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Huawei P10 Plus: taking a closer look at this stylish dual-camera flagship

When you're building a new smartphone, it's way too easy to get caught up in race to outdo your competition in a race to implement snazzy new features or design elements. Maybe you want to be the first phone around with a extra-wide 18:9 display, or the first to deliver a handset capable of filming slow-motion video that pushes 1000 frames per second. But while you're sure to get a lot of attention crafting handsets like that, there's also a whole lot to be said for keeping things simple: giving us a smartly-constructed, attractive phone built from the latest hardware, and running software that delivers a tasteful assortment of new functionality.

Is that a boring way to make a phone? We don't necessarily think so, and while it's easy to get caught up in the awe and spectacle of flashy new features, we very much appreciate a really well-executed phone that's not trying quite so hard to grab the spotlight.

Of all the flagships we've seen this year at Mobile World Congress, it's Huawei's pair of the P10 and P10 Plus that arguably best fit that bill. They're iterative phones, sure, but ones that build on the solid foundation of the P9 and P9 Plus.

Compared to last year's phones, though, 2017's models deliver some smart upgrades. We've already given you the full rundown on specs for these models, and shared the experience of some of our early hands-on time. Our initial interactions, though, have largely been dominated by time spent with the smaller P10. Not content to let the 5.5-inch P10 Plus feel lonely, we tracked the handset down on the MWC show floor to bring you a better look at the higher-end of Huawei's two brand-new flagships.

The difference between the P10 and P10 Plus is far from night-and-day, with the same processors driving these handsets, the same base memory and storage levels, and same design: both giving us a nice, thin 7mm-thick metal body, smooth, pleasing-to-hold curves, and a variety of color options and finishes to choose from. Even the prices aren't far off, with just 50 EUR separating the pair.

If you've been paying close attention, you've probably picked up on some of the ways these two handsets stand apart, as well, and besides the obvious ones like the larger, higher-res screen on the P10 Plus and its giant 3,750mAh battery, there are much more subtle upgrades, like the wider f/1.8 camera aperture for the P10 Plus – which should translate into better low-light performance.

That all adds up to make the Huawei P10 Plus a pretty darn tempting alternative to the P10 – so long as you don't mind the slightly larger screen, there's not a lot of compromise to be found, and you get a decent number of extras for not a whole lot more money. We'll be giving both the P10 and the P10 Plus our full review treatment in the days to come, but for, check out our Huawei P10 Plus image gallery and hands-on video with the stylish new flagship.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 price and release date

Samsung just announced its Galaxy Tab S3 and Galaxy Book slates here at the MWC expo, and they turned out to be as exciting as tablets can be these days of ultraportable laptops and assorted detachables. The S3 is very similar in design to its predecessor, albeit with some expected spec bumps like Snapdragon 820 and AMOLED display, while the Windows-laden Books try to fit into Intel's 7th-gen Kaby Lake processor era. We were already expecting some sort of S-Pen accessory to be available for the Tab S3, and Samsung delivered a stylus that looks a bit different than previous Note-destined S-Pens. The stylus looks to be quite a tad thicker than models that Samsung has kicked out in the past, and the overall design of it strikes an alarming resemblance to Microsoft's Surface Pen. It is available as an optional accessory, alongside keyboard covers and other add-ons. How much for the Galaxy Tab S3 and the Samsung Book 12" and 10" models? Well, Samsung disclosed that the Nougat-laden tablet will be available in Europe next month for €679 if you get the basic Wi-Fi version, and €769 if you want LTE connectivity, while the Book's prices are yet to be announced.
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Samsung sees strong growth ahead for the 2-in-1 Windows powered tablet market

Anyone with a rudimentary grade school knowledge of math can tell you that 66.6% of Samsung's new tablets introduced at MWC were powered by Windows instead of Android. Of the three new tablets introduced by Samsung, only one of them (the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3) comes pre-installed with Windows. Android tablet sales are being negatively impacted by the continued strength in Android phablets. And this year, there is a good chance that the top selling Android phone will be the 6.2-inch Samsung Galaxy S8+. In addition, Android tablet sales are being negatively impacted by the lack of a strong upgrade cycle. Unlike smartphones, which are replaced every two-years by many consumers, most tablets do not offer compelling updates to specs or features.

