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Nokia 8 launched in India; goes on sale starting October 14

After launching three budget and mid-range smartphones, HMD Global finally launched the long anticipated, Nokia 8, the company’s first flagship smartphone in India.

The Nokia 8 is company’s first smartphone to sport imaging setup from Zeiss as well as audio experience by OZO Audio. OZO Audio is found in 360-degree VR cameras used in Hollywood, and is a first for mobile. It features multiple microphones to capture high dynamic range and record binaural audio, which gives the videos high-fidelity stereo sound.

It packs in a dual 13 MP rear camera setup that combines a color and monochrome sensor, shots from which are combined into a single shot with greater contrast. The front 13 MP front camera includes auto-focus and actually utilizes the same camera module as the rear configuration. There’s also the first ever ‘Dual-sight Live’ feature that allows you to simultaneously shoot/record/broadcast from front and rear cameras, a feature that the company calls ‘Bothie’.

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Hands-on with the Nokia 8

Hands-on with the Nokia 8

August 16, 2017

Nokia 8 Specifications

Operating System: Android 7.1.1 Nougat | Android Oreo ‘coming soon’
Display: 5.3-inch Quad HD (2560 x 1440) IPS LCD | 554 ppi | 700 nits | 2.5D Corning Glass
Processor: Snapdragon 835 MSM8998 (4 x 2.45 GHz Qualcomm Kryo + 4 x 1.8 GHz Kryo) | Adreno 540 GPU
Internal Storage: 64 GB; expandable up to 256 GB with microSD card
Rear camera: 13 MP (Color + OIS) + 13 MP (Mono) with ZEISS optics | 1.12 μm | f/2.0 aperture | 76.9-degree view | PDAF | Dual-tone flash
Front camera: 13 MP | PDAF | 1.12 μm | f/2.0 aperture | 78.4-degree view | Display flash
Battery: 3,090 mAh | Quick Charge 3.0
Dimensions: 151.5 x 73.7 x 7.9 mm
Weight: 160 g

Priced at ₹36,999 ($ 566), the Nokia 8 is available in four color variants – Polished Blue, Polished Copper, Tempered Blue, and Steel (Three at the time of launch, and the copper one would be available after a few weeks). The device will go on sale in offline stores and online on starting October 16.

What do you think of the Nokia 8, and it’s pricing? Tell us in the comments!

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HTC will still make phones – but should it bother?

I’m not a CEO, nor do I play one on TV. But that didn’t stop me last week from telling TCL what’s what about the Palm brand. Nor, will it stop me from talking about HTC and where its focus should be. If you haven’t been watching the feeds, welcome back. Google has done its best University of Alabama impression and thrown some steak dinners and escorts at HTC, its new starting quarterback. I don’t watch football – that’s still a thing right? Anyway, Google picked up a few good men and women from HTC, plus some intellectual property, for the bargain price of 1.1 billion dollars, also known as “the revenue Google acquired in the time it took to write this article”.

Google has bought a really solid team of engineers and research and development. Mad props. And the good news for HTC is that it will still make smartphones. But now the question remains, should it? I mean, don’t get me wrong – I’m as much of a fan of HTC phones as the next guy. But, to me this looks like a desperate, yet necessary move to keep HTC afloat. The money was needed to keep HTC running, and that’s perfectly fine.

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All it took was $ 1.1 billion for a part of HTC to be a part of Google

All it took was $ 1.1 billion for a part of HTC to be a part of Google

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Where did all the talent go?

But now that HTC has sold off its R&D division to Google, and presumably most of its top-tier talent, is there any point in making phones anymore? I mean, HTC made some really great phones – I’m not sure they were 1.1 billion dollars great, but the hardware has really been gorgeous. The HTC 10 is probably one of my favorite HTC phones of all time. But with the talent that is leaving for Mountain View now gone, what more will HTC have up its sleeve?

