BLU Launches Premium "Bold" Brand With All-Screen N1

BLU Products is launching a new brand of phones today called “Bold”. The new brand will release just one or two “premium flagship and flagship-like devices” per year. The first model, the N1, is being released today for $250. It has an all-screen, notch-less design thanks to a pop-up selfie camera. The full-HD AMOLED display measures 6.4 inches. It has a curved black glass back and a solid metal frame. It’s powered by a MediaTek Helio P70 chipset with 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage, plus a memory card slot. Its dual rear cameras include a 16-megapixel Sony IMX499 main sensor plus a depth sensor. It has an optical fingerprint reader built into the display. It has a 3,500 mAh battery, wireless charging, and 18W fast wired charging via USB-C. It also has a 3.5mm headset jack. The software is stock Android 9. The phone is being offered unlocked with basic support for AT&T and T-Mobile networks, and potentially Verizon. It supports US LTE bands 2, 4, 5, 12, and 13. While supplies last, boldphones.com is offering a $50 instant rebate on the N1, for a net price of just $200. The phone is also available from Amazon at the full price.

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LG Brings a Tall HD Display to Its New Entry-Level Phone

Cricket is now selling the LG Escape Plus, a new phone with basic specs for $120. Its best feature is a 5.5-inch LCD display with and tall 2:1 aspect ratio and HD+ (720 x 1440 pixel) resolution. It also has a dedicated Google Assistant button on the side, 32 GB of storage, an 8-megapixel main camera, 5-megapixel selfie camera, 3.5mm headset jack, and a memory card slot. It’s powered by a 3,000 mAh battery, Snapdragon 425 processor, and 2 GB of RAM. Regulatory approvals indicate versions of this same phone are planned for AT&T, T-Mobile, and Metro as well. If history is any indication, those versions are likely to be sold under different names.

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Google Open-Sourcing its Differential Privacy Tech

Google is making its differential privacy code freely available to all developers. Differential Privacy is a special mathematic technique that allows organizations to collect data from individuals in a way that guarantees individual privacy. Collected data cannot be traced back to any one person. For example, Google uses this technique to capture what dishes people order at restaurants. The data is then used to show which dishes are most popular at restaurants in Google Maps results. But by using differential privacy, Google has no way of using that data to go back determine what any specific person ordered. By releasing this code, Google hopes to encourage more app developers to use differential privacy techniques when they collect data from app users.

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Samsung to Sell New A-Series Phones Unlocked

The new Samsung Galaxy A50, A20, and A10e will be available unlocked from samsung.com and other US retail partners starting September 20th. Best Buy and Amazon are now accepting pre-orders for the unlocked A50. Best Buy customers can receive a savings of up to $150 with activation. Amazon customers can receive a free Galaxy Fit fitness tracker band. Samsung.com will accept pre-orders for the A50 “soon after”, and Samsung is offering credit up to $300 for a trade-in phone. The unlocked A50 will sell for $350, the A20 for $250, and the A10e for $180.

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Snapdragon 7-Series Chips with Integrated 5G Shipping by End of 2019

Qualcomm today revealed an accelerated timeline for bringing integrated 5G to its Snapdragon chips for mid-range phones. An unnamed 7xx-series Snapdragon chip that fully integrates a 5G modem is already sampling to customers such as LG, Motorola, and Nokia / HMD Global (among others), with the chip launching commercially before the end of 2019, and phones using the chip available “soon thereafter”. The chip fully supports all mmWave and sub-6 GHz frequency bands for 5G worldwide, as well as both NSA and SA networks, both TDD and FDD modes, and DSS (Dynamic Spectrum Sharing, which allows 5G and 4G to share existing frequency bands). The company also plans to bring 5G to its 6xx-series Snapdragon chips, with devices using those those chips expected to be commercially available in the second half of 2020.

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Motorola One Zoom Has Five Cameras

Motorola today announced the Motorola One Zoom, a mid-range phone with four rear cameras plus a 25-megapixel selfie camera, 4,000 mAh battery, 6.4″ full-HD OLED display with small notch, satin glass back, and a light-up “M” logo that doubles as a notification light. The four rear cameras include a 48-megapixel main camera with 12-megapixel output, OIS, and f/1.7 aperture; 16-megapixel wide (117º) camera, 8-megapixel 3x zoom camera with OIS, and a depth camera for portrait effects. The One Zoom also has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 processor, 4 GB of RAM, 128 GB of storage, memory card slot, 18W fast charging, NFC, 3.5mm headset jack, in-display fingerprint reader, ultrasonic gesture sensors, water resistance, and a USB-C connector with USB 3.1. It comes in three unique colors: Electric Grey, Cosmic Purple, and Brushed Bronze. An unlocked version for the US is available starting today for $450, exclusively on motorola.com. Instant discounts may bring the price as low as $380 for some customers. It supports US LTE bands 2, 4, 5, 12, 41, and 66.

