Here are the top stories on GadgetMatch this week.
1. Energizer goes from batteries to smartphones
Energizer, yes the battery brand with the bunny as a mascot, is stepping out of its comfort zone. Reports indicate that the brand will release an entire set of smartphones at MWC 2019 in Barcelona.
Two of the phones will reportedly have dual pop-up cameras. The most premium is the Energizer Ultimate U620S Pop with its 6.2-inch Full HD+ display and MediaTek Helio P70 chipset. It comes with 6GB of memory and 128GB of expandable storage.
This isn’t Energizer’s first attempt at making phones. The first ones though have rugged designs headlined by large batteries.
2. Vivo V15 Pro spotted
Speaking of pop-up cameras, it was actually Vivo which did it first with the NEX. Vivo, as it always has, is now bringing that feature to the midrange segment.
There are already reports that the Vivo V15 Pro will launch in India mid-February. A leaked promo poster just gave us our best look at this upcoming phone.
The pop-up camera is only part of the bigger picture though. It appears the main shooter is a triple-camera setup. Whatever it turns out to be, we’re definitely excited to get our hands on it.
3. FaceTime bug is a major privacy issue
It looks like not everything stays in your iPhone after all. Weeks after making that bold statement at CES 2019, Apple is faced with yet another security mishap.
9to5Mac reports that the bug lets users call anyone with FaceTime and immediately hear their microphone before they even accept or reject the call. Yikes.
Apple has since said it has identified the bug and will roll out a software update in the next few days to address the issue. Quite frankly though, it should have never been an issue to begin with.
4. Apple working on gaming service
In other, less controversial Apple news, the company is taking a bite at gaming.
A report suggests that Apple executives are working on a gaming subscription service in the near future. They dubbed it a “Netflix for games” type of service, which allows people to access a list of games for a fee.
There aren’t a lot of details to go by, but it will be interesting to see what Apple does with this service.
5. Samsung acquires company behind OPPO’s camera tech
Apple’s biggest rival from the east isn’t resting on its laurels. Samsung is reportedly set to acquire Corephotonics for at least US$ 150 million. The company, which is based in Israel, is the one behind the 5x lossless zoom periscope camera solution of OPPO.
Cameras on Samsung phones are already pretty good. This latest acquisition could definitely make them even better. However, we’ll likely have to wait until at least the second half of the year before we see anything tangible from this acquisition.
Weekend Rewind is our roundup of top news and features you might have missed for the week. We know the world of technology can be overwhelming and not everyone has the time to get up to speed with everything — and that includes us. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the rewind.
Fujifilm Instax SQ20 hands-on: How good is it?
Trying out the new Motion Mode on doggies!
Fujifilm’s sequel to their first ever digital/analog hybrid is here and it’s looking better than ever. The Instax SQ20 is one classy-looking instant camera but what can it do? With a set of built-in filters and new features like the Motion Mode, it looks like a promising device.
I finally try it out, with help from some doggies, on our hands-on video.
The SQ20 retails for US$ 199 in the US, PhP 12,999 in the Philippines, and SG$ 299 in Singapore.
DALLA DALLA, Crazy Rich Asians: Now Playing
A Valentine’s special!
If you don’t have a date, don’t be grumpy. Sometimes, all you need is self-love and entertainment to keep you going. Have some fun alone time and enjoy what’s now playing at GadgetMatch!
Movies to see
Dragon Ball Super: Broly
Marvin: If you’re single and unhappy about it this month, catching a late showing of Dragon Ball Super: Broly may be the best way to release stress in the theater. It’s by far the best Dragon Ball movie yet with tireless action and gorgeous visuals, plus it’s surprisingly friendly to both old fans and those new to the franchise.
Crazy Rich Asians
MJ: Crazy Rich Asians is a film for those who are ready to take it to the next level. It’s about standing up to people who get in the way of your happiness, and choosing what’s best for the person you love. It’s a dash of romance with a sprinkle of comedy to keep you from crying in heart-wrenching scenes.
TV shows to binge watch
Rodneil: The anime follows a transfer student who seemed sweet and normal at first, but has an insatiable thirst for gambling. It’s a relatively easy watch and you can follow along even if you’re doing something else.
Games to play
Kingdom Hearts III
Rodneil: There’s too much backstory heading into this game that it can get super confusing, especially if this is your first game in the franchise. The story is clunky at best but the game is a visual spectacle. Push the narrative to the side and just play it for the fireworks.
Resident Evil 2
Marvin: I was too afraid to finish Resident Evil 2 on my own as a kid, so I’m glad it’s been remade for my braver adult self. In line with Valentine’s Day, I’d say it’s a perfect game to play with a partner so that you have someone to hold your hand during the most intense zombie sightings. 💕
Albums/Songs/Podcasts to listen to
Kahit Ayaw Mo Na by This Band
Rodneil: Only caught wind of this song recently and I haven’t been able to stop listening since. It talks about someone wanting to work it out with her/his partner. However, the partner seems unwilling. The music invites multiple listens and the way the words flow is ear-candy.
Shine by Pentagon
Rodneil: My obsession with girl group Twice has served as a gateway to other K-Pop tracks, and this is one of them. It’s simply an absolutely fun song to listen to. A great pick-me-up to get you started in the morning.
Can’t Help Falling In Love by Kina Grannis
MJ: Kina Grannis’ strings and acoustic guitar rendition of Elvis Presley’s classic love song makes you remember how love is a force you can’t resist. The emotion you’ll feel in this song is overwhelming — ranging from the bliss of being in love to confusion and even heartbreak.
