Inside secret conference rooms at Samsung’s Suwon Headquarters in South Korea, their next flagship, the Samsung Galaxy S8 is being passed around.
Following the fiery disaster that was the Note 7, the team of engineers working on the Galaxy S8 are hard at work to ensure the phone becomes a runaway success, nothing less is demanded.
Initially slated for a February 26 launch in Barcelona, the Galaxy S8 launch is said to have been pushed back to sometime in late March – giving the company two extra months to dot all their I’s and cross all their T’s.
If you are a fan of the Note 7’s design, good news, we expect the S8 to take Samsung’s curved form factor even further.
Industry sources tell GadgetMatch, the next Samsung phone will come in two sizes. One that’s as big as this year’s S7 and the other as large as the S7 Edge. This means that while you’re not getting bigger phones both S8 models will have larger displays.
The display on the Galaxy S8 will be 5.8-inches, the larger model the Galaxy S8 Plus will have a 6.2-inch display (instead of 5.1 and 5.5 on the S7 and S7 Edge).
[irp posts=”8909" name=”Latest Lenovo flagship could be a precursor to next year’s Samsung Galaxy S8"]
How? Like many 2017 flagships are expected to deliver, the Galaxy S8 will be completely bezel-less with a display that hugs the edges of the phone on all sides.
The front of the phone will be all display, with just a tiny shin on both its top and bottom. Our source tells us the top bezel will house a selfie camera, headpiece, and an iris scanner for added security.
The bottom chin has room for a logo but in the current version that is being passed around, the logo is not present.
GadgetMatch worked together with Plethora Creatives to imagine the Galaxy S8. Below is our artist’s 3D rendering of how it might look like. These 3D models are based on the descriptions of our source.
There is no physical home button that doubles as a fingerprint sensor. All buttons will be on screen. We’re told the fingerprint sensor will be underneath the display, possibly using the just announced optical fingerprint sensor by Synaptics that can read fingerprints under a 1mm glass display.
NOTE 7 REBORN
The S8 will share the same front and back dual edge curves of the Note 7. In fact, apart from its size differences. The S8 looks almost identical to the Note 7 from behind.
While it was initially a planned feature on the larger model, Samsung is reported to have made a last minute decision to ship the S8 with only one main camera, not two. The model being passed around only has one.
Samsung retains its choice of materials – Gorilla Glass and high strength aluminum. The S8 will come in an assortment of colors Black, Grey, Rose Gold and Blue. Our renders imagines a blue and black model. The phone will mostly likely still have a headphone jack and will still be water resistant.
Software-wise the S8 may take a page from Google’s playbook with a virtual assistant of its own, making it the smartest Galaxy phone ever. If it materializes the company will use technology from its acquisition of Artificial Intelligence firm Viv.
Samsung’s decision to give itself more time is both good and bad news.
Two extra months gives them more time to change their mind about certain features, which given their track record wouldn’t come as a surprise. But inside Samsung, there is greater pressure to get it right and that means finishing early and spending the extra time testing for and ironing out kinks.
A lot is at stake, how the Samsung Galaxy S8 is received will greatly affect the future of Samsung’s smartphone business. Here’s to hoping they succeed.
[irp[irp posts=”9899" name=”Samsung Galaxy S8 shows up with specs, pricing, and launch date”]
Update: This post was updated on January 27th to reflect the new launch date (from April to late March)
Nissan pushes through with electrification of Asia and Oceania
One step at a time
It’s that time of the year again when Nissan gathers thought leaders, government officials, and media representatives from around the region to discuss how to improve and reshape the way people use transportation.
With the theme “Transform the way we drive and live,” this year’s Nissan Futures offers updated statistics and tackles the company’s plans and strategies to fully electrify Asia and Oceania.
Through a report, Nissan kicked off the event by showing us our current situation and where this could lead. They said that in about 30 years, the human population will hit 9.9 billion and two out of three people will be living in cities. This translates to more carbon footprint for each city and heavier air pollution for everyone if we simply continue going down this path.
