Connect with us

Smartphones

ASUS ZenFone 3 unboxing

Published

on

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.

gadgetmatch-zenfone-3-unboxing-20160731-01

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.

gadgetmatch-zenfone-3-unboxing-20160731-02

News

Huawei’s new charging tech is 10 times faster than current speeds

There’s just one problem…

Published

on

Fast charging has been an invaluable technology on smartphones since being introduced a few years ago, and it keeps getting faster and more stable. But it has run into a bit of a plateau, one that Huawei is looking to overcome.

The Chinese manufacturer has found a way to speed up the charging process by 10 times, which they boast in this video:

If this becomes a reality, you could one day charge your phone from zero to 48 percent in only five minutes. For comparison, it often takes 30 minutes to hit 50 to 60 percent with today’s fastest quick chargers.

As expected, there’s a catch. The process shows the phone’s battery being taken out and transferred to a separate charger. This is beginning to feel more like a throwback than a look into the future.

This is likely because a traditional lithium-ion battery — found in all smartphones today — is still being used. The workaround would then be to improve the technology surrounding it.

Handsets won’t be the only home for this new development. Huawei hopes to place this in electric vehicles, mobile power supplies, and laptops, as well.

Continue Reading

Laptops

Google lead designer reveals prototypes of Pixel 2, Home Mini, Pixelbook

A touch of human

Published

on

It’s not too often that we get a behind-the-scenes look at the drawing boards of premium hardware products, but when we do, it’s magical.

Ivy Ross, who’s the lead designer of Google’s latest devices, revealed the ideas and executions she and her team put into making their gadgets.

Published on The She Word (a series featuring the women of Google on the company’s blog), Ross discussed a variety of topics ranging from her early beginnings as a young designer to the aesthetics of Pixel and Home devices.

When asked what the most important design principle of Google’s hardware is, she had this to say:

Human. By that I mean friendly, emotionally appealing, and easy to fit into your life and your home.

She goes on to explain that three-dimensional and tactile aesthetics are important after spending so much time in front of flat screens. That’s why her design team puts so much emphasis on fabric materials.

Through images, the blog post also showed off the progress from multiple prototypes to finished product for Google’s most important items:

The visual progression of the Pixel 2 XL’s design is arguably the most interesting. You can see how the flagship phone went from a squarish panda to a more rounded one.

Ross became the head of design for Google’s hardware team in mid-2016, and has since made her mark as the company’s most human designer to date.

Continue Reading

News

Apple CEO Tim Cook on iPhone battery issue: ‘Maybe we weren’t clear’

iOS update can prevent intentional slowdown

Published

on

Apple ended last year on a sour note, admitting that they intentionally slowed down their iPhones in order to compensate for aging batteries. While this seems practical from a technical standpoint, consumers were enraged by Apple’s lack of transparency with the matter.

iPhone users felt like they were being forced into purchasing a newer model or going for an expensive battery replacement simply to continue having a fluid iOS experience.

Apple CEO Tim Cook’s interview with ABC News was able to shed more light on the topic. Cook admits that his company wasn’t clear with the performance throttling and they’re now taking the proper steps in order to regain the public trust.

The company began by offering discounts on replacement batteries, although this will only last until the end of 2018. The more permanent solution comes in the form of a software update that’ll allow users to monitor their iPhone battery’s health.

What’s more interesting is the ability to disable the performance throttling altogether once the update arrives. Apple advises against this, however, saying that the feature is in place to prevent “the device unexpectedly shutting down” and protect its electronic components.

Still, it’s nice to have access to such an option. This will let users maximize the full capacity of their iPhone until the handset’s battery is on its dying legs.

Unfortunately, the apologies and fixes haven’t stopped people from suing Apple through class action lawsuits. Chances are the Cupertino company will succeed in the end (they always have), but we can at least sleep better knowing that we aren’t imagining iPhones slowing down through time.

Continue Reading

Trending