Sony Xperia XZ Premium Review: A Tough Flagship Choice For Rs 59,990

Sony has entered the flagship smartphone race with a bang with its Xperia XZ Premium. The latest flagship Sony smartphone comes loaded with Sony’s in-house technology and is a step-up effort by the company to challenge the current market-ruling flagships by other companies, be it the Samsung Galaxy S8 or the Apple iPhone 7Plus.

Now it is not easy to stand-up to the market champions and call them out for a duel. So naturally, Sony could not leave anything to chance. The technology features that come with the smartphone are not to be taken lightly but how well do they contribute to an overall flagship smartphone experience? Let’s find out in this review.

What’s Cool?

Sony has focussed on three core segments to make the Xperia XZ Premium stand out from the competitors – its display, camera and processor.

To begin with, the Xperia XZ Premium comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. This is the first smartphone in India to offer the latest Qualcomm flagship processor, beating others (the OnePlus 5 that made claims to take this spot). Now as soon as this processor’s name pops up, you can be assured that the smartphone will not be under-par in performance.

Coupled with 4GB of RAM and 64GB internal storage and a support for Android 7.0 Nougat, the phone is extremely smooth to operate and till date, we have not found it lagging in any task. The storage is optimum to store as much data as you want and if you find it not up to your liking, there is always an option to expand it to 256GB using external micro SD card.

With the processor power and the sharp display, the Xperia XZ Premium is a treat to watch videos and play games on. Speaking of the display, Sony has introduced its 4K HDR proprietary technology in the 5.5-inch display of the XZ Premium, which it claims to have brought down from its Bravia range of televisions. The display is sharp, crisp and at a pixel density of 807 PPI, delivers a great experience.

The smartphone is IP 65/68 certified dust and water resistance and we put it to test by taking the phone on a river rafting spree. Make no mistake, the Xperia XZ Premium will surprise you by its ability to work in water. There is also a ‘Glove mode’ on the phone that allows you to have a better touch-screen experience while wearing gloves.

A commendable feature is the placement of the fingerprint sensor of the Xperia XZ Premium on its power button. This comes as a refreshing change from the standard home button integrated fingerprint sensor and is not at all as irritating as the ones placed at the back, like the one on the Samsung Galaxy S8.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium Review, Sony Xperia XZ Premium, Snapdragon 835 Processor, Xperia XZ Premium, Sony Flagship Smartphone, Android Smartphone, Smartphone ReviewSony Xperia XZ Premium – Fingerprint Scanner. (Photo: Siddhartha Safaya/ News18.com)

The Xperia XZ Premium is powered by a 3,230 mAh battery. Now, this is nothing that a smartphone can boast about but it easily gets you through a day of heavy usage and so we would rate it on the good side. Plus point, the battery performance is enhanced by Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 and Sony’s own Qnovo Adaptive Charging, both of which aid in quick charging of the smartphone’s battery. The Xperia XZ Premium supports USB Type-C connectivity.

Also read: Samsung Galaxy S8: Top 10 Features You Will Absolutely Love

Sony has repeatedly mentioned the camera capabilities of the smartphone, which, are not something to be missed. Though we would only comment upon limited features of the Xperia XZ Premium camera in this section, these features will certainly up your photography game. Sony has included its Exmor RS Sensor in its 19-megapixel primary and 13-megapixel front cameras. The interesting features that these cameras carry are Super-Slow Motion recording at 960 fps, Predictive Capture and Augmented Reality capabilities. There is also a dedicated camera key at the bottom-right of the phone for easier photo-capturing.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium Review, Sony Xperia XZ Premium, Snapdragon 835 Processor, Xperia XZ Premium, Sony Flagship Smartphone, Android Smartphone, Smartphone ReviewSony Xperia XZ Premium – Primary Camera. (Photo: Siddhartha Safaya/ News18.com)

You can have a gist of what Sony Xperia XZ Premium’s Super-Slow Motion recording can do by having a look at the Video review of the phone. It is one thing to look at an edited Slow-motion and another to shoot it yourself. The Super-Slow Motion recording will certainly expand the ‘what to shoot’ options for anyone and comes as something that you’d really look forward to in this smartphone.

