The handset has been priced at $399 (roughly Rs. 25,800)
The company has started taking the pre-orders for the new variant
The Android One edition will offer “Pure Android” experience to users
Earlier this month, a leaked render of the Moto X4 variant with Android One branding popped up on the Internet and on Wednesday, Google finally announced the new handset officially. Notably, the search giant has launched the Moto X4 Android One edition for Project Fi exclusively in the US. The Android One variant of Moto X4 has been priced at $399 (roughly Rs. 25,800) and can be pre-ordered from the Project Fi website starting Wednesday itself. The new edition has been launched in Super Black and Sterling Blue colours.
If you are wondering what you will get with Android One edition of the Moto X4, it will offer a “Pure Android” experience and “carefully curated set of preinstalled apps” as per the company. “For example, it comes optimised for the Google Assistant to help you get more done, and offers high-quality video calling with Google Duo. You’ll also get access to the latest updates from Android, such as Android Oreo before the end of the year. Android One Moto X4 will be among the first to receive an upgrade to Android P,” the company said in its blog post.
If we talk about specifications, the handset comes with the same configuration as the regular variant of Moto X4. This means, the Moto X4 Android One edition packs a 5.2-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) LTPS IPS display with 424ppi pixel density and Corning Gorilla Glass protection. It is powered by the 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 octa-core SoC paired with Adreno 508 GPU and 3GB of RAM.
In terms of optics, the Android One edition of Moto X4 sports a dual camera setup at the back. It houses one 12-megapixel dual autofocus sensor with f/2.0 aperture and 1.4-micron pixels; and another 8-megapixel ultra-wide angle sensor with 120-degree field of view, f/2.2 aperture, and 1.12-micron pixels. This dual camera setup comes alongside a colour correlated temperature (CCT) dual-LED flash and PDAF. At front, the handset sports a 16-megapixel shooter for taking selfies. The handset houses a 3000mAh battery.
The company is also providing users with a trade-in offer, if you have an older Nexus phone and want to trade it in for a new device, the company will give you up to $165 for select Nexus devices. Further, if you trade-in the old device for an Android One Moto X4 by October 5, you’ll earn an extra $50 Fi credit.
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After Musk insulted Zuckerberg, Facebook chief executive has responded
Zuckerberg says he remains optimistic about AI
Hours after billionaire Elon Musk made a public aspersion about Mark Zuckerberg’s knowledge, by saying Facebook chief executive’s understanding of artificial intelligence is “limited,” Zuckerberg has reaffirmed why he is so optimistic about the nascent technology. To recall, Musk was responding to Zuckberberg’s comments made during a Facebook Live broadcast, where the Facebook CEO called out naysayers.
In a public post, Zuckerberg congratulated his company’s AI research division for winning the best paper award at the “top” computer vision conference for research in “densely connected convolutional networks” subject.
In the same post, Zuckerberg shared “one reason” why he is so optimistic about AI. These efforts, he said, could bring “improvements in basic research across so many different fields — from diagnosing diseases to keep us healthy, to improving self-driving cars to keep us safe, and from showing you better content in News Feed to delivering you more relevant search results.”
“Every time we improve our AI methods, all of these systems get better. I’m excited about all the progress here and it’s potential to make the world better,” Zuckerberg said, whose company already uses a range of AI-powered tools to, among other things, serve relevant posts to around two billion people on the planet.
Zuckerberg’s remarks comes merely hours after Tesla and Space X founder and CEO Elon Muskcriticised Zuckerberg’s inability to foresee the evil side of artificial intelligence. Musk believes that all these AI efforts need to be regulated by the government, as otherwise there is a chance one day these AI-powered robots would kill humans, in what he describes as the “doomsday” scenario.
Over the weekend, in a Facebook Live session, Zuckerberg without calling out Musk, said “naysayer’s” predictions about “doomsday scenarios” were “irresponsible.” When a user asked about Musk’s views on Zuckeberg’s remarks, Musk tweeted Tuesday that he has spoken to Mark Zuckerberg and reached the conclusion that his understanding of AI is limited.
