Gadgets http://www.theweek.in/review/gadgets.rss en Thu Oct 01 13:38:31 IST 2020 https://www.theweek.in/privacy-an-settlement.html the-beautified-game <a href="http://www.theweek.in/review/gadgets/2020/10/15/the-beautified-game.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/review/gadgets/images/2020/10/15/fifa-new.jpg" /> <p>The world is a scary place, complete with inept political leaders and lethal viruses. But, there are a few things you can still count on. Like Electronic Arts releasing a new version of FIFA every year. The franchise, in its 28th year, is the best-selling sports video game series. The latest iteration, FIFA 21, released on October 9.</p> <p>It comes with subtle changes which make a significant difference to the game play. The basic skills (like passing, shooting) reflect the real-world abilities of the players more closely. So, a cross by Trent Alexander-Arnold will be discernibly better than one from your average right-back. Free kicks are more realistic, but hard to master.</p> <p>Even the not-so-skilled gamer may stumble upon a few cool moves. I got Neymar to juggle and shimmy his way past three defenders and have no idea how I did it. So, the “serious gamers” can rip others to shreds, more so, because the keeper and defence will be shambolic unless the gamer pays real attention to defensive play.</p> <p>The game modes have all been updated, but none more so than the manager mode—where you can take control of a football club. The FIFA 21 manager mode offers a truly immersive experience; you are involved in everything from transfers to player development, handling the media and, of course, the matches.</p> <p>There does not seem to be many glitches, but it is too early to say. Hopefully, EA can sort out any problems through constant updates. Also, do not forget to check out the likes of Pele and Maradona, rated 98 and 97 (out of 100), respectively, in the Soccer Aid team made up of legends. If you cannot win with this team, stop playing! </p> http://www.theweek.in/review/gadgets/2020/10/15/the-beautified-game.html http://www.theweek.in/review/gadgets/2020/10/15/the-beautified-game.html Thu Oct 15 18:32:04 IST 2020 mi-box-4k-review-the-best-way-to-upgrade-your-tv <a href="http://www.theweek.in/review/gadgets/2020/05/25/mi-box-4k-review-the-best-way-to-upgrade-your-tv.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/review/gadgets/images/2020/5/25/Xiaomi-Mi-Box-4k-smart-tv-XiaomiTwitter.jpg" /> <p>It makes sense to upgrade to a smart TV these days as OTT platforms have emerged as a popular way to consume content. One catch, though, is that manufacturers seldom update the software of these televisions, and after a point, newer versions of apps would stop working on an old operating system or miss out on new features.</p> <p>That is why it makes better sense to make your dumb television smart with a set-top box—or a streaming device—rather than going for an expensive upgrade to a smart TV.<br> </p> <p>The Amazon Fire Stick has long been the go-to streaming device in India. A 4K version of the Fire Stick is also available. The Mi Box 4K from Xiaomi, which was released in India a week ago, does everything that the Fire Stick 4K does and a little more.&nbsp;</p> <p>The Mi Box 4K is a sleek rectangular box with curved corners. Setting up the device is a breeze. Connect it to the HDMI port of the TV and to the home Wi-Fi (or your mobile’s hot spot), and it is up and running. You can sign in to your Google account to import your preferences.<br> </p> <p>The Mi Box 4K comes with the latest Android TV 9.0—you might be asked to update it for some bug fixes and new features. The operating system looks good and works well, and it supports thousands of Android apps. The built-in Chromecast Ultra lets you stream 4K content from a smartphone, tablet or even computer. Then there is Google Assistant, which can help you not only find shows and movies but also control the connected devices. The remote has a button to activate Google Assistant voice search and two hotkeys that launch Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. You can play your local files on an external hard drive or USB stick as well.&nbsp;&nbsp;<br> </p> <p>At Rs 3,499 (including the introductory discount on the actual price of Rs 4,999), the Mi Box 4K offers plenty of features and a lot more value than the Fire TV Stick 4K, which costs Rs 5,999.&nbsp;<br> </p> http://www.theweek.in/review/gadgets/2020/05/25/mi-box-4k-review-the-best-way-to-upgrade-your-tv.html http://www.theweek.in/review/gadgets/2020/05/25/mi-box-4k-review-the-best-way-to-upgrade-your-tv.html Mon May 25 17:15:46 IST 2020 hitting-the-right-note <a href="http://www.theweek.in/review/gadgets/2020/02/22/hitting-the-right-note.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/review/gadgets/images/2020/2/22/69-Intel-Honeycomb-Glacier.jpg" /> <p>Laptop computers have not changed much in form since the Toshiba T1100, the world's first mass market laptop, which was released in 1985. Of course, there have been many attempts—a touch screen there or a 360-degree hinge here—but they largely remained a clamshell with a screen on the one half and a keypad on the other, and a battery which would last a few hours.