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Huawei might replace the camera notch by drilling a hole

It’s getting weirder and weirder

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Throughout the past year, phone makers have embarked on an inventing race to eradicate screen bezels. Already, there are two major methods that are dominating the market today.

Due to its ubiquity, everyone already knows about the most popular method — the controversial camera notch. Most brands today are trying to shrink their bezels by stuffing everything into a dedicated notch.

Alternatively, Chinese brands OPPO and Vivo have launched their own version — the retractable camera. The OPPO Find X and the Vivo NEX have achieved their maximum screen-to-body ratio by stuffing their bulky camera into a retractable panel.

Now, a new outlandish method is potentially bursting into the scene this year. According to Korean news site ETNews, Huawei will drill holes into its phones, instead of using a notch. The 6.39-inch LCD screen will feature a hole that houses its front-facing camera.

Through a crude rendering on the site, the phone features a nearly-bezel-free display. A thin sliver at the top houses the speaker, the proximity sensor, and the ambient light sensor.

Image source: ETNews

More importantly, the camera hole conceptually sticks out like a sore thumb, especially on an otherwise pristine screen.

As it stands, there are no provisions which enable apps to accommodate a camera hole. Additionally, Huawei, by itself, likely does not have enough street cred to sway the industry towards new app designs. If it launches, the camera hole will likely obstruct a lot of apps at first.

Despite logistics issues, Huawei still has one or two high-end phones in the pipeline this year. If the rumor proves true, the hole will probably ship with the premium Mate 20 variant.

SEE ALSO: Huawei Nova 3i: Are four cameras a gimmick?

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Samsung reveals Galaxy Note 10+ Star Wars Special Edition

Embrace the dark side

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Samsung and Star Wars have always had the “galaxy” in common and now these two worlds are colliding with the South Korean company’s announcement of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ Star Wars Special Edition.

The collaboration ties directly with the upcoming film Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker which will hit theaters on December 20. The Galaxy Note 10+ Star Wars Special Edition does feature a Skywalker, but it’s one that does not carry that name.

The phone’s design has Kylo Ren all over it. Kylo Ren is the son of Han Solo and Leia Skywalker. He’s also the most prominent user of the dark side of the force in the most recent movies on the film franchise.

The device is all black with some red accents. Also in red is the accompanying S Pen, mimicking the color of the light saber that Kylo Ren carries around. On its back is the Samsung logo as well the logo of the First Order which is essentially the new army inspired by the Galactic Empire.

The special edition smartphone will come in a bundle that includes Galaxy Buds that is also all black with red accents. Also included is a special edition leather case that shows Kylo Ren and a metal badge that acts as a collector’s item.

Pricing and Availability

According to Samsung’s release, The Galaxy Note 10+ Star Wars Special Edition unlocked by Samsung version will be available only in limited quantities and will retail for US$ 1299.99 staring December in USA.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ Review

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Philips Hue is now available in the Philippines

With starter kits included

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Image by GadgetMatch

Philips Hue has been around since 2012. Just two years ago, we listed Philips Hue under must-have devices for a smarter home. Now, they officially launched it in the Philippines.

In case you missed it, the Philips Hue system is not just about “smart bulbs”, it’s also a connected lighting system for your home — strips, spots, lamps, and controls all included. With the excellence of developers, there are more than 700 third-party apps designed for the Hue.

The Philips Hue is responsible for switching light controls and changing colors within the reach of your fingertips. You can personalize and choose from the spectrum of 16 million colors in order to change your interior’s ambiance. It also has a feature that increases the brightness when you wake up in the day.

Other than that, there are also light scenes such as Tropical Twilight or Tokyo Lights, or even a customized scene based on your liking. The light activity can even depend on the music, video, and games you are playing — especially that it has an integration on Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube. Best of all, you can control it through voice commands with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, Microsoft Cortana, and Nest. It’s also compatible with other smart-home platforms such as Samsung SmartThings, Bosch, and Logitech.

Price and availability

The Hue White ambiance Starter Kit includes a Philips Hue White Ambiance Bulb, bridge, and wireless dimmer switch.

Meanwhile, the Hue White and Color Ambiance Kit includes three white and color ambiance bulbs, plus a bridge.

Here are the official prices:

Starter Kits

  • Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Kit — PhP 10,390
  • Philips Hue White Ambiance Kit — PhP 7,490

Bulbs

  • Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Bulb — PhP 2,990
  • Philips Hue White Ambiance Bulb — PhP 1,790

Controls

  • Philips Hue bridge — PhP 3,690
  • Philips Hue wireless dimmer switch — PhP 1,290
  • Philips Hue Motion sensor — PhP 2,690

You can get the Philips Hue in select Power Mac Centers, Switch, iStore, Nifty, Urban Gadgets, Infomax Glorietta, Abenson Global City, and online at the Philips Lighting Official Store on Lazada.

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TikTok will launch a Spotify competitor

Will release in December

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Illustration by MJ Jucutan

For quite a while now, TikTok has captured the short-form social media landscape. Whereas the past had the incredibly popular Vine, the world now has ByteDance’s equally popular platform. However, unlike Vine, TikTok looks like it’s here to stay. And, because of TikTok’s success, ByteDance can already expand beyond its niche.

Reportedly, ByteDance is currently negotiating content deals with major music labels including Sony Music, Universal Music, and Warner Music. The deal supposedly relates to an upcoming, still-unnamed music streaming service. The developer is already amassing a workable cache of songs to include.

Besides the music content, the service will also include a smaller short video archive. The short videos will play over the interface while users search for more music. Additionally, users can sync the music to the videos.

According to the same report, ByteDance will launch the service as early as next month. It will come out first in smaller markets — like India and Indonesia — before a wider worldwide release.

Of course, the service’s popularity is still in question. TikTok is currently considered a security threat in the US.

As for price, the service will cost less than the world’s most popular option, Spotify. However, this alleged price compares Spotify’s current US price of US$ 10. (As such, this doesn’t mean much since Spotify costs less depending on region and package.)

SEE ALSO: Spotify extends free trial to 3 months

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