The Fire Phone was Amazon’s first attempt at entering the mobile market, yet it failed to find favour with reviewers or consumers and sunk quickly, leaving the e-commerce giant to focus on its Kindle e-readers and tablets.
Now it looks like a new Amazon smartphone is in the works, going by the appropriate name of ‘Ice,’ to distinguish it from its poorly received predecessor, according to Pocket Lint.
Sources suggest that the device will run the latest version of Android and will feature full integration with a wealth of related services from Google, rather than using Amazon’s own proprietary software, as was the case in the past.
In terms of hardware specs, the Amazon Ice phone should be on a par with modern mid-range handsets, sporting a display measuring up to 5.5 inches across the diagonal and utilising the Snapdragon 435 chipset, which suggests an affordable price point may be targeted.
Furthermore, Amazon will almost certainly be adding its Alexa personal assistant service to the phone, helping it to rival Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana. The strong levels of demand for the Amazon Echo hub have helped to make Alexa a selling point in its own right.
While most smartphones with fingerprint scanners integrate this component with the home button, or place it on the rear surface, Samsung could be taking an entirely different approach with the upcoming Galaxy Note 8.
Leaked images provided by an unnamed industry insider and published by Poyoco Tech suggest that the display of the Note 8 may house the fingerprint scanner discretely within it, which will give the phone a cleaner, less cluttered design than its predecessors.
Furthermore, it has been suggested that the Note 8 will have an all-new S Pen stylus that is capable of vibrating to provide a bit more physical feedback during use, emulating the feel of a real pen in the process.
Other features hinted at in the leak include high end audio capabilities from AKG, which is a company that Samsung owns indirectly and so can easily call upon to provide its support for the Note 8.
Dual camera lenses on the rear surface suggest that a photographic upgrade is going to be part and parcel of this new phablet. And Samsung’s attempts to wipe away the bad memory of last year’s battery-blighted Note 7 certainly seem impressive on paper.
The high end Honor 9 handset has been unveiled, with Chinese manufacturer Huawei suggesting that it could go on sale before the end of the month.
The Honor 9 is set to offer 6GB of ram(!!!!!), a 5.15 inch 1080p display and similar internal hardware to that found onboard the existing Huawei P10, meaning it should be competitive with similar flagship devices from rival brands.
Rumours suggested that the Honor 9 would be following in the footsteps of the iPhone 7 and doing away with the traditional 3.5mm headphone socket however we are pleased to see Huawei have NOT done this and there is the standard headphone socket.
The European launch event for the Honor 9 is set to take place in Berlin on June the 27th, with insiders expecting that it will be available to buy in the UK shortly afterwards.
Huawei has carved out a reputation as offering impressive smartphones at affordable price points, undercutting the competition and never charging over the odds simply because of its brand. The Honor 9 will set out to continue this trend as summer arrives.
More iPhone apps should be able to take advantage of voice controlled interactions via Siri following the rollout of Apple’s latest operating system, according to a Reuters report.
This is all thanks to a lifting on the restrictions which govern how and where Siri can be used by third party developers as part of the software packages they create. This should also lead to many more commands being made available, dramatically increasing the potential of this service and how vital it is to the iOS experience.
More information about how this will work in practice will be made public this week as Apple’s WWDC gets underway. And there is little doubt that one of the reasons that iOS 11 is bringing this change to the table is so that Apple is better equipped to compete with rivals to Siri, including Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana.
Traditionally, Apple has been reluctant to open up its core iOS functions to third parties, instead preferring to keep strict control over how all of its devices operate. This is in direct opposition to Google’s open source approach.
However, in the age of intelligent voice controls, the Californian firm can no longer afford to be so shut off from outside influences.
Motorola is set to introduce a pair of new smartphones in the near future, with the G5S and G5S Plus both set to boast all-metal exteriors to give them a high end feel, according to Android Authority.
The smaller G5S will have a 5.2 inch display with a full HD resolution, while the G5S Plus will come with a larger 5.5 inch panel that shares the same pixel count.
Insider sources suggest that these phones should also be quite powerful, with octa-core processors at their heart. Now leaked images show that they will also sport dual camera lenses on the rear surface, improving their photographic capabilities compared with the existing G5 range.
The good news is that although some manufacturers seem intent on killing off the traditional headphone socket, Motorola is not taking this route. There will also be a physical home button with a built-in finger print scanner for added security and convenience.
Although the G5S and G5S Plus seem to offer a good range of competiti