Gadgets – indscoop Technology News, Entertaiment Thu, 19 Apr 2018 03:21:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 114420553 Google Home and Chromecast vs. Amazon Echo and Fire TV Tue, 31 Oct 2017 05:29:32 +0000 […]]]> Which is the best hands-free TV experience?

Let’s be honest: Reaching for the remote while watching TV isn’t a major inconvenience. But sometimes, after a long day, it’s nice to expend as little energy as possible. If you can control your TV by voice instead, why wouldn’t you?

To that end, Google and Amazon now offer hands-free TV controls through their respective connected speakers. Amazon added Fire TV voice controls to the Echo speaker and other Alexa devices a couple weeks ago, while Google has offered similar voice controls for Chromecast through its own Google Home speaker since last December. Both combos allow you to launch videos, pause, play, rewind, and fast forward without ever touching a remote control.

At least that’s how it works in theory. You’ll quickly run into limitations once you start stress-testing Google Home with Chromecast or Amazon Echo with Fire TV. If you’re looking to control your television with these smart speakers, here’s what to expect from each solution.

Device support

With Alexa devices such as the Amazon Echo, voice control works for all Fire TV products. That includes the first- and second-generation Fire TV box, first- and second-generation Fire TV Stick, and Fire TV Edition televisions.

Amazon Echo voice commands work with any Fire TV device (including first-generation models).
Google Home can control all Chromecast models (including the 4K-enabled Chromecast Ultra) and televisions that have Chromecast built-in. Android TV devices are supported as well, but I got an error message when trying to launch Netflix videos on an Nvidia Shield TV. (Playing YouTube videos worked fine.)


With a single Google Home, you can control any Chromecast throughout the house. The Google Home app for iOS and Android lets you link multiple Chromecast devices to the speaker, and you can set up custom device names (like “Living Room TV” or “Basement Chromecast”) to use in your voice commands.

By contrast, each Amazon Alexa device must be assigned to a single Fire TV, chosen through the Alexa app on iOS or Android. This approach does allow for shorter voice commands, since you don’t have to specify which device you’re controlling, but it won’t work for certain setups, such as a large basement with multiple TVs within earshot of an Echo.

Launching videos

Today, Alexa can only launch videos from Amazon’s own Prime video service on Fire TV. Asking for a movie or show that’s not on Prime takes you to a generic search results page, which you can’t navigate without a remote. (One exception: If the search brings up only a single result, you might be able to launch it by saying “Alexa, watch that.”) You can also ask Alexa to launch specific apps like HBO Now and Hulu, but you need a remote to proceed any further into the app.

Chromecast and Google Home aren’t much better at the moment, with support for just Netflix and YouTube videos. In May, Google announced that it was expanding voice controls to HBO Now, Hulu, YouTube TV, Google Play Movies & TV, CBS All Access, Food Network, CW, HGTV, Red Bull TV, Travel Channel, Crackle, DIY Network, Viki, and Cooking Channel, but it’s unclear when this support will become available.

Playback controls

Both Amazon Alexa/Fire TV and Google Home/Chromecast support the basics, such as pause, play, rewind, and fast forward. You can also use voice to fast forward or rewind by a specific number of minutes; you can also skip ahead to the next episode.

Since Chromecast lacks a dedicated remote, voice commands may be the easiest way to control basic playback.
But both device combos go off the rails when you want to watch a particular episode or season. Ask Alexa for the next season of a show, and it takes you to the next episode instead. Ask Google Home for the same thing, and it simply tells you that it can’t do that yet.

Still, Google Home has a couple of advantages for now: You can tell it to turn closed captions on and off, and you can tell it to turn the volume down from your television’s current level. (Note: This only adjusts the volume on the Chromecast, not on the TV itself, and it may not work at all if your TV volume is managed by a separate sound system.)

Browsing for things to watch

If you just want to use voice search to see what’s on, Fire TV has a theoretical advantage, with search results that appear on the TV screen. By comparison, asking Google Home to suggest movies or shows only gives you a few spoken suggestions through the speaker, with nothing appearing on the TV via Chromecast.

In practice, though, neither set of devices is particularly useful for browsing. Fire TV only shows a few results at a time, with no way to view supplemental information or navigate through the results by voice. And while you can ask Google Home to tell you more about a particular movie or TV show, the process feels more cumbersome than just reaching for your phone.

TV and A/V controls

Although Google Home and Amazon Alexa don’t offer direct control over most televisions and sound systems, they both work with Logitech Harmony hubs, which in turn can control various TVs, sound systems, and streaming boxes. You don’t even need a Fire TV or Chromecast to use the Harmony this way–it can control your TV directly using either infrared or RF communications.

Amazon has also gone a step further, offering developer tools that allow any TV or A/V manufacturer to embed Alexa controls directly into their hardware. But so far, only Broadlink hubs and 2017 model-year Sony 4K HDR TVs support this. Amazon says controls for Denon, Crestron, LG, and Pulse-Eight systems are coming soon.

The verdict

Despite Google’s nine-month head start in offering hands-free TV controls, it only has a minor edge over Amazon due to its volume and closed-caption controls, and its support for both Netflix and YouTube.

Still, this space should change quickly in the months ahead. Google has already promised support for more streaming services, and Amazon now offers developer tools for streaming services that want to add their own Alexa playback controls. As the two companies battle to build the best virtual assistants, you might soon be able to watch TV without moving a muscle.

