News

Google Pixel Fold leaked, price and launch revealed

Biggest leak for the foldable device

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Image source: Front Page Tech

After years of Samsung’s domination in the foldable market, other brands are starting to step up. Two of the most anticipated players, Apple and Google, have yet to make things official, though. Still, that doesn’t stop the hype train. Compounded by months of speculation, a leak has revealed how the unannounced Pixel Fold will look like.

Reported by Front Page Tech, the upcoming foldable phone looks how you might expect a larger Pixel to look like. Folding inwardly, the folded device features the same screen type with a punch-hole camera. Both the smaller and the main screen will have a noticeable bezel.

At the back, it has the same sizable camera island. However, instead of wrapping around the entire width, it just sits in the middle of everything.

Though not much can be gleaned from simple images, the same source also spoils when the device comes out and for how much. The Pixel Fold will reportedly launch in May 2023. Coming in either Chalk or Obsidian, the device supposedly costs a whopping US$ 1,799, echoing the same price range of similar foldable devices in the market.

Since last year’s Pixel 6 series, Google has pushed through with a major refresh for its smartphone lineup, bringing the Pixel series back into the flagship conversation. While the Pixel Fold is still unannounced, the foldable device is expected to follow in the same premium footsteps of its flatter predecessors.

SEE ALSO: Google Pixel 7 Pro Unboxing and First 24 Hours

News

Huawei teases a smartwatch with earbuds inside

Officially called the Watch Buds

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Earlier this week, Huawei, along with other Chinese brands, postponed their launch event originally scheduled for early December. Though the launch is no longer happening on its scheduled date, the brand has already teased what’s coming next.

It’s hardly a secret at this point. Around the time of Huawei’s postponement, several teasers, including one from Huawei itself, have started popping up, revealing a mishmash between a smartwatch and a pair of earbuds. Instead of a simple smartwatch, the aptly named Watch Buds includes storage space for TWS earbuds inside the chassis.

Image source: Huawei Central

Other leaked videos, like from Huawei Central, have revealed how the device works. The watch’s frame flips up to reveal the earbuds’ housing. As a result, the Watch Buds is considerably thicker than most smartwatches. One can assume that it will have a larger battery, too.

Unfortunately, the teaser images don’t offer a lot of information about the device’s hardware. As such, we’ll have to wait for Huawei’s rescheduled launch for a complete list of specs. Still, the form factor offers a huge wave of convenience for those who use both smartwatches and wireless earbuds. Watch Buds users can finally ditch a bulky charging case and take their earbuds along with them on their wrist.

SEE ALSO: Huawei: Best gifts to buy this Christmas

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Apps

Google introduces encrypted group chats

Using RCS

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It’s easy to send messages from one Apple device to another through iMessage. However, for all the system’s pomp and circumstance, iMessage ignores the entire Android population, leaving an entire swath of the smartphone-using world without accessibility and end-to-end security. For months, Google has tried convincing Apple to switch messaging systems and work together. Now, in a new push to bring equality, Google has launched its own RCS group chatting system with end-to-end encryption.

Rolling out in open beta during the next few weeks, the new system will allow Android users to chat with a group of other Android users. Using RCS technology, messaging is free, secure, and easy to use.

For accessibility, users can send high-quality media, react using emojis, and see any typing in real time. It works much like other messaging services these days. One advantage, however, is that the new feature will come automatically with Google Messages, an app already baked into a lot of Android devices. Users might not need to download another app — and that also plays into security.

Speaking of security, end-to-end encryption will ensure that only the users can see what the conversation is about. Neither the user’s network nor Google itself can snoop in and gather data.

Unfortunately, the system does have a massive caveat: It won’t work between Android to Apple conversations. Because Apple uses a different system, it’s currently impossible for cross-platform conversations to have the same level of security and convenience.

In the feature’s announcement, Google even calls Apple’s texting “stuck in the 1990s,” renewing its call to get Apple to convert. The company then names several global companies who have already switched to RCS messaging, including Globe.

SEE ALSO: Google is bringing its VPN to PC and Mac

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Cameras

Canon officially brings the EOS R6 Mark II to the Philippines

Taking hybrid to the next level

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Canon Philippines has finally launched the follow-up to their much-beloved hybrid full-frame camera EOS R6 from two years ago, the EOS R6 Mark II.

The union of systems

The Canon EOS R6 Mark II is a mirrorless camera featuring a 24.2MP full-frame CMOS sensor. Paired with the DIGIC X processor, it promises better quality photos with reduced noise. Speaking of noise, the camera can reach an ISO of up to 102,400 and low-light sensitivity below EV -6.5.

If you’re concerned about display when shooting, the EOS R6 Mark II offers a fully-articulating 3″ LCD with touchscreen that enables you to shoot in various angles, whether overhead or low down.

Not a fan of screen shooting? The EOS R6 Mark II has a 0.5″ OLED EVF (Electronic View Finder). With 3.69-million dots and a refresh rate of up to 119.88 fps, it’s as great as how you look at Optical View Finders found on DSLRs.

