Features

Why Apple needs a smaller, cheaper iPhone SE

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Hours from now, Apple will very likely take the wraps off a new iPhone, a smaller iPhone that’s more affordable and more suited for those who think one-handed usage should be an option regardless of the task.

The iPhone SE, or whatever Apple decides to call it, is all but certain to replace the iPhone 5s as the cheapest iPhone available, though it begs the question: Does Apple really need this iPhone to grow its business? The short answer is yes. However, a far more important question is why Apple is releasing a watered-down version of a great phone.

We think there are three explanations for Apple’s second attempt at a mid-tier handset (rest in peace, iPhone 5c).

Two iPhone announcements in a year

The first is the most obvious: Coming out with another iPhone line allows Apple to rain on Samsung’s Galaxy S parade in February or March, while at the same time undercutting its chief competition with a cheaper but not necessarily more capable product, although it can be a springboard to introduce new features and design changes. In a way, it can be a preview of things to expect in September’s iPhone.

Apple can even bump up future announcement dates for its smaller and cheaper iPhone to hijack the hype of Android devices announced at the annual International CES [Consumer Electronics Show] and Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress.

It’s a win for Apple, but that’s assuming the handset is a big hit. Which is assuming quite a lot given Apple’s recent failure in the midrange. And by “failure,” we mean the iPhone 5c didn’t take off as expected, with 9to5 Mac reporting last year that the iPhone 5c accounted for only 8.5 percent of active iPhones at the time.

iPhone for emerging markets

Apple’s smartphone shipments are expected to fall short of projections for the first time since 2003, despite its retail efforts in China. Add to that the slowing smartphone adoption rates in countries where Apple is considered a top contender, and it’s not surprising to see the company setting its sights to India and other emerging economies. India, after all, has leapfrogged the U.S. into second place in terms of smartphone shipments last year.

But here’s the thing: Low-priced Android phones dominate low-income markets, and, price-wise, current iPhone models, with the exception of the iPhone 5s, aren’t competitive enough. But that may soon change with the arrival of the iPhone SE, even though we don’t expect it to be cheap.

A reasonable estimate would be around $US400 (Php19,000), which is still cheaper than paying full price for an off-contract iPhone 6s (starts at $US650). And let’s not forget that carrier subsidies could write off the upfront cost of the cheaper iPhone, putting it in the hands of more consumers.

A “new” iPhone 5s

Perhaps we don’t need to tell you this, but it’s time to retire the iPhone 5s. It has been on shelves for years now, which is too long in the fast-paced mobile industry; the hardware is already showing its age, as any iPhone 5s user on iOS 9.2.1 will tell you. Next to a 2016 Android phone in the midrange, the iPhone 5s right now is about as appealing as a pair of Crocs, or a minivan.

Most of the leaks surrounding the upcoming iPhone suggest a 4-inch phone that’s just as capable as the 4.7-inch iPhone 6s, and they’re probably not far off, if only because Apple can’t use the same components it used to build the iPhone 5s for reasons stated above.

If Apple wants the iPhone SE to succeed in the long term, it’s going to have to pack enough oomph to run the current iOS version, the next and the one after that without performance issues. We don’t see that happening with anything less than what the iPhone 6s offers.

[irp posts=”11425″ name=”Tiny iPhone SE gets twice the storage”]

Image credit: Nick Beeep

Reviews

Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro Unboxing & Review: About Time!

Killer specs at a reasonable price

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It seems like Google’s Pixel 5 announcement didn’t stop Xiaomi from announcing their newest Mi 10T series.

As confusing as it might be, the new Mi 10T Pro is the successor to Mi 9T Pro, last year’s popular midranger. But the thing is, Xiaomi’s newest phone isn’t a midrange device anymore.

Packed with Snapdragon 865, set of brilliant cameras, and a gaming-centric 144Hz display, the new Mi 10T Pro might just be establishing a new smartphone category with flagship-tier specs at a midranger’s price.

Curious to find out what was added and removed? Watch our review of the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro here.

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Reviews

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE Unboxing and Review: Not What You Think!

Samsung’s answer to their pricey flagship smartphones

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Galaxy S10e, S10 Lite, and the Galaxy S20 FE, three phones meant for the less tech-savvy consumers. Samsung may not be consistent with naming their phones, but they’re still consistent in giving fans the best of specs.

The Galaxy S20 FE is a follow-up to Samsung’s S20 Series — packed with no-compromise specs at a reasonable price. But in order to bring down costs, they have to make adjustments for it to have a retail value just below the US$ 700 mark.

Are these cuts acceptable for it to be called as one of 2020’s “cheapest” flagship smartphones?

You can watch our Samsung Galaxy S20 FE review by clicking this link.

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Accessories

realme Buds Q: Keeping up with the ‘new normal’

Wireless is the new normal

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When this year started, I’ve already laid out most of my personal plans: do more outdoor activities, travel to different places, and slowly pick myself up from the emotional downhill I experienced last 2019.

But what do we know, the universe has much bigger plans.

The past few months of quarantine has been a wild transition for me, especially as a person who finds solace in the outdoors. Staying indoors for a long time has challenged my mental health, and it’s still an ongoing battle that I face every single day.

A total shift in my personality

During this collective isolation period, the first thing I did is try to make peace with things I can’t control. I started channeling my energy into doing what is feasible for now — both in my career and personal life.

I began doing activities that are completely opposite from my usual hobbies, starting with yoga and meditation to help me become more present.

realme Buds Q

It is also the same time I shifted to using wireless earbuds after years of using wired earphones. I have tried several brands for a while, and currently, I am using the newly released Realme Buds Q.

Light and portable device that is compatible with all my new activities

Doing yoga in the morning is easier — the Realme Buds Q fits just right and it’s light in the ears. Personally, I really prefer using earbuds rather than open-type ones. The latter hurts my ear in the long run, so the Realme Buds Q is a nice fit for me.

I can do all the poses with ease and without worrying they might slip off my ear. It has IPX4 water resistance, so I don’t bother sweating a lot during and after every session.

I also use it during my meditation, and every time I go jogging.

Buds Q is also a handy companion to all my other activities with its intelligent touch controls. Playing music and answering calls is easy with just a few taps. It’s perfect for multi-taskers like me who usually attend Zoom meetings while preparing food away from my laptop.

Wireless is the new normal

While I still keep my wired earphones, the wireless technology is totally heaven sent. It’s essentially helpful in a lot of ways especially now that we need less contact as possible.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

Personally, the design is nothing too grand, just quite similar to the other earbuds I have tried before. The lightweight feeling is a plus for me — it weighs only 3.6 g, lighter than a sheet of A4 paper!

However, this newest earbuds offering is quite underwhelming in the sound department. While it’s good for upbeat songs with its dynamic bass boost, the overall sound is really not that impressive. Still, it’s a decent buy with its 40mAh battery life, which is longer compared to other brands.

SEE ALSO: realme 7 Pro review | realme 7 review


BUY THE REALME BUDS Q HERE

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