Top stories of 2019: Q2

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As the year winds down it’s a great time to reflect on the top stories of the past 12 months. This is the second of four installments where we look at the stories that shaped this year. Here are the top stories of Q1 in case you missed those.

It’s now time to look at the second quarter of 2019, which had a good amount of capable smartphones released and also a good amount of drama that is still not resolved.

Top stories of 2019: Q2

The reasonably-priced flagship segment got a kick in Q2 with the release of the ubiquitous OnePlus 7 and 7 Pro and the Redmi K20 and K20 Pro from Xiaomi.

OnePlus was first and its 7 Pro was more than just another never-settling flagship killer. This was OnePlus’ own premium phone and it had the Quad HD HDR10+ 90Hz curved display and triple camera to prove it.

The OnePlus 7 Pro was a true all-out effort but it didn’t mean OnePlus had given up on the reasonable flagship. It announced the OnePlus 7 alongside the Pro with the same Snapdragon 855 but no ultrawide or telephoto cameras.

Xiaomi laid its claim to the budget flagship slice with the Redmi K20 Pro – the spiritual successor to the Pocophone F1. Specs-wise it was more of a match for the OnePlus 7 than the Pro but had better battery life, faster charging and a better price.

And then there were the motorized cameras. First came the Samsung Galaxy A80 with an upward-moving flip-out camera module with a 48MP main camera and 8MP ultrawide. The notch-less 6.7-inch Super AMOLED screen was great and the device was no slouch thanks to a Snapdragon 730 and 8GB of RAM. Its 3,700mAh battery had a 90 hour endurance rating and was capable of 25W charging.

The Asus Zenfone 6 offered its own take on the flip-out camera a month later. Its 48MP regular and 13MP ultrawide module flipped outward from the rear. It was an amusing sight and and interesting way to avoid a notch. The Zenfone 6 was a proper flagship with a Snapdragon 855 chipset with up to 8GB of RAM. What made it stand out, however, was the 5,000mAh battery.

A true year-defining event happened in Q2 as the US put Huawei on its Entity list, effectively banning US companies from trading with it. That led to Google revoking Huawei’s license to its services, which resulted in a crippling blow to its 2019 smartphone plans. Without Google services on its future phones, Huawei would lose on lucrative markets like Europe and instead would need to rely solely on China.

Huawei has since gotten a temporary license to use US-originating technology but it has still not been able to get Google Services back onto its Android phones, which explains the limited release of its H2 flagship and generally lowering presence in the international smartphone market.

Qualcomm announced the upper-midrange Snapdragon 730 and 665, which would go on to power a lot of the most successful phones of the year.

It was during Q2 that we got our first whiff of the upcoming Galaxy Note10 thanks to renders and two screen protectors. The leaks hit quite close to home, revealing the centered selfie punch-hole camera and general squarish design.

Google released the Pixel 3a and 3a XL with the same great cameras as the Pixel 3 and 3 XL, 3.5mm headphone jacks and a $399 starting price that was hard to beat.

Xiaomi made its Mi Band 4 official with a larger, colored screen and NFC for contactless payments.

That’s it for Q2. Stick around as the recap of July, August and September is coming.

vivo unveils IQOO Space Knight Limited Edition

This edition comes with 12GB RAM and 256GB of storage.

Redmi K20 Pro arrives with Snapdragon 855 and 48 MP camera

Redmi K20 also makes an appearance with SD730; both phones to have sweet price tags.

OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro full specs sheet is out

The vanilla will have dual cameras, the Pro variant will have a triple setup.

OnePlus 7 hands-on review

OnePlus went all out on the Pro, but didn’t completely neglect the 7.

OnePlus 7 brings Snapdragon 855, 48MP main camera

If the OnePlus 7 Pro is too pricey, this offers the same performance (including UFS 3.0 storage), stereo speakers too.

OnePlus 7 Pro official with 48MP triple cam, 6.67

It comes with a pop-up selfie cam, HDR10+ QHD screen and stereo speakers.

Asus ZenFone 6 confirmed to ship with Snapdragon 855, 48MP camera, and a 5,000 mAh battery

It will flaunt a notchless display having a resolution of 2340 x 1080 pixels.

Asus Zenfone 6 is official: Snapdragon 855, rotating 48MP camera, 5,000mAh battery

Asus was careful with the compromises it made to build what some will consider a dream phone.

Samsung Galaxy A90 specs surface: 6.7-inch display and 48MP camera

The smartphone will come with a slider mechanism along with rotating cameras.

The Redmi K20 and K20 Pro will be known as Poco F2, Mi 9T in overseas markets

And we get confirmation regarding the Mi 9T branding as well (sort of).

Google suspends Huawei's Android license following a Trump order

Chip companies, including Intel and Qualcomm, also begin to cut supply to the Chinese maker.

Huawei ban - winners and losers

This affects more than just Huawei – consumers, Android, Google, even competitors will have to deal with the fallout from this.

A timeline of the Huawei ban: what happened so far and what to expect

In the short span of a week, key Huawei partners have cut ties with the company in what could be a devastating blow.

Huawei considers using Sailfish OS instead of its own OS

Reports claim that Huawei is already testing a Sailfish-based OS on its devices.

Redmi K20 AnTuTu score revealed, leaves competition in the dust

The “Demon King” will offer top-notch performance.

Early Mate 30 Pro specs - 6.7-inch screen, Kirin 985, 55W charging

Reverse wireless charging will be faster – 10W over 5W.

Asus Zenfone 6 is official: Snapdragon 855, rotating 48MP camera, 5,000mAh battery

Asus was careful with the compromises it made to build what some will consider a dream phone.

Samsung Galaxy A90 video shows a slider with a rotating camera

Once the slider goes up, the rear camera can be rotated 180° to become a selfie camera. 

Samsung Galaxy A80 official with rotating pop-up camera for 48MP selfies

The pop-up mechanism lifts the rear camera and rotates it to face forward. This leaves the 6.7″ AMOLED screen free of notches and holes.

AnTuTu tests Snapdragon 730 and 665, has good and bad news

The 730 is up to 25% faster than a 710, but the G version disappoints despite higher clocks. The 665, meanwhile, struggles to beat the old 660.

Qualcomm unveils 11nm Snapdragon 665, 8nm Snapdragon 730 and 730G with improved graphics

The 665 is the successor to the 660, while the 730 comes to replace the 710, presumably.

Samsung Galaxy Note10 Pro renders show off punch hole display and quad camera

It’s identical to the Galaxy Note10, except that it has a larger screen and an extra camera at the back.

Google Pixel 4 screen protector shows dual punch hole selfie camera

The punch hole design is coming to the flagship Pixels.

Huawei: the US is bullying us and we're working with Google to resolve the matter

However, Huawei doesn’t blame Google.

Xiaomi Mi Band 4 goes official with color display, voice assistant and NFC

The new Mi Band 4 brings plenty of new features at an affordable price.

Samsung Galaxy Note10 screen protectors show centered punch hole

The upcoming Galaxy Note will come in at least two sizes.

Trump confirms US companies will continue to sell to Huawei

The Chinese company might soon be officially taken off the entities list entirely as well.

Here's our best look yet at the Samsung Galaxy Note10

The renders confirm the rumors of Samsung ditching the headphone jack on the Galaxy Note10.

Samsung Galaxy A60 in new Peach Sea Salt color hits China

The exclusive summer color is now on sale for Chinese users.

Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL unveiled: same cameras, slower chipsets and $399 starting price

The 3.5mm audio jack makes a comeback!

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