News

Qualcomm announces Snapdragon 855, promises 5G phones in 2019

Moving to 5G will be more seamless than 4G

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“5G is here.”

Chipmaker Qualcomm is making bold promises about the future of connectivity and computing on the first day of its Snapdragon Tech Summit in Maui. But unlike previous discussions on 5G, these claims are backed up by actual hardware.

Today the tech giant is showing off a 5G smartphone (reference device) running its new Snapdragon 855 system on a chip (SoC).

AT&T and Verizon have also set up actual 5G networks on the island, giving us our closest 5G hands-on experience to date.

The three-day summit brings together global mobile operators, infrastructure providers, and device makers, all of which have been working on expediting the rollout of 5G devices and services. Qualcomm says that unlike the transition to 4G, the switch to 5G will be faster and more seamless, “5G is so important that the whole industry is moving at the same pace.”

Qualcomm is also promising 5G smartphones in the first half of 2019. Sharing the stage with Qualcomm is Samsung, who is also showing off a 5G prototype at the event. Earlier this week, Samsung and Verizon announced plans to release a 5G phone in the US in the first half of next year.

Of course, this chip comes with a helping of advanced features. The most prominent one may be the fourth-generation multi-core AI Engine, which offers three times the AI performance compared to Qualcomm’s older SoCs.

Qualcomm also touts its use of the first-ever Computer Vision (CV) ISP to improve computational photography and video capture features. The gamer aspect isn’t left out either, thanks to Snapdragon Elite Gaming to boost performance on premium devices.

Most interestingly, Qualcomm’s 3D Sonic Sensor is part of the package. It’s the world’s first commercial ultrasonic fingerprint system that can be placed under the display. The company claims it’s more accurate and secure than anything else currently in the market.

The Snapdragon Tech Summit in Maui is still underway, so stay tuned for more details in the coming days.

Accessories

Apple is likely working on a midrange AirPods Pro

Coming mid-2020

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Have you bought into the wireless earbuds trend? Despite performing at a lesser capacity than wired earphones, wireless earbuds have infiltrated every major player in the tech industry. Currently, Apple, Huawei, and Samsung all sell their own variant of the growing market.

Now, Apple looks to expand their own catalog even further. According to Chinese publication Digitimes, the AirPods maker is developing a budget-friendly version of last year’s AirPods Pro — the AirPods Pro Lite.

Supposedly, Universal Scientific Industrial (USI), a Taiwan-based manufacturer will likely acquire orders from Apple for the upcoming device. The Taiwanese company is working with other manufacturers from China and the US to fulfill the orders.

According to the report, the AirPods Pro Lite will arrive sometime in the middle of the year. However, given the current situation in China, the device’s development might run into a few delays, especially if Apple pursues China-based manufacturers.

Because of the name, the AirPods Pro Lite will likely carry a price tag between the regular AirPods and the premium AirPods Pro. That puts it around US$ 199.

Despite being an accessory, the AirPods lineup is still one of Apple’s most successful products in the current generation. Of course, it helps that the audio accessory almost comes as a requirement for iPhone users.

SEE ALSO: Unboxing the Apple AirPods Pro

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Galaxy S20

Samsung Galaxy S20 series: US pre-order details

Samsung credits up for grabs!

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Samsung’s first-ever full 5G lineup — the Samsung Galaxy S20 series — can now be pre-ordered in the US!

The Samsung Galaxy S20 series consists of the Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20+, and Galaxy S20 Ultra. Here’s a quick breakdown on what you’re getting with each device.

Galaxy S20
Galaxy S20+ Galaxy S20 Ultra
Display 6.2″ Super AMOLED, 120Hz 6.7″ Super AMOLED, 120Hz 6.9″ Super AMOLED, 120Hz
Processor Snapdragon 865 Snapdragon 865 Snapdragon 865
Storage and Memory
  • 128GB + 12GB
  • Expandable via MicroSD up to 1TB
  • 128GB + 12GB
  • 512GB +12GB
  • Expandable via MicroSD up to 1TB
  • 128GB + 12GB
  • 512GB +16GB
  • Expandable via MicroSD up to 1TB
Battery
  • 4000mAh
  • 25W charging
  • 4500mAh
  • 25W charging
  • 5000mAh
  • 45W charging (45W charger sold separately)
Cameras (Rear)
  • 12MP, F2.2 Ultra Wide
  • 12MP, F1.8 Wide-Angle
  • 64MP, F2.0 Telephoto
  • 12MP, F2.2 Ultra Wide
  • 12MP, F1.8 Wide-Angle
  • 64MP, F2.0 Telephoto
  • Depth Vision
  • 12MP, F2.2 Ultra Wide
  • 108MP, F1.8 Wide-Angle
  • 48MP, F3.5 Telephoto
  • Depth Vision
 

Camera (Selfie)

10MP, F2.2 10MP, F2.2 40MP, F2.2

 

The new flagship S series — while having top-of-the-line numbers in terms of specs — wants you to focus more on the experiences it will provide.

For instance, the new zoom capabilities on the main telephoto cameras are noteworthy. Samsung is calling the feature Space Zoom with the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20+ capable of up to 3X lossless zoom and up to 30X hybrid zoom. Meanwhile, the Galaxy S20 Ultra can handle up to 10X lossless zoom and a whopping 100X hybrid zoom.

Pre-order details

Between February 21, 2020, and March 5, 2020, consumers who pre-order can get a US$ 100 Samsung credit with a Galaxy S20, US$150 Samsung credit with a Galaxy S20+ or US$ 200 Samsung credit with a Galaxy S20 Ultra. Pre-order consumers can build their own Galaxy Ecosystem and redeem their Samsung credit for curated bundles or select products like Galaxy Buds+, QLED 8K TVs, chargers and more.

Consumers who trade-in an eligible device on samsung.com, Best Buy or the Shop Samsung app can get up to US$ 700 towards purchase of a device in the Galaxy S20 line. The offer is for a limited time.

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Lifestyle

First-ever Star Wars virtual run happening on May the 4th

Open to runners in Southeast Asia

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If you bought any of the Star Wars running sneakers that came out in late 2019, this is the perfect time to put them to use and “Run with The Force” with Southeast Asia’s first-ever Star Wars virtual run.

The run is happening on Star Wars day, May 4 — a date derived from the iconic phrase “May the Force Be With You.” Registration is now open and interested participants can clock-in their run distance. Upon registration, you will be prompted to choose either the light side or the dark side. Runners may run on run on treadmills or any running path they choose.

This run is made possible in collaboration with Social Fitness app LIV3LY. The Star Wars Virtual Run is open to runners from the Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Runners may opt to run solo in the 5.4km (Individual) or pair up with a friend in the 40km (Individual or Group of Two) where the distances can be completed all at once or over a period of time.

The distance needs to be completed by May 31, 2020 in order to be eligible for the Finisher Trophies. Finishers of the 40km distance will receive an additional The Empire Strikes Back 40th Anniversary Trophy.

Registration can be done through the MOVE by LIV3LY app. Participants will have to activate the MOVE Run Tracker in the app before they are able record their distances from May 4 to 31.

Limited edition merchandise will also be available for purchase through the app including a Star Wars Pass Holder and a Mobile Phone Stand. The merchandise on sale will be exclusive to Southeast Asia and available in limited quantity only. The Finisher Trophy and any purchased merchandise will be sent to the registered address of the participants upon completion and verification by LIV3LY

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