News

Qualcomm announces the updated Snapdragon 855 Plus

Will debut in the ASUS ROG Phone 2

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Are you ready for the next evolution in processor technology? Every year, Qualcomm launches substantial updates for its processors. Following the usual release schedule, 2019 should see the upcoming Snapdragon 865 chipset. Right on schedule, Qualcomm has launched a new processor for future smartphones. Unfortunately, the latest release isn’t the much-awaited sequel to the current Snapdragon 855. Instead, it’s only a minor update — the Snapdragon 855 Plus.

The Snapdragon 855 Plus will not introduce the next generation of flagship processors. Instead, it will cap off this year’s remaining slew of flagships. Notably, the new chipset will likely appear on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10, the Google Pixel 4, the OnePlus 7T, and the ASUS ROG Phone 2. Of this privileged lineup, ASUS’ gaming-centric smartphone will debut the chipset to the world.

 

The chipset will share the same architecture as the Snapdragon 855 chip. However, it will squeeze out more performance than its predecessor. The octa-core Kryo 485 CPU can now run up to 2.96GHz — a notch above its predecessor’s 2.84GHz performance. Further, the chip promises a 15 percent improvement in overall graphic performance. Supposedly, the marginal boost can make for a good gaming smartphone — hence, the ROG Phone 2 debut.

Additionally, the chipset will improve functionality for AR, VR, and AI features. Unfortunately, the upgrades don’t include a 5G modem, requiring smartphone manufacturers to implement their own modem.

Regardless, the Snapdragon 855 Plus should be enough to eke out an amazing second half for 2019. Hopefully, the 15 percent boost will translate into tangible real-world results. If not, expect a grander Snapdragon 855 sequel within the year.

SEE ALSO: Qualcomm announces 5G variant of the Snapdragon 8cx

India

Samsung Galaxy M31 goes official with a 6000mAh battery

And a 64-megapixel camera!

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It seems 2020 has finally arrived in India as companies are now gearing up to launch phones one after the other. Samsung is the latest one to join the bandwagon and has announced the Galaxy M31 today. It’s placed in the affordable segment and shall be going up against Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 8 Pro and Realme X2 Pro.

The M-series has massively helped Samsung in India and the brand’s strong presence in the offline market has worked wonders. The Galaxy M31’s main highlight is its 64-megapixel primary camera on the rear and a huge 6000mAh battery.

On the front is a 6.4-inch AMOLED display with Full HD+ resolution. The body is made of polycarbonate plastic, in-line with all other M-series phones. Powering the phone is an Exynos 9611 chipset along with 6GB RAM and 64GB or 128GB internal storage.

The rear features a 64-megapixel primary lens, an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, a 5-megapixel macro sensor, and a 5-megapixel portrait camera. By default, the primary lens captures pictures in 16-megapixels and the user can opt for 64-megapixel output manually. For selfies, a 32-megapixel camera is located on the front in a punch-hole cutout.

Backing these internals is a 6000mAh battery that supports 15W fast charging via USB-C. The phone runs on OneUI 2.0 out of the box.

The 4GB+64GB variant is priced at INR 14,999 (US$ 210) and the 6GB+128GB variant is priced at INR 15,999 (US$ 224). The phone will go on sale starting March 5 via Amazon India’s website.

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Cameras

The new Instax Mini 11 is here!

So many colors to choose from!

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Together with the X-T4, Fujifilm unveiled the latest in its popular instant camera model — the instax mini 11!

Redesigned for portability and ease of use, the new mini 11 comes in a fresh look! It’s now thinner, lighter, and has a rounded body design to fit perfectly in every user’s hands.

Additionally, it’s the first to feature an “Automatic Exposure” function. The mini 11 senses the level of ambient light, optimizing the output depending on the condition. This allows you to illuminate your photos — keeping both the subject and the background evenly lit. Say goodbye to washed out faces!

Another feature is Selfie Mode, which lets you take better selfies and closeup shots. To use this mode, you just need to pull out the lens’ edge.

What’s even more exciting is instax’s new film featuring marble-designed frames. There’s “Blue Marble” that comes in the usual mini-format instax film, and “White Marble” that comes with a square-format instax film.

The instax mini 11 is available in five pale colors: Blush Pink, Sky Blue, Charcoal Gray, Ice White, and Lilac Purple. Pricing and availability have yet to be announced.

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News

Black Shark 3 will allegedly break the AnTuTu record

Holds a score of 620952

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Recently, Lenovo boasted an incredible promise: a record-breaking AnTuTu score from its upcoming gaming-centric smartphone. The bombastic smartphone promised a score of 600000, upending the current leader, the ROG Phone 2.

Of course, Lenovo and ASUS aren’t the only gaming-centric phone makers on the black. Xiaomi currently distributes a gaming line, the Black Shark series. Besides that, the company has also touted record-breaking AnTuTu scores in the past. Without a doubt, Xiaomi has the necessary credentials to make an AnTuTu run.

On Chinese social network Weibo, a leaker revealed the alleged score of the upcoming Black Shark 3. The result was a huge surprise: a whopping 620952, eclipsing the supposed score of Lenovo’s phone.

Currently, no smartphone has come close to the numbers promised by Lenovo and Black Shark. The current market leader — the ASUS ROG Phone 2 — has a score of 507051. Xiaomi has a lot of work to do.

However, Black Shark supposedly has the firepower for such a promise. According to previous rumors, the Black Shark 3 sports the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset and the world’s first 16GB of RAM. Given the specifications, the gaming phone can certainly climb up the ranks of AnTuTu’s scoring system.

Unfortunately, Xiaomi planned the Black Shark 3’s launch during the canceled MWC 2020. Ironically, the initial Black Shark 3 rumors likely encouraged Lenovo to spark its own hype. Now, Xiaomi is catching up, one-upping Lenovo’s promises for the gaming phone market. With talks igniting from all sides, the market will surely heat up in the near future.

SEE ALSO: Black Shark 2 Pro: Price and availability in the Philippines

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