Monthly Archive: December 2015

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Best upcoming phones 2017: UK release dates for all new smartphones launching next year

Those 2016 phones are old news. Sure, we’ve seen some fantastic handsets launch this past year (which I’ll get into later), but now’s the time to look to the future. What are the best smartphones launching in 2017?

Let’s gaze into that crystal ball and see which smartphones are launching next year. From the inevitable Samsung Galaxy S8 and iPhone 8/7s launches, there’s plenty to look forward to.

Find out the best smartphone in 2016[1]

Here are the best upcoming phones launching in 2017. Take a look at the end of this article for my 2016 smartphone year in review.

Upcoming smartphones for 2017: Predicted release dates

  • Samsung Galaxy S8 – March/April 2017?
  • HTC 2011 – March/April 2017?
  • LG G6 – April 2017?
  • OnePlus 4 – June 2017
  • iPhone 7s – September 2017?

Upcoming smartphones 2017: What’s coming next year?

Samsung Galaxy S8[2] – March/April 2017

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge curved display

Historically, Samsung has been the first out of the blocks with a new smartphone each year, and with the embarrassment of the Note 7 recall debacle, there’s no reason to think they won’t be keen to put that right with the Samsung Galaxy S8.

So, what can we expect from Samsung’s next flagship? Rumours abound that alongside the usual speed boost we’ll see an iPhone-style home button, a rear fingerprint sensor, and a screen resolution boost to put most TV sets to shame. Now 4K on a smartphone screen is overkill, but Samsung gets a pass if the benefits pass on to the Gear VR. For VR, the higher the resolution the better.

HTC 11 – March/April 2017

The HTC 10 was a wonderful handset that really put the Taiwanese firm back on the smartphone map. Very little is known about the HTC 11 as of yet, but given the company tends to work to a 12-month cycle, it seems likely that the follow-up will be with us in April 2017. And if it’s an improvement on the already brilliant HTC 10, then it’ll definitely be one to beat.

LG G6 – April 2017

LG G5 modules

LG gifted us with one of the most interesting handsets of 2016 – and it was pretty damned good to boot. A genuinely modular smartphone that allowed you to add in modules to modify performance. Lenovo did similar with the Moto Z later in the year, but it was LG who pulled the trick off first. 

Whether this modular approach will continue with the LG G6 is yet to be seen, given they didn’t end up making too many of them, but the Korean manufacturer remains one to watch. We’re likely six months away from an LG G6, in April 2017, but watch this space for some interesting innovation.

OnePlus 4 – June 2017 or later

If you’re only paying attention to one phone over the course of 2017, it probably makes sense to make it OnePlus. The OnePlus 3 ensured that pretty much every review I wrote this year finished with “…but it’s not as good/cheap as the OnePlus 3”. The cheap but super-spec smartphone has shaken the entire industry.

No doubt the OnePlus 4 will continue this trend, so keep an eye on the Chinese manufacturer’s next move. Although we’re unlikely to see what that next move is until next June.

iPhone 7s – September 2017

Yes, the iPhone 7 is only just out of the door, but this wouldn’t be a best upcoming smartphones article without acknowledging Apple’s likely next contribution. The iPhone 7s (Apple goes in two-year cycles, so the iPhone 8 won’t be with us until September 2018) will once again gain quite the speed boost, and it’s definitely about time the screen got some more love. Early rumours suggest it will be getting just that, in the form of an OLED display. There are also rumours about wireless charging, but as this has been whispered about for years, I’d take that with a small pinch of salt.

You can keep an eye on all the latest iPhone 7s rumours here[3]

Recently launched smartphones:

Google Pixel

After years of outsourcing its phone development to the likes of LG and Huawei, the big G has taken production in-house, and the result is the expensive but brilliant Google Pixel. Featuring the best smartphone camera we’ve seen, the Nexus killer has specs to put it at the top of the class for 2016, including a 2.15GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor, 4GB RAM and 32GB or 128GB of storage.

