Motorola’s third Android One phone might be called the One Vision

Motorola released the One and One Power in 2018, and it looks like another Android One phone is on the horizon. XDA-Developers reported today that the company is working on its third Android One smartphone, called the Motorola One Vision.

The phone is expected to sell as the Motorola P40 in China. Regardless of the name, the phone corroborates a previous report and supposedly features a dual-camera system with a 48-megapixel primary sensor.

According to the report, the One Vision doesn’t take 48MP pictures — the phone defaults to 12MP. That’s due to the octa-core Samsung Exynos 9610 that reportedly powers the One Vision.

Samsung confirmed to XDA-Developers that the Exynos 9610 is capable of multi-image processing with no post effects at up to 108MP at 8fps. That breaks down to 48MP at 18fps, which is below the 30fps needed for Zero Shutter Lag (ZSL). That means it’ll take longer for the One Vision to take a 48MP picture relative to a 12MP picture.

Editor’s Pick

As it relates to the camera, Motorola is reportedly working on two new features — Video 3D HDR and Long Exposure, the latter of which should help in low-light situations. We don’t know what “3D HDR” entails, but we might learn more about the feature over time.

Elsewhere, the One Vision reportedly features a 6.2-inch display with Full HD+ (2,520 x 1,080) resolution and a cut-out for the selfie camera, 3GB or 4GB of RAM, 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of storage, a 3,500mAh battery, and Android 9 Pie out of the box.

According to XDA-Developers, the One Vision will be available in Latin America, China, and other international markets. No exact launch timeframe or pricing were provided, though the phone will be available in blue, gold, and possibly other colors.

NEXT: Moto Z4 render suggests Moto Mod support, in-display fingerprint sensor

Nokia 5.1 now getting a healthy serving of Android 9 Pie

Nokia 5.1 smartphone

HMD Global chief product officer Juho Sarvikas announced on Twitter yesterday morning that the company is now pushing out Android 9 Pie to the Nokia 5.1. That makes the Nokia 5.1 the fourth Nokia smartphone to get Pie this year so far.

Exact details weren’t disclosed, but we’re expecting a phased roll-out over the next few days. We also don’t know how large the download is, though we’re expecting it to be at least one GB — make sure you’re on Wi-Fi before you download.

With Pie, the Nokia 5.1 should now have new system navigation functionality, Adaptive Battery, Adaptive Brightness, and App Actions. There isn’t yet a changelog to confirm these features — the Nokia 8’s Pie update excluded Adaptive Battery, so perhaps not every Pie feature is available on the Nokia 5.1.

It’s nice to see HMD Global continually on top of its Pie roll-out — the company came out on top in terms of how quickly it updated a wide swath of its devices by the end of 2018.

According to HMD Global’s Pie timeline, the next Nokia smartphones to get Pie by the end of March are the Nokia 3.1 and Nokia 2.1. Following these devices are the Nokia 3 and Nokia 1, which will get Pie in “early Q2 2019.”

NEXT: Nokia in 2019: Onwards and upwards

Right when we’re talking about Android Q, here’s HTC with its Android Pie plans

HTC Sense

With the first Android Q developer preview supposedly dropping any day now, it’s easy to forget HTC is still lagging when it comes to its Android 9 Pie rollout. HTC finally provided a status update on Twitter for device owners, though they won’t like what they read.

According to HTC, it’s still working on the Pie update for the HTC U11, U11 Plus, and U12 Plus. HTC also mentioned that the update will rollout to the aforementioned smartphones starting Q2 2019, though phones purchased through carriers are at the mercy of those carriers.

The newer phones will likely get prioritized, so U11 owners might be waiting longer than U11 Plus and U12 Plus owners. That said, HTC smartphone owners have been waiting a long time anyway for Pie to hit their devices.

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HTC originally announced the Pie rollout back in August 2018, when Google officially released the update’s final version. Since then, only the Android One edition of the U11 Life received the update. What hurts is that HTC launched the U11 Life in 2017 and pushed out Pie to that phone first, even though the U12 Plus is much newer and the company’s current flagship.

