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OnePlus 9 series: Rumors and leaks roundup

Three new models are slated to arrive in mid-March

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Now that the OnePlus 8T has been released, it is natural to speculate on what will the OnePlus 9 be. The rumors for the upcoming OnePlus flagship is already going strong, with leaks coming from sources left and right. So, here are some of what we can expect from the upcoming device.

Three new models upon launch

According to tipster Max Jambor, OnePlus will shake things up next year with the release of one new model. This new model will accompany the Pro and non-Pro model that has been the tradition with the brand’s non-T flagship. It will be supposedly called the OnePlus 9E, complementing the 9 and 9 Pro.

At this point, no concrete details are available for the new model. However, Max Jambor speculates on his own Voice page that this model is the brand’s response to Samsung’s flagship offerings. It is entirely possible that OnePlus will mimic Samsung’s strategy for its upcoming flagship, offering different models at different price points.

As such, it is highly likely that the OnePlus 9E will be a lower-tier flagship with some features omitted from the non-Pro and Pro models.  This strategy is most in line with the recent rumors surrounding water and dust resistance ratings for the OnePlus 9 series. In a post on Voice, Max Jambor speculated that only the OnePlus 9 Pro will have an IP68 rating, leaving the remaining two without it.

A brand-new processor to power the device

This one is a bit obvious. OnePlus is expected to use the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon processor for the OnePlus 9. Now that the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 has been announced, it is not a stretch to think that this will be the processor of choice for the upcoming flagship.

However, Qualcomm’s latest and greatest is only a sure thing for the non-Pro and Pro models. At this point, it remains unclear if the OnePlus 9E will also use the Snapdragon 888.  Other processor options could be on the cards for OnePlus. So, it is entirely possible that it could pack a MediaTek processor for cost-saving measures if the rumors that it is a lower-tiered flagship turns true.

Refined design inspired by the OnePlus 8T

Recent leaks of the OnePlus 9 suggest that the brand will continue to refine the current design found on the OnePlus 8T. That is, the upcoming flagship will have a prominent camera bump to its top-left. The camera bump for the non-Pro model, however, is much refined than its predecessor.

PhoneArena was able to obtain a pre-production unit suggesting that this is the case. One obvious difference against the OnePlus 8T is that the camera bump now matches the color of the phone. Elsewhere, the non-Pro model carries over a flat display with a punch-hole on the top-left for the selfie camera and a glass back on the rear.

Photo by PhoneArena.com

To differentiate itself, the OnePlus 9 Pro could feature a curved display like the OnePlus 8 Pro. Elsewhere though, it will carry over the punch-hole, the signature alert slider, and the camera bump design found on the OnePlus 8T.

Render of the OnePlus 9 Pro.

Launching earlier than usual

A report by Android Central suggests that the OnePlus 9 series could launch around mid-March, which is a bit earlier than the usual release schedule for the non-T flagship.

The move could mimic Samsung’s strategy for its Galaxy S21 series. Usually, Samsung’s flagship gets launched in February but recent rumors point to an earlier January release schedule. OnePlus could do the same for its upcoming flagship to boost its sales. It remains to be seen, however, how an earlier release could also affect the launch of other OnePlus devices.

Other features that may make the cut

For now, details regarding the OnePlus 9 cameras are scant and few. However, quad-cameras are likely to make a return for the OnePlus 9 Pro, considering that its Pro predecessor has them. At the very least, one can expect wide-angle and ultra-wide-angle cameras comprising the whole rear setup.

The OnePlus 9 pre-production unit obtained by PhoneArena suggests a triple-camera setup for the non-Pro model. What cameras consist of this setup is still unclear at the moment, however. There’s an “Ultra Shot” branding on the camera bump, though it is unclear what it pertains to exactly.

A closer look at the Ultra Shot branding. Photo by PhoneArena.com

Since a faster 65W charging already debuted on the OnePlus 8T, the OnePlus 9 series could carry over the charging technology. Battery capacities for the different models are unknown but one can likely expect at least 5,000 mAh and more for the non-Pro and Pro models.

Finally, memory and storage capacity.  Traditionally, OnePlus flagships started at 8GB of memory and 128GB of storage so the brand’s upcoming flagship could follow suit. A 12GB + 256GB variant could also be in the cards following the footstep of its predecessor. OxygenOS 11 based on Android 11 will ship out of the box for all models.

