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The Essential Phone is semi-modular, fast, and pricey

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It’s such a weird name, but I guess we really have to call it the Essential Phone.

The Verge broke the news earlier today that Android founder Andy Rubin revealed the phone he’s been hyping since March. Again, it’s called the Essential Phone, and it unsurprisingly runs on Google’s Android operating system.


There are five things you must know.

One: It’s a high-end smartphone designed to compete against the iPhone and Pixel. A top-shelf Snapdragon 835 processor, a combination of ceramic and titanium materials, and a Mi Mix-like bezel-hating face do that. It also costs $699, which puts it above the cheapest Pixel and iPhone, but below the Galaxy S8.

Two: The Essential Phone (ugh) is semi-modular, meaning you can attach accessories like a 360-degree camera on the back for added functionality. It’s an implementation similar to what Lenovo has been doing with its Moto Z series. How practical it’ll be in real-world usage is still questionable.

Three: There’s an awkwardly placed front-facing camera at the top of the phone, and it splits the notification bar in half. The company explains that the top-center of your phone is rarely filled up, making it non-essential (haha) in the first place.

Four: There’s no headphone port. Shucks. It’ll ship with a dongle (yay), though.

Five: The smartphone (I refuse to write its name again) makes use of a dual-camera setup similar to Huawei’s implementation with the P10; one image sensor is monochrome, while the other has every other color. This leads to richer photos with greater focus on details.

No demo, release date, or hands-on videos have been published yet. All we know is it’ll be shipping in the US first, and it’s expensive for a newcomer.

SEE ALSO: Mystery phone might upstage Samsung Galaxy S8

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OPPO Find X2 series launch happening on March 6

It won’t be just one phone

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Originally expected to happen on the now cancelled Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2020 in Barcelona, the much anticipated launch of the OPPO Find X2 is happening on March 6.

The event will still happen in Barcelona but the will be a livestream only event scheduled at 10:30AM CET/Barcelona Time (4:30AM EST/ 5:30PM PH time).

Based on  previous leaks, the OPPO Find X2 will sport a borderless waterfall screen. OPPO has showcased the display in the past. The screen extends the display beyond the confines of the front panel. On the other side of the fence, Huawei has also teased a similarly borderless display before.

As for other predictions, the smartphone will reportedly feature the Snapdragon 865 and the 65W Super VOOC fast charging.

According to our sources, the launch will reveal a series — the OPPO Find X2 and the OPPO Find X2 Pro.

 

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New leak reveals a much, much more expensive AirPods Pro

Costs as much as a midrange phone

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Recently, the rumor mill reignited discussions over an upcoming AirPods launch in the midrange segment. Supposedly, the mid-2020 device will sell for more than a pair of regular AirPods but less than a premium pair of AirPods Pro.

Surprisingly, the rumors are still going. This time, Target, the American superstore chain, has apparently readied its inventory system for an unannounced AirPods product, according to a leak from tech YouTuber Jon Prosser.

The product — named the Apple AirPods (X Generation) — will retail for a staggering US$ 399.99. For reference, the AirPods Pro sells for only $249.99. Given the heightened price, the AirPods (X Generation) is likely a pair of headphones worthy of the price, especially since the AirPods Pro is already the top-of-the-line product for earbuds.

According to a follow-up from Apple Insider, Target employees explained that reserving inventory slots for upcoming products, especially regarding pricing information. However, the official name will likely change on launch.

Additionally, Presser has also asked Apple for a potential launch date. According to another tweet, Apple is still undecided whether to hold an event in March.

Still, with a pair of wireless over-ear headphones, Apple will be ready to take on a market populated by its subsidiary brand Beats and competing brands like Bose, Sony, and JBL. We’re dreading the potential charging case, though.

SEE ALSO: Apple lets you personalize your AirPods case

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Samsung temporarily shuts down infected Galaxy Z Flip factory

Coronavirus strikes again

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The coronavirus epidemic is burning through the technology industry, leaving a trail of delays and shortages in its wake. So far, the virus has already torched Apple’s China-based manufacturers and the entire MWC 2020 event.

For the immediate future, the global epidemic can add Samsung to its list of victims. Previously, the South Korean company saved itself from the crisis, owing to its geographical roots. Unfortunately, if you turn into world news today, the virus has already made its way to South Korea.

In the city of Gumi, one of Samsung’s factory workers has contracted the disease, forcing the company to shut down the entire plant, according to a South Korean news outlet. The entire factory will open again on February 24. Additionally, the infected employee’s floor will remain shut down until February 25.

As for the workers themselves, Samsung has urged those who worked with the employee to put themselves in quarantine and undergo tests for potential infection. The company has also asked all employees to limit travel when possible, conducting business only through video calls.

Of course, Samsung has a tight hold on the South Korea business sector. The closure of just one factory probably won’t affect the company’s supply too much.

The affected Gumi factory specializes in Galaxy Fold and Galaxy Z Flip production. If anything, the temporary closure will only slow the foldable phone down partially. Regardless, it’s not a good look for Samsung, especially if the virus continues to spread across the country.

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