Sony Launches PS4 Slim Gold Edition

 

The rumours are true. Sony has announced the PS4 Slim Gold Edition. At the moment will be available in the US only and can only be bought from June 9 to June 17. Sony is touting “additional discounts on software and accessories” albeit not revealing any details just yet.

Aside from being gold, it has a price of $249 (almost Rs. 16,000), lower than the $299 (around Rs. 19,000) price point of the standard black PS4 Slim. So far there doesn’t seem to be any plans to bring this specific edition outside of the US with Sony’s European and Indian counterparts yet to announce it for their respective regions.Sony Launches PS4 Slim Gold Edition
Should you buy the Gold PS4 Slim? Frankly, no. Sony has far better bundles on the store shelves. Particularly its latest offering. Rs. 28,990 gets you a PS4 Slim 500GB console, Horizon Zero Dawn, Ratchet and Clank, and Driveclub. In addition to this, Sony India is also throwing in a three month subscription to PlayStation Plus (PS Plus) – Sony’s online service that allows you to play multiplayer and grants you access to an assortment of games each month. Not to mention it comes with official warranty and support.

And if that’s not important, several consumers have reported being able to purchase the PS4 Slim 500GB for as low as Rs. 19,700 at grey market outlets in Delhi and Mumbai. Granted, you’re missing out on an additional 500GB of storage space, but between the PS4 hard drive being simple to replace and support for external hard drives, this is far from an issue.

 

HTC Asks its Fan Community to Combat Online Criticism, Offers Merchandise in Return

HTC’s latest U11 has been received with mixed reactions by the Android community. With good audio but no headphone jack and a new-ish design that scraps years of HTC’s expertise with metal, many fans and spectators threw quite a bit of skepticism its way.

There are many arguments one could make to discredit or devalue HTC’s new product, from its hardware decisions to its gimmicky “squeezing” features — and HTC knows this, so it found a way to at least combat it on online boards, comments sections and other social battlefields. According to information from their VIP community, presented in a reddit post, HTC has taken to ask its community of fans to duke it out online against dissenters of the phone in what we can only describe as literal shilling.

Image Credit: u/ShadowCodeGaming

Elevate is HTC’s private online community, members-only, for the company’s “top fans” and supporters. To join Elevate, you must request access by emailing HTC, and telling them why you are “HTC’s most passionate fan”. With admission requirements like those, you’d expect HTC Elevate members to be quite dedicated indeed. After all, they are the ones getting the latest product news, opportunities to access exclusive events or partner with HTC, and have direct access to HTC team members. But now, they are asking their users to “mobilize and combat some of the negative things out there about the U11”. As seen in the screenshot above, provided by reddit user u/ShadowCodeGaming, HTC wants users to post regularly in comments sections of blogs and social media, and then report back to Elevate so that they can keep track of the shilling.Image result for HTC Asks its Fan Community to Combat Online Criticism, Offers Merchandise in Return

Of course, HTC is actually rewarding people who go through that trouble (though, to be honest, if you are in a VIP HTC community, you’d probably do it for free), as they’ll be sending out “swag goodies” here and there to people who participate. The company doesn’t shy away from the implication that it encourages a network of shills, by saying that such actions are “what [elevate members] do best”, and calls it “sharing the good word about all things HTC — fanboy preaching, essentially.

We hope that this operation is limited in scope, and we’ll certainly keep an eye out for Elevate members in our comments sections from now on.

 

Pop-up Android adware uses social engineering to resist deletion

A malicious Android app that downloads itself from advertisements posted on forums strongly resists removal, security firm Zscaler warns.

The dodgy Android utility poses as “Ks Clean”, an Android cleaner app. Once installed, the app displays a fake system update message in which the only option presented to the user is to select the “OK” button, giving victims little immediate option other than to accept a supposed security update.

As soon as the user presses “OK”, the malware prompts the installation of another APK named “Update”. The Update app asks for administrator privileges which, if granted, can’t be revoked.Image result for Pop-up Android adware uses social engineering to resist deletion

The app uses the insidious mask of a “security update” to get a user to complete the installation.

After that, there is nothing to stop malware from slinging pop-up ads at victims even when the user is using other apps. Users would be unable to easily uninstall the app using the traditional “Uninstall” option because it has admin rights.

This is a “security update”. It’s for your own good
and you must comply. [source Zscaler blog post]

Zscaler has identified over 300 instances of malicious APKs from this campaign affecting users in US and UK over the last two weeks, including an attack on a conspiracy forum called “GodLikeProductions”.

