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ASUS ZenFone 4 launches with Pro, Selfie, and Max models

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ASUS hasn’t shied away from teasing its next-generation ZenFone 4 lineup for the past few weeks, but all that build-up ends now. The ZenFone 4 series is finally here, bringing with it several variants for all sorts of markets.

We’re currently looking at a total of six officially named ZenFone 4 models: the midrange ZenFone 4, a high-end ZenFone 4 Pro, two selfie-centric phones in the ZenFone 4 Selfie and Selfie Pro, the ZenFone 4 Max that was quietly launched in Russia last month, and an additional ZenFone 4 Max Pro.


Those don’t include the minor variations some of these models possess. Already confused? Let’s break them down:

ASUS ZenFone 4

Despite being the torch bearer of the new lineup, the ZenFone 4 is in fact a midrange smartphone. That’s because it makes use of one of Qualcomm’s new efficiency-first processors — either the Snapdragon 660 or 630. So yes, there are two versions under its name, but the one equipped with the Snapdragon 660 will be slightly faster.

The rest of the specifications are what you’d expect from a phone of this caliber: a 5.5-inch Full HD LCD, up to 6GB of memory and 64GB of storage, and 3300mAh battery. What makes this special compared to the ZenFone 3 is its dual-camera system, wherein in the secondary 8-megapixel sensor delivers wider-angled shots compared to the primary’s 12-megapixel shooter. There’s another, single 8-megapixel camera on the front.

Pricing starts at US$ 399.

ASUS ZenFone 4 Pro

As the top-of-the-line model, the ZenFone 4 Pro has something the others don’t: Qualcomm’s best processor to date, the Snapdragon 835. That’s a big deal, because that puts this phone in line with the likes of the Sony Xperia XZ Premium, HTC U11, and OnePlus 5 — that’s seriously good company to be associated with.

Another special feature is the 16-megapixel secondary camera at the back that’s capable of 2X optical zoom. Combined with the optically stabilized 12-megapixel shooter and 8-megapixel selfie cam, we’ve got all bases covered. Sealing the deal are the 5.5-inch Full HD AMOLED, 6GB of memory, 128GB of storage, and 3600mAh battery.

As expected, it’s the costliest of the bunch. We’re looking at a price tag of US$ 599.

ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie

ASUS has finally brought its Selfie series back after total absence from the ZenFone 3 line. Like the aforementioned models, the 5.5-inch ZenFone 4 Selfie has a pair of side-by-side cameras — except this time, they’re in front.

The main selfie shooter offers a large 20-megapixel resolution, while the secondary lens provides wide 120-degree photos to fit more people into a shot. There’s a front-facing LED flash, as well, and its 16-megapixel rear camera is on its own, but should be enough for daily grinds. A lower-end Snapdragon 430 chip powers the phone, along with 4GB of memory, 64GB of storage, and a 3000mAh battery.

You can purchase one for US$ 279.

ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro

If the ZenFone 4 Selfie isn’t enough to satisfy your vanity, you may opt for the more capable 5.5-inch Selfie Pro. It has a faster Snapdragon 625 processor and DuoPixel front-facing camera technology that combines two 12-megapixel images into a higher-resolution 24-megapixel photo. Wide-angled selfies with the second camera are also possible, and beside it is another LED flash.

Other than that, the Selfie Pro is similar to its non-Pro counterpart. You get the same 16-megapixel rear camera, 4GB of memory, 64GB storage, and 3000mAh battery. In addition, there’ll be a bright red color option available, while the ZenFone 4 Selfie will settle for more basic pink and teal choices.

It’ll retail for US$ 379.

ASUS ZenFone 4 Max and Max Pro

Finally, we have the most budget-friendly of the set, the ZenFone 4 Max. Like its super-popular predecessor, the ZenFone 3 Max, the newer model prioritizes battery life with a 5000mAh capacity. Different this time, however, is the inclusion of a dual-camera setup at the back, which is rare at this price point.

One rear camera is 13 megapixels, while the other handles 120-degree wide-angle shots. The front-facing camera is less special with a single 8-megapixel shooter, but interestingly, there’s a LED flash beside it, as well. Keeping the electronics going is a Snapdragon 430 chipset with 3GB of memory and 32GB of storage under a 5.5-inch HD 720p LCD.

Take note that there’s also a ZenFone 4 Max Pro with a slightly higher-resolution 16-megapixel rear camera. Aside from that, it’s nearly identical to the regular ZenFone 4 Max.

Pricing and availability for all handsets will be added as soon as we get them.

SEE ALSO: ASUS ZenFone AR review

[irp posts=”15440" name=”ASUS ZenFone AR review”]

Enterprise

We’re not replacing Android yet, Huawei says

HongMeng is not the replacement system

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Amidst the long-standing Trump saga, Huawei has quietly developed its own operating system. Or so we thought.

Weeks earlier, Google blacklisted Huawei from its services, heralding a premature end to the latter’s Android support. Naturally, Huawei needed a more reliable replacement. Besides third-party replacements, the company supposedly started developing a completely new operating system. According to rumors, the future system will carry the name “Ark” or “HongMeng.”


