Google’s Pixel phones ever since launch have been in headline for whether they can justify their premium pricing. At their prices, they are in direct competition with the likes of iPhone 7 and Galaxy S7 series, and omissions like optical image stabilisation (OIS) functionality and proper dust and water resistance were remarked upon. The latest buzz around the Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones is why these devices don’t come with expanded water resistance, especially after a video surfaced on the Internet showing Pixel phones barely surviving underwater for 30 minutes.
Well, if a report citing a Google representative is to be believed, then the company “ran out of time.” Wired’s David Pierce in a recent podcast shared some insights about the Pixel phones. When asked about waterproofing, Google representatives told Pierce that they were unable to add it because of the time crunch to bring the product to market.
Pierce adds that Google had plans to make the phones more water resistant for a long time but by the end of 2015, the company chucked the plans. “There apparently had been this plan for a long time, and then at the end of 2015, they blew it all up and started over,” said Pierce in Wired’s Gadget Lab Podcast. According to Pierce, Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones went from the company’s drawing board to official launch in roughly 9 months.
For those unaware, Google Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones are IP53 rated which means they have minor dust and water resistance. This doesn’t mean that the devices can survive when fully submerged in water. The ‘5’ in ‘IP53′ signifies the devices’ innards are unlikely to be damaged by dust. The ‘3’ in the rating signifies the devices will not suffer damage from water ingress if they are held at an angle not more than 60 degrees from the vertical while being sprayed by low-pressure water – similar to rain. They will not withstand immersion in water.
The missing water-resistance feature definitely hurts the overall package for Pixel smartphones when compared to Apple’s first highly water-resistant iPhones which were recently unveiled, while Samsung added the feature on its premium-end phones previously. To recall, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are IP67 certified while the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge are IP68 certified. Both sets of phones can stand immersion in different depths of water for up to 30 minutes – 1 metre for the iPhone models, and 1.5 metres for the Galaxy S7 series.
Apple has released iOS 10.1, macOS 10.12.1 Sierra, tvOS 10.0.1, and watchOS 3.1 updates commercially, after running them in beta for more than a month. These updates bring bug fixes and improvements across entire Apple’s product lineup, most notably the Portrait Mode support for iPhone 7 Plus users.
The iOS 10.1 update finally brings Portrait Mode (in beta) for the iPhone 7 Plus to create the much talked about ‘bokeh’ effect during the keynote. This mode creates a shallow depth of field effect to sharpen the main object, while blurring the background. iOS 10.1 also introduces improvements in Maps and iMessage apps. For instance, Maps brings all major public transport support in Japan, and also lets you compare fares between various modes of transport to pick the best suited for you.
iMessage now has the option to replay Bubble and Screen effects, and also lets you play them in a new ‘Reduce Motion’. Apart from other fixes, it also solves pairing issues with Android Wear, and the issue that caused Photos to quit for some users when turning on iCloud Photo Library. The update is available for free to all users running on the latest version of iOS 10.To download the update, ensure that you have good Wi-Fi strength, and your device is charged up to 50 percent at least. Don’t forget to backup your iOS device before you download and install the update. to download and install it directly on your iOS device, go to Settings > General > Software Update, and tap Download and Install. When the download is complete, tap Install and tap Agree when Apple shows you its Terms and Conditions. Your device will the restart and install the update. To download iOS 10 via iTunes, first install iTunes, open it, and then connect your iOS device to your PC or Mac. In iTunes select your device’s icon on the top bar, Click the Summary tab and then click Check for update. Now, click Download and update. At this point, you should follow the simple on-screen instructions to install iOS 10.
Coming to macOS 10.12.1 Sierra, the update focuses primarily on bug fixes and improvement. It brings support for the portrait mode feature introduced in iOS 10.1, and has enabled a new smart album in Photos. It brings improvements in the auto unlock feature with Apple Watch, and overall brings stability and more security in Safari browsing. The new Mac lineup expected to be unveiled this Thursday, and could run on this latest version out-of-the-box. The update is available to download via the Mac App Store.
As mentioned, watchOS 3.1 is also available for download for all Apple Watch, and Apple Watch 2 users. This update also focuses on improvements and bug fixes, and also brings the option to replay Bubble and Screen effects in iMessage. It resolves an issue that prevented the Apple Watch Series 2 from fully charging as well. It also fixed an issue that prevented Force Touch options from appearing in some third-party apps. You can download the latest update through the Apple Watch app by heading to General -> Software Update. Ensure that you have 50 percent battery, and are running on iOS 10 or later on your iPhone to be able to download the update. Refer Apple’s website for detailed instructions on how to update your Apple Watch to the latest OS.
Finally, tvOS 10.0.1 update is also available, and is pegged as a minor update with bug fixes and improvements in the OS. The update is only compatible for the fourth-gen Apple TV, and to launch the update manually, head to Settings app > Navigate to System > Software Updates > Update Software.
