MWC 2018: Sony Announces the Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact

Sony has officially launched the Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact, its two new flagship smartphones for 2018.
True to the earlier rumours, both the Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact will come equipped with Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 845 processor. The Xperia XZ2 will sport a 5.7″ display, while the Xperia XZ2 Compact’s display will measure in at 5″. What’s new is that the display on both phones are now following the 18:9 display-to-body ratio.
Surprisingly, both displays will output HDR Full HD+ resolutions, so expect both phone to be capable of extremely accurate colour reproductions. Further product specification lists states that both model will ship out with 4GB of RAM and a 64GB UFS internal storage capacity, the latter of which can be expanded by up to 400GB via microSDXC card support.

Like its predecessors, the Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact will launch with Google’s Android 8.0 Oreo installed. On the subject of battery life, Sony has packed the Xperia XZ2 with a 3,180mAh battery, while the XZ2 Compact gets 2,870mAh battery. On that note, both models will also support Sony’s Qunovo Adaptive Charging and Smart Stamina mode, which allows for more efficient battery use and consumption.
The cameras are carry-on from the last generation; both phones sport the same 19MP Motion Eye camera that was first introduced on the Xperia XZ Premium and XZs. This means that the phones will also be capable of recording slow-motion video at 960 fps.

Also making a comeback is the 3D Creator app, which debuted with the Xperia XZ1 and XZ1 Compact. To recap, the app essentially allows users to scan and capture a 3D image of a subject (e.g. a face or object), and then create a 3D avatar for future use. With te new flagships, Sony has now extended the use of the app to front-facing camera of the Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact.

Having a Snapdragon 845 processor inside also means faster and more efficient LTE download speeds, thanks to the new Qualcomm X20 LTE modem.
They did, however, announce that both the Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact will be available sometime next month, though they did not specify any exact dates. As usual, there’s still no official word as to when the phones will be arriving on our shores, but here’s to hoping that we’d be one of the first countries in Southeast Asia.
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Canon EOS M50 Is Its First 4K Mirrorless Camera

Canon has announced a new consumer mirrorless camera with 4K recording for the first time. The Canon EOS M50 is designed to be beginner friendly but with enthusiast features and functions.
The 24MP APS-C sensor on the M50 features Dual-Pixel autofocus, alongside the new DIGIC 8 image processor and the EF-M lens mount. M50 is also Canon’s first camera to use the new CR3 RAW format, which the company says will produce 50% smaller files with the same resolution; however, it may lead to a tiny drop in image quality.
Composing images with the M50 can be done using the 2.36 million-dot OLED electronic view finder or the 1.04 million-dot fully articulated LCD touchscreen. There is also a new silent mode which uses the electronic shutter for quiet operations in locations that frown on noisy shutter action.
The 4K footage only tops out at 24p and the Dual-Pixel autofocus in this mode doesn’t work. Additionally, the final video is cropped to 1.6x. Still, to have 4K recording in an entry-level model is not a bad deal.
Other features includes Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity on board. This is also the first Canon camera that will send shots taken automatically to connected smartphones without using any companion apps.
The Canon EOS M50 will be heading to stores in April in two colours (black and white) with several kits on offer. The body only will be priced at US$799.99 (RM3,131); The EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens kit will be priced at US$899.99 (RM3,522), while a dual-kit lens with the EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM and the EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM will be retailing for US$1,299.99 (RM5,088). There is also an EOS M50 Video Creator kit which comes with EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens, RODE VideoMic GO and a 32GB Sandisk SD card for US$999.99 (RM3,913).
(Source: DPReview)
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MWC 2018: Alcatel Launches New Range of Affordable Phones And Tablets

It looks like Alcatel came to MWC 2018 with a massive arsenal of phones and tablets; promising something for almost every consumer in its product range. The company seemingly kicked off this year with the introduction of not one, but five smartphones, plus two new Android-powered tablets.
Alcatel 1X
As the first device in its new 1 series lineup, the 1X is an oddity in its own; so far, it’s the only model in its range, but it also comes in several variants. One variant supposedly runs on Google’s simplified Android One OS, while another runs Android 8.0 Oreo.
The phone also comes with either a single SIM or dual SIM variant, and weirdly enough, you can opt for a model with a fingerprint sensor, or without. If you opt for the variant without the fingerprint sensor, the phone still utilises Alcatel’s own ‘Face Key’ facial recognition software.
The Alcatel 1X is salted for an April release, with prices set at 100 Euros (~RM481) for the single SIM variant and 110 Euros (~RM530) for the dual SIM variant.
Alcatel 3 Series

Next in line is the Alcatel 3 series, which can be broken down into three phones; the Alcatel 3, 3X, and 3V.
According to sources, all three models run off a quad-core MediaTek processor and come with Alcatel’s ‘Face Key’ facial recognition feature. The differences between the three phones are with their displays; the Alcatel 3 and 3X will have a 5.5″ and 5.7″ display, respectively, although they share the same 1,440 x 720 pixels resolution. The Alcatel 3V will have the largest display at 6″, as well as highest pixel density at 2K.