What also hurts is that the HTC Sense version of the U11 Life won’t get Pie, even though the hardware is the exact same as the Android One version.

It seems like HTC isn’t taking software updates as seriously as it did before, and why would it? The company experienced a rough 2018, with 2019 shaping up to be an extension of prior struggles. Slow software updates are not a death knell by any means — hey, Samsung — but it doesn’t help when those updates come (or don’t come) from a company like HTC.

Good Lock will be compatible with Android 9 Pie on March 8

Samsung Good Lock 2018.

When the Android 9 Pie beta program began on the Samsung Galaxy S9 last year, users were disappointed to see that Samsung’s Good Lock app didn’t fully work with the upgraded operating system. Samsung promised full compatibility would eventually arrive.

Well, true to its word, Samsung is pushing an update to Good Lock which will enable Android 9 Pie compatibility this coming Friday, March 8 (via SamMobile).

If you don’t own a Samsung device, you might not be aware of Good Lock. The app allows for massive amounts of customization throughout a Samsung device with no need for root or ADB knowledge. It lets you change your lock screen, quick settings menu, task changer window, and more.

Editor’s Pick

The Samsung Good Lock team isn’t just bringing Pie compatibility, either. It also revealed that there are some new features on the way, including new styles for the recent apps screen, the return of multi-window functionality, and some new One UI style tweaks.

There’s also the possibility that the Samsung Galaxy S10 camera feature known as Best Shot could make its way to other Samsung devices via Good Lock. This feature will allegedly be called Nice Shot but will offer the same functionality (help users frame a scene properly before they take a photo).

If you use a Samsung device with Android 9 Pie, be on the lookout this Friday for the updated version of Good Lock, and then get to customizing!

NEXT: Samsung Good Lock gets nav bar customization and dozens of new icons

Asus reveals which phones will get Android 9 Pie

Asus Zenfone 5Z

It hasn’t exactly been a quick Android 9 Pie rollout for Asus, even though it’s been six months since Google rolled out the final stable version of the update. That said, at least Asus made it easier on phone owners and announced an Android 9 Pie upgrade plan for its phones.

Here’s the list of Asus smartphones that will get the update:

  • Zenfone 4 Max (ZC554KL)
  • Zenfone 4 Selfie (ZD553KL)
  • Zenfone 4 Max (ZC520KL)
  • Zenfone Live (ZB553KL)
  • Zenfone 4 Max (ZB520KL)
  • Zenfone Max Plus (M1) Clear Soft Bumper (ZB570TL)
  • Zenfone 5Q (ZC600KL)
  • Zenfone Live (L1) Clear Soft Bumper (ZA550KZ / ZA551KL)
  • Zenfone Max Pro (ZB602KL)
  • Zenfone Max Pro (ZB601KL)
  • Zenfone Max (M1) Clear Soft Bumper (ZB555KL / ZB556KL)
  • Zenfone 5 (ZE620KL)
  • Zenfone 5Z (ZS620KL)
  • ROG Phone (ZS600KL)
  • Zenfone Max Pro (M2) Clear Soft Bumper (ZB631KL/ ZB630KL)
  • Zenfone Max (M2) Clear Soft Bumper (ZB633KL / ZB632KL)
Editor’s Pick

Of note is the Zenfone 5Z, which already received its Android 9 Pie update at the end of January. The Zenfone Max Pro M2 also received the update, albeit in beta form and with the inability to downgrade to Android Oreo if something goes wrong.

Asus didn’t say exactly when the devices would get Android 9 Pie, only that they would get the update this year. Asus also didn’t state if it’s prioritizing some handsets over others. We’ll have to wait and see how Asus’ upgrade plan unfolds as we go further into 2019.

What version of Android are you running? (Poll of the Week)

Last week’s poll summary: Last week, we asked you if you’d ever buy a slider phone. Surprisingly, out of almost 56,000 total votes, the results were pretty much split down the middle – roughly 50.5 percent of voters said they wouldn’t buy a slider phone, while 49.5 percent said they would.


