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Xiaomi, Meitu launch Mi CC9 series: Selfie cam takes centerstage!

The much awaited collaboration is finally here!

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Photo by Ayano Tominaga | IG: @ayanotdo

After initially just announcing the name of the collaboration, Xiaomi and Meitu finally unveil the Mi CC9 series: Mi CC9, Mi CC9e, and the Mi CC9 Meitu Edition.

Early rumors had us thinking that the Mi CC 9 will sport a flipping camera mechanism similar to the one on the Zenfone 6. However, that’s not the case as all three phones have a waterdrop notch with a 32MP selfie camera. The phones also share the same battery capacity — 4030mAh — as well as a triple rear camera module. A 48MP main camera, 8MP ultra-wide snapper, and 2MP depth sensor.

The Mi CC9, Mi CC9 Meitu Edition, and Mi CC9e | Photo by Ayano Tominaga

The phones’ differences begin with the chipsets. the Mi CC 9 has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 chip along with 6GB of RAM, and 64GB or 128GB of storage. The same is true for the Mi CC 9 Meitu edition but it is instead paired with 8GB RAM and 256GB of internal storage. Meanwhile, the Mi CC 9e is powered by a Snapdragon 665 chip, and comes in three different configurations: 4GB/64GB, 6GB/64GB and 6GB/128GB.

All three devices will run Android Pie with MIUI 10 on top. The CC9 and CC9 Meitu edition share other similar features. Both have the same form factor and have a 6.39-inch display as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack, NFC and an IR port. These are not present on the CC9e. The CC9e’s display measures 6.088 inches.

Selfies, vlogging, and Mimoji

The front-facing camera on the CC9 Meitu edition has some features unique to it. Meitu — known for its expertise on selfies — added the following: AI low light portrait mode, movie portrait, and full body beauty filters. Those who want to get into vlogging might also want to consider the phone as it has a special vlog mode with video stabilization.

Mi CC9 Meitu Edition selfie sample by Ayano Tominaga

Japanese journalist and selfie expert Ayano Tominaga who attended the event in Beijing, China noted some key differences between the regular Meitu phones versus this collaboration with Xiaomi. She said that while the Mi CC9 Meitu edition doesn’t have the signature hexagon design and more robust hardware for selfies that is usually expected from Meitu, this new phone still carries the Meitu spirit.

Meitu CEO Wu Xinhong spoke at the event and emphasized that with this new phone the “journey to make girls happy will never end,” quoting Meitu’s mission when it first set out to make smartphones. By bringing the Meitu camera technology to Xiaomi, it will also bring it closer to consumers with Xiaomi’s better distribution capability.

The camera app on the Meitu edition is exactly the same one found on Meitu phones instead of the usual MIUI camera app. Also included are the Meitu Beauty app and Meipai which is sort of like TikTok especially made for Meitu phones.

Another feature heavily showcased is the Mimoji. It’s essentially the Memoji on iOS, except this one’s made by Xiaomi.

Pricing and availability

The Mi CC9 will come in three colors: White Lover, Blue Planet, and Black Prince and will be available for pre-order in China with sales starting on July 5. Pricing starts at CNY 1799 (US$ 260). The Mi CC9e will start at CNY 1299 (US$189), while the Mi CC9 Meitu edition CNY 2599 (US$ 378). It will come in a special white pearl color.

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Huawei expands to Kids tech scene with tablet, smartwatch

Give the gift of technology!

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Huawei enters the space for kids’ devices, bringing the Huawei MatePad T 8 Kids Edition and Huawei Watch Kids 4 Pro.

A tablet made for kids

The Huawei MatePad T 8 Kids Edition is a tablet-dream-come-true for children aged three to eight. It offers what kids find playful on top of the usual tablet features. There’s a Kids case, stylus pen, and Kids Corner pre-loaded with age-appropriate content.

Its case uses an environmentally safe silicone consisting of a blue shell and cute green grips for protection and convenience. It has a bright blue stylus  attached for allowing kids to write, draw, and navigate the tablet. It makes for an interactive experience.

Both the case and the stylus meet the European Standards on the Safety of Toys. They also passed the Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment.

The tablet also comes with lots of safety features to ensure peace of mind for parents. Through Kids Corner, you can peruse a child’s usage record and check the apps used and other viewable content. More importantly, it has a built-in color adjustment module for multi-layered eye protection. There’s also a gravity sensor to prompt the user in adjusting their posture.

Huawei partnered with BabyBus and Azoomee. This means a free three-month membership to Baby Panda World and a free one-year membership to Azoomee through the Huawei MatePad T 8 Kids Edition. Like other Huawei devices, it comes with AppGallery and Petal Search.

