Honor Magic 2 With Sliding Camera, FullView Display, Kirin 980 SoC, 40W Magic Charge Support Teased at IFA 2018

Honor Magic 2 With Sliding Camera, FullView Display, Kirin 980 SoC, 40W Magic Charge Support Teased at IFA 2018

Honor showed up at IFA 2018with a surprise this year – Magic 2

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Honor Magic 2 to come with a ‘Magic Slide’ camera
  • The smartphone will be powered by a Kirin 980 SoC
  • Magic 2 also comes with the 40W Magic Charger

Honor is jumping on the sliding camera bandwagon with its Magic 2 smartphone. During its event at IFA 2018 in Berlin, the Huawei sub-brand teased a smartphone called Honor Magic 2 that is claimed to come with a bezel-free display by leveraging a sliding camera functionality. The handset is a successor to the Honor Magic that was launched back in 2016 with display curves and AI-based features. The Magic 2, meanwhile, comes with a ‘Magic Slide’ feature that enables the phone to have a nearly 100 percent screen-to-body ratio.

At the IFA trade show, Honor only showed the Magic 2 briefly onstage. The successor to Magic phone did not get a proper announcement, but Honor President George Zhao teased some of the key features. However, the company did not provide too much information regarding the price, specifications, and availability of the smartphone. A zoomed-in image from Honor’s event shared by GSMArena, showcases the interesting-looking device that lacks any bezels or notches.

The most interesting feature in the Honor Magic 2 is its FullView display. There are no display notches or any significant chin at the bottom. It resembles the Oppo Find X that was launched earlier this year. Xiaomi has also recently teased a Mi Mix 3 with an “all-screen” display that moves the frontal paraphernalia to the slider behind the screen. Interestingly, as per the images, unlike the Find X, the Honor Magic 2’s camera slider appears to open manually. However, it may also be due to it being just an engineering sample and not a final product.

Additionally, the Honor Magic 2 will be powered by a Kirin 980 processor. At the same event, Huawei had launched the HiSilicon Kirin 980 as the ‘world’s first commercial 7nm SoC’. Compared to the previous generation 10nm process, the 7nm process is said to deliver 20 percent improved SoC performance and 40 percent more efficiency. Also, the Honor Magic 2 will come with a 40W ‘Magic Charge’ fastcharging technology. It is claimed to be very fast and safe. Honor, in a press release, said, “to further ensure safety, 15 layers of protection are also embedded in the smartphone. The phone can automatically identify the battery, cable and charger and only when all of the three parts are identified as safe, the Super Charger will start.”

“The launch of Honor Magic two years ago introduced the concept of the AI smartphone to consumers”, noted Zhao. “The first-generation Honor Magic was an era-defining smartphone that transformed the industry. In addition to AI-features that make the phone truly smart, Honor Magic’s ground-breaking all-curved panel design and powerful 40W charging support have reshaped smartphone design and become a benchmark for all smartphones. The developments of these futuristic flagship devices are closely followed by the smartphone and AI industry, and now the Honor Magic 2 has arrived.”

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Watchers Wonder if Apple Has Lost Its Magic

Watchers Wonder if Apple Has Lost Its Magic

Is Apple facing a rare, simple pause in growth in a tough global economy or has it lost its magic for dreaming up must-have new gadgets like the iPhone?

The question was front-of-mind Wednesday on Wall Street, where shares in the California-based company fell more than six percent to $97.82 by the official close of trading on the Nasdaq exchange.

The drop erased the equivalent of $40 billion (roughly Rs. 2,65,856 crores) in market capitalization and came after Apple Tuesday reported its first year-over-year quarterly revenue drop in 13 years.

Apple also forecast that the current quarter would be difficult.

Revenue was down during the first three months of this year due to the first drop in iPhone sales since the release of the world-changing handsets in 2007.

Sales of iPhones have been the engine for Apple earnings for a while.

(Also see:  Apple Upbeat on iPhone SE Demand but Some Asian Retailers, Suppliers Less Cheery)

Cruising on a flagship?
FBN Securities said in a note to analysts that it was “concerned” that since taking over as chief executive in 2011, Tim Cook has not delivered “any real transformative products.”

