Amazon India Officially Launches ‘Local Finds’ Buying, Selling Platform in Four Cities

Amazon India Officially Launches 'Local Finds' Buying, Selling Platform in Four Cities

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Amazon customers can buy and sell new and used goods
  • The company facilities delivery and payments
  • Local Finds was first piloted in Bengaluru earlier this year

Amazon India has officially launched its Local Finds service in India, a platform for customers to find and sell used and new goods to others in their city. Piloted in Bengaluru since earlier this year and spotted in action last month, the service is now live in Chennai, Hyderabad, and Mumbai in addition. Amazon facilitates delivery and payments for Local Finds transactions, something that’s rare to see in the online pre-owned and online classifieds space – a USP of the service with the company picking, packing, and shipping the product.

Through Local Finds, Amazon India customers in the same city can other buy and sell products amongst each other. Product categories include books, fashion, home decor, music, movies, mobiles, laptops, accessories, tablets, and video games. The company boasts that customers are adding “hand crafted and rare products” daily. The Bengaluru pilot saw roughly 600 sellers, and up to launch, it has seen 30,000 customers use the service across all four cities.

To launch Local Finds, Amazon India has an introductory offer with free delivery along with cashback (up to Rs. 100) as Amazon Pay Balance for purchases of certain items, and as an incentive for sellers, it is offering additional earnings of Rs. 500 upon selling five items.

Talking about Local Finds, Mahendra Nerurkar, Director – New Initiatives, Amazon India said, “Through our pilot, we realized that in every city we have customers who have a few products to sell – some want to get value for their used products, others are hobbyists, creators and home entrepreneurs who need to find the right customers for what they collect or create and there are customers who are interested in buying such products. Existing solutions available to such sellers and buyers had gaps – people needed to commute in traffic and meet strangers, this lead to privacy and safety concerns along with precious time and money lost. With Local Finds, we aim to seamlessly connect sellers and buyers, help them quickly list and discover each other’s products and transact tension free with delivery, payments and customer service facilitated by Amazon. We are humbled to see over 30,000 customers sell their products on Local Finds in such a short period of time.”

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Apple CEO Promised 3 New US Plants, Says President Trump: Report

Apple CEO Promised 3 New US Plants, Says President Trump: Report

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Apple has promised to expand manufacturing in the US with 3 new plants
  • Cook in May announced the creation of an Apple fund
  • Apple has 80,000 employees in the US and plans to hire thousands more

The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday reported that US President Donald Trump said Apple has promised to expand manufacturing at home with three new US plants.

The Journal quoted Trump as saying that Apple chief executive Tim Cook committed to building “three big plants,” in the United States.

No details were provided, and Apple did not respond to an AFP request for comment.

Cook in May announced the creation of an Apple fund to get more people in the US to do “advanced manufacturing,” kicking it off with a billion dollars.

Apple building plants in the United States would come as rare common ground with Trump.

Cook has pointed out that Apple spent more than $50 billion (roughly Rs. 3,22,155 crores) in the United States last year – buying from suppliers such as Corning Glass, working with developers behind applications for the California company’s devices and more.

Apple has about 80,000 employees in the US and plans to hire thousands more “in the future,” according to Cook.

It is a sign of Apple’s success but also a thorny problem: a cash stockpile topping a quarter of a trillion dollars, sparking debate on what do with such massive reserves.

The tech giant has resisted the idea of bringing the cash home, because the US tax code allows multinational firms to defer profits while they are held overseas but taxes income at up to 35 percent when repatriated.

Trump vowed while campaigning that he would force Apple to bring production to US soil.

Apple is not in the same position as automakers which relocated US factories overseas to cut costs, IHS manufacturing processes chief analyst Dan Panzica told AFP earlier this year. Apple never moved jobs offshore, it created them there.

“The Apple jobs were never here,” Panzica said.

“The entire supply chain grew in China.”

Apple benefits in Asia from a network that goes beyond subcontractors assembling smartphones, tablets or laptops. The firm relies on a dense ecosystem of companies that make components and spare parts for its devices as well.

China also offers sources of important raw materials, along with cheap, flexible and abundant labor to keep iPhone assembly lines cranking along.

It would be challenging to replicate that situation with US workers without using more robotics, undermining the political aim of creating jobs here, according to some analysts.

Moving iPhone manufacturing to the US would also likely push up costs, which is not in Apple’s interests.

