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ASUS Zenfone 8 Series now official

Featuring the Zenfone 8 and Zenfone 8 Flip

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ASUS is diversifying the Zenfone line by giving people two distinct options in the Zenfone 8 series — the base Zenfone 8 and the Zenfone 8 Flip. 

Both phones are powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor. Right off the bat, you’re promised flagship performance, 5G connectivity, some reliable gaming performance, and all that jazz.

However, the most impressive thing about these two devices may be in how targeted they are. ASUS is sticking to their thing by insisting on a Flip camera module, but they’re also offering something else for a segment that they feel is underserved with the base Zenfone 8.

Zenfone 8 

Zenfone 8

The goal for the Zenfone 8 is clear — offer a compact flagship smartphone. While there are compact phones out there, it’s really only the iPhone 12 mini that can be considered flagship-level. But that phone suffered from a dismal battery life as many reviewers have pointed out.

To remedy this, ASUS put a 4,000mAh battery on the Zenfone 8. But how compact is it?

The Samsung AMOLED display on the phone measures at 5.9 inches. Only a few decimals larger than the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 mini. Also, a far cry from the at least 6.4 inches we see on most flagships today.

That display also supports HDR10+, has a 120Hz refresh rate, a 240Hz touch sampling rate, and is made of Corning Gorilla Glass 6. Neat. It has a tiny hole that houses the 12MP front-facing camera.

Speaking of cameras, no crazy flip-module here. Likely to maximize the space on the relatively tiny body. But ASUS didn’t skimp on the specs as the main camera uses the 64MP Sony IMX686 sensor here paired with an 8MP telephoto lens.

It is available in multiple configurations: 6GB + 128GB, 8GB +128GB, 8GB + 256GB, and 16GB + 256GB but there’s no way to expand the internal storage.


Watch our Zenfone 8 review


Zenfone 8 Flip 

As the name suggests, this is the more party-friendly Zenfone. It features the Flip-up camera module first seen on the ZenFone 6. It has a similar set of cameras as the Zenfone 8, but are positioned alongside each other — that’s 64MP main, 12MP ultra-wide, and 8MP telephoto.

The Flip can sustain up to 300,000 flips which may not sound a lot but ASUS insists that it is. It also doesn’t just go all the way flipped up or down. You can control the angle at which the camera flips.

The display is also Samsung AMOLED but this one lands on the big screen category coming in at 6.67 inches. Instead of 120Hz though, this has a 90Hz refresh rate with a 200Hz touch sampling rate.

By virtue of having a larger body, it also has a larger battery capacity at 5,000mAh. This one comes in only one configuration — 8GB +256GB with support for up to 2TB of storage expansion via MicroSD.

Both Zenfones share the same video shooting capabilties. These are 8K and 4K video recording, Motion Tracking video, Time Lapse, Slow Mo, and more.

Here’s a quick look at the specs side by side.

Zenfone 8

Zenfone Flip 8

Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
Display 5.9” Samsung AMOLED, 120Hz 6.67” Samsung AMOLED, 90Hz
OS Android 11, Zen UI 8 Android 11, Zen UI 8
Configuration 6GB + 128GB

8GB +128GB

8GB + 256GB

16GB + 256GB

*No storage expansion

8GB +256GB

*Up to 2TB storage expansion via MicroSD

Battery 4,000mAh 5,000mAh
Cameras 64MP Sony IMX686

12MP Ultra-wide

12MP front-facing

64MP Sony IMX686

12MP Ultra-wide

8MP telephoto

*Flip camera module

 

Pricing and availability details to follow.

News

A Nokia tablet is coming soon

Confirmed for October

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Since its resurrection years ago, Nokia has found its footing in the modern smartphone industry. The company has created a niche of smartphones for all markets. Amid their success, they are looking to expand even further. Nokia has confirmed that a Nokia tablet is coming.

Nokia’s official Twitter account posted an account directly confirming the tablet’s launch. The teaser even includes a photo and an official debut date. The included photo shows that the upcoming tablet is roughly more than twice the height of a Nokia 3310. As for the date, the tablet is making its official debut on October 6.

