BlackBerry Still Wants You To Buy It’s QWERTY Smartphones

Last few years have not been great with the iconic mobile maker. In the effort of making itself relevant to the industry, the company launched a couple of Android-powered phones to the market, most notable among them being BlackBerry Priv, but none of the launched phones have made the company a serious competitor to Apple or Samsung.

But the company is not to admitting defeat yet, BlackBerry is ready to launch another Smartphone and much like the Priv, it will have a physical keyboard.

TCL (which owns BlackBerry brand name now) is manufacturing the phone and company’s President and GM of Communication, Steave Cistulli teased the device on his Twitter account.

No details on pricing or availability are out yet, but we know that the phones will have a fingerprint sensor built in the spacebar, apart from that the whole keyboard will be touch sensitive letting you swipe or scroll without lifting your fingers to the screen.

The phone is codenamed ‘Mercury, for ‘ and it will have a Snapdragon SoC and 3 GB of RAM.

I am personally not sure if physical keyboards are enough to lure people to buying a phone, it will be interesting to see how the phone works for TCL and BlackBerry.

What are your thoughts on the phone? Share with us in the comments below.

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Asus Just Launched ZenFone AR With 8 GB RAM

We recently covered how SoC maker Qualcomm leaked Asus’ new Google Tango phone by mistake, While we knew that the phone USA Asus ZenFone, nobody had any idea about how beefy the Phone will be.

In an event yesterday, the company announced two phones- ZenFone AR and ZenFone Zoom. It turns out, Asus has packed a lot of hardware in the new phone.

asus zenphone vr

Just as the leak suggested, the ZenFone AR is the world’s first Augmented reality, and virtual reality enabled phone. It is also world’s first mobile phone to come with 8 GB of RAM. The phone has a 5.7″ 1440pp display, a 23 Mega Pixel camera and it comes with the advanced vapor cooling system.

To make it work with Google Tango, the phones has a tricam system, some depth sensors and motion tracking sensors. Alongside with all these sensors, the phone will be powered by Snapdragon 821 Processor.

The company will start selling the phone in the second quarter of the year, and it will come with Android 7.0 Nougat pre-installed. The company also revealed that there will be some other SKUs with a lower amount of RAM too, but the pricing of any model was not revealed at the launch.

The second phone is ZenFone Zoom, and it is a 5.5 Inch camera phones that come with 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB of Internal storage. Asus is focusing on the camera of the phone to make some buzz as the phone had a 12 Megapixel camera with a f/1.7 aperture and the camera supports 2.7x optical zoom with a total of 12x possible zoom. On the front, the phones has a 13 MP selfie camera which has a f/2.0 aperture and a Sony IMX214 sensor. Just like the ZenFone AR, no details on pricing is available, at least for now.

Just like the ZenFone AR, no details on pricing are available, at least for now.

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WhatsApp Will No Longer Work On Old Android Phones and iPhones

One of the most popular messaging apps WhatsApp will no longer work for old Android, iPhones or Windows Phone Devices.

As the company announced on its blog last year, the company is ending support for some old operating systems and devices. Users with devices running Android 2.1, Android 2.2, Windows Phone 7 or iPhone 3GS can no longer use the messaging app.

Market share of these operating systems in quite small actually. Devices running Android 2.2 Froyo are less than 0.1%, and only 2.6% of iPhones are running iOS 6. The iPhone 3GS itself is a seven-year-old device and is no longer sold by Apple.

WhatApp is advising that users running discontinued phones can either update phone’s Operating System or buy a newer phone if they want to continue using the service. If not, all messages can be exported to an Email from the app.

The Facebook-owned company initially said that with the above devices, all BlackBerry devices, Nokia S40 Devices and Nokia S60 devices will also be discontinued, but it won’t be happening until 30 June 2017.

Discontinuing older devices is likely to increase development speed and encryption support for the services. Also, since all the discontinued devices account for less than 0.5 percent of smartphone market, the very little amount of users will be affected by the decision.

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Oops, Qualcomm Leaked Next Google Tango Phone By Mistake

asus zenphone vr

Microsoft has started making progress around the augmented reality headset Hololens and Google is trying to do the same with Android Phones.

Recently released Lenovo Phab 2 could not meet the expectations, but The search giant had a hidden bullet left in the gun, until yesterday. Qualcomm, one of the biggest ARM processor manufacturer in the world, just leaked the next Google Tango phones.

It turns out, the next Tango phone will be from Asus, and the name will be Zenphone VR.  As 9To5Google reported, the chip maker got a bit too early on the blog and posted some updates about the upcoming phone’s capabilities. The page has now been taken down, but here are some of the most important details about the upcoming Zenphone VR.

The phone will be powered by a Snapdragon 821 SoC -the same one used in current Google flagship Pixel – and Adreno 530 GPU which is almost 40% more powerful compared to Snapdragon 810.