It was seen as more likely that Apple would make a symbolic move to appease Washington, such as investing more in making Mac Pro computers here, or in a facility for higher-priced, limited-edition devices such as an “anniversary edition iPhone” to mark the handset’s 10th birthday this year.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Infinix Note 4 and Infinix Hot 4 Pro First Impressions

Infinix Note 4 and Infinix Hot 4 Pro First Impressions

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Infinix Note 4 sports a 5.7-inch full-HD display, 4300mAh battery
  • Infinix Hot 4 Pro packs a 5.5-inch HD display, 4000mAh battery
  • Note 4 costs Rs. 8,499 while the Hot 4 Pro is priced at Rs. 7,499

Chinese conglomerate Transsion Holdings enjoys a moderate foothold in India’s mobile phone market through its Itel and Tecno brands, and it also recently entered a joint venture with Spice Mobility to expand its portfolio in the country. Now, the company’s Infinix brand has made its debut here as well, with the launch of two budget smartphones – the Infinix Note 4 and the Infinix Hot 4 Pro. Both fall within the budget smartphone segment, with features that seem to match the current competition.

The Infinix Note 4 is priced at Rs. 8,999 while the Hot 4 Pro costs Rs. 7,499. Both smartphones will go on sale exclusively on Flipkart starting August 3, however at different times – 12 noon and 11:59pm respectively. We got to spend a brief time with both models at the company’s launch event, and here are our first impressions.

Infinix Note 4 design, camera, and performance

When we first got our hands on the Infinix Note 4, it felt sturdy and well built. It features a plastic body with glossy metallic paint instead of a metal body, which seems a little disappointing for a device competing with the likes of the Xiaomi Redmi 4. It has a 5.7-inch full-HD display with 2.5D glass contoured around the front edges. We found that the display was bright enough for indoor use and there was also no difficulty with outdoor legibility. We could also use the phone one-handed without much difficulty.

infinix note 4 back gadgets360 Infinix Note 4

Unlike most smartphones available today, the Infinix Note 4 has dual SIM slots (Micro+Micro) along with a separate microSD slot. To access them, the shiny back panel needs to be removed. We struggled with this a bit because it felt as though the back panel was going to get a crack. On the top of the phone, there is a 3.5mm audio jack, while the USB charging port and speaker grilles can be found at the bottom. The volume and power buttons are on the right, while the left side is blank. The fingerprint scanner is embedded into the home button at the front of the device.

The Infinix Note 4 gets its juice from a non-removable 4300mAh battery. Considering the size of this battery, the smartphone doesn’t feel bulky at all. Under the hood, it is powered by a 1.3GHz octa-core Mediatek MT6753 SoC paired with 3GB of RAM. It has 32GB of storage with the option to expand that using a microSD slot (up to 128GB). It runs Infinix’s own custom UI called XOS, based on Android 7.0 Nougat. During our brief time with the phone, we found that it was snappy and that apps opened quickly. However, there is a lot of bloatware on this smartphone. In addition to the usual Google apps there are a number of Chinese counterparts, which don’t seem necessary in India.

infinix note 4 back 1 gadgets360 Infinix Note 4

There is nothing exceptional about the cameras. The Infinix Note 4 sports a 13-megapixel rear camera and an 8-megapixel front-facing one. There are LED flashes on both sides. We managed to take some indoor and outdoor photos with this phone and we found that photo quality was decent enough. Photos taken indoors seemed to have natural-looking colours but not very much detail, and unfortunately photos taken outdoors seemed a little overexposed. Videos looked good to us until we started panning the phone while recording, which caused lag. We were underwhelmed, but we will reserve our final opinion until we can conduct a full review.

Infinix Hot 4 Pro design, camera, and performance

The less costly model launched by Infinix is the Hot 4 Pro. This phone has run-of-the-mill looks for a device that costs Rs. 7,499. Competitors at this price level such as the Xiaomi Redmi 4A look better. The Hot 4 Pro has an all-plastic body with a glossy finish. It has its volume and power buttons on the right side, the 3.5mm audio jack the top, and the charging port at the bottom. One of the biggest highlights of the Hot 4 Pro is its Dirac-powered stereo surround speakers on the back. We could not really test the speakers at the noisy launch event, but this will be covered in our detailed review.

infinix hot 4 pro front gadgets360 Infinix Hot 4 Pro

The Infinix Hot 4 Pro sports a 5.5-inch HD (720×1280) display. It also has dual SIM slots (Micro+Micro) along with a separate microSD slot, and its back panel also needs to be taken off to access them. It has a non-removable 4000mAh battery but is also light and easy to use with one hand. Performance-wise, Hot 4 Pro is very basic. It also runs XOS but this time based on the older Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Unsurprisingly, there’s a lot of bloatware on this phone as well.

