Mosque offered as Covid-19 quarantine facility in Pune | SabrangIndia

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Azam CampusImage Courtesy:painamdar.in

Over the last few decades P A Inamdar has artfully juggled multiple roles as an educationist, legal luminary, social worker, builder and much more. As President of the Maharashtra Cosmopolitan Education Society that runs a host of educational institutions at Pune’s sprawling Azam Campus, Inamdar has created educational infrastructure that at present empowers 27,000 students including 14,000 who hail from economically backward families living in low-income neighbourhoods.

Now, Inamdar has offered 9,000 sq ft. of space on the first floor of a mosque located in the Azam Campus as a quarantine facility. In an exclusive interview to SabrangIndia, he explained his motivations and hopes:

What prompted you to offer the space in the mosque as a Covid-19 quarantine facility?

Ultimately all religions and all religious places are meant for human beings. No religion teaches discrimination, especially when a human life is in danger. Now is the time to put into practice what religion teaches us. Now is the time to act. If we are not able to apply religious principles now and help our fellow human beings, then when will we?

What are the facilities you are offering?

We are offering a hall that measures 9,000 sq ft. It is located on the first floor of the mosque. I have already spoken to the Municipal Commissioner. They will arrange for the doctors and the police. They had originally asked for about 40 beds, but we are offering them 100 beds. All arrangements are being made in compliance with social distancing measures. If they can arrange for lunch and dinner that is fine. Otherwise, we can also offer them food.

Is it true that you are also trying to arrange for 10 more similar facilities in mosques across the city?

I have already spoken to them (mosque authorities). It is important that we offer as much help as possible. What is the meaning of religion if we cannot help our fellow human beings?

We have seen various instances of Muslims being targeted and accused of spreading the Covid-19 pandemic. Do you think your efforts will help send out a positive message on behalf of the community?

See, politicians often play with people’s emotions as it is easier to do that instead of actually solving their problems. That is how they get votes. But that should not stop us from setting a good example in whatever way we can. Our organisation has already helped distribute food and rations worth Rs 30 lakhs to people living in Pune’s slums and low-income neighbourhoods. We did this with full cooperation of the police. Now with this space we have another opportunity to offer our service to humanity, so we are doing it. This is not the time to make speeches or hold meetings. This is the time to act.

Do you think our education system has failed to root out communalism or is that a much deeper problem?

The educational gap between the haves and have-nots is thousands of years old. The higher classes and castes have always benefitted more. But luckily, we are now able to bridge the gap gradually with technology. When more people will be on the same platform, we can expect real development. There are 27,000 students studying on my campus and 14,000 of them some from the slums. But we teach them all about technology and they are now making computers and cell phones.

Additionally, it is also the responsibility of religious leaders to speak out in wake of hate crimes. We always hear the activists and intellectuals speak, but why are the religious leaders silent? No religion supports lynching. Therefore, everyone, whether a Maulana or a Shankaracharya, should come out and condemn it.

What is your message to your fellow Indians in this holy month of Ramzan?

It is very important that when it comes to religion, we don’t limit ourselves to just learning about philosophy, but instead put that philosophy into practice and help our fellow human beings. We can’t leave religion in temples and mosques. We must make it a part of our daily conduct and serve humanity, because that is what all religions teach us.

Azam CampusImage Courtesy:painamdar.in

Over the last few decades P A Inamdar has artfully juggled multiple roles as an educationist, legal luminary, social worker, builder and much more. As President of the Maharashtra Cosmopolitan Education Society that runs a host of educational institutions at Pune’s sprawling Azam Campus, Inamdar has created educational infrastructure that at present empowers 27,000 students including 14,000 who hail from economically backward families living in low-income neighbourhoods.

Now, Inamdar has offered 9,000 sq ft. of space on the first floor of a mosque located in the Azam Campus as a quarantine facility. In an exclusive interview to SabrangIndia, he explained his motivations and hopes:

What prompted you to offer the space in the mosque as a Covid-19 quarantine facility?

Ultimately all religions and all religious places are meant for human beings. No religion teaches discrimination, especially when a human life is in danger. Now is the time to put into practice what religion teaches us. Now is the time to act. If we are not able to apply religious principles now and help our fellow human beings, then when will we?

What are the facilities you are offering?

We are offering a hall that measures 9,000 sq ft. It is located on the first floor of the mosque. I have already spoken to the Municipal Commissioner. They will arrange for the doctors and the police. They had originally asked for about 40 beds, but we are offering them 100 beds. All arrangements are being made in compliance with social distancing measures. If they can arrange for lunch and dinner that is fine. Otherwise, we can also offer them food.

Is it true that you are also trying to arrange for 10 more similar facilities in mosques across the city?

I have already spoken to them (mosque authorities). It is important that we offer as much help as possible. What is the meaning of religion if we cannot help our fellow human beings?

We have seen various instances of Muslims being targeted and accused of spreading the Covid-19 pandemic. Do you think your efforts will help send out a positive message on behalf of the community?

See, politicians often play with people’s emotions as it is easier to do that instead of actually solving their problems. That is how they get votes. But that should not stop us from setting a good example in whatever way we can. Our organisation has already helped distribute food and rations worth Rs 30 lakhs to people living in Pune’s slums and low-income neighbourhoods. We did this with full cooperation of the police. Now with this space we have another opportunity to offer our service to humanity, so we are doing it. This is not the time to make speeches or hold meetings. This is the time to act.

Do you think our education system has failed to root out communalism or is that a much deeper problem?

The educational gap between the haves and have-nots is thousands of years old. The higher classes and castes have always benefitted more. But luckily, we are now able to bridge the gap gradually with technology. When more people will be on the same platform, we can expect real development. There are 27,000 students studying on my campus and 14,000 of them some from the slums. But we teach them all about technology and they are now making computers and cell phones.

Additionally, it is also the responsibility of religious leaders to speak out in wake of hate crimes. We always hear the activists and intellectuals speak, but why are the religious leaders silent? No religion supports lynching. Therefore, everyone, whether a Maulana or a Shankaracharya, should come out and condemn it.

What is your message to your fellow Indians in this holy month of Ramzan?

It is very important that when it comes to religion, we don’t limit ourselves to just learning about philosophy, but instead put that philosophy into practice and help our fellow human beings. We can’t leave religion in temples and mosques. We must make it a part of our daily conduct and serve humanity, because that is what all religions teach us.

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Church Accountant Bags 18 Years for N15.5m Fraud – PRNigeria News

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Church Accountant Bags 18 Years for N15.5m Fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Gombe Zonal Office on January 13, 2020, secured the conviction of one Ibrahim Aku before Justice Nathan Musa of the Adamawa State High Court.

