Apple in 2017: iPhone X, iPhone 8/8 Plus & Apple Watch 3

Apple is on a roll as it announced the iPhone X, the iPhone 8, the iPhone 8 Plus, and the Apple Watch Series 3. The iPhone X, pronounced as iPhone Ten, features an all-new design covered in reinforced glass attached to a stainless steel frame. Its front is almost all display, packing a 5.8-inch Super Retina HD Display, which employs OLED technology. The display has a 2,436 x 1,125 resolution with infinite contrast, deep blacks, and color accurate. The screen also features Apple's True Tone Display, 3D Touch, and has support for HDR10 and Dolby Vision. Notably missing in front is the Touch ID fingerprint scanner. Instead, Apple throws in Face ID and a new TrueDepth camera system, which use an advanced array of sensors and software to recognize the owner's face to unlock the device. Naturally, Face ID can also be used for Apple Pay authentication.
iphone x
Image by Apple
Under the hood, the iPhone X is a very powerful device. It is powered by a six-core SoC called A11 Bionic, which is composed of two high-performance and four low-power cores. The A11 Bionic chipset also has its own neural engine, in addition to the embedded M11 motion co-processor. Storage is still non-expandable and comes in two options: 64GB and 256GB. The iPhone X will run iOS 11 and will rely heavily on gestures because of the missing home button. Aside from Siri, Apple Pay, and the usual suite of iOS apps, Apple introduces a new feature called Animoji. It uses an array of face-scanning sensors that can animate cartoon characters using your facial features, including speech. Other physical features of the iPhone X include stereo speakers, IP67 dust and water resistance, Qi wireless charging, quick charging, usual suite of connectivity and wireless technology, and a Lightning port. Like the previous generation iPhones, the iPhone X also lacks the 3.5 mm headphone jack. Thankfully, an adapter is included in the box.

iphone x
Image by Apple
Then we have the camera, where the iPhone X boasts not one but two 12-MP rear cameras, which it shares its configuration with the recently announced iPhone 8 Plus. There is a wide-angle 12-MP sensor with an f/1.8 aperture and another 12-MP telephoto sensor with an f/2.4 aperture and 2x optical zoom. The dual camera system also features dual optical image stabilization (OIS), quad-LED True Tone flash with Slow Sync, Portrait Mode, and Portrait Lighting. The iPhone X is also capable of shooting 4K videos at 60 frames per second and slow motion 1080p Full HD videos at 240 frames per second. In front, a 7-MP front-facing TrueDepth camera can be found with an f/2.2 aperture, Retina flash, Animoji, Portrait Mode, and Portrait Lighting.

iphone x
Image by Apple
With all these technological advances on board, the iPhone X will not be cheap. The base 64GB model will set you back $999 while the 256GB model will cost $1,1449. It will come in Silver and Space Gray color variants. It will be available for pre-order on October 23, 2017 and will ship beginning November 3, 2017.


Overshadowed by the announcement of the iPhone X, Apple also announced two new iPhones: the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus, hence skipping the "S" iteration of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus look very much like the iPhone 7 models from last year, except that they come with an all-glass back. This means that the iPhone 8 duo still have a physical home button with the Touch ID sensor embedded, IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, stereo speakers, and no headphone jack. When it comes to display, the iPhone 8 packs a 4.7-inch Retina HD display while the iPhone 8 Plus has a larger 5.5-inch Retina HD display. Both feature 3D Touch technology and True Tone display.

iphone 8 and iphone 8 plus
 Image by Apple
When it comes to hardware, the iPhone 8 duo come with the same six-core A11 Bionic chipset that the iPhone X uses, with a neural engine and embedded M11 motion co-processor. The iPhone 8 duo will also come in 64GB and 256GB variants. They will run iOS 11 out of the box and come with the goodies iOS offers like Siri, Apple Pay, and tons of productivity apps. Apple said that battery capacity of both iPhones is about the same as that of its predecessors. This time around though, the iPhone 8 duo will support fast charging and Qi wireless charging. Then we have the camera, while the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus might seem to be using the camera setup from last year (12-MP rear camera and 7-MP front camera), Apple has actually used new sensors for both models. The iPhone 8 Plus will feature Portrait Mode and Portrait Lighting. Portrait Lighting comes in four modes: Natural Light, Studio Light, Contour Light, and Stage Light. As for video capture, the iPhone 8 duo can capture 4K videos at 60 frames per second and 1080p Full HD videos at 240 frames per second.
iphone 8
 Image by Apple
The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus will come in three color options: Gold, Silver, and Space Gray. The iPhone 8 will retail for $699 and $849 for the 64GB and 256GB variants, respectively, which is higher than last year's models. Meanwhile, the iPhone 8 Plus will cost you $799 for the 64GB model and $949 for the 256GB model. Both iPhones will be available for pre-order on September 15, 2017 and will hit the shelves on September 22, 2017.


