Japan set to say no to Huawei tech

Japan is set to become the latest country to stop using Huawei technology in its national infrastructure.

Reuters reports that the nation’s government is changing its procurement needs in order to shore up its national cybersecurity.

Although no specific companies were mentioned in the new rules, the decision follows Huawei and ZTE being cited as possible risks by several other governments.

“Cybersecurity is becoming an important issue in Japan,” Japan’s chief government spokesman, Yoshihide Suga said. “We’ll take firm measures looking at it from a variety of perspectives.”

Huawei ban

The news follows similar moves from many other governments choosing to drop Huawei technology from their infrastructure over spying fears.

In the UK, the NCSC has warned on possible backdoors in Huawei technology, and BT earlier this week revealed it would be stripping the company’s hardware from its core 4G infrastructure.

Also earlier this week, Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada following an extradition request by US authorities over suspicions the company reportedly flouted an embargo on dealing with Iran and North Korea.

  • What is 5G? Everything you need to know

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus release date, price, news and leaks

Update: Leaked photos may have given us our first real-world look at the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus and they show a triple-lens rear camera.

Alongside the Samsung Galaxy S10 and potentially a Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite, we’re also likely to see a Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus in early 2019 and this is sure to be the biggest and possibly best of the range.

While it probably won’t land before late February, we’ve already heard a lot about it and even seen some leaked images seemingly showing the phone. From that we can tell that this could be very different to the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus, with a new design and numerous new features.

You’ll find full details on all of that below, as well as information on the possible release date and price. We’ll also be sure to update this article whenever credible information emerges, so be sure to check back here regularly if you want to keep up to date on the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? Samsung’s next big screen flagship phone
  • When is it out? Possibly late February
  • What will it cost? Likely at least $840 / £869 / AU$1,349

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus release date and price

Hottest leaks:

  • Could land at or just before MWC 2019 (February 25-28)

Our best guess for when we’ll see the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus is at MWC 2019, which takes place from February 25-28.

An announcement there has been rumored more than once and on top of that the Samsung Galaxy S9 range landed at MWC 2018, so it seems likely. More specifically, it might land a day or so before the event formally kicks off, as Samsung often holds press events in advance of MWC.

Of course, there’s no guarantee that this is where we’ll see the S10 Plus, especially as Samsung doesn’t always use MWC to announce new entries in the range, and as one source reckons the phone could arrive at CES 2019 in January.

But if not at MWC then certainly sometime within the first few months of the year, as there’s around a year between each model.

There aren’t any Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus price rumors yet, but given that the Galaxy S9 Plus launched for $840 / £869 / AU$1,349 we’d expect the S10 Plus will cost at least that much.

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus

The Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus is sure to be at least as expensive as the S9 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus design and display

Hottest leaks:

  • A 6.4-inch 1440 x 3040 screen
  • A pinhole camera and small bezels

Our latest real look at the possible design of the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus comes from two leaked images, which oddly don’t match up.

As you can see below, they both show a phone with a triple-lens camera, but the color of the camera block differs and the size of the lenses possibly does as well, so it’s possible that only one or neither of these images is right, or that they show different phones – perhaps one shows the Galaxy S10 while the other shows the S10 Plus.

The images otherwise do line up, showing a slightly curved back, probably made of glass, and a frame that looks to be made of metal.

Credit: SlashGear / Weibo

Previously we saw some leaked renders shared by OnLeaks (a reliable leaker), which gave a more complete look at the possible design of the S10 Plus.

The renders, which you can see below, show a cut-out in the screen for a dual-lens front-facing camera, but the bezels are very slim.

The images also show a quad-lens camera on the back (check the camera section below for more information on this). An earlier version of these images showed three cameras and larger bezels, but this was apparently inaccurate, though was more in line with the photos above.

There’s also a 3.5mm headphone port on the bottom edge, a curved display and what looks to be a metal frame and glass back, shown in both black and ‘Ice Blue’.

The phone is apparently 157.5 x 75.0 x 7.8mm, rising to 9mm at the camera bump, which makes it a similar size to the 158.1 x 73.8 x 8.5mm Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus, despite apparently having a larger 6.4-inch screen.

That screen apparently has a QHD resolution, according to this source, which more or less lines up with a benchmark for one of the S10 models, which lists the phone as having a 1440 x 3040 resolution and a 19:9 aspect ratio.

We’ve also heard more than once that the screen might be 6.4 inches, though at least one rumor puts it at 6.2 inches, so we’re not at all certain of the size yet.

