Mobile Phone News

BlackBerry Mercury Will Arrive in February

BlackBerry-FoxconAn official tweet from Canadian mobile maker BlackBerry has seemingly confirmed that its next major handset, known as the Mercury, will touch down on February 25th, according to Tech Radar.

The Mercury, which is made under licence by a third party rather than designed in-house, will still feature all of the security advantages of its forebears, while also sporting a physical QWERTY keypad for fast, accurate typing.

Unlike earlier BlackBerry smartphones, the operating system of choice will be Android, opening it up to a world of apps and services that were never ported to the firm’s proprietary OS.

The February 25th launch date will coincide with the Mobile World Congress event held in Barcelona, a fact pointed out by BlackBerry in its own somewhat cryptic announcement. So there is a little under a month to wait for the Mercury’s full unveiling and subsequent release.

While BlackBerry has been able to retain a small foothold in the market, its ability to appeal to mainstream consumers has diminished significantly, meaning that there is no guarantee that this new handset will help it to regain any traction. Nevertheless, the fact that it is being launched at all should indicate that there is still some confidence in its brand.

ZTE confirms more specs for crowd-funded smartphone

ZTE HawkeyeZTE is taking a novel approach to creating the Hawkeye, a handset which has not only been designed via input from customers, but is also being funded by fans ahead of its release.

Likely to cost less than £200, the Hawkeye will nevertheless be able to compete with flagship phones. And with more information released this week, anticipation is growing as the campaign gathers momentum.

Two cameras are now set to feature on the rear of the device, one of which has a 13 megapixel sensor while the other is a 12 megapixel unit.

A Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 chipset will handle the processing requirements of the device, while a 3000mAh battery with quick charging capabilities and a USB-C input are also on the cards.

The 5.5 inch display of the Hawkeye is only endowed with a 1080p resolution, but since the rear of the phone is said to have self-adhesive qualities, it should be able to offer some intriguingly flexible mounting options.

This handset seems to opt for a mixture of mid-range and high end hardware, perhaps hinting at the areas in which most consumers would prefer to see manufacturers focus their efforts.

First details of Huawei P10 emerge

HTC P10Huawei has moved from little known budget brand to mainstream success in the course of the past few years, with its flagship P series devices helping to prove that top tier specifications do not have to come with a daunting price tag.

In 2017, the P10 is set to arrive from this Chinese firm, with the latest reports suggesting it will be unveiled at the Mobile World Congress event next month, according to Tech Radar.

Rumours surrounding the phone indicate that it will come with a curved display, following in the footsteps of the successful Galaxy Edge range from Samsung. It will also sport a fingerprint scanner mounted on the front.

The display may be 5.5 inches in size, a healthy increase over the 5.2 inch panel of the outgoing P9. And with a QHD resolution, it will also have a higher pixel count to make the most of this extra space.

With metal body, dual camera lenses on the rear and the possibility of wireless charging, the P10 will be every bit as technically impressive as its rivals set to arrive this year, but should also come in at a lower price point to drive home Huawei’s ethos of affordability.

High spec HTC 11 Ocean Note handset rumoured

HTC ViveA new smartphone from HTC, which is being developed under the codename ‘Ocean Note,’ has been detailed in leaks this week, according to Tech Radar.

Earlier reports have suggested that it will hit the market with the U Ultra moniker, hinting at the likelihood that it will sport a six inch display and a host of other top tier hardware, to help it compete with established rival devices from Samsung and Apple.

Leaked images suggest that the exterior of the phone could be coated in glass to give it a premium look and feel. It was also revealed that it will ditch the 3.5mm headphone socket, following in the footsteps of the iPhone 7, even if this frustrates users.

HTC has a raft of new mobiles on the way and they should be officially announced by the end of the month, so the wait for the Ocean Note’s arrival will not be a long one.

Interestingly, the fall in sales that HTC has seen hit its smartphone arm in recent years looks set to be counterbalanced by its rising prominence in the VR industry. Its Vive headset was reported this week to be outselling Facebook-owned Oculus hardware two to one, which could in turn bolster its mobile presence.

LG ditches modularity for incoming G6

LG G6Last year the LG G5 earned a lot of press attention due to the fact that it embraced some elements of modular design, meaning that extra hardware could be added relatively easily to help extend its lifespan. In 2017, however, the South Korean firm looks set to abandon this approach for the soon to be released G6.

This is according to an interview given to the Wall Street Journal by LG exec, Skott Ahn, in which he said that the sluggish sales of the modular G5 were enough to convince the company that this was not a selling point that actually appealed to consumers.

Modular mobiles are not dead in the water, with the likes of Motorola’s Moto Z and the Fairphone 2 still doing the rounds. But in terms of their presence in the mainstream marketplace, the new design approach for the G6 at least suggests that they will form a smaller niche.

The G6 itself is thought to feature a design that encompasses glass on the front and rear, ruling out expandability. It will also be packed with high end hardware, with a launch during the Mobile World Congress next month on the cards.