PUBG Mobile: Test out how much you really know about the action-packed game

pubg mobile android game moto g6

PUBG Mobile is one of the most popular Android games at the moment with well over 100 million downloads. You play as a mercenary who parachutes onto an island along with up to 99 other players. Once you land, you have to find weapons, ammo, and other supplies, and then try to take out as many other players as possible. The last man standing wins.

In this quiz, we’ll test out just how familiar you really are with the battle royale game. The questions revolve around weapons, controls, vehicles, maps, and more. If you consider yourself an expert at PUBG Mobile, you should get the majority of them right.

Are you ready to take on the challenge? Press the Start button below to get started — and don’t forget to share your score on social media at the end.

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


This is the 20th quiz in our regular weekly series. You can take a few of the most popular ones via the links below or check out all of them by clicking here.

Let us know which questions you thought were the hardest and share your result with others in the comment section.

Fortnite Season 7 guide: Start date, Battle Pass, skins, map changes, challenges, and more!

Fortnite Season 7 start date, battle pass, skins, challenges

Fortnite Season 7 is fast approaching, and it looks like a cold snap is about to hit Epic Games’ hit battle royale game. With all the confusion over Season 6’s giant cube finally put to bed, the Fortnite team has begun teasing a winter theme to coincide with the Christmas season.

Below we’ll be piecing together all the clues and leaks, and running through everything we know so far. Here you’ll find the Fortnite Season 7 start time, Battle Pass details, map changes, weekly challenges, new skins, and more! Check back frequently to stay up to date on the ever evolving world of Fortnite!

Put down your Llama Bell and check out the rest of our Fortnite content:


When does Fortnite Season 7 start?

Fortnite Season 6 and the Season 6 Battle Pass end this Thursday. Fortnite Season 7 starts later that same day on Dec. 6. Here are the usual start times for Fornite Seasons:

  • 4 a.m. ET
  • 1 a.m. PT
  • 10 a.m. CEST
  • 9 a.m. BST

Epic confirmed the Season 7 release date on Twitter just three days before the mayhem is due to kick off. Dec. 6 also happens to coincide with The Game Awards. The show’s host, Geoff Keighley, confirmed that a big Fortnite announcement and “world premiere” will be announced during the event.

While there’s a chance we might catch our first glimpse of the Fortnite Season 7 trailer at the show, one of Epic’s PR representatives has teased that the announcement is much more significant than the new Season launch.

Epic Games’ worldwide creative director of Fortnite will be in attendance for the big reveal, as well as mega-popular Fortnite streamer Ninja, who is both nominated for an award and presenting.

When will Fortnite Season 7 end?

The Fortnite Season 7 end date should fall ten weeks after the start on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019.

How much does the Fortnite Season 7 Battle Pass cost?

Like the previous seasons, the Fortnite Season 7 Battle Pass should cost 950 V-Bucks. You can buy 1,000 V-Bucks for $10. While there’s a free Battle Pass for players who don’t want to spend their hard earned cash, you’ll only unlock the most sought after exclusive skins, emotes, and other cosmetics by completing challenges to progress through the premium Battle Pass’ 100 levels.


Fortnite Season 7 Theme and Map Changes

Fortnite season 7 iceberg castle

After an exploding giant cube transformed Loot Lake into Leaky Lake in the closing weeks of Season 6, things have gotten a little quieter around the Fortnite map — that’s all about to change.

All the signs point to a winter theme for Season 7, with a possible medieval theme once the Christmas period comes to an end. Here’s what we know so far.

Editor’s Pick

The first sign of a cold front came with the appearance of a blizzard in the middle of November, which was visible when peering out beyond the map from Flush Factory.

A week later, the snow storm parted to reveal a massive iceberg. At the same time, players started noticing you could now see your avatar’s breath in the cold when standing on the starting island. 

The map changes seem to suggest we’ll be treated to a range of skins and other items that fit a winter theme. There’s also the chance the iceberg could collide with an existing area of the map — data-mined files are suggesting Tilted Towers could (again!) be a target.

The winter theme was later all-but-confirmed by Epic Games thanks to a teaser image accompanying the Season 7 release date. The image shows an icy figure wearing a crown that also doubles up as a mountain with a tiny skier on the right side. The caption “a bitter ice spreads” is also a pretty big giveaway!

However, this could all just be the tip of the iceberg (get it?).

Eagle-eyed players have now noticed the top of a medieval-style castle poking out of the iceberg (see image above), indicating the rest of the building is encased in the ice.

Going as close to the iceberg as possible from r/FortNiteBR

This could also tie-in with the portal technology in the Wailing Woods laboratory, which shows a reflection of a castle at certain angles.

We’ll know more as Epic begins to further tease Season 7 this week ahead of the full launch.


Fortnite Season 7 Skins

Fortnite Season 7 winter event

Fortnite Season 7 Battle Pass Skins

We’ve yet to see any of the new skins for Season 7. As soon as we do we’ll post them here!


Fortnite Season 7 Weekly Challenges

Fortnite Season 7 start date, skins, battle pass

To get all the new stuff in Season 7 you’ll need to complete Free Pass Weekly Challenges and Battle Pass Weekly Challenges!

Previous weekly challenges will be available even after a new week starts, we’ll list them below in reverse chronological order when a new one goes live (the most recent week first). We’ll also include some handy tips for the trickier challenges.


That’s all for this Fortnite Season 7 guide. What are you most looking forward to this season and what would you like to see in Season 8? Let us know in the comments!

What will smartphones of the future look like? Here are 6 (crazy) predictions

smartphones of the future

My first mobile phone was the Ericsson A1018s. I bought it at a gas station in 1999 when I was 11 years old. Some of its biggest features were changing the ringtone (there were 12 options) and caller ID — impressive, I know. You could also customize the device by getting a keyboard plate with a different color.

Technology has come a long way since. Today’s smartphones sport large touchscreen displays, impressive cameras, and high-tech features like 3D facial recognition. While phones were primarily used for making calls back in the day, now we use them for things like listening to music, browsing the web, playing games, and watching cat videos on YouTube.

Editor’s Pick

If you told me back in 1999 what these devices would be capable of in around 20 years, I’d call you crazy — and I wouldn’t be alone. Back then, no one could have predicted the impact phones would have on our lives. It would have sounded like science fiction.

This got me thinking: what will smartphones of the future look like? What features will these devices have in 20, 30, or even 50 years that seem like science fiction today? Here’s what I’ve come up with.

Mind control

mind control

Back in the day, the main way of using a phone was a physical keypad. This was eventually replaced by the touchscreens we use today. With services like Google Assistant and Samsung Bixby, we can now interact with our devices just by using our voices.

I think the next step in this evolution is mind control. The technology would allow you to perform every task you can do via touch or voice with your mind. You could open an app of choice, play a specific video on some futuristic version of YouTube, and even edit images with your thoughts. You could also send a text, control the screen brightness, or create a movie from the videos you’ve captured — you get the picture.

Editor’s Pick

Using smartphones would be a lot faster with mind control. You’d no longer have to search for an app to open it or stretch your finger all the way to the top of the screen to tap it. You could perform any task in a heartbeat.

We’re still far, far away from something like this becoming a reality, but scientists are making progress in this field. As we reported last year, Facebook’s Building 8 division is developing technology to allow people to type with their minds. The typing speed targeted is 100 words per minute, which is about five times faster when compared to typing on our smartphones.

Scientists at MIT are also working on something similar with a device called AlterEgo, which lets the user converse with machines with only their thoughts. Here’s hoping any such technology in the future doesn’t require you wear a weird contraption on your head to use it.

Even though the idea of using a smartphone with your thoughts seems crazy now, it just may become a thing decades down the line. Fingers crossed!

Over-the-air charging

the future of smartphones -- charging

Let’s face it: the battery life of the average smartphone sucks. Even if you have a high-end phone like the Mate 20 Pro with its massive 4,200mAh battery, you’re still only looking at around two days of average use. Once the device runs out of juice, you either have to plug it in for a couple of hours or place it on a wireless charging pad, if your phone supports it.

