iPhone 12: Is Apple’s leap towards carbon neutrality enough?

As soon as you navigate to apple.com/environment, you are presented with Apple’s top initiatives for achieving carbon neutrality by 2030 for both its operations and products. Other tech giants, such as Google and Facebook, have made similar commitments. Carbon neutrality means having net zero carbon impact, in which all greenhouse gas emissions (e.g. carbon dioxide exhausted by automobiles that contribute to global warming) are either reduced (through operating with renewable energy and converting to more energy efficient operations) and/or offset (reducing emissions somewhere else such as investing in renewable energy).

Arguably one of Apple’s most public-facing initiatives towards carbon neutrality is the announcement of the new iPhone 12 earlier this month. They removed the charging adapter and wired EarPods from all four of the upcoming models, which was previously included for years. As a result, Apple claims that their iPhone boxes will be considerably smaller and 70% more phones will fit onto one shipping pallet.

“The initiative by Apple to stop including headphones and chargers is a step forward to reduce unnecessary EEE (electrical and electronic equipment products).” Teresa Domenech of University College London’s Institute for Sustainable Resources told CNBC. “This could not only help to reduce waste but also would prevent upstream environmental impacts linked to the extraction of primary raw materials, manufacturing and distribution of products.”

Lisa Jackson, Apple VP of environment, policy and social initiatives, said: “We know that customers have been accumulating USB power adapters, and that producing millions of unneeded adapters consumes resources and adds to our carbon footprint.”

Apple believes that there are over 700 million pairs of wired EarPods and around 2 billion power adapters in circulation around the world. This number doesn’t even include the millions of 3rd party adapters out there! We can only hope that other competitors out there like Samsung, Google and Huawei will consider these impacts.

Summary of Apple’s Current Initiatives

In addition to reducing the size of the iPhone box in most markets*, Apple is also committing to source 100% recycled and renewable materials for all products and packaging. So far, they’ve reduced plastic in their packaging by 58%, every 12-inch Macbook Air with Retina display since July 2019 contains over 40% recycled content, and the Taptic Engine (the vibration feedback you feel after touch input) is made of 100% recycled earth elements. They even built their own robot to extract useful materials from recycled devices.

*iPhones sold in France still include the EarPods to comply with French law (every mobile phone must include some form of hands-free kit or headset to protect children aged under 14 years old from exposure to electromagnetic waves).

Currently, all operations (e.g. Apple Stores, Data Centres, etc.) are running on 100% renewable energy and by 2030, all products will be manufactured with 100% renewable energy. This is no small feat as this requires an agreement between Apple and their manufacturing partners to use renewable energy (70+ suppliers have agreed at the time this article was written). They are also continuously making their products more energy efficient. In fact, based on U.S. average electricity costs, Apple estimated that it only costs about 70 cents a year to charge your iPhone once a day.

Underlying Problems

Don’t get me wrong, Apple has done a lot but for a company that is responsible for a large chunk of the global 53.6 million metric tons of e-waste (2019), the real question is if it is enough. Note that Apple (like other tech companies) is not required to disclose their electronic waste totals although they do claim that they are working on collecting and reporting this data in future years.

USB-C Power Cable Included in Box

At first glance, Apple has great intentions to remove the charging adapter and EarPods however, they included a USB-C to Lightning cable. This cable is only compatible with USB-C charging adapters, which many won’t have yet if they are coming from an older iPhone.

Kaiann Drance, VP of iPhone Marketing, does explain that old adapters and cables will still work with your new iPhone 12, although the new USB-C cables offer faster charging/data transfer. She goes on to say, “if you’re an Apple user and you happen to have a Mac or an iPad, we’ve also included those USB-C power adapters in recent years for those products, and the computer ports themselves include USB-C. So those are other options for you.”

So, if you want to make use of the new cable that comes with the phone (and don’t have a Mac or iPad), you’ll have to purchase a USB-C adapter separately…in its own packaging.

Or maybe you picked up the MagSafe charger with your iPhone 12. In that case, you still need to make sure you have a USB-C adapter because it doesn’t come with one in that box either!

