While the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ were only released nearly four months ago, rumors have already surfaced about the Galaxy S10 lineup.
Korean website The Bell today reported that Samsung plans to release a trio of new Galaxy S smartphones next year, including the Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10+, and a lower-priced version of the Galaxy S10. The latter device is expected to be the first-ever entry-level Galaxy S model, not a Galaxy A or Galaxy J model.
If that sounds familiar, it is because Apple is widely rumored to introduce a trio of new iPhones this September, including a second-generation iPhone X, a larger 6.5-inch version dubbed the iPhone X Plus, and a lower-priced 6.1-inch iPhone, with some but not all features of the iPhone X.
The report adds that the Galaxy S10+ will feature a triple-lens rear camera system and a dual-lens front camera system. The rear system is said to include the same 12-megapixel wide-angle lens and 12-megapixel telephoto lens as the Galaxy S9+, in addition to an all-new 16-megapixel 120º ultra-wide-angle lens.
Again, if that sounds familiar, it is because Apple is rumored to introduce at least one new iPhone with a triple-lens rear camera in 2019.
The standard-sized Galaxy S10 is expected to have a single-lens front camera and a triple-lens rear camera, while the entry-level Galaxy S10 is said to sport a single-lens front camera and a dual-lens rear camera.
Last week, The Bell reported that the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+ will feature an in-display fingerprint scanner, and possibly 3D facial recognition, similar to Face ID on the iPhone X. These would likely be the only biometric authentication options, as Samsung reportedly plans to exclude iris scanning on the devices.
Samsung is expected to unveil the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+ at Mobile World Congress next February and release the smartphones in March.
Tags: Samsung, Galaxy S10
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On June 19, former AT&T executive and new chief executive of Warner Media John Stankey spoke to a group of HBO employees about changes coming to the premium cable company in the near future. The discussion was held in the wake of AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner, which owns HBO, and also included HBO’s chief executive officer Richard Plepler.
The telecommunications company previously stated that it would take a “hands-off approach” to running HBO, but The New York Times this weekend reported on Stankey’s speech and it sounds like that might not be the case. According to a video of the discussion, Stankey explained Warner Media’s intent to align HBO more alongside streaming companies like Netflix in order to increase its subscriber base, although he refrained from referencing Netflix by name.
This means creating more content that releases at a faster pace, in comparison to HBO’s current stable of limited Sunday night-focused shows. According to Stankey, the goal is to increase the hours per day viewers watch HBO, which is currently less than rivals like Netflix and Hulu because of HBO’s smaller catalog.
“We need hours a day,” Mr. Stankey said, referring to the time viewers spend watching HBO programs. “It’s not hours a week, and it’s not hours a month. We need hours a day. You are competing with devices that sit in people’s hands that capture their attention every 15 minutes.”
Continuing this thread, Stankey specifically stated that more hours of user engagement means that Warner Media can “get more data and information” to monetize through advertisements and new subscription options.
“I want more hours of engagement. Why are more hours of engagement important? Because you get more data and information about a customer that then allows you to do things like monetize through alternate models of advertising as well as subscriptions, which I think is very important to play in tomorrow’s world.”
As the discussion continued, Stankey appeared to have butted heads slightly with Plepler on the topic of HBO’s monetization, which Stankey believes can be increased through his new methods. Plepler claimed that the company is already a consistent moneymaker, to which Stankey responded: “Yes, yes you do… Just not enough.”
Stankey and Warner Media hope that an increased output of original content will boost HBO’s 40 million paid subscribers in the United States, which Stankey said as of now “was not going to cut it.” Comparatively, Netflix earlier this year had 55 million U.S. subscribers and Hulu in May had 20 million.
HBO’s business currently expands across paid cable add-on packages, the connected HBO GO app, and standalone HBO NOW app. Stankey said that Warner Media’s plans will kick off soon and “there’s going to be more work” for HBO employees over the next twelve months, which he called a “dog year.”
While Apple wasn’t mentioned in the discussion, the Cupertino company is another upcoming competitor in the streaming TV market, with plans to debut more than a dozen television shows beginning sometime in 2019. Although the distribution of these shows remains unclear, the company is rumored to be planning a bundle with original TV content, Apple Music, and more.