The SP-6 are rated IPX4 for sweat and moisture resistance
Sporty looks aside, the build and sonic signature is pretty average
The Sound One SP-6 retail for Rs. 1,999
Sound One, a Hong Kong-based company, recently launched a pair of budget wireless earphones called the SP-6. Although, it isn’t a household name in India YET, the company has been selling budget headphones and speakers for a while now through online channels.
The SP-6 is designed for active use, which would typically include gyming, running, or any sort of sports activity. At Rs. 1,999, they are quite affordable too as far as Bluetooth earphones go but are they really worth it? Let’s find out.
Sound One SP-6 design and features
The packaging of the SP-6 is very interesting as it resembles a hip-flask, it’s just a bit taller and without a nozzle on the top. The compartment that houses the earphone slides out from the top, which also has several different ear tips and a Micro-USB cable for charging.
You get four sets of ear tips of which three sets are single flange in different sizes while the fourth is a bi-flange ear tip. The earphones are built entirely of plastic and have a sporty look, which seems appealing. However, upon closer inspection we felt that the build quality as well as the fit and finish could’ve been better. The rubberised cable connecting both the earbuds feels durable, however after using it for a few weeks, the cable that connects to the left earphone got a bit loose on our unit.
The earbuds are designed to slip into your ear canal when you wear them and to help it secure it in place; you get an oversized wing tip which slides outwards so you can adjust it according to the shape of your ear. The right earbud has three buttons for controlling your music, along with a Micro-USB port, a microphone, and a multi-coloured LED to assist when pairing the phone.
In terms of specifications, the Sound One SP-6 supports Bluetooth 4.1, a theoretical range of 10 meters and promises up to 6 hours of battery life. According to Sound One, the earbuds are sweat resistant too and are IPX4 rated. However, earphones that can supposedly withstand splashes of water and rain, the rubber cover for the Micro-USB port is extremely flimsy and doesn’t like it would last too long. The company also hasn’t mentioned any details about the size of the drivers or the supported frequency range.
Sound One SP-6 performance and battery life
At first, It can be tricky to get a comfortable fit with the Sound One SP-6, but once you have the wing tip adjusted to the right level, the fit is pretty snug. They don’t move about even when you run, which is good. We didn’t like the texture of the rubber cable as it tends to stick to the skin on your neck, which in return tugs on the earbuds when you turn your head. The effect is worse when you’re sweating, and it can be very annoying.
To avoid this, Sound One has provided a rubber loop attached to the chord which lets you secure it closer to the back of your head, so it doesn’t dangle on your neck. The media control buttons feel a bit fiddly but the tactile response is decent and it’s easy to reach with your fingers when you’re on the move. The buttons that let you skip or go to the previous track can also be used to adjust the volume if you long press them.
We tested the SP-6 primarily with a HTC 10, among other devices. The pairing process is pretty straight forward as you hold down the power button till the LED flashes red and blue. The earphones also have a voice prompt that tells you when they are powered on or off, when it’s connected to a device, or when the battery is running low. When streaming audio, we noticed the right side was always a bit louder than the left which made music sound a bit off-balance. At first we figured it was due to an improper seal from the ear tips but after trying all of them, we couldn’t seem to fix it.
Audio quality from the drivers is strictly average with the bass getting boomy even at moderate volumes. This is very noticeable in Zero 7’s Red Blue and Green, where the bass envelopes the finer nuances in the song. In vocal tracks like Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb, instrument separation isn’t very distinct and the overall sound stage is closed off. Mid-range frequencies feel flat and treble is often swallowed up by the other notes. Upbeat tracks like Mr. Blue Sky by Electric Light Orchestra sound a bit better but the frequencies still lack good definition, which makes for a very dull sonic signature.
We also tested the SP-6 with videos streamed from Amazon Prime Video and YouTube. Audio quality is decent but the lower frequencies often overpower the rest and due to the lack of good instrument separation. Action sequences in movies can sound a bit jarring. We also had a poor experience with phone calls through the headset. The voice of the caller would keep cutting in and out and the person on the other end wasn’t able to hear us clearly all the time. Battery life is decent as we managed to get around 5-6 hours of continuous use.
The Sound One SP-6 might be inexpensive but this comes at the cost of audio quality and the build. The funky design looks good and they fit snugly in your ears, but the fit and finish of the plastics is quite average. We also didn’t like the volume imbalance between the two earbuds, which gets really annoying. Audio quality is below average too with the bass often overpowering the other frequencies and overall dull sonic signature.
