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Galaxy Fold, Mate X prices make the Galaxy S10, iPhone XS’ cost almost reasonable – CNET

If you think your Android phone or iPhone is expensive now, just wait. Foldable phones like the Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X, and 5G-ready devices, like the Galaxy S10 5G and plenty more, will soon push phone prices well over the $1,000 mark that’s become the ceiling for premium phones. All that’s about to change.…

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Galaxy Fold, Mate X prices make the Galaxy S10, iPhone XS’ cost almost reasonable     – CNET

If you think your Android phone or iPhone is expensive now, just wait. Foldable phones like the Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X, and 5G-ready devices, like the Galaxy S10 5G and plenty more, will soon push phone prices well over the $1,000 mark that’s become the ceiling for premium phones. All that’s about to change.
Samsung’s foldable Galaxy Fold starts at $1,980 (roughly £1,500 or AU$2,800) for the 4G version, a price that Samsung justifies by virtue of its foldable phone being a luxury device that’s also a true phone-tablet hybrid. (Samsung hasn’t shown off the Fold in person yet, apart from a presentation piece behind glass.) The company hasn’t announced pricing for either of its 5G products, the Galaxy Fold 5G going on sale April 26, or the Galaxy S10 5G that’s is expected later this summer. 
Meanwhile, Huawei’s foldable phone, the Mate X, will cost buyers 2,300 euros, or roughly $2,600. That’s high for a phone swathed in leather and sapphire crystal, and unprecedented for one made of plastic. Huawei, too, positions the foldable Mate X in this new category of hybrid devices.

Even 4G “candy bar”-shaped phones in 2019 that don’t bend and don’t have 5G are seeing price inflation. The Galaxy S10 ($900) costs 20 percent more than the median price of the Galaxy S9 ($850). Likewise, the budget-minded Motorola G7 ($299) rose 20 percent from the Moto G6 ($249). Even the OnePlus 6T crept up 3.8 percent from the OnePlus 6 ($529) over the course of four months.
And that’s for the starting models. Level up your storage capacity and phones become more costly still. For example, if you want an iPhone XS ($1,000) with 512GB storage capacity, you’ll pay 35 percent more ($1,349). 

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While there are certain conditions nudging prices higher, this triumvirate of rising costs is making most phones explosively expensive in 2019. New technologies and designs like foldable screens and 5G speeds are pushing prices higher in the name of advancement, but they are also positioning brands to create an ultra-high-end segment that can make each sale more profitable. That’s important in a climate where phone sales are slowing, and people hold onto their devices for three years or more. 
The fact that people buy increasingly costly handsets in the top tier underscores the cell phone’s importance as an everything-device for communication, work, photography and entertainment. And as processing power, camera technology, battery life and internet data speeds improve generation after generation, the value people attach to a phone is sure to swell.  
Samsung’s Galaxy Fold at work.
Samsung
“Consumers are prepared to pay a premium for a mobile phone because it is arguably the most important product in their lives,” said Ben Wood, the chief research analyst at CCS Insight.
The data from 13 phone models from 2016 to 2019 shows a pattern of sharp price hikes that we expect to heighten in 2019 and beyond (see chart below). 
Rising prices aren’t unusual on their own. Faster, better components like processors and multiplying cameras cost more to make. The financial load of researching and developing new materials also gets folded into the final product. 
And inflation affects the cost of goods outside of tech, too. But R&D spending and inflation don’t tell the entire story your phone’s creeping expense. 
Read: Galaxy S10 5G and OnePlus 5G phones: 6 things you need to know now

Yep, your phone costs more every year
With few exceptions, phone prices from top brands are on the rise. The uptick is immediately noticeable when comparing phone prices from today with the same model released two or in some cases, three, years ago.
Apple’s prices have risen at a steady rate for both its standard size iPhone along with the Plus and Max lines, making the iPhone XS Max a luxury spinoff. Samsung’s Galaxy S, S Plus and Note prices are swinging upward too for standard models. 
Yes, the Galaxy S10E comes in at a lower $750, but the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10 Plus are more expensive now than their Galaxy S9 equivalents were a year ago.

