Samsung and Niantic reportedly working on a Harry Potter game

Samsung scored a timed exclusivity on Fortnite and plans to continue featuring games as a marketing tactic. The smartphone giant is reportedly close to investing $40 million in Niantic, the maker of the highly popular Pokemon Go location-based game. But Niantic wouldn’t share Pokemon.

Instead, a Harry Potter game is planned, which will turn the S Pen into a magic wand. It’s not clear if this will be an addition to Harry Potter: Wizards Unite (set to release in 2019) or a separate title. Reworking the existing game may the only way if Samsung wants it in time for the Galaxy Note10 (the Galaxy S10 will launch first, but it lacks the “wand”).

Niantic’s original game, Ingress, will also be part of the deal. Speaking of, the deal may be announced before the end of this year, though it sounds like neither company is in a hurry – insiders report that they want to see a bit more progress in the technical collaboration before making an official announcement.


Android 9 Pie update is now rolling out to some Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite units

Xiaomi’s Mi A2 Lite is part of the Android One program and launched this summer running Android 8.1 Oreo, but a beta build of Android 9 Pie was made available by the company a couple of weeks ago.

It looks like there weren’t any huge issues with it, because now the stable update to Pie is rolling out to some Mi A2 Lite units in the wild. XDA Developers reports that one user in Poland has shared screenshots proving he got the update, and you can see these below.

Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite Android 9 Pie update Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite Android 9 Pie update
Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite Android 9 Pie update

The Android 9 Pie update for the Mi A2 Lite comes as a 1GB download, and brings with it FM radio functionality, adaptive battery and brightness, as well as recommended apps and actions based on your context. Of course since this is Android One you can also expect all the other improvements that Google announced to be baked in. Additionally, you’re getting the November 5, 2018 security patch level.

It’s unclear at the moment if the update is going out in every market where the Mi A2 Lite is offered, but even if it isn’t we assume it’s only a matter of time before it reaches every single unit out there.


HMD Global is holding an event in India on December 6, Nokia 7.1 might be the star

HMD Global has just announced an event in India on December 6, for which it’s already started sending out media invites. The event comes just one day after another one that the company is hosting in Dubai, where it’s expected to unveil three smartphones.

At least one of those will probably also be introduced in India the following day. Rumor has it that it will be the Nokia 7.1, but the Nokia 7.1 Plus was also seemingly teased by HMD’s Indian arm, so both could be in the mix. Note that the Nokia 7.1 Plus is supposedly going to be the global version of the China-only X7, but may end up being called Nokia 8.1 just to make things even more confusing.

Nokia 7.1

The Nokia 7.1 was initially announced last month, and it’s already available in some international markets. It has a 5.84-inch 19:9 touchscreen with 1080×2280 resolution and a notch, the Snapdragon 636 chipset at the helm, 3/4GB of RAM, 32/64GB of expandable storage, and a 3,060 mAh battery. There’s a 12 MP camera on the back paired with a 5 MP depth sensor, while on the front you get an 8 MP shooter for selfies. The Nokia 7.1 runs Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box but the update to Android 9 Pie is out now.

On the other hand, the Nokia X7 has a larger 6.18″ display with the same resolution, is powered by the Snapdragon 710, and has a bigger 3,500 mAh battery. It has 4/6GB of RAM and 64/128GB of storage, a 12 MP + 13 MP dual rear camera system, and a 20 MP selfie snapper. It runs Android 8.1 Oreo.


vivo talks 5G, the first commercially ready device to be released in 2020

5G will undoubtedly be the hot topic of 2019 so big manufacturers like vivo are already testing smartphones with the new tech. During the International Symposium on ICT Technology today, vivo talked about details surrounding its next-generation 5G phones and even showed some of them.

For the last two years, the company has filed more than 1,500 proposals to the 3GPP standardization organization. The company has made big progress and will be launching its first pre-commercial smartphone in 2019 while the commercially ready handset will start shipping in 2020. It all depends on when the Chinese operators bring the new technology to the masses.


Oppo R19 to be the first smartphone using MediaTek’s upcoming Helio P80 chipset

MediaTek is working on its newest and best upper-midrange chipset at the moment. When it’s out, this will be called Helio P80, and it will be a beast in AI performance, as revealed by a benchmark last week. The P80 was second to only the top of the line Snapdragon 8150, which is expected to power every 2019 flagship under the sun that is an Android smartphone not made by Huawei.

So if you were wondering which phone will be the first to come with the Helio P80, a new report today claims to have the answer: Oppo’s R19. This will be next year’s successor to the R17, which used the Snapdragon 670. Oppo isn’t a stranger to using MediaTek wares, however – the R15 was powered by the Helio P60.