At MWC, Samsung introduced two Samsung Galaxy Book 2-in-1 tablets. The manufacturer believes that this is where future growth in the tablet market lies. According to Eric McCarty, vice president of mobile product marketing for Samsung Electronics America, year-over-year growth in the 2-in-1 niche of the tablet market is running at 140%. And with 60% of these devices running Windows, we can assume that Samsung will be using that platform on a majority of its future slabs. Especially since devices like the Samsung Galaxy Books are made for enterprise use. And that means employees will get to use Windows in the office, and Windows out of the office.

Even with the expected gain in the 2-in-1 segment, it isn't clear if this is enough to right the entire ship. IDC reported tablet deliveries of 176 million tablets last year, a drop of 15.6%. Apple iPad shipments declined 14.2% to 42.6 million. Samsung saw tablet shipments drop last year to 20.6 million, still enough to finish 2016 as the second largest tablet manufacturer behind Apple.

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LG G6 rumor review: design, specs, features, everything we know so far

With 2016 on its way out, and the smartphone rumor mill in full swing as usual, it is time to take a good look at all the information we've got regarding next year's flagships, review it, and sort it out neatly for your reading pleasure and convenience. With the Galaxy S8/S8 Edge out of the way, it is now time to turn our attention toward LG and the successor to this year's modular G5. However, save for the seemingly universal assumption that it will continue LG's flagship naming scheme by moving on to the next digit, rumors regarding the LG G6 have thus far been as contradictory as they have been scarce.

With some reports suggesting that the LG G6 may ditch the modular concept of its predecessor in favor of a less-adventurous, waterproof design with non-removable battery, while others still claiming the battery will be removable despite the added water resistance, even educated guessing is becoming a bit difficult at this point. However, our job here is to present you with all the relevant informationregarding next year's flagships, and that's what we are going to do now. With that said, let's take a look at all we know about the LG G6:


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LG G6 rumor review: design, specs, features, everything we know so far

1. Design
2. Display (New!)
3. Hardware
4. Cameras & iris scanner (New!)
5. Software and features
6. Price and release date



Non-modular G6

The LG G5 was a very experimental device. Perhaps too experimental. The modular concept was highly promising but failed to deliver in the end

The LG G5 was a very experimental device. Perhaps too experimental. The modular concept was highly promising but failed to deliver in the end

Numerous sources, including various South Korean publications, have claimed that LG will be dropping the whole modular thing it experimented with on the G5 and opt for a more traditional design instead. The various reports on the matter cite multiple reasons for this suggested change, including low sales of the G5, troubled production yield due to the phone's complicated modular build, as well as big shifts in the executive circles responsible for the development of the G5.
Whether the company will drop modules entirely for its upcoming flagship is up for debate, but it does make a lot of sense and ties up with other rumors regarding the phone's design

Non-removable battery that won't overheat

Both the LG G5 (pictured above) and V20 sported removable batteries, but the G6 may break this tradition with a non-replaceable, sealed battery unit

Both the LG G5 (pictured above) and V20 sported removable batteries, but the G6 may break this tradition with a non-replaceable, sealed battery unit

Some reports claim that the G6 won't have a user-replaceable battery, which is somewhat in line with the rumors suggesting that the phone will have a non-modular build. However, other sources, most notably the Korean Herald, suggest that the LG G6 may retain the removable battery aspect from the G5 and the more recent non-modular V20 for “safety” purposes, vaguely referencing the Note 7 debacle. An interesting point, although we don't really see the removable battery as an adequate precautionary measure against malfunctions. Furthermore, if modular design is really a no-go for the G6, LG may have a much better reason to keep the battery sealed in. This brings us to our next point.
LG has announced that, in order to prevent the battery on the G6 from overheating, it will employ a copper heat pipe cooling system that will drive heat away from the battery. According to the company, G6's battery won't overheat even at temperatures of up to 150 degrees Celsius. LG says that it is testing the battery for the new flagship at temperatures 15% higher than U.S. and European standards, in order to ensure their resistance to heat.


Both the G5 and V20 (pictured above) sported removable batteries but neither of them was water-resistant
Both the G5 and V20 (pictured above) sported removable batteries but neither of them was water-resistant

Both the G5 and V20 (pictured above) sported removable batteries but neither of them was water-resistant

One of the most widely cited possible reasons for dropping the removable battery aspect is some sort of advanced waterproofing technique. While Samsung uses waterproof tape around the displays of its Galaxy phones, LG is said to be looking at an adhesive-based waterproofing method similar to what Apple did with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Although we've seen water-resistant phones with removable batteries, such as the Galaxy S5, LG may be working on a way to make its future flagship devices even more resistant to the elements, and a sealed battery could definitely help.


