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Xiaomi launches their first Leica smartphone with the 12S Ultra

Paired with a mirrorless-like 1-inch camera sensor

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A short time ago, Xiaomi launched the 12 Series as the world’s first Snapdragon 8 Gen 1-touting smartphones. Just after several months, we’re already getting an update — including Xiaomi’s first set of phones with Leica-engineered cameras.

S means Super Flagship

Sitting at the throne is none other than the Xiaomi 12S Ultra. It’s the company’s best flagship to date. On its front, there’s a huge 6.73-inch LTPO2 AMOLED E5 Quad HD+ display. It has an adaptive 1-120Hz refresh rate as well as 1500 nits of maximum brightness with a pixel density of 522 ppi.

Image by GadgetMatch

For a full-on entertainment experience, it has an advanced Dolby Vision TrueColor Display as well as support for Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HDR, and even HLG. And just like previous Xiaomi phones, it has a set of Harman Kardon speakers with Dolby Atmos support.

Image by GadgetMatch

Going inside, the 12S Ultra has a 4860mAh battery that supports Xiaomi’s proprietary 67W Turbo Charging (sadly, not the blazing fast 120W one from the 12 Pro and 11T Pro line) plus 50W if you’ll use the wireless one. Paired with the P1 charging chip and G1 battery management chip, charging should be fast enough without compromising the phone’s battery health.

It’s also one among the first smartphones to ship with the updated Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset with either 8 or 12GB of LPDDR5 memory and 256 or 512GB UFS 3.1 storage. It was also mentioned that it has a whole new heat dissipation system that further improves cooling. As reported by a lot of users, overheating is a problem among Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 flagships.

Image by GadgetMatch

But the biggest star of the show can be seen at its back. With a huge Leica-like camera module and a “leather-like” back, Xiaomi has decided to take cues from the camera design language of many Leica cameras — although it’s not there just for the aesthetics.

The Xiaomi 12S Ultra is one among the many few smartphones that ships a gigantic 1-inch sensor beneath it. For comparison, last year’s Mi 11 Ultra had a “smaller” 1/1.12-inch sensor. The Xiaomi 12S Ultra can definitely sit alongside the 1-incher club, namely Sony’s Xperia PRO-I and the Sharp AQUOS R6 — which also bears the Leica branding and optics.

Image by GadgetMatch

For the ultimate camera geeks, here are the specifics of Xiaomi 12S Ultra’s gigantic camera hump:

  • 50.3MP f/1.9 main/wide (Sony IMX989 1-inch sensor) with octa-PDAF
  • 48MP f/2.2 ultra-wide (Sony IMX586 1/2-inch sensor) with dual-PDAF
  • 48MP f/4.1 periscope (Sony IMX586 1/2-inch sensor) with dual PDAF
  • Leica Summicron 1:1.9-4.1 / 13-120 ASPH. camera system
  • 32MP RGBW front camera

To make it even more photography-centric, it has some nifty features like the main camera’s 8P aspheric lens with Multi-layer ALD ultra-low reflectance coating, HyperOIS, Leica filters, and two Leica photographic styles. Aside from being able to shoot in JPEG and HEIF file formats, the 12S Ultra also lets you shoot 10-bit Adobe RGB RAW through DNG.

If you’re into mobile videography, the 12S Ultra can shoot in several resolutions. From 720p, 1080p in 30/60/120/240/480fps slow-motion, 4K in 30/60fps, and as extreme as an 8K/24fps footage. Default file formats are in H.264 or H.265 but you can now record HDR videos through 10-bit Dolby Vision Rec.2020 HLG.

If you’re worried about shooting in wet conditions, the Xiaomi 12S Ultra has an IP68 water and dust resistance rating.

S also means Slightly upgraded

Other than the flagship bearer, Xiaomi has also announced two smartphones in the 12S lineup: the 12S and 12S Pro.

Image by GadgetMatch

The design of the new 12S series hasn’t changed from the preceding models of 2021. The 12S sports the same 6.28-inch AMOLED display as Xiaomi 12, while the 12S Pro and 12 Pro are equipped with the bigger 6.73-inch LTPO AMOLED panel. The cameras are neither different. Heck! Even the batteries are the same with 4500mAh and 4600mAh capacities respectively.

Image by GadgetMatch

So what’s changed? Well, apart from the new Leica-branded cameras at the back, it’s now powered with the newest Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 that should make performance better and battery consumption more efficient. Also, both phones now have a 12GB + 512GB configuration that the 12 series never had.

S as a Substitute

To complete the list, the Chinese company has also announced a MediaTek version of their Snapdragon 8 Gen 1-powered 12 Pro, dubbed the Xiaomi 12 Pro Dimensity Edition. Very obvious from its mouthful name, it has MediaTek’s latest Dimensity 9000+ 5G chipset that’s based on a 4nm process.

Xiaomi 12 Pro Dimensity Edition

Just like its Snapdragon counterpart, it’s also the first smartphone in the world to feature Dimensity 9000+. Other than that, all the specs are similar to the Xiaomi 12 Pro — including the same set of display, battery, charging technology, cameras, and even the absence of Leica branding on its camera hardware and software.

