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The dust is finally settling from all the Samsung Galaxy S8 hype, and after all that settling, we are still left with a pretty awesome phone.

There is no question whatsoever that the Galaxy S8 and S8+ are the two most stunning smartphones the world has ever seen. It's certainly sure that they would sell without problems.

That's on one side though as there's this small issue that users might find mildly irritating or downright unacceptable.

The case of China getting all the good stuff.

What's happened apparently is that the Galaxy S8 decided to move away from Apple’s iPhone strategy and offer just one storage option in each market. That means you’ll only have one price option, and it’ll ship with 64GB of onboard storage as well as 4GB of RAM. The Galaxy S8 and S8+ have microSD card slots, so you can always pop in a card up to 256GB in size if you want to add more storage. 

Good right?

Well, it seems there's even better but you just might not get it.

According to reports, China will get a better version of the phone than any other market. So while the rest of us will only get 64GB phones that pack 4GB of RAM, the Chinese versions of the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ will include 128GB of storage and 6GB of RAM.

This might not annoy everyone, but for those who are really into their specs, this will be downright unacceptable. I guess we'll just have to wait for the almost inevitable blowback all this will get.

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi have suffered a bit of a blow after it was announced that one of their bigwigs and their primary English spokesperson, Hugo Barra.

The Brazilian-born computer scientist joined Xiaomi 3.5 years ago from Google in what was at the time a major coup and now his departure has raised more than a few eyebrows.

This year, for the first time, Xiaomi declined to provide annual sales figures and admitted it grew too quick, raising doubts about whether it can continue the impressive growth that gave it a $45 billion valuation two years ago.

Barra in announcing his departure on Facebook stated that homesickness was a major factor in his decision. He also said he plans to head back to California.


He said, What I’ve realized is that the last few years of living in such a singular environment have taken a huge toll on my life and started affecting my health. My friends, what I consider to be my home, and my life are back in Silicon Valley, which is also much closer to my family. Seeing how much I’ve left behind these past few years, it is clear to me that the time has come to return.
He added that the company’s global footprint, which was his primary responsibility, is “in a very good place.”

Barra changed a lot for Xiaomi, when he first arrived, Xiaomi was limited to Greater China. What he achieved was to help them expand across Asia and beyond to reach more than 20 countries making them one of the biggest players in the Asian market.

All the success hasn't come without a few slip ups as Xiaomi lost its crown as China’s top smartphone maker losing to Huawei.

Xiaomi co-founder Bin Lin, also a former Google executive, said senior vice president Xiang Wang would lead Xiaomi’s international business going forward. Wang, a former head of Qualcomm China, joined Xiaomi in 2015 and previously led its supply chain and intellectual property teams.

Lin lauded the departing Barra saying, "When Hugo joined us 3.5 years ago, we started an amazing adventure to turn Xiaomi into a global player. We have come a long way since, and I couldn’t thank him enough for contributing so much to Xiaomi’s journey. As much as we would love to have Hugo stay with us in Beijing for a much longer time, we understand his personal challenges and wish him all the best in his future endeavors."

Barra has said he has plans to get some rest before embarking on an exciting adventure back to Silicon valley.

There was palpable excitement at the imminent return of one of the great phones of yesteryears-- the Nokia. 

There were doubts as to its comeback especially when it was announced that the Nokia 6 was going to be a mid-range phone as opposed to a flagship, but that seems to have been dispelled as a great number of people in China (where it is being launched) who signed up on the pre-sale register. 

The very first day of registration saw a quarter of a million people sign up and now the number is almost a million (945k) for the January 19 sale.


So why are people so stoked for the Nokia 6?

While it is admittedly not a flagship phone, the device's simplistic design language and premium build quality has caught the fancy of not just Nokia enthusiasts, but also the new generation of consumers.

What is meant is that the Nokia 6 series comes with a premium metal-clad frame around the edge and nothing was spared for the power button and the volume which are on the right side as they were made from the same high-grade material.

