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Apple Sues Qualcomm Citing Extortion Attempts

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Apple has filed a patent royalty lawsuit against Qualcomm, alleging the firm failed to pay owed rebates in retaliation for Apple’s part in a Korean antitrust investigation. The claims goes further, however, accusing the chipmaker of partaking in unsavoury business practices, from price-gouging to extortion.

In its lawsuit, Apple alleges Qualcomm withheld nearly $1 billion in payments in retaliation for cooperating with law enforcement agencies. Specifically, Apple cites the Korea Fair Trade Commission’s probe into Qualcomm’s business practices that resulted in an $854 million fine in December, the largest in the agency’s history.

According to Apple lawyers, Qualcomm used its “monopoly power” to flout FRAND (fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory) patent commitments by charging hefty royalty rates on standard-essential patents relating to cellular communications standards. In addition, Qualcomm refuses to sell chipsets to manufacturers until they first license the SEPs, often at “extortion-level” rates.

Since 2011, Qualcomm has conditioned billions of dollars in rebates on “exclusivity or de facto exclusivity from Apple,” the lawsuit reads. With the KFTC investigation, however, Qualcomm added yet another condition to payment. Along with Qualcomm’s most recent indiscretions, the lawsuit outlines questionable licensing strategy that goes beyond SEP licensing and component sales double-dipping.

At the heart of the issue are secret manufacturer licensing agreements. Apple has been forced to pay fees for patents obscured by a legal shroud since 2007, when the first iPhone was released. When Apple selected the Infeneon (now Intel) baseband chip, Qualcomm required a licensing fee. The situation worsened when in 2011 Apple introduced an iPhone capable of connecting to CDMA networks, a technology dominated by Qualcomm chipsets.

Instead of licensing directly to Apple, however, Qualcomm entered into a number of secret agreements with smaller contract manufacturers. Without bargaining power, these CMs pay “exorbitant” royalties on non-FRAND terms and pass the cost along to Apple. The process is hidden from Apple, meaning the company in many cases does not know what patents it is paying for its CMs to license.

Apple as recently as last year attempted to negotiate direct licensing arrangements as certain agreements were set to expire at the end of 2016. Amid accusations of patent infringement, and in the face of heavy resistance by way of Qualcomm’s increasingly litigious business strategy, those talks were largely unsuccessful.

Apple is seeking unspecified damages in its suit against Qualcomm including the $1 billion in unpaid payments, as well as a disgorgement of non-FRAND royalties paid by Apple CMs. The lawsuit also looks to leave Apple unencumbered of certain cellular patents-in-suit, or alternatively assign a reasonable FRAND royalty rate.

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Doogee S98 Pro Rugged Phone’s Price and Launch Date Revealed

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Doogee last month introduced the world to a new rugged phone Doogee S98 Pro that took its design inspiration from aliens with a night vision camera, thermal imaging sensor, and an ultra-wide camera. Today, Doogee has finally confirmed that this new, awesome game-changer is earmarked to launch on June 6th. The rugged phone’s one-of-a-kind alien design won a European Good Design Award.

The company claims it will have the best camera systems on a rugged phone. A professional-grade thermal camera is flanked on either side by a 48MP SONY IMX582 primary camera and a 20MP SONY IMX350 night vision camera. According to the company, they made the decision to use an InfiRay sensor because it offers more than twice the thermal resolution of any other thermal sensor on the market. Its high frame rate of 25Hz ensures pictures are detailed to be able to properly detect and diagnose dampness, elevated temperatures, blockages, and so on.

Also, it comes with the Dual Spectrum Fusion algorithm makes it possible to combine images from both the thermal camera and the main camera into one picture. The front camera though is a 16MP Samsung S5K3P9SP, which is housed in a cutout at the top of the display.

Inside the phone, MediaTek Helio G96 runs the show. It is an octa-core chipset capable of reaching a clocking speed of 2.05GHz, meaning it is capable of gaming. It is paired with an 8GB + 256GB memory for faster and more seamless operation. The storage can also be expanded up to 512GB using a micro SD card.

The device will come with a 6000mAh battery and a 33W ultrafast type-C charger. Wireless charging is available with support for up to 15W. The S98 Pro will sport a 6.3” FHD+ LCD IPS waterdrop display with a Corning Gorilla Glass layer for protection.

