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Tag Archives: consumer-electronics

Samsung’s official launch video for the Galaxy Note 9 has also now leaked…

The official launch promo video for Samsung’s next flagship smartphone in the long-running Galaxy Note line — the Note 9 — appears to have leaked, with links to the video now cropping up on YouTube . And via Twitter… Samsung accidentally posted its Galaxy Note 9 into video to YouTube. Oops. pic.twitter.com/NfzikY4tLG — Tom Warren (@tomwarren) August 3, 2018 The forthcoming phablet has been pretty comprehensively  leaked already . And clearly hasn’t had a radical (cosmetic nor form factor) makeover. (This is not the fabled folding phone Samsung is slated to be working on for next year.) The Note 9 will also be officially unveiled on August 9. So Samsung fans don’t have long left to wait for any last minute details they were keen to nail down. But, in the few days remaining, the Samsung-branded video offers a more polished look at what’s going to be up for pre-order next week… Samsung kicks off touting the power of the Note 9 — telling us it’s not just powerful but “super powerful” (leaked benchmarks  have previously suggested a big performance boost); and with a bottoms-up ports & rear view pan that shows a 3.5mm headphone jack sitting in the frame — confirming my TC colleague Brian Heater’s eagle eye . Also of note: A repositioned fingerprint sensor (now in a less stupid location below the dual lens camera housing). Next, the video flips focus to a snazzy yellow (or is that gold?) S Pen stylus, which Samsung describes as “all new powerful”, before showing its physical button being pressed by an invisible force (human, we hope) which then does a spot of aimless doodling. After this, Samsung moves to brag about the Note 9’s “all day battery” (which it’s confidently  teased before — so the company looks to have put the Note 7 battery fiasco  well and truly behind it), although the usual small print disclaimers warn about variable battery performance. On the storage front, there’s a big bold claim of the device being “1 terabyte ready” — although this is on account of a 512GB SD card shown being pulled out of the expandable memory slot. And in the small print displayed on the video at that point the company caveats that the 1TB claim is for 512GB models equipped with another 512GB in expandable memory (at the owner’s separate expense). “The power to store more” photos “Delete less” photos is what the company’s marketing team has come up with to try to excite people over the utility of owning a smartphone that can have 1TB in storage capacity.

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EU fines Asus, Denon & Marantz, Philips and Pioneer $130M for online price fixing

The European Union’s antitrust authorities have issued a series of penalties, fining consumer electronics companies Asus, Denon & Marantz, Philips and Pioneer more than  €110 million (~$130M) in four separate decisions for imposing fixed or minimum resale prices on their online retailers in breach of EU competition rules. It says the four companies engaged in so called “fixed or minimum resale price maintenance (RPM)” by restricting the ability of their online retailers to set their own retail prices for widely used consumer electronics products — such as kitchen appliances, notebooks and hi-fi products. Asus has been hit with the largest fine ( € 63.5M), followed by Philips ( € 29.8M). The other two fines were € 10.1M for Pioneer, and  € 7.7M for Denon & Marantz. The Commission found the manufacturers put pressure on ecommerce outlets who offered their products at low prices, writing: “ If those retailers did not follow the prices requested by manufacturers, they faced threats or sanctions such as blocking of supplies. Many, including the biggest online retailers, use pricing algorithms which automatically adapt retail prices to those of competitors. In this way, the pricing restrictions imposed on low pricing online retailers typically had a broader impact on overall online prices for the respective consumer electronics products.” It also notes that use of “sophisticated monitoring tools” by the manufacturers allowed them to “effectively track resale price setting in the distribution network and to intervene swiftly in case of price decreases”. “The price interventions limited effective price competition between retailers and led to higher prices with an immediate effect on consumers,” it added. In particular, Asus, was found to have monitored the resale price of retailers for certain computer hardware and electronics products such as notebooks and displays — and to have done so in two EU Member States (Germany and France), between 2011 and 2014. While Denon & Marantz was found to have engaged in “resale price maintenance” with respect to audio and video consumer products such as headphones and speakers of the brands Denon, Marantz and Boston Acoustics in Germany and the Netherlands between 2011 and 2015. Philips was found to have done the same in France between the end of 2011 and 2013 — but for a range of consumer electronics products, including kitchen appliances, coffee machines, vacuum cleaners, home cinema and home video systems, electric toothbrushes, hair driers and trimmers. In Pioneer’s case, the resale price maintenance covered products including home theatre devices, iPod speakers, speaker sets and hi-fi products. The Commission said the company also limited the ability of its retailers to sell-cross border to EU consumers in other Member States in order to sustain different resale prices in different Member States, for example by blocking orders of retailers who sold cross-border. Its conduct lasted from the beginning of 2011 to the end of 2013 and concerned 12 countries (Germany, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands and Norway).

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Light is building a smartphone with five to nine cameras

Light, the company behind the wild L16 camera, is building a smartphone equipped with multiple cameras. According to The Washington Post , the company is prototyping a smartphone with five to nine cameras that’s capable of capturing a 64 megapixel shot. The entire package is not much thicker than an iPhone X, the Post reports. The additional sensors are said to increase the phone’s low-light performance and depth effects and uses internal processing to stick the image together. This is the logical end-point for Light. The company introduced the $1,950 L16 camera back in 2015 and starting shipping it in 2017 . The camera uses 16 lenses to capture 52 megapixel imagery. The results are impressive, especially when the size of the camera is considered. It’s truly pocketable. Yet in the end, consumers want the convenience of a phone with the power of a dedicated camera. Light is not alone in building a super cameraphone. Camera maker RED is nearing the release of its smartphone that rocks a modular lens system and can be used as a viewfinder for RED’s cinema cameras. Huawei also just released the P21 Pro that uses three lenses to give the user the best possible option for color, monochrome and zoom. Years ago, Nokia played with high megapixel phones, stuffing a 41 MP sensor in the Lumia 1020 and PureView 808. Unfortunately, additional details about the Light phone are unavailable. It’s unclear when this phone will be released. We reached out to Light for comment and will update this report with its response.

