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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.

[irp posts=”7758″ name=”Vivo V5 with 20MP front camera launched in India”]

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.

[irp posts=”7340″ name=”Vivo Y55 unboxing and review”]

Sources: Fone Arena, (2)

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Huawei Mate 40 series now official

The series is still an engineering marvel

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It’s like clockwork now for Huawei. Every year at around this time, they unveil a new Mate series. This time it’s the Mate 40 series consisting of the Mate 40, Mate 40 Pro and Mate 40 Pro+.

Each Mate release is the company pushing the boundaries of how much tech they can pack on a smartphone that we carry around all day. The Mate 40 series is no different.

Iconic Space Ring Design

So, yeah. This.

Jokes aside, Huawei says it’s an evolution of the Mate line’s circular and symmetrical design. They didn’t exactly expound on how this particular look is form-meeting-function but hey, it helps them stand-out. If that’s the function, then it’s done its job. More on the rear camera tech later on.

Overall, the Mate 40 series looks and feels very Mate-y — curved body for an easy hold, IP68 rating, immersive viewing, and all that jazz.

In front inside a small cut-out is the selfie camera packed with the usual: 3D Face Unlock, Ultra Vision Selfie Camera, and Smart Gesture control.

Rounding up the “look” section are the colors. The Mate 40 and Mate 40 Pro will come in Black, White, and Mystic Silver. There are also two leather variants: Yellow and Green.

Meanwhile, the Mate 40 Pro+ will come in Ceramic White and Ceramic Black.

An all-around camera

Huawei’s mobile camera tech is one of the best in the business and there’s more of the same in the Mate 40 series.

The three phones come with an array of camera features found in Huawei phones past, all improved and upgraded. There’s Dual Cine Cameras, Steady Shot, Tracking Shot, Audio Focus, Audio Zoom and the list goes on.

In terms of the numbers on those cameras, take a look at this.

Mate 40 Mate 40 Pro Mate 40 Pro+
50 MP, f/1.9, 23mm (wide), 1/1.28 50 MP, f/1.9, 23mm (wide), 1/1.28 50 MP, f/1.9, 23mm (wide), 1/1.28
8 MP, f/2.4, (telephoto), PDAF, OIS, optical zoom 12 MP, f/3.4, 125mm (periscope telephoto), PDAF, OIS, 5x optical zoom 12 MP, f/2.4, (telephoto), PDAF, OIS, 3x optical zoom
16 MP, f/2.2, (ultrawide) 20 MP, f/1.8, 18mm (ultrawide), PDAF 8 MP, f/4.4, 250mm (periscope telephoto), PDAF, OIS, 10x optical zoom
TOF 3D, (depth) 20 MP, f/2.4, (ultrawide), PDAF
TOF 3D, (depth)

A leap in performance

Every single phone in the Mate 40 series is powered by Kirin 9000 5G. Huawei is calling it “the most sophisticated 5nm 5G SoC  available.”

It features a three-level power efficiency architecture with cores running at clock frequencies of up to 3.13Ghz. Really, all you need to know is it’s extremely powerful, extremely efficient, and it’s close to mind-boggling the things that it enables the phone to do.

The 24-core Mali-G78 GPU on the Mate 40 Pro and Mate 40 Pro+ is the most powerful GPU ever on a Huawei device. It’s great for intense graphic performance and works well with the 90Hz screen refresh rate and 240Hz touch sampling rate.

Of course, having 5G means it’s gonna take a toll on the battery. The Mate 40 has a 4,200mAh capacity while the Mate 40 Pro and Mate 40 Pro+ have 4,400mAh. But more than the numbers, Huawei says the phones are equipped with tech to handle the demands of 5G.

Configurations are as follows:

  • Mate 40 — 8GB+128GB and 8GB+256GB
  • Mate 40 Pro — 8GB+256GB
  • Mate 40 Pro+ — 12GB+256GB

A new user experience

We’ve already been introduced to EMUI 11 and all it’s wonderful features. So there’s all of that plus a handful of improvements in several areas.

