Ford might launch its first-ever electric F150 SUV by 2024

Electric cars are the next big thing. After Tesla made an outstanding electric car showdown with its Tesla S Model and other models, other automakers are the joining the wagon too. We are talking about Ford, the second-largest automaker in the United States, have confirmed working on an electric SUV variant of its massively successful Ford F-150 SUVs.

Ford F-150 is one of the popular SUVs in the United States with almost 6,500 units sold out every day and that is 40 million units sold in the last 60 years of its first unveiling. The move to go electric came after Jim Farley, President of Global Markets at Ford stated that the company is working on electrifying the F-series with both hybrid and battery-electric variants in the works.

Thanks to the uber-popular F-series, electrifying it could change the perspective of other automakers as well. As a matter of fact, since there are 40 million units of F150 with close to 6,500 units sold every day, it is still a huge chunk of greenhouse gases that electric cars are actually preventing from mixing into the atmosphere.

Ford might launch its first-ever electric F150 SUV by 2024

The move will definitely signal other brands to work on similar projects such as Rivian is working on an electric SUV along with Tesla (of course).

But there are a number of challenges revolving around electric vehicles (EVs) in the United States. As of now, there are more than 1million EVs out there on the streets while the figure is expected to grow as high as 18.7 million units by 2030. Last year, President Donald Trump questioned and threatened to revoke incentives that EV manufacturers get from the federal government. Followed by the speculation that the components that are used in cars such as stainless steel might see a rise under his administration too.

But hey, Ford has already confirmed about rolling out an EV SUV just now which means it actually knows what’s going on and it is a determent to work on a similar project. According to the story covered by Vox, a standard Ford F-150 could cost around $28,000 while the higher end variant could go as high as $70,000. On the contrary, Rivian stated that it is working on an electric SUV in the price range of $70,000 which is a lot as of now.

But there are many pros that electric cars have over traditional combustion based cars. Starting with no pollution, quieter engine, four motors running under the hood i.e. one for each weel to power that indeed increases maneuverability and reduces weight as there is no driveshaft as well. The range is another benefit with EV cars along with how quiet the cars are amidst trying in the wild without scaring any animals or so.

According to Green Car Reports, Ford could launch its Hybrid F-150 series by 2020 that will be a 2021 model while we can expect a release date of around 2024 or 2025 for the EV variant although Ford hasn’t confirmed any of the above mentioned details.

Nokia 2 will get Android Oreo update soon but with a catch

HMD Global’s CPO, Juho Sarvikas, posted an image teasing the Android Pie roadmap for its Nokia lineup. Although every smartphone right from the Go edition Nokia 1 to the high-end Nokia 8 and others are getting an Android Pie update maximum by the end of Q2, 2019. But Nokia 2 was nowhere to be seen in the Nokia’s roadmap and here’s why.

Nokia 2 was launched with Android Nougat out-of-the-box and it is up to get its Android Oreo update as promised by the manufacturer. However, there is a catch that Android Oreo requires higher resources than Android Nougat and since Nokia 2 has a primitive 1GB RAM, the users will face sloppiness when they upgrade to the newer Android Oreo.

Although Nokia has worked with Qualcomm (chipmaker) and Google (Android OS) to optimize the phone when running on Android Oreo, however, it will still observe sloppiness due to the limited RAM. The Android Oreo will commence rolling out pretty soon where the users will have to choose if they want to upgrade at the cost of UI sloppiness and lags or they would like to stick to a two-year old Android Nougat to stay clear of any lags and other performance issues.

You might ask then why Nokia 1 is getting its Pie update? Well, it is because Nokia 1 is a Android Go device which is made for smartphones with limited RAM and configurations which is not full-fledged as ordinary Android OSes. Since Nokia 2 was launched with Android Nougat out-of-the-box, it is not possible to transfer it to Android Go and then get a Android Pie out of it.

Thus, the users will have to stick with the Android OS throughout the lifetime of the device. Wait till receive the update via OTA and let us know what you choose and if the performance has been affected or not. To check for available Android firmware updates, go to Settings → About Device → Software Updates → Check for updates.

Toyota to launch Land Cruiser ‘Heritage Edition’ to celebrate its 60th anniversary

Toyota is celebrating the 60th anniversary of its beloved beast Toyota Land Cruiser. The automaker recently launched the newly brushed Land Cruiser Heritage Edition to keep it alive for the next year. The Land Cruiser Heritage Edition (2020) will be showcased at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show in early February for the first time although there are ample of photos that you can check out here to keep calm and wait for the unravel next month.

