OnePlus 7, OnePlus 7 Pro launch likely on May 14: Here’s what could change from OnePlus 6T

OnePlus 7 has been all over the news recently and while the OnePlus CEO has claimed that he will be revealing some details about the upcoming OnePlus 7 lineup soon, a new leak has already given us some key information about the smartphone. If a recent report is to be believed, the company will launch a standard OnePlus 7, OnePlus 7 Pro and OnePlus 7 Pro 5G versions this year.

According to a report by OnLeaks and Pricebaba, the OnePlus 7 might sport a display notch housing the front camera while at the back, there will be a dual rear camera module. On the other hand, Steve H.McFly of OnLeaks has also tweeted an image which shows that the OnePlus 7 Pro will come with triple rear cameras and a pop-up selfie camera.

Steve also claimed that OnePlus will be hosting a launch event on May 14 and the standard OnePlus 7 will come with a 6.4-inch flat display featuring a waterdrop display notch housing the front camera and a dual rear camera setup featuring a 48-megapixel primary sensor. On the other hand, the OnePlus 7 Pro will sport a 6.64-inch curved display, pop-selfie camera and triple rear camera setup featuring a 48-megapixel primary sensor, a telephoto lens and an ultra-wide sensor. Moreover, the tweet also mentions the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G version which is also expected to be launched this year.

Recently, Pete Lau, the OnePlus CEO, also teased the upcoming OnePlus 7 smartphone via Twitter stating that the new device will be unleash a new era of Fast and Smooth.

As for other leaks, the OnePlus 7, OnePlus 7 Pro and the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G are expected to be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor and will run Android 9.0 Pie on top of OxygenOS. All the OnePlus 7 models are further expected to be backed by a 4,150mAh battery along with Dash charge or Wrap charge support. Meanwhile, the company has confirmed that it won’t be going for wireless charging technology for this year’s smartphones as they believe that their wired charging technology is far ahead of it in terms of performance.

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Breaking: Galaxy S10 gets dedicated Night mode in camera with new update

Samsung’s latest update for the Galaxy S10 brings a dedicated Night mode to the camera app. It was rumored before that the company would be bringing a dedicated Night mode to its latest flagships with a software update in late April or early May, and that’s exactly what has happened. This update also includes the April 2019 security patch and is available in Switzerland at the moment.

It seems Samsung has simply spun out the Bright Night feature into a separate Night mode, so the quality of photos with Night mode active is the same as it would be with Bright Night doing its thing. However, the highlight with this update is that you can now take photos in Night mode anytime you want, instead of the phone deciding when to take long exposure shots, which was rather problematic considering the feature only kicked in when it was extremely dark.

A dedicated mode for shooting in the dark should have been on the Galaxy S10 from day one, but better late than never, right? Hopefully, Samsung is also working on further improvements to the Galaxy S10’s low-light capabilities, as Night mode continues to produce noisy, soft pictures without any of the sharpness we see on competing devices like Google’s Pixel phones and Huawei’s P20 Pro or Mate 20 Pro.

The new update is yet to arrive in any country other than Switzerland, but the rollout should expand in the coming days. You can also keep checking if it’s available by tapping Download and install in the Settings » Software update menu from time to time, and we’ll update this post once more markets start receiving the update.

Source: SamMobile

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Samsung Galaxy Fold phones are breaking. Here’s why it doesn’t matter

The Samsung Galaxy Fold is launching next week as planned, despite reports from some early reviewers that their devices broke after just a few days of use.

It might seem like a risky move for Samsung (SSNLF) to move forward with the launch on schedule, but the company has a lot riding on the luxury $1,980 device — a 4.6 inch-smartphone that opens up into a 7.3-inch tablet.

Analysts say the device could shake up the mobile device market, which has plateaued in terms of both sales and innovative new features. Pre-orders of the Galaxy Fold have already sold out online. (Samsung declined to share how many were originally available.)

But now Samsung is grappling with news that some reviewers discovered defective hinges and their screens broke after removing the Fold’s protective film. In a statement sent to CNN Business, the company said “removing the protective layer or adding adhesives to the main display may cause damage. We will ensure this information is clearly delivered to our customers.”

Moving ahead would be risky for any company, but the stakes are higher for Samsung given its history. The South Korean company has worked hard for the past two and a half years to win back consumer trust following its Galaxy Note 7 debacle. Millions of those devices had to be recalled due to reports of exploding batteries.

Despite this week’s setback, experts say the Galaxy Fold isn’t necessarily dead on arrival.

