Category Archive : Gadgets

The Moto Razr’s Facing Competition! All Eyes Now on TCL’s New Foldable Smartphone

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TCL’s new prototype folding phone | Source: T3

The 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is quite fascinating and this time, we all are getting to see some unique gadgets. Among them is TCL’s new foldable smartphone, a prototype the Chinese electronics giant showcased at the event hoping to give Moto Razr a tough time.

The company recently showcased its prototype for a folding phone. Not only is the scenario for folding phones illuminated further but also TCL is poised to do really well.

The Chinese electronics giant is known to play second fiddle to giants such as Huawei, LG, Motorola, Samsung and Lenovo; but this gadget is set to bring its status to the stop. It has recently showcased the TCL 10 5G smartphone at CES 2020 priced at less than $500, which is affordable than the ones offered by its competitors.

The company has also not only raised eyebrows but also sounded the alarms off with its prototype for a quite workable folding phone. It is being heard that it will be quite affordable in comparison to the upcoming folding Moto Razr (priced at $1,500). Therefore, it is quite a big deal for phone enthusiasts.

How TCL’s new foldable smartphone helps it move a step ahead in folding phone technology?

The company is known for giving consumers top-notch gadgets running on the latest tech and available at the best affordable price. TCL’s new foldable smartphone is set to give the $1,500 Motorola Razr folding flip phone a tough time.

Its shape is an absolute square and when opened in the center, it shows a 7.2-inch plastic display surrounded by thick black plastic bezel like casing. It has no selfie camera inside but behind the screen, it has four cameras in diamond pattern. The color used is eye-catching deep emerald, which is a pleasant sight.

The best part about it is that it has enough strength to stand on its own and that too on any stage of the fold. In comparison, other phones tend to snap either completely open or closed at certain points. Its absolute square shape helps it sit up and be used like a laptop without any hindrance.

TCL’s new foldable smartphone in sit-up position.
TCL’s folding phone prototype in the sit-up position | Source: CNET

The features and functionality of TCL’s new foldable smartphone

TCL’s new foldable smartphone’s prototype does look and feel a bit bulky. Its software responded slowly when the device was rotated, and in some instances it froze. When opened and closed, an audible squeak was heard.

The Chinese electronics giant is renown for its affordable, top quality TVs and is transparent regarding the product prototype. Knowing its reputation, there is no doubt that TCL will add improvements to the phone’s prototype. In fact, it will also be making other products in the future that can bend as well.

TCL’s prototype features a square shaped 7.2-inch display, a quad-camera system and a middle level Snapdragon 660 processor. The operating system in use is Android 9.0 Pie. It is not much of a technical masterpiece, but it does deliver a true folding phone’s experience.

When the refinements will be added, it would be undoubtedly attractive who need folding smartphones at a reasonable price tag. The company sees folding devices as one way of establishing TCL as a leading brand name. That too at a time when competing firms are trying to add spark to a slowing industry through innovative product design. It also hopes to stay ahead in the race of adopting 5G technology.

Release and price date

Right now, no official price, release date or the official product name has been released by TCL. However, there are rumors that it can be released late this year.

The final word

It is true that TCL’s foldable phone prototype is not ready for release yet. Why? Because the phone’s hinge and foldable screen are far from perfect, the software it runs on is sluggish and there are no front facing cameras.

The phone’s specs were mid level but it is only a prototype. The designs and features change with time. Thus, we can be assured that the company will upgrade them before its release.

Should we be thrilled with TCL entering the foldable smartphone market? Yes, we should be!

Why? Because the Samsung Galaxy Fold costs $1980. In contrast, TCL’s phone will be cost less than that.

The company also aims to bring in a folding phone that is not only durable but also without glitches.

Best Gaming Headset for 2020 You Should Consider Purchasing

No computer gaming setup is complete unless you don’t add the right peripherals to it. Just as much as a gaming mouse or a mechanical keyboard plays an important role, so does the best gaming headset. Ask me how I know and I would tell you because I have fanatically played counter strike for years. Believe me, a good gaming headset can make all the difference to your gaming experience. 

When it comes to headphones, choosing the right one can be pretty overwhelming. You can’t really be sure which one is the best option. You want something which offers accuracy in listening, the best sound experience, an amazing surround, and adjustable volume controls. Along with all that, you want something that is aesthetically pleasing and ergonomically satisfying and can fit on your head right. 

Now when it comes to gaming, the market has a ton of options. 

As an enthusiastic first-person or third-person shooter, you want a headset that helps you get deeply immersed. It’s okay, we can all feel overwhelmed at some point and in fact, can’t come to a conclusion when it comes to buying the right one. So I have done my research and saved you all the hassles. Here are the best gaming handsets which I recommend that you should consider before purchasing one. 

Hyper X Cloud Alpha

If you are searching for a headset that you can wear for long hours and do not have to worry about head or ear strains, look no further than the amazing Hyper X Cloud Alpha. Here’s a headphone that is tried and tested by multiple quality assurance specialists for extended wear before it is dispatched in the market. The headphones come with a removable microphone so you can have the ultimate ease of speaking with other players during gameplay. The Hyper X Cloud is made up of the best aluminum construction material. The aluminum makes the headphone extremely lightweight. Also, the construction of the headphone is done very precisely giving it the best durability. If you use software to regulate the sound quality so it becomes good, you won’t have to do that with the Hyper X Cloud. 

Steel Series Actis 7 

Steel Series has come a long way and has lived up to its name. It has released multiple computer peripherals over the years which have become an astounding success. In just $149, the Steel Series Actis 7 is one classy gaming headset that offers amazing consistency in sound, remarkable performance, and a very comfortable/aesthetically pleasing design. The headset is wireless and comes with 2.4 GHz wireless connectivity. This connectivity range ensures that you don’t have any lag or any sound interference issues. Additionally, the Steel Series Actis 7 includes the S1 speakers through which you receive unidirectional sound which is quite helpful in competitive gaming. Another great thing about Actis 7 is that it is very comfortable to wear and comes with an elastic bad. If you haven’t made up your mind which one you’re supposed to purchase, then Actis 7 is the best bet. 

Astro A40 + MixAmp Pro

Are you a serious pro-gamer? In case, you are and you’re very serious about sound then get yourself the Astro A40 + MixAmp Pro. Ranked as one of the best gaming headsets, this headphone offers a very durable design and sophisticated construction. The body of the headphone is lightweight so whether you wear for extended hours or just hang it around your neck, it will not cause you any strain. What really does make the headphone supremely unique is the MixAmp Pro which takes the listening experience to a whole new level. With the MixAmp Pro, you can control the game sounds and voice chats, plus at the same time, you can switch between different audio presets. Additionally, the headset comes with enough ports that you can attach to your desired devices and easily stream too. So if you want to professionally game or stream one on Twitch, Astro A40 is actually not a bad bet. 

Logitech G Pro X

Logitech G Pro X is known as the tournament Titan. This versatile headset is not just comfortable to wear but offers the best sound quality as well at a fair price of $130. The headset is available in the market in its black color theme and that’s all that takes to make this Titan stand apart from the rest. The headphone comes with a flexible headband which makes it very easy and comforting to wear. The earcups on the headphones contain premium quality foam covered with leatherette. As far as the sound is concerned, whether you’re playing on a PC or a console, it offers a direct and accurate sound. Plus, it also features an in-built blue headphone which equally offers crisp voice chat. So whether you’re playing Warframe with your friends or hosting a Twitch match, don’t worry about your voice quality. Logitech G Pro X lives up to its title and is powered by the best developers, Logitech itself. 

The Corsair HS50

Image result for The Corsair HS50

If you don’t have enough budget and still want a headphone that packs a punch, the Corsair HS50 is one of the decent built headphones. Not only are they ergonomically satisfactory but they also offer a good quality sound for a $50 headphones. Of course, these won’t be able to match the sound quality of those which cost around $100 or more. And neither is the design as adjustable and comfortable as the Cloud Alpha or Logitech, but at half the price of those high-end headphones, it offers more than the bargain. It is a great headphone for those who like to experience gaming in short bouts of time. Though, people have issued complains saying they do warm-up ears after an hour worth of use, but I still heck yeah! Go for it cuz it sure is worth it if you are low on budget and can’t compromise sound. 