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US phone prices from 2016-2019

2016 (starting price)

2017 (starting price)

2018 (starting price)

2019 (starting price)

% change of highest price from 2016 to current model

Galaxy S10 E

N/A

N/A

N/A

Galaxy S10E: $750

N/A

Samsung Galaxy

Galaxy S7: $650-695

Galaxy S8: $720-$750

Galaxy S9: $720-$800

Galaxy S10: $900

29.5%

Samsung Galaxy Plus

S7 Edge: $750-795

Galaxy S8 Plus: $785-$850

Galaxy S9 Plus: $840-$930

Galaxy S10 Plus: $1,000

25.8%

Samsung Galaxy Note

Note 7: $834-880

Note 8: $930-960

Note 9: $1,000

Expected Aug 2019

13.6%

Motorola Moto G

Moto G4: $199

Moto G5 Plus (no Moto G5 in the US): $229

Moto G6: $249

Moto G7: $299

50%

LG G series

LG G5: $576-689

LG G6: $600-720

LG G7: $750-790

LG G8: TBD

14.7%

LG V series

LG V20: $672-829

LG V30: $800-912

LG V40: $900-$980

LG V50: TBD

18.2%

iPhone (cheapest)

iPhone 7: $649

iPhone 8: $699

iPhone XR: $749

Expected Sept. 2019

15.4%

iPhone X

N/A

iPhone X: $999

iPhone XS: $999

Expected Sept. 2019

0%

iPhone Plus/Max

iPhone 7 Plus: $769

iPhone 8 Plus: $799

iPhone XS Max: $1,099

Expected Sept. 2019

42.9%

OnePlus

OnePlus 3: $399

OnePlus 5: $479 / OnePlus 5T: $499

OnePlus 6: $529 / OnePlus 6T: $549

Expected June 2019

37.6%

Google Pixel

Pixel: $649

Pixel 2: $649

Pixel 3: $799

Expected Oct. 2019

23.10%

Google Pixel Plus

Pixel XL: $769

Pixel 2 XL: $849

Pixel 3 XL: $899

Expected Oct. 2019

16.9%

We’ve seen steady escalation from OnePlus, whose price jumps up each time a new model arrives. OnePlus is currently on track for two variations per year: the OnePlus 6T launched in Oct. 2018 for $549 for the base configuration. 
The OnePlus 7’s rumored $569 price tag seems like a negligible bump, especially since it’ll still cost almost half the price of a $1,000 phone. Regardless, the cost of ownership to you is on the rise.
“As reliance on smartphones has increased drastically over a short amount of time, the increase in quality and components across the industry required to meet high performance demands has also risen,” a OnePlus representative said last August.
The “5G” in the Galaxy S10 5G will make this phone cost more than a G.
Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
According to LG, “Key [pricing] factors include the cost of components, competitor pricing, carrier incentives, tariffs, etc.,” Ken Hong, LG’s senior director of global communications, said in an email. “Fact is, these input costs are rising so we’re forced to follow suit.”
CNET reached out to all manufacturers mentioned in this story for comment.
Interestingly, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL cost the same as the Pixel and Pixel XL. However, Google raised the Pixel 3 price 23 percent, without adding a second camera on the back and making minimal design changes. Google has pushed up the price to match the competition.

But making phones is more expensive now, right?
Phones, like all electronics, are composed of parts sourced from various suppliers, and if the cost of those parts goes up, it’s a sure bet the cost of the phones will, too.
Demand for more storage over the past few years has triggered price hikes, pushing up the cost of memory and prompting suppliers to invest in building more factories to meet the demand, according to Wood. 
These five cameras on the back of the Nokia 9 PureView don’t come free.
Sarah Tew/CNET
Adding more sophisticated cameras — like the iPhone XS’ 3D depth sensing front-facing camera — or more lenses, like the Galaxy S10 and Huawei Mate 20 Pro’s three rear shooters or the Nokia 9 PureView’s five rear cameras, costs more too. And so do materials like bendable screens, glass or ceramic for a phone’s backing, or sturdy aerospace-grade aluminum for the frame.
You can bet that the first phone to debut a diamond glass screen or the new, smudge-resistant Vibrant Satin Corning Gorilla Glass won’t be cheap. It’s also expensive for companies like Samsung to build a whole new manufacturing process for elements like the Infinity Flex display used on the Galaxy Fold.

