E3 2017: Sony’s PlayLink for PS4 Will Let You Play Games Using Your Phone

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • PlayLink lets you play games on your PS4 via a smartphone
  • Titles vary from crime thrillers to quick-fire quizzes
  • PlayLink titles include That’s You!, Hidden Agenda

At the ongoing E3 2017 in Los Angeles, California, Sony announced some of its most anticipated games for PlayStation for the year including God of War, Spider-Man and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, to name a few. Console titles aside, the company also introduced PlayLink, which allows users to play games with family and friends using their smartphones and tablets.

PlayLink is aimed at creating a fun, interactive way to play games in a social setting. Based on a video Sony released showcasing the feature, PlayLink requires a smartphone or tablet, a TV, and a PlayStation 4 console, which, when set up, lets you and your group of family or friends play interactive PlayLink titles.

“PlayLink games turn your smartphone or tablet into a versatile controller – you can swipe, pinch, drag, tilt, rotate or even snap selfies and draw crafty doodles, depending on the game. No matter which title you choose from our PlayLink collection, it’s guaranteed to be a slick pick-up-and-play experience,” Sony said in a blog post.E3 2017: Sony's PlayLink for PS4 Will Let You Play Games Using Your Phone

PlayLink titles range from crime thrillers to quick-fire quizzes. In one of the videos, for example, you see a group of people playing That’s You! – a quiz-based app that “challenges you and up to five friends to get personal and find out what you really think about each other.” This will be one of the first titles for PlayLink and will be available for PlayStation Plus members for free starting July 4.

Another video shows a crime and narrative-based game called Hidden Agenda that allows up to six people to join in. The game requires the players to make tough, quick decisions as the story progresses, which will also influence the way the game moves forward.

Sony sees PlayLink as something that can come in handy during social gatherings as well as rope in new players to video games. It also reminds one of Jackbox Games’ Party Pack multi-platform social games. Some other PlayLink titles that can be expected soon include Knowledge is Power, Frantic, and SingStar Celebration.

 

New rumor says Samsung Galaxy C7 (2017) will feature dual camera setup

 

According to a new rumor, the Samsung Galaxy C7 (2017) will feature a dual rear-camera setup. The rumor comes in the form of tweet from a Chinese tipster who goes by the Twitter handle @mmddj_china.

 New rumor says Samsung Galaxy C7 (2017) will feature dual camera setup

In his tweet, the tipster refers to the C7 (2017) as the fourth dual camera device that the South Korean tech giant is working on – the other three probably are the Galaxy C10, Galaxy J7 (2017), and the Galaxy Note8.

The tweet also says the device will launch soon. This may well be true given that the handset has already been certified by the Bluetooth SIG as well as the WiFi Alliance (WFA).

New Nokia Smartphones Will Be Sold in U.S. Market

 

With excitement building among rabid Nokia phones fans for the brand’s imminent global revival as an Android smartphone maker, there’s a bit of confusion about just where the new line of devices will be sold.

But U.S. fans should not fret. The new line will be available here soon.

HMD Global, the Finnish start up that licensed the brand, last month unveiled three new, low-cost smartphone models and a modernized candy bar phone—a reprise of famous Nokia 3310—with a promise to start selling them in 120 markets in the second quarter. After questions about which countries would be included and when—and with some low-end phone maker forsaking the U.S. market—the company said last week in a brief statement that the phones would be sold worldwide all at once.

At the Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona last month, some HMD officials were even clearer that the U.S. market was on their list for immediate sales. Although the startup has been in business for less than a year, it’s filled with longtime Nokia veterans from the decades when the company was the top phone brand in the world.

“The U.S. is a very important market for us, so when we say that we’ll go worldwide, we’ll go in more than 120 markets including of course also U.S.,” Pekka Rantala, HMD’s chief marketing officer, told Fortune at MWC.

Get Data Sheet, Fortune’s technology newsletter.Image result for New Nokia Smartphones Will Be Sold in U.S. Market

Rantala spent 17 years at Nokia, rising to head of marketing. He left when the business was sold to Microsoft (MSFT, +0.23%) and then ran Rovio Entertainment, creator of the popular Angry Birds mobile game, before joining HMD last August.

There’s a lot of excitement for the Nokia revival in the United States, according to tracking of mentions on social media and other indicators, Rantala said. And when Nokia made its old school Snake video game available to play via Facebook Messenger, the largest number of players were from the United States, he added.

