3rd generation of Vietnam’s Bphone unveiled; no home button

By Dat Nguyen   October 9, 2018 | 11:04 pm PT
3rd generation of Vietnam’s Bphone unveiled; no home button
Bphone 3 and Bphone 3 Pro were introduced in Hanoi on August 10, 2018. Photo courtesy of BKAV
Vietnam’s cyber security firm BKAV unveiled the third generation of its Bphone on Wednesday without a home button, pricing it from $300.

It requires users to navigate to the home screen and apps by using hand gestures just like in Apple’s iPhone X.

It comes in two versions, Bphone 3 and Bphone 3 Pro, and they have a six-inch 18:9 HD screen, Android 8.1 and a Snapdragon Qualcomm 636 chip, giving them twice the performance of the previous version, Bphone 2, according to BKAV.

Company staff demonstrated this by playing the mobile game PUBG on the phones at the release event in Hanoi.

The battery lasts 1.5 days and can be charged to 80 percent in 35 minutes with Quick Charge 3.0 technology at three times the average charging speed, the firm claimed.

It is the first phone in the price range with IP68 waterproof rating, meaning it could be immersed in 1.5 meters of water for half an hour without a problem, BKAV stated.

Vu Thanh Thang, Bphone vice chairman, said the phone would survive coffee spills and can even be washed with soap.

Ninety percent of the phones’ parts are sourced from U.S. and Japanese suppliers, he added.

Bphone 3 comes in different colors. Photo courtesy of BKAV

Bphone 3 comes in different colors. Photo courtesy of BKAV

Bphone 3 also has a new feature that allows people losing it to find it even when it is factory reset, not connected to the Internet or lacks a sim card.

It filters out all spam messages and phone calls, the company said. Bphone 3 comes with 3GB ram, 32GB storage and a microSD slot, while Bphone 3 Pro has 4GB and 64GB.

Bphone 3 is priced at VND6.99 million ($300), and the Pro version at 9.99 million ($430).

Customers can start pre-ordering today, and shipping will begin October 19.

Bphone 3 will be the only Vietnamese competitor in the Vietnamese mid-range phone market which is dominated with Korea’s Samsung, China’s Oppo and Huawei. Other popular phones in the same price range are the Huawei Nova 3i ($300), Galaxy A7 2018 ($330) and Oppo F9 ($330).

BKAV produces antivirus software and provides cybersecurity solutions. Last year, the firm demonstrated in a Youtube video that it was able to fool Apple’s Face ID with a mask made with a 3D printer.

The firm debuted the Bphone in May 2015. While initially warmly welcomed, the phone's launch was disappointing to many buyers as it was only available online and the company had to delay delivery four times.

The phone also caused controversy because despite being Vietnamese-made, 30 percent of the phone was manufactured by a Chinese firm.

Bphone 2 was introduced last year, and 12,000 units have been sold, according to BKAV.

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