]]> 0 17712
Launching Motorola Stream Wireless Earbuds With Charging Case Thu, 17 Aug 2017 04:34:33 +0000 […]]]> Motorola has launched its new Stream wireless in-ear headphones, making them available first in the UK at GBP 79.99 (roughly Rs. 6,650). Notably, unlike most other wireless audio headphones on the market, the new earbuds from Motorola are truly wireless and not even connected to each other with a wire. The Stream wireless earbuds have only been introduced in the UK as of now, and are in fact made by Motorola brand licensee, Binatone.

The Motorola Stream wireless earbuds feature IP54 sweat and water resistance, so users can use these earbuds at the gym, while running, or doing other form of exercises. The wireless in-ear headphones come with a bundled storage case that can also charge the earpieces while on the go. While the earbuds offer 2 hours of battery life with Bluetooth connectivity, with the storage case, they offer a maximum of up to six hours of battery life.

The Stream wireless in-ear headphones feature a 6mm driver and can be used to place and receive calls. Users can also make use of voice commands as the new wireless earphones are compatible with both Google Now and Siri. There are three ear-bud sizes that will come along with the pair of headphones so that users of all age and sizes are able to wear them comfortably.

While the Motorola Stream wireless earbuds are exclusively available through Argos in the UK but the company has said that they will be made available for customers in the US within a month’s time, as per a report by The Verge.

]]> 0 16478
Xiaomi Launches Mi Walkie-Talkie, Mi Smart Camera, Mi Router Pro, Mi Car Recorder, Mi Smart Scale 2 Wed, 08 Mar 2017 08:15:57 +0000 […]]]> Latest Gadgets from Xiaomi

Xiaomi offers products in an extremely wide-range of categories but has now launched several new smart home products to make sure no category remains untouched. The Chinese company has launched its Mi Walkie-Talkie, Mi Smart Camera, Mi Router Pro, Mi Router HD, Mi Car Recorder, and Mi Smart Scale 2 under its Mijia crowd-funded platform in China

1. Mi Walkie-Talkie

xiaomi walkie talkie story2 Mi Walkie Talkie

Coming first to the most exciting product of the bunch – Mi Walkie-Talkie, the device supports both Ultra High Frequency (UHF) and Very High Frequency (VHF) bands and can therefore be used not just in city but in open fields too, as per company’s claims. The device is capable of sharing location and comes with a built-in Radio FM.

In terms of specifications, the Mi Walkie-Talkie sports a black and white LCD screen with 160 x 100 pixel resolution. It houses a 2600mAh battery with standby time of up to 8 days, as per the company. The Mi Walkie-Talkie weighs just 200 grams and supports Micro-USB charging. It has been priced at CNY 249 (roughly Rs. 2,400) by Xiaomi. It has been made available in White and Blue colours by the company

2. Mi Smart Camera

xiaomi mi camera story Mi Camera

Moving on to the Mi Smart Camera, the device is capable of recording 1080p videos at a maximum frame rate of up to 20fps. The newly-launched camera comes with an ultra-wide lens and infrared night vision range of up to 10 metres. The device has support for dual-band Wi-Fi. In terms of storage, it offers support for microSD card and NAS network private cloud storage. It has been priced by Xiaomi at CNY 199 (roughly Rs. 1,900).

3. Mi Car Recorder

xiaomi car recorder story Mi Car Recorder

Xiaomi has launched its Mi Car Recorder, which comes with a Sony IMX323 image sensor and f/1.8 aperture. The device comes with 160-degree ultra-wide angle lens and has an Mstar 1080p image processing chip. As per Xiaomi, the Mi Car Recorder is capable of generating high-definition images, especially at night and in other dark environments. It has been priced by the company at CNY 349 (roughly Rs. 3,400).

4. Mi Router HD

xiaomi routers story Mi Routers

The Chinese company has also made its Mi Router HD, launched at CES earlier this year, along with Mi Router Pro in China. In terms of specifications, the Mi Router HD is powered by a IPQ8064 dual-core 1.4GHz host processor and a dual-core 733MHz network co-processor. It comes with 512MB of DDR3 RAM. The new routers both feature 4×4 omnidirectional antennas, and the company claims that the signal coverage has been improved.

The new routers support MU-MIMO technology and therefore claim to deliver stable connection to more devices than before. The routers both feature a full-sized Gigabit Ethernet port as well. You can find full list of specifications on company’s website. The Mi Router HD has been priced by Xiaomi at CNY 1,299 (roughly Rs. 12,600) while the Mi Router Pro has been priced at CNY 499 (roughly Rs. 4,800).

5. Mi Smart Scale 2

xiaomi mi scale 2 story Mi Scale 2

Coming finally to Xiaomi’s Mi Smart Scale 2, the device is just 14.75mm thick and comes with a large pad-design along with a hidden LED display. The weighing scale can upload the weighing data through a companion app as well. The Mi Smart Scale 2 has been priced by the company at CNY 199 (roughly Rs. 1,900).

All the mentioned products have already been made available by Xiaomi and can be purchased in China.

]]> 0 13750
Xiaomi expected to launch it’s Smartwatch on August Sat, 30 Jul 2016 07:31:05 +0000 […]]]> Within days after the launch of Redmi Pro and Mi Notebook Pro, Xiaomi is gearing up to launch the Mi smartwatch.

Xiaomi Mi Smartwatch

We also spotted the black bar right over the display, which clearly resembles the Moto-like bar.

In the meantime, Xiaomi is also working towards the release of a new VR headset. Xiaomi unveiled the much-awaited  Mi NoteBook Pro including a new set of accessories like Mi LED Lamp and Mi Band 2.