So there you go, here are my five best picks for the day. These are some of the gaming headsets that I recommend you should look into before you get started on gaming this year. Do you have something much better in mind? Do let us know by saying a few words about it in the comments. 

Unusual yet Innovative Highlights From CES 2020: Unveiling the World’s First Ever Folding Laptop, Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Fold

Lenovo’s foldable Laptop, the ThinkPad X1 Fold | Source: CNET

Last year, Lenovo showed the world in what looked like to be the first ever folding PC. This year at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the computing giant recently unveiled its latest creation and truly the first ever folding laptop to the public; The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold.

That’s right! This is world’s first ever truly folding laptop. It also has spent four years in development and went through six major designs until now.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold can be best described as the perfect blend of a folding smartphone and a top-notch laptop. Renowned companies like Apple, Huawei, Samsung and Motorola have been experimenting with folding smartphones and failed many times before they came up with a durable final design and outcome.

But what Lenovo has shown proves the company’s worth in making top class futuristic gadgets, not for luxury but for everyone. What’s even more interesting is that the Chinese computing giant is more than happy to be experimenting with unusual yet interesting concepts, to bring to the world devices that were once perceived as impossible to produce.

Let us now have a deeper look at how Lenovo braved the odds in producing a technological masterpiece.

Challenges faced by Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold in its development

President of Lenovo’s Commercial PC and Smart Device Business Unit, Christian Teismann, said that the company has been looking for new product types and associated factors for years since the Yoga franchise began.

He further explained: “A PC is only usable for full productivity at a certain size, about 12 to 13 inches. We ultimately came back to something fundamental like a book form factor in business.”

One of the big challenges the company faced in developing a foldable PC was to ensure it lasted up to 5 years at least in its lifecycle as well as having the usability of a PC. Mr. Teismann said the first working sample was released around a year ago and further revealed the ThinkPad brand will evolve to a new level.

He further stated that the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold would be available for order early in this year’s second half with shipments commencing in the middle of the second half.

If such a release time is true, then Lenovo will be shipping the X1 Fold at almost the same time Microsoft debuts its Duo and Neo devices.

Another view of Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold | Source: Lenovo

Features & Specifications of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold

The Lenovo ThinkPad Fold X1 is the latest in a long line of foldable phones and computers. Numerous convertible dimensions attempted to bring the best of laptops and tablets together to create a device on a single overall dimension. It can also be safe to assume that Lenovo’s new Motorola Razr is the inspiration for its creation.

When unfolded, the ThinkPad Fold X1 has a 13.3-inch display which makes it quite compact. A magnetic Bluetooth keyboard (featured with it) that can sit on the device’s bottom half, creating a complete laptop effect. It can also be detached to be used with the unfolded screen.

A separate easel like stand can be used to hoist the device on it which then gives a sort of a desktop effect (it costs $24 & is not included with the product). When the laptop’s system is not in use, the keyboard sits in the middle and gets charged by wireless means. The best part is that it sits nicely when the laptop is folded.

The screen is pOLED (Plastic Organic Light-Emitting Diode) made in collaboration with LG. Lenovo revealed the extent of the screen’s durability tests to be quite extensive.

A carbon fiber plate reinforces the folding mechanism. The hinges used are quite powerful as they are not easily bent by human fingers.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold runs on Windows 10 Pro, and Lenovo brought its own solutions regarding its operability on the folding screen. The laptop is likely to have Windows 10X upon its launch.

The customizations it has are a taskbar icon bringing up a pop-up menu where users can switch between a single full-screen view or a dual-screen mode with an app displayed to each half of the screen. It is expected to be priced around $2,499.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold with wireless Bluetooth keyboard.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold with the wireless keyboard | Source: CNET

The key points of the Lenovo ThinkPad Fold X1 are as under:

  • It has multiple modes and can be opened as a completely flat 13.3-inch display.
  • The product was co-engineered with Intel. It uses its Core series processors & Windows 10.
  • An option for Windows 10X is coming later this year.
  • 5G connectivity for the device is now an option.
  • Lenovo said that it had developed a mode-switching software for Windows 10 which can accommodate multiple use cases & modes on ThinkPad X1 Fold (Windows 10 is known to be slow).
  • The device weighs less than 2.2 pounds.
  • A Bluetooth Mini Fold Keyboard and a leather case are available with the device.
  • When the product is closed by folding, the keyboard can be stored and charged in it (wireless charging) and secured with magnets.
  • A full-sized keyboard, mouse and a second display can connect with the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold via a USB Type-C cable and port.
  • A ThinkPad X1 Fold Stand is also available. It can be used in either portrait or landscape mode. This helps the ThinkPad X1 Fold to be used as a desktop.

What makes the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold stand out?

Flexibility is the main advantage of the laptop’s design. The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold is something that is better than most small laptops; users can open the screen to its full size & prop it up with the built-in kickstand.

They can even use the wireless keyboard with ease which gives the experience of using both a desktop and a laptop. The easel like stand elevates it, making it look like the world’s smallest desktop.

Regarding its performance, the company stated that it runs on a new Intel platform using ‘hybrid technology.’ Battery life is stated to be up to 11 hours. Though skeptics see it as a machine having slow processing power, it would be wise to wait for its launch to see if it proves them wrong.

Conclusion

It is pricey when it comes to a laptop or tablet, but the ThinkPad X1 Fold is set to be the most innovative gadget made by Lenovo. The company has clearly put a lot of thinking in creating it.

This encourages experimental devices to hit the markets this year.

Hence, consumers will be looking forward to buying it and spending a lot of time on it as well.

Will The Iphone 11 Pro Bite The Dust With The Imminent Release Of Samsung Galaxy S11?

Everyone has been left impressed with the Samsung Galaxy S10. But, the recent leaks and rumors (as well as speculative predictions) about the Galaxy S11 are rising.  Not only is the phone rumored to catch up (and even go beyond) the iPhone 11, but also, we will check out how it will fare in the coming year.

The leaks and rumors of the Galaxy S11 haven’t rested during the holiday season. Today, we have assembled them all to see what picture the rumors make of the official lineup. Let us all have a look at the price, the potential setup of the cameras, the design and the specifications (battery, hardware, RAM etc.).

What is so special about the Samsung Galaxy S11 (as per the leaks)?

The Galaxy S11 is the company’s next premium device. It is set to woo to a wider audience, apart from tech enthusiasts looking to equip themselves with the most cutting-edge smartphone handset.

The Galaxy S11 phone line is the company’s first-ever mainstream device helping bring 5G to a lot of users and customers alike on the planet. Samsung also initiated a start with 5G earlier in 2019 with the S10 5G, Note 10 Plus 5G, Galaxy A90 5G and the Galaxy Fold (only in South Korea and the UK).

However, most of these phones are not targeting everyday users and are variants of 4G devices already in existence. Yet, Samsung is in a strong position as compared to that of last year. Samsung often follows past patterns & current trends in releasing its phones and the Galaxy S11 is known to be loaded with brilliantly extravagant specifications.

The launch date of the Samsung Galaxy S11

According to the latest updates, The Galaxy S11’s launch date is February 18, 2020. It is probable because it coincides with the previous launch dates of Samsung’s smartphones. This would become the South Korean electronics giant’s sixth flagship phone to make a February debut.

That’s right! The Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, and S10E were all launched on February 20, 2019. Suppose if the Galaxy S11 does arrive in February, it would make a lot of sense thus giving the Galaxy S10 phones a 12-month period on sale.

But there have been rumors about the S10 lite arriving first and this puts the spotlight position of the Galaxy S11 in doubt.

Last year, the prices for Galaxy S10 started at $749 for the S10E, $899 for the S10 and $999 for the S10 Plus. The launch price of the Galaxy S11 will likely hover around in this range, but customers and enthusiasts alike will have to play the wait & see the game to see Samsung’s pricing.

The specifications

Models and screen sizes

It is rumored that Samsung Galaxy S11 will have three models. Another rumor has it that the models will be named as the S11E, S11 and S11 Plus.

Recent leaks from frequent and renown Twitter leaker Evan Blass suggest the names as S11, S11 Plus, and S11 Pro, which resembles Apple’s naming strategy with the iPhone 11 (the base model for this line). All Galaxy S11 smartphones could have curved sides, unlike its predecessor which had a flat display.

