Posts with «smart phones» label

Sony Xperia 1 III review: Fine control for camera obsessives

The Xperia 1 III looks a lot like the smartphones that came before it. If it wasn’t for the matte finish, it would be almost identical to last year’s Xperia 1 II. Sony has stuck to its unusual elongated smartphone form factor while upgrading the screen itself, as well as the cameras.

Yet again, this phone is pitched at a particular kind of smartphone shopper. That’s no bad thing, especially in a time where most smartphones — if they don’t fold — lack anything particularly unique. At $1,300, the Xperia 1 III is also an expensive phone. That’s several hundred dollars more than an iPhone 13 Pro Max and creeping closer to prices typically held for Samsung’s flagship foldables. (Edit: Just as I wrapped up this review, Sony unveiled a new flagship smartphone, the Xperia Pro-1 with a bigger imaging sensor, several attachments and a $1,800 price tag.)

If you're tempted by the potential of unrivaled smartphone camera control — or just love the aesthetic of Sony’s hardware— there’s a lot to like here. 

Hardware

Mat Smith/Engadget

I’m not sure whether it’s the similarities with Sony’s camera series or simply how sleek and understated the Mk.III is, but I love how this phone looks. A black oblong is far from exotic, but it’s definitely attractive. And that’s despite the unusual screen ratio (21:9), which makes the device more elongated than pretty much all other smartphones. In addition, a new almost-matte finish adds to the premium feel, something the Xperia 1 III demands at this price.

The Mk.III lays claim to being the world’s first 4K phone with a 120Hz refresh rate. I’m splitting hairs here, but it’s 1644 x 3840 — so it’s not quite 4K like your TV would show, which would be 2160 x 3840. Predictably, everything on the screen looked incredibly crisp, and my interactions with the phone were also buttery smooth.

The 6.5-inch OLED display continues to show Sony’s obsession with displays, and given the specs, you’d expect it to look as good, if not better, than Samsung and Apple’s top devices. If you decide to switch the high refresh rate on, the Xperia won’t dynamically change refresh rates to maximize battery life. There are a lot of times when you’re simply looking at the screen that you don’t need 120Hz refresh rates.

Whether it’s Samsung’s Galaxy S 21 and its dynamic refresh rates, or the iPhone 13 Pro’s ProMotion, both of those phones flit between refresh rates as needed, reducing the toll on the battery. Unfortunately, once set, the Xperia 1 III’s screen stays at 120Hz.

The phone houses front-facing stereo speakers, which sound good. That’s still a rarity for smartphones. As you might expect from Sony, there’s support for nearly all the cutting-edge audio formats, including its own 360 Reality Audio, Hi-Resolution audio, and Dolby Atmos.

You’ll have to figure out which apps and services offer these upgraded audio experiences, as it’s still a labyrinth of discovering out exactly how to play the highest-quality music files. On that subject, Sony is clinging onto the 3.5mm audio jack for one more year.

Mat Smith/Engadget

There’s a fingerprint sensor built into the phone’s power button on the right edge of the phone, a volume rocker, a two-stage camera shutter button and then yet another button, just because Sony could. It summons the Google Assistant but sadly can’t be assigned to other (more useful functions). In the early stages of using the phone, I’d often press the wrong one, power up the screen instead of launching the camera. Sometimes, I’d do the reverse.

Four buttons on one side is too many and while I eventually got used to it, a dedicated voice assistant button seems entirely redundant.

I might love how the Mk. III looks, but that tall screen will be a struggle for some smaller hands. I find it a bit of a reach for icons at the top of the screen, and drop-down menus usually demand two hands. This form-factor does feel more comfortable in my hands, though, and slides into pockets easier than Apple’s bigger Pro phones, or the Pixel 4a 5G.

Rounding out the list of specs you’d expect to see in a premium smartphone, the Xperia 1 III is running on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 chipset, with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. It is also a little bit more 5G-friendly, working this time around with T-Mobile and Verizon bands. However, there is no mmWave support nor will it work on AT&T’s 5G offering.

Sony has increased the battery size to 4,500mAh, making it notably bigger than its predecessor. Unfortunately, the Xperia 1 III struggles to last an entire day, if you keep the screen running at 120Hz, at least. On days of heavy use, I’d have to recharge the phone by early evening. After dropping the settings down from 120Hz I was typically getting just shy of a day and a half of use, which is a pretty standard figure for most high-end Android devices. The battery is big, yes, but so is the screen.

