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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.

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realme launches narzo 20 Pro with Helio G95, 65W fast charging

Xiaomi should be worried

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realme started the narzo series earlier this year and it’s all set to launch a successor. The narzo 20 series consists of the narzo 20A, narzo 20, and narzo 20 Pro. These phones are made for the affordable segment and will be directly competing against the Redmi Note 9 series and POCO X2.

The phone features a reflective design that creates a multi-layer downward arrow pattern. Continuing realme’s design language, it features a vertical quad-camera setup with the narzo branding in focus. The fingerprint scanner is located on the side.

On the front is a 6.5-inch LCD display with Full HD+ resolution, 90Hz refresh rate, Gorilla Glass protection, and a punch-hole cut-out for the front camera.

Powering the phone is an octa-core MediaTek Helio G95 processor with Mali-G76 MC4 GPU. Storage is expandable via a dedicated microSD card slot. It has a new carbon fiber cooling system that ensures consistent performance during extended usage.

The rear features a quad-camera setup consisting of a 48-megapixel primary sensor, an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, a 2-megapixel macro lens, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. On the front is a 16-megapixel camera for selfies. The software supports night filters, AI enhancement, and improved low-light performance.

Backing these internal is a 4500mAh battery that supports 65W fast charging. realme claims it can fully charge the battery in 38 minutes. Lastly, the phone ships with realme IU out-of-the-box.

The narzo 20 Pro costs INR 14,999 for 6GB+64GB and INR 16,999 for 8GB+128GB. It’ll be available in Black Ninja and White Knight color options and shall go on sale from September 25 via Flipkart, realme.com, and offline stores.

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YouTube reaches over 40M Philippine adult viewers

This opens up opportunities for local marketers

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Photo by Kon Karampelas on Unsplash

As marketers in the Philippines received their Brandcast Delivered experience, YouTube’s annual event for brands which pivoted into an online moment this year, the video platform announced that more than 40 million unique viewers in the Philippines are watching on YouTube every month over the past year. Watch time across content genres and the number of channels with more than 100k subscribers continue to grow, bringing opportunities to creators and businesses in the country.

YouTube shared that more than 50% of the 40 million unique local viewers are aged 18-34 years old. Watch time grew by over 50% where Filipinos used the platform to fuel their passion points and expand their knowledge to cope with the extended periods of the quarantine.

Watch time logged for gardening contents grew by more than 4x, while that for art videos doubled. Time spent watching strategy game videos and fitness contents grew by more than thrice respectively. Meanwhile, watch time for knowledge videos saw more than 90% increase.

As the home of Filipino creators, YouTube now has over 1,750 channels that have 100k+ subscribers. Their profile continues to diversify as more creators coming from various backgrounds go to YouTube to share their inspiring stories like: Dwight Tamayo, a NextUp Finalist and a poultry farmer from Masbate, uses YouTube to share his knowledge about his expertise to help his co-farmers and those interested in poultry farming; EduCreator Team Lyqa, who just reached the 1M-subscriber mark, demonstrates the capability of YouTube for learning; and Mimiyuuuh, the most recent YouTube Philippines’ Emerging Creator of the Year, who has been bringing joy to millions of Filipino viewers.

“YouTube continues to bring opportunities for creators and local businesses in the Philippines,” said Bernadette Nacario, Google Philippines Country Director.

“As watch time and audiences on YouTube grow, creators can expand their reach and diversify their content storytelling. Over the last few years, we’ve also launched a number of products such as YouTube Video Builder to help MSMEs, which form the majority of our economy, leverage the power of YouTube as part of their digital strategy. Any small business can use YouTube as long as they have a clear objective, a creative idea, and a target audience to engage.”

Creative effectiveness in the time of COVID-19 with YouTube

Marketers use YouTube to tell great brand stories. With most target audiences consuming content online, brands are crafting authentic, emotional, and insightful videos that offer deep and personal experiences for their consumers.

The most effective brands ads are those that move the emotions of the viewers, making them laugh, cry, or feel inspired. An example is the Ads Leaderboard winner for the month of May–Lactum’s Mother’s Day campaign: Alagang Ramdam ng Bawat Pilipino (A Care that is Felt by Every Filipino).

The video narrates a compelling and relevant story about a mother’s love and highlights the heroic roles that moms, who are also COVID-19 frontliners, are taking on in these challenging times.  The ad was successful as it struck a chord with the viewers’ hearts, especially since the Philippines is a family-oriented market.

“On YouTube, we are seeing advertisers that are starting to make ads that anticipate and embrace this new reality. As many businesses continue to think about how to navigate these uncertain times, creatives are experimenting with different storytelling styles,” said Ben Jones, Global Creative Director for Google’s Unskippable Labs.

“From reimagining existing assets, reinvigorating animation to miracles of editing that take our breath away, we are seeing ads that are both effective and distinctive despite the constraints.”

To harness the creative effectiveness of YouTube and deliver a personalized experience, marketers should:

  • Tap into a growing digital population
  • Reach out to every category of consumer now that brands can leverage a single platform to reach audiences based on their interests and passions
  • Explore different content formats as multiple categories grow in popularity
  • Stay engaged as consumers keep looking for a steady stream of fresh content

This is a press release from YouTube Philippines.

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OPPO Reno 4 SE launches with Dimensity 720 SoC, triple rear cameras

OPPO going the Apple way

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OPPO has successfully established itself in the midrange segment with the help of the Reno lineup. Further expanding the portfolio, the brand has now launched a new phone dubbed the OPPO Reno 4 SE.

It follows the Reno 4 series design language and has a reflective back. The rear camera bump has an iPhone-like aura, but it has four circular bumps for the sensor and flashlight. In line with all Reno phones, it features extremely fast charging, powerful cameras, and a premium design.

Going by its name, OPPO has taken some inspiration from Apple’s lineup, and the phone complements the existing family consisting of the Reno 4 and Reno 4 Pro. It serves as an affordable midrange option.

On the front is a 6.4-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display with a high screen-to-body ratio of more than 90 percent and a punch-hole cut-out for the front camera. Powering the phone is an octa-core MediaTek Dimensity 720 processor that supports 5G connectivity and 8GB RAM. Storage is not expandable via a microSD card.

The rear sports a triple rear camera setup consisting of a 48-megapixel primary sensor, an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, and a 2-megapixel macro sensor. For selfies, the punch-hole cut-out houses a 32-megapixel camera.

Backing these internals is a 4300mAh battery that supports 65W fast charging. For authentication, an in-display fingerprint scanner is provided and the phone ships with ColorOS out-of-the-box.

The OPPO Reno 4 SE starts at CNY 2,499 (US$ 369) for 8GB+128GB option and CNY 2,799 (US$ 413) for the 8GB+256GB variant. The phone will be available in Super Flash Black, Super Flash Blue, and Super Flash White and goes on sale from September 25. The launch is limited to China for now and there’s no update on international availability yet.

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