Samsung galaxy S11 specs

The leak from Evan Blass’s account regarding Samsung Galaxy S11 | Source: Twitter

The following are the rumored screen sizes of the Samsung Galaxy S11:

  • The Galaxy S11: Around 6.2 or 6.4 inches.
  • The Galaxy S11 Plus: Around 6.7 inches.
  • The Galaxy S11 Pro: Around 6.9 inches.

It supports 5G!

The Samsung Galaxy S11 will use 5G and will be equipped with Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor. Also, Qualcomm will not be giving this processor to phone making brands without the 5G modem. Hence, users get a phone with the Snapdragon 865 processor which will also be 5G ready.

The same also goes for those regions that will have the Galaxy S11 equipped with Samsung’s in-house created Exynos 990 5G processor (Asia especially). It also happens in South Korea, though it is being heard that the company is determined to use Snapdragon 865 for South Korean handset models.

However, there is a catch. The Galaxy S11 may be 5G-ready but not every phone will be able to access 5G. Countries that have not adopted 5G will have 4G ready handsets. Hence, in some regions, the phone will be working on 4G.

Anyone would be surprised if Samsung used a chip other than the Snapdragon 865. The Galaxy S Series is its mainstream flagship and Samsung ranks among the largest phone-makers in the world. It will create a milestone by delivering to the world the phone with the best chip.

The Camera

One of the biggest plus points of the Galaxy S11 is its Camera. Recent leaks and renders predict a square camera array having four cameras on the backside.

Samsung will be equipping the phone with a 108-megapixel main camera sensor. It sounds like fiction, but Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has already beaten Samsung in this with the Mi CC9 Pro (which uses a 108-megapixel camera).

The Snapdragon 865 chipset can support a 200-megapixel camera. Users may not be using all the 108 megapixels all the time, but the extra resolution present is helpful for zooming in and cropping the pictures.

Here are additional features of the Galaxy S11’s camera:

  • 108-megapixel main camera.
  • Ultrawide-angle camera.
  • An approximately 48 Megapixels Telephoto ‘periscope’ lens having a 5x zoom.
  • ‘Time of flight’ sensor (in Galaxy S11 Pro).
  • Front camera shaped like a single-punch hole.

A 120Hz AMOLED display screen

The 120Hz refresh rate on Galaxy S11’s screen will make animations and scrolling much smoother in comparison to the standard refresh rate of 60Hz of older smartphones.

A refresh rate of 120Hz is great for gaming and other quick transitions but it will drain the battery. The Galaxy S11 could somehow allow users to choose the refresh rate to be 60Hz if they wish to preserve the battery. They can also choose the 120Hz option if they want top-notch animations.

In short, it gives users flexibility in choosing the refresh rate between 60 & 120 Hz. The phone will have such a refresh rate as both Snapdragon 865 and Exynos 990 5G processors support 210Hz screens.

It’s True – The Galaxy S11 has a 5000-mAh battery

Phones of different sizes often get batteries of different sizes too. Ice Universe reveals that the Samsung Galaxy S11 ‘Plus’ will have a battery of power 5000 mAh.

Customers should know that the term ‘Plus’ could also mean ‘Pro’ (i.e. the highest-end model of the phone) and it makes sense. The middle phone of the Galaxy S11 trio might get a battery of power 4300 mAh, which is still pretty outstanding. Hence, the 5000 mAh battery fits the expectations of most.

In-screen fingerprint scanner

The concept of an in-screen fingerprint scanner is lovable. Since it was positively received in the Galaxy S10, users will welcome this feature in the Samsung Galaxy S11 too.

Customers are more likely to favor a secure facial scan unlocking feature combined with the in-screen scanner for Galaxy S11. Now, Google has added improvements to it with Pixel 4’s gesture tracking giving it good help.

Customers and users alike can at least use a more robust form of the scanner, if the company wishes to take advantage of Snapdragon 865s support for scanning two-fingers over one. This technological advancement can significantly improve the device’s security on all sides.

Android 10 and Samsung One UI 2 combined

Comparison of One UI and One UI 2 | Source: Samsung

There was little doubt about Samsung’s phones running on Android 10 in 2020. Also, the company’s own One UI 2 (announced in October last year) is now available in beta.

The best thing about Android 10 is the introduction of systemwide dark mode to phones, gesture-based navigation, impressive live captioning and updated privacy settings. One UI 2 aims to move icons and screen controls towards the phone’s bottom so they can be easily reached with one hand.

The Price

The price depends on the model customers wish to buy because it will break the $1000 mark. The Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus costs $999 and Galaxy S10 5G costs $1300. 5G costs phone makers more in purchase & integration so hence, the price will rise.

If the largest version (Pro or Plus) is in line with the pricing of the S10 plus, then it will start at $1000. Add the 5G component and advanced camera tech, then the price of Galaxy S11 is likely to be $1100 (which matches the price of the Galaxy Note 10 Plus today).

Conclusion

A refined design, heavy-duty battery and improved cameras are among the features of the Samsung Galaxy S11. The 5000 mAh battery indicates that the company will be making a huge stride for the year 2020.

The punch hole notch on the front might not be present because the phone will be having a delightful full-screen display. Samsung always takes pride in the quality of displays it gives and the year 2020 will see a full-screen Galaxy S11.

There will be the usual bumps in power and performance, and some AI material has been added on the phone too. By the time the Samsung Galaxy S11 will be launched, it should be coming on board with Android Q.

Samsung develops technology for 144 MP photosensors

Samsung develops technology for 144 MP photosensors

At the IEDM 2019 trade fair, the semiconductor division of Samsung presented a new 14 nm engraving technology for CMOS sensors. The idea is to optimize energy consumption for future 144-megapixel sensors.

Read More
iOS 14

For iOS 14, Apple has learned the lesson of all the bugs of iOS 13

Apple has decided to adopt a new organization in the development of iOS 14 that will allow it to avoid serial bugs that have spoiled the launch of iOS 13.

Avoid repeated bugs, here is Apple’s new leitmotif when it comes to the development of iOS 14, its future operating system.

Isolate the bugs

Concretely, this will allow them to make changes to the iOS 14 beta more serenely since it will activate the corresponding flag for the novelty to be included in the system. If a problem is detected, simply disable the flag responsible to isolate the bug and fix it more easily.

In the footsteps of Google and Microsoft

On paper, iOS 14 should, therefore, be much more stable than its predecessor when deployed. With a little optimism, users can even hope for a public beta that is pleasant to use.

Say Hello to the New Motorola Razr 2019 – Motorola’s Answer to the Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X

The new fold-able Moto Razr 2019 |Source: Self

Who could have anticipated its return after all those years, yet here it is. The New Motorola Razr has made a fabulous comeback as an Android smartphone that can be folded in half (akin to its iconic flip predecessor). The 2019 Razr may look pretty much like the ones still stamped on our minds, but it replaced the old T9 keypad and the small LCD with a 6.2-inch plastic foldable OLED panel. Its camera is a double duty one with 16 megapixels.

Instead of Android 10, it runs on Android 9 Pie. Upon its launch in January 2020, it is expected to cost USD$ 1500 (equivalent to GBP 1170 and AUD$ 2200).

Why is the new Razr fundamentally different from the other foldable phones present at the moment? It turned a typical sized smartphone into something that is compact and easy to carry around. When the Razr is folded in half, it softly snaps shut from top to bottom. One side lays snuggled on top of the other, without a visible gap between both halves of the screen.

Because of this, Motorola has solved the world’s biggest design puzzle which has left other foldable smartphones (including the Samsung Galaxy Fold) in a conundrum. Not only is the phone pocketable, it reeks of nostalgia yet is streamlined to weather the future.

What sets the new Motorola Razr apart from its predecessors and other phones?

The original Razr was one of the world’s bestselling phones which helped it earn an iconic status. Motorola updated it into a newer version which is wider, heavier, and replete with new features. The foldable Razr gives Motorola a unique opportunity to steal the show.

This phone comes at a time when foldable smartphones are teetering precariously on the edge between reality and fantasy. It was only last year when foldable phones were pegged as a revolution in the smartphone design, and made the dream of a large-screen device being portable a reality.

However, what went wrong were the issues with screens and massive delays in launch, especially from major players, including Samsung and Huawei. It is now Motorola’s turn to bask in the spotlight. If Motorola comes out successful, it will herald a new era for the fold-able phone industry.

The new Motorola Razr folded and unfolded | Image Credits: T3 & Yanko Design

What’s it like using the new Motorola Razr?

