Nokia 9 PureView stops by the FCC, confirms launch in North America

There will be many smartphones announced at MWC 2019 in the coming week or so, but one of the phones that we’re most excited for is the upcoming Nokia 9 PureView. This is because while many smartphone makers have been jamming three to four cameras into the back of their phones, Nokia is taking it up a level by including five cameras.

It looks like those penta-camera rumors have been pretty much confirmed as the phone has recently made a pit stop at the FCC where thanks to the submitted diagram, it has confirmed the camera design on the phone. The FCC listing does not mention any of phone’s hardware specs, but an interesting omission is support for 5G.

This corroborates an earlier rumor which claims that the 5G variant of the phone will only be launching in the later part of the year. This actually puts the Nokia 9 PureView in a bit of an odd place. The phone is rumored to be packing a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset instead of the Snapdragon 855, which may give the phone a bit of an advantage of its 2019 competitors since it should debut at a much lower price.

One thing to note is that Nokia 9 PureView’s approval by the FCC indicates that the company plans to sell the phone in North America. HMD is working to bring the Nokia brand back to the US with support on Verizon and Cricket, but up until now, we’ve only seen entry-level devices mentioned. That could change once the Nokia 9 PureView is unveiled at MWC.

This isn’t to say that the Snapdragon 845 isn’t a powerful chipset – it is – but rather in terms of perspective and marketing, we imagine that it might be hard for the company to try and position the phone against the competition who will be launching 5G phones powered by the Snapdragon 855. Either way, only time will tell how well the phone will do, but do check back with us on the 24th of February which is when the phone will be officially announced.

Source: FCC (via XDA Developers)

OnePlus 6T helps the company become fifth largest premium smartphone maker in US

The emergence of affordable devices such as the OnePlus 6T has caused a shift in the smartphone market, so much so that it has caused companies like Google to consider launching budget devices, such as the rumored Pixel 3 Lite. The trend in the pricing of premium smartphones has seen prices exceed over $1000 putting them out of reach of some customers. With OnePlus offering devices with flagship specifications at a fraction of the cost, it has seen the popularity of the company catapult it to the fifth largest smartphone OEM in the U.S.

Analyst firm IDC reports that OnePlus shipped enough devices in Q4 of 2018 to break into the top five for the market share of smartphones costing more than $500. Much of that success is attributed to the popular OnePlus 6T, which although the most expensive OnePlus in the five years since the original launched, offers premium features such as an in-display fingerprint sensor and full-screen display.

“It’s been over five years since we launched our first phone in the U.S., initially as an online-only offering. We’re proud of how far we’ve come and even more excited about the future ahead” – OnePlus CEO Pete Lau.

OnePlus also snagged a partnership with T-Mobile to move away from online-only sales into the world of carrier support in 2018. The company also included support for Verizon’s network which helped widen the customer base of OnePlus and increase its profile of the OnePlus 6 and OnePlus 6T amongst potential customers.

The company aims to build on the success it saw in 2018 with the launch of a 5G device in 2019. The challenge for OnePlus will be to keep the ever increasing cost of smartphones in the “affordable” bracket.

Via: Digital Trends

Buy two Pixel 3 or 3 XL smartphones and save up to 50% on the second device

Google’s Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL aren’t the most expensive smartphones around, but they’re not cheap either. If you didn’t jump on any of the deals Google offered over the holiday season, you might want to consider the company’s latest promotion. Put simply, Google is offering a 50% discount on a Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL when you buy two of them. If you buy one Pixel 3 XL and one Pixel 3, they’ll cut $400 off the sale of both devices.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Save $450 when you buy two Pixel 3 XL phones.
  • Save $400 when you buy a Pixel 3XL and Pixel 3.
  • Save $350 when you buy two Pixel 3 phones.

As usual, Google is also throwing in 6 months of YouTube Music Premium for free in addition to unlimited Google Photos storage at full resolution for images and videos uploaded from your Pixel 3 devices. The promotion runs through February 25th, so you do have some time to decide if its time to upgrade to a Pixel 3.

