Apple

Apple rumored to unofficially repair or replace Hurricane damaged iPhone and iPad units

So let's say that thanks to Hurricane Harvey your Apple iPhone or Apple iPad sustained serious water damage that basically destroyed one or both devices. Despite the IP67 certification rating on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, Apple has made it clear that water damage is not covered by its warranty. So under normal circumstances, the flooding in Texas would normally lead to water logged iPhone units that would not be replaced by Apple, even if they are supposed to withstand a submersion to 3.3-feet for as long as 30-minutes.

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Samsung

Samsung Galaxy J7+ live pictures leaked ahead of official reveal

One of the two Samsung smartphones that pack a dual-rear camera, the Galaxy J7+ hasn't been made official yet. However, we have trustworthy information that suggests the device will be launched in Asia very soon. A couple of press pictures confirmed some of the phone's specs such as the dual-camera setup, as well as the dedicated Bixby button. Now we have several live images that prove the Galaxy J7+ is real and ready for prime time.Read More
Motorola

Motorola decides to roll out Android Wear 2.0 for Moto 360 Sport

Motorola has just announced that one of its smartwatches, the Moto 360 Sport will finally receive the long-awaited Android Wear 2.0 update. After updating the second-generation Moto 360 back in May, Motorola backtrack on its plans to leave the Moto 360 Sport without the update.
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LG

If the LG V30 doesn't have a secondary ticker screen, will you miss it?

Alright, folks, we are gearing up for another exciting period of the year — the August-September phone announcement bonanza, with IFA in Berlin, and Apple's iPhonekeynote. Among the major players we are about to see, there is LG's upcoming super-powered phablet — the LG V30.

Now, if you've been following for a while, you probably know that the LG V10 and LG V20both had this weird secondary “ticker” screen, which housed notifications, app shortcuts, media controls, an always-on clock, and some utility toggles. However, it seems it will be gone for the latest iteration of the phone series.

Leaks insist that LG is done with the ticker for now. Instead, the V30 will have an extra-tall 18:9 display and its software will feature a floating bar-type of a menu, which would simulate the ticker's features.

Last time we asked about the secondary display was just after HTC launched the U Ultra with its own ticker on top. Back then, nearly 65% of people said they believe it to be a useful feature and not a gimmick. Well, now that it seems to be going away from the V30, will you miss it?

Samsung

The 2-year-old Samsung Galaxy Tab A 9.7 might be updated to Android Nougat soon

Can you believe the Samsung is going to provide a major Android OS update for a device that's been launched on the market more than two years ago? That might be the case with the Galaxy Tab A 9.7, which has just been spotted running Android 7.0 Nougat. The slate was officially unveiled back in March 2015 and made it to market two months later. Samsung even released an Android 6.0 Marshmallow for the Galaxy Tab A 9.7, which we thought it would be the last the tablet will get before EOL (end of life) status.Read More
Samsung

A regular Galaxy S8 in Rose Pink may actually exist

Around the end of June, we got word that Sammy is preparing a Galaxy S8+ in a bright and sparkly pink color. The bad news was that it was a limited run for the Taiwanese market only and that only the large S8+ would have the paint job. Well, we suppose it did OK, because a new rumor claims that another run of pink Sammy flagships is about to launch — this time, we are expecting a Galaxy S8 in Rose Pink hitting Eastern Europe.Read More
LG

LG V30 could be awesome for low-light photography

Smartphone cameras may have come a long way, but one of their greatest shortcomings is yet to be adequately addressed – their poor low-light performance.

Since smartphone cameras are powered by tiny sensors (at least compared to dedicated cameras), they can get nowhere near the low-light performance and dynamic range of a mirrorless, DSLR—be it crop or full frame—or а film camera. And since manufacturers are not going to start cramming bigger sensors in smartphone cameras anytime soon, for obvious reasons, one way to partially alleviate this issue is to implement wider apertures.
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Cell Phone

Foxconn’s CEO and president Trump announce plans for a $10 billion LCD factory in Wisconsin by 2020

President Trump’s election campaign largely revolved around making “America great again” and bringing businesses into the country. Trump has been quite engaged with the tech sector in particular, where bringing the production of iPhones to American soil seems like one of his top priorities in the business field. While it is not clear whether Tim Cook actually promised Trump last week to build three ‘big, big, big’ Apple plants in the US, the president has apparently been involved in a previously rumoured venture with Foxconn that was officially announced yesterday.

