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Huawei is ‘giving up’ on cheap phones

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It was only a couple of days ago when we gave Huawei’s budget-friendly GR3 2017 our seal of approval. But suddenly, out of nowhere, a high-ranking executive says the Chinese company will soon stop producing such phones.

In an interview documented by Bloomberg, Huawei’s chief of consumer division Richard Yu had this to say:

“We are giving up the very low-end devices because the margin in this is extremely low, and it’s not making enough profit for us.”

Yu followed it up by saying Huawei’s current focus is on Europe and other more developed countries like China and Japan, where “the economy is healthy and people are able to consume [the phones].”

This, in turn, means Huawei will be stepping it up for the launch of the upcoming Mate 10 flagship. The Chinese brand plans to reveal the smartphone around the same time the hotly anticipated tenth-anniversary iPhone will come out, which should happen in September.

Huawei Y5 2017

Comparing the Mate 10 to the next iPhone, Yu said their next flagship will have “much longer battery life with a full-screen display, quicker changing speed, better photographing capability, and many other features that will help us compete with Apple.”

Sounds like a winner to us, and if it’s anything like the Mate 9 we reviewed earlier this year, it’s sure to make a splash among the Galaxies and Pixels, as well.

It’s just a shame Huawei is letting go of its lower-end division. As much as we appreciate the efforts of Xiaomi, Vivo, and OPPO at this price range, having more competition would raise the stakes, and ultimately provide consumers with even better affordable phones down the line.

SEE ALSO: Huawei’s profits dropped despite record sales in 2016

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Apple iPad Air and iPad mini (2019): Price and availability in the Philippines

The new Apple tablets are here

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Apple iPad mini (2019) | Image credit: Apple

Apple silently unveiled two new tablets, the new iPad Air and iPad mini. Basically, these new iPads are the successors to their respective older models and they complete Apple’s latest lineup of tablets.

Both iPads are powered by Apple’s new A12 Bionic chip and come with a Retina Display with True Tone technology. The forms of the two haven’t changed much, but the iPad Air comes with a bigger display and slimmer bezels.

As expected, there’s Apple Pencil support (the first generation only) for both of the tablets, just like the basic iPad from last year.

Apple iPad Air (2019) | Image credit: Apple

The new iPad Air will come in two storage configurations: 64GB and 256GB. Price starts at PhP 29,990 for the Wi-Fi only model and goes up to PhP 39,490. There are also Wi-Fi + Cellular versions with LTE connectivity and they go for PhP 37,990 and PhP 47,490.

The new iPad mini will also come in 64GB and 256GB storage configurations. The base Wi-Fi only models are priced at PhP 23,990 and 33,490, respectively. If you want LTE connectivity, you’ll have to pay PhP 31,990 or P 41,490 depending on your storage configuration.

As of writing, the new iPads are labeled as “currently unavailable.” There’s no estimated time of shipping yet, which is understandable because the tablets were just unveiled yesterday. We’ll update the article when we receive more info.

SEE ALSO: Microsoft says you need a real computer, not an iPad

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Black Shark 2 launches with a pressure-sensitive screen

It sports 12GB of RAM!

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Gaming smartphones occupy a strange position in the market. When the category started, it consisted mostly of devices with high-end hardware. The gaming aspect was just a nice addition supplemented by a few gaming-centric features. Sadly, the first gaming smartphones funneled into a premium niche.

Years after, the gaming smartphone evolved into a more versatile device. The category now sports several premium features. For example, Xiaomi has recently launched the Black Shark 2, a gaming smartphone that puts the premium on gaming.

The Black Shark 2 touts a Samsung-sourced 6.39-inch AMOLED screen, pumping out images at 2340 x 1080 resolution. Additionally, the display’s brightness goes up to 430 nits. Latency has also been reduced to 43.5ms. It has motion interpolation, optimizing the display for gaming purposes.

The screen also comes with new pressure-sensitive features. Users can map separate button functionalities for both left and right flanks, like how a game controller works. Both buttons trigger with additional pressure. It will also come with an under-screen fingerprint sensor.

Under the hood, the Black Shark 2 boasts a Snapdragon 855 chipset, Adreno 640 GPU, up to 12GB of RAM, and up to 256GB of internal storage. Liquid Cooling 3.0 will keep the phone in workable temperatures even during heavy gameplay sessions.

For photography, the smartphone carries a dual 48-megapixel + 12-megapixel AI rear camera combination and a 20-megapixel f/2.0 front-facing shooter. Speaking of front-facing, it also has two front-facing speakers, preventing any blockages during gameplay.

Complementing this heavy machinery, the Black Shark 2 will use a huge 4000mAh battery, with 27W fast charging capabilities.

The Black Shark 2 is already available in China. A lighter 6GB+128GB variant retails for CNY 3,200 (US$ 475). Meanwhile, the stronger 12GB+256GB variant retails for CNY 4,200 (US$ 625). It comes in either Shadow Black or Frozen Silver.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi Black Shark 2 shows up in quick hands-on video

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New iPad Air and iPad mini improve on performance, add Pencil support

Serious updates to beloved models

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iPad Air (2019)

Apple made a surprise announcement today, releasing two new iPads in the Air and mini lines.

The first is the new 10.5-inch iPad Air which comes in a slimmer design. It offers much-improved performance too with the A12 Bionic chip and Apple’s Neural Engine.

Apple claims that the new iPad Air offers a 70 percent boost in performance and twice the graphics capability compared to its predecessor. As expected, there’s Apple Pencil support plus the same Wi-Fi and Gigabit‑class LTE connectivity found in iPad Pro models.

iPad mini (2019)

The other release is the long-awaited 7.9-inch iPad mini update which also comes with Apple Pencil support, an A12 Bionic chip, and Retina display with True Tone tech and wide color support.

It’s a major upgrade to the smallest member of the iPad family. Apple touts it as a “take-anywhere notepad for sketching and jotting down thoughts” wherever you go.

“iPad continues to provide magical new experiences for a growing range of uses where it is the absolute best device, from playing games in augmented reality to note-taking and drawing with Apple Pencil, from streaming HD movies and editing 4K films to learning to develop apps with Swift Playgrounds,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.

Both models are offered in silver, space gray, and gold with 64GB and 256GB storage configurations.

The new iPad mini starts at SG$ 599 for the Wi-Fi model and SG$ 799 for the cellular variant. The newest iPad Air starts at SG$ 749 for the Wi-Fi model and SG$ 949 for the cellular version.

The two iPads are available beginning today in Singapore, the US, and many more countries in multiple continents.

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