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BlackBerry last week made an announcement that its smartphones will now be manufactured and sold by TCL Communication (TCT). One week after the BlackBerry-TCL partnership news, TCL has now said that it will launch new BlackBerry smartphones at the CES 2017 trade show. However, there are no details regarding the new devices, but one of them could bring the BlackBerry’s signature physical QWERTY keyboard.

TCL Communication said the CES presentation will “include a first look at how the BlackBerry brand legacy will live on in a new generation of smartphones.” It’s evident BlackBerry is betting on the new partnership with China’s TCL to compete with the likes of Apple and Samsung. To recall, BlackBerry in September made a bold announcement that it’s quitting the mobile manufacturing business, and would solely focus on its software unit. The company recently launched the Android-powered DTEK60, which was manufactured under an agreement with TCL Communication.

Steve Cistulli, President and General Manager for TCL Communication (TCT), North America commented, “We’ll unveil more news at CES around our plans, showcasing the legacy of the BlackBerry smartphone brand, while also giving a glimpse into what new BlackBerry smartphones will offer as part of our bold new brand portfolio within TCT. These are just the building blocks of our new growth strategy, with additional announcements to come in 2017.”

The new TCL-made BlackBerry QWERTY device is expected to be the rumoured BlackBerry Mercury, whose specifications were leaked online with images earlier this month. The rumoured BlackBerry Mercury is touted to have a fingerprint sensor integrated into the space bar. It is also expected to be powered by the Snapdragon 625 CPU, and house a 4.5-inch display. The smartphone has been spotted on GeekBench as well, and the leak hints at 3GB of RAM, 32GB of inbuilt storage, a 3400mAh battery, an 18-megapixel rear camera, and an 8-megapixel front-facing camera. It is said to run Android 7.0 Nougat with BlackBerry’s own customisations for security.

At this point, we are uncertain on when this device will be unveiled and what name it will commercially bear, but they are expected to hit the US first. Notably, BlackBerry’s partnership with TCL does not allow it to sell its new mobile devices in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and Indonesia, some of BlackBerry’s biggest handset markets.

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Early last month, some Nexus 6P users reported an issue where their devices were shutting down unexpectedly despite showing some percentage of battery left, after updating to Android 7.0 Nougat. It seems like Google has still not fixed the issue as Nexus 6P users are continuing to complain regarding the issue to the search giant through threads and complaint forums.

The issue on Nexus 6P smartphones has already been posted in Google’s Issue Tracker but currently holds a priority of “small” on the website. Some users have reported that their battery died out from battery levels as high as 60 percent, as pointed out in a report by AndroidPolice. Most users have reported their battery dying out between 10 and 60 percent and the issue is more prominent in regions with cold climates as per the report.

One of the biggest problems associated with the Nexus 6P battery failure issue is that several people have ended up in emergency situations where they were not able to contact their family due to the fact that their phone’s battery died unexpectedly. One user complained, “One evening I was stuck in traffic for 2 hours for a multiple vehicle crash. I had over 50 percent battery left and when I tried to call my family and let them know I’m stuck and wasn’t involved in the crash the phone died,” as pointed out by 9to5Google.

Even though some Nexus 6P users tried rolling back to earlier versions of Android, the issue was not solved. However, the battery reportedly started dying at levels lower than that in the case of Android 7.0 Nougat.

As this shutdown issue has already posed a problem for several Nexus 6P users, the search giant needs to roll out an update to fix the issue before it creates more trouble.

 
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Sony had laid out its plans to roll out the Android 7.0 Nougat update to its top-end handsets back in September, and thereafter the Sony Xperia X Performance and Xperia XZ started receiving the update towards the end of November. Sony is now expanding the rollout to more devices, Xperia X, Xperia X Dual, and Xperia X Compact getting the Android 7.0 Nougat update. The update is rolling out in a phased manner in some select regions, while the rollout is expected to widen in the coming days.

On its Twitter handle, Sony has officially announced that Xperia X, and X Compact will start receiving the Android 7.0 Nougat update in a phased manner and users should watch out for the update-notifications on their Xperia X devices. Separately however, Xperia Blog had reported that this update was rolling out OTA a few days prior to this. The report cites users to claim that the Xperia X, Xperia X Dual, and Xperia Compact are receiving the Android 7.0 Nougat update that will take the build number to version 34.2.A.0.266 on the respective handsets.

Users are reporting that the updates are rolling out in Australia, India, Latin America, Middle East, Russia, Turkey, Thailand and Vietnam as of now. The Android 7.0 Nougat update for Xperia X handsets is 1276.7MB in size. With the update, the Android security patch level will also get updated to December 2016.