In terms of the screen, it is a 6.2-inch P-OLED screen that is foldable. Motorola worked together with Lenovo’s laptop team on this design. The screen is like a thin film that curls in the shape of a teardrop when the screen is being folded.

The New Motorola Razr’s patented hinge design has an open cavity covering the looped part of the screen. Most plastic screens do not fold completely flat without a crease appearing in the middle. The thin layer of air gap is hardly conspicuous. When the screen curls like a teardrop, it creates a gap of 0.2mm between the hinge and the display.

The front screen might look tall but it is narrow with a ration of 21:9. It also has a resolution of 2142 x 876 pixels. Most of the apps are located on the bottom side of the screen along with the controls. This makes it easy for users to reach and use them with just their thumb. It also works better than other phones with one hand only.

The New Motorola Razr folded | Source: Self

On the outside, users can see an 2.7-inch OLED external screen. It is a quick view display that shows essentials such as time, notifications, alerts, signals and battery life. Users cannot type on it but can respond through recorded messages or their voices. In fact, users can use it to check what they look like in selfies.

Google Pay and Google Assistant can be used on the quick view display, as well as for controlling music. The useful yet addictive Motorola gestures are present too. Move the phone in a twister pattern to turn on the camera and shake it sideways to turn on the flashlight.

You can hardly feel the hinge tension, when opening and closing the phone because the movement is smooth and gradual. The hinge’s gears are visible, and magnets hold their sides together. This mechanism prevents the creases from forming on the screen.

People have been asking about the presence of a thick plastic chin on the bottom of the New Motorola Razr. Such is because it reminds us all of its original design so hence it gets a good score for nostalgia. It also houses the optical fingerprint reader, the antennas, vibrating motor, GPS & Wi-Fi units. Most importantly, it is like a handle for users to hold on to when they are watching a video.

To make a call, the phone has to be opened but when on a call, the phone can be closed and the conversation can continue as long as you are using the speakerphone, connected via Bluetooth or are on a video call. However, it closes out most apps with the music player being an exception (the quick view screen helps control music tracks).

The 21:9 screen is termed by Motorola as its Cinemavision display. Small black bars will be bordering the sides when videos are being watched.

Beneath the exterior display is a 16-megapixel camera that is used to take photos and selfies. The five-megapixel camera that is visible when the Razr is unfolded is used mainly for video calls. However, telephoto and wide-angle lens won’t be available. But a software aided portrait and night vision mode are available.

The new Motorola Razr completely opened | Source: Self

The phone is available in 4G and not in 5G. It does have quite a decent amount of memory but has no SD card slot. The phone also lacks a SIM slot so there are pretty much quite some tradeoffs for those looking to buy the new Motorola Razr.

Specifications of the New Motorola Razr

Specifications of the phone are as under:

  • Snapdragon 710 processor.
  • 6GB RAM.
  • 128 GB of internal storage.
  • Snapdragon 710 processor.
  • 2.7-inch Quick View display (800×600).
  • 6.2-inch foldable pOLED display (2142×876).
  • 16 megapixels front-facing camera focal point 1.7 with night vision mode).
  • 5 megapixels internal camera.
  • USB-C port present.
  • eSIM.
  • Fingerprint reader.
  • Android 9 pie.

What do users get in the box?

When prospective buyers think of buying and unboxing the Motorola Razr, their experience is most likely to be memorable. Motorola has created a unique and eye-catching box with sharp corners which will have a tinted, transparent top with a speaker grill.

This way, users can play music from their Razr phones through the box when they slot the phone in the box in an upright position.

The phone comes with:

  • Wired USB-C earbuds.
  • An accessory case for sunglasses.
  • 15-watt TurboPower charger.
  • USB-C cable.
  • Headset adaptor.

Conclusion

While the phone comes equipped with some pretty good features but with a hefty price tag of USD$ 1500, we wonder if its worth the buck. It runs on Android 9 instead of 10 (for which Motorola promised timely updates) and the battery power is 2,500 mAh, which is 10 percent less than what Google’s Pixel 4 currently offers.

With the phone being launched in collaboration with its exclusive telecom partner Verizon, users may need to go to competitors with the compatible ECM format if they wish to switch their carriers. Other than that, the processor will be 2 years old at the time of the launch.

Still, the new Motorola Razr is primed to be a hit among customers when it goes into official launch. For its price tag, this phone is truly going to be unique among the many present in the ever competent smartphone market. It is truly a comeback sign from Motorola and its answer to the Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X.

motorola razr

Motorola RAZR: foldable flip-up smartphone is official

Motorola unveiled its first collapsible smartphone, the Motorola Razr. This is a collapsible smartphone flapper design rather original.

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PS4

PS4 Becomes Second Best Selling Console of All Time

Sony has announced that PS4 becomes the second most selling console in the world.

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RTX3080

Nvidia 3000 Series is About to Drop the RTX3080/RTX3080ti Next Year

The world is massively competitive and individual gamers from all around the world are overly excited. Tech GPU giants are always grossly interlocked with each other in a constant battle of superseding one GPU tech over the other.

In the blue corner, we have AMD who is massively focused on delivering high-performance gaming experience to its individuals; whereas, in the red corner, we have Nvidia who is interested in delivering performance just as much as they are interested in offering durability.

With the recent launch of the 5700XT series in the market, AMD has successfully paralleled its GPU technology meeting the robust requirements of modern-day games running on the RTX technology. 

But can Nvidia produce something far better than its existing Geforce Experience 2000 series? Rumor has it, that Nvidia has set itself on track towards releasing the first-ever Geforce 3000 series next year. 

Dates aren’t confirmed, yet the news has already started circulating the market. 

Rumors from Wccftech reveals that Nvidia is now discussing the all-new Ampere, the next-gen GeForce RTX 3000 series cards. Although, there aren’t any complete details about the Nvidia GeForce 3000 series which I believe will only be discussed when Nvidia officially announces the release. 

What’s Going to be Special About the New GeForce Nvidia Experience 3000 Series? 

First things first, 

People are terming the new card as the new Nvidia GeForce Ampere. The card has earned its name because of the 7nm EUV process node which it is about to introduce for the first time in 3000 series. 

Similar to its prior 2000 series, the 3000 series is going to feature three versions of the card. 

  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 – 12GB 
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 – 12GB 
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti – 16GB

Obviously, as the stats suggest, these cards will be functioning on a higher, more powerful VRAM. 

Rumors also claim that the overall price of the card will be significantly cheaper than its previous models. However, in my opinion, price is something where Nvidia has never compromised so I don’t believe that’s ever going to happen. Though they do offer durability and that’s what sets them apart. 

About the Performance

As far as the card’s performance is concerned, the new Nvidia GeForce RTX 3000 series will have some amazing performance upgrades in terms of ray tracing technology. One other great news that we’ve learned about the new GPU tech is that the 3000 series card will feature the 7nm process node. 

Such nodes will make the GPU card more power-efficient compared to its previous versions. 

Just so you know, the previous versions of the GPU were powered on a larger 12nm to 14nm nodes. 

What’s Interesting About a 7nm EUV Process Node? 

The best thing about using the 7nm EUV node in Nvidia is that it provides the Ampere GPU a much more stable architecture. Some claim that it can actually run cards under a voltage supply of as low as 1V making the Nvidia 3000 series one of the most power-efficient Geforce cards on the block. 

But, (oh yes, there’s a but)… 

The downside of a good power efficient card is that you can expect a degradation in overclocking. 

If somehow Nvidia does change its pursuit from being power efficient to performance efficiency, the card can have almost a 400-500 Mhz GPU clock improvement, especially on the custom builts. 

And there is no doubt, Nvidia always plays safe when it comes to Graphic card life and durability. If Nvidia does plan on surpassing the AMD future builds, it must compromise on power-efficiency. 

So that’s all folks, everything that we have learned about the new Nvidia 3000 series. Until next time. 

Xiaomi Watch

Xiaomi Watch Is An Apple Watch Clone

As showcased on famous Chinese website, the latest Xiaomi Watch looks like a clone of the famous Apple Watch.

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AirPods Pro

Apple Launches AirPods Pro in $250

Apple has finally released the latest AirPods Pro with an affordable $250 price tag.

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Huawei Mate X

That’s it, finally! Huawei Mate X is officially launched … in China

The Huawei Mate X is finally officially launched in China, long after its officialization. We still do not know the future of the foldable smartphone in the rest of the world.

