Motorola Moto E6 leaked renders show phone sans fingerprint sensor

Motorola is holding a launch event on May 15 in Brazil and is expected to launch the Moto One Vision. As per the latest report, we may also see the unveiling of another device from the company, the Moto E6, which has been leaked in a render. Moto E-Series phones are company’s affordable offering and cater to the masses that look to buy phones in the Rs 6000-Rs 8000 price sement.

The Moto E6 will succeed the Moto E5 which was announced last year. The leaked photos show that the front of the E6 looks similar to its predecessor – a tall display surrounded by bezels and the Motorola branding on the thick chin. On the back, the phone is quite different from the Moto E5, and sports a single lens camera module on the top left corner. There is no camera bump that we are so used to seeing on most of the Motorola devices.

There is a centrally-aligned batwing logo, and reportedly, it does not sport a fingerprint sensor. Other design elements include volume rocker and power button on the right edge, a headphone jack at the top and front camera on the left side of the earpiece. The phone is also expected to feature a MaxVision display with 18:9 aspect ratio – same as that was used in the Moto E5 smartphone.

Moto E6 expected specifications:

Under the hood, the phone may feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 mobile platform, accompanied by 2GB of RAM and 16GB/ 32GB expandable storage. The phone may feature a 5.45-inch HD+ MaxVision display. When it comes to the camera, the phone may sport a 13MP sensor at the back, and a 5MP front shooter. The phone is likely to come with Android 9 Pie out-of-the-box.

Realme X, Realme X Lite complete specs revealed on TENAA ahead of May 15 official announcement

Realme will launch the Realme X smartphone on May 15 but the company can’t seem to keep the phone’s details from leaking out ahead of the announcement. While the Realme X is confirmed, previous reports suggest that there would also be a Realme X Lite or Young variant, which is speculated to be the rebranded Realme 3 Pro. The TENAA listing of the Realme 3 Pro previously revealed the design of the Realme X and now, it has been updated with full specifications, along with the specs of the Realme X Lite. The Realme X sports the model number RMX1901, while the Realme X Lite is listed with the model number RMX1851.

Realme X and X Lite specifications listed on TENAA 

As per the TENAA listing, the Realme X would come equipped with a 6.5-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display with a 2340 x 1080p resolution. It runs on an unnamed  2.2 GHz octa-core processor, which is rumoured to be Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 845 chip. The handset is running Android Pie and is listed with 4GB RAM + 64GB storage but is expected to be launched in additional variants. 

A 48MP Sony IMX586 sensor is mentioned in the rear-camera spec, along with a secondary 5MP depth sensor. On the front might be a 16MP sensor, which will be housed in the pop-up camera assembly. The phone could be backed by a 3,680 mAh battery, feature an in-display fingerprint sensor and might be announced in Black-Blue and White colour models. 

Coming to the Realme X Lite, it is listed running on a 2.2 GHz octa-core processor, which is speculated to be the Snapdragon 710. The listing tips at 4/6GB RAM variants with 64/128GB of storage options and a 6.3-inch Full HD+ LCD display with 2340 x 1080p resolution. The handset might feature a 16MP + 5MP dual camera sensors on the back and a 25MP shooter on the front. The supplementing images suggest a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor and the listing hints at a 3,960mAh battery. 

OnePlus users speed dial contacts are getting erased everyday, company promises fix in next update

As OnePlus gears up for the launch of the next iteration of its flagship devices, the OnePlus 7 and the OnePlus 7 Pro on May 14, several users of older OnePlus devices have complained that the contacts they saved as Speed Dials are getting reset everyday. Apparently, this has been an issue since January. The good news is that the company has said that the bug will be fixed in the next update.

“For the past couple of days, the speed dial contacts are disappearing again and again. Every day all the contacts are getting erased in the speed dial list. Is anyone else also experiencing the same issue? Is there any reason for (sic) why this is happening? Request OnePlus team to fix the bug as it is very annoying when it happens every day,” a user said on the OnePlus forum. Another user says that his/her speed dial is automatically resetting everyday. “The message shows no speed dial contact and it reset everyday in morning. I am currently on 9.0.0 update.”

The problem is being faced by the users of the OnePlus 5 and the subsequent phones that have launched so far. While there haven’t been any answers on why this is happening, some are saying that cache could be the problem. They even advised those affected to clear the cache. However, the solution does not seem to be working for a large part of the complainants.