DALLA DALLA by ITZY
Vincenz: The song’s unique and dynamic blend of sounds, from a hip-hop centric intro and bridge up to a contrasting, bright chorus, makes it a great and catchy debut song (their visuals are exceptional, too). Message of the song? It’s all about empowerment and self-love!
Gokigen Sayonara (A Happy Goodbye) by IZ*ONE
Vincenz: This song caught my ears with its catchy tune and lyrics, which doesn’t usually happen since most J-Pop releases sound so different. Its lively, electro-pop vibe opposes the song’s message about bidding farewell to someone you truly love, but it works.
Cities/Places to visit
Marvin: Now cleaner and more beautiful than ever, Boracay’s beach is the perfect weekend getaway once again. A lot of activities and shops are still unavailable, but if you simply want to soak in the sun and sea breeze, it would be a great time to go once the tourists leave post-Valentine’s.
Now Playing is the GadgetMatch team’s favorite games, movies, TV shows, and more each month. If you’re curious to know what we’re into at the moment, this is what you should check out. So grab your popcorn, get some drinks, and enjoy what’s now playing!
Samsung Galaxy S10: Everything we know so far
The tenth-generation flagship
Samsung is set to unveil its new flagship series this month — the Galaxy S10. Even before the phones get announced, we already know a lot about them. From the design to their prices, information about the Galaxy S10 family is already floating around the internet.
Without further ado, let’s get to know the Galaxy S10 phones before they go official.
A slight refresh in design
For starters, it’ll have a new display. Samsung doesn’t like the notch (but they do have a budget notched phone), so the Galaxy S10 phones will have a hole-punch camera instead. The Galaxy A8s gave us a preview of Samsung’s plans, but the Galaxy S10 will use Super AMOLED technology, of course.
This year, aside from the usual regular and Plus variant, we’ll have a third member of the Galaxy flagship family. Dubbed the Galaxy S10E, this model is going to be cheapest of the bunch. It’ll have to let go of some features to meet its price point, though.
In terms of display size, the Galaxy S10+ will be the biggest at 6.4 inches, in the middle is the regular Galaxy S10 with its 6.1-inch panel, and the smallest is the Galaxy S10E at 5.8 inches.
The superior Galaxy S10+ will have two front cameras and its hole is more of an oblong rather than a circle. This also means that the Galaxy S10+ has less screen real estate than its smaller siblings.
Since the front camera is now smacked inside the display area, Samsung can shrink the bezel even more. The current Galaxy flagships already have edge-to-edge screens, which means the Galaxy S10 phones will have more immersive displays. Although, Samsung has to let go of its iris scanner in order to pull off the true borderless design. In exchange, the Galaxy S10 and S10+ will have in-display fingerprint scanners.
The Galaxy S10 phones will have curved displays and contoured glass backs, except for the Galaxy S10E model. The camera setup on the back is aligned vertically, similar to the Galaxy Note 9’s.
Top of the line as always
In the specifications department, none of the Galaxy S10 models will disappoint. All three Galaxy S10 phones will have at least 6GB of memory and 128GB of storage.
The Galaxy S10+ will have a special variant that’ll certainly be considered overkill with 12GB of memory and a whopping 1TB of storage. Just typing that makes my laptop feel inferior to a smartphone.
Like previous Galaxy S phones, the tenth generation will sport the fastest Exynos and Snapdragon processors available. Currently, there’s the Exynos 9820 from Samsung and the Snapdragon 855 from Qualcomm. It’s unclear, though, if the phones will support 5G out of the box.
The rest of the specs should include USB-C and 3.5mm audio ports. If the headphone jack truly continues to live another year, it’ll be a strong statement against manufacturers that ditched it for certain reasons.
The multiple cameras on the Galaxy S10 phones are quite interesting. We knew Samsung was already developing triple cameras since the second half of 2018. If you can recall, the company released the new Galaxy A7 with three rear cameras and then the Galaxy A9 with four rear cameras.
The camera sensors and features of the Galaxy S10 models have yet to be detailed, but we do know that the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+ will have three advanced shooters on the back.
As for the batteries, the Galaxy S10E will have the smallest at 3100mAh, which is above average. The Galaxy S10, on the other hand, will have a slightly bigger 3400mAh cell, while the Galaxy S10+ will have a long-lasting 4100mAh battery. Fast charging will be supported both in wired and wireless methods. Reverse wireless charging is also anticipated.
How much will it cost?
EXCLUSIVE! Here’s the full list of Samsung Galaxy S10e, S10 and S10+ variants that will be coming to Europe along with Official Pricing. This price list is for Netherlands, I don’t have for other countries as of now, but the difference should be minimal b/w European countries. pic.twitter.com/WWSFzXjnFO
— Ishan Agarwal (@ishanagarwal24) February 1, 2019
According to the latest leaked pricing info, the Galaxy S10E will go for EUR 749. The regular Galaxy S10 will start at EUR 899 and will have a more expensive EUR 1,149 variant. As the more premium of the three, the Galaxy S10+ starts at EUR 999. If you want the top-dog variant with 12GB memory and 1TB storage, you’ll have to prepare EUR 1,499.
When will it ship?
The phone is launching on February 20 during Samsung’s yearly Unpacked event. The keynote will take place in San Francisco, California and streamed live on Samsung’s website.
They won’t be immediately available after the launch, but pre-orders are expected to be open the next day. Rumor has it that the phones will be in stores as early as March 8.
That’s about everything we know about the Galaxy S10 series, so far. Nothing is confirmed until the official launch, so there might be some changes. Are you planning on getting any of the Galaxy S10 phones?
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