The Black Shark 2 has arrived with notable improvements to its screen and performance. There’s what the company calls Ludicrous Mode on board.
The new screen is a 6.39” AMOLED screen from Samsung. Thanks to optimizations, the input latency has been reduced to 43.5ms – that’s actually quite good for a touch screen. And it’s pressure sensitive, Magic Press lets you map buttons to the left and right side of the screen that can be triggered by pressing harder on the screen. The force required can be tuned to comfortable levels too.
There’s also an emphasis on quality. The 1080p+ screen is HDR-enabled and covers the DCI-P3 color space with ΔE < 1. To ensure the colors stay accurate, there are four ambient light color sensors that help a dedicated image processor monitor your environment and adjust the screen accordingly.
The screen’s typical brightness is 430 nits. Full DC dimming avoids the flicker issue at low brightness levels. There’s also motion interpolation similar to high frame rate mode on TVs (though it’s not clear if the screen itself can go higher than 60Hz).
The Black Shark 2 features two front-facing stereo speakers, so you can hold the phone horizontally without blocking the speakers. This is carried over to the X-shaped antenna setup, that delivers strong reception regardless of how you hold the phone.
The in-display fingerprint reader is always accessible, even if you strap on an accessor on the back (and there are a couple of those).
Black Shark 2 in Shadow Black and Frozen Silver
Naturally, the phone is powered by the latest Snapdragon 855. A huge Liquid Cool 3.0 vapor chamber cooling system promises 14°C lower chipset temperature. There’s a Cooling Case add-on with a fan that helps dissipate even more heat, lowering the temperature by another 5°C.
Ludicrous mode eases off the temperature throttling and AI makes sure everything is running optically – from the CPU/GPU, the network and even charging speed.
Speaking of, the phone is equipped with a large 4,000mAh battery that supports 27W fast charging.
There’s a dual camera on the back, the main module is a 48MP Quad Bayer sensor with 0.8µm pixels and an f/1.75 aperture. The secondary camera has a 2x telephoto lens and a 12MP sensor (1.0µm pixels). The selfie camera is a 20MP shooter (f/2.0, 0.9µm).
Black Shark 2 camera samples
The Black Shark 2 will be available in China later today, you can find it here.
It starts at CNY 3,200 for the 6/128GB model and goes up to CNY 4,200 for the 12/256GB version. In both cases we’re talking about LPDDR4x RAM and UFS 2.1 storage. A new Frozen Silver color version is available, exclusive to the 8/256GB model.
Black Shark also unveiled the GamePad 3.0, which can turn the phone into a console similar to the Nintendo Switch. It features an HDMI output, in addition to hardware controls on either side of the phone.
Samsung’s SmartThings platform is already the hub that connects myriad consumer electronics products from the tech giant. The Internet of Things-based platform includes a smartphone app that makes it possible to easily monitor and automate many aspects of the connected home, which by itself of course is a huge, lucrative market category. However, there are indications Samsung may also be about to expand its SmartThings range of solutions soon, using it allow smart devices like the company’s watches and smartphones to measure the air quality around you.
Samsung filed a trademark application this past Friday for “SmartThings Air” with the European Union Intellectual Property Office. The application, which was spotted by Dutch tech news blog LetsGoDigital, includes in its description that the idea is for “Software for operating home automation systems, including lighting, heating, air conditioning, alarm and other safety equipment.” Also envisioned as being part of this setup are “sensors for measuring the air quality for monitoring, control and automation of the environment.” That measurement would encompass “volatile gases, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, pollen or toxins in the air,” as well as sensors for detecting the temperature, barometric pressure, humidity, oxygen and nitrogen concentration in the air.
This would seem to suggest smartphones, smartwatches and tablets potentially being able to measure air quality in their owner’s immediate environment. An ability that would include sending an alert or notification when something dangerous like carbon monoxide is detected — something that, when you think about it, is the kind of thing that makes a lot of sense given that most of us either keep our phones in our hands, on our person or beside us at night while we’re sleeping. Meaning, they’re the perfect tools to measure and keep us safe from dangers like this.
