Vivo Under Display Fingerprint Scanning Solution Unveiled at MWC Shanghai 2017



Vivo has done something Apple and Samsung have trying hard to achieve. Fingerprint sensors on smartphones have now become an industry standard — right from premium to low-end segments. However, until now sensors have either been embedded into physical home buttons up front, or separately at the back. Now though Vivo is looking at upping the game with its Under Display technology. According to Vivo India Tweet "Vivo is proud to unveil the latest Under Display Fingerprint Scanning Solution, a revolution in the world of smartphones! #VivoMWC2017"

The Vivo Under Display technology, as the name suggests, embeds the fingerprint sensor beneath the display of a smartphone. And what’s more; it can work not only through glass, OLED screen, but also aluminum. The technology has been built in collaboration with Qualcomm, and does not require a manufacturer to position the biometric sensor on the standard rear or front panel, Mashable reports. The Vivo Under Display technology leverages the display area, and allows users to touch the display at a designated spot to unlock or authenticate. This not only allows for the displays to cover the whole of the front panel, but also does away with the need to position the sensor at the back of the panel. The caveat, however, remains, that the authentication will be carried out only by touching a ‘designated’ area, and not anywhere on the display. This designated area is around the lower panel as it is more convenient in terms of ergonomics.

The sensor used by Vivo is Qualcomm’s ultrasonic sensor, which we have already seen on the Xiaomi Mi 5s. The specialty of the sensor is that it used ultrasonic sound waves which penetrate the skin of the finger to make a 3D map of users’ fingerprints. Interestingly, the potential of these ultrasonic sensors had been laid out first during CES when Qualcomm first introduced the sensors. As the design is based out of sound and not optical reading, it can work through a range of different materials including steel, sapphire, glass, and some plastics. When Qualcomm first introduced the sensor, it argued that the ultrasonic sensors are much more secure than traditional sensors as they do not create two-dimensional fingerprints, which can be stolen or used to trick an optical sensor. 

Now, the Vivo Under Display further improves on the sensor technology as it can penetrate 1.3mm of OLED, 525μm of aluminum or 800μm of glass. This is basically higher than Qualcomm’s previous technology that could only penetrate 400μm of glass, and capacitive scanners only go up to 300μm. In addition to that, Vivo’s technology is not affected by ambient light, and can also work with wet fingers or sweat. Going forward, Vivo is also working on a variant that works underwater (so divers could finally authenticate from under the sea).

ALSO READ: Vivo V5s With 20-Megapixel Front Camera Launched In India, Priced At Rs 18,990: Specifications And Features

Vivo’s technology has been laid out through a proof of concept, but the question remains – is it ready for end consumers yet? The answer is a yes and a no. Vivo only showcased the technology at the ongoing MWC Shanghai 2017, while brands like Apple and Samsung are long-rumored to be working on the same technology and possibly introduce it in the coming future. Although Apple is unlikely to use Vivo’s technology, there are huge possibilities of the upcoming iPhone 8 featuring an in-house sensor.

Meanwhile, Samsung is widely rumored to use Synaptics’ under-display ultrasonic sensor for its upcoming Galaxy Note 8. Nonetheless, Vivo’s demonstration of the technology in action does indicate early success amidst other manufacturers who are still struggling with getting the position of the fingerprint sensors right. It also envisions a future where smartphones could be more aesthetically pleasing with slimmer bezels and invisible fingerprint sensors.


Qualcomm announced Snapdragon 450 Midrange SoC


Qualcomm has announced the Snapdragon 450 mobile platform, the latest 400-series SoC for smartphones, at MWC Shanghai 2017. Fabricated using the 14nm FinFET process, the platform promises improved performance and power consumption, while adding support for features that are not typically seen on the budget-friendly 400-series range of chipsets from Qualcomm. The Snapdragon 450 is the successor to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 platform.

Notable improvements in the platform include a higher performing CPU and GPU, with a claimed 25 percent increase in performance compared to the Snapdragon 435, largely thanks to the use of the more energy-efficient 14nm fabrication process. Battery life has also been improved, and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 comes with support for Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0, allowing for native fast charging solutions on budget devices. Additional tweaks and upgrades come in the form of faster LTE connectivity, and support for dual-camera setups and real-time bokeh effects in photography.

