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Samsung announced new Windows 10 PCs from its Notebook 9 series

Today, Samsung announced a range of new laptops, that it will be displaying at CES 2018 in a few weeks. They include a trio of Notebook 9 laptops, and the Notebook 9 Pen convertible.

All of the new PCs include Intel’s new eighth-generation U-series Core i7 processors, which means that they’re quad-core and there’s going to be a significant boost in performance from the last generation. They’re made of an alloy called Metal12 that Samsung says is lighter than aluminum.

The Notebook 9 comes in 13.3- and 15-inch flavors, with the latter offering discrete graphics in the form of an Nvidia GeForce MX150. With 6.2mm bezels around the 1080p display, Samsung promises a more immersive experience, and it measures in at just 15.4mm thin.

The Notebook 9 Pen has a 360-degree hinge, and you guessed it, a pen. It’s an S Pen, so while it’s smaller, it doesn’t require a battery and it fits inside of a holster in the device. When removing the pen, it launches S Pen shortcuts to apps like Samsung Notes and Autodesk Sketchbook.

All of the new devices come with a fingerprint reader for Windows Hello, but the Notebook 9 Pen also includes an IR camera for facial recognition.

The Notebook 9 and Notebook 9 Pen will be available this month in Korea, and the first quarter of 2018 in the United States. The devices will be on display at CES 2018.

This Chinese Company Just Announced An iPhone X Clone Named The ‘Notch’

Weibo

Behold… the Boway Notch.

The iPhone X has been a generally well-reviewed device, but if there’s one aspect that have drawn the most criticism and mockery — and the one target at which other tech giants have taken shots — it’s that notch at the top of the display, which Apple officials call “sensor housing.”

Personally, the notch (Hong Kong Chinese media amusingly calls it an “M head,” which is Cantonese slang for a receding hairline) doesn’t bother me most of the time when I’m using the phone upright, but when I watch full-screen videos in landscape mode, it is a constant reminder of the design compromises Apple made to mimic a true bezel-less face.

Even Apple’s marketing team seems to be aware of this, as some of its promotional material curiously cuts off the “sensor housing.”

Based in the Hangzhou province of China, Boway is an OEM which has specialized in making printers and cutting machines since 1996. The Notch is its first foray into the world of consumer electronics. And from the looks of the launch event circulating on Weibo, the company is keen to make a big marketing push, even securing two Chinese celebrities to endorse the iPhone X clone.

Weibo

Chinese celebrities endorsing the iPhone X clone.

More on Forbes: My Favorite Smartphones Of 2017, Ranked

I’ve covered my fair share of Chinese ripoff phones — they’ve mostly copied the Samsung Galaxy S8 or Xiaomi Mi Mix so far — and contrary to western perception, they are not unsable. Sure, the lack of respect for intellectual property is amusing/frustrating, but other than that, these phones are fully functional and can get the job done for most average joes who just send emails and browse Facebook and Instagram.

These clones usually sell for under $200 and feature a mid-tier MediaTek processor. There’s no information on the Boway Notch yet, but it appears to be going this route.

Weibo

Another look at the Boway Notch.

It’s worth pointing out that the device has a fingerprint reader on the back — something the iPhone X does not have — which means the Boway Notch will very likely not have facial unlock. This makes the the notch mostly for looks, because the iPhone X’s notch is used to store a very intricate set of sensors that combine to form the “TrueDepth” camera system.

I have reached out to Boway and will definitely try to test the device. From the look of the photos though, it appears to have done a great job of mimicking Apple’s design.

The company that makes chips for top Android phones announced its new model – here’s what it means for Android …

Qualcomm announced details of its new Snapdragon 845 mobile chip on Wednesday during its event in Hawaii, and it offers a good idea of what improvements and features we can expect from phones that will run on the new chips.

Timing-wise, Qualcomm expects the chip’s release as soon as 2018, so we could potentially see the next generation of top Android devices from Samsung, Google, LG, HTC, and others running on the new Snapdragon 845 next year.

As expected, the chip should bring general improvements to performance and battery life. It’ll also allow Android phone makers to improve photo and video capture quality, as well as improving the functionality of AR, VR, and mixed-reality applications. Smart AI assistants, like Google’s Assistant, will also get an intelligence boost.

Check out what we can expect from Snapdragon 845-powered Android phones:


Android phones will be more power efficient for even better battery life.

245a6_c2675867896ad5f5261e9a29f9bc1dda7c0fe4c8-800x600 The company that makes chips for top Android phones announced its new model – here's what it means for Android ...

Battery life on many of the top Android phones is very good, especially on the Pixel 2 phones. That’s partly due to the current power-efficient Snapdragon 835 processor running many top Android phones today.

We can expect even better battery life, with 2018-2019 Android phones as Qualcomm claims the Snapdragon 845 will be 30% more power efficient than the 835.


Photos will be even sharper and clearer, especially in low light.

245a6_c2675867896ad5f5261e9a29f9bc1dda7c0fe4c8-800x600 The company that makes chips for top Android phones announced its new model – here's what it means for Android ...

The Snapdragon 845 chip will let Android phones take advantage of a photography technology called “multi-frame noise reduction” for images up to 16 megapixels. It’ll allow 2018-2019 Android phones to take up to 60 photos per second and combine them into one photo to reduce “noise,” which is that grainy look you most often see in low-light photos.


It’ll add a feature to video recording that will make videos look amazing.

245a6_c2675867896ad5f5261e9a29f9bc1dda7c0fe4c8-800x600 The company that makes chips for top Android phones announced its new model – here's what it means for Android ...

Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 845 chip will allow Android phones to record 4K video in HDR (high dynamic range) at a smooth 60 frames per second (fps). Videos recorded in 4K HDR from smartphones will look fantastic on 4K HDR TVs.

HDR is a feature that enhances contrast ratio. That’s to say it enhances colors, especially those the brighter and darker ends of the spectrum. As my former colleague Jeff Dunn put it: “The result is a picture that is more vivid, and more importantly, noticeably more life-like. Colors are less muted, and objects appear to have more depth. It’s not a gimmick so much as a straight improvement.”

It’ll also allow 2018-2019 Android phone cameras to take videos with a wider color gamut, which could bring even more fine color shades to videos.

So far, no smartphone can record video in HDR, despite the fact that several phones from 2017 have HDR-capable displays.

The Snapdragon 845 will also let Android phones record 720p video at a whopping 480 fps, which is twice as many frames per second as current smartphones that can record in 240 fps for slow-motion. It should make for ultra-smooth slow-motion that can slow down extremely fast movement.


It’ll be faster and more powerful than current 2017 Android phones.

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Qualcomm claims the new Snapdragon 845 will be 25% more powerful than the current Snapdragon 835, and 30% more powerful for games.


It’ll bring great improvements to AR, VR, and mixed-reality applications.

245a6_c2675867896ad5f5261e9a29f9bc1dda7c0fe4c8-800x600 The company that makes chips for top Android phones announced its new model – here's what it means for Android ...

