Connect with us

Technology

Strong effort from an entity-lister, but your tiny child hands may struggle • The Register

Voice Of EU

Published

on

Review Most phones are compromised in some way, which makes it all too easy to overlook the good bits. An example of this would be the Huawei Mate 40 Pro, which was near perfect, except for the lack of apps.

For the ZTE Axon 30 Ultra, the downside is a real ache in the first dorsal interosseous muscle between the thumb and index finger, at least for those with paws smaller than a bear’s. That’s a big but for a phone that ticks lots of boxes. It looks good, it’s fast, it’s well polished, and it comes with a set of decent cameras. Too big to hold and that whole proposition falls apart.

Those with large mitts, however, are well-catered for. It’s a flagship, but it’s not priced as such. The base model starts at £649, which puts it alongside the Samsung Galaxy S20FE, but cheaper than most Android flagships like the Galaxy S21 or the OnePlus 9 Pro.

Let’s start at the screen, which is often the deciding component that makes or breaks a device. This measures 6.7 inches from corner to corner, making it one of the largest devices on the market. This – as well as the backplate – is coated in Corning’s Gorilla Glass 5.

The panel has a standard 1080p resolution, and runs at refresh rates as high as 144Hz. The system can automatically scale this depending on the situation, with competitive games running at the higher rate, static content at 60Hz, and browsing plonked somewhere in the middle. In practice, though, you will want to crank this down to a more reasonable 90Hz, which gives you the benefit of buttery animations, but without the battery pulverisation that comes with running your device at 144Hz (or even 120Hz).

The panel itself is an OLED affair, which delivered satisfactory levels of colour fidelity and contrast. It also packs a remarkably responsive under-screen fingerprint reader. I tend to prefer physical fingerprint readers simply because they are often better, but I found it hard to fault this.

Performance

ZTE provided The Register with the base model, which comes with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. For an extra £90, you can bump this to 12GB and 256GB respectively. While the additional 4GB of RAM is unlikely to make much of a performance difference, the added storage may prove welcome to those who hoard media and apps, and take photos with pixel-binning disabled.

It has no 3.5mm jack.

Under the hood, you will find a potent Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 platform, with bundled 5G connectivity (although band support in the US is fairly lacking). As you would expect, this handled virtually everything I threw at it without breaking a sweat. Multitasking felt fluid, and webpages rendered with little to no delay.

The battery is big, although at this point standard, rated for 4,600mAh. With the refresh rate at 90Hz, I was able to get a full day of usage. Another nice touch is the inclusion of 65W wired charging. ZTE provides a compatible charging brick, although in the case of this review unit, ours came with a European plug.

Wireless charging is sadly absent. This is something we see on the low-to-mid side of the phone market, with wired speeds prioritised at the expense of the mere existence of wireless charging. Is it much of a problem, though? Not really. Wireless speeds are slower, and it is a comparatively energy inefficient way to charge your phone. When you can fully replenish a battery in less than 40 minutes, this is something that’s easy enough to overlook.

The ZTE Axon 30 Ultra comes with Android 11 pre-installed, with the company committing to an upgrade to Android 12 later down the line (it is one of the devices that can enrol in the Android 12 beta). The exact cadence and lifespan of security updates remains an unknown, however.

The company used its MyOS UI here and doesn’t make many diversions from the stock Android experience. The few tweaks to be found – which mostly hinge around quick-access to routine settings – improved the experience, rather than complicated it, but there have been grumblings about response times.

Cameras

Within its sizeable bulge, you will find no less than four cameras. You may be pleased to hear that ZTE avoided the cardinal sin of including just one functional primary camera, and an assortment of superfluous, low-resolution nonentities.

The primary camera uses a 64MP lens, which takes detailed and vibrant shots in good lighting conditions, and thanks to its accompanying optical image stabilisation (OIS) is able to cope with inevitable hand jitters. There’s also an ultra-wide and portrait lens, both with 64MP sensors, although sadly without OIS.

