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Moto Z2 Force Launch, Samsung Galaxy S9 leak, Chrome ad-blocker, and more: Daily News Wrap

Here are the top news stories of the day.

  • Published: February 15, 2018 9:43 PM IST
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Now you can finally buy a flagship smartphone with a display that won’t break into millions of pieces with a single drop. Yes, we are talking about Moto Z2 Force, which is now officially available in India. At Rs 34,999, Motorola is clearing going after OnePlus 5T and Honor View10 in the mid-range premium segment.

The day in tech, however, did not belong to Motorola. Amazon first announced that its Echo devices will be available to all customers, and then started ‘I love Mi’ sale just as people are planning to upgrade to Redmi Note 5 and Redmi Note 5 Pro. HMD Global launched a new variant of Nokia 6 while Samsung teased the greatness of upcoming Galaxy S9’s camera. The important story: Google Chrome has a built-in ad blocker, but it just doesn’t function the way you think it does. Here is a rundown of all the major tech announcements from the day:

Moto Z2 Force Launch

Lenovo-owned Motorola launched Moto Z2 Force, its flagship smartphone in India today. The smartphone is priced at Rs 34,999, and will be available starting tonight exclusively on Flipkart. The Moto Z2 Force’s USP is its ShatterShield display which won’t break even after few drops but it may not scratchproof after all.

In terms of specifications, it sports a 5.5-inch Quad HD display, 6GB RAM, 64GB expandable storage and Snapdragon 835 processor. It also features dual 12-megapixel rear cameras, and a 5-megapixel front camera. The smartphone runs Android 8.0 Oreo, and is backed by a 2,730mAh battery. While it may lack bezel-less design, the smartphone comes bundled with a Moto TurboPower Mod that adds another 3,500mAh battery to the mix.

Echo Devices Now Available to All Customers

Amazon is the leader in the connected smart speaker segment, and it is trying to get early mover advantage in India before Google starts selling its Home speakers. The Seattle-based e-commerce giant announced that Echo will now be available to all customers without invite. The Echo speakers will also be available through leading retail channels.

Amazon is selling Echo, Echo Plus and Echo Dot smart speakers in India. The Echo Dot, its the cheapest of the three, is priced at Rs 4,499. The Echo and Echo Plus are priced at Rs 9,999 and Rs 14,999 respectively. The speakers can do things like act as an alarm, play music, show weather and calendar updates, read news and give sports update. If you own a connected smart device like Philips Hue light then Echo powered by Alexa can also change light with voice.

Galaxy S9 teaser videos shows Animoji competitor

As we get closer to the launch date of Samsung Galaxy S9, the rumor mill is getting busier revealing more information about the device. We have already seen the renders of the device and a new leak shows how Samsung plans to compete with iPhone X.

The Galaxy S9 teaser video shows that the smartphones will have an Animoji competitor allowing you to send animated emojis on messaging platform. While the feature may have limited use case, the major upgrade will be the camera. The Galaxy S9 is expected to have single rear camera while Galaxy S9+ is expected to get dual rear cameras. The cameras are likely to feature variable aperture allowing its users to shoot with wider aperture in low-light and narrower aperture in broad daylight.

Nokia 6 4GB RAM variant on Flipkart

HMD Global has launched new Nokia 6 variant with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage exclusively on Flipkart. It is a major upgrade considering existing Nokia 6 is only available in 3GB RAM and 32GB storage option.

The Nokia 6 4GB RAM variant is priced at Rs 16,999 and will go on first sale on February 20 at 12PM. The overall specifications remain the same with 5.5-inch Full HD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor, 16-megapixel rear camera and an 8-megapixel front camera. The smartphone runs Android Oreo and is supported by a 3,000mAh battery.

Google to begin removing disruptive ads from Chrome

Google Chrome, one of the most widely used web browser in the world, is getting a native ad-blocker. Starting today, Google Chrome will block ads on websites that repeatedly show pop-up ads and the search giant plans to ban the most annoying ads only.

Google Chrome’s ad-blocker won’t serve as an alternative to AdBlock Plus or uBlock but it will only block ads that it deems to be prestitials with a countdown or autoplaying video ads with sound. Google will show a small pop-up notification everytime it blocks an ad on a website that displays such behavior. While this will affect ad revenue of some websites, Google Chrome users must be feel good about the move.

Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S is real and is coming with Android Oreo

Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S has been rumored to be in works for few months and while we have only seen renders on Weibo, a new leak suggests the device is real. An unreleased firmware of an upcoming Xiaomi device revealed that the company is indeed working on Mi MIX 2S with Android 8.0 Oreo and 3,400mAh battery.

The smartphone is said to have a new camera applications with AI features like scene recognition seen on Huawei Honor View 10. There isn’t much detail in the firmware but the smartphone is said to feature true bezel-less design with the front-camera moving to the top right corner. Sounds interesting, right?

You Might be Interested

Nokia 6

14999

Android 7.1.1 Nougat
Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 Octa-Core Processor
16 MP with f/2.0 aperture, PDAF
Motorola Moto Z2 Force

34999

Android 7.1.1 Nougat
Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Octa-Core 2.35GHz Processor
dual 12MP Camera
Samsung Galaxy S9

57900

Android 8.0 Oreo
Samsung Exynos 9810 octa-core SoC
Super Speed Dual Pixel 12 MP OIS (F1.5/F2.4)
Xiaomi Mi MIX 2s
Android 8.0 Oreo
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 octa-core SoC
Dual 12MP + 12MP
  • Published Date: February 15, 2018 9:43 PM IST