Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro Review

About Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro

You know taking selfies is beyond an obsession when you have a manufacturer have a model after it. With the social media and portable devices making it easier for people to become micro-celebrities with a large following (either with organic, paid or bot followers), the prioritisation of front-facing cameras become more important.

While the Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro doesn’t really overshadow the usefulness of a rear-facing camera, it does provide some function for the front facing as the first option. The front has a 12 MP camera accompanied with a 5 MP camera for taking 120-degree wide angle shots. Since a single camera sensor couldn’t keep up with larger sensor-based cameras like DSLRs and mirrorless (contrary to claims made by numerous manufacturers) it helps to create some Bokeh effect.

All this sounds intriguing. In the real world, people want to know the real world performance and image.video quality. Of course, putting a large sensor is not possible on a phone. And if it was, social media websites and apps have a way of compressing and degrading image, video and audio quality. It is only fair enough as they house a lot of content made by a lot of people.

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Packaging and Contents

Most of the handsets sold by various brands have a very conservative packaging. While the Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro maintains that packaging, it does provide a clear case and an IEM. Some reading materials are also provided.

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Specification

Display

  • 76.7% screen-to-body ratio
  • 5.5-inch Full HD (1920 by 1080) AMOLED display
  • 500nits brightness
  • 2.5D Corning® Gorilla® Glass for best screen protection
  • 1.7mm slim bezel
  • Over 100% NTSC high colour gamut display
  • Bluelight filter for eye care
  • Capacitive touch panel with 10 points multi-touch (supports glove touch)
  • Smudge-resistant oleophobic coating

Processor

  • CPU: Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 625 Mobile Platform with 14nm, 64-bit
    Octa-core ProcessorFinFET LPP (Low Power Plus) power saving technology
  • GPU: Qualcomm® Adreno™ 506

Memory

4GB

Storage

  • Internal storage
    eMCP 64GB
  • MicroSD card
    Supports up to 2TB

Main Front Camera

  • 2x light sensitivity low light photos (compared with a typical
    camera with 16 megapixels, F2.0 & 1µm pixel size)
  • ASUS SuperPixel™ Engine – exclusive image processor
  • 24 MP* DuoPixel™ camera technology
  • Sony flagship IMX362 12 megapixels dual-pixel image sensor –
    1/2.55″ large sensor size, 1.4µm large pixel size
  • F1.8 aperture
  • 25mm equivalent focal length in 35mm film camera
  • 6p lens
  • 83° field of view
  • 4K UHD (3840 by 2160) selfie video
  • Softlight LED flash
  • Instant cameras switching
  • ASUS SelfieMaster technology for smart beautification in selfies, videos, and live streams
    * 24MP (12MP x 2) DuoPixel™ Unit
    – Sony IMX362 12MP dual pixel sensor.
PixelMaster camera modes:
  • Auto (with low light and HDR features)
  • Beauty
  • Portrait
  • Selfie Panorama
  • GIF Animation
  • 9 various filters

Second Front Camera

  • 120° wide-angle camera
  • 200% wider view for more friends and scenery in the frame
  • 12mm equivalent focal length in 35mm film camera
PixelMaster camera modes:
  • Auto (with low light and HDR features)
  • Beauty
  • Portrait
  • GIF Animation
  • Super Resolution (64 megapixels)
  • 9 various filters

Rear Camera

  • 16 megapixels
  • Sony image sensor
  • ASUS SuperPixel™ Engine – exclusive image processor
  • 26mm equivalent focal length in 35mm film camera
  • 80° field of view
  • LED real tone flash
  • 0.03 seconds phase detection auto-focus
  • 4K UHD (3840 by 2160) video

PixelMaster camera modes:

  • Auto (with low light and HDR features)
  • Beauty
  • Portrait
  • Pro (RAW file support / up to 32 seconds long exposure)
  • Super Resolution (64 megapixels)
  • GIF Animation
  • Panorama
  • Slow Motion
  • Time Lapse (with power saving)
  • 9 various filters

Video Recording

  • 4K UHD (3840 by 2160) video at 30 fps for main front and rear cameras
  • 1080p FHD video recording at 30 / 60 fps
  • 720p HD video recording at 30 fps
  • 3-axis electronic image stabilization for front and rear cameras
  • Take still photo while recording video
  • Slow Motion video (720p at 120 fps)