At a White House ceremony this Wednesday, it was revealed that the Taiwan-based tech company plans to build a $10 billion LCD panels manufacturing facility in the state of Wisconsin that should open by 2020. The event was attended by both business people and legislators, including Gov. Scott Walker and Foxconn’s CEO Terry Gou. White House host president Trump was obviously also present, commenting that the project was made possible by his election.

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Cell Phone

Samsung Australia reveals "Screen Assure" free Galaxy Note 8 screen repair; launch date August 25th?

So far, there has been some question about the Samsung Galaxy Note 8's model number. For the most part, we have seen SM-N950 used to designate the unlocked version of the phablet. And while it really isn't a major deal in the scheme of things, an inadvertent leak by Samsung Australia indicates that the model number of Sammy's next high-end handset is actually SM-N940. That is the model number listed on the Samsung Australia website, which published information about a free screen repair for Note 8 users who break the display.Read More
Cell Phone

The new Surface Pro has a hibernation bug, Microsoft is working to fix it

Last month, Microsoft started selling a brand new Surface Pro, which succeeds the Surface Pro 4 from 2015, and brings a series of enhancements (though nothing groundbreaking).

Some of the customers who purchased a new Surface Pro have been noticing that the convertible tablet has a bug that's making it randomly enter hibernation mode, or shut down (even when plugged in, or with plenty of battery life remaining).Read More

Cell Phone

LG V30 will be announced on August 31 in Berlin (Update)

UPDATE: The very same teaser was sent to us by LG this morning. Clues are indeed pointing at an August 31st announcement for LG's next V-series phone!
 

Several months after releasing the G6 (to generally positive reviews), LG is now getting ready to launch its second high-end smartphone of 2017: the LG V30.

Judging by a "Save The Date" teaser revealed today by Evan Blass (known on Twitter and among tech enthusiasts as @evleaks), the LG V30 will be officially announced on August 31 in Berlin – almost certainly during a pre-IFA 2017 event.Read More

Cell Phone

The KFC smartphone is a real thing that exists now, apparently

If you've ever caught yourself daydreaming about eating some tender, juicy chicken wings while idly staring at your phone, Huawei and KFC have teamed up to give you... something. A way to ease the cravings? Or maybe to amplify them, maybe — we couldn't tell you if we tried, but the end result is a bright-red, KFC-branded smartphone, complete with a portrait of Colonel Sanders himself etched into its back.

 
Sure, why not?
 
Curiously enough, the phone is listed as a variant of the Huawei Y7, despite the two having almost nothing common, both in terms of specs and design. Inside you'll find a Snapdragon 425 SoC coupled with 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage, as well as a 5-inch 720p screen, and a 13 MP rear camera. And the Colonel's warm, loving embrace.
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Cell Phone

Sony Xperia XZ and X Performance receive a new update, see what's included

A new update has started rolling out OTA (over the air) for Sony's two 2016 flagships - the Xperia X Performance and Xperia XZ. The firmware upgrade contains the recently-released Android security update for the month of July and should bump the build number of both handsets to 41.2.A.7.35. Sony Xperia XZ and X Performance receive a new update, see what's includedRead More
Cell Phone

Developers receive iOS 11 beta 3 today

Apple today released the developer version of iOS 11 beta 3, weighing in at 392MB. For the moment, registered developers only get to install the new iOS build. The public version of the beta should be available in a few days to those who have signed up to receive them. Among the new features is a different way to close apps on the iPad by swiping up on the multitasking screen. The "X" button seen on beta 1 and beta 2 of the build have been replaced by the new swipe to close gesture.

Other features included in the update include an improvement to the cover sheet of the Notification Center. This will now show all notifications. No longer is it necessary to use a swipe gesture to view older notifications.

The changelist for the iOS 11 beta 3 developer version includes:

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Cell Phone

Sony Xperia Z5 series, Z3+, and Z4 Tablet are all being updated to Android 7.1.1 Nougat

Sony this week is rolling out an Android 7.1.1 Nougat update for several of its slightly older devices: Xperia Z5, Xperia Z5 Premium, Xperia Z5 Compact, Xperia Z4 Tablet, and Xperia Z3+. The update includes Google's June security patch (as you can see in the screenshot on the left), and comes almost five months after these smartphones (and the tablet) received Nougat 7.0 updates - previously, they ran Android 6 Marshmallow. Sony has yet to formally announce this Android 7.1.1 Nougat update, but we're guessing that all owners of the Xperia models mentioned will get the new software version in the near future. Right now, it's not clear if the Sony devices listed here will receive any other major software updates. However, we certainly hope that at least the Xperia Z5 series of smartphones will get Android O at some point. As for the Xperia Z4 Tablet and Xperia Z3+, these are already over 2 years old, so there's a high chance they'll remain on Android 7.1.1. Nougat... forever and ever.
Cell Phone

