Author Archives: Ewdison Then

Ewdison Then is the founder of GiXiO, the publisher of SlashGear - An open-source advocate, Linux geek, high-performance computing engineer, and consumer technology journalist based in Japan. He was heavily involved in open source projects such as Fedora Linux, Blue Linux, and FoxServ WAMP stacks. Twitter / LinkedIn / Email

Fairphone 3 upgrades and parts still available after end of sale

Fairphone 3 upgrades and parts still available after end of sale

The modular phone dream stood on two legs, one that promised easy repairability, and another that offered potential upgradability. Unfortunately, that dream nearly died completely after the cancelation of the Project Ara phone and the failure of the LG G5. Only the Fairphone has survived to become the world's most repairable and sustainable phone, and it is once again proving its worth. The company has announced that one of its current phones has reached its end of sale, but, unlike most smartphones, it doesn't mean that the Fairphone 3 has reached its end of life.

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Samsung ISOCELL HP1 brings a 200MP sensor to smartphones

Samsung ISOCELL HP1 brings a 200MP sensor to smartphones

Although higher pixel counts don't always translate to higher quality images, it sometimes never hurts to have more if you can afford it, especially since it looks good in marketing. For years now, Samsung has been pushing the envelope when it comes to the number of pixels a single mobile image sensor can hold, and it has just announced a new milestone with the 200MP ISOCELL HP1. Samsung also introduces the new ISOCELL GN5 promises upgraded autofocus with a more "normal" 50MP sensor.

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Snapdragon Wear 5100 CPU might be a modest upgrade after all

Snapdragon Wear 5100 CPU might be a modest upgrade after all

The launch of the Galaxy Watch 4 also brought with it a new Exynos chip designed for wearable devices. Built on a 5nm process, the Exynos W920 promises to be the most powerful and most energy-efficient platform for smartwatches today, though it is only available for Samsung smartwatches anyway. Qualcomm is expected to fire back soon with a Snapdragon Wear 5100, but, based on new yet unofficial information, it could end up being a bit of a dud in at least one aspect.

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Apple will let apps redirect sign-ups to external websites

Apple will let apps redirect sign-ups to external websites

Apple and Google are facing intense scrutiny and even lawsuits over the handling of their respective app stores. Just recently, a new law in South Korea will force the two giants to open their stores to other payment systems. Potentially facing a similar loss in Japan, Apple has now announced that it will be updating its App Store policy that will allow developers to provide in-app links to sign up and manage accounts outside the app, but only for a specific class of apps.

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Qualcomm Snapdragon Sound adds aptX Lossless Bluetooth audio support

Qualcomm Snapdragon Sound adds aptX Lossless Bluetooth audio support

Bluetooth audio has been around for years, but it has seen a significant increase in use thanks to Apple's initiative to remove headphone jacks in smartphones. Unfortunately, Bluetooth headphones, especially tiny earbuds, still lack some of the quality audio performance that wired headsets deliver. Apple has been working on fixing that situation with support for lossless audio in Apple Music, and now Qualcomm is doing the same for the general population with the new aptX Lossless feature coming soon to Snapdragon Sound certified smartphones and audio accessories.

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Apple Watch Series 7 delay blamed on production quality issues

Apple Watch Series 7 delay blamed on production quality issues

The next Apple Watch is shaping up nicely, at least as far as rumors and leaks go. Despite the reported absence of completely new health sensors, the Apple Watch Series 7 will be sporting some of the biggest design changes the company has ever made to its smartwatch line. Unfortunately, those changes might also be blamed for its delay, as various sources claim that Apple and its manufacturing partners have hit a snag in production that could force the company to push back the Apple Watch 7's launch quite a bit.

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Strava Wear OS 3 app could be the start of a worrying trend

Strava Wear OS 3 app could be the start of a worrying trend

There has been renewed vigor in the Wear OS ecosystem party thanks to the announcement of the big Wear OS upgrade soon and partly due to the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, the first and so far only to use Wear OS 3. That excitement, however, was quickly doused by the cold reality that not all smartwatches will be updated to Wear OS 3, though, to some extent, that wasn't totally unexpected, even if completely disappointing. What is unexpected and puzzling, however, is the software support between Wear OS versions, as exemplified not just by Google but also by Strava.

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Galaxy S21 FE reportedly delayed again, manual shows no microSD slot

Galaxy S21 FE reportedly delayed again, manual shows no microSD slot

With the Galaxy Z foldables having just launched and the Galaxy S22 still a few months away, Samsung Galaxy fans are left with no other high-end option this year except the Galaxy S21 series. Some, however, might have been looking forward to 2021's Fan Edition, but they might have to do a bit more waiting. According to sources, the Galaxy S21 FE might have been delayed again, and when it does come, it might be missing a feature that could leave some hopeful buyers a bit disappointed.

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Vivo X70 Pro camera details and Pro+ “mirror” leak out

Vivo X70 Pro camera details and Pro+ “mirror” leak out

Vivo is gearing up to flex its mobile photography muscles in just a few days, barely a year after it launched the Vivo X60 series. In contrast to the last two X flagships, however, it seems that the Vivo X70 will be a bit more low-key, preferring internal upgrades over spectacular features. The Vivo X70 Pro+, however, could be the exception, relying on what some might see more as an unnecessary gimmick than a feature to die for.

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WhatsApp’s controversial new Terms of Service might be optional

WhatsApp’s controversial new Terms of Service might be optional

Although it wasn't completely unexpected, it still scandalized many when WhatsApp announced a policy changed that unsurprisingly favored handing some information over to its parent company, Facebook. After trying to clarify its position, the messaging platform opted to delay its implementation but eventually pushed a Terms of Service that limited features unless you accepted them. These events resulted in a number of migrations to other chat services, and WhatsApp is now reportedly making amends by making those terms optional except in one specific case.

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Huawei EMUI 12 brings a taste of HarmonyOS 2.0 to Android phones

Huawei EMUI 12 brings a taste of HarmonyOS 2.0 to Android phones

Despite and in spite of all the setbacks, Huawei continues to make smartphones and push its new Google-less mobile ecosystem to its customers. Sadly, that ecosystem, led by its homegrown HarmonyOS 2.0 for smartphones, is so far limited to dozens of devices in China only. That's just a small fraction of the number of phones it already has in the wild. Its stop-gap solution is to bring a glimpse of HarmonyOS to those smartphones through a new EMUI 12 upgrade that is coming soon.

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Vivo X70 to come with V1 custom image processor

Vivo X70 to come with V1 custom image processor

Photography is still a critical element in smartphones today, but the game has shifted away from simply bigger sensors or megapixel counts. More and more smartphone makers are developing new silicon in-house to meet their image quality requirements when off-the-shelf image signal processors or ISPs just aren't enough. Vivo is the latest to jump on that trend, with a new V1 image processor that's will debut in the Vivo X70 series coming soon.

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