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Notebook, Smartphone, and Tablet News

On this page you will find developing stories and top news on notebooks, tablets, smartphones, and related technology. Our news are also available as a RSS feed.

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Jul 26
Arrow Launcher running on one of our handsets, showing a homescreen with rotating wallpaper (left), extra options when swipping up on the bottom row shortcuts (middle), and the quick cards screen (right). (Source: Own)

Microsoft releases Arrow Launcher 3.8 beta on Android

Microsoft maintains a relatively rapid release schedule for their popular Arrow Launcher. Only two weeks after the release of version 3.7 they have released version 3.8 to beta testers.
Is AMD slowly returning to its glory days from the early 2000s? (Source: AMD)

AMD's Q2 2017 revenue results unveiled - Ryzen steals the show

AMD is well on its way back to profitability, thanks to the Ryzen CPUs, the Vega GPUs and the EPYC datacenter products. Q2 2017 revenue increased 19% over Q2 2016.
Jul 25
The dual rear camera design is a nice, new take. (Source: Lenovo)

Moto Z2 Force announced, goes on sale in the US today

The Motorola Z2 Force has been officially launched and will be available for pre-order in the US starting today. Snapdragon 835, 5.5" QHD POLED display, dual rear cameras, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage.
The 128 GB HTC U11 is available exclusively in silver. (Source: HTC)

HTC U11 with 128 GB of storage is now available

The HTC U11 model with more RAM and storage that first released in China has made its way to the US. For $70 more than the standard 64 GB model, you now get double the storage and an increase in RAM to 6 GB. HTC is also discounting a few of its devices for a limited time.
Xiaomi Mi 5X Android smartphone official teaser now live

Xiaomi Mi 5X teaser video surfaces online

The video reveals that this new handset would hit the market in gold, pink, and black. Its list of features includes a fingerprint reader, MIUI 9 software, a 5.5-inch display, and more, all for a price between $250 USD and $400 USD.
Source3 joins Facebook to get content creators paid

Facebook acquires Source3

Thanks to the Source3's technology and this content rights management company's team, Facebook plans to help digital artists monetize their content while staying safe from piracy.
The TB250-BTC+ motherboard features a moistureproof PCB and over current / voltage / heat protections. (Source: Biostar)

Biostar announces world's first 8-Slot PCI-e mining motherboard

Biostar has expanded their dedicated mining portfolio with the TB250-BTC+ motherboard that features 1 x PCI-E x16 3.0 slot plus 7 x PCI-E x1 3.0 slots. This model is designed for DIY people who intend to build home mining rigs.
BLU R2 LTE Android smartphone in silver finish

BLU R2 and R2 LTE now official

These two new affordable handsets come with a MediaTek MT6737 processor inside, next to 1 GB memory and 8 GB storage (R2) or 2 GB RAM and 16 GB storage (R2 LTE), both running Android Nougat out of the box.
Nokia 8 with Snapdragon 835 to hit stores on July 31

UPDATE | Nokia 8 with Snapdragon 835 to hit stores on July 31

The Nokia 8 is billed to go on sale on July 31. It's also expected to have a price tag in the region of $675, which isn't a bad deal by any means.
UMIDIGI Crystal set for August 7 launch

UMIDIGI Crystal set for August 7 launch

UMIDIGI's new midranger, the Crystal, has been shrouded in mystery but we will finally be getting an official announcement on August 7.
The Power-Mode slider allows users to select from four preset power modes for battery life or performance. (Source: Own)

UPDATE: Surface Pro 4 firmware update brings a Power-Mode slider

The latest firmware update for the Surface Pro 4 has enabled the Power-Mode slider, which was previously only available on the new Surface Pro 2017 and the Surface Book. The slider provides users with a quick and effortless way to adjust power settings on the fly.
SK Hynix is the second largest DRAM chip manufacturer, with a quarter of the worldwide market. (Source: SK Hynix)

DRAM chip manufacturer SK Hynix reports record profit

After recording a record profit in the first quarter of 2017, SK Hynix has broken that record by reporting a second consecutive record profit. Operating profit increased by 24% and net profit by 30% between the first and second quarters.
There is no telling how long Apple will continue to honor the internal policy. (Source: iFixit)

Some 2012-2013 MacBook Pro owners are getting new machines due to battery shortage

