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Motorola debuts G Stylus and G Power budget smartphones

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Michael Josh test drives the new Moto G Stylus. Image by Enobong Etteh / @BooredAtWork

For many years Motorola has offered some of the best budget phones in the US and it hopes to continue the trend with the launch of two new devices today, the Moto G Power and the Moto G Stylus.

The company says both phones are meant to punch above their weight in terms of battery life, image quality, and overall entertainment experience while maintaining a sub $300 price tag.

I got to spend some time with both phones at Motorola’s Headquarters in Chicago earlier this week. Both phones offer more than what you pay for them – are well built, with better displays than on the previous models, have better cameras, and come with enough features to keep those who don’t want to break the bank on an Android smartphone happy.

Moto G Stylus

The Moto G Stylus is Motorola’s first smartphone to come with a bundled stylus for taking notes, a unique offering in its price range. The only other smartphone with a stylus is Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10 which retails for $700 more. At CES 2020, Samsung also unveiled the mid-range Galaxy Note 10 Light but that phone is currently not available in the US). 

The pen on the G Stylus is tucked away on the bottom right hand side of the phone. You pry it out with your fingernail instead of pushing down to eject. The stylus feels sturdy, not plasticky, with a metallic finish. Touch response felt good.   

Pulling out the stylus while the display is off automatically launches the phone’s built-in Moto Note app. When on, a customizable toolbar pops up instead.

The phone comes 3 cameras, a 48MP main camera, a Macro Vision Camera, and a 117 degree ultra wide angle action camera dedicated for shooting video. The GoPro-esque ultrawide video camera is the same one we saw on the Moto One Action from last year. One very practical features of this action camera is being able to record horizontal videos while holding the phone vertically. 

The cameras come with a host of camera features seen on higher end phones like portrait lighting, spot color, and night mode.   

The Moto G Stylus is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 665 processor and comes with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Motorola is promising 2 days of battery life thanks to its 4000 mAh battery. 

It will retail for $299.99 and is available in Mystic Indigo.

Moto G Power

The Moto G Power, replacing last year’s G7 Power, gets its name from a massive 5000 mAh battery that supposedly should last you up to 3 days on a single charge. 

It’s also intended to bring flagship camera smartphone features to midrange price points. The phone has 3 cameras –  a 16MP wide angle, an 8MP 118 degree ultra wide angle, and a Macro Vision camera with 5th X zoom. 

The G Power run’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 processor, and comes with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. 

It will retail for $249.99 and will be available in Smoke Black.

Both phones share a similar 6.4” Full HD+ display with a 19:9 aspect ratio. 

And come with a close to vanilla implementation of Android based the latest version Android 10. There are a few custom features built in, Moto Experiences they are called, like being able to launch the camera with the flick of a wrist.  

New to these models is a feature called Moto Gametime which lets you block notifications whenever you’re engaged in your favorite game, that a call or message doesn’t get in the way of a PUBG victory.

Both phones will be available in spring this year.

Accessories

Xiaomi’s 200W charger is coming next year

Production starts June

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Xiaomi is reportedly gearing up for the mass production of its 200W HyperCharge next year. This week, the charging wars heated up with iQOO’s rumored 160W charging solution coming out for the iQOO 8. Though the rumor was impressive, Xiaomi’s 200W wired charging solution, which was revealed earlier this year, was always looming in the shadows.

Back in May, the Chinese company official unveiled the charging solution, touting a charge time of just eight minutes for a 4000mAh battery. The solution also boasted a 120W wireless charging compatibility to boot. Naturally, as with most new technologies announced, it takes a while before the company can safely release it for the public. True enough, some reports warned that the blazing fast solution actually degraded batteries.

However, according to Chinese publication MyDrivers, Xiaomi is ready to unleash it to the public. The company is reportedly aiming for production to start as early as June 2022. It will supposedly pair up with Xiaomi’s most premium model next year, the Mi 12 Ultra.

For years, Chinese companies have worked on creating the best charging solutions for consumers. Though most new ones are just experiments at this point, some are already coming out for the market. Besides the impressive 160W charger from iQOO, Samsung is also reportedly working on a much-needed fast charger for next year’s flagships.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi unveils 200W fast charging technology, calls it HyperCharge

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Gaming

Trials of Mana now available on mobile

Mobile gamers might want to try this!

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Since its release in 1995, the Trials of Mana has come a long way. From the 16-bit era to the mobile gaming platform, this game is rich in history spanning 26 years. Now, the 3D remake of the JRPG classic Trials of Mana is now available on mobile.

The mobile version of the game includes many features, including new touch controls,  adjustable graphics settings and cloud save capabilities. Players can also receive two pieces of starting gear to help jumpstart their quest. The starting items are the Rabite Adornment and Silktail Adornment. 

Originally released in Japan as Seiken Densetsu 3 in 1995, Trials of Mana is a remake of the third entry in the classic Mana series. The game features a selectable main cast  with upgradable classes and over 300 different abilities to learn as they discover a world of secrets and mysteries. The series’ action battle system will put players to the test as they encounter enemies. The game was received well by its release on the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Steam platforms.

Price and Availability

Trials of Mana is available on iOS and Android devices via the App Store or Google Play Store. The game is priced at US$ 23.99. 

SEE ALSO: Trials of Mana review: A nice glow up

 

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Gaming

Horizon Zero Dawn’s Aloy is coming to Genshin Impact

Will be available for all players… eventually

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Aloy

Turns out the PlayStation and Genshin Impact collaboration goes beyond PlayStation 5 specific updates. Aloy from the PlayStation game Horizon Zero Dawn will be a playable character on Genshin Impact.

Aloy — a five-star character — will be playable for PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 players via in-game mail when Version 2.1 drops. The character can then be played on any platform thanks to the cross-save feature after being claimed from the PS5 or PS4.

Not a PlayStation player? Fret not. Aloy, will arrive to all players who have reached Adventure Rank 20 on Version 2.2. Her weapon, unfortunately, is a PlayStation exclusive.

Version 2.1 and Version 2.2 will also bring other updates that MiHoyo promised to release in detail shortly. Version 2.1 is coming on October 13, 2021 while version 2.2 will arrive on November 24, 2021. Could these also be clues on when the Horizon Zero Dawn sequel will release? We’ll have to wait and see.

Genshin Impact is a free-to-play open-world action RPG that brings players to the world of Teyvat. The player takes on the role of the mysterious “Traveler,” who sets off on a journey to discover the fate of their lost sibling.

Horizon Zero Dawn was a PlayStation exclusive game that launched in 2017. It received plenty of critical and commercial success. Its sequel — Horizon Forbidden West — is set to arrive in late 2021.

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