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Notebook, Smartphone, and Tablet News

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Jan 22
The HP Chromebook 11 x360 G2 EE convertible supports Wacom EMR digital pens. (Source: HP)

HP announces two new Education Edition Chromebooks

The latest 11.6-inch Chromebook models from HP get a more rugged feel with rubber trims, Gorilla Glass and spill-resistant keyboards. In order to keep the prices at an affordable level for students, HP included Intel's Celeron N4000 / 4100 CPUs, up to 8 GB LPDDR4-2400 RAM and up to 64 GB eMMC storage.
Mobvoi TicWatch S2 and TicWatch E2 now available for purchase (Source: Mobvoi)

Mobvoi TicWatch S2 and TicWatch E2 now available for purchase, first customers get an extra charging dock

Mobvoi's latest second-generation fitness wearables come similar specs, as both use the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 SoC, and only the design sets them apart. Powered by Google's Wear OS, the TicWatch S2 and E2 can be acquired by US-based customers directly from Mobvoi or via Amazon for US$179.99 and US$159.99.
Android Q may allow for increased carrier restrictions. (Source: MobileSyrup)

Android Q may improve carrier control over locked phones

Android Q is the hotly-anticipated next generation of the widely-distributed mobile device platform. Tech correspondents have found a potentially unwelcome piece of code in this new OS. It would allow the SIMs of one carrier to block those of a specific counterpart from operating on a locked phone.
The Xperia XZ4. (Source: SumahoInfo)

New images of the Sony Xperia XZ4 reveal an ultra-long display that discourages one-handed usage

Images of the Sony Xperia XZ4 have been revealed, showing the device with an incredibly long 21:9 display ratio that ensures that users with smaller hands will have a hard time using the phone one-handed. The XZ4 will also run on Android Pie out of the box.
Purported Galaxy S10 Plus renders. (Source: OnLeaks)

Pricing details of the Samsung Galaxy S10 phones revealed, fully-loaded model could cost almost US$1500

Samsung is set to unveil its Galaxy S10 phones on February 20. For the first time yet, information on the pricing of the phones has surfaced, revealing massive increases in prices across the board, with the fully-specced S10 Plus set to ship with an MSRP in the region of US$1500.
The Galaxy M phones will be unveiled on January 28. (Source: Sammobile)

Prices and images of the Galaxy M10 and M20 surface

Samsung is billed to release its new Galaxy M phones on January 28. Images and more concrete details of the device have now been revealed, with touted pricing information giving the impression of devices offering excellent value for money.
The rumoured RAZR phone could cost up to US$1,500 according to the WSJ. (Image source: EUIPO)

Motorola may have given us a look at the design of the new RAZR phone

Patent filings have revealed what the rumoured Motorola RAZR 2019 may look like. Filed by Motorola Mobility at the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) in December last year, the patents show a flip phone with a foldable display that resembles the RAZR V3, which Motorola released in 2004.
Apple MacBook Pro 15 – Core i9 slower than Core i7!

$300 more for less performance | Apple MacBook Pro 15 – Core i9 slower than Core i7!

When Apple started selling the MacBook Pro 15 with the new 6-core CPUs, we saw numerous negative reports about the performance, especially with the optional i9 CPU. We previously reviewed the i7 SKU and it took several software updates before the performance of the i7 was stable, but the i9 still disappoints.
Intel Core i9-8950HK | AMD Radeon Pro Vega 20 | 15.6" | 1.8 kg
Love it or hate it - this could be what the next-generation iPhone looks like. (Source: Hasan Kaymak Innovations)

Concept video for iPhone XI offers ideas for Apple to adopt or avoid

A concept video of the next-generation iPhone has been uploaded to YouTube by Hasan Kaymak. The clip shows a beautifully crafted smartphone that would either be the device of an Apple fan’s dreams, or a huge disappointment for those who are concerned that the Cupertino company could emulate Huawei by incorporating a square-shaped triple camera setup on the rear.
Huawei MateBook X Pro vs. MateBook 13: What's the difference?

