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Qualcomm: 192-megapixel smartphones might come this year

64-megapixel smartphones, too

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How many megapixels do you need on a camera? Most smartphones today vary between 12 to 24 megapixels. Only a handful of smartphones have pushed the boundaries to 48 megapixels. Still, the market agrees on this sweet spot for smartphone photography. However, the industry has kept a deep secret from us all this time. Until now.

Apparently, Qualcomm’s current generation of chipsets can support up to 192-megapixel cameras. That’s at least four times more than the industry standard! Initially discovered by XDA Developers last week, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon lineup — including 660, 670, 675, 710, 845, and 855 — has revealed a rather telling spec sheet. Theoretically, this expansive list can wield large cameras.

Of course, “theoretically” can mean a lot of things. Despite the support, it will take an enormous amount of engineering to attach a 192-megapixel camera onto a smartphone. Even then, you might be better off using an actual DSLR camera instead.

However, after the discovery’s initial wave of hype, Qualcomm has confirmed the best possible scenario. From another source’s interview, Judd Heape, Qualcomm’s senior director of product management, has revealed the current development of future phones wielding this amazing capability.

According to Heape, Qualcomm’s chips have always supported large cameras. However, the support comes at a price. If a theoretical smartphone did carry such a camera, it will lack plenty of other features, like noise reduction and adequate shutter speeds. It will capture only noisy and blurry photos.

Despite the inherent tradeoff, some smartphone makers are hastily moving towards more megapixels. According to Heape, the industry will launch 64-megapixel and 100-megapixel cameras by this year. Unfortunately, Heape has not revealed which manufacturers will launch such phones.

Regardless, a 100-megapixel smartphone camera is insane. What would you shoot first with such a camera?

SEE ALSO: Qualcomm is testing a new chip series for Android Go phones

Accessories

This case turns your AirPods case into a vintage iPod

It screams retro

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The iPod was a revolutionary gadget when it was launched. Back then the market was filled with bulky music boomboxes ranging from a Walkman to a simple MP3 player. Apple changed the course of portable media forever thanks to close integration between the iPod and iTunes.

Today, the iPhone combines all legacy music requirements along with streaming via Apple Music. Further, AirPods have been a huge success due to the closed ecosystem and near-native support.

Case manufacturer Elago wants to take things further. Their AW6 case mimics the look of the iPod, complete with the iconic click wheel —  the circular touch-sensitive navigation ring.

The case is made entirely from high-grade silicone. It’s flexible and impact-resistant, and thick enough to ensure that all accidental drops have some level of protection. For AirPods 2 owners, there’s a special cut-out to show the charging indicator.

The case has been deemed an Amazon Choice product and have received some pretty high praise online. Not only does it look funky, but they also deliver a retro-feel to the now-defunct iPod Classic.

Last month, Elago also launched an ‌AirPods‌ case that was looks like the original Macintosh, followed by an Apple Watch inspired case.

Elago’s AW6 Case (iPod Classic) for ‌AirPods‌ is available on the company’s website and on Amazon for US$ 11.99. It also comes in black with a red click wheel.

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Airbnb partners with the Olympics in 9-year deal

Just in time for Tokyo 2020

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Airbnb and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has signed a new deal to support five Olympics and Paralympics for the next nine years, making the platform a Worldwide Olympic Partner. Apart from the 2020 Games in Tokyo, the partnership covers Beijing 2022, Paris 2024, Milan 2026, and Los Angeles 2028.

According to the IOC, the joint effort will be “in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals to provide travel options that are economically empowering, socially inclusive, and environmentally sustainable.”

The partnership hopes to minimize construction of new infrastructure for host cities to accommodate not just athletes, staff, and workers, but the surge of tourists as well. This also means generating extra income for new and existing hosts in the local communities during the Games.

IOC President Thomas Bach said that the partnership underpins their strategy to ensure that staging the Olympic Games leaves a legacy for the host community.

Airbnb is also launching a new category of Experiences to be hosted by Olympians themselves. These activities can help provide financial support for athletes while they train, as well as career opportunities even after competing.

Airbnb as a more sustainable option

Airbnb has previously supported Rio 2016 and PyeongChang 2018 as a domestic sponsor. A recent World Economic Forum study found that in Rio, the additional capacity provided through Airbnb was equivalent to 257 hotels. This saved the city unnecessary construction and carbon emissions, while also providing approximately US$ 30 million in direct revenue for hosts. It also generated an estimated total economic activity of US$ 100 million in three weeks.

Similarly, during the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang last year, Airbnb hosts earned approximately US$ 2.3 million collectively by providing accommodation to 15,000 visitors who would have required 46 hotels.

Most recently, Airbnb hosts across Japan welcomed more than 650,000 travellers during the Rugby World Cup, and earned more than US$ 70 million collectively.

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Vivo S1 Pro: Quad-camera midrange phone

Can it compete with other midrangers?

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The year is almost coming to a close but Vivo isn’t letting up on the new phone announcements as they unveil the Vivo S1 Pro.

First thing that you’ll notice is the S1 Pro’s camera module. The cameras are arranged in a diamond like position. Speaking of cameras, this phone has four: a 48MP (f/1.8) main camera, an 8MP (f/2.2) super wide angle camera, a 2MP (f/2.4) super macro camera, and another 2MP (f/2.4) lens for bokeh purposes. Up front, you still get Vivo’s usual 32MP selfie camera.

Powering the smartphone is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 SoC with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. It has a 4500mAh battery which supports Dual-Engine Fast Charging which you can charge through its micro USB-C port. Yes, it took a while but a non-flagship Vivo phone is finally rocking Type-C.

It has a 6.38″ Super Amoled display and underneath it is Vivo’s fast in-display fingerprint scanning technology.

Pricing and availability

The Vivo S1 Pro will come in Knight Black and Fancy Sky colors and will be available in the Philippines starting November 30 for P15,999.

On paper, the Vivo S1 Pro seems like a worthy midrange challenger but it’s facing stiff competition with the likes of Xiaomi and Realme who have both released smartphones with 64mP main cameras in that price range.

SEE ALSO: Vivo S1 review: The Skyline’s the limit

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