The price is a tough pill to swallow, mind. While the Google Nexus handsets prided themselves on affordability, Google is aiming the Pixel against Samsung and Apple with prices to match: the Pixel starts at £599, while the Pixel XL will set you back at least £719. 

Read our full review of the Google Pixel here[4]

Apple iPhone 7

Apple iPhone 7 review

Of course, if you like your expensive flagship smartphones Apple branded, there is only one choice in 2016: the iPhone 7. 

The phone is, of course, the fastest and slimmest iPhone yet, but something’s missing somehow – and it’s not just the headphone jack, which was lost to much grieving from customers around the world[5]. It just doesn’t feel like quite the generational leap we’re used to with a new Apple flagship, even if it is improved in every way. The price is also a tough pill to swallow: it’s up there with the Pixel in terms of expense, starting at £599.

Here’s our review of the iPhone 7[6] to help you decide if it’s for you or not.

OnePlus 3 

OnePlus has carved out an interesting niche for itself with the OnePlus 2[7] and OnePlus X[8], selling high-quality phones at much lower prices than you’d usually expect. It’s really outdone itself with the OnePlus 3, though, as this beautifully made smartphone offers the same amount of speed and power as its flagship rivals for almost half the price when buying SIM-free.

Armed with a Snapdragon 820 and a massive 6GB of RAM, the OnePlus 3 is one of the fastest smartphones you can buy today. Its 5.5in display might not have the same 2,560 x 1,440 resolution as other flagships, instead settling for a still perfectly respectable 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, but it still looks great, even if it is a tad oversaturated for our liking.

OnePlus 3

Combine that with 64GB of storage, a superfast fingerprint sensor and NFC support for Android Pay, and the OnePlus 3 is once again the bargain of the year. For our full and final verdict, read our full OnePlus 3 review[9] for all the latest details.

Moto G4 2016

The new Moto G4 is an absolute masterpiece. Offering mid-range specs at a budget price, the Moto G4 is the best bargain of the year, and firmly throws down the gauntlet to every other smartphone manufacturer in existence. It’s a little bigger than previous Moto Gs, as it has a 5.5in screen instead of just 5in, but its Full HD resolution, excellent 13-megapixel camera, superfast octa-core Snapdragon 617 chip and superb 3,000mAh battery put it leagues ahead of anything else in this price range. Read our full Moto G4 2016 review[10] for all the details. 

Moto G4 display

Sony Xperia X

Sony didn’t release the Xperia Z6, as expected, changing the name to the Xperia X instead. It has Sony’s build quality and the phone’s certainly fast, but it’s also relatively expensive and we weren’t fans of the camera. It’s a shame, as the Xperia X can’t compete with this best flagship phones from other manufacturers. Read our full Sony Xperia X review[11]

HTC 10

HTC’s new One M10 is a big design improvement over One M8 and One M9 models. It has better battery life, screen quality has been improved and the camera is better. In addition, performance is up there with the best of this year’s flagship handsets thanks to its Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset. The main problem is that this handset is more expensive than the LG G5 and Galaxy S7, and it’s camera still leaves something to be desired. For our full verdict, read our full HTC One 10 review[15][12][13][14]

Samsung Galaxy S7

Samsung’s handset plan for 2016 is as predictable as Apple’s. Samsung took to MWC 2016 to unveil the new Galaxy S7 at its Unpacked event. Externally, the chassis isn’t drastically different from last year’s Galaxy S6, as the same materials and colours have made a return. Instead, changes have been made internally, making the S7’s faster and has better battery life. It’s also IP68 waterproof, meaning it can handle being submerged to 1.5m for 30 minutes and there’s no need to use rubber caps to block the ports. What will make a lot of people happy is the return of the microSD card slot. This can be expanded by up to 200GB (but expect such cards to be very expensive). For all the latest read our full Samsung Galaxy S7 review[17][16]

LG G5

Arguably the most interesting of the big announcements at MWC 2016. The LG G5 now has a magnesium alloy chassis, so its build quality has vastly improved on last year’s plastic affair. LG’s taken a surprising modular approach with its latest flagship handset. While replaceable batteries aren’t exactly the most exciting things in the world, things get a little more intriguing with the LG G5’s manner of battery swapping.