The startup can pull off the simultaneous global rollout because HMD has so many experienced people on staff from the old Nokia (NOK, +1.69%) days, he said.

“They have the relationships when it comes to both a professional and also personal level in many parts of the world,” Rantala said. “Many people are asking at which countries do you start. I think we start everywhere, because we have the readiness and we have partners who can supply us.”

The new phone line, which is manufactured by a unit of iPhone-maker Foxconn, starts with the Nokia 6 with a 5.5-inch screen and selling for 229 euros, or about $242. A slightly smaller Nokia 5, with a 5.2-inch screen, will go for 189 euros, or $200, and 5-inch model called the Nokia 3 will sell for just 139 euros or under $150. All three models rely on Google’s (GOOGL, -0.20%) Android software.

Nokia Smartphones Primed for a Smartphone Comeback
Nokia may be making a comeback in 2017!

More models at higher and lower prices will be forthcoming eventually, Rantala said. “I’m not saying when, but it’s clear that we are going to evolve the portfolio downwards and upwards because the brand gives is permission to be present in all the price points,” he said.

Deal LG G6 will be 50% off at Sprint for a limited time

 

Sprint started accepting pre-orders for the LG G6 on March 17, but the smartphone is only hitting shelves tomorrow, April 7. The good news is that, for a limited time, Sprint will be selling the handset for half the price to “well-qualified customers with 24-month installment billing and eligible upgrade on qualified rate plan, or new line on Unlimited Freedom.” More exactly, instead of paying $29.50 per month over 24 months, you’ll have the chance to pay $14.75 per month – this means that the G6 will cost you just $354.

The free Google Home speaker (which everyone else is offering) is still included with Sprint’s LG G6, if you purchase the phone before May. However, that free 49-inch LG 1080p HDTV (normally priced at $349.99) offered to folks who’ve pre-ordered the handset is no longer available. Even so, at just $354, Sprint’s G6 is a very attractive handset.Deal: LG G6 will be 50 off at Sprint for a limited time

The LG G6 is the first HPUE-enabled smartphone to be launched by Sprint, so it should benefit from extended coverage and faster data transfer speeds. The device will be available via all Sprint channels, including online, in two color variants: black and ice platinum.

Sprint did not say when the 50% off G6 promotion would end, so you may want to hurry up if you plan to take advantage of the deal. More information can be found at the source link below, or in Sprint stores nationwide. Meanwhile, if you want to take a closer look at the new smartphone, make sure to check out our LG G6 initial review.

Samsung Galaxy On Max first impression: Will give you sharp photos even in near-dark conditions

Priced at Rs 16,900, the phone has a 5.7-inch, full-HD display and runs on Android 7.0 Nougat.

KHIMSAR (RAJASTHAN): As the battle for the best low-light camera in a smartphone heats up, Samsung has launched its Galaxy On Maxdevice that has f/1.7 aperture for clicking sharp photos even in near-dark conditions.

Priced at Rs 16,900, the USP of the phone is its “flagship” 13MP camera (both front and rear) with the rear shooter having f/1.7 aperture which allows users to click good-quality photos irrespective of light conditions.

With the launch of this camera-oriented device, Samsung is poised to give tough competition to the Chinese players whose devices boast of several camera features and modes that have given them the upper hand in the mid-segment market.

To experience the camera technology, we had a chance to shoot pictures during a moon-lit night in the picturesque sand dunes in Rajasthan’s Khimsar town which falls under Nagaur district.

Coupled with the f/1.7 aperture, Samsung’s improved camera algorithm captured clear photos with minimum grains.

The photos clicked during the low-light conditions at sunset came well-lit. The shutter response and autofocus were good.

Moreover, the professional mode allowed us to alter the texture and style of the image. Adjusting the ISO sensitivity and white balance yielded splendid results.

Silhouettes can be shot beautifully by keeping the camera exposure to its minimum level (-2) and ISO at 100.

The camera app has Live Stickers and Instant Sharing mode. This allows users to share images on Facebook and Instagram in a jiffy.

As far as the 13MP front-facing camera (with aperture f/1.9) is concerned, Samsung has included an LED flash which allows the users to click well-lit selfies.Image result for Samsung Galaxy On Max first impression: Will give you sharp photos even in near-dark conditions

Galaxy On Max has 5.7-inch, full-HD display, is powered by 4GB RAM with 32GB storage expandable up to 256GB and runs on Android 7.0 Nougat. The home button doubles up as a fingerprint sensor.

