BlackBerry Wants to Secure Your Car From Hackers

 

BlackBerry Ltd said on Wednesday it has developed new software for running complex computer systems on vehicles, giving the once dominant smartphone maker a leg up in a burgeoning segment of the technology market.

The company declined to name any automakers who plan to use the technology, but senior BlackBerry executive John Wall said “multiple” car companies have started incorporating it into onboard computer systems of vehicles that are currently in development.

BlackBerry touted the product, the QNX Hypervisor 2.0, as a way to make vehicles more secure from hacking, saying it can isolate multiple systems to run on a single piece of silicon, allowing them to isolate functions critical to safety from systems that are exposed to wireless networks.BlackBerry Smartphones And U.K. Headquarters As 4.7 Billion Buyout Looms

“Think of a house, and a burglar getting into a room. So even if the burglar does get into that room, the door is locked, he can’t get out of that room. And even if he can get into the hallway, the other rooms are locked,” Wall, the head of BlackBerry’s QNX division said in a teleconference with reporters.

QNX has a strong position in the market for internet-connected car infotainment systems, and is looking to boost sales by expanding into more of the vehicle.

The automotive industry is one of the fastest-growing segments of the technology market, as automakers race to add more autonomous features and ultimately seek to build self-driving cars.

Qualcomm Inc said the new hypervisor is compatible with its Snapdragon 820Am automotive processor, enabling carmakers to reduce hardware complexity and costs by putting multiple systems on a single platform.

BlackBerry shares were little changed in morning trade. They have soared about 63 percent since late March on hopes for high sales growth from QNX and other relatively new products.

Amazon Aims to Put Fire Phone Nightmare Behind With ‘Ice’ Smartphones

 

HIGHLIGHTS
Amazon is testing ‘Ice’ smartphones running Android
These phones will come with Google apps and services
One smartphone being tested could launch around Rs. 6000 (around $97)
Amazon plans to have another go at selling its own branded smartphones.

The ecommerce giant, which killed off its Fire Phone in 2015, is working on a new lineup of smartphones branded as “Ice”, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Unlike the Fire Phone — for which Amazon focused largely on the US and a couple of other western markets — the company is eyeing emerging markets like India for selling its new phones, said the sources.

Amazon’s upcoming smartphones run the latest version of Google’s Android operating system with Google Mobile Services (GMS) such as Gmail and Google Play, the people said.

Incorporating Google Mobile Services in its devices is a major change in strategy for Amazon, which currently offers a range of Android tablets without Google apps on them.

The smartphones are being referred to as ‘Ice’ internally, in what could be a move to distance itself from the disastrous Fire Phone brand, though it’s not clear if Amazon will eventually bring the devices under the Ice name. Amazon declined to comment.

The company plans to launch at least one smartphone in India within this year, said one source.Amazon Aims to Put Fire Phone Nightmare Behind With 'Ice' Smartphones

One of the devices being tested features a display between 5.2-inch and 5.5-inch. Other specifications of the phone include a 13-megapixel rear-camera, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal storage. The phone runs Android 7.1.1 and comes with Google’s AI Assistant, said a source cited above. The phone, which houses a Snapdragon 435 SoC and a fingerprint scanner on the back, is likely to be priced at around Rs 6,000 (roughly $93), though the exact price will depend upon the time of launch.

The person, who has seen and used the device, said the phone didn’t have Alexa on it. Alexa is Amazon’s AI-powered digital assistant that you can find on Echo speakers, as well as some refrigerators and other consumer devices.

The phone runs a software build that isn’t finalised yet, and Alexa could make it to the device by the time of launch, the person said.
Neither Alexa nor Echo speakers are available in India just yet. The company, however, is seemingly working on bringing Alexa-powered speakers in the country, recent job listings by the company suggest.

It’s not clear when Amazon began working on ‘Ice’ phones. The company had launched Android-powered Fire Phone in 2014. But after receiving a dull response from the market — reportedly selling under 35,000 units — a year later the company said it had sold all Fire Phone inventory and that it won’t be “replenishing the stock.”

Many customers who did end up purchasing the device weren’t pleased with the Fire Phone. Though Amazon maintains its own Android app store, the lack of Google apps on the Fire Phone emerged as a deal-breaker for many.

But for Amazon, which is increasingly looking at new areas for expansion, having a stake in the smartphone space is still important, analysts say.

“Part of Amazon’s challenge overall is that beyond e-commerce its ecosystem is still pretty weak, especially outside the US and a couple of other markets. And it’s typically also relegated to a secondary role on devices which come with either Apple or Google services (or in some cases Samsung’s or other OEMs’) integrated,” says Jan Dawson, founder and chief analyst at Jackdaw Research.

