Google Pixel 5 – What To Expect

What comes to your mind when you think about the Pixel phone lineup? Cameras and software, right? You know the drill by now, every tech reviewer with a Pixel device in hand almost always talks about the “best point-and-shoot” cameras and “guaranteed, fast software updates”. While true, is that really all there is to a Pixel?

Google Pixel 5 design render

Throwback to the Nexus

Taking a quick trip down DDR5 memory lane, the 5th Pixel installation corresponds to the 5th device in the Nexus phone line: the Nexus 5 – arguably the best (most popular?) device from Google. While fondly remembered, the Nexus 5 had glaring flaws, especially in the hardware department. The cameras were not great and neither was the battery life; two areas that could kill a release on launch in today’s market. The flaws were, however, extremely easy to overlook thanks to the Snapdragon 800 and the brand new Android Kitkat for just $349.

 

A Second Chance

Last year’s Pixel 4 line-up was not exactly received well. Google’s innovative additions were mostly overlooked and instead, the focus was on the relatively lofty price, uneven bezels, and underwhelming battery life. That was last year though. Google’s release of the Pixel 4a much to positive reception might bode well for the Pixel 5.

So, what should you as the user expect from the Pixel 5?

 

Better Camera Options

The Pixel 4 is right up there with the most leaked phones of all time. Even Google themselves got in on the action. The camera cut-out looked like it had a triple-lens setup. It eventually turned out to be 2 cameras, but the most disappointing aspect was that neither was a wide-angle lens.

This year bodes well for Pixel lovers and users because the word is that the Pixel 5 might have a triple-lens setup with the wide-angle lens joining the foray. Google has surely taken feedback from the Pixel 4 into account this time around.

Leaked renders show a familiar square-shaped camera cut-out on the back, with a flash unit and what looks like three lenses (it looked the same last year so…). The front has a single selfie camera, this time in a punch hole as Google will supposedly ditch the chunky top bezel in the Pixel 4 and 4xl.

As good as Pixel photos are, having more camera options would be a huge plus for Google. With competitors like Huawei, Samsung and Apple catching up (and even surpassing, depending on who you ask) with Google, more lenses will help re-cement themselves as the camera dons.

 

A Friendlier Price Tag

For devices that received a ‘meh’ verdict, the price tag accompanying last year’s Pixel was a huge point of contention. To be honest, they did have 90Hz refresh rate screens, high-res OLED screens, and 7nm processors; all standard for flagships. The small batteries and dim screens could not be overlooked though.

For this year, Google might just be re-thinking their strategy and going for a significantly lower price to be more competitive. Flagship prices are on the rise, making them harder and harder to get for the everyday user. Google might want to appeal to users by pricing the Pixel 5 competitively.

An image that surfaced on Reddit shows a $349 tag for a ‘Google Pixel Phone’ and a $699 tag for a ‘Premium Google Pixel Phone’.  The Pixel 4a was announced for $349 so the premium may very well be the Pixel 5. The premium phone is described as having the best-in-class camera, wireless charging and water resistance, which are all flagship staples. It would offer great value for money as compared to other flagships.

 

A 5G-Capable Processor

One of the more interesting rumors about the Pixel 5 is that Google will forego a flagship processor and instead opt for an upper-midrange 700 series. This could be the 765G or the newer 768G with slightly better performance. This could explain the aggressive pricing. Both options are 5G-capable, but some worry is bound to be brought up by Pixel fans who expect the latest flagship processor instead. It is worth noting that by optimizing its software, Google can make the performance of the Pixel 5 feel almost as smooth as the higher-end processors, especially for the everyday user.

 

More Storage

The Pixel 5 is said to start shipping with a 128GB base storage, ditching the 64GB variant from previous years. This would follow in the steps taken with the released Pixel 4a which only has the 128GB option. Roland Quandt, a twitter leaker with a solid reputation, is said to have found no evidence of the existence of lower storage options.

 

A Simple Design

If you have seen the 4a, then you have an inkling of what the Pixel 5 might look like. David Kowalski shared an image with a seemingly textured finish, a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, a square camera bump, an accented power button and a punch-hole selfie camera with slim bezels. The design, as always, depends on the user. It definitely looks like a typical Pixel phone though.

 

A Smooth Experience

Last year’s Pixels had 90Hz screens and this year’s phones should either have the same or a rumored 120Hz panel. Ross Young from Display Supply Chain Consultants stated that it would be not only 120Hz but also a 6.67” Samsung display. This would make it the biggest Pixel phone yet.

Coupled with the high refresh rate could be 8GB of RAM, up from the 6GB on the Pixel 4.

 

A Bigger Battery

One of the biggest gripes users have had with Pixel phones has been in the battery department. With the upgrades that the Pixel 5 is rumored to get, the battery will have to be on point. Leaks say that the Pixel 5 will see a significant bump in battery capacity, up to 4000 mAh. Rumors also claim that it will have wireless and reverse wireless charging at 15W and 5W respectively.

 

Android 11

As always, the Pixel brings with it the new Android version and the Pixel 5 will come with Android 11 out of the box. Android 11 is set to bring with it great improvements in privacy, optimization, foldable screens and 5G use.

 

An Overall Improvement to the Pixel 4

Fingers crossed for the Pixel 5. It will hopefully be a significant improvement to the so-so Pixel 4 lineup. Meanwhile, make sure that you get the best armor for all your beloved devices here at Tech Armor!

2020 iPad & iPad Air – Features and Upgrades

2020 iPad & iPad Air – Features and Upgrades

The swirling iPad rumors built up anticipation and did well to whet our appetites before the big Apple announcement on 15th September. iPad lovers were not disappointed as the siblings of the earlier announced and released 2020 iPad Pro were finally unveiled.

The event, dubbed ‘Time Flies’, not only brought the 2020 iPad Air and an upgrade to the ‘regular’ iPad but also the Apple Watch Series 6.