Of course, it’s not like HTC’s innovation and tricks have been servicing it all that well. The whole reason this deal had to take place was because HTC hasn’t exactly been burning up the sales charts. In fact, our own Tristan Rayner wrote a piece detailing just what went wrong over the years.  I joked with a colleague earlier that maybe HTC needs to stop innovating and just release a few boring HTC phones to get back in the game. But honestly, with so much of the talent now gone, is HTC even still in the game?

Look to the future

HTC would be wise to push VR, and push it hard.

Speaking of games, one game where HTC is definitely doing well in the world of VR. The HTC Vive is a wonderful device and a leader in its field. HTC is doing very well with the Vive and might be better off focusing on that aspect of its business. Namely, not requiring a $ 10,000 freakin’ computer to run it. Or games; maybe games. But HTC hasn’t been doing well in the phone business. Maybe it’s time to double down on the part of the business that is actually doing well.

VR and AR are the future. In the world of gaming, business, you name it, just about everything can have a VR or AR use case. I hesitate to bring up Apple, but the prominence of AR in Apple’s latest event cannot be ignored. AR was doing well before and it will continue to grow. VR, its closest cousin will undoubtedly continue along the same trajectory. HTC would be wise to push VR, and push it hard. Of course, HTC has been treating Vive as basically it’s own company, so it might even be too late to make this a primary focus for the brand.

Circling back, what more will HTC have to offer the phone world? Sure, there are probably already phones in the pipeline, so that’s fine. But what will come after those phones? Will HTC have the chutzpah to innovate like it did before? Or will HTC be relegated to producing, dare I say it, Yet Another Android Phone (#YAAP)? Then we get to the most important question – will we care about an HTC that makes boring Android phones? And perhaps that’s the question we need to examine.



This is an opportunity to flip the table and start fresh

HTC has a pretty great fan base, even if it is paid to be that way. Relax, I’m joking. But the reason it has this fan base is not because of swag, but because HTC makes really good phones. Sure, there have been some ultra-missteps along the way, but HTC is highly regarded in the industry – maybe not as much as Palm or Nokia, but easily in the top ten. Will HTC’s departing talent take anything away from the entity that is HTC? Honestly, probably not. Will it change public opinion of HTC? Honestly, probably not.

Because at the end of the day, this is an opportunity to flip the table on this game and start fresh. There will be a hole at HTC that will have to be filled with new talent and new ideas. That might be just what HTC needs to reinvigorate its brand. A fresh start, plus a billion dollars might be just what HTC needs to right the ship and restart its brand. But what do you think? Is HTC DOA after this? Or will HTC use this opportunity to push forward into a brave new world? Are there too many pop culture references in this article? Sound off below with your thoughts!

Android Authority

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Wrecker’s Revenge – Gumball is Cartoon Network’s latest wacky mobile game

Cartoon Network’s latest game, Wrecker’s Revenge – Gumball, has now landed free to play in the Google Play Store. The platforming title sees you take control of Gumball Watterson as you direct him through levels (voids) using floating islands to help him reach the end.

The game is based on Cartoon Network’s The Amazing World of Gumball TV series, and it looks like it will offer fairly lightweight platforming action. You can manipulate the floating islands to allow you to reach them, and use power-ups like the giant Gummy Hand to swing across gaps and Universal Remote to rewind time. Each level is also procedural generated, so you’ll never come across the same scenario twice.

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15 best platformer games for Android

15 best platformer games for Android

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Oh, and you’ll meet the cast of characters from the show like Richard, Nicole, and not forgetting Banana Joe, along the way.

Wrecker’s Revenge – Gumball also includes gamepad support and there’s no talk of in-app purchases, though Cartoon Network says its other products and services are cross-promoted in-game.

It looks like a decent time-killer and you can download it in the Play Store via the button below. If you want to check out other titles featuring Gumball, like Agent Gumball or Sky Streaker – Gumball, visit the Cartoon Network developer page at Google Play.

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Chainfire launches to help you find stock boot and recovery images

Chainfire, developer of the popular Android apps like SuperSU and FlashFire, has launched a new website dedicated Android firmware. The website,, includes a database of boot, recovery, and root images, making it easier for Android users to hunt down the firmware they want to flash.