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We love augmented reality, but let’s fix things that could become big problems

Cyan Banister Contributor Cyan Banister is a partner at Founders Fund , where she invests across sectors and stages with a particular interest in augmented reality, fertility, heavily regulated industries and businesses that help people with basic skills find meaningful work. More posts by this contributor Penn Jillette Turns To FundAnything To Become A Bad Guy Despite Flaws, Ashton As Jobs Is Worth Seeing Alex Hertel Contributor Share on Twitter Alex Hertel is the co-founder of Xperiel . Augmented Reality (AR) is still in its infancy and has a very promising youth and adulthood ahead. It has already become one of the most exciting, dynamic, and pervasive technologies ever developed. Every day someone is creating a novel way to reshape the real world with a new digital innovation. Over the past couple of decades, the Internet and smartphone revolutions have transformed our lives, and  AR has the potential to be that big . We’re already seeing AR act as a catalyst for major change, driving advances in everything from industrial machines to consumer electronics. It’s also pushing new frontiers in education, entertainment, and health care. But as with any new technology, there are inherent risks we should acknowledge, anticipate, and deal with as soon as possible. If we do so, these technologies are likely to continue to thrive. Some industry watchers are forecasting a combined AR/VR market value of  $108 billion  by 2021, as businesses of all sizes take advantage of AR to change the way their customers interact with the world around them in ways previously only possible in science fiction. As wonderful as AR is and will continue to be, there are some serious privacy and security pitfalls, including dangers to physical safety, that as an industry we need to collectively avoid. There are also ongoing threats from cyber criminals and nation states bent on political chaos and worse — to say nothing of teenagers who can be easily distracted and fail to exercise judgement — all creating virtual landmines that could slow or even derail the success of AR. We love AR, and that’s why we’re calling out these issues now to raise awareness

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Samsung’s Galaxy S9 is the way to wean yourself off of DSLRs

Samsung has a new smartphone out, the Galaxy S9 (and S9+). It’s the latest flagship from one of the top smartphone makers in the world, but this year’s version has a lot in common with last year’s model, at least on the surface. The big focus (lol) this year was on the camera, and for good reason: Samsung stepped up its game significantly in this department with this update, and it comes closest to any smartphone camera I’ve tried yet to replicating some of the aspects of traditional photography that I love. Arguably, other smartphone cameras, and the Pixel 2 in particular, can produce better photos. The Samsung Galaxy S9 is basically on par with that industry leader when it comes to quality of photos when shot in automatic mode – in some situations, including a lot of low-light scenarios, the S9 is better, but in others, like when there are big lightning differences across the scene, Google’s smartphone edges the Samsung. But either device (and the latest iPhones, if you’re going beyond Android) is going to be a fantastic photographic choice for most smartphone buyers, and that shouldn’t be a major concern when making a buying decision. Where the Samsung Galaxy S9 really takes a leap forward is in bringing some of what has been so appealing about manual-friendly retro camera designs like those favoured by Fujifilm to the mobile realm. There are plenty of manual photography apps that do similar things, but the Galaxy S9 has its crucial dual aperture camera lens, which can manually switch from F/1.5 to F/2.4 in pro shooting mode. This gives you a noticeable degree of control over depth of field, or the effect of subtly blurring either background or foreground details depending on where you want to draw attention in the frame. gallery ids="1610658,1610659,1610660,1610661,1610662,1610663,1610664,1610665,1610666,1610667,1610668,1610669,1610670,1610671,1610672,1610673,1610674,1610675,1610676,1610677" It’s this small, but crucial detail that really drives the appeal of the S9 for me. Without it, it’d be difficult to roundly recommend it as a major upgrade from last year’s model, and hard to say that it can stand apart from the rest of the crowd, most of which now feature magnificent cameras. The Galaxy S9 also produces pretty fantastic results with full-light photos outdoors, as you can see from the gallery, with vibrant, rich color that might be a bit artificial, but ultimately comes off looking like it includes the kind of minor boosts and tweaks I’d do while editing in post anyway. The video shooting is good, as well, though it lacks the degree of stabilization that Google’s Pixel 2 can provide when filming while in motion

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Nokia 8110’s slider ‘Matrix’ feature phone returns with 4G and a €79 price tag

 Nokia’s 8110 — the distinctive ‘candy bar’ feature phone with a slider opening — was once the phone that everyone wanted but no one could afford, made popular through the Matrix film franchise. Now HMD, the company that has the license to make Nokia phones, is hoping for a hit by bringing it back. Today, at MWC in Barcelona, Nokia officially took the wraps off the… Read More

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Meltdown and Spectre flaws loomed large over CES

The Meltdown and Spectre CPU vulnerabilities hung like a shadow over the festivities of CES. What's typically a celebration of consumer electronics was instead a stark reminder of just how far-reaching these issues are. And that's especially the case...

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Hot Holiday Tech: First Look with Carley Knobloch

Hot Holiday Tech - First Look with Carley Knobloch

**Sponsored Content** The holiday shopping season is about to get underway and everyone is busy finalizing their gift lists. Tech and consumer electronics are always a must-have, however with so many options, it can be a challenge to find exactly what you want.  You need to make sure you’re in-the-know, …

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