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TECNO Launches its Flagship PHANTOM X2 Series of Smartphones

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TECNO’s premium sub-brand, PHANTOM, has launched its new flagship PHANTOM X2 Series, including the world’s first smartphone to feature a retractable portrait lens comparable to a professional camera. Unveiled at the TECNO Flagship Product Launch 2022 event in Dubai, the PHANTOM X2 Series, which comprises PHANTOM X2 Pro 5G and PHANTOM X2 5G, marks the brand’s bold entrance into the high-end global smartphone market with a host of groundbreaking features and outstanding performance.

With a 65mm focal length, 2.5x optical zoom retractable portrait lens, the PHANTOM X2 Pro 5G revolutionizes image-making in the smartphone industry. The innovative lens empowers users to capture portraits comparable to professional camera shots with just a pocket-sized device. Available in an Eco-Friendly Edition featuring a pioneering microfiber back cover made from recycled plastics, the X2 Pro 5G also raises the bar for sustainable design in the industry.

A milestone in the brand’s premium product offering, both the PHANTOM X2 Pro 5G and the PHANTOM X2 5G are powered by MediaTek’s Dimensity 9000 4nm 5G chip. The series also features a unique unibody double-curved build and a 3.5D lunar crater design in three mysterious, space-inspired colors, resulting in an eye-catching look and a comfortable feel.

Speaking at the official global launch of the PHANTOM X2 Series in Dubai, Jack Guo, General Manager of TECNO said, “TECNO has always been pushing to uncover the latest and best premium technologies. As PHANTOM’s new flagship smartphone, the PHANTOM X2 Series brings the PHANTOM brand to the high-end market with a pioneering spirit of innovation, inside and out.

Not only does the new series deliver world-leading technologies like the retractable portrait lens, but it also reflects the brand’s solicitude for environmental issues with the eco-friendly edition’s recycled back cover. Following the successes of the original PHANTOM X smartphone, the PHANTOM X2 Series takes premium experience to even greater heights.”

The highlight of the PHANTOM X2 Pro 5G’s four exceptional cameras is the innovative retractable portrait lens, a technological breakthrough that lowers the threshold for “studio-like” portrait photography. While its retractable nature ensures the phone remains slim and light, the 65mm lens’ 2.5x optical zoom, large F1.49 aperture, and shallow 18.9cm depth of field create a stunningly pure optical bokeh for breathtaking portraiture, as showcased in a series of portraits captured by professional photographer, Rankin, whose portfolio ranges from portraiture to documentary. He has shot The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Kate Moss, Kendall Jenner, and The Queen to name only a few. Rankin also consulted on the development of a set of “Master Filters” for the PHANTOM X2 Series, the PHANTOM X2 Pro 5G’s ingenious lens re-imagines what’s possible with a pocket-sized smartphone camera. A powerful 50MP main camera with a 1/1.3” sensor and Super Night mode also enables spectacular night imaging.

The PHANTOM X2 5G also boasts incredible imaging capabilities, including its 64MP main camera with a state-of-the-art RGBW sensor and 5P+1G lens. In addition, the PHANTOM X2 Series features a range of self-developed beautification settings to give users even greater freedom when shooting and editing.

Pioneering Back Cover Made From Recycled Material
The PHANTOM X2 Series includes the PHANTOM X2 Pro 5G Eco-Friendly Edition. This special edition features a pioneering environmentally friendly back cover, constructed by recycling materials recovered from the ocean. Over a complex, multiple-stage process, the waste materials are transformed into microfibers and then woven to form a strong, durable material that is used to create the cover. The Eco-Friendly Edition, which has been nominated for and received prestigious international design awards, including the LOOP Design Awards, has a striking Mars Orange design representing the stark landscapes of the Red Planet and reminding us all of the importance of looking after the earth and its oceans.

In total, each Eco-Friendly Edition back cover contains 14.4% recycled material. Compared with virgin plastics, the use of recycled materials to manufacture the back covers reduces carbon emissions by approximately 38%, with each individual cover producing an estimated 2.4g fewer emissions on average. PHANTOM hopes its commitment to environmental protection will encourage more consumers worldwide to embrace sustainable lifestyles.