Unlike Apple iPad events of previous years, the unique circumstances of 2020 mean that consumers will be looking at the new products with a keener eye. Whether it is working from home or attending online classes, there is a greater need for efficient and portable devices to facilitate either or both those tasks. For first time would-be iPad owners, there are options that cater to various needs.

Question is, how much better are this year’s iPad and iPad Air compared to previous iterations? Do they offer better value? Here are the new features and any note-worthy upgrades.

 

2020 iPad Air – Fresh Coat of Paint

Of the two iPads announced, the iPad Air 4 saw the biggest changes when compared to the previous generation. It was unveiled with a refreshed design, a new processor, a bigger display, and improvements in the Touch ID and the camera department.

Apple iPad Air  image 1 of 3

Build

Apple called it the most colorful iPad Air ever, and depending on personal tastes, you may be buzzing or indifferent to that bit of information. The finishes, silver, space gray, rose gold, green, and sky blue, all compliment the new thin and light aluminum build giving the Air its name.

The difference in weight between last year’s and this year’s iPad Air is pretty much negligible, with the 2020 being a little wider but a little shorter.

The edges of the 2020 iPad Air are flatter, reminiscent of the iPad Pro 2020, but the bezels are still relatively large. Touch ID has moved from the front to the top button.

Display

The iPad Air 4 has a larger 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display up from 10.5 inches. Capable of pushing 3.8 million pixels, it has full lamination, P3 wide color support, True Tone, and an anti-reflective coating all aimed at providing the best visual experience. With Touch ID relocated, the display is more immersive than it has ever been in the Air lineup.

With a resolution of 2360 x 1640, it retains the 2019 iPad Air PPI of 264. The brightness also remains the same at 500 nits.

Processor

The 2020 iPad Air debuted alongside Apple’s latest and greatest processor, the A14 bionic. While the actual real-world performance of the chip is yet to be established, Apple’s track record is solid to say the least. The 5nm processor is said to be able to handle the most demanding apps with ease.

Creators should be able to edit 4k video with ease and it should breeze through the use of all creative uses. Gamers should also enjoy even smoother gameplay. To talk numbers, the A14 Bionic features a new 6-core design for a 40 percent boost in CPU performance, and a new 4-core graphics architecture for a 30 percent improvement in graphics.

The 2019 iPad Air had an A12 Bionic, and performance is set to become one of the biggest upgrades from the previous generation to the current.

Cameras and Audio

While not many people previously gave thought to the cameras on iPads or tablet devices is general, 2020 has seen the rise of many use cases that would require a good quality camera, microphones and speakers.

Unfortunately, the front camera remains the same as the 2019 iPad Air at 7 megapixels, the same camera used in the iPad Pro. The rear camera, however, sees an upgrade from 8 to 12 megapixels and this should translate to better image quality. While the 2019 iPad Air could only record 1080p at 30 FPS, the new Air has 4K capability at 24, 30, or 60 FPS. A significant improvement.

The 2020 iPad Air has stereo speakers for more immersive audio.

Ports

The new iPad Air features a USB-C port for 5Gbps data transfer, 10 times faster than the previous generation. The port supports connecting to cameras, hard drives, and external monitors up to 4K.

Security

Touch ID makes a return on the iPad Air lineup, with the sensor appearing on the top edge, depending on how you hold it. Apple claims that sensor improvements have made it faster, subject to testing.

Pricing

The 2020 iPad Air will be available in October. The Wi-Fi-only models will start at $599 while the Cellular models will start at $729. There will be two storage configurations: 64GB and 256GB.

While the upgrades are impressive, the $100 price hike compared to the 2019 iPad Air might make the buying decision a little contentious.  What’s much cheaper though is a screen protector.  Find Tech Armor’s best offering here.

 

2020 ‘Base’ iPad – New Year, New Processor

As far as improvements go, the 2020 iPad most definitely took a back seat when compared to the iPad Air. In fact, even the event gave precedence to the other announcements with the iPad getting a significantly smaller slice of the presentation.

Base-ic Upgrade

Now in its 8th generation, the popular device only seems to have got a performance upgrade and not much of anything else.

Speaking on the performance boost, Apple’s Greg Joswiak referenced the 2020 world events saying, “We’re excited to offer customers an even faster and more powerful experience with the eighth-generation iPad….With its beautiful 10.2-inch Retina display, the performance boost from the A12 Bionic, great cameras, and so much more, the new iPad is an incredible value at a time when, more than ever, our customers need powerful and versatile ways to work, play, learn, and connect with loved ones.”

Depending on the user, this may not seem like much of an upgrade, seeing as the previous generation iPad Air had the same processor. It is, however, worth noting that the 2020 iPad starts at just $329 (same as last year) and that price point may be enough to bring it first time iPad owners or those without intense workflows.

A Tough Call

To be fair, the 2019 iPad had a A10 Fusion chip and the move to the A12 Bionic might be enough to warrant the upgrade. It does, after all, offer 40% faster CPU performance and 50% faster GPU output. There is also the fact that the new iPads will ship with iPadOS 14.

Virtually everything else about the iPad remains the same, so current owners might not be as convinced to upgrade as is the case with the iPad Air.  To purchase a screen protector for the iPad 8th Generation you can find Tech Armor’s best offering here.

Love Thy Devices

As you draw up your list of pros and cons trying to decide which one to buy or whether to upgrade or not, remember to get protection for your devices; both old and new.

iPhone 12 Announcement Today?

Will there be an iPhone 12 announcement today?

