Top stories of 2019: Q4

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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 last installment where we look at the stories that shaped this year. Here are the top stories of Q1, Q2 and Q3.

We’ve now arrived at the final quarter of the year. There were a number of big stories in the months October, November and December, including many important phone announcements.

Top stories of 2019: Q3

Xiaomi unveiled its Apple Watch-esque Mi Watch with Google Wear OS in late October. It also detailed its next major software MIUI 11.

A few days later Xiaomi held two announcements of basically the same phone – the Mi CC9 Pro was introduced for the Chinese market and a day later, its global variant the Mi Note 10 debuted. The duo was quite a big deal thanks to its 108MP main camera, a Samsung-made sensor that combines 4 pixels into 1 to produce 27MP shots.

Xiaomi wasn’t done just yet, introducing the Redmi K30 and K30 5G with 120Hz refresh rate and 64MP main camera.

Microsoft tried its hand at foldables in early October, announcing the Surface Duo – a phone with two 5.6-inch screens that come together via old fashioned physical hinges. The phone will likely remain nothing more than a concept.

Oppo’s Realme sub-brand revealed its first true flagship in Q4. The Realme X2 Pro had a 90Hz screen refresh rate, 64MP main camera, 50W fast charging and a Snapdragon 855+.

The Samsung Galaxy S11-fever got going full steam in the later months of 2019 thanks to a bunch of leaks and rumors. The main talking point of Samsung’s future flagship series was the camera setup. Galaxy S11 is expected to bring a second generation of the 108MP sensor from the Mi Note 10 Pro and later it turned out that it will feature Nonacell 108MP sensor with 9-in-1 binning for a 12MP image with equivalent 2.4μm-sized pixels – that means huge pixels that collect more information and are better in low light. The Galaxy S11 lineup will also bring 48MP telephoto cameras.

The Galaxy S11, S11e and S11+ will arrive on February 11.

Samsung introduced the successors to the highly-popular Galaxy A50 and A70 – the Galaxy A51 and A71. Both have 32MP selfie cameras embedded into the screen, the Galaxy A51 has a 48MP main camera alongside a 12MP ultrawide, while the Galaxy A71 uses a 64MP snapper and offers a potent 4,500mAh battery with 25W fast charging.

There was an issue with the ultrasonic fingerprint scanners on the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note10 series, which allowed unregistered fingerprints to unlock the phones. Banks started to revoke access to Samsung’s biometric scanners but the issue was promptly fixed with a software update before things had gotten out of hand.

Motorola resurrected the iconic Razr with a new foldable display. The foldable Motorola Razr has a 6.2-inch Flex View screen that folds in on itself to produce a perfectly flat clamshell. The phone is nothing special in terms of specs, but even at $1,500 it’s likely to make it into a number of nostalgic pockets in 2020.

We saw the first renders of the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro, revealing punch-hole selfie snappers and quad cameras on the back. OnePlus also teased something called Concept One, which will make an appearance at CES 2020. Is it a foldable phone, truly wireless earphones? We don’t know.

Huawei closed out the year without official Google Play Services support and as such was relegated to mostly staying in its home market of China. Its Honor sub-brand introduced the capable V30 and V30 Pro and a couple of weeks later Huawei introduced the nova 6, nova 6 5G and 6 SE.

Sony announced the Xperia 8 with a 21:9 screen and Snapdragon 630 chip, that will be a Japan-exclusive for the nonce.

Google took the wraps off its Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. The pair premiered 90Hz screens and were the first Pixel phones to have a dual camera on the rear – a 2x telephoto that received more flak for not being an ultrawide that it got praise. They have since gone to market, but are hardly taking the world by storm.

Finally, Apple got into the noise-cancelling headphone market with the $249 AirPods Pro. As expected, the Pros dominated the Holiday sales and received many a raving review, so nice job, Apple!

That’s it for the top stories of the year. It was an eventful one with a lot of major milestones – the first foldable phones, the first great telephoto and ultrawide cameras on phones, a bunch of solutions that made notches obsolete – a lot of great innovation.

That’s also it for the 2010s as a decade. We have a look at the greatest, most influential devices during the past ten years, which you can check out here.

It makes us hyped for 2020 and all the great tech it will bring!

Xiaomi Mi Watch shown on video, will run MIUI for Watch

The first Mi branded smartwatch will be announced on November 5.


Xiaomi Mi Watch goes official with MIUI-skinned Wear OS

It runs on the Snapdragon Wear 3100 4G and has a beefy battery.