“Was the [Galaxy Fold] risky? Of course,” IDC research director Ramon Llamas told CNN Business. “But risk travels hand in hand with innovation, and something that companies have learned to embrace. Very rarely does a first-generation product — especially something as hyped up as this one — live up to expectations.”

It’s currently unclear if these are isolated incidents or part of a larger issue, but not pushing back its April 26 launch potentially suggests Samsung believes it is the former. The company said it will “thoroughly inspect these units in person to determine the cause of the matter.”

Either way, it will be critical for Samsung to be transparent about what it learns and move swiftly. “Samsung needs to look into these cases quickly and be clear with the public, particularly those with pre-orders, about the cause of the issues, how they will be fixed, and how they will be prevented moving forwards,” said Stephanie Tomsett, research analyst at ABI Research. “Consumers are likely to be concerned about this news, and their concerns need to be addressed to ensure that this new device is as popular as previously expected.”

An attendee holds a Samsung Galaxy Fold device during an unveiling event in New York.

Following the Galaxy Note 7 recall, the company redesigned its battery system to prevent future explosions. It also benefited from the fast-paced cycle of the smartphone industry, which allowed consumers to shift their focus to the Galaxy S8.

“It worked,” Llamas said. “If anything, setbacks like these tend to bolster companies’ drive to get it right.”

Samsung doesn’t want to be so safe that it abandons its reputation as an industry innovator.

“We have arrived at the point where innovation has reached a plateau, and most new features that companies hawk are variations on a theme we have seen before,” Llamas said. “Bigger screen? Seen that. Camera taking great pictures? Got that too. And staying on that path practically dooms the market into becoming a commodity business, and no one wants that.”

At the same time, senior analyst Ben Stanton of Canalys called the Galaxy Fold “not a great risk” from a business perspective.

“The Galaxy Fold is the most daring technical innovation we have seen in smartphones for some time. But it was not intended to be a volume driver this year,” he said. “Samsung does tend to innovate in this low-risk way, where its cutting-edge technology tends to sit in a different device to its tried-and-tested flagships.”

He likens it to Samsung’s first shot at a curved display with the Galaxy S6 Edge. On the other hand, Apple tends to mostly innovate with its most important flagship devices. For example, Face ID is only a feature on its latest models.

“Samsung, unlike Apple, doesn’t need to get it right the first time,” he said. “It has invested heavily to develop folding displays and it is only just getting started.”

Samsung also offers everything from mobile products to smart home gadgets and TVs. Apple, however, still generates the bulk of its profits from iPhones, even as it tries to diversify into services.

Samsung isn’t the only company with a foldable phone in the works: Royole, Huawei, and Motorola are reportedly developing similar models.

“Their devices will be held up to the same scrutiny, or even held under a harsher light, to see if their quality can hold up,” Llamas said. “It’s the price of playing in this market. They need to be ready for that.”

As for the consumers clawing to get their hands on first iteration of the technology, it might be wise to follow the age-old wisdom for new devices and software: hold off until the bugs are worked out.

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New WhatsApp feature will let you ignore people without blocking or exiting groups


Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp is still developing its previously announced “Vacation Mode”, but has changed its name to “Ignore Archived Chats” and added certain tweaks to its functionality.

As part of the further development of this feature, WhatsApp’s beta version for Android 2.19.101 shows that the “Ignore Archived Chats” feature would prevent the archived messages from coming on top of the chat if new messages on the chat arrived, WABetaInfo reported on Thursday.

Currently, an archived chat automatically unarchives once a new message is received on that chat.

Announced last October, the old test feature “Vacation Mode” prevented chats from getting unarchived only if the chat were muted.

The instant messaging app is also working on also presenting a new “Archived” cell in the main Chats tab, that would appear on sliding down the chat list.

Details about the official roll-out of the feature remain unknown.

Lately, the messaging app has been testing and adding a plethora of new features for its over 1.5 billion global users.

Recently, the app started allowing users to choose a total of 30 audio files to send at once. The platform is also testing the “Forwarding Info” and “Frequently Forwarded Message” feature to check the spread of misinformation on its platform.

The app is also working on the much-awaited iPad support.

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Why the Google Pixel 3a could be a game-changer

The Google Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL are the worst kept secret in the mobile industry right now.

The long-rumored “Lite” versions of Google’s flagship phones are expected to drop in the coming weeks with price-tags that could be as low as half the cost of the regular third-gen Pixel series.

While budget Android phones — even ones from the OS’s creator — aren’t usually the most exciting handsets to hit the market, the Pixel 3a duo is a special case that could be a game changer in the mid-range handset sector.

“Lite” is alright

Before we get to the really good stuff, let’s have a quick recap of what we know about the Pixel 3a series so far.