Huawei MateBook 13 vs. MateBook X Pro: What's the difference?

The two may look similar, but they're actually quite different. The cheaper MateBook 13 is surprisingly the faster model by more than a wide margin while the MateBook X Pro has the larger and higher resolution display. Users should choose carefully depending on which features are more important.
The RIOTORO CR400 is a budget Mid-Tower case that supports ATX, microATX and mini-ITX motherboards. (Image source: RIOTORO)

RIOTORO CR400: An affordable Mid-Tower case with a side window

The CR400 is a cheap Mid-Tower case with a large side window and a ventilated mesh front panel. The case has mounts for two 240 mm radiators to keep components cool and is big enough to handle full-size GPUs and PSUs.
Jan 21
Google faces a penalty of €50 million for lack of transparency. (Source: Smart Money Press)

French regulatory body fines Google €50 million for GDPR violations

The Commission nationale de l'informatique et des libertés (CNIL) has imposed a fine of €50 million (~US$56.8 million) on Google for violating the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The huge penalty has been justified by the regulatory body based on the severity of the violations, Google’s popularity with French users, and the fact that the infringements were ongoing.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 flagship production in India might cease

Samsung might stop making flagships in India

A few recent bad decisions by the Indian government might force Samsung to stop the local manufacturing of Galaxy Note 9 and Galaxy S9 flagships. Even worse, the company might drop its plans to increase the exports of mobile phones made in India, which were supposed to hit 40 percent of the production for 2019.
Spotify may release its first hardware later this year. (Image source: Reddit)

Spotify is reportedly working on an in-car music player

Spotify, the popular music and podcast streaming service, is planning on releasing its own hardware. The Financial Times reports that the device will be an in-car music player and could cost US$100.
Some of the Honor Play 8A's color SKUs. (Source: Honor)

Honor Play 8A may make it to India soon: new rumor

The Honor Play 8A is a budget smartphone that resembles the Xiaomi Mi Play in numerous ways. However, at an approximate price of US$124, the 8A may be the cheaper of the two, although this may make it the more attractive option for some. A new report alleges that this phone will be launched in India soon.
The best display for the ThinkPad X1 Carbon – All panels in comparison

FHD, Touchscreen, WQHD or HDR? | The best display for the ThinkPad X1 Carbon – All panels in comparison

The ThinkPad X1 Carbon is one of the best business Ultrabooks you can buy. Lenovo offers a total of four different displays for its flagship device, and we tested them all.
Intel Core i7-8550U | Intel UHD Graphics 620 | 14" | 1.1 kg
All signs point to the Galaxy S10 having an in-screen fingerprint sensor. (Image source: XDA)

Samsung seemingly confirms that the Galaxy S10 will have an in-screen fingerprint sensor

An update for the Samsung Pay app contains code that explicitly refers to the "Beyond", which is the codename for the Galaxy S10 series, as having an in-screen fingerprint sensor. The new technology will reportedly not feature on the Galaxy S10 Lite, also known as the S10E, as this will have a side-mounted fingerprint sensor instead.
Samsung Gear S3 smartwatch gets Tizen 4.0.0.2 update

The Samsung Gear S3 smartwatch gets a solid update, new features and Tizen 4.0.0.2 in tow

The latest software update for the Samsung Gear S3 smartwatch pushes the Tizen version up to 4.0.0.2, weighs around 300 MB, and comes with sleep stages info support for the Health widget, more indoor workouts and back-to-back workout for Samsung Health, improved Quick Panel UI, and more. Sadly, it is only available in the US for now.
Smartwatches and smart bands are set to continue to enjoy market growth in the next decade. (Source: Fitt Insider)

The global wearables market could attain up to US$22 billion by 2025

A new report on the worldwide wearable device market by Allied Market Research indicates that its value could grow to US$31 billion in the next 6 years. This is likely to be driven by the increasing uptake of its products in the healthcare and educational sectors. Apple had the greatest share of the smartwatch-specific market in 2017
Orange Pi 3 H6: An updated version of the Raspberry Pi competitor that starts at a bargain price. (Image source: Ali Express)