Apple MagSafe Charger

When will Apple move to the USB-C industry standard?

Why hasn’t Apple moved towards USB-C cables instead of their proprietary Lightning cables for their iPhones? The iPad has been using USB-C for two generations and MacBooks even longer. The more Lightning cables are produced and provided to consumers, the more end up in landfills once Apple finally moves to the industry standard and the cables become obsolete.

There are a number of claims, one from reputable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, that the new MagSafe charging feature could be Apple’s first step towards a completely wireless future. The iPhone 12 debuted the MagSafe technology so that people are ready for iPhone 13 (or whatever it may be called in 2021), which is rumoured to not have a charging port at all! With no port, this unfortunately means that all Lightning cables will be of no use and eventually end up in landfills.

So is it enough?

Well, this is the big question and not one that can be answered easily. I am not one that believes companies need to drop everything to save the planet. Apple is a business so its main goal is to make money and its advances in technology are definitely exciting for consumers.

The short answer is no, it’s not enough. Although Apple’s making great strides towards carbon neutrality, their focus is still on mass production. Until they start adopting strategies that focus on reuse (modular and repairable components), they will continue to deplete natural resources.

What I do hope in the short term is that Apple continues to increase their transparency (such as reporting on e-waste) and share its environmental efforts in a way that helps consumers make their purchase decisions. Consumers need to become more aware of how Apple is impacting people, profits AND the planet both positively and negatively.

About me

A little about me, something I haven’t shared much through this blog yet is that I have a Master’s of Environment and Business from the University of Waterloo. I firmly believe that proper inter-functional collaboration and corporate social responsibility can have a positive impact on society. As you know, in my free time I share my thoughts and reviews on the latest technology. My best work comes from the perspective of a consumer who loves technology, and also understands the social, economic and environmental impact it has on society, both positively and negatively. I hope you will follow me here on technomuscle.com and @technomuscle on social 🙂.

Phone Sterilization During the Pandemic

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to clean touched surfaces, especially one that most of us touch numerous times during the day, our phones! In fact according to a 2019 survey, the average person touches their phone 2,617 times a day! You can avoid spreading microbial life (bacteria, viruses, etc.) by washing your hands before touching your phone, or cleaning your phone using standard disinfecting wipes (may damage your device). However, this may be impractical given how much we use them. A more convenient no-contact solution may be phone sterilization boxes that have popped up recently. These UV light sanitizers produce UV-C light that companies claim kill 99.9% of germs, bacteria and viruses. It works by destroying the DNA or RNA of viruses and bacteria. According to the National Academy of Sciences, it’s probable that UV light can also kill coronavirus. UV light has actually been used for a long time now to disinfect surfaces and water.

Guest Author, Steve M., shares his thoughts and review of the Merkury Neutro Phone Sterilizer

I have been using the Merkury Neutro UV Phone sterilizer / wireless charger device for a few weeks now. It was given to me as a gift. The main purpose of this device is to kill 99.9% of germs, bacteria and viruses that are on the outside surface of any smartphone. It only takes 3 minutes to complete the sterilizing process and is very simple to use. You simply place your phone into the plastic enclosure and press a button on the front to begin the process. A light glows blue to indicate the sterilization is underway and is extinguished to indicate the operation is complete.

As a bonus, if you have a phone compatible with Qi wireless charging, this model can also charge your phone while it is inside the device. You have to be a bit careful with the placement of the phone within the box (place it near the centre) to ensure it charges. There is a second indicator light on the front of the box that will glow blue to confirm charging is in progress or light up red in case there is a contact problem precluding charging. It is possible to use the device to wirelessly charge the phone inside, even without activating the sterilizing mode.

The box also has one USB OUT and one Type C port on the front in case you don’t have a Qi-compatible phone and/or want to charge other devices through the box. For power input, via the back of the device, you need the included Type-C USB cord and standard USB wall power plug (not included).

