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Mobile Phones

The Phone With a 360-Degree Camera

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The Phone With a 360-Degree Camera

The Protruly Darling is a sure contender for the strangest smartphone of Mobile World Congress 2017 award-- it features a built-in 360-degree camera and, in the case of one version, embedded diamonds.

Made by an obscure Shenzen-based company, the Darling has an unusually long design housing the aforementioned 360-degree camera. It allows users to shoot photos and record videos in all directions, which one can preview on the 5.5-inch 1920 x 1080 resolution display in globe form before sharing on platforms such as Facebook and YouTube.

The phone also include a pair of regular cameras on the front and back, and runs on a 2.5GHz deca-core Helio X20 MT6797 CPU, 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. The OS of choice is Android 6.0, the battery is a 3560mAh number and connectivity comes through USB-C. Topping off the package are a fingerprint sensor and, as if the device is not strange enough, a thermal camera.

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Xiaomi Intros Mi 5c

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Xiaomi Intros Mi 5c

Xiaomi presents the first smartphone running on its own mobile chipset-- the Mi 5c, a 5.15-inch handset designed mainly for the Chinese mid-range market.

The chip inside the Mi 5c is the octa-core Surge S1. It promises lower power consumption, allowing the smartphone to carry a smaller 2860mAh battery with 9V/2A quick charge support for a slimmer (7.09mm) metal body. The chip is built by Xiaomi subsidiary Pinecone, and has been in development since October 2014.

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Better Sound From LG G6 With Quad-DAC

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Better Sound From LG G6 With Quad-DAC

LG continues trickling details on its upcoming smartphone flagship-- the company promises the G6 features better sound through a 32-bit quad-DAC system.

Apparently such an addition allows for the independent control of each earbud, leading to clearer, more balanced sound. It also provides analog output, meaning the G6 will most probably feature a headphone jack. The DAC comes from audio chipset specialist ESS, and is described as an improvement over the quad-DAC found in the 2016 LG V20 smartphone.

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Razer Buys Cloud Smartphone Maker Nextbit

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Razer Buys Cloud Smartphone Maker Nextbit

Gaming peripheral maker Razer buys into smartphones with Nextbit, the small startup behind the Robin "cloud smartphone" founded by former HTC, Google and Amazon employees.

According to the new owner, Nextbit will operate as a "standalone business unit under its own management" with a staff of 30. It should also continue providing Robin owners with product support and software updates (including a leap to Android 7.0) while working on more products under the Nextbit brand.

“Nextbit is one of the most exciting companies in the mobile space,” Razer says. “Razer has a track record of disrupting industries where our technology and ability to design and innovate have allowed us to dominate categories with longstanding incumbents, such as the peripherals and laptop categories. With the talent that Nextbit brings to Razer, we look forward to unleashing more disruption and growing our business in new areas.”

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LG Leaks G6 Flagship

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LG Leaks G6 Flagship

The Verge obtains a first image of the upcoming LG smartphone flagship-- the G6, a handset featuring a typically sleek design replete with rounded corners and minimal bezels.

As apparently confirmed by LG Display, the G6 has a 5.7-inch display with an unusual 2:1 aspect ratio and a screen-to-bezel ratio greater than 90%. LG appears to have abandoned the modular design of last year's G5 in favour of minimalist glass and metal construction with a non-replaceable battery. The Verge adds a headphone jack is included.

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ZTE Details Crowdsourced Hawkeye Phone

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ZTE Details Crowdsourced Hawkeye Phone

Back in October 2016 ZTE announced plans to take the people's advice for the development of its next phone. Now the company is ready to reveal the results-- the Hawkeye, an eye-tracking, self-adhesive smartphone.

The result of an online voting campaign, the Hawkeye has some unusual capabilities. Apparently potential customers demanded a phone with self-adhesive polymers on the back, meaning one can stick it on any stable surface. It also incorporates eye tracking via pair of front-facing cameras, allowing users to scroll through websites and the like without using their fingers.

Another odd, if interesting, feature is a display with a split screen design that is only visible to users directly in front of it. This prevents others from trying to look at what is on screen.

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Nokia Brand Launches First Android Smartphone

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Nokia Brand Launches First Android Smartphone

A first Android smartphone featuring Nokia branding emerges-- Finnish brand owner HMD Global announces the Nokia 6, a 5.5-inch handset complete with Snapdragon 430 processor.

Further specifications include LTE connectivity, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage,and 16MP rear-/8MP front-facing cameras. Audio comes through Dolby Atmos-equipped dual amplifiers, and the cameras feature f/2.0 lenses.

“Just a short while ago we announced the launch of HMD Global. From the outset we have stated that we intend to move with speed to establish a position as a player in the smartphone category and create products that truly meet consumer needs," the company says. "The Nokia 6 is a result of listening to our consumers who desire a beautifully crafted handset with exceptional durability, entertainment and display features."

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Qualcomm (Accidentally) Details Snapdragon 835 CPU

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Qualcomm (Accidentally) Details Snapdragon 835 CPU

Sharp-eyed journalist Evan Blass (aka @evleaks) leaks details of the upcoming Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip ahead of CES 2017-- a mobile CPU designed to improve both battery life and 3D graphics.

The successor to the 821 processor, the 835 uses 40% less power while providing "up to a 27% performance increase" compared to previous chipsets. Built using a 10nm design featuring over 3 billion transistors, it combines a Kyro 280 CPU, Adreno 540 GPU and Hexagon DSP. According to Blas the 835 is ideal ideal for even thinner smartphones with larger batteries, and offers users with over a day's worth of talk time, 5 days of music playback and over 7 hours of 4K video streaming.

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Meizu Intros M5 Note

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Meizu Intros M5 Note

Meizu announces an update on last year's M3 Note-- the M5 Note, a 5.5-inch handset featuring a design 0.1mm thinner than its predecessor, together with 4GB RAM and up to 64GB of storage.

Interestingly, the M5 Note as a smaller battery compared to the previous model, since it has a 400mAh number compared to the 4100mAh battery powering the M3 Note. However the M5 Note does add 18W fast charging, and according to Meizu it can be fully charged in just 90 minutes. Other features derived from the M3 Note include the 1080p 5.5-inch display, Helio P10 chipset, 13MP rear-facing camera and fingerprint sensor in the back.

The OS of choice is Android 6.0, and connectivity comes through hybrid dual-SIM (nano+nano/microSD).

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