dynamic AMOLED display. App Continuity allows users to start an Android app on the outer screen, then open the phone and continue uninterrupted on the larger screen. The inner screen also supports up to three apps side-by-side. It's powered by a Snapdragon 855 processor with 12 GB of RAM, and comes with 512 GB of storage. It also supports UFS 3.0 for faster storage access. Its two batteries total 4,380 mAh, and it supports fast wireless and wired charging. It has six cameras and a fingerprint reader on the side. The camera arrays are the same as on the new Galaxy S10+, including standard, wide, and tele cameras on the back, plus 10 megapixel selfie cameras on both the front and inside. The 4G LTE version will go on sale April 26th for $1,980, and a 5G version will also be available. Both AT&T and T-Mobile will offer the Galaxy Fold in the second quarter of this year. The phone comes in Cosmos Black, Space Silver, Martian Green, and Astro Blue, with choice of hinge color for further personalization.

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Feb 20, 2019, 1:41 AM   by Rich Brome

LG's new mid-range phones for 2019 all feature tall 2:1 displays, fingerprint readers, a dedicated Google Assistant button, and "AI CAM" automatic scene detection and mode selection, a feature thus far found only on higher-end phones. LG announced the Q60, K50, and K40 today, ahead of the MWC trade show next week.

  • Q60: 6.26-inch display with a small notch, three rear cameras (16mp main, 5mp wide, and 2mp depth), 13mp selfie camera, 3,500 mAh battery, 3 GB RAM, and 64 GB storage.
  • K50: The same 6.26-inch display with a small notch, two rear cameras (13mp main and 2mp depth), 13mp selfie camera, 3,500 mAh battery, 3 GB RAM, and 32GB storage.
  • K40: 5.7-inch display, 16mp camera, 8mp selfie camera, 3,000 mAh battery, 2 GB RAM, and 32 GB of storage.
They all have memory card slots supporting cards up to 2 TB and DTS:X 3D surround sound. Further details of the three phones will be revealed next week at the MWC trade show.


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Feb 19, 2019, 10:59 AM   by Rich Brome

A television ad for the unannounced Samsung Galaxy S10 has aired in Norway, and it confirms several of the key features of the device. The ad clearly shows an ultrasonic fingerprint reader, "hole-punch" display, three rear cameras, and reverse wireless charging that can charge new wireless earbuds.


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Qualcomm's Next 5G Modem Supports T-Mobile 5G

Feb 19, 2019, 10:49 AM   by Rich Brome   972-466-3466

267-720-9361's new X55 standalone modem chip supports 5G in all major frequency bands as well as FDD and TDD modes. Support for FDD makes it the first chip to support T-Mobile's planned 5G network in the 600 MHz band. Qualcomm's first 5G modem chip, the X50, only supported TDD modes. Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint all have TDD (unpaired) spectrum they will use for some or all of their initial 5G deployment. T-Mobile is focused on its existing FDD bands for 5G. The X55 also includes both 5G and 4G, and is the first chip to support Cat. 22 LTE, offering up to 2.5 Gbps speed. Furthermore, it supports dynamic spectrum sharing between 4G and 5G, for carriers planning to use existing cellular bands for both 4G and 5G simultaneously. The X55 also supports both SA (standalone) and NSA (non-standalone) 5G networks. The X55 can deliver speeds up to 7 Gbps down (and 3 Gbps up) on 5G networks. Qualcomm also introduced a new front-end 5G solution designed to work with the X55, providing the other components needed for 5G. These include a new mmWave antenna that supports band 258 (26 GHz), and is thinner than the current model, allowing 5G phones as thin as 8mm. The X55 and companion parts will appear in commercial devices by "late 2019".

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