Xiaomi Blackshark SKR-A0 gaming phone with Snapdragon 845, 8GB RAM surfaces again in benchmarks

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A new smartphone code-named Blackshark surfaced on AnTuTu, now the phone has surfaced on Geekbench listing revealing the code-name of the phone as  SKR-A0. This is believed to be Xiaomi’s first gaming smartphone under the new  Black shark brand, in which Xiaomi started investing last year. The Geekbench listing once again reveals Snapdragon 845 SoC, 8GB of RAM and Android 8.0 Oreo. Earlier AnTuTu listing revealed 2160 x 1080 FHD+ 18:9 display for the phone. Benchmark scores of 2452 for the single-core and 8452 for multi-core is on par with other Snapdragon 845-powered smartphones. The scores are slightly higher than the Xiaomi Dipper that surfaced on Geekbench recently with the same SoC, but with 6GB RAM. It is believed to be Mi 7. The phone might come with a 120 Hz display to compete with the Razer Phone. Since it has been revealed in two benchmark listings, the announcement might be near. We will have to wait to find out more details about the phone. Source | Via
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Motorola stepping into VR, Virtual Viewer Moto Mod surfaces

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Motorola is apparently stepping into the VR space as the company is working on its Virtual Viewer moto mod. Thanks to popular leakster Evan Blass, we now have our first look at the Mod. Motorola’s Mod range currently includes a Projector, Polaroid printer, Battery Packs, Gamepads, and more. However, not much is known about the VR except for the design and box that it comes in with. From the design angle, you will have to connect your Moto Z phone inside of the handset for VR experience. We also don’t have the details about its working. The Motorola VR headset closely resembles Google’s Daydream View headset. [HTML1] Unlike the Daydream headset which can be used with any compatible phone, Moto’s Virtual Viewer is strictly limited to Moto Z series phones. Since there is no cutout for the rear camera in the VR headset, it is possible that Motorola might add augmented reality feature on top of the regular VR content. Since this is an early leak, we don’t have the pricing or launch date. Source
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Xiaomi Berlin with unannounced Snapdragon 632 surfaces in benchmarks

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Xiaomi is about the launch the Mi MIX 2s in a couple of weeks and now an unknown mid-range Xiaomi phone codenamed ‘Berlin’ has surfaced on the Geekbench benchmark revealing very little about the smartphone. According to the listing, the phone is powered by an unannounced Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 chipset.  It is unclear if the chipset would also make its debut along with the phone, but for now, Xiaomi Berlin is the first phone that might be powered by the Snapdragon 632. Furthermore, the smartphone will run on Android 7.1.2 (Nougat) which is a letdown since Oreo is already available. It has 3GB of RAM and no information about the storage, camera, and battery. The Xiaomi Berlin gets a single-core score of 1155 and a Multi-Core Score of 2738 which gives us an idea that it will be a mid-ranger. It needs to be seen if Xiaomi would announce the phone alongside the Mi MIX 2s later this month. Source | Via
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HTC Desire 12 Plus with 5.99-inch full-screen display, Snapdragon 450 surfaces

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HTC Desire 12 retail box was leaked a few days back revealing some basic details regarding the chipset, display and more. Today the specifications of the Plus variant have surfaced online. Not just specs, according to sources, the Desire 12 Plus goes by the code-name “Breeze Plus,” internally. The Desire 12 Plus is expected to be a mid-range, it is expected to be powered by the  Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 Octa-Core chip clocked at 1.8GHz with 3GB RAM. Unlike the regular Desire 12 which is backed by a MediaTek chipset, Desire 12 gets a decent chipset from Qualcomm. It will sport a 5.99-inch TFT display (1,440 by 720 pixels) with  18:9 aspect ratio and a pixel density of 268 PPI. In terms of the camera, there is a 13-megapixel rear camera and an 8-megapixel shooter on the front. It will have 32GB storage and a microSD card slot for memory expansion. It measures in at 158.24 x 76.54 x 8.39mm and weight 155.01g. It gets support for GSM bands 850, 900, 1800, and 1900, as well as LTE bands 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20, and 40. It comes with a 2,965mAh battery and Qualcomm quick 3.0 charge support. Furthermore, according to report, the battery is expected to give 26 hours of talk …
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Huawei P20 Lite with 5.6-inch FHD+ full-screen display, dual rear Leica lens cameras, hybrid zoom surfaces

Huwei P20 smartphone surfaced  online earlier this week, now the P20 Lite, the cheaper version in the series has surfaced online, thanks to @evleaks. This has a similar notch-design as the P20, but the fingerprint sensor on the front has been moved to the back. This is said to feature dual rear cameras with Leica lenses and hybrid zoom. It also matches the design that appeared on the FCC certification earlier this month.  [HTML1] Huawei P20 Lite rumored specifications 5.6-inch (1080 x 2250 pixels) Full HD+ 18:9 2.5D curved glass display Octa-Core Kirin 659 processor (4 xA53 at 2.36GHz + 4 x A53 at 1.7GHz) with MaliT830-MP2 GPU 4GB RAM with 64GB storage, expandable memory up to 256GB with microSD Android 8.0 (Oreo) with EMUI 8.0 16MP dual rear cameras with LED flash, Leica Lens, Hybrid zoom 8MP front-facing camera Fingerprint sensor 4G VoLTE, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS / GLONASS 3520mAh battery The Huawei P20 Lite along with the P20, both with dual rear cameras and the P20 Pro with triple rear cameras will be introduced at an event in Paris on March 27th. Price and the availability details of the phone are missing. Source
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Sony Xperia XZ2 with 18:9 full-screen display, Snapdragon 845 press image surfaces [Update: Xperia XZ Compact and more renders]

