News

The Fairphone 3 is an ethical smartphone with modular parts

A smartphone that cares for the people and the planet

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The smartphone industry is plagued by ethical problems such as human exploitation and e-waste production. Fairphone —  a Dutch company that aims to reduce e-waste and exploitation — has taken the wraps off its Fairphone 3.

Ethical by Design

Like its predecessors, the Fairphone 3 retain its modular design where all of its components are swappable for a spare part. All of its components — yes, all of it — can be taken out and replaced with another identical component. This is made possible with a modular design that replaces adhesives with Phillips screws which conjoins all the smartphone components together. Every spare part is also purchasable through Fairphone’s online store.

There is no shortage of components to take apart — the display, the cameras, and the speakers are all replaceable. And not to forget the battery which can be easily removed and swapped with another battery — harking back to the days when smartphones had removable batteries. As such, the phone can easily be repaired when something goes wrong. This ensures that the phone lasts longer and doesn’t end up in a landfill.

The components of the Fairphone 3 are also made mostly from recycled components. Fairphone sourced all of its components in places and industries which ensure good working conditions for its workers, making it an “ethical” smartphone.

There is no USB-C charger or earphone in the box as Fairphone believes that most users have them nowadays. And sticking with its ethos, the Fairphone 3 ships with a mini screwdriver on the box.

Specs and Availability

The Fairphone 3 is a modest smartphone for 2019. It features a 5.7 inch 18:9 display with bezels on both sides. The processor is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 which can be seen in budget devices. The device also has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. While that seems inadequate for a device that is built to last, Fairphone adds a MicroSD card slot which most smartphones today doesn’t have.

The 12MP rear camera and 8MP selfie camera are adequate for everyday tasks. The device runs Android 9 Pie out of the box. Keeping the lights on is a 3,000 mAh battery which seems inadequate for 2019. On the flip side, the device retains a headphone jack which is absent on most smartphones nowadays.

The phone is available starting September for US$ 500.

That steep price seems justifiable considering the efforts Fairphone made into producing an ethical smartphone that cares for the people and the planet. The phone is the Fairphone’s third smartphone iteration that features a modular design. Its predecessor, the Fairphone 2, was released last 2015 — so it was due time that Fairphone release another successor.

 

Accessories

Sony’s WF-H800 h.ear in TWS headphones offer rich sound

Available in five colors

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Already a leader in noise-cancelling headphones, Sony is offering something a little different in the true wireless headpones department — the Sony WF-H800 h.ear in headphones.

One of the first easily noticeable things is how the WF-H800 is available in five colors: red, orange, green, blue, and black.

Noticeably missing is the active noise-cancellation feature. However, it makes up for it with other Sony staple-features, primarily the 360 reality audio. The effect of which can only be truly felt once you experience it for yourself.

It also has a 6mm dynamic driver to deliver a wide range of audio frequencies as well as a feature Sony calls DSEE HX or Digital Sound Enhancement Engine. This tech restores the high-range sound that’s lost in compression. It reproduces digital music files with rich, natural sound.

It’s also lightweight and designed to fit your ears perfectly. The WF-H800 promises up to eight hours of music playback plus another eight hours with the carrying case giving you a total of 16 hours. Additionally, 10 minutes of charge time will give you up to 70 minutes of listening time.

Just like other Sony headphones, these are compatible with both Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa.

Price and availability

The Sony WF-H800 will be available at selected Sony Stores, Sony Centers, Sony authorized dealers and the official Sony store on Lazada from March 202. It will retail for SG$ 299.

SEE ALSO: Sony WF-1000XM3 review: Masterclass in noise cancellation

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Enterprise

China: US is a hypocrite for attacking Huawei

Says US hacked Germany before

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We’re midway through the second month of 2020. By now, you’d expect yesteryear’s issues to finally resolve themselves. Unfortunately, we’re still stuck in the same issues. Particularly, Huawei and the US are still at each other’s throats.

Today, both parties fired shots at each other on Twitter of all places. In this exchange, the US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell tweeted that “any nation who chooses to use an untrustworthy 5G vendor will jeopardize [America’s] ability to share Intelligence and information at the highest level.”

For the past few years, the US government has persistently smeared Huawei’s reputation in international territories, urging other countries to stop considering the company as a 5G partner. The strategy has met only moderate success across the globe. Some countries have already allowed Huawei to build infrastructure on their land.

Naturally, Huawei isn’t taking it lightly. In response to Grenell, Hua Chunying, China’s spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, tweeted a scathing rebuke against Grenell’s accusations.

“Who he is [sic] threatening? Who’s the real threat? Remember, Snowden said US spied on Chancellor Merkel’s phone,” the tweet went.

The ambassador is referring to Edward Snowden, an infamous American whistleblower who revealed an entire library’s worth of state secrets. Regardless of its truth, Hua Chunying’s tweet is scalding, especially in the tense situation between both countries.

SEE ALSO: China is giving away cash incentives for new Huawei users

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Enterprise

ViSenze, iPrice’s partner for easier online shopping in Southeast Asia

Search is now powered by visual recognition technology

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Online shopping is a booming trend made possible by various e-commerce sites. Most online shoppers use search keywords to find what they’re looking for. However, using search keywords can sometimes turn up the wrong results, and can be time-consuming for some.

Thankfully, iPrice and ViSenze’s new partnership aims to make shopping an easier experience for shoppers in Southeast Asia. iPrice will soon leverage ViSenze’s visual recognition technology — making the search as simple as pointing a camera to the desired item.

Leveraging visual recognition

Visual recognition technology is not new. Google already had this feature  back 2017 in the form of Google Lens. ViSenze — a commerce solution platform — uses the same technology for visual recognition. It already powers some big names in e-commerce — making search easier for users.

With iPrice leveraging ViSenze’s technology, users can use their camera instead to search for items. For example, pointing the camera at a dress brings up a list of relevant results from iPrice. This lets users shop for things that they cannot properly describe. It also simplifies the whole search experience, so users don’t have to type anymore.

iPrice will also bring up useful coupons and vouchers whenever these users search for an item. To start leveraging this feature, users need to do these three easy steps:

  1. Activate their camera app and use the AI-powered shopping lens to point at the desired product, or simply upload a photo of it from the phone’s gallery
  2. Browse through the suggested list of relevant products that appear (based on visually similar attributes)
  3. Tap on one of the search results to be redirected to the merchant page to purchase the product

The shopping lens, however, will work only on Samsung, Huawei, LG, and Vivo through their respective assistant apps. So, users must have Bixby (Samsung), HiVision (Huawei), Q-Lens (LG) and Jovi (Vivo) installed.

With online shopping booming in Southeast Asia, iPrice ensures that visual recognition will bring greater convenience to shoppers. Being able to use the smartphone’s camera to search for things online is godsent especially when it’s too bothersome to bring up the keyboard and type.

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