Japan’s Sony on Tuesday reported an 18.4 percent increase in first-quarter operating profit, beating market expectations thanks to a strong performance in the image sensor business. The electronics firm posted an operating profit of JPY 230.93 billion ($2.1 billion) for the April-June quarter, up from JPY 195.01 billion a year prior. That was above a consensus estimate of 173.61 billion yen from 8 analysts polled by Refinitiv. The company maintained its profit forecast for the year ending March at 810 billion yen.

Sony its earnings report also noted that it had sold 3.2 million PlayStation 4 consoles in the second quarter. Adding that to the total consoles sold at the end of Q1, 96.8 million, we see Sony has passed the 100 million console units sold milestone for the PlayStation 4.

After two years of record profits, Sony is now facing headwinds in the games business, central to the company’s recent revival. The gaming business is expecting larger costs to develop a next-generation console that analysts say will come in 2020, as the five-year old PlayStation 4 nears the end of its life.

But bigger profits at the image sensor business, driven by demand for large-size image sensors and multiple-lens camera systems for smartphones, offset the weakness in the gaming business.

The semiconductor business, which includes image sensors, posted a profit of JPY 49.5 billion, up from JPY 29.1 billion a year earlier.

The gaming business posted a profit of JPY 73.8 billion, down from JPY 83.5 billion a year earlier.

For the latest quarter, sales from the company’s movie division Sony Pictures Entertainment benefited from the higher theatrical revenue from Men in Black: International and Spider-Man: Far From Home. Its video game business benefited from better sales in its PlayStation 4 game console, it said.

Sony’s music unit also improved from the previous year because of the absence of equity losses for EMI Music Publishing recorded the previous year and higher sales, including streaming revenue.

Gains from Spotify have lifted Sony’s bottom line in recent months.

Written with agency inputs

Black Shark 2 Pro has now been launched in China. The phone is powered by the newly launched Snapdragon 855 Plus SoC, packs 12GB of RAM, and offers UFS 3.0 storage. The Black Shark 2 Pro comes with an upgrade in design, as the back panel is touted to offer an improved grip and there are two more RGB LED lights on either side of the Black Shark logo. It also is equipped with upgraded DC Dimming 2.0 and Liquid Cooling 3.0 + technology. The company says that there is slight improvement in display touch response as well.

Black Shark 2 Pro price, availability

Black Shark 2 Pro has been launched in China in two variants. The 12GB RAM + 128GB storage option is priced in China at CNY 2,999 (roughly Rs. 30,000) and the 12GB RAM + 256GB storage option is priced at CNY 3,499 (roughly Rs. 35,000). It has been made available in Electric Black and Ice Ash colour options. The phone is up for reservation, and will go on sale on August 2.

If the company were to follow tradition, this phone should arrive in India a few months later just like the Black Shark 2 phone.

Black Shark 2 specifications, features

The Black Shark 2 Pro is a slightly upgraded variant of the Black Shark 2 phone launched earlier this year. It sports a proprietary Liquid Cool 3.0+ technology that is designed to manage heat dissipation, and DC Dimming 2.0 support is also integrated. The dual-SIM (Nano) Black Shark 2 Pro features a 6.39-inch full-HD+ (1080×2340 pixels) AMOLED display along with TrueView Display support, 19.5:9 aspect ratio, and 430ppi of pixel density and 240Hz refresh rate. It is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus SoC, paired with Adreno 640 GPU and 12GB RAM. Internal UFS 3.0 storage options include 128GB and 256GB.

In terms of optics, the Black Shark 2 Pro also sports a dual rear camera setup that comprises a 48-megapixel primary sensor with an f/1.75 lens and a 12-megapixel secondary sensor with an f/2.2 lens. The rear camera setup supports 2x optical zoom. Also, the phone comes with a 20-megapixel selfie camera at the front that has an f/2.0 lens on top.

The Black Shark 2 Pro packs a 4,000mAh battery with 27W fast charging support. On the connectivity front, the phone comes with 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth v5.0, GPS/ A-GPS, and USB Type-C port. Sensors onboard include an accelerometer, ambient light, and a gyroscope. The phone has an in-display fingerprint sensor, measures 163.61×75.01×8.77mm, and weighs 250 grams.

Google’s latest version of Android — codenamed Q — is all set to arrive in a few months and with it, we can expect a whole bunch of phones to receive the update early-on, other than the Pixel phones. Back in May, Huawei announced a bunch of its phones that are scheduled to get the Q update. This also included some Honor smartphones but there weren’t many of them. Now, Honor India has confirmed that the Honor 8X and the Honor 10 will be getting the Android Q update, whenever it arrives.

Huawei’s initial list of phones, confirmed to get the Android Q update, included the Mate 20, Mate 20 Pro, Mate 20X, Mate 20RS Porsche Design, P30, P30 Pro, Honor V20 and Honor Magic 2. Then, last month, Honor confirmed that the 20 series will also be compatible with the Android Q update but users were curious about support for some of the older models. Replying to a user query on Twitter, Honor India confirmed that the 8X will be compatible with the next version of Android, along with the Honor 10.

Huawei will launch Android Q with its next instalment of EMUI, which will be version 10. According to the latest news, the company is said to introduce this next month during annual developer conference in China. Here, we might catch a glimpse at some of the new features coming to this custom Android skin.

Meanwhile, we’re still seeing some of the older phones being updated to EMUI 9.1. Recently, the Honor 20i (Review) and Honor 10 Lite (Review) got the update, which added features like GPU Turbo 3.0, the ability to set up video ringtones for select contacts, and the ability to trigger the voice assistant by long pressing the power button.