JVCKenwood was a tad premature in announcing head units with wireless Android Auto given that phones weren't officially ready for it, but that support is finally here... more or less. Google has enabled cord-free Android Auto in vehicles that have an Android Auto Wireless-compatible infotainment system (built-in or aftermarket), but only if you have a relatively recent Google phone running Oreo – that means a Pixel, Pixel 2, Nexus 5X or Nexus 6P. Sorry, folks, your LG- or Samsung-branded phone will have to wait. You'll also need a USB cable for the initial setup, so don't leave the wire at home the first time around. Wireless, smartphone-based in-car interfaces have been slow in coming regardless of which smartphone you use. Apple's CarPlay has supported wireless connections for longer, but it's still not nearly as common as its wired counterpart. Still, this is an important step. Car manufacturers and electronics companies may be more likely to add wireless support knowing that there's a wider variety of compatible handsets.
One of the selling points of the Razer Phone is the fact that it comes with a 120Hz display, making the scrolling and watching videos on the screen a very pleasurable experience. We expect that it is possible that one day more phones will feature 120Hz displays, but as it turns out quite a number of them already so, or at least in secret.
According to the folks at XDA, they have discovered that a number of Sony Xperia phones actually come with 120Hz displays, except that they have yet to be enabled for whatever reason. It was initially rumored that the Sony Xperia XZ Premium came with such a display and it was recently confirmed through some digging around in the source code.
Despite having been released months ago, for some reason the Razer Phone has yet to receive its Android Oreo update. However we suppose better late than never because in a tweet by the company's account, they have confirmed that the Android Oreo update will be released for the handset in April 2018.
We should point out that Razer will be going straight to Android 8.1 Oreo versus Android 8.0 Oreo, which is good news since it means that users won't need to wait for the next Oreo update. There is no specific release date provided, but Razer estimates that it will most likely be arriving in mid or late April.
Facebook is currently in some pretty serious hot water with regards to its recent privacy scandal, but it looks like things are about to get worse. This is because according to a tweet by New Zealander Dylan McKay, it has been discovered that Facebook has been collecting data on your calls and text messages via Android devices for the past few years.
This has also been reported by other users and has also been verified by the folks at ArsTechnica. Note that Facebook doesn't actually know the contents of your phone calls or text messages, but rather the information is more along the lines of who you've contacted and when you have contacted, as reported by McKay who shared a log which showed the different times he contacted his partner's mom.
Google announced at the Mobile World Congress 2018 last month that it would expand Google Lens to all Android phones in the near future. Lens is a visual search tool that was previously available only on Google’s Pixel smartphones. Google is now rolling out this feature to all Android smartphones that have Google Photos installed.
Google Lens is powered by a computer vision system which lets users point their handset’s camera at an object and get information about it in real-time. The algorithm, powered by artificial intelligence, can recognize real-world items.
At MWC 2018 this week, HMD Global unveiled the Nokia 8 Sirocco and the Nokia 8110. If you were hoping to get your hands on either device, prepare to be disappointed because according to an interview with CNET, HMD's CEO and President Florian Seiche confirmed that Nokia phones will not be coming to the US this year.
According to Seiche, “Otherwise I would have mentioned it. It’s not a core focus for this year, but certainly it is on our road map.” He also added that there are plans to make Nokia one of the leading smartphone makers again in the next few years. “Our ambition is to become again one of the leading players, which means, top five or better in the next three to five years."
We already know that Sony will be at MWC 2018 and a recent teaser has confirmed that Sony will have a new phone that they will be unveiling. It has been largely speculated that this could be the Xperia XZ2, but now thanks to a bunch of benchmarks, it appears that Sony could have more than one handset to announce.
The names of the phones are unclear, but they have the model numbers H31XX, H41XX, and H42XX and one of the features that they all share, is that they will be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 chipset. It also appears that in terms of RAM, two of the models will come with 3GB, while the other will come with 4GB.
It seems that despite taking a short break from the mobile space, Nokia's brandpower might not have diminished all that much. According to a series of tweets by Counterpoint analyst Neil Shah, it appears that HMD Global managed to sell 4.4 million Nokia-branded smartphones in Q4 2017.
Unfortunately 4.4 million in the overall picture isn't a lot as it basically gives the company a 1% market share, and puts Nokia's brand in 11th place, just out of reach of the top 10 brands. However it seems that the amount of phones sold in Q4 2017 was good enough to beat out more established players and bigger brands, such as HTC, Sony, and Google.