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Apple Watch Series 6 launches with Blood Oxygen Sensor

And a few other improvements

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If you ask most tech reviewers, the Apple Watch is the consensus best smartwatch right now. Such a distinction doesn’t stop the company from making it even better with the Apple Watch Series 6.

Blood Oxygen

New to the Apple Watch Series 6 is the addition of blood oxygen or SpO2 sensor. It’s a feature that’s been a staple into some smart bands and other smartwatches since 2019. It also plays a key part in our battle against COVID-19. Doctors say you should be concerned if SpO2 levels drop below 92-93 percent. 

The Blood Oxygen sensor employs four clusters of green, red, and infrared LEDs. This compensates for natural variations in the skin and improve accuracy This is also aided by four photodiodes on the back crystal of Apple Watch, to measure light reflected back from blood.

Apple Watch then uses an advanced custom algorithm built into the Blood Oxygen app, which is designed to measure blood oxygen between 70 percent and 100 percent. On-demand measurements can be taken while the user is still, and periodic background measurements occur when they are inactive, including during sleep.

All data will be visible in the Health app, and the user will be able to track trends over time to see how their blood oxygen level changes.

Most importantly, Apple will work closely with investigators at the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research and the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre at the University Health Network. It is one of the largest health research organizations in North America. This will help the company better understand how blood oxygen measurements and other Apple Watch metrics can help with management of heart failure.

Improved performance

The Apple Watch Series 6 is running a dual-core processor based on the A13 Bionic chip. This means it’ll run 20% faster than the previous generation while maintaining the same promise of an 18-hour battery life.

It also has the U1 chip and Ultra Wideband antennas for short-range wireless location. This supports features like next-generation digital car keys. Other improvements include faster charging and longer battery life for tracking certain workouts like indoor and outdoor runs.

The Always-On Retina display is now 2.5 times brighter than the Series 5 outdoors. Users can now also access Notification Center and Control Center with their wrists down.

There’s also a n always-on altimeter. It allows for detection of small elevation changes above ground level, up and down to the measurement of one foot, and can be shown as a new watch face complication or workout metric.

Apple Watch Collection

Of course, it’s not Apple Watch without new colors, designs, and straps to choose from.

For the first time, a new blue color joins the silver, space gray, and gold aluminum case options, along with a (PRODUCT)RED Apple Watch with exclusive matching bright red bands.

Stainless steel models are now available in graphite — a rich gray-black hue with a striking high-shine finish — and an updated classic yellow gold color. Apple Watch Edition is available in natural and space black titanium.

There are also three new band styles: Solo Loop, Braided Solo Loop, and Leather Link wraps.

watchOS 7

The new hardware will be accompanied by watchOS 7. There are new watch face options, new health and fitness features, sleep tracking, automatic hand washing detection, and new workout types.

Also new is Family Setup. It extends Apple Watch to the entire family by allowing kids and older family members of the household who do not have an iPhone to benefit from all it has to offer.

Pricing and availability

  • Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS) starts at $399 and Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS + Cellular) starts at $499.
  • Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS) is available to order today from apple.com and in the Apple Store app, with availability beginning Friday, September 18, in the US, Puerto Rico, and 27 other countries and regions.
  • Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS + Cellular) is available to order today from apple.com and in the Apple Store app, with availability beginning Friday, September 18, in the US, Puerto Rico, and 21 other countries and regions.
  • Apple Watch Nike is available to order today from apple.com and in the Apple Store app, with availability beginning Friday, September 18, in the US, Puerto Rico, and more than 27 other countries and regions. For more information, visit apple.com/apple-watch-nike or nike.com/applewatch.
  • New Apple Watch bands are available to order today from apple.com and in the Apple Store app, with availability beginning Friday, September 18. Solo Loop and Braided Solo Loop in (PRODUCT)RED will be available in late October. Solo Loop and Braided Solo Loop are compatible with Apple Watch Series 4 and later.
  • watchOS 7 will be available for Apple Watch Series 3 and later on September 16, and requires iPhone 6s or later running iOS 14. Not all features are available on all devices.

Enterprise

Xiaomi blacklists “Samsung” and other terms from its phones

But there’s a reason why

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Throughout the past few years, Chinese smartphones have received a lot of flak for its ties to geopolitical issues. Both Huawei and ZTE have already suffered through bans from the American government. Naturally, Xiaomi is in a similar boat. Unfortunately, because of a new research report, things might get worse before they get better.

According to a report published by the National Cyber Security Centre in Lithuania, Xiaomi’s smartphones automatically download a list of terms that they blacklist. The list includes sketchy terms like “China,” “Taiwan Solidarity Union,” and other geopolitical terms. Obviously, including China-related terms can cause a bit of alarm for users elsewhere. However, the blacklist might have uses outside of the obvious.

