Blackberry fixes software update for AT&T-branded PRIVs


Turns out the reports were true, as BlackBerry has now updated its website to reflect that updates for unlocked AT&T Priv units (that use a non-AT&T SIM card) will be directly handled by the company.

The Canadian company has in-fact started rolling out the updates. “Over-The-Air software updates have now been made available,” the website says in the resolution section of the knowledge-base article related to the problem.

“To receive this Over-The-Air update, tap the available software update within the Notification shade,” it adds.

Samsung Galaxy J3 (2017) now spotted on Geekbench


A new Samsung device (SM-J327P), which is said to be the Galaxy J3 (2017) smartphone, has been spotted on Geekbench. The listing reveals that the handset is powered by Snapdragon 430 chipset, has 2GB RAM, and runs Android Marshmallow version 6.0.1.

If you recall, a couple of Samsung Galaxy J3 (2017) variants – carrying model numbers SM-J3110 and SM-J3119 – cleared TENAA back in May this year.

The TENAA listings revealed the following specs: 5.1″ Super AMOLED screen, quad-core processor (1.2GHz), 2GB RAM, 8MP/5MP camera combo, and 2,600mAh battery. As for the difference, while one features 720p resolution, the other has full HD display.

Google’s new Pixel phones are now available for purchase


Google’s new Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones are now available for purchase. In the United States, the devices can either be purchased directly from Google or through Verizon and Best Buy.

Google Store has both 32GB and 128GB models listed – color options include black and silver. Shipments, however, won’t begin until next month.

Verizon, on the other hand, has the devices in stock. Blue color option is available as well, but it only comes with 32GB storage for both handsets – the blue Pixel XL, however, will ship November 18 onwards.

Best Buy also has a few Verizon-branded Pixel models listed on its website, although only in 32GB storage. For more details, head to the Source links below.

Kodak Ektra: an Android-powered rebirth of a camera legend


Kodak resurrected a legend – the Kodak Ektra is a new phone, named after an innovative and feature-loaded 35mm camera produced in the distant 1941. The Android-powered digital version is surprisingly impressive, given how underwhelming the first Android-powered Kodak IM5 was.

Kodak Ektra
Kodak Ektra
Kodak Ektra

Kodak Ektra

Kodak explains that the Ektra is all about the old-school experience – there are even genuine leather accessories that look so much like classic camera cases. The back of the phone itself is leatherette with a camera hump and grip, evoking the look of Kodak�s analog cameras.

Genuine leather carrying cases for the Kodak Ektra
Genuine leather carrying cases for the Kodak Ektra
Genuine leather carrying cases for the Kodak Ektra
Genuine leather carrying cases for the Kodak Ektra
Genuine leather carrying cases for the Kodak Ektra
Genuine leather carrying cases for the Kodak Ektra

Genuine leather carrying cases for the Kodak Ektra

The camera itself features a 21MP camera with an f/2.0 lens and Optical Image Stabilization. It features Phase Detection AF and 4K video recording. A dual-LED, dual-tone LED flash is on the back (xenon would have been a lovely touch here). There�s a solid 13MP camera on the front for selfies.

The Kodak Ektra comes with a rich selection of image editing features. For videos, you can play with grains, vignettes and that nostalgic Super 8 look that is still alive today (just ask JJ Abrams). Here are some (downsized) camera samples:

Camera samples from the Kodak Ektra
Camera samples from the Kodak Ektra
Camera samples from the Kodak Ektra
Camera samples from the Kodak Ektra
Camera samples from the Kodak Ektra
Camera samples from the Kodak Ektra
Camera samples from the Kodak Ektra
Camera samples from the Kodak Ektra
Camera samples from the Kodak Ektra
Camera samples from the Kodak Ektra
Camera samples from the Kodak Ektra
Camera samples from the Kodak Ektra

Camera samples from the Kodak Ektra

Much like the faux leather back, the sides of the phone are metal-looking plastic. It�s not a big phone – the Ektra has a 5� 1080p screen. It�s powered by a Helio X20 chipset with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. There�s a microSD slot, so you won�t run out of memory soon. Also, there�s a big 3,000mAh battery inside to keep you snapping all day long.

