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”]

Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL specs and features leak ahead of launch tonight: Everything we know so far

Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Google Home Mini, Pixelbook set to be launched tonight: Everything we know so far

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Image credit: Evan Blass

There are no surprise anymore. Apple couldn’t keep the iPhone X, one of its biggest products in years, a surprise ahead of the launch event. And Google surely can’t keep away the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL from the leakers. The two phones, which are successor to last year’s original Pixel phones, will be launched tonight at an event in San Francisco. They will come accompanied by a number of other Google products, most important of which are going to be three – the new Google Home Mini, the Pixelbook and a new Daydream VR headset.

Of all, the most important – particular for our country of smartphone lovers – are going to be the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL. Almost everything important about these phones is now known. It the last few days their images along with key specifications and features have been leaked. There has been a talk of a mysterious phone called the Ultra Pixel but that is just talk. Tonight there is going to be nothing called Ultra Pixel at the Google event. Only the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL.

Update: Just hours before the launch, a fresh leak has given us at the more detailed specs of the Pixel 2 XL. The specs, listed online, confirm that the phone will come with a 6-inch screen that has a resolution of 1440 x 2880 pixels, hence also confirming the 18:9 aspect ratio. In all likelihood this is the same screen that has been used by LG in its V30 smartphone. Also the specs sheet shows 100000:1 aspect ration hence confirming that the Pixel 2 XL screen uses AMOLED panel. Then there are other details. The front camera on the Pixel 2 XL uses an 8-megapixel sensor with F2.4 lens. The phone comes with a 3520 mAh battery. There is Gorilla Glass 5 layer on top of the phone’s display. Other specs are similar to what we heard about earlier. But there are 3 key features that have revealed by the latest leaks: The Pixel 2 XL will have dual-SIM support. But will be the regular GSM SIM, the slot will use e-SIM. There is something called Pixel Visual Core, which seems to be a special chip for computational photography. In other words, think better portrait mode photos. Finally, there is something called “advanced x-axis sensor” in the Pixel 2 XL. This seems to be the sensor that will enable “squeezable frame” feature.

So what are these phones, how much will the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL will cost in India, when will they go on sale in India? Nothing is official about them yet, but as noted earlier almost everything about these phones has been leaked. So don’t expect any surprises.

– Of the the, the Pixel 2 XL is a more exciting phone. It is made by LG and it has many similarities with the LG V30. The phone is expected to sport a 6-inch screen with thin bezels, similar to what we see in the LG V30. But that is where the design similarities end. Google is expected to use a design for the Pixel 2 XL that is similar to the design of the original Pixel XL. This means, you will get the same dual-tone shell made of metal and glass, although the Glass portion on the rear cover is proportionately smaller than what we saw in last year’s Pixel phones.

– The Pixel 2 XL screen, as noted earlier, measures 6 inches. It will use AMOLED panel, will have QHD (1440P) display with 18:9 aspect ratio.

 

– The Pixel 2, meanwhile, is the smaller phone with 5-inch screen that has a resolution of 1080P. It is said to be made by HTC and it will have a design that is more generic and similar to the design of the Pixel launched last year.

– Both Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are expected to come with stereo speakers. Both have a fingerprint sensor at the rear cover, under camera. Both will feature “squeezable frame” similar to what th HTC U11 has. Squeezing this frame will launch Google Assistant.

– Both Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL will be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 835. There was talk that these phones are going to use the Snapdragon 836, but apparently that chip is late so Google couldn’t use it. The Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL will come with 64GB and the 128GB variants. They will have 4GB RAM.

– Just like the recent iPhones, the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL are going to come without the 3.5mm headphone jack. This is rather surprising because last year Google highlighted the presence of the headphone jack in its Pixel phones as one of the top features, while hinting that the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus weren’t good because they lacked it. Google will probably bundle a headphone to USB-C adapter in the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL boxes.

– The Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL are going to come with a re-designed launcher, which will have the Google search bar at the bottom of the screen. The phone will use Android Oreo software, and likely to come with (temporarily) exclusive software features like Google Lens app, which was announced at the Google I/O.

– The Pixel 2 is likely to have a 2700 mAh battery while the Pixel 2 XL will come with 3400 mAh battery.

– Both the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL will have water and dust-poof design.