The Snapdragon 845 will allow you to physically move in AR, VR, and mixed-reality applications, much like you can with HTC/Valve’s Vive VR headset. When you physically move forward, you’ll move forwards in a VR game, for example. The feature is called “6DoF,” which stands for 6 degrees of freedom.

Qualcomm’s new chip will also come with features that help VR, AR, and mixed-reality apps prevent you from colliding into walls and objects while you move around.

We’ll also see an overall improvement in AR, VR, and mixed reality visual quality, performance, and power consumption.


2018-2019 smartphones will be even smarter.

245a6_c2675867896ad5f5261e9a29f9bc1dda7c0fe4c8-800x600 The company that makes chips for top Android phones announced its new model – here's what it means for Android ...

AI performance on 2018-2019 Android phones running on the Snapdragon 845 will be tripled, which will help voice assistants better understand more natural ways of speaking.

Better AI will also make it easier to take good photos and videos, according to Qualcomm. Camera features like Portrait Mode, which use AI to identify the subject in the frame, will also get performance boosts.

Honor V10 announced with Android Oreo, 5.99-inch display, and more

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Deal: Buy 3 Months, Get 3 Free. Unlimited Talk, Text.
Plans from $15/month

Honor V10 announced with Android Oreo, 5.99-inch display, and more

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Deal: Buy 3 Months, Get 3 Free. Unlimited Talk, Text.
Plans from $15/month

Boosteroid cloud computer announced token sale

Boosteroid project starts its ICO on November 27th aiming to collect investments for the creation of a cloud services platform (similar to Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud). This information can be found on project blog.

Token sale details

Token sale starts on November 27th at 9:00 (CET) and ends on December 11th at 21:00 (CET). Team plans to sell 300 million BTR tokens. One BTR will cost $1,08. It will be possible to buy BTR on Boosteroid website for ETH, BTC, LTC, BCH. All unsold tokens will be destroyed.

Bonuses for investors:

1 000 BTR – 100 000 BTR purchased – 10%

100 000 BTR до 1 000 000 BTR purchased  -15%

1 000 000 BTR and more – 20%

The collected funds will be used to expand computing facilities and develop a service – cloud computer that will allow to process video, create 3D-graphics, play games that require high computer performance or carry out machine learning on any device, even the most low-performance PC. The team is going to launch project demo by the end of November, 2017.

What makes Boosteroid ICO unique

Boosteroid has a significant advantage as compared to other ongoing ICO projects – the platform is already being developed. The team has a promising business model and road map.

Computing facilities are already operating in Kharkov (Ukraine). When the ICO is completed the team will start scaling Boosteroid in Georgia free industrial zones and they also plan to locate computing facilities in Iceland. So this is a real business but not just an unclear idea.

“We are already building our platform, however the ICO will speed up the process. Tokenization is a natural way to the new level of market relations. In our situation, we offer not just a token but a real service for the people who are willing to support our project. 1 BTR = 1 hour of computing power rent on Boosetoid computing facilities”, – noted Boosteroid CEO Ivan Shvaichenko.

1 BTR = 1 hour Boosteroid computing power rent.

345dc_1-3-300x177 Boosteroid cloud computer announced token sale

(1 BTR = the cost of one hour computing power rent on the basis of eight NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti graphic cards; two Intel Xeon E5 2680v4 processors; RAM 256Gb; SSD 960Gb).

Benefits for investors

Investors will be able to rent Boosteroid cloud computer with BTR tokens or trade them on digital currency exchanges for other cryptocurrency or fiat money and gain profit. Currently the lowest 1 hour computing power rent is $6,5 – $ 10,5 and that means Boosteroid token rate can increase significantly.  

The team wants to maintain the demand for BTR tokens by token repurchase.

345dc_1-3-300x177 Boosteroid cloud computer announced token sale

“After the platform is launched our service (exchange service that accepts BTR and USD as a payment for computing power rent – note.)  will automatically receive money from users who pay for Boosteroid computing power and use this money to purchase tokens on the exchange – told CEO.

You can follow the ICO and join it here (https://boosteroid.com/).

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not represent the views of NewsBTC or any of its team members.  NewsBTC is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied in Sponsored Stories/Press Releases such as this one.

World of Final Fantasy: Meli-Melo announced for iOS, Android

36a53_World-of-FF-MM-Init_11-20-17 World of Final Fantasy: Meli-Melo announced for iOS, Android

The latest issue of Weekly Famitsu reveals World of Final Fantasy: Meli-Melo for iOS and Android. It will launch in Japan in 2017.

Developed by Drecom, World of Final Fantasy: Meli-Melo is a casual-themed title different from the previous World of Final Fantasy. Players will be able to stack a maximum of six small characters on top of each other, or four medium characters, or two large characters. Co-op with other players is also supported.

Players will have a “Garden Dome” where they can befriend Mirages and go on an adventure in the other world of Valgallan. The original characters that appeared in the previous game will appear again in this game. The story is told in the form of a manga.

The game’s staff includes executive producer Shinji Hashimoto and director Hiroki Chiba, who directed the previous game.

Here are some choice quotes from the magazine:

  • “The previous game was a big hit that sold 800,000 copies and had the support of fans overseas.”
  • “There were plans for a smartphone release before the development of the previous game, but since it costs a lot to start from scratch on smartphones, we first made a solid game for console, and are making use of those assets for smartphones.”
  • “The World of Final Fantasy series will continue to spread out in the future.”

Thanks, Ryokutya2089.

Cardinal Health announced program to address opioid crisis

As Cardinal Health continues to face lawsuits over its alleged role in stoking the national opioid crisis, the company on Thursday is scheduled to announce a sweeping program in Appalachia aimed at combating drug abuse.

Its Opioid Action Program, in cooperation with local partners in Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia, is being called a pilot program that could be expanded over time.

The Dublin-based company, one of the nation’s three dominant distributors of drugs made by other companies, is targeting an initial $10 million investment in the program through June 2018, the end of Cardinal’s fiscal year. The key steps Cardinal will take include:

• Buy and distribute, free of charge, approximately 80,000 doses of Narcan, also known by its generic name naloxone HC, to first responders and law enforcement officials in the target areas.

• Increase its existing support for drug-disposal and education programs, building on the Cardinal Health Foundation’s Generation Rx program in partnership with the Ohio State University College of Pharmacy.

• Devote $3 million to expand existing grants targeting youth drug-abuse prevention education, opioid awareness for prescribing physicians and related opiod-reduction efforts.

• Join with Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School to share teaching materials on opioid misuse and treatment with medical schools in Appalachia and elsewhere.

The efforts will be based in the targeted states, where Cardinal has operations. Those could include central Ohio communities including Obetz, Groveport and Zanesville, according to a spokeswoman.

“Opioid addiction and abuse has harmed too many people in our home state of Ohio, across Appalachia and around the country,” said George Barrett, chairman and CEO of Cardinal, in a statement. “This program is intended to build on the important work we have done over the years to bring more resources to communities that need them, with a focus on known solutions that will help families and communities combat this epidemic.”

Cardinal announced the broad parameters of the plan in August but has not previously released any details. Since then, the company has continued to draw fire from critics.

