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posted by martyb on Wednesday February 27 2019, @08:07PM   Printer-friendly
from the When-are-they-going-to-hold-one-in-Mobile-AL? dept.

Related Stories

Royole Beats Samsung and Others in Race to Create the First Foldable Smartphone 15 comments

Royole's bendy-screen FlexPai phone unveiled in China

A little-known California-based company has laid claim to creating the "world's first foldable phone".

Royole Corporation - a specialist in manufacturing flexible displays - unveiled the FlexPai handset at an event in Beijing. When opened, the device presents a single display measuring 7.8in (19.8cm) - bigger than many tablets. But when folded up, it presents three separate smaller screens - on the front, rear and spine of the device.

The six-year-old company said it would hold three "flash sales" to consumers in China on 1 November to offer the first product run.

[...] The launch has caught many industry watchers by surprise. It was widely believed Samsung or Huawei would be the first to sell such a device to the public.

[...] Another company-watcher added that he doubted the FlexPai would ever be produced in large numbers. "Royole has carried out several publicity stunts over the years to showcase its flexible OLED [organic light-emitting diode] displays," said Dr Guillaume Chansin from Irimitech Consulting. "The FlexPai is probably another stunt. Royole is building its first OLED factory and it is now trying to compete directly with other display manufacturers such as Samsung and LG."

Samsung has been talking about this kind of thing for years. But talk is cheap.

Also at The Verge and BGR.

See also: The World's First Foldable Screen Phone Is Not Fully Baked

Related: Flexible and Printable Battery that Will Revolutionize Wearables
Underwriters Laboratories Certifies "Unbreakable" and Flexible Samsung OLED Display
Nubia's Wearable Smartphone is a Preview of our Flexible OLED Future


Original Submission

More on Royole's Foldable Smartphone, the FlexPai 8 comments

A closer look at Royole's foldable display

The FlexPai's anticipated December release seemingly came out of nowhere. Like competitors, Royole had shown off its proprietary folding technology as part of a standalone demos, but it hadn't teased the arrival of a smartphone until the device was ready to ship. It's a far cry, certainly, from the not ready for prime time prototype Samsung marched out on stage last month.

At an event in Shenzhen, CEO Bill Liu told TechCrunch that the company was built around the desire to bring the technology to market. "We started from the flexible displays and flexible sensors," he explained. "We started the company with a focus on the flexible displays and sensors. And then along the way, we realized this could be a huge application for the technology."

[...] It's a difficult problem and Royole solved it with in-house technologies. No one can take that away from the company. I can't say my initial apprehensions were ultimately dissuaded, however. The FlexPai mostly works as desired, but the execution isn't what ultimately the kind of premium product one would expect, given the ultra-premium price tag (around $1,300 American).

Liu happily dropped the phone a couple of times on stage, in an attempt to put to rest any durability question. While the display ultimately didn't crack or scratch, the flexible material looks almost like cellophane and sports crinkles that catch the light — the clarity also leaves something to be desire.

As far as portability, it's true that you can fold it up and stuff it in your pocket, though it's pretty chunky when you do so. Ultimately, these are first generation products — and likely a result of a company pushing to be first to market, knowing full well that companies like Samsung were breathing down its neck.

Don't be an early adopter.

Previously: Royole Beats Samsung and Others in Race to Create the First Foldable Smartphone
Google Will Support Foldable Devices; Samsung Announces 2019 Foldable Phone


Original Submission

Qualcomm Announces Snapdragon 8cx, an ARM Chip Intended for Laptops 17 comments

Qualcomm announces the Snapdragon 8cx, an 'extreme' processor for Windows laptops

The "X" stands for "extreme." That's what Qualcomm's marketing department wants you to think about the new eight-core Snapdragon 8cx.

It's a brand-new processor for always-connected Windows laptops and 2-in-1 convertible PCs, and from Qualcomm's perspective, it might seem a little extreme. Physically, it's the largest processor the company has ever made, with the most powerful CPU and GPU Qualcomm has devised yet. Qualcomm says it'll be the first 7nm chip for a PC platform, beating a struggling Intel to the punch, and the biggest performance leap for a Snapdragon ever. The company's promising "amazing battery life," and up to 2Gbps cellular connectivity.

The TDP is 7 Watts, and the chip supports up to 16GB of LPDDR4x RAM.

Previously, a "Snapdragon 1000" for laptops was said to be in the works, but with a 12 Watt TDP.

