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Two U.S. carriers to halt all sales, exchanges of Note 7 [UPDATED]

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Samsung can’t put the second half of the year behind it fast enough. And its troubles are yet to subside; quite the contrary, they are worsening.

Two major U.S. carriers — AT&T and T-Mobile — on Sunday said they would halt all sales and exchanges of the troubled Samsung phone following reports of fires caused by new and “safe” Note 7 units.

“Based on recent reports, we’re no longer exchanging new Note 7s at this time, pending further investigation of these reported incidents,” AT&T said in an email sent to The Verge Sunday. “We still encourage customers with a recalled Note 7 to visit an AT&T location to exchange that device for another Samsung smartphone or other smartphone of their choice.”

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T-Mobile head John Legere on Twitter said his company would stop selling and exchanging the Note 7 “out of an abundance of caution for our customers.” The carrier encourages subscribers to exchange their Note 7s with another device on T-Mobile and is giving a $25 credit on their bill.

U.S regulators are currently investigating the replacement Note 7 handset that caught fire on a Southwest Airlines flight on October 5. The plane was evacuated prior to take-off and no injuries were reported. At least four other incidents of replacement Note 7s catching fire have been reported in the U.S. alone.

In Minnesota, a young girl said she experienced a “weird, burning sensation” while holding her device; the phone later showed burn marks that were consistent with previous cases of Note 7s that were literally too hot to handle.

A man from Kentucky told local news outlet WKYT he woke up to find his bedroom filled with black smoke from his burnt Note 7. The man went on to say Samsung knew about it and didn’t say anything.

Even more damning, a Samsung representative allegedly sent him an inadvertent text message (likely intended for another company official) which said: “Just now got this. I can try and slow him down if we think it will matter, or we just let him do what he keeps threatening to do and see if he does it.”

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The fourth incident involves a man in Virginia whose replacement Note 7 “burst into flames” on his nightstand on October 9th. The man provided The Verge with copies of his receipts and photographs of his Note 7 box to corroborate his story.

The latest reported incident came from a Texas family who witnessed their device catch fire on a table. It had been replaced at a retail store in September.

Samsung has since issued a statement in which it said it is investigating the fires and working with U.S. authorities — in particular, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) — throughout the investigation. The company promises to share its findings “as soon as possible.” You can read the full statement below.

Samsung understands the concern our carriers and consumers must be feeling after recent reports have raised questions about our newly released replacement Note 7 devices.

We continue to move quickly to investigate the reported case to determine the cause and will share findings as soon as possible.

We remain in close contact with the CPSC throughout this process.

If we conclude a safety issue exists, we will work with the CPSC to take immediate steps to address the situation.

We want to reassure our customers that we take every report seriously and we appreciate their patience as we work diligently through this process.

At this point, it seems almost certain that we’ll hear about another global recall soon, and that the once-promising flagship will be pulled from shelves for good this time.

If the reports are indeed accurate, Samsung should cut its losses and discontinue the Note 7, and focus its efforts on making amends with affected customers. And it has to knock everyone’s socks off with next year’s S8 to even have a chance at winning back public opinion. That phone ought to be capable of doing more than just scanning irises and taking pictures with two rear cameras.

UPDATE, October 10: Verizon also announced today it would stop issuing replacement Note 7 phones to its customers. The company has the most wireless subscribers in the U.S.

UPDATE 2, October 11: The Galaxy Note 7 is done for. Samsung has asked all carriers and retail partners to “stop sales and exchanges” of the phone. Here’s the latest statement from the company.

We are working with relevant regulatory bodies to investigate the recently reported cases involving the Galaxy Note 7. Because consumers’ safety remains our top priority, Samsung will ask all carrier and retail partners globally to stop sales and exchanges of the Galaxy Note 7 while the investigation is taking place.

We remain committed to working diligently with appropriate regulatory authorities to take all necessary steps to resolve the situation. Consumers with either an original Galaxy Note 7 or replacement Galaxy Note 7 device should power down and stop using the device and take advantage of the remedies available.

UPDATE 3, October 12: Samsung said on Tuesday it would permanently cease production and sales of the Galaxy Note 7, The Wall Street Journal reports. To quote the company’s statement:

Taking our customer’s safety as our highest priority, we have decided to halt sales and production of the Galaxy Note 7.

The move effectively ends the phablet’s brief and embattled existence. Analysts said it could cost the company $17 billion in losses and forgone sales.

