Nokia X invite reveals a May 16 launch

The first Nokia phone to sport a notch is seemingly about to land, as an invite for an announcement on May 16 is doing the rounds. 

While the Nokia X isn’t named, the invite is in the shape of a phone with a notch at the top and it includes an image of roads making an X shape, so it’s almost certainly the Nokia X that’s being announced.

The invite, which was spotted by Nokiamob, is circulating on Baidu (a Chinese social media site), but if that’s not official enough for you the official Nokia account on Weibo (a Chinese microblogging site) has also posted an image of the Nokia X, saying that more is coming on May 16.

In fact, HMD Global (the company behind the new Nokia phones) has begun heavily teasing the handset, going so far as to show it off at a 6-day event in Beijing. All it’s showing is the design, so the specs and most of the features remain unknown, but that’s enough to confirm the notch and the otherwise almost bezel-free screen.

The Nokia X invite and a shot of the front of the phone. (Credit: Weibo/Baidu)

X or X6

It’s worth noting that the design is slightly different to a previously leaked image showing a phone rumored to be called the Nokia X6, which has a less rounded design and the Nokia logo in a different position.

So it’s not clear whether the earlier leak was wrong or whether there are two notched phones on the way – but given that the X6’s rumored April 27 announcement date has been and gone we’re guessing the former.

We’ve asked HMD Global for comment on the apparent May 16 launch and will update this story if we hear anything.

Via Phone Arena

BlackBerry KeyTwo takes another step closer to reality

Information on the rumored follow-up to the BlackBerry KeyOne is starting to increase in volume, with the latest leaks seeing the keyboard-toting handset head through China’s TENAA certification agency as well as appearing in some revealing spy shots.

Currently dubbed the BlackBerry KeyTwo (or Key2), the image uploaded to TENAA shows a device which looks similar to the KeyOne, with a physical keyboard below what appears to be an almost bezel-less display.

The design appears to fit with a render of the handset that leaked a few weeks ago, but that previous rumor showed us that the KeyTwo may well have bezels above and below its screen.

A familiar looking handset (credit: TENAA, via CrackBerry)

In the flesh

It’s not just the imagery from TENAA that we’ve got though, with a couple of shots claiming to show the new Key2 handset appearing on the CrackBerry forum and micro-blogging site Weibo.

A watermark in the corner of one of the images suggests the handset will be branded the BlackBerry Key2 (rather than KeyTwo), but we’ll have to wait for the phone’s official launch to know for sure.

With all of these leaks providing a similar looking handset, it gives each one more credibility, although there’s still no guarantee that this is the handset we’ll see BlackBerry Mobile launch this year.

Will it be called the Key2? (Credit: CrackBerry)

May Bank holiday sales 2018: Looking ahead for the best deals this weekend

May’s bank holiday sales are usually a great chance to grab a cheeky deal on a huge range of items. We’re giving you a front row seat to the bargain bonanza too and will be bringing you the latest offers on this very page. 

Naturally, we’ll be dig out lots of TechRadar-friendly deals on the latest tech, TVs, laptops, gaming consoles and other electronic devices. But if we spot decent offers on other items we think you might like, we’ll give those a shout too. After all, you’ve got better things to do on over the bank holiday than trawling every retailer site’s deals section, like trying to sneak the barbecue out of the shed without those rain clouds noticing.

We usually get an early heads-up on the discounts from the big retailers, so we’ll be able to bring you some great picks as soon as they go live. If you’d prefer to dig out a discounted treasure of your own, you’ll find links to the big stores that will be having a May bank holiday sale below with deal highlights set to go just underneath.

To stay tuned on all our regular deal updates, bookmark our deals page or follow us over on Twitter.

bank holiday sales

Bank Holiday Sales: Quick Links

The retailers below are bound to be saving some special deals for the bank holiday sales starting in a few days. Some launch pages are live now, but we expect the real discounts to start from Friday.

bank holiday sales

When do the bank holiday sales start?

The next bank holiday technically starts Monday May 7th in the UK. But we usually see the bank holiday sales spread over the whole weekend. So in reality, we’re expecting to see the big stores start promoting their best discounts by Friday May 4th.

We’ll round up the latest deals throughout the weekend below. The best bank holiday bargains will be made available on a first come, first served basis, so don’t leave it until the last minute to check out the deals – it might be too late!

