Attending Honor’s big event this week in London, I couldn’t help shake the feeling that despite their claims about innovation, and a few software tweaks aside, all they really did was copy what has already been done and make it cheaper to end users. From the 2:1 display – understandable – to a new, upcoming front camera projector and ID system, teased for 2018, that’s set to be a carbon copy of what the iPhone X does – complete with Animoji. However, like most of us, I’m all for making things cheaper, and I loved last year’s Honor 6X – really decent specs and capabilities in a premium-feeling phone that cost around £220 or so. Amazing. Can the 7X live up to the same billing?
Less than six months after the OnePlus 5 was unveiled, OnePlus has unveiled the 5T — a ’T’ upgrade to the handset. This move will likely anger many 5 owners who just got the handset but then the 5T is not a major upgrade over its predecessor. Its an evolutionary upgrade — an update just to ensure the phone keeps up with the time.
Right up front I have to tell you, there’s nothing special to see here, nothing unique. Move right along. Unless you want a bargain Android flagship. You see, the USP here is the price. By taking imaging and durability down just one small notch from the top end, the OnePlus 5T manages to shave off many hundreds of pounds. While keeping the flagship internals and traditional OnePlus attributes and popular features. In short, it’s a hit!
Last year, Xiaomi managed to make the whole of the smartphone industry sit up and take notice of its efforts with the original Mi Mix. Wanting to outgrow its image of a Chinese company making cheap iPhone clones, Xiaomi took the help of world-renowned designer Philippe Starck to design the bezel-less Mi Mix.
“Watch, listen, play” is the opening shot of Razer’s pitch for this, the eponymous Razer Phone. We’ve seen a number of phones aimed at gamers in the past, usually with gimmicky extra controls or savage compromises, but the Razer Phone only has one – which I’ll come to in a moment. I’ve been playing with the very first retail Razer Phone in the UK, exclusively handled by the popular Three network (who also sell it on pay-as-you-go*, don’t worry).
With the iPhone X, Apple has managed to beat Samsung in its own game. The Korean company currently dominates the market with its OLED panels. It supplies OLED panels to all major smartphone OEMs out there and dominates the market with a market share of almost 97 percent. So unsurprisingly, Samsung also supplies Apple with the 5.8-inch OLED panel used on the iPhone X.
All of Google’s ducks were seemingly lined up in a row. The industry was moving towards ‘bezel-less’ phones with 18:9 screens, its Assistant is now pretty mature, its camera image processing is second to none, its wireless audio is top notch, and so on. And as a result, the Pixel 2 XL is very nearly the perfect smartphone, the template for everything else for the next five years. As Google are inclined to do though, they arguably blew it – and not for the reasons you might suspect me of picking*. I’m talking display and pricing – read on…
Google today released the first developer preview of Android 8.1 Oreo for its Nexus and Pixel devices. The update brings about a new API level, some bug fixes to features originally introduced in Android 8.0, and other improvements.
And so to this year’s Google Pixels, now with ‘2’ in the name, still with the two sizes (regular and XL), with pumped up internals and stereo speakers but sadly missing a standard headphone jack. Google has put all its expertise in machine learning and image processing into these phones, making them a fascinating choice for the best in phone imaging, but arguably unremarkable otherwise.
Thanks to the excellent budget smartphones it has been launching consistently in India, Xiaomi has been dominating the smartphone market in the country. This is despite the marketing blitz from the likes of Oppo and Vivo who have plastered their ads in almost every nook and cranny of the country.