I have been using the device with my Apple iPhone 8 with no difficulty, although I have no way of validating the claims about the germs being killed. My phone takes up very little of the available space inside the box so it would be large enough to accommodate bigger phones as well. I expect the sales of this product have increased in recent months as a result of our need to interrupt COVID-19 virus transmission during the ongoing pandemic.

If you’re interested in a reasonably priced alternative that is now on sale (with coupon), check out the Cahot UV Sanitizer and Phone Charger on Amazon.

Comparison of the new Google Pixel lineup

The new Google Pixel lineup

It’s a steal! Google revealed the $699 USD Pixel 5 this week, their first phone with 5G wireless capabilities and most of the important higher end features one would expect in 2020. The company also announced a new $499 Pixel 4a 5G, and despite a few differences in RAM, screen size, extra features and design, the phones look the same and both have everything that really matters in a smartphone. Both feature a Snapdragon 765G processor, 128GB of storage and nearly identical camera setups. ⁠⁠

The $699 USD Pixel 5

The new Pixel 5 does have a few unique features to push it up to flagship status and compete with those of Apple and Samsung, including longer battery life, 2GB more RAM (8GB total), a smooth 6″ 90Hz refresh rate display, IP68 rating for water and dust resistance and the ability to charge other devices wirelessly. ⁠⁠

The $349 USD Pixel 4a

The Pixel 4a and 4a 5G on the other hand are still very capable devices. In fact, the 4a 5G and 5 are physically indiscernible. What’s even more surprising is that you get a larger 6.2″ display on the 4a 5G and a headphone jack on both the 4a 5G and 4a for those who may still be rocking a solid set of non-wireless headphones. Coming in at $200 USD cheaper for the 4a 5G and $350 USD cheaper for the 4a, these are excellent choices if you can do without the extra features the 5 has, especially in the year 2020!

Below is a full comparison of all three new Pixel devices.

 Google Pixel 5Google Pixel 4A 5GGoogle Pixel 4A
Display size, resolution6-inch OLED; 2,340×1,080 pixels6.2-inch OLED; 2,340×1,080 pixels5.81-inch OLED; 2,340×1,080 pixels
Pixel density432 ppi413 ppi443 ppi
Mobile softwareAndroid 11Android 11Android 10
Camera12.2-megapixel (standard), 16-megapixel (ultrawide)12.2-megapixel (standard), 16-megapixel (ultrawide)12.2-megapixel
Front-facing camera8-megapixel8-megapixel8-megapixel
Video capture4K4K4K
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 765GQualcomm Snapdragon 765GQualcomm Snapdragon 730G
Expandable storageNoNoNo
Battery4,000 mAh3,800 mAh3,140 mAh
Fingerprint sensorRearRearRear
Headphone jackNoYesYes
5G enabledYesYesNo
Dual SIM (non-SIM and e-SIM)YesYesYes
Fast chargingYesYesYes
Special featuresWater resistant (IP68)

90Hz refresh rate display

reverse wireless charging
Price off-contract (USD)*$699$499$349
Price (GBP)*£599£499£349
Price (AUD)*AU$999AU$799AU$599
Dimensions (Inches)5.7 x 2.8 x 0.3 in6.1 x 2.9 x 0.3 in5.7 x 2.7 x 0.3 in
Dimensions (Millimeters)144.7 x 70.4 x 8.0 mm153.9 x 74 x 8.2 mm (Sub-6 only) 153.9 x 74 x 8.5 mm (mmWave + Sub-6)144 x 69.4 x 8.2 mm
Weight (Ounces, Grams)5.33 oz; 151g5.93 oz; 168g (Sub-6 only) 6.03 oz; 171g (mmWave + Sub-6)5.04 oz; 143g
*prices listed at launch

OnePlus 8 Pro – More like one more broke bro

OnePlus 8 Pro specifications

OnePlus just announced their new OnePlus 8 flagship series. I think many would agree that it felt a lot like an iPhone launch. For the most part, the OnePlus 8 Pro is your typical flagship phone that checks all the boxes. There are 3 key features that stand out but it comes with at a disappointing price point.


