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There was a time when Chinese manufacturers were accused of copying features and designs from the more established brands, especially Apple. While some manufacturers are still on that road and it cannot be denied that even the most reputed of manufacturers have copied design elements from Apple, certain Chinese OEMs have introduced revolutionary concepts in the recent years, way ahead of Apple or Samsung. The Vivo Nex is the only true bezel less phone in the world right now and Huawei did revolutionize the smartphone camera by launching the incredible P 20 Pro; which was at that time, the only smartphone in the world with three rear cameras.


As a follow up to the P 20 Pro, Huawei will soon be launching the Mate 20 Pro, which is expected to further improve smartphone photography by introducing an enhanced version of the extremely successful Fusion Light technology we saw on the P 20 Pro. Apparently, the Mate 20 Pro will feature four rear cameras by Leica (an extra wide-angle lens), but instead of using Fusion Light, it will use an AI-powered version of it, called FusionMind. The exact details are fuzzy at the moment, but sources have it that the AI-powered technology will help to produce better, sharper images by automatically squeezing multiple pixels into one pixel, as necessary. Fusion Light on the P 20 Pro already provides users with an option to choose between 40-mp or 10-mp (squeezed pixels) images and this seems to be an enhanced version of that. Aside from the huge notch, it does look like the Huawei Mate 20 Pro is going to be a very lucrative option soon. You can check out some of the other rumors at Gizmochina.


Saikat Kar



As expected, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Active will only be offered by AT&T, as it was with the Galaxy S6 Active in 2015. A new leak has unveiled this information to us along with more. The S7 Active will weigh in at a heavier 185g with a measurement of 9.9mm in thickness. Other changes include a much larger 4,000 mAh battery and of course, the tougher build we have come to associate with Samsung's Active series.


The differences more or less end there as this is virtually the same phone, albeit with a few enhancements. You will find the same SD 820 SoC, 5.1-inch 1440p AMOLED panel, 4GB RAM and identical front and back cameras with Android Marshmallow 6.0.1 running it all like a boss.
If you are wondering how come we are almost sure about the release date then the answer is simply, rumors. Rumors throughout the last year or so have been dead on and since all leaks regarding the S7 Active point towards a June 10 release date, we are putting our chips on that date. As far as we know, the S7 Active won't be available anywhere else other than the US, at least not for the moment.


Author: Saikat Kar (Tech-journalist and enthusiast)



Elliot Associates had earlier proposed to Samsung that they split the business and these were the suggestions laid out by the minor share holder in doing so.


1. Samsung Electronics should be split up into two separate divisions; namely, a holding company and an operating company. The holding company will be concerned with the ownership of the business, while the operating company will be responsible for the actual manufacturing of the different products sold under the Samsung Electronics brand name.


2. Samsung Electronics should use its current cash reserves to pay a dividend of $27 billion (one-time), with growing dividend payouts in the future.


3. The company should also increase its current number of board members.


In response, Samsung has actually confirmed that they are indeed considering it and there's a probability that a split may occur, if the benefits of shifting to a holding company model seems profitable enough. Apparently, Samsung is in the process of figuring out the dimensions, implications and the long term benefits of changing its current business model. They have reportedly hired outside agencies in order to help them determine what would be the best business structure for them. It should take at least six months before the results of the evaluation come out though.



In order to improve return for its shareholders, check out the following steps that Samsung is about to take.


1. 50% free cash flow allocation to the returns for the shareholders.


2. Shares will be bought back with the remaining 50% of the free cash flow at the end of January 2017 in a strategy to increase the short term value.


3. Dividend payouts will once again start rolling out in April 2017.


4. An increase of 30% over 2015 on total dividends in this year.


Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)


Source


 

In all the confusion and excitement that comes with the Galaxy Note 8 leaks, what we almost forget at times is the very fact for which it's called a "Note." Yes, we are talking about the stylus here today and thanks to SlashLeaks, we are getting our first look at the S-Pen. Before reading anymore, take a good look at the pictures here and decide if you think that this is the real deal.

 

Do you think it is indeed the S-Pen from the upcoming Galaxy Note 8 or does it look way too much like the one that came with the Galaxy Note 7? Well to be honest I can't really tell, given that the pictures have deliberately been blurred. Yes I said deliberately because I refuse to believe that someone with access to a Galaxy Note 8's stylus did not have access to a camera that could click a decently focused photograph in what clearly is a well-lit environment! Even then, this live image would not have been so suspicious had it not been for the fact that the S-Pen is more likely to be redesigned this year to accommodate the significant changes on the Galaxy Note 8's physical structure.


Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)


 

The iPhone 8 and the Galaxy Note 8 are on top of every smartphone rumor list these days and for good reason too; these two are the biggest smartphones that will hit the stores in the second half of the year and it's only natural for their rumors to be everywhere. Today we have the Galaxy Note 8 in our sights and although this particular leak doesn't really have any accompanying images to support its claims, it comes from the famous leakster Roland Quandt on Twitter.

 

He is claiming that he has inside info about the upcoming Galaxy Note 8's colors and according to that information, it will come in three colors (at least initially). The colors are Midnight Black, Orchid Grey and Deep Blue. It is to be noted that the "Deep Blue" variant will likely be different from the Cobalt Blue color we saw introduced with the Galaxy Note 7 last year. Read the tweet below.