The Kodak Ektra will launch in the UK this December for �450. Given enough interest, it will go across the pond too, sometime in early 2017.

Unannounced Meizu M5 leaks in live images


A new entry-level Meizu smartphone – allegedly dubbed Meizu M5 – has leaked online in live photos. The leak, which comprises of a total of 4 images, focuses on the front of the phone.

Specs-wise, the handset is rumored to be powered by Mediatek’s MT6750 chipset and sport an HD display. RAM is said to be 2GB, while internal memory is 16GB. The camera department is handled by a 13MP main unit.

The device is said to be made official during an event on October 31. Pricing information is currently not known.

October security patch hitting Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge units in India as well


Just a few days after Samsung pushed out the latest security update to its Galaxy S7 and S7 edge units in some parts of Europe, the October patch has started hitting S7/S7 edge units in India as well. The update weighs in at over 21MB.

As is usually the case with OTA roll-outs, it may take some time for the update to hit your device. Meanwhile, if you feel impatient, you can manually check for the update by heading to your handset’s Settings menu.

Galaxy S8 to have dual camera, iris scanner to support parts suppliers


Samsung has announced that it will compensate parts suppliers who were affected by the Galaxy Note7 failure. Reports coming from Korea are that a big part of that plan involves equipping the upcoming Galaxy S8 with a dual-camera setup and an iris scanner.

Dual cameras will increase revenue for parts suppliers including Samsung Electro-Mechanics, which supplies camera modules, Sekonix, which makes lenses for smartphone cameras and Kolen, which makes lenses for iris scanners. Patron and MCNEX used to make iris scanners for the Note7, now they will be making it for the Galaxy S8.

Samsung has not officially confirmed this plan, instead the info comes from an official working at one of the parts suppliers. He points out that Samsung brings out a new camera design each year and the S8 will be no exception.

The President of Samsung�s mobile business said during the launch of the Note7 that by the time the Galaxy S8 is unveiled, Samsung will have an improved iris scanning technology. As for the dual-camera – every one is doing it now, HTC, LG, Apple, Huawei, Xiaomi and others.

Samsung India expects growth in market share despite Galaxy Note7 fiasco


Samsung’s India subsidiary has said it’s confident that the Galaxy Note7 debacle won’t have a negative impact on its smartphone sales during Q4. In fact, the company revealed that their festive sales are inline with the expectations, and they are even expecting a growth in their market share in the country.

“We have converted the Note 7 prebooked customers in India to S7 and S7 Edge,” said Manu Sharma, vice president (mobile business), Samsung India Electronics.

“We are humbled by the loyalty of the consumers towards the brand. There is now a strong sales momentum on S7 and S7 Edge. By virtue of being a full range player with 25 models across segments, we are confident to grow our share and sales this quarter.”

Just to give you an idea, India sales of the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge have doubled ever since Samsung permanently discontinued the Galaxy Note7. Aside from this, Sharma also revealed that from now on, they’ll only sell 4G smartphones in India.

Xiaomi sells 1M phones in India in just 18 days, CEO celebrates


Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun posted a letter to announce the latest milestone in India and to thank the team that made it possible. Xiaomi sold �1 million smartphones in just 18 days,� not long after the Redmi Note 3 became an online best-seller. Actually, going by IDC numbers, Xiaomi has been the #1 online smartphone brand in India since July of this year.

This is an astronomic growth for a company that entered the Indian market in 2014, when it launched the Mi 3. This Flipkart exclusivity ended In April last year, when Xiaomi products went up on Amazon and Snapdeal.

Lei Jun thanked Xiaomi retail partners along with Manu (Kumar Jain) and Hugo (Barra) for their leadership and the business teams in China who lent their support.

