Cell Phone

Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite with Android 7.0 Nougat coming soon for €329

An affordable duo of Huawei-branded Android tablets was silently introduced in Europe last week, the MediaPad T3 slates. They are now available for purchase for prices starting at €129, a good deal for those looking for their first Android tablet.

However, the MediaPad T3 tablets won't be the only ones to make their debut on the market this year, as Huawei is readying yet another Android slate.

Not quite the sequel to the MediaPad M3, a Lite version of the tablet recently made a stop at Wi-Fi Alliance where it was granted certification by the regulatory commission.

Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite is a mid-range tablet that runs Android 7.0 Nougat operating system. It sports a large 10-inch display and packs 3GB RAM, along with 32GB expandable storage.

The Chinese company is expected to launch two variations of the tablet, which will sell for different prices. The Wi-Fi only model will cost only €329 outright, whereas the LTE-enabled variant will be available for purchase for €379.

Now, the only thing that remains to be determined is when exactly Huawei will unleash the Lite version of the MediaPad M3 on the market.

Cell Phone

Analysts: HTC cut prices because of 'bleak prospects' with carriers, may refocus on phones like Pixel

When you look at the US smartphone market, it's dominated by the usual two suspects - Apple and Samsung - with the team from Cupertino taking the lead, which is understandable as it is a domestic company to be proud of. Last quarter's breakdown for American users aged 13 and up pegged them as having mostly iPhones (44%), or Galaxies (28%), with LG vying for third place with 10%, Motorola at 4%, and HTC at 5th place with only 2.3%. If anything, that shows the dire straits that HTC finds itself in when it comes to the American market. Not being represented in a carrier roster is a kind of a death sentence in the US, as that's where most users shop for new phonese. In fact, T-Mobile dropped the HTC 10 only a few weeks after it launched without citing any reason, but if there was big interest and profit with the handset, it would have probably stayed in the portfolio. "HTC has bleak prospects, given lack of availability from T-Mobile and AT&T and weak prepaid availability, while the OEM has (a) tiny share of 2% at Sprint and <1% at Verizon," according to Wave7’s analyst Jeff Moore. All of these mishaps have forced HTC, which wasn't known for great value tags, or significant cuts, to readjust its pricing strategy in the US. The HTC 10 went from the whopping $699 down to $499 very soon after launch, and now the U Ultra is following suit. HTC announced recently on Twitter that it is slashing the prices of its newest flagship from $749 to $599, and that's a handset with large QHD panel, high-end camera and premium design augmented by a secondary screen that was just announced last month. Not only that, but the One A9 went down to just $199, and the Bolt for $150 off. In fact, another analyst, Cliff Maldonado from BayStreet Research, thinks that HTC is winding down its inventory and may not out other flagships in the US, but rather end up making phones for external customers like Google: "We believe the launch of the Pixel at Verizon and the Bolt at Sprint, combined with the recent headcount reductions, indicate HTC will follow more of an ODM business model going forward. We believe HTC has astutely restructured to compete with their hardware design strengths and partner with brands to lower marketing and distribution costs and overall risks. It will be interesting to see how and with whom HTC partners with next." There you have it, no matter what HTC does, there just doesn't seem to be much interest from US carriers when it is going it alone. What do you think, is this some nefarious plot by carriers, or is the problem of HTC's own making?
Cell Phone

New phone in the Galaxy C line could be first Samsung model to sport a dual camera setup

Many have assumed that the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 would be the first Samsung handset to sport a dual camera setup. But you know what they say about making assumptions. Instead, a sketch tweeted by a source reveals that it will be a new handset in the Samsung Galaxy C line that will be the first Samsung handset to carry two cameras on back. The sketch also shows that this Galaxy C phone will sport the slotted antenna design instead of those unsightly antenna lines that run on the top and bottom of a phone. Not only do they look much better than those ugly lines, they also do a better job of making sure that your hands don't interfere with the phone's signal (if you are holding it the wrong way). Late last year and earlier this year, there was talk that the Samsung Galaxy S8 or the Samsung Galaxy S8+ would feature a dual camera setup in back. As it turns out, Samsung must have been serious about this because an alleged Galaxy S8+ prototype was discovered with a pair of cameras on the back. If the prototype is legit, Sammy planned on using a vertical placement for the two cameras. The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 could be unveiled at IFA during the first week in September. The unknown Samsung Galaxy C model sporting the dual cameras is supposed to launch before the Galaxy Note 8 does. We might not know if this is a legitimate story for a few weeks. Even if it isn't the first Samsung model to offer it, we would have to say that the odds certainly favor a dual camera setup being employed on the Galaxy Note 8.
Cell Phone

