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ZODIAC

Found 35 results

  1. You don't have to be an expert and crunch some numbers to realise that digital cameras are slowly becoming a thing of the past. All you have to do is go out and look around. You'll quickly realise that smartphones have taken over and not a lot of people are carrying around a digital camera to take pictures. Well, if that's not enough, here's a chart that was put together by Statista with the help of the information obtained from the Camera & Imaging Products Association (CIPA). The offices of CIPA, in case you're wondering, include Olympus, Casio, Canon, Kodak, Sony, and Nikon, and we wonder what do they have to say about the numbers. Just look at those falling numbers. © Statista As you can see, things haven't been looking all that good for digital camera makers since the numbers have significantly gone down after a little spike in 2010. That number, by the way, was the all-time high in camera sales of 121 million units. Putting in simple terms, digital camera shipments have dropped a whopping 84-percent since 2010. Last year, the sales were recorded at 19.4 million shipments, which is the lowest number since 2001. And we're not talking about just the portable digital cameras. The shipments of high-end interchangeable lens camera have also gone down. So, why is this happening? © YouTube Smartphones! Yes, it's a very simple answer. An increasing number of people have now started using smartphones to take pictures. They're more convenient and have gotten a lot better over the years, thanks to all the advancements in the field of smartphone photography. In fact, you don't necessarily have to splurge big bucks to get a good smartphone with a potent camera. Smartphones like the Redmi Note 7 Pro, Realme 3 Pro, etc. have proved time and again that you don't have to own a flagship phone to shoot great pictures. Of course, things will only get better as you drop more money, and flagship phones like the Huawei P30 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S10 are some great examples of that. We don't have a fresh chart with new numbers to show, but this one from 2017 does a great job of explaining why the digital camera shipments have gone down since 2010. Just take a look at the number of people using smartphones for photography. © Statista Around 85 percent of pictures were taken from, well, a smartphone. Astounding imagery offered in a compact form factor. And by the way, a smartphone can do a lot more than just make phone calls and take good pictures, so what's there to complain about?
  2. We were invited by Realme to check out how their smartphones are made in the OPPO facility in Shenzhen, China. Realme, a sub-brand of OPPO, is manufactured with utmost scrutiny and standards just like their own branded smartphones. In fact, OPPO is amongst the top five manufacturers in the world and runs world-class facilities where they manufacture and test smartphones before it hits the market for customers. We got to see everything in the production line and how smartphones are made from the ground up. Right from how PCBs (Printed Circuit Board) are made to the final device that gets drop tested for durability. So here's how Realme smartphones are made in OPPO's facility in Shenzhen: Realme Manufacturing © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla Be it any smartphone, you first build a PCB which is later built into the motherboard of a smartphone. The PCB is probably the most important component of a smartphone which houses all the essential components such as processor, storage modules, RAM and everything else you can think. Once the PCB is manufactured, it is inspected and surveyed up to OPPO and Realme's standards. This entire process is called SMT manufacturing or surface-mount technology. The entire production line is automated with robots but it is closely monitored by humans. Each line is capable of churning out 10,000 of PCBs in a single day. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla There are around 71 lines and takes about 1 hour for the entire process to be completed. The process involves various steps such as having the operating system installed on the ROM to having each and every single component attached to the PCB before it moves on for the testing and quality control phase. Testing and Quality Assurance © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla Once the assembly of the smartphone is done, devices need to be tested to make sure it is ready to hit the streets. Much like every other manufacturer, smartphones are selected at random for testing and quality assurance. Roughly 10 percent of the total output (each batch) is tested to make sure the smartphone does not have any problems. If the smartphone has issues in the PCB or a physical defect, the company then inspects the entire batch to look for similar issues and find the root of the problem. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla Once the smartphone is cleared from this phase, it then has to go through rigorous physical tests such as drop tests, tests in different environments and other durability tests. One such test was the test of the smartphone being rubbed off against a swatch of denim. The smartphone is rubbed off to simulate daily usage patterns of users when they slide a smartphone in their pockets. This test basically tries to determine the scratch resistance of the smartphone. Similarly, many sample devices are repeatedly dropped from different heights and at different angles. For example, we witnessed the Realme 3 Pro was being tested for durability when dropped on the edges, back and front of the smartphone. Even the buttons are tested at a force of 1KG. Others tests included the durability of the USB port where it was suspended on a pendulum type device and was subjected to repeated twists and turns. These tests are carried out for one simple reason, to simulate real-life usage of customers and see the after effects. Every single piece of data and results are stored that are later analysed to improve the device. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla When it comes to near real-life drop tests, the smartphone is dropped from waist height and it isn't one drop either. The smartphone is dropped approximately 2800 times and each drop is inspected by a worker. These drops are again subjected to utmost scrutiny as these drops are to simulate daily customer usage. A tumbler machine is also used where each test device is tumbled for about 150 times to see the after effects for scuffs and physical damage. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla Since Realme phones are sold in different regions, the smartphone has to be tested for environmental resilience. OPPO has numerous temperature controlled cabinets that simulate different conditions such as humidity levels and temperature levels. Each smartphone is tested in environments of 55 degree Celsius to -15 degrees Celsius. It is important to test devices in different environments as the temperate of your environment changes, so does the temperature of your smartphone. Realme and OPPO have to make sure that their devices don't get too warm as it can lead to dangerous situations. One Final Check © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla Once the entire inspection and testing procedures are completed, each phone is checked by workers before it can be shipped to stores These tests include checking the phone for various components such as display functionality and quality, software checks, camera tests and other basic tests. This is the final crucial phase of testing and quality assurance that makes sure that the end user does not get a faulty device. Final Thoughts Manufacturing smartphones is not an easy task and it is hard to imagine the amount of work that goes into making a phone. It was quite exciting to see the complicated process of manufacturing and the testing phase. It was an up close and personal experience where we got to know what goes into making a smartphone before they are shipped to your home, or even to a store.
  3. It seems like Huawei is losing access to almost everything that makes a smartphone tick, including losing access to ARM-licensed chip designs, Intel Chipsets for laptops, Google's Android License and now SD associations' license to use SD Card slots. The list on the organisation's website silently removed Huawei's name and this development will impact the Chinese company's future use of the license. The Chinese company has been under pressure as companies in the US are cutting ties with Huawei. The latest addition to the list is SD Association, which basically licenses out standards for using SD card slots in devices. Huawei will not be able to make products that use SD Card slots any longer which include products like Smartphones and laptops. SD Card slots are still a popular way to expand the storage on smartphones and use it as a flash storage option on laptops. This new development essentially cripples future Huawei smartphones and even Honor devices that are launched with lower internal storage in order to keep pricing low. © YouTube Having said that, Huawei has been prepared as the company already developed its own nanoSD or NM card technology. Huawei made this move when ZTE faced a similar debacle, however, it will still have a huge impact on Huawei. In order to overcome this problem, Huawei will have to increase the production of nanoSD cards and drop the price to make it more affordable for customers. © BCCL Huawei may be able to counter this issue for now, however, the company has much bigger problems in its hands. Huawei has also lost ARM support which means the company cannot make its own processors as it does not have access to the license. Huawei can find itself out of the smartphone business if these tensions are not resolved sooner. Source: Slashgear
  4. Google announced the Pixel 3a and 3a XL this week and if you are looking for an Android smartphone that delivers good performance, a phenomenal camera and not super expensive, it really ticks all the boxes right now. We've been using the phone for a while and simply fallen in love with the smartphone. Pixel smartphones tend to have exclusive features that give it a few advantages over its counterparts. The Pixel 3a delivers computational photography at an unmatched level and offers a pure Android experience just like the Pixel 3. Here are some of the reasons why we love the Pixel 3a: Great Cameras © Akshay Bhalla_MensXP The Pixel 3a, in our opinion, takes some of the most incredible shots with its single camera sensor. It still takes pictures today that can outmatch almost every smartphone available today, even flagship level smartphones. For the first time, Google has proved that great cameras are not exclusive to flagship smartphones. It comes with all the exclusive features you get on the Pixel 3 i.e. Night Sight, Super-Res Zoom, Top Shot, Photobooth, Playground and Google Lens built right into the camera app. Google also intruded a new time-lapse mode where you can set your frames to record at various intervals. This essentially will let you record a 20-minute video and condense the final video into 10 seconds. Here are a few camera samples from the Pixel 3a: The Best Android Experience © Akshay Bhalla_MensXP Pixel devices have the cleanest stock experience you can find on an Android smartphone and also gets more regular updates. It comes with exclusive features that are not available on other devices such as computational photography, unlimited picture storage and overall smoother experience. The operating system has been fine-tuned according to its specifications and delivers an experience that not many phones can match. Other useful features such as Digital Wellbeing, Night Light and constant updates make this the best Android experience you can have on an affordable smartphone. It Has A 3.55mm Headphone Jack © Akshay Bhalla_MensXP Flagship smartphones are now removing the headphone jack in favour of better water resistance however it does render your wired headphones useless. Many people; especially audiophiles still prefer to use wired headphones due to better audio quality. Pixel 3a comes with a headphone jack which makes me want to use my 1MORE Quad driver earphones even more. Overall, its a better experience when it comes to audio quality and Pixel 3a does a phenomenal job. Night Sight © Google Night Sight was one of our favourite features on the Pixel 3 and the same feature comes to Pixel 3a as well. If you love to go out at night like me, this will be the most important feature you want to be looking at. Basically, Google uses “computational photography” to enhance images taken in low-light environments. This will basically eliminate the need to use flash, as Google's algorithms spruce up the brightness, contrast and colour automatically. It takes multiple images and combines them together to give the best final picture that is social media ready.
  5. May is going to be an exciting month for smartphone launches. Seriously, this month is going to be packed with launches from the likes of OnePlus, Nokia, and more. While all eyes are set to see what OnePlus is planning to debut, we've compiled a quick list of devices to show you what else to look forward to: 1. OnePlus 7 & OnePlus 7 Pro Get ready for the OnePlus 7 Series Get notified here - https://t.co/CMhGizTidZ pic.twitter.com/KQXRxfH4jd — OnePlus India (@OnePlus_IN) April 23, 2019 Alright, we pretty much know what to expect from OnePlus on the 14th of this month. We'll be seeing the new OnePlus 7 and the OnePlus 7 Pro. That's, of course, unless the company has some surprise for us. The OnePlus 7 Series, in case you haven't heard, will have two phones - The OnePlus 7 and the OnePlus 7 Pro. While the regular OnePlus 7 is expected to look more or less similar to the OnePlus 6T, the OnePlus 7 Pro is said to bring some major changes, at least in terms of the design. No doubt the phones will offer great value for the money, but we hope the cameras are improved. We're really hoping the cameras, at least on the OnePlus 7 Pro, will bring something new to the table. 2. Nokia 9 Pureview © YouTube HMD Global is going to debut the Nokia 9 with Penta-camera setup in India this month. This is one phone, which we're very excited mainly because of its cameras. It's an exciting time for smartphone camera enthusiasts, and we're hoping Nokia 9 to pull some major strings with its optics. Even if you ignore the Penta-camera setup, the Nokia 9 still looks like a great phone overall. It's powered by the Snapdragon 845 processor, sports a 5.99-inch P-OLED panel with support for HDR, and it looks beautiful with an all-glass design. Well, let's hope Nokia will get the pricing right in India. 3. Realme Phone (Unknown) © TENAA Realme just launched the new Realme 3 Pro in India, and it looks like it's already gearing to launch another device. This time, however, it looks like we'll be seeing a flagship phone. That's right, an unknown Realme phone running on Snapdragon 855 chipset has been leaked online. We still don't know much about this phone, but it appears as though the phone will also debut in China, as the company has just announced its expansion in the country. Of course, there's no way to tell if the phone will debut in India, but we really hope it does as it'll be interesting to see how it does against the likes of the upcoming Poco F2 and more. 4. Nubia Red Magic 3 © Nubia Yes, Nubia's insane gaming phone with an in-built cooling fan is coming to India this month. We don't know about the pricing, but the Nubia Red Magic 3 is expected to make waves in the market since it'll be one of the fastest phones at launch right alongside the OnePlus 7 series. In case you're wondering, the Nubia Red Magic 3 is powered by Snapdragon 855 processor, packs up to 12GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage. It also has a 48MP camera at the back and there are shoulder buttons for an immersive gaming experience. If Nubia manages to get the pricing right, it has a real shot of tapping into the gaming phone market in India.
