Wednesday, 19 September 2018

iPhone XR: Cheap or Creep

iPhone XR

Apple is always known for producing premium phones. Every year they come up with a new flagship phone. This year Apple launched three new iPhones in it's event. But this is the second time Apple has launched a cheaper version of iPhone. First time was during the launch of iPhone 5S where they came out with a cheaper version of iPhone known as iPhone 5C. iPhone 5C was a plastic phone and was a big flop. And this year also the third iPhone is a cheaper version of iPhone. This is known as iPhone XR. So is this phone really worth considering or not? We are going to discuss this question in this article.

 Apple iPhone XR has many of the features same as the other two premium devices of this year that are iPhone XS and XS Max. Like they all are powered by the same chip that is the all new A12 Bionic chip. So it means there is no compromise on the performance of the phone. The amount of RAM is also same, so RAM management will also be good. As it has the same chip all the things related to chip will be same such as GPU for better graphics, octa core neural engine and ISP for image processing.
As neural engine is same so iPhone XR will be able to handle all the AI tasks which iPhone XS can handle such as face ID, Augmented Reality, Animoji, Siri etc. Also it has the same notch which houses front camera, IR Blaster, Infrared Camera, ear piece, microphone, dot projector, ambient light sensor and proximity sensor. As it has all the sensors same as iPhone XS, it also has the same Face ID to unlock the phone. And this will be equally fast as iPhone XS.

 Now let's talk about the design of the phone. This has a screen size of 6.1". This screen also has a notch at top as mentioned above. So the aspect ratio of the screen is also 19.5:9. But the display is not an OLED display, it's a LCD display and that too with less resolution  that is 828*1792 pixels. The resolution is slightly higher than 720p still you can't even watch full HD videos on this screen. This is a little bit disappointing. But we know that the quality of Apple's LCD display is also very good still it won't be as good as iPhone XS's display. The back of the phone is made up of glass and the frame is made up of aluminum instead of stainless steel.
Also there is one more thing to consider in iPhone XR. The bezels of the phone are slightly bigger than other two phones. This is due to presence of LCD display which can't bend like OLED display on iPhone XS. Also the PPI of the phone is slightly low that is 326ppi. So this phone won't be your choice if your priority is display.

 Now let's talk about camera. iPhone XR has the single camera setup at back unlike Apple iPhone XS and XS Max. But this single camera lens is same as the primary lens on other two iPhones that is 12MP, f/1.8, 28mm lens. The pixel size and aperture size is also same which is really good. But the telephoto lens is missing so there is no optical zoom. Still portrait mode is present on the phone and this is done by software. This can also record 2K videos and slomo videos. It has all the features also same like auto HDR and changing the background depth after capturing photos which is a good thing. Also the front camera is same that is 7MP,f/2.2, 32mm lens. So in short this camera can do all the tasks as the cameras of iPhone XS and XS Max except 2x optical zoom.

iPhone XR comes in six different colors just like iPhone 5C. These colors are Black, Red, Yellow, Blue, Coral and White. This reminds us of the iPhone 5C which also comes in multicolor but that one has plastic body. The aluminum frame on the sides also matches the color of the back which is good. The wireless charging is also present on this phone. This phone comes with IP67 rating while the other two devices come with IP68 rating which means that the other two phones are more protected by water and dust. The battery capacity of iPhone XR is still unknown but the phone supports fast charging which is good. And it is expected that the battery capacity of this phone will lie between iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max's battery. 

Now comes the pricing of the device. iPhone XR is priced at $750 for the 64GB of version. Apple has gone right with this pricing of smartphone. So the main question is 'Should you upgrade to iPhone XR or not?'. Yes you can upgrade to this phone if you are an Apple fan boy and you want to taste the flavor of new A12 bionic chip and all it's new features you can definitely go for this. But keep in mind the bigger bezels, LCD screen, IP67 rating and no optical zoom/no telephoto lens. If you are using an iPhone 8/7/6 but want a smartphone more affordable than iPhone XS and XS Max, you can definitely go for this smartphone. The phone will be avialble in the market from next month.

