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Xiaomi will launch a new non-Xiaomi phone soon

What a weird name, though.

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Throughout its entire existence, Xiaomi has subsisted on two simple, easy-to-remember families — the Mi and the Redmi lineups. To the company’s credit, Xiaomi’s simplicity has contributed to its success for being easily distinguishable.

However, after all this time, Xiaomi is seemingly on the cusp of birthing a new member of its product lineup. Or even, a new brand.

Spotted on America’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Xiaomi has successfully trademarked and tested a phone labeled under a new brand called the POCOPHONE. Also, the phone has made an appearance on Taiwan’s NCC. It also rumored to launch in Europe.

According to the FCC, the phone has complied with “applicable test standards,” indicating that it’s technically ready for launch.

Additionally, diagrams and specifications reveal that the phone belongs around the flagship segment. Based on the diagram below, the phone’s 163mm screen translates into a 6.4-inch display. This can also result in an 18:9 display, depending on how much bezels the phone has.

Inside the machine, the phone will tout 6GB of RAM and 64GB/128GB of internal storage. Accordingly, this suggests that the phone will also come with the industry-leading Snapdragon 845 chipset. Currently, Xiaomi’s flagship, the Mi 8, already rocks this chip.

Finally, the diagrams also depict a phone with dual cameras tacked onto its rear panel.

While not unheard of, Xiaomi’s split branding offers a unique opportunity for the Chinese phone maker. Recently, Chinese brands have earned the ire of the US government, citing cybersecurity issues. Already, Huawei and ZTE are feeling the full brunt of tense Sino-US relations. This bodes ill for Xiaomi’s eventual plans to expand to the US.

Establishing a separate brand might alleviate some of the anti-Chinese pressure. Notably, Huawei’s Honor brand is surviving happily amid all the political mire, despite openly operating under Huawei.

Regardless, the POCOPHONE brand creates a new entrant into an already crowded smartphone industry. Whether it survives or not, only time will tell.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi’s IPO performs poorly in stock market on first day [Update: It’s doing better now]

Enterprise

You might need to pay Google for Android soon

Because of EU’s US$ 5 billion fine

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Will we soon have to pay to use Android? According to Google, that dystopic possibility might eventually become our reality.

Recently, the Silicon Valley giant butted heads with the European Commission over an anti-competition rap. According to the commission, Google is purposely preventing competitors from getting a leg up, creating a dangerous oligopoly on the mobile OS market.

Google currently requires phone makers to bundle eleven apps with their phones, if they want to use Android. The most concerning ones are Google’s Search and Chrome. The company draws much of its profits from their mobile ad revenue.

After weeks of deliberation, the EU has hammered down a guilty verdict on the accused. As a result, Google will pay a whopping US$ 5 billion in fines. On its own, the fine is just spare change for the multi-billion-dollar company.

However, the sanction also requires Google to unbundle the concerned apps from Android. Also, the EU requires Google to hand over an open-source version of their software to phone makers. As a result, Google’s entire revenue stream threatens to collapse. This also enables competitors to create their own versions of Android.

In response to this, Google CEO Sundar Pichai posted a statement on the company’s blog. Despite using a warm, imploratory tone, Pichai’s statement underscores a threat directed towards Google’s consumers and partners.

According to the post, Android’s ubiquity speaks for itself. Android powers 1,300 brands, 24,000 devices, and more than 1 million apps. Seemingly, the EU sanctions will undercut the millions of consumers that enjoy Android on a free basis.

Pichai concludes by introducing the possibility that Android might become a pay-to-play system.

“If phone makers… couldn’t include our apps… it would upset the balance of the Android ecosystem. So far, the Android business model has meant that we haven’t had to charge phone makers for our technology, or depend on a tightly controlled distribution model,” says Pichai.

If Google is issuing a threat, phone makers will initially feel the brunt of renewed pricing schemes. However, consumers will ultimately shoulder the responsibility of paying for their own mobile operating systems.

SEE ALSO: Android Oreo now on more devices but Nougat remains the most popular

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Nokia 6.1 Plus unveiled as the international version of the Nokia X6

The first notched phone of Nokia goes global

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Nokia has started to roll out their new smartphones to the global market. After its initial launch, the Nokia X6 is now available outside of China. Under the name Nokia 6.1 Plus, the brand’s first notched phone is now on its way to Hong Kong.

The Nokia 6.1 Plus boasts the exact same specifications as the Nokia X6’s. The phone is still powered by a Snapdragon 636 processor with 4GB of memory and 64GB of expandable storage. Unlike the Nokia X6 though, the Nokia 6.1 Plus is only available in one memory/storage configuration.

Nokia 6.1 Plus in white and blue

The display of the phone measures 5.8 inches and has a Full HD+ resolution with a 19:9 aspect ratio. As you can see, the phone has a notch which could be a deal breaker for some, but it’s actually pretty popular among phone manufacturers.

A respectable 3060mAh battery is sealed inside the glass and metal body of the device. The battery also supports Quick Charge 3.0 through the reversible USB-C port.

What makes the 6.1 Plus different from the X6 is its Android One software. This means the phone will receive timely updates with no bloatware, just like the rest of the Android-powered Nokia phones currently in the market. Out of the box, the phone will have Android 8.1 Oreo.

In Hong Kong, the phone will be available starting July 24 for HK$ 2,288 or roughly US$ 290.

SEE ALSO: Nokia X5 (Nokia 5.1 Plus) is a more affordable X6, retains notch

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Samsung is finally updating the Galaxy J series to Android Oreo

At least some of them

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Samsung is not known to push out the latest Android version available, but they do make an effort to update their latest devices as much as possible. These past few months, the company has been busy updating their flagship and midrange phones. But what about the cheaper ones?

Today, Samsung passed a total of 11 models from the Galaxy J series through the Wi-Fi Alliance group. All of these phones are currently in the market and are now Wi-Fi certified with the latest Android 8.0 or 8.1 Oreo software.

Unfortunately, not all the Galaxy J phones are on the list but it’s a start. Here are the specific models that’ll soon get the Android Oreo update:

  • Galaxy J3 2017 (SM-J330FN, SM-J330F, SM-J330F/DS)
  • Galaxy J3 Pro (SM-J330G, SM-J330G/DS)
  • Galaxy J7 Neo (SM-J701MT/SS, SM-J701M/DS, SM-J701MT, SM-J701M)
  • Galaxy J7 Nxt / Galaxy J7 Core (SM-J701F, SM-J701F/DS)

Since the update is already been certified by Wi-Fi Alliance, it’ll be out in the coming weeks or maybe months, depending on Samsung’s timetable.

SEE ALSO: Samsung, LG promise to launch better midrange phones this year

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