Fold-Up Smartphone Screens Could Finally Make Their Big Debut

The rumors have been swirling for months. Though they couldn’t be confirmed, their persistence suggests that something significant may be coming from ­Samsung, possibly as early as this year: a foldable mobile.

Today, the world of mobiles consists of two major realms—tablets and smartphones. Tablets are good for reading magazines and books, typing long messages on a linked keyboard, looking at pictures, and surfing the Web. Smartphones are good for texting and ­talking. Engineers have long dreamed of merging the two.

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Such a device would morph from one to the other by folding: Open, it’s a tablet, but by bending or folding it in half you’d transform it into a phone. “You can expect to open up your phone and double the screen real estate,” says Roel Vertegaal, a computer scientist at Queen’s ­University in Ontario. Besides the versatility, you’d have interesting new ­possibilities—imagine bending your phone to flip ahead in an e-book, just as you would flex a novel’s covers to jump ahead a few pages.

Samsung has pursued flexible designs for at least four years, going so far as to develop “artificial muscles” that push and pull a smartphone’s components into new positions to prevent damage as it bends. Now, according to media reports, the company may finally be ready to share those technologies with the world and save users the hassle of carrying both a phone and a tablet.

“Having that bimodality in a device would, I think, be really game changing,” says mobile analyst Wayne Lam at IHS Markit. “You’re not only creating a new form factor for the phone, but you’re also cannibalizing other product categories.”

Competitors are thinking along similar elastic lines. At a trade show last summer, Lenovo showed off a concept product for a smartphone that folded around a user’s wrist into a wearable device. Throughout 2016, a Chinese manufacturer named Moxi Group promised a limited release of its own high-end flexible smartphone. But Samsung would be the first of any major company to debut a device with a truly flexible screen.

If Samsung does release such a phone, it would signal the first major departure from the flat, rectangular form that has defined smartphone designs since Apple released the first iPhone in 2007. Manufacturers have experimented with curved glass and adopted larger screens, but essentially all smartphones today are design descendants of that original iPhone.

The simple, rigid smartphone has endured partly because the challenges of building a foldable screen that is rugged and dependable are great. Stiff components such as the battery must be made to either bend along with the screen or be situated away from the fold.

Vertegaal himself built a flexible smartphone in his lab last year and tested hundreds of screens before settling on one that worked—a high-­definition organic light-emitting-diode screen produced by LG Display. OLED screens contain a thin film of organic compounds that produce light from an electric current right at the surface of the device. They are a favorite of designers working on flexible TV and mobile units because they do not require the bulky backlight and filters found in LCD screens.

Samsung happens to be the largest global supplier of OLED panels. In 2013, the company showed off a concept product with a bendable OLED screen at the CES electronics show. It set off a frenzy in the tech blogosphere and led to speculation that the company would release a smartphone based on it.

Flexible Devices: This smartphone designed by Chinese manufacturer Moxi Group can wrap around a user’s wrist.
Vertegaal says the biggest challenge in ­building his own flexible phone was powering all the ­pixels in his LG display with connectors that could ­withstand repeated bendings. To keep it simple, he used a relatively primitive screen that had only 720 pixels. He realized that the rigid materials found in conventional smartphones are, unfortunately, quite delicate. “Circuits are made out of metals, and these metals break under stress,” he says. “While it’s possible to make these bendable screens, it’s difficult to make them in a way that they don’t break.”

One solution may be to use printed ­electronics to integrate razor-thin ­circuits and flattened antennas along the surfaces of a smartphone. In theory, this technique could make phones more flexible by reducing the number of large components and fragile attachments within the device. However, the easiest way to create such products is with injection molding, a process that is seldom used in smartphone manufacturing.

Right now, only two companies in the world have the expertise and production chops to manufacture a smartphone with a bendable display for the mass market: ­Samsung and LG, says William Stofega, a mobile analyst at International Data Corp. Just last year, at CES, LG exhibited an OLED screen, less than 1 millimeter thick, that could roll up like a newspaper. But Stofega says the time, complexity, and expense of manufacturing means that any flexible products that debut this year will likely be pricey, high-end devices.

Samsung needs a hit to regain momentum after last year’s Galaxy Note 7 fiasco, in which it coped with reports of dozens of the smartphones catching fire. Ultimately, the problems prompted a recall that slashed profits by 17 percent, or US $4 billion, in that quarter. A flashy line of foldable phones could help the company rebuild its reputation. However, it would be a high-risk strategy, Stofega notes. “No one wants to risk coming out with a device that looks pretty cool and then, after about 2,000 bends, just cracks right in half,” he says.

Samsung wouldn’t comment on its plans for 2017. So we’ll all have to wait and see if the company dazzles us this year with a couple of flexible smartphones—or leaves the many design headaches and teething pains for its rivals to endure.

CES 2017 Little Known Elliptic Labs Could Reshape the Smartphone Industry

This year at CES, a little-known company with no booth or speaker slot is quietly talking about a technology that could bring about one of the most visible changes to smartphone design of 2017. It has developed software that would let manufactures remove a common component and so create almost-edgeless smartphone screens that run up to the very top of the device. And in the past three months, this company has been contacted by every major smartphone manufacturer in the world.

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Let’s back up for a moment. On your smartphone right now, there’s probably a little dot or narrow sliver right above your screen that’s a proximity sensor. When you make a call and place the phone to your ear, the screen turns off to save power and prevent you from accidentally hitting buttons with your cheek. It does this by emitting infrared waves and then measuring their reflections to determine how close the phone is to your head.

The original iPhone, released in 2007, was the first smartphone to use a proximity sensor. Since then, the proximity sensor has become a standard mobile component. It’s typically housed in a rectangular bit of casing that takes up about half a centimeter or so of real estate across the top of the screen.

But this staple of smartphone design may be on its way out. In October 2016, Xiaomi announced the Mi MIX, which features a display that runs right up to the top edge of the device, with no proximity sensor in sight. Reviewers raved about the almost-edgeless display and applauded Xiaomi’s ingenuity. Some even hinted that Apple and Samsung would be taking cues from the Mi MIX for their highly-anticipated releases of the iPhone 8 and Galaxy S8 in 2017.

Though Xiaomi got the credit, the company behind that almost-edgeless display was Elliptic Labs. And according to an Elliptic representative who spoke with IEEE Spectrum here at CES in Las Vegas, consumers should expect to see many more almost-edgeless smartphone screens debut this year, all inspired by the Mi MIX design.

“Ever since this phone has been released, all the mobile OEMs have been contacting us,” said Angelo Assimakopoulos, VP of Sales and Business Development for Elliptic Labs. “Without naming names, I can tell you almost everyone is going this route.”