  6. The Huawei P30 Pro is probably one of the only smartphones out there that actually does everything it advertises. It's got a great camera system and performs like a beast when it comes to daily usage. The smartphone boasts a unique design and some features that are simply unheard of on smartphone ever before. Smartphones can either innovate or improve upon features that are already present on most devices. We reviewed the Huawei P30 Pro and rated it as one of the best smartphones for photography. However, there are a few features that we would like to highlight that stand out from everything else we've used this year. Here are our favourite features on the P30 Pro that makes it one of the greatest devices of this year: SuperZoom Camera © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla The Huawei P30 Pro is able to capture details even when you are far away from your subject. The smartphone supports 5x optical zoom and a massive 10x hybrid zoom (OIS +EIS). However, the smartphone can also zoom up to 50x and can take images of the moon easily. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla Our sample image is proof enough that this smartphone can do much more than any other smartphone right now. Imagine being at a cricket game and being able to capture the image of a player from the stands with impressive clarity, the P30 Pro can do that. It Has Awesome Battery Life © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla The P30 Pro comes with a 4,200 mAh battery that can be fast charged with Huawei's 40W charger. It even supports 15W wireless charging if you want to go cord-free. In our review, the smartphone easily gave us 9-10 hours on screen-on time which is quite impressive for any smartphone in 2019. Huawei was the first company to introduce reverse-wireless charging and the same tech is also available on the P30 Pro. You can reverse charge accessories like the AirPods or even a toothbrush if you will. An Immersive Display © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla The Huawei P30 Pro comes with a 6.47-inch FHD+ OLED panel that is perfect for watching movies and playing games. This time around, Huawei is using a smaller notch design instead of what we see on the Huawei Mate 20 Pro. Sure, the display may not be as good as a Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus' display but it comes quite close. Dual-View Videos © YouTube Still photography is great on the P30 Pro but it can also shoot two videos at the same time. The Huawei P30 Pro basically uses the main telephoto lens and the wide-angle lens to get a clear view of your subject. The phone will display both videos on the screen where you get to see a wider view and a zoomed in version as well. If you attend many concerts, this feature is a life-saver for capturing those moments and reactions. The One Feature That Was Missing © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla To be honest, the only disappointing feature on the Huawei P30 Pro is the absence of the headphone jack. Some would say that EMUI is probably one of the biggest turnoffs, however, we can always adjust that with custom launchers and icons. As an audiophile, I dearly miss headphone jacks on smartphones simply because of the raw warm sound from analogue headphones and speakers. Bluetooth earphones are great for convenience but often lack proper sound quality.
  7. Samsung announced one of the most iconic smartphones in the company history back in February and was the first to show off a foldable smartphone. The company has managed to produce the smartphone at a scale and is now ready to be sold in various regions, Huawei showed off their version of a foldable smartphone as well that also touted a unique and exciting design. Samsung has already started to send out review devices to journalists and there have been numerous reports about the $2000 dollar smartphone breaking after a single day of use. The Galaxy Fold has been suffering a broken screen sometimes due to user error or due to low durability. The first report comes from Dieter Bohn at The Verge where he had a piece of debris under the Galaxy Fold display. It was pressing up against the back of the display and caused a bump in the OLED panel. The debris managed to press against the display enough to break it and killed some vertical and horizontal rows of pixels. © Twitter/Steve Kovach For Steve Kovach of CNBC, the device's display broke right along the fold crease and the pixels in the folding area were dead. This kind of confirmed that the crease in the middle may cause an issue as the display broke right along the crease. © Twitter The Galaxy Fold also comes with a layer on the display that resembles some sort of protective glass. The layer is not supposed to be removed; however, some of the reviewers were not known of the case. Mark Gurman from Bloomberg removed the layer of the display file saying, The phone comes with this protective layer/film. Samsung says you are not supposed to remove it. I removed it, not knowing you're not supposed to (consumers won't know either). It appeared removable in the left corner, so I took it off. I believe this contributed to the problem." The removal of the film totally killed the smartphone as the left half of the display died. © Twitter/MKBD YouTuber Marques Brownlee also peeled off the protective layer and said "the display spazzed and blacked out. Started over with a replacement.” After one day of use... pic.twitter.com/VjDlJI45C9 — Steve Kovach (@stevekovach) April 17, 2019 Folding smartphones is a brand new concept for smartphones and it is bound to see some hiccups before becoming mainstream. Samsung is the only company right now that has managed to make foldable smartphones real then masses. The Galaxy Fold is definitely for first-generation early adopters as we will see some improvements in design in the near future. As of now, Galaxy Fold is already sold out when it comes to pre-orders and has "overwhelming demand”.
  8. Racing games are one of the most popular forms of time-pass when you want to keep yourself entertained. This is especially true when you game on your smartphone. There's a plethora of racing games on the App Store and Play Store which makes it confusing for people to know which one is the best. Some games are casual enough to keep you busy for a while, and some premium driving experiences that are very close to console level graphics. Here are five of our favourite racing games for your smartphones. 1. Absolute Drift If you love drifting and want to play a game specifically designed for that experience, look no further than Absolute Drift. The game requires you to practise a bit if you need to get the perfect drift around those corners. If you happen to own a compatible controller, the experience is even better and rewarding. The game is available on both iOS and Android so you can play this game on the platform of your choice. 2. Asphalt 9: Legends This is a free-to-play game that's available on both iOS and Android digital stores and has microtransactions inbuilt. The game provides a more realistic approach to the game when compared to previous installations. Gameplay is exciting and full of energy, a combination you always expect from an arcade racing game. 3. Rush Rally 3 If you're a fan of rally racing, we would suggest downloading 'Rush Rally 3' as it is your best option for smartphones right now. Available on both iOS and Google Play, the game is quite challenging and is full rally racing simulator. Even though the game has touch controls, we suggest you use a Bluetooth controller to play this game for the best experience. 4. Red Bull Air Race 2: The Mobile Game 'Red Bull Air Race 2' is probably the only game you want to download if you love air-racing. The game recreates raced Red Bull hosts around the globe and you get to control you own very plane. Eat course is a real-life recreation of the actual tournament. 5. GRID Autosport This game is actual proof that console-level racing games can be ported to smartphones and deliver almost the same experience. The original game first came to consoles and PC and is now available for smartphones. This is proof that AAA racing games can be handled easily by top-tier smartphones.
  9. Choosing the best camera smartphone can be a tiring task especially when there's an influx of devices. Camera technology has gotten a lot better over the years, and it is safe to say that it has come to a point where one can confidently carry a smartphone and not worry about missing a moment in search of professional cameras. Currently, there are a lot of smartphones out there with good cameras. In fact, some smartphones which we have on this list are best known for their camera prowess more than anything else. So if you're planning to buy a new smartphone with a promising camera, then here are some great options - 1. Google Pixel 3 © MensXP/ Akshay Bhalla Google Pixel 3, much like its predecessor, only has one camera at the back. However, it's arguably one of the best camera smartphones out there on the market right now. Although the Pixel 3 is competing with phones that have 2 or more cameras, there's no denying that the pictures which come out of this phone are simply fantastic. The single 12.2-megapixel rear f/1.8 dual-pixel camera coupled with Google's software makes this one helluva camera smartphone. The Pixel 3's Night Sight mode is also something that's worth a mention as Google has revolutionized low-light photography with it. Night Sight is essentially a camera mode, and it can help you take some stunning pictures even in pitch-black conditions. Overall, the Pixel 3 is, without a doubt, one of the best camera smartphones that money can buy right now. You can learn more about the Pixel 3's cameras and the phone itself in our full review here. 2. Huawei Mate 20 Pro © MensXP/ Akshay Bhalla The Huawei Mate 20 Pro, with its unique camera array, has won our hearts when it comes to smartphone photography. Its triple camera setup includes a main 40 megapixels sensor, an ultra-wide 20-megapixels sensor and a third eight-megapixel telephoto lens. The camera support 0.6 to 5x optical zoom and you can go crazy with up to 10X digital zoom. One of the things which we really like about the images taken from the Mate 20 Pro is that they have a lot of details. The images also have great colour accuracy, which is always a good thing. The Mate 20 Pro also shines when it comes to low-light photography, especially when used with the dedicated night mode. We have a lot of camera samples in our full review of the phone, so be sure to check it out here. 3. iPhone XS © MensXP/ Akshay Bhalla iPhones have always been promising when it comes to photography, and the new iPhone XS and the XS Max are no exception. The iPhone XS camera is a powerful dual 12-megapixel shooter with one being an f/1.8 sensor and other being an f/2.4 sensor. Both have OIS and they can produce some stunning shots. The photos captured from the iPhone have natural colours, and the telephoto lens helps shooting imaging with great details even from a distance. Other camera features like Smart HDR and Depth control are just icing on the cake. Again, we've discussed the cameras and the phone itself in our detailed review, so be sure to check it out here. 4. Samsung Galaxy S10 © MensXP/ Akshay Bhalla Samsung's latest flagship phones, the Galaxy S10 and the Galaxy S10 Plus, have amazing cameras. Unlike the last year's devices, the S10 and the S10 Plus have three cameras. The setup includes an optically stabilised 12-megapixel main sensor with a dual aperture that can switch between f/1.5 and f/2.4. The second sensor is an ultra-wide 16-megapixel f/2.2 sensor, and the last sensor is a stabilised 12-megapixel telephoto one. Be it landscape, portraits or low-light photos, the Galaxy S10 can do the trick for you. The “Live Focus” mode works like a charm as it accurately blurs the background. You can also capture some stunning HDR shots with this phone, like the ones which we've added in our full review of the phone here. 5. Nokia 9 PureView © YouTube HMD Global finally unveiled the Nokia 9 PureView at the MWC 2019 this year, and oh boy, were the leaks real. This smartphone has five 12 megapixel f/ 1.8 sensors at the back, which are clearly the main selling point here. Two of these sensors can take colour images, whereas the other three sensors can capture monochrome images for things like contrast, depth, and exposure data. With so many sensors at work, the Nokia 9 PureView is said to be capable of taking some stunning portrait shots. Nokia has also worked with Light, Qualcomm, and Carl Zeiss to make this penta-cam setup possible, so we're counting on it to be one of the best camera smartphones out there.
