Sony announces an aftermarket Apple CarPlay & Android Auto audio system for $499

Sony has announced its first smart car audio system, the XAV-AX100. The system is compatible with both, Apple CarPlay as well as Android Auto, so regardless of which smartphone you have you are covered.

The double DIN system has a large capacitive touchscreen display up front with physical buttons to change the track and also a rotating volume dial so you can control basic system functions without taking your eyes away from the road.

It also includes a 4x 55W amp with Sony’s Extra Bass feature, and a 10-band equalizer. You also get 3 pre-out connectivity ports for connecting additional amplifiers and other accessories. The Dynamic Stage Organizer feature also compensates for the downward firing door speakers and improves clarity.

The XAV-AX100 is priced at $499.99 and will be available in North America by late November.

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Samsung Officially announces the Galaxy Note 7 with Iris Scanner, Water Resistance, bigger battery and more!

 

Samsung has today officially launched the Galaxy Note 7, the latest in its line of stylus-equipped flagship smartphones. The Note 7, which is not called the Note 6, blends many of the features from last year’s Note 5 with the design and waterproofing of this year’s excellent S7 Edge. The Note 7 will be available from all four major carriers on August 19th, with preorders starting tomorrow, August 3rd. Samsung says that pricing will be commensurate with prior Note devices and will be higher than the S7 Edge, which is about $770 to $800, depending on where you look. An unlocked version of the Note 7 will be available in the US at a later date.

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For years Samsung has differentiated the power-user focused Note line from its more mainstream handsets by juicing up the specs inside of it. This year’s approach is a little different, however: inside, the Note 7 is virtually indistinguishable from the S7 or S7 Edge. It has the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor (in the US; other markets will have Samsung’s own Exynos processor), same 4GB of RAM, same quick charging and quick wireless charging, and same 12-megapixel camera with f/1.7 lens and optical stabilization as the S7 series. The Note 7 is similarly water resistant (rated to IP68 specifications) and has support for microSD cards, both of which were not present in last year’s Note 5. The Note 7 has 64GB of internal storage, compared to the S7’s 32GB, and its battery has been increased to 3,500mAh over the Note 5’s 3,000mAh cell.

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Other similarities to the S7 Edge include a dual-curved Super AMOLED display with quad HD (2560 x 1440 pixel) resolution (albeit at a slightly larger, 5.7-inch size). The dual-curved display is a first for the Note line, and Samsung says it allows the phone to be 2.2mm narrower than the Note 5, while still having the same size display. The curvature of the screen is different from the S7 Edge in that it allows for more flat surface area. The rear glass panel has an identical curve to the front, making the whole phone more symmetrical than the S7 Edge (both pieces of glass are now Gorilla Glass 5). The Note 7 also moves to USB Type-C charging, a first for Samsung devices.

Samsung note 7 9996.0Since the specs are largely the same between the Note 7 and the S7 series, Samsung is differentiating its larger flagship with features. The Note 7 has a new iris scanner that joins the familiar fingerprint scanner and lets you unlock your phone with your eyes. Samsung says the iris scanner is more secure than a fingerprint scanner. It’s similar to the Windows Hello login features seen on Microsoft’s Lumia 950 and a number of Windows 10 laptops and relies on an infrared camera that works well in low light, but less so in direct sunlight. The iris scanner can also be used to lock apps, photos, notes, and other content in a secure folder, separate from the rest of the phone’s data.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 pictures

And of course, the Note 7 wouldn’t be a Note without Samsung’s S Pen active stylus. The S Pen has been upgraded this year with water resistance, a finer point, and twice as fine pressure sensitivity (4,096 levels, as opposed to 2,048 on earlier models). There a handful of new software features for the S Pen, including a magnifying loupe, quick text translation tool, and a new tool that makes it easy to create GIFs from any video that’s currently playing.

