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Smart is now selling 5G-ready SIMs in the Philippines

You still have to wait for Smart’s 5G network though

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The next-generation 5G network is almost upon us. In the Philippines, telco operator Smart is preparing for the 5G revolution by selling 5G-ready SIM to its subscribers.

The next-generation 5G network is an improvement over 4G. While many Filipinos are just getting to enjoy the benefits of 4G, telco operators are preparing for the future by upgrading their network to utilize 5G.

Of course, you’ll need a 5G-capable phone to utilize the full power of 5G. Most smartphone brands are launching 5G-ready devices for the future. Flagships like the Mate 30 Pro 5G already have support for the network built-in.

Here in the Philippines, there is no existing 5G network yet, but Smart and Globe are already building one. There’s no timeframe for when you can expect a rollout of 5G networks, but expect it to arrive by next year or so.

If you really want to buy a 5G-ready SIM from Smart, you can do so by heading over to this website. The SIM cards are also bundled with load cards that will get you up to speed. You can have the SIM and load cards delivered into your home too.

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Xiaomi Mi 11: Price and availability in the Philippines

The flagship for everyone?

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One of the first smartphones to sport the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset officially arrives in the Philippines as Xiaomi launches the Mi 11.

Teased and leaked almost incessantly, the device was first launched in China in late December and released globally early in February 2021.

What are you getting with the Mi 11? First off, it has a sizable 6.81-inch AMOLED screen, outputting images in 1440p and 120Hz. The screen is reportedly a new 10-bit panel with up to 8192 brightness levels and 480Hz touch input rate.

Much like most flagships released so far, this phone has support for 5G — a feature that will likely be norm this year and beyond.

It comes with a triple rear camera setup: 108-megapixel main + 13-megapixel ultra-wide + 5-megapixel telemacro. Xiaomi put a bunch of AI video features for you to play with like Parallel World, Freeze Frame video, and more. The front panel has a top-left punch-hole camera, Xiaomi did not explicitly showcase the front-facing selfie camera’s specs.

It will come with MiUI12 out of the box —  possibly the least bloatware-infested version of the said Android skin.

Xiaomi isn’t including an 18W charger. Instead, it comes with a 55W charger which can juice up the 4,600mAh battery from 0 to 100 percent in 45 minutes.

Pricing and availability

The Xiaomi Mi 11 comes in 8GB+256GB variant with enhanced LPDDR5 3200MHz RAM + UFS 3.1 storage. It will retail at PhP 36,990 starting from March 13, and will be available at Xiaomi official stores on Lazada and Shopee, and offline at Authorized Mi Stores and other official retailers in Philippines.

Mi 11 will come in two color options: Midnight Gray and Horizon Blue. Mi Fans who order during the pre-order period starting March 5 will get additional Xiaomi freebies.

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Future MacBook Pro models will have an HDMI port again

One less dongle to carry

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Just a few weeks ago, rumors started spreading that future MacBook Pro models will likely have an SD card reader. It seems like Apple is not  stopping there, as famed tipster Ming-Chi Kuo predicts that future models will feature an HDMI port once again.

The change will be a significant one for Apple. All MacBook Pro models today only feature the USB-C port, so a dongle is necessary for connecting to other devices and peripherals. The inclusion of an HDMI port will also eliminate the need for dongles and will appease power users who require the port for their workflow. HDMI ports are still present on many devices especially on displays, which in some cases only have one or two of these ports.

Aside from the inclusion of an HDMI port, Kuo also predicts that the new MacBook Pro models will be a major redesign, featuring flat edges like those found in the latest iPhone and iPad models. The divisive Touch Bar is also going away on the new models, as per Kuo’s predictions.

Other rumors point to Apple resurrecting the MagSafe connector which is present on older models. However, it is unclear how the company plans to reintroduce the connector. Others are speculating a novel mechanism for wireless charging on the new models should Apple reintroduce MagSafe.

These new MacBook Pro models will come with either a 14-inch or 16-inch display. Both models will also likely sport a much beefier processor than the M1. Apple is expected to launch the new MacBook Pro in the second half of 2021.

h/t: MacRumors

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LG opens up webOS, third-party makers can now use the platform

Android TV has competition

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webos

LG has announced that its proprietary operating system, webOS, will now be available for third parties. TV’s manufactured by other brands such as RCA, Ayonz, and Konka will soon ship with WebOS pre-installed.

The South Korean tech giant has announced that the webOS TV platform ecosystem will be licensed to other brands. More than 20 TV manufacturers from around the world have “committed to the webOS partnership, including brands such as RCA, Ayonz and Konka with more partners expected to join in the future”.

Speaking more over the development, Park Hyoung-sei, president of the LG said the platform is one of the easiest ways to access millions of hours of movies and TV shows.

The announcement is considered a milestone because Google’s Android TV has dominated this segment for the longest time. Sony is among the most popular ones to leverage Android TV via its Bravia lineup. In fact, Xiaomi and a plethora of TV makers actually use Android TV underneath their own skin like PatchWall.

LG had kept the OS exclusive for its smart TVs, but the comparatively smaller ecosystem limits it from reaching its full potential. With more partners, the number of TVs with WebOS shall increase, in turn, attracting developers to the platform.

Unfortunately, LG isn’t offering webOS 6.0 to other TV brands, and the licensing is based on the older webOS 5.0 release. Hopefully, this shall change in the coming future with rising interest from more companies.

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