Predictive Capturing, on the other hand, takes multiple shots of the image that you just clicked. This happens seconds before and seconds after you capture the image. It works just like Apple’s ‘Live Images’ and lets you select the best image for your click.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium Review, Sony Xperia XZ Premium, Snapdragon 835 Processor, Xperia XZ Premium, Sony Flagship Smartphone, Android Smartphone, Smartphone ReviewSony Xperia XZ Premium – Camera Key. (Photo: Siddhartha Safaya/ News18.com)

Also read: HTC U11 Review: It Squeezes Into the iPhone 7 & Samsung Galaxy S8 Territory

What’s not so Cool?

One thing that nobody would like about the Sony Xperia XZ Premium is that the phone is practically a fingerprint magnet. Touch it once and your fingerprint is visible enough for it to hold its credibility in a court case.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium Review, Sony Xperia XZ Premium, Snapdragon 835 Processor, Xperia XZ Premium, Sony Flagship Smartphone, Android Smartphone, Smartphone ReviewSony Xperia XZ Premium – Fingerprints. (Photo: Siddhartha Safaya/ News18.com)

Also, Sony has used its standard design mantra for this flagship phone. The ‘loop surface’ are not something unique and apart from the extremely glossy and reflective finish, the design will only excite a long-time Sony aficionado. A good and easy way for Sony to go off the signature design would have been to reduce the bezel size on the Xperia XZ Premium.

Now coming back to the camera of the Xperia XZ Premium, well, a subtle way of mentioning its performance is that the camera is not as good as Sony claims it to be. Apart from the features mentioned in the above section, the Xperia XZ Premium does not score very well on the camera front. Simply put, at the price at which the smartphone is available, you would expect a lot more than what you get. One mentionable downside for professional photographers, the camera’s shutter speed cannot be increased to more than 1 on Manual mode.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium Review, Sony Xperia XZ Premium, Snapdragon 835 Processor, Xperia XZ Premium, Sony Flagship Smartphone, Android Smartphone, Smartphone ReviewSony Xperia XZ Premium – Selfie Camera. (Photo: Siddhartha Safaya/ News18.com)

Verdict

The Sony Xperia XZ Premium is undoubtedly a very good smartphone to have, especially if you are done with the regular Samsung and Apple flagship offerings. It is a loaded device, looks elegant and overall promises a good smartphone experience.

Yet the price tag on the Sony flagship is a bit too top-notch. There are some major chunks of refinement missing from the smartphone for it to have touched the Rs 59,990 price list. Considering the competitors are Samsung’s revolutionary flagship with the Bezel-less design and Apple’s trustworthy flagship offering, the USP of the Sony Xperia XZ Premium can only be its inbuilt Technology features.

Yu Yureka Black Review

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Yu Yureka Black is priced at Rs. 8,999
  • The smartphone is on sale exclusively via Flipkart
  • Gadgets 360 rates the phone 8 out of 10

Yu Televentures, a subsidiary of Micromax, made its debut in the Indian smartphone market at the beginning of 2015 and can be credited with kicking off a price war in the sub-Rs. 10,000 segment. The first few phones from the online-exclusive brand were the original Yu Yureka, Yu Yuphoria, and Yu Yureka Plus, which showed just how much a buyer could get for relatively little money. The brand claims to have sold over 3 million phones so far in India.

International Data Corporation (IDC) data shows that until March last year Micromax was the second-highest selling smartphone vendor in India, with a strong offline as well as online presence. However, there were no major Micromax or Yu launches for a long time, and Chinese brands seem to have since taken over.

Now, the Yu Yureka is back in an all-new avatar, called the Yu Yureka Black. It’s the mobile brand’s first launch in almost nine months. The new Yu Yureka Black, as before, is an online-exclusive product and promises a whole lot of features. The Yureka Black has a lot to live up to especially because the original Yureka (Review) and Yureka Plus (Review) set high standards and impressed reviewers.

However, with more competition than ever before, is it too little too late for the company? We go into the details in our review.

Yu Yureka Black design

The new Yureka Black might be marketed as a “reincarnation” of the original Yureka smartphone but there’s no similarity between the two when it comes to design. The Yureka, launched in 2015, featured a sandpaper finish at the back which became its signature. The new Yureka Black, on the other hand, sports an all-metal unibody with a glossy finish, which definitely feels premium at this price level.