  10. When it comes to budget smartphones and the Indian market, Xiaomi has managed to build a brand name that delivers smartphones with aggressive pricing. It's not only the pricing that matters, but smartphones also need to work and need to work well. Redmi, now a sub-brand of Xiaomi has managed to do just that, deliver great smartphones with an attractive price. However, Xiaomi steps up the game with the Redmi Note 7 Pro with upgraded specifications and a camera that can challenge even some of the top-tier smartphones. Xiaomi has also upgraded the design with captivating colours for users who prefer to be trendy and fashionable. It retails in India for Rs 13,990 and comes in different configurations. It has a 48-megapixel primary camera paired with a 5-megapixel sensor for portrait shots at the rear and a 13-megapixel sensor selfie shooter. We've been using the smartphone for a while to find out whether it's still the king of budget smartphones. Here's our review of the Redmi Note 7 Pro: Design And Display Xiaomi has completely overhauled the Redmi Note series with a beautiful gradient design that catches the light. It's something similar to what we've seen on other smartphones. However, the Redmi Note 7 Pro stands out from the crowd thanks to its bold colours. What's cool about the design is that the smartphone has an all-glass design both at the front and the back with Corning Gorilla Glass 5. This makes the smartphone a tad bit heavier than the previous iterations; however, we like the solid feel to the smartphone. We particularly like the Nebula Red colour which we got to see at the launch event. At the front, Xiaomi as a dewdrop notch display that removes the additional bezels you may have seen in previous models. The design of the smartphone feels very premium and very similar to what you would find on the iPhone XR. It feels solid and does not feel like a budget smartphone from any angle. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla Xiaomi also retains the headphone jack which is always a plus in our books and has now added Type-C support. We can finally transfer files faster and charge a Redmi smartphone quicker than ever before. In addition, the Redmi Note 7 Pro also has a p2i nano-coating which protects the smartphone from accidental spills. It's not water-resistant, but it will protect your smartphone from water spills in your bathroom. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla When it comes to the display, the Redmi Note 7 Pro comes with a 6.3-inch full-HD+ LTPS LCD display with a resolution 1080x2340 pixels and an aspect ratio of 19.5:9. For a smartphone that costs less than Rs 15,000, the display is quite sharp and accurate for an LCD. Sure, it's not the best you find as compared to flagship level smartphones but it does a fair job at colour reproduction and brightness. The colours on the display do not look oversaturated and look close to real-life. The brightness is also solid as it comes in handy when viewing it directly under sunlight. It has a brightness level of 477 nits which is quite impressive for an LCD panel. Camera © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla The Redmi Note 7 Pro's star attraction is its 48 MP rear Sony IMX 586 sensor that delivers some of the most amazing pictures we've seen on a budget smartphone. We've seen this sensor on the Honor View 20 before and it manages to deliver some great details and clarity in images. It captures the right colours and delivers some of the most beautiful pictures in HDR mode. In fact, sometimes we couldn't believe we shot these images with a budget smartphone. Most of these pictures were shown in 21MP however you can always take the full 48MP images by toggling the feature in the settings. Budget smartphones tend to struggle in low-light photography however Xiaomi has introduced its new Night Mode in MIUI 10. The new model does manage to take brighter images in low light which the budget smartphone was unable to do previously. The dynamic range also plays a crucial role in delivering these shots. It works very similar to Google's Night Shot as it combines different a series of images taken in different contrast levels to give you a better low-light image. Overall, we were quite pleased with the camera performance and even raises the question for the need of flagship level smartphones. Sure, flagship smartphones have great cameras but the gap is being closed quite rapidly thanks to smartphones like Redmi Note 7 Pro. Gallery View this post on Instagram Pictures shot using the #redminote7pro. Loving the night mode and it's quite decent from a phone that doesn't break the bank. #xiaomi #smartphones #gadgets #techie #technology #tech A post shared by Akshay Bhalla (@editorinchief) on Mar 10, 2019 at 11:44pm PDT Software Performance The Redmi Note 7 Pro ships with MIUI 10 and we would like to address the elephant in the room. MIUI 10 does have advertisements and if you wish to disable them you can do it by following these steps. Having said that, these advertisements are a bit annoying especially when you install a new application. Xiaomi has a security app that scans newly installed applications that have advertisements embedded within it. You can easily turn off the feature however it is a bit jarring when you kept getting bombarded with advertisements. If you want a seamless, experience, we suggested you follow the steps above. If you look beyond the ads, MIUI 10 looks quite clean and visually appealing with satisfying animations and overall stability. You have usual functions like dual apps and a new gesture navigation system that is easy to use. It's quite similar to what we've seen on the new iPhones but with slightly different animation and multi-tasking layout. Performance Equipped with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 675 chipset, the Redmi Note 7 Pro delivers a great overall experience when it comes to performing tasks daily usage. While it works great with less CPU intensive apps, it lacks in processing graphics for fluid gaming. On PUBG mobile, the smartphone would often have massive frame rate drops in high settings and has the rubber-banding effect too. We would recommend you play GPU intensive games with lower settings. Furthermore, the Redmi Note 7 Pro does heat up a bit when playing games which were expected as it does not have a dedicated cooling system like the POCO F1. Regardless, the smartphone is good enough for casual games like Temple Run and can handle games like Asphalt 9 in medium setting. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla In terms of Geekbench scores, the Redmi Note 7 Pro scored 6520 in the multi-core test while it scored 2380 in the single core test. In our opinion, that's quite a respectable score for a smartphone that costs only Rs 13,990. The Redmi Note 4 Pro comes with 4,000 mAh battery which has remained unchanged from previous models. Battery life on the Redmi Note 7 Pro is exceptional with moderate usage as we had almost 6.5 hours of screen-on-time. We tested the smartphone with navigation, gaming and communication. In addition, it also supports QC4 however you need to buy a compatible charger separately. The Redmi Note 7 Pro was able to last almost two days on a single charge which is quite impressive for any smartphone. The Final Say If you are looking for a smartphone that can take awesome pictures, last 2 days on a single charge and can delivery awesome battery life, the Redmi Note 7 Pro is your best bet. The new smartphone has stepped up its game in the photography department and can perform well with moderate usage. Starting at Rs 13,9990 the Redmi Note 7 Pro is the king of budget smartphones right now.
  11. This year we've seen three midrange phones sport a 48-megapixel rear camera in India -- Vivo V15 Pro, OPPO F11 Pro, and Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro. The on-paper number war has been going for years and we've seen phone makers play around with internal storage as well as the RAM. © MensXP With the current 48-megapixel offering, brands have tried to lure users by numbers. They take this a step further by merging four pixels into one for low-light shots, and in turn deliver sharper pictures with better details. Every brand wants to establish itself as a smartphone photography expert, but, what's the limit in this number game? © PC World Even before we can think of a number, Qualcomm has revised specifications of its processors. XDA Developers was the first one to discover this, and the updated spec sheet includes better single and dual camera capabilities, advanced slo-mo recording, and a new feature called Hybrid Autofocus. But, what stands out the most is the support of sensors up to 192-megapixel. The list of chipsets to now support 192-megapixel picture captures are Snapdragon 670, Snapdragon 675, Snapdragon 710, Snapdragon 845 and Snapdragon 855. Before you get all amped up, please note that this is just a theoretical value. Don't expect a 192-megapixel phone soon since there are a host of challenges to overcome. © XDA Developers / Snapdragon 855 Updated Sheet Firstly, you'd have to get your hands on a 192-megapixel lens and there are none available right now. Sensors that support this resolution cannot be suddenly squeezed down to fit in an ultra-portable smartphone. Secondly, the chipsets can support a single 192-megapixel lens only, and cannot be accompanied by a secondary lens or even a front camera. To facilitate this large resolution, Qualcomm is incorporating zero shutter lag and eliminating multi-frame noise reduction. One major take away from this update is that modern chipsets or the ISP (image signal processor) have come a long way and Qualcomm is constantly improvising. © Nokia On the other end of the spectrum, Nokia is trying a new approach of adding different lenses onto a single phone. The Nokia 9 houses five rear cameras with Zeiss certified lenses, that are joined by three 12-megapixel monochrome sensors and two 12-megapixel RGB sensors.
  12. The Galaxy S10, S10 Plus and S10e are now finally available to buy in India and we had called it one of the best flagship smartphones in our review. The smartphone has an updated design, however, there are some nifty features that make the S10 one of the most dependable flagship smartphones in 2019. It has a phenomenal camera, supports reverse wireless charging and has one of the most beautiful screens on a smartphone ever. We've been using the smartphone for a few weeks and here are some of our favourite features on the Galaxy S10 that make it stand out from the crowd. The Dynamic Display Is Awesome © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla We all know Samsung makes some of the best displays out there and even Apple uses their display tech on the flagship iPhones. The Galaxy S10 has a dynamic AMOLED display that has been voted as the best screen on a smartphone by DisplayMate. You can read all about Samsung's display here. The Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus have 6.1 and 6.4-inch AMOLED screens respectively and support HDR10+ content for users who like to consume videos. The dynamic range of the screen is exceptional and makes viewing images/content an awesome experience. Massive Storage Options © Samsung No longer will you have to worry about deleting your favourite images, videos or applications. Samsung now offers the Galaxy S10 smartphones in various storage options, one of them having 1TB of internal storage. What's cool is that the Galaxy S10 also supports storage expansion of up to 512 GB as it has microSDXC support. If you want to know more about Samsung and how the company has managed to support high storage options, you can read all about it here. Awesome Primary Cameras © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla The Samsung Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus come with a triple primary camera setup that consists of an optically stabilised 12-megapixel main sensor with a dual aperture that can switch between f/1.5 for night shots and f/2.4 for the day. The second sensor is an ultra-wide 16-megapixel f/2.2 sensor that lets you capture more field of view and lastly a stabilised 12-megapixel telephoto sensor. It comes with awesome portrait effects such as colour spin, colour point and others in the 'Live Focus' mode. The wide-angle sensor is also a dream to work with as it has a field of view of 77Ë. When it comes to video, the Galaxy S10/S10 Plus can capture 4K UD videos with the selfie camera, a perfect feature for video bloggers. It also uses the Ultra Wide sensor and software to give your steady videos similar to action cameras like GoPro. The Galaxy S10 can also record videos with Dynamic Tone Mapping for accurate colours and also supports richer colour contrast of HDR10+ in recordings. PowerShare © Samsung The Galaxy S10/S10 Plus now supports reverse wireless charging similar to what we've already seen on the Huawei Mate 20 Pro. It can charge other smartphones and even the Galaxy Buds. One has to simply put any Qi-compatible device and the S10 will do the rest.
