Is a rose gold Galaxy S8 in the works?

The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ may be getting a new colour iteration, at least if purported new press renders are to be believed.

Pictures of a rose gold S8 have appeared on the Chinese social network Weibo, via PriceRaja, showing off the 6.2-inch S8+ variant sporting a light rose gold finish.

It’s worth noting the original post on Weibo now seems to be unavailable, so take these renders with a pinch of salt.

However, it’s not uncommon for Samsung to release new colours of its flagship phones after the initial launch, with the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge receiving new colour options post-launch – Pink Gold being a highlight.

If these renders are real, then it seems Samsung has decided to change its colouring for the pink variants of its phonem with the S8 renders being a brighter model overall.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Bixby voice controls ‘weeks away’ as English proves taxing

Samsung’s personal assistant Bixby is still weeks away from arriving on the Galaxy S8 range, according to a Wall Street Journal report on Monday.

The voice-powered Siri-rival was scheduled to arrive alongside the flagship smartphones, but more than a month on, the English language version is nowhere to be seen.

Apparently, despite sounding like something a bloke from Leeds would name his dog, Bixby is still having a hard time with understanding spoken English.

The report says: “Recent internal tests of the service have revealed the voice-activated assistant is struggling to comprehend English syntax and grammar, one of the people said.”

According to the report the voice portion won’t be ready to roll out in the United States (and presumably in the UK) until “at least” late June.

Related: Galaxy S8 review

Other parts of the Bixby equation are out there, with the Vision image and text analysis tools already available in all markets. Voice, however, remains elusive.

A Samsung spokesperson told CNET: “Bixby Voice benefits from time to further enhance natural language understanding, and we are currently growing our user testing in the US to prepare for launch.”

The question is, are current Galaxy S8 adaptors really missing the presence of the voice-powered personal assistant?

Usually, when a hyped feature misses the launch window on a major device, companies are inundated by complaints by punters asking when it’ll show up.

In our experience, that hasn’t been the case this time around.

The Samsung Galaxy S9 rumour train is already building up a head of steam

The dust has only just settled on Samsung’s excellent Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, but the rumour mill has already started whirring concerning its successor.

Korean publication The Bell reports that work is already underway on what could well be the S9 (H/T SamMobile). It is claimed that the upcoming flagship will be codenamed ‘Star’, and ‘Star 2’ for the larger S9 Plus model.

The post adds that development is already ahead of schedule compared to previous years, although such rumours are common in the early development cycle of new products.

If true, though, this might suggest that ‘Star’ could land sooner than April 2018, which is when Samsung’s 2017 product release cycle indicates it’s likely to be released.

However, we should stress that these rumours can’t be confirmed and should naturally be taken with many pinches of salt.

Specific details on what Star will feature or what it might look like are thin on the ground, but we reckon it will be more of an incremental update focusing on improving the fingerprint scanner (an in-display reader has been mooted, potentially being debuted with the Note 8) and the already-beautiful Infinity Display.

Indeed, if the S9 is anything like its predecessor, then Samsung will again be looking to push the boundaries of what a premium handset can offer.

We certainly wouldn’t recommend holding off picking up the S8 or S8 Plus, though, as they’re two of the best phones you can buy right now, with our mobile editor Max Parker writing that the S8 is: “Easily the best phone around right now. It feels like the future.”

Is this Samsung’s first dual-camera Galaxy smartphone?

A supposed new Samsung leak appears to bolster rumours that the company is working on a phone with a dual camera.

Like all industries, the smartphone market is prone to trends. This year one of those prevailing trends is the dual camera. It’s undeniably en vogue, with major flagship phones like the iPhone 7 Plus, Huawei P10, and LG G6 all utilising the technology. But Samsung decided against the feature with its Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone this year.

However, we’ve heard persistent rumours that Samsung is going to trial the technology on an upcoming Galaxy C-series device. Excitingly, an image of what’s claimed to be the unannounced Samsung Galaxy C10 has turned up on Chinese social media site Weibo. What’s important here is that the image depicts the phone as having a dual camera module.