Apple is once again rumored to start a P2P money transferring network similar to Venmo and PayPal

Venmo is a free digital wallet that allows users to wire funds into or out of their Venmo account, bank account or debit card. Today, word surfaced about meetings that Apple has held with firms in this industry about starting up its own money transfer system. In other words, Apple is looking to build a Venmo competitor that would allow iPhone owners to transfer funds to and from others' iPhone handsets.

Those in the know say that Apple could officially unveil this new payment service some time later this year, allowing Apple to compete with others in the industry such as Pay Pal, Square Cash and Chase's Quick Pay. The latter processed a leading $28 billion last year while Venmo had a hand in $17.6 billion worth of financial maneuvers; Venmo's annual payment volume is doubling each year. Subscribers to these so-called peer-to-peer services use them to split the tip on a dinner, or to come up with their share of next month's rent.

Most financial companies that offer such a service use them as a loss leader. This means that huge financial supermarkets typically lose money offering such small sum wireless money transfers. But they are willing to do that in order to get consumers hooked on their firm, hoping that new subscribers end up using other profitable services offered by the banking company. Need a loan, a credit card or a mortgage? If you already have a money transfer arrangement with a financial firm, you're more likely to use that company for a loan that is highly profitable to the lender. Apple, however, doesn't think in terms of loss leaders. If it does make a go at starting a peer-to-peer wireless financial service, it would do so with the intent of turning a profit on the business.

Keep in mind that Apple has been rumored to be setting up such a P2P (peer-to-peer) money transferring system before. Back in 2015, the Wall Street Journal said that Apple was about to start such a service in 2016, which would have been folded into Apple Pay. The inclusion of Apple Pay in the new service remains a strong possibility. However, the new rumor does include talk about a new Visa card that would be offered by Apple, but would run through Visa's debit card system. It would work with the new P2P service by allowing those wired funds from an iPhone user to have access to that money instantly, instead of waiting for the money to hit the user's bank account. This is something that PayPal currently does.

Bank executives are not happy about Apple working with Visa, and plan on letting Visa know that at an annual summit that is set to be held next week.

Cell Phone

Xperia X to get Android 7.1.2 Concept update without the fingerprint issues that plagued the Pixel

The Sony Concept team announced that it's preparing an Android 7.1.2 concept update for the Xperia X smartphone. Concept releases are a way to get the latest pure Android version running on your Xperia phoneif you would like that in place of the official Sony firmware, which is a reasonably clean build of Android as well.

The Android 7.1.2 update will bring Bluetooth connectivity improvements, battery usage alerts, and various other fixes. Notably, this Android build gave Google Pixel and some Nexus phones issues with their fingerprint sensors. The changes Google applied to this part won't be included in the Xperia X Concept Update.

A drawback to the update is that the setup wizard for the initial setup (or after performing 'factory reset' and 'add user' functions) after powering the phone will only work with Wi-Fi. It's not very likely you will be impacted by this in any major way.

The concept update is ready for release and is going to be published soon. The Xperia X Concept program is only available to Sony's European users for some reason.