The smartphone comes with other nifty features, such as a custom button, NFC, support for 4 navigational satellites (BeiDou, GALILEO, GPS, & GLONASS), IP68, IP69K ratings, and MIL-STD-810H complaint. The phone will also run Android 12 out of the box with up to 3 years of security update guarantee from the company.

The company confirmed the new S98 Pro will be launched and available for order on June 6th. The smartphone will debut on AliExpress, Doogeemall, and Linio (Latin America) shopping platforms. The Doogee S98 Pro is valued at $439, but between June 6th and 10th, it will retail for a $329 world premiere discount.

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Review: HONOR X9

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HONOR launched its HONOR X Series a while ago and we had reviewed the X8, as well. This time around we have the new HONOR X9 5G. The X9 brings users a raft of innovative flagship features, a beyond exceptional experience, and extraordinary quality, all at an affordable price point.

The HONOR X9 comes packed with a 4800mAh long-lasting battery and it uses HONOR’s flagship fast charging technology, the 66W HONOR SuperCharge, to ensure you get from 0% to 50% in just 15 minutes and to 81% in just 30 mins. The HONOR X9 has also been designed with flagship-level 1.05mm super-narrow bezels, which HONOR says is 40% narrower than most smartphones in the same category.

The HONOR X9 also offers a screen-to-body ratio of 94%, thus giving you more screen real estate for an immersive entertainment experience while watching movies, indulging in gaming, and during web browsing.

The build quality and design of the HONOR X9 are quite good for a mid-range device. On the front of the device, you get a big 6.81-inches FHD+ HONOR FullView Display, that offers a refresh rate of 120 Hz. The display also offers advanced eye protection features to protect your eyes during prolonged smartphone usage.

Just above the display, you will find the 16MP front camera for all your selfie requirements. On the right edge of the device, you get the volume rockers and the power button which also doubles up as a fingerprint scanner. On the top edge, you get the speaker grille and a noise-cancelling microphone. On the bottom edge, you get the USB Type-C port, the dual SIM slot, speaker grille, and another noise-cancelling microphone.

At the rear, you will find the triple camera setup that includes the 48MP main camera, 2MP macro camera, and a 2MP bokeh camera. In terms of photography, you get lots of modes such as aperture, night, portrait, panorama, HDR, super macro and so on. In terms of videography, the HONOR X9 can shoot videos at 1080, and supports Dual View recording and micro movie production, through the Story mode.

Under the hood, the HONOR X9 5G is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G Mobile Platform. You also get 8GB of RAM and a choice of either 128GB or 256GB of storage capacity. The HONOR X9 also supports the company’s RAM Turbo Technology that adds 2GB of RAM to the already existing 8GB, virtually, thus extending the total RAM capacity to 10GB. This is particularly useful when playing graphically demanding games and performing memory-intensive tasks.

The HONOR X9 also comes packed with a 4800mAh battery that in our real-world tests, offered more than a day’s worth of battery life. If you do run out of juice, though, you can rely on the 66W HONOR SuperCharge to quickly charge your X9 in minutes.

The overall performance of the HONOR X9 was very good, thanks to its solid specs. HONOR’s RAM Turbo further enhances the overall performance by converting a small portion of Read-Only Memory (ROM) into RAM, thus boosting efficiency. The RAM Turbo technology is particularly useful since it stops background processes from getting killed when you switch apps, ensuring you can make a video call or write a message when you are gaming or watching a movie. Apps will still be running in the background and waiting for you to pick up exactly where you left off.

Photography and videography features also perform on point, on the new HONOR X9. It does not matter whether you shoot photos or videos under good or low light conditions. The results are always consistent.

The HONOR X9 is priced at AED 1099 for the 8GB+128GB variant, while the 8GB+256GB variant is priced at AED 1199. The HONOR X9 is also the most advanced 5G smartphone in this price range. For such an affordable price point, you also get a smartphone that offers a good design and build quality, very good internals, HONOR’s RAM Turbo for enhanced performance, HONOR’s 66W SuperCharge, and very good photography and videography skills.

Price: AED 1099 (8GB+128GB), AED 1199 (8GB+256GB)

Buy the HONOR X9, now!

HONOR X9 AED 1099 (8GB+128GB), AED 1199 (8GB+256GB)
  • Final Rating
4

Summary

Under the hood, the HONOR X9 5G is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G Mobile Platform. You also get 8GB of RAM and a choice of either 128GB or 256GB of storage capacity. The HONOR X9 also supports the company’s RAM Turbo Technology that adds 2GB of RAM to the already existing 8GB, virtually, thus extending the total RAM capacity to 10GB. This is particularly useful when playing graphically demanding games and performing memory-intensive tasks.

