Smartphones

ASUS ZenFone 3 unboxing

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As many of you know, we’re only a few short weeks away from seeing ASUS’ signature smartphone series hit the streets in many parts of the world.

As of this month, it’s reportedly already available in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau. Next up are Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines in August. A ZenFone 3 launch event is expected to take place in India sometime in September. Shipments could be headed to Europe, Japan, and the United States later in the year.


The standard ASUS ZenFone 3 comes in two variants: one, a 5.2-inch model with 3GB of RAM and a 2,650mAh battery; the other, a 5.5-incher with 4GB of RAM and a 3,000mAh battery.  Each variant is identifiable by a unique model number. But regardless of specifications, the outward appearance has been completely redesigned from the ground up — in lieu of a removable plastic back, there’s curved-edge glass on the front and back and a metal frame that holds the assembly in place.

The ZenFone 3 is far less cumbersome and prettier now, arguably more attractive than the bigger and higher-specced and more expensive ZenFone 3 Ultra and Deluxe models. Its design is proof that ASUS, like Xiaomi and OnePlus and so many other Chinese startups, is also capable of building a premium-feeling phone for less.

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More importantly, the ZenFone 3 is a more capable phone than before, housing a new octa-core processor from Qualcomm, as opposed to an Intel chip, which has historically been synonymous with poor heat dissipation and inefficient battery use. We quickly noticed the difference and thanked the heavens ASUS went with a different chip maker this year.

Our immediate takeway from the ASUS ZenFone 3 event was that the Taiwanese manufacturer is well aware of the huge expectations from the public that saw a deluge of quality but affordable smartphones over the past year and a half, hence the guns-blazing approach in 2016. After playing around with the ZenFone 3, we’re convinced ASUS has surpassed its previous feats.

But ASUS doesn’t operate in a vacuum; and more so than ever, the market is seeing brands of all sizes making headlines in the affordable phone segment.

The ASUS ZenFone 3 starts at $249. Check out our unboxing video to see a retail unit in action.

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

India

Vivo V17 Pro with dual pop-up camera launches

It has a total of six cameras

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While Xiaomi and Realme are trying to outbid each other by offering higher resolution cameras, Vivo is busy adding as many sensors as possible. The brand was the first to incorporate a pop-up camera mechanism and is now leveraging the technology in all its products.

The phone will be going up against the OnePlus 7 and instead of focusing on performance, Vivo is eyeing an ideal all-rounder. The phone has been launched in India today and shall be landing in more markets soon.


It sports a 6.4-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display with a screen-to-body ratio of 91.65 percent. The display is surrounded by a 2.5D curved glass and Schott Xensation UP protection. The rear has Gorilla Glass, but it’s always recommended to slap a case on it.

The V17 Pro is powered by a Snapdragon 675 SoC, paired with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. It runs on Funtouch OS 9.1, that’s based on Android 9 Pie.

On the rear is a quad-camera setup consisting of a 48-megapixel primary sensor, a 13-megapixel telephoto sensor, an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. The setup is capable 2x optical zoom and 10x hybrid zoom.

The front gets a dual-camera pop-up selfie module that houses a 32-megapixel camera and an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens. The front camera also supports Super Night Selfie mode for low-light photography. For authentication, an in-display fingerprint scanner has been added along with face unlock.

Backing these internals is a 4100mAh battery that supports 18W Dual-Engine fast charging. Vivo has also added a headphone jack, but the charging is still dependent on a microUSB port.

It’s priced at INR 29,990 for the sole 8GB+128GB offering and will go on sale from September 27 via Vivo eshop, Flipkart, Amazon, Paytm Mall, and Tata CliQ. Color options include Midnight Ocean and Glacier Ice.

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Regional

iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro pricing in Singapore

With Apple Watch Series 5 pricing

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The iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max are now all available!

While the iPhone 11 is the successor to the iPhone XR, Apple is stressing the fact that it is a flagship, pricing it lower than the iPhone XS. Inside the iPhone 11 is Apple’s newest processor — the A13 Bionic. This means it still is more capable than iPhones of the past and can perform much of the same tasks as the Pro models.


The first thing that will jump at you about the new iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max is the triple camera module. It’s these cameras and what they can do that put a lot of the Pro in the iPhone 11 Pro. Apple’s calling it the (hold your breath) Cutting-Edge Pro Camera System. The three cameras will give you three different views: Ultra Wide, Wide and Telephoto.

Pricing and availability

The new iPhones are now available in Singapore. The iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max will be available in 64GB, 256GB and 512GB models in midnight green, space grey, silver and gold starting at SG$ 1,649 and SG $1,799, respectively.

Meanwhile, the iPhone 11 will be available in 64GB, 128GB and 256GB models in purple, green, yellow, black, white and PRODUCT(RED) starting at SG$ 1,149.

The Apple Watch Series 5 (GPS) is also up for grabs and starts at SG$ 599. The Apple Watch Series 5 (GPS + Cellular) starts at SG $749.

In Malaysia the iPhone 11 family will be available starting Friday, September 27. Authorized resellers in the Philippines are still mum on pricing and availability but we’ll get the information to you as soon as we get it.

Apple Event: iPhone 11 | iPhone 11 Pro | Apple Watch Series 5 | iPad 7th Gen

 

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News

Samsung’s Android 10 roadmap leaked

Compatible devices include 2018 smartphones onward

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Even from its early days, Samsung has always championed Android. Naturally, you should expect consistent Android updates well into your Samsung phone’s lifecycle. Unfortunately, Samsung’s Android support cycle is getting smaller. The company has recently leaked its upgrade roadmap for the Android 10, thanks to AndroidPure.

As expected, Samsung is upgrading a lot of devices. From the main flagship lines, smartphones released in 2018 and onwards will receive the update. The Galaxy S series includes the Galaxy S9, S9+, 10, 10+, and 10e. Meanwhile the Galaxy Note series will include the Note 9, Note 10, and Note 10+.


Meanwhile, the midrange segments will enjoy a lot more inclusion. The Galaxy M series includes the M10, M20, M30, M30s, and M40. The Galaxy J line includes the J3 2018, J4, J4+, J5 2018, J6, J6+, J7 2018, J7 Duo, and J8. The massive Galaxy A line will include the A6, A6+, A7, A8, A8 Star Lite, A9, A9 Star Lite, A9 Pro 2019, A10, A10s, A10e, A20, A20e, A30, A30s, A40, A50, A60, A70, A80, and A90 5G.

Finally, Samsung’s tablets will also receive the update. The Galaxy Tab A 2018, Tab A 2019, Tab S4, and Tab S5e will all get Android 10.

Notably, the company’s flagship lines are curiously missing a few pieces. Samsung’s 2017 launches are not included — the S8 and the Note 8 series. Strangely, 2017’s Galaxy A7, a lower-tier phone, will still receive the update.

Likewise, Huawei is on the same boat. Their current roadmap includes only smartphones released during 2018 and onwards.

The smaller inclusion pales in comparison to the latest competition, the iOS 13. Apple’s latest OS includes more older models compared to Android.

Unfortunately, Samsung’s roadmap does not include a timeframe. We don’t know when the Android 10 update will drop, only that it will at some point in the future.

SEE ALSO: Samsung might fuse the Galaxy S and the Galaxy Note into one series

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