Last night’s insights: Round 4: Thursday

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There is always a question on the back end of the two-games-in-48-hours in packed EuroLeague weeks as to how will players hold up. Well we certainly saw some young guns at their best with Luka Doncic and Nikola Milutinov leading their respective undefeated squads, Real Madrid and Olympiacos Piraeus, to victory. But veteran Taylor Rochestie played a leading role as Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade came from behind to win as home, as did Jordan Theodore in a similar situation for AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan. Want more insights on Thursday’s games? The EuroLeague Gurus have you covered.

Crvena Zvezda. Where everybody knows their role

When building a team and team chemistry, among the many things that coaches look for is for every player to understand his role. That is the case for Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade, for which 10 players contributed in their come-from-behind victory over Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv. Some roles are easy to spot and define. Taylor Rochestie is the ball handler and go-to scorer; he delivered with 22 points and 5 assists. Milko Bjelica is the savvy big man with a sweet outside shot; he produced 16 points on 4-of-4 shooting from behind the arc. Center Mathias Lessort is the physical presence in the paint; he neutralized Maccabi’s starting center, Art Parakhouski, who came into the game leading the lead in blocks and finished with just 4 points and no blocks in 12 minutes. And then there are the starting wings, James Feldeine and Branko Lazic, who made sure that Maccabi’s prime scorers, Pierre Jackson and Norris Cole, had limited impacts for much of the night. On top of that, Feldeine produced the best offensive game of his EuroLeague career with 19 points, 8 assists and 4 steals, which were all career bests. And then there’s the bench… Nikola Jovanovic’s physical presence inside made things tough on the Maccabi centers. He also soared for the rebound on Maccabi’s last possession to in essence wrap up the victory. Pero Antic buried a pair of three-pointers and helped set the defensive tone with a tough foul on Maccabi power forward Jonah Bolden, who had 10 first-quarter points and none in the second half. And then there was Stefan Lazarevic, who spent less than six minutes on the court, but his defense on Michael Roll inbounding the ball on Maccabi’s final possession forced the visitors to inbound the ball three times and allowed his team to prepare its defense accordingly.

Zvezda is a young and hungry team, but kudos to Coach Dusan Alimpijevic for harnessing the skills of his players and making sure they all know their roles and are ready, able and willing to contribute everything they have from the opening minute till the final buzzer. And don’t forget, Zvezda won last night with injured forwards Marko Keselj and Nemanja Dangubic. So this team can only get better!

Madrid’s domination comes from different sources

Real Madrid is the most dominant team in the early stage of the new EuroLeague season. If for some unknown reason previous wins of 14 points on the road against Anadolu Efes Istanbul, by 13 at home against CSKA Moscow, and scoring 100 points against Milan on Tuesday left any doubts, the way Madrid handled Zalgiris in Kaunas on Thursday really stands out. Yes, Luka Doncic shined again, scoring 24 of his career-high 28 points in the second half, and had a run of 9 consecutive points midway through the third quarter when he singlehandedly extended Madrid’s lead from 9 to 16 points. However, even though the 18-year old was unstoppable in the second half, Madrid had a 31-40 lead at halftime despite Doncic not being that big of a factor in the first two quarters.

“I think tonight Doncic had a great game because he was hot shooting,” Coach Pablo Laso explained after the game. “But Campazzo played a great game for us, he controlled the rhythm. Felipe and Ayon were awesome underneath the basket, Maciulis, Radoncic, Taylor on defense. It’s more of a team thing, although Luka rises a little bit above the rest.”

In those first two quarters it was Gustavo Ayon and Rudy Fernandez making plays, while Facundo Campazzo hit long distance shots. Already in the first half Madrid had a 6 to 13 advantage in assists, and finished the game with 23 assists to only 13 by Zalgiris. The ball movement allowed the offense to repeatedly score with ease and find open players who nailed the open jumpers and three-pointers, a total of 15 shots behind the arc to be precise. Four different players had at least 3 dishes, with Campazzo leading the way with 6, and Ayon right behind with 5 passes his teammates turned into baskets. Doncic had 4 and Rudy Fernandez 3 assists. Madrid wins, and wins big, but evidence is there that it is a lot more to its 14.5-point margin of victory than just Doncic’s fantastic numbers.

