News digest №101. Dessert for the 'geek'

About Android Nougat, photos iPhone 7, new HTC Nexus, beta testing HTC Sense 8 Home and MIUI 8, more patents Apple and Samsung, a copy of the MacBook from Xiaomi, OnePlus 3 problems and more …


MIUI and HTC Sense: happiness for everyone, for nothing …

At the dawn of Android, when Samsung and HTC were actively competing with each other, and the geeks were arguing with might and main which phone was better, many buyers dreamed of the perfect smartphone that would take the best of the two worlds. From Samsung devices he would have got the cool hardware that the company was famous for in those days, and from HTC – an excellent shell, which was much more convenient, faster and more beautiful than the ugly TouchWiz. Then these dreams were not destined to come true, each company strictly kept its secrets and was not at all eager to share developments with competitors. And now the chance to try out the Sense Home launcher HTC on Samsung has finally appeared.

Several resources immediately reported that the company HTC began a closed test of the version HTC of Sense Home for smartphones of third-party companies. Moreover, screenshots of the launcher HTC Sense 8 Home (8.01.772516), launched on the Galaxy Note 5, have already appeared on the network.


Choice is always good, and healthy competition has never bothered anyone. Just a little too late in HTC? In the modern HTC Sense, there is no former wow effect spiced up with a dozen useful innovations, it's just a good shell and nothing more. But here we are talking only about one of its components – the launcher. Perhaps, if the company had decided to take such a step at least a couple of years ago, it would have changed something, but now there is no excitement about HTC Sense and is not close.

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The fate Xiaomi took shape in a completely different way. Initially, this company was known primarily as the developer of the bone shell MIUI, and not at all as a manufacturer of smartphones. Especially outside of my native China. And it was the convenience of the shell that played a big role in the company's success and attitude towards its products. After all, the low price is, of course, great, but companies that produce cheap phones in China are already in bulk. And the slogan “we are cheaper” or “our smartphone is almost like a flagship” alone is not enough for popular love. It is still necessary to somehow stand out from the general crowd, in fact to prove that the company is worth something and is trustworthy.

Subjectively, MIUI is one of the few shells that is completely different from 'clean' Android, but at the same time it is absolutely not inferior to it. Now this is a rarity – the fashion for a total redesign of the 'green robot' interface has long passed, and the branded shells are becoming more and more like it every year.

Judging by the latest published Xiaomi statistics, I am far from alone in my opinion – at the moment the firmware MIUI is used by more than 200 million users around the world.


Already on the 11th, an open beta test of the new firmware version MIUI will begin 8. True, at first it will only be available to the owner of smartphones Xiaomi, a complete list of supported devices can be found at the link below.

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Samsung also liked the idea of ​​beta tests of new software versions, and select Galaxy Note 5 owners were already able to try out the new Note UX shell. The first Galaxy Note 7 buyers are expected to join them in August, with the Note UX as the default shell.

For now, everyone else can only read text descriptions, look at screenshots and watch videos. For example, the video above, where this shell was compared to the classic TouchWiz, will allow you to make a first impression of Note UX.

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Patents: is there smoke without fire?

If everything is more or less clear with the software of future smartphones, then in terms of hardware, the Korean company is much more secretive. On the other hand, a record number of patents on this topic have been published recently.




So, in one of Samsung's recent patents, we are talking about a flexible device that can not only be folded in half, but folded and bent, turning it into a full-fledged tablet, then into a bent 'tube', or into a wristwatch.

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And the next series of patents is about unlocking foldable mobile technology and a curved display at the edges, somewhat reminiscent of solutions in the Galaxy Edge series. When minimized, such devices will not only be able to recognize gestures and touches, but also display shortcut icons on the frame of the case. Which icon was clamped when the screen was rotated will determine which application will start at the same time.




I would like to believe that all of this will become something more than just abstract concepts. Moreover, the first folding devices were promised to us almost by the beginning of next year. But most likely we will not see anything really interesting for at least a couple of years, and the first such devices will become nothing more than a funny curiosity.

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While Samsung is actively patenting everything and everyone about foldable devices, Apple are continuing to work on a dual camera.


A new patent from the Apple company describes the creation of 3D models and advanced editing of ready-made images (changing the focus point, moving objects in the frame, and so on).

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At the moment, there is still hope that such a 'dual' camera will receive iPhone 7, although it is not known for certain whether this is true or not. There are traditionally a lot of rumors about new flagships Apple, but which of them is true and which is fiction is not always easy to understand.

In recent photos iPhone 7, the dual camera was missing, although the lens peephole itself was larger than we are used to.

Another, most likely, render Apple iPhone 7 in gold …

A photo posted by (@mobilereview) on

But the photos and slides leaked from some closed presentation iPhone 7 Plus (presumably prepared for some Foxconn employees) have a dual camera. Moreover, it also protrudes noticeably above the body.




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Interestingly, the well-known leak specialist @Evleaks (Evan Blass) believes that this year we may not wait for the real iPhone 7, since everything interesting in the company will be saved for next year. And in this we are waiting for another cosmetic improvement of the current model.

Can we please stop calling the 2016 Apple handsets “iPhone 7”? I think it's highly unlikely they will be named thusly.

