News

Qualcomm launches faster and better Snapdragon 845

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Smartphones are about to get faster and stronger once again. As with every year, Qualcomm has announced their SoC processor for next year, the Snapdragon 845.

At their recently concluded Snapdragon Technology Summit in Hawaii, Qualcomm unveiled the details for its flagship-bound Snapdragon 845 processor. The high-end SoC (system on a chip) boasts faster performance, graphics, and image processing.

With four performance cores (clocking in at 2.8GHz) and four efficiency cores (at 1.8GHz), the Snapdragon 845 delivers 19 to 25 percent more performance over the Snapdragon 835.

Compared to last year’s Adreno 540 GPU, the Snapdragon 845 rocks an Adreno 630 upgrade. The new GPU promises a 30 percent boost in graphics performance and power efficiency. The upgrade also delivers 2.5 times more display throughput and increases flagships’ support for VR and AR apps.

The Snapdragon 845’s biggest improvement is in its image signal processor (ISP), the Spectra 280. The ISP equips phones with the ability to shoot 4K Ultra HD videos in HDR. It offers a 97 percent wider color gamut for more natural images.

The Spectra 280 can take 720p videos at up to 480 frames per second. Further, it can film 60fps videos with only a 16-megapixel camera.

Image source: Ars Technica

Taking after its rivals at Apple, the Snapdragon 845 is now compatible with face unlocking. Whereas Apple uses 30,000 dots for theirs, Qualcomm’s face unlock uses a more accurate 50,000 dots.

While 5G speeds are still far off into the future, the Snapdragon 845 builds itself ready for the technology. With its new Qualcomm X20 LTE modem, internet speeds can reach a maximum of 1,200Mbps. The modem adapts the new 60GHz 802.11ad standard.

Meanwhile, Bluetooth 5 boosts wireless connectivity by allowing faster transfers and more efficient battery usage. The latter supports a move for better compatibility with truly wireless earphones.

Whether we’ll see these features next year is still up to the smartphone manufacturers themselves. Some phones may opt to forego some features for others, for example.

The new chip, however, is already expected to launch with the flagships of Google, HTC, and Samsung. It’s also expected to make its way to Windows 10 PCs.

SEE ALSO: Snapdragon 450 is Qualcomm’s newest midrange chipset

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Accessories

Sony’s WF-H800 h.ear in TWS headphones offer rich sound

Available in five colors

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Already a leader in noise-cancelling headphones, Sony is offering something a little different in the true wireless headpones department — the Sony WF-H800 h.ear in headphones.

One of the first easily noticeable things is how the WF-H800 is available in five colors: red, orange, green, blue, and black.

Noticeably missing is the active noise-cancellation feature. However, it makes up for it with other Sony staple-features, primarily the 360 reality audio. The effect of which can only be truly felt once you experience it for yourself.

It also has a 6mm dynamic driver to deliver a wide range of audio frequencies as well as a feature Sony calls DSEE HX or Digital Sound Enhancement Engine. This tech restores the high-range sound that’s lost in compression. It reproduces digital music files with rich, natural sound.

It’s also lightweight and designed to fit your ears perfectly. The WF-H800 promises up to eight hours of music playback plus another eight hours with the carrying case giving you a total of 16 hours. Additionally, 10 minutes of charge time will give you up to 70 minutes of listening time.

Just like other Sony headphones, these are compatible with both Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa.

Price and availability

The Sony WF-H800 will be available at selected Sony Stores, Sony Centers, Sony authorized dealers and the official Sony store on Lazada from March 202. It will retail for SG$ 299.

SEE ALSO: Sony WF-1000XM3 review: Masterclass in noise cancellation

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Enterprise

China: US is a hypocrite for attacking Huawei

Says US hacked Germany before

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We’re midway through the second month of 2020. By now, you’d expect yesteryear’s issues to finally resolve themselves. Unfortunately, we’re still stuck in the same issues. Particularly, Huawei and the US are still at each other’s throats.

Today, both parties fired shots at each other on Twitter of all places. In this exchange, the US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell tweeted that “any nation who chooses to use an untrustworthy 5G vendor will jeopardize [America’s] ability to share Intelligence and information at the highest level.”

For the past few years, the US government has persistently smeared Huawei’s reputation in international territories, urging other countries to stop considering the company as a 5G partner. The strategy has met only moderate success across the globe. Some countries have already allowed Huawei to build infrastructure on their land.

Naturally, Huawei isn’t taking it lightly. In response to Grenell, Hua Chunying, China’s spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, tweeted a scathing rebuke against Grenell’s accusations.

“Who he is [sic] threatening? Who’s the real threat? Remember, Snowden said US spied on Chancellor Merkel’s phone,” the tweet went.

The ambassador is referring to Edward Snowden, an infamous American whistleblower who revealed an entire library’s worth of state secrets. Regardless of its truth, Hua Chunying’s tweet is scalding, especially in the tense situation between both countries.

SEE ALSO: China is giving away cash incentives for new Huawei users

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Enterprise

ViSenze, iPrice’s partner for easier online shopping in Southeast Asia

Search is now powered by visual recognition technology

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Online shopping is a booming trend made possible by various e-commerce sites. Most online shoppers use search keywords to find what they’re looking for. However, using search keywords can sometimes turn up the wrong results, and can be time-consuming for some.

Thankfully, iPrice and ViSenze’s new partnership aims to make shopping an easier experience for shoppers in Southeast Asia. iPrice will soon leverage ViSenze’s visual recognition technology — making the search as simple as pointing a camera to the desired item.

Leveraging visual recognition

Visual recognition technology is not new. Google already had this feature  back 2017 in the form of Google Lens. ViSenze — a commerce solution platform — uses the same technology for visual recognition. It already powers some big names in e-commerce — making search easier for users.

With iPrice leveraging ViSenze’s technology, users can use their camera instead to search for items. For example, pointing the camera at a dress brings up a list of relevant results from iPrice. This lets users shop for things that they cannot properly describe. It also simplifies the whole search experience, so users don’t have to type anymore.

iPrice will also bring up useful coupons and vouchers whenever these users search for an item. To start leveraging this feature, users need to do these three easy steps:

  1. Activate their camera app and use the AI-powered shopping lens to point at the desired product, or simply upload a photo of it from the phone’s gallery
  2. Browse through the suggested list of relevant products that appear (based on visually similar attributes)
  3. Tap on one of the search results to be redirected to the merchant page to purchase the product

The shopping lens, however, will work only on Samsung, Huawei, LG, and Vivo through their respective assistant apps. So, users must have Bixby (Samsung), HiVision (Huawei), Q-Lens (LG) and Jovi (Vivo) installed.

With online shopping booming in Southeast Asia, iPrice ensures that visual recognition will bring greater convenience to shoppers. Being able to use the smartphone’s camera to search for things online is godsent especially when it’s too bothersome to bring up the keyboard and type.

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