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Android One was never really dead

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Earlier today, Xiaomi launched the Mi A1, which is the international version of the Mi 5X. Doesn’t sound so exciting at first, but the real story here is the reintroduction of Android One to the world.

As it turns out, Android One was never really dead. We questioned its existence a year ago after noticing a lack of smartphones with the pure operating system installed, and having witnessed only a few signs of life since then.

In a blog entry posted right after Xiaomi’s announcement, Google makes it seem like Android One was active all along, although they could barely name more than one manufacturer that has supported the platform in the past year. The search giant then mentioned its plans to work with “more partners” — notice the plural form there.

From our own database, the two most prominent backers of Android One have been General Mobile and Sharp, which aren’t exactly household names in the smartphone business, but were vital in keeping the ship afloat.

Android One is an excellent platform to build on, and shouldn’t have lost the momentum started by its initial launch in 2014. The first generations of smartphones under the program had the purest form of the operating system, as well as access to the latest Android updates and security patches.

Buying an Android One phone was like going for a Nexus (still remember those?) minus the added premium. The platform made a name for itself with affordable handsets without any bloatware from manufacturers or telcos, which is the true essence of open-sourced Android in the first place.

If Google’s partnership with Xiaomi is a sign of things to come, we’re in for a smooth ride. Xiaomi’s presence is well established in the two most populated consumer markets in the world: China and India. The two nations also have a strong preference toward products that are easy on the pockets — something that Google and Xiaomi can capitalize on with offerings like the Mi A1.

The questions that remain are: Is Xiaomi’s worldwide recognition enough to bring Android One back to prominence? And will this partnership lead to more opportunities for Android purists to get the latest updates without spending for a Pixel?

Google is well known for leaving projects in the dust — look no further than Project Ara and Google Glass as examples — but Android One is neither just a project or another operating system; it’s still the company’s gateway to the next five billion.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi unveils Mi A1 with Android One and dual cameras

[irp posts=”19694″ name=”Xiaomi unveils Mi A1 with Android One and dual cameras”]

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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 5G is finally official

Here’s everything you need to know!

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Samsung Unpacked has got to be the most leaked event ever. That said, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 is now finally official.

The Galaxy Fold2 5G has two edge-to-edge displays, both featuring an Infinity-O punch-hole cut-out. The outer screen is 6.2-inch big and has a taller aspect ratio. The second display is visible when the fold is opened up. It measures 7.6-inch and has a 1:1 ratio.

Samsung was the first brand to widely sell a foldable phone. With the Galaxy Fold, it brought a radical change in how we envisioned modern smartphones. While companies like Motorola and Huawei have tried to keep up, but with little success.

With its foldable, Samsung is following two flagships per year pattern consisting of — the Fold series and the Flip series.

Thom Browne Edition

Like last year, Samsung is once again partnering with iconic New York fashion house Thom Browne to deliver a limited Galaxy Z Fold2 Thom Browne Edition for that little something extra that Samsung always delivers.

Information was scarce during the presentation. We don’t know what the cameras are capable of or how much the thing will cost. Samsung did say to watch out as they will reveal more on September 1 — which is also the start of the pre-order date for the Galazy Z Fold2.

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Accessories

Samsung’s Note 20 accessories look fabulously polished

Sustainable, stylish protection

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Samsung’s newest Galaxy Note 20 series may look glamorous without a case, but having a stylish case is worth considering when you have an expensive phone.

Luckily, the South Korean company released fabulous phone cases to protect the Galaxy Note 20 while looking good. There’s the Kvadrat cover, a case familiar to most Samsung users and loyalists following the annual Unpacked event.

In case you’re just discovering Kvadrat, it’s a Danish textile company taking inspirations from its Scandinavian roots. The company produces a sustainable textile called Revive, made from post-consumer recycled polyester like plastic bottles.

Samsung and Kvadrat’s collaboration aims to reduce the environmental impact of production and plastic waste.

Even though it looks thin and stylish, the Kvadrat Cover complements the Note 20 series’ striking shape while staying durable — protecting your phone from accidental drops and damage. It comes in Red and Gray.


Samsung’s usual Clear View and LED View cover are still part of the Note 20 series’s lineup of accessories. It comes in Gray and Samsung’s most appreciated color this year and a step-up of the previous Rose Gold — Copper.

Price and availability are yet to be announced and may vary per region. This page will be updated accordingly.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 20 series price in the Philippines

Available in 5G and LTE variants

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The latest Samsung Galaxy Note 20 series is coming to the Philippines. Kudos to Samsung for avoiding any delays despite the Coronavirus pandemic.

Let’s dive into the phones. The Galaxy Note 20 series consists of two phones — the Galaxy Note 20 and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

The Galaxy Note 20 is being positioned as a device for breaking into the world of the Galaxy Note. If you’re coming from a different phone but want to make the switch, this is the Note to get. It has all benefits of the Note line without being an overwhelming spec and feature monster.

Meanwhile, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is for the legacy users — loyalists of the Galaxy Note line who are familiar with its ins and outs and can make the most of all its power.