“So creating its own line of phones where Amazon apps and services are pre-installed and tightly integrated could be a great way to spread its ecosystem in those markets,” Dawson told Gadgets 360, arguing that for Amazon having tighter integration of its apps on the device is more crucial than assuming control of the operating system itself.

“This new strategy targets a very different market from the Fire Phone, and so it requires a different approach (and arguably this approach would have been much better for the Fire Phone too),” he added.

The phones could also benefit Amazon in its AI efforts. “It’s a move that will help Amazon get hold of the massive data channelised through smartphones that can serve as fodder for their AI engine,” Tarun Pathak, senior analyst at Counterpoint Research told Gadgets 360.

But even for Amazon, which has committed more than $5 billion in investment to the India market, selling its own phones could prove challenging, Dawson said. The company has yet to prove that there is a need for its phones in the market. And it doesn’t help when you’re competing with an army of Chinese manufacturers operating on razor-thin margins.

 

HTC U11 review: A fragile, squeezable flagship

 

HTC introduced the “U” smartphone line back in January with the U Ultra and U Play handsets, and those were just a taste of what the company had coming. The U11 is HTC’s newest flagship and follow-up to last year’s HTC 10, and it looks significantly different from last year’s device. With an all-glass back and no headphone jack, the U11 chooses which of the typical flagship design choices it wanted to keep and forgoes others. It supports Google Assistant as well as HTC’s own Sense Companion AI, with Amazon Alexa support coming soon after it ships in the US on June 9. The HTC 10 was one of our favorite flagship smartphones last year, and the U11 is a thoughtful upgrade from that, even if its design is polarizing.

Design

The U11 smartphone looks and feels flashier than the HTC 10, but that doesn’t mean it’s better. Ars’ Ron Amadeo appreciated the simple yet solid metal design of HTC’s 2016 flagship, but the company certainly deviated from that blueprint with this device. The U11 has an all-glass back that makes it strikingly shiny but also a wild collector of fingerprints. That shine complements the bold colors it comes in (red, sapphire, silver, and black), but every time it catches your eye, you’ll be compelled to wipe down the phone.

SPECS AT A GLANCE: HTC U11
SCREEN 5.5″ 2560×1440 LCD
OS Android 7.1.1 with HTC Sense
CPU Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, up to 2.45GHz
RAM 4GB
GPU Adreno 540
STORAGE 64GB (expandable up to 2TB with microSD card)
NETWORKING 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, GLONASS, NFC
BANDS GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
CDMA2000: 800/1900
3G UMTS: 850/AWS/900/1900/2100 MHz
LTE (FDD): 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13/17/20/25/26/28/66
PORTS 1 USB 3.1 Type-C
CAMERA Rear: 12MP HTC UltraPixel 3, UltraSpeed AF, OIS, f/1.7, 4K video recording
Front: 16MP front camera
SIZE 153.9 x 75.9 x 7.9mm (6.05 x 2.98 x .31 inches)
WEIGHT 169 g (5.96 ounces)
BATTERY 3000 mAh, Quick Charge 3.0
STARTING PRICE $650
OTHER PERKS Edge Sensor, fingerprint sensor, ambient light sensor, G-sensor, gyro-sensor, voice commands with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, Motion Launch

Samsung’s Galaxy S8 has an all-glass design, and while glass is pretty, it’s not as durable as metal, especially for devices that you use and abuse every day. The U11’s back is the main glass part of the handset, and technically the device still has a unibody design—you just can’t tell by the placement of the glass as it sits atop the aluminum underneath. The bold back colors aren’t built into the glass, but rather they slide underneath the glass, so they won’t fade as some metal finishes can with time and use. They can’t be scratched off either.

The handset’s aluminum body peeks through on its sides where the few buttons and connectivity options live: on the right are the power button and volume rocker, on the top lies the SIM/microSD card slot, and on the bottom is the single USB Type-C port. You can’t see them, but eight tiny pressure sensors are hidden in the device’s lower sides—those are the sensors you “squeeze” to activate Edge Sense features and apps, which we’ll discuss more in a later section. The handset is IP67 water-resistant, and Edge Sense can even be used when the device is wet.Image result for HTC U11 review: A fragile, squeezable flagship

The screen and front panel are where the U11 looks a bit dated. Hugging the 5.5-inch, 2560×1440 display are chunky top and bottom bezels and a set of hardware navigation buttons. This is a stark contrast from recent flagship designs that favor paper-thin bezels to allow maximum screen space. The typical Android back and app-drawer capacitive buttons are on either side of the physical home button/fingerprint sensor. This is another contrast, as both new Android smartphones and iPhones have started to move away from physical home buttons.