 

As we wait to see if Apple announces the new iPhones today feel free to read up on all our other posts about the iPhone 12 rumors and what to expect…

 

June 15th, 2020 – https://techarmor.com/blog/iphone12-rumors

July 27th, 2020 – https://techarmor.com/blog/iphone12-rumors-2

August 17th, 2020 – https://techarmor.com/blog/iphone-12-what-to-expect

 

Also another great post of our assessment of Apple vs Samsung was posted in early July 2020.  This is a longer read but very insightful.

https://techarmor.com/blog/apple-vs-samsung

 

We’ll post soon on the iPhone 12 updates!

Device Review - Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra

The Best Samsung Phone of 2020 Walks Among Us – A Look at Note 20 & Note 20 Ultra

Every year, Samsung gathers the best smartphone specs and puts them into one lineup.  As Samsung’s most powerful phone of the year, Note phones always attempt to snap the competition out of existence.

The Note 10 announcement in 2019 brought with it Samsung dual-release format that saw 2 Note phones released: the Note 10 and Note 10+. The difference between the two was mainly in the size, with the regular note being significantly smaller than the plus model.

Flash forward to 2020 and Samsung released 2 phones as well: the Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra. Borrowing from the Galaxy S lineup, the Ultra moniker is meant to signify the most premium of premium smartphones. What dis this mean for the regular Note 20?

Well, this year saw significant differences between the two models, the size being the least of them. Just how good are this year’s Notes? Is the Ultra worthy of its name? Here’s a quick review of the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra.

 

Galaxy Note 20

The vanilla Note 20, at face value, look pretty similar to the Ultra. That is until you start looking a little closer. Coming in at $1000, any buyer would expect to receive a lot of high-end specs for the price. Unfortunately, the Note 20 falls just short of expectations, even with some improvement on last year’s offerings.

 

Build and Design

The Note 20 is available in 3 colors: Mystic Bronze, Mystic Green, and Mystic Gray. It sports the same squared-off design found in the Note 10 series but with one very questionable design choice: it has a plastic back. For context, the regular Note 10 came in 5 colors and featured a Gorilla Glass 6 back. Gorilla Glass (5) can still be found on the Note 20, but just on the front. It is a flat panel, with the curved edges only appearing on the back of the phone.

The camera arrangement is different on this year’s Notes, with significantly bigger lens cutouts housed in a wider camera bump. The bump adds to the 8.3mm thickness. The front has an Infinity-O cutout for the selfie camera.

The bottom of the phone has a bottom-firing speaker, the USB-C port, a microphone, and the S-Pen slot which is found in the bottom left as opposed to the right as in previous years.

It has IP68 water/dust resistance.

 

Display

The Note 20 has a 6.7” Super AMOLED display at 60Hz and 1080p resolution. It is a great Samsung panel by all means. It is a much bigger screen than last year’s regular Note, which came in at 6.3”. This is in line with the idea of a Note phone and Note lovers will appreciate the bigger screen. The glaring feature here is the lack of a high refresh rate screen which has almost become a 2020 staple, appearing at almost all price points. Lack of a QHD-capable screen might also be an issue, but most people enjoying high-refresh rates on Samsung flagships have had to stick to 1080p anyway.

 

S-Pen

The S-Pen, the hallmark feature of the Note series, saw great improvement this year. While all the great and gimmicky features remain, the latency has been reduced by about 40% as compared to last year. It gives a true pen-to-paper feeling this year.

 

Battery and Charging

The Note 20 has a 4,300 mAh battery with 25W fast-charging. The battery is up from 3,500 mAh last year, but the charging speed remains the same.

 

Memory and Storage

The Note 20 has a decent 8GB of RAM and 256 GB of UFS 3.0 storage, similar to last year. There is no expandable storage onboard but the provided storage should suffice for most buyers.

 

Cameras

The Note 20 has a triple camera setup:

  • Main: 12MP f/1.8
  • Ultra-wide: 12MP f/2.2
  • Zoom: 64MP f/2.0 3x, 30X SpaceZoom

The Note 20 has a similar camera setup to that of the S20 lineup, with the ability to record 8K video on the 64MP sensor. The photos are great, not very far off from the Note 20 Ultra

 

Note 20 Ultra

It is really in the name. The Note 20 is the premium device. It has significant improvements, not only on last year’s most expensive model, but also on its 2020 sibling.

 

Build and Design

The Note 20 Ultra is a squared-off glass and aluminum sandwich: pardon the tech YouTuber cliché. It comes in 5 colors compared to the 3 in the regular Note, adding Mystic Black and Mystic White to the color options. The Mystic Bronze on the Ultra looks and feels great with its matte finish. The front and back sport the new Gorilla Glass 7, also known as Victus. It feels like an expensive phone, and it is at $1,300.

The Note 20 Ultra is surprisingly thinner than the Note 20 at 8.1mm, even though it is 16 grams heavier. It has flat edges and squared corners as compared to smoother edges on previous Notes.

 

Display

The Ultra is bigger with a 6.9” Super AMOLED screen at 120Hz and QHD+ resolution. It is slightly bigger than the Note 10+ which had a 6.8” display. It is one of, if not the best display on a smartphone. Better than any other Samsung phone, Note or otherwise. It is also the biggest display on a Samsung phone yet. It is slightly curved, just enough to look as good as last year’s Notes while greatly reducing cases of accidental touches. The 120Hz and QHD+ resolution are great specs, but unfortunately cannot be enjoyed simultaneously. The higher refresh rate is only at 1080p. What a waste.

 

S-Pen

While the 46ms latency on the Note 20 is impressive, the Ultra one-ups that with 9ms. 9! Coupled with the high refresh rate screen, this is as close to drawing on a real canvas as it gets. The older Notes do not even come close!

 

Battery and Charging

Both Notes share the 25W fast-charging, but the Ultra has a bigger 4500mAh battery. However, the cut down specs in the Note 20 give it a better endurance rating than the Ultra.

 

Memory and Storage

The Ultra comes with up to 512GB of on-board storage, with MicroSD storage expansion supported for up to 1TB.