We feel it’s ok to give this one a miss and put in a bit more money for something like the Brainwavs Blu-200. Price (MRP): Rs. 1,999
Decent battery life
Questionable fit and finish
Dull sonic signature with boomy bass
Audio level imbalance across earbuds
Flimsy protective cover for USB port
Ratings (Out of 5)
Value for money: 2.5
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Tags: Sound One SP-6, Sound One SP-6 review, Sound One SP-6 price, Sound One SP-6 price in India, Sound One Sp-6 specifications
Unwatchable. Dustin Hoffman and Natalie Portman in Mr Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. Photograph: Allstar/20th Century Fox
Helen Mirren’s appearance in Fast and Furious 8 – or Fate of the Furious, or whatever you want to call it – is notable for a couple of reasons. First, it proves that not even dames of the British empire are impervious to the breathlessly dumb spectacle of a big-budget, boneheaded franchise. Second, it elevates her to the highest possible rank of actor: Thespians Who Should Be Above This But Aren’t.
Almost without exception, every great actor has spent at least some time slumming it in films that don’t accommodate their talent. In fact, you could probably make a highly enjoyable movie marathon out of these appearances. Here’s my suggested running order:
Orson Welles in Transformers.
Orson Welles – Unicron Transformers: The Movie (1986)
We’ll start with perhaps the most infamous. By this point, Welles’s career had spiralled down to the extent that he was primarily famous for his angry, drunk, advert outtakes. His final indignity was playing a planet-eating robot called Unicron in a feature-length toy commercial. However, this raises an important point about slumming actors: although the work is beneath them, the films are often loads of fun to watch. Compare this with any of Michael Bay’s films, and Welles’s Transformers looks like a flat-out masterpiece.
Judi Dench – Aereon The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)
Dench managed to win an Oscar after being in a film for just eight minutes. That film was not The Chronicles of Riddick, in which she played Dame Judi Dench Who Can Nearly Fly But Not Quite and Also Has a Curtain Over Her Head. It’s long, tedious and far too self-regarding for its own good. But, as Fifty Shades Darker ably demonstrated, at least Christian Grey was a fan of the film. He has a poster of it hanging on his wall.
A film so bad it became the punchline to Breaking Bad’s best joke, Mr Magorium’s Wonder Emporium is a prime example of all the bad things that can happen if you hire a renowned actor to star in your stupid movie. Hoffman endows his character with countless infuriating tics and quirks that would have almost definitely been beaten out of him if he wasn’t Dustin Hoffman. Future Oscar-winner Natalie Portman didn’t do herself any favours, either. Unbearable.
Marlon Brando as Dr Moreau
Marlon Brando – Dr Moreau The Island of Dr Moreau (1996)
The stories about Marlon Brando’s antics on the set of this doomed HG Wells adaptation are much better than the actual film. It is said that, rather than learn the lines, Brando simply repeated whatever was dictated to him via an earpiece; a trick that went awry when the signal was highjacked by a nearby police scanner. He also insisted that his character should intermittently wear a bucket on his head and, although this was vetoed, that he should ultimately reveal himself to be a dolphin. The film is unwatchable.
Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe – Lt Parker Barnes and SID 6.7 Virtuosity (1995)
Now it’s time for a twofer. This is the plot description from Virtuosity’s IMDb page: “When a virtual reality simulation created using the personalities of multiple serial killers manages to escape into the real world, an ex-cop is tasked with stopping its reign of terror.” The film, if you can believe it, doesn’t even live up to this. (NB: the film’s two leads have three Oscars between them.)
Michael Caine in Jaws: The Revenge
Michael Caine – Hoagie Jaws: The Revenge (1987)
Caine’s “one for me, one for them” attitude towards filmmaking has resulted in a wildly spotty filmography. But his lowest point was the fourth Jaws movie. Roy Scheider’s character has died and his (possibly psychic) widow keeps getting chased about the place by an angry shark with a personal vendetta. Plus, said animal may or may not be controlled by a witch doctor. The film is partially redeemed by Caine’s devil-may-care attitude towards its horrible reception. “I have never seen the film, but by all accounts it was terrible,” he once memorably remarked. “However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific.”