Elliptic Labs sells software that generates ultrasound pulses from a smartphone’s speaker and measures them using its microphone, as an alternative method for proximity detection. This technique allows manufacturers to get rid of traditional proximity sensors altogether, and so stretch the display all the way to the phone’s upper edge. Ultrasound may also prove more reliable for consumers, since proximity sensors can be affected by smudges or bright light.

The pulses that Elliptic generates are between 30 kilohertz to 40 kHz, well above the 20 kHz limit of human hearing. Assimakopoulos says most smartphone speakers can generate pulses at these frequencies, though the company finds that MEMS speakers work best for generating them.

The company, which has about 30 employees and operations in the U.S., Norway, and China, has worked on its software for almost 10 years. Now, they think conditions are favorable to roll it out. Consumers are watching more videos and playing more games on their smartphones than ever before. In response, manufacturers are producing phones with larger screens and maximizing every square millimeter of space. For example, Samsung has increasingly displayed content along the sides of screens. An obvious next step may be to expand the screen from the phone’s top to bottom, with Elliptic’s help.

By using their software, Elliptic’s Assimakopoulos estimates that smartphone manufacturers could increase screen area to between 90 to 95 percent of the phone’s facing side, from the standard 75 to 80 percent on most smartphones today. The Mi MIX has a screen-to-face radio of 91.3 percent.

Elliptic’s technology alone won’t allow manufactures to create entirely edgeless (or “bezel-free” as their known in the industry) designs, though. Aside from the proximity sensor, several other components such as the home button, camera, and speaker still live on the face of most smartphones.

It’s hard to say whether Elliptic’s technology would lower the cost of manufacturing a smartphone, or add to it. On one hand, it replaces the proximity sensor with software that uses existing hardware. This also frees up some space inside the phone since the proximity sensor, which itself measures approximately 3 millimeters by 2 mm, can be removed. On the other hand, manufacturers must pay to license the software, and installing a larger LCD display adds to a phone’s cost.

Now that Elliptic is drawing attention from manufacturers, Assimakopoulos hopes to work with as many partners as possible by licensing their patented software. He declined to comment on whether Elliptic might also be a candidate for acquisition, which would allow one company to keep their system from competitors. “We’re talking to several OEMs,” he said. “I will tell you that all OEMs have approached us inquiring about our technology since this phone was released.”

Though Assimakopoulos was hush-hush on the details of his conversations with manufacturers, he’s very confident that you’ll be seeing more almost-edgeless smartphone screens very soon. “There will be another phone that shows up this year with this technology,” he said.

Best Cell phablets for 2016

If a big screen for watching videos, playing games or simply to fit more on the screen when browsing, emailing and texting is what you’re after, these are the best phablets available right now.

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Apple iPhone 7 Plus Price: £719

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Apple’s latest phablet is like a greatest hits from the past two years of iPhone. It looks pretty much the same as 2014’s iPhone 6 Plus, has the same fingerprint scanner as the iPhone 6S Plus, but is now waterproof and has a better camera.

The dual camera on the back is the main attraction, using two different lenses to create an effective 2x zoom and some fancy effects. The home button also doesn’t move any more, but the little vibrating Taptic Engine does a good job of giving you the impression that it does.

One thing the 5.5in phablet doesn’t have is a headphone socket, which means you’ll have to use an adaptor to plug wired headphones into the Lightning port at the bottom. You can’t charge while listening to music, but at least the battery lasts about a day.

The iPhone 7 Plus is also wider and more difficult to use one-handed than other 5.5in smartphones in this group, so it’s worth investing in a good case as dropping it is a real possibility when out and about.

Google Pixel XL Price: £719

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Google’s first own-brand phablet runs the very latest version of Android 7.1 Nougat and will get updates before any other Android smartphone.

It has the company’s latest in intelligent voice control, GoogleAssistant, which is a conversational search and personal assistant hiding under the Pixel’s home button for when you need it.

The 5.5in Pixel XL is a relatively simple-looking device, but its subtle wedge shape means there’s no camera lump on the back. The camera is excellent – ranked the best in the business by DxoMark– and it’ll last over a day between charges.

It’s snappy, has a good fingerprint scanner on the back, great screen on the front and is one of the first smartphones compatible with Google’s new Daydream View VR goggles.

But the Pixel isn’t waterproof, like Apple’s iPhone doesn’t have expandable storage, and is pretty pricy compared to the rest of the Android competition.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Price: £520

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Samsung’s smaller top-end phablet, the Galaxy S7 Edge has a 5.5in curved screen that makes it the narrowest and easiest to handle in the category. It has more features too, with a great camera, fingerprint scanner, heart-rate reader, wireless charging and various bits and pieces to take advantage of the curved screen.

It is that curved screen that makes the S7 Edge stand out, fitting a 5.5in screen in a body not much larger than a 5in phone. The only real downside is that picking a case for it could be difficult.

The S7 Edge is waterproof, and has a microSD card slot for expanding the storage. It lasts a day and a half between charges and is compatible with Samsung’s Gear VR headset too.

It doesn’t run the latest version of Android yet, but an update to Android 7 Nougat is already in testing and is expected to be available to all in 2017.

Huawei Mate 9 Price: €699

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If you want a really big screen – bigger than all the others in this lineup – the Mate 9 is for you.

The front is pretty much all screen with a 5.9in display and small bezels at either side making it more manageable than you might expect. Not everyone will be able to use it comfortably with one hand, but the curved back, chamfered edges and good palm rejection make it easier to hold on to than even some smaller-screened competitors, even when it weighs a good 20g more.

The screen isn’t as sharp as some others, but the Mate 9 will last around two days between charges. It’s superfast too, has dual-sim support, expandable storage and has an extremely rapid fingerprint scanner on the back.

It has two cameras on the back, one monochrome and one colour, which work together to improve detail and low-light performance. You can also use them in interesting combinations – shooting in true monochrome is great fun.

Huawei’s version of Android – Emotion UI based on Android 7 Nougat – has many more power and notification controls than you would normally find, and looks a little different from Android on most other smartphones.

OnePlus 3T Price: £399

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The OnePlus 3T is the successor to the excellent OnePlus 3. Now it has a faster processor, a larger capacity battery and better cameras.

It’s 5.5in screen is slightly less sharp than rivals with the same size display, but is vibrant and colourful with good viewing angles. It’s also got narrow bezels, which combined with a curved back and chamfered edges make the 3T easier to grip than most.

You have a choice of 64GB or 128GB of storage, but cannot add more. It has two sim slots for using two phone numbers simultaneously, and a rapid charging technology called Dash Charge.

The battery lasts a day between charges and the phone has the fastest Qualcomm processor on the market, matching the Google Pixel XL. The fingerprint scanner on the front is excellent and the camera’s pretty good too.

It doesn’t yet run Android 7 Nougat, but an update to the latest version is promised before the year is out. The OnePlus 3T is a great all-round device for less money than most of the rest.