Speaker

5-magnet speaker with NXP Smart Amp

Audio Output

  • Hi-Res audio 192kHz/24-bit standard that is 4 times better than CD quality
  • DTS (Digital Theater System) Headphone:X™ 7.1 virtual surround sound for headphone support
  • Audio CODEC integrated into PMIC

Microphone

Dual internal microphones with ASUS Noise Reduction Technology

FM Receiver

FM radio

Wireless Technology

  • WLAN 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • Wi-Fi direct

Navigation

GPS, AGPS, GLONASS, BDS

SIM Cards

  • Dual SIM dual standby
    •  Slot 1: 2G/3G/4G Nano SIM Card
    • Slot 2: 2G/3G/4G Nano SIM Card, or the MicroSD card
    • (supports up to 2TB) at a time
  • Both SIM card slots support 3G WCDMA / 4G LTE network band. But only one SIM card can connect to 3G WCDMA / 4G LTE service at a time.

Network Standard

FDD-LTE, TD-LTE, TD-SCDMA, WCDMA/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA, GSM/GPRS/EDGE

  • Data rate
    • LTE Cat4: UL 50 / DL 150 Mbps
    • DC-HSPA+: UL 5.76 / DL 42 Mbps
  • India version
    • FDD-LTE (Bands 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20)
    • TD-LTE (Band 40)
    • WCDMA (Bands 1, 5, 8)
    • GSM (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)

ASUS phone 4G/LTE band compatibility varies by region, please check
compatibility with local carriers.

Sensor

Front fingerprint sensor (0.2 seconds unlock, supports 5 fingerprints, supports Haptic feedback), Accelerator, E-Compass, Gyroscope, Proximity sensor, Ambient light sensor, Front RGB sensor

Battery

3000mAh capacity with fast charging

Power Adapter

Output: 5V 2A 10W

In the Box

  • ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro with Android™ N and new ASUS ZenUI 4.0
  • ASUS ZenEar with microphone
  • Micro-USB cable
  • Ejector pin (SIM tray needle)
  • USB power adapter
  • Documentation (user guide, warranty card)
  • Clear soft bumper (optional)

Finish / Color

  • Deepsea Black, Sunlight Gold & Rouge Red
  • Metal Body with NMT technology

Apart from the ability to take selfie video/images, its important for content creators to be comfortable with the device. The Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro supports glove touch and also has a smudge-resistant coating. The phone uses a 3,000 mAh non-removable battery with fast charging support.

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Handset Overview

Handset Design

The variant which I have is the Deep-sea Black. Though in some ambient lighting the phone looks more towards a darker shade of navy blue. The front is all black. It took me a completely different camera and exposure settings to reflect this colour.  The metal shell is a unibody design, with matte finish paint job. You’ll notice Asus provided antenna lines on top and bottom of the rear shell to blend with the phone’s aesthetics.

The phone has a 5.5-inch 1080p AMOLED display with 2.5D Gorilla glass and a slim metal bezel design. The Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro has a built-in 3,000 mAh Li-ion battery. It supports B/G/N/ WiFi with BT 4.1 LE with A-GPS, GLONASS and FM Radio support.

Internally, the phone uses the Snapdragon 625 mobile CPU and Adreno 506 GPU. It has a 4GB RAM and 64 GB onboard storage with additional microSD card support up to 2 TB. Storage wise, this phone gives a good ability to store mass data.

Camera Overview

Naturally, you’ll notice two cameras towards the front along with the in-body flash. From the front, there are two cameras- one is a 12-megapixel camera using Sony IMX362 dual-pixel sensor with f/1.8 aperture and the other is a 5MP camera to provide a 120-degree field-of-view. As per one of its features, Asus claims it makes 12 MP to 24 MP, thus calling is duo-pixel. We’ll see the effectiveness of the feature when we see the front-facing video and photos.

The rear-facing camera is a 16MP Sony lens with phase-detect autofocus with electronic image stabilization for 4K recording. The rear camera also allows you to shoot in RAW format and also has some added modes such as slow motion in 720p and time-lapse.

Input/Output/Speakers

The top side has no functions, while the base is where the 3.5mm jack, micro USB port and inbuilt speakers are placed.

Z-Axis Bezel Designs

The right side has the volume buttons and the power buttons while the left is where the SIM/memory card cage is inserted.

Edge designs

Looking at the handset from its z-axis, you’ll notice the front is all-glass and slightly protrudes from the rest of the metal shell. It is a very subtle design but tastefully done well. The form factor is also very comfortable to use. Since its a slim handset design, for most activities, you can operate this phone with a single hand. The edges and the corners are rounded to provide that better comfort.

