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Xiaomi Mi Max 2 gets MIUI 9 nightly, price cut in India

There are two interesting bits of news for existing and future owners of the Xiaomi Mi Max 2 in India. According to one user on MIUI forum, Xiaomi is now rolling out nightly build of MIUI 9 to Mi Max 2 devices in India.
According to Xiaomi, this is a staged rollout to a small group of users for now, so not everyone will be getting it (our own device is still on 8.5.9.0). Still, with the launch of MIUI 9 just three days away, it won't be long before the stable release starts rolling out officially.
For prospective Mi Max 2 buyers, the phone is now a bit more affordable. Xiaomi has slashed the prices by INR 1000 ($15) on both the 32GB as well as the 64GB models, bringing them down to INR 13,999 ($215) and INR 15,999 ($246), respectively.
There are two interesting bits of news for existing and future owners of the Xiaomi Mi Max 2 in India. According to one user on MIUI forum, Xiaomi is now rolling out nightly build of MIUI 9 to Mi Max 2 devices in India.
According to Xiaomi, this is a staged rollout to a small group of users for now, so not everyone will be getting it (our own device is still on 8.5.9.0). Still, with the launch of MIUI 9 just three days away, it won't be long before the stable release starts rolling out officially.
For prospective Mi Max 2 buyers, the phone is now a bit more affordable. Xiaomi has slashed the prices by INR 1000 ($15) on both the 32GB as well as the 64GB models, bringing them down to INR 13,999 ($215) and INR 15,999 ($246), respectively.

Top half of OnePlus 5T pictured

We’ve had many chances to gaze at the upcoming OnePlus 5T, but the clarity of this new image is better than what came before. It shows only the top half, but the new design is so symmetrical that the bottom will look fairly similar.
The side bezels look exceedingly thin, though we attribute this to the perspective and to general digital trickery. The top bezel of the 18:9 screen seems smaller than that of the current model, though perhaps not as slim as a Galaxy S8 or LG V30.
The new screen will have 1,080 x 2,160px resolution (so still no QHD), the battery might bet a bump in capacity as well.
Top half of the upcoming OnePlus 5T
Top half of the upcoming OnePlus 5T
You can see the real-life side bezels in the hands-on photo from last week. The back has been observed in renders only but it should be more or less identical to the back of the Oppo R11s, down to the dual 20MP camera and fingerprint reader a bit further down.
The OnePlus 5T is expected to launch on November 16. The expected price is in line with what the OnePlus 5 cost at launch - $550 to $650 depending on the memory option (6GB/64GB or 8GB/128GB).
We’ve had many chances to gaze at the upcoming OnePlus 5T, but the clarity of this new image is better than what came before. It shows only the top half, but the new design is so symmetrical that the bottom will look fairly similar.
The side bezels look exceedingly thin, though we attribute this to the perspective and to general digital trickery. The top bezel of the 18:9 screen seems smaller than that of the current model, though perhaps not as slim as a Galaxy S8 or LG V30.
The new screen will have 1,080 x 2,160px resolution (so still no QHD), the battery might bet a bump in capacity as well.
Top half of the upcoming OnePlus 5T
Top half of the upcoming OnePlus 5T
You can see the real-life side bezels in the hands-on photo from last week. The back has been observed in renders only but it should be more or less identical to the back of the Oppo R11s, down to the dual 20MP camera and fingerprint reader a bit further down.
The OnePlus 5T is expected to launch on November 16. The expected price is in line with what the OnePlus 5 cost at launch - $550 to $650 depending on the memory option (6GB/64GB or 8GB/128GB).

Oppo R11s and R11s Plus pass through TENAA

Oppo itself leaked the new R11s duo, but that page was a touch light on specifications. Good thing we have TENAA to fill us in on the details before the November 2 announcement.
Oppo R11s Plus (photos by TENAA) Oppo R11s Plus (photos by TENAA) Oppo R11s Plus (photos by TENAA) Oppo R11s Plus (photos by TENAA)
Oppo R11s Plus (photos by TENAA)
The Oppo R11s and Oppo R11s Plus share the majority of their specs, the major difference being the screen diagonal – 6” and 6.43” respectively. Both are AMOLED panels with 1,080 x 2,160px resolution and 18:9 aspect ratio.
The duo will be powered by octa-core processors – Snapdragon 660 is the most likely chipset, so Kryo 260 cores. The R11s has 4GB of RAM, the Plus model has more – 6GB. Both have 64GB of built-in storage and a microSD card slot.
The dual camera on the rear is listed as 16MP + 20MP, confirmed by Oppo’s own website (although benchmarks claim 20MP + 20MP). The single selfie camera has a 20MP sensor.
Oppo R11s (photos by TENAA) Oppo R11s (photos by TENAA) Oppo R11s (photos by TENAA) Oppo R11s (photos by TENAA)
Oppo R11s (photos by TENAA)
Since the Oppo R11s Plus is larger it has a 3,880mAh battery while its smaller sibling has 3,120mAh in its tank. It terms of size, the R11s is 7.1mm thick and weighs 153g while the R11s Plus is 7.3mm thick and weighs 182g.
PS. TENAA photographed only the black model, you can check out the Gold and Red color options here.
Oppo itself leaked the new R11s duo, but that page was a touch light on specifications. Good thing we have TENAA to fill us in on the details before the November 2 announcement.
Oppo R11s Plus (photos by TENAA) Oppo R11s Plus (photos by TENAA) Oppo R11s Plus (photos by TENAA) Oppo R11s Plus (photos by TENAA)
Oppo R11s Plus (photos by TENAA)
The Oppo R11s and Oppo R11s Plus share the majority of their specs, the major difference being the screen diagonal – 6” and 6.43” respectively. Both are AMOLED panels with 1,080 x 2,160px resolution and 18:9 aspect ratio.
The duo will be powered by octa-core processors – Snapdragon 660 is the most likely chipset, so Kryo 260 cores. The R11s has 4GB of RAM, the Plus model has more – 6GB. Both have 64GB of built-in storage and a microSD card slot.
The dual camera on the rear is listed as 16MP + 20MP, confirmed by Oppo’s own website (although benchmarks claim 20MP + 20MP). The single selfie camera has a 20MP sensor.
Oppo R11s (photos by TENAA) Oppo R11s (photos by TENAA) Oppo R11s (photos by TENAA) Oppo R11s (photos by TENAA)
Oppo R11s (photos by TENAA)
Since the Oppo R11s Plus is larger it has a 3,880mAh battery while its smaller sibling has 3,120mAh in its tank. It terms of size, the R11s is 7.1mm thick and weighs 153g while the R11s Plus is 7.3mm thick and weighs 182g.
PS. TENAA photographed only the black model, you can check out the Gold and Red color options here.

Apple gives early iPhone X access to some reviewers

Apple has given a few select reviewers an early look at the iPhone X, for hands-on purposes.
The videos, from the likes of Boredatwork and others started to show up a few hours ago and more seem to be coming now.
The videos give us an early look at the iPhone X but don't expect detailed reviews - these are first-look videos.
Here are a few that you might want to check out.
Apple has given a few select reviewers an early look at the iPhone X, for hands-on purposes.
The videos, from the likes of Boredatwork and others started to show up a few hours ago and more seem to be coming now.
The videos give us an early look at the iPhone X but don't expect detailed reviews - these are first-look videos.
Here are a few that you might want to check out.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Oreo beta test markets confirmed

Last week we heard a beta program for Android 8.0 on Samsung Galaxy S8 is about to start It should be available for starting tomorrow, and now we got intel on which countries will get early access to Oreo. The first wave includes South Korea, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
Samsung Galaxy S8 Oreo beta markets confirmed There is also a second wave of markets which would get the to beta-test Android Oreo. The countries are Germany, Spain, France, Poland along with India and China.
To test the beta version, you must be a member of the Galaxy Beta program, available through the Samsung Members app. The start and availability will vary by region, meaning more countries may try Android Oreo in the foreseeable future.
Last week we heard a beta program for Android 8.0 on Samsung Galaxy S8 is about to start It should be available for starting tomorrow, and now we got intel on which countries will get early access to Oreo. The first wave includes South Korea, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
Samsung Galaxy S8 Oreo beta markets confirmed There is also a second wave of markets which would get the to beta-test Android Oreo. The countries are Germany, Spain, France, Poland along with India and China.
To test the beta version, you must be a member of the Galaxy Beta program, available through the Samsung Members app. The start and availability will vary by region, meaning more countries may try Android Oreo in the foreseeable future.

