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HTC introduces overly expensive U Ultra and smaller U Play

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One of the better yet least talked about flagship smartphones of 2016 was the HTC 10. While there wasn’t anything wrong with it, the all-metal handset was just there. HTC wants to change that with a new series that’ll hopefully get people to talk about it more.

Void of any numbers for now, the U series consists of the 5.7-inch U Ultra and 5.2-inch U Play. Both phones turn away from the usual metal-loving builds of HTC in favor of glass bodies; they’re meant to imitate a liquid feel, at the expense of being excessively slippery and glossy.

HTC U Ultra

HTC U Ultra

Nothing too special, but what the U Ultra has to itself is something only LG has pulled off so far. There’s a 2-inch secondary display above the main Quad HD LCD panel, and like the V20 and V10, it’ll provide you with notifications, app shortcuts, glances at weather reports, or whatever you choose to set.

What both handsets own is an AI assistant called Sense Companion. It’s clearly an attempt to compete with Google Assistant on the Pixel phones, which happen to be manufactured by HTC as well. It can predict your needs and act accordingly — except bring back the 3.5mm audio jack missing from the two phones.

To compensate for the loss, HTC is adding a pair of earphones like it did with the Bolt. It’ll fit into the USB Type-C port and provide sonar-like capabilities that can “adjust your audio to match your ears’ unique architecture.” It may also prevent you from charging at the same time.

HTC U Play

HTC U Play

More disappointing, however, is the U Ultra’s use of Qualcomm’s older flagship processor, the Snapdragon 821, instead of the just-announced Snapdragon 835. That would pit HTC’s newest smartphone against 2016’s flagships, rather than all the upcoming premium offerings.

The rest of the of the specifications are fine: 4GB of memory, 64 or 128GB of expandable storage, the same 12-megapixel camera as the HTC 10’s, a 16-megapixel selfie shooter, and 3000mAh non-removable battery.

The Android Marshmallow-equipped U Play doesn’t do much better, settling for MediaTek’s midrange Helio P10 processor to power its Full HD display and a choice between 3GB/32GB or 4GB/64GB memory and storage configurations. You can find a 16-megapixel camera on the front and back, as well as a meager 2500mAh battery.

HTC U Play

HTC U Play

Now, here’s the bad news: The U Ultra retails for $750 with an even more expensive $910 Sapphire glass-touting variant arriving later on. Shipments for the regular version will begin this quarter. As for the U Play, no pricing or availability has been announced yet, but it’s expected to start at $440.

[irp posts=”7609" name=”HTC Bolt is all-metal, water-resistant, and outdated”]

Source: The Verge

News

Samsung deploys Galaxy tablets for Grab rides

An attempt to make your commute bearable

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Commuting in Manila is a dreadful experience due to traffic. Grab passengers wait for hours before arriving at their destinations. Thankfully, Grab rides will be more bearable with Samsung Galaxy tablets.

Samsung has partnered with Grab Philippines to equip select Grab cars with Galaxy tablets until the end of October. The tablets equipped in select cars are the recently-launched Galaxy Tab S6 and Tab A 8.0. With these tablets, every Grab commutes will be a much bearable and entertaining experience.

Both the Galaxy Tab S6 and Tab A 8.0 feature large displays perfect for viewing Netflix episodes on the go. The Galaxy Tab S6 has a 10.5-inch AMOLED display while the Tab A 8.0 has an 8.0-inch LCD display. On the performance front, the Tab S6 is the more powerful of the two with a Snapdragon 855 inside. Meanwhile, the Tab A 8.0 has frugal Snapdragon 429 for daily tasks.

Both tablets are now available in all Samsung concept stores nationwide. But while saving up for one of the Galaxy tablets, why not take a Grab and try them out?

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Instagram will tell which accounts you should already unfollow

Test rolling out slowly

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Open your Instagram right now. How many accounts are you following? Ten points, if you already have more than a thousand. Regardless of how many followed accounts you have, you have a bunch you should probably unfollow already: an ex you still keep stalking, your old classmate’s bankrupt jewelry business, or a quirky meme page you thought was funny at the time. Of course, with hundreds of followed accounts, where should you even begin?

If you’re suffering this particular predicament, Instagram is testing an extremely helpful feature. Spotted by app reverse-engineer Jane Manchun Wong, the popular image-sharing social network has slowly released a new sorting algorithm for followed contacts.

Image source: Twitter / Jane Manchun Wong

The test sorts followed accounts into easily manageable accounts. The most prevalent categories are “Most Shown in Feed” and “Least Interacted With.” The “Most Shown in Feed” category will “review the accounts with the most posts in your feed over the last 90 days.” Meanwhile, the “Least Interacted With” category will “review accounts you’ve interacted with the least in the last 90 days, such as liking their posts or reacting to their stories.” In a way, this category will help you sort out accounts you don’t really care about.

Additionally, the categories also include seemingly custom ones defined by the user: “Art,” “Comics,” “Travel.” You can likely lump together accounts based on arbitrary criteria. The feature is useful for catching up on certain interests.

Unfortunately, the update has not rolled out for everyone. The test will likely take a while to conclude before it gets a wider release.

SEE ALSO: Instagram is finally getting a dark mode

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PUBG Mobile has a host of surprise gifts this Diwali

Burst in-game crackers!

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Diwali is a very auspicious festival in the Hindu calendar and is comparable to Christmas in India. With the onset of the festive season, everyone is on a shopping spree. Companies are gearing up to send out gifts and streets will be lit up with diyas and lanterns.

The country is also one of the largest markets for PUBG Mobile, and the brand intends to leverage the festive season this year. The game has announced a plethora of in-game offerings as well as physical gifts.

Starting October 19, ‘Diwali Dhamaka Event’ will go live in the game and players need to complete daily missions to collect ‘Diwali Sparklers,’ which can be used to ‘Burst Crackers.’ Bursting these crackers will get you ‘Gift Tokens’ that can be redeemed for exclusive in-game items.

For reference, bursting crackers has been a tradition during Diwali. However, everyone is urged to refrain from bursting actual crackers because it leads to massive air pollution. A virtual celebration is best for everyone.

Progressing up the ladder, there will be three levels and each will offer you up to 25 tokens. Once all the Gift Tokens are collected, players will get a Diwali special in-game item for free. Additionally, few lucky winners will also stand a chance to win physical rewards like TVS Apache Bike, OPPO Phones, gold coins, and more.

In-game offering currently includes a Kurta Pajama Set (traditional clothes worn during Diwali), Cricket Costume, Future Policewoman set, Lobster Set, AWM/M416 gun skins, Crate Coupons, and more. The festivities will be available in-game till November 4.

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