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week 38 in review: google acquires parts of htc as new pixels leak

the past seven days brought confirmation of the ongoing negotiations between the troubled htc and google. the android maker agreed to acquire parts of the taiwanese company's smartphone business to boost its pixel lineup in a deal worth $1.1 billion.meizu and huawei announced a couple of mid-rangers - the m6 and maimang 6, respectively. vivo had a couple of more interesting devices to show - the x20 and x20a. in camp apple the iphone 8 and iphone 8 plus officially went on sale, while dxo completed its review of the iphone 8 duo. the sony xperia xz premium also got its own dxo test published.the smaller model will reprise the pricing of its predecessor, but the bigger phone is getting more expensive.htc and google have reached a deal where htc employees will join google and the company will have access to htc’s intellectual property.the device carries a tag of cny 2,399, which currently translates into around $365.this photographer shot hundreds of pictures with an iphone 8 plus while touring in india.razor-thin side bezels keep this large-screened phone compact.the iphone 8 plus is the current holder of the gold medal, while its smaller sibling takes silver.sony’s latest flagship smartphone isn’t impressing dxomark in the camera department.according to a new report, hmd has confirmed that the variant will be made available in europe (germany, specifically) next month on october 20we saw it in a glance at ifa 2017 and now it arrives for our complete review.the regul...





weekly poll: how do you feel about screen cutouts?

for better of for worse, apple is a trendsetter in the mobile world. it was for the better when it kicked off the screen resolution wars, but it made things worse when it killed the 3.5mm audio jack.in some cases, android manufacturers genuinely try to compete, but sometimes they just blindly copy. when htc went with usb headphones, they enabled usonic – a unique feature. but we think a couple of chinese brands dropped the 3.5mm jack just to make their phones look even more like an iphone.with that in mind, how long do you think it will be before screen cutouts become popular on android phones? lg had something of the sort with v10’s and v20’s secondary screen, the essential phone jammed the selfie camera in the middle of the status bar, so it’s already happening.of course, apple had to cram an entire kinect so the large cutout was unavoidable. essential could have put the selfie cam below the screen, like the xiaomi mi mix did. still, putting it at the bottom means the selfie cam is looking up your nose.so, how do you feel about screen cutouts? are they worth it to get a great feature (like iphone’s truedepth camra) while keeping the bezels slim? are only smaller cutouts acceptable or not at all?are screen cutouts acceptble





top 10 trending phones of week 38

as the new iphone trio lived through its second week of existence, the initial hype is starting to wear off. even the start of the sales of the iphone 8 and 8 plus on friday didn't help much and the plus dropped from our top 10 chart. the iphone x held on to the first spot, but it's advantage over the note8 is now minimal and chances are we'll have a new leader come week 39. the iphone 8 slipped to third, ahead of the resurgent samsung galaxy j7 pro. the xiaomi mi a1, also improved and is now in fifth. the galaxy s8 got sixth, ahead of the third apple smartphone on the chart - the returning iphone 6s. the xiaomi redmi note 4 is another phone to come back to the top 10, snatching the eight spot, while the vivo v7+ maintained its ninth position. the nokia 6 just held onto the last spot on the popularity chart. specsgalleryspecsreviewspecsgalleryspecsgalleryspecsreviewspecsreviewspecsreviewspecsreviewspecsgallerynokia 6rank: 10was: 10specsreview





counterclockwise: making everything wireless - gsmarena.com news

apple’s new iphones support wireless charging – a feature that has been slowly gaining popularity in recent years. but the qi standard has been kicking around the mobile world for about 8 years by this point, pioneered by the palm pre smartphone (and the touchstone charger).wireless headphones are nothing new – bluetooth has been able to carry audio since the early days. apple took this to the extreme with the airpods, they don’t even have a wire connecting the two ear plugs!but pairing your handset to your headphones can be a pain, what if it can be done wirelessly? we’re talking about nfc, of course, first appearing on the nokia 6131 in 2006. the first android with nfc was the nexus s and apple later adopted the tech but in a restricted fashion.apple airpods • a nokia wireless charger with nfcthat would be mobile payments. google pay, apple pay and samsung pay all work over nfc. the tech is occasionally still used for pairing, but more advanced features – like sharing web pages and files – rarely see any actual use.before bluetooth or wi-fi there was infrared. it didn’t require expensive hardware so it was embedded in many feature phones, allowing them to transfer data (be it files or contacts). but it was slow and only worked in line of sight. the old geeks among us still remember the pain of nudging your phone halfway through sending a huge file (like a single mp3).infrared got a second lease on life as an ir blaster, allowing phones to act like remote controls f...