An Apple Watch that made its debut last year was seen as the company’s first foray into a new product category under Cook. Apple has not revealed sales figures for its smartwatch, but Cook said on an earnings call that they “met expectations” during the quarter.

(Also see:  As iPhone Sales Slump, Apple Bets on Services From Apps to Music)

Given the absence of official sales figures, observers are left to speculate how Apple Watch is doing in the market. The fact that Apple Watch synchs to iPhones has raised doubts it could be a stand-alone hit instead of an accessory.

Apple Pay, the service that lets iPhones act as digital wallets, is viewed through a similarly dependent lens.

Apple has long been a ripe target for rumors, with recent speculation including talk that the company is working on self-driving cars and virtual reality.

“The car entry would be years away and it would not at all be clear if Apple would succeed – especially considering Tesla’s recent success with its Model 3,” FBN said in its note.

Tesla has been swamped with orders even though release of the car is a year away.

Seeking a new Steve Jobs
“The pace of innovation has completely slowed down at Apple,” said Global Equities analyst Trip Chowdhry.

“The projects that Tim Cook is talking about are taking so much time… by the time they are ready they are already obsolete.”

Chowdhry depicted Apple as a company that was in fine shape except for a bedeviling lack of vision and passion at the top, pointing a finger at Cook, chief financial officer Luca Maestri, and senior vice president of retail and online stores Angela Ahrendts.

“Get rid of these three people, and Apple will come back to its past glory,” the analyst said.

Apple has thus far delivered on the vision of Steve Jobs, and a new visionary who is at least as passionate as the iconic figure is needed to fix the company, Chowdhry reasoned. He recommended former Apple executive Jon Rubinstein for the job.

Former Apple manager Guy Kawasaki, who helped launch the Macintosh computer in the 1980s said in a CNBC television interview that the company needs to get back to making products people “lust” for.

(Also see:  Something Is Rotten in the State of Apple)

Kawasaki gave the example of iPhones that boast improvements from prior generations but don’t stand apart from predecessors in big ways.

“We need a product that leaps to the next curve,” Kawasaki said.

“I don’t think that is simply making the iPhone smaller or the iPad bigger.”

He said that Jobs and his famous “reality distortion field” could dazzle people with product upgrades, but without him such modifications have not come across as revolutionary.

Meanwhile, many analysts have taken to counseling investors to be patient.

“Just wait until 2017, when comparisons will be easier,” advised FBN, noting that earnings will then be up against those reported this year instead of a year in which a hot-selling iPhone 6 debuted.

The coming iPhone 7 could be a “game changer” according to RBC Capital Markets. Analysts also pointed out that with more than a billion Apple devices being used around the world, Apple is positioned to rake in money selling content, products and services to users.

Tags: Apple, Apple Watch, Apps, Laptops, Mobiles, PC, Tablets, Wearables, iPad, iPhones
[“Source-Gadgets”]

Doctor Strange Is a Visually Dazzling Film That Adds Magic to the Marvel Universe

Doctor Strange Is a Visually Dazzling Film That Adds Magic to the Marvel Universe

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Already released in some parts, Doctor Strange opens November 4 here
  • Doctor Strange is the 14th film in the Marvel universe
  • There are two bonus scenes during the credits

In the first five minutes of Doctor Strange, director Scott Derrickson gives us the wildest and strangest look at the Marvel Cinematic Universe yet, rivalling every moment seen in any of the previous 13 instalments. Even for an ever expanding franchise that regularly sees immeasurable power, demigods from different realms and individuals warping reality, the scene is far out there. It’s oddly comical that Benedict Cumberbatch’s Stephen Strange gets his introduction in a surgeon’s garb only moments later, tapping his feet to Chuck Mangione’s 1977 Grammy-nominated hit Feels So Good.

Strange – or as he prefers it, Dr. Strange – is a highly-ambitious egotistical neurosurgeon at a New York hospital, who fixes people up while showing off in front of his lesser colleagues at work, and zooms about at dangerous speeds in a Lamborghini Huracán. Naturally, (and because any origin story demands pain and suffering) Strange ends up as a patient in his own hospital after a ghastly car accident.