Finally, ZTE also threw in an 8MP telephoto lens, which can optical zoom by as much as five times. This is a nice touch, and isn’t necessarily guaranteed, even on phones within this particular price bracket. Although it doesn’t capture quite as much detail, the results are good, even when touching the limits of its zoom range.

The implementation of the camera is good. Although quality isn’t quite what Huawei had accomplished with its RYYB sensors in the most recent flagships, it’s more than serviceable, producing decent shots for social media and the web. It watermarks all images by default – although it’s easy enough to turn this off.

Conclusion

The ZTE Axon 30 Ultra isn’t perfect, but its a good mid-ranger. The display and chassis are both genuinely nice to look at, although I doubt they are particularly conducive to repairs. As we saw with Samsung’s latest premium phones, when you encase a phone in glass, it makes routine fixes that much harder.

Similarly, the lack of wireless charging is a bit annoying, although it is relatively easy to live with, given the fast wired charging on offer. Some may also be deterred by ZTE itself, which has found itself ensnared in the same telecoms supply chain melodrama as Huawei, albeit to a lesser extent.

Finally, there is the size. This is a big phone. Personally, I like that as it lends well to Netflix binges and a rich browsing experience. Those with smaller hands, or simply a preference to use a phone with one hand, will likely want to look elsewhere. ®

Source link

Technology

Elon Musk sells Tesla shares worth $6.9bn as Twitter trial looms | Elon Musk

Voice Of EU

Published

on

Elon Musk has sold $6.9bn (£5.7bn) worth of shares in Tesla after admitting that he could need the funds if he loses a legal battle with Twitter and is forced to buy the social media platform.

The Tesla CEO walked away from a $44bn deal to buy Twitter in July but the company has launched a lawsuit demanding that he complete the deal. A trial will take place in Delaware in October.

“In the (hopefully unlikely) event that Twitter forces this deal to close *and* some equity partners don’t come through, it is important to avoid an emergency sale of Tesla stock,” Musk said in a tweet late on Tuesday.

In other comments on Twitter on Tuesday, Musk said “yes” when asked if he was finished selling Tesla stock. He also said he would buy Tesla stock again if the Twitter deal does not close.

Musk has committed more than $30bn of his own money to the financing of the deal, with more than $7bn of that total provided by a coterie of associates including tech tycoon Larry Ellison, the Qatar state investment fund and the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance.

Musk, the world’s richest person, sold $8.5bn worth of Tesla shares in April and had said at the time there were no further sales planned. But since then, legal experts had suggested that if Musk is forced to complete the acquisition or settle the dispute with a stiff penalty, he was likely to sell more Tesla shares.

Last week Musk launched a countersuit against Twitter, accusing the platform of deliberately miscounting the number of spam accounts on the platform. Twitter has consistently stated that the number of spam accounts on its service is less than 5% of its user base, which currently stands at just under 238 million. Legal experts have said that Musk will find it hard to convince a judge that Twitter’s spam issue represents a “company material adverse effect” that substantially alters the company’s value – and therefore voids the deal.

Musk sold about 7.92m Tesla shares between 5 August and 9 August, according to multiple filings. He now owns 155m Tesla shares or just under 15% of the electric carmaker.

The latest sales bring total Tesla stock sales by Musk to about $32bn in less than one year. However, Musk remains comfortably ahead of Jeff Bezos as the world’s richest man with an estimated $250bn fortune, according to the Bloomberg billionaires index.

Tesla shares have risen nearly 15% since the automaker reported better-than-expected earnings on 20 July, also helped by the Biden administration’s climate bill that, if passed, would lift the cap on tax credits for electric vehicles.

Musk also teased on Tuesday that he could start his own social media platform. When asked by a Twitter user if he had thought about creating his own platform if the deal didn’t close, he replied: “X.com”.

