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Singapore is getting a taste of Samsung’s pink-gold Galaxy S7 phones

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It looks like Samsung has more in store for Singapore. After news broke out about Singapore receiving Samsung Pay first in Southeast Asia, the country is now among the first to officially offer pink-gold variants of the Galaxy S7 4G+ and S7 edge 4G+.

We can’t say we didn’t see this coming: Samsung’s answer to Apple’s now-ubiquitous rose-gold iPhone was revealed a little less than a month ago, and the region-specific releases are just around the corner. It’s certainly a welcome addition, since the original set of colors didn’t exactly present a lot of variety.

The alternative color option doesn’t introduce any new specs or features, but you still get the solid water resistance, class-leading camera, and high-speed fingerprint scanner, among others. You can find a much more detailed rundown of the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge in our hands-on review.

pink-gold-galaxy-s7

Samsung’s Galaxy S7 is pretty in pink

You’ll be able to purchase the Galaxy S7 4G+ in pink gold beginning May 14 for S$998, while the pink-gold version of the Galaxy S7 edge 4G+ will be available starting May 28 with a retail price of S$1,098. Both models come with 32GB of internal storage and will be found in several authorized retailers around the country.

The good news doesn’t end there for Singapore: Local Samsung fans also have the Gear 360 to look forward to this month.

Samsung's Gear 360 camera brings 360 video to the masses

Samsung’s Gear 360 camera brings 360 video to the masses

The Gear 360 is a major step forward in Samsung’s quest of bringing virtual reality to the mainstream. Having two 180-degree fisheye lenses at 15 megapixels each, the camera is capable of shooting full 360-degree photos and videos, making it a perfect complement to the Gear VR headset.

The primary strength of the Gear 360 lies in its connectivity options. You can use one of the aforementioned Samsung flagship handsets as a viewfinder for the camera, and effortlessly upload to popular online platforms, such as YouTube and Facebook, through the proprietary Gear 360 app. We covered more of its features back in February.

Samsung Singapore says the Gear 360 will be available beginning May 21 for S$498 from the online stores of key telecommunication operators and IT/consumer electronics retailers, as well as Lazada Singapore.

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Google Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL still great for photos, now with 90Hz panel

All leaks mostly confirmed

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The Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4XL are now official confirming most of the leaks that came out leading up to its launch. So what’s different, what improved, and what stayed the same? We’ll go through all of that right now.

No fancy waterfall displays, just thoughtful design

Google appears to be taking plenty of cues from Apple in the design department in the sense that not much has changed. Looking at the device up front, you might mistake it for the Pixel 2XL. That’s because Google is doing away with the notch but it’s keeping the thick bezel for a reason that we’ll get to later on.

On the back, the most notable difference is the square holding its dual camera setup. Yes, just two. One main shooter and another one that’s “roughly 2x telephoto.” Google says, “While wide angle can be fun, telephoto is more important.”

The back is also moving away from the two-toned design we’ve grown to associate with the Pixel. In its place is a solid glass back with only a single color and a frosted matte coating.

The power button is still a different color from the rest of the phone depending on the variant you choose.

Still the best camera on a smartphone?

Plenty of people are eagerly waiting for the Pixel just to see well they will fair in the camera department. Based on the latest numbers by DxOMark, the Huawei Mate 30 Pro currently holds the crown but that might be quickly taken away soon.

The hardware on the Pixel 4 are as follows: 12.2MP main camera with f/1.7 aperture, plus a 16MP f/2.4 telephoto zoom lens that supports hybrid zoom. But the Pixel has always been more than just hardware.

The true crowning glory of the Pixel cameras is Google’s computational photography. And that applies even on the telephoto lens. It combines both the 2x telephoto lens along with Super-Res Zoom to produce high quality, zoomed in images.

There’s now also what Google is calling Live HDR+. It basically means the HDR application happens real-time. Basically, whatever you see right before you take a shot is the photo that you should expect to come it.

That same feature allows Double Exposure — separate slides for highlights and shadows on Pixel 4 before you take your shot.

Computational photography also lends a huge hand in white balancing along with a wider range for portrait mode, and improved night sight.

That front-camera setup

Again, just like on the iPhone, there’s now a lot going on in that thick forehead bezel.

It’s not home to a bunch of new sensors that work together towards a more secure face recognition suite. There’s the selfie camera, a pair of IR cameras, flood illuminators, and DOT projectors.

Google says it’s the first smartphone equipped with a radar. It enables Motion Sense which Google claims is the fastest and most secure face unlock feature on a smartphone. It also allows you to control the Pixel 4 without touching it — similar to the Air Gestures that Samsung first tried a few years back.

Overall equipped with better hardware

Displays with high refresh rate might be a growing trend and the Pixel doesn’t want to be left behind. The phone is equipped with a 90Hz panel, similar to the one on the most recent OnePlus smartphones.

The rest of the device also gets a spec bump. Powering the Pixel 4 is Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC along with 6GB of RAM and either 64GB or 128GB of storage. Nothing to write home about as the numbers pale in comparison to other flagships in 2019. But, again like the iPhone, the Pixel isn’t exactly about the numbers.

You might also be happy to know that both the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL have an IP68 rating.

Pricing and availability 

The Google Pixel 4 starts at US$ 799 and will start shipping on October 24. It will come in three colors: Just Black, Clearly White, and Oh So Orange. It will be available through all major US carriers.

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Accessories

New Google Pixel Buds coming in 2020

Gotta wait a while longer

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The new Google Pixel Buds have officially been unveiled but we won’t get our hands on them until Spring 2020.

Google says the Pixel Buds were designed with the user in mind. It is truly wireless and promises rich sound, clear calls, and a comfortable fit. The company notes how it’s great hardware made exceptional by having Google deeply embedded into it. For instance, it should help you in your out-of-the-country trips with Google Translate built in.

The new Pixel Buds are supposed to last for five hours of continuous playback and extend that to 24 hours through the wireless charging case. The headphones will retail for US$ 179.

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Apple Safari caught sending user data to a Chinese company

Is Apple’s commitment to privacy just a marketing hype?

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Data privacy is a buzzword that Apple likes to throw around as built-in by default on their products. The company proudly boasts that all of their users’ data are safe and secure with their devices. However that may not be true with the recent discovery that Apple’s Safari browser is sending user data to a Chinese company.

The recent discovery involves the Fraudulent Website Warning. It is on by default on all Safari browsers. It alerts users to malicious websites by checking URLs to a list of such websites. Apple uses Google Safe Browsing to check for URLs. Recently, Apple started using Tencent Safe Browsing, as stated in the Safari’s “About Security & Privacy”:

Photo by reclaimthenet.org

Safari sends the user’s IP address by default for its safe browsing feature. An IP address may determine the user’s profile since it reveals their location.

The most concerning part here is that Safari sends a user’s IP address to Tencent. Tencent, a Chinese tech company, has links to the Chinese government. The Chinese government has a poor track record for upholding human rights and data privacy, so it is unsurprising why this discovery is concerning.

Apple recently clarified that only iOS devices in China use Tencent Safe Browsing feature. Also, the company stated that it never share URLs with Google or Tencent. Apparently, users may turn off the feature, but doing so leaves them open to malicious attacks.

The recent discovery sheds light into Apple’s troubling relationship with the Chinese government. Recently, the company gave in to the pressures from the Chinese government — especially with its removal of a police tracking app in Hongkong. So, the connection between Safari and Tencent is concerning, to say the least.

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