Like the Samsung Galaxy Fold, the Huawei Mate X has experienced significant delays between its formalization and its date of commercialization. The collapsible smartphone of the Chinese brand was indeed still unavailable for sale on any market, but it is now history.

The presales of Huawei Mate X officially start today, Wednesday, October 23, 2019, in China, as reported by Reuters. If we omit the anecdotal Royole FlexPai, it is now the second foldable smartphone in the world to be available after, of course, the Galaxy Fold.

Recall that the Huawei Mate X was originally released in June, but had to undergo additional certifications before being ready for commercialization.

Wearable Tech Trends

Wearable Tech Trends 2019: Get a Detailed Insight on This

Wearable tech devices are getting very popular today due to the excellent features they provide to us. Whether it is the fitness smartwatch, smart ring or the wearables, all of them are in huge demand and the tech companies are improving the existing technology to make them better and feature-rich.

Today, we have brought you this post to make you aware of the Wearable Tech Trends 2019 in detail. So, let us move ahead and get a detailed overview of the trending wearable devices.

Smartwatches

Smartwatches are getting very popular and many people are getting these days as they are finding them a good alternative to the smartphone. If you are in a meeting and want to check the notifications without actually taking out the smartphone from your pocket then you can better connect a smartwatch via Bluetooth to your device and check out the notifications. As simple as that!

There are a number of good features that a smartwatch provides to you such as fitness tracking, blood pressure monitoring, pulse count and other health-related functionalities. You can receive a call, check out the messages and do a lot more things. 

If you are an athlete and preparing for your next competition, you can set the goal to run the distance you want to cover in a day. This will help you to improve your performance gradually. Similarly, if you are a swimmer, you can set the goal for that too. Thanks to the water-proof smartwatches for this!

Fitness freaks can set the goal for burning x amount of calories in a day. This will help to reduce the fat quickly and eventually reduce weight.

Nowadays, there is an inbuilt electrocardiogram in the smartwatches just to warn you if you are developing a heart complication. There are triggers set in the device which alerts your close family members and physician.

Some of the very popular smartwatch manufacturers are Fitbit, Huawei, Garmin, and Samsung. Improved battery life and SD card support are the new trends of these watches. There are several different models available in the market with different features. Don’t forget to check out the features of the smartwatch before you buy it.

In short, a smartwatch these days is not just meant for checking out the time but has a lot more to offer you. So, don’t wait, just get a smartwatch and be a part of the wearable trends.

Smart Rings

Another wearable trend in 2019 is the smart ring. This tiny device is getting a good response and many people are pre-ordering them. It is getting popular among Businessmen who attend meetings frequently and don’t want to take out their smartphone or don’t want to have a glaze at their smartwatch just to check the notifications. They can now check the notifications through these smart rings too.

Another cool usage of these smart rings will be done at the POS system when you pay the bills after shopping is done. You won’t need to take out your cards anymore, just do the payment via these rings and it’s done. Similarly, these rings can be used to access your car and other things.

Some of the rings that have got popular in 2019 are Blinq, NFC Opn, Mc Lear, Lycos Life and Oura. Most of the health-related activities that you can do with the smartwatch are also possible with the smart ring. You can keep track of the number of steps you cover, calories burnt and much more.

There is a panic button in the ring which you can activate when you find danger or have serious health issues which will ultimately contact your family members for an emergency. GPS enabled rings will let you track it even if you lose it so chill!

Fitness Trackers

Fitness trackers are widely used all over the world and the demand for them is increasing quickly as people are getting more and more health-conscious these days. Modern fitness trackers are improved to a great extent.

These trackers will keep track of your health even when you are sleeping. Whether it is the heart rate monitoring, pulse count monitoring, measuring the distance covered, or tracking the calories burnt, a fitness tracker is capable of doing all this stuff.

It will also send you missed call notifications and real-time texts when you are doing your exercise so that you don’t miss them. Polar OH1 and Suunto Spartan are the popular fitness trackers of 2019.

So, here was a detailed overview of the wearable tech trends 2019. We can say that this is just a beginning phase of wearable technologies and a lot more rapid transformation is yet to come. Till then, get a wearable tech device for yourself and make the most use of it.

 

Google Stadia aims to be “faster and more responsive” than PS5 and Xbox Scarlett

In an interview, Stadia’s vice president of engineering, Madj Bakar, stated the goal of Google Stadia: to be faster and more responsive than consoles in one to two years. For this, new anti-latency technologies will be used.

The situation is particularly complicated when Xbox Scarlett and PS5 come on the market, the latter being officially announced for the end of 2020. Interviewed by the renowned paper magazine Edge, picked up by PCGames N, Google Stadia’s vice president of technology Alex Wiltshire put forward a particular argument.

Google Stadia aims for a total absence of latency

In one or two years, the Xbox Scarlett and PS5 of this world will be available on the market. However, the engineer seems convinced that he can solve the important issue of latency, which is the most important point to convince on this type of service.

For this, Google relies on the power of its servers and its artificial intelligence, but also on the “Negative latency”. This barbarous term describes the idea that the server can act as a buffer between the player and his game, and predict its actions in order to counterbalance connection wanderings or quickly increase the refresh rate to fill the latency between the pressure and the game. display.

facebook portal

Facebook Is Releasing a TV Streaming Device

Facebook is launching a smart TV Streaming Device allowing users to stream a number of shows. It is also loaded with AR (Augmented Reality).

Here are the following things that will be included in the Facebook new streaming portal;

Android Integration

Facebook’s Oculus Go and Oculus Quest which is Android-based will be supported with this device.

Camera and Microscopes

It will include a camera for Video chat and Microscope to have big sight of the room.

Attached Speaker

Speakers will allow users to have seamless audio quality while watching videos and video chat.

A More Focused Content

You might be able to stream Netflix and Disney services on it.

Augmented Reality x Smart-TV

You can use AR while watching your TV shows, doubling up your excitement while watching a TV show.

The price, release date and support will be released soon as Facebook announces more details on it.

iPhone 11 series is officially launched with three cameras

Designedly, the iPhone 11 comes with a 6.1-inch Liquid Retina HD screen. The real difference is on the back of the phone.

The huge camera module and the logo moved to the middle became the business card that it was recognized at a glance.

In addition, iPhone 11 also offers 6 new colors of red, black, green, purple, yellow and white, of which green and purple are the new color matching this update.

The iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max continue the dual-camera route, with screen sizes of 5.8 inches and 6.5 inches, but upgraded to a Super Retina XDR (OLED) screen that saves 15% in power consumption, with a maximum display brightness of 1200 special.

According to Apple, the iPhone 11’s battery life will be one hour longer than the iPhone XR, making it the longest iPhone for Apple; the iPhone 11 Pro series is 4-5 hours longer than the iPhone XS series.

Realme Q

Oppo’s New RealMe Q will be waterproof

RealMe, a project of Oppo is working on Q series. As per the latest update, RealMe Q will be waterproof.

RealMe Q will have 48mp camera with Waterproof feature

Realme Q is loaded with a flagship Snapdragon processor.

This phone will be loaded with 20W VOOC fast charging feature. This is the limited information that was made available to Tech Wire Hub as of now. RealMe Q will release on September 5.

After months of waiting, its finally here – The Samsung Galaxy Fold is getting released!

After a long delay due to last moment discovery of embarrassing flaws, Samsung is now releasing its first fold-able phone. The launch of the Samsung Galaxy Fold is finally near and is just a few days away.

People began registering for the USD 2000 foldable smartphone recently in China. Samsung is to release the phone on September 6, 2019, which coincides with the opening day of the 2019 IFA consumer electronics trade show in Berlin.

What a day to launch the new phone!

When was the release date chosen?

Yonhap News Agency reports Samsung and other mobile operators are discussing the launch date to be September 6 in South Korea itself. Samsung will use the event to showcase the revised model at the 2019 IFA electronics fair in Berlin.

At the moment, it seems as Samsung is quite confident to bring the release period earlier than anticipated. Earlier reports indicated the phone’s launch to be later in September.

The initial shipment of the Samsung Galaxy Fold for South Korean consumers numbers between 20,000 to 30,000 units. Its price in South Korea will be 2.3 million equal per unit (equal to USD$ 1902). Samsung is expected to launch the folding smartphone in China & the United States in September 2019 but at later dates.

