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Mobile (Phones)

Google Invests in LG Display?

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Google Invests in LG Display?

The Electronic Times reports Google has invested 1 trillion won (or $880.29 million) in LG Display-- an investiment said to ensure Google gets enough OLED displays for the next Pixel Phone.

Reportedly, display supply was the reason Google faced shipping difficulties with the current Pixel phone. However, the ET adds the investment is not a display purchase order but part of a "strategic relationship" ensuring LG Display has enough capital to produce "flexible OLED panels" at scale.

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Samsung Galaxy S8 Gets Launch

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Samsung Galaxy S8 Gets Launch

After months of stories of phablets spontaneously catching fire Samsung reveals the Galaxy S8 and S8+, a pair of devices promising to be the company's return to mobile device form.

The S8+ is the bigger option with a 6.2-inch screen, but the S8 might be the superior model since it features a 5.8-inch "infinity display"-- a Super AMOLED screen wrapping around the curved front of the phone, making it almost bezel-less. Both displays run at 2960 x 1440 resolution, and phone construction features Gorilla Glass 5 on both front and back with a metal band in between.

Depending on region, the phones are powered by either Qualcomm or Exynox octa-core processors together with 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage (expandable to 256GB via microSD slot) and a 3000mAH battery (3500mAh in the S8+). Also included is a 12MP duopixel f/1.7 aperture rear-facing camera, 8MP front-facing camera, fingerprint sensor, USB-C port and, in a Samsung first, Bluetooth 5 connectivity.

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iPhone 7, 7 Plus Get (PRODUCT)RED Editions

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iPhone 7, 7 Plus Get (PRODUCT)RED Editions

Apple presents special (PRODUCT)RED editions of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus-- models featuring a vibrant red finish on the anodised aluminium back, together with a white Apple logo and white front bezels.

Available in 128 and 256GB versions, the special editions commemorate the 10 years of partnership between Apple and (RED), and provide means for customers to contribute to the Global Fund for AIDS research.

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iPhone 8 to Get Augmented Reality Boost?

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iPhone 8 to Get Augmented Reality Boost?

The next generation of iPhone can lead to a "paradigm shift," analyst Gene Munster tells CNBC, since it features "augmented reality as its foundation."

"It’s not gonna be something that’s going to be a catalyst for Apple’s sales over the next few years, but that’s going to lay the foundation of the next computing paradigm," Munster explains. "We think Apple has a lead in terms of this paradigm shift coming in computing."

Munster's claims follow a Bloomberg report stating Apple is "very serious about AR." According to unnamed insiders, the iPhone maker is on an "ambitious bid" to bring AR to the mainstream, all in the name of ensuring the masses remain "wedded to its ecosystem."

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Meet Bixby, the Samsung Voice Assistant

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Meet Bixby, the Samsung Voice Assistant

Samsung presents what it claims is a "new way to interact with your phone"-- Bixby, its take on the voice assistant likes of Siri, Cortana and Google Assistant.

The result of the acquisition of Viv, an AI specialist founded by the creators of Siri, Bixby promises to be superior to the competition through 3 specific properties. These are completeness (it can handle "almost" any task one can do using the touchscreen), context awareness (Bixby-enabled apps can summon Bixby at any time, and the assistant carries out tasks specific to the app) and cognitive tolerance (it understands commands with incomplete information, and prompts users to tell it more if necessary).

Bixby will also find use beyond smartphones, since Samsung plans to put it a wide variety of connected devices, including appliances, TV remotes and wearables. In fact, the company states Bixby can work on just about anything with an internet connection and a microphone. Uniting all Bixby-enabled offerings is a dedicated hardware button, which Samsung claims eliminates the "confusion around activating a voice interface."

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Kantar Worldpanel: Life in a Two-OS World

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Kantar Worldpanel: Life in a Two-OS World

According to Kantar Worldpanel the days of a BlackBerry OS, Symbian or Windows Phone making "significant" impact are over, since the mobile industry is all but dominated by iOS-Android duopoly.