The device features an all-metal unibody design and the display has 2.5D curved glass. It has connectivity options such as Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth and 4G/LTE with VoLTE-HD voice calling support.

The smartphone packs the “Samsung Pay Mini” platform with Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and Paytm integration.

Housing a 3,300mAh battery, the device can be purchased from Flipkart.

Conclusion: At Rs 16,999, Galaxy On Max gives close competition to devices like Moto G5 Plus, Nokia 6, Honor 8 and Asus Zenfone 3. But when we look at camera capabilities, the phone has a definitive edge.

The HTC U 11 will come with an app to show you how to squeeze it

 

Someone’s got an itchy trigger finger at HTC, because a companion Edge Sense app for the HTC U 11 briefly appeared on the Google Play app store, before getting pulled again. It’s designed to walk users through what could be this phone’s most distinctive feature.

Based on a variety of leaks we’ve seen up until this point, we’re expecting Edge Sense (or maybe Sense Touch) to introduce a new way of interacting with your phone: squeezing and scrolling the sides of your handset to navigate around. It’s even teased on HTC’s official press event invite.

Before the app disappeared from view Android Police managed to grab some screenshots. It looks like it will take you through the process of testing your squeeze strength, then show off some of the ways you can use this new input method: taking photos, sending messages, launching Google Assistant, and so on.Image result for The HTC U 11 will come with an app to show you how to squeeze it

Squeeze frame action

A pressure-sensitive frame would help HTC stand out in what’s already a very competitive market as far as 2017 phone launches go. There’s the added bonus of being able to interact with your phone without obscuring the screen, though we’ll have to wait to test the phone to see exactly how well it works.

What we can’t see in any of these screenshots are the Edge Sense options, so it’s not clear how you’ll be able to configure it or what else it can do – presumably you can slide as well as squeeze to navigate menus, adjust the volume and so on, but that’s to be confirmed.

We’re expecting to see a 5.5-inch, 1440 x 2560 display when the phone is finally unveiled on Tuesday, as well as a Snapdragon 835 chipset and as much as 6GB of RAM powering everything under the hood. We’ve collected all the most recent rumors for you here.

 

The Moto X (2017) will actually be called Moto X4

Motorola’s upcoming device portfolio is still shrouded in a lot of mystery. A new Moto Z2 flagship is pretty much certain at this point and so is a fresh addition to the Moto X line.

However, reputable leakster @evleaks claims what we tough would be the Moto X (2017) will actually be called the Moto X4. And given his reputation and the accompanying banner, we have every reason to believe so.

Regardless of the name, the handset in question was featured in a recent teaser video, as well as a leaked presentation a few hours ago. The quoted specs paint a premium mid-range offering – sitting right below the Z2 in Moto’s lineup.

The Moto X4 should feature a 5.5-inch display, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage and Qualcomm’s newly unveiled Snapdragon 660 chipset. Other suggested specs include a 3,800 mAh battery, a front-facing fingerprint scanner, IP68 rating for water and dust resistance, a full metal build, and laser autofocus for the main camera.

 

Nokia and BlackBerry Are Back? The Proof Will Be in the Sales

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Samsung kept away from MWC 2017
  • Without these big names, BlackBerry and Nokia got a lot of attention
  • Whether the attention translates into sales is the question

If you’ve been paying attention to the headlines from the world of tech lately, then you’ve probably come across the sentiment that Nokia and BlackBerry, the brands that helped create the mobile industry, are making a comeback after a triumphant showing at MWC 2017. The two companies had been long written off, and they’ve ended up having some of the most attention grabbing moments at one of the biggest stages in the world, so it sounds like a reasonable conclusion to reach. We love both brands and have many fond memories of both the best of BlackBerry, and of iconic Nokia phones, but don’t share the ‘comeback’ sentiments.

First, the fact of the matter is that MWC itself has been sidelined by the phone industry over the years. Samsung used to be the highlight of MWC for the last couple of years, and after the explosive disaster of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, it’s taking some time with the upcoming Galaxy S8. HTC is absent this year as well, having used this forum to announce a flagship phone not too long ago. As a result, neither BlackBerry nor Nokia had too much competition for attention at MWC this year.

