ZTE and Oppo think smartphones need to be thinner, few people agree

Oppo FinderManufacturers love to be able to print eye-catching claims on the side of boxes. If it’s a world-beater in some respect, then even better, as this can then be printed inside a little circle of gold stars, like an award.

At the moment, there’s a quest to claim the honor of making the “world’s thinnest smartphone,” a record that has changed hands many, many times.

So hotly contested is this, that the UK’s advertising standards people became involved in a battle between Apple and Samsung (who else) back in 2011, over whether the iPhone 4, with its uniform 9.3mm chassis, was thinner than the bulgy Galaxy S II, which was both 8.5mm, 8.7mm and 9.9mm thick at different points.

Eventually, it was decided that Apple was the rightful owner of the “world’s thinnest” badge. Not that it mattered, as it was soon stolen away by everyone from Motorola to Huawei.

This week has seen a flurry of activity on the increasingly ridiculous race to make a phone that disappears when viewed side on, as not one but two new challengers appeared.

ZTE AthenaNew challengers

Oppo, a manufacturer best known for making Blu-ray players, released details of the Finder, an Android phone which measures just 6.65mm thick.

The promo video compares the Finder to the iPhone 4, the Galaxy S2 and the Motorola Droid Razr, but conveniently misses out the Huawei Ascend P1 S, which it beats by only 0.03mm to claim its title.

The Finder is out early next month in China, and has a 1.5Ghz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, an 8-megapixel camera and a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus touchscreen.

But Oppo’s moment in the limelight has been short-lived, as ZTE has teased the Athena, which will measure a mere 6.2mm thick. The pictures give nothing away, and the only spec details provided are that it will have a 720p resolution screen, 64GB of internal memory and most interestingly, a Cortex A15 processor — which is far more noteworthy that the size of the chassis.

The sad thing is, removing the word “smart” from all these claims renders them invalid, as Samsung’s Ultra Edition U100 from 2007 measured 5.9mm at its thinnest point (it was shaped like the Galaxy S2), so it still beats all these challengers.

Aside from the marketing department, does anyone really care whether their phone is thinner than the competition? Until someone pushes battery technology forward in the same way — imagine if this was a race to squeeze more hours of talktime out of an ever thinner battery instead — we very much doubt it.

Product Review

This $295 smartwatch has the Armani name, but not the looks

The Armani Exchange AX Connected smartwatch does everything right. It has strong technical features, a good design, and isn’t over-priced. But is subtle brand name appeal enough to recommend it?
Product Review

Samsung's Galaxy Fold proves folding phones are the future

Samsung's Galaxy Fold is finally here -- it's the company's first foldable smartphone, with three screens, six cameras, and a dual-cell battery. What's it like to use? We spent some time with it to find out.
Product Review

You should definitely buy a MateBook X Pro, just not this one

Huawei has a new version of the MateBook X Pro in 2019, building off the success of its first iteration last year. What’s new? Well, the graphics card, the processor, and the pricing. Not all of these are in its favor.
Product Review

The Moto Z3 is a solid phone, but don't buy it for 5G just yet

Motorola’s flagship smartphone of 2018 looks exactly like its mid-range smartphone of 2018, but powered by a processor from 2017. It’s still a great-performing phone for $480, and it will be the first upgradable 5G smartphone next year.
Mobile

Leaker claims we'll be saying hello to the new OnePlus 7 range on May 14

The OnePlus 6T may still be new, but we're already looking ahead to the upcoming OnePlus 7. It will use the Snapdragon 855, and may have a new pop-up front camera, too. Here's everything we know about the OnePlus 7.
Deals

Decluttr is offering a refurbished iPhone 6 for as little as $120

Decluttr announced a deal on its "good" condition iPhone 6. Through Decluttr, you can get the device for as little as $120, which is an excellent deal on the phone. The iPhone 6 may be a few generations old, but it's still a great device.
Photography

Family feud: Huawei P30 Pro vs. P20 Pro vs. Mate 20 Pro camera shootout

The Huawei P30 Pro's camera has an amazing zoom mode and low light capabilities. But take these away, and how does it compare when facing its sibling phones, the P20 Pro and Mate 20 Pro, taking regular photos?
Mobile

You've spent a grand, now don't skimp on a screen protector for your iPhone X

Wondering how to protect your new iPhone X against scratches and drops? Look no further than our list of the best iPhone X screen protectors, which includes screen protectors designed to reinforce your phone's front panel.
Mobile

Apple and Qualcomm settle all disputes, reach six-year agreement on chips

Apple and Qualcomm have announced that they have settled all disputes between them around the world -- and not only that, but have also agreed to a six-year agreement for Qualcomm to supply Apple with chips.
Mobile

The Department of Justice may prevent the T-Mobile-Sprint merger

T-Mobile and Sprint are getting closer to merging. After a few failed attempts, the two companies announced their merger at the start of 2018. The new T-Mobile could be better positioned to take on the likes of Verizon and AT&T.
Mobile

Spruce up your Lenovo smartphone with the best Moto Mods for the Moto Z-series

Moto Mods, the snap-on accessories compatible with Lenovo's Moto Z-series smartphones add a lot of value without adding a lot of bulk. Looking to try one out? Here are a few of our favorite Moto Mods.
Mobile

The Pixel 3 range will soon be coming to T-Mobile's network

Google's latest flagships, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, are now official and we have all the details from the October 9 event in New York City and Paris. Here's everything we know about the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.
Mobile

The Pixel 3a and 3a XL will be coming to the U.S. with T-Mobile

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are considered to be two of the best Android smartphones, but it looks like Google could be prepping a midrange line. Say hello to the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL.
Mobile

Keep your new iPad (2018) sparkling with the best screen protectors

Your iPad sports a stunning 9.7-inch screen and you'll want it to stay that way. The best iPad (2018) screen protectors guard against cracks, scratches, and even smudging from your fingers. Check out our top picks here.