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   Technology StocksSmartphones, Tablets, Wearables and Gadgets


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From: FJB7/7/2018 9:17:08 AM
   of 3025
 
Future phones: foldable like a napkin, with up to nine cameras and able to charge over thin air

Smartphone bodies haven’t changed that much in the past few years – the iPhone 8 isn’t much different to the iPhone 6 – but they’re about to. These are some of the major hardware changes coming in the near future

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 07 July, 2018, 10:33am
UPDATED : Saturday, 07 July, 2018, 10:32am

Your next smartphone might be just a little different. Picture this: you pull your phone out of your pocket and unfold it like a napkin into a tablet. You press your finger on the screen, and it unlocks. You switch to the camera app, and a spiderlike array of lenses shoot simultaneously to capture one giant photo.

video @ link

scmp.com

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From: FJB8/9/2018 11:44:21 PM
1 Recommendation   of 3025
 
Samsung announces Galaxy Note9, shipping August 24, with a 6.4" display, Snapdragon 845, 4,000mAh battery, dual rear cameras, DeX, 128GB/512GB storage for $950+ — After months of rampant speculation (and plenty of leaks and rumors), it's finally here: the Samsung Galaxy Note9 …

More: CNET, CNET, Android Police, The Verge, eWeek, 9to5Mac, 9to5Google, Samsung Global Newsroom, Samsung Newsroom, New York Times, SiliconANGLE, Softpedia News, PCWorld, Tom's Guide, TechCrunch, Mashable, The Tech Report, XDA Developers, Gotta Be Mobile, The Guardian, MacRumors, VentureBeat, iPhone in Canada Blog, MobileSyrup, The Next Web, Ars Technica, ZDNet, AnandTech, PC Gamer, Engadget, Laptop Mag, IGN, The Verge, ZDNet, Digital Trends, Business Insider, Wall Street Journal, Android Police, Android Police, Thurrott.com, CNBC, Wired, Mashable, The Verge, TechCrunch, Engadget, Engadget, TechCrunch, TechCrunch, 9to5Google, and Engadget

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From: FJB8/22/2018 3:28:46 PM
1 Recommendation   of 3025
 

Xiaomi’s new Pocophone F1 undercuts rivals with a low price and high-end processor


Xiaomi has long sold devices that punch above their price class, but now the company is taking the bang for your buck even further. Poco is the company’s new budget-focused brand that will be used first in India before coming to other parts of the world. The first Pocophone device is the F1, which has flagship features, including a top-of-the-line processor, but will sell for even less than many of Xiaomi’s already aggressively priced devices.

The Pocophone F1 is packed with specs like a high-end Snapdragon 845 chip and a substantial 4,000mAh battery. It’s got a 6.18-inch 1080p display with an 18.7:9 aspect ratio. There’s also a Qualcomm Adreno 630 GPU, a 20-megapixel selfie cam, and dual rear 12-megapixel and 5-megapixel cameras. The F1 will offer all of those features and specs for just $300 when it arrives in India next week.


Jai Mani, the lead product manager for Xiaomi’s India ambitions, tells me that the company scoured Reddit forums while developing the F1, seeing users write that what they wanted were bigger batteries and a decent processor, but lamenting that “we’re geeks, no one will listen to us.” Those comments inspired the product team to incorporate the Pocophone F1’s big battery and high-end processor.

The Pocophone F1 is priced and specced competitively with the OnePlus 6, which has been very popular in India since its release. In developing markets where many tech companies like Apple face stagnating growth and growing regulation, Xiaomi continues to do well, especially in India. In Q2 2018, the company grew 106 percent year over year, selling 3.3 million units of the low-end Redmi 5A in the country and beating out the likes of Samsung, Vivo, and Oppo.

The Pocophone F1 is a much more premium offering than the Redmi 5A. The Snapdragon 845 processor is far more powerful than anything used in the Redmi line. Its display has got decent color contrast, and its max brightness setting is bright enough. Yet it uses Gorilla Glass 3, which is a part Xiaomi had handy in its supply chain. The outdated nature of the glass (we’re on Gorilla Glass 6 already) demonstrates Xiaomi’s cost-cutting methods — it used older materials to cut costs so it could spend more on other components.

