Even with all the uncertainty and chaos that the COVID-19 virus has caused all over the world, it’s still business as usual for some phone makers, especially those that have yet to announce their 2020 contenders. OnePlus may be stepping up its schedule a month early if rumors are correct but, unsurprisingly, almost everything about the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro has become common knowledge by…
After Apple wound up canceling its AirPower charging pad – the one that was supposed to charge an iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods all at once – other manufacturers have been stepping up to fill the gaps. Logitech is the latest company to throw its hat in the ring, today announcing the Powered Wireless Charging 3-in-1 dock.
While most of the smartphone market is obsessed with mobile cameras, it seems that Chinese phone makers are also having their own small rivalry. Xiaomi and OPPO, in particular, are seemingly in a race to launch the fastest charging technologies, both wired and wireless, inside their smartphones. Xiaomi definitely has definitely made big claims, especially with its 100W charging demonstration, and…
Wireless charging has finally become more accepted, partly thanks to Apple adopting the long-existing feature on its iPhone X generation onward. Despite the conveniences it offers, however, the technology is far from being worry-free and painless. In addition to slower charging rates, current wireless charging tech requires properly placing the device on top of the plate. As many smartphone…
Wireless headsets, those bulky over-the-ear cups you put on your head, are a dime a dozen these days. Almost all of them, however, aren’t completely wireless. When it comes to recharging the batteries that power their wireless audio connectivity, they suddenly become enslaved once more to the inescapable power cable. HyperX, however, wants to break free with the Cloud Flight S, the first wireless…
A set of new mophie brand “powerstation” universal Lightning connector USB chargers were revealed for release at Apple stores this week. In the mix are the powerstation, powerstation plus, and powerstation plus XL, each in a variety of new colors. Each of these new devices includes feature 18W fast charge to charge up the newest iPhone devices as quick as possible.
The least expensive way to purchase a “new” iPhone in 2020 will likely take the form of the device that’s leaked today. The images you’re about to see of this phone come from people who’ve attained CAD drawings of the iPhone – that means a few things. They likely know the position of the cameras, the microphones, the display, the buttons, and the overall size of each of these elements. They don’t…
Remember the AirPower, one of Apple’s embarrassments that will be forgotten in a few years? The failure of a first-party wireless charging mat opened the doors for accessory makers to try and fill in the gaping hole left by the canceled product. And to no one’s surprise, such “alternatives” follow the same formula but just give it a different spin. Like Satechi’s new Trio Wireless Charging Pad that will let you wirelessly charge one iPhone, one AirPods, and one Apple Watch and nothing more.
Apple’s wireless charging mat was admittedly innovative. While most wireless charges catered to just one device, the AirPower would have accommodated three devices. Not three iPhones, mind, but three things that go together, or at least Apple hopes you would buy them all.
Satechi’s new wireless charging pad follows that same concept with a slight twist. Thanks to a hinge mechanism, you can charge the Apple Watch in Nightstand mode so you can still have its functionality while charging. Of course, you can also lay it flat if you prefer not to be distracted or tempted to be distracted.
Of course, Satechi threw in some bonuses, like the single USB-C connection to power the pad. It has foreign object detection as well as over temperature protection to ensure the safety of both the pad and charging devices. It is also promised to be iPhone case-friendly, as long as the case doesn’t exceed 5 mm in thickness.
The Satechi Trio Wireless Charging Pad is available now from both the company’s online store and Amazon for $119.99. The pad is compatible with the iPhone 8 and later, the AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro, and Apple Watches. From January 7 through 10, early bird buyers can grab a $20 discount using the STCES2020 coupon on both stores.
Remember the AirPower, one of Apple’s embarrassments that will be forgotten in a few years? The failure of a first-party wireless charging mat opened the doors for accessory makers to try and fill in the gaping hole left by the canceled product.
It may have just announced its first diversion into a new market with the Soundform Elite Hi-Fi Smart Speaker + Wireless Charger but Belkin hasn’t forgotten about its core product line. In fact, it is flooding the CES 2020 showroom floor with chargers and power banks, figuratively, of course. Riding the wave of recent trends, almost all of Belkin’s new 2020 chargers are of the wireless variety and the one that doesn’t at least sport a USB-C connection to accommodate most of the latest smartphones, tablets, and even laptops.
