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LeEco’s Le Pro 3 and Le S3 smartphones invade US

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After releasing a beast of smartphone in the Le Pro 3 just last month, LeEco is now making its way to the US market, headlined by the aforementioned flagship and the more affordable Le S3.

If you already read up on our initial launch story of the Le Pro 3, note that some things have changed for the US release. There’ll only be one variant available, and it’ll cost $399, which makes it a little more expensive than most of what China is getting.

Here is what’s being offered: a 5.5-inch Full HD 1080p display, Qualcomm’s top-end Snapdragon 821 processor, 4GB of memory with 64GB of storage, a pair of 16-megapixel and 8-megapixel cameras, 4070mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0, and — surprise, surprise — no 3.5mm headphone jack.

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So yes, it’s nowhere near as impressive as the Chinese variants, but the US model is still groundbreaking when you consider how little penetration China-based brands have had in western countries.

The launch is certainly a step up from whatever Xiaomi has accomplished; the former top-five smartphone manufacturer in the world only managed to release the Android-powered Mi Box 4K set-top box in the US this month, with no handsets in sight.

Huawei has also been working hard on a breakthrough in the west. It’s biggest successes have been the Google-supported Nexus 6P and the recently launched Honor 8, but neither have made a grand enough impact to call the company a force worth reckoning with.

Only OnePlus has made enough headlines to count as a threat, but its strategy focuses on creating high-quality devices at low quantities, resulting in fantastic reviews and negligible revenue.

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LeEco’s other smartphone, the Le S3, is actually totally new, and makes an even stronger case for the brand’s case in the US. It’s quite the bargain for $249, especially once you see what it’s capable of.

It’s equipped with the same 5.5-inch Full HD screen as its counterpart, a midrange Snapdragon 652 chipset, 3GB of RAM with 32GB of storage, the same set of cameras, 3000mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0, and no dedicated audio port to speak of.

LeEco Le S3 angles

Both handsets come with Android 6.0 Marshmallow skinned with LeEco’s custom EUI design, along with an aluminum body, rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, and USB Type-C 3.5mm adapter, in case you must use your traditional headphones.

There’ll be a flash sale on November 2, and if you’re quick enough, LeEco will shave off $100 from the retail prices of both phones to make them even cheaper. Now that’s a great way to make your presence known in a foreign land.

Source: LeMall, (2)

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Apple, Samsung sold fewer smartphones in 2018 — report

Huawei won the game, though

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2018 wasn’t a great year for smartphones in terms of sales, but not every company took a hit last year. According to the latest report by Gartner, the total number of devices sold in 2018 was 408.358 million, a 0.1 percent growth from 407.845 million. The biggest losers are Apple and Samsung, both in Q4 and the whole year.

Apple sold 11.8 percent fewer units during the holiday season compared to the same quarter in 2017. Samsung also sold fewer phones during the last quarter, but the South Korean company still managed to maintain a big gap from competitors.

According to the report, Apple is mostly affected in Greater China since buyers are now delaying their upgrades as they wait for bigger innovations. Alternatives are gaining popularity due to their cheaper prices as well.

While two of the biggest names in the industry suffered losses, Huawei, on the other hand, increased their sales and is now close in taking Apple’s coveted second spot. The Chinese tech giant managed to sell an additional 52 million phones in 2018.

Xiaomi and OPPO also gained a few extra millions of sales during the last quarter of 2018. Interestingly, Xiaomi was able to overtake OPPO for the whole year with a 7.9 percent market share versus 7.6 percent.

SEE ALSO: Apple users take longer to upgrade than before

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Huawei official confirms P30 Pro’s quad camera setup

Through a leaked photo

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Image source: Weibo

In a month, Huawei will finally launch the successful P20 series’ successor — the Huawei P30 and P30 Pro. Given last year’s success, the P30 series has some huge boots to fill. Thankfully, existing rumors are already painting a colorful portrait for us.

As the launch beckons just around the corner, Huawei has officially confirmed the series’ most highlighted rumor — the quad rear camera. Last year, the P20 Pro flaunted an amazing triple rear camera system. This year, leakers and rumor mills have speculated on one more camera. After much speculation throughout the past few months, a Huawei official has suddenly leaked the information himself.

On Chinese social network Weibo, Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer Business Group, posted an incredibly close-up shot of the recent full moon. As is standard with most Chinese smartphones, the photo came with an incriminating watermark.

Image source: Weibo

Strangely, Yu still tried to blur out the phone’s model. Despite the blur, the “Leica Quad Camera” label is blatantly clear. Further, the blur still doesn’t completely hide the starting letter, “P.” Obviously, the P20 series does not have the indicated quad camera setup. Also, the blur isn’t big enough to cover “Mate 20 Pro.” The P30 Pro is the only possible option.

Intentional or not, Yu’s leak is the biggest hype maker for the upcoming launch. If the P30 Pro can shoot moon shots like that, it will likely offer an enjoyable shooting experience. Regardless, the Huawei P30 series is only a month away. Huawei has a lot of momentum going into the launch.

SEE ALSO: Huawei is now accepting registrations for the P30 series in Singapore

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Nokia 6 and 2.1 get updated to Android 9 Pie

True to the promise

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Nokia 2.1 | GadgetMatch

HMD Global, the company that creates the new Nokia phones, is keeping their promise to users of the original Nokia 6 and the entry-level Nokia 2.1 by seeding the Android 9 Pie update according to schedule.

Both the Nokia 6 and Nokia 2.1 phones should start getting the sweet update to Google’s latest Android version. Like with any rollout, the process is done gradually; some users might have to wait for a bit to get theirs.

For the Nokia 6, the update weighs around 1.7GB and it also brings the latest February 2019 security patch. This is the phone’s second major version upgrade. It was released in 2017 with Android Nougat and got updated to Android Oreo last year.

The Nokia 2.1, on the other hand, gets the Android Pie (Go edition) since it’s a phone with 1GB of memory. The lightweight version of Android makes sure that things will run smoothly despite the limited memory and storage capacity.

Based on HMD Global’s schedule, the Nokia 3.1 Plus was supposed to receive Android Pie in January, but it was missed. The Nokia 3.1 and Nokia 5.1 are next in line for the update.

SEE ALSO: HMD Global shares Android Pie update roadmap for Nokia phones

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