Another area where the Pocophone F1 cuts corners is in the construction of the phone. The phone comes in blue, red, or black with a plastic back or in a special “Armored” edition with a rubbery Kevlar backing, which is the model we got to test out. The rubber lends the phone a cheap, toy-like quality. The front display is marred by a thick notch and it has slight bezels on the sides. Xiaomi also did not splurge for an oleophobic coating, so the Pocophone F1 picks up grease easily on the front and back, whether you’re browsing and eating a sandwich, or simply touching the phone with clean fingers.

Making phone calls, you’ll hear a slightly tinny quality to the audio, indicating that the speaker also wasn’t a priority.

Mani explained to me that Xiaomi’s thinking here is that you don’t really need a smartphone with a gorgeous all-glass body, which is fragile and needs to be covered by a phone case anyway.

If you can get past the looks of the phone, and you’re only looking for speed and performance, then the Pocophone F1 has a lot to offer. The Pocophone follows the growing trend of Asian phones, including the Meizu 15 and the Oppo R15 Pro, that have 20-megapixel selfie cameras. That’s a jump in resolution from even Apple’s iPhone X, which has a 7-megapixel front-facing cam, giving you a smoother selfie to edit on beauty apps.

The dual rear-facing cameras are less exciting with their standard specs and so is the “AI camera,” which has 25 modes for landscape, food photos, and more. In general, photos taken on the F1 come out bright and saturated, which is great for festive-looking pics, but less so for producing accurate images. I can barely see a difference between regular photos taken without the AI camera and photos taken with it — they’re slightly brighter and more colorful, but it’s such a subtle change, it doesn’t really matter.

Xiaomi also gives the Pocophone F1 several features that might appeal to gamers. It has a decent GPU and self-proclaimed liquid cooling technology designed to reduce CPU heat. It runs graphics-intensive games like PUBG Mobile smoothly and without lag.

The Pocophone F1 runs Android 8.1 Oreo with a MIUI skin. It’s currently on MIUI 9.6, but will update to version 10 over the course of the next month. It has a USB Type-C charging port and it supports USB 2.0 and Bluetooth 5.0.

You can set a PIN, add a fingerprint, and use face unlock. Xiaomi has a security warning during the setup of face unlock that it’s less secure than other unlocking methods, as others can impersonate you using a photograph or similar object. Still, for what it’s worth, I tried to unlock the phone with a nearly identical image of myself as the face data I gave, and it stayed locked, so that’s one point in favor of Xiaomi’s security. The phone also stayed locked when I was wearing headphones.

Both the fingerprint sensor and face unlock work very quickly, unlocking the phone in under a second. The fingerprint sensor curiously works even if your finger is covered in fried Oreos and powdered sugar. The face unlock glitches out more often, and sometimes can’t recognize my face.
So far, the phone will not be available in the US and the company doesn’t have any concrete plans to bring it here. India will be the first market for the device, though Xiaomi says it plans to expand the Pocophone brand to its other global markets in the future. Storage options range from 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB, with regional prices hovering in the $300 to $400 bracket. The 6GB/64GB model is launching in India at 20,999 rupees ($300), while the most expensive model is the 29,999-rupee ($429) “Armored Edition” with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.

Xiaomi has said in the past that it would like to bring its phones to the US, but it’s been years since the company first made such claims. Currently, it sells accessories like headphones and batteries in the US. Mani tells me that the company is still actively eyeing the US, wondering if price-conscious offerings would work in this market. Are there price-conscious smartphone users here, or is everyone satisfied with an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy device? That’s a question Xiaomi still has to work out.

