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General Mobile GM 5 keeps Android One alive

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General Mobile GM 5

Remember how we questioned Android One’s existence a while back? Well, the series seems to have been reinvigorated, and it’s coming from an unexpected source: smartphone manufacturer General Mobile.

The newly launched GM 5 is the first Android One handset to come with Android 7.0 Nougat straight out of the box. It’s not a big deal, really, because Nougat has been steadily rolling out to Google-backed devices since its public release, and the non-Google-assisted LG V20 already has it, too.

What’s truly worth noting is Google’s continued interest in its budget-friendly smartphone program. After the cancellation of the flagship Nexus series and redirected focus on the even higher-end Pixel phones, any mention of Android One is a surprise.

General Mobile GM 5 angles

General Mobile GM 5 in black

If you’ve been following Android One’s progress, finding out which brand pulled the trigger isn’t much of a shocker. The most well-equipped One phone to ever launch was General Mobile’s midrange GM 5 Plus back in February. As you can tell by the extended model name, it’s better than the GM 5 we’re talking about now despite being older.

The newer GM smartphone has a low-end Qualcomm Snapdragon processor (the exact chipset is unspecified), a bland 5-inch HD display, only 2GB of memory, and a non-removable 2500mAh battery. Image outputs are handled by a pair of 13-megapixel rear and 5-megapixel front cameras; files are saved in 16GB of storage that’s expandable using a microSD card.

There’s no pricing information yet, but let’s hope this costs around $100; any higher, and it’ll compete with far better phones priced slightly higher, such as the Vivo Y55 we recently reviewed.

[irp posts=”7340″ name=”Vivo Y55 unboxing and review”]

The GM 5 will be available this month in 20 countries: Azerbaijan, Albania, Afghanistan, Belgium, Bosnia, Croatia, Cyprus, Georgia, Ghana, Greece, Iraq, Kenya, Luxembourg, Moldova, Netherlands, Pakistan, Serbia, Tunisia, Turkey, and Uzbekistan.

Not bad for an initiative considered to be on its last legs, but where are the Asian countries? Let’s not forget Android One began shipping in Asia a couple of years ago.

Does this mean we’ll be seeing more One devices down the line? Probably, although we believe any further announcements will be overshadowed by phones with a Pixel in their names.

[irp posts=”6825″ name=”Forget about Pixel and Nexus, where’s Android One?”]

Source: General Mobile

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Samsung rumored to launch an affordable Galaxy Fold

In 2024

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Galaxy Z

For all the hype surrounding them, foldable smartphones are still one of the most expensive devices you can own in today’s market. Years after Samsung launched its first foldable phone, still only a handful of people can realistically afford the series. Fortunately, the lineup’s reputation for inaccessibility might soon change. According to a new report, Samsung is preparing a more affordable Galaxy Fold in the next few years.

As reported by Korean publication ETNews, Samsung is working on an “entry-level foldable smartphone.” Unlike most foldable phones that go over US$ 1,000, the reported devices will likely cost US$ 800 or below. That’s around or less than the cost of a flagship smartphone today.

According to the report’s estimates, it won’t be that long of a wait either. Samsung will reportedly release the affordable foldable phone within the next two years. Fans might need to wait through only two generations of the lineup before getting a better device for their wallets.

Currently, Samsung still has a set of foldable phones to launch sometime this year. If the rumors are true, this won’t be the affordable phone yet. Besides, the company still has a few more kinks to work out before perfecting the foldable form factor for a mass audience.

SEE ALSO: Is Samsung working on a horizontal folding Galaxy Fold?

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Another country wants to force Apple to go USB-C

More signs of a USB-C iPhone

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The cascade against Lightning continues. Recently, the European Union agreed on eventually forcing every tech maker in the region to adopt USB-C, much to the chagrin of Apple’s proprietary Lightning cable. Now, another country is considering on a similar edict against Apple.

First reported by Tecnoblog (and interpreted by 9to5Mac), Brazil has proposed a universal standard for smartphones in the country. Notably, Brazil’s proposal is not as airtight as the European Union’s. The country can still back down from enforcing such a rule. The government is currently deliberating suggestions from both lawmakers and civilians. If passed, affected manufacturers will have until July 2024 to comply.

As a silver lining, the proposal only affects smartphones, instead of the entire spectrum of devices. If the law is upheld, Apple has to worry only about iPhones. The European Union, on the other hand, wants a universal standard for every device.

However, much like the EU’s decision, Brazil’s proposal hinges on the waste created by excess cables and the convenience for consumers. Implementing a standard for everyone will ensure that one cable and charger will apply to all.

Though the proposals point at “every” manufacturer, Apple is certainly the most affected by them. Most other manufacturers have already shifted to USB-C, whereas Apple stubbornly stays behind its proprietary standard.

SEE ALSO: Apple might be forced to ditch Lightning cables for USB-C

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U.S. urges Google, Apple to ban TikTok

It’s about national security again

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Here we go again. Years since the last kerfuffle with the platform, the United States government is once again pursuing a ban against TikTok. However, instead of a geopolitical wave of infractions, the government’s latest pursuit will potentially untold damage on the video-sharing platform.

Recently, FCC commissioner Brendan Carr tweeted a letter he sent Apple and Google about the risks of TikTok. Carr is calling for an absolute ban from both the App Store and the Play Store. But unsurprisingly, the letter’s reasoning goes back to the old fears surrounding the Chinese app.

As reiterated in the letter, TikTok reportedly harvests an absurd amount of information from its millions of users. The platform’s owners, ByteDance, then ships that data off to servers in China. As stated in most anti-China fears, the Chinese government can notoriously request unlimited access of this data, marking a potential security risk on Americans. The letter cites evidence going as far back as 2019.

Carr urges Apple and Google to follow their policies regarding apps in their respective stores. If followed, TikTok might disappear from official sources, leaving third-party sources as the only places to get the app from.

Besides the regulatory, TikTok is also facing struggles in the competitive front. Meta’s Facebook and Instagram are reportedly taking renewed steps to compete more effectively with the platform.

SEE ALSO: Facebook is going to become more like TikTok

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