If you own an older Microsoft smartphone that is still running on Windows 8.1, things are about to change as a Windows 10 update for your smartphone is probably on the way already. This is not beta, but a fully fledged final version of the upgrade that has been in the making for months. Although Microsoft has officially started rolling it out to its smartphones around the world, not all phones will be receiving the update at the same time. Also note that if your Windows phone was not manufactured by Microsoft (or Nokia) but some other company, there will be an additional delay.
Check if your phone is in the list mentioned below:
- Lumia 435
- Lumia 430
- Lumia 638 1GB
- Lumia 636 1GB
- Lumia 635 1GB
- Lumia 540
- Lumia 535
- Lumia 532
- Lumia 830
- Lumia 735
- Lumia 730
- Lumia 640XL
- Lumia 640
- Lumia 930
- Lumia 1520
- BLU Win HD w510u
- BLU Win HD LTE x150q
- MCJ Madosma Q501
If you found your model in the list above, then go to the Windows Store and download the application called Microsoft's Update Advisor. Use it to find out if your update is on the way and turn on the option Enable Windows 10 Upgrade. Select Next and it will prompt something like ready to upgrade. Once you see that prompt, tap on Done to finish the setup. You can now go to Settings>Phone Update>Check for Updates to see if the upgrade has arrived yet. When it does actually arrive, you will see the notification automatically now.
Reports that the new Snapdragon 810 chipset has been contending with heating problems has not stopped all OEMs from getting on board with the new Octa-core 64-bit silicon.
LG was the first manufacturer to announce it would be using the new system-on-a-chip in the new LG G Flex 2. The company said it was able to work around the chip's heat emissions. While that is arguably a good sign, it could also be seen as an acknowledgment that the Snapdragon 810 runs hotter than some would prefer.
The issue has been the source of reports that Samsung was forgoing use of the new Qualcomm chip, in favor of its own Exynos CPU for the next generation Galaxy flagship "Galaxy S6". However, it looks like Qualcomm is working on a redesign to address the heat emission issue and should have a solution for Samsung by March.
It is not known if that will be in time for Samsung's plans for manufacturing its new line of devices in 2015, but Qualcomm is undaunted since the Snapdragon 810 is obviously an integral part of the chipmaker's strategy.
For its part, LG has stated that heat levels are not solely about the CPU, but how a device is also designed to dissipate that heat. The company noted that the G Flex 2 was designed with the Snapdragon 810 in mind, so heat levels have remained within what LG deems optimal.
After rumors about the S6 build quality, Samsung has issued a statement complete with a video detailing its own bending test. The company claims that the SquareTrade test does not indicate typical usage scenarios and is also not indicative of the phone's face-down rigidity.
In the Samsung video, which opens up with a quick disclaimer, that it's not inspired by sadistic desires, the complete bend test routine is shown on both the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 edge. A three point rig is set up with the appropriate software to measure the applied force.
To put an everyday meaning into the numbers a set of 5 pencils is subjected to the same test and reaches a breaking point just shy of the 80lbf (108Nm) mark. Then the Galaxy S6 takes the stage and survives a slightly larger force just fine, returning to its original shape. The Galaxy S6 edge fares equally well, both face down and up.
Tesco was keen to mark the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S6 with as much bang as possible and went all out sending a unit into space. Tied to a special space balloon, the smartphone is accompanied by a trio of GoPro cameras monitoring its every move.
Launched from an undisclosed location within UK's Peak District national park, the balloon soared 32.5km to the edge of space surviving 160km/h winds and temperatures as low as -57 degrees Celsius.
Watch the Live Stream below for the S6 Launch starting tomorrow at 11am UK time.
There'ss an element of competition to the whole event, and the person who tweets "DROP" and "#S6EdgeOfSpace" at the exact moment the balloon bursts will WIN a brand New Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, in Tesco's wording. Now, apparently, a different device will need to be shipped to the lucky winner, as we don't see this one making it back to planet Earth in one piece.
LG G Flex 2 made an appearance before its scheduled announcement. A poster of the upcoming curved smartphone was caught on the CES 2015 show floor in Las Vegas.
As you can see above, LG G Flex 2 has retained the same design as its predecessor. However, we do expect that the device will bring significantly improved specs over last year's model. Earlier this week, Qualcomm teased the upcoming successor of LG G Flex. Unsurprisingly, the smartphone will boast high-end specs headed by the chipmaker's Snapdragon 800 family SoC.
LG will take the wraps off the G Flex 2 on Monday, January,5th during its official press conference. Stay tuned!
HTC One (M7) Dual-SIM is getting its official Android 5.0 Lollipop update, the update is available in India Over-the-air (OTA). Will start rolling-out to other regions in the next few weeks.
After applying the update, which is around 675MB in size, the device runs Android 5.0 Lollipop, with software version 7.117.720.6.
