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Chinese brand Vivo gears up to sell smartphones in PH

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Not too many people in the Philippines have heard about Vivo, a Chinese OEM that, like Huawei and OPPO, is aggressively expanding to markets outside of its native China, where it ranks among the country’s top-selling smartphone brands. However, that might soon change now that the company is apparently gearing up to sell its phones locally.

Vivo has shown increased activity on its local Facebook page lately, and in its latest post, it announced the arrival of the Vivo Y51 with the caption “experience speed like no other,” which is interesting because on paper, the Y51 isn’t particularly speedy. It does offer fast mobile data across 4G LTE networks — but then again, support for the fastest wireless data standard available is common among today’s smartphones.

Vivo Y51

The Y51 isn’t new either, as the phone has been widely available in select markets since January for 12,000 Indian rupees, or roughly Php8,000.

Vivo’s current lineup of affordable devices aside, what it has in store in the future, however, may be of interest to local consumers; the Chinese brand is slated to unveil the V3 and V3 Max smartphones in India on April 5.

The latter has been spotted at China’s TENAA (China’s equivalent to the FCC) carrying a 5.5-inch, full-resolution display, an octa-core processor, and 3GB of RAM. Considering the modest specifications, it wouldn’t be surprising to see it come with an equally modest price. We’ll be in India next week to cover the Vivo launch event, so expect to hear more about the V3 and V3 Max then.

Vivo operates in seven countries, including China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, and the Philippines, and is known for pioneering the Quad HD era of mobile devices, having introduced the first smartphone with a resolution of 1,440 x 2,560 pixels in 2013. Its current flagship, the Vivo Xplay5, boasts 6GB of RAM — another industry first — plus an AMOLED screen that’s curved on both sides, similar to that of the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.

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Amazon makes a grand announcement of new Alexa-enabled Echo devices

A smart home has to have these

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Amazon continues to make a mark in the smart home market with their announcement of new Alexa-enabled Echo devices. The company announced a slew of devices, but let’s know more about the key Echo products that now have new upgrades.

Amazon Echo Dot

The new Echo Dot gets redesigned to look stylish and more modern. The plasticky design of the previous model is a thing of the past; the new model now has a fabric design that comes in three colors. The new model is also claimed to sound louder and better, but it’s still priced at US$ 50.

Amazon Echo Plus

The new Echo Plus also has similar upgrades with its new fabric design. It comes with an upgraded 3-inch speaker for stronger bass and clearer mids and highs. Like the Dot, the new model is still priced like its predecessor which is at US$ 150.

Amazon Echo Show

The gigantic Echo Show has been redesigned as well. It features a new body with a large 10-inch HD display. Of course, the new display comes with a new sound system composed of two 2-inch drivers with a passive radiator and Dolby audio processing.

It also comes with a new 5-megapixel front-facing camera for HD video calls. Alexa will soon support Skype audio and video calls, so you will be able to use Skype straight from your Echo Show. Additionally, it now has a built-in web browser. Pricing remains at US$ 230 like with the previous model.

Amazon Echo Auto

The Echo Auto is probably the most intriguing of the bunch. It’s a US$ 25 accessory (the cheapest Echo, yet) designed to let you access Alexa even while in your car. It powers itself from your car’s power outlet or a USB port and connects to the Internet via Bluetooth through your phone.

Using the Alexa app on your phone, it can play music or give you turn-by-turn navigation. You can also ask it pretty much anything you’d ask with other Echo devices.

The new Echo Dot, Echo Plus, and Echo Show are already up for pre-order and will go on sale starting October 11. The Echo Auto is also up for pre-order, but by request only.

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Huawei gives free power banks to Apple fans

This is quite a power move!

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Huawei is mastering the art of throwing shade real quick. It started during the iPhone XS launch when the Chinese company thanked Apple for “keeping things the same.” Now that people lined up to finally get their hands-on on the iPhone XS and XS Max, Huawei made sure they’re also in the scene.

In Singapore, Huawei representatives were seen handing out free power banks to the eager Apple fans who queued up for the new iPhones.

It even included a cheeky message saying “Here’s a power bank. You’ll need it,” before making sure the recipient knows who the power bank was from, “Courtesy of Huawei.”

Previously, it was just Samsung that brazenly took shots at Apple. Their latest ones feature anti-iPhone ads that centered around power and stylus support. Before that, they also released an ad mocking the notch.

Huawei, who made significant headway in the smartphone market in 2018 thanks to their P20 models, wants in on the conversation. It looks like it’s not going stop any time soon as they get ready to launch their latest flagship — the Mate 20 — on October 16 in London.

This is not the first time that other brands rode the iPhone wave. HTC once provided warm drinks to combat the cool weather Apple loyalists had to endure. Other brands have also stepped in before to provide some form of comfort or aid for the brave people who lined up.

SEE ALSO: Singapore’s first iPhone XS buyer goes all out

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Instagram now lets you send GIFs through direct messages

About time!

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Image from Unsplash

Instagram continues to evolve from a photo-sharing app to a full-fledged messaging platform. If video chatting service is not enough to convince you that it’s more fun to talk to people on Instagram, then what about GIFs? After the long wait, you can now finally send fun GIFs on Instagram through direct messages.

The incoming (or it’s probably already available to you) update will have GIPHY support to find and send GIFs. It’s somewhat similar to how you can look for GIFs for your Stories, but this one is for private conversations.

Sure, it won’t put Instagram on par with the best communication apps out there like Facebook Messenger, Viber, or WhatsApp, but it’ll make talking to friends much more fun. I think GIFs are fun to send as a reaction to Stories, right?

The feature is rolling out over the next few days, so keep your Instagram app updated. While we’re at it, follow GadgetMatch on Instagram for more content and live updates of what’s we’re currently up to.

Source: Instagram

SEE ALSO: 7 tips to stepping up your Instagram game

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