On Wednesday, TCL unveiled several replacement-level midrange phones, but we’re going to focus solely on its latest prototype. Dubbed the Fold ‘n Roll, it combines two mobile technologies that no one has figured out how to use very well.
The Fold ‘n Roll starts off as a fairly conventional-looking smartphone with a 6.87-inch display, but it unfolds Mate X-style into a small, squarish tablet with a screen that measures 8.85 inches diagonally. Then that screen can roll out even further from its housing, bringing its final size to a full 10 inches.
Is this concept feasible, or even at all necessary? The answer to that is unclear, and since it’s likely to go the way of TCL’s earlier tri-fold tablet prototype, we’ll probably never know.
— Richard Lawler
If you can afford one.
And talking of rollables, two years after its CES debut, LG’s OLED R TV is finally available in the US — or, at least, there’s now an Inquire to Buy button to the OLED R product page for US residents. There’s no mention of US pricing on the website, but in South Korea, it costs 100 million KRW. At the current exchange rate, that’s about $89,000.
Two years after its experiments began.
For Instagram’s latest test, users in the beta group will have the option to hide like counts from their own posts (so their followers won’t see them), or to hide like counts on posts from everyone else (effectively stripping like counts out of the feed entirely). Users can also keep likes appearing normally, which could be a response to the widespread criticism when Instagram briefly and “unintentionally” flipped the feature on for a lot more people last month.
It also includes some security fixes, so update ASAP.
In March, Google announced Chrome would default to HTTPS starting with version 90, saying it’s the most used protocol, improves privacy and security — wouldn’t want anyone spying on browsing habits without using the built-in FLoC technology to do it — and improves initial loading speed of sites that support it.
Now version 90 is here, and along with the HTTPS default, it also adds a new AV1 video encoder that could improve the quality of your video conferencing calls.
And I mean a literal — single — book.
Bang & Olufsen is known for unique designs in its audio gear. With its newest product, the company has taken inspiration from something that’s already on your shelves — a book. The Beosound Emerge is a slender smart speaker with all of the features and connectivity you could ask for, including Airplay 2 and Chromecast support. In true B&O fashion, the device is made with premium materials, like oak, knitted fabric and aluminum.
It’s also priced to match that new LG rollable OLED: The Beosound Emerge’s Gold Tone version is $899 (€749/£669) while the Black Anthracite model is $699 (€599/£539). Both will be available online and in B&O retail stores in some European markets on April 15th, with a global launch planned for this fall.
Lots of camera tricks.
Last year’s Xperia 1 II might have been a mobile photographer’s dream come true, but it was far from perfect — it didn’t have 5G in the US, to start with. While there’s an array of imaging sensors at play, the 12-megapixel telephoto camera might be the most impressive thing Sony pulled off this year.
The company claims the 1 III is the first phone in the world with “true” optical zoom — that is, it actually moves the telephoto lens elements inside the phone rather than just relying on digital zoom trickery. New to the Xperia 1 line this year is full-blown real-time object detection, which relies on that time-of-flight camera and some handy algorithms to better track subjects in motion. The big question remains: How much will Sony’s latest smartphone cost?
Lots of camera tricks.
The Sony A1 is the most powerful mirrorless camera ever built, and it should be for $6,500. It’s also an impressive demonstration of Sony’s tech prowess, giving us a taste of what’s to come with its future mirrorless lineup. But for $500, you could buy both Sony’s A7S III and an A7R IV. The camera is unashamedly aimed at professional shooters, but as Steve Dent explains, there’s enough 8K power to make high-res video a possibility, too.