Features

Vivo NEX: Everything we know so far

The retail version of the Vivo APEX concept phone

Published

on

If smartphone trends of the last two years are any indication, the future, as we know it, is borderless. From tall aspect ratios to curved edges to notches, we’ve seen every brand come up with the closest iteration possible to no bezels.

But all eyes are now on Vivo, a Chinese company popular in Southeast Asia for their budget and midrange offerings. Despite being just a concept phone, the Vivo APEX overshadowed every other smartphone launched at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona earlier this year. After seeing what the Lenovo Z5 really looks like, it seems Vivo is still the first to make the future a reality.

Now that we’re nearing its launch, we’ve rounded up everything we know so far about Vivo’s all-display phone.

What will it be called?

All teasers and ads rolled out by Vivo the last few weeks point to NEX being the final name. The name APEX has not been mentioned anywhere, and will likely remain the name of the concept phone showcased in February.

How many phones will there be?

There will be at least two variants:  A midrange option called Vivo NEX, and flagship Vivo NEX S. They will sport the latest Snapdragon processors, 710 and 845 respectively, up to 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, and 4000mAh batteries.

Will it have a retractable camera and in-display fingerprint sensor?

Official materials from Vivo feature images of an almost bezel-less phone with a tiny chin, a camera that seems to pop up from the top of the phone, and a fingerprint icon on the lower middle portion of the phone. A leaked video also shows the all-display phone sporting a dual-camera setup at the back, just like the Vivo APEX concept phone.

How much will it cost?

Earlier reports suggest the phones will be pricier than expected. The more affordable variant was pegged at CNY 4,998 (US$ 780) while the flagship is at CNY 6,998 (US$ 1,090). More recent leaks, however, tell a different story. The midrange Vivo NEX will cost CNY 3,798 (US$ 595), and the Vivo NEX S is expected to be priced at CNY 4,498 (US$ 760).

Will there be different colors?

So far, we’ve seen renders and images of black and red variants. But, seeing as the phone is launching right before the World Cup wherein Vivo is an official sponsor, the Chinese company might also announce a limited edition version or higher-end, more premium variant.

When is it launching?

The NEX lineup of phones is launching on June 12, Tuesday at an event in Shanghai, China. We can expect official pricing and rollout to be announced there as well.

Accessories

Why a power bank that can charge a laptop is a game changer

My laptop gets twice the battery life

Published

on

When I first got a power bank for my phone (which I still use, by the way) about four years ago, I asked why this is not a thing yet. Power banks then became really popular with major brands selling their own models and knockoffs flying around, too. The convenience these devices brought is something I still enjoy up to this day.

Even though phone chargers are relatively smaller and lighter to carry, I prefer bringing high-capacity power banks since wall sockets are not always available. But, what if this kind of accessibility to power is also available to laptops? While bulky power banks with sockets are already in the market, they are too heavy to carry around.

The Dell Notebook Power Bank Plus is just a bit bigger than my folded wallet

This is the Dell Notebook Power Bank Plus: a 65Wh power bank that Dell claims to be the world’s first notebook power bank to charge the widest range of USB-C laptops.

Good thing most modern laptops nowadays are charged through revolutionary USB-C ports.

You could leave your charger/s at home

I had the Dell Notebook Power Bank Plus at the same time as the Dell Latitude 7390 2-in-1 laptop and they were an absolute combo. I got twice the battery life thanks to the notebook power bank, and I never had to bring the laptop’s charger.

It won’t be an issue if you have a non-Dell laptop, because this notebook power bank can charge most USB-C laptops available thanks to its high 65W power delivery. It’s practically universal and can charge USB-C laptops even from Acer, Apple, ASUS, HP, Lenovo, and more!