Last but not the least, we have the Apple Watch Series 3. For its third generation, Apple stuck with the tried and tested original rectangular design. This time around though, the display of the Apple Watch doubles as an LTE antenna for cellular connectivity. This means that you can now make calls without the need of a smartphone. You can also stream music, receive messages, and whatnot without your iPhone. The Apple Watch Series 3 still comes with an OLED Retina display with Force Touch technology. Display resolution depends on the display size: a 38 mm Apple Watch packs 272 by 340 pixels while a 42 mm Apple Watch packs 312 by 390 pixels. Their brightness is up to 1,000 nits. Depending on the model, the smartwatch is protected by either Sapphire crystal (stainless steel and ceramic cases) or Ion-X glass (aluminum cases).

apple watch series 3
Image by Apple
Ticking inside the Apple Watch Series 3 is a new dual-core W2 processor, which is 70% faster than the previous model. Storage is 16GB for the cellular model and 8GB for the non-cellular model. Then there's watchOS 4, which comes with a plethora of new features. An improved Music app is also on board, which will automatically import new playlists from your Apple Music account. The new Apple smartwatches have a heart rate sensor and are water-resistant up to 50 meters. Apple also promises a battery life of up to 18 hours. The LTE model will cost $399 while the GPS-only model costs $329. It will be released on September 22, 2017 with pre-orders starting on September 15, 2017. Like previous Apple Watch generations, there will be special editions of the Series 3 like the Apple Watch Nike+, Apple Watch Hermes, and Apple Watch Edition.


apple watch series 3
Image by Apple
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Til then...

xoxo Nash

Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 & Mi Note 3 Now Official

Xiaomi just unveiled the Mi MIX 2 and the Mi Note 3. Last year, the China-based company stunned us with the beautiful, bezel-less Mi MIX phablet. This year, Xiaomi continues to amaze us with the aluminum-clad Mi MIX 2. This time around it has a smaller 6-inch display with an LG G6-like 18:9 aspect ratio and a Full HD+ resolution (2,160 x 1,080 pixels). This made the bottom bezels of the Mi MIX 2 even slimmer, with the front camera still situated at the bottom part. A notable change is the presence of the earpiece above the screen.

mi mix 2
Image by Xiaomi
Hardware-wise, the Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 packs an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset with 6GB RAM and 64GB/128GB/256GB of non-expandable storage. It runs Android 7 Nougat with MIUI 9 on top. A rather smallish 3,400 mAh battery, which supports Quick Charge 3.0, will keep its lights on. As for the camera, the Mi MIX 2 sports a 12-MP Sony IMX386 primary camera with 4-axis optical image stabilization (OIS) and LED flash. Below it is a fingerprint scanner. As for the front-camera, it maxes out at 5-MP. Connectivity-wise, the Mi MIX 2 will support 43 wireless bands, including WCDMA in the US.

mi mix 2
Image by Xiaomi
A special edition of the Mi MIX 2 will also be announced, with its entire shell made out of ceramic. It will also have a whopping 8GB RAM and 128GB of internal storage. Its price is about $720. The regular Mi MIX 2 variants will retail from $506 to $613 depending on which configuration you get. Initial availability will be limited to China and some neighboring countries.

mi note 3
Image by Xiaomi
Meanwhile, the Xiaomi Mi Note 3 also arrived alongside the Mi MIX 2. Covered in glass attached to an aluminum frame, the Mi Note 3 has a 5.5-inch IPS LCD of 1080p Full HD resolution. Ticking inside it is an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 chipset with 6GB RAM and 64GB/128GB of non-expandable storage. It runs Android 7 Nougat with MIUI 9 on top and a 3,500 mAh battery keeps its lights on. Unlike the Mi MIX 2, the Mi Note 3 sports a dual camera setup with dual-LED flash. It has two 12-MP primary cameras - one regular sensor with 4K video capture, OIS and phase-detection auto-focus, and another one with 2x telephoto, and a 16-MP selfie camera. It also has a fingerprint scanner, Available in Black and Blue, the Mi Note 3 will retail starting at $444.

