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ASUS ZenFone 4 launches with Pro, Selfie, and Max models

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ASUS hasn’t shied away from teasing its next-generation ZenFone 4 lineup for the past few weeks, but all that build-up ends now. The ZenFone 4 series is finally here, bringing with it several variants for all sorts of markets.

We’re currently looking at a total of six officially named ZenFone 4 models: the midrange ZenFone 4, a high-end ZenFone 4 Pro, two selfie-centric phones in the ZenFone 4 Selfie and Selfie Pro, the ZenFone 4 Max that was quietly launched in Russia last month, and an additional ZenFone 4 Max Pro.

Those don’t include the minor variations some of these models possess. Already confused? Let’s break them down:

ASUS ZenFone 4

Despite being the torch bearer of the new lineup, the ZenFone 4 is in fact a midrange smartphone. That’s because it makes use of one of Qualcomm’s new efficiency-first processors — either the Snapdragon 660 or 630. So yes, there are two versions under its name, but the one equipped with the Snapdragon 660 will be slightly faster.

The rest of the specifications are what you’d expect from a phone of this caliber: a 5.5-inch Full HD LCD, up to 6GB of memory and 64GB of storage, and 3300mAh battery. What makes this special compared to the ZenFone 3 is its dual-camera system, wherein in the secondary 8-megapixel sensor delivers wider-angled shots compared to the primary’s 12-megapixel shooter. There’s another, single 8-megapixel camera on the front.

Pricing starts at US$ 399.

ASUS ZenFone 4 Pro

As the top-of-the-line model, the ZenFone 4 Pro has something the others don’t: Qualcomm’s best processor to date, the Snapdragon 835. That’s a big deal, because that puts this phone in line with the likes of the Sony Xperia XZ Premium, HTC U11, and OnePlus 5 — that’s seriously good company to be associated with.

Another special feature is the 16-megapixel secondary camera at the back that’s capable of 2X optical zoom. Combined with the optically stabilized 12-megapixel shooter and 8-megapixel selfie cam, we’ve got all bases covered. Sealing the deal are the 5.5-inch Full HD AMOLED, 6GB of memory, 128GB of storage, and 3600mAh battery.

As expected, it’s the costliest of the bunch. We’re looking at a price tag of US$ 599.

ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie

ASUS has finally brought its Selfie series back after total absence from the ZenFone 3 line. Like the aforementioned models, the 5.5-inch ZenFone 4 Selfie has a pair of side-by-side cameras — except this time, they’re in front.

The main selfie shooter offers a large 20-megapixel resolution, while the secondary lens provides wide 120-degree photos to fit more people into a shot. There’s a front-facing LED flash, as well, and its 16-megapixel rear camera is on its own, but should be enough for daily grinds. A lower-end Snapdragon 430 chip powers the phone, along with 4GB of memory, 64GB of storage, and a 3000mAh battery.

You can purchase one for US$ 279.

ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro

If the ZenFone 4 Selfie isn’t enough to satisfy your vanity, you may opt for the more capable 5.5-inch Selfie Pro. It has a faster Snapdragon 625 processor and DuoPixel front-facing camera technology that combines two 12-megapixel images into a higher-resolution 24-megapixel photo. Wide-angled selfies with the second camera are also possible, and beside it is another LED flash.

Other than that, the Selfie Pro is similar to its non-Pro counterpart. You get the same 16-megapixel rear camera, 4GB of memory, 64GB storage, and 3000mAh battery. In addition, there’ll be a bright red color option available, while the ZenFone 4 Selfie will settle for more basic pink and teal choices.

It’ll retail for US$ 379.

ASUS ZenFone 4 Max and Max Pro

Finally, we have the most budget-friendly of the set, the ZenFone 4 Max. Like its super-popular predecessor, the ZenFone 3 Max, the newer model prioritizes battery life with a 5000mAh capacity. Different this time, however, is the inclusion of a dual-camera setup at the back, which is rare at this price point.

One rear camera is 13 megapixels, while the other handles 120-degree wide-angle shots. The front-facing camera is less special with a single 8-megapixel shooter, but interestingly, there’s a LED flash beside it, as well. Keeping the electronics going is a Snapdragon 430 chipset with 3GB of memory and 32GB of storage under a 5.5-inch HD 720p LCD.

Take note that there’s also a ZenFone 4 Max Pro with a slightly higher-resolution 16-megapixel rear camera. Aside from that, it’s nearly identical to the regular ZenFone 4 Max.