The LG G5 sported a unibody aluminum build coated with primer to conceal the seams between the casing and antenna slits. It wasn't received with standing ovations by fans and we weren't amazed either. However, LG may be looking to spice things up for the G6 with some sort of a high-gloss back. Some reports suggest that the casing could be made of glass, while others claim that LG is more likely to use some sort of metal polishing technique, similar to what Apple did with the Jet Black iPhone 7 models, to achieve a high level gloss without compromising sturdiness.
A recently leaked image of a case by an unknown manufacturer gave us the first (alleged) glimpse at the G6, highlighting two horizontally aligned cameras with the flash in between, as well as a fingerprint scanner underneath. The image is in line with previous rumors that the G6 won't be too different from the G5 and V20, as far as the setup of sensors on the back goes. Unfortunately, no openings for ports or buttons are visible on the case, so we can't say anything about their placement at this point.
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Video teaser confirms February 26th MWC unveiling for the Huawei P10

You probably don't need to see another confirmation to remind you that the Huawei P10 will be unveiled at Barcelona during MWC on February 26th. Nonetheless, the company on Monday posted a brief video confirming the unveiling date and location. The clip includes a message that says "Change how the world sees you." The last part of that statement would seem to indicate that there will be something unique with the way the phone looks. And we think that the video itself is giving away the answer.

Note the background color at the end of the clip is green. There is speculation that the Huawei P10 is going to be available in Green, a color you don't see offered that much on a smartphone. Other color options might include Black, Gold, Purple and White.

Both the Huawei P10 and the premium Huawei P10 Plus are said to be equipped with a 5.5-inch screen carrying a 1440 x 2560 resolution. The Huawei designed Kirin 960 chipset is under the hood containing an octa-core CPU (consisting of four Cortex-A73 cores for high performance tasks and four Cortex-A53 cores for light housekeeping). It is the first SoC to employ the Mali-G71 MP8 GPU. The dual-camera setup on back of both models is expected to weigh in at 12MP with the use of Leica optics.         

Originally, there was talk that the only difference between the P10 and P10 Plus would be the use of a flat screen on the former, and a dual-curved edge screen for the latter. But yesterday, another possible difference came to light after Spanish retailer Phone House put up a listing for the Huawei P10 Plus that had the premium model equipped with 8GB of RAM. The price of the unit was listed at $799. While technically possible (the Kirin 960 SoC will support up to 8GB of RAM), the figure could be merely a placeholder. For now, we will play it safe and wait to find out the official details from Huawei on February 26th.

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A new Apple patent brings a major iPhone 8 rumor closer to reality

We've heard countless far-fetched rumors about the upcoming iPhone 8, but few have been as prevalent as the one claiming Apple is getting rid of the standalone fingerprint scanner and embedding it into the screen itself. While that sounds exactly like the type of thing tech journalists make up to increase their viewership, a patent application granted to the company today seemingly confirms the existence of such technology. After its acquisition of LuxVue, a pioneer of the so-called micro-LED technology, Apple inherited a trove of intellectual property, including methods for the manufacturing of thin flexible screens, which are expected to be integrated into the next iteration of the Apple Watch. Today's patent, too, was a part of the IP transfer, and details a screen with infrared light emitters and sensors interwoven with regular RGB diodes, allowing for high-resolution touch sensing strong enough to enable the reading of fingerprints. A patent drawing detailing how fingerprints could be detected with the new technology A patent drawing detailing how fingerprints could be detected with the new technology This comes at an interesting time for the company, as at least one of this year's upcoming models is expected to switch to OLED screens, and rumors have been floating around for a while about Apple's desire to ditch Touch ID. Do note, however, that the patent means next to nothing unless the company has the ability to actually manufacture the technology detailed inside, so take everything with a pinch of salt. This isn't the only possible method of achieving the rumored built-in fingerprint sensor, though, and Apple actually has another patent describing a similar technology, based on putting a sensor behind the screen which reads through gaps in space. Today's listing, however, is much more detailed and thus somewhat more plausible. Other alternatives exist, too – namely, Qualcomm's Sense ID, which utilizes ultrasonic waves instead. As for other rumors, there are plenty - the upcoming iPhone 8 is expected to come in several variants, just like its predecessors, and is said to feature wide-range wireless charging, an 'edge to edge' display, tap-to-wake functionality, a bigger battery, and more. The official unveiling, however, is still far ahead in the future, so details are, as always, subject to change.
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Huawei P10 and P10 Plus specs and pricing appear on leaked document

