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Monday, December 11, 2017

Google Home Max goes on sale in US via Best Buy

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Google Home MaxGoogle’s Home Max smart speaker is finally available for purchase in the United States. It can now be ordered from Best Buy for $399 in Charcoal and Chalk colour options. The Google Store listing is still showing the waitlist option, and same is the case with other retailers.

Originally announced on October 4 alongside Pixel 2 phones and Home Mini, the Home Max is Google’s first attempt to offer a really capable speaker with all the powers of Google Assistant. The company seems to be setting its sights on Sonos with Home Max. As the Home Max reviews are yet to arrive, we can’t be certain about how great the Home Max truly is.

Google Home Max includes dual 4.5-inch high-excursion woofers for deep and balanced bass. Google claims that it offers 20 times more powerful sound than the original Google Home. In addition, the company has also included artificial intelligence to enhance the overall audio experience. With the new feature called Smart Sound, the Home Max can adapt to your environment, your context, and your preferences. Smart Sound can automatically adjust for where you place Max in a room.

According to Google, the Home Max availability will be expanded to other markets in 2018, but no specifics are known at this point. The smart speaker will likely be offered in UK, Canada, Germany, France, Australia, and Japan.

Google Home Max full specifications

  • Dimensions: 336.6mm x 190.0 mm x 154.4mm; Weight: 5300 grams
  • Materials: Acoustically transparent fabric, Polycarbonate housing, Silicone base
  • Supported Audio Formats: HE-AAC, LC-AAC+, MP3, Vorbis, WAV, FLAC, Opus
  • Connectivity: Wifi 802.11 b/g/n/ac (2.5GHz/5GHz), Bluetooth 4.2, Chromecast support
  • Speaker: Two 4.5 in (114 mm) woofers, two 0.7 in (18 mm) tweeters
  • Mics: Far-field voice recognition
  • Quad-core processor of unknown make
  • Ports & Connectors: USB-C and 3.5 mm audio jack

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Asus ZenFone 4 Pro receives new update with several improvements

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Asus is currently seeding a new software update for the ZenFone 4 Pro that includes several improvements and bug fixes. The update is being delivered over-the-air. The Asus ZenFone 4 Selfie received a similar update last month.

If you own the ZenFone 4 Pro, then you should be seeing the update notification very soon. As per the company, the update could take up to one week to be available. The software version of the new update is 14.2610.1711.35, and it’s for the ZS551KL model, in case you’re confused.

As per the change-log, the update brings improvements to the camera, battery life, and the Game Genie app. You also get support for VoLTE and VoWiFi for the CHT, and VoLTE for Softbank networks. The update also includes support for Google Assistant when the device is in suspend/sleep mode.

Asus ZenFone 4 Oreo update release date

Apart from that, there are a couple of bug fixes, including one for an issue where sometimes the Bluetooth device name is changed by third-party apps. That’s about it. This update is still based on Android Nougat, while an Oreo update is still in the works. According to Asus, the Oreo update for the Zenfone 4 series will be released this month.

from The Android Soul

Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+ get November security update in India

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Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

Update (Dec 11): Just about a month after releasing the October Android security update for Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ in India, Samsung has now rolled-out the November security update for both smartphones. The update is now available over-the-air and will reach all S8 and S8+ units over the coming days.

According to SamMobile, the November security update carries the firmware version XXU1AQK7 and is 526MB in size. It includes various security patches as well as a fix for the Wi-Fi Krack vulnerability and Bluetooth stability improvements.

Earlier (Nov 13): Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+ gets October security update in India

South Korean smartphone giant Samsung has released a new software update for Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphones in the Indian market. The release in India comes a week after the company released the same update in its home market of South Korea.

The update is 493MB in size and brings Android October security patches, improved DeX mode stability and improved stability of the Samsung launcher.

To manually look for this update, go to Settings > Software update.

This will probably be the last software update that Samsung rolls out before the Android 8.0 Oreo update for the Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphone (Turns out, I was wrong the October security wasn’t the last update before the arrival of Oreo on S8/ S8+ in India). The Oreo update is currently in testing in US, UK and South Korea and if everything goes well, we should see the final release in the coming weeks.

A timeline of previous Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ security updates in India

October 09: September security update released with wireless charging and navigation bar stability improvements.

August 15: August security update available with improved auto-brightness and PC connection stability

July 16: July security update released with improved stability to the camera and wireless charging

June 14: June security update available with improved quality of panorama images, navigation bar improvements, increased range of available background colours and more.

May 16: May security update rolled-out with device stability improvement and general enhancements.

April 21: First security update for Galaxy S8 and S8+. Includes April security fixes as well as stabilization of DeX, Bixby and face recognition algorithm.

