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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.

[irp posts=”4692″ name=”LeEco’s flagship Le Pro 3 has beastly specs”]

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.

[irp posts=”3385″ name=”OnePlus 3 unboxing and hands-on”]

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)

Gaming

God of War Ragnarok is Sony’s best-selling exclusive

Based only on its first week

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November is a great month for gamers. Because of a few major titles coming out, there are a lot of ways to scratch that gaming itch. A lot of players are happy. None more so than Sony right now. Only a few weeks since its release, God of War Ragnarok has broken Sony’s record for fastest-selling first-party title launch.

Officially confirmed by Sony through its Twitter account, God of War Ragnarok has sold 5.1 million copies only through its first week. With such an impressive showing, the title rushes past Sony’s acclaimed gallery of heavy hitters like Marvel’s Spider-Man, The Last of Us Part II, and even the title’s 2018 predecessor. That’s not a list of who’s who to shrug off.

Additionally, the sequel is now the best-selling title in its franchise. The series has come a long way since its roots in Greek mythology. Mere weeks since the release, it is already in the conversation for several Game of the Year awards alongside other heavy hitters like Elden Ring.

Not without reason, of course. From our review of the title, the sequel to 2018’s classic is a narrative masterpiece in its own right, deserving of its spot in the oeuvre of Sony’s greatest hits.

SEE ALSO: God of War Ragnarok Review

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Netflix is working on its first PC game

It’s a AAA title

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Though off to a relatively slow start, Netflix is now a gaming company as well. As of late, the platform included a variety of mobile games in its catalog of content. Every Netflix subscriber can play any of the games. Now, Netflix is working on something else entirely: a game for the PC.

Spotted by Mobilegamer.biz, Netflix has recently posted new job openings for a game director, an art director, and a technical director. All three listings describe a “brand-new AAA PC game” as a project. One listing even describes “one of Netflix’s first generation of internally developed original games.”

Currently, Netflix taps into other game studios to produce titles for them. Aside from a few independent developers, the platform even partnered with Ubisoft for mobile titles. (One of which will be based on the Assassin’s Creed franchise.)

With the listings in place, the company is expanding its efforts to developing its own titles. Right now, the unnamed project doesn’t feature a lot of details. While the project is still looking for a creative director, it’s likely that the plot isn’t finalized either.

Throughout the past year, the company has bled for subscribers. Since then, they have tried various strategies, including potential punishments for account sharing and cheaper subscription tiers.

SEE ALSO: Netflix will now let you kick people from your account

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TikTok is now under investigation by the European Union

For transferring data to China

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TikTok has now found its way under the microscope of the European Union. The collective is now investigating the platform for allegedly shipping off its citizens’ data to Chinese servers.

In a letter shared by FCC commissioner Brendan Carr (via Engadget), the current president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen has confirmed ongoing investigations concerning TikTok in several countries in the European Union.

For one, Ireland is currently investigating how the platform transfers data to China and how it processes the data of minors. The Netherlands is also investigating the same data transfers and TikTok’s advertising towards minors.

For a while now, the European Union has persistently investigated various tech companies to review their compliance with the continent’s General Data Protection Regulation, which presents a stricter view on data privacy. Various companies have already found themselves on the receiving end of penalties brought down by EU courts.

An investigation on TikTok has been a long time coming. For years, the United States has doggedly hounded TikTok for the same violation of shipping user data to Chinese servers. The company continues to face threats of a ban on foreign soil.

Though an investigation in Europe is just another fight the company must face, it’s nothing to shrug off. Lately, the European Union’s ruling on charging standards is forcing Apple to finally ship their devices with USB-C, instead of the proprietary Lightning cable. The Union, especially when completely united across all the included countries, can very well make an impact on the tech industry.

SEE ALSO: TikTok, Tencent linked to sexually violent ads on Facebook

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