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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.
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.

BlackBerry releases first-look video for newly-unveiled Motion smartphone

The BlackBerry Motion was made official earlier this week, and now the company has outed a first-look video for the Android smartphone. It's a short clip that initially focuses on the design aspects and then goes on to highlight some of the software features of the phone.
Take a look:
Pre-orders for the handset are currently live, and the UAE is the first market where the device can be pre-ordered - price tag is around $460, and launch is set for October 22. The Motion will also be available in Europe, where it's expected to cost €499.
The BlackBerry Motion was made official earlier this week, and now the company has outed a first-look video for the Android smartphone. It's a short clip that initially focuses on the design aspects and then goes on to highlight some of the software features of the phone.
Take a look:
Pre-orders for the handset are currently live, and the UAE is the first market where the device can be pre-ordered - price tag is around $460, and launch is set for October 22. The Motion will also be available in Europe, where it's expected to cost €499.

Moto G5S now available in Blue

Motorola has launched a new variant of the recently launched G5S in India. Called simply Blue, the new variant features a shade of deep classic blue color for the anodized aluminum back.
The front of the phone is black, just like on the Lunar Gray model, unlike the Fine Gold model that also features a matching gold front.
The phone is otherwise identical to the other color variants.
Motorola also announced a price drop on the G5S during the festive season in India between October 14 to October 21, where customers can pick the device up for INR 12,999 ($199) instead of the usual INR 14,999 ($229).
Motorola has launched a new variant of the recently launched G5S in India. Called simply Blue, the new variant features a shade of deep classic blue color for the anodized aluminum back.
The front of the phone is black, just like on the Lunar Gray model, unlike the Fine Gold model that also features a matching gold front.
The phone is otherwise identical to the other color variants.
Motorola also announced a price drop on the G5S during the festive season in India between October 14 to October 21, where customers can pick the device up for INR 12,999 ($199) instead of the usual INR 14,999 ($229).

Another Huawei Mate 10 Lite render leaks online

Huawei's October 16 unveiling event for the Mate 10 family is only hours away now and leaks have been intensifying accordingly. Interestingly enough, despite all the effort from various sources, we still can't quite zone in on exactly how the announcement lineup will look. The regular Mate 10 is a given and the Pro variant has been so extensively discussed, we can only assume it exists as well. Rumors and past experience also suggest there will be a special Porsche Design variant somewhere in there too.
However, the latter might very well exceeds the suggested €930-940 price point of the Mate 10 Pro and most people don't really have such an exuberant budget to spend on a handset. Enter the Mate 10 Lite, which has been eluding us for some time now. As far as we currently know, it might be a re-brand of the Huawei Maimang 6 outside of China. However, another theory, growing in popularity, is that no Lite version won't exist at all. Still a leaked video and pre-mature seller listing suggest otherwise. So does the latest render attributed to the Mate 10 Lite moniker. It comes courtesy of the pretty reputable Evan Blass, so it definitely deserves the benefit of the doubt.
Besides the new stylish blue color, the image doesn’t really offer any information about the illusive device. Most sources say it will sport a 5.9-inch, 1,080 x 2,160 pixel, 18:9 panel, the Kirin 659 chipset, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, a 3,340 mAh battery, 16 MP + 2 MP rear cameras, and 13 MP + 2 MP front snappers. If the aforementioned e-tailer listing is to be believed, it should be available in Black, Gold and the Blue seen in the render and sell for about €349 in Europe.
Thankfully, we are only hours away from Huawei's event now, so the full story is just around the corner. Be sure to check back on Monday for our full coverage of the show and the devices it features.
Huawei's October 16 unveiling event for the Mate 10 family is only hours away now and leaks have been intensifying accordingly. Interestingly enough, despite all the effort from various sources, we still can't quite zone in on exactly how the announcement lineup will look. The regular Mate 10 is a given and the Pro variant has been so extensively discussed, we can only assume it exists as well. Rumors and past experience also suggest there will be a special Porsche Design variant somewhere in there too.
However, the latter might very well exceeds the suggested €930-940 price point of the Mate 10 Pro and most people don't really have such an exuberant budget to spend on a handset. Enter the Mate 10 Lite, which has been eluding us for some time now. As far as we currently know, it might be a re-brand of the Huawei Maimang 6 outside of China. However, another theory, growing in popularity, is that no Lite version won't exist at all. Still a leaked video and pre-mature seller listing suggest otherwise. So does the latest render attributed to the Mate 10 Lite moniker. It comes courtesy of the pretty reputable Evan Blass, so it definitely deserves the benefit of the doubt.
Besides the new stylish blue color, the image doesn’t really offer any information about the illusive device. Most sources say it will sport a 5.9-inch, 1,080 x 2,160 pixel, 18:9 panel, the Kirin 659 chipset, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, a 3,340 mAh battery, 16 MP + 2 MP rear cameras, and 13 MP + 2 MP front snappers. If the aforementioned e-tailer listing is to be believed, it should be available in Black, Gold and the Blue seen in the render and sell for about €349 in Europe.
Thankfully, we are only hours away from Huawei's event now, so the full story is just around the corner. Be sure to check back on Monday for our full coverage of the show and the devices it features.