Recently, OnePlus released the open betas for four of its older phones, the OnePlus 5, the OnePlus 5T, the OnePlus 6 and the OnePlus 6T, bringing some display-related updates as well as quick reply support. The open betas bring these features and optimisations to all these phones. However, there is an India-only feature for the OnePlus 6/6T devices. Under File Manager, the company has added an Intelligent cleanup feature that is anticipated to clean clutter from phones.

New gravitational wave-detectors could help scientists solve more cosmic mysteries

Gravitational waves are disturbances in the fabric (or curvature) of spacetime. They’re believed to be generated by accelerated masses, which propagate these ripples outward from the source at the speed of light. In the past, they have helped us understand a good deal about matter and black holes. Now, however, we hear news of gravitational-wave observatories cropping up on Earth and in space. These observatories should help scientists dive deeper into the matter (sorry for the pun).

Since gravitational waves are very weak, writes Space.com in its recent article, they’re extremely difficult to spot. Apparently, Albert Einstein himself was not sure whether they actually existed or would ever be detected. But to everyone’s surprise they were discovered—in 2015, using the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). The observatory consists of a pair of detectors: one in Washington and one in Louisiana. Each detector is reportedly shaped like the letter L and has legs about 4 kilometres long.

Since LIGO’s laser-based detectors are approximately 3,000 kilometres apart, it can take up to ten milliseconds for a gravitational wave to go from one detector to the other. Researchers use this time difference to figure out where the waves are coming from. As more such observatories crop up, scientists will be better equipped to detect the source of gravitational waves. One of the newest detector facilities is called Virgo and it’s located in Pisa, Italy.

Even with such a large and extensive setup, only the strongest gravitational waves get picked up by LIGO and Virgo. The key is to have more detectors set up. “Beyond 2025, scientists are discussing two advanced gravitational-wave observatories — the Einstein Telescope and the Cosmic Explorer,” writes Space.com. They’re expected to be placed underground to reduce noise derived from seismic vibrations. Reducing noise is believed to boost sensitivity to gravitational waves in these detectors.

Cover image courtesy: NASA

OnePlus 7 Pro Experience Pop-Up happening on May 17 in New Delhi and on May 15 in seven Indian cities: All you need to know

OnePlus is all set to launch its OnePlus 7 lineup of handsets on May 14. The smartphone maker has been hosting pop-up events for some of its offerings and the same will be organised for the OnePlus 7 series as well. OnePlus has announced that it will host pop-up events in seven Indian cities on May 15 and a “one-of-a-kind OnePlus Experience Pop-Up” on May 17 in New Delhi. At 7 PM on May 15, the company will host regular pop-up stores in Bangalore, New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, Chennai and Ahmedabad. Additionally, the ‘OnePlus Experience Pop-Up’ that will happen at 7 PM on May 17 at Amphitheatre, Select City Walk, New Delhi, will feature an “experiential zone” to enable consumers to check out the OnePlus 7 Pro.

Consumers will get to buy the OnePlus 7 Pro at the regular and at the Experience Pop-Up store. The company says the smartphone will be available in limited quantities but those who purchase the phone at these pop-ups could win some additional merch as well. The exclusive goodies early buyers of the phone can get includes the OnePlus Type-C Bullets earphones, which performs rather well for their price, and Netflix and Amazon Vouchers. They can also win OnePlus tote bags, OnePlus back cases, and OnePlus ‘Never Settle’ T-shirts.

As for the upcoming OnePlus 7 series, the OnePlus 7 Pro has leaked numerous times and except for the official confirmation, there’s hardly anything left to know about it. The smartphone is reported to come equipped with a 6.67-inch display that might feature a 90Hz refresh rate. It is expected to run on the Snapdragon 855 SoC and might be launched with up to 12GB RAM and 256GB of storage space versions. Almost all renders of the phone till now suggest the presence of a nearly bezel-less display and a pop-up front camera. On the back, reports suggest a triple camera setup with a 48MP + 16MP + 8P sensor configuration. 

You can read our rumour roundup of the OnePlus 7 Pro here to know almost everything that’s leaked about the phone till now. 

