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Essential cancels Essential Phone 2, puts company up for sale

Another casualty for Android supremacy

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During its announcement last year, the Essential Phone quickly positioned itself as the mythical iPhone killer. Sadly, the hyped-up smartphone spent its considerable amount of resources just for a drop of blood. Now, all its past efforts are causing the company to go under.

Despite all the hype surrounding it, the Essential Phone debuted to tepid applause. While the phone did have its fair share of loyal fans, several complaints criticized its software issues and lackluster cameras. Additionally, it performed terribly in sales, losing handily to its rivals.

Regardless, Essential promised a successor. Unfortunately, they spoke too soon. The company has reportedly canceled all development on the Essential Phone 2.

According to reports, Essential is now focusing its efforts on an undisclosed home tech product. In a recent tweet, Essential founder Andy Rubin subtly confirmed that the company has dropped the sequel and started development on other products in its stead.

To add to the confusion, Essential has also enlisted the help of the Credit Suisse Group. Supposedly, the hiring aims to find potential buyers for the company. Essential’s offers reportedly include selling the whole company, its entire library of patents (which houses the Essential Phone), and the company’s engineering team.

Currently, Essential has not finalized any deals yet. However, the mere existence of talks indicates that the company is already flirting with the idea of throwing in the towel.

At the very least, Essential’s statements confirm that we are not getting an Essential Phone 2 from the company. However, if talks go as planned, Essential might still find its way back into the phone business in the future, particularly under a new manufacturer.

As of now, the Essential Phone 2 remains a dream for its steadfast fan base. Pretty soon, the company might fall as another defeated combatant in the fight against Apple’s supremacy.

SEE ALSO: Essential Phone gets official Android 8.1 Oreo update

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Amazon makes a grand announcement of new Alexa-enabled Echo devices

A smart home has to have these

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Amazon continues to make a mark in the smart home market with their announcement of new Alexa-enabled Echo devices. The company announced a slew of devices, but let’s know more about the key Echo products that now have new upgrades.

Amazon Echo Dot

The new Echo Dot gets redesigned to look stylish and more modern. The plasticky design of the previous model is a thing of the past; the new model now has a fabric design that comes in three colors. The new model is also claimed to sound louder and better, but it’s still priced at US$ 50.

Amazon Echo Plus

The new Echo Plus also has similar upgrades with its new fabric design. It comes with an upgraded 3-inch speaker for stronger bass and clearer mids and highs. Like the Dot, the new model is still priced like its predecessor which is at US$ 150.

Amazon Echo Show

The gigantic Echo Show has been redesigned as well. It features a new body with a large 10-inch HD display. Of course, the new display comes with a new sound system composed of two 2-inch drivers with a passive radiator and Dolby audio processing.

It also comes with a new 5-megapixel front-facing camera for HD video calls. Alexa will soon support Skype audio and video calls, so you will be able to use Skype straight from your Echo Show. Additionally, it now has a built-in web browser. Pricing remains at US$ 230 like with the previous model.

Amazon Echo Auto

The Echo Auto is probably the most intriguing of the bunch. It’s a US$ 25 accessory (the cheapest Echo, yet) designed to let you access Alexa even while in your car. It powers itself from your car’s power outlet or a USB port and connects to the Internet via Bluetooth through your phone.

Using the Alexa app on your phone, it can play music or give you turn-by-turn navigation. You can also ask it pretty much anything you’d ask with other Echo devices.

The new Echo Dot, Echo Plus, and Echo Show are already up for pre-order and will go on sale starting October 11. The Echo Auto is also up for pre-order, but by request only.

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Huawei gives free power banks to Apple fans

This is quite a power move!

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Huawei is mastering the art of throwing shade real quick. It started during the iPhone XS launch when the Chinese company thanked Apple for “keeping things the same.” Now that people lined up to finally get their hands-on on the iPhone XS and XS Max, Huawei made sure they’re also in the scene.

In Singapore, Huawei representatives were seen handing out free power banks to the eager Apple fans who queued up for the new iPhones.

It even included a cheeky message saying “Here’s a power bank. You’ll need it,” before making sure the recipient knows who the power bank was from, “Courtesy of Huawei.”

Previously, it was just Samsung that brazenly took shots at Apple. Their latest ones feature anti-iPhone ads that centered around power and stylus support. Before that, they also released an ad mocking the notch.

Huawei, who made significant headway in the smartphone market in 2018 thanks to their P20 models, wants in on the conversation. It looks like it’s not going stop any time soon as they get ready to launch their latest flagship — the Mate 20 — on October 16 in London.

This is not the first time that other brands rode the iPhone wave. HTC once provided warm drinks to combat the cool weather Apple loyalists had to endure. Other brands have also stepped in before to provide some form of comfort or aid for the brave people who lined up.

SEE ALSO: Singapore’s first iPhone XS buyer goes all out

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Instagram now lets you send GIFs through direct messages

About time!

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Image from Unsplash

Instagram continues to evolve from a photo-sharing app to a full-fledged messaging platform. If video chatting service is not enough to convince you that it’s more fun to talk to people on Instagram, then what about GIFs? After the long wait, you can now finally send fun GIFs on Instagram through direct messages.

The incoming (or it’s probably already available to you) update will have GIPHY support to find and send GIFs. It’s somewhat similar to how you can look for GIFs for your Stories, but this one is for private conversations.

Sure, it won’t put Instagram on par with the best communication apps out there like Facebook Messenger, Viber, or WhatsApp, but it’ll make talking to friends much more fun. I think GIFs are fun to send as a reaction to Stories, right?

The feature is rolling out over the next few days, so keep your Instagram app updated. While we’re at it, follow GadgetMatch on Instagram for more content and live updates of what’s we’re currently up to.

Source: Instagram

SEE ALSO: 7 tips to stepping up your Instagram game

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