The entire bottom now slides off and you can simply swap the battery over and slide it back in. But that’s the least interesting part of the G5’s modularity. Various different modules are available that add extra functionality, such as the Cam Plus module that will be useful for photographers, or the Hi-Fi Plus module for the audiophiles. The LG G5 will also work with a number of separate devices from LG, which the company refer to as “Friends”. This includes the LG 360 Cam for 360-degree video. In the mean time, read our full LG G5 review[18]. 

Apple iPhone SE

After making all its phones bigger for the past couple of years, Apple has now released something for those who truly believe the best things come in small packages. With its tiny 4in screen, the iPhone SE blends the design of the iPhone 5s with the technology of the latest iPhone 6s. It display doesn’t have the high contrast ratio or 3D Touch feature of the latest iPhone 6s, but it’s a pretty decent effort nonetheless.

Its specs are also bang up-to-date. The Apple A9 chipset is screamingly fast, with Apple claiming complete parity with the iPhone 6s, and it also comes with the same 12-megapixel camera, with features like Live Photos and 4K video making the transition. With prices starting at just £359, this is a lot of phone for the money, by Apple standards. If you’re looking for a smaller handset then this should be top of your list. Read our full iPhone SE review[19] for more information

References

  1. ^ Find out the best smartphone in 2016 (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  2. ^ Samsung Galaxy S8 (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  3. ^ iPhone 8 specs (www.alphr.com)
  4. ^ Google Pixel review (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  5. ^ much grieving from customers around the world (www.alphr.com)
  6. ^ iPhone 7 review (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  7. ^ OnePlus 2 (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  8. ^ OnePlus X (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  9. ^ OnePlus 3 review (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  10. ^ Moto G4 2016 review (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  11. ^ Sony Xperia X review (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  12. ^ One M8 (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  13. ^ One M9 (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  14. ^ Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  15. ^ HTC One 10 review (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  16. ^ Galaxy S6 (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  17. ^ Samsung Galaxy S7 review (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  18. ^ LG G5 review (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  19. ^ iPhone SE review (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
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Best upcoming phones 2017

Sad news: the best phones of 2016 have been and gone. Make no mistake, there have been some great handsets in 2016 – more of that at the end of the piece – but now is perhaps the time to cast an eye forwards to see what upcoming smartphones 2017 has to offer.

Upcoming smartphones for 2017: Predicted release dates

  • Samsung Galaxy S8 – March/April 2017?
  • HTC 2011 – March/April 2017?
  • LG G6 – April 2017?
  • OnePlus 4 – June 2017
  • iPhone 7s – September 2017?

Upcoming smartphones 2017: What’s coming next year?

Samsung Galaxy S8[1] – March/April 2017

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge curved display

Historically, Samsung has been the first out of the blocks with a new smartphone each year, and with the embarassment of the Note 7 recall debacle, there’s no reason to think they won’t be keen to put that right with the Samsung Galaxy S8.

So what can we expect from Samsung’s next flagship? Rumours abound that alongside the usual speed boost we’ll see an iPhone style home buton, a rear fingerprint sensor and a screen resolution boost to put most TV sets to shame. Now 4K on a smartphone screen is overkill, but Samsung gets a pass if the benefits pass on to the Gear VR. For VR, the higher the resolution the better.

HTC 11 – March/April 2017

The HTC 10 was a wonderful handset that really put the Taiwanese firm back on the smartphone map. Very little is known about the HTC 11 as of yet, but given the company tends to work to a 12 month cycle, it seems likely that the follow up will be with us in April 2017. And if it’s an improvement on the already brilliant HTC 10, then it’ll definitely be one to beat.

