Smartphones

Ekotek Ekonic Justice League Smartphone Unboxing

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Ekotek’s Ekonic Justice League Smartphone is a must-have for comic book fans!

It comes in this glorious-looking box featuring the team

Inside are more DC goodies like these stickers

Here’s the phone powered up. Superman’s the default wallpaper on this unit

The back features this gorgeous artwork featuring the Justice League along with villains

These are all the contents of the box. We’ll take a closer look

It comes with Flash-themed earphones

The USB cable looks like it came straight out of Themiscyra

The power adapter is Wonder Woman-themed

There are also three more back panels to choose from. You can use Batman, Superman, or The Flash

It has two SIM card slots and a microSD card slot for up to 32GB of extra storage

It’s a basic smartphone through and through with a quad-core MediaTek processor, 2GB of memory, and 16GB of storage — not as blazing fast as The Flash nor as powerful as Superman, but at least you get to see them on the phone every day.

The cameras are similar to what you’d find on budget phones: 8-megapixel rear and 5-megapixel front-facing shooters. What are a little underwhelming are the 2500mAh battery capacity and 720p screen resolution, which are lacking for a 5.5-inch phone.

If you’re a die-hard DC or Justice League fan, it’s hard to resist this phone with all of the Justice League goodness it comes with. It’s also limited edition, as only 5,000 units will be sold. Ekonic is launching the Justice League smartphone in partnership with Smart.

To get your hands on it, you’ll need to add PhP 400 for 30 months to any Smart postpaid plan. Just go to a selected Smart store and request for the Justice League Smartphone.

SEE ALSO: 5 essential tips for buying a new phone

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News

Despite ban, the Huawei P40 still has American parts

Includes Qualcomm in component list

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Last year, the Huawei P30 marked the company’s last hurrah with American parts in the foreseeable future. Since then, Huawei’s next flagship series — the Mate 30 series — launched without Google, shifting the brand away from the widely popular suite of apps for the first time since its renaissance. Recently, the company launched the Huawei P40 series, the second flagship series under this era. Of course, it was business as usual for the now America-less smartphone company.

However, after a Financial Times breakdown, the new flagship series still has a few distinctly American parts hiding underneath its surface. Most notably, the phone’s radio-frequency front-end modules (or what the phone uses to call people) come from Qualcomm, Skyworks, and Qorvo. All three companies hail from the US.

Given the current ban, this comes as a surprise. However, if anything, Qualcomm can explain its way out of the mystery. According to an insider source, the American company already has an operating exception against the current ban. Of course, this is still disputable since the US has kept its silence over which companies have successfully received an exception. Currently, only Microsoft has explicitly confirmed its accepted exemption.

Permits aside, Qualcomm also exports its products to third-party subsidiaries outside of the US, which can, in turn, sell the same products to Huawei. At this time, this strategy is still an allowable way for Huawei to use American components.

Unfortunately, neither Skyworks nor Qorvo have spoken about their involvement in the latest Huawei phone. For its part, Huawei has assured consumers that it is still complying with the current regulations set by the government.

Besides the three modules, the Huawei P40 has another blatantly American feature: Android. Despite all the news, the smartphone is still using the world’s most popular operating system. Compared to hardware, Android’s presence is more explainable. The smartphone uses an open-source version of the system. It just doesn’t have Google’s stamp of approval or its suite of apps.

Regardless of the mysteries, Huawei is still doing its best to make up for the loss of its American parts. The Huawei P40 is just its latest attempt to recreate the magic.

SEE ALSO: Huawei acknowledges the US ban is hindering its sales

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Singapore

OPPO Reno3 series pricing and availability in Singapore

Enhanced photography and better selfies!

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Enhanced photography and better selfies. These are what the OPPO Reno3 and OPPO Reno3 Pro promise to bring to Singapore.

The OPPO Reno 3 Pro has a 6.4-inch Full HD+ AMOLED panel with an in-display fingerprint sensor for authentication and a pill-shaped cut-out for the front cameras. This is the world’s first phone to have a 44-megapixel selfie camera coupled with a 2-megapixel depth sensor for the bokeh effect.

Powering the phone is a MediaTek Helio P95 processor with 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB internal storage. Other features include support for gaming HDR, low display latency, and AR Avatar.

On the back, the Reno3 Pro sports a 64-megapixel primary lens, a 13-megapixel telephoto lens, a 2-megapixel mono lens, and an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens. OPPO says it can produce images of up to 108-megapixel and allows up to 20x digital zoom.

It has a 4025mAh battery that supports 30W VOOC fast charging. The brand claims it can charge from nada to 50 percent in just 20 minutes. The phone runs ColorOS 7 that’s based on Android 10.

Meanwhile, the OPPO Reno3 48MP main shooter, an 8MP ultra-wide angle lens, a 13MP telephoto lens, and a 2MP monochrome sensor. The camera comes with the OPPO Reno’s signature 5X hybrid zoom — It’s 2X optical and the rest is digital.

Pricing and availability

The Reno3 and Reno3 Pro will be available for pre-order from April 1-9 on the OPPO Shopee Flagship Store, and will be available in Singapore starting April 10.

The Reno3 (8GB/128GB) will retail for SG$ 549 at launch. It will be available in Midnight Black and Sky White Its pre-order price is SG$ 499 with a pair of free OPPO Enco Q1 (worth SG$ 179) as a pre-order gift.

The Reno3 Pro (8GB/256GB) will retail for SG$ 749 with a pair of free OPPO Enco Wireless Buds worth S$189 as a pre-order gift. It will come in Aurora Blue and Midnight Black.

 

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India

Phone makers want India to declare smartphones as ‘essential’ services

India’s smartphone market has come to a grinding halt

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India is on a 21-day lockdown until 15 April due to the Coronavirus pandemic and the government is allowing movement of only “essential” commodities. The complete closure means there are no smartphone retail stores open for business and online marketplaces too can’t ship smartphones.

In response, an apex industry body of the mobile and electronics industry in the country called India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA) has written to the government. It’s urging the authorities to allow online sales of mobile phones, laptops, computers and tablet PCs. Furthermore, it wants servicing and maintenance of these products to also be categorized as “essential”.

The letter has been addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting him to relax the definition of essential. It’s evident that smartphone makers have taken a huge hit since they’re unable to sell a single phone for a period of at least 21 days.

According to CounterPoint research’s latest Q4 2019 report, the country saw shipments of 158 million smartphone units. India is the world’s second-largest smartphone market. So it’s natural that a 21-day lockdown would drastically affect brands who are now used to launching a new phone every other month.

India’s appetite for smartphones is unmatchable. Even supply-chain masters like Xiaomi struggle to keep up with the demand and their now-independent brand POCO had to rely on a flash sale model to ship the POCO X2. The demand is unprecedented. Backed by the cheapest data availability in the world.

ICEA, however, clarified that it does support the lockdown to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. Moreover, it’s asking for permission to start online sales in Tier 1 and 2 cities, while allowing the opening of stores, with safety measures, in Tier 3 and 4 cities.

What’s the current definition of “essential”?

Considering the government notification, essential services include goods like groceries, vegetables, and medicines. These commodities can continue moving around like they used to. The lockdown means citizens are expected to stay indoors all the time, companies have been told to vacate offices and completely shift to “work from home” model.

Only a few personnel are allowed to leave and venture outside. This includes law enforcement personnel, municipal workers, healthcare professionals, and banking or financial services staff to ensure the backbone of the country isn’t shut down.

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