Android updates may be rolling out faster than ever before, but the majority of users still aren’t running the latest version of Android. At least, we think — Google hasn’t updated the Android distribution dashboard since late October 2018. At that time, Android 9 Pie wasn’t even on the chart, meaning it was installed on less than 0.1 percent of all Android devices.

See For Yourself

However, thanks to initiatives like Project Treble, third-party manufacturers have been able to roll out Android 9 Pie to their devices much quicker than ever before. We looked at the data and found many manufacturers averaging roughly 118 days before rolling out Pie to their devices, whereas the number was closer to 170 days for the Oreo update.

We want to hear from you. What version of Android is your phone running?

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll.

Next: Android Q: The top features we know about so far

Android 9 Pie certified for the Samsung Galaxy A7, A8, and A9 (2018)

The Samsung Galaxy A8.

If you own the Samsung Galaxy A7, A8, or A9 (2018), there’s good news for you today — the Wi-Fi Alliance certified all three smartphones for Android 9 Pie. That means all three of Samsung’s 2018 mid-range offerings are one step closer to the latest Android platform update.

This somewhat runs counter to Samsung’s updated software roadmap, which does not include the normal Galaxy A8 (2018). Perhaps the exclusion was a mistake on Samsung’s end, since the roadmap includes the Galaxy A8 Plus and A9.

Regardless, Samsung’s 2018 A-series smartphones are slated to get Pie in April 2019. Because the rollout might take a bit, the April 2019 timeframe might be more of a starting point for the update.

Editor’s Pick

Keep in mind that most of Samsung’s devices, including the A-series smartphones, will not get the One UI overlay — only the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, Note 8, S9 and S9 Plus, and Note 9 will get One UI. The overlay makes it easier to get to certain UI elements with one hand and adheres to the  round aesthetic of Pie.

The stable Pie update with One UI rolled out to the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus in December 2018. The update isn’t available in every country yet, but it’s available in at least three countries at the time of this writing: Germany, the UAE, and Montenegro.

Huawei’s Android 9 Pie-based EMUI 9.0 rolling out globally (Update: India, too!)

huawei mate 20 pro

Update, January 11, 2019 (1:54PM EST): Honor announced that the EMUI 9.0 update is rolling out to the Honor 10, Honor View 10, and Honor Play in India. Don’t fret if you live in India and don’t get the update right away — the rollout will likely happen over the next few days and even weeks, so be patient.


Original article, December 19, 2018 (6:35PM EST): Huawei recently announced that its EMUI 9.0 Android overlay is rolling out to supported devices around the world.

In the next few days, EMUI 9.0 will roll out to the following devices:

The EMUI 9.0 update weighs around 4GB, so make sure you’re on a decent Wi-Fi connection. Those on the EMUI 9.0 beta can expect a smaller 770MB update to the stable release.

Keep in mind that the list of supported devices may grow over time. Devices like the Honor 8X, Huawei Mate 20 Lite, Honor 8C, and similarly-new Huawei and Honor devices might also get EMUI 9.0 down the road.

Based on Android 9 Pie, EMUI 9.0 uses AI to increase the system response speed by 25.8 percent. Huawei also claims that EMUI 9.0 shortens app startup by 102ms and increases overall system fluency by 12.9 percent compared to EMUI 8.1.

Editor’s Pick

EMUI 9.0 also features GPU Turbo 2.0, the next iteration of Huawei’s game optimization software. Huawei claims that GPU Turbo 2.0 lowers touch delays by 36 percent and decreases hot spots temperature by up to 3.6 degrees Celsius compared to EMUI 8.1.

You’ll also find Huawei’s versions of certain Google features in EMUI 9.0. For example, Digital Balance and HiVision take clear inspiration from Digital Wellbeing and Google Lens, respectively.

Finally, EMUI 9.0 includes a gesture-based system and a more streamlined experience that cuts the number of menus down from 940 to 843.

If you have a Huawei or Honor device that runs EMUI 9.0, let us know your experiences in the comments below!

