An interesting event happened this week. Fortnite, which just recently appeared on Google Play, has been retired and can now only be downloaded as an APK file. Well, it would have disappeared only from Google Play, but the same fate befell her in the AppStore. Why all this is so is not yet clear, but it is not important, we have more serious news. For example, ZTE has registered for mass production a smartphone with a camera under the screen. It turns out that he already ceases to be a prototype and leaves the laboratories. And also, as always long before the presentation, the key specs of Google Pixel 5 became known. Let's consolidate the events of the outgoing week in our traditional news digest.
Huawei is preparing to develop in a relatively new direction for itself.
The revolutionary ZTE smartphone
Smartphones with a camera under the display have been teasing us for at least a year. There is constant evidence that such a smartphone is about to come out, or that it has been developed and is ready. True, sometimes we are sobering with statements that it is too early and the quality of shooting such a camera will be very low. Now such a phone has become more than ever close to us. It even passed certification and is generally ready for mass production. Only now it will not be a flagship and not from one of the top-3 brands in sales. Maybe it's just the quality of the shooting or something else? The most important thing is that he is already close, and the rest will follow. So what is this phone and what can we already say about it?
When there is no camera on the front, it will be the future.
The world's very first smartphone with an under-display camera may not be a flagship. This sounds a little surprising, but it is probably true. For you to understand, it won't even be Huawei, Samsung, OPPO, or Apple. It will be a ZTE smartphone. The smartphone of the company, which, like Huawei, was strangled by US sanctions, but never strangled. As a result, it is ZTE that will soon announce the world's first smartphone with a camera under the display. Not at the bottom, like in the first generations Xiaomi Mi Mix, but under the display.
The CEO of the company recently confirmed the fact that the company will soon release a smartphone with this technology, but all this talk is often worthless. Now we have very strong evidence that the wait really is not long. Judging by the latest data, such a pioneer in this area will be the ZTE Axon 20 5G.
This phone has just appeared on TENAA, the Chinese equivalent of the FCC. This is the body that certifies devices before their direct release to the market. Based on the documents, it can be concluded that the ZTE Axon 20 5G is not a flagship smartphone, since TENAA has revealed its characteristics and even design.
There were many concepts and prototypes, but what will the finished smartphone with a camera under the screen look like?
The phone was listed in the documents on the regulator's website as “ZTE A2121”. The listed specs indicate that the phone will be powered by an eight-core processor clocked at 2.4GHz. Even those who are not very well versed in technology understand that now such a value does not attract the flagship processor, because some of them have already exceeded 3 GHz.
This phone will almost certainly use a Qualcomm processor, but the Snapdragon 865 and 865 Plus typically run at 2.8 to 3.1 GHz. It turns out that we need to find a mid-range chipset that would fit these characteristics and could be in a mid-range smartphone.
You won't have to look for a long time, since such a processor is the hit of the last time – Snapdragon 76 5G. This processor is already used in some good devices – for example, in OnePlus Nord – and will be the “heart” of the Google Pixel 5, which will be shown in the fall. This particular chipset definitely matches the specified clock speed and is an excellent option when you need to save on a processor, but release a “not ashamed” phone.
The Snapdragon 76 5G is a great processor and it has connectivity 5G, which even more fits the model name and confirms that this is exactly the ZTE Axon 20 5G. Interestingly, in our time, the release of a smartphone with 5G has already become something self-evident. Even in a relatively inexpensive segment, the presence of fifth-generation networks is no longer surprising.
This is how the ZTE AXON 20 5G will look from the front.
Now for the rest of its characteristics. TENAA claims the device will feature a 6.92-inch OLED FullHD + display. Based on the overall image that is available to us, we can assume that the screen will be flat with no curvature on the sides.
The phone will come with multiple RAM and storage configurations. It will come in 6GB, 8GB and 12GB RAM options. These three options will include 64GB, 128GB and 256GB of storage, respectively.
It's also worth noting that you can expand this storage with a microSD card. There will be four cameras on the back of the phone. The 64-megapixel main camera will be backed up by an 8-megapixel ultra-wide module, a 2-megapixel depth camera and a 2-megapixel macro camera. I don’t understand the love of some manufacturers for a macro camera, but as they say, millions of flies cannot be wrong.