Owners of the 2012 or 2013 15-inch MacBook Pro who need their batteries replaced are in luck: due to a supply shortage of the battery parts, Apple is giving users the option to receive a new machine with "equivalent" specs instead of waiting until September for the parts. Users have reported getting 2015 or even 2017 15-inch MacBook Pros as replacements.
The MXene nanomaterial combines with the hydrogel to produce a "Swiss cheese" macroporous structure. (Source: Drexler University)

Improved nanomaterials could bring batteries that fully charge in a few seconds

Researchers from Drexler University claim that their MXene nanomaterial combined with a special hydrogel can improve the ionic flow and reduce battery charge times to mere seconds.
Snapdragon 836 may make its debut on the Google Pixel 2

Snapdragon 836 may launch first on the Google Pixel 2

The Snapdragon 836 should be a small bump in raw horsepower over the Snapdragon 835 to make it even faster than the North American Galaxy S8 and most other current flagships.
Lenovo may be planning an AMD-powered ThinkPad with Raven Ridge APUs

Lenovo may be planning an AMD ThinkPad lineup with Raven Ridge APUs

The rumored ThinkPad A275 and A475 could succeed or supplement the current ThinkPad E series by giving users more AMD processor options.
The leaked specs are rather exhaustive yet make no mention of hyper-threading. (Source: eTeknix)

Coffee Lake hexa-core desktop chip specs leaked

Specifications have leaked for three upcoming Coffee Lake desktop chips, which operate at 95-watt TDPs for the overclockable CPUs and 65 watts for the non-overclockable.
The i7-7740X is one of two quad-core processors on X299. Ivybridge-E was the last time we had a quad core on the enthusiast platform, and it wasn't designated as an 'X' SKU. (Source: NotebookCheck)

Kaby Lake X i7-7740X overclockable to 5 Ghz on air

The i7-7740X has top of the line single core performance, but lags behind six and eight core processors in multi-threaded workloads. Anandtech have managed to push their CPU to 5.0 GHz stable on all cores. This could indicate better binning than the i7-7700K, but a quad core is still on odd choice on the enthusiast X-series platform.
With the start-up and memory use improvement that "quantum flow" brings we could soon have a more agile fox. (Source: Mozilla)

Firefox 55 reduces startup time by 90 percent and memory usage by 75 percent

A Mozilla developer has tested multiple versions of the browser and found that the current beta version improves startup times by over 90% and reduces memory usage by 75% when compared to the latest stable version. While these results are specific to the extreme test profile and operating system used, they show that we can expect a positive performance improvement from the next release of Firefox.
The 17.3" display is ideal for immersive gaming and movie watching. (Source: Amazon)

MSI GP72 Leopard Pro-402 is the most affordable 17-inch gaming laptop yet

The new GP72 Leopard Pro-402 is powered by Intel's i7-7700HQ CPU and the GTX 1050 Ti GPU, and it is priced at US$1,126.99, making it the most affordable 17-inch gaming laptop currently on the market.
Jul 24
A possible design that Razer can adopt for the gaming smartphone. (Source: straitstimes.com)

Razer is working on a "hardcore gamer" smartphone

After acquiring Nextbit and Ouya, Razer plans to extend into the smartphone business with a device dedicated to "hardcore gamers."
Image source: Fairphone

Fairphone will stop software and hardware support for its first device

The Fairphone, which was meant to be an easily repairable, long lasting smartphone, will no longer be supported. Fairphone, the company behind the device, will no longer sell replacement parts and has halted software development.
The Fall Creators Update could witness some popular legacy features getting axed. (Source: Windows Central)

Paint and other legacy features to get axed in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

The upcoming feature update to Windows 10, the Fall Creators Update, will see many legacy features in Windows getting removed or deprecated: the most noticeable among them being the classic Paint program, System Image Backup and screensaver functionality, amongst others.
YouTube TV extends its reach to 10 new cities in the US, basic package has 48 channels

YouTube TV hits more US cities

Offering 48 channels in its basic package, this service is now available in ten new cities, those interested being able to take advantage of a one-month free trial. After the first payment, users also receive a free Chromecast.
Moto Z2 Force unoffcial render, this upcoming flagship to hit all US carriers

Moto Z2 Force allegedly coming to all US carriers

This Qualcomm Snapdragon 835-powered handset is expected to get an official launch very soon, and should also become the first Moto flagship in a while to hit all four major US carriers.
Virus infections are relatively rare on Android, but the risk increases when the user allows side loading of apk files. (Source: gfkDSGN/Pixabay)

