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Xiaomi shows the world’s first phone to connect to 5G

And it’s the bezel-less Mi Mix 3!

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Did you know that only three countries in Asia enjoy more than 90 percent coverage in 4G? Despite having years of existence, 4G networks still haven’t conquered the world’s telco industry. In fact, if you own a 4G-capable phone, you have likely experienced areas without any coverage at all.

Still, the world continues to turn. Despite 4G’s current coverage, 5G will roll out in the near future. Across the industry, companies have already outed phones that can connect to 5G. Motorola, for example, recently launched the 5G-ready Moto Z3, although it requires an extra Moto Mod to access Verizon’s 5G network in 2019.

However, without the actual networks, this feature is just a marketing ploy for most brands — or a future-proof promise. With that, it’s now a race to own the first phone to actually connect to the 5G network without compromise.

And, ladies and gentlemen, it looks like we have a possible winner.

Donovan Sung, Xiaomi’s director of product management, has revealed the world’s first look at a phone that has successfully connected to a 5G network.

In a recent tweet, Sung posted a photo of the bezel-less Mi Mix 3. While the lack of bezels is a perfect picture in itself, the biggest surprise was in the phone’s sidebar. Instead of the familiar “4G” logo, the phone instead displayed 5G.

Additionally, Sung posed the phone in front of the network’s tests, indicating that 5G does exist. In a follow-up tweet, the director confirmed that Xiaomi is indeed testing the network personally. He claimed that 5G’s promised download speeds are more than ten times faster than 4G’s.

Further, he promised that the network will officially roll out next year.

On its own, the network brings a wave of optimism across the industry. However, for countries that still lack adequate 4G coverage, the news is just another sign that the world is leaving them once again.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi Mi 8 Review: Performer with a premium feel

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Here’s why the Samsung Galaxy Flex will cost so much

Hint: it has something to do with the screen

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Based on the current rumors, next year’s foldable phones will take the mantle as history’s most expensive smartphones. Currently, Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Flex is already slated to come with price tags above the US$ 2,000 mark. Even without rumors, the revolutionary form factor will easily break banks because of the new screen alone.

Of course, as with all major purchases, we want to know why we’re paying so much. Finally, we have an insider’s look into what’s ticking inside these foldable screens. Via LetsGoDigitalKorean firm CGS-CIMB Research has broken down the list of materials needed to make the Galaxy Flex. For reference, the report also compares the Galaxy Flex’s breakdown with the iPhone XS Max’s and the Galaxy S9+’s.

According to the report, the Galaxy Flex almost completely uses more expensive components than today’s smartphones.

Naturally, the phone’s foldable display takes the cake. The foldable display costs US$ 218.80 per screen. The amount is almost double the price of the iPhone XS Max’s display. It’s also almost thrice the price of the Galaxy S9+’s display.

Image source: CGS-CIMB Research

As for the rest, the Galaxy Flex’s components are a few more dollars more expensive than its comparisons. The comparison only falters in power management. The iPhone XS Max spent almost two dollars more on power management than the Galaxy Flex.

All in all, the Galaxy Flex costs US$ 636.70. This is a huge leap from contemporary flagships. (The iPhone XS Max costs US$ 390.00; the Galaxy S9+ costs US$ 375.80.)

Because of this massive price increase, Samsung can charge more than today’s flat phones. The report estimates a US$ 1,800 SRP. Arguably, a huge chunk of this price will come from the extensive research done to manufacture the product. Regardless, the bank-breaking price tag is still worlds apart from today’s most expensive smartphones.

According to the report, this awful trend will likely continue. In 2022, the industry is expected to ship 24 million foldable phones, compared to next year’s paltry 3.5 million units. Despite the rush in supply, the price will still stay the same, averaging around US$ 1,300 per unit.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy A8s debuts with Infinity-O display

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OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition: Price and availability in the Philippines

The most expensive OnePlus phone, yet

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Shortly after its international debut, the most expensive OnePlus phone is (surprisingly) already on its way to the Philippines.

The OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition is now available for pre-order online through Argomall. It’s priced at PhP 39,990, which is slightly higher than its US$ 699 retail price in the US.

Compared to the regular OnePlus 6T, the McLaren Edition comes with 10GB of memory, 256GB of storage, and the latest Warp Charge technology that can fill up half of the phone’s battery in just 20 minutes.

Also, the special edition phone features a carbon fiber pattern, orange accents, and the McLaren logo on the back.

There’s no exact shipping date for the phone, but it’s already listed on Argomall’s website.

SEE ALSO: OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition introduces Warp Charge, 10GB RAM

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Philippine telcos are now required to unlock phones after lock-in period

Finally, a pro-consumer measure

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The Philippines’ Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has ordered the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and telcos for the mandatory unlocking of phones and devices after the subscriber’s lock-in period.

The policy is based on the Memorandum Order 004, Series of 2018 issued by DICT on December 14.

According to the memo, subscribers who have completed their contract and have no outstanding obligations can demand telcos to unlock their phones or devices. The process must also be done conveniently and should be shouldered by the service providers.

The NTC is now tasked to draft the Memorandum Circular for the memo’s appropriate rules and regulations and conduct consultations and hearings with affected parties.

There’s no exact date of implementation, but with order already announced to the public, Filipinos will soon have freedom for their network-locked phones given that they have already fulfilled their contract.

Source: DICT

SEE ALSO: Mislatel confirmed as Philippines’ new telco

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