ITy Bytes 7 April

Nokia X71 knocks the notch for a six – prefers Samsung O-hole

Nokia has voted that the divisive notch is out and the Samsung O-hole is in – at least in its new X71, a mid-range phone with decidedly premium range features and qualities. It is currently on its Japan website.

Now to be clear that model number may not be the same here (we suspect it will be 6.2)– it will launch in China on 30 April.

But it has a three rear camera setup (48/8/5MP) with 1.6um huge pixels and Zeiss optics; Qualcomm SD660 AIE; 6/128GB/microSD; Wi-Fi AC and BT 5.0 aptX; 3500mAh battery with USB-C 9V/2A (18W) fast charge; a 6.39-inch, 19.3:9, 2316 x 1080 IPS screen, 500 nits, 96% NTSC (93% S-T-B-R); and Pure Android 9.x – all for around $600.

I wish Nokia would stop making better and better phones. The new Nokia 7.1 and 8.1 are extraordinary already offering features way above the $499/699 price.

ITy Bytes 7 April

Apple Series-11 iPhones coming in September

Rumours are starting to flow about the series-11 due for launch in September. It appears, according to TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (who seems to be always right) to be more of the same – 6.1-inch LCD, 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch OLEDs with a 10-15% battery capacity increase, A12 Bionic chip and wireless, perhaps two-way, wireless charging. It still looks like a Lightning connector is still standard.

Apple asked users to call its X-series ‘10’ in commemoration of its ten years of iPhones. Instead, we called it X, XR, XS and XS Max.

Kuo says the number one thing 65% of Apple owners complain about is battery life followed by camera quality (54%), and phone appearance (mainly broken screens 28%). Little in series-11 will change that to much.

Other rumours seem to confirm that it won’t have 5G until the series-12 in 2020.

iMore said its more of the same given the lack of innovation we have seen in new iPads, MacBook’s and AirPods. Apple usually has a tick (update), tick (update), tock (new) cycle. If 8/X was a tock (new), XR/XS/Max a tick and now series-11 is a tick it will allow Apple to eke out every last cent of manufacturing efficiency. Let’s hope series 12 in late 2020 will be a tock!

A loss of momentum – lack of exciting new features – hurts phone sales. Apple really needs to step up to reverse its iPhone sales death slide particularly when Samsung and Huawei are battling it out for the number one spot. Oh, we forgot – iPhone is now a platform for feeding Apple apps and ‘+’ services – a kind of printer and ink situation.

ITy Bytes 7 April
Artists render only

Microsoft quietly adds 8th gen Intel Core and USB-C to Surface Book 2

Microsoft is another company that seems content with the ‘Ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” mantra as its Surface line becomes dated and outclassed by offerings from Dell, HP, Lenovo, Acer and ASUS. Still Surface was the original and the best – it is now for most purposes still very good – but not the best.

The Surface Book is almost unique in that it has a detachable tablet and a keyboard base that houses a second battery (total up to 17 hours) and an NVIDIA GPU (in i7).

Its Australian website shows the 13-inch in 8th Gen Core i5-8550U, and i7-8650U (with NVIDIA GTX 1050 GPU) and the top price for a 15-inch, i7 and 1TB of SSD is $4,849.

On the plus side, the new models have 2 x USB-A 3.1 gen 1 and in the tablet section 1 x USB-C 3.1 gen 1 (5Gbps) with USB Power Delivery 3.0. That means it will charge from the USB-C port as well as Microsoft’s proprietary Ribbon connector.

The problem is that other makers are now releasing the 9th generation Intel Core CPUs very soon and these will have Thunderbolt as well!