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Kingdom Hearts Dark Road revealed as official name for Project Xehanort (Update: New details)

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Square Enix has revealed a new Kingdom Hearts game for mobile, and it's tentatively titled Project Xehanort. The reason for this placeholder name is so Square Enix can drum up press by asking everyone to join a Twitter campaign to guess the game's name.

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Kingdom Hearts Dark Road revealed as official name for Project Xehanort (Update: New details) was written by the awesome team at Android Police.



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Samsung Galaxy A71, A51 go official with Infinity-O AMOLEDs and four rear cameras (Update: India availability)

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Now that we’re nearing the end of 2019, Samsung appears all set with its 2020 Galaxy A lineup that bridges the gap between flagships and budget handsets. The South Korean tech titan today introduced a pair of smartphones under the series — the Galaxy A71 and the Galaxy A51. The two phones pick some of the most identifiable features from their more premium siblings in the Galaxy S and Note series, while still maintaining their relatively affordable prices.

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Samsung Galaxy A71, A51 go official with Infinity-O AMOLEDs and four rear cameras (Update: India availability) was written by the awesome team at Android Police.



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'OK Google, charge my car' - Assistant adds native control for chargers and batteries

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Also neat for vacuums and other battery-powered devices

Google Assistant started with native support for basic smart home products like thermostats and lights, but has since expanded to dozens more from locks to vacuums, cameras, kitchen appliances, bedroom furniture, and bathroom equipment. With today's addition of chargers, Assistant has upped its tally to 60 different product types.

Google explains that this new ability is made for devices that can charge others (i.e. regular chargers) as well as those that can store energy (i.e.

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'OK Google, charge my car' - Assistant adds native control for chargers and batteries was written by the awesome team at Android Police.



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Teaser images show that OPPO is gearing up to launch a smartwatch with a square design

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We’ve been hearing that OPPO is prepping to launch a smartwatch ever since it held an Innovation Day in Shenzhen where the company showcased a number of smart devices. Believed to be launching sometime in Q1, a teaser from the smartphone brand has revealed that the smartwatch will feature a square design. OPPO’s Brian Shen […]


Come comment on this article: Teaser images show that OPPO is gearing up to launch a smartwatch with a square design



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3D puzzle adventure The House of Da Vinci 2 is out on the Play Store

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If you like The Room, you'll probably also like The House of Da Vinci

The House of Da Vinci is a well-received, crowd-funded puzzle adventure game that lets you take the role of Leonardo da Vinci's promising apprentice. After your master's disappearance, you have to comb through his house to find clues on what happened to him. Four years after the original title, the Slovakian indie studio Blue Brain Games has now released the aptly-named follow-up on the Play Store, The House of Da Vinci 2.

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3D puzzle adventure The House of Da Vinci 2 is out on the Play Store was written by the awesome team at Android Police.



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Target a tech career with CompTIA certification

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CompTIA certification training

Certifications are one of the best ways to demonstrate your knowledge and get ahead in your field. Acing exams is one of the best feelings, especially when it leads to a boost in your pay. The Complete 2020 CompTIA Certification Training Bundle can help you make this happen, and it’s on offer from Tech Deals right now.

CompTIA is one of the world’s leading tech certifications and this beginner-friendly learning kit covers it from top to bottom. It’s made up of 14 unique modules and hundreds of hours of content to prep you for the exams. You can either work your way through the lot to become a CompTIA guru or take on whichever of the certifications you need to further your career.

The first two modules in the learning kit focus on the A+ exam, one of the basic entry-level options. From there, you can expand into modules like Linux+, Server+, and many more to flesh out your skills. Not only can you choose your modules, but each one also shows examples of companies that trust CompTIA. The list ranges from Nissan and Verizon to Intel and Apple.

comptia training courses

CompTIA Training at a glance:

The 14, yes fourteen, modules in the Complete 2020 CompTIA Certification Training Bundle have a combined retail value of nearly $3,500. Thankfully, this week you can pick them all up and get started for just $89.

This deal ends soon, but certifications last a lifetime. Learn more via the widget below.

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Is this deal not quite right for you? To see all our hottest deals, head over to the DEALS HUB.



