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Huawei’s Mate 10 Pro is available to pre-order in the US

American carriers may have been pressured into dropping Huawei’s Mate 10 Pro from their lineup, but you can now buy one independent of a carrier if you feel it didn’t get a fair shake. Pre-orders for the company’s flagship smartphone are available today at Amazon, Best Buy, B&H, Newegg and Microsoft. Blue and gray variants are available to order right now, with “mocha brown” coming soon. The handset still costs a fairly stiff $800, but Huawei is sweetening the deal — if you order before the February 18th ship date, you’ll get a $150 gift card at the store in question. Given that there’s no native headphone jack, you might want to use that money to get a pair of Bluetooth headphones.

As before, the Porsche Design version of the Mate 10 Pro is also arriving on February 18th. It’s functionally the same phone in most respects, but doubles the storage to 256GB and gives you a spruced-up all-glass shell. Every version available in the US has a 6-inch, 2,160 x 1,080 AMOLED screen, Huawei’s in-house Kirin 970 octa-core processor, 6GB of RAM, dual rear cameras (one 12MP, one 20MP) and a front 8MP cam. The hook, as always, is a dedicated AI processing unit that accelerates tasks like image recognition and translation.

This wasn’t how things were supposed to go for Huawei. It was originally expected to offer the Mate 10 Pro through AT&T, making it the first Chinese phone vendor to get a US carrier deal for a flagship phone, with all the advertising that comes with it. Congress, however, was reportedly so wary of Chinese surveillance (without firm evidence it was present on Huawei’s phone) that it pushed AT&T to drop the handset. The pre-orders are great if you’re tired of the usual smartphone choices, but they represent a consolation prize for Huawei — it was hoping for much more.

Via: PR Newswire

Source: Amazon, Best Buy, B&H

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Existing EV batteries could be recharged five times faster

Lithium-ion batteries have massively improved in the last half-decade, but there are still issues. The biggest, especially for EVs, is that charging takes too long to make them as useful as regular cars for highway driving. Researchers from the University of Warwick (WMG) have discovered that we may not need to be so patient, though. They developed a new type of sensor that measures internal battery temperatures and discovered that we can probably recharge them up to five times quicker without overheating problems.

Overcharging a lithium-ion battery anode can lead to lithium buildup, which can break through a battery's separator, create a short-circuit and cause catastrophic failure. That can cause the electrolyte to emit gases and literally blow up the battery, so manufacturers impose strict charging power limits to prevent it.

Those limits are based on hard-to-measure internal temperatures, however, which is where the WMG probe comes in. It's a fiber optic sensor, protected by a chemical layer that can be directly inserted into a lithium-ion cell to give highly precise thermal measurements without affecting its performance.

The team tested the sensor on standard 18650 li-ion cells, used in Tesla's Model S and X, among other EVs. They discovered that they can be charged five times faster than previously thought without damage. Such speeds would reduce battery life, but if used judiciously, the impact would be minimized, said lead researcher Dr. Tazdin Amietszajew.

Faster charging as always comes at the expense of overall battery life but many consumers would welcome the ability to charge a vehicle battery quickly when short journey times are required and then to switch to standard charge periods at other times.

There's still some work to do. While the research showed the li-ion cells can support higher temperatures, EVs and charging systems would have to have "precisely tuned profiles/limits" to prevent problems. It's also not clear how battery makers would install the sensors in the cells.

Nevertheless, it shows a lot of promise for much faster charging speeds in the near future. Even if battery capacities stayed the same, charging in 5 minutes instead of 25 could flip a lot of drivers over to the green side.

Via: Clean Technica

Source: University of Warwick

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