There’s a new high-end gaming smartphone in town, and it’s called the Black Shark. Doesn’t sound familiar? We can’t blame you.
It’s the first in its lineage but isn’t exactly coming out of nowhere. As you can see in the title of this piece, Xiaomi helped make its launch happen.
Black Shark is a portfolio company under Xiaomi’s own hardware ecosystem, meaning Xiaomi invested in it but it’s not part of the company’s smartphone lineup. All you really need to know is that this is a brand-new product and it comes with some hefty features.
Being a gaming phone, it delivers the highest-end specs: 6-inch 18:9 LCD with a 1080p resolution, Qualcomm’s top-of-the-line Snapdragon 845 processor, up to 8GB of memory, up to 128GB of storage, and a generous 4000mAh battery. That matches the best Samsung, Sony, and even Xiaomi have to offer.
Keeping the system cool is an advanced multi-layer liquid cooling setup that’s normally found in gaming laptops. Although the Snapdragon chip is already proven to be efficient in maintaining temperatures, this design will at least lengthen gaming sessions and the phone’s overall lifespan.
But what really makes the Black Shark special is its ability to attach a gamepad on the side for improved control during games. It connects through Bluetooth and has its own built-in battery so it won’t suck energy from the phone. The gamepad will be given away for free to the first 50,000 customers and will cost CNY 179 (US$ 29) on its own.
For those interested in gaming and photography, there’s a dual-camera setup on the back consisting of 20- and 12-megapixel sensors, plus another 20-megapixel shooter in front. Android 8.0 Oreo runs the software, but it’s skinned with Black Shark’s own user interface.
The Black Shark is available for pre-order in China beginning today. Its 6GB memory with 64GB storage variant retails for CNY 2,999 (US$ 475) while the model with 8GB of memory and 128GB of storage goes for CNY 3,499 (US$ 555). Available colors are black and gray as shown above.
Some Huawei phones are showing unwanted ads on lock screens
A way for Huawei to earn money?
While Huawei continues to find ways to fight off the trade ban implemented by the US, a number of Huawei phone owners are expressing their dismay over sudden ads on their lock screens. Huawei doesn’t need more negative publicity right now, but the company decided to push unwanted ads without users’ permission.
Initially reported by Android Police, users in several countries have noticed an ad for Booking.com on the lock screen of their Huawei phones. Surprisingly, some of the devices affected include the flagship models like the Huawei P30 Pro, P20, P20 Lite, P20 Pro, Mate 20 Pro, and Honor 10. Other models are also presumably affected. [Editor’s note: I noticed this on my Mate 20 X, as well.]
Huawei users now have a Reddit thread to talk about this fiasco, and Twitter reports are coming in. Here some of the tweets showing the reported lock screen images:
— Ceel Beckers (@BeckersCeel) June 12, 2019
— Daniel (@8Candreva7) June 12, 2019
Ah hear… @Huawei why am I now being served ads on my lock screen? Stop it! Moreover @bookingcom what idiot in marketing thought this was ok? #ads #DigitalMarketing #Huawei #measure pic.twitter.com/Ta1lslMwsP
— Dave Rooney (@daverooney) June 13, 2019
— RAYZ (@justicefingers) June 12, 2019
It seems like the ads are appearing for device owners who are using the preinstalled landscape background wallpapers. The ads are showing up in certain countries in Europe and South Africa for now.
Huawei phones have a “Magazine unlock” feature that shows a series of curated wallpapers based on the user’s preference. This can be turned off and that should get rid of the advertising. Needless to say, this could be Huawei’s move to earn extra ad cash.
Taiwan Excellence is holding its first esports cup in the Philippines
With a prize pool of P360,000
Esports continue to grow in the Philippines thanks to the help from both organizations and major brands. The latest to make its mark in the local competitive scene is Taiwan Excellence, which will be holding an esports cup in Manila beginning in July.
With the help of the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) and Taiwan’s Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT), there’ll be a PhP 360,000 prize pool for the expected 2,000 participants from across the country. The featured games are Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) and League of Legends (LOL).
Registration for the tournament begins on June 15. The first phase of the competition will start on July 6 for CS:GO and August 3 for LOL. The grand finals will happen from October 4 to 5 at SM North EDSA The Block, Quezon City. Taiwan Excellence’s esports cup was previously held in Malaysia and Thailand.
“Taiwan is known for its breakthrough electronics industry, with renowned innovations and quality products being developed for global distribution. Now with esports, we take pride in sharing that industry-leading brands are from Taiwan, with Filipino gamers,” said C.T. Wu, director of the Strategic Marketing Dept. at TAITRA.
Xiaomi Mi 9T is basically the Redmi K20 for the European market
Yet another superb midranger
As scheduled, Xiaomi announced the new Mi 9T which is the latest member of its Mi 9 lineup. For those following Xiaomi’s releases, the phone is a familiar one because it was launched before. The Mi 9T, as expected, is the Redmi K20 for Xiaomi’s international markets.
The Mi 9T isn’t quite the 2019 flagship everyone is expecting, but it’s still a capable midranger on paper. It’s powered by a Snapdragon 730 processor paired with up to 8GB of memory and up to 128GB of storage. Those looking for a Snapdragon 855 chip will have to wait for the phone’s rumored Pro version.
Display-wise, the Mi 9T has a 6.39-inch Full HD+ AMOLED screen with an in-display fingerprint sensor. The phone doesn’t have any cutout in the front thanks to its motorized pop-up camera mechanism.
Speaking of the pop-up camera, it’s a 20-megapixel selfie snapper. As for the rear cameras, the Mi 9T has three: a main 48-megapixel sensor, a 13-megapixel ultra-wide shooter, and an 8-megapixel telephoto camera.
A large 4000mAh battery keeps the phone on and it supports 18W fast charging via its USB-C port. The phone also has a 3.5mm headphone jack and NFC. MIUI 10 runs on the phone with Android 9 Pie at its core.
Xiaomi’s Mi 9T will be available in Europe beginning in Spain by June 17. Price starts at EUR 329 (US$ 370) for the 6GB+64GB variant and EUR 369 (US$ 415) for the 6GB+128GB option.
Get the FULL experience of the new #Mi9T!
– 3D 4-sided Curved Glass 👍
– Qualcomm Snapdragon 730 👍
– 18W Fast Charge 👍
– Fast In-screen Fingerprint Sensor 👍
– 20MP Pop-up Selfie Camera 👍
– 48MP AI Rear Trip Camera 👍
— Xiaomi #PopUpInStyle (@Xiaomi) June 12, 2019
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