The PHANTOM X2 Series is designed to deliver ultimate performance, comfort, and style, from its front screen to its back cover. Drawing inspiration from art, nature, and mathematics, the PHANTOM X2 Series has a smooth unibody double-curved design with geometric lines giving a sleek, futuristic appearance. 3.5D lunar craters ensure the retractable lens module retains a slim look and eliminates sharp edges for comfortable use, further improved by the screen’s ergonomic design allowing a holding angle of 71°.

Powered by MediaTek’s Dimensity 9000 5G Chip
The PHANTOM X2 Series is equipped with MediaTek’s outstanding Dimensity 9000 5G chip, the world’s first TSMC 4nm 5G mobile SoC. With an advanced octa-core CPU, the chip ensures powerful performance to enhance business, entertainment and everyday use. While the chip’s 7th Generation Imagiq 790 powerful ISP is capable of processing 9 billion pixels/second for impactful imaging, it also provides exceptional power efficiency and an incredibly smooth user experience, boasting an AnTuTu Benchmark score of over 1,000,000 points.

“Matching many models of laptops and tablet computers, the PHANTOM X2 Series boasts up to 12GB RAM and 256GB memory. The huge memory ensures users can play their favorite games and run heavy-duty apps simultaneously without crashing, while UFS 3.1 flash storage allows videos and large files to be shared and received at high speeds. When the PHANTOM X2 series’ marathon 5160mAh battery eventually needs charging, a quick boost with rapid 45W flash charging helps users to get through their important meeting or finish their favorite movie.,” the company said.

From an updated Master of Language translation tool with photo and document translation, to Smart Panel with real-time subtitling and Smart Scanner with document signing, the PHANTOM X2 Series revolutionizes the use of smartphones for business. In addition, Smart 5G 2.0 significantly reduces 5G power consumption and an upgraded “Ella” AI Voice Assistant is now available in offline mode, making phone operation more convenient than ever. Meanwhile, TECNO’s HiOS 12 provides a highly optimized operating system for a vivid and dynamic experience.

The PHANTOM X2 Series will be available to purchase from the end of December globally.

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Gadgets

Acer Launches Chromebox Mini

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As the digital landscape evolves, businesses are increasingly seeking ways to engage with audiences. Digital signage and interactive kiosks are at the forefront of this trend, with the market expected to reach $30.56 billion by 2028. Acer addresses this demand with mini-PCs designed for digital signage and kiosks. Their Chromebox Mini CXM1 is a secure and reliable mini-PC that can drive up to three displays simultaneously. It’s compact, silent, and features the latest connectivity options like Wi-Fi 6E and Gigabit Ethernet.

Powered by ChromeOS, the Chromebox Mini CXM1 offers fast deployment, automatic updates, and long-term support. Additionally, the cloud-based Google Admin console allows for remote management and customization. The Chromebox Mini CXM1 complements Acer’s existing line-up of digital signage solutions, including Large Format Displays (LFDs). Acer offers LFDs in various configurations, from high-resolution 4K displays to interactive whiteboards. These LFDs seamlessly integrate with the Chromebox Mini CXM1 using a VESA mounting kit.

Acer’s large format displays are designed for consistent performance and stunning clarity. They cater to various needs, including promotional signage, education, and corporate collaboration. With robust management tools and automated security, Acer displays require minimal maintenance, allowing businesses to focus on creating engaging content. Acer’s Chromebox Mini CXM1 and LFDs provide businesses with a comprehensive suite of tools for impactful advertising, information sharing, and customer interaction.

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Creator Tools

Sony Unveils Next-Gen ZV-E10 II Vlogging Camera with New Lens Kit

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Sony Middle East and Africa has launched the ZV-E10 II, the successor to their popular ZV-E10 vlogging camera. The new model builds on the strengths of the original while adding improved performance and features for content creators. The ZV-E10 II boasts a new 26-megapixel sensor and the latest BIONZ XR image processing engine for better image quality. Autofocus and video capturing have also been enhanced, with features like a new vertical format user interface and improved battery life.

The camera offers two key functions for creating professional-looking content: Creative Looks and Cinematic Vlog Setting. Creative Looks provides a variety of presets for different looks, while Cinematic Vlog Setting automatically adjusts settings for a cinematic feel.

