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The AirPods Pro will cost as much as a new phone

New form factor will be noise-canceling

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Image by GadgetMatch

Be honest; how many times have you lost an AirPod? Once? Twice? Naturally, you’ll never hear anyone admit it. Apple doesn’t even have quantifiable data on AirPod replacements. If anything, Apple’s AirPods were still the world’s best-selling wireless hearables in 2018, according to Counterpoint Research. People are heavily buying into the ecosystem. And we’re not even done yet.

In a few months, Apple fans will start throwing even more money at Apple. According to new information, Apple will launch a premium AirPods variant, the AirPods Pro, during the holiday season.

Embedded deep in the iOS 13.2 beta, Apple included a new glyph that supposedly depicts the new hearables. Most notably, the glyph includes a couple of very distinct ear plugs. Unlike the open AirPods, the AirPods Pro will likely have an in-ear, noise canceling form factor.

Further, a China Economic Daily report has revealed information about its eventual release. Besides having an in-ear form factor, it will also have a noise-canceling listening mode, similar to other noise-canceling headphones today.

According to the report, the AirPods Pro will launch around the end of October. It will launch for at least TWD 8,000 (or around US$ 260). The new price tag is a huge step-up from Apple’s previous releases.

In March, Apple launched the second generation of AirPods. The newly released AirPods launched for only around US$ 175. The AirPods Pro lives up to its “Pro” moniker. As such, losing one of these things can come incredibly costly. A single pair costs as much as a midrange smartphone today.

Finally, Chinese OEMS have already begun shipping out potential accessories for the next Apple AirPods. For example, the photo above is supposedly housing for the new model’s charging case. From the get-go, the AirPods Pro is already a much bigger beast compared to the older models.

Thankfully, it won’t be long before the end of October. We’ll finally get our hands on these pricey things soon.

SEE ALSO: Apple might make your iPhone’s logo light up, patent says

News

Huawei P40 Lite launches with quad rear cameras

Though, it’s limited to Spain

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Earlier this week, Huawei announced that its flagship P40 and P40 Pro smartphones will be unveiled at an event in Paris, France on March 26. Ahead of that launch, the company has silently announced a lighter variant in the series called the Huawei P40 Lite.

The phone is available only in Spain at the moment for EUR 299 (US$ 326). It will be available for pre-order starting March 2 through Huawei’s online store in Crush Green, Midnight Black, and Sakura Pink colors. Huawei hasn’t announced availability for other markets yet.

It packs a 6.4-inch FullvHD+ display with a hole-punch at the top-left corner. In line with other Huawei phones, it doesn’t have Google apps and instead, relies on Huawei Mobile Services. It’s an alternative suite of apps developed by the company to bridge the gap caused due to the U.S. ban.

It’s worth noting that P40 Lite isn’t actually an all-new smartphone but just a rebranded variant of the Nova 6 SE that the company had launched in China in December 2019.

Powering the phone is an octa-core Kirin 810 SoC paired with up to 8GB of RAM. The phone has 128GB of onboard storage that can further be expanded via a microSD card.

On the rear is a 48-megapixel primary sensor, along with an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, a 2-megapixel macro camera, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. For selfies, it has a 24-megapixel selfie camera that’s embedded in a punch-hole cut-out.

Backing these internals is a 4,200mAh battery with 40W SuperCharge technology. The Huawei P40 Lite runs Android 10-based EMUI 10 out-of-the-box.

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Xiaomi Mi Mix Alpha appears in public for the first time

Through a Marques Brownlee video

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Image source: Marques Brownlee / YouTube

Midway through 2019, Xiaomi unveiled a revolutionary prototype going beyond last year’s deluge of foldable phones. Unlike the foldable phones struggling for popularity today, the Mi Mix Alpha wraps outwardly, revealing a theoretically all-screen smartphone. However, despite the bombast, the surround-screen phone kept things discreet. Since the launch, no one has heard much about the announced project.

Today, things have finally changed. For the first time, the Mi Mix Alpha debuted for real. Popular tech YouTuber Marques Brownlee posted an in-depth (and very real) hands-on of the prototype.

As expected, the Mi Mix Alpha carries one of the biggest screens available to date. The wraparound screen is essentially a 2088 x 2250 resolution display. Except for a camera strip, most of the phone’s surface area is a touchable screen. On paper, Xiaomi claims a 7.9-inch display; however, this was measured from one back end to the other back end. In reality, Brownlee says that it feels more like a Pixel 4.

Regardless, the screen presents a lot of unique opportunities. For one, the phone’s gyroscope detects whether the rear screen or the front screen is facing up. If the rear screen faces up, the phone unlocks a dashboard for quick-access widgets. It can also open the camera app, allowing for main-camera selfies.

However, Brownlee notes a few niggles about the display. For one, the side panel blatantly shows divisions between the connected displays. The obvious vertical line can ruin the illusion of a perfectly wraparound screen.

Under the hood, the Mi Mix Alpha sports the Snapdragon 855 Plus, 12GB of RAM, 512GB of internal storage, and 4050mAh of fast-charging battery.

Unfortunately, the prototype isn’t completely marketable yet. As such, the smartphone doesn’t have a price tag or a launch date outside of China yet. In China, it retails for CNY 19,999.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi Mi 10 series goes official with 5G support and flagship specs

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Accessories

Apple is launching new Powerbeats with the iPhone 9, leak says

According to new FCC entry

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In modern times, smartphone launches usually come out with a flurry of complementary accessories, particularly earpieces. Take note of the Huawei Freebuds or the Galaxy Buds, which both released concurrently (or in proximity) with respective smartphones. As you might expect, today’s latest surge of complementary ear gear originates from Apple, the owner of Beats and maker of AirPods.

As of late, Apple has jumpstarted a wave of new earphone and headphone rumors. For the first, we were expecting a midrange set of AirPods Pro coming later this year. Another leak spoke about an even more premium variant, potentially introducing the series to the headphone segment.

Today, a new leak has revealed an upcoming expansion of Apple’s Beats catalog. According to a revently revealed FCC entry, Apple is working on a set of earphones codenamed “A2015.” To the keen observer, the blueprinted set looks like the Powerbeats 3, a set currently available right now. Very likely, the upcoming earphones will come out as the Powerbeats 4.

Much like the incumbent entry, the Powerbeats 4 is slightly wired, likely connecting both buds without an input/output port. As expected, the FCC entry confirms Bluetooth LE support.

Unfortunately, the entry doesn’t reveal any more information about the upcoming product. However, it will probably launch soon. An FCC entry signals a product further along the development cycle. Given the timing, the Powerbeats 4 can go hand-in-hand with the iPhone 9 coming in March.

SEE ALSO: iPhone 9, Galaxy S20 suddenly appear in Korean pre-order posters

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