Orange Pi 3 H6: An updated version of the Raspberry Pi competitor that starts at US$29.90

The Orange Pi, an alternative to the Raspberry Pi, has received a RAM upgrade this week. There are four new versions of the single-board computer, which start at US$29.90 plus shipping.
Xiaomi retail store, Xiaomi coming to Africa in 2019

Xiaomi ready to launch a dedicated African department

Although Xiaomi is present in most African markets via third-party distributors, the Chinese brand is now ready to take a more direct approach by launching a dedicated department for this part of the world. Xiaomi's African Regional Department will bring official launches and after-sales support in the area, as well as better prices.
Huawei may face greater challenges in the future, according to its CEO. (Source: Huawei)

Huawei corporate email about possible future downsizing circulated online

Ren Zhengfei, the CEO of Huawei, has written an email warning his colleagues of the possibility of "hard times" in the future. They may include reductions in the size of the company's various regional subsidiaries. These comments may be related to Huawei's recent loss of business in the 5G infrastructure area.
Samsung Exynos 7904 SoC for the Indian market (Source: Samsung Global Newsroom)

The new Samsung Exynos 7904 processor is aimed at the Indian market

The Exynos 7 Series 7904 is a new mobile processor by Samsung Electronics that aims to bring high-end features to the mid-range sector of the market. This chip was customized for the needs of the Indian consumer and sports support for single camera resolutions of up to 32 MP, but can also handle triple-camera setups.
The DJI Mavic 2 is one of the most popular high-end drones on the market. (Source: DJI)

Drone maker DJI reveals US$150 million fraud carried out internally

Drone maker DJI has discovered an internal racket that has defrauded the company of at least US$150 million. The theft is said to have involved multiple staff and led to their dismissal although the company is still investing the case, which it says is “extensive.”
Verizon customers will get more free features starting in March, spam and robocalling protection in the list

Verizon customers get spam and robocalling protection for free

Although some customers received protection from spam and robocalling in the past, now Verizon is ready to provide these useful security features to all its customers. These two treats will be offered for free starting in March, revealed Joe Russo, senior vice president of network operations for Verizon.
Samsung Galaxy A30 (SM-A305F) specs listing (Source: Geekbench)

Exynos 7885-powered Samsung Galaxy A30 hits Geekbench

Samsung will use the Exynos 7885 processor to power quite a few upcoming devices, and the Galaxy A30 is one of them. This handset has recently surfaced on Geekbench with Android Pie onboard and 4 GB of memory, but there is still no official announcement regarding the launch date of the new Galaxy A lineup.
Slide-out keyboard Android Pie handset layout (Source: F(x) Technology)

F(x) Technology is working on 6-inch handset with a slide-out keyboard design

What started one year ago as a (now canceled) slide-out keyboard mod for the Moto Z lineup turned into a smartphone with a QWERTY keyboard that is expected to hit the market in Q1 2019. The Android Pie-driven F(x) handset will come with curved sides and a 6-inch AMOLED display, but the other specs are not public yet.
Windows on Snapdragon doesn't solve the underlying issue of Windows ARM

Windows on Snapdragon doesn't solve the underlying issue of Windows ARM

Based on our experience with the $1000 Lenovo Yoga C630 powered by a Snapdragon 850, software reliability is still a huge hit or miss on Windows 10 Pro. Qualcomm's grand plans for Windows on Snapdragon is off to a slow and rough start.
Jan 20
Hype around affordable mobile display 'Gemini' on Kickstarter

Hype around affordable mobile display 'Gemini' on Kickstarter

Anyone who travels frequently and would like to have a second mobile display should be interested in the new Kickstarter campaign by the Chinese company Taihe, which is currently experiencing a small hype. The company is planning to produce a mobile display that comes with Full HD and USB Type C will cost just 160 dollars.
Android 9 Pie is coming, but who will get to enjoy the update?

The Android Pie list: Will my phone get the Android 9 update?