Cell Phone

LG G6 to gain 100 customized apps for its 18:9 display

LG Electronics is planning to increase the number of applications optimized for its 2017 flagship – the G6. The Seoul-based tech giant announced that by next month, its app store will boast 300 apps which will fully support the 18:9 "Full Vision" display of the G6. At the time of writing, there are about 200 apps which support the unusual aspect ratio on the company's SmartWorld store, so these numbers suggest that we will see a 50% increase in this particular segment of LG's digital market. As Samsung's Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphones also feature screens with similar aspect ratios, this latest move by LG can be seen as an attempt to gain and maintain a competitive edge over its larger South Korean adversary. The company's official stance is that it aims to allow users to enjoy superior digital content, such as games and movies through the screen of the G6. In a previous statement, the company said: Compared with conventional 16:9 aspect ratio displays, the 18:9 format offers more viewing space and a more immersive experience when streaming videos and playing games.
Cell Phone

Buy the LG G6 or LG V20 from T-Mobile and get a free LG G Pad X 8.0 tablet

How would you like to receive a "free" tablet on T-Mobile's dime? Purchase the LG G6 or LG V20 from T-Mobile along with the LG G Pad X 8.0 using the carrier's Equipment Installment Plan. Then, sign up for a data plan containing at least 2GB of data a month. Six to eight weeks later, you will be reimbursed for the tablet via a pre-paid MasterCard. In theory, the MasterCard should be used to pay off the remaining balance of the tablet. But you could decide to use it for something else; as long as you are making the monthly payments on the device. Speaking of the tablet, the LG G Pad X 8.0 features an 8-inch LCD screen with a 1200 x 1920 resolution. Powering the slate is a Snapdragon 617 SoC carrying an octa-core 1.5GHz CPU, and the Adreno 405 GPU. 2GB of RAM is inside along with 16GB of native storage. The actual amount available to the user is 9.18GB. Those seeking additional memory can access the 128GB capacity microSD slot. Both back and front cameras weigh in at 5MP, and a 4650mAh battery keeps the hamster wheel spinning. Android 6.0 is pre-installed. Besides this very serviceable tablet, if you purchase the LG G6 from T-Mobile before April 30th, you will also receive a free Google Home (although to be fair, the free Google Home is available to anyone who buys the LG G6 in the U.S. before April 30th. The free tablet deal is a limited time offer, and we have no idea when it will expire. In addition, once supplies of the tablet run out, the deal is over. If interested, click on the sourcelink or visit your local T-Mobile location.
Cell Phone

Touch ID issues may delay OLED iPhone 8 says analyst

We're in full swing for Apple iPhone 8 rumors and a lot of the chatter has been regarding the "premium/pro" version of the next iPhone. That's the model expected to have a bezelless OLED display and because of that design, Apple has to do something different with the Touch ID fingerprint scanner. But, that has been proving difficult.

The prevailing theory is that Apple wants to embed the Touch ID sensor under the display and essentially hiding it. However production issues for such an advanced component have been popping up according to sources in the supply chain. Because of these issues, some have speculated that Apple might do something drastic like put the Touch ID sensor on the back of the phone, which some apparently hate, but we find no faults with. 
But, according to Andy Hargreaves, analyst for Pacific Crest Securities, it could be an all-or-nothing choice by Apple. In a research note shared with MacRumors, Hargreaves thinks the "likely options for Apple include a delay of production or elimination of fingerprint sensing on the OLED iPhone." That's right, he actually thinks Apple might release an iPhone without a Touch ID sensor at all. We think that's basically madness. There's no way Apple would do that given its push on security and privacy, and how deeply integrated the sensor is with Apple services at this point. No "pro" iPhone is going to be released without Touch ID. 
So, we'd say Hargreaves real prediction is that if Apple can't figure out the production issues in the next month, it will likely end up delaying the premium iPhone. That also seems troublesome, given the whole point of it is to hit the 10 year anniversary, but we'll have to see.
Cell Phone

Watch the LG G6 survive a Mouse Trap like adventure and come out unscathed

Remember the game Mouse Trap? The idea was to put together a wacky Rube Goldberg-esque contraption piece by piece, depending on the roll of the dice. This weekend, LG released a video that shows the LG G6 being put through a number of obstacles while certain features appear on screen. It's an interesting way to show off the durability of the handset, while confirming some of the specs and capabilities of LG's new flagship phone to consumers.

