Author: Sam Carter

The end of an era has begun – Apple decides to finally discontinue the iMac and iMac Pro

The iMac Pro during its launch in December 2017
The iMac Pro at Apple’s press event in December 2017 (Source: ARS Technica)

As tragic as it sounds, it is inevitable and the bad news is here:

The iMac Pro will soon be phased out by Apple Inc. Once the most powerful computer the Cupertino, California based giant once made; it is now meeting its end.

Those who are looking to get their hands on the all-in-one-Mac, they can do so but only for a short period of time. The standard model priced at USD$ 4,999 is still available on Apple’s website but only until supplies last.

Meaning, that once Apple’s existing inventory is finished, the iMac Pro will no longer be available.

When did Apple release the iMac Pro?

The Apple iMac Pro
The Apple iMac Pro (Sources: Veanne Cao & TechCrunch)

It was in 2017 that Apple released the iMac Pro and it termed it as ‘the most powerful Mac ever.’ The computer was an all-in-one desktop machine aimed at creatives and professionals featuring advanced capabilities for 3-Dimensional (3D) rendering and graphics. However, since then the computer has not received any major updates in the past few years.

Some other versions of the iMac Pro can still be found at third-party retailers, provided that customers are heavily inclined at having the computer over a Windows PC.

The space gray version of the iMac Pro was introduced initially in 2017 and it was done ahead of Apple Inc.’s much awaited revamp of the Mac Pro. At its launch, this computer was colloquially known as a love letter to developers. However, such a term now seems to have run its course.

Didn’t Apple Inc. revamp the standard iMac since then?

The back side of the Apple iMac Pro
An image of the space-gray finish on the iMac Pro taken from behind (Source: ARS Technica)

Ever since then, Apple has revamped the standard iMac targeting the 27-inch model at the very same users it promoted at in the beginning. The company noted that the model is right now the most popular iMac among professional users.

The dark-themed Magic Touchpad (Source: ARS Technica)

The system has essentially made the iMac Pro redundant. At the high end of Apple’s offerings in the same category, there is the new iMac Pro.

Also, no one should forget that silicon-powered Apple iMacs are on the way. As far as we now, Apple Inc. revamped the MacBook, MacBook Air and Mac Mini with its proprietary chips. New versions of the 21.5-inch and 27-inch desktops are rumored for arrival this year. They will also be sporting a much-awaited new design.

What now for Apple Inc. after folding the iMac?

The ports behind the iMac Pro —a headphone jack, a slot for a SD card, four USB 3.0 ports, four Thunderbolt 3 ports, and an Ethernet cable slot (Source: ARS Technica)

The iMac Pro will no longer be available once supplies run out and according to Apple, the 27-inch model introduced in August 2020 is the preferred choice of iMac users. The company further stated that iMac users requiring more performance specifications and scalability, can go ahead with the iMac Pro.

The power button of the iMac Pro is the same as that of previous models (Source: ARS Technica)

Other than that, the iMac Pro was released in December 2017 but received no substantial hardware upgrades over time.

The latest 27-inch iMac features a 5K display with True Tone plus a nano-texture glass option. It has a 10-core 10th Generation Intel Core i9 processor, up to 128GB of RAM, 8TB in storage, AMD Radeon Pro 5700 XT graphics car, 10Gigabit Ethernet option, a camera of 1080p high resolution with microphones, improved speakers and other added features.

While this 27-inch Intel based iMac Pro is Apple’s most recommended machine right now, there are rumors suggesting that a newly designed iMac having a next-generation Apple silicon chip and a design which is inspired by Apple’s high-end Pro Display XDR will be released later this year.

Customers are however exercising patience despite these rumors but it is still not clear if such a version of the iMac Pro will ever be released. Because at this point, it seems to be highly unlikely.

A Facebook Like

It’s settled: The standoff between Facebook & Australia is over as the social media giant pledges monumental investments in Australian news companies

In what looked like a standoff that would literally crush Facebook, its brands and its practices; the American social media and tech giant signed deals with Australian news firms for content days after it blocked Australian firms from posting news on the platform.

Contrary to Facebook, Google signed deals earlier than it, planning to spend USD$ 1 billion over the next three years.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Sources: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds | AFP | Getty Images| CNBC

This is the same amount Facebook plans to spend in the Australian new industry over the next three years.

Does the announcement come as a surprise? In all honesty, it sure does.

Why? Because it comes just days after a heated debate with the Australian Government over how much the social media giant should pay news publishers for publishing content on the platform.

According to Nick Clegg, Vice President of Global Affairs at Facebook:

“Facebook is more than willing to partner with news publishers. We absolutely recognize quality journalism is at the heart of how open societies function – informing and empowering citizens and holding the powerful to account.”

Campbell Brown, Vice President for Global News Partnerships at Facebook had to say the following:

“Going forward, the government has clarified we will retain the ability to decide if news appears on Facebook so that we won’t automatically be subject to a forced negotiation. It’s always been our intention to support journalism in Australia and around the world.”

What had happened earlier between Facebook, Australian News Firms and the Government of Australia?

It was in the ending days of February that Facebook blocked almost all Australian news on its platform. It did so as a protest against a legislation proposed by the Australian Government, which obliges digital platforms to compensate media outlets for online content.

The company inadvertently also blocked access to government information pages.

In response to the social media giant’s unfair blockage, Australia’s health department confirmed that it won’t advertise on Facebook anymore as it sought to hit Facebook where it got hurt the most.

It indicates that Facebook will lose out on Australia’s USD$ 20 million public information campaign, which was designed to convince Australians to get vaccinated against the COVID-19 induced Coronavirus and reject the anti-vaccine sentiments.

This spelled disaster for Facebook not just in Australia but also around the world. It also hurt Facebook at the place where it felt the most pain.

Consequently, Facebook’s managing director for Australia Will Easton stated that the pages blocked previously will be restored in the coming days. 

Google had earlier copied Facebook’s stance, by blocking Australian news providers from its search results among 1 percent of Australians. However, the Alphabet owned Technology giant conceded after agreeing with Australian news giant News Corp over payments for content.

What have Facebook and the Government of Australia agreed upon?

Australia’s Minister for Communications Paul Fletcher and National Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced on Tuesday, February 23, about the deal reached between the Government of Australia and Facebook regarding the legislation ‘Media Bargaining Code.’

The Government stated that it may not apply the code to Facebook, provided it can prove it has cut enough deals similar to its agreement with News Corp and with other publishers. The government also agreed to give digital platforms a month’s notice before deciding whether to apply the code or not.

This does indicate that social media and tech giants won’t be able to act unfairly in the Australian market. There were earlier calls for regulations of practices and activities of the big tech in all spheres of life. 

It is confirmed that Australia has taken the necessary concrete steps towards regulating the big tech and their unfair business practices.

Has Facebook signed deals elsewhere too?

Last month, Facebook announced deals with a number of publishers in the United Kingdom namely:

  • Financial Times.
  • Sky News.
  • Daily Mail Group.
  • The Guardian.
  • Telegraph Media Group.

Consequently, publishers will see their content featured in Facebook News. It is a dedicated section within the app featuring curated and personalized news from numerous national, local, lifestyle and sports publications.

Is Facebook happy about signing deals or is still sour?

Despite optimism from both sides regarding the agreement to the law, the social media giant is in a sour mood. The company Vice President of Global Affairs Nick Clegg, took a cloaked jibe at News Corp last week in a social media post criticizing Australia’s new legislation.

The law aims at setting a fair price for the Australian journalism that digital platforms exhibit.

According to him:

“It is ironic that some of the biggest publishers have long advocated for free markets and voluntary commercial undertakings now appear to be in favor of state sponsored price setting.”

Executive Chairman of News Corp. Australia Michael Miller said that in the previous week, his company had monetary negotiations with Facebook regarding payment for content.

He stated the following in front of a Senate inquiry regarding media diversity in Australia:

“Having been someone who’s dealt with Facebook over the past months, we have some weeks where we’re getting good engagement and think we’re progressing and then you get silence. I think the door is still open.”

How powerful is News Corp. in Australia?

News Corp. owns most of Australia’s major newspapers. Analysts argue that the US-based international media empire is the main force for the incumbent and conservative Australian Government making Facebook and Google pay for news.

In fact, the global media giant announced a wide-ranging deal with Google covering operations in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia.

Has Google followed suit?

At first, Google was locking its horns against the Government of Australia. However, it later changed its stance and is planning to spend USD$ 1 billion on news over the next three years.

Google announced in October last year that it intended to pay publishers in creation and curation of content for a new mobile product known as Google News Showcase.

The app went live initial in Germany and Brazil before it is launched in other countries.

German publishers Der Spiegel and Die Zeit including Brazil’s Folha de Sao Paulo signed up as part of the rollout program.

According to Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai:

“The business model for newspapers – based on ads and subscription revenue – has been evolving for more than a century as audiences have turned to other sources. The internet has been the latest shift, and it certainly won’t be the last…. We want to play our part by helping journalism in the 21st century.”


It is undeniable that both Google and Facebook are among the most powerful of the Big Four Tech Firms, yet it is also undoubtedly true that both firms can, and will be held accountable for all they have done up till now. 

In fact, both of these firms have no escape. They both not only signed deals with Australian, German and Brazilian news firms but are also agreeing to follow Australia’s latest legislation ‘Media Bargaining Code.’

This law has inspired India to create and enact its own regulations to hold the tech industry accountable. It is also time that other countries prepare similar legislations and the European Union has been eying a similar move in this matter.

Time to investigate the big tech and possibly reopen Myspace? Australians get rude wakeup call as Facebook blocks Australian pages and news

In what turned out to be the most shocking and deceptive of all cyber acts, Australia and Australians were both caught off guard by Facebook Inc.

The social media giant’s decision to remove news from its platform due to a deep spat with the Government of Australia over legislation covering payment for content has hurt numerous businesses in the country especially when they were doing their best during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Government of Australia is thinking about passing legislation requiring tech giants to pay Australian news companies for news space on the internet. Facebook’s operations were causing Australian news companies serious losses in terms of revenue.

Facebook had followed through on it overnight 2 days ago after threatening to band Australian users from posting news. The move was dreadful as it also cut off access to information like the national weather service and cut news’ access on pages of local healthcare institutions and sites. However, Facebook stated that such had been done by accident.

The Sydney Morning Herald's Facebook page went blank.
The Sydney Morning Herald’s Facebook Page went dark all of a sudden with all of the content gone | Source: Al Jazeera Network

A clearer view of what is happening between Facebook and the Government of Australia?

In response to potential regulation by the Government of Australia, Facebook responded to it by blocking news in the country. It is also preventing Australian users and publishers (individuals and businesses alike) from sharing and viewing news. Google was planning to do the same but somehow made a different decision in response to the proposed legislation in the country.

ABC Australia's Facebook page went blank.
Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Facebook page also went blank due to Facebook’s recent actions |Source: Al Jazeera & Facebook

Facebook’s block is coming from its disagreement with Australia’s newest proposed legislation, the News Media Bargaining Code. The legislation forms the basis of arguments of Australia’s news outlets, who say that they should be compensated for articles presented on online platforms like Facebook and Google.

According to the proposed law, news outlets could bargain with Facebook and Google for compensation regarding news content being shown and shared on their platforms. Questions regarding the legislation pointed out the fact that the code was created to address the imbalance of bargaining power between the tech giants and Australian news outlets.

This law will force Facebook and Google to reach commercial deals with Australian publishers or face compulsory adjudication.

If the law would have not been drafted, Australian media outlets would have endured monumental losses in the coming days.

Yet, there is news regarding the Australian Law, the News Media Bargaining Code. It has already been cleared by the Federal Lower House and is expected to be passed by the Australian Senate within the next seven days.

Is there any collateral damage caused by the dispute between Facebook Inc. and the Government of Australia?

Marcey Papandrea, a 36-year-old owner of a movie review website known as the Super Network is disappointed and heartbroken. Her hard work of 10 years in creating a small following on Facebook in drawing people to her website has been quashed. She blamed both the Government of Australia and Facebook for such an outcome.

On her website, she posts reviews of movies as well as related podcasts. Last week on Thursday, she woke at her Melbourne home, only to find out that her Facebook page has been blocked.

According to her:

“I have no idea what Facebook’s algorithm would be that someone like me would be targeted. At the end of the day, this is like a mudslinging contest.”

Is Facebook supportive of such legislation in Australia?

The American tech giant vehemently opposes legislation by the Australian government that effectively requires big tech firms to pay the country’s media outlets for content. Since the legislation is being watched by all companies around the globe, it could offer a model for governments of other countries to follow suit.

Such legislation is working its way through Australia’s parliament.

What did Facebook have to say about such a move by the Government of Australia?

In a blog post, Facebook had this to say:

“The proposed law fundamentally misunderstands the relationship between our platform and publishers who use it to share news content. It has left us facing a stark choice: attempt to comply with a law that ignores the realities of this relationship or stop allowing news content on our services in Australia. With a heavy heart, we are choosing the latter.”

The News Media Bargaining Code is the law through which Australia is doing its best to get tech firms (Facebook & Google included) to pay for the news that is widely shared on their websites. Why? Because the advertising revenue that was once supporting publishers is now slipping away.

This law would force the tech firms to sign deals with media companies or have a set of fees set for them regarding sharing and publishing of this news on these platforms.

To add a further twist to the tale, Google had once threatened to withdraw its search services from Australia. However, in what looks like a clear U-turn, it started securing agreements with revenue-sharing with Australian publishers at the same time.

This paints a somewhat tricky yet clearer picture of the bias the big tech firms have in their essence. Yet, Facebook is insisting that its relationship with the news industry is primarily different.

According to the platform: “Publishers willingly choose to post news on Facebook, as it allows them to sell more subscriptions, grow their audiences, and increase advertising revenue.”

It should be noted that last year, Facebook generated 5.1 billion referrals which helped it earn around 407 million Australian Dollars (USD$ 315 million) for the publishers.

The platform claimed it was a value exchange working in favor of the Australian publishers, which is somehow disputed in the account of what Australian businesses, citizens and state government describes as Facebook stealing cookies from the cookie jar.

What is the response of the Australian Government and Society in this regard?

Facebook’s sudden move in blocking news has sparked outrage of monumental proportions because some Government and Emergency Response pages (Fire services, health authorities, and the police) also went dark. This in turn also affected Facebook’s page.

