OnePlus 6 Camera Pitted Against iPhone X, Samsung Galaxy S9, Google Pixel 2 Ahead of Launch

OnePlus 6 Camera Pitted Against iPhone X, Samsung Galaxy S9, Google Pixel 2 Ahead of Launch

HIGHLIGHTS

  • OnePlus 6 pitted against premium smartphones
  • OnePlus is challenging users to match images with respective handsets
  • Winners stand a chance to get a free OnePlus 6

OnePlus 6 is just days away from launch and the company has already revealed several features and specifications of its upcoming flagship. However, not much has been known about the OnePlus 6 camera and its features, apart from the fact that there will be a dual camera setup. The latest teaser put out by OnePlus hints at a camera that will be able to compete with the best smartphone camera offerings right now. OnePlus seems to be fairly confident about the capabilities of the OnePlus 6 camera, as it has pitted it against the likes of Apple iPhone X, Samsung Galaxy S9, and Google Pixel 2.

The company posted some images via its Twitter handle, alongside the caption “The OnePlus 6 Dual Camera takes on the iPhone X, Samsung Galaxy S9, and Google Pixel 2. Can you match the shot to the phone?” The new teaser is a part of OnePlus 6 Blind Test, which the company has put up on its site. It challenges users to match pictures captured to their respective smartphones. The options, of course, are the premium smartphones that have been mentioned. Notably, these smartphones have cameras that have been regarded by many people as some of the best in the market. With this move, OnePlus is clearly taking the competition head-on.

In the OnePlus 6 blind test, the company has posted four sets of images. There is one set that shows photos of architecture and another one is a set of low light images. The other two sets have portrait images in good light and low light. It is up to the fans to match the photos with the smartphones by replying to the tweet.

OnePlus wants users to take the blind test as well as refer friends to it. While the top three scorers on the leaderboard have been promised a free OnePlus 6, the company will also give out other gifts.

When it comes to optics, previous rumours have suggested that the OnePlus 6 will come with a vertical dual camera setup at the back and might bear a 20-megapixel primary and a 16-megapixel secondary sensor. The front camera of the OnePlus 6 is rumoured to get a 16-megapixel sensor for selfies and video calling. To recall, the OnePlus 6 launch is expected in London on May 16, followed by events in Mumbai and Beijing on May 17.

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OnePlus 6

OnePlus 6

Rs.36,999
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  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS
Display6.28-inch
Processor1.8GHz octa-core
Front Camera16-megapixel
Resolution1080x2280 pixels
RAM8GB
OSAndroid 8.1 Oreo
Storage128GB
Rear Camera23-megapixel
Battery Capacity3500mAh
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Samsung Gear Sport 2: what we want to see

We’re not sure whether we’ll get a Gear Sport 2 or a Gear S4 next from Samsung, but one of them is probably in the works, and we’re starting to hear about what it might feature.

You’ll find all that below, along with thoughts on the likely release date and price, and we’ll keep this article updated as we hear more.

But while we wait for the leaks and rumors to properly start rolling in we’ve also come up with a wish list of what we want from the Samsung Gear Sport 2, as the previous Gear Sport is a capable but overly familiar wearable, so we’re hoping for some big changes for the next model.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? Samsung’s next smartwatch
  • When is it out? Probably sometime in 2018
  • What will it cost? Likely upwards of $299 / £299 / AU$499

Samsung Gear Sport 2 release date and price

There aren’t any release date rumors yet, but with the Samsung Gear Sportbeing announced in August 2017 (before hitting stores in October) there’s a fair chance we’ll see the Samsung Gear Sport 2 in or around August 2018.

Samsung also launched the Gear S3 and Gear S2 in August of previous years, so it’s very likely we’ll get some kind of smartwatch this August, though whether it will be called the Gear Sport 2, Gear S4 or something else entirely is currently unknown.

As for the price, that will probably be at least as high as the Gear Sport, which launched for $299 / £299 / AU$499.

Samsung Gear Sport 2 news and leaks

While we haven’t seen any news or rumors that mention the Gear Sport 2 by name, we have seen a handful of Samsung smartwatch patents, so it’s possible that some of their features will be included in the Gear Sport 2.

One of them talks about having a battery built into the strap, which could provide extra life to the watch or could simply replace the battery that would otherwise be built into the watch body, leaving extra room there for new features.

Another details a blood pressure monitor, which could use a light source and a light receiver to monitor your bloodstream, somewhat similarly to how heart rate monitors work.

The Gear Sport 2 might make better use of its bezel. Credit: Patently Mobile

Patently Mobile has also shared a patent (pictured above) which talks about a screen built into the bezel of the watch, which could potentially tell you things like the date and the weather, leaving the main display free for other functions.

And another patent, this time spotted by 3Dnews, shows a watch that strangely has a camera built into the middle of the screen.

