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Samsung muscles into midrange market with Galaxy A5, A7 smartphones

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Midrange phones are growing in popularity these days, as more and more consumers are looking for better and feature-rich devices to upgrade to.

In the Philippines, the midrange is where the excitement is now, and it’s about to get more crowded, with the local unveiling of two additions to Samsung’s upper-midrange Galaxy A series of smartphones.

Sporting sleek glass-and-metal builds with sheets of ever-so-slightly curved Gorilla Glass on top of their front and back panels, the new Galaxy A5 and A7 offer a premium experience with the price to match: P19,990 ($430) for the Galaxy A5; P22,990 ($490) for the larger and more capable Galaxy A7.

samsung-galaxy-a5-a7-2016-1

Samsung Galaxy A5 (right), Galaxy A7 (left)

Not including the Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, and Note 5, these are the best-looking smartphones the Korean phone maker has on offer in the Philippines today.

And like Samsung’s higher-end devices, both come with a physical home button that also functions as a fingerprint scanner, fast-charging capabilities (the batteries can be cycled from 0 to 100 percent in about 100 minutes), and rear-facing cameras that allow more light to pass through.

Here’s a bunch of photos taken with the Galaxy A7’s 13-megapixel rear camera.

Samsung also included the convenience of microSD expansion (up to 128GB). An octa-core Exynos processor powers the Samsung phones, though opting for the A7 gets you more RAM, with 3GB to run your apps in.

As for the display, you’re looking at a 5.2-inch screen with full-HD resolution on the Galaxy A5, a 5.5-incher on the A7. Both use AMOLED technology for brighter colors and deeper blacks and less power consumption.

Samsung’s Galaxy A5 and A7 are now available in various retail locations across the Philippines. If you’re willing to pay a premium for more advanced phones that are gorgeous to look at, they might be worth the money.

Alternatively, you could get last year’s Galaxy S6 for much less than its price at launch, which, frankly, is a better, albeit a tad more expensive, option.

[irp posts=”9122″ name=”Samsung’s new Galaxy A series doesn’t feel midrange”]

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Corning unveils tougher Gorilla Glass Victus 2

Can survive 1m drops on concrete

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Smartphones are getting stronger. Because of ever-growing technology, smartphones today can more easily withstand bumps, dings, and accidents. Besides the intricate labyrinth of chips inside, it’s also important to look at the screen. In the next evolution of screen durability, Corning has unveiled next year’s Gorilla Glass Victus 2, featuring more protection against the most common smartphone accident.

If you’re out and about, there’s a good chance that you’re holding your phone in your hand. All it takes is either a miscalculation or slippery hands to send your phone tumbling onto the unforgiving concrete. According to Corning, “over 30 percent of the drops [smartphones] were having were on concrete, more than any other surface.”

Building on its predecessor’s formula, the Gorilla Glass Victus 2 can now survive drops from one meter on concrete. Plus, much like the original Victus, this version can withstand drops from two meters on smoother asphalt. The new material also compensates for larger and heavier form factors.

Now, the big question: Does it matter? Though it might seem insignificant, more durability on rougher surfaces means more protection in real-life scenarios. In the real world, not everything is as smooth as concrete. More often than not, smartphones will fall onto uneven surfaces. Even a single tiny bump can spell disaster for the hardiest of screens.

Corning has not confirmed which smartphones will get the new glass yet. However, the company hints that it’s coming to a flagship in the coming months. Given the timing (and the specs of the previous generation), it’s not difficult to assume that next year’s Galaxy S23 series will get the Victus 2 first.

SEE ALSO: Corning’s new Gorilla Glass Victus can survive a 2 meter drop

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Xiaomi, Huawei, MediaTek, iQOO postpone December launches

Because of a political figure’s passing

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Xiaomi 12 Lite

Though almost all major smartphone launches have already happened this year, some brands reserve December to close the year with a bang. Unfortunately, if you were waiting for one of the final launches this year, you might be in for a longer wait. Xiaomi, Huawei, MediaTek, and iQOO have all postponed their major launches in December.

It’s not a strange coincidence between four brands, of course. Jiang Zemin, the former General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, recently passed away at 96 years old. Though the four announcement did not mention the death as a reason for the postponement, the coincidence of all four at the same time does heavily point to it.

Regardless of the reason, the four scheduled launches will now happen at a later time. None of the four brands have decided on new dates yet.

Xiaomi was supposed to launch the Xiaomi 13 series and MIUI 14. Huawei was scheduled to unveil smartwatches with housing for TWS earbuds. MediaTek — both through new smartphones and its own launch — was going to reveal the new Dimensity 8200. Finally, iQOO was scheduled for the launch of the iQOO 11 series and the iQOO Neo7 SE.

If you were on the lookout for any of these launches, you’ll have to wait a little bit longer.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi 12T Pro review: Potential flagship killer

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Replay! Apple Music launches new year-end experience

2022 Top Charts revealed

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Replay

So, what have you been listening to an Apple Music in 2022? The redesigned Apple Music Replay experience will let you know what you’ve bopping to this year.