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Samsung has also updated its software interface for the Note 7, with a cleaner color palette, softer white menus, and an overall nicer-looking aesthetic. It seems that with each new phone, Samsung’s software gets better looking, and the Note 7 is no exception. The company says that the new software interface will likely come to older models, such as the S7, but it did not provide a timeline for when that might happen.

Samsung note 7 9996.0

The Note 7 is launching with Android 6.0 Marshmallow, but Samsung says that it will be upgraded to Android 7.0 Nougat in the future. When that might happen is anyone’s guess — the company isn’t committing to a timeframe and it has a history of taking a very long time to deliver new versions of Android to its phones.

Samsung note 7 9996.0

I had chance to use the Note 7 briefly ahead of today’s announcement, and in what has become typical Samsung fashion, the device is both visually and tactilely impressive. The phone’s design is a further refinement on the already very good S7 Edge, and it sits comfortably in the hand, even with its oversized display. It’s symmetry is not only pleasing to look at, but it makes the phone nicer to hold, as well.

Samsung note 7 9996.0

The iris scanner works as advertised, but I’m yet to be convinced that it’s easier to use than the familiar fingerprint scanner. It works quickly, but requires that you hold the phone awkwardly close to your face, similar to what I experienced with the Lumia 950. I’ll reserve judgement on the other features until I’m able to spend more time with the device, but it’s safe to say that the GIF-making S Pen tool is very cool and I’m eager to try that out in my day-to-day routine.

The Note 7 will be available in the US in three colors: black, silver, and a unique blue that Samsung is calling “Blue Coral.” A gold version will also be available in international markets. Samsung will be offering customers their choice of a free 256GB MicroSD card or Gear Fit 2 when they purchase a Note 7.

THE NOTE 7 ROUNDS OUT SAMSUNG’S IMPRESSIVE 2016 LINEUP

Last year’s Note 5 showed that Samsung can make a large phone that appeals to a wide audience, and while the Note 7 doesn’t change that, the new things that Samsung has added can definitely be considered power user features. Samsung has had a lot of success this year with the S7 and S7 Edge, and by all accounts, it will likely have a lot of success with the Note 7, too.

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What to expect from Apple at WWDC 2016 on Monday?

Every year, Apple holds an annual Worldwide Developers Conference at the Moscone West convention center in San Francisco, California, giving thousands of developers from around the world a chance to meet up with Apple engineers and sit in on valuable workshops and software sessions.

Apple typically begins each conference with a kickoff keynote on the first day, where the company makes major announcements and sets the stage for the remainder of the week. Keynote events often include a look at upcoming products and services and a first glimpse at new operating systems.

For the first time, Apple will hold its keynote event and other first-day sessions at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, roughly a mile away from Moscone West. The new location, which Apple also used for its September 2015 “Hey Siri” media event, will offer a larger venue for the conference’s major presentations. Apple plans to start its keynote event at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time (8:00 PM Beirut Time).

In 2016, Apple is expected to unveil the latest versions of iOS and OS X, and work on iOS 10 and OS X 10.12 is already well underway. We may also see new versions of watchOS and tvOS, the operating systems that run on the Apple Watch and the Apple TV. News on additional products that might make an appearance will likely be shared as we get closer to the conference date. Most of Apple’s Mac lineup is due for an update and some products could potentially see refreshes at the event.

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Moscone West decorated for the 2015 WWDC eventApple leaked the official dates for the 2016 event through Siri, revealing the conference will take place from Monday, June 13 through Friday, June 17, matching the long presumed dates previously suggested by the convention center’s event calendar.

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Shortly after Siri leaked the news, Apple officially announced the 2016 Worldwide Developers Conference and opened up ticket sales. Media invites for the keynote event went out on June 1.

On June 3, Apple debuted an updated WWDC app for iOS devices and the Apple TV. Attendees can use the app to get directions and times for labs and sessions, while those not attending can use it to watch live streaming sessions with Apple engineers. Apple also plans to live stream the WWDC keynote on iOS and Mac devices through Apple.com and on the Apple TV through a dedicated events app.

