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.


OnePlus is gearing up to launch a 55-inch QLED TV

OnePlus CEO gets candid about the new offering



The TV market is divided into two segments, the first one is affordable and built while keeping the price in mind. The second type is ultra-premium offerings that incorporate the cutting edge of technology.

Xiaomi has been successful in establishing itself as a leading budget TV maker in India, while Samsung and LG rule the top-tier bracket. Now, OnePlus intends to enter this market with OnePlus TV and has slowly started revealing some features.

OnePlus has confirmed to India Today that it will launch a premium TV with 55-inch 4K QLED screen. OnePlus CEO Pete Lau says it’ll follow their smartphone philosophy with TVs as well. That is to offer solid basics, premium experience at a relatively better price and great attention to detail.

QLED stands for quantum-dot light-emitting diode. Unlike OLED, QLED technology relies on LED backlighting. This is a term Samsung uses for its quantum dot TVs and it is the only brand which has a significant portfolio in this segment.

Throughout the interview, Samsung and Sony were frequent touchpoints for the executive, with Lau noting, “We want to benchmark the image and sound quality against the most premium quality products currently available in the market…”

Lau also said the OnePlus TV features a custom user interface on top of Android TV. He added the company is “optimizing” the OS “very deeply.” Obviously, there are plans of connecting your OnePlus phone seamlessly to the TV and an app that’ll let you enter text data without relying on a remote.

The launch is expected to happen at the end of September. The company has already clarified that the TV will not be cheap and the launch price will be in the premium segment.

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Xiaomi Mi A3: Price and availability in the Philippines

It still comes in an affordable price




Image by GadgetMatch

Remember when Xiaomi announced the Mi A3 in India days ago? Good news for everyone as the Mi A3 will also be in the Philippines.

This latest A-series offering is known as the “stripped-down” version of the Mi CC9e. It packs the same internals: Snapdragon 665 chipset, 4GB RAM, plus 64 or 128GB storage options. What’s different? Instead of the heavily-skinned MIUI 10, it packs the Android One with a fresh, stock-like Android experience — just like using a Google Pixel.

Image by GadgetMatch

There’s a new 6.088-inch Super AMOLED display in tow. With the new display technology, it’s expected to be power-efficient. Although changing the technology from IPS-LCD may sound good, the downgrade of screen resolution from 1080p to 720p might become a dealbreaker for some. Other than that, there’s an optical in-display fingerprint scanner, eliminating the rear-mounted fingerprint scanner of the Mi A2.

Image by GadgetMatch

This year’s A3 packs a triple camera setup: 48-megapixel main camera, 2-megapixel depth sensor, and a new 8-megapixel ultra-wide shooter. The Dot Drop Display notch houses the 32-megapixel selfie camera. Both cameras have AI functionality.

Image by GadgetMatch

When it comes to battery, the 4,030 mAh capacity is a huge improvement over last year. It is expected to have a longer battery life than Mi A2’s so-so 3,000 mAh battery. 18W Fast Charge is still supported, all thanks to USB-C. They also brought back the 3.5mm audio jack for dongle-less usage. The IR blaster is still present for controlling appliances.

Pricing and availability

The Xiaomi Mi A3 will be available in local Mi Authorized stores starting August 24, 2019 and will be on Lazada and Shopee starting September 9, 2019. There are three color options to choose from: Not Just Blue, Kind of Grey, and More than White. The sole variant with 4GB/128GB configuration will retail at PhP 11,990.

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Spotify extends free trial to 3 months

Try Spotify Premium for a longer period of time



Spotify offers a free trial for everyone wanting to try the Premium experience. Spotify Premium used to be free for just 30 days, but that is changing today. Starting this August, Spotify is extending its Premium free trial for three months.

Spotify Premium is now offering the first 3 months for free. Everyone can try it out. The feature is rolling out globally with all of the plans eligible upon sign-up.

However, the three month offer is open only for those who haven’t tried Premium before. To activate, visit the website of Spotify Premium. Signing up requires either a credit card or a carrier billing.

Those lucky to grab the three month offer gains access 50 million song tracks available on-demand and ad-free, along with access to 450,000 podcast titles. Spotify is the leading music streaming service globally, and it offers an Android, iOS, desktop and web apps for all. Today, it boasts 217 million users across 79 markets.

SEE ALSO: 5 steps to making the perfect Spotify playlist

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