Smartphones

Qualcomm Boosts Mobiles With Snapdragon 660, 630 Chips

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Qualcomm presents a pair of chipsets for lower-cost smartphones-- the Snapdragon 660 and 630 SoCs, upgrades on the Snapdragon 652 and 625 chips offering more power and faster connectivity.

Snapdragon 660The Snapdragon 660 and 630 feature the X12 LTE modem found inside the high-end Snapdragon 820 SoC, together with Bluetooth 5 and, in the case of the 660, 2 x 2 MIMO wifi. CPU and GPU speeds get an increase, as Qualcomm says the 660 is 20% faster than the 652, while the 630 is 10% faster.

The two chips are built using a 14nm process, and support up to 8GB of RAM. The 660 has an 8-core Kryo CPU and an Adreno 512 GPU, while the 630 has 8 Cortex A53 cores and an Adreno 508 GPU.

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LG Rolls Out X power2 Smartphone

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LG starts rolling out the X power2, a mass-tier smartphone offering the biggest battery in a mobile device from the company, in markets around the globe.

LG X power2First announced back at MWC 2017, the X power2 features a 4500mAh battery LG claims can handle 26 hours of talk time, 18 hours of video viewing or 19 hours of web browsing on a single charge. As such, it promises to "last an entire weekend before requiring recharging."

As for the rest of the phone, the handset has a 5.5-inch 1280 x 720 resolution display, an octa-core MediaTek MT6750 chipset with 1.5 or 2GB RAM, 16GB storage (expandable via microSD) and a 13MP rear-facing camera with Zero Shutter Lag and soft LED flash.

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Samsung Galaxy S8 Gets Launch

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After months of stories of phablets spontaneously catching fire Samsung reveals the Galaxy S8 and S8+, a pair of devices promising to be the company's return to mobile device form.

Samsung Galaxy S8The S8+ is the bigger option with a 6.2-inch screen, but the S8 might be the superior model since it features a 5.8-inch "infinity display"-- a Super AMOLED screen wrapping around the curved front of the phone, making it almost bezel-less. Both displays run at 2960 x 1440 resolution, and phone construction features Gorilla Glass 5 on both front and back with a metal band in between.

Depending on region, the phones are powered by either Qualcomm or Exynox octa-core processors together with 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage (expandable to 256GB via microSD slot) and a 3000mAH battery (3500mAh in the S8+). Also included is a 12MP duopixel f/1.7 aperture rear-facing camera, 8MP front-facing camera, fingerprint sensor, USB-C port and, in a Samsung first, Bluetooth 5 connectivity.

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iPhone 7, 7 Plus Get (PRODUCT)RED Editions

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iPhone RedApple presents special (PRODUCT)RED editions of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus-- models featuring a vibrant red finish on the anodised aluminium back, together with a white Apple logo and white front bezels.

Available in 128 and 256GB versions, the special editions commemorate the 10 years of partnership between Apple and (RED), and provide means for customers to contribute to the Global Fund for AIDS research.

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Meet Bixby, the Samsung Voice Assistant

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Samsung presents what it claims is a "new way to interact with your phone"-- Bixby, its take on the voice assistant likes of Siri, Cortana and Google Assistant.

Samsung GalaxyThe result of the acquisition of Viv, an AI specialist founded by the creators of Siri, Bixby promises to be superior to the competition through 3 specific properties. These are completeness (it can handle "almost" any task one can do using the touchscreen), context awareness (Bixby-enabled apps can summon Bixby at any time, and the assistant carries out tasks specific to the app) and cognitive tolerance (it understands commands with incomplete information, and prompts users to tell it more if necessary).

Bixby will also find use beyond smartphones, since Samsung plans to put it a wide variety of connected devices, including appliances, TV remotes and wearables. In fact, the company states Bixby can work on just about anything with an internet connection and a microphone. Uniting all Bixby-enabled offerings is a dedicated hardware button, which Samsung claims eliminates the "confusion around activating a voice interface."

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