Mihăiță Bamburic

Not every iPhone 7 is created equal

iPhone 7 Plus

Depending on which iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus version you buy, you may experience slower storage and cellular speeds compared to other models in the lineup -- and, at least when it comes to the wireless performance, there may be nothing that you can do about it.

A report on the storage performance of the base iPhone 7 Plus, which features 32GB of storage, reveals that it is a couple of times slower at the same task than a 128GB iPhone 7, in both synthetic and real-life benchmarks.

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Microsoft Q1 FY2017 by the numbers: $22.34 billion revenue, $5.98 billion profit


Microsoft has posted its earnings for Q1 FY2017 (Q3 CY2016), revealing revenue of $22.34 billion, operating income of $7.1 billion, net income of $5.98 billion, and earnings per share of $0.76 cents. The software giant beat analyst expectations of $21.71 billion in revenue and EPS of $0.68. The stock is up around 5.5 percent over yesterday, with shares trading at over $60 -- a record value for the company.

How do the latest numbers compare to Q1 FY2016? A year ago Microsoft reported revenue of $21.66 billion, operating income of $7.07 billion, net income of $5.66 billion and EPS of $0.70. So the revenue, operating income, net income, and EPS are up.

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Samsung's 8GB RAM module will let you run virtual machines on mobile devices

Samsung 8GB LPDDR4 mobile memory RAM module

Pretty soon it will be common for high-end smartphones to have as much -- if not more -- RAM than your PC, as Samsung just unveiled a new 8GB LPDDR4 module for mobile devices featuring large, UHD displays.

Samsung believes that mobile devices equipped with 8GB of RAM will be able to handle 4K video playback with ease but also virtual machines. The latter scenario is not a common on smartphones and tablets, but Samsung wants to bring mobile devices on a similar level to desktops and laptops, at least in consumers' minds.

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LeEco enters US smartphone market with $399 Le Pro3 flagship

LeEco Le Pro3

Chinese tech giant LeEco is making its entrance in the US smartphone market. The first device to be officially available is its high-end Le Pro3, which features cutting edge hardware at an appealing price. It costs $399, but on launch day the Le Pro3 will actually be offered for just $299, after a $100 rebate is applied.

LeEco's approach is no different to that of other Chinese vendors, like Xiaomi, as it also delivers flagship-grade hardware at a price that undercuts its premium rivals by hundreds of dollars. But, unlike many of its home rivals, LeEco will soon have an official presence in US, which will make a big difference when it comes to consumer trust and sales in the country.

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Elephone EleCam Explorer Elite action camera review

Elephone EleCam Explorer Elite

In trying to compete with more premium brands, some action camera makers are pushing the envelope in terms of quality at lower price points. Some of the best devices in the affordable category, while not on the same level as the latest GoPros, come reasonably close to the leading players, but at a fraction of the cost.

One of those devices that is touted to offer great value for money is the Elephone EleCam Explorer Elite. It comes in below the $70 mark, so it certainly delivers on the cost front. And, being powered by a proven and competitive chipset in the entry-level market, it seems to have what it takes to deliver quality videos. But, how does it perform in real life?

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Google can now help you find the cheapest flights

Google Flights cheapest tickets

You can save big on plane tickets. The trick, as you know, is to buy them at the right time. And since it may not be easy to foresee, Google Flights has received an update to let you know when is the best time to take out your credit card.

With the holiday season just around the corner, Google says that 69 percent of the US leisure travelers worry about finding the cheapest flights or making the right decision when buying their tickets, so Travel will now inform users when it expects prices to change.

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Germany tells Tesla to stop using 'misleading' Autopilot term


The German government has labeled Tesla's use of the Autopilot name to describe its assisted driving technology "misleading" and asked the US car maker to stop using it in advertisements. The system is not currently completely autonomous, as it requires driver supervision, based on SAE standards.

"In order to prevent misunderstanding and incorrect customers’ expectations, we demand that the misleading term 'autopilot' is no longer used in advertising the system", says German transport minister Alexander Dobrindt. "Autopilot is a pure driver assistance program, and not a highly automated vehicle that can be operated without constant attention of the driver".

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Apple now sells unlocked iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in US

iPhone 7 Plus

Nearly a month after releasing the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, Apple is giving consumers the option of purchasing the unlocked versions of its latest flagships in US. The "SIM-free" models are available in all the color and storage configurations as their carrier counterparts, with prices starting at the same $649 for the iPhone 7 and $769 for the iPhone 7 Plus.

