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Google’s first 5G Pixel smartphone may arrive next week, alongside two new 4G Pixel smartphones

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Google’s Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL smartphones will finally go official at the company’s “Made by Google‘ hardware event next week. However, a new report published by Nikkei Asian Review claims the company may also introduce its first 5G smartphone alongside the Pixel 4and Pixel 4 XL.

The report claims Google has started test production of the 5G Pixel smartphone and could unveil it alongside the 4G Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL models on October 15. However, the smartphone is unlikely to become available for purchase soon after its official unveiling.

Sources close to the situation have apparently told the publication that Google may decide to delay the smartphone’s launch till Spring next year. Along with the new 5G smartphone, a new budget Pixel phone is also said to be slated for launch next spring.

As noted by Nikkei Asian Review, Google will still be able to beat Apple to become the first U.S. company to release a 5G smartphone, even if it decides to delay the launch till spring next year. While the 5G smartphone is currently being test produced in China, Google is said to be planning to move all production destined for the U.S. to its facility in Vietnam, which is expected to be ready by the end of the year.

Call of Duty Mobile smashes launch record with over 100 million downloads in first week on iOS and Android

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Call of Duty Mobile has blazed through 100 million downloads on iOS and Android in the most successful launch of any mobile game ever, according to reports from Sensor Tower.

The game, developed by Timi Studio in partnership with COD heavyweight Activision, has passed the record set only last week by Mario Kart Tour to become the fastest launching mobile game ever. According to Sensor Tower’s estimates, the game has been downloaded 56.9 million times on iOS, making it the more popular platform with 55.7% of total downloads. Android accounts for the remaining 45.3 million downloads, a 44.3% share.

Even though the game is free to download on both platforms, it still managed to generate $17.7 million in revenue – 53% ($9.1 million) of which came from iOS users, the remaining 47% ($8.3 million) being Android.

Unsurprisingly, the game was most popular in the United States, which accounts for over 16% of overall downloads but over 43% of the games revenue. Other notable mentions include India with 13.7 million downloads, and Brazil with 7.1 million.

By way of comparison, Call of Duty Mobile has eclipsed popular competitors Fortnite (iOS only at launch) and PUBG, as the below table shows:

Call of Duty Mobile combines some of series’ most popular guns and maps from previous console iterations of the game, a formula that has clearly brought the title enormous success.

Call of Duty Mobile: PUBG Mobile Player Should Try It Now

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Tencent, the company that brought PlayerUnknowns Battlegrounds or PUBG to smartphones is back with yet another similar concept, but this time they’ve joined forces with ActiVision to bring one of the most iconic PC FPS titles to mobile – Call of Duty.

The battle royale formula has been a superhit and PUBG Mobile’s rise in popularity over time has only been a testament to that. Call of Duty: Mobile, therefore, tries to bring together all of the fun elements from Blackout – Call of Duty’s existing battle royale mode on PC – while staying true to the formula that made players love PUBG Mobile.

Having played the game when it did arrive as part of closed Beta and now, after its ‘official’, Call of Duty: Mobile does feel very much like PUBG, but there are number of key features that make it far more refreshing.

Better Visuals

The most obvious change across the two games are the visuals and anyone who has played PUBG Mobile to an extent that they have become used to the visuals presented in the game will be in for a surprise. It does not take a keen eye to notice that the visuals of Call of Duty: Mobile are just better that those of PUBG Mobile. The textures are crisper, there is plenty of detail in them. Even for someone who’s played the PC version, the graphics are as good as it gets when it comes to mobile FPS titles.

But what would probably be the biggest difference visually is that the game has no stutter at all and seems to have v-sync-like capabilities which stabilizes the FPS for a very consistent experience. Even a regular 60fps capable smartphone screen feels like a PC monitor with the game running on it.

More Gameplay Elements

Call of Duty: Mobile tops PUBG Mobile in this department as well and provides excellent gameplay elements which include superb controls that are not choppy and are clearly understandable. There might be a couple of features missing here and there but there are more than enough new ones to make up for them.

For one, COD: Mobile brings using directly from Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is sliding through ropeways in Apex Legends like fashion. The game has been heavily modeled after Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and takes after most of the elements from the battle royale mode from it.