Xiaomi’s VR Headset will Launch in August Sat, 30 Jul 2016 07:06:58 +0000 […]]]> Xiaomi’s Daydream-based VR headset is expected to launch in August

Xiaomi’s next big product announcement could be a VR headset. Xiaomi, which is steering away from smartphones with alternate smart devices like smart rice cooker and air purifiers, could announce a new VR headset based on Google’s Daydream in August.

Xiaomi’s reason to enter Virtual Reality seems to be its own MIUI based on Android. Xiaomi ships its smartphones with MIUI which is a forked version of Android that relies heavily on customisation and smart features. Xiaomi’s VR headset plans have been revealed by company’s General Manager, Tang Mu. Tang Mu says, Xiaomi is building its own VR headset to provide best VR experience to its MIUI users.

Xiaomi was a surprise entrant at Google’s I/O 2016 this year. While Xiaomi only announced a 4K enabled Mi Box based on Android TV, it was apparent that the company has larger ambitions. Xiaomi commands a significant ground in the smartphone industry thanks to its expansive offerings in the budget category. With its own VR headset, Xiaomi can take virtual reality to next set of users who are shying away from adopting the platform.

Since we are talking Xiaomi here, Android Headlines claims the Daydream-powered VR headset will be cheap. Google announced Daydream as the native platform for Android at its annual developer conference. The platform will primarily be baked into the next version of Android for more immersive experience that what current devices offer.

At I/O 2016, Google made it clear that Daydream compatible smartphones will come with strict restriction for hardware, which could mean that Xiaomi is also working on compatible smartphones. While Samsung makes its own GearVR powered by Oculus for its flagship Galaxy range, Xiaomi could adopt a similar strategy by introducing a new VR headset with flagship smartphone to power it.

]]> 1 9966
Lenovo Air 13 Pro is a Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air competitor Fri, 29 Jul 2016 12:10:21 +0000 […]]]> Lenovo’s Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air competitor is already here. The laptop brings smartphone like fingerprint scanner to mainstream notebook

Lenovo Air 13 Pro is direct competitor to Xiaomi’s Mi Notebook Air and comes with similar specifications and price (Source: Lenovo China)Lenovo, the world’s No.1 PC manufacturer has pulled out its Mi Notebook Air competitor. The laptop not only has same price tag but also shares the word Air in its name. Lenovo Air 13 Pro shares its hardware specifications with Mi Notebook Air and is immediately available on sale.

Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air is the first Windows notebook from Chinese smartphone maker. The notebook available in two variants were launched yesterday and it already has its first big competition. Lenovo Air 13 Pro comes with a 13.3-inch Full HD IPS display and is powered by an Intel Core i5-6200U processor coupled with 4GB RAM and 256GB storage. The laptop weighs just 1.29kg and has a thickness of just 14.8mm.

Lenovo Air 13 Pro also offers 2GB NVIDIA GT940MX graphics card and the Chinese PC giant has even added a fingerprint sensor like smartphones. The laptop can also be configured with Core i7, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD and NVIDIA GeForce GT940MX with maximum memory of 2GB.

Lenovo Air 13 Pro’s full-size keyboard is backlit and offers latest WiFi and Bluetooth standards fro connectivity. The laptop comes with one USB 3.0, one USB 2.0 and one USB-C port for charging. Lenovo Air 13 Pro comes with 46Whr battery which is rated at 7.5 hours. While Lenovo may fall a little behind Mi Notebook Air in terms of specifications, the laptop surely is an immediate competition that has arrived from nowhere.

Lenovo Air 13 Pro is available at 4,999 Yuan in a pre-sale and will be available for 5,499 Yuan after the sale.

Top 10 Best Virtual Reality (VR) Headset for Samsung & iPhone Thu, 28 Jul 2016 08:25:51 +0000 […]]]> Samsung never ceases to surprise us, because it is a world class brand that comes up with eminence, value and excellence. There is no device no gadget of Samsung that ever did an average job, it is top rated, highly recommended and user friendly. No matter what brands launches their high profile geek gadget, nothing can beat down the level and upgrade of Samsung products/devices. It has taken technology to some other level of longevity besides Apple in the tech market all across the globe.

Today I am bringing before you a collection of top 10 best virtual reality (VR) headset for Samsung S6/S7/ Edge & best VR headsets for iPhone 6/6S Plus. Let’s see what virtual miracles we are going to enjoy with these VR headsets that come up with Samsung/iPhone.

1. Oculus Rift virtual reality headset 2016

Virtual reality has taken another shape with this headset where an environment is created that will put you into fantasy world that you never thought to be a part of before, with this unique Oculus rift you will be able to see things stimulated with extreme multimedia technology. Check this out and you won’t believe it.


2. HTC Vive – Virtual Reality Headset

A bit expensive VR headset that is a step up in the VR world, it will provide you the sensation VR experience through its sensory information technology, real sound will be produced to put a spell on your brain and ears.


3. Samsung Gear VR high quality headset and Level U Pro Bundle

This gear VR is light weight unlike the rest, it is easy on pocket as well and not expensive, so you can blindly buy this fun pack level U pro. It is Compatible with: Samsung Galaxy S7, S7 edge, Note5, S6 edge+, S6, S6 edge. What more do you want?


4. Svpro 2D & 3D Virtual Reality Headset VR Intelligent 1080P HD

Svpro technology worth the buy that makes and changes the way we think about this world. It makes the entertainment go higher than one can ever imagine. With just the 3D virtual reality headset display, you can discover new worlds, be on-stage at a performance with full 360 degree video, and can enjoy gaming in a stunning way as well. One of our recommendation.


