Samsung's engineers are reportedly aiming to push the boundaries of Bixby's AI capabilities further
While Google has been at the forefront of artificial intelligence with its Tensor chips, Samsung is not far behind. The company's Exynos 2400 chip boasts a massive leap in AI processing power, and the company recently showcased a new AI tool for on-device text-to-image generation. Now, rumors suggest that Samsung is going all-in on AI for its upcoming Galaxy S24 series.
Leica-branded lenses, flat iPhone-like edges, and a 6.36-inch flat display
Xiaomi's last few flagship smartphones have packed impressive camera specs. The Xiaomi 13 Ultra raised the camera hardware bar to another level with its variable aperture lens. But that was over six months ago, which in the smartphone world is a long time. The Chinese smartphone maker is gearing up to announce its new flagship lineup — the Xiaomi 14 and 14 Pro — on October 26. Ahead of the official unveiling, the company has revealed the design and confirmed the camera specs of the non-Pro model.
Just about a week after the rest of the Pixel lineup already got the build
Google started testing Android 14's first Quarterly Platform Release (QPR) weeks before the stable build arrived. So far, the company has dropped two beta builds, with a minor point release rolling out last week to fix some bugs related to the fingerprint scanner and SIM cards. But the Android 14 QPR 2.1 release for the Pixel 8 series was nowhere to be found, with Google noting that it is "coming soon." Thankfully, the company is not making its latest Pixel owners wait any longer and has made the build available for the Pixel 8 series.
Wireless charging, faster wired data transfer speeds, and a good periscope camera
When buying a flagship smartphone, most users will first consider options from Samsung, Google, or Apple. There's also OnePlus, which delivers a top-tier experience with its premium smartphones at a slightly lower price, albeit with some compromises. The OnePlus 11 is the perfect example of this — it packs great internals, a big display, and superfast charging but misses out on wireless charging. And that has been the case with OnePlus' last few offerings, as they have all skipped wireless charging in favor of fast wired charging. It appears that the OnePlus 12 could finally address this shortcoming.
Xiaomi's new Android skin will also be used in its upcoming electric car
Xiaomi's CEO, Lei Jun, recently teased a new operating system called HyperOS, which will replace MIUI. This new Android skin will be released with the upcoming Xiaomi 14 phones. While we don't know much about HyperOS yet, it's got a lot of people talking, and Xiaomi has now confirmed when it'll be revealing both its new flagship series and HyperOS.
It's just a new splash of paint
The world of Samsung smartphones is ever-growing, as evident by the recently-announced return of the Fan Edition line with the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE, unveiled earlier in October. Back in late July/early August, however, the tech world was buzzing with the release of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5, one of our all-time favorite foldables. It feels like Samsung has finally honed in on what makes a foldable phone actually work, and it all culminated in the Z Flip 5 and the Z Fold 5 (even if the price scares away tons of its potential audience). After a few months of continued sales of the phone, Samsung seems poised to once again cash in on the warm reception to the Z Flip 5 by unveiling the Retro Edition in the coming weeks.
The OnePlus Open is filled with top-notch hardware and amazing features
Samsung has dominated the foldable market since its inception, thanks to its Galaxy Z Fold and Flip lineup of devices. But over the last couple of years, the competition in the segment has increased exponentially, with all major Android smartphone makers foraying into the market. The latest entrant to the segment is the BBK-owned OnePlus with the OnePlus Open, which the company has been teasing through planted leaks and teasers over the last few weeks.
The issue is likely linked to having multiple user profiles
Every new major Android release is bound to have some bugs and issues. Android 14 appeared to be an exception, with initial reports from Pixel 6 and 7 owners praising the OS for improving their phone's thermals and battery life. But some Pixel 6 owners are not as lucky. While they are not facing overheating or battery drain issues, they have run into a bigger problem and are experiencing storage problems after installing the latest Android release. In some cases, users reportedly lost access to their phone's internal storage and files stored on it.
Super-low brightness and display refresh rates seem to trigger the issue
Google unveiled the new Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro to the world earlier this month, and we had high hopes the devices would fix issues like overheating, poor cellular reception, and several launch-day bugs which ruin the user experience. Several Pixel 8 Pro units have now made their way to buyers, and unfortunately, a weird display tinting issue has come to light, but a fix remains unavailable.
While impressive, the folding screen is unlikely to be more durable than the competition
OnePlus is scheduled to announce its first foldable, the OnePlus Open, on October 19. Ahead of that, the company has been trying to create hype around the device with planted leaks and in partnership with popular YouTubers. This time around, OnePlus has teamed up with YouTuber Michael Fisher, a.k.a MrMobile, to showcase the internals of the Open, its folding display, and how reliable the foldable is going to be by putting it through a bevy of torture tests.