  13. MWC (Mobile World Congress) is in full swing right now and more than 1,00,000 telecom excutives, engineers, and enthusiasts are attending the trade show. While 5G technology has been making progress over the years and is expected to arrive soon, foldable phones have grabbed everyone's attention this year. Every phone maker is keen on releasing a phone with "foldable" or "bendable" display. With all the foldable phones launching left and right, this month has been a lively one for smartphones. For years we've heard Samsung tease its work on bendable displays, and are finally seeing it fructify. Here's a list of all the cool foldable phones announced this year at MWC. 1. Samsung Galaxy Fold © Samsung The Galaxy Fold literally folds in half like a book to use as a phone with a 4.6in screen on the outside, and unfolds to reveal a large 7.3in screen to use as a tablet on the inside. It comes with 12GB RAM and 512GB storage, along with six cameras: three on the back, two on the big screen and one on the front screen for selfies when the phone is closed. The Fold has a powerful and smooth hinge with hidden gears, a split battery and a new software system called app continuity that switches between the screen as you open the phone. The new device will be released on 26th April in the US and 3rd May in Europe, after nearly a decade in the making. It comes with a price tag of US$ 1,890 (Rs 1,34,000) and is a crucial product for Samsung as it tries to maintain its supremacy. 2. Huawei Mate X © BCCL Following Samsung's lead, Huawei unveiled its ultra-premium folding screen phone and enthusiasts can't stop admiring its design. It has a flexible OLED display that covers both the front and back of the device and which unfolds outwards to become an eight-inch tablet screen. Huawei's Mate X has just one screen on the outside. It features a fingerprint scanner for authentication, 8GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage. The large battery is capable of charging at 55W and Huawei calls this SuperCharge technology. The company claims it is the world's fastest 5G foldable phone and that its position as an equipment manufacturer gives it an advantage. The phone has been priced at US$ 2,299 (Rs 1,63,000) and will be available later this year. 3. OPPO Foldable Phone © OPPO While Samsung and Huawei have announced they'll be mass producing the phone soon, OPPO is taking a step back and analysing the market response. For now, the company hasn't even named it and it's still technically a concept. We've already seen multiple patents suggesting OPPO has enough research and development in place to actually launch a phone when needed. The company did show off a few pictures of the concept and it looks very identical to Huawei's Mate X. The design language is similar and we expect OPPO to add its own set of unique offerings. The brand has been making great strides in mobile camera technology, and we'd love to see a photography centric foldable phone from them. 4. Nubia Alpha © Nubia This is a combination of a watch and a phone, and Nubia likes to call it the world's first foldable wearable. It sports a 4-inch 960x192 OLED screen, has 1GB RAM, and 8GB internal storage. The battery is sufficient enough to last a day or two. It supports all standard smartwatch features like activity tracking, sleep sense, and heart rate sensor. Adding to this, it has an eSIM that can be used for calls, text, and data on the go. The OS is custom built on Android and supports voice controls, air gestures, and other intuitive controls. It retails for €549 (Rs 44,000) and will be available from the third quarter of this year. 5. TCL Displays © TCL TCL has a licence for making BlackBerry and Alcatel branded phones, and it has shown off a host of bendable displays that are cheaper to make and could be a part of many upcoming phones. The company is calling its folding mechanism "DragonHinge" and is being secretive about the working or construction. The DragonHinge helps in bridging the two screens together to create a foldable phone, and it's paired with flexible AMOLED displays from TCL's sister company, CSOT. With its technology, TCL wants to bring down the cost of making a foldable phone since both Samsung and Huawei cost a couple thousand dollar.
  14. The average selling price of smartphones in India is Rs 12,000 according to IDC's Q4 2018 report. A majority of the smartphone sales are in this segment, and this is the core reason why companies have flooded this bracket with as many phones as possible. For the end user, more options are better since you can get exactly what you want. Xiaomi has multiple devices like the Mi A2 and Redmi Note 6 / 5 Pro, Realme has the U1 and 2 Pro, and Samsung's just getting started with the M-series. Here are our top picks for the best phone you can get in this price range: 1. Samsung Galaxy M20 (Rs 12,990): © MensXP / Shivam Vahia Samsung is adopting a competitive stance against online sales to take on Xiaomi, and the M20 is supposed to be a forerunner for the M-series. The brand wants to bring a high-end experience to the budget segment via software, and it has been kind of successful in doing so. It ships with Samsung Experience 9.5 out of the box. The front has a 6.3-inch display and the phone is powered by an Exynos 7904 octa-core processor. The top variant gets 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage, with an option for expandable storage. The rear has a 13+5-megapixel dual camera setup (secondary being the wide angle), while the front has an 8-megapixel selfie shooter. Backing these internals is a huge 5000mAh battery. 2. Nokia 5.1 Plus (Rs 14,499): © TelecomTalk Nokia branded phones are known for their solid build quality, and this device feels extremely premium and sturdy for its price. It has a unique ergonomic feel in hand and thanks to Android One, you'll never have to worry about software updates as well. It has a 5.86-inch display and the phone is powered by a MediaTek P60 chipset. The top variant comes with 6GB RAM and 64GB internal storage, expandable via microSD card. The rear has a 13+5-megapixel dual camera setup, while the front has an 8-megapixel selfie shooter. Backing these internals is a decent 3060mAh battery, that charges via USB-C. 3. Xiaomi Mi A2 (Rs 13,999): © MensXP / Akshay Bhalla The Mi A2 was one of the most sought smartphones of 2018 thanks to the legacy of Mi A1. The phone is a part of Google's Android One initiative and comes with a Stock Android interface. It has a 6-inch display with an aspect ratio of 18:9 and a screen-to-body ratio of 77 per cent. Powering the phone is a Snapdragon 660 chipset along with 4GB RAM in the base variant. On the rear is a 12+20-megapixel dual camera setup while the front has a 20-megapixel selfie shooter. The rear camera is capable of clicking amazing pictures in daylight and even the low-light output is decent. Backing these internals is a 3000mAh battery. On the flip side, it lacks a microSD card slot as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack. 4. ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M2 (Rs 14,999): © Android Authority This is another phone that ships with a near stock Android UI, but isn't a part of Android One. The design is shiny thanks to a glossy back panel and the front has a wide notch. ASUS has marketed the phone towards performance and it definitely scores well in this department. It has a 6.26-inch display and powering the phone is a Snapdragon 660 chipset. The top variant currently gets 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage, while a 6GB RAM variant is awaited. The rear has a 12+5-megapixel dual camera setup, while the front has a 13-megapixel selfie shooter. It is backed by a huge 5000mAh battery that charges via USB-C. 5. Realme U1 (Rs 12,999): © MensXP / Shivam Vahia Realme has been consistently launching new phones, and this one is targeted towards performance. The U1 has a shiny back panel and a tiny water drop notch on the front. The back has a slight colour gradient, giving it some premium aesthetics. The front has a 6.3-inch display and the phone is powered by a MediaTek P70 processor. You get 4GB RAM and 64GB storage in the top variant, along with expandable storage. The rear has a 13+2-megapixel dual camera setup, and the front has a 25-megapixel selfie shooter. Lastly, backing these internals is a 3500mAh battery that charges via 10W.
  15. The price slab of Rs 15,000 to 20,000 is among the most competitive right now, and thanks to rapid advancements in technology, a lot of high-end features are now available at a cheaper price. This range also gives you a high value since it isn't very costly, but will give you an edge for at least a year. Thanks to increasing focus on software, these phones can even get you through two years of smooth usage in most cases. Here are our top recommendations in the sub-20,000 price segment! 1. Redmi Note 6 Pro (Rs 15,999) © YouTube The Redmi Note 6 Pro and its predecessor have been selling like hot cakes in the country and the Redmi Note 7 is just around the corner. This doesn't mean the phone has lost its charm though. It has a perfect balance in all segments and is pretty much a winner. Sporting a 6.26-inch display, it is powered by a Snapdragon 635 processor. For multitasking, the top variant comes with 6GB RAM and 64GB storage along with expandable option. The battery is rated at 4000mAh and is more than sufficient to get you through a couple of days on moderate usage. The rear has a 12+5-megapixel setup and can capture significantly good pictures in both, daytime as well as low-light conditions. It runs on MIUI and has tonnes of added features and customization options. 2. Nokia 7.1 (Rs 18,990) © YouTube The recently launched Nokia 7.1 is a solid offering if you're looking for stock Android experience. All Nokia branded phones are a part of Google's Android One initiative, ensuring software and security updates on time. The stock experience also ensures smooth performance over an extended period of time. The phone has a 5.84-inch display and is powered by a slightly underwhelming Snapdragon 636 processor. But, thanks to near-perfect optimization, you'll barely see any lags or stuttering. It comes with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage in the base variant and is backed by a modest 3060mAh battery. The rear has a 12+5-megapixel dual camera setup, while the front has an 8-megapixel selfie shooter. 3. Honor 10 Lite (Rs 17,999) © Twitter / Sandeep Sharma This was the first phone to be launched in India this year and Honor is back with its premium glass design in the budget segment. The glass build also adds a slight colour gradient, which is unmatchable in this segment. The phone also has a smaller water-drop style notch for a better screen-to-body ratio. On the front is a 6.2-inch display and the phone is powered by a Kirin 710 chipset. It comes with 6GB RAM and 64GB storage in the top variant and has support for expandable storage. The rear has a 13+2-megapixel dual camera setup, while the front has a 24-megapixel selfie shooter. These internals are backed by a 3400mAh battery that supports 10W fast charging. 4. Vivo V9 Pro (Rs 16,990) © YouTube The Vivo V9 Pro is a close sibling of the V11 series and in fact has a similar design. The front has a wide notch and the back sports a fingerprint scanner for quick authentication. Just like all other Vivo phones, it ships with Funtouch OS out of the box. It has a 6.3-inch display and is powered by a Snapdragon 660 processor. The base variant gets 4GB RAM along with 64GB internal storage and expandable storage option. The rear has a 13+2-megapixel camera with support for portrait shots and AI beauty enhancements. The front has a 16-megapixel selfie shooter and the phone is backed by a 3260mAh battery. 5. Honor Play (Rs 16,999) © YouTube The Honor Play is technically India's first gaming phone and is among the cheapest. It is powered by Huawei's high-end Kirin 970 processor, along with 4GB RAM in the base variant. The phone also gets Honor's GPU Turbo technology, that systematically overclocks the processor and optimizes performance for the best output. The design is basic and the brand has put in more efforts on the inside. The rear has a 16+2-megapixel dual camera setup, while the front has a 16-megapixel selfie shooter. Backing these internals is a 3750mAh battery that supports 18W quick charging.
