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Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo concerned over Broadcom’s takeover of Qualcomm

By Williams Pelegrin

  • Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi expressed concerns over Broadcom’s potential takeover of Qualcomm
  • The three companies are worried that prices will go up and innovation will go down
  • Google and Microsoft expressed similar concerns last December

Concerns over Broadcom’s attempted takeover of Qualcomm have been circling around the potential deal for roughly two months. It appears those concerns won’t go away, as it appears that Chinese smartphone makers Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi are not thrilled with the deal.

According to The Wall Street Journal, executives from all three companies said they were concerned that Broadcom would increase chip prices if it took over Qualcomm. Keep in mind that Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi sell smartphones that feature Broadcom and Qualcomm chipsets.

They also were concerned that Broadcom would slash Qualcomm’s spending on research and development, a possibility they say could damage them in the long run. Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi executives said that Qualcomm’s expenditure helped them gain access to new mobile technologies, something that’s particularly important given the chipmaker’s current 5G plans.

Also playing into the three companies’ concerns is the non-binding deal they signed with Qualcomm last November. The deal has the three companies purchase $12 billion worth of Qualcomm components over the next three years.

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Broadcom’s potential purchase of Qualcomm puts that deal at risk, seeing how Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi executives said they might switch suppliers were the deal to go through.

Then again, such a deal would not be easy to accomplish. For one, Qualcomm’s board of directors rejected Broadcom’s initial $105 billion offer. Even though Broadcom proposed replacing the board, that decision will not happen until at least March, when the matter will be put to a shareholder vote.

If the deal gets accepted at some point, it would likely face regulatory scrutiny in several countries, seeing how Qualcomm and Broadcom carry out their businesses around the world. Finally, opposition looks to be somewhat strong, seeing as Google and Microsoft raised concerns of their own not too long ago.

We expect to hear much more from Broadcom and Qualcomm as the year progresses, so we will be sure to bring you the latest updates.

…read more

Source:: android authority

    

Razer’s Project Linda is a Razer Phone-powered 13-inch laptop hybrid

By Evan Selleck

The idea of using a phone to power a laptop isn’t entirely new; Motorola gave it a shot back in 2011 with the Laptop Dock for the Atrix 4G. But Razer‘s Project Linda might be another effort worth taking a look at.

Announced today during CES 2018 in Las Vegas, Razer unveiled its vision of a laptop/phone hybrid where the Razer Phone powers a 13.3-inch Razer-branded laptop. The Razer Phone goes right up front and is installed where the trackpad would normally be on a laptop. The phone itself can then be used as a trackpad if you so desire, or it can be used as a secondary display to launch apps and other items.

Razer says the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor and 8GB of RAM in the Razer Phone offer “responsive performance” when the phone is docked with the laptop. And the Razer Phone’s 120Hz refresh rate translates to smooth visuals on the larger 13.3-inch laptop’s display as well.

As for the computer itself, that 13.3-inch display is a touchscreen with Quad HD resolution. The concept vision also includes a 53.6 Wh internal battery in the laptop which can be used to charge the Razer Phone to full capacity up to three times when it’s away from its standard charger.

The laptop also boasts 200GB of built-in storage, so there is some offline storage available. There is a 3.5mm headphone jack on the laptop, a USB Type-C charging port, a dual-array microphone, and a 720p webcam.

Unfortunately, this is just a project within the Razer labs right now and there isn’t any word on when or if this device will see the light of day as a real product consumers can buy.

What do you think of Razer’s Project Linda laptop/phone hybrid?

…read more

Source:: androidandme

    

The budget-friendly Samsung Galaxy J2 Pro (2018) goes official

By Matt Adams

Samsung

  • The Samsung Galaxy J2 Pro popped up on the company’s Vietnamese site today.
  • The device has a quad-core processor, microSD card support, and a 960 x 540 Super AMOLED display.
  • Also included is a front-facing camera with a dedicated flash and an 8MP rear camera that can record 1080p video.

Today, we’re getting our first official look at the Samsung Galaxy J2 Pro (2018). The device just popped up on Samsung’s Vietnamese site.

The Galaxy J2 Pro (2018) has a quad-core CPU clocked at 1.4 GHz, 1.5 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of storage. The device supports both microSD cards for expanded storage (up to 256 GB) and dual SIM cards. Instead of using a hybrid microSD/SIM card slot, Samsung included dedicated slots for both. That means you can expand your storage and use dual SIM cards at the same time.

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As for the display, the Galaxy J2 Pro (2018) carries a 5-inch Super AMOLED display with a 960 x 540 resolution. Just above the display is a 5 MP camera with a dedicated flash, and around back we find an 8 MP shooter that can film 1080p video. Much like the rest of Samsung’s lineup, the Galaxy J2 Pro (2018) retains the headphone jack. Hopefully, that’s a good omen that Samsung’s flagships will do the same this year. Unlike the flagships, the phone has a microUSB port for charging.


The device comes in at a hefty 153 grams, and it is hard to ignore those bezels. But honestly, at this price point, you have to make some sacrifices. Luckily, the phone has a 2,600 mAh battery, which Samsung says will give users 60 hours of audio playback. With a decent size battery and a lower resolution AMOLED display, users should get pretty good battery life.

