Samsung Galaxy Note Fan Edition: Unboxing and impressions

There is so much to love about Samsung smartphones, especially the displays and cameras. There are things that some may find a little frustrating too, like inconsistent performance over time. It was the latter that always drove me from keeping my SIM card in a Galaxy S series for any appreciable period of time.

However, the Note series was different, despite the same hiccups I would inevitably encounter as I put the device through its paces, those perfect moments where the S-Pen was handy would prove invaluable – not in a sense of professional productivity, but out of propensity to make jokes.

Those pretty displays and other goodies from the Galaxy Note series would eventually give way to the next big thing, but I always looked forward to the next generation. The Galaxy Note 5 was the stylus-packing line-up’s maturation point – build quality that had reached parity with the Galaxy S-series, and more refined features for the S-Pen.

The Galaxy Note 7’s feature set really impressed me. I pre-ordered as soon as I was able to and immediately fell for Samsung’s ability to entrance me with their AMOLED displays. Despite there being a Snapdragon 820 under the hood, it just felt like it was not running like a true flagship. In hindsight, it could have been related to the battery, or heat from charging. The battery mayhem surrounding the device did not impact me because I returned it before all that stuff starting making news.

When the Galaxy S8 came along, I gave that a whirl also, and the terrible fingerprint sensor placement was just too big an inconvenience for me to enjoy what is otherwise an outstanding piece of hardware with a well-executed Samsung Experience skin sending TouchWiz out to a long-overdue pasture. Still, I was a little worried that the next generation Note would follow in the S-series footsteps when it comes to that critical feature. From the looks of the news lately, it appears those concerns are well-founded.

When word got out about the rebuilt “Fan Edition” Note, I was interested because on the surface, it appeared that Samsung fixed what was wrong – the battery (obviously), the CPU (small bump), and software (Android 7 and Samsung Experience).

So, being the gadget geek that I am, and with little regard for the concept known as impulse control, I went online and ordered a Galaxy Note Fan Edition from a seller in Korea.

What’s in the box

There is nothing new to the packaging, other than a big heart on the box. Clearly aimed at showing appreciation to the purists that just wanted a current-era Note device, the rest of the packaging is familiar Samsung. With the phone, earbuds, charger, USB-C cable, OTG adapter, micro-USB adapter, and extra stylus tips.

About the Note FE and Impressions

We gave an overview of differences between the Note 7 and the Note FE. The battery is smaller (safer), and so far, charging has been wholly uneventful. The device even remains cool to the touch. The discrepancy in what we earlier learned about the Note FE is the silicon inside. Rather than a Snapdragon 821, the Note FE (or at least the one I got, which is KT branded) instead ships with the octa-core Exynos 8890.

Performance-wise, the Note FE does not feel like a throwback from last year, even though its spec sheet suggests it is. The camera fits Samsung’s typical modus-operandi, that is to say, excellent.

The new Samsung Experience UI is right at home on the 5.7-inch AMOLED display. The settings default the display to operate at 1080p resolution, and you can adjust it to 2K or 720p if you like. The UI action is smooth, though it is obviously nowhere near as fast as what we have seen from this year’s power players.

Think you want one too? Bring money

If you have a gadget hunger that is insatiable, there are dozens of reputable sellers on eBay who have stormed the retailers in Korea and bought a bunch of Galaxy Note FE devices in order to feed the addiction. The prices are high, ranging between $795 and $925. You will want to double-check the specifications regarding cellular connectivity in your area, just in case.

Most of the Note FEs for sale have free express shipping from Korea, and there no import duties on shipments to the United States. I pre-ordered mine a couple days before they went on sale. The seller shipped it on Monday, and it arrived at my doorstep on Thursday.

The Samsung Galaxy Note Fan Edition is certainly not the hot hit for the summer of 2017, but it is certainly worthy of some notoriety, until we are drawn to the new gear yet-to-come from LG, Google, and Samsung. Yep, I’ll probably get a Note 8 when it comes out too.

Sprint wants to lease you a smartphone

Sprint has found that it is to their benefit to lease their customers a handset rather than selling them one. The wireless operator has a new program called Sprint Flex that allows customers to lease a phone and upgrade to a new model after 18 months. For $5 a month extra, subscribers can upgrade after just 12 months. Note that Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy models are entitled to a 12-month early upgrade without having to pay the extra $5 monthly.

Other options available at 18 months include paying off the device with one lump sum payment. Or, by paying six more monthly payments, subscribers will own the handset. The customer can also decide to keep the lease going by continuing to make the monthly payments.

Those who don’t mind having their credit checked by Sprint can subscribe to Sprint Deals. This is for customers who have applied for and have received credit from the nations’ fourth largest carrier. They can pay $25 down and $5 a month to lease an entry-level handset. Or, a more expensive model from Sprint’s entire portfolio of phones (which now includes the BlackBerry KEYone) can be leased for $30 down and $10 a month. With 12 consecutive on-time payments, subscribers can qualify for an upgrade to any new handset.

If you don’t want your credit checked, you can take 50% off an entry-level phone or 25% off a high-end model. Subscribers will be using the Sprint Forward pre-paid plan. Again, with 12 consecutive on-time payments, customers can qualify for an upgrade to any new handset without requiring a credit check.

