HTC releases U11’s kernel source code

Today, ROM developers can head to HTC’s dev site and download the source code for the HTC U11. While this may not mean much for the average smartphone user, this is exciting for hard-core enthusiasts who still like to tinker and flash different ROMs on their handset.

The kernel source code is released as per the GPL (General Public License), which guarantees the end user the “freedom to run, study, share, and modify the software”.

Some of us at the office used to flash all kinds of different ROMs on certain smartphones, but with smartphones and their UIs much more polished these days, there’s not as big of a need to do so anymore. Also, flashing ROMs requires unlocking the bootloader, which may void some manufacturer warranties.

With security becoming more important these days as mobile payments and encrypted communication becomes more prevalent, a smartphone with an unlocked bootloader is risky, which is why you can’t run certain games or use any mobile payment services with modified software.

 

Google Pixel XL Successor ‘Muskie’ Reportedly Shelved for ‘Taimen’ With Larger Display

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Google was earlier tipped to launch three phones this year
  • Taimen has been rumoured to feature 4GB of RAM
  • Google Walleye is expected to succeed the regular-sized Pixel smartphone

If you have been following leaks around the second-generation Google Pixel smartphones, you would know that the search giant has been tipped to launch three new devices with codename ‘Walleye’, ‘Muskie’, and ‘Taimen’. Now, the company has reportedly shelved the rumoured successor to Google Pixel XL, i.e Muskie, and will instead go with Taimen, which reportedly features a larger display.

An Android Police report citing sources close to the matter, Google has shelved the device codenamed Muskie and now plans to launch two smartphones, codenamed Walleye and Taimen. While the reason for ditching Muskie has not been revealed, AP says that it has confirmed with multiple independent sources that the information is correct. This means that Muskie has been shelved permanently, Taimen will be the successor to Google Pixel XL, and Walleye will succeed the standard Google Pixel, as had been rumoured earlier.

As per the previously leaked information, Taimen is expected to be powered by an octa-core Qualcomm processor clocked at 1.90GHz. The smartphone, which was previously tipped to be a possible tablet as well, is expected to feature 4GB of RAM and run Android O. Rumours had previously indicated the Pixel successor will feature an improved camera and better processor as well.Google Pixel XL Successor 'Muskie' Reportedly Shelved for 'Taimen' With Larger Display

Considering information available regarding the upcoming Pixel smartphones is sparse, we will have to wait for more leaks to flow in till we can give you some idea of what to expect from the second-generation of Pixel smartphones. As Google Pixel and Pixel XL were launched in October last year, we can expect the next-generation models to arrive around the same time this year.

Google Pixel

Google Pixel

Rs. 43,500
Buy
  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS

Display

5.00-inch

Processor

1.6GHz quad-core

Front Camera

8-megapixel

Resolution

1080×1920 pixels

RAM

4GB

OS

Android 7.1

Storage

32GB

Rear Camera

12.3-megapixel

Battery Capacity

2770mAh

BUY AT
  • Google Pixel (Very Silver, 32GB)
    Rs. 43,500
  • Google Pixel (Very Silver, 32GB)
    Rs. 44,000
  • Google Pixel (Very Silver, 32GB) – OFFER
    Rs. 44,000
Google Pixel XL

Google Pixel XL

Rs. 52,999
Buy
  • REVIEW
  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS
  • Design
  • Display
  • Software
  • Performance
  • Battery life
  • Camera
  • Value for money
  • Good
  • Brilliant low-light photography
  • Fast modern processor
  • Great battery life
  • Google Assistant with localisations for India
  • Bad
  • Not very stylish or eye-catching
  • Expensive
  • No storage expansion
BUY AT
  • Google Pixel XL (Very Silver, 32GB) –
    Rs. 52,999
  • Google Pixel XL (Very Silver, 32GB) – OFFER
    Rs. 54,000
  • Google Pixel XL (Very Silver, 32GB)
    Rs. 57,000

 

BlackBerry is leveraging its most popular assets to tackle enterprise communications

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On Monday, BlackBerry moved its BBM Enterprise SDK out of beta and is now offering the service to Android and iOS apps, according to VentureBeat.

Developers can use the SDK as a messaging infrastructure, allowing them to focus on building additional parts into their apps. The announcement is in line with BlackBerry’s recent services focus. The company’s turbulent relationship with hardware has forced it to shift focus to software and services over the past 18 months.