As for the pinhole camera in the pictures above, there’s plenty of evidence for that. In fact, Samsung itself has announced a screen with a pinhole camera, dubbed the ‘Infinity-O’, though hasn’t said what devices this display would be used for. A patent filed by the company also shows such a design.

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus

Credit: LetsGoDigital

Another source has also said that at least one of the S10 models will have a “punch hole” camera, along with three rear cameras and an ultrasonic in-display fingerprint scanner. So there’s a high chance that the camera will indeed be built into the screen.

As for that ultrasonic in-screen fingerprint scanner, that’s another Galaxy S10 Plus rumor we’ve heard about plenty of times. Several phones such as the OnePlus 6T and Huawei Mate 20 Pro already have in-screen scanners, so it wouldn’t be surprising if Samsung stuck one on the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus.

More than just being in-screen though, this is rumored to be a third-generation ultrasonic scanner from Qualcomm, which should be more secure than most in-screen scanners, as many are optical, meaning they take a 2D scan of your print, while ultrasonic ones capture a 3D picture.

However, while it might gain an in-screen scanner, the Galaxy S10 Plus could lose the range’s iris scanner, according to multiple reports. Though face scanning is likely to remain.

And while the renders above are our best guess for the design of the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus so far, there are some other possibilities.

Samsung has also announced a screen with seemingly no notch, no significant bezel and no pinhole for the camera, so there’s a chance that will be used. You can see how that might look in the image below, though we’d take this picture with a huge side of salt – it’s one of the older Galaxy S10 leaks and another source has suggested it’s inaccurate.

Credit: @UniverseIce

We’ve also seen multiple images of a screen protector supposedly for the Galaxy S10. This is likely for the standard model rather than the S10 Plus, but the two phones will probably have a similar design and you can see here too that there’s seemingly a bezel-free look.

Though in the case of these screen protectors it’s always possible that they just didn’t bother making a cut-out for the camera, since the protector is transparent anyway.

Credit: @UniverseIce

Whatever the look of the phone, it’s sure to be different to the S9 range, as Samsung’s mobile division CEO has said to expect a “very significant” makeover.

There could also be some different colors on offer. As well as the ones pictured above, we’ve also heard rumors of grey, blue, red, green and yellow shades, while Samsung itself may have hinted at silver, green, black, blue and red shades in a presentation.

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus camera

Hottest leaks:

  • Three lenses on the back, two on the front
  • Could include a 16MP wide-angle, 13MP telephoto and 12MP standard lens
  • One lens might have a variable aperture
  • Could have up to six cameras

Multiple sources have claimed that the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus will have a triple-lens rear camera. More specifically, a report has said that the phone will have a 12MP f/1.5-f/2.4 variable aperture lens, a 16MP f/1.9 aperture lens with a 123-degree field of view, and a 13MP f/2.4 aperture lens.

Those specs have come up more than once, with another source saying the phone will have a 12MP wide-angle lens, a 16MP super wide-angle lens and a 13MP telephoto lens. Similarly, leaker Evan Blass has said that at least one S10 model will have a wide-angle lens, a standard lens and a telephoto lens.

The Galaxy S10 Plus is also thought to have a dual-lens front-facing camera. That’s a claim we’ve heard more than once.

That would make for five cameras total, but one of these reports even talks about a Samsung phone with six cameras, and the renders above also show four rear cameras (along with two on the front), so at the moment we’re not sure which is accurate.

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus power

Hottest leaks:

  • A Snapdragon 855 or Exynos 9820 chipset
  • Possibly up to 12GB of RAM and 1TB of storage

The exact specs of the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus will probably depend on what country you’re in, as Samsung typically gives US buyers a Snapdragon-powered handset and those in most other countries an Exynos one.

The Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus is thought to be no exception, and Samsung has announced the Exynos chip likely to be powering it in much of the world. Dubbed the Exynos 9820, this is an octa-core chipset built on an 8nm process, making it smaller than its 10nm predecessor.

It’s said to offer up to 20% better single-core performance, up to 15% better multi-core performance and up to 40% better power efficiency than the Exynos 9810 powering the Samsung Galaxy S9 range.

It also apparently delivers 10% less power consumption, and the GPU is said to provide up to 40% better performance or up to 35% better power efficiency.

Those are some impressive numbers and they don’t end there. The Exynos 9820 also supports mobile download speeds of up to 2Gbps, 8K video recording at up to 30fps and displays of up to 3840 x 2400 or 4096 x 2160. It also has a NPU (neural processing unit), which can apparently carry out AI tasks up to seven times faster than the previous Exynos chip.

