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Red announces the new Monstro 8K VV sensor

High-end cinema camera manufacturer Red has announced the new Monstro 8K VV sensor for its Weapon series of cameras. The Monstro 8K VV will replace the previous Dragon 8K VV sensor announced last year. The new Monstro 8K seems similar on paper, with 8K 60fps full format recording, 35.4 megapixel still capture, 300MB/s data speeds, and simultaneous Redcode RAW and Apple ProRes or Avid DNxHD/HR recording ability. However, the new sensor boasts of improved image quality, with wider dynamic range and shadow detail. It also gets Red's enhanced image processing pipeline (IPP2) in-camera, which Red claims offers "a completely overhauled workflow experience, featuring enhancements such as smoother highlight roll-off, better management of challenging colors, an improved demosaicing algorithm, and more." The new Red Weapon with the Monstro 8K VV sensor is priced at $79,500 for the brain (camera body), with a carbon fiber upgrade for an additional $29,500. As usual, all other accessories, including the lens mount, battery, display, storage, handle, I/O expander, and more will have to be purchased separately through either Red or third parties. It will replace the Red Dragon 8K VV in the lineup and customers who ordered the Dragon will get will be offered the Monstro. The new orders will be delivered in Q1, 2018.
High-end cinema camera manufacturer Red has announced the new Monstro 8K VV sensor for its Weapon series of cameras. The Monstro 8K VV will replace the previous Dragon 8K VV sensor announced last year. The new Monstro 8K seems similar on paper, with 8K 60fps full format recording, 35.4 megapixel still capture, 300MB/s data speeds, and simultaneous Redcode RAW and Apple ProRes or Avid DNxHD/HR recording ability. However, the new sensor boasts of improved image quality, with wider dynamic range and shadow detail. It also gets Red's enhanced image processing pipeline (IPP2) in-camera, which Red claims offers "a completely overhauled workflow experience, featuring enhancements such as smoother highlight roll-off, better management of challenging colors, an improved demosaicing algorithm, and more." The new Red Weapon with the Monstro 8K VV sensor is priced at $79,500 for the brain (camera body), with a carbon fiber upgrade for an additional $29,500. As usual, all other accessories, including the lens mount, battery, display, storage, handle, I/O expander, and more will have to be purchased separately through either Red or third parties. It will replace the Red Dragon 8K VV in the lineup and customers who ordered the Dragon will get will be offered the Monstro. The new orders will be delivered in Q1, 2018.

Sprint and T-Mobile in final stages of negotiation for a merger

Within the last couple of weeks or so, we’ve heard about rekindled talks between T-Mobile and Sprint regarding a possible merger. Today, a new report from Bloomberg claims people “familiar with the matter” say that the merger is likely to be publicly announced at the end of the month along with the quarterly financial reports.
Both sides are performing the final due diligence (steps required for the legality of a transaction) to determine Sprint’s valuation in the merger. According to these people, setting an exchange ratio is one of the last steps needed before moving forward.
Both companies are also discussing terms surrounding non-cash items, executive appointments, and the location for the headquarters of the supposedly merged company.
T-Mobile CEO: John Legere If the two carriers were to merge, that means the number of major wireless carriers in the US would shrink from four to three. This is where antitrust regulators would need to make a decision based on the deal and its terms. The merger is said to not have a breakup fee, which lowers the risk of rejection from antitrust regulators.
According to the report, the two companies appear to be set on merging. In fact, the deal is said to be announced at the end of the month, at the same time the companies would release their earnings to investors. Additionally, if a deal can’t be met or due diligence takes longer than expected, the deal could be put on hold.
Within the last couple of weeks or so, we’ve heard about rekindled talks between T-Mobile and Sprint regarding a possible merger. Today, a new report from Bloomberg claims people “familiar with the matter” say that the merger is likely to be publicly announced at the end of the month along with the quarterly financial reports.
Both sides are performing the final due diligence (steps required for the legality of a transaction) to determine Sprint’s valuation in the merger. According to these people, setting an exchange ratio is one of the last steps needed before moving forward.
Both companies are also discussing terms surrounding non-cash items, executive appointments, and the location for the headquarters of the supposedly merged company.
T-Mobile CEO: John Legere If the two carriers were to merge, that means the number of major wireless carriers in the US would shrink from four to three. This is where antitrust regulators would need to make a decision based on the deal and its terms. The merger is said to not have a breakup fee, which lowers the risk of rejection from antitrust regulators.
According to the report, the two companies appear to be set on merging. In fact, the deal is said to be announced at the end of the month, at the same time the companies would release their earnings to investors. Additionally, if a deal can’t be met or due diligence takes longer than expected, the deal could be put on hold.

