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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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Lifestyle

The Pirate Bay just launched its own streaming service

Yes, it’s free

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Image source: Disney

Without a doubt, the streaming wars have begun. Especially after the introduction of Disney Plus, audiences are now struggling to find the perfect mix of price and content. Which streaming services should you sign up for, so you maximize all entertainment options while minimizing price?

However, as entertainment companies come up with more streaming services, prices are inevitably going up. That said, a former entertainment king is getting a lot more tempting again — piracy.

Before Netflix’s current dominance, audiences already resorted to torrenting and bootleg streaming. Now, rising prices will likely push audiences back to the entertainment model.

Case in point, infamous torrenting website The Pirate Bay has launched a streaming prototype — called BayStream — on its own site. Currently, users can access the service when they search for torrents. In the below search on The Mandalorian, for example, some torrents have a green play button. Clicking on the play button will direct users to a YouTube-like website where they can play the respective torrent without downloading it.

 

Unfortunately, the service doesn’t come with an instruction manual. However, upon further testing, the button automatically appears whenever a torrent has a hundred or more seeds, regardless of age. Sadly, the file’s availability on BayStream is an unknown. Some, despite having more than 100 seeds, are absent from the service. If anything, the top-seeded torrents are likelier to play on the site.

Additionally, users can also upload their own files on the service (up to 20GB). Presumably, uploading users can share their own files with others using the service.

The Pirate Bay has not officially announced the service. However, some reports say that the service is still in beta testing. Regardless, BayStream is an interesting addition to today’s overcrowded streaming market.

SEE ALSO: Netflix might limit password sharing between users

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Laptops

Surface Pro 7 and Laptop 3: Price in Singapore

They’re finally here

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Last October, Microsoft took the wraps off the Surface Pro 7 and Laptop 3. Worldwide release soon followed in November. Now, it’s Singapore’s turn to receive these devices as Microsoft is bringing them in the country.

Surface Pro 7

Here are the prices of the different Surface Pro 7 variants:

  • Core i5, 128GB SSD, 8GB RAM — SG$ 1,388 (Platinum)
  • Core i5, 256GB SSD, 8GB RAM — SG$ 1,788 (Platinum and Matte Black)
  • Core i7, 256GB SSD, 16GB RAM — SG$ 2,188 (Platinum and Matte Black)
  • Core i7, 512GB SSD, 16GB RAM — SG$ 2,688 (Platinum and Matte Black)
  • Core i7, 1TB SSD, 16GB RAM — SG$ 3,288 (Platinum)

Microsoft’s Surface Pro 7 comes with a 12.3-inch IPS display. Powering the device is a 10th-gen Intel Core processors with Iris Plus graphics for performance boost. It looks exactly like the Surface Pro 6, and the only thing differentiating them is an USB-C port which replaced the DisplayPort.

Surface Laptop 3

Along with the Surface Pro 7, Microsoft also launched the Surface Laptop 3. This year, they are releasing a bigger 15-inch variant, which is a first for the Surface Laptop line. This variant will come to Singapore along with the traditional 13.5-inch variant.

The variants and the prices are as follows:

13.5-inch variant

  • Core i5, 128GB SSD, 8GB RAM — SG$ 1,488 (Platinum)
  • Core i5, 256GB SSD, 8GB RAM — SG$ 1,888 (Platinum and Matte Black)
  • Core i7, 256GB SSD, 16GB RAM — SG$ 2,288 (Platinum and Matte Black)
  • Core i7, 512GB SSD, 16GB RAM — SG$ 2,888 (Platinum and Matte Black)

15-inch variant

  • Ryzen 5 3580U, 256GB SSD, 8GB RAM — SG$ 2,188 (Platinum and Matte Black)
  • Ryzen 5 3580U, 256GB SSD, 16GB RAM — SG $2,488 (Platinum and Matte Black)

Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 3 comes with an Intel Core processors with Iris Plus graphics or an AMD Ryzen processors with Vega graphics. Design-wise, it is the only Surface device in a traditional laptop form factor. Like the Surface Pro 7, it also did away with the DisplayPort in favor of USB-C.

Accessories

Buyers of Surface Pro 7 and Laptop 3 may want accessories to go with their newly purchased devices. Microsoft has them covered with the following peripherals:

  • Surface Arc Mouse — SG$ 118
  • Surface Pen — SG$ 148
  • Signature Type Cover for Surface Pro 7 — SG$ 249

They come in a variety of colors including Ice Blue, Poppy Red, Black and Platinum.

Surface devices and accessories are available at Best Denki, Challenger, Courts, EpiCentre @ ION Orchard, Harvey Norman, and Lazada. Business customers can avail the device at AsiaPac, JK Technology, and UIC. Alternatively, consumers can head to Microsoft’s store to buy the device.

SEE ALSO: Microsoft Surface family Hands-On

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News

OPPO AR Glass launches, works like the HoloLens

Looks like the HoloLens

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At its on-going OPPO Inno Day 2019 conference, the company has today announced its first AR Glasses. These new augmented reality smart glasses run OPPO’s Glass OS and work quite a lot like the Microsoft HoloLens or Google Glass.

The announcement comes at a time when the smartphone company has said that it is now focusing on diversifying its portfolio of product categories. According to Android Authority, the Oppo AR Glass will be released in 2020, however, the specifics on exact availability or pricing are yet to be revealed.

The AR glasses include support for 3D surround sound to offer users an immersive AR experience. It also comes with various modes of interaction, including gestures and voice recognition.

The company didn’t go into detail about the technical aspects of these AR glasses, suggesting it’s still at the prototyping and development stage. It does reveal that the eyewear sports as much as four cameras, two fisheye, one HD, and one Time-of-Flight (ToF) to give it a comprehensive view of the world

OPPO didn’t give a release date for the glasses, but it also announced other new products. The company said its first smartwatch will be released in the first quarter of 2020, and it announced a 5G CPE connection Hub.

OPPO founder and CEO Chen Mingyong said that the company plans to invest a whopping CNY 50 billion (US$7.1 billion) in research and development over the next three years. In addition to 5G and AR, research will focus on IoT and AI

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