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You can wash this smartphone with water and soap

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Fact 1: Phones get dirty. 

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Fact 2: Most phones don’t like water very much. Soap, even less. 

Enter Kyocera’s new phone, launched in Japan on Thursday.

Called Kyocera rafre, it’s not only resistant to water; it can also withstand hot water and soap without any trouble. 

You can also use rafre’s touchscreen with wet hands or when wearing gloves. And in accordance to the kitchen theme, the phone comes with a preinstalled cooking app which can be operated with hand gestures. 

In terms of specs, the Kyocera rafre is an entry-level phone, with a 5-inch screen, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of memory, a 13-megapixel camera, a 3,000mAh battery and (pleasant surprise) Android 7.0.

Interestingly, the phone does not have a traditional speaker (and thus, no earpiece speaker hole, which makes it more resistant to liquids, dirt and dust). Instead, it uses the “smart sonic receiver” technology which transmits sound via vibrations — somewhat similar to Xiaomi’s forward-looking Mi Mix.

Interestingly, the rafre is not the first soap-resistant phone out there. That honor belongs, according to Kyocera, to its predecessor, the DIGNO rafre. There’s a difference though. The new device is resistant to both foaming hand and body soap, while the older phone was only resistant to the former.  

The Kyocera rafre will launch in Japan in March 2017 in three colors:…

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How will oil prices shape the Covid-19 recovery in emerging markets?

Oxford Business Group

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How will oil prices shape the Covid-19 recovery in emerging markets?
– After falling significantly in 2020, oil prices have returned to pre-pandemic levels
– The rise has been driven by OPEC+ production cuts and an improving economic climate
– Higher prices are likely to support a rebound in oil-producing emerging markets
– Further virus outbreaks or increased production would pose challenges to price stability

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A combination of continued production cuts and an increase in economic activity has prompted oil prices to return to pre-pandemic levels – a factor that will be crucial to the recovery of major oil-producing countries in the Middle East and Africa.

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In the wake of the Saudi-Russia price war in early 2020, Brent crude prices fell from around $60 a barrel in February that year to two-decade lows of $20 a barrel in late April, as supply increased and demand plummeted. The value of WTI crude – the main benchmark for oil in the US – fell to record lows of around $40 a barrel last year on the back of a lack of storage space.

While global demand for oil remains low, one factor credited with reversing the trend is the decision to make significant cuts to oil production, which subsequently tightened global supplies.

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