Asus launches the Zenfone 4 Pro, Zenfone 4, and 5.2" Zenfone 4 Max in the US

Today Asus is significantly expanding the Zenfone 4 family of smartphones in the US. The Taiwanese company launched the 5.5" Zenfone 4 Max stateside last month, and now it's being joined by a bunch of its siblings.

Zenfone 4 Pro

Let's start with the top of the line offering, in effect Asus' flagship handset at the moment. This one features a 5.5" 1080p AMOLED touchscreen, 6GB of RAM, and the Snapdragon 835 chipset at the helm. It comes with 64GB of expandable storage and a 3,600 mAh battery.
Its dual rear camera setup consists of a 12 MP main shooter with a 1/2.55" sensor, 1.4µm pixels and f/1.7 aperture, as well as a 16 MP unit with 2x fixed optical zoom. On the front you'll find an 8 MP snapper for selfies, with f/1.9 aperture and 1.4µm pixel size.
The Zenfone 4 Pro runs Android 7.1.1 Nougat and is up for pre-order at Asus, Amazon, B&H, Best Buy, and Newegg. It's available in black only and will set you back $599. It will start shipping on November 6.

Zenfone 4

The Zenfone 4 has dual rear cameras too, though in this case both come with 12 MP resolution. The main sensor has f/1.8 aperture, while the secondary one has a 120-degree wide-angle lens.
This phone is powered by the Snapdragon 630 SoC, paired with 4GB of RAM and a 3,300 mAh battery. 64GB of expandable storage is in tow, along with an 8 MP f/2.0 selfie snapper, and a 5.5-inch 1080p IPS LCD touchscreen. The Android version that's pre-installed is 7.1.1 Nougat in this case too.
The Zenfone 4 is also available to pre-order from Asus, B&H, Best Buy, and Newegg, and will ship on November 6 like the Pro according to Asus, and November 3 according to Newegg. Oddly enough, Amazon says it already has units in stock. It is priced at $399 and should be offered in both Midnight Black and Moonlight White.

Zenfone 4 Max 5.2"

This model complements the 5.5-inch iteration that's already available. It obviously brings a smaller 5.2" display to the table, with 720p resolution. It's powered by the Snapdragon 425 chip, has 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of expandable storage. It's got a 13 MP + 5 MP dual camera setup on the back, an 8 MP front-facing unit, as well as Android 7.0 Nougat on board.
Its main claim to fame however has to be the huge 4,100 mAh battery, since that's the theme of the Max-branded Zenfones. This is sure to last one day or more on a charge for even the most demanding power users. Then again, it remains to be seen how many of those will settle for the lower-midrange specs on offer here.
The 5.2-inch Zenfone 4 Max is priced at $169 unlocked and will only be out in black. You can pre-order one from Amazon, B&H, Best Buy, and Newegg. This model will be released on November 3.
Today Asus is significantly expanding the Zenfone 4 family of smartphones in the US. The Taiwanese company launched the 5.5" Zenfone 4 Max stateside last month, and now it's being joined by a bunch of its siblings.

Zenfone 4 Pro

Let's start with the top of the line offering, in effect Asus' flagship handset at the moment. This one features a 5.5" 1080p AMOLED touchscreen, 6GB of RAM, and the Snapdragon 835 chipset at the helm. It comes with 64GB of expandable storage and a 3,600 mAh battery.
Its dual rear camera setup consists of a 12 MP main shooter with a 1/2.55" sensor, 1.4µm pixels and f/1.7 aperture, as well as a 16 MP unit with 2x fixed optical zoom. On the front you'll find an 8 MP snapper for selfies, with f/1.9 aperture and 1.4µm pixel size.
The Zenfone 4 Pro runs Android 7.1.1 Nougat and is up for pre-order at Asus, Amazon, B&H, Best Buy, and Newegg. It's available in black only and will set you back $599. It will start shipping on November 6.

Zenfone 4

The Zenfone 4 has dual rear cameras too, though in this case both come with 12 MP resolution. The main sensor has f/1.8 aperture, while the secondary one has a 120-degree wide-angle lens.
This phone is powered by the Snapdragon 630 SoC, paired with 4GB of RAM and a 3,300 mAh battery. 64GB of expandable storage is in tow, along with an 8 MP f/2.0 selfie snapper, and a 5.5-inch 1080p IPS LCD touchscreen. The Android version that's pre-installed is 7.1.1 Nougat in this case too.
The Zenfone 4 is also available to pre-order from Asus, B&H, Best Buy, and Newegg, and will ship on November 6 like the Pro according to Asus, and November 3 according to Newegg. Oddly enough, Amazon says it already has units in stock. It is priced at $399 and should be offered in both Midnight Black and Moonlight White.

Zenfone 4 Max 5.2"

This model complements the 5.5-inch iteration that's already available. It obviously brings a smaller 5.2" display to the table, with 720p resolution. It's powered by the Snapdragon 425 chip, has 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of expandable storage. It's got a 13 MP + 5 MP dual camera setup on the back, an 8 MP front-facing unit, as well as Android 7.0 Nougat on board.
Its main claim to fame however has to be the huge 4,100 mAh battery, since that's the theme of the Max-branded Zenfones. This is sure to last one day or more on a charge for even the most demanding power users. Then again, it remains to be seen how many of those will settle for the lower-midrange specs on offer here.
The 5.2-inch Zenfone 4 Max is priced at $169 unlocked and will only be out in black. You can pre-order one from Amazon, B&H, Best Buy, and Newegg. This model will be released on November 3.

ZTE Axon M will be available to order from AT&T on November 1, in stores 16 days later

ZTE announced the foldable Axon M smartphone with two screens earlier this month. Back then we did find out that it would be exclusive to AT&T in the United States, as well as how much it would cost. The one piece of the puzzle that has been missing until today - when you'll be able to grab one.
Thankfully, AT&T has decided to clear the air on that one. The carrier has revealed that it will start taking online orders for the ZTE Axon M on November 1, which is this Wednesday. The device will then become available in stores on November 17, "just in time for the holidays".
The Axon M is priced at $725 outright, or 30 monthly installments of $24.17 if you choose to use the AT&T Next payment scheme. The phone comes with two 5.2" 1080p LCD touchscreens that, when the Axon M is unfolded, create a 6.75" viewing surface. It's powered by the Snapdragon 821 chipset, and has 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and one 20 MP camera. The device runs Android 7.1.2 Nougat and is kept on by a 3,180 mAh battery.
ZTE announced the foldable Axon M smartphone with two screens earlier this month. Back then we did find out that it would be exclusive to AT&T in the United States, as well as how much it would cost. The one piece of the puzzle that has been missing until today - when you'll be able to grab one.
Thankfully, AT&T has decided to clear the air on that one. The carrier has revealed that it will start taking online orders for the ZTE Axon M on November 1, which is this Wednesday. The device will then become available in stores on November 17, "just in time for the holidays".
The Axon M is priced at $725 outright, or 30 monthly installments of $24.17 if you choose to use the AT&T Next payment scheme. The phone comes with two 5.2" 1080p LCD touchscreens that, when the Axon M is unfolded, create a 6.75" viewing surface. It's powered by the Snapdragon 821 chipset, and has 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and one 20 MP camera. The device runs Android 7.1.2 Nougat and is kept on by a 3,180 mAh battery.

