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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

Enterprise

Philippines: Huawei ban ‘will have a little impact’ on the country

States the Philippines’ robust cybersecurity measures

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Throughout the past few days, the Huawei debacle has devastated companies and consumers across the globe. Everyone is falling for the fear. Huawei’s long-standing suppliers have cut ties with the company. Huawei’s consumers are getting rid of their favored headsets. The wave has swept the whole world.

Naturally, the Philippines isn’t immune. Recently, smartphone retailers and resellers have started refusing Huawei devices from their stores. Local Huawei users can’t easily sell their devices to the second-hand market anymore.


However, an important question still stands. How much will the Huawei ban affect the Philippines?

Of course, the ban originates from Trump’s trade war against China. Among other reasons, the American government cites the company’s inherent cybersecurity risks as the prime motivator. Supposedly, Huawei’s telecommunications hardware can transmit valuable data to the Chinese government. Given the Philippines’ proximity to China, are we also at risk?

According to the Department of Information and Communications Technology, Huawei’s ban “will have a little impact in the Philippine telecommunications industry.” Shared through a Facebook post, the DICT assures users of the country’s robust cybersecurity measures. As of now, the department has not reported any cybersecurity breaches coming from Huawei equipment.

Likewise, shortly after the news broke, local telcos confirmed continued support for Huawei’s devices. According to the DICT, “they will diversify in their present and future procurements of equipment to make their networks more robust and future proof.” The department is also imposing strict rules on local telcos regarding network monitoring. The statement also quickly adds the imposition of the same rules on a potential third telco.

Is the DICT’s statement believable? For now, Huawei’s impact is still marginal at best. Companies and consumers are going on the perceived risk of the future. Right now, Huawei has not announced drastic changes to its products yet. Existing Huawei products still support Google.

Of course, cybersecurity is another issue. The risk will always exist when foreign companies control the telecommunications equipment of another country. At the very least, the DICT isn’t treating the whole debacle as a non-issue. Hopefully, the department’s promises are an optimistic sign for the country’s telecommunications industry.

SEE ALSO: Huawei granted 90-day extension before total ban

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IGTV adds support for horizontal video

No longer exclusive to vertical content

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When Instagram’s IGTV platform first launched, it was special for its focus on vertically oriented videos. The reasoning here is that this is how people naturally hold their smartphones, and vertical video recording has become a standard.

Unfortunately, IGTV didn’t exactly fly from the get-go. Even after certain adjustments, such as integrating its system into Instagram itself for better exposure, content creators and casual users couldn’t fully embrace the platform.


In yet another move — possibly the most drastic yet — IGTV will now support landscape videos. This comes as a response to both creators and viewers who want to upload and watch videos in “a more natural way.”

“Ultimately, our vision is to make IGTV a destination for great content no matter how it’s shot so creators can express themselves how they want,” wrote Instagram on its blog.

The blog reminds us that a similar change happened to Instagram in 2015, when you could start uploading photos in non-square formats. IGTV hopes that this transformation will have the same positive effect.

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OPPO K3 introduces pop-up camera to budget segment

Includes midrange specs and fast charging

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It’s looking like pop-up cameras are here to stay. After making a splash last year, more and more smartphones have been using this implementation for notch-less displays.

The latest to join the trend is the OPPO K3, a budget smartphone with midrange specifications. Not only does it have a 16-megapixel camera that elevates from the top, it also owns a fast Snapdragon 710 chipset and a 6.5-inch OLED panel with an under-display fingerprint scanner.


That’s fantastic for a phone that retails at CNY 1,599 (US$ 230) for the 6GB+64GB model and CNY 1,899 (US$ 274) for the 8GB+128GB variant.

And the generous features don’t end there. The OPPO K3 also comes with VOOC 3.0 fast charging, a hefty 3765mAh battery, and a 16- plus 2-megapixel dual-camera setup on the back.

The only downsides are the micro-USB port instead of the more preferable USB-C, and the ColorOS 6 skin on top of Android 9 Pie, which purists may say isn’t as feature-packed as other Android skins.

The OPPO K3 is already available in China. International availability, as always, will happen at a later date if we’re lucky.

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