New Sony Xperia ‘Sphinx’ smartphone could be announced soon

Sony’s presence in the smartphone industry has scaled back somewhat over the years, but it does not mean that the company has completely given up on mobile devices just yet. A recent sighting at XperiFirm, a third-party repository that hosts Xperia firmware, has just revealed a new Xperia phone that could be in the works.
The handset in question has the model number J8010 and is codenamed “Sphinx”. Apart from that, details about the phone are next to none, meaning that other than its name, we have no idea about what kind of specs the phone might be packing. It does, however, suggest that we could be getting close to some kind of announcement, possibly ahead of IFA 2019.
That being said, we have heard rumors that Sony has a new Xperia phone in the works that could be packing a whopping six cameras on its back. We’re not sure if that device and “Sphinx” have any relation, but to date that’s the only Sony smartphone we have heard could be in the works at the moment.
It is possible that “Sphinx” could a completely different handset, so we’ll just have to wait and see. In the meantime, IFA 2019 is scheduled to take place on the 6th of September, so we could learn more about the handset in the coming months leading up to the event.
Source: Xperia Blog

Samsung Galaxy Fold’s redesign is reportedly complete

When the Samsung Galaxy Fold was recalled to fix some of the durability issues in its design, it appeared that the redesign took longer than we thought. This resulted in carriers and retailers canceling pre-orders of the handset. For those who are still eagerly anticipating the release of the Galaxy Fold, there could be some good news on that front.
According to a report from Bloomberg, it looks like Samsung has apparently completed the redesign of the handset and in the final stages of getting ready for production of the phone for commercial use. Unfortunately, there is still no official date on when this redesigned Galaxy Fold will be released, but the good news is that at least we are now one step closer.
Back in June, Samsung Display VP Kim Seong-Cheol revealed that the handset is now ready for launch, but stopped short of actually mentioning a release date. This report seems to line up with Kim’s previous comments and hopefully, we’ll hear more in the next couple of weeks.
In the meantime, there have also been rumors suggesting that Samsung actually has a second-gen Galaxy Fold in the works and that it could launch this year as well, although we have to wonder if that might be a bit premature given that we still have no idea how the market will react to a foldable phone and if many are willing to pay the high prices just to own one.
Source: Bloomberg

Huawei still awaiting on greenlight to resume usage of Google Play services

Last week, a surprise announcement made by US President Donald Trump revealed that Huawei would once again be allowed to do business with US companies. This is great news for Huawei as it means that the future of their consumer products should be back to normal, but it looks like we might not be quite there yet.
According to a report from Reuters, it looks like Huawei is still awaiting on the greenlight from the US Department of Commerce on whether or not they can resume their usage of Google Play services, which is a critical part of Android. According to Tim Danks, Huawei vice president of risk management and partner relationsL
“We acknowledge President Trump’s comments related to Huawei over the weekend and will wait for guidance from the Department of Commerce but have nothing further to add at this time.”
For those unfamiliar, the ban that was placed on Huawei effectively cut them off from doing business with Google, which in turn meant that the company could no longer license Google Play services. Now that Huawei can do business with US companies again, Google included, in theory, it should mean that they should have no issues with accessing Google Play moving forwards.
At the same time, we should note that Huawei isn’t completely off the hook yet. This is because the company is still technically on the US Entity List. The only difference is that US companies will now have an easier time applying for permission to work with Huawei, but only in matters that do not involve products that could affect national security.
Source: Reuters

How to SIM unlock the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

The Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ are incredible phones. Based on who you ask, the two devices are arguably among the best smartphones ever built. The only problem you may have with your device is that you purchased it from your service provider to save a bit of money and now you’re stuck with a Galaxy S8 that you need to SIM unlock.
Typically, there are three ways you could go about SIM unlocking the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+. The first is pleading with your service provider for a free unlock code. If you don’t qualify for a free unlock code, you’ll likely have to purchase one from a third-party unlocking service. The third option would be to root your device and mess with the code. This option isn’t available yet since the phones are brand new, but if you do some searching you may find something interesting.
BEST SAMSUNG GALAXY S8 CASES
To make it easy, we’ve laid out step-by-step instructions below which walk you through Samsung Galaxy S8 SIM unlock process
Find your Samsung Galaxy S8’s IMEI number
To get things started, locate your phone’s unique IMEI number. The IMEI number will be used to order your Samsung Galaxy S8 unlock code or request it from your service provider.

