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  1. Doogee S86 rugged smartphone debuts with a 8500 mAh battery, 6.1″ display and 6GB RAM After teasing about a new smartphone over the past few weeks, Doogee finally unveiled the Doogee S86 smartphone featuring a massive 8500 mAh battery which provides battery backup for up to 4 days. The device hosts a beautiful rugged design while housing a quad-rear camera design. Doogee S86 is a dust and drop proof device as it is IP68 and IP69K certified device. Its unique design, sturdy frame and Gorilla Glass HD make the device fully durable. It can sustain under extreme weather conditions, powerful impacts and usual drops. It is a perfect companion for frequent travellers and adventure loving people. Along with its robust and sturdy design, the phone outperforms other rugged smartphones in the same price segment. It carries a massive 8500 mAh battery which can charge up in a couple of hours with a 24W Type-C charger. It is sufficient enough for 4 days upon normal phone usage and can remain on standby for 27 days. Doogee S86 is powered with an Helio P60 octa-core processor, 6GB RAM and 128GB UFS 2.1 Internal storage. Meanwhile, in the camera department, you will get a quad-rear camera featuring a 16MP primary camera. An 8MP camera sensor resides on the front side for selfies and video calling. The smartphone will be on sale between the price range of $100-$200 via AliExpress on March 29. Moreover, Doogee is offering 29 units of popular smartphones and accessories for free under a. The results of the giveaway will be announced on March 29 at 11:00 am London Time via YouTube Live. Source: Doogee S86 rugged smartphone debuts with a 8500 mAh battery, 6.1″ display and 6GB RAM
  2. Hi guys, I am thinking of getting a a new smartphone, and a friend who works in tech recommended to me the elephone p9000. I just wanted to ask, does anyone have any experience with this or other phones from Elephone? A friend recommended it, but I never heard of this company before. On another note, this phone has a type-C connector, my laptop has usb 3.0. Can I plug a usb type-c into a usb 3.0 or do i need an adapter? thx in advance!!
  3. Does your smartphone’s battery drains faster? Or you want your phone’s power to last longer? Well, I think it’s every person’s wish that their phone’s battery lasts longer so that they don’t need to charge it frequently and they can play games, watch movies, surf internet etc. without any trouble. But what is the main reason behind this quick drainage of battery? If your battery power is good but still it doesn’t last longer then the problem might not be with the battery but with your phone and the apps installed in it. Sometimes a lot of processes keep running in the background which consume a lot of battery. And some of the apps also tend to consume more battery power. Due to this, the phone’s battery drains faster. So, for resolving this problem you need to have an application which can improve the level of your phone’s battery life. There are many such applications and today I’m going to review one of the best such applications which can help you to extend the battery life of your smartphone and that application if Power battery – battery saver. Power Battery – Battery Saver app In-depth Review Power Battery- Battery saver application is an Android app developed by LionMobi. The app is designed such that it helps to prevent quick drainage of the phone’s battery. It lets you know that which apps are consuming excessive power so that you can stop them. The app also provides an estimate of how long your smartphone battery will last. It keeps checking your phone for the points of battery leak and tries to repair them. There are many other features of this app which are explained below. Interface Starting with the interface of Power battery- battery saver application, the app provides you a clean and systematic interface. All the main features are displayed in a perfect manner so that it doesn’t make it difficult to find any button or feature. When you first launch the app, you will see many panels with different information and functions. The color combination is also attractive and due to which its easily highlights all its control button and links. You need to scroll downwards for accessing all its functions. Also, there are controls such as WiFi, brightness, ringtone, data, etc. available in the app itself, so that you can quickly access these whenever required to enable or disable a particular function just to save more battery. Battery life estimation Now you can easily know how long will your battery will last in different scenarios. Power battery- battery saver app provides you a nearly accurate battery life estimation using special statistics algorithm for different situations. It tells you the hours, the battery will last if you use WiFi, Bluetooth, play games, etc. In our test, the app did a great job. The battery estimation was almost accurate. We tested the app in different mobiles and the results were quite good, the battery lasted for the hours which power battery application estimated. Power saving and protection The main cause of excessive battery draining is power-draining apps which cause your phone to use more and more power resulting in high battery drainage. But now, as power battery-battery saver app is all you need to have to stop all those power-draining applications which run in the background continuously. The power protection is one of the best features provided by this application. All you need to do for activating this tool is just tapping the Power protection option available at the home screen and rest of the work will be done by the app automatically, the app will show you a detailed list of the apps which are consuming more battery and then you can disable those apps from the background. This will eventually increase the battery life. Don’t worry the app will not close important apps that you are using. It will give you all the sources of battery drain and you can keep or close the app yourself. Memory management To speed up your phone for a better performance, it is quite necessary to clean the memory of your phone. Well, you don ‘t need any other app for the same as Power battery – battery saver app offers you the same. You can optimize the speed of your device just by tapping the optimize button given at the top os the screen of the app. Custom power safe The app provides a power save mode that you can activate according to your need. Besides you can even customize your own mode for the custom setting. The app offers you 4 modes of power saver viz. prolong, general, sleep and default. Each mode has its own setting such as if you activate prolong mode, the brightness will become 10%, screen timeout 15s, Wifi will be off, auto sync will be off and so on. And whenever you activate any of the modes all the settings for that mode will be applied immediately. Displays battery information Now you don’t have to search over the internet to get the information of your battery or peeling off the back cover to do the same. Power battery- battery saver application displays every detail of your battery such as health status, temperature, current power, full power voltage etc. You can even get the information about current day’s battery usage along with app