Weekly poll results: CPU throttling isn’t cool

 

This spring Apple iOS 11.3 will provide an option to view your battery health and turn off Dynamic Power Management (name to be confirmed by Apple).

This will stop your iPhone CPU being slowed down or ‘throttled’ to avoid the unexpected shutdown bug that Apple previously addressed in iOS 10.2.1.

Our poll showed that the large majority of you, 73% in fact, will be taking advantage of the new option and will be turning off Dynamic Power Management even if that meant occasional unexpected shutdowns.

Sunday debate: Are phones getting too expensive?

 

Apple just announced that they’ve sold less iPhones but made more revenue. In this episode of the Sunday debate we discuss if phones are getting too expensive?

Paul: “No – they’re no different to any other category”

Rookie mistake, we’ve all made them, mine was once asking my wife “How much did those cost?” while she was showing off her new shoes! After I spat out my breakfast upon hearing the response – I then proceeded to ask if they did anything else for that price – hover shoes perhaps, walk up walls or constructed from some amazing new material ensuring they’d be the last pair of shoes she’d ever need!

Firstly, phones are no different to numerous other product categories that we buy into, at one end of the spectrum there is a price bracket that transcends the sum of the bill of materials and becomes more to individuals. I use this analogy to reaffirm the point that now more than ever people buy phones to also make a statement about themselves and price be damned. This is the supply and demand element. iPhone X was Apple’s top selling iPhone every week since it shipped – people buy it and it will continue to sell it.

It’s very easy to focus only on the cost of flagship devices, and if ALL phones were at flagship prices then I’d be on the other side of this argument. But there are phones for all our needs and budgets.

If I take Apple as a case in point, over the years as it launches new models the company reduces the price of its previous flagships and supplement these with additional entry level models (iPhone SE and previously the 5c). As such, it now has a range of iPhones that range from the $349 iPhone SE through to the $999 iPhone X. Not much different than Samsung, where you can start even lower with a $150 Samsung Galaxy J3 before it tops off with the $950 Galaxy Note8.

Now before you head off to the comments section, yes – I know an entry level phone may not be of any use to you at all. This is simply the starting point where we will then see what we’re going to use our phone for and what’s important to us and layer on the features in line with those priorities and the subsequent cost implications.

Steve Jobs justifying/spinning the original iPhone launch price

I remember when Steve Jobs unveiled the original iPhone, he justified the price of the new iPhone by stating currently the populace carried a smartphone and an iPod and then stating what this combo didn’t do that the new iPhone would do. And by the way, today’s iPhone SE is cheaper than the original iPhone.

When you buy your shiny new phone you’re also paying for the huge amount of time and money that goes into Research & Development (R&D) that goes into those devices. Samsung & Apple alone spend circa $10 billion in R&D in order to bring you the latest innovations in the mobile space.

These innovations ultimately cascade down to other more cost effective models within a manufactures range. In some circumstances, as new technology and manufacturing processes are created, these then become available to other manufactures to adopt – benefiting the industry and ultimately consumers too.

Without this R&D investment we could all end up with phones like those used by Matt Damon in his recent movie Downsizing.

Without the revenues to re-invest in R&D we could all end up using phones like these

Your hard earned money are also invested in manufacturers’ post sales support teams and processes.

This is best exemplified by Samsung’s and Apple’s responses to their battery related issues in the last year or so. Their ability to act and absorb the subsequent costs was, quite frankly, bang in line with what us as consumers required. While another manufacturer may have been able to drop battery replacements to $29, could it have sustained this and how long would it have been before they went out of business?

One departing thought, still think phones are too expensive?


Peter: “Yes, we are being ripped off”

Phones have gotten too expensive, not just in terms of unit price but also in how much you spend a year. Here’s the thing – carriers and makers are pushing you to upgrade faster.

Not so long ago, contracts were 24 months long, which determined many people’s upgrade schedule. Now you get 18 month fast upgrade programs. If you calculate the total cost of ownership, you’ll see those are a bad deal.

It’s not just carriers pushing you to upgrade faster, though, makers are partly to blame as well. You can hardly repair a phone these days with screens bonded to the glass and batteries sealed away behind proprietary screws and copious amounts of glue.

Plus, most makers (Apple is a notable exception) push out two flagships a year. You have to accept the fact that you’ll never have the “latest and greatest” device for longer than 6 months. And once you accept that, waiting a year or two to get “flagship” features on a mid-ranger is not hard to contemplate.

There’s another angle – the cost of a phone isn’t written on its price tag. Instead, you can buy an expensive phone now, sell it down the line (while it still holds its value) and jump on a new one. You get more value than through a carriers fast upgrade program (or a trade-in program), but it’s definitely more hassle.

And I don’t like hassle. Instead, I keep my phones for years. By the time I’m in the market for a new phone, it’s not worth it to sell the old one. But with a bit of smart shopping, I can get a phone that lasts me a long time.

