News

Nokia revives its partnership with Zeiss

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If you were a cellphone-toting hipster in 2005, chances are, you owned a Nokia N95 — at that time, a revolutionary new device that didn’t only make phone calls or have pre-smartphone functionality, but one with a camera that could take great photos.

It may sound usual now, but back then it was unheard of. The Nokia N95 was the first phone with a multi-megapixel camera — five to be exact. This revolutionary push forward in the phone space came at a time when VGA cameras were the norm; if you’re too young to remember grainy, poorly lit photos is an understatement.

To pull it off, Nokia teamed up with renowned imaging company Zeiss. That partnership bore other milestones including the insane Nokia 808 PureView smartphone which today is still unmatched in the megapixels race. That phone had a whopping 41.

Fast-forward to 2017 and Nokia is back to old habits. Back on its own feet, with new fire under its wings via mother brand HMD, Nokia is hoping to revive its reputation as an industry leader in smartphone imaging by revisiting its partnership with Zeiss.

Pekka Rantala, CMO of HMD, with Zeiss. Dr. Winfried Scherle is Executive Vice President and Head of the Consumer Optics Business Group of Zeiss.

That relationship is both exclusive and official starting today.

While the company refuses to talk about new products, Pekka Rantala, CMO at HMD tells GadgetMatch, “There are still numbers before 3 and after 6,” referring to their current lineup that includes the Nokia 3, 5, and 6. That’s short of saying new phones are coming soon, the offspring of this new Zeiss partnership.

But optics is only the tip of the iceberg. Zeiss Executive Vice President Dr. Winfried Sherle tells GadgetMatch they “are committed to a more holistic approach to imaging.” Zeiss technology will not only figure in to the cameras of new Nokia phones, but will also play a big part in its displays, software, algorithms, and services.

When all of this will become a reality is only a matter of time. Rantala tells us, “We have started the collaboration and are working at full speed.”

SEE ALSO: Nokia 3310 has confirmed release dates for four countries

Image credit: Kārlis Dambrāns

News

Apple, Xiaomi lead wearable market during the start of 2018

Wearables are not dead!

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Smartwatches may not be as in demand as smartphones, but the top smartphone manufacturers are also in the lead in the wearable market. We’re talking about Apple and Xiaomi which both garnered 18 percent of the market share according to the latest data from Canalys.

Apple leads the whole wearable market during the first quarter of 2018 with 3.8 million shipments and most of these are the latest Watch Series 3. Xiaomi is close behind with 3.7 million shipments and their most popular watches are the basic Mi Band models.

Trailing behind is Fitbit with an 11 percent market share followed by Garmin with 7 percent. Huawei also made a significant 6 percent cut in the pie.

We might not feel it, but wearable shipments grew 35 percent compared to the same quarter last year with a total 20.5 million units. Full-blown smartwatches managed to grab 80 percent of the total revenue despite managing just 43 percent of the overall shipments.

It looks like the price is not an issue among wearable customers, especially for Apple clients. The Cupertino company’s key smartwatch is the LTE-enabled Watch 3 series which adds a new revenue stream because of the data subscription it requires.

During the same quarter, Apple has 59 percent of the cellular-enabled smartwatch market while Garmin is the second smartwatch vendor.

SEE ALSO: Apple iPhone X remains as the best-selling smartphone in the world

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Gaming

Acer Predator Helios 500 can overclock its Core i9 and GTX 1070 chips

Predator Helios 300 Special Edition gets launched as well

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Acer is well known for unleashing some of the most unreal gaming notebooks we’ve ever seen. And while it’s difficult to top the Predator Triton 700 and 21 X, the company is certainly continuing to turn heads with its newest Helios lineup.

First up is the Predator Helios 500, which is a follow-up to the Helios 300 we saw launched around this time last year. Acer is calling this new model “exceptionally powerful” and I can’t argue with that.

Both its Intel Core i9 and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 chips are overclockable. They’re already fast on stock speeds, so being able to go past their limits is something mobile gamers will wholeheartedly enjoy. On top of that, the Helios 500 can be fitted with Intel’s Optane memory, providing users with the shortest of load times. If that’s not enough, up to 64GB of RAM can be installed, too.

To make the most of the high-end components, the 17.3-inch IPS LCD (available in UHD or Full HD) can manage a 144Hz refresh rate along with NVIDIA’s G-Sync tech to prevent annoying instances of stuttering and tearing during intense gameplay. And so that things stay cool, the brand’s signature AeroBlade 3D metal fans are once again employed.

Since this is a gaming machine, you get the usual gamer essentials, including a backlit RGB keyboard and host of ports such as Thunderbolt 3 and HDMI 2.0.

Interested? The Helios 500 will go for US$ 1,999 in North America starting June, EUR 1,999 in EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) beginning this month, and CNY 15,999 in China in June. Specific configurations depend per region.

Going back to the Helios 300 mentioned earlier, there’s now a Special Edition of the year-old gaming laptop. What’s different this time is the all-white aluminum chassis with gold trim — quite a unique design choice that stands out in the sea of black gaming notebooks.

It also comes with updated specs, namely an 8th-generation Core i7 processor coupled with up to 16GB of RAM (which you could still push to 32GB), 512GB SSD, Intel Optane memory, and a GTX 1060. The display is slightly smaller than its larger counterpart at 15.6 inches, but the Full HD IPS panel can handle a refresh rate of 144Hz, as well. Two AeroBlade fans are inside to keep everything in order.

The Helios 300’s regional pricing and availability will be disclosed soon.

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Laptops

The new Swift 5 from Acer is a lightweight 15-inch notebook

A large notebook for people on the go

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One of Acer’s newest devices is the 2018 version of the Swift 5 which now comes in a bigger 15-inch variant with thinner screen bezels. The new Swift 5 is also one of the lightest notebooks in its class.

When Acer unveiled the new Swift 5, they wanted to sell it to users who want a notebook with superb portability, solid performance, and a beautiful design. The magnesium alloy body of the new laptop weighs less than 1kg, making it lighter than your typical 15-inch laptop.

To be specific, the Swift 5 has a 15.6-inch display with a Full HD resolution. It’s an IPS LCD touchscreen with narrow bezels that gives the laptop an impressive 87.6 percent screen-to-body ratio. Good thing they didn’t put the webcam in an awkward position just to achieve this.

The laptop is powered by the latest 8th-gen Intel Core processors with up to 16GB of DDR4 memory and 1TB of SSD storage. Despite being a thin notebook, the new Swift 5 still sports a full-size USB 3.1 port, HDMI port, and an SD card reader. It also has a USB-C port for 10Gb/s data transfer, display output, and charging.

There’s also dual-band Intel Wireless-AC 9560 Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a fingerprint reader for Windows Hello.

Acer didn’t specify the battery capacity of their new premium notebook, but they claim it can last through the workday.

The new Swift 5 is coming to select markets soon in multiple configurations and varying prices depending on the region.

SEE ALSO: Acer Avengers Edition Laptops Unboxing

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