News

Xiaomi also has an under-display selfie camera phone prototype

The next Mi Mix model?

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We might have to say goodbye to notches and pop-up mechanisms soon thanks to the development of under-display cameras. It seems like OPPO is not the only one working on the much-needed technology as Xiaomi also shared a short clip showing their own prototype.

Xiaomi posted a video on their social channels showing two phones: one with a notch and one without. It seems like these are Mi 9 prototypes.

To show that the phones are working devices, the girl in the video demoed the phones first. When the authenticity of the devices was confirmed, she then launched the camera app of the notch-less phone. When she switched to the front camera, no pop-up modules showed up yet she could still view herself.

The angle of the camera app’s live view implies that the sensor is located somewhere near the top edge of the phone. As suggested by the overlay at the beginning of the clip, it’s most likely in the middle where the notch usually is.

Although Xiaomi’s prototype appears to be functional, there’s no word yet about its availability. Back in March, the company also had a teaser video for its upcoming foldable phone, but we’ve yet to hear any details about its launch.

Xiaomi’s Mi Mix line always sport the latest design innovation of the company. Take the Mi Mix 3 for example with its sliding body to reveal the front camera. If the company sticks to the pattern of their previous releases, we could have the under-display camera tech on the Mi Mix 4.

Update: Xiaomi’s VP further explains their under-display camera technology:

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi patents new set of smartphone designs, now with outward notches

News

Facebook will launch its cryptocurrency called Diem

Managed by a not-for-profit association

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Facebook had plans to launch a new cryptocurrency called Libra, but the project received a lot of criticism, and key partners gradually walked away. But that’s not enough to demotivate Facebook. The social network says it intends to launch a stablecoin called Diem in 2021.

The pilot will be launched with a single stablecoin pegged to the US dollar as it scales back its global ambitions of revolutionising developing markets. The project was formerly known as Libra in 2019, but recently the name is changed to Diem.

A stablecoin is pegged against a fiat currency (like US dollars). Hence its value isn’t as volatile as other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. However, stablecoin can still leverage blockchain technology to enable quick transactions.

The Diem Association is the digital currency project group of Facebook, which aims to launch the Diem as the single US dollar stablecoin with 26 corporate firms and non-profit organizations.

The non-profit is based out of Switzerland and was supposed to apply for a license there, but it recently relocated to the United States regulator. It intends to create a sophisticated blockchain digital payment system that will permit real-time eCommerce transactions with Diem stablecoins.

Keep in mind, Facebook doesn’t own the cryptocurrency is merely a part of the association, like other stakeholders. The organisation is supposed to serve as a monetary authority for the cryptocurrency and reach people who don’t have access to traditional banking systems.

“Diem is planning to launch the payment system from the USA in the first phase because initially, the project will focus on the USA as its target market,” Diem Association said. It will be based largely on payments between individual consumers, potentially allowing users to buy goods and services.

Read Also: Mastercard will start accepting cryptocurrencies this year

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News

Sharp launches the AQUOS R6 with a 1-inch camera sensor, Leica optics

It also has a super fluid 240Hz display

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Image by GadgetMatch

Sharp offers a lot of products that are known by a lot of globally. While they may not be a popular smartphone brand, the AQUOS line is pretty big in Japan. In line with their existing AQUOS-branded smartphones, they unveiled the AQUOS R6. It may look like any other smartphone, but this is one of a kind.

1-inch Camera Sensor with Leica

2021 is a year where rear cameras multiplied in a lot of smartphones. But the Sharp AQUOS R6 only has one large 20MP 1-inch camera sensor. For an ideal comparison, that’s the same camera sensor size you’ll find on the Sony RX100 VII and the RX0 II. This means that there’s minimal crop when shooting photos and results to better image quality.

Let’s be clear. It’s actually not the first smartphone with a 1-inch camera sensor. In fact, Panasonic managed to put it in the Lumix DMC-CM1 way back in 2014 but it’s more of a smart camera rather than a smartphone with a large camera sensor. Currently, Xiaomi’s Mi 11 Ultra has the closest sensor size at 1/1.12-inches.

Image by GadgetMatch

With the recent news of Leica ending its partnership with Huawei, Sharp has managed to grab it with its new 7P (seven-element) Summicron lens. Not only does it have a wider f/1.9 aperture, it also features a 19mm focal length which is closer to an ultra-wide Field of View.

