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Last Updated : Feb 17, 2020 10:02 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

The Tech Weekender: Xiaomi, Samsung release impressive smartphone series, GSMA cancels MWC 2020, WhatsApp reaches 2 billion users and more

Here are the biggest developments from the world of tech from the week ending February 15.

Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2020 event gave us the new and improved Galaxy S20 series, another foldable smartphone and updated Galaxy Buds. However, the star of the show was undoubtedly the Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G. The device packed a powerful chipset, mammoth battery, the best smartphone display, and an impressive camera setup that might just be the best in the world. Samsung also launched 5G and LTE versions of the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20 Plus with new and improved hardware. Despite the Galaxy S20 series' impressive specs, the unsung hero of the show had to be the Galaxy Z Flip, Samsung's second foldable smartphone and first clamshell folding phone. The Z Flip also showed up at the 2020 Oscars before it was unveiled at the Galaxy Unpacked event.
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Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2020 event gave us the new and improved Galaxy S20 series, another foldable smartphone and updated Galaxy Buds. However, the star of the show was undoubtedly the Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G. The device packed a powerful chipset, mammoth battery, the best smartphone display, and an impressive camera setup that might just be the best in the world. Samsung also launched 5G and LTE versions of the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20 Plus with new and improved hardware. Despite the Galaxy S20 series' impressive specs, the unsung hero of the show had to be the Galaxy Z Flip, Samsung's second foldable smartphone and first clamshell folding phone. The Z Flip also showed up at the 2020 Oscars before it was unveiled at the Galaxy Unpacked event.

Earlier this week, GSMA, the organisers of the Mobile World Congress, pulled the plug on this year's event due to concerns about the novel coronavirus. In the past couple of weeks, several OEMs begin pulling out of the event over fears of the coronavirus. The move doesn't come as a surprise, given big names like LG, Intel, Nvidia, and Nokia among others, already began dropping out in the weeks leading up to the cancellation of the event. However, it is still an unprecedented move as MWC is considered as the mobile world's biggest annual event. Before being called off, MWC 2020 was scheduled to take place from February 24 to February 27 in Barcelona.
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Earlier this week, GSMA, the organisers of the Mobile World Congress, pulled the plug on this year's event due to concerns about the novel coronavirus. In the past couple of weeks, several OEMs began pulling out of the event over fear of coronavirus infections. The move doesn't come as a surprise, given that big names like LG, Intel, Nvidia, and Nokia among others, began dropping out in the weeks leading up to the cancellation of the event. However, it is still an unprecedented move as MWC is considered as the mobile world's biggest annual event. Before being called off, MWC 2020 was scheduled to take place from February 24 to February 27 in Barcelona.

In a new twist in the US and China trade war, National security adviser Robert O'Brien claimed that there was evidence Huawei had backdoor access to networks from all over the world for over ten years. According to the Wall Street Journal, O'Brien said, "We have evidence that Huawei has the capability secretly to access sensitive and personal information in systems it maintains and sells around the world." The US government first noticed Huawei's access in 2009 but had waited until 2019 to disclose its findings to allies Germany and the UK. A senior executive from Huawei denied the allegation.
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In a new twist in the US and China trade war, National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien claimed that there was evidence Huawei had backdoor access to networks from all over the world for over ten years. According to the Wall Street Journal, O'Brien said, "We have evidence that Huawei has the capability secretly to access sensitive and personal information in systems it maintains and sells around the world." The US government first noticed Huawei's access in 2009 but had waited until 2019 to disclose its findings to allies Germany and the UK. A senior executive from Huawei denied the allegation.

Xiaomi launched the highly anticipated Mi 10 series in the after of Samsung's big S20 unveil. The Xiaomi Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro arrived with Samsung's monstrous 108-megapixel camera sensor and the Snapdragon 865 SoC, ensuring 5G connectivity on both devices. The Mi 10 lineup was one of Xiaomi's most impressive yet, with the Pro model claiming the top spot on DxOMark's list of best smartphone cameras. The phone went on sale in China on February 14 and sold out within seconds. Xiaomi India chief Manu Kumar Jain also teased an Indian launch for the Mi 10 series.
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Xiaomi launched the highly anticipated Mi 10 series in the after of Samsung's big S20 unveil. The Xiaomi Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro arrived with Samsung's monstrous 108-megapixel camera sensor and the Snapdragon 865 SoC, ensuring 5G connectivity on both devices. The Mi 10 lineup was one of Xiaomi's most impressive yet, with the Pro model claiming the top spot on DxOMark's list of best smartphone cameras. The phone went on sale in China on February 14 and was sold-out within seconds. Xiaomi India chief Manu Kumar Jain also teased an Indian launch for the Mi 10 series.