5. MOKE 3D VR Headset Glasses Virtual Reality for iPhone 6s/6 plus for 3D Movies

This VR headset is amazingly designed to give an awesome experience of 3D games and 3D movies; it goes with over 300+ iOS/Android virtual reality apps on Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Like seriously, wow! cost effictive headset for every age group.


6. Gearzoid VR 360 Virtual Reality VR Glasses Headset

Now with this headset you can play as well as watch 500+ Virtual Reality games and movies in stunning 3D with the power of your 4-6 inch Android/IOS Smartphone. It also has adjustable headband that you can wear restfully for hours.


7. ZEISS VR ONE Virtual Reality Headset

This VR headset is by far my favorite because it looks elegant and very stylish, it is also a cheaper version that you can buy without getting bothered about your high pence. Must try this! Zeiss is always our top recommendation.


8. NOON VR Virtual Reality Headset for 360 viewing

Noon VR gives a spectacular experience to all the tech VR lovers, now you can watch VR movies in comfort with the ergonomically-designed headset tailored for extended viewing. It is very easy to use without additional accessories.


9. Homido Virtual Reality Headset for Smartphones

This one is for sure for game lovers who can easily enjoy the VR experience by playing immersive 360 games, videos (3D movies), photos and other unique experiences. It goes with approx. 300+ iOS/android apps on apple app store and google play store.


10. MONIGE 3D VR Glasses Box Virtual Reality Headset

The last but not the least VR headset that has an adjustable head-strap, comfortable eye and nose cushion with soft memory foam for noise stopping, perfectly suitable your face when you wear the 3D VR GLASSES. Your head and neck will not feel sore from having that weight.


I am sure you will now have a big idea what to buy and what to have for your VR experience.

Nikon’s new ultra-fast lens AF-S NIKKOR 105mm f/1.4E ED premium lens Thu, 28 Jul 2016 03:52:28 +0000 […]]]> Nikon has launched its new AF-S NIKKOR 105mm f/1.4E ED premium lens, which should have portrait photographers excited.

Thanks to the ultra-fast f/1.4 maximum aperture and a 9 blade diaphragm, the lens is capable of producing what Nikon is calling ‘astounding image quality and background bokeh’. That should suit portrait photographers looking to easily isolate subjects, especially when combined with the minimal focusing distance of 1-metre. Nikon also promises a smooth transition from the focal point to the background, allowing for a natural depth to shots, alongside the outstanding sharpness.

Nikon Nikkor lens

The 105mm F1.4E should is the first to strike the balance of 105mm focal length and large f/1.4 aperture. The large maximum aperture allows for what should be some seriously impressive low-light performance, allowing for the fastest possible shutter speeds. That electromagnetically controlled aperture also keeps exposure consistent at these high speeds.

All these features mean the lens isn’t going to be particularly light-weight. At 985g it’s a pretty hefty piece of equipment, but it should make up for it when it comes to performance. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any image stabilisation, but adding that on top of all the other tech would have undoubtedly have made the lens even heavier than it already is.

Elsewhere, the lens is both dust and moisture proof and comes with Nikon’s Nano Crystal coating which should help reduce flare and ghosting. There’s also a Fluorine coating which helps to boost resistance against various elements such as dust, dirt, water, oils, and grease.

]]> 0 9713
Xiaomi unveiled the its own MacBook rival – the Mi Notebook Air Wed, 27 Jul 2016 09:18:17 +0000 […]]]> Chinese company Xiaomi launched its first-ever laptop, aka the Mi Notebook Air on Wednesday at an event in Beijing. Xiaomi is pitting the new Mi Notebook Air straight up against Apple’s MacBook air by offering a combination of sleek looks and frame, decent hardware specs and more importantly an aggressive pricing. The Mi Notebook Air will be available in two variants: 12.5-inch and 12.3-inch. While the 12.5-inch variant has been priced at 3,499 RMB (roughly Rs 35,257) the 13.3-inch model will cost buyers 4,999 RMB (roughly Rs 50,372).


The notebook was leaked on numerous occasions and talked about in the past


The Mi Notebook Air runs on Windows 10 and comes in two size variants including a powerful 13.3-inch version and a portable 12.5-inch. Both the notebooks feature a slim design and a 1080p display with slim under-glass bezels. There is a backlit keyboard, a USB Type-C charging port, a very Apple like metallic design and two colour variants (gold and silver).

The 13.3-inch model comes with an Intel Core i5-6200U processor which can go up to 2.7GHz and an NVIDIA GeForce 940MX GPU. There is 8GB of DDR4 RAM, two USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port, 256GB SSD storage and an extra SATA slot for further expansion. The battery is said to last 9.5 hours, and can be charged to upto 50 percent in just half an hour using the bundled USB Type-C charger. The laptop is indeed slim at just 14.8mm thick with a weight of just 1.28kg.


As for the more nimble 12.5-inch model, it is even lighter at 1.07kg and 12.9mm thickness. It runs on an Intel Core M3 CPU with 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. Just like its larger brother, it gets an extra PCIe slot for an additional drive. There is only one USB 3.0 port but you still get the HDMI port and the battery squeezes out two hours of extra time.

Xiaomi’s notebooks have a full-sized keyboard with backlit keys with up to 1.3mm keystroke depth. These boast of an all-metal build with a logo-less exterior and clean minimalistic design. The notebooks can be additionally personalised with stickers and sleeves (available in leather, PU leather and Microfibre) sold separately. The notebooks also come with AKG custom grade dual speakers and support Dolby digital surround sound.