The Yureka Black has been launched in two versions: Chrome Black, which we received for our review, and Matte Black. The front is covered by 2.5D glass, which gives it visual appeal. There’s a physical Home button with an integrated finterprint sensor at the front, which has a chrome accent around it.

yu yureka black back gadgets360 yu

The Chrome Black version of the Yu Yureka Black has a mirror-like finish on the rear and sides, and it was hard for us to photograph it without reflections. It was also slippery, and we had to be extra cautious while picking up this phone, as it tended to slip out of our hands. Fortunately, Yu ships a transparent case with the handset, which we recommend using at all times. The rear panel of the Yu Yureka Black has two chrome lines running across the top and bottom mimicking the antenna lines seen on several phones. The primary camera protrudes slightly, though the lens is protected by a metal ring.

We really like the fact that the Yureka Black lives up to its name, as the colour is its main theme. There’s almost no branding on the handset except for a Yu logo on the rear. The bottom of the phone features a standard Micro-USB port and dual grilles, though only one is actually a speaker. The 3.5mm audio jack is at the top, while the hybrid dual-SIM (Micro + Nano) tray is at the left.

At 8.7mm thick, the Yu Yureka Black is marginally thicker than the Xiaomi Redmi 4, which measures 8.65mm. The 5-inch display is easy enough to use with just one hand, and we ended up using it that way through most of our review. At 150g, the phone felt light enough.

Overall, the Yu Yureka Black doesn’t offer anything new in terms of design, but it doesn’t disappoint us either with its looks and aesthetics. The construction quality is a fair bit better than most competitors in this price segment.

Yu Yureka Black specifications and software

The Yureka Black features a 5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) IPS display with 2.5D curved-edge Corning Gorilla Glass 3, which is a nice bonus at this price. The 4G-enabled smartphone is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor clocked at 1.4GHz, coupled with 4GB of RAM. This SoC has become a popular choice for low-cost phones across brands, and we have seen multiple recent examples of this, including the Xiaomi Redmi 3S Prime (and Redmi 3S), Lenovo K6 Power, Panasonic Eluga Ray Max, and Motorola Moto G5.

The Yu Yureka Black has 32GB of storage and supports expansion via a microSD card (up to 64GB). The phone comes has a hybrid dual-SIM design, which means that you have to choose between using a second SIM or a microSD card.

yu yureka black android gadgets360 yu

The Yu Yureka Black sports a 13-megapixel rear camera with a Sony IMX258 sensor, PDAF, and a dual-LED flash. There’s also an 8-megapixel front camera with its own LED flash. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth, GPS, and 4G with VoLTE. The phone is powered by a 3000mAh battery, which the company claims can deliver up to 168 hours of standby time and up to 21 hours of 3G talk time.

Micromax’s Yu brand has ditched Cyanogen OS and this phone ships with Android 6.0 Marshmallow, plus some visual tweaks for the app icons, animations, and more. We were surprised to see that Micromax gave its Steroids interface, which was present on previous Yu phones, a miss for the Yureka Black. There are on-screen buttons despite the phone having a physical Home button with unused space on the sides.

There’s no app drawer, and all icons are spread out across three home screens. The icons are all squared off, which we don’t really like, and there’s no way to change this. You can of course download a third-party launcher from the Google Play store. The original Yu Yureka had far more options for customisation. Yu has tried to limit bloatware on the Yureka Black, and there are literally no apps other than the ones from Google. We really like this approach, as it keeps the phone’s storage space free for the user to utilise.

yu yureka black branding gadgets360 yu

The Yureka Black also offers Smart Action shortcuts, which we’ve seen on some other Android phones. You can use three fingers to take a screenshot, lock the screen with a double-tap, and flip the phone over to mute it or snooze an alarm. You can also enable Smart Gestures, which let you do things like launch the camera by tracing an “O” on the screen. This feature worked flawlessly when we tried it. We also really liked the implementation of one-handed mode, which shrinks the display area to one corner of the screen, with a swipe gesture in either direction on the navigation bar.

During our review period, Yu provided us with a beta version of an Android 7.1.2 Nougat update which the company promises will be released to Yureka Black buyers in a few weeks. Considering that this was a beta build, we faced some snags. It is available to users who want to try it out – it will have to be installed manually rather than as an over-the-air update – though we recommend you wait for the update to be officially rolled out to all users.