“Asia Pacific is home to more than 2.1 billion urban residents, that is 60 percent of the world’s urban population. This brings increased pressure on the region’s cities and mobility systems. Events like Nissan Futures create the appropriate platform to discuss solutions for our region’s societies and mobility systems,” said Yutaka Sanada, Regional Senior Vice President for Asia and Oceania. “Driven by our Nissan Intelligent Mobility vision, we are committed to bringing safe, smart, and sustainable mobility to more people.”
We already talked about the benefits of electric vehicles (as well as myths that surround them) and how they will significantly reduce tailpipe emissions on the streets and eventually reduce air pollution. With that in mind, Nissan envisions a city with a more sustainable environment by jumping on the electric bandwagon. And right now, their Leaf electric vehicle is what embodies their plans for the future.
“The Leaf remains the icon of Nissan Intelligent Mobility, our strategy for moving more people to a better world,” said Daniele Schillaci, Nissan’s Global Head of Marketing, Sales, and Electric Vehicles.
Just earlier this month, the Leaf cemented itself as the most successful EV to date — surpassing the 400,000 sales mark. Although, we weren’t that surprised since we got to drive and experience the Leaf for the second time. I’d say the drive was more exciting this year since we drove it around the open streets of Hong Kong and witnessed how it fared in terms of its safety features, handling, power, and battery consumption.
We made a short video of the drive:
Yes, we’re still far away from cities being fully electric, but Nissan is relentlessly pushing through. It has already put its foot in and is paving the way for electrification that will soon extend beyond the confines of a vehicle.
Vivo V15 Pro hands-on: A mini NEX?
Did Vivo overdo it?
Remember the Vivo NEX? It blew us away last year with features that were once unheard of in smartphones. Fast forward to 2019, and we’re gradually seeing its tech trickle down to midrange phones.
The V15 Pro we have here is a perfect example of that. Not only does it inherit the pop-up camera of its older flagship sibling, it retains the large AMOLED display and under-display fingerprint scanner.
To sustain Vivo’s midrange pricing for the V-series, the V15 Pro comes with a slower Snapdragon 675 chipset (compared to the NEX’s high-end Snapdragon 845) and mostly plastic body.
However, Vivo added a few things, like an ultra-wide 8-megapixel camera on the rear and massive 32-megapixel sensor for the motorized selfie shooter.
So, how again is this midrange? That’s a good question. It certainly dips its virtual fingers into the upper-midrange segment, which we touch on in our unboxing and review video:
Since publishing this video, a few developments have happened. For one, a more affordable non-Pro V15 launched. In addition, Vivo’s closest rival, OPPO, released the F11 Pro with a similar design and feature set.
Truly, we have more questions than answers now, beginning with…
Does it have the most refined UD scanner and pop-up camera?
Well, yes and no. Despite Vivo having the most experience with both features, the V15 Pro doesn’t have the fastest under-display fingerprint in the business. Having used the Galaxy S10+ and OnePlus 6T recently, Vivo’s implementation feels a bit slow in comparison. Not to say it’s bad, but I’d rather use the front camera for logging in.
Like the OPPO Find X I used before, the V15 Pro’s pop-up-to-log-in time in unreal. The moment you wake the phone up, the camera will take one quick look at you and unlock the device. It’s so discreet and seamless that you eventually forget there’s any moving part. The same applies to selfies and video calls; once the app activates the mechanism, it’s like there’s nothing there.
Does its plastic body feel too cheap for the price?
For a smartphone that costs this much, you’d expect more glass than plastic here. For the V15 Pro, that’s not the case. Not that I’m against the use of plastic for the rear — in fact, it keeps the unit lighter for its big size — but I imagine the gorgeous color options looking better with the shimmer provided by glass.
