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Many fans were disappointed when the Galaxy Note 7 did not match up to the rumors of the smartphone sporting 6GB of RAM and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor. One could say that disappointment turned to bewilderment when some of the devices started to explode and a worldwide recall had to be arranged by Samsung. While Samsung sorts the entire mess out, new rumors indicate that Xiaomi is all set to launch the Mi 5s with 6GB of RAM and the mythical Snapdragon 821 chipset with a clock speed of 2.4 GHz.


None of the other rumoured specs seem less than impressive either as it's supposed to be sporting 256GB of internal storage along with a pressure sensitive display. They will probably not upgrade the screen resolution to 1440p though and will instead possibly stick to the same 5.15-inch 1080p panel. Other specs include a 16-megapixel rear camera, a 4-megapixel front camera, fingerprint scanner, NFC, 2G, 3G, 4G, VoLTE and a 3,490mAh battery. Nothing is official though, so we would suggest waiting for a while before getting your hopes up too much.


Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)



Evan Blass from @evleaks has tweeted out a set of images depicting the upcoming Huawei Mate 9. These show both a flat screen version, as well as a dual curved screen variant of the smartphone. The Mate 9 will possibly be unveiled on November 3, at Munich and considering that the Note 7 is now permanently out of commission due to dangerous manufacturing defects, the Mate 9 could be the phablet that you may want to replace the Note 7 with.


Although the Mate 9 won't sport a stylus like the Samsung Galaxy Note series, it will sport impressive specifications nevertheless. Allegedly, the Mate 9 will be launched with a 5.9-inch display, a HiSilicon Kirin 960 SoC, 6GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage. The premium variant with the dual-edge curved display is codenamed Long Island and will probably come with a QHD panel, ready for Google Daydream VR. The only bad news is that some leakstars are claiming that the Long Island will be available exclusively in China. Let's hope that it's not the case and we get a chance to check out the curved phone in person as well. In any case, the flat screen Mate 9, codenamed Manhattan will be released globally.


Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)



Apparently, everybody doesn't believe that one flagship per year is enough! The recently released P9 is the king of Huawei smartphones right now, but it is about to be dethroned as Huawei plans to release the Mate 9 by the end of 2016. Phone Arena adds that a late 2016 release is an educated guess because the Mate 8 was indeed revealed towards the end of 2015.


The rumored Kirin 960 SoC will power the device, placing it above the P9, which sports the Kirin 955 chipset. Expectations from the camera department are very high as the rumored 20-megapixel dual sensors at the back will presumably be designed by Leica, who had helped Huawei earlier to build the P9's camera setup as well.


Huawei has never exactly skimped out on power when it comes to the Chinese manufacturer's top-tier handsets, so we expect the Mate 9 to be packed to the gill with the latest hardware. At this point though, it is too early to predict other specifications of the device because even the prototypes are probably not ready yet. Nonetheless, we expect at least 4GB of RAM (if not 6GB) to accompany the Kirin 960, along with a powerful battery, a large display and a next-gen fingerprint sensor.


Author: Saikat Kar (Tech-journalist and enthusiast)



Apparently, there are plenty of parties who are not satisfied in the way Samsung sold a dangerous smartphone and handled the first and the second Galaxy Note 7 recall, followed by total discontinuation of the device. The first of these class action lawsuits have come into public view as Motherboard explains that the three plaintiffs filing the case against Samsung are doing so on the ground that Samsung inadequately handled the Note 7 recall process. Instead of suing the company for selling smartphones that have the potential to explode, they are claiming that Samsung did not arrange for sufficient replacement devices while initiating the recall/exchange process.


"Samsung informed consumers they would have to wait several days, and even weeks in many cases, before receiving a replacement smartphone. During this time, and as a result of Defendant failing to provide consumers with an adequate replacement, consumers continued to incur monthly device and plan charges from their cellular carriers for phones they could not safely use."


Samsung refused to comment on the situation citing pending litigation; however, we would not be surprised if more of these lawsuits begin to appear from here on. The more prominent and demanding ones will of course involve customers who actually had a Note 7 that caught fire and caused property/physical/psychological damage.


Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)


Last week, rumor surfaced that the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S7 won't have a major design change in comparison to the Galaxy S6 series. Now, we can actually have a look at the not-much-changed look of the S7, because of the leaked renders.

 


The Galaxy S7 designs were revealed by smartphone case maker ITSkins, and it shows a device that mostly looks similar to the regular Galaxy S6, with one prominent difference: the home button has become rectangular. Dimension of the Galaxy S7 is 143.37 x 70.8 x 6.94 mm, which is also just about the same size as the Galaxy S6 (143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8 mm). The rear snapper bump will remain intact, and same will be case with the LED flash, plus a heart rate sensor. If these measurements are almost accurate, the Galaxy S7 will have a 5.1-inch display, like its predecessor.


It looks like the SIM card slot has been moved to the side of the device in the Galaxy S7. In the Galaxy S6, sim slot was on the top. This device is supposed to be powered by Exynos 8890 chipset with Samsung's own custom CPU design (or a Snapdragon 820 chipset), 4GB RAM, an enhanced camera sensor, USB Type-C connector, and probably a microSD card slot.


Source: Gsmarena



Once again found on Weibo, we have exciting news for Samsung fans. According to IceUniverse, the next Samsung SoC will be a beast of chip which will take mobile computing to a whole new league with a maximum clock speed of 4GHz. In fact, Samsung has probably even begun experimenting with the 10nm chipset already.


Apart from the expected huge boost in performance, the new chips will also be significantly more power efficient than the ones we have right now. The Cortex-A53 cores are tested at a clock speed of 2.7GHz and the custom cores are being run at 4GHz in the 8895 (presumed name for the chipset). This is quite a bump, considering that the Exynos 8890 was capped at 3.0GHz while testing.



Before you actually start expecting the next flagship from Samsung to sport a 4GHz CPU, know that the final release will in all probability, have a lowered clock speed to ensure thermal efficiency and better battery life in everyday situations. Speaking of thermal efficiency, it was also reported that the Exynos will once again be more power efficient than the Snapdragon 830. This conclusion was reached after the Samsung made chip managed to run at 4GHz by consuming roughly the same amount of power as the Qualcomm chip needed to run at 3.6GHz. This isn't really a surprise if you consider that the American versions of the S7 series of smartphones with the SD 820 were found to be significantly less power efficient than their global counterparts that utilized the Exynos 8890.


Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)



After looking at a number of leaked photos and renders, we now know for sure (more or less anyway!) that the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 7 will sport a USB Type-C cable and it will be the first Samsung device to do so. Thanks to Tinh tế, we now have a video that possibly is showing us the USB Type-C cable which will accompany the Note 7.


The model number of the cable as seen in the video is EP-DN930CWE. As we are almost certain that the Note 7 will be codenamed SM-N930, this further reinforces the theory. Besides, anyone who is familiar with how Samsung packages its accessories will find the packaging of the USB Type-C cable to be very familiar. Take a look yourself and you will see what we mean.



The most popular rumor related to Samsung's decision of switching over to USB Type-C from the regular micro-USB is of course the upcoming second gen Gear VR. Samsung will probably launch the next Gear VR with an USB Type-C port in close proximity to the Galaxy Note 7's unveiling. We will found out more as we approach the month of August.


Author: Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)



Recently, the Wall Street Journal (Chinese Edition) has published a piece about a new business contract between Apple and Samsung. According to their source in South Korea, the 3-year contract requires Samsung to supply OLED smartphone panels to Apple for upcoming iPhones in 2017 and beyond. Although the rumor regarding this contract has been around for a while now, this adds new credibility to it. Arguably, Apple is still talking with JDI, LG, Sharp and AUO before the deal becomes final.


The article adds previously unknown details by stating that this order involves production and supply of about 100 million 5.5-inch AMOLED displays that are possibly meant to be used in the iPhone 7s. Judging by Apple's current trend of reserving the larger 5.5-inch panels for their "Plus" models, chances are that these will be used to make the iPhone 7s Plus rather than the regular 7s. Whether they will still be calling it "7s Plus" or not, remains to be seen.


