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Samsung’s new prototype has a very weird notch

Is this real?

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For the longest time, Samsung’s plans for the future were easy to decipher. The company barely refreshed its design philosophy across the years. Now, Samsung finds itself at a forked road.

For the first time, the company has multiple form factors in store for 2019. Throughout the last quarter, they have announced a holed smartphone, a foldable smartphone, and a fully integrated screen. Today, another one joins the fray.

In Hawaii, Qualcomm hosted the Snapdragon Technology Summit, a conference to exhibit the latest in 5G and processing technology. Mixed in among new chipsets, Samsung unveiled a new prototype phone at the conference.

Strangely, the phone didn’t fit with any of the company’s current plans. For one, it carried a notch. Despite the notch’s popularity, Samsung avoided incorporating one into their phones. Even stranger, the phone’s notch wasn’t a central cutout. Instead, the phone cuts out a notch from the screen’s upper-right corner. With this, the screen takes on the shape of a manila folder.

Like a normal notch, the dog-eared cutout houses the phone’s front-facing camera and, presumably, other sensors. Unfortunately, Samsung did not reveal much more about the device. It was even protected by a representative, preventing anyone from touching the device.

Curiously, the prototype mimics an earlier leak from ASUS. Weeks ago, ASUS leaked a phone with a waterdrop notch on the upper-right corner. At the time, the weird form factor raised a wave of eyebrows. However, Samsung’s own prototype might add some legitimacy to the form factor. Highly unlikely, but we’ll see.

Of course, prototypes belong to different stages in the product life cycle. Right now, Samsung’s future, especially with the asymmetrical notch, is a huge unknown. Thankfully, January is right around the corner. For sure, Samsung will announce its official plans soon.

SEE ALSO: Samsung will announce the Galaxy A8s on December 10

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Here’s why the Samsung Galaxy Flex will cost so much

Hint: it has something to do with the screen

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Based on the current rumors, next year’s foldable phones will take the mantle as history’s most expensive smartphones. Currently, Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Flex is already slated to come with price tags above the US$ 2,000 mark. Even without rumors, the revolutionary form factor will easily break banks because of the new screen alone.

Of course, as with all major purchases, we want to know why we’re paying so much. Finally, we have an insider’s look into what’s ticking inside these foldable screens. Via LetsGoDigitalKorean firm CGS-CIMB Research has broken down the list of materials needed to make the Galaxy Flex. For reference, the report also compares the Galaxy Flex’s breakdown with the iPhone XS Max’s and the Galaxy S9+’s.

According to the report, the Galaxy Flex almost completely uses more expensive components than today’s smartphones.

Naturally, the phone’s foldable display takes the cake. The foldable display costs US$ 218.80 per screen. The amount is almost double the price of the iPhone XS Max’s display. It’s also almost thrice the price of the Galaxy S9+’s display.

Image source: CGS-CIMB Research

As for the rest, the Galaxy Flex’s components are a few more dollars more expensive than its comparisons. The comparison only falters in power management. The iPhone XS Max spent almost two dollars more on power management than the Galaxy Flex.

All in all, the Galaxy Flex costs US$ 636.70. This is a huge leap from contemporary flagships. (The iPhone XS Max costs US$ 390.00; the Galaxy S9+ costs US$ 375.80.)

Because of this massive price increase, Samsung can charge more than today’s flat phones. The report estimates a US$ 1,800 SRP. Arguably, a huge chunk of this price will come from the extensive research done to manufacture the product. Regardless, the bank-breaking price tag is still worlds apart from today’s most expensive smartphones.

According to the report, this awful trend will likely continue. In 2022, the industry is expected to ship 24 million foldable phones, compared to next year’s paltry 3.5 million units. Despite the rush in supply, the price will still stay the same, averaging around US$ 1,300 per unit.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy A8s debuts with Infinity-O display

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OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition: Price and availability in the Philippines

The most expensive OnePlus phone, yet

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Shortly after its international debut, the most expensive OnePlus phone is (surprisingly) already on its way to the Philippines.

The OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition is now available for pre-order online through Argomall. It’s priced at PhP 39,990, which is slightly higher than its US$ 699 retail price in the US.

Compared to the regular OnePlus 6T, the McLaren Edition comes with 10GB of memory, 256GB of storage, and the latest Warp Charge technology that can fill up half of the phone’s battery in just 20 minutes.

Also, the special edition phone features a carbon fiber pattern, orange accents, and the McLaren logo on the back.

There’s no exact shipping date for the phone, but it’s already listed on Argomall’s website.

SEE ALSO: OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition introduces Warp Charge, 10GB RAM

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Philippine telcos are now required to unlock phones after lock-in period

Finally, a pro-consumer measure

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The Philippines’ Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has ordered the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and telcos for the mandatory unlocking of phones and devices after the subscriber’s lock-in period.

The policy is based on the Memorandum Order 004, Series of 2018 issued by DICT on December 14.

According to the memo, subscribers who have completed their contract and have no outstanding obligations can demand telcos to unlock their phones or devices. The process must also be done conveniently and should be shouldered by the service providers.

The NTC is now tasked to draft the Memorandum Circular for the memo’s appropriate rules and regulations and conduct consultations and hearings with affected parties.

There’s no exact date of implementation, but with order already announced to the public, Filipinos will soon have freedom for their network-locked phones given that they have already fulfilled their contract.

Source: DICT

SEE ALSO: Mislatel confirmed as Philippines’ new telco

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