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Huawei officially announces the Nova 3 and Nova 3i

New flagship and midrange phones from Huawei

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Huawei has announced their latest phones: the Nova 3 and Nova 3i. In a grand launch in China, the company made the two phones official after the long wait. The looks of the Nova 3 phones are based on the P20 series, but they offer a lot more value for the money.

Nova 3

The Nova 3 is Huawei’s newest flagship-level offering which sits below the P20 series. Despite having a different name, the Nova 3 borrows a number of design cues and specs from the P20. The Nova 3 is also powered by the Kirin 970 processor along with a built-in NPU chip for AI capabilities. The GPU Turbo feature, which will soon arrive on existing Huawei phones, comes out of the box and promises better gaming performance.

The phone sports a 6.3-inch Full HD+ display encased in a full-glass body. Just like with the P20, Huawei will offer the Nova 3 in exciting colors: Primrose Gold, Light Blue, Blue Purple, and Bright Black.

Huawei Nova 3 in Primrose Gold, Iris Purple, and Light Blue

Huawei phones have been known to have great cameras, and the Nova 3 will be no different because there are four cameras on board the device. At the back, there’s a 16-megapixel color sensor and a 24-megapixel monochrome sensor. In front, there’s another 24-megapixel shooter accompanied by a 2-megapixel depth sensor for sharper portrait shots.

All of these features are run by Android 8.1 Oreo skinned with EMUI 8.2. A large 3750mAh battery keeps the phone on and charges quickly with Huawei SuperCharge through USB-C.

The Nova 3 is priced at CNY 2,999 (US$ 445) in China for the variant with 6GB of memory and 128GB of storage.

Nova 3i

Then there’s the Nova 3i which is basically a more affordable, toned-down version of the Nova 3. It still has a 6.3-inch Full HD+ display and runs Android 8.1 Oreo with EMUI 8.2.

To make the Nova 3i cheaper, the specs have to be adjusted. Instead of the Kirin 970, it’s got a midrange-class Kirin 710 processor but still with up to 6GB of memory and 128GB of expandable storage.

Four cameras are still on board the Nova 3i, but the rear shooters have a different combo. Gone is the rear monochrome sensor which has been replaced by a 2-megapixel depth sensor to help the main 16-megapixel shooter. Don’t worry, the selfie cameras of the Nova 3i are kept similar to the Nova 3’s.

Huawei Nova 3i in Iris Purple

Battery capacity is also different on the Nova 3i. A slightly smaller 3340mAh gives juice to the phone and it charges through a micro-USB port.

The Nova 3i has a launch price of CNY 1,999 (US$ 300) for the 4GB/128GB variant while the 6GB/64GB variant is priced at CNY 2,199 (US$ 330).

We already have a hands-on of the Nova 3i which you can read here.

SEE ALSO: Huawei Nova 3i is a beautiful phone with quad-camera goodness

News

Apple’s iPhone 13 series won’t get a USB-C port

Lightning connector is still the king

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Apple’s iPhones have shipped with a Lightning port for the longest time, and the trend won’t be changing anytime soon. While USB-C continues to rule the industry today, Apple shall stick with the conventional port for an indefinite period of time.

The latest research note by TFI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple will not ditch the Lightning connector in favor of a USB Type-C standard on iPhones anytime soon. And the decision to do so apparently has a lot to do with two key reasons — profits and longevity.

“We believe that USB-C is detrimental to the MFi business’s profitability, and its waterproof specification is lower than Lightning and MagSafe,” he said in the note, as quoted by AppleInsider. MFi stands for Apple’s Made for iPhone (MFi) program, allowing Apple to license the proprietary technology to other brands for making compatible accessories.

Kuo also predicts that the Pro iPhone model might lose the notch, favoring a hole-punch camera that’s popular on Android phones. However, he also adds that a shift to Touch ID is unlikely.

