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BlackBerry recognises leaders in security and mobility

BlackBerry has announced it has awarded four European solutions providers with Platinum Partner status after they achieved the highest levels of service in its security and mobility programme. German solution providers ISEC7 and GFI Informationsdesign GmbH, plus Swiss company Novalink and Austrian provider GENOA networks’ IT-Beratungs GmbH were the first companies to receive the honour.

We are excited that ISEC7, GFI, GENOA and novalink achieved Platinum level in our Enterprise Partner Program by providing excellent consulting, professional services, and support and software lifecycle management opportunities for customers moving to mobile business, Richard McLeod, Vice President Global Channels at BlackBerry said. BlackBerry’s Enterprise Partner Program for solutions providers launched in May and required providers to demonstrate their commitment to delivering BlackBerry’s secure mobility solutions.

It is important for us to provide our customers with the best full-service for secure mobility management.

We are delighted to be the first authorised Platinum Solutions Provider for BlackBerry in Austria,” Elmar Jilka, CEO, GENOA networks IT-Beratungs GmbH said. “Through our close relationship with BlackBerry and this certification, we are able to proof and optimise our in-depth skills and expertise.

We stand for solutions on the highest level for the benefit of our customers.”

To become a Platinum Partner, service providers must build their competencies on a number of different disciplines and first become a BlackBerry Support Professional, BlackBerry System Integration Professional, BlackBerry Technical Sales Professional and BlackBerry Advanced Sales expert.

The Platinum Solutions Provider designation will give us a branding advantage in the market, while the new accreditations and competencies included in the BlackBerry Enterprise Partner Program will further improve our capabilities and help us stand out from the crowd, explained Marco Gocht, CEO, ISEC7 Group AG.

Samsung Galaxy S7 vs LG G5: 2016’s Best Android Phones Duke It Out!

Well this is interesting. Both Samsung and LG have now reveald some details about their respective flagship sales and performance since launch. For LG, things are looking a bit grim with the company confirming in a statement that the G5 had “failed to generate sales,” but didn’t clarify what that means; analysts and pundits can only assume that certain expected internal sales targets were not met. In terms of why the LG G5 has failed to take off, this is also wide open to interpretation, but some suspect the expense of the handset’s optional modules, something of a USP for the device, may have been offputting. Samsung has now also commented following positive reports of its shipments of Galaxy S7 units in Q1. Apparently Q2 is looking just as peachy, after analysts estimated an operating profit of $6.8 billion for the quarter, ahead of the firm’s reveal of actual figures in the coming weeks it has said it estimates somewhere closer to $7 billion from sales of 26 million (across both S7 and S7 EDGE) to the tune of $43.2 billion in sales revenue. Samsung’s mobile division is thought to account for as much as 49% of the firm’s total profits for the quarter at around $3.5 billion.

It’s been quite an exciting year so far, from the outset 2016 has seen some really rather fantastic handsets launched and the vast majority have been part of the Android space. We’ve now seen the HTC 10 and the Huawei P9 (together with the Huawei P9 Plus) emerge as seriously compelling contenders, but things kicked off quite impressively at MWC in late February when both Samsung and LG unveiled their respective flagships. On the very same day, February 21, mere hours before the expo began, LG unwrapped the LG G5 with its modular base compartment, premium metal build, and a dual-sensor camera; while Samsung took the wraps off both the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge, fashioned from metal and glass, with waterproof construction and the best display technology on the market. Of course the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge pack a lot of the same tech, hardware and features, but they’re not completely identical; the Galaxy S7 edge is a bit larger with a curved edge display, and it packs a slightly bigger battery cell too. Here we’ll be focusing on the regular Galaxy S7 though.