name and the amount of power used by that app as you can see the below image. Some other features Charge This feature makes the charging process quicker. While charging your phone, the app blocks all the excessive power consumption apps which obviously boosts the charging and makes your phone get fully charged quickly. Also, the app shows you the charging record of 30-days. Battery skin This feature is just for changing the graphics. You can change the battery icon using battery skin option. Just tap on the app icon present at the top left corner of the main screen, it will show up the menu items from where you need to select battery skin. Now you can choose any of the icons of your choice. Personal community The personal community is a social interact action platform where your see the real time power consumption, environment emission reduction, newsletter etc. I found it quite interesting as we can compete with our friends that who is greener. Pros Save battery consumption. easy to use. speed up the mobile’s performance. Different saver modes. Accurate battery life free to download cons none Download Power Battery – Battery Saver Wrap up Power battery – battery saver is a free app for Android users. It performs its functions quite well. In our test, it did a great job. It extended the battery life about 60% which is quite enough. Additionally, it also helps to speed up the phone’s performance by optimizing it. Charge, personal community, battery skin, custom power saver mode etc. are some great tool provided by this app. So, I think it’s more than enough feature required in an app. You should definitely try this app. Article source
  4. Nokia has been gradually increasing its smartphone market share in Europe and Asia, and now a report from The Wall Street Journal speculates that the company might have sold over 8 million Lumia smartphones this past quarter. The struggling company whose devices division recently received a takeover bid from Microsoft has been giving Windows Phone a much needed boost ever since it adopted the platform in 2011. With Windows Phone market share reaching double digits in some European countries and being the No. 2 platform in Asian countries like India, Nokia has surely moved a lot of devices over the last two years and accounts for 90 percent of all the devices running Windows Phone 8. Unsurprisingly, the world's highest selling Windows product is the Nokia Lumia 520. The Journal reports that this is the fourth consecutive quarter for increased sales of Nokia Lumias, and it is expected that the number of devices sold is over 8 million from previous sales of 7.4 million for the second quarter and more than twice that of the same period last year. source
  5. An Argentinian broadcaster Telefe apparently managed to obtain the phone for an in-studio hands-on video, and journalist Federico Ini also manage to provided some additional photos. According to Ini, the G Flex's curved screen is 6 inches across, and the phone features rear-mounted buttons in a similar style to the LG G2's. The camera is said to be 13 megapixels, matching both the G2 and Samsung's Galaxy Round, which has an OLED display that curves on a different axis. The G Flex is reminiscent of LG and Samsung's curved OLED TVs, with the screen's edges slightly turning inwards when viewed in landscape orientation. While the G Flex is yet to be officially announced by LG, these videos and photos may be as close as you ever get to the phone: Ini says that the G Flex will be launched in South Korea next month, with no release planned for the US, Europe, or Latin America. When reached for contact, an LG representative in South Korea told The Verge that he was unsure of the device's veracity and would have to contact the company's Argentinian office to confirm if it is "the real thing." source
  6. Does the world really need to know that every email you write was "Sent from my HTC One™ X, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone"? Probably not. Aside from turning you into a free marketing tool, it will give your friends fodder to tease you over your your choice of handset or carrier. Plus, it makes you look like a noob that doesn't have control over their email. These annoying signatures are easy to change, though, if you know where to look. Changing the signature in iOS's Mail app On iOS, go to the Settings app, tap Mail, Contacts Calendars, scroll down, then tap Signature. Once there, you can change your email signature, and choose whether you want a different signature for every email account you have (tap Per Account) or One Signature to Rule Them All (All Accounts). In my case, I modified the stock iPhone email signature to serve as a warning about the inevitable typos. Once you're done, tap the back button or close out of the Settings app. On Android Android typically comes with two mail apps: a general email app that will work with lots of different mail services (aptly named "Email") and one for Google's own Gmail service. The two apps are very similar to one another, and the process of changing your email signature is the same for both apps. To start, open either the Email app or Gmail app, depending on which one you want to change. Next, tap the More button in the toolbar. It's represented by three dots: in Gmail, it's in the upper right; in Email, it's in the lower right. Next, select Settings from the menu that appears. On the Settings screen, tap the email address whose signature you want to change, and on the following screen, scroll down and tap Signature. Enter the signature you want to use with that account, then tap OK. If you have multple email accounts you want to append signatures to, go back to the main Settings screen by tapping the Back button in the upper left corner of the screen. Select another email address from the list, and repeat the process. Original Article: http://www.techhive.com/article/2052156/how-to-change-your-email-signature-on-your-smartphone.html
  7. According to Horace Dediu, a mobile market analyst that is familiar with Apple's financial strategies, Samsung and Apple together take hold of 87.9% of the profits, generated in the smartphone industry for the past 6 years. From the total of $215 billion, accumulated by the phone industry for the given period, roughly $189 billion went to the said duo, Dediu claims. However, it seems that Apple holds the upper hand, as it has generated significantly more profits than the Korean manufacturer - $132.87 billion went to Cupertino, while Samsung earned no more or less than $56.11 billion. The remainder of $26 billion is split between Nokia, BlackBerry, HTC, and LG. According to Dediu, Nokia's earnings for the last 6 years account for a total of $20.5 billion, which grants the Finnish company the third place among the most profitable smartphone manufacturers. HTC, on the other hand, lands on the fourth place with 2.8% of the total industry earnings, whereas BlackBerry and LG take the 5th and 6th place. Sony balances the books with 0% earnings, but Motorola scores an unpleasant financial result of -2.8%, which means that the company lost significantly more than it earned. $215b: Net phone operating profits earned last 6 yrs. Moto: -2.8% Sony: 0 LG: 1.2 HTC: 2.8 RIM: 1.9 Nokia: 9.5 Samsung: 26.1 Apple: 61.8 — Horace Dediu (@asymco) March 18, 2014 Source
