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ZTE Nubia X has two screens, two fingerprint scanners

Comes with high-end specs, as well

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Photo by Ayano Tominaga | Twitter: @AyanoTDO

October had its fair share of amazing product launches with each brand trying to one up the previous event. It’s too early to tell which company won last month, but ZTE definitely ended it with a bang.

ZTE launched the Nubia X in China at the very end of the month, and with it comes some of the most unusual hardware we’ve seen on any smartphone this year — and that says a lot.


For one, there are two full-sized screens: a 6.26-inch 1080p LCD in front, and a 5.1-inch 720p OLED on the back. Why do we need two?!

The larger main screen handles all the usual interactions and app duties, while the secondary OLED can be programmed for additional controls during games and to display info while the phone’s asleep.

We’ve seen similar implementations before, but those second screens only used a monochrome panel. This style is crazier, and possibly more draining on the battery.

Its 3800mAh capacity should be sufficient, and it comes with a Snapdragon 845 processor, up to 8GB of memory, and up to 256GB of storage, so this certainly belongs in the premium segment.

Even more unusual is the inclusion of an additional fingerprint scanner, bringing the total to two. This allows you to unlock the phone no matter how you hold it. And because there are two screens, only one pair of cameras is needed: a primary 16-megapixel unit accompanied by a 24-megapixel sensor.

The lowest 6GB+64GB configuration goes for only CNY 3,299 (US$ 475), the 8GB+128GB version retails for CNY 3,699 (US$ 530), and lastly, we have the 8GB+256GB model for CNY 4,199 (US$ 600).

It’s currently exclusive to China with no international availability set yet. But seriously, it may be too obscure to even be considered for a worldwide release.

Enterprise

Apple is buying Intel’s 5G modem business

For a billion dollars

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When are Apple’s iPhones getting 5G modems? For such a simple question, Apple has notoriously barreled through controversial hoops just for a conclusive deal. Notably, Qualcomm, a known modem supplier, kept barring the company from fulfilling its 5G dreams. The two companies buried the hatchet only a few months ago. The newfound peace treaty awakened a new multiyear deal, supposedly bringing Qualcomm’s 5G chips to the iPhone.

Despite the good news, the deal still carries a modicum of controversy and uncertainty. For one, Qualcomm is still a volatile business partner. The chipmaker infamously goes for quirky tactics to gain an upper hand. Just this week, the European Commission brought the hammer down against Qualcomm’s unfair pricing schemes.


Secondly, because of the deal, Qualcomm’s competitors suffered a huge blow in the 5G race. For example, Intel surrendered its efforts after the new deal’s inking. Before the deal, Apple was a steadfast customer of Intel’s chips. Even with uncertainty, Qualcomm is forging a subtle oligopoly in the modem race. (Samsung is still in the race.)

Unsurprisingly, some companies refuse to submit to the impending monopoly. However, Qualcomm’s newest defector comes as a huge surprise: Apple itself. Reported by The Wall Street Journal, Apple is finalizing a deal to acquire Intel’s modem business. For a staggering US$ 1 billion, the iPhone maker will acquire Intel’s slew of patents, resources, and staff. The deal will reportedly close as early as next week.

Naturally, Apple’s purchase will allow an eventual independence from its third-party suppliers. In the future, Apple might make its own 5G chips in-house rather than relying on Qualcomm. Right now, a 5G-capable iPhone is still in the works. Apple is eyeing a potential 2020 release date.

SEE ALSO: Apple might bring back the old-school rainbow logo this year

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Gaming

ASUS ROG Phone in China comes in many variants

So many options!

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ASUS made quite a splash after releasing the update to their gaming phone — the ROG Phone 2. While the rest of the world waits for pricing details, China is getting it ahead of everyone else.

In case you missed the initial reveal, the ASUS ROG Phone 2 retains most of the design of its predecessor. Why fix what’s not broken, right? The improvements, though, are easily noticeable.


You’re getting the world’s first 120Hz AMOLED display on a smartphone. It’s also the first phone to take advantage of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus processor.

The accessories have also been improved. Specifically, there’s the Kunai gamepad that makes the ROG Phone 2 look like a Nintendo Switch. You can also attach the controllers to the Kunai Holder and use them as you would a gamepad.

For more details on what is shaping up to be the ultimate mobile gaming device, make sure to watch our Hands-On video.

Pricing and availability in China

The ROG Phone 2 will come in different variants.

It starts with the Tencent Depth Customisation which has 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage that will retail for CNY 3,499 (US$ 509). The next variant is called Enjoy Peace in Beijing which has the same configuration but is priced at CNY 3,699 (US$ 538). The 12GB RAM and 128GB Storage for the same variants are priced CNY 5,999 (US$ 872) and CNY 6,199 (US$ 901) respectively. These are now available for pre-orders.

In a Weibo post, ASUS revealed that there are two more variants: A Zhizun version priced at CNY 7,999 (US$ 1173) and an Esports Armour version priced at CNY 12,999 (US$ 1890). Configurations weren’t revealed but some are speculating these will have 12GB RAM and 512GB of storage.

 

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News

Samsung’s next-generation RAM is super fast

It’s tailor-made to handle 5G and AI

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Slowly but surely we’re approaching the 5G era. As more infrastructure is built to provide this next-gen mobile connectivity, we’ll also need a new batch of smartphones that can handle it without sucking up all your phone’s juice. This is where Samsung comes in with their new 12GB LPDDR5 mobile DRAM.

The new DRAM is optimized for enabling 5G and AI features in future smartphones. Not only that, Samsung said it’s also power efficient which means it will allow phones to fully leverage 5G as well as AI driven features like ultra-high-definition video recording and machine learning while also extending the phones battery life.


The 12GB LPDDR5 should be around 1.3 times faster than the previous mobile memory found in most high-end phones today. This means it should be able to transfer 44GB of data in only a second.

Not coming until the S11

Don’t expect to see this on the Galaxy Note 10 though. Instead, look for it to be equipped on the Samsung Galaxy S11. With the rise of more 5G infrastructure, 5G-capable flagships will be the norm in 2020.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy Note 10 ‘official’ photos leak

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