Chainfire announced the website on Googleplus, stating that the current collection is mostly made up of Samsung and Google firmware — that which is readily available through official sources. The developer also said that the site is open to user-uploaded firmware, but noted that this is something that could easily be exploited and will be shut down should it be abused.

The website is already live and populated, and using it is easy: simply type a keyword for the device or firmware you seek (like “sailfish” or “pixel”), hit submit, and the relevant firmware should appear. Click the one you want and you’ll arrive at the download page. also integrates with CF-Auto-Root tool to allow users to configure things like “install type, encryption options, SELinux modifications, and including suhide,” for most of the firmware currently available.

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Benefits of rooting your Android phone or tablet

Benefits of rooting your Android phone or tablet

August 7, 2017

Tracking down the latest stock firmware can be time-consuming for beginners, so this is a neat way to help those that don’t already have the necessary pages bookmarked. And though Samsung and Google’s firmware is already among the easiest to get hold of, contributions from the community will hopefully quickly expand what’s available on the site.

As always, rooting your device and flashing firmware can harm your smartphone — do so at your own risk.

Android Authority

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Instagram now plays all video audio once you turn sound on

When you open Instagram, the videos posted by those you follow play automatically, while you have to tap on each one to hear the sound. The company has now decided to change this with its latest update, as confirmed to TechCrunch.

When you now open the app on your device, videos will still play automatically with the audio being turned off. However, when you tap on the speaker icon to hear the sound, all the other videos in your feed will have the audio turned on for the rest of your session. So if you close the app and then open it again, the sound will be turned off.

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15 best Photo Editor Apps for Android

15 best Photo Editor Apps for Android

July 27, 2017

I have to say that I quite like what Instagram has done. Turning on the sound for each individual video can get annoying after a while, so the company’s implementation makes sense. It’s also a good thing that the audio is turned off by default, as you won’t be bothering those around you whenever you open Instagram.

In case you just want to listen to the audio of one video, you can turn it off after you’re done watching it with a simple tap in order to mute the sound of all the other videos in your feed. The implementation is rather simple but it does improve the experience and is quite useful. To try it out, simply update Instagram on your Android device and you’re good to go.

Recent updates

Share people’s stories as Direct messages

This update added the option of sharing any Instagram story in Direct messages. There’s a direct icon in the bottom right corner of each story, which you can tap to select the people to whom you want to send it to. Of course, when the story disappears from the app, the recipient will no longer be able to view it.

In case you don’t want people to look at your stories and be able to share them, just head into the stories settings and disable the option. It’s also worth noting that if you have a private account, only your followers will get to view a story that’s been shared via Direct.

Instagram now lets you post multiple photos and videos as non-squares

August 29, 2017: With the latest Instagram update, users can choose landscape and portrait formats when sharing multiple photos and videos. As Instagram explains, the option to choose gives users more “creative flexibility” but unfortunately, “to keep the experience smooth and consistent… all photos and videos in your post must be shared in the same format.”

Instagram rolls out new ways to reply to posts with photos and videos

August 18, 2017: The Facebook-owned company has added new ways to reply to your friend’s posts for more personalized conversations. Users can now reply directly to shared posts, photos, and videos with their own photo or video. To make matters more interesting, these replies will also automatically include a sticker of the content you’re responding to

Instagram finally brings comment threads to its app

August 15, 2017: With Instagram version 24, the Facebook-owned photo-sharing app will now group conversations together, just like the way it works on Facebook. Your replies will automatically be grouped right underneath each thread, and when there are multiple replies, it will say how many there are instead of showing the full content, providing for a much cleaner look.

Instagram update lets you add a friend to your live stream

August 8, 2017: The latest update lets a small percentage of users add their friends to their live streams. A more widespread roll out will take place over the next few months according to the company.

Instagram lets you respond to Stories with photos and videos

July 6, 2017: As controversial as Instagram’s Stories may be, due to its blatant similarities to Snapchat Stories, Instagram continues to improve the feature by allowing you to reply to a friend’s Story with photos and videos of your own. When you open a Story, you now see a camera button on the left corner of the screen. When pressed, the button takes you to your camera screen with a thumbnail of the Story you are replying to. From here, you can take pictures, record videos, create Boomerangs, and resize the original Story’s thumbnail.

