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How to tell if your Samsung Galaxy Note 7 has faulty or ‘safe’ battery

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Samsung has decided to replace all Galaxy Note 7 units free of charge and temporarily cease sales of the top-end phablet in most countries, in what could be the most high-profile case of exploding batteries the consumer electronics industry has seen in decades.

Citing battery-heating issues that might cause the Note 7 to burst into flames during or after charging, Samsung has been forced into a sweeping recall of an estimated 2.5 million units that could cost the company $1 billion. The Korea Herald reports that Samsung will stop using batteries produced by its own subsidiary, SDI, which is reportedly responsible for the faulty cells.

However, as Samsung itself has pointed out, not all Note 7s are made equal, as some of them carry parts from different manufacturers. That extends to the battery pack, of which 30 percent are produced by Chinese supplier ATL. The ATL-made batteries are supposedly safe and are being used to produce Note 7 units for the Chinese market where sales continue.

Getting replacement Note 7s in the hands of customers will take weeks, but if you would rather hold on to your Note 7 rather than turn it over, there’s apparently a way to figure whether yours is possibly defective.

The key is knowing where to look: Phone Arena claims you can simply look at the back of your phone, or go to “Phone info” under the Settings app to get the information you need. Or you can take your Note 7 apart, which is easier said than done with a glass-and-metal construction.

We’ll let the site take it from here:

If it says ‘manufactured in China,’  there is a nice chance it will have ATL-packaged battery cells inside, though T-Mobile, whose model is made in China, is also taking part in the voluntary recall that the other US carriers issued as well. If it says ‘manufactured in Korea’ or ‘in Vietnam,’ well, we’d return the unit to the vendor.

note-7-labels

Phone Arena cites the labels above as examples, though keep in mind that regardless of make or model, there’s no way of fully confirming if your unit is in the clear. Either way, it’s in your best interest to return your unit as soon as possible, so do so.

Source: Phone Arena

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Samsung owes Apple US$ 539M for patent infringement

For infringing iPhone patents

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Six years after Samsung was first found liable for infringing on five iPhone patents in its own smartphone designs, they are now ordered by a California jury to pay US$ 539 million in damages to Apple.

The ordered payment is split into two: US$ 533.3 million for infringing on three Apple design patents and US$ 5.3 million for infringing on two utility patents. CNET reports that the infringements in question occurred on Samsung phones sold in 2010 and 2011.

The jury’s ruling is a middle ground for both tech giants, but they are far from what both want. Apple originally sought for more than US$ 1 billion for the damages and Samsung is willing to pay just US$ 28 million.

“This case has always been about more than money. Apple ignited the smartphone revolution with iPhone, and it is a fact that Samsung blatantly copied our design. It is important that we continue to protect the hard work and innovation of so many people at Apple.” — Apple

It’s still unclear if Samsung will make an appeal about the ruling, but the recent deliberation is already a long-due result since the South Korean company was sued for patent infringement in 2011 and found liable the following year.

Reuters reported that Samsung has already paid US$ 399 million of the total, so if the jury’s decision gets upheld on appeal, they will have to pay for the balance.

SEE ALSO: Samsung attacks Apple once again in latest video ad

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Vivo Y85 lands in the Philippines, battles the OPPO F7 Youth

It’s basically a cheaper V9

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Vivo’s budget midrange phone finally made its way to the Philippines. If the Vivo V9 is not within your budget but you still want the same set of features, then the Vivo Y85 is your best bet.

The Vivo Y85 is practically a baby sibling of the V9. They share the same design but with minor differences in specifications. The Y85 is powered by a MediaTek Helio P22 processor (MTK 6762) instead of Snapdragon 636, has an 8-megapixel front camera instead of 24-megapixels, and lower 32GB of storage.

It still has dual rear cameras, although the main sensor is downgraded to 13-megapixel and the secondary is now just 2-megapixel.

The rest remains the same with all the AI features, Face Beauty, bokeh effect for portrait photography, and Funtouch OS 4.0 based on Android 8.1 Oreo.

The Y85 is now available in Vivo authorized stores in the Philippines for PhP 13,999 in Ruby Red and black. It’s priced the same as the OPPO F7 Youth which is also a toned-down version of OPPO’s main offering, the F7.

SEE ALSO: Vivo V9 Hands-on: A handsome-looking midrange phone

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Essential cancels Essential Phone 2, puts company up for sale

Another casualty for Android supremacy

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During its announcement last year, the Essential Phone quickly positioned itself as the mythical iPhone killer. Sadly, the hyped-up smartphone spent its considerable amount of resources just for a drop of blood. Now, all its past efforts are causing the company to go under.

Despite all the hype surrounding it, the Essential Phone debuted to tepid applause. While the phone did have its fair share of loyal fans, several complaints criticized its software issues and lackluster cameras. Additionally, it performed terribly in sales, losing handily to its rivals.

Regardless, Essential promised a successor. Unfortunately, they spoke too soon. The company has reportedly canceled all development on the Essential Phone 2.

According to reports, Essential is now focusing its efforts on an undisclosed home tech product. In a recent tweet, Essential founder Andy Rubin subtly confirmed that the company has dropped the sequel and started development on other products in its stead.

To add to the confusion, Essential has also enlisted the help of the Credit Suisse Group. Supposedly, the hiring aims to find potential buyers for the company. Essential’s offers reportedly include selling the whole company, its entire library of patents (which houses the Essential Phone), and the company’s engineering team.

Currently, Essential has not finalized any deals yet. However, the mere existence of talks indicates that the company is already flirting with the idea of throwing in the towel.

At the very least, Essential’s statements confirm that we are not getting an Essential Phone 2 from the company. However, if talks go as planned, Essential might still find its way back into the phone business in the future, particularly under a new manufacturer.

As of now, the Essential Phone 2 remains a dream for its steadfast fan base. Pretty soon, the company might fall as another defeated combatant in the fight against Apple’s supremacy.

SEE ALSO: Essential Phone gets official Android 8.1 Oreo update

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