Mobile (Phones)

New Colours for LG G6, Q6 Phones

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New Colours for LG G6, Q6 Phones

LG promises to brighten consumers' lives with "unique and exciting" colour options for the G6 and Q6 smartphones, namely the "Moroccan Blue," "Lavender Violet" and "Raspberry Rose" shades from the V30.

The company says the "sophisticated" blue is inspired by the buildings of Chefchaouen, Morocco, while the violet appeals to customers who "appreciate the finer things in life." As for the rose, the "unique" colour has been designed with anniversaries, graduation ceremonies and Valentine's Day in mind.

The G6 is already available in Astro Black, Ice Platinum, Mystic White, Terra Gold and Marine Blue. The Q6 comes in Astro Black, Ice Platinum, Mystic White, Terra Gold and Marine Blue.

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Summer Shipping for RED Hydrogen One Phone

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Summer Shipping for RED Hydrogen One Phone

High-end digital cinema camera RED takes to its forums to announce the shipping window of the Hydrogen One smartphone-- "sometime in the summer," with preorders to open "probably in April."

Announced back in June 2017, the Hydrogen One remains something of a mystery device. Its USP is "four view" (or 4V), a technology allowing the phone to handle regular 2D video, stereo 3D, augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality, all without need for glasses or headsets. How the technology works is anyone's guess, since RED is still to provide any details other than "there is no way to describe this. You just have to see it."

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Larger iPhones to Drive 2018 Growth?

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Larger iPhones to Drive 2018 Growth?

According to well-connected KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo iPhone X shipments will be weaker-than-expected in H1 2018-- but the launch of larger-size iPhones should drive global Apple smartphone shipments for the rest of the year.

"We revise down Q1 2018 and Q2 2018 shipments of iPhone X to 18 million units and 13m units, respectively, lower than market consensus of 20-30m and 15-20m units," a KGI research paper obtained by MacRumors reads. "We expect iPhone X will go to end of life (EOL) around mid-2018 and that total life cycle shipments will be around 62m units, lower than our previous forecast of 80m units.

One reason for weaker-than-expected iPhone X demand is China. While Chinese customers like big smartphones, the notched design of the iPhone X remains incompatible with many apps popular in the country, leading to the impression it offers less usable screen space than the 5.5-inch iPhone Plus. Furthermore the iPhone X bears a hefty price tag, leading to less replacement demand.

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Europeans Look Into iPhone Slowdown

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Europeans Look Into iPhone Slowdown

Reuters reports the Italian antitrust body and French consumer fraud watchdog DGCCRF (part of the Economy Ministry) are looking into the Apple admission that it does, in fact, push software updates to slow down older iPhones.

According to the Italian watchdog, Apple and Samsung run “a general commercial policy taking advantage of the lack of certain components to curb the performance times of their products and induce consumers to buy new versions.” Meanwhile in France a prosecutor has launched a preliminary investigation over the alleged deception and planned obsolescence, which is against the law.

In addition a French consumer dubbed "HOP" (stands for "Stop Planned Obsolescence") has filed a legal complaint against Apple.

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HTC Intros Dual-Camera U11 Eyes

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HTC Intros Dual-Camera U11 Eyes

HTC returns to dual-camera smartphones with the U11 Eyes-- a handset featuring dual 5MP front-facing cameras allowing customers to take better selfies complete with bokeh depth of field.

The front-facing cameras are clearly the USP of the U11 Eyes, since they also feature f/2.2 lenses, HDR Boost and an 80-degree field of view. A bokeh mode can adjust depth of field both in real-time and after a photo is taken, while a beauty mode promises "spectacular selfies" through skin smoothing, skin brightening, face slimming and eye enlargement options.

In terms of hardware specifications the U11 Eyes is more mid-range than flagship-- it carries an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 chipset, 2160 x 1080 LCD touchscreen (with 18:9 aspect ratio), 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage (expandable via microSD slot), 12MP rear-facing camera, 3930mAh battery and USB-C connectivity.

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The First In-Display Fingerprint Sensor for Smartphones

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The First In-Display Fingerprint Sensor for Smartphones

Synaptics announces mass production with a "top five OEM" of the Clear ID FS9500 family of optical in-display fingerprint sensors-- a vendor Forbes reveals is no other than Vivo.

