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21
Jan

Verizon’s lower-cost unlimited plan now works in Canada and Mexico


Verizon’s latest unlimited plans may have some undesirable… limits, but at least you won’t have to pay for the more expensive plan the next time you’re on a North American vacation. As of January 25th, the $75 Go Unlimited plan will include calling, data and text while you’re in Canada or Mexico. This applies to both new and existing customers, so you won’t have to touch a thing to surf the web in Vancouver. As with the Beyond Unlimited plan, though, there are some gotchas to watch out for.

The big catch: you can’t use more than 512MB of LTE data per day, with speeds throttling to 2G after that. That’s fine for Instagram photos or checking your email, but you won’t be watching TV shows on your trip to Cancun. Also, if more than half of your calling, texting or data is in Canada or Mexico during a 60-day period, you might see those international features “removed or limited.” This isn’t for travelers who regularly spend their time outside of the US.

In a sense, Verizon is keeping up with the Joneses. T-Mobile offers free roaming in Canada and Mexico on its base One plan, for instance — it just imposes a 5GB monthly cap instead of daily restrictions. Nonetheless, it’s good to see one more carrier that no longer demands a premium just because you’ve crossed the border.

Via: Droid Life

Source: Verizon

21
Jan

‘Overwatch’ pro player suspended for homophobic slur


The Overwatch League’s honeymoon is over. Dallas Fuel player Felix “xQc” Lengyel has been suspended by both the League and Fuel after hurling a homophobic insult at the Houston Outlaws’ openly gay player Austin “Muma” Wilmot. After Wilmot used one of Lengyel’s signature lines to roast the Fuel following a victory, Lengyel responded on a personal stream suggesting that Wilmot “suck a fat…” you get the idea. The slur violated the League’s Code of Conduct, which asks for professional conduct both inside and outside of games.

The League initially suspended Lengyel for four matches and fined him $2,000. Fuel, however, followed by suspending him for the rest of Stage 1, which ends on February 10th. He’ll also receive “additional resources, focus coaching, physical training and support” to help reflect the principles of the team and the League at large.

Lengyel offered an apology to Wilmot, who accepted it. However, this isn’t the first time he or other Overwatch League players have landed in trouble. He’s been accused of throwing matches and abusing the game’s reporting system, while others have been punished for taking payments to level up others’ characters and sharing accounts. The combination of penalties is as much about sending a message to other competitors as it is punishing Lengyel: clean up your act or risk being sidelined for a long time.

Before our match begins, we would like to issue this statement regarding @overwatchleague’s decision to suspend @xQc. #burnblue pic.twitter.com/26ffHaPPEz

— Dallas Fuel (@DallasFuel) January 20, 2018

Via: Dot eSports, Kotaku

Source: Overwatch League, Dallas Fuel (Twitter), Felix Lengyel (Twitter)

21
Jan

NASA just tested the tiny nuclear reactor it could use for a Martian colony


NASA and the Department of Energy have just tested a small fission nuclear reactor named KRUSTY (Kilowatt Reactor Using Stirling Technology) in the Nevada desert, in what could be a way to provide power for future space exploration or even a manned mission to Mars.

Reuters reports that initial testing of the system components in a vacuum environment, part of NASA’s Kilopower project, have led to plans for a full-power test in March. “The Kilopower test program will give us confidence that this technology is ready for space flight development,” explained Lee Mason of NASA.

In the past, NASA has used radioactive thermoelectric generators that use heat from naturally decaying radioactive elements to power projects like the Cassini spacecraft and Curiosity rover. This recent test is different in that it uses an active fission reaction — literally “splitting atoms” — to drive pistons for a more efficient conversion.

NASA hasn’t tested an active fission reactor since the ‘60s, according to Space.com. Their prototype uses a uranium-235 reactor core about the size of a paper towel roll.

The Kilopower output ranges from about 1 kilowatt (KW), about enough for a household appliance, to 10 KW. A Mars mission would require about 40 KW, so NASA would probably send four or five on such an expedition. “So Kilopower’s compact size and robustness allows us to deliver multiple units on a single lander to the surface that provides tens of kilowatts of power,” said Steve Jurczyk of NASA‘s Space Technology Mission Directorate.

“Mars is a very difficult environment for power systems, with less sunlight than Earth or the moon, very cold nighttime temperatures, very interesting dust storms that can last weeks and months that engulf the entire planet,” Jurczyk added.

