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Vivo updates its midrange lineup, unveils X9s and X9s Plus

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Vivo is keen to improve its standing against competitors as it refreshes its midrange line of smartphones in China with with up-to-date specifications.

Eight months from the release of their predecessors, the new Vivo X9s and X9s Plus inherit the dual front-facing cameras and same physical body. From the outside, not much has changed. The placement of the buttons, ports, and cameras are nearly identical. It’ll give people a hard time telling what’s missing or new about the newer phones.

Vivo X9s

Well, both still sport dual front-facing cameras with a 20- and 5-megapixel combination. While OPPO implements its secondary sensor for extreme wide-angle shots, Vivo keeps it for depth info to create artificial bokeh of your selfies. It’s a similar setup to the Vivo V5 Plus that other markets has.

Vivo X9s Plus

If we take a look at the spec sheets, the X9s is now rocking a Snapdragon 652 processor while the X9s Plus gets the Snapdragon 653. The new midrange chipsets will give both phones a boost in overall performance. Memory- and storage-wise, they still have 4GB of memory and 64GB of storage. Sadly, there are no microSD card slots on both.

The big difference between the two is their sizes. The X9s has the conventional 5.5-inch display size while the X9 Plus gets a bigger 5.85-inch. Both panels are Super AMOLED with Full HD resolution. Battery capacities on both are 3320mAh and 4015mAh, respectively.

As for pricing, the X9s will cost you CNY 2,698 (US$ 396) while the X9s Plus is slightly priced higher at CNY 2,998 (US$ 440). Since the two are announced in China, we can’t really tell when or even if the two will be made available outside the mainland.

SEE MORE: Vivo shows off Under Display fingerprint scanning

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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Huawei’s new charging tech is 10 times faster than current speeds

There’s just one problem…

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Fast charging has been an invaluable technology on smartphones since being introduced a few years ago, and it keeps getting faster and more stable. But it has run into a bit of a plateau, one that Huawei is looking to overcome.

The Chinese manufacturer has found a way to speed up the charging process by 10 times, which they boast in this video:

If this becomes a reality, you could one day charge your phone from zero to 48 percent in only five minutes. For comparison, it often takes 30 minutes to hit 50 to 60 percent with today’s fastest quick chargers.

As expected, there’s a catch. The process shows the phone’s battery being taken out and transferred to a separate charger. This is beginning to feel more like a throwback than a look into the future.

This is likely because a traditional lithium-ion battery — found in all smartphones today — is still being used. The workaround would then be to improve the technology surrounding it.

Handsets won’t be the only home for this new development. Huawei hopes to place this in electric vehicles, mobile power supplies, and laptops, as well.

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