As for the software, Samsung is including some nice features. Users will be able to log into two messaging accounts on the same app by using the Dual Messaging Accounts feature. Additionally, the Private Folder feature makes it into the Galaxy J2 Pro (2018) to give users some additional privacy.

We haven’t received any details on when the device will officially go on sale, but it should be soon since it is up on Samsung’s website. The listed price is 3,290,000 VNĐ or about $145. It comes in Black, Green, and Gold, with a Pink option possible in the future. You can check it out at the link below.

…read more

Source:: android authority

    

Nextbit Robin Smart Save cloud service to shut down March 1

By Scott Adam Gordon

  • Nextbit will shut down its Smart Save cloud data service on March 1, 2018, according to an email from the company.
  • Nextbit Robin users will have until April 1 to download their important files from the cloud or lose them for good.
  • Meanwhile, a message on the Nextbit websites suggests that images may not be retrievable from as soon as February 1

The Nextbit Robin smartphone began life on Kickstarter before Nextbit was bought by Razer in early January 2017, immediately quashing any hopes of a sequel. Given that the company has previously announced that it will no longer support the Robin, it may come as little surprise to learn that it will soon shut down its cloud services too.

The news arrives from Reddit (via The Verge), where a user posted an image of an email Nextbit sent them. This stated that the Smart Storage service would be gone by March 1 and that users will have until April 1 to visit cloud.nextbit.com to retrieve any content they wish to keep. After that, it will be deleted.

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However, a message on the official Nexbit website suggests that images may not be retrievable from February 1; if you want my advice, I suggest downloading everything you want ASAP.

The Nextbit Robin‘s Smart Storage features were among its most notable, helping store the user’s app and media content remotely so that they would never run out of space on the device. It was a great idea, one that aimed to solve a widespread problem, but it wasn’t enough to make the Robin a huge commercial success.

The shutdown of these services also serves as a cautionary tale for those considering throwing money at the Kickstarter (or any cloud service, for that matter). Nextbit provided 100 GB of free cloud storage space for anyone who purchased the device — those who wanted to continue making use of this may be sorely disappointed by the latest news.

…read more

Source:: android authority

    

Samsung had a record-breaking 2017 thanks to its chip business

By Mitja Rutnik

  • Samsung estimates that it will generate an operating profit of 15.1 trillion won (around $14 billion) in Q4 2017.
  • This would represent a 68.8 percent increase when compared with the year before.
  • The company’s operating profit for the entire year could be record-breaking thanks to its chip business.

According to the earnings guidance that was recently released, the last quarter of 2017 was a great one for Samsung. The company generated an operating profit of 15.1 trillion won (around $14 billion) in the October-December period — a 68.8 percent increase compared with the year before.

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If the estimates turn out to be accurate, 2017 would be a record year for Samsung. Its operating profit for the entire year would exceed $50 trillion won (around $46 billion), which would be a first for the tech giant. For comparison, the company “only” made 29 trillion won (around $27 billion) in 2016.

Samsung’s flagship smartphones like the Galaxy S8 and Note 8 are selling extremely well, but they aren’t the main reason for the great financial results. The company has the chip business to thank for that, which brought in around 35 trillion won (around $32 billion) in total last year — more than 60 percent of the company’s entire operating profit. Demand for DRAM and NAND memory chips was high in 2017, causing prices to skyrocket and likely resulting in a record-breaking year for Samsung.

What will business be like for Samsung in 2018? Will the company continue to kick ass? Find out here.

…read more

Source:: android authority

    

Google Assistant makes its way to JBL headphones

By Robert Triggs

The first Google Assistant powered headphones appeared last year, and now JBL is entering the market too. The company has just launched a new range of over-ear and in-ear headphones that feature Google Assistant – the Everest 710GA, 310GA and 110GA.

All three are entirely wireless, boasting a Bluetooth 4.1 connection to your smartphone, tablet, or music player. You’ll get the longest battery life out of the around-ear 710GA model, which boasts up to 25 hours of playback time. The 710GA comes in your choice of Gunmetal and Mountain Silver color options, features a foldable design, and also comes with a hard carry case.

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Moving down the range we arrive at the over-year 310GA, offering up to 20 hours of playback time and boasting a slightly less bulky design that the 710GA. This model offers a few more color options too, including Gunmetal, Mountain Silver, Copper Brown, and Rocky Purple. Both of these over ear models feature a sensor on the ear cup that enables Google Assistant. From there, the wearer can skip tracks, adjust volume, start playlists, set reminders, and do pretty much everything else in the smart assistant’s repertoire.

If you’re more of a fan of in-ear headphones, then the JBL Everest 110GA has you covered with up to 8 hours of battery life – which is longer than Google’s Pixel Buds. There are similar colors on offer here too, with Gunmetal, Mountain Silver, Steel Blue options all available. The 100GA comes with more conventional hard keys to adjust volume and a button to active Google Assistant, which some may prefer.

As for prices, the 710HA is the most expensive model at $249.95, followed by the GA310 at $199.95, and then the 110GA at $99.95. JBL’s Everest range will go on sale this Spring.