It’s clear that there was a focus on the material design of the phone. They claim that they’ve tested hundreds of colors, materials and finishings to develop a new matte-frosted glass in Onyx Black, Glacial Green and Ultramarine Blue. One of the best features of the OnePlus 8 is the 120Hz refresh rate that provides an extremely smooth scrolling experience. Other phones have this 120Hz display, but OnePlus offers it with their QHD (1440p) display turned on. In my previous post about Samsung’s new S20 series, I shared how they only offer 120Hz with the FHD (1080p) display. The OnePlus 8 has a JNCD (just noticeable colour difference) of 0.4 which allows for colour reproduction on the display to be apparently indiscernible from real life. It sounds a bit like a gimmick but DisplayMate, the industry standard of excellence for image and picture quality rated it very high in a wide array of tests in their recent article.


OnePlus 8 Pro Camera Modules

The 8 Pro’s 48-megapixel main camera and ultra wide-angle camera can shoot sharp, vibrant daytime shots and above average shots in dark environments. The hybrid zoom camera has 3x hybrid optical and 30x digital zoom (the max I would probably go is 10x for a decent quality picture). The color filter camera is fairly new – it allows you to swap out colours in your pictures on-the-go to supposedly bring out your inner creativity. This seems like an unnecessary gimmick so that they can say it’s the first OnePlus phone with four camera modules. Here are some of the unique camera features:

  1. Optical image and video stabilization on both the ultra wide and main camera
  2. Dynamic video that captures three different exposures and blends them together for the best quality
  3. Windscreen technology that aims to filter out wind noise from your videos
  4. Audio zoom technology that lets you zoom in to different audio sources (for your eavesdropping pleasure)

Warp Charge

Finally, an amazing feature you didn’t know you needed… warp charge. You can get up to 60% charge in 30 minutes when plugged into their warp charger and a never-before seen 50% charge in 30 minutes using their warp wireless charger! OnePlus’ whole reasoning for not supporting wireless charging until now was that previous technology wasn’t fast enough for them to support. It’s great to see they’ve really pushed the boundaries of current technology. Check out how fast the 8 Pro charges compared to the new Samsung S20 Ultra and Apple iPhone 11 Pro below.


Pricing is not a highlight here, it’s actually quite disappointing considering the first OnePlus One phone was known for its “Never Settle” campaign, offering flagship specifications for a fraction of the cost. There’s no doubt that you’re still getting value – it’s just a shame it couldn’t come for less this time around. The OnePlus 8 doesn’t have all the features of the Pro model but comes it in at $200 USD less.

OnePlus 8 Pro pricing; $899 for 128GB and $999 for 256GB.
OnePlus 8 pricing; $699 for 128GB and $799 for 256GB.

What do you think of OnePlus’ new colour filter camera? Would you use it? The OnePlus 8 is a strong contender in the current market but to be honest, it’s hard to be excited when the world is at a halt. Good thing technology never sleeps, just like Technomuscle.

Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+ and S20 Ultra 120Hz Display – Does it stand up to the hype?

The Galaxy S20 lineup has been touted for it’s new cameras but tech enthusiasts will probably not care to use their phone for photography. Luckily, they all come with one upgrade that many would consider as a huge leap – 120Hz displays.

New super smooth 120hz display

First, let’s get into how great this display really is – it’s amazing. The refresh rate of the screen has doubled from the original 60Hz to 120Hz which makes menu transitions, scrolling through websites, and enjoying supported media* and games impressively smooth. I say supported media and games because YouTube doesn’t truly support 120Hz yet and most games don’t have that option either but you can bet that they will catch up with this display evolution soon. The S20 lineup isn’t the first or only phone to have this either, the older OnePlus 7 Pro has a 90Hz display and the new Oppo Find X2 Pro has a 120Hz QHD (1440p) display.

The downfalls

120Hz means that the screen refreshes double the amount of times every second which takes a significant toll on its battery life. Testing from Tom’s Guide shows the difference as the phone took a three-hour (or 25%) hit on their browsing test. That’s not to say that the S20 phones don’t last, because the S20 Ultra, with a 5000Mhz battery can last up to 14 hours a day with about 5 hours of screen on time on a single charge. It also has new fast charging, capable of a full charge in only 38 minutes!