  8. Which smartphone/phone do you own ? :) I have Xperia E :) Android 4.1 Which one do you have ?
  9. How long does it take to charge your smartphone? A couple of hours? Wouldn’t it be awesome if it only took around 30 seconds? StoreDot’s prototype battery can do just that. The Israeli startup has several challenges to overcome before the new battery and charger are ready for mass production. The size needs to be reduced, for one thing: StoreDot is currently much larger than even a third-party expanded battery pack for the Galaxy S4. Capacity is also an issue: StoreDot can’t compete with even the OEM GS4 battery in its current form. The charger needs some tweaking, too. It’s currently the size of a laptop adapter, and that certainly isn’t an EC-sanctioned micro USB plug delivering current to the phone. Still, what’s shown in the company’s YouTube demo is pretty impressive. In just 30 seconds, the StoreDot goes from around 20% to fully charged. The rapid charging is made possible by bio-organic “nanotdots” in the battery’s electrode and electrolyte. While the nanodots allow for blazing-fast recharging, they also ensure that the StoreDot battery discharges at the same rate as today’s lithium-ion batteries. StoreDot believes that they can have the battery and charger ready for consumers by 2016. They’ve got an unnamed major Asian smartphone manufacturer interested in the technology and recently secured $6 million in funding to refine their prototype and work on creating aftermarket StoreDot batteries that we can swap into the phones we already own. We’re still waiting for someone’s breakthrough battery tech to go on sale and end our mobile power woes. There have been plenty of amazing prototypes and concepts shown off over the past six months — from micro-windmills and messy batteries to germanium nanowires and pomegranate-inspired cells. Maybe sometime in the next two years we’ll finally be able to buy a better battery. Maybe it’ll be from StoreDot. Source
  10. The Global smartphone shipments hit 266.9 million units in the first quarter of 2014, according to a report from market researcher TrendForce. The three month period, starting from January to March, saw a rise of 1.13% compared to the same period of the previous year. The research firm is predicting the smartphone shipments to climb another 6.7% to reach 284.5 million units globally in the current quarter, which runs from April to June.Samsung, the global market leader managed to claim the first spot with a 30% market share of global smartphone shipments. According to TrendForce, most of the units shipped by Samsung were low to mid-range smartphones in the first quarter. Apple has seen a noticeable decline in its worldwide market share but has managed to retain the second spot. However, the Cupertino's upcoming iPhones is expected to help the company gain momentum in the second half of 2014. Chinese smartphone vendors - Huawei, Lenovo and Xiaomi have raised their game and have performed better than the analysts have initially predicted. All three firms have experienced growth of more than 20% in the first quarter this year. Source
  11. Due to circumstances beyond my control I needed a smartphone and now have one made by LG. There are things I need help with and searched for places at which to ask, and those I found are not producing any helpful info at all for me.... I did post in the Android App thread here once or twice, but with ~87 pages in it and stuff being added all the time posts just get buring in that single thread. (Makes me wonder if this place would do well to add an area just for Android-related threads...?) Would the helpful folks here suggest where I might make Android queries that may bring some helpful replies, please ?? Thanks.
  12. Sony Xperia 5 II is a $950 flagship smartphone with a headphone jack It ships in the US on December 4. First image of article image gallery. Please visit the source link to see all images. Sony's next flagship smartphone, a followup to the Xperia 1 II released earlier this year, is the Xperia 5 II. Like the previous phone, the 5 II is a top-tier flagship with a Snapdragon 865 SoC, but it comes with a smaller screen and finally bumps the display up to a faster refresh rate. The Xperia 5 II is named similarly to Sony's camera line, so it's pronounced "Xperia five mark two." The display is the main difference from the Xperia 1 II: a 6.1-inch, 2520×1080 OLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. The 1 II had a bigger, higher-res display, (a 6.5-inch, 3840×1644 display) but it was only 60Hz. The rest of the 5 II specs include a Snapdragon 865 SoC, 8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and a 4000mAh battery. There's a side fingerprint reader, a microSD slot, a headphone jack, IP68 water resistance, and stereo speakers. There are three 12MP cameras on the back for the main, telephoto, and wide angle lenses, along with a ToF sensor. The front camera is 8MP. Sony's press release actually has a release date for the US: "In the US, the Xperia 5 II will be available unlocked in black and comes equipped with Android 10. The Xperia 5 II will be available for pre-order for about $950 on September 29, 2020 and ships to customers on December 4, 2020." I've never seen a company ballpark the price for its own product in an official press release, but the Xperia 5 II will cost "about $950." In Europe the phone will launch in October for €899. The Sony-est thing about this phone is that it will officially ship in the US, and it supports sub-6GHz 5G, but it doesn't have any 5G band compatibility in the US. 5G is apparently a Europe-only thing (bands n1, n3, n8, n28, n77, and n78, if you're wondering). 5G networks in the US aren't nearly ready for primetime yet, so this is not a huge deal breaker, it's just...very Sony. The Xperia 1 II and 5 II are both genuinely handsome-looking smartphones, and now that the 5 II finally has a 120Hz display, it actually feels like it's in the same league as something like a Galaxy Note 20. There's nothing Sony's latest smartphone is critically missing, but other than the headphone jack, there's not much that stands out, either. For Sony Mobile, though, that's an improvement. Sony's mobile division regularly sells under a million units per quarter, a number some of the bigger smartphone companies can beat in a day or two. After lots of cost-cutting, though, Sony Mobile projects it will see its first yearly profit in four years. Things are looking up. Sony Xperia 5 II is a $950 flagship smartphone with a headphone jack (To view the article's image gallery, please visit the above link)