When there are no available sockets in the café, the Dell Notebook Power Bank Plus is a life saver

Most 14-inch laptops and below are fully compatible with its 65W power delivery. It can also be used with bigger laptops, but there’s no guarantee since bigger displays and beefier specs require higher wattage. This is why gaming laptops have really big power bricks and, obviously, can’t be charged with a power bank — at least for now.

It’s also the same principle why mobile power banks and USB-C phone chargers can’t charge a laptop despite having the same type of port. Most phone chargers are 15W and that’s just half of the required 30W power for small notebooks.

The power bank is basically a spare laptop battery that’s intelligently packaged

Dell’s power bank can also charge USB-C smartphones and tablets, so I didn’t have to bring another power bank along. It automatically changes its power output from 5V to 20V, making it safe to charge even small smartphones.

It can charge almost anything else

This power bank doesn’t just charge your everyday laptop and phones, but also other devices that can be charged through a USB port. The extra USB-A (the “normal” USB port we know and love) can deliver power even while you’re already charging a laptop using the built-in USB-C cord. The USB-A port has a charging rate of 5V=2A or 10W which is powerful enough to quickly charge a phone or even a tablet.

Not only that, the extra port can also be used as an additional USB port for the laptop that’s being charged. It can read and write data from a smartphone or flash drive — just like how a typical USB port would. That’s an added productivity feature especially for ultra-portable laptops that don’t have full-size USB-A ports anymore.

Suddenly, I don’t have to scavenge for wall sockets as much as I used to.

The Dell Notebook Power Bank Plus retails for US$ 149.99.

SEE ALSO: Dell Latitude 7390 2-in-1 Review: The complete business laptop

Continue Reading

Features

Find X slides in, IGTV comes out: Weekend Rewind

All-screen phones and a truly mobile video platform

Published

on

Here are this week’s top stories on GadgetMatch.

1. We found X!

All-screen phones are coming out one after another. Following the release of Vivo’s NEX last week, OPPO announced their official entry into the western market with the OPPO Find X. It boasts a 93.8 percent screen-to-body ratio and has specs that match today’s flagships. However, what’s most interesting about it is the sliding camera system. Tap the camera app and the top portion of the phone slides up to reveal both the front-facing camera that has 3D scanning functions like the iPhone X and the dual rear cameras with the flash situated in between the two.

OPPO’s push for innovation comes at a steep price of EUR 999 or about US$ 1,155 and that’s not even the most expensive variant of this phone. OPPO also announced a Lamborghini Edition which will retail for EUR 1,699 or around US$ 1,965. Yikes.

2. Is this the Galaxy S10?

Did we say all-screen phones are all the rage? Notable leaker IceUniverse posted a photo of an all-screen phone with the caption, “This may be a design beyond.” The curved sides — prominent on Galaxy S phones in recent years — lead many people to think this could be what the Galaxy S10 will look like. Details are obviously scarce but it’s always fun to speculate how the camera system will be implemented and if it will have an in-display fingerprint scanner or not.

3. Look Ma, no ports!

Apple just keeps taking things away. After removing the headphone jack a few years back, there are now reports saying they’re taking away the Lightning port. The news comes right before Apple launched AirPower, its first official wireless charging mat. The company will likely earn the ire of several users but that hasn’t stopped them before. This also means a port-less iPhone is coming sooner than we realize.

4. IGTV is here

Instagram is taking YouTube head-on but with its own mobile twist with IGTV. After implementing IG Stories and Live video, the app that started as a photo-sharing platform will now allow users to upload videos from 15 seconds to 10 minutes but in portrait orientation, embracing its mobile roots. On its blog, the company says, “It’s built for how you actually use your phone.” Instagram also hopes to add more features to IGTV like ads and monetization.

5. PS4 faves at a discount!

PS4 gamers rejoice! If you missed out on titles right around the time the console was launched, then let this news ease your worries away. Selected titles deemed as “PlayStation Hits” will retail for only US$ 20 starting June 28. That’s a third of their original price.