Although not much of it has been changed on the powertrain-end, Toyota has upgraded the appearance of its 60th anniversary special edition since only 1,200 units will be available for sale once it launches.

The beast has been optimized for off-roading with the deletion of lower chrome moldings and running boards. But it does have striking appearance changes such as the special edition is available in only Black and White. The headlights and fog lamps have received a darker element to complement the black color and the same goes for the front grille. Land Cruiser Heritage Edition 2020 sports the all-new 18-inch BBS alloy wheels molded in bronze which run through the beast as contrasting stitches onto the steering wheel, door trims, and the leather upholstery.

The seats are clad in black at least in the black edition with as said, contrasting bronze upholstery followed by the deletion of the refrigerated cool box but the offroading beast has a lot of features that made it win hearts for over 60 years and counting. And yes, Toyota has arranged the seat layout as two rows and not three rows and 7 seats to accommodate a larger boot space.

As per the powertrain, as quoted by CNET, the Land Cruiser Heritage Edition has the same monstrous 5.7-liter V8 engine that pushes the SUV with a 401 NM torque and 381 horsepower. The SUV has four-wheel drive by default which gets its power from the eight-speed automatic transmission along with a Torsen limited-slip locking center differential.

If you are really diving into the specifications, the luxury SUV has an 8.9-inch ground clearance. It has a super efficient DOHC 32-Valve V8 with VVT-i 8 cylinder 5.7-liter engine with a compression ratio of 10.2:1 pushing it at 381 hp @ 5600 rpm and 401 lb-ft @ 3,600 rpm. The front has an independent double-wishbone suspension with coil springs and stabilizer bar with KDSS or Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System) while the rear gets a 4-link suspension with coil springs, semi-floating axle, stabilizer bar with KDSS.

Watch out for the Chicago Auto Show 2019 early next month where Toyota Land Cruiser Heritage Edition will be officially revealed to the car enthusiasts and media with only 1,200 units to spare at a price tag starting at $84,765 or 6 Million INR.

HMD Global releases Android Pie roadmap for Nokia phones

For those waiting for Android Pie 9.0 on Nokia smartphones, the wait is almost over. Juho Sarvikas, CPO at HMD Global which owns Nokia, has posted a tweet on you guessed it, Twitter, proclaiming the expected date for the Android Pie 9.0 rollout across all its supported device.

Sarvikas stated that Nokia promised and in fact, it started rolling out Android Oreo across all the devices at a fast pace and that it will do the same with the new Android version but indeed even at a shorter timespan.

Revealing our Android Pie update roadmap! We were the fastest in deploying Android Oreo 🍪 8.0 and 8.1 portfolio wide, with Android Pie 🥧 we are committed to be even faster. You can also take a peek into the kitchen here: #nokiamobile #android #androidone
— Juho Sarvikas (@sarvikas) 23 January 2019

As of now, only a handful of devices have actually received Android Pie update of which, Nokia 7 Plus was the first to enter on September 28, 2018, followed by Nokia 6.1, Nokia 6.1 Plus, Nokia 7.1, and Nokia 5.1 Plus by the end of last year.

This year, Nokia rolled out OTA updates for Nokia 8 Sirocco and Nokia 8 devices on January 9 and January 18 respectively. So, as per the roadmap posted by Sarvikas, Nokia 2 is nowhere to be seen which hints that it won’t be making it to the Android Pie but hey, there are other devices that are in tow this month.

Nokia 5 and Nokia 3.1 Plus are expected to receive their OTA updates this month itself and since it is just a week to spare, the wait is not that long. Further, Nokia 6, Nokia 5.1, Nokia 3.1, and Nokia 2.1 are roped in to get an OTA Android Pie update by Q1 of 2019 which is between February to March while the Nokia 3 and Nokia 1 will get their share of update by early Q2 of 2019.

Nokia promised to cater to the latest Android updates for at least two years and now that many of the devices have already been through Android Oreo and Android Pie, there is a little hope for them to receive further updates while newer devices such as Nokia 5.1 Plus could hope to get its Android Q update later this year.