But the phone is very lightweight. Though Asus didn’t mention the weight of this Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro, it is lighter than the Moto X Play which weighs 169 gms. Personally, I would like my handset to have some weight, giving me a confidence while holding it. This Zenfone is pitched towards camera users- for stills or videos.

SIM Cage/Other Options

The Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro allows you to use two nano-SIMs or single nano-SIM and a Micro SD card support of up to 2TB. The front has the fingerprint scanner which also acts as an interface where you can swipe moving around.

Overall, the phone is really well-built. Usually, I am not a fan of metallic bodies as average Joes might end up scratching the paint job and many available covers not very aesthetically pleasing. But to Asus’ credit, they have given a transparent cover. For a phone which is meant to be a daily driver for Instagrammers, YouTubers and simply photographers, the phone as a built quality, but could use something other than metal. The tradeoff in plastic backed phones is letting go of that premium feel metal-backed phones give. It comes down to preference.

Viewing Angles and Display Impressions

While many phone manufacturers brag about display quality, the legibility under sunlight matters a lot. The glass top manages smudges on the phone really well. Texts, icon displays, images and background images look good and sharp. At a certain angle, viewing the screen under sunlight is difficult though white coloured elements stand out. But if you view the display directly most of the reflection can be managed properly. This is observed by keeping the brightness level at the same levels at all times.[divider]

Camera Features and Impressions

Front Facing Camera Options

Obviously, the phone emphasizes on the front-facing camera. The main talked about feature is the 24 MP DuoPixel mode which basically uses the camera to blend together a 24 MP sized selfie videos and photos.

Rear Facing Camera Options

Unlike the front, the rear-facing camera has many features to work with. Apart from the obvious difference in quality, the auto stabilization works well even in low light situations.

Camera Performance

Front Facing Camera Image and Video Quality

The front-facing camera is mediocre at best. The Asus Duopixel feature doesn’t really do anything in terms of quality during daylight. During lowlight, however, the duopixel adds noise and occasionally overexposing the shot.

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The main issue with the front-facing camera is when you have a bright sunlight behind the subject. The area becomes overexposed, even affects the areas surrounding the subject in focus. If the camera focuses on the background, the front-facing camera(s) adjusts itself and reduces overexposure. You also get to see some details like the window pane and the window grille behind it, followed by the trees and other elements. Asus did roll out an update which said it would improve camera performance but I noticed the update on the time phone was collected. The phone can control over exposure. It just doesn’t know how to do it in broad daylight with a subject in focus.

The low-light performance of the front-facing camera is hardly usable for selfie videos, even with flash. Many veteran users will not find this surprising.

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Rear Facing Camera Image and Video

The rear-facing camera has many onboard settings to help you take good images or do finer settings. However, it is far-fetched to claim any of these settings will replace mirrorless/DSLR quality. Taking handheld shots from the rear-facing camera is more stable. But higher ISO settings, you’ll need to have steadier hands. Having a table-top tripod is recommended since it gives a better grip than a phone.

Outdoor Images
Indoor Images

The rear-facing camera takes good photos in daylight outdoor conditions. In indoor conditions, the flash makes up for it up to a certain distance.

With steady hands/tripod and maybe a good source of light, videos via a rear-facing camera in low light can work. The autofocus during recording takes a while but once it figures it out, the focus is in place.[divider]

Audio Quality Impressions

Onboard mic performance
Hands-free mic performance

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Battery Life

With a 3,000 mAh Li-ion battery and fast charging, the Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro lets you do all your regular workload throughout the day. If you’re taking videos/photos all day, naturally it would have a much lesser battery life. The battery life is pretty decent for a daily driver like you’ll expect in many phones of such class.

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Pre-Bundled Software

Asus does have some of its native apps. One of them is the AudioWizard. It doesn’t function in Outdoor mode.

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Interface Impressions

Asus uses ZenUI interface over the Android interface. The Menu options do not overcrowd the screen and bloatware are less. Staying true to the name, the UI has the main social media apps pre-installed.

