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The Tech Weekender: Second Poco phone launched, Chinese smartphone makers take on Google Play Store, Moto Razr flops

Here are the biggest developments from the world of tech from the week ending February 8

The much anticipated second Poco smartphone finally released this week. The Poco X2 debuted as the first smartphone launched under the Poco brand since it spun off as an independent company from Xiaomi. However, it was the Xiaomi Redmi K30 4G, which launched in China in December 2019, was simply rebranded as the Poco X2 in India. Nevertheless, the phone does feature an impressive premium mid-range spec sheet with a more-than-reasonable asking price. The Poco X2 is priced in India starting from Rs 15,999.

The much anticipated second Poco smartphone finally released this week. The Poco X2 debuted as the first smartphone launched under the Poco brand since it spun off as an independent company from Xiaomi. However, it was the Xiaomi Redmi K30 4G, which launched in China in December 2019, was simply rebranded as the Poco X2 in India. Nevertheless, the phone does feature an impressive premium mid-range spec sheet with a more-than-reasonable asking price. The Poco X2 is priced in India starting from Rs 15,999.

Two months after Qualcomm announced its flagship Snapdragon 800 SoC for 2020, we finally got the first smartphone with the new chipset. The ZTE Axon 10s Pro became the first Snapdragon 865-powered smartphone. Additionally, the Axon 10s Pro also becomes the first phone to use LPDDR5 RAM. Since the Snapdragon 865 SoC is a 5G ready chipset, the Axon 10s Pro offers 5G connectivity. The phone was only announced in China, and there is no confirmation of pricing yet.

Two months after Qualcomm announced its flagship Snapdragon 800 SoC for 2020, we finally got the first smartphone with the new chipset. The ZTE Axon 10s Pro became the first Snapdragon 865-powered smartphone. Additionally, the Axon 10s Pro also becomes the first phone to use LPDDR5 RAM. Since the Snapdragon 865 SoC is a 5G ready chipset, the Axon 10s Pro offers 5G connectivity. The phone was only announced in China, and there is no confirmation of pricing yet.

In what is perhaps one of the biggest stories from the world of tech this week; the Chinese smartphone giants are joining forces to take on Google. Huawei, Xiaomi, Vivo, and Oppo are teaming up to create a platform for developers outside China to upload apps onto all of their respective app stores simultaneously. Analysts believe that the move is meant to challenge the dominance of the Google Play Store. The platform aims to make it easier for music, movie, game and other app developers to market their apps overseas. The new platform dubbed as the “Global Developer Service Alliance (GDSA)” is expected to go live sometime next month.

In what is perhaps one of the biggest stories from the world of tech this week; the Chinese smartphone giants are joining forces to take on Google. Huawei, Xiaomi, Vivo, and Oppo are teaming up to create a platform for developers outside China to upload apps onto all of their respective app stores simultaneously. Analysts believe that the move is meant to challenge the dominance of the Google Play Store. The platform aims to make it easier for music, movie, game and other app developers to market their apps overseas. The new platform dubbed as the “Global Developer Service Alliance (GDSA)” is expected to go live sometime next month.

Disney’s video-on-demand streaming service has hit the ground running since its launch in November last year. However, Disney Plus was only launched in selected countries – The US, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, and the Netherlands until now. This week, Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed that the platform would arrive in India through Hotstar on March 29, just before the highly anticipated IPL season. Hotstar prices are also expected to increase with the arrival of Disney’s entire library on the platform.

Disney’s video-on-demand streaming service has hit the ground running since its launch in November last year. However, Disney Plus was only launched in selected countries – The US, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, and the Netherlands until now. This week, Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed that the platform would arrive in India through Hotstar on March 29, just before the highly anticipated IPL season. Hotstar prices are also expected to increase with the arrival of Disney’s entire library on the platform.

A foldable smartphone made the news for the wrong reasons yet again. In an unexpected development, the Moto Razr failed a recent bending test. CNET hosted a livestream to test the Razr’s durability with the Foldbot, a machine designed to test the durability for foldable smartphones by continually folding and unfolding the device. However, the livestream had to be cut short as the Moto Razr’s hinge gave way after little over 27,000, which is the equivalent of 37 folds an unfolds a day. On average, American users check their phones 80 times a day, in which case the Razr would give way in less than a year. In a previous test, Samsung’s updated Galaxy Fold gave way after more than 1,19,000 folds and unfolds. It is worth noting that the Moto Razr screen was still useable after the hinge gave way.

A foldable smartphone made the news for the wrong reasons yet again. In an unexpected development, the Moto Razr failed a recent bending test. CNET hosted a livestream to test the Razr’s durability with the Foldbot, a machine designed to test the durability for foldable smartphones by continually folding and unfolding the device. However, the livestream had to be cut short as the Moto Razr’s hinge gave way after little over 27,000, which is the equivalent of 37 folds an unfolds a day. On average, American users check their phones 80 times a day, in which case the Razr would give way in less than a year. In a previous test, Samsung’s updated Galaxy Fold gave way after more than 1,19,000 folds and unfolds. It is worth noting that the Moto Razr screen was still useable after the hinge gave way.

After stating that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ data would be safer on Telegram, company founder Pavel Durov took yet another jibe at the Facebook-owned messaging service. In his blog post titled ‘Why Using WhatsApp Is Dangerous’, Durov explained why WhatsApp’s much-advertised end-to-end encryption is useless. He wrote backdoor bugs could leave all smartphone data exposed at accessible to hackers and that these bugs render end-to-end encryption useless. “WhatsApp’s ‘corrupt video’ vulnerability was present not only on iOS but also on Android and even Windows Phone devices. Meaning, on all mobile devices with WhatsApp installed,” he said. He was also critical of both Facebook and Apple for passing the buck to each other when Bezos’ iPhone was hacked.

After stating that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ data would be safer on Telegram, company founder Pavel Durov took yet another jibe at the Facebook-owned messaging service. In his blog post titled ‘Why Using WhatsApp Is Dangerous’, Durov explained why WhatsApp’s much-advertised end-to-end encryption is useless. He wrote backdoor bugs could leave all smartphone data exposed at accessible to hackers and that these bugs render end-to-end encryption useless. “WhatsApp’s ‘corrupt video’ vulnerability was present not only on iOS but also on Android and even Windows Phone devices. Meaning, on all mobile devices with WhatsApp installed,” he said. He was also critical of both Facebook and Apple for passing the buck to each other when Bezos’ iPhone was hacked.

In a more recent development, Facebook’s Twitter account was hacked by an alleged Saudi-based group, which has been active for exposing vulnerabilities in high-profile social media accounts. The group, OurMine, put out a tweet on Facebook’s official Twitter account that read; “Hi, we are O u r M i n e. Well, even Facebook is hackable but at least their security better than Twitter.” The organization claimed credit for the takeover in an email to NBC News. However, the tweet was quickly taken down, and Facebook regained control of the account. Facebook also put out a tweet on its Twitter handle; “Some of our corporate social accounts were briefly hacked, but we have secured and restored access.”

In a more recent development, Facebook’s Twitter account was hacked by an alleged Saudi-based group, which has been active for exposing vulnerabilities in high-profile social media accounts. The group, OurMine, put out a tweet on Facebook’s official Twitter account that read; “Hi, we are O u r M i n e. Well, even Facebook is hackable but at least their security better than Twitter.” The organization claimed credit for the takeover in an email to NBC News. However, the tweet was quickly taken down, and Facebook regained control of the account. Facebook also put out a tweet on its Twitter handle; “Some of our corporate social accounts were briefly hacked, but we have secured and restored access.”

First Published on Feb 8, 2020 04:54 pm
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