Honor and its parent company Huawei has a practice of oversaturating the market with a superfluity of extremely similar models. At first look, Honor 8X seems like it is not any exception.
The phablet comes with a 6.5-inch notched LCD panel, the fairly new mid-range Kirin 710 chipset and a 3,750 mAh battery. These specifications however, are comparable to other Huawei models like the Huawei P Smart+ (nova 3i) and the Huawei Mate 20 Lite. Huawei Honor Play and the Huawei nova 3 also fit the overall description, albeit with the more powerful flagship Kirin 970 chipset. And there are also notch-free options with similar specifications, like the Honor Note 10 or the Honor View 10.
It’s as if Huawei is overwhelming customers with the number of choices despite the fact these models are not all offered on the same markets. However, one fact the stands out is that Honor 8X seems to bring the best value for money for the aforementioned hardware specs with it low price. The model is a great affordable mid-range option, but don’t expect to ‘wow’ you as there is lack of new novel features.
Using the Honor 8X is expectedly familiar. At 160.4 x 76.6 x 7.8 mm and weighing at 175 grams, the phone sits comfortably on the palm of the hand. Instead of the having Gorilla Glass, the back of the phone is made of plastic. Notwithstanding that, its body is sturdy to the touch. A case is recommended as the plastic back is more prone to scratches.
However, the back plate does have an interesting feature; the left portion of the area that houses the dual camera setup has a less-glossy texture. This feature helps it in differentiating itself from the rest of the Huawei and Honor models. It is also nice to see a thinner bezel and notch for the Honor 8X display. Colours that are available include Black, Blue, Red and Pink.
The fingerprint reader is located on the back side of the Honor 8X. It is a really accurate and responsive reader that unlocks as fast as 0.3 seconds. Honor 8X also includes face unlock. However, that one takes a longer time to unlock: 0.6 seconds on average.
The SIM tray can house a maximum of dual Nano SIM cards along with a microSD card. No hybrid setups and compromises in sight. The top side of the Honor 8X is practically empty, only housing a small secondary microphone. On the bottom - the main microphone, single speaker and a 3.5mm audio jack. Pretty great setup, only partially spoiled by the choice of a dated microUSB 2.0 port. Still, reminding ourselves of the price tag make this a lot easier to swallow.
The 1080 x 2340 px resolution looks perfectly adequate on its 6.5-inch. The LCD portrays images with good clarity and details. The tall aspect ratio it comes in – 19.5:9 – like many of its siblings is rather similar to the typical cinematic video ratio.
Honor 8X is powered by Hisilicon's relatively new Kirin 710 chipset and this Kirin 710 is has an octa-core processor configuration, with 4x2.2 GHz Cortex-A73 and 4x1.7 GHz Cortex-A53 units. This combination brings its performance close to the flagship Kirin 960’s. Honor 8X comes is 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage for the base model and 6GB with 64GB or 128GB on the better variants. These specifications along with the aforementioned chipset’s prowess, gives you a very capable setup. Honor 8X has also performed well within expectations with decent results for the benchmarks.
Honor 8X is armed with 20MP, f/1.8, 27mm equivalent wide-angle, together with a 2MP depth sensor configuration; a straight-forward phase detection autofocus system with a single LED flash.
The Honor 8X is simply solid mid-range phone, with an attractive low price. Despite that, it is hard to give it strong recommendation due to the fact that other Huawei and Honor phones with similar specifications exist and can easily be alternatives to the Honor 8X in the same price range.
Samsung has made known the world’s first phone with a quad camera – its Galaxy A9 (2018). This builds on Samsung’s first triple camera phone, the Galaxy A7 (2018) with an additional telephoto lens. Users can choose between the telephoto and the ultra-wide angle camera; choose between focusing on a detail and capturing large portion of the scene.
The tele-camera takes 10MP images and has a 2x optical zoom over the main camera. The 24MP main camera has a bright f/1.7 lens that makes it suitable for both daylight and night time shots.