The Synaptics sensors promise "one-touch high-resolution scanning through full cover glass." They should enable button-free, bezel-free infinity displays, and since the sensor is covered by glass it operates with wet, dry and cold fingers. In addition, Synaptics claims the sensor is "twice as fast" as 3D facial recognition, and requires just one touch to operate.

On the security front, the sensors carry a range of authentication technologies, such as Quantum Matcher (for adaptive fingerprint template matching and authentication), PurePrint (anti-spoof technology) and SecureLink (combines support for TLS protocol with ECC authentication and AES encryption).

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Qualcomm Details Snapdragon 845

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Qualcomm Details Snapdragon 845

Qualcomm announces the next generation of flagship Snapdragon mobile processor-- the Snapdragon 845, a direct successor to the 835 with features including 4K HDR video capture at up to 60fps.

The Snapdragon 845 combines a 2.8GHz 8-core Kyro 385 CPU and an Adreno 630 GPU. The GPU promises a 30% improvement in graphics, as well as 30% better power efficiency, 2.5x faster display throughput and support for room-scale 6DOF and room mapping for VR and AR applications.

On the photography side, the chip offers a Spectra 280 ISP performs multiframe noise reduction on 16MP images at 60fps, with support for the Rec. 2020 colour gamut and 10-bit colour depth. As mentioned earlier, it also allows for 4K video capture with HDR at 60fps, as well as slo-mo 720p video at 480fps and 1080p video at 240fps.

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Kantar Worldpanel: iPhone X Anticipation Hurt Apple Share

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Kantar Worldpanel: iPhone X Anticipation Hurt Apple Share

According to Kantar Worldpanel the late release of the iPhone X hurt Apple market share in key markets during the 3 months ending October 2017, with Android taking advantage of the situation.

Android gained 4.3 percentage points in the big 5 European markets (and 8.2% in the USA) during period. The analyst says such a drop in iPhone volume share was "somewhat inevitable" when comparing the non-flagship iPhone 8 with the 2016 flagship iPhone 7. One also has to keep in mind at least some customers postponed their iPhone purchase in order to compare the 8 with the X, before deciding whether the premium demanded by the overhauled device is worth it or not.

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Samsung Intros W2018... Flip Phone

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Samsung Intros W2018... Flip Phone

The flip phone ain't dead-- at least not in China, where Samsung announces the W2018, a high-end device featuring flagship internals and a camera with an f/1.5 aperture for better low-light photography.

Made exclusively for the China Telecom "Heart of the World" charity event, the W2018 features a pair of 4.2-inch 1920 x 1080 Super AMOLED touchscreens together with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset, 6GB RAM, 64/256GB storage and a 2300mAh battery. Connectivity comes through dual-SIM slots, NFC and USB-C, security features include a fingerprint reader and an iris scanner, and the Bixby assistant can be summoned via dedicated button on the side.

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Ericsson: 5G Subscriptions Reach 1bn in 2023

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Ericsson: 5G Subscriptions Reach 1bn in 2023

According to the Ericsson Mobility Report 5G subscriptions will reach 1 billion by 2023, with 5G covering over 20% of the world population just 4 years after the first commercial 5G New Radio (NR) networks go live in 2019.

A number of perhaps predictable markets will get the first 5G deployments-- namely the US, S. Korea, Japan and China-- all based in dense urban areas. The forecast period also involves an 8X surge in mobile data traffic, reaching 110 Exabytes per month (or 5.5 million years of HD video streaming) per month.

The mention of streaming is relevant, since video is a main driver of mobile broadband traffic. Young millennials (in the 15-24 age bracket) stream 2.5X more than people over 45 years of age, and higher resolution and immersive 360-degree video will further impact data traffic consumption volumes.

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Gartner: Smartphones Grow in Q3 2017

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Gartner: Smartphones Grow in Q3 2017

According to Gartner global smartphone sales total 383 million units in Q3 2017-- a 3% Y-o-Y increase with all top 5 vendors achieving double-digit growth with the exception of Apple, whose growth clocks at 5.7% Y-o-Y.

W. European sales total 36m thanks to growing demand for premium smartphones from top brands. However, the territory lags behind the likes of Greater China, emerging APAC and N. America.

Leading the vendor rankings is Samsung with sales reaching 85m, a 19.3% Y-o-Y increase. The Galaxy S8, S8+ and Note 8 models are main sales drivers, helping the Korean compete against Chinese manufactures. The double-digit growth is the first since Q4 2015.

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