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ZTE is in panic mode after US imposes trade ban

MediaTek pledges help but is it enough?

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We’re in the endgame now. After suffering through the turmoil of the past few months, ZTE is now feeling the full force of government intervention.

Since last year, the Chinese-born company has found itself embroiled in a controversy involving US politics. The United States government accused the company of selling its merchandise to Iran, a no-no country for US imports.

Since the accusation, ZTE has pleaded guilty, initially agreeing to fire the erring employees. However, the company has failed to do so. Now, they face a US ban that threatens to eradicate their business for at least seven years, if not forever.

Following up on its warnings, the US has banned ZTE from doing business within the territory, from selling phones to buying parts for them. The company is now in the fallout, enlisting a crisis team to handle the massive issue.

The ban has ensured that ZTE can’t rely on Qualcomm, Dolby, and Google products anymore. They have yet to find adequate replacements. However, the Taiwan-based MediaTek has already secured a permit to supply the company with fresh parts to replace Qualcomm.

For a finnicky industry when it comes to specs, getting new parts isn’t as easy as a 1-2-switch. For example, ZTE’s premium handsets rely on Qualcomm’s more powerful chops. Further, a switch from Qualcomm to MediaTek heavily affects public perception.

Currently, ZTE is in negotiations with the US government to reverse the ban. They have also requested US telcos to retain stock space for them, should the ban be reversed.

However, the future remains bleak for the tech company. Without US sales or parts, the company has halted to a standstill. While they can still sell to other countries, the withdrawal of US parts has taken their toll on ZTE’s sales.

According to some reports, employees are left without things to do, despite still reporting to work. ZTE officials, however, are requesting their employees to maintain a state of calm amid affairs.

ZTE maintains that they have enough cash to remain in business in the meantime. However, if they don’t find resolution to this issue, ZTE might find itself on the chopping block of failed smartphone brands.

SEE ALSO: ZTE’s new concept phone has two notches

News

Qualcomm unveils the Snapdragon 888

Get ready, 2021 flagships!

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Were you expecting the Snapdragon 875? After months of speculation, Qualcomm has finally unveiled its next flagship processor, the Snapdragon 888. During today’s Snapdragon Tech Summit, the company revealed more details about the future of smartphones.

As with Qualcomm’s recent innovations, the Snapdragon 888 will feature 5G connectivity with the 3rd-generation Snapdragon X60 5G modem, offering compatibility with mmWave and sub-6 networks. To demonstrate the chipset’s seamless connectivity prowess, Qualcomm fitted two remote-controlled cars with the modem and controlled them from a mile away.

Additionally, a completely re-engineered Qualcomm Hexagon processor improves the generation’s AI Engine. The new system supposedly ramps up performance by up to 26 tera-operations per second.

The Snapdragon 888 also comes with an upgraded Adreno GPU, putting out frame rates going up to 144 frames per second.

As you might expect, the Snapdragon 888 will don next year’s flagships. Though the company has not revealed any compatible smartphones yet, Sony, OnePlus, and Xiaomi made an appearance during the event, renewing their support for Qualcomm’s chipsets. Further, Qualcomm has confirmed Snapdragon 888 support for ASUS, Black Shark, Lenovo, LG, MEIZU, Motorola, Nubia, realme, OPPO, Sharp, vivo, and ZTE.

More smartphone companies will likely reveal their support for the upcoming processor soon. For one, Samsung is probably launching their upcoming flagship, the Galaxy S21 series soon. If tradition holds next year, the flagship series will come with the new chipset, alongside an unannounced Exynos variant.

SEE ALSO: Five flagships will come with Snapdragon 875 early next year

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Huawei Mate 40 Pro price and availability in the Philippines

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Huawei’s latest and greatest smartphone — the Huawei Mate 40 Pro — is now in the Philippines.

The Mate 40 Pro continues the Mate line’s legacy of being a fantastic all around smartphone. It delivers the best in terms of design, build, cameras, and performance.

A leap in performance

Every single phone in the Mate 40 series is powered by Kirin 9000 5G. Huawei is calling it “the most sophisticated 5nm 5G SoC  available.”

It features a three-level power efficiency architecture with cores running at clock frequencies of up to 3.13Ghz. Really, all you need to know is it’s extremely powerful, extremely efficient, and it’s close to mind-boggling the things that it enables the phone to do.

The 24-core Mali-G78 GPU on the Mate 40 Pro and Mate 40 Pro+ is the most powerful GPU ever on a Huawei device. It’s great for intense graphic performance and works well with the 90Hz screen refresh rate and 240Hz touch sampling rate.

Of course, having 5G means it’s gonna take a toll on the battery. The Mate 40 has a 4,200mAh capacity while the Mate 40 Pro and Mate 40 Pro+ have 4,400mAh. But more than the numbers, Huawei says the phones are equipped with tech to handle the demands of 5G.

Huawei Mate 40 Pro

An all-around camera

Huawei’s mobile camera tech is one of the best in the business and there’s more of the same in the Mate 40 series.

The three phones come with an array of camera features found in Huawei phones past, all improved and upgraded. There’s Dual Cine Cameras, Steady Shot, Tracking Shot, Audio Focus, Audio Zoom and the list goes on.

A testament to how smart its cameras are is how you can lazily shoot with it and you’d still come up with pretty darn good shots.

A new user experience

We’ve already been introduced to EMUI 11 and all it’s wonderful features. So there’s all of that plus a handful of improvements in several areas.

Smart Gesture Control makes a return. It’s the feature that lets you hover your hand over the device to wake it up, navigate, and answer a call. Like magic!

Huawei is also expanding Petal Search to Petal Maps, essentially replacing everything it lost with Google and putting their own stamp on it while making sure to communicate that it’s all private and secure.

Watch our Huawei Mate 40 Pro Unboxing and Review.

 

Pricing and availability

The Huawei Mate 40 Pro retails for PhP 55,999 in the Philippines. It will be available starting December 4. If you purchase it from December 4-6, you’ll get a free Mate 40 Pro Ring Light case worth PhP 3,999 for free!

 

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Gaming

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege next gen versions now available

For both PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S

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Rainbow Six Siege

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S are now available.

These versions will allow gameplay in 4K and up to 120 fps, depending on the mode chosen by the players (performance or resolution), among many other improvements. Players will be able to upgrade their version on the same family of devices at no extra cost.

Current players on PlayStation 4 or Xbox One will also be able to keep their progression. Cross-generation play is also available within the same family of devices, allowing PlayStation 5 players to face PlayStation 4 players, and Xbox One players to face Xbox Series X|S players.

Cross-play between different families of consoles or between PC and consoles is not currently supported.

Players on next-gen consoles will be able to experience Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege with the highest graphical enhancements the game has yet to offer. These enhancements will offer multiple options for prioritizing either performance or resolution, granted players are equipped with a compatible device:

  • 4K resolution (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X) / 1080p (Xbox Series S)
  • 120 fps (PlayStation® 5, Xbox Series X)
  • DualSense wireless controller capabilities for even deeper immersion (PlayStation 5)
  • Activities support for the most popular playlists so players can dive into the game faster (PlayStation 5)

The following features are also being implemented for an enhanced next-gen experience on all platforms:

  • Better accessibility (readability options, text to speech and speech to text)
  • Quick start (optimized login flow, streamlined intro sequence)
  • Ubisoft Connect overlay

This next generation of hardware provides the latest tech and features available, and Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege will keep improving to leverage all the new opportunities afforded by these new platforms.

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