News

Acer’s Liquid Jade Primo is a flagship Windows 10 phone that doubles somewhat as a pocket PC

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Contrary to what you may have seen on the news, Microsoft isn’t the only company with an interest in seeing Windows 10 Mobile take off.

Amid sluggish growth — which according to industry analyst IDC, won’t get much better in the foreseeable future — and a dismal 2015 that saw its mobile operating system’s market share dip to 2.2 percent (compared to Android’s 81 percent), Microsoft has found a hardware partner in Acer, which produced the phone you’re looking at now.

This is Acer’s Liquid Jade Primo, a flagship Windows 10 Mobile handset that flaunts more curves than anything Microsoft or any other Windows phone maker has built in the past. But that’s not to say we haven’t seen anything like it; we’ve seen this design plenty of times on Acer smartphones running Android.

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And that’s good to hear, as the Primo is smooth to the touch and more comfortable to hold and operate than its size would suggest. In keeping with Acer’s Liquid designation, soft melted wax is a good way to describe how it feels in the hand.

If there’s one major criticism we’d level at the Primo it’s that the casing is made of lightweight plastic. We get that aluminum unibody enclosures aren’t for everyone, but considering the sticker price, we can’t help but think that premium build materials could have been incorporated in the final design.

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Like Microsoft’s Lumia 950 phones, the Primo has a 5.5-inch OLED display with a layer of curved-edge Corning Gorilla Glass on top for added scratch resistance. The screen maxes out at 1080p, which is a shame considering phones in its class typically have Quad HD panels. The 21-megapixel camera around the back impresses in terms of megapixel count, though we’ll have to wait to see how it performs in various situations before passing judgement.

Powering the Primo is a Snapdragon 808 processor with 3GB of RAM. Its 32GB internal storage is expandable using a microSD card, though at the expense of a second SIM card slot. In our brief testing, we found it responsive and snappy, without any of the jitters you may find in premium, Android-based smartphones.

What really sets this Acer apart from majority of phones on the market is Continuum, Windows 10 Mobile’s killer feature that allows smartphones to function somewhat like desktop PCs when plugged into a dock that connects to a TV or monitor.

And while Continuum only works with apps under Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform (legacy apps might never see a release on the Windows Store, though help is at hand), those who rely heavily on Microsoft’s core productivity software will surely find it valuable.

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The Acer Liquid Jade Primo will retail for P28,990 ($630) in the Philippines when it hits select stores later this week. For the price, you get a dock, mouse, and keyboard to complete the pocket PC experience.

[irp posts=”2150″ name=”5 products from Next@Acer event that caught our attention”]

Automotive

First-ever Ford Ranger Raptor lands in the Philippines

We witnessed why it was named as such

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Ford’s rugged truck has finally reached Philippine shores after it was unveiled early this year. Holding the title as the only factory-built performance truck across the region, the Ranger Raptor is targeted towards those looking for a vehicle built tough for your off-road adventures.

One look at this beast and you’ll know it’s not your ordinary pickup. It takes styling cues from the F150 Raptor with the iconic block FORD lettering within the grille design. The front bumper is also installed with fresh LED fog lamps and air-curtain ducts for less wind resistance against the body. Being a true off-roader, its front fenders not only look tough, but Ford says it also resists dents and dings from driving on the road less traveled.

Powering the Ranger Raptor is a new 2.0-liter Bi-Turbo diesel engine that outputs 213PS of power and 500Nm of torque. Ford explains that running with its 2.0-liter Bi-Turbo simply means taking advantage of sequential turbocharging in order to deliver greater responsiveness, drivability, and maximum efficiency. Being a performance vehicle means it should be ready for anything that the road (or lack of it) presents the driver. This is why the Ranger Raptor’s shock absorbers are exclusively manufactured by Fox while its suspension has been crafted to take on rough terrain even at high speeds.

During the launch, the Ranger Raptor showed off for a bit as it raced through the open track. It rained really hard that night so it made the course a lot tougher, but the Raptor pierced right through it and leaped around like it was nothing. We saw why it was named as such.