Things could be quite different in the future. A company called Energous is developing technology to charge devices over the air. Place your phone within three feet of the WattUp Mid Field transmitter and it will start charging right away. I love this idea, but let’s take it a step further.

With over-the-air charging, you’d never have to worry about running out of juice again.

Imagine a future where these transmitters are a lot more powerful and can charge devices over-the-air at great distances. They could be placed across countries, just like cell phone towers today, and would constantly charge your smartphone from afar, making sure it never runs out of juice. These charging transmitters would be so powerful, they’d keep your smartphone’s battery at 100 percent all the time. You’d never have to worry about battery life again and would get rid of all those pesky charging cables for good.

The technology wouldn’t be exclusive to smartphones either. It would constantly charge all your gadgets, from Chromebooks, to Bluetooth headphones, and smartwatches. It could even charge your electric car, which is what we’ll probably all be driving in the future.

Stretchable phones

stretchable smartphones of the future

The next big thing in display technology in the near future seems to be flexible displays. We recently saw the first foldable phone, the Royole FlexPai, and we expect many more from companies like Samsung, LG, and Huawei.

When I think about the next technological breakthrough in this area — decades away — I envision stretchable phones. Instead of unfolding a phone for more screen like with the FlexPai, you’d stretch it out to increase its size, sort of like a rubber band. All you’d have to do is pull the phone from two of its corners diagonally.

Read more: Foldable phones with flexible displays – Here are the ones we know about so far

This type of design would let you quickly increase the size of the device when watching videos and make it smaller to fit in your pocket. For it to work, the vast majority of components would have to be stretchable, not just the display.

Obviously, there would be a limit to how far you can stretch a device. If that limit was 50 percent of the size of a phone, for example, it would mean you could transform a 6-inch display into a 9-inch one.

futuristic phones

Work is already being done in the field of stretchable displays, but we’re a long way off from fully stretchable phones becoming a reality. Samsung announced a prototype of a stretchable display last year which can be dented up to 12mm without causing damage — shown in the image above. That display just bounces back to its original flat shape — similar to a trampoline — so it’s not really what I have in mind for the future.

Engineering researchers at Michigan State University have also developed the first stretchable integrated circuit and see a future for stretchable electronics.

“Our work could soon lead to printed displays that can easily be stretched to larger sizes, as well as wearable electronics and soft robotics applications,” said Chuan Wang, assistant professor at Michigan State University in a releases from the school.

In addition to making phones larger or smaller, stretchable displays would also add a new dimension to things like gaming and watching videos. Imagine playing a first-person shooter game and the display flexing out while someone is shooting at you — the experience could be a lot more immersive.

Changing colors

phones of the future

Phones come in a variety of colors and choosing the best one can often be a struggle. Black, silver, and white give off a more classic vibe, but they’re also boring. Red, green, or purple colorways stand out more, but can give devices a toyish, less professional look. With smartphones of the future, you may not have to choose anymore.

Imagine a phone with a completely transparent back made from a glass-like material that fully absorbs light. The device would have one or more LED lights inside, the color of which you could change in the settings of the phone (or maybe with your mind!). When you choose orange, the entire back cover would completely absorb the color of the light and look exactly the same, almost as if it were painted on.

You would be able to change the color of your smartphone as frequently as you’d like.

This technology would allow you to switch between different colors as frequently as you’d like. The feature could also have a mode to change the color automatically on a daily basis. With a few LED lights inside properly positioned, you could also create gradient colors, like what the Huawei P20 Pro has.

This new glass-like material (as well as the display) would also be virtually unbreakable, so you wouldn’t have to worry about it cracking if you drop your phone. Unlike glass phones today, it would also be resistant to fingerprints.

OLED and E-ink in one

smartphones of the future

OLED displays are great for watching videos and playing games, but they aren’t the best for reading. E-ink displays like those in Amazon’s Kindle e-readers are a much better option. I’ve been using a Kindle Paperwhite for years now and love the fact my eyes don’t get strained after reading for a few hours. It also lets me read outside, under direct sunlight.

This is more or less impossible with OLED displays. Sure, features like night mode filter out blue light and can even turn the screen to monochrome, but even when enabled OLED displays still don’t come close to matching e-ink technology in terms of reading comfort.

Editor’s Pick

The smartphones of the future I envision would combine OLED and e-ink technology into one, likely killing dedicated e-readers. With a simple tap in the settings, you could transform an OLED display into an e-ink screen for reading books, articles, and various documents without all that light shining into your face. An e-ink display is also a lot less power hungry, which could mean longer battery life.

Unfortunately, something like this is impossible at this point. Apple had a similar idea back in 2011 when it applied for a patent regarding a hybrid e-ink/OLED display, but we haven’t seen this technology hit the market yet. There are phones available today featuring both display technologies, but they don’t combine them into one.

The YotaPhone 3 features an AMOLED display on the front and an e-ink display on the back. Mobvoi’s TicWatch Pro wearable also which lets users switch between an LCD and OLED display for improved battery life, but even this doesn’t quite match the kind of futuristic hybrid display technology we could see in the coming decades.

Will there even be smartphones in the future?

Smartphones of the future may not be smartphones at all. These devices may take on a whole new form factor, which will enable us to perform the same tasks as smartphones do today — and more.

I see a future where smartphones in their current form get replaced by what look like regular glasses. Yes, I know we’ve already seen devices like Google Glass, which failed miserably. But the product I have in mind goes beyond Google’s pet project. It’s sort of like Google Glass on steroids.

My version of futuristic glasses would let you make calls, watch videos, listen to music…

My version of futuristic glasses would let you make and receive calls. When someone rings you, you’d see their name/image in front of your eyes. When you answer the call, you’d immediately hear the caller without having to use an earphone. The glasses would use bone conduction technology or something even more high-tech. They’d also be able to play music, offer turn-by-turn navigation, and read the emails and texts you’ve received. All these things could also be displayed in front of your eyes using AR technology.

Of course, the glasses would feature a camera on board. When you’d want to take a picture, a frame would show up in front of your eyes, showing exactly what the camera will capture. Say the word “Snap” in your head and the image will be taken.

Thanks to AR technology, the glasses would project a screen/image in front of you, allowing you to watch your favorite shows, play games, see the images you’ve captured with the camera, and browse the web. That means you wouldn’t have to buy a dedicated TV, which would save you money as well as space in your home.

Vizux

With these glasses, you’d also be able to see 3D holograms of people. Just imagine sitting in your living room and watching Marilyn Monroe singing you Happy Birthday Mr. President. Or Fik-Shun dancing. Or porn. The experience would be extremely immersive.

A lot of companies are already working in the field of smart and connected glasses. In addition to Google, Intel showed off a pair of smart glasses this year, which project a stream of information in front of you (directions, notifications…). But unfortunately, the company has already given up on the technology. An Amazon-backed company called North is working on a similar idea with their glasses called Focals, which are expected to go on sale by the end of this year. Then there are mixed reality headsets like the Microsoft HoloLens, which brings holograms in front of your eyes — see how it works in the video below.

So the glasses I have in mind would combine smartphone capabilities with holograms and other features offered by today’s smart glasses. It’s an interesting idea, but let’s go crazy and take it a step further. Imagine these futuristic glasses being replaced by a small computer placed in your brain. You’d be able to receive calls by hearing the voice of the caller in your head, just like your thoughts. You’d listen to music the same way, hear GPS direction, and more.

Editor’s Pick

Additionally, you’d be able to take pictures, watch videos, play games, and see holograms. But instead of the images being projected in front of you by the glasses, the computer in your head would project them through your eyes. Essentially, this computer would be capable of doing the exact same things as the smart glasses of the future, but it would be less intrusive. Well, kind of. It would have to be placed in your brain, but at least you wouldn’t have to put it on and off every five minutes. It would also be impossible to lose it or for someone to steal it.

It all sounds like science fiction. Something you’d expect to see in a cartoon like The Jetsons. But hey, perhaps it will become a real thing in the future. After all, work is already being done in this area.

