News

Moto Z2 Play slims down, keeps modularity

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Last year’s Moto Z Play was the darling of Lenovo’s Z series. It had an incredibly efficient processor, one of the best battery lives out there, and compatibility with all Moto Mods. The Moto Z2 Play is the follow-up, but it doesn’t follow the same ideals.

To be specific, the meaty battery got cut down from 3510mAh to just 3000mAh. This is alarming for fans of the original Moto Z Play, since the overly slim profile and tiny battery of the flagship Moto Z didn’t bode well for its endurance. Don’t worry, the 3.5mm audio port is still around and it’s even thinner at 5.99mm now. Aside from that, everything else got upgraded.

A Snapdragon 626 processor joins the party, with a choice between 3GB or 4GB of memory and 32GB or 64GB of storage which you can expand using a microSD card. In order to preserve compatibility with the Mods, we get the same 5.5-inch Full HD AMOLED screen sandwiched between the rather thick top and bottom bezels.

Without using the Hasselblad camera attachment, you only have a 12-megapixel camera at the back and 5-megapixel front-facing camera. Its Android skin is still lightly painted on top of Nougat 7.1.1, and we mean that in a good way; near-stock Android is the best Android for us.

Nothing too special after listing all that, but again, the Mods are the real heroes here. All the ones we tried out in our first look video and full review are as compatible as ever. On top of those, Lenovo introduced four more: Moto Style Shells with wireless charging, the JBL SoundBoost 2, Moto TurboPower Pack, and Moto GamePad.

Here’s the catch: For now, the Moto Z2 Play will be exclusive to Verizon subscribers in the US. It’ll retail for $499, while all the new Mods cost $79 each, except for the updated Style Shells which are valued at $39.

SEE ALSO: 24 Hours in Puerto Galera: Moto M vs Vivo V5 Lite

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News

Apple ready to launch a lot of devices in next 12 months

Including iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Watches

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Apple is obviously releasing new devices later this year. As is tradition, the company is readying for the launch of the next flagship series, the iPhone 14. However, it looks like the iPhone 14 series isn’t the only thing Apple is preparing for. According to a new report, the company is set to launch a plethora of products between now and early 2023.

As reported by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple has a lot of surprises for its fans. Besides the four upcoming models of the iPhone 14 series, the company will also launch “three Apple Watch variations, several Macs with M2 and M3 chips, the company’s first mixed-reality headset, low-end and high-end iPads, updated AirPods Pro earbuds, a fresh HomePod and an upgraded Apple TV.”

Previously, Apple was rumored to upgrade its iPad lineup, starting with a base iPad compatible with USB-C. With geopolitical pressure potentially forcing the company to completely shift to USB-C, a good number of new devices makes sense — that is, if USB-C is truly coming soon.

Besides that, the company has also teased an absurd number of changes and new features coming to iOS 16, iPadOS 16, watchOS 9, and macOS Ventura. It looks like an intensive refresh of software. A good set of software will naturally complement a similarly impressive set of hardware coming soon.

SEE ALSO: iOS 16: Best New Features

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Accessories

Samsung has Starbucks-themed cases for coffee lovers

Exclusive to South Korea

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Since the company is from the country, Samsung offers a lot of exclusives in South Korea. Previously, the company sold a Pokémon-themed exclusive edition of the Galaxy Z Flip 3 in — you guessed it — South Korea. Now, it has another set of exclusives. This time, it’s for coffee lovers. Samsung is now selling a Starbucks-themed cases for the Galaxy S22 series and the Galaxy Buds 2.

The smartphone cases are pretty straightforward. Sporting the coffee company’s iconic green, the Galaxy S22 and S22+ cases have either a patch with the Starbucks logo or a tagline that says, “Count Stars in Your Galaxy.”

Meanwhile, the Galaxy S22 Ultra features a more iconic case with a strap at the back. One variant has the iconic green-and-white color combination with a patch of a bear wearing a Starbucks apron. The other one has the strap designed as a Starbucks receipt.

While the smartphone cases are nifty on their own, the charging case for the Galaxy Buds 2 are on a league of their own. One model is a minimalist green with the Starbucks patch. The other, however, looks like a coffee mug with aesthetic latte art inside and a Starbucks logo at its side.

As with the previously mentioned Pokémon-themed products, the Starbucks-themed set is exclusive to South Korea and will be limited while supplies last.

SEE ALSO: Samsung unveils a Pokémon Edition of Galaxy Z Flip 3

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Entertainment

Netflix confirms ads are coming later this year

In a cheaper subscription tier

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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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