“On one such forum we found entitled ‘GodLikeProductions’, visitors complained about the automatically downloading app, but those messages were either removed or ignored by the forum’s hosts, allowing the problem to perpetuate,” Zcaler reports. ®

 

Meizu M5 Review

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The phone runs on a MediaTek MT6750 SoC and has 2GB of RAM
  • The bright display and good ergonomics aside, the rest isn’t too exciting
  • The 16GB version of the M5 is priced at around Rs. 7,000

As flagship smartphone technology trickles down to the lower rungs of the market, entry-level phones aren’t as basic as they used to be. Fingerprint sensors and speedy processors are now pretty easy to find in phones under the Rs. 10,000 mark.

Meizu is back with a new budget smartphone called the Meizu M5. This device is available in two versions with different amounts of RAM and storage, both priced under Rs. 10,000. In today’s test, we have the version with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, which is priced at roughly Rs. 7,000. At this price, it competes with the 2GB version of Xiaomi’s recently launched Redmi 4 (Review), which also retails at Rs. 6,999.

Let’s see how the Meizu M5 fares in comparison and whether it offers good enough value to be recommended.

Meizu M5 design and build

The Meizu M5 doesn’t have a very striking design but it still offers a comfortable grip thanks to its rounded edges and 2.5D curved-edge glass. The screen borders aren’t too thick, lending the phone a pleasing look from the front. There’s a notification LED near the front camera and the earpiece, which for some reason is placed a bit asymmetrically above the display.

The Meizu M5 has a physical home button below the screen with a fingerprint sensor built in. There aren’t any navigation buttons here, as Meizu has its own navigation scheme. A single touch of the home button takes you a step back, and the app switcher is accessed with a swipe up gesture from the bottom of the display. There’s no option to enable onscreen buttons. With no tutorial in place to show you how to actually use this navigation method, it takes some figuring it out when you first set the phone up.

Meizu M5 front ndtv meizu m5

The volume and power buttons are placed on the right, and they’re easy to use. The hybrid dual-SIM tray is placed on the left. The second SIM slot can accommodate a microSD card of up to 128GB if needed. Meizu claims that the M5 has an anodised metal frame inside but it isn’t visible, as the sides and back are covered by plastic. Build quality of the Meizu M5 is decent, and we didn’t encounter much flex when using this phone, though a metal build would have been nice.

The rear camera sits flush with the rest of the body. At the bottom, we have a Micro-USB port, speaker grille and headphones socket. The 5.2-inch display of the Meizu M5 has an HD resolution that doesn’t look too bad on a screen this size, but the colours are a bit dull. Touch response and viewing angles are decent, and the phone has a high maximum brightness level which makes it easy to use even under direct sunlight. In the box, you get a standard Micro-USB cable and charger.

Meizu M5 back ndtv meizu m5

The fingerprint sensor works but it’s not the most accurate one we’ve used. Besides unlocking the phone, you can use it for locking apps, accessing a secure folder for private files called ‘Vault’, and activating a guest mode. Overall, the Meizu M5 has a good feel to it even though it doesn’t look particularly striking. The fit and finish of the plastics is decent and ergonomics are nice.

Meizu M5 specifications and features

Under the plastic shell is an octa-core MediaTek MT6750 SoC, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage. Meizu also sells a version of this phone with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage at Rs. 9,499. Benchmark performance is pretty average, and we got 40,042 points in AnTuTu and 20fps in GFXbench. Other specifications include dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1, USB-OTG, and GPS. There’s no FM radio, which might be sore point for some. The phone also lacks a gyroscope sensor. The Meizu M5 supports 4G networks but according to Meizu, the phone does not support VoLTE. On the Jio network, we had to manually enter the APN for cellular data to work, but calls still didn’t go through.

meizu m5 apps ndtv Meizu M5

The Meizu M5 runs on Meizu’s Flyme OS 5, which is based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. However, the phone doesn’t seem to have received any recent security patches from Google as the last update is from October 2016. We tried reaching out to Meizu for clarity on this and for any commitment to future Android updates, but didn’t get any conclusive response.

The custom navigation method takes some getting used to since there’s no way to enable onscreen navigation buttons. There are a bunch of customisable gestures to choose from and a feature called SmartTouch, which is like AssistiveTouch on the iPhone. Our unit didn’t have the Google Play Store preinstalled so we had to add it manually using the Hot Apps app.

The single-layered interface on the Meizu M5 runs smoothly for the most part. The Themes app lets you change the look of the phone, although we didn’t find anything of real interest here. The Security app has tools for cleaning up junk files, monitoring data usage and blocking contacts, and even a virus scanner, all in one place. The Toolbox app has features like a flashlight, mirror, compass, level, ruler and magnifier. The Meizu M5 also has its own app store, which is a bit redundant if you have the Play Store.

