News

Lenovo brings Vibe X3, Vibe K4 Note multimedia phones to PH

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Lenovo has made quite a splash in the Philippines with great, sub-Php10,000 smartphones like the A7000 Plus, but the Chinese company, which owns Motorola, isn’t shifting its focus away from the midrange. And understandably so, because higher-priced items make a company more money.

Which brings us to the Lenovo Vibe X3 and Vibe K4 Note, two cousins with 5.5-inch, full-resolution displays and mid-market pedigree and all it implies — in the case of Lenovo, Dolby-certified speakers and an app drawer-less user interface on top of last-gen Android software (Lollipop).

Neither of these phones will blow your socks off, though to be fair, it’s rarely the case that in-betweeners ever do.

Lenovo Vibe X3

Lenovo Vibe X3

But if you’re in the market for a reasonably priced device that delivers a big sound and an even bigger viewing experience, Vibe X3 or K4 Note might be a good match for all your multimedia needs.

And it doesn’t hurt that the two Lenovos are powerful in their own right; the higher-end X3 houses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 system-on-a-chip and 3GB of RAM — the same configuration as last year’s flagship LG G4 and BlackBerry Priv phones — the K4 Note, meanwhile, enjoys the same serving of RAM and is built around one of MediaTek’s newer octa-core processors.

Lenovo Vibe K4 Note

Lenovo K4 Note

The X3 and K4 Note also share a similar-looking chassis featuring two front-facing speakers, a tapered back, and a metal band that runs along the sides of the hardware. There’s also a fingerprint scanner and internals that make fast charging possible.

The Lenovo Vibe X3 and Vibe Note 4 cost Php22,099 ($480) and Php10,699 ($230) in the Philippines, respectively, and both will come with a free VR headset when they hit stores this month.

Gaming

Genki finally gives us Bluetooth audio support for the Nintendo Switch

It’s about time!

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When I first bought a Switch, I knew I was getting the best-possible mobile gaming experience available today. However, my high hopes suddenly went downhill once I realized there’s no way of connecting my favorite Bluetooth headphones.

That’s right: Despite being designed for gaming on the go, the Switch has no way of accepting any form of Bluetooth audio — a feature that’s been present on smartphones and other gaming consoles for ages.

If you want sound outside of the built-in stereo speakers, you’d have to connect your headphones or portable speaker to the 3.5mm port. That’s not too bad, but it goes against the truly wireless era smartphones and mobile gadgets are (forcefully) ushering us into.

This is where Genki comes in. It’s a straightforward dongle that plugs into the USB-C port of the Switch and enables you to connect any Bluetooth audio device to the Nintendo console.

What’s great is that Genki draws minimal power from the console and can even provide sound to two devices at once thanks to the power of Bluetooth 5.0.

This is a simple solution to a problem Nintendo should’ve addressed long time ago. The Switch has been available for over a year now, and no first-party accessories have been released to add Bluetooth support.

It’s currently being funded on Kickstarter with only four days left to reach it’s US$ 30,000 goal. Clearly, people are seeing the need for Genki, since it has already amassed nearly US$ 400,000 as of writing!

There’s still time to pledge, but the cheapest US$ 29 deal is already gone and the US$ 49 Day One Edition is also no longer available. The estimated delivery date is October 2018.

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Deals

Huawei P20 Lite and Nova 2i are now priced cheaper in the Philippines

To make way for new Huawei midrange phones

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Huawei P20 Lite | GadgetMatch

Huawei is set to unveil new smartphones in the coming weeks as competitive midrange offerings. In the Philippines, we already know that upcoming Nova 3i is going to be priced just below PhP 16,000, which is the same as the slightly older P20 Lite model. To make way for the new phone (or phones), Huawei just slashed the retail prices of two of their best-selling midrangers.

Effective immediately, the Huawei P20 Lite is now only PhP 13,990 which is two thousand pesos below its original price. Since the P20 Lite is now cheaper, the Huawei Nova 2i gets another price cut to just PhP 11,990.

Both phones sport Kirin 659 processors, Full HD+ displays with tall aspect ratios, dual rear cameras, and rear fingerprint readers. Design-wise, the P20 Lite looks a lot its P20 sibling with a notched display and glass back, while the Nova 2i features a metal unibody.

If you wanna know more about the P20 Lite, we have a video review that you can watch below:

We also have one for the Nova 2i:

SEE ALSO: Huawei Nova 3i pre-order details and price in the Philippines

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Enterprise

The US finally lifts sanctions over ZTE

They can make phones again!

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If you’ve followed your history classes closely, you’ll know that relations between China and the US have been tenuous throughout the years. As of late, Chinese companies — specifically, ZTE — and the US government have constantly been at loggerheads with each other.

Now, a new chapter is finally trying to close off this volume in the China versus US saga.

Following ZTE’s eventual compliance with trade sanctions, the US government has lifted their indefinite ban over the company’s deals with American businesses. Once again, ZTE is free to obtain the parts essential to their phones from the US.

Previously, the US government initiated the ban in response to ZTE’s violations of trade policies with Iran. For reparation, lawmakers offered to stave off more repressive sanctions if ZTE paid fines and replaced their erring employees.

Despite the offer, ZTE failed to comply with these conditions. As a result, the US had no choice but to ban ZTE from initiating business with any American company. This presented a crippling scenario for the company. ZTE’s phones rely heavily on American components including Qualcomm, the company’s chip supplier.

For months, ZTE has crawled through a terrible limbo of being physically incapable of producing any phones. The company’s employees were left to twiddle their thumbs.

Eventually, President Donald Trump tried to rescue the company, citing lost Chinese jobs because of the job. Unfortunately, his rescue efforts came to no avail.

Now, the US has finally acquiesced to give ZTE another chance. Finally, ZTE took the offer and complied with US demands. The company has changed its board and paid US$ 1.4 billion in fines. Additionally, the company has added a compliance team hired by the US to monitor ZTE’s actions should they violate policies again.

Overall, this entire saga is a symptom of the US’ distrust over the Chinese agenda. Besides ZTE, Huawei, and Xiaomi are also feeling the heat of US tensions. At least, the ZTE brouhaha has ended. For now, at least.

SEE ALSO: ZTE’s new concept phone has two notches

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