Elon Musk founded a company called Neuralink last year, which is working in the field of “neural lace” technology. The idea is to implant tiny electrodes into the human brain to allow them to communicate directly with machines. The technology would also enable you to upload and download your thoughts — seriously. With that in mind, I feel like anything is possible in the future. However, the current development of the technology is still far behind my wild imagination.


I see a future where everything is connected and our smartphones – or whatever replaces it – can communicate seamlessly with virtually every device. As long as you have it with you, your front door will open once you get near it, you’ll be able to unlock your car and start the engine, and even go through the mechanical gate at the subway and airport if the ticket is saved on your phone. It’d be fantastic — at least until your phone gets stolen.

Don’t miss: eSIM: Pros and cons of the new way to connect

So that’s it for my thoughts on what I’d like to see from mobile devices in the future. Now it’s your turn. Think about what features smartphones of the future could bring to the table and share them with us in the comments below!

Huawei Mate 20 Pro vs LG V40: which wide-angle camera is best?

Huawei P20 Pro vs LG V40 cameras

If you’re after a mobile photography powerhouse, the new Huawei Mate 20 Pro and LG V40 ThinQ both offer compelling triple-camera setups designed to give serious photographers that added flexibility. Both offer wide-angle shooting options, something that’s become one of the most popular camera features packed into high-end smartphones.

LG has been experimenting with wide-angle lenses for a few generations now, so it has plenty of experience here. The Mate 20 series is Huawei’s first entry into the field. Let’s break down how they stack up.

Wide Angle Camera Specs Huawei Mate 20 Pro LG V40
Resolution 20 megapixels 16 megapixels
Aperture f/2.2 f/1.9
Pixel Size 1.0µm 1.0µm
Sensor Size 1/2.7″ 1/3.1″
Auto Focus PDAF & Laser NA
Equivalent Focal Length 16mm 16mm

On paper, there’s very little in it. Both offer an equivalent focal length, have 1.0um pixel sizes, and there’s not much detail difference between 16 and 20 megapixel images either. The LG V40 has a slightly wider aperture, hinting at a lead in low light performance. However, the Mate 20 Pro includes autofocus technology, which should make it more flexible for both near and distant shots. Let’s dive into some samples.

Also read: Google Pixel 3 camera shootout

Fitting more into the frame

The whole point of a wide-angle lens is to fit more into the picture than your regular camera. So how much more can you squeeze in versus both of these phones’ main sensors?

Both the V40 and Mate 20 Pro’s main cameras offer an equivalent focal length of 27mm, widening to 16mm when switching over to the wide-angle lens. As such, both cameras widen out their field of view by a virtually identical amount and should offer virtually identical frames.

Huawei Mate 20 Pro main camera (27mm) Huawei Mate 20 Pro wide-angle camera (16mm) Huawei Mate 20 Pro main camera (27mm)

Huawei Mate 20 Pro wide-angle camera (16mm)

LG V40 main camera (27mm) LG V40 wide-angle camera (16mm) LG V40 main camera (27mm)

LG V40 wide-angle camera (16mm)

The LG V40 offers a field of view of about 107 degrees. Although the Mate 20 Pro shares the same 16mm equivalent focal, it has a slightly larger sensor and therefore a slightly wider field of view. We can see this slight extra width in our example shots above and the ones below. It’s not a huge difference — maybe a few degrees — but the Mate 20 Pro does fit a tiny bit more in the frame.

Wide-angle lenses offer a “step back” from the regular sensors. Both cameras perform their duty well enough in that regard. Colors are bright and vivid, though more so with the V40, and exposure is pretty good in most scenarios too. It’s only when we begin pixel peeping that major differences appear.

Lens quality is hugely important

While both cameras look pretty good on paper, we still need to find out the quality of both lenses. This is particularly important with wide-angle lenses, as light capture without distortion and image curvature around the edges are more important here. The less-than-ideal lighting conditions of the rainy day are a pretty good way to see how the cameras perform in the real world. Here are a couple of full frame examples.

LG V40 Huawei Mate 20 Pro LG V40

Huawei Mate 20 Pro

LG V40 Wide-Angle Full Frame Huawei Mate 20 Pro Wide-Angle Full Frame LG V40 Wide-Angle Full Frame

Huawei Mate 20 Pro Wide-Angle Full Frame

At full frame, there isn’t too much to tell between them. There are some exposure and color balance differences, but nothing you probably couldn’t even out in post. However, cropping into the details reveals some major differences in image quality. Let’s start with the center focal point of the picture.

LG V40 100 percent crop Huawei Mate 20 Pro 100 percent crop LG V40 100 percent crop

Huawei Mate 20 Pro 100 percent crop

Editor’s Pick

While the Mate 20 Pro may be a tad aggressive on the sharpening, it captures a lot more detail on both the brickwork and trees than the V40. This isn’t a megapixel issue, as these are 100 percent crops and the difference between the 20 and 16 megapixel images should be negligible. The V40’s lens setup just doesn’t allow for enough light and detail capture, which results in much lower resolution looking images than its sensor suggests. We can also see aggressive use of denoise across the V40’s image, which rubs out a lot of the detail too.

Overall, the V40 appears smudged by comparison and is almost out of focus on the background trees. This focusing issue has been a consistent problem in my experience with the camera, owing to the lack of autofocus. The focus and detail situation is even worse at the camera’s edges.

LG V40 100 percent crop Huawei Mate 20 Pro 100 percent crop LG V40 100 percent crop

Huawei Mate 20 Pro 100 percent crop

Here, the V40’s lack of focus is far more obvious. There’s no detail capture on the nearby wall or ivy, and it’s a similar situation when examining the distant bushes too. Few users will crop in on these wide-angle shots (you’d be better off using the main sensor), but serious photographers probably won’t be impressed when they come to print out these pictures.

While the lack of focus isn’t such an issue on a small smartphone screen or social media post, the loss of detail and poor focusing is much more apparent on larger displays and high-quality printouts.

Both lenses also suffer from some chromatic aberration (purple tint on high-contrast areas) towards the edges of their lenses. This is not unexpected for smartphone lenses, but the LG V40 still comes off worse in this regard too.

Few are ever likely to crop or blow up wide-angle shots, but when you do the results are night and day.

Super macro and low light

While not the main reason many will want a wide-angle camera, the Mate 20 Pro has an extra ability to focus in as close as 2.5cm in super-macro mode. So if you want to take some super close up pictures and capture fine details, the Pro’s wide-angle camera can actually be more useful than its main 40MP shooter.

The LG V40 doesn’t offer any autofocusing technology for its wide-angle camera, and the Mate 20 Pro offers both PDAF and laser options. The result is that the Mate 20 Pro can focus on super close up objects, while the V40 can’t.

LG V40 Huawei Mate 20 Pro LG V40

Huawei Mate 20 Pro

This certainly isn’t a major use case for most people who will be shooting with a wide-angle lens. However, the Mate 20 Pro’s support for super macro shooting certainly makes it the more flexible shooter for the more serious photographer.

Low light is more likely to be a common use case for these cameras.

LG V40 Huawei Mate 20 Pro LG V40

Huawei Mate 20 Pro

Related

While the Huawei Mate 20 Pro might be a winner in terms of daylight clarity, the LG V40 is by far the better wide-angle camera in low light. Huawei doesn’t apply any of its usual low light trickery to the wide-angle camera, and as a result, the pictures come out very dark, lacking in color, and blurred from the combination of long exposure time and denoise algorithm.

The LG V40 take a little longer snap its pictures, hinting at some HDR magic to help boost the exposure. Although the result is still rather noisy, the V40 managed to capture much more color in low light. Even with HDR on, I couldn’t get the Mate 20 Pro anywhere near as good as the LG V40 in every low light situation I tried.

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is the better performer, but only just

The LG V40’s wide-angle camera is great for typical smartphone snaps. You’re unlikely to notice the focus or detail issues when viewing pictures on a smartphone screen or compressing them down for social media. The camera does its job, providing extra width for pictures just when you need it. It’s not the main camera after all.

The LG V40’s lack of autofocus lets the camera down when we go pixel peeping

Compared to the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, the LG V40’s wide-angle camera clearly isn’t as consistent or as flexible in most instances. The Mate 20 Pro isn’t perfect — the company’s heavy use of sharpening won’t be to everyone’s tastes — but it captures more detail and has better focusing capabilities. However, it is noticeably worse in low-light situations. If you’re regularly capturing wide-angle shots in the evenings you might want the V40.