[Update: Both the Xperia XZ2 and Xperia XZ2 Compact has surfaced in more renders in four different colors. New image also shows wireless charging in XZ2] As we inch closer to the MWC 2018 show, more details about the smartphones and the tech that is going to debut at the event are getting revealed. Latest to join is the Sony Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact; which of lately are making the internet without shying away. Today we get to see the press images of the flagships in their full glory. [HTML2] [HTML3] [HTML1] Thanks to the sources of the VentureBeat and @evleaks, the Sony flagships design is now revealed, and for the first time, Sony has changed the design from the boring generous top and bottom bezels throughout its lineup. The Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact now come with a full screen 18:9 aspect ratio which is a complete makeover. The Sony Xperia XZ2 will sport a 5.7-inch screen while the XZ2 Compact will have a smaller 5-inches FHD+ 18:9 display. They are powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC and run Android 8.0 Oreo with Sony’s custom skin on top. Both the phones pack 3D glass on both faces of its aluminum frame and come with Corning Gorilla …
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6″ Huawei Enjoy 8 with dual camera surfaces

Huawei launched the Enjoy 6 in October 2016, then a plus-sized Enjoy 7 popped in June 2017. The eight-month cycle continues with Enjoy 8 that went to get the TENAA approval and revealed its specs in the process. The midranger, listed with model numbers LDN-TL10 and LDN-AL20 will have dual cameras, low-powered octa-core CPU and two memory combos. Huawei Enjoy 8 on TENAA Arriving with 5.99″ tall display and HD+ resolution of 1440 x 720 pixels, the Huawei Enjoy 8 is aiming for the lower midrange market. Its processor is clocked at up to 1.4 GHz that will be accompanied by…

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Apple Explains How HomePod Leaving White Rings On Wooden Surfaces Is Natural

In a support document for HomePod, Apple covers the issue whereby white rings may appear on some wooden surfaces. The company explains why this might happen and how this is nothing new.

[ Continue reading this over at RedmondPie.com ]

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Pad & Quill introduces leather coaster to prevent HomePod from damaging wooden surfaces

With a quick turnaround time, Pad & Quill is now offering a coaster for the HomePod, claiming “state of the art surface protection” for your wooden surfaces.



Apple Confirms HomePod Can Leave White Rings on Wood Surfaces With Oil or Wax Finishes [Updated]

Apple has issued a statement confirming that the HomePod can possibly leave white rings on wood surfaces with an oil or wax finish.

Image: Wirecutter

The strange discovery was brought to light in HomePod reviews published by Wirecutter and Pocket-lint, as highlighted by VentureBeat, while at least one customer shared a picture of the same problem on Twitter.

Pocket-lint‘s Stuart Miles:

For our tests we placed the speaker on a solid oak kitchen worktop treated with Danish oil.

Within 20 minutes the HomePod had caused a white discoloured ring to appear on the wood that some days later has faded, although still hasn’t completely disappeared.

We subsequently tested the HomePod on other materials: the same wood that hadn’t been treated with Danish oil and a regular lacquered desk and haven’t seen the same issues.

Apple told Pocket-lint that it is “not unusual” for a speaker with a silicone base to leave a “mild mark” when placed on certain oiled or waxed surfaces, suggesting the rings are caused by chemical interactions with treated wood.

Image: Pocket-lint

Apple told Wirecutter that “the marks can improve over several days after the speaker is removed from the wood surface.” If not, Apple recommends “cleaning the surface with the manufacturer’s suggested oiling method.”

The HomePod can damage wood furniture: An unhappy discovery after we placed a HomePod on an oiled butcher-block countertop and later on a wooden side table was that it left a defined white ring in the surface. Other reviewers and owners have reported the same issue, which an Apple representative has confirmed. Apple says “the marks can improve over several days after the speaker is removed from the wood surface,” and if they don’t fade on their own, you can basically just go refinish the furniture—the exact advice Apple gave in an email to Wirecutter was to “try cleaning the surface with the manufacturer’s suggested oiling method.”

It’s unclear at this point whether the issue is limited to treated wood, or if the problem could cause any sort of long-term damage to the HomePod’s rubber base. For now, we would obviously recommend not placing your HomePod on a surface with an oil or wax finish if possible.

Wirecutter conducted some additional testing and saw no visible damage when placing the HomePod on glass, granite countertop, nice fiberboard, polyurethane-sealed wood, and cheap IKEA bookcases.

Update: Apple shared a “Cleaning and taking care of HomePod” support document that includes a section called “Where to place HomePod.” This section includes details on the silicone base of the device and warns that it can cause marks on some wooden surfaces.

HomePod is designed for indoor use only. When using HomePod, make sure to place it on a solid surface. Place the power cord so that it won’t be walked on or pinched.

It is not unusual for any speaker with a vibration-dampening silicone base to leave mild marks when placed on some wooden surfaces. The marks can be caused by oils diffusing between the silicone base and the table surface, and will often go away after several days when the speaker is removed from the wooden surface. If not, wiping the surface gently with a soft damp or dry cloth may remove the marks. If marks persist, clean the surface with the furniture manufacturer’s recommended cleaning process. If you’re concerned about this, we recommend placing your HomePod on a different surface.

Apple also suggests users avoid putting the HomePod near heat sources and liquids, and advises users that it can be cleaned with a damp cloth.

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