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ROG Phone 3, Lenovo Legion first to carry Snapdragon 865 Plus

Qualcomm’s new flagship chip is focused on ‘Elite Gaming’

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Qualcomm’s newest flagship System on a Chip (SoC) is heavily focused on 5G and providing a faster gaming experience. That’s why it comes as no surprise that the first two devices that will carry the chip are the upcoming ASUS ROG Phone 3 and the much-rumored Lenovo Legion mobile gaming device.

Snapdragon 865 Plus

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 SoC brought 5G connectivity to the top smartphones for the first half of 2020. Qualcomm is taking it a step further with the Snapdragon 865 Plus by adding what they call the Qualcomm Snapdragon Elite Gaming experience.

The new chip is promising to deliver “desktop-quality gaming with first-to-mobile features like updateable GPU drivers and desktop forward rendering, and ultra-smooth 5G gameplay.”

In numbers, the chip will deliver 144 FPS along with true 10-bit HDR for that added cinematic detail when you play. Other enhancements include the following:

  • Kryo 585 CPU Prime core clock speed at up to 3.1 GHz (10% increase)
  • Adreno 650 GPU offers 10% faster graphics rendering
  • FastConnect 6900 compatibility — boasting staggering Wi-Fi speeds for
    up to 3.6 Gbps – the fastest of any mobile Wi-Fi offering in the industry — delivering performance fit for premium devices and experiences

The Snapdragon 865 Plus will also offer improvements in AI engines for camera performance and audio.

ROG Phone 3

Expected to be announced in late July is the ASUS ROG Phone 3. While the rest of the specs and features have yet to be confirmed, having the Snapdragon 865 Plus at the heart of the device is a reassurance of what is another over-the-top mobile gaming experience.

“Full specifications for the ROG Phone 3 will be announced in the coming weeks, but the addition of the Snapdragon 865 Plus ensures that the overall performance will take yet another leap forward.” said Bryan Chang, general manager of smartphone business unit for ASUS.

Lenovo Legion mobile gaming

We’ve had several rumors and tiny details here and there, but this is the absolute confirmation that Lenovo Legion — the company’s gaming sub-brand — is coming up with a mobile gaming device.

“Three years after the launch of the Lenovo Legion PC portfolio, we’re bringing our beloved gaming sub-brand’s core values of speed and powerful performance to 5G mobile gaming — where Lenovo Legion will be amongst the first to offer the new Snapdragon 865 Plus in our expanding family of gaming devices this year,” said Jerry Tsao, vice president of Lenovo’s Mobile Gaming Group Emerging Markets.

“Lenovo has a long history of co-engineering amazing consumer experiences with Qualcomm Technologies and we can’t wait to share more soon,” he added.

Tsao was coy about sharing more details. He didn’t even confirm if it’s indeed a gaming smartphone or not. While that may be the assumption, we’re very much open to surprises.

Commercial devices based on Snapdragon 865 Plus are expected to be announced in the third quarter of 2020.

 

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Honor 50 and Honor 50 Lite launch globally

With Google Mobile Services (GMS)

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Honor’s bounce back smartphones since parting ways with Huawei is something we’re keeping an eye on. Today, they just launched the Honor 50 and Honor 50 Lite — both still with traces of its Huawei lineage but with Google Mobile Services.

This new pair of smartphones hasn’t strayed too far from Huawei. But operating independently from the company blacklisted in the USA means gaining access to what Huawei lost — Google Mobile Services or GMS.

Honor 50

The Honor 50 is recognizing the growing trend of short-form videos. With this in mind, they put a 32MP front-facing camera with a 90-degree viewing angle so you can shoot for TikTok, Reels, or YouTube Shorts.

On the back, meanwhile, you’ll find the 108MP main camera flanked by an 8MP ultra-wide angle camera as well as throwaway additions 2MP depth, and 2MP macro cameras.

It has a 6.57-inch, 75-degree curved AMOLED screen that supports 120Hz refresh rate. If you’re into mobile gaming, it also has a 300Hz touch sampling rate so remain competitive. Powering the device is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 778 5G chip with a Turbo X GPU, again for high performance and lag-less mobile play.