Some of the features highlighted in the video include the IP68 certification rating which allows the device to be submerged to as deep as nearly 5-feet for as long as 30-minutes, and emerge unscathed. The phone passed 14 different military tests and a straight drop of 3-feet, proving that it could survive a fall. It also will live through temperatures as cold as -4 degrees Fahrenheit to as high as 140 degrees Fahrenheit. With Quick Charging 3.0, the battery is charged to 50% in just 35 minutes. And the maximum temperature of the LG G6 after charging is 95.09 degrees Fahrenheit, so you shouldn't have to worry about it overheating while plugged in

If you want to see the LG G6  survive an entertaining test in the lab, click on the video at the top of this story. It certainly looks like LG has built a better mouse trap.

Cell Phone

A new Android powered BlackBerry tablet could be coming soon

BlackBerry CEO John Chen spoke to analysts today via conference call following the release of the company's fiscal fourth quarter earnings report. BlackBerry reported profits on an adjusted basis of 4 cents a share, topping forecasts of a breakeven quarter. During his chat with the Wall Street prognosticators, Chen made everyone's ears perk up when he said that BlackBerry is moving into the second phase of its licensing program. He noted that one of BlackBerry's partners is very interested in building an Android powered slate, and as a result "you may soon see a BlackBerry tablet," Chen said. The company interested in building the device is one of the three companies now licensed to build BlackBerry phones. The trio include China's TCL, India's Optiemus and Indonesia based PT BB Merah Putih. Chen did not reveal which of the three is interested in producing the slate. If the tablet is manufactured, BlackBerry will be in line to receive royalties based on sales. The tablet would run on software provided by BlackBerry. The BlackBerry PlayBook is the only tablet to wear the BlackBerry name thus far. Released in 2011, the tablet used the QNX operating system which later morphed into BlackBerry 10. While the OS received positive reviews, BlackBerry shipped the slate without a calendar app, and email required the use of a BlackBerry handset and the BlackBerry Bridge. These are shocking omissions for a company well known for the email client on its handsets. "One of our partners are (sic) very excited to build a tablet based on Android, and so they wanted us to give them the portfolio rights to do that. I'm interested to do that because I'm going to get royalties for every tablet they ship. I will just leave it at that, and it's not even that, we have to curate it, we have to do a lot of things on with it, so it's not a 100% committed thing but it's gonna come from our partners and BlackBerry will only receive royalty but it's using our software and we do the QA and portfolio management, so I hope that clarifies that point."-John Chen, CEO, BlackBerry You can count former BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins as being among those surprised at the possibility of a new BlackBerry tablet. Back in April 2013, Heins said that tablets would be dead in five years.
Cell Phone

Samsung Malaysia is giving away a power bank and more with a Galaxy S8/S8+ pre-order

Those pre-ordering a Samsung Galaxy S8 or Samsung Galaxy S8+ from Samsung Malaysia will be receiving some free items for their new handset. That's because the Samsung unit is trying to entice consumers in the country into reserving one of the two new models. A useful 5100mAh power bank is one of the items. It's the perfect accessory for power users or for those who plan on showing off their new phone to friends, family and strangers that they bump into.

Other items being given away by Samsung Malaysia to consumers pre-ordering the Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8+ include a Limited Edition Starter Kit. This contains a clear cover, a screen protector, a wireless stand and a USB Type-C cable. And the last freebie is a one-year Samsung Protection Plus subscription. The latter extends the warranty on either model by one additional year, and also covers one year of protection for the phone's display. With the warranty in force, a cracked screen can be replaced for free (one time only).

The power bank, Starter Kit and Protection Plus subscription are valued together at $203 USD. Not a bad haul at all. Reserving a unit in Malaysia requires leaving a deposit equivalent to $68 USD on Samsung Malaysia's pre-order page, which can be found by clicking on the sourcelink. Pre-orders begin in the country at 10 am local time on April 11th, and run until 11:59 pm local time on April 13th. The phones will be available a day early, on May 4th, for those who pre-order one of the two models.

In other markets like the U.S., Samsung is tossing in a Gear VR headset, a controller, and some content from Oculus with the pre-order of  a Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8+. The value of that package is $130.