Another main downfall that Samsung wasn’t very clear on announcing at launch is that the 120Hz display is only supported when using the FHD (1080p) display option. Ever since the S6, Samsung phones have supported QHD resolution. Some will argue that the 120Hz is worth the downgrade to FHD, while others prefer the higher resolution at 60Hz for an increased battery life.


According to Max Weinbach, a well-known Samsung leaker, there should be a software update that will bring 120Hz to WQHD+ resolution in one to three months. Apparently, Samsung needs to test out the performance and battery life to ensure that it meets its standards before making the feature accessible. The 120Hz + WQHD+ resolution will probably reduce the battery life even further, but at least you will have the option.

Let us know in the comments if you are interested in the S20 lineup of phones. If you already have one, will you be using the new 120Hz refresh rate, or are you sticking with WQHD+ at 60Hz?

iPhone XS and XS Max users reporting units aren’t auto charging when plugged in!

You better be ready for wireless charging because Apple ‘ChargeGate’ is here!

It appears there is a bug in iOS 12 causing the new iPhone XS and XS Max as well as iPads and some older iPhones from charging automatically when plugged in with the screen off. The solutions vary among users but the common consensus is if you leave the screen on and plug it in, or use a wireless charging base, then your phone will charge normally.

With all the talk that this bug is generating, Apple is likely to release a fix via update very soon. For now, below is UnboxTherapy’s demonstration of this problem:

I guess this bug only draws more attention to the fact that during their recent keynote,  Apple didn’t mention a single word about the AirPower charging base it announced last year!

Samsung, Apple and Essential – The Race to the Ultimate Bezel-free Phone

The Current State of Bezels

Where 2016 was the year where phone companies raced to make the thinnest phone with the best cameras, 2017 was the year where they raced to reduce bezels. Three big players come up at the top for reducing bezels: Samsung, Essential and Apple*. Let’s compare what they’ve done and what is coming in the future using ratios, zoomed-in pics and all that good stuff!

*Don’t get me wrong, there are actually phones out there with better screen to body ratios like the LG V30 for example with 83.24% but I chose these three phones because they are popular (aside from the Essential Phone) and illustrate three unique approaches to achieving the bezel-less experience.

Samsung’s approach – sleek but less screen

Samsung S8 Plus Bezel

Samsung took the elegant approach and made regular cut-offs for the top and bottom edges in its most recent Galaxy S8 Plus but still managed to hit a high screen:body ratio of 84.26%** with a huge 6.2″ screen to work with. This is largely because of their infinity-edge display that makes the side screen edges actually curve over the side! Samsung was the first to kill off side bezels with the Samsung S6 Edge in 2015. That was 4 years ago and today, Samsung is incrementally getting better and perfecting its design by slowly eating away at those top and bottom bezels too. It has a very weird aspect ratio of 18.5:9 which can only be used to its full potential in optimized apps (your usual social media, web browsing, etc.). I doubt it will ever get fully used in mainstream media because no one is going to start recording in a new video aspect ratio just to please Samsung fans… right?

**Note that the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 boasts an 88.8% ratio which is inaccurate according to GSMArena. 

Apple’s approach – more screen? more notch…

Apple iPhone X Bezel

Apple instead tried to rid with as much screen as possible by jamming all the components they needed (they added a ton more for Face ID btw) into what has been known as the “notch”. Some aren’t too bothered by the notch and some absolutely despise it but I think everyone would agree that no one actually likes it. With the notch (which is only half usable), you get an even wider aspect ratio than the Galaxy S8 with 19.5:9 or an approximate 18.5:9 without the notch, matching the S8. Including the two “horns” around the notch on the iPhone X, the screen to body ratio is 81.49%. This is quite significant because that means the Galaxy S8 took the more elegant approach (no notch) AND has better screen efficiency.

