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Galaxy Note 9 update – Samsung phablet could be set for its most controversial change ever

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GALAXY Note 9 is expected to be updated by Samsung later this year and reports surrounding the device have suggested it could make hugely controversial changes.

Galaxy Note 9 debuted in August last year and it is expected its successor, the presumably-titled Galaxy Note 10, will arrive at around the same time in 2019.

It has been speculated the Galaxy Note 9 will take design cues from Samsung’s Galaxy S10 series.

This means it is possible the device could reduce its bezels, have an improved camera system and place its fingerprint sensor underneath its display.

It is expected the Galaxy Note 10 will have similar internals to the Galaxy S10 that is powered by either Samsung’s own Exynos 9820 processor or Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 855 depending on the region it is sold in.

SamMobile has already reported the Galaxy Note 10 will sport four cameras on its rear, similar to what is already present on the 5G model of the S10.

Unfortunately, the outlet’s sources did not discuss what the purpose of each lens could be.

The S10 5G comes with the same standard, telephoto and wide-angle cameras as the standard S10 and S10+.

However, the handset features an added time-of-flight (TOF) module on its rear that could be used to improve portrait mode shots and augmented reality (AR).

While adding cameras to improve the photography of the Note series would surely be appreciated by Samsung fans, the newest version of the flagship phablet has also been rumoured to make two controversial changes.

First and foremost, a report emerged back in October from Korean publication ETNews that stated Samsung is considering the removal of the headphone jack on the Galaxy Note 10.

If true, this would make the new phablet the first Samsung flagship to come without the port.

All four models of the Galaxy S10 have a 3.5millimetre socket for audio.

If true, such a change would surely be controversial for Android fans that enjoy listening to music with wired headphones.

Although an adapter or a pair of USB-C headphones could be used to get around the headphone jack’s removal, this means it is not possible for users to listen to music and charge the device at the same time, unless they are doing the latter wirelessly.

A more recent report from ETNews has suggested the Note 10 may also come without any physical buttons whatsoever.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 update

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 update

Instead, it was noted the handset could take advantage of gestures and touch sensors to perform functions such as locking and altering media volume.

The Korean outlet added the Note 10 may not be the first device to come without traditional buttons.

It was noted Samsung’s A series of smartphones will receive the design change first.

The lack of traditional buttons will certainly come as a concern to some Android fans that have become accustomed to traditional keys.

While rumours have suggested some huge changes are in store for the Galaxy Note 10, it is worth noting nothing about the device has been officially confirmed by Samsung.

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Hardwares

Honor 20i with 32MP selfie camera, triple rear cameras and Kirin 710 launched for 1,599 Yuan (~$238)

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Huawei’s sub-brand Honor has announced a new smartphone called Honor 20i through an unveil event today in China. The USP of the phone is that it comes with a 32-megapixel selfie camera. The smartphone comes with other attractive features such as high screen-to-body ratio and triple rear cameras. Here is all the information on its specifications, features and price.

Honor-20i-colors

Design and Display

The Honor 20i that sports a 3D glass rear measures 154.8 x 73.8 x 8mm and weighs 164 grams. It houses a 6.21-inch IPS LCD panel with a u-shaped notch for the front camera. The smartphone supports full HD+ resolution and 19.5:9 aspect ratio. The chin of the device is a bit thick, but rest of the bezels are slim. This allows the phone to offer a screen-to-body ratio of more than 90 percent. The TUV Rheinland certified protects eyes from harmful blue light.

Selfie and Triple Rear Cameras

The 32-megapixel camera with f/2.0 aperture can be found inside the front notch of the Honor 20i. The smartphone offers with various face beautification features. The 4-in-1 pixel binning technology makes it possible for the Honor 20i to capture better selfie shots in low-light condition. Moreover, it also carries support for screen flash.

The AI powered triple camera setup available on the backside of the Honor 20i includes a 24-megapixel primary sensor with f/1.8 aperture, an 8-megpaixel ultra wide-angle lens and 2-megapixel depth sensor. The triple cameras offer features like nigh scene mode, anti-shake, super slow-motion video shooting, professional mode, panorama and portrait mode.

Performance and Other Features

The mid-range Kirin 710 SoC is present under the hood of the Honor 20i. The SoC is assisted by up to 6 GB of RAM. The highest configuration model comes with an internal storage of 256 GB. There is a microSD card slot on the device for more storage. The 3,4,000mAh battery fuels the smartphone, but there is no support for fast charging.