In the 120° ultra-wide angle camera lies an 8MP sensor. Armed with an AI - Intelligent Scene Optimizer that automatically regulates camera settings based on the scene. There is also a 5MP depth sensor to add artificial bokeh to shots.
The Galaxy A9 comes with large 6.3” Super AMOLED notch free screen which has a 1,080 x 2,220px resolution. The 24MP selfie camera with a f/2.0 lens is located just above that screen.
There are the 6GB RAM and the 8GB RAM versions. Both versions of the A9 come with 128GB of storage (with a microSD slot for a maximum of an additional 512GB). Whichever the version, you’re getting a phone running Android 8.0 Oreo and powered by an octa-core processor which is (4x 2.2GHz + 4x 1.8GHz).
Samsung Pay, Health and Bixby are some Samsung add-ons that will be available. The large screen is perfect of for split-screen multitasking too. The phone has a 3,800mAh battery, pretty comparable to the Galaxy Note 9. The fingerprint reader is expectedly at the back of the phone. The back is made of 3D curved glass for better ergonomics.
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) will be available only in selected markets early next month. There will be three colors options: Caviar Black, Lemonade Blue and Bubblegum Pink. Pricing is yet to be unveiled.
The new Razer Phone 2 is an entertainment powerhouse for mobile gaming with special features and nice improvements over the original.
A peek at the key features of Razer Phone 2 reveals that the screen is a 5.7” IGZO LCD panel with QHD resolution that is 50% brighter(580 nits) than the predecessor’s. Razer believes 16:9 is best for multimedia. It is purported that this new panel is better at preserving details in dark scenes.
The same variable refresh rate of up to 120Hz still holds, which removes stuttering and tearing. For better visuals in both games and videos, the screen supports both HDR and DCI-P3 wide colour gamut for better visuals in both games and videos. The new Snapdragon 845 chipset comes with a new vapor chamber cooling system. This is to ensure that the chipset never experiences thermal throttling. Razer Phone 2 is equipped with 8GB of fast RAM, 64GB of UFS storage and a microSD slot to expand the storage.
The new 4,000mAh battery supports QuickCharge 4.0+ as well as fast Qi wireless charging (15W max). The back of the Razer Phone 2 is made of glass to accommodate the wireless charging while the body is still CNC-machined aluminum. It’s now water resistant with an IP67 rating.
The logo on the back is a RGB backlit and supports Chroma - means that the Razer logo on the back matches the color of its LED lights to the lights on the phone. There’s no 3.5mm headphone jack for the Razer Phone 2, but Razer bundles a 24-bit DAC dongle with it.
The improved dual camera on the back of Razer Phone 2 sports new Sony image sensors. The main 12MP image sensor gets a Dual Pixel AF, an optical image stabilization (OIS) and f/1.75 lens. The secondary one is a 12MP camera with a 2x telephoto lens (f/2.6).
Phone’s 2160p video capture now goes up to 60fps whereas there is a 120fps slow-motion mode at 1080p. The selfie camera stays largely the same; an 8MP fixed-focus shooter, however it has gained support for 1080p @ 60fps video capture.
For audio, Razer Phone 2 is equipped with powerful Dolby Atmos-certified front-facing stereo speakers, each is fed by a dedicated amplifier.
The phone will come pre-installed with Android 8.1 Oreo, but Razer is promising an OS upgrade in the near future.
Google plans to unveil new phones in New York on this coming October 9, source from Bloomberg says. Several new features are expected to be coming to the Pixel 3. Meanwhile, a spate of leaks for the Pixel 3 XL is going on.
Rumors has it that the latest Android OS known as Android Pie will likely be pre-installed in Pixel 3. The classic Pixel features such as swiping down for notifications and squeezing the sides for the launching of the Google Assistant will be included with and new ones. We will be covering some of the key rumoured features in this article.
