Did you ever use Samsung’s built-in Movie Maker application on your Galaxy devices? If not, don’t feel bad; it was pretty well hidden, and obviously fairly underutilized as Samsung will be dropping the feature after the next major Android update.
Huawei’s P20 Lite is one of the phone’s opting for a questionable display notch, which we saw a ton of at MWC 2018. What’s really interesting about this device, though, is that Huawei has not officially announced it. It’s supposedly already available at some retailers, so this was a really quiet launch, if those retailers aren’t just accidentally breaking street date.
One of the few areas where we continue to see smartphone manufacturers working to differentiate themselves from the competition is in the camera capabilities and features of their devices. Besides trying to “one up” their competitors in a bid to win buyers, these companies are also chasing an elusive standard of being able to compete with DSLR cameras. Huawei is the latest to take a crack at this in a series of new promo videos released on YouTube for their upcoming Huawei P20 devices that suggest their smartphone is better than a dedicated camera.
One of the best devices that we saw at MWC 2018 was the new Xperia XZ2 and Xperia XZ2 Compact smartphones being launched by Sony. The company always seems to be a bit of an afterthought in the smartphone market, but they keep plugging away with nice devices despite struggles to capture market share. One factor that helps the company is their strong capabilities in fields like audio and televisions which enables them to port over some tech to smartphones. This makes for a curious decision on Sony’s part to drop the 3.5mm audio jack in the new devices. Sony recently tried to explain their decision via a FAQ posting.
Essential catches quite a bit of criticism for a ton of different things, but they’ve managed to break a milestone and beat out a ton of other bigger companies in the process. Yep, the Essential Phone will be among the first non-Google devices to receive the Android 8.1 Oreo update.
Earlier this year LG officials revealed they were holding up the release of the company’s next flagship smartphone amidst concerns that companies, LG included, could no longer establish a unique selling position for their smartphones. This prompted LG’s mobile division to go back to the drawing board to come up with a strong argument to entice buyers or re-work the device to make it more marketable. A new report out today in ETNews indicates LG may have the LG G7 program back on track and is looking at a May launch date.
Samsung and Microsoft have had a good relationship for the past few years with Galaxy S phones being sold directly through Microsoft and being preloaded with some of Microsoft’s most popular apps. However, that partnership is changing up a bit for the Galaxy S9.
Android is in a strange place at the moment. Both Apple and Android manufacturers copy each other to varying degrees, but there’s been a sudden and drastic change on Android’s part since late last year. Simply put, the iPhone X has been shamelessly copied by virtually every manufacturer that isn’t named Samsung. OnePlus is apparently the latest to follow this trend with its upcoming OnePlus 6, ripping off both the notch and rear camera setup. Ironically, both of these features are arguably the weakest part of Apple’s new flagship. So much for originality.
The Galaxy S9 is an impressive phone, and it’s hard to argue otherwise. It’s got one of the best cameras on the market, a phenomenal set of hardware, and a slick design, but you can also say most of that about its predecessor. And, unfortunately for Samsung, lots of customers have noticed the similarities.
Motorola’s smartphone business has been a story with a ton of ups and downs. They helped to really spark the Android craze with the Verizon Motorola Droid, but subsequently lost a lot of ground to HTC and then Samsung. That eventually turned into a sale to Google and the promising but underwhelming Moto X line, after which Google sold the company off to Lenovo.
While Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and S9+ was the biggest launch event of MWC 2018, it wouldn’t be inaccurate to say that perhaps it wasn’t the most exciting in terms of the handsets themselves. Regardless of how reviewers feel about the Korean company’s somewhat samey follow-up to the Galaxy S8, you can be sure that the Galaxy S9 and S9+ will both sell by the boatload. Being able to pre-order the handset almost immediately after the launch will have certainly helped matters, and reports are coming in that units have begun being received, both in the US and in the UK.
If you are in the market for a new budget phone, Huawei’s P Smart handset could be just what you are looking for. Launched in the UK in early February, the P Smart has a lot going for it even at its standard retail price of £229, but when you factor in the £50 PayPal credit that Huawei is throwing in that brings the price down to just £179, it quickly becomes a no-brainer. Before you ask, yes, the P Smart does indeed have NFC connectivity which means you can use Android Pay, unlike the Honor 7X.
Love it or hate it, the notched display is going to be a trend in 2018. Apple and Essential lit the flame, and tons of other manufacturers are very quickly adopting it. If you expected OnePlus to buck that trend, we’re sorry to disappoint you.