Of course, as we know now, Huawei’s landmark ban as short-lived. Recently, Trump reversed his decision. Huawei’s Android support lives on — at least, for the immediate future. However, despite the optimism, Huawei isn’t resting on its laurels. HongMeng’s rumor mill kept grinding news every day. Most notably, Huawei was reportedly gearing for a late 2019 launch.

Out of nowhere, Huawei has finally addressed the torrent of rumors. HongMeng isn’t an Android replacement. At least, not yet.

According to senior vice president Catherine Chen, the operating system is not designed for smartphone use. For the meantime, Huawei is working closely with Google for continued support.

In another report, chairman Liang Hua comments on the company’s indecision regarding the operating system. Huawei still hasn’t decided if HongMeng can fit into the Android ecosystem. Further, he clarifies the system’s true nature. Apparently, HongMeng is software meant for industrial IoT devices. Whatever Huawei’s replacement operating system is, it’s not HongMeng.

Regardless, Huawei’s HongMeng system should be a lessened priority for the company. Huawei is still riding on both optimism and a need for damage control. If anything, Huawei is tying up its loose ends before its next big move.

SEE ALSO: Huawei can still get banned again in the future

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Google, Facebook could be tracking your porn

Incognito isn’t as safe as you think

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It’s become increasingly easy to access porn. And no, don’t give me that “it’s blocked” excuse. When it comes down to it, we all find ways. 😏

However, if you want to keep your porn activity to yourself, you might have to be more creative. CNET reported on a Microsoft research saying it analyzed over 20,000 porn sites and and found that 93 percent of them leak user data to a third party.


But you’re on incognito mode, right? It doesn’t help. The researchers pointed out that going on incognito mode only prevents your device from storing the sites you went to. The tracking happens elsewhere.

The biggest benefactors of your sexy time data are Google and Facebook. Specifically, it’s one of the companies under Google called DoubleClick that had trackers on porn sites. They are reportedly tracking 74 percent of the sites examined. Facebook, meanwhile, was tracking 10 percent of the sites.

Data too personal

One of the researchers who worked on the study told The New York Times that the tracking works so similarly to online retail and said that it should be “a huge red flag.” You might not realize it but the ads you’re being served may have been gleaned from your porn consumption.

CNET reached out to Facebook and they responded with the following statement:

“We don’t want adult websites using our business tools since that type of content is a violation of our Community Standards. When we learn that these types of sites or apps use our tools, we enforce against them.”

This is another one of Google’s many security issues. Just recently, reports found that more than 1,000 apps are mining your data. They also admitted to listening in on your conversations through Google Home.

The company has yet to comment on the story but it looks like they have plenty to answer for.

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Enterprise

These are the best cities for women entrepreneurs to thrive

Singapore ranks third in Asia Pacific, behind Sydney and Melbourne

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At the 10th annual Dell Women Entrepreneur Network Summit in Singapore, Dell announced findings of the 2019 Women Entrepreneur Cities (WE Cities) Index, ranking 50 global cities on their ability to foster growth for women entrepreneurs. Dell ranks cities based on the impact of local policies, programs, and characteristics in addition to national laws and customs to help improve support for women entrepreneurs and the overall economy.

Building on 10 years of research on women entrepreneurs, Dell partnered with IHS Markit to research and rank 50 cities on five important characteristics, including access to Capital, Technology, Talent, Culture and Markets.


The San Francisco Bay Area outranked New York for the No. 1 spot this year, mostly due to the city being one of the best places for women to gain access to capital. It also moved from 6th place to 2nd place in Culture, showing that the number of role models and public dialogue around eliminating the “bro culture” is making an impact.

Lack of funding, high cost of living, low representation of women in leadership roles and the lack of government-led policies that support women entrepreneurs were among the barriers globally.

Cities in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region are improving alongside all other cities globally, but still have a long way to go. Singapore, one of the only three cities from Southeast Asia to make it to the top 50, saw the highest improvement in the Talent pillar, as it benefitted from increasing its top school and business school rankings, as well as its pool of professionals needed to help scale businesses.

APAC cities mainly fell behind in the pillars for Culture and Markets. Despite making the top 50, Singapore’s Culture score was relatively low due to fewer female role models or leaders, although it’s still more advanced than majority of its neighbors in addressing gender parity issues.

Singapore ranks only No. 47 globally for the Markets pillar, because of the high cost of living in the city despite the lack of accelerators and relatively few female board members.

The WE Cities Index serves as a diagnostic tool to advise policy-makers on how to better support women in business.

“By arming city leaders and policymakers with actionable, data-driven research on the landscape for women entrepreneurs, we can collectively accelerate the success of women-owned businesses by removing financial, cultural and political barriers,” says Karen Quintos, EVP and chief customer officer at Dell Technologies.

The same way US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg argued in her landmark cases that gender discrimination hurts men and women alike, Singapore Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu also emphasized at the summit that it’s not only women who want a better work life balance; men also want to be able to spend more time with their families.

This is where technology comes in. Technology, as a gender-neutral enabler, helps drive progress in gender equality by creating a level playing field, says Amit Midha, President of Asia Pacific & Japan, Global Digital Cities at Dell Technologies. It’s important to empower and invest in women not just because it’s been proven time and again that women help economies grow, but also because doing so benefits men and society as a whole.

SEE ALSO: Inspiring quotes from Dell Women Entrepreneur Network Summit 2019

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