News

Huawei Mate X will launch in late 2019, runs Kirin 990 Processor

Also with some design tweaks

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Huawei is on track to launch its 5G foldable phone, the Mate X before the end of the year, reps from the company told GadgetMatch during briefings at their Shenzen HQ earlier this week. 

We were told the phone will debut with the yet to be announced Kirin 990 processor, Huawei’s latest AI-based system on a chip (SoC) and the same quad-camera system as the P30 Pro

Mate X design changes

The Mate X team has been working overtime on last minute design tweaks. Ensuring the device can survive the rigors of real world use.

Huawei representaives told GadgetMatch, the durability of the display has been their top priority. Unlike its rival the Galaxy Fold from Samsung, the display on Mate X folds outwards, making it more usable, but also exposing it constantly to the elements. 

Mate X 5G that Huawei CEO Richard Yu was spotted using. Image from Weibo

To address this, Huawei is also working on a solution that can “protect the screen at all times.” It’s described as a screen protector of sorts that will go over the 5 layers that make up the display. 

Tweaks are also being made to the Falcon Hinge that supports the screen as it flexes and folds back into place. 

The latest iteration of the device features a new eject/release button that’s now flushed against the lipstick shaped handle that contains the majority of the phone’s internals, similar to what Mobile Group CEO Richard Yu was photographed with recently.

The design update corrects a flaw on the version of the Mate X we saw at MWC last February. That model had a protruding button which could sometimes trigger and unfold the display when placed, button down, on a table. 

Delay on foldables

The hype surrounding foldable phones took a hit last April when multiple reviewers of the Samsung Galaxy Fold exposed critical flaws that broke its display. The phone was effectively recalled, and its launch date pushed back. The delay has bought Huawei more time to fine tune its own foldable product. 

Recently Samsung announced it’s almost ready to reintroduce the Galaxy Fold, possibly some time in September in an effort to go head-to-head with the next iPhone. Apple is also rumored to be working on a foldable phone, but that won’t see the light of day until 2021 at the earliest. 

While very much an experimental, first generation product, it’s still interesting to see who wins this foldable phone war. Good news is that from the looks of it, we won’t have to wait long to find out. 

News

OPPO Watch: Pricing and availability in the Philippines

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OPPO Watch

Announced months ago in China and launched globally at the start of the month, the OPPO Watch is also coming to the Philippines.

The OPPO Watch bears an undeniable resemblance with the Apple Watch. But the device has a larger 46mm variant with a 1.91-inch AMOLED curved display. Meanwhile, the 41mm variant has a 1.6-inch AMOLED display.

For now, only the 41mm variant will come to the Philippines.

It has five workout modes: Fitness Run, Fat Burn Run, Outdoor Walk, Outdoor Cycling, and Swimming. It has the usual plate of tracking measurements including heart rate and sleep tracking. It also comes with Google Fit in its software.

It does run Wear OS but with OPPO’s own customization. This means Google apps integration should be seamless.

The 41mm variant comes with a 300mAh battery, powering the watch for up to 24 hours normally and up to 14 days on Power Saver mode. It’s compatible with OPPO’s VOOC Flash Charging tech.

Pricing and availability

The OPPO Watch 41mm will be available in black for PhP 12,990 in all OPPO concept and online stores and exclusive e-commerce partner Lazada.

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News

Google is killing the Pixel 4 just nine months after launch

Making way for the Pixel 5

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Google’s flagship Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL are now discontinued. The announcement is shocking because the phones were launched just nine months ago and the company just recently announced its younger sibling — the Pixel 4a.

It’s worth noting that Google usually followed an 18-month sale cycle with its previous offerings. Going off course from the usual trend, Google has already confirmed the imminent arrival of Pixel 5 along with the Pixel 4a 5G.

“Google Store has sold through its inventory and completed sales of Pixel 4 and 4XL,” Google said in a statement to Business Insider. However, some variants are still said to be available in other regions for the time being. If you’re lucky, you can still search for pending stock with an offline seller or even marketplaces like Amazon.

The Pixel 4 series wasn’t able to take-off and meet expectations because its sale was limited to a few regions. It’s the first phone to feature radar and backed with Project Soli, it could offer the fastest secure face unlock on a smartphone. It further helped enable motion gestures on the phone, something no other phone has been able to so far.

But, its unique selling point also became the biggest hurdle to its sale. Markets like India do not have any regulation around civilian radar usage and the phone couldn’t compete in such price-sensitive environments.

Even in developed countries, Apple and Samsung continued to dominate the premium segment. The phone is an excellent piece of hardware that churns out pictures that are often comparable to a DSLR. But, poor battery, marketing, and brand recognition just couldn’t make the phone an ideal iPhone competitor.

Watch our Pixel 4a Unboxing and Review.

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Computers

Apple’s macOS Big Sur Public Beta is now available for download

It can still run on your old 2013 MacBooks and iMacs

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Good news for MacBook and iMac users, you can now start testing out the Public Beta release of Apple’s macOS Big Sur.

Here’s a list of supported devices:

  • MacBook (2015 and later)
  • MacBook Air (2013 and later)
  • MacBook Pro (Late 2013 and later)
  • Mac mini (2014 and later)
  • iMac (2014 and later)
  • iMac Pro (all models)
  • Mac Pro (2013 and later)

If your Mac is supported, you can head over to Apple’s Beta Program Website to enroll your device for download.

Just a refresher, Big Sur is the latest macOS update that was announced during Apple’s WWDC 2020 event together with iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and watchOS 7. Other than performance improvements, you also get a revised look with a simpler and more seamless UI compared to older versions of California-touting macOS versions including  Catalina, Mojave, High Sierra, and Sierra.

Another addition to Apple’s continuous Mac improvements are the newest 27-inch iMac with Intel’s latest Core i9 chipsets, before they ditch Intel-based architecture and completely rely on their in-house ARM chipsets — starting with the upcoming Apple Silicon-powered MacBook that should be available in the market as early as 2021.

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