In the wake of multi-million dollar settlements from Cardinal and its two competitors, AmerisourceBergen and McKesson in opioid-related cases, cities and municipalities have continued to sue the distributors.

Also, last week, an investor group led by the Teamsters protested at Cardinal’s annual shareholders meeting over opioid deaths and the company’s alleged role in the crisis. And two days before that, the company announced Barrett would relinquish the CEO title at the end of the year and step down as executive chairman in November 2018. The Teamster-led group wanted the company to separate the roles of CEO and chairman.

Cardinal and its competitors also are under heightened scrutiny following an October report from 60 Minutes and the Washington Post, in which a former Drug Enforcement Administration official charged them with helping pass legislation that tied the DEA’s hands in stopping opioid diversion.

Through a trade group, the drug-distribution companies have countered that the 2016 Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act did not hamper DEA enforcement actions.

One official that has been involved with Cardinal’s anti-drug-abuse efforts in the past understands that the latest announcement may be viewed with skepticism, given the climate.

But Dr. Ken Hale, a clinical professor in OSU’s pharmacy college and co-director of its Generation Rx program with Cardinal, says he believes Cardinal and its employees have been committed for years with little fanfare to helping prevent and stem opioid abuse. As part of Generation Rx, Cardinal has given money to help pay for workers and materials devoted to the program at OSU since 2009.

“I’ve been very impressed with what they’re trying to do,” Hale said. “They’ve invested a considerable amount of funds and employees’ time to prevention efforts with us. They’ve reached millions of people, from grade school age to senior citizens.”

Hale echoed Barrett and the Healthcare Distribution Alliance industry trade group in stressing that the drug epidemic has many causes and many players who must be part of the solution.

“I’m not saying the distributors don’t have any culpability in this,” he said. “But pharmacists, health professionals, patients … all have responsibility. To point the finger at drug distributors is misguided.”

The program certainly won’t be a cure-all for the opioid problem, which has had an outsized impact on Appalachia. In Ohio alone last year, EMS workers reportedly administered in excess of 19,500 doses of nalaxone, the anti-overdose medication Cardinal will be distributing.

More information on the program will be posted online at www.cardinalhealth.com/opioidactionprogram.

mrose@dispatch.com

@MarlaMRose

Linux Kernel 4.14 Announced with Secure Memory Encryption and …

Linux, the best-known and most-used open source operating system, got a major upgrade on Sunday. Linus Torvalds announced the latest version of the Linux kernel, version 4.14, and the many new features and tweaks packed inside it.

One involves reverting code that improved the accuracy of the displayed CPU frequency on modern, dynamically-clocked processors in /proc/cpuinfo. It worked as intended in most cases, but there were lingering issues with overhead on machines with tens or hundreds of CPU cores. There’s a plan to bring the feature back, but not anytime soon.

Another change is AMD Secure Memory Encryption, an optional feature that can be used to protect the contents of DRAM from physical attacks on the system, and a new “unwinder” which prints the list of functions (i.e.. stack trace, callgraph, call stack) that have been executed before reaching a determinate point of the code. Linux already had an unwinder, but it wasn’t as efficient as ORC unwinder, which doesn’t need to insert code anywhere and so doesn’t affect text size or runtime performance.

Other changes in version 4.14 of the Linux kernel include bigger memory limits, since the original x86-64 was limited by 4-level paging to 256 TiB of virtual address space and 64 TiB of physical address space. (Upcoming hardware will introduce support for 5-level paging, which will bump the limits to 128 PiB of virtual address space and 4 PiB of physical address space.) And also in tow are zstd compression in Btrfs and Squashfs, zero-copy from user memory to sockets, Heterogeneous Memory Management for future GPUs, and better cpufreq coordination with SMP and longer-lived TLB Entries with PCID.

There are a lot more changes where those come from, of course. For folks interested, the full changelog is available at the source link.


Announcement
Full Changelog

Linux Kernel 4.14 Announced, Adds Support for AMD Secure Memory Encryption and More

Linux, the best-known and most-used open source operating system, got a major upgrade on Sunday. Linus Torvalds announced the latest version of the Linux kernel, version 4.14, and the many new features and tweaks packed inside it.

One involves reverting code that improved the accuracy of the displayed CPU frequency on modern, dynamically-clocked processors in /proc/cpuinfo. It worked as intended in most cases, but there were lingering issues with overhead on machines with tens or hundreds of CPU cores. There’s a plan to bring the feature back, but not anytime soon.

Another change is AMD Secure Memory Encryption, an optional feature that can be used to protect the contents of DRAM from physical attacks on the system, and a new “unwinder” which prints the list of functions (i.e.. stack trace, callgraph, call stack) that have been executed before reaching a determinate point of the code. Linux already had an unwinder, but it wasn’t as efficient as ORC unwinder, which doesn’t need to insert code anywhere and so doesn’t affect text size or runtime performance.

Other changes in version 4.14 of the Linux kernel include bigger memory limits, since the original x86-64 was limited by 4-level paging to 256 TiB of virtual address space and 64 TiB of physical address space. (Upcoming hardware will introduce support for 5-level paging, which will bump the limits to 128 PiB of virtual address space and 4 PiB of physical address space.) And also in tow are zstd compression in Btrfs and Squashfs, zero-copy from user memory to sockets, Heterogeneous Memory Management for future GPUs, and better cpufreq coordination with SMP and longer-lived TLB Entries with PCID.

There are a lot more changes where those come from, of course. For folks interested, the full changelog is available at the source link.


Announcement
Full Changelog

Razer Phone announced with huge bezels, no headphone jack, and dubious gamer cred

Can you actually make an Android phone for gamers? Aren’t they all spec-heavy beasts of incredible processing burden? These are the questions Razer will have to answer as it introduces its first ever smartphone, appropriately titled the Razer Phone.

This device has a 5.7-inch 1440p screen — with variable refresh rate, rather like Apple’s most recent iPad Pro — and a whopping 8GB of RAM, plus 64GB of expandable storage. It also includes stereo front-facing speakers with Dolby Atmos support and a generous 4,000mAh battery powering the flagship-standard Snapdragon 835 processor. A dual 12-megapixel camera system on the back works along the same lines as Apple’s iPhone setup: one camera has an f/1.8 lens for wide shots and the other is a telephoto f/2.6 shooter. I’d say the Razer Phone was designed to appeal to spec lovers, but having handled the device extensively ahead of today’s launch, I struggle to believe that it was designed at all. I mean, just look at its characterless black-slab aluminum exterior. It’s like someone revived Brutalist architects from the 1960s and tasked them with devising the world’s blockiest phone.

f2276_20171031_razer_phone_vladsavov_00006 Razer Phone announced with huge bezels, no headphone jack, and dubious gamer cred

f2276_20171031_razer_phone_vladsavov_00006 Razer Phone announced with huge bezels, no headphone jack, and dubious gamer cred

Photo by Vlad Savov / The Verge and Photo by Vlad Savov / The Verge

Razer prides itself on selling products made “for gamers, by gamers,” and it believes the above combination of desirable internal components will offset the blandness of the Razer Phone’s looks, the bigness of its speaker-housing bezels, and the absence of its headphone jack. It’s that last element that strikes me as a major contradiction: Razer’s supposedly gamer-friendly device is lacking easy connectivity to a gamer’s most essential peripheral after the controller. Inside the Razer Phone box you’ll find a THX-certified audio dongle that lets you hook up headphones and promises 24-bit “audiophile-quality” sound, but that’s a weird compromise on a device that’s supposed to be about no-compromise gaming performance.

