Smartphones

7 smartphones from 2017 still worth buying today

They’re much cheaper now, too!

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As much as we love promoting the latest and greatest from the smartphone world, we’re still committed to recommending the best bangs for one’s buck. Now that we’re more or less done covering 2018’s top flagship phones, let’s take a look back at which smartphones from 2017 are still worth buying today.

Here, we take discounted pricing, legacy features, and relevance in today’s market into consideration. There are lots of great products from last year to be found, but these seven are the ones that we would still wholeheartedly recommend up until now.

Essential Phone

This has to be the king of 2017 smartphones that are still relevant today. Not only does its build, performance, and software updates hold up to this day, you can find the Essential Phone at extremely discounted prices. Even better: There’s no successor in sight, so you know you’re getting nothing but the best support from Essential’s sole product.

Apple iPhone 8 Plus

Not a fan of the notched, Touch ID-less iPhone revolution? We feel like the iPhone 8 Plus with its untainted display and front-mounted fingerprint scanner is for those who want a more traditional experience. Apple still sells it, and at discounted prices. Get one while you can, because it’s looking like Apple has no plans of going back to this design.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Since the Galaxy Note 9 turned out to be such an incremental upgrade over its predecessor, the Note 8 became an even better deal a year after its initial release. Its hardware is top-notch, from the simpler S Pen to the gorgeous display, and it can be found at a price much lower than the Note 9’s.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Like the Galaxy Note 8, the Galaxy S8 pair doesn’t have such a lucrative successor, making these two models popular among bargain shoppers. You’d have to deal with only a single camera on the back, but every other major feature, including the sleek body, is already available.

Google Pixel 2 XL

Google disappointed a lot of fans this year by releasing the Pixel 3 XL with an overly deep notch. If that’s not your thing, and you can live without some of the minor upgrades of the successor, the Pixel 2 XL can do almost everything just as well without a hideous black cutout.

Huawei Mate 10 Pro

As great as the Mate 20 Pro is, Huawei’s effort on the Mate 10 Pro stands the test of time. Its Leica-infused cameras are fantastic even by today’s standards, and the phone does get faster through time. It’s also a little less daunting compared to this year’s model.

Razer Phone

Because the Razer Phone 2 is practically an OG Razer Phone with slightly better components and cameras, choosing the 2017 model seems like a no-brainer if you’re looking to save a few bucks while still wanting a smartphone geared towards mobile gaming.

News

Google Pixel 7 series puts premium on photo, video

Pro version challenges other flagships

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We’ve seen what they look like and now they have officially been launched. The Google Pixel 7 series. featuring the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, is ready to take on other flagships.

‘Most refined design’

Google says the Pixel 7 series has the “most refined design” of any Pixel phone to date. It has a smooth glass back with an aluminium frame. And of course, there’s the signature Camera Bar. The Pixel 7 Pro has a polished aluminium finish while the Pixel 7 is in matte. They are also made with recycled materials.

Both phones have an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance. And the displays are scratch resistant with Corning Gorilla Glass Victus.

Google Tensor G2, enhanced photo and video

Powering the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro is the Google Tensor G2 chip. It’s custom-built for Pixel and was made to take advantage of Google’s advanced machine learning and speech recognition.

Naturally, it also makes the phones run faster and smoother. It’s also responsible for the Pixel’s vaunted photography capabilities. But Google says it’s now extending to video too. It enables features like next-gen Super Res Zoom, twice faster Night Sight processing, Face Unblur, and Cinematic Blur.

The Pixel wants to remain king in low-light imaging. Its large main sensor lets more light in. Combined with computational photography, the Night Sight feature is promising to be better than ever. The Pixel 7 series can now also shoot 4K60fps videos.

Secure with more features

Equipped on both the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro is the Titan M2 security chip. Together with the Tensor G2 chip, it helps the Pixel be built with multiple layers of security. You also get the usual Face and Fingerprint unlocks. It’s also designed for prolonged use as Google promises up to five years of security updates.

Additional features include At a Glance which immediately displays the right information at the right time. Google cites the baggage claim at the airport as an example. But there’s also other appointments and meetings listed on your calendar. There’s also Assistant Voice typing that lets you type with your voice. It now supports Spanish, French, and Italian.

The Pixel 7 series also has the Adaptive Battery Feature. It learns your usage patterns and optimizes the phone to make sure it lasts for about 24 hours. It also supports 30W charging, promising a 50% charge in about 30 minutes.