Cell Phone

The Huawei P10 Lite makes another appearance in Europe; new listing shows a slightly bigger battery

At this year's MWC, Huawei unveiled the latest additions to its flagship line - the Huawei P10 and P10 Plus. However, anyone who is familiar with the business practices of the Chinese manufacturer knows that after the grand announcements of its high-end phones, Huawei usually launches a Lite member of the "P" family as well. This year is no exception, as the new P10 Lite was first seen available for pre-order from Dutch retailer Coolblue. Now, despite the fact that we still don't have any official information from Huawei about the handset, Italy-based online store Moonclick has also listed the P10 Lite, citing April 11th as the date on which the phone will be available. Overall, the two retailers have put up identical specs for the device - The P10 Lite will come with a 5.2-inch Full HD (1920x1080) IPS display, an octa-core Kirin 658 chipset, 4GB RAM, and 32GB of internal storage plus a microSD expansion slot. However, the Italian retailer has listed a slightly larger battery capacity - 3,100 mAh compared to the 3,000 mAh one that can be seen on Coolblue. The P10 Lite will have Android 7.0 Nougat and EMUI 5.1 out of the box, but don't expect to find the signature dual Leica sensors of the P10 and P10 Plus at the back, as the Lite version of the handset will come with a single 12MP main camera. If the information on both sites is anything to go by, the handset will be priced at €349 or about $379. The retailers list black, white, and gold as the color variations for the P10 Lite, which means that we won't likely see the unusual "Dazzling Blue" or "Greenery" hues that are featured with its bigger siblings. Although this news almost certainly confirms that we will see the new phone very soon, we can't help but wonder about Huawei's plans for the announcement of the device.
Cell Phone

LG's first TV commercial for the G6 launches a day before Galaxy S8 announcement

Ah, the games that companies play to get the attention of consumers. Yesterday, LG threw another jab at Samsung by releasing the first big TV commercial for its latest flagship – the G6. As you may know, Samsung is set to announce its Galaxy S8 and S8+ flagships today, so the decision to air the commercial at this time is anything but random.

The tagline that LG has chosen to use in the advert sums it up pretty well: "The big screen that fits in your hand.” Just about everything in the 30-second videorevolves around the G6's large 5.7-inch display with its unusual 18:9 aspect ratio and the very slim bezels that encompass it. 

Two short scenes also bring the attention to the device's water resistance and the interesting dual-camera setup at the back, which consists of two identical 13 MP sensors. As this is the first of supposedly many commercials for the smartphone, we suspect that LG will accentuate on all the other cool features of the G6 at a later stage.

There is little doubt that the new flagship will sell better than its predecessor – the modular G5 – but it looks like the company might be aiming much higher for this year.
LG has done everything in its power to release the G6 as soon as possible, and the handset will hit the shelves in the US in the next few days. It will be interesting to see if this strategy will bring success to the Korean manufacturer, as its main competitors have also stepped up big time.

Cell Phone

HTC's "unexpected surprise"? That sapphire screen U Ultra edition we already knew about

Dear HTC, when your company's in serious financial trouble, and your latest flagship isn't really that good, you don't get to outright lie about having something "surprising" to reveal, particularly when we've known about it for months. And then you wonder why people don't buy your devices anymore.

And the thing itself? A limited edition HTC U Ultra with 128 GB internal memory and a sapphire screen. That's it – no new device of any kind, not even a new color, but just the very same thing we heard about back in January, except you can now actually pre-order it. The price is, as previously listed, NT $28,900 which is a whopping $920 in US currency. Not that it matters, as the sapphire-screen edition is also limited to Taiwan only.
In addition to the phone, the luxury package also contains a leather case, a power bank, and a key ring, as well as a fancier packaging. Pre-orders should start shipping by March 28, which, for the record, is also a month later than what HTC first announced.
Cell Phone

