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Sony launches Bravia A8F OLED flagship TV in Southeast Asia

Go big or go home

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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.

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Some Huawei phones are showing unwanted ads on lock screens

A way for Huawei to earn money?

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Huawei P30 Lite | GadgetMatch

While Huawei continues to find ways to fight off the trade ban implemented by the US, a number of Huawei phone owners are expressing their dismay over sudden ads on their lock screens. Huawei doesn’t need more negative publicity right now, but the company decided to push unwanted ads without users’ permission.

Initially reported by Android Police, users in several countries have noticed an ad for Booking.com on the lock screen of their Huawei phones. Surprisingly, some of the devices affected include the flagship models like the Huawei P30 Pro, P20, P20 Lite, P20 Pro, Mate 20 Pro, and Honor 10. Other models are also presumably affected. [Editor’s note: I noticed this on my Mate 20 X, as well.]


Huawei users now have a Reddit thread to talk about this fiasco, and Twitter reports are coming in. Here some of the tweets showing the reported lock screen images:

It seems like the ads are appearing for device owners who are using the preinstalled landscape background wallpapers. The ads are showing up in certain countries in Europe and South Africa for now.

Huawei phones have a “Magazine unlock” feature that shows a series of curated wallpapers based on the user’s preference. This can be turned off and that should get rid of the advertising. Needless to say, this could be Huawei’s move to earn extra ad cash.

SEE ALSO: Huawei on getting to top spot: ‘This process may take longer’

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Gaming

Taiwan Excellence is holding its first esports cup in the Philippines

With a prize pool of P360,000

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Esports continue to grow in the Philippines thanks to the help from both organizations and major brands. The latest to make its mark in the local competitive scene is Taiwan Excellence, which will be holding an esports cup in Manila beginning in July.

With the help of the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) and Taiwan’s Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT), there’ll be a PhP 360,000 prize pool for the expected 2,000 participants from across the country. The featured games are Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) and League of Legends (LOL).


Registration for the tournament begins on June 15. The first phase of the competition will start on July 6 for CS:GO and August 3 for LOL. The grand finals will happen from October 4 to 5 at SM North EDSA The Block, Quezon City. Taiwan Excellence’s esports cup was previously held in Malaysia and Thailand.

“Taiwan is known for its breakthrough electronics industry, with renowned innovations and quality products being developed for global distribution. Now with esports, we take pride in sharing that industry-leading brands are from Taiwan, with Filipino gamers,” said C.T. Wu, director of the Strategic Marketing Dept. at TAITRA.

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Xiaomi Mi 9T is basically the Redmi K20 for the European market

Yet another superb midranger

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Xiaomi Mi 9T | Image credit: Xiaomi

As scheduled, Xiaomi announced the new Mi 9T which is the latest member of its Mi 9 lineup. For those following Xiaomi’s releases, the phone is a familiar one because it was launched before. The Mi 9T, as expected, is the Redmi K20 for Xiaomi’s international markets.

The Mi 9T isn’t quite the 2019 flagship everyone is expecting, but it’s still a capable midranger on paper. It’s powered by a Snapdragon 730 processor paired with up to 8GB of memory and up to 128GB of storage. Those looking for a Snapdragon 855 chip will have to wait for the phone’s rumored Pro version.


Display-wise, the Mi 9T has a 6.39-inch Full HD+ AMOLED screen with an in-display fingerprint sensor. The phone doesn’t have any cutout in the front thanks to its motorized pop-up camera mechanism.

Xiaomi Mi 9T | Image credit: Xiaomi

Speaking of the pop-up camera, it’s a 20-megapixel selfie snapper. As for the rear cameras, the Mi 9T has three: a main 48-megapixel sensor, a 13-megapixel ultra-wide shooter, and an 8-megapixel telephoto camera.

A large 4000mAh battery keeps the phone on and it supports 18W fast charging via its USB-C port. The phone also has a 3.5mm headphone jack and NFC. MIUI 10 runs on the phone with Android 9 Pie at its core.

Xiaomi’s Mi 9T will be available in Europe beginning in Spain by June 17. Price starts at EUR 329 (US$ 370) for the 6GB+64GB variant and EUR 369 (US$ 415) for the 6GB+128GB option.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi unveils Mi Band 4 with a colored display and 20-day battery life

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