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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

Laptops

Acer announces new Chromebook Spin 11 for a cheaper price

Fully compatible with a Wacom pen

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It’s a case of déjà vu. A year after the first one, Acer has announced the Chromebook Spin 11 for a second time. This time, it has better parts, a cheaper price, and more consumer-friendly availability.

Previously, the Spin 11 was launched exclusively for the education sector, offering the needed durability and flexibility for a student. The new Spin 11, however, packs more punch for a lower price. The announcements comes only a few weeks removed from Acer’s other announcements at CES 2018.

The new Chromebook Spin 11 (CP311-1H/CP311-1HN) comes in three flavors of processors — Intel Pentium quad-core N4200, quad-core Celeron N3450, or dual-core Celeron N3350. It’s a bit more than the previous model which came only with the N3350.

Acer also offers variability with storage and memory. It is available in either 4GB or 8GB LPDDR4 for RAM. Meanwhile, it offers 32GB or 64GB variants for internal storage.

It also comes with a 11.6-inch IPS display with a 1366 x 768-pixel resolution. Like the previous model, the notebook is fitted with a 360-degree hinge that allows for laptop, tablet, display, and tent modes.

The Spin 11 pushes the emerging trend for USB Type-C charging. While it does reduce variability, it will boast of an uptime that lasts “all day.”

Besides charging, it sports two USB-C 3.1 ports, two USB-A 3.0 ports, and a microSD reader for connectivity. Likewise, Wi-Fi 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.2 round the laptop out for wireless connectivity.

However, the new notebook’s biggest upgrade is its compatibility with a Wacom EMR stylus, which comes packaged with the CP311-1HN model. It doesn’t require a battery and is resistant to trauma. Before the Spin 11, only a handful of hybrid notebooks came with a stylus.

The Acer Chromebook Spin 11 will start shipping out in March. It’ll come with a price tag of US$ 349.

SEE ALSO: Acer’s new Swift 7 is thinner than ever

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Drones

DJI launches new Mavic Air drone

It’s the size of a smartphone!

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DJI is at it again with its consumer quadcopters.

The Chinese company has launched the new Mavic Air and it fits right between the Mavic Pro and the smaller Spark. Think of the Spark’s size but with the folding arms of its predecessor.

DJI says the Mavic Air is lighter by 41 percent compared to its previous model but receives the entire gesture system of the Spark — something that attracts consumers. This means you can make it snap a photo, make it move to a different spot, and call it back to land by simple hand actions.

Using your hand to manipulate the drone has a range limit of almost 6 meters (19 feet). Connect a smartphone and it bumps up the range to 80 meters, but using a dedicated remote will increase that to 4km.

Just like the Mavic Pro, the Mavic Air has a 4K video resolution, 12-megapixel image sensor, and three-axis gimbal. It also has HDR, and low-light shooting to help you achieve better photos in general. DJI also threw in a new software algorithm that lets users stitch together 32-megapixel shots for panoramas and photo spheres.

DJI added 8GB of internal storage to the Mavic Air. There’s also a USB-C port which is a bump up from the Pro’s micro-USB, although battery life saw a downgrade as the new Air has a maximum flight time of 21 minutes. In real-life usage, that means around 16 minutes.

Don’t let it dishearten you, since position tracking, obstacle avoidance, and the ventilation system have all been improved according to DJI.

Finally, and unlike the Pro, it comes in different colors. The new Mavic Air will be available in white, black, or red. Pricing will start at US$ 799 which is a little more expensive than the Spark but more affordable than the Mavic Pro. Pre-orders start immediately and shipping will commence next week.

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An upcoming Nokia phone is rumored to have a penta-camera setup

When two are not enough

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In the photo: Nokia 8

Remember the PureView camera phones from Nokia? They lead the race of megapixels in a smartphone and the best possible image quality back in the day. In 2018, we might see the rebirth of PureView-like phones from Nokia, but it won’t be about megapixels anymore.

According to a leak from China’s Baidu social network, a concept phone is rumored to be in the works which will have five lenses positioned in a circle and paired with an LED flash. It’s not named PureView, but it’ll be called Nokia 10.

The diagram shown above is supposedly the layout of the back of the phone. The LED flash is at the center of the six circles which should be the camera lenses, but what’s the additional circle for? We don’t know yet but since this is just a rumor, we shouldn’t really expect too much. The lone circle outside of the group is the fingerprint reader.

The rumored phone will be powered by the new Snapdragon 845 processor which can support up to seven camera sensors and up to 32 megapixels for pictures and 4K for videos. Other than that, there’s not much info available for now.

We might see the phone later this year, probably during IFA 2018 in Berlin, but there’s really no solid info on the upcoming Nokia phone yet.

SEE ALSO: Nokia 8’s camera performance underwhelms at DxOMark

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