ALSO READ: Qualcomm Quick Charge 4+ Unveiled With 3 Improvements Over Quick Charge 4.0

Snapdragon 450 comes with eight Cortex ARM A53 cores clocked up to 1.8GHz, and fabricated on the 14nm process. The GPU is Adreno 506, with RAM support for the LPDDR3 specification. The SoC additionally supports up to 1080p displays, VoLTE and video capture at up to 1080p at 60fps. Support for dual-camera modules is present, allowing for either two 13-megapixel sensors, or one 21-megapixel sensor, along with edge-to-edge screen displays. 

ALSO READ: Qualcomm Snapdragon 630, Snapdragon 660 mobile platforms announced: better connectivity, better battery life, camera

Snapdragon 450 is expected to power budget and mid-range smartphones from Q4-2017. The platform is likely to be the SoC of choice for budget smartphones that offer more in the form of power and energy efficiency, as well as for mid-range smartphones that offer better features and technology while looking to the Snapdragon 450 platform for financial viability. Support for features such as dual-camera, Quick Charge 3.0, edge-to-edge display and fast LTE are new to the Snapdragon 400-series platform, and are likely to transform the budget smartphone space in the coming months. 


OnePlus says the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T will get Android O before the end of 2017


Now that the OnePlus has launched and is available for purchase, what happens to the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T? It’s a natural question. And if we go according to publicly available information, then only last month OnePlus confirmed that the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T will receive the must awaited Android O update. 

Although the company didn’t give a exact timeframe of the roll out for updates, OnePlus has now revealed that users will receive the Android O update for the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T by end of this year. The revelation was made by a OnePlus employee during a Reddit AMA session.

The OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T smartphones were both launched in 2016. As far as OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T users go, they will have to wait for Google to launch the final version of Android O, which is expected to be sometime during late summer. Currently, Android O is available only as Developer Preview release and is compatible only with Google-branded smartphones. OnePlus will not be rolling out the same update for OnePlus 2 users. 

It’s highly unlikely that the OnePlus smartphones will be among the first wave of devices to receive Android O update, but hopefully, users will not have to wait for longer. That being said, OnePlus’ latest flagship smartphone OnePlus 5 runs Android 7.1.1 Nougat out-of-the-box, so it’s extremely likely that the smartphone will also be getting Android O within this year.

ALSO READ: OnePlus 5 With 8GB RAM, Snapdragon 835 SoC, Dual Rear Camera Launched In India, Prices Start From Rs 32,999: Specifications, Features

The OnePlus 5 just yesterday received its first major update after launching worldwide. The update, OxygenOS v4.5.2, comes with several bug fixes and focuses on optimization of the smartphone. The update fixes issues related to app installation and system update. It also improves the camera performance whereas there has been improvements to Bluetooth, Network and System. According to the change log, the update also improves compatibility with the third party apps.

Meanwhile, the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T users received OxygenOS 4.1.5 update earlier this month. The update comes with minor improvements and tweaks to UI. It also includes bug fixes such as issues related VoLTE, third party file managers and more.



OnePlus 3T

Lenovo K6 Power, K6 Note Start Receiving Android 7.0 Nougat Update in India



The Lenovo K6 Power and K6 Note were launched in India late last year running Android 6.0 Marshmallow and the company has now confirmed that the Nougat 7.0 update has started rolling out for the smartphones in the country. The update will bring features like multi-window support, data saver, smart notifications, and quick app switching to the smartphones.

Lenovo says that the Android 7.0 Nougat update for the K6 Power and K6 Note will let users experience a new interface wherein they will now be able to reply directly from the notification bar, save on battery life with an updated Doze mode, and play around with the font and display size, among other things.

The Lenovo K6 Power was launched starting at Rs. 9,999 and features a 5-inch display with full-HD (1080x1920 pixel) resolution. It is powered by a 1.4GHz octa-core Snapdragon 430 SoC with a choice of either 3GB or 4GB of RAM. Inbuilt storage is at 32GB, which is expandable via microSD card (up to 128GB).