LG has vague timeline for global rollout of Pie for the LG G7 ThinQ

According to a post on the South Korean version of the LG website, Android 9 Pie will land on the South Korean variant of the LG G7 ThinQ in the first quarter of 2019.

Usually, LG updates its devices in its home country first and then rolls out the update to other countries some months later. Using this history as a rubric, it’s a safe bet that Pie will land on your LG G7 ThinQ at some point in the first half of 2019.

Or hey, maybe not. Maybe it will be sooner or later than that.

Editor’s Pick

Unlike other manufacturers who have given at least somewhat concrete timelines for the rollout of Pie to their Android devices, LG’s report on the matter is very vague. However, the company did roll out a beta of Android 9 Pie to its South Korean G7 Thinq handsets in November, so maybe the stable rollout will happen sooner than we expect.

Earlier in 2018, LG promised it was building a new division with the sole purpose of pushing faster Android updates to its phones. However, we haven’t heard much at all about this new update center since then. Judging from the fact that Android 9 Pie has been stable since August of 2018, it doesn’t appear that the update center is up and running quite yet.

If you have an LG G7 ThinQ, you will get Android 9 Pie at some point. We’ll just have to wait on LG to announce exactly when that will be.

NEXT: Some LG G7 ThinQ owners are reporting bootloops, but a fix is coming

Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 review: What’s old is new again

The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 is the clear successor to last year’s Mi Mix 2 and Mi Mix 2S, now redesigned to compete head-to-head with the Honor Magic 2. It offers very similar specifications and features, and it also utilizes the same unique slider design as the Magic 2. Only time will tell if the slider form factor of yesteryear is truly making a comeback, but the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 is one of two smartphones in recent months to reintroduce this design. This is our full review of the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3.

Design

The combination of ceramic and aluminum provides for excellent build quality and at 218g the phone feels very substantial.

The overall design of the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 is nothing short of what you would expect from Xiaomi. The Mi Mix 3 utilizes Xiaomi’s signature ceramic backing and a 7-series aluminum frame along the perimeter. The combination of ceramic and aluminum provides excellent build quality and at 218g the phone feels very substantial. Some may not like the weight, as it is one of the heaviest phones on the market, but I personally didn’t mind the heft. The phone makes good use of rounded corners, curved sides, and tapered edges for better comfort and a stylish appearance.

The ceramic backing is reflective and glossy, making it tough to keep fingerprint-free. It’s definitely a beautiful device if you can manage to keep your paws from greasing up its backside.

The slider mechanism satisfyingly clicks into place when open or shut and even has a spring back effect that’s reminiscent of slider phones of old.

The slider mechanism is fully manual and works just like the Honor Magic 2. Sliding the screen down opens up the phone, revealing the front-facing cameras. Xiaomi also included sound effects to make sliding the phone open and closed a little bit more fun. The slider mechanism satisfyingly clicks into place when open or shut and even has a spring back effect that’s reminiscent of slider phones of old. The slider feels sturdy overall and Xiaomi rates it at 300,000 cycles, but the front half has a slight wiggle. It’s probably not something to worry about, but I didn’t notice a wiggle with the Honor Magic 2’s slider.

Display

The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 continues the trend set by previous Mi Mix devices with a full-screen experience and minimal bezels. The slider makes shrinking the bezels easier, since the front-facing cameras are hidden inside of the phone. This means Xiaomi didn’t have to use a notch or put the front-facing camera on the bottom of the phone as in previous iterations.

A 6.39-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display fills the front of the phone with an impressive 93.4 percent screen-to-body ratio. Corning Gorilla Glass 5 is used to protect the screen from scratches. The display is vibrant, colorful, and exhibits the excellent contrast we’ve come to expect from AMOLED displays. At 600 nits of brightness, the screen is easily visible in direct sunlight.

The nearly bezel-less display is a joy to use on a daily basis. Content like movies and YouTube videos look fantastic. It almost feels like you’re just holding a display in your hands. It may not be as high resolution as some of the competing flagships on the market, but you most likely won’t notice. It’s a quality panel and that’s all that matters.