YouTube TV finally gets apps for smart TVs, Android TV, Xbox, and Apple TV

YouTube TV is Google's live TV service, which launched earlier this year, and has been expanding its reach within the US ever since. While you have been able to view its programming on TVs by using a Chromecast (including with voice commands through Google Home), only now is the company finally announcing that it's developed a YouTube TV app for actual TVs and consoles connected to TVs. Better late than never, sure - but this has been quite an odd omission so far.
Anyway, "in the next few days" a new YouTube TV app will be available for Android TV devices and the Xbox One family. Then "in the coming weeks" this new app will be launching on smart TVs from LG, Samsung, and Sony. It will also make its way to the Apple TV.
This app will be similar to the mobile apps for YouTube TV, with the same signature tabs featured - home, live, and library. You'll be able to (obviously) use the TV or console's remote or game controller for navigation, and you'll find a new Live guide "made for your big screen". For a "more cinematic look", the background is dark on your TVs. YouTube TV is now available in all top 50 metro areas, covering over two-thirds of the US.
YouTube TV is Google's live TV service, which launched earlier this year, and has been expanding its reach within the US ever since. While you have been able to view its programming on TVs by using a Chromecast (including with voice commands through Google Home), only now is the company finally announcing that it's developed a YouTube TV app for actual TVs and consoles connected to TVs. Better late than never, sure - but this has been quite an odd omission so far.
Anyway, "in the next few days" a new YouTube TV app will be available for Android TV devices and the Xbox One family. Then "in the coming weeks" this new app will be launching on smart TVs from LG, Samsung, and Sony. It will also make its way to the Apple TV.
This app will be similar to the mobile apps for YouTube TV, with the same signature tabs featured - home, live, and library. You'll be able to (obviously) use the TV or console's remote or game controller for navigation, and you'll find a new Live guide "made for your big screen". For a "more cinematic look", the background is dark on your TVs. YouTube TV is now available in all top 50 metro areas, covering over two-thirds of the US.

Nokia 2 announced with 5-inch display, 4,100mAh battery

As expected, HMD has officially announced the entry-level Nokia 2 smartphone. The device comes with a 5-inch HD display, and is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 212 SoC.
The handset features an 8MP main camera, and a 5MP front shooter. A large 4,100mAh battery should provide outstanding battery life, given the modest chipset and screen. HMD officially quotes 2-day battery life if you use the phone for 5 hours per day.
RAM is 1GB, while internal memory is 8GB with a microSD card slot for expansion. The phone runs Android Nougat out of the box, with Oreo update confirmed to be coming. It comes in three color options: copper, black, and white.
Nokia 2 also features Google Assistant, something which the company says makes the device first of its kind in the entry-level segment. HMD said the Nokia 2 will launch in mid November, and will carry a €99 price tag.
Nokia 2 Nokia 2 Nokia 2
Nokia 2 live photos
Nokia 2
As expected, HMD has officially announced the entry-level Nokia 2 smartphone. The device comes with a 5-inch HD display, and is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 212 SoC.
The handset features an 8MP main camera, and a 5MP front shooter. A large 4,100mAh battery should provide outstanding battery life, given the modest chipset and screen. HMD officially quotes 2-day battery life if you use the phone for 5 hours per day.
RAM is 1GB, while internal memory is 8GB with a microSD card slot for expansion. The phone runs Android Nougat out of the box, with Oreo update confirmed to be coming. It comes in three color options: copper, black, and white.
Nokia 2 also features Google Assistant, something which the company says makes the device first of its kind in the entry-level segment. HMD said the Nokia 2 will launch in mid November, and will carry a €99 price tag.
Nokia 2 Nokia 2 Nokia 2
Nokia 2 live photos
Nokia 2

Razer Phone leak reveals 4,000mAh battery

So we already know Razer is entering the smartphone market, and its debut device is coming tomorrow. The device has already been spotted in a benchmark listing, and an alleged image of the phone also leaked a few weeks ago.
Now, the handset has been listed on the website of a Three UK affiliate. The listing not only shows the front of the Razor Phone (in low-resolution though), but also reveals some of its key specs.
As per the listing, the phone sports a 5.72-inch screen and comes with 8GB of RAM. It features a dual rear-camera setup (12MP+13MP), and packs in a large, 4,000mAh battery. Other details revealed by the listing include Dolby ATMOS sound and Wide Colour Gamut (WCG) display.
The device's benchmark outing had revealed some other key details, including Snapdragon 835 SoC, 64GB storage, and an 8MP selfie camera. There's, however, currently no information on the price tag the phone will carry.
So we already know Razer is entering the smartphone market, and its debut device is coming tomorrow. The device has already been spotted in a benchmark listing, and an alleged image of the phone also leaked a few weeks ago.
Now, the handset has been listed on the website of a Three UK affiliate. The listing not only shows the front of the Razor Phone (in low-resolution though), but also reveals some of its key specs.
As per the listing, the phone sports a 5.72-inch screen and comes with 8GB of RAM. It features a dual rear-camera setup (12MP+13MP), and packs in a large, 4,000mAh battery. Other details revealed by the listing include Dolby ATMOS sound and Wide Colour Gamut (WCG) display.
The device's benchmark outing had revealed some other key details, including Snapdragon 835 SoC, 64GB storage, and an 8MP selfie camera. There's, however, currently no information on the price tag the phone will carry.

Xiaomi ships 10 million phones in October

Xiaomi shipped 10 million phones in September and it has repeated this feat in October as well. Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun posted the good news on his Weibo account while reminding people of the upcoming sale of the Mi 5X (known elsewhere as Mi A1) on November 1. Hey, you don’t ship 10 million phones in a month without selling 24/7.
Upcoming Xiaomi Mi 5X (Mi A1) sale
Upcoming Xiaomi Mi 5X (Mi A1) sale
Anyway, the company recently set an ambitious goal for itself – to ship 90 million phones this year. That would be a 50% increase over last year (58 million) and a big growth compared to 2015 (its strongest year for now with 70 million shipments).
By the way, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella paid Xiaomi HQ a visit today and Lei Jun gifted him a Xiaomi Mi Mix 2. Jun says that Xiaomi and Microsoft have a “very close cooperation” for phones, laptops and cloud services.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella visits Xiaomi HQ
Source (in Chinese)
Xiaomi shipped 10 million phones in September and it has repeated this feat in October as well. Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun posted the good news on his Weibo account while reminding people of the upcoming sale of the Mi 5X (known elsewhere as Mi A1) on November 1. Hey, you don’t ship 10 million phones in a month without selling 24/7.
Upcoming Xiaomi Mi 5X (Mi A1) sale
Upcoming Xiaomi Mi 5X (Mi A1) sale
Anyway, the company recently set an ambitious goal for itself – to ship 90 million phones this year. That would be a 50% increase over last year (58 million) and a big growth compared to 2015 (its strongest year for now with 70 million shipments).
By the way, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella paid Xiaomi HQ a visit today and Lei Jun gifted him a Xiaomi Mi Mix 2. Jun says that Xiaomi and Microsoft have a “very close cooperation” for phones, laptops and cloud services.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella visits Xiaomi HQ
Source (in Chinese)