The smartphone sports a 13-megapixel rear camera with a Sony IMX258 sensor, PDAF and LED flash, and an 8-megapixel front camera with a Sony IMX219 sensor and a wide-angle lens. Connectivity options on the dual-SIM (Nano SIM) K6 Power smartphone include 4G LTE, VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, FM radio, Micro-USB, and GPS/ A-GPS.

The Lenovo K6 Note starts at Rs. 14,900 and features a 5.5-inch full HD (1920×1080 pixels) display. It is powered by a Snapdragon 430 octa-core chipset clocked at 1.4GHz. The 32GB variant with 3GB of RAM is priced at Rs 13,999, while the other is the 64GB variant with 4GB of RAM. There is also support for microSD card slot, which can be used to expand onboard storage up to 128GB.

For photography, the K6 Note is equipped with a 16-megapixel rear camera with dual CCT flash and Phase Detection Auto-focus (PDAF) support. For selfies, there’s an 8-megapixel fixed-focus snapper up front.

Connectivity options include dual-SIM card slots (nano+nano), 4G with VoLTE support, WLAN: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, 3.5mm audio jack and A-GPS. The smartphone also features a 4,000mAh battery that Lenovo says is good enough for up to 31 hours of talktime, and up to 25 days on standby mode. 


Lenovo K6 Power 


Lenovo K6 Note 

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 could be launch in September, retail at approximately Rs 72,200


The Galaxy Note 8 will be the most expensive Samsung smartphone yet. At least, that is what the latest reports indicate. An individual briefed on Samsung’s plan, told VentureBeat that the upcoming Galaxy Note 8 phablet will be priced at €999 (approximately Rs 72,200) and will be available in second half of September, ahead of the launch of Apple’s most expensive offering – the rumored iPhone 8.

After the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco, the Galaxy Note 8 is hoped to be a safe product as the global damages owing to the disaster have been huge for the South Korean manufacturer. Based on reports, the Galaxy Note 8 will boast a similar design language as the Galaxy S8 lineup with Infinity Display. However, what will make it an interesting prospect is that it will be the first Samsung smartphone to feature a dual camera module, an element which the Galaxy S8 skipped.

ALSO READ: Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 with 4GB RAM, 6,000mAh battery, S Pen launched in India, priced at Rs 47,990: Specifications, features

According to the report, the Galaxy Note 8 will feature an edge-to-edge 18.5:9 aspect ratio AMOLED display with a size nearly the same as the 6.2-inch Galaxy S8+. In addition to a large display, the Galaxy Note 8 will have support for the signature S Pen stylus.

Although Qualcomm is said to be working on the next advanced chipset – Snapdragon 836, the Galaxy Note 8 will house the current Snapdragon 835 SoC or its equivalent Exynos 8895 (based on market of release) and paired with 6GB of RAM. With a beefed up RAM, the Galaxy Note 8 will also be one of the few smartphones coming from Samsung to feature up to 6GB of memory. It is worth mentioning that the Galaxy S8 lineup packed only 4GB of RAM in the initial batches and it was only recently that the company launched a 6GB RAM variant for the larger Galaxy S8+. It is worth noting that there have been reports indicating that Samsung might opt for the newer SoC instead of the current Snapdragon 835 processor.

As for the camera, the Galaxy Note 8 is expected to bundle a pair of 12-megapixel sensors with optical image stabilization for the lens. The placement of the camera module is expected to be placed horizontally, similar to how it is placed in the current Apple iPhone 7 Plus.

ALSO READ: Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro, Galaxy J7 Max with Samsung Pay Mini, Android Nougat launched in India, prices start from Rs 17,900: Specifications, features

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is further expected to bring no innovation in terms of the placement of the fingerprint sensor. It will continue to be placed at the rear panel, even as competitors are working on under-screen sensors for biometric authentication. In terms of power, Samsung still appears to be reserved with the 3,300mAh battery threshold. This might also be attributed to last year’s Note 7 battery issue which led to combustion of the phones at will.