Watch for tiny wrists

Huawei has also ventured into the smartwatch scene with the Huawei Watch Kids 4 Pro. It aims to be a unique watch that accompanies kids while keeping them safe and healthy.

The watch includes features from Huawei’s self-developed positioning services — which helps parents track their kids’ location accurately every 120 seconds. It also comes with a privacy framework designed with reference to the EU General Data Protection Regulation, enabling strict data encryption and privacy protection.

The watch is equipped with a 5-megapixel front camera. It supports voice calls and even HD video calls using Huawei MeeTime. Furthermore, it’s equipped with a 5ATm water-resistant design, handling up to 50 meters of submersion. It comes with relevant apps and tracking for exercise — most of which are also found in Huawei’s smartwatch lineup for adults.

Price and availability

The Huawei MatePad T 8 Kids Edition retails at PhP 8,999. Freebies worth PhP 8,996 pesos await when you purchase starting September 24 until October 1, 2021, via Huawei’s online store. The bundle includes the pen (PhP 499), cover (PhP 999), Baby Panda (PhP 759), Lamp (PhP 2,499), 3-month VIP subscription to Baby Bus App (PhP 450), and a 12-month VIP subscription to Azoomee (PhP 3,790).

Meanwhile, the price and availability of the Huawei Watch Kids 4 Pro have yet to be announced.

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Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G now in Singapore

A slight edge over its predecessor

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Samsung has quickly followed up the Galaxy A52 5G that was launched just months ago with the Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G. These minor upgrades always drives us nuts, but it’s one of brands’ ways of making sure they always have something fresh to offer.

Let’s get down to the meat of it. You’re not going to find plenty of differences between the two. To be exact, in terms of components, the upgrade is primarily in the performance department. The Galaxy A52 5G sports the Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G chip with the Adreno 619 GPU. The Galaxy A52s 5G has been bumped up to the Snapdragon 778G and Adreno 642L GPU. Other than these two components, the rest of the phones are practically interchangeable.

Here’s a quick look at the Galaxy A52s 5G’s specs:

  • Display — 6.5″ FHD+ Super AMOLED, 120Hz
  • OS — Android, ONE UI
  • RAM and Storage — 8GB+128GB, 8GB+256GB, supports microSD external storage up to 1TB
  • Processor — Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G, Adreno 642L GPU
  • Battery — 4,500mAh
  • Rear Cameras — 64MP f/1.8 main, 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide, 5MP f/2.4 macro, 5MP f/2.4 depth
  • Front Camera – 32MP f/2.2

It’s every bit everything you’ve come to expect from the pretty excellent Galaxy A series. You have your usual sensors for security like Face Unlock and Fingreprint recognition. It also still has an IP67 rating giving you a little bit of piece of mind in wet and dusty scenarios.

Pricing and availability

The Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G is currently available in Singapore through various telecommunication providers. These are M1, Singtel, and Starhub. It’s also available at Samsung Online StoreSamsung Experience Stores, and Samsung Official Stores in Lazada and Shopee.

Pricing are as follows:

  • 8GB+128GB — SG$ 548
  • 8GB+128GB — SG$ 548

From September 18 to October 10, consumers who purchase the Galaxy A52s 5G via telecommunication providers (M1, Singtel and StarHub) and Samsung Online Store can also enjoy SG$ 30 off their purchase of Galaxy Buds2.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy A52 5G: Redefining gaming phones

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AirPods 3 is still coming later this year

Already in production

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AirPods

Annual tech events are often huge platforms for upcoming products. For example, Apple’s bigger launch event, usually held in the third quarter of the year, packs in the latest iPhones and other accessories. However, amid the latest devices launched last year, Apple has surprisingly left the vastly rumored AirPods 3 out of the equation. Despite the notable lack, the company is still gearing up for a launch for the wearable later this year.

According to a report from Digitimes (via Tech Radar), the upcoming AirPods 3 has already entered production. Apple is still preparing for a launch before the year ends. Unfortunately, the report does not confirm any other details for the wearable.

A new AirPods has been rumored since last year. However, the first rumors pegged the launch for the first half of this year. That timeframe, as we know now, has come to pass without so much as a peep about the AirPods 3.

Since then, additional reports revealed more details about the wearable. For example, the upcoming generation will supposedly have an in-ear design and carry a more attractive price tag. In fact, a leaked photo even adds more fuel to the fire. Still, without an actual launch, it’s hard to confirm whether the details are correct or not. Thankfully, we have a few months to confirm them.

SEE ALSO: Third generation AirPods leaked in photo

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