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  • Apple Homepod review roundup: what do critics think of speaker?

    Whether they want to admit it or not, the Apple HomePod is the company's first foray into the smart speaker arena, slapping Siri on a high-end speaker. The device is going up against the Google Home and Amazon Echo range. So what do critics think of Apple's debut smart speaker? Phone Arena The website's John Velasco praised the speaker's design, but noted that it was bigger than the Google Home and could be mistaken by your cat for a scratching post. However, the reviewer bemoaned the power cord, which "isn't meant to be user-detachable". Moving to actual usage, Velasco says that setting the...

  • Qualcomm, Broadcom meeting yields no results on ‘final’ offer

    Earlier this month saw Broadcom make a "best and final" offer to acquire Qualcomm -- an offer that was rejected. But Qualcomm opened the door for a 14 February meeting to discuss further options, so what was the result of that? The US chipmaker delivered a letter to Broadcom (publishing it on their website), giving their thoughts on the 14 February meeting. For one, Qualcomm remains unmoved on its assertion that the US$82 per share price "undervalues" the firm. Qualcomm's letter to Broadcom "In our February 14 meeting, Broadcom reiterated that $82.00 per share is its best and final proposal.  The Board...

  • 6 mobile games Malusi Gigaba should be playing in Parliament

    Was it Candy Crush or another match-three puzzler? In any event, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba caused a minor stir when a photo emerged of him playing a puzzle game on his iPad in Parliament. So with that in mind, we take a look at a few more puzzle games the minister should be playing on his tablet... Of course, the best kind of titles for Gigaba would be ones that allow for surreptitious, one-handed play -- all the better to act interested in official proceedings. Puzzle Bobble Journey (paid - Android, iOS) It's one of the more iconic puzzle/arcade titles in gaming, but did you...

  • ARM joins AI chip race, but when will it come to smartphones?

    UK chip designer ARM is the latest mobile company to offer an AI chip (they're calling their effort an ML processor), following in the footsteps of Apple and Huawei. The ML (machine learning) processor is designed for more offline inference, reducing the need to hook up to the cloud for machine learning tasks. This switch to more on-device machine learning is poised to deliver benefits in terms of privacy and data usage. However, the ML processor isn't going to hit production smartphones this year, ARM told Gearburn. "We're already engaged with lead partners, with final release of the processor due in the summer (2018)...

  • Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S is indeed real – report

    Xiaomi is no stranger to MWC, having launched the Mi 5 flagship (review) in Barcelona in 2016. The past few weeks have seen rumours swirl that the Mi Mix 2S is coming to MWC, being an upgraded version of the Mi Mix 2. Now, XDA Developers has managed to confirm the existence of this device along with several specs, after obtaining the Mi Mix 2S firmware files. The publication sifted through the files, finding that the device will pack a Snapdragon 845 chipset, 3400mAh battery and Android Oreo. XDA also confirmed that the device would pack a 2160x1080 display, while finding evidence...

  • Could Samsung charge for Linux on Galaxy smartphones?

    Samsung made tech headlines late last year when it announced plans to bring Linux to its DeX dock (review) and Galaxy flagship phones. The move would mean that consumers have a full desktop operating system on their smartphone, enabled by popping the phone into the dock. "Installed as an app, Linux on Galaxy gives smartphones the capability to run multiple operating systems, enabling developers to work with their preferred Linux-based distributions on their mobile devices," Samsung explained at the time of the announcement. "Whenever they need to use a function that is not available on the smartphone OS, users can simply...

  • Game Dev Tycoon and more: this week’s top mobile games

    Welcome to Gearburn's Mobile Game Picks of the Week, a weekly series in which Hadlee takes a look at the latest, most entertaining, or time-consuming mobile games on portable screens. Looking for a distraction? Or maybe it's a full-fledged experience? Either way, we've got a few mobile games to tickle your fancy as usual. Highlights this time include Game Dev Tycoon on Android and a rather emotional text messaging adventure. Check out the rundown below. Baseball Boy (free - Android, iOS) This title has hit the top of the iTunes charts, perhaps owing to its simple concept. Baseball Boy has you pitching a ball,...

  • Life is Strange: Before the Storm review

    I can't recall the last time I felt more conflicted about a video game than Life is Strange: Before the Storm, a three-episode prequel to the original Life is Strange (2015) saga. After pondering it for days after completion (I still am), I still can't answer this question: is it a good game? Hopefully by the end of this review, the answer will become clear. In terms of a narrative-driven gaming experience, and viewed as a stand-alone title outside the larger series, it is still one of your best bets out there. Its experience is unique, the dialogue well-written, the...

  • Leak: This is the Nokia 1, Nokia 7 Plus

    MWC 2018 is just over a week away and we know HMD Global will be there. Now, we have a better idea of what to expect, courtesy of the ever-reliable Evan Blass. The serial leaker showed off images of the Nokia 1 and Nokia 7 Plus, both of which were heavily tipped for a Barcelona reveal. Nokia 1 pic.twitter.com/LF9f25HByo — Evan Blass (@evleaks) February 14, 2018 The Nokia 1 image shows what appears to be a small entry-level device, featuring a tiny rear camera, rear-facing speaker and no discernible fingerprint scanner. We're expecting an entry-level chipset, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of expandable storage...

  • Hisense to launch two phones in South Africa next month

    Chinese tech firm Hisense might not have much of a smartphone presence in developed markets, but it's certainly got a presence in South Africa, headlined by its rugged C30 Rock (review) and Infinity KO devices. The company also has a few less spectacular budget offerings, and it'll be bringing two mid-range phones to South Africa next month, a representative told Gearburn. "Hisense Infinity F24, Hisense Infinity E7 will be available from March," the firm's Ivan Tian wrote in response to an emailed query. We initially asked about the availability of a mysterious phone that popped up on China's TENAA website. Looking for budget smartphones?...