This year’s Google I/O has just concluded and there are a number of announcements and demos that people of the modern world should know about. If you haven’t watched the keynote, here’s a brief summary of what happened earlier.
Indeed, the most important announcement at Google I/O 2018 was the official introduction of Android P beta. Version 9.0 of Google’s mobile operating system doesn’t have a dessert name yet, so we’re still waiting for that.
Android P looks a lot cleaner now compared to its earlier developer preview release. The beta is now available to a number of Android OEMs (not only Pixel phones) and introduces us to navigational gestures. The traditional three navigation buttons are now replaced by iPhone X-like swipes to work well with borderless phones. You can also track how you’re spending time with your phone through the new Dashboard.
Six new Google Assistant voices
Google Assistant won’t just sound more natural, but it’ll also sound different soon. Users will get to choose from six additional voices in the upcoming update. The original Assistant voice “Holly” will soon have friends, and that includes celebrity John Legend.
One of the impressive demos from the keynote was the recording of Google Assistant calling a hair salon. Google Assistant made an appointment through a voice call and the lady from the other line didn’t even notice that she’s talking to a computer. The conversation sounded just like two humans talking to each other with no hint of a robotic voice.
Check out the demo here.
A smarter Gmail that finishes your drafts
The Smart Reply feature is pretty helpful in suggesting quick responses and now Gmail can also help you draft emails from scratch. Well, it’s not like Gmail will do the work for you (but I think we’re getting there), but the new feature will make suggestions for completing sentences as you’re typing. This feature is coming very soon to all Gmail users.
Google Maps becomes more social
We don’t just open Google Maps to ask for directions, we also use it to find related info around us. Maps is starting to shape up like Yelp and Foursquare with its new dedicated tab for following what’s trending in your area and planning where to eat next.
In addition, augmented reality is coming to Maps. If 2D directions aren’t helping you find your way around, AR will now help you with turn-by-turn directions with the use of AI and Street View data.
AI now curates Google News
Google News is the latest platform to be managed by AI. Using artificial intelligence, Google News can now analyze all the content published to the web at any moment. It’ll be able to spot the ones you might be interested in and puts them right at your fingertips. It’ll also deliver other related news for further reading.
New features on Google Photos
Google Photos has become more powerful. It doesn’t only conveniently back up your photos to the cloud, it can now also edit them to separate subjects from the background. It’s much like how the Pixel 2 phones can shoot portrait photos without the use of a secondary camera thanks to the help of machine learning. Plus, it’ll be able to colorize your old photos, even if they’re shot in monochrome.
Improved Google Lens
The copy-paste feature on computers is revolutionary. It’s really convenient (sometimes too convenient) to simply copy what’s already written and paste it where you need it to be. This feature is not exclusive to copying digital texts anymore because Google Lens can now copy an actual written text and paste it into a text field on your smartphone.
Shopping is also getting an upgrade through Google Lens with the introduction of “style match” which scans what the camera sees and helps you buy it from online stores.
realme 9i Hands-On
Solid as usual
The realme 9i is the “little brother” in the realme 9 series. And while it doesn’t pack the same punch as its pro siblings – the realme 9 Pro and realme 9 pro+ – there’s enough here for anyone who just needs a reliable daily smartphone.
Here’s a quick look at the specs before we dive in deeper:
- 6.6-inch IPS LCD display with 90Hz refresh rate
- Qualcomm SM6225 Snapdragon 680 4G processor
- 6GB RAM with Dynamic RAM expansion feature up to 5GB
- 128GB Internal Storage
- 5,000mAh battery
- 33W Dart Charge tech
- 50MP main camera
- 2MP macro lens
- 2MP depth lens
- 16MP selfie shooter
Here are some samples for your appreciation.
Neat, simple, and elegant
The realme 9i is pretty understated in the looks department. The variant we got comes in blue and depending on how the light hits, you’ll see some lines to accentuate its back.
As for button and port placements, at the bottom you’ll find the usuas: speaker grille, USB-C port, and 3.5mm jack.
On the right side is the power button/fingerprint scanner.
And on the left hand side are the two, tiny volume buttons.