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Performance Benchmark

PCMark 8 Benchmark for Android
3DMark- Slingshot Extreme ES 3.1

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3DMark Slingshot ES 3.0

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MobileXPRT

WebXPRT

Conclusion

At the time of writing, The Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro has the white and black variant available for a price of Rs. 23,999/-. You are paying a premium- and premium is an overcrowded segment. If it cannot make a first impression, its lost in the crowd and the cycle is vicious irrespective of the brand’s presence in front of a consumer. On paper, it ticks the right boxes for vloggers, Instagrammers and such people. But the performance of the rear-facing camera is pretty good. even in normal daylight conditions. The front-facing does a good job with decent daylight situations, but I don’t see the usefulness of the duo-pixel. It would be nice if Asus bundled a mini-shotgun mic with a shock mount for phones aimed towards social media content makers. Also, it’s best if Asus’ onboard audio recording saved the file in .wav or .MP3 format. Podcasting has a very big crowd so a versatile tool helps them as well.

The main issue is the issue of the front-facing camera having the inability to control over-exposure of excess light from the background when the subject is towards the front. Also, the second SIM slot couldn’t be occupied if a micro SD card is installed.

What I did like about the Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro is the built quality and the ability to keep smudges well under control. I also appreciate Asus keeping the 3.5mm jacking knowing that some models from many manufacturers remove it just to provide an annoying additional adapter to carry around. ZenUI is a clean interface and provides that shiny overlay over Android’s stock 7.1.1 Nougat OS. It is also nice to see handset manufacturers kept bloatwares to a minimum.

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India

US

UK

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Samsung investigates Galaxy S8, Note 8 battery problems

Over the weeks, Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8 Plus and Note 8 users have started complaining about the device’s battery issues, even to a point where they weren’t able to charge the device. Samsung had to look into the issue. It is only now Samsung started its investigation into this matter.

While at this point, getting any resolution or acknowledgement might be premature, Samsung representatives did give a statement,”Samsung is taking all reports of this kind seriously, we only received a very small number of customer inquiries that could be linked to charge management, and unfortunately we can only comment on the matter further.”

Some users have even found out that its device’s battery power reduced from full charge to empty in two minutes after unplugging the phone. Users were unable to fix the issue even after OTA update. But in one case of troubleshooting with T-Mobile, a battery soft reset have worked.

These Galaxy battery issues might be affecting Snapdragon-powered devices, but it is too early to make that conclusion. Samsung isn’t new to battery problems as it was heavily criticised about Galaxy Note 7 problems to the extent airport and transportation authorities have band the devices. This is coming at the time where even Apple admitted to slowing down older iPhones to prevent unexpected shutdowns.

As of now, Samsung has not made it clear if this can be solved via software patch or it needs a product recall. As of now, this issue is isolated with those using US-based devices.

Samsung investigates Galaxy S8, Note 8 battery problems from technology

PlayStation 4 kernel exploit vulnerable to Jailbreaking

Devs found exploit in PS4’s kernel and published its code in GitHub

Developers Specter and Team Fail0verflow have found a new exploit in Sony PlayStation 4’s v4.05 kernel where it allows to run arbitrary codes. Therefore, enabling anyone to use PlayStation 4 to run pirated games and homebrew software/games.

This would be a headache for any games console maker, let alone Sony. For a long time, game consoles are known to have conservative access to prevent any opening to run jailbreaks on the console. And if anyone did find a vulnerability will face a legal case. Such was the situation with Hotz when Sony dragged him to court in 2011. As a result, he had to promise he would never ever hack Sony hardware. It also brought in a notorious reputation about Sony.

Earlier, Team Fail0verflow did run Linux on the PlayStation 4. But its recent findings is rather promising and can be accessed via GitHub where anyone can use to get the exploit. This will be a headache for Sony in the new year as it won’t be practical for them to go behind everyone using this exploit.

Sony did not release any official statement regarding this exploit at the time of writing.

PlayStation 4 kernel exploit vulnerable to Jailbreaking from hardware

 

Moto G5S Plus for Rs. 14,999/- now

Recently, the Lenovo-owned Motorola made a price cut for the Moto G5S Plus handset in India by Rs. 1,000/-, now costing at Rs. 14,999/-. The phone made to the market with a debut price of Rs. 15,999/- which was available to purchase via Amazon India and Moto Hub exclusively. There are two colour variants- Lunar Grey and Blush Gold. The specifications are as follows:

operating system Android™ 7.1, Nougat
system architecture/processor Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 625 processor with 2.0 GHz octa-core CPU and 650 MHz Adreno 506 GPU
memory (RAM) 4 GB
storage (ROM) 64 GB internal, up to 128 GB microSD Card support
dimensions
  • Height: 153.5 mm
  • Width: 76.2 mm
  • Depth: 8.0mm to 9.5 mm
weight 168 g
display
  • 13.97cm (5.5”)
  • Full HD 1080p (1920×1080)
  • 401 ppi
  • Corning™ Gorilla™ Glass 3
battery All-day battery (3000 mAh) TurboPower™ for up to 6 hours of power in 15 minutes of charging*
water protection Water repellent nano-coating§
networks 4G LTE (Cat 7)
UMTS/HSPA+
GSM/EDGE
bands (by model) Moto G5S Plus – XT1804

  • GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
  • UMTS/HSPA+ (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz)
  • 4G LTE (B1, 3, 5, 8, 28, 40)
SIM Card Dual nano-SIM
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4 GHz + 5 GHz)
rear camera
  • Dual 13 MP cameras + depth editor
  • ƒ/2.0 aperture
  • Colour balancing dual LED flash
  • 8× digital zoom for photos, 4× for video
  • Drag to focus & exposure
  • Quick Capture
  • Tap (anywhere) to capture
  • Best Shot
  • Professional Mode
  • Burst mode
  • Panorama Mode
  • Auto HDR
  • Video stabilization
  • 4K Ultra HD video capture (30 fps)
  • Slow Motion video
front camera
  • 8 MP
  • Wide-angle lens
  • f/2.0 aperture
  • LED flash
  • Panorama mode
  • Professional mode
  • Beautification mode
connectivity Micro USB, 3.5 mm headset jack
Bluetooth  BT version 4.2 LE + EDR
speakers/microphones
  • Bottom-port loudspeaker
  • 2-Mics
video capture 4K Ultra HD (30 fps)
location services
  • GPS
  • A-GPS
  • GLONASS
NFC Yes
sensors
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Accelerometer
  • Gyroscope
  • Ambient Light
  • Proximity
base colour
Lunar Grey, Blush Gold

You could say competition of any form is good. It is assumed Moto may have done so to actively compete with the Xiaomi Mi A1. You can get the 32GB Moto G5S Plus for a cheaper price at Rs. 12,199/-. The purchase links are as follows:

Moto GS Plus

Xiaomi M1 A1

Unikrn and MGM Resorts to host eSports tournaments

The eSports betting startup by Rahul Sood Unikrn and MGM resorts have made a joint announcement of hosting PC gaming tournaments and other related promotions in the MGM Grand Hotel and Casinos in Las Vegas. The MGM Grand will be hosting tournaments and events on Fridays and Saturdays in its ‘LEVEL UP section.

This isn’t the first time MGM getting into eSports. At its MGM Luxor Hotel and Casino, Allied sPORTS will open a dedicated eSports venue and invested in Foundry IV, a new gaming studio.  MGM’s LEVEL UP section has indoor games such as pool, air hockey tables and even VR gaming booths. The addition of gaming PCs will be done in 2018. Twice a week, Unikrn will host tournaments and give cash and its UnikoinGold as pries.

The executive director of the interactive gaming development for MGM said,”LEVEL UP was designed to attract both the next generation of players and current players seeking innovation, making this partnership with Unikrn a great fit within the space,”. Lovell Walker added,”With our commitment to the future of esports and increased focus on enhancing our guests’ entertainment experience, we know Unikrn will be a tremendous partner.”

“Traditional entertainment destinations have a lot of room to grow in appealing to esports and gaming fans,” said Rahul Sood, Unikrn’s CEO in a statement. “MGM Resorts International is leading the way, with Unikrn, by bringing regular esports tournaments to LEVEL UP. This is thrilling.”

Source: 1

Amazon Prime launches HDR10+ Streaming with Samsung

Amazon Prime HDR10+ Content available only for Samsung OLED TV Owners

Amazon Prime launched its HDR10+ streaming videos of 100 tv shows and movies as a part of Samsung’s premium offering for its televisions. According to Samsung, this will be the first time a service is providing HDR10+ video streaming content. With Amazon Prime Videos as its partner which owns exclusive shows such as The Grand Tour and others, owners of Samsung QLED and Amazon Prime service can access the content of this quality.

“We are thrilled to announce HDR10+ content for consumers,” said Sang Yoon Kim, Vice President of Smart TV Business Development at Samsung Electronics America. “The launch marks the first opportunity for consumers and the industry to experience HDR10+ technology through a streaming service.”