LG G6 – April 2017

LG G5 modules

LG gifted us with one of the most interesting handsets of 2016 – and it was pretty damned good to boot. A genuinely modular smartphone that allowed you to add in modules to modify performance. Lenovo did similar with the Moto Z later in the year, but it was LG who pulled the trick off first. 

Whether this modular approach will continue with the LG G6 is yet to be seen, given they didn’t end up making too many of them, but the Korean manufactuer remains one to watch. We’re likely six months away from an LG G6, in April 2017, but watch this space for some interesting innovation.

OnePlus 4 – June 2017 or later

If you’re only paying attention to one phone over the course of 2017, it probably makes sense to make it OnePlus. The OnePlus 3 ensured that pretty much every review I wrote this year finished with “…but it’s not as good/cheap as the OnePlus 3.” The cheap but super-spec smartphone has shaken the entire industry.

No doubt the OnePlus 4 will continue this trend, so keep an eye on the Chinese manufacturer’s next move. Although we’re unlikely to see what that next move is until next June.

iPhone 7s – September 2017

Yes, the iPhone 7 is only just out of the door, but this wouldn’t be a best upcoming smartphones article without acknowledging Apple’s likely next contribution. The iPhone 7s (Apple goes in two year cycles, so the iPhone 8 won’t be with us until September 2018) will once again gain quite the speed boost, and it’s definitely about time the screen got some more love. Early rumours suggest it will be getting just that, in the form of an OLED display. There are also rumours about wireless charging, but as this has been whispered about for years, I’d take that with a small pinch of salt.

You can keep an eye on all the latest iPhone 7s rumours here[2]

Recently launched smartphones:

Google Pixel

After years of outsourcing its phone development to the likes of LG and Huawei, the big G has taken production in house, and the result is the expensive but brilliant Google Pixel. Featuring the best smartphone camera we’ve seen, the Nexus killer has specs to put it at the top of the class for 2016, including a 2.15GHz quad-coure Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor, 4GB RAM and 32GB or 128GB of storage.

The price is a tough pill to swallow, mind. While the Google Nexus handsets prided themselves on affordability, Google is aiming the Pixel against Samsung and Apple with prices to match: the Pixel starts at £599, while the Pixel XL will set you back at least £719. 

Read our full review of the Google Pixel here[3]

Apple iPhone 7

Apple iPhone 7 review

Of course, if you like your expensive flagship smartphones Apple branded, there is only one choice in 2016: the iPhone 7. 

The phone is, of course, the fastest and slimmest iPhone yet, but something’s missing somehow – and it’s not just the headphone jack, which was lost to much grieving from customers around the world[4]. It just doesn’t feel like quite the generational leap we’re used to with a new Apple flagship, even if it is improved in every way. The price is also a tough pill to swallow: it’s up there with the Pixel in terms of expense, starting at £599.

Here’s our review of the iPhone 7[5] to help you decide if it’s for you or not.

OnePlus 3 

OnePlus has carved out an interesting niche for itself with the OnePlus 2[6] and OnePlus X[7], selling high-quality phones at much lower prices than you’d usually expect. It’s really outdone itself with the OnePlus 3, though, as this beautifully-made smartphone offers the same amount of speed and power as its flagship rivals for almost half the price when buying SIM-free.

Armed with a Snapdragon 820 and a massive 6GB of RAM, the OnePlus 3 is one of the fastest smartphones you can buy today. Its 5.5in display might not have the same 2,560×1,440 resolution as other flagships, instead settling for a still perfectly respectable 1,920×1,080 resolution, but it still looks great, even if it is a tad over-saturated for our liking.

OnePlus 3

Combine that with 64GB of storage, a super-fast fingerprint sensor and NFC support for Android Pay, and the OnePlus 3 is once again the bargain of the year. For our full and final verdict, read our full OnePlus 3 review[8] for all the latest details.

Moto G4 2016

The new Moto G4 is an absolute masterpiece. Offering mid-range specs at a budget price, the Moto G4 is the best bargain of the year and firmly throws down the gauntlet to every other smartphone manufacturer in existence. It’s a little bigger than previous Moto Gs, as it has a 5.5in screen instead of just 5in, but its Full HD resolution, excellent 13-megapixel camera, super-fast octa-core Snapdragon 617 chip and superb 3,000mAh battery put it leagues ahead of anything else in this price range. Read our full Moto G4 2016 review[9] for all the details. 

