HTC's new selfie phone announced: dual front cameras, currently exclusive to China

HTC is no stranger to selfie-oriented smartphones. Back in the final months of 2014, it launched the HTC Desire Eye — an upper-tier midranger that had identical 13 MP cameras on both front and back, each supported by their own dual-tone LED flash. With the flagship HTC 10, selfie fanatics got a different type of treat — an OIS module for the front camera, making for less blurry shots and stable video for vlogging.

Now, the company is launching a brand-new selfie-centered handset — a new member of the HTC U family, called the HTC U11 EYEs. Yeah, that’s eyes plural, since …


User spots OnePlus 3T sending their clipboard data to servers in China

OnePlus gets in hot water every now and again over privacy concerns, and now, there’s another little controversy brewing. A keen OnePlus 3T user who happened to be monitoring the traffic that goes in and out of their network noticed something weird when they updated to the latest beta build for their device. Apparently, the handset was sending clipboard information directly to AliBaba Group servers.

So, basically, anything you hit “copy” on — web addresses, contacts, photos, etc. — can be sent over to AliBaba, which is one of the biggest e-commerce sites to come out of China.

OnePlus …

Microsoft engineer in China says that there will be a Surface Phone before editing his comments

There is some hope among consumers that the foldable device that Microsoft has been seeking patent protection for, is the long rumored Surface Phone. Yesterday, a Microsoft engineer might have accidentally given away the news that the Surface Phone is real and is coming in the not too distant future. On a Q&A site in China called Zhihu, someone wrote in to complain about the poor integration of Cortana on Android.

The Microsoft engineer, writing on Microsoft Asia Research Institute’s Cortana support account, blamed the lack of permissions on the operating system as the reason why Microsoft’s …

Android 8.0 beta starts rolling out in China to the LG G6

Screenshots taken by an LG G6 owner in China reveal that LG’s 2017 flagship (unless you give the LG V30 that honor) is beginning to receive an Android 8.0 beta thanks to an OTA update. The software version of the beta is V19A. Just yesterday, the company sent out a stable version of Android 8.0 to the LG V30 in South Korea. Among the features that the new Android build features is picture-in-picture, allowing users to watch video while using am app running in the background. In addition, there are advanced app shortcuts, a new settings screen, adoptive icons, the capability to snooze notifications …

The hidden cost of affordable high-end phones in China

“Affordable high-end phones.”
This phrase sounds like a self-contradicting mix of words, but it is exactly what flagship phones in China seem to be. Launching at prices severely undercutting high-end phones like Samsung Galaxies and especially Apple’s iPhones in the West, these devices claim to have an identical set of features and hardware, just for a lower price.
But there is a catch.
One of the big stars of the Chinese smartphone market is Xiaomi, a poster child for the “affordable high-end …

Samsung Galaxy S9 clone from China looks like what we expect from the real thing

We’ve been seeing and hearing so much about the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+, that you would think that the device is about to be released. Using renders of the upcoming flagship model, a company in China has produced a knock-off of the Galaxy S9. Unlike the vertically mounted single-lens camera and fingerprint scanner that will be found on the rear of Galaxy S9, this clone features a dual-camera setup on back, similar to what we will reportedly find on the back of the Galaxy S9+.

The clone, made by Vkworld, carries the misleading model number of S9. It will be priced for less than what …

HTC's upcoming Ocean Harmony phablet gets its required CCC certification in China

The China Compulsory Certification (also known as 3C) must be awarded to every product imported, manufactured, sold or used in China. That includes smartphones. Recently, HTC filed with the CCC for its upcoming mid-range phablet with the code name HTC Ocean Harmony. The certification was awarded on December 4th. The CCC logo in China means that a device has been tested, and meets certain standards for safety in the country. It is similar to the UL Underwriters Laboratories safety tests conducted in the states.

The HTC Ocean Harmony is expected to carry a 5.99-inch ‘bezel-less’ display, with …

Major Nintendo franchises are coming to the NVIDIA Shield, in China

Who’d have thought it? Major entries in some of Nintendo’s biggest franchises are launching on the NVIDIA Shield. That’s right, Super Mario Galaxy, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, New Super Mario Bros. Wii and Punch-Out, among other Wii (and possibly GameCube) games, are coming to NVIDIA’s set-top-box in China. All games will be running in native 1080p instead of their original resolution of 480p

The Shield, which hit store shelves in China today, is powered by an NVIDIA Tegra X1 chip like the one found in the Nintendo Switch, which could partially …

May the Moto Z Force be with you; a Star Wars Moto Mod is coming, but only to China


So what is with this Star Wars thing? You think it might catch on? That’s a joke, obviously, considering that the franchise is one of the all-time great theater draws. Just the other day, we told you that the OnePlus 5T is going to be available in a special Star Wars Edition. And today, there is word that Motorola will jump on board the now Disney controlled series by offering a Star Wars based Moto Mod.

This makes a lot of sense for Motorola. Any company that uses the word Force to name some of its Android handsets, has an instant Star Wars connection. Now before you get your hopes …

Samsung launches an Android flip phone with the biggest lens aperture on a smartphone yet. China only

OK, so if you’ve been out of the loop on this — Samsung does manufacture high-end clamshell Android smartphones still. However, they are only sold in Asia, as that’s the market where the flip phone form factor is believed to be most in demand.

All that out of the way, you may find it interesting that Sammy has just introduced its latest clamshell “flagship” — the Samsung W2018 — in China, and it’s the first smartphone in the world to have a camera lens aperture as wide as F1.5. Previously, the record was held by the LG V30 and its F1.6.

What’s lens aperture …