After dropping iPhones into toilets and oceans, I’ve come to appreciate phones that don’t bankrupt me. The pre-paid TCL 40 XE 5G looks like a pricey smartphone and does a good job behaving like one too, but holey moley, the Android 13 phone is priced at $120, making it TCL’s most affordable 5G smartphone yet.
Jay Baruchel and Glenn Howerton star in this lighthearted dramatization of the rise and fall of Research in Motion, the company that created the Blackberry. What started as a pager on steroids became a worldwide phenomenon – then the business collapsed in a similarly spectacular fashion. In theaters 5.12.23.
Sony crammed the 1″ sensor from its RX100 VII camera into a smartphone for outstanding low light performance and bokeh. The main camera has a 24mm lens with f/2.0 and f/4.0 modes, flanked by 16mm ultrawide and 50mm telephoto cameras. It has a BIONZ X processor and can shoot up to 20 fps with auto-focus.
The first iPhone was released in 2007. But it was far from the first attempt to create a touchscreen smartphone. Slidebean explains how an Apple spin-off called General Magic helped lay the groundwork for modern smartphones back in 1994. While their ideas had promise, they made a few critical errors which did them in.
This set of modular blocks snaps onto your smartphone or tablet camera and turns it into a microscope. The kit includes a backlight, 60X, 150X, and 300X magnifiers, and a slide holder that can also hold liquid specimens. In addition, pre-packaged slides display information about the specimens using augmented reality tech.
Snapping selfies in a mirror lets you take advantage of the higher quality cameras on the back of your phone. The downside is that you get the phone in the shot. Unnecessary Inventions pokes fun at this silly pastime with a combination smartphone case and mirror so you can shoot mirror selfies anywhere you go.
Smartphone racing games often require tilting the screen to steer. While it’s not a bad control method, we prefer this clever design, which places the phone in a cradle that’s been rigged up to a metal frame and steering wheel. Though if your game requires acceleration or braking, that’s another problem.
We recently watched in amazement as RAY Studio converted a shaver into War Machine. In this video, the talented maker took a smartphone engineering prototype, broke it down into hundreds of individual components, then reassembled them to form an intricate dragon sculpture.
This aluminum gadget helps increase your productivity by letting you view your phone’s screen at the same time as your tablet or computer. It attaches to the back of your phone using a powerful magnet and sticks firmly to the back of your bigger screen. Its hinged design lets you view your phone in landscape or portrait modes.
GRID Studio turns electronic junk into art. To make their unique wall art, they carefully disassemble old smartphones, then meticulously place and glue their components into a shadowbox frame. They currently make versions based on the iPhone 3GS, 4S, and 5, as well as the Nokia E71, and BlackBerry Bold 9000.
LG’s unique smartphone has a main POLED 6.8″ display that can swivel 90º, revealing a second touchscreen that can be used to display another app or controls. Its front-facing camera hides in a pop-up module, so there’s no notch. It’s packed with HD cameras, and it offers a slick gimbal-style stabilization mode. More here.
Samsung’s Galaxy Note20 Ultra has a 6.9″ curved edge 120Hz 3088×1440 display, a 10mp selfie, 12mp ultra-wide, 108mp wide, and 12mp 50x zoom cameras. There’s a new pro video mode, and a much more responsive stylus. The smaller Note20 has a 6.7″ flat 60Hz 2400×1080 display, 64mp wide camera, and 30x max zoom.
Smartphones have some great cameras built into them, but they’re not usually as tweakable as a DSLR. The Pictar Pro case aims to close that gap, adding knobs for adjusting exposure and preset modes, along with a companion app that provides access to manual camera settings. It doubles as a wireless battery pack.
While crowdsourcing traffic data generally has improved the quality of navigation services, it’s also possible that the data could be manipulated. Berlin artist Simon Weckert shows how he was able to create non-existent traffic jams on Google Maps by walking through empty streets while pulling a wagon full of 99 cell phones.
Want to shoot ultra-wide angle images with your iPhone? This high-quality glass fisheye lens has an 8mm focal length, increasing the width of the standard camera up a massive 238° field of view. Attaches securely to Lemuro’s case (sold separately).
Motorola’s classic Razr flip phone is back. It features a foldable 6.2″ OLED display in its center, offering up an Android 9 UI on a gadget that folds down to half its height in your pocket. It also has a 2.7″ “Quick View” display when closed. It’s not the most advanced phone, but it’s some really slick design work. Exclusive to Verizon.
While name-brand phones keep getting thinner and more fragile, DOOGEE has gone against the grain with this ruggedized Android 9.0 model. It’s IP68 dropproof, waterproof, and dustproof, with protection from every side. It’s got a triple Sony AI rear camera, a 5.9″ 1080×2280 IPS display, Helio P70 CPU, and a huge 6300mAh battery.
LG’s versatile Android smartphone comes with a hinged case with a second screen, allowing not only for more content to be displayed, but the ability to use it as a keyboard or gamepad. It’s not as slick as a flexible screen, but it’s much cheaper, and likely to be more durable. Available now from AT&T and coming to Sprint.
The cameras in smartphones today all seem pretty good, but if you want the best possible visuals, drop by Ubergizmo, who recently launched a precise and easy-to-digest camera rating system that consistently evaluates their image quality and hardware so you can make the most informed buying decision.
This dual-purpose charging cable doubles as a battery pack for iOS devices. When plugged into a USB port or charger, power is passed through to your device, but when unplugged, it uses the battery pack, providing 2800 mAh of power. Save an extra 15% with code FIREWORK15 through 7/7/19 in The Awesomer Shop.
Our favorite phone case at the moment, the MagCase offers slimline and durable protection by wrapping your phone in resilient and lightweight woven Aramid fiber. Better yet, each case has embedded metal plates built in to adhere to a companion magnetic mount, and they don’t interfere with wireless charging.
The OnePlus 7 Pro has a 6.67″ 90Hz 1440p AMOLED display with nearly no bezel, an in-display fingerprint sensor, 6GB/8GB/12GB of RAM, 128GB or 256GB storage, a Snapdragon 855 CPU, a pop-up 16MP front camera, and three rear cameras. It also charges to 50% in just 20 minutes.