There will be 4 cameras on the back of the ZTE AXON 20 5G.
The camera in the display, which will be a killer feature of the novelty, will probably be 32-megapixel. The device will also pack a rather large 4,120mAh battery. Most likely, there will be fast charging, but there are no details yet.
Out of the box, the smartphone will run Android 10 with a proprietary ZTE shell. Interestingly, under the display there will be not only a camera, but also a fingerprint scanner. This is already more or less familiar, but so far it is still not used by all manufacturers from whom this is expected.
The principle of operation of the camera under the display has not yet been fully disclosed, and manufacturers are in no hurry to share its secrets, limiting themselves to general phrases. Most likely, we will learn more about its work when the first such smartphone goes on sale.
In general terms, the representatives Xiaomi once opened the veil of secrecy a little and said that installing the camera under the screen is possible due to the use of glass with low reflectivity and high transmittance. Thanks to this design, the display in the area of the camera can become transparent and not interfere with the operation of the camera.
Huawei is about to tackle self-driving cars
When a company hits some ceiling of its development or when it starts having obvious problems with the business, it often looks for some alternative ways of development. Approximately in this position is now Huawei, which must overcome difficulty after difficulty. It seems that now the company understands that the market is changing and it will not be able to survive only due to its cool smartphones. And what to do if at some point it cannot produce them at all. Of course, she makes a lot of money on telecommunications equipment, but alternative paths are still needed and it seems that the Chinese company has found them in self-driving cars. Sounds a little odd considering her profile, but there is some sense in it.
This company needs to somehow get out and come up with something new. Although, who doesn't?
Now, despite the problems that Huawei have to overcome due to the sanctions imposed by the US government, the company remains one of the leaders in the industry, but you should not think that this will always be so. That is why we must look for expansion opportunities.
Huawei is also developing at the expense of its other businesses – the production of telecommunications equipment and lidars for cars.
Currently Huawei is working on low-cost lidar products for autonomous vehicles, according to KrASIA. In addition to enhancing product profitability, the company seeks to improve productivity. The company also announced last June that it will spend more than £ 12.5 billion (roughly $ 16 billion, or RUB 1.7 trillion) over the next five years on self-driving cars and electric vehicles.
The cost of the lidars that it plans to release Huawei will be very small.
During the opening of the 12th Blue Book Automotive Forum in Wuhan, the head of the smart car division Huawei said the company plans to release lidars worth less than $ 100 in the future. Currently, the lidars available on the market average around $ 500. The fivefold difference looks like a very generous offer. Especially if the final product does not lose quality in relation to analogs.
This is how the lidar sees the world and it is enough for him.
Huawei will use its expertise in the telecommunications sector to bring the best automotive products to car manufacturers. Many companies are now purchasing lidar sensors for their autonomous vehicles. Something like a redivision of the market is going on, when new technologies give way to traditional ones. The transition to new types of transport now resembles what was happening at the end of the 2000s, when users en masse switched from push-button dialers to smartphones.
If everything goes as fast as it did then, then the very companies that can now reorganize will be able to become the real leaders of the industry. Those who miss the moment will repeat the fate of Nokia, Alcatel and Motorola in the world of phones.
The lidar sensor emits beams of laser light to measure the distance between the source and the object. According to a company representative, the development of technology 5G will help reduce the cost of sensors. Huawei already had a research and development center in Wuhan with over 10,000 employees. Just think about this number of people who are not employed in production or trade, but in development. That's really a lot.
When the development is completed, such a plant will come into play.
Autonomous driving solutions are already being offered to car manufacturers. The company will soon release lidars for 100 and 200 channels at a lower price than competitors. However, it is not planned to launch its own unmanned vehicle yet. It may be a matter of time, but making your own car is very expensive. Of course, if you do not make something like a car from LeEco, which was shown at the exhibition, filmed in “Transformers” and that's it. It is also noted that Huawei develops innovative solutions for faster development and production of cars.