The cameras

Mat Smith/Engadget

It’s an open secret that Sony makes camera sensors for a lot of smartphone makers. But until recently, that didn’t translate to killer smartphone cameras for its own phones. So if the Xperia 1 II was Sony getting serious about its phone cameras, then the Xperia 1 III is Sony getting serious, focused and business-like, all at once.

As with the screen, Sony is taking its own approach with three 12-megapixel cameras of varying focal lengths. That includes a new telephoto lens that can switch between 70mm and 105mm equivalent zoom. Sony says the variable zoom lens helps it to focus faster, which was true in my experience, although I did find there was a little bit too much blur when using the optical zoom at its maximum.

With the Mk.III, Sony also added dual-phase-detection-autofocus pixels, which, paired with 20 frames per second shooting, should offer a better chance of catching crisp shots in hectic settings. You can tap to focus and the camera will track moving subjects, just like a digital camera touchscreen.

Sony has pulled together an intriguing mix of (relatively) low-megapixel sensors and infused it with what it’s learned from its camera series. Compared to what iPhones and Pixel phones do with computational photography and post-processing, Sony offers a more technical approach to capturing shots.

While testing out the phone, I leaned heavily on the “auto” shooting mode, which acts like any camera app on any smartphone. But like the Xperia 1 phones before it, the Mark III comes with a pretty expansive Photography Pro app. Beyond the basic mode, you can tinker with shutter speeds, ISO, color balance and pretty much anything else.

I’ll confess that I’m not the best photographer, and so anything that helps me get a better shot, whether that’s software assistance or higher light sensitivity, is appreciated. Outside of the automatic, simplified camera mode, the Xperia 1 III has a learning curve. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite match the experience of a Sony camera. I fumbled around for an aperture priority mode (so I could maximize bokeh effect at low f stops), but it doesn’t exist. I was tricked into thinking the Mk.III would work like a camera, but it’s still just a smartphone camera. You can adjust shooting speed and ISO, but not aperture. At times, I felt I wasn’t skilled enough to get the most from the Mk.III. I can take better photos on other flagship phones, but I think that’s due to my own photographic shortcomings.

Mat Smith/Engadget

The Xperia 1 III does great with face detection and often latches onto fast-moving people and pets. However, when you’re using the telephoto lens, the phone seems to hop between fore and background details a little too often. The usual curse of smartphone photography doesn’t escape Sony, either. Low light conditions will still mess up autofocus, no matter how smart Sony has made it. There’s no night shoot mode, either, which is curious in 2021.

The Xperia 1 III is excellent at ensuring faces in photos stay in focus. While most of the image is crisp, you can still clearly see the boat passengers even at this distance.
Mat Smith/Engadget

Video captured by the Mk.III was a pleasant surprise, whether shooting in 4K or 1080p. I took the phone with me during a trip to Amsterdam and recorded video both in daylight and night-time. The lack of rolling shutter, on a moving tram, and the accurate lighting as I recorded dark streets both impressed me. The footage wasn’t overly noisy or blurry either, which is something you often see from many smartphone cameras when they’re trying to accommodate a lack of light.

If you’re looking for finer control with video, Sony's Cinema Pro app returns again, offering equivalent pro controls but for video. You can select shooting modes like 10-bit color and high frame-rates while toying with built-in filters, shutter speed and even manual focus. You’ll need to come to Cinema Pro with at least a passing understanding of what all those things do. I found it a little too complicated, but at least the Mk.III offers enough screen space to tap between settings and adjust everything.

And a quick note on the front-facing camera: It’s terrible. Blurry, noisy and shockingly under-specced, at a time when we’re using selfie-cams more than ever. It’s an unusual camera miss for Sony.

Software 

Aside from the camera app, Sony has played it relatively safe in its customization of Android software in recent years. While there are a few homemade apps that you won’t touch (like the news feed one), there are some tricks you won’t find on other phones, like the ability to use Xperia 1 III as an external monitor. The feature works with cameras capable of USB Video Class (UVC) output (such as, conveniently, Sony’s Alpha camera series), but it’s very much a simple, expansive display for your camera. Having said that, this 6.5-inch 4K display is almost definitely better than whatever’s on the back of your camera.