Other features worth noting are the lack of OIS as they rely on Sharp and Leica’s EIS technology as well as the inclusion of a ToF sensor and a flash module. For farther subjects, you need to rely on digital zoom instead.

Super Fluid 240Hz Display

Image by GadgetMatch

Another highlight of the AQUOS R6 is its super smooth and responsive 6.67-inch Pro IGZO Display with a 240Hz refresh rate — double than the usual 120Hz displays on most 2021 flagships. It’s not the first 240Hz smartphone display, rather Sharp’s AQUOS zero2 smartphone from May 2020.

Just like in Samsung’s Galaxy S21 series and OnePlus’ 9 Pro, it features a display with a variable refresh rate that goes as low as 1Hz to save battery power. But unlike their AMOLED displays, this one is based on OLED that lacks that extra thin layer of TFTs to achieve better colors.

It also has a WUXGA+ resolution of 2,730 x 1,260 pixels, a contrast ratio of 2,000,000:1, as well as a max brightness of 2,000 nits — making it one of the most advanced smartphone displays ever made.

Beneath the display is where the under-display fingerprint sensor lies. It’s equipped with Qualcomm’s 3D Sonic Max ultrasonic fingerprint sensor which is the largest in the world and it’s 11 times larger than the conventional scanner.

Flagship-grade

Image by GadgetMatch

Just like any other 2021 flagship, Sharp’s AQUOS R6 offers the latest 2021 hardware in a smartphone. That includes the Snapdragon 888 chipset with 5G support, as well as 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM and a measly 128GB UFS 3.1 storage with an option to expand via a microSDXC card of up to 1TB.

If you always worry about battery, it has a large 5,000mAh battery that would be fine for a day. It also has an IPX8 certification which isn’t tested for dust resistance. Instead, it’s better than IP68 in terms of water resistance as it can be submerged into water deeper than 1 meter.

Image by GadgetMatch

There’s also a dedicated key for Google Assistant at the side of the phone so you don’t have to always say “Hey Google” and wait for the assistant to open.

Pricing and Availability

Image by GadgetMatch

The Sharp AQUOS R6 is offered only in two colors: black and white.

There’s currently no word about pricing and global availability but in Japan, the AQUOS R6 will be available in June 2021 through their popular carriers Softbank and NTT DoCoMo.

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Laptops

MSI launches new gaming laptops and Creator series

Complete with all sorts of features for the best gaming and creation experience

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MSI

MSI continues to roll out new and exciting gaming devices, and these are no exception. This time around, they’ve turned their attention to the gamers and content creators. Packed with the latest hardware and exciting new features, these gaming laptops should bring out the gamer and creator in you.

The Creator Series

The company first unveils their new Creator series of laptops dedicated for the content creators. These new laptops not only come with gaming-ready hardware, but also with new features for a creator-friendly workspace. For starters, the MSI Creator Z16 and Creator M16 feature a True Pixel QHD+ display with a 16:10 aspect ratio. Meanwhile, the MSI Creator 17 comes with a Mini LED UHD display.

Underneath both these laptops are the latest Intel Core H processors and NVIDIA RTX 30 series GPUs. While these pose incredible gaming power, these also provide enough juice for HD video rendering and streaming. Also, these devices come with M.2 SSDs inside for faster boot and application load times.

Upgrading the gaming line

Apart from the new Creator series, they’ve also managed to upgrade their current lineup of gaming laptops. Like the Creator series, these laptops also come with the latest Intel processors and NVIDIA RTX GPUs. Also, these gaming laptops now come with display options with up to a 360Hz refresh rate fit for the competitive gamers out there.

In particular, the following laptops will now feature these upgraded hardware: MSI GE76/66 Raider, MSI GP76/66 Leopard, MSI GS76/66 Stealth, and the MSI Pulse GL76/66.

Finally, they’re releasing a new line for their MSI Sword and MSI Katana laptops featuring the art of Tsuyoshi Nagano. Inside the laptops, you will find the same upgraded hardware from their other gaming laptops. In terms of display options, however, these laptops will only support FHD at a 144Hz refresh rate. Both laptops feature wallpapers design by Nagano, who was best known for his work on the Romance of the Three Kingdoms video game series.

Pricing and availability for these laptops have yet to be announced. Here’s where to buy in the Philippines.

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