This year is one for innovation and novelty, and we’ve seen our fair share from both Apple and Samsung in the form of the iPhone 6S family and the Galaxy S6/Note 5 family. The two leading smartphone manufacturers have proven to the community that buying smartphones at a premium comes with actual benefits and that it’s worth it. Microsoft will be doing the same thing if we are to believe all the leaks and reports about its future Microsoft Lumia 950 handset family.
The Microsoft Lumia 950 release date is set on October 6 by the company and the flagship for Windows 10 Mobile will be accompanied by an XL model called the Lumia 950 XL. Both Apple and Samsung performed dual launches in the past year, setting the new bar for expectations across the industry. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were launched in tandem to cater to those that love standard screens and to those that love large-screen smartphones at the same time. Apple repeated the strategy this year with the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus.
Samsung has been doing the same thing, but with longer release cycles. While the Galaxy S5 was accompanied by the Galaxy Note 4 (a beautiful, top-notch device, mind you), the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge were accompanied by the Galaxy Note 5 and the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus. All these phones demonstrate that people tend to be split into two sides when it comes to smartphone preference: standard and large.
The Microsoft Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL release will follow suit, with two separate flagships launched to demonstrate the new features that the company introduced to Windows 10 Mobile. The mobile operating system will rely heavily on Cortana, but will also improve performance and user experience by taking a few from Android’s and iOS’ books. The main attractions of the year will still be the phones, though, so those are what we’re curious about.
The official Microsoft Lumia 950 release date is set for October 6, and a considerable amount of leaked photos and documentation has already been revealed to the public. Thanks to the constant flow of information, which cannot be stopped, fans around the world can get an idea of what the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL have to offer before the devices are official.
Knowing so much about the Lumia 950 and its larger sibling allows consumers to decide whether they want to invest in iOS or Android flagships that are already ready to buy or if they should wait until the Microsoft devices are finally official to test out how Windows 10 improves the mobile user experience. That’s because a lot of smartphone users, even iOS ones, are very pleased with the overall Windows 10 experience and want to see what it can do on a mobile interface.
As such, there are enormous expectations of Microsoft and the Lumia 950. These expectations can also be applied to the upcoming Microsoft Surface Pro 4, the company’s response to Apple’s iPad Pro. The Lumia 950 is the mystery device however, seeing as Microsoft vowed to change things this year. Although the company did not publicly talk about design and specs of the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL, they made it pretty clear that they’re aware of the stark competition and of what fans want.
That ideology should have lead the company to create the perfect smartphone for any user, but we won’t find that out until the Lumia 950 is official. Although it was first being called the Lumia 940, sometime in the past few months rumors emerged that the company would be skipping a beat (like it did with Windows 9) and would introduce the Lumia 950 and 950 XL instead.
There are a few features of the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL that are sure things, confirmed by either the company or by circumstance. For instance, the Lumia 950 code-name is Talkman while the Lumia 950 XL code-name is Cityman. The former will sport a smaller, 5.2-inch display with QHD resolution, making this the real flagship device for Windows 10 Mobile. That’s because surveys have shown that the preferred screen size for smartphones is 5.2 inches, globally.
The Lumia 950 XL will be closer to Samsung’s Note line-up, sporting a 5.7-inch display with a similar QHD resolution. Although 4K has been mentioned, Microsoft is unlikely to choose that as it would add to costs significantly and thus the phones would be too expensive to make an impact. Speaking of price, there is some bad news there. Apparently, the Lumia 950 price will go above $700, and the XL will cost at least $800. That’s Apple-expensive, which might constitute a problem. Nonetheless, since pricing is nowhere near being official, the best way to go about it is to hope for the best at this point.
Price and availability for the new flagships will be announced at the launch event and those are probably the ones that you should be trusting. Take any information about unreleased devices with a grain of salt, as manufacturers can change things in the very last minute if they want to. Nonetheless, the sheer number of leaked photos and info about the Microsoft Lumia 950 is troubling, because it might mean pricing is also accurate.
