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OPPO R9s, R9s Plus with 16MP rear and front cameras break cover in China

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Two new OPPO smartphones broke cover recently at a press event in China. The OPPO R9s and R9s Plus look particularly iPhone-ish, except the antenna lines on the metal-clad back of these devices are barely visible and their home button evokes Samsung’s aesthetics.

Oh, and they each have 16-megapixel rear- and front-facing cameras, which not only makes it infinitely easier for us to remember their camera specs, but also makes the phones an alluring pick for the selfie-loving generation. We were impressed with the 16-megapixel selfie cam on the F1 Plus, the R9s’ predecessor, and it would make sense to think OPPO has something similar, if not better, on offer here.

[irp posts=”2006″ name=”OPPO F1 Plus Hands-On Review”]

The rear-facing camera system, objectively speaking, is an even more impressive specimen, featuring a Sony sensor that no other device has yet and an f/1.7 aperture for superior performance in low light and to achieve a better depth of field, which some photographers refer to as “bokeh.” It can also shoot super-crisp 4K video at the standard 30 frames per second, though only the R9s Plus has an optically stabilized camera to compensate for shaky hands and movement.

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The R9s will come in shades of gold, rose gold, and black

The R9s comes with a 5.5-inch, 1080p screen with curved-but-not-too-curved Gorilla Glass 5; a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 system-on-a-chip, alongside 4GB of RAM and 64GB of expandable storage; a fingerprint scanner on the home button; and a 3,010mAh battery that charges to 75 percent in 30 minutes.

The R9s Plus has a larger footprint, opting for a 6-inch display at full resolution and minimal bezels on the sides to keep the size of the phablet in check. Rounding off the specs, the Plus model makes use of a Snapdragon 653 chip, an incremental upgrade over the Snapdragon 652 inside many of today’s top midrange phones; 6GB of RAM; 64GB of storage; and a 4,000mAh battery.

[irp posts=”3906″ name=”The OPPO F1s is an affordable ‘selfie expert'”]

Both devices ship with Android 6.0 Marshmallow, making them the company’s first Marshmallow devices, although that isn’t meant to be a compliment. OPPO has been notoriously slow to adopt the latest Android software, with their existing phones still running Android Lollipop and below.

The OPPO R9s and R9s Plus will retail for 2,799 yuan ($415) and 3,499 yuan ($520) in their native China. They will go on sale starting October 28. The three available color options include gold, rose gold, and black. No word yet on pricing or an intended release outside China, but dollars to donuts, international markets will see the R9s under a different name before the year ends.

At least we hope so. These phones sound promising, and we’d hate to see them get a limited release.

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Source: GSMArena

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Android 9 Pie update now available for Xiaomi Mi A1

The perks of Android One

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After the Mi A2, it’s now Mi A1’s turn to get a taste of Google’s latest software. Being under the Android One program, the Mi A1 will finally get a clean version of Android 9 Pie.

The Android Pie update for the Mi A1 may have come a bit late, but it’s still sooner compared to most Android phones out there. The new firmware weighs more than 1GB to download, so be sure to have a solid connection when updating.

It brings all the benefits of Android Pie plus support for FM radio which wasn’t available before. The change log also mentions new navigation options, but the Mi A1 already has capacitive keys.

The update is already confirmed to be available in South Asia and it’ll soon roll out to all markets. The Mi A1 was launched with Android Nougat and it received the Oreo update. Android Pie is the second major update for the phone.

If you’re unfamiliar with the Mi A1, you may watch our review below. It’s still available at a discounted price in select stores, making it a great budget-friendly phone.

SEE ALSO: 24 Hours in Busan with the Xiaomi Mi A1

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Apple will not change its design next year, report says

Will keep the notch until 2019

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For the longest time, the smartphone market has been defined by technology’s ten-year old rule. Typified by Apple and Samsung, companies initially launch revolutionary phone designs, followed by incremental upgrades for the next year. For example, the Galaxy S8 and S9 have similar designs; the iPhone X, XR, XS, and XS Max have near-identical looks. Both Samsung and Apple have two-year cycles. It’s a time-honored tradition.

Now, the rule is finally winding down. According to Nomura Securities Analyst Anne Lee, Apple will not follow that trend next year. Instead, the 2019 iPhones will “likely have the same form factors… as the 2H18 iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max, with some added AR-related features.”

Last year, Apple introduced the polarizing iPhone X form factor. Among others, the design standard popularized the camera notch. Since then, Android-reliant companies have also adopted the design, resulting in a lot of wacky iterations. If Lee’s report is true, the notch still has one year left in its tank. “We think 2019 could be the last year the iPhone uses the iPhone X design architecture,” she said.

Potentially, the move coincides with the company’s strides to adopt 5G technology, which will make its Apple debut in 2020. With that, Apple will likely debut a new design after a working 5G prototype.

Of course, Apple’s defensive approach also hints at the company’s struggles this past year. Notably, the company has been consistently disappointed by its sales columns this year. Apple has even decided to withhold its sales figures for upcoming quarters. On global distribution charts, Huawei has already overtaken Apple for the number two spot.

With the new report, Apple is noticeably doubling down on riskier strategies for the upcoming year. The company already expects to sell fewer units in 2019. On paper, Apple looks like it’s on a downward spiral.

SEE ALSO: Apple iPad Pro (2018) Review: Not just a laptop replacement

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Huawei pledges $2 billion to secure cybersecurity of hardware

It starts in Britain for now

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Throughout the past few weeks, Sinophobia has reached an all-time high. Various countries have started banning Chinese telecommunications companies from taking over their technology market. Huawei and ZTE have faced tremendous adversity while expanding their 5G operations. Of note, the US, the UK, and Australia have stopped Huawei’s 5G plans before they could start.

It was only a matter of time before Huawei responds. Now, the company has finally promised to solve these crucial cybersecurity issues. In Britain, Huawei has met with government officials regarding their ban. Like the rest of the Western world, Britain criticized Huawei’s technology as potential backdoors for Chinese espionage.

Both parties have agreed to a compromise. To alleviate Britain’s fears, Huawei will pledge US$ 2 billion for cybersecurity. The company will then attempt to solve whatever Britain found in cybersecurity investigations.

While the United Kingdom is more forgiving, other countries are still very wary. After the initial lineup of banning countries, Japan has joined the conversation. The country is working to ban both Huawei and ZTE from 5G development as well. With that, Japan will be the first Asian country to ban both companies. Western fears are now invading the East.

At the other end of the world, Huawei is also facing another crisis. The company’s chief finance officer, Meng Wanzhou, was recently arrested for allegedly violating embargo regulations. According to Huawei, their retaliation plans in Britain were made before the arrest. Thus, the arrest is another separate battle that awaits the company after issues of cybersecurity.

Huawei is in a world of pain. Despite offering amazing products, the company can’t find any traction in hardware development. Geopolitical fears have and will continue to bog down the company throughout the rise of 5G networking.

SEE ALSO: Huawei Mate 20 Pro: When beauty meets technology

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