Players can even redeploy the glider when jumping from high places and even have a hit detector that indicates if a particular shot met its target. These are some of the things that are present in Call of Duty: Mobile that are not there yet in PUBG Mobile.

As for the experience, it just felt more refreshing than anything else, with all the new elements that mesh with each other perfectly and work without a hitch.

More Modes To Try

Call of Duty: Mobile also comes with far more modes than just battle royale mode and offers a bunch if multiplayer modes where players an take on each other in classic style like the ‘Free-for-All’. We can effectively say that Battle Royale is just one of the things in Call of Duty: Mobile.

The default battle royale mode itself has more to offer than PUBG Mobile with zombies, helicopters and other movement options. For the record we have already seen these elements in the Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 game which released last year. Besides those, despite being a closed beta game, Call of Duty: Mobile offers a lot of ingame content like skins and items that were not present on PUBG Mobile during its own beta phase. though admittedly Call of Duty Mobile is building on the foundation already laid by PUBG Mobile.

WhatsApp May Roll Out ‘Disappearing Chats’ Feature: That Will Make Chats Automatically Disappear In Case They Are Eligible To Disappear

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WhatsApp keeps releasing a slew of new features and updates for Android and iOS. Some of the features that the popular instant messaging app has released in the past few months include the fingerprint unlock, dark mode, QR code, PiP Mode 2.0, voice message preview, et al. WhatsApp is now reportedly working to release yet another feature called “disappearing messages” that will make chats automatically disappear in case they are eligible to disappear.

The feature has been reported by WABetaInfo. “How is a message eligible to be ‘disappeared’? At present, when the chat is marked as ‘disappeared’ all messages will be automatically removed after a certain interval,” states WABetaInfo. You can mark your WhatsApp chat as “disappeared” by enabling the option “Disappearing messages”, in Group Info where the feature will be made available to everyone. Once you tap on the disappearing messages option, you will be offered an option to select message expiration time which can be turned on to 5 seconds or 1 hour. The option can also be turned off by selecting the “off” option.

 

Once the “disappearing messages” option has been enabled, any selected message will get automatically removed with no tracks available in the chat about the deleted messages. Keep in mind though that the feature isn’t available yet and is currently in an alpha-stage of development, meaning that WhatsApp has just started its work on it. Also, there is no ETA available surrounding when the feature will be made available for everyone. The feature will be available under the Group Info section and might be made available for private chats.

On another note, WhatsApp also announced another feature last month which allows you to hide the muted statuses. This latest feature by WhatsApp is available in the WhatsApp 2.19.260 version on Play Store. If you’re an existing beta user, you can easily download this new update and start using the feature. Moreover, the app is also ending support for a number of older operating systems, meaning that users won’t be able to create new accounts or reverify existing accounts on a number of old phones.

WhatsApp in a post on its FAQ page mentioned that users of phones running Android version 2.3.7 and older, as well as iPhones running iOS 7 and older, will no longer be supported after February 1, 2020. This update shouldn’t affect you unless you have an older iPhone or Android phone.

A tweet was posted by WABetainfo, which stated that WhatsApp will no longer support devices running on iOS8. However, users can still use WhatsApp on iOS 8 but won’t be able to verify the account if they reinstall it. The latest/updated FAQ WhatsApp also asks feature users to switch to phones that run KaiOS 2.5.1+, including the JioPhone and the JioPhone 2.

Spotify Launches Month Family Plan At Rs 179 : against the prime competition – Apple Music and Google’s new entrant YouTube Music

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Spotify’s playing catching up with the likes of Apple Music and JioSaavn in India and though it’s taken them a while the company today announced that its bringing its family sharing plan to India for INR 179 per month.

The plan will unlock premium access to the streaming service account for up to six people. All members of the family can use their individual accounts to stream music and podcasts as per their choice. The master account holder will be billed at the end of each month – quite like how Apple’s Family Sharing feature works, or even Netflix’s.

Starting a new family plan, will also grant you access to parental controls and a playlist called Family Mix based on of all the tunes your family is listening to. Interested subscribers can sign up on the Spotify Premium Family page, and the first three months can be tried for free.

While all that isn’t too difficult to get one’s head around, the one question that you’d ask yourself is how does it stack up against prime competition – Apple Music and Google’s new entrant YouTube Music.

