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LG Q6 series cuts both bezels and price

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Those near-bezel-less front displays aren’t an exclusively premium feature anymore, all thanks to LG’s new line of Q6 smartphones.

Cutting down edges in favor of larger displays has been the tech fad for smartphones ever since the Xiaomi Mi Mix brought the feature to the mainstream market, and both LG and Samsung introduced their own curvier takes earlier this year.

The cost? You had to pay over US$ 600 to get in on the experience. LG is changing that by launching a trio of midrange (or upper entry-level, depending on how you look at them) handsets with screens filling up most of their fronts.

They’re simply called the Q6, Q6+, and Q6a. You can get a full view of them in this promo video:

Like the flagship G6, the Q6 phones have that tall 18:9 ratio panel — only this time, the screen size is reduced to 5.5 inches and resolution brought down to 2160 x 1080 pixels. Those are still solid numbers, truth be told.

So, what had to be nerfed? All three models sport a not-too-powerful Snapdragon 435 processor, which may seem a little weak for the relatively demanding display, but the energy efficiency for their paired 3000mAh batteries will surely be there.

Another shared, toned-down feature is the pair of 13-megapixel rear and 5-megapixel front-facing cameras. That’s a far cry from the dual-camera setup the G6 employs, but again, sacrifices had to be made.

With all these similarities between the three phones, you must be wondering what the primary differences are. The answer lies in the memory and storage configurations: 4GB of memory and 64GB of storage for the Q6+, 3GB memory and 32GB storage for the plain Q6, and 2GB memory with 16GB storage on the Q6a.

Unfortunately — and this has been a trend for other LG launches — the unveiling of the Q6 series didn’t come with exact pricing and availability yet. All we know is Asia will be getting first dibs beginning August, with the rest of the world having to wait for further announcements.

SEE ALSO: 24 Hours in Venice Beach with the LG G6

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Samsung owes Apple US$ 539M for patent infringement

For infringing iPhone patents

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Six years after Samsung was first found liable for infringing on five iPhone patents in its own smartphone designs, they are now ordered by a California jury to pay US$ 539 million in damages to Apple.

The ordered payment is split into two: US$ 533.3 million for infringing on three Apple design patents and US$ 5.3 million for infringing on two utility patents. CNET reports that the infringements in question occurred on Samsung phones sold in 2010 and 2011.

The jury’s ruling is a middle ground for both tech giants, but they are far from what both want. Apple originally sought for more than US$ 1 billion for the damages and Samsung is willing to pay just US$ 28 million.

“This case has always been about more than money. Apple ignited the smartphone revolution with iPhone, and it is a fact that Samsung blatantly copied our design. It is important that we continue to protect the hard work and innovation of so many people at Apple.” — Apple

It’s still unclear if Samsung will make an appeal about the ruling, but the recent deliberation is already a long-due result since the South Korean company was sued for patent infringement in 2011 and found liable the following year.

Reuters reported that Samsung has already paid US$ 399 million of the total, so if the jury’s decision gets upheld on appeal, they will have to pay for the balance.

SEE ALSO: Samsung attacks Apple once again in latest video ad

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Vivo Y85 lands in the Philippines, battles the OPPO F7 Youth

It’s basically a cheaper V9

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Vivo’s budget midrange phone finally made its way to the Philippines. If the Vivo V9 is not within your budget but you still want the same set of features, then the Vivo Y85 is your best bet.

The Vivo Y85 is practically a baby sibling of the V9. They share the same design but with minor differences in specifications. The Y85 is powered by a MediaTek Helio P22 processor (MTK 6762) instead of Snapdragon 636, has an 8-megapixel front camera instead of 24-megapixels, and lower 32GB of storage.

It still has dual rear cameras, although the main sensor is downgraded to 13-megapixel and the secondary is now just 2-megapixel.

The rest remains the same with all the AI features, Face Beauty, bokeh effect for portrait photography, and Funtouch OS 4.0 based on Android 8.1 Oreo.

The Y85 is now available in Vivo authorized stores in the Philippines for PhP 13,999 in Ruby Red and black. It’s priced the same as the OPPO F7 Youth which is also a toned-down version of OPPO’s main offering, the F7.

SEE ALSO: Vivo V9 Hands-on: A handsome-looking midrange phone

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Essential cancels Essential Phone 2, puts company up for sale

Another casualty for Android supremacy

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During its announcement last year, the Essential Phone quickly positioned itself as the mythical iPhone killer. Sadly, the hyped-up smartphone spent its considerable amount of resources just for a drop of blood. Now, all its past efforts are causing the company to go under.

Despite all the hype surrounding it, the Essential Phone debuted to tepid applause. While the phone did have its fair share of loyal fans, several complaints criticized its software issues and lackluster cameras. Additionally, it performed terribly in sales, losing handily to its rivals.

Regardless, Essential promised a successor. Unfortunately, they spoke too soon. The company has reportedly canceled all development on the Essential Phone 2.

According to reports, Essential is now focusing its efforts on an undisclosed home tech product. In a recent tweet, Essential founder Andy Rubin subtly confirmed that the company has dropped the sequel and started development on other products in its stead.

To add to the confusion, Essential has also enlisted the help of the Credit Suisse Group. Supposedly, the hiring aims to find potential buyers for the company. Essential’s offers reportedly include selling the whole company, its entire library of patents (which houses the Essential Phone), and the company’s engineering team.

Currently, Essential has not finalized any deals yet. However, the mere existence of talks indicates that the company is already flirting with the idea of throwing in the towel.

At the very least, Essential’s statements confirm that we are not getting an Essential Phone 2 from the company. However, if talks go as planned, Essential might still find its way back into the phone business in the future, particularly under a new manufacturer.

As of now, the Essential Phone 2 remains a dream for its steadfast fan base. Pretty soon, the company might fall as another defeated combatant in the fight against Apple’s supremacy.

SEE ALSO: Essential Phone gets official Android 8.1 Oreo update

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