Apple to start making iPhones in India

Apple iPhone sales are cooling off in China with local competitors rising and the U.S. and European markets seem to have reached smartphone saturation, so Apple is turning its eyes towards one of the biggest and most underdeveloped phone markets currently: India. After months of negotiations with the Indian government, Apple is finally ready to start making iPhones in the world's second most populous nation. Apple's Taiwanese manufacturing partner Wistron will start making iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s within 4 to 6 weeks at a plant in Bangalore, and it will also add the iPhone SE to the mix within a three-month time frame. "Almost all preparations have been done for launching Apple’s first phase project in Bangalore through Wistron," an Indian official confirmed to the Wall Street Journal. APPLE WILL START MAKING IPHONE 6 AND 6S IN INDIA WITHIN 4 TO 6 WEEKSWhy is Apple moving manufacturing to India, though? The reason is indeed practical: Apple iPhones are currently simply too expensive for Indians, a potentially huge market for Apple. Manufacturing locally would allow cutting as much as $100 off the price of iPhones, a lot of it due to import taxes in India. Apple has sought some heavy tax breaks in exchange, but negotiations with the Indian government have been tough and the unofficial information is that the government has not yet accepted most of Apple's demands. "We will try to accommodate as much of their demands as possible, but they too appreciate and understand our limitations," an official working closely with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said. Currently, Apple has a meager 5% market share in India.
Cell Phone

Samsung to boost Galaxy S8 appeal with early bird promos before the April 21 release

Samsung is planning a veritable marketing blitz around the Galaxy S8 and S8+ launch, tips Korean media, and not only on its home turf, but also here in the US. There will apparently be 4,000 retail locations where potential customers will be able to toy with the Galaxy S8 and S8+ across the country, but it will be those who plan on preordering that will benefit most from Samsung's largess in the form of promos and subsidies. Last year, Samsung did something similar with the Galaxy Note 7, notifying whose who preordered about extra stuff coming their way together with the phablet. The goods ranged from free Gear VR sets and microSD cards thrown in by Samsung itself, to extra carrier promos piled up on top, like a year of Netflix on the T-Mobile house. This year, it seems that folks in the US will be getting at least a free Gear VR of the newest iteration, as well as various incentives like a $100 gift card, judging from the leaked Target circular for the period. The Galaxy S8 and S8+ preorders will start on April 7, and run until April 17, reiterates the source. Samsung will begin shipping the handsets to those who preordered as soon as April 18, while general availability is said to commence at the April 21st release date.
Cell Phone

Sony wants to turn your phone into a power vampire

Outlandish patent applications are a dime a dozen these days, yet a few of them warrant mentioning due to just how scarily close to reality they can be. One such case is one of Sony's latest granted patents, which proposes the idea of devices wirelessly leeching power from others in their vicinity, which gives off some serious Dracula vibes. This is a terrible idea by all accounts, but what scares us the most is that Sony might just do it.

So let's begin: patent application US 20170064283 describes "a method for configuring wireless power and data transfer between consumer electronic (CE) devices," or in other words, a combination of wireless charging and near-field communication. The problems with this are many: firstly, as anyone who's ever used wireless charging can tell you, the technology is finicky and relies on the phone being placed on a very specific position on top of the charger. And this is because, at least for now, charging works in an extremely short range, actually making it more restrictive than the classic wired solution. Now imagine having to position two phones perfectly on top of each other, while also completely giving up on using either one of them.
And this is just the beginning, as we haven't even touched the problem of power efficiency, which is miserable in most implementations. In other words, you'll drain much more battery power than you'll receive, resulting in a considerable net minus. And as for those batteries: the most commonly used type, Li-ion, isn't going anywhere any time soon, despite suffering from major power capacity reduction in a short span of time. So imagine how much worse your already failing year-old battery will get if another device starts regularly leeching off of it.
Sony wants to turn your phone into a power vampire
Granted, this is a very short-sighted view of the patent, which, for some reason, covers data transfer as well as wireless charging, making the idea a weird alternative to the old idea of wireless peer-to-peer networks. Also notable is the fact that the application specifically addresses the latter of the above problems with a paragraph devoted to preventing devices running on battery power from supplying it to others.
In any case, the technology for this patent simply isn't here yet, even if recent rumors have suggested it may be coming in the near future (but from Apple, rather than Sony). Still, the biggest hurdle for implementing at least some variation of this is shrinking down the power supply mechanism and figuring out how to cram it into a phone. And if Sony manages to do that, it might just put it in its next flagship, despite the general uselessness of it, à la Samsung and its heartbeat sensors.
Cell Phone

The OLED iPhone 8 curves may be smaller than Samsung’s, 5.2" viewable area tipped

