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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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Enterprise

Apple: Coronavirus might cause iPhone shortage

Won’t meet expected revenue by March

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If, during a tense situation, someone say that they are doing okay, there is a slight chance that things are going the opposite way. Today’s coronavirus epidemic, for example, has affected the tech industry more than it has proclaimed. For the most part, China-dependent companies — like Apple — have waved off any adverse effect caused by the rampant virus, despite taking precautions.

Unfortunately for them, deception can only last so long. Recently, Apple has released its quarterly guidance report for investors. Compared to the general populace, investors require utmost transparency. As such, Apple revealed the potential setbacks heading into the second month of the coronavirus situation in China.

Mainly, Apple doesn’t “expect to meet the revenue guidance” expected by March. Both supply and demand are falling especially in China.

On the supply side, Apple’s Chinese manufacturers are reeling from the forced closures enacted both by the Chinese New Year holiday and the coronavirus safety protocols. For now, the factories are remaining open (or have since re-opened). Regardless, Apple is working together with the factories to ensure worker safety. Because of the shifted focus, iPhone supplies will temporarily decrease and will likewise “temporarily affect revenues worldwide.”

On the demand side, Apple is mulling over the closures of their retail stores in affected Chinese regions. Naturally, without a retail store, maintaining adequate supply is useless. To Apple’s fortune, these closures are affecting only Chinese customers. Regardless, China is an important market for the iPhone maker.

As consumers outside China, we won’t likely feel Apple’s pains on the demand side. However, a shift in supply — even a tiny one — will ripple across the globe either through launch delays or delivery shortages. If you’re an Apple fan, you might want to hang on to your old iPhone a bit longer.

SEE ALSO: Apple starts the year with a bang in their latest revenue report

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Accessories

Sony’s WF-H800 h.ear in TWS headphones offer rich sound

Available in five colors

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Already a leader in noise-cancelling headphones, Sony is offering something a little different in the true wireless headpones department — the Sony WF-H800 h.ear in headphones.

One of the first easily noticeable things is how the WF-H800 is available in five colors: red, orange, green, blue, and black.

Noticeably missing is the active noise-cancellation feature. However, it makes up for it with other Sony staple-features, primarily the 360 reality audio. The effect of which can only be truly felt once you experience it for yourself.

It also has a 6mm dynamic driver to deliver a wide range of audio frequencies as well as a feature Sony calls DSEE HX or Digital Sound Enhancement Engine. This tech restores the high-range sound that’s lost in compression. It reproduces digital music files with rich, natural sound.

It’s also lightweight and designed to fit your ears perfectly. The WF-H800 promises up to eight hours of music playback plus another eight hours with the carrying case giving you a total of 16 hours. Additionally, 10 minutes of charge time will give you up to 70 minutes of listening time.

Just like other Sony headphones, these are compatible with both Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa.

Price and availability

The Sony WF-H800 will be available at selected Sony Stores, Sony Centers, Sony authorized dealers and the official Sony store on Lazada from March 2020. It will retail for SG$ 299.

SEE ALSO: Sony WF-1000XM3 review: Masterclass in noise cancellation

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Enterprise

China: US is a hypocrite for attacking Huawei

Says US hacked Germany before

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We’re midway through the second month of 2020. By now, you’d expect yesteryear’s issues to finally resolve themselves. Unfortunately, we’re still stuck in the same issues. Particularly, Huawei and the US are still at each other’s throats.

Today, both parties fired shots at each other on Twitter of all places. In this exchange, the US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell tweeted that “any nation who chooses to use an untrustworthy 5G vendor will jeopardize [America’s] ability to share Intelligence and information at the highest level.”

For the past few years, the US government has persistently smeared Huawei’s reputation in international territories, urging other countries to stop considering the company as a 5G partner. The strategy has met only moderate success across the globe. Some countries have already allowed Huawei to build infrastructure on their land.

Naturally, Huawei isn’t taking it lightly. In response to Grenell, Hua Chunying, China’s spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, tweeted a scathing rebuke against Grenell’s accusations.

“Who he is [sic] threatening? Who’s the real threat? Remember, Snowden said US spied on Chancellor Merkel’s phone,” the tweet went.

The ambassador is referring to Edward Snowden, an infamous American whistleblower who revealed an entire library’s worth of state secrets. Regardless of its truth, Hua Chunying’s tweet is scalding, especially in the tense situation between both countries.

SEE ALSO: China is giving away cash incentives for new Huawei users

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