The LG G5 and Samsung Galaxy S7 are arguably two of the biggest Android handsets of the year. As of April 4, reports have emerged from analysts in Asia who estimate Samsung has shipped as many as 10 million Galaxy S7 series handsets during March, the one month period since the phone launched onto the market. These are just estimates, of course, and Samsung is yet to release sales and shipping figures, and it has not commented on the reports yet either. However, assuming there’s some authenticity here, that is an impressive bump up from earlier estimates of 7 million, and much more in-line with Samsung’s own predictions from pre-order figures that it will outsell its earlier Galaxy S flagships. Analysts have now raised their 2016 forecasts for Samsung as a result, and the firm’s shares have seen a bit of a boost too.

But which of these two handsets is the best? Let s find out!

Samsung Galaxy S7 vs LG G5: Design & Display

We’re getting pretty familiar with this scenario now: most of the rumours for both handsets were pretty much spot on, so design wise there aren’t many surprises. Starting with the Galaxy S7, as per the rumour mill the design is very similar indeed to last year’s Galaxy S6, near identical, in fact, with just a few extra subtle curves on the back panel that you might miss if you blink. This is all fine, of course, you won’t hear a peep of criticism from me about the aesthetics of the Galaxy S6 or Galaxy S7 as I think they’re both stellar looking devices with a very interesting shape, as well as being solidly well-made from high-end, premium feel materials; glass and metal. There are some differences though, and they’re of the more hidden variety, such as the return of a microSD slot and full IP68 waterproofing. That latter is achieved through coating the components and ports with a protective layer, so there’s no need for any of those daft port covers.

The Galaxy S7 is a 5.1in handset with a Super AMOLED display featuring a QHD (2560 x 1440 pixel) resolution at 577ppi. Samsung has also added an “Always On” display feature, allowing the phone to make full use of the ability of OLED tech to selectively power individual pixels to show a limited set of information on-screen. Basically, even when the phone is asleep it can show notifications, a clock, or a calendar in a low-power mode. All of the above pretty much applies to the Galaxy S7 edge as well, although obviously this model has the curved edge display and design from the Galaxy S6 edge, giving it a slightly different look which is very refined and sleek. The Galaxy S7 edge is larger than its predecessor and its Galaxy S7 stable-mate, however, with a bigger 5.5in display at 534ppi. Samsung has also expanded the edge display screen functionality to allow for more apps, shortcuts and information to be stored and displayed on the edge panel.

The LG G5 is in some ways familiar alongside older LG models like the LG G4, but also quite distinct at the same time. For starters, the whole thing is fabricated from metal – magnesium, to be precise – which is a first for LG, and almost the entirety of the thing is a sleek unibody design, with some elegant curves and refined angles here and there to spice things up. The only noticable break in the chassis is where the LG G5’s mega-party-trick comes into play; a removable modular base segment which allows access to the battery and card slots, but has also been developed with modular accessories in mind. So far, LG has demonstrated some XXL battery packs, a Bang & Olafson audio unit, and a custom camera module with built-in physical keys, but this is open to third-party developers so the possibilities are quite tantalising.

Samsung Galaxy S7 vs LG G5: Specs & Hardware

Samsung Galaxy S7:

Dimensions: 142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9 mm, 152g (Galaxy S7 edge: 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7 mm, 157g) Display: 5.1in Super AMOLED, QHD 2560×1440 pixels, 577ppi (Galaxy S7 edge: 5.5in, 534ppi)
OS: Android Marshmallow
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 820/Samsung Exynos 8890
Memory: 4GB
Storage Options: 32GB/64GB
SD-Support: Yes
Imaging: 12 MP, LED flash, f/1.7 aperture, 1.4um pixels, 100% dual-pixel phase detection
Battery: Non-removable Li-Po 3000mAh battery (Galaxy S7 edge: 3600mAh)

LG G5:

Dimensions: 149.4 x 73.9 x 7.7 mm, 159g Display: 5.3in IPS LCD QHD 2560×1440 pixel, 554ppi
OS: Android Marshmallow
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 820
Memory: 4GB
Storage Options: 32GB
SD-Support: Yes
Imaging: 16MP/8MP dual-camera, OIS, laser autofocus, dual-LED flash
Battery: Removable Li-Po 2800 mAh battery

Samsung has been a bit irritating this year by “pulling an Apple” on some of the hardware specs, that is to say; not fully disclosing them and instead selectively dropping stats it wants us to hear. The pre-launch rumours told us for some time that with the Galaxy S7 series, just as with previous models, there would be both Qualcomm Snapdragon-based and Samsung Exynos-based processor variants, with 4GB of RAM. Samsung hasn’t officially talked about any of that, instead preferring to tell all that CPU performance is 30% faster, while GPU performance is 64% faster. Despite the lack of detail, these assertions, if true, are undoubtedly good news.