If you do miss out though, there’s actually another bank holiday later in the month on May 28th, so we’re be sure to bring you the best deals that weekend too.

What sort of deals do we I expect in the bank holiday sales?

As a taste of things to come you’ll find our picks from an older Bank Holiday sale last August. These are the sort of benchmarks we’re hoping for again, although we’d certainly appreciate prices going a bit lower too. Naturally prices have gone back up on most of these items since.

LG 43UJ634V £449 @ Currys – save £50
This 43-inch 4K HDR screen was £50 cheaper at Currys than at any other UK retailer. For gamer ready to join the world of 4K HDR gaming then this was a great match. Update: You’re in luck today as this same TV is available for just £359 at Currys right now.

Garmin Forerunner 35 GPS running watch £114.99 @ Amazon – was £169.99
Garmin are one of the leading brands in the world of fitness trackers and we were very tempted by this discount as the GPS-fitted trackers are usually much more expensive than the more basic models. If it drops down to £114.99 again though this bank holiday sale might just be the redemption we need after three days of bacon and beer.

Dyson V6 cordless vacuum cleaner £169.99 @ Very – save £30 usually gets into the bank holiday spirit by discounting a wide range of Dyson vacuum cleaners. This cordless V6 was our pick of the bunch though and a steal at just under £170. The latest version, the V8 Absolute is closer to £500 at most stores so we’re to recommend an older model considering the large savings on offer.

iPad Pro 9.7-inch 128GB £449.98 @ BT, save £100
iPad don’t often get involved in mid-year sales in all honesty, but this was a grerat deal at the time, especially given it was the larger 128GB version. If you want to shop around for current deals, be sure to take a look at our regular iPad Pro deals page.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 £299 @ Currys – was £399
The £100 discount made this one of the best Android tablet deals in the UK last year and we’re keeping our fingers crossed we’ll see it again as we’re really not keen on the regular £400 RRP, especially seeing as the S3 is out now.

Philips Hue Colour Ambiance Starter Kit (Spotlight bulbs) £99.99 @ BT– was £129.99
This excellent £30 saving was one of the best Philips Hue Starter Kit deals we’d ever seen seen for the colour-changing smart bulbs. These GU10, or spotlight bulbs, are generally found in modern-build kitchens or alcove lighting. This Philips Hue Starter Kit contains three bulbs and the Hue Bridge 2.0, the device to connect the bulbs to your home Wi-Fi. If you’d to know more about the full range of Hue products and the latest prices, take a look at the extensive Philips Hue deals guide on our sister site,

Acer laptop with bag, mouse and security package £329 @ Tesco
The May bank holiday sales always come up with some decent laptop deals and we’re sure to find some more next week too. This was a great price for the laptop alone, but the bundled kit made it essential for anyone needing a basic work machine. Not that you have to wait for the bank holiday for a cheap laptop as shown over on our regular laptop deals page.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge £449 @ John Lewis – includes 2 year warranty
Older-gen phones tend to get some discount love over the bank holiday sales, like this S7 last year, so we’re expecting the S8 (and hopefully the S9) to get some tempting offers too.

Amazon Echo Dot £39.99 @ Amazon – was £49.99
Amazon likes any old excuse to discount its Echo products and we’re hoping for something similar this year on the Dot and some of the newer Echo speakers. If Amazon come down on price, expect other retailers to follow suit sharply. Handy if you’ve got a preferred store or a gift card burning a hole in your pocket.

Google Home £99 @ Currys, John Lewis, Argos – was £129
Google Home has faced stiff competition from the Amazon Echo devices, but it’s arguably a better fit for you if you enjoy the Google/Android ecosystem already. Plus you can play the free version of Spotify on Google Home – Premium only on the Amazon Echo. This was a great deal last year, but we’re perhaps likely to see a discount on the Google Home Mini too this weekend, especially if rival’s Amazon’s Echo Dot get a discount.

Nintendo Switch £259.99 @ Tesco – save £20
This year should be much better for Nintendo Switch deals as Nintendo kept running out of stock last year. The RRP has remained the same, but discounted games are included regularly now.

PS4 Pro, 90 days PS+, 4 games, £329.99 @ Tesco
PS4 Pro deals have been a bit rubbish of late, so we’re hoping the May bank holiday sales gives retailers the excuse to unleash the bargain beast. The new God of War game has been smashing it in the charts lately and is one of the best-looking games on the PS4 Pro, so we’d love to see some better bundles for that.