Moving on to what should be the gem of both flagships: performance. Microsoft Lumia 950 specs include a Snapdragon 808 CPU, a Super AMOLED panel for the screen, 3 GB RAM, 32 GB internal storage and a 3000 mAh battery. The Microsoft Lumia 950 XL will be a more future-proof device, sporting the Snapdragon 810 CPU, backed by 4 GB RAM and 64 GB internal storage, and a larger 3300 mAh battery. Both these handsets might feature wireless charging, but USB Type C is a given.
The Lumia 950 XL might directly compete against the Galaxy Note 5, as rumors suggest the handset will have its own stylus, borrowed from the Surface Pro 4. With a stylus, the Lumia 950 Xl can easily become the ultimate handset for the crowd that loves the Note 5. With better note-taking features and a seamless user experience within Windows 10, not to mention a lot of Office involved, the Note 5 better watch out, Although adding a stylus does not sound like a big deal, it might be, seeing as Microsoft and Samsung are partners when it comes to office apps on the Note 5. Rivaling with one of their biggest partners might not be the best choice for Microsoft right now, so we’re a bit skeptical about the Lumia 950 XL stylus.
Since the Redmond giant is targeting the flagships at power users, features catering to them should be a given. As such, microSD support should be available on both the Lumia 950 and the Lumia 950 XL, with the latter having rumored support for up to 2 TB of storage, like the HTC One M9. MicroSD storage is a rarity with new flagship smartphones, and Microsoft might be taking advantage of that unfulfilled demand.
One of the reasons why Lumia became a popular brand was because of great cameras on most of the phones. Although we are expecting a Lumia 1030 camera-smartphone to grace us with its presence at the October 6 event, as well, it’s a bit unlikely for the company to launch three phones at the same time. Nonetheless, the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL should feature excellent cameras, since they’re flagships and all.
The camera setup is said to be the same on both phones, even if their specs are not identical. 21 MP PureView cameras should be on the rear of each flagship, accompanied by optical image stabilization, laser autofocus and dual-tone LED flash. The front cameras should feature 5 MP wide-angle sensors, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see a small flash being added into the mix either. There’s been talk of triple-LED flash or dual-cameras on the rear, too, but based on official press images, that seems unlikely.
With the Lumia 950 release date just a mere week away, Windows 10 and Lumia fans are getting more and more hyped about having the opportunity to upgrade within the Microsoft ecosystem. This reboot for the company’s devices has been long overdue. Considering that Windows 10 mobile will feature interesting new things like Continuum, the launch event should be filled with excitement. We’ll be back with more!
PS5, PS4 Game Death Stranding Coming Natively to iPhone 15 Pro
PS5 and PS4 console game Death Stranding Director’s Cut is coming natively to the iPhone 15 Pro, demonstrating its power. The entirety of Kojima Productions’ seminal hiking sim, Resident Evil 4, Resident Evil Village, and Assassin’s Creed Mirage, will be available on your phone. Bonkers!
Tech giant: “Continuing Apple’s leadership in smartphone silicon, A17 Pro improves the entire chip, including Apple’s biggest GPU redesign. The new CPU is 10% faster with microarchitectural and design improvements, and the Neural Engine is 2x faster, powering iOS 17 features like autocorrect and Personal Voice.
According to the company, the pro-class GPU is 20% faster and unlocks new experiences with a 6-core design that boosts peak performance and energy efficiency. Hardware-accelerated ray tracing, 4x faster than software-based, gives iPhone 15 Pro smoother graphics and more immersive AR and gaming experiences. The iPhone 15 Pro brings console games to smartphones for the first time.
As with all cutting-edge Apple products, participation is expensive. The iPhone 15 Pro will cost £999/$999 at launch, and the Max model will cost £1,199/$1,199 for a 6.7″ screen. The most basic option only gives you 128GB, so you’ll need more if you want to play Death Stranding on the go.
However, the blurring of standalone consoles and mobile games is fascinating. The success of Genshin Impact, a full-fledged open world, has shown there’s a market for console-like mobile games. It will be interesting to see how Death Stranding performs on this latest iPhone generation.
Launched Redmi Note 12 series: 200MP camera, 210W charging for less than $400
The three phones have similar screens and processors, but they vary in a number of ways.
The Redmi Note series from Xiaomi has historically been the brand’s most well-liked smartphone line, providing excellent value in the entry-level market. The Redmi Note 12 series has now been unveiled by the firm in China.
