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Bezel vs Notch: which is the lesser evil?

Bezel vs Notch: which is the lesser evil?

There’s not stopping the notch. Not unless Apple, who can be credited/blamed for it, does as rumored. Even Google seems to be making provisions for a future where the notch will be more than just a thing. Discussing the notch, however, is impossible without discussing the problem it’s supposed to solve: bezels. But are bezels really the bane of smartphone existence that OEMs seem to paint them to be? Or are we becoming too obsessed with pushing them out that we have resorted to tricks like notches?

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Undercutting Tesla, the Jaguar I-PACE takes the EV war mainstream

Undercutting Tesla, the Jaguar I-PACE takes the EV war mainstream

Tesla will need to share the premium EV limelight, a message that has chosen the 2019 Jaguar I-PACE to make its zero-emission arrival on. The new electric SUV not only undercuts the Model X and Model S it does so significantly, coming in $10k cheaper than Elon Musk’s most affordable SUV. For would-be electric car enthusiasts, it’s a sign that the tipping point we’ve long been waiting for is finally near.

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Google Assistant, Alexa, Siri, Bixby, Cortana feature showdown

Google Assistant, Alexa, Siri, Bixby, Cortana feature showdown

We are well in the age of AI. No not the genocidal kind of dystopian science fiction. Fortunately, the AI we have today isn’t yet that smart, though they’re smart enough to be on our smartphones. From Google to Amazon to even Huawei, AI-powered smart assistants are more and more becoming a bullet point in phone spec sheets and marketing materials. But how smart are they really, especially in competition with each other? We take a look at some of the features available, or absent, from smart assistants to find out.

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Wireless charging on phones: why it still hasn’t caught on

Wireless charging on phones: why it still hasn’t caught on

Apple, at long last, embraced wireless charging. Despite the continued existence of the rivaling PMA group, the WPC’s Qi technology has become the de facto wireless charging standard, especially after Powermat jumped onboard. But even with major business hurdles being cleared, wireless charging still remains at the periphery. A feature that is indeed available on a few high-end phones but not always used, much less promoted as a must-have. It has already been in use and in the market for years, so why is wireless charging still a niche feature? Ultimately, it boils down to its ironic inconvenience.

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This Range Rover SV Coupe is either genius or insanity

This Range Rover SV Coupe is either genius or insanity

Was Range Rover so preoccupied with whether or not it could make the SV Coupe, it didn't stop to think if it should? Few cars bring Jeff Goldblum's famous Jurassic Park admonishment to mind so readily as the vast, two-door SUV coupe does at the Geneva Motor Show this year, a $295,000 solution to a problem that, on the face of it, nobody actually had.

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High-end smartphones are setting themselves up for trouble

High-end smartphones are setting themselves up for trouble

Every year, the likes of Samsung, Apple, and, recently, Google set the bar higher for smartphones. This year and last, they have also pushed the price bar higher than ever before. It was somewhat necessary to recoup the costs of R&D, production, marketing, and the like. It also helped inflate the smartphones’ status as premium products to die for. But while these companies celebrate and gloat over positive reception and sales, the victory might be short-lived and short-term. All because these high-end smartphones may be digging their own graves in the long run.

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The problem with patents in tech

The problem with patents in tech

Patents are everywhere, and of course not just in the US, but there are particular industries where they show up more often than not. In our not so small corner of the world, we see dozens of patents on interesting technologies and potential products. Emphasis on “potential” because most of the time, they never come to be. Sometimes not from the party that filed the patent. More often than not, patents only surface when media get whiff of them or when used in a lawsuit. Because while patents were initially conceived to foster innovation, they run the risk of suffocating that very same thing instead.

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Fingerprint sensors on phones: we still need them

Fingerprint sensors on phones: we still need them

Thanks to sticking to a more conservative iteration, the Galaxy S9 barely dodged being compared to its biggest rival. Yes, there's the AR Emoji vs. Animoji debate, that was pretty much the highest-profile one. There is, however, one that somewhat flew under the radar. Samsung's new Intelligent Scan biometric authentication combines iris and face recognition that is a not so subtle attempt at trying to outdo Apple's Face ID. This new-old feature is just one part of a movement that's slowly gaining traction to remove the fingerprint scanner from phones completely. A trend where the cure may be just as bad as the cure.

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The next big thing in tech is Trust

The next big thing in tech is Trust

When Apple introduced the iPhone, they rightly assumed that the next generation would be willing to carry their identity in their pocket. In the very near future, companies like Google and Amazon will profit from their assumption that we're willing to go one step further. In the very near future, users will trust their entire identity to the cloud. Not only this, but they'll trust a company to tell them information they'd have otherwise had to have researched themselves.

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MWC 2018 Highlights: the mid-range devices win

MWC 2018 Highlights: the mid-range devices win

MWC 2018 practically ended on its first day or two, with most of the announcements dumped then and there. There were some late surprises but we pretty much got a feel of the event right from the start. It was almost low-key, somber, and serious, with a few spikes here and there with interesting, if not sensational news. That doesn’t mean, however, that MWC this year was pretty dead. In fact, the biggest winners, at least by the numbers, seem to be the underdogs. Here are just some of the highlights of MWC 2018, especially for the smartphone market.

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Samsung is no longer rushing to be first, and that’s worrying

Samsung is no longer rushing to be first, and that’s worrying

Samsung is the largest Android OEM and, depending on who you ask, either the first or second biggest smartphone maker/seller. Despite the strong numbers, Samsung isn’t exactly regarded as the most-behaved. Except to its avid fans, of course. Among other criticisms, it is notorious for trying to always beat its competitors to market new features, the “here first!” syndrome. Not anymore, says mobile division head DJ Koh, who says that the company is turning over a new leaf. But while that may be lauded by some and doubted by others, it might not all be good news for the market.

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Xiaomi still coming to the US but it doesn’t matter anymore

Xiaomi still coming to the US but it doesn’t matter anymore

A few years back, Chinese OEMs outside of Huawei and, to a lesser extent, ZTE, barely made a blip on the US smartphone market radar. One name, however, continued to pop up over and over again: Xiaomi. Younger than many of these other companies, Xiaomi was making miracles over at China, with sales and rabid fans that were immediately compared to Apple. Xiaomi grew to actually threaten not just Apple but also Samsung and even its own compatriots. Fast forward to today, there is still not a single Xiaomi phone available in the US. They’re still coming, assures Wang Xiang, Xiaomi’s new international business chief. When it does, however, its arrival might make less noise than expected, for reasons both within and beyond its control.

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