The camera sports optical zoom and while it leaves you with less screen, that could be made up for by the strap, which also has a screen on it, shown in the patent as offering shortcuts to apps and functions.

Could the Gear Sport 2 have a camera in the screen? Credit: 3DNews

We wouldn’t count on any of these features making their way to the Gear Sport 2, especially as many seem ambitious or impractical, but anything’s possible.

What we want to see

We don’t know much about the Samsung Gear Sport 2 yet, but we have plenty of ideas for what we want from it.

1. Better exercise tracking

Although the Gear Sport can track some things well, we found in our review that it had real issues tracking certain exercises, such as star jumps and lunges.

Not only that, but it doesn’t provide training plans, so for example you have to manually set how many of each exercise you want to do each day, rather than the wearable gradually increasing the number over time on its own.

We want to see some serious improvements for the Gear Sport 2. At the very least we want it to accurately track all the exercises that it claims to be able to, but ideally we also want it to push us to do more.

2. More accurate heart rate monitoring

Hopefully the Gear Sport 2’s heart rate monitor will be more accurate

Although the Gear Sport has a heart rate monitor it’s really not a very good one and it gets even less accurate in cold weather, so we’d like to see some major improvements here. Given that the Gear S3 also has a poor heart rate monitor though we’re not optimistic that the Gear Sport 2’s will be much better.

3. Improved GPS

Although not as bad as the heart rate monitor, the GPS performance of the Gear Sport also isn’t always great, proving slightly erratic in our review.

Given that GPS is likely to be a key feature for many buyers it really needs to perform well. Hopefully it will do for the next model.

4. Better battery life

The Gear Sport is actually a downgrade from the Gear S3 when it comes to battery life, offering around two and a half days where its predecessor offered up to four.

That’s still not awful, but it’s disappointing, especially when the watch looks to track your sleep as well – something you won’t be able to do so much if you’re regularly having to plug it in at night, so for the Gear Sport 2 we want to at least see a return to the life of the Gear S3.

5. A slicker strap

Putting a watch on should be easier than it is with the Gear Sport

Not a big deal, perhaps, but the Gear Sport’s strap can be awkward to get through the holding loops, and what with the regular charges needed it is a watch you’ll be taking on and off quite a lot, so we hope that for the Gear Sport 2 Samsung gives the strap some thought, and makes it faster and less fiddly to put on.

6. More apps

While the Gear Sport has some apps, including notable ones like Spotify and Swim.com, there isn’t a huge selection overall, even compared to other smartwatch platforms like Android Wear and watchOS.

This is likely a side-effect of the Gear Sport using Samsung’s Tizen – an operating system which is less popular than rivals. We doubt Samsung will ditch Tizen for the Gear Sport 2, but hopefully it will convince some more big names to support the platform.

7. A bigger screen

The Samsung Gear Sport has a decent quality Super AMOLED screen, but at 1.2 inches it’s quite small, and a reduction in size from the 1.3-inch display on the Gear S3.

We don’t want a massive screen on our wrists, but a return to the 1.3-inch displays of old could be desirable, as that small difference makes it slightly easier to interact with and means you can see more on your wrist at once.

  • These are the best smartwatches available right now

Related product: Samsung Gear Sport

Our Verdict:

Samsung’s Gear Sport does seem like a limited upgrade, but new features including support for Spotify offline and swim tracking means this could be a great new watch for very particular sport lovers.

 FOR

  • Offline Spotify support
  • Great design
 AGAINST

  • Limited upgrade
  • Some strange straps

[“Source-techradar”]

Samsung Max App With Data Saving and Privacy Protection Features Released

Samsung Max App With Data Saving and Privacy Protection Features Released

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Samsung Max app has been released
  • The app is available for select Galaxy devices
  • Replaces the Opera Max app on Galaxy A and Galaxy J handsets

Samsung on Friday released an Android app that is designed to offer mobile data savings and privacy management. Called Samsung Max, the new app is designed by Samsung R&D Institute India and is available for free download on Google Play and Galaxy App store for select Galaxy devices. The proprietary app will also come preloaded on all Galaxy A and Galaxy J series handsets in a few emerging markets, including India, Argentina, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, Thailand, and Vietnam – replacing the recently discontinued Opera Max app.

Similar to Google’s Datally that was launched in last November, the Samsung Max offers foreground data compression service that allows you to reduce data consumption from your installed apps. The app also has the functionality to block background data and data access for any app. It compresses webpages, photos, videos, and media within apps and browser to drop data consumption. Similarly, it lets you manage data permissions for specific apps and customise data consumption for existing apps to save your data for other useful tasks.

Alongside offering data savings and data compression features, Samsung Max provides regular reports to let you see which of your favourite apps are consuming the most of your data limit. The app also has a boost Wi-Fi feature that is touted to uplift connectivity even in a crowded Wi-Fi hotspot or at a weak signal area.

