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Mobile Phones

Samsung Orders Galaxy Note 7 Recall

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Samsung Orders Galaxy Note 7 Recall

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.

The 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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Galaxy Note Reaches 7

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Galaxy Note Reaches 7

Samsung unveils the latest iteration of the Note phablet-- the Galaxy Note 7, a device feauring enterprise-style additions such as a stylus and an Knox security complete with iris scanner.

The Note 7 has a curved 5.7-inch 2560 x 1440 resolution Super AMOLED display similar to the one found in the Galaxy S7 Edge, and carries an identical octa-core Exynos processor paired with an Adreno 530 GPU and 4GB RAM. The body is IP68 water resistant, while the display is in Gorilla Glass 5 for extra protection.

Internal storage totals at 64GB, and is expandable to 256GB via microSD. In a Samsung first, the Galaxy Note 7 features a USB-C port for faster battery charging, especially when paired with the Power Management UX.

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LG Claims First Nougat Phone

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LG Claims First Nougat Phone

LG announces the upcoming V20, the flagship successor to 2015's V10, will be the first available running on Android 7.0 (aka Nougat) out of the box once it hits the market sometime on Q3 2016.

Such a revelation is perhaps unusual, since Google usually tends to debut the latest Android iteration with its own Nexus smartphones. Then again, LG is a long-time Google partner, having built the Nexus 4, 5 and 5X, and as such might have traded a few favours for Nougat honours.

That, or Google plans to release the next Nexus generation at around the same time.

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ZTE Intros ZMax Pro Phablet

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ZTE Intros ZMax Pro Phablet

ZTE announces the ZMax Pro-- a 6-inch phablet featuring a fingerprint sensor, something the company says is unique for a device with a more affordable price tag.

The ZMax Pro carries a 1920x1080 resolution display together with an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor, 13MP rear-facing camera, 2GB RAM and 3GB storage inside a plastic body. The large size allows for a hefty 3400mAh battery, and dual-SIM slots are included.

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Qualcomm Presents Snapdragon 821

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Qualcomm Presents Snapdragon 821

Qualcomm announces an update on the flagship Snapdragon 820 mobile processor-- the cleverly named Snapdragon 821, a chip around 10% faster than its predecessor.

Described as "designed to complement and extend the competitive strengths" of current Qualcomm technology, the quad-core 821 is, essentially, an in-between option for high-end devices launched the company presents an actual next-gen processor. As such, it offers clock speeds of 2.4GHz (up from the 2.1GHz of the 820) while promising battery life and app performance.

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Win 10-Powered NuAns Neo Makes it Westward

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Win 10-Powered NuAns Neo Makes it Westward

Japanese smartphone maker NuAns announces the Neo, a unique-looking Windows 10 smartphone, will be available in European markets following a Kickstarter campaign.

Already available in its home Japan, Neo features a somewhat unusual chunky design, with an 11.3mm-thick frame users can customise with up to 64 different snap-on covers in materials such as wood, suede and even ostrich leather. Covers are split in half, meaning users can also mix-and-match colours and materials for an even more custom look.

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Huawei Honor 5C Reaches Europe

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Huawei Honor 5C Reaches Europe

Huawei announces the European debut of the Honor 5C, a followup to the budget-priced Honor 5X handset first seen back at CES 2016.

While being on the lower end of the smartphone spectrum, the Honor 5C features decent enough specs. It is a 5.2-inch device with a 1920x1080 resolution IPS display, a Hisilicon Kirin 650 octa-core CPU, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage and a 3000mAh battery.

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Lenovo Claims First Tango-Enabled Smartphone

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Lenovo Claims First Tango-Enabled Smartphone

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.

Formerly 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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Time: iPhone is Most Influential Gadget

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Time: iPhone is Most Influential Gadget

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."

As 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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