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ASUS ZenFone 3, ZenFone 3 Deluxe details, images leaked by design website

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If you’re a fan of ASUS’ budget ZenFone smartphone series, 2016 hasn’t been too kind to you so far. Two major tech conferences have passed, and yet the Internet still hasn’t gotten a solid clue as to what the ZenFone 3 might look like.

The situation is particularly worrisome because it’s already April, and the next-generation ZenFone has been tipped for a launch event at Computex 2016 in June.

Will it have two rear cameras like the LG G5? A curved screen like the Samsung Galaxy S7? A smaller screen to match the trajectory of Apple’s recent product announcements? Or will ASUS surprise the bejeezus out of the industry by unveiling a flip phone, or today’s equivalent of a joke goldmine?

At this point, you might be asking yourself: “When will someone throw a bone to us fans who have been waiting for that bloody phone to show up?”

Wish granted. Meet a couple of leaked — albeit convincing — images of ASUS’ upcoming ZenFone 3 and ZenFone 3 Deluxe. And we’re not using the term “convincing” loosely here. Let us count the ways.

ASUS ZenFone 3 Deluxe leak

ASUS ZenFone 3 Deluxe leaked image

For starters, the images come from Red Dot 21’s design directory. If the name rings a bell, it should, especially in the context of ASUS phones: In 2014, the original ZenFone series bagged the Red Dot design award for mobile devices; the year after that, ASUS won a bunch of other awards for products, including, but not limited to, tablets and notebooks.

So, yes, the connection between Red Dot and the Taiwanese manufacturers is, if nothing else, strong.

A paragraph to describe the ZenFone 3 also appears on the Red Dot website. It reads:

ASUS Zenfone 3 Series is a mainstream smartphone that displays the beauty of craftsmanship and engineering. With 2.5D glass on both front and back sides, we intend to bring the meticulous glass artistry used in watches to smartphone. Beneath those glass lays a thin layer of decoration film with metallic spin texture, portraying the ASUS identity in a new form. A curved aluminum frame offers a robust architecture and a comfortable grip. Zenfone 3 consist of type C USB for speedy charging and file transfer, front flash for selfie in low light situation, laser focus for instant snapshot and finger print recognition for spontaneous ID check.

Going by that description, it sounds like the next ZenFone will have a curved-edge glass on both panels held together by a metal frame, a USB-Type C port with fast-charging capability, front-facing flash, laser autofocus, and a now-ubiquitous fingerprint sensor. It will also support some sort of smart flip cover that lights up to indicate different things.

Meanwhile, the description for the all-metal ZenFone 3 Deluxe reveals far less details.

Metal is the best material to enhance and present the craftsmanship of creating the best smartphone. However, it is also the obstacle to the antenna signal. As the result, the designers and engineers always challenge each other to balance the aesthetic of smartphone appearance design and the possibility of the engineering. Look back to every metallic smartphone, without exception, has some “necessary aesthetic flaws”for antenna on the back. These flaws could be the plastic lines, decorations, etc. By absolutely breaking down the principles of radio transmission, combining the design creative thinking and overcoming the limitation of manufacturing, ASUS Zenfone 3 Deluxe no longer needs to compromise and presents the first full-metallic smartphone in the world.

And then there’s the alleged design of the ZenFone 3: It looks a bit like the outcome of ZenFone Zoom and ZenBook engineers reaching a compromise after months of trying to brainstorm for a smartphone. We’ll let you guys handle the front and sides of the phone — but only if you let us do what we want with the back.

That ASUS would rather take a lot of inspiration from previous ASUS products than go back to the drawing board in an effort to get people excited about the ZenFone 3 seems likely. ASUS isn’t the most adventurous when it comes to designing handsets, after all. And if you need proof, look no further than past ZenFone models.

As always, we’ll keep our eyes and ears open for more details about the ZenFone 3 as they come. For now, feel free to speculate wildly over the authenticity of the images and information from Red Dot’s website.

Source: Red Dot 21, Android Police

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LG G7 ThinQ will have a dedicated button for Google Assistant

No ThinQ for you

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Raise your hands if you enjoyed Samsung’s Bixby button. Now, put those non-existent hands back down. However, if you were one of the scant few who did use it, you might enjoy the upcoming LG G7 ThinQ.