Aku, an accountant at EYN Church of Christ (Ekilisiyar Yen Uwa Nigeria), EYN, Church of Brethren in Nigeria (CBN) in the state faced a six-count charge, bordering on forgery and obtaining money by false pretence.

He was investigated and prosecuted following a petition by the church through Rev. (Dr). Daniel Mbaya an Secretary General of the Church alleging that Aku defrauded the church of N15.5million between 2016 and 2018.

Investigations by the EFCC, revealed that the money was generated by the church members by offerings, donations and tithe.

The convict was entrusted by the church to deposit the church’s revenue into the church’s account with First Bank Plc and Zenith Bank Plc, but he ended up diverting same, and forged bank tellers to balance the financial books of the church.

He was assisted to commit the crime by his friend, one Benefit Ishaku currently at large to whom he gave N500,000. His accomplice assisted him in forging the stamps of the banks, which were also used to perpetrate the fraud.

He was prosecuted using the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006.

He pleaded “guilty” to the charges.

Prosecuting counsel, S.E. Okemini, thereafter, urged the court to convict him as charged.

Justice Musa, thus, pronounced him guilty and sentenced him to 18 years in prison – three years on each of the counts, to run concurrently. He was not given an option of fine.

The trial judge, further ordered that he refund the stolen fund to the church, and that proceeds of the crime recovered from him should be sold and the proceeds remitted to the Church.

Tony Orilade
Acting Head, Media & Publicity
……….

EFCC Nabs Internet Fraudsters in Ibadan

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC Ibadan zonal office, between January 11 and 12, 2020, arrested eight suspected internet fraudsters in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
The suspects, who are between the ages of 17 and 30 years old, were arrested at different locations across the ancient city. They are Abdulrahman Qozeem, Umoru Ibrahim, Umoru Abdulahi Gregory, Famous Ose Itahma, Umoru Shaibu Pedro, Durrele Oyeniyi, Umoru Evidence and Judge Okoye.

Their arrest was sequel to series of intelligence report, alleging that they were involved in internet-related crimes.

Items recovered from them include six expensive cars, various brands of phones, laptops, international passports and several documents suspected to contain false pretences.
They will soon be arraigned in court.

Tony Orilade
Acting Head, Media & Publicity

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Ex-NNPC staff hacked to death by own worker

Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

A 65- year-old ex-staff of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Ibrahim Ajayi Allah has been gruesomely murdered by his ex-worker.

The late Allah who retired from the finance department of the NNPC was allegedly hacked to death on December 13 by one of the workers in his farm at Oke-Oyi, outskirts of Ilorin.

It was learnt that the alleged culprit identified simply as Waheed has been arrested by the police.

Police spokesman said: “The suspect in a had confessed to the commission of the crime. He is helping the police in their investigations and bid to close in on other accomplices.”

Speaking with The Nation, younger brother of the deceased, Yakub Abejide Allah said: “My elder brother was murdered on December 13th on his farm site in Oke-Oyi area of Ilorin East local government area of the state.”
“Three years ago, he retired and chose to pursue agriculture which has always been his passion. He bought hectares of land in Ogidi, Kabba/Bunu local government area of Kogi State and poured all his passion into it. However, because of so many unanticipated factors, the returns were not as expected.

“About six months ago, he decided to gradually move out of Ogidi. So he bought about eight hectares of land at Oke-Oyi near Ilorin and restarted his farming there.

“The suspect picked up by the police is a man from that community with whom he had developed a close relationship. He was always going in and out with the man. In fact, on the day of the murder, they were said to be together and had lunch together before he was savagely axed to death at about 5pm.

“When the police searched the suspect’s house, they found my brother’s phone and other personal effects. He is said to have confessed to having killed my brother.”

READ ALSO: NNPC records trading surplus of N5.20b

Yakub added: “I felt so bad when I heard the news of my brother’s gruesome killing. It was the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Oke-Oyi Police Station that narrated how my brother was hacked to death.
“Subsequently, I called his wife and our other family members and broke the sad news to them. The police said they have arrested the alleged perpetrator of the heinous crime. According to them, he was initially detained at the Oke-Oyi police station before being transferred to the state Criminal Investigations Department (CID) in Ilorin.

“We learnt that during a search in his house the late Ibrahim’s phones, personal effects as well as other dangerous items the perpetrator used to kill my brother were found there. I know the name of the alleged murderer as Waheed and he is in his 40s. “My appeal to the police and other security agents is to help us find out the real killer (s) of my brother, because the person that was killed has a lot of responsibilities that I cannot shoulder. We also want to know why he carried out the dastardly act. They should let us know if the killers were sent to kill him or they did it intentionally. That is what we need.

“The wife of the deceased, who is based in Abuja also came down to Ilorin and I took her to the police station; recovered the corpse for burial in Ogidi, our country home.”

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FRSC Clarifies its Stand on Use of Google Maps While Driving After Nigerians React on Twitter – Technext

cell phone person

Reactions broke out on Twitter after the sector commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mr Ayuba Gora, was quoted to have said that using Google maps while driving was a serious traffic offence.

Gora made the statement at the 2019 Ember Months Campaign which was held in Abuja by the Lugbe Unit on Wednesday.

The campaign was made with the aim of sensitizing people about the need to drive safely and be conscious of other motorists during the busy and festive month remaining in the year.

Haba. So what about in car navigation? Must we advertise our ignorance in this country?
FRSC has become an MDA in government that does the opposite of their name.

— Odjugo E C (@EretareCO)

This headline is really embarrassing and shameful… You see why some westerners still think we swing around through trees? Headlines like this have far reaching implications

— novo abere (@novorious)

This is a country that is about to launch 5G network and claims to be the first to do so in Africa. The statement by the FRSC official shows how backward Nigerians think. It’s so sad that we still think the use of tech to aid driving is an offence. Are we ready for the new age?

— OjoOluwa Ibiloye-Ohjay (@OjooluwaIbiloye)

Nigerians’ reactions to the FRSC official’s message expressed their disappointment in the disposition of Mr Ayuba Gora and therefore the FRSC to the use of technology in navigation.

FRSC Clarifies

In announcements made on its official twitter account, the FRSC through its Public Education Officer, Bisi Kazeem, said that its spokesperson must have been misquoted and misinterpreted.

“The Corps wishes to state that the Sector Commander must have been misquoted and his statement outrightly misrepresented because the Federal Road Safety Corps as a technology driven organisation is not and has never stood against the use of google map by motorists.”

In the twitter address, Kazeem went on to re-emphasize the stand of the FRSC on the use of mobile phones while driving.