Apart from having all necessary imaging sensors to run Google Tango efficiently, the phone will also have support for Google Daydream VR versions of Google Street View, HBO, YouTube and Netflix as well as some games like Need for Speed and Gunjack 2.

After the blog post was published, VentureBeat’s Evan Blass tweeted with what appears to be the photo of the device.

Now that CES2017 is about to start, when Asus announces the device, there will be a lot less to be surprised about.

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Samsung Just Launched Galaxy A With 16 MP Camera and Waterproofing

After some leaks about the new series, Samsung finally introduced its 3 new mid-tier smartphone models. The phones are not as crazy as the upcoming Galaxy S8 (which may come with 8 GB RAM) but offer some great features for the asking price.

There are 3 phones, first one is Galaxy A7 which has a 5.7″ Display, the second one is Galaxy A5 with a 5.2″ Display and the last one is Galaxy A3 that sports a 4.7″ Display. All phones in the series are IP68 water resistant which is a feature that Samsung used to only add on flagship phones such as Galaxy S7.

The company has also added USB-C ports replacing the older, slower Micro USB ports and Galaxy A7 and A5 come with autofocus-equipped 16-megapixel rear cameras. All phones have octa-core processors and come with Android 6.0 Marshmellow. The Galaxy A3 cuts some corners in terms of processing power and camera as it has a 1.6 GHz processor and 13 MP camera compared to 1.9 GHz and 16 MP respectively for Galaxy A5 and A7.

IP68 waterproofing can withstand being submerged in 1.5 meters of water for 30 Minutes and the USB-C port supports fast charging. There was a possibility of Samsung following Apple and removing the headphone jack, but it didn’t happen this time.

The Galaxy A phones look a lot like the previous phones in terms of aesthetics, but with some improvements. The back is a bit more curved than the 2015 series and the speaker grill is now moved to the right-hand side of the device.

Galaxy A5
Galaxy A5

The smartphone giant will be launching the phones in Russia in January and for the rest word shortly after. The pricing is uncleared as of now, but we can expect it to be inline with last year phones. There are four available color options: Black Sky, Gold Sand, Blue Mist and Peach Cloud.

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Gboard (Google’s Default Keyboard) Has Completed 500 Million Downloads

Gboard, Google’s default keyboard app for Android which was formally known as Google Keyboard, has finally completed 500 Millian downloads on Google Play Store.

There are many keyboard apps on Play Store and among them, Swiftkey and Gboard dominate the keyboard section with Go keyboard and some others giving them an intense competition. While Gboard did not introduce any industry changing features in the past, it has managed to work well on almost all Android Phones.

Google recently rebranded the keyboard to Gboard and added some new features that include multiple active languages and integrated Google Search within the keyboard to make it more appealing to everyone. It looks like the efforts have worked considering the app has crossed 500 million downloads joining apps like Photos, Dropbox, and a few other apps.

The app has reached the download number in almost three and a half years since its release, and it had some help by the fact that some phones come with Google’s keyboard app preinstalled. Some of these phones are Pixel and Nexus Devices. However, most big OEMs add their custom keyboard app on their phones by default.

If you have been following Android since last few year, much like me, you can remember that back in 2013, the Google Keyboard was a nice little app, but it lacked many features that advanced users wanted. Now that it has added most advanced features and great customizability options, it has become one of the best keyboard apps if you type a lot on a touchscreen Android Phone. The app has a 4.1 average rating on the Google Play Store. 

What keyboard app do you use? Have you tried Gboard? How was your experience? Share with others in the comments below.

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Samsung Galaxy A Pricing and Other Details Leaked Ahead of Launch

Samsung’s Galaxy A series is getting a launch on 5th January of next year and some details about the phone have already leaked on the internet.

Sammobile reported that Galaxy A series will include three models, named Galaxy A7, Galaxy A5, and Galaxy A3 and all models will have IP68 certification for dirt and water resistance.  Alongside with the IP rating, all models in the series will also have built-in NFC and native support for Samsung Pay -an Apple Pay like mobile payment system.

Similar to Galaxy S7, all three phone will have a fingerprint reader in their home buttons, and you can expect them to look like Galaxy S7 too.

The leak also hints about phone pricing in Malesia. The Galaxy A7 will be priced at $424 which is roughly Rs 29000, and the A5 will cost $378 (almost Rs. 26000). Both models are priced less than current flagship S7.

The company is also not trying to keep the Galaxy as a secret, in fact, user manuals for the models can be found on Samsung’s Russian website. These manual indicate that all phones will run on Android M and not the latest version of the OS which is 7.0 Nougat.

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This Crazy Expensive Phone has a 7000mAh Battery and dual-curved Display

When brands are designing smartphones for rich people specifically, the design is not about efficiency or performance; it is mostly about the build quality, style and premium feeling that it has to offer. Gionee M2017 is a bit different than other luxury smartphones because it offers something other than style: excess raw power.