Now it has to be said that Weibo is a hotbed of leaks, but they’re not always accurate. After all, it’s basically China’s Twitter. However, given the consistency of Galaxy C10 leaks, we’d inclined to believe that Samsung is readying up a phone with a dual camera.

At the very least, we’d be very surprised if we didn’t see a dual camera phone from Samsung within the next year. It’s highly likely that the next round of iPhones will use the technology, and it’s also rumoured that the OnePlus 5 will feature it too. That’s why it’s been heavily tipped that the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 will make the switch towards the end of summer, giving users a reason to upgrade beyond the Galaxy S8.

Unfortunately, there’s no way of us verifying the legitimacy of this leak, so take it with due caution.

iPhone 8 might not be delayed until 2018 after all

Rumours that Apple’s iPhone 8 might by delayed until next year have been challenged by a new report from China.

It’s long been rumoured that Apple is going big this year; the 10th anniversary iPhone is tipped to pack all kinds of new features. But this impressive showing also led to rumours that the phone would be delayed on account of supply chain issues. For instance, it’s been claimed that yield for OLED displays – expected to be finally added to the iPhone this year – has been lower than expected.

According to China’s Economic Daily News (EDN) however, the iPhone won’t delayed at all. The publication alleges that production is on track, and that the first units will be available for sale as soon as October. Bear in mind, however, this this information can’t be verified, and may be inaccurate.

Previous reports had suggested that despite Apple’s plans to have phones ready by August or September, production had been delayed until the fourth quarter of 2017 – delaying sale until 2018. But the EDN report notes that key suppliers, including chipmaker TSMC, circuit board makers Zhen Ding Technology and Kinsus Interconnect Technology, and battery supplier Simplo Technology are all ready to ramp up iPhone parts in June.

Taiwan’s TSMC, which manufactures Apple chips, is expected to begin fabricating the wafers for Apple’s new A11 chip on June 10 according to the report, and is tipped to deliver the chips in high volume by the second half of July.

What’s more, assembly giants like Foxconn and Pegatron are said to be accelerating the recruitment and training of new workers ahead of iPhone 8 mass production.

The iPhone 8 is expected to arrive in September this year, and will mark the 10th anniversary of Apple smartphones. The working theory is that the iPhone 8 will be a special edition device that lands alongside two more conventional iPhone 7S devices.

Apple is tipped to introduce OLED displays and an all-screen front design, which would be a marked departure from previous iPhone handsets. For instance, OLED displays are much more efficient, as well as producing a better colour gamut and wider dynamic range, than conventional LCD panels. Samsung has been using OLED screens for years on its flagship Galaxy smartphones – including the new Galaxy S8. However, this situation was helped by the fact that Samsung manufactures the lion’s share of phone-sized OLED panels globally.

Unfortunately, Apple hasn’t actually confirmed any details about its plans for new smartphones, so take this report with due caution. We often hear a flurry of supply chain news ahead of official iPhone launches, but it’s not always correct.

WhatsApp is testing an ‘unsend’ feature for messages – report

Almost everyone will have sent a message they wished they could take back – but those days of WhatsApp regret could soon be over.

Whether it’s a drunken text to an ex, a typo-laden message to a colleague or client, or a saucy text to a family member that was meant for your partner, there’s no shortage of texts that we’d like to unsigned. Fortunately, the latest rumour is that WhatsApp is working on exactly that feature.

According to WABetaInfo, a Twitter feed that reports news about WhatsApp updates, the hugely popular messaging app will soon get a “recall” option. The site details how several names for the feature have been tested, including “unsend” and “revoke”.

Apparently the icon is already available in the WhatsApp beta for Android 2.17.171, but it’s disabled by default. WABetaInfo also suggests that Recall will be available on the iOS beta with the next update.