It comes with a 4,300mAh battery with support for 66W Honor SuperCharge technology for fast wired charging. You can go from zero to 70 percent in just 20 minutes, claims Honor.

The phone runs on Android 11 but with Magic UI 4.2 on top for its own unique Android flavor.

Honor 50 Lite

The Honor 50 Lite shares much of the same features. Some key differences are its 6.67-inch FullView display and the 64MP main camera.

Pricing and availability

The Honor 50 comes in Frost Crystal, Emerald Green, or Midnight Black. There’s also the special HONOR Code edition. Honor describes it as “an innovative colorway incorporating the “HONOR” logo across the back cover.”

Pricing are as follows:

  • 6GB+128GB — EUR 529 (around US$ 614)
  • 8GB+256GB — EUR 599 (around US$ 695)

Meanwhile, the Lite version comes in just the 6GB+128GB variant and retails for EUR 299 (around US$ 347).

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Players finally meet as HoYo FEST kicks off in SEA this November

It’s a grand meetup!

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hoyo fest

miHoYo, the global interactive entertainment developer and publisher behind hit multiplayer games such as Honkai Impact 3rd, Tears of Themis, and Genshin Impact, announced that HoYo FEST is coming to Southeast Asia this November.

The interactive festival shall be held in six countries: Singapore, Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam.

The annual celebration will allow for fellow players to finally convene and meet each other off their screens and in real life, allowing for an opportunity to relive memorable, happy, and touching moments in the game together.

Gaming world-themed cafés

All HoYo FEST-related events will be held at collaboration cafés themed after Honkai Impact 3rd, Tears of Themis, and Genshin Impact between November 5 and December 14.

These specific cafés will offer special set menus on dine-in, takeout, and delivery options. Ordering via takeout and delivery also gives customers an additional printed tote bag and cup sleeve.

The interiors will be furnished in the styles of Honkai Impact 3rd, Tears of Themis, and Genshin Impact in order, which is accompanied by photography zones.

That way, fans and players will be able to enjoy exquisite foods and immerse themselves in a real-life feel of the game worlds while bonding with new friends they’ve only previously met in-game.

Mystery gifts and exciting merchandise

Ordering collaboration combos or spending a certain amount of money at a café also entitles guests to an exciting mystery gift box.

The pop-up stores found only at specific cafés will also sell a variety of exclusive Honkai Impact 3rd, Tears of Themis, and Genshin Impact merchandise, to be distributed only by the staff of the collaboration cafés.

Preparations for the celebration are underway, so Captains, Travelers, and Attorneys should brace themselves for upcoming surprises.

Festival Schedule

  • Honkai Impact 3rd: November 5 to November 16
  • Tears of Themis: November 19 to November 30
  • Genshin Impact: December 3 to December 14

Collaboration Cafés

  • Singapore: Aniplus Cafe
  • Malaysia: my Burger Lab
  • Thailand: NANA Coffee Roasters Ari
  • Philippines: Moon Rabbit Café + Restaurant
  • Indonesia: Warung Koffie Batavia
  • Vietnam: To Be Announced

For more event details and pandemic precautions, please visit the miHoYo official website: https://mhy.link/686SLBA6.

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The Xperia PRO-I is Sony’s first smartphone with a 1-inch camera sensor

The same camera sensor from the Sony RX100 VII

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Remember when Sharp launched the first 1.0-inch camera sensor in a smartphone? Well, Sony has finally entered the scene.

If you’ve recently picked up a Sony Xperia PRO, you might not be too thrilled about this news. This isn’t a new smartphone line from Sony, rather the successor to the Xperia PRO announced in MWC 2020.

Xperia 1 III with the PRO treatment

Just like the Xperia 1 III, the Xperia PRO-I has a 6.5-inch 4K HDR OLED display. While not the same 240Hz panel found on its Sharp counterpart, its 120Hz refresh rate is still smooth and capable in today’s needs. Other than the screen, it also has other similarities like a microSDXC card slot, Gorilla Glass 6 and Victus protection, IP65/68 water and dust resistance, among others.