…read more

Source:: android authority

    

Head of Allo and Duo leaves Google and joins Facebook

By Mitja Rutnik

Amit Fulay, the Head of Product for Real-Time Communications at Google, has left the company and joined Facebook. He made the announcement on Twitter yesterday.

Today is my first day at Facebook – accepted their friend request 🙂
Excited about the opportunity to serve so many users.

— Amit Fulay (@amitfulay) January 8, 2018

Fulay had a key role at building Hangouts, Allo, and Duo at Google. There’s no word on why he decided to quit — or why he was fired — and what his new role at Facebook is. His Twitter bio says he’s the “Product @ Facebook”, which doesn’t tell us much. It’s possible that he has joined the team behind Messenger, although nothing has been confirmed.

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Google hasn’t shared any info on this topic, so there’s no word on who will or already has replaced him. What’s clear is that the new Head of Product at Google has a lot of challenges ahead. Allo and Duo are both great services that get the job done, but they’re lagging behind rivals like WhatsApp and Messenger when it comes to the number of active users.

…read more

Source:: android authority

    

Kate Spade’s new Android Wear watch lets you match your watch face to your outfit

By Jimmy Westenberg

Fossil is going all-in on touchscreen smartwatches at CES this year. The company already has plenty of Android Wear devices of its own, and its subsidiary company Skagen has just released its first touchscreen smartwatch, too. Now, one of Fossil’s other brands, Kate Spade, is releasing its first Android Wear smartwatch.

The new Kate Spade smartwatches come in three styles: a rose gold-tone case and bracelet, a rose gold-tone case with a vachetta leather strap, and a yellow gold-tone case with a black leather strap. All three styles come with a scallop-patterned, stainless steel case surrounding the fully-round 1.9-inch AMOLED display, as well as an ambient light sensor that will help with battery life.

They also come with a 1 ATM water resistance rating, which means they’ll be protected against accidental exposure to water.

Of course, since these watches are powered by Android Wear 2.0, they’re all compatible with Android and iOS smartphones. That also means you’ll be able to utilize Google Assistant voice commands, reply to notifications, control smart home devices, and more, all from your wrist.


By far the most unique feature of these watches is the included “choose your look” watch app. Just open up the app, answer a few questions (what you’re wearing, what time of day it is, the tone of your jewelry, and color of your handbag), and the app will automatically create a watch face that will compliment that look.

Kate Spade and Fossil also worked hard on the pre-installed watch faces, which feature animated winking eyes, falling daisy petals, and taxis.

These Kate Spade watches are up for pre-order starting today, and will be widely available in February.

Be sure to stay tuned to Android Authority for more CES 2018 coverage!

…read more

Source:: android authority

    

The Misfit Path is the company’s smallest, most minimalist hybrid smartwatch

By Jimmy Westenberg

If you’re familiar at all with Misfit, the wearable tech company owned by Fossil, you’re probably already aware that it makes some beautiful hybrid smartwatches. Today the company is taking the wraps off yet another hybrid watch: the Misfit Path.

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For those unfamiliar, hybrid smartwatches blend the classy look of analog watches with the connectivity features of a smartwatch. That’s exactly what the Misfit Path does, and it does it in style. It features a stainless steel casing with a matte finish, along with support for interchangeable 16 mm straps.

We were able to go hands-on with the Path here at CES, and we were quite impressed by the quality of the silicon strap and watch casing.


On the side of that steel casing you’ll find a smart button that acts as a remote control, allowing you to play music, take a picture, connect to other smart devices, or ring your phone. Speaking of your phone, the Misfit Path can also give you customized call, text, email, and app notifications right on your wrist. The Path also has a second time zone feature, as well as vibration alarms and move reminders.



You can use the Path as an activity tracker, too. It will track your steps taken, calories burned, distance traveled, and sleep duration and quality with its 3-axis accelerometer. The Path is water resistant up to 50 meters (5 ATM), and has a replaceable battery that lasts up to six months.

Interested? The Misfit Path will be available in Spring 2018 on misfit.com starting at $149.99. It’ll be offered in four colorways: Stainless Steel, Rose Tone, Gold Tone, and Stainless Steel with Gold Tone Accent.

Stay tuned to Android Authority for more coverage from CES 2018!

…read more

Source:: android authority

    

Razer Phone will get HDR and Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 support for Netflix

By Alex Wagner

If you’ve got a Razer Phone, your Netflix experience is about to get a lot better.

Razer has announced that Netflix will support HDR and Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 on the Razer Phone. These features will be included in an update that’ll roll out to existing Razer Phone owners later this month that’ll also include the Netflix app with widget and firmware improvements to the screen and sound.

Razer touts that its phone is the first mobile device to offer Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 with Netflix. This update will also help Netflix users to enjoy the expanded range of contrast and color that comes with HDR.

In order to view HDR content from Netflix, you’ll need to be signed up for the service’s premium plan. Priced at $13.99 per month, the Netflix premium plan includes HDR, Ultra HD, and support for streaming on up to four screens at once.

Do you have a Razer Phone?

…read more

Source:: androidandme