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Laptops started becoming interesting again when manufacturers started tinkering with the conventional form a while ago. HP came up with a dual screen gaming laptop last year. The the 6-inch secondary display sits just above the keypad, and works like a regular dual screen setup. Then Asus unveiled the ZenBook Pro Duo with two 4K screens. In both cases software tweaks help make full use of the secondary screen.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The most striking dual screen laptop, however, has been Intel's Honeycomb Glacier concept. Unlike the HP and Asus models, it lifts both screens through a double hinge mechanism. They stay propped up in any angle you want and go down at the tap of a switch.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Things got even more interesting at CES 2020, where many companies offered a peek into the future of portable computers. Lenovo showed off world's first foldable PC, the ThinkPad X1 Fold, which will start selling this year itself. Its OLED screen folds up like a book. Dell unveiled the foldable Concept Ori and the dual screen Concept Duet. Intel's prototype, Horseshoe Bend, has a 17.3 inch foldable display.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>So, why are manufacturers investing time and effort in a product category which is said to be losing popularity? Well, laptop sales have actually bounced back. Sales have shown an upward swing since 2017 and pundits say the momentum will continue.</p> http://www.theweek.in/review/gadgets/2020/02/22/hitting-the-right-note.html http://www.theweek.in/review/gadgets/2020/02/22/hitting-the-right-note.html Sat Feb 22 15:14:27 IST 2020 irobot-roomba-i7-review-good-first-impression <a href="http://www.theweek.in/review/gadgets/2020/02/24/irobot-roomba-i7-review-good-first-impression.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/review/gadgets/images/2020/2/24/iRobot%20Roomba%20i7%2B%20co.jpg" /> <p>What if you had a vacuum cleaner that not only cleans up your mess, but also disposes the waste into the bin and even charges itself, all on its own? What would have been a dream is now reality thanks to the creators at iRobot. The Roomba i7+ is the product of perfect amalgamation between conventional cleaning and artificial intelligence. It is a luxury vacuum cleaner equipped with an automatic waste disposal system called Clean Base. The added luxury though comes with a price (Rs. 89,900 on Amazon.in when the article was being written).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>For the tech savvy homeowners out there, the iRobot Roomba i7+ is certainly worth the buy. The Roomba i7+ is controlled via the iRobot app on both iOS and Android. Setting up the connection is quite easy. The app detects and connects the Roomba i7+ quite seamlessly. Once the setup is done, you can choose to have the cleaner map out your house by doing a 'Training run'. The Roomba i7+ does require 2-3 runs before it can get a clear picture of your floor plan. You can see that area mapped out by the cleaner on your phone. Once it has mapped out your entire floor, you can give each room a name and have the Roomba i7+ clean specific rooms when required. The 'Training run' only makes the cleaner map out your floor area. Not only doesn it clean, but it can also clean and map simultaneously if you choose to do so.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Roomba i7+'s vSLAM navigation technology captures over 2,30,400 data points per second, making it easy to remember where it has been. This comes in handy especially when the cleaner is about to run out of juice or has to transfer the collected dust and other waste onto the Clean Base. The cleaner pauses and goes back to its charging dock, and once it is done charging or transferring the waste, it is able to go back to the spot where it left off and resume cleaning.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Roomba i7+ uses a back and forth motion along a virtual straight line when it cleans. It goes the length of its cleaning path until interrupted by a wall and then shifts its position slightly to clean a new grid. If the cleaner hits a table or chair leg, it carefully winds itself around the leg to continue cleaning. Its AI powered system lets it understand whether the object in its path is a wall or any object that it can clean by going around. This is quite handy and advanced as compared to other robot vacuum cleaners. The three-spoke cleaning brush that protrudes outside off the Roomba i7+'s path helps in sweeping in dust and other particles that gets sucked in by the powerful suction brush.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The iRobot Roomba i7+ is ahead of its peers in terms of providing comfort and convenience. But at the same time certain things can heckle you. The process of transferring dust into the Clean Base is quite noisy, much like a jet take-off. Also, factor in the amount of time the Roomba i7+ takes to clean the room, you might wonder if it was just easier to clean it manually by using a hand-held vacuum cleaner instead. If you have a relatively small room with enough objects cramming the space, the Roomba i7+ will be rendered quite ineffective.