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Galaxy Z Flip ongoing review: Battery life, weird design choice, star features so far

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Battery life. Screen durability. Camera quality. Coolness factor. These are some of the top questions I’ve set out to answer this week while testing the Galaxy Z Flip, Samsung’s new flip phone with a foldable screen. At the start of my fourth full day, I’m starting to really like the novel and engaging flip phone. It’s different, but in many respects, the design works. The Galaxy Z Flip is starting to prove that foldable phones deserve to live on to the next generation.

My colleagues have already compared the Z Flip to the Motorola Razr (not the final assessment, of course), and pit the two against each other in a cringey but irresistible drop test. The Galaxy Z Flip costs $1,380 while its biggest competition, the Motorola Razr, comes in at $1,499. By the time my rated review is in, we’ll have an even clearer idea where each one wins and loses and where foldable phones should go in 2020.

Here’s what you need to know before we dive in. The Galaxy Z Flip uses ultra-thin glass for its 6.7-inch display and has a hinge that’s stiff enough to stand up on its own, so you can use the device hands-free when it’s on a tabletop. It has two batteries that combine to give you 3,300 mAh of capacity (the smallest Galaxy S20 5G has 4,000 mAh), and there’s a 1.1-inch pill-shaped screen on the outside when you close the phone.

New insight: Battery life

I’ve been keeping a hawkish eye on battery life since powering up the Z Flip for the first time. My final battery rating will combine my real-world observation with battery drain tests in the lab, so stay tuned.

Yesterday, I got about 13 and a half hours of use out of the Z Flip (it hung on an extra 25 minutes on 1% battery, which suggests it isn’t calibrated yet).

Thirteen-ish hours would be appallingly dismal for a standard phone that costs $1,400. By comparison, the $1,100 Galaxy Note 10 Plus can easily take me from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and still have 20% to 30% remaining in power reserves. I never worry about it, even if I’m going out until the wee morning hours. So far I can’t say that about the Galaxy Z Flip. 

However, I do feel that you could use it normally during a typical workday and top it up later if you’re planning to burn the midnight oil. Note that phone batteries typically weaken over time. The Z Flip comes with a 15-watt charger.

Quick thoughts

  • One-handed use: It works, but takes some muscle to flip open this way. The unlock/power button is on the top half of the phone, which isn’t ideal for one-handed use. At least not with my hands.
  • Huge fingerprint magnet: Because of Samsung’s care warning, I’m a little concerned about my ability to keep the inner screen clean with a microfiber cloth. Pressing too hard could cause damage to the glass and components below.
  • Watching Netflix and YouTube: You get thick black bars on either side in landscape mode. It’s a place to put your hand without messing with the screen. You can pinch and zoom to fill the screen, but you’ll crop off the top of peoples’ heads.
  • Free case: It’s good enough and gives me peace of mind in case I drop the phone.
  • Pocketability: The Z Flip has felt comfortable and secure in any pocket I’ve put it in, unlike the unwieldy Galaxy Note 10 Plus and even the folded-up Fold, both of which have toppled out.
  • Typing on the keyboard: No complaints about my smaller fingers. I prefer Google’s Gboard keyboard over the default.
  • Holding while exercising: I successfully jogged and hiked with the Z Flip by cupping the hinge end in my palm. I didn’t feel I was going to drop it.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip impresses from almost every angle50 PHOTOS

Star feature: A phone that can stand on its own

I adore the Z Flip’s ability to hold itself upright. While watching video, reading a news story, taking selfies and even running performance tests, propping the Z Flip’s screen up or turning the whole thing on its side meant I didn’t have to hold it. It made my selfies better (when using a timer). It’s remarkable how many angles the hinge will support before snapping fully open or closed (yes, there are magnets on all four corners). 

That rigidity means you’ll need to exact a bit more pressure to close the phone and snap it or pull it open, but I haven’t felt like I’m straining against it. Yet the result is that you can prop the Z Flip on its base and tilt the screen at any number of angles to take a selfie photo with a friend — or a portrait shot — watch a video, or do any number of things. 

The same goes for slightly bending the phone in half while watching a video so it can become its own stand. When you bend it, some apps dynamically shift into a split-screen mode so you see the action on the “top” and the controls or comments on the “bottom.” Not enough apps take advantage of the feature straight out the gate, but it’s one I hope to see Google and others embrace for the sheer convenience factor.