Rebounds and sharing the ball keeps Olympiacos undefeated

Khimki Moscow Region arrived undefeated to Peace and Friendship Stadium after three big home wins, but Olympiacos Piraeus was ready to show the Russian powerhouse that life on the road is not easy for anyone in the EuroLeague. Not only did Olympiacos live up to the expectations with its trademark defense, but the Reds were able to run the floor and share the balls like few times before. Indeed, Olympiacos limited Khimki to very low shooting percentages – a season-low 44.4% from two-point range and 28.6% from downtown. Khimki averaged 24.5 assists in the last two games, but only dished 12 against Olympiacos. On the other hand, 10 Olympiacos players had at least 1 assist in this game – all but center Nikola Milutinov and, surprisingly, playmaker Vangelis Mantzaris. Sharing the ball (17 assists) and controlling the defensive boards (a season high 30 defensive rebounds for Olympiacos and the fourth-best mark this season) allowed the Reds to dominate the game, especially in the third quarter, in which Georgios Printezis and Nikola Milutinov combined for 14 points to break it open. Milutinov hit all 8 of his two-point shots to finish the game with 17 points, while Printezis added 15, but 11 Olympiacos players scored in this game. Olympiacos made 27 of 42 two-point shots, with the fourth-best percentage of the season (62.8%).

“In the third period, we showed all of our quality, defensively and offensively. We played great defense, they scored only 15 points and we had the chance to run in the open court and score fast break and transition points,” Olympiacos head coach Ioannis Sfairopoulos said after the game. “That gave us a bigger lead. After that, we controlled the tempo of the game in the fourth period and continued to be focused on both ends of the court,” he added.

“We allowed, in the beginning of the game, 32 points in the first half from low post offense and transition through our turnovers,” Khimki head coach Georgios Bartzokas, who won the EuroLeague title with Olympiacos in 2013, added. “We tried to prepare our players for the different style of basketball that Olympiacos plays, especially in its home court but obviously, our approach was completely wrong.”

Milan’s Theodore joins the elite

AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan’s meeting with FC Barcelona Lassa on Thursday night was one of those games that kept you guessing. As the final minutes approached, nobody could have said with any confidence which team was going to win, or who would take the starring role. Apart from a bizarre second quarter which saw Barcelona race into a 15-point lead, but Milan immediately fight back to level before the break, the game had been closely contested all the way. Several players had briefly shined, notably Barcelona veteran and EuroLeague scoring king Juan Carlos Navarro with 11 points in less than four minutes during that second quarter charge, but as the final minutes arrived the game was very much in the balance and something – or someone – had to give.

In the end, that something proved to be Milan point guard Jordan Theodore, who delivered a masterful fourth quarter to round off an excellent all-round display and emphatically announce his arrival in Europe’s elite competition. It’s taken a while for Theodore to get there. At the age of 28, he is certainly not a fresh-faced novice, and his journey to the top level encompassed six different clubs in the last five years. The most recent of those was Banvit, where he finished last season as the Turkish League’s leading assister. His performances over the last two or three seasons more than warranted an opportunity to shine on the EuroLeague stage, and with Milan’s main scoring threat Andrew Goudelock watching from the stands through injury against Barcelona, he seized that opportunity with both hands. Theodore was particularly impressive in crunch time, scoring 9 points in two minutes midway through the final period to establish a lead that Milan would not relinquish, and his overall stats of 19 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds and 2 steals reveal everything about his effectiveness all over the court. As a late arrival into the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague, Theodore is making up for lost time – and he’s doing it in a hurry.

