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Huawei Mate 9 has two rear cameras, gets better the more you use it

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Huawei took the mystery out of the Mate 9 when it officially introduced its latest signature phone at a launch event in Munich, Germany.

The introduction comes at a crucial time for the Chinese OEM, which is said to be losing its step in its native country where sales have declined through the previous quarter. Apple is wrestling with declining interest in the iPhone; Samsung is still picking up the pieces after a series of Note 7 (R.I.P.) explosions.

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And with the Mate 9, Huawei is hoping to seize the unique opportunity that has presented itself. At a glance, the Mate 9 is very much like the Mate 8 before it — not just in terms in design, but also in terms of purpose and positioning. It’s a metal phone fitted with a big, 5.9-inch screen and loads of attractive tech, including Huawei’s homegrown Kirin 960 chip that is said to give the iPhone 7 a run for its processor money.

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Huawei Mate 9

It also has fingerprint hardware on the rear; a 4,000mAh battery with fast charging over a USB Type-C port (almost 60 percent after a 30-minute charge; a full charge after 90 minutes); an IR blaster for controlling TVs, entertainment systems, and the like; and a custom interface that has been tweaked for familiarity on top of Android 7.0 Nougat.

Speaking of software tweaks, Huawei says the phone learns its owner’s behavior over time and optimizes itself to get faster the longer it is used. Which is a bold claim considering that many Android phones suffer from performance issues further down their life cycle, not to mention Huawei stands to gain nothing from making a phone that ages like fine wine. It might even hurt the company’s flagship release cycle down the road.

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The Mate 9’s backside is home to a pair of Leica-branded cameras, similar to the Huawei P9. One camera, a 12-megapixel unit, shoots in color, while the other, 20-megapixel unit shoots in black and white, thus producing rich, detailed, and color-accurate shots. Or, at least, that’s the idea. We can’t say with certainty until we get our hands on a retail unit.

Perhaps the only “meh” choices here are the screen resolution — a 1080p affair (read: non-Quad HD) — and the price. The Mate 9 will retail for 699 euros (nearly $780) apiece when it launches across Europe and in select Asian markets at some point in the next month. It’s coming to the U.S., too, albeit at a much later date.

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Like the P9, the backside is home to a pair of Leica-branded cameras

 

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Mate 9 offers fast charging via a Type-C port

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There’s 64GB of expandable storage

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Essential fires 30 percent of workers, announces new mobile device

No, it’s not a smartphone

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Despite enjoying a year in smartphone royalty, Essential just isn’t that essential anymore. Preceding the Essential Phone’s launch, the startup gained substantial hype owing to its ownership. Headed by Android co-founder Andy Rubin, it promised an unrivaled Android experience wrapped inside a beautiful package.

Truly, the first Essential Phone garnered positive reviews across the board. Among others, it was one of the more beautiful phones in 2017. Unfortunately, the phone’s price deterred most users from switching. Naturally, the startup’s first outing failed to meet expectations.

Drawing from this initial disappointment, Essential hinted at an eventual buyout a few months ago. Moreover, Rubin cancelled the Essential Phone 2’s development. However, months later, the startup (and everyone else) clearly exaggerated its demise. The company and its plans for a second phone still exist.

Sadly, its continued existence is still in dire jeopardy. The company has recently announced major layoffs in its workforce. As of today, Essential Products has fired 30 percent of its employees.

Despite the astonishing number, the startup has maintained its silence on possible reasons for the pink slips. One can only assume that this stems from its failed sales targets. Regardless, Essential remains hopeful for the future. “We are confident that our sharpened product focus will help us deliver a truly game-changing consumer product,” according to a spokesperson for the startup.

Reportedly, Essential is already working on a second mobile device for the future. Unfortunately, the planned device will not succeed the Essential Phone. Instead, it will leverage artificial intelligence to deliver an autonomous mobile experience.

Notably, the startup hesitates to use the word “smartphone.” While the device can make calls and send messages, it hopes to do more. For one, it can call, message, and plan events on its own without user input. Essentially, the device will replace humans as the primary digital communicators.

By the end of this year, Essential will out a prototype for this device. By then, the startup will finally reveal a possible roadmap for the future. Presently, the future-less startup’s survival is anything but assured.

SEE ALSO: Essential Phone is now a true Pixel-like flagship Android phone for only $399

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Xiaomi confirms 10GB RAM and 5G connectivity of the Mi Mix 3

Are we ready for these advancements?

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Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S | GadgetMatch

Xiaomi is set to announce their latest flagship phone — the Mi Mix 3. While the phone has been leaked a number of times already (but not as much as the Pixel 3), there are some features we’d like to get early confirmation for. Thankfully, Xiaomi gave us two teasers than confirmed not just one, but two major features of their upcoming smartphone.

When Xiaomi announces the Mi Mix 3, it’ll be the first phone to officially have 10GB of memory. OPPO did try to make a 10GB version of the Find X, but it’s probably sitting in their office at the moment.

To be honest, we’re not sure if it’s logical to have a phone with 10GB of memory, but we’re already at that stage. The Mi Mix 3 will probably have a lot more memory to spare than most standard laptops people currently own.

The second confirmed feature is something we’re already expecting — 5G connectivity. The Mi Mix 3 is one of the world’s first 5G-capable phones. It could even be the first widely available 5G phone if Xiaomi will release the Mi Mix 3 to its key markets immediately.

A lot of users probably won’t be able to take advantage of 5G for now, but this will make the Mi Mix 3 future-proof.

Other than these two, not much has been revealed yet about the Mi Mix 3. Xiaomi is teasing the phone as a device wherein art meets technology. Well, the existing Mi Mix series is already proof of that, but the Mi Mix 3 will surely bring something new to the table.

The Mi Mix 3 will be officially announced on October 25 in Beijing, which signals that the phone will be available in China first. We’re expecting the phone to retail internationally shortly after, just like the Mi Mix 2S.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi teases Mi Mix 3 in full, reveals pop-up mechanism for cameras

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Malaysia

Vivo Y81i arrives as affordable full-screen smartphone

Notch and all

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Vivo may be becoming more aggressive in the midrange and premium segments, but that doesn’t mean they’re letting go of the budget range just yet.

The Y81i is a testament to that, and it just unveiled itself in Malaysia. It’ll retail for MYR 599, which converts to around US$ 144.

It’s similar to the recently launched Y81 in a lot of ways, including the notched 6.22-inch 720p display, 13- and 5-megapixel rear and front cameras, and 3260mAh battery.

The main differences — and reason why this model is cheaper — is the lower-end MediaTek MT6761 processor, 2GB of memory, and 16GB of storage for the Y81i.

There’s no fingerprint scanner on board, but it does come with face recognition for quick unlocking.

The available colors are black and red. No word yet when this will reach other countries.

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