  13. They're coming at you very quickly. Foldables phones over here, new iPhones over there. I went to Best Buy to seek guidance. When October comes, you can get jittery. You stare at your phone and wonder whether it's the best expression of who you are. Or, perhaps, of what you've become. Cynically, smartphones makers know this. So they bombard you with their latest wares at your most vulnerable time. Why, I look down at my black, somewhat scratched iPhone XR and I see a reflection of a dark, damaged soul. And then there was last week's iPhone 12 event which tantalized with a gamut of phones that all have very similar capabilities but very different sizes. I went, therefore, for psychological guidance to the home of physical retail objectivity, Best Buy. I hadn't been to one for quite a while and I needed some cheery, forthright advice. Now She Sees It, Now You Don't. I confess I've been teetering toward the concept of foldable phones. Especially the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2. My colleague Matthew Miller described it as approaching "foldable perfection." How could I not want that in my life? It's like a sofa bed, but sexier. So I strode into Best Buy -- now open to casual walk-ins -- and headed for the Samsung phones. The Galaxy Z Fold 2 display enjoyed pride of place. What it didn't enjoy was a Galaxy Z Fold 2. There was a hole where the device should have been. I approached a Best Buy phone expert and asked whether I could see a Z Fold 2, as it didn't seem to be on display. "It's out there," she said. "But it's probably the only one we have." I said I didn't think it was out there. So she walked out there with me and discovered there was, indeed, a gap. "Oh," she said. "The distributor probably didn't give us any yet." "Do you know when you'll get them?" "No," she said, as she casually waved a hand toward the Galaxy Z Flip expectantly waiting for attention. "We have this one," she said. And then, as if deciding the Z Flip wasn't for me, she added: "Wait, if you're really interested in these folding phones, you should get The Microsoft." For a second, I thought I'd gone back in time. Microsoft makes phones? "Over here," she said and instantly maneuvered me past all the phone displays and to another part of the store. It's called 'The Microsoft' And It's A Phone. "So The Microsoft has the two screens," she began. I stared. "The Microsoft" was, indeed, the Microsoft Surface Duo. This was clearly a name that didn't impress her. What impressed me was how pretty the Surface Duo looked. Sadly, because of protocols, I could touch it but not pick it up and see how it feels. The Best Buy rep, though, was perfectly familiar with its operation and deftly showed me how you can have different things on each screen. The whole procedure seemed entirely effortless. "It's the same price as the other one," she added, as if she'd taken one look at me and believed math could never be one of my strengths. And as if she really wasn't sure what the "other one" was called either. The Surface Duo starts at $1,399. The Galaxy Z Fold 2 starts at $1,999. Which, to some people, may feel like the same number of numbers, but you could get a Duo and an iPhone SE and still have a small deposit to put down on the Z Fold 2. "But, wait, you said this is a phone," I said. "Yeah, it's a phone with two screens," she replied, as if I really had lost at least two of my senses. Oddly, Microsoft seems to believe it's not a phone at all. It is, according to the company's chief product officer Panos Panay, "a Surface." But not The Microsoft. Personally, I rather supported the Best Buy rep's attitude. These phone names are about as memorable as your own name the morning after a Vegas bachelor party. Somehow, though, she didn't seem entirely committed to telling me, to selling me, that the Surface Duo was the phone of my future. Once she showed me the two-screen tango, she had nothing left to say. But What About iPhone 12? Should I Wait? Should I Hate? "The iPhone 11 Pro," she said and pulled it out of her pocket for my inspection. I pulled out my painful XR and asked the obvious question: "So should I get the 12?" She didn't even pause for breath. "Yes!" she cried, with so much enthusiasm that her mask slipped. Both literally and metaphorically. This was far more excitement than she'd expressed for the folding phone I couldn't see or the folding phone I couldn't touch. Sensing she loved the newest iPhone, I ventured: "Are you going to get the 12?" "No," she said. "My 11 Pro takes amazing pictures and I love it. And I think the 12 is just a little bit better but not much." "Really?" "Well, I'd have to see it and maybe if I pay off this one I'll get the 12, but I'll probably wait for the 13." But I should definitely, definitely buy the iPhone 12, she said. I suspected her personal enthusiasm for iPhones outweighed swaying me toward the Duo. Which was actually a phone they had in the store and one that I'd surely consider if I could hold it and play with it. "So when will you get the new iPhones?" I asked. "Probably the end of the month." "Will you get a good supply?" "Probably," she said. "But then with Apple, you never know." Ah. The pandemic may have nudged phone buyers further toward getting what they know and upgrading within their chosen ecosystem. But The Microsoft, that thing is so tempting. Perhaps the Z Fold 2 will be too, if I ever get to see one. Source
  14. Chinese selfie app and smartphone maker Meitu has announced that Xiaomi is effectively taking over its hardware business. Future phones will carry the Meitu brand, but Xiaomi will be responsible for design, R&D, and sales, while Meitu will still be involved in camera software. Basically, it’s a safe bet that Xiaomi’s Mi Home stores across the world will start carrying a bunch of wild selfie-focused cameraphones in the near future. As for why this deal is taking place, Meitu says its “mission is ‘to inspire more people to express their beauty,’ and the board believes that entering into this Strategic Cooperation Agreement will accelerate our pace in carrying out this mission.” Meitu isn’t a major smartphone player by any means — it’s only sold 3.5 million handsets in the five years its hardware business has been around — and has identified Xiaomi as the “perfect partner” to help increase its growth. Xiaomi will initially pay a percentage of phone profits to Meitu, moving to flat per-phone licensing fees after five years or when a certain number of units have been sold overall. Meitu also says that the deal will allow it to focus on expanding its social network user base through pre-installations, though it’s unclear whether that would apply to Xiaomi-branded phones as well. The Verge’s Ashley Carman tried out the Meitu T8 phone last year, though the company’s most notable Western exposure to date came when its beautification selfie app hit a burst of popularity before sparking ad-tracking and privacy fears. Also it released a Sailor MoonPretty Soldier Edition of the T8 with a matching selfie stick, so there’s that. Source: The Verge
