Dear HTC, when your company's in serious financial trouble, and your latest flagship isn't really that good, you don't get to outright lie about having something "surprising" to reveal, particularly when we've known about it for months. And then you wonder why people don't buy your devices anymore.
Outlandish patent applications are a dime a dozen these days, yet a few of them warrant mentioning due to just how scarily close to reality they can be. One such case is one of Sony's latest granted patents, which proposes the idea of devices wirelessly leeching power from others in their vicinity, which gives off some serious Dracula vibes. This is a terrible idea by all accounts, but what scares us the most is that Sony might just do it.
Buying an iPhone is better than a healthcare plan and we were blind to the truth all along (sarcasm)
The LG G6 is in many ways a reset for LG: it's not modular, it does not feature a leather back, it's... well, more mainstream. It is trendy: it has a sturdy metal frame and a glass back, and while it might not be of the same design pedigree as the curved-screen Samsung phones or some others, it still looks good.
OTHERS TORTURE AND SCRATCH THEIR PHONES, SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO
So let's take a knife and try to scratch up our brand new phone to test... said no one ever. Well, one person did: an adventurous tester that will settle the case once and for all, so that you don't need to damage your device just to feed your curiosity.
When you're building a new smartphone, it's way too easy to get caught up in race to outdo your competition in a race to implement snazzy new or design elements. Maybe you want to be the first phone around with a extra-wide 18:9 display, or the first to deliver a capable of filming slow-motion video that pushes 1000 frames per second. But while you're sure to get a lot of attention crafting handsets like that, there's also a whole lot to be said for keeping things simple: giving us a smartly-constructed, attractive phone built from the latest hardware, and running that delivers a tasteful assortment of new functionality.
Is that a boring way to make a phone? We don't necessarily think so, and while it's easy to get caught up in the awe and spectacle of flashy new features, we very much appreciate a really well-executed phone that's not trying quite so hard to grab the spotlight.
Of all the flagships we've seen this year at Mobile World Congress, it's Huawei's pair of the P10 and P10 Plus that arguably best fit that bill. They're iterative phones, sure, but ones that build on the solid foundation of the P9 and P9 Plus.
Compared to last year's phones, though, 2017's models deliver some smart upgrades. We've already given you the full rundown on specs for these models, and shared the experience of some of our early hands-on time. Our initial interactions, though, have largely been dominated by time spent with the smaller P10. Not content to let the 5.5-inch P10 Plus feel lonely, we tracked the handset down on the MWC show floor to bring you a better look at the higher-end of Huawei's two brand-new flagships.
The difference between the P10 and P10 Plus is far from night-and-day, with the same processors driving these handsets, the same base memory and storage levels, and same design: both giving us a nice, thin 7mm-thick metal , smooth, pleasing-to-hold curves, and a variety of color options and finishes to choose from. Even the prices aren't far off, with just 50 EUR separating the pair.
If you've been paying close attention, you've probably picked up on some of the ways these two handsets stand apart, as well, and besides the obvious ones like the larger, higher-res on the P10 Plus and its giant 3,750mAh battery, there are much more subtle upgrades, like the wider f/1.8 camera aperture for the P10 Plus – which should translate into better low-light performance.
That all adds up to make the Huawei P10 Plus a pretty darn tempting alternative to the P10 – so long as you don't mind the slightly larger screen, there's not a lot of compromise to be found, and you get a decent number of extras for not a whole lot more money. We'll be giving both the P10 and the P10 Plus our full review treatment in the days to come, but for, check out our Huawei P10 Plus image gallery and hands-on video with the stylish new flagship.
Anyone with a rudimentary grade school knowledge of math can tell you that 66.6% of Samsung's new tablets introduced at MWC were powered by Windows instead of Android. Of the three new tablets introduced by Samsung, only one of them (the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3) comes pre-installed with Windows. Android tablet sales are being negatively impacted by the continued strength in Android phablets. And this year, there is a good chance that the top selling Android phone will be the 6.2-inch Samsung Galaxy S8+. In addition, Android tablet sales are being negatively impacted by the lack of a strong upgrade cycle. Unlike smartphones, which are replaced every two-years by many consumers, most tablets do not offer compelling updates to specs or features.
