It might be Christmas month, but several brands are still doing last-minute launches and announcements before entering the New Year of 2024.


For a long time, memory upgrades on laptops have only been possible with DDR RAM. With more modern laptops now adopting LPDDR RAM and some still using DDR RAM but having it completely soldered onto the circuit board, it’s impossible to upgrade your sleek, thin laptops with bigger memory. If you think it’s the end of the road, don’t fret.

JEDEC Solid State Technology Association has officially published the open standard for the JESD318 CAMM2 memory module. Unlike previous-generation proprietary CAMM which are only limited to Dell laptops, CAMM2 opens the gate for other OEMs to offer user upgradability on modern laptops since it supports both DDR5 and LPDDR5/5X RAM types.

CAMM2 are 57% thinner than SODIMMs and can support up to 128GB of memory on a single module, unlike SODIMM’s 32GB limit. It’s also possible to split a whole dual-channel connector into two single-channel connectors or use the single-channel connector on a dual-channel module. Such scalability should provide a significant boost in memory capacity. There is still no news on which OEM will be the first outside Dell to embrace the new memory module solution, so only time will tell.


It’s apt to say that OnePlus 11 had its fair share of love and hate. Some like its relative affordability, while others don’t see it as a worthy phone because of hardware feature cuts. Nevertheless, OnePlus launched the 12 as an improvement over its predecessor. They may look identical outside, but the 12 has undergone some hardware changes.

The new phone has a slightly larger 6.82” screen with a peak brightness of 4500 nits alongside Gorilla Glass Victus 2 and IP65 protection. The 12 is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 SoC with Android 14-based region-dependant ColorOS 14 or OxygenOS 14. The rear camera consists of a 50MP 1/1.43” Sony LTY-808 primary camera, a 64MP 3x periscope zoom telephoto camera, and a 48MP 14mm ultrawide camera, all with Hasselblad treatment. A 32MP 1/2.74” sensor compliments the front camera.

Perhaps, the most notable improvement is the return of wireless charging and USB-C 3.2. The 12’s 5400mAh battery can be charged with either the 100W wired adapter or the 50W wireless adapter. There’s even 10W reverse wireless charging to charge someone else’s phone or your wireless earbuds.

The 12 will be open for sale in China on December 11 with the base 12GB RAM and 256GB storage configuration starting at CNY 4,299 and ending at CNY 5,799 for the top configuration with 1TB storage and a whopping 24GB RAM. There will also be a global release of the 12 slated for January 2024, so watch out for this space.


BBK Electronics smartphone division are on a roll with Qualcomm’s latest flagship mobile SoC offering. Vivo was the first to launch the world’s first smartphone with Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 SoC under the iQOO sub-brand with OnePlus following suit. Now, Oppo’s semi-sub-brand Realme is joining in the club with the GT5 Pro. It essentially shares a lot of hardware components from the OnePlus 12 but with several changes to give a lower RRP.

The screen is a slightly smaller 6.78” panel with a 1264p resolution, although it has a higher 144Hz screen refresh rate. There’s also dust and water protection, although it was rated slightly lower at IP64, unlike OnePlus’s IP65. While the Realme shares the same 50MP 1/1.43” Sony LTY-808 rear primary and 32MP 1/2.74” front camera sensor as the OnePlus, the rear ultrawide and rear telephoto camera made do with an 8MP 16mm and 50MP 2.7x periscope zoom unit. There are also no Hasselblad-related features to talk about here either.

What both Realme and OnePlus share between the two together is the 5400mAh battery with 100W wired charging and 50W wireless charging, USB-C 3.2 port, and 4500 nits of peak brightness. Even the under-display optical fingerprint scanner and Dolby Vision HDR10+ support are also in the Realme.

The GT5 Pro will begin shipping in China on December 14 with the base 12GB RAM and 256GB storage configuration starting at CNY 3,399 and ending at CNY 4,299 for the top-end 16GB RAM and 1TB storage. There are no words on the phone’s global rollout at this time of writing.


During CES 2023, Lenovo showcased an interesting laptop called the Yoga Book 9i with two identical screens, effectively making it a dual-display solution a la LG’s Dual Screen case and Microsoft’s Surface Duo series. It was officially available for sale months later with a starting price of $1,999. The high price could steer people away from this quirky product.

Enter SZBOX DS135D, a much cheaper alternative to the Lenovo. How much cheaper? We’re talking a $599 starting price, less than half of the Lenovo. Such a low price is not without some sacrifice, and the SZBOX is no different. Instead of a high-end Intel Core i9 CPU in the Lenovo, the SZBOX made do with a low-end Intel N100 CPU. There’s not even a detachable physical keyboard made for it.

Nevertheless, you still get a dual 13.5” screen with 16GB RAM and 128GB SSD base storage which can be upgraded to 2TB. There are also two USB-C ports, a DC charging port, and a 3.5mm audio jack. As mentioned, prices start at $599 for base trim with 128GB storage and stop at $779 for top trim with 2TB storage.


Even though the Galaxy S23 Ultra keeps being a hot topic and the Galaxy S24 series is around the corner, it’s easy to forget that the Galaxy A series carries brand recognition to the masses, especially in the low-end segment. Despite approaching the end of the year, Samsung decided to go ahead and launch the fifth-generation model of the A1 and A2 series.