According to Australia Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, who earlier had a discussion with Facebook’s Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg regarding the legislation, condemned Facebook’s move and stated:

“Facebook was wrong. Facebook’s actions were unnecessary, they were heavy-handed, and they will damage its reputation here in Australia.”

Mr. Frydenberg had more to say. For the second time following the news blackout, he spoke to Mark Zuckerberg. According to him in a tweet: “We talked through their remaining issues and agreed our respective teams would work through them immediately. We’ll talk again over the weekend.”

Australia Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s tweet about his conversation with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg | Source: Twitter Account of Australia’s Treasurer, The Honorable Josh Frydenberg

Yet, Facebook was adamant in its stance. In its statement announcing its move to Australia, the social media giant said that the Australian legislation misunderstood the platform’s value to publishers. Somehow, this statement is untrue as most publishers are irked by abusive market practices Google and Facebook have employed there.

Mr. Frydenberg earlier told the following to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation: “There is something much bigger here at stake than just one or two commercial deals. This is about Australia’s sovereignty.”

The same words of Mr. Frydenberg were both indirectly and directly echoed by numerous organizations and individuals in Australia. A considerable majority of media analysts and Facebook-watchers condemned the platform’s actions and accused the company of bullying, in light of the net profit of USD$ 29.2 billion it made last year.

Leader of Australia’s Labor Party, Anthony Albanese’s tweet against Facebook’s dreadful move | Source: the Twitter account of The Honorable Anthony Albanese, Leader of the Labor Party
Statement of Victoria MP Gabrielle Williams regarding Facebook’s move to block news in Australia | Source: the Twitter account of The Honorable Gabrielle Williams, Member of the Parliament of the State of Victoria

Both Facebook and Google had campaigned together against the law set forth by the Australian Government. They both had threatened to withdraw key services from Australia if it brought the laws into effect.

However, Google took a major u-turn and signed a deal with Australian news giant News Corp.

Filipino businesswoman Maria Ressa tweeting about Facebook’s move to block news in Australia | Source: the Twitter account of Maria Ressa

According to American journalist Judd Legum:

“Facebook’s actions today can best be understood as an aggressive lobbying effort. It’s showing the Australian government it’s willing to follow through with the ban. Tough to square this bare-knuckled approach with the company’s supposed commitment to free speech.”

Marcus Strom, the President of the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA, also referred to as The Alliance), the Australian trade union and professional organization covering the entertainment, media, arts, and sports industries, said that Facebook probably fears other countries adopting similar laws.

According to Mr. Strom

“This is not just about Australia. They are worried about a global precedent. This is a classic monopoly move by a powerful company trying to dictate what society does when in a democratic society, it’s civil society that needs to determine how tech companies operate.”

What was Google’s Response to Australia’s proposed legislation?

In response to the News Media Bargaining Code, Google signed a landmark deal with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, last week on Wednesday. This ensures that it can show news from the company in Australia as Google has paid for that news. This also lays the foundation for developing a subscription platform and sharing advertising revenue.

Also, another point worth noting; News Corp has also come under fire in Australia as it dominates a large part of the Australian news industry.

Another fact worth noting is that the Alphabet-owned company has secured deals with publishers in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Argentina, and Brazil for its Google News Showcase product.

However, Facebook’s move is the exact opposite as it has prevented Australians from sharing news links around the world. It should be kept in mind that Facebook’s decision comes in within rising tensions between social media giants and state governments around the world doing their best to regulate the tech industry.

Tweet of an irate Australian citizen regarding Facebook’s recent decision of blocking news in Australia and about the Christchurch massacre of March 15, 2019, | Source: Twitter Account of Max Walden

What do journalists and other prominent figures outside Australia think of Facebook’s actions in the country?

Emily Bell, the Director of the Two Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia Journalism School said that Facebook’s claim about being a voluntary platform where news publishers willingly share their content is itself a misguiding statement that distorts the relationship it has with its users, businesses, and organizations alike.

According to her:

“Most publishers feel obliged to be on Facebook. They don’t like the asymmetry of the relationship, they dislike the requirement of going through an intermediary without access to even negligible data.”


There was a time when Facebook’s intrusions into personal privacy space were beginning to get noticed and the social networking giant acted to fix it. However, there came more issues and in 2017, a Thai man murdered his 11-month-old daughter live on Facebook, which then forced the social network to start moderating things but struggled to do so.

Yet, the social media giant is facing stern criticism for allowing a lot of wrongful information and propaganda to be posted on it. The Christchurch shootings of March 15, 2019was also posted live on the social media platform, at a time when it was moderating live transmissions and broadcasts which it did not fulfill.

According to a spokesperson from the Australian television network Nine:

“Nobody benefits from this decision as Facebook will now be a platform for misinformation to rapidly spread without balance. This action proves again their monopoly position and unreasonable behavior.”

Facebook’s time might be coming to an end and this may just be the inception of such an event. Its abusive and monopolistic market practices have made it the least preferred social network around the world. Furthermore, its acquisitions of Snap Chat, WhatsApp, and Instagram are drawing further scrutiny from numerous governments, bodies, authorities, and organizations as well as individuals from around the globe.

In short, Facebook has created a recipe leading to disasters for the social media giant and eventually, its demise.

All eyes on the most happening smartphone brand! – Presenting the Xiaomi Mi 11 which has made its worldwide debut

Chinese tech brand Xiaomi just doesn’t stop making headlines and the Xiaomi Mi 11 is its newest flagship smartphone. Its specifications and price have turned it into Samsung Galaxy S21’s latest rival as well as rivaling phones such as the OnePlus 9 and Oppo Find X3.

The front side of Xiaomi Mi 11 in Horizontal position
The front side of Xiaomi Mi 11 in Horizontal position | Source: Android Police

When was the Xiaomi Mi 11 first seen?

The Xiaomi Mi 11 was first seen at its Chinese launch event somewhere in December 2020. Yet, the phone got another global unveiling, and that too on February 8, 2021, before it could be released globally. This is a pattern Xiaomi follows with its Mi lone of smartphones though the global launch of their phones is usually done at Mobile World Congress (MWC) held each year (This year’s MWC will be held in June).

Whenever tech-savvy people think about the name ‘Xiaomi’, they think of devices having high-end specifications that are good on the budget and available in competitive price ranges. However, the pricing aspect may not be friendly when it comes to the Mi 11.

Yet, the specifications Xiaomi Mi 11 has are pretty impressive including its features. No one should be surprised to see this phone get ranked among the best Xiaomi has to offer.

Before anyone gets to test the phone, we decided to round almost anything and everything everyone would love to know about the phone especially its specifications, features, and availability; helping everyone get a good idea of the Xiaomi Mi 11.

Some brief facts about Xiaomi Mi 11

  • The phone is Xiaomi’s newest flagship phone of 2021.
  • It will be released worldwide somewhere in March this year.
  • Its price will start at €749 (equivalent to USD$ 900, AUD$ 1,175, and GBP£ 660).

Price and availability of the Xiaomi Mi 11

After its global launch event in February 2021, Xiaomi Mi 11 will be launching in various regions across the world in March.

At the moment, the price for the phone is available in Euros instead of US Dollars, Pounds Sterling or Australian Dollars. Due to instance, no one is expecting the phone to be available in the United States. Yet the phone will have conversions so people can get an idea when it comes to the phone’s price.

Another view of Xiaomi Mi 11
Another view of Xiaomi Mi 11 | Sources: Mi Official Website and TechRadar

For the set having 8GB RAM and 128GB Storage, the price will be €749 (equivalent to almost GBP£ 660, AUD$ 1,175, and USD$ 990). If consumers wish to have more storage, they can obtain 256GB for €749 (equivalent to GBP£ 700, AUD$ 1,250, and USD$ 960). Another version of the phone with 256GB storage and 12GB RAM was unveiled in China, which may not be released globally.

For context’s sake, the Xiaomi Mi 10 cost GBP£ 799 (equivalent to AUD$ 1,699 and USD$ 990) with 8GB RAM and 128 GB Storage. Hence, the Xiaomi Mi 11 can cost approximately the same or a little less in comparison to its predecessor.

What are the specifications of the Xiaomi Mi 11?

Here is an overview of the specifications of Xiaomi’s flagship phone:

SoC (Chipset)Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
Storage128/256 GB UFS 3.1
Display6.81-inch DotDisplay with AdaptiveSync (30/60/90/120Hz), 20:9, 3200×1440, 515 PPI, 1500 Nits max, HDR 10+, Corning Gorilla Glass Victus
Rear cameras108 MP main camera: 1/1.33”; f/1.85; 1.6 µm (4 in 1 Super Pixel); OIS; AF; 7P lens 13 MP ultrawide; f/2,4; FOV up to 123° 5 MP macro: f/2,4; 50mm; AF (3 to 10cm)
Front camera20 MP selfie: 1.6 µm (4 in 1 Super Pixel); f/2,2
Power4,600mAh battery with 55W wired charging, 50W wireless charging, 10W reverse wireless
ConnectivityDual SIM, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, IR, USB-C (PD)
Bands (European model)5G: n1/n3/n5/n8/n20/n28/n38/n41/n77/n78/n79 4G: LTE FDD: 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/12/17/20/28/32/66 4G: LTE TDD: B38/40/41/42 3G: WCDMA: 1/2/4/5/8 2g: GSM: 850 900 1800 1900 MHz
Operating System (OS)MIUI 12.5 on Android 11
Dimensions164.3 x 74.6 x 8.06MM (Glass)/ 8.56mm (Leather)
MiscellaneousStereo speakers, in-display fingerprint sensor with heart rate sensor, IR blaster, 55W GaN charger included.
ColorsTrimsGlass (Midnight Gray, Horizon Blue, Frost White) and Vegan Leather (Honey Beige, Lilac Purple).
Specifications of the Xiaomi Mi 11 (Source: Android Police)

It runs on Qualcomm Snapdragon 888

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor with 5G capabilities | Source: Mi Official Website

The Xiaomi Mi 11 carries Qualcomm’s newest Snapdragon 888 chipset backed by 8GB RAM and 128 GB or 256 GB of storage, which makes it quite a powerful phone. No one will notice an instant difference from the Snapdragon 865 processor which was also a fast one. Yet, Qualcomm promises improvements in the CPU and GPU performance by 25% and 25% respectively in Snapdragon 888.

The display and batteries are flagship-level

The Xiaomi Mi 11 from another angle showing its curved body and display
The Xiaomi Mi 11 from another angle showing its curved body and display | Source: Mi Official Website

The Xiaomi Mi 11 features a spectacular waterfall screen complete with a 6.81-inches OLED panel that is exceptionally bright and clear regardless of the lighting conditions. The peak brightness is at 1500 nits making it the brightest phone available yet.

Additionally, the phone has wide quad HD plus resolution (3,200 x 1,440 pixels) and 120Hz refresh rates, which can be used together or can be put in reserve to save the phone’s battery life.

A vast majority of phones have refresh rates of 60Hz, meaning the screen refreshes 60 times in a second. Displays of 120Hz look much smoother when scrolling through webpages in comparison. The Xiaomi Mi 11 also has an in-screen fingerprint reader, which according to Xiaomi doubles up as a heart-rate sensor.

With mild usage, the battery can easily last a day and a half. Even when it runs out, recharging the phone’s 4,600-mAh battery is done relatively quickly with thanks to its 55 Watt wired charger. It takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes to bring the battery to 50-60% from zero percent while almost an hour is all it takes to completely recharge the battery.

It is hence safe to say that battery anxiety is an object of history when people will begin using the Xiaomi Mi 11. One thing to keep in mind that the phone supports 50W of wireless and reverse-wireless charging.

Loud and crisp speakers are another hallmark of the Xiaomi Mi 11

Harmon Kardon speakers in the Xiaomi Mi 11| Source: Mi Official Website

One of the features that stood out in last year’s Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro was its pleasingly loud and crisp speaker system complete with one speaker on each end of the phone. Now Xiaomi stated that it has leveled up in the speaker aspect in Mi 11 through refining its audio experience in partnership with Harman Kardon, a well-known and decades-old manufacturing firm specializing in audio equipment and stereos.

The Xiaomi Mi 11’s speakers are loud and crisp, and it has the right bass to boot up with. Hence, Xiaomi has raised the stakes in the speakers’ game.

Three rear Cameras are present on the Xiaomi Mi 11

Three rear cameras of the Xiaomi Mi 11 | Source: Sareena Dayaram & CNET

The Xiaomi Mi 11 has three rear cameras, one less than its predecessor. Fascinatingly, quality beats out the quantity aspect.

The cameras are the main camera of 108 Megapixels with 13 MP ultra-wide and 5 MP telephoto macro. The latter cameras are designed for both close-up and zoomed shots. The first two cameras match the results and effectiveness of the Mi 10 whereas the third camera is a major improvement.

The Xiaomi Mi 10 had a 2MP macro and a 2MP depth-sensing snapper which had low functionality and not an impressive resolution. Perhaps the Mi 11’s 5MP camera will supersede it as it does bring the ability to provide a good zoom.

The front and back sides of the Xiaomi Mi 11 in various colors | Source: GSM Arena

The video mode of the Xiaomi Mi 11 is intriguing thanks to night videography. Low-light photography (also known as night mode) has become the phone’s proving ground where competitors need to stand out and the company has extended the feature to video shooting.

AI Erasure is another camera mode that can automatically remove people from the background of both a photo and video. AI cinema modes help replicate the look of professional film cameras and HDR10+ recording video capture is a focal point of the Xiaomi Mi 11.

On its Weibo account, Xiaomi posted some pictures and sample videos of the phone.


Xiaomi has never failed to amaze anyone, thanks to its cutting-edge technological prowess in all electronics it has made. With 5G set to become mainstream, the Xiaomi Mi 11 has not only raised eyebrows but is also set to outpace competitors with its pioneering cameras, speakers, display, battery charge, and processing power.

Launching in Europe for just €150: Say hello to the new Xiaomi POCO M3

No one ever thought that Xiaomi POCO’s phones would make their way to Europe, but they have now; with the Xiaomi POCO M3 coming to Europe real soon.

The company has already teased the key specifications of the phone but is keeping some information hidden for the phone’s presentation. You guessed it right; it’s the price.

