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Flip phones are back

Holy smokes! The flip phone is back for 2017!

07 Mar 2017
Joseph

Seph

amaysim's tech geek

Rumours are flying that Samsung will release a game-changing phone in 2017. Although there hasn’t been an official announcement made just yet, evidence is stacking up.

All signs are pointing to a foldable – yes you read that right – foldable mobile phone. Think of it as the modern day reincarnation of our noughties tech staple, the trusty flip phone.

Let’s take a look over some of the clues floating around to get an idea of the pros and cons that might come with a flipping and folding phone.

Five things we know so far

  1. Samsung applied for a patent to secure the idea for a foldable phone a few years back, so the power is somewhat in their hands.
  2. The code name they are using is ‘Foldable Valley’. Somewhat more formally, it is known as ‘Samsung X’.
  3. This new phone will be flexible in appearance and function. When it’s unfolded, it could work as a tablet with the option for a bigger screen which would be pretty damn cool. Opening the device would increase the screen space, making it perfect for watching movies and YouTube vids on the go, writing emails, or reading on the commute to and from work.
  4. We think it will be released in the not so distant future – 2017 or 2018 for sure.
  5. Archrival to Samsung, LG, has also suggested that they will make a move for this new phone frontier, so it might become a competitive space.

The perks

Why a foldable phone could be awesome:

  • You can stow it away in your handbag and pockets.
  • No worrying about the phone bending if you sit on it (Apple, we’re looking at you! #BendGate) or cracking the screen if you drop it.

The pitfalls

While innovation is exciting, it isn’t always easy. Here are some of things that could miss the mark with foldable phones:

  • We can expect it to be on the pricey side, especially at first.
  • With new technology, hiccups and teething problems are unavoidable – so you might feel like a guinea pig.
  • Samsung might have a tough sell ahead of them after Galaxy Note 7 debacle. Would you be first in the queue?

This last point may explain why a launch date hasn’t been set. Samsung have openly said they want to make sure it works in the way they imagined it, which can only be good thing. If we’re going to be treated to a game-changing device, we want it to also be worth the wait.

Flexibility is the future

You could argue that the days of the old flip phone have been and gone, dying with the uptake of smartphones, but there are some considerable pros. An extra expandable screen could give us way more everyday flexibility and eliminate some of the pet peeves we have now around durability and ease of use.

One thing’s for certain, if anything close to the rumours come to life the Samsung X will get a warm welcome from all those who suffer from cracked screens, bent phones and indecisiveness when deciding on a screen size to purchase or which device to use. It could also be super cool and revolutionise the way we think about mobile devices.

While you’re waiting, don’t forget to treat yourself to a flexible mobile phone plan

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Pixel 5

Google Pixel 5: Everything we know so far

13 Aug 2020

Fresh on the heels of the Pixel 4A being announced, the hype train for the Google Pixel 5 is now well and truly underway.

After months of speculation about whether the Pixel 5 launch would be pushed back, Google put much of this chatter to rest by providing a sneak peak of the Pixel 5 during the recent launch of the Pixel 4A.


Last years flagship device, the Pixel 4, was a phone full of potential. As we've come to expect from the Pixel series, it featured an incredibly powerful camera, however its average battery life, held it back from being a serious contender for phone of the year.

While the Pixel 4 had its flaws, it was still a really good phone overall, and it will interesting to see how this years model, stacks up against other flagship models from 2020 such as the Samsung Galaxy S20 and Apple's highly anticipated iPhone 12.

With all this said, we wouldn't count Google out from delivering something special and with such a positive early response to the Pixel 4A, perhaps 2020 will prove to be the year of the Pixel.

To help bring you up to speed on what Google has in-store with this years flagship Pixel device, here's everything we know so far about the Pixel 5.

at a glance: rumoured Google Pixel 5 features

  • Expected October release
  • 5G connectivity
  • Android 11
  • New camera features; Adjustable Flash, Motion Blur & Audio Zoom
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G

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    Expect 5G

    It's widely expected the Pixel 5 will include 5Gconnectivity.

    The feature was all but confirmed in early August with the announcement of the Pixel 4A, where Google teased two new 5G devices, the Pixel 5 and a 5G version of the Pixel 4A, both of which are set to be released during the final quarter of 2020.

    Release Date

    Since the phone’s inception back in 2016, Google has remained incredibly consistent with their release schedule for the flagship Pixel series, with all previous launches taking place in October. This trend is set to continue, after a leak surfaced from a Google affiliated website in France, claiming the Pixel 5 will be available for pre-order from October 8.

    Android 11

    This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, since a beta version of Android 11 is already available for public download, however it’s expected the Pixel 5 will be the first device to don the latest Android software straight out the box.

    Some of the expected improvements and features of Android 11 include a new media player widget, easier ways to control smart home devices using your phone, a new power button menu and refinements to the messaging system and conversation bubbles.

    Pixel 5 Render
    Image Credit: Google

    Design & Display

    Last year Google teased images of the Pixel 4 in the months leading up to its official launch. This time round, the only confirmed sighting of the Pixel 5 has been the side image (seen above) which Google teased during the launch of the Pixel 4A.

    Outside of this image, there have been a number of different leaks floating about which have helped paint a picture of what this years phone might look like.

    Like the Pixel 4, it's expected the Pixel 5 will feature an OLED panel, with a matte glass finish on the back and full HD/QHD resolution. According to Front Page Tech who gained access to an early Pixel 5 prototype, a forehead bezel on the front side of the device is also expected to remain.

    In terms of refresh rate, last year we got to enjoy a smooth 90Hz experience with the Pixel 4. However with Samsung (and others) already making the jump to 120Hz and Apple reportedly looking to do the same with the iPhone 12, it will be interesting to see if Google sees this as an important feature upgrade and whether they'll look to roll out a 120Hz refresh rate with the Pixel 5.

    A Mighty Fine Camera

    While earlier leaks suggested the Pixel 5 would include a triple-lens camera on the rear of the device, more recent leaks suggest Google will once again opt for a two camera setup on the back.

    The quality of images with the Pixel 4 were outstanding, so it's not as if this should be a concern. For some though, the added flexibility of a third, wide angle lens, would of been the cherry on top, for a camera that many consider one of the top-tier mobile phone cameras.

    With that said, Google doesn't appear to be standing still, instead opting to fine-tune the Pixel's two-camera setup by adding new features.

    Expected new features include an adjustable camera flash, a new motion blur feature and the introduction of audio zoom, which will allow you to zoom in when recording video to help you capture audio more precisely.

    Long story short, it looks like we're in for a treat with this years camera setup.

    Under The Hood

    In the past, Pixel devices have typically featured the best Qualcomm chip available, which this year would be the Snapdragon 865 Plus. With the Pixel 5, this might not be case, with an inside scoop from 9to5Google suggesting the phone may be shipped with a Snapdragon 765G processor.

    The Snapdragon 765 is more of a mid-range chip, unlike the high-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 which powers the latest Samsung phones. This would suggest slightly less processing power than some of its competitors. With that said, the 765 is obviously no slouch and will still pack a solid punch in terms of performance.

    In terms of RAM, while it hasn't been a huge strength of the Pixel series in the past, there should be improvements on this front, with the Pixel 5 set to include 8GB of RAM in comparison to last years 6GB.

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