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Vivo X21 now official with under-display fingerprint reader version

Vivo is keen with under-display fingerprint readers

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Following the announcement of OPPO for their R15 duo, Vivo made their new top-tier smartphone official — the Vivo X21. Unsurprisingly, the X21 shares a few characteristics with OPPO’s newest release but has its own improvements.

The Vivo X21 is equipped with a 6.28-inch border-less AMOLED display with a notch on top. Its resolution of 1080 x 2280 pixels is on par with other models in its range, but the notch houses more than just an earpiece and front camera. The X21 has an infrared fill light which enables 3D mapping of facial features for its Face Wake 2.0.

Vivo X21

A Snapdragon 660 processor powers the phone along with a dedicated AI core. The chipset has Adreno 512 for graphics and is paired with 6GB of memory. As for storage, two options are available: 64GB and 128GB. A non-removable 3200mAh battery (with fast-charging through micro-USB) makes sure the phone will last the whole day while it runs Android 8.1 Oreo with Funtouch OS 4.0.

The cameras on board the X21 are enough to make the phone ideal for mobile photography. There’s a dual-camera setup on the back with a 12-megapixel f/1.8 main shooter and a 5-megapixel f/2.4 secondary to enable background effects like bokeh and portrait mode.

Vivo X21 UD

A fingerprint reader is located at the back of the X21, but it’ll have a special version with an under-display fingerprint scanner just like its predecessor. This version is only available with 128GB of storage.

Orders for the regular variant will begin on March 24 at midnight with the 64GB model priced at CNY 2,898 (US$ 460) while the 128GB is at CNY 3,198 (US$ 505). Both will come in Aurora White, Ruby Red, and Black.

If you wish to get the version with an under-display fingerprint reader, it’ll be available in Ruby Red and Black starting March 28 for CNY 3,598 or roughly US$ 570.

SEE ALSO: Vivo announces AI-powered Super HDR

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ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M2 is bigger, faster, and still runs pure Android

ZenFone without the ZenUI

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Just before the year ends, ASUS introduced an update to its ZenFone Max Pro lineup. Dubbed the M2, the newest ZenFone inherited the same pure Android software of its predecessor while the rest of the phone has been upgraded.

ASUS’ new ZenFone Max Pro M2 is slightly bigger than the M1 with its 6.3-inch display and it has Gorilla Glass 6 protection. It also has a slightly taller aspect ratio at 19:9 and a higher screen-to-body ratio. Although, it now has a notch like its more premium ZenFone cousins.

Surprisingly, the new ZenFone is equipped with a tried and tested Snapdragon 660 processor which puts it in the league of the Nokia 7 Plus and Vivo V11. It even has up to 6GB of memory and 64GB of expandable storage. On paper, the ZenFone Max Pro M2 is more powerful than the ZenFone 5.

Camera-wise, it’s got a main 12-megapixel f/1.8 shooter coupled with a 5-megapixel depth sensor. An upgraded 13-megapixel sensor takes care of the selfies along. The phone features all the beautification effects and AI enhancements.

The huge 5000mAh battery found in its predecessor is present as well. The phone still charges via micro-USB and has no support for fast charging.

Even though this is an ASUS phone, it doesn’t have ZenUI because it runs an unskinned version of Android. It’s bare with no bloatware, but it’s not part of the Android One program. Software updates will come from ASUS, so it may take some time to have the latest version available. It has only Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box.

The ZenFone Max Pro M2 is priced at PhP 14,995 in the Philippines or roughly US$ 285. It’ll be available in stores starting December 15. There will be also a 4GB memory variant that’s exclusively available on Shopee and Lazada for PhP 12,995.

SEE ALSO: ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M2 review

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Samsung is collaborating with a Supreme rip-off

Announced in China

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Historically, tech companies have not usually paired with lifestyle brands. Being lifestyle objects in their own right, smartphones have collaborated with other brands only for incredibly premium promotions. That said, they can surprise us sometimes.

In Samsung’s case, the surprise comes in two packages. Recently, Samsung China announced a startling partnership with lifestyle brand Supreme. In lifestyle circles, the red-boxed brand is a haven for hypebeasts.

Samsung’s new collaboration is not with that brand. Instead, the Korean tech company has partnered with a known Supreme knock-off. Strangely, both the original Supreme and Samsung know this fact.

Naturally, Supreme’s popularity has spawned dozens, if not hundreds, of knock-off brands. Supreme Italia, Samsung’s partner, is one of those brands. Earlier this year, Supreme Italia was embroiled in a legal battle with the original Supreme based in New York City. In a rare outcome, the fake brand triumphed over the original. On inception, Supreme Italia trademarked its properties in its homeland, Italy. The move perpetually protected the fake company under Italian law.

During Samsung China’s launch event for the Galaxy A8s, Supreme Italia announced the collaboration. Apparently, the fake brand is expanding its operations in China, enlisting Samsung as an official partner. The original Supreme does not have rights to sell its products in China.

Funny enough, all three parties — the original Supreme, Supreme Italia, and Samsung — know about the knock-off.

“Supreme is not working with Samsung, opening a flagship location in Beijing, or participating in a Mercedes-Benz runway show. These claims are blatantly false and propagated by a counterfeit organization,” the original company said in a statement to Hypebeast.

Likewise, Samsung China confirmed the issue. In a deleted Weibo post, Samsung China digital marketing manager Leo Lau said: “We are collaborating with Supreme Italia, not Supreme NYC.”

Ironically (or appropriately), Samsung has been in similar patent issues before. Months ago, the company lost a patent infringement battle with its rival, Apple.

SEE ALSO: Samsung’s new prototype has a very weird notch

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Samsung Galaxy A8s debuts with Infinity-O display

Yet another upcoming design trend?

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Enough with the rumors and premature announcements. It’s time to make the Galaxy A8s official.

If you haven’t heard, this is Samsung’s first smartphone to feature the Infinity-O display, which utilizes a punch-hole design instead of the ubiquitous notch found on most phones today to house the 24-megapixel selfie camera.

It’s certainly a unique way to make the most of the screen’s real estate and avoid taking up too much space on the front. The only trouble here is Samsung seems to have settled for a 6.4-inch 1080p LCD instead of its signature AMOLED panel.

Another non-Samsung feature is the use of a midrange Snapdragon 710 chipset in place of the usual Exynos SoC found in most Galaxy smartphones. It’s a great processor though, and it’s paired with up to 8GB of memory and 128GB of expandable storage.

The rear has a triple-camera setup consisting of a 24-megapixel f/1.7 camera, 10-megapixel telephoto shooter, and an additional 5-megapixel sensor for depth sensing to create creamier backgrounds. Beside these is a standard fingerprint scanner.

To our delight, the 3400mAh battery can be charged through the phone’s USB-C port. To our dismay, the handset also comes with 2017’s Android 8.1 Oreo. FYI, it’s almost 2019.

The three available colors are green, blue, and gray. Availability is currently exclusive to China beginning later this month. Price is unknown, but expect it to cost somewhere between the Galaxy A7 and A9.

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