Hence, there is no need to wait for European consumers because there are reports from reliable sources about the M3 starting within the price range of €150-160 for the base 4G model having 64GB of space. The 128GB version has a price range of €170-180.

Xiaomi Poco M3 Smartphone

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The Xiaomi Poco M3 | Source: Android Authority

Xiaomi POCO M3 – what to know about the phone?

Xiaomi POCO’s launch of the Xiaomi POCO M3 in Europe on November 24. Ahead of the launch, the phone’s price got leaked out starting at €149.

At the starting price, customers will get 64GB of internal memory with 4GB of RAM. Another variant having 4GB of RAM and 128GB of space with the price starting from €169.

Even if consumers opt for a variant having the most available storage, the Xiaomi POCO M3 will still be a desirable phone. Even if all is confirmed in the soon to be the launch of the phone, every European consumer would opt for the variant having the most internal storage.

The specifications and features – what does the Xiaomi POCO M3 pack?

Latest rumors indicate that the Xiaomi POCO M3’s camera features a 48MP lens confirmed through a new teaser Xiaomi left for its upcoming affordable smartphone.

A picture containing graphical user interface

Description automatically generated
Xiaomi teasing the rear cameras of the Xiaomi POCO M3 | Source: Time 24 News

As indicated in the image above, Xiaomi confirms the presence of three lenses in the phone’s rear cameras. Mystery surrounds details of the lenses, but a lot will be unveiled in the next few hours or so.

The main features of the Xiaomi Xiaomi POCO M3 are as under:

  • Snapdragon 662 processor.
  • A 6.53 inches screen with a full-HD display.
  • 6000mAh battery.
  • 18W fast charging.
  • Three rear cameras with the main sensor being of 48MP.

Let us now discuss the specifications in detail.

The Xiaomi POCO M3 smartphone comes in with a 6.53 inches IPS LCD FHD+ display having a waterdrop notch. It comes loaded with Android 10 operating system based on Xiaomi’s MIUI 2 (Me You I).

The chipset is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 662 chipset and it has 4 GB of RAM with storage options of 64 and 128GB. For additional storage, a microSD card slot is present.

In photography’s terms, an 8-megapixel selfie camera is present in the handset along with a rear camera setup of 3 cameras and a 48MP main camera.

What is the most unique aspect of Xiaomi POCO M3’s design? Simple: its camera module is behind the handset as in a long-rectangular module.

At the left end of the module are three cameras with LED flash and on the right side is the phone’s branding. How will the Xiaomi Poco M3 draw power? From a battery of course but one having a power of 6,000mAh carrying support for fast charging of 18W.

Also, Redmi will announce the launch of the Redmi Note 9 5G series in China on November 26. The series will include two models of Note 9 which are 5G and a rebranded Xiaomi Poco M3 handset.

Any other specifications left uncovered?

Apart from all this, the latest reports reveal that the phone’s triple camera system has an aperture of f/1.79, a depth sensor of 2MP with f/2.4 aperture, and a 2-megapixel macro camera with f/2.4 aperture.

Apart from that, the phone has Widevine L1 support, an 8-megapixel selfie camera, a charger of 22.5W with fast charging capability, an LPPDr4x RAM, and UFS 2.1/UFS 2.2 storage.

In what colors will the Xiaomi POCO M3 be available?

The phone will be available in the colors blue, black and yellow.


More details are yet to come but we must admit, Xiaomi POCO M3 is indeed a top-notch smartphone in the budget category for the European market making ripples. Though more models are on the way, Xiaomi has been able to outclass the competition in this segment.  

Numerous budget smartphones entered the market and Xiaomi has raised the competitive stakes in this segment of the smartphone market.

A hair raiser for Intel? AMD poised for acquiring Xilinx for USD$ 35 billion in a major push for the data center market

In what is known as one of the most ambitious acquisitions ever witnessed in the tech industry, Advance Micro Devices (often referred to by its abbreviation AMD) has agreed to pay USD$ 35 billion in stock for Xilinx. This deal is aimed at reshaping one of the biggest pioneers in the computer industry.

CEO of AMD Lisa Su |Sources: Business Insider & Reuters

AMD is Intel’s longtime rival in microprocessors powering most computers is planning to use the acquisition to widen its business into chips for markets such as 5G wireless communications and automotive electronics.

The transaction may help AMD acquire a larger share of component sales for data centers and counter Nvidia, who is poised to acquire chipmaker Arm Holdings from Japanese investment firm Softbank for USD$ 40 billion.

What is expected out of the deal?

The deal is known as an all-stock deal which was announced yesterday along with AMD’s financial results for the 3rd quarter of this year. This is touted to be the most valuable acquisition in the history of the microchip industry.

At the moment, Nvidia holds the title for the industry’s most valuable acquisition for its proposed USD$ 40 billion deal for British chip designer Arm Holdings.

For quite some time, chip manufacturers have experienced numerous waves of consolidation which are driven by factors such as duplicate product lines and plans for reducing costs. However, AMD, who has enjoyed some of the most robust sales since its inception; is expecting Xilinx to expand its business whilst boosting profits.

AMD expects the deal to close at the end of the year 2021. It will create a combined company with 13,000 engineers and a manufacturing strategy fully outsourced with heavy reliance on Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC).

Both firms benefitted from a lean approach in holding the market share from Intel, who is recently struggling with internal manufacturing.

An overview of both AMD and Xilinx in recent years

For quite some time, AMD has been the chief rival of Intel in terms of central processor units (CPUs) in the personal computer business. When Lisa Su took over AMD in 2014, she has since then focused on challenging Intel in the fast-growing data center business.

Data centers power internet-based applications and services. Other than that, they are also fueling the rise of artificial intelligence and fifth-generation telecommunications networks.

Recently, Xilinx has also been working to enter the data center business with programmable processors fastening specialized tasks (digital encryption, video compression, etc.). Altera Corp is its main rival and it was acquired by Intel in 2015 for USD$ 16.7 billion in what is known to be Intel’s largest acquisition deal ever.

According to AMD CEO Lisa Su:

“There are some areas where we’re very strong, and we will be able to accelerate some of the adoption of the Xilinx product family, and there some areas where Xilinx CEO Victor Peng is very strong, and we believe that we’ll be able to accelerate some of the AMD products into those markets.”

A closeup of Xilinx’s Virtex chip | Source: The New York Times

Did the deal come up at a right time?

The deal comes at a time when Intel’s manufacturing technology has fallen way behind that of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (TSMC). Almost a decade ago, AMD spun off its factories and has since then surged ahead of Intel with chips that perform much better.

The edge in performance AMD earned helped it gain its best market share since 2013 at slightly less than 20% of the CPU market. This in turn pushed AMD’s shares up by 68% between this year’s start and close of trade on October 26.

Does Xilinx also use TSMC’s facilities for production?

Yes, it does. Xilinx has been using TSMC’s factories (known as fabs in the industry) for making its chips. Both AMD and Xilinx have been using modular designs that let them swap out different pieces of a chip to avoid possible bottlenecks and delays.

According to Xilinx CEO Victor Peng:

“We ended up with TSMC, and have stayed with them, not due to any contractual reason – we could go to any fab at any time – we could go to any fab at any time – but because they are best-in-class. It’s about the choices you make.”

What will both AMD and Xilinx get from the deal?

Under this deal, Xilinx shareholders will receive about 1.7 shared of AMD common stock for each share of Xilinx common stock. This puts Xilinx’s share value at USD$ 143 per share, or about 24.8% higher than its USD$ 114.55 closing price on October 26, 2020.

AMD shareholders will own around 74% of the combined company while Xilinx shareholders own the remaining 26%. The companies revealed that the transaction’s original intention was to be a tax-free reorganization for purposes of U.S Federal Income Tax.

Lisa Su of AMD will be leading the combined company as chief executive, with Xilinx’s Victor Peng serving the role of President, responsible for Xilinx’s side of business and initiatives for strategic growth. Both companies expect the deal to generate around USD$ 300 million in cost savings.

A closeup image of a microchip | Source: Nasdaq

Also, on Tuesday; AMD reported earnings before schedule. It reported adjusted earnings and revenue of USD$ 2.80 billion and 41 cents per share, beating Wall Street expectations of USD$ 2.57 billion and 36 cents per share.

AMD's EPYC chip beside Xilinx's VERSAL chip.
AMD’s EPYC and Xilinx’s VERSAL chips side by side | Source: Next Platform

What potential hurdles will AMD’s deal face?

For AMD, it does make strategic sense in acquiring Xilinx. However, the deal can face a lot of challenges. AMD only held USD$ 1.8 billion in cash and equivalents at the end of the second quarter, hence it is likely in the need of taking on more debt or fund a large part of the deal in stock.

The rumored price tag of USD$ 30 billion price tag is also equally high for an organization that generated a revenue of USD$ 3.2 billion and USD$ 793 million in net income last year. The deal could however be blocked by regulators, who possibly have no intention to allow these two chipmakers to dominate the Central Processing Unit (CPU) and Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) markets.

Even if the deal is approved, both AMD and Xilinx could find themselves struggling against Intel in the data center market for two reasons:

  1. Intel’s Xeon chips still enjoy a reputation of the best breed as the world’s fastest server CPUs.
  2. Intel’s Programmable Solutions Group (PSG) business also owns eASIC, a firm that produces customized Application-Scientific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) chips that complement FPGAs in various industries.

Intel is still the only firm that can bundle x86 CPUs, FPGAs, and ASIC chips altogether. AMD however will only be able to offer x86 CPUs and FPGAs, which will lead customers to purchase custom ASIC chips from chipmakers like Marvell.

Hence, AMD may either need to develop ASIC chips by itself or acquire an ASIC chip maker to compete against Intel in the data center business.

Should Intel be paying attention to the deal or ignore it?

AMD’s known interest in Xilinx shouldn’t raise eyebrows at Intel but the company should be following its rivals moves closely. Even if it leaves its ‘data-centered’ businesses exposed to aggressive competition from Epyc CPUs and Xilinx FPGAs, it still should have a look at it.

Moreover, Intel generates over half of its revenue in the previous quarter from its data center business.

It’s here, it’s now and it’s happening! – all eyes on Apple iPhone 12!

The Apple iPhone 12 in various colors.
All eyes on Apple’s newest and flagship 5G creation, the Apple iPhone 12 | (Source: Apple Inc.)

In what is known as one of the biggest innovations the company has brought in today, Apple has announced the launch of its much-coveted & sought-after product, the iPhone 12. This year is perceived as the last year of the iPhone being a kid and is now entering its teenage years.

A fun fact worth knowing: Apple’s four-model line of the iPhone 12 marks the first major revamp of the phone’s design since the iPhone X of 2017 (which introduced facial recognition-based unlocking and improvements in screen technology).

The iPhone 12 with the MagSafe wireless charging system and other features | (Source: MacRumors)

Now, the company is sporting an array of colors, more models in the iPhone 12 range, and 5G wireless support in the iPhone 12 lineup. Other than that, Apple also launched the HomePod Mini smart speaker, the MagSafe wireless charging system for iPhone 12, and Beats Flex wireless headphones.

Let us now explore the phone in brief detail.

Apple iPhone 12 – the talking points

Backside of the iPhone 12 in available colors | (Source: Digital Camera World)

Apple introduced the iPhone 12 with four models in the lineup and each of them supports 5G networks (a first in the company’s product line). But the super-fast 5G mmWave technology is exclusive for the U.S market only.

To improve support for the new 5G network on the phone, both the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 pro come in with a new side cutout. This cutout is somewhat confusing but has been created to support 5G tech on the phone.

People are confused when they hear the term mmWave. This is the version of 5G having quite an impressive speed (500Mbps+). However, its range is limited, and cell phone carriers need to set up more cellular towers for 5G so it can be available to all users.

Also, rollouts of sub-6Ghz 5G stateside are easily deployable and usually achieve speeds in the range of 100-150 Mbps. They are however not as powerful as mmWave 5G.

What did Verizon’s CEO have to say regarding 5G for iPhone 12?

Apple invited Verizon’s CEO Hans Vestberg to the launch event of the iPhone 12. He announced there that the iPhone 12 will achieve gigabit download rates and 200 Mb/s upload rate on Verizon’s network.

Since this 5G works based on low range frequencies, the phone’s antenna structure was redesigned accordingly.

As a consequence, the new cutout on the phone’s side edge is made.

The phone’s antenna

The side cutout of The Apple iPhone 12 is actually a 5G antenna | (Source: 9to5 Mac)

The phone’s antenna is a new 5G antenna situated on the upper right side of both the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. They are not smart connectors for the Apple pencil. But they are rather antenna for the mmWave 5G technology.

However, iPhone 12 models sold outside the United States will not be having the cutout feature.

The price of all models of the iPhone 12

The iPhone 12 mini starts at USD$ 699 while the iPhone 12 is priced at USD$ 799. The price of the iPhone 12 Pro is USD$ 999 and iPhone 12 Pro Max is priced at USD$ 1099.

The product line of Apple iPhone 12

The iPhone 12 in various colors | (Source: MacRumors)

Being Apple’s flagship 5G phone, let us now have a brief look at each phone present in the iPhone 12 lineup.

The Apple iPhone 12

The iPhone 12 has a different body compared to the previous generation. It features smooth and flat edges and uniquely even construction. It was created in line with the new 5G technology into a slighter form factor (new antennas).

It currently is coming in the following colors:

  • Red
  • Blue.
  • Black.
  • Green.
  • White.

The iPhone 12 will have a 6.1 inches front display screen (like the iPhone 11) but with smaller display borders. It also means that the phone will be 11% slimmer, 15% shorter and 16% lighter than its predecessor, the iPhone 11.

The iPhone 12 has a Super Retina XDR display having 2 times more pixels than its predecessor. Text and images will hence look much sharper and better (thanks to the increased dynamic range).

The glass used in the phone’s display is made of a new material known as Ceramic Shield which is created in conjunction with Corning.

The new material of which the screen is made of has 4 times much stronger than the screen of the iPhone 11. This is the biggest jump Apple has made in terms of reliability for the iPhone (especially for iPhone 12).

Coming to 5G, the iPhone 12 will automatically switch to using LTE if the 5G speeds do not match user intentions on saving battery. The 5G will then turn itself on when it is needed.

The iPhone 12 is packed with a new dual-camera system, which features a 12MP wide-angle camera with a new aperture of f/1.6. It will also have an ultra-wide-angle camera with an aperture of f/2.4. Each camera of the phone has a four-element lens signifying a 27% improvement in low light conditions.