Both the 3X and 3V will feature dual main cameras in the rear, while the the 3 will only have a single lens array as its main camera. Piling to its list of odd decisions is the choice of software; where the 3 and 3V will run on Android 8.0 Oreo, the 3X will ship out with Android 7.0 Nougat.
The Alcatel 3V.
The Alcatel 3, 3X, and 3V are expected to be available sometime within next month, and pricing for the phone are set at 150 Euros (~RM722), 180 Euros (~RM867), and 190 Euros (~RM915), respectively.
Alcatel 5

Technically a successor to last year’s Alcatel A5, the Alcatel 5 is probably the priciest phone of the lot. Despite a pricetag of 229.99 Euros (~RM1,108) at launch, the phone only sports some meagre hardware. It packs a MediaTek processor and only has a 5.7″ display with a resolution of just 1,440 x 720 pixels. Also, This seems to be the only phone of the litter that comes with USB Type-C port.
The Alcatel 5 will also ship out with Android 7.0 Nougat, instead of the Android 8.0 Oreo, along with Alcatel’s ‘Face Key’ recognition software.
Alcatel 1T 7 And 1T 10

Last on the list are Alcatels two tablets; the 1T 7 and 1T 10. Both tablets are designed for the entry-level market, and both share the MediaTek processor and same 1GB RAM allocation. Surprisingly, neither tablet bear support for the 802.11ac WiFi standard, which means that they won’t ever be able to gain access to faster internet speeds.
As their namesakes suggest, both the 1T 7 and 1T 10 will have display sizes of 7″ and 10″ respectively. The resolution on both tablets are also different, the 1T 7’s display rated at 1,024 x 600 pixels, and 1,280 x 800 pixels for the 1T 10. Both tablets are expected to launch during the second half of this year, and will cost 70 Euros (~RM337) and 100 Euros (~RM481) respectively.
It should be pointed out that at the time of writing, Alcatel had yet to mention specifically when, and if any of its new phones and tablets will be coming to Malaysia.
(Source: Alcatel, The Verge, Android Authority, Gadgets 360)
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Colorful Is Designing AMD 400-series Motherboards

Rumour has is that Chinese motherboard manufacturer, Colorful is currently working on AMD 400-series AM4 motherboards. These motherboards are expected to be unveiled soon after this year’s Computex event in June. It’s said that Colorful’s upcoming motherboards will support AMD’s Ryzen “Pinnacle Ridge” CPUs.
In addition to Pinnacle Ridge compatibility, Colorful’s 400-series motherboards will also, of course, support Ryzen APUs (Raven Ridge) and existing CPUs (Summit Ridge), all thanks to AMD’s commitment to its AM4 socket. What makes this rumour even more interesting is the fact that the 400-series AM4 mainboards will be Colorful’s first non-Intel motherboards.

One notable feature that may come with Colorful’s upcoming 400-series AM4 motherboards is that they may be equipped with multiple 32Gbps NVMe connectors. That aside, AMD is expected to unveil its Pinnacle Ridge (second gen Ryzen) processors and 400-series chipset in the second quarter of 2018.
Regardless, it’ll be interesting to see the improvements and new features that’ll come with AMD’s 400-series chipset. We do, of course, expect other motherboard manufacturers to debut their products sometime after AMD makes Pinnacle Ridge processors official. Until then, we do urge our dear readers to take this rumour with a grain of salt, for now.
(Source: TechPowerUp)
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NVIDIA: GPU Prices To Continue Soaring Into Third Quarter Of 2018

It looks like GPU prices are expected to continue rising all the way into the third quarter of this year.
This bit of bad news was broken via Massdrop conversation with NVIDIA. More specifically, it was during a discussion on NVIDIA’s current top-of-the-line GPU that it stated two of the obvious reasons for the continuous price hike: GPU miners and the global memory shortage.
Cryptocurrency miners are buying up every high end graphics card that hits shelves; while manufacturers are having problems securing memory chips because smartphone makers are willing to pay more for the same production capacity.
“While NVIDIA was here they also let us know that the pricing in the market will continue to go up through Q3 of this year most likely before we start seeing any type of relief,” Brian Hutchins, one of the Tech Community Leads and buying manager at Massdrop said. “So, unfortunately, the end to this is not right around the corner and we have not seen the worst of it yet.”

It’s no secret that GPU prices have spiraling upwards due to the growing resurgence of cryptomining, and with good reason; at the time of writing, the value of one Bitcoin currently hovers between RM37,000 and RM38,000, and speculations are hinting at the price of the cryptocurrency reaching a value higher than its peak of RM56,000 last November.