Top Blackberry Smartphones Review

One of the best cellular phones on the market is the Blackberry Smartphone. This phone comes in several different models that provide potential buyers with a variety of phones individualized to mesh with their own personal and professional lifestyles. The newest Smartphone is available in approximately six different styles with many different colors, shapes, and sizes to choose from. The Blackberry Smartphone has the ability to make phone calls, text, email, takes high resolution pictures either at or exceeding the quality of most high-dollar professional cameras, plays music in high quality audio, and even allows its users to surf the Internet for their favorite restaurants or the newest movies playing, where the nearest theater is and show times for that particular theater. Most Blackberry Smartphones now include GPS capabilities with Google maps to ensure that you never get lost again.

The Blackberry Bold 9700 Smartphone has a large high-resolution screen. This screen displays over 65,000 colors that creates vibrant viewing of your photos, videos, and website content. The track pad navigation feature gives the feel of gliding your fingertips over the keys on a laptop to make for easy scrolling through menu options and for easy selection of where you want to travel on your phone. The Blackberry Bold 9700 allows you to download and play music, create and/or watch videos, take high-quality photos with optimal viewing capacities, and speaker quality sound.

You can even sync your phone with your computer so you can pull data and photos from your computer and put them directly on the phone. Also, this phone allows for up to 35 hours of music playback. The Blackberry Bold 9700 can be upgraded for up to 256 MB of flash memory by inclusion of a microSD card. This allows for more room for all your photos, music, and videos. This phone is also inclusive with a 3.2 mega pixel camera. You can also use this feature to record videos and play them back in high resolution quality. In addition, the Blackberry Bold 9700 also provides speedy 3G networking and Wi-Fi capabilities to the Internet where you can download files and browse the Internet faster.

The Blackberry Storm2 9550 Smartphone has many of the same features as the Blackberry Bold 9700. The one feature that sets it apart from many other styles of Blackberry Smartphones is that it has touch-screen capabilities where you can quickly switch between different applications. New features of the Blackberry Storm2 Smartphone are the Next-Generation SurePress Technology and Wi-Fi support. Wi-Fi applications help you connect to the Internet instantly by showing where the highest quality connectivity options are located. SurePress technology allows for error proof typing and provides a virtual keyboard that makes for easy navigation.

The Blackberry Curve 8900 Smartphone is the thinnest of all the Blackberry Smartphones. This phone has a 480×360 pixel screen that offers high quality resolution on photos, videos, video messaging, text, and maps. This phone includes Wi-Fi capabilities as well as an integrated GPS navigation system along with Blackberry Maps. In addition, this phone also includes a 3.2 mega pixel camera that takes high resolution images and videos with the touch of a button. The Blackberry Curve 8900 also allows for optimal mobile streaming so you can virtually take your home stereo system everywhere you go.

The Blackberry Tour Smartphone allows for world phone capabilities on an extremely reliable 3G network. This phone also includes a 3.2 mega pixel camera perfect for high resolution photos and videos and a smooth feel to the keypad with easy navigation features. Whether overseas or in the country, the Blackberry Tour allows you to connect to the Internet using 3G network connectivity from anywhere in the world. It includes a built-in media player and 256 GB of memory already built-in to the phone.

If you’re looking for that one phone that can do it all, Blackberry’s line of new-age Smartphones are what you need for all your needs. If you buy a Blackberry Smartphone, you won’t have to worry about buying a separate GPS if you are constantly traveling. Computers will become “old-school” as everything you can do on your computer you will now be able to do on your Blackberry Smartphone! Take the first step into the new-wave of cell phone technology and purchase your Blackberry Smartphone today!

Top Blackberry Smartphones Review

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Best new SmartPhones Coming in 2017

The best new phones coming in 2017. We look at the best new phones that you must see before you upgrade, including the best new Android phones, best new iPhones, best new Windows phones, best new Samsung phones, best new Sony phones, best new HTC phones, best new LG phones and more.

Xiaomi Mi Mix

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Mi Mix UK release date: Shipping from 15 December 2016
The Mi Mix is one of the most extraordinary phones we’ve seen in recent years, with a 6.4in edgeless display and a super-high 91.3 percent screen-to-body ratio. Given the loss of the top bezel you’ll find the selfie camera at the bottom right of the phone’s chin, while an ultrasonic distance sensor hides behind the display and replaces the proximity sensor. Most clever of all, rather than an earpiece you get ‘cantilever piezoelectric ceramic acoustic technology’ to transmit sound.

Other specs are decent too,with a Snapdragon 821 processor, up to 6GB of RAM and up to 256GB UFS 2.0 storage.

The Mi Mix has an RRP of RMB 3499 for the 4GB of RAM, 128GB storage model, and RMB 3999 for the 6GB RAM, 256GB storage model with 18k gold trims around the camera and fingerprint sensor, though you will pay more than the straight Sterling conversion of £422.37 and £482.69.

GearBest is listing the 4GB RAM Mi Mix for £517.53 / $658.99, though it is currently on pre-order and will ship after 15 December. The 6GB RAM, 256GB, 18K model is not currently listed on the site.

Apple iPhone 8 & iPhone 8 Plus

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iPhone 8 UK release date: September 2017
Apple is set to go big on the iPhone’s 10th anniversary, which could go some way to make up for this year’s relatively minor upgrade. A combination of design and hardware changes should make the iPhone 8 the most radical new iPhone to date.

The iPhone 8 could be the iPhone with which Jony Ive finally gets his own way: an iPhone that resembles a single sheet of glass with an edge-to-edge OLED screen. According to an Apple supplier, at least one of the company’s new iPhones for 2017 will have a glass body. The TouchID scanner is thought to be hidden within the glass, while the physical Home button will be gone.

Other rumours suggest the iPhone 8 will feature wireless charging for the first time, and possible biometric features such as facial recognition or iris scanning. It’ll run the Apple A11 processor and motion co-processor, and be devilishly fast.

LG G6

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LG G6 UK release date: 26 February 2016 (TBC)
LG is rumoured to ditch its modular design for the G6 and potentially adopt a new glass front and rear. In common with the Samsung Galaxy S-series with which it competes it is likely to feature fast wireless charging and see a processor and graphics bump to ready the phone for VR.

One of the most interesting rumours about the LG G6 is that it will feature a new type of iris scanner that uses the same sensor as the phone’s front camera, a space- and cost-saving measure that is made possible through use of a special filter.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

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Samsung Galaxy Note 8 UK release date: August 2017 (TBC)
Following the Note 7 problems there are a lot of whispers about Samsung at the moment. The failure of the Note 7 has badly bruised its reputation, and it’s hurt its bottom line. Some say it will look to mend its reputation by announcing the Note 8 in February 2017 alongside the Galaxy S8, while others say it will drop its Note line altogether.