Tags: AT&T, HBO, Time Warner
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Apple today released tvOS 11.4.1, a minor update to the tvOS operating system designed for the fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV models. tvOS 11.4.1 comes more than a month after the release of tvOS 11.4, an update that introduced support for AirPlay 2.
tvOS 11.4.1 can be downloaded over the air through the Settings app on the Apple TV by going to System –> Software Update. Apple TV owners who have automatic software updates turned on will be upgraded to the tvOS 11.4.1 automatically.
As a minor 11.x.x update tvOS 11.4.1 focuses on performance improvements and bug fixes to address issues that were discovered following the release of tvOS 11.4. Apple does not provide release notes for tvOS updates, so we may not know exactly what’s included in the new software.
tvOS 11.4.1 is likely to be one of the last updates to the tvOS 11 operating system, as Apple in June introduced tvOS 12, which will be released to the public this fall and is currently available to developers and public beta testers.
tvOS 12 introduces support for Dolby Atmos, a new zero sign-on feature, Password AutoFill from the iPhone, and new aerial screensavers created in collaboration with the International Space Station. More information on tvOS 12 can be found in our tvOS 12 roundup.
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Apple today released watchOS 4.3.2, a small update to the watchOS 4 operating system that runs on the Apple Watch. watchOS 4.3.2 comes more than one month after the release of watchOS 4.3.1, a minor update.
watchOS 4.3.2 can be downloaded through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General –> Software Update. To install the new software, the Apple Watch needs to have at least 50 percent battery, it needs to be placed on a charger, and it needs to be in range of the iPhone.
As a 4.x.x update, watchOS 4.3.2 is minor in scale, focusing on bug fixes and under the hood performance improvements. No major new features were discovered during the beta testing period.
watchOS 4.3.2 may be one of the last updates to the watchOS 4 operating system now that Apple has shifted its focus to watchOS 5. watchOS 5 is available to developers and will see a public release this fall.
Introduced at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June, watchOS 5 brings a push-to-talk Walkie-Talkie mode, support for automatic workout detection, a Podcasts app, new features for the Siri watch face, and more. For full details on what’s coming in watchOS 5, make sure to check out our watchOS 5 roundup.
Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4, watchOS 5Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)
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Apple today released iOS 11.4.1, the fifteenth update to the iOS 11 operating system that was first introduced in September 2017. iOS 11.4.1 comes more than a month after the release of iOS 11.4, a major update that introduced support for Messages in iCloud and AirPlay 2.
iOS 11.4.1 is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the update, go to Settings –> General –> Software Update. Eligible devices include the iPhone 5s and later, the iPad mini 2 and later, the iPad Air and later, and the 6th-generation iPod touch.
iOS 11.4.1 is a minor update that’s been introduced to address bugs that have been discovered since the launch of iOS 11.4, with no new features discovered during the beta testing period. According to Apple’s release notes, today’s update fixes an issue that prevented some users from viewing the last known location of their AirPods in Find My iPhone and it improves the reliability of syncing mail, contacts, and notes with Exchange accounts.
Today’s iOS 11.4.1 update may be one of the last updates that we see to the iOS 11 operating system.
At its Worldwide Developers Conference in June, Apple introduced iOS 12, the next-generation version of iOS. iOS 12 brings improvements like Group FaceTime, Screen Time for monitoring iPhone and iPad usage, Do Not Disturb improvements, Grouped Notifications, new Memoji and Animoji options, and more, with full details available in our iOS 12 roundup.
Related Roundup: iOS 11
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Alongside the release of iOS 11.4.1, the latest update to the iOS operating system, Apple has also released new 11.4.1 software that’s designed for the HomePod.
The new HomePod software will be installed automatically on the HomePod after you update to iOS 11.4, but you can also manually update and check your software version by following the instructions in our HomePod software how to.
According to Apple’s release notes, the 11.4.1 update for the HomePod includes “general improvements for stability and quality,” with no further details provided.