Essential’s approach – more screen, mediocre camera indent

Essential Phone Bezel

The Essential Phone was released right in between the other two flagships and had some questionable problems with supply and advertising so it ended up not doing very well. However, It’s included in this comparison because I find that their solution is right in the middle of Samsung and Apple’s solution and doesn’t quite look as gaudy as Apple’s “notch”. Also, it comes in with the highest screen to body ratio of 84.9% with a screen size of 5.71″, aspect ratio of 19:10 and is the cheapest of the three by far at $499! However, note that the components (camera, sensors) on the S8 and iPhone X are much (like MUCH) better than the Essential Phone and needed the extra real estate to fit these MUCH better components in.

Below is a tabular summary of these findings with the top phone for each category highlighted. However, the findings do not suggest that either phone is better than the other. The iPhone X doesn’t shine in any category listed here but everyone knows paper specs are only a small part of the bigger picture in choosing the best phone. The release date was included because I did call this the “race” to the ultimate bezel-free phone.

 Samsung S8 Plus  Apple iPhone X  Essential PH-1
Visual Samsung S8 Plus Bezel Apple iPhone X Bezel Essential Phone Bezel
Screen Size  6.2″ 5.8″  5.71″
Screen:Body Ratio (screen efficiency – higher the better)  84.26% 81.49% 84.9% 
Aspect Ratio 18.5 : 9

19.5 : 9 (with notch);

18.5 : 9 (without notch)

19 : 10
Release Date April 2017  November 2017  July 2017
Base Price in USD (as of Jan 2018 – based on official website) $1114.99  $999 $499 

The Future of Bezels

Okay, so now we have an idea of the current state of bezels. Guess what the trend is for 2018? You guessed it; continue to reduce bezels and hopefully eradicate them completely! Below are a few rumors/ideas/patents that these companies have put forward to approach in the upcoming years and while the technology still has a way to go, it is quite exciting!

Samsung’s response to iPhone X’s notch

Samsung Bezel-free Phone Patent

Samsung has filed a patent for an approach that would get rid of bezels entirely while still being able to house the components like a front-facing camera. The phone would have holes in its screen for the camera and other components and the display will flow around those components instead of completely cutting the screen off like in current cases.

Companies have already been successful at integrating a fingerprint sensor into the display so it’s only a matter of time before all components are integrated and if any company were to do it, it would be Samsung as they have had a kick start in the display game for a while now.

Apple’s intentions for the future… maybe?

Bezel-less phone race-ApplePatent

Apple’s most recent patent filing is a little further out there. Earlier in 2017, Apple filed a patent for a translucent phone with a flexible array of OLEDs, arranged with minuscule gaps between them. This could allow for light which is needed for different components like the fingerprint sensor, camera, IR blaster for Face ID, ambient light sensor, etc., to transfer through the display without needing cutouts like the “notch”! This also brings forth other bizarre opportunities such as allowing the screen to act like a partial window, providing a whole new level of augmented reality where you can actually look directly at something in real life and get overlaid information.

Sources: technobuffalo, the verge

We’ve Learned More… RED Hydrogen Holographic Phone

Two months ago, we wrote a post about RED teasing it’s new holographic phone. Well, we are back with more information about their screen and it’s not as exciting as I hoped. The company is working with Leia Inc. to use their proprietary “Diffractive Lightfield Backlighting (DLB™)” solution which basically uses layers of LCDs with an underlying layer that acts as a directional backlight to manipulate your brain into seeing two different views with each eye of the same object , producing a 3D effect.

This sounds very similar to what Nintendo did many years ago with its Nintendo 3DS. I remember it had a lot of negative feedback regarding eye fatigue, so much so that the company is still selling and creating new Nintendo 2DS devices. Like the Nintendo 3DS, you can shut off the 3D and 4D capabilities to use a regular 2D screen like any other smartphone. If this is the case for Nintendo, you have to wonder if this type of a 3D display is really the future of mobile phone technology… Perhaps it will be a supplementary feature to current technology that is meant for limited use when playing new 3D/4D games or watching special content.