Yu Yureka Black performance

The Yu Yureka Black was a pleasure to use, and we didn’t face any hiccups when it comes to app or UI performance. The Snapdragon 430 processor has been a popular SoC choice for phones in this segment, and it doesn’t disappoint on the Yureka Black. Games like Asphalt 8, Need for Speed: No Limits, and Marvel: Contest of Champions ran smoothly, and we didn’t encounter any frame drops. Long gaming sessions made the phone warm but not too uncomfortable.

yu yureka black sides gadgets360 yu

4GB RAM on the Yu Yureka Black was enough for most tasks, and we never felt the need for more. The phone also did well in our benchmark tests, scoring 44,164 in AnTuTu, which is better than the Xiaomi Redmi 4’s score of 43,677 even though that phone features a Snapdragon 435 SoC. The Yureka Black also scored 22,572 in Quadrant, 5,598 in 3D Mark Ice Storm Extreme, and 17fps in GFXbench – all of which were better than average.

The 5-inch display on the Yu Yureka Black has a resolution of 1080×1920 pixels resulting in a density of approximately 441ppi. The screen is bright, and both text and images appear crisp. Sunlight legibility and viewing angles were pretty decent too. However, we felt that the display is weak in terms of colour saturation and contrast. It definitely isn’t the best display we have seen in this category.

The 13-megapixel rear camera on the Yu Yureka Black managed to take some good shots with well saturated colours. In good lighting, colours popped nicely. Focusing and exposure detection were quick, thanks to phase detection autofocus. We noticed that in shots with too much light, details and textures were slightly muddled and noisy when seen at full size.

Overall, the detail level in sample shots was good enough, and daytime sample shots were better than what we have seen from other phones such as the Xiaomi Redmi 3S Prime. However, low-light shots came out dull and dark, and there was no way to improve that. We noticed missing details and focusing issues in low light as well. Selfies were passable but we found that shots were often blurry. The phone is capable of recording 1080p videos at 30fps, and the video quality of the Yureka Black is good enough.

Tap to see full-sized Yu Yureka Black camera samples

We found that the speaker was loud enough to fill a small room, but don’t expect great sound. The phone ships with a pair of earphones, and the quality was decent. We had no complaints about call quality on the Yu Yureka Black. The device supports 4G with VoLTE (voice over LTE) which means that we were able to make calls using a Jio SIM. Both SIMs support 4G, though only one at a time, while the other has to make do with 2G.

The Yu Yureka Black’s non-removable 3000mAh battery lasted for roughly a day of heavy usage. We noticed that the battery dipped to almost 60 percent from a full charge with less than an hour of heavy gaming. In our video loop test, the Yureka Black lasted for 10 hours and 55 minutes, which is decent for a battery of this size. Yu does not claim that this phone supports fast charging, but we found that it can charge fully in roughly 90 minutes, which isn’t bad.

Verdict
The Yureka Black marks a comeback for the online-exclusive Yu brand, and it has the right specifications, features, and price to appeal to a wide audience. While it may not manage to garner as much interest as the original Yureka did back in 2015, it certainly is a good option in its price category. Its design, performance, and battery life are some of its highlights, but camera performance in low light is an issue.

At a price of Rs. 8,999, the Yureka Black is a solid all-round performer. The Xiaomi Redmi 3S Prime (Review), Lenovo K6 Power (Review), Panasonic Eluga Ray Max, Motorola Moto G5 (Review), and Xiaomi Redmi 4 (Review) are its most obvious competitors.

Yu Yureka Black

Yu Yureka Black

Rs. 8,999
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  • Value for money
  • Good
  • Looks good
  • Solid battery life
  • Decent overall performance
  • Bad
  • Low-light camera performance could be better
  • Screen quality isn’t quite up to the mark
  • Hybrid dual-SIM slot
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Is Nokia Ready to Take India by Storm?

 

This episode of Orbital focuses on Nokia’s new smartphone launches. Nokia launched three Android phones – Nokia 3, Nokia 5, and Nokia 6. These three Android phones have been hotly anticipated but will they be able to make a mark in a market where there are so many good mid-range Android phones? Games editor Rishi Alwani and “former” host Pranay Parab join host Aditya Shenoy to discuss.

We start the episode by talking about the three Nokia smartphones and whether the hardware matches up against what the competition has to offer. We look at the specifications of the three Nokia smartphones and wonder whether they can take on excellent mid-range and budget smartphones from rivals.Is Nokia Ready to Take India by Storm?