Meizu M5 side button ndtv meizu m5

Meizu M5 performance, camera, and battery life

The Meizu M5 performs smoothly when you first set it up but after a few days of normal usage, we noticed slight lag when scrolling through webpages and switching between apps. It isn’t consistent but it’s definitely noticeable with daily usage. Apps don’t load very quickly. Another peculiar thing we came across was that when we signed in with our Gmail account, the standard security alert told us that we’ve signed in from a Leagoo 2.5D Arc. Leagoo is another Chinese smartphone manufacturer, but once again, we couldn’t get any satisfying explanation for this from Meizu.

We found that the Meizu M5 gets a bit warm when watching videos, including those streamed from YouTube. Video playback is restricted to 1080p although we had no trouble playing our high-bitrate video files. FLAC audio is also supported with the stock music player, which is nicely designed. However, the built-in speaker is weak, which makes it hard to hear your media files clearly. Things are better with headphones but there isn’t any audio enhancement or equaliser app to tweak the audio.

Tap to see full-sized Meizu M5 camera samples

The cameras on the Meizu M5 are what you’d expect from a smartphone in this segment. They capture acceptable photos during the day but really struggle in low light. The rear camera has a 13-megapixel sensor, with a f/2.2 aperture and PDAF. Thanks to the latter, focusing is fairly quick under adequate lighting. The sensor isn’t able to capture good details in landscapes or macro shots, no matter how steady your hands are. Light metering isn’t the best either, as whites tend to bloom easily.

In low-light, there’s lots of compression artifacting and colour reproduction is poor. The front 5-megapixel camera on the Meizu M5 also does a passable job under good lighting but suffers in low-light. The camera app on the other hand is well designed, with toggle switches for the timer and flash, effects on the left and shooting modes and the shutter button on the right. Shooting modes include panorama, GIF and manual. Once again, the back of the phone ran pretty warm when we used the camera app.

The 3070mAh battery on the Meizu M5 delivered 10 hours and 17 minutes of runtime in our HD video loop test, which isn’t bad. However, during actual usage, we noticed big dips in battery life when using the camera or gaming for a bit. There’s also no fast charging support, so charging it fully is a long wait. The bundled 10W power adapter is compact and easy to carry.

Meizu M5 box ndtv meizu m5

Verdict

The Meizu M5 starts at roughly Rs. 7,000, for the 16GB model we tested, but the price varies a bit across online stores. The 32GB version is priced at Rs. 9,499 after receiving a recent price cut shortly after it was launched. While Rs. 7,000 is generally considered a good price for a smartphone with this feature set, its overall performance still puts it behind the Xiaomi Redmi 4.

The Meizu M5 could have been a good budget contender but it has too many shortcomings, like the lack of FM radio and VoLTE, average camera and system performance, and the fact that the back of the phone runs warm very often. We’re also uncertain that this phone will receive necessary software and security updates. With better options available, we recommend giving this one a miss.

Meizu M5

Meizu M5

Rs. 8,599
Buy
  • REVIEW
  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS
  • Design
  • Display
  • Software
  • Performance
  • Battery life
  • Camera
  • Value for money
  • Good
  • Comfortable to hold
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Bright display
  • Bad
  • No FM radio or VoLTE support
  • Average camera performance
  • Intermittent lag in UI and apps
  • Heats up quickly
BUY AT
  • Meizu M5 (Champage Gold, 32GB)
    Rs. 8,599
  • Meizu M5 (Blue, 32GB)
    Rs. 8,599

Google makes the best Android apps easier to find with Android Excellence

 

Google wants you to find the best apps faster, so it’s introduced a new section to the Play Store called Android Excellence. The banner on the Editor’s Choice page will spotlight apps and games that “deliver incredible user experiences on Android, use many of our best practices, and have great design, technical performance, localization, and device optimization.”

Last month, Google spotlighted the winners of its second annual Google Play Awards. Several of the apps are, not surprisingly, represented on the Android Excellence page. Google says this list will be updated quarterly with hand-picked selections from its editorial team. Check out the first round of apps and games below:

Google Play

Google wants you to find the best apps faster, so it’s introduced a new section to the Play Store called Android Excellence. The banner on the Editor’s Choice page will spotlight apps and games that “deliver incredible user experiences on Android, use many of our best practices, and have great design, technical performance, localization, and device optimization.”