Overall, the realme 9i looks neat. Simple yet elegant. The camera stands out, obviously. But you can say that for most phones these days. It’s light for its size and appearance. It’s already easy to hold as is, but it’s even easier if you’re the phone-case-and-pop-up socket type of person.
Switching from one app to the other, or going back to the home screen for that matter is seamless and fast. There’s no trouble opening or loading apps so far.
The apps load from where I last left it, provided I haven’t closed all apps, cleared RAM, or optimized phone usage.
Media consumption and gaming
We enjoyed more than our fair share of watching sports highlights on the realme 9i. It pays to have a great-performing phone to not miss any action. We didn’t have any problems watching on YouTube at the highest resolution settings and at 60 fps.
Same is true for other types of content. The viewing experience was likewise seamless.
The speaker is really loud and complements the video. You don’t have to put it on max volume although it’s still of the best quality when put to max. It doesn’t break.
Playing Mobile Legends with friends and relatives on this phone is perfect even if it’s “only” a mid-level phone. The game’s graphics settings were set on default when opening from the phone. I tinkered it to HD mode with a high refresh rate and “Ultra” graphics, and it didn’t have problems throughout the game like lagging when I played.
On full standby in power saving mode without having to connect it to Wi-Fi or turn on mobile data, the phone consumes just about 5 to 10 percent of its battery power in one whole day.
When charging, it takes less than an hour to charge from 30 percent to full with its 33W fast charging.
Solid as usual
The “i” variants in realme’s numbered series phones have consistently been steady performers and the realme 9i is no different. It’s not gonna wow you with raw specs, but the overall package and performance makes it worthwhile.
The realme 9i retails for PhP 11,990. Buy it here.
vivo X80 Pro Unboxing and Review
vivo’s best smartphone just got even better!
The vivo X70 Pro+ was launched just several months ago. However, we’re already having a follow-up!
Namely the X80 and X80 Pro — with the latter being vivo’s latest flagship smartphone.
But what makes it different from its predecessor? And what makes the successor a lot more exciting?
Watch our vivo X80 Pro Unboxing and Review now to find out more!
Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro Unboxing and First Impressions
Premium, smart timepiece
Huawei has been giving us the best choices for stylish timepieces to help us reach our health and fitness goals. And they’re taking the stage again with their new flagship smartwatch — the Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro.
Now let’s take a closer look at this device and check what Huawei has in store for us this time.
The GT 3 Pro comes in this sleek black box with the name of the device in gold. Through the box, we also get to know that it is powered by HarmonyOS.
Lifting the cover, you’re immediately greeted by the GT 3 Pro Titanium Edition looking classy beside a gold Huawei logo.
Pulling the tab on the right, you’ll see a smaller enclosure. Opening it up, you’ll see some paperwork, a USB-C cable and a wireless charging cradle.
Now here’s the GT 3 Pro taken out of the box. Looks premium, doesn’t it?
By examining the watch strap, you can easily tell that it’s made of genuine high-quality leather.
The Huawei branding is not seen on the strap. It’s instead engraved on the buckle.
Also unlike the previous GT 2 Pro that has the usual double crown design, the GT 3 Pro has a watch crown and a button.
The rotating crown serves as its power button and scroll and zoom wheel. Rotating it feels smooth without much resistance. But it does have haptic feedback, mimicking a mechanical feel.
Powering it up, you’re notified to get the Huawei Health app and pair it with your phone.
Once paired, you can tinker with the settings and apply customizations based on your preference and liking.
What I immediately liked with the GT 3 Pro is how classy it looks. And despite it being a big smartwatch compared to what I usually use, it feels light on my wrist.
I also can’t help but admire how clean and clear it looks with its 1.43-inch AMOLED display and sapphire glass lens.
Its body, on the other hand, is made of titanium and it has a ceramic back case to complete the premium package.
Using it for a few days, it looks like this timepiece will definitely level up my expectations for smartwatches. But I have yet to fully explore and experience everything about the GT 3 Pro that I’ll share on my hands-on review so don’t forget to also check that out.
Pricing and availability
The Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro retails for PhP 16,999 and is available in Titanium and Ceramic Edition.
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