The reactor could last up to ten years and provide power for life-support systems in Martian habitats, charge up rovers and other equipment, and even convert ice into usable fuel. Without having to rely on solar power, Kilopower eliminates the worry of lengthy dust storms or rationing power during nighttime hours.

“This new technology could provide kilowatts and can eventually be evolved to provide hundreds of kilowatts, or even megawatts of power,” said Mason. “We call it the Kilopower project because it gives us a near-term option to provide kilowatts for missions that previously were constrained to use less. But first things first, and our test program is the way to get started.”

Editors’ Recommendations

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21
Jan

Twitter may lose the exec driving its live video strategy


Twitter’s big bet on live video might be running into trouble. Wall Street Journal sources have claimed that COO Anthony Noto, the exec that has been driving Twitter’s live video push, is in talks to become the CEO of online lending startup Social Finance. Noto has reportedly been eager to take the helm of a company, and SoFi is said to be enticing him with a “significant” stake in the company if he signs on. Whether or not he jumps ship is another matter, however.

SoFi hasn’t locked down the terms of the job, according to the tipsters, and a decision is expected sometime in the “coming days.” Noto might decide to stay aboard, and there haven’t been public signs that he was less than thrilled at Twitter — he’d certainly be taking a less glamorous position. The COO hasn’t commented on the rumor.

The lending firm’s previous CEO, left in September after numerous reports of sexual harassment.

If Noto did leave, it could throw a wrench into Twitter’s livestreaming efforts. He didn’t have a perfect track record (he secured an NFL game deal in 2016 only to lose it to Amazon the next year), but whoever replaced him would have to take time getting up to speed. And that’s assuming the replacement is as supportive of the concept as Noto was. If not, you could see Twitter change direction and cast uncertainty over its hopes of turning a profit.

Source: Wall Street Journal

21
Jan

Google Play banner hints at dedicated audiobook section


Google Play might be close to launching a section dedicated to selling audiobooks. 9to5Google has spotted a banner displayed in the Books section of the app market announcing its arrival. It was even promoting a 50 percent discount for your first audiobook purchase and apparently linked to a category distinct from Google Play Music, which does have some audiobooks on offer. The link still brings up an empty page as of this writing.

While we couldn’t replicate what 9to5Google saw, it’s not the first time the tech titan dropped a hint that it plans to expand its audiobooks selection. A Google Play update that went out last year had codes showing that the store is preparing to launch audiobook support. The launch of a new category is now looking more and more likely, but we’ll have to wait for Google’s announcement to know more.

Source: 9to5Google

21
Jan

Sony Xperia XA2 vs. HTC U11 Life: Can Sony rule the midrange market?


You don’t need to part with a lot of cash to get a capable phone, and the current crop of midrange phones is evidence of that. The newest kids on the block come from Sony’s Xperia family, and the Xperia XA2 (alongside the XA2 Ultra) represents Sony’s best entry in the midrange market. There’s a lot of great competition out there, however, including the HTC U11 Life, which brings many of the HTC U11‘s great features to a midrange phone. So which is better? We took a look to find out.

Specs

Sony Xperia XA2
 

HTC U11 Life

Size
142 x 70 x 9.7 mm (5.59 x 2.76 x 0.38 inches)
149.1 x 72.9 x 8.1 mm (5.87 x 2.87 x 0.32 inches)

Weight
171 grams (6.03 ounces)
142 grams (5.01 ounces)

Screen
5.2-inch IPS LCD
5.2-inch Super LCD

Resolution
1920 x 1080 pixels (424 ppi)
1920 x 1080 pixels (424 ppi)

OS
Android 8.0 Oreo
Android 8.0 Oreo/Android One (international)

Storage
32GB
32GB (U.S.), 64GB (international)

MicroSD card slot
Yes
Yes

NFC support
Yes
Yes

Processor
Qualcomm Snapdragon 630
Qualcomm Snapdragon 630

RAM
3GB
3GB (U.S.), 4GB (international)

Connectivity
LTE, GSM, HSPA, 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi
LTE, GSM, HSDPA, HSPA, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi

Camera
23MP rear, 8MP front
16MP rear, 16MP front

Video
2160p up to 30 fps, 1080p up to 30 fps
2160p up to 30 fps

Bluetooth
Yes, version 5.0
Yes, version 5.0

Audio
3.5mm headphone jack, bottom-firing speaker
Bottom-firing speaker

Fingerprint sensor
Yes
Yes

Other sensors
Accelerometer, proximity, compass
Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass

Water resistant
No
Yes, IP67 rated

Battery
3,300mAh
2,600mAh

Charging port
USB-C
USB-C

Marketplace
Google Play Store
Google Play Store

Colors
Silver, Black, Blue, Pink
Brilliant Black, Sapphire Blue, Ice White

Availability
TBA

Amazon, T-Mobile, HTC

Price
TBA
$349

DT review
Hands-on review
4 out of 5 stars

You won’t be getting flagship-level speed out of either of these phones, but thanks to the Snapdragon 630 processors in both the HTC U11 Life and the Xperia XA2, you can expect solid, steady performance. There might be small differences between the two devices, but we expect overall performance to be similar regardless of which phone you pick.