What’s also neat is the addition of a PC-style liquid-cooled heat pipe and heatsink to dissapate heat away from the processor when under heavy workloads. Samsung also didn’t mention the onboard storage space, although earlier leaks have implied the base model is a 32GB setup. There’s also no Type-C USB port, instead you get the old type (not exactly a deal-breaker, mind), but you do get up-to-date 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and NFC, just as you do inside the LG G5. The Galaxy S7 handsets, as expected, don’t have removable battery cells, but you do get a fairly hefty 3000mAh inside the S7 and 3600mAh inside the S7 edge. Meanwhile, LG was pretty upfront about the use of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 SoC with 4GB of RAM to power things along nicely, putting it on a similar footing to at least one of Samsung’s device variants.

The battery is smaller than Samsung’s, and smaller than rumour implied at only 2800mAh, but you can remove and replace it – so swings and roundabouts.

Samsung Galaxy S7 vs LG G5: Camera

Cameras are really getting a makeover in many 2016 handsets and both Samsung and LG have gone to efforts to come up with something interesting. Samsung has actually reduced its megapixel rating down to a 12MP sensor, but has tweaked things in other areas that count for more – like a world first dual-pixel sensor with 100% phase-detection autofocus, a very wide f/1.7 aperture, and a larger light-absorbing 1.4um pixel size. Reportedly the focus speed, image quality and low-light performance are all pretty special. LG hasn’t exactly slouched either though, with a dual-sensor setup featuring both 16MP 75 wide-angle and 8MP 135 wide-angle cameras on the rear with f/1.8 and f/2.4 apertures respectively, as well as a return of LG’s now-familiar laser autofocus, optical stabilisation and 4K video recording. As with previous implementations of dual-cameras the idea here is capturing a LOT of visual data and then allowing plenty of clever post-processing and editing after capture.

Samsung Galaxy S7 vs LG G5: Verdict

This is a really difficult one to call. Arguably, the Galaxy S7 is the better handset as it has the best display, amazing battery performance and plenty of additional USPs besides. It has also sold the most too, which, of course, is a significant point of contention when discussing phones. However, I am a HUGE fan of the LG G5. I actually prefer it to the Galaxy S7, would rather own it than the Galaxy S7 and, given the choice, would also recommend it over the Galaxy S7.

Why? I don t really know. There is just something about it that I really loved. As soon as I saw it at MWC 2016, I was completely won over by it. The modular aspect is a bit clunky, but I didn t really use this. Instead, I just used it as I would any phone and I had a blast testing it.

I also prefer the LG G5 s dual-camera to the one aboard the Galaxy S7. The handset, though not selling in great numbers, has so many awesome features buried inside it it really is a joy to live and work with every day. On paper, the Galaxy S7 probably has it beat, but only just. In my heart, though, I d always go with the G5. Both handsets are excellent, so whichever you go for you will not be disappointed. Just PLEASE do not let the G5 s sub-par sales put you off.

It is a belting handset!

LG V20 renders show modular design

LG V20 Renders Show Modular Design LG V20 Renders Show Modular Design Tweet1

LG V20 renders give us a better look of what s to come from LG next month, also revealing LG might still be in the modular game if the renders prove accurate.

LG V20 Renders Show Modular Design

LG didn t really keep the V20 a secret, having dropped plenty of bombs about their new smartphone in the past few weeks. We know the V20 will be the first device (not a Nexus) to run Android 7 Nougat2 and will be launched on September 6th in San Francisco. What we don t really know is what it will look like. That is partially solved with Android Authority3 and respected leaker @onleaks4, getting their hands on some renders.

