Blogs – February 2018

February Blogs

2/27/18 TNBT: The Nokia 8 Sirocco

Nokia has released its revamped flagship Nokia 8, but this isn’t the Nokia 8 of yesteryear (the original 8 was released in 2017) this is what a flagship phone should look like. Nokia has never really made much of a impact on the mobile world, but that could be about to change with the Sirocco. It’s a game changing wireless mobile device that has everything the iPhone X and Samsung Galaxy S9 has, and less.

The Sirocco’s charm begins as soon as you pick it up, it’s sleek, and it’s smooth, and the vivid, 2K infinity screen curves over right into the stainless steel frame. The entire thing boasts a subtly curved design that immediately sets it apart from the S8, which some have it accused it of resembling. While there are similarities, the reason it is not unlike the Galaxy franchise player is because the Sirocco is luxurious. It feels like a high end, luxury product. This phone, in terms of design and eye appeal, can compete with Samsung and Apple.

But that’s just the beginning.

The Nokia 8 Sirocco is a processing muscle mobile, featuring a Qualcomm 835 processor and 6GB of RAM and 128 GB of sexy, sexy storage. The Sirocco is powered by a 3,260 mAh battery, and features fully wireless charging. And it’s waterproof down to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes. Add on to that a rear fingerprint sensor, two rear cameras; a regular 12-megapixel one and a telephoto 13-megapixel one for zoomed shots. The front camera has only a 5MP range, but has larger light sensors and will function better in low light, which Nokia claims will lead to better photos. We’ll see.

Top it all off with not just the cutting edge Android Oreo operating system, but the Android One version of Oreo that comes without the manufacturer tweaks seen on higher profile WMDs like the S9 and iPhone X.

The Nokia 8 Sirocco is definitely a contender, and priced like the big boys as well, but Nokia currently has no intention of releasing the phone in the United States. The pricing overseas is nothing to sneeze at however at 749 (Euro,) or £660 (Pounds). That’s roughly $925 USD for us yanks.

Mobile Matrix Repair’s Winston Salem location at Hanes Mall is open from 10AM to 9PM Monday – Saturday, and 12PM to 6PM on Sunday.

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2/21/18 Look Out Siri! LG Prepares To Release Its Own AI Suite

Apple’s Siri, Samsung’s Bixby, the eponymous Google Assistant…these major players in the mobile phone industry have long since hung their hat on their handy assistant AIs as a major reason to buy their phones. One of the overlooked players in that game just served notice that they will bring the ruckus at the upcoming Mobile World Congress, which is happening next weekend. Mobile Phone Company LG will release not just another AI, but an entire suite of AI tools that cover time management, image processing, photography assistance and voice recognition along with other features.

Vision AI and Voice AI will play heavily into the presentation of its revamped franchise player LG V30. The phone is pretty badass by itself, with Bang and Olufsen 32 bit Quad DAC audio, and a six inch OLED high resolution display. The camera combines a 16 megapixel lens with a 13 megapixel wide angle lens then adds a much wider than usual aperture, an F1.6, which lets in more light and makes for better low light photography. On top of all that, the phone features a true infinity display; it’s completely bezel-less. The processor is a Snapdragon 835 with 4GBs of RAM, it’s fully dust and water resistant, and it’s available in a 128 GB model.

The AI is designed to work with all that processing muscle, particularly where image processing is concerned. Vision AI will feature algorithms dedicated to recognizing what you’re taking a picture of and adjust settings accordingly. It will recognize if you’re taking a picture of products, and provide links to shopping and other information. Voice AI has a total of 32 voice commands, including camera commands that border on the creepy, like taking selfies or searching specific images in your photos. LG doesn’t refer to these features as an assistant, but according to a press statement from the company, LG’s future “lies in AI.” Given the immersion factor in LG’s current investment in artificial intelligence, that seems to be a safe bet.

Mobile Matrix Repair’s Winston Salem location at Hanes Mall is open from 10AM to 9PM Monday – Saturday, and 12PM to 6PM on Sunday.

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2/14/18 Six U.S Intelligence Agencies Just Advised Against Using Huawei Tech

Officials from intelligence committees including the CIA, the FBI and the NSA has expressed distrust of Chinese technology giant Huawei, who has been trying to secure a foothold in the American wireless mobile device industry. FBI Director Chris Wray has been quoted as saying intelligence agencies are “deeply concerned about the risks of allowing any company or entity that is beholden to foreign governments that don’t share our values to gain positions of power inside our telecommunications networks,” and that allowing it could open the US to the possibility of “undetected espionage.”

Huawei recently failed at securing a partnership with AT&T with the intention of selling its Mate 10 Pro smartphone in the United States, citing “unique challenges.” A spokesperson for Huawei said that the company plans to release new products in the US all the same. Considering the CEO of Huawei followed up with a scathing attack on mobile phone carriers in the US, claiming they were “depriving consumers of choice.” Huawei recently overtook Apple as the second largest smartphone producer behind Samsung.