Additionally, the Mi Notebook also supports Mi Cloud sync and unlocks with the Mi Band 2.

]]> 1 9649
Xiaomi launches Mi Max, its biggest smartphone yet, in India Fri, 15 Jul 2016 06:24:31 +0000 […]]]> Mi Max comes in an all-metal slim body measuring 7.5mm in thickness.

Xiaomi today launched its biggest smartphone — Mi Max in India. Priced at Rs 14,999, Mi Max comes with a massive 6.44 inch display. At 203 gram, Xiaomi Mi Max also happens to be the heaviest smartphone that Xiaomi has ever launched.
The Mi Max comes in an all-metal slim body measuring 7.5mm in thickness. Xiaomi had launched three variants of the smartphone — 3GB RAM/32GB ROM, 3GB RAM/64GB ROM and 4GB RAM/128GB ROM — in China last month. The Mi Max comes with a hybrid-sim card slot with support for microSD card of up to 128GB. The company also introduced the 4GB RAM/128GB ROM version running Snapdragon 652 SoC at a price of Rs 19,999. The device is expected to available at a later date.

On the specifications front, the Mi Max (3GB version) sports a Full HD display protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 SoC. It runs Android 6.0.1 operating system. The device comes with a 16MP rear camera with PDAF and a dual-LED Flash along with a 5MP front camera. Powered by a 4,850mAh battery, the device supports Quick Charge and offers 4G, Bluetooth, GPS and Wi-Fi along with other regular connectivity features.

The phablet comes with a fingerprint sensor along with an IR blaster which can be used to control home appliances like air conditioners, refrigerators and others.

The device will be exclusively available on starting July 6, registrations for the same starts from June 30. The Mi Max will be available on all online platforms including Paytm starting July 13 without registrations.

Mi Max seems to be aimed at people who use 7-inch voice-calling Android tablets. As the device offers display size which is almost similar to any 7-inch tablet while keeping the comfortable form factor of a smartphone.

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Watch Review: Great Style Meets High Tech Tue, 28 Jun 2016 03:50:06 +0000 […]]]> Among the many industries that smartphones effectively killed, the demise of watches has perhaps been the most pronounced. With most people preferring to consult their phone – smart or otherwise – to tell time, sales of low- and mid-range watches have steadily declined over the years. However, high-end watches are as, if not more, popular than ever, especially amongst those over 30 with the financial resources to indulge themselves. In that sense, the watch has gone from being utilitarian to – almost entirely – a fashion statement.

This began to change with the rise of smartwatch, looking to woo the cellphone generation with something that’s more than just a timekeeper. But most smartwatches – even the Moto 360 that is widely regarded as the best looking smartwatch – pale in comparison to even the most basic watches in terms of looks. As smartwatch makers focus on the problems of design and battery life, watchmakers are approaching the problem from the other end, by integrating features like touch screen and GPS into their well-crafted offerings.

The Seiko Astron series of watches is one such example that comes with solar charging as well as GPS support. The Citizen Eco-Drive range of watches made solar charging popular and since then the feature has been spotted in various other models. The concept is pretty simple – a rechargeable battery stores energy whenever the watch is exposed to a source of light. In the Seiko for example, just 10 minutes of exposure to the sun – or 1 hour in a brightly lit room – is enough for the battery to power the watch for a full day. Of course the battery is continuously recharging itself when the watch is exposed to light and you shouldn’t really need to worry about battery life unless you plan to go underground for long durations of time. Seiko claims the watch, once fully charged, can go up to 6 months with all its functionality intact, and up to two years in the Power Saving mode that cuts down on some of the features.


The indicator hand of the watch – the one on the tiny dial towards the bottom – shows how much charge the watch currently has, and during the couple of weeks we spent using the watch, it always showed full charge. Unless the watch is running low on battery, it will periodically connect to the GPS satellites when you are outdoors and automatically adjust the time without you having to do anything. The watch relies on brightness levels to get a sense of when you are outdoors. Since GPS data includes location information, the watch also knows where you are, so it can automatically set itself to the local timezone should you travel to new country.

You can initiate this process manually as well. Like other GPS devices, you will need to be outdoors and have open skies for it to work reliably. Press the B button (top left) for 6 seconds and the watch will try to lock GPS signal from various satellites. The top left dial shows how many satellites the watch is currently receiving data from. As with other GPS devices, the more satellites your device can receive information from, the faster the process will be. Seiko recommends you keep your wrist straight and pointed upwards, but if the watch cannot see at least 4 satellites, it will not be able to adjust the time (zone).

The feature works as advertised, as long as you are out in the open and not surrounded by trees or tall buildings, something not entirely unexpected. You can also manually change the timezone, and with it the local time. Pull the crown out halfway, and with every twist you change the timezone. Each clockwise movement suggests you’ve moved one timezone eastwards, while an anti-clockwise movement indicates a move in the opposite direction. The dial has codes for 29 cities, each representing a timezone, engraved of the outside. However, the Seiko Astron GPS Solar comes with support for 40 timezones in total, with others like Kathmandu (GMT +5.75) left out in between Delhi (DEL, GMT +5.5) and Dhaka (DAC, GMT +6), ostensibly due to space constraints.