Here comes Android 7.0 Nougat for the Galaxy Tab E on Verizon and T-Mobile

Verizon and T-Mobile have released software updates for the Samsung Galaxy Tab E tablets bringing the OS version to Android 7.0 Nougat. Just Nougat, you say, when Oreo is already here? It's still something for an entry-level/lower-midrange tablet that was launched close to 2 years ago and started out on Lollipop.
Verizon has rolled out firmwares for both the Galaxy Tab E 8.0 and the Tab E 9.6. Other than the obvious new Android version, the update brings the refreshed Samsung UX, improved battery management options, and easier multi-tasking, Verizon says. The Android security patch is the August 1 one.
T-Mobile, on the other hand, has issued a new firmware for the Tab E 8.0, but since that's the one version the carrier is selling, there's no Tab E 9.6 on T-Mobile to be releasing an update for. The Un-carrier doesn't go into specifics on the changelog, but should be pretty similar to Verizon's.
As usual, if you don't get the update over the air, head over to the source links below where you can download the files and flash them from your computer.
Verizon and T-Mobile have released software updates for the Samsung Galaxy Tab E tablets bringing the OS version to Android 7.0 Nougat. Just Nougat, you say, when Oreo is already here? It's still something for an entry-level/lower-midrange tablet that was launched close to 2 years ago and started out on Lollipop.
Verizon has rolled out firmwares for both the Galaxy Tab E 8.0 and the Tab E 9.6. Other than the obvious new Android version, the update brings the refreshed Samsung UX, improved battery management options, and easier multi-tasking, Verizon says. The Android security patch is the August 1 one.
T-Mobile, on the other hand, has issued a new firmware for the Tab E 8.0, but since that's the one version the carrier is selling, there's no Tab E 9.6 on T-Mobile to be releasing an update for. The Un-carrier doesn't go into specifics on the changelog, but should be pretty similar to Verizon's.
As usual, if you don't get the update over the air, head over to the source links below where you can download the files and flash them from your computer.

Samsung Galaxy A3 (2016) software patch fixes battery charging bug

Samsung's rolled out a small software update that fixes an "IMS Service Stopped" bug which has been affecting Galaxy A5 (2016) and A3 (2016) units.
On the latter device, the patch comes with a bonus - apparently, Samsung's fixed another bug that would prevent the device from charging beyond around 85%. This annoying issue was reportedly brought about by the Galaxy A3 (2016)'s Nougat update that was released earlier in the summer.
You'll be able to do ~15% more of that on your Galaxy A3 (2016) now. The build number to look out for is A310FXXU3CQI8, and it should be hitting Galaxy A3 (2016) units soon, if it already hasn't.
Samsung's rolled out a small software update that fixes an "IMS Service Stopped" bug which has been affecting Galaxy A5 (2016) and A3 (2016) units.
On the latter device, the patch comes with a bonus - apparently, Samsung's fixed another bug that would prevent the device from charging beyond around 85%. This annoying issue was reportedly brought about by the Galaxy A3 (2016)'s Nougat update that was released earlier in the summer.
You'll be able to do ~15% more of that on your Galaxy A3 (2016) now. The build number to look out for is A310FXXU3CQI8, and it should be hitting Galaxy A3 (2016) units soon, if it already hasn't.