Sony has also simplified connecting a PS4 DualShock controller to the Mk.III, with a prominent connection option within the settings app. You will probably need to pick up some kind of mount to keep the Xperia 1 III attached to your controller. Oddly, as of the time of writing, you can’t pair the PS5’s DualSense controller.

Wrap-up

Mat Smith/Engadget

The Xperia 1 III is not for everyone, but for devoted smartphone camera (or Sony) fans, it’s another intriguing device, despite the prohibitive price. I can’t unequivocally say it’s the best smartphone camera, but, like its predecessors, it does things its own way, whether that’s the camera array, deeply customizable camera app or the slick, sharp 4K 120Hz screen. Does anyone need a 4K phone screen? I’m not sure, but Sony makes a better argument for it with its external display app.

The Mk.III, with its almost matte finish, looks and feels more like Sony’s family of alpha cameras, or perhaps more accurately, its high-end RX point-and-shoots, and when most other phones are backed with glass or glossy plastic, I think the Xperia 1 III has its own unique charm. Barring the iffy selfie camera, the latest Xperia 1 doesn’t do anything poorly and if you have the patience and the skill to master it, the Mk.III can take some stunning shots. For a lot of people, however, letting Apple, Google or Samsung's software take up some of the slack will lead to better pictures, no matter how technically impressive Sony’s proposition is.

Samsung partners with Best Buy to offer in-store phone repairs across the US

If you’ve ever damaged your phone, you may have run into a situation where you found it difficult to find a place that can repair it. Samsung is trying to help owners of its flagship devices avoid that situation with a newly announced Best Buy partnership. Starting on October 26th, more than 100 Best Buy stores across the US will begin offering Galaxy S and Galaxy Note repairs. Then, early next month, those same locations will start repairing Samsung’s Galaxy Z foldables.

If you bring your phone into one of the stores, they’ll be able to help with front and back screen replacements, battery swaps as well as port and camera repairs. Best Buy’s Geek Squad will complete the repairs with parts and training provided by Samsung.

For the South Korean company, this partnership is all about expanding its repair footprint. The 100 Best Buy stores add to the more than 550 in-person authorized care locations the company already has in place across the US. They won’t help you if you own a more affordable Samsung device like the Galaxy A52 (and you may not like the idea of the Geek Squad handling your device), but it’s still a step in the right direction. Outside of Apple, most tech companies have struggled to make it easy for their customers to find in-person support, and that's something that can have a significant impact on someone's relationship with a brand.

Google details the Pixel 6's unique Tensor chip

Google was all too excited to unveil Tensor, its first system-on-a-chip, in August. We knew it would be powering the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, and much like Apple's A-series mobile chips, it was an attempt at tying together Google's software with some custom-tuned hardware. In particular, Google positioned Tensor as something of an AI powerhouse, giving its new phones better hardware for image processing and voice recognition. Now, we know exactly what makes Tensor tick.

Google's SoC is a 5nm eight-core design broken down into big, medium and small cores. Leading the way is two ARM Cortex-X1 cores running at 2.8GHz. That's notable since Qualcomm's flagship Snapdragon 888 chip, which powers Samsung's Galaxy S21 and many other high-end phones, only has a single X1 core. It'll be interesting to see just how much faster Tensor is in comparison. 

Below that, the SoC also features two Cortex A76 cores running at 2.25GHz, as well as four 1.8GHz A55 cores as the "small" bits. Thankfully, Google didn't skimp on graphics: the Tensor also has a Mali-G78 graphics core, which you'll also find on other flagship Android phones. 

All of the talk of custom hardware may bring to mind the ill-fated (but gloriously inventive) Moto X, Google's 2013-era attempt at building a smarter smartphone. It wasn't the most powerful mobile around, but its always-on voice commands were a decent step towards ambient computing, something Google is still focused on today with the Tensor chip. 

The new SoC allow the Pixel 6 to translate videos and messages quickly with its Live Translate feature, and it'll be smarter about recognizing your voice as well. That should be particularly helpful when it comes to using your voice to type, edit and send messages. Overall, the Tensor chip will perform around 80 percent faster than the Pixel 5, according to Google. That's a lofty figure, so we'll definitely be testing the Pixel 6 heavily to confirm those numbers.

Additionally, Google says Tensor also gives the Pixel 6 an extra layer of security. It'll work together with the Titan M2 chip in the phone to protect against malware and other potential attacks. That's a good step forward for Google, and we're hoping to see more security hardware in other Android phones down the line.

