Smartphones

Three OLED iPhones for 2018?

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Nikkei reports Apple will be using OLED displays in not one, not two, but three new iPhone models, all set to launch sometime "the second half of 2018."

iPhone OLEDAccording to unnamed industry sources, Apple is "tentatively looking" to release three iPhones next year, even if such plans are subject to change. After all, the company has a record of tweaking product specifications and lineups in the name of accommodating market sources and component quality.

The grapevine has repeatedly insisted Apple will be using OLED technology in an upcoming iPhone. Nikkei says Apple will only use OLED in one 2017 iPhone, a "premium handset" featuring a "high screen-to-body ratio without the iconic home button." It will also release two other models featuring LCD displays, which are expected to be sold into early 2019.

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YotaPhone Gets Third Version

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Customers in want for an update on the YotaPhone, the curious dual-screen smartphone, are in luck-- Russian phone maker Baoli Yota announces the YotaPhone 3 at the China-Russia Expo in Harbin, China.

YotaPhone 3Officially the company (a joint venture between investor Baoli and manufacturer Coolpad) does not reveal much about the device. As one might expect the YotaPhone 3 retains the same dual-screen form factor, with a 5.5-inch AMOLED display on the front and a 5.2-inch eInk screen on the back.

However, an anonymous source tells Engadget the handset is fairly mid-range, as it carries the Snapdragon 625 chipset, the same found in the Asus ZenFone 3, Moto Z Play and BlackBerry KEYone. Further specifications include 4GB RAM, 64 or 128GB storage, dual-SIM slots (one of which also serves as a microSD slot), 12MP camera with dual-flash, 3200mAh battery and a USB-C port. The OS of choice is Android Nougat.

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Andy Rubin's ESSENTIAL Flagship Android Smartphone Concept

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Can titanium trump aluminium? Android creator and former Google SVP Andy Rubin reveals the Essential, his take on what an Android-powered flagship phone should be.

Essential PhoneAs a competitor to the iPhone and Galaxy S8, the Essential features a minimalist design, with a 5.5-inch edge-to-edge display wrapping around the front-facing camera. Inside are a Qualcomm 835 chips, 4GB RAM, 3040mAh battery and 128GB storage and 8MP front-/13MP rear-facing cameras, while the OS of choice is Android.

The Essential promises to be very tough-- its construction is titanium and ceramic, a combination of materials the company claims can survive drops "without blemish, unlike the aluminium competitor devices."

Connectivity comes through USB-C and a new  magnetic connector featuring a pair of small pogo pins, similar to the Moto Mod connector found in recent Motorola phones. The 3.5mm jack is, alas, missing.

So far Essential has two accessories using the magnetic connector. The first is a miniature VR camera able to capture 4K 360-degree video at 30fps, while the second is a charging dock.

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The Squeezable HTC U11

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The HTC U11 looks like any regular smartphone, but it does have one surprise up its sleeve-- users can "squeeze" the 5.5-inch handset to control apps, camera and more.

HTC U11Dubbed "Edge Sense," the system consists of pressure sensors below the volume buttons on the sides. A calibration tool allows users to set a short and long squeeze, and the two actions can be configured in different ways. For instance, one can squeeze the phone to summon the camera, followed by either a short squeeze to take a selfie or a long squeeze to switch to the rear-facing camera.

HTC adds the phone ignores "false squeezes" caused by pockets and the like, while an eventual software update will allow users to configure any app to take advantage of app functionality. The company also suggests one use a squeeze to summon one of the two included voice-controlled assistants, Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.

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Samsung Presents Tizen-Powered Z4

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Samsung has clearly not given up on the Tizen dream as it announces the Z4-- a smartphone powered by the OS promising to "combine performance and essential features with a simplified user experience."

Samsung Z4Aimed at developing markets, the Z4 has fairly low-end specs. It features a 4.5-inch 480 x 800 resolution curved glass display, quad-core 1.5GHz processor, 1GB RAM, 5MP rear-/front-facing cameras and a 2025mAh battery. Connectivity comes through Bluetooth, LTE, VoLTE and VoWifi.

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