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Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL retain single rear camera, add wireless charging

No surprises here

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Google’s worst-kept secret has made its official appearance, and it brings features both new and old.

The Pixel 3 series directly succeeds last year’s Pixel 2 and 2 XL, and you can immediately tell that it’s an incremental upgrade. For one, both the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL retain the single rear 12.2-megapixel camera, believing that one is enough to beat the multi-cam setups of competitors. Of course, like the Pixel 2, the Pixel 3’s improvements are software-based.

One new feature is Top Shot, which uses machine learning to choose the best shot in a burst for you; Photobooth does something similar but for the front cameras; Super Res Zoom provides AI-powered zooming; and Night Sight improves nighttime shooting like no other.

On the front, however, are two 8-megapixel selfie shooters that enable wider group shots when needed. For the Pixel 3, they’re found within the top bezel as usual, but the Pixel 3 XL introduces a tall notch to accommodate the two modules while adding more screen real estate.

The screens themselves are the primary difference between the two models, as well as the battery capacities. The smaller Pixel 3 has a 5.5-inch 1080p P-OLED display and 2915mAh battery, while the larger variant goes for a 6.3-inch P-OLED display with higher 1440p resolution and 3430mAh battery.

Naturally, Android 9 Pie comes straight out of the box, but Google made sure to add some Pixel flavor here and there. For example, the camera app has a similar navigation system to the OS itself, so moving from one mode to another is faster and includes some haptic feedback.

Perhaps what’s more polarizing about the Pixel 3 pair is the use of glass for the entire back. It’s utilized here instead of metal to allow wireless charging. Don’t worry, the matte feel is still there, so it isn’t as slippery as traditional all-glass phones.

Interestingly, despite having a flagship-grade Snapdragon 845 processor and 64GB/128GB of non-expandable storage, the Pixel 3 pair come with only 4GB of memory. Not that it isn’t enough, but it’s half the amount of other premium phones in the market.

Other noteworthy features are the 40 percent louder front-facing stereo speakers, Active Edge to activate Google Assistant with a squeeze of the phone, IP67-rated water and dust resistance, and Titan Security for more secure data protection.

The Pixel 3 will retail starting at US$ 799, which is more than the Pixel 2’s US$ 649 from last year. As for the Pixel 3 XL, it’ll go for US$ 899. Those are for the 64GB storage variant; adding US$ 100 to either one delivers 128GB of storage.

Both will come in Clearly White, Just Black, and Not Pink.

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Galaxy S21 series performing poorer than S20

Compared to S20 and S10

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S21 Ultra

When a new flagship series comes out, the company involved usually has high expectations for it. However, there are some launches when a new smartphone ends up failing expectations. For example, because of poor sales, Apple is reportedly ending the iPhone mini model. On the flip side of things, Samsung is similarly experiencing poorer sales for the Galaxy S21.

According to a South Korean analyst firm Kiwoom Securities, this year’s Galaxy S21 series isn’t doing as well as last year’s Galaxy S20 series. Six months after it launched, the former sold only 13.5 million units. The figure is 20 percent less than the Galaxy S20 and 47 percent less than the Galaxy S10 series.

Alleviating this a bit, the Galaxy S21 did do well in its home turf. In the series’ first month, the flagship series sold around 590,000 units in South Korea. It’s only second to the Galaxy S8 which sold 620,000 units in its first month.

Currently — at least according to a recent ranking — Samsung is still the top smartphone seller in the world with Xiaomi trailing a bit behind in second place. The South Korean company might not be intimidated, though. Samsung is hosting its annual Galaxy Unpacked later this month, potentially boosting the company’s performance afterwards.

SEE ALSO: Galaxy S22 might have the same camera as the Galaxy S21

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Number portability is here, how will it work?

Easily switch among 3 telco providers!

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IMAGE/GadgetMatch

Number portability or the ability to move your mobile number under any carrier you want seemed like a pipe dream. Not anymore thanks to the combined efforts of the Avengers. No, just kidding. They’re called the Telecommunications Connectivity Inc. made up of DITO Telecommunity, Globe Inc., and Smart Communications. So, kind of like the Avengers, but of Telecom companies in the Philippines.

This was made possible thanks to teh passing of the Mobile Number Portability Act. Republic Act No. 11202, also known as the Mobile Number Portability Act, ensures that mobile phone users can keep their numbers even when they transfer to another service provider, or when they switch their subscription from postpaid to prepaid, or vice-versa.

How to avail Number Portability

  • How to port within networks, you need to meet the following requirements:
  • An active SIM and the requestor is the assignee of the mobile number to be ported
  • Zero remaining balance from your previous bill (for postpaid)
  • Non-existent court prohibitions
  • No pending transfer of ownership

Number porting makes it possible to also keep your number when switching from prepaid to postpaid plans. Syniverse will be the provider of number portability services in the Philippines.

“Mobile Number Portability is a complex process not only do we need to adopt it into our system but we need to integrate it with the networks of our competitors,” said Atty. Froilan Castelo who sits as the Chairman of the Telecommunications Connectivity Inc. General Counsel, Globe Group of Companies.

“It took us 22 months to build MNP, upgrade the system, integrate with the MNP service provider, and do testing with the other telcos,” he added.

Price and availability

As discussed earlier, number porting is free of charge. You can try out number porting on September 30, 2021.

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Gaming

Ubisoft offers Far Cry 5 for free this weekend

Experience the violence in Hope County for a limited time only

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Ubisoft has another weekend offering for everyone, focusing more on their popular franchises. In previous offerings, they gave players one whole weekend to play games such as Assassin’s Creed Origins for free. As such, any progress accumulated will carry over when you purchase the game. This time around, they’re offering the same mechanics to those who wish to play Far Cry 5 this weekend.

For those who are still unaware, Far Cry 5 is the fifth installment in one of Ubisoft’s most popular first-person shooter franchise. The game tackles socio-political and religious topics as you play a Deputy in Hope County, Montana attempting to detain Joseph Seed. Throughout the game, you will encounter members of Seed’s congregation, the Eden’s Gate, who will stop at nothing to see a prophecy fulfilled.

From August 5-9, 2021, Ubisoft is offering players for the PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S access to Far Cry 5 for free. For each platform, here are the timings:

  • Ubisoft Store (PC) – August 5, 9 PM
  • Epic Games Store (PC) – August 6, 1 AM
  • PlayStation Store (PS4, PS5) – August 5, 3:01 PM
  • Microsoft Store (Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One) – August 5, 3:01 PM

 

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