Xbox One X pre-order £449.99 @ Argos
We were still in pre-order phase last year and the discounts have been a little slow since the Xbox One X was released. fingers crossed May is the turning point then as we’d like to see at least two newish games bundled with the console for free to be honest.

Beeline smart navigation for bikes £76.09 – was £99.99
Beeline is an innovative (and super cheap!) gadget that’s essentially a basic sat nav for bicycles. Pop in your destination via the smartphone app you’ll get easy to read arrow-based directions. It’s super simple meaning you only need to glance at it to see which turns to make, making it easier to keep your eyes on the road and fellow road users. It’s waterproof too. Simple, safe and it was over £20 cheaper than anywhere at Amazon. With the weather (hopefully) turning around soon, this could be a great excuse to dust off the bike.

Oral-B Smart Series 4000 Electric Toothbrush £37.99 @ Amazon – save £20
This was one the cheapest bank holiday deals we saw on a  decent rechargeable toothbrush in the popular Philips range. It uses a two-pin plug often found in bathrooms. If you don’t have that socket there are plenty of cheap adapters online to charge it in a regular three-pin socket. We’re bound to see a decent electric toothbrush deal, so keep an eye on this page if you’ve been meaning to get a decent cheap one.

Stay tuned for the latest picks from the May bank holiday sales. We’ll be adding lots of fresh items soon once the deal start rolling in.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 spotted on Chinese certification website

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 reportedly got certified by China Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (CMIIT). The certification shows there are two variants of the phone, which could be the two chipsets— Exynos and Qualcomm.

As per a report on LetsGoDigital, the two variants have been certified, but there’s no additional information given. The models listed are SM-N9600 and SM-N9608.

Reports from the past

Earlier to this, the Galaxy Note 9 made its appearance on Geekbench, which detailed a Snapdragon 845 chipset that scored 2190 for single core and 8806 for multi core tests. But the model number on the Geekbench test was dissimilar to the one leaked today. That model was dubbed as SM-N960U.

It’s worth noting also that this is the Snapdragon 845 version of the Galaxy Note 9, but there will probably also be an Exynos 9810 version launched outside the US which may well be faster.

Furthermore, the Samsung flagship is also rumoured to have a 4000mAh battery, which could be a huge bump over the Galaxy Note 8.

The Galaxy Note 9 will surely continue with the S Pen supports, as it is attached to the core purpose of the Note series. It is also said to feature Bixby 2.0 (expected to be a improved Bixby).

It is said to miss the in-display fingerprint sensor. Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities – an analyst who is often right with Samsung predictions – says the company won’t have in-screen fingerprint tech ready for the Note 9 because of “technical difficulties”.

Unlike the Galaxy S8, Samsung hasn’t been able to put an impact with this year’s Galaxy S9. There are some enhancements and additional features, but they do not add up to be called an incremental update. The hopes are with the Note 9, and it could be Samsung’s real flagship of the year. 

HTC Desire 12 and 12 Plus with ‘new-retro’ features now in the UAE

HTC has unveiled the Desire 12 and 12 Plus, two phones that bring the new, longer 18:9 screen format at a lower cost.

The Desire 12 has a 5.5-inch screen with less bezel around the side, and offers a single 13MP sensor on the rear of the phone, with an f/2.2 aperture sensor. 

It’s got 2GB of RAM with 16GB of onboard storage, or 3GB if you go for the 32GB capacity, and both variants are capable of handling up to 2TB micro SD cards.

Inside is a Mediatek quad-core CPU, which hints at a lower cost for the phone, as does the fact the HTC Desire 12 screen is only a 5.5-inch HD panel.

That means a resolution of 720 x 1440, and it’s a long way from the QHD of the top-end Samsung Galaxy S9, for instance.

The HTC Desire 12

The HTC Desire 12 Plus pumps things up a little, and will clearly be the more expensive of the two, although has the same lower resolution. 

The main change is to the camera on the rear of the phone, with the 13MP sensor joined by a 2MP option, designed to give some background blur bokeh effects.

It’s a hint to the past here, where HTC was one of the first brands out there to bring dual sensors to the market, with the HTC One M8 offering the same depth perception.

The retro twist doesn’t stop there on these phones, as both will have a similar acrylic glass rear to the HTC U11, although stop short of using the same Liquid Glass technique that made those phones look so stunning.