With Reuters



Source link

Continue Reading

Technology

Iran reveals use of cryptocurrency to pay for imports • The Register

Voice Of EU

Published

on

Iran has announced it used cryptocurrency to pay for imports, raising the prospect that the nation is using digital assets to evade sanctions.

Trade minister Alireza Peyman Pak revealed the transaction with the tweet below, which translates as “This week, the first official import order was successfully placed with cryptocurrency worth ten million dollars. By the end of September, the use of cryptocurrencies and smart contracts will be widespread in foreign trade with target countries.”

It is unclear what Peman Pak referred to with his mention of widespread use of crypto for foreign trade, and the identity of the foreign countries he mentioned is also obscure.

But the intent of the announcement appears clear: Iran will use cryptocurrency to settle cross-border trades.

That’s very significant because Iran is subject to extensive sanctions aimed at preventing its ability to acquire nuclear weapons and reduce its ability to sponsor terrorism. Sanctions prevent the sale of many commodities and technologies to Iran, and financial institutions aren’t allowed to deal with their Iranian counterparts, who are mostly shunned around the world.

As explained in this advisory [PDF] issued by the US Treasury, Iran has developed numerous practices to evade sanctions, including payment offsetting schemes that let it sell oil in contravention of sanctions. Proceeds of such sales are alleged to have been funnelled to terrorist groups.

While cryptocurrency’s anonymity has been largely disproved, trades in digital assets aren’t regulated so sanctions enforcement will be more complex if Iran and its trading partners use crypto instead of fiat currencies.

Which perhaps adds more weight to the argument that cryptocurrency has few proven uses beyond speculative trading, making the ransomware industry possible, and helping authoritarian states like Iran and North Korea to acquire materiel for weapons.

Peyman Pak’s mention of “widespread” cross-border crypto deals, facilitated by automated smart contracts, therefore represents a challenge to those who monitor and enforce sanctions – and something new to worry about for the rest of us. ®



Source link

Continue Reading

Technology

Edwards Lifesciences is hiring at its ‘key’ Shannon and Limerick facilities

Voice Of EU

Published

on

The medtech company is hiring for a variety of roles at both its Limerick and Shannon sites, the latter of which is being transformed into a specialised manufacturing facility.

Medical devices giant Edwards Lifesciences began renovations to convert its existing Shannon facility into a specialised manufacturing centre at the end of July.

The expansion will allow the company to produce components that are an integral part of its transcatheter heart valves. The conversion is part of Edwards Lifesciences’ expansion plan that will see it hire for hundreds of new roles in the coming years.

“The expanded capability at our Shannon facility demonstrates that our operations in Ireland are a key enabler for Edwards to continue helping patients across the globe,” said Andrew Walls, general manager for the company’s manufacturing facilities in Ireland.

According to Walls, hiring is currently underway at the company’s Shannon and Limerick facilities for a variety of functions such as assembly and inspection roles, manufacturing and quality engineering, supply chain, warehouse operations and project management.

Why Ireland?

Headquartered in Irvine, California, Edwards Lifesciences established its operations in Shannon in 2018 and announced 600 new jobs for the mid-west region. This number was then doubled a year later when it revealed increased investment in Limerick.

When the Limerick plant was officially opened in October 2021, the medtech company added another 250 roles onto the previously announced 600, promising 850 new jobs by 2025.

“As the company grows and serves even more patients around the world, Edwards conducted a thorough review of its global valve manufacturing network to ensure we have the right facilities and talent to address our future needs,” Walls told SiliconRepublic.com

“We consider multiple factors when determining where we decide to manufacture – for example, a location that will allow us to produce close to where products are utilised, a location that offers advantages for our supply chain, excellent local talent pool for an engaged workforce, an interest in education and good academic infrastructure, and other characteristics that will be good for business and, ultimately, good for patients.

“Both our Shannon and Limerick sites are key enablers for Edwards Lifesciences to continue helping patients across the globe.”

10 things you need to know direct to your inbox every weekday. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of essential sci-tech news.

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates 
directly on your inbox.

You have Successfully Subscribed!