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ASUS ZenFone 6 goes all out with Snapdragon 855 and new Flip Camera

A different approach to avoid the notch

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ASUS ZenFone 6 | GadgetMatch

ASUS‘ entry to the 2019 smartphone game may be a little late this year, but the Taiwanese company made sure that it’ll be worth it. True to their new “Defy ordinary” tagline, ASUS’ new smartphone is unlike anything we’ve seen before.

First and foremost, the ZenFone 6 is now ASUS’ main flagship phone. The ZenFone lineup started as a modest budget lineup from 2014 and it took five generations for it to become ASUS’ primary high-end phone — no need for “Z” or “Deluxe” monikers.

Since the ZenFone 6 is now a full-blooded premium smartphone, it has all the bell and whistles you’d expect from a 2019 flagship phone with a few extra surprises. For starters, it has an All-Screen NanoEdge display that’s free of any notch or hole-punch for the front-facing camera. The phone features a 6.4-inch IPS panel with a Full HD+ resolution, topped with Gorilla Glass 6.

ASUS ZenFone 6 | GadgetMatch

Inside, the phone is rocking a Snapdragon 855 chip paired with up to 8GB of memory and up to 256GB of storage using UFS 2.1. In order to keep up with the phone’s speed, ASUS has once again redesigned ZenUI (now called ZenUI 6) and it’s almost like pure Android. Additionally, ASUS has promised to bring Android Q when it launches later this year and even Android R in the future.

Perhaps the most important aspect of the ZenFone 6 is its cameras. In order to get rid of any display cutouts, ASUS resorted to a new and rather unique motorized Flip Camera. With this approach, the ZenFone 6’s main camera is also its selfie shooter.

ASUS ZenFone 6 | GadgetMatch

ASUS’ Flip Camera houses a 48-megapixel Sony IMX586 sensor with an f/1.79 aperture and 6p lens. It’s accompanied by a secondary 13-megapixel ultra wide-angle shooter with real-time distortion correction, dual-LED flash, and laser AF system.

With the main camera acting as the front camera at the same, the ZenFone 6 is practically the ultimate selfie phone.

The device stays true to the traits of a ZenFone including the large 5000mAh battery — one of the biggest we’ve seen in a flagship-specced phone. ASUS has no special fast charging tech, but the ZenFone 6 supports the universally available Quick Charge 4.0 standard through USB-C.

The rest of the phone’s features include stereo speakers with dual NXP amplifiers, 3.5mm headphone jack with Hi-Res Audio output, rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, and Face Unlock.

The ZenFone 6 will be shipping in Europe on May 25 starting at EUR 499 or roughly US$ 560 for the base variant with 6GB of memory and 64GB of storage. The 6GB+128GB configuration will go for EUR 559 (US$ 625), while the top 8GB+256GB model is priced at EUR 599 (US$ 670). It will only be available in four Asian markets: Japan, Indonesia, Hong Kong, and India.

SEE ALSO: ASUS ZenFone Max (M2) Hands-on: Still a great budget contender

India

Amazon to invest $1 billion in India’s small businesses

Jeff Bezos is convinced it’s time to double down

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Jeff Bezos is visiting India and Amazon has organized a conference to announce their plans and goals for the regional market. Dubbed “Smbhav”, it’s a collaborative event for small and medium businesses and will see the participation of senior industry executives.

Bezos said the global online retailer will invest US$ 1 billion in digitising India’s small and medium businesses. He also said the company is eyeing scaling locally produced products from India — in line with the Make in India program — to be of US$ 10 billion size on Amazon platform by 2025.

“We are doing this now because it is working. And when something works you should double down on it,” Bezos said.

The news comes just after the Competition Commission of India (CCI), started an investigation into anti-competitive practices of Amazon and its Walmart-owned rival Flipkart earlier this week.

An Amazon executive said the company has amassed over 500,000 sellers in India and thousands of merchants in the country who are selling on 12 Amazon marketplaces around the world.

India is a lucrative market for internet companies because of extremely cheap data rates and easy availability of affordable smartphones. With a population of 1.3 billion people, the potential is unmatchable. Especially because China’s markets are closed by an internal firewall and the developed markets are highly saturated.

The country is Amazon’s largest bet outside its home market and currently at the cutting edge of digital payments. In India, Amazon is able to set up a highly scaled operations unit, ensuring lower costs and better reach.

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India

POCO is now officially an independent brand

No longer affiliated with Xiaomi

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Xiaomi has announced it’s spinning off POCO as an independent brand. This means the brand will now operate on its own. POCO started in 2018 as a sub-brand of Xiaomi and the parent company has decided to bring in structural changes.

POCO branding is active in India while all other markets get Pocophone. The brand is famous for its POCO F1, an affordable phone that packs a flagship-grade processor. The phone’s arrival created a completely new category of smartphones that are built to be inexpensive, yet offer unmatchable speed.

However, POCO took the backseat in 2019 while Xiaomi rained the markets with Redmi branded phones. Fans have been asking about POCO F1’s successor ever since and the parent company consistently stayed silent about the sub-brand’s future.

Rival brand Realme was also formed as an independent company but is able to leverage OPPO’s infrastructure as “partners”. Having complete independence, the company can operate on its own and decide its own strategy. This structural divide let Realme form a new identity and within no time, it reckoned with Xiaomi as India’s leading mobile vendor.

There were reports in the second half of 2019 that suggested Xiaomi might ditch the POCO brand completely. It’s safe to say that isn’t happening anymore. POCO’s social media handles have been actively announcing discounts and deals on the POCO F1, suggesting a new product could be on the way soon.

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News

Hisense partners with NBA icon Dwyane Wade

It’s a multi-year deal

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Image: Dario | GadgetMatch

Hisense has been one of the fast rising brands especially in the television department. The company is now partnering with three-time NBA Champion Dwyane Wade to attract the sports-consuming market.

Wade will serve the as the company’s US Ambassador and will be prominently featured in premium product launches, in-person event appearances, and other upcoming marketing campaigns. He will be joining Hisense’s list of sports partners that include NASCAR, FIFA (2018) and UEFA (2016 and 2020).

The retired NBA star says he sees the company’s dedication to producing quality products and he’s excited for the partnership.

Hisense offers several value-for-money products especially with televisions. In CES 2020, the company launched the L5 laser TV and XD9G — the first dual-cell technology TV on the market. They also offer various other products like home appliances including refrigerators, wine coolers, portable air conditioners, and more

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