In contrast, Apple Music offers a family plan, which is priced at INR 149 per month. Similarly, YouTube Music also offers a family plan which is priced at INR 149. This essentially makes Spotify’s new family plan the most expensive of the lot when put into perspective.

“At a time where parents are trying to reduce screen time for both themselves and their family, we’re creating more ways for families to bond over music together, while still celebrating individual tastes and giving parents more control if they want it.” said Alex Norström, Chief Premium Business Officer, Spotify.

“Spotify’s Premium Family plan has been loved across markets, and we know that our users in India wanted it when we launched in February. Family time and recreation are a core part of our culture, and we want users to discover new music and podcasts through their family, without compromising on their personal taste and app experience. We are thrilled to bring this subscription tier to the country,” said Amarjit Batra, Managing Director – India, Spotify.

YouTube TV is officially available on Fire TV devices

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Earlier this year, Google and Amazon reached an agreement to bring their streaming video apps to each other’s platforms, following years of anti-competitive, anti-consumer behavior on both of their parts. Initially, the official YouTube app launched on Fire TV devices, while Prime Video launched on Chromecast and Android TV. Today, YouTube TV has also now become available on Fire TV devices, including Fire TV-powered televisions, Amazon announced.

In a blog post, the company says the official YouTube TV app will launch on Fire TV Stick (2nd Generation), Fire TV Stick 4K, the all-new Fire TV Cube, plus Toshiba, Insignia, Element, and Westinghouse brand Fire TV Edition Smart TVs. It will also be supported on some previous generation Fire TV devices, including the Fire TV Cube (1st Gen), Fire TV (2nd Gen), Fire TV (3rd Gen — Pendant Design).

However, the app will not run on the 1st Gen Fire TV or Fire TV Stick.

YouTube TV is Google’s live TV streaming service, and a rival to Sling TV, Hulu with Live TV, PlayStation Vue, DirecTV Now (recently rebranded as AT&T TV NOW), and others. It offers over 70 channels from networks like Discovery, TNT, CNN, ESPN, FX and on-demand programming, as well as an unlimited cloud DVR. This year, it also had an exclusive range of MLB game broadcasts.

youtube tv on fire tv 2

Amazon and Google had been at war for years, making things difficult for their end users. Amazon banned Google hardware from its shopping site on a number of occasions. They also feuded in 2017 over Amazon’s implementation of a YouTube player on its Echo Show, which Google said it did without consultation. YouTube pulled Amazon’s access, then Amazon worked around the problem by sending Echo users to the YouTube homepage instead.

While the companies battled, consumers lost out. And in the case of companies like Amazon and Google, those customer bases tend to overlap. A Chromecast user will want to watch Prime Video or buy Google products from Amazon. A FireTV user wants to watch YouTube. And so on.

As a result, the more neutral platform Roku became the most popular streaming platform in the U.S.

At the time of the original agreement, Amazon and Google said that other YouTube properties would come to Fire TV in the future, including YouTube Kids. That’s now the last remaining YouTube video app missing from Fire TV, and YouTube previously launched on Amazon hardware and YouTube TV begins rolling out today.

Spotify new feature that will allow you add podcast to playlist

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Spotify this morning announced a new feature that will allow users to add their podcasts to playlists. With the addition, users can create their own custom playlists of their favorite podcasts, or even those that combine music and audio — similar to Spotify’s own newly-launched “Your Daily Drive.”

With “Your Daily Drive,” Spotify put its personalization engine to work to combine both music and news from select sources. But with the ability to now build your own podcast-filled playlists, you won’t have to rely on Spotify’s curation as much.

Instead, you can build your own podcast playlists by tapping the three-dot menu to the right of the podcast episode and then “Add to playlist.” You can either choose to add it a playlist you’ve already created, or you can build a new one from scratch. You can continue to add more content to this playlist, including music, if you prefer.

The company says this functionality is something users have regularly requested since the integration of podcasts to its streaming music service. However, it’s not necessarily the easiest way to tune into the latest episodes of your favorite programs as it involves manual curation.