At this point, Tensor appears to offer everything we'd want in a new mobile chip: Fast speeds, and plenty of forward-thinking AI features. It could eventually make the Pixel phones Google's true iPhone equivalent: Flagship hardware that dances in concert with a custom mobile chip. (And if Google is truly successful, maybe Tensor could make its way over to devices from other companies.)

Developing...

Catch up on all the latest news from Google's Pixel 6 event!

The Morning After: Apple Watch Series 7, reviewed

Apple still dominates the world of wearables. Over the last year, research company Canalys noted that smartwatch sales have actually overtaken basic bands and now account for 62 percent of all wearable shipments. And Apple’s versions lays claim to just under a third of all smartwatches sold.

Engadget

That’s interesting because you need an iOS device to setup and use an Apple Watch, so the company has discounted all the Android phone users that might be interested in an Apple smartwatch. I’ve played with Fitbits, Samsung Galaxy Watches and the occasional Garmin, even, but nothing quite offers the capabilities and premium build-quality of an Apple Watch. (And this comes from someone who was averse to — and still bought — the first Apple smartwatch.)

So here we are for round 7. Apple’s Watch Series 7 goes on sale this Friday, and there seems to be a lot of interest in the bigger-screened watch, with pre-order screens soon showing early November delivery dates when Apple opened up orders. If you’ve already pre-ordered, well you probably don’t care about reviews! For the rest of us, Reviews Editor Cherlynn Low has put the wearable through its paces for the last week. We’ll take a closer look at her review below.

— Mat Smith

William Shatner becomes the oldest person to reach space

The Star Trek legend's Blue Origin flight went smoothly.

William Shatner has become the oldest person to fly to space. The 90-year-old Star Trek icon was one of four crew members aboard Blue Origin's NS-18 mission as it flew to an altitude of 66 miles. The sci-fi actor and random Engadget nemesis (there was a whole Twitter beef) edged out 82-year-old aviation pioneer Wally Funk, who set the previous age record just a few months ago.

It's also some good publicity for Blue Origin. Jeff Bezos' private spaceflight outfit is currently grappling with accusations of a toxic work environment, not to mention the fallout of its legal tussle with SpaceX over NASA's Moon mission contract.

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Apple Watch Series 7 review

It’s all about the screen

According to Cherlynn Low, just a little bit more screen makes a huge difference on a device this small. Though it’s otherwise not a huge upgrade over its predecessor, the Apple Watch Series 7’s bigger screen makes it more user-friendly than ever. It’s a solid choice for anyone new to smartwatches or who's upgrading from a much older device. If you’re a Series 6 owner, however, you could probably wait until the next update. And if you’re looking for substantial sleep tracking, the Apple Watch still won’t be the right wearable for you.

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Apple may be exploring ways to use AirPods as health devices

They could potentially take your temperature and even check your posture.

Oh, the other wearable. Wall Street Journal sources claim Apple is exploring multiple ways it can use AirPods as health devices. It might use the buds as hearing aids, but it could also use the motion sensors to correct your posture. A prototype would even include a thermometer to check your core body temperature.

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HTC Vive Flow headset images leak days before reported launch

The device will set you back $499, according to the leaked images.

Evleaks

HTC is expected to launch a new VR headset within the week, but some leaked images have spoiled the party. A collection of Vive Flow images made its way online, courtesy of Evleaks over on Twitter, before the launch event. Looking like a lightweight steampunk VR fantasy, the goggles appear to be more for media viewing and light gaming than more substantial (or business-centric) capabilities. The images suggest the Vive Flow will be available for pre-order starting on October 15th, with shipments going out in early November.

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Facebook’s latest effort to curtail leaks immediately leaked

The social network is trying to lock down access to sensitive info.

Facebook is ramping up its fight against leakers following the disclosures of whistleblower Frances Haugen. According to a report from The New York Times, Facebook is limiting access to some internal groups that deal with “sensitive” issues like safety and elections. The change, which was made to prevent further leaks, immediately leaked. Which is hilarious.

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Bowers & Wilkins' new Zeppelin speaker was built for streaming

It'll come with built-in Alexa and cost $799.

Bowers & Wilkins has launched a new version of its iconic Zeppelin speaker, and the company says it was reimagined for the streaming age. It describes the new Zeppelin as "smarter and more flexible" than its predecessors, with built-in support for Amazon's Alexa.