The flagship computational features of the iPhone 12 | (Source: MacRumors)

New computational photography was created to deliver more powerful new features to the phone. This means that the iPhone 12 will be able to understand scenes through machine learning by using Smart HDR 3, which will automatically adjust highlights and shadows for a great dynamic range. The same feature also helps the phone’s Night Mode, which is available in all cameras of the iPhone 12 (this is also a first).

The Night Mode Time-Lapse function is an update in the iPhone 12’s video capability, helping users create a time-lapse in the Night mode.

The Apple iPhone 12 mini

Comparing the Apple iPhone 12 with the iPhone 12 mini | (Source: MacRumors)

For those fans of Apple who adored the once-popular iPod, say hello to the iPhone 12 mini. With a screen size of 5.4 inches, it is currently the smallest, thinnest, and lightest 5G smartphone in the world. It is made to pack all the tech iPhone 12 has into something which is delightfully compact.

The Apple iPhone 12 mini comes in with storage options of 64, 128, and 256 GB respectively. In terms of camera and color, it is the same just as the iPhone 12.

Fans might have to wait a little longer for the iPhone 12 mini. With pre-orders taking place starting Friday, November 6, it will be available in stores from Friday, November 13.

The Apple iPhone 12 Pro

The Apple iPhone 12 Pro with the antenna visible.
The Apple iPhone 12 Pro | (Source: E Online)

The iPhone 12 Pro has the same bells and whistles, the A14 Bionic chip, Super Retina XDR display, Night mode, Dolby Vision, Deep Fusion, and the same Ceramic Shield present in the other iPhone 12 models. This one has the LiDAR Scanner, which measures light distance and pixel depth information, thus delivering a faster and more realistic experience in augmented reality (AR).

The main alluring point of the iPhone 12 Pro Model is its capabilities in camera. Its camera has improved autofocus which is 6 times more than other models in low-light scenes.

A picture taken by Apple iPhone 12 at night | (Source: Apple Inc.)

Other than that, the ‘pro camera system’ present in it includes an ultra-wide camera for expanded photos, a Telephoto camera for longer focal length, and a wide camera with an f/1.6 aperture for taking photos and videos and both bright and low light places.

Picture taken using Apple iPhone 12 Pro in Telephoto Mode | (Source: Apple Inc.)

The iPhone 12 Pro also features Apple’s ProRaw allowing users to edit everything right on the phone. Storage options are 128, 256, and 512 GB respectively. It is available in the following colors:

  • Gold.
  • Silver.
  • Graphite.
  • Pacific Blue.

Consumers in Australia, P.R China, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States along with 30 more countries can pre-order the iPhone 12 Pro on Friday, October 6. The availability in the United States will begin on Friday, October 23.

The iPhone 12 Pro will also be available in India, South Korea, and other countries from Friday, October 30.

The Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

The different photography modes of the iPhone 12 Pro Max | (Source: Digital Camera World)

The things that make the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max notable and distinguishable from others is its 6.7 inches screen (the largest Super Retina XDR display), more enhanced camera capabilities with improved focal length, low-light conditions, and of course, the zoom range.

Color and storage options are the same as the iPhone 12 Pro. Other than that, its availability for consumers in Australia, P.R China, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and 30 countries for pre-ordering starts from Friday, November 6, and full availability is from Friday, November 13.


There you have it, the complete product line of the Apple iPhone 12. This phone is not just a first for Apple in 5G but also in terms of display, camera, features, and the night mode. With its availability starting from October 23 for iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, and Pro, the Pro Max model is coming from November 13.

We are hopeful that the iPhone 12 will help Apple leave a positive mark in today’s ever-increasingly competent Smartphone market especially in the 5G territory.

Amazon faces another lawsuit – This time for selling a faulty battery that burned down a Minnesota Garage

Customers are now beginning to feel skeptical about Amazon

In what is known to be the latest among a string of controversies faced by the internet retail giant, Amazon is facing a lawsuit over a faulty Chinese battery that burned down the garage of a resident in Minnesota.

According to Farm Bureau Property and Casualty Insurance Company, the online retail giant sold the battery to its client Dane Meyer (resident of Cottonwood, Minnesota) last April. Amazon should pay the affected person damages of $75,000 caused by the fire.

The insurance company claims in its complaint that the product was eligible for Amazon’s Prime Shipping. It was also in the spotlight as a choice product of the retail giant.

The complaint states:

“Through its ‘Amazon’s Choice’ program, Amazon recommends highly rated well-priced products available to ship immediately.”

The complaint mentioned that the battery caught fire when it was used with a charger listed as compatible in the product listing on Amazon’s website which was later determined to be incompatible.

Amazon is being sued by the insurance company for its failure to warn the customer, negligence, and liability. It not only promoted the battery but also played a part in selling it, customer fulfillment, and distributing it. It was delivered to Dane Meyer in a trademarked Amazon box.

Is this lawsuit just like another lawsuit? Or a test Amazon is facing for the goods it sells?

Sign of Amazon outside its Sunnyvale, California Office.
Sign of an Amazon Office in Sunnyvale, California. Source:

The current lawsuit Amazon is facing is the latest test on the amount of responsibility it bears for products sold by third-party sellers on its platform. The company has upheld its stance for some products sold in the past.

Amazon maintains that it only works as an intermediary between the seller and buyer. Thus, it cannot be held responsible for any defects in those products.

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals in July last year ruled 2-1 that Amazon was liable as the seller of products of third-party vendors. The court made the ruling in light of the case of a woman from Pennsylvania.

She lost vision in one of her eyes when a dog collar she purchased from Amazon broke and struck her directly in the face.

According to the opinion of the majority at the Third Circuit Court of Appeals:

“We do not believe that Pennsylvania law shields any company from strict liability simply because it adheres to a business model that fails to prioritize consumer safety.”

What kind of lawsuit is Amazon facing in California?

To add more fuel to the fire, California consumers recently filed a class-action lawsuit against Amazon on price-gouging.

Hagens Berman law firm filed a federal lawsuit against the online retail giant on behalf of two consumers: Oakland’s Mary McQueen and Selma’s Victoria Ballinger. They allege that they purchased goods from Amazon during the COVID-19 pandemic which they could not buy safely from physical stores.

However, they found prices set by Amazon to be higher than average.

The suit labeled Amazon’s alleged price-gouging tactics as ‘unacceptable,’ and further listed examples of products and their prices. It also claims that prices of face masks were raised by 500%, from less than $20 to $120. Similarly, cold remedies cost more than $35.99 after getting a price rise of 674% from $4.65.

Has Amazon taking a stand regarding price gouging?

Amazon has previously vowed to tackle price-gouging by third-party sellers on its e-commerce platform. The company has removed over a million products and banned those sellers who violated their pricing policies.

Amazon declined to comment on the lawsuit. However, in a statement issued to a private media company, a company spokesperson wrote:

“There is no place for price gouging on Amazon and that’s why our teams are monitoring our store 24/7 and have already removed hundreds of thousands of offers for attempted price gouging. We are disappointed that bad actors are attempting to take advantage of this global health crisis and, in addition to removing these offers, we have terminated more than 60,000 accounts and working directly with States’ attorney generals to prosecute bad actors and hold them accountable. We continue to actively monitor our store and remove offers violating our policies.”


Amazon’s statement is not convincing. The real problem, however, lies within the company itself. After seeing its marketplace boom since the year 2000, these incidents have certainly put Amazon’s reputation and business practices in question.

It is still unclear whether Amazon is deliberately overlooking the problem or is not acting in an unethical manner. One thing is for sure that it is in trouble for selling unreliable products through unverified sellers. This practice could ultimately see an end soon and may see Amazon face tighter regulations from the U.S Government.

It also may hurt Amazon’s position on the internet. The success story of the dot-com boom may now face an end if it does not check into allowing unverified sellers in selling defective merchandise on its platform.

The Coronavirus strikes again! Facebook joins Twitter is pulling out of the SXSW 2020

A glimpse of SXSW 2019
A glimpse of last year’s SXSW |Sources: The Hollywood Reporter & Getty Images

The coronavirus has struck again! Facebook has joined Twitter in withdrawing from the 2020 South by Southwest festival (SXSW). Their withdrawal from the event is due to the corona virus pandemic.

Though SXSW is declaring that the event will go on as planned, many notable attendees have decided to withdraw from the event. Among them are Facebook and Twitter.

Twitter and Facebook confirmed their withdrawals yesterday. Here is how it went.

How and when Twitter withdrew from SXSW 2020?

It was this Sunday that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey postponed his plans to be at the event. This was mainly due to the company’s stance and curbs on travel due to the coronavirus outbreak and crisis.

A Twitter spokesperson, in fact, stated: “Twitter is implementing a mandatory global business travel restriction for our employees, effective immediately. This, unfortunately, includes SXSW.”

Apart from Jack Dorsey, the company canceled employee travel to that event and further announced yesterday that it was stopping all business travel and events that were not crucial in nature.

The policy took place with immediate effect at the time of announcement. It would remain in effect due to two reasons:

  • Until and unless a vaccine for the corona virus has been discovered.
  • The World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control declare it is safe to step back from precautionary measures regarding the pandemic.

Twitter spokesperson Siobhan Murphy stated in an email to an undisclosed media firm that the company travel restriction on employees included SXSW unfortunately.

Even the organization’s #TwitterHouse at SXSW which was to have an array of events and programs has been canceled as well.

Why did Facebook withdraw from SXSW 2020?

Facebook revealed that it withdrew from SXSW 2020 because of concerns regarding the corona virus. This move came shortly after Twitter’s withdrawal from the event.

According to a statement released by Facebook’s spokesperson: “Due to concerns related to coronavirus, our company and employees will not be participating in SXSW this year.”

The company spokesperson also stated that the company did not have any additional details upon being asked about the number of employees expected to attend the event.

The 2020 SXSW is scheduled to start on March 13 and end on March 22 in Austin, Texas.

The massive drop in the rate of participation from large tech organizations is raising concerns about whether the SXSW will be postponed days before it’s scheduled to start or not.

Recently a petition has been signed by more than 25,000 individuals on which calls for the cancellation of SXSW 2020.

According to reports in different media outlets, SXSW organizers said that the event would still go on as planned. Several Facebook employees were scheduled to speak at the conference.

Last year’s SXSW brought in more than 400,000 attendees from around 105 countries.

Is Facebook’s decision to avert SXSW 2020 a surprising decision?

The social media giant’s decision to avoid the event is not a surprise. Facebook recently canceled its F8 developer conference, which could have taken place on May 5 & 6 in San Jose, California, due to coronavirus concerns.

A global marketing conference planned on February 14 was also canceled by the company.

However, Facebook intends to host local events and stream videos online. It has also restricted social in-person visits to its physical offices.

The social media giant has decided to conduct job interviews through video conferencing tools and methods.

Any other events that have been canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak?

This move was followed by the cancellation of the Mobile World Congress which was to be held this year in Barcelona, Spain, twelve days before the event could start at the end of February.

The same led to the postponement of the Game Developer Conference, which will be rescheduled somewhere in Summer this year.

On Monday, Google also stated that its event Cloud Next, to be held in April, will take place virtually this year with streamed keynotes and sessions live.

Microsoft has also canceled one of its conferences due to the coronavirus pandemic. The same goes for the Geneva Motor Show.

How bad is the Coronavirus outbreak now?

The Corona virus outbreak has worsened. It causes a disease known as COVID-19.

The pandemic was first discovered in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December last year. It has spread rapidly across the planet (except Antarctica) in a span of two months.

It has killed more 3000 people (mostly in the People’s Republic of China). It has also infected more than 89,000 people around the globe.

More cases of it have emerged in South Korea, Thailand, Japan, and Italy. In the past few days, 6 people have died due to the corona virus in the U.S State of Washington.

Though the World Health Organization has stopped short of calling it a pandemic, it has declared it a public health emergency of international concern at the end of January.

The outbreak of the corona virus has caused the following occurences:

  • It has negatively impacted public health.
  • The stock market is experience turbulence.
  • There are imminent fears of an economic meltdown.
  • It has caused a monumental slowdown in manufacturing, purchasing and supply chain networks in the People’s Republic of China.

Social media networks like Twitter and Facebook are currently wrestling the spread of false information. They are taking needed steps to prevent the spread of conspiracy theories and other false things that can cause panic.


The withdrawal of Facebook and Twitter from the 2020 SXSW indicates how bad the coronavirus outbreak has become. The spread of COVID-19 has progressed at a blazing pace and the situation is worsening.

Though the World Health Organization, leading healthcare bodies and State Governments around the globe are scrambling to control the outbreak, many are yet unsure of what is coming next.

We advise everyone to stay safe and take the necessary measures to protect themselves against COVID-19 and the Corona Virus.

The Xperia 1 II – Say Hello to Sony’s first-ever 5G phone

resenting the Sony Xperia 1 II, Sony's flagship 5G phone.
Presenting the Sony Xperia 1 II, Sony’s flagship 5G phone |Source: Sony

At a time when companies are moving towards folding smartphones and 5G supported phones, Sony finally has come up with a successor that will not only tilt the company ahead of Chinese competitors but also adding a new dimension to the Xperia brand.

It has now been confirmed after early leaks that Sony’s flagship 5G phone is the Xperia 1 II (pronounced Xperia 1 Mark II). As the naming scheme suggests, this phone is the Xperia 1’s successor, and the company recently announced the launch of its flagship 5G smartphone.

From the looks of it, The Sony Xperia 1 II looks like an improvement over its predecessor, the Xperia 1. It packs a lot of meaningful improvements over its predecessor.

According to Mitsuya Kishida, Sony’s President of Mobile Communications, No one understands the experience of entertainment better than Sony. The company is in a unique position in today’s time of 5G cellular technology to give the target users an ‘enriched’ experience thanks to Sony’s extensive content portfolio.

He further stated: “Whether you are a broadcast professional who requires dynamic speed or an everyday user who desires enhanced entertainment, Xperia with 5G takes your mobile experience to the next level.”

What sets the Sony Xperia 1 II apart from the rest?

Sony Xperia 1 II has specifications like the 6.5-inch 4K HDR OLED display with a tall 21:9 aspect ratio.