weekly poll results: the iphone x is the only one worthy of fan love

if you’re going to have an iphone – and our poll shows that maybe you don’t – get the iphone x. the iphone 8 and 8 plus barely registered on the charts – they didn’t improve enough, making them boring (not a great thing for an expensive phone).the voters liked the iphone x, it’s a massive departure from the traditional iphone design that has gotten quite stale. the upgrade to amoled was a welcome one and the truedepth camera/animoji seem fun.it’s damn expensive though. not that apple’s phones were ever cheap, but the x is a hard hit to the wallet – especially if you’re paying in euros rather than dollars.anyway, we think that apple has nothing to worry about when it comes to iphone x sales – those will sell out as fast as apple can make them. things are looking good for the iphone 8 and 8 plus sales too, but it remains to be seen if they will be better or worse than iphone 7 sales.





google's android pay gains support for 24 new financial institutions in us

the ever expanding list of android pay supported banks/financial institutions has been updated yet again. this time, a total of 24 new names have been added, including bank of idaho, beehive federal credit union, citizens bank (wi), community national bank & trust of texas, and duke university fcu.other names are first community bank (tx), great plains bank, guaranty bank & trust company of delhi, gulf winds fcu, mascoma savings bank, meadows bank, meriwest credit union, nascoga federal credit union, one bank & trust, n.a., pen air fcu, security federal bank, texas brand bank, the bryn mawr trust co., the state bank and trust company, truecore fcu, wauna fcu, west-aircomm fcu, westmoreland community fcu, and xplore federal credit union.with this, the total number of banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions in the us that support android pay now stands close to 1,000 (996 to be precise).via | google





oreo update for huawei mate 9 could be arriving soon

looks like the huawei mate 9 could be receiving the oreo update soon. the device with android 8.0 on board has been spotted listed on benchmarking website geekbench.for what it's worth, this is not the first time we are hearing about the mate 9 android 8.0 update - back in april this year, we saw a glimpse of oreo-powered mate 9 (the rom was in early development stage at that time).a benchmark appearance doesn't guarantee, but does indicate that final testing is going on and if everything goes fine, roll out should begin sooner than later.source | via





new update hitting samsung galaxy note8 units on t-mobile

it has come to light that t-mobile has pushed out a new update to samsung galaxy note8 units on its network. arriving as version n950usqu1aq15 and weighing in at under 200mb, the update includes some stability improvements related to the navigation app, google maps, and the weather widget.reportedly, the update also brings along android security fixes for the month of august. it's already a week since the roll out began. however, in case you haven't received the update yet, be patient, as you likely see the notification soon.source | via





xiaomi sells over 1 million smartphones in india in 2 days

chinese smartphone manufacturer xiaomi managed to sell over 1 million smartphones in 48 hours during online festive sales in india, carried out by retailers flipkart and amazon. if you break it down, that's 300 smartphones per minute on average.that's an achievement of sorts for xiaomi, given that last year the 1 million figure was crossed after 18 days. "this achievement marks an industry first, and is a key milestone for xiaomi india," the company said.the redmi note 4 was the top seller smartphone as far as flipkart’s big billion day sale is concerned, while of all the smartphones sold by amazon, an overwhelming majority were xiaomi devices. this made xiaomi the top smartphone brand for both sales.via





gionee gn5007 spotted on tenaa with 6-inch display, 5,000mah battery

a new gionee smartphone has been spotted on the website of china's tenaa. listed as gionee gn5007, the device is powered by an octa-core soc with 1.4ghz processor, and sports a 6-inch display with 1440× ... ixel resolution.ram is 4gb, while internal memory is 32gb. the handset features a 13mp main camera and an 8mp selfie shooter. measuring 156.3×75.6×8.6mm and weighing in at 187g, the phone runs android nougat (version 7.1.1) out of the box, and packs in a 5,000mah battery.as far as color options are concerned, the tenaa listing only reveals black. there's currently no information on the gn5007's pricing and availability.source | via





