News

Samsung is recalling its best smartphone yet

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If you’ve been thinking about acquiring the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 sometime in the very near future, consider your plans derailed until further notice.

In a statement, Samsung said it is issuing a global recall of its latest phablet, following reports of the phone catching fire and exploding during or after charging. Customers who already bought the Note 7 can exchange it for a new one “over the coming weeks.” The world’s biggest phone maker also said it will stop selling the device momentarily.

According to Samsung, a total of 35 cases have been reported worldwide, with many taking to the internet to report the issue. On August 29, one user uploaded a video of a Note 7 that had burst into flames; the following day, images of another burnt Note 7 were uploaded to a popular social media site in South Korea. An internal investigation has confirmed that faulty batteries were to blame.

An unnamed Samsung official earlier told South Korea’s Yonhap news agency that only 0.1 percent of devices sold so far are affected by the issue, but clearly Samsung is taking no chances and has taken extra measures on the side of precaution.

So far, the Note 7 has launched in 10 countries, including the U.S., South Korea, and the Philippines. News about a confirmed hardware defect would be a major blow to a device hailed by many as the best on the market today. And its timing couldn’t be more off: Samsung’s main rival, Apple, is set to announce the iPhone 7 next week.

Worse still is the adverse impact a widespread recall would have on Samsung’s business. In July, Samsung posted its best quarterly results in over two years on strong smartphone sales. The company had earlier predicted that demand for smartphones and tablets will increase in the second half of 2016.

Below is the full, unabridged statement from Samsung.

Samsung is committed to producing the highest quality products and we take every incident report from our valued customers very seriously. In response to recently reported cases of the new Galaxy Note7, we conducted a thorough investigation and found a battery cell issue.

To date (as of September 1) there have been 35 cases that have been reported globally and we are currently conducting a thorough inspection with our suppliers to identify possible affected batteries in the market. However, because our customers’ safety is an absolute priority at Samsung, we have stopped sales of the Galaxy Note7.

For customers who already have Galaxy Note7 devices, we will voluntarily replace their current device with a new one over the coming weeks.

We acknowledge the inconvenience this may cause in the market but this is to ensure that Samsung continues to deliver the highest quality products to our customers. We are working closely with our partners to ensure the replacement experience is as convenient and efficient as possible.

[irp posts=”9847″ name=”Samsung earned record profits despite Note 7 recall”]

Computers

Lenovo Legion lineup gets an upgrade with new AMD Ryzen chipsets

They pretty much cover all price segments

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Lenovo’s Legion lineup is known for its gaming capabilities and has garnered a fan following of its own. In the last handful of years, Intel has powered most of the computers ever built, but it always seemed to lag behind in the gaming department. With AMD’s Ryzen series, things are rapidly changing and Lenovo has accordingly updated their product offering.

Lenovo Legion 5

Starting with the Lenovo Legion 5, it comes in two display size options — 15.6-inches and 17.-3-inches. Both the screens have a 144Hz refresh rate and Full HD resolution. It is available in multiple configurations, with the top variant sporting Ryzen 7 4800 H-series processor and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 GPU.

It can house up to 16GB DDR4 RAM and 1TB of SSD storage. On the cooling front, it has Lenovo Legion Coldfront 2.0 thermals along with a TrueStrike keyboard that offers more keyboard travel.

Lastly, the company claims it can provide 7.5 hours of run time on a single charge. The base variant (17-inch) shall cost US$ 1089 and start shipping from September 2020. The 15-inch option will start atUS$ 1019 and ship from August 2020.

Lenovo Legion 5P

The Lenovo Legion 5P, on the other hand, gets a 15.6-inch display and sports the same CPU and GPU as the Legion 5. However, it runs Dual Burn support that leverages the CPU and GPU simultaneously to improve framerates. With Lenovo Q-Control 3.0, the user can quickly switch between performance modes.

It can sport up to 32GB DDR4 RAM and 1TB of SSD internal storage. Lastly, Lenovo claims it can deliver up to eight hours of usage on a single charge. However, it won’t be going on sale in North America.