The roll-out comes just over a week after HTC revealed that the One Mini as well as the One Mini 2 won't be getting the update. It's also worth mentioning that the regular version of the M7 started receiving Lollipop back in March this year.
HTC One Max has started receiving its official Android 5.0 Lollipop update. Weighing in at around 760MB, the over-the-air (OTA) update is currently rolling out in select Asian and European countries, including Taiwan, France, Italy, Poland, and Czech Republic.
For those who aren't in the know, according to a previously leaked schedule, the One Max was expected to start receiving the update back in March this year.
HTC One A9 is latest smartphone from HTC and the first non-Nexus device to launch with Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The handset is supposed to freshen up the HTC portfolio and give another chance of the otherwise struggling One lineup.
The HTC One A9 is built around a 5" AMOLED screen of 1080p resolution and is the first to run on the Snapdragon 617 chip. The SoC employs an octa-core processor with four Cortex-A53 cores at 1.5GHz and another four A53 ticking at 1.2GHz, Adreno 405 GPU and 2 or 3 GB of RAM depending on the version.
HTC says it designed the One A9 from scratch, blending signature elements of its previous phones, such as the antenna stripes on the back. The A9's unibody is made entirely of metal, with 2.5D Gorilla Glass 4 protective glass shielding the entire front.
HTC One A9 Specifications
HTC One A9 is quite thin at just 7.2mm of thickness and it seems like a pocket-friendly chap with the 5" screen and the 143g of weight.
The main camera of the One A9 packs 13MP sensor with optical image stabilization and 1080p video recording (the Snapdragon 617 doesn't support 4K). It supports RAW capturing and Hyperlapse (stabilized time-lapse) videos. The front snapper has a 4MP UltraPixel sensor and a bright F/2.0 aperture.
HTC One A9 comes with either 16 or 32GB of storage, expandable via a microSD slot. LTE connectivity is naturally supported, while a new high-power DAC that promises unmatched audio experience.
The Home key of the HTC One A9 doubles as an always-on fingerprint scanner, which will unlock your device even while the display is turned off. You can also use the sensor for Play Store payments thanks to the Android 6.0 Marshmallow running on the A9 right out of the box.
HTC One A9 is powered by a 2150 mAh battery, which supports Quick Charge 2.0 (and 3.0), though you'll have to buy a proper 15W HTC charger if you want to charge your battery lightning fast.
HTC One A9 will be available worldwide in a price of 600 EURO (about $580) by Early November,2015.
We all know HTC Android skins (Sense) and Apps, they're smart, clean and elegant. Sadly, these Apps and skins are only available for HTC devices... but this is about to change. A Report from Recode, indicates that HTC wants its own-build software to be available for the rest of Android devices.
HTC Creative Labs has started to develop apps for Android phones in general, not just HTC, the labs first products is "HTC Zoe" which has the power to stitch together up to 16 videos or images with your own soundtrack. We hope to see more and more HTC Apps available for Android smartphones in general, Especially HTC Blinkfeed and HTC Sense 6 launcher.
The new Zoe App will come out later this week, with more to follow, as the Creative Labs team plans to release other HTC apps from its own phones' confines in the future.
HTC executives reveales the company's plans for a wearable device in a conversation with Re/code. In line with past rumors, the Taiwanese manufacturer confirmed that it will not enter the market for such products until next year.
According to Jason Mackenzie, the head of HTC Americas, the company originally had plans to launch a wearable in this time frame. However, the gadget is not ready for the spotlight just yet.
Furthermore, Drew Bamford, the man in charge of the HTC Creative Labs team that works on wearables, took a jab at the competition. He pointed to the media that none of the current manufacturers has gotten the wearable device concept right.
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Included out of the box with the HTC Desire EYE, Eye Experience offers a number of cool features for the phone's cameras including Face-Fusion, Screen Share, Split Capture and Auto Selfie to name a few. In a rush to get the Eye Experience update pushed-out to HTC One M8 users, HTC had to leave out the Crop-Me-In feature that was part of the original package.
Today, an update to the Android version of the HTC Camera app brings a beta version of the Crop-Me-In feature to HTC One M8 owners. This feature allows you to crop a selfie taken with the front-facing camera into a picture snapped with the rear camera. You can put yourself in the middle of any situation and share the "proof" with your friends and family via social media.
After the success of the HTC Nexus 9 slate, HTC finally decided to enter the tablets market with its own brand.
According to the latest reports, the Taiwanese company is working on an HTC-branded Nexus 9-shaped tablet with the same 9-inch display 4:3 aspect ratio and the same dimensions but the Hardware Specifications will be different, probably higher.
This tablet will be a strong entry for HTC brand into the tablet's market, the market name of the tablet is not yet known but it may join the "ONE" family naming (HTC ONE Tab, HTC ONE MT.. etc). The exact release date for this tablet is not yet revealed but we won't see this tablet up until Q2,2015.