We don’t think Samsung is about to give up on its second annual cash cow just yet, though it will need to do something to put consumers at ease. Given that there is already a Galaxy Note 8 (a 2013 tablet), and the Note’s specifications are edging ever closer to the Galaxy S-series edge handset, we think Samsung may look to shake things up a bit and change its branding of its phablet family.

Should Samsung go ahead as normal with its August big-screen phone launch, we’d expect to see a 5.7in Quad-HD or SuperAMOLED screen with S Pen support, a powerful processor and RAM combo capable of the very best mobile VR experience, a dual camera, waterproofing and more.

Samsung Galaxy S8 & Galaxy S8 Plus

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Samsung Galaxy S8 UK release date: February 2017
Samsung traditionally holds an Unpacked event in which it unveils its new S-series flagship the day before MWC. In 2017 this tradeshow runs from 27 February to 2 March, so we expect to see a new Galaxy S8 on Sunday 26 February 2017. Expect it to go on sale in early March 2017.

For its now-discontinued Galaxy Note 7 Samsung merged its ‘Edge’ and standard models, so perhaps we’ll see the same with the merging of the Galaxy S8 and S8 Edge. We think there will still be two Galaxy S8 models, but it will only be the size differentiating their screens. In which case the S8 edge might instead be known as the S8 Plus, or similar. In any case you should expect more of the same metal and glass front/back design it introduced last year in the S6 and in 2016 has extended to the A-series.

When it arrives, you can expect the S8 to be the fastest phone money can buy, with a top-of-the-range processor and 6GB of RAM. There will more than likely be a super-high-resolution 5.1in screen – Samsung may even move up from Quad-HD to Ultra-HD, which is all the more likely given the importance being placed on VR in the next Android OS – Android Nougat – which this phone will run.

Now that Samsung has discontinued its Note 7, it’s going to want to make the Galaxy S8 an absolute belter to mend its reputation.

Huawei Mate 9

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Huawei Mate 9 UK release date: November 2016
Initially rumoured to come out in December 2016, it looks like the Huawei Mate 9 might be coming out earlier than we expect – in November 2016.

The phone is set to be announced at a €699 price tag (~£620); although we feel that its price might be a little too steep, given its competition.

Looking at rumoured specifications, the Mate 9 is looking to be a top-spec’ed phone, which features: a dual-lens 20Mp camera, full-HD 1920×1080 display, dual-SIM LTE, an Octa-core processor (2.6 GHz Cortex-A53), 4/6GB RAM, 64-, 238 and 256GB of internal storage space, a microSD card expansion slot (up to 256GB) and running on Android v7.0.

OnePlus 3T & OnePlus 4

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OnePlus 3T UK release date: 15 November 2016
OnePlus 4 UK release date: April/May 2017 (TBC)
OnePlus has confirmed that a new OnePlus phone featuring the 2.35GHz Snapdragon processor will be unveiled on 15 November 2016. This is known for now as the OnePlus 3T.

We know very few details about the OnePlus 3T other than the processor change – which adds support for Daydream VR – so it is thought to be simply the OnePlus 3 with a processor bump.

More exciting for OnePlus fans, then, will be the OnePlus 4 expected in April/May 2017. Rather than the Snapdragon 821 this phone will likely get the Snapdragon 830. We could also see the 5.5in full-HD display upgraded to a Quad-HD model.

Other rumours suggest the OnePlus 4 will come with 8GB of RAM, a 21- or 23Mp camera and a 3,500- to 4,000mAh battery with Dash Charge. One thing we’re sure of is that it will run Oxygen OS, a custom UI that will be based on Android 7.0 Nougat.

Microsoft Surface Phone

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Microsoft Surface Phone UK release date: TBC
Surface Phone rumours have been few and far between, leading some to think it’s nothing more than a myth. But it was recently revealed by Wired that Microsoft Corporate VP Panos Panay has been working on a prototype of a new phone.

Should it truly exist, the Surface Phone is expected to arrive in 2016, with a 5.5in Quad-HD AMOLED display, 4GB of RAM, 64- and 128GB storage options (with microSD support), a 64-bit Intel processor and 21Mp rear- and 8Mp front cameras. The Surface Phone could also get a Surface Pen and a USB-C port.

There will be a Microsoft event on 26 October, so it’s possible that if the Surface Phone really does exist it will be announced here.

Buying a New Car? Know Your Connectivity Options SmartPhones

When shopping for a new car, most buyers typically focus on horsepower, fuel economy, interior comfort, and other obviously important features. But many vehicles have reached a certain level of parity among these categories, leaving in-dash technology and connectivity as key differentiators. That’s why it’s important to know your connectivity choices.

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Apple CarPlay and Android Audio
Most car manufacturers are still zealously developing their own individual infotainment platforms and connectivity systems, but Apple and Google have rolled out much more universal options that are worth considering. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto don’t completely replace infotainment systems, but they offer unified, consistent app ecosystems and feature sets regardless of the make or model of car you’re driving.

Both CarPlay and Android Auto rely on your smartphone (iPhone or Android phone, respectively) to provide connected features. These systems usually work through an in-dash touch screen and include navigation, phone calls, and messaging. (Displays aren’t always necessary, though; Apple’s Siri Eyes Free lets you use many CarPlay features through voice commands without a touch screen on your dash.) They also incorporate some form of broad voice control system, either through Apple’s Siri or Google Now.

Many new connected cars include support for both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and older cars can be upgraded to use them with aftermarket double-DIN entertainment consoles like the Pioneer AVH-4100NEX. Regardless, you’ll be counting on your smartphone’s connectivity for all information services, so poor reception and slow network speeds will affect how well any of it works.

Bring Your Own Device (Without Carplay or Android Auto)
Apple and Google options aside, connecting your smartphone to your car is hardly new. Ford’s Sync system pioneered this approach, and many others have followed. Navigation, location searches, messaging, and entertainment apps available through a car’s infotainment system in these situations all rely on your smartphone’s data connection (and 4G LTE will be your best bet for quick response and smooth streaming).

Keep in mind, the service is only as good as your cellular signal. And if you forget your phone at home or run out of battery, you also run out of luck.

Embedded Connectivity
Embedded connectivity lets you enjoy connected features and apps without relying on your smartphone. General Motors’ OnStar system introduced the concept almost two decades ago, using an onboard cellular radio to deliver telematics services such as automatic crash notification, and conveniences like remote door unlocking. OnStar has since started to offer 4G LTE data as an additional service over its telematics, projecting a Wi-Fi network around your vehicle so tablets and smartphones can get online through the car’s systems instead of the other way around.