�And very importantly, I wish to thank every Indian Mi fan for the love they have shown to Xiaomi, which is the driving force behind our success.�
– Lei Jun, CEO of Xiaomi

The head of the fast-growing smartphone maker is �confident that with the sustained efforts of our entire Xiaomi family, we will be able to capture the largest market share in India within 3-5 years.�

Android 7.0 Nougat update starts hitting Motorola Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus


Just yesterday there were reports that Motorola has begun soak testing the Moto G4 Plus Nougat update, and now, the company has officially announced that the Android 7.0 update has been released for both Moto G4 and G4 Plus smartphones.

It’s worth mentioning that while the soak test was being carried out in Brazil, the latest announcement regarding the Moto G4 and G4 Plus Nougat update has been made by Motorola on its India website.

The announcement page also contains details of all the changes/features that the update brings along. Head to the Source link below to take a look.

Oppo R9s and R9s Plus become official with 16 MP cameras both on the front and on the back


Today at an event in Shanghai, China, Oppo has finally taken the wraps off the much-leaked R9s and R9s Plus. The two handsets are successors for the R9 and R9 Plus which were unveiled this March.

While the original R9 had a 13 MP camera on the back and a 16 MP unit on the front and the R9 Plus went with a pair of 16 MP sensors, this time around every single camera on the R9s and R9s Plus is 16 MP. That makes things easy to remember.

Oppo R9s

The rear unit for both phones has f/1.7 aperture, electronic image stabilization in the R9s and optical image stabilization in the R9s Plus, 4K video capture support, and a LED flash. The selfie snapper on the other hand has to make do with an f/2.0 aperture.

The Oppo R9s has a 5.5-inch 1080p touchscreen with 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass 5, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 chipset (with Adreno 506 GPU), 4GB of RAM, 64GB of expandable storage (via a hybrid dual-SIM slot), a fingerprint scanner on the front, and a 3,010 mAh battery with VOOC fast charge. It runs Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow with Color OS 3.0 on top.

Its dimensions are 153 x 74.3 x 6.58 mm, and it weighs 145g. Oppo says the R9s has 1.66m side bezels and a 77.5% screen-to-body ratio.

Oppo R9s Plus

On the other hand, the R9s Plus is bigger, coming with a 6-inch 1080p touchscreen with 1.78mm side bezels and a 79% screen-to-body ratio. This model is powered by Qualcomm’s recently announced Snapdragon 653 SoC, aided by 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, once again expandable through a hybrid dual-SIM / microSD slot. The R9s Plus has a 4,000 mAh battery, its dimensions are 163.63 x 80.8 x 7.35 mm, and it weighs 185g. The rest of its specs are identical to the R9s’.

Both phones can receive a charge that’s good for two hours of talk time in just five minutes plugged in. For both, the rear camera features Sony’s IMX398 sensor with dual-focus that’s 40% faster than phase detection autofocus. The devices have redesigned antenna lines on the back – instead of one thick line we now get three separate 0.3mm wide ones, making for an overall sleeker look. This also lets Oppo increase the proportion of metal in the R9s to a whopping 98.8%.

New antenna band design

The R9s will become available in China on October 28 for CNY 2,799 ($415 or �378 at the current exchange rates). It will be offered in black, gold, and rose gold. The R9s Plus will set you back CNY 3,499 when it goes on sale in December (that’s $519 or �473). The R9 was sold outside of China as the Oppo F1 Plus, but it’s still unclear if the R9s will transform into an F1s Plus for international markets.

More evidence that Meizu M5 will be made official on October 31


Meizu is holding an event on October 31, and there have already been reports that the Meizu M5 will be unveiled on that day. And now there’s more evidence that adds weight to these reports.

In response to a user’s comment on Weibo, the Chinese company’s VP Li Nan has dropped hints that the phone would be unveiled ahead of its November 11 launch.

In case you missed, the handset recently leaked in live images. Rumors say it will be powered by Mediatek’s MT6750 chipset and sport an HD display. It’ll have 2GB RAM and 16GB internal memory, and will feature a 13MP main camera.

OnePlus 3T moniker spotted online; device said to be powered by Snapdragon 821


Earlier this month, a new OnePlus smartphone with model number A3010 passed what’s known as China Compulsory Certification (3C), with reports saying it’s OnePlus 3S. Now, a OnePlus 3T moniker has been spotted on Weibo – specifically, one of the OnePlus designers has posted on their Weibo account using the device.

