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Meizu launches the world’s first hole-less phone

No USB, SIM, speakers, or buttons

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The year’s surprises just keep coming. Already, the smartphone market’s latest slew of newcomers has blown away last year’s notch-addicted lookalikes. To recap, 2019 will host the foldable phone, the penta-lens phone, and the “waterdrop” phone. Now, another form factor has unexpectedly joined the fray.

Recently, Meizu launched the world’s first “hole-less” phone — the Meizu Zero. The new phone has completely eradicated almost all of a smartphone’s traditional input and output interfaces. Except for a rear and a front-facing camera, the Meizu Zero does not have any physical buttons, slots, or sensors.

Instead of the usual bells and whistles, Meizu used several space-saving techniques that can put Marie Kondo to shame. Rather than tangible power and volume buttons, the Meizu Zero uses touch capacitive side panels to do the same functions. Likewise, the phone uses under-screen piezoelectric transducers, in lieu of actual speakers.

For the rest, the Meizu Zero will rely on wireless technology — charging, transferring data, and even installing SIMs. Instead of SIM cards, Meizu will use the relatively new wireless eSIM technology.

Under the hood, the 5.99-inch AMOLED screen will house a Snapdragon 845 chipset underneath it. It will also have a 20-megapixel front-facing camera. At the back, it will have a 12-megapixel + 20-megapixel rear camera combination.

Currently, Meizu has hidden the phone’s other specifications. However, the launch curiously coincides with Vivo’s own announcement of an edge-less smartphone. Regardless, the Meizu Zero heralds another new branch in the smartphone market’s exodus away from the derided camera notch.

SEE ALSO: Meizu launches 15 line in celebration of their 15th year

Apps

Finally! Grab users may now pay directly using GCash

Much-awaited partnership

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GCash Grab

Grab Philippines and GCash have finally struck a partnership deal that will make payments on the superapp even easier and more convenient.

Starting February, users will be able to add GCash as a direct payment method on the Grab app, making cashless transactions on food and grocery deliveries, car transport, and other services cashless.

Prior to the collaboration, GCash users could only send money from their account to their GrabPay wallet, and vice-versa, causing a bit of hassle switching in between apps on one’s phone screen.

The partnership also means there will be no more transaction fees unlike before when Grab users have to cash in using their credit or debit cards or linked bank accounts.

Grab customers may also avail of GCash exclusive deals, and even get treats when they pay using the e-wallet.

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Samsung offers $100 for Galaxy S23 preorders

Or the upcoming Galaxy Book

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The Galaxy S23 series is coming. Samsung has officially scheduled the first Galaxy Unpacked event of the year for early February, heralding the coming of the Galaxy S23 series. While the flagship series will certainly wow a lot of users, buying one might crumple bank accounts so soon after the holidays. Luckily, Samsung is holding an early reservation promo ahead of the Galaxy Unpacked event.

If you reserve either the new Galaxy S23 or the new Galaxy Book now, Samsung is giving away US$ 50 worth of Samsung Credit. Additionally, users can reserve both devices and get US$ 100 worth of credit for use on any eligible products in the store.

Simply by signing up with your email address, you can use this link to save up to US$ 100 when you shop with Samsung.

The promo ends next Wednesday, February 1, by 11:59pm EST.

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Apple halts development of in-house chip

Broadcom is still in

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Apple is currently on a quest to reduce its reliance on third-party components for its devices. For the most part, the company is successful in doing so. Apple Silicon is already an important part of the brand’s identity — with work on more in-house components ongoing. Now, Apple is reportedly pausing development on one of its upcoming chips.

According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple will delay the development of its in-house connectivity chip. In the meantime, the brand will keep relying on Broadcom for the same components, going into the iPhone 15 series.

To be clear, the paused component only deals with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. Apple is still developing its in-house modem for 5G connectivity — according to outside reports, at least. While the Broadcom deal will still continue, Qualcomm might still get the axe after Apple develops its replacement chip.

Given the positive response to Apple Silicon, building more in-house components might ultimately work well for the brand. If anything, the company can rest easier by controlling how one of its components is produced.

Besides Apple, other brands are also developing their in-house chipsets to rival component makers like Qualcomm. Google, for instance, is doing relatively well with the Tensor lineup. Additionally, though the upcoming series will rely on Qualcomm, Samsung is currently working to bring the Exynos lineup to match current standards.

SEE ALSO: Apple iPhone 15 Rumor Roundup: Goodbye Pro Max, hello Ultra

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