See also: Firefox running on a Qualcomm 8cx-powered PC feels surprisingly decent

Previously: First ARM Snapdragon-Based Windows 10 S Systems Announced
Snapdragon 845 Announced
ARM Aims to Match Intel 15-Watt Laptop CPU Performance
Intel Reportedly "Petitioned Microsoft Heavily" to Use x86 Instead of ARM Chips in Surface Go


Original Submission

Samsung Announces the Galaxy Fold, a Phone-Tablet Hybrid Device 15 comments

Samsung finally showed off its new foldable smartphone, the $1,980 Galaxy Fold

Samsung on Wednesday announced more details about its foldable smartphone, called the Galaxy Fold. At Samsung's Unpacked event, we finally saw what the Galaxy Fold will look like, having only seen the device in the shadows when the company announced its existence in November.

The device will use a "7nm" processor and include 12 GB of RAM and 512 GB of internal storage. Oddly enough, there is no microSD slot or headphone jack despite the device's size. Galaxy Fold will include six cameras.

See also: The Galaxy Fold makes no sense as a consumer device yet

With the Galaxy Fold, you spend big to get access to the beta test. The glimpses I got, brief though they were, during Samsung's live presentation of the Fold in London gave me reason to be wary. First and foremost, the inner display of the device never seems to fold out to be perfectly flat. Light reflections glinting off its surface in the presenter's hand exposed a slight ridge in the middle, a spine where the hinge resides and disturbs the flat plane. The left and right wings of the opened Galaxy Fold also reflected light at different angles. I know from my experience with the Royole Flexpai, the first foldable phone, just how hard it is to combine folding and flatness in one device. Judgment should be reserved until we've had a chance to hold one in our hands, but my first impression is that the Fold doesn't always have a perfect, undisturbed 7.3-inch tablet surface. It's a compromise.

As impressive as it is, the Samsung Galaxy Fold won't bring growth back to the smartphone market right now

Galaxy Fold will amaze you. Here's why you won't buy one

Also at Reuters, Bloomberg, and Wccftech.


Original Submission

Micron and SanDisk (Western Digital) Announce 1 TB MicroSD Cards 8 comments

Two companies have announced 1 terabyte microSDXC cards at Mobile World Congress 2019:

Micron's fingernail-sized card uses 96-layer 3D NAND configured as QLC (4bits/cell) storage and delivers up to 100MB/s read and 95MB/s write burst performance helped by a dynamically sized SLC cache.

WD's SanDisk's UHS-I microSDXC, meanwhile, boasts "up to" speeds of 160MB/s reads and 90MB/s writes.

[...] Random IO is up to 4,000 IOPS for reads and 2,000 for writes for both Micron and SanDisk's kit.

The SanDisk 1 TB microSD card will launch at $450 in April, or $200 for a 512 GB version.

The Secure Digital 3.01 specification defines a maximum capacity of 2 TB (2048 GB) for SDXC and microSDXC cards. The Secure Digital 7.0 specification introduced the Secure Digital Ultra Capacity (SDUC) format with a maximum capacity of 128 TB.

Also at Tom's Hardware, The Verge.

See also: 512 GB of UFS 3.0 Storage: Western Digital iNAND MC EU511

Previously: SanDisk Announces a 400 GB MicroSD Card
Half a Terabyte in Your Smartphone? Yup. That's Possible Now
Samsung Announces Production of 1 Terabyte Universal Flash Storage for Smartphones


Original Submission

You're Folding It Wrong: Tech Reviewers Break Samsung Galaxy Fold after Just Days of Use 25 comments

Reviewers are breaking Samsung's Galaxy Fold smartphone after just a day or two of use. Some have accidentally removed a protective film that Samsung warned should not be removed, but others, including CNBC and The Verge, have seen the devices break after normal use:

The phone has only been given to gadget reviewers, but some of the screens appear to be disconnecting and permanently flashing on or off.

The Verge's Dieter Bohn posted earlier on Wednesday that his phone appears to have a defective hinge with a "small bulge" that he can feel that's causing the screen to "slightly distort." Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says his "review unit is completely broken just two days in," but noted he accidentally removed a protective film on the screen.

YouTube tech reviewer Marques Brownlee also removed the film and experienced a broken display. A Samsung spokesperson had warned on Wednesday not to remove the protective layer.