InFocus has launched its Epic 1 smartphone in India, and the smartphone is available to purchase in the country from Tuesday via Amazon India at Rs. 12,999.
The InFocus Epic 1 has several highlights, such as a deca-core MediaTek Helio X20 processor, a 16-megapixel rear camera with an f/2.0 aperture, PDAF, and auto image stabilisation, apart from a USB Type-C port with fast charging capabilities.
The dual-SIM (Nano+Nano) InFocus Epic 1 runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow with the company’s InLife 2 UI on top. It bears a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) LTPS display with Corning Gorilla Glass. It is powered by a deca-core MediaTek Helio X20 (MT6797M) SoC with two Cortex-A72 cores clocked at 2GHz, four Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.9GHz, and four Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.4GHz. It features 3GB of RAM alongside.
The InFocus Epic 1’s rear camera bears a dual-colour LED flash, while the 8-megapixel front-facing camera bears an f/1.8 aperture and an 82-degree wide-angle lens. Connectivity options onboard include 4G (with VoLTE support), Bluetooth v4.1, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, GPS/ A-GPS, and a USB Type-C port. It also bears an IR-blaster that allows the smartphone to act as a universal remote control. It comes with 32GB of inbuilt storage that is expandable via microSD card (up to 128GB).
The metal-bodied smartphone weighs in at 160 grams, and measures 153x76x8.4mm. The InFocus Epic 1 features a fingerprint sensor on the rear panel. Other sensors onboard include an accelerometer, an ambient light sensor, a digital compass, a gyroscope, a proximity sensor, and a magnetometer. It runs on a 3000mAh non removable battery.
Apple Inc.’s entry into Japanese digital payments is off to a rough start as system trouble prevents commuters from charging their passes.
East Japan Railway Co. said users are experiencing difficulties connecting to the Mobile Suica contactless payment system, after the rail operator servicing Tokyo metropolitan area began accepting Apple Pay on Tuesday. The trouble started shortly after 9am in Tokyo, according to Apple’s page tracking status of various services.
Apple is seeking a foothold in a market where people still prefer paying with cash despite years of using rail passes that double as electronic money cards. The Cupertino, California-based company’s new iPhone 7 includes support for the FeliCa standard, a tap-to-pay technology used in cards such as the Suica and Pasmo rail passes widely accepted in Tokyo and Osaka. Winning over Japanese commuters could foster growth in e-money usage through Apple Pay and entice more people to buy its phones.
JR East said problems were due to the large number of attempts to access the service. Apple Pay and Mobile Suica were the top trending Twitter topics in Tokyo. Users took to social media to express their frustration.”This makes me worried about system stability going forward,” @ltdexp_1002M posted on Twitter. “Seriously? This may be the first service outage ever for Suica?” said another user posting under @taturou.
Xiaomi is all set to launch its latest flagship smartphone, the Mi Note 2, on Tuesday. The company has scheduled an event in Beijing that kicks off at 2pm CST (11:30am IST) and will also be live streamed (seen below). Apart from the name of the smartphone, Xiaomi has all but confirmed that the Mi Note 2 will sport a curved display similar to the dual-edge display seen on the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.
The company revealed the Mi Note 2 launch date, name, and the ‘two-sided dual curve’ design in a tweet on Friday. Nearly all details about the smartphone have also been leaked in the past few weeks, from several pricing rumours, to the complete specifications via leaked presentation slides. Of course, all will be revealed in a few hours, and you can watch the live stream below.
The Xiaomi Mi Note 2’s highlight features are anticipated to be its curved display, a dual rear camera setup similar to the one seen on the Mi 5s Plus, an iris scanner, and a large battery. It is expected that two models will be launched – a 4GB RAM/ 64GB inbuilt storage model at CNY 2,799 (roughly Rs. 27,800), and 6GB RAM/ 128GB inbuilt storage model at CNY 2,999 (roughly Rs. 29,800).
The Mi Note 2 is also expected to sport a 5.7-inch Super Amoled (1440×2560 pixels) display with pressure sensitive technology – similar to the Xiaomi Mi 5s. On board is said to be a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 SoC, while the Mi Note 2’s dual rear camera sensor will supposedly feature a 23-megapixel Sony IMX318 sensor and a 12-megapixel Sony IMX378 sensor. The front camera is said to come with an 8-megapixel sensor.
The Xiaomi Mi Note is also tipped to sport a 4100mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 technology, an ultrasonic fingerprint scanner embedded under glass (as seen on the Mi 5s), as well as 4G VoLTE , Bluetooth 4.1, WiFi 802.11 ac (2.4/5 GHz) MU-MIMO, GPS, NFC, and USB Type-C connectivity options. The smartphone is said to run Android 6.0 Marshmallow-based MIUI 8, and support dual-SIM slots (Nano + Nano).
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.