If you generate enough value, then consumers will be ready to pay.
Justin Denison, SVP of Samsung Mobile.
Yet while the cost of all these components — called the Bill of Materials, or BOM — can partially explain why high-end phones cost more each year, many experts say that phonemakers are padding their profits.
“I certainly accept that some elements of the cost came from the components and the manufacturing process… but not to that order of magnitude,” Wood said.
ZTE’s Axon 10 Pro 5G is one of many handsets ready for the 5G era to begin. 
Andrew Hoyle/CNET
Carolina Milanesi, an analyst with Creative Strategies, agrees.
“There is certainly more going into these phones than ever before,” she said in an email. “The BOM is certainly growing for these devices, but I do think that there is a premium margin applied by the brands to their flagship products because they are status symbols.”
The 5G and foldable effect
Apple and Samsung struggled with stagnant sales that dogged their 2018, but that didn’t stop Apple in particular from profiting handsomely.
In August 2018, it became a trillion dollar company, on the back of high iPhone sales margins, even as it slipped to being the third-place phonemaker behind Huawei. Whether interest continues to cool or picks up with 5G and foldable phones is something that industry-watchers keep a close eye on in 2019.
Still, the advent of 5G and foldable phone designs will likely give phone manufacturers more license to prop up costs. 5G phones require completely new technology inside the device, and phones have to be tailor-made to work with a single carrier. That’s at least until 5G networks really get off the ground. In the early days of 5G phones, prices could rise by $200 or $300 per phone, OnePlus told CNET in December 2018. 

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We’re still waiting for pricing on most of the 5G phones that have been announced so far.
“If you generate enough value [in the phone], then consumers will be ready to pay,” said Justin Denison, Samsung’s SVP of mobile, last December when Samsung first discussed its 5G phone.
Even greater burgeoning costs apply to foldable phone designs, which include the Galaxy Fold, Mate X and a rumored foldable Motorola Razr for $1,500. These phones will have bendable plastic screens that open into a larger display, like a tablet, but fold into a device around the same height and width as today’s phones (though thicker).
If you want the best of the best, prepare to part with your cash.
Angela Lang/CNET
Compared to these $1,500 and $2,000 devices, a premium 4G phone for $1,000 seems typical. Yet mushrooming costs on the highest-end can still result in more expensive 4G phones in 2019, that don’t have 5G radios and foldable displays. With today’s Galaxy S10, iPhone XS and Huawei Mate 20 Pro nudging prices skyward, other players have reason to follow suit. Even midtier models can get away with raising their price tags so long as the devices cost relatively less. 
For example, the OnePlus 6T at $549 still costs nearly half of what you’d shell out for the Galaxy S10 Plus and iPhone XS, a relative value that many find easy enough to swallow for a “cheaper” phone with high-end parts.
According to Wood, the analyst, it all started when Apple announced the $1,000 iPhone X. “They did the whole industry a favor,” Wood said. “That gave all the other manufacturers some breathing space and I can imagine there was a certain delight in the corridors of Samsung and Huawei and others.”
OnePlus phone prices are rising, but generally remain about half the cost of the top tier.
Angela Lang/CNET
Lifting the price ceiling has one other consequence. Apple and Samsung both introduced the iPhone XR and Galaxy S10E as a $750 palate-cleanser to the starting prices of the iPhone XS ($1,000) and Galaxy S10 ($900). Comparatively, $750 seems like a downright deal. Lowering the cost of entry to an “affordable flagship” is a play to keep cost-conscious buyers within the iPhone or Galaxy family, respectively.
Midrange phones are still affordable, but may not be immune
Although foldable and 5G phones are blowing buyers’ price expectations out of the water, that may not mean that the cost of every phone will rise at such sharp rates.
We continue to see fierce competition in the middle and low end where phones like the Motorola Moto G7 and E5 families turn out excellent budget handsets. Yes, the prices are rising by percentage, as with the Moto G6 to G7, but since the overall cost is still right about $300, Motorola’s move presents a much less drastic shift than on the high end. Even at that higher-end though, a $1,000 “premium phone” might still cost hundreds less than a cutting-edge 5G device, and possibly half the amount of a foldable phone.
Phones like the Moto G7 and G7 Plus (pictured) remain firmly in the budget range.
Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET
Other brands for wallet-watchers to look for include Huawei’s Honor brand, Nokia, Xiaomi, Sony, Oppo and Asus, which help fill the gap worldwide by quietly cranking out basic, affordable phones for cost-sensitive buyers. They each make premium phones as well as midprice devices, although not every phone will be available in every market. 
So while the shiniest, most powerful devices are still locked on a path to their highest prices yet, there’s still a strong demand for midrange and entry-level phones aimed at people with tighter budgets or more basic needs.
If a $1,000 phone sounds too outrageous, you may need to find beauty in a more modest phone, or get over the sticker shock and accept that the days of a $600 flagship phone are long behind us. $1,000, in fact, is becoming the new normal.
Originally published Aug. 5, 2018 and regularly updated.

