News

Samsung Galaxy A9 Star looks like the Huawei P20

Launches in China first

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Some call it a bright star in an endless sea of black and rose gold; others call it a well-placed oil slick. Regardless of where you stand, Huawei’s Twilight gradient has turned more heads today than any other color in smartphone history.

The gradient got its start through the popular Huawei P20 and P20 Pro. Even now, the variant continues to sell out in authorized retailers. In fact, the P20 series popularized the trend so much that various other phones are adopting gradients for variants. Some have even gone so far as to copy Huawei entirely.

Despite the abundance of copycats, another brand is adding its own gradient phone — Samsung. The Korean phone maker has launched a new upper-midrange phone, the Galaxy A9 Star.

Surprisingly, instead of creating an original take on the trend, the A9 Star significantly copies from Huawei’s own design.

Like Huawei’s Twilight, the A9 Star equally dips from blue to purple. To add a bit of originality, the phone adds in curved accents underneath the surface.

Additionally, the phone curiously shifts the dual rear cameras to the top-left corner. Traditionally, Samsung prefers a central camera position. The new top-left position exactly mimics Huawei’s.

As for other hardware, the phone sports a 6.3-inch Super AMOLED display. It also boasts a midrange Snapdragon 660, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of internal storage. It touts a huge 3700mAh battery.

At the moment, the Samsung Galaxy A9 Star exclusively sells in China for US$ 470. Recently, the similar A8 Star launched in the region.

SEE ALSO: Samsung will soon introduce midrange Galaxy A8 Star with dual rear cameras

Gaming

Razer is reviving its left-handed gaming mouse

Boasting 20,000dpi

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For such a thriving industry, the gaming peripherals industry still has no easily manufacturable solution for left-handed gaming. Years ago, Razer spent resources to develop an ergonomic solution for the problem. However, because of a lack in demand, the company pulled the product out. Now, Razer is reviving its left-handed gaming mouse.

Initially launched in 2014, the Razer Naga Left-handed Edition combines a thumb-optimized 12-button gaming grid with left-handed ergonomics. All in all, the mouse has 19+1 programmable buttons. Inside, the mouse’s new sensor sports 20,000dpi with 99.6 percent resolution accuracy. As a result, the Left-handed Edition is optimized for MMO gaming.

Further, the mouse boasts a durability of up to 50,000 clicks. It boasts slick movement across any surface with PTFE coating. It also a super flexible cable for minimal drag. The mouse’s memory can also store up to five profiles.

Razer now claims that it is the only company that sells true left-handed gaming mice. True enough, most left-handed gaming mice today are just symmetrically designed. Basically, the mice’s developers did not design ergonomically for another market. Instead, they made a mouse applicable for both markets. Razer says that it expended a lot of resources by developing a truly left-handed mouse, often causing a loss more than a profit.

According to Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan, the newly designed mouse will likely still cause a loss. However, “the more [they] sell, the less of a loss [they] will take on it and the more likely [Razer] can continue to produce it,” he said.

Besides the new Naga, Razer also sells the DeathAdder Left-handed Edition, a more minimal gaming mouse for any use. The Naga Left-handed Edition is still an upgrade over the DeathAdder. The new mouse is now available for US$ 99.99.

SEE ALSO: Razer launched a heat-resistant, antibacterial Note 20 case

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Accessories

Even Samsung calls them Beans, according to teardown

They also have an easily replaceable battery

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Marketing will always clash with engineering. Whereas the latter will use quirky names for a product, the former will always prefer a more marketing-friendly name. Take the Android 11 versus Android Red Velvet Cake debate, for example. Now, another weirdly named product is falling into the same marketing versus engineering clash: the Galaxy Buds Live. If you’ve seen the product, you already know what it should be called. Apparently, Samsung does, too. According to a tear-down video, even Samsung calls them Beans.

In iFixit’s latest teardown video, the infamous dissector of tech revealed the inner workings of the small Galaxy Buds Live. Composed of many minuscule components, each earbud contains a flexible strip that holds the entire thing together. Each cable has a perfectly readable label called “bean left” or “bean right.” Without a doubt, Samsung — at least, their engineering department — calls them beans as well.

In other news, iFixit also comments on the relative ease of taking the earbuds apart, making them much easier to fix. They even found it easy to replace the battery (provided you even have a spare battery in the first place). Overall, the YouTuber gave it a repairability score of 8.

Regardless of what you call the Galaxy Buds Live or Galaxy Beans, the new wireless earbuds are a marvel of product design. The bean-shaped design makes for a more comfortable fit than more elongated earbuds out there. It fits snugly rather than protrudes invasively. Right now, the Galaxy Buds Live are available for US$ 169.99.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 series: Staying the course

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Enterprise

Facebook blames Apple for harming small businesses

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Today, Facebook launched a new service wherein small businesses can now effectively host paid livestreaming events right on the platform. Of course, while individual users might not find much use for the service, small businesses will benefit from centralizing their operations in fewer platforms. However, in the same launch, Facebook blames Apple for harming small businesses.

You might ask why Facebook took the time to attack Apple during their own launch event. Well, for two reasons.

The first reason concerns the new service’s payment structure. The new service includes a host of possible events like fitness classes, meet-and-greets, and pay-per-view events. Naturally, paid online events will help recoup losses from a still-ailing live events industry. To help these small business, Facebook chose to forego any revenue from hosting any events on their page. Small businesses will essentially earn 100 percent of their ticket sales from the event.

Now, Apple currently has a 30 percent cut on all transactions made through their devices. Hence, small businesses will earn only 70 percent of the revenue made from Apple users. Facebook asked Apple to either reduce the revenue cut or allow Facebook to shoulder the burden. Apple declined.

The second reason is, strangely, because of Fortnite. Lately, the still-popular battle royale game launched a crusade against the App Store’s monopolistic 30 percent cut. Epic Games migrated Fortnite’s transaction system away from Apple or Google and into Epic Games directly, earning them 100 percent of the revenue. As a result, Apple and Google kicked Fortnite from their respective stores. Now, Epic Games is suing Apple for the monopolistic practice.

Facebook’s dig against Apple is timely. In exposing Apple’s decision, Facebook can hope to change the practice in the future.

SEE ALSO: Facebook wants to acquire Dubsmash to fight TikTok

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