Expected Announcements

IOS 10

Apple’s operating system for iPhones and iPads has gone largely without design changes since iOS 7, so it’s reasonable to assume iOS 10 may feature some design tweaks to update the look of the OS. A dark mode is one possibility that’s been circulating based on the look of Apple’s WWDC app and site, but there’s no evidence suggesting such a feature will be implemented.

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Information on iOS 10 is limited, but we’ve heard some tantalizing details about the update. Apple is expected to introduce a Siri SDK, allowing Siri to interact with third-party apps in new ways. Developers will be able to build Siri integration into their apps, allowing Siri to access data and perform tasks within apps. Third-party app access has the potential to greatly expand what Siri is capable of and could put the personal assistant on par with more robust solutions like Google Now.

In 2015, rumors indicated Apple was working on an “iCloud Voicemail” service able to allow Siri to answer missed calls and record and transcribe messages for users to read as text at a later time. The service, which could come in iOS 10, is also said to be capable of relaying location information and delivering details on why a user can’t answer a phone call.

Siri may also be improved with new capabilities Apple has made through acquisitions like VocalIQ. VocalIQ is able to retain the semantic context between conversations and recall user preferences. Apple has made other AI-related purchases over the past year that could have been purchased to improve Siri. Perceptio, for example, is a startup designed to allow for the creation of advanced artificial intelligence systems while limiting the amount of data stored in the cloud, functionality that could allow Apple to bridge the gap between its desire to introduce deeper Siri functionality with its unwavering focus on privacy.

iOS 10 is rumored to include a redesigned Music app featuring a more intuitive user interface for Apple Music. It’s said to use a “bolder, yet simpler” design that emphasizes black and white backgrounds and text to put more focus on album art.

Apple is planning to replace the “New” tab in Apple Music with a “Browse” option that includes better organizational tools for discovering new content, and it will also feature a simplified “For You” section. Connect and Beats 1 will remain unchanged, but Apple may remove the Connect tab from the Apple Music interface.

New 3D Touch shortcut previews will be added, sharing features will be emphasized, and there will be more of a focus on song lyrics, making them easier to access within the app.

With the upcoming iPhone 7 Plus expected to gain a dual-lens camera, Apple is building Photos improvements into iOS 10. Apple is expected to reintroduce some abilities that were initially found in iPhoto before it was discontinued and while we don’t know specifics, iPhoto previously had features like EXIF editing and touch-based brushes for adjusting brightness and other parameters on only specific parts of a photo.

A Skitch-like photo editing feature allowing users to draw on and mark up images could also be in the works, mirroring features that are available in the Mail app for marking up PDFs and photos.

Metadata keys added to App Store apps in April suggests Apple is potentially working on a much-desired feature to allow users to hide or delete unwanted stock apps. If such a feature is in the works, it could be included in iOS 10. App Store changes and improvements are also a possibility, as Apple is said to have a secret team dedicated to exploring potential changes that could be made to the App Store.

OS X 10.12

OS X didn’t get a major update in 2015, but 2016 may more than make up for it. OS X 10.12 is expected to bring Siri to the Mac for the first time, allowing the personal assistant to be used on Mac devices like it’s used on iOS devices.

Siri will be enabled through an icon in the OS X menu bar, the dock, a user-specified keyboard shortcut, or through a hands-free “Hey Siri” command. In May, we shared an image of the full Siri dock icon, featuring a colorful Siri waveform.

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Siri functionality on the Mac is likely to mirror much of the functionality on iOS, with Siri able to conduct searches, open apps, tweak system settings, answer simple queries, play music from iTunes, and more. Siri may also be able to interface with third-party Mac apps through the rumored Siri SDK.

Another key feature of OS X 10.12 may be expanded Continuity features. Apple is working on an auto unlock function that would allow an iPhone to unlock a Mac when in close proximity, alleviating the need to enter a password on a password-protected machine in OS X 10.12.