That standout is the Boost Charge USB-C GaN Wall Chargers that come in 30W, 60W, and 68W models. These Gallium Nitride (GaN) chargers are powerful enough to power even a MacBook Pro while being compact and travel-friendly. Coming in April, the Boost Charge USB-C Wall Chargers will retail for $34.99 to $59.99.
Many smartphone users these days, however, might prefer the convenience of simply placing down their device and letting it charge without a second thought. Especially now that Apple’s iPhones also support Qi wireless charging as well. These chargers come in all shapes and sizes and even comes with a speaker on its back.
The Boost Charge 3 in 1 ($109.99) takes a page from the Apple AirPower book and offers a single surface to charge an iPhone, AirPods, and an Apple Watch. For those that don’t have Apple’s complete set, the Boost Charge Dual Wireless Charging pads ($49.99) has room for any combination of Android phones and iPhones. Of course, Belkin also has a Wireless Charger with a car vent mount ($49.99) and a portable wireless charger ($79.99) that doubles as a phone stand. And last but not the least, the Boost Charge Wireless Charing Stand + Speaker lets you listen to loud music even while charging.
Belkin is truly making an aggressive push in the accessory market this year, including not one but two double purpose speakers that moonlight as wireless chargers. It really has no choice but to throw everything at the wall and see which ones stick given the crowded consumer electronics accessories industry.
It may be talking a lot about its vision to expand to new frontiers like networking, AR, and IoT but it’s hard to deny that, at least for now, OPPO’s main breadwinner is its smartphone business. 5G may be at the center of the company’s plans but, until it becomes truly ubiquitous, consumers will experience the next-gen network standard primarily through smartphones. That’s why at its inaugural INNO DAY 2019 event, OPPO not only reminded media about the things it has already done for the mobile industry, it also showed off the innovations that will be coming to its smartphones starting as early as this month.
5G is almost like a great enabler that opens opportunities for new or improved experiences that weren’t possible or extremely difficult even with 4G. Going beyond mere download speeds and video streaming, the fast and low-latency 5G networks will be the factor that will make or break game streaming services. Although OPPO has not yet explicitly stated any plans in that direction, it did demonstrate the possibility of streaming AAA games from some remote cloud data center to your smartphone.
5G doesn’t come without costs, however, including the literal price that both manufacturers and especially consumers have to pay for a capability they might not be able to use just yet. That is why OPPO is banking on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 765 as a sort of middle ground that makes 5G available on mid-range to “premium” smartphones. The bulk of OPPO’s 2020 lineup may even use this chip, reserving the Snapdragon 865, which also comes with 5G to its highest-end flagships.
5G is also expected to impact battery life and, unfortunately, battery technology hasn’t been able to keep up with many of the developments in the smartphone industry. OPPO doesn’t seem to have an answer to that yet either but its stopgap solution is to shorten the charging time as much as possible. Its various VOOC technologies have already successfully accomplished that but there’s definitely a lot of room for more. Unfortunately, there are some cases that the company isn’t yet ready to launch a technology, like the 30W Wireless VOOC Flash Charge.
OPPO might not also be ready yet to go public with its foldable phone but it does have one display innovation that seems to be almost there. Both OPPO and Xiaomi have teased that elusive invisible in-screen camera but only OPPO was actually willing to let the public see it for the first time.
It’s not completely invisible, though, and you can see the square outline of the sensor in a close-up shot. Still, it’s less noticeable than the punch-hole cutouts that are sadly becoming en vogue. Given a few more iterations, perhaps OPPO will be able to truly make it disappear.
The company has already put a date on the announcement of the OPPO Reno 3 Pro that will mark its entry into the 5G race. Aside from the Snapdragon 765, OPPO is still being coy on which of its new technologies will make it to mid-range phone. We’ll know soon enough when the OPPO Reno 3 Pro and the OPPO Reno 3 debut on December 26 in China.