LG V20 renders reveal almost all

LG V20 Renders Show Modular Design

Looking at the renders we see a button down the right side of the V20, which could be the unlock button to slide out the bottom and attach a LG Friend. LG had banked a lot on the LG Friends peripherals to be a huge success, but currently it has not captured the public s imagination, despite being the best innovation at Mobile World Congress 2016. So it will be no surprised to see the V20 support its friends.

One of the coolest feature of the V10 was the dual-front cameras, not seen in the renders. It offered better viewing angles for group selfies. Instead the rear-camera gets the dual treatment, just like the LG G5. The design of the V20 strikingly resembles the G5, from the camera to the power button/fingerprint sensor. But the secondary always-on-screen is present, corroborating a previous leak claiming the V20 was going to resemble the V10. Specs were not revealed dimensions will apparently be 159.5 x 78.1 x 7.7-8.8mm.

The V20 is rumoured5 to sport a 5.5-inch 1080p or 5.7-inch QHD display. It will most likely sport a Snapdragon 820, as the V10 used the same processor as the G4 (Snapdragon 808). A massive 4,000mAh battery could be in tow and 4GB of RAM.

We ll know a hell of a lot more on September 6th, and in the coming few weeks.

For more news, visit What Mobile s dedicated news page6.

References

  1. ^ Tweet (twitter.com)
  2. ^ Android 7 Nougat (www.whatmobile.net)
  3. ^ Android Authority (www.androidauthority.com)
  4. ^ onleaks (twitter.com)
  5. ^ rumoured (www.whatmobile.net)
  6. ^ dedicated news page (www.whatmobile.net)

BlackBerry DTEK50 Review: Part Two — Specs & Hardware

BlackBerry made a HUGE change to how it does mobile in 2015 when it confirmed it would be switching to Google s Android OS for its phones going forwards. This was big news for the technology space, as BlackBerry shifting to Android is sort of like Apple switching to Windows; BlackBerry had ALWAYS used proprietary software up to this point and the reason for this was simple: security BlackBerry s favourite subject. The BlackBerry PRIV, while a solid first attempt at an Android phone, left quite a bit to be desired. The keyboard felt like an afterthought and the performance, notably the battery life, wasn t great. Still, BlackBerry debuted a lot of good ideas with that handset. Ideas that made Android safer and more secure. BlackBerry also opted for a stock build of Android as well, meaning Nexus-like visuals which is always a good thing.

And now BlackBerry is back with its first Android phone of 2016. It s called the BlackBerry DTEK50 and BlackBerry claims it is the world s most secure smartphone 1 a claim it is managing through monthly software updates. The BlackBerry DTEK50 is a different beast to what came before, though, as it s a lot cheaper than the PRIV and it is also an all-touch device, making it more of a traditional Android phone. In fact, I d go as far as saying this is the most accessible phone BlackBerry has produced in YEARS. The company hasn t had much success in the top-tier of the market, going head to head with the likes of Apple, Samsung and LG. But perhaps at this mid-market level it will be more successful?

The BlackBerry Brand is still strong in many parts of the world, so all it needs is a device that registers with consumers en masse and the DTEK50, which is priced at just 275 offline2, is quite clearly designed to be that device. But does it tick all the boxes? Let s find out shall we

BlackBerry DTEK50 Review: Design

At its core, the BlackBerry DTEK50 is essentially the Alcatel IDOL 4, just with a soft-touch, dimpled plastic back panel. Now, I know what you re thinking you re thinking: ewww, that s a bit naff but this just isn t the case. The BlackBerry DTEK50 feels lightweight in the hand, despite its size, and it actually looks really damn good in the flesh.

