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Vivo brings in high-end Xplay 6, midrange X9 and X9 Plus

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Vivo Xplay 6

Vivo has really stepped up its game this week. After releasing the V5 in India a couple of days ago, the Chinese manufacturer went back to its home country to launch its new flagship Xplay 6, along with two additions to the X series.

This has to be the company’s answer to pressure forged by rivals Xiaomi and Huawei after they came out with some of the most impressive hardware we’ve seen this year. Vivo can rest easy with its second-place ranking in China, but there’s no telling when the tides could shift to another brand’s favor — just ask former top-ranker Xiaomi.

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The Xplay 6, in particular, is no joke. Although it imitates a lot of the established ideas from fellow Chinese flagships, the price competes with Google’s Pixel phones at a bewildering CNY 4,498; that’s $655, seriously!

What makes this smartphone so special? Looking down the feature list, there’s nothing out of this world if you’re updated on the latest mobile tech.

Vivo Xplay 6 rose gold

Vivo Xplay 6 in rose gold

Standing out the most is the curved 5.46-inch Quad HD AMOLED display, which is something you’d find on the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. But the Xplay 6’s advantage over its Korean counterpart is the use of 6GB of memory and a larger 4080mAh battery with built-in fast charging.

There’s also the inclusion of smartphone technology’s latest trending feature: a dual-camera setup. With a pair of 12- and 5-megapixel rear cameras, the former does the photo taking with the help of optical image stabilization, while the latter provides depth information to produce sharper subjects with blurred-out backgrounds.

Curiously, Vivo decided to go with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor instead of the newer 821. Reminds us of what HTC had done earlier with the Bolt. The Android version is also stuck at 6.0 Marshmallow, and not the much maturer 7.0 Nougat.

Vivo Xplay 6 gold

Vivo Xplay 6 in gold

Even if you consider the full-metal body, fingerprint scanner in front, and super-cool rose gold color, the Xplay 6 is a tough sell. You can purchase it beginning December 12, if you really must.

And then we have the X9 and X9 Plus, which fit between the lower-end V5 and premium Xplay 6. The 5.5-inch X9 retails at CNY 2,798 ($407) for the 64GB storage variant, and the 128GB storage option goes for CNY 2,998 ($436); both are already available for pre-order. No details have been revealed for the 5.88-inch X9 Plus.

The X9 and X9 Plus have one thing in common, and that’s the dual-front-facing cameras. One is 20 megapixels in resolution, and the other has an 8-megapixel image sensor for depth info, just like the rear camera setup of the Xplay 6. Both have a plain 16-megapixel shooter at the back.

Vivo X9 rose gold

Vivo X9 in rose gold

Other than that, you can already spell out what else they offer. The smaller X9 has a midrange Snapdragon 625 processor, 4GB of memory, and 3050mAh battery. As for the larger X9 Plus, it has a faster Snapdragon 653 chipset, 6GB of memory, and 4000mAh capacity for its battery.

If all these sound too expensive for you, you can always look down the pricing ladder towards the Vivo Y55. It got our thumbs up in both its full review and our best budget phones list, plus it costs only $165.

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Sources: Fone Arena, (2)

Galaxy S10

Samsung announces new generation of wearables

These include a tracker, watch, and wireless buds

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Aside from the numerous Samsung flagships announced at Unpacked in San Francisco, there were also a number of wearables announced: The Galaxy Watch Active, Galaxy Fit, Galaxy Fit e, and the Galaxy Buds.

The Galaxy Watch Active is the sporty version of Samsung’s Galaxy Watch although without the iconic spinning bezel. It’s equipped with stress, fitness, and sleep tracking, GPS, NFC, WiFi, and Bluetooth capabilities. Of course, it also has Bixby built in. The watches will also have wireless charging capabilities which will work well with the power-share capable S10’s. It runs on an Exynos 9110 processor and a 230mAh battery. They’ll come in 4 pretty colors: rose gold, sea green, black, and silver. Available in the market on March 8 in the US for US$ 200.

The Galaxy Fit and Fit e are slim fitness wearables that will automatically track your activities. Equipped with a heart rate monitor and a .95-inch AMOLED display, this water-resistant baby is perfect for those who want something less obtrusive. They’ll be available in the second quarter of 2019.

Last but not least: The Samsung Buds. Powered by AKG, you’re ensured a great listening experience. It boasts 6 hours of battery life for streaming and 5 hours on calls, with an additional 7 hours with its charging case. That same case gives 1.7 hours of power on a 15-minute charge. Of course, it also has wireless charging. These Buds are available starting March 8 and they’ll retail for US$129. It comes in three colors: black, white, and a fun yellow.