New UI features
An alleged Google marketing video shows the latest elements coming to the Pixel 3. For instance, the extended pressing of the power button will allow users to take screenshots. The new Pixel’s camera will be able to recognize and draft email from a business card. Pixel would also be able to recognize a restaurant name in an email and prompts user to make a reservation.
Standing charger for the new Pixel 3 series
The Pixel Stand charger is the wireless standing charger for the Pixel 3. A purported image of it reveals a white dock with an orange bottom and a USB-C cable attached to it.
This Stand is supposedly meant to turn your Pixel 3 into a smart display with shortcut access to music apps, the Google Assistant and notifications.
That aside, XDA developers also found evidence of wireless charging support in an Android Pie beta release.
Audio appreciation is taken to another level for Pixel 3 XL
Unboxing videos by certain Russian bloggers that have been circulating around show that the phone come with a pair of Pixel Buds in-ear wireless ear buds.
A leak from Gizmo China the Pixel 3 XL has two front-facing speakers for a more immersive sound experience. Leaked images also show that the speakers will be on the front bottom bezel.
Appearances of Pixel 3 phones
This time round, Pixel 3 XL is rumoured to be more than a larger version of the Pixel 3. Unlike the Pixel 3 which is going to be notchless, it will have a notch to accommodate the improved camera system.
The Pixel 3 line up will be available in the following colours (known so far): white, black and “sand”(as shown in the picture below). Another colour ‘mint’ is rumoured to be announced on the launch date.
Both models should sport the Snapdragon 845 together with at least 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. Active Edge functionality for invoking the Google Assistant will be present as well as a USB-C port. The Pixel 3's screen resolution would be at 1,080 x 2,160px while the XL would get 1,440 x 2,960px. The batteries in the smaller model and larger one are purportedly a 3,000 mAh cell and a 3,430 mAh cell respectively.
Perhaps you heard the about the eSIM in 2017 when Google
introduced the first phone to use the technology, or maybe you have heard about
it only recently during Apple’s latest iPhone product launch. We all know that
Apple has released eSIM versions of the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. Now what
does this entail? What exactly an eSIM is and how it is different from the usual
physical SIM card?
The eSIM explained
eSIM is basically an embedded SIM i.e. an embedded
subscriber identity module. We all know what a SIM card does – it connects you
to your mobile service provider’s network. With the SIM card, when you change
to a new phone, you need to remove the card and load it into the new phone to
enable the cellular service on your new smartphone.
The eSIM has upended the game. Embedded SIM is built in to
the phone and behaves like a virtual SIM ID. This ID is generated by the
telecom operator and is tied to the IMEI number of your phone or smartwatch.
eSIMs are not confined to smartphones and smartwatches. The
eSIMs are already being used for other devices such as connected cars and smart
How does the eSIM
So why would one want to use an eSIM? Granted that the usage
of eSIM allows the manufacturers to have more flexibility when comes to design
or to increase battery life but how does it actually functionally benefit us
Well, the most obvious one is that one can just make a phone
call to get mobile coverage instead of entering a local cellular provider store
to get a new SIM card. All you need to do is simply adding a roaming eSIM.
What’s more, with the eSIM you can access your home number which is not
possible if change SIM abroad. That is indeed convenient for the average user.
It will take some time for more operators and consumers to
see the benefits of eSIMs before mass adoption begins.
The launch iPhone XS
line up further promotes eSIM
With the release of the iPhone XS & XS Max,
carriers are starting to jump on the eSIM support bandwagon. That includes
AT&T, T-Mobile USA, Verizon Wireless in the US, China’s China Telecom and
China Mobile, as well the international mobile network Truphone.
The countries and operators who offer eSIM sign ups are pretty limited as of now. For those of you who are not in the eSIM countries or wishes to sign up for other operators, the Iphone Xs Max, which supposedly supports dual SIM (eSIM + SIM) feature actually works as single SIM. If you who have been waiting for the Dual SIM feature in iPhone youor whole life, all is not lost as you may be very happy to know that Apple has released the Xs Max (not for Xs) in "True" dual SIM version (yes, with 2 physical SIM card slots!) in Hong Kong and China only. You will be able to purchase the Xs Max A2104 Dual SIM version here at Etoren!
