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HTC’s U11 flagship beats Google Pixel at DxOMark

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We learned a lot about the HTC U11 in the leaked hands-on video — from its squeezable body to a couple of specs — but we learned something even more important during the official launch: Its camera beats the Google Pixel at DxOMark.

With a score of 90, HTC’s new flagship smartphone has one point more than the previous champ, the Pixel. That’s a major feat, considering how many believe Google’s pride and joy has the best camera to date. Of course, we’ll have to wait for real-world tests before knowing for sure if its 12-megapixel camera is truly king.

As leaked earlier, the U11 has a high-end Snapdragon 835 processor and 4GB of memory (6GB for certain regions). On top of that, a 5.5-inch Quad HD LCD, base amount of 64GB of storage, and sufficient 3000mAh battery capacity round up the specifications. You’ll probably miss the 3.5mm audio port, but IP67-rated water and dust resistance has been added to the all-glass and metal phone.

But what really matters is HTC’s new Edge Sense, which allows you to squeeze the pressure-sensitive edges for additional functions. You could tighten your grip to turn on the camera app and take a photo. Squeezing a little longer activates the flashlight or any other feature you choose. What’s important is the amount of pressure can be adjusted, as well.

How useful and intuitive this will actually be is still the question. If history repeats itself, Edge Sense may end up like Force or 3D Touch for Huawei and Apple — which means barely implemented at all in most apps.

Another aspect HTC showed off during the presentation is the U11’s audio capabilities. In exchange for having no headphone jack, there’s a bundled pair of USB-C earphones with active noise canceling and high-resolution sounds. In addition, users are treated to four separate microphones for 3D audio recording while shooting videos.

Luckily, the asking price is not as eye-popping as HTC’s other flagship, the U Ultra. Starting at $649, the U11 is $100 cheaper than its larger counterpart while having significantly better specs. Available colors are silver, blue, black, white, and red.

Shipping will begin this month, with most of the world receiving it in June — just in time to compete with the Sony Xperia XZ Premium and Xiaomi Mi 6.

SEE MORE: HTC’s ‘unexpected surprise’ is surprisingly disappointing

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Sony is resurrecting the Xperia Compact

Shown in new leak

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Image source: OnLeaks

Don’t you just miss the era of small-sized smartphones? Today’s smartphones keep pushing the boundaries of smartphone sizes faster than our jean pockets can keep up with. Apple, amid the bulging iPhone lineup, has already returned to the small smartphone market with last year’s iPhone SE (2020). On the Android side of things, though, Sony is looking to push back with some leaked plans to resurrect the Xperia Compact lineup.

According to a leak from OnLeaks, Sony will release a 5.5-inch smartphone which will revive the company’s small-sized smartphones. Two years ago, the Xperia XZ4 Compact ended the lineup for the global market. Though the Xperia Ace extended the form factor’s life cycle a bit, it was only available in Japan.

This time, at least according to the leak, the upcoming Xperia Compact will have a 5.5-inch form factor. The phone will have a double rear camera setup (with a 13-megapixel main lens) and a waterdrop notch (with an 8-megapixel camera)  in the front. It also has a fairly complete selection of input and output ports including an audio jack and a memory card slot.

Unfortunately, most of those details are based on the smartphone’s appearance on the leaked images. There are scant details about the upcoming smartphone for now.

SEE ALSO: Sony Xperia Ace is what the Xperia XZ4 Compact could have been

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Apple is shrinking the notch this year

Is this the iPhone 13?

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Another year, another iPhone. Even if the year is just starting, we’re already in for a flurry of rumors for the next iPhone. Sometimes, however, those rumors can give as an acute case of déjà vu. Today, one of the earliest details about 2021’s iPhone 13 series once again hints that Apple is shrinking the notch this year, mimicking years-worth of speculation.

According to a report from DigiTimes, the next generation of iPhones will come with smaller notches. The company will finally be able to pack in its front-facing sensors into a smaller surface area, resulting in a new form factor.

Consumers have notably decried the controversial notch since its inception in the iPhone X. Though other brands have adopted the notch themselves, most have already moved past the trend with teardrop notches, punch hole cameras, or even under-display sensors. In comparison, Apple has furiously stood by its large notch. The iPhone 13 series might finally change Apple’s long-standing status quo.

If you’re in doubt, you have every reason to be. We’re still months and months away from any incredibly substantial leaks for the iPhone 13. However, if anything, DigiTimes has reported on the upcoming iPhone before, as well. A few weeks ago, the outlet revealed that the entire series will come with improved LiDAR sensors. There might be some truth to this year’s “smaller notch” rumors. But again, waiting (and taking everything with a grain of salt) is key.

SEE ALSO: Entire iPhone 13 series will get LiDAR scanners

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WhatsApp delays roll-out of new privacy policy until May

Signal and Telegram are trending instead

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Photo by Dimitri Karastelev on Unsplash

WhatsApp rolled out a new privacy policy that clearly specifies how the instant messaging app will leverage your data for monetization. But the new privacy policy is on hold.

WhatsApp, owned by Facebook, has announced that it will delay enforcing its new privacy terms from February 8 to May 15. In the blog post, the company says that none of its privacy-focused features are changing.

“We’re also going to do a lot more to clear up the misinformation around how privacy and security works on WhatsApp. We’ll then go to people gradually to review the policy at their own pace before new business options are available on May 15,” the statement said.

It faced massive backlash as users are worried about their personal data. When the privacy policy changes went public last week, the response from the public was downright brutal. Alternative apps like Telegram and Signal started trending worldwide as users started joining it in hopes of ditching WhatsApp.

Even though WhatsApp is end-to-end encrypted, Facebook will still fetch some crucial information like your transactions, location, and other behavioral data from linked Instagram profile. And, we all know Facebook has a nasty reputation as far as personal data management is concerned. What makes it even more outrageous is that the policy is leave or take, and there’s no third option.

In the wording used, WhatsApp says the new privacy policy will change how it partners with Facebook to “offer integrations” and that businesses can use Facebook services to manage WhatsApp chats. It said that hat all private messages between friends and family members will remain end-to-end encrypted.

According to a CNBC report, India’s technology ministry also asked WhatsApp to withdraw planned changes to its privacy policy that has drawn widespread backlash.

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