On the software front, the Galaxy Note 8 is expected to place its custom Android skin with improved split-screen multitasking and add more functionalities to the S Pen, including full-sentence language translation and currency conversion. The stylus has reportedly been added with the ability to pin handwritten notes to the always-on display.

Other speculated features for the Galaxy Note 8 include DeX support. The separate hardware was announced alongside the Galaxy S8 lineup and allows one to use the smartphone for a full-fledged desktop experience by connecting peripherals such as a monitor and keyboard. Lastly, the Gaalxy Note 8 is expected to be available in color options of blue, black and gold.


WhatsApp reportedly testing a new feature that will allow you to share any type of files on Android, iOS, Windows



Social media is all about sharing and WhatsApp wants to stay ahead in the competition. The Facebook-owned company is reportedly working on a new update that will allow users to share any and every type of file with people in their friends’ list, and that also includes APK files!

WhatsApp currently allows one to send files including images, video, audio, and more recently PDF, Word documents, spreadsheets, and slides. However, within these categories, only certain formats are supported. So, if you want to share a different kind of file on WhatsApp which is not supported, you are required to download the compatible app separately such as Google Drive or iCloud, or convert the file in a supported format and then share. Now, WABetainfo has discovered that WhatsApp is experimenting with a new update for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone users that will allow sharing of all types of archive and media files.

The purported update will also mean that all photos, videos, GIFs, etc will be shared without being compressed. However, there will be size limitations to the content shared. According to the report, for iOS users, the size for videos will be restricted to a maximum of 128MB while it will be lower for Android users at just 100MB. Some early users have been able to share different types of files and posted screenshots on Twitter.

It is worth mentioning that the said feature is currently being rolled out to select users and it is unclear if it will be officially launched anytime soon. Users for whom the feature has been rolled out will be able to share all file types through both the desktop and mobile client. 

Recently, WhatsApp announced that it will continue to support BlackBerry and Symbian OS till the end of 2017 and 2018 respectively. This marked a U-turn from the company’s earlier decision of ending support for the two platforms by June this year. BlackBerry OS 7+ and BlackBerry 10 users will be able to use WhatsApp until December 31. As for Symbian users, WhatsApp will continue support for devices running Nokia S40 until December 31, 2018. There is no change for Nokia S60 however, and WhatsApp support for this OS will end by June 30, 2017. 

YouTube announces VR180 video format work on screens and headsets

At its VidCon 2017, YouTube announced a new virtual reality (VR) platform, VR180. With VR180, YouTube aims to make videos more immersive on its platform. YouTube has been working with Google’s Daydream team to make this video format that is believed to make VR content easier to create. In addition to creating the video format, YouTube is also making VR180-compatible cameras with companies like YI, Lenovo and LG. The first VR180 cameras will arrive by the end of 2017.

Speaking about the video format, VR180 will focus on giving an immersive experience within 180 degrees, meaning you get the best by facing straight. VR180 videos, however, restrict turning around and looking behind while viewing the content. To view VR180 videos in full VR experience, one can do so by watching it on the YouTube app using a Google Cardboard headset, Daydream View, and PlayStation VR. These videos can be watched normally as well on desktop and mobile. Although the VR experience won’t be available otherwise, YouTube says that it will still be impressive with high resolution.

Creators can set up and film their videos normally like they do with any other camera. Creators will also be able to edit their VR180 videos with tools like Adobe Premiere Pro, which will be introduced soon. Also, VR180 video format will have support livestreaming support which would be beneficial for game play videos. YouTube aims to give users a more immersive experience with VR180 content like vlogs, makeup tutorials and music videos.

The VR180 cameras are being made from scratch by Google’s Daydream team along with the aforementioned manufacturers. These cameras are not aimed at only professional creators, but can also be easily used people to capture their everyday moments. The pricing hasn’t been revealed as yet but YouTube says that the cameras will cost around the same as point-and-shoot cameras. 

Other than the three companies working on the cameras, YouTube is also opening up a VR180 certification program for other manufacturers. Z CAM will be YouTube’s first partner under the VR180 certification program. There’s an early bird offer as well for eligible creators who can loan a VR180-enabled camera from YouTube Spaces and try it out. 

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