Nokia’s distribution strategy is also a big point of discussion. We wonder why Nokia 3 and Nokia 5 are offline exclusive and why Nokia 6 is an Amazon exclusive. Rishi and Pranay offer theories about this, before we look at Nokia’s official comments on its strategy.
Then Aditya brings up the topic of after sales service. We talk about how difficult it is to provide good service and whether Nokia can differentiate itself from competition on this front. Finally, we close the episode by talking about Nokia’s naming strategy for its smartphones.

 

BlackBerry Secure gets security boost with ‘Enterprise of Things’

 

As the Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming how we live, BlackBerry’s ‘Enterprise of Things’ will now transform how we work as the Canadian company on Tuesday announced productivity and security enhancements to its enterprise software platform.

As part of “BlackBerry Secure” platform, BlackBerry “Enterprise Mobility Suite” provides secure, management policies and controls across key platforms, including iOS, Android, Windows 10, macOS, and Samsung Knox and device ownership models.

“The explosion of devices and consumer applications is making it increasingly difficult for enterprises to balance information security and compliance with productivity and connectivity,” said Billy Ho, Executive Vice President of Enterprise Software at BlackBerry, in a statement.

“We offer a Unified Endpoint Management platform that lets companies secure and manage these devices, plus the associated applications. By making it easier to use, we are removing one of the biggest IT challenges — getting employees to use corporate applications,” Ho added.Image result for BlackBerry Secure gets security boost with 'Enterprise of Things'

The solution can be delivered on premises, as a cloud service and now includes new features to improve productivity and security.

Consumers can manage and secure Microsoft Office 365 Mobile applications such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint from BlackBerry.

Users of “BlackBerry Access” will now be able to securely work with business data on their personal or BYOL (Bring-Your-Own-Laptop) Windows 10 and MacOS computers.

“BlackBerry Analytics” can now track daily and monthly active users, daily minutes used, usage by OS type and version, daily launch count and user engagement by feature.

BlackBerry has extended its endpoint management software capabilities to include modern workforce devices such as smart glasses. Applications specific to wearables can also be securely managed.

 

Xiaomi’s 3rd Mi Anniversary Sale Begins Thursday, Features Re.1 Flash Sale, and More

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Xiaomi Mi Max 2 will be available on July 20
  • The Redmi 4A can be grabbed for just Re. 1
  • Xiaomi is offering up to Rs. 300 discount on accessories

At its Mi Max 2 launch event, Xiaomi also announced that it will host the 3rd Mi Anniversary celebrations on Thursday, July 20 and Friday, July 21, commemorating three years since then Xiaomi brand’s launch in the country. The two-day celebrations will see Xiaomi sell newly launched smartphones, stock availability of the Redmi 4 and Redmi Note 4 smartphones, offer discounts on accessories, and unveil new power banks. The Re. 1 flash sale is also making a comeback with the Redmi 4A, Wi-Fi Repeater 2, and the 10000mAh Mi Power Bank 2 up for grabs.

All purchases get you up to Rs. 2,000 off on domestic hotel bookings through Goibibo. There’s also extra 5 percent cashback for SBI debit and credit card holders of up to Rs. 500 per card on transaction worth more than Rs 8,000.

The newly launched Xiaomi Mi Max 2 will be up for grabs on July 20 starting 10am IST, presumably till stocks last. The Redmi 4, Redmi Note 4, and Redmi 4A smartphones will also be in stock in the two-day sale. Accessories with up to Rs. 300 discount include the Mi Capsule Earphones, Mi Headphones Comfort, Mi In-Ear Headphones Pro HD, Mi In-Ear Headphones Basic, Mi Selfie Stick, and Mi VR Play. The Mi Bluetooth headset will also be made available on the Mi Store for Rs. 899.Xiaomi's 3rd Mi Anniversary Sale Begins Thursday, Features Re.1 Flash Sale, and More

The 10000mAh and 20000mAh Mi Power Bank 2 will also be made available for Rs. 1,199 and Rs. 2,199 respectively. The Mi Wi-Fi Repeater 2 and Mi Router 3C will be made available for Rs. 799 and Rs. 1,199 respectively.

The Re. 1 flash sale will also make a comeback with ten Redmi 4A, 25 10000mAh Mi Power Banks, 15 Wi-Fi Repeater 2 units up for grabs. Users will have to share this page on social channels to be eligible for the flash sale. The flash sales will be held at 11am IST and 1pm IST on both the days. Check out all the listed offers for the 3rd Mi Anniversary here.