  16. Ever since the revolution of computer games, it has been an expensive activity or hobby to maintain. Whether you play on the PC or consoles, buying a proper machine and then games have always been pretty expensive. Now, we're witnessing a major revolution in the world of gaming with the addition of mobile phones as a platform. Sure, mobile games have existed for almost decades, but the industry is progressing to a whole new level. Thanks to the improvement in mobile OS architecture and hardware, a tiny mobile phone is capable of playing a 2GB Battle Royale game. PUBG, Fortnite, Asphalt etc. are just starting points and we're already seeing massive new titles coming soon. If you're looking for a new phone for gaming, we've compiled a list of top phones for gaming, available in India: 1. OnePlus 6T © MensXP / Akshay Bhalla This is pretty much a perfect Android offering, thanks to best-in-class hardware and well-polished software experience. The phone comes shipped with OxygenOS and is among the most stable skins out there. You won't have to cut corners anywhere with this device, thanks to its well-balanced spec sheet. The phone has a 6.4-inch AMOLED display with an in-display fingerprint scanner for authentication. The body is built from premium metal and houses a Snapdragon 845 processor, along with 6GB RAM in the base variant. The rear has a 16+20-megapixel dual camera setup, while the front has a 16-megapixel lens for selfies. It also comes with a Gaming Mode that basically mutes all notifications to provide a distraction-free experience. 2. POCO F1 © MensXP / Shivam Vahia It's a flagship-grade phone that comes with an extremely lower price tag. The POCO F1 was built for performance, and the brand has constantly focused on making it faster. Housing a Snapdragon 845 processor, it also comes with a liquid cooling chamber for enhanced performance over longer durations. The front has a 6.2-inch LCD display, with a wide notch on the top. The rear has a 12+5-megapixel dual camera setup and is capable of clicking surprisingly good low-light pictures. The front has a 20-megapixel selfie shooter. Backing these internals is a 4000mAh battery and the phone ships with POCO Launcher by default. 3. Honor View 20 © MensXP / Akshay Bhalla The phone was launched just a few weeks back in India and has managed to come with its own unique set of 2019ish features. The build quality is exceedingly premium and the front has a punch-hole camera, delivering better screen-to-body ratio. The phone comes with Honor's GPU Turbo mode that optimizes the phone's performance when gaming. Powering the View 20 is the latest Kirin 980 processor, coupled along with 6GB RAM in the base variant. The rear has a massive 48-megapixel sensor along with a Time of Flight sensor that helps in 3D modelling and interactive gameplay. The front has a 25-megapixel selfie shooter and these internals are backed by a 4000mAh battery. 4. Nokia 8.1 © BCCL This is the only phone on this list to ship with stock Android and is part of Google's Android One program, ensuring timely updates. It continues the legacy of Nokia branded phones and has a significantly premium design and strong build quality. The phone is powered by Qualcomm's latest midrange, yet highly capable Snapdragon 710 platform. The base variant comes with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage. The rear has a 12+13-megapixel dual camera setup and the front has a 20-megapixel lens for selfies. It comes with a modest 3500mAh battery but supports 18W fast charging. 5. Honor Play © BCCL It's been quite some time since the phone was launched, but it still manages to kick-ass thanks to a flagship processor. This was technically India's first gaming-centric phone and is equipped with Honor's GPU Turbo mode that intelligently optimizes processes to improve performance while gaming. The phone has a 6.3-inch display and is powered by a Kirin 970 processor. The base variant has 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage. The rear has a mediocre 16+2-megapixel dual camera setup and the front has a 16-megapixel selfie shooter. Backing these internals is a 3750mAh battery with support for 18W fast charging. 6. iPhone XR © MensXP / Akshay Bhalla We've listed ultra-premium phones towards the end of this list and the iPhone is often regarded to be the best gaming phone one can buy. iOS has maintained an edge over Android for years in terms of game development, and thanks to Apple's insanely fast processor, the gap widens even further. The iPhone XR has a 6.1-inch display and is powered by an A12 processor. The chipset has a hexa-core dedicated GPU and graphics have never been smoother. The rear has a single 12-megapixel sensor and the front has a 7-megapixel selfie shooter. Backing these specs is a quite large 2942mAh battery. 7. ASUS ROG Phone © MensXP / Akshay Bhalla Arguably the only dedicated gaming phone in India, the ROG Phone is expensive, but won't disappoint in terms of performance. The design is very refreshing and has an RGB logo on the back, along with mappable air triggers for better FPS experience. The 6-inch AMOLED display has a 90Hz refresh rate and supports HDR. Under the hood is a Snapdragon 845 processor, coupled with an Aeroactive cooler accessory for long duration performance support. Even a Twinview dock is separately available and the phone has an internal 4000mAh battery.
  17. If you've ever faced an issue of running out of storage space, you may have invested in a good microSD to cure your woes. However, using a microSD comes with limitations as smartphones can support only a limited amount of storage. In fact, only the Galaxy Note 9 can support an SD card with 512GB of expandable storage, making it the first smartphone to support a total of 1TB storage. However, we all know that internal storage works at least 10 times faster than a memory card and it seems like Samsung is looking to remove this problem altogether. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla Samsung is known for making premium smartphones; however, the South Korean company also has a very profitable memory division. The company already dominates the SSD segment for PCs and laptops and the company is now taking the game to the next level for smartphones. Samsung announced that it has started to mass produce a 1TB flash storage chip for smartphones and is going to scale production by the first half of the year. © Samsung “Smartphone enthusiasts will soon be able to enjoy storage capacity comparable to a premium notebook PC, without having to pair their phones with additional memory cards,” Samsung said. Currently, Samsung makes a chip that is capable of holding 512 GB of memory and can be found on the Galaxy Note 9. The new chip is said to add double the amount of memory without ever having to use an external memory card. This new chip is also said to improve performance with faster write and read speeds. Samsung says that the new tech reaches speeds up to 1,000 megabytes per second (MB/s). This roughly translates to transferring a 5GB video file in just five seconds. The new memory chip will also help Samsung smartphone cameras to take better videos with higher resolution and frame rates. © Samsung However, we may not see this new tech on a smartphone just yet as it is still in production and won't be ready in time for the Galaxy S10. However, there is a good chance that Samsung may make a 1TB model of the Galaxy Note 10 if production is scaled in time. This is just pure speculation and there's no way to know right now whether Samsung will implement the new 1TB storage with the Galaxy Note 10.
  18. Face unlocking is now a major feature on smartphones that was first introduced by Apple's iPhone X. However, a new study shows that a number of smartphones' face unlock feature can be defeated by a simple photo. © OnePlus The Dutch Consumerntenbond organisation tested over 100 devices and found that over 30 of them could be unlocked by using a picture of the owner. There's a massive number of devices that aren't exclusive to any smartphone maker, as the likes of BlackBerry, Nokia, Lenovo, Sony, Xiaomi, Huawei were featured amongst others. Most of these smartphones that got fooled were budget smartphones and a few flagship smartphones such as the Huawei P20 Pro, Sony's Xperia XZ2 and the HTC U11 Plus. Smartphones that passed the test also feature a range of smartphones such as the Honor 10, HTC U12, OnePlus 5T, OnePlus 6, Samsung's 2018 flagship smartphones and all 2018 iPhones. © Apple The organisation found that there were various smartphones that had could be unlocked straight away and some had more stringent face unlock settings. These stricter settings helped these smartphones to defeat photos. If you are interested in checking out the entire list; have a look below: Unlocked Devices With A Photo The following devices were unlocked in our test by means of a photo: 1. Alcatel 1X 2. Asus Zenfone 5 Lite 64 GB 3. Asus Zenfone 5, ZE620KL (64 GB) 4. BlackBerry Key2 5. BlackBerry Key2 (US version) 6. BQ Aquaris X2 7. BQ Aquaris X2 Pro 8. General Mobile GM8 9. HTC U11 + 10. Huawei P20 (EML - L29) 11. Huawei P20 Lite 12. Huawei P20 Pro (CLT - L29) 13. Lenovo Motorola Moto E5 14. Lenovo Motorola Moto E5 (BR version) 15. Lenovo Motorola Moto E5 Plus (BR version) 16. Lenovo Motorola Moto G6 Play 17. LG K9 (LM-X210EMW) 18. LG Q6 Alpha (LG-M700n) 19. Motorola Moto G6 Play (BR version) 20. Motorola One 21. Nokia 3.1 22. Nokia 3.1 (US version) 23. Nokia 7.1 24. Oukitel VU 25. Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018) 26. Samsung Galaxy A8 (32GB) (SM-A530F / DS 27. Samsung Galaxy A8 (64 GB) 28. Samsung Galaxy A8 + (SM-A730F) 29. Samsung Galaxy J8 Brasil 30. Sony Xperia L2 (H3311) 31. Sony Xperia L2 (H3321) 32. Sony Xperia XZ2 (H8216) 33. Sony Xperia XZ2 (US version) 34. Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact (H8314) 35. Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact (US version) 36. Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact Dual SIM (H8324) 37. Sony Xperia XZ2 Dual SIM (H8266) 38. Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium (US version) 39. Sony Xperia XZ3 40. Vodafone Smart N9 41. Xiaomi Mi A2 42. Xiaomi Mi A2 (32GB) Devices Unlocked With A Photo, But With Better Security The following devices were unlocked in our test with a photo, but you can set face recognition to be 'stricter': 1. Honor 7A 2. LG G7 thinQ 3. LG G7 thinQ (US version) 4. LG G7 thinQ Dual SIM 5. LG V35 ThinQ (US version) 6. LG V40 ThinQ Devices That Cannot Be Unlocked With A Photo The following devices could not be unlocked with a photo in our test: 1. Alcatel 3V (5099D) 2. Alcatel 5 3. Apple iPhone XR (128 GB) 4. Apple iPhone XR (256 GB) 5. Apple iPhone XR (64 GB) 6. Apple iPhone XS (256GB) 7. Apple iPhone XS (512GB) 8. Apple iPhone XS (64GB) 9. Apple iPhone XS Max (256GB) 10. Apple iPhone XS Max (512GB) 11. Apple iPhone XS Max (64GB) 12. Asus Zenfone Max Plus (ZB570TL) 13. Honor 10 14. Honor 7C 15. Honor 8X 16. Honor View 10 17. HTC U12 + (EU version) 18. HTC U12 + (US version) Huawei P Smart + 19. Huawei Y6 (2018) (ATU-L21) 20. Huawei Y7 (2018) 21. Huawei Mate 20 22. Huawei Mate 20 Lite 23. Huawei Mate 20 Pro 24. Lenovo Motorola Moto G6 (32GB) 25. Lenovo Motorola Moto G6 (64GB) 26. Lenovo Motorola Moto G6 (US version) 27. Lenovo Motorola Moto G6 Plus 28. Lenovo Motorola Moto Z3 .US version 29. Lenovo Motorola Moto Z3 Play 30. Lenovo Motorola Moto Z3 Play .US version 31. Motorola Moto G6 (BR version) 32. Motorola Moto G6 Plus (BR version) 33. One Plus 5T 34. OnePlus 6 (128GB) 35. OnePlus 6 (256GB) 36. OnePlus 6 (64GB) 37. OnePlus 6 (US version) (64 GB) 38. Oppo Find X 39. Samsung Galaxy A6 (32GB) 40. Samsung Galaxy A6 + (32GB) 41. Samsung Galaxy A6 + (64 GB) 42. Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) 43. Samsung Galaxy J6 (2018) 44. Samsung Galaxy Note 9 (128 GB) (EU version) 45. Samsung Galaxy Note 9 (128 GB) Dual SIM (BR version) 46. Samsung Galaxy Note 9 (128 GB) Single SIM (EU version) 47. Samsung Galaxy Note 9 SM-N960U1 (US version) 48. Samsung Galaxy S9 (SM-G960F / DS) 49. Samsung Galaxy S9 SM-G960U1 (US model) 50. Samsung Galaxy S9 256GB 51. Samsung Galaxy S9 dual (128GB) 52. Samsung Galaxy S9 + (SM-G965F / DS) 53. Samsung Galaxy S9 + 256GB 54. Samsung Galaxy S9 + dual (128GB) 55. Samsung Galaxy S9 + Single SIM 56. Samsung Galaxy S9 + SM-G965U1 (US model) 57. WIKO View 2 If your smartphone is on the list, why not test it for yourself to see if the study is right or not? Source: Consumerntenbond