I simply can’t agree with Razer that this is a phone made “for gamers,” whether it was designed by such people or not. Even the gamers that like LED lights on their mouse pads, Lambo-inspired gear designs, and hexagonal PC cases don’t really want all those elements in their phones. Most people are after the same thing from a phone: the sort of slick, glamorous, and ergonomic design of a Galaxy S8 or an iPhone X. We shouldn’t excuse ugly design by saying it’s “for gamers,” even if ugly gamer designs are so numerous.


f2276_20171031_razer_phone_vladsavov_00006 Razer Phone announced with huge bezels, no headphone jack, and dubious gamer cred

More importantly, Razer hasn’t done anything to truly elevate the Android gaming experience over its more seasoned competitors. Every current Android flagship is powered by the same Snapdragon 835 that Razer uses, OnePlus and others have already been selling 8GB phones for a while, and Razer’s software augmentations boil down to a Game Booster app that functions like a secondary settings menu. In Game Booster, you’ll be able to prioritize system resources for games, specify your desired resolution, and do a few other tweaks that mostly feel like superfluous effort. I game a lot on Android phones and I rarely feel compelled to tinker with settings; most games just work, so I’m not sure how big of a problem Razer thinks it’s solving with its phone. In terms of the UI, the software is basically stock Android Nougat 7.1.1 with Google Assistant and the premium version of the Nova Launcher preloaded. No Android 8 Oreo this year. Disappointing.

Razer will tell you that it has the best “thermals” (i.e., heat dissipation) in the business, using the metal frame of the phone as a heatsink and allowing you to play games at the highest quality for the longest time. And I’ll tell you that that’s a cool thing to have, but not a big enough reason to buy this phone over any other Android spec beast. Razer is still so very green to this phone business that it didn’t even have a dedicated gaming mode with all visual notifications disabled until I asked for one. I kid you not, it was only after I pointed out how useful that feature is on Samsung’s Galaxy S devices that Razer built it into its own Android software. This goes to show both the company’s inexperience and its willingness to learn quickly.

I do like that Razer has pushed things forward on the display front by using a Sharp IGZO panel capable of adjustable frame rates maxing out at 120Hz. That means ultra smooth animations during games and extra slow (and thus efficient) speeds for when the phone is just idling on the home screen, or you’re composing your latest tweet. The higher frame rate does make the experience of using the phone feel more fluid. This is the sort of display adaptability that should eventually become standard on all mobile devices, helping us eke out more battery life through more responsive, self-adjusting power usage. But is that enough of a leap forward to justify the Razer Phone’s existence?

The device is priced at $700 in the US (or €750 in Europe, £700 in the UK) and sold directly from Razer’s online store or Amazon.com, with a ship date of November 17th with online reservations opening today. That price tag means the Razer Phone is entering the most premium and competitive segment of the smartphone market. It’s going up against brilliantly designed pieces of hardware like the Galaxy Note 8, LG V30, HTC U11, OnePlus 5, and Huawei Mate 10 Pro. All of them have specs to match Razer’s, aside from that new screen; many of them have eliminated the bezels; and the majority also have headphone jacks. Why should you buy the Razer Phone ahead of all that great competition? Maybe Razer has a compelling answer, but after my experience with its new device, I can’t identify it.

Photography by Vlad Savov / The Verge

Razer Phone officially announced: This phone is a beast!

Razer is making its entrance in the smartphone arena, and is doing it in grand style. Following a few teasers and a last-minute leak that spoiled some of the surprise, Razer introduced today its first smartphone, the Razer Phone. Here’s what you need to know about it!

The Razer Phone combines the gaming acumen Razer devices are known for with DNA from Nextbit, the short-lived smartphone maker that Razer acquired earlier this year. But the Razer Phone is not (just) a gaming phone and Razer was keen to emphasize that the device is geared towards anyone that likes to consume entertainment on mobile, whether it’s gaming, movies, music, or some plain old web browsing.

From our brief hands-on time with the Razer Phone, we can already tell that Razer is on to something here. With brawny specs and special features including a 120 Hz display, the Razer Phone definitely stands out from the pack. Refreshingly, it’s not even that expensive.

2e6e9_Razer-Phone-AA-Hands-On-1-840x473 Razer Phone officially announced: This phone is a beast!

120 Hz UltraMotion display

120 Hz displays are slowly making their way into the mobile space, promising an experience that is smoother than ever. The feature was well received on the iPad Pro 10.5, and Sharp recently announced a Japan-only 120 Hz smartphone called the Aquos R Compact. However, the Sharp device will only hit the market in December, giving Razer at least some partial bragging rights.

2e6e9_Razer-Phone-AA-Hands-On-1-840x473 Razer Phone officially announced: This phone is a beast!

So what’s the 120 Hz refresh rate all about? We have an in-depth explainer for you to check out, but in a nutshell, the feature enables smoother animations, provided that all the other components of the stack – phone hardware, drivers, applications – support it. There’s some debate around the actual benefits of having a high display refresh rate (other phones are capped at 60 Hz, which is arguably “good enough”), but it’s clear that 120 Hz is the way to go if you’re looking for the best viewing experience. That’s exactly what Razer aims to provide, and judging from Josh’s and Nirave’s experience, the display of the Razer Phone is, in fact, incredibly smooth.

Razer Phone uses a tech called UltraMotion to synchronize the display refresh rate with the frames rendered by the mobile GPU, similar to Nvidia’s Gsync feature for desktop PCs. The display itself is a 5.72-inch IGZO LCD panel of Quad HD resolution (in 16:9 format) that offers a Wide Color Gamut.

The sound is loud and clear

The Razer Phone eschews the “bezel-less” design trend that has gripped the mobile industry, and that’s great for one reason in particular: it leaves room for some high-quality stereo speakers, as well as dual dedicated amplifiers.

2e6e9_Razer-Phone-AA-Hands-On-1-840x473 Razer Phone officially announced: This phone is a beast!

Razer equipped its phone with Dolby Atmos technology in order to extract the most volume and clarity out of the two speakers. Whether the end result is “true cinematic audio” or not is debatable, but we really loved the Razer Phone’s sound in our hands-on demo.

There’s no audio jack on the Razer Phone, which is a bit of a letdown, but hopefully the THX-certified USB Type-C audio adapter and 24-bit DAC will make up for the inconvenience.

The specs are top-notch

As you would expect from a smartphone developed by Razer, the device features a truly impressive spec sheet. The phone is powered by a Snapdragon 835 processor with Adreno 540 GPU, along with 8GB of LPDRR4 RAM, and 64GB of internal storage, expandable via microSD. Razer says you’ll even be able to overclock the processor.

