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Starmobile Play Five is a really affordable Marshmallow phone

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Starmobile Play Five

A little flabbergasted by all the overpriced phones coming out lately? Philippines-based Starmobile has something called the Play Five, and it costs over $600 less than an “entry-level” Google Pixel.

Not that we’d compare the Play Five to a premium handset, but it goes to show how you can buy a complete smartphone for only $35, or PhP 1,790 in the brand’s native Philippine market.

As part of Starmobile’s fifth anniversary in the business, the phone’s biggest claim to fame is its inclusion of Android 6.0 Marshmallow, which several manufacturers still fail to offer despite there being an even newer 7.0 Nougat available for over three months already.

Starmobile Play Five

Starmobile Play Five in red

Other than that, there isn’t much else to write about, but you can’t really complain, since this is targeted towards first-time smartphone users and those who need a backup phone.

If you must know, there’s a quad-core processor on board, along with a low-resolution 4-inch display and a pair of 5- and 2-megapixel rear and front-facing cameras.

The only major drawback that could hamper usability is the 4GB of internal storage. This means you won’t have a lot of space for apps, but you can slide in a microSD card (32GB at most) if you must store more data.

Although there’s no 4G LTE connectivity, its HSPA+ data speeds should suffice, and you have slots for two SIM cards to work at the same time.

The Play Five will be available beginning on the last week of November in three distinct colors: red, black, and white.

[irp posts=”7615″ name=”Best of 2016: Budget phones under $300″]

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Samsung says the Galaxy Z Flip’s display is definitely glass

Thin, but definitely glass

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Following this take down by JerryRigEverything, people have started to question whether the display on the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip is really glass. Samsung says it certainly is.

Speaking to CNET, a Samsung Display representative says the glass is 30 microns (0.03mm) and is “produced using an intensifying process to enhance its flexibility and durability.” Samsung then injects a “special material” to achieve a certain durability.

The company didn’t elaborate on what the special material is but said that it helps make the glass “tough, yet tender.” The glass, Samsung says, is supplied by a company called Schott.

Schott has been in the glass business for nearly three decades. The company also confirmed to CNET that they deliver ultra-thin glass to Samsung.

Glass for sale

Samsung is so confident with the glass they developed for the Galaxy Z Flip that they’re even selling it to competitors. Dubbed as Ultra-Thin Glass (or UTG), it’s up for grabs to anyone who wants to buy it.

Will this help push the foldable tech forward? We’ll have to wait and see.

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Apple iPhone 9, iPhone SE 2 rumor roundup

Newer iPhone parts in an old body

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Image by GadgetMatch

It hasn’t even been a full two months since 2020, but rumors about the next cheapest iPhone have been overflowing since October last year. Whether it’s about the price, renders, specs, and even in-store pre-orders, leaksters can’t keep their mouths shut.

Disclaimer: Everything you see here are just leaks and rumors and nothing has been confirmed yet.

iPhone 8-like design (plus red color option)

Image by GadgetMatch

The images we made are based from OnLeaks and Svetapple’s renders. They both show that the design is based from the two-year-old iPhone 8. Ming-Chi Kuo, a prominent iPhone leakster, has further solidified that this next iPhone will have the same form factor. The materials will mostly feature an aluminum and glass sandwich. It’s never early to tell that a stainless steel frame is unlikely going to happen considering the minimal cost of production.

While it’s unfortunate that both the Max and Pro series of iPhones never had a Product (RED) option, Kuo has confirmed that this model will come with the special colorway. Though there are no news whether this iPhone will have a gold finish or not.

Same 4.7-inch Retina Display (and Touch ID isn’t dead yet)

Image by GadgetMatch

With the same design in mind, the second generation iPhone SE will most likely have a Retina Display found on the iPhone 8. Although the 4.7-inch screen size has been evolving since the iPhone 6 from five years ago, expect little to no display improvements other than the inclusion of Apple’s True Tone technology.

It’s also expected that it’ll have Touch ID (instead of Face ID) to keep manufacturing costs low.

iPhone 11-grade performance

Image by GadgetMatch

We’ve heard that the next A14 Bionic Chipset is reserved for the upcoming iPhone 12, so the iPhone 9 will likely feature the A13 Bionic Chipset found on the iPhone 11 series. The RAM might be limited to just 3GB like the iPhone X and iPhone XR, but it’ll still have a major bump in processing power. Who knows? It might even beat the iPhone XS and XS Max altogether considering the inclusion of a newer processor.

iPhone XR-esque camera sensor

Image by GadgetMatch

Remember when the iPhone SE had an edge by having the same sensor as the iPhone 6s with 4K video over the 5s’ lackluster camera? Apple might just do the same with the SE’s successor. Although no specifics were given, it’s probable that this will still ship with a single-rear camera setup with a larger image sensor — similar to the iPhone XR.

Launch date and pricing

Image by GadgetMatch

It’s rumored that the base model of the iPhone 9 or SE 2 (with 64GB of onboard storage) will cost around US$ 399 — which was the same retail price as the iPhone SE when it was launched four years ago.

As reported by the popular leakster Evan Blass weeks ago, it might be launched around mid-March. Consumers should expect less units though due to the 2019-coronavirus strain (COVID-19) outbreak that halted a lot of businesses and production lines in China and parts of Asia.

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TONE e20 is a smartphone that prohibits you from taking nudes

A must-have security feature

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Image by GadgetMatch

You read the headline right! TONE e20 is a smartphone with an unusual feature. It was made by the startup Japanese brand TONE Mobile. Before you start whining how “ridiculous” this phone is, the company’s goal is to protect innocent children and teenagers from creepers, pedophiles, and child predators.

The TONE Camera app has a “smartphone protection” feature that prohibits the user from taking nude photos (and even videos). It’s equipped with a special AI algorithm that detects if the image being taken is deemed “inappropriate”. Once detected, a warning shows for up to two seconds. The photo won’t be saved to the gallery nor linked cloud services.

If a child takes a sensitive photo, his/her parents (or guardians) will be notified with the pixelated image and the location where it was taken. The company says they don’t store data through servers. If you’re an adult who’s fond of taking nude selfies, it will also be disregarded right away.

This phone also has a double biometric authentication for extra protection. There’s the fingerprint scanner that works even when you wear gloves. The face recognition system relies on its 2-megapixel front camera which can detect your face even in dark environments.

Speaking of cameras, it has a dual rear camera setup. You have a 12-megapixel sensor for your regular shots. Meanwhile, the 13-megapixel camera shoots “super ultra-wide angles” with a 120-degree field of view. Its HD+ display measures at 6.26 inches. Inside, there’s an octa-core 2.0GHz processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage with an expandability of up to 256GB through microSD slot.

The TONE e20 retails for only JP¥ 19,800 (roughly US$ 178). You simply get what you pay for with this smartphone with an added security feature that no other phone manufacturer has thought of.

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