All the rumors that Apple is experimenting with a new touch control paradigm for the sides of the rumored OLED iPhone 8 with curved display may have been referring to various prototypes Apple always has in its labs, according to Nikkei sources from the supply chain. The insiders claim that the iPhone 8 will have an OLED screen with a 5.2" viewable area that will be ever so slightly curved on all sides, purely for aesthetic purposes, with no new touch functions introduced for the sloping sections, let alone news tickers like on the first Note edge. This screen size is close to the 5.15" diagonal tipped by famed Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo as well. In fact, the source claims that the bendy panels atop of the iPhone 8 will be curved even less than what Samsung did with phones like the S7 edge. Samsung itself restricted the curve amount and angle on the Note 7 compared to the S7 edge, and is expected to do the same with the S8, relegating the sloping edges mostly to beauty duties, rather than a tangible functionality. Apple is tipped to follow suit, and may also slap a slightly curved glass back panel that will be supplied by its traditional partners Biel Crystal and Lens Technology. This corroborates yesterday's rumor that Biel will provide Apple with "thermoformed" glass backs for the iPhone 8, too. The Nikkei source reiterates once again that a lot of the commotion around the eventual OLED iPhone 8 is still in flux in Apple's labs, which in its turn coincides with what Macotakara claimed the other day. The Japanese tipped that Apple is still toying around with many prototype ideas, but in the end what it will come up with may not be as drastic as rumored, or that the iPhone 8 with OLED screen may only be announced in September, but released at a later date. Plenty of time for Apple to clear it up, and we'll keep our eyes peeled for any new developments. One point is for sure, though - an OLED iPhone 8 would be pretty expensive.
Cell Phone

Buying an iPhone is better than a healthcare plan and we were blind to the truth all along (sarcasm)

On Tuesday, Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz made an interesting point. Rather than getting that hot, expensive new iPhone, as a sensible American, you better invest in the GOP's forthcoming healthcare plan of comparable price. Because you are free individual and you have a choice. But having both the new iPhone and adequate healthcare costs much money in the current system, so if you don't have that, you darn better make the responsible choice.
What if you really wanted that iPhone, though? Too bad! Suck it up, or hustle! Conan O'Brian's team of comedians uses every opportunity to land a critical jab at politics – and especially at Apple – so their quick reaction comes as no surprise. What if getting that new iPhone is actually the sensible thing to do – and a better investment than healthcare, at that? Apparently, we have been blind to its untapped medical potential all along! Let the video demonstrate why Apple has "the only healthcare you'll need."
The iPhone handles medical exams, acts as an advanced thermometer, does emergency blood transfusions, delivers superb diagnostics, and... you probably didn't want to know that, but rectal examinations are on the menu, too! Funsies aside, the most popular smartphone in the US is more than capable of assisting your treatment, thanks to the Apple Health app's monitoring and data sharing functionality. Still, you probably shouldn't put it in your mouth because Conan told you so. If you do that, you may have bigger problems than having to choose where to spend your money.
Cell Phone

LG G6 has a shiny glass back, but does it scratch easily?

The LG G6 is in many ways a reset for LG: it's not modular, it does not feature a leather back, it's... well, more mainstream. It is trendy: it has a sturdy metal frame and a glass back, and while it might not be of the same design pedigree as the curved-screen Samsung phones or some others, it still looks good.

But with a glass back you inevitable start to wonder: won't this also scratch easily? After all, many people prefer using their phones without a case and nobody wants a scratched up phone in a month or two.


So let's take a knife and try to scratch up our brand new phone to test... said no one ever. Well, one person did: an adventurous tester that will settle the case once and for all, so that you don't need to damage your device just to feed your curiosity.

The answer is: no, it does not scratch easily. It won't scratch even when you try harder with a sharp knife. Keep in mind that we're talking about the back glass here: it's said to be Gorilla Glass 5 protected, while the camera is said to be covered in Gorilla Glass 4, while the front - allegedly to make it as thin as possible - is Gorilla Glass 3 protected. So there you have it, the LG G6 will not scratch easily. Now, if only we could know when will LG start selling it and what will be the price...

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