Sony announces XA2, XA2 Ultra & L2

Sony announces XA2, XA2 Ultra & L2

Sony announced it’s latest devices, the XA2, XA2 Ultra & L2 at the CES 2018, although official launch dates and prepaid prices are yet to be confirmed. The XA2 is the lightest of all three models, weighing just 171 grams. The XA2 features a 5.2″ display, 0.8″ smaller than the XA2 Ultra. Both the XA2 and it’s larger counterpart are encased in Gorilla Glass and housed in aluminum bands. Both devices are powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 630 processor, offer 4GB of RAM and feature a 23MP rear camera. The 23MP camera features Sony’s Exmor RS 1/2.3 aperture lens, which boasts ISO sensitivity to 12,800 for low-light photography.

Beyond a larger display, the key differences between the two devices are the internal storage options and the battery size. The XA2 Ultra is ideal for those needing a lot of space with 32 or 64GB available and expandable by 256GB via the microSD slot. The XA2 on the other hand offers only 32GB of internal memory but can be expanded by a further 256GB. The battery size is also larger with the XA2 Ultra sporting a 3,580mAh charge capacity, compared to the 3,300mAh battery featured in the XA2.

L2

Finally, the L2 is Sony’s latest budget smartphone. Featuring a 5.5″ HD display, the L2 offers a nice medium between the XA2 and XA2 Ultra, however is more suited to those interested in a middle-of-the-road model. Packing reasonable specs, the L2 offers 3GB of RAM, a fingerprint scanner, 12MP rear camera and 8MP front snapper. Similarly to the XA2 however, the L2 offers 32GB of internal storage and packs a pretty powerful 3,300mAh battery. 

L2

The battery power is just one of many improvements since the L1, which featured a 2620mAh battery. Further upgrades include 1GB more of RAM, an increase in internal storage by 16MB and the introduction of a fingerprint sensor for extra security. The only disappointment however is the software, with the L2 being released with Android 7 Nougat, rather than the newer Android Oreo 8, as featured in the XA2 and XA2 Ultra. Value for money for all the new devices however will be determined when Sony reveals their pricing. Check back at the CMM blog for more future updates.

How to keep your device protected against Meltdown and Spectre

Panic over the security holes named ‘Meltdown’ and ‘Spectre’ that have the potential to affect devices powered by Intel, AMD or AMD processors has been widespread. These chips speed up your device’s performance by assuming what you’ll do next, based on previous usage, to execute the action in advance. The ‘hole’ is that hackers could use this common feature to steal private data such as passwords.

These security issues apply to all modern processors and unfortunately affect nearly all computing devices and operating systems. The good news? Apple, Google, Intel and Microsoft have confirmed that there have been no known cases of either Meltdown or Spectre impacting customers.

Image result for meltdown spectre

“All Mac systems and iOS devices are affected, but there are no known exploits impacting customers at this time.” – Apple

 “We have not received any information to indicate that these vulnerabilities has been used to attack our customers.” – Microsoft

Since learning of the security issues, industry leaders have been working hard to overcome the potential loopholes. For customer protection, information of Meltdown and Spectre was kept under wraps until preventative measures were available to avoid giving hackers a roadmap. So far, Intel has issued updates for nearly 90% of processor products introduced within the past five years, but a timetable for older devices is yet to be confirmed.

How to stay protected – Apple users

Apple has released a software update to help protect users from Spectre and Meltdown. We highly recommend you update your devices as soon as possible. Here’s how…

  • On iOS, go to Settings, General then Software Update, then tap Download and Install.
  • On MacOS, open the App Store and click Updates in the App Store toolbar, then use the Update buttons to download and install any updates listed.
  • On Apple TV, go to Settings, System, then Software Updates. Select Update Software, then select Download and Install. After the update downloads, your Apple TV will restart and prepare the update.
  • Apple watch is not affected by the issue.

It is also recommended that any apps are only downloaded from the iOS App store, from trusted sources.

