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4-inch iPhone makes a comeback

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Big things come in small packages.

From its moderately sized Town Hall in Cupertino, Apple unveiled a couple of “small” devices today, including a new 4-inch iPhone.

Dubbed the iPhone SE, the new iPhone looks exactly like the iPhone 5S from 3 years ago, sporting the same 4-inch Retina display, diamond cut chamfered edges, and blasted aluminium finish. 

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But don’t be deceived by appearances, internally the iPhone SE is as powerful as its top of the line model. Apple is calling it the most powerful 4-inch phone (phone not just smartphone) ever, and that’s great news for users who like phones that are small but powerful.

For years, Android smartphones have led the shift towards larger screen sizes. A hesitant Apple followed suit, growing the original iPhone from 3.5 inches to 4.0 inches in 2012 and again to 4.7 inches in 2014. But many still preferred the smaller form factor, so Apple wisely kept older models around and ended up selling 30 million 4-inch iPhones last year.

The introduction of the iPhone SE may spark a renaissance for small smartphones, not that you can’t buy a sub 5-inch smartphone today. But usually, size comes at the cost of power, battery life, and camera performance. Not anymore.

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The iPhone SE has the same A9 processor as the iPhone 6S with promised performance improvements of up to 2x (vs the 5S); the same 12 megapixel iSight camera, regarded as one of the best in the biz; longer battery life; Touch ID fingerprint scanner; and faster LTE and WiFi. The only thing missing is the iPhone 6S’ pressure sensitive 3D touch display.

Pre-orders for the iPhone SE begin on Thursday, March 24 and will be available as early as March 31 in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Singapore, the UK, US Virgin Islands and the US.

Apart from the usual colors – space gray, silver, and gold, the iPhone SE will also be available in rose gold (or pink as we prefer to call it). The phone comes in 16GB and 64GB models, and will retail for $399 and $499 respectively.

Priced competitively at $250 less the iPhone 6S, the iPhone SE is Apple’s answer to mid-range Android smartphones that are hugely popular in developing markets like India and Southeast Asia. Apple says the phone is a response to what its users want, but we think, a cheaper iPhone is exactly what Apple needs

Gaming

Nike, Paul George unveil PlayStation-themed shoes

Features extra goodies for PS4 owners

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Basketball shoes are a way for fans to show their love for the game. However, Nike’s new shoes show appreciation for a different kind of game — the video game.

Sporting a PlayStation logo and a load of other gamer goodies, the PG2 is Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George’s latest collaboration with Nike. His second signature shoe with the sneaker company boasts both his twin loves — basketball and video games.

George, who previously played for the Indiana Pacers, is no stranger to collaborations with the gaming world. Last year, the star was featured on the cover of NBA 2K17, when he was still donning the blue and gold. In the same year, he also launched his first shoe, the PG1, which sported a cameo of his 2K17 render.

The PG2 shares a similar design with the PG1, particularly its traditional look compared to the standard bootie design today.

The shoe exudes a dark blue with black accents look. It shows off the PG brand and PlayStation logos on the right and left tongues, respectively. Mimicking the PS4’s DualShock controllers, both logos light up and pulse when activated by buttons. The lighting mechanism contains a 150-hour non-removable battery.

The shoe’s lace locks are painted red, green, blue, and pink to look like the iconic PlayStation symbols. The actual symbols themselves highlight the patented leather on the shoes’ sides.

Also, Sony lent its PlayStation Galaxy theme to the shoes’ sock liner and midsole. Splotches of red, purple, and blue accompany the Nike swoosh on the midsole. Meanwhile, the sock liner dons the stellar theme.

PlayStation gamers will also enjoy a digital goodie bag after purchasing the shoe. A PlayStation Network barcode on the right shoe unlocks access to a dynamic Paul George theme on the PS4. It will also unlock a surprise that George and designer Tony Hardman are keeping under wraps until its launch.

The PG2 PlayStation shoes will hit stores on February 10 at a modest US$ 110. Paul George himself debuted the shoes at the Thunder’s 24-point blowout win against the Cleveland Cavaliers last January 20.

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Automotive

Ford unveils revived Ranger pickup

A benched player returning back to the game

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Ford has previously announced that it’s once again introducing its Ranger pickup to the US market after its hiatus since 2011. The company has then unveiled the all-new truck at this year’s North American Auto Show (NAIAS) and fans of the vehicle seemed excited enough during the event.

The Ranger has the same body-on-frame construction which is supported by a high-strength steel frame backbone. Ford is also sticking with their standard steel bumpers for this one, folks. Overall, it has that assertive stance that Ranger fans have grown to love.

Under the hood, this midsize pickup truck is equipped with a 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine and is mated to a 10-speed auto transmission. There will be 2WD and 4WD variants with an XL, XLT, and the Lariat trims with a choice of chrome, sport, or the FX Off-Road packages for the Supercab or SuperCrew models.

In-car tech comes standard and features blind spot warning system, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and automatic emergency brakes. Production will start later this year at Michigan with actual units for sale arriving in 2019.

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Cameras

Hasselblad’s new medium-format camera shoots 400MP photos

Each image file is 2.4GB!

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Did you ever feel like the resolution of your smartphone or camera’s pictures weren’t enough? Has the thought of needing 400 megapixels ever crossed your mind?

Unless your phone is from tech’s stone age or you’re a professional photographer (a really serious one), you’re likely to say no to both. Fortunately, Hasselblad doesn’t care what you, I, or other regular folks think, and has released a monstrous 400-megapixel medium-format camera.

You read that correctly: The H6D-400c MS is a real camera with an incredibly high resolution output and equally astounding price tag. This behemoth costs a whopping US$ 47,995 or EUR 39,999 (and that’s only for the body without any lenses).

See it from all angles in this official video:

You’ll notice that the 53.4 x 40mm image sensor (that’s much larger than the full-frame sensors we’re accustomed to) has only 100 megapixels on it, but the 400-megapixel outputs actually come from a technique called multi-shot.

The camera takes four 100-megapixel shots with slight shifts in pixels to produce one 23200 x 17400-pixel photo, which is equal to 400 megapixels. As you can imagine, the file size would be massive — a single TIFF image is 2.4GB! You could easily fill up a 1TB hard disk during a single photo shoot.

This clearly isn’t for regular consumers. Only pros who need to capture every single detail of a subject and post-process on a large monitor would be interested in such a camera.

If you’ve reached this point and are seriously considering one, pre-orders are already being accepted and shipping begins in March.

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