Instagram steps up its fight against scam and offensive comments

June 29, 2017: With the latest update, offensive comments on Instagram will be blocked by default. You can still report individual comments and profiles, of course, and if for whatever odd reason you want to disable this feature, you can do so in the app’s settings. The new update also addresses spam, another huge issue in the Instagram community. These filters will work in many different languages and will use machine learning to improve over time. The hope is that the automatic blocking will create a safer and a more inclusive space for all Instagram users.

Instagram lets you share replays of Instagram Stories live videos

June 20, 2017: The update adds a “Share” selection at the bottom of the screen after your live video has ended, so you can add the replay to Instagram Stories for 24 hours. Alternatively, you can delete the live video by tapping the toggle, and then choosing “Discard”. When you watch your own video replay back, you will see the number of users who watched it live, and afterwards via replay.

Instagram adds Archive feature

June 13, 2017: Instagram has rolled out its new Archive addition worldwide. It’s been designed to help users keep any posts they have shared in a space that’s only meant to be seen by that person. If you want to start archiving your shared posts, all you have to do is tap “…” at the top of the post you want to save and then and choose “Archive.” Users will be able to see that saved post when they tap on the Archive icon, which is located in the top right corner of the Instagram profile. You will also be able to see any previous likes and comments on that post.

Instagram Direct adds support for links, along with landscape and portrait orentation

May 25, 2017: The Instagram Direct feature now allows users to share images in both landscape and portrait orientation along with the ability to share links.

Instagram Stories can now be searched by location, hashtag search coming soon

May 23, 2017: Instagram is adding yet another way to search for content on the social network. The latest update to the app allows users to search inside Instagram Stories via location, and soon will also add searching in Stories via hashtags.

Face filters

May 17, 2017: Instagram has added another Snapchat-like feature, as users can now put in a number of animated images over their photos and videos. In addition, users can now put videos in reverse. There’s also a new eraser brush in the drawing tools.

Web uploads

May 8, 2017: Instagram has beefed up its mobile website with the ability to upload photos, and a lightweight version of the Explore tab. Previously, users were only able to like posts, follow users, search, and see notifications from the mobile site. Now users can not only upload media to the social network, they can also access a stripped down version of the Explore tab.

Instagram says the web experience is optimized for phones, and designed to help users on slower data connections access the social network. Think of this as a “lite” version of Instagram. Video uploading via the mobile web still isn’t supported, however, nor is posting photos or videos from the desktop site.

How to delete your Instagram account

How to delete your Instagram account

May 31, 2017

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Verizon plans to terminate 8,500 rural accounts due to roaming data usage

Verizon is sending out notices that it will disconnect 19,000 lines spanning 8,500 accounts due to high roaming fees. Users in rural parts of 13 states (Alaska, Idaho, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wisconsin) face the ax by October 17. If the current customers don’t move to a new carrier by the deadline, they could lose the ability to port their phone number.

Despite being enrolled in the company’s “LTE in Rural America” program and being offered unlimited plans, it looks like many families will lose the best option they have for cellular service. The LTE in Rural America plan’s purpose was for Verizon to team up with small rural carriers to build out cellular infrastructure and allow those small carriers to lease spectrum. Now, Verizon is trying to pull out of those agreements and leave some customers out in the cold.

Verizon claims that the affected customers are using “substantial amounts of data”. On the other hand, one of the affected customer says her family has never used more than 50GB a month across four lines despite having an unlimited plan. The problem comes down to, as it often does, dollars and cents.

Verizon can’t make money off these customers if they’re paying out more in roaming fees then bringing in from monthly payments. The problem is so bad, apparently, that Verizon is willing to forgive any current charges on the account and the balance of financed phones to get customers to move. While this sounds like a great deal for the customer, the lack of other desirable carrier options negates any savings or credits they might see. Often in rural areas, the only choices are national carriers who get spotty coverage and regional carriers who charge higher prices.