Here are the specs

Galaxy Note 20 Ultra Galaxy Note 20
Display 6.9” edge Quad HD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X Infinity-O Display

496ppi

HDR10+ certified

120Hz refresh rate

6.7” flat FHD+ Infinity-O Display

393ppi

HDR10+ certified

Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+

(Exynos 990 in some markets)

Front Camera 10MP, f2.2, 1.22μm
Rear cameras 12MP Ultra Wide Camera

Pixel size: 1.4μm

FOV: 120 ̊

F.No (aperture): F2.2

108MP Wide-angle Camera

PDAF, OIS

Pixel size: 0.8μm

FOV: 79 ̊

F.No (aperture): F1.8

1/1.33″ image sensor size

12MP Telephoto Camera

Pixel size: 1.0μm

FOV: 20 ̊

F.No (aperture): F3.0

Laser AF Sensor

Space Zoom

5x Optical Zoom

Up to 50x Super Resolution Zoom

OIS (Optical Image Stabilization)

Tracking AF

12MP Ultra Wide Camera

Pixel size: 1.4μm

FOV: 120 ̊

F.No (aperture): F2.2

12MP Wide-angle Camera

Super Speed Dual Pixel AF, OIS

Pixel size: 1.8μm

FOV: 79 ̊

F.No (aperture): F1.8

1/1.76″ image sensor size

64MP Telephoto Camera

Pixel size: 0.8μm

FOV: 76 ̊

F.No (aperture): F2.0

Space Zoom

. 3x Hybrid Optic Zoom

. Up to 30x Super Resolution Zoom

OIS (Optical Image Stabilization)

Tracking AF

RAM and Storage 12GB RAM (LPDDR5) with 512GB internal storage

12GB RAM (LPDDR5) with 128GB internal storage

8GB RAM (LPDDR5) with 128GB internal storage
SIM and Expanded Storage One Nano SIM

One MicroSD slot (sold separately, up to 1TB)

One Nano SIM
Battery 4500mAh 4300mAh
Charging Improved wireless charging speeds with Fast Wireless Charging 2.0

Fast Charging compatible on wired and wireless

Wireless PowerShare

OS Android 10, OneUI 2.1
Network and Connectivity [5G]

5G Non-Standalone (NSA), Standalone (SA), Sub6 / mmWave

[LTE]

Enhanced 4×4 MIMO, Up to 7CA, LTE Cat.20

Up to 2.0Gbps Download / Up to 200Mbps Upload

[Wi-Fi]

Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax 2.4G+5GHz, HE80, MIMO, 1024-QAM

Up to 1.2Gbps Download / Up to 1.2Gbps Upload

[Bluetooth]

Bluetooth® v 5.0, USB type-C, NFC, Location (GPS, Galileo, Glonass, BeiDou)

[Ultra Wide Band]

NFC

Sensors Ultrasonic Fingerprint sensor, Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyro sensor, Geomagnetic sensor, Hall sensor

Proximity sensor, Ambient Light Sensor

Water Resistance IP68

Productivity and S Pen improved 

The Galaxy Note series wouldn’t be what it is without its key accessory — the S Pen. Naturally, this has been improved for better accuracy and responsiveness for an experience that’s as close to “pen-to-paper” as possible.

The new trick up its sleeve is the Anywhere actions. There are five to be exact. This allows for touchless navigation — like returning to the home screen or taking a screenshot — as simple as a flick of the wrist.

The Samsung Notes app also gets significant improvements. Its auto-save and syncing features have been upgraded. This means you can seamlessly switch from one device to another and continue where you left off.

If, like me, your penmanship is atrocious, the Notes app can straighten it out for you. It also lets you annotate and highlight on PDF files as well as record audio as you take notes.

It will work seamlessly with a Windows 10 PC thanks to the upgraded Windows Link. With it you can send messages, manage notifications, sync photos and mirror your phone.

Elevated gaming 

The Microsoft integration goes beyond productivity. All work and no play, after all, can burn you out.

Starting September 15, you’ll be able to access Xbox games on the Galaxy Note 20 directly from the cloud (beta) using the Xbox Game Pass ultimate. That means access to a wide library of games on your phone — and not just the mobile kind.

Gaming, overall, should also feel leveled-up with the AI game booster. Bluetooth audio response optimization, and 240Hz touch latency (on the Galaxy Note 210 Ultra).

Samsung Dex has also been upgraded so you can take both productivity and play to a larger screen. Previously, you needed a dock and/or a dongle to use this feature. Now, you can do so wirelessly so long as the Smart TV supports Miracast. So you can continue using apps on your phone, while playing media on the TV.

Pricing and availability

Samsung will open a midnight exclusive pre-order offer to customers who wantto be first to own the Galaxy Note 20 or Note 20 Ultra while watching Unpacked. The midnight exclusive promo will start on August 5 at 10PM to August 6 at 6AM through Samsung online partners.

Starting August 7, the Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra will be available for pre-order through Samsung Experience Stores, and select Abenson and SM Appliance Stores. Customers who want to avail of the 5G variants can get them from Globe and Smart.

Those who will pre-order the devices will be entitled to freebies worth up to PHP 16,995 19 .The Galaxy Note20 Series will be available at authorized Samsung stores and online partner merchants beginning August 21. Pricing starts at:

  • PhP 53,990 for the Galaxy Note 20
  • PhP 67,990 for the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
  • PhP 72,990 for the Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G (pre-order-exclusive model)

Color variants are as follows:

  • Galaxy Note20 Ultra: Mystic Black and Mystic Bronze
  • Galaxy Note20: Mystic Bronze, Mystic Green and Mystic Gray
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