The new software comes over a month after Apple released the 11.4 update for the HomePod, which introduced stereo support and multi-room audio functionality through AirPlay 2.
Related Roundup: HomePodBuyer’s Guide: HomePod (Buy Now)
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When we first met the Cheetah, a four-legged robot built by engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the machine was, frankly, not all that fascinating. Sure, it could run pretty quickly for a robot. But at 10 mph, the Cheetah was hardly as impressive as Boston Dynamics’ line of robo-dogs, nor could it keep up with its living, feline counterpart.
Four years on, the Cheetah has made some progress thanks to its MIT engineers. Now dubbed the Cheetah 3, the robot’s current version can leap onto tables, handle rough terrain, and even use blind locomotion to navigate. By developing the machine to get around without the use of cameras, the engineers hope to create a robot that can “feel” its way through a room, no matter how dark an environment may be. In the real world, this ability could make the robot suited for reconnaissance and search and rescue missions.
“Blind locomotion is [locomotion] without vision,” Sangbae Kim, a mechanical engineer at MIT and the robot’s designer, told Digital Trends. Vision-oriented movement obviously seems natural to most humans, but it’s data intensive and noisy for machines. In comparison, movement can also be oriented by proprioception (a sense of one’s own body in relation to the world) and vestibular organs (those which help maintain balance). “Most research robots rely too much on vision and don’t utilize the other two enough,” Kim said. “Before we integrate the vision, we want to have robust behaviors first.”
The Cheetah 3 needs some help from humans to navigate blindly (it relies on manual commands for direction and speed) but it’s capable of tackling obstacles, such as stairs, autonomously. It does so by using sensors and algorithms to orient its body to its environment. For example, the robot uses a contact detection algorithm (which helps the robot determine when to move a particular leg) and a model-predictive control algorithm (which helps predict how much force the robot should apply to a given leg).
The Cheetah 3 weighs in at about 90 pounds, with four legs, a determined gait, and exposed wires and circuity. Each of its knee joints are invertible, meaning they can flex and bend in the opposite direction, which lets the robot adjust its stance to gain better balance and perform other double-jointed tricks. Among its new tricks, the Cheetah 3 can also jump onto a 30-inch desk, recover from being pushed, and twist.
In the near term, Kim and his colleagues are developing the Cheetah for use in disaster relief situations or for tasks that are difficult or dangerous for humans to perform. They plan to add an arm to allow the robot to manipulate objects around it.
The researchers will demonstrate their robot in October at the International Conference on Intelligent Robots in Madrid, Spain.
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A smart bandage, capable of monitoring a wound and delivering periodic drug treatments, has been developed by a team of researchers at Tufts University. Currently just a prototype, the technology detailed in a recent paper in the journal Small could someday help transform medical treatment, enabling a doctor to more closely monitor her patient’s condition, while more actively treating it.
“What we have demonstrated is a flexible smart bandage that has your drug cocktail in it,” Sameer Sonkusale, a Tufts engineering professors who led the project, told Digital Trends. “It senses how the wound is healing and delivers the drug in real time in appropriate quantity to make it heal faster.”
As lifestyle diseases like obesity and heart disease increase, so too do cases of chronic wounds, which heal at unpredictable rates and in disorderly stages. Chronic wounds present a challenge to physicians, who must identify the underlying cause of the chronic states, while monitoring and treating the wound to avoid infection.
“Increasing cases in diabetes and obesity has resulted in an epidemic of chronic wounds,” Sonkusale said. “Chronic wounds are one of the leading causes of amputations outside of war settings. We believe smart flexible bioelectronic technology has the potential to improve the health outcome of these wounds.”
The smart bandage developed by Sonkusale and his team uses sensors to detect subtle biomarkers that signal wound healing. A microprocessor reads data captured by the sensors, communicates with a mobile device, and can direct the bandage to release medication if deemed appropriate.
For example, Sonkusale said, “It can sense whether it is getting enough oxygen. Is it at the right pH level, which is a sign of abnormal healing? What is the temperature near the wound? Is there any inflammation? All of this info is communicated to a central processor where the doctor has programmed drug release such as an antibiotic, or growth factor, to improve healing. This closed loop ‘sense-then-respond’ bandage is probably the first of its kind.”
