Mobile Phone News

New Chinese smartphone mirrors Galaxy Note 7 specs

Meizu Pro 6 PlusWhile Samsung may have been forced to discontinue the Note 7 phablet after the battery debacle, Chinese manufacturer, Meizu, has stepped in to fill the gap in the market left by its exit with a handset known as the Pro 6.

It has very similar hardware components to the defunct Note 7, including the Exynos 8890 processor, a 5.7 inch AMOLED display and a healthy 4GB chunk of RAM. It even has extras like a fingerprint scanner built in, although it lacks the stylus of its Samsung counterpart.

Those concerned about whether the Pro 6 will suffer the same explosive battery problems as the Note 7 will be pleased to see that it actually has a slightly smaller cell, presumably indicating that it comes from a different source.

This may be an Android device, but the exterior styling is very similar to that of the current iPhone 7 range, so it stands out from the Note 7 in this way.

Meizu will be selling the Pro 6 to British buyers online, although its pricing has yet to be confirmed. This company is looking to capitalise on the failure of the Note 7 and could win a small but significant slice of the market as a result.

Nokia plans return to mobile market

Nokia LogoThe first new Nokia phones since the Finnish brand was discontinued by Microsoft are set to hit the market next year, with insiders expecting to see a pair of high end Android-powered devices arriving at Mobile World Congress 2017 ahead of a Q2 release.

Nokia itself is not going to be manufacturing the handsets but has, instead, sold the rights to build smartphones bearing its brand to fellow Finnish firm, HMD. Furthermore, with a marketing budget of close to half a billion pounds signed off, the return of Nokia-badged phones will be heralded far and wide.

The technical specs of the expected flagship devices remain a mystery, but they should run the latest version of Android and feature components that are powerful enough to make them competitive with other front-running phones, according to the Telegraph.

Nokia’s deal with HMD is set to last for at least a decade, showing that both firms have long term ambitions. And while Nokia struggled to find its footing in the wake of the arrival of the modern smartphone age, it still has an excellent brand reputation and strong identity which should stand it in good stead for its return to the fray.

ZTE improves hardware of Axon 7 handset

zte-axon-7Although companies like Huawei and OnePlus may be earning more headlines for their cost-conscious, powerful devices, there is still a lot to be said for fellow Chinese manufacturer, ZTE. Its Axon 7 is an already impressive device, but this week it has announced some fairly significant upgrades which have been added to it.

Crucially, the onboard storage has been bumped up to 128GB, which is more than enough for tens of thousands of photos, videos, music files and apps to sit comfortably onboard. There is also more RAM, with 6GB included rather than the 4GB that came with the original edition of this handset.

With a 5.5 inch display that packs a QHD resolution and a stylish alloy frame, the Axon 7 is a good looking, powerful device which can give high end handsets a run for their money. The Snapdragon 820 chipset may no longer be at the cutting edge, but it is more than adequately powerful here.

The Axon 7 even goes one better than the OnePlus 3T by including a microSD card slot, meaning there are no storage constraints here, freeing up users to add extra space if they need it.

Samsung quashes rumours of Galaxy S7 battery issues

Samsung Galaxy S7While the Note 7 may have been discontinued due to its combustible battery, Samsung’s other 2016 flagship smartphone is not suffering from similar problems, according to an official statement from the South Korean manufacturer.

It said that, so far, no cases of internal battery failure have been confirmed, although a handful of reports from North America allege that handsets in this range, specifically the S7 Edge, have been prone to spontaneous explosions.

The Galaxy S7 has earned rave reviews since it was launched in the spring and the Galaxy Edge model in particular is seen as a boundary-pushing device, which deserves the attention of any mobile buyer who is looking for a high end handset as their next upgrade.

While Samsung’s reputation may have been tarnished by the Note 7 recall, it is forging ahead with plans for its next phone. The Galaxy S8 range is anticipated to touch down early next year as the firm scrambles to make up for the 30 per cent dip in profits that it has experienced in the third quarter of 2016.

Users will want to see if any more reports of S7 battery issues arise, but it seems unlikely that it will suffer the same fate as the Note 7.

OnePlus 3T arrives to replace predecessor

OnePlus 3TThe 3T has officially been announced by OnePlus this week, along with the news that it will be ousting the earlier OnePlus 3 altogether, rather than going on sale alongside it.

This could be something of an issue as the 3T is a pricier device, meaning buyers will have no choice but to spend more cash if they want to experience what OnePlus has to offer.

With a 5.5 inch 1080p screen, a powerful Snapdragon 821 processor and a hefty 6GB of RAM, the 3T certainly sounds good on paper. It will also cost just £399 in the UK, which is still significantly more affordable than equivalently powered devices from manufacturers like Samsung and LG.

Other hardware improvements that the 3T offers over its now defunct sibling include a 3400mAh battery, which should provide more life from a single charge, along with a 16 megapixel front-facing camera for crystal clear selfies.

The OnePlus 3 was rated as one of the best smartphones of the year, bringing high end performance to a mid range price point. Its replacement seems like a worthy successor, although the elimination of the 3 altogether may be seen as unfortunate by some.