vivo NEX 2 to have 10GB of RAM, in-screen speaker, f/1.3 camera

The vivo NEX 2 will likely have 10GB of RAM and a Snapdragon 845 chipset. The information is confirmed by a Geekbench listing of a vivo V1821A device with the aforementioned credentials. Interestingly the vivo in question is also running Android 9 Pie, which would make it the first vivo smartphone on Android’s latest software.

According to a related leak, the main camera on the back of the vivo NEX 2 (one of three) will have an ultra fast f/1.3 aperture – claiming the spot of the smartphone with the widest aperture around.

As for the screens, rumor has it the main screen will be a 6.59-inch panel with screen sound casting tech (meaning you’ll hear calls through the screen itself, like on the first-gen vivo NEX) while the second display will be a 5.5-incher that will work independently. We know how vivo intends to switch between screens – with a three-finger gesture.

Finally the vivo NEX 2 will apparently come with a smaller battery compared to its rival. This could be due to the space required for the second screen. Of course the information could also be false.

vivo will likely announce the NEX 2 on December 11.


If your iPhone battery needs to be replaced, do it before December 31

After last year’s fiasco about Apple slowing down iPhones with old batteries, the company decided to make amends by offering discounted battery replacement for all handsets ranging from iPhone SE and iPhone 6 all the way up to iPhone X. But that period will soon come to an end.

So if you are in need of a new iPhone battery, there’s no better time than this month, because Apple is currently charging just $29, down from $79 and prices will go up after that. Most older iPhones will be repaired for $49 in 2019, but the iPhone X battery swap will set you back $69.

And if you are wondering about the new iPhone XS, XS Max and XR, they aren’t included in the program since they were launched long after the debacle. And besides, they are still under warranty.


Huawei will aim to release an Infinity-O smartphone before Samsung

Huawei’s aggressive pursuit of becoming top vendor globally continues as the company aims to match each and every step by current leader Samsung. The company’s Mate 20 series are the most direct competitors to Samsung’s Galaxy Note9, we know Huawei is bending over backwards to beat Samsung to the first foldable smartphone and now the company has confirmed that it will launch a smartphone with an Infinity-O display in December.

The confirmation comes in the form of a teaser image, posted to one of Huawei’s Weibo accounts and shows the outline of a smartphone with a hole in the upper left corner of the screen. The image also shows the month – December.

Huawei's teaser for the Infinity-O device
Huawei’s teaser for the Infinity-O device

Samsung also has an a phone with a hole in the screen coming soon. But whether the Galaxy A8s will be able to launch before Huawei’s competitor remains to be seen


Polaris Blue Samsung Galaxy S9 will go on sale in time for the holidays

Samsung’s Polaris Blue Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ will make it out of China and South Korea after all. The new color will go on sale in Germany (to start) in early December, priced at €849 and €949, respectively.

The new gradient paint job was originally announced as Ice Blue for China and subsequently South Korea.

Samsung Galaxy S9 in Polaris Blue
Samsung Galaxy S9 in Polaris Blue

The only difference we can see between the Ice Blue models for China and South Korea, and the Polaris Blue models destined for the German market are the storage options. Ice Blue was announced in a configuration with 128GB of memory, while the Germany-bound Polaris Blue are listed as 64GB.

Samsung Galaxy S9 in Polaris Blue Samsung Galaxy S9 in Polaris Blue
Samsung Galaxy S9 in Polaris Blue

Samsung Galaxy Note9 faithfuls will be quick to ask where’s the Note in Polaris Blue. Sadly, there’s no word on such a version so far.


Motorola P30 now available in Aurora gradient color

Motorola P30 finally got the Aurora color that was promised when it launched. In addition to the Bright Black and Ice Jade White, the company is now offering the handset in gradient color through its retail network in China.

Motorola P30 in Aurora Motorola P30 in Aurora
Motorola P30 in Aurora

But while the black and white variants can be purchased with the 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, the Aurora gradient is offered only in 6GB/128GB flavor. The asking price, however, remains the same – CNY 2,499 ($359). It will be made available starting tomorrow at 10:00 AM local time.

We hope the cool color model steps outside of China but for now, there’s no word of Motorola planning to do that.


Lenovo K5X is another Snapdragon 636-powered smartphone

It seems that Lenovo is looking to expand its K lineup even further after releasing the K5 Pro last month. This one is called K5X and the most recent report reveals a good portion of the specs along with a press render giving us a sneak peek of the front panel.

The handset is powered by a Snapdragon 636 paired with 6GB of RAM and either 32, 64 or 128GB of internal storage. The display is said to be 1080 x 2160 (FHD+) with 18:9 aspect ratio and 480 ppi with no word regarding screen size. However, simple math says that with FHD+ resolution and 480 ppi, the diagonal should be approximately 5″.

The rest remains pretty vague so for now, we can only play the waiting game.


