Smartphones

Apple Patents Phone With Wraparound Display

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Apple patent filings can get pretty creative, and this latest revelation is as wild as it gets-- it is a method for "portable electronic device with a wraparound display."

iPhone patentPatent filings being the way they are, this particular case was actually first filed back in 2011 before being granted in 2014. The original also received "multiple continuations."

In any case, the concept behind the patent remains as such-- a phone with a flexible OLED display wrapping all the way around. Construction involves a single piece of glass, with opaque sections covering possible display seams.

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Lenovo Claims First Tango-Enabled Smartphone

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Lenovo presents the Phab 2 Pro-- the first smartphone equipped with Tango, the Google-developed combination of cameras, IR sensors and software allowing devices to the world in 3D.

Phab2 proFormerly known as Project Tango, the technology provides enhanced indoor tracking and augmented reality features. In the case of the Phab 2 Pro it comes through a 16MP shooter, one Google says is a shrunken version of the prototypes seen a couple of years ago. It uses dual-cameras to analyse surroundings in 3D, while additional sensors map the physical space and track objects 250000 times per second.

Demos shown by Lenovo include AR shooting games, an educational app able to project dinosaurs in real spaces, a domino app allowing users to set virtual pieces around a room and a virtual home improvement app developed by Lowe's. The company says the device already has 25 apps, a number it hopes will grow to 100 by end 2016.

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Rumour Mill Mulls Next Moto X Phone

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Rumours emerge on the next Motorola smartphone-- HelloMotoHK leaks images of what appears to be a flatter, metal-clad Moto X, while VentureBeat suggest the phone offers "an ecosystem of modular, swappable backplates."

Moto X images The HelloMotoHK Google+ page shows a metallic body with a bump housing the camera and a dual-speaker array on the back and a fingerprint reader on the front. As for internal specifications, the grapevine claims the 5.5-inch Android handset carries a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 CPU, up to 4GB of RAM and 32GB storage.

However the VentureBeat story has the more interesting claims. According to unnamed sources the Moto X comes in two versions (the "Vertex" and "Vector Thin"), each with swappable backplates adding "significant additional functionality" to the phone.

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Time: iPhone is Most Influential Gadget

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Time Magazine lists what it believes are the "50 Most Influential Gadgets of All Time"-- and puts the iPhone at the very top due to being the first "truly powerful computer in the pockets of millions."

iPhoneAs the magazine puts it, while smartphones were a device category before the 2007 iPhone launch, the Apple offering easily beat the rest by replacing buttons and slide-out keyboards with a flat touchscreen. Arguably just as significant is the 2008 introduction of the App Store, "forever changing how we communicate, play games, shop, work, and complete many everyday tasks."

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Huawei Adds Leica Lenses to P9 Smartphone

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Huawei announces the first result device produced under its recent partnership with German optics maker Leica-- the P9, a smartphone featuring a pair of "Leica certified" rear-facing cameras.

Huawei P9Reportedly the result of 3 years of co-engineering between the two companies, the dual cameras inside the P9 feature specially designed f/2.2 lenses, a pair of 12MP 1.25um Sony IMX286 sensors and a dual-LED flash. One camera captures RGB information while the other is monochrome, and the result is supposed to provide clearer photographs with brighter backgrounds, better contrast and better performance in low light environments.

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