Overall, the Mate 20 Pro is the better wide-angle camera in daylight, which is when most people will be capturing their wide-angle snaps. This might seem like a very harsh comparison, but we’re talking about $1000 smartphones boasting some of the best cameras in the business. The LG V40 cuts corners with its lack of wide-angle autofocus that might end up being a bugbear for those looking to get the most out of their camera.

Next: Best of Android 2018: The best Android smartphone cameras

4 reasons why HMD Global is a spiritual successor to Nokia, not just a brand licensee

Nokia 7.1 back of both colors

This week marks the second anniversary of the Nokia name’s return to smartphones under HMD Global. We’ve seen a slew of smartphones from HMD since then, ranging from entry-level devices to high-powered flagships.

It’s easy to dismiss HMD Global as a mere pretender and brand licensee. After all, it’s not the real Nokia, right? Here’s why the company should be seen as a proper spiritual successor to Nokia.

A ton of former Nokia employees

HMD Global CEO Florian Seiche.

HMD Global CEO Florian Seiche

One thing you might not know about HMD Global is many of its executives were actually former Nokia employees. Whether it’s current CEO Florian Seiche (a former Nokia Europe executive) or the company’s design directors, there are loads of HMD people with “Nokia” on their resumes.

Heck, it even surprised me when the regional PR people were employees I had previously known when they were at Nokia. Of course, the presence of a large number of former Nokia employees doesn’t guarantee anything. However, there are people at the company who get why consumers bought Nokia phones in the first place.

Nokia design DNA

The back of the Nokia 8 Sirocco.

One of Nokia’s trademarks was its durable and premium designs, and HMD has certainly delivered here. You need only take a look at the Nokia 8 Sirocco to see some Nokia DNA, but even the firm’s low-end devices maintain that philosophy. It’s hardly a surprise, given how some senior Nokia designers work at HMD, but it’s welcome to see anyway.

The company also issued two retro reboots in the Nokia 3310 and Nokia 8110, and it’s tough to argue that they don’t look like something the “real” Nokia would’ve done today. (Now, about those ridiculous prices.)

The Nokia camera experience

If there was one unique selling point for Nokia Lumia phones, it was the camera experience. Back then, Nokia had been teaming up with Carl Zeiss in order to deliver better camera lenses. The firm also offered features like refocusing and cinemagraphs before most other OEMs picked up these features.

Editor’s Pick

Arguably the most influential addition has to be the inclusion of a Pro Camera mode in Lumia phones. This delivered manual adjustments (ISO, shutter speed) before Android supported it. It was all packaged in a very intuitive wheel-based menu.

We’ve seen LG adopt a similar UI for its manual mode in the years that followed, but HMD Global went the whole hog and acquired the patents for the UI last year. Now all Zeiss-equipped HMD Nokia phones have the same Pro Camera UI seen on older Nokia devices.

A focus on audio recording

The front of the Nokia 8.

The Finnish company’s phones, like the Lumia 1520 and Nokia 808, were audio recording beasts. This was due to the multiple high-quality microphones in each phone that delivered solid, distortion-free sound at a time when rival phones struggled with loud audio.

The Nokia 8 shows HMD Global hasn’t forgotten about audio capabilities, featuring three microphones and Nokia’s OZO recording tech for 360-degree surround sound recording. This audio setup has also landed on devices like the Nokia 7 Plus and Nokia 8 Sirocco, giving you better audio recording in theory than many rival devices.

What more could HMD do?

Nokia 7.1 holding and showing front of phone

HMD Global has focused on the design and camera performance of its devices, showing it understands what made Nokia a popular choice in the first place. The company’s job isn’t done yet, though.

For starters, we know the Finnish company obtained the Pureview name from Microsoft and Nokia earlier this year, suggesting more camera improvements are afoot (although Pureview was a brand name used for Nokia phones rather than a specific technology).

We also have to wonder when we’ll see a device truly manage to combine the best of Nokia and HMD. The Nokia 8 Sirocco demonstrated the firm’s design chops, but we thought the camera experience should’ve been better for the price. HMD has a ways to go to truly succeed Nokia and challenge the likes of Google, Samsung, Huawei, and Apple’s cameras.

Hopefully that oft-rumored penta-lens smartphone isn’t just a gimmick.

NEXT: The best Nokia you can buy

iOS notifications have been improved, but Android’s are still better

iOS vs Android Notifications

When most compare Android to iOS, the first thing people typically bring up is that Google’s mobile operating system is customizable while Apple’s is rigid and set in a walled garden. While this can be argued for and against, one of the critical aspects of each operating system is how they handle notifications.

As Apple recently introduced new notification grouping in iOS 12 and Google has been working to provide Android users with more control over notifications, let’s take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of each mobile operating system.

Grouping notifications

iOS Notifications

Apple as a company took a significant step forward with iOS 12 and introduced a feature users have been requesting for years: notification grouping. With the update installed, iPhone and iPad owners no longer have a long-running list of incoming notifications. In its place is a long-running list of incoming notifications that are grouped by whichever they came from.

If it sounds like Apple’s new notification grouping feature is still a pain point, that’s because it is. This will be touched on in another section.

Editor’s Pick

Google first introduced grouped notifications, or bundles, with the release of Android Nougat in 2016. By stacking or combining all of the incoming notifications from a single app into a single card, users wouldn’t have to worry about a cluttered status bar.

The implementation of bundles have been improved upon in Oreo and now Pie, but the feature became a hit and was widely adopted within the Android app ecosystem.

iOS Notifications
Android Notifications

As previously mentioned, a similar notification grouping feature was added with the release of iOS 12. Each of these groupings shows the name of the app that supplied the notification, how many notifications there are to view, and displays the preview of the last notification to come in.

I will note that not ever app follows this practice by default. Twitter, for example, groups notifications based on the sender of the tweet. Instead of every notification from the social network showing up in a single grouping, I have multiple groupings, each one based on the account who shared something on the platform. Fortunately, this can be changed in the app’s notification settings.

Related: Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs iPhone XS Max: Which is worth your $1,000?

Lastly, Android sorts the groupings of notifications by importance instead of leaving everything in chronological order like iOS. While it’s nice having the latest notification right at the top of the list, I find it much more useful when Android places texts and urgent messages front and center. It helps me not lose track of them in the chaos of other incoming notifications.

Interacting with notifications

Android Notifications

This is a section where iOS and Android are pretty much neck and neck, but Android still retains the lead. While implemented in slightly different fashions, both operating systems give the user almost identical options when interacting with the notification.

Using Twitter as the example again, on Android, you can swipe downward on an individual notification and choose to Reply, Retweet, or Like the Tweet. These same actions are available on iOS, but it requires you to swipe the notification card left or right, tap on the View button, and then interact with the tweet once things were finished loading.

Dismissing notifications is also a lot easier on Android. With a simple flick to the right or left, the card is gone and never to be seen again. On iOS, you slide the notification to the side and then you can tap on the Clear button to get rid of it.

iOS Notifications
iOS Notifications

The process is almost identical for groups of notifications. On Android, swiping the group one way or the other dismisses the whole bunch. On iOS, sliding over the bundle brings up a Clear All button. Additionally, after expanding a group of notifications on an Apple device, there is an X button that can clear everything away.

If you just want to clear away every notification on the phone in one grand sweep, both operating systems allow you to do that.

I will admit that the extra steps required by iOS to dismiss notifications can get annoying, but it adds a safeguard so that you don’t accidentally dismiss something. Far too often I somehow swipe away an entire group of notifications on Android when I meant only to get rid of one. By making it a two-step process on iOS, this isn’t a problem.

Notification settings

Android Notifications

Over the last several versions of Android, Google has added additional controls that allow users more authority over app notifications. Instead of just wholly allowing or blocking an app from throwing up notifications whenever it wants, the user can now go into any app through the Settings and adjust what they do and don’t want to see.