It s not stunning but then again this is a 275 phone from a phone maker that usually retails its handsets for double that amount. It reminds me a lot of a Nexus handset; I think that is down to its shape, styling, and because Android is not skinned. Either way, I liked the look of the DTEK50 as soon as I took it out the box. It doesn t feel like any BlackBerry I ve ever used before, but I think this is the point the company is trying something different here. Here s a break down of the handset s key design attributes:

  • Dimensions: 147 x 72.5 x 7.4 mm
  • Weight: 135 g
  • Display Size & Type: 5.2in 1080p IPS LCD Display

BlackBerry is also no stranger to trying new things. I mean, in the space of a few years its switched mobile platforms and retailed one of the oddest, but coolest, phones ever created the Passport. This time around, however, I feel the company is going after the OnePlus crowd; those who like their Android phones well-featured and specced, but costing under 300.

And I think with the right marketing, BlackBerry will do very well in this regard.

BlackBerry DTEK50 Review: Part Two — Specs & Hardware

There aren t many design quirks on show here. The DTEK50 is unassuming with its black, slab-like qualities. On closer inspection, however, there are hidden details like its dual-front-facing speakers, which sit in a slight recess above and below the display, and aesthetically pleasing chamfered edges. The entire back panel is made of a rubberised, soft-touch material to aid grip, complete with an embossed BlackBerry logo. An upshot of this design element is that it looks very eye-catching, in my opinion, though I fear some users might not agree with me here. You have a volume rocker on the right hand side, just above the circular smart key. On the left hand side you have the power/unlock button, a 3.5mm jack on the top of the handset and a microUSB port on the bottom for charging.

The smart key is interesting in that it lets the user assign certain things to it. For instance, if you re an Instagram addict you can assign the Instagram application to it, so when you tap the key the app opens. Another option: the camera app itself.

BlackBerry DTEK50 Review: Part Two — Specs & Hardware

There is one thing missing on the BlackBerry DTEK50 which I’m a little upset about as it is something a lot of us are now used to having. The BlackBerry DTEK50 does not feature a fingerprint scanner, which means you re back to using an unlock pattern to access the phone and this just feels very loooooooooong if you re used to quick fingerprint access. I know, I know not everybody is used to fingerprint access. This isn t a deal-breaker, by any means, but I do find it odd that BlackBerry left it out, given nearly all new Android phones feature a fingerprint scanner. It’s quite likely this was left out to cut costs though.

BlackBerry DTEK50 Review: Part Two — Specs & Hardware BlackBerry DTEK50 Review: Part Two — Specs & Hardware

Other than this slightly odd omission, the BlackBerry DTEK50 is one hell of a charming handset. I was honestly very surprised by how much I liked the look and feel of this phone. I expected it to be cheap and tacky feeling, but it is quite the opposite, in fact, feeling immensely solid, yet lightweight in the hand. The proportions are spot-on as well, allowing for one-handed use as well as having enough size to make viewing media an engaging experience. I really like the look of the BlackBerry DTEK50. My only issue is the lack of a fingerprint scanner. If that doesn t bother you, though, there is no reason not to give this handset some serious consideration.

Blackberry DTEK50 Review: Display

Unlike the BlackBerry PRIV, the BlackBerry DTEK50 ships with a 1080p display and that s just fine because 1080p is all you need on a phone. Sure, it s nice to have a QHD panel but not having one isn t the end of the world even if you re talking about a flagship handset like the OnePlus 3, for example. There are many reasons why outfitting your phone with a 1080p panel is a good idea. But I think, in this context, there are two solid benefits: 1) it keeps the cost of the handset down, and 2) it improves battery performance dramatically. If you want QHD, you have plenty of options from Samsung, LG, HTC and Google.

Just don t kid yourself that having a QHD panel on your phone is a serious consideration because, put bluntly: it ain t!

