Mobile Phone News

High speed smartphone camera developed by Sony

Sony Xperia XRSony has long been known for making smartphones with class-leading photography capabilities, so it is no surprise to see it announce another innovation in this area.

The Japanese firm revealed it has created a sensor designed for mobile devices which is capable of recording footage at 1000 frames per second, making it possible to shoot full HD video for slow motion playback with unrivalled quality and clarity.

The addition of extra RAM to the sensor’s makeup means that it can operate far quicker than equivalent units already on the market. So footage should look better no matter the number of frames that are being captured.

By comparison, the maximum 240fps capture capabilities of Apple’s iPhone range looks a little long in the tooth, especially considering that users are restricted to recording at 720p resolutions when they use this setting.

Whether or not this technology will end up on Sony’s flagship mobiles this year is unclear, although with MWC 2017 just a few weeks away it will not be long before more information is made available and the next generation of smartphone cameras is unleashed on a wider audience of photography and video fans.

Windows Phone loses iPlayer app

Windows 10The BBC has announced this week that it will be discontinuing its support of the Windows Phone platform, meaning many users will be unable to use the current app to catch up on TV shows and movies while out and about, according to Tech Radar.

While the deadline for this effective excommunication of Microsoft’s mobile OS has yet to be set in stone, the broadcaster is urging users to make the leap to Windows 10 Mobile so that they can enjoy content in their web browser, rather than having to rely on an app at all.

This is yet another sign that Windows Phone and the ecosystem surrounding it is waning after years on the fringes of the marketplace, with app developers shying away from it because of a lack of user numbers.

On the plus side, the fact that iPlayer is now accessible in mobile browsers is a step in the right direction and could point to a future in which individual apps are rendered redundant in favour of a browser-focused users’ experience. This would help to break down boundaries of compatibility and prevent people from being excluded from a service because of the mobile device they have chosen to buy.

Info on new Motorola handsets emerges

Motorola RazrLenovo-owned mobile maker, Motorola, is set to have a big 2017 if rumours of its upcoming handset launches prove to be accurate.

Two new models known as the G5 and G5 Plus are in the pipeline, with a launch event likely to take place during MWC 2017 later this month, according to Tech Radar.

Leaked details suggest the standard G5 will feature a five inch display, a Snapdragon 625 chipset and 4GB of RAM to keep it competitive with similar Android devices. The larger G5 Plus will up the screen size to 5.5 inches but should feature similar hardware to its more compact sibling, with a bigger battery being the main difference.

In terms of pricing, the G5 should cost under £300 while the G5 Plus is pegged at around £380. Each model will make use of a native 1080p resolution, meaning there is no chance of QHD display tech being on offer.

Motorola has impressed in recent years thanks to the build quality, customisation options and cost-effectiveness of its flagship smartphones. It seems that this trend is unlikely to be altered in 2017, with even more models on the way later in the year.

Leak suggests Google will launch affordable Pixel smartphone

Google Pixel smartphoneThe first two Pixel handsets (Pixel and Pixel XL) introduced by Google were aimed at the upper end of the mobile market, giving Apple’s iPhone family an own-brand Android range to compete against. But now sources quoted by 9to5Google have claimed that a cut price Pixel device is on the horizon.

Furthermore, the less expensive phone will be offered alongside the Pixel 2, which will of course come with cutting edge hardware and an appropriately steep asking price.

The Pixel range has not enjoyed the stellar sales that Google had anticipated, with critics arguing that this is partly due to the fact that it is simply too costly for consumers to stomach. This makes the idea of bringing a budget model to the table all the more appealing, especially from a commercial perspective.

Google may have shot itself in the foot by making Android seem like the consumer-friendly, cost effective rival to iOS for over half a decade, then bringing the Pixel to market in a segment that put off its traditionally value-conscious user base.

The cheaper Pixel device is expected to be less powerful than its stable mates, but should still pack solid specs for a modern smartphone.

Samsung Reveals Cause of Galaxy Note 7 Battery Issues

Samsung Note 7The combustibility of the battery used onboard the Galaxy Note 7 became a scandal following the handset’s launch last year, but now Samsung has finally revealed exactly what led to the widely publicised fires.

Company president DJ Koh explained that the size of the cells was in part to blame, with one of Samsung’s subsidiaries manufacturing 50 per cent of these batteries. The offending units were not endowed with the correct dimensions, resulting in a higher likelihood of overheating.

Once the initial recall had been enacted, Samsung then found that there were other flaws in the manufacturing of the replacement batteries, with detailed outlining of the failures being made public for the first time.

Around four per cent of people who purchased the Note 7 have yet to return it, with Samsung and its network provider partners urging these stragglers to adhere to the mandatory global recall.

With its reputation taken down a peg or two, Samsung is now hoping that the upcoming Galaxy S8 will allow it to regain some ground and prove that this scandal was a one-off, rather than a sign of problems which are more deeply ingrained in its supply chain.