After the catastrophic release of the Galaxy Note 7, it looks like Samsung might be approaching 2017 in a very different way according to rumors out of South Korea.
The Korea Herald is reporting that Samsung is "planning to ditch its existing smartphone marketing strategy and may release only one premium model annually to ensure product quality", according to Korean news outlet Newsis. Samsung normally releases two flagship smartphones every year, with the Galaxy S in the first half of the year, followed by the larger Galaxy Note in the second half of the year.
We don't know if Samsung will be retiring the Note brand after its battery-related issues that have seen tens of billions of dollars of value wiped away from Samsung shares, but one of Samsung's partner firms said: "Samsung has not notified its suppliers of the plan to scrap the current two-flagship models strategy, but if so that could impact the parts suppliers to some extent. For now, everything is up in the air about what Samsung will do to recover from the recent fiasco involving the Note 7, but it will certainly make changes to its current marketing strategy and product portfolio".
Qualcomm may have just blown our minds with the first 5G modem, but it wasn't finished with the announcements during its 4G/5G Summit in Hong Kong, where it announced it's teamed with Netgear, Ericsson, and Australian telco Tesltra on the Netgear Mobile Router MR1100.
Netgear's new Mobile Router MR1100 is the first mobile hotspot to support 1Gbps LTE speeds, thanks to a combination of Qualcomm's Snapdragon X16 LTE modem, MIMO technology, 3X carrier aggregation, and Higher Order Modulation 256 Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM).
Australia, with its piddly download quotas, will be the first country to have the 1Gbps-capable MR1000 router in operation, through Telstra who say that it should be running "in the coming months". Qualcomm will be baking the new LTE modem into its next-generation Snapdragon processors that will power devices throughout 2018 and beyond.
The Note7 saga is officially finished after Samsung confirmed their decision to stop the production for the sake of consumer safety. Although some users will accept to exchange it for another Samsung's phone, like a Galaxy S7 or S7 edge, there is no doubt that many users lost their trust in the South Korean giant, and will turn to other manufacturers.
Apple will certainly profit from this trend, but we also must have in mind users that don't want to switch to iOS and want a good Android phone. A logical choice for some might be Google's Pixel or Pixel XL, which was recently announced. But there is another Android phone that could profit from the Note7 fiasco.
Huawei is the third largest phone manufacturer in the world, with an ambitious plan to become the second in the next two years. Their new flagship, Mate 9, will be announced on November 3rd, and the first images, leaked by none other than Evan Blass, show two version of the phone - first one that will look much like its predecessor, the Mate 8 and second one with curved edges on both sides, like the Galaxy Note7 or S7 edge.
Qualcomm has announced its amazingly fast 5G technology, with their first 5G devices set to arrive in the first half of 2018. During the Qualcomm 4G/5G Summit held in Hong Kong, the company announced its first 5G modem, the new Snapdragon X50, which rocks some seriously amazing speeds.
The new Snapdragon X50 handles up to 5Gbps down, which might not sound like much, but you're probably getting less than 100Mbps on your smartphone right now (seriously, go do a speed test and comment back here with your results). Even at the higher-end of the 4G spectrum, we are only seeing around 300Mbps these days - and maxing out at 450Mbps with 4G LTE, so 5000Mbps (5Gbps) is just amazing.
Qualcomm teases that Snapdragon X50-powered devices "are expected to be available during the first half of 2018", which lines up with the 5G standard being finalized.
Mafia 3 has been a mess ever since it launched, but developer Hangar 13 has to be commended on their adaptiveness to patching the game. The developer has pushed out yet another update for Mafia 3, with this new patch weighing 1.2GB.
The new Mafia 3 hotfix is for the blurry rendering (how did it launch like this?), and other general stability. The developer notes: "We just rolled out a hotfix on PC that addresses blurry rendering for some players, and other stability improvements.We're still working on more fixes for Mafia III and will share more details in the coming week. Thanks for the feedback!".
The latest patch released by Hangar 13 for the PC version of Mafia 3 unlocked the frame rate, which was locked before (again, why was it launched like this?). Hangar 13 explained: "This patch includes 30, 60, and unlimited frames-per-second options on PC. To select your framerate, just head to the display menu in-game. Just make sure to tailor the framerate settings to the power of your machine. This patch also includes improvements to keyboard remapping, so head to the controls menu to check out the options. Note: this patch resets keyboard mapping to default, so any changes you made to the controls previously will need to be customized after installing the patch".