Moto G4 display

Sony Xperia X

Sony didn’t release the Xperia Z6, as expected, changing the name to the Xperia X instead. It has Sony’s build quality and the phone’s certainly fast, but it’s also relatively expensive and we weren’t fans of the camera. It’s a shame, as the Xperia X can’t compete with this best flagship phones from other manufacturers. Read our full Sony Xperia X review[10]

HTC 10

HTC’s new One M10 is a big design improvement over One M8 and One M9 models. It has better battery life, screen quality has been improved and the camera is better. In addition, performance is up there with the best of this year’s flagship handsets thanks to its Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset. The main problem is that this handset is more expensive than the LG G5 and Galaxy S7, and it’s camera still leaves something to be desired. For our full verdict, read our full HTC One 10 review[14][11][12][13]

Samsung Galaxy S7

Samsung’s handset plan for 2016 is as predictable as Apple’s. Samsung took to MWC 2016 to unveil the new Galaxy S7 at its Unpacked event. Externally, the chassis isn’t drastically different from last year’s Galaxy S6, as the same materials and colours have made a return. Instead, changes have been made internally, making the S7’s faster and has better battery life. It’s also IP68 waterproof, meaning it can handle being submerged to 1.5m for 30 minutes and there’s no need to use rubber caps to block the ports. What will make a lot of people happy is the return of the microSD card slot. This can be expanded by up to 200GB (but expect such cards to be very expensive). For all the latest read our full Samsung Galaxy S7 review[16][15]

LG G5

Arguably the most interesting of the big announcements at MWC 2016. The LG G5 now has a magnesium alloy chassis, so its build quality has vastly improved on last year’s plastic affair. LG’s taken a surprising modular approach with its latest flagship handset. While replaceable batteries aren’t exactly the most exciting things in the world, things get a little more intriguing with the LG G5’s manner of battery swapping.

The entire bottom now slides off and you can simply swap the battery over and slide it back in. But that’s the least interesting part of the G5’s modularity. Various different modules are available that add extra functionality, such as the Cam Plus module that will be useful for photographers, or the Hi-Fi Plus module for the audiophiles. The LG G5 will also work with a number of separate devices from LG, which the company refer to as ‘Friends’. This includes the LG 360 Cam for 360-degree video. In the mean time, read our full LG G5 review[17]. 

Apple iPhone SE

After making all its phones bigger for the last couple of years, Apple has now released something for those who truly believe the best things come in small packages. With its tiny 4in screen, the iPhone SE blends the design of the iPhone 5S with the technology of the latest iPhone 6S. It display doesn’t have the high contrast ratio or 3D Touch feature of the latest iPhone 6S, but it’s a pretty decent effort nonetheless.

Its specs are also bang up-to-date. The Apple A9 chipset is screamingly fast, with Apple claiming complete parity with the iPhone 6S, and it also comes with the same 12-megapixel camera, with features like Live Photos and 4K video making the transition. With prices starting at just £359 this is a lot of phone for the money, by Apple standards. If you’re looking for a smaller handset then this should be top of your list. Read our full iPhone SE review[18] for more information

References

  1. ^ Samsung Galaxy S8 (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  2. ^ iPhone 8 specs (www.alphr.com)
  3. ^ Google Pixel review (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  4. ^ much grieving from customers around the world (www.alphr.com)
  5. ^ iPhone 7 review (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  6. ^ OnePlus 2 (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  7. ^ OnePlus X (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  8. ^ OnePlus 3 review (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  9. ^ Moto G4 2016 review (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  10. ^ Sony Xperia X review (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  11. ^ One M8 (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  12. ^ One M9 (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  13. ^ Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  14. ^ HTC One 10 review (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  15. ^ Galaxy S6 (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  16. ^ Samsung Galaxy S7 review (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  17. ^ LG G5 review (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  18. ^ iPhone SE review (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
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Project Scorpio UK price and release date: Full Xbox Two specs revealed ahead of E3 2017

The typical way of console launches is no more. With Sony releasing its PS4 Pro[1] – a significant upgrade to its PS4 predecessor – Microsoft is following a similar route but instead, dialling it up to 11. Microsoft’s Xbox project Scorpio (otherwise known as Xbox Two) is here and it looks to toss away the rulebook, but what details do we know so far?