Oppo F5 to come in three variants

There is one week until the unveiling of the Oppo F5, but we already know some of the specs and versions of the next “Selfie Expert”. According to a photo from Thailand, the device will be available as a standard Oppo F5, a more powerful Oppo F5 6 GB and a more affordable Oppo F5 Youth.
Oppo F5 to come in three variants The vanilla Oppo F5 will have 4 GB RAM, “AI Beauty” selfie camera that is expected to have 20 MP sensor and sadly, the outdated Android Marshmallow 6.0. The screen will most likely be 18:9 FullView display with 2160 x 1080 resolution.
The Oppo F5 6 GB will have, you guessed correctly, 6 GB RAM. All other specs are expected to stay the same.
The Oppo F5 Youth is a slight downgrade from the regular Oppo F5 in the most important spec of the phone - the selfie camera. The sensor will be lowered to 16 MP, but at least the phone will keep all the other neat features like the Facial Unlock and the intelligent beauty filters.
All three variants are available for pre-order with freebies such as VIP card, Oppo bag, and a unique gift bag, as seen on the poster.
There is one week until the unveiling of the Oppo F5, but we already know some of the specs and versions of the next “Selfie Expert”. According to a photo from Thailand, the device will be available as a standard Oppo F5, a more powerful Oppo F5 6 GB and a more affordable Oppo F5 Youth.
Oppo F5 to come in three variants The vanilla Oppo F5 will have 4 GB RAM, “AI Beauty” selfie camera that is expected to have 20 MP sensor and sadly, the outdated Android Marshmallow 6.0. The screen will most likely be 18:9 FullView display with 2160 x 1080 resolution.
The Oppo F5 6 GB will have, you guessed correctly, 6 GB RAM. All other specs are expected to stay the same.
The Oppo F5 Youth is a slight downgrade from the regular Oppo F5 in the most important spec of the phone - the selfie camera. The sensor will be lowered to 16 MP, but at least the phone will keep all the other neat features like the Facial Unlock and the intelligent beauty filters.
All three variants are available for pre-order with freebies such as VIP card, Oppo bag, and a unique gift bag, as seen on the poster.

LG V30 lives through scratch, bend and burn tests

Smartphone boogeyman JerryRigEverything got his hands on an LG V30 and put it through his own version of the Salem witch trials – he scratched, bent and burned it.
The Gorilla Glass 5 front scratches at a Mohs level 6 or 7, which is to be expected from this toughened glass. It protects the entire front (including the selfie camera) and the grilles of the stereo speakers are metal. The V30 is already earning solid points on durability.
Just about everything on the side of the phone is made of hard metal (save for the antenna bands, but that is by necessity). This rigid metal passed the bend test with ease. If you want to learn more about V30’s dual camera, check out the earlier video where the whole thing is taken apart.
Smartphone boogeyman JerryRigEverything got his hands on an LG V30 and put it through his own version of the Salem witch trials – he scratched, bent and burned it.
The Gorilla Glass 5 front scratches at a Mohs level 6 or 7, which is to be expected from this toughened glass. It protects the entire front (including the selfie camera) and the grilles of the stereo speakers are metal. The V30 is already earning solid points on durability.
Just about everything on the side of the phone is made of hard metal (save for the antenna bands, but that is by necessity). This rigid metal passed the bend test with ease. If you want to learn more about V30’s dual camera, check out the earlier video where the whole thing is taken apart.

Samsung 360 Round is a 3D 360° camera for the pros

After years of development, the Samsung 360 Round is official. This a 360° camera that can stream VR content in a more professional setting, unlike the Gear 360.
For one, it has a total of 17 cameras organized in 8 pairs plus one on the top. This allows it to stream immersive 4K 360° videos in 3D (something the Gear camera cannot do).
If you’ve tried watching 360° video from a consumer camera, you’ll likely have noticed that it’s in 2D, which spoils the illusion. It takes pairs of cameras to create a 3D image with depth.
High quality audio is supported out of the box with 6 internal mics for spatial audio plus 2 external microphone ports. The IP65 dust and water resistance means the camera can capture sights and sounds of some less than hospitable places.
But this camera isn’t for the Average Joe. To do a live broadcast of its 4,096 x 2,048px / 30fps footage, you’ll need a Core i7-6950X processor with 32GB of RAM and two (!) Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti graphics cards. Post processing is easier, but you still need an i7 CPU and one GTX 1080 (non-Ti).
The camera packs some impressive hardware of its own. Each of the 17 cameras has a 2MP sensor (1/2.8”) with an f/1.8 lens. It can record in H.265 to a microSD card (UHS-II is required) or an SSD (preferred).
The camera already packs 40GB of eMMC and 10GB OF RAM (LPDDR3). To quickly transfer the large files, there’s a LAN port and USB-C.
The Samsung 360 Round camera is not something you can carry in your pocket either, it weighs nearly 2kg. The price was not officially announced but some reports put it north of $10,000 (that’s a good deal cheaper than Nokia’z discontinued OZO cam). The camera will go on sale in the US later this month and expand to other regions later.
After years of development, the Samsung 360 Round is official. This a 360° camera that can stream VR content in a more professional setting, unlike the Gear 360.
For one, it has a total of 17 cameras organized in 8 pairs plus one on the top. This allows it to stream immersive 4K 360° videos in 3D (something the Gear camera cannot do).
If you’ve tried watching 360° video from a consumer camera, you’ll likely have noticed that it’s in 2D, which spoils the illusion. It takes pairs of cameras to create a 3D image with depth.
High quality audio is supported out of the box with 6 internal mics for spatial audio plus 2 external microphone ports. The IP65 dust and water resistance means the camera can capture sights and sounds of some less than hospitable places.
But this camera isn’t for the Average Joe. To do a live broadcast of its 4,096 x 2,048px / 30fps footage, you’ll need a Core i7-6950X processor with 32GB of RAM and two (!) Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti graphics cards. Post processing is easier, but you still need an i7 CPU and one GTX 1080 (non-Ti).
The camera packs some impressive hardware of its own. Each of the 17 cameras has a 2MP sensor (1/2.8”) with an f/1.8 lens. It can record in H.265 to a microSD card (UHS-II is required) or an SSD (preferred).
The camera already packs 40GB of eMMC and 10GB OF RAM (LPDDR3). To quickly transfer the large files, there’s a LAN port and USB-C.
The Samsung 360 Round camera is not something you can carry in your pocket either, it weighs nearly 2kg. The price was not officially announced but some reports put it north of $10,000 (that’s a good deal cheaper than Nokia’z discontinued OZO cam). The camera will go on sale in the US later this month and expand to other regions later.

