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HTC Bolt is all-metal, water-resistant, and outdated

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HTC Bolt white

HTC is slowly crawling out of its hole. After posting a significant revenue jump thanks to the positive reception to the HTC-manufactured Google Pixel phones, the Taiwanese company now partnered with US network carrier Sprint to launch the Android Nougat-powered Bolt.

There are some interesting points when reading through the Bolt’s feature sheet, but what stands out is the 3×20 carrier aggregation under Sprint’s LTE network using the built-in Snapdragon X10 modem. If this sounds foreign to you, just know that it delivers faster 4G mobile data speeds. We have an animated explainer expounding on the topic.

[irp posts=”2500" name=”LTE-A Explained”]

Going back to the phone, its other claim to fame is being the first all-metal HTC phone to have water resistance, with an IP57 certification. This is a feature missing on the Pixel, so we wonder why HTC didn’t implement it on Google’s phones.

But as dandy as that is, the Bolt employs only 3GB of memory and a year-old Snapdragon 810 processor for some reason. It’s the same chipset known for overheating to the point of shutting handsets down. Although updated units resolved the issue somewhat, the chip still can’t hold a candle to this year’s Snapdragon 821, or even the 820.

And even though the Bolt isn’t exactly razor-thin, there’s no 3.5mm jack to speak of — instead relying on the USB Type-C port for audio. Fortunately, the package includes compatible USB headphones that can handle high-resolution music.

HTC Bolt in gunmetal

The HTC Bolt in gunmental

Everything else is less newsworthy. The display is of the 5.5-inch Quad HD LCD kind; there’s a fast fingerprint scanner below it; a 16-megapixel camera with optical image stabilization heads the rear, while an 8-megapixel selfie cam is on the front; and we have a slot for microSD cards on top of the 32GB of internal storage, plus Quick Charge 2.0 to power up the 3200mAh battery.

Overall, with the exception of the water resistance and advanced LTE capabilities, the HTC Bolt sits below this year’s flagship, the HTC 10. And as mentioned earlier, only Sprint customers in the US can get their hands on it officially.

Its value rests at $600, and there are installment plans amounting to $25 a month for two years. You may choose between gunmetal and silver if you choose to commit to a plan.

[i[irp posts=”4666" name=”HTC Desire 10 Pro, Desire 10 Lifestyle announced: style over substance”]r>Source: Sprint, via The Verge

Lifestyle

Huawei showcases Gentle Monster Eyewear, other wearables

“Connecting Tech with Fashion”

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We’ve come a long way from wearables that people won’t exactly be proud to wear. But Huawei is taking it further by “connecting tech with fashion.”

During “The Showroom” event in Singapore, Huawei paraded their set of wearables. Each one we’ve likely seen before like the FreeBuds 3 and the different variations of the Huawei Watch GT 2.

But perhaps one of their more unique offerings is the Gentle Monster — Huawei Eyewear.

Gentle Monster — Huawei Eyewear: New kind of wearable

Huawei calls it “an elegant and minimalist intelligent assistant for daily wear.” With it on, you can listen to music, take calls, and get voice updates from your virtual assistant. Which you’ll do simply by double tapping on either side of the eyewear’s frame.

If you’re worried about the audio blasting out too much, of course, Huawei took that into consideration. The eyewear has dual speakers and a semi-open design so you can hear the audio properly. At the same time it has a “unique audio cavity” to make sure sound doesn’t leak out.

It’s also combining hardware and software to deliver clear audio communications. The linear beam noise reduction design along with AI speech noise-reduction tech helps in this aspect.

The device also has an IP67 rating which means it’s dust and water resistant. It also comes with a portable leather case that doubles as a charger for the device. The charging, interestingly, is done wirelessly thanks to NFC.

Partnering with Gentle Monster appears to be another masterful branding move, akin to how Huawei hooked up with Leica for their flagship’s cameras. This means that the Gentle Monster — Huawei Eyewear will come in an array of different designs. So you should find something that will look good on you — which was hard for me, but I digress.

The Gentle Monster – Huawei Eyewear will be available on November 28 in Singapore in two design options: Smart Eastmoon and Smart Jackbye. No word yet on exact pricing.

Different Huawei Watch GT 2 designs to match your needs 

Another thing showcased was the Huawei Watch GT 2 — our review is coming up soon so watch out for it. But initial impressions suggest it’s one of the better smartwatch options for Android. It comes in two sizes: 46mm and 42mm.