Nokia 7.1 with 4 GB RAM arriving in Europe

HMD Global introduced the Nokia 7.1 last month with Snapdragon 636 and two memory options – 3/32 GB and 4/64 GB. Europe received the less impressive version at launch, but according to various retailers across the European Union, the dual SIM variant with 4 gigs of RAM is already hitting store shelves and will be available for purchase on Friday.

Nokia 7.1 is part of the Android One program and comes with a promise for monthly security updates for three years after its launch. Other neat features include 12 MP + 5 MP rear camera setup with Zeiss optics and fast-charging that fills about 45% of the empty battery in 30 minutes.

When the phone was initially introduced, it was priced at €319 for the 3/32 GB variant, while the upgraded 4 GB version had a €349 price tag. The roomier version is now available for pre-order in the Czech Republic and is actually slightly cheaper – CZK8,499 or about €33


ADATA unveils XPG microSD cards for mobile gamers, 512GB unit in tow

ADATA has unveiled its own entry into the 512GB microSD genre – actually, it’s a whole line of XPG microSD cards, which are being targeted at mobile gamers. They come in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB capacities, the exact availability and pricing details will vary by country.

The company sees these cards being used in smartphones, as well as mobile consoles like the Nintendo Switch, mobile VR headsets and other portable devices.

The ADATA XPG microSD cards feature Application Performance Class 1 (A1), which guarantees 1,500/500 IOPS for read/write. We don’t mean to be negative, but Lexar has a 512GB card with an A2 rating (4,000/2,000 IOPS).

Gamers are a discerning crowd, especially when it comes to performance numbers. ADATA’s suggestions that Android 6.0/7.0 devices can use these cards through Adoptable Storage makes the marketing feel even more out of touch.

Anyway, the sequential speed is rated at the usual UHS-I Class 3/V30 (both labels are equivalent). This resolves to a guaranteed sequential write speed of 30MB/s (important for 4K video recording). That’s the minimum, the card’s peak speeds are 85MB/s for sequential writes and 100MB/s for reads.


In its latest patent, LG’s phone wraps around its edges

The foldable phones territory is still unexplored, so OEMs are still experimenting with the design. LG’s latest patent seems like something worth exploring although, we don’t know if it would make it to broad daylight as most patents don’t.

The sheet describes a phone that can wrap around its edges and a magnetic snap keeps the display attached to the back side of the handset. When unfolded, you can take advantage of the full screen real estate for a tablet-like experience and when wrapped, the part of the display that isn’t visible turns off.

If somehow this concept materializes, it would probably be called Flex. Bendi or Foldi. At least according to the names LG trademarked recently.


Fortnite gets 60fps support on iOS

Epic Games has released an update for Fortnite for iOS, which has added the option to run the game at 60 frames per second. This option is currently only available on the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and the iPhone XR.

Previously, Fortnite was limited to running at either 30fps or 20fps on mobile. The frame rate option can be found in the same place as before, except it now goes all the way up to 60.

The interesting thing to note here is that the 60fps option is available across all graphics presets. In comparison, PUBG enables the 60fps option only on its lowest graphics setting.

However, it seems that may be for a good reason. I tested Fortnite on the iPhone XR at three presets, low, medium and high (epic is not available). I first started the game high setting and predictably the game looked really nice, especially with the 60fps frame rate. Just by eyeballing, it seems that the game was hitting its 60fps target at this preset, and everything seemed fine at first.

Then things started heating up, and I mean that literally. The iPhone XR got incredibly hot while running Fortnite, which after a few minutes of playing caused the chipset to throttle and drop the frame rate. After that, it seemed as if the frame rate was back to being close to 30fps most of the time.

Dropping down to medium setting solved this issue. The phone still gets hot but sticks to the target 60fps frame rate. Dropping down to low resulted in the phone running a bit cooler and again sticking to the target frame rate.

This is different from PUBG. For starters, the iPhone XR doesn’t get hot at all while playing PUBG regardless of preset or frame rate. Second, PUBG only lets you play at 60fps on its lowest preset, so there isn’t a lot of load on the device to begin with. Lastly, PUBG keeps the rendering resolution the same across all graphical presets while Fortnite drops the resolution at medium compared to high with low setting basically looking like Minecraft.

In my experience, it’s best to stick to the medium preset if you wish to play at 60fps on these devices, as it’s the most balanced in terms of performance and visual quality. I hope Epic Games optimizes the game further, as this level of device heating is unacceptable for a game that looks as simplistic as Fortnite. Not to mention, it tends to burn through your battery.

Having said that, 60fps option is a literal game changer. With higher frame rate comes reduced input latency, which translates into direct competitive advantage. Owners of XS, XS Max and XR now have an actual advantage over other iPhone owners and Android users. You even get more fluidity over the Switch version, as Nintendo’s console only runs Fortnite at 30fps, although it does have physical controls to make up for that.

So a good update in terms of gameplay performance but definitely needs more optimization to reduce heating and battery consumption. As for an Android update, no word on that yet.