The skin will debut on the Xiaomi 14 series first
Xiaomi makes some great Android phones, packing impressive hardware and insane camera specs. However, outside of China, the company's phones have not met with as much success as they should have. One key reason behind this is Xiaomi's Android skin MIUI. It started as an iOS copycat, and while the skin has evolved since then, many users still find it too intrusive and heavy. Xiaomi is now ready to ditch MIUI as it has announced its new operating system based on Android, Xiaomi HyperOS.
This feature enabled by a shell command suggests Android’s desktop mode could improve
Our favorite Android phones get more powerful every year, and there’s no dearth of computational muscle even on most mid-range devices. However, most people only consider a Chromebook or Android tablet as a substitute for a desktop-like computing experience. Custom Android skins offer the ideal middle ground with equivalents like Samsung DeX, powered using just your phone. Android’s Desktop mode could soon get better, because the Pixel 8 supports display mirroring via USB-C now.
Is Best Take creepy? Is Magic Editor the next big thing? Are you just happy to see pro controls?
After months of rumors, Google finally released the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro this week. Reviews are, unsurprisingly, strong across the board — both myself and Google Editor Manuel Vonau gave each device a nine out of ten in our respective reviews — but that hasn't stopped plenty of controversy from swirling over the last few weeks. The company's taking a big swing with some of its new camera features, and not everyone seems to be a fan.
Prepare your eardrums for a symphony of 'bit perfect audio'
Journey back in time to the era of Walkmans and CD players, where music enthusiasts proudly carried their dedicated devices, each holding a curated collection of their favorite tunes. Even before these gadgets graced our lives, vinyl records reigned supreme, spinning on turntables and filling homes with the warmth of lossless audio. In its purest essence, lossless audio is music presented in its original, uncompressed form, preserving every nuance and detail intended for the listener to experience. Sadly, as technology moved on, these dedicated music players were replaced by smartphones and streaming services. While these new options offer a vast library of music, they often sacrifice the quality that makes music so special. In an effort to bring back the richness and depth of original recordings, Google is preparing a handy audio quality upgrade for its latest flagship phone series.
The Find N3 will launch on the same day as the OnePlus Open
It's no secret that foldable smartphones are quite popular in the mobile industry, and the trend is likely to continue over the next few years. But there are still some brands that haven't jumped on the bandwagon, such as OnePlus. Despite some initial delays, we now know that the company's first foldable will be revealed on October 19. Well, the company's sister brand, Oppo, is also expected to reveal a foldable flagship on the same day — the Find N3 — albeit a few hours earlier. Some live images of Oppo's book-style foldable have now popped up, revealing a design not dissimilar to the OnePlus Open, based on what leaked renders and the company's own teasers have revealed so far.
It's still unclear if this is a widespread issue
After being officially revealed earlier this month, the Google Pixel 8 and the Pixel 8 Pro have finally begun reaching customers. Among the many new features bundled with the two flagships, one that went under the radar was the addition of Face Unlock for payments, with the company saying the Pixel 8 series could now use just the users' face for authentication, specifying that the new phones meet "the highest Android biometric standard," i.e., Class 3. A user report on Reddit is now indicating that this Face Unlock system could be prone to misuse in some situations.
The antenna lines aren’t points of failure anymore
Earlier this month, Google unveiled the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro as successors to the Pixel 7 series from last year. Both the phones have several changes we have detailed in our reviews, but the outward appearance of the phones hasn’t changed. One would usually assume this means the Pixel 8 Pro would be about as sturdy as the 7 Pro before it. However, Zack Nelson of JerryRigEverything fame on YouTube bent and scratched Google’s latest hardware, revealing the company has been taking notes recently.
The phone might also ditch the curved screen in favor of a flat panel
Camera bumps in smartphones have become ridiculously large in recent years. The Hasselblad-branded circular camera island on the OnePlus 11 is massive, while the Xiaomi 13 Ultra looks more like a DSLR and less like a phone with its Leica-branded rear lenses. Xiaomi now appears set to take this ridiculousness to the next level with its upcoming Xiaomi 14 Pro.
This is the slim and lightweight foldable we deserve
Honor has had a busy 2023, launching a slew of impressive smartphones and foldables. The company started the year with the international launch of its first foldable, the Honor Magic Vs, which impressed us in some areas but fell short in others. A few months later, the company announced the Magic V2, one of the slimmest foldables around. With folding phones a growing category in the smartphone segment, Honor wants a bigger pie of the market and has announced its third foldable of the year: the Magic Vs2. It packs the best features of Honor's previous foldable with some compromises to reach a lower price point.
Google adds new 'Gems' category to Pixel Sounds just in time for its new flagship
Sometimes, you receive a call and realize the ringtone that comes with it isn't hitting the right spots. Or maybe you're just having a calm nap and regret setting the alarm to a sound that scares you out of bed. But Google, knowing that we're far from the forceful alarm sounds of the aughts, is making some powerful, relaxing, and reminiscent tones. The needs of the public have significantly shifted too – far from the cringe of retro-sounding ringtones, even on the best Google Pixel phones.