In terms of budget mobiles, Honor from Huawei is the manufacturer that manages to best balance affordability against overall quality. And this week it is debuting the 6X at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, laying down the marketing groundwork for its eventual release.
With a 5.5 inch 1080p screen and a metallic chassis, it is a good looking handset that has a premium feel which belies its intended inexpensiveness. It has a Kirin 655 chipset and 3GB of RAM onboard, along with 32GB of storage space.
With a 3340mAh battery, the longevity of the 6X should be suitably impressive. And while it will arrive with Android 6 onboard, an update to bring 7 to the table will eventually follow.
British buyers can expect to spend just under £230 to get hold of this device, which prices it significantly below the premium levels seen for high end handsets with similar specifications.
Until full reviews are in, it is difficult to say whether or not this smartphone is worthy of investment, but on paper it has a lot going for it and Honor is continuing to build upon its already compelling reputation for value for money.
The wallet-friendly range of smartphones from emerging mobile maker, Wileyfox, represent great value for money but unlike other bargain basement handsets, they have so far relied upon the Cyanogen operating system to deliver the user experience.
However, with this OS falling by the wayside, the British manufacturer has announced that it is rolling out updates for all its affected mobiles to bring Android 7 Nougat to the table as a replacement.
This over the air update is a hefty 400MB in total, so it is worth downloading over a Wi-Fi connection to avoid eating into any data deal. And Wileyfox has maintained that users will have access to all the same services and features as before, albeit with an unaltered version of Android as the primary platform underpinning the entire experience.
Modes like the Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus have received solid reviews from professionals and customers alike, while avoiding high price tags by opting for lower powered components. In spite of this, the design and build quality are both competitive and there is little evidence that these phones are built to a budget, at least when looking at the external elements.
Although BlackBerry may no longer be building its own smartphones, its licensing deal with Chinese firm, TCL, is set to bear fruit next year as new handsets are planned to debut during the Consumer Electronics Show in January, according to Tech Radar.
While info on the devices themselves remains patchy, it is expected that they will be powered by the Android operating system, with BlackBerry seeking to detach itself from its own-brand BB OS platform and ride on the coattails of Google’s far more successful package.
TCL’s press release regarding the launch also makes it clear that it is seeking to revive BlackBerry as a brand, focusing on the European and North American markets, where it was once one of the leading smartphone makers.
Recent BlackBerry releases, including the DTEK50 and DTEK60, have very much placed the emphasis on offering world-beating smartphone security, albeit at the expense of shedding yet more consumer appeal. TCL will be hoping to claw this back and potentially build handsets that are able to offer something for everyone, rather than solely being designed to meet the needs of business users, government workers and those in the armed forces.
When Apple unveils its new flagship mobile range in the second half of 2017, the devices on offer will be slimmer than any of their predecessors thanks to a change in the speakers that are used.
2016’s iPhone 7 and 7 Plus managed to lose a little weight by ditching the headphone jack, a controversial move which is still seen as a misstep by many. But patents filed by Apple reveal that it is working on a cutting edge speaker system, which should not only benefit the iPhone, but also its tablet and laptop ranges.
Tech Radar points out that the iPad Pro already features a type of micro speaker technology which should be similar to that destined for the next iPhone, whether it ends up being called the 7S or the 8.
Last week also saw rumours that not one but two big screen iPhones would be making an appearance in 2017, with sources stating that Apple will finally be introducing a curved display to this range, so that it can compete with the Samsung Galaxy Edge devices. The launch of the new iPhone is a long way off, but anticipation is building already.
Chinese mobile maker, Huawei, has beaten Apple to the punch by debuting a smartphone with a curved display long before the rumoured iPhone 8 arrives with allegedly similar features, according to Tech Radar.
Known as the Honor Magic, this high end handset is also very similar to Samsung’s Galaxy Edge range of devices thanks to the fact that its 5.09 inch display curves around both sides, rather than being entirely flat.
Power is provided courtesy of the Kirin 950 processor, which has eight physical cores and is backed up by 4GB of RAM. Internal storage tops out at 64GB, which is more than enough for most modern users.
The battery should be able to hit 70 per cent of its capacity after just 20 minutes plugged into a mains connection thanks to a fast charging solution that Huawei has adopted. It also has face detection to allow for automatic unlocking, along with the latest version of Android for ample access to apps.
The Huawei Honor Magic has yet to receive a UK release date, but if it proves to be a success in China then a wider launch may well be on the cards. And with a curved iPhone set to arrive in 2017, this is a trend that is spreading.