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MediaTek Announces Wearable-Focused MT2523 Chip

Most smart watches and similar wearables use re-purposed phone processors like the Snapdragon 400. MediaTek is trying to offer a more focused alternative with the just-announced MT2523. It's a complete system-in-package (SiP) for wearables with GPS, dual-mode Bluetooth LE, support for high-resolution screens, and a highly efficient Cortex M4 CPU.

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[Update: Security Bulletin] January Android Security Updates Rolling Out To Nexus Devices, Factory Images Available

Google is making good on its promise to release monthly security patches to the Android Open Source Project that fix some issues and patch up potential vulnerabilities to the system. Now that we've turned the calendar to a new month, the corresponding updates should be almost upon us and indeed, we've spotted a few hints of them online.

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LG Announces New Mid-Range K7 And K10 Android Phones, Successors To The L Series, Before CES

Android news tends to focus on the flagship phones from the largest companies, if only because they inform the direction of phone design for the following year or so. But it's important to remember that giant corporations like LG release dozens of new models in the same timeframe. The first two LG phones announced for 2016 are the K7 and K10, both being revealed before the enormous Consumer Electronics Show (which doesn't technically begin until Wednesday).

Both phones are quite few steps down from flagships, but noticeably above the entry level, much like the older L series that they're based on.

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Telegram Introduces Inline Bots And Faster GIFs

The developers behind the Telegram messaging service are starting off the new year with a few additions to their app — perhaps with the hopes of keeping their 5.7 million new users hooked. Version 3.4.0 brings faster GIFs and inline bots that are accessible within chats.

Here's the full changelog:

  • GIF revolution: up to 20x faster downloading, autoplay, save GIFs to a dedicated tab on the sticker panel.
  • More about GIFs:
    https://telegram.org/blog/gif-revolution
  • Inline bots: A new way to add bot content to any chat. Type a bot's username and your query in the text field to get instant results and send them to your chat partner.
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ASUS ZenFone Zoom 64GB Coming To The US In Early February For $399 With Its 3x Optical Zoom In Tow

A full year after its announcement at CES 2015, the ASUS ZenFone is ready to make its grand public debut on US territory. The phone, which looks like an amalgam of an Android phone and a Lumia 1020, touts some very interesting and rare, if not unique, features and it will officially launch in the US in early February for $399.

The coup de force of the ZenFone Zoom is its 13MP 3X optical zoom lens with 10 element HOYA arrangement, laser autofocus, OIS, and a dedicated camera shutter button which should result in sharp and detailed photos, even at a distance.

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Pixel C Owners Complain Of Poor WiFi Signal And Speeds, Google Is Looking Into It

The Pixel C is, by all accounts, a very fast tablet in general. But that may not be the case when it comes to the device's WiFi connection. There's a growing thread on the Google support forums of Pixel C owners complaining about sluggish WiFi. Many say they are seeing download speeds that are a mere fraction of what other devices get.

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Ford Announces Android Auto Support For Current And Future SYNC-Equipped Vehicles, Coming Later This Year

Google's Android Auto system is gaining a bit of steam, but you still need to hunt for a manufacturer and model that support it (assuming you're buying a new car and not just upgrading your stereo). That will be a little easier later this year: in the lead-up to CES, American manufacturing giant Ford has announced that its semi-proprietary SYNC system will soon support Android Auto. Specifically, those cars that are currently on the road and use SYNC version 3 will be upgraded with Android Auto capability, and 2017 SYNC-equipped models should have Android Auto support built in.

Android Auto support will come along with a host of other upgrades, including simultaneous support for Apple's competing CarPlay standard.

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Samsung Made A Fridge With What Looks Like A Gigantic Moto Droid Embedded In The Door

And you thought the Galaxy Note 5 series was big enough! And you were convinced HTC had gigantic bezels! Samsung just surpassed your wildest imaginations. This new touchscreen / phone / thingamajig that you see above is not only humongous, it's also embedded inside a fridge. Talk about bezels, ha!

We're kidding here, obviously, and there is a point to having a smart screen inside your kitchen, whether it's to prepare your grocery list, write down bulletin-style post-its, and even listen to music while you chop all those onions and grate all that cheese. Or eat all the ice cream, sitting on the floor, tears streaming down your cheeks...

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Archos Unveils Two New Low-End Lines, Power And Cobalt, And Gets Them Going With Two New Phones Each

Archos and I have some issues to debate over our definition of the words "power" and "cobalt." The company keeps on churning new devices every couple of months, seemingly content with the sales and reception it's getting by sticking to the low to mid range of the smartphone market. It just unveiled two new lines of devices for CES, named Power and Cobalt, with two new models on each line. However, it's not my understanding that 1900mAh (or 512MB of RAM) equates to power, or that dark grey is synonymous with cobalt. But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

The new Power line has its eyes set on battery life (not performance) and it will be launched with the Archos 40 Power and 50 Power.

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Oppo Announces New Mid-Range Photo-Focused F Series, F1 Coming In January Without Tangible Details

OPPO just announced that it was planning to announce a new phone soon. That's the gist of the story really. I guess the company wanted to jumpstart the CES news cycle by a couple of hours, without being ready to fully unveil all the specifics.

After receiving lots of positive feedback for its cameras on flagship devices, Oppo has decided to bring its photography experience to the mid-range. Everyone likes to take photos and Oppo wants to make it affordable without having to dig deep into your pockets for the top-of-the-line specs on all fronts. The result is the new Oppo F series, of which the F1 will be soon announced and ready to launch in January.

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