Why offer leasing programs? Not only do customers leasing handsets tend to stick around longer than those who purchase them, the market for previously used phones is said to be gaining strength. Sprint CFO Tarek Robbiati points out that leasing gives Sprint the opportunity to sell an asset multiple times. “Maybe two lives for a phone, maybe three we don’t know,” says the executive. “But those phones have an extended life relative to what we were using in the past.”

Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure says that the churn profile of customers who lease is very favorable.

“I mean, as a value proposition, 80% of our sales give the right to the consumer to upgrade their device every single year. So logically that’s going to drive consumers to one-year upgrades. They’re signing an 18-month lease, but they are upgrading their device every 12 months, meaning they are never out of the contractor. They are continuously operating, and what we’ve found is the churn profile of those customers looks very, very favorable.”-Marcelo Claure, CEO, Sprint

Those who lease a phone need to take extra special care with it since the device is not being purchased. That means keeping the screen free of cracks and not allowing the phone to suffer any water damage. Otherwise, after the lease expires, the device might have to be purchased at a price equivalent to that of a brand new device.

source: FierceWireless, CNET

With iOS 11, NFC is for more than just using Apple Pay

Apple currently uses NFC for mobile payment system Apple Pay. NFC, which stands for Near Field Communication, allows two electronic devices to communicate with each other as long as both are no more than 1.6-inches apart. When Apple added NFC to its handset with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, it limited the use of the feature to Apple Pay. But that is all going to change once iOS 11 is released.

With iOS 11 comes Core NFC. This allows developers to access NFC so that the tool can be used inside apps. With the latest build of Apple’s mobile operating system, NFC tags can be read on certain iPhone models. This allows compatible devices to open certain apps, and change specific settings when it comes into contact with a tag. In addition, consumers can stand next to store shelves and learn more information about some of the products that s store is offering for sale. NFC can also help manufacturers track a product from a factory based assembly line, to its delivery inside a store.

“When placed on a bottle of spirit or a bottle of lubricant oil, for instance, and tapped by an NFC phone, the chip is able to securely authenticate and track the bottle like an ePassport does. It offers the same certified security level. It also allows the brand to broadcast personalized messages to the phone-holder detecting whether the bottle has been open or not.”-Cybersecurity company WISeKey

Core NFC will be available for use on the Apple iPhone 7, Apple iPhone 7 Plus and later models. Interested developers can learn more about Core NFC by reading Apple’s documentation. Simply click on the sourcelink.

source: Apple via MacRumors

High-end Nokia 8 allegedly coming soon, could cost less than $600

After launching the Nokia 3, Nokia 5, and Nokia 6, HMD Global is now (seemingly) getting ready to introduce at least one higher-end Android smartphone. Recently, we heard that a Nokia 8 and a Nokia 9 might be around the corner, and now we’re learning that only one of these models may be released in the near future: the Nokia 8.

According to German website WinFuture (usually a reliable source), the Nokia 8 has the model number TA-1004. Not long ago, it’s been assumed that the TA-1004 would be launched as the Nokia 9, but WinFuture has it that the phone’s final name should be Nokia 8.

The Nokia 8 is expected to be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, further featuring 4 GB of RAM, dual SIM support, and 64 GB of internal memory. The handset likely sports a Quad HD (1440 x 2560 pixels) display of at least 5.3 inches, and could have a Zeiss-branded camera.

Reportedly, the Nokia 8 will be available in four color variants – blue, steel, gold blue, and gold copper – and should cost a bit under €600 in Europe (almost certainly, this would mean under $600 in the US).

A couple of months ago, a leaked video may have shown the Nokia 8, or at least an early version of it. More exactly, the Nokia 8 could be the handset seen on the left in this image (note the existence of a dual rear camera):

It’s said that the Nokia 8 will be released in Europe as soon as late July. If that’s the case, we could see the new smartphone being officially announced in less than two weeks’ time. Meanwhile, of course, we must keep in mind that, right now, nothing about the Nokia 8 is confirmed.

source: WinFuture (translated)

Upcoming T-Mobile Tuesday freebies include deals on pizza, movies and hotels

Want to know what the giveaways and contest prizes are for this coming week’s T-Mobile Tuesday? Then you’ve come to the right place. Let’s start with the freebies. This Tuesday, T-Mobile subscribers will receive a 25% discount or more on hotel rooms from HotelStorm. If you need prints from your camera roll to create a permanent reminder of your vacation, on Tuesday you can order them from the FreePrints app. You’ll receive 10 4×6 premium photographs and a pair of 5×7 enlargements. As part of T-Mobile Tuesday, subscribers to the nation’s third largest carrier will receive free expedited shipping of said prints. On Tuesday, T-Mobile is giving away from Vudu a free movie rental or purchase, priced up to $5.50.

Additionally, on the second workday of the upcoming week, you can take 25% off any item listed on Papa John’s regular menu. Check the T-Mobile Tuesday app every week through July 25th to see if it is your turn to win a free medium one topping pie. Are you a fan of the National Parks System? This Tuesday, T-Mobile is giving away a digital EBook version of National Geographic’s guide to the National Parks.