Outside of OnStar, many automakers now offer cellular data service as options in their new vehicles. These faster connections let navigation systems download detailed information, including (for certain Audi and BMW models) Google Earth and Google Street View maps, or put other information at your fingertips. The advantage here is that you’re always connected instantly, whether your smartphone is available or not. But this kind of connectivity costs vehicle owners in the form of a subscription or a separate data plan. If you don’t keep paying, you don’t get the connected services. The Tesla Model S, on the other hand, comes with four years of free built-in 3G connectivity.

Hybid Connectivity
A hybrid system can offer the best of both of both worlds. You get the robust, always-on connectivity of an embedded radio for critical functions like automatic crash notification, while relying on a connected smartphone for other data, like infotainment. But you’ll still experience the downside of a separate data or subscription charge for certain services.

You can find examples of hybrid connectivity in the Uconnect system that’s available in Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, and Ram vehicles. An embedded cellular radio is used for telematics features, Yelp local search, and a Wi-Fi hotspot, as part of the subscription-based Advantage package. Your smartphone, meanwhile, provides streaming music via apps like Aha Radio and Pandora.

Don’t Forget About Infotainment
It’s important to familiarize yourself with the type of connectivity a car has before you buy, but it’s just as important to consider the infotainment system. After all, that’s probably the main reason you want connectivity in the first place. Pay close attention to the apps and features offered with each system, and look for the one that most closely suits your needs. A good infotainment system and the right type of connectivity can mean the difference between a car you keep for the next 10 years, or one that you’re itching to trade in as soon as possible.

LG G6 UK release date rumours

For the first time in 2016 LG announced its annual flagship upgrade at the MWC tradeshow in February, putting it in direct competition with the also announced Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge. In previous years LG had held off until later in the year for a late-Spring launch.

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This paid off well for LG and we think it will follow the same pattern for the G6. Samsung is expected to announce its Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus at an Unpacked press conference the day before MWC starts on 26 February, so expect LG to also pick that date to announce its G6.

LG G6 UK price rumours: How much is the LG G6?

LG has always managed to undercut its rivals on pricing, and its ability to make high-end handsets at great-value price points has always been a key reason to choose LG. The LG G5 had a £529 SIM-free RRP in the UK, so we expect LG to keep the price roughly similar for the G6. Given the current economic climate we would certainly be surprised to see it cost any less than the G5.

LG G6 specification rumours: What to expect from LG G6

With the G5 LG tried the whole modular thing with its ‘Friends’ accessories that were bought separately. Now, according to ETNews, it will be going it alone, leaving behind its Friends and its modular design for the all-new LG G6.

Some things are likely to stay the same, such as the 5.3in Quad-HD display (potentially with an upgrade to 4K), dual-camera, 32GB of storage as standard and USB-C. But the G6 is thought to feature a more traditional design, possibly with a glass rear and this time with wireless charging built in (there were fears the tech wouldn’t be ready in time for the G6 but in October LG announced a 15W Quick Wireless Charging Pad). It will also get an update to the Snapdragon 830 processor and Android Nougat.

With the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus set to be key rivals to the LG G6, it makes sense that LG will look to ensure it can keep up with those phones in terms of spec. The Galaxy S8 is expected to be extraordinarily powerful for a phone, with a strong focus on graphics that are able to power the best mobile VR experience, potentially with an upgrade to 6- or even 8GB of RAM. The S8 is also expected to get the dual curved-edge screen as standard, complete with a built-in fingerprint scanner.

According to ChosunBiz LG is having difficulty sourcing curved displays from LG Display, which is busy producing OLED displays for the Apple Watch and LG’s own smartwatches, so LG is unlikely to go for a dual-edge screen in the G6. But powerful graphics, a focus on VR, a larger complement of RAM and a fingerprint scanner built into the screen will likely be high up on its list.

The most recent rumour we’ve seen is that the LG G5 will feature an iris scanner, which will use the same sensor as the front camera rather than a separate module. This will be made possible by applying a filter, and will bring down both the build costs and the amount of space required. However, LG has told GSM Arena that while such a camera has been developed, it has not been confirmed that it will be used in a smartphone.

LG G6 rumours: Should I buy LG G5 or should I wait for LG G6?

LG is becoming a true force to be reckoned with in the smartphone world, and though we have judged its flagship offerings second-best to the Samsung Galaxy S-series for the past few years, the gap between the two smartphone families is getting ever shorter. We were seriously impressed with the LG G5, especially at its £529 RRP, but the LG G6 could be a very different beast.

OnePlus 4 vs Galaxy S8 Specs Comparison Smartphones

OnePlus has been gaining traction ever since it came on the market because of the release of decent-enough smartphones. The company has been slowly climbing up the ladder, but how will the OnePlus 4 stack up against the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S8?

Consumers enjoy The Samsung Experience at the PGA Championship 2016 at Baltusrol Golf Club on July 30, 2016 in Springfield, New Jersey.

Consumers enjoy The Samsung Experience at the PGA Championship 2016 at Baltusrol Golf Club on July 30, 2016 in Springfield, New Jersey.

Both phones are not out yet, and there isn’t much official information to go by. However, rumors do tell a lot about what we could expect from these devices when they hit store shelves in 2017, and it makes us extremely excited.

OnePlus 4 Specs Rumors

umors suggest the handset is a major flagship that’s capable of releasing alongside the Samsung Galaxy S8 and competing well. It’s a bit difficult to believe the OnePlus 4 could survive against Samsung’s next piece of awesomeness, unless the S8 catches fire like its predecessor.

The OnePlus 4 could boast a 5.5-inch display with a resolution of 1,440 x 2,560 pixels. The screen is expected to be Optic AMOLED, and should be able to display 4K content without a hitch. Furthermore, the display could support 3D video in an effort to enhance gaming and other video-based content.

Now, the previous OnePlus came with 6 GB of RAM, but this new device will take things a bit further. How would you like a smartphone with 8 GB of RAM? That’s the rumored capacity of the OnePlus 4. In terms of the processor, Qualcomm might provide the smartphone with Snapdragon 830 as the main brain.

OnePlus 4 Camera

OnePlus isn’t well known for having spectacular cameras. A lot of megapixels, yes, but the overall quality leaves a lot to be desired. However, it would seem the company wants to change things with the OnePlus 4.

Apparently, the new smartphone may come packed with a 23-megapixel rear shooter and an 8-megapixel camera at the front for taking selfies. The main camera is expected to be capable of taking 4K video, which isn’t too surprising considering 4K is all the rage these days.

In terms of battery life, expect a meaty 4000 mAh battery to keep the device going.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Specs And Features

We loved the Samsung Galaxy S7, for in many ways, it had everything we wanted in a smartphone. Still, there is always room for improvements, and Samsung could highlight this with the Galaxy S8.

According to information from TechRadar, the Galaxy S8 could come with a 4K screen and 6 GB of RAM. At the heart of the device, we could see the Qualcomm Snapdragon 830 processor, and an improved camera for those special shots. Leaks suggest there will be two versions, one with a 5.1-inch display, and the other with a 5.5-inch display. Both will be curved, which is rather interesting if it turns out to be true.