The feature, which uses Bluetooth LE frameworks, will presumably work similarly to the automatic unlocking feature on the Apple Watch, which allows an unlocked iPhone to bypass the passcode restriction on a connected Apple Watch. In this scenario, an iPhones Touch ID button would be used as a verification method for simpler logins.

The unlocking function could also potentially be tied to the rumor suggesting Apple Pay integration is coming to web browsers. Users could make purchases online using Safari, confirming the Apple Pay payment through an iPhone’s Touch ID when linked to a Mac.

Features rumored for iOS 10, such as Photos improvements and Apple Music tweaks, are also expected to be included in OS X 10.12. An updated version of iTunes that includes a redesigned Apple Music experience with a simpler, more intuitive interface is a possibility, and as for Photos, it could gain some features that were removed during the transition from iPhoto to Photos.

Beyond rumored features, there has been some speculation that Apple could rename OS X to MacOS to better match with iOS, watchOS, and tvOS, but whether or not Apple will actually introduce a change to its long-running Mac naming scheme remains to be seen.

TVOS 2 AND WATCHOS 3

Apple has said new versions of tvOS and watchOS 3 will be introduced at WWDC, but we have not heard any details on what new versions of these operating systems might include.

Drawing from what we expect for iOS 10 and OS X 10.12, the two operating systems could feature Siri improvements and design tweaks to match any design changes coming to iOS 10, but beyond that, we don’t have any insight into what to expect.

We do know that as of June 1, Apple is requiring new Apple Watch apps submitted to the App Store to be native apps, suggesting Apple has plans for deeper native app capabilities. At the very least, a push towards native apps is encouraging because it will result in Apple Watch apps that are able to open more quickly and work more smoothly in watchOS 3.

SERVICES

Apple Pay:
There are no specific Apple Pay rumors linked to WWDC, but Apple has several new Apple Pay features in the works that would be ideal to debut at the event. Apple is planning to bring Apple Pay to web browsers, allowing Apple Pay users to make Apple Pay purchases in online stores directly through Safari.

As with standard transactions, payments would be approved on the iPhone through Touch ID. Using the expanded Continuity features allowing an iPhone to connect to a Mac, Apple Pay payments on Mac notebooks and desktop machines may also be verified through Touch ID.

Apple is also working on a person-to-person update for Apple Pay, allowing users to send money to one another much like Square Cash or Venmo. It is not exactly clear how such a feature would work, but there have been “whispers” suggesting Apple may let customers send money to one another through iMessages.

iCloud:
Following its conflict with the FBI, Apple is likely to introduce new security features in iOS 10 and OS X 10.12. One possibility is encrypted iCloud backups, something Apple has been hesitant to implement in the past because it makes the restoring process more difficult.

Rumors have suggested Apple is working on implementing stronger security measures “even it can’t hack” to protect iOS devices. These improvements are likely to be introduced through a mix of hardware and software improvements, and it’s quite possible we’ll see the first of Apple’s security enhancements in iOS 10.

HARDWARE

Ahead of WWDC there were rumors and speculation suggesting Apple could introduce products like an updated MacBook Pro or a new Thunderbolt Display, but it’s likely neither of these products are going to be ready for a June debut, instead coming later in 2016.

Leading up to WWDC, multiple Apple insiders have said the event will focus on software instead of hardware, and so we are not expecting hardware updates at the event. There’s a possibility Apple could surprise us with an announcement, but if there are plans for a hardware product debut, those plans have been kept under wraps.

 

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Google I/O 2016: Android N, Android Wear 2.0, Daydream VT platform, fresh stats & more!

 

The Google I/O 2016 keynote wrapped up so we compiled interesting tidbits that we think iDownloadBlog readers might be curious to learn about, because it pays off to keep tabs on what competition is doing.

In addition to a pair of new iPhone apps, Google Assistant and Google Home, the search firm updated its developers at I/O 2016 on the latest on Android N, which launches this summer. It also announced Android Wear 2.0, talked about a virtual reality platform, dubbed Daydream, and more.