The contest this week will feature One Grand Prize, which is a check for $5,000. The money can be used to plan a trip to a National Park. The winner also receives another check, this one in the amount of $2,142 which can be used to pay taxes on the prize, or can be used at the winner’s discretion. Twenty-Five First Prize winners get a National Parks package of books and guides including:

  • Complete National Parks of the United States
  • The National Parks (an illustrated history)
  • National Parks Collections
  • Guide to National Parks of the United States
  • 3 National Geographic children’s books
  • A Journey Through America’s Wild Heart Yellowstone
  • Secrets of the National Parks
  • 10 of the Best Everything National Parks

One-Hundred Second Prize winners will be given a $25 code good for use one-time only at the National Geographics’ online store, shopng.com.

This week, there will be 126 prizes given away during the contest, valued at $18,392. Good luck!

source: T-Mobile

Leaked photo gives us our best look yet at the Galaxy Note 8

We’ve got some big-hitting phones still to come in 2017 but few are generating as much buzz as the Galaxy Note 8 – and thanks to a photo posted to Twitter we may just have got our best look yet at the upcoming phablet, even if we still have to wait for its official debut.

Posted by Twitter use Ice Universe, who has a better-than-average record as a tipster, the shot shows three Galaxy Note 8 handsets in a row complete with minimal, slightly curved bezels and some rather fetching home screen wallpapers from the Samsung vaults.

While these pictures look as if they could be genuine, and come from a fairly reliable source, we wouldn’t bet the house on them being accurate just yet – however, they are potentially the best look we’ve got so far at the upcoming phone from Samsung.

Make a Note

Earlier this week we saw what could be the Note 8 in a tweet from Samsung itself, though the lack of buttons on the side of the unit hint that this could be a dummy phone or maybe just a generic render (the tweet itself was advertising a Samsung Exynos processor).

There’s also plenty of speculation about when the Note 8 is going to see the light of day – the most recent insider info suggests a launch date of August 23, which would do very nicely for taking the wind out of the sails of the iPhone 8 launch. Other tipsters have said the phablet won’t be officially unveiled until late September.

What we do know is that a Galaxy Note 8 is definitely on the way from Samsung, which will look to erase the bad memories of the Galaxy Note 7. Of course an S Pen stylus will be in tow, and we’re expecting a 6.4-inch screen size with a pixel-dense 4K screen.

We took an AR trip to the moon

Whether it’s the proliferation of science-fiction movies that show man exploring the stars, or bold claims from the likes of Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking about imminent space colonization, there’s a collective interest in space right now that doesn’t look like it’ll die down anytime soon – or at least not until we’ve set up camp on Mars.

But how much do you really know about the universe? Unless you’re a serious astrophile, the chances are you do little else than look at cool photography, follow Nasa on Instagram (if you don’t, you seriously should) and retweet nuggets of Elon Musk’s wisdom about taking us all to space. 

A company called AstroReality wants to change all that, and deliver education about space that’s more accessible, interactive and tech-enabled than ever before – and there isn’t a dull textbook in sight.

Lunar ambitions

AstroReality has big, bold plans about space education. But the company’s first creation is an extremely detailed version of the moon called the AstroReality Lunar. Although the model itself is extremely cool, and would look damn fine on your desk, there’s a lot more to it than looks. 

The company claims it’s not only the most precise model of the moon on this planet, it’s the only AR-enabled one that’s this detailed. The team at AstroReality have mapped the most famous moon spots on the model, which you can explore with AR tech and a dedicated smartphone app.

It created the model using data from Nasa, state-of-the-art design tools and sophisticated 3D printing tech. Look closely and you’ll see the craters Copernicus and Petavius – and 2001: A Space Odyssey fans will be happy to spot Clavius too (just be sure to put some ear muffs on before you head down into the crater).

We tested out the prototype for ourselves. All you have to do is let the app track the surface in front of you with a QR code and labels about sites around the moon pop up in front of you, with the features set to get more advanced over time.

There are three different versions of the AstroReality Lunar: the Mini at 3cm, the Regular at 8cm and the Pro, which comes with more feature, at 12cm. 

It’s a great way for people to, quite literally, get to grips with space, and it’s not hard to imagine who might benefit from an interactive, AR-enabled model like this, from those who are just interested in space to kids in an education setting. 

But although the Lunar model is fascinating, it’s only the start for AstroReality. We spoke to James Li, founder of AstroReality, about what the future holds for his moon models, AR and learning about space.

How to build a moon

The process of creating the Lunar was a painstaking one. “We used [digital modeling tool] Zbrush to design the Lunar model integrating Nasa’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter’s data early on in our process,” Li explains.

“Data is downloaded from NASA LROC – the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera, or LROC, is a system of three cameras mounted on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) that capture high-resolution black and white images and moderate-resolution multi-spectral images of the lunar surface. We leveraged the high-resolution Elevation Map and Global Map.”

This promotional video shows the process…

After creating a version of the moon that’s modelled to 0.006 millimeters per pixel precision, it was time to pack it full of AR smarts. “We created three tiers of AR experiences,” Li told us. “We used [game engine] Unity and [AR platform] Vuforia AR SDK for front-end and [cloud platform] Microsoft Azure for back-end data, specific for the three sizes we offer for Lunar in.”

