Smartphones

Coronavirus can live on a phone’s screen for 28 days, study finds

There is a caveat, though

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Smartphones are one of the grubbiest things we handle every day. From our fingers to our ears to our mouths, a human body comes into contact with a smartphone several times each day. Naturally, because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, phone sterilizers have turned into the norm. If you haven’t bought into the “clean phone” hype yet, a new study might convince you otherwise. Apparently, the coronavirus can live on a phone’s screen for 28 days.

According to a study conducted in Australia, the specific strain of SARS-CoV-2 responsible for today’s pandemic can survive up to 28 days on common surfaces including “glass, stainless steel, and both paper and polymer banknotes.” Further, the study also tested common substrates like vinyl, a material found in screen protectors.

Non-porous surfaces — like glass and vinyl — still had the virus after 28 days. Meanwhile, porous substances — like cotton — had the virus for only up to 14 days. Of course, there is a rather large caveat: The study happened under 20 degrees Celsius, a far cry from normal room temperature.

Countering this caveat, the study also conducted the same tests under 30 degrees Celsius. The virus survived for up to 7 days on steel and glass. It survived up to 3 days on vinyl and cotton. Also, at 40 degrees Celsius, the virus survived for only up to 48 hours on all surfaces.

Now, before you throw away your smartphones for good, remember that the tests were conducted under controlled lab conditions. The results do not indicate what might happen in the real world.

Besides the controlled temperature, the study applied the virus without mucus. It’s another important caveat since transmission usually occurs through contact with droplets. Even outside of a body, mucus contains white blood cells, which can reduce the virus’s survivability outside of a host.

Adding to this caveat, the study starts with an even more important warning: “the role of fomite transmission [that is, surface-to-body] is not yet fully understood.” If anything, the test merely proves that the virus is much more durable than expected.

SEE ALSO: Samsung has launched a personal phone sterilizer

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Sharp launches the AQUOS R6 with a 1-inch camera sensor, Leica optics

It also has a super fluid 240Hz display

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Image by GadgetMatch

Sharp offers a lot of products that are known by a lot of globally. While they may not be a popular smartphone brand, the AQUOS line is pretty big in Japan. In line with their existing AQUOS-branded smartphones, they unveiled the AQUOS R6. It may look like any other smartphone, but this is one of a kind.

1-inch Camera Sensor with Leica

2021 is a year where rear cameras multiplied in a lot of smartphones. But the Sharp AQUOS R6 only has one large 20MP 1-inch camera sensor. For an ideal comparison, that’s the same camera sensor size you’ll find on the Sony RX100 VII and the RX0 II. This means that there’s minimal crop when shooting photos and results to better image quality.

Let’s be clear. It’s actually not the first smartphone with a 1-inch camera sensor. In fact, Panasonic managed to put it in the Lumix DMC-CM1 way back in 2014 but it’s more of a smart camera rather than a smartphone with a large camera sensor. Currently, Xiaomi’s Mi 11 Ultra has the closest sensor size at 1/1.12-inches.

Image by GadgetMatch

With the recent news of Leica ending its partnership with Huawei, Sharp has managed to grab it with its new 7P (seven-element) Summicron lens. Not only does it have a wider f/1.9 aperture, it also features a 19mm focal length which is closer to an ultra-wide Field of View.

Other features worth noting are the lack of OIS as they rely on Sharp and Leica’s EIS technology as well as the inclusion of a ToF sensor and a flash module. For farther subjects, you need to rely on digital zoom instead.

Super Fluid 240Hz Display

Image by GadgetMatch

Another highlight of the AQUOS R6 is its super smooth and responsive 6.67-inch Pro IGZO Display with a 240Hz refresh rate — double than the usual 120Hz displays on most 2021 flagships. It’s not the first 240Hz smartphone display, rather Sharp’s AQUOS zero2 smartphone from May 2020.

Just like in Samsung’s Galaxy S21 series and OnePlus’ 9 Pro, it features a display with a variable refresh rate that goes as low as 1Hz to save battery power. But unlike their AMOLED displays, this one is based on OLED that lacks that extra thin layer of TFTs to achieve better colors.

It also has a WUXGA+ resolution of 2,730 x 1,260 pixels, a contrast ratio of 2,000,000:1, as well as a max brightness of 2,000 nits — making it one of the most advanced smartphone displays ever made.

