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Mobile Phones

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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Meet Bixby, the Samsung Voice Assistant

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Meet Bixby, the Samsung Voice Assistant

Samsung presents what it claims is a "new way to interact with your phone"-- Bixby, its take on the voice assistant likes of Siri, Cortana and Google Assistant.

The result of the acquisition of Viv, an AI specialist founded by the creators of Siri, Bixby promises to be superior to the competition through 3 specific properties. These are completeness (it can handle "almost" any task one can do using the touchscreen), context awareness (Bixby-enabled apps can summon Bixby at any time, and the assistant carries out tasks specific to the app) and cognitive tolerance (it understands commands with incomplete information, and prompts users to tell it more if necessary).

Bixby will also find use beyond smartphones, since Samsung plans to put it a wide variety of connected devices, including appliances, TV remotes and wearables. In fact, the company states Bixby can work on just about anything with an internet connection and a microphone. Uniting all Bixby-enabled offerings is a dedicated hardware button, which Samsung claims eliminates the "confusion around activating a voice interface."

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Kantar Worldpanel: Life in a Two-OS World

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Kantar Worldpanel: Life in a Two-OS World

According to Kantar Worldpanel the days of a BlackBerry OS, Symbian or Windows Phone making "significant" impact are over, since the mobile industry is all but dominated by iOS-Android duopoly.

The biggest 5 European markets (Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Spain) are dominated by Android-- the Google OS accounts for 74.3% of smartphone sales in the quarter ending January 2017, a "marginal" increase over the 72.9% of the same period in the previous year. In the meantime iOS holds 22.7%, with the iPhone 7 remaining the top-selling device in Great Britain, France and Germany.

Kantar points out Nokia as a potential success story in the region, as brand owner HMD Global is focusing on quality for cost with well made mid-tier devices. Such smartphones will not rival the iPhone 7 or the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S8, but do compete with the likes of the Huawei 8 and P9 Lite, both strong sellers in the price-conscious Italian and Spanish markets.

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Meizu Super mCharges Phones

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Meizu Super mCharges Phones

Meizu claims to slash phone charging times at Mobile World Congress with Super mCharge-- a technology able to fully charge a 3000mAh battery in all of 20 minutes.

Super mCharge technology is rated at 55W (11V, 5A), significantly higher than competing technologies such as Motorola TurboPower (25.5W) or Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 (18W). It also battery temperatures do not exceed 38 °C, which is crucial since batteries can explode if put through much heat.

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