OnePlus 8 Pro Could Come With IP68 Rating

Last year, OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei said that IP ratings were unnecessary. It looks like there’s a chance that the company will be taking that statement back. Rumours about the OnePlus 8 Pro have surfaced, and one of it involves an IP68 rating.
Max J tweeted an image on Twitter which can be taken as a reference towards water resistance, among other possibilities. That said, 9to5Google claims to have been told by Max J that the OnePlus 8 Pro will indeed come with the IP68 certification. Though this may not apply to the standard and Lite models of the phone.
— Max J. (@MaxJmb) February 15, 2020

If true, it would be an interesting backtracking for the company. Previously, OnePlus shared a video suggesting that its phones are water resistant even without the IP rating. It remains to be seen what happened that made the company basically take that statement back.
Would the IP rating kick up the price of the OnePlus 8 Pro? It’s possible. But on the flip side, having an IP rating does give users a greater sense of assurance that their devices would survive accidental encounters with water. This is especially if the price increase isn’t a great one, since the prices of OnePlus devices are about comparable to other brands anyway.
(Source: Max J / Twitter, 9to5Google)
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Qualcomm Officially Announces Snapdragon X60 5G Modem

Qualcomm recently pulled back the curtains on the Snapdragon X60 5G modem chipset. the X60 is the direct successor to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X55 5G modem, and the 3rd generation solution that the semiconductor maker says will “lift the performance floor for global 5G network” globally.
As per the official statement, the Snapdragon X60 is designed to provide a level of flexibility previously unavailable to the last generation 5G modem. With the X60, Qualcomm says that operators will be able to use a greater variety of frequencies. Including mmWave, sub-6GHz, 5G FDD, and TDD, among others.

Specs-wise, the new X60 modem is based on a new 5nm process node, allowing the chipset to be more power-efficient. Moreover, the chipset’s new QTM535 mmWave antenna module is also smaller but will allow smartphone manufacturers to design slimmer mmWave smartphone designs.
Additionally, the X60’s support for 5G FDD-TDD sub-6 frequencies will enable operators to maximise their spectrum resources for both coverage and peaks speeds, as well as double the latter.

Of course, you’re not going to find devices fitted with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X60 just yet, simply because there are not 5G devices fitted with it. On that note, customer sampling is expected to begin sometime during the first quarter of this year, while 5G smartphones fitted with the chipset will only be making their debut early next year.
(Source: Qualcomm)
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Toss Your Witcher 3 PC Saves To The Nintendo Switch

So you caved in and picked up The Witcher 3 on Nintendo Switch, despite already owning it on PC. Well, thank your orens because the latest update now allows you to port over your PC saves to the Switch.
Part of Update 3.6 released on 18 February, CD Projekt Red added save file integration with Steam and GOG versions of the game. The developer also notes that the Switch’s Cloud Save feature will not recognise manually renamed save files. Additionally, bugs and blockers from mods might get transferred as well, so keep that in mind.

Update 3.6 for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt on Nintendo Switch is now available!
It introduces save file integration with GOG and Steam, and adds more graphical settings, making it possible to customize visual fidelity, among others.
Full list of changes:
— The Witcher (@witchergame) February 18, 2020

Other new features in the Switch version of the game includes touch control support and more graphical customisation. Specifically, the game’s HUD, menu navigation, and Gwent gameplay now features touch-based controls. Whereas graphics options now include customisable depth of field, anti-aliasing, motion blur and more.
On top of that, the game also receives various bug fixes and improved performance optimisations. You check out the list of changes with the link provided below.
(Source: The Witcher 3 Official Website via Engadget.)