Android N

Google rewrote and redesigned “some fundamental aspects” of how Android works, focusing on three key themes for Android N: performance, productivity and security. Apps will install faster and take up less storage than before. As for the productivity improvements in Android N, they’re including Multi-Window support and Direct Reply.

Android N multi-window mode
Multi-Window mode in Android N.

With Multi-Window support, more than one app can be displayed at a time in side-by-side multitasking mode or one-above-the-other in split-screen mode. On TV devices, apps can use Picture-in-Picture mode to continue video playback while users are interacting with another app.

Notifications in Android N support the Direct Reply feature so that users can quickly respond to text messages or update task lists directly within the notification interface (yes, we’ve had that since iOS 8). Android N should also bring a lot smoother gaming and faster graphics-intensive apps with Vulkan, Google’s version of iOS’s Metal hardware-accelerated graphics framework.

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Android N Developer Preview is available on a range of devices.

Android N will be required for Daydream, Google’s brand new reference platform for virtual reality applications, smartphones and controller hardware. By the way, Android N won’t be the actual name of the shipping software—Google is accepting submissions for what to call the system until June 8, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time.

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On a related note, a new feature, called Android Instant Apps, will let Android devices stream apps and games from the Play Store, meaning you’ll be able to use apps without actually installing them. Android Instant Apps are coming to Android Jelly Bean 4.2 and newer devices later this year.

Android Wear 2.0

The next major version of Google’s Android-based platform for smartwatches launched as a developer beta today. Celebrating its second anniversary, the new Android Wear 2.0 brings standalone apps into full view, allowing smartwatches with an embedded cellular data to have direct network access to the cloud, without needing a paired smartphone.

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Moreover, Android Wear 2.0 enhances the experience with features like a tiny keyboard that you can swipe to choose letters, customizable watch faces, integration with Google’s Fit platform for fitness apps, Google Assistant-powered smart reply suggestions, a full screen handwriting recognition mode and more.

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And akin to complications on the Apple Watch, watch faces on Android Wear 2.0 can now display any piece of information from any other app with no additional work required on a developer’s part.

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Android Wear 2.0 will release for public consumption this fall.

Daydream

Daydream is a brand new virtual-reality platform from Google and one of the surprise highlights of the conference. Promising a high-quality virtual reality experience, Daydream will be coming to compatible  Android phones this fall via the free Android N software update.

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On Android N, Daydream provides a low-latency experience and includes a user interface for notifications when using a viewer. For those wondering, motion-to-photon latency on Nexus 6P running Developer Preview 3 is lower than 20 milliseconds.

Android phones will need to have certain screens and special sensors if they’re to e Daydream certification. Google says that Daydream-ready phones from the likes of HTC, ZTE, Huawei, Asus, Xiaomi, Alcatel, LG and Samsung are coming this fall.

Google Daydream controller reference design

But, Google took Daydream a step further with the introduction of a reference design for VR headsets and controllers for third-party vendors. A Daydream-compatible controller will work in VR-optimized apps and games and include a built-in trackpad and an orientation sensor for accurate motion control.

Take that, Cardboard!

Latest Google stats

Like Apple, Google tends to kick off major keynotes with a state-of-the-Union segment that basically provides updates on its many initiatives. The search company has its tentacles everywhere these days so we were expecting way more numbers than executives delivered on stage.

Here’s what’s happening with Google’s platforms:

  • 600 models of Android-driven smartphones were introduced in 2015
  • Chrome has one billion monthly active users on mobile
  • Google saw 65 billion app installs on Google Play in 2015
  • 25 million Chromecast dongles sold to this date
  • Google Photos has 200 million monthly active users
  • There are 50 million apps for Cardboard available

Oh, and Android Pay is now available in UK and coming soon to Singapore and Australia.

Google Play 65B installs
Google I/O keynote took place Gat the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California.

Firebase is expanding

To make it easier to write cross-platform apps that work together and provide consistent, unified user interfaces, Google announced an expansion of its Firebase solution which is now becoming a unified app platform for Android, iOS and mobile web development.

