As the holiday shopping season starts to enter its final phase, more eyes will be turning to new technology releases in the first quarter of 2018. One of the highly anticipated devices that will be the source of many leaks and rumors will be the new flagship from Samsung, the Galaxy S9 and likely partner the Galaxy S9+. We are fairly certain Samsung will give the new device a Snapdragon 845 processor. Other hardware updates are less firm, but the latest one suggests Samsung may be bumping up the battery size a bit.
To say that the tablet market is as flat as a pancake could be an understatement. Since the launch of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S3 back at MWC 2017 in February, well, there hasn’t been a whole lot for tablet lovers to get excited about in the Android world. And yes, I include Amazon’s Fire tablets with that statement. Is it too much to hope that 2018 will see a resurgent tablet market? It’s uncertain territory, for sure, but perhaps Chinese handset maker, Huawei, will breathe new life in the segment with its Mediapad M5 that has been spotted getting Bluetooth certification.
Google Maps Go has been very silently hiding on the Play Store, and it’s still doing a pretty good job of staying out of the way. A listing for it has popped up, but it’s incompatible with pretty much every device you can throw at it, so no one can get it installed just yet.
It’s another app in line with Google’s philosophy of lightweight, more efficient apps for slower phones or people with inconsistent internet connections. This has been a big focus for the company this year, and it looks like we can expect to see a full suite of Google apps get the Go treatment.
Sources close to Samsung indicate the company is planning to make several improvements to the iris scanning function in their flagship smartphones and they will eventually deploy the technology to lower market tier devices. The first device that should benefit from this enhancement to iris scanning technology is expected to be the Galaxy S9. The sources indicate Samsung believes iris scanning is the safest, most secure option among fingerprint, facial recognition and iris scanning which is why the company is committing so strongly to the technology.
Nobody’s questioning whether or not the Galaxy S9 is real, but we are pretty curious about what Samsung plans on changing this time around. One of the things that might not change, however, is the aspect ratio of the display itself.
Since the release of the official build of Android 8.0 Oreo a couple months ago, Android device owners have been waiting patiently for the update to roll out for their devices. The hope is this will be a quick process especially since Google started releasing developer preview builds much earlier in the year so manufacturers could get a jump on the update. So it should be no surprise that a company like Samsung has an update in the works for their latest flagship, the Galaxy Note 8, despite not setting up a beta program for interested owners. There may be hope for those who want an early look though as one user claims to have gotten their hands on an OTA update that can be installed on unlocked U.S. versions of the Galaxy Note 8.
I know what you are thinking; the world needs yet another music streaming service. For so long we’ve been limited to choosing between Spotify, Tidal, Google Play Music All Access, Apple Music, Pandora, YouTube Red, and the other ones we don’t have space to mention. As you can see, Google already has two music streaming services but that doesn’t seem to be enough for the search giant because Bloomberg has reported that it has plans to launch a third service called YouTube Remix in March 2018.
Huawei has partnered with Leica for several years now and has some of the best smartphone cameras in the industry. The company is known for their dual-camera setup that combines a monochrome image with a color one for better overall results. Well, the ever-reliable tipster Evan Blass just tweeted that Huawei might be ready to push the envelop further with a triple-camera setup on their next flagship. Based on what appears to be leaked marketing material, Huawei is calling this a “Pro triple-lens Leica rear camera” for the upcoming “PCE series” of phones.
When it comes to smartphones, black seems to be a ubiquitous choice that spans manufacturers and models. So we will not be surprised to see the Samsung Galaxy S9 launch next year with an all black version of the smartphone. Outside of that, sources are hinting that a pleasant surprise may be in store for consumers who have plans to hop on the Galaxy S9 train next year.
Nest has been riding the struggle bus for the past few years, turning pretty much no profit and putting Alphabet in a difficult decision about what to do with the hardware company. Well, it looks like Alphabet’s plan might be to just squish Nest back into Google’s hardware division, ending the smart home manufacturer’s autonomous stint.
According to a report of a survey currently underway by Google, the company is exploring a unique specialization for a smartphone. The survey seeks input on what would be considered a “YouTube Edition” of an Android smartphone. The concepts described in the survey cover software, interface and even potential hardware.
Samsung is no stranger to themed hardware. We’ve seen partnerships with superheroes and the Olympics for some really cool smartphone designs, but this year has more hype for Star Wars than anything. So, of course, that means Samsung wants to deliver a variant of one of their smartphones to cash in on that craze.
When Samsung ditched the physical home button, they had to figure out where to put the fingerprint scanner. We’re not at the point where we can embed the sensor in the screen itself, so Samsung opted for a rear-mounted scanner.
Lots of other companies have gone that route, but they put the scanner in a sensible location. Samsung’s fingerprint scanner location on the Galaxy S8 is, for lack of a better word, trash.
Samsung’s highly anticipated foldable phone is inching closer to an official release as a support page for the Galaxy X has surfaced online in Korea. We know from a previous leak that it’ll probably be a futuristic flip phone with the model number SM-G888N0. The device already has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi certifications, and one from the South Korean NNRA. The support page doesn’t reveal any new specifications, but it does signal that a launch is imminent.