Samsung has provided a bunch of features that are specific to security as well. Primarily, the Samsung Max app not just compress but also encrypt all the network traffic that flows from your apps using Samsung’s in-house servers. The South Korean company also claims that has been using a “bank-grade”, secure network experience. In the same vein, there is Samsung Max’ data-savings cloud access make data usage efficient and secure from third-party services.

The Samsung Max app encrypts data when it is sent through a public Wi-Fi network. Likewise, there are features such as tracker blocking and DNS masking to offer a secured Web browsing experience. You can view privacy reports to see how the app adds security to other apps and network connections.

While the Samsung Max by default serves ads, you can choose whether to view ads inside the app or on the lock screen only while your device is plugged in and charging. The latter can be enabled by switching to the premium mode.

“At Samsung, we’ve been committed to creating inclusive data saving and privacy protection services for all our devices. Because of this, we are now introducing Samsung Max to our mid-range devices as an exclusive and unique service that sets Samsung devices apart from the rest of the smartphone market,” said Seounghoon Oh, Vice President Samsung R&D Institute India.

It is worth noting here that the Samsung Max app is presently incompatible with devices other than the eligible Samsung devices. You can check whether it is compatible with your Galaxy handset by visiting Google Play or Galaxy App store.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro Review

Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro Review

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro works with both Android and iOS
  • It features waterproofing, in addition to GPS and Super AMOLED display
  • It is currently priced at Rs. 13,590

Upon reviewing the Gear Fit 2 at the beginning of 2017, we said it redefined what buyers should expect at its price point (then less than Rs. 12,000). It handily beat every Fitbit offering, and was especially suited to those with Samsung phones. We did have a few complaints, and in the months since then, Samsung has fixed one big one.

The new Gear Fit 2 Pro is similar to its direct predecessor in most ways. The addition of the ‘Pro’ suffix is because of its more fitness-focused features, including waterproofing – you can easily take this new wearable into the shower, pool, or ocean (up to 50m deep) without worry. There’s also continuous heart rate tracking now, so the device will always keep an eye on how you’re doing.

This is Samsung’s third take on a complete fitness wearable, and it shows in its construction quality, ease of use, and feature list. Now that the Gear Fit 2 has been discontinued, this is the one to consider.

Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro look, feel, and navigation

Samsung has opted for a traditional railroad strap with the Gear Fit 2 Pro, which will be familiar to most people. Inserting the strap’s tooth into the last hole isn’t as easy it was on the Gear Fit 2, but the quality of material used here is definitely better. The Gear Fit 2’s rubber strap left rashes on our arm on days with a lot heavy walking, but that hasn’t been the case with this new model.

The display on the Gear Fit 2 Pro is the same as before; a 1.5-inch Super AMOLED curved screen that can show all colours, and works with the slightest of touches. In contrast, those on Fitbit devices usually require harder presses. The two buttons – Back, and Home – are still on the right side of the wearable. You can wake up the Gear Fit Pro with a press of either button, or just tilt your wrist so that the display faces you.

samung gear fit 2 pro 02 Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro

 

Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro software

Samsung has improved the customisation options for watch faces on the Gear Fit 2 Pro. You can tweak not only what statistics you want displayed on the home screen, but also the colour and font. That helps personalise the device, and there are also hundreds more watch faces available via the Gear Store.

Speaking of the Gear Store, Samsung has (thankfully) gotten rid of the strange forced localisation that we were treated to when we reviewed the Gear Fit 2, so you won’t have to deal with a Hindi interface just because you’re browsing from India. We still couldn’t find a way to change it, but defaulting to English is a better choice in our opinion.

The store is still region locked though, which means the likes of Spotify and UA Record aren’t available without the help of a VPN, removing the SIM card, and all that jazz. Still, there are many more useful apps now, with the focus clearly on exercising: Under Armour Record, MapMyRun, MyFitnessPal, and Endomondo are the highlights of the lot.

The biggest annoyance with the iOS app is that it takes forever to connect to the Gear Fit 2 Pro. For what it’s worth, you don’t need to use the app much unless you regularly wish to install and test new apps, but it can be frustrating when you need to tweak something on the go. Even when it does connect, it can end up randomly disconnecting if you move your hand even slightly.