She said motorists could be distracted while driving if they were handling their mobiles for any reason which include setting a location on their google map. Such distractions cause accidents on the road, hence FRSC’s warnings on the use of mobile phones while driving.

“We therefore call on all motorists who intend to deploy the use of google map on their phone especially during the festive season when traffic density is high, to activate such before setting the vehicle in motion so as to ensure 100 percent concentration on the wheels.”

From FRSC’s clarification, use of Google maps while driving is not an offence, however, it should be set before the journey commences.

As an aid, while driving, mobile phones can be held by the car phone holder and the voice control activated so directions can be read out from the phone.

In spite of the reactions to Mr Ayuba’s misinterpreted statement, the FRSC campaign holds goodwill towards Nigerians and the safety measures being emphasized should not be ignored, especially regarding mobile phone use.

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Angry mob beat three suspected transformer vandals to death

Damian DURUIHEOMA, Owerri

A mob has beaten three suspected transformer vandals to death in Umuohiagu community in Ngor Okpala Local Government Area and Egbelu Obube community in Owerri North Local government area of Imo State.

Two of the suspects, Ifeanyi Mgbakabala and Kelechi Eke (aka Agwo) are natives of  Umuagwu village in Umuohiagu, while the identity of the third suspect cannot be ascertained at press time.

Witnesses said the suspects, who specialized in vandalizing electricity transformers within the airport communities, were apprehended at Umuekwune kindred in Umuorisha village, while attempting to vandalize the only remaining transformer in Umuohiagu.

The suspects had allegedly vandalized eight transformers in Umuohiagu in the past three months, effectively throwing the community into darkness.

They were said to have also vandalized the dedicated cables being installed for the new radio house for the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport, Owerri.

Read Also: Mob attack government officials over illegal tricycle park in Abuja

The suspected vandals were also four weeks ago linked with the vandalization of a transformer at the permanent base of the  Nigeria Air Force at nearby Umuowa community, a development that led to detention of the two Airforce personnel on guard for three weeks.

Vigilant youths were said to have chased the suspects and apprehended two of them while the third member of the gang escaped.

The suspects were dragged to the major road near the airport, and they were about to be set ablaze when Air force officers arrived the scene.

The two suspects later died from the brutality meted to them by the mob while the third suspect who ran to the nearby Egbelu Obube was beaten up and set ablaze by irate youths.

Before they were beaten to death, the suspects, had reportedly confessed to they had been using juju to make residents around their target areas to fall into deep sleep, while they vandalized the transformers and cables.

The apprehension of the suspects and their confession, it was gathered, led to the release of the detained Airforce personnel Friday morning.

At press time, the state Commissioner of Police, Rabiu Ladodo and the command’s spokesman, Orlando Ikeoku did not answer calls put to their phones. They did not also respond to text messages forwarded to their phones.

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Cello? Yes, I am in a once-in-a-lifetime concert with my phone on | Stuff.co.nz

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OPINION: I thoroughly enjoyed the Yo-Yo Ma concert at the Christchurch Town Hall on Tuesday night.

What the excellent review on Stuff on Wednesday missed, though, is the fact that phones rang throughout the concert.

I’m not talking one phone, I’m talking enough that I lost count.

It was embarrassing.

There was even a woman whose phone rang multiple times and instead of switching it to silent, she just turned it off each time and stuffed it back in her handbag.

Ma, the consummate professional, didn’t miss a beat. I suppose it’s part of performing these days. But how distracting it must be to be up on stage playing six Bach cello suites from memory and someone’s phone is playing a polyphonic version of the catchy 90s hit Horny.

Jason Bell
Yo-Yo Ma was the consummate professional in Tuesday night’s concert at the Christchurch Town Hall, despite the incessant ringing of phones, Johnny Moore writes.

Six suites, phrased just so, and all from memory. I repeat this fact because I have such a poor memory that I’ve already forgotten I wrote this in the previous paragraph.

And it wasn’t just the phone calls that distracted people. Some people seemed unable to tear themselves away from their phones for five minutes in order to enjoy the performance.

You could see them in the crowd, faces ghoulishly illuminated as they subbed out from the experience they were part of and subbed in to scrolling and swiping.

A woman in front of me spent the entire show on her phone. I could see what she was looking at because she wasn’t just distracting herself.

Do you know what she needed to see?

Facebook for about a second and a half, instagram for 20 seconds, Stuff, Snapchat… it seemed that opening the app was giving her a dopamine hit but once she was there she needed another and all that could achieve that was opening another stupid app.

I see it at Yo-Yo Ma, I see it in the streets and I see it most disturbingly when people are driving.

We are completely and utterly hooked on these devices and it’s becoming normal.

A trailer of The Music of Strangers, a documentary released in 2015 about Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble.

Please don’t see this as some self-righteous position. I am just another fallible human and I too find myself reaching for my phone like an automaton. I’m just trying my best to acknowledge this urge.

Because just like y’all, I am essentially a baboon and while we like to think we’re agents of free will, really people much cleverer than the majority of us have worked out how to trigger our monkey brains.

We’ve outsourced our brains to the cloud and I worry we’re paying top dollar to become drones.

Phones are electronic leashes and we are signing up for the role of digital slaves.

Whatever happened to being mind-numbingly bored? Now there’s an old person question.

Maybe I need to go back to church if I want to experience that feeling again? Or is everyone in church messing about on their phones too?

And is being mind-numbingly bored a better state than being controlled by digital overlords on the internet selling us crap we didn’t even know we wanted?

I dunno. But the least we can do when we spend big bucks on a ticket to see a genius perform a once-in-a-lifetime show is turn our phones on silent, sub out of the ‘net for a few hours and try to enjoy the show.

I think the little girl in the front row had the right idea, an idea I used to try when as a child I had to endure church: have a snooze.

At least it’s more polite than ruining the show for others who came to see a master in full control of his craft.

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Busted: Church Protocol Officer blackmailing girls with their nude pictures arrested | P.M. News

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The suspect

A church protocol officer in the habit of luring church girls to hotels and taking their nude photographs and subsequently using the photographs to blackmail them in exchange for money has been arrested in Lagos.

The suspect, Victor Duru, a Madonna University drop out was arrested in Surulere, after repeatedly blackmailing his church members and girlfriend.

One of his girlfriends (name withheld) whose pictures he had taken in conjunction with his friend at gunpoint while lodging her in an hotel in Ijeshatedo called at the Rapid Response Squad, RRS headquarter to report her experience.

Duru, 23 years old and a protocol officer at a new generation church (name withheld) based in Oregun, Ikeja, Lagos was investigated and discovered to have been using the nude photographs of his girlfriend to blackmail her in exchange for money.