Samsung announces new 64 megapixel ISOCELL camera sensor for smartphones

Samsung Semi Conductors has just announced a new smartphone imaging sensor called the Bright GW1. This sensor has a resolution of 64 megapixels, uses Samsung’s ISOCELL technology amongst many others, and is capable of 4-pixel binning to yield 16-megapixel binned images.

The press release on Samsung’s website says that “ISOCELL Bright GW1 is a 64Mp image sensor that features the highest resolution in Samsung’s 0.8μm-pixel image sensor lineup. With pixel-merging Tetracell technology and remosaic algorithm, GW1 can produce bright 16Mp images in low-light environments and highly-detailed 64Mp shots in brighter settings. To take pictures resembling the way the human eye perceives its surroundings in a mixed light environment, GW1 supports real-time high dynamic range (HDR) of up to 100-decibels (dB) that provides richer hues. In comparison, the dynamic range of a conventional image sensor is at around 60dB, while that of the human eye is typically considered to be around 120dB.”

In addition, Samsung has also announced the ISOCELL Bright GM2, a new version of the 48-megapixel sensor that Samsung introduced in the market a few months ago. Both the GW1 and GM2 feature Samsung’s Dual conversion Gain technology, which is essentially the sensor’s ability to switch between two native ISO values depending on ambient lighting conditions.

The megapixel war in smartphones has once again begun, but unlike the previous attempts, where manufacturers just packed more and more pixels into a sensor, this time it’s very different. Besides adding more pixels, manufacturers like Sony and Samsung are also increasing the sensor size, now going all the way up to 1/2 inches in size. In addition, there is also a lot of software optimisations and use of AI to squeeze every last bit of image quality out of a sensor.

Samsung’s GM1 sensor so far has only been seen in the Vivo V15 Pro, and hasn’t been as widely used as Sony’s IMX586 chip. Hopefully, the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 10 will feature one of Samsung’s large format sensors, making the device stand out from the existing S10 series.

Instagram to roll out new rules for banning accounts, changes to curb spread of misinformation

In a bid to make the platform more secure, Instagram has announced three major changes to the photo and video-sharing app that will roll out “soon.” Firstly, the company will frame a new set of rules for banning accounts. Secondly, it will now let the Facebook fact-checkers scrutinize the posts, and thirdly, it will introduce a feature that will let users appeal against the company’s decision to takedown any post.

Instagram told Engadget that it is working on a new policy for account removals that will start rolling out “soon.” Currently, Instagram’s policy allows “a certain percentage” of violations before removing an account. With the new guidelines in place, Instagram will remove accounts after an undisclosed amount of violations. What’s noteworthy is that these rules will be the same for every user, and the company won’t share the exact number of strikes it will put in place. The company hopes that by this way, violators won’t be able to take the advantage of the system.

The second major announcement will help the company curb misinformation on the platform. Reportedly, Instagram will soon run potentially false posts past Facebook’s fact-checking partners who will scrutinise the post. In this process, Instagram will follow the policies put in place by Facebook, according to which, the false posts will not be deleted but they won’t appear in the Explore tab and in the hashtag result pages.

“Our approach to misinformation is the same as Facebook’s — when we find misinfo, rather than remove it, we’ll reduce its distribution,” a spokesperson was quoted as saying. Moreover, Instagram is also considering adding pop-ups that appear when people search for misinformation.

The third key announcement is a feature that will let users request a review of a post that has been taken down. According to the company, if it realises it made a mistake, it will restore posts. Moreover, every appeal will be sent to a different reviewer than the one who made the original decision to take the post down. This will be done to ensure that the posts are thoroughly inspected. Instagram also says that it is developing a text- and media-matching technology that will use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to extract text from a meme and analyse its content whether its harmful or not.

BSNL Rs 47, Rs 198 STVs revamped to offer more data to users: Report

BSNL seems to be trying its best to stay relevant in the telecom race, where it’s definitely not easy to go head to head against the likes of Vodafone-idea, Jio and Airtel. The state-run telco has reportedly refreshed its Rs 47 and Rs 198 Special Tariff Vouchers to offer more data to its user. TelecomTalk claims that with the Rs 198 recharge, BSNL users will now get to avail additional data benefits, while the Rs 47 plan previously offered only voice benefits, it now offers some data as well. Additionally, the validity of the Rs 198 plan has also been extended. 