Pricing and Availability

Currently, the new flagship series of Xiaomi is now available for pre-order in China. The SRP in Chinese Yuan (Renminbi) are as follows:

Xiaomi 12S Ultra (Classic Black/Verdant Green)

  • 8GB + 256GB — CNY 5999 (US$ 895 / SG$ 1250 / ₱49,330)
  • 12GB + 256GB — CNY 6499 (US$ 970 / SG$ 1354 / ₱53,390)
  • 12GB + 512GB — CNY 6999 (US$ 1045 / SG$ 1459 / ₱57,495)

Xiaomi 12S Pro (White/Black for all models, Wild Green/Purple only for 256GB models)

  • 8GB + 128GB — CNY 4699 (US$ 701 / SG$ 980 / ₱38,598)
  • 8GB + 256GB — CNY 4999 (US$ 746 / SG$ 1042 / ₱41,065)
  • 12GB + 256GB — CNY 5399 (US$ 806 / SG$ 1126 / ₱44,351)
  • 12GB + 512GB — CNY 5899 (US$ 880 / SG$ 1230 / ₱48,459)

Xiaomi 12S (White/Black for all models, Wild Green/Purple only for 256GB models)

  • 8GB + 128GB — CNY 3999 (US$ 597 / SG$ 834 / ₱32,848)
  • 8GB + 256GB — CNY 4299 (US$ 642 / SG$ 896 / ₱35,313)
  • 12GB + 256GB — CNY 4699 (US$ 701 / SG$ 980 / ₱38,598)
  • 12GB + 512GB — CNY 5199 (US$ 776 / SG$ 1084 / ₱42,705)

Xiaomi 12 Pro Dimensity Edition (Black/Blue)

  • 8GB + 128GB — CNY 3999 (US$ 597 / SG$ 834 / ₱32,848)
  • 12GB + 256GB — CNY 4499 (US$ 672 / SG$ 938 / ₱36,955)

Pricing and availability in other regions have yet to be announced.

Laptops

Samsung, Intel are making a slidable PC

Prototype right now

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When Samsung heralded the coming of the foldable phone, all eyes were unfortunately fixed on the ghastly crease stretching from end to end. Years since that moment, the crease never really disappeared. Smartphone brands did their best to reduce their impact, but it still remains a problem. Samsung, perhaps doubling back to fix the long-standing problem, has introduced a new form factor for the future: the slidable PC.

During Intel’s Innovation event, Samsung Display and Intel unveiled a prototype device showcasing a unique (but not altogether new) concept. Instead of a foldable hinge, the 13-inch display “slides” into a 17-inch display. Both companies effectively created a tablet that can turn into a laptop.

Since the prototype already works as a display, it’s easy to see how an eventual device might work. Starting off as a large tablet, the device expands and connects to an external keyboard (or another accessory).

The prototype should look familiar, too. Although Intel uses “slidable” as a term, other brands — like LG — have created similar form factors but labeled as “rollable.” Unfortunately, LG exited the smartphone business before creating a workable product for everyone.

Without other brands, it looks like Samsung and Intel are both on the hunt to bring the device to reality. At the moment, it is still a prototype. There is no timeline for a product yet. However, Intel seems resolute that foldable isn’t the future of PCs.

SEE ALSO: Samsung teases that sliding, rolling displays are coming

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Gaming

Steam announces when next sales are

Autumn, Winter, Spring

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Christmas is right around the corner. If you want to get a head start on buying something for yourself, it’s important to know when the biggest sales are. Now, gamers have a date on when they can bust out their wallets. Valve has officially announced when the autumn, winter, and spring Steam sales are happening.

The next sale — the traditional Autumn Sale — will happen between November 22 through 29. It’s quite a big gap for a head start, but it should give gamers a healthy library to play when the Christmas vacation starts.

On the other hand, if rush shopping is more you, the Winter Sale will happen between December 22 through January 5. It’s a Christmas treat.

If you’re familiar with Steam’s usual calendar of sales, you might not have heard of a Spring Sale before. Traditionally, the platform holds the Lunar New Year Sale in lieu of a seasonal theme. This time, Steam is keeping things consistent. The newly dubbed Spring Sale will happen between March 16 through 23. It’s also a later date than the previous Lunar New Year Sale.

Steam sales are usually a treat for gamers who play on a PC. Though the platform frowns on gigantic 95 percent off discounts now, platform-wide sales events can still house delectable bargains. Now, whether or not you’ll have time to play all of them is another story altogether.

SEE ALSO: Steam: No more 95% off sales

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News

WIKO 10 smartphone introduced to the Philippines

French brand joins entry-level segment

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WIKO 10

French brand WIKO is entering the Philippine market and challenging competitors, introducing the WIKO 10 smartphone in the country.

Operating on Android 12, the entry-level WIKO 10 will have identical specs and features like most counterpart devices in its segment.

First off, it is powered by a Helio G37 chipset and a 5,000mAH battery that support for 22.5W WIKO SuperCharge and wireless reverse charging which powers smaller devices like a smart band or wireless headsets.

With 4GB of memory and 128GB storage, the phone may also be used for gaming, given that it has a multi-stage overheating current control mechanism incorporated.

The display is a 6.74-inch (1600 x 720) large full-screen LCD with an aspect ratio of 20:9. 

When it comes to the camera setup, the smartphone has a triple camera setup at the back bannered by a 50MP main shooter (F1.8) that has a Smart HDR feature. In front is an 8MP selfie camera.

Other features include:

  • Dual SIM
  • microSD slot
  • 4G LTE
  • WiFi
  • Bluetooth
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • Fingerprint scanner

WIKO Buds 10 also released

Alongside the phone’s launch, WIKO has also announced the WIKO Buds 10, a pair of wireless earbuds with Bluetooth 5.2 technology that offers up to 30 hours of usage with its charging case.

The earbuds have a 12mm dynamic driver to deliver high-quality audio with deep bass. It also has environmental noise cancellation. What sets this pair apart from the others is its built-in dual mics for voice capturing.

Pricing, availability

The WIKO 10 will be available in three colors: Klein Blue, Silver, and Black. It will retail for PhP 8,990 on Shopee, Lazada, and authorized WIKO stores and kiosks.

The WIKO Buds 10, meanwhile, will be sold for PhP 1,499.

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