It was also discovered that the suspect was keeping the nude photographs of other girls while lodging them in hotels and his apartment in Ijeshatedo.

Sources revealed that the suspect obtained the nude photographs of the victim with the assistance of a third party at gunpoint while there is a growing suspicion that Duru also laced the drink of another girl with sleeping drug as the photographs obtained from one of his mobile phones revealed.

The suspect, in his disclosure stated “she was my girlfriend. We are same church member. We have been dating for almost two years. We were having break up issues.

So, I invited her to an hotel in Ijeshatedo. I excused myself and invited my friend, Frank Obinna, to meet me in the hotel. Obinna and I had this planned together.

“The gun was a toy gun. He entered the hotel room and held the lady at gunpoint. I told her to cooperate, naked her for Obinna to take her pictures. We took seven different shots of her in the nude with my phone. I discharged her that day. This was in September.”

He continued, “by early October, 2019, I called her to give me N80,000 or I would throw the nude photographs online. She was only able to offer me N10,000, which she transferred into my brother’s account.

“Last week, Obinna called her again and requested for N40,000. She promised to send something. She was a wonderful girl that had been assisting me before the problem started. On many occasions, she has assisted me financially.”

Duru, it was gathered attempted to escape from police custody in handcuffs while police were trying to effect the arrest of his accomplice, Frank Obinna in Ijeshatedo.

The victim, in her statement to the police alleged that she thought Duru’s friend was a waiter when he entered their hotel room. “He brought out his phone, I was asking my boyfriend what was going on, he slapped me telling me to remove the blanket covering my body.

“I refused. He dragged it out my body telling me to cooperate. I refused again. He asked his friend for the gun threatening that I cooperate. His friend took several shots of my nude body. Both of them abandoned me at the hotel room after. I asked him almost a week after what he wanted to do with my photos and he told me that it was the beginning.

“The following Saturday, he threatened to put the photos online unless I pay N80,000 in order to delete them. I paid N10,000 with a promise to pay the balance afterwards.”

She added “after a week, his friend called me offering another option for me to pay him N40,000 and a night with him. I refused. He threatened that I would hear from them very soon.”

A source added that some of the ladies whose nude photographs were found on his phone when contacted by the police to come forward in order to prosecute the suspect declined to push for a case.

The suspect along with some of the exhibits recovered from him (toy gun, mobile phones containing the nudes of the ladies have been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Panti for further investigations.

Commenting on the development, Commissioner of Police, CP Zubairu Muazu urged parents to warn their wards to watch the kind of company they keep.

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Little Mix’s Jesy Nelson on surviving the trolls: ‘People were saying horrific things’

Eight years after she shot to fame on The X Factor, Nelson describes how she navigated the trauma of being relentlessly bullied on social media

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When Jesy Nelson was 19 and working behind the bar at a pub in Dagenham, Essex, she remembers watching The X Factor on TV, and thinking: I know I could win that. In 2011, she did just that, as part of the girl group Little Mix and thought: This is the worst day of my life.

Competing in Simon Cowells singing contest unleashed ceaseless criticism of her appearance and weight (although rarely her voice). All I cared about was what people were saying about me, she says now.

Winning offered no respite. When Little Mix were crowned, the first Facebook message she saw was from a stranger. It read: You are the ugliest thing I have ever seen in my life. You do not deserve to be in this girl band, you deserve to die.

I should have been on cloud nine, she says. I had Leigh-Anne [Pinnock, also of Little Mix] in my room being like: This is the best! and I was like: No, this isnt.

Little Mix went on to become the biggest British girl group since the Spice Girls, but Nelson was consumed by the trolling and abuse on social media. Within two years of the finale, she had depression and an eating disorder and had attempted suicide.

The downward spiral and her eventual, slow recovery are the focus of an intensely personal BBC One documentary, Jesy Nelson: Odd One Out. Before shooting it, she says, she had never spoken publicly about her struggles in the spotlight.

When we meet in a corner of BBC Broadcasting House in central London, Nelson, now 28, is friendly and glamorous, dressed in a double-breasted tangerine suit. It is the eighth anniversary of her X Factor debut and #8YearsofLittleMix has been trending on Twitter all morning, thanks to their fans, the Mixers.

On
On The X Factor in 2011: (from left) Jade Thirlwall, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Perrie Edwards and Jesy Nelson. Photograph: Ken McKay/Talkback Thames/Rex/Shutterstock

Within minutes of sitting down, she says that, had she known the consequences of appearing on The X Factor, she wouldnt have done it: I dont think anything is worth your happiness, and it was a lot of my life that I wont get back.

As a child growing up in Romford, Essex, Nelson was intent on becoming a performer, be it singing, dancing or acting. I didnt really have any reason to not be confident, she says.

In mid-2011, she auditioned for The X Factor as a solo entrant, and was eventually placed in a group with three others: Pinnock, Perrie Edwards and Jade Thirlwall, all aged between 18 and 20.

Back then, social media was not as inextricably linked with reality TV as it is now. In fact, that eighth series was the first where applicants could upload their audition videos to YouTube; Nelson didnt even know what YouTube was. She remembers being wowed when all the contestants were given new Samsung phones and told to get on Twitter to build their fanbase.

On the first live show 12 weeks in, Little Mix (then Rhythmix the name was changed later) performed Nicki Minajs Super Bass to gushing praise from judges Louis Walsh, Gary Barlow and their mentor Tulisa Contostavlos. It was the best feeling in the world, said Nelson through happy tears on stage.

That night, off-camera, the contestants gathered to watch themselves on YouTube. Someone pointed out the comment section. I was very naive, says Nelson. I thought it would be people giving their opinion on our performance. But nearly every comment was about the way I looked: Shes a fat ugly rat; How has she got in this girl group?; How is the fat one in this? She remembers the air being thick with tension because no one knew what to do or how to react.

I felt a rush of anxiety, because Id never experienced anything like that in my life. People were saying my face was deformed just the most horrific things. I felt like I was heartbroken. I remember ringing my mum and saying: Mum, I want to go home, I dont want to do it.

Jesy
Jesy Nelson with Liz Richie in the forthcoming BBC documentary Odd One Out. Photograph: Rahul Bhatt/BBC/October Films

At about 1am, a member of The X Factor team found Nelson crying alone and asked why she was so upset. A couple of days later, she was asked to explain again on camera. She didnt want to do it. They told me it wasnt recorded, and it was.

A few weeks later, the clip of Nelson in tears over a few nasty comments was broadcast before Little Mixs performance, the reality TV playbook of sad piano switching to upbeat pop music when Thirlwall comforts her: an uplifting moment of girl power. From then on, that was Nelsons public narrative.

