Nokia 3310 Durability Test Sees It Struggle to Handle Scratches, Burns

The original Nokia 3310 was well known for its durability and if you have been following Internet memes over the past decade, you would know this by now. However, as it turns out, the new Nokia 3310 doesn’t seem to match up to its competition in terms of scratch resistance as well as build quality thanks to the use of plastic screen and body on the handset.

In a test video posted by channel named VoloKin Project on YouTube, the Nokia 3310 (2017) offered little resistance against scratches when the tester tried to use a level 5 knife, which doesn’t scratch modern flagships including Samsung Galaxy S8. Due to the presence of plastic screen and body, the new feature phone from Nokia fell victim to permanent scratches even with keys that are likely to be placed in users’ pocket often times.

Not only did the camera lens scratch easily with the knife used in test but the entire camera panel popped out fairly easily on applying some pressure with the knife on the sides, as can be seen in the video embedded above. While it was expected due to presence of plastic screen, the phone’s front got burned rather easily in the burn test and produced irreversible marks at the front of display.

Nokia 3310 Durability Test Sees It Struggle to Handle Scratches, BurnsThe only solace that the new Nokia 3310 got from entire routine was from the bend test. While the tester seemingly applied all the force at his disposal, he couldn’t bend the phone with his bare hands. While the phone’s body popped out a little in the bend test, it was easily fixed by merely pressing the phone from both ends at once.

Although the durability offered by the original Nokia 3310 is a stuff of legends, it seems like the smartphones are now moving in the right direction with the use of glass and metal instead of plastic to enhance the build quality. Nobody likes their phone all scratched up and if this is a concern for you, you might want to think twice before buying the revamped Nokia 3310 despite it costing just Rs. 3310 in India.

To recall, the Nokia 3310 (2017) was launched in India last month. If you want to get in-depth information about its performance, you might want to check out our review of the feature phone.

iPhone 8’s Anticipated In-Screen Fingerprint Sensor Delaying Shipments: Report

While a recent report suggested that Samsung Galaxy Note 8 will not feature a fingerprint scanner embedded in the display, it seems like Apple’s implementation of the feature has also hit a roadblock. If the latest reports are to be believed, iPhone 8 production may have been delayed as the Cupertino-based company has still not finalised the design for the fingerprint scanner embedded in the display.

Investment firm Cowen & Co. has claimed that Apple is yet to finalise plans for the implementation of Touch ID on iPhone 8, as per a memo received by CNET. Citing analysts, the report says that currently, Apple is considering three options for the fingerprint sensor on the upcoming iPhone 8.

As the first option, the company is considering “thinning the cover glass for the fingerprint area (cover glass cutout).” The second option under consideration would be to create a pin hole through the glass for optical or ultrasonic fingerprint sensing. The final option would be to replace the the AuthenTec Touch ID with a ‘film’ fingerprint sensor that is integrated with the display, as per the report.

iPhone 8's Anticipated In-Screen Fingerprint Sensor Delaying Shipments: ReportAs the iPhone-maker still seems to be deliberating upon these options, the investment firm has predicted that the iPhone 8 shipments will be delayed by a month of two and will eventually go on sale in the fourth quarter this year. In order to make up for this expected delay, Cowen says that Apple can possibly stock as many as 90 million iPhone units in fourth quarter of 2017.

Notably, all the options mentioned above suggest that the fingerprint scanner will be present at the front of the display and not at the back, as has been suggested by some earlier rumours.

Interestingly, the same report that suggested Galaxy Note 8 will not be getting an in-screen fingerprint sensor due to security issues also suggested that Apple has succeeded in the implementation of the feature on iPhone 8. While the report mentioned that the company faced its fair share of problems with the design, it said that the Cupertino-based tech giant finally succeeded in introducing it.

Samsung Galaxy J7 Max to Go on Sale in India Today

Samsung Galaxy J7 Max will go on sale in India on Tuesday, after being unveiled last week. To recall, the Samsung Galaxy J7 Max price in India is Rs. 17,900, and it will be available to buy via offline retail stores as well as the Samsung India site. It will be available in Black and Gold colour variants.

One of the highlight features of the Samsung Galaxy J7 Max is the inclusion of Samsung Pay, marking the first time the mobile payments service is offered in a mid-range smartphone from the South Korean company. Samsung has included Samsung Pay Mini, a pared down version of the original service.