As per the report, BSNL’s Rs 198 STV recharge will now credit 2GB data per day to a customer’s account. This plan should now be valid for 54 days. The same plan previously offered 1.5GB data that had a validity of 28 days. After the revamp, users will get to avail 108GB of cumulative data instead of just 42GB. Coming to the Rs 47 plan, BSNL is said to now offer 1GB data with the plan, along with unlimited calling for 9 days. As mentioned, this pack previously came with only voice benefits and no data. The Rs 47 pack is said to be all circles, except Mumbai and Delhi. 

BSNL recently refreshed its STV 35 recharge to offer more data and also revised the Rs 53 and Rs 395 prepaid data vouchers. The Rs 35 STV voucher is said to now offer 5GB data for 5 days, instead of 200MB of data for the same time period. As for the Rs 53 data voucher, users will get to avail 8GB data for 14 days instead of just 250MB for 21 days. The Rs 395 prepaid data voucher now features unlimited voice calling, along with 2GB daily data. Post exhaustion of data, the internet speed will be capped at 80kbps. 

Huawei lists eight phones that will get Android Q update

Following Google’s official Android Q announcement at its annual Google I/O conference, its partner companies have started to reveal which phones would get the stable iteration of the next OS. Huawei is one of those partners and it has announced a list of eight phones that will get the Android Q later this year. Reportedly, this is the first batch of Huawei phones that will receive the update, which means that more phones could be added to this list later.

The phones that will get the Android Q stable update are: Huawei Mate 20, Mate 20 Pro, Mate 20 X, Mate 20 Porsche Edition, Huawei P30, P30 Pro, Honor V20, and Honor Magic 2. However, there is no information about the timeline for this update. In the last two years, Google has rolled out the stable OS update for Pixel devices in August, so this year is likely to be no different.

The upcoming Android release focuses on bringing new mobile experiences, more control of privacy and enhanced security. It introduces several new features, including Live Captions and Smart Replies, Dark Mode, Focus Mode, and a new framework for updates under which the users will receive key updates to the operating system automatically in the background similarly to how Android apps update via the Play Store.

But before this is rolled out, the release will have six betas, out of which three are already out. You can see the list of all phones that will get the Android Q beta update here. Also, you can check this article to learn more about what the next major Android release will offer. Further, if you want to experience the Android Q beta on your Pixel device, you can visit this link to enroll your device, and later receive the beta build as an over-the-air update. For the other devices, you will have to manually flash the beta build onto the phone.

Google Play tweaks how ratings work, announces cash payments for purchasing apps

Google I/O 2019 is in full swing and the company made a slew of announcements during the keynote and on the next day as well. One of the announcements from the event is about how Google Play will be changing a couple of things. TechCrunch reports that Google Play Store policies are being changed to better reflect app ratings. Till now, app ratings were a cumulative representation of how well an app performed over the years. However, this is being changed so that the recent releases of the app ratings are favoured. Another notable announcement for the Play Store from Google is the ability to purchase apps with a new delayed form of payment options like cash.

“You told us you wanted a rating based on what your app is today, not what it was years ago, and we agree,” says Milena Nikolic, an engineering director leading Google Play Console. Explaining more about how the new rating system would work, Nikolic says that the average rating calculation for apps will soon be updated for all Android apps on Google Play and instead of displaying ratings based on lifetime cumulative values, more weight would be given to the most recent users’ ratings. The new rating system makes more sense as many apps start out great but go off the track with subsequent updates. The new ratings won’t be shown to consumers till August but app developers can preview the new system today via the Play Store Console. 

Coming to the new form of payment option, while there are multiple payment options to choose from when buying an app on the Play Store, Google is aiming at emerging markets with the new “pending transactions” option. The new feature will enable users to pay via traditional methods that don’t require online transactions. “We know that emerging markets are a key area of growth for you all, which is why we’re excited to announce ‘pending transactions,’” announced Aurash Mahbod, Director of Engineering at Google, while speaking at Google I/O. 

This new feature enables users to select an alternative method of payment and receive a payment code. They can then show this code to a nearby store and pay for the app they purchase. Google says within 10 minutes, users will receive their purchase and an email with their proof of payment but TechCrunch notes that the process can take up to 48 hours to get through. This would certainly make it easier for some users to pay for apps but in case they want to get a refund, they will receive Play Store credit. The feature is currently available in early access and it remains to be seen whether it will be announced for India as well.