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Sony confirms Philippine launch for Xperia X, Xperia XA, and Xperia XA Ultra

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We may not have heard much from Sony’s latest Xperia lineup from this archipelago, but that doesn’t mean the company has decided to give the Philippine audience the same cold shoulder it has given to fans in the United States. After announcing the Xperia X, Xperia XA, and Xperia XA Ultra earlier this year, Sony has revealed to GadgetMatch that it plans to launch the said phones in the Philippines on June 14, three weeks from today. No word yet on the possibility of the Snapdragon 820-based Xperia X Performance seeing a local release. Sorry, Android power users.

For the uninitiated, the Xperia X series is Sony’s midrange play, aimed at consumers who’d rather not spend $600 or $700 on the latest technology but are willing to spend more money for more features. If anything, the Xperia X signals a shift in focus away from the more affluent user base Sony has been catering to for the longest time. And that’s important to note, because the midrange is shaping up to be the most important battleground for smartphone makers, and it’s where many of them are expected to get their volume from.

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Sony Xperia X

Among the trio, the Xperia X is the most beefed-out device, carrying a Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 processor with 3GB of RAM and up to 64GB of storage, with room for more via a microSD expansion slot. It’s also the only model with a fingerprint reader, which is unfortunate, considering phones retailing for as low as $200 have the security feature built into their hardware. Other specs include a 5-inch, full-resolution display, a 23-megapixel rear camera, a 2,620mAh fixed battery, and Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

The Xperia XA and XA Ultra share a similar system-on-a-chip in the MediaTek Helio P10, but vary in just about every other spec. The Xperia XA Ultra, as you may have gathered, offers more RAM (3GB compared to the XA’s 2GB) and more in the way of screen real estate and resolution (6 inches and 1080p as opposed to 5 inches and 720p on the XA).

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Sony Xperia XA

In any case, you’ll be missing out on waterproofing — a signature feature of some Xperia models — regardless of which model you settle for; of the Xperia X bunch, only the X Performance (which, again, likely won’t go on sale in the Philippines) is not afraid to get wet.

The Xperia X and Xperia XA cost £500 (roughly P34,000) and £240 (P16,500) in Europe, respectively. The Xperia XA Ultra hasn’t been priced yet, but expect it to fetch a much higher price than the latter.

[irp posts=”11148″ name=”Sony Xperia XZ Premium Hands-On”]

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Huawei reveals its foldable, 5G-ready smartphone prototype

Bigger than Samsung’s Infinity Flex!

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Image source: ETNews

It begins! After Samsung’s blockbuster announcement recently, the foldable smartphone revolution is well underway. Rumors have begun materializing into concrete news.

After Samsung, Huawei has finally revealed its hand. Previously, the company announced rough plans without revealing a lot of details. At the time, Huawei’s deputy chairman Ken Hu confirmed a foldable, 5G-ready phone for next year’s lineup.

Now, Huawei has unveiled the development team’s considerable progress with the project. According to Korean website ETNews, the company conducted a private demonstration of a foldable smartphone prototype. Aside from its flexibility, the prototype demonstrated the company’s support for 5G technologies. The private demo consisted mainly of Korean telco networks.

According to a Korean government official present during the demo, Huawei’s progress was better than expected.

The report further details the specifications of the existing prototype. According to the report, the prototype has an enormous 8-inch screen when unfolded. Folded, the smartphone has a wieldy 5-inch screen. With that, Huawei’s foldable prototype outsizes Samsung’s model. Based on their previous presentation, Samsung’s prototype has a 7.3-inch/4.6-inch screen combination.

Unlike Samsung’s in-house product, Huawei will source its screen from China’s BOE Technology Group. Throughout the year, the Chinese tech giant has been constantly developing flexible screens for future use. With this focus, BOE goes directly against Samsung as a rival in flexible screen technology. BOE’s positioning makes it a perfect source for Huawei.

Unfortunately, no photos have surfaced from this session. At most, the report includes an artist’s rendering based on various rumors revealed throughout the past few weeks. Noticeably, the render shows a truly bezel-less display when unfolded. However, the folded render curiously portrays a notched screen.

According to the report, Huawei will announce the official product at MWC 2019. The phone itself will launch sometime between 2019’s first and second quarters. Because of the demo session’s focus on 5G networking, it will likely launch alongside the world’s first 5G network launch.

SEE ALSO: Huawei Mate 20 Review: The simpler sibling

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Xiaomi takes over selfie smartphone brand Meitu

What could this mean for the future of Meitu’s selfie phones?

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Meitu and Xiaomi have just inked a deal.

If you like taking selfies, you’ve probably heard of Meitu. Worldwide, the brand is synonymous with selfie-enhancing beauty apps. In China, where selfie culture is big, it’s a smartphone brand that markets luxury selfie phones.

The Meiti V6: A luxury selfie phone with four cameras, calfskin leather, and gold rivets

Today, Meitu announced a Strategic Cooperation Agreement with Xiaomi which gives the latter control over the brand’s hardware. This effectively gives Xiaomi control over the design, research, development, production, business operation, sales, and marketing. Meitu, on the other hand, remains in control of image-related algorithms and camera technologies. The agreement entails Xiaomi pay Meitu 10 percent of the gross profit from each phone sold in the next five years.

This comes as no surprise as despite the selfie craze, Meitu smartphones have catered to a very small niche audience — they’ve only sold 3.5 million smartphones since their launch in 2013. Even getting hold of a device outside of China can be pretty hard as they’re only available there. The same cannot be said for Xiaomi as the smartphone brand steadily conquers Asia.

According to Meitu, it has always been the group’s mission to “to inspire more people to express their beauty.” The statement continues with the group saying that they “realize that working with a partner who has a scalable smartphone business can significantly accelerate [our] pace in realizing the vision of putting [our] smartphones in the hands of tens of millions, or even hundreds of millions of users.” With this partnership in place, they explained they can instead focus on the next image processing tech.

What could this mean for the coming Meitu phones? I guess we’re going to find out. I, for one, am deathly excited. At the very least, we can expect to see more Meitu phones in the market.

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Mislatel confirmed as Philippines’ new telco

In partnership with China Telecom

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After the long wait, the Philippines finally has a new major telco: Mislatel. After the controversial bidding process, the country’s National Telecommunications Commission finally confirmed the telco. All the appeals against Mislatel’s selection have been dismissed, which paved way for the much-awaited confirmation.

Mislatel, which stands for the Mindanao Islamic Telephone, is a consortium by Udenna Corporation, Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corp. and China Telecommunications Corporation. Officially, Mislatel is now Philippines’ New Major Player.

Based on the consortium’s proposal, Mislatel will spend PhP 258 billion for five years to build a telco network that’ll cover 84 percent of the Philippines’ population. They’ll be offering a minimum average internet speed of 27Mbps on their first year, and they’ll bump that to 55Mbps in the succeeding years.

The country’s New Major Player now has 90 days to submit the remaining requirements including their rollout plan.

Department of Information and Communications Technology Acting Secretary Eliseo M. Rio Jr. urged Mislatel to tap existing small players such as Converge ICT Solution and even those of disqualified bidders Philippine Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (PT&T) and Sear Consortium to help them meet their promise.

Source: DICT

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