News

Qualcomm announces three chips for midrange and affordable markets

Coming to phones later this year

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For smartphone pundits, a processor presents the most accurate way to determine a phone’s power on paper. As such, shoppers are always on the hunt for the highest specs they can find.

Pushing the boundaries even further, Qualcomm has launched three new chipsets for its midrange and entry-level series.

For the midrange market, the Snapdragon 600 series is getting the new Snapdragon 632. Meanwhile, the affordable Snapdragon 400 series will get both the Snapdragon 439 and 429.

With the new additions, Qualcomm is infusing high-end capabilities into the affordability markets. More specifically, the company touts increased performance, battery life, and AI capabilities with the new chips.

Positioned towards the midrange market, the Snapdragon 632 boosts processing speeds and graphics performance by up to 40 percent. The included Kyro 250 CPU and Adreno 506 GPU increase their phones’ affinity for mainstream gaming.

Additionally, phones infused with the Snapdragon 632 can now support cameras with up to 24 megapixels. Finally, the chipset supports faster connectivity with a new X9 LTE modem.

Meanwhile, the new Snapdragon 439 and 429 inject AI capabilities into the affordable market. The new feature touts improvements for a phone’s cameras, security, and accessibility. For performance, the new chipsets promise an increase of up to 25 percent.

On the graphics side, the Snapdragon 439’s Adreno 505 boasts up to a 20 percent increase in graphics rendering. On the other hand, the Snapdragon 429’s Adreno 504 increases graphics performance by up to 50 percent.

With the new chips, the affordable market can now support cameras with up to 21 megapixels.

Following the announcements, Qualcomm expects the first devices with the new chips by the end of the year.

SEE ALSO: The new Snapdragon 710 promises flagship specs for midrange phones

Gaming

Nintendo Switch is now third-bestselling console in history

Overtakes Game Boy and PS4

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Though there are more powerful consoles now, the Nintendo Switch is the most representative of the world’s situation since its launch. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the console keeps breaking records. Now, it has crossed its most important milestone to date. The Switch is now the third-bestselling console in history.

Released back in 2017, the Switch is the quintessential console for hybrid gamers who play at home and on the go. In its first few years, the console already spawned classic titles such as Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey. However, its big break truly came during the 2020 lockdowns. The timing of Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ release created a worldwide moment when everyone stuck at home wanted a Switch to play the island life simulator. Since then, the console, despite launching an improved OLED version, is gradually mellowing out, especially when opposed to even more powerful consoles like the PlayStation 5.

Regardless, the Switch’s effect on the world is palpable. Today, Nintendo announced that the console has sold over 122 million units worldwide. With such a figure, the Switch moves up to the third spot in the list of bestselling consoles of all time. It squeaks past the Game Boy (118 million units) and the PlayStation 4 (117 million units).

Now, the next consoles in the Switch’s sights are the Nintendo DS (154 million units) and the PlayStation 2 (155 million units). The console is in for quite a climb, though. Unless it hits another golden age, it will take a while before another overtake.

It’s still possible, of course. The Nintendo Switch is still set to release a few much-awaited titles like Tears of the Kingdom, the sequel to Breath of the Wild.

SEE ALSO: Cult classic GoldenEye 007 is coming to Xbox, Switch

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Galaxy S23 series has a secret feature for gamers

Might not be widely available

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Mobile gaming has a natural setback: battery life. Though mobile games easily entice users to spend hours and hours playing, a smartphone’s battery can just as easily cut a long gaming session short. One way to get past this limitation is to play while charging. However, another unintended drawback is the additional heat from charging the battery. Giving gamers a convenient reprieve, the Galaxy S23 has a secret feature to do away with battery heat.

First spotted by NL Tech (via 9to5Google), the new Galaxy S23 series can reportedly redirect power from the charger to bypass the battery entirely. Instead, the power will fuel the power directly. Though the feature (called “Pause USB Power Delivery” and found through the Game Booster menu) won’t necessarily improve performance for gaming, it will stop the battery from heating up, ensuring comfort for long sessions while in bed. Since the phone stops using power to charge the battery, the charger will use up less electricity.

Naturally, using the feature will halt charging entirely, so if you desperately need juice, it won’t do anything. Additionally, the feature will not turn on if your smartphone’s battery is below 20 percent.

Of note, Samsung has not officially announced such a feature. It is reportedly unavailable in some regions including the United States. It might be in its early stages, on a staggered rollout, or a regional exclusive. Still, it’s a useful feature for gamers who want more comfort for their gaming sessions.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy S23, S23+ and S23 Ultra Hands-On

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Apps

Google will blur NSFW photos soon

Turned on by default

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When I search for “food porn” in Google, I’m looking for enticing photos of food to whet my appetite for dinner. Sometimes, Google has other plans and shows me more than what I bargained for. Finally, the search engine is implementing a way to save us from those awkward moments. Google will soon blur explicit images from search results.

For Safer Internet Day, Google has announced the feature to help protect users from accidentally seeing graphic images — including both gore and pornography — from a search. The feature, which will start rolling out in the coming months, will turn on by default. Instead of showing the images directly, users will face the blurred version and a prompt to view the image despite the warning.

If you don’t mind an accidental shower of NSFW imagery, you can turn the feature off at any time. Alternatively, as always, users can also choose to filter out all explicit search results, blurred or otherwise.

Though the feature is easily adjustable, Google will not offer the same flexibility to supervised accounts. Any accounts supervised by a parent or a school will not be able to change how they view explicit content. Parents can add supervision to the accounts of their children.

SEE ALSO: Google is working on a ChatGPT competitor called Bard

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