She does not hold that clip, or the producers, responsible: I think it would have always happened that just added fuel to the fire. From the start, relatability had been billed as a central tenet of Little Mixs appeal. Contostavlos introduced them as the girl group to represent ladies in this country; she framed Nelsons tears as evidence of Little Mix having the same insecurities as every other girl.

Nelson, however, was the only member even remotely close to the average UK woman at size 16. Although the four bandmates have always been friends thats why were still together she felt singled out. I was with three other girls to be compared to. I dont think it would have been as bad if Id been on my own.

After the clip presented her as Little Mixs weakest link, the abuse snowballed. It was like as soon as people knew that it was really affecting me, they wanted to do it more. Nelson had been bullied at school, to the point of stress-induced alopecia but this wasnt playground stuff.

She was shocked by the cruelty from adults some clearly parents. Obviously everyone sits in their living room and will see someone on TV and make a comment. But to actually pick up your phone and go: Im going to make sure this girl sees it even if they didnt think I was going to see it you have no idea the effect that one comment will have.

Nelson became obsessed with reading criticism. The praise didnt register. It only got worse when I got Twitter. And that led to the Daily Mail, and reading the [below the line] comments the worst you can read about yourself. It was like I purposely wanted to hurt myself.

I had a routine of waking up, going on Twitter, searching for the worst things I could about myself. Id type in the search bar: Jesy fat, or Jesy ugly, and see what would come up. Sometimes I didnt even need to do that, Id just write Jesy and then Id see all the horrible things. Everyone told me to ignore it but it was like an addiction.

At one event, Nicola Roberts of Girls Aloud who had seen the clip of her crying took Nelson aside. She said: Can I just give you one bit of advice? Please dont read stuff about you. Its the worst thing you could do.

Little
Little Mix in Sydney, Australia, in 2013: (from left) Perrie Edwards, Jade Thirlwall, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jesy Nelson. Photograph: Newspix/Rex

Nelson rolls her eyes self-mockingly. But did I listen? No.

Contestants had been told help was available if they were struggling, but Nelson had learned that talking only made the problem worse. I dont think any of the team really knew how upset it was making me its just go-go-go, from the car into hair and makeup, then rehearsals.

It was also a popularity contest. We just wanted to make everyone happy, and we wanted everyone to like us.

In December 2011, Little Mix became the first group to win The X Factor. Their debut single entered the charts at No 1 seven months later; DNA, their first album, was released in November 2012. Scrutiny of Nelson only increased amid the pressure to maintain momentum.

Although she tried not to discuss it, she feels the abuse came to define her public image. Id become a bit of a joke. People would make memes, chopping my head off in a group photo and putting a monster or ET on there. Id be in live Q&As and these things would pop up and Id have to just sit there.

Interviewers asked her how she dealt with it; fans said they looked up to her. She was depressed and in denial: she refused antidepressants, and therapy didnt help. Our schedule was so gruelling. I was going to see a therapist at six oclock in the morning, crying, and then going to a photoshoot.

Meanwhile, in public, she was giving speeches about being confident. Little Mix, as the guardians of girl power, were not only supposed to represent every woman, but defend every woman.

I felt I had to be this person who was like Nelson juts her jaw, sashays from side to side, a facsimile of her sassy music-video persona: I dont care what people are saying about me, Im this strong woman. That was the role I had to take on in the group, when really I was an absolute mess.

In the lead-up to TV performances or video shoots: Id starve myself Id drink Diet Coke for a solid four days and then, when I felt a bit dizzy, Id eat a pack of ham because I knew it had no calories. Then Id binge eat, then hate myself.

Yet she did not see herself as having an eating disorder. I could see that I was losing weight and sometimes Id see a few good comments and that spiralled me to be like: This is how I need to stay. No one cares whether your performance was good, or if you sounded great.

Nelson
Nelson in Odd One Out. Photograph: Jamie Simonds/BBC/October Films

Nelson started skipping events where she knew she would be photographed. On one magazine shoot, the wrong size clothes were provided. I had a meltdown. I cried so much, I had to wear sunglasses. I did one photo, then left. She hid her misery well, she says now. I think people just thought I was a miserable bitch.

Her lowest point was in the lead-up to Little Mixs second album, Salute, in 2013. Her mum, Janice, increasingly desperate, told her she had to quit the band. Yet Nelson worried that leaving or even taking a break would draw more attention to herself. Everyones going to ask why.

In November 2013, Little Mix returned to The X Factor to perform their new single, Nelson notably slimmed down. Coverage centred on one tweet from Katie Hopkins: Packet Mix have still got a chubber in their ranks. Less Little Mix. More Pick n Mix.

Increasingly, Nelson felt trapped. I felt that I physically couldnt tolerate the pain any more. She attempted suicide.

Nelsons family, her management and the rest of the group knew but once it was spoken about, it wasnt ever spoken about again, she says. She was offered time off, but once more was too frightened of drawing attention to herself to take it.

The turning point came in February 2014, when Little Mix spent six weeks travelling across North America, opening for Demi Lovato. One day, on the bus, the dancers pulled her aside and told her she had to quit Twitter, likening it to a book filled with loads of nasty things that Nelson always had her nose in. She finally deleted her account.

It was a long, hard process, because I didnt want to help myself. But it wasnt until I deleted Twitter that everything changed for me and I slowly started to feel normal again. Through more regular therapy and talking to friends and family, eventually she was able to stop reading articles about herself, and distance herself from her public image even as Little Mixs star continued to climb. In 2016, Glory Days became their first No 1 album in the UK.

Since February, Nelson has been dating the 2017 Love Island contestant Chris Hughes, who has defended her publicly from online trolling and who she says is a positive influence on her feelings about fame: Its nice to be around someone who doesnt give a shit about all that stuff.

Making the documentary also contributed; she lights up while talking about meeting a body-image specialist, Liz Ritchie, to help her understand her relationship with social media and the mask that she had developed to withstand the spotlight. Part of this involved going over footage from The X Factor, which was a difficult experience, but ultimately empowering.

Dont get me wrong, I still have days when I feel shit in myself but instead of beating myself up about it and being miserable, I think: OK, Im going to have my moment of being sad, and Ill be over it. Before, I didnt let myself be sad.

Talking to other young people who have experienced online abuse made her feel less alone. A lot of people think stop moaning, but until youve experienced it, its hard to understand and it doesnt just happen to people in the limelight. Theres so many people struggling with social media and online trolling. People need to know about the effects it has.