Akin to the way PC gaming works, this latest generation of living room games consoles centres around frequent hardware upgrades, rather than full-blown unit refreshes every decade or so. It’s an interesting concept, with consoles expected to launch with the latest and greatest tech, but how does Project Scorpio/Xbox Two actually work?

READ NEXT: How good is the Xbox One S?[2]

As more and more details come trickling in, here’s absolutely everything you need to know about Project Scorpio/Xbox Two. And, we finally have some fresh information.

Xbox Two/Project Scorpio: Everything you NEED to know

1. Project Scorpio/Xbox Two: Full specs and price revealed

Good news! We now have the full specs for Project Scorpio. Digital Foundry[3] was lucky enough to get some time with Microsoft, ahead of this year’s E3 unveiling, and we finally have a proper specs list. No more speculation here, everything below is all but confirmed.

Project Scorpio/Xbox Two
CPU Octa-core 2.3GHz x86
GPU 40 x customised units clocked at 1172MHz
RAM 12GB
Hard drive 1TB
Blu-ray drive 4K UHD Blu-ray

What does this mean? Well, it’s pretty clear that Scorpio is packing some serious processing grunt, perhaps able to rival GTX 1080 TI-equipped gaming PC’s. This’ll be an impressive console come launch, but all this power won’t come cheap. A rough price estimate ahead of the official unveiling? Over £500.

Microsoft had previously announced some headline specs for its new device but only one figure really stood out: 6 teraflops of GPU power. That’s a huge amount of graphical grunt and considering Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro is only 4.2 teraflops, it’s genuinely impressive. Compare that with the 1.9 in the current PS4 or 1.3 for the Xbox One and that’s a serious upgrade.

Aside from that Microsoft stated publicly that the new console will have eight CPU cores just like the PS4 Pro, though given the current generation consoles have eight cores, there’s really not much to learn from that fact alone.

2. Project Scorpio/Xbox Two: UK release date

Project Scorpio is coming ‘Holiday 2017’. So there’s still a decent amount of time to wait before the Xbox One’s big brother is available to buy in shops. A November release would place Project Scorpio four years from the Xbox One launch, a lifespan far shorter than any normal console generation.

That being said, Microsoft said the Xbox One would have a 10-year lifespan and they may still stand by that, with the new hardware complementing the current console, not replacing it. The Xbox 360 is still going strong in some markets worldwide so it’s possible the Xbox One will also last as long.

3. Project Scorpio/Xbox Two: 4K and VR-enabled

4K gaming is the obvious next step and with even the tweaked Xbox One S supporting HDR visuals, we can certainly expect superior contrast and brightness as well. Less clear is Microsoft’s talk of VR, with no headset shown or mentioned.

Will the company be designing and releasing its own headset, as Sony has done with PlayStation VR, or will it be partnering with someone such as Oculus Rift, who has a headset ready to go and is already using the Xbox One controller for its games.

4. Project Scorpio/Xbox Two: Disc-based gaming

Originally I was calling for the next-gen console to be disc-less, as it was time the console market moved with the times and go for digital distribution, with all the ups and downs that entails.

However, with Project Scorpio being the next console release, with full compatibility, we can presume that it will take the same Xbox One discs as the current Xbox One. It will be able to play the latest triple- and quad-layer discs allowing for up to 100GB on a disc, plenty to store assets such as textures for both hardware specifications.

