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Samsung’s next flagship smartphone, Galaxy S8, is the company’s best shot at regaining the trust of its customers after the debacle that was the Galaxy Note 7. Rumours so far have claimed that Samsung will launch the alleged Galaxy S8 flagship smartphone on the side-lines of MWC 2017 in Barcelona on February 26. Now, a phone tipster from China has also claimed the same launch day for the Samsung Galaxy S8. Additionally, the tipster adds that the handset will go on sale from March.

According to leaked details on Weibo, the Galaxy S8 will feature a 5.5-inch 4K (2160×3840 pixels) Super Amoled display and will boast of an impressive pixel density of 806ppi. The tipster adds that the Galaxy S8 will be powered by the company’s in-house Exynos 8895 SoC. Much like some recent high-end smartphones, the Galaxy S8 is also said to sport massive 6GB of RAM. Notably, Samsung’s Galaxy S8 won’t be the company’s first smartphone featuring 6GB of RAM as the Galaxy C9 Pro was recently unveiled with the same memory.A previous report claimed that the Galaxy S8 will come with 16-megapixel and 8-megapixel dual-rear camera setup. The camera on the Galaxy S8 is believed to click decent images in low-light. The Samsung Galaxy S8 is also said to get rid of the signature home button seen on earlier flagship Galaxy phones. Other changes expected on the smartphone include bezel-less design. There are rumours that suggest Samsung is working on a new design where the front with no home button will be filled with all glass and will also incorporate fingerprint-sensing display.

However, a recent report suggested that Samsung Galaxy S8 was reportedly delayed by two weeks as engineers were working to find Galaxy Note 7 fault.

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Three days after AT&T announced an $85 billion deal to acquire Time Warner, Apple CEO Tim Cook says he’s open to make a large purchase.

When asked about his strategy around larger acquisitions during the company’s fiscal fourth quarter earnings call, Cook responded, “We’re open to acquisitions of any size that are of strategic value where we can deliver better products to our customers and innovate more. We look at a whole variety of companies and, based on that, we choose whether to move forward or not. We’re definitely open and we definitely look.”

Cook’s comments come not long after Apple was reported to be among those parties interested in Time Warner’s business. The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that Apple approached Time Warner, which owns Warner Bros, HBO, CNN and Turner, earlier this year but talks didn’t progress beyond the initial phase. The new report follows on a Financial Times report that Apple’s Eddy Cue made an approach last year.

Asked for further commentary around Apple’s interest in the television industry, Cook confirmed that “television has intense interest with me and many other people here.”He continued: “We have started with focusing on some original content. … I think it’s a great opportunity for us both from a creation point of view and from an ownership point of view, so it’s an area that we’re focused on.”

During the fiscal fourth quarter, Apple sold more iPhones than analysts were expecting but still posted year-over-year revenue declines that have some questioning the longterm growth potential for its signature device business.

The Cupertino, Calif., iPhone maker reported fiscal fourth quarter revenue of $46.9 billion, down 9 percent from the same period last year. Earnings fell 19 percent to $1.67 per share.

The company’s financial results were in line with analyst expectations. Wall Street, polled by Thomson Reuters, was expecting revenue of $46.9 billion and earnings of $1.65 a share. But this quarter marks the third consecutive decline in quarterly revenue, which contributed to a slight drop in share price during after-hours trading on the Nasdaq.

Apple sold 45.51 million iPhones during the quarter, slightly more than the 45 million analysts were anticipating. The new iPhone 7 went on sale just two week before the end of the quarter, so this next quarter will be where most of those sales are reflected.

“We’re thrilled with the customer response to iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and Apple Watch Series 2,” CEO Tim Cook said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Apple’s services division, which includes revenue from Apple Music, Apple Pay and other non-hardware offerings, was up 24 percent to a record $6.3 billion (roughly Rs. 42,073 crores). Cook noted in his statement that the segment was seeing “incredible momentum.”

The company is anticipating a strong holiday sales season, issuing revenue guidance for the fiscal first quarter of 2017 between $76 billion and $78 billion.

Apple shares closed up less than one percent at $118.25.

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Xiaomi has some disappointing news for fans in India looking forward to get their hands on the company’s new Mi Note 2 and Mi MIX smartphones. The company has said that it currently has no plans to launch the new smartphones in the Indian market.

The company’s confirmation to Gadgets 360 will dishearten many a buyer in India looking for a powerful mid-range phablet, as well as those who are looking for an alternative to the now-defunct Samsung Galaxy Note 7.

Xiaomi has previously shied away from releasing its most powerful smartphones in the Indian market, such as last year’s Mi Note, Mi Note Pro, and or even this year’s Mi 5, which took a while to arrive. There has been no official announcement regarding the India launch of Mi 5s and Mi 5s Plus, unveiled in September this year, so far either.The Android 6.0 Marshmallow-based Xiaomi Mi Note 2 sports a 5.7-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) Oled dual-curved display and is powered by the 2.35GHz quad-core Snapdragon 821 Performance Edition SoC. It bears a 4,070mAh battery and Quick Charge 3.0 fast-charging technology, along with a fingerprint sensor on the home button. The smartphone comes in two configurations: 64GB storage + 4GB RAM, and 128GB storage + 6GB RAM.