On another note, NVIDIA’s statement to Massdrop also seems like an indirect hint that the company might not be releasing its consumer-grade Ampere GeForce cards either by April or June this year. Obviously, this point is merely speculation, so take this with the proverbial pinch of salt. After all,there’s still a chance that we might just get a new GPU from NVIDIA sometime before we reach the third quarter.
(Source: DSOG via Guru3D, Hot Hardware)
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Nokia 8 Sirocco Hands On: A Premium Android One Phone

Aside from revisiting the iconic banana phone, HMD Global also unveiled a new variant of the Nokia 8: the Nokia 8 Sirocco. With a mostly glass construction and a stainless steel frame, the Sirocco is one premium Android One smartphone – it’s arguably the company’s sleekest-looking phone to date too.
Even though it’s an Android One device, the Nokia 8 Sirocco features hardware befitting of a flagship smartphone. It comes with a 5.5-inch 2560 x 1440 curved pOLED display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset paired with 6GB of RAM, 128GB of internal storage, and a 3,260mAh battery. Oh, it’s also IP67-rated, though this comes at the expense of the 3.5mm headphone jack.

Just like the Nokia 8, the Sirocco variant features a dual-camera system too, but it’s a different implementation. Unlike the Nokia 8’s combination of an RGB and monochrome sensor, the Sirocco rear cameras consist of a 12MP primary camera and a 13MP telephoto shooter; both with Zeiss optics. The front-facing camera, on the other hand, is a 5MP wide-angle snapper.
Despite the Sirocco’s mostly glass construction – HMD claims 95% of the phone is covered in glass – it’s really well-built. The thin, stainless steel frame further adds to the phone’s solid feel (it’s also quite a hefty phone), and there’s really no denying the Sirocco’s premium look and feel.

However, I’m not a fan of the Sirocco’s wedge-like design. See, the phone’s dual-curved display and glass back taper at the phone’s stainless steel frame. If you were to hold the phone on its sides, you’ll really feel just how thin the frame is – not the most ergonomic design choice.
Beyond the design of the Nokia 8 Sirocco, the phone’s pOLED display is sharp, bright, and vibrant, which make for a pleasant display to look at. Viewing angles are good, and black levels are unsurprisingly good too – it’s the inherent advantage of OLED displays, after all.
Also, while the Nokia 8 Sirocco has a “conventional” 16:9 display, its minimal bezels rival that of other 18:9 smartphones. It’s not quite as thin as, say, the new Samsung Galaxy S9‘s bezels, but it’s still plenty impressive.

In the software side of things, the Sirocco’s Android One status really gives it an edge. Its software experience is as stock as it gets, and the phone feels really zippy and responsive – this can be attributed to the Sirocco’s Snapdragon 835 chipset. While it’s not as fast as Qualcomm’s brand new Snapdragon 845 SoC, the 835 is still a very capable chipset.
And then we have the Sirocco’s new dual-camera system. In my brief time with the device, the 12MP primary shooter is quite good. The camera interface doesn’t feel sluggish, and the final images doesn’t look too shabby. However, I did notice that the 13MP telephoto camera isn’t quite as capable – the main 12MP camera definitely boast superior performance.

The Nokia 8 Sirocco is a sleek, premium smartphone, and it’s one of very few truly high-end Android One devices. However, it also carries a rather steep price tag – it retails at 749 euro, which comes up to about RM3,605.
At that price point, the Sirocco has to contend with a number of very competent flagship phones. On top of that, it still remains to be seen just how capable it truly is, especially when it comes to camera performance and battery life. Nonetheless, we’re definitely excited to put the Nokia 8 Sirocco through its paces in a full review to find out.

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MWC 2018: Nokia 8 Sirocco Offers Flagship Performance and Edge To Edge Display With Stainless Steel Chassis

While the rumored 5-camera Nokia 10 or Nokia 8 Pro didn’t appear at HMD Global’s MWC 2018 media event, that doesn’t mean the company didn’t announced any new flagship model at the event though. In fact, it actually comes in the form of Nokia 8 Sirocco.
Built with a stainless steel chassis that is apparently 2.5 stronger than 6000 series aluminum, the new phone carries a 5.5-inch curved edge-to-edge pOLED display that also has 2K resolution. As compared to the original Nokia 8, this year’s Sirocco model features higher amount of memory and storage space at 6GB and 128GB respectively.