HTC is still publishing it's main OEM system Apps on the Play store for easier updates regardless of firmware versions, operator approval. Today, HTC just published it's Video Player App for HTC Sense. The App is available to a selected HTC devices.
This is the same video player that's built inside HTC's Sense UI layer, with multiple format decoding, gesture controls (two-finger swipes act as FF and RW for example), streaming, still image capturing, and subtitle support. The player also allows a few simple editing tweaks like trimming and playback speed adjustment for slow-motion videos.
You can download the HTC video player version 6.5 APK from the link below, or wait until the update hits your HTC device via Google Play Store.
Today, HTC has confirmed its plans on the Android 5.0 Lollipop Update for its latest flagships HTC One M8 and One M7. The Official @HTC Twitter account confirmed that the company will release the Lollipop update in 90 days after Google release the final software... which will be during this Month. This plans goes for all M8 and M7 devices and variants.
So, you can expect the first Lollipop update to come to your HTC One M8 or One M7 in the first week of February,2015. HTC is reported to adopt Google's Material Design UI on its upcoming version of HTC Sense that will be released with its Android 5.0 update.
Stay tuned fro more info in the upcoming days...
The financial reports for Samsung's Q3 2016 sales are out and they show that the Note 7 has burned Samsung in the same way as the company expected it to. The total revenue of the company has plummeted by 3.87 trillion WON/$3.4 billion and landed at 47.82 trillion WON/$42.01 billion; that's a 7.5% decrease, as compared to Q3 2015. Operating profit stands at 5.20 trillion WON/$4.56 billion, which is the lowest for the Korean tech giant in the last two years and shows a 30% decrease.
Things as a whole don't look nearly as bad as it looks in the company's mobile department. Consider this; Samsung Mobiles has managed a total revenue of 22.54 trillion WON/$19.80 billion, which depicts a 96% decrease, as compared to the third quarter of the last year! The profits in the division stand at a meagre 100 billion WON/$87.8 million.
According to reports, things will start to look a little brighter for the company in the last quarter of the year, as it plans to focus on increasing production and sales of the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge in the worldwide market. In the meanwhile, the Galaxy A and Galaxy J series of smartphones will hopefully provide some stability in terms of sales to the company in their respective price segments.
Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
Things are really not looking good for Samsung at all as a brand new serious issue has just surfaced in the form of a lawsuit for something that was previously unknown and unheard of. Daniel Ramirez is a construction worker who has filed a lawsuit against the South Korean electronics giant for allegedly selling defective and explosive Galaxy S7 Edge smartphones. He stated that the incident occurred in Ohio, where he was working in a bookstore and the S7 Edge was in his pant pocket. The phone wasn't being charged or even used while it caught fire and caused Daniel to receive second and third degree burns. He tried to grab the smoking smartphone and throw it out of his pocket, which burned his right hand as well. This was followed by the S7 Edge proceeding to literally explode in his pocket causing horrible injuries.
Now, this is an incident that reportedly occurred on May 30, which is more than three months before the Note 7 was even officially revealed. In light of the recently occuring battery related fires originating from the Note 7 and its worldwide recall by the manufacturer, ClassAction.com has taken it upon themselves to sue the OEM over this tragic incident. They want a worldwide recall for the S7 Edge, just like Samsung did with the Note 7. Not only is this the first time that we are hearing about the S7 Edge catching fire and exploding, but this is also the only time that such an unfortunate accident seems to have happened while the phone was not even being charged. We will have to wait and see what Samsung has to say about this.
Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
Samsung Electronics has appointed D.J. Koh, the big boss of mobile research and development, as the new chief of the company's mobile communications business. This move comes after setbacks in Samsung's mobile business during the operation period of the former head J.K. Shin, including an underestimation of demand for the Galaxy S6 edge, while overestimating demand for the Galaxy S6 with a non-curved screen.
Actually Samsung's growth deteriorated in early 2014 as Apple experienced something of a revival. The demand for its iPhones, particularly in China increased, while low-cost Chinese smartphone makers Xiaomi and Huawei also got boost in sales. Just like the problems faced by Nokia some years ago, Samsung's mid-range smartphones have been getting crushed on both the high end and low end by its competitors.
Analysts said that the moves at the mobile division were an apparent admission that the change was very much needed, as they did not expect a new strategy to come up any time soon. According to Chang Sea-jin, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology business professor - "Koh is basically the same person as Shin". Analysts have reported that Samsung needed to ramp up its software and services offerings to rejuvenate its mobile business, but Koh, who has held mobile business roles since 2006, had an engineering background like Shin. Chang said that "There is no real change and Samsung appears to be continuing on the hardware-centric path".