Xiaomi is also giving away coupons ahead of the sale, all the way till the last day, for discount of up to Rs. 500 on accessories brought from the Mi Store app. There’s also up to Rs. 100 off on Mi Protect accidental damage for varied smartphones. Lastly, there’s a game called ‘The Big Chase’ giving users a chance to win exciting prizes ahead of the sale as well.

 

Nokia Feature Phone Lineup to Get a New Addition Soon, Certification Site Tips

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • A new leak points to another Nokia feature phone
  • Images of the phone were spotted by TENAA
  • The feature phone goes by the model number TA-1017

The reincarnation of the Nokia 3310 was met with adulation and nostalgia across the globe. The feature phone launch reignited hopes for the dying category in the market, and now as per new reports, Nokia-licensee HMD Global is looking to launch a new feature phone in the coming months.

A Nokia-branded feature phone going by the model number TA-1017 was spotted on the Chinese regulatory site TENAA. By the design of it, it’s a rather ordinary looking feature phone, probably looking to be admired for its durability. At the back sits the speaker grille and camera lens, however there is no flash support seen. At the front is the small display with the physical keyboard taking up much of the space.Nokia Feature Phone Lineup to Get a New Addition Soon, Certification Site Tips

The listing claims that the feature phone does not support 3G connectivity, but there might be another more expensive variant that will offer support. It is expected to run the S30+UI and dual-SIM support is not yet sure. There’s no word on availability or price of the feature phone yet. To recall, HMD Global launched the Nokia 150 and Nokia 150 Dual SIM feature phones back in December, ahead of the launch of its first Nokia Android smartphone – the Nokia 6 – in January.

Nokia is expected to launch several other smartphones this year. So far, the company has launched the Nokia 6, Nokia 5, Nokia 3, and Nokia 3310 (2017) in many countries. At the start of this month, Nokia launched the Nokia 3, 5 and 6 in India, and made the cheapest variant available offline as well as online in the country. Consumers will have to wait till July to get their hands on Nokia 6 and Nokia 5. The Nokia 5 will be available offline, while the Nokia 6 will be exclusively available via Amazon India.

 

HTC now sells the U11 for only $599

HTC’s latest flagship U11 has a MSRP of $649, but now the Taiwanese company is offering it for $599. It is unlocked and compatible with three of the four major US carriers.

The unlocked U11 can be purchased in Amazing Silver, Sapphire Blue, Brilliant Black or Solar Red. When added to the cart, just add the code AMAZINGU11, and then the price will automatically change. Standard delivery is free, and the price is final and tax-free.

The deal works for the unlocked version, which works on AT&T, Verizon or T-Mobile. Sadly, Sprint customers will not have the ability to benefit, since their version is still out of stock.

The promo code will be available until July 1.

 

HTC’s U Ultra starts shipping this Friday in the US

HTC’s U Ultra — memorably dubbed a “compendium of bad ideas” by The Verge’s Vlad Savov — will start shipping to customers in the US on March 10th. This information comes from HTC’s official store via PhoneArenaThe $749 handset is also still available to pre-order, and comes unlocked and in three colors (Sapphire Blue, Brilliant Black, and Ice White).

The U Ultra has some decent specs, including 4GB of RAM, a Snapdragon 821 processor, and a 5.7-inch Quad HD Screen. However, HTC has made some questionable choices, including giving the device a 3,000 mAh battery (too small for a screen that beefy), tacking a “second display” onto the top of the device (like LG’s V10), and removing the headphone jack to boot. This might have seemed like the future for mobiles following the launch of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, but as we saw at Mobile World Congress, phone makers (thankfully) aren’t giving up on the 19th century port yet.

 

Nokia and Facebook Are Touting Their Undersea Exploits

 

Nokia and Facebook are setting speed records under the sea.

The two companies revealed the results of multiple field trials of their 5,500-kilometer (3,418-mile) submarine cable between New York and Ireland, saying that the cable used new probabilistic constellation shaping from Nokia Bell Labs and shaped 64-QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation), setting a spectral efficiency record of 7.46 b/s/Hz (bits per second per Hertz) and boosting the system’s capacity by nearly 2.5 times.

Nokia and Facebook also tested an 11,000-kilometer (6,835-mile) round-trip submarine transmission using shaped 64-QAM, and the two companies reported a record spectral efficiency of 5.68 b/s/Hz, as well as their first demonstrations of wavelengths of 200 gigabits per second and 250 Gb/s and 16 QAM via a transatlantic submarine route.

