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Less than a year after the launch of the ZenFone 4 series, we already have a successor to ASUS’ popular ZenFone lineup.

As the base model ZenFone 5 starts rolling out across the globe, we take a closer look at what you can expect out of the box. This unboxing, however, is a little bit out of the ordinary as ASUS sent us a special box.


News

A Galaxy S8 saved tourists from drowning in Cebu

Phone survived 30 minutes underwater

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A smartphone is more than just a fancy device. Today, mobile technology carries so many features and packs so much durability. In the right situation, a smartphone can save lives. In the face of impending disaster, your favorite device should be in your handbag at all costs.

Case in point, a smartphone recently saved several divers in Cebu. As reported locally, the boat capsized near Bogo City. Coming from Malapascua Island, it was transporting local and foreign divers to a diving spot nearby. Before it could reach safety, the boat sank. Thankfully, emergency responders quickly acted on a call for help. All crew members and passengers were saved.


Recently, Samsung revealed a deeper story surrounding the event. According to a press release, the divers’ emergency call originated from a Galaxy S8. Thirty minutes after the incident, Jim Emdee, one of the passengers, found his smartphone submerged in seawater. To his surprise, the smartphone still worked. He made the call, alerting responders to their position.

“I really hope my [thank you] can make it to the engineering team as honestly it really saved us all. Only my S8 was able to connect… and worked all the way until we made it to land. It stayed alive for much longer than I thought possible and it really made the difference,” he said.

The Galaxy S8 sports IP68 water resistance. Typically, it can survive five feet underwater for up to 30 minutes. Besides increased durability, the smartphone also carries emergency software features. For example, Samsung 321 can quickly contact emergency services in dire situations. It can also automatically send SOS messages smoothly with just a few button presses.

At this age, knowing your smartphone’s emergency features is a necessity. You’ll never know when you might need them.

SEE ALSO: Android Oreo update for Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+ resumes

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The Mi A3 is exactly the Mi CC9e

Just without MIUI

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Turns out, earlier reports were spot on. The Xiaomi Mi A3 is exactly the Mi CC9e with the only difference being the Mi CC9e runs MIUI while the Mi A3 runs on stock Android.

This isn’t the first time that the A-series is just a re-released version of an earlier Xiaomi phone. The first two phones on the A-series were launched under different names with MIUI running on top. The Mi A1 is also the Mi 5X while the Mi A2 is the Mi 6X.


In case you haven’t been following this news, the Mi A3 sports a Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 processor with a 4030mAh battery that supports up to 18W fast charging. The biggest improvement is the camera module with the Mi A3 equipped with three lenses: 48MP main shooter with f/1.78 aperture, 8MP ultra wide-angle lens, and a 2MP depth sensor.

The phone has 4GB of RAM with two internal storage options. There’s a 64GB model that will retail for €250 (US$ 280) while the 128GB model will retail for €280 (US$ 314). Pricing is right in line with the Xiaomi Mi A2 when it launched in 2018.

Another thing that the Mi A3 has that the Mi A2 decided to cut is the 3.5mm headphone jack. The fingerprint sensor has been moved to under the display. It was on the back in the previous model.

The Mi A3 will come in three colors: Blue, White and Gray and will be available in Spain first. Pre-orders are available now and the units will be shipped on July 24. It shouldn’t take too long for the phone to hit other markets worldwide.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi Mi A2 Review: Android One refined

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India

Redmi K20 series arrives in India

Is this the true flagship killer?

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It’s clear by now Xiaomi will always be on a launch spree, whether it’s a smartphone or an eco-system product, nothing can stop the young juggernaut. The brand has been teasing the launch of the Redmi K20 series in India for months now and it’s finally here.

The K20 Pro and K20 have been launched in the country at a very competitive price and demand for it is already very high. Initially, Xiaomi will be shipping the device via its Alpha Sale for which registration had started a week back and more than 70,000 buyers have already registered. The Redmi K20 Pro will go on limited sale starting July 22 via Mi.com, Flipkart, and Mi Home stores.


Both phones sport a 6.4-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display with a screen-to-body ratio of almost 92 percent. On the front is a 20-megapixel pop-up selfie camera while the rear has a triple camera setup. It consists of a 48-megapixel lens (IMX586 on the K20 Pro and IMX 582 on K20), 13-megapixel wide-angle lens, and an 8-megapixel telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom.

The camera app comes with AI-backed portrait mode, beauty enhancements, and automatic scene recognition. To protect the pop-up module from damage, the phone’s gyroscope detects falls and automatically retracts.

Powering the K20 Pro is the latest Snapdragon 855 processor and the K20 is backed by a Snapdragon 730 chip. A 4000mAh battery provides all the juice and charges via 27W SonicCharge technology. The display also houses a fingerprint scanner and there’s also support for face unlock. Lastly, the design is P2i splash proof thanks to a resistant nano-coating.

The Redmi K20 Pro is priced at INR 27,999 (US$ 406) for the 6GB+128GB variant and INR 30,999 (US$ 450) for the 8GB+256GB option.

On the other hand, the K20 is priced at INR 21,999 (US$ 320) for the 6GB+64GB option and INR 23,999 (US$ 350) for 6GB+128GB configuration. Both the phones are available in Fire and Ice colors.

Xiaomi also announced the launch of Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones for INR 1,599 (US$ 23) and Mi Rechargeable LED Lamp for INR 1,499 (US$ 21).

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