Mi 8 lineup expands with Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro
As we know, the Xiaomi Mi 8 family has been expanded to included latest models: Mi 8 Pro as well as Mi 8 Lite (Mi 8X). The company has been trying to steer itself away from its reputation of being the Apple of Chinese market and the recent launch of Mi 8 Pro is their endeavor towards being a major smartphone manufacturer on the international stage.
Like the Mi 8, the Mi 8 Pro has a notched screen and the 3D Face ID technology. The notch houses the selfie camera, proximity sensor, earpiece, infrared lens and lighting.
Color wise, Mi 8 Pro comes in Black and Twilight Gold. There is a transparent black version for Mi 8 Pro too which is basically a rebranded Mi 8 Explorer Edition; used to be a China exclusive a few months back but has now become available globally to all. The transparent back allows one to have a good look at the hardware of the device even the Snapdragon 845 chipset, which is kind of cool.
Mi 8 Pro spots a 6.21-inch AMOLED display has a resolution of 1080 x 2248 px i.e. 402px per inch density. This screen is HDR10 complaint and is made of Corning Gorilla Glass 5. Other than the in-display fingerprint scanner, on-screen features are still the same.
The Mi 8 dual rear cameras that that scored 99 points on DXOMark are on the Mi 8 Pro too. These dual rear shooters are both of 12 MP resolution and have f/1.8 and f/2.4 apertures respectively. The first 12MP on top has 1/2.55” sensor size, 1.4µm pixel size, 4-axis OIS and dual-pixel PDAF whereas the 12MP shooter below the dual-LED flash has 1/3.4” sensor size and 1.0µm pixel size. Both cameras are AI powered and can perform 2x optical zoom, dual pixel phase detection autofocus, geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, HDR and panorama.
Recording of videos can be at 2160p@60fps and 1080p@30/240fps.
The front-facing selfie camera is of 20MP, has f/2.0 aperture, 1.8µm pixel size and can take beautiful portrait selfies with its AI beautify technology.
Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro has a 3000mAh non-removable Li-Po battery with fast charging technology. Charging an empty battery to full capacity should not take more than 1.5 hours.
More details on the specifications can be found on the Mi 8 Pro product pages. Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro is now available on Etoren for pre-order so do reserve yours now.
The upcoming Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018) has with three cameras on the back but it is likely to cost only a fraction of the Huawei P20 Pro's price.
Galaxy A7 (2018) spots a notch-less 6-inch Super AMOLED display of 1080 x 2220px resolution. The phone is armed with an octa-core 2.2GHz CPU on an undisclosed chipset and comes in three different memory configurations - 4GB RAM/64GB, 4GB RAM/128GB or 6GB RAM/128GB
However, it is undeniable that the triple camera setup on the back of Galaxy A7 is main highlight. You get a 24MP primary sensor behind an f/1.7 lens, an ultra-wide 8MP f/2.4 module with 120° viewing angle and a 5MP depth sensor.
The smartphone runs on Android 8.0 with Samsung Experience and is powered by a 3,300 mAh battery. Fingerprint reader is located on the right side of the frame unlike what we have come to expect from Samsung.
Striving to be trendy, Galaxy A7 (2018) now offers slightly curved front and a glass back while the side frame has not been specified - a good guess is that it is made of plastic. The available colors are pink, black, blue and gold.
The handset will be launched in selected European and Asian markets and before expanding in distribution this Fall. Samsung is going to host an event on October 11 where more details about phone will be revealed.
The iPhone XR with its LCD screen at an aspect of 19.5:9 gives you slightly more surface area than an iPhone 8 Plus (notch accounted).