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Verizon to start throttling video streaming to as low as 480p tomorrow

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In a statement to Ars Technica, a Verizon spokesperson said, “These customers live outside of areas where Verizon operates our own network(…) Many of the affected consumer lines use a substantial amount of data while roaming on other providers’ networks and the roaming costs generated by these lines exceed what these consumers pay us each month(…) We sent these notices in advance so customers have plenty of time to choose another wireless provider”

It seems, though, that not every line in these areas will be disconnected. Many lines who aren’t costing Verizon money will remain active. Verizon refused to give a cap on how much roaming one could use because they become unprofitable. The letters that will be heading out to affected Verizon customers soon don’t give the recipients any recourse or options to stay with the carrier.

What do you think of Verizon’s move to cut off these customers? Is it a cold and heartless move or do you understand its side? Sound off down in the comments.

Android Authority

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Pixel 2 XL hits the FCC, LG confirmed as manufacturer

Another piece of the puzzle has fallen into place.

The Pixel 2 XL has just been spotted in the FCC database, in a sign that the official launch of the device is rapidly approaching.

The publication of the Pixel 2 XL FCC documents comes four weeks after the smaller Pixel 2 was identified in the same database. The Pixel 2 docs revealed the phone is being manufactured by HTC, confirming previous rumors for the first time. The filing also mentioned Android 8.0.1 (not Android 8.1) and showed that the Pixel 2 would integrate squeeze gestures, a feature that HTC developed for its own flagship phones.

Read: Our in-depth Android 8.0. review – Oreo for everyone

The new listing confirms that LG is the maker of the larger Pixel 2 XL, but nothing else of note can be gleamed from the document, except the fact that the device will not work on the 600MHz spectrum owned by T-Mobile in the US.

FCC certification is a necessary step for any device that has to operate on US wireless spectrum. While phone makers are not required to certify devices at a specific time before launch, the publication of FCC listings suggests a commercial release is coming sooner, rather than later.

Another leak from today suggests Google might launch the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL on October 4, exactly one year after the launch of the original devices.

Read more about the Pixel 2 XL in our rumor roundup!

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Latest Android Oreo bug disables mobile data on some Pixel and Nexus devices

Android 8.0 Oreo already rolled out to most Pixel and Nexus devices, and although it offers quite a few useful and interesting features, it also has a few annoying bugs on board. The latest one disables all mobile data usage prematurely on some carriers around the world, as reported by a number of users on the Google Product Forums.

Certain carriers provide customers with unlimited access to certain apps like WhatsApp, for example. What this means is that even though you have used up all of your mobile data, you should still be able to use these apps. Unfortunately, it looks like Oreo doesn’t know, this because as soon as you reach your data allowance for the month, mobile data is shut off completely.

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Android 8.0 Oreo could let you use Wi-Fi hotspots more like cellular data

Android 8.0 Oreo could let you use Wi-Fi hotspots more like cellular data

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What’s more, some users are also reporting that the mobile data on their Pixel devices is turned off despite the fact they haven’t yet used all of it. This is a software issue and, thankfully, Google is already aware of it.

A Pixel Community Manager announced on the forums that the company is looking into the issue and will fix it via an update. When exactly it will be available is anyone’s guess at this point, but we likely won’t have to wait for long as the problem was described as “high priority” by the community manager.

Have you been experiencing this issue on your Pixel or Nexus smartphone? Let us know in the comments.

Android Authority

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This is Motorola’s first Android One phone, likely coming to the US

The next manufacturer to join the Android One program could be Motorola, according to a leak from Evan Blass.

Blass just shared a render of an Android One-branded Motorola device. The phone looks identical to the mid-range Moto X4, which Motorola introduced during IFA earlier this month, except for the Android One badge at the bottom of the device. Blass didn’t reveal any other details about the phone, but previous reports suggest we might be looking at the first Android One phone for the United States.