From moon landmarks to moon landing

Right now if you get the Lunar model and the app you can see labels of the key craters and sites. But there’s going to be much more to the AstroReality Lunar over the coming months.  

“The second stage will be to see and learn about landmarks that we know about but we have never visited before – the dark side of the moon revealed,” Li tells us. “The third part is to simulate a mission to the moon, with the ability to land on all the Apollo landing stations 11 through to 17, and to travel through the moon listening, learning, watching and reading about the historic landmarks visited by the astronauts on the Apollo missions. This is where we tell the story and you can personalise your journey.”

AstroReality founder James Li. ”When I painted Lunar, Copernicus is the one that I spent the most time on.”

From there there’ll be more locations added, a game-like element introduced and way more interaction. And it’s not just the moon that AstroReality wants to help us understand better – the company already has a mini solar system set, and plans to roll out an entire solar system of larger, more interactive models in the future.

On a mission to inspire

“Lunar will add another dimension to learning in the classroom, as it’s interactive using rich media and advanced AR technology, all of which have been proven to keep children engaged with their learning,” Li says.

“But it’s not just a toy – the data and scale are so precise that it’s an excellent tool for professional scientists in laboratories and research centres to visualize the moon.”

And Li and the team at AstroReality want this knowledge will come in handy much quicker than we all expert. 

“At the Breakthrough Starshot conference last month, Stephen Hawking set a deadline of 100 years for humans to start colonizing another planet for us to survive climate change, deadly diseases and other fatalities,” Li explains.

AstroReality’s moons are modeled to a precision of 0.006 millimeters per pixel

“AstroReality models will educate everybody to help them understand space, be more familiar with it and make this statement less of a daunting one. As humans our imaginations have always run wild with space and astronomy; now AR allows us to experience it as closely as possible without being there.”

We’re not sure that AR tech will answer the big, logistical questions about how we get everyone up in space or colonise other planets. But we’re all for the idea of more and more people learning about space and the possibilities it might hold for the future. 

Finally, we wanted to hear what Li thought about the future of AR and VR when it comes to learning. “It’s already happening, but I expect to see a surge of augmented reality and virtual reality combined in mixed reality experiences in education,” he says.

“This will be the case in classrooms to add more interactivity into education and at Astronaut training camps for those on their way to space. This is the closest people will get to going to the moon without actually getting on a rocket; it will fulfil so many lifelong dreams and prepare those on a space mission for the real thing.

“But ultimately, AR VR and MR is the future of so many industries, astronomy and science included.”

And after spending so much time researching, designing and engaging with the moon, we asked Li what his favourite bit of lunar geography is. “Copernicus,” he says. “I can see Copernicus with my bare eyes from Earth every time I look at the moon – it’s almost right in the middle. Its pattern is complex and goes in various directions. When I painted Lunar, Copernicus is the one that I spent the most time on.”

AstroReality is currently seeking crowdfunding for Lunar on Indiegogo, with discounts on its models for backers. 

iPhone 8 Plus release date, news and rumors

Update: Wireless charging might not be ready in time for the launch of the iPhone 8 Plus, but the phone could have a mirrored finish and a new video shows off a dummy iPhone 8 unit in detail.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the original iPhone. It has almost been 10 years since Steve Jobs walked out on stage and changed the way we use our mobile phones, so you can expect Apple to celebrate with major upgrades on the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.

That stacks up with some of the rumors we’re already hearing, which suggest the iPhone 8 Plus will see a lot of improvements.

We’ve already had word that the iPhone 8 Plus may come in two different models, and heard rumors of it having a fully upgraded spec as well.

The iPhone 7 Plus was even better than the iPhone 7, so we have high hopes for the iPhone 8 Plus. But will it even be called the iPhone 8 Plus, or are we going to get the iPhone 7S Plus?

Apple’s usual naming convention suggests it will go for the iPhone 7S Plus, but the company may decide to use the tenth anniversary as an excuse to skip a generation, for a major upgrade in 2017.

Read our in-depth reviews: iPhone 7 | iPhone 7 Plus

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The next phablet iPhone
  • When is it out? Probably September 2017, or maybe 2018
  • What will it cost? Lots and lots of money

iPhone 8 Plus release date

For the last few years Apple has announced new iPhones at the start of September, and then released the phone later in the month.

That’s exactly when we’d expect the iPhone 8 Plus to launch in 2017. The only iPhone to not be launched in September in recent years is the iPhone SE, but we’d expect the iPhone 8 Plus to follow a year after the iPhone 7 Plus, which launched in September 2016.

There’s also a chance this may be called the iPhone 7S Plus – in which case the handset called the iPhone 8 Plus won’t be here until 2018. 

Usually we’d expect Apple to introduce an S model the year after a new numbered phone, but this year a lot of rumors have suggested it may just jump straight to the iPhone 8 Plus.

But even assuming the late 2017 launch, it’s possible that the iPhone 8 Plus won’t land in September, as rumors suggest there are issues with laminating the display, which could cause it to be delayed until October or November.

More recently we’ve also heard that Apple hasn’t decided how to integrate the fingerprint scanner, which could lead to a 1-2 month delay, and it sounds like production is proving a challenge.