Although the Galaxy Note 7 is not exactly enjoying a good reputation right now due to the faulty and hazardous batteries that some of the units are shipped with, there is no denying that the iris-scanner which the smartphone boasts of is one of its kind at the moment. The good news is that according to DJ Koh, the iris-scanners will also be seen on mid-range devices from Samsung as it becomes more cost-effective to do so, with time. He also mentions that he was personally associated with its development and in the coming months, Samsung will concentrate towards keeping the technology secure from all kind of privacy or security threats that it may encounter.
Here are some excerpts from the president of Samsung Mobiles speech at the "Unpacked" event press conference in New York.
"We did not put iris scanning in the flagship model just to do 'unlock'. In the long run, through third parties and API, we want to connect it with apps. For mobile banking, we are thinking of applying iris scanning for large transactions, and are already talking with banks in some countries,"
"Through continued cost cutting, iris scanning can trickle down to mid-end models,"
"There is a view that Android is weak in security compared to its competitor and we want to expand software security that can overcome this image"
Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
If you have been following us, you probably have a pretty good idea about what to expect from the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 7 already. But just in case you don't have an idea, have a look at some these recent renders released by VRS Design while listing their new range of cases for the Note 7.
The pictures do not reveal anything to us that we do not know already but they sure are reinforcing the rumors almost to the point of becoming facts. We can see the S-Pen's top end poking out from the bottom right S-Pen slot and the expected USB Type-C port makes its appearance in this render as well. What we do not see clearly however, are the three lenses of the rumoured retina scanner. Given that the images do not show the retina scanner to be absent either, don't lose hope yet! Additionally, we can see the dual Edge display, the ambient light sensor, the front camera, the rear camera and the dual tone flash.
Author: Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
According to the latest test results made public by GameBench, the Exynos 8890 powered Galaxy S7 has exhibited a significantly better battery life, in comparison to the Snapdragon 820 version that is available in the US. In fact the difference is enough to surprise you and not in a pleasant way if you are in the US.
You can see all the data in the images, courtesy of PhoneArena, but the end result speaks for itself. Apparently, the S7 Exynos is 71% more power-efficient, as compared to the S7 Snapdragon version! Sadly, it is even the least power-efficient device when compared to two other SD 820 powered smartphones, the LG G5 and the HTC 10. Even though the Snapdragon variant was almost neck-to-neck in terms of audio playback, the Exynos version did beat it in that department as well.
Keep in mind though that the snapdragon variant of the Samsung Galaxy S7 was from Verizon and had the expected bloatware as a result. Nevertheless, the difference in between the two variants is just too great to ignore or blame on the bloatware. We found the disparity to be surprising and disappointing, what do you think?
Author: Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
The beta version of Samsung's latest music application is now available on the Play Store and it's free to download. This will make updating the app easier for Samsung as it no longer has to be part of the Samsung's firmware upgrades. It is an initiative that will make updates for individual Samsung made software more frequent.
If you are wondering what is so special about Samsung Music, you might be disappointed as it is similar to most other music apps on the Play Store, excepting the fact that it is made primarily for Samsung devices and optimized accordingly. The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are the first flagship smartphones from Samsung to come without the default music player pre-installed and this is probably the beginning of a new trend.
If you are interested to download and give Samsung Music a try then make sure that your device is running at least Android Marshmallow 6.0 as anything below that is incompatible with it. The Samsung music player supports popular formats like WMA, MP3, FLAC and AAC among others. It is also capable of sorting your songs in six categories, namely Artist, Track, Album, Composer, Folder and Genre. Anyone who has used a Samsung device before will feel at home and if you have another compatible device that you want to try it on, feel free to download it now.
Following the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 which suffered from initial reports out of Korea's Samsung about overheating in early mock-ups causing a delay in the release of one of their flagship phones, the Snapdragon 820 is expected to re-establish Qualcomm's leadership position in mobile-specific microchips.
Samsung develops its own Exynos range of SoC that it puts into model variants, particularly in Asian markets, which it used when Qualcomm came up short with the 810. The Galaxy S6, S6 edge, S6 edge+ and Note 5 all used Samsung's over SoC instead of Qualcomm. However, the latter chip-maker is roaring back with its upcoming 820.
Leaked benchmark scores for both Geekbench and AnTuTu indicate that the Snapdragon 820 is likely to outperform the collection of competitors with their best 2015 releases. The benchmark scores beat the Note 5 and even matched the iPhone 6S Plus in some off-screen tests while lagging a little with the on-screen ones.
The test screenshots refer to the SD820 being used on a 6.2-inch smartphone with an eye-gouging 1600x2560 resolution with 4 GB of RAM. Clearly the 820 was being pushed hard with the sheer number of pixels being moved around on the screen during the testing on the Android 6.0 platform. In fact, the number of pixels being managed on-screen far exceeds that of the iPhone S6 Plus which likely explains the on-screen under-performance compared to the Apple model.
LeTV announced the Le Max Pro will use the 820, but Samsung is also expected to release details about the Galaxy S7 in a couple of weeks which is likely to adopt the new Qualcomm technology in some of its phone variants.
