OnePlus to launch stripped-down Nord CE 5G this week

OnePlus is planning to announce a new budget smartphone called the Nord CE 5G this week. TechRadar has a render of the device straight from OnePlus itself, showing that, well, it looks quite a lot like the original OnePlus Nord.

The CE 5G, however, will be a little cut back in terms of specs. OnePlus’ product head Oliver Zhang tells TechRadar that CE stands for “Core Edition” and refers to a design philosophy where the company had a goal of “distilling the product down to the most important things.”

“You see mid-range phones on the market with very exaggerated specifications,” Zhang says. “We actively avoided some of those features and kept the things we felt would really make a difference to the daily smartphone experience, like fast charging (Warp Charge 30T Plus), a 90Hz AMOLED display, or 5G.”

OnePlus itself has been guilty of these “exaggerated specifications” in the past — the original Nord, for example, had a “quad-camera” setup that included a 2-megapixel macro camera and depth sensor of dubious utility. The CE 5G, on the other hand, makes do with three cameras on the back.

That camera proposition, as well as the CE 5G’s processor and price, will be key to the product’s appeal. For that, you’ll have to wait until the full reveal tomorrow, June 10th, at 10PM ET. The Nord CE 5G is being targeted at the European and Indian markets, according to TechRadar.


Google’s first folding Pixel is apparently still on track for a 2021 reveal

Google may have shied away from a Pixel Watch, but a Pixel Fold still very much seems to be on the way — following a leak last August that revealed the company was planning to release its first folding Pixel phone in late 2021, Korean industry site TheElec is now reporting that Samsung will begin production of folding OLED panels this October for Google, Vivo and Xiaomi’s upcoming folding phones, all of which will reportedly be revealed late this year.

Google hasn’t exactly kept its folding phone ambitions a secret; in 2019, it published patent applications for its own folding screens and admitted it had been prototyping them for quite some time, telling CNET that it didn’t have “a clear use case yet.” But now, it appears Google has a foldable, codename “Passport,” that could be nearly ready to announce. 9to5Google even spotted a new reference to it last month in Android 12’s code, alongside other codenames believed to be the upcoming Pixel 6 and Pixel 5a 5G. TheElec says it’ll have a single 7.6-inch panel that folds inward, while Vivo’s upcoming phone will have a 8-inch main screen and a 6.5-inch outer display. It didn’t mention the size of the new Xiaomi phone’s screen.

It’s not clear whether a Pixel Fold would actually come with a display designed by Google itself, though it’s possible; Samsung acts as a contract manufacturer for many other companies, producing some of Apple’s homegrown processors. Either way, one portion of the screen’s sandwich may still largely belong to Samsung itself: ETNews reports that Samsung will supply its proprietary ultra-thin cover glass (which is technically made by German manufacturer Schott) to other smartphone manufacturers, and Google is expected to use it.

Xiaomi already announced a folding phone earlier this year, the Mi Mix Fold, but it sounds like it’ll have a second one. TheElec also reports Oppo will be delaying a new foldable phone to 2022, with a 7.1-inch main screen and a smaller one between 1.5 and 2 inches diagonally.


Realme’s Snapdragon 888 flagship is coming to Europe for €549

The Realme GT, Realme’s Snapdragon 888-equipped flagship phone, is coming to Europe and will sell for €549 (about $670) for a model with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, according to the company’s website. The price makes it among the cheapest Snapdragon 888 devices available to date, if not the cheapest. Xiaomi’s excellent-value Mi 11 started at €749 (~$910) for an 8GB / 128GB model, for comparison.

Realme says the GT will ship to Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Portugal, though the device isn’t currently available to actually order. It’s not clear which other European markets it’ll be available in when it does launch.

Realme announced the Chinese version of the GT in March. It started at 2,799 yuan there for the 8GB / 128GB model, or about $440 at current exchange rates. Madhav Sheth, CEO of Realme’s Indian and European business, confirmed last week that the GT would get a global launch — a performance-focused flagship model in June and a camera-focused flagship model in July.

The GT series will be a part of realme’s new flagship focusing on high-performance and image, respectively. This will not only allow us to achieve technological breakthroughs but will also keep us ahead of the market.

— Madhav Max 5G (@MadhavSheth1) June 3, 2021

It’s not quite clear yet how those models will differ in Europe spec-wise, but the Chinese version of the GT had a 64-megapixel primary camera with an 8-megapixel ultrawide and a 2-megapixel macro sensor, so there’s certainly room for improvement on the camera flagship. Elsewhere, the GT has a 6.43-inch 120Hz OLED display, up to 12GB of RAM, and a 4,500mAh battery with 65W fast charging.

Realme started out as a sub-brand of Oppo focused on the Indian market but quickly turned into a major force in its own right and is now focusing on capturing Europe with more premium devices. The launch of the GT follows last year’s €499 X3 Superzoom, which had a Snapdragon 855+ and a periscope telephoto lens.


Seeed reServer: Compact and Powerful Edge Computing

(Image credit: Seeed)

Seeed today announced the first member of its reServer System today. The reServer x86 series is designed for edge computing and IoT applications. The systems come powered by an 11th-Gen Intel processor, and higher-spec models feature Intel Iris Xe graphics.

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Seeed’s reServer is a compact piece of kit measuring 4.8 x 5.2 x 9 inches (124 x 132 x 230 mm), giving it enough height to house two 3.5 inch SATA drives and plenty of space for cooling using heat pipes and vapor chambers. The lowest spec reServer is the 11th-Gen Core i3 model with Intel UHD Graphics. If you want Intel Iris Xe graphics, then you should look at the i5 and i7 models. 

No matter which version you opt for, each has a TDP of 28W. The mainboard has M.2 expandability for SSD and 4G/5G connectivity, and you can upgrade the RAM to a maximum of 64GB of DDR4-3200. The onboard HDMI 2.0b port supports up to 4k60, and the Displayport connector provides up to 7680×4320 at 60Hz. An additional LCD eDP 40 pin connector provides another means to output video. In total, there are four simultaneous display outputs if we count the USB-C Thunderbolt 4 connection on the i5 and i7 models. An Intel I225-V Ethernet controller powers two 2.5Gb Ethernet ports. If wireless communications is more your thing, reSpeaker offers Wi-Fi 6, LoRaWAN and 4G / 5G via an optional module.

The i3 model has a single USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 port, whereas the i5 and i7 models have two USB 3.2 Gen 2 and two USB 2.0 ports. Also present are RS-232 / 422 and 485 COM ports along with a 28-pin breakout for an ATSAMD21G18 32-Bit Arm Cortex M0+ microcontroller which is programmable via the Arduino IDE.

To power the unit, we rely on an external power brick that supplies the needed 12V DC. For i5 and i7 models, we have the option of USB PD via the USB-C port.

Edge computing is computing performed near the source of the data rather than in the cloud. This means that a project or organization does not rely on the cloud infrastructure provided by an external company.

Seeed is aiming the reServer at many different applications, including the traditional small office/home office server, but more interestingly, they see applications in the industrial automation, smart vision/city and healthcare industries.

Prices start from $669 for the i3 model with 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD and Wi-Fi 6 and a 16GB 512GB SSD model is available from $769.