It is powered by a Snapdragon 865 chipset, 8GB RAM, 256GB of storage, and a 4,000mAh battery with a fast-wired charging of 21 Watts (equivalent to 21 Volts and 1 Ampere).

Among the other specifications are :

  • The IP65 and IP68 certifications for resistance to dust and water.
  • Stereo speakers.
  • A 3.5mm headphone jack.
  • Wireless charging.
  • A dedicated shutter key.
  • A fingerprint scanner mounted sideways.

Sounds cool, doesn’t it? 😊 It’s now about to sound even cooler.

Thanks to the presence of the Snapdragon X55 modem, the Sony Xperia 1 II will support sub-6GHz 5G.

However, it will support 5G networks in Europe for now. The device will support 4G networks in other parts of the world.

The flagship 1 II handset will be 4G only in the United States, but US fans should not be heartbroken. Sony recently teased a separate 5G device known as the Xperia Pro.

The company also announced a new mid-range handset known as the Xperia 10 II.

The Sony Xperia 1 II’s camera and the new things coming with it

In terms of the phone’s photography capabilities, Sony has added some neat hardware features such as the 3.5mm headphone jack and wireless charging support.

Surprisingly, both these features were not present on the Xperia 1.

Today’s era is that of the 108-megapixel smartphone cameras, the 12-megapixel triple-camera array found on the back of the Sony Xperia 1 II risks it is getting labeled as a low spec phone on paper. However, the company thinks otherwise.

Sony is of the belief that it has raised the bar up by bringing in features from its Alpha lineup of cameras. 

The phone supports up to 20fps shooting in burst mode (the company believes it to be a first for a smartphone) and has the ability to calculate AF/AE at up to 60 times per second.

What’s more, is that the eye-tracking auto-focus has returned from last year. This system works quite well with animals.

According to Sony, the camera auto-focus covers 70% of the frame.

What else has Sony brought with it?

The Japanese electronics giant has a new Photo Pro app, which joins last year’s Cinema Pro app. The goal here is to give users more manual control over their photography.

According to Sony, this will be done with a similar interface to an interchangeable lens camera. If users wish taking pictures using a normal smartphone camera interface, they can do easily.

Sony Xperia 1 II Real-time Eye AF for both humans and animals in photography.
Real-time Eye AF for humans & animals in photography in the Sony Xperia 1 II | Source: Sony

What is the Camera’s hardware?

The Sony Xperia 1 II has three rear cameras and a 3D iToF sensor to help with focusing. All the three rear cameras feature 12-megapixel sensors, like the iPhone 11 Pro.

On the phone, the main 24mm f/1.7 camera has a large 1/1.7-inch sensor which is almost the same Samsung is using for the Galaxy S20 and S20 Plus’s main cameras but not as large as the one found in the Galaxy S20 ultra.

Another thing the phone has is a 16mm f/2.2 ultrawide camera and a 70mm f/2.4 telephoto camera. On the front, an 8-megapixel selfie camera with a dedicated camera button on the right side of the phone.

The video aspect

The Sony Xperia 1 II can record videos of 4K quality at 60 fps and 2K videos at 120 fps. The company promises superior audio quality whilst recording videos as the phone separates out disturbance caused by wind noise.

The phone also comes in with 360 reality audio decoding which is known to be another first in a smartphone.

The good part of the Sony Xperia 1 II’s screen

Just like its predecessor, the Sony Xperia 1 II has a 6.5-inch 4K HDR OLED display with a tall 21:9 aspect ratio. The company is somehow keen to emphasize the benefits of such as a screen for media consumption, there is plenty of daily usage people will have on the phone. Among them is the ability to see more emails in an instant and explore more content in an instance on social media.

Pricing and release date

Sony has not announced any price for the Xperia 1 II. However, it will launch the device in Europe in late spring. The U.S release date for the device is unknown.

Currently, the company is working on the Xperia Pro, which is a professional variant of the Sony Xperia 1 II. It is designed specifically for the US market and for use by professionals specializing in broadcast video production.

This will feature 5G mmWave connectivity and an HDMI port which allows it to be hooked directly on professional cameras.

What mid-range handset does Sony have?

Sony currently has a new mid-range handset known as the Xperia 10 II. It has a slightly smaller screen 6 inches in size and 21:9 1080p OLED display. The processor is the Snapdragon 665 which is less powerful than what Xperia 1 II has and a smaller 3,600mAh battery.

Although it has an array of 3 cameras with the same combination of coal length as the Xperia 1 II with two cameras having 8-megapixel sensors. It has the 3.5mm headphone jack but no areas for wireless charging. The company aims to ship it in select markets this coming spring.


The market for smartphones today is obsessed with 108-megapixel cameras and ultra-thin bodies. Renown manufacturers such as Samsung and Motorola went ahead with foldable phones such as the Razr and Galaxy Z Flip to add a twist to the smartphone market today.

Sony Xperia 1 II is not just any smartphone. It has introduced 360-degree spatial audio and front-facing speakers. The welcoming return of the 3.5mm headphone jack adds more to the good over the bad. The handset will hardware-decode streams from Tidal for optimal high-resolution sound quality.

The audio aspect coupled with its compatibility with Sony’s Alpha cameras is set to make this phone a hit with consumers. The arrival of the Xperia 1 II adds more flavor to the 5G phone lineup which was dominated by Apple and Samsung.

The Sony Xperia 1 II will start getting shipped in spring and in a choice of either black, purple or white. The company has revealed that it will launch it on Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, MetroPCS, and Cricket.

Galaxy Z Flip

Teased a day early at this year’s Oscars – Presenting the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip

The Samsung Galaxy Fold was released in September last year. It was able to impress the Smartphone universe greatly with its unusual and creative concepts, but its hardware lacked teeth. The hardware failed to match up to expectations as it had encountered several embarrassing issues.

This did not frighten Samsung, as it still expects to sell around 6 million foldable devices this year and 20 million of such by next year’s end.

Since last year, we all have been hearing news, leaks and details about Samsung’s upcoming foldable phone. It was initially assumed to be known as Galaxy Fold 2, but as it turns out; it is the Galaxy Z Flip. Thanks to an ad for this year’s Oscars, we got to find out when the device will be released as the ad teased Samsung’s new folding phone.

With the new Moto Razr available as the first foldable smartphone, it will be quite interesting to see how much Samsung can add to the line of folding phones.

Previous folding phones have not been able to impress consumers. With the Galaxy Z Flip, Samsung has proved to all how it can also improve the folding phone model to stay ahead of competitors.

Here are some details of the Galaxy Z Flip, based on rumors about it and on what Samsung has showcased at the Oscars.

What do we know about the Galaxy Z Flip so far?

The Galaxy Z Flip is known to have a 6.7-inch folding display, two 12-megapixel cameras on the back (one is regular while the other is ultrawide), two batteries and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 plus processor.

A close up of a flower

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The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip | Sources: Tom’s Guide and

The specifications of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip

Here are its specifications detailed completely:

  • Price: $1,400 – $1,500.
  • Screen size, when unfolded, is an Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) screen of 6.7 inches with a resolution of 2636 x 1080 pixels.
  • The outer screen is a 1.1 inches OLED screen with a resolution of 300 x 116 pixels.
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ CPU.
  • 8GB of RAM.
  • 256GB of Storage.
  • Rear cameras of 12 megapixels, with the main one having a focus of f/1.8 and the ultra-wide-angle one having a focus of f/2.2.
  • A 10-megapixel front camera having a focus of f/2.0.
  • The battery has a power of 3,300 mAh.
  • When folded, the phone has a size of 3.4 x 2.9 x. 0.61 – 0.68 inches.
  • When open, the phone has a size of 6.6 x 2.9 x 0.27 – 0.28 inches.
  • The phone has a weight of 6.5 ounces.

The ad that teased the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip ad that was aired during the Oscars | Source: YouTube

Tuesday’s event won’t just see the Galaxy Z Flip’s full unveiling as Samsung is also expected to launch a trio of Galaxy S20 phones (formerly known as the Galaxy S11).

Based on the latest rumors, the biggest addition to these new phones is compatibility and support for 5G and a 120 Hz refresh rate OLED screen (which matches the ASUS ROG Phone 2) and a new 108-megapixel camera.

Snap from Samsung Galaxy Z Flip's TV ad
Snap from Samsung Galaxy Flip’s TV Ad | Sources: Samsung, YouTube and Tom’s Guide

After seeing only three significant folding devices last year, folding smartphones are still hanging on the edge of the mountain of futuristic reality and fancy ideas.

The Galaxy Z Flip competes directly with the Motorola Razr (which went on sale recently and even failed folding tests last week). Recent news about squeaks in the new Moto Razr when folding raises concerns. Such concerns can be allayed by the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip.

The Motorola Razr failing the fold test | Sources: YouTube

Samsung leads the pack of phone makers in terms of output and the Galaxy Z Flip is the company’s second folding smartphone after the Galaxy Fold. The Galaxy fold was a super-luxury item, priced around $ 1,980 (around £2,000 and AU$ 2,950).

The Price

If Samsung sells the Galaxy Z Flip for $1,400 (£1,086 and AU$ 2,090), then the Korean electronics giant will effectively dent Moto Razr’s price of $1,500. Also, the company will be doing it with a phone having a more comprehensive set of specifications and much more durability.

Experts views on the shape and price of Galaxy Z Flip

Experts in the industry concur with the view that Samsung’s adaption of a Clamshell body for the phone is one of the best ways of making these folding smartphones affordable and portable. It is also likely that regular people will be purchasing it with ease, apart from the pricey ones lying around.

However, the price $1,400 price tag is somehow a long way from an earlier report in Singaporean News ‘The Independent’. It revealed that the Galaxy Z Flip could be priced at $850.

The phone is also known to be using quite an extra-thin layer of glass instead of plastic for the screen.

Consumers are hopeful that the phone’s vertical hinge will be easier to use than that of the Galaxy Fold. A lot of people are surprised that the phone was unveiled at last night’s Oscars.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold special edition from Russian jeweler Caviar | Source: Caviar

Yet, it is still affordable than the Galaxy Z Fold. For those who are looking to spend a bit more than that, Russian jeweler Caviar announced that it will release a special edition case for the phone costing $5,000.

Will the Galaxy Z Flip avert the fatal screen issues of the Galaxy Fold?

One thing is clear regarding the phone; Samsung has enhanced the design in order to set aside the design flaws in the Galaxy Fold.

This is the Korean giant’s second attempt at making a folding smartphone. Also, the company used plastic end caps in shrinking a gap preventing entry of dust and debris.

Internal support for the delicate display has also been reinforced.

Android 10 and One UI 2 software are included in the Galaxy Z Flip

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip will have a USB-C charger port and is guaranteed to work with Android 10 and Samsung’s One UI 2 software layer riding on the top of Android OS.


The tease of Samsung Galaxy Z Flip at the Oscars comes in as a surprise. It will be released on February 11 this year alongside the Galaxy S20.

The Galaxy Z Flip comes in as an upgrade to its predecessor Galaxy Fold. The phone is much affordable than the new Moto Razr and is rumored to be much more durable as well.

How will the phone fare practically? Dear readers, please stay tuned to find out more about the Galaxy Z Flip.

A new era begins: A look into the new design of Apple iMac

For quite some time the Apple iMac had been on a stagnant run, to the extent that it has fallen way behind when it comes to an all-in-one design for a personal computer (PC). However, in the recent few days a patent has been spotted which can change all that.

Patently Apple was the first to spot the patent application, which was filed in May 2019. It shows the new Apple iMac comprising curved glass having the keyboard, track-pads and display in the same body.

It does seem weird, but this is the new era where devices are not only odd but innovative, given the case of Lenovo’s new foldable laptop and the new Moto Razr.

Let us now have a good look at the new Apple iMac because there is more than meets the eye when it comes to Apple’s new mysterious computer.

Is the new Apple iMac’s design genius or what?

The design is truly genius and it is unthinkable. But Apple is surely the master in doing the unthinkable.

The American technology giant recently applied for a patent. This patent is itself quite ambitious for a design showcasing a new all-in-one computer integrating both the track-pad, monitor and keyboard into one single curved sheet of glass.

The patent describes the way the supposedly new iMac model’s input and display areas can be built and integrated into a single unit having a unified continuous surface.

A support structure will be behind the display unit which can contain the computer’s central processing unit and provide the space for all the machine’s ports.

The new Apple iMac patent registered by Apple Inc. with the United States Patent Trademark Office (USPTO).
Patent design of Apple’s supposedly new iMac | Sources: United States Patent Trademark Office & The Verge

Some parts of the patent suggested that the actual computing component of the iMac might be removable which allows users to slide in their MacBook in that dock.

In case of absence of a MacBook, an iPad can be stuck in on top of the iMac. Since it will be behind the screen, no one is sure how this will be useful.

More diagrams of the patent |Source: Apple & TechRadar

We are also unsure of whether this new radically overhauled iMac will come out in the market in this design or with an improved one. But consumers always find it fun to try and determine what Apple will try to do in the future.

The patent itself is bizarre yet fascinating that even if it does not become real, it excites everyone (including the die-hard fans of Apple) for Apple’s future products in many ways.

Should we think about the patent design of the new Apple iMac again?

Let’s analyze this design, again? Some believe it might not become a final product, but no one should feel disheartened. They also should never feel guilty about fantasizing about an Apple product, especially what this patent design might turn out to be.

As we know it and as it exists today, the iMac is a space-saving wonder machine. It is packed with desktop-class components and is much faster than a MacBook Pro, with an adorable display that can help people perform heavy-duty computing tasks (especially true with the iMac Pro).

One of the best things about the iMac as of right now, is its versatility. It is VESA compatible, meaning that its users can mount it on their own stand as well as on the wall.

Also, the wireless peripherals can let users’ interface with their computer in any way they want.

However, the versatility becomes questionable with the curved glass design.

Evolution of the Macintosh leading to the new Apple iMac

If the new Apple iMac ever makes it to the Apple Store at any point in time in the current decade, then it will be revolutionary.

The Current Apple iMac | Source: 9to5 Mac

Apple adopted the current form of iMac in 2004 of a panel with a screen and CPU with an aluminum case holding it. This form factor was refined through all these years with thinner screens and chins.

Apart from that and changing materials (from plastic and glass to a combo of aluminum and glass), it has remained the same throughout the course of time.