BlackBerry is leveraging its messaging app experience, from BBM, to give it an edge over rival enterprise communications companies, such as Twilio. BBM was once the crown jewel of the BlackBerry ecosystem, supporting a wide range of features including read receipts, file sharing, and message editing, as well as voice and video chat. The chat app has been touted as one of BlackBerry’s stickiest offerings.

Moreover, BBM’s strong ties to security could make it an appealing option for businesses. Encryption and cybersecurity continue to be hot topics in the enterprise, particularly as messaging becomes an increasingly important mode of communication, both between businesses and businesses, and businesses and customers. For example, Tundra Core Studios used the BBM SDK to build a messaging function into its app, something possible only due to BlackBerry’s stringent security features, VentureBeat notes.

Cloud computing — on-demand, internet-based computing services — has been successfully applied to many computing functions in recent years. From consumer-facing, web-based productivity apps like Google Docs to enterprise database management suites, the tools businesses rely on are increasingly moving to the cloud.Image result for BlackBerry is leveraging its most popular assets to tackle enterprise communications

But developing a cloud strategy is no easy task. Public cloud solutions will likely come to dominate the market over the next decade, but business constraints, such as security concerns and the limitations of existing infrastructure, make it difficult for companies to fully adopt the public cloud right now.

That means that hybrid clouds, in which multiple cloud implementations (including public and private) are connected, will remain popular for the time being, at least until these constraints are addressed. The tech giants that dominate the IaaS market — Amazon, IBM, Microsoft, and Google — are constantly expanding their offerings to address current business constraints as they compete for market share.

BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has compiled a detailed report on cloud computing that:

  • Explains the different cloud computing strategies and benefits of cloud computing.
  • Evaluates key business considerations – security needs, demand predictability, existing infrastructure, and maintenance capabilities – for enterprises choosing between cloud implementations..

 

Samsung Galaxy Book review: An excellent 2-in-1 for a good price

Samsung’s Galaxy Book is a 2-in-1 tablet with a detachable keyboard that gets pretty much everything you care about right. Its price, performance, and battery life are all among the best we’ve tested.

While it lacks the razzle-dazzle of flagships like the new Surface Pro, it’s still the sort of all-around performer that will attract a buyer looking for good value. Samsung’s only real swing and miss is a somewhat gimmicky integration with its Galaxy smartphones, which replaces the Windows Hello features that are becoming more common.

Samsung Galaxy Book side

Adam Patrick Murray

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • Price: Galaxy Book’s value proposition
  • Features: A mobile pedigree, for better and for worse
  • Keyboard: the Book’s foldable keyboard doesn’t suck
  • Performance: Galaxy Book is among the best
  • Bundled apps: Samsung’s apps are hit-and-miss
SHOW MORE

Price: Galaxy Book’s value proposition

While some competing 2-in-1 products we’ve reviewed cost upwards of $1,400, the version of the Samsung Galaxy Book we tested ships for $1,300. The price includes 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD, plus optional LTE connectivity via Verizon. A more full-featured version starts with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. There’s also a microSD card slot that accepts cards up to 256GB. Inside you’ll find 2×2 802.11ac Wi-Fi plus Bluetooth 4.1 BLE.

The Galaxy Book family also offers a smaller 10.6-inch tablet, with a 7th-generation Core m3 inside, starting at $630. For both sizes, the associated keyboard and pen ship for free, a trend we’d like to see become more common.

Samsung Galaxy Book

Adam Patrick Murray

The Galaxy Book’s beautiful Super AMOLED display is definitely a selling point.

Samsung rightfully earns praise for its bright, vibrant displays, and the Galaxy Book is no different. The 12-inch, 2,160×1,440 Super AMOLED touchscreen shines 355 nits’ worth of light into your eyeballs, and displays rich colors—though without the advanced options Microsoft built into its Surface Pro. Part of that has to do with the Galaxy Book’s integrated high-dynamic range (HDR) capability, which allows the screen to render brighter brights and deeper blacks. This is a feature typically found on high-end televisions, so the Galaxy Book is unusual, and perhaps unique, among Windows tablets in having it.

