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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

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Ulefone Power 3 Max will have biggest phone battery at 13000mAh

New meaning of ‘Max’ in phone batteries

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Our smartphones nowadays can last the whole day before asking for a recharge. But, what if you have a phone that has four times the capacity of the average battery? If ASUS claims the ZenFone Max Plus to be the “Battery King,” is this new phone from Ulefone a “Battery God”?

The Ulefone Power 3 Max will have the biggest phone battery to date — 13000mAh to be exact! It’s more than twice the capacity of the non-Max variant in the Ulefone Power 3 series with 6080mAh, which is already available on GearBest.

Not much has been disclosed about the Power 3 Max, but we can expect it to be similar to the Power 3 with just a bigger battery. It’s expected to have a Full HD+ 18:9 display, MediaTek Helio P23 processor, quad-camera setup, and the latest Android Oreo software.

You probably haven’t heard of Ulefone because it’s mostly available in China. In the Philippines, a lot of smartphone users actually own a rebranded Ulefone handset from local brands.

So, will the Power 3 Max find its way to other parts of the world? We’ll have to wait and see.

Source: GizmoChina

SEE ALSO: 10 smartphones with huge batteries (2017 Edition)

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Laptops

Acer announces new Chromebook Spin 11 for a cheaper price

Fully compatible with a Wacom pen

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It’s a case of déjà vu. A year after the first one, Acer has announced the Chromebook Spin 11 for a second time. This time, it has better parts, a cheaper price, and more consumer-friendly availability.

Previously, the Spin 11 was launched exclusively for the education sector, offering the needed durability and flexibility for a student. The new Spin 11, however, packs more punch for a lower price. The announcements comes only a few weeks removed from Acer’s other announcements at CES 2018.

The new Chromebook Spin 11 (CP311-1H/CP311-1HN) comes in three flavors of processors — Intel Pentium quad-core N4200, quad-core Celeron N3450, or dual-core Celeron N3350. It’s a bit more than the previous model which came only with the N3350.

Acer also offers variability with storage and memory. It is available in either 4GB or 8GB LPDDR4 for RAM. Meanwhile, it offers 32GB or 64GB variants for internal storage.

It also comes with a 11.6-inch IPS display with a 1366 x 768-pixel resolution. Like the previous model, the notebook is fitted with a 360-degree hinge that allows for laptop, tablet, display, and tent modes.

The Spin 11 pushes the emerging trend for USB Type-C charging. While it does reduce variability, it will boast of an uptime that lasts “all day.”

Besides charging, it sports two USB-C 3.1 ports, two USB-A 3.0 ports, and a microSD reader for connectivity. Likewise, Wi-Fi 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.2 round the laptop out for wireless connectivity.

However, the new notebook’s biggest upgrade is its compatibility with a Wacom EMR stylus, which comes packaged with the CP311-1HN model. It doesn’t require a battery and is resistant to trauma. Before the Spin 11, only a handful of hybrid notebooks came with a stylus.

The Acer Chromebook Spin 11 will start shipping out in March. It’ll come with a price tag of US$ 349.

SEE ALSO: Acer’s new Swift 7 is thinner than ever

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Drones

DJI launches new Mavic Air drone

It’s the size of a smartphone!

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DJI is at it again with its consumer quadcopters.

The Chinese company has launched the new Mavic Air and it fits right between the Mavic Pro and the smaller Spark. Think of the Spark’s size but with the folding arms of its predecessor.

DJI says the Mavic Air is lighter by 41 percent compared to its previous model but receives the entire gesture system of the Spark — something that attracts consumers. This means you can make it snap a photo, make it move to a different spot, and call it back to land by simple hand actions.

Using your hand to manipulate the drone has a range limit of almost 6 meters (19 feet). Connect a smartphone and it bumps up the range to 80 meters, but using a dedicated remote will increase that to 4km.

Just like the Mavic Pro, the Mavic Air has a 4K video resolution, 12-megapixel image sensor, and three-axis gimbal. It also has HDR, and low-light shooting to help you achieve better photos in general. DJI also threw in a new software algorithm that lets users stitch together 32-megapixel shots for panoramas and photo spheres.

DJI added 8GB of internal storage to the Mavic Air. There’s also a USB-C port which is a bump up from the Pro’s micro-USB, although battery life saw a downgrade as the new Air has a maximum flight time of 21 minutes. In real-life usage, that means around 16 minutes.

Don’t let it dishearten you, since position tracking, obstacle avoidance, and the ventilation system have all been improved according to DJI.

Finally, and unlike the Pro, it comes in different colors. The new Mavic Air will be available in white, black, or red. Pricing will start at US$ 799 which is a little more expensive than the Spark but more affordable than the Mavic Pro. Pre-orders start immediately and shipping will commence next week.

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