Category Archives: smartphone

Moshi Charges Android and Apple at CES



CES might be full of wacky and wonderful gadgetry, but it’s also good to see some products for the day-to-day. Moshi have released a couple of gadgets for mobile users at CES this year which will appeal to a wider audience.

First up is compact portable battery pack with built-in cables for both USB C and Lightning. This is great for those of us who have a newer Android phone and Apple iPads. If similarly afflicted, the IonGo 5K Duo is for you. The sleek new battery is crafted from stylish and sustainable vegan leather and is small enough to fit in your pocket or lose in the bottom of your bag. For Apple devotees, it is MFi certified, and should retain 80% battery capacity after 500 charge cycles. The IonGo 5K Duo (US$70) is available in Fossil Gray and can be purchased from mid-May.

Second is a stylish desktop charger that holds your phone at the perfect viewing angle and charges it at the same time. Part of Moshi’s Scandinavian-inspired Q Collection, Lounge Q is a wireless charger and stand. It supports both Apple (7.5 W) and Samsung (9 W) fast-charging. Lounge Q (US$70) will be available in mid-April.

Next is Moshi’s new “USB C to HDMI Adapter with Charging” which connects USB C devices to an HDMI display. Interesting and very handy if you want to watch a bit of Netflix on a big screen and you don’t have a streaming device handy. The adapter has an extra USB C socket that can be used for charging while viewing. Surprisingly, it is compatible with a wide range of platforms and devices – Windows, macOS, iPadOS, Android, and ChromeOS, in addition to Huawei PC mode and Samsung Dex mode. The Adapter (US$45) is slated to be available from mid-April.

And finally, the newly released SnapTo Wireless Charger is the latest addition to the company’s growing magnetic mounting system for iPhones. The wireless charger doubles as both a wireless charging wall mount and a horizontal stand for your phone – check out the whole range of mounts over at Moshi. It’s quite a clever system if you haven’t seen it before. The SnapTo Wireless Charger (US$49.95) is available now.

All these devices will be available on moshi.com and from select retailers, and come with a 10 year guarantee – impressive.


OnePlus Unveils Concept One at CES



Concept devices are more usually the realm of the automotive industry but OnePlus has been teasing their Concept One smartphone for some time….and today at CES the phone was unveiled and there is a connection. It’s orange…McLaren orange.

The design draws heavily on cues from luxury vehicles and supercars, incorporating leather and specialised glass into the smartphone. The use of electrochromic glass was highlighted by CEO and Founder, Pete Lau a few days ago and continuing OnePlus’ partnership with McLaren, the two companies collaborated on the concept phone’s design, drawing inspiration from similar technology used in McLaren’s 720S luxury sports car. The supercar features a glass roof panel that can alter its tint and control the amount of light allowed through. This allows the windows to blend with the body of the car and become virtually invisible when completely darkened. In a similar way, the Concept One conceals the rear cameras behind the electrochromic glass. In the photo above, the cameras aren’t visible but in the one below they can be clearly seen.

This concept phone is a significant experiment into the future form of smartphones. OnePlus started this initiative with the goal of bringing the “burdenless” user experience to the next level. The invisible camera stands as a new form of camera design, one that spares the user from the compromises of current camera layouts. The rear camera lenses are hidden by the dynamic electrochromic glass and only become visible when the camera is in use. This optimal solution is what OnePlus calls “Electronic CMF”—a new approach in industrial design,” said Pete Lau, “This is just the beginning as we explore additional possibilities in the future.

Additionally, the OnePlus Concept One design integrates both glass and leather, using the same stylish, premium quality leather specially tailored for McLaren’s own cars. The device is an exploration in smartphone CMF (color, material, finish) design and lays the foundation for future smartphones with radically new designs and capabilities. OnePlus has always experimented with different and interesting materials. The OnePlus One had a changeable rear cover that came in a range of woods and other finishes: bamboo, wood, Kevlar, Alcantara. Matte-frosted glass and ceramic made an appearance in the One Plus X.

The glass of the OnePlus Concept One uses organic particles to change from clear to opaque and the glass also works as a polarising filter to block reflections and let the cameras take clearer and more detailed photographs in strong sunlight. The glass can change tint in just 0.7s, so by the time the camera app’s been launched and the shot’s been framed, it’s good to go.

This is an amazing looking phone with the leather in McLaren orange and I imagine it feels great in the hand – it’s certainly not going to be slippy. Using the glass to keep the back smooth and the cameras concealed is another great idea. I really hope that these features make it into future OnePlus devices. I want one!