And it’s the worst possible kind of affliction – irreparable nerve damage – which means Strange is nearly useless anywhere near the operating table. His search for a cure leads him to Nepal (the comics’ preference for Tibet had to be scratched to please China), where he encounters the Ancient One, portrayed by a flawless, indubitable, and completely bald Tilda Swinton.As a man of medicine and science, Strange is clearly wary of the Ancient One’s promises, but the man is in for a rude awakening. Derrickson’s visual depiction of the mystic world – and its limitless possibilities – is a wild kaleidoscopic ride full of bright pop colours and dream-like imagery. At one moment, hands start to appear out of Strange’s fingers, continuing in a recursive fashion. It’d more be in place in an 1960s acid-rock music video than the MCU, and it’s a refreshing change for the series.

(Also see: Ant-Man Is Small, Funny, and Just What Marvel Needed)

It’s this constant innovation on the visual parameter that distracts from what is otherwise a humdrum storyline that we’ve seen all too many variations of – even in the Marvel world itself. Here is a genius, rich, overly-confident, white middle-aged man who is pushed to the limits in order to repair his body, and then ends up with more power than he knows what to do with. Remember Iron Man?

Thankfully, in place of the endless fist-fights, streams of bullets, and over-the-top explosions, screenwriters C Robert Cargill and Derrickson himself prove rather inventive with their action sequences, even if some of the ideas are borrowed. A mind-bending scene in the film’s latter half is a twisted marriage of Inception’s world-folding ideas, and its hallway fight scene. Things get much weirder in Doctor Strange though, with the city of New York divided into different planes in a claustrophobic fashion, each with its own gravity, and elements broken apart and joint together in unimaginable shapes.

Elsewhere, in the climactic sequence, the film offers two perspectives on time – and in neither does time flow in a linear fashion – which finds Strange relying more on his brain cells than the damaged ones in his limbs. By doing so, Doctor Strange is able to shift away from some tropes. Save one fight sequence midway through the film, in which an in-training Strange seems to be taking on more than he ought to be capable of, the film is clever enough to balance events towards the former on an intellectual-brawn scale, lest Strange feel like another iron-fisted, caped superhero. Even the cape itself – the most senseless of things for most costumed vigilantes – gets its own comical entry, while saving Strange from serious matters such as impending death on several occasions.

Others aren’t so well served. One scene finds Strange fighting with an antagonist’s minions in the astraldimension, but apart from being translucent and traversing through his ex-lover Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams), the assailants still keep crashing into walls which makes the whole thing seem a bit stupid and hokey.

(Also see: Avengers: Age of Ultron Is Everything You Wanted It to Be)

Then there are the issues with character depth, which affects everyone outside of Strange and the Ancient One. Palmer might just be the MCU’s weakest love-interest written yet, which is almost an accomplishment in a world that has already given us Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster (in Thor). McAdams is virtually side-lined after the film’s start, and only comes back later to act as an audience surrogate of sorts. Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Karl Mordo, a fellow student at the mystic facility in Nepal, isn’t given enough material to work with. He does make an appearance in one of two sequences during the credits, so stay put through to the very end if you’re invested in the bigger MCU picture.

On top of that is the villain Kaecilius, for which the brilliant Mads Mikkelsen seems terribly wasted. Given how the Danish actor is capable of bringing great nuance to his roles – see the TV series Hannibal for reference – the one-note nature of the character and chance set-up of his face-off with Strange are a disservice to Mikkelsen, particularly after Derrickson admitted that MCU villains have a poor track record.

Doctor Strange works great as a standalone film, and its visual inventiveness is a breath of fresh air, as most films in the MCU have tended to come from a cookie-cutter approach these days. While Strange might be similar to Stark in some ways (and the film’s plotline has parallels to another rich playboy), at the same time the movie does give Marvel a character to lead the Avengers if Robert Downey Jr were to walk away, or the character to be phased out.