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ASUS Has An Airtight Solution To Rising AMD Radeon RX 5700 Series Thermal Issues

If you’re an owner of an ASUS-branded Radeon RX 5700 XT and RX 5700 graphics cards, it’s likely that you’ve encountered some thermal issues with them. The good news is that the components manufacturer is aware of the problem and even has an uncanny solution to it.
According to a posting on the official ASUS ROG page, the Taiwanese brand indirectly points the finger at AMD. Saying that the GPU and CPU maker’s recommended cooler mounting pressure between 30 to 40 psi was insufficient.
It was this lack of pressure that supposedly led ASUS to conduct its own investigation of the issue and found out that simply adding washers to the spring-loaded screws on the affected cards solved the issue. Specifically, they increase the cooler mounting pressure to somewhere between 50 and 60 psi.

Considering the issue, ASUS says that all future ROG Strix-based Radeon RX 5700 XT and RX 5700 cards will ship out with the new spring-loaded screws and washers. For cards that were launched before the fact, the company says you can get it in contact with the nearest ASUS service centre from March 2020 onwards to get the card upgraded.
Below are the affected RX 5700 XT and RX 5700 models:
ROG Strix Radeon RX 5700 XT:

90YV0D90-M0NA00 (Universal)
90YV0D90-M0TA00 (Taiwan)
90YV0D90-M0CA00 (China)
90YV0D90-M0IA00 (India)
90YV0D90-MTAA00 (North America)
90YV0D90-M0AA00 (North America)
90YV0D90-M0NB00 (Bulk pack)

ROG Strix Radeon RX 5700:

90YV0DD0-M0NA00 (Universal)
90YV0DD0-M0TA00 (Taiwan)
90YV0DD0-M0CA00 (China)
90YV0DD0-M0IA00 (India)
90YV0DD0-MTAA00 (North America)
90YV0DD0-M0AA00 (North America)
90YV0DD0-M0NB00 (Bulk pack)

Do note that, in light of the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak, ASUS says that the time in which you may get your card back may vary, depending on how fast the necessary components can reach each corresponding ASUS service centres.
(Source: ASUS via Hot Hardware)
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Bethesda Sale On GOG Sees Discounts Of 70%; Lasts Until 24 February

Bethesda may not have the best reputation right now, but a number of its older, better games are on sale now on GOG. These games have their prices slashed by around 70%. Best of all these are titles that have generally been received well.
The best deal here, subjectively speaking, of course, is the Dishonored series. The Dishonored: Complete Collection comes with the remastered first game, the sequel, and the standalone expansion, Death of the Outsider. With its 70% discount, this is priced at US$23.99 (~RM100). You can also choose to get the individual items in it, for varying discounts.
Next on the discount highlight reel is Wolfenstein: The Two Pack. In this, you have The New Order and The Old Blood and a 70% price cut. This brings its price down to US$8.99 (~RM37). Again you could get the individual games in the pack if you prefer.

Other notable Bethesda titles that are getting a temporary price cut are The Elder Scrolls Morrowind and Oblivion, both in their Game of the Year editions. Also on discount are Fallout 3 GOTY and Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate Edition.
This special Bethesda sale on GOG will last until 24 February. After adjusting for timezone differences, you’ll have until 10PM to make the most of these discounts.
(Source: GOG. Image: Bethesda via GOG)
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Confirmed: HONOR 9X Pro and MagicBook Are Coming To Malaysia

MWC 2020 may be cancelled, but brands like HONOR are still headstrong about hosting its All-Scenario Intelligence Conference through alternative means. In line with its upcoming livestream on 24 February, the brand has officially confirmed that Malaysia will be one of the recipients of its MagicBook notebook and the HONOR 9X Pro.
We first got a glimpse of the MagicBook back in November last year during the local launch of the HONOR 9X. Specs-wise, the notebook comes in two CPU configurations: One with an 8th generation Intel Core i5, and one with an AM Ryzen 5-2500U. Regardless of your CPU choice, both notebooks come with a uniform 8GB DDR4 RAM and 256GB SSD.

As for the design, it’s plain to see that the MagicBook’s overall look is nearly identical to Huawei’s own Matebook. Right down to the location of the power button and pop-up camera.
Moving forward, the HONOR 9X Pro isn’t exactly a new device; the phone was first announced in China in July last year, alongside with the HONOR 9X. On paper, both phones are supposed to be powered by Huawei’s 7nm Kirin 810 chipset.