Redmi K30 appears in a hands-on video, will feature dual-frequency GPS

It’s arriving on December 10 with a Snapdragon 765G SoC and 5G support.


Here's a list of Xiaomi devices getting MIUI 11 Global Stable ROM, rollout begins October 22

Xiaomi says the actual dates of rollout may vary depending on their testing plan.


Redmi K30 and K30 5G arrive with 6.67

The K30 5G is powered by the Snapdragon 765G SoC while the non-5G variant has a Snapdragon 730G at the helm.


Xiaomi Mi Note 10's penta-camera setup detailed

It’s the global version of the Mi CC9 Pro which will be unveiled on November 5 in China.


Xiaomi Mi Note 10 is official: the 108MP penta-cam global version of Mi CC9 Pro

What might turn out to be the most capable cameraphone of 2019 got its global version.


Xiaomi Mi CC9 Pro is official with a 108 MP penta-camera

The device has a massive battery, runs on Snapdragon 730G.


Microsoft announces Surface Duo - a foldable Android phone with two screens

It’s an Android device has two 5.6” screens and bezels that seem to come straight out of 2012.


Realme X2 Pro coming soon with Snapdragon 855+ SoC, 64MP camera, and 20x Hybrid Zoom

It will be presented in Asia and Europe simultaneously.


The Realme X2 Pro brings 90Hz OLED display, S855+ chipset and 64MP quad cam with optical zoom

The phone features a 64MP wide camera, ultra wide cam with macro mode and a 2x tele camera. Also, it boasts 50W fast charging.


Google will require all devices launched after January 31, 2020 to run Android 10

OEMs will not get Google Mobile Services if they have an older OS version after that day.


Samsung Galaxy S11 to use second-gen 108 MP sensor

Samsung’s next flagship could use a second iteration of the 108 MP ISOCELL Bright HMX.


Samsung Galaxy A51 and Galaxy A71 announced: Infinity-O displays and L-shaped quad cameras

The A51 is powered by the Exynos 9611 SoC while the A71 has a Snapdragon 730 SoC under the hood.


Samsung Galaxy S11+ renders reveal punch hole display and a huge camera bump

It’s rumored to go official on February 11.


Samsung Galaxy S11 renders reveal rectangular main camera setup

The images suggest the selfie shooter will move to the center.


Samsung Galaxy S11 launch date, display, and camera details surface

It will arrive in February next year with a 108MP camera.


Banks around the world are removing support for the Galaxy S10 and Note10 from their apps

Several banks in the UK, China, Israel and South Korea have either completely removed support or just disabled the fingerprint reader login.


Samsung Galaxy S10 and Note10 receiving a fix for fingerprint flaw

The updates are currently seeding in South Korea and will be rolled out in other countries in 24 hours.


The new Motorola Razr is here with a 6.2

It has Snapdragon 710, one 16 MP camera and a 2,510 mAh non-removable battery.


After OnePlus 8, the OnePlus 8 Pro breaks cover with a punch-hole display and quad cameras

It looks similar to the OnePlus 8.


OnePlus 8 renders suggest hole-punch selfie cam; wireless charging rumored

The company’s OnePlus 7T isn’t even available yet.


Report: Apple will launch iPhone SE 2 with iPhone 8 design and A13 chipset

This lines up with a previous report about the same device, but we’ve been hearing this for a while now.


Sony Xperia 8 announced with 21:9 screen, Snapdragon 630 SoC and dual cameras

Sony’s latest midranger will likely remain exclusive to Japan.


Latest Google Camera mod enables Super Res Zoom and Astrophotography for Pixel and Pixel 2

Pixel 3 is the only one confirmed to officially get Astrophotography via a future update.


You can no longer install Google apps on the Mate 30 Pro

Long story short – it’s unsafe so Huawei and Google no longer allow it.


Qualcomm unveils new Snapdragon 865 and 765, announces 3D Sonic Max fingerprint scanner

The new in-display scanner can authenticate with two fingers.


Huawei nova 6 trio is here: punch hole displays, 40W fast charging

Huawei’s latest phones are following the punch hole trend.


Honor V30 and Honor V30 Pro come with 5G and 40MP triple camera

The Pro variant has 27 W wireless fast-charging and dual punch-hole design on the front.


Apple announces AirPods Pro, available for $249 starting October 30

Features in-ear design, active noise cancellation, water-resistance, wireless charging, and audio sharing.


Pixel 4 and 4 XL go official with 90Hz OLED screens and new telephoto cameras

The wide and tele cameras will be backed by new image processing hardware and software. An S855 chipset and a new Pixel core will do the processing.


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