Source: The Verge, Samsung

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Huawei’s Nova 6 5G apparently has the best selfie camera

Thanks to the dual-camera setup

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Benchmarks are often skewed because they fail to judge real-life experience. However, they do help us understand the nitty-gritty of a gadget and establish results in an empirical manner.

DxOMark has published its camera test results for the Huawei Nova 6 5G, and it turns out this phone tops the selfie charts. Huawei introduced the Nova 6 5G in China today with dual shooters on the front in a punch-hole design, similar to the Honor V30.

The phone achieved a score of 100 while the Galaxy Note 10 5G comes second as it managed to score 99 points. This has officially given it the top spot for selfies amongst its competitors.

The phone sports a 32-megapixel primary selfie camera with f/2.0 aperture. In addition, you’ll also find an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens with an f/2.2 aperture. DxOMark tested phone’s front cameras with over 1,500 test images and more than 2 hours of video footage.

According to the test results, this setup can provide good exposure in pretty much all conditions. It also managed to capture wide dynamic range, and white balance was also spot on.

The tests were carried out in a controlled environment and also in natural settings outdoors. DxOMark maintains that all default settings were used.

All in all, the test proves that the Nova 6 5G has a capable selfie camera setup, as marketed by Huawei as well. For now, the phone is restricted to the Chinese market and we should be seeing a global roll-out in the coming months.

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Motorola One Hyper is a midranger with pop-up cameras

And 45W fast charging!

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Motorola was focused on the affordable segment throughout the year but plans to slowly climb up the ladder. It has unveiled the One Hyper, a midrange phone that brings all the quirky features of 2019 at a pocket-friendly price.

The brand has been exploring the market with its One-series and they’ve launched phones that aim to excel like no other at least in one feature. The One Power had a massive battery while the One Macro housed multiple cameras. With the One Hyper, it’s about being on the extreme edge.

On the front, the phone sports a 6.5-inch Full HD+ LCD display with a screen-to-body ratio of 90 percent. A fingerprint scanner is located on the rear and it’s surrounded by an LED ring.

Powering the phone is a Snapdragon 675 processor with 4GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. It also gets a 3.5mm headphone jack and an SD card slot for expandable storage. Thankfully, it ships with Android 10 pre-installed.

On the rear is a dual-camera setup that consists of a 64-megapixel primary sensor and an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens. The camera app supports a proprietary night mode for low-light pictures along with an AI-enabled portrait mode. For selfies, a 16-megapixel sensor has been incorporated in a moving pop-up module.

Backing these internals is a 4000mAh battery. Interestingly, it gets a new 45W charging system that Motorola calls Hyper Charging. Charging times haven’t been revealed but the brand claims you can get up to 12 hours of battery life by charging the phone for just 10 minutes.

The One Hyper is being sold in the U.S. right now for a price of US$ 400. It’s unclear whether the company will bring it to other markets in the near future.

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2021 iPhones won’t have any holes, report says

Goodbye, Lightning!

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For the past few years, the smartphone market has continually stripped phones of its former essentials. Now, we have smartphones without bezels, notches, or home buttons. After packing every single feature into smartphones, the market is now taking them all out again. In fact, the latest war is now against ports.

According to renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is developing an entirely new iPhone for 2021. The upcoming year’s top models will cut off the Lightning port entirely. The decision will likely usher in a new era of wireless experiences. Fortunately, the removal will start with the company’s top phones, rather than a complete revamp all at once. (The strategy mimics today’s current trend of limiting headphone jacks to lower-tier models.)

This isn’t the first time that Apple planned a removal of I/O ports. Last year, the company also deliberated on entirely wireless iPhones in anticipation of the AirPower, Apple’s planned wireless charger. However, as we know now, the AirPower never worked out, ending up in the dustbin of failed developments. With the AirPower’s cancellation, Apple also cancelled the wireless iPhone.

Of course, three years after the very first reports, wireless technology will likely improve to a more consumer-friendly caliber. Kuo’s latest report is much more believable.

However, when Apple’s wireless iPhone finally comes around, it won’t likely be the first one. Vivo already released a hole-less smartphone prototype earlier this year. By the time of the hole-less iPhone, non-Apple smartphones will likely have the technology as well.

But that’s a race for the future.

SEE ALSO: Apple Philippines Smartphone Price List

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