The HTC Desire 12+ is also running a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 CPU under the hood, with slightly more grunt being fed into the handset. Whether that’s the reason the Desire 12 Plus is running Android Oreo and the smaller Desire 12 an unknown version of Android remains to be seen, though.

HTC has priced the Desire 12 at AED 729 while the Desire 12+ will go for AED 899. Both the phones will start hitting retail shelved in the first week of May. Color options include Cool Black and Warm Silver and an all-new signature Royal Gold color never seen on HTC device before, though that will later be unveiled at a later stage.

Both these phones will come equipped with HTC’s decent Sense software, which brings a more professional and premium experience to the mix, combined with the stronger build quality we still expect from the brand.

Ask Siri to Define ‘Mother’ and You’ll Get a Surprisingly Explicit Response

Coinbase CTO Balaji Srinivasan joins the speakers at TechCrunch’s first blockchain event

Boom, boom, boom! We’re announcing another big name for our upcoming blockchain event in Zug, Switzerland, on July 6 after Coinbase CTO Balaji Srinivasan joined the line-up.

The event — TC: Sessions Blockchain — will be TechCrunch’s first show dedicated to blockchain, it takes place in the world’s “Crypto Valley” and we’ll be joined by a host of top names. Some of those include Ethereum creator Vitalik ButerinRoham Gharegozlou, the founder of smash-hit blockchain game CryptoKittiesBrian Behlendorf, executive director of the Hyperledger Project, and OmiseGo CEO Jun Hasegawa.

Don’t miss it! Tickets are priced at 495 Swiss Francs — or around $500 — and they’re available from the event website here.

Fresh from announcing Buterin’s participation, we’re excited to host Srinivasan, who is another massively-respected thinker and visionary in the blockchain space.

Srinivasan became the first-ever CEO at Coinbase, the U.S. crypto giant that is now reportedly valued as high as $8 billion, in April after it bought, where he had been CEO, in a deal priced at over $100 million.

Beyond the day job, Srinivasan is a board member at influential VC firm Andreessen Horowitz — which is planning its first dedicated crypto fund — and he holds a BS, MS, and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and an MS in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University. He previously founded genetic testing company Counsyl, and occasionally teaches at Stanford.

TechCrunch will sit down for a one-on-one interview with Srinivasan, a long-time blockchain advocate in Silicon Valley, to discuss a multitude of topics, some of which may include his plans for Coinbase, the blockchain talent war, blockchain adoption among Silicon Valley’s tech community, how he turned around from a debt-plagued business into a Coinbase acquisition and more.

One thing we do know is he is charged with bringing more innovation to Coinbase, a company that only trades four cryptocurrencies — so he is keeping a keen eye on what is happening on the blockchain space.

“There’s a lot of amazing stuff happening,” he said in a recent interview with TechCrunch. “Atomic swaps, sharding, plasma, proof of stake, etc, and a big part of my job will be to take all of that stuff, and rank it based on whether we can use it to create new products for our users.”

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, pictured below at TechCrunch Disrupt London in 2014, called Srinavasan “one of the most respected technologists in the crypto field and… one of the technology industry’s few true originalists.”

Blockchain is the most disruptive new technology in technology today, and we’re excited to host our first show that is solely dedicated to the blockchain. The event takes place in the Swiss city of Zug — widely known as “Crypto Valley” due to its sizable number of crypto companies and a progressive approach to regulation — and it will bring together top figures from the blockchain space, developer community and business and startup worlds.

Other prominent speakers confirmed for the July 6 event include:

  • Roham Gharegozlou, the founder of smash-hit blockchain game CryptoKitties
  • Brian Behlendorf, executive director of the Hyperledger Project
  • Leanne Kemp, founder and CEO of Everledger
  • Jun Hasegawa, CEO and founder of Omise and OmiseGo
  • Mona El Isa, CEO and co-founder of Melonport
  • Colin Hanna, associate at Balderton Capital
  • Galia Benartzi, co-founder and head of Business Development at Bancor
  • Gert Sylvest, co-founder of Tradeshift and GM of Tradeshift Frontiers

You can get your hands on tickets now — they’re priced at 495 Swiss Francs, or around $500 — from the event website here.

If you’re interested in sponsoring the event, please contact us via this link.

Note: The author owns a small amount of cryptocurrency. Enough to gain an understanding, not enough to change a life.