Previously, famous Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had stated that Apple will not be releasing any OLED phones before 2018, but he has changed his opinion in light of the new situation. Now, Kuo is of the opinion that Apple will release at least one version of its future iPhones in 2017 with an OLED display. Rumors and predictions also suggest that Apple could be going back to the glass-metal design of the iPhone 6 and it is perhaps for the best.


Source



We are pretty much used to seeing Qualcomm manufacturing the flagship grade 8xx series of Snapdragon processors every year for a while now, but rumors are indicating that this scenario could change in 2017. Samsung might just be exclusively manufacturing the upcoming SD 830 SoC for Qualcomm next year. The same rumor also reported that this new chip would be based on a 10nm FoFLP process, which is a new cooperative venture by Samsung and Qualcomm. This new Fan-out Panel Level Package (FoFLP) process will make printed circuit boards unnecessary for the package substrate. The advantages will include better battery life and thinner frames along with making I/O ports much easier to put in.


Allegedly, Samsung will continue to produce its own brand of Exynos processors as well and the upcoming Galaxy S8 will be launched in the same way as it had been done this year. This means that the international version of the S8 will sport the Exynos 8895 SoC, while the US versions will come with SD 830. However, the performance and battery life of the two variants should not differ by much next year, if both chips are made by Samsung on a 10nm process.


Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)



When Samsung released the Galaxy Note 7, they knew that the device would be hot, but just not THIS hot! Just a few days ago, it was looking like the South Korean giant was about to leave the Note 7 recall disaster behind and move ahead, but that is not very likely as of now. After an allegedly "safe" Galaxy Note 7 caught fire right inside a Southwest Airlines plane which was leaving for Baltimore from Louisville, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has stepped in. In the words of Chairman Elliot Kaye, they are "moving expeditiously to investigate this incident." He also advised Note 7 owners to switch off their phones for now and hinted at the possibility of a refund from the manufacturer.


Samsung has withheld its statement on the matter until a full investigation regarding the incident is carried out. If it turns out that the smoking Note 7 which burned right through the carpeting of the plane is indeed a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 that was marked as safe, the blow to Samsung's reputation and business would be tremendous to say the least. A second recall could also cost the company a billion dollars or more, in addition to the losses it suffered during the first recall.


Saikat Kar (Tech-enthusiast)



Contrary to what we had been led to believe previously, a new report/rumor is indicating that the release for the Galaxy S8 will be delayed till April. As per the report, the delay is brought on to absolutely ensure the safety and quality of the product on release. Samsung had officially stated earlier that "Currently we do not have any plans to release Galaxy S8 early." We were led to believe that this means Samsung will stick to their usual routine of releasing the next Galaxy device a day prior to the MWC in Barcelona. Whether that happens or not, remains to be seen now.


We also have news that Samsung may begin to put together the prototypes and begin testing the S8 from January, after receiving the first order of the necessary parts from its supply chains in the same timeline. Mass production of the final build should begin around the month of March after two months of testing. If you are not yet aware of all else that the rumors are predicting about the Galaxy S8, take a look here. Keep in mind though, nothing is confirmed as of yet.


Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)



It was just recently that Samsung decided to sell its entire printing business to HP over a $1 billion+ deal and now it might be looking to do the same with its PC business. If the reports are true, then the most likely buyer would be Lenovo, which has the biggest PC business in the entire world. Although it is still unclear as to how much the deal will cost Lenovo, the estimate is around $850 million, provided that it does go through.


As per the aforementioned report, the Asian giants are having some issues in meeting terms while their respective law firms are engaged in negotiating the deal. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is representing Lenovo, while Paul Hastings is doing the same for Samsung. Although Samsung has not confirmed this news yet, we are guessing that this could be another one of the company's moves to slim down its business to concentrate where the money is, rather than losing money over ventures that just did not work for them.


Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)



The Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge were near-perfect devices on release, with super high resolution 2K displays, fastest processors, lightning quick fingerprint scanners and much more. But if one was allowed to nitpick, its 5-megapixel front camera might just stick out like a sore thumb. Is the 5-mp resolution going to get a bump this year? Frankly, we are not sure! On the positive side though, we now have a report from etnews that Samsung is going to cater to the selfie-freaks among us by adding autofocus to the front camera of the Galaxy S8-series.


We are well aware that an autofocus feature alone cannot really compensate for a low-resolution and now dated camera module, especially when compared to the likes of the LG V20 and the Google Pixel phones. Therefore, we are hopeful that Samsung will accompany the autofocus feature with an improved sensor as well. Given that Apple bumped up the resolution of the iPhone's FaceTime camera from 5-mp to 7-mp this year, the pressure is definitely on Samsung to raise its selfie-standards!


Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)



Before you get too excited, let me tell you upfront that the upcoming Galaxy A (2017)-series is probably not going to get the curved display as you might be thinking. To the best of our knowledge, they will sport flat screens just as their predecessors. However, rumors are going around suggesting that at least some of the Galaxy A smartphones which will be introduced in 2017 could very well sport the Super AMOLED curved panels which we have so far only seen on the flagships from Samsung.


Even though it is just a rumor and a very light one at that, if Samsung does actually decide to shift onto curved displays for the Galaxy A-line up, we think we know the reason why they would do that. The answer is competition. Although Samsung still is the global king of smartphones, in certain Asian markets like China, its market share is dwindling. The reason for this downfall is of course, competition from big Chinese brands like Oppo, Xiaomi, Huawei and many others. These Chinese companies are selling phones with hardware similar to those offered by the established brands at half the price. Samsung needs to distinguish its smartphones by endowing them with unique features at a competitive price in order to survive in the low to mid-range market and its brilliant Super AMOLED curved display can definitely give Samsung mid-range phones the "edge" they need.


Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)



Now that multiple sources have confirmed that Samsung is going to push back the unveiling of the Galaxy S8 to an exclusive event in April at New York City, we weren't really expecting to hear anything about the S8 at the Mobile World Congress next month. If a recent report by The Investor is to be believed, then Samsung might actually be unveiling the S8 at the upcoming MWC 2017 in Barcelona. The same report also mentions that the delayed release date remains unchanged, in spite of the early showcase. In case you are not aware, it is highly likely that the Galaxy S8 will be released for sale in and around mid-April (18th as reported by some of the sources).


While we are not sure what to believe at this point as both the contrasting reports come from credible sources, we would not really mind taking a look at the much anticipated Galaxy S8 next month. The general consensus is that Samsung will display the S8 with a handful of units which the company will bring out especially for this event. By the time it's April though, there will reportedly be ten million S8 smartphones ready to be shipped out to markets around the world.


Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)





The upcoming Huawei P9 is one of the most anticipated Android phones and rumors indicate that Huawei might release it this very week at the CES 2016 in Las Vegas. Pan Jiutang is the popular Chinese analyst who fuelled our imaginations even further by stating that the P9 may sport 6GB of RAM. We have seen the likes of the Galaxy Note 5 and the ASUS Zenfone 2 in 2015 who came in the industry with 4GB of RAM first, and may be the P9 will be the first smartphone to sport 6GB RAM. If we are lucky, we will find out for sure in just a few days.


In October, 2015, we came to know about a label that was made for the Huawei P9 and it indicated the possibility of dual camera sensors on the back of the phone. Jiutang builds on that piece of info and concludes that the phone will actually sport two 13 megapixel back cameras. He further hints that a complex algorithm will support the dual lenses in capturing and rendering images of supreme quality.


Other speculations about the P9 revolves around a 1080p Full HD 5.2 inch display and Huawei's own extremely powerful HiSilicon Kirin 950 processor coupled with the next-gen Mali T880 MP4 GPU. If all of the speculations made by Pan Jiutang turn out to be true, then the Huawei P9 will certainly take its place among the world's most powerful smartphones.