 

Cameras

  • Main: 108MP f/1.8
  • Ultra-wide: 12MP f/2.2
  • Zoom: 12MP f/3.0 5x, 50X SpaceZoom

With a huge and very noticeable camera bump, the Note 20 Ultra offers more than just a wow factor. The 50x sensor cuts down on the issues that plague the S20 Ultra and produces excellent photos.

 

Both 2020 Notes share the following specs:

Processor

Samsung continues its very controversial inclusion of Exynos processors for flagships in European markets. The better Snapdragon 865 Note phones are sold in the United States. Benchmarks and real-world tests showed that last year’s Exynos 9825 Soc was behind the Snapdragon 855. The Snapdragon 865 comfortably edges out this year’s Exynos 990. Either way, the Note 20 offers improved performance as compared to the Note 10 and 10+.

 

Connectivity

There are 4G and 5G variants for the Note 20, allowing buyers to choose based on preference or 5G availability. 5G was not available at all for 2019 Notes.

 

Final Thoughts

While some choices made for the regular Note 20 are mind-boggling, it is still a solid offering giving the full ‘Note’ experience. The price, the worst of those choices, is not appealing at all and might just be Samsung’s way of pushing more people towards the Ultra. The Ultra is a beast of a phone, ticking all the right boxes and then some. It might be huge and unwieldy to some, but it is a great media machine.

 

Fall 2020 iPad Line-up

Everything You Need to Know About 2020 iPads!

The world was thrown a curveball, but the tech world has regained steam after a shaky start. The rippling effects of the situation have affected even the biggest companies – not even sparing Tim Cook and his Cupertino bandmates. While the nerdy eyes and iPhone lovers look to the fall for the impending announcement (either to slate them or praise them), you have to wonder: where’s the iPad love?

 

A Pro Taste – The First of Many?

The Apple faithful have already been blessed with the new 2020 iterations of the iPad Pro 11 and 12.9-inch models. Was this to qualm the anticipation or whet our collective appetite? Who knows! Announced back in March, the 2020 iterations brought improvements on the 2018 models as opposed to overhauls. But that’s just the Pro, right? What about the standard iPad? The Mini? The Air??

 

First of the Bunch – 2020 iPad Pros

The 2020 iPad Pros doubled down on making them as close to a laptop replacement as they could be. They retained the 120Hz ProMotion display which iPhone users are crossing their fingers (and toes) for this fall. They are premium in both build and eye-watering prices. Nothing short of what is expected from Apple’s high-end iPads.

Under the hood is the A12Z Bionic chipset, a beefed-up A12 Bionic that was included in the 2018 iPhone range. Apple’s blazing fast processor does nothing to tarnish its great reputation here. A lot of things look and feel similar, with noticeable improvement. What’s new, however, is the camera.

 

Li-What? – Augmented Reality

The new camera unit now sports an ultra-wide lens, as well as a LiDAR scanner. A compressed word standing for Light Detection and Ranging, LiDAR uses light pulses to map objects and rooms by calculating the time taken for the pulses to bounce back. Cool, but why? AR. That’s why.

According to Apple, ‘… The LiDAR Scanner, along with pro cameras, motion sensors, pro performance, pro audio, the stunning Liquid Retina display and powerful apps, extends the lead of iPad Pro as the world’s best device for augmented reality (AR).’

So Apple went ahead and put a great camera and a SpaceX-worthy depth sensor on an iPad. You don’t want to be that guy who takes pictures on an iPad – who does that? This though, this is tipping the scale.

 

All About the Accessories

A huge selling point of the 2020 iPads is the accessories; the Magic Keyboard in Particular. Sold by Apple, it is a backlit keyboard that doubles as the iPad Pro’s case. It has a pass-through USB-C port and attaches to the iPad via magnets. It has a 130° hinge which makes the iPad float. Oh, and it has a trackpad!

All this is partly thanks to iPadOS 13.4 with its mouse and trackpad support. This fall is supposed to see the release of iPadOS 14, which Apple teased in its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC). iPadOS 14 is said to support all iPad models starting with the iPad Air 2.

 

Split Opinions – Bendgate 2.0

Zack from JerryRigEverything – Judge Dredd for phones and iPads – did manage to snap the 2020 iPad Pro in half, just like the 2018 model. This just shows that not a lot has changed in terms of build and design. It is all in the name of science though, whatever your opinion about breaking iPads may be.

See the summarized 2020 iPad Pro specs below:

  11-Inch iPad Pro
Screen 1668×2388 pixels | 120Hz ProMotion | 600 nits | IPS LCD
Processor A12Z Bionic
Memory 6GB
Storage 128GB | 256GB | 512GB | 1TB
Camera 12Mp Main | 10Mp Ultra-wide | LiDAR Scanner
Ports USB-C
Battery 18W Fast Charging | 28.65Wh Li-Po Battery

 

Rumor-Ville – Upcoming iPads

There is a whole lot of speculation about what’s coming this fall. The standard 2020 iPad is certainly causing the most buzz, but so are the iPad Mini 6 and the iPad Air 4.

Word on the virtual street is that the iPad Mini 6 will at the very earliest see a 2021 release. Bummer. As for the iPad Air 4:

  • Apple will ditch the lightning port for the more standard USB-C, as per MacOtakara.
  • Will have a larger display and slimmer bezels like with the 2020 iPad Pros
  • Could have a 10.8-Inch screen and will arrive in this half of 2020, as per Ming-Chi-Kuo.
  • Could use Mini-LED technology with no notch or FaceID. It will instead have in-screen TouchID
  • Could launch in October alongside the iPhones, as per Jon Prosser.
  • Could be called the iPad Air 2020, going with the iPhone SE naming scheme.

 

All Aboard the Hype Train!

