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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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Huawei’s FreeBuds 2 Pro can charge wirelessly on top of Mate 20

Maybe it can do more than the AirPods

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Image credit: WinFuture.de

Earlier this year, Huawei released an AirPods clone dubbed the FreeBuds. We weren’t able to test it for ourselves due to the limited availability in select regions. This time around though, Huawei might want to make it more accessible because it’ll be a perfect companion for the upcoming Mate 20.

The FreeBuds 2 Pro will be the Mate 20’s ideal wireless earphones. Rumors have it that it’ll be used with the Mate 20 for AI-based speech recognition. Like Apple’s AirPods, they are in a portable case, which also works as a charging dock. But, the FreeBuds 2 Pro will have a Qi standard wireless charging option.

Image credit: WinFuture.de

Not only that, but the case can also be charged when placed at the back of a Mate 20. This means you can share your phone’s juice to the FreeBuds anytime and anywhere.

According to leaked marketing materials obtained by WinFuture.de, it’ll take about three hours to fully charge the FreeBuds 2 Pro wirelessly or two hours when done through a USB-C connection. The wireless earphones can last three hours on a single charge and up to 20 hours when you keep recharging them in the battery case.

Image credit: WinFuture.de

As for the FreeBuds 2 Pro’s specs, it supports Hi-Res Wireless Audio with a bitrate of up to 560 Kbps. It also has a built-in bone sensor that captures the user’s voice via bone conduction and distinguishes it from other people’s voices using AI.

Price-wise, expect the FreeBuds 2 Pro to go on sale from EUR 150 to EUR 160.

SEE ALSO: Leaked Huawei Mate 20 copies from Apple and Samsung

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Huawei will launch a foldable, 5G-ready smartphone

Coming in the middle of 2019

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It’s that time of the year again. Towards the end of the year, the world’s biggest smartphone makers start making their huge promises for next year. For example, Samsung has already begun its annual run of rumors and leaks for the Galaxy S10.

However, among all the promises already out, the market has constantly peddled foldable screens and 5G networks. Most companies have promised future iterations of one or the other. For example, Xiaomi already conducted 5G network tests for launch next year.

Taking the cake, Huawei has promised both features in one fell swoop. Next year, the company will launch a foldable, 5G-ready smartphone.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, Huawei’s deputy chairman Ken Hu confirmed the company’s plans. According to Hu, Huawei’s first 5G-ready phone will “introduce a foldable screen.” To add, the phone will launch in the middle of next year.

Curiously, this release schedule falls in between the upcoming Mate 20 series and the successors of the P20. Whatever the phone is, it will likely stay away from Huawei’s major lines.

Months ago, Huawei also hinted a foldable, gaming-centric phone coming this year. At the time, the rumored phone lived exclusively in speculative territory. Now, with the Mate 20 series on the horizon, Huawei’s plans are more concrete.

With official confirmation, next year will finally see the rise of the foldable phone running on 5G networks. Like Huawei, Samsung has also promised a foldable phone soon after the launch of the Galaxy S10 series.

If anything, next year’s new trends should spell a sigh of relief from this year’s obsession with the notch and multiple cameras.

SEE ALSO: Huawei Mate 20 Pro official cases leak online

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Apple iPhone XS Max undergoes scratch and bend tests

Spoiler alert: It doesn’t bend!

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The latest iPhones from Apple are available in key markets around the globe. Quite a number of people already have their hands on one (including us), so it’s time to review the phone. While we’re still working on our insights about the new iPhone XS, let’s witness the device go through a series of durability tests.

If you’re fond of seeing phones go through sharp blades, you should definitely check out Zack Nelson’s JerryRigEverything channel on YouTube. The latest phone to suffer on his table, of course, is the newest iPhone — the iPhone XS Max to be specific.

Unsurprisingly, the iPhone XS Max practically survived the whole test. The front and back glass body managed to withstand scratches like most high-end smartphones on the market. The stainless steel frame did get scratched too, but Zack pointed out that it’s less prone to damages compared to previous aluminum-made iPhones.

Everything was not perfect, though. Apple claimed that the new iPhone XS and XS Max have “sapphire crystal lens cover” for the dual rear cameras. That’s ideal to fully protect the camera from unsightly scratches which will greatly affect the image quality. Unfortunately, it seems to be just a marketing gimmick. Compared to an actual and pure sapphire crystal face of a Tissot wristwatch, the iPhone’s lens cover is not hard enough and it scratches easily.

At least, the iPhone XS Max didn’t bend at the end of the video.

SEE ALSO: Pocophone F1 gets tested for durability

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