Android makers looking into 3D sensing, under-display fingerprint readers sidelined

The under-display fingerprint reader may end up being replaced before it even becomes mainstream, at least in high-end smartphones, if a report by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is right on the money. According to the paper, Android phone makers are looking into 3D mapping solutions for facial recognition in the wake of the iPhone X announcement with similar tech.
The inquiries by smartphone manufacturers into 3D sensing have more than tripled since the announcement of the iPhone X, the analyst reports. In addition to the security applications, these technologies allow for augmented reality use, as Apple has demonstrated with the Animoji, and are therefore seen as a novelty rather than an incremental upgrade that under-display readers appear to the user.
FaceID on the iPhone X Under-glass fingerprint recognition has been a few years in the making, yet it's still not ready for prime time apparently, resulting in last-minute solutions like the less than ideal placement of conventional sensors that we've seen on Samsung's latest Galaxy S8 and Note8 smartphones. Apple itself was rumored to be working on an optical under-display sensor for the iPhone X before shifting to 3D sensing.
And while Samsung may persevere with optical fingerprint recognition as it's better suited to OLED displays - a market the company dominates, other makers may be switching to 3D mapping systems altogether to avoid component shortages.
Meanwhile, Kuo reports, Samsung has settled on a compact image sensor (CIS) design for the Galaxy Note9's under-glass fingerprint sensor (so it is coming after all, probably) as opposed to a "CIS+independent light emitter" setup. That's been made possible due to the fact that Samsung's flexible OLED panels can be customized to fit CIS-only designs, whereas rigid OLEDs by competing manufacturers out of China require the auxiliary light source.
The under-display fingerprint reader may end up being replaced before it even becomes mainstream, at least in high-end smartphones, if a report by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is right on the money. According to the paper, Android phone makers are looking into 3D mapping solutions for facial recognition in the wake of the iPhone X announcement with similar tech.
The inquiries by smartphone manufacturers into 3D sensing have more than tripled since the announcement of the iPhone X, the analyst reports. In addition to the security applications, these technologies allow for augmented reality use, as Apple has demonstrated with the Animoji, and are therefore seen as a novelty rather than an incremental upgrade that under-display readers appear to the user.
FaceID on the iPhone X Under-glass fingerprint recognition has been a few years in the making, yet it's still not ready for prime time apparently, resulting in last-minute solutions like the less than ideal placement of conventional sensors that we've seen on Samsung's latest Galaxy S8 and Note8 smartphones. Apple itself was rumored to be working on an optical under-display sensor for the iPhone X before shifting to 3D sensing.
And while Samsung may persevere with optical fingerprint recognition as it's better suited to OLED displays - a market the company dominates, other makers may be switching to 3D mapping systems altogether to avoid component shortages.
Meanwhile, Kuo reports, Samsung has settled on a compact image sensor (CIS) design for the Galaxy Note9's under-glass fingerprint sensor (so it is coming after all, probably) as opposed to a "CIS+independent light emitter" setup. That's been made possible due to the fact that Samsung's flexible OLED panels can be customized to fit CIS-only designs, whereas rigid OLEDs by competing manufacturers out of China require the auxiliary light source.

And another one - the Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Lite is official