The feature seemingly allows users to recall/unsend a message that’s been delivered to another user. Right now, there’s no way of scrapping a sent message once it’s arrived on someone else’s phone.

But it wouldn’t be a huge surprise for WhatsApp to add such a feature. Facebook owns both WhatsApp and Instagram, the latter of which already has an unsend option for direct messages. There’s no reason why the same basic idea couldn’t be ported over to WhatsApp too.

However, don’t forget that just because a feature is being tested doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed to make it to the live version of software. It’s entirely possible that WhatsApp will never get a proper recall feature, and we’ll be resigned to a life of actually thinking about what we type before we hit send. The horror…

WhatsApp launched in January 2009, and now serves over one billion users globally. The company was bought out by Facebook in February 2014 for the huge sum of $19.3 billion.

Samsung is reportedly facing supply issues with its 6GB RAM Galaxy S8+

A new report claims Samsung is facing supply issues with its Galaxy S8+ model that comes with 6GB of RAM, as the number of pre-ordered Galaxy S8 and S8+ handsets drops after two days of official services in Korea.

According to a ZDNet report, the number of Samsung’s phones that started service on Wednesday dropped to 63,400 from 210,900 on Tuesday.

Telco sources apparently revealed to the site that the problem stems from the 6GB RAM Galaxy S8+ facing supply issues, following Samsung’s announcement that the phone could arrive late for some that pre-ordered.

The company begun shipping phones on Tuesday, though official sales start on Friday, to customers in South Korea, with more than a million pre-orders placed for the latest flagship phone.

In the UK, customers will have to wait until April 28 for the phone to arrive, but it’s already proving incredibly popular in Korea, with five times the amount of pre-orders racked up by last year’s Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge.

Samsung is expected to replenish its stock of 6GB RAM Galaxy S8+ models in the coming week, so the delay shouldn’t be too big of an issue.

Orders should continue to ship on a daily basis according to reports, as Samsung attempts to deal with reports of red-tinted screens on the Galaxy S8.

Some early adopters in Korea begun complaining of reddish tones within the AMOLED display during normal use, forcing Samsung to acknowledge the issue.

The company says the red tint is a natural part of the ‘adoptive display’ and can be easily changed by opening the phone’s display settings and going to Screen Mode>Color balance.

Display niggles aside, the phone looks to set to be one of the most popular handsets of 2017, and impressed us to the point we concluded: “Easily the best phone around right now. The Galaxy S8 feels like the future.”

Google Chrome could soon get native ad blocker

Ad-blocking could soon come as standard in the mobile and desktop versions of Google’s Chrome browser according to a new report.

Sources told the Wall Street Journal the company has been working on a native ad-blocker that would be turned on by default within Chrome.

According to the “people familiar with the company’s plans,” Google’s own ad-blocker would filter out only certain online adverts – specifically those that have been identified as potentially providing a “bad experience” for users.

At this point, Google hasn’t commented on the claims, and the information is far from verified, but the sources claim we could get an official announcement within weeks.

However, the company is also said to still be working on the project, and could decide to shelve it altogether if the last few issues can’t be addressed.

If the feature does go live, Chrome’s native ad-blocker could, it’s claimed, block all ads on a site that has been identified as having just one or a handful of inappropriate ads.

It would mean sites would have to ensure all promotions on its pages adhered to a set of standards, likely to be based on the Coalition for Better Ads’ recent list of ad standards.

As the WSJ reports, ad-blocking has been taken up by 26% of US users on desktop devices, as preventing against unwanted adverts becomes increasingly popular.

Its sources claimed this latest move from Google is designed to prevent further growth of third-party ad-blocking tools and give Google more control over the ad-blocking process.

A Google spokesperson told CNET “we do not comment on rumour or speculation,” adding: “We’ve been working closely with the Coalition for Better Ads and industry trades to explore a multitude of ways Google and other members of the Coalition could support the Better Ads Standards.”

