News

Vivo V3 Max gets PH price and release date

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When Vivo debuted its new V3 line of smartphones in India last month, the Chinese smartphone maker claimed they were “faster than faster.” Earlier today, when it made the V3 Max official in the Philippines, the phrase that came to mind was: “cheaper than the competition.”

At P16,990, the 5.5-inch V3 Max isn’t necessarily inexpensive, but it’s priced aggressively enough, attractive enough, and feature-rich enough to give the Samsungs of the world a reason to worry. And at a time when just about every OEM is trying to horn in on the premium-for-less space.

Vivo V3 Max

Encased in an aluminum unibody with a curved-edge frame and a fingerprint sensor around the back, the V3 Max features an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor — which is said to be the spiritual successor to the top-end Snapdragon 810 — alongside 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage that can be expanded up to an additional 128GB using a microSD card.

The 3,000mAh quick-charge battery, as well as its imaging capabilities are nothing to scoff at, either — the primary and selfie cameras use 13- and 8-megapixel sensors, respectively.

gadgetmatch-vivo-v3-max-20160413-03

In fact, the only spec that’s arguably disappointing is Android 5.1 Lollipop, but considering Vivo’s heavy-handed approach to software — an attitude it shares with so many Chinese brands — you probably won’t mind too much.

The Vivo V3 Max is already available for preorder in the Philippines with a street date of May 21. For more about the device, and it’s little brother, the Vivo V3, you can read our first impressions here.

Gaming

Genki finally gives us Bluetooth audio support for the Nintendo Switch

It’s about time!

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When I first bought a Switch, I knew I was getting the best-possible mobile gaming experience available today. However, my high hopes suddenly went downhill once I realized there’s no way of connecting my favorite Bluetooth headphones.

That’s right: Despite being designed for gaming on the go, the Switch has no way of accepting any form of Bluetooth audio — a feature that’s been present on smartphones and other gaming consoles for ages.

If you want sound outside of the built-in stereo speakers, you’d have to connect your headphones or portable speaker to the 3.5mm port. That’s not too bad, but it goes against the truly wireless era smartphones and mobile gadgets are (forcefully) ushering us into.

This is where Genki comes in. It’s a straightforward dongle that plugs into the USB-C port of the Switch and enables you to connect any Bluetooth audio device to the Nintendo console.

What’s great is that Genki draws minimal power from the console and can even provide sound to two devices at once thanks to the power of Bluetooth 5.0.

This is a simple solution to a problem Nintendo should’ve addressed long time ago. The Switch has been available for over a year now, and no first-party accessories have been released to add Bluetooth support.

It’s currently being funded on Kickstarter with only four days left to reach it’s US$ 30,000 goal. Clearly, people are seeing the need for Genki, since it has already amassed nearly US$ 400,000 as of writing!

There’s still time to pledge, but the cheapest US$ 29 deal is already gone and the US$ 49 Day One Edition is also no longer available. The estimated delivery date is October 2018.

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Deals

Huawei P20 Lite and Nova 2i are now priced cheaper in the Philippines

To make way for new Huawei midrange phones

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Huawei P20 Lite | GadgetMatch

Huawei is set to unveil new smartphones in the coming weeks as competitive midrange offerings. In the Philippines, we already know that upcoming Nova 3i is going to be priced just below PhP 16,000, which is the same as the slightly older P20 Lite model. To make way for the new phone (or phones), Huawei just slashed the retail prices of two of their best-selling midrangers.

Effective immediately, the Huawei P20 Lite is now only PhP 13,990 which is two thousand pesos below its original price. Since the P20 Lite is now cheaper, the Huawei Nova 2i gets another price cut to just PhP 11,990.

Both phones sport Kirin 659 processors, Full HD+ displays with tall aspect ratios, dual rear cameras, and rear fingerprint readers. Design-wise, the P20 Lite looks a lot its P20 sibling with a notched display and glass back, while the Nova 2i features a metal unibody.

If you wanna know more about the P20 Lite, we have a video review that you can watch below:

We also have one for the Nova 2i:

SEE ALSO: Huawei Nova 3i pre-order details and price in the Philippines

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Enterprise

The US finally lifts sanctions over ZTE

They can make phones again!

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If you’ve followed your history classes closely, you’ll know that relations between China and the US have been tenuous throughout the years. As of late, Chinese companies — specifically, ZTE — and the US government have constantly been at loggerheads with each other.

Now, a new chapter is finally trying to close off this volume in the China versus US saga.

Following ZTE’s eventual compliance with trade sanctions, the US government has lifted their indefinite ban over the company’s deals with American businesses. Once again, ZTE is free to obtain the parts essential to their phones from the US.

Previously, the US government initiated the ban in response to ZTE’s violations of trade policies with Iran. For reparation, lawmakers offered to stave off more repressive sanctions if ZTE paid fines and replaced their erring employees.

Despite the offer, ZTE failed to comply with these conditions. As a result, the US had no choice but to ban ZTE from initiating business with any American company. This presented a crippling scenario for the company. ZTE’s phones rely heavily on American components including Qualcomm, the company’s chip supplier.

For months, ZTE has crawled through a terrible limbo of being physically incapable of producing any phones. The company’s employees were left to twiddle their thumbs.

Eventually, President Donald Trump tried to rescue the company, citing lost Chinese jobs because of the job. Unfortunately, his rescue efforts came to no avail.

Now, the US has finally acquiesced to give ZTE another chance. Finally, ZTE took the offer and complied with US demands. The company has changed its board and paid US$ 1.4 billion in fines. Additionally, the company has added a compliance team hired by the US to monitor ZTE’s actions should they violate policies again.

Overall, this entire saga is a symptom of the US’ distrust over the Chinese agenda. Besides ZTE, Huawei, and Xiaomi are also feeling the heat of US tensions. At least, the ZTE brouhaha has ended. For now, at least.

SEE ALSO: ZTE’s new concept phone has two notches

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