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OnePlus officially unveils the OnePlus 5 with Dual Cameras

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OnePlus 5

OnePlus today unveiled its fifth generation flagship phone — the OnePlus 5 — and it’s the best OnePlus phone ever, according to the company. You’ll find it familiar in looks, if you’ve an iPhone 7 Plus experience. Trust me!

The OnePlus 5, which looks no different from iPhone 7 Plus, is an Android phone that Apple fans will probably love to see from the outside — and yet loathe from the inside, if they’re iOS-locked personalties. Criticism aside, let’s dive into OnePlus’ newest flagship… the OnePlus 4, I mean OnePlus 5.

OnePlus 5 Slate Gray

OnePlus has put its major focus on the camera while crafting the 5. The Chinese smartphone maker has adopted dual cameras — a trend quite popular among premium smartphone manufacturers — for the first time. The dual cameras come with 16-megapixel (f/1.7) and 20-megapixel (f/2.6) configuration, where the former being “main” camera is supported by the latter. The front-facing camera sets a 16-megapixel lens as well. The handset uses both cameras in “Portrait Mode” to produce crisp foreground and blurred background as part of its DSLR-like qualities. However, there is no support for OIS this time.

OnePlus 5 Midnight Black

Sporting a 5.5-inch 1080p display with a standard 16:9 aspect ratio, the OnePlus 5 has a Snapdragon 835 processor, and comes packed with either 6GB or 8GB of RAM — depending upon the variant you choose. The battery now counts to 3,300mAh, which is slight less than the OnePlus 3T, but this shouldn’t be an issue provided the new and more efficient processor in tow. Dash Charge remains the same, with a day’s power in half an hour.

There’s a fingerprint reader on the front, and yes, the traditional headphone jack remains with the 7.25mm-thick OnePlus 5. The OnePlus 5 will ship with the company’s in-house OxygenOS, with new features like automatic Night Mode, Reading Mode, a new launcher, and more.

OnePlus will begin selling the OnePlus 5 starting June 27 in more than 30 countries, including the US, UK, Canada, Nepal and most of Europe. The handset will be available in two color choices — Midnight Black and Slate Gray — when it lands next week. Pricing starts at $479 for the 6GB RAM / 64GB storage variant, and $539 for 8GB RAM / 128GB storage.

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Blocks modular smartwatch is finally available to purchase

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Blocks SmartWatch

Blocks has begun selling the modular smartwatch, which the company launched on Kickstarter in 2015. True to its name, the Blocks modular smartwatch is a full add-on gear, powered by a proprietary OS, and works with both iOS and Android.

Once upon a time back in 2015, when Apple Watch had just launched, Android Wear was still a good deal to bet on. Meanwhile, Blocks launched on Kickstarter, and also made its trip to CES in Vegas. The company promised to ship the product in May of 2016, however, constant delays made it possible today. The company has begun shipping the watch to Kickstarter backers, and is using CES to tell the world that it is now ready for everyone.

Blocks SmartWatch Module

Blocks’ Core smartwatch has fitness tracking, Amazon Alexa, notification support, alongside some modular add-ons. Of course, the Blocks smartwatch can display time.

Blocks says it will continue developing new modules, including a fingerprint sensor, extra batteries, if things go well with the ecosystem.

The Core comes in either black or silver finish, with black and red straps on offer. The add-on modules cost $35 each on top of $259 for the Core base unit. Even after years of delays, Blocks isn’t confirming an exact date yet, saying that the devices should ship sometime in Q1 of 2018.

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Oculus partners with Xiaomi to launch Oculus Go and Mi VR Standalone

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Oculus Go
Image Credit / Facebook

Oculus announced partnerships with Xiaomi and Qualcomm at this year’s CES in Las Vegas. As part of the new partnerships, the company also revealed details about the upcoming Oculus Go along with a new Mi VR Standalone headset.

Oculus Go, which the company announced at last year’s Oculus Connect, will be manufactured by Xiaomi, in partnership with Qualcomm to power the headset. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 821 Mobile VR Platform is what powers Oculus Go and Mi VR Standalone.

Mi VR Standalone and Oculus Go

We’ve worked closely with Qualcomm to deliver the highest possible level of performance to meet the high computing demands of the standalone VR product category.

The Go and Standalone both share the same core hardware technology and features, sporting same design aesthetics (except the logo). While the Oculus Go headset will be available worldwide, the Mi VR Standalone will be available exclusively for the Chinese market. The Oculus Mobile SDK support will allow developers to easily port their content to the platform in China. Plus, the company says Xiaomi is working directly with Oculus developers to localize popular content from the Oculus Store.

No word on the availability of the devices yet!

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Google Pay brings Android Pay and Google Wallet together

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Google Pay
Look for Google Pay at checkout in Google apps, online, and in stores

Google has announced that it is merging Android Pay and Google Wallet into a new brand name, Google Pay. Sounds familiar? Well, it has now been a common naming convention in the industry — especially in the payment space.

After Google launched Wallet in 2011, the service once supported NFC payments for goods and services. However, the company later launched Android Pay in 2015 for online and real-world payments, making Google Wallet a person-to-person payment system. All that now has changed to Google Pay.

Google Pay Logo

For current Android Pay and Google Wallet users, it is just a change of name and logo. Google says it will be easier to use payment information saved to Google Account, speeding up the entire checkout with peace of mind. Plus, the new Google Pay logo will be visible online, in-store, and across Google products in the coming weeks. In fact, Google Pay is already available on Airbnb, Dice, Fandango, HungryHouse, and Instacart. The company is also offering promotional offers to the users.

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