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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.”

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.”

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

Lifestyle

Netflix is testing engagement by putting ads between episodes

Netflix, no chill

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How would you feel if, after a long day at work, you were relaxing and catching up on a series you’ve been excited to binge, and it gets interrupted by “But first, check out…” followed by a trailer of another show? If you’re miffed at the thought then you should sip your most calming tea, because that’s exactly what Netflix has started to do.

The streaming big shot has confirmed to Ars Technica that this move is a test to see whether or not inserting these ads would help speed up viewers’ discovery of new titles that they’ll like. Right now, these ads only appear for some people globally, but Netflix did not confirm how long this test will last.

The move has garnered some backlash from users encountering the ads, but Netflix has said that, although they are aware of the “chatter on social channels,” their focus is more on the engagement to these ads and that this is what will determine a wider rollout in the future.

If you find yourself faced with these ads though, apparently you can opt out of these tests. That way, you’ll still be able to Netflix, chill, and binge watch the night (and/or day) away.

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Huawei’s Nova 3 to go on open sale starting August 23

More than 50 million units have been shipped globally

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Just last month, Huawei launched the Nova 3 and 3i in India, and since then the duo has been up for purchase via flash sales in India. The company says the two phones have garnered incredible response globally and more than 50 million units have been shipped as of now.

Huawei has announced that the Nova 3i’s next flash sale will be held on August 21. On the other hand, the more powerful Nova 3 will be available via open sales (not flash) starting August 23, 1 PM. Both phones are exclusively sold on Amazon.in, and Prime members can order the Nova 3 from 12 noon itself.

The Nova 3 is priced at INR 34,999 (US$ 500) and competes against the mighty OnePlus 6. The phone has an edge over the OnePlus counterpart thanks to the beautiful glass backing that has nice color gradients. It features Huawei’s latest processor along with added AI capabilities and a GPU Turbo mode for a more refined gaming experience.

The phone comes with a host of offers including zero fee EMI and screen protection insurance. American Express cardholders are eligible for an instant cashback of INR 3,000, while telecom operator Jio is bundling along 100GB of data worth INR 3,300 along with the phone.

The Nova 3i is a midrange phone that features the same premium glass backing along with a slightly weaker processor. Though, it also houses a host of AI-powered features along with the popular GPU Turbo mode.  The phone is priced at INR 20,990 and competes against the Honor Play, Nokia 7 Plus, and the Mi A2.

The Nova 3i too has many offers bundled along, including an instant five percent discount when purchased via HDFC credit and debit cards. Zero-fee EMI options up to nine months are also available.

The two phones are cheaper siblings of the P20 Pro and feature the same high-end design language along with a suite of smart features thanks to EMUI.

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Vivo X23 teased online with small notch, in-display fingerprint reader

It’s Vivo’s turn to have a new phone

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OPPO‘s newest phones, the F9 and R17, now have smaller display notches. This is actually a trend among Chinese phone brands with Vivo aboard the wagon.

The upcoming Vivo X23 has just been teased on the company’s website with some of its key features. The main one is probably the latest fourth-generation under-display fingerprint reader which should be faster and more accurate than the NEX’s. It’s pretty obvious that the X23 will not have a complicated front camera setup ala OPPO Find X or iPhone X.

Image credit: Vivo

The X23’s front will have a teardrop notch and reportedly a 91.2 percent screen-to-body ratio. The dual-camera setup on the back of the X23 will now have a secondary super wide-angle camera rather than just a depth sensor for bokeh.

As for the material on the back, it appears to have a glass panel with a 3D color layer with blue or violet colors.

Vivo didn’t unveil much about the X23 apart from its physical design but since it has an under-display fingerprint reader, it’s safe to assume that its display will be an AMOLED panel.

There are no pricing and availability details yet, but Vivo is set to announce it in the coming days.

Source: Vivo

SEE ALSO: Vivo NEX Review: Worth it?

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