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ASUS ZenFone 3 Deluxe’s reign may be more short-lived than we thought

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We had a feeling that the ASUS ZenFone 3 Deluxe’s reign on the throne would’t last long — it’s only started to catch on in certain Asian markets this month — but it may be even more short-lived than we thought.

ASUS is already sending out press invites for the next Zennovation event at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2017 in Las Vegas. The event, which will be streamed live on ASUS’ website, will take place on January 4th, 2017, and it’s highly likely that the Taiwan-based manufacturer will use it as a launch pad to introduce a premium ZenFone handset built around Qualcomm’s next-gen Snapdragon 835 system-on-a-chip, the successor to the Snapdragon 821 found in today’s heavy hitters.

The Snapdragon branding already appears on the invite, so we would be foolish to assume otherwise. ASUS has somewhat been a pioneer when it comes to using the best components available anywhere; the ZenFone 3 Deluxe — however late (and controversial) it may be — is among the first handsets to launch with the Snapdragon 821 in tow.

ASUS Zennovation invite

Next year, ASUS could once again find itself in the same exclusive club as the likes of Google and OnePlus when all is said and done at CES 2017. Hopefully, if it does announce a Snapdragon 835-based phone, pricing will be competitive with industry disruptors from the Far East. That, or CEO Jerry Shen will take the stage rocking a transcendental product that’s more than just the sum of its glass, metal, and bleeding-edge silicon parts.

The ZenFone 3 Deluxe, though likable, lacks a headline-grabbing feature that truly distinguishes it from other flagships. Obviously, arriving late and being sold at roughly the same price as the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and Apple iPhone 7 Plus doesn’t help its cause, either.

So now the waiting game begins, and we’ll be waiting with bated breath for news of updates. We’re pretty sure you will, too. In any case, we’ll be on the ground at CES 2017 on January 4 to find out all of ASUS’ intentions.

Lifestyle

Netflix is testing engagement by putting ads between episodes

Netflix, no chill

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How would you feel if, after a long day at work, you were relaxing and catching up on a series you’ve been excited to binge, and it gets interrupted by “But first, check out…” followed by a trailer of another show? If you’re miffed at the thought then you should sip your most calming tea, because that’s exactly what Netflix has started to do.

The streaming big shot has confirmed to Ars Technica that this move is a test to see whether or not inserting these ads would help speed up viewers’ discovery of new titles that they’ll like. Right now, these ads only appear for some people globally, but Netflix did not confirm how long this test will last.

The move has garnered some backlash from users encountering the ads, but Netflix has said that, although they are aware of the “chatter on social channels,” their focus is more on the engagement to these ads and that this is what will determine a wider rollout in the future.

If you find yourself faced with these ads though, apparently you can opt out of these tests. That way, you’ll still be able to Netflix, chill, and binge watch the night (and/or day) away.

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India

Huawei’s Nova 3 to go on open sale starting August 23

More than 50 million units have been shipped globally

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Just last month, Huawei launched the Nova 3 and 3i in India, and since then the duo has been up for purchase via flash sales in India. The company says the two phones have garnered incredible response globally and more than 50 million units have been shipped as of now.

Huawei has announced that the Nova 3i’s next flash sale will be held on August 21. On the other hand, the more powerful Nova 3 will be available via open sales (not flash) starting August 23, 1 PM. Both phones are exclusively sold on Amazon.in, and Prime members can order the Nova 3 from 12 noon itself.

The Nova 3 is priced at INR 34,999 (US$ 500) and competes against the mighty OnePlus 6. The phone has an edge over the OnePlus counterpart thanks to the beautiful glass backing that has nice color gradients. It features Huawei’s latest processor along with added AI capabilities and a GPU Turbo mode for a more refined gaming experience.

The phone comes with a host of offers including zero fee EMI and screen protection insurance. American Express cardholders are eligible for an instant cashback of INR 3,000, while telecom operator Jio is bundling along 100GB of data worth INR 3,300 along with the phone.

The Nova 3i is a midrange phone that features the same premium glass backing along with a slightly weaker processor. Though, it also houses a host of AI-powered features along with the popular GPU Turbo mode.  The phone is priced at INR 20,990 and competes against the Honor Play, Nokia 7 Plus, and the Mi A2.

The Nova 3i too has many offers bundled along, including an instant five percent discount when purchased via HDFC credit and debit cards. Zero-fee EMI options up to nine months are also available.

The two phones are cheaper siblings of the P20 Pro and feature the same high-end design language along with a suite of smart features thanks to EMUI.

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Vivo X23 teased online with small notch, in-display fingerprint reader

It’s Vivo’s turn to have a new phone

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OPPO‘s newest phones, the F9 and R17, now have smaller display notches. This is actually a trend among Chinese phone brands with Vivo aboard the wagon.

The upcoming Vivo X23 has just been teased on the company’s website with some of its key features. The main one is probably the latest fourth-generation under-display fingerprint reader which should be faster and more accurate than the NEX’s. It’s pretty obvious that the X23 will not have a complicated front camera setup ala OPPO Find X or iPhone X.

Image credit: Vivo

The X23’s front will have a teardrop notch and reportedly a 91.2 percent screen-to-body ratio. The dual-camera setup on the back of the X23 will now have a secondary super wide-angle camera rather than just a depth sensor for bokeh.

As for the material on the back, it appears to have a glass panel with a 3D color layer with blue or violet colors.

Vivo didn’t unveil much about the X23 apart from its physical design but since it has an under-display fingerprint reader, it’s safe to assume that its display will be an AMOLED panel.

There are no pricing and availability details yet, but Vivo is set to announce it in the coming days.

Source: Vivo

SEE ALSO: Vivo NEX Review: Worth it?

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