Samsung Electronics Co Ltd is in talks with LG Chem Ltd to supply batteries for its new smartphones, the Nikkei newspaper reported, citing sources.
Samsung, the world’s biggest smartphone maker, scrapped production of the fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 and said it would take a hit to its operating profit of about $3 billion over the next two quarters as a result.
The company had blamed faulty batteries for the original problem in its flagship device, but has given no indication about the cause of the overheating seen in the replacements.
The companies are discussing ways to supply batteries to Samsung’s new smartphones starting next year, the report said.
Samsung’s subsidiary, Samsung SDI Co Ltd, is the dominant battery supplier for the Galaxy Note 7, supplying around 70 percent of the batteries globally, according to analyst estimates.
Samsung and LG Chem were not immediately available for comment outside regular business hours.
InFocus has unveiled a new series of smartphones called Epic with the launch of the InFocus Epic 1 in India. The smartphone is priced at 12,999 and will be sold exclusively via Amazon India. The company has started taking registrations, and the sale is scheduled to begin from October 25.
The talking points of the InFocus Epic 1 are its metal body, fingerprint sensor at the back, and the 16-megapixel object tracking camera. The smartphone comes with a USB Type-C port, and supports fast charging as well.
As for specifications, the InFocus Epic 1 features a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) On-Cell display. It is powered by a 1.2GHz MediaTek MT6797M deca-core processor paired with Mali T720 MP2 GPU and 3GB of RAM. It offers 32GB of internal storage that can be expanded further using a microSD card.
The InFocus Epic 1 smartphone runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow with the InLife 2 UI skin on top. Optics include a 16-megapixel rear camera with OIS, PDAF, and object tracking technology. There’s also an 8-megapixel front camera for selfies with f/1.8 aperture.
The InFocus Epic 1 packs a 3,000mAh battery, which claims to last up to 10 hours of talk time and 500 hours of standby time. Connectivity options include 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a USB Type-C port.
InFocus has been teasing the smartphone on its social channels, and the company claims that the fingerprint sensor at the back reads prints in less than a second. On social media, the company has been showing off a Rose Gold colour variant.
Samsung Electronics on Thursday introduced the industry’s first 8GB LPDDR4 mobile DRAM for Ultra HD and large screen devices and for devices with dual-cameras, 4K Ultra HD recording and VR support, among others. The 8GB mobile DRAM package is based on a 10-nanometer process and utilises four of the newest 16Gb LPDDR4 memory chips.
“The advent of our powerful 8GB mobile DRAM solution will enable more capable next-generation, flagship mobile devices around the world,” said Joo Sun Choi, Executive Vice President of Memory Sales and Marketing at Samsung Electronics.
The 8GB LPDDR4 operates at almost twice the speed of up to 4,266Mbps compared to 2,133Mbps speed of a standard DDR4 DRAM for PCs. The 10nm process technology Samsung’s proprietary low-power circuit design also mean the new 8GB LPDDR4 is more power efficient.
The company says the new 8GB LPDDR4 RAM’s 15x15x1.0mm dimensions satisfies space requirements of most new, ultra slim smartphones. In September 2015, Samsung began mass production of industry’s first 12Gb LPDDR4 mobile DRAM module that paved the way for smartphones and tablets with up to 6GB of RAM. With the new 10-nanometer class 16Gb LPDDR 4 DRAM, Samsung has opened the doors for devices with up to 8GB of RAM.
Samsung is expected to launch its first smartphone with 6GB of RAM, not including this variant of the Note 7, in the form of the Galaxy C9 on October 21. So, it might be a while before we see an 8GB device from the South Korean giant. Nevertheless, the new 8GB LPDDR4 RAM does open possibilities of an 8GB RAM for next-gen flagships, perhaps as soon as 2017.
While Flipkart still hasn’t fulfilled its promise of revealing the Samsung Galaxy On Nxt, which was scheduled to happen at 8pm on Thursday, someone at Samsung India seems to have jumped the gun by listing the smartphone on the company’s website.
According to the listing, which was still live at the time of publishing this post, the smartphone will be priced at Rs. 18,490 and be available in Gold and Black colours. The Galaxy On Nxt was earlier confirmed to be Flipkart exclusive, and we’ll have to wait for details from the e-commerce major for details on when the phone will go up for purchase.
The Samsung Galaxy On Nxt looks identical on paper to the Galaxy On7 (2016), down to the physical dimensions, which makes us believe it’s nothing but a rebranding of the smartphone that launched in China last month. The phone features a full metal unibody design and it comes with 5.5-inch full-HD display protected by 2.5D Gorilla Glass.
The Galaxy On Nxt is powered by an octa-core SoC clocked at 1.6GHz alongside 3GB of RAM. The phone packs 32GB of internal storage that can be expanded up to 256GB via a dedicated microSD slot The dual-Nano-SIM Samsung Galaxy On Nxt is backed by a 3300mAh battery that’s rated to deliver up to 21 hours of 3G talk time and up to 15 hours of Internet usage over LTE.