The Honor 20i features a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner. It can be used for authenticating WeChat payments. The smartphone also features face unlock. Honor claims that the handset stores face data on an inbuilt chip for better security. The EMU 9 based Android 9 Pie OS comes loaded on the device. There is Game Turbo 2.0 for optimized gaming experience. The other features of the phone include dual 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, microUSB 2.0, GPS and 3.5mm headphone jack.

Honor 20i Price and Release Date

Here are the variants of the Honor 20i along with their pricing:

  • 6 GB RAM + 64 GB storage – 1,599 Yuan (~$238)
  • 4 GB RAM + 128 GB storage – 1,599 Yuan (~$238)
  • 6 GB RAM + 128 GB storage – 1,899 Yuan (~$283)
  • 6 GB RAM + 256 GB storage – 2,199 Yuan (~$328)

The three color variants of the Honor 20i are Gradient Blue, Gradient Red and Black. The retail box of the device includes a free TPU case among other items. The pre-sale of the phone will begin at 10:08 AM on April 18 in China. The same phone is expected to release as Honor 20 Lite in European markets.

There is a limited version of the phone called Honor 20i AAPE It will come with 2,199 Yuan (~$328) pricing and will arrive with 6 GB of RAM and 256 GB storage. It will be available for purchase in May.

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HP launches new laptops and workstations with built-in malware protection

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HP Sure Sense leverages deep learning AI to prevent malware

In an effort to better protect its users from today’s growing cyber threats, HP has introduced a number of new laptops and workstations which have its HP Sure Sense technology built-in.

HP Sure Sense uses deep learning artificial intelligence (AI) to detect malware in real time and the technology can even detect malware that has yet to be seen before.

In addition to detecting and preventing zero-day threats, Sure Sense also utilizes behavioral detection to prevent ransomware activity with minimal impact to system performance.

Global Head of Commercial Personal Systems at HP, Andy Rhodes explained in a press release how the company’s new devices are helping build the office of the future while simultaneously empowering IT departments, saying

“To achieve a culture of innovation, companies everywhere are focused on driving employee engagement and satisfaction, and the technology they deploy plays a significant role. We are helping businesses build the office of the future by delivering superior technology experiences that empower and delight today’s workers, while providing IT departments next-generation endpoint security to confidently face the threats of tomorrow.” 

New laptops and workstations

In addition to Sure Sense, HP’s new laptops and workstations will include brighter displays, Wi-Fi 6 wireless networking and new processors from Intel.

The HP EliteBook x360 830 G6 is the world’s brightest business convertible laptop according to the company and it can even be viewed clearly while outdoors.

For users who need the fastest network speeds, the HP EliteBook 800 G6 Series is the first mainstream business notebook with up to gigabit-class 4G LTE which will offer improved connectivity and even long-range mobility thanks to the inclusion of a SIM card slot.

HP also introduced the HP Zbook 14u and 15u for power users that don’t want to compromise in terms of performance, connectivity and security.

HP Sure Sense is expected to be available in May and if the technology is successful at preventing malware and ransomware, we will likely see other manufacturers follow suit.

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XIAOMI MI 9 REVIEW: CHEAP SPEED

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Lightning-fast performance at a low price… if you live in the right place

Xiaomi’s flagship Mi series of smartphones is usually relatively unremarkable. Unlike the notch-busting Mi Mix line, the Mi phones don’t tend to have particularly interesting designs, and Xiaomi doesn’t push the prices as far down as it can with the Redmi range. The Mi phones are always just pretty good, pretty affordable phones.

The Mi 9 is a little different. It doesn’t depart from the basic Mi formula of offering high-end specs in a mainstream design at a reasonable price. But more so than any other Mi series phone in the past, the ~$500 Mi 9 narrows the gap with its high-end flagship competitors even further. If you live in a country where the Mi 9 is available, there’s very little reason not to give it serious consideration.8VERGE SCORE

XIAOMI MI 9

GOOD STUFF

  • Excellent performance
  • Fast wireless charging
  • Incomparable value

BAD STUFF

  • No waterproofing
  • MIUI isn’t for everyone
  • Bad speaker

The Mi series has established its own design language at this point, and this continues with the Mi 9. There’s the same stainless steel frame that’s thinner on the sides than the top and bottom edges, leaving a curved glass panel to fill in the space. The left side of the phone has a dedicated Google Assistant button, which I could take or leave. (I would rather have it than a Bixby button.)