The two companies said the results of the first test indicated the potential for upgrading the cable to 32 terabits per second, per fiber, and the second test demonstrated “sufficient performance margin to support reliable, commercial operation.”

Full results will be presented in a post-deadline paper at the Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exhibition, being held in Los Angeles Tuesday through Thursday.

Facebook global optical network architect Stephen Grubb said in a release announcing the test results:

Facebook wants to increase the pace of innovation and adoption of next-generation optical technologies. This field trial with Nokia demonstrates that the scalable optical technology of PCS together with narrow linewidth laser sources can achieve capacities extremely close to the Shannon limit. This ensures that we are both maximizing our investment in submarine cable systems, as well as continuing to drive the cost per bit of submarine transport lower.

Nokia head of optical networking Sam Bucci added:

We are thrilled to partner with Facebook to promote our common commitment to accelerating innovation in optical transmission. By demonstrating promising areas of Nokia Bell Labs research such as PCS, as well as coherent technologies available today, we hope to chart a path forward for the industry toward higher capacities, greater reach and more network flexibility.

3 Mobile Solutions to Healthcare Industry Problems

 

The health care industry is undergoing a lot of uncertainty and challenges right now — from rising healthcare costs, an influx of patients and more — and medical professionals are struggling to provide patients the care they need. There are, however, several advances in both medical technology and personal health that some innovative startups are using to help solve those problems.

Dave Willis, Chief Strategy Officer for Clarius Mobile Health, a provider of mobile ultrasound units, explains how entrepreneurs and healthcare startups can help solve this problem.

“In the past, the challenging logistics and exorbitant cost made it difficult for hospitals to purchase multiple ultrasound machines. The medical device industry responded to those pain points by creating mobile versions that are truly detailed and accurate, enabling practitioners to use the technology easier and more effectively.”

Other innovators like Sensodx and RHealth have created mobile health devices that require little more than a drop of blood to help speed up the diagnoses of various diseases.

Related: How an Endurance Coach Helped Change Running Shoes

1. Mobile health to increase access

The reason mobile healthcare technologies are so revolutionary is because they are easier to deploy and they make critical health care evaluations more affordable. Much like mobile smartphones revolutionized the computing world, mobile medical devices are changing the way the industry delivers care.

Willis explains how mobile health solutions will continue to evolve, “The current mobile healthcare devices are just the beginning. We can expect an increase in the number of devices that leverage miniaturized, mobile, and smart technologies that function with extreme accuracy to improve access and reduce costs.”

The companies that capitalize on this growing demand for mobile solutions will likely see incredible growth. More importantly, it will be much easier for patients to receive treatment.

Related: 7 Health and Fitness Apps for Busy Entrepreneurs

2. Increasing connectivity

Mobile health applications are on the rise, and the growing popularity of personal fitness trackers is helping people take preventative health measures by using the power of biometric data. Personal health is not the only use for these devices and apps either — a growing number of physicians are using apps to track patient biometrics while they are away from the office, hospital, etc.

These apps increase the quality of information sharing between doctors and patients, and they provide valuable insights into a patient’s well-being. Previously, doctors were only able to evaluate biometric data collected at the office, leaving significant blind spots that limited the potential accuracy of their diagnoses. Don Jones of Qualcomm Life describes it as an opportunity to “give people dashboards, gauges and alarm signals” about their health on a daily basis.

Related: New Crowdfunding Sites Boost Health Startups3 Mobile Solutions to Healthcare Industry Problems

3. Creating the future of healthcare innovation

More and more exciting technologies are being researched all the time. External devices are the innovation that is driving change today, and they will continue to do so for some time, but the next wave in healthcare tech will be devices that function as internal medical support.

Some of these technologies (like nanotechnology) are more concept than reality at this point, but others are already in development. An important precursor to internal nanotechnology for medical use is ingestible sensors. One such sensor, Proteus, is ingestible and tracks whether or not patients are keeping up with medication regimens. Internal devices may also help increase the quantity of data doctors have access to, much like wearables.

While the industry struggles to find solutions for funding and insurance, these innovators are creating solutions that will inevitably improve the quality and reduce the cost of care for patients.

Willis shares, “Innovation in healthcare technology, particularly on the mobile front, are helping medical professionals reduce the cost of care, both for the patient and the hospital. As the industry continues to adopt these technologies, it will be able to fulfill previously unmet patient needs.”