Fortunately, the bundled case the V15 Pro comes with is one of the best I’ve seen in a retail box. The sides have extra resistance to them against bumps and drops, while the rest of the clear plastic doesn’t hide the radiant blue coating. This is one of the few instances wherein I wouldn’t replace the included case.
Can it handle games like a champ?
The phone’s Snapdragon 675 isn’t known to be a gaming-centric chip, but games these days aren’t demanding enough to require anything beyond a 600-series processor to enjoy smooth graphics. I’ve tried PUBG, Ragnarok M, and Asphalt 9 on the V15 Pro without a hitch. It helps that the unit I used has 6GB of memory and 128GB of storage, which are plenty by today’s standards.
It does get warm, however. Playing for 30 minutes straight made the phone warm near the camera area, but to be fair, this was while the bundled case was on and without cool air blowing by. I would definitely avoid charging with a powerbank while gaming.
How well do the cameras perform?
My teammates and I have always appreciated how Vivo could punch above its weight when it comes to camera performance. Even though Vivo rarely comes to mind when talking about mobile photography, its phones have a knack for producing impressive photos.
It helps that there’s an ultra-wide 8-megapixel camera to complement the 48-megapixel (woah!) main shooter and 5-megapixel depth sensor. As seen above, that extra coverage helps greatly with landscape shots. It noticeably lowers the image quality though, and I still prefer the downscaled 12MP output from the 48MP camera.
In general, both the rear and front cameras create straight-to-Instagram pictures in not-too-difficult lighting conditions. When it doubt, there’s a built-in night mode to improve exposure at night. The only complaint I’ve heard from those who’ve seen my V15 Pro photos is that the subject’s skin is too smooth even on the lowest setting, but that’s a Vivo thing that isn’t going away any time soon.
Can it last longer than a day?
A 3700mAh battery isn’t that hefty for a phone this size, providing a little less than six hours of screen-on time in a span of 1.5 days. Nothing fantastic, but when topped up with the included 18W fast charger, it takes only about two hours and 20 minutes to get to a hundred percent.
One way to conserve battery power is to turn the always-on info off while the phone’s on standby. I’m a fan of seeing the time and battery percentage at all times, so gaining an additional 20 minutes of screen-on time doesn’t justify the inconvenience for me.
What else is there to know?
Surprisingly, and I don’t understand why this is still happening, Vivo equipped the V15 Pro with a micro-USB port. Sure, the 3.5mm audio port is still there, but I’ve moved on to the far superior USB-C for every single one of my gadgets already. This is simply inconsiderate to consumers at this point.
I also find Vivo’s Funtouch OS (based on Android 9 Pie) becoming more cumbersome to use through time. It’s not getting worse in itself, but having come from the comforts of OnePlus’ OxygenOS and Samsung’s One UI, the confusing setting menus and gesture control feel like a step back.
With all this in mind, it’s important to remember that the V15 Pro is the most expensive V-series phone to date, retailing for INR 28,990 or roughly US$ 410 in India. That’s upper-midrange territory by most standards, edging closer to the likes of Xiaomi’s flagship Mi series and Honor’s assortment of high-performance handsets.
My recommendation is to consider the regular V15 before committing to the Pro variant. It offers the same pop-up camera goodness and an increased screen and battery size, but gives up a few features (the under-display sensor, AMOLED display, and Snapdragon 675 chip, to be specific) to lower the price to about US$ 345.
Huawei Mate 20 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S10+ Comparison
Two of the best Android phones go head to head
We’ve always believed that there’s no single perfect smartphone. What’s perfect for one may not suit another’s lifestyle. That is why we set out to compare two of the best that the Android world has to offer: the Huawei Mate 20 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy S10+.
In this comparison, we’re breaking it down into seven categories — that way you get choose which phone is best for you based on your needs.
Of course, the Huawei P30 Pro is expected to launch in the next few days and we’ll be working on comparing that versus the S10+ as well.
This feature was produced in collaboration between GadgetMatch and Huawei Singapore.
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