OnePlus Hides Cameras on Concept One phone at CES



OnePlus is using photochromic glass on their Concept One smartphone at CES to hide the rear cameras when not in use by changing the transparency of the back.

Photochromic glass uses organic particles to create tints within the glass that change density when an electrical field is applied. When the cameras aren’t being used, the glass is darkened to hide the cameras, but when a photograph is being taken, the glass becomes transparent to let the light in for the camera.

This technology is already used in automotive and aviation industries – I think my car uses something similar to avoid dazzle from headlights in the rear-view mirror – but perhaps more impressively it’s used in the Boeing 787 aircraft and the McLaren 720S supercar.

By using this dynamic glass on the back cover, the OnePlus Concept One is able to maintain a clean look and smooth feel without compromising on functionality. It’s all part of OnePlus’ “burdenless” philosophy, which aims to deliver premium products that empower people in the most natural and comfortable fashion.

There’s a short demo video on YouTube. It looks cool.

If you are fortunate enough to be at CES, OnePlus are the Palmer 2 room from 7 – 10 December.


Getting Enough Snooze?



It’s hard to get enough sleep in today’s busy world. You get home from work, cook dinner, help with homework, get the children to bed, tidy up, put the laundry on, do some ironing and it’s midnight before you know it. Where did the evening go?

And if that’s not bad enough, some people are making it worse by taking their mobile phones into the bedroom, as revealed by a UK survey of 2,000 people from OnePoll. The survey found that:

  • 86% of millennials reported sleeplessness from staying up too late on their phones.
  • A quarter of 35-44 year-olds experience problems followed by 17% of 45-54 year-olds and 9% of the over-55s.
  • The bedroom (38%) is second only to the living room (47%) as the most common place for adults to be using their phones
  • Londoners (51%) are the most likely to be on their phones in bed, followed by the Welsh (43%) and those in the North East (42%)

At an obvious level, smartphones represent a distraction from the business of getting to sleep but there’s more to it than just too much Facebook. Studies suggest that the blue light produced by the displays of digital devices mimics daylight, and this reduces the body’s production of melatonin, which is the hormone that makes you sleepy.

Lisa Artis, head of The Sleep Council said: “While these results are not surprising, it is eye-opening to read that taking a phone to bed is causing sleepless nights for so many. We know that blue light inhibits sleep because the short wavelength stimulates sensors in the eyes to send signals to your brain’s internal clock, tricking it into thinking it’s daytime. Blue light is beneficial in daylight hours as it boosts mood, reaction times and concentration but in the evening, the recommendation is to avoid screen time for an hour before bedtime to help increase melatonin levels.

The Sleep Council has some really good resources for getting a good night’s sleep – check out their “Seven Steps” in particular. I really need to get my bedroom tidied into a peaceful sanctuary.

If you can’t put the phone down, smartphone makers like OnePlus (who commissioned the survey) are increasingly offering both hardware and software tools to reduce the problem. The new E3 display panel on the OnePlus 7T cuts blue light by 42% and “Dark Mode” ensures low-light conditions are easier on the eyes. And if you really need to take a break from the phone, there’s “Zen Mode” which disables access to the phone. You can even set a prompt to start Zen Mode at, say 11pm for an hour, to ensure you’re not distracted when heading off to bed.

I’m feeling a little smug….even though I have a OnePlus 6T, I leave my phone downstairs when I go upstairs to bed. Still don’t get enough sleep, mind you…

Photo by Kate Stone Matheson on Unsplash.


OnePlus Turbos 7T Pro With McLaren Edition



Hot the heels of the OnePlus 7T launch last month in US and India, the 7T Pro and 7T Pro McLaren Edition were revealed in London, fulfilling the promise of “more to come”. In line with the OnePlus modus operandi, the T editions are the performance upgrades to the standard models released earlier in the year. So what’s changed for the 7T Pro?

Under the hood, there’s an upgrade to the processor with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus, boosting graphics rendering and processing speeds by 15%. On the power side, OnePlus’s latest fast charge technology “Warp Charge 30T” is brought to the new OnePlus 7T Pro. Results include 23% faster charge speed than Warp Charge 30 and charging to around 68% capacity in just 30 minutes.

The display stays the same with the 90 Hz Fluid Display and an edge-to-edge QHD+ display – that’s a 3120×1440 resolution giving 516 ppi!

What hasn’t stayed the same is the camera which now has three lenses on the back for a new macro mode for really close-up photography. On top of that there’s an advanced hybrid image stabilization system combining OIS and EIS technologies for smooth and clear videos. As with the 7, the front-facing selfie cam pops up from the top.