One similarity the U11 has with the iPhone 7 is the lack of headphone jack. Included in the box is a USB Type-C-to-3.5mm audio jack, so you can connect your wired headphones to the device with the adaptor. HTC also includes its own headphones in the box that have active noise cancelling; thanks to power over USB Type-C, the headphones don’t need their own battery to provide active noise cancelling.

Edge Sense

The U11’s most interesting feature is Edge Sense, or the squeezable nature of the handset. When holding the device naturally with one hand, you can squeeze both sides to initiate an action. Edge Sense has two customizable pressure points—a short squeeze or a long squeeze. Upon setting up the feature, you’re asked to adjust the pressure level for your own hand. For example, the natural amount of pressure I put on the device’s edges is different from what my boyfriend would, so you can set up Edge Sense to recognize a base level of pressure that feels natural for you. After setting it up on my review unit, Edge Sense worked well in that my squeezes were always recognized and software never mistook grabbing and handling of the smartphone for a squeeze.

At any time, you can use the Edge Sense settings to customize short- and long-squeeze actions. These are your current options: bring up the camera app, take a screenshot (my personal favorite), launch HTC Sense Companion, launch an app of your choosing, start an instant voice recording, turn on your Wi-Fi hotspot, or turn on the flashlight. Those are all practical uses for Edge Sense, and the ability to set it to bring up any app you want is convenient.

HTC told Ars that convenience is the main idea behind Edge Sense. The company wanted to address the ergonomic issues plaguing large smartphones (not being able to reach all your apps with one hand, etc.) without compromising the seamlessness of the device. HTC didn’t want to add another button to the edge of the U11, like Samsung did on the Galaxy S8 with its dedicated Bixby button. So the company found a different solution that would allow more functionality without cluttering the device’s sides.

As mentioned above, Edge Sense works even when the U11 is wet, since it’s all based on the pressure of your hand. Since it doesn’t recognize the presence of skin either, Edge Sense will also work when you’re wearing gloves. Even if you put a case over the U11, you can go back into the Edge Sense settings and adjust the pressure sensitivity so the feature works even while the case is on.

Overall, I enjoyed using Edge Sense more than I thought I would. I appreciate this design choice over adding another button or two to the sides of the U11, and I appreciate even more that it’s fully customizable. Unlike Samsung’s Bixby button that really only has one use, HTC’s Edge Sense can be what you want it to be. If you’re not a huge fan of Edge Sense, you can turn it off as well—and since there are no extra physical buttons, you won’t even know Edge Sense exists if you disable it entirely.

Cameras

The solid 12MP rear camera and 16MP front-facing camera from the HTC 10 have carried over to the U11. Most of the pictures I took outside in natural light are bright and full of color. With photos taken in sunlight on the HTC 10, colors sometimes appeared gray and washed-out, but that didn’t happen as much on the U11. There were a few times when the camera brightened the sunlight a bit too much, producing colors that weren’t as rich as those produced by the Galaxy S7 Edge—but instances of that issue were few and far between. Low-light photos continue to be noticeably brighter than those taken with the S7 Edge.

Software

The app drawer is pretty cluttered when you boot up the U11 for the first time. Many of the pre-installed apps are Google products, but a number of HTC apps are squeezed in as well: Boost+ for optimizing power and managing apps, HTC Help for troubleshooting, Themes for decorating your phone’s UI, and the like. Having so many apps already installed on the device before you even get to customize it is annoying, but the good news is that most of them can be uninstalled easily.

The biggest piece of HTC software on the U11 is the Sense Companion AI, which learns about you, your interests, and your phone habits to provide all kinds of suggestions, like where to go to dinner, with whom to share a photo, and which apps to delete.

As you use the U11, the AI learns how you use your phone, and a small blue orb will float into the display when it has a suggestion for you. You can also go into the HTC Sense Companion app to see a full list of the most recent suggestions if you tend to ignore the orb. Those tips are presented much like Google Now info cards are, with little doodles and text with information like traffic updates, weather changes, and more.

Where HTC’s AI comes in handy is for device optimization: HTC told Ars that Sense Companion may tell you that you have 20 apps on your U11 that you haven’t used in a month and suggest deleting them so you have more space. Over time, Sense Companion will also be smart enough to remind you to charge your smartphone during free times of the day when you have a busy schedule. Allowing Sense Companion access to your calendar will help it understand your schedule and suggest times to charge up on days when you have back-to-back meetings.

