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OPPO F3 Plus launches across Asia

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Smartphones that specialize in taking selfies are not unusual, but among those that do it best, OPPO is recognized as the “selfie expert.”

In particular, its F1s smartphone is insanely popular in Asia because of its front camera with a whopping 16 megapixels.

But with competition stepping up its selfie game, China’s largest smartphone brand is hell-bent on keeping its title. And what better way to do so than by introducing an even better phone with not just one but two selfie cameras.

The OPPO F3 Plus that launched in simultaneous events across Southeast Asia and India today hopes to be the selfie lover’s best friend.

The first of its two selfie cameras has a wide-angle lens, the widest we’ve ever seen. With it you can take selfies that show off not just your lovely face but your bangin’ body also.

In our tests, we were able to fit up to six people in a single frame with room to spare for a couple more.

The second camera is your typical portrait-style selfie camera. You can switch between both modes with a quick tap from your camera app. Using this lens and Beauty Mode, you can take selfies with a creamy bokeh effect.

We’ve spent a week taking selfies with the F3 Plus and are thrilled with the results. If only the rest of the world could get their hands on the phone.

Speaking of hands, folks with small hands might find the F3 Plus challenging.

The phone comes with massive 6-inch display making the phone hard to grip, although if you don’t mind that, the extra screen real estate is great for watching videos and playing games.

Here’s what the phone looks like side by side with the iPhone 7 Plus.

Apart from its selfie camera specialty, the phone is designed for users who seek power and performance under $500. Of particular interest is its extra-large 4000mAh battery and lightning-quick VOOC charging.

The OPPO F3 Plus launched in the Philippines, Vietnam, India, Indonesia, and Vietnam on March 24. It will be available in gold and black starting April 1st and will retail for PhP 23,990 in the Philippines, INR 30,990 in India, and IDR 6.5 million in Indonesia.

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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