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From: FJB8/24/2018 6:39:46 AM
   of 3025
 

HiSilicon 7nm SoC coming soon for Huawei flagship smartphone

Cindy Yu, Taipei; Jessie Shen, DIGITIMES
Friday 24 August 2018

HiSilicon's Kirin 980 SoC series built using 7nm process technology is set to get ready for commercial production in the fourth quarter of 2018, and will power Huawei's next-generation flagship model dubbed the Mate 20 Pro, according to Digitimes Research.

Other SoC developers are also set to enter volume shipments of their 7nm products for smartphones in the fourth quarter. Shipments of 7nm handset application processors will account for over 18% of the overall handset AP shipments in the fourth quarter, with the proportion exceeding that for 10nm ones, Digitimes Research indicated.

The HiSilicon Kirin 980 SoC is reportedly manufactured by TSMC using the foundry's 7nm FinFET process. The SoC features four Cortex-A77 cores along with four Cortex-A55, and 24-core Mali-G72 GPU. It comes with LPDDR4X DRAM memory.

The Kirin 980 SoC also employs a second-generation NPU to deliver AI and machine learning capabilities. According to Digitimes Research analyst Osiris Hu, HiSilicon along with Apple are among the companies developing AI solutions through hardware acceleration, while there is another camp focusing on the development of AI chips through software acceleration.

AI for smartphones is currently being used mainly for optimizing camera settings, Hu commented. Hu continued there is still no killer app of AI for use in smartphones. The development of AI for more attractive features will play a key role in stimulating the overall handset AP shipments, Hu said.

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To: Ken Adams who wrote (2958)8/27/2018 2:03:13 PM
From: coolme
   of 3025
 
I never turn off my phone. All of them worked perfectly.

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From: Lynn8/29/2018 11:54:26 PM
   of 3025
 
Samsung Galaxy S5 Active back firmly fitting issue: I am hoping someone has had experience with/resolved a problem I am currently facing trying to get the back securely on a new S5 Active, red, smartphone. Facing the back, the left side fits correctly and tight, but the right side slightly buckles. Getting the back on, even to this not quite right state is a struggle.

This is not the greatest photo, but you can see that it somewhat buckles up near the blue button on the side. The phone is new, just purchased from someone with a 99.7% rating from thousands of sellers on eBay. I bought it because my current S5 Active is having serious problems, confirmed by the Android expert at my local AT&T store. Since I am waiting for Samsung to release it's S9 Active [or even have to wait for an S10] the AT&T fellow, who I do trust, agreed that buying a new S5 Active from Amazon or eBay would be a good way for me to go.

I ordered a red one only so it would look different from my current S5 Active (gray). Not sure if others with red ones have had the same getting the back to fit correctly, but I would really rather find out some fix rather than send it back, for a refund or exchange, because I am concerned my current smartphone will bite the dust making it impossible for the AT&T store fellow to move things from it onto a new phone.


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To: Lynn who wrote (2980)8/30/2018 12:04:19 AM
From: FJB
   of 3025
 
Four years is long past time for replacement. I don't think they are meant to last that long.

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To: FJB who wrote (2981)8/30/2018 12:19:07 AM
From: Lynn
1 Recommendation   of 3025
 
The one I bought is new, sealed in the original AT&T box. I did not get a used or refurbished one. Even the AT&T fellow said their new, unsold phones get sold to jobbers when new models come out. AT&T would rather sell their old inventory and focus on newer models.

The reason my current S5 Active is going is most likely due to my dropping it once too often. I am hard on cell/smartphones, the reason my pre-smartphone was a Samsung Rugby. Advertisements for that one showed men wearing hardhats at construction sites (lol). I loved my Rugby, but since it does not have a proper keypad, is torture for sending text messages or browsing.

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From: FJB8/30/2018 9:48:00 AM
   of 3025
 
Apple Is Clearly Working on AR Glasses

by Jesus Diaz Aug 30, 2018, 4:38 AM
Apple has bought Akonia Holographics, a Colorado-based startup dedicated to the manufacturing of displays for augmented reality glasses.

In addition to other recent purchases, this is an extremely strong indicator that the Cupertino company is actively working on AR glasses.