3 cameras in all

The Galaxy Z Flip has two 12-megapixel sensors (wide-angle, ultra wide-angle) and a 10-megapixel internal camera. So far, they’re all pretty good, and what I expect from a Samsung phone. Image quality already seems better than on the Razr, which took “just OK” photos on its 16-megapixel camera, according to my colleague Patrick Holland.

I’ve been happy with the pictures I’ve taken so far, especially in abundant lighting. They’ve all been good enough to share, and some are good enough to print. Testing continues…

The Z Flip has a new photo mode that it shares with the Galaxy S20 trio of phones: Single Take. This photo mode captures up to 10 different still photos and four different videos. So far I’m less enamored with this one. I haven’t figured out what kind of scenario to use it in and when I tried it out on a street performer, I wound up deleting a lot of the haul because I wasn’t that happy with the quality and composition.

That said, there were some usable shots I got too, and it didn’t take a lot of time or obsessive focusing to get them, which is also good.

Selfie camera is good, but taking selfies isn’t always

I’ve gotten pretty good selfies from the Galaxy Z Flip so far, especially when opening the device so it sits up on its own and using the timer so I don’t have that awkward “selfie arm” that shows up in the typical handheld shot. 

What isn’t so good is trying to take a selfie when the Z Flip is closed. You can double-press the power button to launch the front-facing camera when the phone is closed. You know it’s ready for you when you see yourself on the tiny 1.1-inch cover display. Swipe the area to switch to a wide-angle selfie, then press the volume-down key to take the shot.

All that is well and good, but the diminutive cover screen makes for a short, pill-shaped viewfinder that isn’t actually useful for positioning yourself in the larger context of the image. It’s also so small that you can’t really see yourself.

If you’re taking a picture of another person, you can press an on-screen camera control to turn that cover screen into a viewfinder for them, but now they’re so far from the camera that it doesn’t do much good.

The outer screen: Smaller than it needs to be

The selfie viewfinder situation is the most obvious symptom of the Z Flip’s comically small display, but I’m at a bit of a loss with the rest of its features.

It’s good for seeing the time and battery percentage (though I’m going to poke around for an always-on setting). It’s not as good at other things. You can tap for Wi-Fi networks and to see missed calls and alerts. For example, I scrolled to see a Slack notification, tapped it, and saw my co-worker’s Slack message roll across the screen like a ticker. You can open the phone to open the app.

Motorola is on the right track giving the Razr the ability to send canned smart replies and voice messages, which gives the phone more to do from the outer screen without having to open it up.

Is the Z Flip’s screen easy to scratch?

So far, so good for me. Torture tests are in progress around the internet (including at CNET), but my goal isn’t to try to break the Z Flip. It’s to authentically use it. 

I don’t see any fingernail scratches or divots on my screen at this point, or any other blemishes. It’s something I’m keeping an eye on as I test the device. 

The Z Flip’s ultrathin glass screen is meant to shield the display from the more raucous elements, while also providing a smoother surface that more convincingly conceals that telltale crease where the screen bends in half. That doesn’t mean it’s hardy. Samsung still warns that the Z Flip is fragile enough to break if you press too hard on the screen, close it around keys or drop it into water or a big pile of dust.

The Z Flip is subject to Samsung’s one-year warranty in the event of damage, as well as Samsung’s premier concierge help for foldable phones

The Z Flip’s hinge has nose hairs, kind of

The Galaxy Fold’s first design caused some pretty public embarrassment to Samsung when dust and crumbs easily worked their way into the hinge and under the screen. Those early reports on reviewers’ phones caused Samsung to delay the Fold’s launch by about four months and completely redesign it. The good news is that those learnings have been carried into the Z Flip.

The hinge is protected by elements like interior vinyl fibers — which sound a lot like nostril hairs — to keep dust out of the mechanism. There are also plastic caps bordering the inside of the phone at the hinge, which also help rebuff the elements. I run my fingernails around the thick plastic bezel and note how sealed it feels. On the Galaxy Fold and Motorola Razr, I felt I could pry my fingernail under the screen without much effort.

The protection of these interior fibers only goes so far. Samsung clearly notes on the phone’s overwrap care instructions that it’s susceptible to dust and water damage, so be alert. There’s the typical one-year warranty and a concierge service for 24/7 customer care.