Overall, it’s a sleek, attractive device, though my “piano black” review unit is more like “mirrored gunmetal,” and it’s one of the slippier, more fingerprint-prone phones I’ve seen in a while. I’d probably like the iridescent purple and blue options better, not to mention the transparent model.

The screen is a 6.4-inch 1080p OLED panel with a slight chin at the bottom and a minimalist waterdrop-style notch at the top. It looks great and also houses an optical in-display fingerprint scanner, which works well enough — if not quite as quickly as Vivo’s most recent implementations. Xiaomi isn’t doing anything cutting edge with its display, but if you’re cool with the small notch, there’s little reason to complain.

The camera can also be safely classified as solid. This is Xiaomi’s first phone to use a triple-lens setup, with a 16-megapixel ultrawide and a 12-megapixel 2x telephoto camera flanking the standard 48-megapixel sensor. The extra resolution is used for pixel-binning and greater light sensitivity at 12 megapixels, but unlike the Honor View 20, there’s no “ultra clarity” mode to bring out extra detail in the 48-megapixel files. You can shoot at full resolution, but it won’t do much beyond giving you unnecessarily large files.I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO COMPLAINTS ABOUT PERFORMANCE

Again, Xiaomi isn’t competing with high-end competitors with advanced AI-powered HDR implementations. You’re not going to get anything like the Huawei P30’s mind-blowing low-light performance, but its results are broadly satisfying. Colors are well-balanced in daylight, and the night mode is pretty good for what it is. The ultrawide and telephoto cameras aren’t optically stabilized, so they’re not as well-suited to low-light use, but they’re a welcome addition nonetheless.

The Mi 9 is one of the first phones available with Qualcomm’s latest top-end Snapdragon 855 processor, and I have absolutely no complaints about its performance. MIUI, Xiaomi’s version of Android, is extremely smooth on this phone, with the kind of snappy animations and buttery scrolling that I’d normally only expect from OnePlus in this space. Whether I can thank the software or the hardware or — more likely — both, the Mi 9 has been fast and reliable with everything I’ve thrown at it.

MIUI is certainly a radical reskin of Android, and it probably won’t appeal to Pixel or OnePlus purists. But it’s a mature OS in its own right, and I generally find it to be thoughtfully designed and pleasant to use. The Mi 9’s implementation of a full-screen gesture-based navigation system, for example, is the best I’ve seen on Android, though the iPhone-style swipe from the left side of the screen to go back does take a little practice to invoke when using apps with similar gestures.

Xiaomi has also thrown in a couple of features that tend to be first on Chinese phone makers’ cutting room floor. The Mi 9 now has the fastest wireless charging in the world, for example, despite companies like Huawei and Vivo mostly ignoring the feature. Xiaomi sells a 20W wireless charger that’s a pretty great product in its own right; it has an austere white design and a rubberized finish that ensures that even the Mi 9 won’t slip off. For about $15, including a 27W USB-C wired power adapter, it’s a bargain.

The Mi 9 also has the best haptic feedback of any Chinese phone I’ve used. It doesn’t match up to Apple or LG, and it isn’t used extensively throughout MIUI, but it’s a step above what companies like Oppo and OnePlus are doing. While this probably isn’t the most crucial feature in the world for most people, it goes some way to enhancing the sense that you’re getting far more than you’re paying for with the Mi 9.

So what are you missing out on if you do go for the Mi 9 over a more expensive flagship? Not a whole lot. There’s no IP rating for water or dust resistance. There’s only a single mono speaker on the bottom edge of the phone, and it’s pretty bad. There’s no headphone jack, although that isn’t associated with high-end phones any more unless you’re buying from Samsung or LG. The camera isn’t quite world-class, but it’s a perfectly usable three-lens setup.

At €449 (just over $500) for a model with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, the Mi 9 is a ridiculous bargain as long as you live somewhere it’s sold. (Right now, that basically means China or Europe. There’s no Indian release on the horizon, and it doesn’t have broad compatibility with US LTE bands.) Xiaomi has been talking of its ambitions to launch phones in the US for several years, but it still has almost nothing to show for it.

I would say this is the best value in a flagship smartphone in the world, but it’s increasingly hard to say things like that as the global tech market continues to fragment. Instead, all I can say is that Xiaomi has turned in an incredibly solid product at an extremely reasonable price, and now that the company has at least some Western presence, OnePlus and Honor should be on notice.

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