Spotted by XDA Developers, Xiaomi uses the list for advertising purposes. Besides the China-related terms, the list also includes its brand rivals like “Samsung” and “ZTE.” It also includes pornography and piracy terms. Most ironically, the list also blocks its own smartphone models. The publication spotted that the blacklist is used solely by the smartphone’s advertising platform. Which does make sense now.

The list is designed to block out ads from competing companies and its own (which makes sense since someone who owns a Xiaomi phone probably doesn’t need to see a Xiaomi ad anymore). Blocking pornographic and piracy-supporting ads also makes sense. The China-related terms remain problematic, but there is no indication that Xiaomi uses the list for anything other than advertising.

Further, Xiaomi should activate the filter manually. The automatic download doesn’t automatically mean that the phone is censored. That said, there is still a possibility that Xiaomi can use the filter for more geopolitical reasons. At the very least, current reports don’t point toward that for now.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi 11T series focuses on mobile filmmaking

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Xiaomi brings the Mi TV P1 to the Philippines

4K UHD Android TV for your viewing pleasure

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Mi TV P1

Xiaomi truly has it all for you. Not only do they have a wide range of smartphones and devices, they also want to take over your living room with the Mi TV P1.

The Mi TV P1 is a 4K Android TV. It has all the bells and whistles that we’ve come to expect from 4K TVs. Other than being 4K UHD, the display has a 60Hz refresh rate with a 178°(H)/178°(V) viewing angle. It also supports Dolby Vision and HDR10+.

On their website, it comes in four sizes — 32″, 43″, 50″ and 55″ making it a pretty accessible TV set for any household.

You can’t have a good display with subpar sound. For audio, the Mi TV P1 has a speaker sound output of 10 W + 10 W with support for Dolby Audio and DTS-HD. Looks good on paper but we’ve yet to experience how it actually sounds.

For connectivity, it has the following: Bluetooth 5.0, WiFi 2.4GHz/5GHz, three (3) HDMI ports — one of which is eARC for a soundbar connection, two (2) USB ports, Composite In (AV), Ethernet Port, CI Slot, Optical Digital Audio Out, and 3.5mm headphone jack.

Powering the device is a MediaTek 9611 chip with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage for all the TV apps.

The specs are a little different for the 32″ version. It has less ports and a lower resolution but still a good TV nevertheless.

As mentioned earlier, it has the Android TV interface that should be fairly easy to navigate. This means it’s also compatible with Google Assistant and it’ll be receptive to voice commands. It also has a 360 bluetooth remote so you don’t necessarily have to point it to the TV for it to work. There are also dedicated buttons for Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

Price and availability

The Mi TV P1 will be available starting September 30, 2021. Pricing are as follows:

  • 55″ — PhP 24,990
  • 50″ — PhP 22,990
  • 43″ — PhP 18,990
  • 32″ — PhP 10,990

The Mi TV P1 Series can also be availed on a special early bird price with freebies from September 30 until October 1. Those who will purchase the 32” and 43” variants will get a free Redmi soundbar or PhP 8,990 and PhP 16,990 respectively.

A Mi Soundbar for the 50” and 55” variants will serve as freebies with price cuts at PhP 20,990 and PhP 22,990, respectively.

These offers will be available exclusively on Xiaomi Authorized Stores and in Xiaomi official stores on Shopee and Lazada.

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Xiaomi Pad 5 now in the Philippines

New tablet to consider

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Xiaomi Pad 5

Unfazed by the recent release of the new base iPad and iPad mini, Xiaomi is bringing over a tablet challenger to the Philippines — the Xiaomi Pad 5.

Meant for work, school, and then play, the Xiaomi Pad 5 is an all around tablet. You’re getting an 11-inch WQHD+ 120Hz display so you’ll definitely enjoy tapping on this slate. It’s powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 processor for all your work and play needs.

Taking work even further, you can pair it with the Xiaomi Smart Pen. Its 4096 pressure sensitivity and 240Hz touch sampling rate hopes to emulate a natural writing experience.

Here’s a rundown of the specs:

  • Display — 11″ WQHD+ 120Hz
  • Processor — Qualcomm Snapdragon 860, Adreno 640 GPU
  • Audio — Quad speakers, Dolby Atmos, Hi-Res Audio
  • Configurations — 6GB+128GB, 6GB+256GB
  • Battery and Charging — 8720mAh, 22.5W wired charging
  • Included accessory — Xiaomi Smart Pen1
  • Colors — Cosmic Gray, Pearl White

Pricing and availability

The Xiaomi Pad 5 will be available on Xiaomi Authorized Stores starting October 1. Pricing are as follows:

  • 6GB+128GB — PhP 14,990
  • 6GB+256GB — PhP 19,990

A limited early bird price of PhP 14,990 and a free Xiaomi Smart Pen for the 6GB+128GB variant will be offered exclusively on Xiaomi Official Global Store via Lazada on September 24 only.

 

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