It’s all even on the RAM and storage front as well, with both phones offering 32GB of onboard storage, which can be expanded via MicroSD card, and 3GB of RAM. However, if you’re really desperate for additional storage and RAM, you can try and get the international version of the HTC U11 Life that comes with 64GB of storage and 4GB of RAM. However, be warned that this model does not run HTC’s Sense UI, but Android One instead. Thankfully, RAM really isn’t everything when it comes to smartphone performance, so unless you really want the additional onboard storage, you needn’t feel pressured into an upgrade.

In terms of audio, both phones have bottom-firing speakers and Bluetooth 5.0 — something that some flagship phones lack — but only the Xperia XA2 has a 3.5mm headphone jack. People seem to be slowly accepting the gradual phasing out of the venerable headphone port, but an additional feature is just that, and it gives the XA2 an edge.

The two phones are neck-and-neck on specs, and we’re not willing to let the international version of the HTC U11 Life win it many points — it’s basically a different phone. For that reason, the Xperia XA2 wins — by a headphone jack.

Winner: Sony Xperia XA2

Design and display

Sony’s design ethos for the Xperia lineup has stayed much the same for the last few years, so the rumor that it was planning a style refresh was certainly a welcome one — unfortunately, that hasn’t really materialized with the Xperia XA2. Don’t get us wrong,  the bezels at the sides of the screen and at the top and bottom have shrunk compared to last year’s phones, but the overall look is still much the same as the Omnibalance we’ve seen since 2013. But while the look may be disappointing, the rest of the phone is solid. The XA2 uses a mostly metal construction with a polycarbonate back (now with a working fingerprint sensor!) that feels solid and premium, and fans of the Xperia look will still find a lot to love here.

The HTC U11 Life couldn’t be more different from the XA2. Where the Xperia phone favors hard lines, the HTC phone curves softly. Where the XA2 is solid, the U11 Life is bright and glamorous. Though the U11 Life does suffer a little from its cheaper-feeling plastic body, it’s still a great-looking phone, with a bright acrylic material that apes the good looks of its older brother, the HTC U11. However, like the XA2, the HTC U11 Life does look a little dated, with fairly chunky bezels.

Moving on to the screen, there are even more similarities. Both phones are rocking 5.2-inch displays running a 1,920 x 1,080-pixel resolution, scoring them both a pixels-per-inch measurement of 424. What does that mean? They both have sharp and clear displays — better than the same resolution stretched across a 6-inch display, as in the XA2 Ultra. There’s little to differentiate these two phones here, though the XA2 is the slightly smaller of the two, which is worth remembering if you’re a fan of a smaller smartphone.

You’re looking at a similarly durable outer shell, and while the metal parts of the Xperia XA2 give it an advantage, it’s blown away by the IP67 water-resistance on the U11 Life. The U11 Life isn’t the only phone to offer this sort of resistance — the Moto X4 offers even better waterproofing at a similar price — but it’s still not expected on a phone in this price range, and the inclusion is a big win.

The water-resistance seals another close race between these two phones. The HTC U11 Life wins this round.

Winner: HTC U11 Life

Camera

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

New smartphone cameras have been steadily increasing in quality, and as the tech continues to improve, innovations from flagships are being passed down the line to more affordable phones. So while neither of these phones is going to be challenging the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, the Note 8, or the iPhone X, there are still some pretty capable shooters on the the HTC U11 Life and the Xperia XA2.

Check around the back of both and you’ll see that the manufacturers eschewed the 2017 trend for dual-lenses. The HTC U11 Life has a single 16-megapixel lens with an f/2.0 aperture that takes decent-enough photos within its price range. However, it’s probably the weakest overall part of this phone, since a lack of optical image stabilization (OIS) means you have to stay extremely still to prevent blurred photos — an issue exacerbated by the slow shutter speed. The photos that we took were good, but only when they weren’t ruined by blurring.

