Mobile Phone News

New smartphone chip to boost photography capabilities

Snapdragon 450The latest mid-tier Snapdragon chipset from Qualcomm is reported to be more powerful and feature-packed than any of its predecessors. And a focus on improving the quality of smartphone photography for buyers on a budget is at the top of the agenda.

Tech Radar reports that the Snapdragon 450 will be capable of coping with dual camera setups, while supporting singe sensors with up to 21 megapixels of capture resolution at their disposal.

The chip will also boast a number of other bells and whistles, including being able to operate in conjunction with retina scanning technology, as has previously been seen on range topping models like the Samsung Galaxy S8.

Efficiency improvements are promised thanks to the compact design of the chip, meaning that it should be able to increase battery life when compared with older handsets. Furthermore, it is compatible with fast charging systems, meaning that it will take just half an hour for the battery to reach three quarters of its capacity.

It does not take long for mobile manufacturers to start using new chipsets once they are introduced and the Snapdragon 450 is likely to start gracing new smartphones in the autumn of 2017.

Galaxy S8 Active leaks online

Samsung is set to launch an Active iteration of the Galaxy S8, as revealed via an accidental leak from its official website.

Earlier Galaxy handsets have received Active updates, making them much more rugged and tough than their standard counterparts.

Waterproofing is already a fairly common feature amongst high end handsets, but the Galaxy S8 Active should take this a step further with a heftier, sturdier exterior which will be able to withstand plenty of punishment in gruelling outdoor environments.

From adventurous smartphone lovers to people who work in challenging conditions, the new Active edition of the S8 will appeal to a sizeable niche in the marketplace. It should also pack similar specifications to its existing sibling, meaning it may feature a 5.8 inch screen, an octa core processor, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage.

Hopefully, the S8 Active will be launched in the UK, as last year’s S7 Active was limited to the North American marketplace, leaving European customers in the lurch. There is certainly demand for rugged smartphones and, as Samsung looks to rebuild its reputation as a manufacturer of reliable devices, it makes sense to pursue a global launch for this model.

YotaPhone enters third generation

YotaPhoneThe unusual YotaPhone family is set to grow this year when the third edition of this dual-screened device hits the market, according to Tech Radar.

Designed in Russia, the first two YotaPhone models have set themselves apart from the rest of the smartphone market by featuring a standard LCD display up front and a secondary e-ink display on the rear. This makes for an intriguing combination, blending a modern handset with a Kindle-like e-reader.

The base model YotaPhone 3 will cost close to £275 when it goes on sale later this year, boasting 64GB of onboard storage. The rest of the specifications remain unconfirmed, but its very existence suggests that the manufacturer has had enough success with its predecessors to justify an upgrade.

Aside from the e-ink screen making the YotaPhone range all the better for reading text, it has the added benefit of reducing battery consumption when compared with equivalent devices which are limited to a more power-hungry panel.

Critics of the first two models pointed out that they did not feel like fully fledged releases, but rather partially completed stepping stones on the way to something truly special. This could be a prophecy that the third handset fulfils.

Amazon developing new smartphone

Amazon Fire PhoneThe 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.

Galaxy Note 8 could feature new fingerprint scanning tech

Galaxy Note 8While 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.