However, the real metric that has to be applied to decide whether the brands are making a comeback will be how – and if – this enthusiasm translates into sales. And although we’re some time away from finding that out for a fact, our optimism is tempered by a lot of cynicism in this case.

Let’s talk BlackBerry first. The BlackBerry KEYone, the “last smartphone designed and engineered in-house by BlackBerry” has been priced at $549 (roughly Rs. 38,600) in the US, GBP 499 (roughly Rs. 41,400) in the UK, and EUR 599 (roughly Rs. 42,100) in Europe. That’s a lot better than the $699 price tag the BlackBerry Priv was launched at in November 2015, but you’re still looking at a premium phone with a lot of real estate that could have been a bigger display, being taken up by a keyboard instead.

blackberry keyone wide

Sure, there are going to be a few holdouts who still miss their old keyboard phones, but there’s a reason QWERTY phones lost out. We use our phones for much more than communication. And the moment you’re watching a movie, browsing the Web, or playing a game on your KEYone (which is also a terrible name, for the record), you’ll probably end despising that wasted space. Physical keyboards still feel great, it’s true, but software keyboards have gotten so advanced that there’s just no justification for still holding out. Just install Gboard and learn to talk in GIFs.

At the end of the day, the KEYone is a niche device that has gotten a lot of attention and interest because everybody loves a comeback story, but it’s still not going to be a revolution in the market – we know that right now.

And that brings us to Nokia.

Hoo boy. There is so much excitement around the new Nokia 3310. As we noted when we got our first hands-on look at the phone, if it had a different name, no one would care about it. There’s a crazy amount of interest around this phone, and that’s great, really. We loved it back when it was actually new, so naturally we’re excited about all the buzz it’s getting now.

But its EUR49 price (roughly Rs. 3,500) means that it’s around three to four times as expensive as most other modern feature phones. If you’re actually in the market for a feature phone, this isn’t the device you should be buying. Of course, nostalgia is a powerful thing, and if you want to spend that kind of money because you miss your teenage years, you should definitely get one. But it’s worth looking at which markets the phone is going to be sold in.

The phone will not work in the US or Canada because the phone only only supports old GSM bands. The original Nokia 3310 supported two bands – 900MHZ and 1800MHz – on the GSM network, something that was fine for 2G connections back then. However, with the advent of mobile Internet, these frequencies are not active in many parts of the world, including the US and Canada. Soon, it won’t work in Australia, or Singapore, and if this trend continues, expect European countries to follow suit.

The Nokia 3310 (2017) will be available in markets such as India, Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa, and Europe. Lots of developing markets with very price sensitive consumers. So, let’s face it, the 3310 (2017) was good for getting headlines, but it’s not exactly going to put a Nokia in pocket of the aam aadmi at least.

nokia 3 nokia 5 nokia 6 1488183076784 nokia

Of course, Nokia released three other phones at MWC. These are all smartphones with the requisite collection of features to make it in the market. Except, have you noticed that almost no one is talking about them?

HMD Global says that it’s not worried about launching Nokia phones with “just” 2GB of RAM, and adds that it’s devices are all about design and software updates, not just specifications. That’s brave talk, but we’ve already seen the likes of LG and HTC – who’ve expressed similar sentiments in the past – struggle against affordable, highly-specced out models that the Chinese players seem to churn out every week. And almost every comment we got on the Nokia Android phones on this site has mentioned the ‘paltry’ RAM, so it seems HMD Global might need to rethink its strategy – at least for India – very soon.

At the end of the day, both Nokia and BlackBerry got a fair bit of attention because nostalgia is a powerful thing, until it’s time to open your wallet. They got a little more attention than they would have any other year, because we didn’t get the Samsung Galaxy S8. And unless either brand can show bumper sales figures for their new phones, we’re not going to call it a comeback.

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BlackBerry KEYone QWERTY Android Smartphone Will Go on Sale on May 31

 

HIGHLIGHTS
The carrier-locked variant will cost CAD 199 for 2 years in Canada
The unlocked BlackBerry KEYone will be priced at $549 in US
It will go on sale in May this year
The BlackBerry KEYone, which was launched at the Mobile World Congress this year, has finally got a release date for the US and Canada markets. TCL and BlackBerry announced on Thursday that the KEYone will go on sale starting May 31 in the US and Canada, while the pre-orders will begin from May 18. The unlocked BlackBerry KEYone will cost $549 (roughly Rs. 35,300) in the US, while the carrier-locked ones will be priced at CAD 199 (roughly Rs. 10,000) for two years in Canada.