Samsung Pay Mini is meant for phones that do not have an inbuilt NFC chip, and doesn’t work with regular swiping machines for ‘tap and pay’ offline payments, but instead just supports mobile wallets and UPI for online payments.

Samsung Galaxy J7 Max to Go on Sale in India TodayThe Samsung Galaxy J7 Max runs on Android 7.0 Nougat and sports a 5.7-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) display. It is powered by a MediaTek Helio P20 octa-core processor paired with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. The storage is further expandable via a microSD card slot as well.

As for optics, the Samsung Galaxy J7 Max packs a 13-megapixel rear and front sensors with f/1.7 aperture and f/1.9 aperture respectively, and flash support on both ends. There’s also a smart glow mode around the rear camera that gives you alerts for notifications when they arrive. The Samsung Galaxy J7 Max packs a 3300mAh battery, and connectivity options include LTE, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth support. The smartphone is only 8.1mm thick.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Launch Said to Be Set for Late-August

Tech giant Samsung Electronics plans to hold a launch event in New York City for its next Galaxy Note smartphone in the second half of August, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.

The person, who was not authorised to speak publicly on the matter and so declined to be identified, said the Galaxy Note 8 will sport a curved screen that is marginally larger than the 6.2-inch version of the Galaxy S8 smartphone and feature two rear cameras. The Galaxy Note 7 was equipped with a 5.7-inch curved screen and one rear camera.

The person did not elaborate further on the phone including pricing. A Samsung Electronics spokesman declined to comment.

Samsung is intent on continuing the premium Note series despite the costly collapse of the Galaxy Note 7, which it was forced to scrap roughly two months from launch in October due to fire-prone batteries. The incident, one of the biggest product safety failures in tech history, cost the firm KRW 6.1 trillion ($5.4 billion or roughly Rs. 34,803 crores) in operating profit and hurt its credibility.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Launch Said to Be Set for Late-AugustThe firm disclosed its preliminary findings in January that different battery problems from two suppliers caused the fires, which was corroborated by two other independent probes. The firm implemented several steps including a new set of battery safety checks to avoid repeat incidents, which analysts said is helping it win back consumer trust.

Strong initial response for the Galaxy S8 smartphones that began selling in April indicate the firm is recovering quickly, with some analysts forecasting the device to set Samsung’s internal sales records and push the firm towards what is widely expected to be its best-ever profit for April-June. There have been no battery fire incidents reported for the S8.

Counterpoint Research estimates Samsung regained its spot as the top global smartphone maker in the first quarter after ceding the spot to arch rival Apple in the previous quarter. Apple is widely expected to unveil its next iPhones by October.

iPhone 8 Launch Has Firms Scrambling to Lock Up Memory Supply

Global electronics makers are scrambling to stock up on memory chips to keep production lines running as Apple’s new iPhone 8 launch later this year threatens to worsen a global squeeze on supply.

While heavyweights such as Apple and Samsung Electronics – which is also the world’s top memory chip maker – will not be seriously hit, industry sources and analysts say some electronics makers are paying a premium to lock into longer-term contracts.

Others are placing orders earlier than before to ensure their perilously low inventories do no dry up completely.

“After the supply shortages emerged we brought forward our procurement decisions … to ensure a stable supply,” smartphone and personal computer maker LG Electronics said in a statement, adding it had pushed up quarterly purchase decisions by about a month.

Chip manufacturing technologies are growing increasingly complex, raising investment costs yet providing less output growth as some suppliers struggle to improve yields. This has caused some chip prices to double or triple from a year earlier.

Some analysts say device makers could be forced to cut down on the amount of DRAM chips, which help devices perform multiple tasks at once, or NAND chips that are used for long-term data storage, on new products if the cannot get enough chips.

A chip supplier source told Reuters a handful of clients have moved to 6-month supply agreements, accepting higher prices than the customary quarterly or monthly deals, to make sure they get enough memory chips for their products.

“The problem will be more acute for the NAND market, where the iPhone remains a critical source of demand given the huge sales volumes and recent moves to increase storage capacity on the device,” said the source, who declined to be identified as he was not authorised to speak publicly on the matter.

iPhone 8 Launch Has Firms Scrambling to Lock Up Memory SupplyInventory squeeze
Signs of stress have already emerged: Huawei Technologies was criticised by consumers after it was discovered the Chinese firm used a mix of less advanced and powerful chips in its flagship P10 model that led to significant variations in performance.

Huawei did not respond to requests for comment on its memory procurement plans.