Good as all that sounds though an early benchmark for the chip, seemingly running in a Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, revealed a score that’s lower than the iPhone XS and the rest of Apple’s latest handsets, though it was still higher than any current Android phone.

Those in the US might get a better chipset, as the recently announced Snapdragon 855 is almost certainly going to be used, and this is 7nm, making it even smaller and likely more efficient than the Exynos 9820.

This has also been subject to an early benchmark, and it scores not just higher than the Exynos 9820 but higher than any other handset, including Apple’s.

Qualcomm has said that the chipset will offer twice the performance of an unnamed 7nm rival – likely meaning Apple’s chip, but possibly referring to Huawei’s Kirin 980.

The Snapdragon 855 is also confirmed to support 5G and to have the world’s first computer vision image signal processor, which is a chip dedicated to processing photos and videos.

It’s additionally rumored to have three sets of cores – four 1.78GHz power-saving cores, three 2.42GHz high-end cores and one 2.84GHz ‘gold’ core. It also apparently has a dedicated NPU for AI tasks and offers all-round performance boosts, with a particular focus on gaming, augmented reality and photography.

As for RAM, one report puts that at up to 12GB, along with up to 1TB of storage, but in both cases that would be more than any other phone, so we’re not at all sure of that.

What we might get is an 8GB RAM chip that Samsung itself has announced and which can reduce power consumption by up to 30% and has a data rate that’s apparently 1.5 times as fast as current flagship RAM chips. Though notably this RAM hasn’t been linked specifically to the Galaxy S10 range just yet.

Storage could be faster too, as Samsung is set to start using UFS 3.0 storage early in 2019. This both takes up less space than current storage in phones and is up to two times faster.

If Samsung does use that then presumably the smallest storage size of the Galaxy S10 Plus will be 128GB or higher, up from 64GB in the Galaxy S9 Plus, as this UFS 3.0 storage starts at 128GB.

We have a good idea of the software that the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus will run too. It will use Android of course, almost certainly Android 9 Pie, but Samsung has announced a new One UI which is likely to be laid on top of that.

One UI is particularly focused on making it more comfortable to interact with large phones using one hand, which should be useful on Samsung’s plus-sized flagship.

  • The foldable Samsung Galaxy X could also land soon

These could be the first photos of the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus

Following hot on the heels of leaked renders showing the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, we may now have seen the first actual photos of the phone – although oddly two different devices are pictured.

There are two images to go on, one obtained by SlashGear from an anonymous source and the other shared on Weibo (a Chinese social network). 

You can see both below – both show a partial view of the back of a Samsung handset and both show three cameras, suggesting that this is probably the Galaxy S10 Plus rather than the standard Samsung Galaxy S10 (as most rumors point to the S10 having two rear cameras).

However, as you may notice, the cameras look different. In one image the camera block is black, while in the other it more or less matches the back of the phone, with a purple-looking shade. The lenses and sensors may also be different sizes, though this could just be down to the different angles they’re photographed at.

And that may mean that only one of these images is genuine – if either are. Or it could be that we’re actually looking at two different models. Further confusing matters is the fact that the previously leaked renders actually show four lenses on the back of the Galaxy S10 Plus – although that’s at odds with a number of other rumors.

One of these photos is not like the other. Credit: SlashGear / Weibo

Similar but suspect

Other than the color schemes, the rest of the design here looks similar, with both pictures showing a slightly curved, likely glass back, a frame that looks like it’s made of metal, a Samsung logo and a button on the right edge.

Other than the number of cameras, this is a look that matches up with the aforementioned renders, but we’d take both of these images with a huge dose of salt, as notwithstanding the camera inconsistencies both images come from untested sources and could easily be fake.

Still, we should have a better idea soon, as with the Samsung Galaxy S10 range likely landing at or around MWC 2019 in February we’d expect plenty more images and details to start leaking soon.

  • Qualcomm has announced the chip likely to power the S10 in the US

Via Android Community

This Marshall Bluetooth speaker is 50% off on Amazon

Here at TechRadar, our favorite Bluetooth speakers are the ones that both last a long time and can get loud enough to reveal all the details of our music. The Marshall Kilburn does both. You can’t go wrong buying a speaker from a renowned manufacturer like Marshall, after all.

If that wasn’t enough to sell you on it, Amazon is slashing the price by 50% for its 12 days of deals promotion. That means you can get this beefy Bluetooth speaker for just $149! That’s a great deal if we’ve ever seen one. 

At 9.5 x 5.5 x 5.5 inches and over 6 pounds, the Marshall Kilburn is one big bluetooth speaker, but with all that added size you’re getting 20 hours of battery life and sound that will knock your socks off. It’s not going to be the kind of speaker that you carry around in your backpack, but if you’re looking for a great speaker to bring to the beach, or some other outdoor event, you can’t go wrong. 