However, CNBC didn't remove that layer, and our screen is now also failing to work properly. When opened, the left side of the flexible display, which makes up a large 7.3-inch screen, flickers consistently.

Previously: Samsung Announces the Galaxy Fold, a Phone-Tablet Hybrid Device
A Bunch of Mobile World Congress 2019 Stories


Original Submission

Oppo Introduces Proprietary Smartphone-Based Mesh Network Framework 8 comments

Oppo Introduces MeshTalk – An Ad Hoc LAN With 3km Communication Range

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Oppo has had an eventful time at the Mobile World Congress, Shanghai. The company became the world's first to introduce a new camera technology that will become mainstream in due course of time. Additionally, it also surprised everyone by launching an inter-device communication framework dubbed 'Meshtalk'.

[...] Oppo's MeshTalk is a first of its kind technology that's introduced by a smartphone manufacturer. Prior to MeshTalk, apps like FireChat allowed users to send each other messages and photos in the absence of traditional mediums of data exchange such as Cellular, WiFi and Bluetooth networks. MeshTalk, according to Oppo, will also allow users to make calls and send voice messages within a 3km radius in open fields. This radius can also be achieved in urban environments through a phone's relay claims the company.

Our early look at the technology suggests that it's nothing more than an application of the principles of wireless mesh modes to Oppo's smartphones. A Mesh network works by configuring a device to send and receive data packets from another device. For a smartphone, this means that a gadget's WiFi and Bluetooth radios can be configured to send and receive information from other similarly configured smartphones. The aforementioned FireChat app, for example, works according to these principles. However, Oppo claims that a 'custom chip' is behind MeshTalk, so maybe we're looking at a novel approach with the new technology.

Also at The Verge, BGR, and Android Authority.

Related: Oppo Likely to Release the First Smartphone With 10 GB of RAM
Oppo Smartphone Camera System Includes 10x "Hybrid Zoom"
Oppo Demonstrates 10x Optical Zoom for Smartphone Cameras
A Bunch of Mobile World Congress 2019 Stories


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by bob_super on Wednesday February 27 2019, @08:12PM (6 children)

    by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday February 27 2019, @08:12PM (#807790)

    And then went ridiculously overboard, with the 18mm super-battery phone:
    https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2019/02/energizers-beastly-smartphone-has-an-18000mah-battery/ [arstechnica.com]

    I'd rather get a 13mm version with a 10k battery and none of the odd design tradeoffs, but it's nice to see someone is ditching the slim trend...

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by DannyB on Wednesday February 27 2019, @08:29PM

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 27 2019, @08:29PM (#807797) Journal

      18000 mAh is NOT going overboard depending on the accessories you want it to have.

      On Amazon similar sized batteries [amazon.com] have cables with red/black clamps to jump start your car.

      That would be a cool phone accessory connector.

      But would they also take the cowardly route and include a headphone jack, compared to Apple's "courage" to omit the headphone jack?

      --
      Since nobody defrags SSDs anymore, they are more (or less?) prone to failure of their seek mechanisms.
    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 27 2019, @09:16PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 27 2019, @09:16PM (#807813)

      On one hand, I don't feel 18mm or 18Ah is at all unreasonable, as my current phone (Note3 with Zerolemon 10Ah extended battery) measures 17mm through the screen, and 19mm where the edge of the case lips over the phone. And my previous phone (N900 with Mugenpower extended battery) was right around the 3/4" mark as well. The thickness isn't a problem, and I wouldn't want any less capacity; with the ability to use it as a power bank, more would be in order.

      On the other hand, as that article points out, the P18K Pop is an astonishingly lazy chop job to claim a "world record". Does nothing to disturb my expectation that my next "smartphone" will be a Dragonbox Pyra tethered to a dumbphone.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 27 2019, @09:50PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 27 2019, @09:50PM (#807827)

        Just curious as to why the dumbphone? Why not simply get the Pyra model with the phone module in it?

        • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 27 2019, @10:00PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 27 2019, @10:00PM (#807829)

          I do expect to get that version anyway, but my understanding is it probably won't be allowed to work on Sprint's network, and T-mobile's network was (last I checked) awfully spotty around here. (I use Ting, an MVNO that resells both Sprint and T-mobile service.)