According to past rumors, the tablet will be called the Nokia T20. It will allegedly have a 10.36-inch LCD screen. It will reportedly sport a Unisoc chipset. Though the processor is still a variable at this point, the Nokia T20 has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. Given the tablet’s timeframe, it can either come in Android 11 or 12 out of the box.

Of note, this isn’t Nokia’s first foray into the tablet industry. Back in 2015, the company tried to get into the market with the Nokia N1. However, at a notable high for the tablet industry, the N1 never rose above the ranks. With the upcoming Nokia T20, the company wants to try again but with a better history behind it this time.

SEE ALSO: Nokia XR20: Rugged smartphone with 4 years of updates

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Xiaomi blacklists “Samsung” and other terms from its phones [UPDATED]

But there’s a reason why

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Throughout the past few years, Chinese smartphones have received a lot of flak for its ties to geopolitical issues. Both Huawei and ZTE have already suffered through bans from the American government. Naturally, Xiaomi is in a similar boat. Unfortunately, because of a new research report, things might get worse before they get better.

According to a report published by the National Cyber Security Centre in Lithuania, Xiaomi’s smartphones automatically download a list of terms that they blacklist. The list includes sketchy terms like “China,” “Taiwan Solidarity Union,” and other geopolitical terms. Obviously, including China-related terms can cause a bit of alarm for users elsewhere. However, the blacklist might have uses outside of the obvious.

Spotted by XDA Developers, Xiaomi uses the list for advertising purposes. Besides the China-related terms, the list also includes its brand rivals like “Samsung” and “ZTE.” It also includes pornography and piracy terms. Most ironically, the list also blocks its own smartphone models. The publication spotted that the blacklist is used solely by the smartphone’s advertising platform. Which does make sense now.

The list is designed to block out ads from competing companies and its own (which makes sense since someone who owns a Xiaomi phone probably doesn’t need to see a Xiaomi ad anymore). Blocking pornographic and piracy-supporting ads also makes sense. The China-related terms remain problematic, but there is no indication that Xiaomi uses the list for anything other than advertising.

Further, Xiaomi should activate the filter manually. The automatic download doesn’t automatically mean that the phone is censored. That said, there is still a possibility that Xiaomi can use the filter for more geopolitical reasons. At the very least, current reports don’t point toward that for now.

Editor’s Note: Xiaomi, on Sept 28, sent GadgetMatch the statement below

“Xiaomi’s devices do not censor communications to or from its users. Xiaomi has never and will never restrict or block any personal behaviors of our smartphone users, such as searching, calling, web browsing or the use of third-party communication software. Xiaomi fully respects and protects the legal rights of all users. Xiaomi complies with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).”

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi 11T series focuses on mobile filmmaking


The article was originally published on September 24, 2021.

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News

Galaxy S22 Ultra will look like a Galaxy Note phone

Based on a new render

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The Galaxy Note series is in a state of limbo. After the rise of the brand’s foldable phones, Samsung toned down on the iconic Note series. The brand hasn’t even launched a new entry yet – if it even is launching one this year. If you’re a fan of the series, there’s still hope. Based on new renders, the upcoming Galaxy S22 Ultra will look remarkably similar to the Galaxy Note series.

Rendered by Steve Hemmerstoffer and Digit.in based on currently known leaks, the upcoming premium smartphone will reportedly have a built-in dock for the S Pen. Of course, the series had already received stylus support, but the Galaxy S21 series never had a dock for the pen.

Additionally, the renders show a quad rear camera setup much like the previous series. However, the layout does look a bit different from its predecessors. Either way, the upcoming flagship has a hint of familiarity for those more used to the Galaxy Note series.

Unfortunately, the render doesn’t show how the S Pen will look like. For the past few iterations, Samsung did confirm that more optimized S Pens are coming for different devices.

In other details, the renders also show that the headphone jack is here to stay.

Right now, it’s still early to tell if the renders are what the real deal will look like. A lot can still happen between now and the projected launch window in January.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 review: Do-It-All device

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