This kind of thing also shouldn’t come as a surprise, given that the proliferation of inexpensive sensors and the ubiquity of mobile devices was already leading some observers to conclude we would eventually see a radical “democratization” of air quality data. That sentiment, in fact, was basically the headline of a CityLab piece from 2018, which noted that technology advancements promise a leap forward in terms of getting a better look at what areas of the country are faring well (and not-so-well) when it comes to air quality. That’s thanks to the fact that the technology is more easily obtainable and deployable than ever these days, even by ordinary members of the public.
Given that this is only a patent, we’ll of course have to wait and see if Samsung decides to move forward with a commercialization of this idea — which would take the ability it already offers via myriad devices and solutions and bring it to mobile products like smartphones.
Human athletes won’t be the only spectacles at next summer’s Olympic Games.
As part of the aptly named Tokyo 2020 Robot Project, the organizing committee introduced a team of androids designed to assist disabled fans at the sporting extravaganza.
Olympic sponsor Toyota is contributing the Human Support Robot (HSR) and Delivery Support Robot (DSR), which will roam the National Stadium, carrying food and other goods, guiding people to their seats, and providing event information.
Human Support Robot (HSR), developed by Toyota Motor Corporation (via Tokyo 2020)
“We believe that the robots will help spectators in wheelchairs to enjoy watching the events without any restrictions, to soak up the atmosphere inside stadiums, and to feel the excitement of sport,” Nobuhiko Koga, chief officer of Toyota’s Frontier Research Center, said in a statement.
Delivery Support Robot (DSR), developed by Toyota Motor Corporation (via Tokyo 2020)
Panasonic, also a major sponsor, will provide 20 of its Power Assist Suits, used to support the wearer’s back and hips while carrying or lifting heavy objects—like, say, guest luggage.
“We strongly believe that our robot technology … will be of use to all people regardless of impairments, and to society in general, becoming a legacy for future generations,” according to Panasonic Executive Officer Masahiro Ido.
Panasonic’s Power Assist Suits come in handy when handling heavy luggage (via Tokyo 2020)
While these bots will be deployed in specific roles during the Games, the Tokyo 2020 Robot Project team hopes this international stage will help showcase their potential for wider applications in everyday life.
“The Tokyo 2020 Games are a unique opportunity for us to display Japanese robot technology,” Hirohisa Hirukawa, leader of the Tokyo 2020 Robot Project, said in a statement.
“This project will not simply be about exhibiting robots, but showcasing their practical real-life deployment helping people,” he continued. “So there will be not only sports at the Tokyo 2020 Games, but some cool robots at work to look forward to, as well.”
South Africa will soon have a new free-to-air terrestrial television service offering five free channels to viewers, including a dedicated 24-hour sports channel.
Kwese Free TV, which is 20% own by Econet Group (the parent of Liquid Telecom), has become the first free-to-air terrestrial broadcaster to be licensed since e.tv received its licence 21 years ago.
Icasa named Kwese Free TV as the successfully applicant of the licence at a press conference in Pretoria on Monday. Five entities had been vying for the licence, which includes a chunk (55%) of radio frequency spectrum in what is called broadcasting “Mux 3”.
Icasa has given Kwese 24 months to launch the service, but the company said it plans to go live as soon as possible
Other shareholders in Kwese Free TV include Royal Bafokeng Metix (part of Royal Bafokeng Holdings), which has a 45% stake, and Moss Mashishi’s Mossong Capital, which has a 35% stake. South Africa’s legal framework prevents Econet, a foreign company, from owning more than 20% of the new entity.
The Kwese Free TV launch is subject to the migration of analogue to digital television in South Africa. Icasa has given Kwese 24 months to launch the service, but the company said it plans to go live as soon as possible, and will probably start with a high-definition sports channel. It also plans to offer four standard-definition channels, including ones offering a mix of entertainment.
The spectrum awarded to Kwese has a total capacity of 37Mbit/s. This can be used to offer up to 11 standard-definition channels and two HD channels, according to Icasa.