Open the phone app on your Samsung Galaxy S8 and dial *#06#
The device’s 15-digit IMEI number will pop up on the display
Save the IMEI number for easy reference

Free Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+ SIM unlock

The cheapest way to get an unlock code for your new Samsung smartphone is to request one for your service provider. Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that they’ll give you one since they have quite a few stipulations which must be met. Generally, this means that your bills need to be paid on time, the account be older than 60-90 days and the phone you’re trying to unlock can’t be on a payment plan. If you think you meet those basic requirements, you should be entitled to a free unlock code.

Call the customer service line for your service provider
Kindly ask the rep for the free unlock code for your Galaxy S8 or S8+
Provide the service rep with the phone’s IMEI number
If you are approved, the unlock code will be sent to you by email in 2-5 days
To unlock the phone, remove the old SIM card and swap in another one from another carrier
When prompted, type in the phone’s unlock code

Paid Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+ SIM unlock
Getting the SIM unlock code for the Samsung Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8+ is typically faster (and easier) if you use an unlocking service. Most of them deliver the codes in a number a hours and offer a full refund if the code provided doesn’t work.
NOTE: If your Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+ was purchased from T-Mobile or Metro PCS, the basic paid service will not work. You will need to use the T-Mobile service listed at the bottom.

Go to Android SIM Unlock or another unlocking service website
Select the Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+
Enter your phone’s IMEI number that you located earlier
Enter your payment details to complete the payment process
The unlock code for your phone will be emailed to you in less than an hour
Remove the SIM card from your phone and insert a card from a different service provider
Type in the SIM unlock code when prompted

T-Mobile & Metro PCS Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+ SIM unlock
T-Mobile and Metro PCS use a proprietary app to unlock their phones, so you won’t be able to use a standard SIM unlock code for the Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+. The good news is that you can still pay to unlock devices purchased from T-Mobile or Metro PCS, but the process is slightly different. Android SIM Unlock offers unlocking services for the T-Mobile Unlock App and the Metro PCS Unlock app.
The instructions below walk you through the unlocking process using either app.

Find the T-Mobile Device Unlock or Metro PCS Device Unlock service for your Galaxy S8
Enter your phone’s IMEI number and complete the checkout process
The service can take 1-3 days to complete the unlock process
On your Galaxy S8, open the T-Mobile Device Unlock or Metro PCS Device Unlock app
First press Continue and then Permanent Unlock on the next screen
Once finished, reboot the phone to complete the unlock process

Hopefully, you can use one of these methods to SIM unlock your Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+. If you have any other suggestion on how to get an unlock code for Samsung’s 2017 flagship device, leave us a comment below.
 

HTC’s 2018 flagship finally receives its Android Pie update

The HTC U12+ is finally getting its update to Android Pie. For those keeping track, it’s bee over 10 months since Google released the final version of Android Pie. The rollout of the new update is currently available only to the HTC U12+ in Taiwan, but HTC is expected to get the update out the door for other regions within the next 2-4 weeks (hopefully).
HTC’s first Android Pie update was released a few weeks back for the HTC U11, but the company had to pull the update due to issues with the build. There’s still no indication as to when the company will have a fix in place and be able to continue the rollout to its 2017 flagship device.
As for the update itself, the Android 9 build weighs in at 1.06GB and comes with the usual features that we’ve seen in the same update to other Android devices. HTC hasn’t gone into much detail regarding the unique changes that they’ve made with Android Pie, but they did note that support for Google+ has been stripped out of BlinkFeed since Google’s social network is no more. Some users who have installed the update already have noticed that HTC did not include Android Pie’s navigational gestures. A bit disappointing since that’s one of the biggest changes that Google included in the Android 9 update. 
HTC hasn’t yet released a flagship smartphone in 2019. Rumor has it that the company is planning “something else” for later in the year.
EXCLUSIVE: No HTC U13 in 2019, expect ‘something else’
If you happen to own the Taiwanese version of the HTC U12+ and have not yet received the update on your device, go to Settings > System > About Phone > Software Updates > Check Now to manually ping HTC’s update servers.
Source: Reddit