However, in the R17 family, the Chinese company decided against using a MediaTek part because of unsatisfactory performance. Apparently this is one of the reasons behind the chip maker pushing for strengthening that in the P80 in order to get the Oppo contract back.

The P80 is built on TSMC’s 12nm process and will have an octa-core CPU using ARM’s cores, while the GPU may be upgraded compared to the P60/P70. The P80 will be MediaTek’s premier product for the first half of 2019, so it should make an appearance in other devices as well, following the Oppo R19.


Xiaomi launches another Redmi Note 6 Pro flash sale in India

Xiaomi introduced the Redmi Note 6 Pro in India last week. We told you this isn’t worthy of an update if you already have Redmi Note 5 Pro, but that did not stop over 600,000 phones to get sold during the first flash sale.

Today the company launched a second campaign to sell the phone, but without the neat INR1,000 discount from Black Friday’s initial sale, so regular prices of INR13,999 and INR15,999 (no more than $230/€200).

The device is available both at Flipkart and, although at the time of writing this article, all listings at the retailer said Out of Stock. The Redmi Note 6 Pro comes with four cameras – two on the back, two on the front, a huge 4,000 mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 and a tall Full HD+ screen.

The INR13,999 price tag is for the 4/64 GB option, but if you shell more cash, you’ll get 6 gigs of RAM and the same amount of storage. There are plenty of benefits and promos from various banks and carriers, including a cashback deal with Reliance Jio.


2018 Cruising World Holiday Gift Guide for Sailors: Gadgets and Gear

From a cool underwater ROV to a water-resistant down blanket and a tandem kayak that can actually fold up and fit in an onboard locker, Cruising World’s gift picks for sailors for the 2018 holiday season. For even more ideas, check our picks for top eco-friendly gifts for sailors.

West Marine Coastal 7×50 Waterproof Binoculars

Waterproof Binoculars

Every sailor needs a good set of binoculars. The West Marine Coastal 7×50 Waterproof Binoculars are an excellent value for a fully waterproof set of marine binoculars. They are durable and lightweight with nitrogen-purged optics to prevent fogging, have multi-coated lenses for brightness in low-light conditions and sharp optics.

Courtesy of the manufacturer

Eagle 3 Pro Quadcopter Drone with Wi-Fi Camera

Eagle 3 Pro

Want to get some cool shots of your boat under sail or in that postcard-perfect anchorage? Try your hand at drone photography. The Eagle 3 Pro has a 328-foot range, can do 360-degree flips and tricks, and can capture it all on the built-in Wi-Fi camera. Using the free app, you can watch streamed footage live and take photos. Priced under $50, it’s a good starter drone.

Courtesy of the manufacturer


Google is going to allow iPhones, Samsung, and OnePlus devices to Project Fi

Earlier today, a post over at BGR was posted prematurely which revealed that Google is going to open up its Project Fi network to more devices starting tomorrow. Actually, Google is supposed to officially announce it tomorrow but word got out and Droid Life reported about it before the original post was taken down.

According to the now deleted post, Google Fi will allow you to bring phones from Samsung, LG, Motorola, OnePlus, and iPhones “in Beta”. Google mentions that the “full Google Fi experience” won’t be available to phones that weren’t “designed for Fi”. These phones (Pixel 3, 3XL, 2, 2XL, LG G7, LG V35, Moto G6, and Moto X4), can seamlessly switch between Wi-Fi, T-Mobile, US Cellular, and Sprint towers to achieve well-rounded coverage.

Source: Google Fi

Not all phones are 100% compatible with Fi, so using an iPhone won’t get you the quick Wi-Fi/LTE “enhanced” transition that is compatible with only devices on Android Pie. Still, even without the Wi-Fi LTE hand-off, you’ll have pretty good combined coverage from three LTE carriers and a great value for those who don’t use too much data on an individual plan.

In any case, Google hasn’t announced this yet, but is expected to at 10AM Pacific time – should anything else come up, we’ll update this post.


Spotify to arrive in India in Q1 2019

Spotify announced an expansion to the Middle East earlier this month, and now we learn the company has the intention to grow even further and reach India in the first quarter of 2019. Bloomberg reports the Swedish platform secured deals with major music rights holders, moving a step closer to the world’s second most populous country.

Bhushan Kumar, managing director of the record label T-Series, confirmed “the deal is on.” T-Series is also the most-watched YouTube channel and often releases music videos before anywhere else. According to Sweden’s Di Digital, Spotify failed to acquire an Indian competitor, so it is entering the market on its own.

Spotify currently has 87 million paying subscribers, with only 8 million of them being from “rest of the world,” which is countries and users not from North America, South America or Europe. With the expansion, the numbers should rise, given the hundreds of millions of Indians with access to high-speed Internet, and already 75 million of them using domestic services like Gaana and Saavn.