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OnePlus is disabling the OnePlus 8 Pro’s ‘x-ray’ camera

Only for Chinese users for now

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When phones started developing better camera technology, smartphone photography became clearer and more accurate to how the real world looks. However, for all the additional megapixels and better sensors, no one expects a consumer-friendly sci-fi camera yet. Against all odds, the new OnePlus 8 Pro has somehow shipped an X-ray camera under everyone’s noses.

Of course, we’re not in a cyberpunk timeline yet. The X-ray feature is actually the so-called Photochrom filter. Instead of capturing visible light, the filter takes in infrared light, which we normally can’t see. As a result, Photochrom photos brilliantly manipulate color without the help of overlay filters.

Image source: OnePlus forums

Besides smartphone photography, you might have heard of infrared technology used in another way, particularly in security settings. High-profile stores use infrared to detect fake bank notes. Airports use thermal infrared cameras to detect feverish passengers. Obviously, the technology allows cameras to see behind what’s visible to the naked eye.

With that in mind, OnePlus 8 Pro users have started using the camera for more than creative purposes. As demonstrated by popular tech enthusiast Ben Geskin, the smartphone can see through plastic, revealing a device’s inner workings. Meanwhile, Unbox Therapy demonstrated how the camera can even see through very thin clothing.

Naturally, a rudimentary X-ray camera has the potential to be a privacy nightmare for everyone. However, OnePlus assures users that the camera can’t penetrate through “most objects — including clothes or even a piece of tissue paper,” according to a statement issued to Abacus.

Regardless, OnePlus is launching an OTA update for OnePlus 8 Pro models running on HydrogenOS “out of an abundance of caution about some false and misleading information circulating on social media in China,” according to OnePlus forum post. The update will disable the feature temporarily. On the other hand, OxygenOS (used on international models) can still use the feature as of now.

SEE ALSO: OnePlus 8 Pro’s screen arrives broken for some users [Update: OnePlus offers free replacements]

Accessories

vivo introduces TWS Earphone Neo

Joining the TWS party!

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Another one has joined the TWS party!

vivo is launching its TWS Earphone Neo — a companion to the upcoming X50 series. It’s built to provide a stellar audio experience for everyday music lovers. It also features voice-activated smart controls and AI noise cancelling for clearer phone calls.

Neo runs Qualcomm’s 4th-generation TWS platform named QCC3046, offering low latency, high precision, and stable listening experience. Moreover, it’s equipped with the latest Bluetooth 5.2 technology, reaching a maximum of 10-meter range.

This pair of wireless earphones carries a design-centric compact body. It has a 14.2mm ultra-large driver unit and a bio-fiber composite diaphragm, promising to deliver enhanced audio and powerful sound.

In 2012, vivo pioneered the Hi-Fi chip technology, being the first smartphone to incorporate the chip to deliver unparalleled audio experience. Together with the X50 series, the TWS Earphone Neo is the realization of vivo’s decade-long investments and commitment to improving consumers’ lives with their devices.

Pricing and availability of the TWS Earphone are yet to be announced.

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vivo X50 series now official, employs Gimbal Camera System

Placing heavy emphasis on camera performance

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vivo’s been pretty quiet since the launch of the vivo NEX 3. Today, the company breaks its silence with the launch of the vivo X50 series. It consists of three phones: the X50, X50 Pro, and X50 Pro+.

The series is putting a strong emphasis on camera performance. Specifically, vivo is touting its Gimbal Camera System and its zoom capabilities. We’ll get to that more later.

The X50 series also promises a futuristic and user-centric design along with flagship grade performance. The company says it’s the first X-series to be released globally, so there’s a lot riding on these devices.

Gimbal Camera System

Gimbals are primarily used for stabilization. By adding what they call the Gimbal Camera System, vivo says they’ve unlocked the capability to take clear photos and videos while in motion. This applies, they claim, even at night.

Here’s how it works: the gimbal module, which was modeled from a full-size professional gimbal, moves in the opposite direction of shaking motion to provide stability. It also widens the rotation angle and anti-shake area — wider than the usual smartphone stabilization methods — to produce super clear images.