Many podcasts release new episodes every week or so — and don’t want to get stuck constantly building playlists for those. Instead, the feature makes more sense for curating a set of podcasts around a theme, or preparing yourself to binge your way through a few programs on a long commute or road trip, for example.

Spotify says today there are over 3 billion user-generated music playlists on its service, so it believes that its users will embrace this new curation ability, as well.

Once a podcast playlist has been created, it can be shared with friends or the public, just like music playlists can be. This could make for an interesting marketing tool for podcasters, who could put together playlists of their best episodes or those with high-profile guest stars, for example, as a way to introduce newcomers to their shows. But it could also serve as a way for friends to recommend their favorite shows to others, by putting together a list of their all-time favorite episodes.

For those interested in tracking news and entertainment, they could build playlists of podcast episodes from different sources all focused on the same topic. For instance, a playlist offering everyone’s reviews of the new iPhone.

Over the past year or so, Spotify has heavily invested in the podcast market, including through acquisitions like Gimlet, Parcast, and Anchor — as well as in its programming, like the deal with Barack and Michelle Obama’s production company, Higher Ground, for instance, and a quickly-growing number of exclusives, windowed-exclusives, and originals. It also hired former Condé Nast president of entertainment Dawn Ostroff to lead its content efforts.

Today, Spotify says it has “hundreds of thousands” of podcasts available to stream on its platform.

The new podcast playlist-building feature is mobile-only for now. On desktop, you can only stream the playlists you made, but can’t build them yet, Spotify says.

OnePlus 7T Review: The pro, Smooth But needs Improvement

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OnePlus’ ‘T’ variants usually end up being deemed as the smartphone that the company should have launched in May, but it would be unkind to look at the OnePlus 7T the same way. Getting straight to the point – the OnePlus 7T is pretty much the return of original flagship killer. It’s everything people liked about the OnePlus 7 Pro (including the frosted blue color), at a more palatable price.

Given the fact that it’s only been a few months since the company launched the OnePlus 7, the launch of a 7T with considerable improvements across the board would definitely annoy fans, but this certainly isn’t the first time OnePlus has done it. At INR 37,999, the company has raised the price of its base offering once again but as I implied, the improvements here aren’t minor and even though OnePlus 7 buyers will tell you otherwise, shelling out a little more here is completely justified.

Well, that said, the OnePlus 7T, despite what it offers at this price, isn’t clear of competition. Despite being a gamer-oriented smartphone, the ASUS ROG Phone 2 breathes right up the OnePlus 7T’s neck when it comes to specifications and features; while the likes of the Oppo Reno2 offer a better design, although it does lose out on top-of-the-line internals. But if you were to look for an overall package that pretty much does it all, there’s little to find fault with the OnePlus 7T.

OnePlus 7T: Design, Build and Display

Since the OnePlus 7T is more of a successor to the OnePlus 7 and not the 7 Pro, the design here hasn’t changed drastically. It is a little taller than its predecessor, making is almost as tall as the OnePlus 7 Pro. This is due to OnePlus opting for a 20:9 aspect ratio that keeps the Fluid AMOLED screen tall and narrow and thankfully, much easier to hold and use in one hand. On paper, the differences are only a few millimeters, but in daily use, the effect is significant.

I haven’t used the OnePlus 7 Pro much, but personally, I prefer the flat glass on the OnePlus 7T over the visually appealing curved glass on the Pro. It sits well in hand and weight distribution is just about right. You still get an all-metal chassis with a chromatic blue hue highlighted in a soft matte finish. I say soft matte finish because the phone’s still quite prone to smudges. To OnePlus’ defence though they’re also quite easy to wipe off.

Now the part that I strongly dislike and consider a step backwards: that ugly rear camera module. OnePlus strangely calls this a ‘refinement’ but its anything but. The bump is big and if that wasn’t enough the edges around the circular protrusion is sharp enough for you to get a paper cut

The 7T also continues the tradition of the teardrop notch that debuted with last year’s OnePlus 6T. Despite the hate that notches get in 2019, they are a much more practical in comparison to pop-up cameras, even though the latter does reduce bezels. OnePlus says that the teardrop notch on the 7T is considerably smaller than the one on the OnePlus 7, but honestly, it’s still a notch and you can’t unsee it just because it’s smaller.