  15. Yandex, the internet titan often referred to as the “Google of Russia,” has launched its first smartphone. The Yandex.Phone is a 5.65-inch Android-powered phone that will cost 17,990 rubles ($270) when it goes on sale tomorrow. In terms of specifications, Yandex.Phone is a fairly mid-range device, sporting a Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of expandable storage, and a 16-megapixel / 5-megapixel dual rear camera. In place of Google Assistant, which is standard on most Android phones, the company is also pushing its own intelligent assistant, Alice. This isn’t the first piece of Yandex hardware to sport Alice since it was unveiled in 2017 — earlier this year, Yandex launched a $160 smart speaker that also included the virtual assistant. It’s not entirely clear what the default apps on the phone will be, but judging by the official photos it seems pretty clear Yandex is positioning its own services at the forefront of the device and favoring its own search engine. That said, Google’s apps are also bundled. Battles The launch comes nearly three years after Yandex emerged victorious in an anti-competition case against Google in Russia. Lawmakers found that Google had abused its dominant market position, hindering the ability of other companies to create competing services on Android by forcing manufacturers to bundle Google apps — such as Gmail, Google Search, and Google Play — on Android phones. As a result of the ruling, Google was not permitted to restrict the preinstallation of competing apps, including search engines. Google was also required to offer a “choice window” for its mobile Chrome browser, asking the user at launch what default search engine they wanted. In the year or so since this change has taken effect, Yandex has reportedly overtaken Google in terms of search market share on Android. Integrating Alice into the fabric of the phone means users in Russia will also have a deeply integrated voice assistant experience from the get-go, covering maps, calendar, music, weather, and even voice-calling. “Yandex.Phone is built to offer Russian users a smartphone equipped with all the localized tools needed for users to navigate their daily routines,” said Fedor Yezhov, corporate VP of ecosystem products at Yandex. “Users can interact with Alice and the most widely used Yandex applications in a new way on this phone. Fully integrated into the phone, Alice provides users with comprehensive access to Yandex apps.” Meanwhile, Google is facing pressure in the rest of Europe similar to the heat it faced in Russia, and the company recently changed its Android business model so that device makers will be charged a licensing fee to preinstall its apps in Europe. The Yandex.Phone will go on sale on December 6 through the Yandex Store at the company’s Moscow HQ, followed a day later by other retailers across the country. Source
  16. Apple and Samsung are not outliers with respect to declining smartphone sales. Global mobile device shipments were down 4.9% year over year in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to a new report from IDC. The slide in sales is now a bona fide trend with five consecutive quarters of declines on record, and the outlook for 2019 doesn’t look any better. “The challenging holiday quarter closes out the worst year ever for smartphone shipments,” the research firm wrote. During the full year of 2018, global smartphone shipments declined 4.1% to 1.4 billion units total. Smartphone vendors shipped 375.4 million units during the end-of-year quarter, according to IDC. “Globally the smartphone market is a mess right now,” Ryan Reith, vice president of IDC’s worldwide mobile device trackers program, said in a prepared statement. “Outside a handful of high-growth markets like India, Indonesia, Korea and Vietnam, we did not see a lot of positive activity in 2018. We believe several factors are at play here, including lengthening replacement cycles, increasing penetration levels in many large markets, political and economic uncertainty, and growing consumer frustration around continuously rising price points.” Volumes in China, which accounts for roughly 30% of the smartphone market, were down 10% in 2018. However, the top four Chinese brands—Huawei, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi—collectively grew their share of the market to 78%, up from 66% in 2017. Globally, the top five smartphone vendors—Samsung, Apple, Huawei, Oppo and Xiaomi—grew their collective share of the market to 69%, up from 63% a year ago. Samsung also unseated Apple as the top smartphone company in the world with 18.7% of the market share on 70.4 million units during the fourth quarter, compared to Apple’s 18.2% market share on 68.4 million units. Both companies saw their market shares decline in 2018, but Apple slid further with an 11.5% year-over-year decline in units shipped, compared to Samsung’s 5.5% annual decline in total units. Rounding out the top five, Huawei’s global shipments jumped 43.9% during the year to reach 16.1% of the market share during the fourth quarter on 60.5 million units shipped. OPPO shipped 29.2 million units during the end-of-year quarter, reaching a 7.8% share of the market. Finally, Xiaomi shipped 28.6 million devices during the quarter resulting in a 7.6% share of the market during the same period. Source
  17. Smartphone users are usually torn between the two choices — Android or iOS. Their dominance is such that other competing OS like Windows, BlackBerry OS, or Symbian have almost been abandoned. Those who don’t want either of them can opt for Pine64’s Linux phone dubbed the PinePhone, which offers good hardware and software at an affordable rate of $149. Pine64 had announced the phone a few months ago and now the company is ready with the prototypes and plans to ship development kits in Q1 2019. The PinePhone is expected to be ready for end-users by this year itself. The phone will strictly be running mainline Linux and it will be powered by a SOPine module with an Allwinner A64 ARM Cortex-A53 quad-core processor. It has a 1440x720p IPS display and the phone looks like your regular Android smartphone. On the back, it has a 5MP camera and a 2MP camera on the front. The Linux-based phone packs 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM, a 32GB eMMC module, and 4G LTE Cat 4 support. On the connectivity front, it has 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0. The phone also comes with a headphone jack and sensors including a gyroscopic sensor and light sensor. Pine64 aims to provide physical switches through this phone to allow users to disable or enable the wireless components, cameras, and speaker for privacy. Source