But does it have a crease?!

Look, every foldable phone I’ve seen has a crease. When the light shines directly on it, you see it. When you run your finger down the seam, you feel it. When an exciting thriller or documentary movie plays, or when you’re sucked into an engaging article or game, you hardly notice it at all.

I do feel the Z Flip’s glass cover material helps minimize the hated crease. So does the fact that the width of the bend is actually pretty minimal — just shy of three inches — compared to the Galaxy Fold’s 6.34-inch vertical seam.

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Systems

Oukitel WP6 Unboxing video surfaces featuring tough yet premium design

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Oukitel introduced WP6 smartphone a few days ago featuring a mammoth 10000 battery and super 48-megapixel camera. We have got an unboxing video of the device showcasing all the major features and attractions of the smartphone. The device’s accessories are fully described to give us a better understanding of what we will get. You can sneak-peak the whole unboxing video of Oukitel WP6.

The official video shower some light on the unknown aspects of the device. Moreover, the Oukitel WP6 features a 6.3-inch display featuring an HD+ resolution and immersive viewing experience. IT comes powered with an Helio P70 octa-core processor coupled with 6GB RAM and 128 GB internal storage.

Oukitel WP6 comes with a powerful and enhanced camera having a 48-megapixel primary sensor. Whereas, the selfie camera that houses in the notch is of 16MP with f/2.0 aperture.

The developers have tweaked the Android Operating System to receive the best outcomes on a rugged smartphone The design or the build is pure premium with a 70% metallic cover.

oukitel wp6

The smartphone comes with a huge 10000 mAh battery that supports 18W fast charging. Moreover, it carries all the necessary certifications for being rugged, waterproof, shatterproof and dustproof.

Oukitel WP6 is available at a discounted price of $199 from AliExpress in black and orange colors. You can know more about the device by heading to the official website here.

Source: https://www.gizmochina.com/2020/03/30/oukitel-wp6-unboxing-video/

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Systems

Nokia Unveils New Smartphones

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The HMD Global has introduced three new Nokia smartphones into the Nigerian market.

The Nokia 8.3 5G was the first 5G Nokia smartphone added to the portfolio and is joined by the brand-new Nokia 5.3 and Nokia 1.3, as well as the latest addition to the Originals family, the Nokia 5310. Sticking with firsts, HMD Global also enters a brand-newservice category with HMD Connect global data roaming, its innovative and hassle-free service that keeps customers connected to the things that matter most.

The Chief Executive Officer, HMD Global, Florian Seiche, said: “I am incredibly proud of the innovations we have introduced that will build on our unique commitment to ensuring the Nokia smartphone experience will only get better over time. Today we are kicking off a new chapter for HMD Global as we step into 5G with a truly global, future-proof smartphone. Combined with the launch of HMD Connect, we are creating a truly seamless experience in terms of connectivity.”

According to Chief Product Officer, HMD Global, Juho Sarvikas, “We take great pride in working with our partners to deliver unique devices. That’s why we are excited to announce a number of firsts with this launch. With the help of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G Modular Platform, we have created a truly global 5G Nokia smartphone that’s designed with cost, usability and future-proofing in mind. Not only does the Qualcomm 5G solution enable to us condense more than 40 different radio frequency components in a single module, the Nokia 8.3 5G also features the highest number of 5G New Radio bands from 600hmz all the way up to 3.8GHz – meaning it is a truly global and future-proof device.”

Sarvikas added: “Together with Google we have managed to introduce an impressively accessible Android (Go edition) device with the Nokia 1.3 – one of the first smartphones to launch with Camera Go and running Android 10 Go edition. The new Nokia 5.3 takes powerful features like the quad camera and Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 Mobile Platform and puts these at the fingertips of an even wider pool of fans.”

President, Qualcomm, Cristiano Amon, said: “We are proud to support HMD Global in announcing their new 5G device – one of the first commercially announced devices to be based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G Modular Platform. We developed this platform to help bring 5G experiences to everyone and give time to market advantages to our customers – it is a highly integrated solution based on the world’s first-announced mobile platform with integrated 5G, coupled with an advanced Radio Frequency module to create a truly global 5G solution.”