Key Highlights:

  1. Upgraded 26MP Exmor R CMOS sensor and BIONZ XR processor
  2. Improved autofocus and video capturing
  3. Cinematic Vlog Setting for Automatic Video Optimization
  4. Vertical shooting mode with a rotating user interface
  5. Upgraded battery for extended recording time
  6. Compact and lightweight design

The ZV-E10 II camera body will be available in selected countries from July 2024. Sony also announced the E PZ 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OSS II lens, a compact zoom lens ideal for the ZV-E10 II. This lens is lightweight, offers good image quality, and features built-in image stabilization. The E PZ 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OSS II will be available in black in selected countries from July 2024.

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Gadgets

CMF by Nothing Phone 1 Review: A Budget-Friendly Contender with a Twist

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In a market saturated with high-priced flagships, the CMF Phone 1 by Nothing is a breath of fresh air. Priced at a staggeringly affordable AED 749 onwards, it aims to deliver a compelling user experience without breaking the bank.

Design
One of the CMF Phone 1’s most striking features is its design. Unlike its flashier sibling, the Nothing Phone (2a), it ditches the transparent back with LED strips for a more conventional approach.

However, “conventional” doesn’t equate to boring here. The phone comes in various vibrant, almost playful colours, reminiscent of the early days of mobile phones. This playful aesthetic extends to the unique selling point of the CMF Phone 1: swappable back covers.

The CMF Phone 1 allows users to easily unscrew the stock black back and replace it with other colours such as orange, blue, and light green. This injects a degree of personalisation often missing in today’s homogenised phone market. Build quality feels solid despite the plastic construction, and the phone boasts an IP52 rating for basic dust and water resistance. CMF by Nothing also offers a bunch of other accessories that sweeten the deal. There’s a card case that can take in three credit cards, a kickstand, and a lanyard.

Display and Performance
The CMF Phone 1 sports a large, 6.67-inch AMOLED display with a smooth 120Hz refresh rate. This translates to a vibrant viewing experience, with excellent contrast levels and sharp visuals for everyday use. Watching videos and scrolling through social media feels fluid and enjoyable.

Under the hood, the phone is powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 7300 chipset. While it won’t win any performance benchmarks, it offers sufficient processing power for most daily tasks such as browsing, social media, and light gaming. Multitasking feels smooth, and the phone rarely stumbles during regular use.

Software
The CMF Phone 1 runs Nothing OS 2.6, a near-stock Android experience with a minimalist aesthetic. This translates to a bloatware-free interface that prioritises user experience. The software feels clean and responsive, with subtle animations and a focus on functionality.

Notably, the playful design elements found in the Nothing Phone (2a)’s software, such as the Glyph interface, are absent here. This might disappoint some users who enjoyed the unique character of the Nothing brand. However, the focus on a clean and efficient experience remains a positive aspect.

Camera
The camera system of the CMF Phone 1 is a bit of a mixed bag. The main attraction is a 50MP Sony sensor backed by a depth sensor for portrait shots. In well-lit conditions, the camera captures decent photos with good detail and colour reproduction. Even in low light, the performance is pretty good with the night mode turned on.

The 16MP front-facing camera is adequate for video calls and casual selfies but won’t impress photography enthusiasts. Overall, the camera system is functional but falls short of what some users might expect, even at this price point.

Battery Life and Connectivity
The CMF Phone 1 packs a sizeable 5000mAh battery, which translates to excellent battery life. You can easily get through a full day of moderate use on a single charge and we were able to stretch it to two days on some occasions. The phone supports 33W wired charging, which helps top the battery up quickly when needed.

However, wireless charging is noticeably absent. In terms of connectivity, the phone offers standard options such as dual SIM support, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC. Notably, it also boasts 5G capabilities, making it future-proof for next-generation networks.

The Verdict
The CMF Phone 1 by Nothing is a compelling option for budget-conscious users who prioritise a clean software experience, vibrant display, and long battery life. The swappable back covers and the accessories add a unique touch of personalisation, while the overall design is refreshingly colourful and playful.

Ultimately, the CMF Phone 1 succeeds in its core mission: delivering a good user experience at an unbeatable price point. If you’re looking for a powerful flagship killer, look elsewhere. But if you prioritise everyday usability, clean software, and a touch of design flair without breaking the bank, the CMF Phone 1 is a strong contender.

Price: AED 749 onwards

CMF by Nothing Phone 1 AED 749 onwards
  • Final Rating
4

Summary

One of the CMF Phone 1’s most striking features is its design. Unlike its flashier sibling, the Nothing Phone (2a), it ditches the transparent back with LED strips for a more conventional approach.

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