Ideapad Gaming 3

IdeaPad Gaming 3 is an affordable gaming laptop has a 15.6-inch display, can support up to AMD Ryzen 7 4800 H-series processor, and optional 120Hz display. The GPU is bumped down to NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti, but it can house up to 32GB DDR4 RAM and 1GB of SSD storage. It’ll start at US$ 659 and start shipping from July 2020.

Lenovo Legion Tower 5

If you’re looking for a more powerful gig, the Lenovo Legion Tower 5 can get up to AMD Ryzen 93950X desktop processor with 16 cores. Coupled along is an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 GPU that can churn out 4K framerates. It can support 2x 1TB SSDs along with 2x 2TB hard drives and 128GB DDR4 RAM.

The side panels are transparent and LED lighting within the cabinet offers more customization options to the user. For cooling, a 150W CPU cooling fan is attached and one can opt for an optional 200W liquid cooling system. The base option shall cost US$ 829 and availability starts from October 2020.

IdeaCenter Gaming 5

Lastly, the IdeaCentre Gaming 5 desktop can offer up to AMD Ryzen 7 3700X processor along with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 GPU. It has Dolby Audio support and can sport up to 32GB RAM. However, it won’t be going on sale in North America.

SEE ALSO:
Lenovo unveils new gaming laptops – Legion 7i, Legion 5i
Lenovo unveils new Legion Tower 5i, IdeaCentre Gaming 5
Lenovo launches Legion 7i, new Legion gaming laptops

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vivo X50 series now official, employs Gimbal Camera System

Placing heavy emphasis on camera performance

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vivo’s been pretty quiet since the launch of the vivo NEX 3. Today, the company breaks its silence with the launch of the vivo X50 series. It consists of three phones: the X50, X50 Pro, and X50 Pro+.

The series is putting a strong emphasis on camera performance. Specifically, vivo is touting its Gimbal Camera System and its zoom capabilities. We’ll get to that more later.

The X50 series also promises a futuristic and user-centric design along with flagship grade performance. The company says it’s the first X-series to be released globally, so there’s a lot riding on these devices.

Gimbal Camera System

Gimbals are primarily used for stabilization. By adding what they call the Gimbal Camera System, vivo says they’ve unlocked the capability to take clear photos and videos while in motion. This applies, they claim, even at night.

Here’s how it works: the gimbal module, which was modeled from a full-size professional gimbal, moves in the opposite direction of shaking motion to provide stability. It also widens the rotation angle and anti-shake area — wider than the usual smartphone stabilization methods — to produce super clear images.

There’s a gimbal radar that lets users know when the frame is stable. It appears as an on-screen animated ball that reflects the gimbal’s movement. This works in concert with vivo’s motion-deblur algorithm, customized sensors and continuous focus tracking to improve the clarity even more.

If that seemed like it’s a lot to take in, that’s because it is. For our part, we’re excited how it actually works both in demo and in the real world.

Zoom and other camera features

There’s more to the X50 series than the gimbal camera system. vivo says all three are equipped with the cameras you expect from flagship smartphones. Both the X50 Pro and the X50 Pro+ have a periscope lens that supports up to 60x Hyper Zoom.

The X50 Pro has a quad-camera setup with a single selfie camera. Meanwhile, the X50 Pro+ sports a main camera that has a 1/1.3 inch ISOCELL GN1 sensor. This should result in photos with “breathtaking detail.”

The series also has a super wide-angle lens and a super macro lens, giving you versatility in various shooting situations. There’s also Super Night Mode for low light scenarios, and an Astro Mode for stunning nightscape images whether in a city or open field setting.

Lastly, there’s Portrait Mode. vivo says it’s now more refined thanks to a four-layer masking algorithm that not only separates the subject from the background, it’ll also let you apply separate effects for even better results.

A truly flagship series

All the phones in the X50 series will support 5G connectivity — which seems to be something we should expect from all flagship phones from here on out. The series will also have a high screen refresh rate — a choice between 90Hz/120Hz depending on the model.

