Saturday, February 17, 2018

HTC phone chief quits as company prepares for what may be its last flagship

News out of Taiwan today is that HTC’s president of smartphone and connected devices business is resigning, effectively immediately. Chialin Chang, who’d previously served as HTC’s CFO and, between 2013 and 2017, its head of global sales, was one of the last remaining high-level executives not to have departed the company. But the position he was occupying started to look redundant after HTC sold off most of its smartphone design and engineering team to Google for $1.1 billion.
HTC hasn’t yet quit the smartphone business entirely, as the company has already promiseddual-camera flagship phone for 2018, which we can surmise is the U12 that was teased a couple of weeks ago. Sources familiar with HTC’s roadmap have told The Verge that the next major phone launch from the company won’t be at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this month, but will come soon after. What, if anything, we can expect from HTC’s smartphone division after that point is unknown.
Though brief, HTC’s disclosure today indicates that Chialin Chang has resigned due to his personal career plan — presumably meaning he no longer wants to be the captain of a vanishing ship — and, ominously, the section for his replacement is left unfilled.

Buying a new phone? Here's how to get Rs 2,000 cashback

Ever since the Jio has been introduced in India, the company has been battling with the existing competition by introducing low-cost offers and reducing the price of tariffs. Now, the company is trying to ensure that 100 per cent of all the new smartphones sold in the market gets onto the Jio network by cashing in on the ongoing Indian Super League (ISL) football tournament. To achieve this the company has announced a new cashback offer called – the Jio Football Offer.
Apparently, this Jio Football offer is to make sure that the user gets a cashback of Rs 2,200 instantly when he buys a new smartphone in the market and gets onto the Jio Network. The moment a customer does a Rs 198/299 recharge for the first time, starting today until 31st March 2018, the 44 vouchers of Rs 50 will be credited to the customers MyJio account. These vouchers can be redeemed instantly against subsequent recharges of Rs 198/299 on MyJio. The Jio Football offer is applicable for both existing and new Jio customers.

LG's next flagship phone may tout an extra-bright, low-power screen

Just because LG is shying away from typical smartphone release cyclesdoesn't mean it will have nothing big to show in 2018. Well-known leaker Evan Blass has heard that LG is planning to unveil a new flagship phone, nicknamed Judy. The star attraction, as with the G6, would be the display -- though not for the usual reasons like size or resolution. Judy would have a 6.1-inch, 18:9 ratio screen whose MLCD+ technology (which includes white sub-pixels) promises a high 800-nit brightness while consuming 35 percent less power than a typical IPS LCD panel. You could use the phone outside on a sunny day without killing your battery as quickly as usual.
After that? Mostly, LG would be ticking checkboxes on what you'd hope for in a 2018 smartphone. You'd get a Snapdragon 845 processor (albeit with 'just' 4GB of RAM), dual 16-megapixel rear cameras with glass optics and f/1.6 apertures, stereo speakers, HDR visuals, water resistance and wireless charging. Logically, the AI camera technology from the upcoming V30 upgrade would also make the cut.
Don't expect to see it at Mobile World Congress later in February. Reportedly, LG launches Judy in June -- later than usual for the company, and certainly later than Samsung's Galaxy S9. The company will have to convince buyers that it was worth the wait, and a clever display will only go so far.....

Monday, February 5, 2018

LG Launching New Phone This Month, But It's Not What You Think

LG South Africa's managing director CY Kim told GearBurn recently that LG will be announcing a new version of its V30 smartphone at Mobile World Congress. Kim, whose comments were earlier reported on by Android Headlines, didn't shed much light on what might come to the V30 this year.

LG has been keeping its plans for a new V30 close to the vest. However, a report last month said that a refreshed V30 would come with "advanced AI tech" that would apparently have the ability to understand what you'd want to do with the smartphone and respond accordingly.

According to GearBurn, the device will likely keep the same design that LG delivered in last year's V30. It would also likely keep the same specs, including the Snapdragon 835 processor, thin bezels, and a screen that nearly entirely covers its face. However, it could ship with a new name: LG V30+a.


In our review of the LG V30, we called it a near masterpiece for multimedia producers, thanks to the phone's advanced video capabilities and immersive display. However, the battery life was well below average.
There had been some hope that LG would announce its flagship G7 at Mobile World Congress. However, it was reported last month that LG had decided to delay it to revamp the smartphone. According to Android Headlines, Kim confirmed that this week and said it wouldn't make its way to Mobile World Congress.
Kim didn't say when LG might announce the G7, but did acknowledge that it will be "a little late."

If and when the G7 hits store shelves, it'll likely come with even thinner bezels than the V30. It could also run on Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 processor—the same chip that's expected to come to the Samsung Galaxy S9.

LG's Kim didn't say when his company would unveil the new V30. Samsung, however, is planning to unveil the Galaxy S9 line on Feb. 25.


Xperia update - Does new Sony phone reveal big features coming to Xperia XZ2 and XZ Pro?

There’s just a few weeks to go until Mobile World Congress 2018 opens its doors in Barcelona.
This yearly technology fest is where many of the world’s biggest smartphone makers reveal what’s to come in 2018 and that includes Sony.
The Japanese technology firm will be at the show in Spain and are expected to lift the lid on their next generation of flagships.
There’s already been plenty of rumours about what new Xperia devices might be unveiled with the latest news suggesting the XZ Pro will be the latest and greatest device from Sony.
It was thought that an Xperia XZ2 would also be revealed although this now looks much more likely to unveiled later in the year.
Although not yet confirmed, it appears the Xperia XZ Pro will feature an edge-to-edge 4K display, new Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor and rear dual camera.
We’ll find out full specs at Sony’s press conference, which is set to take place on Monday February 26, but a recent Xperia launch at the CES tech conference could give us some clues about some big new features.

