News

Huawei is spying on you, says US government

Officials express concern over China

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Hate for the “Made in China” label continues. In a recent hearing, heads of American national security testified against China-bred smartphone brand, Huawei.

The US government’s distrust comes from an alleged disparity between American values and those upheld by the Chinese company. Officials argued that such a company shouldn’t hold a favorable position in their national telco industry.

At the hearing, officials also pleaded for American consumers to boycott Huawei phones. The officials claimed that using them will invite data theft and espionage.

Distrust against the Chinese company is already part and parcel of the US telco industry. Just last month, lawmakers filed a bill to prohibit US officials from using Huawei and ZTE phones.

Prior to the bill, Huawei also suffered a huge blow against its market share in the US when a partnership with US telco AT&T suddenly fell apart. Rumors sparked that government pressure urged AT&T to pull away from the deal.

The recent moves against Huawei are just the latest in a saga that dates as early as 2010.

In their defense, Huawei issued a statement assuring users that their phones pose no risk against cybersecurity. The China-made brand hangs out at the top with Samsung and Apple as one of the world’s biggest smartphone makers.

While Huawei has been relatively safe from spyware scandals, Lenovo, another China-made tech maker, has been heavily reprimanded recently for installing malicious software on their phones.

On the other hand, officials praised American companies for preventing Chinese smartphones from dominating the market. The American telco industry is currently led by Korean company, Samsung.

Regardless of the feud, cybersecurity is a concern that rose to the top in light of recent controversies against both tech brands and governments. Regardless of who’s right, both sides share the responsibility in keeping consumers safe.

SEE ALSO: Huawei Nova 2i receives face unlocking feature in latest update

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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