This display that goes by Liquid Retina has a pixel density that is the same as the iPhone 8 Retina display i.e. 326ppi and a resolution is 822 x 1792px (less than 1080p). This LCD panel like the XS models, has a 120Hz responsive touch sensing and has a wider colour gamut than its AMOLED-based siblings.
iPhone XR is only packed the single main camera and in this aspect more of a successor to the iPhone 8. Having the new Apple A12 Bionic chipset, it is able to do progressive shooting techniques using Smart HDR, modifiable bokeh etc. with its larger 1.4µm pixels.
iPhone XR is using the same chipset as the iPhone XS models – the new Apple A12 Bionic chipset.
Touch ID fingerprint reader has been dropped in favour of the Face ID scanner, so its 2018 offerings are consistent in that regard. All three new iPhones models use the same latest True Depth camera for Face ID.
XR is definitely the model for the more budget-conscious as such its storage tops out at 256GB. It also comes in 64GB and 128GB.
Apple is offering bolder colours Blue, Yellow, Coral, Black and Product Red for iPhone XR.
Apple iPhone XS Max
The largest iPhone in history has been unveiled - iPhone XS Max with an expansive 6.5” AMOLED screen. Bezels have been removed, however the notch remains. The new tall screen has a 19.5:9 aspect ratio and has the same width as the 5.5” panel on the iPhone 8 Plus but comes with extra length.
This new "Super Retina" display achieves the same 458ppi pixel density of the iPhone X by bumping up its resolution to 1,242 x 2,688px.
The screen's touch sensing layer runs at smoother 120Hz (though UI still renders at 60fps). Dynamic range has been boosted by 60%. The display also supports HDR10 and Dolby Vision.
Apple has eliminated the touch ID as it did not want to move fingerprint reader to the back of the phone. This leaves the face ID’s 3D face scanner as the only biometric authentication method available. Fortunately, the facial recognition has sped up considerably compared to the first generation.
The dual 12MP camera has been completely revamped. The main wide-angle camera has an all-new improved sensor with larger 1.4µm pixels – up from 1.22µm. The aperture remains at f/1.8. The OIS enabled telephoto shooter contains a 12MP sensor, f/2.4 lens and 2x optical zoom.
The upgraded bokeh effect now allows you to adjust the depth of field after a photo is taken. The Smart HDR feature utilizes the power of the A12 Bionic chipset.
Armed with a zero shutter lag, the camera captures a 4 frame buffer, interframes as well as a long exposure and merged all into a single photo with a great dynamic range.
Selfie camera has been improved as well. The 7MP RGB sensor has improved in speed if not in resolution. Video recording now supports stereo audio and a wider dynamic range.
iPhone XS Max comes with a stainless steel chassis and a scratch-resistant glass – Apple purports it to be the most durable on a phone. The water resistance has been raised to IP68 too.
64GB is still the base storage, but the maximum capacity is now 512GB to match the competition from Android flagships. The other option is 256GB.
Apple iPhone XS
The Apple iPhone XS is a proper S-model – it is basically an enhanced iteration of the iPhone X with similar hardware and features. The powerful Apple A12 Bionic chipset will leave Android flagships in the dust in terms of performance (more memory than its predecessor). Like the iPhone XS Max, iPhone XS comes in 64GB, 256GB and 512GB versions too.
Its 7nm chipset features 6 cores (2 big + 4 small), as well as a 4-core GPU and a new 8-core neural engine, which sums up to 6.9 billion transistors. The big cores are 15% faster and 40% more power efficient than the A11 cores, while the power usage of the small cores has been halved. The new GPU offers 50% higher performance and higher memory bandwidth due to lossless compression. The neural engine despite having the 2 the number of cores of the previous generation, it is much more powerful - 5 trillion operations as compared to 600 billion.
The 5.8" screen is of the same resolution as last year's model - 1,125 x 2,436px. Pixel density matches the Max model, same for the touch frame rate (120Hz). Stereo speakers has been improved to deliver wider soundscape.
The colour options for the 2 XS models are pretty conservative. Silver and Space Gray are available. iPhone XS has an additional colour – Gold.
A unique model that has two physical SIM slots will be available in China.