[“Source-euroleague”]

Asus ZenFone 4 Series India Launch Set for September 14

Asus ZenFone 4 Series India Launch Set for September 14

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Asus has sent out media invites for its next ZenFone launch
  • The event is set to be held on September 14
  • Asus may launch its selfie-focused smartphones in India

Last month, Asus launched several new ZenFone 4 models, including two selfie-focused smartphones – the Asus ZenFone 4 Selfie and Asus ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro smartphones. Now, the company has sent out media invites for an event on September 14 for the launch ‘of its latest smartphone series’. Furthermore, on its social pages, Asus has confirmed that the next ZenFone is coming next week, confirming the India launch for the ZenFone 4 series.

While there’s no clarity on which smartphones from the ZenFone 4 series will launch in India, Asus has so far, made many ZenFone 4 variants official – the ZenFone 4, ZenFone 4 Pro, ZenFone 4 Selfie, and ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro. The selfie-focused smartphones were launched first, followed by the ZenFone 4 and ZenFone 4 Pro soon after. Back in July, the Asus ZenFone 4 Max was also launched.

Asus has also simultaneously launched a #DitchTheSelfieStick campaign in India as well, hinting that probably the two selfie-focused variants may see the light of the day first. In any case, clarity on that will only be achieved at the event on September 14.

In Europe, the Asus ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro has been priced by the company at EUR 399.99 (roughly Rs. 30,050), while the ZenFone 4 Selfie is priced at EUR 299.99 (roughly Rs. 22,550). These prices are not indicative of how much they will cost in the Indian market, as taxes and government regulation play an additional and definitive deciding role in the final pricing.

As the names suggest, both smartphones are focused on selfies and come with dual cameras at front. The Asus ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro bears a front-facing dual camera setup with a 24-megapixel sensor and another 5-megapixel sensor. The ZenFone 4 Selfie on the other hand comes with a 20-megapixel sensor and another 8-megapixel sensor at the front of the handset. At rear end, both new Asus smartphones feature 16-megapixel primary cameras.

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Asus ZenFone 4 Selfie

Asus ZenFone 4 Selfie

  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS

Display

5.50-inch

Processor

1.4GHz octa-core

Front Camera

20-megapixel

Resolution

720×1280 pixels

RAM

4GB

OS

Android 7.0

Storage

64GB

Rear Camera

16-megapixel

Battery Capacity

3000mAh

Also See
  • Asus ZenFone 4 A450CG (Red, 8GB) – OFFER
    Rs.6,007
Asus ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro

Asus ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro

  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS

Display

5.50-inch

Processor

2GHz octa-core

Front Camera

24-megapixel

Resolution

1080×1920 pixels

RAM

4GB

OS

Android 7.0

Storage

64GB

Rear Camera

16-megapixel

Battery Capacity

3000mAh

Also See
  • Asus ZenFone 4 A450CG (Red, 8GB) – OFFER
    Rs.6,007

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Qualcomm Accused of Fresh Antitrust Violations by 4 Apple Contractors

Qualcomm Accused of Fresh Antitrust Violations by 4 Apple Contractors

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Contractors alleged that Qualcomm violated 2 sections of the Sherman Act
  • The allegations are part of broader dispute between Apple and Qualcomm
  • The lost licence revenue from Apple has been a hit to Qualcomm’s sales

iPhone chip supplier Qualcomm faces a fresh set of antitrust allegations from a group of four companies that assemble the iPhone and other products on behalf of Apple.

Foxconn parent Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, Wistron, Compal Electronics and Pegatron alleged that Qualcomm violated two sections of the Sherman Act, a US antitrust law.

The accusations, made in a filing late Tuesday in US District Court for the Southern District of California, are counterclaims to a Qualcomm lawsuit filed in May seeking to force the contractors to pay Qualcomm licence fees that Apple directed them to stop paying.

“Qualcomm has confirmed publicly that this lawsuit against our clients is intended to make a point about Apple and punish our clients for working with Apple,” Theodore J. Boutrous, a lawyer for the four companies, said in a statement. “The companies are bringing their own claims and defenses against Qualcomm.”