The Apple Macintosh of 1998 | Source: The Telegraph

Before that, the significant changes observed were in the Mac of 1998 when Apple changed the first iconic design into the real iMac. 2002 brought another radical reform with a semi spherical base having a floating flat panel holding the display alone through a balanced, stainless steel arm. 2004 brought the iMac as we know it today.

The Apple iMac of 2002 | Source: The Telegraph

A MacBook docking port in the iMac would be truly revolutionary. The last time anyone saw such was in the amazing and beloved Powerbook Duo, which was a line of sub-notebooks made from 1992 until 1997.

The Powerbook Duo had a mechanized docking station, allowing users to insert their computers into a slot to turn it into a desktop computer instantly. It was complete with expanded slots, a standalone display and added hard drive storage.

The Apple Powerbook Duo |Source: Pinterest


The idea of Apple making something like a revolutionary new iMac is something which is irresistible for both the old and new generation users.

Like Apple made radical changes in 1984, 1998 and 2004, it is not impossible nor is it surprising for consumers and users alike to think about Apple doing something great. Any revolution in Apple’s gadgets will surely start with the iMac for sure.

The Moto Razr’s Facing Competition! All Eyes Now on TCL’s New Foldable Smartphone

A screen shot of a computer

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TCL’s new prototype folding phone | Source: T3

The 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is quite fascinating and this time, we all are getting to see some unique gadgets. Among them is TCL’s new foldable smartphone, a prototype the Chinese electronics giant showcased at the event hoping to give Moto Razr a tough time.

The company recently showcased its prototype for a folding phone. Not only is the scenario for folding phones illuminated further but also TCL is poised to do really well.

The Chinese electronics giant is known to play second fiddle to giants such as Huawei, LG, Motorola, Samsung and Lenovo; but this gadget is set to bring its status to the stop. It has recently showcased the TCL 10 5G smartphone at CES 2020 priced at less than $500, which is affordable than the ones offered by its competitors.

The company has also not only raised eyebrows but also sounded the alarms off with its prototype for a quite workable folding phone. It is being heard that it will be quite affordable in comparison to the upcoming folding Moto Razr (priced at $1,500). Therefore, it is quite a big deal for phone enthusiasts.

How TCL’s new foldable smartphone helps it move a step ahead in folding phone technology?

The company is known for giving consumers top-notch gadgets running on the latest tech and available at the best affordable price. TCL’s new foldable smartphone is set to give the $1,500 Motorola Razr folding flip phone a tough time.

Its shape is an absolute square and when opened in the center, it shows a 7.2-inch plastic display surrounded by thick black plastic bezel like casing. It has no selfie camera inside but behind the screen, it has four cameras in diamond pattern. The color used is eye-catching deep emerald, which is a pleasant sight.

The best part about it is that it has enough strength to stand on its own and that too on any stage of the fold. In comparison, other phones tend to snap either completely open or closed at certain points. Its absolute square shape helps it sit up and be used like a laptop without any hindrance.

TCL’s new foldable smartphone in sit-up position.
TCL’s folding phone prototype in the sit-up position | Source: CNET

The features and functionality of TCL’s new foldable smartphone

TCL’s new foldable smartphone’s prototype does look and feel a bit bulky. Its software responded slowly when the device was rotated, and in some instances it froze. When opened and closed, an audible squeak was heard.

The Chinese electronics giant is renown for its affordable, top quality TVs and is transparent regarding the product prototype. Knowing its reputation, there is no doubt that TCL will add improvements to the phone’s prototype. In fact, it will also be making other products in the future that can bend as well.

TCL’s prototype features a square shaped 7.2-inch display, a quad-camera system and a middle level Snapdragon 660 processor. The operating system in use is Android 9.0 Pie. It is not much of a technical masterpiece, but it does deliver a true folding phone’s experience.

When the refinements will be added, it would be undoubtedly attractive who need folding smartphones at a reasonable price tag. The company sees folding devices as one way of establishing TCL as a leading brand name. That too at a time when competing firms are trying to add spark to a slowing industry through innovative product design. It also hopes to stay ahead in the race of adopting 5G technology.

Release and price date

Right now, no official price, release date or the official product name has been released by TCL. However, there are rumors that it can be released late this year.

The final word

It is true that TCL’s foldable phone prototype is not ready for release yet. Why? Because the phone’s hinge and foldable screen are far from perfect, the software it runs on is sluggish and there are no front facing cameras.

The phone’s specs were mid level but it is only a prototype. The designs and features change with time. Thus, we can be assured that the company will upgrade them before its release.

Should we be thrilled with TCL entering the foldable smartphone market? Yes, we should be!

Why? Because the Samsung Galaxy Fold costs $1980. In contrast, TCL’s phone will be cost less than that.

The company also aims to bring in a folding phone that is not only durable but also without glitches.

Unusual yet Innovative Highlights From CES 2020: Unveiling the World’s First Ever Folding Laptop, Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Fold

Lenovo’s foldable Laptop, the ThinkPad X1 Fold | Source: CNET

Last year, Lenovo showed the world in what looked like to be the first ever folding PC. This year at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the computing giant recently unveiled its latest creation and truly the first ever folding laptop to the public; The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold.

That’s right! This is world’s first ever truly folding laptop. It also has spent four years in development and went through six major designs until now.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold can be best described as the perfect blend of a folding smartphone and a top-notch laptop. Renowned companies like Apple, Huawei, Samsung and Motorola have been experimenting with folding smartphones and failed many times before they came up with a durable final design and outcome.

But what Lenovo has shown proves the company’s worth in making top class futuristic gadgets, not for luxury but for everyone. What’s even more interesting is that the Chinese computing giant is more than happy to be experimenting with unusual yet interesting concepts, to bring to the world devices that were once perceived as impossible to produce.

Let us now have a deeper look at how Lenovo braved the odds in producing a technological masterpiece.

Challenges faced by Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold in its development

President of Lenovo’s Commercial PC and Smart Device Business Unit, Christian Teismann, said that the company has been looking for new product types and associated factors for years since the Yoga franchise began.

He further explained: “A PC is only usable for full productivity at a certain size, about 12 to 13 inches. We ultimately came back to something fundamental like a book form factor in business.”

One of the big challenges the company faced in developing a foldable PC was to ensure it lasted up to 5 years at least in its lifecycle as well as having the usability of a PC. Mr. Teismann said the first working sample was released around a year ago and further revealed the ThinkPad brand will evolve to a new level.

He further stated that the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold would be available for order early in this year’s second half with shipments commencing in the middle of the second half.

If such a release time is true, then Lenovo will be shipping the X1 Fold at almost the same time Microsoft debuts its Duo and Neo devices.

Another view of Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold | Source: Lenovo

Features & Specifications of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold

The Lenovo ThinkPad Fold X1 is the latest in a long line of foldable phones and computers. Numerous convertible dimensions attempted to bring the best of laptops and tablets together to create a device on a single overall dimension. It can also be safe to assume that Lenovo’s new Motorola Razr is the inspiration for its creation.

When unfolded, the ThinkPad Fold X1 has a 13.3-inch display which makes it quite compact. A magnetic Bluetooth keyboard (featured with it) that can sit on the device’s bottom half, creating a complete laptop effect. It can also be detached to be used with the unfolded screen.

A separate easel like stand can be used to hoist the device on it which then gives a sort of a desktop effect (it costs $24 & is not included with the product). When the laptop’s system is not in use, the keyboard sits in the middle and gets charged by wireless means. The best part is that it sits nicely when the laptop is folded.

The screen is pOLED (Plastic Organic Light-Emitting Diode) made in collaboration with LG. Lenovo revealed the extent of the screen’s durability tests to be quite extensive.

A carbon fiber plate reinforces the folding mechanism. The hinges used are quite powerful as they are not easily bent by human fingers.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold runs on Windows 10 Pro, and Lenovo brought its own solutions regarding its operability on the folding screen. The laptop is likely to have Windows 10X upon its launch.

The customizations it has are a taskbar icon bringing up a pop-up menu where users can switch between a single full-screen view or a dual-screen mode with an app displayed to each half of the screen. It is expected to be priced around $2,499.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold with wireless Bluetooth keyboard.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold with the wireless keyboard | Source: CNET

The key points of the Lenovo ThinkPad Fold X1 are as under:

  • It has multiple modes and can be opened as a completely flat 13.3-inch display.
  • The product was co-engineered with Intel. It uses its Core series processors & Windows 10.
  • An option for Windows 10X is coming later this year.
  • 5G connectivity for the device is now an option.
  • Lenovo said that it had developed a mode-switching software for Windows 10 which can accommodate multiple use cases & modes on ThinkPad X1 Fold (Windows 10 is known to be slow).
  • The device weighs less than 2.2 pounds.
  • A Bluetooth Mini Fold Keyboard and a leather case are available with the device.
  • When the product is closed by folding, the keyboard can be stored and charged in it (wireless charging) and secured with magnets.
  • A full-sized keyboard, mouse and a second display can connect with the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold via a USB Type-C cable and port.
  • A ThinkPad X1 Fold Stand is also available. It can be used in either portrait or landscape mode. This helps the ThinkPad X1 Fold to be used as a desktop.

What makes the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold stand out?

Flexibility is the main advantage of the laptop’s design. The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold is something that is better than most small laptops; users can open the screen to its full size & prop it up with the built-in kickstand.

They can even use the wireless keyboard with ease which gives the experience of using both a desktop and a laptop. The easel like stand elevates it, making it look like the world’s smallest desktop.

Regarding its performance, the company stated that it runs on a new Intel platform using ‘hybrid technology.’ Battery life is stated to be up to 11 hours. Though skeptics see it as a machine having slow processing power, it would be wise to wait for its launch to see if it proves them wrong.


It is pricey when it comes to a laptop or tablet, but the ThinkPad X1 Fold is set to be the most innovative gadget made by Lenovo. The company has clearly put a lot of thinking in creating it.

This encourages experimental devices to hit the markets this year.

Hence, consumers will be looking forward to buying it and spending a lot of time on it as well.

Reviewing the Apple Watch Series 5 – Always on & always perfect, the best one can have

Apple’s watch has often gained top-class features each year, but it still remains overshadowed by the iPhone. The iPhone 11 may have dominated this year’s current news cycle (following leaks of its specifications) but Apple’s Watch Series 5 is something that has taken us all by surprise.

In fact, its release was announced when the iPhone 11 was launched on September 10, 2019.

In comparison to the Apple Watch Series 4, the Apple Watch Series 5 showcases three new key features:

  • The display is always on.
  • An in-built compass.
  • International emergency calling feature.
  • A faster processor.
  • An app measuring ambient noise (also present in Series 4).
  • 32GB of in-built storage (the previous series had 16GB).

The Apple Watch Series 5 has been launched at the same price as the Series 4. Let’s have a look at how well it fares.

The design aspect of Apple Watch Series 5

The Apple Watch Series 5 does not look different in comparison to the Series 4 one. It comes in a 40 mm case size for people with slimmer wrists and a 44 mm case size. It weighs only 36 grams which makes it barely noticeable on anyone’s wrist.

Even better, it never gets tangled under a shirt’s cuff and its curvy base is ergonomic in delightful terms.

Well, it does look like it was designed by an expert on watches (and it really was!). Its design proves it.

Gone are the days when consumers were upset over the Apple Watch not having a round shape. Its current shape has become an icon, and Apple further refined the features without enlarging the body which not only gave it a further visible screen area but also made it quite attractive as well.

The Apple Watch Series 5 in the iconic white strap | Source: 9to5MAC

Do we need a circular-shaped Apple Watch? I think not because the current design is truly iconic in its own sense.

What is more heartening about the Apple Watch Series 5 is the way it has been presented. It comes in an elongated box (giving customers an occasion to open it). It is wrapped in a protective bag that is soft and tiny.

Packaging of the Apple Watch Series 5 | Source: 9to5MAC

The watch’s straps are kept separately in the box. They come in an elegant leather version, high-performance fluoroelastomer strap, flexible nylon weaves or a metal band one (customers can choose from any one of them). They all come in multiple colors.

The finish? Customers can choose from stainless steel, aluminum, ceramic  and titanium.

The best part of the watch’s materials? They all are recycled hence its environment-friendly.

There is no change in the watch’s design because there simply wasn’t a need for such. In the future, the watch might become not just thinner, but the bezels could be shrunk too. But, at the moment, the Apple Watch Series 5 is exceptionally marvelous.

The Apple Watch Series 5’s display – ‘Always-On’ is a big deal!

Almost all smartwatches in the market have had displays that were always on. In case of Apple’s Watch Series 5, it’s a little more than that.

The Series 5 has a screen which is always on indeed and shows more than just the time. When inactive, the display shows information on the screen but in a dimmer mode. When you raise your wrist to see the time, the screen turns on.

Another positive point the watch has is a fitness tracking display. If you are jogging and want to see the number of meters run without the need for stopping, the display will show it to you (which alleviates a previous complaint on the series 4).

The series 5’s always-on display is more than just anything. Users get to choose the correct watch face. Apple overcame considerations for battery life, to make it function properly.

There is a whole new collection of watch faces to select from; ranging from the California watch face to the simple numerals’ duo. Apple made it easy for users to match the numbers’ color with that of the watch’s strap for a real matching look.

Is there a noise app in it?

The Noise app is interesting, as it signifies Apple’s continuing commitment to users’ health. It notifies users when they are entering a noisy environment and even warns them about the consequences of excessive noise.

For instance, if you are in a disco and the sound levels reach 90 decibels (dB) then it will warn you about the noise level. It may not be instantly helpful, but it does provide users a step above in level of awareness of our surroundings.

Which OS does it run on?

Apple Watch Series 5 runs on WatchOS 6 (which is also available for previous generations too) has new additional features that are fun to have.

After each hour passed, the watch makes a ‘beeping’ sound which is reminiscent of watches the current generation had in their childhood; minus the annoyance it would cause today.

How well do the Apple Watch Series 5 and WatchOS 6 work together?

They both work together quite well, with exceptional performance and an easy to learn user experience. It has beaten all other platforms.

The usability is fun, and the feedback is tactile in nature. Users can also use the digital crown to zoom in and out of the screen, which looks great due to its cohesiveness & smartness.

Battery and performance of Apple Watch Series 5

Previous models have fared better in comparison to the current series 5 in this regard. The Apple Watch Series 5 lasts 16 hours in a day and the older models lasted longer. Hence, a nighttime charging is needed.