For the standard iPad, specific news has been a bit scanty. Most rumors do not refer to the iPad specifically, and most specs sound similar to those of the rumored iPad Air 4. Same device? Are we getting one or both? Whatever the case, stay tuned for more iPad rumors!

Finally, show your iPads and other devices some love. Check out some of our screen protectors!

iPhone 12 - What to Expect

12 Things to Expect from the iPhone 12

The iPhone 12 announcement and subsequent release feel close – at least it should. The last few weeks have seen the hype and rumors go into overdrive. Some rumors have been debunked along the way but new ones always seem to pop up – like an endless game of whack-a-mole. It is understandable to want to believe every single rumor. The thought of the perfect iPhone brimming with features is an annual rite of passage. That is until the over-the-top rumors slowly die, taking pieces of our hearts with them. Either way, the thrill, and excitement are always too good to pass up. Here is what to expect so far from the 2020 iPhones.

 

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max Concept Images [HD]: Photo Gallery of ...

 

  1. 120Hz ProMotion

The release of the 2020 iPad Pro saw the 120Hz that made its debut in 2018 retained. Naturally, Apple fans expected the technology to make it to the 2019 iPhones. When it eventually did not, it became almost universally agreed that 2020 would be that year. Obviously, right?

Well, not really. Twitter leaker Max Weinbach stated that while the Pro models would likely ship with a 120Hz-capable display from Samsung, the high refresh rate would not be activated. This means that none of the iPhones would be sporting a ProMotion display. Maybe next year? Cue the sad faces.

 

  1. Design

While there will be no radical shift in design, it is said that all the iPhones would have even thinner bezels than the iPhone 11 range. Most people might not even notice as the bezels are already pretty small, except the imposing notch.

Speaking of the notch; while earlier reports had stated that the iPhone 12 range would have a much smaller notch, that will probably not happen either. A leak of the display panel, when super-imposed on various iPhone sizes showed that the notch would pretty much stay the same. It is barely even noticeable anymore, right?

Reports state that the notch will stay the same until Apple has the technology to make major changes to sensor placement.

 

  1. Sound

Apple’s sound technology has always been above par. This year’s iPhones will feature richer and clearer sound with deeper bass if the sound samples obtained by Max Weinbach are anything to go by. This is when compared to the iPhone 11 range, which already had great sound.

 

  1. Ports and Cables

Again, the 2020 iPad Pros are to blame for this. No, there will be no USB-C port on the iPhone 12. Alongside ProMotion, a more standard USB-C port was high on most people’s wishlists for this year’s iPhones. Not that there’s anything wrong with Apple’s proprietary lightning port. It would just be great to have one cable for all your smart devices. Think about it this way though, what would you possibly do with all the lightning cables you currently have?

Probably throw them away or find some creative use for them. Why? The new lightning cable will be braided. That’s right, no more damaged iPhone cables. Braided ones look better ad have superior durability. Still not USB-C though.

 

  1. Packaging

The news has been everywhere, raising split opinions. Apple will exclude a charging brick from this year’s packaging. This means a smaller box and a thank you from the environment. Apple says that you have enough charging bricks already. What do you think?

 

  1. Cameras

The collective belief is that this year’s iPhones will have a LiDAR scanner as part of the camera setup. Save for the bigger 120Hz screen, this is bound to make this year’s iPhones great AR devices.

What is not generally agreed on is the layout of the cameras. Earlier leaks showed uniform lens placement in each quadrant of the camera bump, with the flash in the middle. Newer, conflicting leaks show something similar to the current camera array. Time will tell with this one.

As for the camera quality, Ming-Chi-Kuo detailed certain improvements in the iPhone 12. The autofocus is said to be much-improved thanks to VCM OIS (Voice Coil Motor | Optical Image Stabilization) technology. From spring-based to magnet-based stabilization.

 

  1. 5G

The iPhone 12 will be capable of mm-wave and sub-6GHz 5G. Rejoice.

Reports however say that 5G capability for next year’s iPhones will be region-dependent. This means that some regions may have not 5G iPhones at all or will have either mm-wave or sub-6GHz 5G. A story for another year though.

 

  1. Batteries and Charging

iPhones are not known to have the largest batteries, but the iPhone 11s had great battery life for the most part. It is still disappointing, however, when iPhone batteries have a lower battery capacity than expected, as may be the case this year. Max Weinbach’s earlier prediction of 4000 to 4400 mAh batteries was seemingly debunked by another publication. The 3969, 3046, and 3110 mAh batteries for the Pro Max, Pro, and standard 11 respectively will reportedly be 3687, 2815, and 2775, plus 2227 for the new 5.4-inch model.

With those capacities, it is hard to believe reports of the inclusion of reverse wireless charging.

There are also reports that Apple will release a Qi wireless charging case with no lightning port to charge the iPhone wirelessly.

 

  1. RAM

Leaks have continued to confirm that the Pro models will have 6GB of RAM while the standard models will have 4. With Apple’s optimizations in their devices, the 8, 12, and 16GB of RAM seen in high-end Android phones have never been necessary.

 

  1. Processors

Leaks continue confirming the coming of the new A14 Bionic processor with this year’s iPhones. The chip’s architecture is yet to be confirmed but is likely 5nm.

 

  1. Price

Twitter user Komiya stated that the iPhone prices will be as follows:

iPhone 12 | 5.4” | 5G | 64GB – $699

iPhone 12 | 5.4” | 5G | 128GB – $749

iPhone 12 | 5.4” | 5G | 256GB – $849

 

iPhone 12 Max | 6.1” | 5G | 64GB – $799

iPhone 12 Max | 6.1” | 5G | 128GB – $849

iPhone 12 Max | 6.1” | 5G | 256GB – $949

 

iPhone 12 Pro | 6.1” | 128GB – $1049

iPhone 12 Pro | 6.1” | 256GB – $1149

iPhone 12 Pro | 6.1” | 512GB – $1349

 

iPhone 12 Pro Max | 6.7” | 128GB – $1149

iPhone 12 Pro Max | 6.7” | 256GB – $1249

iPhone 12 Pro Max | 6.7” | 512GB – $1449

 

  1. Launch

The notion is that there will be 4 iPhone models being released this fall. Mac Otakara claims that 4G variants of the iPhone 12 will be released first in October, followed by the 5G variants in November. The launch may be staggered, with some models coming before the rest. The Max tag is said to be changed to Plus for this year.