Zolile Ntukwana, group executive for regulatory affairs for Econet, told TechCentral in an interview after the Icasa press conference that the Kwese Sports free-to-air channel is already available in as many as 18 countries in Africa. Sports the company hopes to offer South African viewers include the next Fifa World Cup, English Premier League matches and the Olympic Games.
The Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker has been the best-selling multi-cooker on the planet for pretty much as long as we can remember at this point. It’s definitely worth every penny of its $100 asking price, but it also goes on sale reasonably often. As you might have guessed by now, one of those sales is happening right now and if you hurry, you can snag the DUO60 for $79.99. It’s a great deal and we doubt it’ll last very long.
Here’s what you need to know from the product page:
Duo, the number 1 selling multi-cooker, combines 7 kitchen appliances in 1, Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Marker and Warmer, prepares dishes up to 70% faster to support your busy lifestyle Features 14 Smart Programs – Soup, Meat/Stew, Bean/Chili, Poultry, Sauté/Simmer, Rice, Multigrain, Porridge, Steam, Slow Cook, Keep Warm, Yogurt, Manual, and Pressure Cook. Now, your favorite dishes are as easy as pressing a button Healthy, stainless steel (18/8) inner cooking pot made from food grade 304, no chemical coating, 3-ply bottom for even heat distribution, fully sealed environment traps the flavours, nutrients and aromas within the food Built with the latest 3rd generation technology, the microprocessor monitors pressure, temperature, keeps time, and adjusts heating intensity and duration to achieve your desired results every time.Product Dimensions: 14.17 x 14.84 x 13.31 inches UL and ULC certified with 10 safety mechanisms to provide you with added assurance, designed to eliminate many common errors. Power supply: 120V – 60Hz
Managing Director at Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan.
Ecobank’s newly upgraded online banking platform, Omni-Lite is specifically optimised for local corporates, public sector and SMEs.
Managing Director at Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan has urged business owners to register for Ecobank Omni Lite to discover how the platform can help grow and manage their businesses.
“Omni Lite is primarily designed with business owners in mind. It comes with features to enhance businesses such as efficient and seamless cash flow management, easy view of all accounts and expenses in one place, convenient salary payment with bulk payments upload, management of loan payments, exchange rates calculation and other interesting features,” Akinwuntan.
The platform allows Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), educational institutions, non-government organisation and government institutions, to manage their transactions and access an array of tailor-made solutions designed to empower their businesses.
Akinwuntan further stated that with Omni Lite, customers have access to real-time transaction details, domestic and interbank funds transfers and online loan requests. The platform comes with best in its class security tools to ensure that users are protected.
Omni Lite has features for local corporates, public sector and SMEs including:
Single and multiple account profiles management Easily view all accounts and expenses in one place Instant local bank account transfers Easily pay salaries with bulk payments upload Pay bills Make and manage loan payments Exchange rate calculate Easily generate reports Do it all online and on mobile
Spotify has labelled Apple a “monopolist” as the competition row between the music streaming service and the technology giant continues.
Last week, Spotify confirmed it had reported Apple to the European Commission over what it claimed were anticompetitive practices in charging rivals a 30% tax on purchases made through Apple’s payment system on its app store.
It said this included taking a cut when Spotify users who chose to upgrade from the free version of the service to the pay monthly premium version and this led to the firm gaining an unfair advantage because it has its own streaming service — Apple Music.
Every monopolist will suggest they have done nothing wrong and will argue that they have the best interests of competitors and consumers at heart
Apple responded, accusing Spotify of seeking to keep the benefits of being on its app store without “making any contributions to that marketplace”, arguing the majority of Spotify users on Apple’s iOS platform used the free version of the app and did not, therefore, contribute to this revenue stream.
The iPhone maker said Spotify had wrapped “financial motivations in misleading rhetoric”.
Now Spotify has hit back again, claiming Apple’s approach hurts competition and consumers.
“Every monopolist will suggest they have done nothing wrong and will argue that they have the best interests of competitors and consumers at heart,” a Spotify spokesman said.