About 18 percent of the global annual supply of NAND chips is bought by Apple, analysts say. In recent years, electronics makers have typically built up inventory during the first half to avoid being squeezed by Apple, which generally unveils its latest iPhone model in September.

But the shortage of chips in the first half of the year has left many scrambling.

Should the US giant opt to push out more iPhones than usual or further increase the portion of high-storage models, that could further squeeze out other companies. Some analysts estimate Apple could ship as many as 100 million new iPhone 8s this year, compared with the 82.3 million iPhone 7s that Cowen & Co. estimates for 2016.

“For the iPhone 8 launch there have been specific references to this by customers and distributors as a reason for longer delivery times and shortages,” said Tobey Gonnerman, executive vice president at US-based component distributor Fusion Worldwide.

“Buying buffer stock and holding product in hubs to protect against anticipated delivery interruptions has certainly become more common in recent months.”

Apple declined to comment on its memory chip purchasing plans.

No relief in sight
Chipmakers have been allocating more capital in recent years to boost production of NAND chips, where the shortage has been acute due to strong demand for high-end data storage products. Samsung Electronics will start NAND production at a $14 billion South Korea plant in the second half, while SK Hynix will start making its new high-end NAND products in coming months.

But analysts say meaningful new supply is unlikely to materialize until 2018.

SK Hynix told Reuters in a statement it has been meeting delivery dates but acknowledged supply conditions were tight, noting its inventory levels were at an all-time low and unlikely to increase in the near-term given continued demand.

Samsung declined to comment on chip procurement for its electronic devices or inventory levels for its memory business.

Smartphone makers in China are also locked in an arms race to provide the most memory, which could further exacerbate the squeeze as they seek to counter the iPhone.

Some investors and analysts have voiced concerns about potential “de-speccing,” where product makers cut back on memory to cope with the shortages or margin pressures. IHS analyst Walter Coon said some firms were starting to prepare to offer products with lower memory content if market conditions remain tight.

But analysts also say manufacturers will be loath to cut back on memory as such a move would be deeply unpopular, saying the firms are more likely to just not upgrade memory on new models.

Samsung Galaxy C10 Photo Leak Tips New Dual Camera Setup Design

Earlier this month, a leaked render indicated that the rumoured Samsung Galaxy C10 might beat the Galaxy Note 8 to become the first smartphone from the company to feature a dual camera setup. It seems that this might indeed be the case as another leaked render of the upcoming Samsung smartphone suggests that the phone will feature two camera sensors at the back.

The newly leaked Samsung Galaxy C10 renders, obtained by OnLeaks and PriceBaba, interestingly show a different camera setup design than the one shown in previous renders. As per the new renders, the LED flash will be situated on the side of the dual cameras while the earlier renders suggested that LED flash is situated right between the two cameras.

Samsung Galaxy C10 Photo Leak Tips New Dual Camera Setup DesignNotably, the antenna lines and rest of the Samsung Galaxy C10’s design are almost similar in both earlier and newly leaked images. While the previous render only showed a certain portion of the smartphone, new renders show the Galaxy C10 in its full glory from front as well as back. The smartphone can also be seen sporting a USB Type-C port as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack right beneath the oval-shaped home button at the front. Notably, there is a button right beneath the volume rocker, which has been speculated to be for Bixby digital assistant.

Power button seems to be located at its usual position on the right hand side of the smartphone in the freshly leaked renders. Apart from the leaked renders, a 360-degree render video of the smartphone has also been leaked and shows the upcoming Samsung Galaxy C10 from all sides.

The Samsung Galaxy C10 is expected to feature a 5.5-inch display and in terms of dimensions, the phone is expected to measure 152.5×74.8×7.68mm, as per the PriceBaba report.

Samsung Galaxy S8+ 6GB RAM, 128GB Storage Variant Goes on Sale in India

After launching it last week, Samsung on Friday has made the Samsung Galaxy S8+ (Review) variant with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage available to buy in India. You can purchase it via Flipkart and the Samsung Shop. The Samsung Galaxy S8+ 6GB RAM, 128GB storage variant price in India is Rs. 74,900.

 As an introductory offer, the company says, all customers will be eligible for a free bundled wireless charger (worth Rs. 4,499)  with the smartphone. The new variant will only be available in the Midnight Black colour variant. On the Samsung Shop, the company is offering a Rs. 2,500 cash back to ICICI Bank credit card users, while there is also an exchange offer providing up to Rs. 15,000 discount. On Flipkart, it comes with a Reliance Jio double data offer providing 28GB+28GB at Rs. 309, as well as ICICI credit card cash back.