Those screens, vivo claims, are now even better. They’re more flexible, slimmer, lighter, but also more durable than anything they’ve ever made before.

The X50 Pro+ is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+X55 processor. The Gimbal Camera System on the rear of the X50 Pro is in the shape of an eye for a unique design element. And lastly, the X50 is the slimmest 5G phone so far measuring at only 7.49mm

Pricing and availability

It will be available over the next three months in the following markets: Asia (specifically India, Indonesia, and more), Africa, Latin America, Eastern Europe.

In India, pricing are as follows:

  • vivo X50 (8GB+128GB): Rs 34,990
  • vivo X50 (8GB+256GB): INR 37,990
  • vivo X50 Pro (8GB+256GB): INR49,999

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on June 1, 2020. It has been updated to with our video review, new images and to reflect pricing and availability.

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Redmi 9, 9A, 9C budget family now official

Because three is better than one!

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We’ve already shown you how you can maximize your budget phone. Those exact same methods apply to all three of these new budget smartphones — the Redmi 9, 9A, and 9C.

We’re just going to do a quick rundown here.

Redmi 9

This is a budget smartphone equipped with a quad-camera setup. That’s shooting versatility for less. Whether you’re looking to take a quick snap, wide-angle group shot, close-up with stunning details, or beautiful portrait photos, Redmi 9 has you covered.

It has a 6.53’’ FHD+ Dot Drop display with TÜV Rheinland Low Blue Light certification and Corning  Gorilla Glass for on-the-go protection.

Inside it’s powered by a MediaTek Helio G80 SoC. It has a 5020mAh battery with support for 18W fast charging.

You also get your usual ports and connections:a 3.5mm headphone jack, IR blaster, multifunctional NFC, while supporting dual SIM usage and an additional microSD card slot.

The Redmi 9 is available in the Philippines and comes in Carbon Grey, Ocean Green and Sunset Purple. Pricing are as follows:

  • 3GB+32GB — PhP 6990
  • 4GB+64GB — PhP 7490

They are available for offline purchase at official Mi Stores, as well as Xiaomi’s authorized offline retailers and the Xiaomi Official Store on Lazada.

Redmi 9A

If a huge display with a big battery for less is your jam then you might want to rock with the Redmi 9A.

It has a 6.53” Dot Drop display with 5000mAh battery. Elsewhere on the phone you get the MediaTek Helio G25 chip and a 13MP rear camera.

It’s available in The Philippines with one variant, 2GB+32GB, in Granite Gray, Peacock Green and Sky Blue. Priced a PhP 4,690.

The device is available for purchase from at official Mi Stores, as well as through Xiaomi Flagship Store on Lazada and Xiaomi Global Store on Shopee.

The model will also be available for purchase from July 21 via Xiaomi’s authorized offline retailers.

Redmi 9C 

The Redmi 9C hits much of the same beats as the 9A with a similar 6.53” Dot Drop display with a 5000mAh battery. Inside, it’s powered by a MediaTek Helio G35 chip.

It comes in three colors: Midnight Gray, Sunrise Orange, and Twilight Blue. Global pricing are as follows:

  • 2GB+32GB — EUR 119
  • 3GB+64GB — EUR 139

For distance learning

It’s interesting to note that all three fall within the minimum spec requirements laid out by the Philippines’ Education Department. Despite common sense and on the ground knowledge dictating that it’s best to skip the school year due to the Coronavirus pandemic, they are still bullish about pushing through with it.

So, if you’re a parent and want to arm your child with a basic smartphone to help, all three of the mentioned phones will suffice. For reference, here are the minimum requirements.

Distance Learning, Smartphone Minimum Tech Specs

Processor

Octa-core 2 GHz

Memory

2GB

Display

6”, IPS LCD

Storage

32GB

Network

GSM / HSPA / LTE

Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n

Bluetooth

Ports

Micro USB or Type C, 3.5mm Audio Jack

OS

Android 8.1

 

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