The turnaround in five years, she agrees, is remarkable: now, as Little Mix work on their sixth album, Nelson is less conscious of her weight, her appearance, what shes eating even what is being said about her. To shoot the documentary, she returned to Twitter, and discovered some new slurs. I didnt even know some people said that about me, but its because I dont look for it and also, I. Dont. Care, she says, leaning forward in her chair.

Now Im mentally a lot happier, I just think people are always going to have an opinion. But I only care about mine. She flashes a smile from beneath all her hair, happy but defiant and for a moment she looks exactly like the girl in the music videos.

Jesy Nelson: Odd One Out is on BBC One at 9pm on 12 September, and will be available on BBC iPlayer.

In the UK, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 and the domestic violence helpline is on 0808 2000 247. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is on 13 11 14 and the national family violence counselling service is on 1800 737 732. In the US, the suicide prevention lifeline is 1-800-273-8255 and the domestic Violence hotline is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Other international helplines can be found at www.befrienders.org

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Rosanna Arquette: They said I was a pain in the ass. Its not true

Ever since she was abused by Harvey Weinstein, Rosanna Arquette says she has lived in fear. She talks about harassment, the collapse of her career and the thin line between caution and paranoia

Celebrity

Rosanna Arquette sounds panicked. She thinks someone wants to stop our conversation taking place. For 30 minutes, a BBC publicist has tried to patch us into a conference call; now, Arquette has taken matters into her own hands and phoned me directly. This is what happens! All the time! she says, her voice rising. There are no pleasantries. Its as if we were already talking before I picked up.

Why is it disconnecting every time? she asks. There is something strange here. Really strange. I dont understand whats happening. Why cant we get on the phone with each other? She laughs, a nervous sort of placeholder laugh.

I hesitate before going along with her idea that we have been sabotaged. I had assumed a minor technical hitch. Who would want to stop her talking to me? About a Harvey Weinstein documentary? she scoffs. A lot of people!

It would be easy to put Arquettes panic down to paranoia. But as the BBC documentary Untouchable: The Rise and Fall of Harvey Weinstein shows, paranoia is an utterly reasonable response to what she has been through. Directed by Ursula Macfarlane, the film explores how Weinstein deployed power, right back to his school years. Along with fellow actors and former employees of Weinstein, Arquette contributes her own experience of his alleged sexual abuse. I guess you have to say allegedly, she says. Weinstein denies any non-consensual sexual encounters.

What Arquette didnt know, until one of the producers took the finished film to her house, was that the Israeli intelligence firm Black Cube had put together a profile of her for Weinstein. Phones and getting into computers and emails disappearing that stuff continues, she says (she doesnt suggest Black Cube is involved). She is grateful to Macfarlane for a great job. But a lot of people have made a lot of money on the backs of our pain, she says, with the same sad laugh. I think the word pain has triggered the laugh, and she could be crying.

Arquette was one of the first women to share details of Weinsteins abuse, with Ronan Farrow in the New Yorker and in the New York Times with Jodi Kantor, in October 2017. When the makers of Untouchable contacted her, Everybody was in so much fear, they didnt want to speak, she says. But how do you not?

Arquette
Star on the rise Arquette with Madonna in Desperately Seeking Susan, 1985. Photograph: Allstar/ORION PICTURES

On camera, she tells of the time in the early 1990s when she arrived at the Beverly Hills hotel in Los Angeles for a meeting with Weinstein. As she does and this is something other interviewees in the film do she grabs her own wrist and jerks her body back, her hands rising defensively as she mimics his voice; acting, in short, as if Weinstein is physically there, and that she must also play his part.

Thats what trauma is, she says to be recurrently plunged back into the moment that Weinstein, in his white bathrobe, tried to draw her hand first to his achy neck, then his penis. What a relief it must have been to reach the safety of the lift.

I was never safe, she counters. From the moment I was told that I was supposed to have dinner with him and then I was told: Mr Weinstein will see you upstairs. My heart started racing. Mmmmm. She makes a sound, a sort of verbal malfunction, an alarm that wont stop. Of course she didnt feel safe. She doesnt feel safe now.

Arquette stayed rooted in the doorway of Weinsteins room. She did not go in. That would have been fucked. Game over! But before she fled, he warned her she says this in a deep voice Rosanna, youre making a very big mistake. She says he named two women whom he claimed had gone along with him in order to advance their careers. One has since told her own story, making it clear that she in fact rebuffed Weinstein, so Arquette sees no harm in naming her.

Gwyneth Paltrow, she says. He said to me: Look what Ive done for Gwyneth Paltrow. Gwyneth Paltrow was with Brad Pitt! She had a career! Theres no way she made a deal with Harvey!

But the claim must have weighed on Arquette because, she says, two years ago, when Farrows investigation appeared, she phoned Paltrow.And I said: I just needed you to know what he said to me.

And what did Paltrow say?

She laughed. She said: Yeah, Ive heard that!

Of course, many people had heard many things about Weinstein. Silence was never the problem. I told many people, Arquette says. Who? I told Jane Fonda years ago. She listened to me and she was concerned I talked. I didnt stop talking.

Weinstein
Weinstein in court in a clip from Untouchable: The Rise and Fall of Harvey Weinstein. Photograph: Getty/BBC/LT2 Films LTD

Rose McGowan talked, too, because Arquette heard her account of being raped by Weinstein long before Farrows article in 2017; Arquette shared her own experience with a third party, who shared it with McGowan. All these semi-private conversations built a kind of common knowledge, and that was why Farrow knew to approach her, she says. But we were in such a fearful place. Even as she walked away from Weinsteins corridor and returned to the lobby in the lift, she thought: Hes going to take me down.

Arquette has appeared in more than 70 films but the notable ones are Desperately Seeking Susan (1985), The Big Blue (1988), Pulp Fiction (1994) and Crash (1996) all long ago. Well, like Mira Sorvino says, [Weinstein] took a big chunk of our time in our lives There was a significant drop in careers. Weve gone from the top of A-lists to bottom of the C-minus list within minutes. Gossip … A dinner party Be careful, shes a pain in the ass People listen to that. And its not true!

Pulp Fiction (produced by Weinsteins company Miramax) did come two years after the alleged assault; Arquette wanted to work with Quentin Tarantino. But I never made a penny from it, she says. Im the only famous actor who didnt have a back-end deal [a share of the profits]. And this was a time when I should have

You were A-list, I say. I hate saying that, she says. I suspect she finds it immodest.