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2021 Mazda6 review: G’bye, gorgeous – Roadshow

After all this time, the Mazda6 still looks great. Kyle Hyatt/Roadshow The venerable sedan used to be the default choice for most new car buyers. Every company made some, and they were just about guaranteed to outsell anything other than pickup trucks. Times have certainly changed, however, and compact and midsize sedans are dropping like…

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2021 Mazda6 review: G’bye, gorgeous     – Roadshow

After all this time, the Mazda6 still looks great.
Kyle Hyatt/Roadshow
The venerable sedan used to be the default choice for most new car buyers. Every company made some, and they were just about guaranteed to outsell anything other than pickup trucks. Times have certainly changed, however, and compact and midsize sedans are dropping like flies as automakers shift their focus to crossovers and SUVs. Mazda just confirmed the fashionable Mazda6 won’t live to see 2022, and following a drive in the 2021 Carbon Edition, I can tell you this sedan’s demise hurts more than most.

LikeGreat turbo engineExcellent ride qualityLuxurious interiorGorgeous exterior

Don’t LikeAntiquated techMediocre fuel economy

Arguably the best thing about the Mazda6 is how it drives. It’s currently available with two engines: a 2.5-liter I4 with 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque, and the uplevel 2.5-liter turbo I4 found in my test car, with a healthy 250 hp and a borderline-silly 320 lb-ft. Both engines are paired with a somewhat archaic six-speed automatic transmission, driving the front wheels exclusively.On the road, the six-speed auto is largely ignorable — and I mean that as a compliment. The transmission shifts smoothly and imperceptibly, though with only six forward gears, fuel economy isn’t exactly outstanding. The EPA rates the 2021 Mazda6 2.5T at 23 mpg city, 29 mpg highway and 26 mpg combined, but at least I’m able to match those estimates without issue.

As is the case with most Mazdas, the 6’s goodness isn’t about its power, it’s how it feels on the road. The Mazda6 is fun to drive on a curvy road but also very comfortable and compliant even on terribly maintained Los Angeles streets. The steering is quick and perfectly weighted, and there’s a sense of lightness to the chassis. If I have one criticism, it’s that the engine’s healthy torque often overwhelms the stock all-season tires, making unintentional chirps a fairly regular occurrence.When the Mazda6 was refreshed for the 2018 model year, one key focus was to make the interior look and feel more luxurious and upscale. This was largely successful, as the 2021 Mazda6 uses some excellent materials and the overall cabin design is clean and modern. This sedan has arguably one of the most elegant and understated interiors to come out of Japan in a while. The high-quality leather and solid-feeling plastics go a long way toward accomplishing Mazda’s goal. The tall gear lever and mostly analog instrument panel feel a little old compared with what’s in more modern competitors, but they’re perfectly functional and easy to use.

An upscale interior is a highlight of the Mazda6.
Kyle Hyatt/Roadshow
Mazda has always lagged behind rivals like Honda and Toyota when it comes to infotainment technology, and that’s evident in the 6. The 8-inch touchscreen atop the dash is bright and easy to read. The standard Mazda Connect software is pretty antiquated, and Mazda’s insistence on locking out the touchscreen while you’re moving is super annoying, especially if you need to do something that can’t be controlled with voice commands. Thankfully, the 6 has wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto integration, so maybe just rely on your smartphone’s tech for infotainment duties.