The unlocked iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models carry the designation A1778 and A1784, and support the same LTE bands as the AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon versions. But what are the differences?

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DKnight Big MagicBox portable Bluetooth speaker review

DKnight Big MagicBox power button

Smartphone users who want to enjoy their favorite music through a portable Bluetooth speaker have a sea of options to choose from these days. Many accessory makers offer small setups that promise to deliver a much higher sound quality than the built-in speakers, and in plenty of cases at a pretty reasonable cost too.

DKnight is no different. Its Big MagicBox setup, which features dual 10W drivers and "advanced bass enhancement technology", claims to offer "exceptional sound quality" and is touted as "the most competitive speaker" in its segment of the market. But, just how good is it in real life?

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PC shipments decline -- some consumers may never upgrade again

PC decline graph

The PC market can't catch a break, as shipments continue to drop. If you ask Gartner, we are looking at a 5.7 percent decline year-over-year for Q3 2016. IDC, meanwhile, says that the decrease is of just 3.9 percent. But no matter which figure is closer to the truth, it is clear that it will be extremely hard -- if not impossible -- for PC vendors to turn things around.

Gartner says that Q3 2016 is the eighth consecutive quarter when PC shipments decline, calling this "the longest duration of decline in the history of the PC industry". And it is easy to understand why: buying a new PC is not a priority for most consumers in mature markets, while for many folks in emerging markets the PC is not even on their radar.

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Oculus drops support for Samsung Galaxy Note7 to keep users safe

Samsung Gear VR

It is tough being a Galaxy Note7 user. First, Samsung tells customers to exchange their units for a safe one, following reports of exploding batteries. Next, the "new" Galaxy Note7 devices start catching fire too, after it was revealed that their batteries have issues as well. And, now, Samsung decides to stop production altogether, discontinuing its latest Android flagship across the globe.

What's more, because the Galaxy Note7 is clearly not safe to use, Oculus has dropped support for the Android flagship, introducing a forced update for the app that enables the Gear VR headset to work with the device.

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Google Chrome 55 will drastically improve memory consumption


Google Chrome has received plenty of updates to make it lighter on resources, but it can still be a bit of a hog in certain areas. Its higher memory consumption remains a weak point, as you can easily notice on systems with a lower amount of RAM. However, an upcoming update is touted to greatly lower its footprint.

Google Chrome 55, which is expected to arrive in December, should improve the average memory consumption by up to 50 percent compared to the current release, version 53.

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Samsung could be facing another Galaxy Note7 recall

Secret Tell Surprise Shock

The Galaxy Note7 is back on sale in some markets, but that does not mean that the new units Samsung is shipping are perfectly safe. A passenger on a Southwest Airlines flight says that his replacement Galaxy Note7 caught fire, causing minor damage to the plane and the flight to get canceled.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has opened an investigation, basically to find out whether another recall is in order. "If it’s the fixed phone and it started to smoke in his pocket, I’m going to guess there’ll be another recall", says the agency's former executive director, Pamela Gilbert. Does a second recall sound unlikely at this stage? No.

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New Mac malware could secretly record your webcam during video chats

Apple MacBook video chat webcam

FBI director James Comey made the news last month when he admitted that he tapes over his laptop's webcam to avoid being spied upon. Mark Zuckerberg does it too. As Comey puts it, blocking the webcam is a "sensible" thing to do -- and if you too care about your privacy you should follow suit. But, there is a problem.

When you remove the tape to chat with someone you are left vulnerable. And, as a security researcher will demonstrate today at the VB2016 conference, a hacker could use that opportunity to record Mac users' activities "in an essentially undetectable manner".

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Shazam launches stripped-down music recognition app

Shazam Lite

Shazam is a fantastic app for identifying music but, judging by the launch of a new version, it is not for everyone. Its maker believes that potential new users in emerging markets might be better served by a smaller and lighter version of the app, so today it introduces Shazam Lite.

Unlike Shazam, which takes just under 60MB of storage on a OnePlus 3, Shazam Lite has "a highly optimized size of less than 1MB" to suit the entry-level Android smartphones that are taking over emerging markets. It is not uncommon for such a device to have 8GB or 16GB of storage.

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