(Also see: Guardians of the Galaxy Proves That Marvel Is the Pixar of Superhero Movies)

Sure, the level of wizardry on display in Doctor Strange is never explained too well – there’s a levitation cloak, time-altering artefact, odd-shaped knuckledusters, and parallel dimensions in the mix – but when it’s all done with such splendour and a dash of fun, it feels rather pointless to complain.

“This doesn’t make any sense,” Strange remarks at one point. “Not everything does, not everything has to,” the Ancient One retorts. Let Marvel worry about integrating Doctor Strange and his world-altering powers into the rest of their universe. The rest of us can reminisce about the fact that the 2016 superhero-movie calendar has been saved by a (literal) sprinkle of magic.

Tags: Doctor Strange, Benedict Cumberbatch, Marvel, MCU
[“source-ndtv”]

Google Pixel, Pixel XL Leaked on Verizon Ahead of October 4 Event; Google Magic and Blue Colour Variant Revealed

Google Pixel, Pixel XL Leaked on Verizon Ahead of October 4 Event; Google Magic and Blue Colour Variant Revealed

Google Pixel, Pixel XL Leaked on Verizon Ahead of October 4 Event; Google Magic and Blue Colour Variant Revealed
HIGHLIGHTS
Site suggests the Google Pixel and Pixel XL will be offered in Blue
Verizon also mentions ‘Google Magic’ as one of the highlights
The phones will be offered in 32GB and 128GB storage options
We’re just a few hours away from the launch of Google’s Pixel smartphones and the leaks continue to pour in. After pretty much revealing all there is to know about the devices on UK retailer Carphone Warehouse, we now have a little more from Verizon. The listing on Verizon’s site unofficially confirms a Blue model along with Black and White options that was previously leaked by Canadian carriers Bell and Telus.

(Also see: Everything You Can Expect From the Google Pixel Event Today)

The listing, spotted by Gizmodo, also shows some highlights about the devices, which includes what Verizon is calling ‘Google Magic’, which could just be the site’s own marketing ploy, but could also refer to a new, unknown feature. The site further reveals that the Google Pixel and Pixel XL will be offered in 32GB and 128GB storage options. Lastly and unsurprisingly, the devices come with 4G LTE support.

A separate reveal by TheTrademarkNinja shows an EU trademark application filed by the company with an official logo that reads “G Pixel Phone by Google”, which confirms that the devices are in fact going to be ‘Pixel’ smartphones.

Based on the Carphone Warehouse leak, the Google Pixel is said to feature a 5-inch full-HD (1080 x 1920 pixels) Amoled display with a pixel density of 441ppi and Gorilla Glass 4 on top. The device is powered by a 2.15GHz quad-core Snapdragon 821 processor with 4GB of RAM.

Meanwhile, the Google Pixel XL is listed with a 5.5-inch Quad HD (1440×2560 pixels) display sporting a pixel density of 534ppi and Gorilla Glass 4 on top. Other than the size and resolution of the display, the rest of the features are similar to the smaller Pixel. Both the devices also feature a 12-megapixel rear camera and 8-megapixel front.
The Pixel and Pixel XL will run on Android 7.1 Nougat with Pixel Launcher. The listings also mention both 32GB and 128GB inbuilt storage variants. Storage expansion via microSD card is also listed, but this seems unlikely considering Google’s entire previous Nexus lineup. The Pixel is listed to sport a 2770mAh battery, and the Pixel XL is listed with a bigger 3450mAh battery, both with fast charging capability.

On the software front, the Pixels is likely to come with Google’s latest Allo and Duo applications preloaded. Carphone Warehouse also revealed the two devices will offer unlimited storage for photos and videos at full resolution with Google Photos.

Along with the unveiling of the Pixel smartphones, the event on Tuesday is also expected to see the launch of the Google Home smart speaker, alongside other rumoured products like the Google Chromecast Ultra, and Google Wi-Fi smart router. The Daydream VR headset unveiled at at Google I/O this year is also expected to make an appearance.

Google’s event is set to start at 9:00am PT (9:30pm IST) on Tuesday, and Gadgets 360 will be covering the event live from San Francisco – so stay tuned.

[“Source-Gadgets”]