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Having said all this, the factors mentioned above aren't serious concerns for those who would look at buying an intelligent vacuum cleaner. The iRobot Roomba i7+ is everything that the company has claimed it is―an intelligent vacuum cleaner that will clean and dispose off the dirt on its own without you having to spare a thought!</p> http://www.theweek.in/review/gadgets/2020/02/24/irobot-roomba-i7-review-good-first-impression.html http://www.theweek.in/review/gadgets/2020/02/24/irobot-roomba-i7-review-good-first-impression.html Mon Feb 24 16:24:02 IST 2020 mobvoi-ticwatch-c2-review-style-meets-utility <a href="http://www.theweek.in/review/gadgets/2019/12/24/mobvoi-ticwatch-c2-review-style-meets-utility.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/review/gadgets/images/2019/12/24/mobvoi-ticwatch-c2-side-n.jpg" /> <p>The Mobvoi TicWatch C2 looks like a traditional watch on the outside, but style and smart features come together here to give you a top-quality device in the smartwatch segment.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Whether you want to check your mails, messages and notifications on your phone or to monitor your fitness and physical activities on a day-to-day basis, TicWatch C2 ticks the boxes of a smartwatch that has the functionality of a classic wristwatch and is packed with smart features for both iPhone and Android users. GPS tracking is built-in in the device, as is Google Assistant, which makes it easier for users to do a quick search or set a reminder. It also supports Google Pay. So, next time you want to do some quick online purchases, just tap your watch and get going.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The TicWatch C2 has genuine leather straps with a stainless steel watch case, giving it a hint of elegance. The device comes in three styles or colours―Onyx, Platinum and Rose Gold. The Onyx has a black stainless steel body and black leather strap; Rose Gold, as you guessed, comes in a rose gold stainless steel body and an off-white strap; and the Platinum has a metallic or silver body with grey strap.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The bottom side of the watch, however, is plastic, where the heart rate sensor is located. But not to worry, it's nearly unnoticeable while the device is in use.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It comes with two buttons on the side of the watch―a top button that lets you open apps, takes you back to the main screen and move around in general, and a bottom one that opens the device's fitness settings, helping you navigate through the interface.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The TicWatch C2 has a Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 chipset and not the recently rolled out 3100 upgrade. Considering other smartwatches in the market haven't put in the upgrade, the TicWatch C2 isn't missing out. It comes with a 1.3” AMOLED 360 x 360 px display which can be adjusted in the setting.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>However, two apps―Wear OS and Mobvoi―need to be downloaded on your mobile device so as to make the most of the TicWatch C2. The Wear OS app helps you check your Google Fit data, and also change your settings as per your preference. The Mobvoi app collects the data from TicWatch's apps such as TicExercise and TicPulse Live, helping you keep track of health and fitness data.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In addition, the TicWatch C2 is a bit on the heavy side. Users with lean wrists may find the device to be a bit uncomfortable.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The device has a 400mAh battery which should last two days with light usage and one day with heavy usage, as per the specs. You can charge the device by plugging it into a USB port, and it takes about 1-1.5 hours to go from empty to fully charged.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The watch is dust and waterproof, which means you can go for a run in the rain while wearing it if you want, but it is advised that you don't go swimming wearing the TicWatch C2 and avoid submerging it in water for long.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The TicWatch C2 is comparatively easy on the pocket too, at Rs 17,999! It may not be a high-end smartwatch like the Apple Watch or Samsung's Galaxy smartwatch, but those looking for smart wearables on a budget can loosen those purse strings just a tad to get their hands on this classic wristwatch with a good design, a bunch of cool features, and performs well enough.</p> http://www.theweek.in/review/gadgets/2019/12/24/mobvoi-ticwatch-c2-review-style-meets-utility.html http://www.theweek.in/review/gadgets/2019/12/24/mobvoi-ticwatch-c2-review-style-meets-utility.html Fri Dec 27 20:47:13 IST 2019 lenovo-legion-y530-review-good-for-college-students-gaming <a href="http://www.theweek.in/review/gadgets/2019/07/18/lenovo-legion-y530-review-good-for-college-students-gaming.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/review/gadgets/images/2019/7/18/Lenovo%20Y530%20graphic.jpg" /> <p>The best way to upgrade the life of the Indian gamer is to upgrade the hardware of their laptop. The Indian PC gamer is not known to upgrade their hardware every year, or every few years for that matter. Computers are held onto and pushed to their limits for many, many years. This is all the more reason why it is important to buy wisely when it is the first time.