Over the passed few years, researchers have demonstrated various next-gen bandages that can detect infections and track how well a wound is healing. These futuristic patches haven’t yet made it to the market and Sonkusale acknowledges that his still has plenty of development ahead, but, once complete, he envisions a wide range of use cases involving chronic wounds.
“It has applications in bed sores, burns, and surgical wounds,” he said. “It can reduce complications from infections and reduce the number of amputations. And all of this is possible because your bandage intervened appropriately at the right time to make your wounds heal faster.”
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Bixby hasn’t exactly been the runaway success that Samsung hoped for when it introduced its own smart assistant last August. Unlike other A.I. assistants, such as Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, or Microsoft Cortana, Samsung Bixby was meant to anticipate users’ needs and almost serve as an extra set of hands, editing photos, sending messages, and composing emails on command.
It was also slated to eventually control smart home appliances and Internet of Things devices, but so far, it seems as though it’s a bit less useful than we’d hoped for. But things may be looking up for the smart assistant, especially now that it’s growing its roster of third-party integrations. This week, TheScore announced that it will be bringing live sports scores and news from top sports leagues like the NBA, MLB, NFL, NHL, and EPL to Bixby.
While this may not seem like much, the move does represent an attempt by Samsung to make Bixby more applicable to users’ lives. Given the global popularity of sports and the frequency with which fans turn to their smartphones for updates, the addition of TheScore could serve Bixby well. The feature will make its debut in Bixby Home come August, and will allow users to create customized notifications based on sports or teams. However, it’s unclear how far-reaching the feature will actually be. On “select” Galaxy devices, you’ll be able to swipe right on home screens in order to get the most recent sports coverage.
Hopefully, Bixby will begin playing a larger role in our lives in the next several weeks. Samsung should be unveiling the Galaxy Note 9 in August, at which point the smart assistant should take center stage. This new flagship phone should feature an enhanced version of Bixby, named Bixby 2.0. Gray Lee, head of the A.I. Center under Samsung Research, has told the Korea Herald that the platform will be upgraded with enhanced language processes, improved noise resistance, and quicker response times.
Furthermore, Samsung has said that it plans to connect a total of 14 million products with Bixby this year and aims to connect them all by 2020. We’ll just have to see if it makes good on these promises.
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Once mocked as the home of “filthy casuals”, the mobile gaming market has come on in leaps and bounds in the last few years. Games like Hearthstone, PubG: Mobile, and Fortnite have shown that the humble smartphone is just as good a place for digital entertainment as the black monolith parked in front of the TV. But if you’re looking for a phone that is great at handling games and delivering the sort of performance that allows you to keep pwning and winning, you might not be sure where to look.
If you want a phone that’s great for gaming, then you’re after a different set of specs to a lot of other people. Great looks and cameras are good, but what about pure gaming performance and media presentation? Well, we’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to, and found the best gaming phones that you can buy, at any budget. While you’re at it, check out our best games for iPhone and Android so you’ve always got something to play.
Why should you buy this: You want the best possible gaming experience on an iOS smartphone, with an amazing screen, super-fast performance, and the huge iOS app store.
Who’s it for: Anyone who loves iOS and iPhone, and wants the very best.
How much will it cost: $1,000
Why we picked the iPhone X:
How could we not? Apple’s first real redesign since the iPhone 6 changed the world of smartphones as we knew it, doing away with the iconic Home button and introducing the contentious notch. Stylistically, it’s a real looker, with a modern bezel-less design and beautiful glass-and-metal construction. The display is the real jaw-dropper though, and the iPhone X’s OLED screen is a stunner. It’s a weird resolution (a strong Apple tradition), but it’s razor sharp, with vibrant colors, and deep blacks. It’s big too, and you shouldn’t have any issues seeing even small details on the 5.8-inch display.
