News

Qualcomm unveils the Snapdragon 888

Get ready, 2021 flagships!

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Were you expecting the Snapdragon 875? After months of speculation, Qualcomm has finally unveiled its next flagship processor, the Snapdragon 888. During today’s Snapdragon Tech Summit, the company revealed more details about the future of smartphones.

As with Qualcomm’s recent innovations, the Snapdragon 888 will feature 5G connectivity with the 3rd-generation Snapdragon X60 5G modem, offering compatibility with mmWave and sub-6 networks. To demonstrate the chipset’s seamless connectivity prowess, Qualcomm fitted two remote-controlled cars with the modem and controlled them from a mile away.

Additionally, a completely re-engineered Qualcomm Hexagon processor improves the generation’s AI Engine. The new system supposedly ramps up performance by up to 26 tera-operations per second.

The Snapdragon 888 also comes with an upgraded Adreno GPU, putting out frame rates going up to 144 frames per second.

As you might expect, the Snapdragon 888 will don next year’s flagships. Though the company has not revealed any compatible smartphones yet, Sony, OnePlus, and Xiaomi made an appearance during the event, renewing their support for Qualcomm’s chipsets. Further, Qualcomm has confirmed Snapdragon 888 support for ASUS, Black Shark, Lenovo, LG, MEIZU, Motorola, Nubia, realme, OPPO, Sharp, vivo, and ZTE.

More smartphone companies will likely reveal their support for the upcoming processor soon. For one, Samsung is probably launching their upcoming flagship, the Galaxy S21 series soon. If tradition holds next year, the flagship series will come with the new chipset, alongside an unannounced Exynos variant.

SEE ALSO: Five flagships will come with Snapdragon 875 early next year

Gaming

PUBG Mobile is making a comeback as Battlegrounds Mobile India

Will be exclusive to India

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Battlegrounds Mobile

After an excruciating wait, it’s official — PUBG Mobile is coming back to India. But this time, it’ll have a new name: Battlegrounds Mobile India with some added features, and an India-centric focus.

Krafton, the game’s developer, has announced it’ll be launching the Battlegrounds Mobile India soon. The game will bring an AAA-rated multiplayer experience alongside exclusive in-game events, tournaments, and leagues. While a launch date isn’t available, Krafton did confirm that pre-registration will be opened up soon.

The game will be free-to-play and incorporate the same battle royale concept that made it popular. Although, little detail is available about maps, guns, vehicles, and the plot (if there is any) of the game.

Furthermore, the game’s developer said that it would comply with all local laws and compliances. This includes data localization — storage of data within Indian borders. The announcement has cheered millions of players in the country who’ve been waiting for an alternative ever since the primary game was barred.

Why PUBG had to go

In mid-2020, India and China were involved in a fatal border skirmish that left many casualties on both sides. Following the conflict, India took a stringent anti-China stance and banned a host of apps that were developed or backed by Chinese companies. TikTok, owned by ByteDance, was among the first to come under the hammer.

PUBG Mobile was also included in the ban because Chinese giant Tencent was a distribution partner of the game. Following the ban, Krafton quickly removed Tencent from the agreement and announced plans to launch a new game independent of any Chinese influence.

Indian developers rode the hype wave, and many TikTok clones were touted as the next big thing. On the same lines, nCore Studios tried to bridge the gap by launching FAU-G, but it was a colossal failure. In fact, it still doesn’t have a battle royale mode, so it’s safe to assume Call of Duty: Mobile is the only practical alternative left for users right now.

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News

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE leaks, will enter production in July

And could launch in August

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Galaxy S21 FE

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE is reported to be in the works, and its production may start sometime in July. It will be an upgrade to the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE, which was launched last year.

According to @DSCCRoss on Twitter, the Galaxy S21 FE will enter production in July, just a month before its expected launch. The Galaxy S21 FE will likely be part of Samsung’s Unpacked event in August, where it usually also launches foldable phones. A noted analyst of DisplaySearch backs his claim.

 

The phone is said to come in four color options: gray, light green, light violet, and white. The predecessor also had colorful options, so it’s not surprising to see the palette selection here.

In terms of design, it will look like the Galaxy S21 based on leaked renders. It will feature a punch-hole display and three rear cameras. Rumors have also suggested that it’ll have a “glastic” construction. It consists of a polycarbonate construction that feels like glass. The Note 10 Lite sported a similar design too.

In terms of specs, Galaxy S21 FE is said to feature a 6.4-inch AMOLED display, and it will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 or Exynos 2100 processor. In line with all Galaxy-branded phones, it’ll run on OneUI out-of-the-box.

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Apps

TikTok, Reels clone YouTube Shorts launches in the US

Everyone wants a piece of the pie

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shorts

YouTube unveiled its short-video-making tool called Shorts last year, but it was in beta and limited to India. Shorts is now available to all creators in the US after testing them with select creators.

The initial release was quite hasty as it was supposed to bridge the vacuum left by TikTok’s ban in India. However, Instagram was much faster and well prepared to take on the challenge, dominating the turf over many local apps like Chingari, Roposo, and MX TakaTak.

YouTube is also adding a dedicated space in the bottom tab by replacing the explore button. In India, YouTube Shorts has a dedicated space on the top bar of the app. YouTube also displays Shorts in the home feed of the app after around 2-3 videos.

The goal is to incorporate a short video format in the existing app. While watching a “short”, users can tap on the music option to hear the full song via YouTube. Soon, the feature also will work the other way: From a YouTube music video, you will be able to click a “create” button right from the video to make your own Short.

Shorts will expand

The video platform’s music team has signed licensing agreements to use snippets of millions of songs from over 250 labels and publishers. It plans to expand Shorts to more markets later this year but it hasn’t specified which ones.

Ahead of the US launch, a bunch of new features has been added as well. There’s now an option to record 60-second clips in addition to the 15-second option. But users will not be able to add music from the YouTube library to 60-second Shorts. There are also new filters and effects in the YouTube Shorts camera.

In its most recent earnings report, YouTube confirmed that Shorts were generating 6.5 billion daily views, a substantial uptick over the 3.5 billion daily views that the feature was generating in late January.

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