News

Sony launches new Bravia XR TVs with up to 8K resolution

Powered by Google TV and Cognitive Processor XR

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Sony just launched the BRAVIA XR TV lineup, which features the next-gen Cognitive Processor XR. The lineup consists of 8K to 4K LCD or OLED TVs powered by Google TV, with compatibility for HDMI 2.1 and more.

The Cognitive Processor XR on the new BRAVIA XR TVs has a completely new image and sound processing method designed to mimic the way humans see and hear. It works by dividing the screen into numerous zones and detecting the focal point. Through the focal point, the built-in AI can intelligently and cross-analyze elements like color, contrast, and detail all at once. The end result is a synchronized and lifelike image for a better viewing experience.

The processor also intelligently analyzes the sound position from a signal so that the sound matches the image almost perfectly. Plus, it also upscales any sound into a 3D surround for a truly immersive experience.

BRAVIA XR TVs also have Google TV under the hood, bringing a whole lot of apps and entertainment to users. Users can also watch personalized recommendations and access bookmarked content from their Watchlist. Plus, Google TV comes integrated with Google Search and Assistant for quicker control of the TV and other connected devices. Users may even cast their favorite YouTube videos from smartphones, PC, or Google Nest to their TVs.

It also has Netflix Calibrated Mode, so users can watch Netflix movies and shows just as how the creators intended them. On top of it all, BRAVIA XR TVs have HDMI 2.1 support and e-ARC compatibility — think pro-gaming features such as 4K 120fps support, Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), and Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM).

Different models to choose from

BRAVIA XR TVs come in a variety of models and sizes. Each model also has its own unique features. The top-of-the-line MASTER Series Z9J model, for example, is an 85-inch LCD TV with a Full-Array LED panel, XR Triluminos Pro, XR Contrast Booster, and XR 8K Upscaling. It is also CALMAN Ready for advanced calibration and fine-tuning. In Singapore, this will cost around SG$ 26,999.

Almost the same features can be found on the A90J and A80J models, which range from 77-inch to 55-inch models. These are OLED TVs though, so you get much murkier blacks and saturated colors that aren’t entirely possible on an LCD TV. However, they also have a much lower resolution. The cheaper A80J will start at SG$ 3,999 while the A90J will retail from SG$ 5,999.

Meanwhile, the much cheaper X95J and X90J models pack the same specs as the top-of-the-line model but downgrade to 4K resolution to keep costs down. The X95J is available from an 85-inch to a 65-inch display and will start at SG$ 4,499. Meanwhile, the X90J is available in a variety of sizes ranging from 75-inch to 50-inch display and will retail from SG$ 2,599.

The new BRAVIA XR TVs will be available from April 2021 at Sony Stores, Sony Centres, and authorized dealers. It will also be available to buy online and through the official Sony store on Lazada Singapore.

India

The LG Wing gets a huge price cut, now available for $400

Offer available till stocks last

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Last week, LG announced it’ll entirely shut down its mobile division due to rising losses. It’ll stop making new phones, but existing inventory is up for grabs. It seems like the company is earnest about leaving the past behind and has announced a massive discount on the recently launched LG Wing.

The LG Wing has received a massive price cut of almost INR 40,000 (US$ 532). It was launched for INR 69,990 (US$ 931) in October 2020 but will now sell for INR 29,999 (US$ 400) via Flipkart. Only the 8GB+128GB option was launched in India.

While this may be surprising for readers from other markets, LG has previously introduced such radical discounts in India. Even the LG G8X, which launched for INR 70,000 (US$ 931), was soon available for INR 25,990 (US$ 345). It’s still in stock and available for a discounted price. In fact, you can exchange your old phone in return for further discounts of up to INR 16,500 (US$ 220).

LG Mobile intends to close down by July 31 completely. So, the time span available to grab existing inventory is short. Thankfully, a one-year warranty and five-year service for the LG Wing are mentioned, meaning LG intends to keep the spare and service supply chain active for a long time.