“The future of personal communication, information gathering, holographic multiview, 2D, 3D, AR/VR/MR and image capture just changed forever,” Red said. Let us know if you agree in the comments or if you think this is just a gimmick that won’t stick.


Think twice! Don’t pre-order the new iPhone X just yet…

If you are one of those Apple fans that line up in the middle of the night for the next greatest Apple product or MUST HAVE the new phone even though it starts at $1319+ CAD then this may not be for you. Don’t get me wrong, the new iPhones are beautiful phones with some amazing internals and new features but if you care about your wallet and can compromise some of the new features then check the phones below out because there are actually a lot of comparable devices out there, often at a much lower price point.

Xiaomi Mi Mix


The first comparable device that deserves a look at is the Xiaomi Mi Mix. This phone is not as expensive but is not cheap either at almost $900 CAD. However, it is a beautiful phone with a 6.4″ bezel-less display and no compromises. The particular model linked below has a Snapdragon 820 processor, 256GB of internal memory, 6GB of RAM, fingerprint reader (on the back), all of which are standard on most Android flagship phones this year but for a few hundred dollars cheaper.

The bezels are even more impressive than the iPhone X because you don’t get the top cutout from the front-facing camera and microphone etc. Some argue that the selfie video experience  on the Mi Mix isn’t as good but I think it’s a small compromise for a beautiful bezel-less experience. You also get a unibody ceramic finish which is a premium material that is extremely durable compared to glass on the iPhone.

You can purchase the Xiaomi Mi Mix on Amazon.

Doogee Mix


The Doogee Mix is the other end of the spectrum and it has not had a lot of media coverage which is probably the reason for its low price. They didn’t spend too much on international advertising.

However, this phone deserves more attention because it is such a beautiful phone for literally a fraction of the cost of our flagship devices today. For only $280 CAD off Amazon, you get a bezel-less 5.5 inch Super AMOLED display, 6GB RAM, 64 GB, dual rear-facing cameras, internal storage, and can be expanded by 128GB with external microSD. Sound familiar? These are basically the specs on the new Samsung Galaxy S8 except the S8 only has 4GB of RAM!

Don’t get me wrong, the picture quality is definitely not as good as the S8 or other flagships and the materials used to build the phone are not quite as refined but it is still a great phone for almost a quarter of the price! Definitely a device to consider before dropping insane amounts of money on a phone outright or financing through your carrier.

You can purchase the Doogee Mix on Amazon.

These are only two comparable phones I wanted to feature. One that has typical flagship pricing but is still much cheaper than the iPhone X and another that is literally less than a 1/4 of the price of the iPhone. I hope this post helped to shed some light that there are other options out there for phones that have flagship specs and still look great but don’t break the bank.


RED Releases Its First Phone and It Has a Holographic Screen!

RED Phone Back

The company RED is known for it’s very expensive products such as its high resolution modular video cameras (up to 8K) that only professionals get to see the likes of. However, they are taking a stab at the mobile phone market and put up the RED Hydrogen phone for pre-order at  $1,595 USD for titanium and $1,195 USD for aluminum. That is relatively much more reasonable considering their 8K video camera (named Weapon 8K) costs $49,000…

The Hydrogen will feature a 5.7-inch “Professional Hydrogen Holographic Display” that will switch between three modes: traditional 2D content, holographic RED Hydrogen 4-view content and stereo 3D content. The device claims that users do not need glasses to experience the 3D and holographic content. This reminds me of the Nintendo 3DS screens as those also don’t require 3D glasses. They did cause an eye strain after long use though…

From the picture, it is clear there will be a headphone jack and USB-C for charging. From the notes, it will include an SD-card slot which will be useful for storing the content that it can display and potentially record. The phone will also be modular, meaning you will be able to purchase accessories (at a nice premium I bet) that can connect directly to the phone, offering you more functions as you need. There are no indications of what these modules are yet.

All we have to work with in terms of aesthetics is this picture and from the looks of it, it follows the same design as their modular cameras, with an industrial, rugged feel and the iconic RED logo on the back.

What do you think about the phone? Would you buy one over the new iPhone that will very likely cost over $1000 USD as well?