“We’re dedicated to offering Prime Video members the best possible viewing experience, and we are very excited for our members around the world to experience our content in HDR10+,” said Greg Hart, Vice President of Prime Video. “The viewing experience of HDR10+ combined with Prime Video’s award-winning content is ushering in a new era of entertainment for consumers on these devices.”

The benefits of HDR10+ Streaming

The HDR10+ format is an open standard announced in April. Because of this, it provides higher brightness levels and shifts whenever a scene is bright or dark. This is achieved when the metadata is embedded in the video and will be done on a scene-by-scene, frame-by-frame. This way, Amazon can provide best possible viewing experience- via Samsung premium OLED displays. This should be eventually introduced in other displays, but best with TVs that show the best possible viewing experience.

Amazon Prime launches HDR10+ Streaming with Samsung from technology

New Moto mods, rental service introduced in India

Recently, Lenovo-owned Motorola has announced three new Moto mods. All of these mods are compatible with the Moto Z, Moto Z Play and the latest Moto Z2 Play. Currently, the Moto Z2 Play flagship handset is sold in India for the following price:


The main feature of this handset is its modularity. Motorola sells Modular accessories which can be installed at the rear of the Z2 Play to provide specific dedicated functions.
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The three mods are the JBL SoundBoost 2, GamePad and the TurboPower battery mod. The functions of each of these are self-explanatory. For now, all of these mods will be exclusively sold in Flipkart and its brick-and-mortar Moto hubs from today onwards. At the time of writing this update, Flipkart only lists limited stocks of JBL SoundBoost 2 in two colour variants. According to the list, the Moto mods carry a one-year warranty.


Interestingly, Flipkart is also selling the SoundBoost 2 in the price of the older SoundBoost module. You would assume Flipkart and Motorola to update its pricing given its special launch and Flipkart exclusivity.

Three new Moto Mods!

The JBL SoundBoost 2 naturally should be the improved version of the original speaker mod. The SoundBoost 2 comes with a claim of 10 hours battery life with fast charging via its built-in 1,035 mAh battery, splash resistant and a better design with the choice of red, black and blue. This costs Rs. 6,999. The GamePad Mod is to play games by using the mobile as an on-display controller like devices such as long-gone Nokia N-GAGE and Sony PSP. There are four action buttons, dual control sticks and a D-pad. It also has a built-in 1,035 mAh battery. This costs Rs. 6,999/-. Priced at Rs. 5,999/-, the Turbo PowerPack mod provides up to a day-long extra battery life with the ability to charge an empty device by 50% in 20 minutes.

Moto mods rental service

Moto provides a rental option via Rentomojo which allows the end-user to not only fulfill a temporary requirement but also to try one out because somebody decides to one for themselves. The handsets owners can rent any of the moto mods for Rs. 399 per week via eight cities. RentMojo specializes in rental services mostly for furniture and house appliances. At the time of writing, none of the Moto mods are listed on its website.

New Moto mods, rental service introduced in India from hardware

Ataribox Indigogo pre-orders delayed indefinitely

The early adopters for the modernized Ataribox game console from an Indigogo campaign were supposed to start shipping in the December, 14th. But Atari has sent an email to its early adopters, saying that they have canceled its plans.

Expected delays from similar campaigns

Various companies and individuals selling products and items via Kickstarter and Indigogo campaigns usually have delays in shipment as the least worst case scenario (the worst case scenario is OUYA). The gaming company said in its email that they’ve made the decision to delay Ataribox shipment is to create a platform and ecosystems its community deserves.

Atari’s Reasoning

Atari gave the following vague statement:

Earlier this week, Atari announced that it would be launching its crowdfunding campaign the Ataribox on 14 December, but just days the firm has been forced to tell prospective customers that pre-orders have been delayed indefinitely.

Having a retail quality product for the early adopter is not an easy task. Since this is a gaming platform with an old and loyal community base. Atari also has to convince IP owners of the retro games to get into its console’s bandwagon so that there will be good choices of games at the time of shipment. There’s a good possibility of Ataribox becoming a good retro gaming system rather than just another nostalgic trinket.  Because of such delays, the spring launch date might also be delayed. Though nothing is known about that as of now. The early adopter pre-order shipments are delayed indefinitely.

About the Ataribox

The Ataribox will cost between $250 and $300 US price range, with early adopters obviously getting discounts. It uses an AMD SoC and a Linux-based operating system. It will be curious to see if the delay is got to do with anything relating to updating the hardware, especially with AMD’s Ryzen dominance and Ryzen 2 announcement.