Beneath the display is where the under-display fingerprint sensor lies. It’s equipped with Qualcomm’s 3D Sonic Max ultrasonic fingerprint sensor which is the largest in the world and it’s 11 times larger than the conventional scanner.

Flagship-grade

Image by GadgetMatch

Just like any other 2021 flagship, Sharp’s AQUOS R6 offers the latest 2021 hardware in a smartphone. That includes the Snapdragon 888 chipset with 5G support, as well as 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM and a measly 128GB UFS 3.1 storage with an option to expand via a microSDXC card of up to 1TB.

If you always worry about battery, it has a large 5,000mAh battery that would be fine for a day. It also has an IPX8 certification which isn’t tested for dust resistance. Instead, it’s better than IP68 in terms of water resistance as it can be submerged into water deeper than 1 meter.

Image by GadgetMatch

There’s also a dedicated key for Google Assistant at the side of the phone so you don’t have to always say “Hey Google” and wait for the assistant to open.

Pricing and Availability

Image by GadgetMatch

The Sharp AQUOS R6 is offered only in two colors: black and white.

There’s currently no word about pricing and global availability but in Japan, the AQUOS R6 will be available in June 2021 through their popular carriers Softbank and NTT DoCoMo.

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Leica is looking for a new partner after breakup with Huawei

Xiaomi could be the next partner

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Leica

Leica and Huawei made cutting-edge phones that could go toe-to-toe against professional cameras when it comes to photography. Sadly, the partnership may have to an end as reports suggest the lens maker is looking for a new partner after ditching Huawei.

According to Teme on Twitter, Leica and Huawei have decided to call off the partnership. It isn’t surprising because Huawei’s P and Mate series are radically hit due to American sanctions, barring it from using Google Play Services, Arm chipset architecture, and more. Sales have dropped massively outside of China, and its Honor division has been sold to another Chinese conglomerate.

However, it doesn’t mean Leica has given up. The German optics giant is now looking for a new partner, and the probable candidates include Xiaomi and Honor. Teme suggests it could be Xiaomi. But Leica could also proceed with a multi-brand partnership similar to Zeiss, with possible candidates being Xiaomi, Sharp, and Honor.

The partnership adds a lot of weight and becomes an instant selling point for many photography enthusiasts. Leica’s implementation on Huawei’s phones has received critical acclaim, beating benchmark numbers and setting new records.

Recently, OnePlus teamed up with Hasselblad to deliver an above-average experience but failed to impress. With Huawei on the sidelines right now, there’s an excellent opportunity for companies to join the trend and dominate the photography segment.

Editor’s update as of May 18

In response to this article, Huawei’s representatives have sent us this official joint statement from both Huawei and Leica.

The trustful and long-term technology partnership with the Huawei Consumer Business Group exists since 2015. Since the beginning the partnership brings huge value to consumers as well as to both companies. As the cooperation still continues, the associated compliance with all confidentialities is of course preserved. The partners have agreed to secrecy about any details of the contract. Please understand that we will not be commenting on this.
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OPPO Reno6 series leaks, likely to launch on May 22

Just a week to go!

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File photo: OPPO Reno5

OPPO Reno6 series is said to launch quite soon and will replace the Reno5 lineup. The Reno6 Pro and Reno6 Pro+ have recently received 3C and TENAA certifications, revealing quite a bit about their hardware.

It’ll make its debut at the brand’s mid-year gala event that will be held on May 22nd. The Reno6 Pro+ will have a 6.55-inch display and a 2200mAh battery. It’s expected that to have two battery packs, so the total output should be ideally 4400mAh. Rumors suggest it could sport a Dimensity 1200 chipset, though this can’t be confirmed immediately.

The Reno6, on the other hand, shall house a 6.4-inch AMOLED screen with Full HD+ resolution, punch-hole cut-out, and a 90Hz refresh rate. The device might ship with 12GB RAM and 256GB internal storage that could be expandable. The Dimensity 900 SoC is expected to offer better performance than the Dimensity 820 and Snapdragon 768G chipsets.

The cameras could have a 64-megapixel primary shooter and a 32-megapixel front camera for selfies. Details about the other rear sensors aren’t available right now.

We’ll just have to wait a week to find out what OPPO has in store for everyone. The Reno lineup has worked wonders for the Chinese brand in the midrange segment. Despite OnePlus’ Nord, the Reno lineup has stood strong and continues to attract photography enthusiasts.

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