According to Akonia’s web site, its more than 200 patents result in a technology that can create “thin, transparent smart glass lenses that display vibrant, full-color, wide field-of-view images.” Just the kind of qualities that would be touted by Phil Schiller at a special AR glasses event.

Apple’s AR acquisition trailAkonia is only the latest in a long series of purchases that show that Apple is actively working on developing AR glasses. Apple has been buying a lot of companies with technologies that are directly applicable in an AR set since as eagerly as 2013.

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Just in 2017, Cook and his mariachis bought four: InVisage Technologies (an American quantum dot-based image sensor manufacturer), Regain (a French computer vision company), Vrvana (a Canadian manufacturer of augmented reality head-mounted displays), and SensoMotoric Instruments (which makes eye tracking hardware and software).

In 2015 Apple acquired Metaio, a German company that developed an Augmented Reality SDK that seems to be the basis for ARKit, the Apple Augmented Reality developer API that debuted in iOS 11 in 2017.

And let’s not forget about PrimeSense, which Apple scooped up in 2013. PrimeSense developed the software for the Kinect 3D depth sensor. The technology, which already has ended in Face ID, will be crucial for an AR device. Equipped with small IR cameras, Apple’s glasses will be able to track the motion of your hands in order for you to interact with a virtual object — like Leap Motion is doing with its Project Orion.

Leap Motion Demo
Can Apple create the perfect AR glasses? Apple told Reuters that they won’t comment on the matter: “Apple buys smaller companies from time to time,” the Californian company said, “and we generally don’t discuss our purpose or plans.”

But we know that Apple company purchases generally result either in new products or features added to existing products. The purchase of Siri Inc. in 2010, for example, became the iPhone 4S’ Siri assistant, which then got enhanced when Apple bought Novauris, another speech recognition developer, in 2013.

We know that Tim Cook is a fan of AR and Apple seems to be following the vision that the technology will be the Next Big Thing if done right. Indeed, an elegant set of Apple glasses that offer smart object recognition, seamless hand tracking, and a field of view wide enough to destroy the windowing effect that impairs all current headsets, cutting virtual objects due to the limitations of current eye displays, could be the equivalent to the next iPhone.

It is a hard challenge, but maybe Apple can pull it off.

Of course, the fact that Apple’s acquisition indicate that the company is actively working on AR glasses is not an indicator that a product will be released. But if Apple can solve what the much-hyped MagicLeap or Microsoft Hololenses have been trying to solve for years, they will have a killer product on their hands.

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From: FJB9/3/2018 12:38:30 PM
2 Recommendations   of 3025
 

Huawei 7nm smartphone chip stuns Apple and Samsung



7nm smartphone processors will help phones run faster, save more power, and have a higher resolution screen and camera than the current 10nm versions

24 Aug 2018

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With nodes just 7 nanometres wide, the world’s newest generation of smartphone chips will help phones run faster, save more power, and have a higher resolution screen and camera, compared to the 10nm processors available now.

They are costly and difficult to produce, which is why industry experts predicted last year that Apple and Samsung could be the only two manufacturers in the world to launch 7nm chips in their newest phones this year.

But an unexpected contender has caught up: Huawei, the Chinese phone manufacturer that recently unseated Apple from its position as the world’s second biggest phone maker.

Huawei reportedly started developing its 7nm chipsets as early as 2015, in partnership with TSM Corporation, a manufacturer of precision machine components.

5 common myths about iPhone battery life – and how to prolong it


While Apple’s 2018 iPhones – expected to contain 7nm chips – will be launched around September, Huawei chief executive Richard Yu has confirmed that the company’s new Mate 20 series phones will hit the market in October, and with 7nm technology,


Huawei will unveil its 7nm technology at IFA, an electronics trade show in Berlin, from August 31 until September 5.

Samsung hopes Galaxy Home will rival Apple, Google speakers


Competitor Samsung’s 7nm chip is expected to feature in its S10 series, which could be made available next year. The company is also said to be researching 3nm chips, with a targeted production date of 2021.

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This article originally appeared on Business Insider.



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