It’s got the brawn to back up its good looks. Apple’s A11 Bionic processor is a powerful chip, and though it lags behind the Snapdragon 845 in AnTuTu benchmarks, it trounces the 845 in Geekbench 4, and in real terms it’s snappy, handles even demanding games with no problems, and didn’t show any drops in performance over our six-month testing period. There is only 3GB of RAM inside the iPhone X, but don’t let that put you off — Android and iOS use RAM differently, so bigger doesn’t equate to better in this case.
It’s not perfect. If you go for the 64GB model of the iPhone X, you might have some issues with keeping multiple large games on the system, as there is no MicroSD card. There is no 3.5mm headphone jack either, which means you can’t use wired headphones without the right dongle, and you can’t charge the iPhone X at the same time. The battery will last you a day, but heavy gaming will knock that down. However, these are all problems that iPhone users are used to, and shouldn’t put you off. With the other additions that come with the iPhone X — the incredible camera, Face ID unlocking, and iOS 11 — gaming on the iPhone X is a beautiful thing, and the iPhone X should always be your choice if you’re a passionate iOS gamer.
iPhone X Review
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Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
Why should you buy this: Samsung has refined an already brilliant formula, and produced one of the year’s most powerful and beautiful phones.
Who’s it for: Someone who wants one of the most powerful Android phones in the world.
How much will it cost: $840
Why we picked the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus:
Samsung kept everything that made the Samsung Galaxy S8 brilliant and fixed everything else. The Galaxy S9 Plus is the culmination of years of work for Samsung and it’s simply one of the best phones in the world right now. It has an exceptional low-light camera with a mechanical aperture, and some utterly wonderful features packed into its smooth and gorgeously designed body.
But what really matters for gamers is the power. The Galaxy S9 Plus comes with the staggeringly powerful Snapdragon 845, giving the phone oodles of processing power. It handled every game we threw at it with contemptuous ease, tackling Tekken, The Sims: Mobile, and Sonic Forces with no issues. We picked the Galaxy S9 Plus over the standard S9 because the Plus version comes with 6GB of RAM (compared to the 4GB in the S9), giving the Plus that slight edge for multitasking — but since both come with the Snapdragon 845, either model should crush most modern games with no problems.
The AMOLED display is another gorgeous piece of work, with deep, vibrant colors and pitch-dark blacks. It’s super-sharp too, and the Quad HD+ screen should have no problems being seen, even in direct sunlight. Storage starts at 64GB, but there is the option to boost that with a MicroSD card, and Samsung is still including the headphone jack — so you can charge while using wired headphones.
It’s not perfect. Sound during games is good, thanks to the stereo speakers, though the placement and bass aren’t the best. The battery life could be better and though you’ll get a day out it with normal usage, expect gaming to impact that heavily. It’s expensive, with the lowest-tier model starting at $840. But if you’re after one of the very best phones for gaming on Android, look no further.
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus Review
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Andy Boxall / Digital Trends
Why should you buy this: It’s a phone made for super-smooth gaming, from gaming specialist Razer.
Who’s it for: A pure gaming enthusiast who wants the smoothest possible experience.
How much will it cost: $700
Why we picked the Razer Phone:
The Razer Phone is one of the first phones built from the ground-up for mobile gaming, and while it may mean that the phone lacks in a few other areas, it really delivers as a media-consuming machine. The Razer Phone’s Snapdragon 835 might seem underpowered next to the more recent Snapdragon 845, but with Razer’s optimizations and 8GB of RAM, the Razer Phone is an absolute beast, crushing games and consistently delivering some of our best experiences with mobile gaming.
An expanding market of gaming phones.
Don’t worry if the Razer Phone isn’t the pure gaming phone for you, as more are on the way. The ZTE-backed Red Magic Phone is coming soon, offering similar power to the Razer Phone and some RGB lighting thrown in for good measure. Also keep an eye out for the Asus ROG Phone, which promises to be a staggeringly powerful gaming phone when it eventually comes out.
