News

HTC Bolt is all-metal, water-resistant, and outdated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

Gaming

TNC Predator, Afreeca Freecs Fatal win Predator League APAC 2019

For Dota 2 and PUBG, respectively

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After three long days of battle in Bangkok, Thailand from February 15 to 17, two champions have emerged from the two featured games of the Predator League in Asia Pacific 2019.

For Dota 2, it’s TNC Predator from the Philippines; and for PUBG, the champ is none other than Afreeca Freecs Fatal from South Korea.

Their winnings come from a prize pool worth US$ 250,000. Each champion receives US$ 75,000 for their efforts, while the runners-up split the remaining pot.

The grand event concluded after over 3,500 competing teams from 16 countries were eventually reduced to only 26 groups in Bangkok for the finals.

This was the Predator League’s second event in the APAC region. In 2018, it was held in Indonesia. Next year’s event will take place in the Philippines.

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Cameras

Fujifilm X-T30 is a lightweight 4K mirrorless camera

Cheaper version of the X-T3

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Image credit: Fujifilm

After Canon‘s announcement of the new EOS RP, it’s now Fujifilm‘s turn to present their latest offering: the X-T30. Fuji’s new mirrorless interchangeable camera is the successor to 2017’s X-T20.

The X-T30 is positioned to be a cheaper variant of the flagship X-T3 camera, but they actually share many common features and specs. It’s got a compact and lightweight body at just 383g which looks similar to the premium model, but with some minor changes at the back. It’s got a focus joystick instead of a d-pad, but retains the touchscreen.

Speaking of, it’s a 2-way tilting LCD panel with 1.04 million dots. The EVF, on the other hand, is a 2.36-million-dot OLED color viewfinder with a near 100 percent coverage area.

Image credit: Fujifilm

Inside the camera is a 26.1-megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS sensor with an ISO range of 160 to 12800, which is expandable up to 51200, and backed by an X-Processor 4. With this, the X-T30 can shoot 30fps at 1.25x crop and 20fps without a crop using the electronic shutter. If you wish to use the mechanical shutter, the speed will be reduced to 8fps.

It has a hybrid AF system with 100 percent phase-detect AF, face detection, and eye tracking. Autofocus is also improved even in low-light. Focusing can be selected either through the touchscreen or joystick.

When it comes to video, the camera can shoot 4K at 30fps and up to 120fps when downscaled to 1080p. It’s capable of 10-bit recording and 4:2:2 DCI 4K video through the HDMI port. Fujifilm’s Film Simulation modes are also available.

The Fujifilm X-T30 will be available in March starting at US$ 899 for the body only. It’ll go up to US$ 999 when bundled with an XC 15-45mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS lens, or US$ 1,299 when bundled with an 18-55mm f/2.8-4 lens.

SEE ALSO: Fujifilm Instax SQ20 hands-on: How good is it?

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MWC 2019

LG V50 ThinQ will be company’s first 5G smartphone

Arriving right before MWC 2019

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We have yet another leak ahead of LG’s press conference happening right before Mobile World Congress 2019. This time, it’s for the company’s first 5G smartphone, the V50 ThinQ.

It comes in the form of a tweet by Evan Blass, who also spilled the beans on LG’s upcoming G8 ThinQ flagship a few days ago.

This confirms that the 5G smartphone LG will be showing off at MWC in Barcelona, Spain is the V50 ThinQ. Previously, we knew of such a handset coming on February 24, but we didn’t know what branding it would go under.

The leak, however, points to exclusivity with US carrier Sprint. It might also be a limited partnership, but we can more or less confirm that the V50 ThinQ will carry a Snapdragon 855 chipset in order to handle 5G signals.

In addition, we can see an extra camera on the front and back as compared to the G8 ThinQ’s setup. Sadly, it seems like the wide notch is sticking around.

Surprisingly, the V50 ThinQ is launching less than five months after the V40 ThinQ’s release. LG may be prioritizing its 5G rollout and needs an existing series to lay it on.

We’ll learn more once LG takes the stage on February 24 to reveal all its new devices, which might also include a foldable phone.

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