Just when we thought we were finally beginning to make sense of Asus' Zenfone 4 lineup, the company has come up with another Selfie, the Zenfone 4 Selfie Lite. This one comes in addition to two existing Zenfone 4 Selfies, the ZD553KL and the ZB553KL, and the top-of-the-line Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro.
Listed on Asus' Philippine website, the new Selfie Lite shares a lot with the ZB553KL, including the selfie bits - a 13MP f/2.0 camera with an LED flash. The rear camera is another 13MP unit, though Asus stays mum on other specifics. There's a 5.5-inch display on the front, and the lack of resolution in the specs points to 720p.
It becomes clear where the 'Lite' in the Zenfone 4 Selfie Lite's name comes from when you look at the chipset - it's the Snapdragon 425 with a quad-core Cortex-A53 CPU. The two other plain Selfies feature the S430 (8x1.4GHz Cortex-A53), while the Selfie Pro is in a different league with its S625 (8x2.0GHz Cortex-A53). Next comes a downgrade in RAM - just 2GB, and storage can be either 32GB or a lowly 16GB.
Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Lite Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Lite Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Lite Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Lite
Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Lite
Those changes aside, the Zenfone 4 Selfie Lite measures the same 155.7 x 75.9 x 7.9 mm as the other two non-Pros, and packs a 3000mAh battery inside. The phone boots Android Nougat (unspecified version) with Asus' ZenUI on top.
The phone will be available in the Philippines sometime this month at a price between PHP7,995 and PHP8,995 ($156-$176). It's unclear whether this specific configuration will be available in other markets.
Just when we thought we were finally beginning to make sense of Asus' Zenfone 4 lineup, the company has come up with another Selfie, the Zenfone 4 Selfie Lite. This one comes in addition to two existing Zenfone 4 Selfies, the ZD553KL and the ZB553KL, and the top-of-the-line Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro.
Listed on Asus' Philippine website, the new Selfie Lite shares a lot with the ZB553KL, including the selfie bits - a 13MP f/2.0 camera with an LED flash. The rear camera is another 13MP unit, though Asus stays mum on other specifics. There's a 5.5-inch display on the front, and the lack of resolution in the specs points to 720p.
It becomes clear where the 'Lite' in the Zenfone 4 Selfie Lite's name comes from when you look at the chipset - it's the Snapdragon 425 with a quad-core Cortex-A53 CPU. The two other plain Selfies feature the S430 (8x1.4GHz Cortex-A53), while the Selfie Pro is in a different league with its S625 (8x2.0GHz Cortex-A53). Next comes a downgrade in RAM - just 2GB, and storage can be either 32GB or a lowly 16GB.
Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Lite Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Lite Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Lite Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Lite
Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Lite
Those changes aside, the Zenfone 4 Selfie Lite measures the same 155.7 x 75.9 x 7.9 mm as the other two non-Pros, and packs a 3000mAh battery inside. The phone boots Android Nougat (unspecified version) with Asus' ZenUI on top.
The phone will be available in the Philippines sometime this month at a price between PHP7,995 and PHP8,995 ($156-$176). It's unclear whether this specific configuration will be available in other markets.

Google Pixel 2 photo and video samples - there's a puppy and portraits inside

Google announced its new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones earlier this week and we had a chance for a few brief hands-on moments with the two twos. There's only so much you can take pictures of on a venue floor and nothing beats spending more time out and about photographing stuff.
That's precisely what the Google team has done - having the phones at their disposal and all sure helps. There's a whole bunch of photos shot in portrait mode, including one of a puppy - doesn't everyone love puppies? Here's a sampler, doggo included.

Google Pixel Portrait samples

Google Pixel Portrait samples
It's not all portraits though, there's a healthy dose of landscapes in the gallery as well. We've picked out of them for you here.
Google Pixel samples Google Pixel samples Google Pixel samples
Google Pixel samples

Google Pixel samples
For the full set of images and videos, as well as a handful of motion photos (you know, like Apple's Live photos), head over to the source link below.
Google announced its new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones earlier this week and we had a chance for a few brief hands-on moments with the two twos. There's only so much you can take pictures of on a venue floor and nothing beats spending more time out and about photographing stuff.
That's precisely what the Google team has done - having the phones at their disposal and all sure helps. There's a whole bunch of photos shot in portrait mode, including one of a puppy - doesn't everyone love puppies? Here's a sampler, doggo included.

Google Pixel Portrait samples

Google Pixel Portrait samples
It's not all portraits though, there's a healthy dose of landscapes in the gallery as well. We've picked out of them for you here.
Google Pixel samples Google Pixel samples Google Pixel samples
Google Pixel samples

Google Pixel samples
For the full set of images and videos, as well as a handful of motion photos (you know, like Apple's Live photos), head over to the source link below.