News

Samsung Galaxy S9+ takes top spot on DxOMark

Beats the Pixel 2 and iPhone X

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One of the biggest questions on everyone’s mind whenever a new smartphone launches is, “How good are the cameras?” While it’s often subjective and difficult to gauge from early photo samples, imaging authority DxOMark’s numeric ratings provide a good idea of where a handset’s cameras stand.

The latest entry is Samsung’s Galaxy S9+. It launched during Mobile World Congress earlier this week and is the first Galaxy S smartphone to own dual cameras of any sort. The setup turned out well for Samsung, as the cameras have been bestowed the highest rating ever on DxOMark’s mobile scoring.

With an overall score of 99, the Galaxy S9+ is a point higher than the previous king, the Pixel 2, and two points above the 97 of the iPhone X and Mate 10 Pro. That’s an impressive feat considering how strong the competition was during our own camera shootouts.

Here’s the breakdown of the numbers:

Where the Galaxy S9+ truly shines is in the still photos department. Its 104 points are way above the previous top score of 101 by the iPhone X. Meanwhile, the 91 video score is quite good, too, losing only to the 96 of the Pixel 2.

DxOMark praises the Samsung flagship for having no real weakness. The Galaxy S9+ is strong in all aspects, and performs well in any lighting situation. Other advantages are the secondary lens on the back for optical zooming (something the smaller Galaxy S9 doesn’t have) and a true portrait mode that blurs out the subject’s background.

But before Samsung can celebrate, they have to accept that it’s still early in 2018. With flagships from Huawei coming out soon and both Google and Apple releasing even better smartphones later this year, these rankings can easily turn to another’s favor.

We’ll have to get the Galaxy S9+ in our hands for a full review before we can attest to these scores. Stay tuned for that.

India

Mi Watch Revolve launches with ultra long battery life, premium design

Huawei should be worried

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Today, Xiaomi unveiled a host of new products via its Smarter Living 2020 event in India. Last year, the brand announced a new air purifier, water purifier, smart lights, and more. Following the same trend, Xiaomi has expanded its Mi product lineup with a new wearable — the Mi Watch Revolve.

The Mi Watch Revolve is an affordable fitness tracker that looks extremely premium and measures 46mm. Available in two color options, the Mi Watch Revolve will go up against Huawei’s Watch GT 2e. Both the watches are quite similar on paper, and we’ll try our best to do a comparison article soon.

On the front, the watch has a 1.4-inch always-on AMOLED display with Gorilla Glass 3 protection. In terms of technology, the watch connects via Bluetooth 5.0 and can be used on Android as well as iOS. Onboard sensors include a heart rate sensor, a three-axis acceleration sensor, a gyroscope, a geomagnetic sensor, a baroreceptor, and an ambient light sensor.

To withstand regular usage, the watch gets 5ATM water resistance and a battery life of 1-2 weeks. The battery consumption vastly depends on your usage and Xiaomi is sure the watch will get you through a week with heavy usage.

Making the deal even sweeter, the watch can also measure your psychological data based on physical activity and heart rate monitoring. Thanks to Firstbeat Motion Algorithm, it can measure stress, heart rate variability monitoring, and VO2 Max (blood oxygen level).

It also gets the standard workout modes like running, cycling, trekking, treadmill, and more. Lastly, the user has an option to choose from 100+ watch faces and can receive notifications from a plethora of apps.

The Mi Watch Revolve is available in one size and costs INR 10,999 (US$ 150). It’ll be available in Chrome Silver and Midnight Black color options. It’s up for purchase via Mi.com, Amazon, Mi Home, and retail stores.

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Computers

Lenovo expands ThinkBook, ThinkVision lineup

Lenovo expands ThinkBook, ThinkVision lineup

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Lenovo has been rather busy recently updating their entire product portfolio. So this ThinkBook and ThinkVision refresh was absolutely inevitable and most definitely welcome.

We’re going to go through all the ThinkBooks and ThinkVisions real quick. Ready? Take a breath. Let’s go!

ThinkBook 13s Gen 2 i

This was co-engineered with Intel and meets the requirements of the Intel Evo platform. That’s true across hardware specifications and key experience targets for device responsiveness, instant wake, battery life and fast charge.

It has a high resolution 13.3-inch display with a new 16:10 aspect ratio that offers 90% screen-to-body ratio with ultra-narrow bezels and is available with optional touch.