The Samsung Galaxy On Nxt packs a 13-megapixel rear camera and a 8-megapixel front camera, both with f/1.9 aperture. The rear camera is backed by a flash and it is capable of recording full-HD video. Connectivity options include GPS, Bluetooth 4.1, Wi-Fi 802.11n, Wi-Fi Direct, but there’s no NFC. A fingerprint sensor is thrown into the home button for good measure.
At this price point, the Samsung Galaxy On Nxt will compete with the likes of Lenovo Z2 Plus that launched in India at a starting price of Rs. 17,999.
While everyone awaits the big Samsung Galaxy On Nxt reveal at 8pm, some new information about the upcoming smartphone has come to light. While it had earlier seemed that Flipkart was using the ‘Nxt’ moniker as sort of a placeholder for another smartphone whose name it did not want to reveal, it seems the truth has been hiding in plain sight the whole time.
The next Samsung Galaxy On smartphone to launch in the country is indeed called Samsung Galaxy On Nxt and it will be Flipkart exclusive, the latter bit having already been confirmed by the two companies on Wednesday. Further, Gadgets 360 has learnt from its sources that the smartphone will be priced around the Rs. 18,000 mark. While we are still awaiting details about the exact specifications of the Samsung Galaxy On Nxt, we can reveal that it will be similar to the popular Galaxy J5 (2016) and Galaxy J7 (2016), with some improvements, specifically with regards to the SoC and RAM inside the Galaxy On Nxt.
Those specifications should be no surprise given the expected price range of the Samsung Galaxy On Nxt. The Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016) launched in India carrying a price tag of Rs. 13,990, while the J7 (2016) was priced at Rs. 15,990 at launch – the Galaxy On Nxt will slot in right above them in terms of price as well as specifications.
Flipkart has been building up to the reveal of the Samsung Galaxy On Nxt at 8pm later today, and all the details should become official pretty soon.
Samsung India Electronics will make all the future launches, including entry level smart phones, with 4G facilities and it expects to gain the market share in the current year on the back of new launches, a top company official said on Thursday.
“There is huge conversion happening from feature phones to smart phones at the entry level. This migration will continue. All the future launches, including entry level segment, will have 4G facilities and we will sell 4G devices. But at the same time, there will be certain set of feature phones users because of price points,” said company’s Vice President (Mobile Business) Manu Sharma.
He also said the mobile maker has experienced growth in sales this year but declined to give details of sales figures.
“We expect that the company will gain its market share on the back of new launches,” he said.
According to latest data, in the smartphone market the mobile maker at present has 48.7 percent share in terms of value.
Speaking on the the Galaxy Note 7, he confirmed that the company would refund consumers who bought the Galaxy Note 7 smart phones outside the country. “They can go to service centre and get it refunded,” he said, adding that it “did not sell” the device in India.
In lieu of the Galaxy Note 7 pre-book offer, the company has offered Samsung Galaxy S7/S7 Edge, he added.
On Wednesday, reports emerged that Spanish phone brand Zetta has been selling rebranded Xiaomi phones under its own name, marketing the devices as “iPhone killers”.
According to The Next Web, this came to light when a user tore down the phone – and discovered a sticker under the battery of the phone. Peeling the sticker off, the user discovered Xiaomi’s logo.
It turns out that Xiaomi – which has talked in the past about wanting to be cautious about its international growth – wasn’t aware of what Zetta was doing. A statement from the company made it clear that it wasn’t connected to Zetta, or anyone else in the region.
“We do not have any working relationship with Zetta. We have no partnerships in Western Europe currently,” a Xiaomi spokesperson told Gadgets 360.
The question then is how Zetta – a company with only seven employees – was able to get enough inventory to successfully set up its own brand in Spain. Xiaomi was not able to share any further data, leaving the matter open to speculation.
It’s an interesting question, because Zetta’s growth in Spain was made possible through the same mix of build quality and low prices that has made Xiaomi popular in other markets, including India. However, as pointed out in this report, Zetta’s pricing is significantly higher than that of Xiaomi, which makes sense if it’s just buying products at retail prices and selling them at a markup, as seems to be the case.
Xiaomi did not confirm whether or not it will explore legal options against Zetta. There’s clearly more going on here, but Zetta has completely denied the accusations.
In a statement, Zetta announced that the company shares “some electronics” with “some companies” from Asia, but adds that the smartphones from these companies are not usable with European networks, and that Zetta incorporates software which improves the phones.
Zetta further states that the real added value of the company comes from adapting the software of some components so that any Spanish or European citizen can use the phones with a full guarantee.
In a bid to entice photo enthusiasts, camera company Kodak has launched the photo-focused Ektra smartphone. The smartphone has a unique design with a huge camera lens at the back, and it boasts of DSLR-like modes and features. The smartphone has been launched in Europe at €499 (roughly Rs. 36,800).