Last month, Google spotlighted the winners of its second annual Google Play Awards. Several of the apps are, not surprisingly, represented on the Android Excellence page. Google says this list will be updated quarterly with hand-picked selections from its editorial team. Check out the first round of apps and games below:

Android Excellence Apps

  • AliExpress by Alibaba Mobile
  • B&H Photo Video by B&H Photo Video
  • Citymapper by Citymapper Limited
  • Drivvo by Drivvo
  • drupe by drupe
  • Evernote by Evernote Corporation
  • Hotel Tonight by HotelTonight
  • Kitchen Stories by Kitchen Stories
  • Komoot by komoot GmbH
  • Lifesum by Lifesum
  • Memrise by Memrise
  • Pocket by Read It Later
  • Runtastic Running & Fitness Tracker by Runtastic
  • Skyscanner by Skyscanner Ltd
  • Sleep as Android by Urbandroid Team
  • Vivino by Vivino

Android Excellence Games

  • After the End Forsaken Destiny by Nexon M Inc.
  • CATS: Crash Arena Turbo Stars by ZeptoLab
  • Golf Clash by Playdemic
  • Hitman GO Square Enix Ltd
  • Horizon Chase – World Tour by Aquiris Game Studio S.A
  • Kill Shot Bravo by Hothead Games
  • Lineage Red Knights by Ncsoft Corporation
  • Nonstop Knight by flaregames
  • PAC-MAN 256 – Endless Maze by Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe
  • Pictionary by Etermax
  • Reigns by DevolverDigital
  • Riptide GP: Renegade by Vector Unit
  • Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes by Electronic Arts
  • Titan Brawl by Omnidrone
  • Toca Blocks by Toca Boca

 

Android Excellence Apps

  • AliExpress by Alibaba Mobile
  • B&H Photo Video by B&H Photo Video
  • Citymapper by Citymapper Limited
  • Drivvo by Drivvo
  • drupe by drupe
  • Evernote by Evernote Corporation
  • Hotel Tonight by HotelTonight
  • Kitchen Stories by Kitchen Stories
  • Komoot by komoot GmbH
  • Lifesum by Lifesum
  • Memrise by Memrise
  • Pocket by Read It Later
  • Runtastic Running & Fitness Tracker by Runtastic
  • Skyscanner by Skyscanner Ltd
  • Sleep as Android by Urbandroid Team
  • Vivino by Vivino

Android Excellence Games

  • After the End Forsaken Destiny by Nexon M Inc.
  • CATS: Crash Arena Turbo Stars by ZeptoLab
  • Golf Clash by Playdemic
  • Hitman GO Square Enix Ltd
  • Horizon Chase – World Tour by Aquiris Game Studio S.A
  • Kill Shot Bravo by Hothead Games
  • Lineage Red Knights by Ncsoft Corporation
  • Nonstop Knight by flaregames
  • PAC-MAN 256 – Endless Maze by Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe
  • Pictionary by Etermax
  • Reigns by DevolverDigital
  • Riptide GP: Renegade by Vector Unit
  • Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes by Electronic Arts
  • Titan Brawl by Omnidrone
  • Toca Blocks by Toca Boca

 

Samsung Galaxy S8 Active Specifications Leaked via Geekbench

 

HIGHLIGHTS
The Galaxy S8 Active scored 6394 in the multi-core tests
It is expected to come with a Snapdragon 835 chipset
It is also expected to house a larger battery
Samsung has made it a point to launch a rugged version of its flagship smartphones in recent years. Like the Galaxy S6 Active and Galaxy S7 Active of the past, the South Korean giant is tipped to launch an ‘Active’ version of its newest Galaxy S8 flagship phone. A hint of this was first spotted in May when the Galaxy S8 Active with model number SM-G892A was listed to support Netflix in HDR. The smartphone has now popped up on Geekbench with some of its specifications detailed.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 Active with the model number SM-G892A scored a 1842 in single-core and 6394 in the multi-core tests on Geekbench, which is fairly close to what the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ scored earlier. Further, the specifications mentioned also fall in line with the recently launched flagships including an octa-core Snapdragon 835 chipset coupled with 4GB of RAM. The Galaxy S8 Active is listed running Android 7.0 NougatSamsung Galaxy S8 Active Specifications Leaked via Geekbench

The Samsung Galaxy S8 Active is expected to house a larger battery compared to the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, much like the case with the Galaxy S7 Active, which housed a 4,000mAh battery compared to the 3000mAh seen in the Galaxy S7. In terms of looks, don’t expect the the ‘Active’ version to be as pretty as the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+. The Galaxy S8 Active may lack the curved edges of the flagship and could feature a bulkier, more rugged casing for rough, outdoor use.
One hopes the Samsung Galaxy S8 Active doesn’t face the same water resistant issues that plagued the Galaxy S7 Active. To recall, Consumer Reports last year claimed that the Galaxy S7 Active didn’t meet the same waterproof standards that the company promised.

While there’s no official word on when the Galaxy S8 Active will hit the streets, you can expect the unveiling to be around the corner seeing as how the Galaxy S7 Active was launched around the same time last year.

 

Video: HTC U11 doesn’t hold up well in bend test

.