TechRadar’s take: September 2017 looks likely, but it may be called the iPhone 7S Plus instead of the iPhone 8 Plus, and a delay is possible.

iPhone 8 Plus screen

Hottest leaks:

  • There will be two versions: one with an OLED screen and one LCD
  • Some rumors suggest the screen size will increase
  • It could have a True Tone display

Apple may be making two versions of the iPhone 8 Plus in 2017, and the biggest difference between the two could be the screen technology each uses.

A KGI Securities analyst has suggested that one version of the iPhone 8 Plus will come with an LCD screen (as is used by current Apple phones), while another will come with OLED.

Rumor has it Apple wants to upgrade the screen technology to OLED on all of its iPhone models, but demand for the tech is too high at the moment for Apple to build enough OLED screens, so it may only do it on one version of the iPhone 8 Plus.

Though recent rumors from The Investor suggest Apple could have secured 160 million OLED panels, which should be enough for most models.

It seems the OLED models may be sourced from Samsung, and could be made of plastic.

Expect the OLED version of the iPhone 8 Plus to cost a little more than the LCD version. The possible lack of OLED stock may also mean this version of the Plus will be in higher demand.

Supply chain sources claim the OLED handset will have an edge-to-edge screen with a fingerprint scanner embedded into it, and that this model is currently codenamed “Ferrari.”

We’ve seen more evidence of this possibility from an Apple patent, showing a bezel-free screen with embedded components. A second, similar Apple patent has also emerged.

Credit: @VenyaGeskin1

And now there’s even more evidence, as a leaked schematic of a prototype iPhone 8 also shows an all-screen front, as do leaked images of the front and back glass.

Perhaps our best look at this design is in the image below, showing a render of the all-screen iPhone 8 with the display on.

If Apple does place the scanner in the screen, it might add a ‘function area’ at the bottom, similar to the Touch Bar on the MacBook Pro, according to a research note. This would be in place of the hardware home button found on current models.

Apple may also decide to up the size of the iPhone 8 Plus’s screen.

The iPhone Plus range has always had 5.5-inch screens, but one analyst believes the screen will be upped to 5.8-inches on the iPhone 8 Plus, as there’s now a demand for larger screen phones. That’s a rumor that’s popped up more than once, so it’s looking quite likely.

It may be that Apple decides to keep this size jump just for the OLED version though, if it happens at all.

It’s also possible that we’ll get a curved iPhone 8 Plus, in fact a rumor talks about a curved OLED screen, and one which could potentially have a higher-than-QHD resolution.

Apple has supposedly ordered 70 million curved OLED panels from Samsung, though these could be intended for next year’s handsets, given that the order seemingly wasn’t placed until April and that leaked images of the iPhone 8 Plus don’t show a curved screen.

Whenever a curved screen iPhone arrives it might not be as dramatically curved as the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S8 though, according to one source, which adds that the curves also won’t add significant new functions to the phone.

There’s also the very, very slim chance Apple will be able to include a flexible screen on the iPhone 8 Plus.

Patently Apple has pointed out that the company patented the technology for a foldable iPhone a few years back, with the patent describing a screen that can fold in two, much like a book, but this hasn’t been specifically linked to the iPhone 8 Plus.

The iPhone 8 Plus might also inherit an iPad Pro 9.7 feature according to one report, namely a True Tone display, which would allow it to automatically adjust the screen colors based on the ambient light around you. It’s a feature that would make sense to add, since an Apple product already has it.

TechRadar’s take: It looks like the iPhone 8 Plus will come in two models. One will feature an OLED screen and another will feature an LCD display (and may be called the iPhone 7S Plus). A size boost is also starting to look likely, but we wouldn’t count on curves.

iPhone 8 Plus design

Hottest leaks:

  • A major change compared to previous models
  • It’ll still be a large phone, but one version may be glass instead of metal
  • The Touch ID fingerprint scanner may be integrated into the screen

One of the biggest criticisms of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus was the fact that neither had a new design. 

In fact, Apple handsets from the iPhone 6 Plus onward look largely the same, so there may be some big design changes coming on the iPhone 8 Plus.

One analyst from China expects the biggest change in the design to be a move toward a curved glass back, rather than the metal used on other iPhone models.

The CEO of the company that makes the iPhone’s metal casing has even said back in 2016 that one model of the iPhone 8 “will adopt glass casing next year”. And we’ve also heard more reports of a glass back, with a steel frame to hold it together. You can see how that might look in the image of a dummy handset below.

It would make sense for the most premium and expensive iPhone model to get the new material rather than the normal iPhone 8. Though it’s also possible that all iPhone 8 models will get a glass back, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Another source has also suggested the phone will come with a “glass sandwich design”, so it may be that the iPhone 8 Plus looks quite a bit like the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. You can see more images of how that might look below, and there’s even a video of a dummy unit.

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Credit: BGR

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Credit: BGR

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Credit: BGR

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Credit: BGR

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Credit: BGR

The other big rumored design change is dropping the Touch ID scanner from the iPhone 8 Plus. Most sources have said it would be integrated into the screen instead, while other sources suggest it will be moved to the back of the phone, and there’s even some evidence that it could be built into the power button.

But there’s a chance we won’t see much change to the design at all, with another source claiming the iPhone 7S Plus will look a lot like the iPhone 7 Plus, albeit with a new red color added to the mix. And speaking of colors, there might also be a version with a mirror-like finish.