      • (Score: 2) by driverless on Thursday February 28 2019, @08:20AM

        by driverless (4770) on Thursday February 28 2019, @08:20AM (#808026)

        A Bunch of MWC 2019 Stories

        Married With Children is returning in 2019? Cool! Mind you I'm not sure how they'd cast it, Kelly is close to 50 by now. Al Bundy would work as a cranky old granddad... maybe Kelly as a 50-ish slapper, and Bud who's turned into another version of Al.

    • (Score: 2) by arslan on Wednesday February 27 2019, @09:29PM

      by arslan (3462) on Wednesday February 27 2019, @09:29PM (#807817)

      Well according to the article, the 16000mah model they announced last year never really made it to market.. so this could just be vaporware. Never knew there were energizer branded phones until now, looks like their marketing campaign worked.

  • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday February 27 2019, @08:31PM (9 children)

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 27 2019, @08:31PM (#807798) Journal

    I watched a YouTube video just yesterday evening of Samsung unveiling its folding phone.

    Bottom line, price is over: $1900.

    (I think it was $1950, but I could be mistaken.)

    --
    Since nobody defrags SSDs anymore, they are more (or less?) prone to failure of their seek mechanisms.
    • (Score: 2) by BsAtHome on Wednesday February 27 2019, @08:42PM (1 child)

      by BsAtHome (889) on Wednesday February 27 2019, @08:42PM (#807803)
      Well, the price is not a problem. This is a MUST HAVE, you know.

      A perfect example of: how to extract lots of money from people for something they do not need.

      At some stage, you will have <fill in absurd feature> for <fill in absurd overprice>. It is a natural marked development.
      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday February 27 2019, @09:42PM

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 27 2019, @09:42PM (#807825) Journal

        Or maybe extract money from developers who will customize their applications to the device in hopes of a big payday.

        --
        Since nobody defrags SSDs anymore, they are more (or less?) prone to failure of their seek mechanisms.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 27 2019, @09:15PM (5 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 27 2019, @09:15PM (#807812)

      It's an early adopter price.

      Maybe Samsung can't make millions of units right now. So they launch it at an absurd price to sell to early adopters who will beta test the product. People are paying $1k for other phones, so it works out.

      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday February 27 2019, @09:41PM (4 children)

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 27 2019, @09:41PM (#807824) Journal

        I recently paid just over $1K for a Pixel 3 XL. But I'm not sold on a folding phone. Maybe I'll give it a look one day when it's time to upgrade phones.

        --
        Since nobody defrags SSDs anymore, they are more (or less?) prone to failure of their seek mechanisms.
        • (Score: 2) by PartTimeZombie on Wednesday February 27 2019, @11:42PM (2 children)

          by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Wednesday February 27 2019, @11:42PM (#807869)

          It'll be really good in 4, 5 or 6 years. I will get one then and it can replace both my phone and tablet.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 28 2019, @01:02AM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 28 2019, @01:02AM (#807911)
            "Here is the basket, sir, please put all the eggs into it now."
            • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Thursday February 28 2019, @03:08PM

              by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 28 2019, @03:08PM (#808135) Journal

              A cloth bag. Better than a basket. Cloth bag offers the same well known kind of protection as a scrotum.

              --
              Since nobody defrags SSDs anymore, they are more (or less?) prone to failure of their seek mechanisms.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 28 2019, @02:31AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 28 2019, @02:31AM (#807942)

          I really wish I could justify spending the $$$ on a CAT S61 phone. It's about AU$1200.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 28 2019, @02:13AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 28 2019, @02:13AM (#807932)

      I expected what is basically two screens with a hinge reinforced to prevent cracking.
      How many times can that plastic hinge flex?

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by arslan on Wednesday February 27 2019, @09:32PM

    by arslan (3462) on Wednesday February 27 2019, @09:32PM (#807819)

    Looking at the comments of attendees, they can't really touch or test the folding toys - only the staff are allowed to. So i wonder what the durability of these are..

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 28 2019, @01:08AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 28 2019, @01:08AM (#807915)

    It's a genuinely interesting story, perhaps more than HP genesis I would say.

    IBM? Well, Apple doesn't have the historical Nazi connection, notwithstanding Steve Jobs' Syrian heritage (and being a total asshole).

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Thursday February 28 2019, @01:14AM (1 child)

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Thursday February 28 2019, @01:14AM (#807916) Journal

      WTF are you on about?

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 28 2019, @01:24AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 28 2019, @01:24AM (#807919)

        Thought it was MacWorld Conference (MWC). Nevermind, carry on.

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