What this means is, when moving from one timezone to the other, you don’t need to make precise moments to adjust time to the last minute. Just twist the dial the number of timezones you’ve jumped, and the watch does the rest. Of course, you shouldn’t have to do this at all, thanks to GPS-based time synchronisation. The fact that a feature you’ll rarely use is so well implemented is an indicator of the attention to detail that’s gone into designing this watch.

Unfortunately, you’ll have to account for the daylight savings changes in each country yourself. The Seiko Astron GPS Solar does come with a perpetual calendar until the year 2100, which means it will automatically account for months with 30 days and February, including leap years. Since it comes with GPS, there’s also a flight mode that prevents the watch from trying to communicate with satellites in-flight.

In terms of physical design, the watch is classy and understated. At 44.6mm, the dial is not as large as some of the watches that are in vogue these days, which, as someone with relatively tiny – some may say unmanly – wrists, we quite appreciated. The unit we received was the SSE003 model of the 8X Seiko GPS Solar series, which comes with a titanium case with super-hard coating. The glass is made out of sapphire crystal with super-clear coating and right underneath it has solar cells that turn light into electrical energy that is used to recharge the built-in battery.


The band too is made out of titanium with super-hard coating and it feels comfortable and looks great. It snaps open pretty easily by simultaneously pressing tiny buttons on either side and the rather unconventional locking mechanism with a largish pin that snaps into the other end keeps the watch secure enough that you don’t worry about accidentally snapping it open. The SEIKO branding on the clasp is a nice touch, though it may bother those who prefer a clean finish.

The only complaint we have in terms of design is about the four buttons that stick out from the watch a bit too much for our liking. Of course design is completely subjective, and your opinion may vary. The 8X series of GPS Solar watches by Seiko has various other models with choice of titanium and steel bodies, and other colour options too, so if the SSE003 isn’t quite to your taste, do check out the entirelineup.

The Rs. 1,95,000 tag may sound steep, but in the world of luxury watches, the Seiko Astron GPS SSE003 is a mid- to entry-level priced offering, that gets a thumbs up from us for its blend of style and technology.

Coolpad launches virtual reality headset at Rs 999 Mon, 27 Jun 2016 07:56:44 +0000 […]]]> Coolpad has launched a virtual reality headset VR1x for smartphones in India at Rs 999. The gadget is available on Amazon India. The headset is made to work along with any smartphone with screen sizes between 4.7 and 5.7 inches. The headset is officially compatible with the Note 3, Note 3 Lite, Note 3 Plus, and Max.

The item also includes ‘customisable lenses’ that can help adjust focal length.

InFocus Expands Its LED TV Range With a 40-Inch Full-HD Option at Rs. 23,990 Mon, 27 Jun 2016 07:55:16 +0000 […]]]> HIGHLIGHTS
  • InFocus has launched its 40-in full-HD LED TV at Rs. 23,990
  • The range starts at Rs. 9,999 for the 24-inch TV
  • The new TV is available exclusively on Flipkart

InFocus has announced that it is adding a 40-inch full-HD LED TV to its existing television lineup. The 40-inch TV will be priced at Rs. 23,990, and will be available to buy exclusively on Flipkart. The TV bolsters the existing line up, which now has option available from 24 inches to 60 inches in size.

The American company has announced that its 40-inch TV will come with an introductory offer of extended warranty, which takes the total warranty period for the TV to three years.

Sachin Thapar, Country Head, InFocus, said “40 inch is a sweet spot in the LED TV market, witnessing huge demand from customers who are looking at newest in TV technology and features at an affordable pricing. This is where our new addition to the LED TV line up- 40” Full HD TV fits in. The TV comes with FHD resolution, superior contrast ratio and Smart UV2A technology for stunning viewing experience.

Amit Bansal, Head – Large Appliances, Flipkart said, “InFocus has been a big hit amongst the India audience since its launch last year. We are happy to announce the exclusive launch of LED 40-inch full HD TV range. This new offering combines the best features and technology and is available to the customers a great price point. We are positive that this product will set its own niche in the Indian LED TV market.”

InFocus has its television range manufactured by Chinese manufacturing specialist Foxconn. While the other TVs in the range are available through other online retailers such as Snapdeal and Amazon India, the 40-inch model launched right now is exclusive to Flipkart.

Complete HTC One M10 Specifications as We Know Them Thu, 23 Jun 2016 09:03:10 +0000 […]]]> It is being speculated that HTC One M10 is going to be the flagship smartphone that will turn the ship around for the company and set sails for profitability once more. The smartphone is supposed to be the best of them, and the specifications that have either been revealed or leaked for the mobile paint a pretty clear picture of what to expect.

First and the foremost thing is that HTC is developing it under the codename Perfume which suggests that the phone might not even be released under that name. But that doesn’t change what it will pack.

The phone is going to be powered by Snapdragon 820 and Adreno 530 graphics which will complement each other well. The RAM is going to be 4GB and 32GB storage although some speculations suggest a rather lower storage space.

Everything will be fine though, because HTC One M10 is expected to come with a MicroSD slot.

With a Quad HD Amoled panel with Gorilla Glass 4, the display is expected to be 5.1 inches and 2560×1440 resolution. Oh and it looks like HTC is going back to ultrapixel technology once more even though M8’s reviews had forced them to drop it in M9 and switch back to the usual megapixel technology.

Here’s a rundown on everything that is to be expected from the HTC One M10 when it comes out:

  • OS: Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow software
  • Screen: 5.1in 2560×1440 pixel display
  • Camera: 12UP rear camera with laser autofocus
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • RAM: 4GB RAM
  • Storage: 23GB or 32GB storage with expandable storage option (not known)
  • Additional: Fingerprint scanner on home button

Nothing is certain about the launch of the smartphone yet, but a rough estimate pegs a March or April launch.