Will it have the much talked-about explosion feature?

hat wasn’t popular with the Galaxy Note 7, so in order to move to a different direction, Samsung could decide to get the batteries for the Galaxy S8 elsewhere. We understand the company might decide to contract LG to provide the batteries, but for how long, we’re not sure.

SamMobile made an interesting article recently where it claims Samsung will do away with the ARM-based GPU. The company could tap Nvidia or AMD to provide this important aspect of the smartphone, which could suggest Samsung is buffing up the device to deliver high-quality games and great 4K visuals.

Overall, both devices from the rumored specs are exciting, and we can’t wait for the official information to trickle out come 2017.

Video Here OnePlus 4 vs Galaxy S8

iPhone vs Android – 5 reasons why Apple’s iPhones beat Google Android SmartPhones

iPhone vs Android (or iOS vs Android, to be more precise) has been the biggest rivalry in tech for the best part of a decade, long ago eclipsing the desktop wars between Apple and Microsoft, and Apple and IBM. There’s well over 800 million active iPhone users in the world right now (Apple reckons the number is above a billion); but that’s nothing to Android, which has something like a billion and a half.

iphone-vs-android

Who has iPhone 7 in stock? Find out where to order an iPhone 7 today. Click here.

But which of those two clans should you join? Is an iPhone or an Android smartphone your best bet for value for money, features, security, ease of use, app selection and more?

We’ll be honest: here at Macworld we sit unashamedly in the iOS camp, and reckon iOS 10 is the best mobile operating system currently available. But we acknowledge that Android has many advantages of its own, and that for plenty of smartphone buyers, it will be the better choice.

In the following article we list the pros and cons of going for an iPhone or Android phone, as well as the significant differences between the two platforms, to help you pick a team. For an alternative view, take a look at PC Advisor’s Android vs iPhone vs Windows Phone 8: what phone should I buy? And we’d love to hear your thoughts, too, so have your say in the comments. Updated 18 October 2016

iPhone vs Android: iPhones are more secure

iOS is a more secure platform than Android. iOS isn’t impregnable, and it’s very dangerous for iPhone users to assume that it is, but far more malware is written for Android – Pulse Secure’s 2015 Mobile Threat Report put the figure at 97 percent of all mobile malware, while the US Department of Homeland Security estimated in 2013 [pdf] that just 0.7 percent of malware threats were aimed at iOS – and while this is partly because Android has more users, it’s mainly because it’s simply an easier target.

The ‘closed’ platforms – iOS, Windows Mobile and, if anyone out there is still using it, BlackBerry – have very little malware written for them. It’s easier to break into Android, and malware writers will almost always go for the low-hanging fruit.

Part of the problem for Android is that so many of its users don’t bother to update to the latest version: the DoHS report above found that 44 percent were still on ‘Gingerbread’, a version of Android which had been released two years earlier. (By contrast, after four months of availability iOS 9 was on 75 percent of active iPhones and iPads.) A family of trojan malware named Ghost Push is still infecting Android phones two years after first emerging because 57 percent of users are running the old version 5 of Android (Lollipop) that is vulnerable to it, even though versions 6 and 7 have come out since.

There are also small differences between the flavours of Android used by the different handset makers. This fragmentation makes it harder to push out adequate security patches on a timely basis.

As we said, there are still dangers out there for iPhone users. In its 2015 Threat Report, F-Secure Labs reports on several instances of malware penetrating Apple’s ‘walled garden’ App Store. Instead of using social engineering to persuade users to download malware directly, hackers have learned to target the app developers, who then use “compromised tools to unwittingly create apps with secretly malicious behaviour”.

Multiple apps – anywhere from 30 to 300, and many of them from reputable companies – were removed from the App Store in September 2015 because they contained the XCodeGhost malware. Later that year similar situations arose with apps based on UnityGhost, a cloned and compromised version of the Unity development framework, and on the Youmi SDK.

Don’t make the mistake, then, of assuming that the iOS platform and Apple’s App Store are invulnerable to attack. They’re not. But they are more secure than the Android equivalents. Despite its findings, F-Secure insists that Apple’s App Store “remains a tougher nut to crack than the Android ecosystem”.

You quite often hear the logically flaky reasoning that, because Apple’s OS software products aren’t perfectly secure, they’re no better than rival products which also aren’t perfectly secure. It’s easy to explain why this is wrong. iOS (like macOS) is very secure indeed, albeit not completely secure. Android is pretty secure – it’s not like Android users are getting their bank accounts emptied and their motherboards fried by Hollywood-style hacking attacks morning, noon and night – but quantifiably less secure than iOS.

iPhone vs Android: iPhones are more private

There’s two main strands backing up the above statement: the privacy measures built into Apple’s smartphones (and particularly the most recent generations of iPhone), and the statements and actions that Apple has made in support of user privacy.

iPhone privacy measures
We’re not just talking about passcodes and fingerprints, although these things can help to protect your data (one element being the way that the iPhone locks up for successively longer and longer periods the more times you get the passcode wrong, in order to prevent would-be hackers from ‘brute-forcing’ the passcode; get it wrong 10 times and the phone locks down forever). Nor are we talking about the end-to-end encryption Apple has added to iMessage. There’s something better than all this, in the more recent generations of the iPhone.

As well as introducing Touch ID, the iPhone 5s was the first iPhone to feature a security measure that Apple calls the Secure Enclave, a sub-section of the processor chip that stores the fingerprints and other security-critical data. It is also a crucial part of the encryption setup.

“The Secure Enclave uses a secure boot system to ensure that the code it runs can’t be modified,” explains Mike Ash, an expert who has done his best to piece together the principles behind the closely guarded technology, “and uses encrypted memory to ensure that the rest of the system can’t read or tamper with its data. This effectively forms a little computer within the computer that’s difficult to attack.”

The Secure Enclave means, in effect, that Apple itself cannot break into an iPhone if it’s a 5s or later and has been protected with a passcode. This fact came to light near the end of 2015 when the FBI asked Apple to open up the iPhone 5c that belonged to one of the shooters in the San Bernardino attacks in America. If this had been one generation later, it simply wouldn’t have been possible, Apple said – but because it was ‘only’ a 5c, the firm’s engineers could in theory have created and installed a custom build of iOS without the security measures that ordinarily prevent brute-force bypassing of the passcode.

(Bear in mind, however, that very little is known about the Secure Enclave by anyone outside Apple, and some have argued that it isn’t as secure as Apple makes out. It was claimed, early in 2016, that a police-contracted hacker had successfully broken into an iPhone 5s, Secure Enclave and all, in order to obtain information for a murder case. Although it is significant that the device in question was running iOS 7, an outdated OS with less comprehensive security measures.)