For now then, we’re unsure as to whether Google is indeed developing its own ad-blocking tech for Chrome, and if so, when it will arrive. But we’re expecting to hear more very soon so stay tuned.

Xiaomi Mi6 takes on Galaxy S8 with supercharged processor

Chinese giant Xiaomi introduced a new smartphone during a press conference in Beijing – will meet with Xiaomi Mi6.

Despite the fact that Xiaomi has been successful in the world since the launch of its first smartphone in 2011. Now Xiaomi, one of the largest handset manufacturers in the world, is battling with such giants as Samsung and Apple, for the top five sales Ratings around the world. That’s why you probably need to take care of the company’s latest flagship phone, especially given its power plant specification and favorable prices.

Xiaomi Mi6 has a chip Snapdragon 835 from Qualcomm, which is only on a few phones. This means that the phone uses a highly efficient 10-nm processor; In the new version of Galaxy S8 from Samsung, for reference.

But the phone also has 6 GB of RAM, a 12-megapixel dual-camera system and a significant 3,350 mAh battery. The screen has a size of 5.15 inches and has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, which corresponds to the selected logo at 428 pixels per inch. There are 32 GB, 64 GB and 128 GB of disk space, and there is a front fingerprint sensor for download.

You can get the phone in various colors, including: silver, gray, gold, pink gold and purple. When it goes on sale (on an unspecified date), the phone will cost 2499 yuan for the base model – it’s around £ 285 / $ 365. This is a real deal compared to the starting price of the Galaxy S8 at 689 pounds. Unfortunately, There is no guarantee that the Xiaomi Mi6 will ever get to the British or American shores, so do not expect.

We introduced the Xiaomi Mi5 – the predecessor of this new phone – a respectable 4/5 rating in our review, praising the attractive phone design, high-end specifications, impressive screen, fast and detailed camera and cheap price.

Samsung Galaxy S8 loses out to Apple’s iPhone 7 for repairability

With every major smartphone release comes the inevitable iFixit teardown report, detailing how repairable (or not) your blower is. So how did the new Samsung Galaxy S8 fare?

The tinkerers at iFixit have finished cracking open the Galaxy S8 and have published their final findings about the repairability of Samsung’s latest flagship. Unfortunately it’s bad news, as the phone scored a meagre 4/10, with 10 being the easiest to repair.

So what went wrong? Well, while the battery can be replaced, tough adhesive and a glued-on rear panel makes it “unnecessarily difficult”, according to the report.

Then there are the front and back glass panels, which “double the crackability”, combined with strong adhesive on both that “makes it tough to access the internals” for a quick repair job.

Finally, iFixit notes that the curved screen means that replacing the front glass without destroying the display is “extremely difficult”.

The good news is that Samsung has actually improved things since last year. After all, the Galaxy S7 scored an even less impressive 3/10 in the teardown. However, the Galaxy Note 7 did manage to match the Galaxy S8’s 4/10 – before it started exploding, mind.

However, Samsung will be sad to hear that Apple’s latest iPhone 7 massively outstripped the Galaxy S8 in terms of repairability. In iFixit’s teardown for the Apple flagship last year, the phone was awarded a respectable 7/10, with the only major concern being the need for four different types of screwdrivers during repair. This may come as a shock to some, as Apple is regularly stereotyped as building tough-to-repair devices.

In any case, the repairability of the Samsung Galaxy S8 is likely to be a minor concern for many users. We were extremely impressed by the handset, and awarded the phone a top 5/5 score in our full review. We praised the handset’s awesome display, futuristic design, and stunning camera. Here’s Mobile Editor Max Parker’s verdict:

“The Samsung Galaxy S8 is a new beginning for flagship phones. It’s a gorgeous sliver of tech that utilises its power for extending the experience beyond the 5.8-inchd display, but manages to still be a phone that’s easy to use.”

The Samsung Galaxy S8 started shipping out to pre-order customers on April 19, 2017, and officially goes on sale in stores later this month.