Mobile connectivity has become gradually faster over the years, with 4G representing the current pinnacle in terms of performance. But now iPhone maker Apple has become the latest company to throw its hat into the ring and apply to test out fifth generation networking technology, according to Business Insider.
The bad news is that this trial scheme will take at least 12 months to complete, which means that this year’s crop of new iPhone handsets will not benefit from any of the technology.
There are debates over exactly what Apple hopes to achieve with its testing of the 28GHz and 39GHz segments of the wireless spectrum in its native California. Some observers argue that it is aiming to improve download speeds on its handsets, while others suspect that some other form of communication is being developed separate to its mobile efforts.
This year it is thought that up to three new iPhones could emerge, marking the 10th anniversary since the original model was introduced. They will not offer 5G capabilities as no network provider currently offers this technology, but they should push technological boundaries in other areas, with rumours of curved OLED displays being at the top of the watch list at the moment.
Figures comparing the upcoming OnePlus 5 against other modern flagships, including Samsung’s Galaxy S8, suggest that it could be quite a bit quicker than its closest rivals, according to Tech Radar.
One of the reasons for this performance gap is that OnePlus is thought to be equipping its latest smartphone with the impressive Snapdragon 835 chipset in combination with a healthy 6GB slice of RAM, enabling it to open apps more quickly than other big hitters.
While the difference between the amount of time it takes for apps to open may not seem all that important, in some cases the OnePlus 5 gets there more than 10 seconds faster than any other device. In particular, Google’s Pixel XL is left looking a little sluggish by comparison when launching mobile games.
A combination of cutting edge hardware and well optimised software look to be emerging in the 5’s favour, although future updates from Samsung and Google could redress the balance a little.
The OnePlus 5 should be getting an official launch in the next few weeks and is shaping up to be the most commercially successful of the handsets that this emerging Chinese firm has released so far.
The Pixel 2 is set to be Google’s second own-brand smartphone of the post Nexus era when it arrives later this year. And the alleged specifications of the as yet unreleased device have appeared online via benchmarking site, Geekbench, according to PocketNow.
Unsurprisingly, the Pixel 2 looks set to combine the Snapdragon 835 chipset with a solid 4GB of RAM, giving it similar levels of power to Samsung’s recently released Galaxy S8. This is good news, although since the handset is not set to arrive until the second half of the year, it will seem less cutting edge by comparison with other devices that are introduced in the interim.
Insiders have already claimed that Google is going to expand the Pixel range even further this year, with a true phablet version expected to touch down alongside the standard Pixel 2 and the larger Pixel 2 XL.
Rumours of a model with a curved display have emerged, although even with different screen sizes and shapes it is almost certain that the same processor and RAM combo will be found under the skin of all three. Google will be hoping to gain traction with this iPhone-rivalling range in 2017.
The next high end handsets launched by LG could feature OLED displays, with the South Korean firm expected to be ditching the older LCD panel technology upon which it has relied in previous generations, according to sources quoted by the Investor.
The first handset to make this leap will be the LG V30, which is scheduled to touch down in the second half of the year. Then when 2018 rolls around and the LG G7 lands, it too will sport an OLED panel to rival those found on Samsung’s top tier devices.
There are a number of benefits offered by OLED smartphone screens compared with LCD displays, chief among which are the lower energy consumption, improved colour saturation and contrast ratios. Flexibility is another asset, enabling handsets like the Samsung Galaxy Edge models to emerge with curved screens in recent years.
Of course, LG is not entirely a stranger to OLED technology, but it has yet to embrace it for mainstream mobiles, instead harnessing it for models with niche appeal, like the G Flex.
This may only be a rumour, but with Apple also thought to be moving towards OLED tech for the next iPhone, it seems that LG is not alone in coveting a change.
Battery life is a big issue for many smartphone users, which is why LG has chosen to address it with the all-new X Power 2 handset. And this week it was confirmed that the handset will be hitting the UK in the coming weeks, following its initial release in North America.
The main benefit of this mobile is its 4500mAh battery, which LG claims is big enough to allow users to watch videos for 18 hours before it is depleted, or browse the internet for 19 hours in a row on a single charge.
This should mean that the X Power2 can cope with well over a day of normal use, easily outdoing a number of higher end handsets that might need to be topped up before the sun has set.
Tech Radar reports that the rest of its specifications are solid if not earth shattering, with a 5.5 inch 1080p screen and a CPU with eight physical cores giving it the ability to go toe to toe with other mid-range smartphones.
A UK price for the X Power2 has not yet been set, but people who are sick of having to take their phone charger with them everywhere could be willing to pay a premium for this device.