News

Only Huawei sees growth as China’s smartphone shipment growth stalls

Everyone else got hit hard

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Canalys, an independent research company based in Singapore, published the list of smartphone brands that dominated the Chinese market during the fourth quarter of 2017.

Huawei, with its sub-brands Nova and Honor, had their best ever quarter in China with more than 24 million smartphones shipped. Huawei grew by 9 percent in a market that declined by more than 14 percent, effectively outperforming the overall market. Honor, especially, continued to establish its importance for Huawei by contributing more than half of the unit volume or 12 million shipped phones. Honor and Nova gained market share from smaller vendors like Gionee and Meizu.

OPPO shipped 19 million smartphones, a decline of 16 percent, and Vivo shipped 13 million smartphones, which also declined by 7 percent. Even though their shipment volume declined, OPPO and Vivo were able to hold on to their respective second and third spots. The flagship stores both vendors opened in China’s biggest cities allowed them to boost their brands and drive home an image of value for money that Chinese consumers bought into.

Apple was capable of delivering more than 7 million iPhone X into the Chinese market during the fourth quarter of 2017. This, together with the more reasonably priced iPhone SE, 6s, 7, and 8 models, was enough for Apple to secure the fourth spot, pushing Xiaomi to number five overall.

For the first time ever, China saw a decline in year-over-year unit volume shipments for smartphones — down to just 459 million. This was mainly due to a steep decline by 4 percent. Therefore, Canalys predicts a major market shake-up in China in 2018.

Things aren’t looking good for Gionee and Meizu should they not be able to pull off a turnaround, especially as other brands like Lenovo and ZTE refocus on the Chinese market. Lenovo, in particular, has had the advantage of owning Motorola’s smartphone technologies. Bringing all this know-how back to their home country could spell trouble for these smaller companies.

Let’s sit back and enjoy the benefits we as consumers will see from the battle of smartphone vendors in the Chinese market, shall we? Popcorn, anyone?

Laptops

ASUS ZenBook series has some incredible additions

The Flip S, ZenBook S, and Flip 13

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The ASUS ZenBook series has easily been one of the more popular laptop series in recent memory. Now, the series has three noteworthy and incredible additions — The ZenBook Flip S, ZenBook S, and ZenBook Flip 13.

ZenBook Flip S

Easily the most premium of the bunch, the ZenBook Flip S headlines the newest members of the ZenBook Series.

It has red copper diamond-cut highlights to complement its timeless jade black finish. It also has a brushed-aluminum deco bar above the edge-to-edge keyboard that adds a subtle finishing touch.

Inside, it’s powered by an 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processor with 1.30 GHz quad-core with Turbo Boost (up to 3.90 GHz) and 8 MB cache. It’s also supported by Intel Iris X Graphics. You also get 16GB 4266 MHz LPDDR4x and 1TB PCIe NVMe 3.0 x4 M.2 SSD.

The ZenBook Flips S has a 13.3-inch OLED display. It has a 16:9 panel that’s slim-bezel and is also touchscreen. You also have dual Harman-Kardon certified speakers to go along with that display.

Ports-wise it has the following: two (2) Thunderbolt 4 USB-C, One (1) USB 3.2 Type A, One (1) Standard HDMI. More on connectivity, it supports WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0. It promises up to 10 hours of battery life.

ZenBook S

The ZenBook S follows the extremely elegant red copper, jade black aesthetic of the Flip S. It doesn’t bend all the way back but it’s just as capable in every way imaginable.
It comes in two processor options. Either Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor with 2.8 GHz quad-core with Turbo Boost (up to 4.70GHz) and 12MB cache or Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor with 2.4 GHz quad-core with Turbo Boost (up to 4.20GHz) and 8MB cache.
It sports the same 16GB and 1TB RAM and ROM as well as the same set of ports. and connectivity tech. But, the display is a little different.

The ZenBook S has a 13.3-inch 3.3k panel with a 3:2 aspect ratio. It’s PANTONE-validated, has IPS level wide-view tech, and is also TÜV Rheinland-certified for eye care.

ZenBook Flip 13

If you’re hell bent on getting something that, well… bends, there’s the ZenBook Flip 13. It doesn’t quite evoke the same elegance as the other two additions in the series. But, make no mistake, it still looks sleek and you won’t feel bad carrying this around.

Inside, it’s powered by the Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor with 1.00 GHz quad-core with Turbo Boost (up to 3.60 GHz) and 6 MB cache supported by Intel Iris X graphics. It has an 8GB 4266 MHz LPDDR4x and 512GB PCIe NVMe 3.0 x2 M.2 SSD for its RAM and ROM combo.