Smart Gesture Control makes a return. It’s the feature that lets you hover your hand over the device to wake it up, navigate, and answer a call. Like magic!

Huawei is also expanding Petal Search to Petal Maps, essentially replacing everything it lost with Google and putting their own stamp on it while making sure to communicate that it’s all private and secure.

Other devices

During the launch, Huawei also introduced a handful of other devices:

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OnePlus 9 series could arrive sooner than expected

Two Nord phones are also coming soon

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File Photo: OnePlus 8

The OnePlus 8T series was recently announced and we’re already hearing about its successor. Popularly dubbed as the OnePlus 9 series, it could launch within the next six months. While this is its regular product cycle, the next launch could be sooner than we expect.

According to Android Central, the company hasn’t decided on a launch date yet but it should be around mid-March. Two years ago, OnePlus used to launch in May, which was then shifted to April. Now, we could see another early launch.

There’s no word on the phone’s internals yet, but we can safely assume it’ll have Qualcomm’s next flagship processor. Called the Snapdragon 875, it’s expected to launch in December and shall be found in next year’s flagships.

The OnePlus 9 isn’t the only phone that’s coming early though. Samsung usually launches its S-series flagship in February, but this could change soon with a launch in January.

OnePlus is also expected to launch two new phones under the Nord branding. Rumor mills suggest they’re named the Nord N10 5G and N100.

It’s also worth noting that Xiaomi has cornered OnePlus in the Indian market. The Mi 10T series has very aggressive pricing, directly under-cutting OnePlus’s lastest offering.

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Enterprise

Acer launches 3 new TravelMate laptops for enterprise use

Comes with military-grade design

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Alongside a host of upgrades to its existing lineup, Acer announced three new laptops in the TravelMate series. TravelMate laptops are not available for retail purchase and can only be purchased by businesses or enterprises via the commercial channel.

Hence, these laptops are designed to keep purely work in mind and are supposed to be power houses. This includes TravelMate Spin P4, a convertible touchscreen notebook; TravelMate P4, a powerful machine with a traditional build; and TravelMate P2, a durable notebook with tonnes of ports.

The laptops are powered by 11th Gen Intel processor and Iris X graphics or NVIDIA GeForce MX350 dedicated GPU. They can sport up to 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD, and longer battery life. Acer claims the Spin P4 and P4 can last up to 15 hours on a single charge while the P2 clocks in 13. The former duo takes just an hour to charge the battery by 80 percent.

Being the fancier laptop, the Spin P4 gets Gorilla Glass protection and 360 hinge convertible design. The Spin P4 also gets MIL-STD-810G certification, which means it can endure rugged usage. The keyboard is spill proof and the corners are shock absorbent.

The Spin P4 and P4 are light weight and weigh around 1.5kg. The P2 is slightly heavy at 1.6kg. All three laptops support WiFi 6 and 4G LTE compatibility via an eSIM. On the port section, a Thunderbolt 4 port is included along with the standard selection of USB-C, USB 3.0, and more.

Lastly, the laptops are secured by the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 with an anti-tampering chip. Additionally, it has support for Windows Hello, built-in webcam covers, and a fingerprint reader for authentication.

Pricing and Availability

The TravelMate P2 (TMP214-53) will be available in North America in March 2021 starting at US$ 799.99; in EMEA in November starting at 759 EUR ; and in China in October, starting at CNY 4,999.

The TravelMate P4 (TMP414-51) will be available in North America in December starting at US$ 899.99; in EMEA in November starting at 899 EUR ; and in China in October, starting at CNY 5,999.

The TravelMate Spin P4 (TMP414RN-51) will be available in North America in December starting at USD 999.99; in EMEA in November starting at 999 EUR ; and in China in October, starting at CNY 6,999.

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