A note about Amazon’s Alexa: our review unit didn’t have Alexa yet. According to HTC, U11 devices will receive Alexa through an update to the Alexa Android app. Unlike Huawei’s integration with Alexa, you won’t need to open an app to access Amazon’s virtual assistant—the wake word “Alexa” will be enough to trigger a response. But the Alexa app will be necessary to configure and personalize the virtual assistant. Our review unit had Google Assistant only, which you can access by saying “OK Google” or long-pressing the home button.

A great feature that HTC brought over from the HTC 10 is adoptable storage. Introduced in Android 6.0, this feature lets the device “merge” internal and microSD card storage. The U11 comes with 64GB of onboard storage, but with the help of a microSD card, it could mimic a handset with up to 2TB of internal storage. After inserting a microSD card, you just have to go into the device settings and format the card’s storage as internal. Then the system will move apps and programs around as needed automatically, rather than making you manually choose where everything needs to be.

Software and security updates

The U11 has the April 1, 2017 security patch and will receive Android O, but HTC didn’t say when. The company also told Ars that smaller updates will depend on “carrier lab approval, scale, and urgency of the update.” Our review unit is a U11 on Sprint, and HTC says that model will get its first update at the end of this month or early July.

The U11 ships with the latest version of Android, which is great, especially since Samsung’s and LG’s flagships don’t (the S8 and the G6 ship with Android 7.0). But in the past, HTC’s major Android updates have been quite carrier-dependent. The unlocked HTC 10 received Nougat three months after the software’s initial launch, while the T-Mobile model waited five months for it. Updates only got worse from there, with the Sprint model waiting six months and the Verizon model waiting seven months for Nougat.

If you want the fastest update to Android O in the future, you should probably go with the unlocked version of the U11. Otherwise, it’s hard to say when your model will get the latest version of Android.

Even worse for HTC is the uncertainty of its security updates. There’s no guarantee that all U11 models will receive every security update in a timely fashion. Not only is that terrible in comparison to Samsung, LG, and Google, which all provide monthly security updates to their flagships, but HTC has also had legal troubles in the past surrounding this issue. In 2013, the FTC reached a settlement with HTC that required the company to patch notable security holes in millions of its Android smartphones and tablets. HTC is subject to a security review for 20 years after that settlement as well.

Listing image by Valentina Palladino

Remove obstructions from roads, orders L-G

 

Delhi Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal on Tuesday directed authorities to remove encroachments on 29 major roads.

These roads include the stretch from ITO to Vikas Marg, M. B. Road cut to IGNOU crossing, Khajuri Chowk to Chilla border on Pusa Road, Nizamuddin to Badarpur Flyover on Mathura Road, Aurobindo Marg, C.D.R. Chowk to petrol pump on Mehrauli-Gurgaon Road, Sarita Vihar red light to Kalindi Kunj Flyover, Chirag Dilli crossing to Savitri Flyover and Vijay Nagar to Burari.

The L-G also asked all civic bodies to crackdown on temporary encroachments such as parked vehicles, and penalise contractors of local bodies who were allowing such parking on roads.

The decision was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Mr. Baijal and attended by Public Works Department Minister Satyendar Jain, Chief Secretary M.M. Kutty and Special Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Ajay Kashyap.

 Image result for lg

Three-week deadline

The move comes within a week of the Delhi High Court ordering removal of encroachment from pavements on a permanent basis.

The L-G has directed each agency concerned to draw up an action plan within three days to remove encroachment from roads. He also ordered that removal of encroachments and road blocks be videographed.

Mr. Baijal directed all agencies to finish the work within three weeks.

“The L-G directed the Urban Development Department to be the nodal department by creating a special cell, which will monitor stretch-wise action taken by the local bodies on a weekly basis,” the L-G Office said in a statement.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium First Impressions

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Sony Xperia XZ Premium was launched earlier this week
  • The Xperia XZ Premium price in India is Rs. 59,990
  • The flagship smartphone will go on sale on June 12

Sony is known for its well-built and good looking smartphones and its latest smartphone is no exception. Sony on Thursday launched its premium device Xperia XZ Premium which does true justice to its ‘Premium’ moniker. To say the least, the smartphone bears a premium price tag of Rs. 59,990, which goes in line with the specifications this smartphone has to offer. The Sony Xperia XZ Premium comes with features like 4K HDR display, a camera with 960fps video recording capability, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC, and a reflective mirror-like ‘loop surface’ design with a 2.5D curved glass finish protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5. Currently listed for pre-orders on Amazon.in, the smartphone will be available in the country starting June 12.