Report: LG V30 might not feature secondary display, concept could be replicated on new OLED screen

With the LG G6, LG made a statement. It no longer wants to be Gyro Gearloose of the smartphone industry, pushing bold innovation that no one outside its focus groups asked for. LG cleaned house, stripped away all the complexity, and introduced one of 2017's most understated – and all-around pleasant – premium phones. It was a solid strategy, even though displays of clever engineering, such as the LG G5's removable battery, will be missed by those able to appreciate them.

According to a "trusted source" as cited by the ever diligent XDA Developers, the same revision awaits the LG V30 – a premium smartphone, primed as an alternative to the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and, reportedly, scheduled for a late August announcement. 

 
LG's "V" series is notable for the presence of a small secondary display placed just above the primary screen. Its purpose is to provide quick shortcuts, summarize notifications, and show a signature text for a bit of extra swag.

THE SECONDARY SCREEN IS ONLY "FORMALLY" GOING AWAY

The secondary display was a refreshing experiment that certainly stood out in the ocean of lookalike phones, but it didn't catch on either with consumers or mobile vendors. Thus, it makes sense that LG might abolish it in the V30, as XDA's source claims. However, this won't necessarily be the end to the concept of conveniently pulling certain shortcuts and notifications to a designated space above the main display.

Rather than going through the trouble of running two separate displays, LG might – for the first time in recent history – introduce an OLED display, likely in the same 18:9 screen ratio as the LG G6. Having a tall panel like this, it won't be a problem to basically "paste" the LG V20's secondary display above the rest of the content shown on screen – with the option of users disabling it if they want.
 
Thanks to OLED displays' ability to have each individual pixel controlled, it won't be a problem for this stretch of the screen to remain in an always-on state while the rest of the display "sleeps", optimized as not to waste battery life.

Mind you, while the source is certain about LG removing the secondary panel and switching to OLED, the rest is speculative information that may or may not pan out. In any case, are you going to miss the second screen? Do you think LG should go back to its wayward and unorthodox smartphone design style? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!
Cell Phone

10 years ago, the Apple iPhone was on everyone's tongue

On January 9th, 2007, Steve Jobs introduced the Apple iPhone. And as exciting as that was for many, it also meant waiting nearly half a year for the phone to be released. The launch date of June 29th was circled on many a calendar, and in the days leading up to the actual launch, it seemed as though the iPhone was being mentioned everywhere. One example of this, which you will find in the video slideshow below, is an amusing clip put together by David Pogue, who now writes about tech for Yahoo.

Exactly 10-years ago tomorrow, the New York Times released a video showing how hard it was for its tech scribe (Pogue) to keep faithful to the non-disclosure agreement Apple had him sign in exchange for a review unit of the Apple iPhone. Apple had already run some ads for the phone (we included one in the video slideshow for your viewing pleasure) and the hype machine was on full throttle ("I've seen the commercials and it looks really cool," says a young woman waiting in a long line on launch day).

A decade ago, the whole world was just four days away from being changed forever by a smartphone. Television networks covered the impending launch and analysts spoke breathlessly about the device and how many units it might sell. Even so, most people probably could not see what the future would hold, not just for the iPhone or for Apple, but for smartphones in general. We now have apps and app stores, phones that can be submerged and live on to tell the tale and handsets that last a full day without requiring a charge. 

People now shop, make payments, deposit checks, lower their thermostat, get turn-by-turn directions to anywhere, and watch live television on their phone. And most handsets feature a virtual personal assistant to help make reservations, set alarms and more. You can't go anywhere without seeing a large number of people with their heads down, looking at the screen on their handset as they navigate their surroundings. All of this was still in the future a decade ago. 

Keep in mind that the OG iPhone did have some flaws. It ran on AT&T's slow as molasses EDGE network, it did not support MMS or stereo Bluetooth. But not too many knew, or cared about these things which were all eventually taken care of in future versions of the phone.

June 25th, 2007 was a Monday, the start of a new work week that would end with the forces in motion that would soon change the world. Relive those days by clicking on the video slideshow below.