The Kodak Ektra smartphone is manufactured by a UK-based company called Bullitt Group. The firm has licensed Kodak’s intellectual property and brand to make this smartphone. It has a huge 21-megapixel fast-focus camera rear sensor with OIS, f/2.0 aperture, PDAF, and dual-LED Flash. There’s an additional 13-megapixel front camera with f/2.2 aperture and PDAF for selfies.
Furthermore, the camera app comes with quintessential DSLR modes like Smart Auto, Portrait, Manual, Sports, Bokeh, Night-time, HDR, Panorama, Macro, Landscape, and 4K Video Capture. There’s also an Advanced Manual mode that allows users to adjust exposure, ISO, focal length (Manual/Auto), white balance, shutter speed, and aperture (fixed f2.0 main camera). It comes with a pre-loaded app called Print that lets you order physical copies of the pictures as well. The Kodak Ektra smartphone also has a widget that recommends many photo-editing apps like Prisma and Adobe Lightroom, but the one installed by defauly is Snapseed.
The smartphone’s large rear sensor protrudes out of the smartphone significantly, but a slight curve design at the bottom looks to balance things out at surface level. Furthermore, the lens has a metal ring to protect it from wear and tear.
As for the other specifications, the Kodak Ektra features a 5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) display with 441 ppi pixel density. It is powered by a 2.3GHz Helio X20 deca-core processor paired with 3GB of RAM. The smartphone offers 32GB of internal storage with the option to expand further via a microSD card slot. Furthermore, it packs a 3000mAh battery, supports USB Type-C charging, and measures 147.8mmx73.35mmx9.69mm.
Kodak’s foray into the smartphone market last year with the Kodak IM5 was largely unsuccessful. It remains to be seen whether the Kodak Ektra fares any better.
After launching the ZTE Blade V6 (Review) in India, the company has now announced that it is bringing the ZTE Nubia Z11 mini to the country. The smartphone supports VoLTE, has a full-HD display, fingerprint sensor, and is powered by an octa-core processor. The ZTE Nubia Z11 mini is priced at Rs. 12,999 and will be available exclusively via Amazon India from October 21 in Black and White colour variants.
The ZTE Nubia Z11 mini was first unveiled in China in April this year, and was priced at CNY 1,499 (approximately Rs. 15,000). The smartphone sports a fingerprint scanner at the back, and it can be used for multiple functions like as a camera shutter button or for taking screenshots.
The ZTE Nubia Z11 mini sports a 16-megapixel rear camera with f/2.0 aperture, 6P lens, autofocus, and LED flash. There is an 8-megapixel front camera also on board. The company also claims that the smartphone carries ZTE’s new phone professional photography system called “NeoVision 5.8”.
As for other specifications, the smartphone features a 5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) IPS display. Under the hood, the ZTE Nubia Z11 mini is powered by an octa-core (4~CHECK~1.5GHz Cortex A53+ 4~CHECK~1.2GHz Cortex A53) Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 (MSM8952) processor paired with 3GB of RAM and Adreno 405 GPU. There is 32GB of inbuilt storage that’s expandable via microSD card (up to 200GB).
The ZTE Nubia Z11 mini sports a hybrid dual-SIM slot (Nano + Nano), which means the second SIM card slot also doubles up as the microSD card slot. It runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop with Nubia UI 3.9.6 skin on top. The handset is backed by a 2800mAh non-removable battery.
Connectivity options on the ZTE Nubia Z11 mini include 4G VoLTE, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Micro-USB v2.0 (with USB OTG), GPS/ A-GPS, USB Type-C port, and Glonass connectivity. It measures 141.4x70x8mm, and weighs 138 grams.
Samsung’s reputation may have taken a huge hit in doing so, but the company announced the worldwide recall and halt of sales of the Galaxy Note 7 due to explosion cases associated with the smartphone. The South Korean company even urged its customers around the world to switch off the device and hand it back to the company for a refund, in order to ensure user safety. However, according to a latest report, over a million people like the device enough to continue using it despite the associated risks.
A large chunk of Galaxy Note 7 users have decided to not return their device as they either can’t find a suitable replacement; like the device’s features too much; or don’t want to go through the replacement process, reports South Korean publication Korea JoongAng Daily. It might come as a surprise but the users are neglecting their personal safety despite the company itself cautioning them about the potential risks of keeping the device.
Some users are reportedly waiting for company’s next flagship device and are refusing to ‘downgrade’ from the Note 7. However, besides the obvious risk of explosion, there are other complications associated in keeping the device. First, the refunds and exchange program started by Samsung for the smartphone will end soon, with December the deadline for initiating the refund in many countries.
Further, many airlines have banned the device, and some countries will fine you heavily if you are caught travelling with it. Apart from the reasons stated above, the after-sales service for the device is a dead-end as the company has halted the smartphone’s production altogether.
If personal safety was not reason enough, rationality suggests that there are enough reasons to return the device. It should also be noted that by continued use of the Galaxy Note 7, users are not just risking their own safety, but also the safety of those around them.