I expected the Galaxy Book to lean a bit more upon Samsung’s legacy of quality Android tablets, however. It’s no crime to exclude a physical Windows button, as the Galaxy Book does. I was a bit surprised, though, to discover that the screen bezel was a bit on the chunky side. The Galaxy Book’s dimensions are fine: 11.47 x 7.87 x 0.29 inches, and just over 2.5 pounds with the keyboard attached, or about 2.78 pounds if you add the small, cellular-style USB-C power charger. Still, the tablet felt somewhat awkward to hold in the hand.

Samsung Galaxy Book vs Surface Pro 4

Adam Patrick Murray

Though the Surface Pro 4 (bottom) is thicker than the Galaxy Book, it weighs slightly less when you attach both keyboards.

Features: A mobile pedigree, for better and for worse

Unfortunately, buying a Galaxy Book brings up a new consideration for many: what USB standard your peripherals use. Samsung has committed wholeheartedly to USB-C, with a pair of ports than can be used for charging or for peripherals. That’s fine for phones like the Samsung Galaxy S8, which use USB-C for charging but rarely connect to a wired USB device. The PC ecosystem encompasses a vast number of legacy devices, however, and you undoubtedly own some pre-USB-C device that you’ll want to connect to the Galaxy Book. At least Samsung was somewhat merciful: There’s a traditional headphone jack.

Samsung Galaxy Book USB-C

Adam Patrick Murray

One of these things is not like the other.

Because the two USB-C connections are the only I/O ports available, you’ll either need to invest in USB-C dongles or think about buying new gear.  A $20 USB-C hub, with three USB-A connections and an ethernet jack, is one option. Even better, Samsung is currently offering a free multi-port USB-C adapter if you order the Galaxy Book directly from the company.

Samsung clearly tapped its mobile team in other aspects of the design. Some people simply love taking photos with a tablet’s rear camera, and Samsung’s high-quality 13MP part should serve you well. Photos were sharp and bright, although the tablet can take seconds to focus. A more mundane 5MP camera sits up front.

Samsung Galaxy Book S-Pen

Adam Patrick Murray

The S-Pen may be a bit less ergonomic than other styluses, but you don’t have to charge it, either.

The Samsung Galaxy Book also ships with an S-Pen, the Samsung stylus that its Note phones made famous. Though I’ve begged other 2-in-1 vendors to secure the pen internally, as the Samsung Galaxy Note does, the Galaxy Book ignored my pleas.

Nokia 6, Asus ZenFone AR and Other CES 2017 Launches, Vodafone’s Rs. 499 Plan, More News This Week

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • New products at CES 2017 dominated the news this week
  • Nokia 6 launch on Sunday stole CES’ thunder a little bit
  • Vodafone now has a Rs. 499 unlimited calling postpaid plan

Predictably, CES 2017 dominated tech news this week with a range of exciting launches and demos, but just as we were putting the finishing touches to this piece, another launch grabbed the headlines. HMD Global, the new custodians of the Nokia brand, announced the launch of Nokia 6, a phone that runs Android 7.0 out of the box.

The Nokia 6 has a 5.5-inch full-HD display wrapped in 2.5D Gorilla Glass. The smartphone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 SoC alongside 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. The Nokia 6 is a dual SIM smartphone that is backed by a 3000mAh non-removable battery. See full specifications of the Nokia 6, which will unfortunately be a China-exclusive smartphone. HMD Global confirmed more Nokia Android phones are coming soon.

Before we get to all the CES launches from this week, let’s take a look at some important stories from closer home. Vodafone is taking the battle to Reliance Jio and Airtel with the launch of a new postpaid plan that offers unlimited calling, and 3GB of 4G data each month. The revamped Vodafone Red postpaid plans come soon after Airtel started offering 3GB of free mobile data per month to prepaid and postpaid customers switching to its 4G network.

Friday saw the launch of the Samsung Galaxy J1 (4G) in India – the same phone was launched in Russia in March last year, after quietly making its way to Dubai in January. In both those markets, it was sold as the Samsung Galaxy J1 (2016). This is an entry level phone from Samsung, priced at Rs. 6,890.

From CES, one of the highlights was the launch of the Asus ZenFone AR, the first smartphone with 8GB of RAM. It also come with support for Google’s Tango augmented reality programme and DayDream virtual reality software. Asus ZenFone AR, like the other Tango device – the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro – is designed around machine vision with a camera and sensor setup that provides motion tracking, depth perception, and area learning.