Any corrections made in the Galaxy Fold?

Samsung has revealed a few corrections it made to the Galaxy Fold, including:

  • tucking in the protective screen layer,
  • addition of further metal layers beneath the screen to reinforce it
  • reduction of space between the body & the hinge.

The corrections to the model were made after reviewers reported major issues with the review units of the Galaxy Fold, such as broken, bulging & flickering screens. The reviewers also peeled off the protective screen layer by mistake, assuming that it was a screen protector. But it later turned out to be a key component of the phone’s display.

This is what caused the phone’s launch to be delayed.

Brief overview of the price and features of the Galaxy Fold

The current handset of the Samsung Galaxy Fold is priced at USD$ 2,000, an amount most consumers are not willing to pay. Currently, it is not available to a larger segment of the population.

Samsung is planning to use an affordable design to reduce its price with an internal storage of just 256 GB. That is half of what the current Galaxy Fold offers (i.e. 512 GB).

Further specifications of the phone are:

  • A 7.3-inch primary flexible AMOLED display.
  • An operating system of Android 9.0 with one UI.
  • Uses a CPU of Snapdragon 855.
  • 12 GB RAM.
  • External display (which is closed) is 4.6 inches with HD+ display.
  • Main display is of 7.3 inches (QXGA +).
  • Rear Camera of 12 megapixel wide-angle (f1.5 to f/2.4), 12-megapixel telephoto (f/2.4) and 16 megapixel ultra-wide (f/2.2).
  • Closed front camera of 12 megapixel (f/2.2).
  • Open front camera of 10-megapixel selfie (f/2.2), with 8-megapixel RGB depth (f/1.9).
  • Fingerprint sensing power button.

It is currently available in the colors: Space Silver, Cosmos Black, Martian Green and Astro Blue.

Smartphones and other gadgets that are rivalling the Samsung Galaxy Fold

At the moment, Huawei’s Foldable smartphone Mate X was also scheduled to arrive in September. But, Huawei reported that it is unlikely to release any earlier than November. The only other competing gadget to the Samsung Galaxy fold is Apple’s foldable iPad.

Will Samsung capitalize on the smartphone market with the new & improved Galaxy Fold?

Samsung has fixed the problems in the hinge and in the screen with reinforcements & extra layers. It will hopefully survive thousands of folds it will endure without showing any signs of wear. It is confident that the Galaxy Fold will have a better life span as compared to the normal smartphone.

If the Galaxy Fold succeeds after the launch, then the phone will definitely be able to succeed and thrive in the market and win billions of hearts too.

Huawei Is Testing New Aurora OS As A Replacement for Android

Even after HarmonyOS, Huawei continues its search for alternatives to Android. As a test, the giant could sell 360,000 tablets under the Russian Aurora OS system to the Russian government.

Huawei, caught in an uncomfortable position internationally, has already developed HarmonyOS, a connected object operating system that could be used as a way out if the use of Android becomes too precarious.

“It’s a pilot project,” anonymous source told Reuters. We see it as the first step in launching the Russian OS on Huawei devices. ” The firm would like to sell tablets under Aurora OS to the Russian Ministry of Communications for the next census of 147 million Russians, as of this October. But we understand that it would be a way for Huawei to test life-size the implementation of Aurora OS on real devices.

Aurora OS was originally a Finnish operating system called Sailfish OS, based on Linux and dedicated to mobile devices. It was then dubbed by Moscow and the current owner of Aurora OS is none other than Rostelecom, the Russian public telecom operator. The latter happens to be the only entity entitled to purchase tablets for the census.

In total, the contract would provide for the purchase of 360,000 Huawei tablets under Aurora OS by August 2020. Nothing is yet final, as negotiations are currently underway.

Google Assistant remains much better than Apple Siri and Amazon Alexa

The Google system has achieved this year far better results than its competitors.

Correct answers in 93% of cases

Overall, the three assistants did well for comprehension, with 100% in terms of understanding for Google Assistant, 99.9% for Apple Siri and 99.8% for Amazon Alexa. Nevertheless, where Google Assistant does best, it is at the level of the results given. Thus, the Google system could provide a correct answer in 92.9% of cases, against 83.1% for Siri and 79.8% for Alexa.

In detail, Google is doing particularly well for navigation – with 98% of positive responses – and information – 96%. More surprisingly, Google Assistant does better than Alexa on queries related to e-commerce with 92% of completed queries against 71% on the Amazon wizard. Nevertheless, Google Assistant is overtaken by Siri in the interactions related to the orders of the smartphone, to send an SMS, to make a call or to access the calendar. Apple’s service was able to complete 93% of tasks compared to 86% for Google Assistant.

The results of this year’s study are consistent with last year’s results, where Google Assistant was already leading the way.

Sales of Xiaomi and Samsung Goes Up in Europe Beating iPhone

With nearly 45.1 million smartphones sold on the old continent in the second quarter of 2019, the sector seems to be afloat, especially with the rapid growth of Xiaomi and the dominance of Samsung. In contrast, Apple and Huawei are pale and fall sharply in Europe.

In the first place of the ranking, there is Samsung which recorded a good progression of + 20% compared to the second quarter of 2018. It will not be so much its Galaxy S10 which will seduce on the old continent but rather its mid-range, the Galaxy A. The South Korean company has distributed 3.2 million Galaxy A50 (the smartphone sold the most in Europe this quarter, all manufacturers combined), 2.2 million Galaxy A40 and 1.8 million Galaxy A20e. In all, it is nearly 18.3 million units sold, allowing Samsung to rise as the European leader with 40.4% market share.

As for Apple , which falls in third place, the firm records a heavy fall of -17% compared to last year, with a market share in Europe which sinks to 14.1% In all, the Californian manufacturer will have has sold 6.4 million iPhone, including 1.8 million iPhone XR, its best-selling model on the old continent.

Samsung Launches 108-megapixel Camera Sensor

Samsung has released a 108-megapixel sensor on its smartphone. More than ever. Samsung ISOCELL Bright HMX was established in cooperation with Xiaomi.

According to Samsung, it will be the first camera sensor that can surpass the 100 million pixel milestone of smartphones. It not only produces high-resolution and high-quality images but also captures 6016 x 3388 video at 30 fps.

With an efficient picture, it produces extraordinary images in intense lighting conditions. It will take a huge 1 /1.33-inch area. Compared to common camera sensors in smartphones, HMX consumes more light in dim light. Thanks to Tetracell technology, it will produce good photos of 27 million pixels.

Samsung and Xiaomi have not announced which mobile phone will be the first mobile phone to use this sensor. It is rumored that Xiaomi Mi Mix 4 will be the first person to use this camera sensor. It is expected to be used by the end of this year.

Stop Eaves-Dropping Alexa; How To Stop Alexa From Listening In To Your Conversations?

While we can’t imagine our lives without digital voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, recent reports have raised concern that these household staples are not just unquestioning minions, ready to serve, they are listening more often than people realize. I mean after all, how else would they respond to the “Alexa” wake word in a heartbeat? This has got people asking how to stop Alexa from listening in on their conversations.

Not only content with eavesdropping, they are also recording snippets of conversations which may be reviewed by humans in order to gauge how well the systems fulfill commands. According to Bloomberg,

“The recordings are transcribed, annotated and then fed back into the software as part of an effort to eliminate gaps in Alexa’s understanding of human speech and help it better respond to commands.”

After the startling revelation, people are frenzied over their privacy and left to wonder how much they have given away to strangers. Let’s face it, advertisers already know our weaknesses and desires; how far until what we desire walks right up to our doorstep in a jiffy?

Wondering how to stop Alexa from listening into your conversations? Here are a few ways to take back control and make sure no-one in your household really listens to you; especially not workers at Amazon! Here’s how:

How to Stop Alexa from Listening?

Use The Mute Button

For people who think that the “mute” button on the Amazon Echo devices exists to lull us into a false sense of security, it’s not all that bad. If you still have doubts, the teardowns of the Amazon Echo Dot show reveal that no voltage passes through the mic circuitry when in the mute mode. This mute mode is legit to be sure. While Mics may not need batteries to work, they can at least not record when shut out of the rest of the Echo. If you don’t know where the mute button is, look for a circle with a line through it or a micro-phone icon.

