Android Pay will soon show users where the NFC chip is on various smartphones

One minor inconvenience that plagues Android Pay is that with the wide variety of Android phones comes many different locations for the NFC chip — and thereby some frustrating experiences if you can’t find it. On one device it might be located at the top, another in the center, and another at the bottom. As the Android Pay app continues to show users more about how to use the service, it seems that an upcoming update might help users actually find that NFC chip…

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Google showcases custom server security chip, Cloud VMs double max CPU core, RAM amount

In the midst of several app and service launches at Cloud Next ’17, Google also announced several hardware-related developments. With Cloud Platform gaining GPUs last month, Compute Engine is doubling the number of CPU cores available to virtual machines, while Google showed off its Titan security chip for data servers.

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Sony acquires Israeli chip maker Altair Semiconductor for its LTE chip tech

Sony will be acquiring an Israeli chip maker called Altair Semiconductor for 2 million, the handset maker announced in an official press release this week. Altair Semiconductor is known for its advancements with LTE (Long Term Evolution) modems. They’ve been working on making LTE chips that are faster, with lower power consumption, all while at a lower cost. This possibly means that Sony can deploy LTE technology to markets that may not have it as of yet. The acquisition is slated to be all wrapped up early by February 2016, just a few weeks away.

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Unreleased Oppo A35 passes through TENAA certification, features octa-core chip, 5-inch screen, metal body, more

With Samsung having launched its Galaxy A-series phones for 2016 and BLU launching the first sub-0 1080p smartphone at the end of this year, it looks as though the trend of releasing premium-looking smartphones at affordable prices is set to continue in to 2016. One company known for releasing great, affordable smartphones is Oppo, and the Chinese smartphone manufacturer is about to launch its next small, powerful and budget-friendly smartphone…

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Mobile chip designer ARM set to be acquired by Softbank, though Intel may bid

ARM, the British chip designer responsible for the processors in loads of mobile devices, looks set to be bought by Japanese telecoms company Softbank.

The deal will need to be approved by shareholders, but with ARM recommending it and a valuation 43% above last week’s closing price, it looks likely to go through. It is, however, possible that other companies may make their own bid for the company.

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Teardown reveals Nexus 5X is easily repairable, includes Qualcomm Quick Charge chip

As usual, iFixit has cracked into the latest Nexus device, Google’s Nexus 5X manufactured by LG, to give us our first look at the insides of the device and some insight into just how repairable it will be for owners.

Google’s Android team already filled us in on why it left out Qi Charging on the new Nexus devices (the reversible USB Type-C included is simply more efficient, it said), but we didn’t get an answer on why it didn’t take advantage of Qualcomm’s Quick Charge technology. It turns out the device actually includes a chip that supports the feature, the Qualcomm SMB1358, Quick Charge 2.0 IC, as confirmed in the teardown earlier today. And Qualcomm supports the Nexus 5X’s new USB-Type C connector, so it’s still a possibility the feature could be enabled for the device in the future.

But apart from getting a look inside of the device for the first time, the teardown doesn’t reveal many details we didn’t already know. It does, however, show that Nexus 5X is easily repairable compared to much of its competition with a score of 7 out of 10 meaning most components of the device will be easy to swap in and out or fix. The one downside iFixit noticed included a fused display assembly, which it noted means the “glass and LCD will need to be replaced together if one or the other breaks.”

The positives include the fact that several components “are modular and can be replaced independently,” according to iFixit, and that a standard Phillips screw driver, and not proprietary tools and parts like other devices, is all that’s necessary to open the device.

You can check out iFixit’s full tear down here.

Galaxy A9 specs leaked, powerful mid-ranger likely to feature huge 4000mAh battery, Snapdragon 620 chip, 1080p screen, more

Just a couple of weeks ago, Samsung officially unveiled its A-series lineup for the next year. The Galaxy A3, A5 and A7 feature respectable specifications and will be sold at prices well below those of the more high end Galaxy S series while retaining the premium metal chassis. But the A-series doesn’t end there. Samsung’s official Weibo account revealed details of yet another Alpha device: The Galaxy A9.

As you’d expect, the A9 is bigger than any of the others. With its 6-inch, full HD AMOLED display, the A9 is easily the biggest of the bunch, perhaps bordering on ‘too big’. The leak also reveals a 13MP camera on the back and 8MP front snapper, as well as a huge 4,000mAh battery. While not in the same territoriy as the behemoth 10,000mAh battery in the Oukitel K10000, it should still be easily enough to get most users through two days on a full charge.

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SamMobile also pointed in the direction of another leak featuring more of the internal specifications. Those include a Snapdragon 620 processor clocked at 1.8GHz and paired with 3GB, alongside 32GB internal storage. Like the the other A-series phones, it also has a fingerprint sensor and Samsung Pay support. It runs Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, although an update to Marshmallow is expected. Samsung is likely to announce the new Galaxy A9 a little later this month. If all that pre-release info wasn’t enough, there’s a video showing off the A9 and A7 side-by-side.

Upcoming Galaxy Alpha benchmark results leak, suggest full HD screen and octa-core Exynos chip in mid-range package

Value for money in the smartphone industry has never been as good as it is now. As OnePlus revealed last week, it’s possible to bring specifications which we’d have considered top-tier just 12-18 months ago and sell them in a device half the price of today’s flagship phones. Samsung, it seems, is keen to follow suit with the follow up to its Galaxy A5. A benchmark result over at GFXBench suggests that we’ll see a phone — model number SM-A510F — launched by the Korean tech giant with a full HD screen…

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Snapdragon 820 will be first chip to include Qualcomm’s anti-malware Smart Protect feature

In a press release this morning, Qualcomm announced a brand new technology to help keep us protected from potential malware threats on our smartphones. Smart Protect will be built into chips in the near future and provide “real-time, on-device machine learning designed to support accurate and effective detection of zero-day malware threats for improved personal privacy and device security”. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 chip will be the first to feature the new technology when it hits the market in 2016.

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ZTE Axon 7 goes official with up to 6GB RAM, Snapdragon 820 chip and 2K screen, costs just $450

ZTE has just unveiled the next phone in its series of high performance, affordable, flagship-beating smartphones; the ZTE Axon 7. Like last year’s Axon, this year’s model seeks to offer a competitive experience at a price which undercuts similar smartphones from big-name manufacturers, and it might succeed at just 0 USD.

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