The Xperia XA2 is rocking a single 23-megapixel monster with an f/2.0 aperture. We haven’t had a lot of time to play with it yet, and the XA2 is likely to have similar blurring issues due to the lack of OIS, but during our initial tests, we didn’t notice any shutter lag, which is a good sign. Sony’s phone cameras are generally pretty good, and the incredible 12,800 ISO that the XA2’s camera is capable of should result in decent shots in low-light situations, which is another area where the U11 Life lacks.

Around the front of the U11, Life you’ll find a lens with the same specs as the rear camera, which is not something we see often. The 16-megapixel camera takes good-enough selfies, but like the rear lens, it suffers from blurriness and photos looked grainy in anything but direct sunlight when we tested it. The XA2, on the other hand, has a far more modest 8-megapixel lens around the front, but it has a much more impressive 120-degree lens, so you can fit in larger group selfies, or simply get more of the background in your shots.

We haven’t had a chance to really test the XA2 yet, but the signs are good, and the 120-degree front-facing camera is a handy addition. The XA2 takes it.

Winner: Sony Xperia XA2

Battery life and charging

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The HTC U11 Life comes with a 2,600mAh battery that should last you the day if you’re a light or medium user. If you find yourself using your smartphone a lot, you use it for streaming video or audio, or you’re an avid gamer, then you might want to think about packing a power bank or an extra charger. During our tests, the U11 Life made it to about 5.30 p.m. with 17 percent charge left after a day of heavy use, but expect that to drop as the battery ages — best to get into good habits now. When it came time to charge, it went from 15 percent to 50 percent in around 35 minutes. Not bad, but not the fastest charging available.

Again, we haven’t had a chance to fully test the XA2’s battery yet, but it’s a monster compared to the relatively modest battery on the U11 Life. A 3,300mAh battery should see you through the day, even with heavy usage, and the inclusion of Quick Charge 3.0 should mean you won’t be tethered to a cable for long when you do have to recharge. In addition, Sony has included a ton of battery-saving tech that should help your phone to stay healthy and hold its charge for even longer.

Battery life is often a pure numbers game, and that’s the case here. While we reserve final judgment until after we’ve completed our tests, we think the XA2’s battery is likely to be superior.

Winner: Sony Xperia XA2

Software

We hope you like A.I. assistants, because the HTC U11 Life has three of them to choose from. You get Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa, and HTC’s own Sense Companion. Edge Sense is also here, fresh from its debut on the HTC U11. You can tie a variety of functions to your squeezable edges; it starts with Google Assistant bound to it, but you can open the camera, Amazon Alexa, or pretty much any other app you fancy. One note: Google Assistant can be triggered with a wake word, but Alexa cannot, due to limitations with the Snapdragon 630. So if you’re an Alexa fan, get used to opening the app manually. Still, Edge Sense helps to alleviate some of those issues.

Other than that, Android 8.0 Oreo on the U11 Life is pretty standard — HTC’s Sense UI isn’t as bad as some of the larger manufacturer skins out there, and it not too bad with bloatware. It was generally a fun experience. If you have gone for the international model of the U11 Life with Android One, then you’ll find a stock Android experience, with just Google’s apps and Edge Sense installed on top of the usual Android suite.

The Xperia XA2 also comes with Android 8.0 Oreo pre-installed, and it’s close to stock Android, except for a few additional preinstalled apps from Sony. It was fine to use in the short time we had our hands on it, but we’ll have to reserve final judgment until we’ve given it a good test.

There’s not much to go on here from the XA2’s perspective, and it’s pretty much even with the Android One version of the U11 Life — except for the security updates straight from Google. The addition of Edge Sense and three assistants on the U11 Life make the HTC phone the winner here. It’s just got more toys.

Winner: HTC U11 Life

Price and availability

The HTC U11 Life is currently available from Amazon, T-Mobile, and HTC for $350, and HTC says the U11 Life will work on AT&T if purchased unlocked. Network support for the XA2 is currently unknown, but it’s likely that, like the previous Sony Xperia smartphones, it’ll work on T-Mobile and AT&T, but not on Verizon or Sprint. At this time, it’s not clear if anyone is going to be offering the Xperia XA2, so if you’re interested in buying one, it’ll probably have to be unlocked through Amazon, Best Buy, or Sony itself.

In terms of price, we still don’t know how much the XA2 will be offered at. We’re hoping it will be around the $350 mark — maybe even $300. If that’s the case, then it definitely beats the HTC phone. If not, then the opposite applies. There are too many variables here for us to judge. This final round is a tie.

