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Mobile Phones

The "Bothie" Taking Nokia 8

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The

HMD Global hopes to introduce a new word with the launch of the Nokia 8, its first Nokia-branded Android flagship-- "bothie," or a photo taken by both front and rear cameras, simultaneously.

Attempts at terminology aside, the Nokia 8 is the Finnish company's take on the likes of Apple and Samsung. It is a 5.3-inch device with an aluminium unibody, inside of which are a 2560 x 1440 resolution LCD display, Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage (expandable to 256GB via microSD card) and a 3090mAh battery. The software of choice is stock Android 7 (aka Nougat).

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LG Presents Q8 Smartphone

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LG Presents Q8 Smartphone

LG announces a smaller, splash-proof version of the flagship V20 smartphone-- the Q8, a 5.2-inch handset with all features from its bigger sibling, including the always-on second screen on top of the main display.

The Q8 carries all the high-end internals from the V20, such as the Qualcomm 820 processor, 32-bit DAC, 2560 x 1440 resolution IPS display, secondary 160 x 1040 always-on display and dual-camera setup. Further internals include 4GB RAM, 32GB storage (expandable to 2TB via microSD card) and 3000mAh battery.

Connectivity comes through wifi, Bluetooth 4.2 BLE, NFC and USB-C. A fingerprint sensor is included, while the body is IP67-rated for resistance against splashes, drops and other such hazards.

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Alcatel Keeps Windows Phone Alive With Idol 4 Pro

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Alcatel Keeps Windows Phone Alive With Idol 4 Pro

Windows Phone might soon be over but Europe is soon getting a new smartphone running on the Microsoft OS-- the Alcatel Idol 4 Pro, a handset first launched in the US back in 2016.

Technically a rebranded version of the Android-based Idol 4S, the Idol 4 Pro features a Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. The display is a 5.5-inch 1920 x 1080 resolution number and the cameras are 21MP back/8MP front, while the body is in metal and glass (as opposed to the typical Alcatel plastic).

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Camera Maker RED Claims "Holographic" Phone

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Camera Maker RED Claims

The company known as RED might be famous for high-end digital cinema cameras, but it is now also taking on smartphones with the announcement of the Hydrogen One, the "first holographic media machine."

Details on the Hydrogen One are scant. A bombastic press release claims the device features a 5.7-inch screen able to display regular 2D media, stereo 3D media and "4-view content," something RED fails to actually define. The phone should also be able to handle augmented, virtual and mixed reality, all without need for glasses.

Otherwise, the only details officially known about the smartphone are its featuring a USB-C port, microSD card slot and headphone jack. However, the curious can glean more information from the RED patent for “Modular Digital Camera and Cellular Phone,” which describes a strange device featuring rectangular modules (such as a spare battery, speaker, projector and cameras) users can slot on the back or front.

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Qualcomm Presents Quick Charge 4+

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Qualcomm Presents Quick Charge 4+

Qualcomm is quick to present an update on the Quick Charge 4 standard-- Quick Charge 4+, a set of enhancements vendors can add to Quick Charge 4-compliant devices.

The enhancements found in Quick Charge 4+ are Dual Charge (or at least a "more powerful" version of the feature found in the earlier version), Intelligent Thermal Balancing (steers current to the coolest dual charging pathways in order to keep temperatures down) and "advanced safety features" (monitor phone and connector temperature against overheating and short-circuit damage).

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The Squeezable HTC U11

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The Squeezable HTC U11

The HTC U11 looks like any regular smartphone, but it does have one surprise up its sleeve-- users can "squeeze" the 5.5-inch handset to control apps, camera and more.

Dubbed "Edge Sense," the system consists of pressure sensors below the volume buttons on the sides. A calibration tool allows users to set a short and long squeeze, and the two actions can be configured in different ways. For instance, one can squeeze the phone to summon the camera, followed by either a short squeeze to take a selfie or a long squeeze to switch to the rear-facing camera.

HTC adds the phone ignores "false squeezes" caused by pockets and the like, while an eventual software update will allow users to configure any app to take advantage of app functionality. The company also suggests one use a squeeze to summon one of the two included voice-controlled assistants, Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.

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Qualcomm Boosts Mobiles With Snapdragon 660, 630 Chips

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Qualcomm Boosts Mobiles With Snapdragon 660, 630 Chips

Qualcomm presents a pair of chipsets for lower-cost smartphones-- the Snapdragon 660 and 630 SoCs, upgrades on the Snapdragon 652 and 625 chips offering more power and faster connectivity.

The Snapdragon 660 and 630 feature the X12 LTE modem found inside the high-end Snapdragon 820 SoC, together with Bluetooth 5 and, in the case of the 660, 2 x 2 MIMO wifi. CPU and GPU speeds get an increase, as Qualcomm says the 660 is 20% faster than the 652, while the 630 is 10% faster.

The two chips are built using a 14nm process, and support up to 8GB of RAM. The 660 has an 8-core Kryo CPU and an Adreno 512 GPU, while the 630 has 8 Cortex A53 cores and an Adreno 508 GPU.

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Google Invests in LG Display?

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Google Invests in LG Display?

The Electronic Times reports Google has invested 1 trillion won (or $880.29 million) in LG Display-- an investiment said to ensure Google gets enough OLED displays for the next Pixel Phone.

Reportedly, display supply was the reason Google faced shipping difficulties with the current Pixel phone. However, the ET adds the investment is not a display purchase order but part of a "strategic relationship" ensuring LG Display has enough capital to produce "flexible OLED panels" at scale.

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Samsung Galaxy S8 Gets Launch

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Samsung Galaxy S8 Gets Launch

After months of stories of phablets spontaneously catching fire Samsung reveals the Galaxy S8 and S8+, a pair of devices promising to be the company's return to mobile device form.

The S8+ is the bigger option with a 6.2-inch screen, but the S8 might be the superior model since it features a 5.8-inch "infinity display"-- a Super AMOLED screen wrapping around the curved front of the phone, making it almost bezel-less. Both displays run at 2960 x 1440 resolution, and phone construction features Gorilla Glass 5 on both front and back with a metal band in between.

Depending on region, the phones are powered by either Qualcomm or Exynox octa-core processors together with 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage (expandable to 256GB via microSD slot) and a 3000mAH battery (3500mAh in the S8+). Also included is a 12MP duopixel f/1.7 aperture rear-facing camera, 8MP front-facing camera, fingerprint sensor, USB-C port and, in a Samsung first, Bluetooth 5 connectivity.

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