We’ve had some issues with the software here and there, but Google’s smartphone has one of the best smartphone cameras we’ve ever used. For a closer look at the phone and everything it has to offer, make sure you check out our Pixel 3 review.

Source: Google Store

Mylio Review: Safely and Easily Organize All of Your Photos

Mylio is a powerful photo and video organization and storage tool that allows you to easily keep track of and actually carry your entire photo library with you on all of your devices without connecting to the internet. Whether you are a professional photographer/videographer or just love taking photos and video, the ability to have your entire library with you at all times without worrying about an internet connection is amazing. And the fact that Mylio can keep this all on your devices means you have a level of privacy that a cloud solution simply can’t offer.

But that’s only a tip of the iceberg. Mylio actually has a whole lot more to offer.

Competition

I’m tackling this first because as Android fans, the natural response to the basic pitch for Mylio is that we’ve got Google Photos and we’re covered. And while there is certainly overlapping functionality between the two, Mylio is a much more powerful tool than Google Photos. Whether that is necessary for you is another question entirely, if you only ever take photos and videos with your smartphone you probably aren’t the right target for Mylio. But for those who use a dedicated camera (or multiple cameras), Mylio may be the perfect tool for you. 

Lightroom is another potential competitor, although in my mind Mylio is more additive than a replacement for Lightroom, particularly for those that are deep into the Adobe suite already. Mylio makes your images far more accessible across devices than Lightroom and offers a few more interesting organizational tricks, but obviously lacks the depth of editing capabilities and integration with the rest of Adobe’s apps.

Built-in photo management like Apple or Microsoft Photos are the final option. While each has gotten vastly better in recent years, unless you are fully bought in on that platform (which Android user that you are, is unlikely) it is going to fall short at least in its ability to give you access to your photos anywhere, something that Mylio is tailor-made for.

Pricing

Mylio has a solid free offering, which is always a bonus, if you want to give Mylio a try with just a portion of your photo library you can do that without opening your wallet. The free tier allows you to manage up to 25,0000 images on up to 3 devices and by devices they specifically mean computers, you can have any number of Android, iOS, hard drives, cloud services or NAS devices connected up as well.

While the free tier is going to be enough for a casual photographer, for enthusiasts obviously that’s not going to cut it and you’ll need to bump up to at least Mylio Premium, which is $8.33 a month if billed annually and $10 if billed monthly. This allows you to manage up to 100,000 photos on 5 devices and also introduces the ability to edit raw images in the software.

Finally, for professionals or avid hobbyists, there is Mylio Max which does away with all of the limits. This comes in at $20.83 a month if billed annually or $25 if billed monthly. Both the Premium and Max plans also offer the ability to edit RAW images, something that will definitely appeal to the higher end camera users out there.

Storage

Mylio doesn’t have a cloud storage component, rather it creates a “Vault” that is the central repository for your photos wherever you would like it to be. That can be on an external drive, a NAS, your laptop/desktop or a cloud service like Google Drive or Amazon Drive.

There are pluses and minuses to this strategy, you have complete control over your photos and where they are stored, but you do need to provide that storage at a separate cost. Personally, I take it as a net positive as for the one-time cost of an external hard drive or NAS I have my photo storage costs covered and most people that have enough photos to warrant using Mylio likely already have a storage solution that can be integrated into Mylio. And if you do want the additional advantages of a cloud service, you can use Google Drive or Amazon Drive as your Vault and get the best of both worlds by integrating that into Mylio.

Mylio does allow you to carry your full photo library with you at all times regardless of whether you opt for a hardware vault or a cloud vault. You choose the syncing settings that you want when you are first setting up your account, if you want the actual full versions on the device in question you are creating a vault, but if you just want to be sure you can see the photos you have but don’t need full quality at all times you can pick “Auto-Optimized” which will bring your whole photo library to that device using whatever space you are willing to grant it.

