Smartphones

OnePlus 5 Unboxing: Almost too familiar

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From high expectations to a few missed goals, the OnePlus 5 is as polarizing as its predecessors. While we’re still working on our full review, let’s see what the inside of its box looks like.

Beyond its familiar looks, the OnePlus 5’s packaging stands out, from the signature charging cable to the much-appreciated letter of gratitude from the company’s co-founder.

Our full review is currently in the works, so we must ask: What would you like to know about this sweetly priced flagship? Tell us in the comments section!

SEE ALSO: OnePlus 5 vs OPPO R11: Side-by-side Comparison

News

OPPO F7 Youth officially launches as a budget midrange selfie phone

A toned-down version of the F7

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There’s a new OPPO phone on the block. After launching the F7 and the F7 128GB, OPPO is now giving us the F7 Youth — a toned-down version of the company’s main lineup.

The F7 Youth and the main F7 share a lot in common: a 6-inch Full HD+ 18:9 display, 4GB of memory, 64GB of storage, and the powerful Helio P60 processor. Of course, there are compromises to make it affordable like lower-resolution cameras — 13-megapixel rear and 8-megapixel front — and removal of the fingerprint sensor at the back.

Apart from the missing fingerprint sensor, the F7 Youth also doesn’t have a display notch. If you want a new selfie phone from OPPO but dislike the notch, the F7 Youth is a great option.

The phone also has a large 3410mAh battery, AI features in the camera and battery, Android 8.1 Oreo with ColorOS 5.0, and a micro-USB port.

The F7 Youth comes in similar color options as the F7 with the patterned Diamond Black and sophisticated-looking Solar Red. The phone is priced in the Philippines at PhP 13,990 or roughly US$ 265. The F7 Youth is also known as the Realme 1 in India.

SEE ALSO: OPPO F7 Diamond Black hands-on: Shining bright

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News

HTC launches the notch-less, translucent U12+

Sports an 18:9 display

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Finally, HTC has lifted the veil off its much-anticipated flagship. After weeks of leaks and rumors, the HTC U12+ has arrived on the scene. In a global launch event, the Taiwanese company has completely unveiled both the specs and price of their new flagship.

Unlike most smartphones today, the U12+ will not carry the controversial camera notch. Instead, it sports a 6-inch Quad HD+ screen. The sizable display packs in an 18:9 resolution of 2880 x 1440.

The screen features HTC’s upgraded Edge Sense 2. Besides the usual complement of gesture controls, the feature can now detect which hand is being used. The extra detection allows for convenient one-hand phone handling with gestures.

Under the hood, the U12+ touts the top-of-the-line Snapdragon 845 processor, and comes with 6GB of memory and up to 128GB of internal storage (expandable up to 2TB with a microSD).

Camera-wise, the U12+ snaps photos with a dual 12-megapixel wide-angle (1.4µm, f/1.75) and 16-megapixel telephoto (1.0µm, f/2.6) rear shooter. Additionally, the dual-flash camera supports speedy phase detection and laser autofocus. It also supports up to 2x optical zoom and 10x digital zoom.

On the other hand, the dual 8-megapixel (1.12µm, f/2.0) front shooter touts wide-angle capabilities of up to a 84-degree field of view.

Further, the U12+ can churn out crystal-clear sound with support for active noise cancellation, hi-fi playback, and wireless audio.

For connectivity, the dual SIM phone supports up to dual 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, NFC, Bluetooth 5.0, USB 3.1 Type-C, and HTC Connect for wireless streaming.

Finally, the U12+ owns a 3500mAh battery. According to HTC, it can power through up to 23.8 hours of talk time on 4G. It also supports fast charging with an included Quick Charge 3.0 charger.

It comes in Ceramic Black, Flame Red, and Translucent Blue. Notably, the Translucent Blue variant’s unique design (called Liquid Surface) allows users to see the inner workings of the phone through the back panel.

Online pre-orders are now available. The HTC U12+’s 64GB variant retails for NT$ 23,900 (around US$ 800). Meanwhile, the 128GB variant sells for NT$ 24,900 (around US$ 830).

SEE ALSO: HTC will launch a blockchain-powered phone in October

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Hands-On

Samsung Galaxy A6 Hands-on: Repackaging the older series

A combination of the Galaxy J7 Pro and Galaxy A8

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The latest midrange phones of Samsung are finally hitting the stores, but they got us a little confused. Since the introduction of the Galaxy A series, it has always been the family of upper-midrange Samsung phones with a premium design. In 2018 though, Samsung is blending the Galaxy A and Galaxy J’s designs; the result is the new Galaxy A6 phones. There’s a regular and a better plus variant, but let’s check out the former first.

This is the Galaxy A6: A phone with a 5.6-inch Super AMOLED display and an 18.5:9 aspect ratio or Infinity Display, as Samsung calls it. The resolution of the display is underwhelming at just 1480 x 720 pixels or 294ppi, but it’s still pretty sharp. The Infinity Display of the Galaxy A6 doesn’t curve to the sides unlike with the Galaxy S9 flagship, yet the bezels are minimal.

The vibrant Super AMOLED display is a common Samsung trait

We have the usual sight in the front including the 16-megapixel f/1.9 selfie camera paired with its own LED flash, earpiece, and sensors. There’s no branding on the face of the phone so when the display is turned off, it looks sleek and clean on the table.

Too bad it doesn’t have the Always On Display feature, even though it has an AMOLED screen.

It’s an Infinity Display but not edge-to-edge

Having the loudspeaker at the side has now been a staple among Samsung midrange phones. It’s a much better placement than on the bottom since you don’t cover or muffle it when viewing in landscape orientation. This is ideal for watching videos or playing mobile games.

Both the loudspeaker and power button are on the right side of the phone

The volume buttons are on the right

Those who dislike making a choice between a microSD card or secondary SIM card will be glad to see the triple card slots of the Galaxy A6. There are two card trays inside the phone: one for the main nano-SIM card and another for the second nano-SIM and the microSD card.

You have to take out two trays to get all your cards inside

The body of the phone is mainly made up of aluminum with U-shaped antennas similar to the Galaxy J7 Pro’s frame. To be honest, the Galaxy A6 can easily be mistaken for the Galaxy J7 Pro if not for the rear camera. Speaking of, the Galaxy A6 has a 16-megapixel f/1.7 rear sensor inside an area shared with the fingerprint sensor. Thankfully, it’s identical to the Galaxy A8’s and Galaxy S9’s placement.

There should be fewer smudges on the camera lens

Going further into the internals of the Galaxy A6, it’s powered by an Exynos 7870 processor — the same silicon the popular Galaxy J7 Prime had back in 2016. The processor is getting old, so we’re hoping Samsung will use a newer one in their next release.

Good thing the bigger Galaxy A6+ has the latest Snapdragon 450, or else it’ll be just an under-powered midrange phone.

The variant we have here has 3GB of memory and 32GB of storage, but there’s also a 4GB/64GB combo available in select markets.

The Samsung Galaxy A6 with the 3GB/32GB configuration retails for PhP 16,490 in the Philippines while in India, it goes from INR 21,990 up to INR 22,990 depending on the variant.

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