To recall, Samsung launched the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ back in April in India, featuring 4GB RAM and 64GB of inbuilt storage. The Samsung Galaxy S8 is priced at Rs. 57,900 (MOP), while the regular Galaxy S8+ variant is priced at Rs. 64,900 (MOP), giving the new variant a premium of Rs. 10,000. It also forgoes the Coral Blue and Maple Gold colour options the regular version is available in.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ India variants are powered by the Samsung Exynos 8895 SoC, and are almost identical smartphones. The primary differences are battery capacity, dimensions, and screen size of the Infinity Display, which is a dual-edge curved display with an 18.5:9 aspect ratio, complete with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection. The Galaxy S8 sports a 5.8-inch QHD+ (1440×2960 pixels) Super AMOLED display, while the Galaxy S8+ sports a 6.2-inch display with the same resolution and display technology. The displays are certified by the UHD Alliance as Mobile HDR Premium.

The octa-core Samsung Exynos 8895 SoC sports a quad-core module clocked at 2.35GHz, and another quad-core module clocked at 1.9GHz. The Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ smartphones feature 12-megapixel ‘Dual Pixel’ rear cameras with optical image stabilisation and an f/1.7 aperture. On the front, the smartphones bear 8-megapixel front cameras with autofocus, and also bear an f/1.7 aperture. Both smartphones’ inbuilt storage is expandable via microSD card (up to 256GB) in a hybrid dual-SIM configuration.

Samsung Galaxy S8+ 6GB RAM, 128GB Storage Variant Goes on Sale in IndiaConnectivity options on the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ include 4G LTE (Cat. 16), Wi-Fi 802.11ac (2.4GHz, 5GHz), Bluetooth v5.0, USB Type-C, NFC, and GPS. Sensors on board include an accelerometer, ambient light sensor, barometer, gyroscope, heart rate sensor, magnetometer, and proximity sensor. They both support Samsung Pay, with NFC and MST connectivity. The two smartphones come with iris scanner, fingerprint scanner, and facial recognition.

The Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ support wireless charging as well as fast charging. The Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ pack 3000mAh and 3500mAh batteries respectively. The Galaxy S8 measures 148.9×68.1x8mm and weighs 155 grams. The Galaxy S8+ measures 159.5×73.4×8.1mm and weighs 173 grams.

Of course, one of the biggest highlight features of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ is the Bixby virtual assistant. At launch, the virtual assistant will not feature Bixby Voice functionality, but, will offer Bixby Vision, Home, and Reminder features. Another highlight feature is IP68 certification for dust and water resistance.

Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+ Users in the US Can Now Pre-Test Bixby, Launch Later This Month

South Korea’s Samsung Electronics is planning to launch an English version of its artificial intelligence (AI)-based voice assistance programme Bixby later this month.

The English version of Bixby, an advanced voice recognition system that comes on the Galaxy S8 and its variant Galaxy S8+, is likely to be launched in the US and taken to other English-speaking countries, Yonhap news agency reported.

Bixby boasts of “deep-learning” AI technology, allowing it to better communicate with users as it accumulates data.

Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+ Users in the US Can Now Pre-Test Bixby, Launch Later This MonthSamsung reportedly began to recruit volunteers for a pre-test of Bixby this week, according to industry sources.

Anyone who has either of Samsung’s latest phones can apply through Samsung’s US website.

Samsung had planned to launch the English version at the end of May but it was put off due to problems with language testing.

Similar to Apple’s Siri, Bixby is the latest creation that Samsung banks on to reclaim its edge as the world’s top smartphone maker after it suffered a blow to its sales and reputation due to the unsuccessful Galaxy Note 7 that had battery problems.

Samsung Galaxy J3 (2017), J5 (2017), J7 (2017) With Android 7.0 Nougat, 4G VoLTE Launched

After multiple leaks, Samsung has finally announced the Galaxy J5 and Galaxy J7 smartphones in its Galaxy ‘J’ series. The big highlight is its metal design, fingerprint sensor, VoLTE support, and the fact that the smartphones run on Android 7.0 Nougat. The smartphones have launched quietly in Europe and are priced at EUR 279 (roughly Rs. 19,600) and EUR 339 (roughly Rs. 24,600) respectively.