ALSO SEEQualcomm CEO Says Settlement Likely in Apple Dispute

The allegations are part of broader dispute between Apple and Qualcomm, which supplies so-called modem chip technology that lets iPhones connect to cellular data networks, over the nature of Qualcomm’s business model of linking the sale of chips and patent licences, which has come under scrutiny by regulators in South Korea, the United States and several other countries.

In January, Apple sued Qualcomm alleging that the company had withheld nearly $1 billion of patent licence rebates it owed Apple in retaliation for Apple’s cooperation with South Korean regulators. Apple told its contract manufacturers to withhold licence payments from Qualcomm while the dispute played out, which prompted Qualcomm to sue them in May.

“Despite Apple’s claims against Qualcomm, Apple suppliers remain contractually obligated to pay royalties to Qualcomm under their licence agreements with us, including for sales of iPhones to Apple,” Qualcomm President Derek Aberle said of the dispute on the company’s conference call in April.

Much of the language in the contractors’ allegations mirror Apple’s objections to Qualcomm’s business model. A senior Apple official confirmed that the company is helping to fund the contractors’ legal defense as part of an indemnification agreement among the firms. Apple has also formally joined the contractor case as a defendant.

The lost licence revenue from Apple has been a hit to Qualcomm’s sales. Analysts expect $5.2 billion (roughly Rs. 33,453 crores) in revenue for the June quarter, down from $6 billion a year earlier.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Infinix Note 4 and Infinix Hot 4 Pro First Impressions

Infinix Note 4 and Infinix Hot 4 Pro First Impressions

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Infinix Note 4 sports a 5.7-inch full-HD display, 4300mAh battery
  • Infinix Hot 4 Pro packs a 5.5-inch HD display, 4000mAh battery
  • Note 4 costs Rs. 8,499 while the Hot 4 Pro is priced at Rs. 7,499

Chinese conglomerate Transsion Holdings enjoys a moderate foothold in India’s mobile phone market through its Itel and Tecno brands, and it also recently entered a joint venture with Spice Mobility to expand its portfolio in the country. Now, the company’s Infinix brand has made its debut here as well, with the launch of two budget smartphones – the Infinix Note 4 and the Infinix Hot 4 Pro. Both fall within the budget smartphone segment, with features that seem to match the current competition.

The Infinix Note 4 is priced at Rs. 8,999 while the Hot 4 Pro costs Rs. 7,499. Both smartphones will go on sale exclusively on Flipkart starting August 3, however at different times – 12 noon and 11:59pm respectively. We got to spend a brief time with both models at the company’s launch event, and here are our first impressions.

Infinix Note 4 design, camera, and performance

When we first got our hands on the Infinix Note 4, it felt sturdy and well built. It features a plastic body with glossy metallic paint instead of a metal body, which seems a little disappointing for a device competing with the likes of the Xiaomi Redmi 4. It has a 5.7-inch full-HD display with 2.5D glass contoured around the front edges. We found that the display was bright enough for indoor use and there was also no difficulty with outdoor legibility. We could also use the phone one-handed without much difficulty.

infinix note 4 back gadgets360 Infinix Note 4

Unlike most smartphones available today, the Infinix Note 4 has dual SIM slots (Micro+Micro) along with a separate microSD slot. To access them, the shiny back panel needs to be removed. We struggled with this a bit because it felt as though the back panel was going to get a crack. On the top of the phone, there is a 3.5mm audio jack, while the USB charging port and speaker grilles can be found at the bottom. The volume and power buttons are on the right, while the left side is blank. The fingerprint scanner is embedded into the home button at the front of the device.