When it comes to safety tech, the Mazda6 offers a suite of driver assistance systems on par with the rest of the class. Things like automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, automatic high beams, blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert and adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability are all standard on my loaded Carbon Edition tester. Are any of these features class-leading? No. But they’re all things I’d expect to see at this price.Where the Mazda6 continues to lead the midsize sedan class is in exterior design. Sleek and sophisticated, this is an incredibly pretty car, even when stacked up against fresh competition like the Hyundai Sonata and the Kia K5. But once you dig a little deeper, the Mazda6’s old bones just can’t keep it relevant against hot newcomers, even with its powerful turbo engine. The Honda Accord 2.0T is better than it’s ever been, and the Hyundai Sonata N Line is freaking brilliant.One of the good ones, right here.
Kyle Hyatt/Roadshow
The 2021 Mazda6 Carbon Edition comes with all the bells and whistles, with no options apart from $500 parking sensors and $400 embedded navigation. My tester retails for $34,845, including Mazda’s $995 destination fee, which isn’t unreasonable but is still slightly more than the sporty Sonata N Line, which has a better drivetrain, newer tech and a more comprehensive warranty — though the Mazda’s looks are likely less polarizing.Of course, even the less expensive trims have plenty of appeal. The base Mazda6 Sport trim with its nonturbocharged engine retails for just $25,470, including destination. The turbo engine becomes available on the Grand Touring model, which starts at $31,170. The top-tier Signature, with its wood and ultrasuede interior trim, will set you back $36,895. Basically, there’s a Mazda6 for most budgets and the inherently great chassis is standard on all of them.All told, the 6 continues to show off the things Mazda does best: great handling, nice interiors and stellar looks. The Mazda6 might not present as strong a case as it once did, but it’s still a favorite among enthusiasts. I’ll be very sad to see this driver-oriented sedan go.

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Toshiba Amazon Fire TV C350 series review: Alexa, what’s on? – CNET

The C350 series from Toshiba gives big-screen, physical form to Amazon’s Fire TV streaming system. From the fonts to the colors, if you’ve interacted with any Fire TV stick or other Amazon TV device, you’ll be fully familiar with this television. As you’d expect, it leans hard into Alexa and has full Amazon Prime Video integration, but…

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Toshiba Amazon Fire TV C350 series review: Alexa, what’s on?     – CNET

The C350 series from Toshiba gives big-screen, physical form to Amazon’s Fire TV streaming system. From the fonts to the colors, if you’ve interacted with any Fire TV stick or other Amazon TV device, you’ll be fully familiar with this television. As you’d expect, it leans hard into Alexa and has full Amazon Prime Video integration, but it also has other streaming services like Netflix, Disney Plus, HBO Max and more. 

LikeAlexa powers superior voice featuresVoice remote included

Don’t LikeSmart TV menus lag behind RokuOvert focus on Amazon services

Picture quality on the C350 was fine for a budget TV, if a little worse than the competition. In my side-by-side comparisons its color and contrast couldn’t quite match the TCL 4-Series and Vizio V-Series, but at this price the image quality differences probably don’t matter that much. Arguably more important is the smart TV, and while Alexa beats Roku and Vizio for voice control, we like Roku’s simpler, more agnostic smart TV approach better. It’s also annoying that some non-Amazon services, like Vudu, get short shrift, while others, namely Peacock, aren’t available at all.Right now the C350 also costs more than either of those competitors from TCL and Vizio, but with Prime Day fast approaching, we wouldn’t be surprised to see a big price drop. Until that happens, however, we can only truly recommend it for someone who fully embraces the Bezos bonanza and wants their TV to be a part of that. 

Read more: Early Prime Day TV deals: Save on models from Insignia, LG, TCL, Toshiba and VizioThe Toshiba C350 series is available in 43-, 50- and 55-inch versions, with larger 65- and 75-inch sizes coming soon. I reviewed the 50-inch model.

Prime features and connectionsLike other TVs at this price the C530 is a basic 4K HDR model — no fancy extras like next-gen gaming perks, local dimming, wide color gamut or tons of light here. Its Fire TV functionality is the major feature here and the menus have what Amazon calls a content-forward design: lots of thumbnails for TV shows and movies as opposed to tiles like Roku. Many focus on Amazon’s Prime Video library, but you can download apps for other major streaming services, which unpack rows of their thumbnails.

Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
I liked the Toshiba’s remote better than the TCL’s because it features Alexa voice as well as Bluetooth, so you don’t have to aim it at the TV. The button layout is simple and clean, if not quite as sparse as Roku, and includes prominent white shortcut keys to various services. The C350 basically ties the Roku in most user-friendly setup screens. It has the added bonus that if you’re an Amazon Prime member (and I assume you are if you’re considering this TV), once you go through the initial setup you’ve already logged in and are ready to watch shows and movies.Fire TV’s setup menus are simple and straightforward.
Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
One frustrating design decision is that the picture settings menu covers one-third of the screen, and shadows about half. This menu doesn’t disappear or shrink when you make adjustments either. Now, you would think this would only be a problem if you’re a TV reviewer like me using test patterns (don’t get me wrong, it absolutely is), but it also makes it harder if you’re trying to eyeball the correct setting at home. That’s because the majority of the screen is not what the screen will look like once you exit the menus. Probably not a huge deal for most buyers, to be fair, but it’s a bummer if you like to get a TV looking as good as possible.Read more: Stop watching bad TV picture settings: 9 ways to optimize your big screenThose picture big adjustment menus can mess with your tweaks. 
Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
Energy Star rating for the 50-inch model is $21 a year, which is mid-pack for this range of TVs.Some TVs in this price range have three HDMI inputs, and it certainly isn’t a bad thing that the C350 has four. It even has analog video and audio inputs. So if you have an old gaming console or any retro A/V gear, you’re in luck. If you decide you want to go your own streaming route and eschew Fire TV, you won’t be able to power most streaming sticks from the TV’s USB connections. Not a huge deal: It just means you’ll need to run power separately to the stick.HDMI inputs: fourComposite analog inputUSB ports: two (0.5A power)Internet: Wi-Fi, WiredAntenna inputAnalog audio output (3.5mm)Optical digital audio outputSpeakers: two downward-firing
Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
Alexa, what’s Vudu?The voice search works well. It directs you to Amazon in most cases, but it does give you some alternate options. For example, if you say “Thor Ragnarok” it will bring up a screen with that and some related content, and if you select the movie out of those choices you have the option to buy or rent on Amazon — or watch it on Disney Plus. Another click brings up additional places to watch. However, it doesn’t show all options like Roku or Vizio would. It doesn’t show you Vudu, for example. It’s actually worth focusing on Vudu as an example of the limitations forced on this Toshiba, presumably by Amazon. There is, technically, a Vudu app. So at first glance in a store or on a checklist, it seems to have more options to buy or rent content than just Amazon. The truth, however, is that it’s an ancient version of the Vudu app that has an archaic interface and only allows you to watch SD content. You read that correctly: not even HD, and forget about 4K. And that’s for content you already own. You can’t buy anything in the Vudu app. You have to go to Vudu’s website to buy it. With TCL/Roku, Vizio and Samsung, you can buy directly in the app. So you should absolutely consider this TV not just “primarily” an Amazon device, but an Amazon device that might lock you out of non-Amazon stuff. 
Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
It’s also worth repeating that Fire TV, and by extension this TV, is the only major streaming platform to lack an app for Peacock. Subscribers can try side-loading if they’re adventurous, but our advice is to get a different TV if Peacock is important to you.Picture quality comparisonsThe TCL 4-Series and Vizio V-series are direct competitors of the Toshiba C530, with similar features and prices, so they make ideal comparison models. I connected them via a Monoprice 1×4 distribution amplifier and viewed them side-by-side-by-side watching a mix of HD, 4K and 4K HDR content.The Vizio and the TCL look very similar. The Toshiba is in one way better and most other ways slightly worse. It’s significantly brighter than either, nearing the much more-expensive Samsung Q60A with non-HDR content (although with HDR content the Samsung is far brighter). None of these TVs are dim, of course, but if you have an extremely bright room and need all the light you can get from your TV, the Toshiba has an advantage.That said, with test patterns it was readily apparent that the C350 only achieved its peak brightness for a few seconds, then immediately dimmed. With actual content, this wasn’t readily noticeable. It did this regardless of settings, so it’s possible it was still doing it with actual content, just not as much or as noticeably as with test patterns. In other aspects of picture quality, the C350 isn’t as good as the other two. Not significantly, but when viewing them all at the same time, enough that you could see it. The color is a little less accurate, a little less lifelike. The contrast is a little less punchy. It wasn’t bad, but when I’d slide across the couch to view either the TCL or Vizio (all have mediocre off-axis picture quality), those two just looked a little better.Prime real estate?Anyone looking for a budget TV has some excellent options all for very little money. The TCL 4-Series is probably the best choice for most people, especially those who don’t know their contrast from their composite. It’s easy to use thanks to its Roku interface, and has access to all the major streaming services. The Vizio V-Series is nearly as good, with more picture setting options and a more lively interface. Which leaves the C350. If you buy everything through Amazon, including renting movies and buying TV shows, then it’s probably fine. But the limitations imposed by Fire TV might be frustrating in the long run. A more budget-agnostic TV, like the TCL/Roku or the Vizio, allow you to get content any way you want (mostly), without funneling or limiting you to Amazon’s ecosystem. It’s sort of like a car that only drives on certain roads. If you only drive on those roads, that’s fine. But if you want to take a new shortcut to work, you’re out of luck. If someone’s not very tech-savvy and has gotten used to Fire TV specifically, or Alexa generally, then this might be a good choice because it’s very much an Amazon product, despite the name on the bottom. For everyone else, however, I’d recommend the TCL or Vizio first.