The Redmi Note 12 Discovery Edition, Redmi Note 12 Pro, and Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus are the three phones we truly have this time. A flat 6.67-inch FHD+ 120Hz OLED screen, a Mediatek Dimensity 1080 5G processor, and a 16MP selfie camera are features shared by all three devices.
They both have a 3.5mm connector, NFC, IR blaster, and Wi-Fi 6 compatibility, among other things. In contrast, there are a few significant variances.
Redmi Note 12 Discovery Edition
The Note 12 Discovery Edition of the Redmi Note 12 has a 200MP HPX primary camera (f/1.65, OIS), making it possibly the most striking model. This camera can capture photographs with a resolution of 200MP, 50MP pixels (using four-in-one binning), or 12.5MP (using 16-in-one binning). Additionally, the phone offers a 2MP macro lens and an 8MP ultrawide camera.
The phone is notably different from its stablemates in that it supports 210W wired charging; according to Xiaomi, a full charge can be achieved in just nine minutes. Although you only get a 4,300mAh battery here, this high wattage comes at the expense of battery capacity.
Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus
Thought a 200MP smartphone with a larger battery would be cool? With the Pro Plus model, you get precisely that. The triple back camera system will have the same 200MP+8MP+2MP resolution as the Discovery Edition.
The Pro Plus variant, on the other hand, chooses a 5,000mAh battery and still blazing-fast 120W cable charging. Xiaomi claims that a full charge should be achieved in about 19 minutes.
Redmi Note 12 Pro
Have no interest in megapixels? The Redmi Note 12 Pro, which adds a 50MP IMX766 primary camera (f/1.88, OIS) in addition to the 8MP+2MP duo, fills this need. The Oppo Find X5 Pro and the Asus Zenfone 9 both feature flagship devices with 50MP sensors similar to this one. We therefore have high hopes that it will also produce acceptable image quality on the Note 12 Pro.
The Pro version additionally includes a 5,000mAh battery with 67W wired speeds. A 100% charge should be expected in a still quick 46 minutes.
Pricing and availability for the Redmi Note 12 series
The base 8GB/256GB variant of the Redmi Note 12 Discovery Edition costs 2,399 yuan (about $332), while the base 6GB/128GB model of the Redmi Note 12 Pro costs 1,699 yuan (about $235). Do you want Pro Plus? The 8GB/256GB variant thus has a starting price of 2,099 yuan (about $290).
Although Xiaomi acknowledged that these phones are currently limited to China, it advised us to “keep tuned” for international announcements. To be fair, the Chinese Redmi Note 11 series was very different from the international variants that debuted a few months later.
What Has Changed Over Time Between the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, Galaxy Z Fold 3, and Galaxy Z Fold 2?
We let the specs speak for themselves. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 compares to the Z Fold 3 and Z Fold 2 in the following table.
The revolutionary Galaxy Z Fold 4 from Samsung was released a few months ago. The foldable has the same $1,800 starting price as the Galaxy Z Fold 3 from the previous year. Samsung will need to convince consumers to pay up for its high-end devices this year, though, as a recession and record-high inflation are both predicted. But it would be difficult to find a better option than Samsung’s book-style foldables if you’re eager to ride the leading edge of foldable phone technology (and have the money to boot).
Continue reading Samsung Unpacked
Galaxy Z Fold 4, Z Flip 4, and Every Reveal from Samsung
Better Design, Same High Price for the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4
Galaxy Z Flip 4 from Samsung Gets New Software Features
The company calls its foldable phone-tablet, the Z Fold 4, a “multitasking powerhouse.” It features a higher-resolution display, the most recent Qualcomm chipset, Android 12L out of the box, and a new 1TB option. (Scroll to the bottom for a side-by-side spec comparison for more specific information.) The business claims that in addition to providing features like new gestures and an enhanced taskbar, it has tried to make multitasking more intuitive.
The camera system of the Z Fold 4 was also enhanced by Samsung. Three cameras—a 50-megapixel primary sensor, a 12-megapixel ultrawide sensor, and a 10-megapixel telephoto lens—are located on the back of the device. Both optical and digital zoom up to 10x are supported by that telephoto lens. In addition, there are two “front cameras.” The Z Fold 4’s main display has a 10-megapixel sensor, which is the most noticeable, while the internal screen has a 4-megapixel under-display camera.
