News

vivo X50 series now official, employs Gimbal Camera System

Placing heavy emphasis on camera performance

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vivo’s been pretty quiet since the launch of the vivo NEX 3. Today, the company breaks its silence with the launch of the vivo X50 series. It consists of three phones: the X50, X50 Pro, and X50 Pro+.

The series is putting a strong emphasis on camera performance. Specifically, vivo is touting its Gimbal Camera System and its zoom capabilities. We’ll get to that more later.

The X50 series also promises a futuristic and user-centric design along with flagship grade performance. The company says it’s the first X-series to be released globally, so there’s a lot riding on these devices.

Gimbal Camera System

Gimbals are primarily used for stabilization. By adding what they call the Gimbal Camera System, vivo says they’ve unlocked the capability to take clear photos and videos while in motion. This applies, they claim, even at night.

Here’s how it works: the gimbal module, which was modeled from a full-size professional gimbal, moves in the opposite direction of shaking motion to provide stability. It also widens the rotation angle and anti-shake area — wider than the usual smartphone stabilization methods — to produce super clear images.

There’s a gimbal radar that lets users know when the frame is stable. It appears as an on-screen animated ball that reflects the gimbal’s movement. This works in concert with vivo’s motion-deblur algorithm, customized sensors and continuous focus tracking to improve the clarity even more.

If that seemed like it’s a lot to take in, that’s because it is. For our part, we’re excited how it actually works both in demo and in the real world.

Zoom and other camera features

There’s more to the X50 series than the gimbal camera system. vivo says all three are equipped with the cameras you expect from flagship smartphones. Both the X50 Pro and the X50 Pro+ have a periscope lens that supports up to 60x Hyper Zoom.

The X50 Pro has a quad-camera setup with a single selfie camera. Meanwhile, the X50 Pro+ sports a main camera that has a 1/1.3 inch ISOCELL GN1 sensor. This should result in photos with “breathtaking detail.”

The series also has a super wide-angle lens and a super macro lens, giving you versatility in various shooting situations. There’s also Super Night Mode for low light scenarios, and an Astro Mode for stunning nightscape images whether in a city or open field setting.

Lastly, there’s Portrait Mode. vivo says it’s now more refined thanks to a four-layer masking algorithm that not only separates the subject from the background, it’ll also let you apply separate effects for even better results.

A truly flagship series

All the phones in the X50 series will support 5G connectivity — which seems to be something we should expect from all flagship phones from here on out. The series will also have a high screen refresh rate — a choice between 90Hz/120Hz depending on the model.

Those screens, vivo claims, are now even better. They’re more flexible, slimmer, lighter, but also more durable than anything they’ve ever made before.

The X50 Pro+ is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+X55 processor. The Gimbal Camera System on the rear of the X50 Pro is in the shape of an eye for a unique design element. And lastly, the X50 is the slimmest 5G phone so far measuring at only 7.49mm

Pricing and availability

It will be available over the next three months in the following markets: Asia (specifically India, Indonesia, and more), Africa, Latin America, Eastern Europe.

In India, pricing are as follows:

  • vivo X50 (8GB+128GB): Rs 34,990
  • vivo X50 (8GB+256GB): INR 37,990
  • vivo X50 Pro (8GB+256GB): INR49,999

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on June 1, 2020. It has been updated to with our video review, new images and to reflect pricing and availability.

Finance

India’s new SMS regulation creates havoc for banks, essential services

SMS deliveries have been down for days

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Indian telecom service providers started implementing the second phase of a new SMS regulation, disrupting essential services like OTP (one-time passwords), bank updates, and e-commerce messages. This is an industry-wide issue affecting everything, including India’s identity verification program called Aadhaar and the Coronavirus vaccination portal called CoWIN.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recently issued a guideline that mandated verifying every SMS and its content before delivery. The process is technically called scrubbing and was implemented on March 8, 2021. As a result, unverified and unregistered SMS messages were blocked by telcos.

TRAI says that scrubbing helps reduce spam or misleading messages that pretend to be from a financial institution. The process helps in differentiating between promotional and transactional messages. To control fraud, a blockchain-based solution is used by telcos to check every SMS’ header and content. If the source isn’t registered, the message won’t go through.

Telcos say that they simply followed the upgrade regulations and that telemarketers and companies are yet to join the formal registration process. Unfortunately, neither the telcos nor the banks have issued a statement to address public outrage.

Every transaction done by a credit or debit card is authenticated on the spot via a preset PIN or SMS OTP in India. For online transactions, a vast majority of users rely on OTPs, and these just aren’t getting delivered. Even SMS updates about a transaction aren’t able to go through. Telcos pushed back and pinned the blame on companies and their lax adoption, which have failed to comply with regulatory standards.

According to BloombergQuint, Axis Bank, one of India’s largest private banks, can deliver only 25 to 30 percent of the total messages. In the meantime, users are suggested to rely on alternative authentication services like Verified by Visa.

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Huawei P50 will launch with HarmonyOS out of the box

Bye Android

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Because of the ongoing American ban, Huawei is rapidly plummeting down the ranks. Though the company is already struggling to replace multiple components across the board, everything started with the loss of Google. Fortunately, they are already developing an Android alternative called HarmonyOS. However, the supposedly independent operating system is still nowhere to be found. Reportedly, its time has come. According to a Weibo source, the Huawei P50 series will come with HarmonyOS out of the box.

In the now-deleted source (captured by GSMArena), Huawei has already completed the second beta testing phase of its upcoming HarmonyOS and is readying for its third phase. Further, a final release is impending. According to the source, the upcoming P50 series will already come with the system from the get-go.

For existing Huawei users, though, the HarmonyOS beta is already available for anyone who wants to opt in. Naturally, doing so might not be the best decision yet, especially since it’s still in beta. Further, the ecosystem is still building itself into a thriving one.

Despite the software’s continuous development, it hasn’t been free from controversy. According to past rumors, HarmonyOS is apparently still based on Android’s software, specifically AOSP. If it’s true by the final release, the company hasn’t strayed away from its Android roots.

The Huawei P50 series is set to launch sometime this month.

SEE ALSO: Huawei P50 series still coming in March

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News

Huawei Mate 40 Pro now available with Smart postpaid plans

Starting at PhP 2,899 per month

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Huawei’s latest flagship, the Mate 40 Pro, can now be had on Smart’s Signature postpaid plans. For as low as PhP 2,899 per month, you can have the latest and the greatest from Huawei plus all the perks from Smart.

The perks include 15GB of data with rollover, unlimited texts and calls to all networks, and free 150 minutes of calls to local PLDT numbers. You will need to pay a PhP 9,800 one-time cashout.

If you want to make the most out of your device plan, apply now until March 31 to get a free, exclusive ring light case worth PhP 3,999. Physical store applications will net you a free wireless table lamp worth PhP 2,499 from March 12 to April 30.

Freebies for Huawei devices

Now is the best time also to check out Smart’s postpaid plans for Huawei devices. Every Huawei P40 Pro+, Nova series, and Y series postpaid plans now come with freebies worth up to PhP 20,990. You can grab this amazing deal only at Smart stores nationwide until March 31, 2021.

To know more about this offer, visit Smart’s website today.

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