Overall, the OnePlus 9 series is shaping up to be another great offering from the brand. The upcoming flagship will also reflect the new strategy and identity of OnePlus, which diversified into more market segments this year with the launch of the Nord series.

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Galaxy S22 Ultra will look like a Galaxy Note phone

Based on a new render

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The Galaxy Note series is in a state of limbo. After the rise of the brand’s foldable phones, Samsung toned down on the iconic Note series. The brand hasn’t even launched a new entry yet – if it even is launching one this year. If you’re a fan of the series, there’s still hope. Based on new renders, the upcoming Galaxy S22 Ultra will look remarkably similar to the Galaxy Note series.

Rendered by Steve Hemmerstoffer and Digit.in based on currently known leaks, the upcoming premium smartphone will reportedly have a built-in dock for the S Pen. Of course, the series had already received stylus support, but the Galaxy S21 series never had a dock for the pen.

Additionally, the renders show a quad rear camera setup much like the previous series. However, the layout does look a bit different from its predecessors. Either way, the upcoming flagship has a hint of familiarity for those more used to the Galaxy Note series.

Unfortunately, the render doesn’t show how the S Pen will look like. For the past few iterations, Samsung did confirm that more optimized S Pens are coming for different devices.

In other details, the renders also show that the headphone jack is here to stay.

Right now, it’s still early to tell if the renders are what the real deal will look like. A lot can still happen between now and the projected launch window in January.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 review: Do-It-All device

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Enterprise

US drops charges against Huawei heir Meng Wanzhou

Allowed to return to China

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Huawei MateBook D 15

Is the Huawei saga finally reaching its conclusion? For years, the American government has hounded the Chinese company for its ties to its respective country’s government. The administration then issued several bans, forcing Huawei to either find alternatives or give up its business. To the company’s dismay, Huawei has already suffered intensive damage. Now, amid their victory, the United States is throwing the company a bone by dropping its charges against Huawei heir Meng Wanzhou.

Back in 2018, Canadian authorities arrested the daughter of Huawei’s founder Ren Zhengfei. Meng, who is also Huawei’s chief finance officer, was indicted with charges related to an illegal trade deal in Iran. Since then, the company’s heir found herself stuck in a limbo between house arrest and potential extradition to the United States.

Her chapter in the ongoing Huawei struggle is apparently over. In the United States, Meng pleaded not guilty to the government’s charges and agreed to take responsibility for her role in the deal. For their part, the government has dropped the charges in an apparent agreement with the CFO. Meng was allowed to return home to China.

Though Meng Wanzhou is off the leash, Huawei still has an uphill battle because of the said deal. Further, the company is still fighting against bans from the American government. Huawei has already fallen off the ranks in terms of success in the smartphone realm.

SEE ALSO: Huawei wants to help scale-up startups in Asia Pacific

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Enterprise

Xiaomi blacklists “Samsung” and other terms from its phones

But there’s a reason why

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Throughout the past few years, Chinese smartphones have received a lot of flak for its ties to geopolitical issues. Both Huawei and ZTE have already suffered through bans from the American government. Naturally, Xiaomi is in a similar boat. Unfortunately, because of a new research report, things might get worse before they get better.

According to a report published by the National Cyber Security Centre in Lithuania, Xiaomi’s smartphones automatically download a list of terms that they blacklist. The list includes sketchy terms like “China,” “Taiwan Solidarity Union,” and other geopolitical terms. Obviously, including China-related terms can cause a bit of alarm for users elsewhere. However, the blacklist might have uses outside of the obvious.

Spotted by XDA Developers, Xiaomi uses the list for advertising purposes. Besides the China-related terms, the list also includes its brand rivals like “Samsung” and “ZTE.” It also includes pornography and piracy terms. Most ironically, the list also blocks its own smartphone models. The publication spotted that the blacklist is used solely by the smartphone’s advertising platform. Which does make sense now.

The list is designed to block out ads from competing companies and its own (which makes sense since someone who owns a Xiaomi phone probably doesn’t need to see a Xiaomi ad anymore). Blocking pornographic and piracy-supporting ads also makes sense. The China-related terms remain problematic, but there is no indication that Xiaomi uses the list for anything other than advertising.

Further, Xiaomi should activate the filter manually. The automatic download doesn’t automatically mean that the phone is censored. That said, there is still a possibility that Xiaomi can use the filter for more geopolitical reasons. At the very least, current reports don’t point toward that for now.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi 11T series focuses on mobile filmmaking

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