While it oozes power, this truck has the brains to go with its brawn. It has a Terrain Management System which includes different modes depending on the terrain you’re in. For one, there’s the Baja Mode, inspired by Mexico’s famous Baja Desert Rally. While this mode is activated, it automatically switches to being ultra-responsive and allows off-road driving without being held back. Additionally, the company’s Driver Assist Technologies found their way here including SYNC 3, Hill Start Assist, and more. It’s own Satellite Navigation System even has a “breadcrumb” feature and leaves a trail when entering uncharted areas.

The Ranger Raptor is available at all Ford dealerships in the country with a starting price of PhP 1,898,000.

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India

Nokia 5.1 Plus launches with dual rear cameras and a notch

A near perfect budget offering

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Following in the footsteps of Xiaomi and Huawei, HMD Global also aims to fill up every price segment with an offering. The company has enjoyed very good brand recognition in India and with its straightforward Android One lineup, picking a Nokia-branded phone is easier than ever.

Last month, HMD Global launched the Nokia 6.1 Plus to take on the Xiaomi Mi A2. Now, the Nokia 5.1 Plus intends to take on the Redmi 6 series along with ASUS’ ZenFone Max Pro, neither of which are a part of the Android One program.

The Nokia 5.1 Plus is priced at INR 10,999 (US$ 151) and will be exclusively available via Flipkart and Nokia’s online store. Pre-orders for Gloss Black and Gloss Midnight Blue start from October 1. Airtel customers can receive INR 1,800 instant cashback and 240GB data over 12 months on plans of INR 199, INR 249, and INR 448.

The phone has a very simple yet solid build along with a glass backing. The front sports a 5.8-inch Full HD+ display with an aspect ratio of 19:9. The notch houses the front camera along with an earpiece and the usual sensor array.

HMD Global has marketed the phone to be a performance-centric offering that can easily zip through every game and app. The phone is powered by a MediaTek P60 SoC along with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage. The fingerprint scanner is located below the vertical dual camera setup on the back.

The rear dual camera setup consists of a 13-megapixel primary sensor and a 5-megapixel depth sensor. The front has an 8-megapixel wide-angle sensor, and the camera app brings in support for AI-assisted portrait and HDR modes.

Powering the phone is a modest 3000mAh battery that charges via the USB-C port. Being part of the Android One initiative, HMD Global has promised that it will be among the first phones to receive the Android Pie update.

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India

Motorola One Power launches with a huge battery

The Mi A2 has some serious competition now

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After launching the Moto G6 series in India, Motorola has now announced the availability of the One Power in the country. Unlike the G6 series, the company isn’t launching the phone months after the global unveiling and is banking on the phone to be a hot sell.

The company has also reiterated that they have long-term goals in the country and are now making the new One Power completely in India, under the Make in India initiative. Motorola has more than 700 Moto Hubs in the country and is expanding their offline reach to more than 30,000 counters or retailers.

The Motorola One Power is priced at INR 15,999 (US$ 220) and will be exclusively available via Flipkart. It will be on sale starting October 5, going up against the Nokia 6.1 Plus and Xiaomi Mi A2.

The phone has a 6.2-inch LCD Full HD+ display with an aspect ratio of 19:9. Powering the phone is a Snapdragon 636 SoC along with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage. It supports a microSD card for expanding storage and features a fingerprint scanner on the back.

The back has a dual-camera setup — a 16-megapixel primary sensor and a 5-megapixel secondary sensor that are capable of shooting pictures with a bokeh effect. The front has a 12-megapixel sensor that is housed in the notch along with the earpiece and sensor array.

Motorola has closely partnered with Google via the Android One program, hence all its phone will be receiving monthly security updates for the next three years. This will also be among the first devices to receive the Android Pie update and the company is confident it will be pushing it out by the end of October.

The battery is another unique selling point, the One Power has a huge 4850mAh battery that supports Motorola’s TurboPower charging technology. The company says it can deliver six hours of moderate usage on just 15 minutes of charging.

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