Comparing the options made available for Twitter on both operating systems, iOS does give the user a lot more control over where and when they would like to see notifications.

On Android, the user can choose to disable all notifications or individually turn off types of notifications. Google calls these channels.

iOS Notifications

All of these settings are offered on iOS in addition to so much more. On an iPhone or iPad, the user can decide if they want to see a notification on the lock screen, in the notification center, as a banner, or any combination of the three. They also have control over if incoming notifications should inform the user with a sound, show badges, and display previews of the alerts.

While Android has come a long way over the last several years, iOS offers a lot more notification customization options on a per-app basis.

Why Android is still the champ (in my opinion)

Android Notifications
Android Notifications

As I made clear at the beginning of this comparison, I am not a fan of how iOS handles notifications. On Android, notification icons are ever present whether you’re looking at the lock screen or the status bar. By always having the notifications front and center, the operating system makes sure you don’t miss out on information that might be important to you.

With iOS, notifications are hidden and out of sight, almost as if Apple expects you to search for incoming notifications if you know that they might be important.

When the iPhone XS came out, I temporarily made the switch to iOS. It was a welcome change (wow, apps are built so much better for iOS), but I had an ongoing struggle with notifications. Because of the way that things are tucked away, I would constantly miss messages only to stumble across them hours later.

Read next: An Android fanboy spends an enlightening week with an iPhone

Now before anyone writes a comment, yes, iOS does feature notification badges that highlight how many unread messages and alerts that you have. This only supports my argument about having to hunt and search for your notifications.

An argument can and has been made against Android and how it pushes users to keep checking and dismissing notifications so that they aren’t just sitting there in your face. While it’s still a work in progress, Google did release Digital Wellbeing as a way to completely hide notifications if the user so wishes.

Digital Wellbeing Hands-On

Unfortunately, Digital Wellbeing is currently only available for Pixel and Android One phones. Here’s hoping the feature becomes available to all Android devices in the future.

So, for me, Android still offers a better notification system over iOS. I get a lot of notifications which means I spend more time managing all of the alerts, but by going through them in order to clear them from my status bar, I don’t feel like I miss anything. 

Editor’s Pick

There’s a definite benefit and need to hide notifications occasionally, but iOS does it in such a way that made me feel required to continually check my iPhone just to make sure I didn’t miss anything.

If there was one thing that I wish Android would copy from iOS, it would be the ability to retain notifications after restarting the phone. It doesn’t happen often anymore, but when Android was more buggy, there were times that my handset would just shut off, making me lose any unread notifications.

Again, this isn’t the most significant feature in the world, but it would be nice to have.


What do you think about iOS’ new notification system? Do you think it’s still worse than Android’s or is it on par? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

Pop quiz: Can you name these iconic phones?

Each of the 10 images in this quiz shows an iconic phone — a phone that changed the market, started a new trend, or was just extremely popular. Your job is simple: look at the image and try to figure out what the phone is called. There are four choices available for every question, only one of which is correct.

Are you up for the challenge? Press the Start button below to test your knowledge. When you’re done, make sure to share your score on social media.

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


This is the 19th quiz in our regular weekly series. You can take a few of the most popular ones via the links below or check out all of them by clicking here.

Let us know which questions you thought were the hardest and share your result with others in the comment section.

LG V40 vs LG V30: Worth the upgrade?

LG V40 vs LG V30 front

The LG V40 ThinQ has been a little overshadowed by the other high profile smartphone releases of the past couple of months, but the successor to the LG V30 remains a compelling option, especially for audio enthusiasts.

The biggest change to the V series formula is in the camera department. The V40 sports a triple sensor combo on the back and dual front cameras for selfies. The new hardware pushes the phone’s price up closer to the dreaded $1,000 mark, but is that justified?

Similar design, better specs

The LG V40 closely follows many aspects of the V30’s design. It has similarly thin bezels and curved screen edges, a central rear fingerprint scanner placement, and a centered rear camera housing. It’s also taller, ever so slightly thicker, and now has a notch. I’m honestly not a fan of LG’s extra “second screen” options to tint the notification bar — it draws far too much attention. Embracing the notch as is or blacking the screen out to hide it it works well enough.

Related

The taller P-OLED display has a slightly increased resolution, from 2,880 x 1,440 in the old 6-inch display to 3,120 x 1,440 in the new 6.4-inch model, but the pixel density is unchanged. Neither of the V40 or V30’s panels are the brightest around, but colors pop nicely and blacks are as deep as we’ve come to expect from OLED screens. Whites on the V30 are a little more yellow and the viewing angle is shallower, before you can start to see a blue tint. The V40 appears to have the better panel, but really not by much.

The V40 makes a few subtle design changes that make it feel more like a premium handset.

Despite the very similar look between the two phones, I prefer the feel of the LG V40. The V30 has always felt a little strange to hold, but the added thickness and height make the V40 feel more substantial. Subtle tweaks like the black border around the cameras, the new matte finish on the glass back, and moving the headphone jack to a more convenient place at the bottom are nice too. It’s a shame the fingerprint scanner no longer functions as the power button — now the power button is on the right side of the phone, likely because of concerns over thickness.

Another notable change is the introduction of the dedicated Google Assistant button, which first appeared with the LG G7 ThinQ. I’m not a massive Assistant user, so the dedicated button is an imposition I could live without. However, those embracing the smart assistant lifestyle might find it convenient.

Battery life is similarly unchanged, which is perhaps not so good. Both phones pack 3,300mAh batteries, which feels on the small side compared to other phones. Getting through four to five hours of screen-on time isn’t a problem for general use. Gaming obviously diminishes this though, and neither phone is really suited to super heavy use. Both phones ship with Quick Charge 3.0 chargers to quickly top up, though the V40 also supports Quick Charge 4.0 accessories if you have any.

LG V40 vs LG V30 back of phones

No major extras added this generation

On the performance side, there’s the newer Snapdragon 845 processing package inside the V40 versus the older Snapdragon 835 inside the V30. The newer model also comes with 6GB of LDPP4X RAM and up to 128GB of storage.

The LG V40 offers extra performance when gaming and running other really intensive apps, but day-to-day usage doesn’t feel any different with either phone. Apps open up just as fast, multi-tasking doesn’t present any major slowdowns, and you can browse the web and send messages as fast as your fingers can move on both phones. The V40 has the better specs, but there’s not enough of a jump to justify an upgrade after just one year.

  LG V40 ThinQ LG V30
Display 6.4-inch QuadHD+ P-OLED FullVision
3,120 x 1,440 resolution
538 ppi
19.5:9 aspect ratio
6.0-inch QuadHD+ P-OLED FullVision
2,880 x 1,440 resolution
538 ppi
Corning Gorilla Glass 5
18:9 aspect ratio
Processor Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Mobile Platform
GPU Adreno 630 Adreno 540
RAM 6GB LPDDR4x 4GB LPDDR4x
Storage 64 or 128GB
UFS 2.1
MicroSD expansion up to 2TB
V30: 64GB
V30+: 128GB
MicroSD expansion up to 2TB
Cameras Rear
Main camera: 12MP sensor, ƒ/1.5 aperture, 78° field-of-view, 1.4µm pixel size, OIS, Dual PD Autofocus
Super wide: 16MP sensor, ƒ/1.9 aperture, Crystal Clear Lens, 107° field-of-view
Telephoto zoom: 12MP sensor, ƒ/2.4 aperture with 45° field of view

Front
Standard: 8MP sensor, ƒ/1.9 aperture, 1.12µm pixel size, 80° field of view
Wide: 5MP sensor, ƒ/2.2, 1µm pixel size, 90° field of view

Rear cameras
– Main: 16 MP Standard Angle sensor with ƒ/1.6 aperture, laser detection autofocus, OIS, EIS
– Secondary: 13 MP Wide Angle sensor with ƒ/1.9 aperture