Whenever a new smartphone is launched, the world waits for a durability test from popular YouTube channel, JerryRigEverything. Until now, Zach from JerryRigEverything has taken certain flagships through his rigorous durability tests, including the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Xiaomi Mi 6. Now, HTC’s latest flagship is the latest smartphone to go through his tests and it comes out with unexpected results.

The HTC U11’s body is made of a glass-metal combo and that does not sound very assuring on paper. However, HTC has perfected the art of making phones with glass panels that can undergo drops and bends impressively, like Samsung. That explains the reason why the HTC U11 was able to keep its rear glass intact in the bend test, even though the front glass panel shattered. It seems that the functional surfaces of HTC U11 are prone to scratches and shatters whereas decorative surfaces like the rear panel hold up quite well. HTC’s latest flagship is the latest smartphone to go through his tests and it comes out with unexpected results.

The reason we say that because, like the front panel that shattered, the ‘Edge Sense’ side frame was also prone to extreme bending. The metal frame provides a limited structural support to the handset, thus deforming the U11 under some stress. The front display panel is also subject to scratches from sand particles while being unaffected from coins and other stuff that stay in pockets.

While the U11 doesn’t hold up as well as the Galaxy S8, considering the Samsung flagship has more delicate glass surfaces than the U11, the U11’s Edge Sense frame needs some kind of structural strengthening, which we hope that HTC could come up with during the life cycle of the U11.

 

Fiio EX1 (2nd Gen) Review

 

Fiio, best known for its high-resolution media players and portable headphone amplifiers, recently launched the second generation of its premium EX1 earphones. The successor to the EX1 promises improved audio quality and better craftsmanship.

At Rs. 4,299, this pair is a bit on the expensive side for earphones with dynamic drivers. However, let’s see if the new EX1 manages to win us over.

Fiio EX1 (2nd Gen) design and features
The EX1 (2nd Gen) ships with fairly good packaging. You get six pairs of silicone ear tips (we only had one pair with our review unit), a clip, a carry case, a quick start guide, and a warranty card. The carry case is a bit too shallow, which means you need to take extra care when putting the headphones in and taking them out.

The enclosures are made from both stainless steel and aluminium alloy which makes them light, but they should still be able to withstand the wear and tear of daily use better than most plastic enclosures. The glossy finish makes the Fiio EX1 (2nd Gen) look really good and there are blue and pink rings around the left and right earbuds respectively, which makes it easy to identify which is which. There are also clear markers for the left and right earbuds printed on the inside.

4M9A6526 094117 194110 5135 fiio

The Fiio EX1 (2nd Gen) features a tilted in-ear design, which makes it a lot easier to wear these earphones. You get a 1.2m polyurethane cable, which is durable and doesn’t tangle too easily. However, it’s sometimes tough to get it to uncurl after being rolled up for a long time. The cable terminates into a gold-plated L-type 3.5mm headphone jack. There’s a cable tie attached to the bottom of the cable, which is handy for wrapping it up when you don’t have the case with you.

The cable has an in-line control pod with the microphone and media controls. The pod itself is built well but the buttons are fiddly and feel cheap. There aren’t any proper markings on the buttons to help you identify them.

One of the reasons for the high price of the Fiio EX1 (2nd Gen), we think, is the material used for the driver’s diaphragm, which is titanium. This material is light and can vibrate efficiently, which should result in overall better audio performance.

In terms of specifications, the Fiio EX1 (2nd Gen) has a frequency range of 20Hz – 40kHz, and impedance of 13Ohms. The drivers are 13mm each, and the whole unit weighs 18 grams.Fiio EX1 (2nd Gen) Review

4M9A6541 094117 194110 6383 fiio

Fiio EX1 (2nd Gen) performance
The tilted design of the earphones makes them incredibly comfortable to wear with nearly no fatigue after an hour of continuous listening. They’re also incredibly light so you’ll barely feel them in your ears. The cable is long enough for most use cases and we didn’t face any issues with durability during our two weeks of testing. We also found the microphone to be very good for phone calls.

The media buttons don’t have a very reassuring feel to them and volume control isn’t supported for iOS devices. Other than that, they functioned well across Android devices.

Straight out of the box, the earphones sound great with a nice wide soundstage and balanced tone. Our unit wasn’t sealed and may have passed through other hands, so your out-of-the-box experience might vary. The EX1 (2nd Gen) is also ‘Hi-Res Audio’ certified and it shows, as it reproduces FLAC files very well. We tested it on an HTC 10, a OnePlus 3T, and an iPad and it performed equally well in all the devices. The earphones do leak sound a bit but not too much.