Peter O’Toole – Zaltar Supergirl (1984)
Supergirl is filled with weirdly mournful performances by actors who all seem fairly close to death – Peter Cook’s role is especially sad. And yet it is O’Toole who takes the biggest hit. Playing a Kryptonian trapped in the Phantom Zone (who nevertheless seems to have access to Bill Beaumont’s A Question of Sport sweater collection), he exudes the air of a trapped circus monkey who won’t get any dinner unless he turns up and goes through the motions. Heartbreaking.
John Hurt – Dr Turner Tender Loving Care (1998)
Technically, Tender Loving Care might not count as a movie, as it never had a theatrical release, but it does stand out as a bizarre outlier on Hurt’s filmography. The film is an interactive Hand That Rocks the Cradle-style thriller with the thinnest possible erotic undertone. You watch a couple of scenes, then answer an on-screen questionnaire about how it made you feel. Your answers dictate where the film goes next. Hurt’s role was to guide viewers through these questionnaires, and then pull an interested face as they entered their answers. The role could easily have been taken by a monkey in a hat.
Faye Dunaway – Elena Dubrow Dunston Checks In (1996)
On the subject of monkeys, here’s a film about a crazy orangutan jewel thief and his kooky adventures in a negligently run hotel. You might remember Dunston Checks In as the film where an ape gives an erotic massage to a middle-aged lady. Or perhaps you’ll remember it as the film where the same monkey climbs on to a chandelier and flings himself at Faye Dunaway – star of Bonnie and Clyde, The Arrangement, Chinatown, The Thomas Crown Affair and Network – who then topples into a great big cake. This was probably less slummy for Dunaway than Supergirl (in which she also appeared) but, because she looks like she is having fun in this, it’s still worth throwing on the bonfire.
Cate Blanchett as Irina Spalko
na Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
No matter how prestigious their stage and screen careers, all actors want to work for Steven Spielberg. Even if they end up working with him on a film where people get attacked by giant ants. Even if that film has a sequence where the hero is catapulted to safety during a nuclear explosion by hiding in a fridge. Even if, at one point, Shia LaBeouf escapes death by literally swinging away through the trees like a monkey. This is why Cate Blanchett appeared in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
Philip Seymour Hoffman – Owen Davian Mission: Impossible III (2006)
At this point in his career, Hoffman was a true cinematic heavyweight. He had acted for Todd Solondz, Spike Lee and the Coen brothers. He was a favourite of Paul Thomas Anderson and Anthony Minghella. He had just won an Oscar for Capote. He could pick any role he liked, and he chose to be an anonymous baddie in the second-worst Mission: Impossible film. It made a small amount of sense, allowing him to chew scenery at full volume for his largest audience yet. But what a weird choice to play second fiddle to Tom Cruise’s frenzied running technique.
Robert Downey Jr – Dr Kozak The Shaggy Dog (2006)
You could argue that Robert Downey Jr wasn’t slumming it by taking a reduced role in a fifth-rate Tim Allen movie. You could argue that, at this point in his life, he had scuppered his career so comprehensively that his appearance in this film counted as a kindness on Allen’s part. Even so, it’s jarring to see an actor so widely feted hopping around the interior of a courtroom on all fours with his tongue waggling around. Two years later, he would rehabilitate himself as Iron Man, becoming the world’s highest-paid actor in the process. But this performance remains a warning from history about all the bad things that can happen if you take too many drugs.
The entire cast Tiptoes (2003)
Let us finish our marathon with an undiluted cavalcade of slumming actors. Tiptoes should have benefited from its murderers’ row of talent. It stars two-time Emmy-winning Peter Dinklage. It stars two-time London Critics’ Circle award-winner Kate Beckinsale. It stars two-time Bafta-winner Gary Oldman. It stars Oscar, Bafta and Golden Globe-winning Patricia Arquette. It stars Matthew McConaughey, who won 18 awards in a single year for Dallas Buyers Club. Tiptoes should have been unstoppable. But it wasn’t because it was a weird hybrid of romcom and abortion drama in which Oldman played a dwarf. The whole thing was so offensive that it was never released theatrically in the US.