Like all OnePlus phones before this one, there’s an alert slider to switch between silent, vibrate, and loud, which is convenient. Like the OnePlus 7, the stereo speakers carry significant volume but aren’t the clearest.

OnePlus says its goal was to bring as many of the 7 Pro’s features to the 7T as possible, so you’ll find an AMOLED display and a 90Hz variable refresh rate, a feature that, once you use it, you never want to go back to a phone with a traditional 60Hz panel.

This was my first experience with a 90Hz panel as a daily driver and now I really wonder how the likes of Samsung and Apple can even think of leaving this out of their super expensive flagships. The panel used by OnePlus on the 7T by the way is by far the best you’ll get under INR 50,000. Its color accurate, vibrant and punchy if you want it to be and get very very bright indoors.

There’s one thing that I did notice though and that’s the fact that outdoors, I could barely read anything well, despite OnePlus claiming that this panel can get as bright as 1,000 nits. Move to an area with a bit more shade and visibility is restored. Definitely not a deal breaker, but it could be something that OnePlus can work on bettering come the OnePlus 7T Pro perhaps?

OnePlus 7T: Performance and Software

The OnePlus 7T’s biggest USP is that it’s officially the first smartphone to ship with Android 10 out of the box. Now, OnePlus has been consistently good with updates and bug fixes over the years but this time OnePlus even managed to beat the Google-made Pixel 4 to the race for Android 10.

Being first to the game though has worked out to be a double-edged sword for OnePlus. The build that my unit came with is full of minor niggles – opening WhatsApp’s Media library freezing the app and occasional frame drops swiping through system UI every now and then, to name a few.

That said, OnePlus has already assured me that a biggish software update is on its way which is expected to polish out most of the niggles.

Moving over to the positives of Android 10 here, there’s dark mode, on which OnePlus builds a whole bunch of customizations, along with a version of Google’s gesture navigation that, thanks to the 90Hz display, feels much more natural.

ASUS may have stolen OnePlus’ thunder by launching the ROG Phone 2 with Qualcomm’s new flagship Snapdragon 855+ chip but that doesn’t take anything away from the experience of using the OnePlus 7T. Qualcomm claims that the 855+ is 15% faster than the 855 chip that arrived earlier this year.

There’s no visible performance difference between the 7T and the OnePlus 7 Pro, used side-by-side. My colleague and I did a simultaneous app launch speed test of sorts between the 7 Pro (running the Android 10 Beta) and the 7T and the 7T came out on top by a couple of seconds overall and that’s hardly anything. It is reassuring to know though that the phone has additional headroom to maneuver around graphically-intense games or handle some quick video editing projects if need be.

‘Nuansed Dark’ Theme on Android 10-based OxygenOS

Gaming is a breeze as well. I threw every heavy title I know at the 7T and as you’d expect, it handled them without breaking much of a sweat. PUBG fans, you have to try the game at maxed framerate to see what you’re missing out on. Battery drain is an issue though and I really hope OnePlus’ upcoming update makes some under-the-hood changes to improve that.

On a separate note, OnePlus has also brought the same high-quality vibration motor that was in the OnePlus 7 Pro, along with the excellent optical in-display fingerprint sensor (still the fastest in-display implementation I’ve seen on any phone) — two small additions that have a tremendous influence on the experience.

OnePlus 7T: Camera Performance

You’ve probably read up till here, just to find out whether the OnePlus 7T has a good enough camera experience for the price. To sum things up, there’s plenty to be happy about here, but it’s not up to speed with the high-end flagships just yet.

First, this is a very similar setup to the OnePlus 7 Pro, though the module is circular with a horizontal loadout of lenses, a layout much more striking and imposing than the vertical strip on the 7 Pro. The star of the show is still the Sony IMX586, a relatively large mobile sensor packing 48 megapixels that uses some light combination tricks to create high-quality 12MP captures.

It’s the sensor found in most “affordable flagships” this year from the ASUS ZenFone 6 to the Honor 20 series to the OPPO Reno 2 and the aforementioned OnePlus 7 Pro. It’s a good part — putting out clean photos with extremely versatility, since its interpolation feature can be disabled in well-lit environments to eke as much detail as possible out of all 48 megapixels.