Android TV and Google Cast

A quick recap of Android TV and Google Cast news:

  • Google Cast, which is built into all Android TV devices, is coming to a lineup of TVs from Magnavox, Philips, Polaroid, Toshiba, Westinghouse and more
  • Sony and Sharp are adding to their Android TV product lines with Sony’s 2016 BRAVIA and Sharp’s Net Player
  • New devices are also on the way with RCA’s first Android TV and Xiaomi’s sleek 4K set-top box
  • In Europe, Android TV will be available from Beko, Grundig and Vestel starting in June
  • New features available in Android N will let Android TV users play video while browsing other content in Picture-in-Picture mode, record live TV and enjoy crisper 4K UHD video with support for High Dynamic Range

Saying 👋 to Allo and Duo: new apps for smart messaging and video calling

Whether it’s welcoming a new baby, celebrating the winning shot in overtime, or discovering the best taco stand ever—we all want to share these moments with friends and family the instant they happen. Most of the time, this means picking up our phones and sending a message or starting a call. Today we’re sharing a preview of two new apps that take a fresh look at how people connect.

Allo, a smart messaging app
Allo is a smart messaging app that makes your conversations easier and more expressive. It’s based on your phone number, so you can get in touch with anyone in your phonebook. And with deeply integrated machine learning, Allo has smart features to keep your conversations flowing and help you get things done.

Emojis, stickers, Ink, and our Whisper Shout feature in Allo

Allo has Smart Reply built in (similar to Inbox), so you can respond to messages without typing a single word. Smart Reply learns over time and will show suggestions that are in your style. For example, it will learn whether you’re more of a “haha” vs. “lol” kind of person. The more you use Allo the more “you” the suggestions will become. Smart Reply also works with photos, providing intelligent suggestions related to the content of the photo. If your friend sends you a photo of tacos, for example, you may see Smart Reply suggestions like “yummy” or “I love tacos.”

Smart Reply suggestions in Allo

Allo also features the Google assistant, bringing the richness of Google directly into your chats—helping you find information, get things done, and have fun. You can chat one-on-one with the assistant, or call on Google in a group chat with friends. Either way, you no longer have to jump between apps to do things like book a dinner reservation with friends, get up-to-date sports scores, settle a bet, or play a game. The assistant in Allo lets you bring things like Search, Maps, YouTube and Translate to all your conversations, so that you and your friends can use Google together.

The Google assistant in Allo understands your world, so you can ask for things like your agenda for the day, details of your flight and hotel, or photos from your last trip. And since it understands natural language patterns, you can just chat like yourself and it’ll understand what you’re saying. For example, “Is my flight delayed?” will return information about your flight status.

Google assistant in Allo

Privacy and security are important in messaging, so following in the footsteps of Chrome, we created Incognito mode in Allo. Chats in Incognito mode will have end-to-end encryption and discreet notifications, and we’ll continue to add new features to this mode.

Duo, a video calling app for everyone
Duo is a simple, fast one-to-one video calling app for everyone—whether you’re on Android or iOS, a fast or slow connection, in New York or New Delhi. Like Allo, Duo is based on your phone number, allowing you to reach anyone in your phonebook. And its simple interface fades away when you’re in a call, so it’s just the two of you.
Video call in Duo

One of our favorite features of Duo is Knock Knock, which shows you a live video preview of the caller before you pick up. Knock Knock invites you into the moment, making calls feel spontaneous and fun. Once you answer, Duo seamlessly transitions you right into the call.

Duo calls are in crisp HD video (up to 720p) and audio. We’ve optimized Duo to work well even on spotty networks, so if bandwidth is limited it gracefully adjusts quality so you’re still able to connect. We also seamlessly transition calls between cellular and Wi-Fi, so you don’t need to worry about what network you’re on. Finally, we built Duo with privacy and security in mind and all calls on Duo are end-to-end encrypted.


Both Allo and Duo will be available this summer on Android and iOS. We can’t wait for you to try them.