Source



If @evleaks is right (which he mostly is) then Android 7.0 Nougat could be officially released this month. As the rumors regarding the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 have recently been hinting towards the smartphone being launched with Android Nougat right out of the box on August 2, could the Samsung device be the first phone to officially showcase it?


We have bad news for Nexus 5 owners though as Evan Blass is pretty clear in his Tweet that Google will only be updating its devices that came out after the Nexus 5. This means that if you own a Nexus 5, you will need to wait for custom ROM versions from modders if you want to experience Android 7.0 on your three year old Nexus.


We are looking forward to the graphical enhancements which the OS will bring to the table for Android users, but there are other exciting features that could be featured in the final build as well. For example, the Sustained Performance Mode, that is designed exclusively for developers. There's also the new system of upgrading your device with major updates, without having to wait for it to finish as the task will utilize a second partition on your phone's memory to download and install itself. Once you restart the phone, the changes will start to take effect. There are plenty of other features that we got a glimpse of in the five Developer Preview builds released so far, but we will have to wait and see how many of them actually make it to the final cut.


Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)



Apple's 3D Touch is a form of pressure sensitive response from the iPhone, which can be utilized to perform different functions. There was a lot of talk about the Force Touch technology being an integral part of the upcoming Android N on release, but those have faded out since a newer report suggested that it won't be available on Android N just yet. In the meanwhile, a group of engineers from the University of Michigan have come up with something even more advanced, called the ForcePhone software.


This application won't require displays that are pressure sensitive or any other special sensors in the smartphone to work. Every smartphone has a speaker and a microphone; the technology will simply use them to emit an ultrasound frequency which will cover the 18-24KHz range. This will somehow allow the user to bring up additional menus and options with ease, by simply pressing a little harder on the display panel. Apparently, Yu-Chih Tung, one of the co-creators, was inspired by Nolan's "The Dark Knight" movie, where Batman tracked the Joker by converting all smartphones within the city into a gigantic sonar-based tracking system.


If it does turn out to be as amazing as it sounds, then "3D Touch" will no longer be a premium feature that's limited to only the top-end, expensive smartphones which have all the hardware that money can buy. We will find out more in between June 27-29, during the MobiSys 2016 in Singapore, as that is where people will get to see the ForcePhone app in action for the first time.


Author: Saikat Kar (Tech-journalist and enthusiast)



With all that's going on with the Samsung Galaxy Note 7's exploding batteries and the iPhone 7's somewhat disappointing unveiling, there is a perfect market for LG to introduce its flagship V20 smartphone to the consumers now. The chances of LG seeing a much better sales number with the V20 than it did with the V10 or the G5 is pretty high because at least a portion of the consumers looking to buy a new flagship device would be tempted to try out a premium device from a reputed company that has kept the 3.5mm jack and doesn't blow up while charging (hopefully!). Unfortunately, there is no definite news about the smartphone's availability, except the fact that it is expected to be released near the end of 2016.


This has been confirmed that the LG V20 will be the first smartphone in the world to be shipped with Android 7.0 Nougat pre-installed. Have a look at some of its other prominent features and decide for yourself if you should hold on from upgrading for just a little while longer.


Display: 5.7-inch QHD IPS panel


Dual rear cameras: 16mp sensor with f/1.8 aperture and 8mp sensor with wide angle lens and f/2.4 aperture.


Front camera: 5mp sensor with wide angle lens and f/1.9 aperture


Audio: Quad DAC technology for enhanced audio output via the speakers and the bundled Bang & Olufsen headphones


Battery: 3200 mAh Li-ion battery that's removable


Chipset and RAM: Qualcomm MSM8996 (SD 820) with 4GB of RAM


The only two things we did not like about the V20 so far are the 3200mAh battery which could have been slightly larger and the lack of water-resistance that both the Note 7 and the iPhone 7 has. Other than that, the LG V20 looks to be a solid smartphone and it might be a smart move if the Korean OEM pushed the device a little earlier than rumoured.


Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)


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