Sony recently revealed two new mid-range devices called the .
Both feature a screen which pushes right to the either side of the device which has meant Sony now placing its fingerprint scanner on the rear.
If the XZ Pro also includes edge-to-edge technology it could also see the sensor placed on the rear case rather than the usual position on the side of the phone.
Another new feature which could land on this flagship is a dual front-facing camera.
Sony’s Xperia XA2 Ultra now includes this photographic technology which allows users to take improved pictures of their face when the lights are low and can also provide better group selfies.

This is due to the inclusion of both a 16MP camera with Optical Image Stabilisation and a 8MP 120 degree super wide-angle snapper.
Both include a front flash with Sony boasting that the Ultra produces clear shots regardless of lighting or environment and for fitting more friends and surroundings into selfies.
Time will tell if the Pro will get a dual front and rear camera but, if it does, it could give Samsung’s Galaxy S9 a serious run for its money.
Express.co.uk will be in Barcelona and will bring you all the news live as it happens.

Redmi 5 New Variant, Nokia 3310 4G, Phone With 10GB RAM, and More News This Week

Welcome back to our weekly roundup of all the news you can use from the world of tech. This week, one of the highlights was the launch of a third variant of the Xiaomi Redmi 5. Packing 4GB of RAM, it's a step up from the existing 2GB and 3GB options, and its price in China is CNY 1,099 (roughly Rs. 11,000), a premium of CNY 200 (roughly Rs. 2,000). There's no official news about the Redmi 5 coming to India just yet, though the launch might well be around the corner.
To recall, the Xiaomi Redmi 5, which was launched in December, has a 5.7-inch HD+ 18:9 aspect ratio display, and it's powered by an octa-core Snapdragon SoC. There are three RAM variants as mentioned above, and while the 2GB variant comes with 16GB of storage, the others have 32GB storage. There's a 12-megapixel rear-camera and a 5-megapixel front camera, along with a 3300mAh battery. Meanwhile in India, the Xiaomi Redmi 5A also got a new variant, but this just an additional colour - rose gold. The entry level phone is presently available at just Rs. 4,999 for the variant with 2GB RAM/ 16GB storage, and has a 5-inch HD display, along with a 3000mAh battery.
Xiaomi also announced an update the rollout for MIUI 9.2 - the Xiaomi Redmi Note and Redmi Note Prime are both getting the update, as is the Xiaomi Redmi 1S, though that phone will get a version based on Kitkat. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 has also started receiving the MIUI 9 update.

Samsung Galaxy S9 Price Leak Reveals Expensive New Phone

An industry expert has revealed to TechRadar that the Samsung Galaxy S9 will likely cost as much as $900 - the leak comes from the U.K. and suggests a retail price of £789. A straight conversion to dollars would put that at over $1100, but I don't imagine Samsung is going for that. My guess would put it between $850 and $900 in the U.S. To give some additional background, the S8 launched at $750.
The source told TechRadar "You can expect the S9 to cost £100 more than the Galaxy S8 when it was released last year." He went on to explain that it's almost certainly because the public is prepared to cough up the money.
Let's stick with the U.K. pricing for now though and assume that the S9 will, indeed, be the £789 TechRadar's source suggests. That's not without precedent, as last year's phones - the S8 and S8+ - added about £100 to the S7 launch pricing. These jumps are annoying, but seemingly the high-end segment of the market is keen to exploit customers to the fullest extent their wallets will support.

Samsung is pushing the S9 as a camera upgrade in its prerelease invites to members of the press. Over at VentureBeat the rock-solid and ever-reliable Evan Blass says that the camera may feature a lens that can switch from f/1.5 to f/2.4 with a mechanical adjustment. Wide-open apertures give better performance in low light (that's the f/1.5 bit) and a shallower depth of field. It's not clear what the f/2.4 setting would add, although it might be that this would offer sharper pictures in normal lighting conditions.
All of that said, it doesn't really matter what the S9 does or does not offer in terms of features, the price jump is significant and will make some people question the value of the S9 or S9+ and perhaps jump on the amazing Note 8. By the time Samsung announces the S9 and S9+ on Feb 25th there's a very real chance the Note 8 will have dropped even further in price.
For many users who got the game-changing S8 or S8+ last year none of this matters. These devices won't significantly change the game. This is Samsung's version of Apple's "s" year, where the phones get power tweaks but no major performance upgrades. That's likely part of the strategy too, as Samsung will have built enough S8s to know how to cut costs and produce the S9 at lower prices — perhaps making it even more annoying that the S9 is predicted to be such an expensive phone at launch.
After Apple's iPhone X stormed onto the market at what some people claimed were ridiculous prices, it seems we're all just getting used to this. I'd argue that the iPhone was such a big leap that it was worth the extra money just to be there first - this was the only reason to get the original iPhone over, say, the Nokia N95 back in 2007. But seeing Samsung pushing prices up just makes me think people should go for the A series phones, which offer many of the great features of the S series devices but at lower costs.

HTC phone chief quits as company prepares for what may be its last flagship

News out of Taiwan today is that HTC’s president of smartphone and connected devices business is resigning,  effectively immediately . Ch...