Last September Huawei also developed a comprehensive fourth level intelligent driving solution. This is the level at which there is only one step left to the fifth, at which full autonomy of driving is ensured. The company will offer these autonomous driving solutions to car manufacturers. Probably doing the same thing Apple. We often hear about her development in the field of self-driving, and therefore many are waiting for the whole car, but if the idea is still alive, then most likely it will be something like what it does Huawei.
Self-driving cars are the future. See what place Huawei will take in it.
Representative Huawei also announced partnerships with several companies including Audi, BYD and the GAC Group. With lidar sensors Huawei will present a hardware product for the automotive industry for the first time. Just imagine how cool smartphones will work as a car access key.
Due to US sanctions, the company has no access to technology and other facilities of American companies, but no one is going to give up. I like these guys more and more. It is more and more interesting to watch them.
Fortnite removed from stores
What game is the main one today for teenage children and quite adults and successful people? Not World of Warcraft, not DotA 2, or even GTA 5, but Fortnite. In general, everything is cut into it, regardless of the platform. Epic Games managed to create such an addicting game that it became a cult overnight and turned into a new esports discipline. But this success was the reason for the studio to start showing its character, demanding a very special attitude from both Google and the outside Apple.
Fortnite can now only be downloaded as an APK file
Despite the fact that Epic Games at one time refused to place Fortnite on Google Play in order not to pay Google a commission on transactions, the studio could not do this from the App Store. After all, any application can be installed on Android, even bypassing the official directory, but on iOS – no longer. Therefore, Epic Games did not dare to spoil relations with Apple. Until yesterday, when the studio decided to provoke the company from Cupertino and built their own payment system into the game.
Check out Epic Games' message to users, it's really epic
Needless to say, Apple didn't like it, and she immediately removed Fortinte from the App Store. But Epic Games needed this, because at exactly the same moment, the studio filed a lawsuit against the company, demanding a decrease in the size of the commission. Obviously, this was a real provocation, because the preparation of a lawsuit requires an examination of all the circumstances of the case, but Epic Games lawyers knew perfectly well what would come of it. But no one could have imagined the real scale of the provocation. After all, as it became clear this morning, Epic Games lured Google into its game, provoking it to remove Fortnite from Google Play.
The icing on the cake is an email newsletter to users from Epic Games with an opportunity to receive a discount on in-app purchases:
Fortnite Mega-Discounts Take Action! Starting today, you can enjoy up to 20% off V-Bucks or other real money purchases in Fortnite on PlayStation, Xbox, Switch, PC, Mac, and mobile when using priority payment methods. This is not a stock. These are new reduced prices that are always available.
Obviously, Fortnite fans will be unhappy with the lack of discounts and the inability to download their favorite game from the App Store and Google Play.
The rhetoric of the appeal perfectly indicates the provocative nature of the campaign launched by Epic Games to develop a conflict situation. The studio purposefully writes that discounts are not a temporary phenomenon, but a new practice that will be applied everywhere. All you need is to pay for in-app purchases directly to Epic Games, bypassing the App Store and Google Play payment tools. But why was this done, if the studio probably knew that Fortnite would still be removed from everywhere? Of course, to provoke users.
Now Fortnite fans from all over the world are learning that this Apple and Google have deprived them of the opportunity to buy in-game currency at a discount, taking the discount part in their pocket. What reaction will follow from their side? It will be anger, anger, discontent, but clearly not happiness. Another thing is that on iOS users actually have no way to install Fortnite bypassing the App Store (in fact, there is a way, but it is even more confusing than installing the APK on Android), and here on Android there is such an opportunity – using the APK file or third-party app stores.
Where will all this lead? In my opinion, to the mandatory redistribution of the rules for publishing software in mobile app stores. After all, current commissions affect both developers, who receive less profit, and users, who are forced to spend more money on in-app purchases and applications than they could if the commissions were lower. Therefore, even if this does not seem entirely fair to Apple and Google, they will most likely be obliged to change the amount of the fee.