BlackBerry DTEK50 Review: Part Two — Specs & Hardware

And what you have aboard the BlackBerry DTEK50 a 5.2-inch Full HD display (1920 x 1080 resolution) is just great. It s perfectly sized, being not too big and not too small, and it is detailed as hell; everything just pops off the display, which makes viewing media and webpages a thoroughly engaging experience. Being an IPS panel does mean it lacks the vividness of AMOLED, however, but for fans of a more natural look this could be viewed as an advantage. The DTEK50 s display is also fully laminated, meaning there is ZERO space between the glass and the actual display technology. This ensures colours and brightness are ALWAYS on point and, as a side-bonus, it means the phone is actually thinner, as there s less empty space inside the chassis itself. All in all this is a top notch display that offers-up A LOT of performance. Given the price tag, I assumed BlackBerry would have cut some corners in this context but once again I am pleased to report my assumptions were DEAD wrong.

Blackberry DTEK50 Review: Specs & Hardware

In order to keep the cost of the handset down, BlackBerry HAS made concessions. Now, said concessions are very subtle and you will struggle to notice where they ve been made: the DTEK50 has a great display, great chassis, great camera and a bunch of awesome software features. But one area where you WILL feel the odd niggle is to do with overall processing grunt and this is down to Qualcomm s mid-range Snapdragon 617 CPU. BlackBerry has out-fitted the DTEK50 with 3GB of RAM in order to negate as many issues with performance as possible, and for the most part it works, the DTEK50 performs pretty solidly, however, every once in a while you WILL encounter a performance foible where the handset simply pauses for a moment, as if to catch its breath. This pause tends to happen most when gaming or once the battery is low and you re pushing it hard, running CPU/GPU intensive applications and/or content.

Personally, I think a lot of this can be sorted with software optimisations. The DTEK50 will be receiving monthly updates, so it is likely BlackBerry will have something in the pipeline to ease this pausing issue. Also, the issue itself isn t something that should dissuade you from considering this phone either, as it is something that only ever occurs when you re pushing the phone outside its designed envelope of performance. For instance, I rarely play games own my phone, so in order to summon this gremlin I had to download a game Dead Trigger 2 to experience it. If you don t play games, there s a chance you won t even encounter it.

Another concession has to do with storage: the BlackBerry DTEK50 comes with just 16GB of internal storage, which is rarely enough these days given the quality of images snapped and the intensive nature of applications. BlackBerry has countered this somewhat, however, by the inclusion of MicroSD (up to 2TB) that mercifully takes advantage of Google s Adaptive Storage, which basically means you can run the card as native storage. For me, this was a HUGE saving grace and yet another example of BlackBerry thinking itself around a problem that most OEMs would have simply ignored.

Tune In Tomorrow For Our Review of The BlackBerry DTEK’s Camera

References

  1. ^ It s called the BlackBerry DTEK50 and BlackBerry claims it is the world s most secure smartphone (shop.blackberry.com)
  2. ^ priced at just 275 offline (shop.blackberry.com)

HTC brings app store for VR content

HTC Brings App Store For VR Content

The Viveport store will largely focus on hosting non-gaming verticals including education, design, art, social, video, music, sports, health, fashion, travel, news, shopping, creativity tools, and more.

The technology of Virtual Reality is fast approaching. VR essentially started off by making a great impact in the gaming field, however; as time passed by, VR has been consciously taken ahead by tech giants such as HTC and Sony among others into other interesting segments, as well. As Terence McKenna, American ethnobotanist and author had rightfully predicted, This is what virtual reality holds out to us the possibility of walking into the constructs of the imagination. To explore these constructs, HTC has come with an alternative VR platform that will serve as your one-stop shop for things like education, travel, news and a variety of other services. It will be available on all web platforms including mobile and desktop.

HTC Brings App Store For VR ContentViveport, HTC’s virtual reality platform.

“It has been hard for some creators of educational content to surface in the app stores and be promoted, because a lot of it is around gaming,” Rikard Steiber, senior vice president of virtual reality at HTC, said. “We want virtual reality to be something a lot more mass market.”

They have attempted at developing a consumer-friendly interface with Viveport. Other than that, HTC also updated its Vive headset to allow users to watch movies and carry out other activities more conveniently. While, the app has been soft-launched in China; a developer beta will be available in a few weeks, and consumers in 30 countries will be able to browse crazy-cool, immersive experiences in the store later this fall.

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