Either way, expect the iPhone 8 Plus to keep its waterproof build (possibly even slightly more waterproof, with IP68 certification in place of IP67, according to The Investor), as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack-less design.

TechRadar’s take: It’s about time Apple changed up the design, and the iPhone’s tenth anniversary is the perfect time to do it.

iPhone 8 Plus camera and battery

Hottest leaks:

  • Optical image stabilization looks almost certain
  • Expect a similar 7MP selfie shooter
  • Wireless charging may finally come to the iPhone

The camera was perhaps the biggest upgrade for the iPhone 7 Plus, so we’d expect to see a similar spec on the iPhone 8 Plus shooter. 

Respected Chinese analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has suggested the dual-lens camera will remain limited to the Plus model, and that both lenses will benefit from optical image stabilization, where currently only the wide-angle lens features OIS on the iPhone 7 Plus.

The iPhone 8 Plus may also get augmented reality features, allowing it to recognize objects and manipulate faces, as well as possibly supporting 3D effects.

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Credit: @VenyaGeskin1

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Credit: @VenyaGeskin1

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Credit: @VenyaGeskin1

More evidence of this comes from leaked sketches, drawn by a factory worker. The annotations aren’t in English, but apparently mention 3D cameras on both the front and back. The cameras may also switch from a horizontal alignment to a vertical one, as you can see in the image below.

As for the front camera, we’d expect it to stay at the 7MP mark on the iPhone 8 Plus, as it was upgraded for the last phone, but there’s nothing in particular rumored yet for the selfie shooter.

Credit: @VenyaGeskin

In terms of the battery size, there are no clear rumors for the iPhone 8 Plus. 

The biggest upgrade for the phone may be the introduction of wireless charging technology. Some form of that is all but guaranteed after the CEO of one of Apple’s suppliers said as much, but it might go beyond what we’ve seen on other devices.

Apple has been rumored to be working on wireless charging tech that can work up to 18 feet away from the phone, or rather, Energous – a company working on the tech – is said to be collaborating with a “tier 1” smartphone maker, and has also claimed to be working with one of the largest consumer electronics companies in the world, on a solution due to ship this year. 

This would be truly wireless charging – and while “tier 1” doesn’t necessarily refer to Apple, BGR claims the company working on the tech has received an investment of $10 million from one of Apple’s major suppliers, making Apple the obvious guess.

It’s also been revealed that a senior Apple employee has been hired by Energous, and that the company plans to release a product in time for the iPhone 8’s launch.

If Apple is working on this, and if it’s ready for the iPhone 8 Plus, it would be a game changer feature that no other phone maker is currently capable of providing.

Even if we don’t get long-distance wireless charging, this might be the first iPhone with normal wireless charging, as according to a research note obtained by 9to5Mac all iPhone 8 models will have the feature, and a sound file buried in the iOS 11 beta hints at it too.

Although another leak suggests the phone won’t have any kind of wireless charging.

And if it does have wireless charging it might not be enabled straight away, with one rumor saying the accessories needed to charge wirelessly won’t go on sale until sometime after the phone’s launch, while another says that the software for wireless charging won’t be ready in time, so will be activated later.

Whether there’s wireless charging or not, you’re sure to want to plug the iPhone 8 Plus in at times, and surprisingly there’s some evidence that you’ll be doing that via USB Type-C, rather than a Lightning connection, though the evidence so far is flimsy.

TechRadar’s take: Look for a similar dual-lens camera, but with OIS for both lenses. Battery life improvements are possible and normal wireless charging looks likely, but don’t count on long-distance wireless charging or a USB-C port.

iPhone 8 Plus OS and power 

Hottest leaks:

  • A focus on augmented reality
  • A powerful graphics chip

We’d expect iOS 11 to launch alongside the iPhone 8 Plus, and we have an idea of the improvements that software will bring, as it’s been announced at WWDC 2017.

Look out for AR features, improvements to Apple Pay and iMessages, and a whole new look for the App Store, among other things.

The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus both launched with upgraded A10 Fusion chipsets, so we’d expect a quad-core chip on the iPhone 8 Plus and it’s likely to be called the A11 Fusion or even just A11.

In terms of RAM, we’d expect the iPhone 8 Plus to come with 3GB or 4GB. 

The iPhone 7 Plus has 3GB on board and the iPad Pro 12.9 packs 4GB, so with the iPhone 8 Plus Apple might up the RAM to 4GB.

The iPhone 8 Plus might also use a graphics chip that’s far more capable for gaming, especially in augmented reality and virtual reality, as Imagination Technologies has made just such a chip, and its tech often features in Apple’s A-series chipsets.

Augmented reality could be a big focus of the iPhone 8 Plus in fact, as Apple reportedly has up to 1,000 engineers working on an AR project that could be destined for the next iPhone.

TechRadar’s take: The iPhone 8 Plus will be the fastest Apple handset yet, with an A11 chip and at least 3GB of RAM.

iPhone 8 Plus other features

Hottest leaks:

  • A Smart Connector for accessories?
  • It may include an iris scanner or tech to stop thieves stealing your fingerprints
  • New sensors to detect touch on more than just the screen
  • Facial recognition tech

Apple could make every side of the iPhone 8 Plus smart, by using new sensing technology to let the sides respond to a users touch – potentially allowing you to change the volume with a swipe along the edge and snap a photo with a tap. Though this sounds ambitious.