In addition to the ZenFone AR, Also also unveiled the Asus ZenFone 3 Zoom camera smartphone with 5000mAh battery at the event. The phone has dual rear cameras and offers 2.3x optical zoom.

Samsung used CES to showcase the new A (2017) smartphones launched earlier this week. The Galaxy A3 (2017), Galaxy A5 (2017), Galaxy A7 (2017) sport “enhanced” cameras compared to their predecessors, optimised for low-light conditions.

Later, pricing of the two of the new Samsung phones came to light as well.Nokia 6, Asus ZenFone AR and Other CES 2017 Launches, Vodafone's Rs. 499 Plan, More News This Week

LG also unveiled its K-series phones on the CES floor – the range covers the LG K3 (2017), LG K4 (2017), LG K8 (2017), and the LG K10 (2017).

LG also showed the LG Stylus 3. The South Korean company says that the new 2017 variants of the LG K3, K4, K8, K10 smartphones, and the Stylus 3 will strengthen its portfolio in the mid-range segment.

At its CES 2017 event, Xiaomi unveiled the latest Mi TV 4 and Mi Router HD, apart from announcing a brand new White colour variant of the Mi MIX smartphone. All the Xiaomi CES 2017 devices will be available later this year in China. Slimmer than an iPhone 7, the Mi TV 4 is the company’s thinnest TV to date.

The Xiaomi Mi MIX was unveiled as a limited edition concept smartphone, made in collaboration with French designer Philippe Stark, in October last year, and it will go on sale later this year.

Chipmaker Qualcomm finally took the wraps off its Snapdragon 835 SoC. Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 packs an Adreno 540 GPU, and is 30 percent smaller than the Snapdragon 820. The first 10nm chip by Qualcomm comes with longer battery life and will enable thinner designs.

Nvidia launched a new version of its Shield Android TV, called just Shield, at CES 2017. It comes with Google Assistant integration and supports 4K HDR. The new Nvidia Shield will cost $199 (roughly Rs. 13,200) but the company has not announced the availability of the device yet. It will be the first Android TV with Google’s Assistant, but others will follow, and it will come to other platforms over time.

There were also a lot of laptop launches at CES – Dell launched a range of products including a Latitude 2-in-1 business laptop, XPS 13 2-in-1, as well as new Alienware and Inspiron 7000 Gaming laptops. It also launched the new XPS 15 laptop, a Rose Gold variant of the XPS 13, and the XPS 27 AIO.

Asus launched the ZenBook 3 Deluxe UX490UA, and unveiled a new, slimmed-down business laptop, along with a VR-ready compact PC.

LG launched its new Gram 14 laptop, which it claims offers a battery life of around 24 hours. However, the benchmark test used by the company for this claim has turned out to be a 10-year old measurement tool. LG’s new Gram 14 laptop weighs around 980 grams, and is powered by Intel’s latest Kaby Lake processors. It comes with up to 16GB of RAM and houses up to 512GB of SSD storage.

Toshiba expanded its Portege laptop portfolio to launch a 2-in-1 offering – Portege X20W – pricing details of the 2-in-1 have not been announced yet. The Portege X20W convertible’s main highlight is touted to be its 16-hour battery life. Meanwhile, HP unveiled the refreshed EliteBook x360, a 15.6-inch Spectre x360, alongside the new Envy Curved AIO 34, the new Sprout Pro by HP, and Omen X 35 Curved Display.

Lenovo refreshed the ThinkPad X1 line, launching a host of products under its portfolio including the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, ThinkPad X1 Yoga, ThinkPad X1 Tablet, Miix 720, Lenovo Active Pen 2, Lenovo Legion Y720 Laptop, Lenovo Legion Y520 Laptop, Lenovo Smart Assistant, Lenovo Smart Assistant Harman Kardon Edition, Lenovo Smart Storage, Lenovo 500 Multimedia Controller, and Lenovo New Glass C200.

Asus also showed the Chromebook Flip C302 2-in-1 convertible, a high-end Chromebook. Samsung unveiled a Chromebook with stylus support, while Acer showed off a rugged Chromebook, targeted at classrooms.