If you’re shooting a lot of action, Canon has the improved Dual Pixel AF CMOS II system with an outstanding AF zones of 1,053 and approximately 100% AF coverage.

Other than that, there’s the EOS iTR AF X (Intelligent Tracking & Recognition Autofocus) that can now track horses, trains, and airplanes aside from people, animals, and other vehicles. There’s even Deep Learning-based Subject Tracking and Auto Subject Detection as well for better tracking. This also makes an 80% faster AF performance than its EOS R6 predecessor.

For burst mode shots, you can shoot 12fps under Mechanical Shutter and 40fps with Quiet Mode support under Electronic Shutter. That’s very ideal for concerts and wildlife shoots.

If you’re that serious in videography, the EOS R6 Mark II not only offers the usual 4K/60p video recording, it also supports a jaw-dropping 6K/60p with 10-bit RAW HDMI out. And if you’re a sucker for slow motion, this hybrid camera can also shoot slo-mo Full HD at 180p.

Worried about shaky footages? Canon combines three image-stabilizing systems in one with Coordinated Control. That’s the fusion of 5-axis In-Body Image Stabilizer (IS), Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS), and Movie Digital IS. There’s even the Canon Log 3 if you prefer flat-looking shooting profiles that allows you to be versatile in color grading.

Much like iPhone’s Cinematic Mode, the EOS R6 Mark II can seamlessly change focus points regardless if one tries to change the focal length through Focus Breathing Correction. You can even select several focusing speeds to match the effect and speed of the subject.

Durability-wise, the Canon EOS R6 Mark II is rated to last up to 400,000 cycles. That’s more than enough for the continuous use and abuse of the hybrid mirrorless camera compared to conventional bodies of the same kind. And if you shoot under harsh weather conditions, its body is made from a durable magnesium alloy chassis that’s also dust and drip-resistant.

Other notable feature is the Dual Card Recording which allows simultaneous recording on both SD cards. That’s one 4K/60p shooting and FHD/180p on the other or just record footages and stills all at once. Lastly, the R6 Mark II uses the specialized set of RF and RF-S lenses just like any other mirrorless cameras of Canon.

A true 6ame ChangeR

Canon Philippines has finally held an in-person event ever since the launch of the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III — which I attended before the pandemic lockdown happened in the country.

We were welcomed by Canon PH’s several ambassadors on the board. They were also able to use the EOS R6 Mark II for two weeks all before the launch event took place. Those include Ian Celis together with his daughter, Eyah Celis under Ian Celis Productions based in Antipolo, Rizal.

During the small talk, Ian Celis showed us a reel showcasing his work using the EOS R6 Mark II. He even mentioned that his favorite feature has got to be Focus Breathing Correction and the FHD/180p slo-mo feature very ideal for wedding footages. Meanwhile, Eyah talked about how the camera’s lightweight body was able to help her shoot extreme lengths despite her slimness and petiteness during a marathon event.

Another in the ambassador lineup were Pat Dy and Chissai Bautista of Team Pat Dy. It started when they showed us Chissai’s interview on the large projection. As a wedding shooter, she told everyone that wedding events are always fast-paced.

But with the fast and precise AF system of the Canon EOS R6 Mark II, she expounded that she was able to quickly grasp the situation around and shoot fast-moving subjects blurry-free. That’s also possible thanks to the very lightweight body of the mirrorless camera.

More so, Pat Dy has explained and showed us how the EOS R6 Mark II is a true game-changer. From its lightweight body, one-handed camera use thanks to better camera controls and ergonomics, and more about how it’s a true “hybrid” by having the ability to shoot great stills and footages all at once are just some of the great feats of Canon’s newest mirrorless camera.

Before the wrap up, Pat even did a live demo of how he shoots wedding portraits under controlled-environment situations such as a movie theater with one source of light and a diffuser. Remarkably, we have witnessed how the EOS R6 Mark II greatly-performed without compromises despite such shooting condition.

Pricing and availability

The Canon EOS R6 Mark II will be available in the Philippines starting as early as January 2023. The body only configuration will cost you PhP 179,998. There’s also a bundled RF 24-105mm f/4-7.1 IS STM configuration that retails for PhP 199,998.

Other than that, Canon has also introduced a new RF 135mm f/1.8 L IS USM being sold at PhP 160,998 as well as a lighter external flash unit Speedlite EL-5 for PhP 30,998.

If you pre-order the EOS R6 Mark II from December 3 to January 16, you’ll get added perks like a free 128GB SD Card, additional 2 years warranty aside from the usual 1-year warranty, and a special PhP 25,000-worth Creator’s Access Membership that includes:

  • Free Membership Fee
  • Priority Service
  • While-you-wait service
  • Four (4) working days of expedited service
  • Free external cleaning
  • Service unit
  • Lens loan for three (3) months
  • Show/Event Support
  • Printing Services with discounted rates
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