The biggest 5 European markets (Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Spain) are dominated by Android-- the Google OS accounts for 74.3% of smartphone sales in the quarter ending January 2017, a "marginal" increase over the 72.9% of the same period in the previous year. In the meantime iOS holds 22.7%, with the iPhone 7 remaining the top-selling device in Great Britain, France and Germany.

Kantar points out Nokia as a potential success story in the region, as brand owner HMD Global is focusing on quality for cost with well made mid-tier devices. Such smartphones will not rival the iPhone 7 or the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S8, but do compete with the likes of the Huawei 8 and P9 Lite, both strong sellers in the price-conscious Italian and Spanish markets.

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The ColorWare Retro-Style iPhone 7 Plus

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The ColorWare Retro-Style iPhone 7 Plus

ColorWare presents a custom-painted version of the iPhone 7 Plus that will surely appeal to longtime Apple fans-- the Retro Edition comes in 1980s shade of beige reminiscent of vintage Macintosh products.

Available as a SIM-free model with 256GB storage, the Retro edition includes a nice little detail in the shape of dark beige edge stripes resembling the vents of older computers. The monochrome logo on the back also gets a makeover, since it is replaced with the classic rainbow-striped Apple logo.

"At ColorWare, the product goes through a labor intensive process of disassembly, cleaning, masking, painting and inspection," the company says on the customisation process. "Then, the product is buffed and reassembled. The product goes through final inspection and is packaged into the original packaging."

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How to Add Android to an iPhone

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How to Add Android to an iPhone

Customers with the want to run iOS and Android on the same device might get a solution with the Eye-- an case putting an entire Android smartphone on the back of an iPhone.

Made by a startup named Esti, the Eye is a standalone device, even if it shares the speaker, microphone and cameras of the iPhone. It has a 5-inch AMOLED display, 2 SIM card slots, storage via microSD card, a 2800mAh battery and even includes a 3.5mm headphone jack and IR blaster. The Android version of choice is Android 7.1.

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The Phone With a 360-Degree Camera

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The Phone With a 360-Degree Camera

The Protruly Darling is a sure contender for the strangest smartphone of Mobile World Congress 2017 award-- it features a built-in 360-degree camera and, in the case of one version, embedded diamonds.

Made by an obscure Shenzen-based company, the Darling has an unusually long design housing the aforementioned 360-degree camera. It allows users to shoot photos and record videos in all directions, which one can preview on the 5.5-inch 1920 x 1080 resolution display in globe form before sharing on platforms such as Facebook and YouTube.

The phone also include a pair of regular cameras on the front and back, and runs on a 2.5GHz deca-core Helio X20 MT6797 CPU, 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. The OS of choice is Android 6.0, the battery is a 3560mAh number and connectivity comes through USB-C. Topping off the package are a fingerprint sensor and, as if the device is not strange enough, a thermal camera.

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The Zuri Power Bank/Dumbphone Combo

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The Zuri Power Bank/Dumbphone Combo

Hong Kong-based Zuri has an odd proposal to satisfy customers' mobile device power needs-- the Power Bank U28 is a feature phone able to act as a spare battery for its smarter brethren.

The U28 carries a 4000mAh battery and flash charging, and can share the juice with other devices. It is also an actual phone, allowing one to make calls and send messages in case their regular phone is really dead. Which is simultaneously brilliant and kind of dumb, since it is arguably whether a power bank actually needs phone capabilities.

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Meizu Super mCharges Phones

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Meizu Super mCharges Phones

Meizu claims to slash phone charging times at Mobile World Congress with Super mCharge-- a technology able to fully charge a 3000mAh battery in all of 20 minutes.

Super mCharge technology is rated at 55W (11V, 5A), significantly higher than competing technologies such as Motorola TurboPower (25.5W) or Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 (18W). It also battery temperatures do not exceed 38 °C, which is crucial since batteries can explode if put through much heat.

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