As we inch closer and closer to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, where we're expecting smartphones aplenty, the rumour engines are currently cranked to eleven. New small iPhone details? MicroSD-equipped Galaxy?! Surfacephone.com?!? A brief ratings refresher:
💩 = Likelihood is very high
💩💩 = Probably going to happen, but there's room for doubt
💩💩💩 = Could go either way
💩💩💩💩 = Most likely not, but anything is possible.
💩💩💩💩💩 = Hell no.
Let's see what we've got.
Mark Gurman, the leading leaker of all things Apple, spilled details this week about Apple's upcoming 4" iPhone. The original report saddled the 5se (ugh) with the A8 processor, an almost two-year-old chip found on the iPhone 6. Gurman quickly amended that rumour, saying the phone would actually have the A9 like the 6s and come in 16GB or 64GB variants.
Considering Gurman's history for being right about these types of thing, I'm going with a strong "most likely".
In 2013, HTC made the M7 and damn did it look great. Since then, the company's never been able recapture that same amount of WOW. Last year, HTC decided to go a completely different route and just make an iPhone look-alike with the A9. Rumours say that 2016's M10 will follow suit, looking like the Android cousin to Apple's iPhone.
If you like the A9, you'll love the M10.
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) January 26, 2016
Evan Blass is a trusted leaker on all things mobile, but especially HTC phones. You could take this tweet further with the Like/Love comparison. Perhaps the M10 will have more features, making it a better phone, or maybe it's even more of a iPhone rip off that the A9 that proceeded it.
Who knows, but it seems that HTC's 2016 designs future will come out of Cupertino.
One enterprising Redditor discovered that Surfacephone.com redirects to Microsoft's surface portal. That means the Surface Phone is real! But Microsoft also owns about 67,681 other domains including Surfacecar.com, and I don't think Microsoft is announcing an autonomous car any time soon.
Among lots of leaked info about the new Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, the rumour that Samsung would be bringing back expandable storage is among them. Considering the rumour's been around since November, and is stronger than ever, this looks destined to be so. However, a removable battery doesn't seem to be following suit. But new rumours suggest, at the very least, the new Galaxy will be getting a bigger battery, hopefully lessening the pangs of smartphone nostalgia.
According to The Information, Amazon is speaking with phone makers "at the factory level" about loading up phones with Amazon services -- basically creating a phone that looks like a Fire tablet. Sure! Why not!
In some ways, Amazon is in an enviable position. It can't fail as hard as it did with 2014's Fire Phone. Whether true or false, things are looking up!
The one thing you can never accuse LG of is getting lazy with design -- especially with its flagship smartphone, the G series. Whether it's moving the power button to the back or applying a slight curve, LG's always tried for a radically different design every year. So it should be no surprise that LG's going to do the same thing this year. Luckily, we already have a pretty good idea what else the phone will be packing.
Interestingly, the G5 may keep the removable battery feature but through a redesigned tray rather than a removable back plate. As far as size goes, it will remain pretty much the same as the G4, only varying in tenths of a millimetre. Luckily, we won't have to wait long for all the details since the G5 will probably be at the big smartphone party in Barcelona in less than a month.