“In that way, Apple’s response to our complaint before the European Commission is not new and is entirely in line with our expectations. We filed our complaint because Apple’s actions hurt competition and consumers, and are in clear violation of the law. This is evident in Apple’s belief that Spotify’s users on iOS are Apple customers and not Spotify customers, which goes to the very heart of the issue with Apple. We respect the process the European Commission must now undertake to conduct its review.”
In an initial blog post on the issue, the music streaming service’s boss Daniel Ek said Apple’s rules were designed to “purposely limit choice and stifle innovation at the expense of the user experience”.
“If we pay this tax, it would force us to artificially inflate the price of our Premium membership well above the price of Apple Music,” he said. “And to keep our price competitive for our customers, that isn’t something we can do.”
Apple noted in its own response the tax in question does not apply if people subscribe through a non-Apple device, such as on a desktop, and then use the service afterwards on an Apple device.
The firm also said it drops from 30% to 15% after the first year and denied Spotify claims it had blocked app updates and access to products such as Siri voice assistant integration and Apple Watch connectivity.
Ek said: “This is not a Spotify vs Apple issue” and the firm just wanted to promote healthy competition. “We want the same fair rules for companies young and old, large and small,” he said. “It is
There’s no denying this: true wireless earphones are pretty awesome. They’re light, discreet, and completely untethered, providing freedom and convenience we could once only dream of.
Samsung joined the party back in 2016 with the Gear IconX – a set of earphones that looked cool, but lacked in many areas, such as battery life. The second-gen IconX earphones from 2018 lasted much longer between charges, but overall, they were still largely unremarkable as a product.
Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve been testing Samsung’s third-generation truly wireless earbuds – the Samsung Galaxy Buds. Are they Samsung’s best attempt so far, and should they be considered over notable alternatives from well-established audio brands? Time to find out!
Design and comfort With the Galaxy Buds, Samsung sticks to a familiar formula. The earphones are of the in-ear variety and need to be tucked in place with a slight twist. The rubbery tips that enter the wearer’s ear canal are replaceable and you get three different sizes in the box. Finding the one that fits you best is crucial as it affects not only how comfortable these feel, but also how good they sound. On the opposite side, rubbery wings press lightly against your earlobe and provide extra friction. Again, these are replaceable and you get several wings of different sizes in the box.
Throughout my testing, I’ve never felt like the Galaxy Buds were about to fall from my ears. They are very light and I feel comfortable wearing them for a couple of hours straight while at the office. However, I do feel their presence a lot more while doing intense activities like running, for example. They’re probably not the best earbuds for working out as they don’t have a high level of resistance against water.
The Galaxy Buds come in three colors: black, white, and the kind of bright yellow people can spot from a mile away. We’ve noticed that the white model reflects light with a subtle pearlescent effect, much like the one seen on the white Galaxy S10+. With their similar paint jobs, the two devices go together pretty well.
While not in use, the Samsung Galaxy Buds can be stored in their pill-shaped carrying case, which also doubles as a charger with its internal battery. The earphones snap into their spots with the help of magnets, which minimizes the chance of you stowing them away without them making full contact with the charging terminals. This was an issue with last year’s IconX. The case itself is bigger than that of the Apple AirPods, but smaller than the cases for many other alternative offerings. It fits fully inside the coin pocket of my jeans.Connectivity To no surprise, the Galaxy Buds work best with a Samsung Galaxy phone, and they were paired to a Galaxy S10+ for the purposes of our testing. Pairing is quick, as when
Early on Monday morning, Apple’s online store mysteriously went offline, which is an unequivocal sign that new hardware was on the way. We’ve been expecting Apple to introduce a bunch of new products this month, including new entry-level iPads (iPad 7 and iPad mini 5), the AirPods 2 truly wireless earbuds, and the AirPower wireless charger that can charge three devices at once, to name a few. But we weren’t so sure that any of them would be unveiled next week during the company’s first keynote of the year. The star of that show is expected to be Apple’s upcoming new streaming video service that will take on the likes of Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video, so there was apparently no room for new hardware products at that event. The Apple store is now back online, and now we know precisely what Apple’s new products are.
Apple just launched the new iPad Air — that’s right, the iPad Air series is back — and a brand new 5th-generation iPad mini.
