The week in phones: Xiaomi Mi 9 teaser, LG OLED speaker, 'China Red' iPhone XS

MANILA, Philippines - While this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) officially kicks off on February 25, you can already expect to see a few new devices officially unveiled by next week as the likes of Samsung, Xiaomi, and Vivo plan to hold their own launch event ahead of the show.

Regardless of who reveals what first, most of the world’s top smartphone brands will have new offerings before the month ends.

Xiaomi Mi 9 teaser

Xiaomi this week shared the first official images of the Mi 9, giving us a closer look its triple camera setup and iridescent back.

It was revealed that the device sports a 48MP sensor as its main shooter, which Xiaomi co-founder Chuan Wang showed off in some sample photos published online.

The device’s iridescent back, meanwhile, appears in blue, green, and purple colors depending on where you look at it.

It’s also been confirmed that the device will be powered by a Snapdragon 855 chipset.

Xiaomi plans to officially unveil the Mi 9 in its own launch event on February 20.

Red iPhone XS and XS Max

An unverified tip claims Apple plans to release a red version of the iPhone XS and XS Max in China as early as the end of the month.

Apple traditionally releases red iPhones with the Product (RED) branding to support programs that raise awareness and support for people with HIV/AIDS.

This time, however, the color is not associated with the charity and would allegedly be called “China Red”.

The report adds that it’s being rolled out to boost iPhone sales in China. It’s also unclear whether the color would find its way to other markets.

LG G8 ThinQ display speaker

LG announced that its upcoming G8 ThinQ will use its OLED screen as a speaker.

Called “Crystal Sound OLED” (CSO), the device can vibrate the entire surface of the display to produce sound. This would work in tandem with the dedicated loudspeaker at the bottom to create a stereo audio effect. Noted leaker Evan Blass has posted a photo of what is supposed to be the new phone: 

LG G8 ThinQ pic.twitter.com/ytPzOP3Rlo — Evan Blass (@evleaks) February 12, 2019

According to GSMArena, LG has used the technology in some of its TVs, but it’s the first time it’s coming to a smartphone. With a much smaller display area than a TV, it remains to be seen how well it works.

The LG G8 ThinQ is expected to be officially unveiled at MWC 2019.

Vivo V15 clip

Vivo has been trickling out tidbits of information to get excitement around the V15 and V15 Pro ahead of its February 20 official launch.

Earlier this week, they dropped a short clip that highlights the triple rear cameras, which will reportedly be comprised of a 48MP, 8MP, and 5MP sensor.  

They previously shared a clip that showcased the 32MP pop-up selfie camera.

Sony Xperia L3

Renders of Sony’s soon-to-be announced entry-level Xperia L3 have recently surfaced online.

The device sports a 5.7-inch 1440 x 720 LCD display with a pair of sizable bezels on the top and bottom.

It also features 13MP and 2MP dual rear sensors and an 8MP selfie camera.

Spec-wise, it will come with 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a USB-C port, and a 3,300mAh battery.

The device is expected to be announced at MWC 2019. – Rappler.com