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ZTE Blade Z Max comes with dual cameras, super-affordable price

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The big players may be grabbing all the headlines, but ZTE is discreetly building a lineup of smartphones with excellent value. The Blade Z Max is the newest of which, and it offers features you’d normally find in handsets more than twice its price.

You wouldn’t think the Blade Z Max could offer anything substantial with its US$ 129 price tag, but all that changes at the first glance alone.


The back shows off a dual-camera setup composed of a 16-megapixel sensor coupled with a secondary 2-megapixel shooter to help with portrait duties. Below that, you can find the fingerprint scanner — another feature that was once reserved for much more expensive phones.

You can’t tell by the renders above, but the Blade Z Max has a massive 6-inch Full HD display and 8-megapixel selfie camera up front, as well as a 3.5mm audio port at the bottom. While the large screen would suck more energy out of the battery, the capacity is a healthy 4080mAh, and unlike most entry-level phones, this one has the more future-proof USB-C connection.

To keep things efficient, this ZTE model has a Snapdragon 435 processor and a decent amount of memory at 2GB. This means it’ll struggle to play graphics-intensive games, but running several light apps simultaneously should be manageable. On the bright side, its 32GB of storage can be expanded using a single microSD card.

All these are encased in a metal frame and textured back — again, not bad for a Android Nougat-powered smartphone costing less than US$ 150! The official release date is August 28; if you want it earlier, you may pre-order through MetroPCS in the US starting today.

SEE ALSO: Best Budget Smartphones below $300 (August 2017 Edition)

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India

OnePlus is gearing up to launch a 55-inch QLED TV

OnePlus CEO gets candid about the new offering

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The TV market is divided into two segments, the first one is affordable and built while keeping the price in mind. The second type is ultra-premium offerings that incorporate the cutting edge of technology.

Xiaomi has been successful in establishing itself as a leading budget TV maker in India, while Samsung and LG rule the top-tier bracket. Now, OnePlus intends to enter this market with OnePlus TV and has slowly started revealing some features.


OnePlus has confirmed to India Today that it will launch a premium TV with 55-inch 4K QLED screen. OnePlus CEO Pete Lau says it’ll follow their smartphone philosophy with TVs as well. That is to offer solid basics, premium experience at a relatively better price and great attention to detail.

QLED stands for quantum-dot light-emitting diode. Unlike OLED, QLED technology relies on LED backlighting. This is a term Samsung uses for its quantum dot TVs and it is the only brand which has a significant portfolio in this segment.

Throughout the interview, Samsung and Sony were frequent touchpoints for the executive, with Lau noting, “We want to benchmark the image and sound quality against the most premium quality products currently available in the market…”

Lau also said the OnePlus TV features a custom user interface on top of Android TV. He added the company is “optimizing” the OS “very deeply.” Obviously, there are plans of connecting your OnePlus phone seamlessly to the TV and an app that’ll let you enter text data without relying on a remote.

The launch is expected to happen at the end of September. The company has already clarified that the TV will not be cheap and the launch price will be in the premium segment.

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Xiaomi Mi A3: Price and availability in the Philippines

It still comes in an affordable price

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Image by GadgetMatch

Remember when Xiaomi announced the Mi A3 in India days ago? Good news for everyone as the Mi A3 will also be in the Philippines.

This latest A-series offering is known as the “stripped-down” version of the Mi CC9e. It packs the same internals: Snapdragon 665 chipset, 4GB RAM, plus 64 or 128GB storage options. What’s different? Instead of the heavily-skinned MIUI 10, it packs the Android One with a fresh, stock-like Android experience — just like using a Google Pixel.


Image by GadgetMatch

There’s a new 6.088-inch Super AMOLED display in tow. With the new display technology, it’s expected to be power-efficient. Although changing the technology from IPS-LCD may sound good, the downgrade of screen resolution from 1080p to 720p might become a dealbreaker for some. Other than that, there’s an optical in-display fingerprint scanner, eliminating the rear-mounted fingerprint scanner of the Mi A2.

Image by GadgetMatch

This year’s A3 packs a triple camera setup: 48-megapixel main camera, 2-megapixel depth sensor, and a new 8-megapixel ultra-wide shooter. The Dot Drop Display notch houses the 32-megapixel selfie camera. Both cameras have AI functionality.

Image by GadgetMatch

When it comes to battery, the 4,030 mAh capacity is a huge improvement over last year. It is expected to have a longer battery life than Mi A2’s so-so 3,000 mAh battery. 18W Fast Charge is still supported, all thanks to USB-C. They also brought back the 3.5mm audio jack for dongle-less usage. The IR blaster is still present for controlling appliances.

Pricing and availability

The Xiaomi Mi A3 will be available in local Mi Authorized stores starting August 24, 2019 and will be on Lazada and Shopee starting September 9, 2019. There are three color options to choose from: Not Just Blue, Kind of Grey, and More than White. The sole variant with 4GB/128GB configuration will retail at PhP 11,990.

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Apps

Spotify extends free trial to 3 months

Try Spotify Premium for a longer period of time

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Spotify offers a free trial for everyone wanting to try the Premium experience. Spotify Premium used to be free for just 30 days, but that is changing today. Starting this August, Spotify is extending its Premium free trial for three months.

Spotify Premium is now offering the first 3 months for free. Everyone can try it out. The feature is rolling out globally with all of the plans eligible upon sign-up.


However, the three month offer is open only for those who haven’t tried Premium before. To activate, visit the website of Spotify Premium. Signing up requires either a credit card or a carrier billing.

Those lucky to grab the three month offer gains access 50 million song tracks available on-demand and ad-free, along with access to 450,000 podcast titles. Spotify is the leading music streaming service globally, and it offers an Android, iOS, desktop and web apps for all. Today, it boasts 217 million users across 79 markets.

SEE ALSO: 5 steps to making the perfect Spotify playlist

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