Are you excited or are you bummed out? As you decide, check out the best protective cases for your beloved devices.

To 5G or Not to 5G - That is the question

Is 5G Worth it Today? – Cost Vs Reward

5G! The next-gen technology that’s touted to revolutionize the responsiveness and speed of our devices. It’s been hyped for a couple of years ever since Verizon ran the first field test for the “crazy-fast” cellular technology.

Suggestions have been made that 5G will be the foundational tech to power everything from remote surgery, augmented reality, to self-driving cars. The close of 2019 saw this technology turn from a future prospect to a reality for more than a select pool of early adopters

Major players such as Samsung have already laid their claim in the market through devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, Samsung Note 10+ 5G and Galaxy S20 lineup. Their bitter rivals from Cupertino also have a lineup of as many as four 5G-enabled models set to be launched in the final quarter of 2020.

However, some rumors by Ming-Chi Kuo (a highly-regarded Apple Analyst) suggest that the successors to the widely popular iPhone 11 lineup may face a “potential delay risk”—pushing the mass production of the 2020 iPhones to October. Delay or not, the point is that 5G is here and it will soon be the norm.

But what exactly does 5G offer? Is it just hype? And more importantly, is it worth its hefty price? Here’s a brief breakdown of the implications of the next generation of wireless tech.

 

What’s the Fuss with 5G?

In it’s simplest form, 5G (fifth generation) is a cellular technology that is set to achieve speeds that eclipse anything we currently see in a typical cellular connection today.

Carriers such as AT&T and Verizon have recorded speed exceeding 1.7Gbps. This translates to downloading an entire season of your favorite TV show in mere seconds. But 5G doesn’t stop at the blazing speeds!

It also promises to reduce latency—facilitating a lag-free connection that could be a game-changer for self-driving cars, surgeons, virtual reality, and intense gaming. Other benefits of 5G include the ability to connect to more devices.

 

To Buy or Wait?

5G is great—that’s already set in stone! But is it the right time to invest in a 5G-enabled device? The case against 5G is two-fold. One, its range is limited and the coverage is spotty. Although 5G coverage is expanding to more cities and manufacturers are increasingly rolling out compatible devices, it’s not there yet—and it may take some time to mature, especially amid the pandemic.

Coverage aside, the main deterrent to the immediate adoption of 5G is the price of devices. Manufacturing a 5G phone is expensive and the wireless networks they use are pricey. This cost is then transferred to the consumer. The number of 5G-enabled phones that retail at anything less than $1000 is merely a handful.

This begs the question:  are you willing to pay a “premium price” for technology with limited coverage? Sure, 5G-enabled phones are nice to have—but not necessary (at least not yet). There’s no need to rush for a costly 5G phone just for the hype. Like any other technology, time will drive down the cost—and affordable 5G phones are on the horizon.

Samsung Note 20 - What to Expect

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 is Nigh – Here’s What to Expect

The wait is nearly over! The most anticipated Android smartphone is officially a few weeks away. Samsung recently confirmed the dates for its virtual Galaxy Unpacked 2020 event—which is scheduled for August 5.

We expect the South Korean company to unveil the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and a couple of other mobile devices—including the Galaxy Tab S7 and a 5G version of Galaxy Z Flip. As for the shipping date, rumors point to August 21, pending further confirmation.

As we countdown days to the unveiling of arguable the most powerful Android phone yet, here’s what to expect from the device:

 

Overview of the Specs

Galaxy Note 20 Galaxy Note 20 Plus/ Ultra
Screen size 6.42 inches with a resolution of 2345 x 1084 6.87 inches with a resolution of 3096 x 1444
Refresh rate 60Hz or 120Hz 120Hz
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus or Exynos 990 Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus or Exynos 990
RAM 8GB 12GB
Storage 128GB 256 or 512GB
Cameras (Rear) 12MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 64MP telephoto, and time-of-flight sensor 108MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 13MP telephoto, and laser focus sensor
Battery 4,170mAh – 4,300 mAh 4,500 mAh – 5,000 mAh

 

Models – 2? Maybe 3?

Drawing on the naming of its predecessors, most people assumed that Samsung would follow in its trend by naming the upcoming devices Note 20 and Note 20 Plus. But that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.

A Bluetooth certification uncovered by MySmartPrice suggests the existence of a Note 20 Ultra. But then again, the rumor mills have consistently claimed that there will be two variations of the Samsung Galaxy Note 20. Long story short, expect two model – the Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Plus/Ultra.

 

Galaxy Note 20 Design Envisioned In Concept Renders

 

Display – Optimized Big Screen

A “more fine-tuned” 120Hz refresh rate technology, a low power display technology that could slash 20% of power consumption – the Galaxy Note 20 offers a lot to admire, if the rumors are true.

The regular Note 20 is expected to feature 6.42-inch screen (2345 x 1084)—while the larger Plus/Ultra model boasts of a 6.87-inch screen (3096 x 1444). You can also expect a more advanced in-screen ultrasonic fingerprint sensor that’s large enough to read two fingers simultaneously.

 

Design – Spick-and-span

As we enter the last lap to the much-anticipated release of the Note 20, we’re beginning to see glimpses of actual photos of the device. The most accurate leak comes from non-other than Samsung themselves.

