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Qualcomm launches faster and better Snapdragon 845

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Smartphones are about to get faster and stronger once again. As with every year, Qualcomm has announced their SoC processor for next year, the Snapdragon 845.

At their recently concluded Snapdragon Technology Summit in Hawaii, Qualcomm unveiled the details for its flagship-bound Snapdragon 845 processor. The high-end SoC (system on a chip) boasts faster performance, graphics, and image processing.

With four performance cores (clocking in at 2.8GHz) and four efficiency cores (at 1.8GHz), the Snapdragon 845 delivers 19 to 25 percent more performance over the Snapdragon 835.

Compared to last year’s Adreno 540 GPU, the Snapdragon 845 rocks an Adreno 630 upgrade. The new GPU promises a 30 percent boost in graphics performance and power efficiency. The upgrade also delivers 2.5 times more display throughput and increases flagships’ support for VR and AR apps.

The Snapdragon 845’s biggest improvement is in its image signal processor (ISP), the Spectra 280. The ISP equips phones with the ability to shoot 4K Ultra HD videos in HDR. It offers a 97 percent wider color gamut for more natural images.

The Spectra 280 can take 720p videos at up to 480 frames per second. Further, it can film 60fps videos with only a 16-megapixel camera.

Image source: Ars Technica

Taking after its rivals at Apple, the Snapdragon 845 is now compatible with face unlocking. Whereas Apple uses 30,000 dots for theirs, Qualcomm’s face unlock uses a more accurate 50,000 dots.

While 5G speeds are still far off into the future, the Snapdragon 845 builds itself ready for the technology. With its new Qualcomm X20 LTE modem, internet speeds can reach a maximum of 1,200Mbps. The modem adapts the new 60GHz 802.11ad standard.

Meanwhile, Bluetooth 5 boosts wireless connectivity by allowing faster transfers and more efficient battery usage. The latter supports a move for better compatibility with truly wireless earphones.

Whether we’ll see these features next year is still up to the smartphone manufacturers themselves. Some phones may opt to forego some features for others, for example.

The new chip, however, is already expected to launch with the flagships of Google, HTC, and Samsung. It’s also expected to make its way to Windows 10 PCs.

SEE ALSO: Snapdragon 450 is Qualcomm’s newest midrange chipset

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Twitter is also considering a deal with TikTok

According to new reports

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Throughout the past week, everyone threw TikTok around like a hot potato. President Donald Trump announced and signed an expansive ban covering TikTok and WeChat, effective starting September 15. That is, unless both companies can reach an acquisition agreement with an American company. Since then, only Microsoft rose as the main suitor for the video-sharing platform. However, according to a new report, Twitter is also considering a deal with TikTok.

Reported by the Wall Street Journal, both parties have allegedly already engaged in talks for a possible deal. Of note, however, the report talks about a “possible combination,” rather than an outright acquisition. Whether or not the wording is critical remains to be seen.

According to the report, a potential deal will involve significant hurdles for both parties. On the one hand, Twitter is potentially courting the platform’s American operations, which are still facing a ban next month. On the other hand, a merger between the two will unify two globally dominant platforms into one.

Though Microsoft can benefit from a stronger presence in the social media industry, Twitter is already a dominant force. If it acquires TikTok, the company’s position will only grow stronger.

Of course, this is all just speculation at this point. No one knows who will ultimately land the popular video-sharing platform yet. Only Microsoft and Twitter have entered any sort of discussion with the Chinese company — publicly, at least. Though a potential buyer on its own right, Apple has already declined any sort of interest for the Chinese company.

SEE ALSO: TikTok is considering moving to the UK

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Qualcomm reportedly urged US to reverse the Huawei ban

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Yesterday, Huawei confirmed the inevitable end of the Kirin chip, owing to the heightening American ban. When it launches later this year, the Huawei Mate 40 series is the last phone to feature the iconic processor. Despite the terrible news, Huawei’s fate is still up in the air. For one, the Trump administration can still (unlikely) reverse everything, restoring Huawei’s former status on top of the industry. In another likelier scenario, a third-party chip supplier can provide some much-needed supply for the ailing Chinese company. Today, Qualcomm reportedly urged US to reverse the Huawei ban.