Gadgets360 got a chance to spend some time with the Sony Xperia XZ Premium at its launch event earlier this week, and here are our first impressions.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium Design
Let’s start with the most noticeable aspect of the smartphone, design. The first glance Sony Xperia XZ Premium’s front panel will remind you of other recent Xperia smartphones. However, this one comes with its own distinct identity, as it also bears a ‘glass loop surface’ that is quite reflective. Also on the front is the 2.5D curved glass panel with Gorilla Glass 5 protection. It will not be an exaggeration if we say that Xperia XZ Premium can even be used as a mirror. In our opinion, the reflective look was a bit too gaudy, but, it’s a personal opinion and the look may be suitable for some.

Unfortunately, the reflective design doesn’t just stop at aesthetics. With ‘glass loop surface’, the Sony Xperia XZ Premium is immensely slippery and it attracts fingerprints very easily – leading you to keep cleaning it now and then. If you want to save yourself from this extra care, a back cover can possibly be used, however it will conceal the premium looks of the device.

The Sony Xperia XZ Premium follows the design principle of its Xperia siblings to have a fingerprint sensor embedded on the power button on the right panel of the smartphone. Below it are the volume rockers. This kind of setup was last seen on Sony Xperia XZs and Xperia Z5, so there’s nothing new here. We found the fingerprint scanner worked well enough to unlock the device instantly, and its placement on the power button was convenient enough. On the top of the device, Sony has gone the traditional way of providing the 3.5mm audio jack, while the latest USB Type-C port can be found at the bottom. The right side of the smartphone also carries a dedicated camera button, while the left side is dominated by just the combined SIM card and microSD card slot.

The Sony Xperia XZ Premium has a firm grip considering its 7.9mm thickness, but its 191-gram weight makes it a little too hefty for prolonged usage. The Sony Xperia XZ Premium comes with dust and water resistance, which is a great addition. We will reserve our thoughts about the ergonomics of the smartphone until our detailed review.

sony xperia xz premium 2 gadgets360 Sony Xperia XZ Premium

Sony Xperia XZ Premium Display
The display technology used in the Sony Xperia XZ Premium is claimed to be the same one as used on the company’s BRAVIA televisions. The company boasted a lot about the display of the smartphone at the launch event. It’s a 5.5-inch 4K (2160×3840 pixels) HDR display. Since most of the apps and content available today for smartphones are still in full-HD resolution, you won’t notice the real capability of the display, until you open images and videos shot in 4K UHD on the smartphone. The images and videos look crisp with a vibrant colour gamut. The Sony Xperia XZ Premium has a vivid colour display that offers good legibility even in bright sunlight, and we had no complaints on this front in our time spent with the smartphone.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium Camera and Performance
One of the highlighted features of the Sony Xperia XZ Premium is its Motion Eye camera technology that has been incorporated into the rear 19-megapixel shooter. The 19-megapixel rear camera is capable of shooting slow-motion videos at 960fps (frames per second), which is far ahead of the competition, many of which max out at 240fps. Sony has equipped a three-stage CMOS image sensor to make its 960fps slow-motion recording possible.

We shot quite a few slow-motion videos in our limited time with the smartphone, and we were impressed by the results. Again, we will reserve our final judgement on the Sony Xperia XZ Premium’s camera until our review. Inside the camera app, there are two options in a dedicated toggle for slow-motion recording. Either the entire video can be recorded in slow-motion, or a normal-paced video can be shot intermittently with the slow-motion mode as per your preference. The camera app is pretty standard in terms of features like a manual mode, Superior Auto mode, Panorama, and 4K video mode.

Coming to the front-facing camera, the Sony Xperia XZ Premium’s 13-megapixel camera seemed capable enough, but, we’ll have to reserve our judgement about the quality of the output for our detailed review.

The Sony Xperia XZ Premium is the first smartphone that comes with Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 in India. Talking about the performance, the smartphone is quite responsive without any issues while multitasking. The device packs 4GB of RAM with 64GB of inbuilt storage, which is expandable using microSD card (up to 256GB). While the device did not give any issues with performance and multitasking, we would know its actual performance capabilities after the benchmark tests.

sony xperia xz premium 3 gadgets360 Sony Xperia XZ Premium

Sony has packed the Xperia XZ Premium with the latest Android 7.1.1 Nougat. It supports dual-SIM cards, both Nano-SIM, with 4G VoLTE support and High-Res audio feature. It is powered by a 3230mAh battery under the hood that supports Quick Charge 3.0 technology. Sony has provided ‘Stamina Mode’ to monitor the battery usage while saving it at the same time. Now, keeping in mind the 4K HDR display, the battery may have a very hard time providing enough juice, but, we can only detail its real-life performance in our review. The smartphone ships with a quick charger, which is claimed by the company to charge 60 percent of the battery in just 45 minutes.

