Smartphones

Samsung Galaxy S8 to Launch With Viv

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Samsung is to differentiate the upcoming Galaxy S8 flagship with an AI assistant, Reuters reports-- specifically Viv, the service the Korean company acquired little more than a month ago.

Samsung GalaxyThe service will also be integrated in other Galaxy smartphones, as well as home appliances and wearable devices. Samsung does not detail how the Galaxy S8 will use Viv, but it does say Viv allows for seamless use of 3rd party services through an interconnected nature and a sophisticated backend featuring "dynamic program generation."

"Developers can attach and upload services to our agent," the company says. "Even if Samsung doesn't do anything on its own, the more services that get attached the smarter this agent will get, learn more new services and provide them to end-users with ease."

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Xiaomi Intros Mi 5s Flagship

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Xiaomi announces an incremental update on the Mi 5 flagship smartphone-- the Mi 5s, a 5.5-inch handset featuring a metal body together with the a Snapdragon 821 chipset and an ultrasonic fingerprint reader.

Xiaomi Mi 5sAccording to the company, the ultrasonic fingerprint sensor was meant for the Mi 5, but the technology only ready for mass production on July 2016. The technology allows companies to build a fingerprint reader underneath the glass covering the display, although the Mi 5s has a little dent to help users guide their fingers to the sensor.

As mentioned earlier a 2.15GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 CPU powers the device, together with 4GB LPDDR4 RAM, up to 128GB UFS 2.0 storage and 3200mAh battery. The rear-facing camera gets a boost with a 12MP Sony 1/2.3-inch IMX378 CMOS sensor, f/2.0 aperture lens, dual-tone LED flash, phase detection auto-focus, auto HDR and video recording reaching up to 4K resolution at 30fps, as does the 4MP front-facing selfie shooter with an f/2.0 aperture 80-degree lens.

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HTC Intros Desire 10

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HTC Desire 10HTC announces the latest addition to the Desire smartphone family-- the Desire 10, a midrange handset available in 2 variants, one named Lifestyle, the other Pro.

Both versions have a 5.5-inch display and run on Android 6.0, but are otherwise fairly different. The Pro is higher-specced model, with a 1080p resolution display, MediaTek Helio P10 CPU, 3 or 4GB RAM, 32 or 64GB storage, 20MP rear-facing camera, 13MP front-facing camera, 3000mAh battery and a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner.

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Apple Announces iPhone 7, 7 Plus

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Apple reveals exactly what everyone was expecting in this year's September event with the latest incarnation of the iPhone-- the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, now featuring IP67-rated stainless steel construction together with a slew of internal upgrades.

iPhone 7 revealBut before we get to the new iPhone, one has to mention the opening of the event in question. In a move simultaneously unbelievable and inevitable Nintendo took the stage to announce its first iPhone game, Super Mario Run. Demonstrated by company guru Shigeru Miyamoto, the game will surely be a first of surely many Nintendo titles hitting iOS, as the ailing Japanese company looks to boost its bottom line by developing games for machines other than its own.

Anyway, back to the iPhone. Available in now traditional 7 and 7 Plus forms, the smartphones comes in a gloss jet black finish as well as the familiar silver and rose gold, and has a rebuilt Home button featuring a Taptic engine similar to that found in the touchpad found in the latest MacBooks. Powering it is new processor, the A10 Fusion, featuring a 4-core CPU and 6-core GPU for a 40% speed boost over the A9.

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Samsung Orders Galaxy Note 7 Recall

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Following slightly terrifying reports of Galaxy Note 7 tablets catching fire or exploding while charging Samsung suspends sales of the phablet and announces a global replacement program.

Galaxy note 7 burningThe burning-- and at times explosive-- issue comes from the battery, and so far 35 such cases have been reported. According to Samsung this is but a "tiny fraction of the high volume of device sold since launch," but concerned customers will be able to replace their handsets with a new smartphone through an exchange program.

Samsung is still to fully detail the program in question, but it will be held through carriers and retail outlets. Carriers in the US will also be adding a choice of credit or gift card should customers stick with a Samsung device as a "gesture of appreciation."

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