Apple changed the entire technology industry with the release of the original iPhone, and then plotted along with some good upgrades through to the iPhone 4, which did it again. Since then, Apple has been behind - and falling more and more behind to the likes of Google's new Pixel smartphone, and Samsung's various, and sometimes explosive, smartphones.
According to Robert Scoble, an entrepreneur and the co-founder of UploadVR (amongst a truly scroll-worthy list of achievements, partnerships, past employers, startups and more) said on his Facebook page: "Just had a source that I trust tell me it is a clear piece of glass. With the compute in a strip at the bottom". He added that translating this talk of it being an all-glass wonderous next level device into saying that the iPhone 8 does mixed reality, VR, AR and AI.
Scoble's source also talked about Siri, asking him "why did Viv.ai sell to Samsung? I know the founders didn't want to do that". He said that Apple showed the Viv.ai founders their new Siri for "mixed reality", and what Scoble said next put shivers up my spine... adding "and the game was over". Viv.ai sold to Samsung, and Samsung continued on into the Galaxy S7 and Note 7, and eventually whatever phones they released in 2017.
Samsung's Galaxy Note7 is history. The South Korean company confirmed their decision to stop the production for the sake of consumer safety and invited all of its users to turn off their devices and return them to the manufacturer.
Samsung even prepared special boxes in which they tend to transport potentially flammable devices that have caused a tremendous headache to the company. A video posted on YouTube channel XDA shows a return kit that Samsung sent them and it contains detailed instructions on how to handle the packing process.
Samsung is dealing with the Galaxy Note 7 issues, leading the South Korean electronics giant to halt production of its 5.5-inch phablet, and now Apple is going through some of its own issues.
Apple's latest iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are reportedly experiencing storage-related issues, with the smaller 32GB models radically slower than their 128GB counterparts. The new iPhone 7 Plus 32GB is capable of writing at ~4MB/sec, while the larger 128GB model is capable of flying at ~30MB/sec, for comparisons sake - the iPhone 6S Plus 64GB pushes ~20MB/sec.
When it comes to read speeds, the iPhone 7 Plus 32GB model pushes ~7MB/sec, while the 128GB model is capable of ~9MB/sec and the older 6S Plus 64GB model is pushing around ~6MB/sec. Basemark's Pass Mark benchmark was used, transferring a 3.3GB file which took 52 seconds on the iPhone 7 Plus 32GB, the iPhone 7 128GB does it in a super-quick 17 seconds, and the older iPhone 6S Plus 64GB in 60 seconds.
PassMark Storage write speeds:
- iPhone 6S Plus (64GB) - 200.6 Mbyte/s
- iPhone 7 Plus (32GB) - 308 Mbyte/s
- iPhone 7 (128GB) - 39.6 Mbyte/s
PassMark Storage read speeds:
- iPhone 6S Plus (64GB) - 628 Mbyte/s
- iPhone 7 Plus (32GB) - 691 Mbyte/s
- iPhone 7 (128GB) - 926 Mbyte/s
Seconds taken to transfer 3.3GB:
- iPhone 6S Plus (64GB) - 60 seconds
- iPhone 7 Plus (32GB) - 52 minutes
- iPhone 7 (128GB) - 17 seconds
Last week we reported Pixel phones bought through Google partner Verizon would receive updates through Verizon, with the assumption they'd be late as is typically the case. Verizon however has assured that updates will occur simultaneously.
"All operating system and security updates to the Pixel devices will happen in partnership with Google. In other words, when Google releases an update, Verizon phones will receive the same update at the same time (much like iOS updates)," a spokesperson for the company said. "Verizon will not stand in the way of any major updates and users will get all updates at the same time as Google."
Verizon also notes their version is carrier unlocked and sports just three pre-installed apps, all of which are easily uninstalled.
A stunning video emerged last week showing the video capabilities of the Pixel XL camera. As noted in the previous article, there was a chance the video is fake, and now it has been confirmed that video is indeed fake.
Ron8it user thought it would be fun to steal a video originally posted on Vimeo by Ruben Sanchez and try to sell it as his own shot with a Google's Pixel XL. The video is indeed stunning, but it doesn't show how good the Pixel XL camera is. Instead, it shows the capabilities of the Panasonic GH4.
As stated under the original video, it was shot in 4K UHD on a Panasonic GH4, with Lumix and Nikon lenses. The YouTube user that "borrowed" the video has removed it in the mean time. It also poses questions about his other videos, allegedly showing the wonders of the iPhone 7 Plus camera.