First Oreo Open Beta OxygenOS ROM now available for OnePlus 3 and 3T

The title is pretty descriptive in itself, so just to clear a few things up before we get to the details: This is a Open Beta channel release and the first time Oreo has appeared on this particular branch for the pair of phones. Closed Beta OREO builds have been in circulation for some time, but this constitutes another step forward.
And secondly, the OnePlus 5 is not on the list of supported devices in this release. As per latest info, it is still lagging behind on the Oreo front. Some builds for it were expected by the end of September, but since that didn't come to pass, we are still waiting patiently.
On to details then, the Android 8.0.0 Oreo ROMs made available today by OnePlus are Open Beta 25 for the OnePlus 3 and Open Beta 16 for the OnePlus 3T. Both come straight from OnePlus servers and are signed.
If you are currently running an OpenBeta build on one of these devices, then you have probably already received an OTA package with the builds. If, however, you are on the official OxygenOS branch, then now might be a great time to switch over. Just hit up the source link for flashing instructions and be sure to backup your data, since going back from Beta to Official does definitely require a full device wipe.
Naturally, an Oreo ROM means access to some exciting new features Google baked right into the Android core, like picture in picture mode. To quote OnePlus, the entire changelog is as follows:

System changes

  • Update to Android O (8.0)
  • Added Picture in Picture
  • Added Auto-flil
  • Added Smart text selection
  • New Quick Settings design
  • September security patch

Launcher changes

  • Added Notification dots in Launcher
  • Added OnePlus account login for access to Shot on OnePlus
  • Now able to upload photos directly to Shot on OnePlus through wallpapers

Known issues:

  • Fingerprint actions may be slower than you are used to.
  • Shortcut to access Google Photos is unavailable
  • Some stability issues with NFC and bluetooth
  • Performance and compatibility of 3rd party apps will continue to be optimized
On a final note, early adopters are reporting that the OnePlus analytics data collection functions are still part of this Open Beta. The company did promise it will remove them or make them opt-in, so, hopefully, this will happen by the time Oreo reaches the Official OTA branch.
The title is pretty descriptive in itself, so just to clear a few things up before we get to the details: This is a Open Beta channel release and the first time Oreo has appeared on this particular branch for the pair of phones. Closed Beta OREO builds have been in circulation for some time, but this constitutes another step forward.
And secondly, the OnePlus 5 is not on the list of supported devices in this release. As per latest info, it is still lagging behind on the Oreo front. Some builds for it were expected by the end of September, but since that didn't come to pass, we are still waiting patiently.
On to details then, the Android 8.0.0 Oreo ROMs made available today by OnePlus are Open Beta 25 for the OnePlus 3 and Open Beta 16 for the OnePlus 3T. Both come straight from OnePlus servers and are signed.
If you are currently running an OpenBeta build on one of these devices, then you have probably already received an OTA package with the builds. If, however, you are on the official OxygenOS branch, then now might be a great time to switch over. Just hit up the source link for flashing instructions and be sure to backup your data, since going back from Beta to Official does definitely require a full device wipe.
Naturally, an Oreo ROM means access to some exciting new features Google baked right into the Android core, like picture in picture mode. To quote OnePlus, the entire changelog is as follows:

System changes

  • Update to Android O (8.0)
  • Added Picture in Picture
  • Added Auto-flil
  • Added Smart text selection
  • New Quick Settings design
  • September security patch

Launcher changes

  • Added Notification dots in Launcher
  • Added OnePlus account login for access to Shot on OnePlus
  • Now able to upload photos directly to Shot on OnePlus through wallpapers

Known issues:

  • Fingerprint actions may be slower than you are used to.
  • Shortcut to access Google Photos is unavailable
  • Some stability issues with NFC and bluetooth
  • Performance and compatibility of 3rd party apps will continue to be optimized
On a final note, early adopters are reporting that the OnePlus analytics data collection functions are still part of this Open Beta. The company did promise it will remove them or make them opt-in, so, hopefully, this will happen by the time Oreo reaches the Official OTA branch.

