Category: mobile phones

June 3, 2019 Off

Oppo and Xiaomi tease under-screen selfie cameras for smartphones

By Jill T Frey


The next innovation in mobile is peeking its head for all to see today after Chinese companies Oppo and Xiaomi both showed off under-screen cameras.

Apple’s notch set the ball rolling as a new way to pack a front-facing camera without compromising on the screen size, but it is already feeling date. The industry has since given us smartphone cameras that pop out, flip up and slide out, while the hole-punch condenses the notch further still, but the next stage is going under the screen for full invisibility.

The benefits are obvious. There’s no compromise on the front screen, which is now 100 percent screen, and removing moving parts means no concern for potential damage — but can it be done well enough?

Oppo VP Brian Shen teased his company’s early effort on Weibo. The video, which was later shared by Oppo’s Twitter account, doesn’t have a … Read the rest

June 1, 2019 Off

Foxconn halts production lines for Huawei phones, according to reports

By Jill T Frey

Huawei, the Chinese technology giant whose devices are at the center of a far-reaching trade dispute between the U.S. and Chinese governments, is reducing orders for new phones, according to a report in The South China Morning Post.

According to unnamed sources, the Taiwanese technology manufacturer Foxconn has halted production lines for several Huawei phones after the Shenzhen-based company reduced orders. Foxconn also makes devices for most of the major smart phone vendors including Apple and Xiaomi (in addition to Huawei).

In the aftermath of President Donald Trump’s declaration of a “national emergency” to protect U.S. networks from foreign technologies, Huawei and several of its affiliates were barred from acquiring technologies from U.S. companies.

The blacklist has impacted multiple lines of Huawei’s business including it handset manufacturing capabilities given the company’s reliance on Google’s Android … Read the rest

May 20, 2019 Off

Smart TVs add fuel to Xiaomi’s Q1 earnings

By Jill T Frey

Chinese smartphone company Xiaomi just released its first quarterly results since announcing its $1.48 billion pledge to focus on smartphones and “AIoT,” an acronym for Internet of Things powered by artificial intelligence.

Xiaomi’s adjusted net profit for the first quarter increased 22.4% year-over-year to 2.1 billion yuan ($300 million), while total revenue climbed 27.2% to 43.8 billion yuan ($6.33 billion).

Sales in India, where Xiaomi handsets dominate, as well as other countries outside China, continued to be a bright spot for the company. International markets brought in 38% of its total revenue over the first quarter, representing a 35% increase. Xiaomi’s overseas momentum came amid a global slowdown in the smartphone sector and at a time its rival Huawei copes with a technology ban that threatens to hobble international sales.

Smartphones remained as Xiaomi’s biggest revenue driver, though the segment had shrunk from 67.5% of total revenue in Q1 … Read the rest

May 16, 2019 Off

The Meizu 16s offers flagship features at a mid-range price

By Jill T Frey

Smartphones have gotten more expensive over the last few years even though there have only been a handful of recent innovations that really changed the way you interact with the phone. It’s maybe no surprise then that there is suddenly a lot more interest in mid-range, sub-$500 phones again. In the U.S., Google’s new Pixel 3a, with its superb camera, is bringing a lot of credibility to this segment. Outside the U.S., though, you can often get a flagship phone for less than $500 that makes none of the trade-offs typically associated with a mid-range phone. So when Meizu asked me to take a look at its new 16s flagship, which features (almost) everything you’d expect from a high-end Android phone, I couldn’t resist.

Meizu, of course, is essentially a total unknown in the U.S., even though it has a sizable global presence elsewhere. After a week with its latest … Read the rest

April 29, 2019 Off

Is this the vertical-folding Motorola Razr?

By Jill T Frey

This could be the upcoming Motorola Razr revival. The images purporting to be the upcoming smartphone appeared online on Weibo and show a foldable design. Unlike Galaxy Fold, though, Motorola’s implementation has the phone folding vertically — much like the original Razr.

This design offers a more compelling use case than other foldables. Instead of a traditional smartphone unfolding to a tablet-like display, Motorola’s design has a smaller device unfolding to a smartphone display. The result is a smaller phone turning into a normal phone.

Pricing is still unclear, but the WSJ previously stated it would carry a $1,500 cost when it’s eventually released. If it’s released.

Samsung was the first to market with the Galaxy Fold. Kind of. A few journalists were given Galaxy Fold units ahead of its launch, but a handful of units failed in the first days. Samsung quickly postponed the launch and recalled all the … Read the rest