The Xiaomi Mi Note 2 sports a 22.5-megapixel rear camera with a Sony IMX318 Exmor RS sensor, and an 8-megapixel Sony IMX268 Exmor RS sensor. Connectivity suite of the smartphone includes 4G-LTE (downlink speeds up to 6000Mbps), Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth 4.2 and USB Type-C. Also on board is the Aqstic audio processor, with 192kHz/24-bit Hi-Fi sound quality.

On the other hand, the Mi MAX is a concept smartphone that will be sold in limited quantities in China. Its highlight is the 6.4-inch bezel-less display that gives it a 91.3 percent screen-to-body ratio; along with that, the smartphone has a ceramic body and piezoelectric acoustic ceramic earpiece speaker. The Xiaomi device is powered by a 2.35GHz quad-core Snapdragon 821 SoC, coupled with 4GB/ 6GB RAM, and packs a 4400mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0.

Xiaomi has included a 16-megapixel rear camera with PDAF on the back and a 5-megapixel camera in front. Apart from 4G LTE support, connectivity options on board include GPS/ A-GPS, NFC with Mi Pay support, Bluetooth v4.2, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, and a USB Type-C port.

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At the time of Pixel smartphones’ launch, Google made headlines by saying that the camera on these phones is the best in its class. This is why when users find an issue with these cameras; it becomes important for the company to address it as fast as possible. Google representative who goes by the name ‘IsaacOnCamera’ has acknowledged the issue of lens flare/halo and responded to the queries of Pixel users on company’s official forum.

Some users had earlier reported the issue to the company due to which an ‘arc of flare’ forms towards the edge of the images when taken under certain lighting conditions. As pointed out by IsaacOnCamera, lens flare is a property of all camera lenses. However, “This is the specific kind of flare that appears as a bright/low-contrast arc in the corners of the frame.”

Even though the issue seems tricky, the company’s representative said that Google is working on some algorithms that will be able to recognize the halo/arc flare, characterize it mathematically, and then be able to remove it from the image. He pointed out that users will have to use HDR+ to see the benefits of this software.

As per IsaacOnCamera, Pixel users can expect a software update for this fix in “next few weeks.” He also added that as the flare characteristic is present on all Pixel devices, there is no need to replace the device. The company has consistently said that the camera on Pixel phones will improve with time due to the software updates.Although Pixel smartphones have already received praise for their camera module, if the company is able to solve this issue with its software upgrade, it is bound to become even better.

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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.

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).

 
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Hisilicon, the Chinese semiconfuctor design firm wholly owned by Huawei, announced its next-generation flagship SoC at a press event in China. According to reports, the new chip will deliver massive graphics and storage subsystem performance improvements while also improving battery life. The Kirin 960 could debut as soon as next month, powering Huawei’s expected Mate 9 smartphone.

The Kirin 960 combines four high-powered 2.4GHz ARM Cortex A73 cores and four lower-powered 1.8GHz Cortex A53 cores. This arrangement is fairly common, allowing the SoC to allocate resources to tasks depending on power and battery life considerations. According to figures provided by Huawei, the Kirin 960 beats Apple’s A10, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 821 and Samsung’s Exynos 8890 in the multi-threaded Geekbench 4 test, and is second only to the A10 (though by a large margin) when considering only one core.

Huawei can also boast of being the first to market with ARM’s new Mali-G71 GPU, which was announced at Computex this year. The Kirin 960 uses the G71 MP8, which indicates 8 GPU cores. The Mali-G71 is based on ARM’s new “Bifrost” architecture and is geared for 4K content and VR.  Support for the Vulkan graphics API is also a first. The improvements add up to a claimed 180 percent improvement in graphics performance compared to previous-generation Kirin SoCs. HEVC and h.264 encode and decode are supported at 4K 30fps.

Another improvement is support for the high-speed Universal Flash Storage 2.1 standard which can improve overall system responsiveness. Thirteen of the 14 most popular apps load faster on the Kirin 960 than its competition, according to Huawei. In addition, LPDDR4 RAM can be used in devices based on the Kirin 960, and there are promised improvements to the camera ISP and sensor control logic.

The SoC integrates a 4G LTE modem, which can handle up to Cat 12/13 speeds, ie 600Mbps downloads and 150Mbps uploads. It is fabricated on a 16nm process and will be manufactured by TSMC.

Huawei is expected to launch the Mate 9 next month. It is unknown whether it will take advantage of all the Kirin 960’s capabilities, but it should be running Android N when it makes it to markets.

