Honor 9 challenges the Huawei P10 and Mate 9



It seems like every Honor smartphone is designed to disrupt the market. The Honor 9 is the latest to do so.

The funny thing is, the Honor brand (which is a subsidiary of Huawei) often goes as far as making its parent company look less desirable. It happened a couple of months ago with the Honor 8 Pro looking like a fantastic alternative to Huawei’s P10 and Mate 9 flagships. And now, the Honor 9 makes another solid case for choosing the online-only sold handset.

Technically a successor to last year’s Honor 8, the Honor 9 starts at a reasonable price of a CNY 2,299 or about $340 for the variant owning 4GB of memory and 64GB of storage. That’s a steal considering it comes with the same high-end Kirin 960 processor found in the P10 and Mate 9.

Two more options exist: one with 6GB of memory and 64GB of storage for CNY 2,699 ($400) and another with 6GB of memory and 128GB of storage for CNY 2,999 ($440). So yes, these could beat Huawei’s best smartphones spec for spec.

All it’s lacking is the Leica branding for its cameras, although the trademark dual-camera setup (a pair of 20-megapixel monochrome and 12-megapixel color image sensors) is still there. A less impressive 8-megapixel front-facing camera exists, but this isn’t being marketed as a selfie-centric phone in the first place.

What you’re actually buying into is a well-oiled Android 7.0 Nougat-powered smartphone with a sleek body encasing the 5.15-inch Full HD display in front. Add a decent 3200mAh battery to the package, and we don’t see why this won’t be a hit.

Well, the only hindrance would be its Chinese exclusivity. Until Huawei decides it’s worthy enough to ship internationally like it did with the Honor 8, we’re left looking down for the honor of owning one.

SEE ALSO: Honor 8 Pro is better, cheaper than Huawei P10

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Twitter is working on a way to hide the blue checkmark

May or may not launch



A year ago, Twitter’s blue checkmark was a coveted piece of online identity making. Now, the once-prestigious marker has grown into somewhat of a meme. The blue checkmark doesn’t mean the same as it did a year ago. Now, Twitter is reportedly developing a way to hide the checkmark from your profile.

Last year, Twitter announced a much easier way to get a blue checkmark for themselves. Soon after Elon Musk purchased the platform, Twitter Blue offered the badge with the monthly subscription price. Users who earned the old checkmark without paying for the subscription had their badges converted into yellow legacy checkmarks.

With the change, the value of a blue checkmark changed drastically. It become associated with a joke mocking users who paid for Twitter, an otherwise free-to-use platform.

Now, as spotted by notable app engineer Alessandro Paluzzi, Twitter is developing a way to hide the blue checkmark altogether. Currently, the development is still just a leak. It remains possible that the app will not launch the feature after all.

That said, after several months reinventing verification, the platform is still struggling for the perfect way to blend the old with the new. Right around the same time the leak popped up, they also officially announced that it will retire legacy checkmarks starting April 1.

SEE ALSO: Twitter promises encrypted DMs this month

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PayPal slowly rolls out passkey support for Android

Coming to the app soon



Big Tech has been pushing for an end to the password. However, the password-less future is taking a while to get off the ground. Only a few platforms can support passkeys. A big name is lending its hand to the technology, though. PayPal has announced that it is working on implementing passkeys for Android users.

Starting today, the digital payment platform is slowly rolling out support for the new security measure. With a passkey, users will no longer need a password or two-factor authentication. Instead, PayPal will install a passkey onto your device. That passkey will be exclusive to your devices. If PayPal recognizes the device you’re trying to log in from, then the platform will allow you in.

It’s not a grand rollout yet, though. PayPal will introduce the feature for mobile browsers first, rather than the app outright. Android users will need Chrome to access the feature. App integration will come in the future. In the meantime, Android users will start getting the feature from now throughout the year.

Passkeys are moving slowly across the tech space. Some time ago, Apple, Google, and Microsoft mutually pledged to help usher in the future of passkeys as a more secure alternative to passwords. Today, only a few platforms can support the technology. In a time when cybersecurity is quickly becoming a priority for everyone, the arrival of passkeys can’t come sooner.

SEE ALSO: Google Chrome can now go password-free

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LEGO 2K Drive to arrive on May 19

Build, explore, race



LEGO 2K Drive

2K and the LEGO Group has announced May 19 as the official worldwide release date of LEGO 2K Drive for multiple consoles.

The driving adventure game is developed by Visual Concept. It is the first title to be released as part of a multi-title partnership between 2K and the LEGO Group. They seek to evolve the LEGO experience in exciting new ways.

The game will feature a combination of open-world driving and competitive racing. Players can explore the vast world of Bricklandia, build any vehicle LEGO-style, drive anywhere, and become a racing legend.

The Sky Cup Trophy is the game’s coveted prize. Players will have to compete against a series of rivals across a broad range of tracks while taking advantage of unique power-ups that can guide them throughout a race.

LEGO 2K Drive also offers unique customization, with over 1,000 LEGO pieces available when building a vehicle. Color designs, stickers, flairs, and more are likewise customizable.

Players may also collaborate with others in a two-person split-screen mode or multiplayer mode.

There will be three editions for the upcoming game:

  • Standard Edition – US$ 59.99 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch; US$ 69.99 on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S (both physical and digital)
  • Awesome Edition – US$ 99.99; includes new vehicle, flair, in-game LEGO minifigure, Year 1 Drive Pass (covers four individual post-launch seasons of Drive pass content)
  • Awesome Rivals Edition – US$ 119.99; includes multiple new vehicles, flair, in-game LEGO minifigures, Year 1 Drive Pass

Preorders are now open, and those who purchase before launch day will receive an Aquadirt Racer Pack.

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