Pricing and availability for all handsets will be added as soon as we get them.

SEE ALSO: ASUS ZenFone AR review

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Nokia created a new Nokia 3310 but it’s just cake

Always has been

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After years of languishing in the darkness, Nokia has ascended back into the spotlight as a staple of the smartphone industry. That happened five years ago. HMD Global, the current owner of Nokia’s products, has a lot to be thankful for. And what’s a better way to celebrate a milestone anniversary than with a cake? To celebrate the fifth anniversary of Nokia’s new era, the company has partnered with renowned cake sculptor Michelle Wibowo.

The cake is designed after none other than the iconic Nokia 3310. Though it’s the newer version of the classic phone, the cake looks hyper-realistic. It looks as great as the actual phone. However, it was made with chocolate sponge and vanilla buttercream. The casing, on the other hand, is made with a hand-painted sugar shell casing.

Of course, Nokia has since launched a flurry of other phones since then. But the brand is especially indebted to the Nokia 3310 as one of the early devices that catapulted it to the top of the tech world in the early 2000s. The classic Nokia 3310 was launched in September 2000.

Michelle Wibowo is a famous cake sculptor known around the world. She has created works of art like the Hogwarts Castle and lifelike depictions of popular figures like Queen Elizabeth II. The hyper-realistic Nokia 3310 cake certainly echoes the past trend of creating everyday items with cake.

SEE ALSO: Nokia E3101: The wireless earbuds for everyone

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Qualcomm officially launches Snapdragon 8 Gen 1

Coming first late 2021

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A few days ago, Qualcomm officially confirmed a coming name change for its ubiquitous Snapdragon chipset series. Of course, though Qualcomm already announced the change, the company did not reveal the new naming scheme. Now, the mystery is gone. Welcome, the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.

Sporting a new coat of paint, the chipset touts an improved 5G modem, the X65 5G. According to the company, the modem can reportedly reach 10Gbps in download speeds. It can also connect to the emerging Wi-Fi 6 standard, allowing up to 3.6Gbps in download speeds. The upper limit won’t mean much in today’s still-young 5G global network. However, it does mean much for the chipset’s longevity.

In the camera department, the chipset sports an 18-bit processor which can supposedly process 4,000 times more data than its predecessor. It can support up to three 36-megapixel cameras simultaneously. It can shoot up to 8K HDR footage at 30 frames per second, UHD footage at 120 frames per second, or slow-mo 720p videos at 960 frames per second.

Qualcomm didn’t specifically indicate how much the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 differs from the Snapdragon 888 in the performance department. However, it will once again focus on the future of AI. Features that use AI will reportedly get a boost going forward.

According to the company, the first smartphones with the chipset will launch sometime by the end of the year. As expected, more smartphones will come out next year in 2022.

SEE ALSO: Upcoming Snapdragon chipset scores 1000000 on AnTuTu

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Jack Dorsey steps down as Twitter CEO

Successors named

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Twitter’s Jack Dorsey has been as much of a staple for the social media network as Mark Zuckerberg has for Facebook. However, as followers of Apple and Microsoft can attest to, long-standing figureheads of tech can change in an instant. Twitter is suddenly undergoing just that sort of shakeup. In a surprise announcement, Dorsey has announced that he is stepping down as Twitter CEO.

On-brand for his eccentric personality, Dorsey tweeted out the internal email detailing his resignation from his post. According to the email, Dorsey now feels that it is time to transition the company from a “founder-led” system to something potentially greater. He, along with other members of the board, has already appointed successors for his position.

First, now-former Twitter CTO Parag Agrawal will serve as the company’s CEO effective immediately. Agarwal was formerly an engineer with Twitter but has since led the company through several key decisions beside Dorsey.

Secondly, Bret Taylor, a member of Twitter’s board, will eventually serve as the new chairman. Dorsey will still serve the rest of this term until around May. Between now and the end of his term, Dorsey will help both new leaders transition into their new positions.

Though Dorsey’s announcement has a sense of intensity, this isn’t the first time that the Twitter founder exited his position. Back in 2008, he left his post for a time before returning to helm the company again in 2015. Only time will tell whether this current resignation will stick and what role he will transition into now. Regardless, it’s a new era for Twitter.

SEE ALSO: Twitter rolls out soft block feature for everyone

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