I had an Xperia ray (I wanted a tiny phone), the XDA community kept it alive forever. I got a Galaxy S4 LTE-A on the cheap after the S5 was announced, it had almost the same chipset and screen. Now I have a OnePlus 3T, it was a great deal for a metal-clad phone with an AMOLED screen (after the S4, I’m not going back to LCD, but its plasticy body aged poorly).

That’s my strategy – I don’t pay much for phones to begin with and I make sure I can squeeze out every drop of value. I look for the features I want, ignore the ones I don’t need and check the OS upgrade situation (official and otherwise).

 

Are phones getting too expensive?

Weekly poll: How long should phones get OS updates?

 

Getting a major OS update is almost like buying a new phone – you get a host of new features, (hopefully) faster software and occasionally a complete overhaul of the UI. It’s actually better than a new phone, it’s free!

Yep, phones never had the PC model where a new version of the OS is something you buy. That’s good on the surface, but there’s a flip side. You can update a 10-year old PC to Windows 10 without waiting on its manufacturer. You probably shouldn’t, but you can.

With phones, you pay nothing for updates and sometimes you get your money’s worth. That’s not true for all brands, of course. Google, for example, commits to deliver major Android updates to the Pixel 2 phones for 3 years (longer for just security updates). Sony just announced it would support its flagships for two years.

That’s fine, but the cost of the update is built into the cost of the phone – we shouldn’t have to tell you how expensive the Pixels are and Sony’s more affordable phones don’t get the firm 2 year commitment.

The upgrade potential of a phone is something we always consider – it expands the useful life of a phone. We might not recommend a phone by a brand with a spotty upgrade history, for example.

So, how long do you expect makers to support their phones (all phones, not just flagships)? Obviously “forever” is impractical, but 1 year may be too little.

 

For how long should phones get OS updates?

Week 5 in review: Galaxy S9 leaks continue, Meizu 15 Plus creeps in

 

We’re now into February and getting closer to the Mobile World Congress, which kicks off in under a month, and the most read articles of the past week are mostly focused on that. As was the case the past week, the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ harnessed the amassed the most attention.

This week we saw renders and schematics of the duo, we saw its components pictured and its price and availability details unearthed. We hope that when Samsung takes the wraps off its two flagships on February 25 there will be something that we don’t already know.

The article which was tossed around the most this past week was the Meizu 15 Plus leak, the bezel-free front really catches the attention.

Google finalized its $1.1B acquisition deal with HTC for its Pixel team and intellectual property, Motorola launched a 6GB of RAM Moto X4, vivo Xplay7 surfaced with 10GB of RAM and Nokia 8 Sirocco popped up as a trademark.

Check out the full list of most-read articles below and check back here on Monday!

The phone will have a bezel-less screen on the front; dual cameras with a 10-LED flash on the back.

 

dbrand shows off its Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ skins ahead of schedule

This gives us another look at the S9 duo along with a ton of options to cover up the glass back.

 

CAD schematics highlight the miniscule design changes for the Galaxy S9

The camera/fingerprint reader assembly on the back is a major change, everything else is more or less the same.

 

18:9 Sony Xperia Compact certified by the FCC

The phone sports a 5″ screen, but is only as wide as the Xperia XZ1 Compact.

 

Samsung Galaxy S9 pre-order and pricing for South Korea revealed

The phones will cost the same as the Galaxy S8, to arrive for pre-order on March 2, to ship on March 8.

 

Google finalizes $1.1B acquisition deal with HTC

The acquisition of the Pixel team and HTC’s intellectual property for $1.1B is completed.

 

Galaxy S9 components (including battery) pictured

The battery capacity matches the values from the Brazilian certificates. As a bonus: three images from S9’s promo campaign.

 

Motorola launches Moto X4 with 6GB RAM and Oreo

Will be available exclusively on Flipkart and Moto Hubs across India.

 

iPhone X Bentley Edition spells boastful with a winged B

Gold inlay makes the glass back look ritzy.

 

vivo Xplay7 incoming with 10GB of RAM

It could also have a 4K display and up to 512GB of storage.

 

Nokia 8 Sirocco trademarked, a premium name will be reborn

The trademark lists TA-1005 – a model name previously associated with the Nokia 9 due to several hardware upgrades.

 

HMD Global renews Nokia's Xpress-on trademark

Replaceable phone covers are coming back?

 

Top 10 trending phones of week 5

 

Despite being still unofficial the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 keeps leading our popularity charts as global markets eagerly wait its announcement.

The Xioami Mi A1 takes second for the third week in a row, while below it the Galaxy J7 Pro has beaten the Samsung Galaxy A8 (2018) for third place.

Yet another phone that’s yet to be announced but is already among the 10 most popular is the Galaxy S9 – the upcoming flagship jumping straight to fifth spot.

The Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus rose to sixth, pushing the Oppo F5 down a spot compared to last week.

Samsung Galaxy A8+ (2018) sits in eight, ahead of the Xiaomi Redmi 5A and the Galaxy S8.
The Samsung Galaxy Note8 didn’t make the chart and neither did the Huawei Honor 9 Lite.

OnePlus 5T Oreo update now arriving as OxygenOS 5.0.3

 

The OnePlus 5T Oreo update, as some you might already know, started rolling out late last month. It arrived as OxygenOS 5.0.2. However, due to some issues, the roll out was temporarily stopped. Good news is the update has again started rolling out, and this times, it’s arriving as OxygenOS 5.0.3.

As for changes, most of them remain the same, just that the change-log now mentions some fixed issues. If you’ve been waiting for the OTA notification, your wait shouldn’t be too long now.

Source | Via

Samsung Galaxy S8 Oreo update may not arrive until February end in some markets

 

With Samsung recently detailing its Experience 9 software suite, it’s reasonable to assume the Galaxy S8/S8+ Oreo update roll out is imminent. However, some markets, it appears, will have to wait longer for the update.

A user from the Maghreb region of North Africa (which consists of Algeria, Morocco Tunisia, Libya and Mauritania) got in touch with Samsung support to enquire about the update, and was told the roll out is scheduled for February end.

There’s currently no official information on which markets will get the update first and exactly when, but what now looks apparent is that the roll out won’t complete anytime before Q1 this year.

Via

Red Honor 7X arrives in US for St. Valentine’s Day

 

Two months ago the Honor 7X was officially introduced to global markets. Now the Huawei subsidiary midranger is making its way to the United States in a classy Flame Red color. According to Honor, the launch is related to the upcoming St. Valentine’s Day next week, matching LG’s strategy with the new Raspberry Rose V30.

Aside from the color, everything else in the new variant is the same as the original Honor 7X. It has 5.93” FullView display, Kirin 659 chipset, dual cameras and 32 GB internal storage. The battery is 3,340 mAh and the OS is Android Nougat with EMUI 5.1 plastered all over it. The US version of the Honor 7X comes with 3 GB RAM.

The special color has the same price as the initially introduced Black and Blue options – $199.99. The 7X is available at retailers like BestBuy and Amazon as well as Honor’s own online store, but beware – the phone works only on AT&T and T-Mobile networks.

Source

Nokia 7 plus will be the first Nokia with 18:9 screen

 

The Nokia 7 plus will be the first Nokia phone to have the new-standard 18:9 screen and that screen will stretch 6-inches across. The screen will sit underneath Gorilla Glass while the back of the Nokia 7 Plus will be made of aluminum and house a dual camera with Zeiss branding.

The camera will offer 2x zoom thanks to a “wide” 12MP and “tele” 13MP snappers. The cameras will be bolstered by Nokia’s Pro mode for fine shooting parameters control and will be able to capture “Bothies” with the aid of the front-facing snapper (said to be a 16MP one).


Nokia 7 Plus specs leak

Nokia 7 plus specs leak

The Nokia 7 plus will also feature a dual-tone design thanks to a few gilded bits and pieces like the fingerprint scanner ring, the dual-camera casing and the Nokia logo on the back. The aluminum is said to have a Ceramic texture and feel, meaning it should be less slippery than plain aluminum.

To complete the list of expected specs the Nokia 7 plus will be powered by a Snapdragon 660, as previously known, mated to 4GB of RAM and 64GB storage and a microSD slot. USB-C port with Quick Charging and Android Oreo out of the box are the other highlights.

Source | Via 1 | 2

Infinite Red V7+ is vivo’s offer for St. Valentine’s Day

 

Several months ago vivo released the V7+ in Energetic Blue, and today the 6” phone gets another color option – Infinite Red. The phone, designed in collaboration with Manish Malhotra, famous Indian fashion guru, comes just in time for St. Valentine’s Day.

The fashion designer said the collaboration created a phone “that symbolizes the spirit of youth and infinite love.” Kenny Zeng, CMO at vivo India, added the launch is “an opportunity for consumers to express their love in a more elegant and captivating manner.”

The vivo V7+ comes with a red back panel, engraved with a floral infinity love logo. There is also a red UI theme with a custom wallpaper. There are no hardware changes on the inside – an 18:9 display with HD+ resolution, Snapdragon 450 chipset, and 4 GB RAM.

Amazon India, vivo’s own store, and offline retailers are already selling the Infinite Red vivo V7+ for INR22,900 (around $357/€287). There are some exclusive offers with coupons for Book My Show and Ferns N Petals worth INR500 each and INR3,000 off on the exchange of smartphones.

The new V7+ is yet another phone to get a new color for February 14, after the Red Honor 7X and the Raspberry Rose LG V30.

Source