4M9A6539 094117 194110 6695 fiio

The EX1 (2nd Gen) excels with upper- and mid-range frequencies. Vocals sound detailed and crisp which is evident in tracks like Anywhere by Passenger. The high notes can sound a bit shrill at times but we didn’t find this to be the case across all tracks. The low impedance also allowed us to easily drive these earphones with our test smartphones without having to raise the volume very high. These earphones do well with bass-heavy songs too, without getting boomy. In tracks like Believer by Imagine Dragons, the tight bass is handled surprisingly well without any distortion even at high volumes. Acoustic separation is also very good.

Verdict
The Fiio EX1 (2nd Gen) is a very good pair of earphones, and even though it costs a slight premium at Rs. 4,299, you won’t be disappointed. A similar amount could also fetch you a pair of balanced armature earphones like the Brainwavz B100, which sound a bit cleaner due to the low emphasis on bass response. If you want that extra oomph in the low end, the EX1 (2nd Gen) fills that role nicely. These earphones have excellent build quality (barring the buttons on the remote), look great, and have a nice balanced sonic signature.

 

HTC U11 vs Samsung Galaxy S8 vs LG G6 vs Sony Xperia XZ Premium: Price in India, Specifications Compared

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • HTC U11 was launched in India on Friday
  • The smartphone will be available for purchase from later this month
  • HTC U11 has been priced in India at Rs. 51,990

HTC launched the HTC U11 ‘squeezable’ smartphone in India on Friday and interestingly, the company chose to skip the 4GB RAM/ 64GB storage variant for the country and introduced only the 6GB RAM/ 128GB storage variant. The smartphone has been priced at Rs. 51,990 and in this price range it will be competing against the likes of Samsung Galaxy S8, LG G6, and Sony Xperia XZ Premium. If you are confused whether HTC U11 is the right smartphone for you or another model is better, we will help you figure out how it compares against the competition.

HTC U11
The HTC U11 runs on Android 7.1 Nougat with the company’s HTC Sense skin on top. It sports a 5.5-inch Quad HD (1440×2560 pixels) Super LCD display with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on top. Powering the HTC U11 is a 2.45GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC and, as mentioned earlier, the India variant gets 6GB of RAM. It is offered with 128GB of built-in storage, which is expandable via microSD card (up to 2TB).

The smartphone’s unique feature is called Edge Sense, which allows users to launch apps, switch on flash light, or even take screenshots by simply squeezing the smartphone from its sides.

The HTC U11 features a 12-megapixel rear camera with 1.4-micron pixel, ultra spread autofocus, BSI sensor, OIS, f/1.7 aperture, dual-LED flash, slow-motion, and 4K video recording. Over on the front, you get a 16-megapixel camera with BSI sensor, full-HD recording.

Some of the camera features of the HTC U11 include Face Detection, Pro mode with manual control, 32-second long exposure, and RAW format support, HDR Boost, Panorama, and Hyperlapse. Additionally, the front camera gets live make-up, auto selfie, voice selfie, HDR Boost, and Selfie Panorama options. The company claims that the HTC U11 achieved that highest ever rating for a smartphone camera by independent metric DxOMark1 with a score of 90.

Samsung Galaxy S8
While the South Korean company launched the Galaxy S8 smartphone with Snapdragon 835 processor internationally, it launched the phone with Exynos 9985 processor variant in India. Currently available at Rs. 57,900, the Samsung Galaxy S8 runs Android 7.0 Nougat out-of-the-box and sports a 5.8-inch bezel-less ‘Infinity Display’ with 1440×2960 pixel resolution. The Galaxy S8 packs 4GB of RAM and features 64GB internal storage, which is expandable up to 256GB.

In terms of optics, the Galaxy S8 comes with a 12-megapixel Dual Pixel camera and an 8-megapixel camera at front. The connectivity options on the smartphone include 4G connectivity, Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth 5.0, and a USB Type-C port. The smartphone houses a 3000mAh battery that supports fast-charging.

While in terms of performance, Snapdragon 835 processor definitely puts HTC U11 ahead of the G6, the recent price drop and the FullVision display might make it the preferable choice for some customers.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium
Sony launched its Xperia XZ Premium smartphone in India earlier this month. The smartphone is currently available in India at a price of Rs. 59,990. The highlight feature on the smartphone is its 19-megapixel Motion Eye camera with a 1/2.3-inch Exmor RS memory stacked sensor that’s capable of shooting videos at 960 frames per second. At front, the Xperia XZ Premium has a 13-megapixel sensor 1/3.06-inch Exmor RS sensor that’s coupled with 22mm wide-angle f/2.0 lens.