2e6e9_Razer-Phone-AA-Hands-On-1-840x473 Razer Phone officially announced: This phone is a beast!

The battery is very generous at 4,000 mAh, and that’s exactly what we wanted to see in a device that’s heavily geared towards gaming. The Razer Phone also features the latest Quick Charge 4+ tech from Qualcomm and a 24-watt charger that should make quick work out of keeping your battery full.

The Razer Phone comes with two 12 MP cameras on the rear, one wide and one telephoto, similar to other modern flagships. The wide-angle lens features f/1.75 aperture, while the telephoto lens offers f/2.6 aperture. Both cameras boast Phase Detection Autofocus.

Read: Full Razer Phone specs and features

Android Nougat, Nova Launcher, and gaming features

The Razer Phone runs Android 7.1 out of the box, and the manufacturer promises an Oreo update for spring of next year. The phone is not quite stock – Razer made several customizations to take advantage of the hardware (you can change both the screen resolution and its refresh rate, for instance) and pre-loaded the premium version of Nova Launcher as the default launcher on the device. An app called Game Booster lets you customize the frame rate, resolution and processor clock speed on a per-app basis.

2e6e9_Razer-Phone-AA-Hands-On-1-840x473 Razer Phone officially announced: This phone is a beast!

Razer also plans to launch a new theme store that brings more customization than traditional themes. Once launched, the new themes will allow designers to customize the dialer, icons, quick settings, wallpaper, ringtones, notification settings, calculator, clock, icon packs and all the default preloaded non-Google apps. The theme store can also apply themes to Nova Launcher for a fully customized experience.

Several major game developers are working with Razer to ensure that their games are fully compatible with the Razer Phone’s hardware. Optimized titles include Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition, Lineage 2: Revolution, RuneScape, Shadowgun Legends, Tekken, and World of Tanks Blitz, to name a few.

Available for pre-order now for $700

The Razer Phone is launching today in the UK, Europe, and the US. Razer has partnered with Three as the exclusive launch carrier in the UK, Ireland, Denmark, and Sweden. Razer will additionally offer the phone via Razerzone.com in North America, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Germany, France, Denmark, and Sweden.

2e6e9_Razer-Phone-AA-Hands-On-1-840x473 Razer Phone officially announced: This phone is a beast!

The company also plans to offer the phone via select Microsoft Store locations in the US and via Amazon.com. Pre-orders for the Razer Phone are available now for $699.99 in North America and Canada, €749.99 in European countries and £699.99 in the UK. The handset will launch on November 17 in the markets listed above.

A special edition of the Razer Phone, featuring a green Razer logo (instead of the chrome logo of the regular model), will be made available through the channels listed above. Only 1,337 (leet!) units will be made available, but it’s not clear whether the special edition will be different in any other ways other than the green logo.

2e6e9_Razer-Phone-AA-Hands-On-1-840x473 Razer Phone officially announced: This phone is a beast!

More Razer Phone coverage

Let us know your thoughts! Are you as excited as we are for the new Razer Phone?

Razer Phone officially announced: This phone is a beast!

Razer is making its entrance in the smartphone arena, and is doing it in grand style. Following a few teasers and a last-minute leak that spoiled some of the surprise, Razer introduced today its first smartphone, the Razer Phone. Here’s what you need to know about it!

The Razer Phone combines the gaming acumen Razer devices are known for with DNA from Nextbit, the short-lived smartphone maker that Razer acquired earlier this year. But the Razer Phone is not (just) a gaming phone and Razer was keen to emphasize that the device is geared towards anyone that likes to consume entertainment on mobile, whether it’s gaming, movies, music, or some plain old web browsing.

From our brief hands-on time with the Razer Phone, we can already tell that Razer is on to something here. With brawny specs and special features including a 120 Hz display, the Razer Phone definitely stands out from the pack. Refreshingly, it’s not even that expensive.

64630_Razer-Phone-AA-Hands-On-1-840x473 Razer Phone officially announced: This phone is a beast!

120 Hz UltraMotion display

120 Hz displays are slowly making their way into the mobile space, promising an experience that is smoother than ever. The feature was well received on the iPad Pro 10.5, and Sharp recently announced a Japan-only 120 Hz smartphone called the Aquos R Compact. However, the Sharp device will only hit the market in December, giving Razer at least some partial bragging rights.

64630_Razer-Phone-AA-Hands-On-1-840x473 Razer Phone officially announced: This phone is a beast!

So what’s the 120 Hz refresh rate all about? We have an in-depth explainer for you to check out, but in a nutshell, the feature enables smoother animations, provided that all the other components of the stack – phone hardware, drivers, applications – support it. There’s some debate around the actual benefits of having a high display refresh rate (other phones are capped at 60 Hz, which is arguably “good enough”), but it’s clear that 120 Hz is the way to go if you’re looking for the best viewing experience. That’s exactly what Razer aims to provide, and judging from Josh’s and Nirave’s experience, the display of the Razer Phone is, in fact, incredibly smooth.

Razer Phone uses a tech called UltraMotion to synchronize the display refresh rate with the frames rendered by the mobile GPU, similar to Nvidia’s Gsync feature for desktop PCs. The display itself is a 5.72-inch IGZO LCD panel of Quad HD resolution (in 16:9 format) that offers a Wide Color Gamut.

The sound is loud and clear

The Razer Phone eschews the “bezel-less” design trend that has gripped the mobile industry, and that’s great for one reason in particular: it leaves room for some high-quality stereo speakers, as well as dual dedicated amplifiers.

64630_Razer-Phone-AA-Hands-On-1-840x473 Razer Phone officially announced: This phone is a beast!

Razer equipped its phone with Dolby Atmos technology in order to extract the most volume and clarity out of the two speakers. Whether the end result is “true cinematic audio” or not is debatable, but we really loved the Razer Phone’s sound in our hands-on demo.

There’s no audio jack on the Razer Phone, which is a bit of a letdown, but hopefully the THX-certified USB Type-C audio adapter and 24-bit DAC will make up for the inconvenience.

The specs are top-notch

As you would expect from a smartphone developed by Razer, the device features a truly impressive spec sheet. The phone is powered by a Snapdragon 835 processor with Adreno 540 GPU, along with 8GB of LPDRR4 RAM, and 64GB of internal storage, expandable via microSD. Razer says you’ll even be able to overclock the processor.

64630_Razer-Phone-AA-Hands-On-1-840x473 Razer Phone officially announced: This phone is a beast!

The battery is very generous at 4,000 mAh, and that’s exactly what we wanted to see in a device that’s heavily geared towards gaming. The Razer Phone also features the latest Quick Charge 4+ tech from Qualcomm and a 24-watt charger that should make quick work out of keeping your battery full.

The Razer Phone comes with two 12 MP cameras on the rear, one wide and one telephoto, similar to other modern flagships. The wide-angle lens features f/1.75 aperture, while the telephoto lens offers f/2.6 aperture. Both cameras boast Phase Detection Autofocus.