Performance

The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 comes with the usual internals that we’ve seen in flagship Android smartphones all year. A Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor runs the show with either 6, 8, or 10GB of RAM. I used the 6GB variant with 128GB of storage.

As expected, the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 performs swimmingly. Whether you’re casually swiping through the interface, launching apps, playing games, browsing the web, or multitasking, the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 is smooth and responsive. The abundance of RAM allows the Mi Mix 3 to keep tons of apps open without ever slowing down. High-end games run with consistent frame rates and the phone never got alarmingly hot or warm during gaming sessions.






The Mi Mix 3 is fast to charge with Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 4+ and wireless charging is available as an added convenience.

Battery life performance on the Mi Mix 3 is merely average. With a 3,200mAh battery that’s smaller than many competing smartphones, this wasn’t too surprising. Screen-on time averaged around four hours, which is good for a full day’s worth of use, but only if you’re using the phone casually. More intense use such as gaming and extended camera usage will drain the battery quickly. Thankfully, the Mi Mix 3 is fast to charge with Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 4+ and wireless charging is available as an added convenience.




Hardware

Aside from wireless charging, the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 doesn’t offer too many extra bells and whistles. There’s no IP certification against water and dust due to the phone’s slider design and you won’t find a headphone jack either. There’s also no microSD card slot for expandable storage, but the 128 and 256GB storage options should be more than enough for most people.

Face unlock can be used as an alternate method of security but this feature won’t be enabled until a future OTA update and will only come to select markets.

The most notable piece of hardware is a dedicated AI button on the left side of the phone. This is similar to the Bixby button on Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones, but it’s much more useful since it ties to Google Assistant.

Unlike the Honor Magic 2, the Mi Mix 3 has a physical fingerprint sensor on the rear panel, not an in-screen sensor. The sensor is fast and accurate. Considering in-screen fingerprint sensors aren’t quite as reliable in their current state, Xiaomi’s decision to go with a physical sensor was a smart one. Face unlock will work as an alternate method of security, but not until a future OTA update and only in select markets.

Camera

The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 comes with a total of four cameras. The rear is equipped with two 12MP sensors. The primary camera features a f/1.8 aperture lens, dual-pixel autofocus, and optical image stabilization. The secondary sensor is a telephoto lens with f/2.4 aperture and provides 2X optical zoom.

The main front-facing camera comes in at a whopping 24MP and is paired with a 2MP sensor. Only the 24MP sensor takes photos while the 2MP sensor is designed to assist with portrait mode, studio lighting effects, and AI scene detection. Portrait mode, studio lighting, and AI scene detection are also available on the rear cameras.

Portrait mode on the Mi Mix 3 works very well with clean cutouts of subjects and a convincing background blur. Very rarely did the Mi Mix 3 struggle with separating the foreground from the background. The bokeh can also be adjusted after the fact to increase or decrease separation between the subject and background. The studio lighting effects are fun if you want to make your selfies look a little more interesting but it doesn’t always do a perfect job cropping you from the original background, as you can see with my right ear in the images below.



Many smartphone cameras now include AI scene detection and they all work more or less the same. The Mi Mix 3 can detect scenes like food, plants, text, landscapes, and more. If the phone detects a scene you’ll see a visual indicator within the camera’s viewfinder and the camera will adjust the image accordingly in an attempt to provide a better-looking image.

I noticed that the AI scene recognition mostly just ups the saturation, contrast, and the overall brightness of the image. If you don’t dig the extra color and contrast, you can disable the AI. I personally didn’t mind the results it gave me as they’re not as heavy-handed as those found on some other phones.



The camera’s excellent dynamic range kept highlights from overexposing which provided more detail in these areas.

Whether or not you decide to use the AI, the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 is an excellent smartphone camera for photography. Images are crisp and full of detail and color reproduction is very pleasant with good white balance. The phone handled all sorts of situations extremely well, and night time shots were impressive. Details are very crisp and sharp, and noise is minimal. Many smartphone cameras tend to struggle with highlights in low light photography but such is not the case with the Mi Mix 3. The camera’s excellent dynamic range kept highlights from overexposing which provided more detail in these areas.