Out of China, an alleged product information sheet for the Huawei P10 and Huawei P10 Plus has turned up in our in-box this morning. We caution you that there is no verification that the information printed on the document is legitimate, so we do suggest that you read this with your cynical eye, and take this story with a grain of salt. According to the leak, the Huawei P10 will be offered in three variants. Those models include one with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of native storage, priced at the equivalent of $508 USD. A version with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of native storage will cost the equivalent of $595 USD. And the model with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of native memory will be priced at the equivalent of $682 USD. The Huawei P10 Plus will be available in two versions. The model with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal memory is priced at the equivalent of $726. And the Huawei P10 Plus with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal memory will cost the equivalent of $828 USD. Both phones are expected to feature a 5.5-inch screen with a 1440 x 2560 resolution. The home-grown Kirin 965 chipset is powering both devices and each model has a 12MP dual camera setup on back featuring Leica optics. The front-facing selfie snapper weighs in at 8MP. One report last month says that the only physical difference between the two models is that the P10 carries a flat screen while the P10 Plus has a curved-edge display. Both models are expected to be unveiled February 26th at MWC in Barcelona. Yup, that's the same day we expect to see the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3, the LG G6, and several Nokia handsets made official.
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Samsung trademarks Galaxy J3 Luna Pro name

The Galaxy J series is about to expand with the addition of a few new smartphones. The unannounced Galaxy J7 (2017) is one of the handsets Samsung is expected to reveal very soon, but that might not be the only affordable smartphone launched by the South Korean company in Q1.

We reported less than a week ago about the Galaxy J7 Sky Pro, a name that Samsung trademarked in late January. Even though we don't have a confirmation yet, this might be a carrier-branded version of the long-rumored Galaxy J7 (2017), which will be released in the United States.

The name of a third Galaxy J series device has been spotted recently at USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office): Galaxy J3 Luna Pro. Judging by its name, this doesn't seem to be another variant of the Galaxy J7 (2017), but rather a refresh of the last yearGalaxy J3 Pro.

Although it might not mean anything, it looks like Samsung trademarked both the Galaxy J7 Sky Pro and Galaxy J3 Luna Pro names on the same day, January 24, 2017. The next step for Samsung would be to make both affordable smartphones official.

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Would you pay more for an iPhone or a Galaxy if they were 'made in America'?

President Trump rose to prominence on the wings of many promises during the election campaign period, and one of those was the "made in America" battle cry. It would result in manufacturer mandates to assemble their goods here, and bring paying employment back to the Rust Belt, compensating somewhat for the exodus of manufacturing jobs to China and other places over the last few decades. Well, there might not be mandates just yet, but some companies are being singled out as examples, and getting coerced into investing in US factories through an intriguing mix of tax incentives and plain old Twitter storms by the President himself. Apple's Tim Cook was summoned not long ago to discuss making some of its gadgets here, and yesterday the President shouted a loud "Thanks you!" to Samsung for building an imaginary factory here in the US, which caused a bit of a confusion, as those plans are apparently neither finalized, nor approved just yet. In any case, if and when iPhones get assembled here, partially or in full, it would add up anywhere between $30-$100 to the basic $649 price of one, calculated MIT researchers, and the same probably goes for a high-end Galaxy. In fact, one popular Apple analyst already suggested that there should be a special "made in the USA" model for which Apple may charge between $100-$200 more, depending on the version. That is why we wanted to ask you if you would be willing to pay more for your phone provided that it had the "made in America" stamp on the back. Tell us in the poll below, and sound off in the comments.
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Huawei launch event confirmed for February 26, P10 and P10 Plus flagships incoming

There have been rumors claiming Huawei plans to launch its P10 and P10 Plus flagship smartphones in March of April. It appears that these reports come in line with the official information we've just received today.

Huawei has just announced a launch event, which is to take place at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2017 on February 26. The Chinese handset maker did not provide any additional details on the matter, but it's safe to assume that at least one of the two flagships will be announced in late February.

