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Feature phones are still alive thanks to Nokia 216

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It feels so nostalgic to witness the release of a brand new Nokia phone, yet still strange to see it done by Microsoft. This is the situation we’re in now, but we can’t complain. It’s a Nokia, after all.

The Nokia 216 is a feature phone we’re not sure we want. It comes in three not-so-exciting colors (mint green, white, and black), a low-resolution 2.4-inch LCD screen (320 x 240 pixels), and an LED flash for each of the front and rear cameras (both 0.3 megapixels). That last bit is actually fascinating, since few smartphones offer a front-facing flash, but that’s as far as the excitement goes.

We really have to applaud Microsoft for selling the features of this non-smartphone so well. Watching the entire introduction video from start to finish, seeing marketing phrases like “Colour matched keys” and “3.5mm headphone jack” certainly amuses us. Don’t get us wrong; there’s certainly a market for this, and we’d buy one as a backup phone in case hackers go all Mr. Robot on us and take over every single Android and iPhone in the world.

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The phone’s specifications page is also surprisingly rich in information. Aside from what we mentioned earlier, it’s nice to know that the Nokia 216 can connect to the internet, albeit through a lowly 236.8kbps data connection. Without Wi-Fi on board, you’ll have to deal with speeds akin to a dial-up connection. There’s a microSD card slot and Bluetooth, though, so you can play your music collection using wireless headphones in case the headphone jack is too analog for you.

Reports say that this is the last Nokia phone Microsoft is going to produce, since Foxconn is expected to purchase the legendary phone brand by the end of the year. Possible collector’s item? No way. But it’ll cost only INR 2,495 ($37) once it’s available on October 24.

We’ll update this page as soon as we find out if Snake or Space Impact is built in to this handset.

[irp posts=”11166″ name=”Nokia 3310 Hands-On”]

Source: Microsoft

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Redmi Earbuds S are the most affordable TWS offering

The price is unbelievable

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In India, Xiaomi’s Redmi division looks after the affordable segment while Mi-branded products are for the premium segment. On the side, POCO is now an independent brand. Continuing with the new strategy, Redmi today announced the launch of their new TWS earbuds, the Redmi Earbuds S.

Just a couple of weeks ago, the Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 were announced in the country but they are far from affordable. To bridge this gap, the Redmi Earbuds S has been unveiled. It’s worth noting that they are the same as the Redmi AirDots S, which were launched in China earlier.

The Earbuds have 7.2mm drivers and are IPX4-rated for water resistance. The individual buds weigh only about 4.5g each. The company’s marketing has focused on how good their bass is, but we’ll be able to confirm that in our review later.

For connectivity, it leverages SBC codec, a commonly used protocol via Bluetooth. However, a low-latency mode has also been added to aide gaming. The earbuds are said to deliver four hours of playback on a single charge and the case can extend this to 12 hours.

The Earbuds S also has a physical button on either side to control media playback or skip tracks. The gaming mode can be triggered by pressing the function key thrice.

The Redmi Earbuds S will cost INR 1,799 (US$ 23) and will go on sale starting May 27 via Mi.com and Amazon.

These earbuds are an entry-level option for someone who’s looking for a pair of TWS earbuds. Instead of rich features, the point of this product is to offer an affordable option to the end-user.

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Sony Xperia 1 II camera phone now available for pre-order

The flagship phone is quite late to the game

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In February, Sony announced its new flagship Xperia 1 II phone which features advanced camera features incorporated from industry-leading Sony Alpha lineup of cameras. The market is currently ruled by Google’s Pixel phones and every other brand has been trying to catch up.

The phone was supposed to be unveiled at MWC 2020, but the tradeshow’s cancellation prompted Sony to opt for an online-only launch. Now, the brand has disclosed its price and availability details. The Xperia 1 II will be up for pre-order from June 1 with a price of US$ 1,200. That’s US$ 200 more than its predecessor’s launch price. In Europe, it’ll go for €1,199.

If you pre-order the phone before June 28, a free pair of Sony WF-1000XM3 true wireless earbuds with active noise cancellation shall be bundled along. Shipments in the US shall start from July 24 via Sony’s authorized retailers and will be compatible with Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Cricket, and MetroPCS networks. Keep in mind, the phone will not have 5G support in the US.

However, it seems Sony is targeting a niche segment of users who care about photography and videography on the go. LG has also followed a similar strategy recently by giving up on appealing the mass audience and carving a new category. For Sony, this isn’t a very difficult task since the brand is known for its audiovisual legacy.

To begin with, the phone has a triple-lens camera incorporating Sony Alpha technology and  ZEISS optics that are specially calibrated with 3D iToF. Best-in-class autofocus technology will let the camera churn out 20 fps burst shooting with 60 times per second AF/AE calculations and real-time Eye AF for humans and animals. For videography, Cinematography Pro can record in multiple frame rates and offer more manual controls for autofocus and white balance.

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Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite: Price and availability in the Philippines

A more affordable Mi Note 10

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You heard it right! The Lite version of Xiaomi’s Mi Note 10 is coming to the Philippines.

Unlike its bigger sibling, the Mi Note 10 Lite sports a 64MP wide-angle camera. Other than the main Sony IMX686 sensor, it also features an 8MP ultra-wide lens with a 120º field of view, 5MP depth sensor, and a 2MP macro camera. Overall, you’ll get a quad rear-camera setup.

Instead of the usual punch-hole camera cutout, you’ll get a dot drop notch that houses its 16MP AI selfie camera. A special camera feature called “Vlog mode” lets you choose from eight vlog templates. You can then create easy and creative vlog content in minutes with this feature.

The processor is still the Snapdragon 730G chipset — which also powers the bigger Mi Note 10. You’ll also get a high-capacity 5,260mAh battery that supports 30W fast charging out of the box and promises a full charge in just 64 minutes. Xiaomi says it one single charge can last for up to two days.

With the phone’s design, it’s sandwiched by a Corning Gorilla Glass 5 front and back. It features an epic 3D Curved 6.47-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display for that fullscreen experience. For security, it has an under-display fingerprint reader.

Pricing and availability

The Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite will launch in the Philippines first at Xiaomi’s official Lazada flagship store on June 4, 2020. The 64GB/6GB RAM configuration will retail at PhP 16,990 while the 128GB/8GB RAM variant will be sold at PhP 18,990. The phone will soon roll out at Authorized Mi Stores and offline Xiaomi retailers. It will be available in three stunning colors: Nebula Purple, Glacier White, and Midnight Black.

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