News

Amazon makes a grand announcement of new Alexa-enabled Echo devices

A smart home has to have these

Published

on

Amazon continues to make a mark in the smart home market with their announcement of new Alexa-enabled Echo devices. The company released a slew of devices, but let’s know more about the key Echo products that have new upgrades.

Amazon Echo Dot

The new Echo Dot gets redesigned to look stylish and more modern. The plasticky design of the previous model is a thing of the past; the new model now has a fabric design that comes in three colors. The new model also claims to sound louder and better, but it’s still priced at US$ 50.

Amazon Echo Plus

The new Echo Plus has similar upgrades with its new fabric design. It comes with an upgraded 3-inch speaker for stronger bass and clearer mids and highs. Like the Dot, the new model is still priced like its predecessor which is at US$ 150.

Amazon Echo Show

The gigantic Echo Show has been redesigned, as well. It features a new body with a large 10-inch HD display. Of course, the new display comes with a better sound system composed of two 2-inch drivers with a passive radiator and Dolby audio processing.

It also comes with a new 5-megapixel front-facing camera for HD video calls. Alexa will soon support Skype audio and video calls, so you will be able to use Skype straight from your Echo Show. Additionally, it now has a built-in web browser. Pricing remains at US$ 230 like with the previous model.

Amazon Echo Auto

The Echo Auto is probably the most intriguing of the bunch. It’s a US$ 25 accessory (the cheapest Echo, yet) designed to let you access Alexa even while in your car. It powers itself from your car’s power outlet or a USB port and connects to the Internet via Bluetooth through your phone.

Using the Alexa app on your phone, it can play music or give you turn-by-turn navigation. You can also ask it pretty much anything you’d ask with other Echo devices.

The new Echo Dot, Echo Plus, and Echo Show are already up for pre-order and will go on sale starting October 11. The Echo Auto is also up for pre-order, but by request only.

News

Samsung teases its foldable smartphone’s launch date

It’s coming soon!

Published

on

After every smartphone launch this year, 2018 has shaped up as the year of the notch. However, for all the controversies, the notch is only a transitionary period between traditional slab phones and the truly bezel-less phone.

To some, the future consists of pop-up cameras and integrated screens. To Samsung, it’s all about the foldable smartphone. Despite other conflicting rumors, Samsung’s (and hopefully, the world’s first) foldable phone is the brand’s most substantive plan to date.

Rumored for months, the plan ran through the entire gamut of patents, leaks, and speculations. From recent news, the company has confirmed the eventual foldable smartphone. According to reports, the phone will launch sometime next year.

However, a recent tweet narrows this timeframe even further. Straight from the horse’s mouth, Samsung has announced its next event on Twitter.

Subtitled “Where Now Meets Next,” the upcoming Samsung Developer Conference 2018 will open from November 7 to 8 this year. Right now, the event’s website advertises developments in Bixby, gaming, and augmented reality technologies. Additionally, Samsung President and CEO DJ Koh will head the program’s keynote presentation.

However, the teaser video includes a curious icon — a single guillemet unfolding into a straight line. Put more plainly, the symbol resembles the potential unfolding motion of a foldable smartphone.

Across the ages, Samsung has always imbued its symbols with design-centric meaning. The symbol’s inclusion is far from mere coincidence. In fact, the conference is the perfect venue for the technology’s debut. In the past, Samsung has used the event to promote the company’s more technical advancements.

Besides that, an announcement at this event coincides with a probable launch next year. Based on another report, the phone will launch shortly after the Galaxy S10 series. If the technology makes an appearance in November, the actual phone can debut around MWC Barcelona next year.

SEE ALSO: Samsung patents the world’s first all-screen fingerprint sensor

Continue Reading

India

Xiaomi has managed to widen its lead over Samsung in India

44 million total smartphones were sold in a quarter

Published

on

Xiaomi is a fairly new brand in India but has managed to create unprecedented hype in the market. While Samsung has been around for more than a decade, the newcomer has created an unchallenged segment for itself. This year we witnessed Xiaomi taking the lead in terms of market share, and according to the most recent research report, the gap between the two has increased.

Going by Counterpoint Research’s Q3 2018 report, Xiaomi now has a 27 percent market share in India, a rise of five percent year over year. Samsung remains unmoved at 23 percent, followed by Vivo. Although, this quarter, the most interesting point to note is Micromax’s comeback in the top five club.

The Indian brand now has nine percent market share, three percent up from last year. The report emphasizes a recent contract the company won from the Chattisgarh state government. In partnership with telecom operator Jio, Micromax has supplied five million smartphones to the women and students in the state.

Another interesting takeaway is that buyers are now purchasing more expensive phones on an average with the US$ 150 to 250 (INR 11,000 to 18,000) segment accounting for a third of the volumes in the quarter. At the same time, the premium segment (US$ 400+) continues to be minuscule with just a three percent contribution in terms of volume.

In the premium segment, OnePlus has a foothold of 30 percent, followed by Samsung at 28 percent and Apple at 25 percent. Unfortunately, Huawei, OPPO, and Vivo are yet to make a dent in this division.

For Xiaomi, the recently announced Redmi 6 series and the POCO F1 have been successful in driving sales in both online as well as offline channels. Samsung continues to rely on its evergreen J-series smartphones along with the Android Go-powered J2 Core. Vivo’s V-series has been a hit as well and OPPO has been piggybacking on Realme sales.

Continue Reading

Gaming

Xiaomi Black Shark Helo is first smartphone with 10GB RAM

Out to compete against the Razer Phone 2 and ROG Phone

Published

on

Just six months after the release of the original Black Shark, we now have a successor in the Black Shark Helo.

Even though it forgoes a version number, it feels more incremental than substantial in upgrades. It has all the specs of a 2018 flagship — 6-inch 1080p screen, Snapdragon 845 chipset, and 4000mAh battery — but most are also found in its predecessor.

Same goes for the camera sensors, which are 20 and 12 megapixels for the rear cameras, plus 20 megapixels for the front. But that’s where most of the similarities end.

The most notable improvement is in the memory capacity; it now goes up to 10GB of RAM, which is a first for any smartphone currently available. This configuration comes with 256GB of storage.

Other upgrades are the use of an AMOLED panel instead of LCD (still only 60Hz, though), improved stereo speakers in front, and additional LED lights on the edges. An aluminum frame sandwiched by glass panels reinforce the more premium feel.

Of course, the gaming features are what make this phone what it is. There’s a dedicated button on the side to activate Shark Space, which diminishes background activity to boost performance while playing games. In addition, the liquid-cooling system is back.

Another pleasant inclusion is the attachable controller in the box — two if you get the most expensive package. It provides better control during gameplay and is sure to give you a leg up in competitive play.

The pricing starts at CNY 3,199 (US$ 460) for the 6GB+128GB model, CNY 3,499 (US$ 505) for 8GB+128GB, and CNY 4,199 (US$ 605) for the top-end 10GB+256GB variant.

Availability is currently limited to the Chinese market.

Continue Reading

Trending