The Hot 4 Pro has a 13-megapixel camera on the rear and 5-megapixel one on the front. Image quality indoors and outdoors is again underwhelming and the samples we took lacked details. Photos also looked washed out at the edges. The camera app supports Professional, Beauty, and Normal modes for the front camera that somehow improve selfies. However, we suggest that you wait for our full review to see how the camera fares in a variety of conditions.

infinix hot 4 pro side gadgets360 Infinix Hot 4 Pro

There is nothing particularly special about the Hot 4 Pro, and it remains to be seen whether it will be able to stand out against its rivals.

Conclusion
The Infinix Note 4 and Hot 4 Pro have been launched in a price range that is dominated by stalwarts including the Redmi 4, Redmi 4A, and Moto E4 Plus. Battery life could be a significant USP, but batteries this size are becoming more common. We will have to see if the features that Infinix is offering can tempt Indian consumers. Stay tuned to Gadgets 360 for our in-depth reviews of the Note 4 and Hot 4 Pro where we examine their performance, build quality, camera quality, and battery life in detail.

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Infinix Note 4

Infinix Note 4

  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS

Display

5.70-inch

Processor

1.3GHz quad-core

Front Camera

8-megapixel

Resolution

1080×1920 pixels

RAM

3GB

OS

Android 7.0

Storage

32GB

Rear Camera

13-megapixel

Battery Capacity

4300mAh

Also See
  • Coolpad Note 5 Lite (Space Grey, 16GB) – 
    Rs. 8,199
  • Oppo A37 (Grey, 16GB) Black/Grey
    Rs. 8,839
Infinix Hot 4 Pro

Infinix Hot 4 Pro

Rs. 7,499
Buy
  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS

Display

5.50-inch

Processor

1.3GHz quad-core

Front Camera

5-megapixel

Resolution

720×1280 pixels

RAM

3GB

OS

Android 6.0

Storage

16GB

Rear Camera

13-megapixel

Battery Capacity

4000mAh

BUY AT
  • Infinix Hot 4 Pro (Quartz Black, 16GB, 3GB RAM) – OFFER
    Rs. 7,499

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Samsung Q8C 55-Inch 4K HDR QLED TV 2017 Review

Samsung Q8C 55-Inch 4K HDR QLED TV 2017 Review

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Samsung Q8C 55-inch QLED TV is priced Rs. 3,44,900
  • It has a curved display, and supports HDR 10
  • Runs on Samsung’s Tizen OS, has support for most streaming services

Samsung first showed off its range of QLED TVs at CES this year, and there was a lot to be excited about. The 4K HDR image quality of the Samsung panels on the show floor was spectacular, with dynamic brightness levels that seemed to match what OLED TVs can achieve, but at substantially more affordable prices.

The Q8C family, in particular, is in the middle of Samsung’s new QLED TV range, and you have a choice of 55-inch, 65-inch, and 75-inch models. The Q9F models are the flagships, and the Q7 models are more entry-level. The C in the name indicates a curved panel. We have the 55-inch Q8C model with us for review, and there’s a lot more than just its curve going for it. In fact, this is one of the most interesting TVs in the market today. Here’s our review.

Samsung 2017 QLED TV design and features

Let’s start with the curved panel since that itself is a deciding factor for a lot of buyers. The curvature on the Samsung Q8C is not as prominent as it was on models a few years ago, so viewing angles have increased greatly. The sweet spot is much wider and that makes a big difference when you have your family or friends seated at up to 45 degrees off-centre. It’s also worth mentioning that due to the enveloping effect that the curved screen creates, this TV immediately felt bigger than a flat, 55-inch model placed right alongside it. There is still an issue if you’re watching TV from way off-centre, so if you really care about the experience, you’ll definitely need to position this TV carefully. If you know that people will be watching TV sitting near the far edges or corners of your room, a curved TV such as the Q8C might not be the best choice on your wishlist.

With that out of the way, the TV itself is super-slim and near edgeless. The screen measures 54.6 inches diagonally. There are front-firing 4.2 channel speakers; the .2 referring to two downward-firing subwoofers, all housed in the body of the TV itself. The back has a silver brushed-metal finish and an extremely clean design since all ports and sockets are in a separate unit called the One Connect box which is bundled with the TV.