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Huawei Chairman Urges US to Reconsider ‘Attack’ on Global Supply Chain

Chinese telecom giant Huawei said on Wednesday its supply chain was under attack from the United States and called on Washington to reconsider its trade restrictions which were hurting suppliers globally.The world’s biggest maker of mobile telecommunications equipment and smartphones is under pressure from US trade curbs designed to choke Huawei’s access to commercially available…

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Huawei Chairman Urges US to Reconsider ‘Attack’ on Global Supply Chain

Chinese telecom giant Huawei said on Wednesday its supply chain was under attack from the United States and called on Washington to reconsider its trade restrictions which were hurting suppliers globally.The world’s biggest maker of mobile telecommunications equipment and smartphones is under pressure from US trade curbs designed to choke Huawei’s access to commercially available chips.”The US has modified their sanctions for the third time and that has indeed brought great challenges to our production and operations,” Huawei Chairman Guo Ping told reporters in Shanghai.Washington says Huawei is a vehicle for Chinese state espionage and from September 15 imposed new curbs barring US companies from supplying or servicing the company. Huawei has repeatedly denied being a national security risk.Guo said that although Huawei had sufficient chips for its business-to-business operations, including its 5G network enterprise, it was feeling the pinch of the US restrictions on its smartphone chip stocks.It understood that suppliers such as Qualcomm were applying for US licences which would allow them to continue serving Huawei, he added.Intel has already received licences to supply certain products to Huawei, while China’s Semiconductor Manufacturing, which uses US-origin machinery to produce chips for Huawei, has applied for a licence, Reuters has previously reported.Huawei was willing to use Qualcomm chips in its smartphones should Qualcomm get a licence to sidestep the restrictions, Guo added. Qualcomm did not immediately respond to a request for comment.”We hope the US government can reconsider its policy and if the US government allows it we are still willing to buy products from US companies,” Guo said on the sidelines of its annual Huawei Connect conference.Huawei has said that from September 15 it would stop manufacturing its most advanced chips under its Kirin line which power its high-end phones. Analysts expect its existing supply of Kirin chips will run out next year.Consumers have rushed to buy Huawei phones amid concerns its mobile division is about to fold. Vendors say that prices have spiked by as much as CNY 500 (roughly Rs. 5,400) for some devices.Washington has shown little sign that it is willing to back down from its fight with Huawei, which comes at a time when relations between the United States and China are at their worst in decades.The United States said last month it would expand a programme it called “Clean Network” to prevent various Chinese apps and telecoms companies from accessing sensitive information on American citizens and businesses.David Wang, a Huawei executive director, said the company hoped that countries would introduce “rational standards” for 5G. Huawei had yet to see any adverse impact on its global 5G business from the US programme, he added.© Thomson Reuters 2020Are Apple Watch SE, iPad 8th Gen the Perfect ‘Affordable’ Products for India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

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