]]> 0 2690
iPad Air 3 will feature Smart Connector for accessories Mon, 08 Feb 2016 07:23:22 +0000 […]]]> iPad Air 3 will reportedly feature Smart Connector for accessories, no 3D Touch

The iPad Air 3 will be like a slimmed down iPad Pro when it launches in May, according to a new report.

The next version of the iPad, likely to be called the iPad Air 3, will feature Smart Connector functionality like found on the iPad Pro released in November 2015, according to 9to5mac.

 Instead of reaching out to touch the iPad Pro display dozens of times a day, I’m finding that the dynamic keyboard shortcuts greatly compensate for no mouse or trackpad support in iOS.

The Smart Connector port allows iPad users to connect iPad-optimized accessories like Apple’s Smart Keyboard and Logitech’s Create keyboard.

The iPad Air 3 won’t feature 3D Touch like found on the iPhone 6s, according to 9to5mac, but will come in around the size of the iPad Air 2. Furthermore, the camera is expected to be improved thanks to a rear-facing LED flash like on Apple’s line of smartphones.

Apple is expected to unveil the iPad Air 3 at its rumored media event on March 15. Alongside the new tablet, Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 5se in only space gray, gold, and silver (no hot pink like rumored) and a Space Black Apple Watch with a Milanese Loop, new Sport Band colors, and line of NATO-style nylon straps.

Moto 360 (2nd gen) smartwatch launched in India Sun, 06 Dec 2015 02:36:49 +0000 […]]]>  Moto 360 (2nd gen) smartwatch launched in India at Rs 19,999

Motorola has launched the Moto 360 2nd gen smartwatch in India starting at Rs.19,999 and will be available exclusively via Flipkart and Myntra from 1 December. The successor to the original Moto 360 was announced back at the IFA Berlin.

In India, the company will be introducing five variants of Moto 360, three metal variants and two leather ones. The company has also introduced 2 variants exclusively for women, one being a rose gold variant with blush leather metal. While the men’s variants will be available in cognac, black leather and black metal, respectively.

Other changes on the new 2015 Moto 360 include the button being shifted to the 2 o’clock position, while colour options now include gold, shiny chrome and metallic black finishes. The display now occupies 71.1 percent of the front face. Other Moto customisations include Live Dials, a feature that gets you quick access to apps directly from the watch face much like the complications feature on the Apple Watch.

The three variants of the Moto 360 2015 include a men’s version in (42 mm and 46 mm), a woman’s variant (42 mm) and the Sports variant that has been designed for fitness users.

Apple and Xiaomi lead wearables market surge Sun, 06 Dec 2015 02:34:08 +0000 […]]]> Apple Watch Edition version at the launch.

The global market for wearable tech surged in the third quarter, fueled by the Apple watch and gains from Chinese manufacturers, a market tracker said. The research firm IDC said some 21.7 million wearables were sold in the past quarter, a jump of 197 percent.

Fitness tracker maker Fitbit maintained the top spot with a 22.2 percent market share and unit sales of 4.7 million, according to IDC. Although Apple has not disclosed sales of the smartwatch which went on sale earlier this year, IDC estimated the tech giant sold 3.9 million units for a market share of 18.6 percent.

Chinese electronics firm Xiaomi vaulted into third place with a 17.4 percent market share, as unit sales surged more than 800 percent, IDC said. Garmin, the Swiss maker of GPS equipment and consumer technology, was the number four vendor with a 4.1 percent share, followed by Chinese electronics firm BBK at 3.1 percent.

“The early stages of the wearables market have led to tight competition among the leading vendors, and Chinese vendors have seized upon market momentum to grab market share,” said IDC analyst Ramon Llamas.

“China has quickly emerged as the fastest-growing wearables market, attracting companies eager to compete on price and feature sets. In addition, multiple vendors have experimented with a broad range of products and applications.”

IDC said Fitbit led the market with its Fitbit Charge and Fitbit Surge fitness trackers, making gains in the corporate wellness market. Apple managed a slight increase from the previous quarter, mostly the result of additional markets coming on line, according to IDC. Xiaomi’s inexpensive Mi Band was a hit in the past quarter, with more than 97 percent of its sales in China, the research firm said.

Garmin held a strong position by focusing on wearables for running, golf, swimming, hiking, and aquatics while BBK and its XTC subsidiary focused exclusively within China, and with just one device, a children’s phone watch, IDC said.


VR Web browsing from Samsung Sat, 05 Dec 2015 04:39:13 +0000 […]]]> VR Web browsing might ultimately be one of Samsung and Oculus’ best tricks

Of all the things to be excited about regarding virtual reality – gaming, 360-degree movies, and all sorts of cool new experiences – the last thing I expected to intrigue me is a virtual reality Web browser.

Yet after trying Samsung’s new browser made for the Gear VR, I think it might ultimately end up being one of the platform’s most useful tricks – even if it’s extremely limited at the moment.


It’s like Web browsing in ‘Minority Report’. Tabs are presented as floating windows around you, and you simply shift your head slightly to look at another tab. In fact, it feels a lot like a multi-monitor set-up, except you probably can’t afford or have the space for five 40-inch monitors.

Navigating around is relatively simple. You scroll using the Gear VR’s touchpad (I didn’t have a game controller with me), and URL and search input defaults to dictation.