Some manufacturers are already distributing it, others have just announced it, and some have offered no update on the Android 9 Pie. Based on the current information available, we have summarized what it can do and who is missing what.
A Bixby user can now ask it to open more Google apps than before. (Source: XDA)

Bixby 2.0 now supports more Google apps

Bixby is Samsung's own in-house virtual assistant, and is installed on all new flagships by default since the Galaxy S8 line's launch in 2017. Since then, Bixby (in its 1.0 iteration) lost compatibility with more and more Google apps. However, the latest update to Bixby 2.0 allows it to control YouTube, Google Maps and Gmail.
Google is working on a dark mode for the Assistant. (Source: SmartThings)

Google Assistant to get dark mode soon

Assistant is an interface for the Google app that flashes helpful cards up throughout the UI at (ideallly) oppportune times. The latest Google Assistant beta brings marked changes to its design with a new dark mode. However, it is clear that this new option is still firnly in development.
The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G smartphone. (Source: Pocket-lint)

Xiaomi to present the Mi Mix 3 5G at the Mobile World Congress

Xiaomi will be at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and the company is likely going to present the Mi Mix 3 once again. However, the expected device on show won't be the regular 4G version, it will be a special 5G edition that comes with Qualcomm's X50 modem.
The LG V20. (Source: PocketNow)

LG backtracks on its stance, promises Pie for the ignored LG V20

A short while ago, it was revealed that LG had ended future software support for the V20, ensuring that the flagship would be stuck on the only major OS update it received: Oreo. It would appear that LG has made a U-turn on that decision, and the V20 could receive Pie after all.
The LG G7 ThinQ. (Source: SlashGear)

The LG G7 ThinQ is now receiving the stable Android Pie update

The LG G7 ThinQ was launched back in May and now has the honor of being the first LG device to receive the stable Pie update. The update download weighs in at 1.35 GB, and a global rollout is expected soon.
2018's MWC delivered, and we can't wait for this year's iteration.

Smartphone releases we are looking forward to in 2019

In a world where some believe innovation in the smartphone industry to have plateaued, 2018 managed to give us a number of brilliant smartphones. Here we take a close look at the devices we just cannot wait to see in 2019, with a focus on what makes them so interesting.
The Galaxy S10 Exynos 9820 has landed on Geekbench ahead of its February 20 launch. (Source: GSM Arena)

Exynos-powered S10 also lags A12-powered iPhone Xs on Geekbench

The Samsung Exynos 9820-powered version of the forthcoming Galaxy S10 has landed on Geekbench. Unsurprisingly, it continues to lag Apple in terms of single-core performance but looks to be able to outrun the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Galaxy S10 variant in this key metric.
The 32 GB gold and rose-gold iPhone SE smartphones are currently available. (Source: Apple)

Apple store lists iPhone SE from US$249 - stock clearance or making way for the SE 2?

Apple has surprisingly re-listed the iPhone SE on its online store. The popular smartphone, which was released in March 2016, was recently discontinued (September 2018), so its reappearance has created some speculation. Apple might be just looking to boost iPhone sales figures and clear out old stock; it’s unlikely that this development will point to the announcement of an iPhone SE2.
The Verily Study Watch has received FDA approval for its ECG monitor. (Source: Verily)

FDA ECG approval for Alphabet Watch and Google's recent Fossil deal hint at smartwatch plans

Alphabet-owned company Verily has received FDA certification for its Study Watch. As one of Alphabet's many companies, which includes Google, it gives us a pretty good idea of the capabilities of Google's rumored Pixel Watch.
Redmi 6 and 6A receive Android update

Xiaomi Redmi 6 and 6A update brings December 2018 security patch

Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi has a new update in store for its customers holding Redmi 6 and Redmi 6A smartphones. This new update fixes countless bugs and contains the December 2018 Google Safety Patch
Jan 19
A reversal in fortunes could be on the cards for Apple Inc. (Source: The Mac Observer)