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This smartphone uses AI to prevent you from taking nudes

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The back of the Tone E20.Tone

Smartphones have become the primary photography platform for the vast majority of people around the world, and this extends to nude pictures as well.

There’s nothing wrong with an adult taking nudes in the first place, but what if you have a problem or you’d like to make sure your children aren’t engaging in this sort of thing? That’s where the Tone E20 smartphone comes in.

The new device by Japanese company Tone has a feature dubbed Smartphone Protection, according to CNET. This feature uses machine learning within the camera app to detect nudes being taken with the phone. If a nude photo is indeed detected by the camera app, it simply blocks the snap from being saved to the phone’s gallery.

The Tone E20 smartphone.Tone

In a rather interesting move, the phone can also be connected to a guardian’s device and warn them if someone tried to take a nude selfie. Hopefully Tone has tuned the feature adequately enough to prevent false positives. After all, the last thing I’d want as a minor is to be wrongfully accused of taking nudes by my guardian.

The fact that the feature is reportedly nestled within the native camera app suggests you could bypass this restriction by installing a third-party camera and/or a different gallery app. Nevertheless, the feature still makes for a pretty novel use of machine learning.

Otherwise, the Tone E20 is a pretty capable if unspectacular budget phone for 19,800 Japanese yen (~$180). It packs a low-end Helio P22 chipset, triple rear camera setup (12MP+13MP ultra-wide+2MP depth), rear fingerprint scanner, and 3,900mAh battery.

You can also expect a 6.26-inch HD+ screen, 64GB of expandable storage, an 8MP selfie camera in a waterdrop notch, camera-based face unlock, and Android 9.0 Pie.

Do you think a phone that blocks users from taking nude selfies could succeed? Give us your answer below.

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Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite review: An affordable flagship done right

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These are interesting times for smartphone buyers. While OnePlus pioneered the concept of an affordable flagship smartphone, Xiaomi, Realme and many others have sustained the momentum. Packing specifications that rival top-of-the-line hardware and nearly matching the experience, the line between a value flagship and a true premium device is blurry at best.

Enter the Galaxy S10 Lite. Samsung’s flagship property has so far skirted away from the $500 to $600 segment, but changing times call for radical new solutions.

The Galaxy S10 Lite errs close to the full featured Galaxy S10 experience with top-end internals, a software experience to match, as well as a quality camera set up. Read more in our Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite review.

About this Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite review: I wrote this Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite review after spending a week with the phone. Samsung India supplied the device, which was running Android 10 with One UI 2.0 and the January 2020 security patch.
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Design: Familiar yet different

The Galaxy S10 Lite’s design leans towards the Note line up more than the S10 series, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The phone has distinct design cues that differentiate it from everything else at the price point.

Up front is a large 6.7-inch display with a Full HD+ resolution. Despite the size, I had no issues carrying the phone around since the 20:9 aspect ratio definitely helps with ergonomics. Using the phone, however, is another story. As one of the largest devices in Samsung’s portfolio, one-handed operation is absolutely impossible.

The display on the Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite isn’t quite as good as what you get on the S10 and the flagships because it packs Quad HD resolution. Unless you place it side by side with a higher-resolution screen, it is hard to find fault here. Color accuracy is good, but not quite perfect. The whites display a very cool, blue hue. It is possible to switch over to a vivid mode to boost saturation, and yes, the display is HDR10+ capable. The S10 Lite also excels at outdoor visibility and the display can be set bright enough for viewing under direct sunlight.

Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite camera cut out

Like the Note 10, the Galaxy S10 Lite sports a punch-hole camera on the front. I’m not too fond of this, but I’ve got to admit I barely noticed it after a couple of days. The camera hole is small and unobtrusively placed towards the top edge. There’s a 32MP camera in there.

Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite volume button

The rest of the hardware package is exactly what you’d expect. The volume keys and power button are located on the right, and are easy to reach. The left side sports a dual nano-SIM and microSD card slot. A USB-C port and speaker grille grace the bottom edge. Nope, no headphone jack here!

The phone has in-display fingerprint sensor that I found to be accurate, but not particularly fast. Samsung has definitely come a long way from the hit or miss implementation on the Galaxy S10, but the competing OnePlus 7T still has it beat.

Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite rear profile shot

Flip over to the back and you’ll notice the S10 Lite is similar to the newly launched Galaxy S20 series. The large camera module, for example, closely resembles the Galaxy S20 Ultra, though it obviously lacks the imaging prowess of the latter.

The S10 Lite eschews gradients for a solid, understated design.

To keep costs and weight low, the Galaxy S10 Lite switches out the glass back for a polycarbonate material. At first glance, it is easy to mistake for glass. The look and feel is uncanny. However, it is a composite material called glasstic. In my time with the phone, it seemed to hold up well enough. Fingerprints might not be a big issue, but it does pick up scuffs and lint. Keep a microfiber cloth handy.

Performance: Flagship in all but name

Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite in hand showing browser

Despite the “lite” moniker, Samsung did not cut corners with internal specs. The Snapdragon 855 in the S10 Lite delivers some of the best performance figures this side of the 865. Interestingly, in India, this is the first S-series phone with a Snapdragon chipset. The Snapdragon 855 here sports a single Kryo 485 core clocked at 2.84GHz for high-power tasks, a cluster of three Kryo 485 cores clocked at 2.42GHz for middling tasks, and a cluster of four Kryo 485 cores clocked at 1.78GHz for low-power tasks. Graphics are handled by the Adreno 640 GPU.

Coupled with 6GB or 8GB of RAM, I had no issues multi-tasking and jumping between multiple apps. Games run maxed out at the highest settings and look great while at it.

Samsung has done a wonderful job at optimizing the software, resulting in a buttery smooth user experience.

Moreover, Samsung has done a truly great job at mating the software to the hardware. Performance remains absolutely slick no matter what you throw at the device.

A 4,50omAh battery keeps it all running. Samsung upped charging speeds to support 45W using a USB PD 3.0-compliant charger. However, the in-box charger tops off at 25W, which is not bad either. In my testing, the phone took just over an hour to top-off from scratch. Battery life itself was excellent. The Snapdragon 855 has proven itself to be a frugal chipset and I regularly achieved between five and six hours of screen-on time depending on usage. You will easily get a full day of use and then some from the S10 Lite.

Software: The Samsung experience

The S10 Line runs the same software stack as the Galaxy S10. That means Android 10 with One UI 2.0. By default, the phone ships with an app drawer enabled, but it is a cinch to switch over to a home screen-only layout.

Samsung made useful additions to One UI to enable a deep level of customization.

All the usual Samsung features, including edge screen shortcuts and edge lighting, are present here. The latter makes good use of the always-on display to show glanceable notifications at the top. The power key defaults to Bixby, but you can switch it over to the standard power menu. Similarly, you can map double tapping the power key to any app on the phone.

Samsung phones have always had robust customization options and the S10 Lite is no exception. From the ability to reduce animations, to switching between button- or gesture-based layouts, the phone also lets you switch over to Android 10’s default gesture navigation with options for adjusting sensitivity.

Camera: Steadily capable

Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite camera module close up

The S10 Lite is equipped with an interesting mix of cameras. The primary is a 48MP shooter with a maximum aperture of f/2.0. This is paired with a 12MP, f/2.2 ultra-wide shooter and a dedicated 5MP macro camera.

Personally, I don’t really care for this new-fangled trend of dedicated macro cameras. While some surely appreciate the macro, it is not nearly useful enough to justify replacing a telephoto lens. A 32MP camera does duty at the front.

S10 Lite Macro low light

For what it’s worth, the macro does a good job at taking close up shots. You will need to be about 3cm to 5cm from the subject to be able to capture a focused image, but the results can be suitably dramatic. There is ample noise in all but the brightest lighting, so this camera is best used outdoors.

S10 Lite outdoor standard mode

The camera has a very typical outdoor Samsung image signature. Colors are ever so slightly over-saturated to give them a punchy look. The HDR mode kicks in automatically and lifts details out of shadows at the expense of added noise. I noticed a modest amount of noise suppression with smeared details when completely zoomed-in. This shouldn’t be much of an issue for most users and the images should suffice for all but the most demanding of mobile photographers.

S10 Lite flowers standard

Generally speaking, the punchy colors produced by the primary camera fare well against the competition. The most obvious competitor to the Galaxy S10 Lite is the OnePlus 7T. The latter includes a more useful telephoto lens, but the primary camera is similar. The Galaxy S10 Lite’s primary camera generally captures more detailed and accurate images.