Pieces of the puzzle

Back in January, The Information reported that Google is working with unspecified OEMs to launch Android One in the United States. One potential partner was LG, according to a person familiar to the matter, though The Information stopped short from naming any companies. According to the report, Google was aiming at a $ 200-$ 300 price range, with a release by the middle of the year. That didn’t pan out, obviously.

In April, 9to5Google shared several “rumor tidbits” regarding the US launch of Android One, including the name of the two candidate devices for the initial release: Moto X (2017) and a mysterious HTC E37. The publication pointed at a higher price range ($ 300- $ 400) and a release around October-November.

Could this be the One?

Back to the present, and we now have palpable evidence that Motorola is part of the Android One project. The Moto X4 will be landing in Europe this month for €399, which somewhat matches 9to5Google’s rumor of a $ 300-$ 400 price tag in the US. Phone makers often price devices in Europe at the same nominal price as in the US, just swapping the currency symbol; i.e. €399 >> $ 399.

It’s possible that the Android One Moto X4 will be launched along the new Pixels, but we wouldn’t be surprised if Google and Motorola would want to put some distance between their devices.

It’s worth noting that The Information said that more OEMs could be allowed to release Android One phones in the US after the initial launch (Google seems selective about who gets to participate). As already mentioned, LG and HTC may be interested.

On a – probably – unrelated note, HTC is said to be in advanced talks with Google for a sale or strategic investment.

Mi A1 for the West

The Moto leak comes just days after Xiaomi introduced its own very attractive Android One device, the Mi A1. I called the Mi A1 the most exciting Android device of the moment, thanks to its excellent value for money and potential to bring better software updates to the masses.

Read: Xiaomi Mi A1 first impressions – How’s stock Android on Xiaomi hardware?

The Mi A1 will be sold in 40 countries, but none of these markets are in Western Europe, US, or Canada. It’s possible that the Android One Moto X4 will be the Mi A1’s counterpart in the West, albeit at a higher price.

Regardless of region, it’s clear that there’s a still a huge appetite for affordable, solid devices that stick close to Google’s vision of what Android should be. It could be a great autumn for budget-minded Android fans.

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You can go ahead and add “hard as nails” to the Galaxy Note 8 pros list

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is clearly one of the best smartphones of 2017. It’s packed with premium components, it offers unique and interesting functionality thanks to the inclusion of its S Pen stylus, and it’s also one tough cookie, as a recent JerryRigEverything durability test video has revealed.

The JerryRigEverything YouTube channel is famous for its smartphone stress tests, which puts handsets under a number of different intense circumstances to assess how strong they are. Samsung’s latest premium handset got the treatment yesterday and it stood up well in almost every category.

Particularly noteworthy is the bend test, which has seen many other large screen devices crack under the pressure, but the Galaxy Note 8 gets by unscathed, putting it among the most sturdy handsets to be released this year.

The glass on the front and rear of the Note 8 holds up like most of the competition. It’s protected by Gorilla Glass 5, the most recent and strongest version of Corning’s protective coating, and scratches only at Mohs’ hardness scale Level 6 and above. After taking a knife to its camera sensors (also covered by glass), the Note 8 also showed little signs of harm.

The only aspect of the front and rear of the phone to suffer any real damage under the knife was, somewhat unfortunately, the fingerprint sensor, which has been a sticking point for most critics. This is placed in a difficult-to-reach area at the top right of the rear of the device — as on the Galaxy S8 — so it was already out of favor. Still, the video host says that these scratches didn’t interfere with fingerprint sensor’s normal operation: it still worked as intended.

See also:
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 review: Do Bigger Things, at a Bigger Price

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 review: Do Bigger Things, at a Bigger Price

3 days ago

Though the Note 8 wasn’t subjected to any water-based challenges, the device has IP68 certification for dust and water resistance, so here again, it’s technically on par with the rest of the modern flagships (this despite it having an additional hole to house the S Pen).

Overall, it’s positive news for Samsung, especially after the Galaxy Note 7‘s overheating issue last year which eventually sunk the device. Samsung needed to produce a Note 8 that was going to stay out of harm’s way, and it seems to have done just that.

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