In a July 1 post by The Verge, the news website got wind of a leak that appeared in Samsung Russia’s page. It showed a copper-colored device that’s similar to some of the earlier renders. A leaker known as Jimmy Is Promo also released what appears to be a hands-on picture of the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 phablet (Here’s are the front and back images). And judging from the uncanny resemblance with the image leaked by Samsung, we can assume it’s legitimate.

Other notable feature includes a change in the position of the S Pen housing from right to left, a plastic back cover for the Note 20, and four color hues (Mint Green, Copper, White/Grey, and Black). Oh, and the S Pen is rumored to offer new capabilities—including acting as a pointer.

 

Cameras – Space Zoom Abandoned?

Leaks of the purported camera placement have been circulating since the turn of the year. And most of them draw a similarity to the Galaxy S20. This includes the quad-lens setup and 108MP main camera for the Note 20 Plus. The device will also feature a laser focus sensor to solve focusing issues seen in the S20 Ultra.

It’s worth noting that a leak by Ice Universe suggests that Samsung may retire its 100x Space Zoom camera – at least until they iron its flaws. Instead, the manufacturer will adopt a 50x telephoto lens with a periscope-style design.

 

Processor – The Top Dog of Android

Qualcomm recently announced it most powerful 5G-enabled chipset – the Snapdragon 865 Plus. Although there’s no official claim on whether the Samsung Note 20 will run on the new chipset, history tells us that it’s given—and Ice Universe reiterates.

To make things more interesting, benchmark results flagged by the serial leaker show a phone thought to be the Note 20 topping the 3Ghz mark. The device in question managed a multi-core score of 3,220 and 985 on the single-core test. This outpaces every Samsung device—and possibly all Android phones.

 

Battery – Packing More Juice

The Galaxy S20 could get a 4,000 mAh battery — while the Ultra/Plus variant gets 4,500 mAh battery. This is a commendable upgrade from its predecessor. Combined with the energy-saving fine-tuned refresh rate technology and low power display technology discussed earlier, we could see a significant boost in daily longevity.

 

Price – Nothing New

For such as feature-packed mobile device, none of us was really expecting anything less than $900 or even $1,000—and the rumors confirm our suspicions. Besides, the Galaxy Note series has always been a premium offering since its early days.

Its predecessor retails at $950 with the Plus model going for $1,099. Similarly, Samsung’s other flagship—the Galaxy S20—starts at $999 to as high as $$1,399 for the S20 Ultra. Catch the drift? In fact, some rumor sources even claim that the Galaxy Note 20 might be the most expensive release by the company.

 

Planning to Buy the Best Android Mobile Device Yet?

With only a few weeks to go before Samsung unveils a device we’ve been drooling over for the better half of 2020; the excitement is at a fever pitch. Whether you choose to set aside $1,000 for arguably the best device of the year or stick with the Galaxy S10, Tech Armor has you covered. Our top-of-the-range screen protectors are designed to keep your investment in pristine condition.

IPHONE 12 - (MORE) RUMORS

The iPhone 12 is Taking Shape – And It’s Better than Earlier Rumors Suggested

Gleaming with excitement and welling in anticipation – tech aficionados and Apple Fanboys/girls must be riding on a roller coaster of emotions as the release of the newest line of iPhone draws near.

While earlier rumors had already set the stage for an exciting release, things have only gotten juicer in the last few weeks. The successor to the widely popular iPhone 11 is taking shape – and it’s beautiful.

But it’s not just about the aesthetic—the word on the street points to some serious raw power under the hood. Read on for the latest tittle-tattle on what Tim Cook and his team are cooking up in Cupertino.

 

 

Updated Release Dates – When Apple, When?

Let’s start off with the nagging question that keeps lingering in the mind of anyone who gives two cents about the iPhone: how much longer do we have to wait?

Drawing on earlier rumors and Apple’s tradition, we should be 2-3 months away from the release of the iPhone 12 lineup—but the media team at the Cupertino company is still hush-hush on development of things. Our only sources of information are prediction and whispers from leakers.

The rumors surrounding the most likely release date are wild. At its worst, a disheartening report by GizChina back on May 28 suggested that the release date of the new iPhones may be pushed back to late November—citing supply chain challenges due to the pandemic. An earlier report by The Wall Street Journal had suggested an October release date—citing similar COVID-19 disruptions.

For the optimists, an analyst report by Daniel Ives (according to AppleInsider), claims that Apple’s supply chain is up and running—and the September release date we’ve been accustomed to is back on track.

The latest rumors (July 23), come from a Japanese rumor source that claims the LTE version of the iPhone 12 will be released in October—and the 5G version later in November. But to be on the safer side and avoid heartbreaks, it’s advisable to take all this information with a pinch of salt—until we get an official announcement from Apple.

 

Here’s the Specs Sheet (*Rumored)

We compiled every tit-bit of information we could unearth from the most recent rumors and came up with what an iPhone 12 specs sheet would look like.

  • Likely Release Date: Sometime in Fall 2020
  • Number of Models: Four (iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Max, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max)
  • Processor: A14 Bionic Chip
  • Display: OLED screens and 120Hz refresh rate on the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max
  • Rumored Prices: iPhone 12 ($649), iPhone 12 Max ($749), iPhone 12 Pro ($999), iPhone 12 Pro Max ($1,099)

 

iPhone 12 iPhone 12 Max iPhone 12 Pro iPhone 12 Pro Max
Display 5.4-inch Super Retina OLED 6.1-inch Super Retina OLED 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR OLED
Body Aluminium Aluminium Stainless steel Stainless steel
RAM 4GB 4GB 6GB 6GB
Storage 128GB, 256GB 128GB, 256GB 128GB, 256GB, 512GB 128GB, 256GB, 512GB
Processor A14 Bionic, (5-nanometer) A14 Bionic (5-nanometer) A14 Bionic (5-nanometer) A14 Bionic (5-nanometer)
Cameras Dual rear Dual rear Triple rear + LiDAR Triple rear + LiDAR
5G mmWave, Sub-6GHz mmWave, Sub-6GHz mmWave, Sub-6GHz mmWave, Sub-6GHz
Battery 2,227 mAh 2,775 mAh 2,775 mAh 3,687 mAh
Price $649, $749 $749 / $849 $999 / $1,099 / $1,299 $1,099 / $1,199 / $1,399

 

Horse Power Under the Hood – Most Powerful Processor?