When you are not actively using your Echo device, its prudent to keep it on mute. But there’s a catch to it: what use is Alexa if it can’t take impromptu across-the-room commands. Nevertheless, it keeps those hush-hush conversations privy. When on mute, a red line appears on the Show series screens or the LED ring shines red, so that you can be sure that Alexa is behaving.

Switch The Camera Slider

If you are using Amazon Echo devices with a screen, such as the Echo Show 5 or Echo Show smart displays, why not use a camera slider to obstruct the camera view with a layer of opaque plastic. You can still utter commands to Alexa but block the camera that enables voice chat through services like Skype, since it leaves a lot of users uncomfortable knowing that the camera (and in turn, an amused Amazon employee) could be spying on them.

Switch off the Drop-in feature

One of the most controversial features of the Amazon series is that it affords your household and your contacts the ability to just “Drop In” and start a conversation via two Echo devices, much like a phone call. This makes your Amazon devices act like a video and audio intercom. Someone in front of the Echo device in the living room can get through to someone in front of the show in the upstairs bedroom. Some experts have suggested that a connection, for instant a fellow Echo owner you have in your contact list, could listen in on your home conversations.

Here’s where the problem starts. You don’t necessarily need a phone call to connect the two devices when they can communicate with each other automatically. It’s not so much as Amazon workers listening into your conversations as your 7-year-old spying on you. To disable this feature, fire up the Alexa app on your phone, go to Settings>Device Settings. Tap on any device and tap Communication. Turn the toggle to off for Drop in.

Tweak Your Privacy Settings

“We take customer privacy seriously and continuously review our practices and procedures,” the Amazon spokeswoman wrote in an email Friday. “We’ll also be updating information we provide to customers to make our practices more clear.”

In the wake of the recent backlash about Amazon employees listening in to your Amazon interactions and requests to improve Amazon’s transcription and test out new features, Amazon is changing its settings in a new policy which took effect last Friday, so people can opt out of having their voice recordings reviewed by Amazon employees.

  • Fire up the Alexa App and tap the menu button
  • Go to settings and select “Alexa Account”, scroll to the bottom and tap on “Alexa Privacy.”
  • Under the blue banner that appears, scroll down to “Manage How Your Data Improves Alexa”.
  • Notice how the first three items have been set to ‘on’ by default. Toggle these (especially the ‘Use Messages to Improve Transcriptions’ and ‘Help Develop New Features’) to the OFF position.
  • Ignore the warning that says that “new features” may not work properly if you proceed to make your recorded commands slightly less accessible to Amazon.

Prune Your Call History

As a last resort, you can log into your history and wipe out all the conversations you had with Alexa, logged on your Echo. While it definitely doesn’t stop Alexa from listening to you or recording your conversations, it removes all previous records it had of doing so. To do so, go to Settings > Alexa Privacy > Review Voice History. You will be presented with a list of your most recent Echo interactions. Scroll to the Date Range box and select ‘All History’, then tap on the Delete All Recordings for All History link. This gets rids of every Amazon record on file. However, this may wreak havoc on the performance of Echo, or so the disclaimer says.

Amazon also allows deletion by voice, which lets you delete recordings simply by saying “Alexa, delete everything I said today,” or “Alexa, delete what I just said”.

apple arcade

Apple Launches Subscription Video Game Service: Apple Arcade

Apple’s video game service will be released this fall, but the price has not been released.

Apple is launching a video game subscription service on March 25. 100 exclusive games will be available at the launch of Apple Arcade. The games will be accessible offline and the player will be able to resume his game where he left it on any device under macOS, iOS or tvOS.

Apple Arcade will be available next fall in 150 countries, including France. The price is unknown.

Could Fitness Tracking Apps and Devices Be Leading to Disordered Eating? Research Says so…

As a fitness aficionado, I set quite a score by my fitness watch. It tracked my burned calories, my steps, my heartrate, and my workouts. It permitted me to run marathons without having to lug my phone along to keep tabs on my pace and see how many miles I had run. It perked me up with motivators when I hit my move goal. It told me to get up after I had given in to lethargy and been idle for more than an hour at a time.

Similarly, I had literally been tapping in [to MyFitnessPal] every day for years. It seems innocuous when you are just starting out, but I can definitely say I got addicted. Every morsel that went into my body also had to be logged into my diary. I would fret over numbers since my Keto diet demanded macro management, I would find myself weighing something as insignificant as a lettuce leaf, I would worry if something I ate sent me over, I would feel wrecked with guilt if I fell behind my calorie goals for the day. Soon I started picking foods that I could input into MyFitnessPal, instead of eating home-cooked meals. Even when I had a binge, a total, utter of control (perhaps nothing more than a full scoop of ice cream), I logged it as best I could… it fueled my warped illusion of control – however, in reality, it was controlling me.

I felt I had to look, eat, train a certain way, since people were watching. I wanted to have a six-pack, be the strongest, leanest, the quickest. I worked hard and did get good at all of those things but as a consequence, I inadvertently fell victim to eating disorders. Within a few months, I was starting to burn more calories than I had eaten. Wrapped up in the complicated brain chemistry of motivation and reward, I would boast with pride when my calorie counter would go negative, or whenever I received a congratulatory message from some app!

In addition to counting calories, I was counting my steps as well, which further aggravated the compulsion to do a minimum number of steps and walk a certain distance each day. If I ever did more one day, it would become my new minimum the following time. Over time, I started getting so distressed because I never had time to do things as I had to get my steps in.

I tapped my progress obsessively – so obsessively, in fact, that my body was trimming off more than was needed. A couple of months down the lane, I started suffering from Panic attacks, mental and physical exhaustion, kidney problems, and migraines. After being hospitalized for days, diagnosed with “Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder”, and months of therapy, it dawned on me; What was I doing to my body?

The Link Between Disordered Eating And Fitness Tracking

Image result for my fitness pal

While apps like MyFitnessPal and fitness tracking devices can come in quite handy for some people, obsessing over calories burned and logging every morsel is nevertheless unhealthy. In fact, Heather Hausenblas, Ph.D., a professor in the department of kinesiology at Jacksonville University in Florida, highlights the importance of raising awareness about the role of fitness and calorie-counting apps in exercise addiction and eating disorders.

“For the most part, these apps do good,” says Hausenblas. “But for certain individuals, the constant checking and the obsession about it becomes really negative. With people who are on the cusp of disordered behaviors, it can push them over the edge.”

A 2017 study analyzing 493 college-age students found (via tracking devices and fitness apps) and disordered eating attitudes. Participants were entailed to note their calorie counts or fitness levels using tracking devices. “Individuals who reported using calorie trackers manifested higher levels of eating concern… Additionally, fitness tracking was uniquely associated with ED symptomatology,” researchers found, concluding that “for some individuals, these devices might do more harm than good.”

A Perverse Game Of Arithmetic

The number of connected wearable devices worldwide, of which health-focused wearables hold a significant portion, just pushed the 74 million threshold in 2019, and is projected to soar up to more than 1 billion by 2022. Even devices that are not inherently famous for their health-focus, such as the Apple or Samsung watch, have in-built exercise tracking, calories burn, and step count. This means that you don’t even have to invest in a wearable or smartwatch to track your fitness regime; data about your body comes at you unsolicited.

Dr Carolyn Plateau, a lecturer in psychology at Loughborough University, has deeply scrutinized the effect of health-focused apps and fitness trackers on regular users. Her most recent study explores the differences in mental wellbeing, disordered exercise, and disordered eating between people who record food intake and calories via these mechanisms and those who don’t. Here’s what she has to say,

“Our findings were interesting as they indicated that those who did track their activity or food intake showed higher levels of both disordered eating and exercise than those who did not. In particular, higher levels of purging behavior (e.g. excessive or driven exercise to control or modify weight or shape) was found among the tracking group.” 

Another psychotherapist specializing in eating disorders, Amanda Perl, backs up this study. According to Amanda, excessive exercising, strict dieting, and Calorie counting are synonymous with disordered eating, and fitness trackers and apps can exacerbate these symptoms in people who have had a history of eating disorders, or those too fixated on these things. Even worse, this obsession with goal setting and health-focused metrics throws balance to the winds, since trackers can aggravate feelings of self-loathing, failure, body shaming, and feeling out of control.

