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Vivo V7+ offers 6-inch display with thin bezels, low price

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As expected, Vivo’s latest smartphone, the V7+, launched today in India. With it comes some of the thinnest bezels we’ve seen on a handset this affordable.

We weren’t too surprised with the announcement; a set of leaks and teasers released in the past week already revealed most of the facts. What we have now are pricing, availability, and the full list of specifications.

Perhaps the most interesting part is the 6-inch display with minimal borders surrounding it. Because of the elongated screen, the screen ratio is a much taller 18:9, which is the same as the LG V30’s. The only catch is the rather low resolution of 1440 x 720 pixels. Phones smaller than this often have higher resolutions of at least 1920 x 1080.

The next best feature is the 24-megapixel front-facing camera. It’s practically tradition for Vivo to pack as many megapixels into the image sensor as possible, and this is no exception. The 16-megapixel rear camera is less extraordinary, but should still handle most picture-taking situations.

Inside, we have an efficient yet not-that-fast Snapdragon 450 processor, but an ample amount of memory and storage at 4GB and 64GB, respectively. There’s a triple-card slot for two SIM cards and one microSD card, but we question the choice of battery capacity, offering only 3225mAh for such a large handset.

The attractive device has a conveniently placed fingerprint scanner at the back and Android 7.1 Nougat baked in — no Android 8.0 Oreo for now. Of course, you can expect Vivo’s FunTouch OS interface to come along with it.

As of the moment, the V7+ is available in only one variant with two colors: matte black and champagne gold. It’s also exclusive to Amazon India for now, retailing for INR 21,990 (US$ 345) and shipping on September 15.

SEE ALSO: Vivo updates its midrange lineup, unveils X9s and X9s Plus

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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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