sony xperia xz premium camera scores 83 on dxomark

the iphone 8 and 8 plus have dominated the camera game according to dxo’s latest camera testing procedures with scored of 94 and 92, respectively.the sony xperia xz premium was also reviewed by the camera reviewers and scored 83 points. considering that smartphones have been competing for dxo’s top spot including the google pixel and htc u11, sony doesn’t seem to be trying on the camera front. either that, or dxo’s testing protocols aren’t in sony’s favor, we’ll let you be the judge.dxo says that sony does a well enough job with still photography and video, but doesn’t break any new ground or try to really challenge the other leaders of the pack. it did poorly in dxo’s new zoom and bokeh tests, which pulled the weight of the score down.the xz premium does have one innovation unique to the brand, and that’s the 960 frame-per-second super slow-motion video capture. otherwise, the xz premium has a pretty solid autofocus performance in images and videos, as well as “very good” stabilization in video recording.check out what we had to say about the xperia xz (review here) and it’s camera performance as well. you can also check out the full dxo review of the sony xperia xz premium in the source link.source | via





nokia 8 with 6gb ram and 128gb storage officially confirmed to be coming next month

the nokia 8 variant with 6gb ram and 128gb storage was recently spotted in documents of the us fcc. and now, according to a new report, the model has been officially confirmed by hmd.the report notes the company has confirmed the variant will be made available in europe (germany, specifically) next month on october 20. it'll only be available in polished blue color option though. as for pricing, the device will carry a tag of €669, which is €90 more than what the regular 4gb/64gb version carries.there's currently no information on exactly when the variant will arrive in other key markets around the world, including the us, where even the standard nokia 8 isn't available yet.source





samsung's bixby digital assistant now available in india

samsung’s bixby digital assistant - dubbed bixby voice - debuted shortly after the arrival of the company's galaxy s8 series smartphones. it was first launched in the company's home country of south korea, following which it arrived in the us.last month, samsung started rolling out bixby voice worldwide. and now, the assistant has officially landed in india.samsung says bixby voice features support for various indian accents, and is hence capable of adapting to indian dialects and contexts. the company notes that even those indians who have opted for english (us) language can also use the assistant easily."keeping in mind the diversity in indian accents and our commitment to 'make for india', bixby has been optimized to understand indian accents," said a senior samsung india executive.via





psa: oreo is causing google alarm clock app to fail for some

oreo is android’s latest version release, and as with every release, there are always going to be kinks and issues that need to be ironed out in the following maintenance update.a considerable amount of users have been reporting that the google clock app is crashing. as a result of this, the moment a pre-set alarm goes off, the app crashes and goes silent, causing many of these unsuspecting users to run late to work. you can find these over at reddit.google clock appif you are running android oreo, you might want to check to make sure that your alarm app is working as intended. an easy way to do this is say “ok, google, set alarm for 1 minute”, and then wait to hear it go off.if your google app is indeed crashing, you should install another alarm clock app until a fix is figured out or google acknowledges that it’s an issue.source | via





essential ph-1 now available from best buy

you can now get the essential ph-1 (hands-on here) from best buy retails stores in the united states. the blue and yellow retail store’s preorder period is over and you can now place an order for the black moon version of the essential phone and you can even pick one up in the store. it might be a good idea to check if your local store has one before making the trip.the pure white model, on the other hand, isn’t available just yet, though it is listed as “coming soon”. on best buy’s website.the essential ph-1 has a 5.8-inch edge-to-edge display that it calls “full display”. aside from having a unique-looking display, the essential ph-1 is made of top-shelf materials and features a very attractive, yet minimalistic design. internally, the ph-1 offers qualcomm’s latest snapdragon 835 cpu, 4gb of ram, and 128gb of non-expandable storage.source | via





here’s what’s going on with verizon customers who live outside its coverage area

last week, verizon sent notifications to about 8,500 customers which comprised of about 19,000 cellular lines in 13 states, that they would be disconnected as of october 17. the reason for this is that these subscribers were using too much data while roaming off of verizon’s network grid. roaming data is expensive for carriers and verizon doesn’t seem to want these stragglers to burn a hole in its operating costs.this would give those who received the notifications just about a month’s time to find a new carrier or be disconnected. not only is this inconvenient to the customers, but it could also be expensive for those living in such remote areas with a lower cost-of-living.since that notification, we have become aware of a very small number of affected customers who may be using their personal phones in their roles as first responders and another small group who may not have another option for wireless serviceaside from the legal vs moral consequences of dropping customers like dead flies, some backlash from the media and affected customers alike, verizon has had a slight change of heart today by deciding to extend the period that customers have to find a new carrier to december 1.in addition to having more time, affected customers who may not have another choice of wireless provider will have the option to switch to the tiered plans of 2gb, 4gb, or 6gb which go for $35, $50, and $70 per month, respectively, or a 5gb plan for a single line that goes for $55.we wonder if j...