Samsung q8c qled tv 02 Samsung Q8C 55-Inch 4K HDR QLED TV Review

The stand itself is curved with a wide angle to match the panel’s curvature. The back of the stand conceals the two cables that attach inside of it – the Power cable, and the thin cable that connects to the One Connect Box. Samsung has a specialised wall mount made for this panel that leaves no gap between the rear-centre of the TV and the wall, giving it a true wall-art kind of look. There’s no denying that this panel was designed to look good in your room, and it does that job well. Especially by cutting out the clutter of cables that attach to most other TV panels.

As stated before this is a 4K UHD panel with a resolution of 3840×2160, and it offers HDR support. It has a really impressive level of brightness at 1500 nits, but this tends to make colours pop a bit too much by default. Just for a rough comparison, most other TVs in this range have a much lower brightness level, usually between 600 and 1000 nits. Since it uses quantum dot technology – which is the ‘Q’ in QLED, the panel is edge-lit – unlike OLEDs (Organic LEDs), in which each LED is its own light source. The difference here is that while OLEDs are capable of incredibly deep black levels, QLED has an advantage in bright spots.

Samsung has been using Tizen for its Smart TV interface for a while now, and it seems to have gotten to a good level of refinement here. Though still not as spiffy as Android TV, it does give you a very neat interface, intelligently remembering where you left off when you put the TV in standby. The downside to this is that at one point an app became unresponsive and we had to turn the Q8C off and then on again from the main power to exit. Apps like Amazon Prime, Box TV, YouTube and Netflix came pre-installed on the TV, and a host of other apps and games are available in the TV’s app store – no Hotstar though.

Samsung 2017 QLED TV remote control

The separate One Connect box helps cut the clutter, as all connectivity is routed through it. This includes four HDMI ports, a DisplayPort, Ethernet, three USB 2.0 ports with one supporting 1A power output for hard drives, S/PDIF optical out, and an antenna-in. Besides these the TV also supports Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi-Direct, and Bluetooth. The cable that connects the One Connect box to the TV is around 15 feet long, which is enough for it to be placed at quite a distance from the panel.

Samsung q8c qled tv 05 Samsung Q8C 55-Inch 4K HDR QLED TV Review

If you’d rather have all your source devices and remotes in another part of the room, this unit will make that possible. The One Connect box needs its own power source, which is not really a negative, but something you need to make note of when designing your space. The remote control works over Bluetooth so there’s no need to have a direct line of sight between you and the box.

Speaking of the remote, it’s a bit minimalistic, but it does aim to take over as a universal remote. Most popular Blu-Ray players, soundbars, and other devices are detected automatically and can work directly with this remote. It also has a button for speech input, but that wasn’t very useful in our experience. It misheard almost every phrase we tried, which meant we had to resort to typing manually.

There’s a Samsung Smart View app that’s available on both Android and iOS, which shows your content library and the remote interface right on your phone’s screen. It gives you a touchpad interface that can be used for the cursor in the Web browser and lets you type URLs into the address bar. However, the app doesn’t extend its keyboard support when typing on the TV’s apps, which is where it would have made the most sense. The Smart View app does offer you shortcuts to the content. There was also quite an input lag when we tried that out.

Samsung q8c qled tv 06 Samsung Q8C 55-Inch 4K HDR QLED TV Review

Samsung 2017 QLED TV performance (full-HD, SDR)

We start with full-HD resolution media since that’s what you’ll mostly be spending most of your time watching, considering that 4K media is still pretty rare. As with all UHD TVs, the Samsung Q8C does a pretty good job of upscaling full-HD media, as long as the source is good.

Starting with Blu-Ray discs, the upscaling is quite impressive. Details translate well and the panel does a great job of sharpening edges to the point that you could fool someone into thinking that you’re playing media at its native resolution. The lack of heavy compression on Blu-Ray media serves this TV well, to the point that you wouldn’t feel any need to upgrade your current collection to UHD Blu-Rays. The satellite TV stream we tested ran at 1080i and also looked pretty good on the screen apart from a few noticeable jaggies every now and then. 4K set top boxes are available from Videocon and Airtel in India, which might help you get better picture quality.

Samsung q8c qled tv 10 Samsung Q8C 55-Inch 4K HDR QLED TV Review

Netflix and Amazon Prime had similar issues when it came to non-4K media, with the edges appearing a bit soft and some minor dithering in sections with fine details. It’s a minor thing, but there are some noticeable effects of the upscaling if you have the eye to spot them.

