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OnePlus 5T is everything we expected it to be

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Thanks to some teasers and “accidental” leaks — plus clear similarities to the already-launched OPPO R11s — the OnePlus 5T’s announcement didn’t surprise us that much, but this is still a notable upgrade over the OnePlus 5 released earlier this year.

The clearest difference is the switch to a larger 6-inch 1080p AMOLED display without adding much to the phone’s dimensions. Because it uses a slimmer 18:9 screen ratio, the handset looks taller now and has shorter bezels on both the bottom and top.

This also means that the fingerprint scanner had to be moved to the back. Like all other phones with this new design, facial recognition is one of the available security features. But unlike several new handsets, the audio port is still around.

Its dual-camera setup at the back (with 20- and 16-megapixel sensors) looks like its predecessor’s, but the implementation is slightly different. The secondary sensor has a brighter f/1.7 aperture and Intelligent Pixel Technology to combine four pixels into one for greater clarity.

There wasn’t any mention of optical zoom like on the OnePlus 5, and electronic image stabilization was chosen over its optical counterpart. A 16-megapixel image sensor handles selfies in front.

Like any OnePlus smartphone, flagship-level specs are in tow: a high-end Snapdragon 835 processor, 6/8GB of memory, 64/128GB of storage, and a 3300mAh battery. As usual, the company’s blazing fast Dash Charge is on board. It’s still on Android Nougat with Oreo coming in beta form by the end of the year.

Those don’t sound so special after all the premium smartphones we’ve been seeing lately, but if you take the prices of US$ 499 (EUR 499, GBP 449, INR 32,999) for the 64GB storage variant and US$ 559 (EUR 559, GBP 499, INR 37,999) for the 128GB storage model into consideration, this is yet another swell deal from OnePlus.

As announced before the official unveiling, the OnePlus 5T will become available in North America and Europe beginning November 21. Those in India will also get a chance to purchase a unit on November 21 through a flash sale, and China won’t have too wait much longer with their December 1 sale date.

SEE ALSO: OPPO R11s hands-on and photo comparisons

MWC 2018

Ulefone X with its notch is launching at MWC 2018

An iPhone X with Android instead

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The iPhone X clones keep on coming.

Ulefone is the latest entry in the copycat trend with its aptly named Ulefone X. It has the near-borderless look and trendy notch on top, but of course, it runs on Android instead.

The company itself already posted a first look video of its upcoming phone on the official YouTube channel:

This video reveals some other interesting points. One: The Ulefone X runs on the latest Android 8.1 Oreo version. Two: Its overbearing notch and rounded corners manage to cover up some of the notifications and clock up top. Three: The rear dual-camera layout continues to copy the iPhone X’s design.

Not much else is known about the Ulefone X, except it’ll certainly be affordable with possibly entry-level specifications.

We won’t have to wait much longer to see more of it; Ulefone says they’ll be present at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain from February 26 to March 1.

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MWC 2018

Google confirms Android Oreo (Go edition) and Android One phones are coming to MWC 2018

Possibly as cheap as $50

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Mobile World Congress is just around the corner, and although it’s certain to be a flagship smartphone fest, we wonder: Will there be any budget-friendly phones at the event?

Google, in its latest blog entry, confirms that we’ll indeed see partner brands launching products for two price-conscious Android platforms, namely Android One and Android Oreo (Go edition).

For the uninitiated, Android One is a pure take on the Android operating system designed for handsets outside of the Pixel lineup. They’re significantly more affordable than Google’s flagship devices, and they receive software updates much quicker than most products in the market.

Android Oreo (Go edition), on the other hand, is destined to be another pure version of Android, but with lighter built-in apps and a greater focus on saving mobile data. With prices going as low as US$ 50, smartphones on this system are geared toward budget-conscious consumers without deep pockets.

The next question is: Which brands will launch Android One and Android Oreo (Go edition) phones during MWC 2018?

Based on recent rumors, Nokia seems to be leading the charge on both fronts. A rumored Nokia 7 Plus looks to be the company’s first Android One phone, which also comes with the slimmer 18:9 screen ratio that’s becoming more common recently, while the Nokia 1 would likely be the headlining Android Oreo (Go edition) handset we’ll see in Barcelona, Spain next week.

These two gadgets (and whatever else we’ll see at the show) will be a breath of fresh air in the sea of high-priced devices from the likes of Samsung, ASUS, and Sony. With the way things are shaping up so far, we’re bound to have offerings from all price segments.

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Next-gen Fossil smartwatches arrive in Philippines

There are hybrid smartwatches, too!

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When it comes to merging tech and fashion, trust watchmaker Fossil to have a knack of hitting that sweet spot. Their newest line of smart and hybrid watches are no exception.

First teased at the Baselworld 2017 watch conference in Switzerland and later at the IFA tech show in Berlin, the company is bringing its new lineup of watches to the Philippines this month.

The Q Venture and Q Explorist are Android Wear 2.0-powered smartwatches and the first from the brand to feature the new first full-round touchscreen, which may not sound like a big deal unless you’re familiar with the Android Wear “flat tire” — an incomplete circle that’s peeved many early adapters.

If smartwatches are not your cup of tea, there’s also the Q Commuter Hybrid with smartwatch-like features including activity tacking, music control, and syncing with your smartphone’s clock — all without a touchscreen display or having to charge your watch daily.

Fossil Q Venture and Q Explorist watches are available at Fossil boutiques and start at PhP 13,910. Fossil Q Commuter watches start at PhP 9,150.

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