Legend introduces diamond-studded iPhone X collection

Apple introduced the iPhone X in September, and the phone will go on sale on November 3. But if the starting price of $999/£999/€1,149 doesn't seem like much to you, you may want to consider one of the customized units by Finnish company Legend. It is selling 256 GB iPhone X's with diamonds on the back and gold rim to add extra fancy to the premium smartphone package.
Some of the variants Legend offers Some of the variants Legend offers Some of the variants Legend offers
Some of the variants Legend offers
At €2,950 the Aurum model is the cheapest in the rooster. It has a 24K gold-plated back panel, nacre (mother of pearls) inlaid logo and a solid 18K gold rim.
The Fusion edition has a carbon-fiber center inlay at the back framed by patterned solid silver plates featuring black rhodium or platinum plating. Alternatively you can have the middle stripe in exotic leather or even figured wood.
Still not impressed? The Momentum iPhone X has a 0.3 carat genuine red diamond center at the middle of its back, complimented with VVS1 grade diamond halo, plus a bunch of other fancy materials around those.
At the top end, there is also a Lu edition where the Apple logo and bezel are encrusted with 10.70 karats of VVS1 grade diamonds. Legend says the price on this one is available by request.
Every Legend iPhone X is with 256 GB memory and comes in a luxury retail box with 24k gold earpods, leather pouch and a certificate of authenticity. You can get the complete details on all available models by heading over to the
Apple introduced the iPhone X in September, and the phone will go on sale on November 3. But if the starting price of $999/£999/€1,149 doesn't seem like much to you, you may want to consider one of the customized units by Finnish company Legend. It is selling 256 GB iPhone X's with diamonds on the back and gold rim to add extra fancy to the premium smartphone package.
Some of the variants Legend offers Some of the variants Legend offers Some of the variants Legend offers
Some of the variants Legend offers
At €2,950 the Aurum model is the cheapest in the rooster. It has a 24K gold-plated back panel, nacre (mother of pearls) inlaid logo and a solid 18K gold rim.
The Fusion edition has a carbon-fiber center inlay at the back framed by patterned solid silver plates featuring black rhodium or platinum plating. Alternatively you can have the middle stripe in exotic leather or even figured wood.
Still not impressed? The Momentum iPhone X has a 0.3 carat genuine red diamond center at the middle of its back, complimented with VVS1 grade diamond halo, plus a bunch of other fancy materials around those.
At the top end, there is also a Lu edition where the Apple logo and bezel are encrusted with 10.70 karats of VVS1 grade diamonds. Legend says the price on this one is available by request.
Every Legend iPhone X is with 256 GB memory and comes in a luxury retail box with 24k gold earpods, leather pouch and a certificate of authenticity. You can get the complete details on all available models by heading over to the

Logitech announces UE Blast and Megablast Bluetooth speakers with Alexa

Logitech has announced two new Ultimate Ears speakers, the Blast and the Megablast. While on the surface they look like slightly redesigned Boom 2 and Megaboom, both of these new speakers feature Amazon Alexa built-in.
Like Amazon’s Echo series of devices, both Blast and Megablast feature Amazon’s voice assistant built-in. Using an array of far-field microphones, the speakers can listen to your queries once you say the magic word, presumably even over the sound of music playing through its speakers. As you’d expect, both speakers have Wi-Fi and need to stay connected to the internet for Alexa to work, although they can be used without it as regular old Bluetooth speakers.
Along with Alexa, users also get three months of Amazon Music subscription for free, which is streamed directly over the internet instead of through the connected phone. This also works with iHeartRadio and TuneIn, meaning you can get away with not having your phone paired with these at all for playing music and just stream everything from the cloud.
Apart from that, they really are like the other Ultimate Ears speakers that came before them, which means they sound really good (we are fans of how the Ultimate Ears speakers sound), are water-resistant and have 12 hours and 16 hours of battery life on the Blast and Megablast, respectively. There is also an optional charging dock available, that lets you play music while the device is charging.
The UE Blast is priced at $229.99 and the UE Megablast at $299.99. The Power Up charging dock is priced at $39.99.
Logitech has announced two new Ultimate Ears speakers, the Blast and the Megablast. While on the surface they look like slightly redesigned Boom 2 and Megaboom, both of these new speakers feature Amazon Alexa built-in.
Like Amazon’s Echo series of devices, both Blast and Megablast feature Amazon’s voice assistant built-in. Using an array of far-field microphones, the speakers can listen to your queries once you say the magic word, presumably even over the sound of music playing through its speakers. As you’d expect, both speakers have Wi-Fi and need to stay connected to the internet for Alexa to work, although they can be used without it as regular old Bluetooth speakers.
Along with Alexa, users also get three months of Amazon Music subscription for free, which is streamed directly over the internet instead of through the connected phone. This also works with iHeartRadio and TuneIn, meaning you can get away with not having your phone paired with these at all for playing music and just stream everything from the cloud.
Apart from that, they really are like the other Ultimate Ears speakers that came before them, which means they sound really good (we are fans of how the Ultimate Ears speakers sound), are water-resistant and have 12 hours and 16 hours of battery life on the Blast and Megablast, respectively. There is also an optional charging dock available, that lets you play music while the device is charging.
The UE Blast is priced at $229.99 and the UE Megablast at $299.99. The Power Up charging dock is priced at $39.99.

Samsung introduces Gear S3 Golf Edition

When playing golf, caddies can be crucial to your success. But now Samsung aims to provide a viable replacement for them by releasing the Gear S3 Golf Edition smartwatch.
Samsung introduces Gear S3 Golf Edition in South Korea The watch is a collaboration between the Korean company and Golfzon Co., a South Korean developer of indoor golf simulators. The Gear S3 Golf Edition has the Smart Caddie app pre-installed. Its database has information of over 60,000 golf courses around the globe.
The Smart Caddie also provides real-time location and geographical features of the actual course, including undulations. The watch doesn't have any design changes and is already available at major golf equipment shops across South Korea.
The price of the Samsung Gear S3 Golf Edition comes without LTE and is KRW399,300 or a bit more than $350. It comes with a special gift box that includes a second unique strap.
When playing golf, caddies can be crucial to your success. But now Samsung aims to provide a viable replacement for them by releasing the Gear S3 Golf Edition smartwatch.
Samsung introduces Gear S3 Golf Edition in South Korea The watch is a collaboration between the Korean company and Golfzon Co., a South Korean developer of indoor golf simulators. The Gear S3 Golf Edition has the Smart Caddie app pre-installed. Its database has information of over 60,000 golf courses around the globe.
The Smart Caddie also provides real-time location and geographical features of the actual course, including undulations. The watch doesn't have any design changes and is already available at major golf equipment shops across South Korea.
The price of the Samsung Gear S3 Golf Edition comes without LTE and is KRW399,300 or a bit more than $350. It comes with a special gift box that includes a second unique strap.