  19. Benchmarks in the smartphone industry are rising every month, and it is at its peak right now. With a plethora of options to choose from, it becomes a daunting task for the end consumer to pick one. Brands have been increasingly getting aggressive in terms of pricing and to differentiate themselves from the rest, they have spent billions on research. The ultimate winner of this conflict is the end buyer. Every aspect of the phone is being improved upon, this includes the display, cameras, design, as well as processor. Companies are also doubling down their efforts on improving long-term software support and battery life. So if you're out and about to get your hands on a new phone, here's a list of the top smartphones right now. 1. OnePlus 6T © MensXP The OnePlus 6T has a perfect blend of elegant design and top-notch specifications. Not only is the phone having a better screen-to-body ratio thanks to the water-drop notch, but also incorporates an in-display fingerprint scanner. The phone is also available in Thunder Purple as well as Limited Edition McLaren variants. It has a 6.4-inch AMOLED display and is powered by a Snapdragon 845 chipset. The phone comes with 6GB RAM and 128GB internal storage in the base variant while the top option has 8GB RAM and 256GB internal storage. On the back is a 16+20-megapixel dual camera setup while the front has a 16-megapixel selfie shooter. It runs on OxygenOS that's based on Android 9.0 Pie. Full Review 2. Huawei Mate 20 Pro © MensXP Huawei stunned us with the P20 Pro in the first half of 2018, followed by the Mate 20 Pro in the second half. The main forte of the phone is its rear camera setup, consisting of a Leica 40-megapixel RGB camera, 20-megapixel wide-angle camera, and an 8-megapixel telephoto camera. The setup redefines mobile camera photography and is best suited for landscapes. It has a 6.4-inch AMOLED display and is powered by Huawei's Kirin 980 chipset along with 6GB RAM in the base variant. It comes with 128GB internal memory in the base variant and has a nano-memory card slot for expansion. Under the display is a fingerprint scanner and it's the fastest in-display fingerprint scanner we've ever used. Backing these internals is a huge 4200mAh battery that's more more than sufficient to get you through a day of heavy usage. Full Review 3. POCO F1 © MensXP The POCO F1 is the cheapest phone to feature a Snapdragon 845 chipset and it's all about performance. It has a 6.2-inch Full HD+ display with an aspect ratio of 18.7:9 and also sports a small infrared scanner for facial recognition. It also has liquid cooling technology for higher processor efficiency and the company claims the addition makes the processor perform 30 percent faster than the competition. On the back is a 12-megapixel primary sensor and a 5-megapixel secondary sensor while the front houses a 20-megapixel shooter. Backing these internals is a 4000mAh battery that charges via USB-C. The phone is also available in a special Armour Edition that features Kevlar backing. Full Review 4. Honor View 20 © Huawei Honor announced this phone last week globally and it's expected to arrive in India soon. It has a 6.4-inch Full HD+ panel that has a punch-hole camera and premium design on the rear. Honor View 20 uses a reflective laser etched “V” pattern on the back of the phone accompanied by a gradient. The rear camera setup consists of 48-megapixel primary shooter along with a secondary 3D Time of Flight sensor. The front fact punch-hole camera has a 25-megapixel shooter. It is powered by Huawei's Kirin 980 chipset and comes with 6GB RAM and 64GB internal storage in the base variant. The battery is rated at 4000mAh and supports Honor's Turbo Link Technology. 5. iPhone XS © MensXP The iPhone XS continues the same design language of the X, but is completely revamped from the inside. It has a 5.8-inch OLED display that Apple calls "Super Retina" since it refreshes at 120Hz and supports DolbyVision HDR10. The phone is IP68 rated, meaning it has water and dust resistance. Powering the phone is Apple's new A12 Bionic chipset that has a 6-core CPU, a 4-core GPU, and an 8-core NPU. With the bump in specifications, the phone is blazing fast and can run intensive games like Bethesda and Blades. On the rear is a 12-megapixel wide angle lens and a 12-megapixel telephoto lens while the front has a 7-megapixel selfie shooter. Full Review 6. Honor 10 Lite © Honor The phone has been globally announced and shall be coming to India soon. It'll be a successor of last year's Honor 9 Lite and sports Huawei's premium design line-up. It has a 6.2-inch LCD display with a higher screen-to-body ratio thanks to the water-drop notch. The phone will be placed in the budget segment and go up against the likes of Redmi 6. Powering the phone is a Kirin 710 chipset along with 3GB RAM and 64GB internal storage in the base variant. The back sports a 13+2-megapixel dual camera setup while the front has a 24-megapixel selfie shooter. The battery is rated at 3400mAh and it runs on EMUI 9.0 based on Android 9.0 Pie. 7. iPhone XR © MensXP Alongside the iPhone Xs and Xs Max, Apple also announced a slightly cheaper iPhone 10R. From the front, it looks very similar to the Xs, but the back is similar to that of the iPhone 8. It sports a 6.1-inch LCD display that Apple calls "Liquid Retina Display". The notch sports a similar Face ID array along with haptic feedback for shortcuts. It has a 12-megapixel single wide angle lens on the rear while the front has a 7-megapixel sensor. It runs the same A12 Bionic chipset and brings in all the latest machine learning and artificial intelligence features. Compared to the iPhone 8, the battery has been bumped by an hour and a half. Full Review 8. Samsung Galaxy A9 © Samsung This is the world's first phone to feature a four-lens setup on the rear and is capable of clicking portrait, monochrome, as well as ultrawide pictures. To start with, it has a 6.3-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED Infinity display and is powered by a Snapdragon 660 chipset along with 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. The four rear sensors are -- a 24-megapixel lens with f/1.7 aperture, a 10-megapixel telephoto lens with f/2.4 aperture and 2X optical zoom, an 8-megapixel 120-degree ultra wide lens with f/2.4 aperture and finally a 5-megapixel depth sensor with f/2.2 aperture. The front has a 24-megapixel selfie shooter that supports facial recognition.
  20. 2019 has begun and nerds are even more excited to see what the future holds. We've already compiled a list of top smartphone moments of 2018 and now, we'll talk about the trends that shall take-off soon in the coming year. Technology has been advancing at a rapid pace, and there's no stopping it. Not only are features getting more complicated and intense, but also cheaper. A flagship feature trickles down to the midrange as well as the budget segment in no time. And with the plethora of options available, brands are working harder every day to differentiate themselves. These are the top features we expect to see in 2019 smartphones: 1. Foldable Phones: © YouTube This is by far the most interesting concept, it's something we've been waiting for years. Samsung has periodically teased that they're working on the technology and shall be ready for scaled consumer manufacturing soon. In November of 2018, they finally showed off a concept phone for just a few seconds. Flexible OLED technology will allow the actual screen itself to bend and fold without the use of hinges or the extra bulk associated with implementing two separate screens, meaning a foldable thinner smartphone. Samsung did not detail whether the smartphone will go on sale anytime soon or how much it will cost, but it's expected to come out soon, and cost a bomb. Even though it'll take some more time to make it cheaper, multiple companies like Huawei and LG are researching too. 2. Punch-Hole Camera: © Samsung Samsung Galaxy A8s, the Nova 4 as well as the Honor View 20 are among the few to already sport a punch-hole camera. Samsung completely skipped the notch and went ahead with this design addition. On the A8s, a little camera hole in the display houses a 24-megapixel front-facing selfie camera. That is a major step up from some of the smaller notches we've seen in other devices that have opted to go for teardrop display cutout rather than this hole-punch method. The implementation is still at a very nascent stage though. A black ring around the camera is the result of the camera protruding through every layer of the display except for the very surface level. Thanks to multiple layers, light has a greater chance of leaking through and affects image quality as well as display durability. While punch-hole displays are expected to be limited to the higher-midrange or flagships, the notch isn't going anywhere soon. The water-drop notch has been a hit and more and more companies are expected to house it. 3. Time Of Flight Camera: © Vivo Time of Flight (ToF) is an optical radar system and is able to identify faces even from comparatively long distances. It's said to function perfectly even in different lighting conditions. The recently launched OPPO R17 Pro is the first phone to feature this sensor. ToF 3D Sensing Technology offers an advanced experience by enabling 3D mapping at up to three metres from the phone while having a smaller baseline than traditional technology that is called "structured light". It has exponentially more sensors points than iPhone's current 3D array setup and has even more applications. Apart from authentication, it can also be used to identify hand gestures and upgrade the existing AR sticker experience. 4. In-Display Fingerprint Scanner: © BCCL This is no longer a "new" feature, but we expect it to get better and cheaper in the coming months. After the launch of the iPhone 5S, every brand was trying to incorporate a fingerprint scanner on their phone. In a couple of years, an external scanner has become a bare minimum necessity. In the same way, an in-display fingerprint scanner is slightly slower than the external one, but companies are constantly improving the mechanism. Synaptics has already released multiple improved variants in one year itself, hence you'll notice a lot of difference between the Vivo X21 and OnePlus 6T's unlocking speed. 5. Faster Charging And Bigger Batteries: © OPPO There are several such technologies available, including Qualcomm Quick Charge, OnePlus Dash Charge, among others. Brands are now involved in a race, who has the fastest solution? The Huawei Mate 20 Pro houses a 4200mAh battery with 40W SuperCharge and also supports 15W wireless charging support. According to PhoneArena, you can charge 1.5 per cent of the battery in just a minute while 22W charging on the P20 Pro restores 1.1 per cent every minute. In comparison, Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 takes 30 minutes or less to charge 50 per cent and OnePlus' Dash Charging can get to 60 per cent charge in just 30 minutes. Battery sizes too have shot up and it's not just for the flagships. Even a budget phone like the Redmi Note 6 Pro comes with a 4000mAh battery. Companies are also working on improving the life cycle of batteries, and this is something Apple really needs to start considering.