Apple strikes back at the stock market; Amazon tops Microsoft

Apple’s stock price has been experiencing an upturn over the last couple of weeks. After reaching a 52-week low of US$142, the Apple empire struck back, and the latest price for the Cupertino company currently stands at US$156.82. In terms of market capitalization value, Amazon has now overtaken Microsoft.
The Galaxy J4 Core was Samsung's last Android Go-powered release. (Source: Samsung)

Samsung makes trademark applications for Galaxy J2 Shine device

Trademark applications made by Samsung for “Galaxy J2 Shine” have been spotted by LetsGoDigital. The South Korean manufacturer recently released the Galaxy J2 Core, a budget-friendly smartphone operating on Google’s streamlined Android Go. It seems likely that a Galaxy J2 Shine device would also run on the optimized platform.
A render for the iPhone XS Max's potential sucessor. (Source: Weibo)

2019 iPhones will stick with Lightning port: new leak

There have been some rumors suggesting that the next generation of iPhones would, like the iPad Pro 2018, switch to USB-C for their singular data/charging/audio connection. However, the latest leak on the subject contradicts them again, claiming that Apple will stick with its proprietary Lightning connectors for the upcoming flagships.
Antutu has examined the Snapdragon 855 for itself. (Source: Twitter)

Antutu tweets its own official Snapdragon 855 benchmarks

It's the season of new Qualcomm flagship benchmarks, ahead of the processor's official release in the form of 2019 premium mobile devices. Some of them have claimed that it does better than the A12 Bionic found in the most recent iPhones. However, Antutu has released what may be the definitive benchmark for the new chipset.
Microsoft has suggested that any remaining Windows Mobile users switch to another platform. (Source: The Windows Club)

Microsoft is putting an end to Windows Mobile support this year

The Windows Mobile platform is all but dead at this point. Microsoft will finally let it rest forever this year. The company will withdrawing support for the latest version of its OS, as well as the second-latest, by December 2019. It is recommended that their remaining users switch to another ecosystem that will have continual support, like iOS or Android.
The Huawei Mate 20 Pro. (Source: BGR)

DxOMark: The Mate 20 Pro's cameras aren't better than those of the P20 Pro

The Mate 20 Pro was hyped to the high heavens at launch, with rumors claiming it would be by far the highest rated device on DxOMark. The device was benchmarked yesterday, however, and only managed to match the P20 Pro, with the older flagship having the advantage in several departments.
The device is codenamed "Alpha". (Source: OnLeaks)

Purported LG G8 renders surface and are promptly debunked by LG

Popular tipster OnLeaks revealed renders of what was said to be the upcoming LG G8. LG has come out to deny those claims, however, and it's a lot more likely that those images are of another premium LG phone.
From left to right: the Samsung Galaxy S10E, the S10, and the S10+. (Source: Twitter/Evan Blass)

Samsung Galaxy S10 leaks: Image of the S10E, S10 and S10+ together; ceramic back for the latter

Two familiar names in the smartphone-leaking business have dropped some new information about Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S10 series. Evan Blass has uploaded a photo of three devices, labeled as “S10E,” “S10,” and “S10+,” which show the smartphones front and rear in protective cases. Meanwhile, Ice universe has tweeted that a version of the S10+ will come with a fancy ceramic back cover.
Fresh rumors point toward AMD Zen and Navi yet again for the Sony Playstation 5 (Image source: Extremetech.com)

Latest rumors point toward AMD Zen and Navi yet again for the Sony Playstation 5

A derivative octa-core Zen+ processor and Navi GPU for the next generation Playstation look increasingly likely. The leaked product code implies that AMD and Sony may have already finalized the core specifications for the PS5 - if not very close.
The Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 GPU won't be included in the options for this year's XPS. (Source: Nvidia)

Frank Azor confirms the new Dell XPS 15 will not feature the RTX 2060

Dell executive and prolific tweeter, Frank Azor, has once more taken to the social network with information that will be disappointing to some. The owner of a Dell XPS 15 9530 asked Azor if the company was planning on fitting the new Dell XPS 15 with Nvidia’s powerful GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card. The response was resoundingly negative.

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Notebookcheck, 2005-09-20 (Update: 2019-01-17)