TCL Communication, the smartphone manufacturer for BlackBerry, said in its statement that the BlackBerry KEYone will officially be available for purchase starting May 31 in the US and Canada, as we said. Coming to the pricing details, for Canada there will be carrier-based options from telecom partners, Bell, Bell MTS, Rogers, SaskTel and TELUS Business starting at CAD 199 on a two-year term. For the US, Engadget reports the KEYone price to be around $549 for the unlocked variant with no details on the carrier-locked models. However, the report adds that there will be various offers from the telecom carriers in the US to sweeten the deal, that includes Sprint to launch BlackBerry KEYone in the spring.

After the smartphone licensing deal signed between BlackBerry and TCL Communication back in December last year, BlackBerry KEYone was unveiled in February this year, putting an end to the speculations about BlackBerry ‘Mercury’ smartphone. “After all the anticipation and positive response received from the BlackBerry community on the BlackBerry KEYone, it’s an honour to offer this all-new Android-powered BlackBerry smartphone to customers across Canada,” said Steve Cistulli, President and General Manager for TCL Communication (TCT), North America.BlackBerry KEYone QWERTY Android Smartphone Will Go on Sale on May 31
The BlackBerry KEYone comes with the signature QWERTY keypad slider below the device, which also embeds a fingerprint sensor on the space-bar as well as capacitive touch on the entire keyboard for scrolling. Talking about the specifications, the smartphone sports a 4.5-inch full-HD (1620×1080 pixels) IPS display with a pixel density of 433ppi and Corning Gorilla Glass 4 protection. The all-new BlackBerry KEYone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor clocked at 2GHz, coupled with 3GB of RAM and an Adreno 506 GPU.

For photography, BlackBerry KEYone sports a 12-megapixel rear camera with a Sony IMX378 sensor – the same sensor as the one on the Google Pixel – that has 1.55-micron pixels. There is an 8-megapixel front facing camera with a wide-angle lens and a flash module.

BlackBerry KEYone gives 32GB of inbuilt storage that is expandable via microSD card (up to 2TB). The new KEYone comes with standard set of connectivity options, including 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth v4.2, NFC, 3.5mm headphone jack, and a USB Type-C port. It runs on a 3505mAh battery that’s said to give all-day battery life and support QuickCharge 3.0 with a ‘Boost’ charging feature that gives 50 percent charge in “roughly 36 minutes.”

BlackBerry KEYone

BlackBerry KEYone

  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS

Display

4.50-inch

Processor

2GHz octa-core

Front Camera

8-megapixel

Resolution

1620×1080 pixels

RAM

3GB

OS

Android 7.1

Storage

32GB

Rear Camera

12-megapixel

Battery Capacity

3505mAh

Also See
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  • BlackBerry 9360 (Black, 512 MB) 512MB – OFFER
    Rs. 4,990
  • BlackBerry Bold 9790 (Black, 8GB) – OFFER
    Rs. 5,400

 

LG will reveal the V30 on August 31st

 

LG just dropped a big hint as to what’s next for its smartphone roster. The company has sent out a “save the date” teaser that hints at a V30 launch in Berlin on August 31st, right before the start of the IFA technology trade show. The image doesn’t give too much away, but there are a couple of conspicuous clues. The “V” is the dead giveaway as to what to expect, of course, but the image itself is a 2:1 aspect ratio. In other words, you can expect the G6’s extra-tall display concept (including the minimal bezel) to carry over.

That might be reflected in leaks. If you believe renders put out by OnLeaks and MySmartPrice, the V30 will look like a larger, curvier G6 with a different take on the dual rear camera layout. That’s good news if you like the basic concept behind the G6, but it also suggests that the V-series’signature secondary display (and the removable battery) is going away. Sorry, folks.

It’s safe to say that the V30 will carry a speedier Snapdragon 835 processor, so this might allay complaints that the G6 was saddled with last year’s 821 (reportedly to avoid delays while Samsung snapped up early 835 chips). And historically, V-series phones have been big on features that appeal to mobile enthusiasts, such as high-quality audio DACs and manual camera controls. The V30 might not be particularly exciting, then, but a souped-up G6 wouldn’t be that bad in our books. The G6 was a back-to-basics phone that nailed fundamentals LG had been ignoring for too long — the V30 would be a refinement of that formula.