Winner: Tie

Overall winner: Sony Xperia XA2

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Whew, this was a bumpy ride. The Sony Xperia XA2 and HTC U11 Life are two very well-matched devices, with the same Snapdragon 630 powering them, the same internal numbers for RAM and storage, and even the same-sized display and resolution. But aside from all that, these are two very clearly different phones, and anyone looking for a device in this price range will probably be happy with either one. However, there can be only one winner, and for our money, the Xperia XA2 edges the U11 Life with a superior camera, larger battery, and slightly better specs — the headphone jack strikes again!

Still, the HTC U11 Life has a lot to offer, with good looks inherited from its older brother, a plethora of software additions like Edge Sense, and IP67 water-resistance. If that’s what you like in a phone, then HTC has your back. If not, then it’s the Xperia XA2.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra vs. Moto X4: 2018’s new midrange challenger
  • Sony’s latest Xperia smartphones boast changes, but not a major redesign
  • Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact review
  • Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra, XA2, and L2 hands-on review
  • Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium: News and rumors


21
Jan

Skyline allows you to turn any location into your phone’s background


Looking for a unique new wallpaper for your Android smartphone? The new Skyline app may be just what you need. This app allows users to turn their current location, or any other location, into their phone’s wallpaper.

The app was created by developer Justin Fincher and combines satellite imagery and aerial photos to build interactive images that can then be used as your phone’s wallpaper. When sliding between pages on your smartphone, the image will shift a bit. It also moves when the smartphone is rotated.

It looks impressive, but using Skyline is easy. The app can determine your location through your phone’s GPS service, so you’ll have no trouble setting it up. Some people might be wondering if the app is worth it if their current location is visually uninteresting. After all, a small apartment complex is hardly the most interesting imagery to see everytime you turn on your phone. Fortunately, Skyline allows you to choose from any location in the world in order to create a unique and interesting background

Those users on Android Oreo 8.1 will have access to one other cool feature. The app will automatically change the color of your phone’s menu screen in order to better match your background. It is not a huge feature, but it does help to keep things looking good.

Skyline can be found on the Google Play Store for $2. Fincher has said that he intends to improve the app as time goes on. His current goal is to create a feature that will allow Skyline to change your phone’s wallpaper to automatically match your current location. This could prove to be an interesting little feature that ensures your phone’s background never gets old. Fincher has also said he has other features planned in the future.

One of the big advantages about Android phones is how easy it is to customize the experience and that isn’t limited to the wallpaper. If you want to change your phone’s launcher, you can do that. You can also change the phone’s widgets making it more functional and pleasing to look at.

Editors’ Recommendations

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21
Jan

The big bad banhammer is about to drop on more than 100,000 ‘PUBG’ cheaters


PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, the wildly popular multiplayer free-for-all, has seen explosive growth since it burst onto the scene a little over a year ago. With millions of new players every month, there’s also been a dramatic influx of cheaters, and the devs have announced a drastic measure to make the Battle Royale fair and more enjoyable for everyone.

After analyzing the data from 10 million players, PUBG Corp announced that it has identified a new pattern of cheats being used during the games. Retribution will be swift in the form of a virtual tsumani, the developers said in a blog post. “Through this exercise, we were able to identify over 100,000 instances of the new pattern related to use of cheat and now we have confirmed that it was clearly an attempt of compromising our game,” they wrote. “These players will be permanently banned in a single wave.”

This is all part of an ongoing effort that may involve filtering hundreds of billions of data logs manually. The developers also hope to implement a new system to detect and ban more cheaters proactively, and legal actions may be taken against those who proliferate software designed to circumvent security procedures.

They also pointed out an issue that many gamers have raised when viewing videos from other players. Although it may appear that a cheat is being used because there’s no weapon recoil, that’s actually a bug in the game software, and will be fixed soon.

A gameplay update is also planned to make gunfights less chaotic by balancing the blue-zone boundaries during matches. It will probably be easier to escape the blue zone in the late phase of the matches, but blue zones will cause more damage when you get trapped in them.

As Polygon notes, this seems to be an effort to encourage more deaths by gunfire from other players and fewer by the boundary wall. It will also add some urgency to the late game, as the blue zone encroaches near the end of a match.

Although its launch was rather rocky, PUBG is also now available on Xbox One through the Preview program, and many new Xbox players got it free with their console over the holidays. A new Xbox One patch was also just released, which adds a new controller options and fixes some performance issues.