Dell also launched a range of new gaming laptops in its Alienware and Inspiron lines, and Lenovo showed its range of Legion gaming laptops, and also a new VR headset, which will work with Microsoft’s Windows Holographic Program. Samsung also showcased a new gaming laptop, the Notebook Odyssey. The most jaw-dropping of the lot though was probably Razer’s Project Valerie concept laptop, which comes with three 4K displays, for “total immersion gaming”.

On the audio front, JBL launched the Pulse 3, Flip 4, Playlist, and BassPro Go speakers; Sennheiser unveiled wireless headphones and recording earbuds; Sony showed Google-Home friendly soundboards, along with new headphones and speakers; and LG announced a Dolby Atmos capable soundbar.

As usual, CES also saw a number of wearables being launched – some of the highlights were the Misfit Vapor, the Casio WSD-F20 rugged Android Wear watch, and the Motiv fitness ring, which comes with a heart rate sensor. There were a few VR related announcements for new accessories from HTC Vive, while the other products are still works in progress.

Outside of CES, we had two more launches in India this week. We saw the launch of the Xolo Era 2X – the 2GB RAM variant has been priced at Rs. 6,666 while the 3GB RAM variant has been priced at Rs. 7,499. It replaces the Xolo Era 1X, which launched with a price tag of Rs. 4,999 last year. Other than this, we had the launch of the Sennheiser HD 200 PRO closed-backover-ear headphones in India, priced at Rs. 6,490.

Besides this, TRAI released a consultation paper on net neutrality – you have till February 15 to send in your responses to the regulator on this important issue.

Paytm also announced an interesting development this week – it’s finally received approval to launch its payments bank – the actual rollout will still take a little time, but it’s expected in the coming months. Paytm had earlier announced that it’s going to merge its Wallet and Payments Bank, so your wallet balance will automatically become your bank balance.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai visited India this week, and launched new programs to help SMBs go digital. He visited his alma mater IIT-Kharagpur, where he talked to students, and told NDTV’s Vikram Chandra in an interview Google is keen to work on UPI. He also met IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad who says Google should tailor its services to local needs.

These were the highlights of the week for us, let us know via the comments what caught your eye this week.

 

Google Pushes Virtual Reality Harder With New Phones From Partners

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Huawei announced two phones that will work with Daydream View
  • Asus ZenFone AR will support both Daydream and Google’s Tango
  • Google has stressed that the programs do not overlap for now

Alphabet Inc’s Google quickened the pace of its push into virtual and augmented reality this week as its hardware partners announced new devices featuring the company’s technology at the CES electronics show in Las Vegas.

Google has been trying to position the vast network of smartphones running its Android operating system for virtual and augmented reality, known as VR and AR, fields that many in the technology industry say are poised to go mainstream after years of niche appeal.

Chinese manufacturer Huawei   announced on Thursday that two of its phones will soon work with Daydream View, a VR headset released last year by Google. Meanwhile, Taiwanese manufacturer AsusTek Computer Inc announced that its ZenFone AR will support both Daydream and Google’s Tango software for AR, in which computer-generated content is overlaid on the real world.

While the announcements expand the line-up of participating phones, Google still has much to do to take its technology to the masses, said analyst Jan Dawson of Jackdaw Research, noting that Samsung Electronics Co, the largest Android manufacturer, has yet to sign on.

“Google’s ecosystem for both AR and VR is in the very early days,” he said.Google Pushes Virtual Reality Harder With New Phones From Partners

As growth in the global smartphone market shows signs of slowing, some manufacturers are voicing optimism that AR and VR will revive consumer enthusiasm.

“This is the next wave of technology that is really going to get consumers excited about smartphones,” Erik Hermanson, Asus’s head of marketing for mobile products, said at the show.
But mainstream consumer interest in the technology remains largely unproven. Apps might be expected to stimulate demand, but until Google’s technology is available on a wider range of phones, it will be tough to persuade developers to build for the platform, analysts said.

“We are waiting for app developers to really use the platform for what it’s for,” Amit Singh, a vice president for VR at Google, told reporters.

In addition to supporting Daydream, Huawei said that it is exploring opportunities for Tango with Google. The Asus phone became the first to support both technologies.

Google has stressed that the programs do not overlap for now, but by pursuing both, the company can position itself for success regardless of whether AR or VR becomes a mainstream hit.

“By having options for both, they can cover the full potential market,” said analyst Bob O’Donnell of TECHnalysis Research.