One Apple patent shows off a detailed system to stop thieves being able to take your fingerprints from your Touch ID sensor – so that may be included on the iPhone 8 Plus.

There’s also the chance the Smart Connector from the iPad Pro could launch on the iPhone 8 Plus. 

The long rumored iPhone 7 Pro was meant to feature the Smart Connector, for accessories such as small keyboards, but Apple may be waiting to launch it on the iPhone 8 Plus instead, though there’s little evidence of this in recent leaks.

Another rumor for the iPhone 8 Plus is the addition of an iris scanner. 

It’s a technology Samsung tried on its latest phablet – the Galaxy Note 7 – which allowed you to unlock your phone just by looking at it. Samsung brought the tech back for the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, so Apple is sure to jump on board at some point.

Apple may also be looking into facial recognition as a way to secure your phone. Evidence for that is growing, as Apple has acquired a startup that works on the tech, and an analyst’s research note suggests a 3D laser face scanner will be packed into the phone, though the software that powers this might only be enabled sometime after launch.

There’s also talk that the iPhone 8 Plus could come with free AirPods in the box. Given that it almost certainly won’t have a 3.5mm headphone port it would make some sense to get wireless earbuds with it, but given that AirPods are quite pricey we’re skeptical that it will happen.

TechRadar’s take: We doubt the iPhone 8 Plus will have an iris scanner or touch-sensitive sides, but an improved fingerprint scanner is a distinct possibility, while evidence of facial recognition is hard to ignore.

iPhone 8 Plus price

We’d expect a similar price for the iPhone 8 Plus as there was for the iPhone 7 Plus. 

The 32GB model costs $769 (£719, AU$1,229), while the 128GB version costs $869 (£819, AU$1,419). If you want an even bigger 256GB version you have to spend $969 (£919, AU$1,569).

We may see an even more expensive iPhone 8 Plus with an OLED screen though, in fact, some sources reckon it could be over $1000, so don’t expect your next phablet to come cheap.

TechRadar’s take: The iPhone 8 Plus is sure to cost at least as much as the iPhone 7 Plus, and some versions may be even pricier.

Truly awful movies that you ought ton’t be streaming on Netflix and Amazon Prime

Here we have been once again other maybe not On My Watchers, another week another dosage of drivel. I have prearranged four more faecal-flecked films that made me personally wish movies had never ever existed. 

Should this be very first time reading perhaps not On My Watch I quickly am undoubtedly sorry, but many thanks for dropping by to see what most of the fuss is approximately. The premise associated with the line is easy: what you’re about to read are terms, mostly negative, that describe four for the worst films you will ever see – that are streaming on Netflix or Amazon Prime today. Assuming they truly aren’t streaming within the little the world you might be looking over this from, then chances are you experienced a tremendously lucky escape.

We can’t get this to clearer: I’m maybe not suggesting to watch these movies. Quite the opposite, I viewed them which means you don’t need to suffer. I viewed them because We always love films and I decided to destroy the thing I liked, because no one requires love inside their life, right? They just need films that stink so very bad, they bring rips to your eyes.

Knowing that, the next movies would be the equivalent of a stubbed toe, cool callers, a paper cut, the pain you receive once you accomplish that little bit of epidermis next to a nail plus it smarts like hell, cramp, cramp that wakes you up in the exact middle of the evening and enables you to dance across the room, gone-off milk, milk that does not look or smell gone down however when you place it within tea it actually is, losing the handy remote control, finding a handy remote control but it’s the wrong one, listings of items that are irritating that continue annoyingly too long. 

Still here? You absolute masochist.

Daemonium: Soldier of the Underworld

The Premise: Wizards, fuel mask-wearing mercenaries, demons, killer robots and gun-toting schoolgirls all battle for the straight to one thing.

I’ll be the first to admit, i’ve no concept what’s happening here. Daemonium starts by having a schoolgirl fighting zombie demons. One of these steals the woman lollipop. She gets angry for apparent reasons – since it means she has nothing to suggestively suck on – so steals it right back. Then there’s a huge twist (spoiler alert), since the lollipop is truly a tracking transmitter that controls a concealed minigun which proceeds to mow down all demons in building. 

Then your movie kind of resets itself and doesn’t really mention all that schoolgirl-fighting company once again, until right at the end. it is like some one drunkenly stumbled into the editing space even though the film was in post manufacturing and mixed up the rushes with another barmy B Movie for, you realize, shits and giggles.

The remainder movie aims for ‘steam punk’ but lands squarely at ‘steaming turd punk’. You will find mercs in gasoline masks, scantily clad ladies, a crap wizard whoever big trick is lighting a cigar – which he additionally sucks on suggestively to bring stability to the film – with fire from his palm, and a dirge of demons that failed the auditions for Hellraiser.

Dialogue highlights are the zinger: “Don’t you ever shut up, wizard?” Which sounds better yet when talked in Spanish, the original language for this monstrosity of a film. 

Interesting reality, the ‘lollipop-sucking schoolgirl fighting’ woman may be the dubbed Spanish vocals of Lisa Simpson. 