How to stay protected – Android users

On January 5th 2018, Google issued an update to protect Android devices. All Google-branded phones should have automatically downloaded the update so you just need to install it. For other Android devices, head to Settings. Scroll to the bottom of the menu and tap ‘About device‘ > ‘System updates‘ > ‘Check for update‘ > Tap ‘OK‘ if asked to confirm > Wait for your device to check for updates > Tap ‘Download‘ or ‘Yes‘ if an update is available.

Google Chrome

The patch for Chrome will be installed on January 23rd and some Chromebooks had a mitigation in its OS 63, released in December. If you do not want to wait, an experimental feature from Google called Site Isolation can help in the meantime. This feature makes it harder for malicious websites to access data from other websites you are looking at. To use this feature on Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome OS or Android copy and paste chrome://flags/#enable-site-per-process into the URL in Chrome. Click ‘Strict Site Isolation‘ and then press ‘Enable‘. Save your work and then press ‘Relaunch now‘.

Microsoft Windows 10

There is already a patch available for Windows 10 which will automatically be applied, a patch for older operating systems will follow shortly.

Cloud Services

Major cloud services aimed at business customers, including Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure have already been patched.

Please note

It’s also worth remembering that you’re safe unless hackers can infiltrate your system, so always be wary of unexpected emails or clicking links on pop-up webpages. We recommend you check all your devices for security updates and install them as soon as possible.  We understand you may have concerns, if you have any questions or need support updating your software, you can get in touch via support@cmmtelecoms.co.uk, call us on 01252 854352 or send us a message on live chat. We are always more than happy to help!

Samsung expected to unveil three creative projects at CES 2018

Samsung will unveil three creative projects at CES 2018

Samsung has announced it will unveil three creative projects at CES 2018 in Las Vegas to “explore new business opportunities”. The innovative projects have been in development by it’s Creative Lab programme since December 2012.

“Since launching five years ago, our C-Lab program has gained exciting momentum across Samsung, helping foster an innovation culture, and providing avenue for our creative, talented employees to pursue innovative new projects. We will continuously introduce innovative projects through our C-Lab program.” – Jaiil Lee, Samsung Electronics vice president and head of the creativity and innovation centre.

The three projects include ‘S-Ray’ – also known as Sound Ray, a portable directional speaker made smaller and lighter than conventional directional speakers, that allows you to listen to music without disturbing those around you.

The second project is ‘GoBreath’, a portable device and app that functions as a recovery solution for people who have experienced lung damage and suffer from postoperative pulmonary complications after general anaesthesia.  GoBreath also offers a web and cloud service for doctors to monitor patient recovery progress, as well as provide reminders to practice.

Finally, Relúmĭno is a visual aid app designed to help people with low vision. The name itself originates from the Latin meaning ‘to return back the light’.  The app uses Gear VR to assist visually-impaired people by enhancing their vision to overcome everyday challenges. Building on that concept, Samsung’s Creative Lab built Relúmĭno glasses to utilize the technology more comfortably and discreetly. Samsung’s aim was to offer an affordable option for the visually impaired.

Apple clarifies iPhone battery deterioration rumours

Apple clarifies iPhone battery deterioration rumours

Apple has addressed concerns that some models of the iPhone slow down as they age. The renowned mobile giant was accused of deliberately slowing down older devices to encourage consumers to upgrade. Apple has confirmed that it does in fact slow down some models as they age, but only because the phones’ battery performance diminishes over time.

“First and foremost, we have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades. Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love, and making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that.”

All rechargeable batteries, including the iPhone batteries are consumable components that become less effective as they chemically age and their ability to hold a charge diminishes over time. A chemically aged battery also becomes less capable of delivering peak energy loads, especially in a low state of charge, which may result in a device unexpectedly shutting itself down in some situations.

Image result for apple iphone battery 6

To avoid shutdowns on the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE, Apple delivered a software update – 10.2.1. With the update, iOS dynamically manages the maximum performance of some system components when needed to prevent a shutdown. While these changes may go unnoticed, in some cases users may experience longer launch times for apps and other reductions in performance.