The triple camera setup on the back is identical to the OnePlus 7 Pro, though the module is circular with a horizontal loadout of lenses. The star of the show is still the Sony IMX586, a sensor found in most “affordable flagships” this year from the ASUS ZenFone 6 to the Honor 20 series to the OPPO Reno2 and even the OnePlus 7 Pro.

Overall, the primary sensor puts out clean photos with extremely versatility. Shots in well-lit conditions are as good as it gets and those in worse lighting conditions are not bad by any means. OnePlus is still using the combination of optical and electronic stabilization on the main sensor, and for the most part it works really well in poorly-lit environments, allowing the shutter to stay open for longer periods without significant blur.

 

OnePlus also appears to have put in some work on its color science – something that was an issue with the OnePlus 7 Pro. What you get here are photos that don’t exaggerate hues or flatten detail but still produce realistic yet pleasing shots.

I haven’t taken a boatload of photos yet with phone but I did like 9 out of 10 photos that I shot overall. There were a few times in bright environments where a foreground subject was too dark, exposed improperly due to the strength of the lights around, but those were few and far between. Indoor shots also had trouble with white balance, settling on an unsettling bluish tint at times or a much warmer than normal look at other times.

The OnePlus 7T also feature a wide-angle lens this time and its super fun to use for these dramatic landscape shots. Yes, it distorts at the corners, but I can forgive it because switching between cameras in OnePlus’ camera app is super simple. What is a bit annoying is the change in color tones between pictures when you switch lenses for the same scene.

OnePlus 7T

The wide-angle camera also support video capture out of the box — a feature that only came to the 7 Pro earlier this month. Better still, the wide-angle lens also works on OnePlus’s increasingly-competitive Nightscape mode, which tries to capture as much light as possible from a given scene.

The OnePlus 7T also has a trick up its sleeve that hasn’t rolled out the 7 Pro yet: Super Macro mode, which also uses the wide-angle lens to get very close to a subject, with pretty interesting results. This isn’t a feature that finds its way into phones that often, but I really liked having fun with it.

As for video, OnePlus phone generally manages fairly good electronic stabilization from its algorithms, but with the 7T it’s officially debuting a Super Stable mode, which uses sensor data from both the wide-angle and regular cameras to offset hand motion and offer incredibly smooth results. It’s limited to 1080p, and there’s definitely a bit of judder when moving your hand quickly, but for smooth pans or shots where you’re shaking the camera vigorously, Super Stable works fine.

OnePlus 7T: Battery Life and Charging

With a 3,800mAh battery and a super-efficient 7nm Snapdragon 855+, I didn’t expect to have to worry about the 7T’s battery life but well, think weren’t as smooth sailing as I thought it would be.

Most days, the 7T lasted from morning till night without needing a top-up, though a few days the battery bar flashed red by evening. This, however, is quite likely a result of the software build I was running – another area where I expect OnePlus to improve on with a software update.

There’s no wireless charging still if you care but OnePlus has further improved its proprietary Warp Charge tech, aptly here called Warp Charge 30T. Though it uses the same 5V/6A charging brick as the OnePlus 7 Pro, OnePlus says it’s optimized the battery resistance, allowing for higher full-speed current for longer periods than the OnePlus 7 Pro.

OnePlus says that the 7T can maintain a 30-watt charge for 14 minutes, six minutes longer than the 7 Pro. That means the battery can go from dead to full in just under 60 minutes. Heading somewhere? Simply plug in your phone for 5-10 minutes and you’re good to go for at least half a day. In fact, the OnePlus 7T goes from 0-65 in just half an hour’s charge.

Price and Verdict

At INR 37,999 (INR 39,999 for the 256GB model), there’s no going wrong with the OnePlus 7T. It’s got everything you’d want in a flagship phone and thanks to its tall-and-thin stature, it’s relatively easy to lug around all day.

Apart from the horrible circular camera module, it’s designed well, super fluid in everyday use and has one of the best displays on a smartphone. The camera isn’t the best out there, but it’s more than good enough for most people’s needs. The software experience isn’t super fluid just yet, but knowing OnePlus, they’ll have that ironed out pretty soon. (I will put the phone through its paces again once a more stable build is out)

That said, if your a hardcore gamer and you’ve been saving up for the OnePlus 7T, get the ROG Phone 2 and you won’t regret it. For everything else, the OnePlus 7T is just the right value for money flagship to buy.