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Is there really any change in new iPhone XS and XS Max?

iPhone XS and XS Max

So it's about 3-4 days since apple launched it's new phones that are iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. There is one more iPhone this year that is iPhone XR which is a cheaper version. In this article we are going to see that is there really any difference between iPhone X and new iPhone XS and XS Max. iPhone X was the first phone from the company which has end to end display with small bezels. Last year with the launch of iPhone X, Apple introduced an all new phone with new design, new camera, new chip and many other new features. It means there were a lot of changes in iPhone X from it's previous iPhones. But let's see whether this year apple has provided something new or not.
The initial impression of a smartphone comes from it's design. iPhone XS and XS Max comes with exactly same design as that of iPhone X, with same notch display and glass-stainless steel body. But iPhone XS has a screen size of 5.8" while iPhone XS Max comes with a massive screen size of 6.5". As iPhone XS comes with 5.8" display it looks identical to iPhone X. But there is only one thing which can differentiate it from iPhone X that is the new Gold color. Both the new iPhones come in three colors that are Space Grey, Silver and Gold. Yes Gold is the new color and it definitely looks better than other two colors. The display on both the phones are still OLED type with 19.5:9 aspect ratio. iPhone XS has display resolution of 1125*2436 pixels and that on iPhone XS Max is 1242*2688 pixels. Both the displays come with scratch resistant glass and oleophobic coating.
Also both the phones have notch at the top in front. The notch is also exactly same as iPhone X which houses an ear piece, front camera, IR camera, microphone, dot projector, ambient light sensor and proximity sesnor. These different sensors coordinate together to unlock the phone with face ID. Face ID is present on both of the iPhones and it will be faster than the previous generation. Both the iPhones now have IP68 rating. So we have arrived to a conclusion that there is no major difference in the design of new iPhones from iPhone X.
Now take a look at the major change in the phones that is the all new A12 Bionic chip. The new chip is manufactured on all new 7nm architecture which further increases the transistor density thus improving the performance of the device. This chipset is a hexacore chip with two powerful cores and four power efficient cores. This new 7nm architecture chip will increase the performance and improve the power efficiency.
Last year, Apple has a dual core neural engine in it's A11 chip. This year A12 Bionic chip has an octa core neural engine. This neural engine helps in machine learning and artificial intelligence of the phone. That means it assist in functions like face ID, Animoji, Augmented reality and many other things. As this year we have an octa core neural engine, all the AI functions of the phone will be much faster.
Now let's have a look at the camera of the phone. There is not much difference in the camera department in the hardware part. iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max both have same dual camera setup as that on iPhone X that is 12MP,f/1.8 + 12MP,f/2.4 where second lens is a telephoto lens. The only difference in the camera hardware is that now the primary lens has bigger pixel size of 1.4┬Ám. The front camera is also same as 7MP,f/2.2 lens.
The back camera can record videos upto 2160p @60fps. It can also record 1080p slomo videos @240fps. It is a little bit disappointing that apple phones can only record slomo videos @240fps while other brands like Samsung and even Oneplus are giving 960fps and 480fps slomo video recording respectively. The front camera can record videos upto 1080p @60fps. The portrait mode is present on both front as well as back cameras. The telephoto lens helps in 2x optical zoom in the camera.
Though iPhone XS and XS max's camera don't have a lot of difference in the hardware part, there are differences in the software part. With the A12 chip there is all new ISP for cameras. It helps in producing better photographs by processing them properly. There is an all new HDR mode just like on pixel phones. So the image quality is going to increase with this phone. Also there is a mode in the phone where you can change the depth of feel in the shot even after capturing it. It helps in choosing us how much amount of blur we require in the background. All previous features like lightening photos are still present on the device.
iPhone XS and XS Max both comes with iOS 12 installed. We all know about the software experience of the apple which is really amazing. Apple pays a lot of attention in the software part. It does optimization between the software and the hardware so well that every iPhone of the year becomes the most fluid phone. Now the Sri has become more advanced. The gesture functionality is still there on both the iPhones. Both iPhones come in three memory specification 64/256/512 GB internal with 4GB of RAM. There is no slot for micro SD. Now new iPhones support e-SIM and there is one slot for physical SIM as well. So now technically they are dual SIM devices.
iPhone XS starts at $999 and iPhone XS Max at $1099 for 64GB version. Now the main question arises, should you upgrade? If you own an iPhone X and planning to buy iPhone XS or XS Max, stop there because you can see that only there is one major difference that is A12 Bionic chip. There is no other major change in the devices. But if you own a iPhone 8/7/6, you can definitely upgrade to these new devices because you will see a lot of differences.

