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OPPO A1 comes out of nowhere, has no notch

Also missing another popular feature

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Even with the R15 launch behind us and the F7 coming soon, OPPO is still bent on covering every possible market segment with their smartphones. Filling in the entry-level hole is the newly released A1, which will be available in China starting April 1.

It comes with a price tag of CNY 1,399 or about US$ 220, making it a borderline lower-midrange handset. But when you see what it has to offer, you’d think otherwise.

That’s because the A1 doesn’t come with a fingerprint sensor, which is a common feature found on smartphones even cheaper than this. It seems like OPPO put more focus on the large 5.7-inch screen with its 18:9 aspect ratio (no notch in sight, in case you’re wondering).

There’s also a large 3180mAh battery capacity inside, as well as ample amounts of memory and storage with 4GB and 64GB, respectively. Sources don’t have info on the chipset yet, but what’s certain are the 13-megapixel rear and 8-megapixel front cameras — the latter of which can handle facial unlocking.

Nothing too spectacular, but that’s likely what OPPO is gunning for with the A1. The good news is the cool color selection they offer: blue, red, and white. Those replace the usual black or gold we’ve seen too much of lately.

There’s no word yet if this will ship outside of China.

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2021 iPhones won’t have any holes, report says

Goodbye, Lightning!

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For the past few years, the smartphone market has continually stripped phones of its former essentials. Now, we have smartphones without bezels, notches, or home buttons. After packing every single feature into smartphones, the market is now taking them all out again. In fact, the latest war is now against ports.

According to renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is developing an entirely new iPhone for 2021. The upcoming year’s top models will cut off the Lightning port entirely. The decision will likely usher in a new era of wireless experiences. Fortunately, the removal will start with the company’s top phones, rather than a complete revamp all at once. (The strategy mimics today’s current trend of limiting headphone jacks to lower-tier models.)

This isn’t the first time that Apple planned a removal of I/O ports. Last year, the company also deliberated on entirely wireless iPhones in anticipation of the AirPower, Apple’s planned wireless charger. However, as we know now, the AirPower never worked out, ending up in the dustbin of failed developments. With the AirPower’s cancellation, Apple also cancelled the wireless iPhone.

Of course, three years after the very first reports, wireless technology will likely improve to a more consumer-friendly caliber. Kuo’s latest report is much more believable.

However, when Apple’s wireless iPhone finally comes around, it won’t likely be the first one. Vivo already released a hole-less smartphone prototype earlier this year. By the time of the hole-less iPhone, non-Apple smartphones will likely have the technology as well.

But that’s a race for the future.

SEE ALSO: Apple Philippines Smartphone Price List

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Enterprise

UK Prime Minister caught using a Huawei P20

After issuing warning about the company

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Image source: ITV

Whenever you lobby against a certain thing, you’d better not get caught using that same thing. Surprisingly (or not), UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson did not receive that memo. On live television, the leader of the increasingly Huawei-phobic country used a Huawei P20 to take a selfie with the show’s interviewers.

On ITV’s This Morning, the Prime Minister engaged in an interview about his governmental policies. After the interview, he whipped out last year’s popular flagship from Huawei, inviting the hosts for a selfie.

Ironically, Johnson issued a statement, exercising caution over Huawei’s entry into UK’s 5G market. Currently, the country is deliberating business with the Chinese tech company. Unlike the US, the UK is still on the fence about a China-sponsored deal.

However, the Prime Minister recently brought a warier approach to a future deal, focusing on national security over corporate interests. Still, Johnson remains open to foreign investments, decrying unnecessary biases against international help.

If anything, Huawei is assuring other countries that its technology will not interfere with their respective national securities. On the other side, the company’s primary rival, the US, is asking other countries to reconsider trade deals with Huawei, citing the cybersecurity risk in allowing the company to take over a country’s telecommunications.

Regardless of the UK’s decision, Johnson’s P20 comes at an interesting time. To make matters a bit more muddled, Johnson’s representative alleges that the phone came from a staffer, rather than the Prime Minister’s own pocket. Is the UK for or against Huawei? Only time will tell.

SEE ALSO: Huawei Freebuds 3 review: Best value wireless earbuds

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Samsung could launch an affordable folding phone

2020 is all about foldable phones and 5G

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The Samsung Galaxy Fold was one of the most intriguing and novel smartphones of 2019, but it was also one of the priciest. Despite its exorbitant US$ 2,000 price tag, Samsung has sold nearly half a million Galaxy Folds already. The company’s next foldable smartphone, however, will reportedly be a lot more affordable.

The South Korean electronics giant is rumored to be working on another foldable smartphone that is expected to launch in 2020. The new foldable phone will have a clamshell design, similar to the recently launched Motorola Razr, and a price tag of about KRW 1M or US$ 845.

According to a report by the Korea Herald, citing industry sources, it’s due to be launched early next year, perhaps in February, alongside the company’s upcoming flagship, the Galaxy S11.

Samsung compatriot LG is also tipped to enter the foldable phone market in 2020. With more competition coming in, Samsung will have to find ways to make the offering more affordable. With its proprietary display technology, it can ensure that the foldable segment is dominated.

The report offers no details on this device’s specs. The moderate price indicates Samsung might follow Motorola’s strategy of positioning the clamshell foldable as a mid-range device.

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