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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.

[irp posts=”3880" name=”ASUS ZenFone 3 review”]

Source: Red Dot 21, Android Police

Laptops

Apple updates MacBook Pro lineup with tweaked keyboard and 8-core chip

The fastest Mac notebook ever

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Apple MacBook Pro (15-inch) | GadgetMatch

Apple‘s popular line of pro notebooks is getting more powerful with Intel’s new 8th- and 9th-gen Core chips. Other laptop manufacturers already announced their latest models featuring the new processors and Apple doesn’t want to get left behind.

For the first time ever, consumers can get a MacBook Pro with an 8-core processor which is two times faster than an older quad-core MacBook Pro and has 40 percent better performance than the previous 6-core MacBook Pro.


The MacBook Pro refresh for mid-2019 greatly benefits the 15-inch model with Touch Bar. The base model now has a 6-core i7 processor and its high-end sibling has an 8-core i9 processor. If you wish, it can be configured to an even more powerful 8-core i9 chip which can turbo boost up to 5.0GHz. This is what Apple calls “the fastest Mac notebook ever.”

Apple MacBook Pro (15-inch) | Image credit: Apple

The 13-inch Touch Bar models also get a processor refresh with the base model now equipped with a faster 8th-gen quad-core i5. It can be upgraded to a quad-core i7 with a turbo boost of up to 4.7GHz.

Apart from the new processors, the rest of the MacBook Pro specs remain unchanged. However, the Cupertino company opted to use a new material for its keyboard which should reduce issues. It’s the same third-generation butterfly keyboard design from previous models, though.

The refreshed MacBook Pro 15-inch models start at US$ 2,399 in the US or SG$ 3,499 in Singapore, while the smaller 13-inch models start at US$ 1,799 or SG$ 2,599.

SEE ALSO: Apple might increase the iPhone’s price by 14 percent

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News

Samsung is getting a Game of Thrones-themed phone

The Galaxy Fold is getting more premium

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Image source: Caviar

Today, a foldable smartphone is one of the most exclusive things you can own. Despite the recent wave of launch announcements, the foldable smartphone is still a rare sight. Notably, Samsung delayed its own Galaxy Fold after new flaws popped up before launch. No one knows when (or if) the foldable smartphone will take off. As it is, the revolutionary form factor is only a premium purchase.

Despite the hitches, Samsung is making the Galaxy Fold even more premium. Russian luxury smartphone maker Caviar is taking the foldable smartphone on a trip to Westeros. Much like the golden Galaxy Note 9, Caviar’s Galaxy Fold draws inspiration from the recently concluded Game of Thrones HBO series and the unreleased Winds of Winter book.


Because of the foldability, the customized phone is shaped like a book. The front panel is stylized “into a cover of the long-awaited book.” Both the front and rear panels flaunt an exquisite bas-relief featuring the series’ dragons and Westeros’ house crests. As always, the phone’s extravagant details shine with a layer of pure gold. Likewise, the Galaxy Fold locks with a gold clasp when folded. Outside of the gold bas-relief, the rear panel also features a detailed map of Westeros.

Image source: Caviar

Specs-wise, the Caviar-led design touts the same hardware as Samsung’s main driver. The Galaxy Fold comes with a Snapdragon 855 octa-core processor, 12GB of RAM, and 512GB of internal storage. It also features a quad rear camera setup and a dual front-facing camera combo. It comes with a 4380mAh battery.

Currently, Samsung has not announced a new launch date. Previously, Samsung announced an April launch date. As such, Caviar cannot announce a definite launch yet. However, the luxury brand has promised a simultaneous launch date with Samsung.

Caviar’s Galaxy Fold Game of Thrones Edition sells for a bank-breaking US$ 8,200. Additionally, Caviar is selling “cheaper” carbon and leather variants — selling at US$ 5,870 and US$ 6,180, respectively. At the very least, Caviar is offering free worldwide shipping for all purchases. Hopefully, it also comes with a free “Rains of Castamere” ringtone.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy Note 9 gets a luxury treatment with 1kg pure gold plate

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Gaming

Playdate is a handheld gaming system with a crank

Yes, an actual crank

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If you’re bored of the current gaming console landscape or are simply waiting for the next-gen PlayStation to come out, there’s this new handheld system that might keep you a little busy.

From a company named Panic, which is known for developing the popular game Firewatch, comes the Playdate. It may seem like a simple gaming system at first, but look to its right and you’ll see its defining feature: a crank.


The developer says that some titles will use this analog controller exclusively, while some won’t at all (which, to me, sorta defeats the purpose of placing that game on this console). Everything will be played on its monochrome screen with no backlighting.

You can see it in action here:

The spin here is that the Playdate will come with a subscription of 12 games — delivered to you once a week for 12 weeks. It’s part of the initial cost of US$ 149, but there’s no word yet if there’ll be subscriptions after that and how much they’ll cost.

Each game will be a surprise, which may or not be a good thing. Spending this much on an unproven console — and possibly more for succeeding subscriptions — could end up becoming a costly risk.

Orders will be accepted later this year, while actual shipping will happen in early 2020. For now, you can sign up through the official website to receive updates on its progress.

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