News

HTC launches the notch-less, translucent U12+

Sports an 18:9 display

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Finally, HTC has lifted the veil off its much-anticipated flagship. After weeks of leaks and rumors, the HTC U12+ has arrived on the scene. In a global launch event, the Taiwanese company has completely unveiled both the specs and price of their new flagship.

Unlike most smartphones today, the U12+ will not carry the controversial camera notch. Instead, it sports a 6-inch Quad HD+ screen. The sizable display packs in an 18:9 resolution of 2880 x 1440.

The screen features HTC’s upgraded Edge Sense 2. Besides the usual complement of gesture controls, the feature can now detect which hand is being used. The extra detection allows for convenient one-hand phone handling with gestures.

Under the hood, the U12+ touts the top-of-the-line Snapdragon 845 processor, and comes with 6GB of memory and up to 128GB of internal storage (expandable up to 2TB with a microSD).

Camera-wise, the U12+ snaps photos with a dual 12-megapixel wide-angle (1.4µm, f/1.75) and 16-megapixel telephoto (1.0µm, f/2.6) rear shooter. Additionally, the dual-flash camera supports speedy phase detection and laser autofocus. It also supports up to 2x optical zoom and 10x digital zoom.

On the other hand, the dual 8-megapixel (1.12µm, f/2.0) front shooter touts wide-angle capabilities of up to a 84-degree field of view.

Further, the U12+ can churn out crystal-clear sound with support for active noise cancellation, hi-fi playback, and wireless audio.

For connectivity, the dual SIM phone supports up to dual 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, NFC, Bluetooth 5.0, USB 3.1 Type-C, and HTC Connect for wireless streaming.

Finally, the U12+ owns a 3500mAh battery. According to HTC, it can power through up to 23.8 hours of talk time on 4G. It also supports fast charging with an included Quick Charge 3.0 charger.

It comes in Ceramic Black, Flame Red, and Translucent Blue. Notably, the Translucent Blue variant’s unique design (called Liquid Surface) allows users to see the inner workings of the phone through the back panel.

Online pre-orders are now available. The HTC U12+’s 64GB variant retails for NT$ 23,900 (around US$ 800). Meanwhile, the 128GB variant sells for NT$ 24,900 (around US$ 830).

SEE ALSO: HTC will launch a blockchain-powered phone in October

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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