 

Virtual Reality Seeks Momentum at CES Gadget Gala

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Virtual Reality was the centre of focus at last year’s CES
  • CES 2017 saw a revival of VR business
  • This time around there was a focus on what users will hold in hands

Virtual reality sought its stride Friday at the Consumer Electronics Show, where despite being a hot topic there was little sign it is racing into mainstream culture.

Show floor space devoted to virtual reality abounded with companies diving into the market with headsets, content, or tools for better creating or delivering immersive experiences.Virtual Reality Seeks Momentum at CES Gadget Gala

Last year at CES, virtual reality was an eye-grabbing sensation. This time around there was a focus on what it is going to take to get it into the hands of the masses.

Shawn DuBravac, chief economist at the Consumer Technology Association behind the annual show, was confident that sales of mixed reality gear would grow, and the range of uses expand far beyond video games.

The goal is to help developers reach audiences and make money, ideally inspiring the creation of more VR content, according to HTC executives.

HTC also planned to bring VR to the masses in arcades in shopping malls, downtowns or other public locations.

The company envisioned thousands of Viveport Arcades in operation by the end of this year.

Sony Corporation chief executive Kazuo Hirai revealed at CES that the Japanese consumer electronics company had sold more than 53.4 million PlayStation 4 consoles, which can power it virtual reality head gear.

ps4pro

He said that Sony aimed to continue the console momentum with more services and content, including VR games.

Sony Pictures was among more than two dozen companies that used CES to announce the creation of a Virtual Reality Industry Forum.

The Forum said its goal is to “further the widespread availability of high-quality audiovisual VR experiences.”

The group wants standards and formats that allow rich VR content to be equally accessible from the array of devices, avoiding “fragmentation” that has plagued audio-visual media in the past, according to a release.

“We believe this is crucial for the market to take off,” Sky broadcast strategy chief engineer Chris Johns said in the release.

“We all expect that 2017 will be the year when intense consumer interest in VR spurs a quantum leap in the user experience.”

CES featured the largest collection of VR technology ever at a trade show, according to Gartner analyst Brian Blau.

“There is a bit of the cart being before the horse,” Blau said. “A lot of people have learned about it, but people aren’t really buying it.”

He described the VR scene at CES as the first incarnation of an ecosystem of devices, applications and services in what was a big step for the technology.

“There is nothing like putting it on and experiencing it,” Blau said of VR.

“The disappointing part is that it is quite expensive. VR will be held back a bit until quality goes up and price goes down.”

 

HTC U11 Squeezable phone launched in India: Key specs, price, and more

 

HTC U11 smartphone with the new ‘Edge sense’ feature has been launched in India. HTC’s new U11 is also called the ‘Squeezable phone’ thanks to its Edge sense feature, and the upcoming phone is priced at Rs 51,990 for 6GB RAM+128GB storage variant. HTC U11 will be available starting June end.

HTC U11 Squeezable feature aka Edge Sense

HTC U11 comes with something called Edge Sense, where a user can squeeze the smartphone to set certain commands and functions. For instance, the squeeze can be customised to open an email app, or a game, open the camera app, take a picture, activate any of the voice assistants. Essentially the ‘squeeze’ gesture can be customized by the user for whatever action they prefer. HTC’s Edge Sense can be used even with gloves on, and the phone will work fine.

HTC U11 Design and Specifications

In terms of design, HTC U11 continues with the 3D Liquid Surface design we saw on the HTC U Ultra Play. This phone will come in blue, black, red and silver colour options, and the overall finish is glossy, which did make the earlier HTC U Ultra a little slippery. Dimensions of the HTC U11 are 153.9 x 75.9 x 7.9mm, and it sports a 5.5 inch Quad HD (2560 x 1440 pixels) resolution display. HTC is using the Super LCD 5 display with 3D Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on top.HTC U11, HTC U11 price in India, HTC U11 Squeezable phone, HTC Squeezable phone, HTC Edge Sense

HTC U11 also runs the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, which is a 64 bit octa-core one with up to 2.45 Ghz clock speed. The RAM and storage variant mentioned is 4GB + 64GB and 6GB RAM + 128GB storage. This one has a dual-SIM hybrid slot with microSD support, and the storage is expandable up to 2TB.