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Video Review of the POCO F4 GT in the UAE

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POCO’s new F4 GT is a gaming smartphone that packs in top-notch specs at a pocket-friendly price. The F4 GT is a beautiful-looking smartphone that has been built using premium material. On the front of the device, you get a 6.67-inch FHD+ 120Hz OLED panel that brings in a good balance of resolution, refresh rate, and battery life.

The phone offers a choice between either 60Hz or 120Hz refresh rate, which can be chosen from the Settings menu. Or you can just leave it on Auto for the device to dynamically change it based on the content being consumed.

On the left edge of the device, you get the volume rockers, a microphone, and the dual SIM slot. On the right edge, you get the power button that also doubles up as a fingerprint scanner. You also get a couple of shoulder magnetic pop-up triggers, which are aimed at gamers, since these can be used as gaming controllers. POCO has included a pair of sliding buttons that can be used to pop the triggers out and retract them.

On the top edge, you get the IR blaster, another microphone, and the speaker grille. On the bottom edge, is where you will find the USB Type-C port, a microphone, and the speaker grille. The POCO F4 GT comes with a quad-speaker setup and support for Dolby Atmos. The phone runs on the Android 12 operating system with MIUI 13.0.2 running on top of it.

Inside the box, you get the POCO F4 GT, a clear case, a SIM ejector tool, a Type-C to 3.5mm audio jack adapter, a 120W hyper charger, and the L-shaped USB Type-C cable, designed with gamers in mind. Under the hood, the phone is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, coupled with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage space. The POCO F4 GT also supports virtual memory extension by 3GB for a smoother gaming experience. The POCO F4 GT is cooled using the LiquidCool Technology 3.0.

The phone is available in three different colours – Stealth Black, Knight Silver, and Cyber Yellow. The one we received for this review is the Knight Silver variant. The phone measures just 8.5mm in thickness and weighs around 210-gms. The phone’s overall form factor is pretty nice and feels nice in the hands. The phone is also protected by a glass on the back and Gorilla Glass Victus on the display.

On the front, just above the display, you get a 20MP camera offering an aperture of f/2.4. On the rear, you get a triple camera setup. Now, this includes a 64MP wide-angle main camera with an aperture of f/1.9, an 8MP ultrawide camera with an aperture of f/2.2, and a 2MP macro lens with an aperture of f/2.4.

The POCO F4 GT comes with a 4700mAh battery, which in our tests offered a battery life of almost a day before it needed recharging. However, thanks to the 120W hyper charger bundled inside the box, the POCO F4 GT can be fully charged in about 18 minutes, which is insane!

Thanks to its strong internals, we saw brisk performance while launching apps, using the camera, and multitasking. This means you won’t have any issues performing daily smartphone tasks. Gaming performance was very fluid, too was very snappy too, as games such as Dead Trigger 2, Genshin Impact, and so on, delivered a very smooth experience. The popup triggers were really useful during the gaming sessions. You can also map these triggers to on-screen virtual buttons through the Game Turbo side menu, for PUBG, emulators, and other games.

The cameras also performed really well. Images and videos shot under good lighting conditions turned out pretty well. Even under low light conditions, the POCO F4 GT held its ground.

You get loads of modes, including clone mode, steady video mode (cropping in from the main camera), long exposure suite, dual video option, movie effects mode, and a vlog mode. All of these modes are in there, keeping content creators in mind.

For a price of AED 2499, the POCO F4GT offers a great gaming smartphone at an attractive price point. You get a flagship chipset, excellent internal specs, retractable shoulder triggers for gaming, and brilliant 120W hyper charging. The POCO F4 GT thus comes across as highly recommended.

Price: AED 2499

Buy the POCO F4 GT now: https://www.gadgetvoize.com/pocof4gt

POCO F4 GT AED 2499
  • Final Rating
4

Summary

Thanks to its strong internals, we saw brisk performance while launching apps, using the camera, and multitasking. This means you won’t have any issues performing daily smartphone tasks. Gaming performance was very fluid and snappy, as games such as Dead Trigger 2, Genshin Impact, and so on, delivered a very smooth experience. The popup triggers were really useful during the gaming sessions.

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