With the release of the P10, Huawei will completely move its flagship lineup into “phablet” territory. The P10 is expected to sport a 5.5-inch display, just like the P10 Plus that's rumored to include a similar panel with Quad HD (2560 x 1440 pixels) resolution.

We've also learned the both P10 smartphones will be equipped with powerful HiSilicon Kirin 960 chipsets, coupled with Mali-G71 MP8 graphics processing units and 6GB of RAM. The Leica-branded cameras are likely to made it into both models as well.

The main difference between the two models could be the fact that the P10 Plus will feature a dual-edge curved display, while the standard version will come with a flat panel.

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iPhone 7 Plus vs Sony Xperia XZ camera comparison: which does 2X zoom better?

A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine treated herself to an iPhone 7 Plus. Long story short, she loved it, and it wasn't only for the gorgeous shade of Rose Gold it was sporting. The screen, the battery life, and the performance all blew her away, but the feature she was enjoying the most was the dual camera. Her pictures were coming out clear and detailed, even when she was zooming – something that couldn't be said about her old phone. Or for most other phones, actually.
There's a reason why the iPhone 7 Plus's camera performs that well. Next to its main camera there's a secondary Telephoto cam with proper optical magnification, and its 2X zoom brings the subject twice as close without sacrificing detail. In contrast, most other phones have to digitally stretch the image to achieve the zoom effect, and doing so results in loss of image quality.
Yet I think there's an Android phone that could match the iPhone at the zooming game – the Sony Xperia XZ. It doesn't have a secondary camera. It has no optical zoom either. But it has a bigger camera sensor, a wider aperture, and a ton more megapixels – 23, to be exact – to capture even the most minute details in every image. In comparison, the Telephoto camera on the iPhone 7 Plus has only 12 megapixels to work with. Will the XZ's technically superior camera be able to produce better shots at 2X zoom? There's one way to find out!
 Scene 1: Old-timer
iPhone 7 Plus
Sony Xperia XZ
On the left we have an image out of the iPhone 7 Plus, and on the right – a photo from the Sony Xperia XZ. Both shots were taken at 2x zoom. Can you name a winner? Looking at details alone, I can't. Both images look mighty fine even if I take a closer look, so I'm calling this round a tie. Looks like the 2x digital zoom on the XZ could prove just as useful as the iPhone's. 
Scene 2: Santa Claus
iPhone 7 Plus
Sony Xperia XZ
Or maybe I spoke too soon. This pair of images was taken at the office, where light conditions aren't exactly perfect for a photo shoot-out. Both photos look fine, of course, but the iPhone's is noticeably more detailed. Why is that? Well, the Xperia XZ's camera tends to be more susceptible to digital noise, and digital noise is always more prevalent in low-light shots, hence the smudgy details seen in its photo.
Scene 3: The bookshelf 
iPhone 7 Plus
Sony Xperia XZ
In this third set of images, the iPhone still has the upper hand over the XZ. This does not become obvious at first, but if you take a closer look, you'll notice how the detail in the texture of the wallpaper is mostly missing. Also, the titles of the books are clearer to read in the iPhone's photo. But then again, I'd say that both photos are usable as they look good enough.
Scene 4: In the woods 
iPhone 7 Plus
Sony Xperia XZ
And the Xperia XZ is back in the game. For this next scene, the light from the setting sun provided it with enough light to capture a nice, sharp photo – one that matches the iPhone 7 Plus in terms of detail. Okay, maybe the iPhone does have a tiny bit more detail in certain areas of its image, but overall, I'd call this round a tie. 