Samsung may not only shift its headquarters from London, but it may just leave the United Kingdom altogether. As you can probably guess, if this happens, it would be a direct result of the UK leaving the European Union (aka Brexit). Of course, Europe as a market has not lately been as profitable as it used to be for Samsung. In the year 2013, Samsung boasted of a 21% share in the total mobile sales number throughout the entire continent. Things however, went downhill from there as that share stands at only 12.8% right now. Samsung also did not release the Galaxy Note 5 in Europe last year and had stopped selling cameras, camcorders and associated accessories in there altogether.
It is evident that Samsung isn't exactly making any headway in Europe to speak of, but couple that with the fact that Britain may now impose heavier import taxes on them and the decision to leave the UK starts to seem like an inevitable course for the Korean company. As the United Kingdom will no longer have to follow the tariff regulations and import duty models laid out by the Union, the general consensus is that taxes will now increase for all foreign companies operating within the nation.
Author: Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
Even though it was a disaster when a few of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones started to catch fire all over the world, many have applauded the Korean electronics giant on their decision to recall all the 2.5 million smartphones that they had shipped. However, as is often the case in such scenarios, some of the customers have decided to disregard the warnings issued by flight authorities, tech-experts and the manufacturer themselves. While it is questionable what would prompt such negligence, in spite of the free refund/replacement scheme employed by Samsung, many customers are of the opinion that the incidents are far too low and in between to be concerned about it.
Nevertheless, Samsung has decided to limit the maximum charging point to 60% of the Note 7's full battery capacity in an OTA update that will be released shortly in South Korea. This news was confirmed when the Seoul Shinmun (a popular South Korean newspaper) published the message from Samsung on its front page. This is a temporary fix until all the customers turn in their smartphones for free replacements, which should begin by the end of the month. According to Yonhap News Agency, the same update could also make its way to all other nations as well, but we will have to wait and see. In the meanwhile, we advise you to stop using the Galaxy Note 7 and get it replaced/refunded as soon as possible. Although some have pointed out that the chances of your Note 7 exploding are similar to that of winning the lottery, this is one lottery that you may not want to win!
Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
A feature that was introduced by HTC's own Zoe Cam and made popular by the iphone 6s via Live Photos, is now going to be adopted by Samsung's upcoming flagship. The basic technology works by bringing a photo alive with the help of a video that captures footage from both before and after the shot, but spans no more than 1-2 seconds. The process results in an animated snap with audio.
If the rumors are to believed, then Samsung will call their version of the feature, "Vivid Photo." However, it won't work exactly like the iPhone 6s' Live Photo feature because the snaps won't have any audio accompanying them. That being said, Samsung is not the one to lose out in a battle of features so Vivid Photo will supposedly stitch together photos of much higher quality when compared to the ones produced by the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.
The obvious question that comes next is why did Samsung ditch the audio? Samsung wanted Vivid Photo to be a feature that can be shared via messaging and social networking sites, rather than being a proprietary end-to-end affair. In other words, the Samsung Galaxy S7 probably has come up with a feature that will allow you to create high quality GIF images fit for easy sharing and enjoying on most systems and devices.
Harman International Industries is in the process of being acquired by Samsung in a whopping $8 billion deal, which will mark the Korean giant's entry into the automotive industry. Harman is famous for manufacturing top of the line audio systems, smartcar accessories and other automobile entertainment systems for companies such as GM and Fiat. In an official statement by Samsung, Vice-Chairman Kwon Oh-Hyun mentioned that "Harman perfectly complements Samsung in terms of technologies, products and solutions, and joining forces is a natural extension of the automotive strategy we have been pursuing for some time."
The all-cash deal, when it goes through, will result in Samsung acquiring Harman Industries at $112 per share. Although it will take some time before the buyout is completed, Samsung is looking to finish all the necessary formalities by the end of Q3, 2017, including approvals from the regulators and of course, share holders. It would be interesting to see if any of the new protectionist strategies which could be adopted by the new Trump govenment, interferes with this deal concerning an Asian company acquiring an US business.
Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
The Galaxy A7-series is a popular mid-ranger from Samsung and its 2017 edition is on the verge of being launched. The latest news regarding the dual SIM handset is that it just got certified for Bluetooth v4.2 and while this isn't in itself a very revealing news, it does indicate that Samsung may launch it as early as December. In fact, rumor has it that Samsung could launch the A3 (2017) and the A5 (2017) in December as well.
Just like most upcoming smartphones these days, there isn't much left to "unveil" officially as we already have a pretty good idea about the internals of the A7 (2017), thanks to the multiple leaks and rumors. Here's a list of what we have heard so far and the chances are that they are mostly accurate.