Google Pixel 2 undergoes durability test

We’ve come to really enjoy YouTuber JerryRigEverything’s smartphone durability tests. They give us a comprehensive look into the materials chosen for smartphone models and the bend test gives us general idea of how well the phones are built on a structural level.
The latest device to undergo this durability test is the HTC-made Google Pixel 2. This is the smaller model with a 5-inch display.
The speaker grilled are made of metal, which is an improvement over the fabric-like material found on the first-generation Pixel. The Pixel 2’s display is made of Gorilla Glass 5, which scratches with the Moh’s hardness level 5 and 6 picks. This is the same case with the front-facing camera, which sits behind the same glass as the display. While many of the more recent smartphones have been coming with back-sides made of glass, they are more resilient to Zack’s razor against scratches. So you can imagine that the Pixel 2’s metal body with matte finish didn’t do well against the razor. Zack attributes this to the Pixel’s “Premium hybrid coating”, which was briefly touched on at the MadeByGoogle event. Google’s website even mentions that color from jeans or leather may even transfer to this coating and that the coating could chip when dropped. Something to consider when deciding whether you should get a case for it or not. While many fingerprint scanners that Zack scratches work after they meet his razor blade, the Pixel 2’s was rendered useless. This is only a problem if you plan to scrape it with a blade. Finally, skipping ahead to the bend test, the Pixel 2 doesn’t totally fail, but the frame did split right where it put a plastic antenna line insert next to the nanoSIM card tray. Putting such an insert must be strategic or the phone’s structural integrity could be compromised. While the phone didn’t make Zack’s shelf of shame, it barely passed his durability test. The takeaways from this endurance test is you’ll probably want to throw the Pixel 2 in a case or skin to prevent the coating from rubbing on other materials or chipping when dropped. The Pixel 2 XL is built differently than the Pixel 2 with its 3D glass, which the smaller model does not have. We'll be waiting to see how the Pixel 2 XL does in Zack's durability test.
We’ve come to really enjoy YouTuber JerryRigEverything’s smartphone durability tests. They give us a comprehensive look into the materials chosen for smartphone models and the bend test gives us general idea of how well the phones are built on a structural level.
The latest device to undergo this durability test is the HTC-made Google Pixel 2. This is the smaller model with a 5-inch display.
The speaker grilled are made of metal, which is an improvement over the fabric-like material found on the first-generation Pixel. The Pixel 2’s display is made of Gorilla Glass 5, which scratches with the Moh’s hardness level 5 and 6 picks. This is the same case with the front-facing camera, which sits behind the same glass as the display. While many of the more recent smartphones have been coming with back-sides made of glass, they are more resilient to Zack’s razor against scratches. So you can imagine that the Pixel 2’s metal body with matte finish didn’t do well against the razor. Zack attributes this to the Pixel’s “Premium hybrid coating”, which was briefly touched on at the MadeByGoogle event. Google’s website even mentions that color from jeans or leather may even transfer to this coating and that the coating could chip when dropped. Something to consider when deciding whether you should get a case for it or not. While many fingerprint scanners that Zack scratches work after they meet his razor blade, the Pixel 2’s was rendered useless. This is only a problem if you plan to scrape it with a blade. Finally, skipping ahead to the bend test, the Pixel 2 doesn’t totally fail, but the frame did split right where it put a plastic antenna line insert next to the nanoSIM card tray. Putting such an insert must be strategic or the phone’s structural integrity could be compromised. While the phone didn’t make Zack’s shelf of shame, it barely passed his durability test. The takeaways from this endurance test is you’ll probably want to throw the Pixel 2 in a case or skin to prevent the coating from rubbing on other materials or chipping when dropped. The Pixel 2 XL is built differently than the Pixel 2 with its 3D glass, which the smaller model does not have. We'll be waiting to see how the Pixel 2 XL does in Zack's durability test.

vivo announces expansion to 6 new markets

vivo is among the top 5 vendors in the world, according to Gartner’s latest market report and is also an official sponsor of the next two FIFA World Cup tournaments. And to capitalize on its growing brand recognition today it announced its plans for expansion to six new markets in the following months.
The company will appear “soon” in Taiwan, Singapore, and Hong Kong. It will also make its European debut by launching official sales in Russia. The company also declared a push to the African market with sales in Morocco and Kenya.
The new countries will join the list, which already contained India, Thailand, Philippines, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Cambodia and Bangladesh.
The brand aims to offer devices and “inspire confidence and self-expression in more young people”, meaning it will continue to manufacture devices focused on camera and audio experience. One of the latest phones, the vivo V7+, has a 24MP front camera with a selfie flash dubbed Moonlight Glow, Face Beauty 7.0 and Portrait Mode.
vivo is among the top 5 vendors in the world, according to Gartner’s latest market report and is also an official sponsor of the next two FIFA World Cup tournaments. And to capitalize on its growing brand recognition today it announced its plans for expansion to six new markets in the following months.
The company will appear “soon” in Taiwan, Singapore, and Hong Kong. It will also make its European debut by launching official sales in Russia. The company also declared a push to the African market with sales in Morocco and Kenya.
The new countries will join the list, which already contained India, Thailand, Philippines, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Cambodia and Bangladesh.
The brand aims to offer devices and “inspire confidence and self-expression in more young people”, meaning it will continue to manufacture devices focused on camera and audio experience. One of the latest phones, the vivo V7+, has a 24MP front camera with a selfie flash dubbed Moonlight Glow, Face Beauty 7.0 and Portrait Mode.

Apple iPhone 7 outselling iPhone 8

Apple launched the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus last month, but apparently the phones are not doing very well in the market. According to KeyBanc Capital Markets broker John Vinh who cited carrier store surveys, iPhone 7 is outselling the iPhone 8 as upgraders are awaiting for the iPhone X.
iPhone 7 is more preferred than iPhone 8 The iPhone 8 and its glass back, allowing wireless charging at last. Reuters noted that the iPhone 7 is currently retailing for $549, compared to the $699 price tag of the iPhone 8. Both phones are similar in design and quite similar in specs with minor improvements for the newer handset like wireless charging and faster chipset.
Vinh said feedback from stores indicate customers are actually waiting to get the iPhone X or at least compare how the $999 phone compares to the iPhone 8. There is also another reason for the lack of interest - retailers are modest in promoting the Apple phones. “Carriers continue to offer promotions, but they have been much more modest, compared to the iPhone 7 launch last year”.
We are yet to see if the iPhone X with a price tag of $999 will manage to outperform the iPhone 7 in sales. The phone will be available for pre-order on October 27, with actual sales starting on November 3.
Apple launched the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus last month, but apparently the phones are not doing very well in the market. According to KeyBanc Capital Markets broker John Vinh who cited carrier store surveys, iPhone 7 is outselling the iPhone 8 as upgraders are awaiting for the iPhone X.
iPhone 7 is more preferred than iPhone 8 The iPhone 8 and its glass back, allowing wireless charging at last. Reuters noted that the iPhone 7 is currently retailing for $549, compared to the $699 price tag of the iPhone 8. Both phones are similar in design and quite similar in specs with minor improvements for the newer handset like wireless charging and faster chipset.
Vinh said feedback from stores indicate customers are actually waiting to get the iPhone X or at least compare how the $999 phone compares to the iPhone 8. There is also another reason for the lack of interest - retailers are modest in promoting the Apple phones. “Carriers continue to offer promotions, but they have been much more modest, compared to the iPhone 7 launch last year”.
We are yet to see if the iPhone X with a price tag of $999 will manage to outperform the iPhone 7 in sales. The phone will be available for pre-order on October 27, with actual sales starting on November 3.

DxO One camera for iPhone gets Facebook Live streaming, Android version coming soon

DxO Labs launched its first camera hardware more than two years ago. The DxO One is still available for iPhones, bringing with it a 1-inch 20 MP sensor in an extremely pocketable form factor. Today it's receiving an interesting software update, and an Android version of it has been promised for the near future.
That device, coming with a USB-C connector instead of the Lightning port used on iPhones, will be fully revealed on November 2. What we do know right now is that there will be an early access program for it, launching sometime in the next few weeks alongside a 1.0 version of the Android DxO mobile app. The company will use the early access stage to refine the experience on Google's OS prior to a general release.
The iPhone DxO One now has support for Facebook live streaming, as well as multi-camera shooting using both itself and your handset's built-in cameras for multi-angle shots. There's also a time lapse feature which easily guides you through the process and employs something called Auto Ramping in order to avoid flicker effects. All of these new functions come courtesy of the 3.0 software update for the original DxO One, which went out today.
The DxO One is also getting a handful of new accessories from this point on. A new tilt stand lets you mount it with different view angles when used hands-free, and it will ship in the box with the camera going forward.
New optional accessories include a $59.99 external battery pack that should double the camera's runtime, and a Cable Back Door add-on for the existing waterproof housing that will let you have it plugged into power while shooting underwater. The latter is bundled with the Outdoor Shell for free.
DxO Labs launched its first camera hardware more than two years ago. The DxO One is still available for iPhones, bringing with it a 1-inch 20 MP sensor in an extremely pocketable form factor. Today it's receiving an interesting software update, and an Android version of it has been promised for the near future.
That device, coming with a USB-C connector instead of the Lightning port used on iPhones, will be fully revealed on November 2. What we do know right now is that there will be an early access program for it, launching sometime in the next few weeks alongside a 1.0 version of the Android DxO mobile app. The company will use the early access stage to refine the experience on Google's OS prior to a general release.
The iPhone DxO One now has support for Facebook live streaming, as well as multi-camera shooting using both itself and your handset's built-in cameras for multi-angle shots. There's also a time lapse feature which easily guides you through the process and employs something called Auto Ramping in order to avoid flicker effects. All of these new functions come courtesy of the 3.0 software update for the original DxO One, which went out today.
The DxO One is also getting a handful of new accessories from this point on. A new tilt stand lets you mount it with different view angles when used hands-free, and it will ship in the box with the camera going forward.
New optional accessories include a $59.99 external battery pack that should double the camera's runtime, and a Cable Back Door add-on for the existing waterproof housing that will let you have it plugged into power while shooting underwater. The latter is bundled with the Outdoor Shell for free.