The A15 and A15 5G share identical hardware with a key difference in the chipset and 5G support. Both phones have a 6.5” Super AMOLED 19.5:9 screen with 90Hz and 1080p resolution. They both have 50MP wide, 5MP ultrawide, 2MP macro, and 13MP front camera. Both phones are powered by a MediaTek SoC, with Helio G99 powering the A15 and Dimensity 6100+ powering the A15 5G.

The A25 5G also uses the same 6.5” Super AMOLED 19.5:9 screen and 1080p resolution as the other two phones, but the refresh rate has increased to 120Hz. The camera also got a slightly better upgrade with PDAF and OIS on the wide camera and 8MP resolution for the ultrawide sensor. And because it has the same Exynos 1280 SoC as in the A33 5G and A53 5G, 4K/30fps video recording support with gyro-EIS is possible.

All three phones have a 3.5mm audio jack, microSD card slot, and 5000mAh battery with 25W wired charging. In the USA, both A15 5G and A25 are offered in the sole 128GB storage option with the former costing $199 while the latter sells for $299. Malaysians are getting a bigger 256GB sole storage across the range with prices at MYR 999 for A15, MYR 1,199 for A15 5G, and MYR 1,299 for A25.


Remember Huawei’s collaboration with Porsche Design? With the trade conflict between the US and China still going strong, it’s unlikely that there will be another collaboration between them on the table. However, after Huawei dissolved Honor as its sub-brand in 2020, Honor decided to pick up where it left off. And so, a new strategic partnership between the two has been officially formed.

Like before, the two companies will combine their respective design philosophies to create high-end smart devices and offer customers a luxury user experience in the electronics world. According to Honor’s CEO, George Zhao, the new partnership will “explore how openness and innovative collaboration can merge exceptional design and outstanding performance to bring state-of-the-art technology to the premium segment of smart devices” and “create intelligent luxury products that will accelerate the mobile lifestyle of tech enthusiasts and Porsche aficionados alike”.

At this time of writing, rumours are pointing towards the Porsche Design brand on Honor’s Magic V2 foldable phone.


Yet another smartphone with Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 SoC has been launched, courtesy of ZTE under the Nubia line. The Z60 Ultra carries the Samsung Galaxy Note-esque design with an under-display camera as seen previously with the Z50S Pro and the Z50 Ultra. While the 6.8” 120Hz screen and 80W wired charging remain, ZTE has added IP68 dust/water resistance and Wi-Fi 7 support. There’s also a larger 6000mAh battery.

The Z60 Ultra carries over the OmniVision OV64B 64MP 3.3x zoom periscope telephoto camera sensor from the Z50 Ultra. However, it now sports a new Sony IMX800 50MP 1/1.49” 35mm wide sensor and an OmniVision OV50E 18mm ultrawide sensor. Interestingly, all camera sensors are equipped with OIS, making this a first-of-its-kind.

Despite not being the first smartphone with Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 on board, ZTE made a power move with Global market availability on the same launch day in China. The price also begs belief as it can be pre-ordered from $599 for the base trim with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage to $779 for the top trim with 16GB RAM and 512GB storage.


While smartphone brands are getting excited about Qualcomm’s latest flagship SoC, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, Honor decided to keep using the still-powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 on their latest flagship killer or affordable flagship phone, depending on how you look at the specs.

The 90 GT boast a 6.7” AMOLED screen with 1200p resolution and 120Hz refresh rate. The rear camera sports a dual setup with a 50MP 1/1.56” Sony IMX906 wide sensor with OIS and a 12MP ultrawide sensor with Autofocus capability. The battery has a 5000mAh capacity with 100W wired charging. Honor claimed a full charge in about 32 minutes.

While the hardware doesn’t impress much, it’s the price that caught the attention of this phone. The base configuration with 12GB RAM and 256GB storage costs CNY 2,699. To put it into context, its predecessor, the 80 GT, cost CNY 3,299 with the same configuration. If such a configuration isn’t enough for you, you can go for 16GB RAM with 256GB storage for CNY 2,899, 16GB RAM with 512GB storage for CNY 3,199, and 24GB RAM with 1TB storage for CNY 3,699.


After the launch of the iQOO 12 series last November, vivo decided to end the year by launching the ninth generation of their sub-brand’s affordable flagship line, the iQOO Neo. This could be the choice for those who find the iQOO 12 still too expensive for the wallet.

Both iQOO Neo9 and iQOO Neo9 Pro made use of the same 6.78” 144Hz  HDR10+ 1260p 20:9 screen as the iQOO 12 and a 5160mAh battery with 120W wired charging and reverse wired capability. What is different is under the screen. The Neo9 runs on Qualcomm’s previous generation flagship SoC, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, while the Neo9 Pro runs on the same current-generation MediaTek flagship SoC, the Dimensity 9300, as the X100 series.

Despite neither model boasting a telephoto camera, they share the same 50MP 1/1.49” IMX920 wide camera sensor as the X100 and the same 16MP front camera as the iQOO 12 series. The Neo9 Pro also benefits from the same 50MP 15mm ultrawide camera as both latter models, while the Neo9 make do with an 8MP unit.

Price will start at CNY 2,299 for Neo9 with 12GB RAM and 256GB storage and rise to CNY 3,199 with 16GB RAM and 1TB storage. The Neo9 Pro starts at CNY 2,999 for a similar base configuration and stops at CNY 3,999 for the top-range configuration. There’s no word on global availability at this time of writing.

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