Best viewed when: you’re trying to learn Spanish to wow your friendship team that includes a wizard, a merc in a gasmask plus schoolgirl that may kick your ass in the event that you also have a look at her damn lollipop. 

Gor

The premise: A prissy teacher gets dumped, continues a road journey using the guy that played the Mummy in Mummy, crashes their car and ends up in the fantasy world of Gor, where everybody hates using garments and is somewhat fighty.

Oh, Gor. You are let me tell you many ridiculous movie ever to feature Oliver Reed. Which includes the movie in which Reed wrestled Alan Bates naked facing a log fire. 

Gor’s heart is in its right spot. It’s created by Cannon movies – the now defunct notorious micro-budget manufacturing company – for a start, so yes it’s terrible but it gets some kudos to be terrible. But that doesn’t detract from it being terrible. Did I point out this film is terrible? 

The plot is ridiculous: a weedy physics professor called Tarl Cabot (?!) is really a bad teacher having a poor time because their gf dumps him. Therefore he jumps in their crap vehicle together with his friend called Norman (whom just happens to be the person who played The Mummy before Tom Cruise was in the The Mummy), they crash and result in a magical spot called Gor that is filled with hunters who always dress like sexy cavemen. 

Reed plays Sarm, the master associated with the kinky caveman and, my god, I’ve simply spent 100 words wanting to explain a movie that no one inside their right head should ever watch and I’m still not finished. To cut a long story short, there’s fighting, an excessive amount of sweaty guy buttock on display screen for anyone’s liking and there’s a chance you get drunk simply by looking into Reed’s eyes. There’s also the worst training montage ever. It final about 10 seconds but by the conclusion of it twatty Tarl is an specialist having a bow, but still an amateur actor.

Most useful watched whenever: pickled in identical level of liquor Oliver Reed presumably drank while causeing the bad excuse for a dream movie.

Filthy McNasty

The Premise: Best narrated in sound of Ian McKellen: A sex-starved ghost called Filthy McNasty (Phil, for quick) grants two ladies their ultimate wish – to fit in using their cool buddies.

Filthy McNasty is the type of movie you make along with your frat mates while very drunk then get up 24 hours later and don’t really keep in mind making it. Then a next morning, head thumping, tongue fabric dry, you spot a Blu-ray aided by the words: ‘please view, best moveee evaaaa’ about it. And that means you do, even while wondering how they hell you been able to not merely make a movie while inebriated but burn it to Blu-ray  too. 

You push play and it soon becomes apparent that what was hilarious once you were six tequila shots down has become horrific. 

‘Why does the key character seem like a rubbish ram?’ you gasp. ‘Why did we film Dan pretending to masturbate in their own poo?’ you cry. 

Why? WHY? WHYYYYY?

That’s practically Filthy McNasty – a low-rent horror show of a film created by Chris Seaver, a manager that makes Uwe Boll appear to be Chris Nolan. There are fans associated with the director Seaver’s work, apparently. Our company is guessing most of them are called Chris Seaver. 

Most useful watched when: Never. Nope. Never.

Starforce

I feel actually sorry the creators of Starforce. This Star Wars wannabe maybe had the possible to become a genuine fantasy hit within the mind of its manufacturers but it’s hampered with a couple of key things: terrible dialogue, wood acting, computer illustrations made for a ZX Spectrum (most likely) no plot to really discuss about it, other than a lot of males in berets yelling while some one flies around in a cardboard spacecraft. 

It can have one redeeming element, though, it sooner or later finishes.

Best viewed when: you are in the cleaner of room without a spacesuit along with your eyes begin to bulge like Arnie’s do altogether Recall.

Marc Chacksfield is a former film journalist (and TechRadar’s worldwide handling editor) who’s already regretting agreeing to view terrible movies with regard to his column maybe not On My Watch.

Apple is buying a unique machinery getting the iPhone 8 prepared on time

Appears like Apple is needing to take out all of the stops to have the iPhone 8 ready on time: a brand new report from Asia states the organization has begun purchasing and leasing out its manufacturing gear in a bid to ensure it’s got enough phone components to steadfastly keep up with anticipated need.

That is in line with the Korea Herald, often a rather dependable way to obtain insider Apple information through the supply chain. The Herald claims Apple’s brand new equipment is in charge of making rigid versatile imprinted circuit panels (RFPCBs) for the guts of the phone and that one board supplier has recently taken out of its contract.

The proceed to purchase the equipment, costing tens of vast amounts, is apparently part of a bid to help Apple’s staying suppliers handle complicated manufacturing challenges and schedules. Put another way, Apple’s feeling the pressure.

Await it

Exactly what performs this mean for all of us at other end regarding the production line? It adds more fuel toward rumor your iPhone 8 will probably be delayed or at the least for sale in not a lot of quantities this September.

We’re considering a phone that’s bound become worth looking forward to though: a 5.8-inch, edge-to-edge display that hides the Touch ID fingerprint sensor under the display, additional augmented truth features in the digital camera, wireless recharging, advanced face recognition and lots more besides.

This has a large amount of engineering work and we’ve heard term your wireless charging and facial recognition features are not going to be prepared promptly. With only a couple of months until the usual iPhone launch date, it’s a competition against time.