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Smart rollouts 5G service in key Visayas, Mindanao areas

Look out for Smart’s 5G in Boracay, Cebu, Iloilo and Davao

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Telcos in the Philippines like Smart and Globe are preparing for the next big thing in cellular network — 5G. As a matter of fact, Smart’s 5G network is live now in select areas in the Philippines. Now, the telco is pushing ahead with a wider country rollout by expanding to select areas in Visayas and Mindanao.

Key areas where Smart is expanding its next-gen network include select vicinities of Boracay, Cebu, Iloilo, and Davao. The telco now has more 5G coverage than ever, building on the areas where the network is now live. Up until the expansion to Visayas and Mindanao, Smart’s 5G network is mainly limited to Luzon. These Luzon areas include:

  • Makati Central Business District (CBD)
  • Bonifacio Global City CBD
  • Araneta City
  • Mall of Asia Bay Area
  • North Avenue in Quezon City
  • Taft Avenue in Manila
  • Ortigas CBD
  • Select areas along EDSA
  • New Clark City in Pampanga

Strategic locations in these provinces and cities also have Smart’s 5G coverage:

  • Cavite
  • Laguna
  • Rizal
  • Manila City
  • Quezon City
  • Makati
  • Taguig
  • Pasig
  • Mandaluyong
  • Marikina
  • Parañaque
  • Valenzuela
  • Caloocan
  • Navotas
  • San Juan
  • Pasay
Smart 5G signal marker in their own Makati headquarters

Smart 5G signal marker in their own Makati headquarters

Faster upgrade to 5G

To encourage more people to switch to 5G, Smart is now making the network available to all Prepaid subscribers. Back in July, only Smart Postpaid subscribers can take advantage of the network. Willing subscribers now only need a 5G-enabled SIM card and device to use Smart’s next-generation network.

Luckily, the telco partnered with big brands to bring more 5G devices in the country. Smart’s online store now has a selection of 5G-ready devices from Huawei, Samsung, realme, and vivo. These devices can also be had on Smart’s selection of postpaid plans.

And for the unconvinced, 5G-ready handsets are available for use on select Smart Stores in Metro Manila. Here, subscribers can take advantage of super-fast speeds and low latency upon leveraging Smart’s 5G networks.

It won’t be long again before Smart expands its 5G network to more areas in the country. The telco has been preparing for the arrival of 5G all along, beginning with speeds tests in 2016. Over the last two years, it had set up 5G base stations, launched lifestyle hubs, and enabled next-gen connectivity in critical places across Metro Manila.

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Apple is shrinking the notch this year

Is this the iPhone 13?

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Another year, another iPhone. Even if the year is just starting, we’re already in for a flurry of rumors for the next iPhone. Sometimes, however, those rumors can give as an acute case of déjà vu. Today, one of the earliest details about 2021’s iPhone 13 series once again hints that Apple is shrinking the notch this year, mimicking years-worth of speculation.

According to a report from DigiTimes, the next generation of iPhones will come with smaller notches. The company will finally be able to pack in its front-facing sensors into a smaller surface area, resulting in a new form factor.

Consumers have notably decried the controversial notch since its inception in the iPhone X. Though other brands have adopted the notch themselves, most have already moved past the trend with teardrop notches, punch hole cameras, or even under-display sensors. In comparison, Apple has furiously stood by its large notch. The iPhone 13 series might finally change Apple’s long-standing status quo.

If you’re in doubt, you have every reason to be. We’re still months and months away from any incredibly substantial leaks for the iPhone 13. However, if anything, DigiTimes has reported on the upcoming iPhone before, as well. A few weeks ago, the outlet revealed that the entire series will come with improved LiDAR sensors. There might be some truth to this year’s “smaller notch” rumors. But again, waiting (and taking everything with a grain of salt) is key.

SEE ALSO: Entire iPhone 13 series will get LiDAR scanners

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WhatsApp delays roll-out of new privacy policy until May

Signal and Telegram are trending instead

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Photo by Dimitri Karastelev on Unsplash

WhatsApp rolled out a new privacy policy that clearly specifies how the instant messaging app will leverage your data for monetization. But the new privacy policy is on hold.

WhatsApp, owned by Facebook, has announced that it will delay enforcing its new privacy terms from February 8 to May 15. In the blog post, the company says that none of its privacy-focused features are changing.

“We’re also going to do a lot more to clear up the misinformation around how privacy and security works on WhatsApp. We’ll then go to people gradually to review the policy at their own pace before new business options are available on May 15,” the statement said.

It faced massive backlash as users are worried about their personal data. When the privacy policy changes went public last week, the response from the public was downright brutal. Alternative apps like Telegram and Signal started trending worldwide as users started joining it in hopes of ditching WhatsApp.

Even though WhatsApp is end-to-end encrypted, Facebook will still fetch some crucial information like your transactions, location, and other behavioral data from linked Instagram profile. And, we all know Facebook has a nasty reputation as far as personal data management is concerned. What makes it even more outrageous is that the policy is leave or take, and there’s no third option.

In the wording used, WhatsApp says the new privacy policy will change how it partners with Facebook to “offer integrations” and that businesses can use Facebook services to manage WhatsApp chats. It said that hat all private messages between friends and family members will remain end-to-end encrypted.

According to a CNBC report, India’s technology ministry also asked WhatsApp to withdraw planned changes to its privacy policy that has drawn widespread backlash.

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Huawei P50 Pro could come with a 120Hz display, 200x digital zoom

What about Harmony OS?

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Huawei may be barred from using Google Mobile Services, but it is far from giving up. The Chinese brand has pivoted to natively developed options and continues to work on its flagship P and Mate series. Going by the usual trend, the Huawei P50 series is expected to launch soon, and we already hear a lot of chatter about it.

According to @RODENT950 on Twitter, Huawei P50 Pro will have a 6.78-inch display with a 120Hz refresh rate. Another user on Weibo claims that the regular version of Huawei P50 will be using a 90Hz refresh rate screen, while the top-end option may come with a 120Hz panel.

Under the P50 Pro and P50 Pro+ hood will be the Kirin 9000 or Kirin 9000E chipset. Designed on a 5nm process, these are Huawei’s best-in-class and offer massive performance improvements. Furthermore, the phone will support 66W wired fast charging and 50W wireless charging.

Most importantly, the cameras are expected to get a major upgrade. The “space zoom” technology could go one step further by incorporating 200x digital zoom. Keep in mind, the recently launched Galaxy S21 Ultra has 100x digital zoom. So, Huawei’s offering makes a lot of difference, at least on paper. The P50 Pro+ will continue the race, as the phone will likely offer a massive 200x zoom from a derived 20x optical zoom setup.

While many reports said Huawei could ship the P50 series with Harmony OS, recent inputs suggest the brand shall continue with Android-based EMUI 11. In other aspects, the Huawei P50 series will come with 4 surround speakers and an upgraded vibration motor for haptics.

The phone is expected to launch in the coming months. The P50 series will consist of multiple options, and the details mentioned above are based on leaks, speculations, and unverifiable information. The end product could differ vastly.

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