News

Qualcomm launches the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2

Better AI, better everything

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It’s that time of the year again. Chipmakers have started to reveal what their latest offerings are, powering the next wave of flagships. Finally, it’s Qualcomm’s turn. During the Snapdragon Summit 2022, the company unveiled the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2.

Last year, Qualcomm launched the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, a major revamp to the company’s lineup of premium chipsets. Powered by an improved processor, the chipset introduced a vast variety of applications including advancements in 5G connectivity and AI capabilities. The new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 pushes this even further.

With an upgraded Hexagon processor, the chipset features 4.35 times faster AI performance compared to the previous generation. It is also the first to use INT4, an AI precision format. Also, with an advanced Sensing Hub and AI Stack, smartphones can now support custom wake words and more AI-ready tools.

Further, with an AI-capable Cognitive ISP, the chipset can detect individual elements in a photo, improving on each one using software. Samsung’s ISOCELL HP3, the first 200-megapixel sensor optimized for the chipset, will take brilliant shots, and can shoot 8K HDR at 60fps.

Using a better Adreno GPU and Kryo CPU, the chipset can play games up to 25 percent faster and 40 percent more efficiently. It also supports the Unreal Engine 5 Metahuman Framework and hardware-accelerated ray tracing.

For entertainment, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 supports Snapdragon Sound technology, supporting spatial audio and 48kHz lossless streaming. Additionally, the chipset’s Snapdragon X70 5G modem and FastConnect 7800 connectivity system can support 5G and Wi-Fi 7 connections. Finally, it will keep users secure with an improved Snapdragon Secure system, offering the best in cryptography and key isolation.

Qualcomm promises that devices will come by the end of the year through ASUS, HONOR, OnePlus, OPPO, Sony, vivo, Xiaomi, and ZTE.

SEE ALSO: Qualcomm launches Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 and 4 Gen 1

News

Apple reportedly delays mixed-reality headset once again

Not a big delay, though

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Mercifully, “metaverse” lost Oxford’s word of the year award to “goblin mode”. Despite all of Meta’s claims, the stylized term for its version of virtual reality has not taken off. Just so, Meta’s competitors are still holding out on their entries to the virtual reality realm. Hit by delays in the past already, Apple is once again delaying its much-awaited mixed-reality headset.

According to Ming-Chi Kuo, the unannounced headset is coming sometime in the second half of 2023. Previously, the device was pegged for a second quarter launch. It’s not a drastic delay, but it’s another speed bump for the enigmatic device.

If anything, Apple’s issues are now stemming from the software side. As such, Kuo expects that the individual components for the headset will still come relatively on time in the second quarter. The report remains unsure if the planned reveal in January is still a go, though.

Further, the headset’s shipments will reportedly be less than previously expected. Neither Kuo nor Apple have commented on why a reduced shipment is currently planned.

That said, Apple hasn’t really commented on the coming of its mixed-reality headset. All information comes from leaks and reports from external sources. However, from what we’ve heard, Apple is promising a lot from its headset, including the ability to pay handsfree using only their eyes.

SEE ALSO: Apple’s AR headset will let users pay with their eyes

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Accessories

OnePlus is building its own mechanical keyboard

To celebrate its 9th anniversary

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It’s OnePlus’s 9th anniversary. For almost the entirety of December, the smartphone brand is holding a plethora of events for its fans. Naturally, one of those events involves new products coming to OnePlus. Teased officially, the company has revealed what’s coming: a mechanical keyboard.

Besides smartphones, OnePlus also has a wider lineup of other devices like smartwatches and earbuds. That said, a mechanical keyboard is an all-new department for the company.

Based on the small landing page for the keyboard, OnePlus is creating the device with Keychron, a notable brand for the segment. Unfortunately, the page does not reveal much more about the keyboard. If anything, Keychron’s involvement confirms that the company means business.

As with most mechanical keyboards these days, users can customize the upcoming device’s keycaps. With that, another mystery is whether the brand will sell custom keycaps of their own, or users can buy their own.

Thankfully, interested users don’t have to wait long. OnePlus is scheduled to launch the new keyboard on December 15, right in the middle of its grand celebration for its 9th anniversary.

Since its inception, OnePlus has moved from flagship killer to selling flagships itself to now expanding beyond just simple flagships. Now, the brand is looking beyond.

SEE ALSO: OnePlus officially teases Nord Watch

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Gaming

Xbox will raise prices of new titles next year

Will soon cost US$ 69.99

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New video games are expensive. Since the launch of the PlayStation 5, stores have been charging US$ 69.99 for every new release. On the flip side, Microsoft has kept its own slate of titles at the usual US$ 59.99 price point. However, that’s about to change next year. The company is raising the prices of first-party Xbox titles to US$ 69.99 next year.

In a recent statement (via The Verge), Microsoft has announced that new next-gen titles coming from Xbox Game Studios next year will face a price hike to reflect their “the content, scale, and technical complexity.” The announcement specifically names Forza Motorsport, Redfall, and Starfield (incidentally, one of the most anticipated titles next year) as part of this starting slate.

Prior to today’s status quo, new titles always sold for US$ 59.99. By itself, the old price tag is already hefty. However, it was one that was eventually accepted, especially after increasingly longer playthrough times.

Now, however, players are once again in a renewed state of justifying the expensive prices of new games. Titles are US$ 10 more expensive these days. Plus, special editions, which are becoming more common, have even higher price points.

If anything, Microsoft has waited until after the holidays before hiking prices up. If you were looking at a new title for your Xbox Series X/S, the holidays might be the best time to grab it. Or, as always, you can pay the monthly price of an Xbox Game Pass to access a trove of titles including new ones.

SEE ALSO: Xbox outsells the PlayStation for the first in 11 years

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