B&W plans to give it multi-room capability in early 2022 through a software update. Once that arrives, users will be able to link several Zeppelins together or link a Zeppelin with other B&W speakers in a multi-room environment. A chain of Zeppelin speakers isn’t a cheap endeavor, however. Each new speaker will cost $799.

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Fujifilm launches its first wide-format Instax Link smartphone printer

Print Polaroid-like snapshots from your smartphone.

Fujifilm

Fujifilm has revealed a new Instax printer that supports its wider, more Polaroid-like film. The Instax Link Wide Smartphone printer connects to your smartphone and prints out camera roll photos twice as wide as the credit-card-sized images from the original Instax mini Link printer. You can also directly transfer and print images from Fujifilm's X-S10 mirrorless camera.

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The biggest news stories you might have missed

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Bose's new rugged Bluetooth speaker floats in water

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'Call of Duty: Warzone' and 'Vanguard' anti-cheat updates include a kernel-level driver

Roland SP-404MKII sampler hands-on: Dragging an iconic sampler into the modern age

AMD's Radeon RX 6600 is a $329 GPU for 1080p gaming

Apple's iPhone 13 has a smaller notch and bigger battery

Apple isn't worried about 13 being an unlucky number. The company just unveiled its latest generation of smartphones, the iPhone 13, and is giving us the rundown on all the changes to this year's models right now. Unsurprisingly, it looks nearly identical to last year's iPhone 12, but our first glimpse of it showed a 20 percent smaller notch on the front for Face ID as well as a redesigned back camera module — but by and large, it's visually nearly identical to the iPhone 12.

More crucially, the iPhone 13 also has a bigger battery, something that should be welcome for both phones, particularly the iPhone 13 mini. Yep, Apple is keeping the smaller phone around this year. Both phones also have brighter displays this year, but Apple says most iPhone 13 mini users will get an extra 1.5 hours of usage, while the standard iPhone 13 will last 2.5 hours longer than the iPhone 12. Given that battery life was probably one of the biggest downsides of last year's iPhones, this should give users a little relief.

As usual, the new iPhone features Apple's latest A-series chip, and this year it's the A15 Bionic processor. It's a 5nm chip with nearly 15 billion transistors that Apple says is 50 percent faster than its competition.

As for the cameras, Apple has a new wide camera sensor and lens; Apple says its the largest camera sensor it has ever put into a dual-camera system on its phones, and it has bigger pixels than the prior phone. The iPhone 13 is also getting the sensor-shift optical image stabilization system that first came to the iPhone 12 Pro Max last year — having this system available on a much more inexpensive phone will be a nice boost. There's also a new ultra-wide camera sensor, as well.

Apple has made a video a big focus in recent years, and that's the case with the iPhone 13 as well. The company is showing off a new mode called "cinematic mode," but they haven't said exactly what that's all about yet. We did get to see it in action in a clip they showed, and it seems that it lets the camera move focus seamlessly between the foreground and background. As Apple says, focus transitions will move focus automatically and follow character's attention so that it knows where to direct your attention. Naturally, you can still tap to change focus at any time.

5G support for the iPhone 13 has been expanded, as well — the antenna system works on more carriers than ever. By the end of the year, Apple says 5G will work on 200 carriers in 60 countries.

As for pricing, Apple kept things the same this year: the iPhone 13 mini starts at $699, while the iPhone 13 starts at $799. Both phones come with 128GB of storage (doubled from a year ago), which is another major upgrade over last year's model. Somewhat surprisingly, Apple didn't say when the iPhone 13 would arrive — but maybe we'll hear about that after the iPhone 13 Pro update.

Follow all of the news from Apple’s iPhone event right here.

LG will reportedly sell iPhones in its South Korean stores

Rumors swirled last week that LG would start selling iPhones in some of its South Korean stores, since it has stopped producing its own smartphones,. Now, LG has confirmed that it will start selling iPhones and other Apple products next month, ZDNet has reported. 

LG and Samsung agreed in 2018 to only sell their own smartphones at their respective stores so they wouldn't compete with smaller phone distributors. As such, when LG started to consider selling iPhones, it reportedly faced resistance from a smartphone reseller trade organization. Now that it has stopped making its own phones, however, that group has reportedly signed a new contract that allows LG to sell phones from other manufacturers. 

