Smartphones

Samsung Intros W2018... Flip Phone

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The flip phone ain't dead-- at least not in China, where Samsung announces the W2018, a high-end device featuring flagship internals and a camera with an f/1.5 aperture for better low-light photography.

Samsung W2018Made exclusively for the China Telecom "Heart of the World" charity event, the W2018 features a pair of 4.2-inch 1920 x 1080 Super AMOLED touchscreens together with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset, 6GB RAM, 64/256GB storage and a 2300mAh battery. Connectivity comes through dual-SIM slots, NFC and USB-C, security features include a fingerprint reader and an iris scanner, and the Bixby assistant can be summoned via dedicated button on the side.

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The Tiny Jelly Smartphone

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Chinese manufacturer Unihertz releases what it claims is the smallest 4G smartphone around-- the Jelly, a device with a 2.45-inch display, a far cry from the current 5-inch standard.

JellyThe result of a successful Kickstarter campaign, Jelly measures all of 92.4 x 43 x 13mm, making it tiny compared to most smartphones. It run on Android 7.0 and promises to be a fully-fledged smartphone, with the plastic shell packing a 1.1GHz processor, 1/2GB RAM, 8/16GB internal storage (expandable via microSD card slot), 4G LTE connectivity and dual-SIM capability.

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The Foldable Dual-Screen ZTE Axon M

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ZTE claims the Axon M brings nothing less than "a new smartphone category"-- or in the least something rather interesting, since it features a foldable design with two full-size displays.

ZTE Axon MThe Axon M has a pair of 5.2-inch 1920 x 1080 displays, one in the front and the other in the back. A hinge connects the two, allowing users to flip the rear display and slot it next to the front one, creating a single 6.75-inch display. Users can then either stretch apps across the larger display or take advantage of Android split-screen features to run two apps simultaneously, one on each screen. Users can even watch two different videos on the two screens, switching between audio streams as they want.

In addition, one can also "tent" the phone and mirror the displays, allowing two people to look at the same content from the front and back. ZTE promises the "top 100" Android apps work on the Axon M, with the tablet version of the app (if one exists, obviously) running when the it is in "extended" mode.

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No Keyboard for BlackBerry Motion

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TCL unveils a new BlackBerry-branded smartphone at GITEX Technology Week, Dubai-- the Motion, a handset replacing the physical keyboard BlackBerry devices are best known for with an all-touchscreen design.

Blackberry MotionThe Motion is somewhat similar to the KEYOne, the keyboard-equipped BlackBerry smartphone released back in 2016. It carries a 5.5-inch LCD display, Snapdragon 625 processor, 4GB RAM, 32GB storage, 12MP rear-/8MP front-facing cameras and a 4000mAh battery inside a body featuring an IP67 rating for protection against water and dust.

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Does Apple Slow Down Older iPhones?

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Futuremark releases the results of a year's worth of benchmarks to verify the long-running rumour of Apple slowing down older iPhones in order to encourage the upgrade cycle-- something the company does not, in fact, do!

iPhone slowdownFor those not in the know, Futuremark is the developer of popular benchmarking software 3DMark. The benchmark is available for iDevices, and allows reviewers and power users to check the performance of their iPhone before and after the installation of apps and updates. Since 2016 Futuremark has stored over 100000 of such comparisons for 7 iPhone models across 3 different iOS versions, providing "a unique insight into the everyday performance of each iPhone model over time."

The result? Contrary to the conspiracy theory iPhone performance does not degrade over time. 3D Mark aggregates the results for iPhone 5, 6 and 7 using both a CPU and GPU benchmark, and performance remains remarkably consistent-- even in the case of an iPhone 5s upgraded to iOS 9, 10 and 11.

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