There’s a gimbal radar that lets users know when the frame is stable. It appears as an on-screen animated ball that reflects the gimbal’s movement. This works in concert with vivo’s motion-deblur algorithm, customized sensors and continuous focus tracking to improve the clarity even more.

If that seemed like it’s a lot to take in, that’s because it is. For our part, we’re excited how it actually works both in demo and in the real world.

Zoom and other camera features

There’s more to the X50 series than the gimbal camera system. vivo says all three are equipped with the cameras you expect from flagship smartphones. Both the X50 Pro and the X50 Pro+ have a periscope lens that supports up to 60x Hyper Zoom.

The X50 Pro has a quad-camera setup with a single selfie camera. Meanwhile, the X50 Pro+ sports a main camera that has a 1/1.3 inch ISOCELL GN1 sensor. This should result in photos with “breathtaking detail.”

The series also has a super wide-angle lens and a super macro lens, giving you versatility in various shooting situations. There’s also Super Night Mode for low light scenarios, and an Astro Mode for stunning nightscape images whether in a city or open field setting.

Lastly, there’s Portrait Mode. vivo says it’s now more refined thanks to a four-layer masking algorithm that not only separates the subject from the background, it’ll also let you apply separate effects for even better results.

A truly flagship series

All the phones in the X50 series will support 5G connectivity — which seems to be something we should expect from all flagship phones from here on out. The series will also have a high screen refresh rate — a choice between 90Hz/120Hz depending on the model.

Those screens, vivo claims, are now even better. They’re more flexible, slimmer, lighter, but also more durable than anything they’ve ever made before.

The X50 Pro+ is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+X55 processor. The Gimbal Camera System on the rear of the X50 Pro is in the shape of an eye for a unique design element. And lastly, the X50 is the slimmest 5G phone so far measuring at only 7.49mm.

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This wallpaper is somehow causing Android devices to crash [Update: Samsung to roll out patches]

Something about the color

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Wallpapers are one of the most personal ways to customize our phones. Whether it’s a photo of a loved one, a pop culture icon, or just a default one, smartphones become much more colorful and dynamic because of wallpapers. That said, the only time you should fear a wallpaper is when you accidentally show off a very NSFW wallpaper to a very SFW public. However, a new and mysterious wallpaper is striking fear into the hearts of every Android user.

On their official Twitter page, renowned Samsung leaker Ice Universe posted a seemingly innocuous wallpaper with a dire warning: “Never set this picture as wallpaper, especially for Samsung mobile phone users!” The photo depicts a picturesque lakeside sprinkled with tall, coniferous trees; a minuscule island stands at the lake’s center; warm sunlight filters through thick clouds, disturbed only by towering mountains.

Further, when posted to Weibo, the photo changes, losing its purplish-orange hue. In its altered form, the wallpaper becomes harmless. The leaker suspects that the Chinese social network filters out the photo’s “harmful ingredients.”

Original (left) and Weibo format (right) | Image source: Ice Universe / Twitter

(As I was writing this article, I tried putting the photo on Photoshop to analyze its elements. When I downloaded it directly from Twitter and placed it on the software, Photoshop also filtered the hue out. There’s something off about this photo.)

Naturally, after the leaker posted the photo, curious users tried the wallpaper for themselves. As expected, Ice Universe’s warning turned into reality for some. Strangely, the wallpaper’s mysterious power picks and chooses which smartphones to brick. However, based on the flurry of responses, it’s exclusively an Android issue. Besides Samsung models, Google’s Pixels and Xiaomi’s phones are victims. Curiously, only newer models are affected.

According to a Korean forum, the problem lies in the wallpaper’s image profile. Apparently, the raw image was created using GIMP, a Photoshop alternative. Unlike other image manipulation software, GIMP operates in color profiles beyond those that Android is compatible with. As such, Android gets confused when loading the photo as a wallpaper, causing crashes and bricks. Some have also speculated on an error in encoding. Regardless, it seems that the photo’s color profile is at fault.

Still, don’t try it out. If you do try it out, convert it to sRGB first.

UPDATE: According to a follow-up tweet from Ice Universe, Samsung has already received similar complaints in mid-May. The company has resolved the concern and will start rolling out fixes to affected models soon. It’s time to wait whether other brands will release similar patches, if they haven’t already.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 might now be in mass production

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