Price and availability

In the US, the Pixel 7 starts at only US$ 599. And it’s available in Snow, Obsidian, andLemongrass. Meanwhile, the Pixel 7 Pro starts at US$ 899. And it’s available in Snow, Obsidian, and Hazel.

In Singapore, the Pixel 7 series is now available for pre-order and will arrive on store shelves on October 13.

The Pixel 7 with 128GB storage retails for SG$ 999 and is available in Snow, Lemongrass, and Obsidian. Meanwhile, the 256GB version is priced at SG$ 1,129 and comes in Obsidian.

The Pixel 7 Pro 128GB is priced at SG$ 1,299 and comes in Snow, Hazel, and Obsidian. The 256GB version is available only in Obsidian and retails for SG$ 1,449.

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Hands-On

Apple iPhone 14 Plus Unboxing & Hands On

Better late to the party than never

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The iPhone 14 Plus may have come a little bit late in the party, but the new ‘Plus’ iPhone might actually be your best bet.

To cut the story short, it is iPhone 14’s bigger brother.

Apart from a bigger display, it also has the longest battery life in an iPhone ever.

But would you choose it over the more expensive iPhone 14 Pro Max?

And are you willing to trade-off the faster ProMotion display, Dynamic Island, and better cameras for a more “affordable” iPhone?

Watch our unboxing and hands-on of the iPhone 14 Plus to know more.

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Smartphones

Infinix launches first smartphones with 180W charging, 60MP selfie cam

Introducing the ZERO ULTRA and ZERO 20

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The smartphone business is a game of numbers. Which brand can pack in the most megapixels, the largest battery, or the fastest charging? While the industry at large is as vicious as a pack of wolves, Infinix is making quite a case for the numbers game. Today, the company has debuted two new devices in the ZERO lineup. Both of which come with some of the industry’s firsts.

Infinix ZERO ULTRA

First up, the Infinix ZERO ULTRA isn’t shy about what makes it a crazy smartphone to own. Armed with the world’s first 180W Thunder Charge, the smartphone’s 4500mAh battery can reportedly fill up from empty in just 12 minutes. The company previously announced the blazingly fast charging standard earlier this year. Now, it’s making their way to everyone’s hands.

Besides the beast of a battery, the ZERO ULTRA sports the MediaTek Dimensity 920 chipset, up to 13GB of RAM (built-in 8GB of RAM plus 5GB via Extended RAM), and 256GB of internal storage. For its display, the phone comes with a 6.8-inch AMOLED screen, putting out 2400×1080 resolution and 120Hz refresh rate. The form factor glimmers with a 71° waterfall screen design.

Behind everything, the ZERO ULTRA comes with a huge 200-megapixel camera plus a 12-megapixel AI camera. In front, it comes with a sizable 32-megapixel selfie shooter and an 8-megapixel AI camera.

It comes pre-installed with Android 12, laid over with XOS 12. It will also have dual nano SIM capabilities and 5G connectivity.

Infinix ZERO 20

The ULTRA isn’t the only smartphone with an exclusive spec to its name. Complementing the first flagship, Infinix has also launched the ZERO 20, one of the first in the industry to come out with a 60-megapixel selfie shooter.

Built for a passion on photography and vlogging, the ZERO 20’s 60-megapixel selfie camera comes with a 0.61μm pixel size and dual OIS+EIS stabilization. It also has a Super Night Selfie Mode for brilliant selfies even in low light conditions. On the flip side, the ZERO 20’s 108-megapixel rear camera isn’t too shabby either. Besides the main camera, it comes with a pair of other sensors: a 13-megapixel and a 2-megapixel one.

Underneath, the smartphone sports a MediaTek Helio G99 chipset, up to 13GB of RAM (using the same configuration as the ZERO ULTRA), and 256GB of internal storage (expandable via a microSD slot). It comes with a 6.7-inch AMOLED FHD+ screen with 90Hz refresh rate.

It has dual nano SIM capabilities and up to 4G connectivity. Plus, it will have a headphone jack. Powering everything, the ZERO 20 comes with a 4500mAh battery capable of 45W Super Charge (which can fill an empty battery to 75 percent in just 30 minutes).

Price and availability

Coming in Coslight Silver and Genesis Noir, the Infinix ZERO ULTRA will sell for around US$ 520. Additionally, while supplies last, customers will receive a lottery ticket for a chance to win a space themed NFT.

Meanwhile, coming in Space Gray, Glitter Gold, and Green Fantasy, the Infinix ZERO 20 will sell for around US$ 270.

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