Unfortunately, due to the current US ban on Huawei, HONOR had no choice but to dumb down the chipset for the HONOR 9X to last year’s Kirin 710F. In order to circumvent the issue, as well as to continue providing Google Mobile Services (GMS) on the phone. That said, it remains to be seen if HONOR will do something similar with the 9X Pro.
At the time of writing, we still don’t know when exactly HONOR plans on making both the MagicBook and HONOR 9X Pro available in Malaysia.
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Samsung Reportedly Adding Dynamic 120Hz Setting On Galaxy S20 Series

The new Galaxy S20 series are running 60Hz displays by default, with the 120Hz available as an option in its settings. However, it seems that Samsung might actually change that in a future software update in the coming months.
This rumour came to light thanks to IceUniverse, who’ve shared a screenshot showcasing new display settings for the Galaxy S20. The leaker claims that it originated from one of the S20’s firmware versions not used in the final build.

This is one of the firmware versions of the Galaxy S20 series. We see that not only the WQHD + 120Hz mode can be selected, but also the dynamic mode, which is a very mature solution.better than limited to FHDlet's expect Samsung to implement such a solution as soon as possible.
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) February 18, 2020

The settings allowed users to choose either High, Dynamic or Standard screen configurations to customise their viewing experience. High will enable 120Hz by default, Dynamic automatically variate between refresh rates, while Standard maintains 60Hz to conserve battery.

On the current build, the Galaxy S20 could only display 120Hz if the resolution is scaled to 2400 x 1080 FHD+. Samsung claims that this setting will still drain the battery faster, thus removing the option to allow 120Hz on its default WQHD+. However, this did not sit well with some users, including IceUniverse who even petitioned to have the option returned.

Samsung is working on optimizing software for WQHD+ 120hz on the S20 series and should release it in the next 1-3 months if all goes well.
— Max Weinbach (@MaxWinebach) February 18, 2020

Fellow leaker and journalist Max Winebach also recently claim that Samsung is working to re-include the setting in a firmware update within 1 to 3 months time. However, Samsung has not officially confirmed this so it’s best to take this with a pinch of salt.
(Source: IceUniverse / Max Winebach.)
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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip Screen Is Made From Real Glass After All, Just Don’t Peel Off That Protective Layer

The famed tech YouTuber, Zack Nelson of JerryRigEverything has recently performed durability tests on the newly released Samsung Galaxy Z Flip and immediately noticed that its screen scratches rather easily as if it is made from plastic. Hence, he immediately questions whether the screen is an actual glass as per what Samsung has claimed.
In a remark to The Verge, Samsung stands firm by its claim that the screen on Galaxy Z Flip is indeed made from real glass and has also pointed out that it does come with a protective layer that is identical to last year’s Galaxy Fold. Zack then addresses this response in his follow-up video which covers the teardown of the phone:

As shown on the video above (starts at around 2:39 mark), glass shards are clearly visible when Zack scrap off the display panel with his tweezer after its protective layer was peeled out. A quick physical comparison with the protective layer of Galaxy Fold also confirmed Samsung’s claim regarding the same layer for Galaxy Z Flip.
While the Ultra Thin Glass screen on Galaxy Z Flip is a proprietary work of Samsung, the Korean company has apparently developed it with some help from the German glass specialist, Schott and another Korean company, Dowoo Insys. At this moment, there is no release date for the Galaxy Z Flip in Malaysia though.
(Source: JerryRigEverything.)
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Google Stadia To Be Playable On More Phones; Mainly Samsung Phones And Gaming Phones

