Qualcomm Refreshes Mid-Range Snapdragon Chips

Qualcomm today announced three new Snapdragon chips for mid-range 4G phones. The new chips offer boosted performance compared to the chips they replace. Qualcomm is also bringing its Hexagon AI and low-power Sensing Hub technologies down to 4-series chips for more affordable phones for the first time. All of the new ships also include Wi-Fi 6 and dual-band GPS.

  • Snapdragon 720G: A new 7-series chip for gaming phones, made using an efficient 8nm process. It supports HDR game play, 192-megapixel cameras, and Quick Charge 4+. It includes a Snapdragon X15 LTE modem supporting download speeds up to 800 Mbps. It also includes a Hexagon Tensor Accelerator for advanced on-device AI. Devices with the 720G are expected to ship this quarter.
  • Snapdragon 662: This mid-range chip brings new camera and AI features to the 6 series for the first time. It has built-in support for 48-megapixel photo capture, smooth zooming between three cameras, and HEIF capture. Its Hexagon 683 AI processor supports Hexagon Vector eXtensions and hardware-accelerated TensorFlow Lite. It also supports Cat. 11 LTE and Quick Charge 3.0. Phones using the 662 are expected by the end of 2020.
  • Snapdragon 460: The 460 is up to twice as fast as last year’s Snapdragon 450 in “overall system performance”. The Kryo 240 CPU contains the first “performance” CPU cores in the 4 series, offering 70% better CPU performance. The Adreno 610 GPU offers 60% better graphics performance. It includes the same Hexagon 683 processor as the Snapdragon 662, bringing AI features to the 4 series for the first time. The Spectra 340 ISP supports advanced photography features and triple cameras. It also supports Cat. 11 LTE and Quick Charge 3.0. Phones using the 460 are expected by the end of 2020.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Samsung XCover Pro Targets Businesses

Samsung this week revealed the Galaxy XCover Pro, a new Android 10 phone “optimized for a variety of industries including retail, healthcare, logistics and manufacturing”. It’s just slightly larger than the Galaxy S10+, but with a rugged body military-rated for drops up to 1.5 meters, and rated IP68 for dust and water. Its flat screen measures 6.2-inches, sports full-HD+ resolution, and works with gloves and wet fingers. It has a 4,050 mAh removable battery that support 15W fast charging and charging docks with pogo pins. It also has a 25 megapixel main camera, 13 megapixel front camera, NFC, fingerprint reader on the side, and two programmable shortcut buttons. One of the buttons has be used for the PTT (walkie-talkie) feature of Microsoft Teams. It’s powered by a Samsung Exynos chip paired with 4 GB of RAM. It has 64 GB of storage built-in and supports memory cards up to 512 GB. It will work on Verizon’s network in the US and be available in the first half of 2020 for $500.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Google Pay Now Supports Student ID Cards

Transact — a leading supplier of student ID card systems — this week announced support for Google Pay, the primary digital wallet feature of Google’s Android OS. The new capability allows students of participating colleges and universities to carry their student ID in their phone instead of a physical card. Students can simply tap their NFC-enabled phone on readers to access campus buildings, as well as payments for  dining, laundry, vending, and retail. Apple Wallet has supported the Transact platform since late 2018, and additional student-ID systems since late 2019. Fifteen institutions have committed to the initial roll-out of Transact for Google Pay, including Arkansas State University, Chowan University, College of Coastal Georgia, Duke University, Georgetown University, Hamilton College, Johns Hopkins University, Marshall University, Mercer University, Roanoke College, St. Edward’s University, South Dakota State University, Temple University, The University of Alabama, and University of New Brunswick.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

CAT's Latest Rugged Phone is Slightly Cheaper (Hands On)

CAT’s latest rugged phone for the US market is the S32. It’s a bit more affordable than past models at $349. It’s rated IP68 for water and dust. It can withstand being submerged under 1.5 meters of water for up to 35 minutes. It also has a military rating for drop and shock. It has a 5.5-inch HD display covered in DragonTrail Pro glass that works with gloves and wet fingers. It has a 4,200 mAh battery. It’s powered by a MediaTek Helio A20 processor with 3 GB RAM, 32 GB storage, and Android 10. Features include NFC, 13 megapixel main camera, memory card slot, 3.5mm audio jack, and a user-assignable shortcut key on the side. The US variant will have full support for Verizon and T-Mobile 4G LTE bands, and decent support for AT&T, including band 14 for FirstNet.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Best of CES 2020

CES is the world’s consumer tech show. Every year we head out to Vegas to check out everything in person. We honor the standouts with our Best of CES awards. This year, four products wowed us, each for a different reason.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Coolpad Planning Smartwatch for Seniors

Coolpad is planning to introduce a new smartwatch later this year that will target the senior market, according to Coolpad US CEO Steve Cistulli in an interview with Phone Scoop. It will be based on the company’s Dyno 2 smartwatch for children, but add an optical heart rate monitor and two-contact ECG sensor. It will also offer a new user interface tailored for the senior market. It will be offered under its own brand, while Dyno will remain a kid-focused brand. Similar to how the Dyno watches connect to a platform that allows parents to monitor their children, the new watch will allow adults to keep tabs on the whereabouts and health of their aging parents, and stay in touch more easily. Coolpad hopes the watch will enable more “aging in place” living.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Hands On with the Coolpad Dyno 2 Smartwatch for Kids

Coolpad has a new version of its Dyno smartwatch for kids, and it’s better in every way. The Dyno 2 is a “kids” smartwatch that slightly older kids might not be embarrassed to wear, thanks to new color and interface options. And they’ve upgraded the display, processor, and charging connector. It also has dramatically better LTE network support. A new feature called Quests lets parents game-ify chores. Like the original Dyno, it has an SOS button, full parental control, location tracking, voice calling, and text messaging. Coolpad it currently planning to ship it April for $190. Read on for more details and hands-on impressions.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Quibi Reveals Plans for Original Video Shows in Both Portrait and Landscape

Quibi, short for “quick bites”, is a new video streaming service designed specifically for phones. It will launch in early April and cost $5/month, or $8/month for the ad-free version. To optimize for phone viewing, all content is available in both landscape and portrait orientation, and users can switch orientation at any time while watching. All Quibi content is original, filmed and framed specifically to work in both orientations. Also, all content is ten minutes or less, for viewing on the go. Quibi has been busy teaming up with big names and giving them big budgets to produce original content. They’re working with, among others, Zac Efron, Idris Elba, Kristen Bell, Chrissy Teigen, Kendall Jenner, Tyra Banks, Steph Curry, and 50 Cent. The company has raised $1 billion. The top-tier programs are budgeted at up to $125,000 a minute. The company plans to roll out more than 175 original shows and 8,500 episodes within its first year.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

New Shock-Absorbing Material for Phone Cases Doesn't Block mmWave 5G

Certain materials used in current phone cases can block the mmWave frequencies used in some 5G networks. D3O has developed a new, less-dense version of its D3O shock-absorbing material that lets mmWave 5G signals pass through unimpeded. D3O calls it D3O with 5G Signal Plus Technology. The material is impregnated with “micro-voids” to make it less dense. D3O says it can provide the same degree of shock absorption as its standard material. Gear4 (a Zagg brand) is the exclusive licensee and user of D3O material for phone cases, and will use D3O with 5G Signal Plus Technology in its 2020 cases for 5G phones.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Hands On with the OnePlus Concept One

A quick look at the new concept phone from OnePlus, including its unique electro-chromatic technology that seamlessly hides the cameras when not in use. Read on for technical details, video of the Invisible camera in action, hands-on photos, and impressions.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News