We got our hands on the highly anticipated ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom last week, and although we learned all of its tricks, one important piece of information was missing: Pricing.
Until now, that is. During the just-concluded launch of the ZenFone Pegasus 3S in Taiwan (more on that later), ASUS execs revealed the price of the 128GB storage variant of the ZenFone 3 Zoom: CNY 3,699 or roughly $535.
That’s a tough price to swallow for a smartphone equipped with a midrange Snapdragon 625 chipset, which can be found in phones priced much, much lower. Still, a high-priced ZenFone 3 Zoom would have an iPhone 7 Plus-like dual-camera setup and large 5000mAh battery to its credit.
On the bright side, the expected starting price of $380 may still push through with the official rollout of the ZenFone 3 Zoom’s 32GB storage version next month. And since the phone comes with a microSD slot, you can push the total space to 2TB if you’re desperate enough.
Going back to the recent launch in Taiwan: What we earlier thought was going to be a next-generation ZenFone, turned out to be the ZenFone Pegasus 3S, a lower-end Android Nougat smartphone with a price of CNY 1,999 (about $290).
Similar to the ZenFone 3 Zoom, the Pegasus 3S has a generous non-removable 5000mAh battery, but settles for a much weaker MediaTek processor to manage the 5.2-inch HD 720p display, 3GB of memory, and pair of 13- and 8-megapixel rear and front cameras.
Nothing out of the ordinary, but what really makes it stand out is the fingerprint scanner on the clickable home button. That and the all-metal body make the Pegasus 3S stand out from the multitude of similar-looking ZenFones out there.
Like other handsets in the Pegasus line, the new model will see a limited release, with China getting first dibs on the device.
[irp posts=”9208″ name=”ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom: Hands-on and sample photos”]
God of War Ragnarok is Sony’s best-selling exclusive
Based only on its first week
November is a great month for gamers. Because of a few major titles coming out, there are a lot of ways to scratch that gaming itch. A lot of players are happy. None more so than Sony right now. Only a few weeks since its release, God of War Ragnarok has broken Sony’s record for fastest-selling first-party title launch.
Officially confirmed by Sony through its Twitter account, God of War Ragnarok has sold 5.1 million copies only through its first week. With such an impressive showing, the title rushes past Sony’s acclaimed gallery of heavy hitters like Marvel’s Spider-Man, The Last of Us Part II, and even the title’s 2018 predecessor. That’s not a list of who’s who to shrug off.
— PlayStation (@PlayStation) November 23, 2022
Additionally, the sequel is now the best-selling title in its franchise. The series has come a long way since its roots in Greek mythology. Mere weeks since the release, it is already in the conversation for several Game of the Year awards alongside other heavy hitters like Elden Ring.
Not without reason, of course. From our review of the title, the sequel to 2018’s classic is a narrative masterpiece in its own right, deserving of its spot in the oeuvre of Sony’s greatest hits.
SEE ALSO: God of War Ragnarok Review
Netflix is working on its first PC game
It’s a AAA title
Though off to a relatively slow start, Netflix is now a gaming company as well. As of late, the platform included a variety of mobile games in its catalog of content. Every Netflix subscriber can play any of the games. Now, Netflix is working on something else entirely: a game for the PC.
Spotted by Mobilegamer.biz, Netflix has recently posted new job openings for a game director, an art director, and a technical director. All three listings describe a “brand-new AAA PC game” as a project. One listing even describes “one of Netflix’s first generation of internally developed original games.”
Currently, Netflix taps into other game studios to produce titles for them. Aside from a few independent developers, the platform even partnered with Ubisoft for mobile titles. (One of which will be based on the Assassin’s Creed franchise.)
With the listings in place, the company is expanding its efforts to developing its own titles. Right now, the unnamed project doesn’t feature a lot of details. While the project is still looking for a creative director, it’s likely that the plot isn’t finalized either.
Throughout the past year, the company has bled for subscribers. Since then, they have tried various strategies, including potential punishments for account sharing and cheaper subscription tiers.
TikTok is now under investigation by the European Union
For transferring data to China
TikTok has now found its way under the microscope of the European Union. The collective is now investigating the platform for allegedly shipping off its citizens’ data to Chinese servers.
In a letter shared by FCC commissioner Brendan Carr (via Engadget), the current president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen has confirmed ongoing investigations concerning TikTok in several countries in the European Union.
For one, Ireland is currently investigating how the platform transfers data to China and how it processes the data of minors. The Netherlands is also investigating the same data transfers and TikTok’s advertising towards minors.
NEW: The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, confirms that #TikTok’s data transfers are under investigation & object of several ongoing proceedings.
— Brendan Carr (@BrendanCarrFCC) November 22, 2022
For a while now, the European Union has persistently investigated various tech companies to review their compliance with the continent’s General Data Protection Regulation, which presents a stricter view on data privacy. Various companies have already found themselves on the receiving end of penalties brought down by EU courts.
An investigation on TikTok has been a long time coming. For years, the United States has doggedly hounded TikTok for the same violation of shipping user data to Chinese servers. The company continues to face threats of a ban on foreign soil.
Though an investigation in Europe is just another fight the company must face, it’s nothing to shrug off. Lately, the European Union’s ruling on charging standards is forcing Apple to finally ship their devices with USB-C, instead of the proprietary Lightning cable. The Union, especially when completely united across all the included countries, can very well make an impact on the tech industry.
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