Along with the updated specifications, Samsung stressed its desire to create foldable phones that are more environmentally friendly. The Fold 4 is the first of Samsung’s folding devices to employ parts manufactured from recycled fishing nets. There are several recycled components inside the phone, including the connector cap for the display and the bracket for the side keys. Nevertheless, it’s challenging to assess the significance of these changes without tearing them apart.
In relation to sustainability, Samsung claims the Z Fold 4 uses stronger materials. An “optimal layer structure,” which provides better damage prevention, is now used for its main cover. The typical aluminum frames and Gorilla Glass Victus on the cover and back support everything mentioned above.
The lack of dust resistance on the Z Fold 4 is still a drawback of its foldable nature. It still has the IPX8 classification from the previous year, meaning it can be immersed for up to 30 minutes in freshwater up to 1.5 meters deep. The Galaxy S22 line of smartphones, in contrast, features IP68 water- and dust-resistance, which means the devices can tolerate sand, grime, and dust. They can also be submerged for up to 30 minutes at a depth of 1.5 meters.
The S Pen storage slot is still missing, but Samsung has introduced a cover with a S Pen holder that is available for purchase separately. Check out the specs table below from CNET for more details on how Samsung’s cutting-edge Z Fold series has changed over time.
See how the Galaxy Z Flip and Galaxy Watch models compare for more information.
Galaxy Z Fold 4 vs. Z Fold 3 vs. Z Fold 2
|Galaxy Z Fold 4 5G||Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G||Galaxy Z Fold 2|
|Display size, resolution||Internal: 7.6-inch AMOLED (2,176×1,812 pixels); External: 6.2-inch HD Plus (2,316×904)||Internal: 7.6-inch AMOLED (2,208×1,768 pixels); External: 6.2-inch AMOLED (2,268×832 pixels);||Internal: 7.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED; External: 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED; 2,260×816 + 2,208×1,768 pixels|
|Pixel density||TBC||387ppi (external) + 374ppi (internal)||386ppi (external) + 373ppi (internal)|
|Dimensions (Millimeters)||Folded: 67.1×155.1×15.8mm (Hinge) ~14.2mm(Sagging). Unfolded: 130.1×155.1×6.3mm||Folded: 67x158x16mm (hinge) ~14.4mm (sagging). Unfolded: 128x158x6.4mm||Folded: 68.0×159.2×16.8mm (hinge) ~13.8mm (sagging). Unfolded: 128.2×159.2×6.9mm (frame) ~6.0mm (screen)|
|Weight (Ounces, Grams)||9.27 oz; 263g||9.56 oz; 271 g||10 oz; 282 g|
|Mobile software||Android 12L||Android 11||Android 10|
|Camera||50-megapixel (main), 12-megapixel (ultra-wide), 10-megapixel (telephoto)||12-megapixel (ultrawide), 12-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (telephoto)||12-megapixel (main) + 12-megapixel (wide angle) + 12-megapixel (telephoto)|
|Front-facing camera||4-megapixel (under display), 10-megapixel (front cover)||4-megapixel (under display), 10-megapixel (front cover)||10-megapixel, 10-megapixel|
|Processor||Snapdragon 8 Gen Plus 1||Qualcomm Snapdragon 888||Snapdragon 865 Plus|
|RAM/Storage||12GB + 256GB/512GB/1TB||12GB + 256GB/512GB||12GB + 256 GB|
|Battery/Charger||4,400 mAh||4,400 mAh||4,500 mAh|
|Special features||Foldable phone, 30x optical, 30x space zoom, IPX8, 25-watt fast-charging (no in-box charger)||5G-enabled; Foldable display, 120Hz refresh rate (front cover and main display), IPX8 water-resistance, S Pen support||Foldable display, 120Hz refresh rate, wireless charging support|
|Price (USD)||$1,800 (256 GB); $2,000 (512GB), $2160 (1TB)||$1,800 (256GB); $1,900 (512GB)||$1,999|
|Price (GBP)||TBC||£1,599 (256GB); £1,699 (512GB)||£1,799|
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