  18. Fierce 5G competition and poor sales see company retreat from once booming sector TOKYO -- Sony is cutting up to half its smartphone workforce as sales shrink in the face of stiff global competition. The job cuts come as the global smartphone industry suffers one of the severest downturns of recent years. Worldwide shipments are expected to decline for the third straight year in 2019 to about 1.3 billion units, according to U.S. research company IDC. Sony's share of the smartphone market has fallen sharply in recent years -- from more than 3% in 2010, according to the research portal Statistica -- to less than 1% currently. It has struggled to compete against leaders Apple, Samsung Electronics and Huawei Technologies, all of which are racing to develop new 5G devices. The decision to scale back its smartphone workforce, which could see up to 2,000 of the total 4,000 jobs cut by March 2020, is part of a move to reduce fixed costs in the business, and also includes procurement reform. Some of the Japanese employees affected by the decision will be transferred to other divisions, but the company will offer voluntary retirement in its Europe and China operations. Sony will limit smartphone sales in Southeast Asia and other areas to focus on Europe and East Asia. The company's smartphone sales for fiscal 2018 are projected to come in at a dismal 6.5 million units, half the previous year's figure and just one-sixth that of five years ago. In fiscal 2014, Sony pulled 1,000 employees from its smartphone operations, but sales have plunged faster than expected, necessitating a further round of cuts. Sony's smartphone business generates annual revenue of about 500 billion yen, but is expected to post an operating loss for the third straight year through fiscal 2019. By halving operating expenses from fiscal 2017, the company hopes the business will turn a profit by fiscal 2020. Sony has restructured before, selling off its personal computer unit and paring costs at its TV business. Now, its smartphone business remains the only loss-making unit. Source
  19. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Well, that's not entirely fair if you are a firm believer in the future of blockchain technology and crypto currencies in the end user space. That was the spotlight feature on the original HTC Exodus 1 and the same is true for the newly announced Exodus 1s. The phone doubles as a hardware ledger and this time around has a few other crypto tricks up its sleeve. But more on that in a bit. First thins first, however, the hardware itself. There really is no way around it, the 1s has pretty terrible hardware for 2019. You are looking at a Snapdragon 435 chipset, along with 4GB of RAM, pushing pixels on a 5.7-inch, 18:9 HD+ display. You also get 64GB of storage and and SD card slot. But the latter might not be meant for your multimedia. The phone still uses a microUSB port. But at least you get a 3.5 mm audio jack. In the camera department the Exodus 1s offers a single 13MP PDAF snapper on the back and one of the same resolution of the front - no autofocus, but complete with an LED flash light. Two SIM card slots with 4G plus 3G dual standby, Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 4.1 and last, but not least, a 3,000 mAh battery keeping the lights on. Oh, and Android 8.1. Makes sense, we guess. HTC's product page is rather scare on details, but we think it is fairly safe to just check the HTC Desire 12s specs page for any additional info you might require. All of this can be pre-ordered today for EUR 219. Although HTC's website doesn't exactly make it clear if you can use "outdated" cash to fund that purchase, or they are still going to convert the price over to a Crypto currency during the final steps of checkout, as was initially the scheme with the original Exodus 1. Anyway, now that we're done making fun of the hardware, we should talk about the meat of HTC's product offer. The main added-value, crypto-enthusiast, added value attraction on the Exodus 1s is the ability to run a full Bitcoin node on the phone. Without going into too much detail, that means that the phone has the means of keeping the entire Bitcoin ledger in its memory. Well, on a microSD card, top be more precise with at least 400GB of storage, sold separately. That should be good for some time since the current Bitcoin ledger is about 260GB big and growing at a rate of roughly 60GB a year. The reason you would want the entire ledger in your pocket is that you can verify transactions for yourself and operate with more security, then, say, using the popular Simplified Payment Verification (SPV) wallet scheme, where a third-party website takes part in the validation process. You can also, apparently, query the ledger itself for transaction data, without sharing any info with the world. And last, but not least, you are actively contributing to the Bitcoin network, which definitely holds some allure to enthusiasts who believe in the future and viability of the network. There are some caveats, though, like the fact that currently only a Bitcoin node can run locally. No other currencies. Plus, running it apparently puts quite a strain on the three year old chipset, which is why HTC themselves only recommend running the node while connected to a wall socket or power bank. There is all the data usage involved as well, which can't help the battery situation either. Perhaps real enthusiast might have better luck with the new technology on the original and more powerful Exodus 1. It will also be getting the Bitcoin node feature as an update at some point. Other than that, just like its sibling, the Exodus 1s still has the HTC's hardware Zion crypto wallet with your keys hidden in the Snapdragon's security enclave. There is also the Trusted Execution Environment (TEE), which runs the Zion Vault software in a sandbox environment for extra security and also guards against common attack vectors, like third-party keyboards with key loggers. And if you lose the phone itself Social Key Recovery allows you to pick several trusted people in such a way that if they all come together, they can recreate your private key. This is called Shamir’s Secret Sharing or (as it’s better known in the crypto world) key sharding. No word on decentralized app or dApp support this time around. But we can only imagine that just like the Exodus 1 the 1s can run these as well. Honestly, do tell us in the comments if you think HTC is gambling a bit too fast and loose with the whole Exodus project as a last resort. Or, perhaps we are missing something and failing to see a bigger picture where the Exodus 1s is an important piece of the puzzle. Source: 1. HTC launches another blockchain phone - Exodus 1s (via GSMArena) 2. Introducing Exodus 1S (via HTC)
  20. It was only several months ago when the Redmi K20 series was introduced, featuring a pop-up selfie camera as one of its main selling points. Today, Xiaomi teased the successor to that phone with a notable twist to its front camera design that resembles that of Samsung's Galaxy S10+. The Redmi K30 will be sporting a display with a hole-punch cutout for the selfie snapper. It will also feature two lenses similar to the Galaxy S10+ front camera. Xiaomi's General Manager Lu Weibing shared a photo of the Redmi K30 during the debut of the Redmi 8 series in China after its launch in India. According to Weibing, the Redmi K30 will be the first 5G phone to be coming out of the Redmi brand. The handset will also bring support for dual 5G, meaning it will be compatible with both standalone mode (SA) and non-standalone (NSA) mode of networking. The NSA mode is said to be cheaper in terms of deployment as it uses existing LTE infrastructure for things such as communication between cell towers and servers. There are rumors as well that the device will be powered by Qualcomm's upcoming Snapdragon 7250 SoC supporting dual 5G. For now, specific details about the Redmi K30's specs remain unknown. There's no word as well on its pricing, but Weibing said it won't be the cheapest 5G phone. That said, the Redmi K30 will still be relatively budget-friendly just like Redmi's past phones. Source: 1. Lu Weibing (Weibo) via GSMArena 2. Xiaomi teases Redmi K30 with hole-punch cutout similar to that of the Galaxy S10+ (via Neowin)
