Google's long-awaited messenger app could be with us soon; meanwhile Samsung's Note 7 recall program hits its stride.
Welcome to Monday on Android Central! The Note 7 recall is still big news, and this Bloomberg piece doing the rounds today has a lot of good background on the goings-on at Samsung around the Note 7 recall fiasco. The main narrative that all this happened because of a reaction to Apple feels forced and not particularly convincing, though. (X happened then Y happened, so Y happened because of X.) However, there are some interesting details on the battery issue itself: according to the CPSC chairman, the Note 7 batteries made by the original supplier were ever so slightly too big for their compartments.
Was that because Samsung felt pressured to leapfrog boring iPhones by fitting bigger batteries into a smaller chassis? Maybe, but that's a tenuous argument with no direct evidence to support it. Besides, fitting ever more tech into increasingly svelte gadgets has always been the main engineering challenge of making a smartphone. Would phones still be catching fire if Samsung had taken its time? Who knows. But the piece offers little beyond speculation to back up a headline that's very sure of itself.
Anyway, on with the rest of the morning's news!
Google Allo may launch this week
That's according to Evan Blass on Twitter, who has a tendency to be right about these things. If so, Google's messaging app, first announced at I/O, would land more than a month after its sibling, the Duo video-calling app.
Sony Xperia X Compact up for pre-order in the U.S.
Xiaomi Mi 5S could launch in China on Sept. 27
Invites are going out for a September 27 event in China, for a phone that's rumored to pack a Snapdragon 821 processor, 6GB of RAM and a new "ultrasonic" fingerprint scanner. Who knows whether Xiaomi will ever push the phone outside its home country; nevertheless, the original Mi 5 was impressive, and the successor could be worth getting excited over.
Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 exchange program in the UK begins today
The company says customers wanting to swap their old, possibly dangerous Note 7 for a new, safe one should get in touch with the place they bought it, if they haven't already been contacted. There's no word on when new UK sales will start up again, with retailers currently suggesting some time in October. More
U.S. Note 7 customers who bought from Samsung.com face recall delays
Customers who bought the Galaxy Note 7 directly from Samsung's website in the U.S. are having a hard time returning their handsets under the recall program, because UPS and FedEx refuse to carry the potentially explosive handsets. One Reddit user affected says he was told Samsung has found a "private shipping company" that is willing to carry the phones, but there's no word on how long customers will have to wait to get their replacement units.
Moto E3 Power debuts in India for ₹7,999
Motorola's entry-level Moto E3 Power is now available exclusively on Flipkart for ₹7,999. The phone offers a 5-inch 720p display, MediaTek MT6735P SoC, 2GB of RAM, 16GB storage, microSD slot, 8MP camera, 5MP front shooter, 4G with VoLTE, and a massive 3500mAh battery. It runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box.
LeEco kicks off sale in India for its 'Superfans'
LeEco is offering a discount on its phones and accessories as part of its Epic 919 Superfans Festival. The LeEco Le 2 and Le 1s Eco are available for 10% off, and the 32GB Le Max 2 is selling for just ₹19,998 ($300). See at Flipkart
Galaxy J5 Prime, J7 Prime launch in India
Samsung has launched Prime variants of the Galaxy J5 and J7 in India. The main difference between the standard Galaxy J5 and the Prime version is the addition of a fingerprint scanner. The Galaxy J7 Prime sees the addition of a fingerprint scanner as well as a bump in resolution from 720p to Full HD, increase in RAM (from 2GB to 3GB), storage from 16GB to 32GB, and a higher-resolution 8MP camera. The Galaxy J5 Prime will retail for ₹14,790 ($220), and the J7 Prime for ₹18,790 ($280).
Verified Access comes to Chrome OS
Xperia C5 Ultra gets Marshmallow
The big-screened mid-ranger landed more than a year ago, and has been running Lollipop ever since. All four variants are now getting a much-needed bump up to Android 6.0.
And with that, on with another week!