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Galaxy A8+ 2018 bares it all in new video

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We won’t have to wait any longer to see what the upcoming Samsung Galaxy A8+ (2018) would look like. The phone has undergone a complete overview in a newly released video, showing its design and software.

The Samsung Galaxy A8+ 2018 will be a mid-range smartphone, but it sure does look very premium. It has the model number SM-A730F, as seen in the video, and runs on Android Nougat. We’ve already known from various reports that the new Galaxy A 2018 series of phones would feature the Infinity display, and that seems to be the case.

Galaxy A5 2017 Oreo update

In the video, the user shows us a little bit of the software experience, the model number and name, camera, and the design. The phone looks very much like a Galaxy S8, but with slightly more bezels.

As per the leak video, the Galaxy A8+ will come with a 6-inch Super AMOLED Infinity display, a 16MP rear facing camera, and a dual-camera setup on the front. Selfie enthusiasts are going to really love this phone. The fingerprint sensor is at the back of the device.

Samsung Galaxy Oreo update release date

Apart from that, an octa core Exynos 7885 processor would be beating at the heart, coupled with 6GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage. As for the battery capacity, the phone would include a 3500 mAh cell. It is also said to have IP68 dust and water resistance.

Samsung will most likely release the phone either by the end of this month, or early January. Pricing details aren’t known yet. We’ll update you when we know more about the phone.

from The Android Soul

[Hot Deal] Grab a Verizon Galaxy S8 for just $456 at Best Buy

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Are you a Verizon customer? Have you been eyeing the new Samsung Galaxy S8 or the Galaxy S8+? Well, now you can get these devices at a serious discount from Best Buy.

The US retailer is offering a massive $300 discount on both the Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphones right now. The price cut is only applicable on the Verizon locked variants with 64GB of internal storage. You will need to get a 2 year contract with Verizon to be eligible for the discount.

The Galaxy S8 is sold at a full price of $756 on Best Buy, but you can get it for $456 by paying $19 every month for 2 years. With the Galaxy S8+, that monthly price goes up to $22.50. Pretty good deal, if you ask us.

Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus: All you need to know

The Verizon variant of the Galaxy S8 and S8+ feature the Snapdragon 835 processor and 4GB of RAM. The S8 comes with a 5.8-inch Infinity display, whereas the S8+ features a 6.2-inch display. Both come with the same exact 12MP rear camera, and an 8MP front facing camera. The devices are yet to receive the Android 8.0 Oreo update, but the software is already in testing.

Buy Verizon Samsung Galaxy S8 from Best Buy

Buy Verizon Samsung Galaxy S8+ from Best Buy

from The Android Soul

Xiaomi Mi A1 gets a price-cut in India, will now retail at INR 13,999

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Xiaomi Mi A1 price-cutJust days after the Mi A1 was selling with a discount of INR 2000 as a part of the Flipkart Big Shopping Days sale, Xiaomi has announced that it is permanently revising the price of the phone to INR 13,999, down INR 1,000 from the phone’s launch price-tag.

“Great news Mi Fans: announcing a permanent price drop of Rs. 1000 on Mi A1! #MiA1: picture perfect flagship dual camera phone. Now available for a perfect price of Rs. 13,999!,” wrote Manu Kumar Jain, Managing Director, Xiaomi India, in a tweet.

This price-cut comes over three months after the Mi A1 was introduced in the Indian market. It is the first Android One phone from the company and has been touted as one of the best phones in its price-bracket.

The price-revision will help the phone in better competing with the Honor 7X, which was released in the country last week. The 32GB version of the Honor 7X retails at INR 12,999 and the 64GB version at INR 15,999.

Unlike the Honor 7X, Xiaomi Mi A1 is offered in only one variant. It sports a 5.5-inch full HD display in a full-metal body. The phone is powered by octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor and runs on Android 7.1 Nougat. The company recently started looking for testers for the Mi A1 Oreo update. If everything goes well, we can expect to see the official roll-out in late-December or early-January, 2018.

Mi A1 is offered in three colour options – Black, Gold and Rose Gold and can be purchased from and Mi India website.

Xiaomi Mi A1 full specifications

  • 5.5-inch screen with 1920x1080p resolution and LTPS technology
  • 2.0GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor with Adreno 506 GPU
  • 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage, and microSD card slot
  • Dual rear camera setup with a 12-megapixel wide-angle lens and a 12-megapixel telephoto lens, two-tone flash as well as 5MP front shooter
  • 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, dual-SIM hybrid slots
  • 3080 mAh battery
  • Android 7.1.2 Nougat operating system
  • Others: Fingerprint sensor, USB Type-C, IR blaster

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