Final Verdict
Sony’s new smartphone declares a challenge to most current flagship with the ‘Premium’ in its name. At its price, it will compete with the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, Samsung Galaxy S8, Samsung Galaxy S8+, LG G6, Google Pixel, and Google Pixel XL. As far as the price is concerned, the smartphone does not seem to fall short of its claims, as it does indeed offer top-of-the-line specifications and a premium body. In the meantime, companies like OnePlus and Xiaomi are gearing to launch Snapdragon 835-powered OnePlus 5 and Mi 6 respectively in the Indian market, only to make the competition among high-end smartphones more fierce.

So, is the Sony Xperia XZ Premium worth buying at its price tag? It’s too early to say. While the camera and display are its biggest highlights, its real-life performance remains to be seen on fronts. Stay tuned to catch our detailed review of Sony Xperia XZ Premium.

Disclosure: Sony sponsored the correspondent’s flights and hotel for the launch event.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium

Sony Xperia XZ Premium

  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS

Display

5.50-inch

Processor

octa-core

Front Camera

13-megapixel

Resolution

2160×3840 pixels

RAM

4GB

OS

Android 7.0

Storage

64GB

Rear Camera

19-megapixel

Battery Capacity

3230mAh

Also See
  • Samsung Galaxy S8+ (Maple Gold, 64GB, 4GB RAM) – OFFER
    Rs. 64,900
  • SAMSUNG Galaxy S8 (Maple Gold, 64GB, 4GB RAM) – OFFER
    Rs. 57,900
  • Apple iPhone 7 (Red, 128GB) –
    Rs. 61,990

Sony Xperia XZ Premium Launched in India: Price, Release Date Specifications, and More

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The smartphone was first launched at MWC 2017
  • The company has brought the dual-SIM variant to India
  • Sony appears to have shaken OnePlus’ claim to first mover title

Perhaps in a move to preempt OnePlus and its claim of being the first to launch a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 smartphone in India, Sony on Thursday launched its flagship Xperia XZ Premium in India. Available from June 12, the Xperia XZ Premium price in India is Rs. 59,990 (best buy price). It will be available from Sony Center, select retail outlets, and Amazon India.

Pre-bookings for the Sony Xperia XZ Premium begin on Friday, June 2, and go on till June 11. Customers who pre-book will get a Sony SRS-XB20 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker worth Rs. 8,990 for free. The company is also bundling a 3-month subscription to Sony LIV worth Rs. 349 for free for all buyers, as well as Gameloft’s Modern Combat 5 with 5,200 in-game credits.

First unveiled at MWC 2017, the Sony Xperia XZ Premium has another highlight feature apart from its top-end Snapdragon 835 SoC – its camera. The smartphone sports a 19-megapixel Motion Eye camera with a 1/2.3-inch Exmor RS memory stacked sensor that’s capable of shooting videos at 960 frames per second. It also offers predictive hybrid autofocus and predictive capture features. Other highlights include a 25mm f/2.0 lens, and 1.22-micron pixel sensor.

As for the front camera, the Sony Xperia XZ Premium has a 13-megapixel 1/3.06-inch Exmor RS sensor that’s coupled with 22mm wide-angle f/2.0 lens. The company is touting its SteadyShot technology for both cameras, with 5-axis stabilisation. Another highlight is dust and water resistance with an IP65/68 rating, as well as the use of Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on both the front and back of the smartphone.

Sony has launched the dual-SIM (Nano-SIM) variant of the XZ Premium in India, and it runs Android 7.1 Nougat. It sports a 5.5-inch 4K (2160×3840 pixels) HDR Triluminos display with an sRGB 138 percent spectrum and the X-Reality for Mobile display engine.

