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LG Watch Style and Sport introduce Android Wear 2.0

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It’s hard to believe, but Android Wear has been around for more than two years, and it’s only now we’re seeing a serious update. Like with the first version, LG is once again launching new smartwatches to introduce the latest update of the operating system.

While Android Wear 2.0 isn’t introducing any revolutionary features — a lot are available on other platforms — it makes smartwatches feel more functional and independent. As explained by its developers at Google, the latest update provides more useful watch faces, Google Assistant integration, and less dependence on a connected smartphone to function.

That last part is especially handy for smartwatches with SIM card compatibility. By connecting directly to the internet, they can be used on their own to talk to Assistant, track your workout progress on Google Fit, and download apps directly from Google Play. You can even reply to messages from the smartwatch using your voice, handwriting, or keyboard input.

Combined with an always-on screen you can now personalize, glancing at the screen for information you choose to display becomes all the more intuitive, and all it takes is a single tap to order an Uber ride or contact someone. And thanks to native Android Pay integration, smartwatches with NFC connectivity can execute wireless transactions without a hitch.

LG Watch Style

To show off all these new features, Google partnered with LG to launch the Watch Style and Watch Sport which come with Android Wear 2.0 off the bat. Both will arrive in the US on February 10; other countries will follow shortly after. Prices start at $250 for the former and $350 for the latter.

As the more affordable of the two, the Watch Style is pretty basic, offering Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, but no 4G LTE for the neat features we mentioned earlier. Still, the 1.2-inch display is perfectly round, and the efficient Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor should keep the 240mAh battery alive long enough. There’s also IP67-rated water and dust resistance for its steel frame and leather straps. It’ll be available in titanium, silver, and rose gold.

The Watch Sport ups a few of the specifications, opting for a larger 1.38-inch display and 768MB of memory (compared to the Watch Style’s 512MB of memory). The chipset and 4GB of storage remain the same, but a battery capacity of 430mAh should increase endurance. What really sets them apart is the inclusion of LTE, NFC, GPS, and a heart rate sensor for the Watch Sport, as well as a stronger IP68 rating. Dark blue and titanium are the color options here.

LG Watch Sport

Already have a smartwatch and want all the upgrades that come with Android Wear 2.0? Your device has to be part of this list:

  • LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE
  • LG Watch Urbane
  • LG G Watch R
  • Moto 360 (2nd Generation)
  • Moto 360 Sport
  • Huawei Watch
  • ASUS ZenWatch 2
  • ASUS ZenWatch 3
  • TAG Heuer Connected
  • Fossil Q Wander
  • Fossil Q Marshal
  • Fossil Q Founder
  • Michael Kors Access
  • New Balance RunIQ
  • Nixon Mission
  • Polar M600
  • Casio Smart Outdoor Watch
  • Casio PRO TREK Smart

No promises have been made by Google on when all these gadgets will get the update. If it’s anything like Android Nougat’s rollout, expect this to take a long time.

SEE ALSO: Smartwatches are doing even worse than expected

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Entertainment

Netflix confirms ads are coming later this year

In a cheaper subscription tier

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vivo T1x

Netflix is currently in a bind. As the platform’s rivals grow, Netflix has started shrinking and losing subscribers. The company has also started pondering on alternative strategies to maintain its grip on the streaming world. One of the most recent ideas involves the introduction of a cheaper, ad-supported subscription tier. Now, after much strategizing, Netflix has all but confirmed its addition later this year.

During the recent Cannes Lion advertising festival (via The Hollywood Reporter), Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos confirmed that the platform is indeed adding a cheaper option for subscribers by the end of the year. While the platform was initially averse to including ads, Sarandos has stated that some subscribers actually don’t mind ads in return for a cheaper price per month.

Prior to an official announcement, Netflix has not announced how much the new subscription will cost on launch. Likewise, they haven’t confirmed whether the tier will come to all countries and territories where Netflix is present.

If anything, Netflix isn’t alone or the first in adding an ad-supported subscription tier. Hulu, for example, already offers such a tier. Hulu’s partner streaming platform, Disney+, is also considering adding a similar tier later this year.

Besides adding the ad-supported tier, Netflix is also pumping up its presence in the gaming world. They are also considering another payment system meant for users who share their passwords to non-subscribers.

SEE ALSO: Netflix is losing a lot of long-term subscribers

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ROG Phone 6 shows off its design ahead of launch

Featuring a second screen

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ROG Phone 5s

In a few weeks, ASUS is unveiling the ROG Phone 6. The next generation of gaming smartphone promises stellar performance packed inside a sharp design. Naturally, the power inside the phone isn’t a gigantic surprise, given what’s already out in the market today. However, figuring out what it will look like is always a treat. Now, a short time before the official launch, the ROG Phone 6 makes a small debut elsewhere, revealing the phone’s drip.

Recently, the phone popped up on TENAA. As with most filings, the entry comes with a set of photos that reveal both the front and the rear of the coming device. While the new device does share some similarities with its past siblings, the ROG Phone 6 has its own unique appeal.

Like the ROG Phone 5 Ultimate, the new phone will have a secondary screen on its rear. However, while the former looks sleek and smooth, the latter has a more industrial charm, paired with a larger camera island. It looks like something from Guardians of the Galaxy, as opposed to the ROG Phone 5 Ultimate’s Iron-Man glam. That said, the new phone still looks interesting.

In terms of hardware, the phone is expected to launch with the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1, 16GB of RAM, and 6000mAh of battery life. ASUS is launching the phone on July 5.

SEE ALSO: ROG Phone 6 will launch in July

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Xiaomi Smart Band 7 now official

Step up your game

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Xiaomi Band 7

The new Xiaomi Smart Band 7 will be available in Singapore and the Philippines over the weekend.

You will get what is expected from an entry-level wearable as the Smart Band 7 features a 1.62-inch AMOLED high-resolution display, all-day heart rate, SPO2, and sleep monitoring, as well as over 110 workout and sports modes.

For those who want to check their health stats constantly, there is an Always-on display option.

The smart band also comes with an all-new VO2 max professional workout analysis for health and fitness junkies to be able to check the maximum amount of oxygen they can utilize during exercise.

Design-wise, it comes with multiple color options for its straps and over 100 watch faces available via the Mi Fitness app.

It also boasts up to a 14-day battery life on a single full charge, and is water-resistant.

Pricing, availability

The Xiaomi Smart Band 7 will be available for sale in Singapore starting on June 25, 2022 through the following outlets:

  • Leading e-commerce platforms
  • Shopee and Lazada
  • Xiaomi authorized stores

It will retail for an early bird price of SG$ 54, a considerable discount from its recommended retail price of SG$ 69.

In the Philippines, the smart band can be purchased starting on June 27, 2022 on Shopee
at an early bird price of PhP 1,999 (from PhP 2,399) which includes one free strap worth PhP 359.

 

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