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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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OnePlus 6 price and availability in the Philippines

Not that competitive anymore?

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After a successful launch in London and introducing a sweet Avengers Edition in India, the OnePlus 6 is now making its way to the Philippines.

Pricing is as follow: The 6GB RAM + 64GB storage variant is priced at PhP 30,990, while the 8GB + 128GB version goes for PhP 33,990. Both will have identical specifications other than those key numbers.

For comparison, the first variant costs US$ 529 (PhP 27,850) in the US and the latter has a price tag of US$ 579 (PhP 30,480). The markup isn’t that bad considering this is an imported product, but this signals the first time a OnePlus phone has a starting price over PhP 30,000 in the Philippines.

But it’s not all bad news, because there are some freebies involved. While not specified how to qualify, the first customers will be entitled to the following bonuses: a Baseus MVP USB-C Cable, Motorola Buds Earphones, and PhP 1,000 voucher at Digital Walker. Like before, everyone gets an official warranty lasting 18 months.

Digital Walker, the official distributor of OnePlus products in the Philippines, says that they’ll have the 256GB storage variant in the coming weeks, too. And you’ll also be glad to know that the Mirror Black color variant will be available from the very start.

As of now, there’s no exact availability date yet. Digital Walker currently has a page where you can show your interest for the OnePlus 6, meaning you’ll get updates as soon as dates are set.

What we do know is which Digital Walker branches it’ll be available in at launch: SM Mall of Asia, SM North EDSA, Estancia Mall, Gateway Mall, and Ayala Cebu.

Now, how about bringing over the OnePlus Bullets Wireless earphones to the Philippines as well, Digital Walker?

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Apple’s new ‘free’ iCloud upgrades are designed to get more of your money

Read the fine print

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Every year, storage solutions grow faster than we can fill them. Despite the industry’s steadfast progress, cloud storage is still woefully catching up. Sadly, for some brands, progress hovers precariously out of reach.

Particularly, Apple’s latest efforts focuses more on sales rather than the actual product. Besides 5GB of free cloud storage, Apple now offers one month of free upgrades to more substantial storage plans.

For Apple users, the free 5GB of iCloud storage is part and parcel of every iPhone package. However, every smartphone photographer can tell you that five gigabytes pale in comparison to what everyday usage is like now.

Most users deplete this within a few months (if not, weeks). To increase this, Apple usually offers 50GB, 200GB, and 2TB upgrades on monthly subscription prices. Easily outclassed by their rivals, these upgrades don’t find much of an audience even from the most hardcore of users.

Now, Apple is offering free one-month trials for these upgrades. When users deplete their 5GB allocation, a new pop-up notifies users that they are entitled for a month of more iCloud storage.

However, this enticing offer hides a dastardly trap for unsuspecting subscribers. As with most online subscriptions, Apple will not automatically opt you out when your free month expires. After you finish the month, Apple will charge its users the regular rates for these upgrades.

Regardless, the internet has entertained this scheme for as long as online subscriptions have existed. The system hopes that users are either too ignorant to notice the fine print or too reliant on the upgrade to back out.

While internet-savvy users can detect the ploy immediately, Apple’s massive reach ensures that even casual users will receive the offer.

Unfortunately for Apple, competing cloud services still edge out iCloud handily. Most notably, Google Photos offers unlimited storage on the cloud for free.

Also, iCloud remains one of the weakest names in cyber security. Just a few years ago, hackers breached and obtained extremely sensitive material from the iCloud accounts of famous Hollywood celebrities.

SEE ALSO: What’s the difference between RAM and internal storage?

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Samsung launches new devices and faces old problems: Weekend Rewind

Samsung has their work cut out for them

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Here are this week’s top stories on GadgetMatch.

1. Samsung faces legal trouble, while the iPhone X enjoys the top spot

Six years after Samsung was first found liable for infringing on five iPhone patents in its own smartphone designs, they are now ordered by a California jury to pay US$ 539 million in damages to Apple. CNET reports that the infringements in question occurred on Samsung phones sold in 2010 and 2011. All this comes after a March 2018 report says that the iPhone X remains the best-selling smartphone in the world, while Samsung’s new flagships the Galaxy S9 and S9+ share the no. 5 and 6 spots. Samsung sure has their work cut out for them.

2. Samsung announces new phones around Asia

We’re still a few months away until we see Samsung’s new premium flagship, but there’s no stopping the Korean company from announcing phones for other budget segments. New Galaxies launched this week around Asia, including the Galaxy S Light in China, Galaxy A6+ in the Philippines, and the Galaxy J6, J8, A6, and A6+ in India.

3. HTC unveils notchless U12+

HTC has a new flagship and while it packs top of the line specs, it’s unique in so many ways for a phone launched in 2018. Instead of carrying a notch, it sports a 6-inch Quad HD+ screen with an 18:9 ratio. It comes in Ceramic Black, Flame Red, and a color called Translucent Blue, which allows users to see the inner workings of the phone through the translucent back panel. Read more about the phone here.

4. Essential is up for sale?

According to reports, Essential is canceling the Essential Phone 2, and is now focusing its efforts on an undisclosed home tech product. Essential also reportedly enlisted the help of the Credit Suisse Group to find potential buyers for the whole company, including its entire library of patents (which houses the Essential Phone), and the company’s engineering team. Read the report here.

5. Acer launches new laptops and desktop PCs

It was Acer’s big week as they announced a slew of products at their annual Global Press Conference in New York. There’s the powerful Predator Orion 5000, gaming laptop beast Predator Helios 500, affordable Acer Nitro 50, and lightweight 15-inch Swift 5. There’s also a Special Edition Predator Helios 300 in white and it’s gorgeous.


Weekend Rewind is our roundup of top news and features you might have missed for the week. We know the world of technology can be overwhelming and not everyone has the time to get up to speed with everything — and that includes us. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the rewind.

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