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.
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:
Optical image and video stabilization on both the ultra wide and main camera
Dynamic video that captures three different exposures and blends them together for the best quality
Windscreen technology that aims to filter out wind noise from your videos
Audio zoom technology that lets you zoom in to different audio sources (for your eavesdropping pleasure)
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.
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.
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.
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?
What if your heartbeat was the key to your car, home, bank account… It turns out this may be coming in the future! Samsung Electronics has developed a Bio Processor (BioP) which is able to constantly monitor one’s heart rate with a built in Electrocardiogram (ECG). This technology puts it far ahead of any current wearables in accurately detecting heart rate by being able to actually graph and record changes in electrical currents that cause heart muscle depolarizations. The applications for health informatics would be huge if this technology was affordable for the everyday consumer, especially for people with heart problems.
Aside from the obvious health applications, Samsung Electronics is looking to use the BioP’s technology to securely unlock car doors and homes. To do this, the BioP has an included bluetooth transmitter and flash-memory to connect to your phones and other devices and provide constant health-related information very similar to the smart wearables we use today. Due to its ability to constantly monitor one’s unique heart rate (which is very hard to copy), it provides a high level of security. The downside to the current iteration of the device is that it needs to be placed directly on your skin next to your heart. Samsung is working to make this chip smaller and hopefully more affordable.
As a side note, you may be wondering how everyone’s heart rate can be unique when one’s heart rate varies during different activities and that is a very good question. The uniqueness of one’s heart rate comes from the patterns of electrical currents within the depolarization of the heart muscle that generates the beat. So although you may have increased your heart rate substantially after running, the pattern of eletrical currents that causes your heart polarization, albeit at a faster rate, will still be constant and unique to you.
Samsung has a new hinge design patent meant for small devices
It has a single flexible hinge which would suggest a single fold in the middle of the phone
This patent combines Samsung’s flexible OLED technology with a simplistic minimal hinge in the center
Will Samsung use this technology for larger phablet sized devices to allow extreme portability without the cost of not fitting in your pocket?
The smartphone code-named Project Valley (aka Project V, model number: SM-G929F) is rumored to launch in 2016 according to sources speaking to SamMobile. Samsung is known to make bold moves when it comes to their popular smartphone products. How soon will Samsung bring back the classic flip-phone style with a new twist and hopefully new features? Let us know if you would be interested in a new foldable phone in the comments below! Also, Behance has a concept idea that I found quite interesting in explaining how the fold itself may function when opened/closed.