Front camera
– 5 MP Wide Angle sensor with ƒ/2.2 aperture

Audio Boombox Speaker
DTS:X 3D Surround Sound
Hi-Fi Quad DAC
3.5mm headphone jack
Hi-Fi Quad DAC
3.5 mm headphone jack
Battery 3,300mAh
Non-removable
Wireless charging
Qualcomm Quick Charge 4 (Quick Charge 3 adapter in box)
USB Type-C port
3,300 mAh
Non-removable
Wireless charging
Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0
USB Type-C port
IP rating / other certifications IP68 water and dust resistance
MIL-STD 810G
IP68 water and dust resistance
MIL-STD 810G
Network LTE-A 4 Band CA LTE-A 4 Band CA
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 a, b, g, n, ac
Bluetooth 5.0 BLE
NFC
Wi-Fi 802.11 a, b, g, n, ac
Bluetooth 5.0 BLE
NFC
SIM Nano SIM Nano SIM
Software Android 8.1 Oreo
LG UX 6.0+
Android 7.1.2 Nougat
LG UX 6.0+
Colors New Aurora Black, New Platinum Gray, New Moroccan Blue, Carmine Red Aurora Black, Cloud Silver, Moroccan Blue, Lavender Violet
Dimensions and weight 158.7 x 75.8 x 7.7mm
168.9g
151.7 x 75.4 x 7.3mm
158 g

Scrolling down the specs table, there really isn’t a lot to tell the two phones apart. Both support wireless charging and have an IP68 water and dust rating and an MIL-STD 810G protection rating, as well as a high-quality DAC for the music junkies out there. The V40 makes a modest break away with a Boombox Speaker, but that’s about it. The only major difference is the camera, which we’ll look at more closely in a minute.

Software is also very similar between the two, following the LG V30’s update to Android Oreo. The V40 touts a few extra additions to its Smart Bulletin page, including frequently used apps, quick camera settings, location-based task recommendations, and the “pocket adviser.” The settings menu also makes better use of the V40’s extra height, with each option slimmed down to fit more on the screen.

I’m not a massive fan of LG’s overly colorful icons and busy settings menu, or the lack of an app drawer by default. However, the UI is functional and fast enough on both handsets. Sadly, the V40 doesn’t ship with Android Pie, which would have been a bigger differentiator.

LG V40 vs LG V30 close up of camera lenses

Five cameras – the key difference

The LG V40 offers three main cameras on the rear, starting with a 12MP main camera with f/1.5 aperture lens and OIS. The V40’s main camera has a lower resolution than the V30, down from 16 megapixels, but it has larger 1.4-micron pixels and a slightly wider aperture, which should make for better low-light shots. Let’s test that first:

LG V30 LG V40 LG V30

LG V40

LG V30 LG V40 LG V30

LG V40

Low light image quality is quite poor on both models, even when using the Low Light mode. There’s a lot of noise and not much in the way of color capture. The LG V40 holds up slightly better, with a fraction less noise and smudging in very dark shadows, but it’s not a major overhaul. Exposure more generally has been one of my biggest problems with the LG V30 and it hasn’t improved notably with the V40, as you can see in the overcast example above.

Related: Do AI cameras matter? LG V40 vs Huawei Mate 20 Pro vs Google Pixel 3 edition

Moving onto the extra cameras, the V40’s super wide angle camera has seen a megapixel bump compared to the V30’s camera, but the field of view is also slightly smaller (from 120 degrees to 107 degrees).  The LG V40’s third camera is a brand-new 12MP 2x telephoto shooter, which should make your zoomed-in shots look better than digital zoom with the V30’s camera (at least during the day).

LG V30 wide angle LG V40 wide angle LG V30 wide angle

LG V40 wide angle

LG V30 digital zoom 100 percent crop LG V40 2x optical zoom 100 percent crop LG V30 digital zoom 100 percent crop

LG V40 2x optical zoom 100 percent crop

The V40’s wide-angle lens is indeed slightly narrower than the V30’s, but it’s not a massive difference. The small loss in width is worth it, as the V40 offers up notably more detail and suffers from less lens distortion around the edges. It’s certainly an improvement. The 2x telephoto lens is also better than the oversharpened digital zoom of the V30, but it’s perhaps not as big a difference as you might expect. Unfortunately, the telephoto camera takes a major dive in quality in low light.

On the front, the LG V40 has an 8MP f/1.9 standard shooter and a 5MP wide-angle camera. The V30 just has just one 5MP wide-angle shooter. The extra width comes in handy sometimes, but the image quality definitely isn’t as good as the rear cameras. Even so, this second front-facing lens might be a selling point for selfie lovers.

The triple rear camera setup is better, but not by a huge margin.

Overall, the LG V40 is the more flexible shooter, thanks to the telephoto lens and wide-angle selfie option. However, it’s overall camera quality isn’t really where we’d want it to be for a flagship smartphone. Images sometimes lack detail and can be noisy if lighting conditions aren’t perfect. The camera also still suffers from exposure issues compared to other models. The LG V40 is better than the V30, but it’s not the overhaul a move to a triple camera setup might have you believe.

LG V40 and LG V30 pictures of headphone jack in black and white

A worthy contender, at a discount

As we said in our review, the LG V40 offers up a seriously wide variety of great features, but it’s let down by battery life, and an inconsistent camera performance. This leaves it in much the same situation as the LG V30. There are some iterative improvements to the camera and overall design, but they’re not worth the expensive upgrade cost. No Android Pie yet also makes it hard to recommend an upgrade.

In the U.S., the excellent Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is now substantially cheaper than the V40, making its $949.99 retail price seem a tad high. In global markets, the V40 will likely end up costing as much or more than the regular Huawei Mate 20, which doesn’t seem like a particularly good deal. If the phone sees one of LG’s typical price drops after a few months, it could be a solid purchase. That said, it’s almost certainly not worth upgrading to now if you already own an LG V30.

More LG V40 content

Best of Android 2018: The best innovations

A decade into the smartphone revolution, innovation seems to have slowed to a crawl. In 2018, we saw smartphones converge in appearance, performance, and features. So many products from competing OEMs this year look and feel almost the same.

Smartphones have hit the “Plateau of Productivity,” the final stage of the hype cycle, when incremental refinement replaces the wild growth of early days. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Just look at our Best of Android 2018 results: there’s no runaway winner, but you won’t find any truly bad product on the list either.

Mature technology is a boon to the average consumer, but hardly exciting for us technology lovers. Fortunately, 2018 has not been devoid of meaningful innovation.

How we picked the winners

Our Best of Android awards stand out through their heavy focus on stringent testing and measurable performance, but you can’t really measure, weigh, or dissect innovation. That’s why we turned to good-old-fashioned human intuition and polled our resident team of over 30 Android experts for the best smartphone innovations of 2018.

In phase one, we asked everyone to nominate the most innovative new technologies and features of 2018. In phase two, we voted for the top contenders. Here are the best smartphone innovations of the year, according to the Android Authority team.

1) Google: Duplex

Google Duplex was the absolute highlight of Google I/O 2018 and for good reason. Duplex encompasses two mind-blowing technological achievements. First, it synthesizes a convincingly human-sounding voice on the fly, complete with natural intonation, cadence, and even those “ums” and “ahs” we all tend to use. Then, it picks up and “understands” natural language in real time, and can even deal with heavy accents, background noise, and less than clear human interlocutors. It’s downright amazing and more than a little creepy.

Google Duplex is still a ways off from passing a Turing test, but it’s definitely heading there. For now, it can handle simple tasks like booking a table at your favorite Chinese place, but it’s easy to envision it taking over more complex tasks in the near future.

Duplex is not a fancy proof of concept, it’s already out in the real world. Earlier this month, Google started rolling it out to Pixel users, giving them their very own robotic assistant. It’s limited and imperfect – it only works as intended about 80 percent of the time and it doesn’t work at all with some restaurants. But the core of the technology, the human-like interaction, is just as good as the demo we were shown on stage at Google I/O. Google is also deploying a Duplex-like spam-screening feature to the Android phone app, promising to finally rid us of pesky telemarketers.

Duplex is the biggest innovation of the year and potentially the decade

Duplex-enabled applications will help us in our daily lives in ways that have been completely inaccessible until now, thanks to their ability to speak to humans, just like humans. For this reason, Duplex is the biggest innovation of the year and potentially the decade.

