This week, on our weekly news roundup: Motorola announces an Android Go version of its Moto E5 Play, Samsung creates the world’s first LPDDR5 RAM module for handheld devices, and more.

Samsung Galaxy J7 (2018) now available in T-Mobile

The Galaxy J7 2018 has been available for various carriers in the US and is now available in T-Mobile as well. Just do keep in mind that for some reason it’s called Galaxy J7 Star. Yeah, not sure why carriers keep on changing the name of smartphones.

You can either get it for $10 per month or with a one-time payment of $250 + tax. As for specifications:

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  • OS: Android Oreo
  • Chipset: Exynos 7870
  • CPU: 8-core Cortex-A53 at 1.6
  • GPU: Mali-T830 MP1
  • RAM and storage: 2 gigs of RAM and 32 gigs of storage plus microSD card support
  • Display: 1280 x 720/5.5 inches
  • Camera: Rear: 13 MP/Front: 13 MP
  • Battery: 3300 mAh

Motorola is about to release an Android Go variant of the Moto E5 Play

Motorola announced that it’s about to release a new variant of the Moto E5 Play with the only difference that this one will be running Android Go instead of Android Oreo. Other than that, the screen will also be slightly smaller at 5.3 inches.

As for specifications, well, we don’t have much information on that yet but it would make sense if the Go version was a little bit weaker. What we do know, is that the rear camera is at 8MP while the front is at 5 MP and that the price will be about 115 bucks. If we learn anything new, we’ll keep you updated.

Alcatel 5V announced and soon to be launched

The Alcatel 5V was spotted on the official website of Alcatel. It doesn’t seem to differ too much from your average smartphone nowadays. Even the notch seems like it’s becoming a standard thing now.

As for specifications:

  • OS: Android 8.1
  • Chipset: Mediatek 6762
  • CPU: 8-core Cortex A53 – 4 cores at 2 GHz and 4 cores at 1.5 GHz
  • GPU: PowerVR GE8320
  • RAM and storage: 3 gigs of RAM and 32 gigs of storage plus MicroSD card support
  • Display: 1500 x 720/6.2 inches
  • Camera: Rear:Dual 12MP + 2MP/Front: 8MP
  • Battery: 4000 mAh

It’ll be on sale later on at this month for about 200 bucks. We still don’t know precisely know when and where it’ll be available, but we’ll keep you updated when we find out.

Microsoft soon to add call recording to Skype

According to The Verge, Skype will soon get a call recording feature across all of its platforms later on this month. Of course, that includes Android as well.

No need to worry. The recording will work over the cloud and everyone who is a part of the call will get notified that it’s getting recorded. The latest update is expected to roll out towards the end of this month.

LG Phoenix Plus now available in AT&T

If you are interested in getting the LG Phoenix Plus then you can do so from AT&T. Although, do keep in mind that it’s somewhat of a budget choice.

Let’s take a look at its specifications:

  • OS: Android 8.1
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 425
  • CPU: 4-core Cortex A53 at 1.4 GHz
  • GPU: Adreno 308
  • RAM and storage: 2 gigs of RAM and 16 gigs of storage plus microSD card support
  • Display: 1280 x 720/5.3 inches
  • Camera: Rear: 8 MP/Front: 5 MP
  • Battery: 3000 mAh

As long as the phone is in stock, you can go and make a purchase at any time.

Samsung creates the first LPDDR5 RAM for smartphones

Just a couple of days ago, Samsung announced that they successfully created the world’s first LPDDR5 DRAM for handheld devices. LPDDR5 will be 1.5 times faster than the RAM modules that we currently have on flagship devices. Other than that, it’s also much more power efficient. Up to 30% more to be precise.

And how is that going to help us? Well, according to Samsung, it’ll help us take advantage of the 5G speeds that we are going to achieve in the future. Other than that, AI-powered applications can also take advantage of higher RAM speeds.

However, the most important thing is the reduced power usage. We’re all struggling with our current batteries. Most people can barely get a couple of days of usage. So, we could most certainly use a little bit more battery time.

Huawei announces the Kirin 710 processor

According to GizmoChina, Huawei has officially announced their new mid-range processor – the Kirin 710. Compared to the Kirin 659, this one offers 75% better single-core performance and 68% better multi-core performance.

