Manufacturers are pushing the envelope to smarten up our products—whether those products need to be smart or not. Just because we can connect things to the Internet doesn’t mean we should. After visiting CES, it taught me that I don’t enjoy shouting at my appliances by a first name: “Alexa, brew my coffee,” “Alexa, buy me detergent,” “Alexa, bake the salmon.” It makes me feel like a lazy overlord—and I’m still not convinced of its wider usefulness. All the same, CES featured just that, and tons of other Alexa-powered products.
This week marks a decade since Steve Jobs walked onto a MacWorld stage and announced Apple’s newest product: the iPhone. What a presentation it was—the iPhone was a game changer. While Apple can’t take sole credit for the invention of the smartphone, modern phones owe a ton to that first little device.
LG made another phone that knocks repair out of the park. Earlier this year, the Korean electronics company impressed us with the LG G5—a unibody phone that has a user-replaceable battery and a modular design. Now, LG released another repairable phone: the V20, which could be your very accessible, non-exploding alternative to Samsung’s (discontinued) Galaxy Note7.
Apple is quietly killing off MagSafe in the name of a single standardized connector. #Donglelife jokes aside, you can now charge your new MacBooks from any one of the USB-C ports (only one at a time though). The one thing you can’t do anymore is trip over your charging cable.
Meizu drew a lot of design inspiration from Apple for the outside of the MX6 (right down to the two Pentalobe screws at the bottom), but is it the same story on the inside? Surprisingly, no. The MX6 sports several features and components that set it apart from any phone designed in Cupertino. Check out all the details on our blog.
You’ve probably heard by now that Samsung’s Note7 has been recalled because it has a startling propensity to burst into flames. The Korean company quickly started exchanging the recalled phones for “safe” phones. Except the replacement phones started exploding, too. Yesterday, the electronics giant told owners of both recalled and replacement units to power off their phones and stop using them. Check out our CEO Kyle Wiens’s editorial on the fiasco on Wired.
Good news for chronic phone fumblers: Apple’s newest iPhones are water resistant. The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus have an IP67 rating, which means they theoretically should survive at one meter underwater for up to half an hour. That’s good—because (as we often hear from community members) phones tumble into toilets water all the time. So, in the name of durability testing, we decided to test the limits of the iPhone 7’s water resistance. Time for an experiment.
Hot (pun intended) on the heels of the iPhone Touch Disease, Apple rival Samsung is experiencing a press blowup of their own. In case you hadn’t heard, at least 35 Samsung Galaxy Note7 batteries have spontaneously combusted. The most likely culprit is a bad batch of batteries that would only affect a small portion of the Note7 population, but Samsung has reacted with a global recall. Samsung’s willingness to recall rather than sweep the issue under the rug is refreshing—especially as counterpoint to Apple’s still unaddressed Touch Disease design flaw.
Microsolderer Jessa Jones can fix practically anything. But these days, she spends most of her time fixing just one thing. Because every single month, more and more iPhone 6 and (especially) 6 Plus devices show up at her shop with the same problem: a gray, flickering bar at the top of the display and an unresponsive touchscreen. And she’s not the only one. Repair pros all over the country are noticing the same trend. Here’s what we think is killing all those iPhones.
Samsung just launched their latest flagship phablet, the Galaxy Note7—skipping a generation to align the name with the rest of the Galaxy series. Rumor has it the Note7 is packed with cooler, newer features than its galactic cousins. And from the looks of the hardware, Samsung has been taking some impressive notes on smartphone trends.
As a teardown engineer at iFixit, it’s my job to be prepared for whatever Apple’s cooking up in Cupertino. So I’ve kept an eye on all those headphone jack rumors. Of course, we’ll know for sure if the headphone jack is gone when we get our hands on the iPhone 7 this fall. But for right now, everybody has an opinion. So here’s mine: Removing the headphone jack and consolidating its function into the Lightning port will lead to more broken Lightning ports.