2) Royole and Samsung: Foldable devices

Samsung Foldable Phone

For years, Samsung’s lead in the foldable device race has gone unquestioned. We all assumed the Korean giant would be the first to release a folding device, but tiny Chinese startup Royole beat it to the punch.

Royole’s FlexPai may lack refinement, but the 7.8-inch tablet-phone hybrid is still the first foldable device consumers can actually order. Royole definitely still has wrinkles to iron out before the FlexPai is ready for the mass market. Nevertheless, if the device ships by the end of the year, as Royole promised, it will be the first foldable on the market.

Royole can claim the bragging rights of being first to market, but for all intents and purposes, Samsung will make foldable devices mainstream. A few days after Royole revealed the FlexPai, Samsung showed its own foldable prototype, and from the few seconds we got to see it, we can already tell it’s more advanced and refined. Crucially, Samsung is also working on adapting Android for the new form factor.

Foldable display technology is a real game-changer, at a time when we’re in dire need of hardware innovation

Huawei, LG, and other manufacturers are also working on foldable devices. We only got a glimpse of it in 2018, but foldable display technology could be a real game-changer at a time when we’re in dire need of hardware innovation.

3) Vivo: In-display fingerprint readers

In just one year, in-display fingerprint sensors went from proof of concept to a genuinely useful feature available on multiple mass-market devices. Vivo launched the first smartphone with a fingerprint reader in its screen, the X20 Plus UD, and followed it up with the X21 UD, Vivo Nex and even mid-rangers like the Vivo V11 Pro. Huawei, Oppo, Meizu, Xiaomi, and OnePlus followed suit, but Vivo remains the biggest proponent of the technology.

Some have dismissed in-display sensors as a party trick or change for the sake of change, but the tech has tangible benefits. It frees up space and it’s more intuitive and easier to use than rear-mounted sensors.

Current sensors are just the first step to the ultimate goal, which is to embed fingerprint detection in the entire screen

Currently, in-display sensors are less reliable than conventional ones, but that will likely change over time. Current sensors are just the first step to the ultimate goal — to embed fingerprint detection in the entire screen. Once that happens, authentication will become seamless and continuous, dramatically improving the security of our most personal devices.

Expect in-display fingerprint sensors to take off in 2019, as Samsung adopts the technology on the Galaxy S10.

That’s a wrap, folks! From where we’re standing, Duplex, flexible displays, and in-display fingerprint readers are the most important and exciting innovations of 2018. Let us know what you think in the comments below.


The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is the best Android smartphone of 2018. Read more about the Best of Android winner here and make sure to check out the How We Test page for the nitty gritty. Other results:

The final Best of Android award is the Reader’s Choice, decided by you, our valued readers. Make sure to vote throughout the bracket for your favorite devices – the big winner will be announced on November 27.

5G phones: All you need to know about every 5G phone confirmed so far

best 5G phones

5G is coming.”

We’ve heard it repeated by telecom giants and smartphone OEMs for years now. The fifth-generation network promises lightning fast download speeds, an IoT revolution, and rapid streaming with essentially zero latency, but what good is 5G without 5G phones?

Editor’s Pick

We’ve put together a list of all the major Android manufacturers that have either teased or confirmed phones with 5G support. We’ll compile all the rumors, speculation, and confirmed news here over the coming months and updating the post as more information emerges.

Who will win the race to the first true 5G phone? Let’s find out.

Google Pixel 5G phone

Google

In typical Google fashion, the search giant is letting others make the big promises, and testing moonshot ideas in the background like delivering high-speed mobile internet via drones.

In theory, the Google Pixel 4 could support 5G, although I wouldn’t hold your breath. Google has been more than happy to skip over the latest tech in the past. The Pixel 3 series missed out on an in-display fingerprint sensor and still packs a single camera lens and just 4GB of RAM.

Google has been more than happy to skip over the latest tech in the past.

If you’re holding out hope for a 5G phone from the Mountain View company, you might want to keep your eyes on Verizon. Google has traditionally partnered with Verizon as the exclusive carrier for the Pixel range, and Verizon is fully aboard the 5G hype train.

Google has already partnered with Verizon to offer “free” Chromecasts for its 5G Home service, which is currently only live in four U.S. cities.

Could a 5G-supported Pixel 4 also launch on Verizon in Q4 2019? The jury’s still out.

Nokia 5G phone

HMD Global (Nokia)

Nokia licensee HMD Global is one of the many OEMs listed by Qualcomm as working on devices set for launch “starting in 2019” which all pack the 5G-ready Snapdragon X50 5G modem.

That doesn’t mean we’ll definitely see a 5G Nokia Android phone next year, just that the Finnish firm has plans for 5G at some point in the future — potentially far in the future.

Editor’s Pick

Back in May, HMD Global announced the opening of its “Future Lab” in Shenzhen, China, where it will funnel its investments into next-gen technologies such as 5G, as well as materials research, and AI and imaging.

According to a press release from the Future Lab launch: “HMD believes that as 5G technology matures, the mobile device and services experience will change considerably.”

Basically, a Nokia 5G phone is coming, but HMD’s (quite sensible) strategy is to wait and try to deliver a quality device rather than rushing to be first.

Huawei 5G phone

Huawei

There’s no OEM on this list with a larger stake in the success of 5G than Huawei. From the core network hardware to 5G chips, all the way up to the actual phones supporting the network, the Chinese giant is all-in on 5G’s entire infrastructure. As of April this year, Huawei has reportedly spent $600 million on 5G research since 2009.

Despite high-profile setbacks in the U.S., Huawei is pushing forward with 5G solutions in China, Europe, and beyond. However, all that won’t mean much if it doesn’t also have a phone to lead the charge.

Editor’s Pick

Huawei is incredibly keen on snatching the “first 5G phone” title. Initially, Huawei promised its 5G phone — which many suspected would be the Mate 30 series — would be ready for the second half of 2019, but recently that estimate moved to Q1 2019.

In fact, there’s now speculation Huawei could unveil a foldable 5G phone at Mobile World Congress 2019. Note that I didn’t say prototype either, this is apparently the real deal.

Whether we see this mystery foldable 5G phone at MWC or not, it seems foolish to bet against Huawei being the first OEM with a 5G phone ready for prime time.

Honor 5G phone

Honor

According to Honor CEO George Zhao, Hauwei’s sub-brand could actually be first when Honor launches the world’s first 5G phone next year.

That’s right, Huawei’s claim to the 5G throne could well be snatched by… Huawei. If Honor is first, Huawei will still count it as a win, of course — don’t forget Huawei’s dominance is due in no small part the Honor brand’s success.

Aside from Zhao’s claims, we know absolutely nothing about the phone itself. Could we perhaps see a Magic 2 variant with 5G support?

HTC 5G phone

HTC

The fallen Android king refuses to give up on its mobile business despite several years of catastrophic failure. Like so many other OEMs scrambling for market share, HTC is hoping 5G will shake up the industry. It’s one of the many Qualcomm partners testing the X50 5G modem.

There’s also a good chance HTC’s 5G phone will feature Qualcomm’s next flagship SoC — possibly called either the Snapdragon 855 or 8150 — so things should become clearer when the chipset is officially revealed either late this year or Q1 2019.

HTC’s vested interest in the success of 5G isn’t just based on its mobile business.

HTC also already has a partnership in place with China Mobile for 5G development in the region.

HTC’s vested interest in the success of 5G isn’t just based on its mobile business, however. 5G is also expected to usher in the next evolution of virtual reality and augmented reality technology, with 5G mobile broadband enabling VR and AR experiences at a reduced cost with next to no latency.

The Vive is still at the forefront of VR innovation, and the Taiwanese company no doubt hopes the substantial benefits of 5G will lead to mass adoption of VR and, by proxy, its Vive product family.

Maybe it’s finally time for that long-rumored Vive smartphone, only this time with 5G support?

Lenovo 5G phone

Lenovo

Motorola’s parent company is one more OEM promising to absolutely, 100 percent become the first company to deliver a commercial 5G phone. That’s according to Lenovo‘s vice president Chang Cheng, seemingly unaware, as with every other executive quoted in this article, that only one manufacturer won’t have been talking nonsense this entire time.

