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ASUS ZenFone AR is finally launching next week

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It seems like such a long time ago when the ZenFone AR was first announced. So many smartphones have launched since then, but none have matched what the pioneering ASUS product offers, and consumers will soon get a crack at it themselves.

Based on an invitation that’s been circulating, ASUS will be holding the ZenFone AR’s launch event in Taiwan on June 14. This aligns with previous rumors that the phone will become commercially available around the middle of this month.

According to the source of the media invite, the US and India will follow with their own rollouts soon after.

The ZenFone AR is a big deal because of two things: It’s the first smartphone to own 8GB of memory, and it’s the only handset currently equipped with both of Google’s Tango augmented reality and Daydream virtual reality platforms.

We had a taste of what’s to come during the Google I/O conference last month. There are a lot of practical applications for its capabilities, but we’re looking most forward to the AR and VR games we can play on it, such as The Sims.

The only concern left is its price. We were told by insiders that the price will exceed $800 in most markets, putting this in Galaxy S8+ and iPhone 7 Plus territory.

SEE ALSO: ASUS Zenfone AR with Project Tango Hands-On

[irp posts=”14352″ name=”ASUS Zenfone AR with Project Tango Hands-On”]

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Vivo to release a white NEX Dual Display Edition

It’s coming soon

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Prototype of the white NEX Dual Display Edition

Vivo Design Director Kyle Xiao tells GadgetMatch that a white NEX Dual Display Edition is coming in 2019, in roughly four months.

While developing the new NEX phone, Vivo found that users find white smartphones to feel cheaper than the usual black phones.

Vivo’s design team is currently working on using different materials to make the best white NEX Dual Display Edition possible, although Xiao says that the NEX line isn’t about being premium or using expensive materials.

Prototype of the white NEX Dual Display Edition

He says the ultimate vision for the NEX line is to be different from the current crop of smartphones — to have a notch-free experience. “We’re not saying that we’re leading the trend but we want to break the barrier. The smartphone as we know it is heading to an era that needs to be changed.”

The Vivo NEX Dual Display Edition was made official in Shanghai this week, a few months after the original Vivo NEX, which featured a pop-up selfie camera, was announced.

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Stable Android 9 Pie for Pocophone F1 is now available for download

Still with MIUI 10

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The Xiaomi-made Pocophone F1 continues to stir us with the value it offers to consumers. After impressing us with its incredible price to specs ratio, Pocophone proves again that it can deliver flagship features pretty well — this time in the software department. While other premium phones are still waiting in line for the Android Pie update, the Pocophone F1 already has it.

The Pocophone F1 or Poco F1 in some markets just started getting its stable over-the-air update to Android 9 Pie. Although, users might not be able to feel the jump from Oreo to Pie because the phone is already running MIUI 10.

Xiaomi’s Android Pie update is still based on MIUI 10, so the overall UI will remain untouched. But of course, it brings a number of changes under the hood including core Pie features, bug fixes, and Google Lens.

The update is already making its way through the cloud. It might come a bit late depending on your location, but that’s perfectly normal. Weighing at 1.7GB, the update is quite heavy.

If you’re getting impatient, you could also download the firmware and manually update your phone using this link. Simply place the downloaded files in your phone in the “downloaded_rom” folder and go to the system update settings to install it.

While we’re at it, check out our Pocophone F1 video review:

Source: Android Police

SEE ALSO: Pocophone F1 teardown shows the ‘LiquidCool’ system inside its body

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ASUS outs cheaper ZenFone Max M2 with pure Android software

A great contender in the budget segment

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Alongside the launch of the ZenFone Max Pro M2, ASUS also introduced a budget-oriented device: the ZenFone Max M2. The non-Pro version of ASUS’ newest line of phones with big batteries cuts down its specs to meet the affordable price point.

Understandably, the ZenFone Max M2 is rocking a slightly less powerful chipset than what the Pro variant has. It’s using the new Snapdragon 632 processor with either 3GB or 4GB of memory and up to 64GB of storage.

Its 6.26-inch display is less sharp because of its HD+ resolution, but it still has a full-screen design and, of course, a notch. ASUS has to cut corners in battery capacity as well by putting a humbler 4000mAh cell. It’s still bigger than most, though.

It also has a rear-mounted fingerprint reader that works hand-in-hand with face unlock using the front camera.

Speaking of camera, the ZenFone Max M2 is equipped with an AI-enabled 13-megapixel main shooter paired with a 2-megapixel depth sensor. For selfies, there’s an 8-megapixel front snapper with its own LED flash.

The phone runs a stock version of Android, which is something that fans asked for according to ASUS. It’s still on Oreo with no timeline for when Pie is coming. Just to be clear, this is not an Android One phone, so don’t expect timely software updates for it.

Pricing starts at INR 9,999 in India for the 3GB+32GB variant and INR 11,999 for the 4GB+64GB model. In Indonesia, Lazada will exclusively offer the ZenFone Max M2 starting at IDR 2,300,000.

SEE ALSO: ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M2 is bigger, faster, and still runs pure Android

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