On top of selling iPhones starting next month, LG will reportedly sell the Watch and other Apple products. The company has 400 stores in South Korea, so the move could provide a significant boost to Apple. It could be to the detriment of Apple's arch-rival Samsung, though, which has essentially had the local smartphone market to itself since LG dropped out. 

Apple supposedly started negotiating with LG to sell phones in its retail spaces after the Korean company announced it would end production of its own devices. Both Samsung and Apple have been offering to pay LG smartphone owners up to 150,000 won ($135) to trade in their phones. 

Corning's new Gorilla Glass protects smartphone cameras while letting in more light

Having conquered phone displays, Corning is bringing Gorilla Glass to handset cameras. The company's DX and DX+ range of damage-resistant glass will next be available for mobile camera lens covers, starting with Samsung devices. Alongside the added protection, Corning claims its tech can improve the optical performance of smartphone cameras. 

According to the company, DX glass essentially results in less light being reflected by the camera cover lens. Currently, even with the use of an anti-reflective coating, around 92 percent of transmitted light enters a smartphone camera. Corning says that with DX/DX+ on the outside a camera lens can capture 98 percent of light, helping to reduce optical issues like ghosting. These reflections are usually caused by a bright light source during daylight or in low-light conditions. Lens hoods and coatings applied to lens surfaces can help to suppress ghosting, also known as ghost reflections. 

Some smartphone makers are already working with specialist suppliers to address the problem. Both Sony and Vivo use a Zeiss coating to boost light transmission while reducing flares, ghosting and reflections on their high-end phones.

But, Corning also offers the added benefit of durability and has strong ties with the biggest smartphone makers in the field. The company says its DX glass is scratch resistant and that DX+ approaches the resistance of Sapphire, which is used in high-end watches thanks to its Grade 9 on the Mohs scale — a system for rating the hardness of various minerals. It could even allow you to finally ditch that smartphone case.

Gorilla Glass is now featured on 8 billion devices by more than 45 major brands, according to Corning. While Gorilla Glass DX is also available on more than 30 million wearables. Recognizing its integral role as a supplier, Apple poured $450 million into the company as part of two separate investments in 2017 and 2019.

Qualcomm and ASUS made a phone for Snapdragon Insiders

ASUS and Qualcomm have teamed up to make a smartphone that shows off some of the latter's mobile tech. Although the phone is ostensibly for the 1.6 million members of the Snapdragon Insiders program (which is a bit like Microsoft's Windows Insider early-access scheme), it'll be more broadly available by August.

The snappily named Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders harnesses Qualcomm's Snapdragon 888 5G chipset with a 2.84 GHz octa-core processor and the Adreno 660 GPU. It has what Qualcomm describes as "the most comprehensive support for all key 5G sub-6 and mmWave bands" of any device, along with WiFi 6 and WiFi 6E support with speeds of up to 3.6 Gbps. You'll get 16GB of LPDDR5 memory and 512GB of storage.

The 6.78-inch AMOLED display from Samsung has a 144 Hz refresh rate, which could help make it a solid gaming phone. The screen has up to 1,200 nits of brightness and it's HDR10 and HDR10+ certified. The phone has three rear cameras: a 64MP main lens, 12MP ultrawide camera and 8MP telephoto. The array can capture video in up to 8K. The device also has a 24MP front camera and AI auto-zoom.

Qualcomm says this is one of the first phones to support Snapdragon Sound, which has features including low Bluetooth latency, listening profiles, active noise cancellation (ANC) and high-resolution audio support up to 24-bit 96kHz. Along with stereo speakers, the phone comes with Master & Dynamic true wireless ANC earbuds and a charging case for them.

Qualcomm

There's also Qualcomm Quick Charge 5 support, which should charge the 4000mAh battery up to 70 percent of capacity in half an hour or fully in 52 minutes, according to the company. In addition, the phone has dual SIM slots and it runs on stock Android 11.

The device is effectively a showcase for Qualcomm's mobile tech. The company is facing some challenges on the mobile processor front, with many phone makers working on their own chips. Showing off its knowhow with its own smartphone seems like a solid idea for Qualcomm. That way, it can perhaps remind people what it can do.

The ASUS-designed Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders will initially be available in a few countries, including the US, UK, Japan and South Korea. It'll arrive in India later. You'll be able to buy the $1,499 device at ASUSTeK’s eShop and other retailers.