This Week in Mobile is a weekly podcast available on Apple iTunes or Google Play where I bring you up to speed on the top mobile news stories of the week:
Oppo will launch the Find X, which it claims to be a new futuristic flagship phone, in Paris on June 19, at the fabulous Louvre Museum. Details are hard to come by but the phone is said to have a front notch, a curved OLED display, like the Samsung S8 and S9, a triple-camera setup in the rear, like the Huawei P20 Pro, and an in-display fingerprint scanner.
Chinese electronics company TCL launched the Blackberry KEY2 which has a physical QWERTY keyboard, a MicroSD port, and more importantly the DTEK security and privacy app that lets you see which apps are using features on your device to access your information, sometimes without your knowledge. The Android 8.1 (Oreo) device uses the mid-range Snapdragon 660 processor and will cost $650.
Google might launch the next generation of its Pixel smartphones earlier than it used to in the past - traditionally in October - and as early as this summer. However, our first peak on the upcoming Pixel 3 doesn't look exciting: Despite thinner bezels and a top notch, the design still looks dated with a rather large bottom chin and still just a single rear-camera. If the price remains the same than for the previous 2 generations, Google will have a hard time to convince, even its most loyal fans, to buy one.
ZTE is back in business after agreeing to pay a $1 billion fine to the U.S. However, we're not very optimistic about the prospects of seeing ZTE phones in the U.S. anymore. We believe that China's second largest telecom company will now focus its mobile efforts on its home market, Europe and emerging markets (Asia, Africa, Latin America).
Sprint unveiled its Unlimited Kickstart data plan for just $15/month if you transfer your current number and only online or by phone, which is well below the company’s standard $60 plan. This is the cheapest unlimited mobile plan we've seen so far in the U.S. There's really nothing not to like about Sprint's new unlimited plan, aside from having to switch phones if yours is not compatible with CDMA networks used by Sprint and Verizon. Alternatively, if you can live with 100MB of data per month or less (after that it's $12/GB per month), plus unlimited voice and text, then Comcast's Xfinity Mobile has still the best deal: Free!
Apple unveiled a preview of iOS 12 at its annual developer conference (WWDC) and said it will run faster than its previous mobile operating system on all the devices currently running iOS 11 (from the iPhone 5S and up). Apple also unveiled the Screen Time app - to help fight phone addiction - that shows how much time you spent on the iPhone and inside each app, and can also limit your usage if you wish to do that. Apple also updated its Safari browser tracking prevention features which will now prevent Facebook from tracking users through its comment boxes and like buttons, and prevent anyone from “fingerprinting” devices by looking at their configuration details.
App of the Week: Porn site PornHub launched a free VPN app and service for mobile devices (iOS and Android), VPNhub, that lets anyone browse the Web anonymously. However, you will have to pay if you want to use it on your PC or Mac.
Joining me this week to discuss these top mobile news stories is tech veteran Eric Leandri, the co-founder and CEO of search-engine Qwant.