This deep discount on this Lenovo Smart Display finally makes it worth checking out

Smart displays made a splash this year with the first big products hitting the market, including the Lenovo Smart Display with Google Assistant. Today, you can pick up one of the larger 10-inch models for $159 – over 36% off the normal $249 price at Best Buy.

The smaller 8-inch model was a huge hit during Black Friday season, so it’s no surprise that they’re discounting the larger one now.

The Lenovo display works just like a voice assistant-equipped smart speaker – ask questions, voice commands – but the screen opens up much more usage. Put it in your kitchen to display recipes or watch media while cooking and cleaning, in your bathroom or living room.

The Lenovo Smart Display has a 10-inch, 1,920 x 1,200 LCD screen and 5MP front-facing camera for video chat. It runs Google Assistant, which listens in with the device’s dual two-microphone arrays.

  • Kit out your place with our list of the best smart home devices this year

5 things your next flagship Android phone will give you in 2019

A new year is almost upon us, and that means there’s a new top-end chipset that’s set to appear in a large majority of top-end Android phones.

The big talking point is the unavoidable topic of 5G, but that’s not all we’ve learnt about the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855. We’re expecting this chip in phones from the Samsung Galaxy S10 to the OnePlus 7, as well as the Google Pixel 4 and more.

Not all of these features are guaranteed for every flagship phone in 2019, though. Each manufacturer may decide to include certain features from the chipset, but this new tech from Qualcomm allows manufacturers the opportunity to include these features in their device.

Below you’ll find our selection of the best features you may get on your phone. If you want a full rundown of all the new features on the new chipset and therefore phones, you’ll find everything you need to know about the Snapdragon 855 here.

5G internet, finally

A note upfront: it’s going to be limited at first depending on where you live and what carrier or network you’re on, but 5G is finally on its way with the Snapdragon 855.

We know OnePlus will have the first 5G phone in Europe, and Samsung has confirmed the company is planning to release a 5G phone next year too. Any device that has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 inside will be able to use 5G, but not every phone will have it enabled.

What exactly is 5G? Essentially expect much faster internet in a jump that’s bigger than the speed boost you got switching from 3G to 4G. It’s going to be a slow process for networks and carriers across the world to adopt 5G, but it’s a step toward having superfast mobile internet on your phone.

A better in-screen fingerprint scanner 

Own a phone with an in-screen fingerprint scanner? If your fingers are wet or slightly oily you may find the scanner won’t work, and that’s something Qualcomm wants to fix with its next-gen scanner.

The new 3D Ultrasonic fingerprint scanner technology from Qualcomm is meant to be more accurate and will be capable of scanning your finger through water and a variety of different liquids.

It’ll hopefully stop that frustrating moment when you’re trying to unlock your phone in the rain, but the scanner just won’t work. It will also generally speed up how quickly you can unlock your device.

You can watch videos for longer

A new power saving mode within the Snapdragon 855 should allow for more efficient power consumption while watching video.

It’s a feature the company is calling Cinema Experience, and it works at lower power to mean playback of video will take up a lot less of your battery.

That should hopefully translate to more time watching Netflix or YouTube, but how manufacturers implement these changes will decide whether or not we’ll see any real life usage benefits.

You can be friends with Alexa and Google Assistant

The new chip allows phones to support two different wake words for voice assistants, too. That means your phone manufacturer may decide to support two different voice assistants at the same time.

That’s something some devices have enabled in the past, but it has been a lot more hassle to get working, since you essentially had to download separate apps and set them up yourself.

The system supports Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Baidu and Cortana – meaning it isn’t likely to work with Samsung’s Bixby voice assistant if it’s included on new Samsung devices.

Bokeh mode… but for video 

Last, but by no means least, is a big camera improvement. Bokeh or Portrait Mode on your phone is a popular effect that blurs the background of an image. Almost every flagship has it, but 2019 is when it’s going to get much better.

A new upgrade in the Snapdragon 855 brings a computer vision ISP. That uses artificial intelligence to allow for a bokeh mode in 4K HDR video. 

It will blur the background of your image in realtime and allow you to focus on the foreground within your video as well as your photos. We saw the feature demoed on stage at the Snapdragon Summit and it appeared to work fantastically well.

If it’ll work just like taking bokeh images in real-life scenarios remains to be seen, but it’s an innovative new way of shooting video that will allow you to create some incredible effects on your phone.

  • Everything you need to know about the Snapdragon 855