Organization

Mylio gives you a handful of different options for viewing your photo library, some are generated automatically while others are going to be your handcrafted creations.

There are a few features that are persistent across all of the views so we’ll go over those quickly first. As you are scrolling through photos in any view you can always just drag and drop a photo or group of photos to the bottom of the app, which is known as your Clipboard. These photos will be persistent at the bottom until you either drag and drop them back out of there or choose to clear the clipboard.

Clicking on the menu button in the upper-right corner of the app brings up your options on how you want the photos sorted and displayed in each view. This is also where you go to playback a slideshow of the photo set that you are currently viewing, it’s not an incredibly robust feature, but you do have a few options regarding playback.

Now let’s take a look at each of the distinct views that Mylio offers.

Calendar

This is the default view when you enter the app with a single image as the cover image for each month. Click on a month to switch to the month view with a cover image for each day that you have a photo, naturally you can scroll through this view to other months if you are hunting down an image. Drilling all the way down to a single day switches to a more traditional view of all the thumbnails from that day.

You can import your existing calendars into Mylio, which is convenient and will allow you to quickly find photos from specific events in your calendar using just the search function rather than having to scroll through the calendar to find it.

Map

Assuming you allow your smartphone or camera to tag your photos with GPS data they will appear in the map view. This view presents you with an arrow pointing to the location in question with the number of photos taken at that location and again a thumbnail cover image.

It can make for an interesting view of where you’ve been and when you click on the arrow on the large map it takes you a full thumbnail screen of those photos, but I wish you could then drill down further by clicking on the arrows in the sidebar map. Clicking on these markers simply gives you the option to either edit or delete the GPS data for that group of images.

People

As you would expect this view allows you to organize your photos by the individual(s) in them. When you first view it everything is simply grouped together in a single folder labeled “Untagged”, you need to create a folder for each person. Now on the positive side once you have created that folder it will self-populate to some degree thanks to the Facial Recognition feature that we’ll cover in just a moment.

Users of Google Photos will be familiar with this view and it’s a great way to scroll through or create a slideshow dedicated to a single individual.

Albums

Albums are entirely your own creations and you have a few different options on how to add photos to an album. So you can build a group of photos in the Clipboard and then simply drag them into your album when you are ready.

You can also right click on any photo or group of photos and the third option down will be to “Add to Album” and you simply select the relevant album.

Photos in your album can be resorted by simply dragging and dropping them into any order that you like and you can playback a slideshow of these images

Folders

This is the most straightforward of the views as for the most part it just mirrors the actual folder structure that your photos are in on your storage device or cloud service. This is going to be the most important view in terms of actual file management, but not the most useful for simply viewing your files.

So for example for my small sample set that I imported to use with Mylio I had a single folder for the images from my laptop, another folder for my Pixel 3 and then Mylio creates its own folder automatically simply called “Mylio Pictures.” One critical thing to understand here is that anything copied into that last folder would then be exclusive to Mylio, with any changes limited to that copy, whereas any changes made to files in the other folders would be mirrored to the copy that exists outside of Mylio.

Facial Recognition

As we mentioned in the People view section above, Mylio does offer a facial recognition component. Obviously, you need to do the initial identification and the easiest way to do this is to drill down to the thumbnails in any of the views above and then click on the people icon in the top of the right-hand sidebar which will show as “Batch tagging” when you hover over it. This will bring up a list of all the faces that it detects in those images and you can go through and either ignore or identify each person. Once you have identified even a single image of a person it will try to propose additional occurrences of that person, but it definitely improves the more images you positively identify.

I was reasonably impressed with the job it did on the handful of subjects that I tried with this feature. After identifying about a dozen photos of a person it pretty reliably identified them itself. I won’t say that it holds up to what Google Photos can do, but it’s hard to make a fair comparison given that Google Photos has years and tens of thousands of photos to work with.