Display: 5.5-inch 1080p Super AMOLED panel
SoC: Exynos 7780
Camera: 16-mp front and rear camera
Internal storage: 32GB
External storage: Yes
Battery: 3,300mAh with Samsung Adaptive Fast Charging
OS version: Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, but will receive an upgrade to Nougat 7.0 later (Most probably)
IP68 rated water resistance
Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
Today, Samsung officially unveil its schedule for CES 2015. The huge trade show is fast approaching, as we're now exactly one month away from its debut.
January,5th is when Samsung will hold a press conference at CES, starting at 2 pm Las Vegas Time. This will be followed by a keynote address by BK Yoon, Samsung Electronics CEO and President, at 6:30 pm.
On the same day also, Sony will hold its CES presentation, though that will start at 5 pm. So this is shaping up to be a pretty crowded day, as the day before the trade show's doors open has always been.
Samsung was struggling lately with the profit and market share. In other hands, Motorola, which shipped over 10 million smartphones last quarter, up a whopping 118% compared to the same period of 2013, has said that Samsung might lose its position as the world's top smartphone vendor, just like Nokia and BlackBerry.
During an interview with Forbes, Motorola COO Rick Osterloh said, "Every seven years, the person who's been on top of the market has gone away, we are going through one of those fascinating shifts where people are starting to realize that you don't need to pay $600 for a top-tier phone to get a top-tier experience."
He also said that the Lenovo-owned company, which focused on just 10 countries in North America, Europe and Latin America while being owned by Google, has its presence in around 50 countries now, and has plans to enter 10 or 15 more countries this year.
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)
Although it isn't really a big surprise at this point, Samsung has confirmed that the Galaxy S8+ is indeed real and it's coming on March 29 (probably). Yesterday, a support page for a Galaxy device with the model number SM-G955FD came online on Samsung's Indian site. As this model number pertains quite specifically to the upcoming Galaxy S8+, all doubts regarding its existence is now extinguished. Additionally, the model also confirms dual SIM support on the device.
Strangely enough, the page disappeared just a few hours after going live. It almost feels like Samsung is teasing the audience with multiple unofficial glimpses to the S8 series this year. First it was the phone in the Super AMOLED ads and now a short-lived support page. Whatever the situation might be, we are quite excited to see what Samsung brings to the plate ultimately when the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ are launched next month.
If you are not familiar with the rumors regarding what the S8 is going to bring to the table this year, have a look at it here.
Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
Samsung has now confirmed what the rumors were speculating for months now; the Galaxy Note 7 is coming back. On their official blog, Samsung mentioned that the millions (4.3 million) of Note 7 smartphones recalled during the infamous call back will be recycled in an environmentally friendly way. The procedure will involve three of the following methods.
1. Refurbished variants of the Note 7 smartphones will be reintroduced in certain regions as rental phones.
2. Components and parts from the rest of the units will be removed and reused in new smartphones.
3. The metal and the other non-technical components will be removed and reused as well in a way that doesn't impact the environment.
In case you are wondering if the refurbished Note 7 is coming to your country, let us inform you that Samsung has mentioned it to be only a possibility if the local authorities permit it and demand for the phone is high enough in the region. Also, it has been confirmed that Samsung won't be releasing these units in the US. This answers the question asked by Greenpeace during the MWC in February, concerning what the company's plans were regarding the discarded Note 7 handsets.
Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
It might not have been even released in your country yet, but the Galaxy Tab S3 is already receiving the first official update in the regions where it is available. The update is the April security patch which contains both the Android SMR for the month and Samsung's own little tweaks to cull out bugs and security gaps. The OTA package should arrive on your tablet anytime now, with the build number T825XXU1AQD6.
Given that the Galaxy Tab S3 already runs on the latest version of Android Nougat 7.0 that has yet been released by Samsung so far for any device, it isn't really a surprise that the update contains only the monthly patch. Besides, there have been no reports of the Tab S3 showing any signs of faltering anywhere to warrant a major firmware upgrade either. Although the SD 820 SoC powering the device is over a year old now, the waning market of Android tablets doesn't really have anything better to offer and therefore, it is arguably the number one Android tablet in the market, with the only other competition coming from the much older Google Pixel C.
If you are impatient about the update, feel free to try out some of the firmware packages for the Tab S3 from our firmware section.
Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
Google has launched its first router ever, but you will have to wait till December to get your hands on one. Although the pre-orders will start from next month, it won't be until December that the company will start shipping the Wi-Fi router to their customers. A single unit will set you back by $129 but if you can find two other interested friends, you can have a pack of three for only $299. Provided that you have a big enough house, you can also use multiple of these as the modular devices may also be used to widen the signal area of your primary router's connection.
Google Wi-Fi will allow the admin to control network usage by enabling him/her to restrict data consumption on any of the connected devices. The Network Assist feature will continue to improve the performance of your network, in addition to decongesting it. It supports mesh networking as well, in case you already have an OnHub router.
Check the hardware specifications below.