Scene 5: Happy

iPhone 7 Plus
Sony Xperia XZ
Alas, the Telephoto camera on the iPhone 7 Plus has its downsides. One of them: it is less sensitive to light compared to the phone's main camera. That's why in some low-light situations – in scenes such as this one – the iPhone's camera software chooses not to use its 2x zoom lens and shoots with its regular cam instead. Yes, the zoom in the iPhone's photo above is purely the product of digital image stretching. There's no optical zooming going on. Yet I can't say that the Xperia XZ's photo looks any better. When examined from up close, both photos have more or less the same level of detail, and I'd even say that in some areas, the iPhone's image does look clearer.
iPhone 7 Plus vs Sony Xperia XZ camera comparison: which does 2X zoom better?
After doing what I do for a living for so long, I have developed the habit of observing how people use their phones. And one of the things I've noticed is that pretty much everyone uses the zoom feature of its camera – regardless of whether they're a pro photographer or if they got their first smartphone yesterday. That's why it makes perfect sense for smartphone makers to give their phones better zooming capabilities. Apple did exactly that. The Telephoto camera on the iPhone 7 Plus does a really, really great job at bringing the subject closer to the photographer. It isn't the first phone to do so using optical means, but it is the first to implement optical zoom in a sensible, practical way. All the iPhone 7 Plus needs is enough light to do its magic. 
So, can the Xperia XZ match the zooming capabilities of the iPhone 7 Plus? Yes, I'd say that it can, but only to a certain extent. As long as light is plentiful, the Sony Xperia XZ takes sharp, detailed shots at 2X zoom – shots that look about as good as those from the iPhone 7 Plus. For the most part, that is likely thanks to the technical advantages of the camera Sony is using, such as the higher megapixel count and wider aperture. In low-light environments, however, the XZ's camera is held back by its susceptibility to digital noise, while the image processing that's supposed to clear that noise isn't making things any better. 
But then again, even though the iPhone 7 Plus and the Xperia XZ use completely different zooming techniques, all of the images I showed you above turned out perfectly usable. I guess whoever said that the best camera is the one you have was onto something.
If you liked this post, perhaps you'll like some of our other articles related to the iPhone 7 Plus and its awesome dual camera. Check them out below:
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Apple's AirPods have taken 26% of the online market for wireless headphones

After a two-month delay while Apple was ironing out some problems with the product, the wireless Bluetooth powered AirPods finally launched on December 13th. Already, AirPods own 26% of the online wireless headphone market, cementing what Apple CEO Tim Cook has called "a runaway success." The data comes from Slice Intelligence and is generated from actual receipts. This means that the figures should be very accurate.

In December 2015, wireless headphones accounted for half of the entire online U.S. headphones market for the first time. Last month, three out of every four headphones sold online in the states were of the wireless variety. Besides Apple, Samsung has its Gear IconX wireless ear buds that compete with the AirPods. But Apple does have the benefit of having sold millions of Apple iPhone 7 and Apple iPhone 7 Plus handsets, all sans a 3.5mm earphone jack. All of these iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus owners are potential AirPods buyers. On the day of the product's launch, December 13th, wireless headphone sales made online were ten times higher than the pre-holiday figure for an average day in 2016. For all of 2016, it was the single day with the most online sales of wireless headphones.

Apple has been dominating the category, and not just because of the $159 AirPods. Prior to the product's launch, Beats had the leading market share based on online sales, with 24.1%. That company of course, is owned by Apple. After the AirPods launch, Beats owned 15.4% and Apple had 26% for a combined market share of more than 40%. It might have been coincidence, but Bose got a huge lift from the AirPods launch as its share of the online wireless headphones market rose from 10.5% to 16.1%

Now that we now who is selling product, the question is, who is buying it? Female Boomers have the largest share at 38% followed by male Millemmials at 35%, and female Millennials at 32%. You can check out all of the data by clicking on the slideshow below.

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Galaxy S8 shipments said to target 60 million, release date set for mid-April

Citing industry sources, Korean news outlet The Investor reports that Samsung is targeting 60 million unit shipments for its upcoming Galaxy S8 flagship smartphone. The company has placed component orders to match this target and is working towards a mid-April release date for the product. This means the Galaxy S8 could take about a month longer to land in retail stores than its predecessor. This may or may not owe to Samsung extending its quality assurance process to prevent potential product-breaking flaws.

The sources claim that Samsung will begin mass-producing the Galaxy S8 in March. One of the reports suggests that an initial batch of 5 million units will be completed in March, while the other suggests that 5 million units will be Samsung's monthly production capacity for the months after. Either way, the sources claim the company will be showcasing the smartphone "a month or two" before its mid-April release. This means the Galaxy S8 could be announced at MWC 2017, either in late February or the first days of March, while being shown to carriers and retail partners behind the scenes.
60 million is quite an ambitious target. The past three generations of Galaxy S smartphones managed between 45 to 48 million units, with a record of 70 million units still held by the Galaxy S4 (2013). Its predecessor, the Galaxy S3, came close with 65 million units. Reportedly, Samsung set such a goal to help overcome the losses sustained after pulling the faulty Galaxy Note 7 off the market last year.