If you wanted to use Google Stadia on a phone, the only option was the company’s own Pixel phones. The internet search giant is finally expanding the availability of the game streaming service to other devices. That said, only 19 devices were added to the list, and it’s overwhelmingly from one brand.
Of the 19, 15 of them consists of Samsung devices. These encompass the Galaxy S8 and its variants, all the way to the latest Galaxy S20 family. The Razer Phone and its successor, alongside the ROG phone and its sequel, make up the remaining four on the list. Support rollout for these phones on Google Stadia will start on 20 February.
For these phones, Engadget reports that you’ll be able to use them with any Bluetooth controller. Oddly enough, the exception to this is the Google Stadia Controller itself. This must still be plugged in. The company is reportedly working on allowing the controller to connect to phones using WiFi instead of Bluetooth. While we’re at it, the Stadia Controller only works wirelessly with the Chromecast Ultra for now.

While making the service available on more devices is nice, the fact remains that Google Stadia has its issues. For one, it’s not very bank account-friendly. You have to rebuy games just for the platform, even if you subscribe to the Pro-tier subscription. And the user experience itself has been mixed at best.
Most importantly, if you’re in Malaysia, you don’t even get to access Google Stadia. Hopefully this changes in the future.
(Source: Google, Engadget)
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The Batman: Ben Affleck Opens Up on Why He Left the DCEU

To call the first phase of the DCEU — the Zack Snyder phase — a mess would be an understatement. Yes, even the likes of Batman V Superman and Justice League does have its passionate fanbase and there’s nothing wrong with that, but there’s also no denying that those films failed to hit the mark both critically and financially. The most disappointing thing about watching Batman v Superman and Justice League was witnessing how bloody great Ben Affleck was as the caped crusader. On both occasions, I left the cinema thinking, “dude deserves to be in a better film!”
Life for Ben Affleck as Batman in the DCEU wasn’t easy. We all saw how distraught he was during the Batman V Superman press junkets after the incredibly poor critical reviews, mediocre fanfare and disappointing box office receipts. This was when the ‘Sad Affleck’ meme was born. According to The New York Times, to make matters worse, Affleck’s personal life was also starting to crumble around the same time. His marriage with Jennifer Garner was falling apart and the Oscar-winning director started to drink a lot again.

And then came the production of Justice League. We all know the story by now. Director Zack Snyder’s original vision was severely reworked during production due to the lacklustre response to Batman v Superman. The folks at Warner Bros were extremely reactionary at this point and there was no proper leadership. Joss Whedon was hired by the studio (after Snyder departed the project due to take time off to heal and be with his family after the death of his daughter) to write and direct significant reshoots. It’s difficult to say if Whedon made the film better or worse, but it certainly didn’t turn out great by any stretch of the imagination. What should have been DC’s answer to The Avengers only raked in $US 657 million at the worldwide box office with a budget upwards of $US 300 million. The film received mediocre reviews as well. One can only imagine how difficult all of it must’ve been for the members of the cast who are all excellent in their roles.
Around the same time, Ben Affleck started to work on his own script for The Batman. He also intended to direct the film. Remember, Affleck isn’t just talented in front of the camera, he’s also great behind. In the late 90s, Affleck received a Best Original Screenplay Oscar for Good Will Hunting. In 2013, Argo, a film that Affleck directed won Best Picture at the Oscars. People were eager to see what a Batman film written and directed by Ben Affleck would look like. Ultimately, though, Affleck decided to not only depart The Batman as a writer-director but hang up his cowl altogether. In the New York Times piece, Affleck revealed the following:
I showed somebody ‘The Batman’ script. They said, ‘I think the script is good. I also think you’ll drink yourself to death if you go through what you just went through again.’
The NY Times article also says the cursed shoot for Justice League “sapped his interest” in returning as the character.

But as they say, life will find its way. The DCEU (and the DC movies in general) is at a much better place right now with their recent run of movies either doing well critically, financially and in most cases, both.
Ben Affleck himself is now sober, healthy and happy. He has a number of films coming out in 2020 including The Way Back, Deep Water and The Last Duel. He’s also developing numerous projects as a writer-director.
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