Source: https://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2020/03/26/nokia-unveils-new-smartphones/

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Softwares

Huge iPhone 12 Pro leak confirmed in iOS 14 code

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  • Apple’s iPhone 12 release is still at least 6 months away, but the phone’s overhauled design and several key features have already leaked.
  • Most of the information we have so far about Apple’s iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro smartphones comes from a single source, but now one of the key iPhone 12 Pro features he revealed has seemingly been confirmed.
  • The new feature in question could enable some of the iPhone 12 Pro’s most exciting new features, which are believed to involve next-generation augmented reality capabilities.

When it comes to Apple’s iPhone 12 release, everything is up in the air right now. The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic that tore through China is now devastating several parts of Europe, and the outbreak is just beginning to spread across the United States. Things are going to get far worse before they start to get better, and states across the US are finally beginning to force certain businesses to close and ask people to stay home and remain isolated as much as possible. Needless to say, it’s already far too late to “flatten the curve” and we’re likely weeks or even days away from seeing an explosion in reported cases across the country.

Needless to say, the novel coronavirus’s impact on product launches is the least of our worries right now. That said, it’s still a huge deal and it will have a serious negative impact on all of the biggest consumer electronics companies. A number of big product launches planned for 2020 will likely be delayed. On top of that, people across the country will experience financial hardships from not being able to go to work, so fewer people will be able to purchase new gadgets even if they’re not delayed. Apple’s iPhone 12 series is one of the biggest releases that will take place in 2020, though it’s still unclear exactly when the next-generation iPhone models will hit store shelves. In the meantime, one of the new marquee features headed to the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max was just confirmed thanks to a big iOS 14 leak.

Whether or not Apple releases its new iPhone 12 lineup on time this coming September, the company will surely announce the new phones on schedule in early September. Some industry watchers expect the iPhone 12 release to be delayed until sometime in either October or November, while others say the phones will still be released in September but supply will be limited. In truth, no one really knows what will happen at this point, not even Apple. It’s far too soon to know exactly what impact COVID-19 will have on manufacturing in China over the course of the rest of the year.

While Apple’s iPhone 12 release plans might still be a mystery, there isn’t much mystery left surrounding the phones themselves. TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has been leaking iPhone 12 details since late last year, and he has the best track record in the business when it comes to revealing Apple’s plans ahead of schedule.

According to Kuo’s excellent sources, Apple’s new iPhone 12 models will feature a big design overhaul that’s basically a cross between the old iPhone 5 and Apple’s current iPhone 11 lineup. The phone will sport flat metal edges and a more square case, but the front will still feature a notched all-screen design and the back will have Apple’s new square camera array. The phones are also expected to include new features like 5G and upgraded OLED screens with a 120Hz refresh rate, but let’s focus on the new cameras for the time being because a huge new leak just confirmed one of Kuo’s most exciting scoops.

One or more third-party iOS developers recently managed to get their hands on an early version of Apple’s upcoming new mobile software, iOS 14. They have been picking through it bit by bit in an effort to uncover new features coming to Apple’s iPhone and iPad lineups, and they’ve found plenty of juicy morsels so far. Most recently, an unexpected second iPhone 9 version was uncovered within the iOS 14 code. And now, another big leak just hit the web.

According to 9to5Mac’s unnamed developer source, the first-ever reference to Apple’s next-generation iPhone 12 lineup was just discovered within the leaked iOS 14 code. The blog’s source found references to an unreleased mobile device lineup referred to by the codename “d5x,” which makes perfect sense considering the iPhone 11 lineup is referred to in iOS code as “d4x.”

Beyond merely confirming the existence of the upcoming new iPhone 12 series, which isn’t much of a revelation at all, the developer also found references in the code to a new time-of-flight (ToF) sensor that will be added to the triple-lens rear camera on the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. We’ve known that it was coming ever since Ming-Chi Kuo leaked the info way back in December, but this is the first time the new ToF sensor has been confirmed in actual iOS code.

It’s still unclear exactly what Apple plans to do with the new sensor on its high-end iPhone 12 Pro models, but ToF sensors gather depth data so there’s a very good chance it will involve augmented reality. A new Apple AR app is reportedly in the works, and the new ToF sensor will likely play a big role. We can also likely expect even better Portrait Mode photos and other similar features on the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. After all, anything involving 3D depth data will be dramatically improved by the addition of the new ToF sensor.

Source: https://bgr.com/2020/03/17/ps5-release-date-sony-announces-playstation-5-launch-event/

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