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Google Pixel 3 launch date set for October 9

A month to go!

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It’s no longer just a rumor; Google’s next batch of Pixel smartphones will launch on October 9.

Much has been leaked about the two upcoming devices, which will be called the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL as follow-ups to last year’s pair of phones.

The Pixel 3 XL was unboxed early and we already know how the smaller Pixel 3 will look, so there likely won’t be any surprises.

In addition, we can confirm that both models will sport a high-end Snapdragon 845 processor, a single camera on the back, and the latest build of Android 9 Pie out of the box.

Google will have to create lots of hype, considering that they’ll be launching between Apple’s next iPhones and Huawei’s Mate 20 series.

The event will take place in New York City at 11AM (Eastern Time), which will be 11PM in Singapore and Taiwan on the same day.

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ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M2 is bigger, faster, and still runs pure Android

ZenFone without the ZenUI

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Just before the year ends, ASUS introduced an update to its ZenFone Max Pro lineup. Dubbed the M2, the newest ZenFone inherited the same pure Android software of its predecessor while the rest of the phone has been upgraded.

ASUS’ new ZenFone Max Pro M2 is slightly bigger than the M1 with its 6.3-inch display and it has Gorilla Glass 6 protection. It also has a slightly taller aspect ratio at 19:9 and a higher screen-to-body ratio. Although, it now has a notch like its more premium ZenFone cousins.

Surprisingly, the new ZenFone is equipped with a tried and tested Snapdragon 660 processor which puts it in the league of the Nokia 7 Plus and Vivo V11. It even has up to 6GB of memory and 64GB of expandable storage. On paper, the ZenFone Max Pro M2 is more powerful than the ZenFone 5.

Camera-wise, it’s got a main 12-megapixel f/1.8 shooter coupled with a 5-megapixel depth sensor. An upgraded 13-megapixel sensor takes care of the selfies along. The phone features all the beautification effects and AI enhancements.

The huge 5000mAh battery found in its predecessor is present as well. The phone still charges via micro-USB and has no support for fast charging.

Even though this is an ASUS phone, it doesn’t have ZenUI because it runs an unskinned version of Android. It’s bare with no bloatware, but it’s not part of the Android One program. Software updates will come from ASUS, so it may take some time to have the latest version available. It has only Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box.

The ZenFone Max Pro M2 is priced at PhP 14,995 in the Philippines or roughly US$ 285. It’ll be available in stores starting December 15. There will be also a 4GB memory variant that’s exclusively available on Shopee and Lazada for PhP 12,995.

SEE ALSO: ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M2 review

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Lifestyle

Samsung is collaborating with a Supreme rip-off

Announced in China

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Historically, tech companies have not usually paired with lifestyle brands. Being lifestyle objects in their own right, smartphones have collaborated with other brands only for incredibly premium promotions. That said, they can surprise us sometimes.

In Samsung’s case, the surprise comes in two packages. Recently, Samsung China announced a startling partnership with lifestyle brand Supreme. In lifestyle circles, the red-boxed brand is a haven for hypebeasts.

Samsung’s new collaboration is not with that brand. Instead, the Korean tech company has partnered with a known Supreme knock-off. Strangely, both the original Supreme and Samsung know this fact.

Naturally, Supreme’s popularity has spawned dozens, if not hundreds, of knock-off brands. Supreme Italia, Samsung’s partner, is one of those brands. Earlier this year, Supreme Italia was embroiled in a legal battle with the original Supreme based in New York City. In a rare outcome, the fake brand triumphed over the original. On inception, Supreme Italia trademarked its properties in its homeland, Italy. The move perpetually protected the fake company under Italian law.

During Samsung China’s launch event for the Galaxy A8s, Supreme Italia announced the collaboration. Apparently, the fake brand is expanding its operations in China, enlisting Samsung as an official partner. The original Supreme does not have rights to sell its products in China.

Funny enough, all three parties — the original Supreme, Supreme Italia, and Samsung — know about the knock-off.

“Supreme is not working with Samsung, opening a flagship location in Beijing, or participating in a Mercedes-Benz runway show. These claims are blatantly false and propagated by a counterfeit organization,” the original company said in a statement to Hypebeast.

Likewise, Samsung China confirmed the issue. In a deleted Weibo post, Samsung China digital marketing manager Leo Lau said: “We are collaborating with Supreme Italia, not Supreme NYC.”

Ironically (or appropriately), Samsung has been in similar patent issues before. Months ago, the company lost a patent infringement battle with its rival, Apple.

SEE ALSO: Samsung’s new prototype has a very weird notch

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Samsung Galaxy A8s debuts with Infinity-O display

Yet another upcoming design trend?

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Enough with the rumors and premature announcements. It’s time to make the Galaxy A8s official.

If you haven’t heard, this is Samsung’s first smartphone to feature the Infinity-O display, which utilizes a punch-hole design instead of the ubiquitous notch found on most phones today to house the 24-megapixel selfie camera.

It’s certainly a unique way to make the most of the screen’s real estate and avoid taking up too much space on the front. The only trouble here is Samsung seems to have settled for a 6.4-inch 1080p LCD instead of its signature AMOLED panel.

Another non-Samsung feature is the use of a midrange Snapdragon 710 chipset in place of the usual Exynos SoC found in most Galaxy smartphones. It’s a great processor though, and it’s paired with up to 8GB of memory and 128GB of expandable storage.

The rear has a triple-camera setup consisting of a 24-megapixel f/1.7 camera, 10-megapixel telephoto shooter, and an additional 5-megapixel sensor for depth sensing to create creamier backgrounds. Beside these is a standard fingerprint scanner.

To our delight, the 3400mAh battery can be charged through the phone’s USB-C port. To our dismay, the handset also comes with 2017’s Android 8.1 Oreo. FYI, it’s almost 2019.

The three available colors are green, blue, and gray. Availability is currently exclusive to China beginning later this month. Price is unknown, but expect it to cost somewhere between the Galaxy A7 and A9.

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