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Jabra Elite 75t Improves on Popular 65t True Wireless Earbuds

Jabra’s Elite 65t true wireless Bluetooth earbuds have been very well-received, and now Jabra has a successor coming next month in the Elite 75t earbuds. The 75t buds are 20% smaller and yet have 50% better battery life. The charging case now uses USB-C, and Jabra is working on a wireless charging case. The buds themselves last for 7.5 hours, with the included charging case adding another 20.5 hours. The 75t buds are rated IP55 for dust and water, and have four microphones to cancel background noise from calls. A companion app lets users adjust the amount of ambient sound they hear, and set custom equalizer profiles. The 75t comes in black or Titanium Black. They will be available in October for $199 from Amazon and Best Buy.

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Sony Xperia 5 is the New Compact

Sony today announced the Xperia 5, a new phone that puts the high-end specs of the Xperia 1 into a smaller form factor similar to the Xperia 10, carrying on the tradition of small, high-power phones such as last year’s XZ2 Compact. Like Sony’s other 2019 phones, it has an unusually tall, narrow display, allowing the phone to fit a 6.1-inch display into a body only 2.6 inches wide. (Many phones today are 3 inches wide.) Although the Xperia 5 is only being announced today for Europe, and Sony recently revealed plans to de-emphasize the US market, the Xperia 5 does support many US LTE bands, including bands 2, 4, 5, 12, 13, 25, 26, 29, 41, 46, and 66. The 5 sports a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, 6 GB of RAM, 128 GB of storage, and a memory card slot. It has three 12-megapixel cameras on the back: a main camera with f/1.6 aperture and OIS, a telephoto camera with OIS, and a 130º wide-angle camera. The phone can record 4K video in HDR. The selfie camera has f/2.0 aperture and 8 megapixel resolution. It has a 3,140 mAh battery. The USB-C connector supports PD fast charging, video-out up to 4K at 60 fps, and USB 3.1 data. The 6.1-inch OLED display sports full-HD resolution and HDR. The 5 also features Cat. 19 LTE, NFC, a fingerprint reader, water resistance, and stereo speakers. It comes in Black, Blue, Gray, and Red.

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Verizon Names 12 NFL Stadiums Rigged for 5G

Verizon 5G service is now live in 13 NFL football stadiums around the US. Additional stadiums will be announced throughout the season. Of the 13, Verizon has named 12, leaving the 13th a mystery. Verizon’s mmWave 5G service is potentially well-suited to small, high-density areas like stadiums. Verizon recently announced a partnership with Boingo on deploying 5G in areas like stadiums. The 12 announced stadiums are: Bank of America Stadium, Empower Field at Mile High, CenturyLink Field, Ford Field, Gillette Stadium, Hard Rock Stadium, Lucas Oil Stadium, MetLife Stadium, M&T Bank Stadium, NRG Stadium, Soldier Field, and U.S. Bank Stadium.

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T-Mobile Gives 40% Discount to Anyone 55 or Older

T-Mobile has a new set of “Unlimited 55” plans for customers who are at least 55 years of age. The plans come in three tiers just like its plans for everyone else, and include the same benefits at each tier, they simply cost around 40% less. The plans are available for one or two lines (not more). For accounts with two lines, only the primary account holder must be 55+ and show ID to qualify both lines for the special rate. The cheapest plan is Essentials Unlimited 55, which runs $55 total for two lines ($27.50/line), or $40 for a single line. Like the standard Essentials plan for everyone else (which costs $45/line for two lines), taxes and fees are not included at that price, hotspot is limited to 3G speeds, Mexico and Canada roaming is limited to 2G speeds, and international roaming includes texting but not data. The Magenta Unlimited 55 plan runs $35/line for two lines (normally $60/line), or $50 for a single line (normally $70). All taxes and fees are included at that price. It includes international data, including 4G in Canada and Mexico. It also includes 1 hour of Wi-Fi data on fights. The premium plan is Magenta Plus Unlimited 55, which runs $45/line for two lines (normally $70/line), taxes and fees included. It includes faster international data, HD video streaming, unlimited in-flight Wi-Fi, Netflix, and automatic voicemail-to-text.

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