On the camera front, HTC U11 comes with 12MP rear camera with the company’s UltraPixel 3 one. It has 1.4μm pixel size, UltraSpeed Autofocus, BSI sensor and OIS. The aperture is ƒ/1.7 and there’s Dual LED flash on board. HTC has added a Pro mode with manual control as well as RAW format support on this phone. The camera is capable of 4K recording with 3D Audio, Hi-Res audio, Acoustic Focus as well. The front camera is 16MP with BSI sensor, live make-up, auto Selfie, Voice Selfie and HDR boost, along with support for 1080p video recording.

HTC U11 is a 4G-VoLTE enabled smartphone with support for most the major bands for India, including Band 5, Band 40, Band 41, etc. HTC says the U11 is capable of support Cat 15 LTE with download speeds up to 800Mbps. On the sound, audio quality HTC U11 has the company’s HTC USonic with Active Noise Cancellation as well as HTC BoomSound Hi-Fi edition. Sensors on the HTC U11 are Ambient light sensor, Proximity sensor Motion G-sensor, Compass sensor, Gyro sensor, Magnetic sensor, Fingerprint sensor, Sensor Hub, Edge Sensor.

For connectivity, HTC U11 also supports NFC, Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 & 5 GHz). It has a 3000 mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 and Type-C charging port. HTC is promising 24.5 Hours talk time with 3G/4G on this phone

 

BlackBerry KEYone goes on sale in Netherlands

BlackBerry’s latest Android offering – the KEYone – is now available to purchase in the Netherlands. Multiple third-party retailers like belsimpel and mobiel.nl have the phone listed on their website for around €600.

Of course, the handset is also available on contract, with pricing starting as low as €0.

The KEYone is already available in a handful of key markets, including the US, UK, and Canada. Recently, Canadian carrier Telus starting selling the phone to its consumer customers as well. Over in the UK, Carphone Warehouse has also started offering the handset.

 

Sony Xperia XZ Premium Review: A Tough Flagship Choice For Rs 59,990

Sony has entered the flagship smartphone race with a bang with its Xperia XZ Premium. The latest flagship Sony smartphone comes loaded with Sony’s in-house technology and is a step-up effort by the company to challenge the current market-ruling flagships by other companies, be it the Samsung Galaxy S8 or the Apple iPhone 7Plus.

Now it is not easy to stand-up to the market champions and call them out for a duel. So naturally, Sony could not leave anything to chance. The technology features that come with the smartphone are not to be taken lightly but how well do they contribute to an overall flagship smartphone experience? Let’s find out in this review.

What’s Cool?

Sony has focussed on three core segments to make the Xperia XZ Premium stand out from the competitors – its display, camera and processor.

To begin with, the Xperia XZ Premium comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. This is the first smartphone in India to offer the latest Qualcomm flagship processor, beating others (the OnePlus 5 that made claims to take this spot). Now as soon as this processor’s name pops up, you can be assured that the smartphone will not be under-par in performance.

Coupled with 4GB of RAM and 64GB internal storage and a support for Android 7.0 Nougat, the phone is extremely smooth to operate and till date, we have not found it lagging in any task. The storage is optimum to store as much data as you want and if you find it not up to your liking, there is always an option to expand it to 256GB using external micro SD card.

With the processor power and the sharp display, the Xperia XZ Premium is a treat to watch videos and play games on. Speaking of the display, Sony has introduced its 4K HDR proprietary technology in the 5.5-inch display of the XZ Premium, which it claims to have brought down from its Bravia range of televisions. The display is sharp, crisp and at a pixel density of 807 PPI, delivers a great experience.

The smartphone is IP 65/68 certified dust and water resistance and we put it to test by taking the phone on a river rafting spree. Make no mistake, the Xperia XZ Premium will surprise you by its ability to work in water. There is also a ‘Glove mode’ on the phone that allows you to have a better touch-screen experience while wearing gloves.

A commendable feature is the placement of the fingerprint sensor of the Xperia XZ Premium on its power button. This comes as a refreshing change from the standard home button integrated fingerprint sensor and is not at all as irritating as the ones placed at the back, like the one on the Samsung Galaxy S8.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium Review, Sony Xperia XZ Premium, Snapdragon 835 Processor, Xperia XZ Premium, Sony Flagship Smartphone, Android Smartphone, Smartphone ReviewSony Xperia XZ Premium – Fingerprint Scanner. (Photo: Siddhartha Safaya/ News18.com)

The Xperia XZ Premium is powered by a 3,230 mAh battery. Now, this is nothing that a smartphone can boast about but it easily gets you through a day of heavy usage and so we would rate it on the good side. Plus point, the battery performance is enhanced by Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 and Sony’s own Qnovo Adaptive Charging, both of which aid in quick charging of the smartphone’s battery. The Xperia XZ Premium supports USB Type-C connectivity.