Over the fall, Apple received feedback from users who were seeing slower performance, they now believe the continued chemical aging of the batteries in older iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S devices contributed to this.

To address customer concerns, Apple has reduced the price of an out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacement by £54 – from £79 to £25 for anyone with an iPhone 6 or later, whose battery needs to be replaced, until December 2018. Apple will also issue an iOS update with new features that will offer more visibility into the health of your iPhone battery so you can monitor if its condition is affecting performance.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your account manager on 01252 854352 or email sales@cmmtelecoms.co.uk, we are always more than happy to help!

Latest Samsung Galaxy A8 & A8+ announced

Latest Samsung Galaxy A8 & A8+ announced

The Galaxy A8 and A8+ are Samsung’s latest additions to the A range. The new devices will be available from April in four different colours, however this may vary by country and region. As seen on the Galaxy S8, both the A8 and A8+ feature Samsung’s ‘Infinity display’. The Infinity display refers to the physicalities of the phone; by trimming the bezels, you can take advantage of the largest screen possible without the need for a bigger model. In fact, the A8 and A8+ feature the largest display ever seen on a Galaxy A phone, providing a wide horizontal view and 18.5:9 ratio.

“The Galaxy A8 exemplifies our continued dedication to meeting the needs of our consumers by providing them with greater choice and convenience.” Connor Pierce, Samsung UK & Ireland vice president of IT & mobile.

Galaxy A8

Further improvements include improved low-light capability on the 16MP rear camera. Its bright F1.7 lens, larger 1.12㎛ pixels, and bigger 1/2.8” sensor bring in light from the environment to make photos crisp and detailed. Both the A8 and A8+ also feature the 8MP Dual Front camera and water resistance. The A8 and A8+ are rated IP68 which means you’ll be safe to submerse the device in up to 1.5 metres of fresh water for up to 30 minutes. The key differences in the models however are the difference in display size, battery and RAM options. The A8+ packs a 3500mAh battery offering up to 50 hours of MP3 playback compared to the A8 3000mAh battery that offers up to 44 hours of playback. The A8+ offers a 0.4″ increase in screen size and is 19 grams heavier.

Samsung A8

The storage is meatier too with a option of 6GB RAM available, compared to the 4GB RAM featured in the A8. Both models however are available with either 32GB or 64GB of storage. Disappointingly, the new models haven’t been announced with the new version of Android 8.0 Oreo and instead feature Android Nougat (find details here). Despite the older OS, the new Galaxy A additions would make ideal business devices. Featuring Bixby, Samsung’s virtual assistant that personalises your experience by surfacing specific apps and content based on where you are and what time it is. For example, you may see your Health app in the morning or your alarm and step count at night. Bixby also takes voice commands and sets reminders to ensure you make your next meeting. Better yet, the new models feature dual messenger, allowing you to separate your personal and business conversations.

Samsung

The A8 and A8+ also feature a Secure Folder, creating a seperate space within the device to store your sensitive and personal data that is only accessible to you. You can also take advantage of Samsung Pay – a contactless payment service that only requires your device. For more information on the new devices, please do not hesitate to contact your account manager on 01252 854352 or email sales@cmmtelecoms.co.uk, we are always more than happy to help!

O2 reveals World’s first wearable tech nail

O2 reveals World’s first wearable tech nail

Mobile giant O2 has partnered with inventor Sean Miles and beauty brand Nails Inc to create the world’s first wearable tech nail. The new nail extension features an embedded miniature Bluetooth chip that can be paired with your smartphone. With the press of a button, you’ll be able to answer a call, play a song or redial the last dialled number. The Mobile Nail will be customisable with various nail art designs available with a range of manicures exclusively designed by Nails Inc.

O2 nail bluetooth

According to O2’s survey results, consumers are looking forward to body augments with 66% believing advances in technology will make life easier and 56% looking forward to augmenting and adapting their bodies, including implantation. The prototype trial took place at the Nails Inc bar in Harvey Nichols, London, up until the 24th of December 2017, however it’s unclear when the new technology will be officially released on the market.