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>College students, in particular those who are getting into media or animation, are a key demographic for the budget gaming laptop. They need power but they also need it on a budget. They need something that can take the edge off after a long day at college—AKA something that can run PUBG or Fortnite or DotA 2 long into the night.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Since September, 2018, the Lenovo Legion Y530 has been the go-to budget laptop of choice. A starting-price model at Rs 85,585 will give you an i5-8300H, a GTX 1050 Ti (4GB DDDR5) and a 1TB HDD paired with a 128GB SSD. The specs can be upgraded to an i7-8750 and a GTX 1060 and a 2TB HDD paired with a 512 GB SSD.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As far as power goes, it is reasonable enough that most games will run at playable frame rates. The 1050Ti is good to run most games at full-HD and medium to high settings, but some settings will have to be set to low or medium in games like Witcher 3 if you want a playable frame rate of at least 30fps. Games like Overwatch and Fortnite ran smoothly as did Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>If you play fast-paced First Person Shooters (FPS) like Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), the 144Hz will let you see many more frames of animation than a typical 60Hz screen, provided your frame rates are equally high. The back-lit keyboard layout is comfortable to use.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>All in all, if this is your first real upgrade in many years, the Y530 will allow you to catch up with the major releases of the last few years without missing a beat.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Keeping in line with smartphone trends, the Y530 features a thin-bezel, measuring about 4mm. With a 15 inch Full-HD IPS screen supporting 144hz, this makes for a pleasurable viewing experience. The 144Hz mode will help in games where the FPS goes above 60, as it allows for a much smoother experience. While the screen is good to look at, it does not reproduce blacks as well as it could, with <i>Game of Thrones</i>’ infamous ‘The Long Night’ episode looking slightly dull.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The speakers are Harman with Dolby audio, and reproduce music and gaming ambience nicely. You would still want to connect this to a set of speakers or headphones to truly enjoy gaming.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It comes with an array of ports, including 3 USB 3.1 Type-A ports and one USB 3.1 Type-C. A Mini DisplayPort and an HDMI alike will ensure that the laptop can be connected to any projector or display (a crucial feature at college). In addition, it features the Lenovo NOVO Hole which allows for ‘one-key’ recovery if the laptop fails to boot and an ethernet RJ45 port in case you need a direct connection to the internet (or an intranet).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>With heavy usage, the battery should last up to four hours, nearing five with a medium load. This is still a laptop and you can use it at cafes or on-the-go, keeping in mind that it weights 2.3kgs and feels hefty.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Y530 remains a solid entry-level gaming option for those looking to play the major game titles, edit video or have a fairly powerful laptop that can handle animation or software like Adobe After Effects. It is perfect for college-goers, though buyers in 2019 can also look forward to the Y540 expected to release later this year.</p> http://www.theweek.in/review/gadgets/2019/07/18/lenovo-legion-y530-review-good-for-college-students-gaming.html http://www.theweek.in/review/gadgets/2019/07/18/lenovo-legion-y530-review-good-for-college-students-gaming.html Thu Jul 18 19:32:16 IST 2019 samsung-galaxy-S10-plus-one-month-later-a-real-world-review <a href="http://www.theweek.in/review/gadgets/2019/04/10/samsung-galaxy-S10-plus-one-month-later-a-real-world-review.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/review/gadgets/images/2019/4/10/samsung-s10-theweek.jpg" /> <p>There is something different about going about your day packing a flagship mobile in your pocket. For one thing, you start seeing your phone on the billboards. In advertisements between TV shows. And when you walk by the manufacturer’s retail store, you know that you already have the best product they’re selling.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In 2019, this phone is, as of writing, the Samsung Galaxy S10+. It’s the biggest, baddest Android device that money can buy. With a starting price at Rs 73,900, the phone represents the kind of investment that people used to spend on motorcycles, laptops or even vacations.<br> <br> </p> <p>So, to answer the inevitable question of “Is it worth it?”, we looked at the phone after one month of daily usage. In that time, it travelled multiple cities, took multiple photos across use case scenarios, and served as a make-do WiFi router. Here is the real-world review of the world’s best phone.