Powered by the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 as per its predecessor, it is also equipped with dual rear cameras. That being said, the setup is slightly different though since these cameras were identical to those on the equally new Nokia 7 Plus with 12MP primary camera and 13MP telephoto secondary camera together with optics being provided by Zeiss.
Of course, the Dual-Sight technology and Pro camera mode alongside spatial audio are also included on the Nokia 8 Sirocco. However, do note that this phone doesn’t come with a 3.5mm audio jack although a USB Type-C adapter is included for users that still prefer to use wired headphones with the device.
The new Nokia 8 Sirocco will begin to be available throughout the world starting from early April for EU 749 (about RM 3,609).
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Nokia 8110 4G Hands On: Another Classic, Reimagined

HMD Global is back at it again this year at MWC 2018. After revisiting the Nokia 3310, the company is reimagining yet another classic: the Nokia 8110. More popularly known as the “banana phone” from The Matrix, the new Nokia 8110 4G is quite an interesting feature phone – and not just for nostalgia’s sake.
As it is a feature phone, the Nokia 8110 4G comes with a modest set of hardware. These include a 2.4-inch QVGA display, a Qualcomm 205 dual-core processor paired with 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage, a 2MP rear camera, and a 1,500mAh battery. Nothing amazing, of course, but these will suffice for a feature phone; it’s also worth noting it has up to 25 days of standby time.

Even though it’s made out of plastic, the 8110 4G is quite a well-built device – even more so than the reimagined Nokia 3310. The phone’s matte plastic finish is nice to the touch, and while the device itself doesn’t feel extra premium, it definitely has reassuring build quality.
But the banana phone’s signature feature is certainly the slider. While it’s not a spring-loaded one, the slider has a rather nice tactile feedback whenever you open and close it. We imagine it’ll be quite satisfying to answer and end calls with the 8110’s slider.

However, the 8110 4G’s signature curved body does comes with a couple of downsides. For one, this isn’t the most comfortable phone to keep in your pocket. On top of that, it’s quite a long phone, especially with the slider opened. But in retrospect, the 8110’s similarity to a banana is arguably the whole appeal of the phone.
Design aside, let’s get to the software of the new Nokia 8110. Dubbed Smart Feature OS, the phone can run a number of popular apps, including Google Maps, Google Assistant, Facebook, and even Twitter. Interestingly, there will be an app store made for the new 8110, so there’s a chance third-party developers will create their own apps for the phone.

Other aspects of the 8110 are what you’d expect from a feature phone. The display – while not the sharpest one around – is pretty decent, the buttons have good tactile feedback (they’re also backlit), it has a 3.5mm headphone jack, and of course, the revamped Snake game is present on the 8110.

The new Nokia 8110 4G is set to be available worldwide from May 2018 onwards for 79 euro (about RM380). While there’s no denying HMD’s nostalgic play with the reimagined banana phone, the 8110 certainly has its own appeals – especially its 4G connectivity.

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MWC 2018: Nokia 7 Plus Goes Official, A Mid-Range Android One with Zeiss Cameras

True to the rumors, HMD Global today has officially unveiled its brand-new Nokia 7 Plus. Powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, the new phone is another model in the growing list of HMD Global’s devices that features camera optics from Zeiss.
As opposed to the equally new 2018 Nokia 6 though, both rear and front cameras on Nokia 7 Plus are equipped with Zeiss optics. Not only that, the phone also comes with dual rear cameras which consisted of 12MP f/1.75 shooter as the primary camera while the secondary camera features a 13MP sensor and a telephoto f/2.6 lens with 2x optical zoom capability.
For its front camera, the Nokia 7 Plus relies on an 16MP sensor and AI-powered image enhancements. The same Dual-Sight technology which is also known as Bothie alongside spatial audio capture and playback technology are available on the new phone as well.
To help users fully utilize these cameras, the device is pre-installed with Nokia Pro Camera mode that provides easy to use manual control through a familiar UI that seems to be taken from Lumia devices.

Apart from the well-equipped Zeiss cameras, the new Nokia 7 Plus also features 6-inch 18:9 full HD+ IPS display, 6GB LPDDR4 RAM, 64GB internal storage, and 3800mAh battery that apparently able to deliver up to 19 hours of talk time or 723 hours of standby time. The new phone is scheduled for release in early April with a price tag of EU 399 (about RM 1923).
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MWC 2018: Nokia 8 Sirocco Is HMD Global

While the rumored 5-camera Nokia 10 or Nokia 8 Pro didn’t appear at HMD Global’s media event, that doesn’t mean the company didn’t announced any new flagship model though. It actually comes in the form of Nokia 8 Sirocco.
Built with a stainless steel chassis that is apparently 2.5 stronger than 6000 series aluminum, the new phone carries a 5.5-inch curved edge-to-edge pOLED display that also has 2K resolution. Powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, the new phone also comes standard with the same dual Zeiss camera setup from Nokia 7 Plus.
The new Nokia 8 Sirocco will begin to be available throughout the world starting from early April for EU 749 (about RM 3,609). Stay tuned for further updates as we go through HMD Global’s MWC 2018 launch event.
Developing…
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