Apple refused the FBI’s demand to open up the iPhone 5c, however. Which leads us to our next section.

Apple’s pro-privacy behaviour
As previously outlined, Apple got itself into a standoff with US law enforcement in the first months of 2016, because it refused to create a back door into a phone involved in a high-profile shooting attack (the company felt that this would both leave millions of iPhone users around the world vulnerable to attacks if and when the custom build was leaked or replicated, and set a legal precedent for less publicised cases in the future).

Six months on it’s easy to forget quite how unpopular this stance was at the time, or how aggressively it was attacked by politicians keen to look ‘tough on crime’. But this was a brave and principled stand to make: the company seemingly outmanoeuvred into defending its pro-privacy policy in the most unpopular of circumstances, and willing to do so anyway.

“We did not expect to be in this position, at odds with our own government,” Tim Cook said at the iPhone SE launch event a month later. “But we have a responsibility to help you protect your data and protect your privacy. We owe it to our customers and we owe it to our country. We will not shrink from this responsibility.”

Apple hasn’t just talked a good game on protecting privacy. When the chips were down, it demonstrated a real commitment to the principle.

iPhone vs Android: Android is more customisable

We often call Apple’s software ecosystem a ‘walled garden’, and this is because Apple fiercely controls what can come in… or leave, for that matter. The company is less controlling than it used to be (they even let you install a third-party system-wide keyboard these days) but it’s still much harder to customise the user experience in iOS than in Android.

There are lots of handset manufacturers working with Android, and each of these has their own slightly different take on the operating system, and this allows you to pick the software flavour you prefer. But Android is also far more accommodating when it comes to changing the look of the interface, installing widgets in the middle of the home screen (iOS does allow widgets these days, but they’re kept in the lock screen and today view), change default apps, delete things you don’t like and so on.

Apple doesn’t exert iron control over its software interfaces because Tim Cook is a control freak (on the contrary, by all accounts the man is a superb delegator!). Rather, the company’s motivation comes from a desire to deliver the best possible user experience, and it thinks that a consistent and curated platform is the best way to do that. Often that will be true, but if you’re confident, tech-savvy and opinionated about the way you want software to work – and who wouldn’t put themselves in that category? – then Android allow you more scope to mould the experience to your tastes.

iPhone vs Android: You get more choice with Android phones

This applies to both hardware and software.

In terms of the handsets, in one case you’re choosing between the phones made by one manufacturer, albeit the most successful mobile manufacturer in the world. And in the other you’re choosing between the phones made by dozens – maybe hundreds – of companies. Samsung, LG, Motorola, Huawei, Sony, HTC, Google itself (sort of)… the list goes on and on. Microsoft and BlackBerry each have their own mobile OS but they, too, make Android handsets as well.

Most of these manufacturers will make more Android handset models than Apple makes iPhones, too. Three iPhones a year? Pah! Samsung designs that many Android phones in a week. Possibly.

Whatever kind of phone you’re looking for, in other words, there’ll be an Android phone that fits the bill. As long as you’re not looking for an Android phone that runs iOS.

iPhone vs Android: iOS is more user-friendly

Personally I think iOS is easier and more convenient and enjoyable to use than Android; and it would appear that a lot of my fellow smartphone users agree, since iOS users are on average more loyal to the platform than their Android counterparts. Once people have tried the iPhone they tend to stick with it.

But quality of user experience is hard to quantify. A better way of approaching the idea might be to think about the respective design processes and philosophies behind iOS and Android.

Apple famously builds both software and hardware, enabling it to create a seamless whole. These days the design teams even overlap for greater collaboration, with Apple design guru Sir Jony Ive bringing his minimalist hardware design aesthetic to the software from iOS 7 onwards. Every aspect of the iPhone, then, has been designed with iOS in mind – not only the current build of iOS but future iterations. In some cases the same people are involved in the design of hardware and software.

Android handsets, on the other hand, are built reactively: hardware and software are designed by separate teams in separate companies (in separate continents, quite often). Expecting the same level of polish would be unrealistic.

A note on the Pixel phones

There is an exception to this. Google, which makes the Android operating system, has announced two smartphones of its own: the Pixel and Pixel XL, which look like really nice phones except for their disappointing water-resistance ratings.

Google doesn’t do everything itself – it apparently partners with HTC for manufacturing and some of the design work on the handsets – but the Pixel phones should nevertheless offer superior integration between hardware and software than any previous Android devices. They will feature Google’s new Assistant before any other phone, for one thing, and Google is likely to have the Pixel hardware in mind whenever it brings new features to Android.

iPhone vs Android: iPhones get better apps

The mighty Infinity Blade 3, which is not available on Google Play because of piracy concerns. Infinity Blade II isn’t available on Android either – in fact, there are no genuine Infinity Blade games on there at all, despite the presence of a few knock-offs

Google Play has more apps than the App Store, but both passed the million mark some time back, so sheer numbers aren’t really relevant. What is relevant is quality, and the ability to find high-quality apps among the dross. Neither company does this particularly well, but it’s clear which is doing better.

Apple ‘curates’ its store in the sense that developers are obliged to follow stringent rules before getting their software approved for release. (Sometimes, indeed, Apple takes this too far, with its generally admirable stance against distasteful content sometimes leading it into areas that seem politically partisan – or creating a climate in which publishers censor themselves.) This means that everything you’ll find on the store has been subject to some degree of quality control. At the start of September 2016, indeed, Apple emailed developers to let them know about an imminent clean-up, in which apps that don’t work properly with current versions of iOS or haven’t been updated in a long time will be given 30 days’ notice and then removed if they don’t shape up.

Now, we’re not saying that making it into the App Store is like Nintendo’s Seal of Quality; there are still bad apps, and boring apps, and ethically iffy apps, and plagiarised apps (and even a few that tick all four boxes) that make it through the net. But the proportions of these are vastly lower than on Google Play.

It’s easier to find good apps as an iOS user. And discoverability is no small issue in a store with well over a million apps. Apps are cheap and numerous, and individual buying decisions are much easier than simply finding the stuff worth considering in the first place.

What’s more, quality apps are more likely to appear on iOS that on Android, and if they appear on both they tend to appear first on the Apple App Store. Why? Because on average, Android users are less inclined to pay for apps, which means developers have less incentive to put the effort in. It might seem unfair, but by joining the platform with the more spend-happy consumers, you’re earning yourself preferential treatment from software developers.

One example back when we first put this article together illustrates both the extra wait Android fans are subjected to, and the dangers they face of downloading something dodgy. As of 29 August 2013, Plants vs Zombies 2 – a very high-demand game – had been available for iOS for a fortnight, but Google Play still hadn’t got it. But more worryingly, a dodgy game had appeared on the Google Play store claiming to be Plants vs Zombies 2. It was actually a hoax designed to get you to download more apps.

