Top stories of 2019: Q3

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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 third of four installments where we look at the stories that shaped this year. Here are the top stories of Q1, Q2.

We’re now entering the fall flagship territory. The long and mostly uneventful summer has passed and the world of tech has finally begun picking up again.

This is the time when the biggest makers in the world unveil their most important flagships (or joint most important, for companies like Samsung).
Top stories of 2019: Q3
The first major second-half of the year flagship came out earlier than its rivals. Samsung’s Galaxy Note10+ was, for the first time, joined by a smaller Galaxy Note10 and they brought a number of improvements to the Note line.

There was a new design with thinner bezels and an in-display selfie camera, under display ultrasonic fingerprint scanner, a new gyro-sensitive S Pen, a new 12MP telephoto camera with a wider f/2.1 aperture and new 16MP ultrawide camera. The Note10 duo also received a slightly-faster 7nm Exynos 9825 chip, over the Galaxy S10’s 8nm 9820.

A month later Apple unveiled the iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max. The more-expensive iPhone XS and XS Max successors (the Pro ones, if clarification was needed) got a brighter telephoto and a completely new ultrawide cameras. The less-expensive iPhone 11 (the XR successor) got the same ultrawide but kept the oh-so-2016 IPS LCD.

Apple also dropped the Apple Watch Series 5, which was notable for being the first Apple smartwatch to have an always on screen.

Just after Apple, Huawei unveiled its Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro. They had Huawei’s new 40MP ultrawide and yes, it impressed us a lot here at HQ, but what’s more important is what the phones didn’t have – Google services. And it has remained so, which means that the Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro, despite having one of the clearest arguments for your cash, are basically a hard purchase outside China.

For a while it seemed that Huawei’s custom HongmengOS would be the replacement to Android, but then it turned out it wasn’t meant for smartphone use. Huawei calls it HarmonyOS in global markets, but it’s mostly meant for use in smart displays and IoT devices rather than phones.

As we now know Huawei’s market situation hasn’t been resolved throughout 2019 but we do hope the company figures things out in 2020. Huawei is an aggressive player that pushes its rivals to be better.

OnePlus divided its T announcements by a few weeks this year. The OnePlus 7T was unveiled at the end of September, while the OnePlus 7T Pro got unveiled a few weeks later in the beginning of October. The reason behind the shift in announcements seemingly was the US, which would get the OnePlus 7T, but not the 7T Pro (instead it still has the OnePlus 7 Pro).

The OnePlus 7T was a huge improvement over the OnePlus 7. It gained the regular + wide + tele camera, the 90Hz screen, the better haptics and a new design. OnePlus later added a 12GB+256GB McLaren edition of the 7T Pro, ending the year on a major high.

Xiaomi unveiled the Redmi Note 8 Pro and the Mi A3 alongside its new MIUI 11. But it made waves with the Mi Mix Alpha – its all-out flagship phone.

The Mi Mix Alpha has a unique OLED screen that wraps around one the sides of the phone and ends at the rear, resulting in a 180% screen to body ratio. Outside of the elite specs – Snapdragon 855+, 12GB of RAM, 108MP main camera – the Mi Mix Alpha has a higher price than both the Galaxy Fold and Mate X – CNY 19,999 or around $2,800/€2,500.

That’s it for Q3. Just one quarter to go now – make sure you don’t miss it.

iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max have all their specs seemingly leaked
The trio will get official at a special event on September 10.

Apple iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max get 12MP triple cameras, revamped Super Retina displays
The triple camera is calibrated at the factory. Impressively, the Apple A13 chipset can record video from all cameras simultaneously.

Apple iPhone 11 adds a new chipset and ultrawide camera
The cheapest new iPhone packs quite a few updates.

Apple Watch Series 5 official - now with an always-on display
Also, an all-day, battery life. Well, sort of.

Apple iPhone 11 Pro upgrade: the good, the bad and the ugly
What improvements come with Apple

Apple iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max announcement coverage wrap-up
A lot of work has gone into optimizing apps and UI for the foldable display form factor.

Apple iPhone 11 Pro vs. iPhone X camera compare
We figured you’ve already seen each and every iPhone 11 Pro vs. iPhone XS camera comparison, so we chose to go back in time an extra year and see how things have changed since the iPhone X.

Samsung Galaxy Note10 and Note10+ arrive with new S Pen, faster charging
The Note10+ features the best from Samsung, while the Note10 provides a compact alternative.

Samsung Galaxy Note10 series launches in over 70 countries
The availability will expand to around 130 markets by the beginning of next month.

Xiaomi Mi Mix Alpha debuts with wrap-around display, 108MP camera
The concept has 180% screen-to-body ratio, will cost CNY19,999 (that is $2,800).

Xiaomi Mi Mix Alpha to have waterfall display, screen to body ratio over 100%
The phone will debut next week alongside the Mi 9 Pro.

Redmi Note 8 Pro coming on August 29 with 64MP quad camera
It will be joined by the vanilla Note 8.

Redmi Note 8 Pro is officially the first smartphone with a 64 MP camera
It was announced alongside the affordable Redmi Note 8.

Huawei Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro unveiled, have three 40MP cameras between them
The Mate 30 Pro boasts a 40MP Super Sensing camera (wide) and a 40MP Movie camera (ultra wide).

Mate 30 Pro vs. iPhone 11 Pro vs. Galaxy Note10+ camera compare
Fall season flagship cameras compared.

Huawei Mate 30 and Mate X will ship without the Play Store and all other Google apps
A new report confirms rumors we first heard at the end of last month.

Huawei's HongmengOS is faster than Android and MacOS, has broader application
It will work for PCs, routers and even data centers.

Hongmeng OS is not for smartphones, Huawei VP confirms
Catherine Chen, board member and VP at Shenzhen confirmed the info at a media roundtable.

Huawei to launch a smartphone with HongMeng OS by the end of 2019
The phone will cost CNY2,000 ($285/€255) and will be a playground for future developers, wanting to join the ecosystem.

Huawei introduces HarmonyOS, its cross platform alternative operating system
An open-source OS capable of running on phones, wearables, PCs and even cars.

OnePlus 7T Pro unveiled with Snapdragon 855+, McLaren edition tags along
It’s relatively small as far as upgrades go. There’s also a McLaren Edition with sportier looks. Neither be available in the US.

MIUI 11 arrives with refined visuals, sounds, Mi Go and Mi Work suites
The open beta is coming on Friday while the stable build will be pushed out in mid-October.

OnePlus 7T, 7T Pro detailed specs and launch date surface
Both smartphones are expected to launch on October 10.

OnePlus 7T comes with a triple camera, 90Hz screen and S855+ chipset
The triple camera features a wide, ultra wide and tele lenses, but the setup is slightly different than the Pro.

Xiaomi Mi A3 unveiled with 720p+ OLED screen, S665 chipset, €250 price tag
The Mi A3 is based on the CC9e without any upgrades to the hardware. There’s no “Mi A3 Pro”.

Samsung Galaxy A50s and A30s arrive with new cameras, prettier rear panels
Samsung is updating its Galaxy A best-sellers.

Here are all the Samsung devices getting Android 10
As expected, the Galaxy S8-series and the Note8 are not on the list.


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