Sony launches Bravia A8F OLED flagship TV in Southeast Asia

Go big or go home



When Sony unveiled its first Bravia OLED TV at the Consumer Electronics Show last year, it was a show stopper — a breathtaking ultra-thin, 4K HDR panel with audio emanating from underneath its display.

Heralded by many reviewers as the best television of 2017, the Bravia A1E OLED had one little problem: Its angled kickstand took up a lot of space, so much so that you couldn’t prop up the TV against a wall. Not good if you don’t have a large enough living room.

This year, Sony is addressing that one quirk. Its new Bravia A8F OLED is basically the A1E with a more conventional stand, and a second subwoofer. We spent some time checking out Sony’s new flagship TV at its regional launch in Singapore, and are just as impressed.

At the heart of the Bravia A8F OLED is an X1 Extreme processor which Sony says is the secret sauce for an “extraordinary” 4K HDR experience. The TV now supports three different HDR formats including Dolby Vision which guarantees that when you’re watching supported content, like on Netflix for example, your TV is automatically tuned to the exact settings the filmmaker intended.

Available in two sizes, 65 and 55 inches, the A8F has an OLED panel with eight million self-illuminating pixels. OLED is the gold standard when it comes to television displays, giving you great picture quality with the darkest blacks and rich colors no matter the viewing angle.

It’s also got the same Acoustic Surface that sends sound waves through the display instead of built-in speakers. It runs on Android TV and has integrated Google Assistant, so from your TV, you can among other things, turn off the lights or turn on your Roomba robot vacuum. Sony says they’ve improved voice recognition, so searching for your favorite video content with voice commands shouldn’t be that much of a chore.

X9000F LCD TV goes big

Sony is also pushing new screen sizes of its 4K HDR LCD televisions in response to a growing demand for even larger displays.

Its top of the line X9000F Series now come in 85 and 75-inch models apart from the usual 65, 55, and 49 inches. Sony’s flagship LCD TVs are also powered by the same X1 Extreme processor and run Android TV with Google Assistant.

Expect pricing and availability for these new flagship TV models in the second quarter of 2018.


Apple ready to launch a lot of devices in next 12 months

Including iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Watches



Apple is obviously releasing new devices later this year. As is tradition, the company is readying for the launch of the next flagship series, the iPhone 14. However, it looks like the iPhone 14 series isn’t the only thing Apple is preparing for. According to a new report, the company is set to launch a plethora of products between now and early 2023.

As reported by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple has a lot of surprises for its fans. Besides the four upcoming models of the iPhone 14 series, the company will also launch “three Apple Watch variations, several Macs with M2 and M3 chips, the company’s first mixed-reality headset, low-end and high-end iPads, updated AirPods Pro earbuds, a fresh HomePod and an upgraded Apple TV.”

Previously, Apple was rumored to upgrade its iPad lineup, starting with a base iPad compatible with USB-C. With geopolitical pressure potentially forcing the company to completely shift to USB-C, a good number of new devices makes sense — that is, if USB-C is truly coming soon.

Besides that, the company has also teased an absurd number of changes and new features coming to iOS 16, iPadOS 16, watchOS 9, and macOS Ventura. It looks like an intensive refresh of software. A good set of software will naturally complement a similarly impressive set of hardware coming soon.

SEE ALSO: iOS 16: Best New Features

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Samsung has Starbucks-themed cases for coffee lovers

Exclusive to South Korea



Since the company is from the country, Samsung offers a lot of exclusives in South Korea. Previously, the company sold a Pokémon-themed exclusive edition of the Galaxy Z Flip 3 in — you guessed it — South Korea. Now, it has another set of exclusives. This time, it’s for coffee lovers. Samsung is now selling a Starbucks-themed cases for the Galaxy S22 series and the Galaxy Buds 2.

The smartphone cases are pretty straightforward. Sporting the coffee company’s iconic green, the Galaxy S22 and S22+ cases have either a patch with the Starbucks logo or a tagline that says, “Count Stars in Your Galaxy.”

Meanwhile, the Galaxy S22 Ultra features a more iconic case with a strap at the back. One variant has the iconic green-and-white color combination with a patch of a bear wearing a Starbucks apron. The other one has the strap designed as a Starbucks receipt.

While the smartphone cases are nifty on their own, the charging case for the Galaxy Buds 2 are on a league of their own. One model is a minimalist green with the Starbucks patch. The other, however, looks like a coffee mug with aesthetic latte art inside and a Starbucks logo at its side.

As with the previously mentioned Pokémon-themed products, the Starbucks-themed set is exclusive to South Korea and will be limited while supplies last.

SEE ALSO: Samsung unveils a Pokémon Edition of Galaxy Z Flip 3

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Netflix confirms ads are coming later this year

In a cheaper subscription tier



vivo T1x

Netflix is currently in a bind. As the platform’s rivals grow, Netflix has started shrinking and losing subscribers. The company has also started pondering on alternative strategies to maintain its grip on the streaming world. One of the most recent ideas involves the introduction of a cheaper, ad-supported subscription tier. Now, after much strategizing, Netflix has all but confirmed its addition later this year.

During the recent Cannes Lion advertising festival (via The Hollywood Reporter), Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos confirmed that the platform is indeed adding a cheaper option for subscribers by the end of the year. While the platform was initially averse to including ads, Sarandos has stated that some subscribers actually don’t mind ads in return for a cheaper price per month.

Prior to an official announcement, Netflix has not announced how much the new subscription will cost on launch. Likewise, they haven’t confirmed whether the tier will come to all countries and territories where Netflix is present.

If anything, Netflix isn’t alone or the first in adding an ad-supported subscription tier. Hulu, for example, already offers such a tier. Hulu’s partner streaming platform, Disney+, is also considering adding a similar tier later this year.

Besides adding the ad-supported tier, Netflix is also pumping up its presence in the gaming world. They are also considering another payment system meant for users who share their passwords to non-subscribers.

SEE ALSO: Netflix is losing a lot of long-term subscribers

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