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Qualcomm announces Snapdragon 855, promises 5G phones in 2019

Moving to 5G will be more seamless than 4G

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“5G is here.”

Chipmaker Qualcomm is making bold promises about the future of connectivity and computing on the first day of its Snapdragon Tech Summit in Maui. But unlike previous discussions on 5G, these claims are backed up by actual hardware.


Today the tech giant is showing off a 5G smartphone (reference device) running its new Snapdragon 855 system on a chip (SoC).

AT&T and Verizon have also set up actual 5G networks on the island, giving us our closest 5G hands-on experience to date.

The three-day summit brings together global mobile operators, infrastructure providers, and device makers, all of which have been working on expediting the rollout of 5G devices and services. Qualcomm says that unlike the transition to 4G, the switch to 5G will be faster and more seamless, “5G is so important that the whole industry is moving at the same pace.”

Qualcomm is also promising 5G smartphones in the first half of 2019. Sharing the stage with Qualcomm is Samsung, who is also showing off a 5G prototype at the event. Earlier this week, Samsung and Verizon announced plans to release a 5G phone in the US in the first half of next year.

Of course, this chip comes with a helping of advanced features. The most prominent one may be the fourth-generation multi-core AI Engine, which offers three times the AI performance compared to Qualcomm’s older SoCs.

Qualcomm also touts its use of the first-ever Computer Vision (CV) ISP to improve computational photography and video capture features. The gamer aspect isn’t left out either, thanks to Snapdragon Elite Gaming to boost performance on premium devices.

Most interestingly, Qualcomm’s 3D Sonic Sensor is part of the package. It’s the world’s first commercial ultrasonic fingerprint system that can be placed under the display. The company claims it’s more accurate and secure than anything else currently in the market.

The Snapdragon Tech Summit in Maui is still underway, so stay tuned for more details in the coming days.

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Samsung might fuse the Galaxy S and the Galaxy Note into one series

Is the Galaxy One coming?

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Even if you’re not a Samsung fan, you’ll still recognize the brand’s two darling children — the Galaxy S and the Galaxy Note series. For the longest time, Samsung has divided every year in half. The long-standing Galaxy S dominates the first half. Meanwhile, the premium Galaxy Note series takes up the second half. Like yin and yang, both series coexist in perfect harmony, creating a wonderfully profitable year for Samsung.

Sometimes, however, the difference between either smartphone just isn’t clear. As technology gets better and better, the Galaxy S starts looking incredibly similar to the Galaxy Note. By far, the Galaxy Note’s biggest differentiator is just the S Pen. Everything else is more arbitrary.


Unsurprisingly, Samsung is having the same thoughts. According to a rumor shared by the renowned leakster Evan Blass (@evleaks), Samsung is considering a major rebranding strategy. Next year, the company might merge the Galaxy S and the Galaxy Note into one gigantic lineup. The potential strategy comes as a follow-up to the recent re-release of the Galaxy Fold.

Currently, Samsung is evaluating the demand for the new foldable form factor. If the Galaxy Fold performs remarkably well, the company has a much bigger reason to combine both its previous lines. In that scenario, the Galaxy Fold (and its successors) will take over the second half currently occupied by the Galaxy Note. The new combination, on the other hand, will have the same release schedule as the Galaxy S line.

As a rumor, the potential line does not have any substantial details yet. However, it will likely have the form factor of the Galaxy S line and the S Pen of the Galaxy Note. The line could potentially carry the name “Galaxy One,” rather than “S11.”

It’s still very early to tell what will happen to Samsung in the succeeding years. However, the substantial rumor speaks volumes for the future of both Samsung and the tech industry at large. Is the Galaxy S10 and the Note 10 the last of their lines?

SEE ALSO: It’s official! The Samsung Galaxy Fold is available globally

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Automotive

This is the 2020 Land Rover Defender

More than capable on- and off-road

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Land Rover has introduced its new boxy 4×4. Sporting modern but still familiar looks, the 2020 Defender is still up to the task of conquering unpaved roads — while also promising a smoother and more comfortable ride.

The new Defender now looks meaner with its owl-like LED Daytime Running Lights while its large bumper gives the front fascia that appreciated bulk for a more rugged look.


Although a little bit curvier than before, its hood and panels remain thick and flat which has the older Defender’s DNA all over it.

The rear, of course, is where the spare tire is mounted. It also comes with stacked taillights and a skid plate on its bumper for added protection against bumps and dings.

Inside is a versatile cabin. The Defender 90 is a six-seater model while the Defender 110 is available in five-seat or five-plus-two-seat configurations. One of its interesting features is the front-row bench that you can fold and unfold to either accommodate a third person up front or use as cupholders.

It comes with a 10-inch touchscreen, Jaguar Land Rover’s Pivi Pro infotainment system, and onboard Wi-Fi.

The new Defender is available in a new mild-hybrid with turbo as well as petrol and diesel engines as alternatives. All are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

To make off-roading a lot easier, it features the company’s ClearSight Ground View that shows the road or terrain under the vehicle. It also has the ClearSight RearView in case a large cargo is blocking your line of sight. These are the same ones we’ve played with on the Range Rover Evoque which proved really helpful.

Other notable features for the new Defender include a 900mm wading depth, Terrain Response 2 System, and a towing capacity enough to pull a trailer.

There will be different trim levels and accessory packs to choose from based on what kind of adventures you’re bringing the Defender to. The all-new 4×4 will be available in over 100 markets around the globe.

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Google’s Pixel 4 will launch on October 15

Along with a few surprises!

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The Pixel 4 launch date has been confirmed as October 15, after the search giant sent out invites to a New York City event. The phone has been the subject of numerous leaks. In fact it was leaked so often that Google confirmed in June what the phone will look like.

Google’s Pixel lineup is crucial for the company because its supposed to be a torch-bearer for all other Android makers, just like the Nexus series. However, three generations later, consumer response has been lukewarm and it has failed to challenge iPhone’s dominance.


With the Pixel 4, many expect this to change. After years of supply-chain experience and market research, Google could finally hit a homerun. Obviously, software-based features will be a core part of the experience and Android 10 is expected to push the boundaries.

What to expect from the Pixel 4

Google’s images showed a phone with a large, square camera bump on the back of the device and no fingerprint reader. The brand has also confirmed the phone will include motion sensing technology and the ability to unlock the phone with a users’ face, similar to Apple’s Face ID.

All previous Pixel phones have stuck to a single lens rear camera that depends on AI-backed software finishing. The result has been mesmerizing, taking over the battle from phones that come with multiple lenses.

The phone is expected to have a second camera — a telephoto lens capable of zooming in on subjects. The main camera will reportedly be able to take fast-action pictures and will have an improved “Night Sight” feature, which adds brightness to very low light scenes.

The event invite also suggest the phones will be accompanied with a host of new hardware launches. In 2018, they announced Pixel Slate, Google Nest Hub, and a refreshed Chromecast along with the phones, so we expect a similar surprise this year as well.

SEE ALSO: Here’s what we know about the Pixel 4 so far

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