Editors’ Recommendations

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21
Jan

LG unveils two patents for foldable smartphones


Foldable smartphones are slowly becoming a reality with the likes of the ZTE Axon M having arrived on the scene last year. However, ZTE is far from being the only company to work on a foldable display. Samsung, LG, and Huawei all reportedly working on foldable devices

The details surrounding most of these devices are still under wraps, but we’ve gotten the first look at the patents for two of LG’s foldable devices. The first design shows a device made out of two bodies which share a single large display. When the phone is open, you’ll get a tablet-sized display. When it is closed, you will have access to a smaller device similar to a traditional smartphone. The front of the devices houses a screen which can provide additional information such as notifications.

The second design is similar to the first, but features a sliding back panel which can be moved to reveal a portion of the main display used for notifications, messages, and other features.

Of course, the company is no stranger to the flexible display — we’ve seen plenty of flexible prototypes from the company over the past few years, and while certainly not ready for consumer devices, they have been getting better. Now, however, it seems as though the company is ready to take things to the next level.

In fact, the firm has reportedly started outfitting one of its factories with the tools needed to mass produce flexible displays, and has completed much of the research required to mass produce a flexible-display device. LG has also signed contracts with Ignis Innovation, a Canadian company that builds flexible circuits.

Ignis’ tech addresses a number of problems often associated with foldable displays. The technology uses both hardware and software charged with constantly monitoring the pixels, ensuring that they’re rendering the right images, no matter what position the flexible circuits are in. The company has filed hundreds of patents for its related tech, and is apparently the only firm to have come up with a solution — which would make sense considering how eager LG seems to be to work with the company. Even more interesting is the fact that Ignis’ contract is non-exclusive, meaning that if the tech proves itself, it could end up with plenty more customers.

As mentioned, LG isn’t the only one developing foldable devices. Samsung is also reported to be working on a foldable phone, to be released sometime in the future. It looks liked 2018 will be a very interesting one for new technology.

Update: Added information about LG’s patents for foldable phones. 

Editors’ Recommendations

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  • MicroLED is the new hotness in TVs. But OLED isn’t going anywhere
  • LG G7: News and rumors
  • These are the phone trends that will dominate 2018
  • ZTE’s new foldable smartphone starts a revolution by offering users two screens


21
Jan

LG unveils two patents for foldable smartphones


Foldable smartphones are slowly becoming a reality with the likes of the ZTE Axon M having arrived on the scene last year. However, ZTE is far from being the only company to work on a foldable display. Samsung, LG, and Huawei all reportedly working on foldable devices

The details surrounding most of these devices are still under wraps, but we’ve gotten the first look at the patents for two of LG’s foldable devices. The first design shows a device made out of two bodies which share a single large display. When the phone is open, you’ll get a tablet-sized display. When it is closed, you will have access to a smaller device similar to a traditional smartphone. The front of the devices houses a screen which can provide additional information such as notifications.

The second design is similar to the first, but features a sliding back panel which can be moved to reveal a portion of the main display used for notifications, messages, and other features.

Of course, the company is no stranger to the flexible display — we’ve seen plenty of flexible prototypes from the company over the past few years, and while certainly not ready for consumer devices, they have been getting better. Now, however, it seems as though the company is ready to take things to the next level.

In fact, the firm has reportedly started outfitting one of its factories with the tools needed to mass produce flexible displays, and has completed much of the research required to mass produce a flexible-display device. LG has also signed contracts with Ignis Innovation, a Canadian company that builds flexible circuits.

Ignis’ tech addresses a number of problems often associated with foldable displays. The technology uses both hardware and software charged with constantly monitoring the pixels, ensuring that they’re rendering the right images, no matter what position the flexible circuits are in. The company has filed hundreds of patents for its related tech, and is apparently the only firm to have come up with a solution — which would make sense considering how eager LG seems to be to work with the company. Even more interesting is the fact that Ignis’ contract is non-exclusive, meaning that if the tech proves itself, it could end up with plenty more customers.

As mentioned, LG isn’t the only one developing foldable devices. Samsung is also reported to be working on a foldable phone, to be released sometime in the future. It looks liked 2018 will be a very interesting one for new technology.

Update: Added information about LG’s patents for foldable phones. 

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Samsung Galaxy X: Rumors and news leaks
  • MicroLED is the new hotness in TVs. But OLED isn’t going anywhere
  • LG G7: News and rumors
  • These are the phone trends that will dominate 2018
  • ZTE’s new foldable smartphone starts a revolution by offering users two screens


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