She has no evidence that Weinstein warned others against her (though Peter Jackson has admitted to blacklisting Sorvino and Ashley Judd under pressure from Weinstein). And there was always work. Even if it was a bad television movie shooting up in Canada, she says with that same dry laugh. You have to pay the bills when youre a single mum. (Her daughter, Zo Bleu Sidel, is 24 and, according to Arquette: She can run circles around any Arquette as an actor. Zos father, restaurateur John Sidel, was the second of Arquettes four husbands. She has been married to Todd Morgan, an investment banker, since 2013.)

In Hollywood, Arquette always felt isolated. For a long time, she had no agent, though she has a wonderful one now. I never really played the game, doing what it takes to be a star, to keep your mouth shut. I wonder if the other Arquette siblings Patricia, David (whom she says she speaks to most often), Alexis and Richmond shared her sense of isolation? Well, I dont think Patricia does! she shoots back. Shes right there at the top of the field in the game right now.

The speed of her response makes me wonder if it was a competitive household growing up; all the siblings acted. But she says: Ive never experienced that in our family. Theres a pause. Wait a minute, what am I saying? My dad [Lewis Arquette] had a kind of weird competitiveness with me that I never felt was super-supportive. Everybody would say: Your dad is so proud of you! And Id say: Oh, he is? Well, thats nice! But he was a struggling actor who never really made it and then his kids all became, you know, stars.

Acting
Acting is in the family (l to r) Alexis, Rosanna, Richmond, Patricia and David, 2006. Photograph: SGranitz/WireImage

When her trans sister Alexis wanted to be a woman, I always had a joke. I said: You think you have a hard time getting work as an actor? Wait till youre a woman! We had a big laugh over that.

A long outward breath ripples down the phone. Im just trying to get my thoughts in order, she says quietly. Its really hard not to be paranoid when you find out that youve been spied on. She goes back to the earlier hitch with the phone call. So what happens is, I realise in myself, you get so triggered. The trauma of it. This high anxiety happens, along with a strong morning coffee, and you feel like: Whats going on here? She laughs again, but sounds more relaxed.

It was Arquette who, as the eldest sibling, launched the Alexis Arquette Family Foundation after Alexis died from an HIV-related heart attack in 2016. I felt really moved to do something, she says. Patricia contributed, got a couple of good donations. But the family appeared to disagree about which pronoun to use: Richmond chose he in his Facebook post, Patricia she.

This is whats so great about Alexis, Arquette says. Alexis was a they before the they pronoun existed. So which pronoun does the family use now? I go with what Alexis wanted and that was her choice, and her choice was it didnt matter, Arquette says. So we in our family say she. But at the end, Alexis, you know, had a beard. And I said, because Alexis was very ill, I said: Do you want to be buried in a beautiful, beautiful dress and be made up? Is that what you want? It doesnt matter, Ro. It doesnt matter. Male or female, Im just me. We got to have that conversation. So I know that Alexis would be they now, if she were alive.

Activism was always central to Arquette family life. Their mother, Brenda Denaut, was an activist. Alexis campaigned for trans rights. Patricia used her Oscars speech in 2015 to call for wage equality. Way back in 2002, Rosanna made a documentary, Searching for Debra Winger, about the shortage of film roles for older women. This is in our DNA, she says. I suspect even those words are part of the genetic makeup, because Patricia says exactly the same.

Arquette tries not to dwell on the kind of career she might have had. This is my karma. Its for the greater good that it happened to me, because what has become more important in my life is the activism, and being a voice for the voiceless. One of the voices for the voiceless, she amends. She is scrupulously modest.

The next step is the healing, she says. To this end, she is constantly working on her trauma in therapy, and talking with other women all the time, every day about their experiences. Dont these conversations require her to dwell in the moment of abuse?

Its not dwelling, she says. Its still really new. And we have to be diligent and on top of it at all times, because I think men think this is a phase women are going through, and were here to tell you, this is never going away. So many women have been abused, and its been normalised. We cant normalise this. Its not normal!

Still, I worry about the healing part. Arquette seems to feel all allegations of abuse personally. The day after the Brett Kavanaugh hearing, she woke up with shingles. Because the stress was so It was just too much when he got off!

And she finds it meaningful that Jeffrey Epstein died on her 60th birthday, as if their fates were entwined. Certainly, she spent her whole birthday dealing with a lot of women who were really affected by the fact that Jeffrey Epstein died. Thankfully, she had a total rocknroll love festival in her backyard later, attended by activists including Bamby Salcedo, Doctor Astrid Heger, Monica Ramirez and Joni Mitchell. Ellen Barkin was there in all her glory.

Patricia couldnt make it she was getting over the flu. But Arquettes daughter Zo gave a beautiful speech about how she appreciated me and I was always there for her, Arquette says. And Susanna Hoff from the Bangles played Eternal Flame and Walk Like An Egyptian and Take Me With U by Prince. Arquette is singing it now, quietly: I dont care pretty baby, take me with you

Still, the healing process cant have been helped by her recent tweet that she was sorry she was born white and privileged. Afterwards, she received so much abuse on social media that she contacted a really important person who does risk assessments on these sorts of threats. He wants her to be very careful about how I say things, she says, before launching into a clarification. Im defending what I said, and if it pisses people off Yes, just by the nature of the colour of my skin, I was born with privilege. And it is unfair. And thats what I meant to say … Why is it that I was born with privileges just because of the colour of my skin?

She is fighting on so many fronts. She flits from Weinstein to Epstein to Charles Manson to Kavanaugh, mostly in exclamatory bolts. Bearing in mind the threat specialists advice, I wonder if she ever considers …

Do I ever feel like I should shut the fuck up? she jumps in. I dont know how to not speak out. I think as a human being, its my job.

Untouchable: The Rise and Fall of Harvey Weinstein is on Sunday 1 September at 9pm on BBC Two

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Samsungs New Galaxy Note Now Comes in Two Different Sizes

When Samsung first introduced the Galaxy Note smartphone back in 2011, it stood out because of two key features: a stylus pen and a screen so large that the phone was dubbed a “phablet.” Somewhere between a phone and a tablet, the Note was derided at the time for being comically huge.

Smash cut to present day, and millions of people have grown comfortable with phone displays larger than 5.5 inches. The Galaxy Note, despite its ever-increasing size, no longer seems to stand out. And the growth of smartphones, in general, is slowing.

Samsung’s response to the industry’s stagnation: How about two Galaxy Notes? How about three?

Earlier today, the company revealed its new Galaxy Note10 smartphone. It’s the second flagship phone launch of the year for Samsung, which typically releases a new Galaxy S phone in February and its Galaxy Note phone in late summer. This year, the Galaxy Note10 is both larger and smaller: One version of the phone has a plus-size 6.8-inch display, while the other has a 6.3-inch screen—and is almost the exact same size as the Galaxy S10 from earlier this year. Both Galaxy Notes work with a stylus pen, called the S Pen, and both phones are supposed to be vehicles for what Samsung considers to be its latest innovations in mobile.