Also read: Samsung Galaxy S8: Top 10 Features You Will Absolutely Love

Sony has repeatedly mentioned the camera capabilities of the smartphone, which, are not something to be missed. Though we would only comment upon limited features of the Xperia XZ Premium camera in this section, these features will certainly up your photography game. Sony has included its Exmor RS Sensor in its 19-megapixel primary and 13-megapixel front cameras. The interesting features that these cameras carry are Super-Slow Motion recording at 960 fps, Predictive Capture and Augmented Reality capabilities. There is also a dedicated camera key at the bottom-right of the phone for easier photo-capturing.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium Review, Sony Xperia XZ Premium, Snapdragon 835 Processor, Xperia XZ Premium, Sony Flagship Smartphone, Android Smartphone, Smartphone ReviewSony Xperia XZ Premium – Primary Camera. (Photo: Siddhartha Safaya/ News18.com)

You can have a gist of what Sony Xperia XZ Premium’s Super-Slow Motion recording can do by having a look at the Video review of the phone. It is one thing to look at an edited Slow-motion and another to shoot it yourself. The Super-Slow Motion recording will certainly expand the ‘what to shoot’ options for anyone and comes as something that you’d really look forward to in this smartphone.

Predictive Capturing, on the other hand, takes multiple shots of the image that you just clicked. This happens seconds before and seconds after you capture the image. It works just like Apple’s ‘Live Images’ and lets you select the best image for your click.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium Review, Sony Xperia XZ Premium, Snapdragon 835 Processor, Xperia XZ Premium, Sony Flagship Smartphone, Android Smartphone, Smartphone ReviewSony Xperia XZ Premium – Camera Key. (Photo: Siddhartha Safaya/ News18.com)

Also read: HTC U11 Review: It Squeezes Into the iPhone 7 & Samsung Galaxy S8 Territory

What’s not so Cool?

One thing that nobody would like about the Sony Xperia XZ Premium is that the phone is practically a fingerprint magnet. Touch it once and your fingerprint is visible enough for it to hold its credibility in a court case.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium Review, Sony Xperia XZ Premium, Snapdragon 835 Processor, Xperia XZ Premium, Sony Flagship Smartphone, Android Smartphone, Smartphone ReviewSony Xperia XZ Premium – Fingerprints. (Photo: Siddhartha Safaya/ News18.com)

Also, Sony has used its standard design mantra for this flagship phone. The ‘loop surface’ are not something unique and apart from the extremely glossy and reflective finish, the design will only excite a long-time Sony aficionado. A good and easy way for Sony to go off the signature design would have been to reduce the bezel size on the Xperia XZ Premium.

Now coming back to the camera of the Xperia XZ Premium, well, a subtle way of mentioning its performance is that the camera is not as good as Sony claims it to be. Apart from the features mentioned in the above section, the Xperia XZ Premium does not score very well on the camera front. Simply put, at the price at which the smartphone is available, you would expect a lot more than what you get. One mentionable downside for professional photographers, the camera’s shutter speed cannot be increased to more than 1 on Manual mode.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium Review, Sony Xperia XZ Premium, Snapdragon 835 Processor, Xperia XZ Premium, Sony Flagship Smartphone, Android Smartphone, Smartphone ReviewSony Xperia XZ Premium – Selfie Camera. (Photo: Siddhartha Safaya/ News18.com)

Verdict

The Sony Xperia XZ Premium is undoubtedly a very good smartphone to have, especially if you are done with the regular Samsung and Apple flagship offerings. It is a loaded device, looks elegant and overall promises a good smartphone experience.

Yet the price tag on the Sony flagship is a bit too top-notch. There are some major chunks of refinement missing from the smartphone for it to have touched the Rs 59,990 price list. Considering the competitors are Samsung’s revolutionary flagship with the Bezel-less design and Apple’s trustworthy flagship offering, the USP of the Sony Xperia XZ Premium can only be its inbuilt Technology features.