– Evan Blass (@evleaks) June 27, 2016

Whether he is right or wrong, we will be able to find out only in the fall. But something tells me that in Apple they will continue to be guided by the holy principle 'as you name the boat, so it will float' and in any case they will change the serial number of the flagship. Even if we assume that there will be nothing new in it at all.

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Chinese Design: The Clone Wars

The question of where the design of smartphones has gone has occupied users for several years. In 2012, MR even published a separate article on this topic, which still remains more than relevant.

News digest №101.  Dessert for the 'geek' Where has mobile phone design gone? Three eras of phone design

Although copying a design is less and less surprising every year, in fact, it has long been the norm. If even five or six years ago, something like that was forgiven only by some NokLa, now this approach is used almost everywhere. And if before any buyer would have said without hesitation that copying is bad, nowadays the answer to this question is not so obvious at all.

Only one thing has remained unchanged – as soon as it comes to copying, Chinese companies are ahead of the rest. In their case, this is not even copying, but the most real cloning, when the original object is recreated almost one by one.

As an example, a photo of a laptop Xiaomi that appeared on the Internet, which differs from a MacBook from Apple in one logo.


Whether this photo is real or not is difficult to say, one thing is for certain – the CEO Xiaomi Lei Jun confirmed that the company is preparing to enter the laptop market. But I would not be surprised at all if the laptop Xiaomi really looks like a MacBook like two peas. This is exactly what is expected from Xiaomi, the main audience of the company is satisfied with it, so it would be even strange if they decided to do otherwise.

At one time, I was very worried that the company abandoned its own style and turned Xiaomi Mi 4 into a clone of the 'apple' smartphone. But the design of the laptop does not cause any special emotions, mainly practical questions come to mind – how much it weighs, what kind of keyboard is there, and so on. Is this laptop design a plus or a minus for you? Would you buy it yourself if it fit in all other parameters?

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In parallel with this, the company is preparing to release the Mi Note 2 smartphone, in which (according to the leaks) familiar features are also visible. From technology Apple he will get an analogue of the Force Touch function, and from Samsung smartphones – a rounded screen and body design.



On the other hand, the designers have nowhere to go – any phone with a curved display will inevitably resemble the Galaxy Edge line. And it may well turn out that in life these smartphones are not very similar.

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In the meantime, we can only compare the renders leaked to the network and guess how they correspond to the real state of affairs. For example, the same @Evleaks has already published images of the Galaxy Note 7 in three primary colors.


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Nougat and Nexus: a diet for a sweet tooth

Last week Google finally decided on the name Android N, it got the name Nougat (Nougat). For some reason, this caused a violent discontent among many users, although what changes from the name of the OS is a mystery to me. For me, even if they call it a pot, if only they don't put it in the stove. Interestingly, most of the critics regret that Google did not stop at the names of popular brands like Nutella or Nuts. Did you miss advertising so much?

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In addition to the name of the new OS version, Google confirmed its serial number – it really will be Android 7.0, and not some intermediate version. However, numbers are even more conventional than names.

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For many users, the most important thing in the announcement of the next version Android is the new smartphone of the Nexus series. How many of them will be this year is unclear, but the fact that one of the devices is developing HTC is almost beyond doubt.

The codename of the smartphone is M1 Marlin, below are the benchmark screenshots and renders leaked to the network.



Many people worry that the manufacturer is HTC, because in recent years this company has been going through hard times. All this is very similar to the conversations that were conducted before the announcement of the Nexus smartphones from LG. Then the bulk of commentators also rushed to put an end to them in advance only because of the negative attitude towards the brand, but in fact the devices turned out to be quite worthy.

As for HTC, a lot has changed in the company over the past year, and the current flagship HTC 10 is a clear step forward. So I really want to believe that after the change of leadership in HTC they were able to take up their minds, and the new Nexus will become not just a decent smartphone, but the first step on the way to its former glory.

News digest №101.  Dessert for the 'geek' Smartphone Review HTC 10

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OnePlus 3: one step forward and three steps back

In one of the previous issues of the digest, the situation with the RAM in the OnePlus 3 was mentioned. Many geeks who were flattered by the record amount of RAM in the smartphone very quickly realized that in fact it was not used and did not provide any advantages.

OnePlus CEO Carl Pei immediately stated that this is completely normal, 6GB of RAM is needed for better energy efficiency of the smartphone and nothing more. Buyers did not appreciate this argument, and later the company representatives had to promise that in a future patch the logic of the RAM will change.



Apparently, OnePlus really kept their word – the patch was released in record time and began to be sent by air at the beginning of last week. However, how this relates to the initial statement of Karl Pei, who assured that this is not a 'bug' but a 'fitch' is a mystery.

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But in any case, buyers were not happy for long – already a day after the release of the update, its distribution was suspended. The company did not name the reason, but it is known that already in the first day, users found several serious 'bugs'. In particular, the phone started sending its IMEI via the unsecured http protocol.


Perhaps, on the third try, OnePlus still realizes one well-known truth: if you hurry, you will make people laugh. Especially when a substantial part of the target audience is left by tech-savvy users who cannot be easily deceived.

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