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Day-to-day</b></p> <p>Moving to the S10+ from a Galaxy Note 9, one of the things I appreciated most was the slimmer form factor. Despite being a big phone, the S10+ feels good and easy to hold. The decision to move the fingerprint scanner from the back to the front clears up some real estate on the back, making the phone a better looker overall.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>What makes this phone a true flagship is the battery. In an age where most people ration their intensive app-usage so they don’t run out of battery by the end of the day, the S10+ is happy to let you game on it, run a 24x7 hotspot, sync with a Samsung smartwatch and play movies at 2K. If you start using it in the morning today, it will still be beaming back at you by midday tomorrow. That is battery life worth holding on to.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Camera</b></p> <p>The three lenses on the back were a useful gimmick. When I had time, I found myself switching lenses and experimenting with the shots I could take, once from the standard wide, once from the telephoto and once from the ultra-wide. The ultra-wide lens is easily my favourite of the lot. When faced with a “real” landscape to capture―like a mountain range―I no longer feel like my device fails to do justice. The telephoto lens proves to be a bit gimmicky as in my comparison tests, the image quality wasn’t as good as that of a cropped photo from the standard lens. The standard shooter is good for most purposes―I found myself shooting at night and in low light far more than I normally would.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The S10+ will make you the unofficial group selfie photographer wherever you go thanks to its impressive live focus and clarity. The portrait mode is great for taking photos of people. However, the front camera's &quot;group&quot; mode is only a mild improvement from the regular one in terms of taking a wider frame. Even so, you will be expected to take great selfies―if you’re alright with this responsibility, the S10+ hole punch camera will have its work cut out for you in every social gathering.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It’s worth noting that an entire episode of <i>The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon</i> was shot on the Galaxy S10+. Given that the setting was Brooklyn at night, it shows just how well the phone performs in challenging circumstances. However, it needs to be said that a DSLR would have done a better job.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Performance</b></p> <p>Let’s face it, most of us are not using our pocket supercomputers to their maximum potential. Whether it comes to sending emails, browsing Instagram or running multiple tabs on Chrome, the S10+ is completely unstressed. You won’t really feel the difference between this and other devices.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The sheer power of the CPU and GPU make this a gamer’s dream―the catch is that most mobile games are not very demanding. While it breezes through PUBG at the highest settings, to really see it at its best you will want to try games like Need for Speed: No Limits or any of the 2GB+ games you can find on the app store.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Software</b></p> <p>Ultimately, I did not find myself ever making use of the Bigsby AI assistant. I own a Google Home so the only AI assistant that makes sense for me would be Google’s own. Thankfully, there is a way to reconfigure Bixby’s physical button to activating Google’s assistant.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The usual suspects of Samsung bloatware are all present, but they don’t affect your user experience. Seasoned Samsung users will just place the Samsung apps in a folder and keep them out of sight and out of mind.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Final takeaways</b></p> <p>There is something to be said about having a flagship device. For one, they age better than mid-level phones. While yesteryear’s Motorolas or Xiaomis may have been as capable as the S10+ in the real world, these phones are never quite as responsive after a year or two of usage. From owning a previous model flagship, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, I can say that top-tier phones last longer and slow down less over time.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Samsung continues to have more bloatware than their competitors, but this doesn’t seem to affect the device’s speediness as much as it used to.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Having a camera of this calibre in your pocket is something worth investing in, though, I still feel the absence of a real telephoto when I need to take a shot of something far away. Considering the S10+ is priced well into the range of mid-level DSLRs, it’s worth considering whether you should buy this device or a DSLR with a telephoto lens, if you are serious about photography. For everyday purposes, the S10+ can handle pretty much anything you throw at it.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Samsung Galaxy S10+ Specs</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Body:</b> 157.6 x 74.1 x 7l.8mm)</p> <p><b>Display:</b> 6.4” Quad HD+ ; Dynamic AMOLED; InfinityO; 93.1 per cent Screen-to-body ratio.