Ataribox Indigogo pre-orders delayed indefinitely from hardware

LG G6 Observation

The LG G6- Introduction

The LG G6’s form factor would be strange for new users. This is a phone with a 5.7-inch display, yet many reviewers agree this phone looks small. This is due to the curved back design and its 2:1 display aspect ratio. The G6 uses metal and glass with a sealed-in battery. The front section is completely flat. There are three colour choices: Black, white and platinum which has a brushed metal finish underneath the glass.

Display

The LG G6 is positioned to be the company flagship product. Naturally, this is done to compete with other heavyweights such as the Galaxy S8. The main takeaway is the use of 2:1 display aspect ratio, as opposed to the traditional 16:9. Because of this unventured display format, this would give its users a taller display size. When you hold it horizontally, it gives a much wider display experience. Because of this display ratio, you get a 2880 x 1440 resolution on the 5.7-inch LCD panel. According to this review, the LG G6 has been optimized for this display ratio- and not just slap a new one.

Regional variants

There are two regional variants. The Europe and US region get a 32gig onboard storage while most parts of the Asian countries get a 64 GB version. All variants have microSD card support up to 2TB and RAM of 4GB. Unfortunately, wireless charging is only present in the US variant for some reason.

Camera

For its rear camera, the LG G6 uses a dual camera system to provide up to 125 degrees wide angle images. With a single camera, you get a 71-degree shot. Both are using the same sensors at 13-megapixel resolution. The primary lens is f/1.8 and has optical stabilization. The secondary does not have optical stabilization, and the aperture is f/2.4. As a result, the camera seems to perform better than the G5. All you need is steady hands for the wide shots.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, a phone is a daily driver. And no matter how good it looks, you will need a good built quality and reliability. According to most users, while the built quality of the handset is good enough, the rear panel is prone to get scratched and ruin the aesthetics of the phone. While the LG G6 seems to have a good line of recommendations, you should take a serious look at the Samsung Galaxy S8 before making a final decision.

Specifications

Operating System Android 7.0 Nougat
Display 5.7-inch LCD
2880×1440
Gorilla Glass 3
Dolby Vision, HDR10
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 (MSM8996)
Storage 32GB (U.S., Europe)
64GB (Asia, Korea, Hong Kong, India, CiS)
Expandable microSD up to 2TB
RAM 4GB
Camera (Main) 13MP (IMX258), 1.12µm pixels, f/1.8, OIS
71-degree lens, phase-detect AF
Camera (Wide) 13MP (IMX258), 1.12µm pixels, f/2.4
125-degree lens, fixed focus
Front Camera 5MP, f/2.2
100-degree lens
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2 LE, NFC
USB-C 3.1
Audio 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC (Asia only)
Battery 3300mAh
Non-removable
Charging USB-C
Quick Charge 3.0
Qi wireless (U.S.)
Water resistance IP68
Security One-touch fingerprint sensor
Dimensions 148.9 x 71.9 x 7.9 mm
Colors Black, white, platinum

[alert-success]You will like it for:

  • Performance
  • Build Quality
  • 2:1 display format
  • Camera’s low-light performance[/alert-success]

[alert-warning]You won’t like it for:

  • Good chance to get the back panel scratched very easily
  • Wireless option restricted to US retail units
  • 64GB not available for US and European markets[/alert-warning]

Recommended Reviews

Purchase Links

[alert-note]Disclosure: We don’t do reviews simply because we don’t get review units. I would like to run Dawn of Tech exactly like Hardware BBQ, a very established PC hardware review website. The best we could do is to give our opinion based on multiple reviews. We get a small kickback from the affiliate links below at no extra cost towards. The money we gain from this will be eventually used to buy phones and make reviews, guides and accessory reviews for the same. Help us to help you![/alert-note]

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HTC U11 Smartphone out for Rs. 51,990!!

HTC U11 is a flagship smartphone with an Edge sense function where you squeeze the phone enough for its sensors to activate a feature or an app that you have set on the phone.

