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Samsung announces the world’s first holed smartphone

Named the Galaxy A8s

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When Stephen Curry starts banking impossible threes, you’re in for an absolute show. Likewise, when a technology company starts hammering home tons of new developments, you’re in for a wave of hype. Whatever your choice of playmaker is, it shouldn’t get in the way of an outstanding game.

Like Curry, Samsung has found its rhythm as of late. Despite winding down the year, the company has jumpstarted the hype train early for next year. Already, they are reportedly developing multiple new form factors. These include a foldable smartphone, fully integrated screen, and all-screen fingerprint reader.


As of today, add another one to that growing list. After officially announcing the Galaxy A6s and A9s, Samsung teased an entirely new form factor for the future. Named the Galaxy A8s, the new smartphone will tout a hole on the display, rather than an unsightly notch.

More specifically, the smartphone’s display will sport a tiny hole on the upper-left corner. The hole will house the phone’s front-facing camera. Presumably, the sensors will sit around this area. Regardless, the new design will minimize, if not eliminate, the phone’s bezels.

Of course, with today’s current designs, the phone might still have a tiny top chin for sensors. However, Samsung is concurrently developing a solution for this. According to other reports, the company is creating a fully integrated screen that buries the sensors underneath the screen.

With the announcement, Samsung overtakes Huawei in formally announcing a holed phone. Previously, Huawei was reportedly building a phone with the same form factor. Sadly, the company hasn’t announced anything regarding this development.

For now, the future Samsung Galaxy A8s brings this form factor into reality. Unfortunately, Samsung has not added any more details about the phone. As of now, Samsung’s holed phone remains a distant (but assured) point in the future.

SEE ALSO: Samsung teases its foldable smartphone’s launch date

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ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 receives global Android Pie update

More features coming up

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The ZenFone Max Pro M1, which had been a mainstay on our Best Smartphones list, is officially seeing its Android 9 Pie update roll out internationally.

This comes a little over a year after the phone’s original launch. According to ASUS’ official online forum, the update is targeting model ZB602KL, which is the international unit. The update’s version number is 16.2017.1905.053.


The update is about 1.5GB in size and can be accessed by checking the System Updates option under System in the main settings menu. ASUS says that the update’s push is happening in batches, so it may take longer for some users to receive it.

The hefty update includes all the features that are bundled with Android Pie, along with the latest security patch from ASUS and some bug fixes.

Last month, only the Indian version of the ZenFone Max Pro M1 could be updated to Android Pie.

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Redmi 7A offers a solid budget phone experience

Continuing the legacy of great value

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When we first reviewed the Redmi 5A, we dubbed it the best smartphone you could buy below US$ 100. But then the Redmi 6A happened, and it wasn’t nearly as impressive. Fast forward to the Redmi 7A, which looks to bring Xiaomi’s entry-level A-series back to its roots.

Xiaomi once again placed a capable Snapdragon chipset in its lowest-end Redmi model. This time, it’s the Snapdragon 439. With the 4000mAh battery, this phone is built to last long on a single charge.


The memory and storage options of 2GB+16GB and 3GB+32GB aren’t as impressive, especially against today’s standards, but as the previous two generations had proven. they’re sufficient for basic apps and tasks.

On the back is a single 13-megapixel camera while the front houses a standard 5-megapixel shooter. As for the display, it’s a 5.45-inch 720p LCD with no notch or hole in it. Once again, there’s no fingerprint scanner to be found.

Indeed, this is as basic as it gets for a smartphone, but like the Redmi 5A and 6A, the Redmi 7A is suitable for first-time smartphone users and those who needs an inexpensive secondary phone.

While no official pricing has been announced yet, it’s expected to retail for no more than US$ 100 like its predecessors. We’ll learn more during the Redmi K20 launch happening on May 28.

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Huawei’s phones can’t use microSD cards anymore

Another casualty of the ban

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Everyone knows what happened to Huawei. As the week winds down, the Trump ban is dismantling the Chinese company piece by piece. Most notably, Google has stopped its business dealings with Huawei. Soon after, hardware company ARM ceased support for future Huawei chips. Huawei has lost considerable support on both hardware and software sides.

Now, the company has lost another major backer. Reported by Nikkei Asian Review, the SD Association has revoked Huawei’s membership status. As the name suggests, the trade group dictates the SD and microSD standards of the industry. The Chinese company cannot use the standard for future devices anymore. Fortunately, Huawei can still use the memory cards for existing phones.


However, the latest bridge-burning has drastically changed the company’s future. Given everything, Huawei’s future does not include Google, ARM, and microSD extensions, among others. All three components are major parts of today’s phones.

Fortunately, the loss of microSD support isn’t a deadly deal. Huawei can still use other standards for memory card extension. The company also has its own proprietary standard called the Nano Memory Card. Of course, proprietary hardware is almost always a turn-off. Despite cushioning the SD Association loss, the Nano Memory Card isn’t as appealing as the universally available microSD card.

In other news, Huawei has also “temporarily” lost access to the Wi-Fi Alliance. Much like the SD Association, the Wi-Fi Alliance dictates the connectivity standards of devices. Thankfully, Huawei can still use Wi-Fi in its devices. However, the company cannot participate in any discussions to shape Wi-Fi’s future.

Likewise, Huawei has voluntarily withdrawn from JEDEC, a trade group that defines semiconductor standards. As with the Wi-Fi Alliance, the company cannot contribute to any future discussions.

Fortunately, both restrictions don’t impact the company’s future as much. However, Huawei’s future is slowly moving away from industry standards. If the company hopes to survive, Huawei must develop its own proprietary hardware or find replacements elsewhere.

SEE ALSO: Philippines: Huawei ban ‘will have a little impact’ on the country

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