Image Source: Apple
Starting at $399 for the 64GB Wi-Fi version and $529 for the cellular model, the iPad mini comes in silver, space gray, and gold. You’ll have to add $150 extra if you want to go for the 256GB versions of each model.
The new iPad mini has the same 7.9-inch traditional iPad mini design, featuring a Touch ID sensor on the bottom and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Other specs include the A12 Bionic chip that also powers the 2018 iPhone XS, XS Max, XR, and iPad Pro, 8-megapixel rear camera, 7-megapixel FaceTime camera, stereo speakers, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0, eSIM support (on the cellular model), and a 19.1 watt-hour battery.
Image Source: Apple
Apple’s new iPad Air, meanwhile, looks like a repurposed 2017 10.5-inch iPad Pro model when it comes to design. It’s available in the same colors and storage options as the iPad mini, but prices start at $499 and $649 for the Wi-Fi and cellular models, respectively.
Just like the mini, the iPad Air has a Touch ID home button on the front, and a 3.5mm headphone jack, and it shares the same list of specs, A12 Bionic chip included. Of course the Air is much bigger than the mini, so the battery is significantly larger at 30.2 watt-hours.
Both tablets also feature Retina displays with True Tone technology, and they both support the Apple pencil stylus if that’s something you want in an iOS tablet. These new tablets are variations of the 2018 iPad Pro models featuring older iPad designs, which makes them a lot more affordable than Apple’s current crop of iPad Pro tablets.
The tablets can be preordered online beginning today, and they will hit Apple Stores in several markets including the United States next week.
Kingston is making a renewed effort in the enterprise storage market this year, starting with the launch of their DC500 family of enterprise SATA SSDs. The new DC500R and DC500M product lines are designed for read-intensive and mixed workloads respectively, with endurance ratings of 0.5 and 1.3 drive writes per day, respectively.
The target market for the DC500 family is second-tier cloud service providers and system integrators. The biggest cloud companies (Google, Microsoft, Amazon, etc.) have largely moved over to NVMe SSDs, but among the smaller datacenter players there is still a large market for SATA drives. These companies are already Kingston’s biggest customers for DRAM, so Kingston already has a foot in the door.
The DC500 family continues Kingston’s close relationship with Phison, incorporating the new Phison S12 SATA SSD controller. This provides all the usual features expected from an enterprise drive, including end-to-end data path protection, Phison’s third-generation LDPC error correction, and power loss protection. The NAND flash Kingston is using this time is Intel’s 64-layer 3D TLC, rated for 5000 Program/Erase cycles. Kingston most often uses Toshiba flash, especially given their investment in Toshiba Memory Corporation, but ultimately Kingston is still an independent buyer of memory, and at the moment they consider Intel to be a better option for their enterprise SSDs.
Performance ratings are typical for SATA drives with TLC NAND. Both the DC500R and DC500M will saturate the SATA link for sequential transfers or random reads. The DC500R’s steady-state random write performance is rated for 12k-28k IOPS depending on capacity, while the DC500M with substantially more overprovisioning can sustain 58k-75k random write IOPS. Capacities for both tiers of DC500 will be 480GB up to 3.84TB. The DC500R is shipping starting today, while the DC500M will start shipping next week, except for the largest 3.84TB capacity that will arrive later in Q2.
The Samsung Chromebook 3 has bounced around the top of Amazon’s best-sellers list for quite some time now, and the reasons aren’t really a mystery. This compact and lightweight laptop offers terrific performance and all-day battery life for just $220. Of course $220 is the retail price, and you know the BGR Deals team wouldn’t bring it up if you had to pay full retail. If you hurry, you can pick up a refurb for less than $150!
Here’s more info from the product page:
11.6 inch ( 1366 x 768), 16:9 Intel Celeron Processor N3060, 1.6 GHz to 2.48 GHz 4 GB Memory. Spill Resistant – Yes Google Chrome system. Brightness: 220 units
Xiaomi introduced its first truly wireless earbuds a few months ago and now the company is following them up with a new model that costs half as much – just CNY 99 ($15/€13). That’s an affordable price for any Bluetooth headset, never mind a truly wireless one.
