The third smartphone from Chinese upstarts, OnePlus, is finally here bringing with it a raft of new features and an asking price which is impressively affordable, given the power of the hardware that is on offer.
In the UK it will sell for £309, which puts it roughly in the middle of the market in terms of price. But the idea behind this device is that it should be able to compete with handsets that cost twice as much.
A Snapdragon 820 chipset from Qualcomm joins forces with 6GB of RAM to provide the phone with blistering performance capabilities. And with a 3000mAh battery which has a fast charging feature, it should also be a long lasting, convenient device for heavy users.
Like other modern mobiles, it comes with a fingerprint scanner for easy screen unlocking, as well as 64GB of non-expandable storage onboard.
Its all-metal design and thin profile give it a good hand feel, while the large 5.5 inch display sticks with a 1080p resolution, that shows OnePlus is unwilling to jump on the QHD bandwagon at the moment.
Integrated virtual reality capabilities and the latest version of Android make it an intriguing and inexpensive alternative to rivals like the Samsung Galaxy S7 and iPhone 6S Plus.
Images posted to Chinese mobile repair site, Rock Fix, over the weekend have provided a few insights into what Apple mobile phone fans can expect from the upcoming iPhone 7 launch. And the good news for music fans is that it seems that the headphone jack is returning to this range in spite of rumours about its demise.
The snaps also seem to confirm that the handset will come with a pair of camera lenses on the rear rather than the usual setup of a single unit. There is even the promise of the design allowing for the presence of a SIM tray that will support not one but two cards, which will help the iPhone 7 appeal to business users more than any of its predecessors.
Sources claim that the phone will feature up to 256GB of internal storage space, making up for the fact that Apple is persistent in its decision to keep microSD card support off the table for its customers.
The issue with leaks and rumours like this is that their unofficial nature makes it difficult to verify them. And with so many contradictions and counter-claims being made about the iPhone 7 at the moment, it is probably best to hold off judgement until it lands in September.
A pair of new smartphones from Motorola have been unveiled in the past few days, with the Moto Z and Moto Z Force both representing a new era for the brand under its new stewardship by Lenovo.
The Moto Z holds the accolade of being the thinnest handset on the market, measuring in at just 5.19 millimetres. But this design is not just an aesthetic choice; it represents the modularity of the design that enables more components and features to be added as and when the user chooses to make an upgrade.
From enhancing the battery life to adding a small projector to the phone, the Moto Z’s ability for expansion is impressive. It even does away with a 3.5mm headphone socket, in a way which foretells of Apple’s rumoured decision to ditch this port on the next iPhone.
The Moto Z Force is similar to its stable mate in many respects, sharing the same 5.5 inch AMOLED display, processor and Android operating system. But the screen is protected by a tougher shatterproof layer, to keep it free from damage and the all-metal chassis is thicker and more durable.
The snap-on modular extras for the new Moto models make them stand out from the crowd and show what the next era of smartphones will offer.
Although it is only available in the US at the moment, Samsung’s brand new Galaxy S7 Active is making headlines worldwide thanks to its durable design and high end hardware.
As well as being waterproof and dustproof like its standard stable mate, the Active version of the Galaxy S7 switches out the glass components in favour of plastic replacements, meaning it is much more likely to survive a drop onto a hard surface without smashing or shattering.
With a 5.1 inch QHD display, a 4000mAh battery and the same chipset as the original S7, the Active should be just as capable of providing a cutting edge smartphone experience, wrapped up in a highly protective package.
The battery life is particularly worth mentioning, since the chunkier design means that a larger cell has been squeezed under the surface and it should be able to last much longer than the majority of similarly specced handsets on the market at the moment.
The two main downsides are its increased thickness and the fact that it has yet to have a UK launch date confirmed. But there is every likelihood that Samsung will eventually decide to export the device outside of the North American market.
Chinese mobile maker Huawei will be partnering with Google again to produce a fresh Nexus-branded smartphone for launch later in the year.
This is according to assertions made by Charlene Munilall, who represents the manufacturer in the South African market. She told Gearburn that the deal to follow up on the success of the Nexus 6P had been struck, indicating that Huawei has ousted rival firm HTC from Google’s good books in the process.
Of course, there is also the chance that both Huawei and HTC will be tasked with building distinct Nexus models in 2016, broadening Google’s range of handsets and perhaps catering to different segments of the market.
Earlier reports have suggested that the Nexus 6P is getting an upgrade this year, although the extent of the changes being made is still unclear. One thing which seems likely is that Huawei will be working to integrate aspects of virtual reality support, in combination with Google’s only Daydream platform.
In the next 12 months, it is thought that VR will become a bigger part of the mobile market, along with the mainstream arrival of 4K display technologies and the faster processors which will keep these components ticking over.