As we mentioned, the Sony Xperia XZ Premium is powered by the octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC, coupled with 4GB of RAM. The phone packs 64GB of inbuilt storage that can be expanded via microSD card (up to 256GB). Connectivity options include 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, GPS/ A-GPS, USB Type-C (3.1), and a 3.5mm audio jack.Sony Xperia XZ Premium Launched in India: Price, Release Date Specifications, and More

It is powered by a 3230mAh non-removable battery with Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 technology, measures 156x77x7.9mm, and weighs 191 grams. Sensors on the phone include accelerometer, ambient light sensor, barometer, digital compass, gyroscope, and proximity sensor.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium

Sony Xperia XZ Premium

  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS

Display

5.50-inch

Processor

octa-core

Front Camera

13-megapixel

Resolution

2160×3840 pixels

RAM

4GB

OS

Android 7.0

Storage

64GB

Rear Camera

19-megapixel

Battery Capacity

3230mAh

Also See
  • Samsung Galaxy S8+ (Maple Gold, 64GB, 4GB RAM) – OFFER
    Rs. 64,900
  • SAMSUNG Galaxy S8 (Maple Gold, 64GB, 4GB RAM) – OFFER
    Rs. 57,900
  • Apple iPhone 7 (Red, 128GB) –
    Rs. 61,990

Sony’s New G-Series Solid State Drives for Professional Video Recorders Launched in India

 

HIGHLIGHTS
The SSDs come with 10 years of lifespan
The new drives have data protection technology
The new G-series drives offer read speeds up to 550Mbps
Sony on Thursday launched its new G-series solid state drives, SV-GS96 and SV-GS48, in India. The new SSDs from the company are meant for the storage needs of professional video recorders and will be made available in the third week of May. The SV-GS96 SSD comes with a storage capacity of 960GB and SV-GS48 comes with 480GB of storage. The storage drives have been priced at Rs. 47,500 and Rs. 25,500 respectively.

The new G-series solid state drives achieve read speeds up to 550Mbps and have been claimed to have 10 years of lifespan, as per company’s claims. “Using Sony’s Error Correction Code technology, the 960GB G Series SSD achieves up to 2400 TBW (terabytes written), while the 460GB drive can reach 1200 TBW, resulting in less frequent replacement and increased ROI. 2400 TBW translates to about 10 years of use for the SV-GS96, if data is fully written to the drive and average of five times per week,” the company said in its release.Sony's New G-Series Solid State Drives for Professional Video Recorders Launched in India

Notably, Sony says that while data write speeds usually drop suddenly for other SSDs after repeated re-write cycles, the new G-series drives feature a built-in technology that prevent these speeds from slowing down.
The SV-GS96 and SV-GS48 storage drives come with data protection technology that has been claimed to keep the content secure and intact, even in case of sudden power failures.

“Building on the reliability synonymous with Sony’s Professional Media products, the new SSDs are a solid option for respective video recorders, offering videographers stable high-speed capabilities, a sense of security and lower cost of ownership due to their longer life,” the company said.

The new Sony G-series solid state drives will be made available across all Sony Center and other major electronic stores across India. Further, the drives will come with 10 years of warranty from the company.

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Tags: Sony G-series SSD Launch, SV-GS96, SV-GS48, Sony SSD Launch, Solid State Drives, Cameras, Entertainment, India

 

Canadian firm’s fleet-tracking service ‘Radar’ has made it a market darling again

 

A visit to trucking firm Titanium Transportation helps explain why BlackBerry’s stock is once again a darling in Canadian markets, having soared 70% in two months.

Nestled in an industrial area some 50 kilometres north of Toronto, the trucker is an early adopter of a new BlackBerry fleet-tracking service known as Radar, which uses $400 boxes to collect and transmit information on movement, temperature and physical contents of Titanium’s 1,300 truck trailers.

Efficiency gains tied to Radar should allow Titanium to get maximum utilization of its fleet, positioning it to cut the number of trailers by 5% and also reduce labour costs, company executive Marilyn Daniel told Reuters.

“Time is everything in our world,” she said. “Being able to tell a driver where exactly a trailer is as opposed to having a driver search through a yard for sometimes hours has been a definite improvement.”

Radar is emblematic of BlackBerry chief executive John Chen’s strategy for turning around the Canadian icon, by steering the company away from consumer electronics and back to its roots of selling products to businesses.

Industrial customers

Beyond Radar, BlackBerry is also betting on other types of software for industrial customers. It is leveraging its QNX subsidiary’s software foothold deep inside car infotainment consoles to expand into self-driving technology, while promoting its cybersecurity software and services to thwart increased threats from hacking.

BlackBerry’s stock rallied after it showed signs of progress in quarterly earnings results at the end of March, followed by news in April of a nearly $1 billion cash windfall from arbitration with Qualcomm expected to fund future investments in growth. That comes in the face of an expected revenue decline to below $1 billion this year for the first time since 2004. At its smartphone peak, BlackBerry had annual sales of $20 billion.