</p> <p><b>Rear camera:</b> 12MP Telephoto (2x, 52mm); 12MP Wide-angle; 16MP Ultra Wide (12mm)<br> <b>Front camera:</b> 10MP Selfie; 8MP RGB Depth Camera; Dual Focus</p> <p><b>OS:</b> Android 9 “Pie”</p> <p><b>Chipset:</b> Exynos 9820</p> <p><b>CPU:</b> Octa-core (2x2.73 GHz Mongoose M4 &amp; 2x2.31 GHz Cortex-A75 &amp; 4x1.95 GHz Cortex A55)</p> <p><b>GPU:</b> Mali-G76 MP12</p> <p><b>Memory:</b> 8GB RAM with 128GB internal storage; 8GB RAM with 512GB internal storage (Ceramic models only); 12GB RAM with 1TBinternal storage (Performance Edition only)</p> <p><b>Battery:</b> 4100mAh</p> <p><b>Colours:</b> Prism White, Prism Black, Prism Green, Prism Blue, Ceramic White, Ceramic Black</p> http://www.theweek.in/review/gadgets/2019/04/10/samsung-galaxy-S10-plus-one-month-later-a-real-world-review.html http://www.theweek.in/review/gadgets/2019/04/10/samsung-galaxy-S10-plus-one-month-later-a-real-world-review.html Wed Apr 10 17:39:34 IST 2019 bose-soundsport-free-wireless-earphones-of-2018 <a href="http://www.theweek.in/review/gadgets/2019/01/16/bose-soundsport-free-wireless-earphones-of-2018.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/review/gadgets/images/2019/1/16/H3.jpg" /> <p>When it comes to audio, not many would put it past Bose to deliver the best. Pioneers of audio engineering, Bose has always been on the forefront of innovation and excellence. So, it was without any hesitation that we decided to select the Bose SoundSport Free earbuds as the 'Wireless Bluetooth headset of the Year'. A 'jack of all trades', the SoundSport Free scores well in the design, comfort, connectivity, durability and audio performance departments, and has definitely got the package that trumps its competitors.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The SoundSport Free looks like a newer and shinier offspring of the Bose SoundSport Wireless. It is the perfect companion if you are an athlete or someone who likes to have an immersive experience in the gym. Although it has a rather bulbous build, it can certainly go either way when it comes to the style quotient. The stayHear+ Sport tips keep the earbuds fit comfortably in your ears and Bose provides two other sizes in case you want another size. The IPX4 rating means you can sweat it out in the gym or go for a jog in the rain without fear of causing water damage to your earphones.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Sound quality is a given with the SoundSport Free since it comes from the house of Bose. I have been a Bose user for years now and sound quality is one thing that Bose delivers on, no matter what device it is. Although it doesn't have active noise cancelling, the earbuds can still block out most ambient sounds. The bass extends low without bleeding into the mids like many other of its peers and highs are also balanced seamlessly to give a smooth listening experience even over long hours. The Soundsport Free produces excellent balanced sound and is built for the kill. The connectivity also gives it a truly wireless experience. With an excellent packaging that also functions like a wireless charging case, these earbuds are meant for the avid listener on the move. The case allows for two full extra charges which roughly translates to 10 hours of charge.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>They may be a bit bigger than other players in the market, but that could add to the style quotient. Even if not, they are the best when it comes to sound. If you are an active gym-goer, these are the perfect companions for you and they pack enough juice to last the day without having to worry about finding a charging port.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/review/gadgets/2019/01/16/bose-soundsport-free-wireless-earphones-of-2018.html http://www.theweek.in/review/gadgets/2019/01/16/bose-soundsport-free-wireless-earphones-of-2018.html Wed Jan 16 17:18:29 IST 2019 samsung-galaxy-A9-review-four-times-the-fun <a href="http://www.theweek.in/review/gadgets/2019/01/13/samsung-galaxy-A9-review-four-times-the-fun.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/review/gadgets/images/2019/1/13/7.jpg" /> <p>Smartphone buyers are a finicky lot. Very hard to keep them happy. And it is because of this very reason that Samsung pulled out all its cards with the newly launched Samsung Galaxy A9. Camera quality is the success mantra on which most tech giants are riding. So, it was only a matter of time when one of them decide to up the game. The world's first quad camera smartphone packs quite a bit under the hood. But what is surprising is that they decided to introduce it in the A series than with their flagships. But enough said, lets get down to the details.