You’re also getting Thunderbolt 4 port and optional PCIe Gen 4 storage.

We’ll be going on virtual meetings for the foreseeable future. Taking that into account, the ThinkBook 13s Gen 2 i features microphones that has three audio modes: private, shared, and environmental.

  • ThinkBook 13s Gen 2 i is expected to be available from October 2020, starting at $829
  • ThinkBook 13s Gen 2 AMD is expected to be available from October 2020, starting at $729.

ThinkBook 14s Yoga i

Need something flexible? Well, here you go. The popular Yoga form factor means this thing can bend and a different number of ways.

For performance, it’s powered by 11th Gen Intel Core processors. It also comes with the Lenovo Smart Pen to really help you let your creativity run wild.

It’s available in Mineral Grey with an Abyss Blue version added to the mix.

  • ThinkBook 14s Yoga is expected to be available from November 2020, starting at $879.

ThinkBook 14/15 Gen 2 i

If working smart is your think then it doesn’t get any smarter than this. It’s powered by 11th Gen Intel Core Processors (will also come in AMD variants) with flexible storage options: HDD + SSD or dual SSD.

Working remotely and need support? The service hot key helps users reach Lenovo support at the press of a button, automatically including device details such as serial number for a fast track support experience.

But here’s the kicker. It comes with ThinkBook wireless earbuds that can be stored within the laptop. The earbuds charge automatically when stored and connect to the laptop audio instantly when taken out. Double tapping toggles the mute function, and it has dual mics and environmental noise cancellation.

  • ThinkBook 15 Gen 2 i is expected to be available from October 2020, starting at $569.
  • ThinkBook 15p i is expected to be available from October 2020, starting at $939.
  • ThinkBook 14 Gen 2 i is expected to be available from October 2020, starting at $569.
  • ThinkPad E14 Gen 2 is expected to be available from November 2020, starting at $699.
  • ThinkPad E15 Gen 2 is expected to be available from November 2020, starting at $699.
  • ThinkBook 15 Gen 2 AMD is expected to be available from October 2020, starting at $549.
  • ThinkBook 14 Gen 2 AMD is expected to be available from October 2020, starting at $549.

ThinkVision T27hv-20

This single cable USB-C Hub monitor is designed to to meet the collaboration requirements of a hybrid working model. The 27-inch display features a 1080p IR/RGB webcam, noise cancelling microphones and integrated speakers that help users conference with confidence

It has Smart Guard that blurs the screen the moment you look or move away or detects someone peeking over your shoulder. Meanwhile, Smart Energy will turn off the screen when it senses that you have moved away from your desk, saving power and protecting data.

  • ThinkVision T27hv-20 is expected to be available from December 2020, starting at $549.
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Laptops

Lenovo launches ThinkPad X1 Nano, pre-order for ThinkPad X1 Fold

Two ThinkPads that deserve your attention

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If the Yoga lineup is any indication, it’s that Lenovo has never been shy about experimenting with form factors. They doubled up on that when they unveiled the ThinkPad X1 Fold at CES 2020. Now, they’re following it up with the ThinkPad X1 Nano.

Here’s a refresher on the ThinkPad X1 Fold in case you forgot what it was.

So yeah, it’s a PC but not exactly. Lenovo is calling it a new device category. It starts at US$ 2,499 and is now available for pre-order.

ThinkPad X1 Nano

The ThinkPad X1 Nano is being billed as the lightest ThinkPad ever. At less than 1kg, it’s hard to argue against that claim. It promises a complete laptop package all while being ultra freaking light.

It comes with up to 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processors and Intel Iris X graphics. That combo promises 20% faster office productivity and over 2x faster gaming plus streaming.

It has Thunderbolt 4 for fast, single cable connection to power, monitors, storage, as well as other external devices.

It’s the first ThinkPad to feature an updated suite of AI and biometric ThinkShield security features. These include new voice recognition and human presence detection.

It has a 13-inch Dolby Vision 2K display with a 16:10 aspect ratio. It has 100% sRGB for clarity and color accuracy. It also comes in touch display options.

This notebook also has four speakers with Dolby Atmos support for immersive sound. It also has four 360-degree microphones to ensure you are loud and clear during virtual meetings.

The ThinkPad X1 Nano starts at US$ 1,399. It is expected to be available Q4 of 2020.

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