HTC introduces overly expensive U Ultra and smaller U Play



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


Framework laptop has a fully customizable and easily repairable parts

Bucking the trend of modern laptops



Most manufacturers today are bent on making their laptops thinner and lighter. However, that trend comes with an unfortunate development: making laptops much harder to upgrade or repair. Soldered parts, for instance, discourage users from undertaking do-it-yourself (DIY) repairs to further extend a laptop’s lifespan.

To buck this trend, a San Francisco-based Framework recently launched a laptop that aims to be “upgraded, customized, and repaired in ways that no other notebook can.” The laptop features fully customizable and modular parts that users can repair and upgrade accordingly.

A laptop like no other

Base specifications of the laptop include a 13.5-inch 2K screen with a 3:2 aspect ratio, a 1080P webcam, and a 55Wh battery. A choice of 11th-gen Intel Core i5 or i7 processors, up to 64GB of DDR4 memory, and up to 4TB of NVMe SSD storage is configurable too.

As for the operating system, the laptop can come with Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Pro, or Linux.

Almost everything on this laptop is fully upgradeable, from its internal to external components. Users can easily upgrade or swap the storage, memory card, WiFi card, battery, and even the motherboard. The same goes for the screen, screen bezel, keyboard, and even ports.

Upgrading the ports themselves is a unique proposition, making use of an expansion system users for a quick and easy swap to a USB-C, USB-A HDMI, DisplayPort, or microSD card reader.

Users may scan the laptop part’s QR code which will take them to the Framework Marketplace where they can easily find replacements. The marketplace will eventually feature parts from third-party manufacturers so users can have more options in the future.

The most impressive part here is that Framework manages to cram all these upgradeable parts into one slick profile. The startup boasts an impressive weight of under 1.35 kilograms all thanks to the use of aluminum for the chassis.

Framework will also offer a DIY laptop kit to enthusiasts. The kit will include individual modules and a screwdriver so users can easily assemble the laptop themselves.


Fortunately, it won’t be a long wait for interested users to get their hands on the Framework laptop. The startup is targeting a summer release, with pre-orders coming this spring. There is no word on the price yet. However, the founder says that the laptop’s price would be “comparable to other well-reviewed notebooks.”

The premise of Framework is indeed unique, rethinking what a laptop should be. Modern laptops today are becoming more and more locked down, which is a far cry from the laptops of yesteryears. Should this laptop find success, it could send a message to every manufacturer that upgradeability and repairability don’t have to suffer in the pursuit of thinner and lighter laptops.

Via: The Verge

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OPPO is now the number one Chinese smartphone brand

Overtaking Huawei



Because of the past few years, Huawei’s former dominance atop the smartphone rankings has drastically collapsed. Already, Huawei has already lost its lead as the world’s bestselling smartphone brand. Naturally, Huawei’s woes aren’t over, especially since the new Biden administration will likely keep the previous one’s anti-China bans. Now, Huawei’s fall is even worse. OPPO has overtaken Huawei as the number one Chinese smartphone brand.

Reported by Counterpoint Research, OPPO has captured 21 percent of the smartphone market in China. Vivo takes second place with 20 percent of the market. Meanwhile, Huawei, Apple, and Xiaomi share the third sport with only 16 percent of the market apiece. Since Huawei’s decline, competing Chinese smartphones has rushed in to fill the power vacuum. Likewise, especially with the Reno series, OPPO has rapidly expanded across the board.

Contributing to its downward spiral, Huawei has successfully sold off its sub-brand Honor recently. Though Huawei has certainly suffered from the sale, Honor’s emancipation enabled it to survive America’s bans and thrive on its own. The current rankings have stopped lumping Huawei and Honor into the same spot.

Besides being the top Chinese smartphone brand, OPPO is also the second bestselling 5G smartphone brand in China. Back in 2020, 65 percent of all smartphone sales were 5G-compatible.

SEE ALSO: OPPO Find X3 Pro coming soon

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Lenovo launches Yoga 6, a convertible laptop with 18 hours of battery life

Powered by a Ryzen 4000 CPU



Lenovo has launched the Yoga 6 in India, and its unique selling point is its 360-degree design that can also accommodate a stylus. Designed for folks who’re on the go, the notebook claims to offer exceptional battery life without compromising processing capabilities.

The Yoga 6 incorporates a new design consisting of a fabric-wrapped lid that’s treated with fire and stain-resistant finishing. At first glance, you’d actually think Lenovo has covered the laptop with a neat piece of jeans.

Coming to the specs, it sports a 13.3-inch Full HD LCD with touchscreen support and a maximum brightness of 300 nits. Moreover, as it’s a 2-in-1 device, the Yoga 6 features a 360-degree hinge, designed to provide stability while transitioning from laptop mode to tablet and vice-versa.

It packs the latest AMD Ryzen 4000-series processor along with built-in AMD Radeon graphics. To be precise, it sports the AMD Ryzen 7 4700U SoC which comes with a maximum clock speed of 2.0Ghz. The company claims the GPU can offer up to 59 percent faster graphics when compared to previous generation Vega graphics.

Backing the processor is 16GB DDR4 RAM and 1TB SSD for internal storage. The laptop weighs 1.32kg and supports Lenovo Digital Pen for sketching, doodling, and browsing. It ships with Windows 10 Home operating system out-of-the-box.

Most importantly, the Yoga 6 incorporates a 50WHr battery that’s claimed to offer up to 18 hours of usage. There’s a fingerprint sensor for authentication and connectivity options include Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5, two USB Type-A ports, two USB Type-C ports, and the headphone jack.

The laptop is available for pre-order on and shall cost INR 86,990. It’ll go on sale starting March 10 via, Amazon, and Flipkart, as well as other offline retail channels

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