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Samsung Galaxy A9 at a glance</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Body:</b> Glass back, metal frame; 162.5 x 77 x 7.8mm weighing 183 gms</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Display:</b> 6.3 inch Super AMOLED, 2,200x1,080 px; Infinity display (18:5:9 aspect ratio); 392ppi pixel density</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Rear camera:</b> 24MP with f/1.7 aperture, phase detection autofocus; 8MP with f/2/4 aperture, 12mm ultra wide with fixed focus; 10MP with f/2.4 aperture, autofocus, 2x optical zoom telephoto; 5MP with f/2/2 aperture, depth sensing; LED flash, 2160p/30fps video recording</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Front camera:</b> 24MP with f/2.0 aperture; 1080p/30fps video recording</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>OS:</b> Android 8.0 Oreo, Samsung Experience 9.0 custom overlay</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Chipset:</b> Snapdragon 660, octa-core|4x2.2 GHz Kryo 260 &amp; 4x1.8 GHz Kryo 260; Adreno 512 GPU</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Memory:</b> 6Gb &amp; 8 GB variants, 128 GB internal storage with microSD slot</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Battery:</b> 3,800 mAh Li-Po sealed battery with Samsung Adaptive Fast charging</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Other:</b> USB 2.0 Type-C port; Bluetooth 5.0; FM Radio; Rear-mounted fingerprint reader; Samsung Pay; Single speaker at the bottom</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Colours:</b> Caviar Black, Lemonade Blue and Bubblegum Pink</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Design</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Unlike the A7, Samsung has decided to sport the A9 with a curved glass black rather than a flat one. But with four cameras at the back, that is what makes the phone stand out, making it its tech as well as design USP. Four cameras may seem like a lot along with the flash, but Samsung has aligned them in such a way that it doesn't hit you in the eye. The infinity display isn't the same as what you would see on the Samsung flagships, but it is still quite bezel-free.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Keeping to its predecessors, there is no home button in the bottom. The top bezel houses the earpiece, proximity sensors and selfie camera. A single speaker grill, USB C-port, microphone jack and the primary mic are present in the bottom panel. The top panel has the secondary mic pinhole and the card slot. What is confusing, though, is the positioning of the volume rocker. It has been moved to the right above the power button.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Display</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This is one area where Samsung doesn't fail to deliver. The 6.3-inch Super AMOLED display works to a 18:5:9 aspect ratio and can go up to 392ppi pixel density. The A9 outdoes its peers with relative ease and works well under sunlight, at par with the Note 9.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Camera</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Samsung A9 is still unmatched in this department as far as the number of cameras are concerned. The primary camera features a 25MP resolution sensor along with a fast f/1.7 lens. The pictures come out quite well, but night photography could result in some grainy pics.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The 10MP telephoto lens is coupled with a f/2.4 lens with a field of view of 35mm. This goes a long way in getting you that far shot without necessarily pixelating too much. It enables you to capture far-off images with relative ease and with much better quality than its peers.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The ultra-wide lens is the one on the top which features an 8MP sensor with a f/2.4 aperture and delivers a wide 120-degree field of view. The ultra-wide lens on the A9 also doesn't which an autofocus, which is understandable considering the focal length.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The fourth cam isn't a standalone sensor like the others. It is used to take depth pictures using the 'Live Focus' feature on the A9. It uses a 5MP sensor with f/2/2 aperture lens. Pictures come out quite well, although you may have to reduce the intensity of the blurs sometimes as it gets a bit too much.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Verdict</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Samsung Galaxy A9 is quite the capable phone. It is undisputed when it comes to the number of cameras on board. The telephoto lens does justice, but the main cam might be a bummer. The A9 delivers superior battery quality and can easily last the day even if your use is quite demanding. The internal storage is also more than what most users would require and the RAM is powerful. Overall, it is a premium mid-end smartphone and it does pave way for the next generation of phones which focus on getting all the necessary cameras under one hood.</p> http://www.theweek.in/review/gadgets/2019/01/13/samsung-galaxy-A9-review-four-times-the-fun.html http://www.theweek.in/review/gadgets/2019/01/13/samsung-galaxy-A9-review-four-times-the-fun.html Sun Jan 13 13:54:52 IST 2019 galaxy-tab-s4-review-a-class-apart <a href="http://www.theweek.in/review/gadgets/2018/12/14/galaxy-tab-s4-review-a-class-apart.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/review/gadgets/images/2018/12/14/tab-s4.jpg" /> <p>The tablet market, which was once a booming segment, may have been on a steady decline, but Samsung is one of the few players who are determined to bring out the best. Their formula? Innovation. One of the main reasons why ultrabooks are on the rise is because people want a laptop that is light, but still does what a desktop can do. Samsung's Tab S4 has just about got it right. Equipped with a keyboard and a pen, it is as good as an ultrabook, and yet lighter. It does run on Android 8.1, but Samsung's Dex mode gives it a desktop feel. To put it simply, if you are looking for a powerful tablet that could also work as a laptop and are willing to pay about Rs 57,000, then you have the best tablet that Android has to offer―the Tab S4.