Read: Full Razer Phone specs and features

Android Nougat, Nova Launcher, and gaming features

The Razer Phone runs Android 7.1 out of the box, and the manufacturer promises an Oreo update for spring of next year. The phone is not quite stock – Razer made several customizations to take advantage of the hardware (you can change both the screen resolution and its refresh rate, for instance) and pre-loaded the premium version of Nova Launcher as the default launcher on the device. An app called Game Booster lets you customize the frame rate, resolution and processor clock speed on a per-app basis.

64630_Razer-Phone-AA-Hands-On-1-840x473 Razer Phone officially announced: This phone is a beast!

Razer also plans to launch a new theme store that brings more customization than traditional themes. Once launched, the new themes will allow designers to customize the dialer, icons, quick settings, wallpaper, ringtones, notification settings, calculator, clock, icon packs and all the default preloaded non-Google apps. The theme store can also apply themes to Nova Launcher for a fully customized experience.

Several major game developers are working with Razer to ensure that their games are fully compatible with the Razer Phone’s hardware. Optimized titles include Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition, Lineage 2: Revolution, RuneScape, Shadowgun Legends, Tekken, and World of Tanks Blitz, to name a few.

Available for pre-order now for $700

The Razer Phone is launching today in the UK, Europe, and the US. Razer has partnered with Three as the exclusive launch carrier in the UK, Ireland, Denmark, and Sweden. Razer will additionally offer the phone via Razerzone.com in North America, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Germany, France, Denmark, and Sweden.

64630_Razer-Phone-AA-Hands-On-1-840x473 Razer Phone officially announced: This phone is a beast!

The company also plans to offer the phone via select Microsoft Store locations in the US and via Amazon.com. Pre-orders for the Razer Phone are available now for $699.99 in North America and Canada, €749.99 in European countries and £699.99 in the UK. The handset will launch on November 17 in the markets listed above.

A special edition of the Razer Phone, featuring a green Razer logo (instead of the chrome logo of the regular model), will be made available through the channels listed above. Only 1,337 (leet!) units will be made available, but it’s not clear whether the special edition will be different in any other ways other than the green logo.

64630_Razer-Phone-AA-Hands-On-1-840x473 Razer Phone officially announced: This phone is a beast!

More Razer Phone coverage

Let us know your thoughts! Are you as excited as we are for the new Razer Phone?

Razer Phone announced: huge bezels, no headphone jack, and …

Can you actually make an Android phone for gamers? Aren’t they all spec-heavy beasts of incredible processing burden? These are the questions Razer will have to answer as it introduces its first ever smartphone, appropriately titled the Razer Phone.

This device has a 5.7-inch 1440p screen — with variable refresh rate, rather like Apple’s most recent iPad Pro — and a whopping 8GB of RAM, plus 64GB of expandable storage. It also includes stereo front-facing speakers with Dolby Atmos support and a generous 4,000mAh battery powering the flagship-standard Snapdragon 835 processor. A dual 12-megapixel camera system on the back works along the same lines as Apple’s iPhone setup: one camera has an f/1.8 lens for wide shots and the other is a telephoto f/2.6 shooter. I’d say the Razer Phone was designed to appeal to spec lovers, but having handled the device extensively ahead of today’s launch, I struggle to believe that it was designed at all. I mean, just look at its characterless black-slab aluminum exterior. It’s like someone revived Brutalist architects from the 1960s and tasked them with devising the world’s blockiest phone.

1dc44_20171031_razer_phone_vladsavov_00006 Razer Phone announced: huge bezels, no headphone jack, and ...

1dc44_20171031_razer_phone_vladsavov_00006 Razer Phone announced: huge bezels, no headphone jack, and ...

Photo by Vlad Savov / The Verge and Photo by Vlad Savov / The Verge

Razer prides itself on selling products made “for gamers, by gamers,” and it believes the above combination of desirable internal components will offset the blandness of the Razer Phone’s looks, the bigness of its speaker-housing bezels, and the absence of its headphone jack. It’s that last element that strikes me as a major contradiction: Razer’s supposedly gamer-friendly device is lacking easy connectivity to a gamer’s most essential peripheral after the controller. Inside the Razer Phone box you’ll find a THX-certified audio dongle that lets you hook up headphones and promises 24-bit “audiophile-quality” sound, but that’s a weird compromise on a device that’s supposed to be about no-compromise gaming performance.

I simply can’t agree with Razer that this is a phone made “for gamers,” whether it was designed by such people or not. Even the gamers that like LED lights on their mouse pads, Lambo-inspired gear designs, and hexagonal PC cases don’t really want all those elements in their phones. Most people are after the same thing from a phone: the sort of slick, glamorous, and ergonomic design of a Galaxy S8 or an iPhone X. We shouldn’t excuse ugly design by saying it’s “for gamers,” even if ugly gamer designs are so numerous.


1dc44_20171031_razer_phone_vladsavov_00006 Razer Phone announced: huge bezels, no headphone jack, and ...

More importantly, Razer hasn’t done anything to truly elevate the Android gaming experience over its more seasoned competitors. Every current Android flagship is powered by the same Snapdragon 835 that Razer uses, OnePlus and others have already been selling 8GB phones for a while, and Razer’s software augmentations boil down to a Game Booster app that functions like a secondary settings menu. In Game Booster, you’ll be able to prioritize system resources for games, specify your desired resolution, and do a few other tweaks that mostly feel like superfluous effort. I game a lot on Android phones and I rarely feel compelled to tinker with settings; most games just work, so I’m not sure how big of a problem Razer thinks it’s solving with its phone. In terms of the UI, the software is basically stock Android Nougat 7.1.1 with Google Assistant and the premium version of the Nova Launcher preloaded. No Android 8 Oreo this year. Disappointing.

Razer will tell you that it has the best “thermals” (i.e., heat dissipation) in the business, using the metal frame of the phone as a heatsink and allowing you to play games at the highest quality for the longest time. And I’ll tell you that that’s a cool thing to have, but not a big enough reason to buy this phone over any other Android spec beast. Razer is still so very green to this phone business that it didn’t even have a dedicated gaming mode with all visual notifications disabled until I asked for one. I kid you not, it was only after I pointed out how useful that feature is on Samsung’s Galaxy S devices that Razer built it into its own Android software. This goes to show both the company’s inexperience and its willingness to learn quickly.

I do like that Razer has pushed things forward on the display front by using a Sharp IGZO panel capable of adjustable frame rates maxing out at 120Hz. That means ultra smooth animations during games and extra slow (and thus efficient) speeds for when the phone is just idling on the home screen, or you’re composing your latest tweet. The higher frame rate does make the experience of using the phone feel more fluid. This is the sort of display adaptability that should eventually become standard on all mobile devices, helping us eke out more battery life through more responsive, self-adjusting power usage. But is that enough of a leap forward to justify the Razer Phone’s existence?