Listed today on the site, Gionee – a Chinese smartphone manufacturer, has launched an expensive luxury smartphone called Gionee M2017. The phone comes with a whopping 7000mAh battery which is more than double than most flagship smartphones such as Galaxy S7 and iPhone 7. The phone also comes with 6 GB RAM and a Snapdragon 653 processor. The price? You will have to shell out 7000 Yuans which roughly converts to $1000.

Specification and raw hardware capabilities are, however, just half of what the phone offers. The phone focuses heavily on premium design. The M2017 has gold edges a gold back camera plate an all gold software icons our of the box. Very similarly to Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, the phone has a dual curved 5.7″ AMOLED display.

The phone has a 12 Megapixel rear camera and 128 GB of internal storage paired with Google’s Android OS.

Don’t get your hopes too high, though; there is no word on if the phone will be available for markets outside of China. Also, Luxury phone often get caught on a bad software lifecycle. The Gionee M2017 runs Amigo UI which is built on top of Android Marshmellow, and there is no talk of the OS getting Android N update in the future.

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What do you think about the device? Share with others in the comments below.

Rumours: Samsung Galaxy S8 Will Have 8 GB RAM and 256 GB Storage

With Note 7 getting into so much trouble and iPhones selling so well, Samsung has more pressure on making S8 better than ever. Rumors from many sources have started floating around the Internet that indicate Samsung is working its ass off to make the next phone more impressive than the competition.

Known for its accurate rumors about Samsung hardware, Ice Universe has suggested that Samsung Galaxy S8 will be the first Samsung phone to come with a whopping 8 GB of RAM that too will be built using a 10nm fabrication technology. The same rumors also claim that Samsung will use UFS 2.1 Flash storage which is supposed to be much faster than the read-write speed of current devices. Leaks in the past have already suggested that Samsung will have a 256 GB internal storage version of the phone.

Apart from the above, publication based on South Korea also suggested that Samsung will be making some changes to the S8 lineup. The phone will be available in 2 variants which will differ in screen sizes. Galaxy S8 will be a 5″ device while the other version will be called Galaxy S8 Plus which will sport a 6″ Super AMOLED display.

To deal with the large size of S8 Plus, Samsung may minimize the bezel on the phones. However, a 6″ Galaxy S series flagship may indicate the death of Note series.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 with stylus
Samsung Galaxy Note 7 has been canceled, and this leaves Samsung without a flagship phablet | Image: Samsung

So, in conclusion, here is what rumors suggest Samsung Galaxy S8 will have:

  • The phone will have two screen sizes: 5 inches and 6 inches.
  • 8 GB RAM
  • Fast UFS 2.1 Storage
  • A 256 GB Internal Memory version.

Obviously, all the above are still rumors and Samsung has not confirmed it. So, We will have to wait till the phone launches in 2017.

Do you think that Samsung should kill the Note brand and should launch a phablet screen sized Samsung Galaxy S8? Share with us in the comments below.

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LYF F1S With 4G VoLTE Support Launched, Here are Price, Specifications and Other Details

Reliance Retail’s LYF brand has been expanding its mobile range since the first 4G phone was launched by the company. Today, the company released a new phone, this time in its Future series. The phone is named LYF F1S, and its has been priced at Rs 10,099.

The phone is a dual sim affair, where both SIM cards are nano-sized. In the screen departments, the phone has a 5.2″ FHD (1920×1080) IPS display with a Corning Concore Glass 3 Display. Regarding pixel density, it is 423ppi. The phone is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 SoC, in which four cores are clocked at 1.4 GHz and remaining four are clocked at 1.8 GHz it will be coupled with an Adreno 510 GPU and 3 Gigs of RAM.

LYF F1S has a 16 Megapixel camera and a single LED flash, on the front, it has a 5 MP camera for selfies without optical image stabilization. Storage of the phone is 32 GB by default, but you can insert any microSD card up to (128GB). There is a catch, though, the SIM tray is hybrid, hence if you use an SD card, you won’t be able to use dual SIM setup.

LYF F1S With 4G VoLTE Support Launched, Here are Price, Specifications and Other Details

Some other connectivity options include WiFi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.1, USB Type-C port, FM radio, and GPS. The sensors include an ambient light sensor, gyroscope, magnetometer, proximity sensor, and accelerometer.

The weight of the phone is 145 grams, and it measures at 148x73x7.7mm. The battery of the phone is 3000mAh, and LYF estimates talk time of 11.5 hours on 4G networks.

As of now, the phone will come with a 500 Rupee cashback in JioMoney. Effectively getting the price at Rs 9599 which is not a bad deal considering the competition and the specifications of the phone.

What do you thing about LYF F1S? Share with us in the comments below…

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