News

HTC’s ‘unexpected surprise’ is surprisingly disappointing

Published

on

HTC U Ultra announcement

Last week, HTC Taiwan’s Facebook page teased a new phone launch for March 20. The announcement finally came, but it’s actually something we had known about for the past couple of months.

The logical guess was the arrival of a successor to last year’s flagship HTC 10, which was revealed around this time in 2016. Instead, we’re all being treated to a more expensive version of the underwhelming HTC U Ultra that was unveiled last January.

HTC U Ultra Sapphire

The limited edition version adds a sapphire screen to the already premium smartphone. This raises the introductory price from the $750 of the original to — wait for it — $950 after converting from the New Taiwan dollar price of NT$ 28,900. Oh, boy.

Fortunately, the built-in storage has been upped from 64GB to 128GB, but that still isn’t enough to justify the $200 increase. Sure, sapphire displays are a rarity in smartphones, but tests have shown the more ubiquitous Gorilla Glass to be more than sufficient for daily grinds and occasional drops.

This is such a disappointment for long-time HTC fans. The best phone to come from the manufacturer’s factory in recent memory — the Google Pixel — isn’t even branded as an HTC. The U Ultra with its underpowered specs and outrageous price isn’t enough to stand against the flagships we’re seeing this year.

Care to share your strategy with us, HTC?

SEE ALSO: HTC introduces overly expensive U Ultra and smaller U Play

Gaming

Alienware, Hilton Panama opens hotel room for hardcore gamers

If Panama gets too boring

Published

on

What’s more relaxing than lounging on a beach in Panama? Playing Overwatch in the hotel room, of course!

Sand is coarse, irritating, and gets everywhere. Why would you settle for Panama’s sands when you could enjoy PUBG’s new desert map instead?

Finally, Hilton Panama will fulfill your inner gamer’s dreams of playing away from home. In the newly built Room 2425, the hotel has packed in more Alienware in a suite than Mass Effect 3.

Besides Hilton’s usual amenities, guests can enjoy an Alienware PC, equipped with an Intel Core i7-8700 processor, 32GB DDR4 RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti at 11GB, 512GB SSD, and 1TB HDD.

Additionally, if you still want to enjoy the sun, you can take an Alienware 15 gaming notebook with you. The laptop rocks an Intel Core i7-7700 HQ quad-core chip, 32GB DDR4 RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 at 8GB, 256GB SSD, and 1TB HDD.

The room also comes with a 34-inch Alienware monitor for your gaming needs. Further, you can enjoy heavier gaming with a 65-inch 4K OLED TV with 5.1-channel audio support.

If you feel the need to stretch your legs, you can use the room’s Oculus Rift headset. The room fulfills your desire to transport yourself away from boring, old Panama.

Pulling yourself away from the action, you can rest in two king-sized beds and an extravagant bathroom filled with Alienware-branded amenities.

Alienware’s Room 2425 at the Hilton Panama is now available for booking at a steady US $349 per night.

SEE ALSO: Dell G series gaming laptops start at only $749

Continue Reading

News

Apple’s next iPhone might sell for only $550

It comes in dual SIM, too!

Published

on

Much of Apple’s strife with users last year hovered around talks of price. For the first time, an iPhone touched the US $1,000 mark. This year, Apple is likely aiming for the opposite end of the spectrum.

In a recent investor’s note, long-time Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has reported Apple’s plans to release a US $550 iPhone this year.

The cheaper iPhone will reportedly ship with a larger 6.1-inch LCD screen. Usually, Apple has avoided six inches in the past. If true, this year’s iPhones break a huge barrier for Apple.

Moreover, the reported phone will come in two variants: single and dual SIM. The single SIM variant will hover between US $550 and US $650. Meanwhile, the dual SIM variant will ship with pricier range between US $650 and US $750.

Kuo predicts that the phone’s lower price tag and dual SIM capabilities will power Apple’s sales this year. Particularly, he predicts that it will outperform Apple’s other mobile offerings this year.

Prior to the additional report on the 6.1-inch iPhone, Kuo has predicted that this year will see three new iPhone models — the mentioned 6.1-inch iPhone, a 5.8-inch OLED iPhone, and a towering 6.5-inch OLED iPhone.

Additionally, Kuo predicts that one will succeed the iPhone X while another will follow the iPhone SE.

If 2018 does come in threes, it’s shaping up to be a huge year for Apple. Regardless of where your preferences lie, three iPhones will cover any if not all your smartphone needs.

SEE ALSO: Apple iPhone X Review: Is it worth the hype?

Continue Reading

News

LG G7 ThinQ will have a dedicated button for Google Assistant

No ThinQ for you

Published

on

Raise your hands if you enjoyed Samsung’s Bixby button. Now, put those non-existent hands back down. However, if you were one of the scant few who did use it, you might enjoy the upcoming LG G7 ThinQ.

As you might have noticed from leaked renders, LG’s new flagship sports an extra button that curiously looks like a dedicated ThinQ button. Now, we have reports that our hunches have a little bit of truth to them.

According to CNET, the G7’s inconspicuous little button links directly to Google Assistant, rather than LG’s ThinQ AI. The button will occupy the phone’s left edge, opposite the power button on the right.

Even without the button, users can pull up the Google Assistant by long-pressing the home button or through voice commands. A dedicated button will eliminate the need for a long press or for shouting “Okay, Google” in public.

Like LG’s other phones, the G7 will have voice commands exclusive to LG. Previously, these mainly include the various functions available to their camera technology. With the G7, we can hope for a more generalized slew of commands tailored for other phone functions.

With the G7 ThinQ, LG will be the first smartphone maker to ship with a dedicated button for Google. Before, dedicated AI buttons linked only to their brand’s exclusive assistant. Most popularly, Samsung’s Bixby button opened the phone’s assistant of the same name.

Sadly, like Bixby, LG won’t allow G7 users to rebind the button for other apps. This exclusivity is the same pain point that the Bixby button suffered from.

Of course, the LG G7 ThinQ will still launch officially on May 2 in New York. Anything can happen before then. If the reports are true, its Google Assistant button will enjoy more staying power if LG allows us to rebind it for other purposes.

SEE ALSO: LG G7 ThinkQ appears in a promo teaser showing a new angle

Continue Reading

Trending