August has been an interesting month for the mobile technology world. It has brought us a much awaited flagship model from one of the key players on the market – and it does not disappoint.
Other mobile phone brands have also been busy putting together the final details before product launches or even leaking videos to stir curiosity and interest among consumers and specialists alike. One of the trends that we have recently noted in terms of phone launches is the growing segment of gaming phones. This month sees the official launch of a new model aimed at people who want to enjoy highly detailed graphics, animation and audio on a mobile device.
At the same time, Google’s latest mobile operating system is here and infused with artificial intelligence.
Now that we have your attention with this introduction, let’s go in detail with the key mobile technology news and events for August 2018:
Samsung Officially Launches Galaxy Note 9
It has the largest screen we have seen on a Samsung phablet and it has an advanced stylus, capable of performing advanced and precise tracing tasks. It is Samsung Galaxy Note 9 – the most recent flagship from the Korean-based producers – and it packs impressive specifications.
The first thing anyone will notice is the massive 6.4-inch screen. It follows the design trend of the Galaxy S9 and S9+ models launched earlier this year: no bezels, curved edges. It is a Super AMOLED screen with a 18:9 aspect ratio and a resolution of 1,440 x 2,960 pixels.
Under the case, the phablet is powered by a Snapdragon 845 or Exynos 9810 chip (the variation depends on the region of the world where the model is delivered). Matching this powerful processor, Samsung Galaxy Note 9 features 6GB or 8GB of RAM (we are now approaching the realm of computers).
Samsung understands that Galaxy Note 9 users are likely to store lots of data and files on it, so the phablet offers either 128GB or 512GB of storage space, depending on the version.
The improved S Pen stylus is now Bluetooth-enabled, allowing users to control the phone camera or video playback with the pointing device, without having to touch the phone itself.
Speaking of cameras, Samsung Galaxy Note 9 has a dual sensor rear camera, each sensor having a resolution of 12 MP and a fixed F2.4 lens aperture for one sensor, while for the other it can be switched between F1.5 and F2.4.
The latest Samsung flagship is being touted in advertisements as a device with a powerful battery that lasts “all day” – it is a 4,000 mAh battery, but how long it actually lasts certainly depends on usage patterns. For this model, Samsung decided to include the 3.5 mm headphones jack, in contrast with the trend among mobile premium models to ditch this in favor of wireless headphones.
Depending on the version, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 retails for $999-$1,249.
BlackBerry Releases Video Teaser for Key2 LE Ahead of Official Launch
The low-end replacement of the Key2 model, BlackBerry Key2 LE is expected to be launched at the IFA Berlin event at the beginning of September. However, the company has released a short video teaser on its official Twitter account. The 10-second video shows the textured back of the phone and has the caption: “Almost time for a new introduction”.
The video does not shed any light on the rumored specifications of the upcoming BlackBerry Key2 LE, save for the design of the back case, which features a fine texture of circles, for optimal grip.
However, Android Police released an alleged photo of the device – back and front – a few weeks ago. From the image, it appears that Key2 LE will feature the physical QWERTY keyboard specific to BlackBerry devices, with the fingerprint sensor placed on the space bar. The photo is accompanied by the specifications of the new BlackBerry model: Snapdragon 636 chipset, 4 GB RAM, 4.5-inch display and 32/64 GB of storage.
Vivo X23 to Be Launched on September 6
If August is the month of announcements, September appears to be the month of launches. A mobile phone which raised a lot of rumor in the mobile tech world will finally be available for purchase. We are talking about Vivo X23, which features an innovative under the screen fingerprint sensor.
The phone has already been featured on a few unofficial leaked photos, as well as on a few official teaser images posted by Vivo on its website. These images leave the impression that the phone will follow the most recent design trends, without edges and with a minimal bezel at the top.
According to Geekbench certification platform, the first tests indicate that Vivo X23 will have the following specifications:
Snapdragon 710 chipset
8 GB Ram
Full HD+ resolution
AI dual camera
Honor Announces Its First Gaming Phone
Gamers will soon have an alternative to the Razer Phone: Honor Play, which will be officially announced at the company’s press conference at IFA Berlin 2018.
What we know so far is that the phone will feature the largest screen seen on any Honor phone – 6.3-inch, with a 19:5:9 aspect ratio, Full HD+ resolution and 409 pixels-per-inch. The gaming phone will be powered by a top level HiSilicon Kirin 970 chipset and will have 4 GB/6 GB of RAM, depending on the area where the phone will be sold.
The storage space is not very impressive – 64 GB – but Honor Play will support a microSD card with the capacity of up to 256 GB. As for the operating system, the gaming phone developed by Honor will run on Emotion UI 8.1, the company’s customized version of Android 8.1 Oreo. The phone will also feature a 3.750 mAh battery, which will give users some good hours of continuous game play.
Android 9 Pie OS Will Feature Artificial Intelligence
Google has revealed details on its next mobile operating system – Android 9 Pie. The OS will rely heavily on AI to learn the users’ behavior, optimize phone use experiences and allow owners to better customize their phones.
The vice president of product management for Android and Google Play at Google, Sameer Samat, explained in a blog post: “From predicting your next task so you can jump right into the action you want to take, to prioritizing battery power for the apps you use most, to helping you disconnect from your phone at the end of the day, Android 9 adapts to your life and the ways you like to use your phone”.
Thus, Android 9 will feature Adaptive Brightness and Adaptive Battery AI settings. The first feature will learn the level of brightness the user prefers in different conditions (daytime, nighttime, reading, watching videos, etc.) and automatically adjust brightness as soon as each of these conditions occurs.
Adaptive Battery makes use of the DeepMind systems developed by Google to understand and interpret individual phone usage patterns in order to optimize battery life through automatic adjustments. So far users of the Android P beta programme on Google Pixels have found 20% increase in battery life.
Another new feature of Android 9 will be App Actions, which learns what apps each phone owner uses at specific moments of the day and makes suggestions based on this studied behavior. For instance, if a user opens the Gmail apps every day at 8:30 a.m. during commute, App Actions will ask them each morning at that hour whether they want to open the respective app.