The device is priced at $700 in the US (or €750 in Europe, £700 in the UK) and sold directly from Razer’s online store or Amazon.com, with a ship date of November 17th with online reservations opening today. That price tag means the Razer Phone is entering the most premium and competitive segment of the smartphone market. It’s going up against brilliantly designed pieces of hardware like the Galaxy Note 8, LG V30, HTC U11, OnePlus 5, and Huawei Mate 10 Pro. All of them have specs to match Razer’s, aside from that new screen; many of them have eliminated the bezels; and the majority also have headphone jacks. Why should you buy the Razer Phone ahead of all that great competition? Maybe Razer has a compelling answer, but after my experience with its new device, I can’t identify it.

Photography by Vlad Savov / The Verge

Community Data License Agreement announced by Linux Foundation

Posted Wednesday, October 25, 2017 by
Christian Hargrave, Assignment Editor





The Linux Foundation has announced the Community Data License Agreement (CDLA) family of open data agreements. In an era of expansive and often underused data, the CDLA licenses are an effort to define a licensing framework to support collaborative communities built around curating and sharing “open” data.

Inspired by the collaborative software development models of open source software, the CDLA licenses are designed to enable individuals and organizations of all types to share data as easily as they currently share open source software code. Soundly drafted licensing models can help people form communities to assemble, curate and maintain vast amounts of data, measured in petabytes and exabytes, to bring new value to communities of all types, to build new business opportunities and to power new applications that promise to enhance safety and services.

The growth of big data analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies has allowed people to extract unprecedented levels of insight from data. Now the challenge is to assemble the critical mass of data for those tools to analyze. The CDLA licenses are designed to help governments, academic institutions, businesses and other organizations open up and share data, with the goal of creating communities that curate and share data openly.

For instance, if automakers, suppliers and civil infrastructure services can share data, they may be able to improve safety, decrease energy consumption and improve predictive maintenance. Self-driving cars are heavily dependent on AI systems for navigation, and need massive volumes of data to function properly. Once on the road, they can generate nearly a gigabyte of data every second. For the average car, that means two petabytes of sensor, audio, video and other data each year.

Similarly, climate modeling can integrate measurements captured by government agencies with simulation data from other organizations and then use machine learning systems to look for patterns in the information. It’s estimated that a single model can yield a petabyte of data, a volume that challenges standard computer algorithms, but is useful for machine learning systems. This knowledge may help improve agriculture or aid in studying extreme weather patterns.

And if governmental agencies share aggregated data on building permits, school enrollment figures, sewer and water usage, their citizens benefit from the ability of commercial entities to anticipate their future needs and respond with infrastructure and facilities that arrive in anticipation of citizens’ demands.

“An open data license is essential for the frictionless sharing of the data that powers both critical technologies and societal benefits,” said Jim Zemlin, Executive Director of The Linux Foundation. “The success of open source software provides a powerful example of what can be accomplished when people come together around a resource and advance it for the common good. The CDLA licenses are a key step in that direction and will encourage the continued growth of applications and infrastructure.”

CDLA Licenses Promote Sharing While Reducing Risk

The Linux Foundation, in collaboration with a broad set of participating organizations, drafted the CDLA licenses with the needs of companies, organizations and communities that have valuable data assets such as these to share. The intention of the licenses is for contributors and consumers of open datasets to actively use and support the contribution of data in a uniform fashion, while clarifying the terms of that sharing and reducing risk.

There are two CDLA licenses: a Sharing license that encourages contributions of data back to the data community, and a Permissive license that puts no additional sharing requirements on recipients or contributors of open data. Both encourage and facilitate the productive use of data.

Community Data License Agreement implications include:

  • Data producers can share with greater clarity about what recipients may do with it. Data producers can also choose between Sharing and Permissive licenses and select the model that best aligns with their interests. In either case, data producers should enjoy the clarity of recognized terms and disclaimers of liabilities and warranties.
  • Data communities can standardize on a license or set of licenses that provide the ability to share data on known, equal terms that balance the needs of data producers and data users. Data communities have a high degree of flexibility to add their own governance and requirements for curating data as a community, particularly around areas such as personally identifiable information.
  • Data users who are looking for datasets to help kick off training an AI system or for any other use will have the ability to find data shared under a known license model with terms that clearly state their rights and responsibilities.

 The CDLA is data privacy agnostic and relies on the publisher and curators of the data to create their own governance structure around what data they curate and how. Each producer or curator of data will have to work through various jurisdictional requirements and legal issues.





Visa Checkout integration in Android Pay is now live, one year after it was announced

This time last year, Google confirmed that it was working to add support for Visa Checkout and Masterpass to Android Pay. The aim was to have the services integrated in early 2017, but we’ve not heard much about it since. There was evidence of Visa Checkout on Google’s payment platform in a demo at I/O in May, but it remained to be seen when it would go live for users.

While the Android website shows that PayPal is already supported, it still has a ‘Coming Soon’ note by Visa Checkout, although we believe that was added recently and as a precursor to today’s news. According to Nicole Spivey on Google+, Visa Checkout integration is now live in the Android Pay app.

dade3_nexus2cee_Screenshot_20171018-183719-Copy-217x386 Visa Checkout integration in Android Pay is now live, one year after it was announced dade3_nexus2cee_Screenshot_20171018-183719-Copy-217x386 Visa Checkout integration in Android Pay is now live, one year after it was announced dade3_nexus2cee_Screenshot_20171018-183719-Copy-217x386 Visa Checkout integration in Android Pay is now live, one year after it was announced

As you can see from the screenshots, it’s now possible to go through the process and link the two services. This means that you’ll be able to use Android Pay wherever you see the Visa Checkout button while shopping online on your phone. Your billing/shipping info will automatically be added, too, and all you’ll have to do to complete the purchase is touch your fingerprint scanner.

We don’t know if this is live for everyone yet or just a few people as part of a staggered rollout. Let us know in the comments if you’ve seen it yet.

dade3_nexus2cee_Screenshot_20171018-183719-Copy-217x386 Visa Checkout integration in Android Pay is now live, one year after it was announced

Nokia 7 is officially announced: Will “Bothies” finally become a thing?

a7684_Nokia-7-Gloss-Black-Hero-840x560 Nokia 7 is officially announced: Will “Bothies” finally become a thing?

The newly-announced Nokia 7 comes with a 5.2-inch 1080p screen, 3,000 mAh battery, and a 16-megapixel camera with f/1.8 aperture.

Nokia 9 with curved glass display and dual rear cameras leaks

When HMD Global sent out invites for a press event yesterday, many suspected that it might be for the unveiling of the long-awaited Nokia 7 – and they were right indeed. The company has finally taken the wraps off the newest member of Nokia’s Android smartphone family, coming exclusively to mainland China in just a few days.

As you can see above, design-wise, the newly-announced midranger is unmistakeably Nokia. On the front are a 5.2-inch 1080p LCD display and a 5-megapixel wide-angle selfie-shooter, and on the back, there is a 16-megapixel main camera with f/1.8 aperture and a dual-tone flash. The company says that similar to the Nokia 8, the Nokia 7 will feature what it calls the “Dual-sight” technology: it essentially lets users take pictures and videos using front and back cameras simultaneously, capturing “both sides of the story” or “Bothies” as Nokia prefers to call them. Yupp, it’s similar to what Samsung did back in 2013 with the Galaxy S4. Nokia seems to think that Bothies could become a thing, but I’m not so convinced.