At MWC, Samsung introduced two Samsung Galaxy Book 2-in-1 tablets. The manufacturer believes that this is where future growth in the tablet market lies. According to Eric McCarty, vice president of mobile product marketing for Samsung Electronics America, year-over-year growth in the 2-in-1 niche of the tablet market is running at 140%. And with 60% of these devices running Windows, we can assume that Samsung will be using that platform on a majority of its future slabs. Especially since devices like the Samsung Galaxy Books are made for enterprise use. And that means employees will get to use Windows in the office, and Windows out of the office.
Even with the expected gain in the 2-in-1 segment, it isn't clear if this is enough to right the entire ship. IDC reported tablet deliveries of 176 million tablets last year, a drop of 15.6%. Apple iPad shipments declined 14.2% to 42.6 million. Samsung saw tablet shipments drop last year to 20.6 million, still enough to finish 2016 as the second largest tablet manufacturer behind Apple.
With some reports suggesting that the LG G6 may ditch the modular concept of its predecessor in favor of a less-adventurous, waterproof design with non-removable battery, while others still claiming the battery will be removable despite the added water resistance, even educated guessing is becoming a bit difficult at this point. However, our job here is to present you with all the relevant regarding next year's flagships, and that's what we are going to do now. With that said, let's take a look at all we know about the LG G6:
2. Display (New!)
4. Cameras & iris scanner (New!)
5. Software and features
6. Price and release date
The LG G5 was a very experimental . Perhaps too experimental. The modular concept was highly promising but failed to deliver in the end
Non-removable battery that won't overheat
Both the LG G5 (pictured above) and V20 sported batteries, but the G6 may break this tradition with a non-replaceable, sealed battery unit
Both the G5 and V20 (pictured above) sported batteries but neither of them was water-resistant
The LG G5 sported a unibody aluminum build coated with primer to conceal the seams between the casing and antenna slits. It wasn't received with standing ovations by fans and we weren't amazed either. However, LG may be looking to spice things up for the G6 with some sort of a high-gloss back. Some reports suggest that the casing could be made of glass, while others claim that LG is more likely to use some sort of metal polishing technique, similar to what Apple did with the Jet Black iPhone 7 , to achieve a high level gloss without compromising sturdiness.
You probably don't need to see another confirmation to remind you that the Huawei P10 will be unveiled at Barcelona during MWC on February 26th. Nonetheless, the company on Monday posted a brief video confirming the unveiling date and location. The clip includes a message that says "Change how the world sees you." The last part of that statement would seem to indicate that there will be something unique with the way the phone looks. And we think that the video itself is giving away the answer.
Note the background color at the end of the clip is green. There is speculation that the Huawei P10 is going to be available in Green, a color you don't see offered that much on a smartphone. Other color options might include Black, Gold, Purple and White.
Both the Huawei P10 and the premium Huawei P10 Plus are said to be equipped with a 5.5-inch screen carrying a 1440 x 2560 resolution. The Huawei designed Kirin 960 chipset is under the hood containing an octa-core CPU (consisting of four Cortex-A73 cores for high performance tasks and four Cortex-A53 cores for light housekeeping). It is the first SoC to employ the Mali-G71 MP8 GPU. The dual-camera setup on back of both models is expected to weigh in at 12MP with the use of Leica optics.
Originally, there was talk that the only difference between the P10 and P10 Plus would be the use of a flat screen on the former, and a dual-curved edge screen for the latter. But yesterday, another possible difference came to light after Spanish retailer Phone House put up a listing for the Huawei P10 Plus that had the premium model equipped with 8GB of RAM. The price of the unit was listed at $799. While technically possible (the Kirin 960 SoC will support up to 8GB of RAM), the figure could be merely a placeholder. For now, we will play it safe and wait to find out the official details from Huawei on February 26th.
The Galaxy J series is about to expand with the addition of a few new smartphones. The unannounced Galaxy J7 (2017) is one of the handsets Samsung is expected to reveal very soon, but that might not be the only affordable smartphone launched by the South Korean company in Q1.
We reported less than a week ago about the Galaxy J7 Sky Pro, a name that Samsung trademarked in late January. Even though we don't have a confirmation yet, this might be a carrier-branded version of the long-rumored Galaxy J7 (2017), which will be released in the United States.