Under the hood, it’s packed with the latest Snapdragon 888 5G chipset — a leap ahead from Xperia PRO’s Snapdragon 865 that was also launched this year. It also has a 4500mAh battery with support for 30W fast wired charging and a sole 512GB + 12GB configuration.

Alpha-grade cameras

What sets the Xperia PRO-I apart from its cousin and sibling are the new set of cameras — particularly that large 1-inch Exmor RS camera sensor you barely find on smartphones nowadays. Rather, it’s found on capable compact cameras like the Sony RX100 VII.

On paper, it still has triple 12MP cameras like the Xperia 1 III. The difference is that the 12MP wide camera has a dual variable aperture of f/2.0 and f/4.0 for that seamless bokeh transitioning like a real point-and-shoot. Ultra-wide is the same at 12MP f/2.2 with 124-degree FoV (Field of View) but the telephoto lens is a downgrade from 3-4.4x optical zoom to just 2x. There’s also a 0.3MP 3D iToF camera for depth-sensing.

On a greater note, the cameras have high-index optical glass spherical lenses that were fit in such slim form. They’re also coated with ZEISS T* coating to avoid pesky reflections — which can also be seen in our vivo X70 Pro+ camera shootout.

For photography

For mobile photographers, the Xperia PRO-I is a true gift from gods. It has Phase Detection AF as well as OIS for less blurry photos even in the dimmest situations. It even supports 12-bit RAW support for flexible color grading especially in pro-grade monitors.

The Xperia PRO-I boasts 315 AF (Autofocus) points, Real-time Eye AF plus Real-time tracking and object tracking for precise tracking and shooting. The wide lens can shoot up to 20fps continuous shooting while the ultra-wide and telephoto lenses are restricted to 10fps. The wide lens also has an anti-distortion shutter to reduce that rolling shutter effect.

To make any Xperia PRO-I user feel at home, there’s a dedicated shutter button as well as a single shortcut key just like on any Sony camera. This ensures better focusing and shooting especially when you always shoot photos in a hurry.

For videography

4K HDR 120fps video recording is what makes this more pro of smartphone. There’s also an Optical SteadyShot with FlawlessEye for shake-free videos when panning and roaming around. You should take note though that these features are only accessible to the 24mm wide lens.

Object tracking are also supported in video mode so you can continuously record footage with one subject in focus.

For vlogging

The Xperia PRO-I is advertised as a great compact vlogging camera, too. It has Eye AF in video so the subject is still focused even when recording one’s self. Other than that, there are also stereo mics, one of which is a mono mic found on the rear side to record crystal clear audio. It even has an Intelligent Wind Filter to avoid muffled recordings outdoors.

Image by GadgetMatch

There are also vlogger-centric accessories like the 3.5-inch Vlog Monitor a la professional cinema camera monitor. This is for you to see yourself while using the great rear camera setup since the Xperia PRO-1 doesn’t have a flip screen like the RX100 VII.

Other than that, there’s also the Shooting Grip which is a common vlogging accessory you see from Sony users. This serves as both a handling grip and a mini tripod and a mount for an external mic.

For cinematography

With Xperia PRO-I’s cinematic 21:9 display, shooting 21:9 content also makes a whole lot sense. As mentioned earlier, 4K HDR 120fps recording is included to capture crisp and clear footages.

There are also eight (8) color styles perfected by Sony for you to capture cinema-grade content even with a device that fits in the palm of your hands.

For multimedia needs

Other than the inclusion of microSDXC card slot for people who need it on the go, the Sony Xperia PRO-I also has a strap hole to attach straps like a typical camera. At the same time, they’re still keeping the 3.5mm audio jack in 2021! This is to make sure that audiophiles can still enjoy LDAC and Hi-Res audio that works mostly in Sony’s wired headphones.

Pricing and availability

Sony sells the Xperia PRO-I in a single Frosted Black colorway at a whopping retail tag of EUR 1799 (US$ 2078) — that’s almost US$ 500 less than the original Xperia PRO. The Vlog Monitor gives you an additional EUR 199 (US$ 230) and the needed back cover attachment is an added EUR 89.99 (US$ 104) in the cart.

It will be available starting on December in the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands and other European regions. Availability in other countries will follow in 2022.

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