Among the recent BlackBerry bulls are institutional investors such as Nokota Management, which took a new position with almost 4.8 million shares in the first quarter, and Oppenheimer Funds, which added 3.3 million more shares to its existing 4 million share stake, according to U.S. securities filings.

Iridian Asset Management and Connor, Clark & Lunn Investment Management, two of BlackBerry’s biggest shareholders, each raised their stakes by around a quarter as of the end of March. Nokota did not respond to requests for comment, while the others all declined to discuss their stakes in BlackBerry.

The strategy is not without risks. BlackBerry faces challenges entering the telematics market, where analysts say rivals include Omnitracs, Teletrac Navman, Tomtom NV , Trimble Inc and U.S. telecommunications giant Verizon Communications Inc.

Verizon last year paid some $2.4 billion to buy GPS vehicle tracking firm Fleetmatics Group Plc.

Radar “is not a unique and earth-shattering product,” said Nicholas Farhi, a partner at OC&C Strategy Consultants who advises companies on optimising logistics operations.

That’s why some investors advise caution, saying it is too soon to figure out how to properly value the new BlackBerry offerings.

“It’s not the type of situation you can justify from a valuation standpoint,” said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer at Solaris Asset Management, which manages more than $1.5 billion and exited the stock a decade ago, when BlackBerry phones were still dominant. “It is all about hope and promise.”

 

Kubos Unveils Operating System for Small Spacecraft

 

A NanoAvionics-designed CubeSat. NanoAvionics has signed a distribution deal with Kubos. Photo: NanoAvionics.

Kubos has announced the release of KubOS 1.0, which according to the company is the first complete, end-to-end software solution for small spacecraft. The operating software can be downloaded from the Kubos website, and Kubos is encouraging users and developers to join the community to improve the open-source product.

This release is also Kubos’ first major product that has been tested by and supports the On Board Computer (iOBC) from Innovative Solutions in Space.

 A NanoAvionics-designed nanosatellite. NanoAvionics has signed a distribution deal with Kubos. Photo: NanoAvionics.

Kubos has stated it hopes the software will become the default industry operating system. In the past year, it has signed distribution deals with three nanosatellite manufacturers: Innovative Solutions in Space, NanoAvionics, and Pumpkin.

Packaged into an integrated distribution, KubOS 1.0 is comprised of three parts: a customized operating system (RTOS or Linux), Kubos’ Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL), and Kubos Core flight middleware. KubOS RT and KubOS Linux provide the satellite runtime and Application Programming Interface (APIs) that unlock common satellite functionality such as telemetry, command and control, subsystem and ground station communications, and remote software updates. The company also offers the Hopper Test Bed, a development and testing environment available remotely to the satellite industry.

 

Coming soon: DU to get Delhi School of Journalism offering 5-year integrated degree course

 

Very soon, the Delhi University will be getting a ‘Delhi School of Journalism’, which will offer a five-year integrated course and will be functional from this academic session. DU Vice Chancellor Yogesh Tyagi had last year proposed for the introduction of a five-year integrated course in journalism.

Another new course in cyber security

DU will also be launching a post-graduate diploma course in cyber security.

“In the previous academic council meeting, the VC had mooted the idea of the courses. Though nothing concrete was known to us, he had set up committees of experts on cyber security and journalists to work on the syllabus and course content, which are now ready,” said Nachiketa Singh, a member of the panel.

The Standing Committee on Academic Affairs, in a meeting today, gave the approval to launch the two courses, a Standing Committee member Nachiketa Singh said.

School of Transnational AffairsDelhi School of Journalism to be established soon in DU

A nod was also given to set up ‘School of Transnational Affairs’ – a forum on virtual platform for intellectuals and academics for discourse among scholars across the world.

“The think-tank will be interdisciplinary and deal on subjects such as social, political, economics and security,” Singh told PTI.

(Read: DU among top 10 universities in India for the first time according to QS University World Rankings 2018)

The three agendas will have to get the nod from the Academic Council and the Executive Council before they are implemented.

As per an Indian Express report, Singh said, “The university is going to start a five-year integrated course in journalism, which will be known as the Delhi School of Journalism. If students quit at the end of three years, they will get a graduate degree, and if they complete five years, they’ll get a postgraduate degree.”

“The School will have a different building, and faculty will be appointed. It will probably be based in North Campus. But for this year, it will run from a temporary location. DU is ready with funds for the same,” he added.