The US has been suspicious of Huawei for some time. The company was founded by a former engineer of the People’s Liberation Army of China, and has been criticized by US politicians as an arm of the Chinese government. The United States government currently refuses to allow Huawei to bid on government contracts and is considering banning all government workers from using Huawei, along with Chinese run ZTE technology altogether due to security concerns.

Mobile Matrix Repair’s Winston Salem location at Hanes Mall is open from 10AM to 9PM Monday – Saturday, and 12PM to 6PM on Sunday.

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2/13/18 The Next Big Thing: The Samsung Galaxy S9

The launch of the Galaxy S9 at the Mobile World Congress is just a few weeks away, and the buzz around its official release is already substantial. The S9 is expected to be the response to Apple’s iPhone X, whose release last year sent shockwaves throughout the mobile tech community. Thanks to a few inadvertent leaks, and endless speculation online, people have some idea of what the Samsung Galaxy S9 is going to be.

For one thing, it’s going to be expensive.  South Korea’s ETNews is placing the price of the S9 at a range of 950,000 to one million won, which is between $875-$950 USD. That’s a fairly impressive price point; especially when considering the impact Apple’s $1000 USD price point is believed to have played in the iPhone X’s relatively weak sales over the 2017 holiday season.

Design wise, not much has changed from the Galaxy S8, which was a slick, sleek, rather sexy phone. Evan Blass of Venture Beats dropped images of the brand new Samsung product on January 9th, and the world…shrugged. There really is no appreciable visual difference between the two wireless mobile devices. But in this particular case, that’s really not a bad thing. The design of Samsung’s Galaxy line has always been one of its strongest selling points. When it comes to this device, it’s what’s under the hood that’s going to tell the tale.

For one thing a switch up in where the fingerprint sensor is located, it’s now positioned just under the rear camera. This immediately makes the phone easier to wield and use. In terms of display, the Galaxy S8 featured a swanky Quad HD screen and this is what is expected to be the case with the S9 as well. The 2K display is pretty hot in and of itself, but there are rumors that Samsung is going all in with an actual 4K display in both the 5.8” Galaxy S9 and 6.1” Galaxy S9 Plus. This would make sense considering that Samsung’s Gear VR technology is set to go head to head with Apple’s anticipated push to dominate the augmented reality market.

Either way that kind of visual muscle, combined with an anticipated “ludicrous speed” fast Snapdragon 845 processor, is going to need a pretty strong power source. This could be where the monkey meets the wrench. There seems to be no indication that all that visual and processing speed moxie is going to be paired with a next generation battery to keep it all moving. It appears the same battery tech that drove the S8 will return for the S9. While still an improvement over the Note 7, this could be a major stumble for Samsung despite the more efficient Snapdragon 845 chipset.

The chatter around Samsung’s new camera configuration is also to be noted, with rumors of dual rear cameras, low light technology, and improvements on its iris and facial scanning tech, to allow it to go up against Apple’s FaceID tech. Still, in terms of camera perks there’s really not a lot of buzz in terms of what the Galaxy S9 will be bringing to the table here. Rumors of slow motion video have been floating around.

So what have we learned? Not much really, because all of this is speculation and will be until February 25th. Expect the Samsung Galaxy S9 to be on shelves around the latter part of March.

Mobile Matrix Repair’s Winston Salem location at Hanes Mall is open from 10AM to 9PM Monday – Saturday, and 12PM to 6PM on Sunday.

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2/6/18 Product Review: Google Pixel XL

Since the release of the original iPhone, cell phone manufacturers the world over have been looking for a way to steal some of that thunder. Samsung has certainly done okay, but the tech giant is not without its detractors. For some people, neither Apple nor Samsung is particularly palatable. What does one do when the two biggest cell phone manufacturers in the world just don’t do it for you? There are a lot of companies that would like to answer to question. Google in particular has been working toward capturing a slice of a market by dominated by two tech giants.

The history of Google and cell phone technology is longer than most people are aware of. After buying Android, Inc in 2006, Google was looking for a way to compete with the dominance of Blackberry. At the time, the “Crackberry” phenomenon was in full swing, with people with sleeping with their mobile devices under their pillows, lest they miss a random message. When Steve Jobs released the iPhone in 2007, it put the brakes on everything Android had been working on. Google had been invested in top secret research and development for over two years, but after the release of Apple’s game breaking device, engineers had to start again from step one.

Fast forward eleven years, and it appears Google has finally found a way to compete. The Google Pixel XL may in fact be that phone. This phone is a workhorse, like the smaller, more affordable model before it. The new Android 7.0 Nougat operating system is lightning fast and streamlined to make access vastly more intuitive and functional. In addition, its natural integration with Google’s burgeoning Daydream View VR headset will position it perfectly to take on Apple’s push toward augmented reality in its iOS technology. With its sleek design, vivid display, a camera that can at least compete with Apple’s new FaceID tech, and Google Assistant, the Pixel XL is the current phone to beat.

Mobile Matrix Repair’s Winston Salem location at Hanes Mall is open from 10AM to 9PM Monday – Saturday, and 12PM to 6PM on Sunday.

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