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Smartwatches are doing even worse than expected

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We already mentioned the current state of smartwatches as a big, fat miss in our recent year-ender compilation, but now, things are looking even bleaker for 2017.

Based on a report done by eMarketer, the research firm expected a smartwatch usage growth of more than 60 percent among adults in the US this year. Instead, the forecast has changed to only 24.7 percent, which is clearly a huge drop.

This translates to 39.5 million American adults using an internet-connected watch this year, as opposed to the original estimate of 63.7 million users. Making the situation worse is a penetration rate of just 21.1 percent by the year 2020 — not good at all.

Reasons for the slump are obvious, but still worth noting. There just isn’t enough reason to use a smartwatch on top of a smartphone, and while phones are improving in the cost-friendly segments, smartwatches are still maintaining exuberant prices.

eMarketer analyst Cathy Boyle had this to say:

They [consumer surveys] also reported high price-sensitivity. Without a clear use case for smartwatches — which have more features than fitness trackers, but significant overlap with smartphone functionality — the more sophisticated, expensive devices have not caught on as quickly as expected.

Ouch.

With news of the next generation of Android Wear being delayed until early 2017 — and the likes of Moto pulling out of the platform completely — we don’t see high-tech watches taking off, either. It doesn’t help that Samsung, who’s one of the leading brands in this category, relies on its own operating system, and not Android Wear.

Adding to the flames is Apple suspiciously hiding its latest sales numbers for both generations of the Apple Watch, as well as the well-loved Pebble brand being bought out by fitness tracker giant Fitbit for less than $40 million.

Still, there’s hope in hybrid smartwatches. With smart functionality in traditional watch designs, they last for months on battery power while retaining fitness tracking and handset connectivity features. We went as far as listing the Fossil Q Hybrid Smartwatch in our Holiday Gift Guide.

[irp posts=”8312″ name=”Here’s why you won’t see a new Moto smartwatch anytime soon”]

Sources: eMarketer, Business Insider

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Leica is looking for a new partner after breakup with Huawei

Xiaomi could be the next partner

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Leica

Leica and Huawei made cutting-edge phones that could go toe-to-toe against professional cameras when it comes to photography. Sadly, the partnership may have to an end as reports suggest the lens maker is looking for a new partner after ditching Huawei.

According to Teme on Twitter, Leica and Huawei have decided to call off the partnership. It isn’t surprising because Huawei’s P and Mate series are radically hit due to American sanctions, barring it from using Google Play Services, Arm chipset architecture, and more. Sales have dropped massively outside of China, and its Honor division has been sold to another Chinese conglomerate.

However, it doesn’t mean Leica has given up. The German optics giant is now looking for a new partner, and the probable candidates include Xiaomi and Honor. Teme suggests it could be Xiaomi. But Leica could also proceed with a multi-brand partnership similar to Zeiss, with possible candidates being Xiaomi, Sharp, and Honor.

The partnership adds a lot of weight and becomes an instant selling point for many photography enthusiasts. Leica’s implementation on Huawei’s phones has received critical acclaim, beating benchmark numbers and setting new records.

Recently, OnePlus teamed up with Hasselblad to deliver an above-average experience but failed to impress. With Huawei on the sidelines right now, there’s an excellent opportunity for companies to join the trend and dominate the photography segment.

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OPPO Reno6 series leaks, likely to launch on May 22

Just a week to go!

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File photo: OPPO Reno5

OPPO Reno6 series is said to launch quite soon and will replace the Reno5 lineup. The Reno6 Pro and Reno6 Pro+ have recently received 3C and TENAA certifications, revealing quite a bit about their hardware.

It’ll make its debut at the brand’s mid-year gala event that will be held on May 22nd. The Reno6 Pro+ will have a 6.55-inch display and a 2200mAh battery. It’s expected that to have two battery packs, so the total output should be ideally 4400mAh. Rumors suggest it could sport a Dimensity 1200 chipset, though this can’t be confirmed immediately.

The Reno6, on the other hand, shall house a 6.4-inch AMOLED screen with Full HD+ resolution, punch-hole cut-out, and a 90Hz refresh rate. The device might ship with 12GB RAM and 256GB internal storage that could be expandable. The Dimensity 900 SoC is expected to offer better performance than the Dimensity 820 and Snapdragon 768G chipsets.

The cameras could have a 64-megapixel primary shooter and a 32-megapixel front camera for selfies. Details about the other rear sensors aren’t available right now.

We’ll just have to wait a week to find out what OPPO has in store for everyone. The Reno lineup has worked wonders for the Chinese brand in the midrange segment. Despite OnePlus’ Nord, the Reno lineup has stood strong and continues to attract photography enthusiasts.

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ASUS Zenfone 8 Series: Price and availability in the Philippines

Pre-orders come with a freebie!

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Zenfone 8 Flip

Yes, they’re back for real! After skipping a couple of generations, ASUS is bringing back the Zenfone to the Philippines. They’re bringing over both Zenfone 8 Series phones — the Zenfone 8 and Zenfone 8 Flip!

Both phones are flagship level being powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor. But they’re pretty different. Here’s a quick look at their specs side by side.

Zenfone 8

Zenfone Flip 8

Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
Display 5.9” Samsung AMOLED, 120Hz 6.67” Samsung AMOLED, 90Hz
OS Android 11, Zen UI 8 Android 11, Zen UI 8
Configuration 6GB + 128GB

8GB +128GB

8GB + 256GB

16GB + 256GB

*No storage expansion

8GB +256GB

*Up to 2TB storage expansion via MicroSD

Battery 4,000mAh 5,000mAh
Cameras 64MP Sony IMX686

12MP Ultra-wide

12MP front-facing

64MP Sony IMX686

12MP Ultra-wide

8MP telephoto

*Flip camera module

The Zenfone 8 is unique in that it offers flagship capabilities in a compact body. The phone has a 5.9″ display Samsung AMOLED display. For comparison, the closest thing to it overall is the iPhone 12 mini which has a 5.4″ display.

Watch our Zenfone 8 review

 

Meanwhile, the Zenfone 8 Flip is ASUS sticking to their guns and offering something unique in the flagship segment. As the name suggests, this has the Flip camera module. So when taking selfies, you’re essentially using the best cameras on the phone that’s typically only on the rear for every other flagship.

Read our Zenfone 8 Flip Unboxing and First Impressions

Zenfone 8 Flip

Price and availability

The ASUS Zenfone 8 Series is available for pre-order starting May 14, 2021 at official ASUS Concept Stores,
accredited online and offline shops. Successful pre-orders will get a free Rhinoshield Solidsuit Hardcase and a JBL Go 3.

Pricing are as follows:

  • ASUS Zenfone 8 Flip, 8GB + 256GB, Galactic Black and Glacier Silver — PhP 39,995
  • Zenfone 8, 16GB + 256GB, Obsidian Black — PhP 39,995
  • Zenfone 8, 8GB +128GB, Obsidian Black and Horizon Silver — PhP 34,995
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