Technically, these are the Redmi AirDots while the first model was under the Xiaomi brand. Still, it seems that you’re getting the same features (other than the color – black).
The buds connect over Bluetooth 5.0 and feature 7.2mm drivers. There’s a built-in DSP wtihi “environment noise reduction”. It’s not clear if this is true noise cancellation, but odds are it only works for calls.
There’s capacitive touch controls on them and a double tap can summon the voice assistant. It even works with Siri on the iPhone and Google Assistant on Androids.
The buds can last up to 4 hours on their own while their carrying case extends that to 12 hours of play time. A bud charges its 40mAh battery in 1.5 hours, the 300mAh battery in the case needs 2 hours. Each bud weighs just 4.1g.
The carrying case extends play time to 12 hours
The Redmi AirDots will be available in China from April 9. You can find them on the official store. They are available only in black, if you want white ones, you’ll have to grab the Xiaomi AirDots Youth Edition instead (here at double the price, there will be a sale tomorrow).
The 5th-generation iPad Mini may be compact, but it is powered by the same Apple A12 chip found inside the iPhone XS and XS Max. The 7.9-inch display is of high resolution and supports a broader range of colors, as well as Apple’s True Tone display tech. Another highlight is the support for the Apple Pencil (1st gen.), allowing you to sketch or take hand-written notes.
Guinness World Records certified a gunmetal disc excavated from the wreck site of a Portuguese Armada ship as the earliest known example of a mariner’s astrolabe.
Believed to have been made between 1496 and 1501, the instrument was historically used by astronomers and navigators to identify stars or planets, determine local latitude, survey, and triangulate.
The astrolabe was part of explorer Vasco da Gama’s second voyage to India in the early 16th century.
The 4th India Armada was designed as a punitive expedition to avenge the travails of the 2nd Armada and the massacre of the Portuguese factory in 1500.
And while Vasco made it home safely, the Esmeralda—part of his legendary fleet—met a worser fate: The wreck was initially located in 1998, and excavated between 2013 and 2015 by the Oman Ministry of Heritage and Culture and Bluewater Recoveries Ltd.
Now, relics from a 500-year-old excursion are making history.
Astrolabes, popular among Portuguese and Spanish seafarers like Bartolomeu Dias, Christopher Columbus (fine, he’s Italian), and Vasco da Gama, are considered the rarest and most-prized of artifacts from ancient shipwrecks. Only 104 examples are known to exist in the world.
The solid-disk Sodré was named after the commander of the ship in which it was found—Vincente Sodré, maternal uncle of Vasco da Gama, who died when his vessel wrecked on the remote Omani Island of Al Hallaniyah in 1503.
It is the only specimen decorated with a national symbol: Portugal’s royal coat of arms.
The thin disk was analyzed by a team from the Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) at the University of Warwick, who collected laser scans of a selection of the most important artifacts recovered from the ancient wreck site.
“Without the laser scanning work performed by WMG we would never have known that the scale marks, which were invisible to the naked eye, existed,” according to David Mearns, of Blue Water Recoveries. “Their analysis proved beyond doubt that the disk was a mariner’s astrolabe.”
Researchers also 3D-printed a virtual model of the item, which, upon further analysis by Texas A&M University, has been authenticated as the earliest known mariner’s astrolabe discovered to date.
“From this, historians and scientists can determine more about history and how ships navigates,” Mark Williams, a professor at England’s University of Warwick, said in a statement.
A ship’s bell dated 1498 was also recovered from the same wreck, and confirmed to be the oldest in the world.
As its name implies, the 2019 iPad Air is light and thin tablet for everyday use. However, it does pack a punch thanks to the Apple A12 chip inside it – the same found in the iPhone XS and XS Max. Among its key selling points are the support for the Apple Pencil (1st gen.) and for the Apple Smart Keyboard cover. The 10.5-inch display supports Wide Colors and Apple’s True Tone technology but lacks the higher, 120Hz refresh rate of ProMotion. Face ID is also missing, but you do get Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint reader for user authentication.