Razer phone spotted in the wild

In case you missed it, Razer is allegedly planning to unveil its first smartphone on November 1. That does sound a little odd, since the gaming gear US company is not exactly known for its mobile hardware. Although, it does already have a Razer Edge Pro gaming tablet under its belt, which enjoyed questionable success at best.
Leaks regarding the alleged smartphone are still scarce, but it has already popped-up on GFXBench and now a rather obscure source claims to have a photo of the handset as well. We'll leave it up to you to judge on authenticity, but as the story goes, an unnamed insider, working in the gaming industry, acquired the still unannounced devices as a testing platform for games.
This does sound quite plausible, since we can only assume any Razer phone will have a gamer-angle to it. The alleged specs sheet certainly paints a capable flagship picture: 5.7-inch, 16:9 QHD display, Snapdragon 835, 8GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, a 12MP main camera and an 8MP selfie one, all running Android. Google's mobile OS has, indeed, become a pretty viable gaming platform over the past few years and there is still a lot of untapped potential to explore, as far as mobile gaming is concerned.
Plus, Razer has already signaled its interest in the Android gaming niche by acquiring the Ouya Android-based gaming console back in 2015. Another sadly misfortunate venture. Speaking of which, another company now under Razer's wing is Nextbit, which you might have heard of for the now discontinued Robin smartphone. Looking at the leaked shot, we can't help but recognise at least some design traits from the Robin.
That's about as much as we currently know on Razer's plans in the mobile realm, but we are interested to hear your opinion on the matter. Would you buy a well though-out Razer phone that offers tangible improvements to mobile gaming? And if so, what would those be?
In case you missed it, Razer is allegedly planning to unveil its first smartphone on November 1. That does sound a little odd, since the gaming gear US company is not exactly known for its mobile hardware. Although, it does already have a Razer Edge Pro gaming tablet under its belt, which enjoyed questionable success at best.
Leaks regarding the alleged smartphone are still scarce, but it has already popped-up on GFXBench and now a rather obscure source claims to have a photo of the handset as well. We'll leave it up to you to judge on authenticity, but as the story goes, an unnamed insider, working in the gaming industry, acquired the still unannounced devices as a testing platform for games.
This does sound quite plausible, since we can only assume any Razer phone will have a gamer-angle to it. The alleged specs sheet certainly paints a capable flagship picture: 5.7-inch, 16:9 QHD display, Snapdragon 835, 8GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, a 12MP main camera and an 8MP selfie one, all running Android. Google's mobile OS has, indeed, become a pretty viable gaming platform over the past few years and there is still a lot of untapped potential to explore, as far as mobile gaming is concerned.
Plus, Razer has already signaled its interest in the Android gaming niche by acquiring the Ouya Android-based gaming console back in 2015. Another sadly misfortunate venture. Speaking of which, another company now under Razer's wing is Nextbit, which you might have heard of for the now discontinued Robin smartphone. Looking at the leaked shot, we can't help but recognise at least some design traits from the Robin.
That's about as much as we currently know on Razer's plans in the mobile realm, but we are interested to hear your opinion on the matter. Would you buy a well though-out Razer phone that offers tangible improvements to mobile gaming? And if so, what would those be?

Nougat-update starts hitting AT&T's Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016)

AT&T has started pushing out a new update to Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) units on its network. Arriving as build number NMF26X.J320AUCU3BQI5 and weighing in at 1GB, it's a major update that brings along Android 7.1.1 Nougat.
In addition, the update also includes features like Video Calling, and Wi-Fi Calling as well as a fix for the BlueBorne vulnerability (which allows a remote attacker to take control of devices via Bluetooth).
AT&T has started pushing out a new update to Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) units on its network. Arriving as build number NMF26X.J320AUCU3BQI5 and weighing in at 1GB, it's a major update that brings along Android 7.1.1 Nougat.
In addition, the update also includes features like Video Calling, and Wi-Fi Calling as well as a fix for the BlueBorne vulnerability (which allows a remote attacker to take control of devices via Bluetooth).

Misfit Vapor smartwatch is now available to order

Last we heard, Misfit pushed back the release of Vapor (company's first proper smartwatch) to October. Well, it's October now, and the device is yet to be officially launched. But that doesn't mean you can't order it.
Amazon currently has the wearable listed on its website. It's 'temporarily out of stock,' but the listing reveals you can still place an order.
As you'd have observed, Amazon is selling the Vapor for around $150, which is around $50 less than the official price tag of $199. There's currently no info on when shipments will begin. Available color options include pink and black.
Last we heard, Misfit pushed back the release of Vapor (company's first proper smartwatch) to October. Well, it's October now, and the device is yet to be officially launched. But that doesn't mean you can't order it.
Amazon currently has the wearable listed on its website. It's 'temporarily out of stock,' but the listing reveals you can still place an order.
As you'd have observed, Amazon is selling the Vapor for around $150, which is around $50 less than the official price tag of $199. There's currently no info on when shipments will begin. Available color options include pink and black.

Sony Xperia XZ1 and XZ1 Compact getting their first update

The Sony Xperia XZ1 and XZ1 Compact have started receiving their first update. Arriving as build number 47.1.A.2.374, it's a security update that brings along Android fixes for the month of October.
Sadly, there's currently no information on what other changes (if any) are included in the update. As is usually the case with OTA roll outs, it might take some time for the update notification to show up on your device, so be patient.
The Sony Xperia XZ1 and XZ1 Compact have started receiving their first update. Arriving as build number 47.1.A.2.374, it's a security update that brings along Android fixes for the month of October.
Sadly, there's currently no information on what other changes (if any) are included in the update. As is usually the case with OTA roll outs, it might take some time for the update notification to show up on your device, so be patient.