New useless gadget from Microsoft
Some gadgets that have been waiting for a long time, I really dislike. First of all, because when they come out, you have to tell bad things about them. It is possible and even necessary to criticize new technologies, but personally for me it is somehow unpleasant, because they are all good in something. Regardless, it’s time to write another article about a device that I already thought would not be released. It would be the lesser of evils, but fate, or rather the leadership Microsoft, ordered otherwise. It looks as if someone decided that they needed to take their place in the last car of the departing train, and did everything to formally be in trend. It just turned out funny.
Well, who needs it?
Microsoft quietly and more importantly, has officially confirmed the price and release date of its first foldable device Android – the Surface Duo. Everything would be fine, and I am even very positive about the idea of folding devices, but what I did Microsoft I call a pathetic attempt to show the whole world something like “we can do that too”. But not so …
We've been teased with a book-like device for quite some time now. For the first time they started talking about it last year, but since then we have not seen the coveted gadget. Now the company has officially confirmed that the release is very close. This came from a Surface IT Pro blog post that revealed several other key specs of the device as well.
Well, you must admit that it's so-so …
The message has confirmed that Microsoft Surface Duo will be released on September 10, and its price will be as much as $ 1,399. Thus, the company will manage to surpass even Samsung in its optimism about the cost of new devices. But Koreans at least really have something new for the money, not a silly use of a hinge. Even if the price is justified in terms of production costs (the cost of components and the “expensive” hinge), the question is whether it was worth it to produce for that kind of money and how many units of the new gadget the company can sell. I don't think it will become a bestseller.
If you are not yet in the subject, why I am so indignant, I will tell you more about the device. It consists of two 5.6-inch displays, which when folded out will essentially become one large 8.1-inch PixelSense Fusion display. Unlike the first wave of foldable devices Android, the Surface Duo features a 360-degree hinge that allows displays to be placed on opposite sides. In some ways, this can be compared with notebooks of the Lenovo Yoga series.
The company makes us understand that the gadget presented today and going on sale on September 10 (there is no other way to call it) represents a new wave of mobile productivity, inspiring people to rethink the possibilities of what lies in their pockets. Surface Duo is the easiest way to multitask on the go. It combines the capabilities of Microsoft 365 and a complete ecosystem of mobile apps Android.
The displays of the novelty can be used in two versions. It can be a tablet-replacement device with one large 8.1-inch display, or a smaller 5.6-inch device. But in the second case, the screen will be on both sides. Why it is necessary and in what conditions it will be possible to use it, I do not presume to say. If only watching a movie from one device for those who are embarrassed to sit next to. There are no more normal explanations, because even working on such a screen will hardly be more convenient than on a folding smartphone, a regular tablet, and even more so a laptop.
The ability to use all applications Microsoft will probably be in the new device. They also made them free at least for some time when buying a gadget for $ 1399.
Surface Duo will ship with virtual desktop capabilities Windows, allowing you to run a full desktop operating system in the cloud. It can still be called a good function, but is it necessary to fence such a “Frankenstein” for it. Oddly enough, there was no mention of the characteristics of the device in the official documentation.
The foldable device is rumored to rely on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset, which is already weird in 2020. Although, perhaps, by the release date, something will change and we will be offered a more adequate and new solution. If you want a top-end processor, put the Snapdragon 865. If you need something more affordable, it's better to choose the simpler, but new Snapdragon 76 5G. Although, what simplicity can we talk about at a price of $ 1,399?
It is also reported that, most likely, the new product will receive 6 GB of RAM and 64 or 256 GB of memory. Back in May, there were rumors that the battery capacity would be 3460 mAh, but, alas, there was no confirmation in the announcement.
The jumper on the screen is just a pain. The fold is much better.
Upon release Microsoft Surface, Duo will go on sale in several online and regular retail stores, as well as online at Microsoft Store. What's with sales in Russia is still unclear. We hope to find out more when the Surface Duo officially launches in the coming weeks. And I would also like to see the official presentation and see how this miracle will be praised from the stage. If you think that I am biased, tell me about it in the comments or in our Telegram chat.
At a time when manufacturers have already started making normal foldable smartphones, albeit with a fold on the screen, Microsoft decided to distinguish themselves and connect two screens with a terrible jumper between them. I already did something like this LG, but it didn’t work. It turns out that until you step on the rake yourself, you will not become smarter. I am with both hands for new gadgets and experiments, but not for these.