  21. 2018 has been one of the busiest and most happening years for smartphones. We've witnessed the highest amount of launches and with brands getting more and more aggressive in terms of pricing and features, 2019 is going to be equally fun. We've seen a lot of new trends this year, including the fancy notches, dual displays, three to four camera's on the rear as well as sliding modules. One trend that'll be rising in 2019 is 5G, and with Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 coming out soon, OEMs are going to be crazy after it. We're expecting to see the new Snapdragon 855 chipset in a variety of top-end phones throughout 2019 and beyond. Even Huawei and Samsung are working on creating an equivalent processor, if not better, and this competition is going to be very interesting. Here's our list of the awaited smartphone launches of 2019: 1. Samsung Foldable Phone: © YouTube In November, Samsung showed off a concept phone that has a foldable screen. It can essentially bend into a phone when needed, and expand into a bigger tablet. While a launch or announcement date is still unknown, Samsung has been confident it can release the technology for mass production in the coming months. We know the device is sporting a 4.85-inch display with an aspect ratio of 21:9 and a resolution of 840x1,960 pixels. When folded into a tablet, the screen will measure 7.3-inch and house an aspect ratio of 4.2:3 along with a resolution 1,536x2,152 pixels. Samsung has been working on foldable technology for years now, and even though they've had the basics right since quite some time, the brand has been trying to perfect it. 2. Pixel 3 Lite: © Rozetked Even before the launch of the Pixel 3, there have been rumours and reports stating that Google is working on a midrange Pixel device. Packing in the same camera as the flagship devices, a cheaper alternative could really set the cat among the pigeons. While earlier reports suggested the phone will run on the recently announced Snapdragon 710 SoC, fresh rumours point towards the Snapdragon 670 platform. Google hasn't officially confirmed the prospects of a third Pixel 3 phone even though recent leaks have been very convincing. 3. Samsung Galaxy S10: © Reuters According to solid leaks, we already know the S10 will be available in three variants: a regular Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10 Lite and Galaxy S10 Plus. Samsung is expected to launch the flagship around MWC Barcelona, and current speculation points towards February 20. The S10 Lite is said to have a 5.8-inch display, the S10 or the "regular" phone will have a 6.1-inch display and lastly, the S10 Plus will have a huge 6.4-inch panel. With the S10, Samsung will be celebrating ten years of the series and bundle along with an S10 Plus with 1TB of internal storage as well. There have also been rumours around Samsung implementing a punch-hole display on the front for a better screen-to-body ratio. If true, it'll be the only mainstream brand to completely skip the notch trend. 4. OnePlus 7: © Pocket Lint Every OnePlus phone, so far, has featured a Qualcomm chipset, so we already expect the phone to feature the chipset and now, the company has already confirmed that'll be the case. A report claims the company will save 5G for an upcoming device set to be released later in 2019, so you may have to wait a while to get the biggest benefit from the Snapdragon 855. Besides, the OnePlus 7 is also rumoured to sport a faster in-display fingerprint scanner along with drastically improved camera optics. 5. Nokia 9: © Slash Leaks There's been a lot of talk about a device called Nokia 9 - at one time, the Nokia 8 Sirocco was talked about as the Nokia 9 in rumours. Remember the leaks about a phone with five cameras on the back? That's expected to be the Nokia 9. We've already seen phones like the Huawei P20 Pro that has a rear triple camera setup, even the OnePlus 6T is reported to have a similar arrangement. With the Nokia 9, HMD Global is taking the game to a whole new level. 6. Huawei P30 Pro: © BGR The P20 Pro has been critically lauded for its optics, and it's obvious to expect the P30 Pro to carry on the legacy. Recent reports suggest the phone will have a 10x zoom and a 3D sensor on its rear that is similar to a time-of-flight system. Optical zooming is considered to be much better than digital thanks to greater retained details overall. A leaked image suggests the wider notch is going and will be replaced by a U-shaped smaller water-drop notch. The Huawei P30, on the other hand, will make do with a telephoto lens with 5x optical zoom. 7. LG G8: © Android Pit Exactly when will LG announce its next flagship phone is a little up in the air, but we may see it at the Mobile World Congress and it's likely to feature the Snapdragon 855. That's because every recent flagship phone from LG has featured the top-end Qualcomm chipset at the time, so we'd expect the same from the LG G8. LG has been lagging behind Samsung in the last few years and has been desperately trying to make a comeback. As for the company's long-awaited first foldable device, it looks like the wait will continue until the third quarter of next year.
  22. If you are one of the 35.7 million followers of Amitabh Bachchan on Twitter, then you will know that Big B is one of the most loved and celebrated superstars on social media. Be it reminding celebrities that they forgot to reply to his text or just casually talking about his daily struggles, the content on Sr. Bachchan's social media accounts are pure gold. Just like his latest post on his struggle with his smartphone. Instagram Big B today took to Twitter to seek help from his followers when his Samsung Galaxy S9 stopped functioning. He wrote, "HELP !! Samsung S9 not functioning .. Samsung logo is on the front screen, and is blinking again and again .. nothing else happens .. changed it .. let it be .. tried to close it does not close either ..HELP ... someone please guide me as to what I should de(sic)". T 3024 - HELP !! Samsung S9 not functioning .. Samsung logo is on front screen, and is blinking again and again .. nothing else happens .. changed it .. let it be .. tried to close it does not close either .. HELP ... someone please guide me as to what I should de .. — Amitabh Bachchan (@SrBachchan) December 12, 2018 Well, given that it's Bollywood's 'Shehenshah' asking for help, people on Twitter came together to help him out in their own hilarious style. While some came up with genuine solutions, others were quick to point out how he is the brand ambassador of OnePlus 6T and uses a Samsung smartphone. What have we done to deserve a savage platform like Twitter? Oh no! It is blinking because someone very special is holding it and is loving it! So don't do anything, just let it be. Let it enjoy your touch! — Meenakshi Devi H K™ (@meenakshidevihk) December 13, 2018 Sir ONEPLUS 6T LE LO Jiske brand ambassador bhi ho aap ðððð — SOMESHWAR DHAR DWIVEDI (SHIVAM) (@iamsdwivedi) December 12, 2018 Dear Amit Ji. It's time to switch phones. You can maybe try the most loved technology brand in India â¤ï¸ð Happy to send a flagship phone to you, if you want.#BigFan @SrBachchan https://t.co/O5DlcdxY3K — Manu Kumar Jain (@manukumarjain) December 13, 2018 सर.... यदि à¤à¤¸ फà¥à¤¨ à¤à¥ फà¥à¤à¤à¤¨à¥ à¤à¤¾ विà¤à¤¾à¤° à¤à¤¯à¥ तà¥... à¤à¤¸à¤¸à¥ पहलॠà¤à¤¸ नाà¤à¥à¤à¤¼ à¤à¥ à¤à¤ बार याद à¤à¤° लà¥à¤à¤¿à¤¯à¥à¤à¤¾.ððð à¤à¤¿à¤¸à¥ à¤à¤°à¥à¤¬ à¤à¤¾ भला हॠà¤à¤¾à¤¯à¥à¤à¤¾ ðð वà¥à¤¸à¥ मà¥à¤°à¥ लिठà¤à¤ª à¤à¤¿à¤¸à¥ #सानà¥à¤¤à¤¾à¤à¥à¤²à¤¾à¤ सॠà¤à¤® नहॠहà¥. मà¥à¤à¤¾ भॠहॠà¤à¤° दसà¥à¤¤à¥à¤° भà¥. à¤à¤ªà¤à¥ दà¥à¤ à¤à¤° à¤à¤ªà¤à¥ à¤à¥à¤µà¥à¤ à¤à¥ 'लाà¤à¤à¥à¤¸' मिलà¥à¤à¤à¥ सॠà¤à¤²à¤. #Christmas — Ashwani Kumar Tiwari (@ASTI0901) December 13, 2018 Ask SRK, he's tech savvy!!! — BetterWorld (@HelloCrandil) December 12, 2018 No dude #pakshirajan hand behind thisðð so suggest for @akshaykumar ð — Brc_2000_ (@BharatR2000) December 13, 2018 Sir Try @oneplus सà¥à¤¨à¤¾ हॠबहà¥à¤¤ तà¥à¤à¤¼ हà¥@OnePlus_Support @SamsungMobileIN pic.twitter.com/LN9LNP7ArM — Neeraj Singh (@Singh_Neeraj007) December 13, 2018 Thankfully, Samsung was quick to come to his rescue and the glitch was sorted. He mentioned how "it was the most disturbed night of all nights" because his phone was dead. T 3025 - PHEEWWWWW .. !! phone resolved .. SAMSUNG connected immediately after Tweet and all is well .. what a world we are living in .. I mean it was the most disturbed night of all nights .. why ..?? because the MOBILE had gone dead .. I mean WHAT ..??!!! — Amitabh Bachchan (@SrBachchan) December 13, 2018 T 3025 - Technology is forcing us to keep a back up .. but technology is dictating life .. SO .. back up for life .. ?? IMPOSSIBLE .. Unless you have some solution for that .. do let me know .. ðððððððð — Amitabh Bachchan (@SrBachchan) December 13, 2018 We can totally relate to you on this Mr. Bachchan, it's hard to imagine a life without smartphones.
  23. Qualcomm has announced its flagship chipset for 2019: the Snapdragon 855. This is the processor that will go inside most of the top Android phones in 2019 including the Samsung Galaxy S10, OnePlus 7, Xiaomi Mi 9 and more. Samsung said it will launch 5G phones in the US in the first half of 2019 and will work with AT&T and Verizon on a total of three models. OnePlus announced its first 5G phone, which will go to Europe. Qualcomm is focusing on several key areas for improvement with the Snapdragon 855, including connectivity, the camera, artificial intelligence, entertainment, and more. © Twitter / Michael Josh The Snapdragon 855 is the first one to offer 5G connectivity by using an integrated Snapdragon X50 5G modem. It supports both Sub-6 GHz and mmWave frequency bands that are expected to provide incredibly fast speeds. Qualcomm says users will get up to 20 times faster average performance compared to some of the current networks. The chipset also sports better WiFi performance via the Qualcomm Wi-Fi 6 mobile platform that ensures better power efficiency and security. Don't get too excited about 5G right now though, it's going to take a long time to arrive in India. © Twitter / Patrick Moorhead Compared to 2018's Snapdragon 845, Qualcomm is promising a 45 percent faster CPU (Central Processing Unit) and a 20 percent faster GPU (Graphics Processing Unit). It sports smaller transistors and is built on TSMC's 7nm process that has lower power consumption and better efficiency. Now, Qualcomm's chip is on par with Apple's A12 Bionic chipset that also ships with a 7nm process. The Snapdragon 855 comes with a custom Kryo 485 CPU built on ARM Cortex Technology. You get one prime core Cortex A76 clocked at 2.84GHz, three Cortex A76-based performance cores clocked at 2.42GHz, and four Cortex A55-based efficiency cores clocked at 1.8GHz. The GPU consists of an Adreno 640 unit that supports 10-bit HDR gaming for the first time. © Twitter / Anshel Sag For the camera, it comes with Qualcomm's Spectra 380 ISP (Image Signal Processor) that can integrate computer Vision-powered portrait modes and AR/VR functions. This direct integration leads to a significant speed boost and reduces power consumption. In simpler words, the chipset is capable of hardware-based depth sensing, object classification, and shoot real-time HDR at 4K resolution. Qualcomm is also finally shifting from JPEG to HEIF images for pictures. JPEG doesn't support portrait effects and HDR natively and hence takes up more space in terms of memory. HEIF standard ensures maximum detail while taking minimum storage. © Qualcomm AI tasks are going to be much faster and in-depth thanks to supporting of the Adreno, Kyro, and Hexagon processors. These processors can work mutually to power AI tasks and together form the company's 4th-generation multi-core AI Engine. Qualcomm has also collaborated with Google's TensorFlow library for on-device mobile performance. These specifications and details have been outlined only on paper right now and we can test the actual performance difference only when the chipset is out, powering a publicly released phone. Though, Qualcomm has definitely upped its game against rising competition from other chipmakers like Apple, Samsung, and Huawei.