The phone runs Android 7.1 Nougat and sports a 5.5-inch 4K (2160×3840 pixels) HDR Triluminos display. Notably, Xperia XZ Premium was the first smartphone with Snapdragon 835 that was launched in India. The phone features 4GB of RAM and comes with 64GB of inbuilt storage, which is expandable via microSD card (up to 256GB). The Xperia XZ Premium houses a 3230mAh non-removable battery with support for Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 technology.HTC U11 vs Samsung Galaxy S8 vs LG G6 vs Sony Xperia XZ Premium: Price in India, Specifications Compared

The connectivity options on the smartphone include 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, GPS/ A-GPS, USB Type-C (3.1), and a 3.5mm audio jack.

Conclusion
As you can see from the specifications, HTC U11 offers more RAM than other smartphones in comparison and has other basics covered too. However, the unique design offered by Galaxy S8 and the FullVision display offered by LG might be preferred by many users. Xperia XZ Premium is the most expensive smartphone under consideration. Stay tuned to Gadgets 360 for our retailed review of the HTC U11 and the Sony Xperia XZ Premium.

HTC U11 VS SONY XPERIA XZ PREMIUM VS SAMSUNG GALAXY S8 VS LG G6 COMPARISON

HTC U11
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
Samsung Galaxy S8
LG G6
Rs. 59,990Buy Now Rs. 38,990Buy Now
Rs. 57,900Buy Now
Rs. 57,900Buy Now Rs. 41,990Buy Now
Compare HTC U11 Compare Sony Xperia XZ Premium Compare Samsung Galaxy S8 Compare LG G6
RATINGS
Overall NDTV Rating
Design Rating
Display Rating
Software Rating
Performance Rating
Battery Life Rating
Camera Rating
Value for money Rating
GENERAL
Release date May 2017 February 2017 March 2017 February 2017
Dimensions (mm) 153.90 x 75.90 x 7.90 156.00 x 77.00 x 7.90 148.90 x 68.10 x 8.00 148.90 x 71.90 x 7.90
Weight (g) 169.00 191.00 155.00 163.00
Battery capacity (mAh) 3000 3230 3000 3300
Removable battery No No No No
Colours Amazing Silver, Brilliant Black Luminous Chrome, Deepsea Black Midnight Black, Orchid Gray, Arctic Silver, Coral Blue, Maple Gold Ice Platinum, Astro Black, Mystic White
DISPLAY
Screen size (inches) 5.50 5.50 5.80 5.70
Resolution 1440×2560 pixels 2160×3840 pixels 1440×2960 pixels 1440×2880 pixels
Pixels per inch (PPI) 570 564
HARDWARE
Processor 2.45GHz octa-core octa-core 1.9GHz octa-core
Processor make Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Samsung Exynos 8895 Qualcomm Snapdragon 821
RAM 6GB 4GB 4GB 4GB
Internal storage 128GB 64GB 64GB 32GB
Expandable storage Yes Yes Yes Yes
Expandable storage type microSD microSD microSD microSD
Expandable storage up to (GB) 2000 256 256 2000
CAMERA
Rear camera 12-Ultrapixel 19-megapixel 12-megapixel 13-megapixel
Flash Yes Yes Yes Yes
Front camera 16-megapixel 13-megapixel 8-megapixel 5-megapixel
SOFTWARE
Operating System Android 7.1 Android 7.1.1 Android 7.0 Android 7.0
Skin Sense 8.0
CONNECTIVITY
Wi-Fi standards supported 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth Yes, v 4.20 Yes Yes Yes, v 4.20
NFC Yes Yes Yes Yes
Number of SIMs 2 2 1 1
SIM1
SIM Type Nano-SIM Nano-SIM Nano-SIM
4G/LTE Yes Yes Yes Yes
SIM2
SIM Type Nano-SIM Nano-SIM
4G/LTE Yes Yes
SENSORS
Compass/ Magnetometer Yes Yes Yes Yes
Proximity sensor Yes Yes Yes Yes
Accelerometer Yes Yes Yes Yes
Ambient light sensor Yes Yes Yes Yes
Gyroscope Yes Yes Yes Yes
Barometer No Yes No No
Temperature sensor No No No No
HTC U11

HTC U11

  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS

Display

5.50-inch

Processor

2.45GHz octa-core

Front Camera

16-megapixel

Resolution

1440×2560 pixels

RAM

6GB

OS

Android 7.1

Storage

128GB

Rear Camera

12-Ultrapixel

Battery Capacity

3000mAh

Also See
  • HTC Mini Plus BL R120 (Silver)
    Rs. 599
  • HTC Desire 326G Dual SIM (White Birch, 8GB) – OFFER
    Rs. 6,269
Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung Galaxy S8