The iPhone 11 features an immensely powerful A13 (7-nanometer) bionic chip—that still holds its own against 2020 flagships a year later. And to what we can only assume is a huge flex by Apple, the company is set to introduce an even more powerful and efficient chip to juice up the upcoming iPhones.

PhoneArena claims that the predecessors to the iPhone 11 will be superpowered by an A14 (5-nanometer) processor. This promises to be 30% more power efficient and 15% faster than the A13. The current iPhones are already one of the most powerful smartphones in the market—and if these rumors are true, Apple is set to widen the gap further.

 

We May Get a 120Hz ProMotion Display Afterall

Displays with a refresh of 120Hz are nothing novel today. Manufacturers such as OnePlus, Samsung, ASUS, POCO, and OPPO have devices equipped with blazing fast displays. Apple is yet to experiment with the feature—but a June 26 rumor might change all that.

According to a tweet by Ice Universe—a Samsung leaker with a decent track record—the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max with finally boast of a 120Hz refresh rate. This leak coincides with another rumor appearing in MacRumors—in which an accessibility setting to “Limit Frame Rate” was identified in the iOS 14 developer beta. And judging from the fact that current devices capable of 120Hz refresh rates also have a similar setting, we can only assume the best.

 

There’s a Leak on (in) the Battery!

Amid all the exciting rumors, here’s one to spoil the euphoria—there could be a downgrade to the battery. A report by MySmartPrice claims that the next iPhones could have smaller batteries compared to the iPhone 11s—and other flagship in the market, for that matter. Here’s what the report noted:

  • Apple iPhone 12 (5.4-inch) – 2227mAh
  • Apple iPhone 12 Max (6.1-inch) – 2775mAh
  • Apple iPhone 12 Pro (6.1-inch) – 2775mAh
  • Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max (6.7-inch)– 3687mAh

To stoke the fire, Ming-Chi Kuo (an Apple analyst) claims that the devices will not ship with a charging adapter—at all! Considering we expect 5G connectivity and higher refresh rates, these minuscule battery packs are somewhat underwhelming.

 

Are You Excited?

All things considered; the iPhone 12 is shaping up to be one of the best devices of 2020. It’s the personification of “beauty and brain”—so far. Stay in touch for more updates as the rumor mills continue churning out exciting news. For a sneak peek into other rumors not discussed in this article, kindly check out the previous post on the same. And while you’re at it, protect your devices with some of the nest screen protectors in the market.

Light Phone 2 - A Cure for the Modern Day Smartphone

An Overview of Light Phone II – Less is More

Would you buy a mobile phone that can only call, text, and set alarms?

In our current fast-paced and technologically-driven world, we are more attached to our iPhones and Androids than ever before. Some of us are trapped in an anxiety-inducing loop—whereby we can’t go a few minutes without reaching out for our phones. Open Twitter, get lost in the feeds for a few hours, put the phone away! A notification pulses, you’re back at it again…and so on.

While relying on our smartphones might sound harmless at face value, it’s actually a mental problem described as nomophobia—NO MObile PHone phOBIA. With increasing concerns regarding the impact of smartphones on our well-being, two designers came up with the Light Phone. A dinky device that claims to be “a phone for humans.”

 

Back to Basics - The Light Phone 2 - MADPAC

 

The Ideology Behind the Light Phone II

Walk into any restaurant and there’s a good chance you’ll find a group of people eating together—but barely interacting as they’re all glued to their screens. To be honest, it’s quite easy to get lost in your smartphone.

Scrolling for 2 pages just doesn’t seem to cut it—and it’s partly the fault of our phones. You see; social media platforms, games, and other time-consuming apps are designed to lure and hook you one way or another. Light Phone II’s creators—Joe Hollier and Kaiwei Tang—realized this “trap” and launched a Kickstarter campaign for a device that freed users from the push notification cycle.

With the success of their original 2017 Light Phone, the company is back with the Light Phone II. This new device builds upon the first iteration—including some additional features. (PS: the first Light Phone could only make and receive calls).

 

Key Features and Specs

  • Price: $350
  • Battery Life: According to the company, a fully juiced battery can last you 3 days of usage or 7 days on standby.
  • Dimensions: It measures 95.85 x 55.85 x 8.75 mm—with a weight of 78 grams
  • Charging: The device comes with a Micro-USB charging port.
  • Connectivity: It has 4G, WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS connections.
  • It has a SIM slot that works with Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T network carriers in the U.S.—but you can also opt for a $30 Light Phone monthly plan.
  • The Light Phone II comes with a headphone jack.

 

Review of the Light Phone II

The whole point of the Light Phone II is quite simple. No Twitter notification to ruin your dinner! No emails in the morning to disrupt your workout. By having LESS features on your phone, you get to enjoy MORE of life.

But based on hands-on reviews, the Light Phone II is a divisive device (*rhyme game on point). On the one hand, the phone is aesthetically appealing, its intentions are noble, and the battery life is respectable. On the other hand, PC Mag notes that it has issues with screen ghosting, call quality, and the design isn’t ergonomic.

So, is this device worth the $350 price tag? Well, this depends on the user. As Michael Zelenko from The Verge puts it, “There may not be a mass market for minimalist phones — they’re expensive, they’re superfluous, they’re extra — but there could be niche markets for the Light Phone: well-to-do campers, weekend warriors, the hyper-wired looking for relief.”