The report names iris scanner module maker Partron, camera lens firm Sekonix, and connectivity-handling Samsung Electro-Mechanics and Amotech as component delivery partners.

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Awesome Apple Watch stand transforms your timepiece into an 80's Macintosh computer

If there’s one thing nobody can deny Apple’s good at, it’s creating lasting designs. A testament to that is the angular Macintosh 128K from 1984 – a computer with such an iconic look, 30 years later people are using it as a design piece. The cuboid Mac has been repurposed to such things as a flower pot, an aquarium, an iPad stand, a DJ-ing helmet (yes, really), and many, many more. While some techies may find these “reincarnations” of the classic machine blasphemous, they are a testament to its lasting design.

If you are among the many who like the look of this Macintosh computer, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that accessory maker Elago has released a 128K-styled stand for the Apple Watch. It comes in black and classic white/beige and looks really cool when you slip your watch in, especially if you’re using a watch face with green accents.

The W3 Elago Apple Watch stand is made from silicone and supports both generations of Apple Watches. It also supports Nightstand Mode and has a slot to fit the official charging cable. Both colors of the W3 start at $13.49 and can be purchased at Elago’s online store.

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Samsung Galaxy S7 running Android 7.0 Nougat appears in online database

The Samsung Galaxy S7 Active is poised to receive an update to Android 7.0 Nougat. The smartphone surfaced in the GFXBench database running the latest version of Android, which means the update is in testing and being primed for a release in the near future. Samsung has already published beta builds of Android Nougat for the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, so it's highly likely that the Active will receive a Nougat update around the same time they do. The company has committed to delivering the Nougat update for the S7 and S7 edge this January, so the Active should get it around this time, or a little later.

So far, the beta Nougat updates have added a fair bit of functionality to their designated smartphones. There are new features such as adding third-party app functions as quick toggles, improved battery saving, an overhaul to the Calendar app, a Video Enhancer feature for better video and sound quality, repositioned toggles, new Device Maintenance, screen resolution adjustments, and other goodies on top of all the patches and fixes. All in all, this should be a fine update when it's pushed out.

Cell Phone

Sony's goal is to be the first non-Google OEM to update their devices to Android 7.1.1

When deciding which smartphone to purchase, there are a number of different factors that come into play - the camera, screen resolution, internal storage capacity, battery size, and more. When looking at Android-powered phones specifically, there's another area to be concerned about, and it has to do with software updates. Not all OEMs are made equal, and while some provide consistently fast and reliable software updates, the same can't be said for other brands. Sony has recently been doing a commendable job at getting their hardware updated to Android 7.0 Nougat, and in a recent post published to their Xperia Blog, it looks like Sony isn't calling it quits just yet. Android 7.1.1 was released to both Pixel and Nexus hardware a few days ago on December 5th, and Google also released this latest Android update to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) on the same day so that other manufacturers and OEMs could update their hardware to the next version of Android as well. Samsung has recently announced that they'll be skipping the Android 7.0 and 7.1 updates and going straight to 7.1.1, and while this rollout for the S7 and S7 edge is expected to take place at some point early next year, the development team over at Sony has said that "if you spot any other vendor (excluding Google) releasing this (Android 7.1.1) faster than us, prepare your rotten tomatoes!" Sony's goal is to be the first non-Google OEM to update their devices to Android 7.1.1 There's currently no word as to when Sony will actually be releasing the 7.1.1 update to their hardware, but their development team has said that it's currently their concept team's "number 1 priority." As for what devices will be receiving 7.1.1, it's pretty safe to assume that both the Xperia X Performance and Xperia XZ will be getting the latest software as they were just recently updated to 7.0. It's also been confirmed that the Z5 line of devices, the Z3+, and the Z4 Tablet will be getting Nougat at some point in the future, so it wouldn't be a surprise if we saw 7.1.1 Nougat make its way to these devices as well.
Cell Phone

Samsung Galaxy S8 to include 'Beast Mode?'

We've referred to high-end smartphones before as "beasts, " but this might be the first time that one actually has a "Beast mode." Samsung has filed with the EU to trademark the phrase Beast mode. Knowing full well the pitfalls of making an assumption, we will say that this could be a new mode for the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S8. The latter is expected to be unveiled in New York City, possibly as soon as April.

