Unbelievable features on todays flagships

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Unbelievable features on todays flagships

If you head over into your wardrobe and dish out your old favorite smartphone or feature phone you’ll realize that while the basic premise of what makes a phone tick is same (processor, RAM, display and battery), a lot of features have seen massive upgrades. Displays on today’s smartphones are much larger and higher resolution than before, processors can now process a lot more tasks including AI! which manufactures brag about at length and camera sensors have for the first time made it possible for us to leave our bulky cameras and video cameras at home.

 

But despite the huge numbers of smartphones in the market, there are a lot of similarities amongst most of them. But, today we are going to look at some unique features in flagship smartphones.

 

Sliding cameras:

It’s no secret that a lot of people hate notches on their phones, but the reason for the existence of notches was that it wasn’t possible to place camera sensors under the display along with the sensors. But over time we have managed to make ultrasonic sensors and in-display fingerprint scanners but the cameras still take up considerable space and that’s why we have notches. But Chinese smartphone makers Oppo and Vivo have come up with nearly bezel less phones with sliding/ pop-up cameras. While Vivo’s approach is more simple and thoughtful putting only the front camera on the slider, Oppo went all out, putting both the front and rear cameras on the slider. But these are not all, the upcoming Honor Magic 2 and Mi Mix 3 are rumored to have something similar with manual sliders.

 

Multiple cameras

For a long time smartphones were considered inferior to standalone cameras and while the current generation hasn’t surpassed DSLR’s they have certainly come very close. But with people’s obsession with shallow depth of field effects of the DSLR meant smartphones makers had to mimic the same on phones. But with the size of the camera sensor being tiny on phones you’ll need a very wide lens so a secondary sensor is used to get the depth effect. Manufacturers often go berserk when a new feature or trend is created, the same is with multiple cameras. A few of the latest phones have up to 5 cameras on their phones like what LG did with the V40 ThinQ (appalling name, we get it). The ThinQ gets a 12 MPx primary sensor at the back along with a 107 degrees wide-angle sensor and a 50mm equivalent zoom sensor. The story is similar at the front as well with an 8Mpx primary sensor and a 5 MPx wide angle shooter. There are only a handful more phones that use these many sensors like the Huawei P20 Pro which was amongst the first ones to start this trend of triple rear sensors.

 

But hold on if you though three rear facing camera sensors are a lot, look at the world’s first quad rear camera phone, the Samsung A9 with four rear cameras (Mian camera, Wide angle, zoom and depth)

 

High refresh rate display

Razer debuted its first gaming phone the Razer phone almost a year ago and while it wasn’t a standout in terms of design there was one feature that not a single phone in the market at that time (and even today) possessed- a 120Hz refresh rate display. A high refresh rate display is common in gaming monitors that go all the way to 144 Hz and more but what’s the use of it you may ask? Well, for gaming it means a far smoother game play, on your phone you can expect silky smooth animations and ultra smooth scrolling and app openings. Not just that the phone can dynamically adjust the refresh rate so as to conserve power during tasks like reading a web page where it can dial down all the way down to 20Hz.

 

Holographic display

Displays have improved over the years in terms of brightness, resolution, colors, viewing and more but there are few that have had something revolutionary. Way back in 2011 there were a couple of 3D display phones but the technology never caught on and most of them were shelved. But recently iconic camera manufacturer, Red decided to make a smartphone (The Red Hydrogen One) for movie makers that would pack a ton of kit from ergonomic design, high-end cameras, pogo pins for Moto Mods like attachments and a Holographic display. The Holographic display is what caught the fancy of many as it lets you watch 3D content without 3D glasses. From the few people who have had access to private demos of the phones describe it as something similar to R2-D2 projecting an image. While it sounds cool and almost science fiction like, how effective it is only time will tell.

 

Quad DAC and Headphone jack

2018 has been the year when most flagship phones ditched the age-old headphone jack for wireless and wired USB-c connectivity. Apple iPhone, the next generation OnePlus, Razer phone, Pixel 3 all lose out on the headphone jack but one manufacturer is firm about its commitment to the headphone jack and high-quality audio- LG. Long been a favorite of the audiophile community the LG flagship phones come with an excellent 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC (balanced sound signature) with the Stereo Boombox Speaker with DTS:X 3D Surround Sound. Also, this time around the sound is tuned by Meridian Audio This makes it one of the few truly capable phones for great audio quality.

 

Super fast charging

OPPO Find X Automobile Lamborghini Edition is a limited edition version of the Oppo Find X and while it has the usual limited edition features like a high price tag, exotic materials and a lot of accessories, there is one really cool feature that is pretty unbelievable-Super VOOC Flash Charge. Building upon the VOOC charging in current Oppo phones the Super VOOC technology uses a 50W charger and two batteries to deliver an unbelievable charger rate. Taking around 35 minutes to juice up the 3400mAH from dead the Super VOOC is undoubtedly the fastest smartphone charging standard in the world.

 

Reversible wireless charging

While wireless charging is a common feature on most flagships, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro launched recently takes that feature a step forward with something called reversible wireless charging. With this, you can use you Mate 20 Pro to charge your mates iPhone or other devices that can be wireless charged. Despite your phone’s battery being drained, you don’t have to worry as the battery is a large 4200mAh unit which can be charged up to 70% in only 30 minutes.  

