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ASUS aims to double phone shipments, release ZenFone 4 soon

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If there’s one thing we’ve learned from ASUS throughout the years, the company and its CEOs think highly of their phones, to the point of calling them “better than Apple, better than Samsung.” Still not satisfied with its success, the Taiwanese manufacturer set another high bar for itself.

As told by CEO Jerry Shen to Apple Daily, ASUS plans to increase its smartphone shipments to 35 to 40 million units in the next three years. That’s a bold sales prediction, since the brand managed only 20 million shipments of its ZenFone line in 2016.

Making that figure tougher to reach is the fact that ASUS ramps up its ZenFone prices every year. Since the original ZenFone series was released in 2014, retail prices have gone from as low as $200 on average, to levels where a $500 ZenFone is now common.

ASUS is clearly banking on its just-unveiled ZenFone 3 Zoom and ZenFone AR to spearhead its push in 2017. If all plans fall into place, these two phones may likely be the last of the ZenFone 3 series, as Jerry Shen reveals that the next-generation ZenFone 4 line will launch in this year’s second quarter.

Another strategy ASUS may bank on for increased sales is offering discounted prices for older models, like what was done to the ZenFone 2 last year. Special offers for already budget-friendly phones like the 5.5-inch ZenFone 3 Max could be a potential hit.

Source: DigiTimes

MWC 2018

Ulefone X with its notch is launching at MWC 2018

An iPhone X with Android instead

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The iPhone X clones keep on coming.

Ulefone is the latest entry in the copycat trend with its aptly named Ulefone X. It has the near-borderless look and trendy notch on top, but of course, it runs on Android instead.

The company itself already posted a first look video of its upcoming phone on the official YouTube channel:

This video reveals some other interesting points. One: The Ulefone X runs on the latest Android 8.1 Oreo version. Two: Its overbearing notch and rounded corners manage to cover up some of the notifications and clock up top. Three: The rear dual-camera layout continues to copy the iPhone X’s design.

Not much else is known about the Ulefone X, except it’ll certainly be affordable with possibly entry-level specifications.

We won’t have to wait much longer to see more of it; Ulefone says they’ll be present at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain from February 26 to March 1.

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MWC 2018

Google confirms Android Oreo (Go edition) and Android One phones are coming to MWC 2018

Possibly as cheap as $50

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Mobile World Congress is just around the corner, and although it’s certain to be a flagship smartphone fest, we wonder: Will there be any budget-friendly phones at the event?

Google, in its latest blog entry, confirms that we’ll indeed see partner brands launching products for two price-conscious Android platforms, namely Android One and Android Oreo (Go edition).

For the uninitiated, Android One is a pure take on the Android operating system designed for handsets outside of the Pixel lineup. They’re significantly more affordable than Google’s flagship devices, and they receive software updates much quicker than most products in the market.

Android Oreo (Go edition), on the other hand, is destined to be another pure version of Android, but with lighter built-in apps and a greater focus on saving mobile data. With prices going as low as US$ 50, smartphones on this system are geared toward budget-conscious consumers without deep pockets.

The next question is: Which brands will launch Android One and Android Oreo (Go edition) phones during MWC 2018?

Based on recent rumors, Nokia seems to be leading the charge on both fronts. A rumored Nokia 7 Plus looks to be the company’s first Android One phone, which also comes with the slimmer 18:9 screen ratio that’s becoming more common recently, while the Nokia 1 would likely be the headlining Android Oreo (Go edition) handset we’ll see in Barcelona, Spain next week.

These two gadgets (and whatever else we’ll see at the show) will be a breath of fresh air in the sea of high-priced devices from the likes of Samsung, ASUS, and Sony. With the way things are shaping up so far, we’re bound to have offerings from all price segments.

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Next-gen Fossil smartwatches arrive in Philippines

There are hybrid smartwatches, too!

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When it comes to merging tech and fashion, trust watchmaker Fossil to have a knack of hitting that sweet spot. Their newest line of smart and hybrid watches are no exception.

First teased at the Baselworld 2017 watch conference in Switzerland and later at the IFA tech show in Berlin, the company is bringing its new lineup of watches to the Philippines this month.

The Q Venture and Q Explorist are Android Wear 2.0-powered smartwatches and the first from the brand to feature the new first full-round touchscreen, which may not sound like a big deal unless you’re familiar with the Android Wear “flat tire” — an incomplete circle that’s peeved many early adapters.

If smartwatches are not your cup of tea, there’s also the Q Commuter Hybrid with smartwatch-like features including activity tacking, music control, and syncing with your smartphone’s clock — all without a touchscreen display or having to charge your watch daily.

Fossil Q Venture and Q Explorist watches are available at Fossil boutiques and start at PhP 13,910. Fossil Q Commuter watches start at PhP 9,150.

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