Sony launches Bravia A8F OLED flagship TV in Southeast Asia

Go big or go home



When Sony unveiled its first Bravia OLED TV at the Consumer Electronics Show last year, it was a show stopper — a breathtaking ultra-thin, 4K HDR panel with audio emanating from underneath its display.

Heralded by many reviewers as the best television of 2017, the Bravia A1E OLED had one little problem: Its angled kickstand took up a lot of space, so much so that you couldn’t prop up the TV against a wall. Not good if you don’t have a large enough living room.

This year, Sony is addressing that one quirk. Its new Bravia A8F OLED is basically the A1E with a more conventional stand, and a second subwoofer. We spent some time checking out Sony’s new flagship TV at its regional launch in Singapore, and are just as impressed.

At the heart of the Bravia A8F OLED is an X1 Extreme processor which Sony says is the secret sauce for an “extraordinary” 4K HDR experience. The TV now supports three different HDR formats including Dolby Vision which guarantees that when you’re watching supported content, like on Netflix for example, your TV is automatically tuned to the exact settings the filmmaker intended.

Available in two sizes, 65 and 55 inches, the A8F has an OLED panel with eight million self-illuminating pixels. OLED is the gold standard when it comes to television displays, giving you great picture quality with the darkest blacks and rich colors no matter the viewing angle.

It’s also got the same Acoustic Surface that sends sound waves through the display instead of built-in speakers. It runs on Android TV and has integrated Google Assistant, so from your TV, you can among other things, turn off the lights or turn on your Roomba robot vacuum. Sony says they’ve improved voice recognition, so searching for your favorite video content with voice commands shouldn’t be that much of a chore.

X9000F LCD TV goes big

Sony is also pushing new screen sizes of its 4K HDR LCD televisions in response to a growing demand for even larger displays.

Its top of the line X9000F Series now come in 85 and 75-inch models apart from the usual 65, 55, and 49 inches. Sony’s flagship LCD TVs are also powered by the same X1 Extreme processor and run Android TV with Google Assistant.

Expect pricing and availability for these new flagship TV models in the second quarter of 2018.


Essential fires 30 percent of workers, announces new mobile device

No, it’s not a smartphone



Despite enjoying a year in smartphone royalty, Essential just isn’t that essential anymore. Preceding the Essential Phone’s launch, the startup gained substantial hype owing to its ownership. Headed by Android co-founder Andy Rubin, it promised an unrivaled Android experience wrapped inside a beautiful package.

Truly, the first Essential Phone garnered positive reviews across the board. Among others, it was one of the more beautiful phones in 2017. Unfortunately, the phone’s price deterred most users from switching. Naturally, the startup’s first outing failed to meet expectations.

Drawing from this initial disappointment, Essential hinted at an eventual buyout a few months ago. Moreover, Rubin cancelled the Essential Phone 2’s development. However, months later, the startup (and everyone else) clearly exaggerated its demise. The company and its plans for a second phone still exist.

Sadly, its continued existence is still in dire jeopardy. The company has recently announced major layoffs in its workforce. As of today, Essential Products has fired 30 percent of its employees.

Despite the astonishing number, the startup has maintained its silence on possible reasons for the pink slips. One can only assume that this stems from its failed sales targets. Regardless, Essential remains hopeful for the future. “We are confident that our sharpened product focus will help us deliver a truly game-changing consumer product,” according to a spokesperson for the startup.

Reportedly, Essential is already working on a second mobile device for the future. Unfortunately, the planned device will not succeed the Essential Phone. Instead, it will leverage artificial intelligence to deliver an autonomous mobile experience.

Notably, the startup hesitates to use the word “smartphone.” While the device can make calls and send messages, it hopes to do more. For one, it can call, message, and plan events on its own without user input. Essentially, the device will replace humans as the primary digital communicators.

By the end of this year, Essential will out a prototype for this device. By then, the startup will finally reveal a possible roadmap for the future. Presently, the future-less startup’s survival is anything but assured.

SEE ALSO: Essential Phone is now a true Pixel-like flagship Android phone for only $399

Continue Reading


Xiaomi confirms 10GB RAM and 5G connectivity of the Mi Mix 3

Are we ready for these advancements?



Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S | GadgetMatch

Xiaomi is set to announce their latest flagship phone — the Mi Mix 3. While the phone has been leaked a number of times already (but not as much as the Pixel 3), there are some features we’d like to get early confirmation for. Thankfully, Xiaomi gave us two teasers than confirmed not just one, but two major features of their upcoming smartphone.

When Xiaomi announces the Mi Mix 3, it’ll be the first phone to officially have 10GB of memory. OPPO did try to make a 10GB version of the Find X, but it’s probably sitting in their office at the moment.

To be honest, we’re not sure if it’s logical to have a phone with 10GB of memory, but we’re already at that stage. The Mi Mix 3 will probably have a lot more memory to spare than most standard laptops people currently own.

The second confirmed feature is something we’re already expecting — 5G connectivity. The Mi Mix 3 is one of the world’s first 5G-capable phones. It could even be the first widely available 5G phone if Xiaomi will release the Mi Mix 3 to its key markets immediately.

A lot of users probably won’t be able to take advantage of 5G for now, but this will make the Mi Mix 3 future-proof.

Other than these two, not much has been revealed yet about the Mi Mix 3. Xiaomi is teasing the phone as a device wherein art meets technology. Well, the existing Mi Mix series is already proof of that, but the Mi Mix 3 will surely bring something new to the table.

The Mi Mix 3 will be officially announced on October 25 in Beijing, which signals that the phone will be available in China first. We’re expecting the phone to retail internationally shortly after, just like the Mi Mix 2S.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi teases Mi Mix 3 in full, reveals pop-up mechanism for cameras

Continue Reading


Vivo Y81i arrives as affordable full-screen smartphone

Notch and all



Vivo may be becoming more aggressive in the midrange and premium segments, but that doesn’t mean they’re letting go of the budget range just yet.

The Y81i is a testament to that, and it just unveiled itself in Malaysia. It’ll retail for MYR 599, which converts to around US$ 144.

It’s similar to the recently launched Y81 in a lot of ways, including the notched 6.22-inch 720p display, 13- and 5-megapixel rear and front cameras, and 3260mAh battery.

The main differences — and reason why this model is cheaper — is the lower-end MediaTek MT6761 processor, 2GB of memory, and 16GB of storage for the Y81i.

There’s no fingerprint scanner on board, but it does come with face recognition for quick unlocking.

The available colors are black and red. No word yet when this will reach other countries.

Continue Reading