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HTC’s U12+ leak reveals a translucent form factor

Also confirms Snapdragon 845, dual cameras

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After spending some time in the shadows, HTC is stepping back into the limelight with a variety of new gizmos and doodads. Just recently, the smartphone maker announced its first (and the world’s second) blockchain-powered phone.

With a new flagship on the horizon, HTC has inserted itself back into the conversation. Now, new leaks on the HTC U12+ are revealing more about the brand’s odd plans.

Infamous and often-correct leaker Evan Blass has released the U12+’s specs and new renders. Besides confirming what everyone already speculated, the leaks have revealed a unique form factor that might put the notch to shame (or glorify it even further).

Besides the more conventional black and red options, the HTC U12+ will come in a translucent case that bares the phone’s inner hardware to light. With the new form factor, the U12+ looks like a phone without a back cover. Based on the leaked spec sheet, HTC will likely call it “Liquid Surface.”

While it’s an odd design choice, we’ll have to wait for HTC’s official statement to make a full judgement. At the very least, the U12+ will not have the dreaded (or sought-after) screen notch.

Image source: Evan Blass

Regardless, the leak also confirms previous rumors surrounding the flagship.

The HTC U12+ will sport a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, 6GB of RAM, and up to 128GB of internal storage (expandable up to 2TB via a microSD card). It will also carry a workable 12-megapixel wide-angle rear camera and 8-megapixel dual front shooter. It will come with a sizable 3500mAh battery capacity.

On the nitty-gritty side, the U12+ will support up to 4G LTE, USB 3.1 Type-C, and Bluetooth 5.0. Likewise, it will come installed with convenient features like HTC Edge Sense 2. Finally, users can (eventually) upgrade the U12+ to Android P.

Despite the leak, HTC hopes to reveal the U12+ on May 23.

SEE ALSO: HTC’s new Desire 12 and 12+ return to a shiny, chrome look

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Sony confirms Android Pie rollout schedule

Updates coming in October to March

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Months after launch, the coveted Android Pie is still the rarest operating system out in the wild. With Android’s notoriety, the new operating system’s incredibly low distribution rates don’t come as a surprise. Currently, only the top smartphones have tasted a piece of Pie. Even then, new adopters are only slowly trickling in.

Surprisingly, Sony has accelerated their upgrade schedules, leaving other brands trailing in the dust. Already, the Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact are receiving Android Pie updates. Meanwhile, the new XZ3 comes with the operating system fresh out of the box.

Today, the company has announced further updates to the old schedule. Within the next few weeks, Sony’s older models will receive the new update. Starting October 26, Android Pie will roll out to the XZ Premium, the XZ1, and the XZ1 Compact. Meanwhile, the XZ2 Premium can enjoy the new operating system starting November 7.

Additionally, the XA2, the XA2 Ultra, and the XA2 Plus will get Android Pie on March 4.

Notably, the announced phones are older than Android Pie’s current lineup. This is the most concrete schedule that Android has enjoyed. While other brands have promised future updates, not many have fulfilled their end of the bargain.

That said, expect the same dismal adoption rates in the future. Even now, the preceding Android Oreo still hasn’t taken over a sizable share of the smartphone market. While Sony’s announcement is a step up, can we expect other brands to step up as well?

SEE ALSO: Sony unveils Xperia XZ3 with best-possible specs and features

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Xiaomi confirms manual sliding camera mechanism of Mi Mix 3

This phone is going to be one-of-a-kind

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Image credit: Xiaomi

Xiaomi is on a roll just a few days before they officially announce their newest smartphone — the Mi Mix 3. After confirming a couple of advanced specifications, the Chinese company posted a teaser video about the phone’s much-speculated camera mechanism.

Apart from having 10GB of memory and uber-fast 5G connectivity, the Mi Mix 3 has another special feature: manual sliding mechanism. We’re slowly going back to the good old days of slider phones, but the Mi Mix 3’s implementation is for the cameras.

Fortunately, Xiaomi still refrained from putting a notch on the new Mi Mix phone and resorted to another design option. The OPPO Find X and Vivo NEX are notch-free, borderless phones using pop-up cameras, but both differ in application. As for Xiaomi, they wanted something a bit different. Here’s the teaser:

At last, Xiaomi confirmed the design of the Mi Mix 3’s cameras and, frankly, this is something we are looking forward to. The video shows the manual sliding cameras of the Mi Mix 3; it’s quite similar to the Find X’s but without the use of a motor.

Here are more photos of the Mi Mix 3 taken from the teaser:

Apart from the mechanism, the teaser also unveiled a few things about the Mi Mix 3. First, it supports facial recognition to enable face unlock and authentication. The rear camera (most likely cameras) appears to be a part of the pop-up as well. The front cameras will have dual sensors with a resolution of 24 megapixels.  And lastly, the phone supports contactless payments.

Xiaomi will have a number of features to talk about during the Mi Mix 3 launch that’s happening on October 25 in Beijing.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi confirms 10GB RAM and 5G connectivity of the Mi Mix 3

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ASUS ROG Phone tops AnTuTu benchmark for Android in September 2018

As it finally hits stores

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Even though ASUS announced the ROG Phone during Computex a few months ago, it’s only now we’re seeing the gaming smartphone hit store shelves. Since these are retail units we’re talking about, benchmark scores are also making their way to performance charts.

AnTuTu has released its latest standings, encompassing all Android phones benchmarked during the month of September 2018. As expected, the ROG Phone is at the very top.

With a score of 299,706, ASUS’ one and only gamer-centric phone surpasses the likes of Xiaomi’s Black Shark and the latest (for now) OnePlus handset.

It’s certainly a strong showing for ASUS, and proves that the ROG Phone was worth the wait. It’s currently shipping in the US with a starting price of US$ 899, but a host of accessories can easily drive that price up.

But before we give the crown to ASUS, it’s important to note that these numbers are only for Android devices. When taking Apple’s iOS products into consideration, the ranking changes quite a bit.

AnTuTu’s other September 2018 chart, which includes only Apple devices, shows that the iPhone XS and XS Max haves scores of 348,581 and 348,148 points, respectively. They blow away whatever the Android camp currently has to show, and prove that Apple is still the leader in raw performance.

However, all this could change come November once all the new smartphones are tested. We have the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, Razer Phone 2, OnePlus 6T, and Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 to consider soon.

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