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Vivo announces AI-powered Super HDR

For better smartphone photography!

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Vivo is stepping up their smartphone photography game and they’re not only focusing on selfies anymore.

The Chinese mobile phone company just announced that they’re integrating artificial intelligence into their smartphone camera’s Super HDR mode.

Just how will this work? Well, like normal HDR, but better.

For every photo taken, 12 separate frames — more than the usual number of frames in HDR photography — will be merged to better light the final picture. Depending on the scene, Super HDR also adapts and chooses different parts of the frames to ensure that the best highlights and details are included, and the photo looks balanced and natural.

Last, but not the least, “complex AI algorithms” are used to make sure that as soon as that shutter is pressed, your camera knows what type of photo you’re taking and consequently, the best way to take those photos despite challenging lighting conditions. See samples below:

This isn’t the first we’ve heard of artificial intelligence on a smartphone camera as there have been many companies jumping on that bandwagon these days. However, Vivo’s use of 12 separate frames in one photo is unprecedented as most phones only use three frames on HDR mode. Suffice to say, I’m curious to see how the brand will end up applying this technology and how it will actually measure when it comes to real-life use.

SEE ALSO: Vivo APEX hands-on: A true bezel-less smartphone?

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Xiaomi confirms the Mi 11 will launch with Snapdragon 888

Expected to launch in January

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Qualcomm announced its latest offering, and it comes with a different nomenclature now. Called the Snapdragon 888, it’ll be the chip that powers most Android flagships in 2021. And, Xiaomi says its Mi 11 will be among the first to launch a phone with the new chip installed.

“I’m very happy to tell you that the next-generation Xiaomi premium 5G smartphone powered by Snapdragon 888 will be launched very soon. This is a cutting-edge product full of numerous top-notch features,” Xiaomi co-founder and CEO Lei Jun said.

Mi 11 specifications are yet to be revealed officially. However, the rumor mill has suggested that the new smartphone would come with a 48-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera and at least 6GB of RAM. The phone is expected to launch in January alongside the Mi 11 Pro.

Xiaomi isn’t the only brand that’s trying to be among the first, though. OPPO and realme have also announced they’re working on a phone with Snapdragon 888, and they’re expected to materialize in January.

Usually, phone makers prefer to show-off their phones in February at MWC Barcelona. However, timelines have radically changed due to high demand amid the Coronavirus outbreak. Adding to this, 5G is becoming a lucrative feature since commercial rollout has started in many countries.

Keep in mind, the Snapdragon 888 succeeds last year’s Snapdragon 865 and comes with a Snapdragon X60 5G modem. The chipset was informally called the Snapdragon 875 before the launch.

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realme Race will be one of the first phones to have Snapdragon 888

Race is just a codename at the moment

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File photo: realme X2 Pro

Qualcomm unveiled its flagship Snapdragon 888 chipset at the Snapdragon Summit, and phone makers were quick to announce their plans. realme says it’ll be launching a flagship-class phone dubbed Race, and it’ll be among the first to sport the latest processor.

Race is just a codename at the moment, and the actual name of the phone might differ. Leaks in the past have suggested it could be called either realme Ace or realme X60 Pro 5G. The brand has built a solid portfolio in the entry-level and budget segment and is now looking to grab the top-end.

realme India and Europe CEO Madhav Sheth said that the company’s next flagship phone would be a milestone for both realme and its users. The brand has previously launched a high-end phone, but the realme X50 Pro 5G came with a very competitive price tag to take on OnePlus and Samsung.

“We are proud to be among the first smartphone manufacturers to come equipped with the Snapdragon 888 chipset. With this milestone, we reaffirm our commitment to bring more 5G devices to India in 2021,” said Sheth said.

realme’s focus since inception has been on India, and it has managed to grab a significant market in a concise period of time. It’s worth noting that 5G connectivity isn’t available commercially in the country, and we don’t expect a roll-out until the end of 2021.

Qualcomm is yet to disclose the intrinsic details about the Snapdragon 888, and it’ll be done on the second day of the Snapdragon Summit, which is on December 02, 2020.

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Enterprise giant Salesforce acquires Slack for $27.7 billion

Salesforce’s biggest purchase in the 21st century

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Business software pioneer Salesforce is buying work-chatting service Slack for US$ 27.7 billion. The acquisition of Slack is being hailed as Salesforce’s biggest purchase in the 21st century.

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has said that together the two companies will shape the future of enterprise software. Salesforce has a robust unified platform for businesses to connect with their employees, customers, and partners, making it a perfect match for Slack.

The deal comes as the communication platform struggles to fully capitalize on the Coronavirus pandemic. With remote working becoming the new norm, the demand for enterprise communication apps has skyrocketed.

It faces a lot of competition from Microsoft Teams, which is deeply connected with Office and Outlook. Even Facebook and Google joined the race. However, their solutions lacked deep integration with other enterprise modules.

Slack was founded as a gaming company in 2009 in Canada but it soon emerged as the widely used workplace messaging app. It focused on real-time communication, giving teams the option to rely on an instant messaging app over email.

Details of the sale

According to the acquisition terms, Slack shareholders will receive US$ 26.79 in cash and 0.0776 shares of Salesforce common stock for each Slack share or US$ 45.5 per share based on Salesforce’s closing price on Tuesday.

Salesforce was the first company in the world to widely adopt the SaaS (Software as a Service) model, and it has worked wonders. The company was also among the first to leverage the cloud computing trend. It designed its entire systems around a decentralized hub that can be accessed remotely from any device, anywhere.

If the deal goes through as planned, Salesforce hopes to control Slack sometime from May to July 2021.

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