As you might have noticed from leaked renders, LG’s new flagship sports an extra button that curiously looks like a dedicated ThinQ button. Now, we have reports that our hunches have a little bit of truth to them.

According to CNET, the G7’s inconspicuous little button links directly to Google Assistant, rather than LG’s ThinQ AI. The button will occupy the phone’s left edge, opposite the power button on the right.

Even without the button, users can pull up the Google Assistant by long-pressing the home button or through voice commands. A dedicated button will eliminate the need for a long press or for shouting “Okay, Google” in public.

Like LG’s other phones, the G7 will have voice commands exclusive to LG. Previously, these mainly include the various functions available to their camera technology. With the G7, we can hope for a more generalized slew of commands tailored for other phone functions.

With the G7 ThinQ, LG will be the first smartphone maker to ship with a dedicated button for Google. Before, dedicated AI buttons linked only to their brand’s exclusive assistant. Most popularly, Samsung’s Bixby button opened the phone’s assistant of the same name.

Sadly, like Bixby, LG won’t allow G7 users to rebind the button for other apps. This exclusivity is the same pain point that the Bixby button suffered from.

Of course, the LG G7 ThinQ will still launch officially on May 2 in New York. Anything can happen before then. If the reports are true, its Google Assistant button will enjoy more staying power if LG allows us to rebind it for other purposes.

SEE ALSO: LG G7 ThinkQ appears in a promo teaser showing a new angle

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Vivo launches V9 Youth with FullView display and dual rear cameras

It is a toned-down version of the V9

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Nearly a month after the launch of its V9 smartphone, Vivo has expanded the series with the V9 Youth.

The new Vivo V9 Youth was launched in India for INR 18,990 (US$ 287) and will be available on both online and offline channels. While the offline availability of the device starts today, the online platforms such as Flipkart, Paytm Mall, Amazon, and Vivo E-store will begin selling the phone from April 24.

The smartphone, as Vivo claims, is designed keeping in mind the young and dynamic consumer base and hence is packed with a host of new features like dual cameras on the rear, Android 8.1 Oreo, face unlock, and there’s also something called a Game Mode to deliver an uninterrupted gaming experience.

The V9 Youth focuses on its camera capabilities. The highlight of the smartphone is its dual rear cameras with 16- and 2-megapixel sensors. Selfie lovers get a 16-megapixel camera at the front alongside the AI Face Beauty feature. The device comes with a triple-card slot for adding two nano-SIM cards and one microSD card. On the rear, it also has a fingerprint sensor.

It comes with a metal unibody design and will be available in black and gold color options. On the front, the Vivo V9 Youth sports a 6.3-inch Full HD+ display with a 19:9 aspect ratio. Under the hood is a Snapdragon 450 SoC coupled with 4GB of RAM. It comes with 32GB of internal storage that can be expanded up to 256GB using a microSD card.

It’s backed by a 3260mAh non-removable battery and lacks fast charging support. The device runs Android 8.1 Oreo with the company’s own FunTouch OS 4.0 running on top of it.

“With the launch of ‘Vivo V9 Youth,’ we are bringing the best features of our flagship V9 in a new avatar for our young and modern consumers,” said Kenny Zeng, CMO, Vivo India.

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Vivo Y71 receives pricing in the Philippines

Vivo’s newest affordable smartphone

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After making a quiet debut in India, the Vivo Y71 is making its way to the Philippines. Even better news: It comes with a lower starting price.

In the Philippines, you can purchase the Y71 beginning at PhP 7,990 (US$ 152). That’s lower than the US$ 170 price we reported before, but take note that this is for the 2GB memory configuration. If you want the variant with 3GB of memory, you’d have to shell out PhP 8,990.

Besides that, the two models share the same specifications, from the Snapdragon 450 chipset and 16GB of expandable storage, to the 3360mAh battery and 6-inch 720p 18:9 screen.

The only real difference is in the cameras. Both have the same 5-megapixel front camera, but the 3GB memory version has a 13-megapixel rear camera while its cheaper sibling has only 8 megapixels for its main shooter.

You can find the Vivo Y71 in online and offline retailers in the Philippines beginning today.

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