The key to this performance is Razer’s special display. Rather than a usual 60Hz display, the Razer Phone packs a 120Hz screen. This change means it can deliver more frames per second than your usual phone screen, which leads to gameplay that feels more fluid. It’s not all hype either; we found the Razer Phone felt better than phones with the same processor, running the same games. The dated looks and chunky bezels hide another impressive secret, too — front-facing stereo speakers that really pack a punch, and are one of the best features on the phone, thanks to the Dolby-tuned sound.
Unfortunately, the camera is extremely bare bones, you won’t find the colors on the display to be anywhere near as impressive as the other phones at a similar price, and there is no headphone jack. Still, the 4,000mAh battery gives considerable oomph and should keep you gaming for hours. The Razer Phone is one of the best gaming phones on this list, it’s just not as good an all-around phone as some of the others.
Razer Phone Review
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Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
Why should you buy this: The OnePlus 6 delivers flagship specs, power, and polish for hundreds of dollars less.
Who’s it for: Someone who wants the top specs at a lower price.
How much will it cost: $530
Why we picked the OnePlus 6:
Look at the OnePlus 6 and read its spec sheet and you’d be forgiven for thinking this phone belongs in the same price range as the iPhone X, the Galaxy S9, and other premium flagship phones. But no, the OnePlus 6 continues OnePlus’ fine tradition of offering top-level specs and a gorgeous design at a price that is hundreds of dollars less than you’d expect. The OnePlus 6 is king of the midrange, and while the $530 price makes it more expensive than any OnePlus phone before, it’s still a great choice for a gaming phone.
Central to the phone’s strong performance is the inclusion of everyone’s favorite powerful chip — the Snapdragon 845. As expected, the OnePlus 6 shows great performance with this processor, and should be able to crush most games thrown at it. That performance is bolstered by the huge 8GB of RAM available to the phone, which should help in handling large programs, and swapping between apps. The audio is impressive too, with AptX HD support and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The display is massive, a 6.28-inch AMOLED screen running a full HD resolution. You shouldn’t miss any details on this sharp and vibrant display.
Outside of pure gaming performance, the OnePlus 6 is still impressive. It has a great camera that is capable of standing up with the best, as well as those drop-dead gorgeous looks. If the high prices of current flagships repel you, then you’ll find a fantastic deal in the OnePlus 6.
OnePlus 6 Review
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Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
Why should you buy this: The Nokia 6.1 is one of the best budget phones in the world, and gives great bang for the buck.
Who’s it for: A mobile gamer on a budget who doesn’t mind making compromises.
How much will it cost: $270
Why we picked the Nokia 6.1:
If you’re looking to play mobile games on a budget, then you’re probably ready to make some sort of compromise in terms of performance and overall visual fidelity — and that’s mostly an unavoidable fact. However, the Nokia 6.1 is one of the best of the budget bunch for gaming. It’s dated in design, with a 16:9 aspect ratio and chunky bezels, but that display is full HD and more than good enough. The body is made from smooth metal, and it feels good in the hand.
Strong competition from below.
While we rank the Nokia 6.1 as the best budget phone of the moment, it’s a tight race with the brilliant Honor 7X. The Honor 7X offers great looks, an excellent camera, and good power from the Kirin 659 processor and 3GB of RAM. It performed very well playing Riptide GP3, Crossy Road, and Modern Combat Versus, so you shouldn’t be disappointed. Best of all, it only costs $200, making it even cheaper than the already cheap Nokia 6.1.
But what of the performance? The Nokia 6.1 is equipped with the Snapdragon 630, and that processor does an excellent job of providing smooth performance. It outclasses most other phones in the same price range, and the 3GB of RAM holds up well in persistent use. Though you’re likely to be playing on the lowest possible settings, the Nokia 6.1 managed to handle games like The Sims: Mobile, and PubG: Mobile with only a few minor hiccups during gameplay.
There is a 3,000mAh battery powering the phone, which should give you a decent amount of gaming time, and it’s also equipped with a capable camera for the price. The use of Android One as the phone’s operating system means that the phone will receive regular security updates from Google, as well as eventual major upgrades. On the minus side, it’s only usable on GSM carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile — so no Sprint or Verizon. Still, for those who like to play some games but can’t stretch to some of the higher priced models, this is a great choice.
Nokia 6.1 Review
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