 

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The Samsung Galaxy Fold is official!

Take a look at the future!

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After months of endless rumors, Samsung has finally unveiled its first foldable phone, the Galaxy Fold. Revealed at today’s Unpacked event, the foldable phone promises the next generation of smartphone technology.

Though missing a few specs, the Galaxy Fold touts performance, flexibility, and bravado in one package.

First of all, the phone sports a foldable 7.3-inch Infinity Flex Display. Revealed months ago, the display can freely transform between an expansive 7.3-inch tablet mode and a smaller 4.6-inch phone mode. Unfolded, the phone is a QXGA+ resolution powerhouse. Folded, the phone carries a workable HD+ display.

Though obscured, the Galaxy Fold introduces a new folding hinge mechanism built with multiple interlocking gears.

Under the hood, the Galaxy Fold boasts a Qualcomm 7nm octa-core processor, 12GB of RAM, 512GB of internal storage. Outside, the phone carries a triple rear camera setup — 16-megapixel ultrawide camera + 12-megapixel wide-angle camera + a telephoto lens. In front, it has a 16-megapixel selfie shooter when folded.

For power, the Galaxy Fold comes with two batteries for both folded and unfolded modes. In total, the battery rounds out to a sizable 4380mAh.

Currently, Samsung is planning four colors for the initial release. It will come in LTE and 5G variants. The Galaxy Fold will launch on April 26 for USD 1,980.

Besides the revolutionary smartphone, Samsung has also launched the current-gen Galaxy S10 series and several new wearables.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy S10 Hands-On

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Galaxy S10

Samsung’s Galaxy S10 series brings high-end specs and Infinity-O together

Making the tenth anniversary truly special

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Can you believe we’re already on our tenth Galaxy S smartphone? Year by year, each model brought something new to the table, offering greater refinement and the latest tech from Samsung’s labs.

For 2019, we’re looking at the Galaxy S10 lineup, consisting of three models: the base Galaxy S10, a more affordable Galaxy S10e, and the all-out Galaxy S10+ with its overwhelming specs.

They all share the same high-end Exynos 9820 chipset (or the Snapdragon 855 for certain markets) and gorgeous Dynamic AMOLED Infinity-O display, with minor differences here and there to deliver varying price points.

Samsung Galaxy S10 | GadgetMatch

The standard Galaxy S10 maintains a tall yet pocketable 6.1-inch 19:9 screen that’s notch-free and largely bezel-less thanks to the punch-hole front camera located on the upper-right. It shoots high-resolution 4K videos without taking away too much space from the top-bar icons.

On the back, you’ll find three cameras with versatile focal lengths: 16-megapixel ultra-wide, 12-megapixel dual-aperture, and 12-megapixel with 2x optical zoom. They offer automatic recognition for up to 30 scenes so you have fewer settings to tinker with while shooting.

What you’ll really want, however, are the new features Samsung is integrating. One is an ultrasonic fingerprint scanner that’s faster and more accurate than the optical implementation of every other under-display setup in the market.

Wireless PowerShare | GadgetMatch

Another is Wireless PowerShare, which allows you to wirelessly charge accessories on the phone’s back panel. Samsung specifically has the Galaxy Watch and Galaxy Buds in mind for this, so you don’t have to bring an extra charger when you already have your Galaxy S10 on hand.

Exact configurations depend on where you reside, but we can confirm that the Galaxy S10 has a standard 8GB of memory, 128GB of storage, and a 3400mAh battery.

The Galaxy S10+, on the other hand, does a little more by increasing the screen size to 6.4 inches, boosting the battery to 4100mAh, and offering a mind-blowing 12GB memory option with 1TB of built-in storage — wow!

Samsung Galaxy S10+ | GadgetMatch

It looks a little different too with an additional depth sensor beside the selfie camera, turning the Infinity-O into an oval. The extra space taken up seems to be worth it though, thanks to the artistic Live Focus effects it produces.

As for the Galaxy S10e, it’s able to lower the price with a smaller 5.8-inch display (still with the Infinity-O aesthetic), less generous 3100mAh battery, and removal of the 2x optical zoom camera on the rear and ultrasonic fingerprint scanner in front (in favor of a side-mounted unit on the power button). Its base memory is 6GB for now.

Samsung Galaxy S10e | GadgetMatch

Four colors will be sold initially — Prism White, Prism Black, Prism Green, and Ceramic Black (exclusive to the 1TB S10+) — but only the Galaxy S10+ will own all four at launch.

Pre-ordering begins on February 22 and ends on March 3. As usual, pricing varies per region. We’ll update this space as we learn more.

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