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Samsung debuts the Galaxy Watch Active 2

Taking on the Apple Watch?

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After only six months, Samsung introduces the successor to its Galaxy Watch Active. Introducing the Galaxy Watch Active 2, the updated smartwatch is joining the company’s smartwatch portfolio with new and refined features.

Samsung’s latest smartwatch aims to improve a consumer’s personal lifestyle by enhancing their health and keeping them connected without sacrificing style.

Stay healthy

The Galaxy Watch Active 2 is designed to help consumers achieve their wellness goals. Sporting an improved health sensor, it can take readings faster and provide insights to aid you in your fitness journey. It also has an updated Running Coach for you to enjoy, along with seven more running programs. The watch can manually track more than 39 workouts, too, apart from the usual running, walking, cycling, and swimming.

Even better is its ability to track real-time stress levels through the Samsung Health app. It’s now integrated with popular wellness app called Calm, which provides access to guided meditation available in English, German, and Spanish.

Stay connected

The successor for the Galaxy Watch Active enables seamless connection within the Galaxy Ecosystem. When paired with a Galaxy Smartphone, the Watch Camera Controller on the smartwatch allows you to take photos and videos, or switch between front and rear lenses with just a tap of finger. It also has fast charging even with wireless power share.

For those who need to communicate, the smartwatch can make and receive calls freely, as well as respond on social media. You can like a tweet, or even watch a short video. In addition, the watch supports real-time voice and text translations that’s perfectly helpful for frequent travelers.

Stay functional

Furthermore, the Galaxy Watch Active 2 has an upgraded One UI for simpler and clearer user experience. It also has Samsung Pay, Samsung Health, and of course, Bixby. The latest smartwatch has a partnership with Spotify to let you enjoy your music, too!

Lastly, the watch sports the iconic rotating bezel and now extends itself to the curved super AMOLED display. The rotating touch bezel can toggle screens through a clock-wise or counter-clockwise rotation to help you choose between your favorite apps.

Stay Stylish

Samsung doesn’t compromise when it comes to your style. The South Korean company knows a watch is an accessory, which is why it highlights personalizing and customizing the smartwatch through a range of stylish straps and watch-face options.

Speaking of watch-face, it can change to match your outfit of the day! Through the Galaxy Wearable app, taking a photo of your outfit lets you choose from five different color patterns to match your style.

Currently, the watch comes in two different sizes — 44mm and 40mm in diameter — and two styles: a lightweight aluminum available in Cloud Silver, Aqua Black, and Pink Gold, and a stainless steel version in Cloud Silver which comes with a leather strap.

Pricing and Availability

The Galaxy Watch Active 2 will be available starting September. It’s priced at US$ 280 and US$ 300 for the 40mm and 40mm aluminum Bluetooth variant, respectively. The watch is compatible with Android 5.0 or higher, or iOS 9.0 or above.

Details will be updated when Samsung releases more information regarding the device.

Finance

India’s new SMS regulation creates havoc for banks, essential services

SMS deliveries have been down for days

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Indian telecom service providers started implementing the second phase of a new SMS regulation, disrupting essential services like OTP (one-time passwords), bank updates, and e-commerce messages. This is an industry-wide issue affecting everything, including India’s identity verification program called Aadhaar and the Coronavirus vaccination portal called CoWIN.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recently issued a guideline that mandated verifying every SMS and its content before delivery. The process is technically called scrubbing and was implemented on March 8, 2021. As a result, unverified and unregistered SMS messages were blocked by telcos.

TRAI says that scrubbing helps reduce spam or misleading messages that pretend to be from a financial institution. The process helps in differentiating between promotional and transactional messages. To control fraud, a blockchain-based solution is used by telcos to check every SMS’ header and content. If the source isn’t registered, the message won’t go through.

Telcos say that they simply followed the upgrade regulations and that telemarketers and companies are yet to join the formal registration process. Unfortunately, neither the telcos nor the banks have issued a statement to address public outrage.

Every transaction done by a credit or debit card is authenticated on the spot via a preset PIN or SMS OTP in India. For online transactions, a vast majority of users rely on OTPs, and these just aren’t getting delivered. Even SMS updates about a transaction aren’t able to go through. Telcos pushed back and pinned the blame on companies and their lax adoption, which have failed to comply with regulatory standards.

According to BloombergQuint, Axis Bank, one of India’s largest private banks, can deliver only 25 to 30 percent of the total messages. In the meantime, users are suggested to rely on alternative authentication services like Verified by Visa.

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Huawei P50 will launch with HarmonyOS out of the box

Bye Android

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Because of the ongoing American ban, Huawei is rapidly plummeting down the ranks. Though the company is already struggling to replace multiple components across the board, everything started with the loss of Google. Fortunately, they are already developing an Android alternative called HarmonyOS. However, the supposedly independent operating system is still nowhere to be found. Reportedly, its time has come. According to a Weibo source, the Huawei P50 series will come with HarmonyOS out of the box.

In the now-deleted source (captured by GSMArena), Huawei has already completed the second beta testing phase of its upcoming HarmonyOS and is readying for its third phase. Further, a final release is impending. According to the source, the upcoming P50 series will already come with the system from the get-go.

For existing Huawei users, though, the HarmonyOS beta is already available for anyone who wants to opt in. Naturally, doing so might not be the best decision yet, especially since it’s still in beta. Further, the ecosystem is still building itself into a thriving one.

Despite the software’s continuous development, it hasn’t been free from controversy. According to past rumors, HarmonyOS is apparently still based on Android’s software, specifically AOSP. If it’s true by the final release, the company hasn’t strayed away from its Android roots.

The Huawei P50 series is set to launch sometime this month.

SEE ALSO: Huawei P50 series still coming in March

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Huawei Mate 40 Pro now available with Smart postpaid plans

Starting at PhP 2,899 per month

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Huawei’s latest flagship, the Mate 40 Pro, can now be had on Smart’s Signature postpaid plans. For as low as PhP 2,899 per month, you can have the latest and the greatest from Huawei plus all the perks from Smart.

The perks include 15GB of data with rollover, unlimited texts and calls to all networks, and free 150 minutes of calls to local PLDT numbers. You will need to pay a PhP 9,800 one-time cashout.

If you want to make the most out of your device plan, apply now until March 31 to get a free, exclusive ring light case worth PhP 3,999. Physical store applications will net you a free wireless table lamp worth PhP 2,499 from March 12 to April 30.

Freebies for Huawei devices

Now is the best time also to check out Smart’s postpaid plans for Huawei devices. Every Huawei P40 Pro+, Nova series, and Y series postpaid plans now come with freebies worth up to PhP 20,990. You can grab this amazing deal only at Smart stores nationwide until March 31, 2021.

To know more about this offer, visit Smart’s website today.

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