– For now, if there is some mystery then that is about the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL cameras. It is certain neither of these phones comes with dual-camera system. Of late, high-end phones are moving dual-camera systems to offer features like 2X optical zoom and more refined portrait mode. But not Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL. These phones are going to come with single camera on the rear. The question is which camera? There are strong chances that it is going to be the sae 12-megapixel camera that is there in the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL. It makes sense because this is the best camera you can get in a phone, even when compared to the camera inside phones like the recently-launched iPhone 8 Plus. But there is also another scenario. Given how much help Google has got from HTC for the Pixel 2 (and the Pixel 2 XL), it is possible that the company may se the same 12-megapixel camera that HTC uses in HTC U11. That again is a good camera so we will have to see what Google does with the HTC U11 camera hardware with its software tricks like the HDR+ mode.

Also Read: Google Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL to launch tonight: How to watch, expected specs, price and more

On the front, it is expected that the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL will come with 5-megapixel shooter. The interesting bit about the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL cameras could be that they may lack the dual-lens trick, but if original Pixel is any indication the new Google phones too may come with the best camera in a smartphone. In addition, it is expected that Google will offer enhanced portrait node in the camera app inside the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL.

Pixel 2 XL and the Pixel 2 India price and India launch

The global prices of the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL have been leaked. The Pixel 2 XL will have a starting price of $849. The Pixel 2, meanwhile, will be cheaper with a starting price of $649. As far as India prices are concerned, nothing has been revealed so far. But these are high-end phones, and similar to how Google priced Pixel phones in India last year, the new Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL will also come with a hefty price tag. It is safe to day that in India the Pixel 2 could have a string price of around Rs 55,000 whereas the Pixel 2 XL may come with a price tag of Rs 65,000.

According to leaks so far, the Pixel 2 will be available globally from October 19. This could be the date when the phone goes on sale in India too, with pre-orders starting a few days early. The Pixel 2 XL could go on sale from November 15, suggest rumours. For official date, let’s wait until tonight.

Pixel Home Mini, Daydream VR headset, Pixelbook

Of these products, the Google Home Mini has already been leaked by Walmart, which “accidentally” listed it on the website. It is exactly what it name suggests. This is a smaller Google Home, much smaller and almost pebble sized, that will sell at a very cheap $49 price. It will connect to an Android device through Wi-Fi and will have Google Assistant inbuilt. Now, although this is a speaker, we suspect it is more for other things instead of music. It’s more like the voice of the Google Assistant and is also probably going to be used to make calls.

The PixelBook is a new Chromebook with powerful hardware and a premium design. It is also said to be a convertable, that people will be able to use as a tablet as well as a laptop. With the PixelBook, the idea it seems is to take on the iPad Pro as well as the Macbook. The device will have a screen size of 12.3 inches and it will come powered with an Intel Core i5 processors, reveals the information leaked so far. It will have a global starting price of $1,199.

Finally, the new Daydream VR headset. This one is expected to be a minor update to the existing VR headset from Google. It will be sold as an accessory to the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL phones and it may come with some design changes as well as improved screens to make it more useful.

[“Source-indiatoday”]

We are interested in hottest areas of tech: Nokia CEO

Image result for We are interested in hottest areas of tech: Nokia CEO

We are focusing on four vertical markets -utilities, public sector, large enterprises and transportation, Rajeev Suri said.

From making LTE-based drones that can save people from drowning to developing T-shirts that can predict tumours in humans, Finnish company Nokia has come a long way from being just amobile phone giant. In an interview with TOI, Rajeev Suri, president & CEO of Nokia -who led the company through a series of major transformations including the 15.6 billion euro acquisition of Alcatel Lucent, the divestment of HERE, the acquisition of digital health company Withings -talks about the 150-year-old company’s goals in areas of networks, the Internet of Things (IoT), virtual reality (VR), digital healthcare and mobile phones. Excerpts:

In most markets, Nokia is synonymous with phones.With new direction the company has taken, how would you best define Nokia in one sentence? 
We create the technology to connect the world. We are a large network company and not restricted to just the telecom space. For instance, we have routers that power all the internet in the world. B2B is 90% of our business today. We are focusing on four vertical markets -utilities, public sector, large enterprises and transportation. And, we are building a software business as well that includes analytics, security, IOT platforms and AI.

