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The OPPO F1s is an affordable ‘selfie expert’

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OPPO announced the F1 Plus (the R9 in its country of origin) to great fanfare, with the company estimating over 7 million units sold since the phone’s release in March. And OPPO isn’t done with the F1 branding yet, as it recently made the F1s official in some markets, namely China, India, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines. A subsequent rollout is slated for the rest of Southeast Asia and regions where OPPO operates.

Another “selfie expert,” the F1s is essentially a much cheaper F1 Plus that has fewer attractions but offers longer battery life. It has more bells and whistles than the smaller F1, so in way, it’s some sort of a middle choice between the two previous F1 phones — the Goldilocks choice, if you will.

You get a slightly larger 5.5-inch phone featuring a nearly identical metal unibody frame with the same polish and attention to detail as that of the Plus model. It also runs the almost two-year-old Android Lollipop software, which could turn off seasoned Android users.

Beyond the F1 comparison, the F1s is likely capable of better selfies than any phone in its price point.

There are two metallic bands that run across the rear panel; two more wrap around the sides; the bottom edge houses the speaker, headphone jack, microUSB port, and what’s likely a cutout for the mic hole. The physical home button that also functions as a fingerprint reader is sandwiched between the backlit back and recent apps keys. Setup takes seconds, and engaging the reader is fast and, more importantly, accurate.

The F1s makes use of a bright 720p display with curved-edge Gorilla Glass protection. The resolution isn’t ideal for a phone this size, so those who want a sharper screen without spending too much should probably look elsewhere. That’s what’s great about today’s smartphone market: With so many options available, you don’t have to settle.

Inside the F1s, you’ll find an octa-core MediaTek processor, alongside 3GB of RAM and 32GB of expandablage store. We haven’t put the system-on-a-chip through its paces yet, but it runs Pokémon Go just fine. The 3,075mAh battery is the largest of any F1 phone, but it could take a while to charge from zero to full, as the F1s lacks quick charging.

But the best feature of all may be the selfie camera, which has a 16-megapixel sensor and an impressive aperture size of f/2.0. That combination, plus OPPO’s camera algorithm, results in bright and crisp self-portraits that look like they were captured by an upmarket phone’s rear camera. The F1s is also capable of shooting full-resolution video for superior video calls and conferencing.

Compared to the front-facer, the 13-megapixel camera around the back sounds a bit underwhelming, even though that’s not the case. But then again, how often do you come across a device with a more advanced camera on the front than on the rear?

The OPPO F1s runs between $280 and $300, depending on where you live. In the Philippines, it is priced at P12,990; in India, 15,985 rupees; Malaysia sells it for 1,198 ringgit. It costs 5,990,000 dong in Vietnam, around 10,000 baht in Thailand.

Laptops

Acer announces new Chromebook Spin 11 for a cheaper price

Fully compatible with a Wacom pen

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It’s a case of déjà vu. A year after the first one, Acer has announced the Chromebook Spin 11 for a second time. This time, it has better parts, a cheaper price, and more consumer-friendly availability.

Previously, the Spin 11 was launched exclusively for the education sector, offering the needed durability and flexibility for a student. The new Spin 11, however, packs more punch for a lower price. The announcements comes only a few weeks removed from Acer’s other announcements at CES 2018.

The new Chromebook Spin 11 (CP311-1H/CP311-1HN) comes in three flavors of processors — Intel Pentium quad-core N4200, quad-core Celeron N3450, or dual-core Celeron N3350. It’s a bit more than the previous model which came only with the N3350.

Acer also offers variability with storage and memory. It is available in either 4GB or 8GB LPDDR4 for RAM. Meanwhile, it offers 32GB or 64GB variants for internal storage.

It also comes with a 11.6-inch IPS display with a 1366 x 768-pixel resolution. Like the previous model, the notebook is fitted with a 360-degree hinge that allows for laptop, tablet, display, and tent modes.

The Spin 11 pushes the emerging trend for USB Type-C charging. While it does reduce variability, it will boast of an uptime that lasts “all day.”

Besides charging, it sports two USB-C 3.1 ports, two USB-A 3.0 ports, and a microSD reader for connectivity. Likewise, Wi-Fi 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.2 round the laptop out for wireless connectivity.

However, the new notebook’s biggest upgrade is its compatibility with a Wacom EMR stylus, which comes packaged with the CP311-1HN model. It doesn’t require a battery and is resistant to trauma. Before the Spin 11, only a handful of hybrid notebooks came with a stylus.

The Acer Chromebook Spin 11 will start shipping out in March. It’ll come with a price tag of US$ 349.

SEE ALSO: Acer’s new Swift 7 is thinner than ever

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Drones

DJI launches new Mavic Air drone

It’s the size of a smartphone!

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DJI is at it again with its consumer quadcopters.

The Chinese company has launched the new Mavic Air and it fits right between the Mavic Pro and the smaller Spark. Think of the Spark’s size but with the folding arms of its predecessor.

DJI says the Mavic Air is lighter by 41 percent compared to its previous model but receives the entire gesture system of the Spark — something that attracts consumers. This means you can make it snap a photo, make it move to a different spot, and call it back to land by simple hand actions.

Using your hand to manipulate the drone has a range limit of almost 6 meters (19 feet). Connect a smartphone and it bumps up the range to 80 meters, but using a dedicated remote will increase that to 4km.

Just like the Mavic Pro, the Mavic Air has a 4K video resolution, 12-megapixel image sensor, and three-axis gimbal. It also has HDR, and low-light shooting to help you achieve better photos in general. DJI also threw in a new software algorithm that lets users stitch together 32-megapixel shots for panoramas and photo spheres.

DJI added 8GB of internal storage to the Mavic Air. There’s also a USB-C port which is a bump up from the Pro’s micro-USB, although battery life saw a downgrade as the new Air has a maximum flight time of 21 minutes. In real-life usage, that means around 16 minutes.

Don’t let it dishearten you, since position tracking, obstacle avoidance, and the ventilation system have all been improved according to DJI.

Finally, and unlike the Pro, it comes in different colors. The new Mavic Air will be available in white, black, or red. Pricing will start at US$ 799 which is a little more expensive than the Spark but more affordable than the Mavic Pro. Pre-orders start immediately and shipping will commence next week.

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An upcoming Nokia phone is rumored to have a penta-camera setup

When two are not enough

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In the photo: Nokia 8

Remember the PureView camera phones from Nokia? They lead the race of megapixels in a smartphone and the best possible image quality back in the day. In 2018, we might see the rebirth of PureView-like phones from Nokia, but it won’t be about megapixels anymore.

According to a leak from China’s Baidu social network, a concept phone is rumored to be in the works which will have five lenses positioned in a circle and paired with an LED flash. It’s not named PureView, but it’ll be called Nokia 10.

The diagram shown above is supposedly the layout of the back of the phone. The LED flash is at the center of the six circles which should be the camera lenses, but what’s the additional circle for? We don’t know yet but since this is just a rumor, we shouldn’t really expect too much. The lone circle outside of the group is the fingerprint reader.

The rumored phone will be powered by the new Snapdragon 845 processor which can support up to seven camera sensors and up to 32 megapixels for pictures and 4K for videos. Other than that, there’s not much info available for now.

We might see the phone later this year, probably during IFA 2018 in Berlin, but there’s really no solid info on the upcoming Nokia phone yet.

SEE ALSO: Nokia 8’s camera performance underwhelms at DxOMark

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