moto e4 plus now goes for $148.89, $31.10 cheaper than usual

the moto e4 pluslanded in the us last month, and now it's finally time for it to get its first promotional price reduction. normally going for $179.99 unlocked, the entry-level model with 2gb of ram and 16gb of storage can now be snagged from amazon for just $148.89. this is the standard version, mind you, not the one that has lock screen offers and ads that is exclusive to amazon prime members.so if you act soon (because there's really no telling how long this deal will last), you're able to save a neat $31.10 compared to the phone's normal pricing. the non-plus e4 model was discounted once a while back too, but it's nice to see this one getting the same treatment.this offer is especially great if you don't care much about specs in a smartphone, but want the biggest battery capacity possible, to ensure that your device will last for days on a charge. the moto e4 plus definitely delivers on that front, with its huge 5,000 mah cell. it's also notable that, like other motorola phones sold unlocked, this one supports all the major carriers in the us - gsm-based ones such as at&t and t-mobile, yes, but also cdma-based networks such as verizon and sprint.via





asus zenfone 5 may launch as early as next march

asus has just yesterday officially brought its zenfone 4 family of smartphones to europe, but it's already thinking about the next generation. according to a new report from the company's home of taiwan, asus ceo jerry shen himself says that we may see the zenfone 5 series launching as soon as march next year.that would definitely not give the zenfone 4 lineup a lot of time on the market, what with some models only arriving in stock in november (for example in the uk). shen says asus' smartphone business has returned to a growth track following a recent restructuring. in the fourth quarter of this year, it should even return to profitability.the zenfone 3 devices have apparently been gaining momentum in france, italy, spain, and russia, and this is expected to continue with the zenfone 4 launching in those markets. asus is also expanding its cooperation with carriers in europe, hoping that will net it even more sales.source





professional photographer's take on the iphone 8 plus camera

as the iphone 8 reviews come out, we will see a lot of different viewpoints discussing the various aspects of the phone. but there's something to be said about hearing the opinion of a professional photographer talking specifically about the new camera on the iphone 8.and that's exactly what austin mann did after going around the state of rajasthan in india and taking hundreds of pictures with his pre-production iphone 8 plus and describing it all in his blog post.the entire blog post in all its glory is linked below, but here are some of the key takeaways from it.mann unequivocally loved the camera on the iphone 8 plus, which he repeatedly found to be better than the one on the 7 plus. he was especially impressed with the new portrait mode feature, especially with the introduction of the portrait lighting feature.portrait lighting has helped breathe new life into some of the shots, letting him alter the lighting even after taking the shot as the editing is non-destructive and can be changed as many times as possible in post. mann noted (as did other reviewers) that it does not work with 100% reliability every time, but when it does it does quite well.portrait mode now supports hdr, which lets you get additional detail out of images, especially in brightly lit conditions.portrait mode effect can be disabled after taking a picture now. if you don't want the background blur, you can just disable it later.the iphone 8 now supports slow sync flash, which keeps the shutter open...





apple shares 8 things to love about the iphone 8 in its first ad

now that the iphone 8 and iphone 8 plus have finally become available to purchase in the first wave of countries, apple is starting its big marketing push for its latest smartphones.the company released the first ad for the duo today. it's basically a list of 8 things to love about the new iphone 8 - a pretty quick and concise way of sharing what it thinks are the duo's main selling points.in case you can't watch the video embedded above, here's what you're missing. apple says the iphone 8 is special because it has the most durable glass ever in a smartphone, the new portrait lighting mode for pictures, wireless charging, the most powerful and smartest chip, a better camera, water resistance, a new retina hd display (although the only new thing here is the true tone support), and augmented reality functionality. 8 standout features for the iphone 8, in fact.earlier today, the handset was put through a torture test assessing its durability, and it's also already been torn down, receiving a pretty average repairability score. its camera is the second best in any smartphone ever tested by dxomark, while the iphone 8 plus' is the absolute best.