Beginning in September is a favorite time for smartphone makers and reviewers – many of the most interesting phones for the second half of the year were launched on press days ahead of the start of the annual IFA technology event held in Berlin. If you haven’t noticed the last few days, here’s a recap of what you might have missed.
Sony Xperia 5
Sony Xperia 5 reveals the return of the Compact series. This petite flagship has almost the same features as the larger Xperia 1 – it has the same three cameras with Eye AF, the same Snapdragon 855 chipset, stereo speakers, waterproof, microSD card slot, whatever.
Only two things have changed – the screen is now 6.1 “OLED with a resolution of 1080p + (not a 6.5” 6K screen) and a smaller battery (3,140mAh vs 3,330mAh, but keeps charging 18W quickly). As you can read in our live review, this phone is perfect for one-handed operation. It’s narrower than the Galaxy S10e and iPhone XS, but the screen has a wider surface area and this phone packs one more camera on its back.
Speaking of cameras, the hardware might be the same, but Sony is improving the software so we have to re-evaluate its performance (updates will also come to Xperia 1).
Sony Xperia 5 will start pre-order next week, but the price will still be announced. Deliveries are scheduled for October, but if you order before then, you will get a pair of Sony wireless noise reduction headphones which are truly wireless, the WF-1000XM3.
Nokia 6.2 Nokia 7.2
HMD’s schedule is busier than most because it announced 5 new phones, starting with two Android One handsets. Nokia 7.2 is the package leader with a 48MP sensor on the back. This is a first for Nokia phones (if you don’t count X71 specifically for China). The phone also packs an 8MP (118 °) ultra wide-angle cam and depth sensor, which allows the ZEISS branded bokeh effect.
Nokia 6.2 is the same phone – the same 6.3 “LCD with 1080p + resolution, the same composite chassis, the same 3,500mAh battery – except the back camera drops to a 16MP sensor (also the selfie camera moves from 20MP to 8MP).
Besides the camera department, the other main difference between 7.2 and 6.2 is in the choice of chipsets – Snapdragon 660 and 636, respectively. They are almost the same chipset, 660 only runs at higher clock speeds.
Watch our videos with these two people and read more about them in our live reviews.
HMD also supports its KaiOS portfolio. Nokia 800 Tough is a rugged phone (IP68 and MIL-STD-810G) with long battery life (2,100mAh, 40+ days standby). Jokes were made about it being the next 3310, but this is a modern device with 4G, VoLTE and a built-in GPS receiver and Google Maps navigation.
The Nokia 2720 Flip brings back the clamshell form factor – it has a 1.3 “screen on the outside, plus a 2.8” screen and a large touch button inside. You can chat on WhatsApp and Facebook, call VoLTE and VoWiFi, use Google Assistant and so on, all parts of the Kai ecosystem.
Nokia 800 Tough Nokia 2720 Flip Nokia 110 (2019)
Finally, Nokia 110 (2019) offers entertainment on a limited budget – only $ 20. That’s $ 5 from Nokia 105, but you get a microSD card slot with MP3 and basic camera support, plus a few games (free Snake, plus a few demos). You can find out more about Nokia 800, 2720 and 110 in our live review.
Asus ROG Phone II ZS660KL
Asus ROG Phone II is a user phone with the highest power. This is the first with a Snapdragon 855+ chipset and the only one with a 120Hz 10-bit HDR screen. It will be available starting September 20 for € 900. The Ultimate Edition will double the storage to 1TB, speed up the LTE connection and raise the price to € 1,200.
There are too many accessories to recap here, you should check out our direct review for that – there is everything from a dock like the Nintendo Switch to a desktop dock with a wireless TV. You can also watch our unboxing video from the crazy reviewers kit:
Samsung Galaxy A90 5G
While it was announced a few days before the show, the Samsung Galaxy A90 5G appeared at IFA too. This is the first flagship of the A-series – it is powered by the Snapdragon 855 chipset and is the first cellphone outside the Galaxy S and Note series to feature DeX mode. And yes, this is a 5G phone, Samsung’s third handset to support the next gen network. Although we were unable to test 5G connectivity, we spent some time on the phone and wrote a direct review.
Samsung officially confirmed the launch of Galaxy Fold, but if the situation isn’t messy enough, Samsung also canceled the US pre-order. People get $ 250 in store credit for their problems and if they still want it, they can join a new pre-order.
Samsung also launched a new tough tablet, Galaxy Tab Pro Active. It features DeX and S Pen modes – without a touch screen supporting thick work gloves. And Pro Active is aimed at professionals in the field, rugged (IP68 and MIL-STD-810G) and featuring user-replaceable batteries.
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active Pro
Moto launches its best Android One phone – Motorola One Zoom. It’s based on the Moto Z4 (the same 6.4 “OLED screen and Snapdragon 675 chipset), but the 48MP camera on the back now joins with a telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom (hence the name), ultra wide camera and depth sensor.
Motorola One Zoom Motorola Moto E6 Plus
This is Moto’s first quad camera phone, the first to have a telephoto camera feature too. Although there were initial leaks about Amazon integration, the unit we tested for our immediate review ran a clean Android.
The company also launched a new entry-level mobile phone, the Motorola E6 Plus. Compared to the Moto E6, it has a bigger screen, 6.1 “vs 5.5”, but the battery capacity remains the same – 3,000 mAh.
You can still expect better battery life, because the Plus is equipped with a 12nm Helio P22 chipset (up from the 28nm Snapdragon 435). Also, storage is duplicated and there is an option with 4GB of RAM. Finally, the 13MP camera on the back has a deep sensing friend.
Huawei’s IFA event is just an opening for what’s to come. The company launched the new Kirin 990 chipset. It will be divided into two versions – 4G and 5G. The 5G chip will be built on a more advanced 7nm + EUV process, will run the CPU at a higher clock speed and has an additional NPU core. It’s no secret that this is the chipset that will be used in the upcoming Huawei Mate 30 flagships.
New Huawei P30 Pro colors: Mystic Blue and Misty Lavender
Kirin 990 was launched, built on a 7nm + process and features an integrated 5G modem
However, the company faces a problem – it can’t license Android for new friends. Huawei P30 and P30 Pro are safe, however, they will even receive EMUI 10 based on Android 10. New. To keep everything fresh, Huawei launched two new color choices for the P30 Pro.
LG G8X ThinQ
LG launches a larger version of G8. There’s a little more to it, the LG G8X ThinQ has a 6.4 “OLED with 1080p resolution. Compare with the G8 6.1” 1440p screen and the 1080p 6.21 “screen on the G8S. Anyway, the fingerprint reader on the G8X moves under the display and the notch shrinks, despite getting an increase in selfie camera (with a Bayer 32MP Quad sensor).
However, the main focus here is on the Dual Screen accessory, which adds a second 6.4 “OLED panel. LG built an impressive demo wall covered with a G8X ThinQ phone with a Dual Screen, showing off a variety of uses for the second screen – just look (and more) in our live review.
TCL and Alcatel
TCL launches its first branded cellphone. The company mostly trades under the Alcatel brand, but TCL PLEX bears its own logo. This is a solid mid-ranger with a 6.43 “screen, Snapdragon 675 chipset, 48MP main and 16MP ultra wide camera.
Alcatel TCL Plex
There are three new Alcatel-branded devices too. Alcatel 3x (2019) is an entry-level phone with a 6.5 “20: 9 screen (720p +) and three cameras on its back. Alcatel 1v (2019) runs Android Go and will be priced cheaply at € 80 There is also a basic tablet Smart Tab 7, which is intended for children and is equipped with an internal kickstand.