The name of a third Galaxy J series device has been spotted recently at USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office): Galaxy J3 Luna Pro. Judging by its name, this doesn't seem to be another variant of the Galaxy J7 (2017), but rather a refresh of the last yearGalaxy J3 Pro.
Although it might not mean anything, it looks like Samsung trademarked both the Galaxy J7 Sky Pro and Galaxy J3 Luna Pro names on the same day, January 24, 2017. The next step for Samsung would be to make both affordable smartphones official.
There have been rumors claiming Huawei plans to launch its P10 and P10 Plus flagship smartphones in March of April. It appears that these reports come in line with the official information we've just received today.
Huawei has just announced a launch event, which is to take place at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2017 on February 26. The Chinese handset maker did not provide any additional details on the matter, but it's safe to assume that at least one of the two flagships will be announced in late February.
With the release of the P10, Huawei will completely move its flagship lineup into “phablet” territory. The P10 is expected to sport a 5.5-inch display, just like the P10 Plus that's rumored to include a similar panel with Quad HD (2560 x 1440 pixels) resolution.
We've also learned the both P10 smartphones will be equipped with powerful HiSilicon Kirin 960 chipsets, coupled with Mali-G71 MP8 graphics processing units and 6GB of RAM. The Leica-branded cameras are likely to made it into both models as well.
The main difference between the two models could be the fact that the P10 Plus will feature a dual-edge curved display, while the standard version will come with a flat panel.
Scene 5: Happy
After a two-month delay while Apple was ironing out some problems with the product, the wireless Bluetooth powered AirPods finally launched on December 13th. Already, AirPods own 26% of the online wireless headphone market, cementing what Apple CEO Tim Cook has called "a runaway success." The data comes from Slice Intelligence and is generated from actual receipts. This means that the figures should be very accurate.
In December 2015, wireless headphones accounted for half of the entire online U.S. headphones market for the first time. Last month, three out of every four headphones sold online in the states were of the wireless variety. Besides Apple, Samsung has its Gear IconX wireless ear buds that compete with the AirPods. But Apple does have the benefit of having sold millions of Apple iPhone 7 and Apple iPhone 7 Plus handsets, all sans a 3.5mm earphone jack. All of these iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus owners are potential AirPods buyers. On the day of the product's launch, December 13th, wireless headphone sales made online were ten times higher than the pre-holiday figure for an average day in 2016. For all of 2016, it was the single day with the most online sales of wireless headphones.
Apple has been dominating the category, and not just because of the $159 AirPods. Prior to the product's launch, Beats had the leading market share based on online sales, with 24.1%. That company of course, is owned by Apple. After the AirPods launch, Beats owned 15.4% and Apple had 26% for a combined market share of more than 40%. It might have been coincidence, but Bose got a huge lift from the AirPods launch as its share of the online wireless headphones market rose from 10.5% to 16.1%
Now that we now who is selling product, the question is, who is buying it? Female Boomers have the largest share at 38% followed by male Millemmials at 35%, and female Millennials at 32%. You can check out all of the data by clicking on the slideshow below.
Citing industry sources, Korean news outlet The Investor reports that Samsung is targeting 60 million unit shipments for its upcoming Galaxy S8 flagship smartphone. The company has placed component orders to match this target and is working towards a mid-April release date for the product. This means the Galaxy S8 could take about a month longer to land in retail stores than its predecessor. This may or may not owe to Samsung extending its quality assurance process to prevent potential product-breaking flaws.
The sources claim that Samsung will begin mass-producing the Galaxy S8 in March. One of the reports suggests that an initial batch of 5 million units will be completed in March, while the other suggests that 5 million units will be Samsung's monthly production capacity for the months after. Either way, the sources claim the company will be showcasing the smartphone "a month or two" before its mid-April release. This means the Galaxy S8 could be announced at MWC 2017, either in late February or the first days of March, while being shown to carriers and retail partners behind the scenes.
60 million is quite an ambitious target. The past three generations of Galaxy S smartphones managed between 45 to 48 million units, with a record of 70 million units still held by the Galaxy S4 (2013). Its predecessor, the Galaxy S3, came close with 65 million units. Reportedly, Samsung set such a goal to help overcome the losses sustained after pulling the faulty Galaxy Note 7 off the market last year.
The report names iris scanner module maker Partron, camera lens firm Sekonix, and connectivity-handling Samsung Electro-Mechanics and Amotech as component delivery partners.