802.11ac AC1200 2X2 dual-band wireless
2 Gigabit Ethernet ports
512MB of DDR3L memory
710 MHz quad-core processor
4GB of eMMC flash
If you have a recent (more or less) Nexus device and you had enrolled your device for the Android Beta Program, we have good news for you because Android N Developer Preview 2 is now available for you to download via OTA. Alternately, you can also download the package and flash it manually if you know what you are doing. Google had promised that there would be five monthly updates to the developer preview before its final release in September this year and so far, they are right on schedule.
If your device isn't a Nexus however, you will probably have to wait for quite a while to get your first taste of Android N 7.0, because the official release date for the OS is set in September 2016. Add to that the amount of time the manufacturing company will take to develop its own compatible version for your smartphone model and we are looking at at least a month before one can expect an Android 7.0 update for a non-nexus device.
Sony customers might feel a bit more optimistic here as the Japanese company did release a preview of Android M 6.0 for a few of their smartphones in 2015. If you are a Samsung user, the chances of Samsung changing its poor record of late releases is not very good. On the positive side, their software department is indeed doing a good job these days, so maybe they will break the record this year. We will have to wait and see but experts estimate that Android N will come to Samsung devices in February or March 2017.
The Huawei Mate 9 could be running Android 7.0 right out of the box as soon as Google releases the OS in September. Lenovo Moto series of smartphones will be among the first to receive the updates as has always been the case; experts speculate that Moto smartphones will be running Android N by December 2016. One cannot underestimate HTC either these days as they had shown when the One A9 and One M9 got updated to Android marshmallow by December last year. If you are a HTC user, you will probably see the latest iteration of Android on your smartphone by end of December, this year.
After updating its Android Apps with the New Material Design UI, Google is Now doing the same with its iOS Apps on the Apple iTunes store. Stating with the Google search app for Apple's mobile OS which is today getting an update to version 5.0.0, and one of the biggest new things is the addition of the Material Design language.
Additionally, there are a few new features in tow too. The Recents view shows you the pages you recently visited, the Google button lets you start a search with just one tap, and Google Maps 9.0 allows you to explore interactive maps, nearby places, and Street View right inside the search app.
Image search contains bigger pictures now, the app has been optimized to look great on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and, of course, the new Material Design animations should delight your eyes.
Facebook is currently testing the Material Design UI on its official Android App. Starting from version 28 and version 29, Facebook added few Material Design elements (Icons, Animation, floating action button, spinner... etc) in a way to enhance the overall look and feel of the App. we got some screenshots.
As you can see on the screenshots, a big blue floating action button is present. Once you tap that a few options show up, which were previously available to you through a floating blue bar at the bottom of the screen. This bundled the "Take a photo" and "Upload a photo" items together, while "Where I am" used to be known as "Check in". The old "Status" option from the floating bar is now replaced with "Write a post".
Facebook routinely tests many small improvements such as these, and sometimes they appear to some users and not to others because, more often than not, such things are switched on at the server level.
This new Material UI is probably a server-side change, so there's no APK you can download to enable it immediately. Still, if you participate in Facebook's beta testing program for Android, you may have a few more chances of getting lucky and seeing this new design. Anyway, here's the APK for Facebook v18.104.22.168.0 to download below and you might get lucky!
Today, we get to see a new High-end Oppo handset, the Oppo R1C. Sone leaked photos revealed this upcoming smartphone, the R1C is rumored to pack a Full-rear Sapphire Crystal Glass, but this is yet to be confirmed.
So, the Oppo R1C features a 5" 720p display and runs on the Snapdragon 615 chipset with an octa-core Cortex-A53 processor and 2GB of RAM. The rest of the rumored specs include a 13MP rear and a 5MO front camera, 16GB expandable storage and LTE connectivity.
The Oppo R1C is also rumored to go official on January 14 with the Oppo U3. With all of these new devices coming from China these days it sure will be one very interesting January.
OnePlus has been quietly developing its own Android 5.0 Lollipop based ROM for its flagship device OnePlus One. After the Cyanogen licensing issues in India which will leave many users unable to update their devices OTA, the company had announced that it will be providing an early build to customers, which will replace the Cyanogen OS on their devices.
OnePlus has now released an ALPHA build of the ROM on its forums, and is available to download and flash right now. The ROM looks pretty much identical to stock Android Lollipop on Nexus devices but with a few minor changes, such as the ability to have either onscreen or physical navigation buttons.
This is an ALPHA build so there definitely are bugs... lots of it, many of which are listed on the forum and others no doubt you'll find while using it. Watch the video below for a Quick preview on the ROM!
BlackBerry's story in the mobile domain has been a long and strenuous one, but unlike many other industry mammoths, the Canadian tech giant has managed to sustain growth by coping with the changes in modern age. After an elongated period of steady decline now it seems that the company's plans to get into the growth track and recover itself from the losses have started show the desire result. As per the Q3 financial results there is a 13 percent rise in stocks and overall losses have also declined.