Android antivirus software relatively easy to beat

Researchers at Georgia Tech were able to bypass the protection of 97% of the popular Android antivirus applications tested. The detection rules used by most of the programs appear to be relatively basic, and by presenting their results at the Black Hat USA 2017 conference, the researchers are hoping that developers can improve the performance of their scanners.
The SilentEchoBot allows natural interaction via text using Amazon's APIs. (Source: TechCrunch)

'Silent Echo' uses slack to allow text communication with Amazon Alexa

This Slack bot gives users the ability to silently interact with Alexa using the same commands they would speak out loud. It allows users to communicate when the room is noisy, or when voice communication isn't appropriate. Not all commands are available, but it is a neat alternative to using the smartphone app.
LG V10 premium phablet gets Android Nougat update on T-Mobile

T-Mobile LG V10 gets Android Nougat

Released with Android Lollipop on board back in October 2015, the LG V10 now receives its second major OS upgrade on T-Mobile, almost two months after the first units got Android 7 in South Korea.
Jul 23
ClimateCase keeps your phone fully functional even in extreme temperatures

ClimateCase keeps your phone fully functional even in extreme temperatures

Ever had your phone give that annoying warning that comes with overheating? Sure, you have. The folks over at ClimateCase have designed something that keeps your phone functional even when in extreme atmospheric temperature conditions.
S8 Active live images and video leaked

Images and hands-on video of the Galaxy S8 Active leaked

The S8 Active is likely to be launched within the week but we've already had some of its more intimate details revealed.
The new JioPhone is a feature phone boasting smart features. (Source: Neowin)

The Reliance JioPhone can be all yours effectively for $0

Indian telecom operator Reliance Jio has announced the launch of the JioPhone at an effective price of 'zero' coupled with affordable data plans to foster wider adoption of data and e-services across the Indian demographic.
Vintage Intel Atom processors are officially off Microsoft's update radar. (Source: Hexus)

No Creators Update and beyond for Intel 'Clover Trail' Atom CPUs going forward, says Microsoft.

Microsoft has officially ended availability of Windows 10 feature updates post the Anniversary Update for tablets and laptop hybrids featuring Intel's 'Clover Trail' Atom chips owing to end of interactive support for these processors from Intel.
The Nokia 8 is HMD's entry into the highly contested flagship space. (Source: VTech)

Latest leaks reveal Nokia 8's design and possible pricing

Images leaked on a Chinese website show the upcoming Nokia 8 in all its glory replete with a dual-camera layout and flagship specifications.
Lenovo boasts foldable tablets, AR headsets, and more at tech show

Tech World 2017 | Lenovo boasts foldable tablets, AR headsets, and more at tech show

This year's Tech World has even more prototypes on display from wearable smart glasses to fully autonomous electric vehicles.
The XiaoMi Mi Mix was the first phone with a full-body ceramic chassis, but it proved extremely fragile. (Source: ArsTechnica)

Poll shows metal still the preferred material for flagship phones

A GSMArena reader poll shows that aluminum is still the most desired material flagship phone material by far. But why? This article gives a brief overview of why metals are still preferred by users and manufacturers.
The Atari Speakerhat is a baseball style cap with stereo Bluetooth speakers sewn into the brim. (Source: Atari)

Atari creates a new wearable called the SpeakerHat

Atari has announced the "Speakerhat", and it is just what you think it is... a Bluetooth hat with stereo speakers built into the brim. The Speakerhat has a retro appeal and the potential to become annoying in public.
TSMC will soley use DUV lithography in their first generation 7nm chips, possibly to ensure high throughput to remain the sole producer of the Apple A-series processors. (Source: TSMC)

TSMC's first generation 7nm process will be based on older printing technology

TSMC will be basing their first generation of 7nm chips on the DUV lithography, instead of the more advanced EUV lithography. This is likely due to production constraints associated with EUV.
Jul 22
Intel's NCS allows accessing deep neural networks at affordable prices. (Source: AnandTech)

Get deep learning and AI processing in your pocket for $79 with Intel's Movidius Neural Compute Stick