Cell Phone

Say Cheese: Foxconn to build U.S. plant in Wisconsin?

During the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump called on Apple to move production of its most popular product, the Apple iPhone, to the U.S. Trump's goal was to create more jobs for Americans and to stop exporting openings overseas. But Trump didn't take some things into consideration. Moving production from low wage countries to higher wage countries means that the cost of producing the iPhone will rise. And in order to maintain the same profit margin, iPhone prices will also rise making the device less affordable for Americans.

Back in November, a little over a week after the election, Apple said that it would consider moving some iPhone production to the U.S. Talks were held with the major contract manufacturers and there was some discussion about building a U.S. based supply chain. Today, Foxconn, the leading iPhone assembler, said that it is considering building a facility in Wisconsin. Besides the Dairy State, Michigan is also said to be in the running to host the factory.

Yesterday, President Trump visited Milwaukee and mentioned that an unnamed company was negotiating with the state to build a factory. Trump said that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker might get "a very happy surprise very soon." Foxconn assembles smartphones and tablets for Apple, BlackBerry, Sony and other brands. In China, it employs over 1 million people. Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council, says that a skilled workforce was probably one of the things that attracted Foxconn to the state.

"It would be great for Wisconsin for a lot of reasons. I am assuming Foxconn was attracted by the fact there’s already a skilled workforce here, and there’s a foundation to produce more such workers through the tech colleges and the other parts of the education system."-Tom Still, president, The Wisconsin Technology Council


When Apple spoke with Foxconn and Pegatron back in November about the possibility of building iPhone models in the U.S., both firms said that their main concern was creating a supply chain infrastructure similar to what was available for the manufacturers in China. Apparently the numerous studies that were created show that Wisconsin has what it takes to build such a supply chain for Foxconn.

Cell Phone

Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact, XZ1, and X1 might be announced in September

Sony already announced no less than five new smartphones this year: Xperia XZ Premium, XperiaXZs, Xperia XA1, Xperia XA1 Ultra, and Xperia L1. But the company seemingly has at least three more handsets to introduce before the end of 2017, and one of them is expected to be a new Xperia Compact.

According to Georgian website Review.ge, Sony plans to announce the following phones at IFA 2017 (September 1 - September 7): Xperia XZ1, XperiaXZ1 Compact, and Xperia X1. 

It's said that both the Xperia XZ1 and Xperia XZ1 Compact will be high-end devices, featuring Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processors and 4 GB of RAM - just like the already announced Xperia XZ Premium. However, the two new handsets should differ in size: the Xperia XZ1 reportedly offers a 5.2-inch 1080p display and a 3000 mAh battery, while the Xperia XZ1 Compact comes with a 4.6-inch 720p screen and a 2800 mAh battery. If these details are accurate, the XZ1 Compact will become Sony's most powerful 4.6-inch smartphone ever. 

To be fair, it kind of makes sense for a new Sony-made compact handset to be revealed at IFA 2017 in September, as this would arrive one year after the Xperia X Compact (pictured in this article). Also of note is that two other previous compact phones - Xperia Z5Compact and Xperia Z3 Compact - were also announced during IFA events. 

Cell Phone

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs LG G6 drop test: which is tougher?

Perhaps I should start this post with a warning: the video above may be painful to watch. And no, that's not only because I clearly lack the charm and acting skills of Antonio Banderas. It's because it shows how we break – on purpose – two of the top Android smartphones on the market, namely the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the LG G6. Yet that's what it takes to get an idea of how much physical abuse they can take.
 
But maybe there's no need for a "Spolier Alert!" notice before saying that both the Galaxy S8 and the LG G6 break by the end of the video. With phones that are made primarily of glass on the outside, that's to be expected. To be more specific, the LG G6 uses Gorilla Glass 3 to cover its display and cameras, while the rest of the back is protected by Gorilla Glass 5. All is wrapped up by a solid metal frame around the edges. The Galaxy S8 uses Gorilla Glass 5 on both its front and back, but more of it is exposed because of its gorgeous curves. The corners, however, appear well protected by its metal frame.
 
And speaking of warnings, I should also point out that the video above is by no means a scientific experiment. For it to count as one, we'd have to break hundreds of phones in a repeatable manner – outside of our budget, as one could imagine. Yet we can draw at least one conclusion after all the damage we caused – if you'll be using your Galaxy S8 or LG G6 without a case, make sure you don't drop it. Like, ever.

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