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Vivo X20 Plus UD with under-display fingerprint reader is now official

Kickstarting a new trend for 2018

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The phone showcased during CES 2018

We first saw Vivo’s phone with an under-display fingerprint reader a couple of weeks ago at CES 2018 as a demo phone. It didn’t take too long for the Chinese company to officially announce the device, and it’s now known as the X20 Plus UD.

The Vivo X20 Plus UD is the world’s first smartphone to ship with a fingerprint scanner built under its display. The handset’s physical design and specifications are identical to the commercially available Vivo X20 Plus in China, albeit with a under-display reader — hence the “UD” moniker.

It’s got a 6.43-inch near-borderless display which has a Full HD+ resolution (2160 x 1080 pixels). The Clear ID 9500 fingerprint sensor from Synaptics is neatly tucked near the bottom edge where phones usually had their fingerprint readers. It has an AMOLED panel as a requirement for the sensor to work.

As for the rest of the specifications, we have a Snapdragon 660 processor onboard with 4GB of memory and a whopping 128GB of internal storage. If that ain’t enough, a hybrid microSD card slot is always ready for action.

Keeping in with the trend, the X20 Plus UD also has two rear cameras — the main one having а 12-megapixel sensor and a f/1.8 lens, while the secondary has 5 megapixels. It comes with a 12-megapixel front camera for taking selfies.

The battery capacity of the phone is pretty hefty at 3905mAh which is more than enough to power it through the whole day and charges through USB-C. And since it’s from Vivo, the phone has a built-in ES9318 DAC for Hi-Fi audio — something the company is known for ever since.

Vivo pointed out that screen protectors will not get in the way of the under-display reader as long as they don’t exceed a certain thickness; otherwise, they would affect the reflection of light from the OLED panel and confuse the sensor. The phone will come with a layer of film that works out of the box to save buyers the time of finding a compatible one.

The phone will officially be available starting February 1 with a price tag of CNY 3,598 (US$ 565) in China. There are no available color options aside from black with golden rims around the display and cameras on the back.

Apps

Instagram will start to put ads on a user’s profile

And on the Explore page

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Ads are everywhere. Several platforms are testing where and how much they can put without raising a lot of fuss from their users. On a few occasions, a platform can cross the line, prompting a wave of reprisals. Instagram, for example, backtracked on a controversial decision to pump out more recommended posts and ads after massive backlash. Despite the recency of the controversy, Instagram is back again with another ad-fueled decision: ads on user profiles.

This week, Meta announced that two more types of ads are coming to Instagram. The first type is a natural extension of what the platform already has. Instead of hiding video ads deep within the Explore section, these short videos will start popping up right on the section’s landing page. Since the section already has ads, it might not be as intrusive, especially when compared to the second type.

Besides a new spot in the Explore feed, Instagram is also adding ads to a user’s profile. Likely to a lot of users’ dismay, it is what it says on the tin. Offering some consolation, the platform won’t spoil a profile’s grid with an ad. Instead, when a user clicks on a post on the profile, the vertical feed, which usually shows a timeline of the profile’s content, will contain spots for ads.

Instagram has not officially confirmed which users will get the feature. However, the company is currently testing it for select creators. It also assures users that it will come only on public profiles, not private individuals.

SEE ALSO: You can snooze recommended posts on Instagram

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YouTube might ask users to pay to watch in 4K

In testing phase

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Despite offering a mostly free service, YouTube is finding new ways to monetize parts of its platform. Now, ads are a lot more prevalent while watching videos. A less popular way is gating some features behind the platform’s YouTube Premium banner. YouTube is trying it once again, though. The platform is currently testing whether to keep 4K viewing behind a paywall.

With the capabilities of displays today, YouTube and its creators can offer content in stunning 4K resolution. Though not everyone can enjoy the feature, 4K viewing was a welcome one.

However, as spotted by some users on social media (via TechCrunch), the video-sharing site is reportedly making the viewing option exclusive for Premium users. The company has not officially announced any change yet. However, YouTube’s other accounts on Twitter replied to some concerned users on the site, citing an “experiment” to test what works for Premium and non-Premium users.

The company is still gathering responses to the experiment. However, if the initial social media response is any indication, a good chunk of YouTube’s users isn’t pleased with having to pay more to enjoy high-quality content.

Currently, YouTube Premium comes at US$ 11.99 per month for interested customers. The paid subscription offers ad-free viewing and offline viewing. If the company sees some progress with the experiment, they might ad 4K viewing to Premium’s mix.

SEE ALSO: YouTube has quietly launched a Podcasts hub

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Xiaomi 12T series now official

The brand’s latest flagship

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Xiaomi 12T Pro

Xiaomi announced the global launch of its latest smartphones: The Xiaomi 12T and Xiaomi 12T Pro.

The pair is set to rival other phones in the flagship category. The Xiaomi 12T Pro is powered by an SM8475 Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 (4nm) processor. Meanwhile the standard 12T houses a Dimensity 8100-Ultra (5nm) chipset.

Both phones have a 5,000mAh battery and support Xiaomi’s 120W HyperCharge which can promise 100 percent charging in just 19 minutes, and 13.5 hours of screen-on time.

The 12T Pro has up to 12GB RAM for seamless performance, on top of a 256GB internal memory while the 12T isn’t that far behind with an 8GB RAM and the same storage capacity.

The devices also have a 6.67-inch AMOLED HDR10+ screen which comes with a 120Hz refresh rate and supports Dolby Vision and AdaptiveSync. In addition, the Pro model has an IP53 dust and splash resistance rating.

Exceptional smartphone photography

When it comes to photography, the 12T Pro features a pro-grade 200MP camera which has a large 1/1.22-inch sensor. It is capable of filming 8K videos and 4K at up to 60fps.

The 12T has a 108MP main shooter that can also record 4K videos and standard HD clips in 60fps.

With Xiaomi’s ProCut and Ultra burst, as well as advanced AI algorithms, smartphone photography will definitely be taken to the next level. Both devices likewise have 20MP selfie cameras.

Price and availability

In Singapore, the Xiaomi 12T Pro starts at SG$ 1,099 while the Xiaomi 12T retails for SG$749.

Pricing and availability details in the Philippines have yet to be revealed.

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