They’re expensive, as flagship smartphones are these days: The Galaxy Note10 starts at $950, while the larger Galaxy Note10+ starts at $1,100. That means the Galaxy S10 smartphone is slightly less expensive—ranging from $900 to $1,000—but not by much. (The iPhone XS also has a base price of $1,000.) Both new Notes will be available starting August 23.

Later this month, the Galaxy Note10 will also be available as a 5G phone through Verizon Wireless, but neither Samsung nor Verizon have released pricing details for this faster version of the phone.

Samsung’s second flagship phone announcement this year also comes just as analysts are forecasting a decline in smartphone sales in 2019. According to research firm Gartner, worldwide sales will experience a 2.5 percent decline from last year, with Japan, Western Europe, and North America showing the greatest slumps.

“To me, Samsung’s approach is all about segmentation,” says Patrick Moorhead, president and principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy. “The smartphone industry has slowed down in terms of growth, and the best way to keep revenues high and give people what they want is to segment out different versions of the same product, the way the auto industry has done.”

Big Time

Samsung positions its Galaxy Note line as ultra-premium phones, with ultra-loyal customers who come back year after year. It’s the phone for creative professionals, hyper-productive multitaskers, and gamers, according to Samsung. All external signs point to the new Galaxy Note10 fitting that description, though I haven’t had the chance to review the phones yet.

Last year’s Galaxy Note 9 had a 6.4-inch display; the Note10+ now has a 6.8-inch display, while the Note10 has a 6.3-inch screen. The latter has about the same body size as the Galaxy S10, but with slightly more screen. This is partly due to its new bezel-less design and its tiny, hole-punch camera on the front of the phone.

The corners of the Galaxy Note phones are still hard angles, unlike the soft, rounded edges of the Galaxy S line. Samsung says it has also redesigned the Galaxy Note10 phones with “symmetry” in mind, so that they feel more balanced when you hold them, even if the actual weight difference from last year’s Note9 to this year’s Note10 is mere grams.

The new phones have aluminum chassis, with glass backs (Corning’s Gorilla Glass 6). Because Samsung likes to follow trends and also get a little weird, the new phone colors are explicitly iridescent, building on the prismatic color tones introduced with the Galaxy S10. There’s Aura Glow—a silverish, iridescent finish so reflective that you can check your teeth for food by just looking at the back of the phone. There’s also Aura Black, Aura Blue, and Aura White, which is creamier than the Prism White on the S10.

The new Galaxy Note10 phones charge via a USB-C port, which also serves as an audio port. Yup: No 3.5mm headphone jack on the Galaxy Note10. Wireless charging is also an option with these Qi-compatible phones, but if you opt to charge by plugging in, Samsung is promising super fast charging—you can achieve a full day’s worth of battery life after charging the Galaxy Note10 for just 30 minutes, the company claims.

The screen on the Galaxy Note10 is what you might expect from a Samsung display. There are incredibly minor differences between this high-resolution display and the one on the Galaxy S10, but, it’s still what Samsung calls “Dynamic AMOLED,” with support for the HDR10+ display standard and a reduction in potentially harmful blue light. The Galaxy Note 10 also has an in-display fingerprint sensor, something we’ve seen on previous high-end smartphones.

The front-facing camera, as previously mentioned, is a tiny lens and a 10-megapixel sensor placed inside a hole punched into the top-center of the display. The kind of rear camera you’ll get depends on whether you go with the Galaxy Note10+ or the regular Galaxy Note10. The former has a quadruple-lens camera on the back of the phone, with an extra depth lens, while the latter includes three lenses. Samsung is boasting ultra-wide image capture, an improved night mode, and even the ability to shoot super slow-mo video. And an extra microphone added to this year’s phone helps support directional audio capture, while software reduces background noise.

The new phones ship with Google’sAndroid 9 Pie OS, and are running on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 mobile chip, a 7-nanometer, 64-bit octa-core processor. This chip can also be integrated with a Qualcomm X50 5G modem, making that upgrade to a 5G version of the Galaxy Note10+ possible—whenever 5G networks are fully operational, of course.

Play Pen

Given the size of the “regular” Galaxy Note10, it’s natural to wonder what exactly sets this phone apart from other Samsung handsets. And the most obvious answer is the stylus pen. The S Pen is getting an upgrade again. Last year, the Pen became a Bluetooth-equipped remote control: You could open your camera app, position the phone, and use the S Pen in your hand as a wireless shutter button, tricking your colleagues into accidentally taking selfies as they peered at your new phone (not that I did that). This year, the S Pen is getting gesture control, thanks to a new accelerometer and gyroscope inside the stylus.

Samsung calls these “Air” actions, but you can essentially control your phone’s screen, and certain apps running on it, by holding down the side button on the S Pen and swiping it through the air. During a brief demo, I was able to change music playlists and manipulate the phone’s native camera app just by swiping the Pen in the air. I could draw a circle in the air to digitally zoom in while using the camera, and reverse circle to zoom out.

This isn’t entirely limited the Galaxy Note10; it also works on Samsung’s new Tab S6 tablet. But Samsung—like Google—seems to believe there’s a lot of potential for gesture control, and plans to allow game developers to take advantage of the stylus actions too.

There are other new things you can do with the S Pen too, like edit videos with it (which sounds terribly onerous) or convert your hand-written notes to text and export it directly to Microsoft Word. For people who rarely use the S Pen, Samsung is attempting to differentiate the Galaxy Note10 by shipping it with more base storage and RAM, including an advanced vapor chamber cooling system, and optimizing the software in certain ways.

In the Spotlight

Samsung is coming off the heels of an embarrassing foldable phone launch, the thing that was supposed to further solidify the Korean electronics company as the bearer of whiz-bang innovation in an increasingly boring mobile market. And, of course, it was just a few Notes ago that Samsung ended up in a literal firestorm of quality assurance issues around lithium ion batteries. So at this particular moment in time, with this particular phone line, Samsung still has something to prove.

Samsung insists it’s moving the needle again with the Galaxy Note10, that it’s pushing boundaries, and that Note10 customers will be able to “do things with this device that they can’t do anywhere else,” as Suzanne De Silva, Samsung’s head of mobile product strategy and marketing, said in a briefing with WIRED a week before the phone’s unveiling. Certain elements of this are true, although in many ways the biggest leaps with this phone—the support for 5G, the gesture controls, even new built-in AR applications—are still a long way from being embraced by the masses.


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