PvZ 2 did eventually appear on Google Play. Sometimes you just have to wait a bit longer than people on iOS. Sometimes, like the Infinity Blade games, it never arrives at all.

iPhone vs Android: Android phones are cheaper

…or at least they start at lower prices. Take a look at our colleagues’ chart of the best Android phones and you’ll see a fair few flagship Androids at similar prices to the iPhone 7 – but plenty of cheaper options, too. The OnePlus 3 is just £329. The Xiaomi Mi 5 is £263. The Elephone P9000 is £194. The Motorola Moto G4 is £169!

This is another aspect of the choice argument, really. Apple has a small number of very good phones, and they cost appropriate amounts. The Android world lets you pay pretty much what you like, which is great news for mobile buyers on a budget. However…

iPhone vs Android: The higher prices are usually worth it

A common refrain of Android fans centres on the price differential between Android and iOS handsets, and it’s true that iPhones are near the top of the smartphone budgetary scale. It’s also true that today’s Android handsets are both cheap and beautifully made: sadly, though, to paraphrase an old gag, the handsets that are cheap are not beautifully made and the handsets that are beautifully made are not cheap.

Two of the best Android smartphones are by Samsung: the Galaxy S7 and the S7 edge. They’re great, and well worth a recommendation. But to call them a budget alternative is misleading: they cost £569 and £639 respectively, compared with £539 and £619 for the entry-level iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.

Equally, it’s possible to find an Android phone for less than the equivalent iPhone – the Google Nexus 6P is just £449 – but don’t expect the same quality or attractiveness of design.

iPhone vs Android: Android phones tend to have better specs for the money

It’s usually the screen resolution where Apple really suffers, but you’ll tend to find that a given iPhone will have equal or weaker specs in most areas than an Android phone of equivalent price, and that you’d be able fairly easily to match that iPhone’s specs with a substantially cheaper Android.

Apple would probably say that it doesn’t care about chasing the best specs, and it’s true that the real-world effect produced by a product is more important than the numbers on the specs sheet – the general feeling of an interface’s speed, its smoothness and slickness and so on, matters more than the number of gigs of RAM that contributed to it – but it’s still easy for Apple fans to feel rather shortchanged at times.

We compared the Samsung Note 7 with the iPhone 7 Plus recently and, leaving aside the unfortunate (and now terminal) issue with the overheating batteries, the Note 7 has a 5.7-inch (2560 x 1440) screen with a pixel density of 515ppi, compared to the iPhone’s 5.5-inch (1920 x 1080) screen at 401ppi. It also has more RAM and a larger-capacity battery (although the companies’ respective battery life estimates – which in Apple’s case have historically been very fair – suggest that the iPhone and its lower-powered screen will last longer between charges).

iPhone vs Android: Conclusion

Ultimately the iPhone vs Android debate comes down to a choice: between Android’s flawed, fragmented openness, and Apple’s quality experience in a closed environment.

Openness sounds brilliant, and if we were talking about a lifestyle or a political philosophy then Android would be hard to beat. But this is about a phone. And if you just want a smartphone that’s safe, easy and enjoyable to use, and connected to the best-quality app store around – not to mention sumptuously designed and reliable – then iPhone is the only answer.

And if you feel the same way, then our iPhone buying guide should probably be your next stop.

iPhone vs Android: Poll

So: which side of the fence do you sit on? Have your say in our poll.

iPhone vs Android: Your views

Send the writer your point of view, whether pro-Apple or pro-Android, on Twitter or in the comments at the bottom of this piece.

Here are some of your thoughts so far on the iOS vs Android debate:

Well I have to say you are risking a backlash from the Android Fanboys. Luckily for you I’m not one of them… We have plenty of Apple products in our family, a MacBook, an iPad 2 & mini, an iPhone 3GS, 4 & 4S, an Apple TV, numerous iPods, and everything works so well together. marclewis4

Personally I have a Mac Pro, a retina iPad, and an iPhone 5 – the total experience between them is amazing. JimGr

Androids openess is it’s flaw, as it is becuase of fragmented hardware all the extra stuff that comes with the open access hardly ever works. [Android fans] bang on about all these features when most of them don’t even have the latest Android OS.

32GB iPhone 7 significantly slower than more expensive versions

Not all iPhone 7s are born equally, according to new tests, which appear to show the cheapest, 32GB versions are significantly slower than the more expensive 128 or 256GB versions and that some have much poorer 4G reception.

32gb-iphone-7-new-versions

Testing by both GSMArena and Unbox Therapy found that the speed of the storage within the 32GB iPhone 7 is significantly slower than that in the more expensive 128GB iPhone 7. Reading data from the storage of the 32GB version of the iPhone 7 was 200Mbps slower than the 12GB version, 656Mbps and 856Mbps respectively. The difference in read speed over 600Mbps is unlikely to be noticeable in day-to-day usage.

However, writing to the storage – saving data including photos, videos, music, apps or any other type of file – was found to be significantly slower on the 32GB iPhone. The 128GB iPhone 7 wrote to memory at 341Mbps, but the 32GB iPhone 7 was over eight times slower at just 42Mbps.

GSMArena found similar results in its testing of the iPhone 7, with a 32GB iPhone 7 Plus reaching write speeds of only 39.6Mbps compared with a 128GB iPhone 7 writing at speeds of 308Mbps.

Meanwhile, testing of different versions of the iPhone 7 Plus have also apparently revealed discrepancies in their cellular performances. According to New York-based Cellular Insights, which conducted tests using networking equipment, the iPhone 7 Plus smartphones with model numbers A1778 and A1784, including those available in the UK and Europe, performed noticeably poorer than those with model numbers A1660 and A1661, including those available in the US.

A1778 and A1784 iPhone 7 Plus smartphones have an Intel modem chip that connects them to the 4G network, while the A1660 and A1661 models use a modem supplied by Qualcomm, a common supplier of modems and processors to many Android smartphones, including the new Google Pixel.

The Intel iPhone 7 Plus models showed at least 30% worse network performance, and in some cases as poor as 75% worse, than the Qualcomm iPhone 7 Plus models. This performance gap means that the Intel iPhone 7 Plus models will have poorer 4G reception than the Qualcomm versions and slower download and upload speeds.

Milan Milanović from Cellular Insights said: “In all tests, the iPhone 7 Plus with the Qualcomm modem had a significant performance edge over the iPhone 7 Plus with the Intel modem. We are not sure what was the main reason behind Apple’s decision to source two different modem suppliers for the newest iPhone.”

In Cellular Insights further testing, it showed that the Intel iPhone 7 Plus models had worse reception than the iPhone 6S in the majority of signal conditions.

Most of the time users blame mobile phone operators when the signal drops out on their smartphone or data speeds are slow, but the testing indicates that depending on smartphone model, it might not always be the fault of the network provider.