Courtesy of Mashable 

Last Month Google Removed 46 Android Apps Developed By Chinese Developer For Unknown Reasons

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Google seems to be on a “purging mode”. Google got rid of 85 Android apps that were found to be infected with Adware last month. Now, Google carried out another purging as it removed 46 apps and more from the Play Store that belonged to iHandy, a major Chinese Mobile Developer. However, Google hasn’t stated any reason behind its decision to remove these apps and says there’s an iHandy investigation going on, as reported by BuzzFeed News.

iHandy is a Beijing-based company that describes itself as “one of the world’s largest mobile application developers” and have 180 million monthly active users in over 200 countries. Few of these 46 iHandy apps include selfie, security, antivirus, keyboards, emoji, horoscopes, et al from the Android Play Store that have been downloaded for a total of tens of millions of times. Out of these apps, the most popular one was “sweet camera- selfie beauty camera, filters” that has been downloaded over 50 million times. Currently, only eight of the company’s apps are on the Play Store.

Now the iHandy apps are no longer being monetized using Google’s Ad Network although Google had been listed as its biggest customer and was its largest source of revenue. According to Simon Zhu, VP, iHandy, the company is currently working towards getting its apps restored by Google. “It is an unexpected action from our point of view. We are trying to find out the reasons. Hope the apps will be back to Play Store as soon as possible,” said Zhu.

Zhu further stated that Google keeps updating and improving their policies to build an overall healthier platform and that iHandy will follow these improvements as a developer to advance their apps.

Xiaomi Mi MIX Alpha Has A ‘Surround Display’, 108MP Camera and Snapdragon 855+ also 40W Charging

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Xiaomi’s Mi MIX series of phones has been Xiaomi’s breeding ground for displaying and flexing the ground-breaking technology. And as expected, the next iteration in the Mi MIX series is something that shows off Xiaomi’s bravado in conceptualizing what smartphones of the future might look like. The Mi MIX Alpha has a display that melts into the back, a 108MP camera, and is powered by the Snapdragon 855+. Sounds exciting? Let’s dig in to know more about the phone.

A first look at the product and it seems like Xiaomi’s product team completely forgot to box the display to the front of the phone. The display of the phone melts over the edges to grace the back of the phone and the continuity is only broken by a strip that houses the triple camera setup. This “Surround Display”, as Xiaomi calls it, gives the phone a screen-to-body ratio of a whopping 180.6%.

And since the display is wrapped around the edges too, the phone doesn’t have a physical volume rocker or a power button. There are pressure-sensitive areas on the side that function as buttons. The side of the phone can also display status bar icons. Palm rejection is something that Xiaomi claims it has fixed. With the use of the accelerometer, cues from the app being used and Xiaomi’s AI, the phone will prevent accidental touches.

The Alpha misses out on an earphone piece and a selfie camera. Replacing the earphone piece are ultrasonic vibrations that emanate from the display. And since the phone has a display at the back too, the primary camera setup also doubles up as a front camera setup. Speaking of the camera setup, the phone has a triple camera setup that comprises of a 108MP Samsung ISOCELL Bright HMX camera sensor, a 20MP ultrawide camera, and a 12MP depth sensor. This makes the MIX Alpha the first phone to sport a 108MP sensor that is approximately four times larger than the size of Sony’s 48MP sensor and takes shots that are about 40MB in size.

Apart from acting as a secondary viewfinder, the display at the back can be used for applications like Calculator, Maps, Calendar and more. The phone is powered by a Snapdragon 855+ SoC and comes with 12GB of RAM and 512GB of UFS 3.0 storage. The phone has a 4,050mAh battery and has support for 40W Turbo Charging.

The Mi MIX Alpha is priced at CNY 19,999 (Approx. INR 1,99,000) but only a limited number of devices will be made available for sale. It’s unlikely that the phone will step outside China as of now. What do you think about the phone? Could this be how smartphones of the future look like?

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Google’s first 5G Pixel smartphone may arrive next week, alongside two...

Google's Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL smartphones will finally go official at the company's "Made by Google' hardware event next week. However, a...