Apple to drop LCD displays for OLED in 2020 iPhones

After rumors about Apple’s transition from LCD panels fitted on iPhone XR to the all-new OLED panels by 2020, a WSJ report points in the same direction. Posted recently, WSJ stats that Apple is making its transition from LCD displays and will replace it with OLED panels in its iPhone lineup by 2020 to facilitate flexible handset design and more.

Although Apple hasn’t come forward claiming the same, there are certain pointers that are directing towards the possible transition. Rumors suggest that Japan Display which is a sole supplier for LCD panels that were mounted on iPhone XR is reaching out to investors in order to put firmer grounds before Apple switches to OLED panels later next year.

According to the WSJ report, Japan Display Inc. has asked the Silk Road Fund and Taiwan’s TPK Holdings Co. to invest with a 30% stake and a possibility of further greater control over the company.

Apple to drop LCD displays for OLED in 2020 iPhones

Cupertino-based Apple is bailing out of procuring LCD displays from Japan Display due to stagnating and even worse, dropped sales of iPhone XR which was up for sales in November 2018 and overall acute sales drop across all smartphones worldwide.

In fact, Apple has dropped the price of iPhone XR in China and has halted the manufacturing of the same to cut down on loss or say reduced revenue because its Apple and it is worth more than few larger companies like Twitter, Ford, Coca-Cola, Facebook, and many others combined.

Reportedly, Apple has asked LG Display that supplies OLED displays for its iPhones along with Samsung Displays, to increase production and has even asked to build an R&D site in Taiwan for the OLED panels. OLED or Organic Light-emitting Diode are way efficient than LCD or Liquid-crystal displays because the latter needs a whole component to backlight while each pixel in an OLED display is individually controlled thereby allowing the OEMs to design irregular shapes of the screen without any hitch such as a curved display, etc.

2019 iPhone lineup is touted as more of an iterative changed design, however, we could hope for a radically changed design for the 2020 iPhone when Apple is expected to roll out an outward folding phone too which will follow an inverse solution i.e. rather than being larger in its base form to become even larger when unfolded. Indeed, it will be a mini iPhone that will be converted into a tablet-like screen real estate because Apple loves innovation and that’s what it could do although the aforementioned solution is still a rumor and there is no evidence for the same.

Samsung introduces a 5.1mm image sensor for hole-in & notched phones

Samsung Electronics, the semiconductor manufacturing wing of Samsung, has developed the smallest image sensor ever to snuggly fit into smartphones covering a less space and allowing for greater screen real estate but retaining high-quality images.

Known as ISOCELL Slim 3T2, the image sensor is at 1/3.4-inch width i.e. 5.1mm diagonally with 20 million pixels of 0.8micrometer pixels each and delivers a high-octane 20MP resolution at the best of quality. The sensor is designed to fit various sensor configurations and for both front and rear-facing cameras.

With the growing technology advancement and the stagnant smartphones sales, innovation and technology are few driving factors. Also, smartphone makers are trying to fit in high-end specs in mid-range smartphones which pushed Samsung to develop a smaller image sensor without compromising over the quality. Thus, here is the ISOCELL 3T2.

An article posted on Samsung Newsroom stated that the image sensor has 20 million sensors. The sensor promises optimum clarity and color fidelity backed by the ISOCELL Plus technology that enables the pixels to absorb more light that simply translates into higher image quality, accurate color reproduction with even sub-micrometer-sized pixels.

The 3T2 takes the same space as Samsung’s 13MP sensor while having a prowess of a 20MP sensor. This will allow OEMs to innovate their smartphone design since they have a larger space to decorate due to the snuggly image sensor that can be placed both in the notch and in the hole-in display.

At the back, the sensor can be used in many sensor configurations such as a telephoto sensor that maintains 60% resolution even at a whopping 10x digital zoom and it is still 7% smaller than Samsung 1/3-inch 20MP sensor.

Furthermore, the 3T2 uses tetracell technology too that merges 4 pixels in one or it is also known as Super Pixel or pixel binning that allows higher light absorption and greater resolution by converting the 0.8micrometer sensor into a 1.6micrometer sensor in terms of light sensitivity at 5MP.

Finally, Samsung Electronics has stated that it will begin mass production by the first quarter of this year while the phones with this ISOCELL 3T2 image sensor could roll out by the second or third quarter of this year although this is just an assumptive timeline and not at all confirmed by the tech giant as of now.