Alongside, Samsung has also confirmed that the Galaxy J3 (2017) will be made available in Europe as well. The smartphone the same name was launched in May in the US by AT&T, but it was a different variant. In Europe it will be priced at EUR 219 (roughly Rs. 15,800). There are several differences between the AT&T variant, and the one that has been launched in Europe. These changes include 2GB RAM, a 13-megapixel rear camera, a 5-megapixel front camera, and a slightly smaller 2400mAh battery. The dimensions are at 143.2×70.3×8.2mm. The Samsung Galaxy J3 (2017) will be made available sometime in August in Europe.

The Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) and Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017) will be made available in Black and Gold colour variants. The J5 will be available by the end of June while the J7 will arrive sometime in July. Design wise, the smartphones corroborate with past leaks. The back sports a new curved antenna design, and a vertical camera capsule at the top. The fingerprint scanner is housed underneath the Home Button situated right below the display. The navigation buttons are capacitive in nature and the power button and volume keys are situated on the left and right edge respectively.

Coming to the specifications, the Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) runs on Android 7.0 Nougat and supports a dual-SIM slot. It features a 5.2-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) Super AMOLED display and is powered by the 1.6GHz Exynos 7870 octa-core processor with Mali T830 GPU and 2GB of RAM. Internal storage offered is at 16GB that is further expandable via a microSD card slot (up to 256GB).

As for optics, the Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) sports a 13-megapixel rear and front camera with LED flash on both sides. The rear sensor offers f/1.7 aperture while the front sensor offers f/1.9 aperture. The smartphone packs a 3000mAh battery and connectivity options include 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1, Micro USB port, and GPS. Dimensions of the smartphone are at 146.3×71.3×7.9mm.

j7 main Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017)

The larger Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017) boasts of a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) display, a USB Type-C port, 3GB of RAM, and IP54 rated splash resistance. The battery also increases to 3600mAh. All the other specifications remain the same. The Europe launch of the three smartphones was first reported by AndroidWorld.

Samsung Pay Mini Launched in India: How’s It Different From Samsung Pay?

Alongside the launch of the Samsung Galaxy J7 Max and Galaxy J7 Pro, Samsung also launched a new payment solution called Samsung Pay Mini in India. Essentially, ‘Samsung Pay Mini’ looks to enable digital payments on affordable devices, and for now, it has been launched on select Samsung devices.

Samsung Pay Mini comes with UPI and mobile wallet integration, and it does not support offline tap-and-pay using credit and debit cards like the Samsung Pay main app. Samsung Pay was launched in India in March this year, and it supports both NFC and MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission) technologies that allow a user to send a magnetic signal from smartphone to the payment terminal’s card reader in shops, restaurants, and other point-of-sale (PoS) terminals.

Samsung Pay vs Samsung Pay Mini

This way, Samsung Pay eliminates the need to carry debit and credit cards, allowing users to make contactless payments across various retail outlets using specific smartphones. You just need to open Samsung Pay app, select the card, touch the device to the metal strip of the PoS machine, authenticate with fingerprint and the payment is made.

Samsung Pay also comes with Paytm integration, and recently even added UPI support, to enable multiple types of digital payments in just one app.

The list of devices compatible with Samsung Pay mobile payment solution includes Samsung Galaxy S8, Samsung Galaxy S8+, Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro, Samsung Galaxy Note5, Samsung Galaxy S7, Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+, Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016), and Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016).

Samsung Pay Mini Launched in India: How’s It Different From Samsung Pay?Coming to the newly launched Samsung Pay Mini, it is a stripped-down version of the Samsung Pay service, and the main distinction is that it does not support the easy ‘tap & pay’ method using debit or credit card. It doesn’t work with regular swiping machines for ’tap and pay’ offline payments, but supports mobile wallets and UPI for online payments. However, if a retailer accepts one of the wallets supported by Samsung Pay Mini or bank transfer, you can use it to make purchases offline.

Samsung Pay Mini is made for mid-range phones that don’t come with the hardware requirements of the full-fledged Samsung Pay service. Samsung Pay Mini offers you the ability to make payments to merchants or transfer money to your friends with wallets and bank accounts (UPI) using your device, similar to other digital payment apps on your device – except it doesn’t offer a wallet of its own. You can add bank accounts registered with your phone number using UPI and wallets like Paytm, Mobikwik etc. to Samsung Pay Mini, but you cannot add debit and credit cards for now.

Samsung Pay Mini is compatible with Galaxy J7 Max, Galaxy J7 Prime, and Galaxy J7 (2016), with other Samsung phones to follow ‘soon’.