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Til then...

xoxo Nash

The Entry-Level Samsung Galaxy Tab A (2017)

In Vietnam, Samsung quietly introduced the Galaxy Tab A (2017) tablet. It has an 8-inch display with a 1,280 x 800 pixel resolution. Under the hood is a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 chipset with 2GB RAM and 16GB of expandable storage. It has a large 5,000 mAh battery and runs the aging Android 7.1 Nougat out of the box.

galaxy tab a
Image by Samsung
Camera-wise, the Galaxy Tab A (2017) sports an 8-MP primary sensor and a 5-MP secondary sensor. Priced at $285, there's no word yet if it will become available outside of Vietnam.

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xoxo Nash

Sony Xperia XZ1, Xperia XZ1 Compact & Xperia XA1 Plus Revealed

Sony showcased three new handsets at IFA 2017. These are Xperia XZ1, XZ1 Compact, and Xperia XA1 Plus. The first of the three is the Sony Xperia XZ1, which doesn't look that much different from its predecessor. It packs a 5.2-inch display of 1080p Full HD resolution with support for HDR. It is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC with 4GB RAM and 64GB of expandable storage. Its battery capacity, however, is quite small at 2,700 mAh. The good news is that the Xperia XZ1 will ship with the latest Android 8.0 Oreo OS. And like many high-end Xperia smartphones, the XZ1 is water and dust resistant (IP68 certified).
xperia xz1
Image by Sony
When it comes to photography, the Xperia XZ1 has the same rear shooter as that of the Xperia XZ and Xperia XZ Premium. That is a 19-MP MotionEye primary camera, which is able to take 960 fps slow-motion video but still no optical image stabilization (OIS). It, however, comes with Sony's SteadyShot technology, which is form of electronic stabilization. Another standout feature of the Xperia XZ1 is 3D Scanning, which will enable the user to capture three-dimensional objects using the camera. These 3D objects can be used in AR effects, social media, video games, and 3D printing.

xperia xz1
Image by Sony
The Sony Xperia XZ1 will launch on September 19, 2017 and will become available in four colors: Warm Silver, Moonlit Blue, Venus Pink, and Black. It will set you back $699, which is cheaper than flagship offers by competitors.

xperia xz1 compact
Image by Sony
Up next, we have the Xperia XZ1 Compact, which is literally a smaller version of the XZ1. Like the XZ1, it sports the OmniBalance design language of Sony, which is now known for its relatively large bezels. The Xperia XZ1 Compact comes with a 4.6-inch display of a very low 720p HD resolution. It also does not offer support for HDR content. However, like the larger Xperia XZ1, under the hood is an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset with 4GB RAM and 32GB of expandable storage. Interestingly, it has the same battery capacity as the Xperia XZ1 at 2,700 mAh so expect it to last longer than its bigger sibling.

xperia xz1 compact
Image by Sony
The Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact also has the same camera setup as the XZ1. And like the Xperia XZ1, it will also ship with Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box. To be available in four colors: Black, White Silver, Twilight Pink, and Blue, the Xperia XZ1 Compact will retail for $599. It will arrive on shelves on October 4, 2017.

xperia xa1 plus
Image by Sony
Last among the three is the more affordable midrange smartphone Xperia XA1 Plus. It has a 5.5-inch display of 1080p Full HD resolution. It, however, ditches the Snapdragon processor for an octa-core MediaTek Helio P20 processor with 3GB RAM and 32GB of expandable storage. Unlike its flagship siblings, it will only ship with Android 7.0 Nougat. To its advantage, it will be powered by a large 3,430 mAh battery. As for the camera, it packs a 23-MP Exmor RS sensor with an f/2.0 aperture and an 8-MP front-facing camera with an f/2.0 aperture. Available in Black, Gold, White, and Blue color options, the Xperia XA1 Plus will hit the shelves on October 20, 2017 for $379.99.

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Til then...

xoxo Nash

Galaxy J7+ Gets Dual Camera & Higher Price

Samsung took the wraps off the Galaxy J7+, which is the second Samsung smartphone to feature a dual camera setup. It is clad in aluminum and comes with a 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display with 1080p Full HD resolution. Under the hood is an octa-core MediaTek Helio P20 processor with 4GB RAM and 32GB of expandable storage. It runs Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box. A modest 3,000 mAh battery will keep its lights on.

galaxy j7+
Image by Samsung
Regarding the main camera, the Galaxy J7+ packs a primary 13-MP sensor with an f/1.7 aperture and a secondary 5-MP sensor with an f/1.9 aperture. In front, a 16-MP sensor with an f/1.9 aperture is placed. Other features include a rear fingerprint scanner, dual-SIM support, LTE connectivity, and the Bixby Home app. Unlike the other Galaxy J series handsets in the past, the Galaxy J7+ will cost $390, which is quite steep. However, pre-ordering the smartphone will get you a free Samsung U Flex wireless earphones, which normally retail for $75.

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Til then...

xoxo Nash
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