Flag/Stars/Tags

Another method for sorting your photos that is available anytime you are viewing an invididual image are the Flag, Stars and Tags. The flag is simply an on/off option, Stars gives the image a 0 to 5 rating and Tags offer 5 different tag colors. I feel like the Star system alone and making the Keywords feature more prominent, it’s buried near the bottom, would work better for me than having the three disparate rating options, but I’m sure there are plenty that would disagree with me.

Editing

Mylio isn’t trying to compete with Photoshop in the editing department, but it does offer a solid collection of filters and a few more robust options.

The filters are pretty standard fare with 14 options by default that you can tweak as you see fit and then you can also create your own preset filters either starting from one of the default options or from scratch.

You also have a basic set of photo editing tools for manipulating things like exposure, white balance, saturation, shadows, etc. You can apply these to the entire image or you also have a brush tool that allows you to paint over a specific portion of the image and just apply your changes to that.

Finally, you have a crop tool and a red-eye removal tool.

Android App

I’m going to keep things brief on the app as for the most part you are able to do everything in the mobile app that you are able to do in the desktop app with very few exceptions, such as the brush tool in the editing feature. On the plus side, there’s little lost when you are running the app on your phone, but the tradeoff is that the app can feel a little cramped at times. Trying to fit everything in there leaves you with small touch targets on occasion. I think this isn’t so much a case of Mylio needing to pare down the features of the Android app, but simply figuring out a more logical way to visually divide them so you aren’t trying to view so much on each screen.

Privacy

We touched on it briefly at the beginning and this isn’t a specific feature, but I wanted to hit this point specifically as I know that it’s a hot button topic for many users and it’s a compelling selling point for Mylio if you do value privacy.

Mylio doesn’t have a cloud component unless you choose to set up your vault with Amazon Drive or Google Drive, that means it is handled entirely on your devices if you wish. The syncing between your devices can be limited to only when they are on the same Wifi network, so as long as you are operating on a secure Wifi network your photos are completely safe with Mylio.

Verdict

Hopefully, by now you have a pretty good idea of whether Mylio is a solution for your workflow. Having worked with Lightroom as my primary photo/video organization tool for the last few years I really enjoyed how much more flexible Mylio is for sorting and finding your photos, not to mention the fact that it allows you to view your photos from across all your devices, something that I can’t really ever imagine Lightroom offering. While the cost is likely going to be a concern for some, most are going to be served by the free or at most the Premium plan at $8.33 a month and considering the potential savings versus the Adobe Photography plan and/or a cloud storage plan, you should definitely consider taking Mylio for a spin.

LG confirms that the G8 ThinQ’s display acts as its speaker

LG has wasted no time in showing off features of the LG G8 ThinQ. The device was officially “announced” months ago, with specs and details being given out over time without spoiling the entire device. It’s almost like controlled leaking, except the info is coming directly from LG.

The latest announcement is a feature that LG calls Crystal Sound OLED, or CSO. The company uses an exciter to utilize the entire OLED panel as a diaphragm, turning it into a speaker. This, paired with a traditional speaker on the bottom providing the lows, gives the device “impressive volume” and clarity.

While this seems a bit farfetched and gimmicky, we’re giving LG the benefit of the doubt because the company knows audio. Previous devices have featured the HiFi quad DAC, giving users some of the best headphone audio coming out of any smartphone, and the Boombox speaker, which uses internal space as a resonance chamber to boost performance.

The feature will be touched more upon at Mobile World Congress 2019 but for now it’s great to see what LG is doing for its next flagship. It’s hard to tell whether this slow release of features will build hype or wear people out on the device, but we hope LG succeeds and provides some more competition to the market.

Source: LG Newsroom

Sony Xperia 10, Xperia 10 Plus leaks reveal odd design, new specs

Previously known as the Sony Xperia XA3 and Xperia XA3 Plus, new details of Sony’s upcoming mid-range phones have been revealed. WinFuture has managed to get its hands on leaked images of the two devices their specs and their new names – the Sony Xperia 10 and Xperia 10 Plus.