Don’t bet on Lenovo being first.

Like so many phones on this list, Lenovo’s first 5G offering will reportedly feature Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 SoC and X50 modem, but that’s all we know so far.

As for Cheng’s bluster, we’ve all been burned by Lenovo’s promises before, most recently with the bezel-less Z5 concept sketch posted by none other than Cheng himself.

TL;DR: Don’t bet on Lenovo being first.

LG 5G phone

LG

LG has promised to launch “the first 5G smartphone in America in early 2019” in partnership with U.S. carrier Sprint. The unnamed phone will be the first 5G phone to debut on Sprint’s own 5G network, which is expected to go live in nine U.S. cities in Q1 2019.

If LG is adapting an existing member of its smartphone family, an LG G7 ThinQ successor will be the most likely candidate.

Related: We could see the LG foldable phone at CES in January

A Sprint executive recently let slip LG’s 5G phone will be “distinct” from the rest of the pack and “immediately recognizable” as a 5G device.

What that means exactly is anyone’s guess and considering the many, many different weird and wonderful form factors we’ve seen grace the G series in the past, it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise to see 5G pushed as the G8’s marquee feature.

Motorola 5G phone Moto Z3

Motorola

If you ask Motorola, the race to the first 5G phone is already over thanks to the Verizon-exclusive Moto Z3 and the upcoming 5G Moto Mod.

The snap-on modular attachment is hardly a looker, but the award-winning Snapdragon X50 5G modem-powered mod has already been successfully tested on a commercial 3GPP 5G network.

There’s still no solid release date for the 5G mod, though there’s a good chance it’ll be front and center when Verizon’s 5G mobile network goes live early next year. There’s also no word on price.

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Whether or not the Moto Z3 qualifies as the first 5G phone is up for debate too. It doesn’t natively support 5G, which may be a semantic dispute for some, but I’m guessing the other OEMs listed here won’t be so willing to accept Motorola’s claim to the 5G throne.

Aside from the Moto Z3, there’s also the next phone in the series, the Moto Z4. The unannounced phone, currently codenamed “Odin,” is expected to be powered by the Snapdragon 855 SoC and once again opt for 5G Moto Mod rather than native 5G support.

OnePlus 5G phone

OnePlus

OnePlus hasn’t been shy about its plans to launch a 5G phone in 2019.

OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei confirmed the company will release a 5G phone next year during the Qualcomm 4G/5G Summit in October.

The location of the announcement, a mention on Qualcomm’s X50 modem press release, and the fact that every OnePlus phone has featured Qualcomm silicon makes it fairly obvious OnePlus will probably look to the increasingly familiar Snapdragon 855/X50 combo to power its 5G phone.

We also know OnePlus’ 5G phone will be announced early in 2019, but it won’t be the OnePlus 7. That leaves us with two alternatives: either OnePlus is waiting for the inevitable OnePlus 7T in late 2019, or it is readying an entirely new phone line for the first time since the OnePlus X.

Related: Android is crying out for another OnePlus X

Oppo 5G phone

Oppo

OnePlus’ BBK stablemate is also testing the X50 modem and aiming for the “first 5G phone” mantle.

Oppo recently claimed to be the first manufacturer to successfully connect to a 5G network using a smartphone — in this case using a heavily modified Oppo R15. It even posted a nice photo to prove it.

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Oppo also established the Oppo Research Institute earlier this year, opening several R&D branches in Silicon Valley, Yokohama, Japan, and several Chinese cities to push forward work on new technologies including, you guessed it, 5G.

Oppo is one of the many Chinese OEMs that could benefit greatly from 5G’s global rollout, so expect to see a 5G phone from the Dongguan firm sooner rather than later.

Samsung 5G phone Samsung

Samsung

If you need proof the smartphone sector is in a sales slump, look no further than the industry leader. Samsung is still far and away the biggest Android OEM, but even the South Korean giant saw sales drop in 2018.

Samsung, like so many other OEMs, is hoping 2019 will change all that, as new technology finally comes to the market. Chief among those technologies is 5G.

Samsung has already revealed its own 5G-ready Exynos modem and is apparently readying a special Samsung Galaxy S10 variant with 5G support for release in Spring 2019.

We’ve heard plenty of rumors out of South Korea that Samsung is going all out for its tenth anniversary Galaxy flagship. The reports suggest Samsung is preparing to unleash four Galaxy S10 models, one of which will support 5G connectivity.

Read more: Samsung Galaxy S10: All the rumors in one place

Thanks to more recent reports, it now seems clear the 5G model — internally dubbed “Beyond X” — will be an absolute beast of a phone, packing a 6.44-inch display and six cameras (two selfie cameras, four on the rear). That’s in addition to 5G support and most likely the long-rumored in-display fingerprint sensor the company has been testing for years.

There’s also speculation that the 5G Galaxy S10 model will debut at an event in mid-February, which would coincide nicely with Samsung’s usual Mobile World Congress keynote spot.

As for Samsung’s long-awaited foldable phone, which also looks set for a 2019 launch, there’s a very strong chance it won’t support 5G.

Sony 5G phone

Sony

Aside from a social media snafu where an official Sony Twitter account described the Xperia definitely-not-5G-compatible Xperia XZ3 as a 5G phone, the Japanese giant has been relatively quiet on the 5G front.

Much like LG and HTC, Sony’s mobile division has come under scrutiny for under-delivering in recent years and it likewise sees 5G as a second chance of sorts.

Sony has a massive catalogue of media content across gaming, video, and music, all of which will greatly benefit from 5G.

Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida talked up how 5G’s low latency and high bandwidth will be a huge boost to Sony specifically. The company already has a massive catalogue of media content across gaming, video, and music, all of which will undoubtedly benefit from 5G’s lightning fast streaming speeds.

If ever the time was right for Sony to leverage its other (far more profitable) businesses to deliver a phone for media hungry consumers, it’s now. I had a few ideas about a PlayStation Phone if you need any tips, Sony.

As for Sony’s 5G phone itself, there’s no concrete news yet. Sony is on Qualcomm’s X50 5G list though.

Vivo 5G phone

Vivo

The last of the three BBK companies is already testing 5G with a modified version of the Vivo Nex kitted out with Qualcomm’s X50 modem.

Vivo Senior Vice President Alex Feng echoed pretty much every other smartphone company executive on 5G’s importance.

“The 5G era will spark abundant and new possibilities for the smartphone industry,” he said.

Shockingly, Vivo hasn’t promised to deliver the first commercial 5G phone either, merely noting it hopes to bring the first batch to market sometime in 2019.

Xiaomi 5G phone Mi Mix 3

Xiaomi

Xiaomi recently revealed the almost completely bezel-less, slider-packing Mi Mix 3, confirming a 5G variant of the handset is on the way in Q1 2019. That makes Xiaomi the only OEM on this list to have actually confirmed the exact model of its first 5G phone. Congrats, Xiaomi!

Xiaomi’s Donovan Sung teased 5G connectivity on the then-unannounced Mi Mix 3 in a tweet back in September. We also know Xiaomi is one of the many OEMs working with Qualcomm.

ZTE 5G phone

ZTE

After a short-lived U.S. supply ban threatened the company’s very existence in 2018, ZTE is looking to bounce back in 2019 with a 5G phone of its own.

Initially planned for an early 2019 release, the Chinese firm has since pushed that estimate back to “late 2019.” ZTE hasn’t given a reason for the delay, but it’s likely still working on a design that tempers the higher power consumption caused by 5G modem technology.

What about the rest?

Several notable Android OEMs have yet to address the looming dawn of 5G at all.

Online mobile gaming and game streaming look set to benefit massively from 5G (just ask Nvidia), but Razer has yet to make any 5G commitments for any future Razer Phone.

Blackberry licensee TCL also hasn’t addressed the 5G question, nor have Acer or Asus — the latter is partnered with Qualcomm for 5G modem testing, though.

There’s also an outside chance Essential could see 5G as a way back into the smartphone market, but with the Essential Phone 2 seemingly cancelled it’s something of a long shot.


Which 5G phone are you most excited to see? Let us know in the comments!