You may not instantly fall prey to disordered eating behaviors, but you may start setting impossibly high standards for yourself. By promoting an image of perfectionism, these apps take the reigns over your life and push you into an abysmal illusion that leaves you vulnerable to depression.

 These apps play on people’s desperation to control what goes into their body and the effect it has. At first it can be almost therapeutic to log what you’ve eaten, but it becomes a perverse game of arithmetic that drowns you in numbers. Constant monitoring of food intake and physical activity inadvertently triggers the symptoms of disordered eating and fuels our already prevalent obsessive and highly self-critical perfectionistic tendencies.

Not to mention, Competition and comparison adds to the stigma about eating disorders being attention-seeking. Many individuals with eating disorders take to constantly comparing their weight, but now with social media and technology, time is irrelevant, and the comparison group is global.

Psychologist and eating disorder specialist Dr. Stacey Rosenfeld says that,

“Sufferers can compare their food intake against someone’s from another country who posted the data three months prior. The comparisons are infinite. So, if someone is trying to restrict their intake but didn’t do as ‘good’ a job as someone that posted their intake prior, this might fuel distress, resulting in increased restriction in order to alleviate the distress around the perceived failure.”

Xiaomi Redmi Launching World's First Gaming Phone

Xiaomi Redmi Launching World’s First Gaming Phone

Mediatek yesterday launched a game chipset called the Helio G90 and Helio G90T. Later, Redmi’s brand director Lu Weibing confirmed on Weibo that it will launch a game phone equipped with Helio G90T, which will be launched globally.

No information about the device was disclosed. But we hope that it will be available soon, and we will soon get reliable information about our phones. However, by observing the recently announced chipset, we can say that the handset will have two high-performance CPU clusters of Cortex-A76 units and six Cortex-A55 cores. In addition, the two clusters will be coupled via the Mali-G76 GPU. However, the entire system is built on the 12nm FinFET process. The system’s total clock speed is up to 2.05 GHz. In addition, the G90T will support up to 10 GB of RAM.

Since it is obvious that these chips are used in gaming phones, Redmi will also launch a gaming phone. There are other sub-brand game phones including Black shark, Nubia. However, it seems that the company is working hard to beat game companies like ROG Phone II and nubia Red Magic 3.

Smart Home Gadgets for 2019

Turn your Condo into a Smart Home in 2019 with These Gadgets

We all loved to watch Tony Stark uttering commands to the winds, turning this on with a glance, that off with the swash of his hand. You could be the master of everything in your condo as well. Tech giants have bombarded us with gadgets that will supposedly make our lives better and easier, and smart condos have been increasingly emerging into the everyday. If you have been looking for a Toronto Condo for sale, here are a few gadgets you could invest in to truly enjoy “smart living”!

Nest learning thermostat

Nest learning thermostat

While we have been seeing a lot of saturation in the smart thermostat market, one that tops our list is the Nest smart thermostat. While it packs all the features of the original Nest, but with a less vivid display and cheaper parts which makes it more pocket friendly for condo owners. Not to mention, it works flawlessly with other Nest devices, such as the Nest security cameras and the Nest Protect, in addition to smart home gadgets from other brands as well. Here’s where it outshines competitors: The AI enabled thermostat learns about your activities as well as the heating schedules of your family, keeping your home at just the perfect temperature, while saving up on electricity bills. Undoubtedly one of the best smart home devices of 2019 for small condos.

Smart Air Quality Monitor

Smart Air Quality Monitor

Do you wish to have high quality air circulating throughout your condo, especially if you live in a bustling neighborhood? The Awair Glow works by tracking the key factors of your air quality, such as Chemicals, temperature, humidity, and CO2, and has a built-in night light. Based on the results, it takes smart actions to improve the air quality, such as turn on the humidifier when the humidity levels in a room fall low.

June Oven

June Oven

Want to cook like a gourmet chef? Who could have thought that one day we would have an oven that knows how to cook your food for you! Here comes the June Oven: a smart countertop oven with a built-in camera. The oven is equipped with programs for cooking a variety of specific foods, and its in-built camera identifies most of the foods you place in the oven. The oven automatically alters the time and temperature to perfectly cook whatever you place inside. The June Food Thermometer monitors and sends precise readings back to the oven to automatically change temperature, switch cook modes, and notify you when your food is ready. Its compact size makes it perfect for even a small condo kitchen.

iRobot Braava Jet 240

iRobot Braava Jet 240

Meet the Braava Jet 240; a tiny robot that mops and sweeps floors better than any sweeper, down to that last spot. It’s also the most affordable option in iRobot’s lineup. Specially meant for small spaces like micro condo kitchens and bathrooms, it works by spraying water and then switching between a plethora of different pads to clean quietly and effectively. It has an in-built navigation system and offers damp mopping as well. While it cannot scrub deep-set stains, if you are looking for a robot to keep your condo looking neat and clean round the clock, this compact little cleaner is your best bet.

LG’s Self-cleaning Closet

LG's Self-cleaning Closet

Do laundry days leave you dismal? Want a smart cabinet that can “refresh” your crumpled laundry for you? Sounds too good to be true. No, the elves don’t sneak in and do the deed! We have the LG self-cleaning closet; a freestanding wardrobe with in-built hangers and a steamer that automatically move around to de-wrinkle your clothes. The closet gizmo doesn’t exactly wash your dirty laundry, its TrueSteam technology “eliminates over 99.9 percent of the germs and bacteria found in clothing to keep one’s wardrobe hygienically clean,” according to the official website. Hot air is pumped through to keep all your clothes wrinkle-free and dry, while moving hangers shake off offensive odor. This translates into much less laundry days since you can reuse worn clothes more than once.

Nest Hello

Nest Hello

While its fun and all to reminisce the good old days when our doorbells would play merry tune, 2019 gives us a doorbell packed with a160-degree-wide-angle camera and an inbuilt microphone to double as a security system. Nest Hello’s video doorbell is a Wi-Fi connected device that offers two-way speaker communication, facial recognition, and round the clock streaming of high-quality footage. Knock Knock…Who’s there? Just kidding, we already know!

Ikea Smart Blinds

Ikea Smart Blinds

Do you sometimes wish that the blinds would automatically close when the sun shines through? Or perhaps open themselves when you need some natural light to seep in. Meet Ikea’s voice-activated, smartphone-connected blinds, compatible with Google home, Alexa, and Siri, as well as Ikea’s own Tradfri smart home system. Set to be released in October, their affordable price has made them perfect to be installed in your condos.

The Pod smart bed

 The Pod smart bed

The smart sleep specialists 8 Sleep has come up with a new innovation to give you the best chance of a good night snooze! The Pod learns the temperature that makes you the most comfortable when you sleep and adjusts itself accordingly. It can also wake you up by gradually raising the temperature of the bed, bidding adieu to the shrill ringing of alarm clocks. For a $5 monthly subscription, you can get a connected app to collect data from sensors embedded in the mattress while you sleep and analyze it to better adapt to your preferences. Thankfully, Alexa compatibility makes everything controllable by voice.

iKuddle smart cat litter tray

iKuddle smart cat litter tray

Keeping pets in a compact space can get… well smelly. While its release date is not yet confirmed, this Kickstarter project has got a lot of condo owners hooked. The idea of a sensor-activated, self-cleaning litter tray could make it a whole lot easier to keep pets in your condo. The device detects when your cat enters the tray, a hand scoops up the soiled litter, seals it in an airtight bag, and sprays deodorant to get rid of lingering odors.

Eco Dish Cleaner

Eco Dish Cleaner

The Eco cleaner cleanses dishes with the help of ultrasonic waves by ionizing the food particles. For those aspiring to reduce their carbon footprint, this eco-friendly technology converts all food scraps into compost for plants. All your food waste is transformed into healthy soil for your plants. The compact and portable gadget will fit in even the smallest condo kitchen and will revolutionize the family’s dining ritual. What further makes it sustainable for urban lifestyle is that this gadget uses solar technology for charging the battery.

Orro intelligent light switch

Orro intelligent light switch

There are lot of wifi-enabled lighting systems available online these days, Orro’s is the first of its kind that leverages in-built self-learning technology to get to grips with how you like to light your home and anticipate your mood lighting needs in advance. It understands your lighting preferences and senses when someone enters or leaves a room. Not to mention, it considers the amount of natural light entering the room and the time of the day before making lighting decisions. It also connects to smart hubs and acts as an extension to their voice recognition capabilities.