 

These are some of the standout features, especially in today’s smartphones. There are still many phones out there with quirky features like the Note 9’s super capacitor powered stylus or the Moto Mods on the Moto Z lineup of phones and more. While phones of today are not as quirky as the phones of yester years, we do occasionally get something with unbelievable features. So, what are the unbelievable features you came across on a smartphone? Do let us know in the comments below.

The Future of SmartPhone Batteries

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Instant, QI, RF, & Turbo Charge

3d-microbattery-illinois-king-supercapacitor-lithium-ion

The Future of the SmartPhone Batteries and charging them is really starting to look interesting.  The progression I have seen in that last couple of years is really amazing, lets take a look.

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Lets make a quick list

1.  Nickel–cadmium battery

2.  Lithium-ion battery

3.  MicroBatteries

We all know that the Lithium-ion batteries are really nice and last a lot longer then the NI CD, but with these batteries you still need to charge them all the time based on there MA Hours example: most phones are around 2800MA hours and tablets are around 4000mah to 6000mah.  There are many different ways to accomplish this task of recharging your device so lets take a closer look at them and some of the new ones as well.

Now on to the good info the charging Tech.

1.  Quick Charging

2.  QI wireless induced Charging

3.  RF wireless Charging

4.  Instant Charging

5.  Power Banks

I am pretty sure most of you have heard and seen the Quick Charger in devices like the Nexus 6, Note 4, Xperia Z3, and the Droid Turbo.  It allows you to charge your android device much faster and with more amperage if your battery is really low. Example: In laboratory tests using a 3300mAh battery, a Quick Charge 2.0 enabled device went from 0% to 60% charge in 30 minutes, while a device without Quick Charge 2.0 using a conventional (5 volt, 1 amp) charger achieved just a 12% gain in the same 30 minutes. A device with Quick Charge 1.0 managed a 30% charge in that time period.  This is a huge step in the right direction but i recommend you read on.

QI charging

QI wireless induced Charging is also a great charging option on many devices like the Moto 360 smart watch and the Nexus 6.  QI charging is done with pad that creates a magnetic field that you place the device on and as long as the phone is inside the magnetic field the device is charging.

Power Banks are another great accessory for those on the move and need a little extra juice.

The two up coming charging / batteries i really want to talk about are the RF wireless Charging and Instant Charging with MicroBatteries.  RF wireless charging is brought to you by Powercast’s technology.  They provided true wireless power for continuous charging and power-over-distance for one or more devices. Wireless power transmission is based on commonly used radio waves (around 5.8GHz) and Powercast’s patented RF-to-DC conversion technology.  The combination enables low-power electronic devices to become untethered with trickle-charge embedded wireless power.  As I search the web some more I have found a company with this same RF technology called Energous there product is wattup and looks to to use the same technology as Powercast.  Energous transmitter looks like it has a range of up to 30 feet which isnt bad if you have one or two transmitters in your house you could go totally charger free.  I am really looking forward to see this technology in your portable device really soon.

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MicroBatteries with Instant Charging are in my mind even better then RF and here is why.  Micro Batteries give you capacitor-like power with battery-like energy storage.  This allows the battery to charge instantly like a capacitor on a motor and then drain fast if needed or slowly like a normal battery. Material in todays battery is a thin film that allows for very fast charging and discharging, but reduces the capacity because the active material lacks volume to store energy.  Micro batteries wrap a thin film into a three-dimensional structure, achieving both high active volume (high capacity) and large current.  These battery electrodes can charge or discharge in a few seconds, 10 to 100 times faster than equivalent bulk electrodes, yet can perform normally in existing devices. I cant wait for the day that my portable device fully charges in 5 seconds or maybe along side all the free wifi hotspots will be free RF charging.

Please check out all the red links if you would like to read more about this amazing developments.

 The future of smartphone batteries is looking good and should finally start to catch up with the tech that they are powering.

 

Aukey Portable Power Bank

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Aukey Portable Power Bank

I wanted to share my review on a company whose name is not yet talked about much in the power bank world but i am a fan after using the aukey 8000mAh external power bank  for a week now. The design is ultra-slim  (0.35 inch thickness) great for your pocket or purse and comes with a fabric pouch for the unit and the provided usb charging cable. The “candy bar” shape is about the same length as my galaxy s5 i used for testing but very thin. The top of the unit has “soy ink” coat on the hard plastic and the bottom is gray plastic but has a rubber feel to it so a nice feel in your hand. something i never saw before is the “soy ink” coating on the top cover and the reason for that is so you can personalize your power bank by drawing on it. In my case i put stickers on it but if you like to draw a design on it Aukey has you covered. the power button/”out”usb port/”in” port and 4 LED’s are all at one end of unit which i really liked and the 4 LED’s are very small but very bright and show power left on unit in 25% increments. I was able to charge my gs5 from 5% to full 2x times and still had about 25% left.  I really liked the power bank and its simple design and simple to use so i am hoping others check out http://www.aukey.com/ to see what other products they have to offer to make life a little easier.   20141111_09041620141111_090124