News

Moto Z2 Force brings shatter-resistant display and flagship specs

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Motorola has announced the Moto Z2 Force, the latest member of the new Z2 family of Moto Mod-compatible smartphones.

Like before, Motorola is keeping the design of its Z2 family consistent. The Z2 Force looks a lot like its Z2 Play sibling with its slim all-metal body, big camera hump on its back, and magnetic points for Moto Mods.

What makes the Z2 Force special is its Moto ShatterShield feature. This assures your 5.5-inch Quad HD AMOLED display will not crack or shatter even after a hard fall to the ground. You won’t need thick tempered glass to protect the Z2 Force’s display unlike other phones in the market.

Another differentiating feature of the Z2 Force is its new dual-rear cameras, which is a first for Motorola’s devices. The phone has two 12-megapixel cameras: one monochrome and one color. It’s pretty similar to the likes of the Huawei P10 and P10 Plus, wherein you get to play with richer monochromatic shots. For selfies, you get a standard 5-megapixel shooter.

Going deeper inside, we have a Snapdragon 835 processor making the phone a flagship-level performer for 2017. It also has ample 4GB of memory and spacious 64GB of expandable storage. A USB-C port is present as both data and audio connectivity since the handset doesn’t have a 3.5mm headphone jack. Because they got rid of the headphone jack, we expected a bigger battery, but no luck with that: The Z2 Force has a much smaller battery than its predecessor’s, from 3500mAh to just 2730mAh.

Motorola also announced the 360 Camera Moto Mod, which can record 360-degree 4K video with 3D audio. It easily snaps on the back of any Moto Z or Z2 series smartphone and is capable of live streaming. The new Moto Mod is priced at US$ 299 and will be available starting August 10.

As for the pricing of the Z2 Force, it’ll be available unlocked for US$ 799 starting August 10 in the US. It’ll also be available in Mexico, Brazil, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa in the coming months.

SEE MORE: Moto Z2 Play Review: To mod or not to mod

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New leak reveals a much, much more expensive AirPods Pro

Costs as much as a midrange phone

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Recently, the rumor mill reignited discussions over an upcoming AirPods launch in the midrange segment. Supposedly, the mid-2020 device will sell for more than a pair of regular AirPods but less than a premium pair of AirPods Pro.

Surprisingly, the rumors are still going. This time, Target, the American superstore chain, has apparently readied its inventory system for an unannounced AirPods product, according to a leak from tech YouTuber Jon Prosser.

The product — named the Apple AirPods (X Generation) — will retail for a staggering US$ 399.99. For reference, the AirPods Pro sells for only $249.99. Given the heightened price, the AirPods (X Generation) is likely a pair of headphones worthy of the price, especially since the AirPods Pro is already the top-of-the-line product for earbuds.

According to a follow-up from Apple Insider, Target employees explained that reserving inventory slots for upcoming products, especially regarding pricing information. However, the official name will likely change on launch.

Additionally, Presser has also asked Apple for a potential launch date. According to another tweet, Apple is still undecided whether to hold an event in March.

Still, with a pair of wireless over-ear headphones, Apple will be ready to take on a market populated by its subsidiary brand Beats and competing brands like Bose, Sony, and JBL. We’re dreading the potential charging case, though.

SEE ALSO: Apple lets you personalize your AirPods case

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Enterprise

Samsung temporarily shuts down infected Galaxy Z Flip factory

Coronavirus strikes again

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The coronavirus epidemic is burning through the technology industry, leaving a trail of delays and shortages in its wake. So far, the virus has already torched Apple’s China-based manufacturers and the entire MWC 2020 event.

For the immediate future, the global epidemic can add Samsung to its list of victims. Previously, the South Korean company saved itself from the crisis, owing to its geographical roots. Unfortunately, if you turn into world news today, the virus has already made its way to South Korea.

In the city of Gumi, one of Samsung’s factory workers has contracted the disease, forcing the company to shut down the entire plant, according to a South Korean news outlet. The entire factory will open again on February 24. Additionally, the infected employee’s floor will remain shut down until February 25.

As for the workers themselves, Samsung has urged those who worked with the employee to put themselves in quarantine and undergo tests for potential infection. The company has also asked all employees to limit travel when possible, conducting business only through video calls.

Of course, Samsung has a tight hold on the South Korea business sector. The closure of just one factory probably won’t affect the company’s supply too much.

The affected Gumi factory specializes in Galaxy Fold and Galaxy Z Flip production. If anything, the temporary closure will only slow the foldable phone down partially. Regardless, it’s not a good look for Samsung, especially if the virus continues to spread across the country.

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Accessories

Apple is likely working on a midrange AirPods Pro

Coming mid-2020

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Have you bought into the wireless earbuds trend? Despite performing at a lesser capacity than wired earphones, wireless earbuds have infiltrated every major player in the tech industry. Currently, Apple, Huawei, and Samsung all sell their own variant of the growing market.

Now, Apple looks to expand their own catalog even further. According to Chinese publication Digitimes, the AirPods maker is developing a budget-friendly version of last year’s AirPods Pro — the AirPods Pro Lite.

Supposedly, Universal Scientific Industrial (USI), a Taiwan-based manufacturer will likely acquire orders from Apple for the upcoming device. The Taiwanese company is working with other manufacturers from China and the US to fulfill the orders.

According to the report, the AirPods Pro Lite will arrive sometime in the middle of the year. However, given the current situation in China, the device’s development might run into a few delays, especially if Apple pursues China-based manufacturers.

Because of the name, the AirPods Pro Lite will likely carry a price tag between the regular AirPods and the premium AirPods Pro. That puts it around US$ 199.

Despite being an accessory, the AirPods lineup is still one of Apple’s most successful products in the current generation. Of course, it helps that the audio accessory almost comes as a requirement for iPhone users.

SEE ALSO: Unboxing the Apple AirPods Pro

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