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Top stories from last week: 5G comes to the Snapdragon 400 series, a handful of new phones, and another round of app bans


Last week was quite a busy one, further proof that the tech industry is already at full throttle. Not only were there a handful of new phones from manufacturers such as Redmi, Realme, and Motorola but there were some early CES announcements too and another round of app bans. Qualcomm also has a new 5G chipset for budget phones.

Snapdragon 480 5G

5G for you, 5G for me, 5G for everyone!!!

5G smartphones are about to get even cheaper as Qualcomm announced the first Snapdragon 400 series 5G processor last week. The Snapdragon 480 5G not only brings the new network standard but also packs significant upgrades in performance and image processing compared to the previous generation (Snapdragon 460). HMD Global, OnePlus, and OPPO have already signed up for the chipset, so look out for phones from them.

New phones from Alcatel, Coolpad, Lava, Motorola, Xiaomi, Realme, Samsung

No less than 10 new phones were announced last week. From the Xiaomi Mi 10i that was unveiled in India to the Redmi Note 9T and Redmi 9T announced in Europe, to Samsung and Coolpad taking the wraps off the Galaxy M02s and Cool S respectively in Nepal. Alcatel also announced two new phones in Argentina while the colorful Realme V15 5G chose China as its first port of call. Motorola decided to kickstart 2021 with not one but three new Moto G phones in the US along with a fourth phone, called the Motorola One 5G Ace

a.k.a. Moto G 5G for India and Europe.

Xiaomi Mi 10i 5G

India’s Lava also announced three new phones for its Z series that include entry-level and budget models. However, its most interesting announcement is the Lava myZ, a smartphone with “customizable specs”. Buyers will be able to choose from up to 66 different unique possibilities one of which is having 2GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage.

EDITOR’S PICK: WhatsApp makes Data Sharing with other Facebook companies ‘compulsory’


WeChat, AliPay and more get US ban

The United States has banned a handful of Chinese apps. An executive order signed by the outgoing president, Donald Trump, puts a ban on eight apps including AliPay, CamScanner, QQ Wallet, WPS Office, and WeChat Pay

. According to the president, these apps threaten national security, foreign policy, and the economy of the United States.

Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2

Early CES announcements

CES officially begins tomorrow but some manufacturers have already announced some products. Lenovo unveiled new Ideapad laptops and a pocket PC that can double as a handheld console; Acer has a new Chromebook Spin with an AMD processor along with three gaming monitors while Samsung’s Galaxy Chromebook 2 tones down the specs.

UP NEXT: Next Week in Tech: CES 2021 kicks off; iQOO 7, OnePlus Band, and Galaxy S21 Unpacked launch events


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