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Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 safety issues in the last month or so has become the company’s worst nightmare. The issue forced the company to kill its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones and Samsung may not stop here. If a new report out of Russia is to be believed, then Samsung is reportedly considering killing the “Note” lineup completely, with no future smartphones to carry the iconic phablet brand.

Hi-Tech.Mail.ru citing an unnamed person from Samsung’s corporate headquarters reports that the South Korean company is “planning to abandon” the entire production line of Galaxy Note-series smartphones. The report adds that the reputation of the “Note” branding has been destroyed by the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 exploding issue. Samsung reportedly conducted a survey around various markets including South Korea where 50 percent people have “negative attitude” towards the Note branding. It’s worth noting that Samsung hasn’t made any announcement regarding killing the Note branding for smartphones as of now.

The South Korea-based handset maker earlier this week stopped production of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone while also halted sales worldwide after users reported that the replacement units were also plagued by fire issues. Samsung has ‘strictly’ advised customers to stop using the device. The killing of the Galaxy Note 7 also led the company to cut its operating profit outlook by $2.3 billion (roughly Rs. 15,375 crores) in the third-quarter.

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 steadily became global laughing stock after numerous cases reported of Galaxy Note 7 units exploding while charging due to an alleged battery issue. In some incidents, the explosions due to Galaxy Note 7 led to fire in a jeep and also reportedly put a house on fire. In another case, the explosion of a Galaxy Note 7 caused major damage to hotel room.

The issue last month even led India to ban the use of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 on all flights, a similar approach taken by other countries as well.

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OnePlus may soon halt production of its OnePlus 3 smartphone to make way for a new variant, as per industry sources, and it may be called the OnePlus 3s or OnePlus 3 Plus. The Chinese company is said to be working on a refreshed version of the OnePlus 3 which will come with the upgraded Snapdragon 821 processor. The existing OnePlus 3 models feature Qualcomm Snapdragon 820.

Another major change expected on the alleged new OnePlus 3 variant is in terms of the display. The new variants may sport LCD panels instead of Amoled panels, according to industry sources cited by GizmoChina. One of the reasons to opt for LCD panel is said to be the shortage of Amoled panels. The report speculates that the new variant may be called OnePlus 3s or OnePlus 3 Plus.

Notably, the official Twitter handle of OnePlus India is teasing a possible launch. The tweet shared by OnePlus India read, “What do you think OnePlus is up to? All shall be revealed soon” with some of the options included for Twitter users to choose from including new smartphone colour variant, new product unveiling, new shopping experience, or new software experience. We expect that OnePlus may be gearing for all the above listed options and may showcase a new smartphone with a new colour option, updated software and new purchasing options. At the moment, it’s unclear whether the company is planning to launch a new variant of its highly appreciated OnePlus 3 smartphone. But we may soon hear more about the plans soon.

OnePlus CEO Pete Lau recently dropped a hint that Android 7.0 Nougat update may soon start rolling out to the OnePlus 3 smartphone. To refresh, the OnePlus 3 was launched in India back in June at a price of Rs. 27,999.

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In a move that could cost the company billions, not to mention the priceless goodwill of the market, Samsung has completely halted production of the Galaxy Note 7. After the ‘safe units’ started to catch fire, the South Korean electronics giant was forced to shut down its manufacturing engine off for pure safety reasons. Now, a fresh report states that Samsung’s move is mostly because it has no clue on what is causing the fire, and its team of hundreds of engineers are stumped. The main cause of halt in production and uncertainty of future moves is because the Samsung team is unable to isolate the cause of these explosions.

The New York Times cites an anonymous internal source from the company, and claims that after the safe units started catching fire, Samsung’s entire engineering team went back to work to find a solution, but hasn’t found one even after conducting many tests for over a week.

Early in August, Samsung had touted the Galaxy Note 7 to be the best Note device so far, and had even broken tradition to launch it a bit early to fend off competition from Apple. However, the move backfired terribly, and reports of many Samsung Galaxy Note 7 units exploding while on charge started coming in. Samsung had to then stop sales temporarily to assess the issue. Soon after, the company reportedly blamed an in-house SDI battery fault to be the cause of the problem, and restarted production and sales by sticking to one of its third-party battery providers. It even started to recall old handsets as a safety measure, and replaced them with new ‘safe units’.

However, safe units also started catching fire, and because Samsung was unable to find a solution, it just decided to halt production and global sales. It gave up trying to stay afloat without a life jacket, and just surrendered in silence.

Whether Samsung should bring back the Note 7 or kill it altogether for safety reasons is another debate altogether, but these series of events and the damage it has done to the brand’s reputation will take some time to recover. Furthermore, because of this fault, Samsung’s other product lines like refrigerators and washing machines are also now in the scanner.

The Galaxy Note 7 has managed to cause a scare on planes, set a jeep on fire, and incurred damages of $1,400 to a hotel. While investigators take their time to find the new flaw, we just hope that casualties remain to a minimum, and that Samsung does everything in its power to remove these hazardous units off the market.

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