There are two-grille speakers at the bottom to the right, a type C USB port at the center and a mic to the left and on top, there's a lone 3.5mm audio jack.

On the face of it, the new Nokia features the brand name on the top right corner and camera to its left. In the center, it house single-grille call speaker. The dual amplifiers is said to deliver a 6dB louder sound than a regular amp, giving higher voice, deeper bass and with Dolby Atmos audio system, listening to music on Nokia 6 will be enriching for sure.

While the phone is officially being only released in China, there have been rumours that HMD, who are the official licence holder of the Nokia brand, might announce the international variant of Nokia 6 along with flagship phone (that is Nokia 8) on February 26, one day ahead of Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2017, Barcelona (February 27-March 2).

So fingers crossed that the rest of the world gets to experience the durability and magic of a Nokia phone once more.

Chinese people on social media are less than impressed about a flamboyant golden smartphone created in partnership with Beijing's Forbidden City museum.
The Smartphone called the "Titanium Palace Edition" is set to get to shelves next month and is going for 19,999 yuan ($2,880; £2,326, N904,323).
The phone has no actual titanium, but comes with an 18-carat gold dragon decoration and a screen made from sapphire glass, People's Daily reports on its Weibo social media account.
According to Beijing Youth Daily, the gem-laden device comes in a limited run of 999 devices, and was designed in partnership with the Palace Museum, inspired by the imperial collections it houses.
The look of the phone and its perceived links to China's Forbidden City (which they do not mess with) has set many Chinese people against the phone. 
According to Global Times, one user even went as far as calling it "a stain on the sacredness of the Imperial City". Another Weibo user turned to sarcasm with this mental image: "I always picture the Ancient Emperor strolling through the Forbidden City holding a smartphone."
The backlash has given the museum some pause for thought as they released a statement stylishly backing away from the project, in it they said; "We don't sell mobile phones".
The Forbidden city is the most-visited museum in the world, and before that was the imperial palace of China's rulers until the end of the Qing dynasty in 1912. Over 14m people visit the museum every year, and - according to Beijing Youth Daily - it earns 1bn yuan annually through souvenir sales.
What do you think of the phone? You think the Chinese are overreacting?

The new earphones were made to be a fashion statement and garner attention. 
A Chinese online shopping site called  Taobao is selling elf earbuds.
Naturally its expected that geeks and needs that would find this interesting, but it could also be used by other people who either want to just go for a different look or as part of costume while also being able to listen to your music. 
They sell for about $14.40 (£12, AU$20). The earbuds are worn as normal, and they're connected to the little pointy covers that hook over your own ears. 

So I guess you can get excited, or add it to your Christmas shopping list. 

photo crd: Dailymail

Software that has been installed on some Android phones, mostly low end ones have apparently been secretly monitoring users, sending keyword-searchable and full-text message archives to a Chinese server every 72 hours.

All this is according to a security firm called Kryptowire who conducted research into the matter.

The software has done a fair bit more also tracking users’ location data and call logs and was written by the Chinese company Shanghai Adups Technology Company.

The grand plan though be it state surveillance or advertising is unknown. “This isn’t a vulnerability, it’s a feature,” Kryptowire vice president of product Tom Karygiannis said speaking to online news agency The Verge.

According to Adups, they have the software running on more than 700 million phones and have partnered with some major manufacturers like Huawei and ZTE.
At least one US manufacturer, BLU Products, was affected, with 120,000 phones reportedly running the tracking software.

“BLU Products has identified and has quickly removed a recent security issue caused by a third party application which had been collecting unauthorized personal data in the form of text messages, call logs, and contacts from customers using a limited number of BLU mobile devices,” the company said in a statement.
The scope of the Adups problem “is far more extensive,” according to Karygiannis. He added that Adups logs more specific information on users without their knowledge, and through pre-installed software.
Adups have so far not said anything on the matter.
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