 In 2014, Facebook acquired WhatsApp for about $21.8 billion, a huge sum, given the messaging service's user base was around 500 million at the time. However, Facebook's gamble seems to have paid off with WhatsApp reaching two billion users this week. WhatsApp reached one billion users in 2016 and increased that user-base by 500 million more in the next two years, now the official number of WhatsApp users has quadrupled since it was acquired by Facebook. The company's blog post cited the messaging app's security and privacy policies and measures as the driving factor behind WhatsApp's popularity.
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In 2014, Facebook acquired WhatsApp for about $21.8 billion, a huge sum, given the messaging service's user base was around 500 million at the time. However, Facebook's gamble seems to have paid off with WhatsApp reaching two billion users this week. WhatsApp reached one billion users in 2016 and increased that user-base by 500 million more in the next two years, now the official number of WhatsApp users has quadrupled since it was acquired by Facebook. The company's blog post cited the messaging app's security and privacy policies and measures as the driving factor behind WhatsApp's popularity.

Speaking of chat apps, Google removed ToTok from the Play Store, alleging it to be an espionage tool for the United Arab Emirates. In December last year, the app was pulled from both Apple's App Store and Google's Play Store after a The New York Times published a report of the app allegedly being a "spy tool". Although Google quietly reinstated the app last month, it has now been removed once again without any explanation from the search giant. ToTok has denied the allegations in a statement released in December.
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Speaking of chat apps, Google removed ToTok from the Play Store, alleging it to be an espionage tool for the United Arab Emirates. In December last year, the app was pulled from both Apple's App Store and Google's Play Store after The New York Times published a report of the app allegedly being a "spy tool". Although Google quietly reinstated the app last month, it has now been removed once again without any explanation from the search giant. ToTok has denied the allegations in a statement released in December.

On February 11, the world observed Safer Internet Day and Google emphasised the importance of password safety. The search giant marked the day by sharing a password checkup tool that will help users check the strength of their passwords using a variety of parameters. A vast number of netizens use insecure passwords with the UK's National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) reporting "123456" as the world's most widely used password. Google's Password checkup tool will tell you if your password or passwords have been compromised, number of reused passwords, and lastly, a look at accounts linked to Google with weak passwords.
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On February 11, the world observed Safer Internet Day and Google emphasised the importance of password safety. The search giant marked the day by sharing a password checkup tool that will help users check the strength of their passwords using a variety of parameters. A vast number of netizens use insecure passwords with the UK's National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) reporting "123456" as the world's most widely used password. Google's Password checkup tool will tell you if your password or passwords have been compromised, number of reused passwords, and lastly, a look at accounts linked to Google with weak passwords.

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi launched a budget handset in India to rival the Realme C3. The Redmi 8A Dual arrived in the country, starting at Rs 6,499. The primary difference with the Redmi 8A Dual is the addition of the dual-camera setup as opposed to the single camera on the Redmi 8A. The phone gets a 13-megapixel primary sensor and 2-megapixel depth sensor on the back for better portrait shots. On the front, the 8A Dual features an 8-megapixel sensor that supports an AI mode. The Redmi 8A Dual is a pretty standard budget smartphone; however, it does get a massive 5,000 mAh battery, 18W fast charging and reverse wired charging support.
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Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi launched a budget handset in India to rival the Realme C3. The Redmi 8A Dual arrived in the country, starting at Rs 6,499. The primary difference with the Redmi 8A Dual is the addition of the dual-camera setup as opposed to the single camera on the Redmi 8A. The phone gets a 13-megapixel primary sensor and 2-megapixel depth sensor on the back for better portrait shots. On the front, the 8A Dual features an 8-megapixel sensor that supports an AI mode. The Redmi 8A Dual is a pretty standard budget smartphone; however, it does get a massive 5,000 mAh battery, 18W fast charging and reverse wired charging support.

First Published on Feb 15, 2020 05:39 pm
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