Supporting this theory is the documentation, which shows that the name could be applied to a smartphone or even a smartphone operating system. In certain regions, the Galaxy S8 is rumored to be powered by the new Snapdragon 835 chipset. Other markets will use the next-generation Exynos chip. Both will be manufactured using the 10nm process, allowing either chip to bring the power without consuming excessive amounts of energy. We also could see 8GB of RAM inside, giving the device smooth multi-tasking capabilities.

One thing for sure, if Samsung does include some sort of overdriving Beast mode on the Galaxy S8, we're sure to hear about it in Samsung's marketing of the device.

So now there could be two reasons to look forward to April; it will be the start of the 2017 Major League Baseball season, and it could be the month that sees Samsung introduce its new flagship handset.

Cell Phone

Four new LG models certified by the FCC, could be the rumored K (2017) series

The FCC has certified four new handsets from LG with the model numbers of LG-M150, LG-M151, LG-M153 and LG-M154. Based on the diagram that accompanied the FCC documentation, the phone will carry a single rear-facing camera; with the FCC label placed inside the battery compartment, it would appear that the cell will be replaceable. The four new model numbers certified by the FCC could each represent one of the four new K (2017) series handsets that LG is reportedly going to introduce at CES next month. Those handsets are believed to include: LG K10 2017 - 5.3-inch HD screen, 5 MP wide-angle front-facing camera, 2.5D glass (slightly curved) on front and back, and fingerprint reader LG K8 2017 - 5-inch HD screen, 13 MP rear camera, 5 MP front-facing camera, and a 2500 mAh battery LG K4 2017 - 4.7-inch screen, 8 MP rear camera, 5 MP front-facing camera, and a 2500 mAh battery LG K3 2017 - 4.5-inch screen, 5 MP rear camera, 2 MP front-facing camera, and a 2100 mAh battery The CES opens on January 5th next month, and closes on January 8th.
Cell Phone

Apple and Google reportedly partner with LG Display on flexible OLEDs for foldable devices

Samsung's near monopoly on OLED display supplies might be challenged a year from now, as Apple, Google and Microsoft are reportedly partnering with LG on the production of flexible OLED panels. While Apple's name comes as no surprise here, as it is heavily rumored to introduce an OLED iPhone 8 next year, and is trying to diversify its screen suppliers, the fact that Google and Microsoft may be in the mix raises some eyebrows. As per the source of this rumor, Google is interested in flexible OLEDs for future iterations of its Pixels, while Microsoft is actually shopping for Surface line ideas. In any case, there are three powerful potential customers with money and enthusiasm to burn, so LG is said to take the opportunity, and be ready for mass production by 2018. The other important tip here is that those LG flexible displays are meant to be used into foldable devices, with a mechanism that keeps the screen stretched over the outer surface. Samsung has been developing such panels for a while now, allowing the OLEDs to bend numerous times without picture deterioration at the folding area, but it's the first time we are hearing LG might be up to something similar. In any case, it seems that we will be encountering much more unorthodox shapes and forms in phones going forward, which can only benefit the end users, if done right. Needless to say, LG Display has denied commenting on its future customers.
Cell Phone

Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017) receives its Wi-Fi certification, one step closer to getting unveiled

The Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017) received its Bluetooth certification last month, and was certified by the FCC earlier this month. Today it has received its Wi-Fi certification from the Wi-Fi Alliance. The model number is SM-A720X. With Both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi certified, there is talk that the phone could be unveiled sometime later this month. Meanwhile, the SM-A720F, which is the international version of the handset, was spotted on Indian import-export site Zauba a number of times. The latest rumored specs include a 5.5-inch or 5.7-inch screen with a 1080 x 1920 resolution. Powering the phone will be the Samsung Exynos 7880 SoC containing an octa-core 1.8GHz CPU and a Mali-T860 MP4 GPU. 3GB of RAM is inside along with 32GB of native storage. Both the back-facing and front-facing cameras will weigh in at 16MP, and Android 6.0.1 will be pre-installed. With an IP68 certification rating, the device will be able to withstand getting submerged to a depth of five-feet for as long as 30 minutes. The Galaxy A7 (2017) will be equipped with a Type-C USB port. We expect to see the Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017) unveiled at the same times as the Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017) and the Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017). The smaller Galaxy A3 (2017), with its 4.7-inch screen offering a 720 x 1280 resolution, already received its Wi-Fi certification last month. The Galaxy A5 (2017) and its 5.2-inch 1080 x 1920 resolution display, has received certification for both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

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