They released the BlackBerry Priv as their latest Android smartphone, and it looks like it has far more demand by the consumers than it was expected. A month later after it was released to the public, the sales record gathered by them shows that it is approaching a positive side. Owing to its high demand and popularity among smartphone buyers big outlets, Walmart, CNN Money, and Best Buy had to refill their shelves.
iDigitalTimes also said before that the BlackBerry Priv has been sold out during the first week of its Nov. 6 release date. It was so in demand that retailers had to take backorder on the Priv and even online giant Amazon.com ran out of stock during that time. According to the reports of CNN Money, the company's stock has also seen 7 percent increment (on 10th December), pushing the share price to $8.05 USD due to the huge demand of the Priv model.
As the financial reports of Xiaomi for 2015 states, it wasn't a great year for the Chinese smartphone giant. Make no mistake though as Xiaomi did not suffer any losses and their annual sales report suggests that the company sold over 60 million units in 2015! However, where it failed was in matching up to its own expectations. After an extremely successful 2014 which had put them even ahead of LG in the list of top five mobile phone manufacturers internationally, Xiaomi had set themselves a sales target of 80 million units by the end of 2015.
The business model followed by Xiaomi (and a lot of other Chinese manufacturers) works by creating a controlled situation where the demand is always greater than the supply, at least in the beginning. The aggressive advertising strategy, coupled with "flash sales" that only allow a limited number of the handsets to be sold at any one time, made Xiaomi the number one startup venture in the tech segment ($45 billion) in 2014.
Some business analysts are of the opinion that the best days of Xiaomi are behind them as their low-cost high-performance devices are no longer unique. Chinese manufacturers have flooded the market in 2015 with cheap but powerful devices. This has not only made it more competitive for Xiaomi, but has also made flash sales a risky strategy. People may no longer wait to buy a smartphone that's out of stock because another product would be available to them with the same specs and a similar price tag.
Things in 2015 did not look that good for Xiaomi in its own country either as Huawei replaced them as the number one smartphone maker in China. If Xiaomi has to go back on top of the list again, they will have to hit harder in 2016.
Despite the fact that the Snapdragon 810 SoC was officially announced several months ago, the chipset at hand is not expected to become commercially available before 2015. Until that moment comes however, Qualcomm has plenty of time to further tweak and improve its SoC, and judging by the latest happenings it appears that the SD 810 is already undergoing testing.
A new test machine that seems to draw its processing power from the Snapdragon 810 popped-up in AnTuTu database, revealing some of the chipset's characteristics.
Samsung is planning to start producing chips using its 14nm manufacturing process at the end of the year. It seems the company has managed to secure a deal with Apple and it anticipates a notable sales boost once it begins to deliver on it. Samsung also made the A8 chips apple used on the iPhone 6.
Kim Ki-nam, President of Samsung's semiconductor business told reporters at the company's HQ in Seoul that profits "will improve positively" once the deal goes through. Apple isn't the only Samsung 14nm chip client, however, with Qualcomm and AMD also signing to use the company's 14nm manufacturing process around the end of the year.
Mr. Kim didn't specify when Samsung will start mass production of the chips for Apple and the rest of its clients. Currently, Samsung is responsible for around 30% of the Apple A8 chips, while TSMC is making 70%, according to sources familiar with the matter.
As Oppo gains more and more mindshare with its nicely built, attractive, and capable devices, the pressure mounts to keep the software fresh, and that has proven to be a little bit of challenge so far with the Find 7 devices.
Oppo likes to cater to the tinkerers and developers out there, and its active forums have all manner of discussions about how to do things with Oppo's products. In catering to this crowd however, Oppo also does not push a lot of over-the-air updates for ColorOS, favoring instead to release stable builds or Betas to be manually loaded and installed on devices. Fortunately, the process is literally as simple as downloading a file, connecting the phone to your computer, and then initiating the update on the device itself.
With the last big update to ColorOS 2.0.0i for the Find 7/7a this past October, the devices finally had firmware based on Android 4.4 KitKat, as well as a long list of changes to the user experience. With this update teaser to ColorOS 2.0.4i, based on Android 4.4.2, the Find 7 and Find 7a get a bunch of new wallpapers and the ability to presort apps. The task manager has been enhanced a bit too. Check the Teaser Video below!
We already posted first Exclusive Teaser of the Lexus Hoverboard, which the company's claims it's the World's first ridable hoverboard. Today, Lexus published the 2nd Teaser showing its hover board "floating on air", giving us a closer look at it.
This "Back to the future" Hoverboard is using a very complicated superconductive technology. The team is using magnetic levitation with liquid nitrogen-cooled superconductors and permanent magnets to give the hoverboard frictionless movement of a kind that had been thought impossible.
Lexus is said to officially announce this hoverboard later this year and we are waiting on fire for it. Check out the two mind-blowing Teasers below.