The TV’s HDR+ mode forces tone mapping to identify bright and dark areas and adjust them accordingly, but is pretty aggressive. Standard Dynamic Range (SDR) content looked unnaturally warm, and we had to change the colour tone in this mode from Warm 2 to Standard. There was also a bit of banding in some colour gradients when watching streaming media, which we didn’t notice with Blu-Rays. This could be a result of the compression used for streaming, considering how forced HDR works, the flaws are more easily visible. Also, the HDR+ mode does seem to favour reds over other colours, so you might see a little more intensity there.

In Standard mode, you get pretty good image quality, with no exaggerated bloom in brighter areas and dark areas not pushed to match the scene tone. What mode you set your TV to is completely up to your preferences, but we can say that the Q8C does a pretty good job of upscaling lower-resolution content and forcing HDR+ (after a bit of manual tweaking).

Samsung 2017 QLED TV performance (4K, HDR)

The Q8C really shines with native 4K HDR content. Though we understand that true, uncompressed 4K UHD media is not easy to find (not even on a lot of UHD Blu-Rays), the TV does an amazing job with whatever you can throw at it. Native UHD media works brilliantly with a highly noticeable boost in image clarity which you won’t get from HD media. In movies, the effect is a bit more subtle because of the cinematic film grain added to the media, but if you’re watching a TV show or an animated film, the details are as good as they can get.

Streaming video from Netflix (4K) and Amazon Prime didn’t show that much of a substantial improvement, and won’t make for a compelling argument to jump to 4K. The panel does add an additional layer of clarity and the experience is definitely a step up from watching 1080p streams on a 4K TV, but if you’re thinking of upgrading just to watch streaming media in 4K, this is not the time to make that jump.

This Samsung 2017 QLED TV handled HDR really well. We instantly noticed a much higher depth in the overall colour reproduction, with contrasts reduced to show more details instead. This was especially evident in the games we tested on the TV using a PlayStation 4 Pro, which supports HDR 10 output. The most noticeable change was in Injustice 2 – a DC superhero fighting game with over-the-top visuals and bright colours. Lighting was managed extremely well, and bright spots showed a lot more depth in their colour gradients instead of just burning to a bright white. Characters like Firestorm had more realistic-looking flames with details that were just not seen when using SDR.

Samsung q8c qled tv 08 Samsung Q8C 55-Inch 4K HDR QLED TV Review

The other game we tried was Horizon Zero Dawn. It’s already one of the best-looking games of our generation, and HDR pushed it a step further. With HDR we instantly noticed an even glow to the landscape, which earlier had sharp contrasts. Though subtle, due to the realistic design of the game, the change was still quite evident.

It’s worth noting that the option to turn HDR on for external sources is buried in the System menu of the TV instead of the Picture menu, like in Samsung’s 2016 TVs. This is an odd change that took us a while to figure out.

Samsung 2017 QLED TV audio performance

The Samsung Q8C produces a full sound with good highs, excellent mids and effective lows. The bass is not too boomy, but it is punchy enough to create an impact. The faux-surround effect does fill up a room pretty well and works well for movies and gaming alike. Of course, we were testing it in a 15×20 feet room, so if you’re using the TV in a bigger space, we would definitely recommend a soundbar at least, if not a full surround-sound system to truly enjoy your media with.

Samsung q8c qled tv 03 Samsung Q8C 55-Inch 4K HDR QLED TV Review

Verdict

Samsung has been pushing the envelope for curved displays for a while now, and now it’s reached a point where we do see the appeal in them. The performance of the Q8C is quite brilliant when it comes to handling colours and filling up a room with its impressive brightness. The upscaling works well, so your HD movie collection will still be relevant. Gaming at 4K with HDR in supported titles is amazing as well.

This TV isn’t perfect. Navigation and the Tizen Store still need a bit of work, and so does the smartphone app. The voice input feature was a complete miss for us. However, those are little things to complain about for a TV that can give OLEDs a run for their money without the massive prices they command.

Price (MRP): Rs. 3,44,900

Pros

  • High brightness and excellent colours
  • Great HDR performance
  • Excellent upscaling of Blu-Rays and Games
  • Good horizontal viewing angles for a Curved Display
  • Good audio performance

Cons

  • Hotstar is missing from the Tizen Store
  • Favours reds in HDR+ Mode
  • Unsatisfactory voice recognition

Ratings (Out of 5)

Design: 4.5
Performance: 4
Value for money: 4.5
Overall: 4

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]