Nothing is yet confirmed regarding its specifications, although rumors say the phone will be powered by Snapdragon 821 chipset and run Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box.

Also, it’s likely to sport an optic AMOLED display as OnePlus CEO Carl Pei recently confirmed that the company will be staying with such displays for a foreseeable future.

There have already been rumors that the OnePlus 3 might get a hardware refresh soon.

LeEco takes its Le Pro 3 to the US alongside newly unveiled mid-range Le S3


Today LeEco has officially announced the first two smartphones it’s going to be selling in the US. The Chinese company is ambitiously moving to cover that market, even before much older rivals such as Xiaomi.

LeEco will offer both the already unveiled Le Pro 3 in the US, as well as the newly outed Le S3. The Pro 3 comes with a 5.5-inch 1080p touchscreen, a 16 MP rear camera with f/2.0 aperture, phase detection autofocus, and dual-tone LED flash, an 8 MP selfie snapper, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 chipset at the helm, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, a fingerprint scanner on the back, a USB Type-C port (and no 3.5mm headset jack), and a 4,070 mAh battery. It runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

LeEco Le Pro 3

The high-end smartphone will go for just $399 unlocked, with an additional $100 instant rebate available if you sign up for the company’s LeRewards scheme.

To complement the Le Pro 3 in its lineup, LeEco has created the Le S3. This model has a 5.5-inch 1080p touchscreen too and the same cameras, but swaps the Snapdragon 821 for a SD652 and only has 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and a 3,000 mAh battery. This handset will retail for $249 unlocked, and once again you can shave $100 off that through an instant rebate with LeRewards.

LeEco Le S3

LeEco will use flash sales to get its devices into the hands of eager consumers, and it’s going to be interesting to see how well this model will do in the US, since it’s essentially the first time anyone’s tried it. The first flash sale for the Le Pro 3 and Le S3 will take place on November 2 starting at 10 AM PT.

Xiaomi Mi Note 2 will have a dual-curved screen, a tweet teases


Xiaomi execs are preparing their presentation for next Tuesday, October 25, when they will be unveiling the Xiaomi Mi Note 2. Meanwhile, the social media team is building up the hype – the most recent revelation confirms the curved screen of the upcoming flagship.

A dual-curved screen matches the renders we saw earlier this week. It will be a QHD AMOLED screen, if the leaked slides are to be believed. Xiaomi�s Twitter account is mum on the subject of dual-cameras, but we expect a few more teaser tweets before the event commences.

The Mi Note 2 will arrive next Tuesday at an event that will be livestreamed on Facebook (join the group if you want to watch). It is expected to have a Snapdragon 821 chipset, up to 6GB of RAM, 4,100mAh battery and a reasonable price (expected to be $400-$450 based on RAM/storage).

Samsung Gear S3 launches in mid-November in the US, Europe, and Korea


According to a new report from the company’s home of South Korea, Samsung will finally release the Gear S3 smartwatch in mid-November. The first markets to get it will be Korea itself, as well as the US and “major European nations”. That’s the first wave, and China isn’t included. It, like other countries, will get the Gear S3 at a later point.

The device is already up for pre-order in Canada with a shipping date of November 18, so that’s another market in which the mid-November launch will take place.

Samsung’s arm in the Netherlands at one point claimed the Gear S3 would become available there on November 4. Since that doesn’t qualify as “mid” November, we assume the EU launch has been postponed by a few days. There’s still no word on official pricing, but the Gear S3 is expected to cost around KRW 400,000 ($357 or �325) in Korea.

In Canada both the classic and frontier models are priced at CAD 469.99, while in the Eurozone the price may be �399.99.

Motorola starts soak testing Moto G4 Plus Nougat update


Earlier this month, Motorola published full list of phones that the company said will get Android 7.0 Nougat update. The firm also revealed that the update will start rolling out in Q4, and will be hitting the Moto Z and Moto G (4th Gen) series first.

