Hands-on: LG G5’s modular design and metal build is a peek at the smartphone of the future

The LG G5 is a weird phone, but that’s not a bad thing. If you only look at the spec sheet, there’s not much about LG’s latest G series handset that sets it apart from the other Snapdragon 820-powered competition. On paper, it might as well just be another option available for those perusing the shelves at their local carrier store. It has USB Type-C, a fingerprint sensor on the back, a nice camera set up, and a decent build. All of these things are expected of a 2016 flagship.

But the weirdness of the LG G5 is what makes it intriguing to me. Samsung ditched its plastic in favor of a premium metal and glass build with last year’s handset, and this year LG is following in step with an obvious evolution in the design of the phone. The all-metal beast now just has a single lock button around the back, the volume rockers have been moved to the sides, there’s a dual-camera set up, and most of all, this phone is modular…

more…

Future Samsung smartphones may have huge 24MP 1/1.7 camera sensors

With the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, Samsung created one of the best Android smartphone cameras we’ve used. At least, if you ignore the likes of the Panasonic CM-1 which is more a camera powered by Android than a smartphone. Low-light performance is great, and images come out sharp and full of color. But, if a recent rumor is anything to go by, its future smartphones will make the S7 look like a cheapy disposable camera by comparison.

more…

Rumor suggests that ‘new assistive features’ are coming in future version of Android

Not much is known about the next version of Android, but a vague report from VentureBeat suggests that Google is working on “new assistive features” for the OS. One feature aims to reduce copy and pasting, while another allows gesture drawing to quickly surface information.

more…

Google Fiber pauses future deployment as CEO departs, service will continue in current cities

Google Fiber has hit a major roadblock this afternoon with Access CEO Craig Barratt leaving his position and operations in “potential Fiber cities” being paused. The Alphabet division is currently refining its approach to making superfast Internet available in the US.

more…

This future LeEco phone concept shows off an edge-screened, buttonless beauty [Gallery]

Chinese company LeEco (previously LeTV) hasn’t launched a phone in the United States yet, but reports from last year say that that’s probably going to change soon. Hopefully, when they do, this is the phone that they’ll launch. We’ve recently gotten our hands on these official LeEco-made renders depicting a future phone concept, sporting a Samsung-like edge screen, and a sleek all-metal buttonless design…

more…

OnePlus co-founder confirms the company will stick with AMOLED ‘for the foreseeable future’

Just yesterday a report came out to say that due to a lack of stock, OnePlus would be halting production of the OnePlus 3 to make room for a new “OnePlus 3S.” In that refreshed model, the company would swap the existing Snapdragon 820 chip for an 821 and also trade the AMOLED display for an LCD, to the uproar of some fans.

more…

Curious mention of ‘Google Cardboard’ in Pokemon Go could hint at future VR features

It goes without saying that Pokemon Go is blasting off, but what’s keeping the hype from already waning is the fact that there is so much more to come. The original trailer shown off last year touted the ability to trade and battle Pokemon with other players, and those features are almost certainly already in the works, but how else could we see the game evolve in the coming months?

If you want to make a not-so farfetch’d guess based on the Licenses page in the app, VR features in the form of Google Cardboard could be in the cards…

more…

Android N and VR hints – Is affordable virtual reality the future of Android?

Android N is on its way, and as each new Developer Preview is released, we get a clearer picture of what Google has in mind for its next (and future) versions of Android. One major, albeit fairly inconspicuous drive is one towards a mobile-based VR platform, but one that everyone can access. Within Android N, we finally see some actual evidence that — at its inner most core — going forward the smartphone platform is going to be built for Virtual Reality.

more…

Google explains lack of in-app Feed and Upcoming tabs for some, hints at future update

While an A/B test of a new transparent homescreen pane is underway, other users still don’t have access to the most recent revamp of the Google app that added tabs. In a statement, Google has now provided an explanation, as well as hinting at a future update to remedy the discrepancy.

more…

Opinion: If bots are the future, Google needs to play it smart in the war with Microsoft, Facebook and Apple

We’ve recently argued that the Galaxy S7 edge may represent the culmination of the “Smartphone 1.0 era”. It won’t please everyone about everything — and no such thing will likely ever exist — but it’s indubitable how all of the cornerstones of a modern smartphone have been tackled cleverly by the Korean giant, and all its positives can even justify its hefty price tag. Actually delivering something that steps up the game in a significant way, in fact, looks like a very tough challenge. Perhaps we will have to wait until true, Project Ara-like modular smartphones show up before radically rethinking the way we look at hardware, but the software roadmap seems to be getting clearer, with a future studded with bots.

Microsoft is betting big on them as a major part of the future of computing, and so is Facebook. There is a case that could be made for them to become the new apps — and this certainly is how these two firms are pitching the concept. Chances are that Google will follow sooner than later, and I think that if the general idea of bots we have been so far given remains valid, the owning of a platform as popular as Android may leave the Mountain View behemoth with quite an interesting card up its sleeve, which could give them a notable lead in the upcoming war for bots dominance, were they to play it cleverly…

more…