Installing apps is cumbersome for no reason at all. The Gear Fit app throws up multiple dialog boxes before every download, asking whether you want to download directly to the device (the Gear Fit 2 Pro has Wi-Fi as before), informing you that downloads over 1MB can result in high mobile data charges (even if your phone is connected to Wi-Fi), and then a permissions screen. On top of all that, installation takes too long, and apps in the queue don’t download if the phone’s screen goes off.

samung gear fit 2 pro app Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro

 

Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro activity monitoring, GPS, music, and notifications

Like its predecessor, the Gear Fit 2 Pro is capable of tracking a wide variety of activities. That includes walking, cycling, squats, and yoga, as well as using exercise bikes and rowing machines. The one big addition this time is swimming. That’s made possible thanks to full waterproofing on Samsung’s new wearable, as opposed to just splash-proofing on the older Gear Fit 2. The device can track these activities automatically, but you won’t get a GPS route of your exercise unless you trigger it manually.

Getting a GPS lock takes a long time on the Gear Fit 2 Pro with an iPhone, more so if there are a lot of trees or skyscrapers on the route you normally use. It can mean losing the first one to two minutes of your activity, and in some cases, the device might even give up and ask you to move into an open space to try again. With Android, it’s a lot better as Samsung can pull A-GPS data from your paired phone.

But hey, the fact that built-in GPS is an option means that you can leave behind your bulky phone, and not have to deal with arm straps during workouts. The Bluetooth functionality and 4GB of onboard storage let you carry music with you and use wireless headphones. There’s a caveat to that storage figure though – of the 4GB, 1.9GB is already occupied by the system itself, so you start off with 2.1GB. Still, that’s enough space for nearly 300 songs encoded at 320kbps, with an average length of 3 minutes.

You can use Wi-Fi to transfer music via the Gear Music Manager app, and you can even use it to maintain a remote connection with your phone beyond the capability of Bluetooth. That way, you’ll know when you’re getting a call (and other notifications) even if your phone is silent and in some corner of the house, as long as you’re wearing the Gear Fit 2 Pro of course.

Notifications support is wider than with most Fitbits, and alerts from every app – on both Android and iOS – will show up on the wearable. On Android, you can turn off what notifications you want from the app, but with iOS, all notifications are on by default and can be blocked the first time they pop up. With Samsung’s own phones, you can send canned replies too.

samung gear fit 2 pro s health Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro

 

Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro performance

We tested the Gear Fit 2 Pro against mile markers on a running track, and with the built-in GPS on, the Gear Fit 2 Pro was well on point during activity tracking, with a 3 percent average error rate in distance measured. Turn the GPS off, and the Samsung wearable became a lot worse, arriving at an 11 percent average error rate. (Runkeeper, using an iPhone’s built-in GPS, showed an average error rate of less than 3 percent.)

When cycling, the Gear Fit 2 Pro’s GPS problem is more pronounced, since bikes are naturally faster than running. We found that we lost records of the first 40-60 seconds of our exercise routines, unless we were okay waiting for the device to get a lock before starting off. Even worse, doing so affected all our stats, as Samsung considers that time as part of the activity.

Samsung’s S Health app hasn’t gotten the facelift it needs, but the amount of data it gives you for your exercises is great. It’s deeper than what the likes of Fitbit and Runkeeper provide, owing to how both those apps generate revenue for their makers. The behemoth that is Samsung has no need to lock your data behind a paywall. Samsung is also trying to keep up with Fitbit’s innovations in the sleep department, giving you a look at light and deep sleep, and how much rest you actually got.

In terms of battery life, the Gear Fit 2 Pro lasts two to three days with moderate usage. That’s if you keep Wi-Fi and GPS off through the day, and only rely on Bluetooth to maintain a connection to your phone. For those used to the five days that most Fitbit devices can manage, this means more frequent charges. It only takes a little over an hour to get it from single digits to a full charge, given the 200mAh battery.

samung gear fit 2 pro fitbit charge 2 Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro Fitbit Charge 2

 

Verdict
The Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro isn’t a game-changer compared to its predecessor, but waterproofing and continuous heart tracking are welcome additions, especially since they come without a price bump. The Pro model has been launched at the same Rs. 13,990 price as Gear Fit 2, and is already down to Rs. 13,590 in retail. Samsung was quite aggressive with the pricing of the original, bringing it down to Rs. 11,990 in a few months, and it eventually hit Rs. 8,990, and we could see the same pattern this time around.

Even if that doesn’t happen, Samsung’s latest is already more affordable than the Fitbit Charge 2 (Rs. 14,990, but often discounted). Moreover, the Gear Fit 2 Pro has more features and capabilities than the Charge 2 – built-in GPS, a Super AMOLED display, full notifications support, and now waterproofing – that Samsung would be our first choice even if it winds up costing a little more.

Pros:

  • Built-in GPS
  • Super AMOLED screen is still great
  • Waterproofing, can track swims
  • Full notifications support

Cons:

  • Region-locked store is frustrating
  • Display is weak outdoors
  • Inaccurate without GPS

Ratings (out of 5)

  • Design: 4
  • Tracking: 4
  • Other features: 5
  • Value for money: 3.5
  • Overall: 4

[“Source-ndtv”]