Key features of Google Pixel 5 revealed
Google literally gave birth to news. Not all of them come directly from the company, but it is she who is at the very center. We were shown the new Pixel 4a, told about the discontinuation of the Google Pixel 4, boasted about the security features of Google smartphones, and much more. The date of the presentation of the Google Pixel 5 was even accidentally (or not) disclosed and information about the upcoming foldable smartphone was leaked. All this in a week from one company. And now there is information about the key characteristics of the Google Pixel 5. There is something to look at. Although, we already knew many numbers earlier, but now we have received additional confirmation.
The new Pixel will really be new this time around. At least I would like to.
The appearance of the Google Pixel 5, according to information distributed by the company itself, is scheduled for October 8 this year. That is, it remains relatively short to wait for it, but the key characteristics of the device have already appeared on the network. It was cooler only when the journalists had working prototypes of the novelty some time before the presentation.
Now the mention of the characteristics was found in the performance test through which the smartphone was driven. It's not a secret for anyone that almost finished samples already exist and are being tested in full to rid the model of “childhood sores”. This is how we learned more about the processor and RAM of the new product.
Back in the spring, information appeared that the company wants to abandon the use of the top-end Snapdragon processor in the flagship series. If not for such a refusal, then this year it would have become Snapdragon 865. Instead, the company chose instead the Snapdragon 76 5G, which is cheaper and more compact, but it does not work much worse. It provides such performance that a simple user will hardly notice the difference with the older model. Considering the optimization, the difference can be reduced to zero at all. But in this way the company can reduce the cost of a smartphone and thereby increase sales. She really needs it.
The Google Pixel 5 has to be cool. Why else would he even be?
New data confirms the use of such a processor. The novelty will work under the control of Qualcomm Snapdragon 76 5G. The test was performed today (August 11).
In addition to a fairly high performance, the processor is capable of operating in networks 5G. This clearly shows that Google has decided not to lag behind competitors in this direction. The key feature of the Snapdragon 76 5G in relation to the fifth generation networks is that the corresponding modem is built into the main chipset, and is not made as a separate module, like the Snapdragon 865. This makes it much easier to place inside the smartphone.
Despite the fact that this is not the top-end processor in the Snapdragon lineup, the smartphone will still be positioned as a flagship. It will be heavily advertised and compared with top-end models from Samsung, Apple, OnePlus and other manufacturers. The main focus of advertising is likely to be on a lower price tag.
5G is no longer a luxury for a modern smartphone, but a necessity.
Of course, the flagship should have a lot of RAM. This has also been proven by the test results. The novelty will receive 8 GB of RAM. It may not be so much compared to many competitors, but most likely it will be a good indicator for the price tag that will hang on the Google Pixel 5. We can also assume that the new smartphone will receive several options for internal memory. For example, 128 and 256 GB. This would be the best option for such a model.
Unfortunately, this is almost all the information we have from the performance test. Nevertheless, these characteristics are not in vain called key, because they will not change. The company can do a little bit with the battery, built-in memory, camera or body, but parameters such as processor and RAM are basic and give an idea of what the smartphone will be like.
In the end, if you've been waiting for the Pixel and hoping that it will have a Snapdragon 865 processor, you can safely choose another smartphone. Or vice versa, if you thought that the new product would be cheaper than the competition due to a simpler processor, then in two months you will get what you were waiting for.
A more modern screen design has long been asking for Google Pixel smartphones.
We have already said that the latest news can be found in our news channel, but why not say it again?
Of course, accidental or intentional leaking of the presentation date may turn out to be false. Even if not, the company might change its mind and change the presentation date. As a result, the terms may shift a little. I don't think there will be such serious problems this time as in the case of the Google Pixel 4a. The effects of the pandemic have already stabilized, and the company has been replenished with new specialists after the departure of two key members of the Google Pixel team. So this time everything should be fine.
We'll see how the novelty turns out, but if you need a phone now and want it to be a Pixel, check out the Pixel 4a. He's not bad. Only time will tell if the Pixel 5 will do much better.