The Infinix Note 4 gets its juice from a non-removable 4300mAh battery. Considering the size of this battery, the smartphone doesn’t feel bulky at all. Under the hood, it is powered by a 1.3GHz octa-core Mediatek MT6753 SoC paired with 3GB of RAM. It has 32GB of storage with the option to expand that using a microSD slot (up to 128GB). It runs Infinix’s own custom UI called XOS, based on Android 7.0 Nougat. During our brief time with the phone, we found that it was snappy and that apps opened quickly. However, there is a lot of bloatware on this smartphone. In addition to the usual Google apps there are a number of Chinese counterparts, which don’t seem necessary in India.

infinix note 4 back 1 gadgets360 Infinix Note 4

There is nothing exceptional about the cameras. The Infinix Note 4 sports a 13-megapixel rear camera and an 8-megapixel front-facing one. There are LED flashes on both sides. We managed to take some indoor and outdoor photos with this phone and we found that photo quality was decent enough. Photos taken indoors seemed to have natural-looking colours but not very much detail, and unfortunately photos taken outdoors seemed a little overexposed. Videos looked good to us until we started panning the phone while recording, which caused lag. We were underwhelmed, but we will reserve our final opinion until we can conduct a full review.

Infinix Hot 4 Pro design, camera, and performance

The less costly model launched by Infinix is the Hot 4 Pro. This phone has run-of-the-mill looks for a device that costs Rs. 7,499. Competitors at this price level such as the Xiaomi Redmi 4A look better. The Hot 4 Pro has an all-plastic body with a glossy finish. It has its volume and power buttons on the right side, the 3.5mm audio jack the top, and the charging port at the bottom. One of the biggest highlights of the Hot 4 Pro is its Dirac-powered stereo surround speakers on the back. We could not really test the speakers at the noisy launch event, but this will be covered in our detailed review.

infinix hot 4 pro front gadgets360 Infinix Hot 4 Pro

The Infinix Hot 4 Pro sports a 5.5-inch HD (720×1280) display. It also has dual SIM slots (Micro+Micro) along with a separate microSD slot, and its back panel also needs to be taken off to access them. It has a non-removable 4000mAh battery but is also light and easy to use with one hand. Performance-wise, Hot 4 Pro is very basic. It also runs XOS but this time based on the older Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Unsurprisingly, there’s a lot of bloatware on this phone as well.

The Hot 4 Pro has a 13-megapixel camera on the rear and 5-megapixel one on the front. Image quality indoors and outdoors is again underwhelming and the samples we took lacked details. Photos also looked washed out at the edges. The camera app supports Professional, Beauty, and Normal modes for the front camera that somehow improve selfies. However, we suggest that you wait for our full review to see how the camera fares in a variety of conditions.

infinix hot 4 pro side gadgets360 Infinix Hot 4 Pro

There is nothing particularly special about the Hot 4 Pro, and it remains to be seen whether it will be able to stand out against its rivals.

Conclusion
The Infinix Note 4 and Hot 4 Pro have been launched in a price range that is dominated by stalwarts including the Redmi 4, Redmi 4A, and Moto E4 Plus. Battery life could be a significant USP, but batteries this size are becoming more common. We will have to see if the features that Infinix is offering can tempt Indian consumers. Stay tuned to Gadgets 360 for our in-depth reviews of the Note 4 and Hot 4 Pro where we examine their performance, build quality, camera quality, and battery life in detail.

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Infinix Note 4

Infinix Note 4

  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS

Display

5.70-inch

Processor

1.3GHz quad-core

Front Camera

8-megapixel

Resolution

1080×1920 pixels

RAM

3GB

OS

Android 7.0

Storage

32GB

Rear Camera

13-megapixel

Battery Capacity

4300mAh

Also See
  • Coolpad Note 5 Lite (Space Grey, 16GB) – 
    Rs. 8,199
  • Oppo A37 (Grey, 16GB) Black/Grey
    Rs. 8,839
Infinix Hot 4 Pro

Infinix Hot 4 Pro

Rs. 7,499
Buy
  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS

Display

5.50-inch

Processor

1.3GHz quad-core

Front Camera

5-megapixel

Resolution

720×1280 pixels

RAM

3GB

OS

Android 6.0

Storage

16GB

Rear Camera

13-megapixel

Battery Capacity

4000mAh

BUY AT
  • Infinix Hot 4 Pro (Quartz Black, 16GB, 3GB RAM) – OFFER
    Rs. 7,499

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]