It has 4 Cortex A53 cores at 1.7 GHz and 4 Cortex A73 cores at 2.2 GHz. As for the GPU, we’ve got an ARM G5 which is about 1.3 times faster than the previous generation.

Life is Strange is now available for Android

If you’re a gamer then chances are that you’ve at least heard of Life is Strange before. It has more than 100.000 reviews on Steam and is one of the very few games to hold an overwhelmingly positive score of reviews.

Now it’s available for Android as well and the first episode is completely free. All you need is an Android 6.0 device with at least 2 gigs of RAM.

But, be warned. Many people have reported that the game is too laggy/has a low framerate despite it running on an extremely low resolution.

It’s obviously still a bit too demanding for handheld devices so don’t expect too much. Unless you’ve got a super-powerful device that is.

We don’t currently know if Square-Enix is going to further optimize it but we’ll keep you updated if we find anything new. Either here or in our monthly apps and games roundup.

Get Life is Strange from the Google Play Store

 

Verizon stops activating 3G phones

Fron now on, if your phone doesn’t support at least 4G then you won’t be able to activate it with Verizon. Quite possibly because Verizon has been planning to shut down their 3G network for a while.

They no longer sell 3G phones so that shouldn’t really affect anyone. However, for those of you who still own a 3G device, do keep in mind that Verizon will completely shut down their 3G network by the end of 2019.

And that’s no surprise really. Seeing how we’re now heading towards 5G and everything.

Google soon to bring a few important features on YoutTube Music

It’s no secret that for now, YouTube music is kinda lacking in features compared to its competition. However, according to Google, that is soon going to change.

A lot of new features will get delivered in the upcoming months including better audio quality and the option to choose the audio quality, Sonos support, Android auto support, SD card support, and more stuff that’ll follow.

Nokia 6.1 Plus soon to be released in Hong Kong

According to Mobile Magazine, the Nokia 6.1 Plus will be available for purchase in Hong Kong from the 24th of the month at the price of $290. Other countries including Europe should follow in the upcoming months.

When it comes to specifications:

  • OS: Android 8.1
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 636
  • CPU: 8-core Kryo 260 at 1.8 GHz
  • GPU: Adreno 509
  • RAM and storage: 4 gigs of RAM and 64 gigs of storage plus microSD support
  • Display: 2280 x 1080/5.8 inches
  • Camera: Rear: 16 MP/Front: 16 MP
  • Battery: 3060

Nokia X5 (5.1 Plus) got announced a couple of days ago

Nokia X5, also known as Nokia X5 Plus, was officially announced on the 18th of July. At first glance, we can see a rather huge screen with small bezels and the notch which may annoy some people.

And when it comes to specifications:

  • OS: Android Oreo
  • Chipset: Mediatek P60
  • CPU: 8-core with 4 Cortex A53 cores and 4 Cortex A73 cores at 2.0 GHz
  • GPU: Mali G72 MP3
  • RAM and storage: 3 gigs of RAM and 32 gigs of storage or 4 gigs of RAM and 64 gigs of storage
  • Display: 1520 x 720/5.86 inches
  • Camera: Rear: dual 13 MP + 5 MP/Front: 8 MP
  • Battery: 3060 mAh

The version with 3 gigs of RAM costs 999CNY and the version with 4 gigs of RAM 1399. That’s about $147 and $206. We currently don’t have any information on when it’ll become available in other countries as well, but we’ll keep you updated.

Xiaomi Mi Max 3 is now officially announced

If you went through the news roundup of the previous week, then you were probably expecting that. But, here it is anyway. The Xiaomi Mi Max 3 is now officially announced.

In the previous, unofficial announcement, some of the specs were slightly off. Here are the updated – official specifications:

  • OS: Android 8.1
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 636
  • CPU: 8-core Kryo 260 at 1.8 GHz
  • GPU: Adreno 509
  • RAM and storage: 6 gigs of RAM and 128 gigs of storage or 4 gigs of RAM and 64 gigs of storage
  • Display: 2160 x 1080/6.9 inches
  • Camera: Rear: Dual 12 MP + 5 MP/Front: 8 MP
  • Battery: 5500 mAh

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SOURCES: T-MOBILE, MOTOROLA, ALCATEL, THE VERGE, AT&T, SAMSUNG NEWSROOM, GIZMO CHINA, GOOGLE PLAY STORE, GOOGLE, MOBILE MAGAZINE HK, NOKIA, XIAOMI

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