5. Project Scorpio/Xbox Two: AMD Polaris

The big leaps in graphics performance come when the graphics industry perfect chips using new, smaller manufacturing processes. It got stuck on 28nm chips for far too long, after failures to move to new designs, but finally AMD recently announced its new Polaris architecture.

Video of Xbox – Project Scorpio

This is the next step in graphics that we’ve been waiting for, moving to the new FINFET transistor design (originally used by Intel back in 2012) to jump 20nm chips and head straight for 14/16nm architecture (it’s split for reasons too dull to go into here). The new chips should be far more power efficient than older designs allowing crucially for far more power in a living-room-friendly design.

We’ll be updating this article as new details emerge.

References

  1. ^ PS4 Pro (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  2. ^ How good is the Xbox One S? (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  3. ^ Digital Foundry (www.eurogamer.net)
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Project Scorpio UK price and release date: Xbox Two specs to be unveiled at E3 2017

The typical way of console launches is gone. With Sony releasing its PS4 Pro[1] – a significant upgrade to its PS4 forebear – Microsoft is taking the same idea, but ramping things up to 11. Microsoft’s Xbox project Scorpio is here and it looks great, but what do we know so far about the Xbox Two?

Akin to the way PC gaming works, this latest generation of home consoles features regular hardware upgrades, rather than proper refreshes every 10 years or so. It’s a great idea, with consoles always being up to date with the latest tech, but how exactly does this work?

READ NEXT: Find out all about the Xbox One S[2]

Here’s absolutely everything you need to know about Project Scorpio/Xbox Two.

Xbox Two/Project Scorpio: Everything you NEED to know

1. Project Scorpio/Xbox Two: Specs and price

Microsoft announced some headline specs for its new device but only one figure really stood out: 6 teraflops of GPU power. That’s a huge amount of graphical grunt and considering Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro is only 4.2 teraflops, it’s genuinely impressive. Compare that with the 1.9 in the current PS4 or 1.3 for the Xbox One and that’s a serious upgrade.

Aside from that Microsoft stated that the new console will have eight CPU cores just like the PS4 Pro, though given the current generation consoles have eight cores, there’s really not much to learn from that fact alone.

2. Project Scorpio/Xbox Two: UK release date

Project Scorpio is coming ‘Holiday 2017’. So there’s still a decent amount of time to wait before the Xbox One’s big brother is available to buy in shops. A November release would place Project Scorpio four years from the Xbox One launch, a lifespan far shorter than any normal console generation.

That being said, Microsoft said the Xbox One would have a 10-year lifespan and they may still stand by that, with the new hardware complementing the current console, not replacing it. The Xbox 360 is still going strong in some markets worldwide so it’s possible the Xbox One will also last as long.

3. Project Scorpio/Xbox Two: 4K and VR-enabled

4K gaming is the obvious next step and with even the tweaked Xbox One S supporting HDR visuals, we can certainly expect superior contrast and brightness as well. Less clear is Microsoft’s talk of VR, with no headset shown or mentioned.

Will the company be designing and releasing its own headset, as Sony has done with PlayStation VR, or will it be partnering with someone such as Oculus Rift, who has a headset ready to go and is already using the Xbox One controller for its games.

4. Project Scorpio/Xbox Two: Disc-based gaming

Originally I was calling for the next-gen console to be disc-less, as it was time the console market moved with the times and go for digital distribution, with all the ups and downs that entails.

However, with Project Scorpio being the next console release, with full compatibility, we can presume that it will take the same Xbox One discs as the current Xbox One. It will be able to play the latest triple- and quad-layer discs allowing for up to 100GB on a disc, plenty to store assets such as textures for both hardware specifications.

5. Project Scorpio/Xbox Two: AMD Polaris

The big leaps in graphics performance come when the graphics industry perfect chips using new, smaller manufacturing processes. It got stuck on 28nm chips for far too long, after failures to move to new designs, but finally AMD recently announced its new Polaris architecture.