The complete PlayStation Hits lineup includes Battlefield 4Bloodborne (standard edition), DOOMDriveClubInfamous: Second SonKillzone: Shadow FallThe Last of Us RemasteredLittleBigPlanet 3Metal Gear Solid 5: The Definitive ExperienceProject CARSRatchet & ClankStreet Fighter 5Uncharted 4: A Thief’s EndYakuza 0, and Yakuza Kiwami.

Continue Reading

Features

How a smartphone became my travel buddy

To Taipei 101 and beyond!

Published

on

I’m the kind of traveler who turns a trip abroad into a process. I plan beforehand, execute every planned move, and adapt to situations along the way.

Normally, this approach requires me to bring a handy notebook, high-quality mirrorless camera, and printed maps in my backpack. For my trip to Taipei, Taiwan, I tried something a little different.

This time, I set out to do everything on my smartphone, going from an analog kid to grownup with an all-in-one gadget. Being the traditional type, it was a bit hard to do, but finding the perfect travel buddy certainly wasn’t.

I’ve been using the Huawei P20 Pro as my daily driver for a while now, and I’ve been having a tough time letting it go for another handset, so it was, without a doubt, the first choice to spring to my mind.

With the phone in hand (and no old-school items packed), I set out to explore Taipei using only my newfound travel buddy.

Or maybe I still need to visual my routes on a bigger layout before heading out. This was me being stubborn and giving conventional maps one last look before going full digital.

A journey through Taipei means lots of eating and drinking. While searching for routes and places to visit on Google Maps, I make it a point to find highly rated restaurants and juice bars along the way.

Doing so in Taiwan is a cinch. Mobile internet here is incredibly fast for any standards, and quick searches on both Maps and Chrome take only a few seconds.

Taipei is the kind of city that requires a lot of walking and commuting to get around. For the longer train rides, I whip out my phone to play a game of Asphalt 9: Legends or Dragon Ball Legends — two games that require a lot of power to run.

Fortunately, the P20 Pro can handle both with ease. Not only is it powerful enough to max out the in-game graphics, its battery is long-lasting enough to get through the day even though I play hours’ worth of games, and that’s with mobile data always on.

Don’t let the low number of steps above fool you; even though it was already close to sunset, my day was just starting. Taipei wakes up at night with its numerous markets filled with fantastic food and affordable clothing.

To get from one point to another, there’s lots of walking involved. It’s great to have a smartphone that can readily show you how many steps you’ve taken at a glance so you know you’re burning all the food you ate.

Just to prove it, here’s me actually walking in the city. Aside from bringing the right travel companion with you, it’s also vital to dress up properly for the weather.

My annual trips to Taipei normally happen around June, which is when Computex goes on. During this season, it can get quite humid when the sun’s out, and a little chilly at night. It’s best to be prepared for both.

I must say, Taipei is a beautiful city — easily one of my favorites in the whole world. There’s no shortage of landmarks to see, but if there’s one you must visit, it’s Taipei 101. Once the tallest building in the world, the skyscraper is still a sight to behold no matter what angle you view it from.

For this shot, I chose to shoot it from below, and the P20 Pro handled the challenging lighting with ease. Every detail was captured, and there’s the option of zooming in for another take on the iconic view.

What’s great about having a phone with artificial intelligence built in is that it can detect scenes and subjects for you. This came in handy when I went around Taipei Zoo.

Although I was obviously going to take photos of animals at every turn, I liked how my phone could adjust settings on the fly and tweak images for me automatically.

At the end of the day, it’s nice to relax and scroll through all the photos I’ve taken while sipping from a cup of Taipei’s signature milk tea — even better when it’s on phone as attractive as the P20 Pro both inside and out.

There’s so much more you can do with the P20 Pro on a trip, but no travel piece can cover every single feature. For more, you can watch our hands-on video below.


This feature was produced in collaboration between GadgetMatch and Huawei.

Continue Reading

Trending