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5 reasons to get excited about the 5.5-inch ASUS ZenFone 3 Max

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As much as we adore the ZenFone 3 Max with its large battery and sleek physique, we can’t help but feel ASUS could do better — and, we may be right. Based on a newly launched product page on the company’s official website, there’s a larger 5.5-inch model on the way. With a ZC553KL model name, it looks to be more than a cosmetic update. Here are five reasons why we think the upcoming ZenFone 3 Max will rock.

It’s larger yet thinner than the ZenFone 3 Max…

The most obvious upgrade is the more generous 5.5-inch display. Up from the original ZenFone 3 Max’s 5.2-inch screen, gaming and movie watching will be far more enjoyable on this amount of real estate. On top of that, the resolution is given a boost, going from a measly 720p on the original to a Full HD 1080p resolution on the newer model.

 

ASUS ZenFone 3 Max 5.5 top and bottom design

Surprisingly, the added size doesn’t affect the thinness of the phone. In fact, the 5.5-inch ZenFone 3 Max is thinner than the 5.2-inch version: 8.3mm compared to 8.6mm. Woah!

… but its battery is still massive

Seriously, the real highlight is the battery capacity. Still having a 4100mAh battery despite the shaved profile means you’re getting 19 hours of web browsing on Wi-Fi and 72 hours of music playback on a single charge.

With a 4G standby time of 38 days (even more if you rely on 3G), going over a day of heavy usage shouldn’t be any trouble at all. Turn on Super Saving mode, and you’ll be able to squeeze out 30 hours of standby time when your battery’s down to 10 percent.

It doesn’t settle for low-end specs anymore…

One qualm we had with the smaller ZenFone 3 Max was its entry-level, quad-core MediaTek processor. While we appreciate the chip’s battery-conscious energy consumption, it simply didn’t meet our performance standards. That changes with the larger ZenFone 3 Max’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 octa-core processor.

ASUS ZenFone 3 Max 5.5 UI

It’s such a step up in quality, we wonder why ASUS didn’t implement it in the first place. Even last year’s battery life king, the 5000mAh-capacity ZenFone Max, had an older version of this Qualcomm processor. The updated chipset is a lot more capable of handling graphics-heavy games, and shouldn’t significantly reduce the overall battery life.

… and has an even better camera than the ZenFone 3 Laser’s

The biggest surprise — and we’re not making this up — is how the 5.5-inch ZenFone 3 Max has a better camera setup than the ZenFone 3 Laser’s. For those unfamiliar with the ASUS lineups, the Max series is designed to have the longest battery lives, while the Laser line specializes in offering the best shooting performance in its price range.

ASUS ZenFone 3 Max 5.5 camera

For some reason, ASUS decided to disrupt the flow by equipping the new ZenFone 3 Max with a 16-megapixel, f/2.0 aperture camera, along with a laser and phase detection autofocus system for better subject tracking, plus three-axis electronic image stabilization. This is like having the two lineups mashed together, but better.

Let’s not forget: It’s a power bank in disguise

You won’t have to worry about running out of juice when you have the upcoming ZenFone 3 Max with you, but sadly, this doesn’t apply to all your gadgets. Carrying an extra power bank is also out of the question for some light travelers. Luckily, this Max has you covered, too.

Using the bundled USB OTG (on-the-go) adapter, you can connect any mobile device to the 5.5-inch ZenFone 3 Max and treat it like any other portable charger. Trust us, your friends will thank you.

Bonus: It comes in four sweet flavors!

ASUS ZenFone 3 Max 5.5 four colors

Sand gold, titanium gray, glacier silver, and rose pink are so hot right now. Unfortunately, there’s no official word on price or the release date yet.

Are you as excited as we are? Let us know if you’re looking forward to more from GadgetMatch on this maxed-out ZenFone. For now, watch this promo video from ASUS:

Source: ASUS

CES 2018

Episode 001: Getting lost at the world’s largest tech show

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In this first epidose of GadgetMatch Podcast we talk about the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2018) which just wrapped up in Las Vegas. Michael Josh and Isa share behind the scenes challenges of covering the world’s largest tech show. And the team talks about the most attention grabbing tech from the show including an entire range of Artificial Intelligence and Google Assistant gadgets, Vivo’s new phone with an in-display fingerprint sensor, Sony’s new robot dog, and Razer’s Project Linda.

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Apps

How to hide from Instragram’s new Activity Status feature

It’s on by default!

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Instagram silently rolled out a new feature of its app. If you don’t like your friends to know that you’re online (and also protect your privacy), you might want to take action. Why? Because it’s automatically turned on.