How to SIM unlock the Samsung Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge

It’s still early in the year, but chances are that the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge will be the most popular devices of 2016. If you own one of the devices, there’s a good chance that you purchased it through your service provider to get a great deal on the phone or so that you could pay it off a little every month rather than pay full price on day one. Unfortunately, you now own a SIM locked Samsung Galaxy S7 which can’t be used on another service provider without being SIM unlocked first.
Getting a SIM unlock code for the Samsung Galaxy S7 or S7 edge can be fairly simple for those who live in Europe or Asia, but US service providers are making things a bit more complicated in an effort to retain their customers. There are a few service providers who still offer free SIM unlock codes to their customer, but you’ll likely have to purchase an unlock code from a third-party (Android SIM Unlock has codes for $20 to $35 each as of the time of this writing, but that’s likely to drop at some point in the near future) if you’re still making monthly payments or if the device is still under contract with your service provider.
BEST SAMSUNG GALAXY S7 CASES
Follow the instructions below to SIM unlock your Samsung Galaxy S7 or S7 edge. If you have any additional tips or tricks you’d like to share, please feel free to drop them in the comments below.

General Samsung Galaxy S7 SIM unlock instructions

Dial #06# from your phone to display the IMEI number
Request a SIM unlock code from your service provider or a third-party service like Android SIM Unlock
Once you receive your SIM unlock code, replace your service provider’s SIM card with one from another service provider
When prompted, enter the SIM unlock code provided

AT&T
Eligibility Requirements

Device’s service commitments and installment plans are completed, and all early termination fees are paid in full.
Device is not currently active on a different AT&T customer’s account.
Device must not be reported lost or stolen.
Device is not associated with fraudulent activity.

Free AT&T SIM unlock code
If you meet AT&T’s requirements, follow the instructions below to unlock your phone:

Dial #06# from your phone to display the IMEI number
Visit AT&T’s device unlock portal
Complete the SIM unlock request with your AT&T phone number, account holder’s name, phone model and IMEI number
Once the process is complete, you will be given an unlock code for your phone
Remove the SIM card from your phone and replace it with a SIM card from another service provider
When prompted, enter the SIM unlock code provided

Paid AT&T SIM Unlock code (third-party)
If you purchased your AT&T Samsung Galaxy S7 or S7 edge on AT&T’s payment plan or with a two-year contract, you likely will not qualify for a free SIM unlock code from AT&T. Here’s how you can get one without AT&T’s help:

Dial #06# from your phone to display the IMEI number
Visit Android SIM Unlock and select your model number
Enter your phone’s IMEI number and your payment information
Once you receive your SIM unlock code, replace the AT&T SIM card with one from another service provider
When prompted, enter the SIM unlock code provided

Sprint
Sprint is the most frustrating service provider to work with when it comes to SIM unlocking a phone. Since Sprint uses LTE, most devices sold by the service provider are capable of working on other GSM service providers. However, Sprint has removed the standard SIM unlocking mechanism from its phones and only allows devices to be unlocked through its system. While you can buy SIM unlock codes from third-party services, the code will do you no good since you cannot enter the unlock code into the phone.
Eligibility requirements

The device is Domestic/International SIM Unlock capable
The device must be or have been active on the Sprint network for a minimum of 50 days
The associated account is in good standing
The associated contract has been fulfilled or the device payment plan has been paid in full
The device has not been reported as lost or stolen, and not associated with fraudulent activity

Free Sprint SIM unlock

Dial #06# from your phone to display the IMEI number, write the number down on a piece of paper
Call Sprint customer service by dialing 1-866-866-7509
Request that your Samsung Galaxy S7 be SIM unlocked
NOTE: you must request a domestic or international SIM unlocking. If you request international, the phone will not work with a SIM card from another US service provider
If you meet all of Sprint’s eligibility requirements, your phone will be SIM unlocked within 1 to 48 hours.