The note also says that we can expect an iPhone SE option with 5G compatibility. This is actually a no-brainer since every phone maker is gearing up for the boom, and the developing markets are yet to deploy full-scale 5G, giving some time to Apple.

Lastly, he speculates that the iPhone 13 Pro successor will be Apple’s main iPhone release to abandon the notch and “adopt” the hole-punch display design. Android phone makers have taken a similar approach, and it has worked well so far for everyone.

Users have long asked for a USB-C port on the iPhone because it eliminates the need to carry a Lightning cable wherever you go. Thanks to standardization, a USB-C wire is capable of charging a MacBook, Android phone, third-party accessories, as well as power banks. Having one universal port helps massively in enabling easy portability. In fact, even the iPad Pro has a USB-C port available now.

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Apps

Facebook to pay $650 million in facial recognition lawsuit

The company that never learns

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A federal judge has approved a settlement in which Facebook will pay US$ 650 million to a class-action lawsuit over its tagging feature. The lawsuit alleged that facial recognition technology, used to tag photos, infringed on users’ privacy.

Facebook users who submitted claims will get at least US$ 345 from the company, the AP reported. The lawsuit had claimed that the adoption of facial recognition technology was being done without seeking permission from users. The social network also failed to inform the users how long their data was being stored.

While many of us view the tagging option as a feature, the platform collects sensitive facial recognition data, whose handling procedures remain opaque. Facebook ended photo-tagging suggestions in 2019 and instead opted for a model to allow users to control what data the platform has over their face.

“Overall, the settlement is a major win for consumers in the hotly contested area of digital privacy,” wrote Judge Donato. “The standing issue makes this settlement all the more valuable because Facebook and other big tech companies continue to fight the proposition that a statutory privacy violation is a genuine harm.”

The class-action case was first filed in Illinois in 2015, suggesting a violation of the Biometric Information Privacy Act. Facebook initially agreed to pay US$ 550 million last year, but another $100 million was added to the judge’s insistence.

 

Attorney Jay Edelson, who originally filed the suit in Illinois in April 2015, told the Chicago Tribune that the settlement was a “big deal.” He also tweeted that the settlement, “was the largest cash privacy class action settlement in history.”

Facebook has an abysmal track record of managing users’ data. In 2019, The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) imposed a US$ 5 billion penalty on Facebook for misrepresenting users’ ability to control their facial recognition data, as well as other sensitive account metadata.

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Apps

Facebook unveils BARS, a TikTok-like app for rappers

Builiding a community dedicated for rappers

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Facebook has launched a new platform called BARS and it’s specially made for rappers. What’s its unique selling point? Unlike TikTok, BARS does not focus on transitions and lip-syncing to make content.

The app will allow budding rappers to focus on the lyrics rather than investing their time on expensive equipment and studios. You can choose from a wide array of premade beats, which can be leveraged by the rapper with their own lyrics and effects.

It also has a Challenge mode, wherein users can perform freestyle rap while incorporating auto-suggested lyrics. Aspiring rappers can just focus on the lyrics and record themselves to these beats. In addition, the app helps rappers finetune their craft as well with the help of auto-suggested rhymes while the user is writing.

BARS will let you select your rap experience level upon sign-up: Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced. The Beginner selection will provide a handy auto-rhyme dictionary to help kickstart your experience. Advanced rappers get the Freestyle mode with several words to create an instantaneous rap.

Once users finish recording their videos in the app, they can share them across various social media outlets. The app has a TikTok-like feed where the discoverability is maximum. The app also promises “studio quality vocal effects,” including actual AutoTune.

After creating the videos, you can save them to your camera roll and share them on other social media platforms. For now, only a small number of iOS users can download the app in the US. Interested users can also sign up for the waitlist in the app.

BARS Community Manager DJ Iyer revealed in a blogpost that the Coronavirus pandemic has been one of the major reasons behind the creation of the app. “I know access to high-priced recording studios and production equipment can be limited for aspiring rappers. On top of that, the global pandemic shut down live performances where we often create and share our work,” he Iyer added.

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