News

The Pixel 3a’s DxOMark score proves how capable its single-lens camera is

It’s just one point behind the Pixel 3

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Google has released three flagship phones till now and they’ve all had one thing in common: a single-lens camera on the rear. The internet giant is trying to make a mark in the smartphone industry by directly supplying the hardware, and it hasn’t actually worked out for them yet.

The Pixel brand intended to take on Apple’s iPhone lineup but is far from it. The idea that the maker of Android will also supply a closely-knit smartphone was exciting, but the end result has been lukewarm. The number of units shipped has been below expectations and a budget-friendly phone was built to counter this.

One thing that Google actually got right was the camera. Using its onboard image processing unit and constantly learning AI (algorithm), the phones are able to capture stunning pictures in well lit as well as low-light scenarios. In fact, the rear has a single-lens camera while the competition relies on an array of sensors to get the right mix.

This same setup of software and hardware was made available on the budget Pixel 3a. The results have been amazing like always. DxOMark released their review of the Google Pixel 3a’s camera and we’ve got a deeper insight on how good it actually is.

The Pixel 3a scores almost identically to the flagship Pixel 3’s DxOMark scores, in some cases, scoring higher thanks to better colors and noise. It has scored 100 points overall, with 103 for pictures and 95 for video.

In comparison, the iPhone XR scored 103 but costs a whopping US$ 749 against the Pixel 3a’s US$ 399.

Keep in mind, DxOMark scores are just for comparison and the testing rounds have a few flaws. For example, the Pixel 3a has scored pretty much like the Pixel 3, but the former lacks Google’s Visual Core chipset and yet able to score better. This either means the testing metrics are flawed, or Google’s chipset brings nothing extraordinary to the table.

Apps

Disney+ expanding to more than 50 places this year

Check out the list here

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Emerging as one of the biggest streaming platforms today, Disney+ is expanding its operations to more countries and territories this year. Starting in the summer of this year, the platform will find its way to 42 more countries and 11 new territories.

Despite the popularity of its content, Disney+ doesn’t have the widest global market owing to its limited availability. Currently, the platform is available only in 64 countries. Obviously, the biggest markets — like the United States and the United Kingdom — already have it. That, however, leaves out smaller territories that have expressed interest in the platform. But the expansion hasn’t stopped.

As announced via The Hollywood Reporter, Disney+ is expanding to over 50 new places. However, despite the size of its expansion, Disney has not announced exact launch dates or pricing schemes for any of the below countries.

The full list of new countries, arranged alphabetically, include the following: Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Egypt, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro, Morocco, North Macedonia, Oman, Palestine, Poland, Qatar, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Vatican City and Yemen.

Disney+ will also expand to these 11 territories: the Faroe Islands, French Polynesia, French Southern Territories, St. Pierre and Miquelon Overseas Collective, Åland Islands, Sint Maarten, Svalbard & Jan Mayen, British Indian Ocean Territory, Gibraltar, Pitcairn Islands and St. Helena.

Is your country part of the list?

SEE ALSO: Disney+ coming to the Philippines soon?

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Gaming

The Steam Deck finally launches on February 25

Starts shipping out February 28

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The Nintendo Switch was one of the boldest experiments in gaming. Could a console successfully meld home-based gaming with mobile gaming? The answer is: It certainly could! The Switch, despite its flaws, is still one of the most successful consoles that Nintendo has ever released. Now, years after its launch, other brands are finally returning or introducing themselves to the mobile gaming market. Valve, after announcing the device last year, is finally launching its own take, the Steam Deck, on February 25.

Last year, Valve, the company behind Steam, announced the Switch-like gaming console for PC gamers. As what that implies, the Steam Deck can play your Steam library inside its lithe but powerful frame. Squeezed in by two controllers, the 7-inch device blasts through games with a quad-core Zen 2 CPU, an AMD APU, 16GB of RAM, and up to 512GB of SSD storage.

Naturally, the Steam Deck incited a lot of hype for gamers. It was finally possible to easily play PC games while on the road. However, despite the hype, the device went through an unsurprisingly rocky launch schedule. Initially pegged for a holiday launch, it was pushed back due to ongoing shortages.

Now, we finally have a date. On February 25, Valve will start sending out order emails to those who previously bought reservations, as stated in their latest blog post. Customers will then have three days to push through with their order. Shipments will start flying out on February 28.

Those who haven’t reserved yet can still do so for US$ 5, but the waiting time might take a while since Valve is so close to launch. The Steam Deck will start selling at US$ 399 and will go up to US$ 649 for the most premium model.

SEE ALSO: Steam launches first portable console, the Steam Deck

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News

Redmi Note 11 series officially launches

Featuring 4 devices

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Redmi Note 11 series

Xiaomi just announced the Redmi Note 11 series. It’s a massive line that has four smartphones. These are the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G, Redmi Note 11 Pro, Redmi Note 11S and Redmi Note 11. The series promises upgrades across the board from cameras, performance, and charging speeds.

Flagship-level camera setup

Each member of the Redmi Note 11 series is equipped with sensors that won’t leave you wanting in the camera department. The Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G, Redmi Note 11 Pro, and Redmi Note 11 feature 108MP primary sensors.

Specifically, they are using the Samsung HM2 with a 1/1.52″ sensor size. It leverages 9-in-1 pixel binning technology as well as dual native ISO to deliver incredible images with higher dynamic range and colour performance, with excellent results even in dim light.

AMOLED goodness

Members of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 series’ screen sizes vary. But they all have FHD+ AMOLED DotDisplay featuring DCI-P3 wide color gamut. There’s also 1200nits brightness. And last but certainly not the least, a 120Hz screen refresh rate with a 360Hz touch sampling rate. Impressive numbers, especially for the Redmi Note line.

The series is powered by more than capable Snapdragon and MediaTek chipsets. These are able to handle any task from the most basic like social media browsing, to the most demanding like playing games and multitasking.

Here’s a quick look at the specs.

Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G

Redmi Note 11 Pro

Redmi Note 11S

Redmi Note 11

Display

120Hz

6.67” FHD+ AMOLED DotDisplay

90Hz

6.43” FHD+ AMOLED

DotDisplay

Rear camera

108MP main camera

8MP ultra-wide camera

2MP macro camera

108MP main camera

8MP ultra-wide camera

2MP macro camera

2MP depth camera

50MP main camera

8MP ultra-wide camera

2MP macro camera

2MP depth camera

Front camera

16MP in-display front camera

13MP in-display  front camera

Dimension & Weight

164.19mm x 76.1mm x 8.12mm

202g

159.87mm x 73.87mm x 8.09mm

179g

Processor

Snapdragon 695

MediaTek Helio G96

Snapdragon 680

RAM+ROM

LPDDR4X

UFS 2.2

Audio

Dual speakers

3.5mm headphone jack

Security

Side fingerprint sensor

AI Face Unlock

Charging

5,000mAh (typ) battery

Supports 67W wired turbo charging

5,000mAh (typ) battery

Supports 33W wired Pro fast charging

Connectivity

SIM 1 + Hybrid (SIM or MicroSD)

NFC

IR blaster

Dual SIM + MicroSD

NFC**

IR blaster

Variant**

6GB+64GB, 6GB+128GB, 8GB+128GB

4GB+64GB, 4GB+128GB, 6GB+128GB

Available colors

(Depends on region)

Graphite Gray,

Polar White, Atlantic Blue

Graphite Gray,

Polar White, Star Blue

Graphite Gray,

Twilight Blue, Pearl White

Graphite Gray,

Twilight Blue, Star Blue

Pricing and availability details to follow.

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