Voice recognition works really well, but you can also type in an address by moving your head around and tapping on the touchpad. That sounds more cumbersome than it actually is, since Samsung’s motion tracking is excellent (think typing with a mouse or stylus). Not ideal, but it works.


One practical benefit of having the browser is that you can use it to watch 360-degree videos on YouTube; the standard YouTube app -which now supports Google Cardboard – doesn’t work in the Oculus OS layer, but the Web interface provides an essentially identical experience.

Everything runs surprisingly smoothly too, despite the extra rendering my S6 Edge+ has to do for the 3D interface.

The app itself is pretty barebones in terms of functionality at the moment though. You can’t import bookmarks, but there’s no way to adjust settings like cookies or default to using desktop sites. My bluetooth keyboard didn’t work while browsing either, which is a shame, as it would have been nice as a distraction-free writing interface.

The pixel density on the Gear VR is also too low for what we’ve come to expect from our devices for sharp text- it’s usable, but feels like working with 1024×768 panels.

But despite all those qualms, the possibilities are still enticing. Once the specs, features, and peripheral support have caught up, imagine being being able to make your computer screen any size you’d like and having as many of them as you need. Perhaps even better: you could easily turn off a distracting environment to zone into a task.

Right now, browsing on the GR VR is more of a nice-to-have feature than something that could change the way you work. But if it’s any indication of what’s to come, then the future looks pretty awesome.

Google Unveils Google’s Pixel C tablet and keyboard Fri, 02 Oct 2015 03:14:32 +0000 […]]]> The Pixel C’s key feature is a sold-separately keyboard case, which powers itself through induction when connected to the tablet. Source: Nathan Olivarez-Giles / The Wall Street Journal

For the first time in three years, Google isn’t introducing a new Nexus tablet. Instead Google has unveiled a tablet, designed by the same team behind the Chromebook Pixel laptop. The $US499-and-up Pixel C, as the tablet is called, runs Android, not Chrome OS. Like its chief competitors, Apple’s iPad Pro and Microsoft’s Surface, it is designed for productivity, and will sell alongside a connected keyboard.

The keyboard, which will be sold separately for $145, attaches to the Pixel C tablet magnetically. It can prop the tablet up at angles ranging from 100 to 135 degrees. When not in use, it can serve as a cover for the display, or click to the back of the device. The keys themselves are wider than usual, because Google put a few less-used peripheral keys up on the screen to make room for the important ones. Typing on it was responsive but it had a plasticky feel, like a Chromebook keyboard.

There’s no need to charge it, said Andrew Bowers, the director of product management on the Pixel team. The keyboard refills its battery when attached to the Pixel C, via induction charging. The keyboard’s battery would be able to last two months with daily use before dying, though the constant charging makes that point moot.

The tablet itself has a squarish 10.2-inch display with a resolution of 2,560 x 1,800 pixels. Google chose the aspect ratio so that it would look equally well in both horizontal and vertical orientations. The screen is high quality, with nice viewing angles and rich, balanced looking colours.

The Pixel C has stereo speakers at the edge of the display, and a four-microphone array, which would allow users to issue voice commands to the tablet from across a room, Mr. Bowers said. The tablet is powered by a Nvidia Tegra X1 quad-core processor with 4GB of RAM. Like the new Nexus 5X and 6P phones, it will have a single USB Type-C port for two-way power and data. There are no other USB ports or SD card slots.

It’s no surprise that Google is entering the performance tablet market at a time when interest is high. Media tablet sales remain stagnant, except at the extreme low end where as little as $50 will get you a usable device. Google’s rival, Apple, is pushing toward the premium end, with an enterprise-friendly iPad Pro that has, yes, an auxiliary keyboard (and a stylus, too). At the same time, Microsoft is expected to announce its most recent, made-for-Windows-10 Surface tablet.

Mr. Bowers didn’t say when the Pixel C would go on sale, but it will be out before the end of the year. We should “expect to hear more about the Pixel C in the coming months,” said Mr. Bowers. When it does arrive, Bowers said the Pixel C will sell for $499 with 32GB of storage and $599 with 64GB.

Wall Street Journal

]]> 0 2640
HTC Desire 816G Octa-Core SoC Launched in India Sat, 31 Jan 2015 02:29:54 +0000 […]]]> HTC Desire 816G (2015) With 1.7GHz Octa-Core SoC Launched at Rs. 19,990

HTC has launched a refreshed version of the HTC Desire 816G  handset in India, replacing its 1.3GHz quad-core MT6582 processor with a 1.7GHz octa-core (unspecified) processor. The HTC Desire 816G (2015) has been priced at Rs. 19,990, slightly more than the Rs. 18,990 last year’s variant was launched at.

HTC unveiled an updated 3G smartphone model known as ‘HTC Desire 816G’ on January 30, 2015. HTC Desire 816G features a 13.97 cm (5.5-inch) screen and is powered by a 1.7 GHz Octa-Core processor, coupled with 1GB of RAM. The handset offers 16GB in-built storage capacity, which is also expandable up to 32GB via microSD.

The HTC Desire 816G is pre-loaded with HTC’s iconic dual-frontal speakers and HTC BoomSound for a better audio quality. The HTC BlinkFeed keeps users up-to-date with the latest news and social updates. On its camera front, the HTC Desire 816G sports a 13MP rear camera and a 5MP front-facing camera. The rear camera also boasts of Zoe and automatic video highlight.

The 3G device is fuelled with a 2600mAh and offers up to 3G 10 hrs talktime. The new HTC Desire 816G is priced at Rs19, 990 for the Indian market.

]]> 0 2387