S10 Lite indoor night mode S10 Lite indoor shot S10 Lite indoor night mode
S10 Lite indoor shot

In less than ideal lighting things do go south, as is usually the case. Despite including OIS, images often ended up slightly blurry and noisy. Night mode proved to be an effective way of bringing up details in the shadows and for creating a brighter image. Still, this is one area where the OnePlus 7T pulls ahead with its much more consistent and noise-free performance.

Finally, the 32MP selfie shooter produces above average 8MP pixel-binned images. By default, the camera errs toward beautification features and brightens up shots perhaps too much, but you can switch off most of the settings for a more natural image.

Video capture on the Galaxy S10 Lite is particularly good. Footage recorded at 4K/30fps looked detailed with true-to-life colors and sharp focus. Interestingly, the ultra-wide mode is also capable of capturing 4K video — not a very common feature. Samsung’s super steady OIS feature works like a charm, all the way up to 1080p 60fps. It makes use of the ultra-wide camera to capture a broader field of view and then crops in to the centre of the image. The end result is almost gimbal-like fluidity to the captured content. It imparts a floaty feeling to the footage which you may or may not like. Regardless, the standard OIS works very well and I didn’t find much of a reason to switch over to the super steady function very often.

Specifications

  Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite
Display Super AMOLED
6.7-inch Full HD+
1080 x 2400 resolution
20:9 aspect ratio
HDR10+
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
Adreno 640 GPU
RAM 8GB
Storage 128GB UFS 2.1
microSD slot included
Battery 4,500mAh
45W charging
Cameras Rear:
48MP primary
12MP ultra-wide
5MP macro sensor

Front:
32MP
Operating System Android 10
Samsung One UI 2
Dimensions 162.5 x 75.6 x 8.1mm
186g
Colors Prism White, Prism Blue, Prism Black

Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite review: The verdict

Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite display

The Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite is available on Amazon in the US for $585, or from Samsung India for Rs. 39,999.

For years, Samsung has shied away from introducing a truly compelling value flagship. The S10 Lite aims squarely at the OnePlus 7T (£549) and, to an extent, the Realme X2 Pro (£359). Samsung’s hardware perhaps isn’t the best you can get at the price point, but there’s no denying the implicit trust that comes with a reliable brand like Samsung. This matters in key markets like India.

Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite
The Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite is a serious competitor to the OnePlus 7T. Great imaging prowess and excellent performance for under $600, what's not to like?

The Galaxy S10 Lite caters to people who want a fast phone with a compelling feature set, a reliable set of cameras, and great battery life. The Galaxy S10 Lite delivers all of that. The fact that the phone is widely available regular stores compared to the online-only model followed by Chinese manufacturers, and has a robust service and support network just makes it all the more enticing.

This concludes our Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite review. What do you think about the phone? Is Samsung on the right path with its Lite series devices? Let us know in the comments.

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Samsung Galaxy A71 quietly launches in India, coming in under $450

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Samsung Galaxy A71.Samsung

Samsung launched the Galaxy A51 in India a few weeks ago, but Galaxy A71 launch details weren’t forthcoming. Fortunately, the company has decided to stealthily release the phone in the market today.

The Galaxy A71 packs a Snapdragon 730 chipset, 4,500mAh battery with 25W charging, and a 6.7-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED screen with a punch-hole cutout. It’s not quite a flagship then, but it’s certainly at the upper end of the mid-range segment.

Switching to the photography experience, the Samsung device packs a quad rear camera setup. You’re getting a 64MP main camera, 12MP ultra-wide shooter, 5MP macro camera, and 5MP depth sensor. A 32MP camera handles selfies, and it’s also capable of recording slow-mo selfie video.

Other notable features include an in-display fingerprint sensor, microSD card slot, a Game Booster suite, and Bixby integration.

The Samsung Galaxy A71 is available as an 8GB/128GB model in India and retails for Rs 29,999 (~$420). Samsung’s phone will go on sale from February 24 via retail stores, Samsung.com, Samsung Opera House, and “leading” online retailers. The device will be available in Prism Crush Silver, Blue, and Black colorways.

Would you buy the Galaxy A71 over rival smartphones? Let us know in the comments section.

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