Saturday, 8 September 2018

Rumour roundup: iPhones 2018

iPhones 2018: All the Rumors
Apple is all setup to launch it's new iPhones of this year on September 12. We have heard of lot of rumors about the new iPhones till now. And we are going to discuss all those rumors today in this article whether be it's display, processor, name, design and the rest.
First thing which comes in mind is that how many phones will Apple launch this year as it launched three new iPhones last year in the event that are iPhone 8, iPhone 8 plus and iPhone X among which iPhone X is the special edition phone on Apple's iPhone  10th anniversary. This year also there will be three iPhones at the event among which two will be successor to iPhone X and one will be the cheaper one. 
And now you must be thinking what will be their names, so the cheaper one will be known as iPhone 9 and the other two will be iPhone XS and iPhone XS Plus. But we have reports that Plus version will be named iPhone XS Max. So whatever be the names let's discuss the internals of the phone and their design. iPhone X will have a screen size of 5.8" while XS plus will have screen size of 6.5". The design of both the phones will be very similar to iPhone X which means that notch design. 
Both the phones will be having OLED displays on the front. And this time the quality of the displays will be even better than iPhone X.  The front screen will be same with very small bezels. The notch on top will be having all the sensors, camera and face ID technology which unlocks the phone by firing infrared waves on face. Also the back will be made up of glass and the placement of the rear camera will be same.
The design of iPhone 9 is unknown. It is expected that it will have a screen size of 6.1". It will also be having the bezeless screen on the front just like other two models. But we are doubtful that the company will provide the same notch on this iPhone or different. The screen of this phone will be a LCD display and that too with lower resolution than other two iPhones. We are still unsure about the back of the phone whether it will be glass or metal. This will be cheaper than other two phones so company has to do some cost cutting.
iPhones are always known for their fast performance. First of all their A series chips are really good and secondly the optimization between hardware and software is awesome which helps in improving the performance of the phone. This year iPhone XS and XS plus will be powered by the all new A-12 chip. This chipset will be based on 7nm architecture thus making the chip size small and comparatively faster. The performance will be really good by seeing the track record of Apple. Also there will be a all new GPU for the phone which will increase the performance by 20-25% as per the rumors say. iPhone 9 will also have the same processor as that of other two iPhones.
This year the iPhones will be available in multi colors but the frame will remain same on all the phones that is stainless steel in iPhone XS and XS Plus while iPhone 9 on the other hand will have an aluminum frame. Both iPhone XS and XS plus are rumored to come in dual SIM models which will be the first iPhones officially to have dual SIM.
This year camera is also rumored to be improved. iPhone XS is rumored to have dual rear camera setup, iPhone XS plus to have triple camera setup and iPhone 9 to have a single rear camera setup. If this news is true, iPhone XS plus will be the second phone in the  market to have triple camera setup. Also there will be increment in battery capacity of the phones. iPhone XS Plus is rumored to have a massive battery of 3400 mah and iPhone XS to have a battery of 2700 mah. 
And lastly, these are just rumors and leaks, nobody knows the real story. But there are not many days left for the real picture to be revealed. Apple is holding an event on September 12 in California, US where it will reveal all three new iPhones along with new Apple watch and new iPad. But I am most excited about the cheaper version of iPhone this year that is iPhone 9.     

Thursday, 6 September 2018

Xiaomi launched it's first Mi Wireless charger just at $10

Mi Wireless Charger

 We all must have heard about the wireless charging which is getting really famous these days in phones to charge the battery. As the name implies, wireless charging means charging the device without any wires, directly connected to your phone. For this you just need a wireless charging pad and a phone which supports fast charging. We just have to put the phone on the pad and it will charge your phone's battery. This pad will get power from the electric mains via a charger. So basically this pad will be connected to the charger and phone will be placed on this pad. We won't go into deep how this actually works.
These days this wireless charging is mainly available only in flagship devices as there is some extra arrangement needed in the phone. This extra arrangement adds to the cost of the phone. So this is generally available in the flagship phones which can the bear the cost of this wireless charging. Phones like Samsung S series, Note series, iPhones, LG flagships and many more support this. There are a lot of wireless chargers available in the market but they are actually really costly. So keeping this in mind, Xiaomi came up with a cheap wireless charger known as Mi Wireless Charger.

Mi wireless charger is based on generally accepted Qi standard. So it will only charge your phone if your phone also supports Qi standard wireless charging. This charger can support charging upto 10W. The body of this pad is made up of aluminum with silicone layer at top. It is connected to charger via a USB Type-C port. If you will use a fast charger of 18W this pad will be able to charge the phone at 10W or 7.5W and if you will use a normal 10W charger the phone can be charged at 5W.

This pad also has an LED light to tell whether your phone is charging or not. Also it can charge the phone upto a distance of 4mm, so the phone can be charged even with a case applied. The wireless charger comes with a lot of protective features such as temperature protection, short circuit protection, overvoltage protection and power protection. These protective features will help in safe charging of your phone and in case of any emergency these will be helpful in protecting your phone or any other hazard. This charger can charge phones like iPhone X, iPhone 8/ 8plus at 7.5W and Samsung S9/ S9+ and Note 9 at a rate of 10W.  

But this charger is only available in China till now. And there are no words of it's availability in other markets. But just at CNY 69 or $10 it is a great deal. 


Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Why do people want a 3.5mm jack in phones?