Rs. 57,900
Buy
  • REVIEW
  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS
  • Design
  • Display
  • Software
  • Performance
  • Battery life
  • Camera
  • Value for money
  • Good
  • Gorgeous looks and excellent construction quality
  • Brilliant displays
  • Phenomenal camera quality
  • Class-leading performance
  • Bad
  • No flat screen option
  • Nearly unusable fingerprint reader
  • Software stuffed with unnecessary features
BUY AT
  • SAMSUNG Galaxy S8 (Midnight Black, 64GB, 4GB RAM) – OFFER
    Rs. 57,900
LG G6

LG G6

Rs. 38,990
Buy
  • REVIEW
  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS
  • Design
  • Display
  • Software
  • Performance
  • Battery life
  • Camera
  • Value for money
  • Good
  • Impressive material and construction quality
  • Excellent screen
  • Great camera quality and dual lens implementation
  • Solid battery life
  • Bad
  • Processor will be outdated soon
  • Inconvenient power button
  • Not as stylish as the competition
BUY AT
  • LG G6 (Astro Black, 64GB) –
    Rs. 38,990
  • LG G6 (Ice Platinum, 64 GB) – OFFER
    Rs. 41,990
Sony Xperia XZ Premium

Sony Xperia XZ Premium

  • REVIEW
  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS
  • Design
  • Display
  • Software
  • Performance
  • Battery life
  • Camera
  • Value for money
  • Good
  • Good build quality, water resistant
  • 4K HDR display
  • Doesn’t overheat under stress
  • Very good cameras
  • Bad
  • Fiddly SIM card tray
  • Bulky and dated design
  • Chrome version is an acquired taste
Also See
  • LG V20 (Silver, 64GB) –
    Rs. 54,980
  • Google Pixel XL (Very Silver, 32GB) – OFFER
    Rs. 54,000

 

Apple poaches top Sony TV executives to boost video content

 

Erlicht and Van Amburg, responsible for hit shows like ‘Breaking Bad’ and ‘Better Call Saul,’ will join newly created positions to oversee all aspects of programming

Apple Inc. has hired two long-time Sony Pictures Television executives to expand the iPhone maker’s push into original television programming, plunging deeper into a field crowded by Hollywood studios and online streaming services.

Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, responsible for hit shows such as “Breaking Bad,” “Better Call Saul” and “The Crown,” will join Apple in newly created positions to oversee all aspects of video programming, the technology company said in a statement on Friday.

“Jamie and Zack are two of the most talented TV executives in the world and have been instrumental in making this the golden age of television,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services.

“There is much more to come,” Mr. Cue said of Apple’s video effort.

The new hires demonstrate a serious commitment by another deep-pocketed technology company to produce quality television shows. Mr. Erlicht and Mr. Van Amburg have served as senior Sony television executives since 2005.

But Apple did not elaborate on its strategy, leaving investors guessing how many shows it plans to distribute, how much it will spend and where the programming will be available.

The company is playing in an increasingly competitive field. Amazon.com Inc. and Netflix Inc. have invested billions of dollars in award-winning comedies and dramas featuring A-list Hollywood stars. And social media company Facebook Inc. has signed deals with millennial-focused news and entertainment creators, including Vox and BuzzFeed, to make shows for its upcoming video service.

Apple began its move last week with reality program “Planet of the Apps,” an unscripted show about developers competing for venture capital funding. The series is available only to subscribers to Apple Music, a $10-a-month streaming service.

Viewer data

Apple has one huge advantage compared with other companies — 1 billion iPhones, iPads and other devices that run Apple’s mobile operating system and offer a broad distribution platform. The company has widely promoted “Planet of the Apps” across iTunes, the App Store, Apple’s website and elsewhere.

As tech companies push further into the content business, pressure mounts on traditional media outlets that do not have the same amount of data on viewers or the ability for content to be a loss leader, said Rich Greenfield, an analyst with BTIG.

“These companies do not need to make money off video because they can make money other ways,” Mr. Greenfield said. “And they are going to have tons of data on their viewers.”

It is more cost-effective for Apple to pay for original content and secure licensing deals on its own than to buy a content company, said Moody’s analyst Gerald Granovsky.

“From a credit perspective, we’d much rather see Apple overpay to deliver original content than pay $50 billion to buy Netflix and basically compete for the same content,” he said. “They’ll definitely get a better bang for their buck by focusing on their Apple TV product.”

Mr. Greenfield said news of Apple’s hires should put to rest rumours that Apple might acquire another content company, Walt Disney Co.

For Sony, the departures come as the Japanese conglomerate revamps its movie and television studio under new Chief Executive Tony Vinciquerra. In a memo to staff, Mr. Vinciquerra suggested Apple could be a buyer of Sony programming.

“While we are sad to see them go, we are excited by the opportunity to work with them as partners in the future,” he said.