Notably, Sony in its Android 7.0 Nougat plan, had earmarked some of its smartphones like Xperia Z5 series, Xperia Z3+, and Xperia Z4 Tablet that should be getting the update around December. The last batch of Xperia smartphones to receive the update will be Xperia XA and Xperia XA Ultra, which are slated to receive Android 7.0 Nougat in early 2017. The Sony Xperia Z4 and Xperia Z4v, released in the second quarter of 2015, have been entirely left out of the Nougat rollout roadmap by the company.

 
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Nokia may unveil a high-end Android smartphone alongside the much-rumoured Nokia D1C, if the latest leaks are to be believed.

A new report citing a Chinese tipster claims that Nokia’s upcoming high-end smartphone will pack a Snapdragon 835 SoC, 6GB of RAM, and a 23-megapixel rear camera with Zeiss lens. An earlier report suggested that the high-end Nokia phone may sport a 5.2-inch or 5.5-inch screen size and come with 2K (QHD) display.

One of the highlight features of the upcoming flagship Nokia Android phone was said to be the Zeiss lens for the primary camera, something that was seen on earlier Nokia devices. The high-end Nokia Android phone is also expected to run Android 7.0 Nougat out-of-the-box. Nokia’s Android smartphone is also rumoured to come with waterproof capability alongside sporting a metal unibody design.

A couple of leaked images show an all-metal phone with Nokia branding at the rear. Unfortunately, the turned off display doesn’t show anything at the front. The leaked Nokia smartphone images couldn’t be verified and we advise readers to take the images with a pinch of salt considering this could be an early prototype of the high-end Nokia flagship.

We can expect more details about the Nokia smartphones to be available as we come close to the MWC 2017 event that kicks off on February 27 in Barcelona.

Amidst several leaks and rumours around Nokia’s re-entry into smartphones, HMD Global, which owns the exclusive rights to use the Nokia branding on mobile devices, recently unveiled the Nokia 150 and Nokia 150 Dual SIM phones. The Nokia 150 and Nokia 150 Dual SIM basic phones will be available in select markets from Q1 2017, starting with APAC, IMEA, and Europe.

HMD Global, the Finnish company, also recently confirmed that the first Nokia-branded Android smartphone will make its way in the first half of 2017 and the launch will happen at MWC 2017.

 
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Xiaomi officials have confirmed that the Android Nougat update is coming for its smartphones. The Xiaomi Mi 4c, Xiaomi Mi 4S, and Xiaomi Mi Note will be among the first to receive the update followed by the Xiaomi Mi Note 2, Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus and Xiaomi Mi Max. The company confirmed the update through Weibo.

The company says the beta testing for the Nougat update is already underway. The MIUI operations manager who posted on Weibo did not mention any specific date from when the update will begin rolling out for the phones.

The Android based update will be called MIUI 9, a leaked image of which was spotted a while back. As of now, only the Xiaomi Mi 5 has received the Nougat update and now the rest of Xiaomi’s devices can expect the update soon enough.

Interestingly, Xiaomi’s official did not mention whether the Nougat update will be available for the Redmi series. Users of Xiaomi devices mentioned above can expect the Nougat update some time during Q1 of 2017.

[“source-ndtv”]


OnePlus 3T has started receiving the first OxygenOS update, still based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The Chinese company has confirmed that the OxygenOS 3.5.4 update will be rolled out to users over-the-air (OTA) and will be an incremental update. “The OTA will reach a small percentage of users today, and we’ll begin a broader rollout in a few days,” said the OnePlus team in its forum post.

According to the changelog posted by the company, the OxygenOS 3.5.4 update for the OnePlus 3T brings along optimisations for US-TMO Network and to reduce lag when battery is below 5 percent. The OnePlus 3T update also brings optimised Bluetooth connectivity for Mazda cars, and an optimised battery saving mode. OnePlus says that GPS and orientation preferences will be restored when Battery Saving Mode is closed. The OxygenOS 3.5.4 update for the OnePlus 3T also fixes flashlight usability issue in WhatsApp, increases system stability, and implements various bug fixes. The new OnePlus 3T went on sale in India recently and has been priced at Rs. 29,999 for the 64GB inbuilt storage model, and Rs. 34,999 for the 128GB storage model, making it the most expensive OnePlus device yet.

Additionally, OnePlus has started rolling out the latest community build based on Android 7.0 Nougat for the OnePlus 3. The OxygenOS Open Beta 9 for the OnePlus 3 comes with optimisations and improvements in several areas including added expanded screenshots, shelf design optimisations, general UI optimisations, DPI optimisations, Battery performance optimisations, stability and performance optimisations, and general bug fixes.