  • Expected to cost between $300 to $500
  • LCD displays instead of OLED
  • Similar design to the regular Pixel 3, but made from plastic
  • Identical cameras to the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL
  • Powered by Qualcomm’s octa-core Snapdragon 670 SoC
  • Have 3.5mm headphone jacks

Now, there’s probably one bullet point there that stood out more than the rest, and no, I’m not talking about the headphone jack — though there’s absolutely reason to celebrate its return over inferior USB-C audio. No, I’m talking about the Pixel 3a camera, which will apparently be identical to the Pixel 3 camera.

The Huawei P30 Pro is stealing much of the limelight in the smartphone camera wars but the Pixel 3 is still the best phone when it comes to capturing killer photos, consistently, with a quick point-and-shoot.

Factor in Night Sight, which is still a magical bit of software trickery, and an equally clever Portrait mode, and you’ve got one of the best camera phones money can buy.

The problem is that last part: money. The cheapest Pixel 3 costs $799, which is a hefty sum, especially for a phone with only 4GB RAM, a now outdated processor, and mediocre battery life when compared with 2019’s heavy hitters.

That’s a high price of entry if you want a top-tier camera, but consumers have long been used to paying through the nose for the best camera phones.

The Pixel 3 is one of the best camera phones money can buy, but it isn’t cheap.

Affordable flagships from brands like OnePlus and Xiaomi have been lavished with praise for their high-spec, low-price handsets that deliver elite hardware for half the price. Yet, while the raw megapixel numbers and features suggest otherwise, too many affordable flagships are saddled with underwhelming cameras. Google itself is guilty of this — even the classic Nexus 5, probably my favorite phone of all-time, had a relatively rubbish camera.

The Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL could change all that by bringing world-class smartphone photography to the even more affordable mid-tier price bracket.

Understandably, Google has seemingly had to cut some corners elsewhere, most notably in the SoC, display, and design departments. The shift to a plastic design and an LCD display are realistic and reasonable trade-offs, but the biggest concern is the Snapdragon 670 SoC.

Compared with the rest of Qualcomm’s mobile platforms, the Snapdragon 670 is still a competent, mid-range processor that manages to cram in flagship features like a multicore AI engine and Quick Charge. That said, overall performance, especially when gaming, will inevitably still be below the regular Pixel 3’s Snapdragon 845 chipset.

For many buyers, however, a modest processor will be a small price to pay to get their hands on the Pixel 3’s camera, not to mention the phone’s other major selling points like timely updates and the Pixel software and launcher.

Personally, I’d take an underpowered Pixel over a cheap powerhouse like the Pocophone F1 any day. Xiaomi’s ultra-budget phone might pack the same processor as the mainline Pixel 3, but it’s hamstrung by its bulky design and underwhelming camera.

If you’re a regular here at Android Authority and other mobile tech blogs, you’re probably already heading to the comments to mention the Pixel Camera port. In theory, the port means you can have your cake and eat it by having the Pixel Camera app on any phone, but there are two niggling problems.

First off, the Pixel Camera port is far from perfect. I use it on the OnePlus 6T and while the rear camera results are great, the selfie camera always gives photos a weird pink hue. As this is all unofficial, it can sometimes be a long wait for a fix and finding the latest version isn’t as easy as just booting up the Play Store.

The second, more general issue, is that the vast majority of phone buyers won’t even know the Pixel Camera port exists, where to download it, or whether it’s safe to do so. A phone you can buy off the shelf with the same Pixel 3 camera is a much easier sell.

Capturing a gap in the market

Even without hard figures, it’s pretty clear that hardware isn’t moving the needle for the big G as much as it’d probably like. The search giant is reportedly clawing back sales from Samsung in the U.S., but the phone’s sales at Verizon and the Google Store likely represent a tiny fraction of the overall U.S. market share.

Meanwhile, the mid-range sector in the U.S. is lacking any truly stand-out phones. With popular budget phone makers like Huawei and Xiaomi both out in the cold, there just isn’t as much choice in the mid-tier compared with other regions like India and the U.K.

The Pixel 3a will bring world class smartphone photography to the mid-tier price bracket.

The Pixel 3a series could be the perfect solution for both Google’s sluggish phone sales and the U.S. lack of budget handset options. For Android aficionados the broader hardware trade-offs may be too much to stomach, but bargain hunters looking for a best-in-class camera phone may pick the Pixel 3 “Lite” with its obvious photography upgrades over a less tangible performance boost.

Do you think the Pixel 3a will be the best “Lite” Android phone yet? Let us know in the comments.

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