Essential sued by Keyssa for theft of trade secrets in battle of ex-Google execs

Essential may be a startup in the mobile space, recently releasing its first smartphone, but apparently that doesn't mean it's safe from being sued. While Apple's legal spat with Qualcomm got most headlines so far in 2017, today we learn about a new fight - and it's interesting from one point of view at least.
Keyssa Inc is suing Essential for alleged theft of trade secrets relating to a new technology that allows phones to connect to devices like cameras wirelessly. Yes, that is exactly how Essential's 360-degree camera accessory sends data to its phone.
Keyssa is backed by Tony Fadell, who founded Nest and sold it to Google a few years back. He then headed the Glass division at the search giant before resigning last year. In the other corner, Essential's CEO is Andy Rubin, Android co-founder and long-time Google Senior Vice President before he decided to pursue other ventures too. So this legal fight is more like a battle between a couple of senior ex-Google execs.
Keyssa claims that it's been working since 2009 to develop a chip for handsets which allows large data transfers without wires or using Wi-Fi. The company wants to make this a standard feature on smartphones, and for that purpose it's partnered with Samsung and Foxconn, among others.
Essential apparently held talks with Keyssa about using its technology in the PH-1 for ten months, but then decided to end the relationship and use a chip from a different company, SiBeam. Keyssa says that Essential's phone features its antenna designs and employs its methods of testing handsets on the manufacturing line. And since the information it shared with Essential during discussions comprised of trade secrets (with a non-disclosure agreement signed and all), Keyssa now demands compensation.
"Keyssa has not been compensated for Essential's use of this guidance and know-how. We are pursuing this action because our attempts to resolve this matter through discussions with Essential have not been successful", a spokesperson told Reuters.
Essential may be a startup in the mobile space, recently releasing its first smartphone, but apparently that doesn't mean it's safe from being sued. While Apple's legal spat with Qualcomm got most headlines so far in 2017, today we learn about a new fight - and it's interesting from one point of view at least.
Keyssa Inc is suing Essential for alleged theft of trade secrets relating to a new technology that allows phones to connect to devices like cameras wirelessly. Yes, that is exactly how Essential's 360-degree camera accessory sends data to its phone.
Keyssa is backed by Tony Fadell, who founded Nest and sold it to Google a few years back. He then headed the Glass division at the search giant before resigning last year. In the other corner, Essential's CEO is Andy Rubin, Android co-founder and long-time Google Senior Vice President before he decided to pursue other ventures too. So this legal fight is more like a battle between a couple of senior ex-Google execs.
Keyssa claims that it's been working since 2009 to develop a chip for handsets which allows large data transfers without wires or using Wi-Fi. The company wants to make this a standard feature on smartphones, and for that purpose it's partnered with Samsung and Foxconn, among others.
Essential apparently held talks with Keyssa about using its technology in the PH-1 for ten months, but then decided to end the relationship and use a chip from a different company, SiBeam. Keyssa says that Essential's phone features its antenna designs and employs its methods of testing handsets on the manufacturing line. And since the information it shared with Essential during discussions comprised of trade secrets (with a non-disclosure agreement signed and all), Keyssa now demands compensation.
"Keyssa has not been compensated for Essential's use of this guidance and know-how. We are pursuing this action because our attempts to resolve this matter through discussions with Essential have not been successful", a spokesperson told Reuters.

You can control Chromecast devices from your phone’s Google Assistant

The Google Chromecast doesn’t come with a remote, so it was exciting to hear that you could control a Chromecast device by asking Google to do it via a Google Home device. The thing is, not everyone has one, and some can’t even buy one in their country just yet. Not only that, they also cost money.
Google Assistant on the Google Pixel Chromecast users will be happy to learn that you can now control your Chromecast by asking the Google Assistant right on your smartphone. Even if you already own a Google Home that lives in a totally different room, you’ll be able to use your smartphone to perform the same actions.
The feature may not have fully rolled out yet, but some users have reported that they can successfully change songs, ask Google assistant to play Spotify or Netflix to a TV or Chromecast Audio, and even control YouTube playback such as pausing or adjusting the volume using voice commands with Google Assistant.
Is this feature working for you? Try it out and let us know!
The Google Chromecast doesn’t come with a remote, so it was exciting to hear that you could control a Chromecast device by asking Google to do it via a Google Home device. The thing is, not everyone has one, and some can’t even buy one in their country just yet. Not only that, they also cost money.
Google Assistant on the Google Pixel Chromecast users will be happy to learn that you can now control your Chromecast by asking the Google Assistant right on your smartphone. Even if you already own a Google Home that lives in a totally different room, you’ll be able to use your smartphone to perform the same actions.
The feature may not have fully rolled out yet, but some users have reported that they can successfully change songs, ask Google assistant to play Spotify or Netflix to a TV or Chromecast Audio, and even control YouTube playback such as pausing or adjusting the volume using voice commands with Google Assistant.
Is this feature working for you? Try it out and let us know!

Sony Xperia XZ Premium currently going for $585 in US

The Sony Xperia XZ Premium has received a new price cut in the US. The device - which launched in the country back in June this year, carrying a whopping $799.99 price tag - is currently going for around $585.
Amazon is offering both Pink and Chrome color options at this reduced price. A quick look at the websites of other retailers that are officially selling the Xperia XZ Premium reveals $699.99 price tag for these variants.
For those interested in the black version, sadly, there's no such discount on it, as price tag remains at $699.99, irrespective of the retailer you purchase it from.
The Sony Xperia XZ Premium has received a new price cut in the US. The device - which launched in the country back in June this year, carrying a whopping $799.99 price tag - is currently going for around $585.
Amazon is offering both Pink and Chrome color options at this reduced price. A quick look at the websites of other retailers that are officially selling the Xperia XZ Premium reveals $699.99 price tag for these variants.
For those interested in the black version, sadly, there's no such discount on it, as price tag remains at $699.99, irrespective of the retailer you purchase it from.

Google Photos' facial recognition feature now works for pets as well

Google Photos already has a facial recognition feature that recognizes faces of people in your photos, so that you can label them (which in turns makes it easy for you to search for a particular family member or friend).
And now, the feature has been updated to recognize your pets as well.
So basically, "you’ll be able to see photos of the cats and dogs now grouped alongside people, and you can label them by name, search to quickly find photos of them, or even better, photos of you and them," the company said in a blog post.
With the update, the section 'People' - which contains all recognized/labeled faces - has also been renamed to 'People & Pets,' which makes sense. Google says the new changes are rolling out in most countries today.
Google Photos already has a facial recognition feature that recognizes faces of people in your photos, so that you can label them (which in turns makes it easy for you to search for a particular family member or friend).
And now, the feature has been updated to recognize your pets as well.
So basically, "you’ll be able to see photos of the cats and dogs now grouped alongside people, and you can label them by name, search to quickly find photos of them, or even better, photos of you and them," the company said in a blog post.
With the update, the section 'People' - which contains all recognized/labeled faces - has also been renamed to 'People & Pets,' which makes sense. Google says the new changes are rolling out in most countries today.

Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+ receive price cut in India

Samsung has given its Galaxy S8 and S8+ flagship smartphones a price cut in India. The larger model is currently going for INR 58,900 or $907 (down from INR 64,900), while the smaller one will set you back INR 53,900 or $830 (down from 57,900).
So that's a solid INR 6,000 discount on the Galaxy S8+ and an INR 4,000 on the standard model. In addition to the price cut, buyers also get a one time screen replacement at a nominal price and those making a purchase with HDFC Credit Cards get a cash back of INR 4,000.
There's currently no information on whether or not it's a permanent price cut, and if not, when exactly it ends. So those interested in it may have to act fast.
Samsung has given its Galaxy S8 and S8+ flagship smartphones a price cut in India. The larger model is currently going for INR 58,900 or $907 (down from INR 64,900), while the smaller one will set you back INR 53,900 or $830 (down from 57,900).
So that's a solid INR 6,000 discount on the Galaxy S8+ and an INR 4,000 on the standard model. In addition to the price cut, buyers also get a one time screen replacement at a nominal price and those making a purchase with HDFC Credit Cards get a cash back of INR 4,000.
There's currently no information on whether or not it's a permanent price cut, and if not, when exactly it ends. So those interested in it may have to act fast.

Dual-camera Samsung Galaxy J7+ and budget J7 Core quietly start selling in the Philippines

Samsung Mobile Philippines just added two more variants to the already confusing pool of Galaxy J7 handsets. The Galaxy J7+ does have one really major distinctive feature going for it - a dual 13MP, plus 5MP rear camera setup. These sensors are placed behind quite bright f/1.7 and f/1.9 lenses, respectively and enable Samsung's Live Focus feature on the budget device.
Samsung Galaxy J7+ Samsung Galaxy J7+ Samsung Galaxy J7+ Samsung Galaxy J7+
Samsung Galaxy J7+
Judging by the new J7+ specs page, the effect should work the same way it does on the Galaxy Note8, enabling selective amounts of background blue before, as well as after taking a shot. Hopefully, the quality of the end results will be comparable as well. Samsung seems to have included its new animated filters and stickers in the J7+ camera app as well.
As far as other specs go, the Galaxy J7+ appears to have a few other notable differences, compared to the regular Galaxy J7. The display seems identical - a 5.5-inch, FullHD, Super AMOLED panel. Beyond that, the non-removable battery is a bit smaller at 3,000 mAh. The front camera has seen a bump up in resolution, up to 16MP (f/1.9). Just like its siblings, it also has a front-facing flash and only fixed focus on the selfie shooter.
Samsung Galaxy J7+ Samsung Galaxy J7+ Samsung Galaxy J7+ Samsung Galaxy J7+
Samsung Galaxy J7+
RAM on the J7+ is set at 4GB and 32GB of expandable storage. While not explicitly stated on the Samsung page, the chipset, powering the Galaxy J7+ is described as an octa-core one with two distinct clusters, running at 2.39GHz and 1.69Ghz, respectively. This is likely the MediaTek Helio P25.
Other specs on the J7+ include Dual-band Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2 (no ANT+ support), a 3.5mm audio jack and a Micro USB 2.0 port. NFC and MHL are not supported either. You do get 4G LTE with a decent list of bands and two nano SIM slots. The second one of which shares a hybrid cradle with the microSD card. Color options include Black and Gold (although a Pink one is pictured as well) and the asking price is PHP 19,990, or about $390.
Samsung Galaxy J7 Core Samsung Galaxy J7 Core Samsung Galaxy J7 Core Samsung Galaxy J7 Core Samsung Galaxy J7 Core
Samsung Galaxy J7 Core
The other new addition to the Galaxy J lineup in the Philippines is the J7 Core (Also known as the J7 Nxt). Overall, it seems to be a slightly downgraded version of the basic Galaxy J7 (2017). Its 5.5-inch, Super AMOLED display only operates at 720p and memory is set at 2GB RAM, plus 16GB of expandable storage. The battery has been shrunk down to 3,000 mAh, while the chipset is the same 14nm, efficient Exynos 7870. The J7 Core gets a slightly darker 13MP, f/1.9 main camera and a lower resolution 5MP, f/2.2 selfie one, still complete with a selfie flash.
Other specs include Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1, interestingly enough, with ANT+ enabled. Still no NFC or MHL though. A Micro USB 2.0 and 3.5mm audio jack are also part of the mix. So are Dual-SIM and LTE support. The Galaxy J7 Core is also available in Black and Gold and currently going for only PHP 9,990 or $195 in the Philippines.
Samsung Mobile Philippines just added two more variants to the already confusing pool of Galaxy J7 handsets. The Galaxy J7+ does have one really major distinctive feature going for it - a dual 13MP, plus 5MP rear camera setup. These sensors are placed behind quite bright f/1.7 and f/1.9 lenses, respectively and enable Samsung's Live Focus feature on the budget device.
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Samsung Galaxy J7+
Judging by the new J7+ specs page, the effect should work the same way it does on the Galaxy Note8, enabling selective amounts of background blue before, as well as after taking a shot. Hopefully, the quality of the end results will be comparable as well. Samsung seems to have included its new animated filters and stickers in the J7+ camera app as well.
As far as other specs go, the Galaxy J7+ appears to have a few other notable differences, compared to the regular Galaxy J7. The display seems identical - a 5.5-inch, FullHD, Super AMOLED panel. Beyond that, the non-removable battery is a bit smaller at 3,000 mAh. The front camera has seen a bump up in resolution, up to 16MP (f/1.9). Just like its siblings, it also has a front-facing flash and only fixed focus on the selfie shooter.
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Samsung Galaxy J7+
RAM on the J7+ is set at 4GB and 32GB of expandable storage. While not explicitly stated on the Samsung page, the chipset, powering the Galaxy J7+ is described as an octa-core one with two distinct clusters, running at 2.39GHz and 1.69Ghz, respectively. This is likely the MediaTek Helio P25.
Other specs on the J7+ include Dual-band Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2 (no ANT+ support), a 3.5mm audio jack and a Micro USB 2.0 port. NFC and MHL are not supported either. You do get 4G LTE with a decent list of bands and two nano SIM slots. The second one of which shares a hybrid cradle with the microSD card. Color options include Black and Gold (although a Pink one is pictured as well) and the asking price is PHP 19,990, or about $390.
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Samsung Galaxy J7 Core
The other new addition to the Galaxy J lineup in the Philippines is the J7 Core (Also known as the J7 Nxt). Overall, it seems to be a slightly downgraded version of the basic Galaxy J7 (2017). Its 5.5-inch, Super AMOLED display only operates at 720p and memory is set at 2GB RAM, plus 16GB of expandable storage. The battery has been shrunk down to 3,000 mAh, while the chipset is the same 14nm, efficient Exynos 7870. The J7 Core gets a slightly darker 13MP, f/1.9 main camera and a lower resolution 5MP, f/2.2 selfie one, still complete with a selfie flash.
Other specs include Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1, interestingly enough, with ANT+ enabled. Still no NFC or MHL though. A Micro USB 2.0 and 3.5mm audio jack are also part of the mix. So are Dual-SIM and LTE support. The Galaxy J7 Core is also available in Black and Gold and currently going for only PHP 9,990 or $195 in the Philippines.