The first impression about the phone is the over-glossy surface at its back. Spec wise, it is a 5.5-inch phone with 1440p resolution and using Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 CPU clocked at 2.45 GHz. It uses a 6 GB RAM and 128GB internal storage with microSD support up to 2 TB. The rear camera is a 12 MP shooter with f/1.7 aperture lens and dual LED flash capable of recording 4K video. The front camera is a 16 MP camera with BSI sensor and records full-HD. It’s packed with a 3,000 mAh battery with a promise of up to 24.5 hours of talk time and 14 days of standby time. It has a dual-band WiFi AC with Bluetooth 4.2 support, Quick Charge 3.0 support, NFC support and 4G VoLTE support. This phone has an IP67 certification so it provides a good amount of protection from dust and water.

The upsetting part of the device is the absence of 3.5mm audio jack so the only connectivity is the Type-C connector.

While HTC has a 3.5mm to USB Type-C adapter available for purchase conveniently, it’s silly that manufacturers have ventured towards this direction. While it may have served its purpose to keep the form factor slim, it would not be practical for many users. People don’t pay more to get less. They pay more to get more. In a market where every handset manufacturer has a fully loaded flagship, HTC should have less novelty feature such as pressure sensors and more practical for a user.

Specs are as follows:

Size 153.9 x 75.9 x 7.9
CPU Speed Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, 64 bit octa-core, up to 2.45 Ghz
Network 2G/2.5G – GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
3G UMTS
800/900/1900/2100 (B5/B8/B2/B1), HSDPA 42, HSUPA 5.76
4G LTE (up to 800Mbps, service dependent)
FDD: Bands B4/B12/B17/B28/B20/B5/B8/B3/B1/B7/B32
TDD: Bands B39/B40/B38/B41 with 2CA, 3CA, 4CA Carrier Aggregation VoLTE,Wi-Fi Calling Device capable of support Cat 15 LTE, download up to 800Mbps, upload up to 75 Mbps
Sensors Ambient light sensor, Proximity sensor
Motion G-sensor, Compass sensor
Gyro sensor, Magnetic sensor
Fingerprint sensor, Sensor Hub
Edge Sensor
Camera Main Camera:
12MP (HTC UltraPixel 3 with 1.4μm pixel)
UltraSpeed Autofocus
BSI sensor, Optical Image Stabilization (OIS)
ƒ/1.7 aperture, Dual LED flash
Self timer up to 10 seconds
Face detection
Pro mode with manual control, 32 sec. long exposure, and RAW format support
HDR Boost, Panorama, Hyperlapse
Slow motion video (1080P at 120 fps)
4K video recording with 3D Audio, Hi-Res audio, Acoustic Focus
Video Pic
Front Camera:
16MP
BSI sensor
Live make-up
Auto Selfie (keep still or smile)
Voice Selfie
Self timer up to 10 seconds
HDR Boost, Selfie Panorama
Full HD 1080p video recording
Weight 169g
Memory ROM: 64GB / 128GB, RAM: 4GB / 6GB
Extended memory: microSD up to 2TB (Use SIM2)
Flex Storage supported
Connectivity NFC, BlueTooth 4.2
Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 & 5 GHz)
Streaming media from the phone to compatible Chromecast, DLNA, AirPlay, Miracast Devices
Buttons Keys and Connection Ports
USB 3.1 Gen 1, Type-C
Capacitive keys
DisplayPort
Display 5.5 inch, Quad HD (2560 x 1440 pixels)
Super LCD 5
3D Corning Gorilla Glass 5
Display color personalization
SIM Card Type Dual nano SIM
Location GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, Beidou
Sound HTC USonic with Active Noise Cancellation
HTC BoomSound Hi-Fi edition
3D Audio recording with 4 microphones
Hi-Res audio stereo recording
Hi-Res audio certified
Battery Capacity: 3000 mAh
Talk time on 3G/4G network: up to 24.5 Hours
Standby time on 3G/4G network: up to 14 Days
Power saving mode
Extreme power saving mode
Quick Charge 3.0
Special Features Always on voice commands
Motion Launch
Sensor Hub for activity tracking
HTC Connect
Quiet ring on pick up
Pocket mode
Flip to Mute
Multimedia Audio supported formats:
Playback: .3gp, .mp4, .m4a, .aac, .ts, .flac, .mp3, .mid, .ogg, .mkv, .wav Recording: .3gp, .aac, .flac
Video supported formats:
Playback: .3gp, .mp4, .ts, webm, mkv Recording: .3gp, .mp4, .mkv

The phone can be purchased from HTC’s e-Store which only has the black and the silver version available for now. There are no other RAM/Internal storage variant….yet. HTC did not mention its U11 availability in another other online store or mortar stores.

HTC U11 Smartphone out for Rs. 51,990!! from technology