Intel's subsidiary Movidius has launched the Neural Compute Stick that works on the Caffe deep learning framework to provide a low cost, yet effective solution in the end-inference market.
Chinese security forces in Xinjiang are reportedly checking residents for whether or not they have installed the spying app. Failure to have the app installed can lead to up to 10 days detention. (Source: Twitter/即时中国大陆映像)

Some Chinese residents forced to install government spyware on phones

The Chinese government has made the installation of surveillance software on phones mandatory in the north-western city of Urumqi. Urumqi is the capital of Xin Jiang province, which is home to most of China's Turkic Uighur minority.
The iPhone 7 uses an Intel modem for AT&T and T-Mobile variants, while the rest use a Qualcomm part. (Source: Extreme Tech)

Intel paints Qualcomm as anti-competitive bully in public statement to ITC

Intel has weighed in on the Qualcomm vs. Apple suit with a public statement in response to a request for comment by the ITC. In the statement, Intel alleges that Qualcomm is a bully, using the court system to crush competition. Intel claims that the move is orchestrated mainly to replace an Intel modem in the iPhone with a Qualcomm one. Intel has itself faced criticism and fines in the past for anti-competitive practices against AMD.
Laptop sales in EMEA up 3.1 percent YoY as of Q2 2017

Laptop sales in EMEA up 3.1 percent YoY as of Q2 2017

Weak numbers from both Asus and the desktop sector drag down an otherwise healthy PC market.
Users found that using a proxy could triple their bandwidth on the affected sites. (Source: ArsTechnica)

Verizon allegedly throttling Netflix and Youtube

Verizon "unlimited" subscribers have complained about YouTube and Netflix being throttled to 10Mbps, resulting in decreased video quality in some situations. Verizon later admitted to testing"optimizations", but denied that they had throttled the connection.
Phoenix OS 2 in action, version 2.1.9 now available for download

Phoenix OS 2.1.0 now available

This new build is the second one based on Android 7.1 Nougat and comes with updated keyboard mapping, better hardware compatibility, as well as some minor tweaks and bug fixes.
Jul 21
Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2017 invite, Galaxy Note 8 launch confirmed for August 23

Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2017 coming in August

The launch of the Galaxy Note 8 is scheduled to take place at Park Avenue Armory in New York City. Samsung has confirmed that the event is set to kick off at 11 AM EST on August 23.
Images of the budget Nokia 2 surface

Images of the budget Nokia 2 surface

The Nokia 2 looks to be Nokia's first attempt at entering the extreme budget market space but images and leaked specifications aren't doing a good job of painting it in a good light.
It's beautiful, isn't it? (Source: Android Central)

Essential phone's release is just around the corner, says Andy Rubin

An email has been sent to early Essential phone buyers that states a new shipment date for the device. According to the message, the handset should start going out to customers in the coming weeks.
The Yoga 920 is physically similar to its predecessor, pictured here, but with some slight changes. (Source: Lenovo)

Lenovo's upcoming Yoga 920 laptop has its specs leaked before IFA debut

Lenovo is expected to announce the Yoga 920 at IFA in a few weeks, but an FCC filing has divulged details about the notebook's design and specifications. The main takeaways from the leak are a move to Coffee Lake processors and small yet welcome changes to the keyboard and webcam.
Facebook's modular device could incorporate phone, GPS, touchscreen and several other components. (USPTO.gov)

Facebook could be working on a modular smartphone

It looks like Facebook could be resurrecting Googlle's Project Ara, which was cancelled in 2016. It's still unclear how a modular device would fit into Facebook's business model, but the company certainly acquired key team members that worked for Google's Project Ara and also Amazon's Alexa speaker.
The HP Pavilion Power comes only in Shadow Black, but the keyboard can have acid green or ghost white accents. (Source: HP)

HP's new Pavilion Power notebooks get the GTX 1050 treatment

HP has released new Pavilion Power notebooks powered by Intel's Core i5-7300HQ or the i7-7700HQ, and all models come standard with the GTX 1050 GPU. Prices start at US$949.99.
Ubuntu 16.10 Yakkety Yak reaches end of life late July 2017

Ubuntu 16.10 reaches end of life

Nine months after its release, the "Yakkety Yak" Ubuntu release, also carrying the version number 16.10, reaches its last day of support. Those still using it should upgrade to Ubuntu 17.04.

All news articles from Sept. 2010 on are located in our News Archive.

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Notebookcheck, 2005-09-20 (Update: 2015-03-12)