If you have the latest app, you probably noticed something new inside the Direct Messages section. This new feature dubbed “Activity Status” lets your Instagram buddies know if you’re online. If you happen to be scrolling through your timeline moments ago, the status will show that you’ve been available earlier.

This is switched on by default but the data is only shared with users that you follow and those you message privately. There’s no need to panic if you think a stalker will know that you’re online — unless you follow them, too.

How to turn it off?

You can easily switch it off inside the app. Just go to your profile page and tap the top-right icon for Options.

Next, scroll down until you see “Show Activity Status” and switch the toggle button beside.

That’s it! Now that it’s off on your end, your status will not show up to your buddies. Although, you won’t be able to see the status of other accounts as well.

Since the new feature was smoothly included in the recent updates from the Play Store or App Store, it’s not clear when Instagram introduced the function. Some might not have it yet, which could mean it’s still an experimental approach with a limited number of users.

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Automotive

The Best Car Tech of CES 2018

Exciting times ahead!

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We recently wrapped up CES 2018 (see our top picks) and even though the trade show originally revolved around consumer electronics, a big chunk of what was introduced was directed towards connected cities with a focus on making driving a lot smarter.

The idea of self-driving cars surely isn’t new and has been around for quite some time now. It’s basically the concept of what the future is like in addition to flying cars. At this year’s CES, brands who participated made us realize that this “future” isn’t too far away.

Here are some of the most promising cars and car technology that we’re excited to see in the near future.

Assistance

Multiple brands showed off their new toys left and right. There’s the announcement of Amazon’s Alexa coming to cars for voice assistance and content consumption. Toyota will be the next to adapt voice assistance in addition to BMW, Ford, and Hyundai. Meanwhile, Waze has also been integrated into select infotainment systems.

Nissan, on the other hand, is taking the user-machine a step further by introducing the brain-to-vehicle (B2V) technology. It basically uses a system that could read your brain patterns and signals to better prepare for what you’re about to do next while driving.

Platforms

In terms of services, Ford is slightly stepping out of the shadow of car-making and plans to be the new platform for autonomous vehicles. It has partnered with Lyft, Domino’s Pizza, and Postmates to create an operating system which small to large businesses can use for their unique services.

Speaking of unique services, Toyota unveiled its e-Palette concept vehicle which has all the potential to go big in the future of mobility. It’s envisioned as a self-driving vehicle running on Toyota’s tech and platform that other brands can use for food deliveries, as a moving boutique, or even a mobile hotel that you can rent.

As far as ride-sharing goes, expect it to join the bandwagon as smart cities are developed. During the trade show, car tech company Aptiv was present and was hand-in-hand with Lyft as they demonstrated their self-driving cars to the participants of CES. The public could just hail a ride from the Las Vegas Convention Center using the app and enjoy the view of the Strip to their destination.

Additionally, NVIDIA has also added Uber and Volkswagen to their growing roster of brands that will run on the company’s self-driving computer platform.

Cars

Apart from the new platforms, there were cars — quite a lot, actually. From concept to actual models on display, we got a peek at these vehicles that probably want to take on Tesla.

Derived from Bytes on Wheels, BYTON wants to blur the line between digital and automotive with their electric intelligent SUV concept. The new-gen smart device communicates with users and pedestrians via lights and patterns on its grille and recognizes the driver and passengers by face.

Kia was also present with its very own Niro electric crossover. This concept is basically an electric version of the Niro Hybrid but gets a new grille design. Like BYTON, it is now an interactive panel with a built-in Active Pedestrian Warning System, but what makes this something to look forward to is its range. It can go as far 383km (238 miles) before needing to charge again — beating what the Tesla Model 3 can offer.

Car designer Henrik Fisker gave another shot at making vehicles; this time in the form of the EMotion luxury sedan. The vehicle is a level 4 autonomous car and is equipped with the world’s first Butterfly Doors. Fisker also wants to set standards for other EVs so they made the vehicle last up to 644km (400 miles) on the road.

Meanwhile, Hyundai is continuing its push to go green and introduced the NEXO fuel cell electric vehicle. It has a more efficient engine, is a lot quieter, and maintenance is kept to a minimum. Although the best thing about it is that it emits nothing but water vapor. Features-wise, it has autonomous driving, self-parking, self-retrieval — the whole shebang.

In-vehicle Networking

Software updates are an important aspect of vehicles relying on digital systems. Tesla has somehow established its system already but for other car brands, updating hundreds, even thousands of vehicles across a country, is still not an easy task.

Hyundai and Cisco addressed this and aims to overhaul the process of in-vehicle networking. With the use of Ethernet connectivity and the Automotive Linux platform, they promise to be able to roll out updates remotely and it’s as simple as pushing a button.

 

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