The first month of the year is always an exciting one for everyone who is interested in mobile technology. We are referring, of course, to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) held each year in Las Vegas, Nevada. This year the event was marked by a massive power outage on Wednesday, 10 January, which lasted almost two hours.
But apart from this unpleasant occurrence, CES 2018 was the launching pad for a few interesting mobile concepts which we will detail below. Moving on from CES, we have a confirmation for the launch date for the next flagship smartphone by Samsung – despite the rumor that it would be presented at the Las Vegas show.
Further on, things are moving in an interesting direction on the market for smartphone chipsets…but let us stop the introductions and really delve into the most important events for the mobile technology news that took place in January 2018.
CES 2018 – Under the Sign of All Things Smart
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
“Smart” was, without a doubt, the adequate keyword to describe the Consumer Electronics Show. Companies from all over the world proposed all sorts of smart devices for the home, from light switches to bathtubs. This tendency places an ever-increasing importance on smartphones – the devices which may soon be used to control everything in the home of the future, from garage doors to lights, the TV set and, why not, the water temperature for a hot bath.
Speaking of smartphones, CES 2018 confirmed a few rumors, such as the arrival into the US of BlackBerry Motion, Huawei Mate 10 Pro and Huawei Honor View 10. Samsung did not launch a new flagship, but a Chinese phone brand – Vivo – managed to steal the show by presenting the first mobile phone in the world with an in-screen fingerprint reader.
Razer also presented an original concept: Project Linda, the laptop which uses a smartphone as a finger trackpad. The laptop also uses the processing power of the phone instead of an Intel chip – we are talking of a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 CPU.
Razer - Project Linda
Qualcomm Signs Memorandum of Understanding with Five Chinese Phone Brands
The biggest phone chipset maker has recently concluded a significant non-binding memorandum of understanding with Lenovo, Oppo, ZTE, Vivo, Xiaomi, and Wingtech. According to the agreement, which was announced during a Qualcomm event in Beijing, the five mobile phone brands will be purchasing the Qualcomm chipset (worth $2 billion) during the next three years.
At the same times, the companies agreed to join efforts in order to be able to offer to the public 5G compatible smartphones. This new deal confirms the growing role of second tier phone makers, especially China based producers.
Newly Launched Mobile Operating System Vows to Put User Privacy First
Project eelo promises to give smartphone owners full control over their devices and to let them decide whether, and to what extent, they agree to have their actions tracked and monetized. In a world with raising concerns in terms of privacy and personal data protection, there is little surprise that this prototype of mobile operating system has reached its funding goals by 200% after only 15 days on Kickstarter.
An open source mobile OS, eelo will offer various downloadable ROMs for a specific range of devices this year. The project originator is a well-known name in the world of open source software development: Gaёl Duval, who created the Linux distribution named Mandrake in 1998.
The video below explains how eelo works. So far over 2,000 people have registered on eelo.io to receive updates.
Samsung Unveils Its Latest AI-Powered Chip
Before mobile technology aficionados can feast their eyes on the next flagship model by Samsung, they can take a close look at Exynos 9 Series 9810 – the chip which will be equipped on the next generation of Samsung phones.
The AI-ready chip consists of eight processing cores capable of a maximum clocking of 2.90 GHz, and will offer 40% more performance compared to the 2017 version. However, the new chip is significantly improved in terms of artificial intelligence – being capable of deep learning tasks through the AI neural network.
The Exynos 9810 chip will be able, for instance, to recognize objects and faces in photos, and the possibilities do not stop here. This may be just the start of new security capabilities, such as iris and face scanning in fine details, as well as storing this sensitive biometric data in a special secure unit within the chip.
Official Launch Date for Samsung Galaxy 9 and 9+ Confirmed: 25 February
On January 25, Samsung started sending the official invitations to members of the press for the event when Samsung Galaxy 9 and 9+ will be launched. After several delays, the event date was set for February 25.
The invitation does not give any clues concerning the new features of the next generation of Samsung flagship phones. The invitation card features a large figure 9 and the words “The camera. Reimagined.” Rumors state that this teaser is the confirmation of leaked photos: a higher frame rate in slow motion and a redesigned camera arrangement on the back, with the fingerprint sensor placed underneath it.