It has also confirmed that these recent phones shall receive active software updates for up to three years. So, if you’re thinking of grabbing a niche phone that looks unique, this is your chance.

If it helps, this writer purchased the LG G8X three months ago for a discounted price and it has turned out to be an extremely solid phone. The Dual Screen setup comes in very handy for Zoom calls, reading, and researching. We’re unlikely to see such radical or experimental ideas anytime soon since most companies are now focused on scaling, in turn, moving away from a niche market.

Read Also: The LG Wing 5G offers a new smartphone experience

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Health

Facebook will convert its California HQ into a vaccination site

Helping end the pandemic

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Vaccination
Image by Hakan Nural

Facebook said it’s converting a part of its Menlo Park headquarters into a vaccination site, joining the government effort to speed up the US’s vaccination drive. The technology company is going out of its way to ensure citizens are jabbed as soon as possible, in turn, putting an end to the Coronavirus pandemic.

It’ll partner with the Ravenswood Family Health Center to turn part of its headquarters into a vaccination clinic for underserved communities. The company also said it’s partnering with California Governor Gavin Newsom and nonprofits to support pop-up clinics.

Facebook plans to arrange vaccine rides to and from Facebook’s campus. However, Facebook employees will be ineligible for the vaccination program. The new vaccination site is being made for under-served communities.

Recently, the social networking giant launched a tool that shows the nearest vaccination facilities to a user. Facebook is partnering with Boston Children’s Hospital, which runs the VaccineFinder.org website, to offer the tool that identifies places nearby to get the vaccine.

The adoption of vaccines is a point of contention for many due to a host of reasons — misinformation, lack of trust, poor supply chains, and more. Amid the pandemic, health regulators worldwide are urging citizens to get jabbed as soon as possible. Facebook has also launched a profile picture frame that says, “I got my COVID vaccine.”

“Now that many countries are moving towards vaccinations for all adults, we’re working on tools to make it easier for everyone to get vaccinated as well,” Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, said in a blog post.

As part of the efforts, the Coronavirus Information Center will expand to Instagram, and the company soon expects to roll out a WhatsApp chatbot in association with local health authorities.

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Gaming

NEO: The World Ends with You is launching in July

On multiple platforms

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After announcing that NEO: The World Ends with You is indeed coming, Square Enix has now confirmed the game’s release date — July 27, 2021.

Square Enix also released additional details about the game including characters, locations, and team battle details.

The colorful cast of characters is lead by Rindo along with Fret, Nagi, Minamimoto, and Shiba. These characters will interact in a cartoonized version of Shibuya, Tokyo and their communication will be presented with a comic-esque look.

As you go around exploring the city streets and sounds, you will uncover the secret behind everything. As Rindo, you and your group of friends must break the fate handed to you by this deadly game.

Platforms, Pre-order bonus

NEO: The World Ends with You will be available on the PlayStation 4 (PS4), Nintendo Switch, and PC on the Epic Games Store.

The PS4 digital pre-order bonus includes an avatar set that can be used on the PlayStation Network profile.

The PS4 and Nintendo Switch digital early purchase bonus are five equippable items once used by the legendary Neku. These items are normally unavailable until you proceed considerably far in the story, so they will give you a leg up in the early days of the game. These are:

  • Legendary Headphones — Drastically increases item drop rates from enemies.
  • Legendary Tank Top — Greatly increases Attack.
  • Legendary Shorts — Shortens the duration the wearer is knocked down.
  • Legendary Sneakers — Increases movement speed during combat.
  • Legendary Music Player — Enormously increases HP.

Early purchase bonus for the physical version are:

  • Pin: UFO Rescue — Hold the button to slowly restore your team’s HP.
  • Threads: Virupaksa Hoodie — Greatly increases HP.
  • CD: Twister (Neo Mix) — Adds ‘Twister -NEO MIX-‘ as a main menu music option.
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