 

"Samsung Galaxy Note 8 coming in Black, Orchid Grey and a new Deep Blue. At least."

 

Samsung may also release other colors in different regions, just as hinted by Quandt, but whether or not they will all be launched simultaneously on August 23rd, remains to be seen.


Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)



If you have been following the smartphone news for the last few years, then you probably already know that a Samsung foldable smartphone has been in development for years now. However, after years of false rumors and promises, it looks like 2019 is finally going to be the year in which the elusive device from Samsung will at last be launched. The latest rumor suggests that the smartphone will be unveiled at the CES 2019 and we have some images that might just catch your attention because they do look gorgeous.



As per the latest images and rumors, the Galaxy X could also be called Galaxy F, aka Foldable. While the denomination is unimportant, what is more important is the fact that the smartphone seems to be in-line with previous rumors that suggested it would resemble a wallet when folded. In-between the completely folded in and the completely folded out positions, there is even a third intermediary position. Whether these renders hold any credence to them or not is something that we will just have to wait a few more months to find out.



Source: Nieuwe Mobiel


Saikat Kar



Now that Android Nougat is finally here for Nexus devices, we have a few cool but hidden features that for you to try out on the new OS if you have not already.


1. Turning on the System UI Tuner - On the Quick Settings menu, long press the Settings icon until it starts to spin and when it does, System UI Tuner is enabled. The experimental features in this section include Power Notification controls for restricting or allowing app notifications on a finer level. You can remove the entire Quick Settings panel altogether from the drop down menu as well.



2. Multi-Window Compatibility - Go to Settings > About > Software information and then touch the Build Number seven times and do it fast. Developer Options should now be enabled. Go back to the Settings menu and find the Developer Options. Turn on Force activities to be resizable, and you should now able to open any app on your phone in the multi-window mode, even if they were not compatible with it before.



3. Block spam calls - Go to your phone's Dial app and go to Settings > Call Blocking from the menu. Turn on Caller ID & Spam and also enter any number you wish to block manually. You should now be fairly protected from unwanted callers or spammers.



Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)



As Gene Munster from Piper Jaffray pointed out on CNBC yesterday, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus couldn't have chosen a better time to come out unless Apple had some sort of premonition about the impending disaster that has now befallen their biggest competitor in the market. The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was a beautiful flagship device that was set to conquer markets around the world once again, but then its batteries started exploding! At this point of time, authorities, experts and most importantly, Samsung itself has officially requested everyone who owns a Note 7, to shut down their device and go to the nearest service centre for a replacement. The entire 2.5 million smartphones which were sent to the customers are going to be replaced or refunded by Samsung, which alone would cost them more than a billion dollars. The damage will be much bigger than a billion dollars in the long run though, because of the bad reputation that this incident is sure to brand Samsung with.


The iPhone 7 on the other hand, was not received well by fans and critics alike (barring a few hardcore fans of course). The new handset is being criticized for not bringing any real innovation to the series and also for excluding the well loved 3.5mm jack, while bringing in a somewhat strange-looking AirPod to the market at a premium cost. Nevertheless, there have been no reports of the iPhone 7's batteries exploding and settingthings on fire, so it's pretty much obvious that Apple is bound to see a significant sales boost, now that their biggest competitor is somewhat out of the equation for a small while. Some experts have predicted that Apple may very well have suffered an even lower sales number this year, had their competitor's smartphones not started catching fire right before the latest iPhones went on sale.


Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)



If the latest report by Bloomberg turns out to be true, then Qualcomm is probably devising a strategy to put an import ban on iPhones manufactured by Apple outside the country. The United States International Trade Commission will likely be appealed by the chip manufacturer to put the ban in effect against the Cupertino giant. Whether or not they will actually try to do that remains to be seen. Also, it would be interesting to see how the Trade Commission reacts to the appeal, if Qualcomm does indeed decide to go ahead with it.


Why they would take such a step you ask? The answer isn't "to benefit the US economy," that much I can assure you! It's just a possible strategic move by the microchip manufacturer to strengthen their position in the ongoing legal battle that's currently going on in-between the two companies. Qualcomm is losing out billions of dollars because Apple has stopped paying licensing fees to Qualcomm, after citing that Qualcomm is charging exorbitant and unfair amounts of money for legacy technology. It looks like Qualcomm is trying to put some pressure back on Apple.


Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)



Apple's 3D Touch is a feature that many Android users expect to see as a part of Android N, albeit with a different name of course! In fact, many are already calling it the chief attraction or the main highlight of Google's next version of the Android OS. However, a recent report by Recode suggests that the 3D Touch-esque feature will not be a part of Android N, as was believed previously. The report also adds that this delay is probably the result of "... a maintenance update to the software." If the report is true, then support for pressure-sensitive displays is unfortunately, still a bit far off for Android users.


Google's annual developer's conference or I/O 2016 starts on May 18 and will end on May 20. We expect that many details about Android N will be revealed both during and after the conference. Those that were lucky enough to experience the pre-release beta version via Google's early access plan will surely be eager to know what more they have added or are planning to add to the final release. Many consider pressure-sensitive features to be just a gimmick, what do you think? Would you like to see 3D Touch as a part of your next Android powered smartphone?


Author: Saikat Kar (Tech-journalist and enthusiast)


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