There are plenty of design options to choose from. Here are pricing and availability:

  • HUAWEI Watch GT 2 (46mm) Sport Edition in Matte Black now available at SG $298 here
  • HUAWEI Watch GT 2 (46mm) Classic Edition in Pebble Brown now available at SG$ 328 here
  • HUAWEI Watch GT 2 (42mm) Sport Edition in Lake Cyan available on 28 November, pricing to be released on a closer date.
  • HUAWEI Watch GT 2 (42mm) Elegant Edition in Refined Gold available in December, further details to come.
  • HUAWEI Watch GT 2 (46mm) Elite Edition in Titanium Grey available in December, further details to come

Freebuds 3: AirPods Pro but for Android

Last, but certainly not least, is the Freebuds 3 which bears a striking resemblance to the AirPods by Apple. This particular design allowed Huawei to put their Kirin A1 wearable chip on the wireless earphones which helps in noise cancellation, a stable, fast bluetooth connection and better power efficiency.

The FreeBuds 3 will be available on November 28, in Carbon Black and Ceramic White.

Huawei’s ecosystem

These new devices should also work well with the ecosystem that Huawei is building. The company is going towards the full Internet of Things (IoT) route and while they’re building their own hardware, they’re also inviting other developers and manufacturers to create products that will fit in their ecosystem.

SEE ALSO: Huawei Mobile Cloud will have free storage for some users

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India

Vivo Y19 is an affordable phone with triple rear cameras

A phone that gets everything right

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Photo by GadgetMatch

The affordable segment has seen a wide range of new phones this year thanks to a raging war between Xiaomi and Realme. While the two are constantly trying to undercut each other, brands are striving to take advantage of the situation.

Vivo has unveiled a new phone dubbed the Y19 and it’s being launched in India as well as the Philippines. The design is rather different and incorporates a 3D design that can mimic a wide range of reflective colors. The phone will be available in Magnetic Black and Spring White color options.

On the front is a 6.5-inch LCD Full HD+ display with a tiny water-drop notch on the top. Powering the phone is an octa-core MediaTek Helio P65 SoC, paired with 4GB of RAM and 128GB internal storage.

In terms of optics, the triple rear camera setup of the Vivo Y19 includes a 16-megapixel primary sensor, an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. The phone also gets a 16-megapixel selfie camera at the front.

It has dual SIM support and ships with Android 9 Pie-based Funtouch OS 9.2. For a better gaming experience, an Ultra Game Mode has been provided for optimization.

In India, the phone has been priced at INR 13,999 (US$ 195) and will be available for purchase via all major online as well as offline sellers.

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Phone case by castAway doubles as a secondary display

Any phone can fold!

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Folding displays have been the highlight of 2019 thanks to the Samsung Galaxy Fold, Huawei Mate X, and Motorola razr. From a use-case scenario, a small phone can be converted into a tablet that offers a bigger screen.

However, folding phones aren’t a new concept. A range of phones have been made that incorporate a secondary display. If the Surface Duo got your attention, this phone case is made for you.

castAway is a second screen for your smartphone that the creator’s claim will fit 95 percent of smartphones, giving you the dual-screen experience for less than US$ 200.

If the implementation looks familiar, that’s because we’ve sort of seen this before from LG with their Dual Screen handsets — the LG V50 ThinQ and the LG G8X ThinQ.

The small variant, the castAway One runs at 5.8-inches while a larger castAway One Plus 6.3-inch variant supports larger devices. Across both size categories, the case supports either iPhone or Samsung devices at launch. That’s not all though.

The case itself is like a very small Chrome OS tablet and is powered by a 1.5GHz ARM-based processor with 4GB RAM and 32GB of storage. You’ll be able to hold it like a book, turn it to a landscape orientation, and even close it up fully.

That comes complete with USB-C horizontal and vertical ports, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and an EMR stylus. The castAway case battery is comparable to a smartphone battery too, allowing standalone use.

 

The castAway case supports all Apple iPhone’s since the 6. Supported Samsung phones include the S7, S8, S8+, S9, S9+, S10, S10+, Note 7, Note 8, Note 9, and Note 10.

For early adopters of the case, the prices start out at US$ 129 for the smaller castAway One. Just US$ 10 more nets buyers the larger castAway One Plus. Shipping will start in May 2020, if everything moves forward smoothly.

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