Video of Xbox – Project Scorpio

This is the next step in graphics that we’ve been waiting for, moving to the new FINFET transistor design (originally used by Intel back in 2012) to jump 20nm chips and head straight for 14/16nm architecture (it’s split for reasons too dull to go into here). The new chips should be far more power efficient than older designs allowing crucially for far more power in a living-room-friendly design.

We’ll be updating this article as new details emerge.

References

  1. ^ PS4 Pro (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
  2. ^ Find out all about the Xbox One S (www.expertreviews.co.uk)
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Xbox Two UK price and release date: Project Scorpio launches in 2017

The usual console way of doing things is officially dead and buried. What with Sony releasing its PS4 Pro – a PS4.5 of sorts, Microsoft is following suit. Xbox’s Project Scorpio (or Xbox Two if you prefer) looks to be a game changer and we have all the details.

Similar to the way PC gaming has always worked, this new generation of games consoles brings frequent upgrades, rather than occasional refreshes. It’s an interesting idea, but how does this work?

Find out all about the Xbox One S[1]

Here’s absolutely everything you need to know about the Xbox Two/Project Scorpio.

Xbox Two/Project Scorpio: Everything you NEED to know

1. Xbox Two/Project Scorpio: UK release date

Project Scorpio is coming ‘Holiday 2017’. So there’s still a decent amount of time to wait before the Xbox One’s big brother is available to buy in shops. A November release would place Project Scorpio four years from the Xbox One launch, a lifespan far shorter than any normal console generation.

Xbox Project Scorpio logo E3 2016

That being said, Microsoft said the Xbox One would have a 10-year lifespan and they may still stand by that, with the new hardware complementing the current console, not replacing it. The Xbox 360 is still going strong in some markets worldwide so it’s possible the Xbox One will also last as long.

2. Xbox Two/Project Scorpio: Price and specifications

Microsoft announced some headline specs for its new device but only one figure really stood out: 6 teraflops of GPU power. That’s a huge amount of graphical grunt and considering Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro is only 4.2 teraflops, it’s genuinely impressive. Compare that with the 1.9 in the current PS4 or 1.3 for the Xbox One and that’s a serious upgrade.

Aside from that Microsoft stated that the new console will have eight CPU cores just like the PS4 Pro, though given the current generation consoles have eight cores, there’s really not much to learn from that fact alone.

3. Xbox Two/Project Scorpio: 4K and VR-enabled

4K gaming is the obvious next step and with even the tweaked Xbox One S supporting HDR visuals, we can certainly expect superior contrast and brightness as well. Less clear is Microsoft’s talk of VR, with no headset shown or mentioned.

Video of Xbox – Project Scorpio

Will the company be designing and releasing its own headset, as Sony has done with PlayStation VR, or will it be partnering with someone such as Oculus Rift, who has a headset ready to go and is already using the Xbox One controller for its games.

4. Xbox Two/Project Scorpio: Disc-based gaming

Originally I was calling for the next-gen console to be disc-less, as it was time the console market moved with the times and go for digital distribution, with all the ups and downs that entails.

However, with Project Scorpio being the next console release, with full compatibility, we can presume that it will take the same Xbox One discs as the current Xbox One. It will be able to play the latest triple- and quad-layer discs allowing for up to 100GB on a disc, plenty to store assets such as textures for both hardware specifications.

5. Xbox Two /Project Scorpio: AMD Polaris

The big leaps in graphics performance come when the graphics industry perfect chips using new, smaller manufacturing processes. It got stuck on 28nm chips for far too long, after failures to move to new designs, but finally AMD recently announced its new Polaris architecture.

Xbox Project Scorpio GPU

This is the next step in graphics that we’ve been waiting for, moving to the new FINFET transistor design (originally used by Intel back in 2012) to jump 20nm chips and head straight for 14/16nm architecture (it’s split for reasons too dull to go into here). The new chips should be far more power efficient than older designs allowing crucially for far more power in a living-room-friendly design.

We’ll be updating this article as new details emerge.

References

  1. ^ Find out all about the Xbox One S (www.expertreviews.co.uk)