  21. JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia has issued regulations to allow authorities to block smartphones purchased on the black market, in a bid to encourage investors to produce mobile phones in the country, a minister said on Friday. FILE PHOTO: Airlangga Hartarto, Indonesia's Industry Minister, speaks during an interview with Reuters at his office in Jakarta, Indonesia July 20, 2018. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan/File Photo Indonesia is a large market for mobile phone producers, with 60 millions phones sold every year. “These (regulations) are aimed at creating a level playing field,” Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto told reporters. “With this policy, investors will continue to enter Indonesia because their industries are protected from the risks of the black market.” Indonesia is estimated to lose 2 trillion rupiah ($141 million) in potential value-added tax every year from illegally imported mobile phones. The government does not charge import duties on mobile phones. Under the new rules, which are yet to be made public, phone users will be encouraged to check on a designated website whether their phones were imported lawfully by inputting their International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number. Users should register their IMEI within six months from Friday if they fear it may have been illegally imported, officials said. Indonesians traveling abroad can only bring back two mobile phones and will have to pay appropriate value added taxes. The tax payment receipt would be used to register the IMEI of their foreign-purchased phones. A person will not be able to use a phone with an unregistered IMEI after the six-month period, said Heru Pambudi, the finance ministry’s customs director general. The rules will only be applied to phones imported after the rules were signed on Friday. Brokerage Trimegah Securitas, in a note on Friday, said the rules should be positive for smartphone retailers such as PT Erajaya Swasembada, especially coming just before the latest model of iPhones arrive in Indonesia. In addition, manufacturer PT Sat Nusaperada could benefit if more mobile phones are assembled locally. Shares of Erajaya rose 12% by 0751 GMT on Friday with trade volume four times the daily average in the past 30 trading days. Harjanto, the Industry Ministry’s director general, said there were 34 mobile phone assembly plants in Indonesia that would benefit from the new policy, including one operated by Taiwan’s Pegatron. Source: Indonesia issues rules to block illegally imported mobile phones (via Reuters)
  22. Hackers accessed some OnePlus customer data through a vulnerability in the vendor's website. Smartphone maker OnePlus disclosed today a security breach that impacted users of its online store. The breach ocurred last week and was discovered right away, according to a FAQ page published earlier today. OnePlus says hackers gained access to past customer orders. Exposed information included details like customer names, contact numbers, emails, and shipping addresses, but not passwords or financial details, the company said. OnePlus believes the hacker's entry point was a vulnerability in its website, but did not provide any additional details. "We've inspected our website thoroughly to ensure that there are no similar security flaws," the company said. "Before making this public, we informed our impacted users by email. Right now, we are working with the relevant authorities to further investigate this incident," a member of the OnePlus security team said today in a forum post, separate from the FAQ. As a result of the breach, OnePlus said it is partnering with "a world-renowned security platform next month, and will launch an official bug bounty program by the end of December." This is the second security breach in the smartphone vendor's short history. It suffered a similar one in January 2018, when attackers gained access to the data of around 40,000 users. OnePlus' breach comes after yesterday US telco provider T-Mobile disclosed a similar security breach impacting a small number of accounts. Source
  23. The PinePhone starts shipping—a Linux-powered smartphone for $150 For now it's for developers only, and you'll need to flash your own OS. First image of article image gallery. Please visit the source link to see all 9+ images. Pine64 has announced that it is finally shipping the PinePhone, a smartphone that takes the rare step outside the Android/iOS duopoly and is designed to run mainline Linux distributions. The PinePhone starts shipping January 17 in the "Braveheart" developer edition. This initial "Braveheart" batch of devices is meant for "developer and early adopter" users, according to the Pine64 Store. The phone doesn't come with an end-user OS pre-installed and instead only comes with a factory test image that allows for easy verification that the hardware works. Users are expected to flash their own OS to the device. There are several available, from Ubuntu Touch to Sailfish OS, but they are all currently in an unfinished alpha state. Pine64 says that only enthusiasts with "extensive Linux experience" are the intended customers here—this isn't (yet?) a mainstream product. It's hard to mention PinePhone without mentioning that other Linux smartphone, the Purism Librem 5. They could both end up running the same software one day, but the two companies are taking totally different approaches to hardware. Purism has a hardline requirement for the hardware: it needs to be as open and freedom-focused as possible, which means the company couldn't use the typical supply chain that exists for Android phones. Purism has only a limited amount of open source-compatible vendors to choose from, and it uses M.2 socketed chips for the closed-source Wi-Fi/Bluetooth and Cell modem. The result is a device that is very thick (16mm), hot, and expensive, at $750. The PinePhone is less averse to binary blobs and is a lot closer to a normal smartphone. It's a more reasonable thickness (9mm) and a more reasonable price: $150. The PinePhone is powered by an Allwinner A64 SoC, which features four Cortex A53 CPUs at 1.2GHz, built on a pretty ancient 40nm process. This is the same chip the company uses on the PINE A64 single board computer, a Raspberry Pi competitor. The device has 2GB of RAM, a Mali-400 GPU, 16GB of storage, and a 2750mAh battery. The rear camera is 5MP, the front camera is 2MP, the display is a 1440×720 IPS LCD, and the battery is removable. There's a headphone jack, a USB-C port, and support for a MicroSD slot, which you can actually boot operating systems off of. The cellular modem is a large separate chip that is soldered onto the motherboard: a Quectel EG25-G. When the back of the phone is peeled off, the innards actually have some special components. Near the top right corner is a 2x3 grid of gold pogo pins that can provide