Inline with that, the company has started soak testing the Moto G4 Plus Nougat update. The test is currently being carried out in Brazil, and the update weighs in at 953MB.

For those who aren’t in the know, soak test means that only a small subset of users will receive the update, and if everything goes fine – which means if there aren’t any critical issues – a full rollout will follow shortly.

Blue Coral Samsung Galaxy S7 edge officially confirmed, launching November 5 in Singapore


If you recall, a photo leak last week revealed a new Blue Coral variant of the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, and that it’s headed to Verizon in the US. Now, the South Korean company has officially confirmed the new Galaxy S7 edge color.

Specifically, the confirmation came from Samsung’s Singapore subsidiary which announced the retail availability for the handset on its official website.

The image that leaked last week

“Samsung today also announced the retail availability of the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge 4G+ in Blue Coral, adding a stunning colour variant to this sleek and stylish device,” the company said in a press release.

“Currently available in Black Onyx, Gold Platinum, Silver Titanium and Pink Gold, the new colour variant of the Galaxy S7 edge 4G+ features a refined design coupled with powerful functionality while encased in a cool blue hue.”

As for availability, the subsidiary said the phone (32GB variant) will go on sale in the Asian country starting November 5. It will carry a price tag of SGD 1,098 ($787).

Sony Xperia X Compact is water and dust resistant in Japan, also comes in pink


Sony’s Xperia X Compact has been unveiled for NTT Docomo today, Japan’s largest carrier. And unlike the international model, this one features IP68 certified water and dust resistance, just like the bigger (and more powerful) Xperia XZ.

Interestingly, the Japanese Xperia X Compact has the exact same dimensions and weight as the international model, despite the water and dust proofing.

This decision by Sony to only have a water resistant X Compact model in its home market is certainly baffling, but clearly part of a bigger trend for this company. Let’s not forget that its last few flagships are being sold in the US with the fingerprint scanners disabled, unlike what’s happening everywhere else.

To add insult to injury, the Xperia X Compact is being offered by NTT Docomo in an additional color, namely pink. Needless to say, this hasn’t so far been on the menu in other territories, where the phone is only available in black, white, or blue. Hopefully the pink model will be introduced elsewhere too.

Leaked Xiaomi Mi Note 2 slides: 5.7″ AMOLED, 2 cameras, decent price


There have been some conflicting rumors about the upcoming Xiaomi Mi Note 2, but some leaked presentation slides look legitimate.

The slides detail an LG-made AMOLED screen – 5.7� big with QHD resolution (1440p) – which promises 100% NTSC color coverage. The screen will feature 3D Touch and below the glass that covers it is an ultrasonic fingerprint reader like on the Mi 5s. There will be an iris scanner too, a second biometric security option.

Ultrasonic fingerprint reader
Iris scanner

5.7″ AMOLED with 100% NTSC coverage � Ultrasonic fingerprint reader � Iris scanner

The slides confirm the dual-camera setup and give more details – one 23MP Sony IMX318 sensor and a 12MP IMX378. The slides don�t say what those two cameras will be used – the 12MP sensor is far too good for mere depth information like on the Redmi Pro. Actually, IMX378 is the same sensor used in the last Nexus and Pixels, which were great at low-light shooting. Our money is on wide/telephoto cameras.

The beating heart Note 2 is a Snapdragon 821 paired with either 4GB of RAM or 6GB. The choice of RAM is also coupled to a choice of storage – 64GB or 128GB, a fast UFS 2.0 to boot.

Two Sony camera sensors
Snapdragon 821 with up to 6GB RAM
4,100mAh battery with QC 3.0

Two Sony camera sensors � Snapdragon 821 with up to 6GB RAM � 4,100mAh battery with QC 3.0

The Xiaomi Mi Note 2 packs a 4,100mAh battery with QuickCharge 3.0 over USB Type-C. The 4GB/64GB model will cost CNY 2,800 ($415/�380) while the 6GB/128GB model should be CNY 3,000 ($445/�405). That�s a lot less than the CNY 5,700 ($845/�770) reported earlier.

The leaked specs sheet
Affordable prices

The leaked specs sheet � Affordable prices