The regular version with 4 GB of RAM will cost ¥2,499 (around US$377) and the more premium version with 6 GB of RAM will cost ¥200 more (around US$407).

Underneath its glass and aluminium construction, we find a beefy 3,000 mAh battery and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 630 chipset. While every version will come with 64 GB of internal storage with an option for expansion via a microSD slot, consumers will have two configurations to choose from in terms of RAM: 4 GB of RAM, which will cost ¥2,499 (around US$377) and 6 GB of RAM, which will cost ¥200 more (around US$407).

The Nokia 7 will run Android Nougat out of the box (disappointing, I know), but the company assures that it will be upgradeable to Android Oreo. And last but not least, the phone comes with the good old 3.5 mm headphone jack, so no need for all that dongle nonsense.

The Nokia 7 will be available in China starting October 24 and at least for now, will remain exclusive to the Chinese market.

Thoughts on Nokia’s brand-new Android smartphone? Would you want to see it launch globally? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

All-touchscreen BlackBerry Motion announced with IP67 rating and a 4000 mAh battery

062d7_BlackBerry-Motion-press-image-840x462 All-touchscreen BlackBerry Motion announced with IP67 rating and a 4000 mAh battery

Rumors that BlackBerry would release an all-touchscreen smartphone have been floating around since August, and today we’re finally getting more details on the upcoming handset. At this year’s GITEX Technology Week in Dubai, UAE, BlackBerry officially revealed its new mid-range smartphone, the BlackBerry Motion.

If you’ve been keeping up with the Motion (or Krypton) rumors over the past couple weeks, these specs probably won’t be much of a surprise to you. The BlackBerry Motion features a 5.5-inch Full HD display, a Snapdragon processor, 4 GB of RAM, a dual SIM card slot, a big 4,000 mAh battery, and compatibility with Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0. It also has an IP67 rating for water and dust resistance.

062d7_BlackBerry-Motion-press-image-840x462 All-touchscreen BlackBerry Motion announced with IP67 rating and a 4000 mAh battery

062d7_BlackBerry-Motion-press-image-840x462 All-touchscreen BlackBerry Motion announced with IP67 rating and a 4000 mAh battery

TCL and BlackBerry are only bringing the Motion to a handful of markets at first, with other markets following this quarter. It’ll retail in the UAE for Dh1,699 and in Saudi Arabia for 1,699 Riyal. That translates to around $460 USD.

Alain Lejeune, Global General Manager for BlackBerry Mobile, had this to say about the new smartphone:

While the initial launch of our newest BlackBerry smartphone will be limited, this is an exciting addition to our growing BlackBerry smartphone portfolio, setting a strong foundation for further portfolio and market growth in the years to come.

Additional specification and feature details are still being unveiled, but the @BBMobile Twitter account has started revealing new images and details from GITEX Technology Week.

iPhone 8 SA launch date announced

Apple iPhone 7s leak

Apple’s Siri Turns Six: AI Assistant Announced Alongside iPhone 4s on October 4, 2011

On October 4, 2011, Apple held a media event in which it introduced Find My Friends, refreshed the iPod Nano and iPod touch, and revealed the iPhone 4s with its all-new Siri voice assistant. This means that today marks the sixth year anniversary of when Apple’s Siri was first introduced to the world, although the AI helper wouldn’t be available to the public until the iPhone 4s launch on October 14, 2011.

In the original press releases for Siri, Apple touted using your voice to send text messages, schedule meetings, set timers, ask about the weather, and more. Apple explained Siri’s understanding of context and non-direct questions, like presenting you with a weather forecast if you ask “Will I need an umbrella this weekend?”

The original Siri interface on iOS 5

Siri on iPhone 4S lets you use your voice to send messages, schedule meetings, place phone calls, and more. Ask Siri to do things just by talking the way you talk. Siri understands what you say, knows what you mean, and even talks back. Siri is so easy to use and does so much, you’ll keep finding more and more ways to use it.

Siri understands context allowing you to speak naturally when you ask it questions, for example, if you ask “Will I need an umbrella this weekend?” it understands you are looking for a weather forecast. Siri is also smart about using the personal information you allow it to access, for example, if you tell Siri “Remind me to call Mom when I get home” it can find “Mom” in your address book, or ask Siri “What’s the traffic like around here?” and it can figure out where “here” is based on your current location.

Apple didn’t create Siri itself, however, as the company purchased the technology that’s now prevalent in all iOS devices by acquiring Siri, Inc., a spinoff of SRI International where the technology originated. Prior to the assistant’s presence on iPhone, Siri was a standalone app on the App Store (launched February 2010) that offered automated personal assistant services through integrations with third-party apps like OpenTable, FlightStats, Google Maps, and more. Users could interact with these apps using Siri’s voice-recognition technology, created by Nuance.

Just two months after Siri appeared on the App Store, reports of Apple’s acquisition of Siri surfaced in April 2010, and the purchase was quickly confirmed by representatives and board members from the voice-recognition company. According to Siri board member Shawn Carolan, “The offer from Apple was of a scope and tenor that it was a no-brainer to accept it.” The standalone app was removed from the App Store after Apple’s unveiling of its own Siri in October 2011.

Over the years, Siri has debuted new features and expanded to more devices, including the iPad (June 2012), iPod Touch (September 2012), Apple Watch (April 2015), Apple TV with Siri Remote (September 2015), Mac with macOS Sierra (September 2016), and HomePod (coming December 2017).

Since 2011, Siri has become a large enough part of Apple’s brand that the company just this year launched a series of advertisements focusing solely on the assistant’s helpfulness, aided by actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The latest version of iOS, iOS 11, has seen a few improvements brought to Siri, including a more natural speaking voice, text-to-talk, and a translation feature.

Details about Siri’s origin at Apple have continued to emerge over the years, with voice actress Susan Bennett revealing a few behind-the-scenes tidbits about the early days of the project in an interview posted earlier in 2017. Bennett described having to say “nonsense phrases” like “Say the shrodding again,” which she later realized provided Apple with “all of the sounds of the English language.”


The next place that Siri will be found in is Apple’s HomePod speaker, which was for a long time simply called the “Siri Speaker” prior to its official unveiling at WWDC in June. HomePod will greatly rely on user interaction with Siri, allowing for music playback, HomeKit control, timer settings, news reports, and essentially most of the tasks that Siri can already do elsewhere. Most importantly, Siri will become a “musicologist” in HomePod and gain a greater understand of music-related trivia to greater enhance HomePod’s position as a high-quality audio device.

Despite advancements, many users frequently point out Siri’s flaws and inconsistencies in certain situations. It’s been rumored previously that Apple’s development on Siri has been hindered by the company’s commitments to privacy. But, in an interview last month Apple VP of marketing Greg Joswiak argued that user data privacy and a smart AI assistant can co-exist: “We’re able to deliver a very personalized experience… without treating you as a product that keeps your information and sells it to the highest bidder. That’s just not the way we operate.”