The good news is that Series 5’s always-on display does not suck much battery life. The battery only drains when it is intensive use: such as installing apps, testing the compass and maps, tracking fitness cycles, using Siri and the like. It would then leave it with 10% with such robust use.

Depending on the user’s usage of the watch, the Apple Watch Series 5 requires almost daily charging (provided the usage is strong)

Smartwatches offered from competitors such as Fitbit, Garmin, Moto and Samsung offer a longer battery life, but they lack the features Apple Watch Series 5 has. At the moment, it is still pretty much a trade-off.

Compass and Maps made better

The Apple Watch Series 5 has a built-in compass, a feature most consumers would have yawned at.

In fact, consumers and die-hard Apple fans need to realize how useful the compass feature really is. Imagine taking a hike in the forests of Colorado, or a hike on the shores of Manhattan beach.

The compass is not only synced well with the maps but also gives users an idea of where they were heading. It is essential when users are either hiking, camping or traveling in a distant area.

The compass does take advantage of the watch’s built-in magnetometer and Apple is opening its API to third-party apps.

However, it should be noted that certain watch bands can interfere with the built-in magnetometer present in Series 5. In fact, a band with a magnet will put the compass’s performance out of loop. Hence, when going out on an adventure, leave the Milanese loop strap (or the modern buckle) at home.

Price and Availability of the Apple Watch Series 5

The Apple Watch Series 5 is available on Apple’s online store, it’s retail outlets and its partner locations. The pricing options are as under.

For Aluminum body:

  • 42 mm costs USD$ 400.
  • 44 mm costs USD$ 430.
  • 42 mm with GPS & Cellular connectivity costs USD$ 500.
  • 44 mm with GPS & Cellular connectivity costs USD$ 530.

The stainless steel one starts at USD$ 700, the titanium one costs USD$ 800, Ceramic one costs USD$ 1300 and the Hermes version starts from USD$ 1250.


When compared to older models; such as Series 2 (GPS & water-resistant), Series 3 (cellular connectivity) and series 4 (medical-grade health measuring features), Series 5 is a serious upgrade. Apple has set the bar for smartwatches quite high which is impossible to match.

Rival smartwatch makers lag behind the series 5 in other features despite matching it with the screen part.

Series 4 owners can have new features if they install WatchOS 6. Whereas, Series 3 owners can get heart health watch and the always-on display with the WatchOS 6 upgrade. But Series 5 is best in its own style, sense, and uniqueness. It is simply un-matchable.

It looks like a cyberpunk’s dream, but Elon Musk did the unthinkable – presenting the new Tesla Cybertruck!

A side image of the Tesla Cybertruck | Source: Tesla

The American pickup truck market is something that is a hard nut to crack. It’s a lucrative market that relies solely on the strength, sturdiness, toughness and dependability of the pickup truck, capable of surviving al weather conditions imaginable. In short, Americans prefer them to be like the good old pickup trucks.

Image result for Good ol' pickup truck
A 5th Generation Ford F-Series pickup truck |Source: 9GAG

Entering this tough segment through all electric pickup trucks was impossible some time ago. This time however, Tesla may have made the difference.

Throughout these years, we have all seen what Tesla has been doing; it makes a repetitious update on an existing design and makes it look exciting through a flashy press event. But this time, Tesla did it differently than others.

It was just 2 days ago that Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed a pickup truck which is futuristic in design. But that very design is absurd and brutalist in sense. This is one of the best electric pickup trucks that have ever been released.
The Tesla Cybertruck at its launch event | Source: CNET

Presenting to the world, the new Tesla Cybertruck!

Tesla revealed the new Cybertruck at a press event, hosted at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California. The truck’s price starts from $40,000 and is poised to make it big in the already existing, tough and robust pickup truck market in the United States.

Having a look at Tesla Cybertruck’s design evokes some serious thoughts about funkiness, outer space and the future. Yet, the pickup’s design is also polarizing. If customers accept the fact that there is more than what meets the eye, they should know that it will go into production late in the year 2021.

This is one of the first all-electric pickup trucks ever launched in the United States. It also comes in with some remarkable features.

  • It can seat six people with relative ease.
  • The company claims it is bulletproof (both the body and the glass).
  • It has an adjustable ride height.
  • The loading bed is known as the vault (due to its retractable cover). It is 6.5 feet long.
  • An on-board air compressor is present.
  • An outlet allowing users in running power tools & charging their gadgets. It draws power from an in-built battery pack.

Measurements and Performance of the Tesla Cybertruck

The Tesla Cybertruck promises to bring a new class of speed, adaptability, versatility and of course, strength. This is the only truck of its kind making all of these possible on an all-electric design and specifications.

The powerful drivetrain and low center of gravity gives exceptional traction control & torque, which helps the truck obtain acceleration from 0-60 miles per hour (mph) in just 2.9 seconds and up to 500 miles of range.

tesla cybertruck features price specs release date photos 3
The interior of Tesla Cybertruck | Source: Digital Trends

The Tesla Cybertruck is 231.7 inches (19.31 feet) long, 79.8 inches (6.65 feet) wide and 75 inches (6.25 feet) tall. It has a seating for a total of six individuals. That’s right, six individuals so talk about the truck being roomy.

Comparing these measurements to that of the Ford F-150, it measures between 209 and 250 inches (17.43 and 20.83 feet) long, 80 and 86 inches (6.67 and 7.16 feet) wide, and between 75 & 78.5 inches (6.25 and 6.54 feet) tall. This does make them both pretty much the same in size.

When it comes to performance, they sound too good to be true because Elon Musk claims that the Tesla Cybertruck will be able to reach 60 miles per hour in 2.9 seconds. That will be before it continues through the quarter-mile marker in just under 11 seconds.

Its off-road statistics are praiseworthy. It offers an approach angle of 35 degrees, a departure angle of 28 degrees and a ground clearance of up to 16 inches (1.3 feet). At the moment, three ranges (models) will be offered, with 250 plus miles at the low end and the top end having an amazing 500 plus miles.

When it came to the towing aspect, the Tesla Cybertruck will be capable of towing around 14,000 pounds (6,350 Kilograms). On the launch event, a video was played and according to it; the Cybertruck beat the Ford F-150 in a tug of war.

Tesla ATV
An ATV loaded on the load bed of Tesla Cybertruck | Source: CNET and Tesla

It should be noted that all of the tech industry’s big names and minds have tried pulling off a ‘Steve Jobs’ thing by means of so-called innovations which have often flopped badly.

But here, Elon Musk has pretty much delivered what he said. At the launch event, Elon Musk revealed that an ATV can fit in the truck and even charge in its loading bed. It may sit in awkwardly, but it is also worth noting that it charges there too.

The Tesla Cybertruck’s body and Looks – Where did it come from?

When General Motors launched Saturn in 1985, it had faced a lot of laughter because innovative designs back then were fantasy.

The design of the Tesla Cybertruck brings to mind something from the funky universe of cyberpunks. Instead of fitting aluminum panels over an existing skeletal frame, Tesla used an exoskeleton made of cold rolled stainless steel. That is a pretty strong material and a pretty strong body frame.

At the launch event, the body was tested with blows from a sledgehammer. All it did was just slightly dent the Cybertruck’s finish. Musk claims the stainless-steel alloy used on the Tesla Cybertruck is strong and this is the case.

Apart from the sledgehammer, he claims it can also withstand firing from certain types of small arms. It does prove that the stainless-steel exterior body of the truck is something huge when it comes to engineering pickup trucks.

If all of this is real without any doubt, then the Tesla Cybertruck is a vehicle no one would want to crash into.

The Cybertruck is quite big and roomy. The outside may look polarizing, but the inside is quite spacious. For such a design, it seemed impossible to have a spacious interior and it does look like Tesla pulled off a magic trick in this regard.

Somehow, the pickup’s look is quite hideous. The Blade Runner inspired design on the pickup is currently a prototype at the moment. Customers will now be hoping that when it is formally launched, it will look better than its architype version.

Bulletproof glass – Is it really bulletproof?

Shattered glass of the Tesla Cybertruck during its launch event | Source: CNET

Tesla claims that the Cybertruck is fitted with Ultra-strong glass and polymer-layered composite. It can absorb and redirect impactful force which not only tolerates damage but also helps deliver improved performance as well.

On the launch event, Tesla’s employees tested Tesla’s armored glass by having a giant steel ball thrown at it from various heights. It was done separately which wooed the audience. It did seem to be bulletproof at first when the special demonstration was carried out.

Instead of Tesla moving on to another demonstration, Elon Musk urged Tesla’s design head Franz von Holzhausen to throw a heavy steel ball at the driver’s window of the truck. Surprisingly, the so-called bulletproof armored glass shattered.

Elon Musk remarked: “Well, maybe that was a little too hard. It didn’t go through, that’s a plus sign.”

When Franz von Holzhausen threw the steel ball on the rear side window, it shattered too. Consequently, Musk Remarked: “Room for improvement.”

The audience did have chuckles and laughs at this one. This made the Tesla Cybertruck look like an old prop from the movie Blade Runner that spent a night parked on a street in San Francisco.

This certainly raises eyebrows because having Tesla’s CEO and design head appear at ease after defacing their new vehicle at a launch even makes it look like something that has seriously gone off the hook and off the track too.

Tesla Cybertruck’s specifications

Now let’s get down to its specifications.

Single motor real wheel drive (RWD) Dual motor all-wheel drive (AWD) Tri-motor all-wheel drive (AWD)
0-60 Mph in less than 6.5 seconds. 0-60 Mph in less than 4.5 seconds. 0-60 Mph in less than 2.9 seconds.
Range of 250+ miles. Range of 300+ miles. Range of 500+ miles.
Drivetrain is rear-wheel drive. Drivetrain is Dual motor all-wheel drive Drivetrain is Tri-motor all-wheel drive.
Storage is of 100 cubic feet. Storage is of 100 cubic feet Storage is of 100 cubic feet.
Vault length is 6.5 feet. Vault length is 6.5 feet. Vault length is 6.5 feet.
Towing capacity is 7500 pounds and more. Towing capacity is 10,000 pounds and more. Towing capacity is 14,000 pounds and more.
Standard autopilot feature. Standard autopilot feature. Standard autopilot feature.
Standard Adaptive Air Suspension. Standard Adaptive Air Suspension. Standard Adaptive Air Suspension.
Up to 16 inches of Ground clearance. Up to 16 inches of Ground clearance. Up to 16 inches of Ground clearance.
35-degree approach angle. 35-degree approach angle. 35-degree approach angle.
28-degree departure angle. 28-degree departure angle. 28-degree departure angle.

How many orders of the Tesla Cybertruck have been booked so far? and what are the prices for its 3 models?

Regardless of its different looks, the potential Tesla Cybertruck has is something which is phenomenal. Tesla revealed that it has around 200,000 orders for it already, with 17% of customers paying for the entry model, 42% paying for dual motor one and 41% want the speedy tri-motor model.

Also, the prices for each version are as under:

  • Single motor rear wheel drive costs $39,900.
  • Dual motor all-wheel drive costs $49,900.
  • Tri motor all-wheel drives costs $69,900.

It should be kept in mind that these are just reservations and not absolute commitments in the purchase of the Cybertruck.


The American pickup truck market is a $100 billion market comprising of 89% male owners, a robust brand loyalty in comparison to other segments and does not care about sales pitches of environment friendly engines.

In short, they prefer a metal beast that runs on fossil fuels and capable of lasting longer than others.

Tesla is already reeling from the nightmare of its solar panels catching fire and the consequent lawsuits. This matter is further compounded by another lawsuit related to a fatal autopilot crash.

The Cybertruck does have innovative features. It does look powerful and futuristic but in the end, it is a prototype.

So, the question remains; Could this be the golden feather in Tesla’s cap? Or will it flop like another tech product? Dearest readers, Stay tuned to find out.

Say Hello to the New Motorola Razr 2019 – Motorola’s Answer to the Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X

The new fold-able Moto Razr 2019 |Source: Self

Who could have anticipated its return after all those years, yet here it is. The New Motorola Razr has made a fabulous comeback as an Android smartphone that can be folded in half (akin to its iconic flip predecessor). The 2019 Razr may look pretty much like the ones still stamped on our minds, but it replaced the old T9 keypad and the small LCD with a 6.2-inch plastic foldable OLED panel. Its camera is a double duty one with 16 megapixels.

Instead of Android 10, it runs on Android 9 Pie. Upon its launch in January 2020, it is expected to cost USD$ 1500 (equivalent to GBP 1170 and AUD$ 2200).

Why is the new Razr fundamentally different from the other foldable phones present at the moment? It turned a typical sized smartphone into something that is compact and easy to carry around. When the Razr is folded in half, it softly snaps shut from top to bottom. One side lays snuggled on top of the other, without a visible gap between both halves of the screen.

Because of this, Motorola has solved the world’s biggest design puzzle which has left other foldable smartphones (including the Samsung Galaxy Fold) in a conundrum. Not only is the phone pocketable, it reeks of nostalgia yet is streamlined to weather the future.

What sets the new Motorola Razr apart from its predecessors and other phones?

The original Razr was one of the world’s bestselling phones which helped it earn an iconic status. Motorola updated it into a newer version which is wider, heavier, and replete with new features. The foldable Razr gives Motorola a unique opportunity to steal the show.

This phone comes at a time when foldable smartphones are teetering precariously on the edge between reality and fantasy. It was only last year when foldable phones were pegged as a revolution in the smartphone design, and made the dream of a large-screen device being portable a reality.

However, what went wrong were the issues with screens and massive delays in launch, especially from major players, including Samsung and Huawei. It is now Motorola’s turn to bask in the spotlight. If Motorola comes out successful, it will herald a new era for the fold-able phone industry.

The new Motorola Razr folded and unfolded | Image Credits: T3 & Yanko Design

What’s it like using the new Motorola Razr?

In terms of the screen, it is a 6.2-inch P-OLED screen that is foldable. Motorola worked together with Lenovo’s laptop team on this design. The screen is like a thin film that curls in the shape of a teardrop when the screen is being folded.

The New Motorola Razr’s patented hinge design has an open cavity covering the looped part of the screen. Most plastic screens do not fold completely flat without a crease appearing in the middle. The thin layer of air gap is hardly conspicuous. When the screen curls like a teardrop, it creates a gap of 0.2mm between the hinge and the display.