It’s still a shocking plot twist. Qualcomm has clashed with the Chinese company in the processor industry before. Naturally, when the bans rocked the smartphone industry, the company’s continued dominance flourished at the rival’s major losses. However, Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf soon announced long-term pursuits to court Huawei’s business. The supposed courting fell silent just as quickly.

Today, however, the Wall Street Journal has leaked a presentation detailing Qualcomm’s lobbying to reverse the ban. According to the document, the chip-making company wants to lift exporting restrictions so it can sell its chips to Huawei. With the export ban in place, the US will allegedly drive Huawei’s business away from America and into competitors from other countries like Samsung and Mediatek.

Of course, it’s also important to note that this is different from an operating license. Amidst the ban, a few American companies have applied for a license to sell components to Huawei. Qualcomm has not applied for such a license — at least, not yet. Instead, the company wants every export restriction lifted, allowing other companies to also do business with Huawei.

Lobbying is only one thing. It’s still up to the US government, ultimately. However, American companies are also fighting the extensive ban. Only time will tell if things will go back to how they were.

SEE ALSO: Mate 40 is the last Huawei phone to feature Kirin chips

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Chinese brands dominate Q2 2020 smartphone sales in Southeast Asia

vivo, realme, OPPO, Huawei, and Xiaomi takes the top spots

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According to the latest data by Canalys, Chinese brands dominated the Q2 2020 smartphone sales in Southeast Asia. Both vivo and realme also demonstrated positive year-on-year growth for the quarter.

Chinese brands that dominated smartphone sales include OPPO, vivo, realme and Xiaomi. All in all, these brands captured the top 5 spots in the overall smartphone sales for the whole quarter.

The only non-Chinese smartphone brand that made it to the top 5 is Samsung, capturing 21% of the total sales. The latest figures also affirm that Samsung is still the leader of the pack when it comes to smartphone sales.

OPPO came close to Samsung on overall smartphone sales. It captured 20% of the overall sales shares. vivo, realme, and Xiaomi follow next with 18%, 12%, and 11% shares, respectively.

Year-on-year growth is also down for most brands during the second quarter when most countries started implementing quarantine measures. However, the pandemic didn’t stop vivo and realme from registering a positive growth — they garnered 20% and 102 growth, respectively.

Canalys also saw a 13% quarter-on-quarter increase on smartphone sales, which is good news for these brands. It’s also a sign of recovery for the smartphone market in the region as most countries start to ease their stringent quarantine measures.

The Philippines’ top five smartphone vendors

The situation is more or less the same in the Philippines. Chinese brands dominate the smartphone market in the country. Samsung, however, managed only to snag the second place as vivo takes the crown with a 21% unit share for Q2 2020. It also registered a positive 18% growth during the quarter, which is impressive given the situation the country faced at that time.

realme managed the third spot, registering 18% of the total smartphone shipment. What’s more impressive about the brand is its 254% year-on-year growth, which is a hundred percent more than the regional growth numbers. The aggressive marketing and pricing of its products really helped realme register a healthy growth despite the challenges posed by Q2 2020.

Coming in at the fourth and fifth spots is OPPO and Huawei. However, both brands took a toll this quarter, with year-on-year growth on the decline.  Xiaomi, which is fifth on the regional top smartphone vendors, is nowhere to be seen this time around.

The recent smartphone sales figure just shows how Chinese brands have overtaken the smartphone market in Southeast Asia. It also showed another thing: most brands are having a hard time during these uncertain times. Perhaps, there could be improvements in smartphone sales as the world enters into the third quarter of 2020.

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