On the software side, OxygenOS has been updated to version 10, making it the first phone to come with Android 10 out of the box.

The new flagship smartphones we unveiled today showcase OnePlus’s constant pursuit of an excellent user experience,” said Pete Lau, CEO and Founder of OnePlus. “The OnePlus 7T Pro combines the latest innovations with our signature features such as 90 Hz Fluid Display and a triple camera setup for the next level in fast and smooth experience. We’ve also teamed up again with McLaren to challenge the standards for a premium smartphone.

And if the 7T Pro wasn’t enough, then take a look at the McLaren Edition. With orange highlights, it references the legendary motorsport firm – only Ferrari have more F1 wins – with papaya orange trim. Frankly, I think they should have made the back completely orange.

In the box, there’s a custom case for the OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren edition, which is covered with Alcantara, a composite fabric material that provides a soft and subtle feel while being good and grippy.

The software on the phone has been tweaked too with McLaren animations, themes and wallpapers. The lock screen features a minimalist timepiece, inspired by McLaren’s dashboard instrumentation. For notifications, the display’s curved edges softly illuminate with a papaya orange glow. Additionally, custom-made icons complete the overall McLaren experience.

The McLaren edition is turbocharged with 256 GB of storage and 12 GB  RAM. Expect to pay an additional £100 for the privilege.

Following last year’s successful ‘Salute to Speed’ launch we’re excited to once again be launching a limited-edition McLaren device with our partner OnePlus. We are two challenger brands whose restless pursuit of innovation reaches its pinnacle with the new OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren Edition. The OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren Edition celebrates our brands’ shared passion for design, craftsmanship and innovation and we look forward to seeing how this is received by technology enthusiasts and McLaren fans worldwide.” Mike Flewitt, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Automotive.

For pricing and availability in the UK, these are the options, prices and availability dates for the 7T series.

  

RAM 

ROM 

Price 

Date

OnePlus 7T 

8GB 

128GB 

 £549 

10:00 BST, 17 Oct

OnePlus 7T Pro 

8GB 

256GB 

£699

10:00 BST, 17 Oct

OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren edition 

12GB 

256GB 

£799

10:00 GMT, 5 Nov

 


OnePlus Announces Launch Events for 7T



OnePlus have announced the launch events for the upcoming OnePlus 7T smartphone. Starting in India and the US on 26 September, it will culminate with the European launch on 10 October in London at 16.00 BST.

As usual, OnePlus will be selling tickets to the event, which will be at the brand new Magazine London venue in North Greenwich. The tix go on-sale from 20th September via OnePlus.com.

OnePlus Launch NoticePete Lau, CEO and founder of OnePlus said, “OnePlus has been built around the idea of fast and smooth, and we constantly challenge ourselves to be even better. Your smartphone’s display is the element you interact with the most, so it makes sense to invest in screen innovation. I’m really excited to hear what our users think of the OnePlus 7T Series.

Going with OnePlus’ normal behaviour, the 7T is expected to be an incremental upgrade, rather than an entirely new model. The invite confirms that the 7T will come with a 90 Hz display but you never know what else might appear – the press release promises “more to come in London”. Apparently OnePlus are launching a magazine too, called “Addition”. Interesting.

If you can’t be there in person, the launch event will be streamed live via the OnePlus official website or on its YouTube and Twitter accounts.


OnePlus 7 Landing in UK Next Week



While both the OnePlus 7 and 7 Pro were announced earlier in the month, the 7’s availability was only listed as “June”. Today, OnePlus confirmed that the 7 would be available to buy in the UK from next week – 4 June.

The spiritual successor to the 6T, the 7 is still well-specified with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 CPU, UFS 3.0 and Dolby Atmos stereo speakers, plus software features like RAM boost, new screen unlock technology and the UltraShot photography engine, all borrowed from the 7 Pro.

The 7’s main rear sensor features Sony’s IMX586, a 48-megapixel, ½ inch super-sized sensor with an aperture of f/1.7, and OIS and EIS. While it’s not a pop-up camera, the front-facing camera is 5-megapixel, perfect for selfies and video calling. Of course, there’s a curvaceous notch at the top of the screen…

The 7 is cheaper than it’s Pro sibling, coming in at GB£499 for the 6GB RAM, 128GB storage model, and GB£549 for the 8GB RAM, 256GB version. Both are Mirror Gray and good value IMHO. For reference, the 7 Pro starts at GB£649

Available from OnePlus.com, EE and John Lewis from next Tuesday.