3.5mm headphone jack
Smartphones are the devices which are meant for doing a lot of tasks in very less time and without any difficulty. One of those tasks is entertainment. Smartphone is a very good source of entertainment. You can play games here, listen to music, watch movies, videos and a lot of other things. But all of these entertainment tasks are of no use until there is no audio. Audio lets you listen to the sound and make all these tasks more entertaining. So audio is a really important component. For sound output there is a speaker in the smartphone which converts electrical signal to sound.  
Instead of this speaker there is one more thing by which we can listen to sound and that is headphone jack. This is in the shape of a cylindrical hole in the phone and we connect a 3.5mm connector to it which is there in headphone or earphone. These headphones are really useful as listening to audio via headphones have a totally different fun. The sound will be really immersive, nobody will be able to know what you are listening to and there is also total noise cancellation, so there won't any noise interruption with your audio.
But these days smartphone companies are trying to vanish ports in the phone so many of the companies are ditching 3.5 mm headphone jack in their phones. But this creates one more problem of not listening to audio via headphone jack. The quality of sound via headphone jack is really good. But as this jack is vanishing we have to rely on some other alternatives such as wireless headsets. These wireless headsets connect via Bluetooth to your device. The sound via these Bluetooth connected headsets is not great as the wired headsets which connect with 3.5mm jack. 
These Bluetooth connected headsets doesn't address latency issues which proves problematic while gaming and watching videos and it's an issue we don't get with the wired headsets. Also the sound quality is not as good as wired headsets. So Qualcomm noticed this issue carefully and came up with a really cool thing at IFA 2018.
At IFA 2018 Qualcomm announced a new version of aptX audio platform. With this aptX you will be able to listen really high resolution, robust and immersive audio through wireless technology, which means there won't be any requirement of 3.5 jack in the phone. And also it is not just focused on music listening, there are other things as well like gaming and watching videos. It dynamically adjusts audio performance without any manual control.
This is really cool step by QUALCOMM as many of the companies are ditching the headphone jack in their devices. Qualcomm is saying that it will come with it's latest flagship chip that is Snapdragon 855 which will be announced in December this year and the first device powering this chip will most probably be launched at MWC 2019. So the first device having this new Bluetooth technology will be available in 2019. The company is claiming that this new technology will definitely replace 3.5 mm jack from the phone but real picture will come out only when this will be tested in 2019.

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Huawei unveiled first chipset built on 7nm architecture

Hisilicon Kirin 980

 SOC or System on chip is a really important component of a phone. It has many other small components like processing chip, ISP, memory, RAM and many more. So basically it is in the form of a small chip with all other components embedded on it. These SOCs are built on some architecture. This architecture basically means the transistor size. Each year the size of transistor is getting smaller like 20nm to 16nm, 16nm to 14nm and so on. With transistor size getting smaller the performance  and battery consumption of chipset improves as electrons consumes less time and power to move in a smaller transistor. Now in the market we have chipsets like Qualcomm snapdragon 845 or Hisilicon Kirin 970 which are built on 10nm architecture.

But now it's time for the successor to Hisilicon Kirin 970 chipset that is Hisilicon Kirin 980 chip which is built on 7nm architecture. This is based on an octa core chipset with four cortex A-73 cores among which two are powerful cores and two less powerful cores for better power efficiency. Rest of the four cores are Cortex A-55 cores and these cores are less powerful than Cortex A-73 cores. Huawei also has something known as 'Flex Scheduling', which helps in powering right cores for the right tasks and thus result in better battery life.

For better graphics there is Mali G76-GPU which was announced in May. This GPU will help in high graphic intensive tasks and will also result in better gaming experience. This can also take advantage of clock-boosting technology which results in better performance when there is some high graphic intensive task is going on. This GPU is far better than it's predecessor that is Mali-G72.

Hisilicon Kirin 980 chipset is the first to support LPDDR4X memory. It also supports 1.4Gbps Cat 21 LTE modem and fast WiFi speeds. This is the first chip to come with dual NPU technology which means it has two NPU chips instead of just one in the previous version. This NPU results in better AI functions in the phone. It will make the phone more intelligent and thus results in better accuracy in AI tasks. It also improve the speed of AI tasks.

There is one more thing worth mentioning in Kirin 980 and that is it's good camera performance which is possible due to all new ISP. This is the fourth generation of Huawei's ISP. And it's really good due to features like multi camera support, HDR color reproduction, multi pass noise reduction, more data throughput and many more.

Now you must be thinking how does it perform against the blazing fast Qualcomm chip that is Snapdragon 845.This can't be answered right now. Huawei is claiming that it will be 20% faster than 10nm chips. But nobody has trust on claims, real picture will come out only when phone having Kirin 980 will be launched. First of the  phones which will have Kirin 980 chip are Huawei Mate 20 and Mate 20 pro which will be launched in October. So the performance of the chips can be tested then only. But the performance of the chip is expected to be really good as Kirin 970 is also one of the fastest chips in the market.   

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