It shares the same ports as the ZenBook Flip S and ZenBook S. As for the display, it’s also 13.3-inch and is 16:9 just like the Flip S. For connectivity, it also WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 and promises up to 14 hours of battery life.

More details on the ZenBook Flip 13 here.

Pricing and availability

All three are now available and come with pre-installed Microsoft Home & Student 2019 lifetime license, 2 years Global Warranty, and ASUS Platinum Protection Warranty on the first year of purchase. They’re also part of the ASUS Share 2020 Christmas Promotion.
Pricing are as follows:
  • ASUS ZenBook Flip S — PhP 94,995
  • ZenBook S — PhP 99,995 (Comes bundled with ASUS AC1300 Dual Band High Powered Gigabit Router and ASUS ZenScreen Portable Monitor during Dec 5-19 pre-order period).
  • ZenBook Flip 13 — PhP 64,995

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GENTLE MONSTER Huawei Eyewear II now in the Philippines

Fashion meets tech

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GENTLE MONSTER Huawei Eyewear II — a premiere fashion meets tech wearable, is now officially in the Philippines.

A more comfortable and immersive wearing experience

The temples of GENTLE MONSTER Eyewear II is made of plastic titanium for lower density and lighter weight. This should guarantee a more comfortable wearing experience for the user. Meanwhile, Huawei constructed the temple hinges out of titanium elastic to increase the eyewear’s holding strength.

The eyewear also comes with a 20-degree curved earpiece angle, which is a huge improvement from its predecessor’s 12-degree angle.

Like before, the smart eyewear still includes a unique acoustic design that adapts to the user and their environment. Two semi-open speakers on both sides of the temples transmit sound directly through a directional chamber, reducing leakage and providing a stereo-like listening experience. To further reduce sound leakage, the temple features a leakage hole design that offset sound waves.

The eyewear also has an adaptive volume technology that can lower or raise the speaker volume accordingly depending on the surrounding noise.

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Smarter eyewear features

The Gentle Monster Eyewear II also features updated gesture controls. Pairing the eyewear is much simpler now, with users only needing to pinch the left temple to start the process. Meanwhile, double-tapping on the left temple activates the eyewear’s voice assistant.

Swipe gestures are also included in the eyewear. A few swipes on the temples either play the next/previous song or raises/lower the eyewear’s volume.

Huawei rates the GENTLE MONSTER Eyewear II for five hours of continuous music playback. The eyewear improved upon its predecessor by bundling a new NFC wireless charging technology allowing quick and hassle-free charging anytime, anywhere.

Pricing and availability

The GENTLE MONSTER x Huawei Eyewear II is now available wherever you can get Huawei devices in the Philippines. It retails for PhP 21,999.

This product joins a lineup of outstanding Huawei audio devices. Pricing are as follows:

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Gaming

Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition out now

One of the best JRPGs

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The Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition is finally out today. And, it’s available on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Steam, and Epic Games Store. Over 34 years after the first release of Dragon Quest, the highly acclaimed series finally secures compatibility across multiple platforms.

This stunning and fun standalone adventure is a great starting point for new players and warmly welcomes dedicated fans with all the familiar RPG features in their Dragon Quest series arsenal.

The game lets you take up the mantle of The Luminary with a unique cast of loyal companions. You get to immerse in riveting gameplay and enthralling storylines.

The hunted Hero will need to travel across continents and vast oceans to uncover mysteries of his past all while, taking on the ominous threats facing his world. The enchanting world is brought to life by series creator Yuji Horii, character designer Akira Toriyama, and series composer Koichi Sugiyama.

New Features and Updates

Making sure the game stays the best of its genre for RPG fans everywhere, this definitive version of Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age is packed with new features and upgrades! Key updates include:

  • New character side plots — Get to know your companions more than ever with individual backstories and adventures
  • Retro 2D mode — Switch and choose between stunning 3D and retro 16-bit 2D graphics that’ll bring nostalgic RPG plays
  • 16-bit World of Tickington — Journey to and from previous Dragon Quest worlds reimagined into retro 16-bit graphics that are riddled with fun side-quests to immerse in.
  • Japanese dubbing — Pick and choose between Japanese or English voiceovers
  • Fully Orchestrated Soundtrack — Travel the world of Erdrea and switch between the originally synthesized soundtrack or a newly added symphonic soundtrack
  • Photo mode — Immortalize your adventures with the perfect photo by rearranging characters, arranging poses, and changing angles
    Additional Draconian Mode options, Adjustable Battle Speeds and more

Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition is available now for the PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Epic Games Store.

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