The front screen might look tall but it is narrow with a ration of 21:9. It also has a resolution of 2142 x 876 pixels. Most of the apps are located on the bottom side of the screen along with the controls. This makes it easy for users to reach and use them with just their thumb. It also works better than other phones with one hand only.

The New Motorola Razr folded | Source: Self

On the outside, users can see an 2.7-inch OLED external screen. It is a quick view display that shows essentials such as time, notifications, alerts, signals and battery life. Users cannot type on it but can respond through recorded messages or their voices. In fact, users can use it to check what they look like in selfies.

Google Pay and Google Assistant can be used on the quick view display, as well as for controlling music. The useful yet addictive Motorola gestures are present too. Move the phone in a twister pattern to turn on the camera and shake it sideways to turn on the flashlight.

You can hardly feel the hinge tension, when opening and closing the phone because the movement is smooth and gradual. The hinge’s gears are visible, and magnets hold their sides together. This mechanism prevents the creases from forming on the screen.

People have been asking about the presence of a thick plastic chin on the bottom of the New Motorola Razr. Such is because it reminds us all of its original design so hence it gets a good score for nostalgia. It also houses the optical fingerprint reader, the antennas, vibrating motor, GPS & Wi-Fi units. Most importantly, it is like a handle for users to hold on to when they are watching a video.

To make a call, the phone has to be opened but when on a call, the phone can be closed and the conversation can continue as long as you are using the speakerphone, connected via Bluetooth or are on a video call. However, it closes out most apps with the music player being an exception (the quick view screen helps control music tracks).

The 21:9 screen is termed by Motorola as its Cinemavision display. Small black bars will be bordering the sides when videos are being watched.

Beneath the exterior display is a 16-megapixel camera that is used to take photos and selfies. The five-megapixel camera that is visible when the Razr is unfolded is used mainly for video calls. However, telephoto and wide-angle lens won’t be available. But a software aided portrait and night vision mode are available.

The new Motorola Razr completely opened | Source: Self

The phone is available in 4G and not in 5G. It does have quite a decent amount of memory but has no SD card slot. The phone also lacks a SIM slot so there are pretty much quite some tradeoffs for those looking to buy the new Motorola Razr.

Specifications of the New Motorola Razr

Specifications of the phone are as under:

  • Snapdragon 710 processor.
  • 6GB RAM.
  • 128 GB of internal storage.
  • Snapdragon 710 processor.
  • 2.7-inch Quick View display (800×600).
  • 6.2-inch foldable pOLED display (2142×876).
  • 16 megapixels front-facing camera focal point 1.7 with night vision mode).
  • 5 megapixels internal camera.
  • USB-C port present.
  • eSIM.
  • Fingerprint reader.
  • Android 9 pie.

What do users get in the box?

When prospective buyers think of buying and unboxing the Motorola Razr, their experience is most likely to be memorable. Motorola has created a unique and eye-catching box with sharp corners which will have a tinted, transparent top with a speaker grill.

This way, users can play music from their Razr phones through the box when they slot the phone in the box in an upright position.

The phone comes with:

  • Wired USB-C earbuds.
  • An accessory case for sunglasses.
  • 15-watt TurboPower charger.
  • USB-C cable.
  • Headset adaptor.


While the phone comes equipped with some pretty good features but with a hefty price tag of USD$ 1500, we wonder if its worth the buck. It runs on Android 9 instead of 10 (for which Motorola promised timely updates) and the battery power is 2,500 mAh, which is 10 percent less than what Google’s Pixel 4 currently offers.

With the phone being launched in collaboration with its exclusive telecom partner Verizon, users may need to go to competitors with the compatible ECM format if they wish to switch their carriers. Other than that, the processor will be 2 years old at the time of the launch.

Still, the new Motorola Razr is primed to be a hit among customers when it goes into official launch. For its price tag, this phone is truly going to be unique among the many present in the ever competent smartphone market. It is truly a comeback sign from Motorola and its answer to the Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X.

After months of waiting, its finally here – The Samsung Galaxy Fold is getting released!

After a long delay due to last moment discovery of embarrassing flaws, Samsung is now releasing its first fold-able phone. The launch of the Samsung Galaxy Fold is finally near and is just a few days away.

People began registering for the USD 2000 foldable smartphone recently in China. Samsung is to release the phone on September 6, 2019, which coincides with the opening day of the 2019 IFA consumer electronics trade show in Berlin.

What a day to launch the new phone!

When was the release date chosen?

Yonhap News Agency reports Samsung and other mobile operators are discussing the launch date to be September 6 in South Korea itself. Samsung will use the event to showcase the revised model at the 2019 IFA electronics fair in Berlin.

At the moment, it seems as Samsung is quite confident to bring the release period earlier than anticipated. Earlier reports indicated the phone’s launch to be later in September.

The initial shipment of the Samsung Galaxy Fold for South Korean consumers numbers between 20,000 to 30,000 units. Its price in South Korea will be 2.3 million equal per unit (equal to USD$ 1902). Samsung is expected to launch the folding smartphone in China & the United States in September 2019 but at later dates.

Any corrections made in the Galaxy Fold?

Samsung has revealed a few corrections it made to the Galaxy Fold, including:

  • tucking in the protective screen layer,
  • addition of further metal layers beneath the screen to reinforce it
  • reduction of space between the body & the hinge.

The corrections to the model were made after reviewers reported major issues with the review units of the Galaxy Fold, such as broken, bulging & flickering screens. The reviewers also peeled off the protective screen layer by mistake, assuming that it was a screen protector. But it later turned out to be a key component of the phone’s display.

This is what caused the phone’s launch to be delayed.

Brief overview of the price and features of the Galaxy Fold

The current handset of the Samsung Galaxy Fold is priced at USD$ 2,000, an amount most consumers are not willing to pay. Currently, it is not available to a larger segment of the population.

Samsung is planning to use an affordable design to reduce its price with an internal storage of just 256 GB. That is half of what the current Galaxy Fold offers (i.e. 512 GB).

Further specifications of the phone are:

  • A 7.3-inch primary flexible AMOLED display.
  • An operating system of Android 9.0 with one UI.
  • Uses a CPU of Snapdragon 855.
  • 12 GB RAM.
  • External display (which is closed) is 4.6 inches with HD+ display.
  • Main display is of 7.3 inches (QXGA +).
  • Rear Camera of 12 megapixel wide-angle (f1.5 to f/2.4), 12-megapixel telephoto (f/2.4) and 16 megapixel ultra-wide (f/2.2).
  • Closed front camera of 12 megapixel (f/2.2).
  • Open front camera of 10-megapixel selfie (f/2.2), with 8-megapixel RGB depth (f/1.9).
  • Fingerprint sensing power button.

It is currently available in the colors: Space Silver, Cosmos Black, Martian Green and Astro Blue.

Smartphones and other gadgets that are rivalling the Samsung Galaxy Fold

At the moment, Huawei’s Foldable smartphone Mate X was also scheduled to arrive in September. But, Huawei reported that it is unlikely to release any earlier than November. The only other competing gadget to the Samsung Galaxy fold is Apple’s foldable iPad.

Will Samsung capitalize on the smartphone market with the new & improved Galaxy Fold?

Samsung has fixed the problems in the hinge and in the screen with reinforcements & extra layers. It will hopefully survive thousands of folds it will endure without showing any signs of wear. It is confident that the Galaxy Fold will have a better life span as compared to the normal smartphone.

If the Galaxy Fold succeeds after the launch, then the phone will definitely be able to succeed and thrive in the market and win billions of hearts too.

First Walmart and now, Amazon! The Story of Tesla Solar Panels Catching Fire

First, it was Walmart whose shops caught fire due to Tesla solar panels and that resulted in Walmart suing the electric car maker. Now, Amazon has also experienced a fire that stems from Tesla’s solar panels, as reported by CNBC.

Amazon also revealed that it has no further plans to install any more solar panel systems following the incident. However, Tesla claims that incident is isolated.

Somehow, Tesla’s claims of Amazon’s incident being isolated are dumbfounded. In the past week, Walmart has filed a lawsuit against Tesla. Walmart alleges that the fires at sever of its stores were due to the solar panel systems, and the company had Tesla install them on more than 200 of its stores across the states.

What Happened at Amazon’s Redland, California Warehouse?

Amazon discloses Tesla solar panels on the roof of one of its warehouses caused a fire last year. Such adds to the scrutiny of Tesla’s solar panel business following Walmart’s lawsuit filed against Tesla last week which has condemned the electric car giant’s solar business to the bottom of the barrel.

Amazon revealed to Bloomberg in an email on Friday that one of Tesla’s installed solar energy systems installed at its Redlands, California warehouse caught fire in June 2018. Representatives from the e-commerce giant declined to comment in public regarding the incident but have somehow confirmed that the company will no longer be working with Tesla anymore.

Following the news of Walmart suing Tesla, both companies released statements that they are in talks to resolve the issue. However, the issue has become serious since Walmart has suffered damages at 7 of its stores which also resulted in these stores getting closed temporarily.

The Amazon warehouse incident somehow looks to be a small-scale incident and the e-commerce behemoth revealed that it has a relatively smaller number of solar panel systems installed in comparison to Walmart.

Walmart installed Tesla’s solar panel systems from its subsidiary SolarCity some time ago and Tesla acquired the solar energy company in 2016, aiming to create a one-stop shop for everything solar.

However, things are not rosy for Tesla as its acquisition of SolarCity back then for USD$ 26 billion is marred by controversy that still goes on today. Elon Musk’s first cousins Peter Rive and Lyndon Rive were the brains behind SolarCity and Musk held 1/5th of the company’s shares valued around USD$ 575 million at the end of the year 2015.

Such does not spare either Tesla or its subsidiary SolarCity. The operations of SolarCity are not going well as its parent Tesla had hoped. It faced issues in production due to technical challenges a year ago. A recent report says that Tesla has been exporting most of the solar cells it has produced made at its Gigafactory in New York, instead of using them for Solar Roof installations.

A representative from Tesla communicates the following to Business Insider:

“All 11 Amazon sites with solar from Tesla are generating energy and are proactively monitored and maintained. Last year, there was an isolated event that occurred in an inverter at one of the Amazon sites. Tesla worked collaboratively with Amazon to root cause the event and remediate. We also performed inspections at other sites, which confirmed the integrity of the systems. As with all our commercial solar installations, we continue to proactively monitor the systems to ensure they operate safely and reliably.”

How Much Does Walmart’s Lawsuit Add to Tesla’s Woes?

Walmart filed a lawsuit against Tesla claiming its solar panels were responsible for fires at seven of its stores. Such has forced the retail giant to take off solar panels from all of its 240 stores where they were installed by Tesla.

Walmart released the following statement in its complaint against Tesla:

“To this day, Tesla has not provided Walmart with the complete set of final ‘root cause’ analyses needed to identify the precise defects in its systems that caused all the fires. The number of defects, however, is overwhelming and plainly indicative of systemic, widespread failures by Tesla to meet the standard of care, as set forth in the governing contracts, as to the solar systems installed at Walmart’s stores.”

Tesla is yet to respond to Walmart’s complaint.

Will Tesla Survive the Onslaught Through Its Latest Tactics?

Last summer, Tesla started ‘Project Titan’ which is known be an attempt in quietly replacing defective solar-panel parts across the United States, as per documents seen by Business Insider.

However, Tesla’s solar business has been hit by a sharp drop in sales. CEO Elon Musk is yet to tweet about the complaints. Instead, he announced a refurbished pricing plan as a way to boost the slowdown in the solar business.

Somehow, no one seems to be convinced by Elon Musk’s statement.

Not Another One! Facebook And Instagram Developing a New App Called ‘Threads’

Who would have thought that Facebook would be developing another new messaging app? And this time, it is doing so to rival Snapchat. This app will be named ‘Threads’.

Facebook is reported to be developing Threads as a new messaging app. It is aimed at helping users share more information more often with their close friends. Those close friends will be picked up from the close friends’ list users have on Instagram and Facebook.

What is the functionality of Threads?

Threads is created to automatically share close details, such as location, internet speed, battery life and the like. The app also shares typical social media posts such as text and pictures. Threads is intended to work with the ‘close friends list’ of users listed on Instagram.

Threads will act as a companion to Instagram. Currently it is in testing at Facebook

Threads is engineered as Instagram’s ‘sister’ app and invites users to share close details with their close friends using Instagram’s creative tools. The app includes an opt-in ‘automatic sharing’ feature allowing people on the app user’s close friends list receiving regular updates, about where the person is, and vice versa.

Threads also allows users to update their respective statuses manually, with those statuses being shown in the main feed along with the messages. The app will show online users with a green dot, allows users to quickly read stories shared by friends and also includes its own camera function.

It is the latest in apps automating status sharing through mobile phone sensors & one-tap status sharing. In 2014, a similar app called ‘Status’ tried doing the same thing as Threads, and in 2015, Danny Trinh’s free app took another yet similar approach.

Why are Facebook & Instagram developing Threads?

After facing years of sustained & rising criticism in its negative role in the promotion of political propaganda, false news, false information, spam content, failure to stop large-scale data breaches & verbatim genocide, Facebook signaled major changes which are currently in progress.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced this year that his company would be improving Facebook’s privacy.

Facebook has also started a project aimed at merging the services of WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook. Such will allow users to send messages instantly across these apps without the need for switching between the apps. The apps will remain separate, but their messaging functionalities will now be under one umbrella.

Could this be an attempt by Facebook to mask its numerous failures? It is becoming highly probable that Facebook is doing so by making an impression in the general public that it is moving on from being an open public forum to a close one shielding users’ information.

The concluding point – Will Thread survive or face another rollback?

There are doubts among the general populace about the survival of threads after its inception. Such became evident when the social media giant ended its support for Direct, which was a camera-first app that not only resembled but mimicked Snapchat.

Direct was unveiled in 2017 and was tested in Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey & Uruguay. However, the launch of direct was canceled before a global release was to occur. There is ambiguity in whether Threads will be launched or not.

There is a likelihood that Facebook might end the development of the app before giving it to the general public (as it did with Direct). However, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg asserted back in March that he sees private messaging as the company’s future.

Threads appears to be part of the efforts of Facebook’s latest vision of making private messaging become a reality.

Will Facebook succeed this time? Or will it falter with just another failed launch?