Verizon
Congratulations, your Samsung Galaxy S7 is SIM unlocked right out of the box! When you insert a non-Verizon SIM card into your Verizon Samsung Galaxy S7, you will receive a message that you are using a non-Verizon SIM. That being said, the phone has no SIM restrictions which keep it from working on T-Mobile and AT&T’s networks.
T-Mobile (Device Unlock app)
The T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S7 can be SIM unlocked, but you will need to use the pre-installed T-Mobile Device Unlock app in order to do so. T-Mobile has created is own “user-friendly” unlocking experience within the app, disabling the usual unlock screen that appears when you insert a SIM card from another service provider into the phone. If you meet the following requirements, your T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S7 can be unlocked for free using the app.
Eligibility requirements

The device must be paid in full.
The device must have been active on the T-Mobile network for at least 40 days
The device must not be reported as lost, stolen or blocked to T-Mobile.
The account associated with the device must be in good standing. If the device is associated with a canceled account, the account balance must be zero, including all pending charges
The device must be paid in full.

Free T-Mobile SIM unlock code
If you meet T-Mobile’s requirements, follow the instructions below to unlock your phone:

Open the T-Mobile Device Unlock app on your phone (ensure a data connection is available)
Tap Continue > Permanent Unlock
Once the phone is unlocked, it will reboot

Paid T-Mobile SIM unlock code
Since most T-Mobile customers purchase their devices on a monthly payment plan, T-Mobile will now allow you to unlock the phone until it is paid in full. Fortunately, you are able to pay third-party services to SIM unlock the T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S7 through the T-Mobile Device Unlock app.

Dial #06# from your phone to display the IMEI number
From your phone or computer, go to Android SIM Unlock (or a similar service that can unlock T-Mobile Device Unlock devices)
Enter in your phone’s IMEI number, email and payment information
Unlock confirmation for your phone will be emailed to you within 1 to 3 days
Once confirmation is received, open the T-Mobile Device Unlock app on your phone (ensure a data connection is available)
Tap Continue > Permanent Unlock
Once the phone is unlocked, it will reboot

Metro PCS (Device Unlock app)
Since T-Mobile owns Metro PCS, it shouldn’t be surprising to hear that their Samsung Galaxy S7 sim unlocking requirements and processes are nearly identical. Metro PCS has the same eligibility requirements as T-Mobile and there’s also a Metro PCS version of the Device Unlock app that should be pre-installed on your phone.
Follow the instructions within the T-Mobile section to SIM unlock your Metro PCS-branded device. If you do need to pay to SIM unlock your phone, there is a Metro PCS unlocking service offered by Android SIM Unlock as well.
Enjoy your chain-free phones!

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 officially confirmed for August 7 launch

Are you looking forward to the Samsung Galaxy Note 10? If you are, you might have heard that the rumors are claiming that the handset will be officially announced on the 7th of August, or at least that’s what CNET’s sources were told when they first broke news of the upcoming launch.
It turns out that the rumors were spot on because Samsung has recently changed the cover photo on its Facebook page, where the company has confirmed that they will be hosting an Unpacked event on the 7th of August.