power, I2C, and GPIO to an attached accessory. Pine64 says that a keyboard case attachment is planned for "sometime in 2020," and for now, the company is still working on the design. The company says it is "making a keyboard heavily inspired by Psion Series 5 keyboards from the 1990s. We hope to not only replicated [sic] the usability of the Psion Series 5 keyboard but also the tactile feel it is known for. " The Psion 5 was a clamshell PDA that ran the EPOC operating system (which was later renamed "Symbian OS") and was powered by 2 AA batteries. Smartphone keyboards from the Moto Droid era would use a single sheet of rubbery keys that squished down onto a contact, but the Psion 5 keyboard was different. The Psion 5 has a scaled-down version of a cheap desktop keyboard, with individual hard, plastic keys that each sat on top of a membrane switch. Also under the removable back is a set of six dip switches that act as privacy kill switches. Users can kill the Modem/GPS, Wi-Fi/Bluetooth, microphone, rear camera, and front camera. The last one, which isn't a privacy feature, is a switch for the headphone jack. The headphone jack switch toggles from the normal mode of operation to a UART (Universal asynchronous receiver-transmitter) port. With this wild-looking male-3.5mm-to-male-USB-A wire, you can get a serial connection out of the PinePhone and do some debugging. With the phone shipping, Pine64 isn't resting on its laurels. The company is also working on a "PineTab" Linux tablet with a detachable keyboard and a "PineTime" smart watch. Soon, you'll be able to run mainline Linux on everything, provided the software actually gets developed. Listing image by Pine64 Source: The PinePhone starts shipping—a Linux-powered smartphone for $150 (Ars Technica) (To view the article's 9+ image gallery, please visit the above link)
  24. Internet service provider Frontier Communications will pay $1,000 to a candidate of its choosing that's willing to trade in their smartphone for a flip phone for a full week. But the person selected will have to document their entire experience. The contest comes as concerns over the amount of time we're spending on our phones have increased, resulting in new features from Apple and Google designed to manage screen time. Could you live without your iPhone for a week? If you're willing to find out, you could end up winning $1,000. Internet service provider Frontier Communications has launched a contest in which it will choose one candidate to use an old-fashioned flip phone in place of their smartphone for seven full days. If this person can do so successfully, he or she will be rewarded with $1,000. The company will also provide the participant with a so-called "survival kit"that includes a physical map to be used in place of apps like Google Maps, a physical phone book for jotting down phone numbers, a pen and notebook, and retro CDs with 90s-era music. The catch? Other than giving up your smartphone, Frontier is asking that you document the whole experience. The details make it sound more like a job than a contest, as it lists the candidate's "responsibilities" and refers to the prize money as "compensation." "Our ideal candidate will be a self-proclaimed smartphone fiend who's always up to date on the latest tech news. They'll be organized, detail-oriented, and willing to persevere," the page reads. As part of the contest, you'll have to keep track of the amount of time it takes to complete tasks such as texting and checking email. The company is also interested in learning about each instance in which you wished you could have Googled something, how many hours you slept during the contest period, how your productivity changed, and if you were late to any appointments. What the contest page doesn't say is how Frontier will verify that you haven't used a smartphone at all during the seven-day period. It also doesn't state any rules about staying away from other gadgets like tablets or laptops, potentially rendering the whole experiment useless. It's clearly a marketing ploy for Frontier — after all, the listing says it prefers applicants with an "active social presence," which would ultimately result in more brand awareness for the company. But the contest comes as concerns over tech addiction have heightened, prompting tech firms to help us manage the amount of time we spend on our smartphones. Apple launched its Screen Time feature last year, for example, which allows iPhone owners to see how much time they're spending on their phone and where they're spending it. Google's Pixel phones have a similar feature called Digital Wellbeing. Frontier isn't the only company looking to put our reliance on smartphones to the test. Brooklyn-based startup Light launched a"dumb" phone in 2015 that can only handle basic tasks like making calls and telling the time. The company recently unveiled a newer model that can also send texts, but still doesn't run apps. The company says it sold more than 10,000 units in more than 50 countries. That certainly pales in comparison to the number of smartphones major tech firms usually sell, but it's evidence that at least some people see the appeal of using a distraction-free phone. Source
  25. Wireless charging can be tricky to understand—these devices make it a no-brainer. Enlarge Valentina Palladino Wireless charging has a long way to go before it replaces wired charging, but the technology has advanced dramatically in the past few years. Everyone with the newest smartphones, wearables, and other gadgets can get behind the idea—simply place your device on a charging pad or stand and let it sit. Within a few minutes, you'll have more battery power than you did before, and you didn't have to fuss with wires or cables to get it. But quite a bit of technology goes into making an accessory that makes your life that much easier. Most wireless chargers come in the form of circular or rectangular pads, some of which are propped up on legs to make stands that take up minimal space and work well as nightstand or desk accessories. But don't be fooled by their minimalist exteriors—there are a number of things you should know before investing in a wireless charging pad. To navigate this murky world, Ars tested out some of the most popular devices available now to see which are worth buying. Note: Ars Technica may earn compensation for sales from links on this post through affiliate programs. Table of Contents How does wireless charging work? Qi standard and your smartphone Wired or wireless charging? A note about Qualcomm Quick Charge How we tested Best overall RavPower RP-PC034 Fast Charger The Good The Bad Runner up Mophie Charge Stream Pad+ The Good The Bad Best budget charger RavPower RP-PC063 Wireless Charger The Good The Bad Best wireless charging stand Belkin Boost Up Stand The Good The Bad <snip> Poster's note: The original article is multi-page with several image galleries and tables. To view the full article, please visit the link below. Source: Guidemaster: The best Qi wireless charging pads for your smartphone (Ars Technica)
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