We’ve included a full gallery of samples below for easy viewing but you can see the full-res images by clicking here.

Gallery

Software

The Mi Mix 3 ships with the latest Android 9 Pie and version 10 of Xiaomi’s popular MIUI software. Although I prefer my Android software as stock as possible, MIUI is pleasant to use and easy on the eyes. The UI is very minimalist and doesn’t overwhelm you with bright colors, opting for a more pastel color palette. The UI is highly customizable with a big library of wallpapers and MIUI offers a great selection of themes for changing the UI’s aesthetics.

MIUI comes with many other useful features such as a one-handed mode, gesture-controlled shortcuts, and dual app support. The software also leverages the slider mechanism as a shortcut for taking a selfie or automatically launching into a specific application when sliding the phone open. Although MIUI has a lot of features and software tricks, none of them feel intrusive and many are quite useful. The experience is also free of third-party bloatware, which keeps the software clean. There is a lot of Mi branded software preinstalled, but that’s par for the course.






Specifications

  Xiaomi Mi Mix 3
Display 6.39-inch AMOLED
2,340 x 1,080 resolution
19.5:9 screen ratio
SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
Octa-core, up to 2.8Ghz
GPU Adreno 630
RAM 6GB/8GB/10GB
LPDDR4x
Storage 128GB/256GB
UFS 2.1
Cameras Rear cameras
Main: 12MP with 1.4 micron pixels, 4-axis OIS, f/1.8 aperture (IMX363)
Secondary: 12MP 2x telephoto with 1.0 micron pixels, f/2.4 aperture (S5K3M3+)
Video: 4K at 60/30fps, 1080p at 960/240/120/60/30fps, 720p at 960/240/120/30fps

Front cameras
Main: 24MP with 1.8 micron “super pixels”, f/2.2 aperture (IMX576)
Secondary: 2MP sensor for depth effects (OV02A10)

Audio USB Type-C
No headphone jack
Battery 3,200mAh battery
Quick Charge 4+
10 watt wireless charging
IP rating N/A
Sensors Rear fingerprint
Hall
Accelerometer
Gyroscope
Proximity
Ambient Light
Electronic Compass
Barometer
Network GSM: B2, B3, B5, B8 CDMA 1X, EVDO: BC0, BC6, BC10
WCDMA: B1, B2, B3, B4, B5, B6, B8, B9, B10
TDD-LTE: B34, B38, B39, B40, B41(2496-2690)
FDD-LTE: B1, B2, B3, B4, B5, B7, B8, B12, B13, B17, B18, B19,B20, B25, B26, B28, B29, B30, B66
Connectivity Wi-Fi: 2×2 MIMO, MU-MIMO, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 2.4G/5G
Bluetooth 5.0
AptX/AptX-HD support
NFC
Dual frequency GPS (GPS L1+L5, Galileo E1+E5a, QZSS L1+L5, GLONASS L1, Beidou B1)
SIM Dual nano-SIM
Dual 4G standby
Software MIUI 10
Android 9.0 Pie
Dimensions and weight 157.9 x 74.7 x 8.5mm
218g
Colors Jade Green
Onyx Black
Sapphire Blue

Pricing & Final Thoughts

Pricing for the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 is as follows: 6GB RAM and 128GB of storage for 3,299 yuan (~$475); 8GB RAM and 128GB of storage for 3,599 yuan (~$520); 8GB RAM and 256GB of storage for 3,999 yuan (~$575); and a 10GB RAM and 256GB of storage special edition for 4,999 yuan (~$720).

Aside from China, the Mi Mix 3 has also been confirmed for a U.K. release. Its wider availability will make this sliding phone much easier to obtain than the China-exclusive Honor Magic 2. That alone will make it a much more appealing option for those who want a phone in this form factor.

The Mi Mix 3 doesn’t disappoint as a flagship smartphone. It offers fantastic specs with great performance, great design, a near bezel-less screen, and a fantastic camera that takes excellent photos in all conditions. It lacks battery capacity and isn’t water resistant, but that’s a sacrifice you’ll have to make if you want to experience a new take on an old design.