While the change in name may seem insignificant, we actually think it is very important. While those who read tech blogs may be well-versed in the differences between Sony’s XA and XZ devices, we know that general consumers have has a hard time reconciling the differences. Dropping XA front the name should be a good first step in clearing things up, just as long as Sony finds a way to differentiate the naming scheme for its XZ lineup.

Then is comes to design, the Sony Xperia 10 and the larger Xperia 10 Plus look like no other phone on the market, featuring ultra-tall 21:9 aspect ratio displays with extremely thin bezels on the sides and bottom. Unlike other OEMs, Sony has not chosen to use a notch at the top for the front-facing camera and speaker. That’s right, the two phones feature a prominent forehead, which makes the phones look like an upside-down Xiaomi Mi Mix 2.

 

 








The Xperia 10 is said to feature a 5.9 display while the larger Xperia 10 Plus has a 6.5-inch panel, both with an expected resolution of 2560×1080 pixels. The back panel of the two phones will be plastic, featuring at least four color options (black, silver, blue and pink). The images also show that the two phones will have side-mounted fingerprint sensors with what appears to be power buttons right above them. Sony has included fingerprint sensors in the power button on the sides of its phones for years, but the sensor has been disabled for phones sold in the US due to a patent on the feature which is held by Apple. By separating the power button from the fingerprint sensor, Sony may be trying to skirt the issue without needing to cripple the functionality of the phones when they launch in the US.






The two devices are expected to share the same dual-camera setup which consists of 23MP primary and 8MP secondary sensors. Powering the larger Xperia 10 Plus will be a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 with 4GB of RAM will the smaller Xperia 10 will have the Snapdragon 630 with 3GB of RAM. A battery capacity of 3,500 mAh is mentioned in the leak as well, but it’s unclear if that will be for the 10 or 10 Plus.

Sony doesn’t have a huge market share within the smartphone space, but we do need to give the company credit for delivering designs that are unique. The Sony Xperia 10 and Xperia 10 Plus could be well received if Sony manages to get the pricing and distribution right this time around.

When was the last time you purchased a Sony smartphone?

Source: WinFuture

Google’s Wear OS smartwatch market share is embarrassing

A new report by NPD is giving us a peek at smartwatch market share figures, and Google’s own Wear OS is really not doing well. In fact, accounted for under 12% of all sales between December 2017 and November 2018.

The report shows that the top three brands made up 88% of sales, with Apple and the top and Samsung and Fitbit below them. The other 12% is made up of other smartwatches, including not only Wear OS but other smaller competition. The fact that it didn’t even get its own mention in the report is a grim sign for the platform.

During the aforementioned timeframe, sales of smartwatches went up 51% to nearly $5 billion. It’s also reported that 16% of US adults own a smartwatch, which is up 33% from the previous year. We’re seeing the smartwatch market quickly grow without Google as the leader.

Google’s wearable software received a full (and fantastic, I may add) redesign last year and major brands like Fossil and Skagen are constantly pushing new smartwatches to the market, but this doesn’t seem to help the brand so far. In the meantime, brands like Samsung and Huawei are moving away from the software and using their own proprietary operating systems, which definitely doesn’t help Google.

Whether it’s a lack of marketing or any real effort on Google’s part to give Wear OS a fighting chance in the wearable market we do not know, but it has so much potential and it can definitely succeed. But I think we can all agree it still needs a bit more work.

Source: NPD

Samsung’s mid-range phones rumored to sport a few Galaxy S10 features

Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S10 lineup is getting quite a bit of attention these days, but a new leak reveals that the company’s mid-range lineup for 2019 could be quite appealing for those who aren’t interested in spending $1,000 or more on a new smartphone.

A details spec list of the Samsung Galaxy A50, Galaxy A30 and Galaxy A10 has surfaced, revealing that the thee budget-friendly devices will share quite a few characteristics with the Samsung Galaxy S10 devices. These phones will likely not have the same fit and finish as Samsung’s flagship lineup, but that’s to be expected.

