Author Archives: JC Torres

An open source contributor and holds doubly lethal degrees in Philosophy and Computer Science. When not working, he spends his time lurking and helping out in KDE Project.

Huawei can no longer make phones with SD card slots

Huawei can no longer make phones with SD card slots

Huawei just can't catch a break, which isn't really a surprise considering the pressure it's under. Of course, companies in the US are also under the same pressure to cut ties with the Chinese company. The latest to unceremoniously give Huawei the boot, at least from an outsider's perspective, is the SD Association which practically means Huawei is no longer allowed to make products, including smartphones, with SD or microSD card slots.

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2019 iPhone 11 models confirmed in Eurasian database sighting

2019 iPhone 11 models confirmed in Eurasian database sighting

The recent drama surrounding Huawei and the ban imposed by the US government has caused some chaos in the Android world. There will probably be no shortage of smartphone users from the other camp that are feeling relieved that they are far removed from all that. Of course, it's business as usual in Apple land and even Huawei headlines won't stop this year's "iPhone 11" generation from also making waves. Even if it's just unbranded model numbers found in a regulatory database.

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Honor 20 Pro may not launch outside China, lacks Google certification

Honor 20 Pro may not launch outside China, lacks Google certification

While Huawei and, to some extent, Google would assure the public that it's business as usual for the Chinese maker's Android phones, reality is proving otherwise. Yes, Google has publicly committed to supporting existing Huawei and Honor phones and, yes, the OEM has been granted a 90-day reprieve. That, however, doesn't take into account new phones that haven't been certified yet including, apparently, the Honor 20 Pro, which may mean that the phone is dead on arrival in markets outside of China.

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Huawei US ban threatens to wreak havoc on Android as well

Huawei US ban threatens to wreak havoc on Android as well

It's almost old news by now. The US government, courtesy of an executive order from President Donald Trump, has blacklisted Huawei from buying from or selling to US companies. That has caused Google, Qualcomm, and ARM to withdraw support from the Chinese manufacturer, three companies that have a mutually beneficial relationship with Huawei. It has gotten a temporary and short reprieve but, unless the situation changes, the hammer will fall again. Disregarding political and economic considerations, the effects of this ban won't just cause headaches for Huawei, it could also throw the Android world into disarray.

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Sony sees its smartphones as critical to its entertainment business

Sony sees its smartphones as critical to its entertainment business

HTC, LG, and Sony are three companies from three different countries that have two things in common. All three's mobile businesses have been bleeding for years and none of them are ready to give up the fight just yet. But while HTC and LG seem to just be going through the motions of launching smartphones, Sony has a more specific vision for its mobile devices. And, somewhat ironically, it's not really for the sake of smartphones themselves but for the core of its consumer electronics business: entertainment.

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Atari VCS Classic Joystick blends the old with the new

Atari VCS Classic Joystick blends the old with the new

It's full steam ahead for the PC-based retro revival that is the Atari VCS, presuming there will no longer be any delays that push it back further than its new late 2019 target. But while Atari has talked a lot about what the console itself will be like, it has been curiously silent on the controllers it revealed in its crowdfunding campaign. It's ready to break that silence now that it's nearing production of the Classic Joystick and the Modern Controller and Atari 2600 fans might be in for a treat.

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Mario Kart Tour Android beta gets rolling with lotsa IAPs

Mario Kart Tour Android beta gets rolling with lotsa IAPs

Nintendo has a bit of a dilemma when it comes to its mobile games. After years of denying its profitability, it has finally accepted reality, especially when Fire Emblem Heroes net it half a billion in revenue. That was, however, thanks to microtransactions that it loathed to use initially, as evidenced Super Mario Run. It has also taken a rather strong and almost controversial stance on gaming addiction and expenses and yet it upcoming mobile title, Mario Kart Tour, seems to be loaded with the latter.

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OnePlus 7 Pro owners are divided on camera quality

OnePlus 7 Pro owners are divided on camera quality

Benchmarks are great for starting a discussion as those usually have set rules and guidelines that can make comparisons a bit more consistent and standardized. They aren't, however, great for gauging real-world performance, which can vary wildly depending on unpredictable factors and, sometimes, personal preference. That seems to be the case with the OnePlus 7 Pro which has been given rather high scores on DxOMark, putting it in second place (tied with the Honor 20 Pro). Now that the phone is actually in users' hands, however, some are questioning how the site achieved those figures.

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Honor 20 Pro vs OnePlus 7 Pro: battle of affordable flagships

Honor 20 Pro vs OnePlus 7 Pro: battle of affordable flagships

Honor has just unveiled its 2019 entry into the smartphone race and while the company has been known to put out flagship-level phones with affordable prices, the Honor 20 Pro took things to a new level. It is, so far, the first Honor phone to almost reach the highest score on DxOMark, hinting at its photography chops. Naturally, that has caused it to be compared with the one is sharing that spot with it, the OnePlus 7 Pro. Both make the same promise of a premium-quality Android phone that won't break your bank account. Only one, however, can really claim to be at the top.

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Sony confirms diminished mobile presence in majority of markets

Sony confirms diminished mobile presence in majority of markets

Up until now, we've only heard reports of Sony closing up shops in Southeast Asia and the Middle East to name a few markets. Traditionally, Sony has been pretty quiet about its mobile presence in regional markets and it seemed its secrecy will continue now that the business has been swallowed up by a larger Electronics Products & Solutions business. But while it hasn't exactly named names, a recent corporate strategy presentation confirms which markets Sony's mobile phones have left and what little remains of its focus regions.

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Samsung 5x zoom camera is ready but probably not for Galaxy Note 10

Samsung 5x zoom camera is ready but probably not for Galaxy Note 10

First it was dual cameras. Then it was bokehs, a.k.a. portrait mode. These days, it seems that the battle over smartphone cameras is moving over to higher level of optical zoom that won't force OEMs to bulk up their phones. Huawei has done it and so has OPPO so it's really no surprise that Samsung, and soon even Apple, are already following suit. The bigger question, however, is whether this 5x optical zoom camera module will debut on the Galaxy Note 10 and the chances of that seem to be a bit slim.

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Cleer Ally truly wireless earbuds promise 10 hours of playback

Cleer Ally truly wireless earbuds promise 10 hours of playback

Thanks in part to Apple pushing its AirPods onto the smartphone market, the in-ear Bluetooth earbuds industry has gotten some attention and improvements. From truly wireless designs to touch-sensitive surface, these audio accessories have greatly improved in all but one aspect: battery life. Considering their size and the technology they use, it's not surprising that they could last only a few hours at most. That's where Cleer's new Ally earbuds try to break the mold with 10 hours of playback that could get you through your work day with no problem at all.

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