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Qualcomm launches Snapdragon Wear 3100 for wearables

What you should know about Qualcomm’s latest chip for wearables

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Image Credit: Joshua Vergara, Youtube.com/JoshuaVergara

After two years, Qualcomm has finally unveiled a new chip for wearables and it’s looking like the future.

Snapdragon Wear 3100, announced earlier today in San Francisco, is “designed to allow consumers to enjoy the beauty of a fashion watch with the power of a smartwatch, the battery life of a sports watch with the richness of a smartwatch, and the utility of an analog watch with the flexibility of a smartwatch.” Just how does it attempt to do all that? Well…

It’s built for smartwatches

Snapdragon Wear 3100 features new architecture that boasts high-performance quad-core A7 processors. In so many words, expect this chip to be highly efficient for your next smartwatch experience. Which brings me to the next point:

It will stretch your battery power

Designed specifically for wearables, Wear 3100 adds four to twelve hours of active use (compared to the previous Wear 2100) and can bring you a total of 1.5 to 2.5 days of battery time.

There are new smartwatch modes

For those who like stylish but capable smartwatches, Wear 3100 offers a new Enhanced Ambient Mode with smooth second-hand movement and brighter colors. This new chip allows for 20 times less power when animating that second hand, something most watch faces have omitted because it drains battery power. There’s also a Dedicated Sports Experiences mode for the adrenaline junkies which promises 15 hours of continuous GPS and heart rate monitoring, and a Traditional Watch Mode with a week-long battery capability.

More Wear 3100 smartwatches are coming!

Montblanc has announced that the Summit 2, coming out in October, will be powered by this new chip. According to Qualcomm, this luxury watch brand together with Fossil Group and Louis Vuitton are the first Wear 3100 customers, so expect smarter smartwatches from those brands soon.

Because different manufacturers will have different smartwatch implementations when it comes to Wear 3100 devices, it’s a little too early to tell which watches to look out for. One thing’s for sure, though: Qualcomm stepped up the wearables game and now the ball has left their court.

News

Xiaomi partners up with Alita: Battle Angel for a transparent Mi 9

This used to be the ‘Pro’ variant

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Image credit: Xiaomi

The launch of the Mi 9 from Xiaomi is around the corner, but that doesn’t mean we’ll just wait for the official announcement. We’ve heard rumors about a Mi 9 model with a transparent back like the Mi 8 Pro from last year. Well, the rumors are true and it’s more special than before.

An official teaser for the special edition Mi 9 appeared online today and it brings the blockbuster film Alita: Battle Angel to the picture. Xiaomi partnered up with the film to present the Mi 9: Battle Angel.

Check out the action-packed promotional video below:

The teaser shows the main features of the transparent Mi 9: triple rear cameras, a Snapdragon processor (which is already confirmed), and wireless charging.

Since the Mi 9: Battle Angel will have a transparent back like the Mi 8 Pro’s, it also has a window to its awesome-looking circuit board, but it’s likely not the actual thing. What’s more interesting is the visible wireless charging coil right in the middle of the battery.

The phone will be launched alongside the other Mi 9 variants on February 20. Essentially, the Mi 9: Battle Angel model will be a marketing ploy in China since the movie will hit the theaters in the region two days after the launch.

Price-wise, the phone is rumored to cost CNY 5,999 or roughly US$ 885.

SEE ALSO: What could the new unicorn Xiaomi Mi 9 be called?

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Gaming

TNC Predator, Afreeca Freecs Fatal win Predator League APAC 2019

For Dota 2 and PUBG, respectively

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After three long days of battle in Bangkok, Thailand from February 15 to 17, two champions have emerged from the two featured games of the Predator League in Asia Pacific 2019.

For Dota 2, it’s TNC Predator from the Philippines; and for PUBG, the champ is none other than Afreeca Freecs Fatal from South Korea.

Their winnings come from a prize pool worth US$ 250,000. Each champion receives US$ 75,000 for their efforts, while the runners-up split the remaining pot.

The grand event concluded after over 3,500 competing teams from 16 countries were eventually reduced to only 26 groups in Bangkok for the finals.

This was the Predator League’s second event in the APAC region. In 2018, it was held in Indonesia. Next year’s event will take place in the Philippines.

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Cameras

Fujifilm X-T30 is a lightweight 4K mirrorless camera

Cheaper version of the X-T3

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Image credit: Fujifilm

After Canon‘s announcement of the new EOS RP, it’s now Fujifilm‘s turn to present their latest offering: the X-T30. Fuji’s new mirrorless interchangeable camera is the successor to 2017’s X-T20.

The X-T30 is positioned to be a cheaper variant of the flagship X-T3 camera, but they actually share many common features and specs. It’s got a compact and lightweight body at just 383g which looks similar to the premium model, but with some minor changes at the back. It’s got a focus joystick instead of a d-pad, but retains the touchscreen.

Speaking of, it’s a 2-way tilting LCD panel with 1.04 million dots. The EVF, on the other hand, is a 2.36-million-dot OLED color viewfinder with a near 100 percent coverage area.

Image credit: Fujifilm

Inside the camera is a 26.1-megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS sensor with an ISO range of 160 to 12800, which is expandable up to 51200, and backed by an X-Processor 4. With this, the X-T30 can shoot 30fps at 1.25x crop and 20fps without a crop using the electronic shutter. If you wish to use the mechanical shutter, the speed will be reduced to 8fps.

It has a hybrid AF system with 100 percent phase-detect AF, face detection, and eye tracking. Autofocus is also improved even in low-light. Focusing can be selected either through the touchscreen or joystick.

When it comes to video, the camera can shoot 4K at 30fps and up to 120fps when downscaled to 1080p. It’s capable of 10-bit recording and 4:2:2 DCI 4K video through the HDMI port. Fujifilm’s Film Simulation modes are also available.

The Fujifilm X-T30 will be available in March starting at US$ 899 for the body only. It’ll go up to US$ 999 when bundled with an XC 15-45mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS lens, or US$ 1,299 when bundled with an 18-55mm f/2.8-4 lens.

SEE ALSO: Fujifilm Instax SQ20 hands-on: How good is it?

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