The image also shows the S Pen which pretty much leaves little to the imagination, although below the stylus there is a small circular camera cutout, which we’re not 100% sure what that means. Could it be in reference to the front-facing camera and the notch? Could it be related to the camera on the back?
So far, the rumors are claiming that just like the Samsung Galaxy S10, the Note 10 could be offered in multiple variants and models. There is said to be a Plus/Pro version that could be bigger, a 5G model, and also a model that might come with a quad camera setup on its back.
Either way, this is something that we’ll just have to wait and find out for ourselves, but if the Note 10 is a smartphone you’ve been waiting for, you’ll want to mark down the 7th of August on your calendar.
Source: Samsung

Alleged Huawei Mate 30 Pro leak reveals new camera cutout

Huawei is expected to launch the Mate 30 handsets later this year and now thanks to a leaked photo shared on Slashleaks, we have an idea of what to expect in terms of its camera design where it looks like Huawei could be adopting a circular cutout for its cameras.
This is somewhat significant because if you remember, Huawei was one of the first companies to adopt a square camera module on the back of their phones, like with the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro, so it is interesting to see them depart from such a design in favor of a circular cutout.

It is possible that Huawei might be trying to set themselves apart from both Apple and Google, both of whom are tipped to also sport square camera modules on the back. At this point in time, it is unclear what kind of cameras we might be able to expect from the Mate 30 or Mate 30 Pro, so we’ll just have to wait and see.
In the meantime, the rumors are claiming that the Mate 30 Pro could come with a 6.7-inch 90Hz display. It is also rumored to be powered by Huawei’s Kirin 985 chipset and also sport the HiSilicon Balong 5000 modem, meaning that the handset will support 5G connectivity.
Recently, a surprising reversal by US President Donald Trump has allowed Huawei to once again do business with US companies. Huawei will still remain on te US government’s Entity List, but the reversal means that it will be easier for US companies to apply for permission to do business with Huawei and vice versa.
Source: PhoneArena

Bizarre messages sent to OnePlus 7 Pro handsets undergoing investigation

Some OnePlus 7 Pro owners woke up today to multiple notifications on their phones from OnePlus. While manufacturers to use the push notification system at times to share important information, the messages in questions included Chiese characters and other random letters. Those venturous enough to click on the messages were then greeted with a “browser not found” error. 
In the confusion, some wondered if OnePlus has been hacked.

Did @oneplus just get hacked? What’s up with these push notifications? Anyone else? pic.twitter.com/0Kox7AKosd
— Nicole Scott in Berlin (@Nicole_Scooter) July 1, 2019

Fortunately, the bizarre messages were simply a mistake. OnePlus issues a statement on Twitter, claiming that the issue was caused by the OxygenOS team. SOmeone apparently set out a global notification to some OnePlus 7 Pro owners. It’s not clear how many messages were sent out, but our OnePlus 7 Pro did not receive the messages.
The company is currently investigating what happened and will share more details when they come to light. While the random messages may have simply been annoying, we’re hoping that OnePlus puts a few extra security measures in place to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

During an internal test, our OxygenOS team accidentally sent out a global push notification to some OnePlus 7 Pro owners. We would like to apologize for any difficulties, and assure you that our team is currently investigating the error. We’ll share more information soon.
— OnePlus (@oneplus) July 1, 2019

 

LG Stylo 5 has launched on Cricket Wireless

When it comes to smartphones that come with a stylus, you might probably think of the Samsung Galaxy Note series of handsets. If you’d rather not spend so much money on a high-end flagship like the Note 9, then you might be interested in checking out the recently-announced LG Stylo 5.
This is the successor to last year’s Stylo 4 and for the most part, it seems to be retaining the same features as its predecessor where the highlight of the phone is that it comes with a stylus of its own. With the stylus, users will be able to do things like Screen-off Memo that lets you take notes while the phone’s display is off.
There is also Pop Lens that lets users magnify text, and Draw Chat where users can enhance their text messages by adding drawings to it. As for its hardware specs, this is not the most powerful phone we’ve seen. It will come with a 6.2-inch 1080×2160 display and will be powered by an unknown octa-core processor.
It will also be accompanied by 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, a 13MP rear-facing camera, a fingerprint scanner, and a 3,500mAh battery. At the moment, the LG Stylo 5 is only available for purchase through Cricket Wireless where it will be priced at $229.99, so head on over to Cricket Wireless’ website if you’d like to check it out.
Source: PhoneArena