The Samsung Galaxy A50 sports the most impressive spec list of Samsung’s A-series smartphones for 2019 with an Exynos 9610 SoC and up to 6GB of RAM. The phone will also sport triple camera on the back with an ultra-wide angle lens and a 25MP selfie camera. It’ll even sport an in-display fingerprint sensor.

The Galaxy A30 is a bit of a step down with a slower Exynos 7904 with a max of 4GB of RAM, but the phone will at least have a dual-sensor camera on the back with a 16MP primary and 5MP secondary sensor that’s also paired with an ultra-wide lens.

As you’d expect from the name, the Samsung Galaxy A10 will be the cheapest of the trio with an Exynos 7884B and only 3GB of RAM and a single 13MPcamera on the back. The good news is that this phone’s battery capacity will be 4,000 mAh, matching that of the Galaxy A50 and A30.

The large 6.4-inch to 6.2-inch displays used on these phones will not have the same Infinity-O panels with the hole-punch cutout for their front-facing cameras as Galaxy S10 devices will, but they will be using Samsung’s new Infinity-U and Infinity-V displays which will result in a fairly small notch at the top.

It’s not clear when Samsung plans to unveil its 2019 Galaxy A lineup, but some are expecting the three phones to make their debut at Mobile World Congress at the end of this month.

Source: Mysmartprice

 

First Samsung Galaxy S10+ hands-on video reveals awkward screen protector cutout

Ladies and gentleman, we give you the Samsung Galaxy S10+. After months of leaks, rumors, and speculation, the first hand-on video of the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10+ has hit the web. While we’d like to say that the video gives us an amazing in-depth look at the phone’s hardware and software, it’s really not much more than someone showing off the front of the phone with the lock screen lit up for a few seconds.

What’s interesting is that the Samsung Galaxy S10+ shown in the video is sporting screen protector which has cutouts for the double-wide hole-punch cutout for the front-facing camera, but also a second one for the phone’s in-display ultrasonic fingerprint sensor. We’ve heard rumors that the ultrasonic fingerprint sensor in Samsung’s new phones may not play nice with third-party screen protectors, but we didn’t expect to see a cutout in the middle of the display.

Talk about awkward.

We know that there’s a huge market for screen protectors these days since people want to protect their investments, but we’re not exactly sure who would want to buy one with such an obnoxious blemish and slap it on a smartphone that costs more than $1,000.

If you’re planning on buying the Samsung Galaxy S10 or the S10+, would you consider buying a screen protector with a cutout right in the middle?

Xiaomi Mi 9’s design shown off for the first time, featuring nano-level laser engraving

Xiaomi is working overtime to make sure its upcoming Xiaomi Mi 9 is on everyone’s radar. Wang Xiang Senior Vice President at Xiaomi has shared a handful of photos of the phone’s unique back panel which is made using “nano-level laser engraving holographic technology + dual layer nano coating to create this beautiful and unique color.” 

Xiang also confirmed that the phone’s official launch date is set for February 24 which coincides with Mobile World Congress. However, the company has also teased that the Xiaomi Mi 9 will likely try to steal some of Samsung’s thunder on February 20th during the unveiling of the Samsung Galaxy S10 lineup and Samsung’s foldable display smartphone.

As far as specifications go, the Xiaomi Mi 9 will pack a solid punch. Rumors suggest that the phone will be powered by Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 855 SoC with 6GB or 8GB of RAM, storage options ranging from 218GB to 256GB, a 6.4-inch display win an in-screen fingerprint sensor, a triple camera setup on the back with 48MP, 12MP and ToF sensors, 24MP selfie camera and a 3,500 mAh battery. Add in the unique color options Xiaomi is throwing in and the Mi 9 should be more than capable of going head to head with the Samsung Galaxy S10 since the phone’s price will likely be 20%-30% lower.

Xiaomi will definitely be revealing more details about Mi 9 as we get closer to the official unveiling, so stay tuned.