HTC 10 unveiled: 5.2-inch QHD display, 12 UltraPixel camera with laser autofocus

 

On its website today, HTC unveiled the HTC 10. This is the phone HTC hopes will take on Samsung’s Galaxy S7, LG’s G5, and Apple’s iPhone 7.

HTC’s latest attempt to save its smartphone business is a flagship with the tagline “Power of 10” which, apparently, symbolizes “greatness and independence but also that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” In other words, the company claims — just as every other smartphone manufacturer tries to — that the latest flagship offers more than just a new metal design, better camera, and improved performance.CdJDNtuW0AEYPrW

And yet, those are indeed the highlights that HTC insists will save it.

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HTC’s press release, leaked to us ahead of the official announcement, uses nonsense marketing-speak like “inspired by light and sculpted to perfection” when describing the new design. But in short, you can expect a full glass front that merges with the metal body.

The company also notes that the HTC 10 was subjected to over 168 hours of extreme temperature tests, ranging from -20°C (-4°F) to 60°C (140°F), plus over 10,000 drop, bend, scratch, and corrosion tests. Is this finally a phone that absolutely doesn’t need a case? Probably not, but one can sure dream.

htc_10_camera

Next up, the camera features “the world’s first optically stabilized, larger aperture f/1.8 lenses” on both the front and rear cameras, larger sensors, 12 million UltraPixels (1.55um per pixel), laser autofocus on the back, plus a wide-angle lens and screen flash on the front. The HTC 10’s camera is also designed to launch “in as little as 0.6 seconds.” RAW format support is also a go.

HTC also claims that the 10 features “the world’s first stereo 24-bit Hi-Res audio recording, capturing 256 times more detail than standard recordings, across twice the frequency range.” The phone includes a headphone amp that delivers “two times the power of a conventional headphone amp,” the ability to upscale from 16-bit to 24-bit audio, and digital to analog conversion. You can even create your personal audio tuned to your individual hearing. The BoomSound Hi-Fi speakers feature a separated tweeter and woofer design, and a dedicated amplifier for each.

And finally, performance. HTC says the 10’s quad HD display is 30 percent more colorful and 50 percent more responsive to touch than its predecessor. The company says its fingerprint scanner unlocks in 0.2 seconds and is algorithmically designed to recognize you faster over time. It also claims that its battery can be charged to 50 percent in just 30 minutes.

htc_freestyle_layout

Last, but not least, HTC has created a new Freestyle Layout, which essentially means you don’t have to organize your apps in a grid anymore. You can place icons, stickers, and widgets anywhere you like, organize by layers and groups, link stickers to apps, or even get rid of icons altogether.

Here are the HTC 10’s specs:

  • Display: 5.2-inch, Quad HD (2560 x 1440 pixels), super LCD 5
  • CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 820
  • Platform: Android 6.0 with HTC Sense
  • Memory: 4GB RAM, 32GB/64GB storage expandable up to 2TB via microSD
  • Rear Camera: 12MP (HTC UltraPixel 2), laser autofocus, Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), f/1.8 aperture, Pro mode, Auto-HDR, Zoe Capture, hyperlapse, 12X Slow motion mode, 4K video recording with Hi-Res Audio
  • Front Camera: 5MP (1.34MICROm pixels), autofocus, Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), f/1.8 aperture with ultra wide-angle lens, Live Makeup, Auto-HDR
  • Sound: HTC BoomSound Hi-Fi Edition, Dolby Audio, Personal Audio Profile, Hi-Res Audio Certified, Hi-Res Audio Earphones, Three microphones with noise cancellation, Hi-Res Audio Stereo Recording
  • Connection: USB Type-C
  • SIM card: Nano SIM
  • Connectivity: NFC, BT 4.2, Wi-Fi@: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 & 5 GHz)
  • Sensors: Fingerprint Sensor, Sensor Hub
  • Battery: 3000 mAh

The HTC 10 starts shipping this month in four colors: Carbon Grey, Glacier Silver, Topaz Gold, and Camellia Red.

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