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Samsung Tab S4 in a snapshot</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Network:</b> GSM/HSPA/LTE</p> <p><b>Launch:</b> India release October</p> <p><b>Price:</b> Rs 57,900</p> <p><b>Body:</b> Metal frame with glass on the front &amp; back. Weighs 482g. Supports Nano SIM</p> <p><b>Water Protection:</b> No</p> <p><b>Screen:</b> 10.5 inch 1600 x 2560 pixel Super AMOLED capacitive screen with 287 pixel density</p> <p><b>Front Camera:</b> 8MP</p> <p><b>Rear Camera:</b> 13 MP with AF, LED flash, HDR &amp; panorama</p> <p><b>Front Camera Video:</b> 1080p@30fps</p> <p><b>Rear Camera Video:</b> 2160p@30fps</p> <p><b>Chipset:</b> Snapdragon 835</p> <p><b>Memory: </b>4GB RAM, 64 GB storage with microSD slot</p> <p><b>OS:</b> Android 8.1</p> <p><b>Battery:</b> Non-removable Li-Po 7,300mAh with fast charging</p> <p><b>Other:</b> Stereo speakers tuned by AKG, Iris scanner, pogo pins, global positioning</p> <p><b>Add-ons:</b> S Pen, DeX dock and Book Cover keyboard</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Tab S4 is the best that Android has to offer when it comes to tablets. Yes, it does take away quite a bit from your pockets, but in India, it comes with the keyboard book cover which is a plus. Unlike the Apple Pro, you do not have to shell out a few thousand bucks extra to get a keyboard. Time to get into the nitty-gritties.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Design</b></p> <p>Samsung has cut down on bezels with the S4 10.5 as compared to its predecessor the Tab S3. At 10.5 inches, the AMOLED screen does justice to pictures and videos. So if you like binge-watching TV shows, this one is a delight to watch on. With sleek edges, it gives a truly premium feel―something which the huge price tag demands. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The top panel consists of two sets of grills for the speakers. The left side panel is completely dedicated to its keyboard dock. A magnetic strip to lock it with the keyboard and two small slots to keep it in place. The right panel consists of the volume rocker, power button and a sim card cum micro sd card slot. The bottom panel has the headphone jack, charging port and two sets of grills for speakers. There is no fingerprint sensor, which has been replaced by the Iris scanner.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Display</b></p> <p>This is were the Tab S4 scores the best. The AMOLED screen is a pure delight and delivers excellently. At 10.5 inches, the QHD+ display offers great depth and the blacks don't look washed out.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Hardware</b></p> <p>The Samsung Tab S4 offers dual speakers on the top and bottom panels. Tuned by AKG, these deliver great on sound quality even on high volumes. Samsung has bet big on its book cover keyboard to deliver a desktop-like experience while at the same time giving the portability of an ultrabook. The 2-in-1 concept has put it in direct contention with the Surface Pro and iPads. Samsung's Desktop Experience (DeX) is what gives the Tab a desktop look. On activating DeX, all applications close automatically and the Tab restarts in desktop mode. The whole process barely takes a few seconds, making the transition very smooth.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The S-Pen, too, offers a truly enriching experiencing and is precise enough to take notes or even draw. The DeX mode offers more of a 'keyboard and mouse' experience than the conventional 'tablet' experience. This means, there are no shades to pull down. You have to access everything from the bottom panel on the screen, as you would on a laptop or desktop. The Tab S4 delivers on the battery front. The 7,300mAh battery lets you run the Tab for at least day without having to worry about charging. If you are binge-watching on Netflix, you still get around 15 hours of video playback.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Camera</b></p> <p>No one really buys a Tab for its camera. But the Tab S4 still gives decent pictures with its 13MP back camera as well as the 8MP front camera. The rear cam lets you shoot 4K videos while the front lets you shoot at 1080p. The selfie cam shoots decent pictures and the portrait mode does justice to the cam.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Verdict</b></p> <p>The Samsung Tab S4 is the tablet for you if you are looking at having a tablet which also functions like a laptop or a PC. The camera isn't the best, but it will still give you decent pictures. The DeX mode is what this tablet delivers on point. The keyboard and mouse feel is definitely worth it. If you are willing to shell out a little extra, this is definitely worth it.&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/review/gadgets/2018/12/14/galaxy-tab-s4-review-a-class-apart.html http://www.theweek.in/review/gadgets/2018/12/14/galaxy-tab-s4-review-a-class-apart.html Fri Dec 14 19:47:35 IST 2018