  24. While 2017 was believed to be a stellar year for smartphones, it's just stupefying how the benchmarks have been raised way higher in 2018. In 2018, great smartphones were released in plenty and again redefined what we could expect from these pocket machines. From the Huawei Mate 20 Pro's triple camera setup to the in-display fingerprint scanner in the Vivo X21, innovations saw no bounds. But with an increase in the availability of good phones, the decision process of buying a phone has become that much more complex. Because if one phone has a stunning camera, the other one has outstanding software support. So if you're out and about to get your hands on a new phone here's a list of the top 9 smartphones of 2018. 1. Apple iPhone XS and XS Max © MensXP The iPhone XS is an 'S' upgrade over the wildly popular iPhone X released last year. The XS has a 5.8-inch Super Retina AMOLED panel that pans across most of the front screen while the notch at the top houses the highly-secure Face ID sensors. The XS Plus got an even bigger screen that measures 6.5-inches but in the body size of the last-gen iPhone 8 Plus. The only external change you'd notice is the new Gold colour that was lacking in the iPhone X. Internally, both phones get an Apple A12 Bionic chip that makes the phone blazingly fast at whatever it does. The GPU also gets an upgrade which makes for an even better gaming experience. While the iPhone XS and XS Max still have a combination of a primary 12-megapixel sensor and a secondary 12-megapixel telephoto sensor like the iPhone X, there are a bunch of software improvements like Smart HDR & Depth Control to better the camera experience. Both devices are IP68 water resistant, have a 7-megapixel selfie-camera and support 3D touch. Buy from Amazon.in 2. Apple iPhone XR © BCCL While everyone had their eyes on the iPhone XS, Apple caught everyone unaware by releasing the iPhone XR in a rainbow of colours. The iPhone XR maintains the same body language as the iPhone XS, but with some difference in body materials. The phone has a 6.1-inch Liquid LCD display and the Face ID mechanism as Touch ID is officially dead on Apple's line of iPhones. To make the iPhone XR cheaper than its expensive sibling, there is only one 12-megapixel sensor at the back which is still capable of taking portraits & Smart HDR shots. Internally, the iPhone XR packs the latest A12 Bionic hexa-core chip which makes it blazingly fast too. The iPhone XR is available in colours of Black, White, Blue, Red, Coral, and Yellow. Buy from Amazon.in 3. Samsung Galaxy Note 9 © Reuters The Galaxy Note 9 happens to be one of the most versatile phones out there that is a great choice for no matter who the buyer is. The phablet has a gorgeous 6.4-inch QuadHD AMOLED panel that is undoubtedly one of the best screens in the market. In terms of camera, the phone has a dual-camera setup at the back comprising of two 12-megapixel sensors, one of which has an adjustable aperture for better photography. The S-Pen in the Note 9 now has its own battery and is connected to the phone via BLE because of which you can use it for more features like controlling music or capturing pictures from up to 30 feet away! The phone is powered by the very capable Exynos 9820 processor and coupled with 8GB of RAM for 512GB of internal storage. The Note 9 also features an all-new copper cooling system to keep the phone running without any hitches during intense gaming sessions. Buy from Amazon.in 4. Huawei Mate 20 Pro © Mashable Huawei's recently announced Mate 20 Pro is an absolute beast of a phone. The Mate 20 Pro rocks a 7nm Kirin 980 processor with 8GB of RAM that ensures top-notch performance. The 6.4-inch QuadHD display upfront that supports HDR10 offering crisp visuals. The Huawei Mate 20 Pro, unlike others on this list, has a triple-camera setup at the back comprising of a 40-megapixel wide-angle sensor, 8-megapixel telephoto lens, and an ultra-wide 16-megapixel sensor that helps you great shots with the help of AI. While the Mate 20 Pro is capable of being charged wirelessly, the Mate 20 Pro has the capability of charging other phones are accessories that support wireless charging without any external connector or dock. The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is available in colours of Midnight Blue, Emerald Green, Black, Pink Gold, and Twilight and ships with EMUI on top of Android Pie. Buy from Amazon.in 5. Google Pixel 3 & 3 XL © BGR While this is just Google's third attempt at making a phone, the Google Pixel 3 & 3XL are still one of the best phones out there. While most phones offer exceptional hardware, the software has been a hard thing to nail by most. This is where probably no other phone beats the Google Pixel 3. Both phones are powered by the Snapdragon 845 with 4GB of RAM & either 64GB or 128GB of internal storage. Apart from the display and capacity, the Pixel 3 & the 3XL are very similar phones. While the Pixel 3 has a 5.5-inch FullHD display with a battery capacity of 2915mAh, the Pixel 3 XL has a 6.3-inch QHD display with a battery capacity of 3430mAh. Also, the Pixel 3 XL features a huge notch upfront while the Pixel 3 doesn't adopt the trend of 2018. The Pixel 3 & 3XL, arguably, still boasts the best cameras of any smartphone. Night or day, Google's prowess in machine learning & artificial intelligence gives the Pixel camera an edge over the other phones in most situations. The Pixel 3 & 3XL are available in Just Black, Clear White, and Not Pink colours. Buy from Amazon.in 6. OnePlus 6T © Pocket Lint With the company's attitude to never settle, it prepared a victory speech even when it was an underdog. Its 7th-gen flagship has again proven to be a runaway hit, thanks to the marriage of wonderful hardware with convenient software. The OnePlus 6T packs a 6.41-inch FullHD AMOLED panel that houses an in-display fingerprint scanner. The phone is powered by a Snapdragon 845 with 6GB/8GB of RAM & 128GB/256GB/512GB of internal storage. In terms of cameras, the OnePlus 6T features a dual-camera setup that is capable of taking some great portraits. Unfortunately, to make space for a bigger battery, the 6T misses out on a headphone jack. To put a band-aid on the cut OnePlus includes a 3.5mm jack to USB Type-C dongle. The OnePlus 6T is available in finished of Midnight Black (matte) & Mirror Black (glossy). You can also grab a limited edition Thunder Purple variant that looks drop-dead gorgeous. Buy from Amazon.in 7. Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus © EOTO Tech The Samsung Galaxy S series has always caught eyeballs of people worldwide for their amazing designs & stellar cameras. While the S9 Plus is outshone by its elder sibling the Note 9 or the recently launched Huawei Mate 20 Pro, it is still a great choice for people who'd like to shell-less without compromising on any of the flagship shenanigans. The S9 Plus is powered by an octa-core Exynos 9810 with 6GB of RAM & 64GB of internal storage that can be expanded via a microSD card slot. The phone's outstanding design is graced by the even more gracious 6.2-inch Quad HD display. The S9+ has a dual-camera setup at the back with a very distinct feat of having the first dual variable aperture in a phone. The S9+ takes some wonderful shots thanks to its incredible cameras & functional software. The S9+ also boasts of an Iris Scanner to securely unlock your phone apart from using your fingerprints and your face. The S9+ is available in colours of Midnight Black, Lilac Purple, Sunrise Gold, and Coral Blue. Buy from Amazon.in
  25. India is a price-sensitive market and budget smartphones have contributed to making India the second largest market in the world. Part of that growth can be attributed to Xiaomi's Redmi Note series and it seems like the company is not ready to get dethroned anytime soon. The Redmi Note 5 and 5 Pro were one of the most successful smartphones in India and it seems like Xiaomi plans to continue that dominance with the Redmi Note 6 Pro. The Redmi Note 6 Pro follows the same ethos as previous devices in the family--a smartphone that offers a quality experience for a fraction of the price. So let's dive straight into the smartphone's key features and how it performed during the course of our review. Design And Display The Redmi Note 6 Pro now has an updated design and a brand new edge-to-edge screen. It has a 6.26-inch display and has an aspect ratio of 19:9. Xiaomi has refined the design of the smartphone from the Redmi Note 6 with a slightly curved back that makes it easier to hold. It has a rear fingerprint scanner and a dual camera setup that looks very reminiscent of its predecessor. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla Unlike the Redmi Note 5 Pro, the camera on the Redmi Note 6 protrudes far less and the camera bump is less noticeable. You will have to use the supplied cover if you want to protect the lens from scratching and other damages. The power button and the volume button have now been moved to the right edge of the phone and are not hard to access even if you have small hands. The smartphone even has a P2i coating for protection against everyday spills and splashes. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla At the bottom, there are two speaker grills and a micro USB slot for charging. We would have loved to see a USB-C port instead as it just works better when it comes to fast charging. Sure, the MicroUSB port is more accessible amongst users for charging purposes. However, it's time to see the port get updated to the norm. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla The 6.26-inch Full HD+ display has now been updated with a notch design giving more room for users to consume content. The notched design gives the smartphone more real estate and also allows the smartphone to have face unlock capabilities. There is a noticeable difference in the quality of the screen from its predecessor as it looks better, has brighter, vivid and accurate colours. The display is a delight to use if you love to watch content in HHD and works as advertised for being an LCD display. It is bright enough to see details and notification under bright sunlight. Camera This is one department where we see some major improvements as the company has now implemented a sensor that has a wider aperture and bigger micron pixel. The smartphone has been outfitted with a dual camera setup featuring a 20-megapixel primary sensor, paired with a 2-megapixel secondary depth sensor. The primary sensor has a larger 1.4micron pixel and an aperture of f/1.9. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla The bigger pixel and wider aperture enable the camera to let in more light and in turn, take better clearer pictures. This also translates to better low-light images as compared to its predecessor. The dual camera setup also lets the Redmi Note 6 Pro take portrait shots which blurs the background. The portrait mode works well enough to blur the subject. However, we would have liked to see a little more accuracy around the edges. Having said that, this is a budget smartphone that delivers a far better imaging experience than any other device in this segment. You can even adjust the blur after taking the image which is a plus for people who love to take portrait shots. The star feature of the portrait mode are the various effects you can use. We particularly like the light trails and studio lighting effects that make the images look outstanding. You can even remove objects from the background which you can see from our samples. View this post on Instagram Images shot using #RedmiNote6Pro A post shared by Akshay Bhalla (@editorinchief) on Nov 21, 2018 at 9:08pm PST Performance And Software We don't see much difference here because “why fix something when it's not broken”. The Redmi Note 6 pro has the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor and is coupled with either 4GB or 6GB of RAM. For graphics, Xiaomi is using the Adreno 509 GPU which is good enough for light/moderate gaming. The SoC performs as well as it did on the Redmi Note 5 pro as we did not experience any lags. We've been using the device for over a week and it performed well during the course of our review. We used it for streaming content on Netflix, play PUBG/Asphalt and take numerous images. It scored 1329 on Geekbench 4 for the single core test whereas it scored 4898 on the multi-core test. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla The Redmi Note series has always been known for providing great battery life and the same can be said about the Note 6 Pro. It has a 4,000 mAh battery under the hood and can easily last 2.5 days with moderate to high usage. Sure, it would have been awesome to see a USB-C port for faster charging as the massive battery can take some time to get fully charged. The Final Say Starting at Rs 13,999, the Redmi Note 6 pro is one of the more reliable budget smartphones of this year. It performs well and delivers extremely good battery life that cannot be matched by any other budget device at the moment. The camera on the device is a delight to shoot and there are some nifty features on MIUI 10 to make them stand out with cool effects.
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