Apple Music Replay recaps what users listened to the past year. But new in 2022 is a year-end experience complete with expanded listening insights and new functionality. This includes a personalized highlight reel.

Users can discover their top songs, top albums, top artists, top genres, and more. Superfans can even discover whether they are in the top 100 listeners of their favourite artist or genre.

Apple Music listeners can continue checking Replay until December 31 and once the new year begins, keep listening on Apple Music to explore and share new 2023 insights each week.

All insights on Replay are optimized for sharing on socials or on any messaging platform.

How Apple Music Replay Works

Visit replay.music.apple.com and log in with the same Apple ID used for Apple Music. Play highlights or scroll through the page for more detailed insights. A truncated version of the site is available all year or as soon as a user is eligible.1

How to See Listening Stats

  1. Listen to enough music to qualify. Gauge qualification with a personalised progress bar on the Replay website. Both playlist and insights eligibility happens with the same listening threshold.
  2. Once a user is eligible for Replay, they can visit replay.music.apple.com.
  3. Explore listening stats, listen on the site, and share.

Replay is localised in 39 languages for all 169 countries and regions where Apple Music is available.

Top Charts 2022

Apple Music also revealed its year-end charts, spotlighting 2022’s top songs, top Shazams, top fitness songs, and most-read lyrics. Apple also shared a list of the most Shazamed K-Pop songs in 2022.

Top Songs of 2022: Singapore

1 The Kid LAROI, Justin Bieber – STAY
2 Troye Sivan – Angel Baby
3 Justin Bieber – Ghost
4 Shivers – Ed Sheeran
5 Harry Styles – As It Was
6 Adele – Easy On Me
7 WeiBird – Red Scarf (“Till We Meet Again” Movie Theme Song)
8 Glass Animals – Heat Waves
9 Ed Sheeran – Bad Habits
10 Elton John, Dua Lipa – Cold Heart (PNAU Remix)
11 Joji – Glimpse of Us
12 OneRepublic – I Ain’t Worried
13 GAYLE – abcdefu
14 Ed Sheeran – Perfect
15 Zhang Yuan – 嘉宾
16 Baby Lullaby Academy – Brahm’s Lullaby
17 Charlie Puth – Light Switch
18 The Weeknd, Ariana Grande – Save Your Tears (Remix)
19 IVE – LOVE DIVE
20 Charlie Puth, Jung Kook – Left and Right
21 BLACKPINK – Pink Venom
22 Jack Harlow, Lil Nas X – INDUSTRY BABY
23 Marshmello, Jonas Brothers – Leave Before You Love Me
24 Renran – 飞鸟和蝉
25 Jamie Miller – Here’s Your Perfect
 

Top Shazamed Songs of 2022: Singapore

1 Troye Sivan – Angel Baby
2 Stephen Sanchez – Until I Found You
4 Ed Sheeran – Shivers
5 Glass Animals – Heat Waves
6 OneRepublic – I Ain’t Worried
7 Justin Bieber – Ghost
8 Elton John & Dua Lipa – Cold Heart (PNAU Remix)
9 Harry Styles – As It Was
10 WeiBird – Red Scarf (“Till We Meet Again” Movie Theme Song)
11 Nicky Youre & Dazy – Sunroof
12 Marshmello & Jonas Brothers – Leave Before You Love Me
13 Tate McRae – she’s all i wanna be
15 Jaymes Young – Infinity
16 Zhang Yuan – 嘉宾
17 Ruth B. – Dandelions
3 JIN – Yours
14 V – Christmas Tree
18 Ed Sheeran – Bad Habits
19 The Kid LAROI & Justin Bieber – STAY
20 Joji – Glimpse of Us
21 TREASURE – DARARI
22 Pink Sweat$ – At My Worst
23 Chris Brown – Under The Influence
24 Elley Duhé – MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT
25 Renran – 飞鸟和蝉

Singapore: Top K-Pop Songs Shazamed

1 TREASURE – DARARI
2 ENHYPEN – Polaroid Love
3 LISA – MONEY
4 BTS – Moon
5 Jessi – ZOOM
6 B.I & Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em – BTBT (feat. DeVita)
7 TWICE – The Feels
8 IVE – ELEVEN
9 BTS – Epiphany
10 IVE – After LIKE
11 BLACKPINK – Pink Venom
12 Jung Kook – Stay Alive (Prod. by SUGA of BTS)
13 BTS – Awake
14 IVE – LOVE DIVE
15 PSY – That That (prod. & feat. SUGA of BTS)
16 BTS – Dynamite
17 CHUNG HA – Killing Me
18 BIGBANG – Still Life
19 TAEYEON – INVU
20 BTS – Filter
21 GOT the beat – Step Back
22 BTS – Butter
23 BTS – Permission to Dance
24 BLACKPINK – Lovesick Girls
25 TWICE – SCIENTIST
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