How do you plan to grow consumer business? 
We want to choose the areas that are the hottest and fastest-growing areas of technology from an IoT standpoint.If you look at the digital healthcare business, it is growing at around 40%. VR could be very big in next 10 years.For instance, we have launched Ozo, a 360-degree VR camera that is being used in Hollywood, Wimbledon and UEFA. It has streamed live neurosurgery operation in VR that doctors can learn from.In digital healthcare, we have introduced connected devices, including thermometers and blood pressure monitors that are connected through a common app. For instance, our weighing scales can measure your arterial stiffness and warn you. We have an agreement with HMD for Nokiabranded smartphones.

Your vision about IoT…
Billions of devices or things will be connected. This is where 5G comes in. Homes will have sensors and functions, including gesture control. We are working on solutions to make smart homes but are not limiting ourselves.IoT could also mean seamless critical and elderly care. For instance, when a patient is in ICU, the monitoring level is typically 100%. In a general ward, it drops to 20% and at home it drops to zero. Now imagine a scenario, where devices can be miniaturized, connected to the hospital through the cloud and give feedback on the patient’s health proactively instead of waiting for somebody at home to alert the hospital. This could save lives.

What are the innovations taking shape at your IOT lab in Bengaluru? 
There are many things.Among them, some interesting ones are anti-collision software and an app that can warn and fine commuters for crossing railway signals.And, we don’t have to wait for driverless cars for the application to take place. The mobile app will warn commuters about a train and will have a way to slap a fine if they don’t heed the warning and still cross the tracks.

Could there be privacy issues with Aadhaar being linked to mobile number? 
It’s a great idea and like China’s WeChat, many things could be done through it in future. Maybe it can curtail movement of black money. But you must make sure that the encryption is there because privacy matters and there are risks, as mobile malware is also growing.

[“Source-economictimes”]

“We can play anything”: a conversation with Satoko Fujii on creative determination and the musical self

Image result for "We can play anything": a conversation with Satoko Fujii on creative determination and the musical self

A FREE PUBLIC EVENT

An interview and demonstration with Satoko Fujii
In conversation with Alister Spence

‘Unpredictable, wildly creative, and uncompromising…Fujii is an absolutely essential listen for anyone interested in the future of jazz.’ 
– Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz

For virtuoso Japanese pianist and composer Satoko Fujii, the search for musical identity has been a long journey. Training in classical piano from an early age constrained her improvisational urge to ‘just hit things’ on the piano, to explore sounds in themselves. Later studies in jazz at Berklee College of Music, Boston, reinforced her view that following conventional approaches to improvisation and composition was creatively inauthentic. During further advanced studies at the New England Conservatory, pianist and improviser Paul Bley encouraged Fujii to pursue her musical ideas however inchoate they might have initially seemed. From then on Fujii followed her intuition unwaveringly and created sounds that she liked – ‘violations’, as she calls them. The determination to forge her own creative path has produced music that has brought international critical acclaim.

In this lecture demonstration, Fujii will reflect on the importance of curiosity and determination in creative development vis-à-vis the notion of talent. Allied to this is the discussion of the developmental relationship between personal musical expression, formal training and cultural background as exemplified by her engagement with Okinawan music and min’yo vocal styles. Fujii’s broader vision is of a vibrant, multi-faceted, and multi-dimensional music community, one that champions individual endeavour and a commitment to the creative self.

Read more about the Roger Covell Fellowship

On the night:
7pm – 7.30pm – Drinks in the foyer of Io Myers Studio with Satoko Fujii and Natsuki Tamura
7.30pm –  8.30pm – Interview and demonstration with Satoko Fujii and Alister Spence

Finding us
Io Myers Studio is located at the entrance to Gate 2 High St, Kensington. Look for the Creative Practice Lab neon sign in our foyer windows.

Parking
There is limited parking in the Gate 2 area around Io Myers Studio but free parking is available from 6:30pm in the car park next to NIDA accessed through Day Ave.

Links
More information on getting to UNSW.
Download a campus map.  (PDF)

The ‘Imagine Meeting you Here: Fujii/Spence performance, education, recording project’ is supported by the Australian Government through the Australia-Japan Foundation of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

[“Source-ndtv”]